My, How Times Change

Remember when the Democrats told us that ObamaCare was not a step in the direction of government-controlled single-payer healthcare? Well, that statement is now inoperative.

The Washington Examiner reported the following yesterday:

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., has asked the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the effects of shifting all healthcare costs onto the federal government, a first step toward the “Medicare for all” legislation sought by progressives.

…Yarmuth said in a statement that his request for the score is aimed to inform House hearings on “single payer,” proposals. Such hearings would be the first step in the process toward passing legislation enacting single payer systems, a top goal pursued by progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

The article concludes:

The study concluded that overall spending, not just government spending, would be $2 trillion less compared to where spending is projected under the current healthcare system, but that would come mostly through cutting payments that hospitals and other providers were getting from private insurance by about 40 percent. Higher taxes may be under consideration to have Medicare payments align more closely with those of private insurers.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., had asked CBO to score the Medicare for All Act introduced by Sanders. In taking up various requests, CBO analysts tend to focus on bills that are closer to passage.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you have seen this quote before, but here it is again:

Milton Friedman, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

Britain has single-payer health care. In March 2017, The Daily Wire posted an article about the problems with the British health care system.

These are some of the highlights from the article:

“Pressure on all services is rising and care is increasingly being rationed. Waiting lists should not be rising, and yet they are,” said Mark Porter, council chair of the British Medical Association (BMA).

“Doctors always want to deliver the best possible care for our patients, but we can’t continuously plug gaps by penny pinching and poaching from elsewhere in an overstretched NHS.”

…A study conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine concluded that around 750 patients a month – one in 28 – pass away due to subpar quality of care, which includes “inattentive monitoring of the patient’s condition, doctors making the wrong diagnosis, or patients being prescribed the wrong medicine.” In other words, patients needlessly die as a result of the incompetence of the NHS.

For example, in January an elderly woman died from cardiac arrest after waiting 35 hours on a trolley because there was a shortage in hospital beds. A 73-year-old man also died from an aneurysm in the same hospital as he languished in the waiting room.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Note that single-payer health care is government-controlled. Do you really want the government controlling your health care?

This Is What Desperation Looks Like

Democrats and anti-Trump people will do almost anything to stop people from watching President Trump tonight when he explains why we need a border wall, but one person seems to have gone over the edge.

The Washington Examiner reported the following today:

Porn star Stormy Daniels will livestream herself folding her laundry in her underwear while President Trump addresses the nation regarding the southern border.

“If you’re looking for anything even remotely worth watching tonight at 9pm EST, I will be folding laundry in my underwear for 8 minutes on Instagram live,” Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, posted to Twitter.

We have reached a new low. Just for the record, I can tell you what the Democratic response to the President’s speech will be–“wall bad” “orange-haired man bad.”

Securing the border is part of the responsibility of the President. Congress needs to let him do his job.

Killing A Growing Economy One Law At A Time

On January 4th, Investor’s Business Daily reported:

Since President Donald Trump took office nearly two years ago, some 4.8 million new payroll jobs have been created. That’s more than four times as many as created during President Obama’s first four years.

Hold on, you say, didn’t the unemployment rate jump from 3.7% to 3.9%? It did. Yes, but not because more people were unemployed, but because more people entered the labor force, seeking opportunities that didn’t exist before.

It’s actually a bullish sign. Some 419,000 people entered the workforce during the month, driving the labor force participation rate to 63.1%, up from 62.7% a year ago. That bellwether employment figure declined pretty consistently during the job-poor Obama years, from 65.7% when Obama entered office to 62.9% when he left. It stabilized under Trump. Last month’s 63.1% tied for the highest point since September 2013.

This rapidly improving economy is the result of President Trump’s deregulation and tax cuts. Cutting the corporate taxes and regulations resulted in manufacturing jobs returning to America (after President Obama told us they were never coming back). So why is the Democrat House of Representatives trying to undo this progress?

The Hill reported yesterday:

Rep. John Yarmuth, the new House Budget chairman, said his chamber’s budget blueprint will aim to claw back lost revenue by boosting the corporate tax rate from its current 21 percent to as high as 28 percent, with rate increases also possible for high-earning individuals.

The Kentucky Democrat said Friday he wants to mark up a fiscal 2020 budget resolution, which will outline his party’s vision for taxes and spending over the next decade, in time to reach the House floor in early April. Yarmuth said Democratic leaders have told him they want to be ready so they can set the procedural stage for passage of all 12 appropriations bills before the August recess.

