The following video was posted at One America News yesterday:
It is time to shut down the Mueller investigation–aside from the fact that all the investigators are partisans, the standards used are totally inconsistent with past investigations of Democrats. Equal justice under the law is not part of the Mueller investigation. The investigation truly is a partisan witch hunt.
On Saturday, The New York Post posted an article about the impact of President Trump’s drastic cutting of government regulations.
The article reports:
Last week, the White House finally wrested control of the mammoth regulatory agency following the resignation of CFPB Director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee and liberal Democrat who quit his special five-year post early to run for Ohio governor. Trump installed his conservative budget director, Mick Mulvaney, to temporarily take over the powerful agency — which has the authority to determine the “fairness” of virtually every financial transaction in America.
On his first day on the job, Mulvaney instated a 30-day freeze on all new hiring and regulations at the CFPB, triggering a collective sigh of relief from the financial industry.
So what sort of activity has the CFPB been involved in?
The article reports:
- Bounced business owners and industry reps from secret meetings it’s held with Democrat operatives, radical civil-rights activists, trial lawyers and other “community advisers,” according to a report by the House Financial Services Committee.
- •Retained GMMB, the liberal advocacy group that created ads for the Obama and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns, for more than $40 million, making the Democrat shop the sole recipient of CFPB’s advertising expenditure, Rubin says.
- •Met behind closed doors to craft financial regulatory policy with notorious bank shakedown groups who have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money to gin up housing and lending discrimination complaints, which in turn are fed back to CFPB, according to Investor’s Business Daily and Judicial Watch.
- •Funneled a large portion of the more than $5 billion in penalties collected from defendants to community organizers aligned with Democrats — “a slush fund by another name,” said a consultant who worked with CFPB on its Civil Penalty Fund and requested anonymity.
What’s more, CFPB has secretly assembled giant consumer databases that raise individual privacy as well as corporate liability concerns. One sweeps up personal credit card information and another compiles data on as many as 230 million mortgage applicants focusing on “race” and “ethnicity.” Yet another database of consumer complaints contains more than 900,000 grievances against named financial companies without any vetting to determine their merit, points out Alan Kaplinsky, lead regulatory compliance attorney at Ballard Spahr LLP.
Do we really want to use taxpayers’ money to continue to fund the CFPB? This agency is truly a threat to our existence as a viable constitutional republic.
According to Fox News, after the not guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder, federal officials are now charging Jose Ines Garcia Zarate with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and for being an illegally present alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition. If he is convicted on either charge, he could face a maximum of ten years in jail.
The article also reports:
After Zarate’s acquittal, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also announced last week that they planned to take Zarate into custody and remove him from the U.S. after the case was completely over.
When you consider the fact that Zarate was in the country illegally after having been deported five times. Why do we think that deporting him a sixth time will keep him out of the country? This man is a classic example of the reason we need to control our borders. We need to know who is coming into the country, what their purpose is in coming here and how long they plan to stay. Why are we putting the so-called rights of someone who is here illegally above the right to life of an American citizen?
A website called Your News Wire posted an article five months ago about the success of a charter school in Florida that ditched the Common Core curriculum and decided to focus on the principles of classical education to teach its students. I am not familiar with the site, so I went to the school’s website and starting reading. The information in the article at Your News Wire article was also posted at The Freedom Project in June.
The Mason Classical Academy website states:
The Hillsdale College Barney Charter School Initiative has deliberately taken a classical approach to education. By “classical,” we mean a form of education that could be called classical, civic, and liberal but in the school reform movement these days most often goes by the designation “classical.” Some might call it “conservative,” but we prefer the term “traditional.” That is, we adhere to an ancient view of learning and traditional teaching methods. Such a choice might at first seem paradoxical or even out- of-touch with reality. Why, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, in the age of the internet, in a country that has long been addicted to the revolutionary and the novel, when almost everyone in the world of K-12 education is singing the chorus of “critical thinking skills for a twenty-first-century global economy,” should cutting-edge schools root themselves so deeply in the past? Is not newer always better? What could today’s young people learn from old books? We must answer these questions clearly from the outset.
