Sometimes The Lies Are Just Funny

The Daily Caller posted an article today about President Obama’s claim that he started the oil boom in America. Somehow that’s not the way I remember it.

The article reports:

Former president of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister said former President Barack Obama had nothing to do with America’s increased oil production and actually frustrated many areas of the energy sector.

Obama claimed he was responsible for America’s recent oil boom during an event hosted by Rice University’s Baker Institute on Tuesday night and Hofmeister challenged his assessment.

…“The facts are the facts. And, yes, the production did increase throughout his term,” Hofmeister said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday. “But, frankly, he had nothing to do with it.”

“This was production in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado — North Dakota in particular. And these were all state decisions made with industry applications for permits. The federal government had no role.”

The article notes the roadblocks President Obama put in the way of accessing American oil:

Hofmeister said Obama opposed the energy industry at every turn with his actions against offshore drilling and his handling of the Keystone Pipeline.

“If anything, he was trying to frustrate the efforts by taking federal lands off of the availability list — putting them just, no more drilling [sic]. He shut down the Gulf of Mexico for a period of six months,” he said. “[He] changed the regulations from an average of 60 to 80 pages per permit to 600 to 800 pages per permit. He also never approved the Keystone XL pipeline after dangling all the potential customers for eight years. And it was in the eighth year when he said no Keystone Pipeline.”

“I would say that he was not a leader when it comes to energy,” Hofmeister said.

As far as President Obama’s opposition to the Keystone Pipeline goes, as long as that pipeline was not built, the oil was shipped via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, a close friend of President Obama. On February 21, 2013, I reported the following (article here):

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

President Obama did not facilitate the energy independence of America. He did, however, do a pretty good job of lining the pockets of some good friends.

This Is What Sore Losers Look Like

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about some recent comments by former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The article reports:

Former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, who is considering running for president in 2020, called into doubt the legitimacy of the Supreme Court following the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Court by a 50-48 vote in the Senate on Saturday. Holder on Friday used incendiary rhetoric to call on liberals to use their “rage” to vote to “be rid of these people”–singling out Republicans in the Senate who support Kavanaugh and have used their majority power to control nominations to the courts.

I hate to say this, but this brings to mind how unpolitical the actions of the Senate were when Barack Obama nominated judges to the Supreme Court. The Democrats held the majority in the Senate when Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Fifty-nine Democrats voted for confirmation (Ted Kennedy was not present) and nine Republicans voted for confirmation. When Elena Kagan was nominated for the Supreme Court, the Democrats also held the majority. The vote was 63-37 with five Republicans voting for confirmation. The Republicans acted like gentlemen, and the judges were confirmed. Both judges were known as liberal judges, but no one questions the legitimacy of the Supreme Court after they were confirmed.

The duly-elected President is the person the Constitution gives the power to select Supreme Court Justices. The Senate’s role is Advise and Consent. I believe that in the hearings for Judge Kavanaugh the Senate abused that role. There is nothing illegitimate about the Supreme Court now that it includes Justice Kavanaugh.

The article continues:

On Friday Holder expressed similar concerns in comments but also exhorted his supporters use their “rage” about how the Republicans who control the Senate used their power to confirm Kavanaugh and fill other judicial seats to “be rid of these people.” While Holder wrote he was urging people to vote to “be rid of these people”, his choice of language encouraging liberals to ‘use their rage’ to ‘be rid of these people’ is deliberate.

“Reputation and credibility of Supreme Court at stake with upcoming vote. How the Court is viewed. For years. Bigger than one individual. There are conservative acceptable alternatives…As you lament the Merrick Garland outrage never forget that McConnell and R’s did not fill lower court seats for YEARS. Those are the seats being filled now. Use the rage of today to get people out to vote and be rid of these people. Your voice matters. Your vote counts. VOTE!”

I really don’t think Eric Holder’s statements add anything to the civility of our political discourse.

Strange People In Stranger Places

Yesterday LifeZette posted an article about alleged Russian spy Maria Butina.

The article reports:

Butina has been accused of working with a top Russian official and two unidentified U.S. citizens to infiltrate a pro-gun rights organization in the U.S., along with attempting to influence America’s foreign policy toward Russia, as CNBC.com and others reported.

This is all part of the efforts to accuse President Trump of colluding with the Russians. However, there is a problem with those who are attempting to use this accusation against President Trump.

The article reports:

Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina was involved in high-level meetings with two senior U.S. officials in the Obama administration and a Russian official before the 2016 election, according to multiple sources and a Washington, D.C., think tank, as The Daily Wire and other outlets reported.

The meetings — “disclosed by several people familiar” with them, noted Reuters, and also by a report prepared by the think tank that arranged the meetings — involved Stanley Fischer, then Federal Reserve vice chairman, and Nathan Sheets, who was then the Treasury undersecretary for international affairs.

Butina reportedly came into the U.S. in April 2015 with then-Russian Central Bank Deputy Governor Alexander Torshin to participate in “separate meetings with Fischer and Sheets, to discuss U.S.- Russian economic relations during Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration.”

The think tank involved in the meetings is the Central for the National Interest (CNI), a group that advocates for improved U.S.- Russia relations, as CBS reported.

Whoops.

So let’s back up a bit and see what we actually know. Russia was a major player in getting the Iran deal put together and approved by European countries. Russia had the ability to make or break that deal. President Obama desperately wanted that deal (for reasons that will be debated for a long time–see Ben Rhodes statements in The New York Times here). Because of his desire to keep Russia on his side regarding the Iran deal (and because he was sure Hillary Clinton would be elected) President Obama ordered a stand down on the investigation into Russian cyberattacks on the 2016 election (story here). We also know that the Russian cyberattacks did not impact the 2016 election. Logically, Clinton would have been the Russian’s preferred candidate–they had enough information from her private server to control her totally–I am sure they have all the dirt on the Clinton Foundation and the money that flowed in and out of the Foundation. So why was President Obama meeting with this supposed Russian spy? It could be totally innocent–he might have had no idea who she really was or what she was up to. However, the efforts to connect her to the Trump campaign after President Obama met with her are sort of ridiculous to anyone who is paying attention.

Sharing Classified Information

On Thursday The Daily Caller posted an article about something the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found related to Hillary Clinton’s server that the FBI chose not to explore.

The article reports:

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia,” he added.

Gohmert said the ICIG investigator, Frank Rucker, presented the findings to Strzok, but that the FBI official did not do anything with the information.

Strzok acknowledged meeting with Rucker, but said he did not recall the “specific content.”

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

The article further reports:

In late 2017, ICIG Chuck McCullough — who was appointed by former President Barack Obama —  took the unusual step of coming forward publicly to say that he perceived pushback after he began raising the alarm about issues with Clinton’s servers to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

He said he found it “maddening” that Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, were underselling the amount of classified information on the server.