Are they simply economically badly informed or is there another motive? Well first I would like to mention my favorite Milton Friedman quote, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.” I think there are two forces at work here–first of all the Democrats love taxes. They believe that the more of everyone else’s money they have to spend, the more powerful they are. Second of all, Democrats with brains realize that increasing taxes will slow economic growth. Slowing the Trump economy is the only chance the Democrats have of taking the presidency in 2020. That is the plan. Hopefully the Senate will not pass the House of Representative’s budget plans. They will be harmful to average Americans. President Trump has helped average Americans economically. President Obama helped Wall Street but ignored Main Street. The House Democrats seem determined to go back to that model which ignored average Americans.

Government Health Care Comes To New York City

The Daily Wire is reporting today that New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has announced that the city will begin a ‘universal’ health care program that will provide for health care for all uninsured New York City residents, “regardless of their ability to pay or their immigration status.”

The article reports:

ABC News reports that de Blasio’s new plan, NYC Care, isn’t exactly a “universal health care” plan, but rather a “guarantee” that the city will pay for preventative medical care for an estimated 600,000 who do not have insurance, but live within the boundaries of New York City.

Health care, De Blasio announced, is now a “right” for anyone who gets sick in NYC.

“We recognized that obviously health care is not just in theory a right,” de Blasio told media ahead of his announcement. “We have to make it in practice a right.”

“Health care is a human right. In this city we are going to make that a reality,” de Blasio repeated at a press conference on the expansion Tuesday morning.

The plan, which isn’t precisely a plan — details are scant on how the system will actually work — will cover everything from mental health services, to well visits, to maternity care for New Yorkers who choose to go without insurance, or who can’t afford even the basic, public insurance option that New York City already offers, and aren’t signed up for “Obamacare” options on the state exchange.

The article mentions Mayor De Blasio’s estimate of the cost:

As Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro pointed out on Twitter, de Blasio’s government estimates the plan will cost the city no more than $100 million per year — an amount that de Blasio says precludes having to raise taxes to cover the program. But the $100 million number assumes either that not all 600,000 uninsured individuals will need medical care, or that medical care will be provided at far below market value.

If anyone wants to start a pool on how long it is before New York City has to raise taxes to pay for this, I’m in. I wonder if this new service (and its cost) will speed up the exodus from New York.

Fake News Exposed

Fake news has accused President Trump of lying when he said there was a ten-foot wall around former President Obama’s House. Well, The Daily Caller’s Benny Johnson decided to do his own fact checking. The result is below.

YouTube posted the following video January 3, 2019:

 

I agree with the final point of the video. We protect the things we value–our families, our homes, etc. Why in the world are the Democrats (and many Republicans) so reluctant to protect our country?

Have We Truly Lost A Government Where All Men Are Equal?

Victor Davis Hanson posted on article at American Greatness yesterday which illustrates what has happened in America over the past decade or so.

The article begins with an interesting scenario:

Imagine the following: The IRS sends you, John Q. Citizen, a letter alleging you have not complied with U.S. tax law. In the next paragraph, the tax agency then informs you that it needs a series of personal and business documents. Indeed, it will be sending agents out to discuss your dilemma and collect the necessary records.

But when the IRS agents arrive, you explain to them that you cannot find about 50 percent of the documents requested, and have no idea whether they even exist. You sigh that both hard copies of pertinent information have unfortunately disappeared and hard drives were mysteriously lost.

You nonchalantly add that you smashed your phone, tablet, and computer with a hammer. You volunteer that, of those documents you do have, you had to cut out, blacken or render unreadable about 30 percent of the contents. After all, you have judged that the redacted material either pertains to superfluous and personal matters such as weddings and yoga, or is of such a sensitive nature that its release would endanger your company or business or perhaps even the country at large.

You also keep silent that you have a number of pertinent documents locked up in a safe hidden in your attic unknown to the IRS. Let them find it, you muse. And when the agents question your unilateral decisions over hours of interrogatories, you remark to them on 245 occasions that you have no memory of your acts—or you simply do not have an answer for them.

Anyone reading this scenario realizes that after doing all this, they would be sitting in a jail cell hoping someone would bake them a cake with a file in it.

The article goes on to list the various misdeeds of government officials in the past two or three years. It’s a well-known list–you can follow the link to the article to read it. But somehow no one is in jail.

The article concludes:

To this day, we have no idea which officials in government leaked the unmasked names of surveilled Americans to the media, or leaked the transcripts of a conversation between the Russian Ambassador and Gen. Michael Flynn. I say we have no idea, because no one in government has any interest in finding out, because for the few, who might, to do so would earn them media and partisan venom.

The message from the Clinton email scandal, the Mueller investigation, and the careers of Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and McCabe seems to be that if the government wishes a document then do not provide it. If you are finally forced to surrender it, either erase or destroy what you can reasonably get away with hiding. Or barring that, insist that it be heavily redacted, according to your own judgment, for the sake of America. If asked to explain such behavior or allegations of leaking information to the press, either deny or claim faulty memory.