Classical education has a history of over 2500 years in the West. It began in ancient Greece, was adopted wholesale by the Romans, faltered after the fall of Rome, made a slow but steady recovery during the Middle Ages, and was again brought to perfection in the Italian Renaissance. The classical inheritance passed to England, and from the mother country to America through colonial settlement. At the time of this nation’s founding classical education was still thriving. Jefferson heartily recommended Greek and Latin as the languages of study for early adolescence. One of the Founding Fathers’ favorite books was Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans. Eighteenth- century Americans venerated and trusted George Washington in large part because he reminded them of the Roman patriot Cincinnatus. So important has classical education been in the history of the West that it would only be a slight exaggeration to say that the march of civilization has paralleled the vibrancy of classical schools. Unlike the old classical schools, today’s classical schools do not make the medium of instruction Latin and Greek (though to be classical they must require the study of Latin at some point).
Nonetheless, the Hillsdale-sponsored charter schools will remain classical by upholding the same standards of teaching, of curriculum, and of discipline found in the schools of old. Indeed, in these schools English will be taught using methods derived from centuries of teaching and learning the classical languages. Hillsdale thus takes stock in the tried and true rather than in the latest fads frothing forth from the schools of education.
So how has this approach worked? The article at Your News Wire reports:
What does the classical approach embraced by the Academy entail? According to their website, language-focused learning based on written and spoken words makes the brain work harder to convert words into concepts, while image-based approaches encourage passivity. The time-tested approach of phonics is very likely the reason you are able to read this article in the first place, and it’s hard to imagine why anyone would consider it inadequate.
Thanks to the classical approach of phonics, an impressive 90 percent of the third-grade students at Mason Classical Academy were proficient in English Language Arts, compared to just 58 percent in the county overall, most of whom rely on Common Core. In fact, the MCA third-graders were in Florida’s top two percent, while fifth graders from the academy ranked in the state’s top one percent.
These students look even better when you compare them to California, where the state average is just 43 percent proficiency among third graders. Even worse, six public schools in Baltimore do not have a single student who is proficient in either English Language Arts or math. It’s almost like students are being set up to fail.
Of course, not everyone is happy about this school’s success. Common Core proponents are panicking because these results expose the system for the fraud that it is. The school has been on the receiving end of criticism from everyone from the district’s superintendent to the local news outlet Naples Daily News, according to The Freedom Project.
So what can we learn from this? It really does not pay to try to reinvent the wheel. Classical education works–Common Core does not. We have been sold a bill of goods in regard to Common Core. Common Core puts our children in boxes they may not belong in and collects data that no one has any business collecting. The one thing it does not do is teach our children critical thinking skills and prepare them to live in the real world. The test results of Mason Classical Academy clearly illustrate what works in education. Now we need to pay attention to the facts and begin actually educating our children.
The article explains:
South Korea installed the same system in September to protect the nation against possible missile launches from Pyongyang.
This makes sense as a temporary measure. However, it is not a long-term solution. The thing to remember in dealing with North Korea is that any perceived aggression from America will most likely result in a massive attack on South Korea by North Korea. It would be nice to avoid that. China is not really going to help in this situation–they fear being overrun with North Korean refugees. The only real pressure we can put on China is to threaten to arm Japan with nuclear weapons. That will provide a check on China’s quest for increasing power in Southeast Asia, and the threat of that might be enough to cause China to put pressure on North Korea to stop testing nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, it is being reported that the mountain North Korea has been using for its testing has collapsed.
This is a complicated mess left for the Trump Administration by the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations. It may take a while to sort it all out. Hopefully, that can be done without waging war.
This story is from September, but I love it so much I am posting it anyway.
The article reports:
The remains of a powerful Viking — long thought to be a man — was in fact a real-life Xena Warrior Princess, a study released Friday reveals.
The lady war boss was buried in the mid-10th century along with deadly weapons and two horses, leading archaeologists and historians to assume she was a man, according to the findings published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
“It’s actually a woman, somewhere over the age of 30 and fairly tall, too, measuring around [5 feet 6 inches] tall,” archaeologist Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson of Uppsala University, who conducted the study, told The Local.
And she was likely in charge.
The article concludes:
The Viking grave was first found and excavated by Swedish archaeologist Hjalmar Stolpe in the late 1800s.
But a few years ago, osteologist Anna Kjellström of Stockholm University noticed its skeleton had fine cheekbones and feminine hip bones, researches said.