McCullough said he “expected to be embraced and protected,” but was instead “chided” by someone on Capitol Hill for failing to consider the “political consequences” of his investigative findings, Fox News reported.

The ICIG has not publicly disclosed the findings Gohmert described in the meeting between Rucker and Strzok, but the congressman said the watchdog can document them.

It is time to retire the upper echelon of both the FBI and the DOJ. They either don’t know what they are doing or are so politically biased they can’t see past their noses. It is time for them to go before we turn into a republic where the government bureaucracy spies on anyone who disagrees with it and protects anyone who does.

What Is The Difference Between A Leaker And A Source?

Yesterday The New York Times reported the following:

…James A. Wolfe, 57,  (a former Senate Intelligence Committee Aide) was charged with lying repeatedly to investigators about his contacts with three reporters. According to the authorities, Mr. Wolfe made false statements to the F.B.I. about providing two of them with sensitive information related to the committee’s work. He denied to investigators that he ever gave classified material to journalists, the indictment said.

The article states:

Mr. Wolfe’s case led to the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump. The seizure was disclosed in a letter to the Times reporter, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Mr. Wolfe. The seizure suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.

…Court documents describe Mr. Wolfe’s communications with four reporters — including Ms. Watkins — using encrypted messaging applications. It appeared that the F.B.I. was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser. She published an article for BuzzFeed News on April 3, 2017, about the attempted recruitment of Mr. Page in which he confirmed the contacts.

However, we are dealing with The New York Times, which is not above using very selective memory in spinning a story.

The article states:

Ms. Watkins’s personal lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall, said: “It’s always disconcerting when a journalist’s telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department — through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process. Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges.”

Poor Ms. Watkins. Let’s go back to the case of James Rosen.

The following was reported by Fox News on May 23, 2013:

Newly uncovered court documents reveal the Justice Department seized records of several Fox News phone lines as part of a leak investigation — even listing a number that, according to one source, matches the home phone number of a reporter’s parents.

The seizure was ordered in addition to a court-approved search warrant for Fox News correspondent James Rosen’s personal emails. In the affidavit seeking that warrant, an FBI agent called Rosen a likely criminal “co-conspirator,” citing a wartime law called the Espionage Act.

Rosen was not charged, but his movements and conversations were tracked. A source close to the leak investigation confirmed to Fox News that the government obtained phone records for several numbers that match Fox News numbers out of the Washington bureau.

Further, the source confirmed to Fox News that one number listed matched the number for Rosen’s parents in Staten Island.

A journalists right to report needs to be protected, but the leaks out of the Senate Intelligence Committee are ridiculous. There have been instances of matters not taken up by the Committee because the members knew that anything said would be leaked. I am not sure where we need to draw the line on investigating leakers, but it seems as if both the Obama administration and the Trump administration have used questionable methods to try to stop leaks.

A Perfect Job For A Creative Writer

Ben Rhodes has been described as an aspiring novelist who somehow became a major player in President Obama’s foreign policy. In May of last year, he gave an extended interview (my notes here) with The New York Times describing his part in selling the Iranian nuclear agreement to the American people.

The New York Times article states:

Rhodes singled out a key example to me one day, laced with the brutal contempt that is a hallmark of his private utterances. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Somehow that is not comforting.

Today The Daily Caller posted an article about Ben Rhodes’ new job:

Former White House aide Ben Rhodes, who served as Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and advised former President Barack Obama on foreign policy issues, will start his new job on Sunday as a politics contributor for MSNBC and NBC News.

MSNBC’s public relations department made the announcement on Twitter on Saturday, noting that Rhodes will make his official debut on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” and Monday’s “All In With Chris Hayes.”

I’m not holding my breath waiting for the time a true conservative shows up on MSNBC as a political contributor. The network is entitled to hire anyone they want, but the viewers need to be aware of the political leanings of the people who are designated as political contributors.

Notes On The Iran Deal

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the new revelations by Israel about Iran’s nuclear program.

My favorite quote from the article:

Not even Neville Chamberlain funded Hitler’s aggression to secure his infamous agreement with the madman. That innovation in treachery took one Barack Obama and his many enthusiastic servants such as John Kerry.

There is even more information about the treachery involved in the Iran deal in the New York Times article I posted about in May of 2016 (here). The Iran deal was supported by the European nations because it was financially advantageous to them. They either did not believe or were not concerned about the fact that Iran was planning to threaten them with nuclear weapons as soon as the restrictions in the treaty expired.

Senator Ted Cruz posted the following press release yesterday after Prime Minister Netanyahu gave his presentation explaining the Iran actually does have a nuclear weapons program:

HOUSTON, Texas – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued a statement following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s revelations about Iran’s nuclear program:

“Today’s stunning revelations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu powerfully demonstrate why the Obama Iran nuclear deal is not just unfixable, but truly catastrophic. The Prime Minister’s presentation was remarkable—unprecedented—and worth watching in full. Through extraordinary intelligence operations, Israeli agents captured over 100,000 secret documents and files from Iran. These Iranian documents prove that (1) for two decades, Iran has conducted a clandestine nuclear weapons program; (2) Iran lied repeatedly, and brazenly, denying that secret program; (3) the Obama nuclear deal was predicated on that edifice of lies; and (4) Iran is today in violation of that deal.

“The national security consequences of the Obama Iranian nuclear deal are twofold: First, America has allowed billions of dollars to flow to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, a nation directly responsible for the murder of hundreds of U.S. servicemen and women. And second, those billions of dollars have also propped up a despotic regime and provided vast resources for ongoing ballistic missile tests designed to enable Iran to launch a nuclear weapon on the American homeland.

“In light of these astonishing Israeli revelations, the course before President Trump is clear. As the President has said repeatedly, this deal is a ‘terrible deal,’ even worse than many previously realized. The United States should therefore withdraw immediately, re-impose crushing sanctions, work to encourage our allies to do the same, and do everything necessary to insure that the Ayatollah Khamenei never — never — acquires the nuclear weapons to make good on his pledge of ‘death to America.’”

I don’t know if Europe will join us in exiting the Iran nuclear deal–it is very profitable for them to stay in it. However, I think it is time for us to leave. Obviously, Iran has no problem telling us what they think we want to hear, and we have not been very good at finding out what the truth is.