Do all of that and be of the correct political persuasion and of Washington repute, and there is little chance of criminal exposure.

Such exemption so far is the message that we’ve learned from the behavior of high officials of the Obama Justice Department, CIA, FBI and National Security Council. Or put another way, our illustrious government officials are reminding us Americans, “We are better than you.”

We will not have equal justice under the law until all lawbreakers are prosecuted, regardless of their political standing.

A Step In The Right Direction

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article this morning about California and voting.

The article reports:

California and Los Angeles County have agreed to purge as many as 1.5 million inactive voter registrations across the state as part of a court settlement finalized this week with Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog.

Judicial Watch sued the county and state voter-registration agencies, arguing that the California government was not complying with a federal law requiring the removal of inactive registrations that remain after two general elections, or two to four years.

In August 2017, Judicial Watch reported:

Judicial Watch announced it sent a notice-of-violation letter to the state of California and 11 of its counties threatening to sue in federal court if it does not clean its voter registration lists as mandated by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Both the NVRA and the federal Help America Vote Act require states to take reasonable steps to maintain accurate voting rolls. The August 1 letter was sent on behalf of several Judicial Watch California supporters and the Election Integrity Project California, Inc.

In the letter, Judicial Watch noted that public records obtained on the Election Assistance Commission’s 2016 Election Administration Voting Survey and through verbal accounts from various county agencies show 11 California counties have more registered voters than voting-age citizens: Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%), Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%), Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%).

In the letter, Judicial Watch noted that Los Angeles County officials “informed us that the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age.”

Under Section 8 of the NVRA, states are required to make a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from official lists due to “the death of the registrant” or “a change in the residence of the registrant,” and requires states to ensure noncitizens are not registered to vote.

There is “strong circumstantial evidence that California municipalities are not conducting reasonable voter registration list maintenance as mandated under the NVRA,” Judicial Watch wrote in the notice letter sent to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Because the states refused to supply information to the President’s Commission to study election fraud, private groups like Judicial Watch have to to the work themselves. It is good to see that the work of protecting the votes of American voters who are legal voters is proceeding.

More Shark Jumping In The House Of Representatives

While our southern border remains porous, the new majority of House Democrats is busy. On January 3rd, The Hill reported that Representative Julia Brownley of California has introduced a bill to rewrite federal laws with gender-neutral terms, codifying the progressive ideological tenet that distinctions between men and women are exclusionary.

The article reports:

The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, but LGBT rights advocates say discrimination against same-sex couples still persists.

Lambda Legal, a civil rights group, has filed two lawsuits in the past year challenging the Social Security Administration’s requirement that couples be married for at least nine months to qualify for survivor’s benefits.

Brownley introduced a similar bill in the previous Congress, and before that the bill was championed by former Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.). The measure failed to make it out of committee.

Brownley said the new legislation will “recognize and re-affirm that all Americans have the right to marry the person they love, to ensure no one is denied federal benefits and protections because of who they love, and more broadly to make sure that same sex couples are treated equally under the law in all respects.”

If the law requires that all couples must be married for at least nine months to collect survivor’s benefits, how is that discriminatory? I think this proposed law is another example of the children’s book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.

 

Speaker Pelosi Has Jumped The Shark

CNS News posted an article today about a bill proposed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In an effort to continue to harass the President, Speaker Pelosi has introduced legislation that would require all candidates for president and vice-president to release their tax returns. There would be no requirement for candidates for Congress to release their tax returns.

The article reports:

The provision is part of H.R. 1—the “For the People Act”—which Pelosi introduced Friday.

A summary of the bill says that it includes a section titled “Presidential Tax Transparency.” This section, says the summary: “Requires sitting presidents and vice presidents, as well as candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, to release their tax returns.”

In 2017, when members of Congress were calling on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, Roll Call asked all 535 members of the House and Senate to release theirs. As Roll Call reported at the time, 6 members did release their tax returns as requested by the publication. Another 6 had already released theirs elsewhere. Another 45 members, Roll Call reported, had previously and partially released their tax returns. But 473 members had not released their tax returns and did not respond to Roll Call’s request that they do so.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi was one of the members, Roll Call reported, who had not released her tax returns.

At an April 2017 press briefing promoting similar legislation that would have required the president—but not members of Congress—to release their tax returns, Pelosi said that president’s do not have a “right to privacy” when it comes to their tax returns.

I don’t mean to be picky here, but if Congress is willing to pass a law that states that candidates for president and vice-president have to release their tax returns, then Congress should have to release theirs.

I have a feeling that for the next two years the House of Representatives is going to spend more time working on laws to make life difficult for President Trump than it is making laws that will be helpful to Americans. That is truly sad.