They conducted DNA analysis and confirmed it was a female.
“This image of the male warrior in a patriarchal society was reinforced by research traditions and contemporary preconceptions. Hence, the biological sex of the individual was taken for granted,” Hedenstierna-Jonson and other researchers wrote in the report.
I love this.
Andrew McCarthy makes the case that the charges against Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI are an indication that Special Prosecutor Mueller doesn’t have anything else to charge anyone for. Byron York makes the case that the Trump Administration was set up by the Obama Administration to be charged with violating the Logan Act (a law under which no one has ever been prosecuted) on day one. Both articles are an indication of how desperate some people in Washington are to undo the results of a valid election. That is a sad place for our country to be.
Andrew McCarthy reminds us:
Bottom line: If the FBI had a collusion case of some kind, after well over a year of intensive investigation, Flynn and Papadopoulos would have been pressured to plead guilty to very serious charges — and those serious offenses would be reflected in the charges lodged against Manafort. Obviously, the pleas and the indictment have nothing to do with collusion because Mueller has no collusion case.
Since there is no collusion case, we can safely assume Mueller is primarily scrutinizing President Trump with an eye toward making a case of obstructing an FBI investigation. This also makes sense in light of the pleas that have been taken.
Obstruction itself is a process crime — i.e., it relates to interference in the investigation of an underlying transaction that may or may not be criminal. In the first point, above, we noted that prosecutors generally do not let a cooperator settle a case by pleading guilty to a mere process crime. But if the main case the prosecutor is trying to build is itself a process crime, such as obstruction, then it is not all that damaging that the witnesses have pled guilty only to process crimes. The theme of such a prosecution is that the investigative process must be protected, not that some terrible underlying crime (like an espionage conspiracy) has been committed. Witnesses such as Flynn and Papadopoulos would therefore not be made to look like they had gotten a pass on serious offenses; they would look like they had owned up to corrupting the process and are now helping the prosecutor against the principal corruption target.
Keep in mind that the obstruction charge is obstructing justice in the investigation of a crime that was never committed. This is beyond bizarre–particularly when Hillary Clinton was not charged with obstruction after she destroyed evidence in the email case.
Byron York reports:
As for another concern that Yates said she had over the Flynn-Kislyak conversations — the worry that Flynn’s lie to Vice President Mike Pence (that sanctions were not discussed on the call) would open Flynn up to possible blackmail — perhaps that is a legitimate concern, but why did it warrant FBI questioning of Flynn under the penalty of prosecution for making false statements? Certainly Yates could have warned the White House about that without interrogating Flynn at all.
Instead, it was the prospect of a Logan Act prosecution that led to the FBI interview, which then, when Flynn lied to investigators, led to his guilty plea on a false statements charge.
From today’s perspective, nearly a year later, it has become apparent that, farfetched as it might seem, the Logan Act made it possible for the Obama administration to go after Trump. The ancient law that no one has ever been prosecuted for violating was the Obama administration’s flimsy pretense for a criminal prosecution of the incoming Trump team.
And by the way, when it finally came time to charge Flynn with a crime, did prosecutors, armed with the transcripts of those Flynn-Kislyak conversations, choose to charge him with violating the Logan Act? Of course not. But for the Obama team, the law had already served its purpose, months earlier, to entangle the new administration in a criminal investigation as soon as it walked in the door of the White House.
Our FBI has become an arm of the Democratic Party. It needs to be replaced. That is a shame.
The article reports:
In a statement Saturday, U.S. officials said the Obama-era deal was inconsistent with America’s immigration and refugee policies.
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley explained the move, saying the U.S. will decide how to control its border and who will be allowed to enter.
Haley said the U.S. immigration stance must always be made by “Americans and Americans alone.”
Historically, sovereign nations have controlled their own borders. A world-wide organization is not capable of understanding the ability of each nation to assimilate migrants and the need for a nation to control the number of people taking advantage of its resources. It is also unfortunate that the United Nations is not currently the organization it was founded to be. The current United Nations is not controlled by people who support freedom and democracy–the current voting blocs support dictatorships and countries that treat women as second-class citizens. It is time for America either to leave the United Nations or to form an alternative group of nations that support freedom and national sovereignty for all nations.