The Attempt To Change The Demographics Of America Continues

On its Corruption Chronicles page, Judicial Watch posted the following yesterday:

An open borders group that has benefitted from U.S. taxpayer dollars and is funded by leftwing billionaire George Soros launched a smartphone application to help illegal immigrants avoid federal authorities. The app, Notifica (Notify), is described in a Laredo, Texas news article as a tool to protect immigrants living in the U.S. illegally by utilizing high tech and online social communications. With the click of a button, illegal aliens can alert family, friends and attorneys of encounters with federal authorities. “Immigration agents knocking at the door?” the news story asks. “Now, there’s an app for that, too.”

The group behind the app is called United We Dream, which describes itself as the country’s largest immigrant youth-led community. The nonprofit has more than 400,000 members nationwide and claims to “embrace the common struggle of all people of color and stand up against racism, colonialism, colorism, and xenophobia.” Among its key projects is winning protections and rights for illegal immigrants, defending against deportation, obtaining education for illegal immigrants and acquiring “justice and liberation” for undocumented LGBT “immigrants and allies.” Illegal aliens encounter lots of discrimination, which creates a lot of fear, according to United We Dream. “We empower people to develop their leadership, their organizing skills, and to develop our own campaigns to fight for justice and dignity for immigrants and all people,” United We Dream states on its website, adding that this is achieved through immigrant youth-led campaigns at the local, state, and federal level.

United We Dream started as a project of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), according to records obtained by Judicial Watch. Between 2008 and 2010, NILC received $206,453 in U.S. government grants, the records show. The project funded was for “immigration-related employment discrimination public education.” Headquartered in Los Angeles, NILC was established in 1979 and is dedicated to “defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income.” The organization, which also has offices in Washington D.C. and Berkeley, California claims to have played a leadership role in spearheading Barack Obama’s amnesty program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has shielded hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens from deportation. “Ultimately, NILC’s goals are centered on promoting the full integration of all immigrants into U.S. society,” according to its website.

Both the NILC and its offshoot, United We Dream, get big bucks from Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF). In fact, both nonprofits list OSF as a key financial backer. In the United States Soros groups have pushed a radical agenda that includes promoting an open border with Mexico and fighting immigration enforcement efforts, fomenting racial disharmony by funding anti-capitalist black separationist organizations, financing the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups involved in the Ferguson Missouri riots, weakening the integrity of the nation’s electoral systems, opposing U.S. counterterrorism efforts and eroding 2nd Amendment protections. OSF has also funded a liberal think-tank headed by former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the scandal-ridden activist group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), so corrupt that Congress banned it from receiving federal funding.

Incredibly, the U.S. government uses taxpayer dollars to support Soros’ radical globalist agenda abroad. As part of an ongoing investigation, Judicial Watch has exposed several collaborative efforts between Uncle Sam and Soros in other countries. Just last week Judicial Watch published a special investigative report that exposes in detail the connection between U.S.-funded entities and Soros’ OSF to further the Hungarian philanthropist’s efforts in Guatemala. The goal is to advance a radical globalist agenda through “lawfare” and political subversion, the report shows. Much like in the United States, OSF programs in Guatemala include funding liberal media outlets, supporting global politicians, advocating for open borders, fomenting public discord and influencing academic institutions.

Last year Judicial Watch exposed a joint effort between the U.S. government and Soros to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia. Records obtained by Judicial Watch in that investigation show that the U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia worked behind the scenes with OSF to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The cash—about $5 million—flowed through the State Department and USAID.

Make no mistake–this is an attempt to change the demographics and culture of America. This is an attempt to end the concept of American exceptionalism and the things that make America unique. One of the things to remember as the immigration caravan sits on the Mexican-American border is that many of the members of that caravan are MS-13 gang members lying about their age. Some members of that caravan have connections to terrorism which they will deny when questioned. There are in that caravan people simply seeking freedom and safety, but we have no way of knowing who is who. I am sure some of the people in the caravan would make a positive contribution to America, but we have no way of knowing which people they are. We need to change our legal immigration system to streamline the immigration process, but we also need to gain control of our borders. We are a sovereign nation. As a sovereign nation we have an obligation to provide safety for our citizens and to make decisions that will contribute to the economic well being of our citizens. Safety and economics are things that should enter into the debate on immigration. We need to show compassion, but we also need to encourage people to come to America who are willing to contribute their skills and talent to America.

School Policies Have Consequences

In 2013, the Obama Administration instituted the Promise Program (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education). The purpose of the program was to slow down the rate of students going directly from high school to prison. If essence, the Promise Program simply looked the other way if the students committed crimes. Broward County Florida schools adopted the program.

An article at a website called Matter of Cause posted the following:

Broward’s Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline was announced in early November. Instead of suspensions, students can now be referred to the PROMISE program, where they receive counseling for several days and then return to school. A host of non-violent misdemeanors no longer require an arrest, though officers can sometimes override that if they feel it is necessary (“I wanted to make sure deputies always had discretion,” says Scott Israel, Broward County’s sheriff). The school district’s Office of Minority Male Achievement reviews data to ensure that punishments for minor infractions and racial disparities are on the decline.

“There’s been success with other districts working to address parts of the problem,” says Alana Greer, an attorney with the Advancement Project who consulted on the agreement. In recent years, Los Angeles and Denver have limited the range of minor behavior infractions that can be punished by a suspension. “But what Broward did that really set it apart is they put together this incredible breadth of stakeholders. They have been able to not only address one piece of it, but create a set of policies that work together to hopefully eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline in Broward.”

Broward is unusual because representatives from law enforcement, the district, and the community were able to agree on reform, and the superintendent approved it. “In dealing with the previous administration, people were afraid to look at disparate impact issues,” says Weekes. “[Runcie] was not backing away from it.” The new superintendent released the data and acknowledged that the problem had a racial dynamic. “It’s a problem all over the country,” Runcie says, “and Broward is no exception.”

The article was very optimistic, but Hot Air posted an article today with the results of the program:

Broward County’s PROMISE program (which stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education) coincides with higher levels of violent crime among juveniles, even as levels of such crime have been falling statewide.

…Broward County now has the highest percentage of “the most serious, violent [and] chronic”juvenile offenders in Florida, according to the county’s chief juvenile probation officer…

Within two years of adopting the discipline reforms, Broward’s juvenile recidivism rate surged higher than the Florida state average.

The negative trends continued through last year, the most recent juvenile crime data show.

Prosecutors and probation officers complain that while overall juvenile arrests are down, serious violent crimes involving school-aged Broward youths – including armed robbery, kidnapping and even murder – have spiked, even as such violent crimes across the state have dropped.

Juvenile arrests for murder and manslaughter increased 150 percent between 2013 and 2016. They increased by another 50 percent in 2017. County juveniles were responsible for a total of 16 murders or manslaughters in the past two years alone, according to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice…

After Broward schools began emphasizing rehabilitation over incarceration, fights broke out virtually every day in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias and campuses across the district. Last year, more than 3,000 fights erupted in the district’s 300-plus schools, including the altercations involving Cruz. No brawlers were arrested, even after their third fight, and even if they sent other children to the hospital.