A Disturbing Timeline

The Gateway Pundit posted a revealing timeline today showing that the deep state plan to undercut the presidency of President Trump was formulated about the time President Trump won the Republican nomination. This timeline illustrates the use of government agencies to prevent Donald Trump’s election to the presidency (obviously they failed at that) and if that failed, either drive him from office or discredit him to the point where he couldn’t get anything done. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you sit on, the idea of using government agencies (non-elected officials) to undermine elected officials should be disturbing to you. Please follow the link above to the article to read the entire timeline.

Here are just a few items:

Now through a review of information from April, 2016, related to the corrupt Obama Administration’s fake Trump – Russia collusion farce, we see that this was the exact same time that the fake Trump-Russia collusion story was created.

The following incidents are now known to have occurred in mid to late April, 2016 –

2016-04-15 Obama CIA Chief John Brennan assembles a multi-agency task force that served from April 2016 to July 2016 as the beginnings of a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign. “The Crossfire Hurricane team was part of that group but largely operated independently,” three officials told the NYTimes [source].  (Note that the Crossfire Hurricane team was not reportedly in existence until the end of July 30, 2016, so how could they play a part?)

2016-04-15 James Comey tells Sally Yates sometime around 04/16 that he’s considering a special counsel [see:June 2018 IG report p. 172]

2016-04-15 It’s reported that Victoria Nuland and other State Department officials became “more alarmed” about what the Russians were up to in the spring of 2016, they were authorized by then Secretary of State John Kerry to develop proposals for ways to deter the Russians.  [source]  Nuland stated that she had been briefed as early as December 2015 about the hacking of the DNC, long before senior DNC officials were aware of it.

The article concludes:

By the end of April, 2016, the Deep State of Obama, Comey, Brennan, Kerry and others had already put in place spies on Trump team members, and allegations of a made up company, DCLeaks, that allegedly hacked DNC emails.  They also began their sinister Trump – Russia collusion fairy tale.

April 2016 will go down in history as the month that a sitting President (Obama) began his scheme using the intelligence community of the United States to spy on its competing campaign in the US election in an effort to prevent them from winning the 2016 Presidential election.

If the people responsible for this misuse of government power are not brought to justice, we can expect to see similar behavior in the future. These actions are not appropriate in a representative democracy–they belong in a banana republic.

An Update On The GoFundMe Page For The Wall

Today Breitbart posted an article updating the information on the GoFundMe Account to build the border wall.

The article reports:

We are witnessing something truly extraordinary. In merely 19 days, a GoFundMe campaign to raise private contributions to build sections of the wall along the Mexico border has raised an astonishing $19.0 million. It will soon be the most successful GoFundMe campaign ever—the current record holder is the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund for victims of sexual assault, which raised $22 million in 2018 over a much longer period of time. The campaign to build the wall should blow past that number in a few days.

The article  mentions that the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Tax Check-Off, which does not actually add to the tax burden for the people who check it off, raises less than a million dollars in a typical month.

The article continues:

The astonishing number of contributions that this project has received from ordinary Americans demonstrates just how important the wall is to the American people. Citizens see the crime, wage depression, and other negative consequences of illegal immigration, and they want something done about it.

More than that, building the wall makes clear that the United States is a sovereign nation that is willing to do what is necessary to control its own border. Indeed, securing a nation’s borders is one of the most fundamental obligations that a government owes to its people. For decades, the federal government has failed miserably in fulfilling that obligation. Now, Americans are making a grassroots effort to solve the problem themselves, while sending a message to Washington. As Kolfage put it, “This is giving them an avenue to be heard.”

I  have to wonder what the focus groups are telling the Democrats about the wall. There have been a number of polls showing that Americans overwhelmingly support the wall, so to continue a government shutdown to stop the wall is not a wise political move. The only rationale might be that the Democrats are depending on the media to make the case to the American people that the wall is expensive and not in line with modern technology. I have already seen these talking points used, but I am not sure they are useful. The latest talking point I heard was that the wall was immoral, but that doesn’t even make sense. Does that mean locking your doors at night is immoral?

The next week is going to be very interesting.

The Show Has Begun

We are going to need a lot of popcorn to watch the show in Congress for the next two years.

Taken from an article at The Gateway Pundit posted today:

In the last 24 hours since taking control of the House of Representatives, Democrats have:

** Introduced articles of impeachment
** Called for the impeachment of “mother f*cker” Trump
** Scratched Israel off the map and replaced with Palestine
** Called for a 60%-70% tax rate
** Refused to fund a border security wall
** Worked one day and went on break until Tuesday

It gets even better:

Open Democrat-Socialist Rep. Alexandria “Sandy” Ocasio-Cortez called for a 60%-70% tax rate on Friday.

That was quick.