The article reports:
House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes has issued an angry demand to the FBI and Department of Justice to explain why they kept the committee in the dark over the reason Special Counsel Robert Mueller kicked a key supervising FBI agent off the Trump-Russia investigation.
Stories in both the Washington Post and New York Times on Saturday reported that Peter Strzok, who played a key role in the original FBI investigation into the Trump-Russia matter, and then a key role in Mueller’s investigation, and who earlier had played an equally critical role in the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation, was reassigned out of the Mueller office because of anti-Trump texts he exchanged with a top FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair. Strzok was transferred to the FBI’s human resources office — an obvious demotion — in July.
Note that this man was also involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Might that explain why no formal charges were brought after an obvious breach of the law occurred?
The FBI and the DOJ have consistently stonewalled Congress when Congress has sought to exercise its role oversight responsibility.
The article concludes:
As a result, Nunes said he has instructed committee staff to draw up a contempt of Congress citation for Rosenstein and for FBI Director Christopher Wray. The chairman promised to take action on the citation before the end of December unless the FBI and DOJ meet all the committee’s outstanding demands.
Obviously Nunes is angry that he did not know about the real reasons for Strzok’s demotion. And he is equally angry with the FBI’s and DOJ’s treatment of the committee. Contempt of Congress is a big move for lawmakers to take, especially against an agency controlled by the same party as leaders of the House. But remember, House Speaker Paul Ryan has already said the FBI and DOJ “stonewalled” the House, and he demanded that it comply immediately. That was five weeks ago. Now, after this latest episode, it seems likely that leaders in Congress are becoming increasingly frustrated with what they see as the FBI and DOJ jerking lawmakers around. At some point, they will act.
It is becoming obvious that the Washington swamp includes many agencies that until recently have avoided politics. There is an awful lot that needs to be cleaned out.
The article lists some of the negative impact:
Along with five years of legal weed, Colorado has also seen its homeless population swell to a level that is among the highest in America. The Gazette editorial board sees a link between people living on the street and the availability of free weed because homeless shelter directors said substance abusers move to Colorado because it’s easier to score a bag of weed.
More kids than ever are getting high inside Colorado’s K-12 schools, the Gazette also reported. Drug violations reported by the state’s public schools increased 45 percent since the legalization of pot, according to a 2016 Rocky Mountain PBS investigation.
The article further reports:
On top of all of that, something stinks in Colorado Springs.
“Visitors to Colorado remark about a new agricultural smell, the wafting odor of pot as they drive near warehouse grow operations along Denver freeways,” the Gazette editorial read.
“Residential neighborhoods throughout Colorado Springs reek of marijuana, as producers fill rental homes with plants,” the Gazette added.
The article states that there have been some problems with overdoses:
Dr. Daniel Vigil of the Marijuana Health Monitoring and Research Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health said those “bumps in the road” included “rare deaths.”
The marijuana fatalities included “one following overconsumption, paranoia and falling off a balcony,” Vigil told Insider Louisville. Another death involved “unintentional ingestion of a large dose of THC in a candy bar.”
Vigil said new regulations and policies are needed to prevent marijuana overdoses.
I have no problem with marijuana being available in pill form for medical purposes. I do, however, question the wisdom of legalizing another substance that may interfere with the ability of people to function. Marijuana may not be addictive, but I clearly remember a teenager I knew years ago who began smoking in his teens and thoroughly changed his life for the worse because of it. I suspect his story might not be all that unusual.
The article shows the initial ABC tweet (which has since been deleted):
This is the correction later issued:
In short, Flynn was ordered to make contact with the Russians after Trump won the election when he was president-elect. According to ABC News now, Flynn was told to see if the United States could work with Russia in order to fight ISIS, among other issues.
The correction changes certain ideas that many were originally hyping up.
It is a shame that Americans cannot depend on their mainstream media sources for honest reporting.
H.R.1 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
Introduced in House (11/02/2017)
With respect to individuals, the bill:
- replaces the seven existing tax brackets (10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%) with four brackets (12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%),
- increases the standard deduction,
- repeals the deduction for personal exemptions,
- establishes a 25% maximum rate on the business income of individuals,
- increases the child tax credit and establishes a new family tax credit,
- repeals the overall limitation on certain itemized deductions,
- limits the mortgage interest deduction for debt incurred after November 2, 2017, to mortgages of up to $500,000 (currently $1 million),
- repeals the deduction for state and local income or sales taxes not paid or accrued in a trade or business,
- repeals the deduction for medical expenses,
- consolidates and repeals several education-related deductions and credits,
- repeals the alternative minimum tax, and
- repeals the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes in six years.