Federal data show almost half of Broward middle school students have been involved in fights, with many suffering injuries requiring medical treatment.

Because the students involved in the fights are considered “mutual combatants,” administrators tell parents they cannot be referred to police under the new discipline code.

The Promise Program may have sounded really good on paper, but it lacked a knowledge of human nature and teenagers–teenagers generally like to push boundaries. If they can get away with something, they will. That’s human nature. It was unrealistic to expect that undisciplined students would discipline themselves.

Changing The Welfare Paradigm

On Tuesday The New York Post posted an article about President Trump’s Executive Order on welfare reform. The article notes that America currently has a very low unemployment rate and a very high number of people on welfare. That really does not seem to compute.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today on the subject.

The editorial reminds us of some of the history of welfare reform:

Although it was President Clinton who signed that sweeping welfare reform bill into law, plenty of Democrats were furious. Marion Wright Edelman, then head of the Children’s Defense Fund, called it a “moment of shame.” Illinois Sen. Paul Simon declared that “this isn’t welfare reform, it’s welfare denial.” Even now, many Democrats want to get rid of it.

And that’s despite its proven track record of success.

“In the past decade, welfare rolls have dropped substantially, from 12.2 million in 1996 to 4.5 million today. At the same time, caseloads declined by 45%. Sixty percent of mothers who left welfare found work, far surpassing predictions of experts.”

That was how Bill Clinton himself described the reform’s success a decade after he signed it into law.

The reforms that President Clinton put into effect were greatly loosened under President Obama, and welfare rolls soared. Part of that was due to the sluggish economy under President Obama, and part of that was due to the changes in the reforms.

The editorial concludes:

In Trump’s executive order, he makes the compelling case for expanding work requirements:

“Many of the programs designed to help families have instead delayed economic independence, perpetuated poverty, and weakened family bonds.

“While bipartisan welfare reform enacted in 1996 was a step toward eliminating the economic stagnation and social harm that can result from long-term government dependence, the welfare system still traps many recipients, especially children, in poverty and is in need of further reform and modernization in order to increase self-sufficiency, well-being, and economic mobility.”

Well said. But to make that happen, Republicans need to keep hammering away at this theme until it sinks into the public consciousness. And they need to turn around the metric used to define success to one that counts declining enrollment as a victory.

That’s the only way we will ever be able to turn the tide on what seems like a relentless and unstoppable expansion of the welfare state.

Senator Daniel Patrick “Pat” Moynihan wrote a report in 1965 predicting that the War on Poverty would destroy the African-American family. He was right. The welfare programs under the War on Poverty have also destroyed the white family. It is time that generational welfare becomes a bad memory of the past–not a present problem. Hopefully, President Trump has just taken the first step in that direction.,

Bringing An Out-Of-Control Agency Under Control

On April  5, Steve Forbes posted an article at Investor’s Business Daily. The article deals with the changes being made at the Environmental Protection Agency under the leadership of Scott Pruitt.

The article states:

It should come as no surprise how the man who is boldly redirecting the EPA — a once rogue agency that operated far beyond its constitutional authority — is now the subject of routine attacks from liberal news outlets and activists who want him fired. Scott Pruitt has taken his job as EPA Administrator seriously and has done more to reinstate the EPA’s true, core mission than any of his modern-day predecessors.

Pruitt’s sharp focus is correct — to restore contaminated lands, safeguard our nation’s air and water, and do so by respecting real science rather than the ideologically driven fake science of his predecessors. He is demonstrating that we can both have a cleaner environment and greater economic growth and job creation. Contrary to the extreme environmentalist, prosperity and a safer environment can go hand-in-hand.

As Scott Pruitt observes, our nation can be, “pro-growth, pro-jobs and pro-environment.”

That is a statement of a concept that has been lost by the environmental movement in recent years.

The article concludes with the accomplishments of the EPA under Scott Pruitt’s leadership:

And the notion that enforcement under Scott Pruitt’s EPA is lacking is just plain wrong. In fiscal 2017, EPA collected $1.6 billion in administrative and civil judicial penalties. That figure is higher than any of the previous ten years of EPA enforcement operations, excluding fiscal 2016.

President Trump and Administrator Pruitt rightfully believe we can protect our environment without saddling American factories, manufacturing plants and energy operations with billions in unneeded regulatory costs while offering no way to measure any improvement to the environment or our quality of life.

By halting burdensome, often duplicative regulations, Pruitt’s EPA can focus on measurable environmental protection, guided by peer-reviewed science without hurting consumers or Americans looking for skilled jobs in the energy or manufacturing sectors.

Perhaps the most important change of all, Pruitt’s EPA is now operating under the proper rule of law and staying true to its mandate and defined authority by respecting facts rather than ideological fiction. The days of a rogue, agenda driven EPA are over. Pruitt is the right man for the job and it’s no wonder the radical left is screaming for his ouster.

Hopefully Mr. Pruitt will be able to stand firm and remain to complete the job he has begun.

Ever Wonder How Congressmen Become Millionaires On Less Than $200,000 A Year?

There are strong laws on the books to prevent lawmakers in Washington from profiting from their jobs in ways that are not ethical. However, there are no laws on the books to prevent the families of lawmakers in Washington from totally taking advantage of their relative’s position. Peter Schweizer has written a book titled Secret Empire which sheds light on some of the unsavory financial activities of some of our politicians.

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the book discussing how laws and regulations can be used to enrich friends and family.

The article lists a few specific examples:

Schweizer said the Vistria Group, run by Obama’s best friend, Marty Nesbitt, drove the for-profit school University of Phoenix into the ground and then swooped in to buy it.

 “They come in, they buy it for pennies on the dollar and low and behold, the Obama administration says, ‘You know what, we think we’re going to let GI money float again back to the University of Phoenix,’” he said.

…Schweizer said the level of corruption extended to former Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State John Kerry after both leaders negotiated with China on trade issues.

“At this time the sons, or in one case, John Kerry’s close aide, are involved in businesses that involve multi-billion dollar deals with the Chinese government,” he said on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

Schweizer claims that 10 days after Biden flew to Beijing, his son, Hunter Biden, scored a $1.5 billion private equity deal from the Chinse government.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, current US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, are also mentioned in the book. The book details the couples close relationship to China through Elaine Chao’s family.

The New York Post reported on March 17th:

As Schweizer tells it, the Chao family fortune derives from the Foremost Group, a shipping company that Chinese native James Chao, a classmate of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin at Jiao Tong University, founded in New York in 1964. Chao remains Foremost’s chairman today, and his daughters Angela and Christine are the company’s deputy chairwoman and general counsel, respectively. Elaine Chao worked there in the 1970s, and has been quoted as saying, “Shipping is our family tradition.”