Ocasio-Cortez: “But once you get to the tippie tops, on your $10 millionth, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60% or 70%. That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate. But it means that as you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more… I think radicals changed this country. Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclomation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to establish programs like social security. ”

Hold on to your wallet, there has been a change in Washington.

 

How Does This Statement Make Sense?

Yesterday I posted an article that included the following:

…Newly-elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) also endorsed impeaching Trump on her first day in office, according to The Nation, which described Tlaib as calling for “immediate steps” to remove the president from the White House.

“Each passing day brings more pain for the people most directly hurt by this president, and these are days we simply cannot get back. The time for impeachment proceedings is now,” Rep. Tlaib declared.

I really am confused about how this president is hurting people. I am further confused by looking at Representative Tlaib’s statement in view of some economic news that was reported today.

For instance, CNN is reporting today:

US employers added 312,000 jobs in December, well above what economists expected and underlining that the American economy remains strong despite recent market turbulence.

The unemployment rate rose to 3.9% as more people were looking for work. It had been at a 50-year low of 3.7% for two of the last three months.

Employers added 2.6 million jobs in 2018, compared to 2.2 million in 2017. Revisions to the October and November estimates added an additional 58,000 jobs to the 2018 total.

…Paychecks grew as employers raised wages to attract new workers. Average hourly pay was up 3.2% compared to a year earlier. The average number of hours people worked also edged up.

…The unemployment rate rose because more than 400,000 people joined the labor force looking for jobs. The percentage of the working-age people in the work force matched a five-year high.

“Yes, the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, but for the best of reasons,” said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com senior economic analyst. “That’s a deal we’ll take if more people are participating in the workforce.”

The chart that I watch to see how things are going is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is the chart of the Workforce Participation Rate. It indicates how many Americans are actually part of the workforce. This is the chart:

Note that we have reached the 63.1 percent participation rate only three times since 2014. When President Obama took office, the rate was 66.2. By the time President Obama left office, the rate was 62.7. That was after the federal deficit doubled due to the stimulus package that was supposed to create jobs.

The House of Representatives has a choice–they can either join in the efforts of President Trump to improve the American economy and the lives of American workers, or they can do everything they can to slow it down. Unfortunately, the new rules they are putting in place will bring us laws and policies that will slow the economy down. That is unfortunate–Americans deserve better, even though they elected these people.

Taking A Stand For America

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about a successful policy President Trump has instituted to deal with the problem of illegal immigrants.

The article reports:

Sierra Leone for years had thumbed its nose at U.S. officials, slow-walking deportations so badly that it earned its way onto Homeland Security’s “recalcitrant country” naughty list. Over the last two years of the Obama administration, Sierra Leone took back just 21 deportees.

President Trump took office vowing action, and one of his first executive orders instructed his administration to stop issuing visas to the worst-offending countries. The Sierra Leone government was targeted with sanctions in August 2017, and the change came quickly, with 44 deportees sent back that year, and 79 shipped back in fiscal 2018.

While much of Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda remains tied up in the federal courts or stalemated in Congress, he has made extraordinary progress on recalcitrant countries like Sierra Leone, cutting the number of deadbeat countries from a peak of 23 in 2015 down to just nine as of last month.

The number of countries on the at-risk list, or close to recalcitrant, also has been slashed, from 62 to just 24 as of May.

Long-time deadbeats such as Cuba, China and Vietnam are taking back hundreds more people, even though they remain on the naughty list.

Guinea earned its way off the list by increasing its acceptance of deportees by more than 1,200 percent from 2016 to 2018, while Eritrea went from 13 deportees in Mr. Obama’s final year to 62 last year. Myanmar rose from three to 40.

This is what protecting America looks like.

The article states:

Under Mr. Trump, six countries have already been slapped with deportee-related sanctions.

In each of those cases, the U.S. government said it would no longer issue business or tourist visas to government officials and their families — and warned that even broader sanctions could follow.

That got the attention of diplomats in the target countries, and elsewhere.

“Now these countries understand that the party is over and they — government officials in particular — will face consequences for blocking deportations,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “The sanctions work.”

Even still, a massive backlog has built up of people waiting to be deported. China is the worst offender with more than 40,000 in the deportation queue, followed by Cuba with nearly 38,000.

More troubling is that almost all of them have been set free into U.S. communities, thanks to a 2001 Supreme Court ruling limiting detention to just six months in cases when the government doesn’t appear likely to be able to get the other countries to take them back.

That means convicted criminals are often released, including more than 30,000 of the Cubans, nearly 8,000 Vietnamese, nearly 4,000 Laotians and more than 2,000 Chinese.

Ms. Waldman called that a “remarkable public safety risk” that requires action by Congress.

Illegal aliens do not add to our country’s economy. We do need to change the immigration laws to make legal immigration to America more accessible to those people who want to come her and contribute to the American economy. We don’t need to have an open door for people who want to come here and take advantage of our generosity.