For businesses, the bill:
- reduces the corporate tax rate from a maximum of 35% to a flat 20% rate (25% for personal services corporations),
- allows increased expensing of the costs of certain property,
- limits the deductibility of net interest expenses to 30% of the business’s adjusted taxable income,
- repeals the work opportunity tax credit,
- terminates the exclusion for interest on private activity bonds,
- modifies or repeals various energy-related deductions and credits,
- modifies the taxation of foreign income, and
- imposes an excise tax on certain payments from domestic corporations to related foreign corporations.
The bill also repeals or modifies several additional credits and deductions for individuals and businesses.
Michael Flynn is expected to plead guilty this morning of lying to the FBI. Seems as if a lot of other people have done that in the past with limited consequences, but that was then and this is now.
Fox News is reporting the details this morning.
These are the details of the charges:
- “On or about Dec 29, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Government of Russia’s Ambassador to the United States … to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and FLYNN did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.”
- “On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described to FLYNN Russia’s response to his request.”
At this point I am not going to mention that this information was probably obtained through the illegal surveillance by the Obama Administration during and after the election. That alone would result in the case being thrown out in a legal court.
I want to mention a few other things about Michael Flynn. Unfortunately, he is a pawn in a much larger attempt to end the Trump presidency before it can be successful. Since the economic success of the Trump Administration is already becoming obvious to anyone who is paying attention, those who want Trump impeached are starting to get desperate. I would also like to note that the FBI has a past history with Flynn that might influence those doing the investigating.
In September, I posted an article that included the following:
When the FBI launched an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one of the bureau’s top former counterterrorism agents believed that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe would have to recuse himself from the investigation.
Former Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz was one of the bureau’s top intelligence analysts and terrorism experts but resigned from the bureau five years ago after she said she was harassed and her career was blocked by top FBI management. She filed a formal sexual discrimination complaint against the bureau in 2013 and it was Flynn, among many others, who publicly came to her aide.
In her first on-camera interview she described the retaliation from McCabe and others in the bureau as “vicious.”
…She told Circa, current senior level management, including McCabe, created a “cancer like” bureaucracy striking fear into FBI agents and causing others to resign. She eventually resigned herself, but her case is still pending.
Lying to the FBI is not a good idea, but I would like to note that the Clintons have done it consistently over the years with very little consequences. The indictment of Flynn is nothing more than the deep state at work. Those responsible for the illegal surveillance need to be held accountable, and all conflicts of interest in the office of the special prosecutor need to be revealed and dealt with. Unfortunately, Flynn has been caught up as a pawn in a much larger witch hunt. It should also be noted that Flynn was fired after about a month in his job in the Trump administration for lying to Vice-President Pence.
Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article stating what many Americans knew all along–Vice-President Mike Pence was right when he said that he has a rule never to be alone with a woman who is not his wife. Think how many recent scandals we would have avoided if Hollywood, newscasters, and politicians followed that rule.
The article notes:
Vice President Mike Pence was roundly ridiculed when it was revealed that he makes an effort never to be alone with a woman who is not his wife, but the policy is looking less prudish and more sensible as accusations of sexual misconduct against powerful men proliferate.
Accusations first surfaced last month against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and have since reverberated through Hollywood, the media and government at every level. On Wednesday, Matt Lauer, a longtime host of NBC’s “Today,” and Minnesota Public Radio’s Garrison Keillor were fired by their respective organizations amid accusations of improper behavior.
Joseph Backholm, president of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, said the spate of sexual misconduct accusations makes it “increasingly obvious that we need to re-evaluate our boundaries.”
The article notes:
The entry of women into the workforce since World War II, followed by the sexual revolution and the erasure of well-established sexual mores, has left men and women with little guidance as to how to interact in the workplace, Mr. Richards said.
“We now find ourselves trying to kind of create rules after discovering fallout from these dramatic social changes,” Mr. Richards said. “It’s not as if Pence’s rule is written in stone; different people have different rules that are similar to this. But I know many Christian organizations and Christian ministries that have rules more or less like Mike Pence’s in place for all employees.”