It really is time to begin again in Washington. The only people who should be allowed to stay in Congress are people whose net worth has not increased more than 10 percent during their terms of office. (Of course then you could make the argument that they simply did not take advantage of the opportunities around them!)

At any rate, it really is time to drain the swamp (and to understand that both political parties are involved in the swamp).

This Is Not A Surprise, But It Is Really Tacky

The Center for Security Policy is reporting today that a new think tank has recently formed in Washington. The think tank, called National Security Action (NSA), is made up of about fifty former Obama administration officials. Three founding members are Ben Rhodes, Susan Rice and Samantha Power. Even in Washington, could anyone find three people with a worse record of telling the truth?

The article reports:

The mission statement of the group is anything but subtle: “National Security Action is dedicated to advancing American global leadership and opposing the reckless policies of the Trump administration that endanger our national security and undermine U.S. strength in the world.”

National Security Action plans to pursue typical liberal foreign policy themes such as climate change, challenging President Trump’s leadership, immigration and allegations of corruption between the president and foreign powers.

This organization uses the acronym NSA, which is ironic. Three of its founding members – Ben Rhodes, Susan Rice and Samantha Power – likely were involved in abusing intelligence from the federal NSA (National Security Agency) to unmask the names of Trump campaign staff from intelligence reports and to leak NSA intercepts to the media to hurt Donald Trump politically. This included a leak to the media of an NSA transcript in February 2017 of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s discussion with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak. No one has been prosecuted for this leak.

…It is interesting that the new anti-Trump group says nothing in its mandate about protecting the privacy of Americans from illegal surveillance, preventing the politicization of U.S. intelligence agencies or promoting aggressive intelligence oversight. Maybe this is because the founders plan to abuse U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on Republican lawmakers and candidates if they join a future Democratic administration.

I am sure that the formation of this group is not unrelated to the 2018 and 2020 elections. I also suspect that part of the purpose of this group is to create a positive image of Barack Obama. As the Trump administration continues and the economy and foreign relations improve, it is becoming very obvious that America needed to move in a new direction after eight years of President Obama. I suspect that this group is going to work very hard to undermine President Trump and convince Americans that President Obama’s policies were successful. Good luck.

 

Racism Goes Both Ways

Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” That is a dream all of us should have. People seeking jobs should be judged not according to their sex or whatever minority they may belong to, but by their qualifications. Unfortunately that is a lesson that some Americans have not yet learned.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the nomination of Marvin Quattlebaum to the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina.

The article reports:

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, said Thursday he would vote against the confirmation of one of President Trump’s judicial nominees because the candidate is white.

This is not a loose paraphrase of what he said. It is nearly verbatim his explanation for his “no” vote on the nomination of Marvin Quattlebaum to the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. The only thing missing is the senator stating specifically that he couldn’t support a white nominee because two African-American nominees had failed to pass a Senate vote.

The article points out:

First, it is morally wrong to deny a person a job because of his skin color. You can argue that Republican senators did the same to the President Barack Obama-appointed African-American nominees, but that relies on suspicion and theory — they were probably rejected for reasons of political partisanship. The senator from New York, on the other hand, is saying outright that he will not vote for Quattlebaum’s nomination because he is white.

Secondly, please. This isn’t about diversity. This is politics.

Lastly, Schumer’s speech is humorous considering he is the minority leader of a governing body that is overwhelmingly white and male. There are currently only 22 female senators, 17 Democratic and five Republican. We started this year with only 21, but Sen. Al Franken’s exit opened the door for Minnesota’s former lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, to take his seat.

There are also only three black senators out of 100, according to the Senate webpage.

It’s extremely unlikely Schumer, himself a white male, will step aside anytime soon to balance out the mix.

Refusing to vote for a judicial nominee because he is white is no different than refusing to vote for a judicial nominee because he is black. Both actions are racist. It would be wonderful if those claiming everyone else is racist would stop doing racist things themselves.

When You Have No Intention Of Following The Rules–Write A Memo

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about the memo Susan Rice wrote to herself in January 2017. Writing a memo to file or to yourself is not all that unique, but there are a few aspects of this memo that make it noteworthy.

The article includes some excerpts from the memo:

President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities “by the book”. The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book….

From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia….

The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would.

President Trump was the incoming President. It was the job of the outgoing President to share information with the incoming President. President Trump was the elected President, it was not up to President Obama to decide what information to share. The is a blatant example of an outgoing President undermining the administration of the incoming President.

In this memo, Susan Rice is protecting herself (she was only following directions), but also attempting to put a positive spin on an unconstitutional action by President Obama. The whole Russian investigation was a fraud–something President Obama knew because of his close contact with the Hillary Clinton campaign and his cronies at the FBI and DOJ who were all part of the scheme. This memo acts as if the Russian investigation (which led to the illegal surveillance) was valid and they were only protecting America. Bull feathers.

This is further evidence that a lot of people tied to the Clintons and the Obamas (possibly including the Clintons and Obamas) should be writing their memoirs from a jail cell.

Sequential Planning Behind The Release Of The FISA Memo

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the vote last night to approve the release of the memo involving FISA warrants and possible corruption int he FBI and DOJ. It is a rather complex article, and I suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article. The way this memo was released to the President with the intention of its being made public is not random–there seems to be a much larger plan in place here with the ultimate goal being to drain the swamp.

Some highlights from the article:

The White House has five days to review. Any DOJ or FBI officials who have a position against public release are now responsible to make their case known to the Office of the President who is in charge of them, and the executive branch.

Specifically because the Chief Executive (President Trump) granted permission for FBI Director Christopher Wray to see the intelligence memo prior to the House Intel vote; Director Wray and Asst. AG Rosenstein had an obligation to debrief the executive on their findings. That’s why Wray and Rosenstein were at the West Wing yesterday. However, the vote last evening transferred the declassification decision to the executive.

…With the executive holding the memo, opposing political talking-points will now shift their narrative and claim the President is undermining the DOJ and FBI with a pending release.  Opposition does not want the memo released.  It’s just pantomime politics.

The executive branch IS the DOJ and FBI; the President cannot, therefore, undermine himself.  Media opposition have worked earnestly for two years to create a false illusion of the intelligence apparatus being separate from the executive branch, they’re not. President Trump is the Chief Executive over all the agencies; just like President Obama was accountable for James Comey (FBI) and Loretta Lynch (DOJ) previously.