How A Kangaroo Court Works

The website study.com includes the following definition of exculpatory evidence:

In Brady v. Maryland (1963), the Supreme Court held that exculpatory evidence withheld in a criminal trial can result in a re-hearing of the case. In this case, Brady was convicted for murder, and the prosecutor failed to tell a jury that another defendant, who had committed the murder with Brady, had already confessed to the killing. The court stated that the jury needed to hear that evidence because it could assist them in their decision regarding Brady. From then on, any exculpatory evidence the prosecutor or law enforcement has is called Brady material, the requirement to turn Brady material over to the defense is called the Brady rule.

Any evidence from a crime scene is subject to the Brady rule.

But what other kind of evidence is exculpatory? The law says ‘any evidence’ that tends to show innocence of the defendant is included. This can include crime scene evidence, witness testimony, DNA results, and medical records.

…The Supreme Court said that without the rule, the defendant’s due process rights would be violated. Due process comes from the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, and means that before the government can take away your liberty, it must first give the person the rights and process due to him or her under the Constitution. If the government has evidence that says you might be innocent, it would violate the fairness and impartiality of the trial process by just ignoring it and not letting the jury see it.

The concept of exculpatory evidence is going to be in the spotlight as the case against General Michael Flynn moves forward.

Yesterday John Solomon reported the following at The Hill:

For nearly two years now, the intelligence community has kept secret evidence in the Russia collusion case that directly undercuts the portrayal of retired Army general and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn as a Russian stooge.

That silence was maintained even when former acting Attorney General Sally Yates publicly claimed Flynn was possibly “compromised” by Moscow.

And when a Democratic senator, Al Franken of Minnesota, suggested the former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief posed a “danger to this republic.”

And even when some media outlets opined about whether Flynn’s contacts with Russia were treasonous. 

Yes, the Pentagon did give a classified briefing to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in May 2017, but then it declined the senator’s impassioned plea three months later to make some of that briefing information public.

“It appears the public release of this information would not pose any ongoing risk to national security. Moreover, the declassification would be in the public interest, and is in the interest of fairness to Lt. Gen. Flynn,” Grassley wrote in August 2017.

Please follow the link to the article at The Hill to see the details, but the bottom line here is simple.

The article explains:

Rather than a diplomatic embarrassment bordering on treason, Flynn’s conduct at the RT (Russia Today) event provided some modest benefit to the U.S. intelligence community, something that many former military and intelligence officers continue to offer their country after retirement when they keep security clearances.

It’s important to wind back many months to where the Russia collusion narrative started and the media frenzy–driven suggestion that Flynn may have been on a mission to compromise America’s security and endanger this great republic when he visited Moscow.

Would the central character in a Russian election hijack plot actually self-disclose his trip in advance? And then sit through a briefing on how to avoid being compromised by his foreign hosts? And then come back to America and be debriefed by U.S. intelligence officers about who and what he saw?

And would a prosecutor recommend little or no prison time for a former general if that former military leader truly had compromised national security?

Highly unlikely.

It really is time for the deep state to stop its attack on President Trump and those who have supported him. Unfortunately, now that the Democrats control the House of Representatives, we can expect to see more taxpayer dollars spent on trying to undo an election they didn’t like.

 

No One Should Be Surprised By This

Breitbart is reporting today on some of the things the Democrats plan to do now that they have taken over the House of Representatives.

The article reports:

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) plans to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Thursday — the first day that Democrats control the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

…Newly-elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) also endorsed impeaching Trump on her first day in office, according to The Nation, which described Tlaib as calling for “immediate steps” to remove the president from the White House.

“Each passing day brings more pain for the people most directly hurt by this president, and these are days we simply cannot get back. The time for impeachment proceedings is now,” Rep. Tlaib declared.

Representative Sherman wants to impeach President Trump for obstructing justice by firing former FBI Director James B. Comey, among other wrongdoing.

The article states:

“There is no reason it shouldn’t be before the Congress,” Sherman said. “Every day, Donald Trump shows that leaving the White House would be good for our country.”

I don’t know what these people are looking at, but the middle class has come roaring back since President Trump took office. The unemployment numbers are down, there are more jobs than people looking for work, people have more spending money in their pockets, manufacturing is coming back to America, better trade deals have been negotiated, America’s carbon dioxide emissions are down, and North and South Korea are talking to each other. Which one of these accomplishments do you think the American people are willing to impeach President Trump for?