In addition to guarding against infidelity and other sexual misconduct, Mr. Richards said, the Pence rule preserves the reputations of all parties involved.
“It’s as much or more about preserving the reputations of himself and other women,” he said. “A simple guardrail is absolutely reasonable if you want to prevent the rumor mill from starting, let alone even worse sexual transgressions.”
There are some obvious things that could have been done to prevent some of this and some obvious questions about the actions of some of the people involved. Why did Matt Lauer have a button under his desk that would allow him to lock the door to his dressing room without leaving his chair? Why did Harvey Weinstein conduct meetings with women in hotel rooms wearing only his bathrobe? Did their employers or the people they were accountable to know of their behavior? Was there anyone Harvey Weinstein was accountable to? Where did these men get the idea that it was okay for them to do the things they did? Did they not believe that societal norms and social graces applied to them?
Where these actions are proven, there have to be consequences. Those consequences need to be consistent in the political and the corporate world. It will be interesting to see if they are. Meanwhile, the wisdom of Vice-President Pence is apparent.
Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the recent protests against the Republican tax reform bill.
The article reports:
Organizers with the left-leaning group Housing Works told protesters they must “risk arrest” in order to be reimbursed for airfare to Washington, D.C., according to an internal email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We will transport, house and feed you, and deal with all legal support. Caveat: if you are far away from DC and expensive to transport, we can probably only fly you if you can risk arrest,” the internal email told supporters.
The article includes a screenshot of the email.
The article further states:
“Housing Works fights for funding and legislation to ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, HIV prevention, and treatment, among other lifesaving services,” the group asserts.
Since the organizers are based in New York, officials were forced to organize nearly every aspect of the protester’s lives during their stay in D.C. The protesters will be housed in a local church’s basement and will be provided sleeping bags, as well as free meals and a place to shower in the morning, according to the group’s email.
Organizers on either side of the aisle sometimes attempt to coordinate logistics for their teams, but the requirement that an individual need to risk arrest in the District in order to qualify for aid is unique, especially given the fact that hundreds of protesters are facing decades of prison time for violently protesting President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
There are a few obvious questions here. Why is the group protesting tax cuts that will put more money in American tax payers’ pockets and boost the economy? What kind of a church houses paid protesters? What has tax reform got to do with HIV/AIDS? What we have here is an example of the fact that the left has the ability to get splinter groups to work together. How many times have you seen the homosexual community out protesting to support abortion rights? Obviously, they don’t have a horse in that race, but they are there to show solidarity with leftest causes. The ability to bring various leftest groups together to protest issues makes the protest group appear to be larger than it actually is. Paying the protesters also increases the number of protesters. This is not grassroots–this is astroturf!
The Washington Examiner is reporting the following today:
A House Republican introduced legislation Wednesday that would make public all legislative branch settlement payments made in the past two decades and would force lawmakers and staff to repay harassment claims settled on their behalf.
This is long overdue. The practice should not have begun in the first place. There also needs to a private audit of government expenses to see what else Congress has been spending money on that the public is unaware of.
The article further reports:
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pledged a “comprehensive” examination of harassment problems, beginning with a Dec. 7 hearing in the House Administration Committee. The panel will scrutinize the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act, which instituted a prohibition of discrimination and harassment in the legislative branch.
One thing to keep in mind here is that sometimes a person will simply pay a person bringing charges because it is easier than fighting the charges. That needs to be considered in looking at these cases–how much time would a Congressman lose fighting a charge that wasn’t true? Also, not all of these cases were sexual harassment cases–some were discrimination. Again, how many were settled because it was simply easier than going to court? What we need is a way to distinguish false charges from valid charges so that appropriate actions can be taken. I am not sure Congress is capable of that. However, the bill that Representative De Santis has introduced is a good first step toward ending a pattern of horribly adolescent behavior in Congress. Let’s see if Congress is willing to pass the bill.
Yesterday The Hill posted an article detailing some of the recent research done by John Solomon and Alison Spann on the Uranium One scandal. It seems that a lot more money changed hands in the transactions surrounding Uranium One than was originally reported by the Clintons.