Then again, the prior political abuse by those agencies explains the reasoning for the media’s attempt to conflate the structure of government.  By creating a false separation they are, in essence, also protecting Obama from the discovery of any prior malfeasance within the executive branch Justice Department: James Comey, Andrew McCabe (FBI), or Loretta Lynch and Sally Yates (DOJ) et al.

Traditionally, Democrats would look to dilute any pending damage from the declassification release by leaking to the media the content therein.  However, in this example, until actually released by the executive, any leaks of content by the legislative branch are felony releases of classified intelligence.   And, remember, there’s a leak task force looking for an opportunity to cull oppositional leakers.

…The more the opposition fights against the memo, the more momentum there is to declassify and release the underlying supportive documents. Ultimately, that’s the goal. President Trump would want to draw all fire upon him and the memo bringing increased attention to it, and simultaneously providing support to release the underlying evidence.

The FBI and DOJ, or their immediate intelligence superior, DNI Dan Coats, can declassify all the underlying documents if needed; so long as they go through the appropriate channels – which means asking the Chief Executive (President Trump) for authority to do so; and going through the process of seeking input from all parties of interest including the National Security Council. Ultimately all declassification needs executive approval.    (Underlines are mine)

The article concludes:

Ultimately, not only does President Trump hold authority over public release of the Intelligence Memo, President Trump also holds the declassification authority for all underlying evidence used in creating the memo.

Now you see why the Democrats were/are so apoplectic about how brilliantly Chairman Nunes gamed out the strategy. That’s why Democrats and Media were so violently trying to besmirch Nunes personally. He strategically outmatched them – and they were counting on using the compartmented structure of internal classified intelligence to keep the most damaging information hidden away from public view.

Where things are today appears to have been well thought out since sometime around April, May or June of 2017.

Key strategists: Dan Coats (DNI), Admiral Rogers (NSA), Chairman Nunes (House Intel), Chairman Goodlatte (House Judiciary) and Chairman Grassley (Senate Judiciary); against the complimentary timeline of Inspector General Michael Horowitz and his year-long Justice Department investigation.

None of this is random. All of this is sequential.

The Democrats in Congress have again been outsmarted by someone they considered too stupid to be President.

Insight Into Some Questionable Actions By The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today that explains what went on behind the scenes regarding the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server. There are a lot of details in the article, so I strongly suggest that you follow the above link and read the entire article. I will try to list the highlights.

The article reports:

From the first, these columns have argued that the whitewash of the Hillary Clinton–emails caper was President Barack Obama’s call — not the FBI’s, and not the Justice Department’s. (See, e.g., here, here, and here.) The decision was inevitable. Obama, using a pseudonymous email account, had repeatedly communicated with Secretary Clinton over her private, non-secure email account.

These emails must have involved some classified information, given the nature of consultations between presidents and secretaries of state, the broad outlines of Obama’s own executive order defining classified intelligence (see EO 13526, section 1.4), and the fact that the Obama administration adamantly refused to disclose the Clinton–Obama emails. If classified information was mishandled, it was necessarily mishandled on both ends of these email exchanges.

Since President Obama was running the Justice Department during the investigation, it stands to reason that Mrs. Clinton was not going to be charged. Particularly since President Obama was also involved in the mishandling of classified information. The Obama Justice Department was not really known for its justice.

Some insight from the article:

…According to Senator Johnson, a draft dated June 30, 2016 (i.e., five days before Comey delivered the final version), contained a passage expressly referring to a troublesome email exchange between Clinton and Obama. (I note that the FBI’s report of its eventual interview of Clinton contains a cryptic reference to a July 1, 2012, email that Clinton sent from Russia to Obama’s email address. See report, page 2.) The passage in the June 30 draft stated:

We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including from the territory of sophisticated adversaries. That use included an email exchange with the President while Secretary Clinton was on the territory of such an adversary. [Emphasis added.] Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.

The article explains that “according to a Strzok–Page text, a revised draft of Comey’s remarks was circulated by his chief of staff, Jim Rybicki. It replaced “the President” with “another senior government official.”

The powers that be involved in the investigation then realized that the change would not be enough–the press might ask who the senior government official was.

The article continues with what happened next:

Consequently, by the time Comey delivered his remarks on July 5, the decision had been made to avoid even a veiled allusion to Obama. Instead, all the stress was placed on Clinton (who was not going to be charged anyway) for irresponsibly sending and receiving sensitive emails that were likely to have been penetrated by hostile intelligence services. Comey made no reference to Clinton’s correspondent:

We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. [Emphasis added.] Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.

So it was okay to let Hillary Clinton take the fall since she was not going to be held accountable anyway.

The article concludes:

On July 2, with the decision that she would not be indicted long since made, Mrs. Clinton sat for an interview with the FBI — something she’d never have done if there were a chance she might be charged. The farce was complete with the Justice Department and FBI permitting two subjects of the investigation — Mills and Clinton aide Heather Samuelson — to sit in on the interview as lawyers representing Clinton. That is not something law enforcement abides when it is serious about making a case. Here, however, it was clear: There would be no prosecution.

All cleaned up: no indictment, meaning no prosecution, meaning no disclosure of Clinton–Obama emails. It all worked like a charm . . . except the part where Mrs. Clinton wins the presidency and the problem is never spoken of again.

I think Congress has wasted an awful lot of money investigating the wrong people. I also think that the Mueller investigation was set up to make sure that the information that is coming out now would never see the light of day. The talking point will be that all of the corruption at the highest levels of the Obama Administration is just being brought out now to distract from the Mueller investigation. Actually, based on the evidence in each investigation, it is pretty obvious that it is the other way around. The Mueller investigation may be the insurance policy that was discussed in the emails between Ms. Page and Mr. Strzok. Time will tell.

Corruption By The Numbers

The Gateway Pundit posted an article about an audit into President Obama’s FISA searches during his time in office.

The article includes a report on the audit:

The article reports:

The FISA Court Ruling shows widespread abuse of the FISA mandate. According to the report, Obama’s FBI and DOJ performed searches on Americans that were against their 4th Amendment rights.  This went on for years.  One paragraph in the report states that 85% of the Section 704 and 705(b) FISA searches made during this time were non-compliant with applicable laws and therefore criminal.

FISA 705 warrants deal with US citizens outside of the country.

In addition, the report cites that at the same time that Obama’s DOJ and FBI were illegally searching Americans against their rights and unbeknownst to them, Obama’s FBI was providing this information to outside contractors who had no business or legal cause or claim the information.

I guess the most transparent administration in history believed that everyone else should be transparent but they were exempt.

A Different Perspective On The Possible “Schumer Shutdown” Of The Government

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the looming government shutdown. He comments on some of the strategies being used by the Republicans to avoid a shutdown and some of the strategies the Republicans can use to make the shutdown as painful as possible for the Democrats if a shutdown occurs.