The Story Behind The Story

The American Thinker ran an article today about Mark Felt. To those of us who were paying attention in the 1970’s, Mark Felt is also known as ‘deep throat.’ He was a major player in the Watergate Scandal. He provided Woodward and Bernstein with the information they needed to keep the scandal alive and eventually remove Richard Nixon from office. Watergate was one of the high water marks of the Democrat party–they were able to remove a duly-elected President from office. They are trying to duplicate that high water mark with the Russian collusion illusion. It isn’t working for many reasons. First of all Mark Felt operated in secret. He had to. Had his identity been known, the information he provided would have been viewed in a very different light.

The article reminds us:

The problem with Felt was his motives. Felt had worked his way up to the level of assistant director of the FBI (Is this starting to sound familiar?) and fully believed that he deserved the directorship. Instead Nixon chose L. Patrick Gray III, a bureaucratic cutout with no ties to the agency. Nixon’s thinking here was clear, and as well considered as many of his decisions: J. Edgar Hoover had been a terror in Washington for generations. His replacement had to be someone with no agency connections who would not entertain ideas of becoming the next Hoover. So the colorless bureaucrat Gray got the nod, did what was required of him for a short period, and moved on.

But this was obviously no solace to Felt, who, consumed by resentment, set out to punish the man who had undervalued him. 

We can see the problem for the Watergate myth immediately. Rather than a high moral crusade led by the country’s liberal journalistic elite, an effort that would redeem liberalism after a decade of corruption and incompetence, the scandal was and irrevocably transformed into a squalid campaign by a disgruntled employee. Rather than white knights, Woodward and Bernstein became gullible, easily manipulated stooges. The rest of the Washington elite come off little better, and one of the foundational myths of post-70s “left-liberalism” disappears in a puff of smoke.

In the Russian collusion illusion, part of the problem is that the leakers have not only revealed themselves to the public–they are writing books!

The article notes some differences between then and now:

This time around, the conspirators had a lot more problems than Felt did – the GOP is nowhere near as naïve as it was in 1972 – and the same can be said of America as a whole. Donald Trump is not Richard Nixon – diffidence and self-doubt, serious flaws in Nixon’s character, are unimaginable in Trump. The media of 1972, composed of the Big Three Television networks and a handful of daily papers, channeled blow after blow against Nixon essentially unchallenged. Today’s alternate media acts to cushion and even curtail any similar campaign.

But there’s another element as well, one that says quite a lot about the character of Comey, Strzok, McCabe et al, one that suggests that they couldn’t have succeeded even with everything going their way.

…But the anti-Trump crowd didn’t see it that way. No – they clearly saw that Felt was left standing when the music stopped. No honors, no bestsellers, no Oscar-winning flicks. Felt remained the odd man out while others collected the rewards.

That wasn’t going to happen this time. The collusion crowd wanted their share of glory. They wanted the NYT Bestseller List. They wanted the cash. They wanted to hobnob with Hillary and Barack. They wanted to appear on Oprah. They wanted prominent mention in the history textbooks. They wanted to be patted on the head.

So there was no secrecy, at least in the long run.

I hope that at some point there will be investigations of the total misuse of government agencies to spy on Americans, to unmask Americans in telephone conversations, and to use the government against political opponents. It is a shame that Robert Mueller has ignored all of that in his investigation while chasing rabbit trails questioning the legality of legal private contracts and legal business deals. If the use of the government as a political tool in the last administration is not dealt with, we can expect to become a place where only one political party has a voice and our freedoms very quietly disappear.

When You Give To A Charity, Know Where Your Money Is Going

Yesterday BizPac Review posted an article about the Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc., a group of black New York State legislators who run a charity to provide scholarships for black and Latino youth.

The article reports:

The caucus of black New York state lawmakers run a charity whose stated mission is to empower “African American and Latino youth through education and leadership initiatives” by “providing opportunity to higher education” — but it hasn’t given a single scholarship to needy youth in years, according to a New York Post investigation.

The group collects money from companies like AT&T, the Real Estate Board of New York, Time Warner Cable, and CableVision, telling them in promotional materials that they are “changing lives, one scholarship at a time.”

The group — called the Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc.  — instead spent $500,000 on items like food, limousines, and rap music, the Post found.

The politicians refused to divulge the charity’s 2017 tax filing to the Post despite federal requirements that charities do so upon request.

The article provides some insight as to where the money collected goes:

State. Sen. Leroy Comrie of Queens, the group’s number two, refused to come out when Post reporter Isabel Vincent stopped by his office. All of the politicians mentioned are Democrats.

“The real purpose (of the charity) is to bring people to get over their apathy and out to Albany and get motivated,” the charity’s former chairman, Assemblyman Nick Perry of Brooklyn, previously said.

There has been no money used for scholarships in that past two years, the Post reported, citing sources. That’s even after the Albany Times-Union called outthe charity in January 2017 for meager spending in prior years.