The article reports:
The Clinton Foundation’s donor disclosure site vastly understated support that the Clinton Global Initiative received from APCO Worldwide, a global communications firm that lobbied on behalf of Russia’s state-owned nuclear company.
The site, created to detect conflicts of interest for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton because of her family’s various charitable efforts, shows APCO gave between $25,000 and $50,000 over the last decade.
But according to interviews and internal documents reviewed by The Hill, APCO was much more generous and provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in pro-bono services and in-kind contributions to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) between 2008 and 2016.
For instance, an internal CGI document prepared in fall 2011 lists APCO’s in-kind contribution at $275,000 for that year alone. And APCO’s annual report on its global charitable efforts boasted of a large jump in support for CGI in 2011.
“In 2011, APCO significantly increased its pro-bono support for CGI and, for the first time, our team managed the press around CGI’s America meeting, as well as its global Annual Meeting,” APCO stated in a report submitted to the United Nations Global Compact.
The increase in the contributions came as APCO was paid $3 million in 2010 and 2011 to work for Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear company. Rosatom paid APCO to lobby the State Department and other federal agencies on behalf of its Tenex subsidiary, which sought to increase its commercial uranium sales in the United States.
In 2010 and 2011, APCO made more than 50 contacts with federal and congressional figures for Tenex, including at least 10 at the State Department, its foreign agent disclosure reports show.
It seems as if there was an awful lot of money changing hands for this to be an ordinary business transaction.
Undercover FBI informant William Campbell helped uncover the transporting of some of the uranium outside of the United States. He is expected to be interviewed in the near future by multiple Congressional committees. One can only hope that he stays safe until those interviews take place.
Please follow this link to read the entire article. It is a shining example of what the Washington swamp looks like. Also, please understand that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, all of this information would have remained buried. What we are watching now–the Uranium One scandal and the fall of many prominent news anchors and other public figures is the result of the Clinton family losing power and influence. The Clintons can no longer protect their former allies. It remains to be seen if the Clintons can even protect themselves.
Yesterday, One America News posted the following video:
I am posting this video because I was very concerned about a report I heard on Fox News this morning. A commentator was talking about the recent firing of Matt Lauer. He also mentioned Roy Moore in his comments, making the assumption that Roy Moore was guilty. I would like to point out that Roy Moore has been a public figure for more than twenty years, and none of these charges have been previously reported. I would also like to note that none of the charges are less than thirty-five years old. I think a presumption of guilt in this case is not justified. The connections of some of Roy Moore’s accusers and their past activities further cast doubt on these accusations.
Investor’s Business Daily posted an article yesterday detailing the tax cuts under the Senate Tax Bill currently being considered.
The article takes on some of the fiction about the bill currently being reported:
The Senate tax bill would reduce income taxes for people at every income level — even those who don’t pay taxes. That’s the official conclusion of the Joint Committee on Taxation. So why are Monday’s headlines screaming that the tax cuts would make the poor much worse off?
“Senate GOP tax bill hurts the poor more than originally thought, CBO finds.” That’s the headline in the Washington Post describing a Congressional Budget Office report released on Sunday.
The story claims that the “Republican tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation’s poorest would be worse off.” Later, the Post story talks about the bill’s “harsh impact on the poor.”
The article explains why that story is false:
First of all, the CBO doesn’t describe the Senate bill as being “harsh” to the poor. That’s the spin put on by the reporter.
The report does, however, include a table that shows how the bill would affect federal revenues and spending by income group. And, indeed, it appears to indicate that those making less than $40,000 will take it on the chin, while those making more than $100,000 make out like bandits.
But note the word “spending” above. Since this is a tax-cut bill, why is “spending” part of the calculation at all?
That’s in there because the CBO includes the spending impact of the Senate bill’s repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate.
The CBO numbers assume that if the mandate is gone, people will drop their insurance. It does not consider the fact that many people pay the fine rather than the high cost of insurance. The tax bill returns the freedom to consumers to make their own choices about health coverage.
The article also includes a chart of tax savings (looking only at the tax cuts and savings in the tax bill):
If the tax cuts are passed, we can expect economic growth to return to our previous normal of about 3% (or more). We can expect people to leave welfare and join the work force because of a booming economy that results in higher wages. If the tax cuts fail, we can expect a Democratic Congress that will raise taxes, slow economic growth, and spend its time trying to impeach President Trump. It’s up to Congress to make the choice.