The article reports:

Senate GOP leaders prepared to force Democrats into a series of uncomfortable votes, aimed at splitting their ranks by pitting moderates from states that Trump won against party leaders and the handful of outspoken liberals considering a run for the presidency.

For one, Republicans attached a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and delays to several unpopular health-care taxes. The bill does not include protections for “dreamers,” immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children or who overstayed their visas as children, a top Democratic priority.

That represented an election-year bid by the GOP to cast the spending vote as, in part, a choice between poor children and undocumented immigrants. Ryan, McConnell, and other Republicans also sought to highlight the potential erosion to military readiness that could result from a shutdown.

At a press conference this morning, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, referred to the possible shutdown as the “Schumer Shutdown.” Maybe the Republicans are finally beginning to understand the value of messaging.

I need to mention that in order to continue to fund the government, the Republicans need sixty votes in the Senate–that means that some Democrats need to vote to keep the government running. The Republicans do not have enough votes in the Senate to keep the government running by themselves.

The article suggests ways to make the shutdown work for Republicans:

But perhaps Republicans should shrug off the media headwinds here and allow Democrats to shut down the government. The White House has the upper hand in these stunts, as both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton proved, by picking and choosing which workers to furlough. Both Obama and Clinton made it as painful as possible; Obama locked veterans out of national parks in 2013, garnering huge headlines and generating lots of anger toward Ted Cruz and his fellow futile obstructionists.

Donald Trump and his team should take the opposite approach: make everything seem normal while shutting down the regulatory agencies Democrats love. Keep the national parks open, but shut down the EPA. Maintain military readiness, but close down the Departments of Education and Labor. Rather than look at the short-term public relations hit, the White House should keep their eyes on the long game by using a shutdown to remind Americans just how much of the government they could truly live without. And when all of those union-represented employees have gone without a couple of paychecks on top of that, wait for Democrats to come back to the table.

It’d be much better if Democrats didn’t obstruct the budget over DACA, of course. But if they do, it shouldn’t be Republicans panicked over a shutdown.

Hopefully, the government will keep running. It is ridiculous to give government workers a paid vacation that they didn’t earn–they may not get paid immediately, but they will be paid for the time they did not work.

Did You Ever Wonder Why The Democrats Love The Dreamers?

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article explaining why the Democrats are so concerned with the fate of the ‘dreamers.’

The article includes a copy of the Center for American Progress Action Fund letter. Please follow the link above to read the entire letter.

The article focuses on one particular part of the letter:

“The fight to protect Dreamers is not only a moral imperative, it is also a critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success,” reads Palmieri’s memo, obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“If Democrats don’t try to do everything in their power to defend Dreamers, that will jeopardize Democrats’ electoral chances in 2018 and beyond,” reads the memo. “In short, the next few weeks will tell us a lot about the Democratic Party and its long-term electoral prospects.”

There are a few things to consider when looking at DACA. The first thing to consider is that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was unconstitutional. A quick google search will lead you to statements President Obama made before doing DACA that said that doing DACA was unconstitutional. President Trump rescinded DACA and gave Congress until March 2018 to come up with an alternative approach. He brought us back in line with the Constitution–Congress is supposed to make laws–not the President. Next, because of chain migration, legalizing the ‘dreamers’ will create a flood of immigrants, many of whom will not be able to support themselves and will be a burden on an already overburdened treasury. And finally, most of the ‘dreamers’ are now in their thirties. This is the only country they know. However, they need to get in line to be individually considered. Those with gang associations or criminal records need to go back to where they came from. If they have broken laws as adults, they need to leave.

It’s time to reform immigration. Changes to DACA may be part of that, but unless the borders are secure, the American people are not secure.

Congressional Oversight May Get Very Interesting

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about Congressional oversight into the FISA violations under President Obama.

The title of the article is, “How The FBI and DOJ Intelligence Units Were Weaponized Around Congressional Oversight…”

I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article, but there are a few things I want to mention here.

The article reports:

NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers has announced to his staff he is resigning. A nominee will be announced to replace him shortly. Rogers departure makes sense.  His incredible accomplishments are complete; he will now be free to testify, unencumbered, to congress.

So why is this important?

Admiral Mike Rogers became NSA director in April 2014.

Sometime in early 2016 Admiral Rogers became aware of “ongoing” and “intentional” violations of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Section 702(17) surveillance. Specifically item #17 which includes the unauthorized upstream data collection of U.S. individuals within NSA surveillance through the use of “About Query”.

Section 702 – Item #17 “About Queries” are specifically the collection of electronic messaging, emails and upstream phone call surveillance data of U.S. persons.

The public doesn’t discover this issue, and Director Rogers action, until May 2017 when we learn that Rogers told the FISA court he became aware of unlawful surveillance and collection of U.S. persons.

Put into context, with the full back-story, it appears that 2016 surveillance was the political surveillance now in the headlines; the stuff Chairman Nunes is currently questioning. The dates here are important as they tell a story.

As a result of Rogers suspecting FISA 702(17) surveillance activity was being used for reasons he deemed unlawful, in mid 2016 Rogers ordered the NSA compliance officer to run a full audit on 702 NSA compliance.

Again, 702 is basically spying on Americans; the actual “spying” part is 702. Item 17 is “About Queries“, which allows user queries or searches of content (messaging, email and phone conversations) based on any subject matter put into the search field.

The NSA compliance officer identified several strange 702 “About Queries” were being conducted. These were violations of the fourth amendment (search and seizure), ie searches, privacy violations, and surveillance without a warrant.  Admiral Rogers was briefed by the compliance officer on October 20th, 2016.

Admiral Mike Rogers ordered the “About Query” activity to stop, reported the activity to the DOJ, and then went to the FISA court.

On October 26th, 2016, full FISA court assembled, NSA Director Rogers personally informed the court of the 702(17) violations.  Additionally, and as an outcome of the NSA systems inability to guarantee integrity, Rogers also stopped “About Query” permanently.

Here we have an honest patriot caught in a den of lying crooks. His testimony should be very interesting.

Hoisted On Their Own Petard

President Obama’s Executive Order creating DACA  (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was unconstitutional. No one challenged it because no one challenged anything President Obama did that was unconstitutional. So President Trump decided to make the Democrats in Congress put up or shut up. He rescinded DACA and gave Congress until March 2018 to come up with an alternative approach. Just for the record, Congress is the branch of government that is supposed to make the law–they are not supposed to be made by Executive Order–all President Trump did was bring us back into alignment with the U.S. Constitution.

The American Thinker posted an article today explaining the dilemma that President Trump created for Senator Schumer by rescinding DACA and giving Congress a deadline. Needless to say, Congress is not good at deadlines.