The charity gave $36,000 of its $565,000 in revenue to scholarships in 2015. That year, it spent $85,000 on a concert with Eric Benet and Regina Belle, and $157,000 on food, according to the Times-Union’s analysis of its tax filings.

The group said that year it planned to double the amount of scholarships it gave, but it didn’t happen.

In 2017, its annual event featured the rap artist Big Daddy Kane.

Hopefully the Attorney General of the State of New York will decide that the spending habits of this charity are inappropriate and require this group to actually fund some scholarships. However, it’s New York, so I am not optimistic.

Thoughts For The New Year

The following is from In God We Still Trust by Dr. Richard G. Lee:

“Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” from President George Washington’s Farewell Address 1796

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams, U.S. President 1797-1801

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” James Madison, U. S. President 1809-1817

Dr. Lee also points out how a change in definition of a word reflects a concerning change in our society:

Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828, defines patriotism as follows:

n. Love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institution in vigor and purity. Patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, copyright @ 2004 defines patriotism as follows:

n. Love for or devotion to one’s country.

Noah Webster’s definition includes service; Merriam-Webster’s definition is simply an emotion. Noah Webster’s definition includes action, not just acceptance of an idea.

It is time to return to Noah Webster’s definition of patriotism.

Six Major Challenges In 2019

On December 28th, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial listing what their editors considered would be the top six issues of 2019. The title of the editorial is, “Will 2019 Be Happy? It Depends On How Washington Handles These 6 Challenges.” I suspect that is true.

The editorial lists the six items:

1. The Federal Reserve

2. Trade

3. Immigration

4. The Coming Budget Battle

5. Slaying The Regulatory Dragon

6. Fixing Health Care ‘Reform’

Here are some of the observations from the editorial on each item:

The Fed has raised its benchmark funds rate eight times over two years in pursuit of a “neutral” rate. Its most recent rate hike, coming about a week before Christmas, was followed by a steep decline in stocks and growing concerns that the economy might fall into recession next year if the central bank follows through on its plan to raise rates at least twice more.

It’s of more than academic interest that all 11 of the U.S. recessions since World War II were preceded by a sharp run up in Fed rates. Every one of them. It’s not a record of which to be proud.

…Despite bitter criticisms, President Trump successfully concluded a “new Nafta” deal with both Canada and Mexico covering $1.3 trillion in trade. The deal closes a number of holes in the old Nafta, increasing U.S. access to Canadian dairy markets, for instance, while also making cars tariff-free if 75% of their parts are made in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. All three countries signed off on the deal. The only question is, will it ever go into effect?

With Democrats controlling Congress and just six months for the trade deal to go into effect, some worry that major changes will be requested. President Trump has asked that either the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement be approved outright, or revert to the pre-Nafta trading rules. Congressional Democrats may even challenge Trump’s right to make a deal, putting the so-called USMCA in limbo. Stay tuned.

…With Americans eager to control immigration, as polls repeatedly show, Democrats may decide that negotiation rather than confrontation is a better tactic. That could mean a deal for a pathway to citizenship for the millennial illegal immigrant “dreamers,” many of whom have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives despite not having citizenship. With an estimated 22 million illegals in the U.S., many states are eager to gain some stability in our immigration policy.

…This year’s budget battle over funding the wall will likely pale in comparison to next year’s. The continued growth in entitlements, compounded by the sharp rise in interest payments, thanks to the Fed’s rate hikes, will balloon the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office’s last official projection pegged the deficit for 2019 at $981 billion. It will likely end up topping $1 trillion.

…But as we’ve pointed out many times, the problem isn’t tax cuts, it’s the unwillingness of anyone in Washington — including Trump — to deal with entitlement programs that have swamped the federal budget. Trump and the GOP will have to stand firm on taxes next year, while grappling with a rising tide of debt that will soon surpass $21 trillion.

…ObamaCare limped along for another year, with premiums for 2019 falling, overall, after years of massive double-digit increases. Trump took several steps to improve ObamaCare. The most important fix was to breathe life back into the short-term insurance market that President Obama tried to snuff out to protect the ObamaCare exchanges. Unfortunately, since Republicans blew their chance at repeal, the best we can hope for is that Trump will continue to tweak the law where he can. But he shouldn’t shy away from fighting for more free-market reforms. Should Democrats resist, or start pushing for socialized “Medicare for all,” it will create an opportunity for Trump to paint Democrats as big-government extremists.

The article concludes:

The coming year will be eventful, with many of Trump’s main initiatives set for action by Congress — a Congress, as we noted, that won’t be as friendly to Trump as the last one. Whether Trump and the Democrats can, as the bumper sticker says, coexist, or whether the Trump agenda founders on a never-ending stream of congressional investigations and hearings on the White House, remains to be seen. We guarantee it won’t be boring.

Get out the popcorn.