The Washington Examiner posted an article today stating that Rand Paul will vote for the Senate version of the tax reform bill. He stated that it is not a perfect bill, but has improved as it has been written.
The article states:
A handful of other Republican senators have expressed hesitance about the bill. One, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, has said he is against it but that he is working with leaders and the Trump administration to change the legislation.
Republicans are expected to amend the bill to get buy-in from cautious party members.
Paul wrote Monday that he would have preferred bigger tax cuts for individuals, and for the individual tax changes to be permanent rather than temporary as they are written to be in the current legislation.
He added that some of the shortcomings of the bill could be fixed in future legislation.
“The good news is — we can do this every year,” he wrote. “Want a bigger tax cut? Urge your legislators to do one every single year. I’ll sponsor it. Want them to be permanent? Well, one good start is to keep extending them, every single year.”
I would like to mention that it is wonderful that Senator Paul has recovered sufficiently from his injuries to return to Washington.
On Wednesday, The Daily Signal posted an article with the headline, “States Spurning Election Commission Show Irregularities in Voter Registration.” Obviously, someone in those states who is in authority likes the way things are going and does not want the system in place to change. It seems that common sense tells us that where there are more registered voters than people eligible to vote there might be a problem. Unfortunately, that is true in many counties in America.
The article cites a few examples:
Kentucky, a decisively red state in previous elections, had the most counties where registered voters outnumber eligible voters. California, a strongly blue state, also had significant problems, according to findings from Judicial Watch and the Public Interest Legal Foundation, both conservative watchdog groups.
Other states that outright refuse to cooperate with the commission are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.
The states of Arizona, Illinois, and Indiana are still undecided.
“Overall, in most of the states not providing information to the commission, there are a significant number of counties with problems,” Robert Popper, senior attorney for Judicial Watch and director of its Election Integrity Project, told The Daily Signal, adding:
Most voter registration lists are available for free or for a small fee. Commercial entities can obtain voter registration lists. The only entity that is having a hard time obtaining these lists is the president’s advisory commission, which is trying to investigate data everyone has access to.
This kind of opposition to cleaning up our election process really makes me wonder what is going on behind the scenes. Every illegal vote cancels out the legitimate vote of an American citizen. It seems to me that we should all be concerned about voter integrity.
The article lists additional states with numbers that are a problem:
According to Judicial Watch’s findings, two of 15 counties in Arizona, which is undecided about cooperating, list more registered voters than eligible voters. Two of eight counties in Connecticut, which has refused to cooperate, are not in compliance with the “motor voter” law regarding maintaining voter lists.
In Delaware, which isn’t cooperating, one of the state’s three counties had more registered voters than eligible voters. Illinois, which is undecided, has 26 of 102 counties with more registered voters than eligible voters, according to Judicial Watch.
In Pence’s home state of Indiana, where the decision to cooperate with the White House commission is being held up by litigation, 34 of 92 counties have more registered than eligible voters.
In Maine, half of 16 counties have too many registered voters compared with those eligible, Popper said. In Maryland, it’s only two of 24 counties—Montgomery and Howard—but they are among the state’s largest.
Massachusetts has two of 14 counties that have too many registered voters, and in New Mexico it’s six of 33 counties.
Only two of Tennessee’s 95 counties have the issue, but Williamson County is one of the state’s largest, Popper noted. In Vermont, it’s four of 14 counties, and in Virginia, it’s 18 of 133 counties, Popper said.
As for other states that aren’t cooperating with the commission, South Carolina didn’t have any counties with the problem, Popper said, but election officials said the state won’t release data to anyone who isn’t a registered voter in the state.
The other states not complying with the commission—Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wyoming—are not subject to the “motor voter” law, Popper said. States that either had laws on the books in 1994 allowing same-day voter registration or didn’t require registration to vote were not subject to the law.
That’s why Judicial Watch didn’t track their status, Popper said. Other states with this exemption from the “motor voter” law are Idaho, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin.
Judicial Watch has done a lot of the preliminary work in the area of voter fraud. Now we need to let the election commission finish the job. We need to be able to depend on the integrity of American elections–they are one of the foundations of our republic.