The article reports:

The “young immigrants” in question re the so-called “Dreamers,” that group of illegal immigrants purportedly brought to this country by their parents, one quarter of whom are functionally illiterate and half of whom have not bothered to learn English.  The Democrats correctly see them as future voters, and hope that chain migration triples or quadruples the 800,000 into millions of new Democrats if they are allowed to gain permanent residence and citizenship.

The problem is that the general public is far from convinced that legalizing a group of border violators likely to become tax consumers, not tax payers, is the most pressing problem facing the nation, worthy of shutting down the government if Democrats don’t get their way. President Trump already called their bluff when they threatened the continuing resolution over DACA last month and the Dems caved and averted a Christmas season government shutdown. Their problem is that a substantial part of their base is angry over that concession to public opinion

The article concludes:

The Senate Democrats have been able to enforce a remarkable degree of party solidarity, far more discipline than the GOP. That is a huge bargaining asset for Schumer, already empowered by his party’s pickup in Alabama. But DACA looks like it could be a wedge issue destroying that disciplinary power.

This is a no-win situation. Harvard graduate Schumer should be asking himself how he got himself into this situation. But of course, he won’t. Either he alienates his base, or he risks adding to the GOP Senate majority by shutting down the government and having Trump fighting back in ways that never would have occurred to Presidents Bush or any establishment Republicans.

There is also another part of this issue–not all of the dreamers have been model citizens–they have included a number of MS 13 gang members. As Americans see the personal safety risks involved in blanket amnesty for the dreamers, they may demand that each dreamer be looked at as an individual case. We also need to remember that a large percentage of the dreamers are in their thirties by now. This should make it fairly easy to determine who is an asset to our country and who is a liability. Individual meret should be the basis of creating a path toward citizenship.

So How Did The Federal Debt Do This Year?

President Trump is a businessman. Regardless of whether you like him or not, he is a businessman, and successful businessmen are relatively careful about how they spend money, and how much money they spend. President Trump is no exception.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the impact of the Trump Presidency on the debt.

The article reports:

In spite of the fact that President Trump took over with nearly $20 trillion of debt and the related interest payments on the debt, and in spite of the federal reserve (fed) under Janet Yellen increasing interest rates by a full 1 percent since the election, President Donald Trump’s first year debt is $1.1 trillion less than Obama’s.

Here is the picture:

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

Right after Barack Obama was elected President, on December 16, 2008, the Federal Reserve (The Fed) lowered the Fed Funds rate by an entire percent, from 1% down to 0% . The Fed had not lowered the Fed Funds rate by such a large amount (1% ) since at least before 1990, if ever. The Fed kept this 0% rate for most of Obama’s eight years in office.

CNBC reported in December 2015 that President Obama oversaw “seven years of the most accommodative monetary policy in U.S. history” (from the Fed). The Fed Funds rate was at zero for most of Obama’s time in office. Finally, in December 2015 after the Fed announced its first increase in the Fed Funds rate during the Obama Presidency.

The only Fed Funds Rate increases since 2015 were after President Trump was elected President. The Fed increased the Fed Funds Rate on December 14, 2016, March 15th, 2017, June 14, 2017 and again on December 13, 2017. Four times the Fed has increased rates on President Trump after doing so only once on President Obama.

If the Federal Reserve was political and wanted to prevent Republican Presidents from successful economic growth and debt decreases, then the Fed would increase the Fed Funds rates during Republican Presidents’ terms while decreasing the Fed Funds rates under Democratic Presidents’ terms.

This appears to be exactly what the Fed is doing.

The article at The Gateway Pundit also notes that without the increases in the interest rate it is possible that President Trump would have a balanced budget to date.

Remember that the Federal Reserve is neither Federal nor a Reserve. It is a stranglehold on our economy held by a small group of extremely wealthy people who control our money supply. For those who are interested in learning exactly how we got the Federal Reserve, I strongly recommend reading The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin. It explains the chicanery that was involved in creating the Federal Reserve and how it was sold to the American people.

More Lying With Statistics

Recently I heard that despite Republican efforts to end ObamaCare and their successful effort to repeal the individual ObamaCare mandate, the number of people enrolling in ObamaCare was increasing. The Democrats were using that statistic as a talking point, saying that it was proof that the American people supported ObamaCare. Well, not so fast.

On Thursday, The Daily Signal posted a fact check on the idea that more people signed up for ObamaCare for 2018 than previously.

The article reports:

The total number of sign-ups on HealthCare.gov during the 2018 open enrollment period is lower than previous years, although the pace of sign-ups was faster.

About 8.8 million people signed up for 2018 health coverage on HealthCare.gov during this year’s open enrollment period ending Dec. 15, compared to 9.2 million sign-ups for 2017 coverage and 9.6 million for 2016 coverage.

HealthCare.gov provides Affordable Care Act individual health plans in 39 states. The remaining 11 states and the District of Columbia run state health exchanges, and may have later deadlines to sign up than the federal deadline. Total enrollment for Obamacare plans won’t be known until all exchanges are accounted for, but enrollment on state exchanges also lags behind previous years.

The New York Times claimed the 8.8 million number is surprising since President Donald Trump’s administration cut HealthCare.gov’s advertising budget by 90 percent and shortened the enrollment period to around 45 days, half the length as the 2017 enrollment period.

…The bulk of HealthCare.gov sign-ups were consumers renewing coverage, with 2.4 million new consumers for 2018 compared to 3 million new consumers for 2017 and 4 million new consumers for 2016.

Premiums for health plans offered on HealthCare.gov skyrocketed for 2018, due in part to the Trump administration eliminating cost-sharing payments to insurance companies. Premiums for the second-cheapest silver plan increased 37 percent from an average of $300 per month to $411 per month. Low-income Americans will get larger subsidies because of the price increase.

It is amazing to me that the government can force Americans to buy anything. It is also amazing to me that the price of health insurance under ObamaCare has skyrocketed and that tax dollars are being used to shore up the plan–subsidizing low-income Americans. What happens to average-income Americans when their insurance rates skyrocket? Hopefully with the repeal of the individual mandate, ObamaCare will die by the end of the year.

So What Did Congress Do This Year?

These are the numbers for Congress in 2017:

The House has been hard at work, and we’re guessing you probably haven’t heard about it. Here’s how:
544 bills have PASSED out of committee → that’s 52 more than Obama’s first term and 132 more than average.
477 bills have PASSED the House → that’s 53 more than Obama’s first term and 86 more than average. #DidYouKnow

As of July 1, 2017, 42 bills had been passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and signed by President Trump according to the  Minneapolis Star Tribune. I could not find any more recent totals.