Was Anyone Paying Attention To The Law?

Judicial Watch released the following Press Release today:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released new U.S. Department of State documents showing former Secretary Hillary Clinton and her then-Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin were permitted to remove electronic and physical records under a claim they were “personal” materials and “unclassified, non-record materials,” including files of Clinton’s calls and schedules, which were not to be made public. The documents show the Obama State Department records would not be “released to the general public under FOIA.”

The new records also show that Huma Abedin was allowed to take five boxes of “physical files” out of the State Department that include records described as “Muslim Engagement Documents.”

Judicial Watch obtained the reports about the records from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for:

Any and all DS-1904 (Authorization for the Removal of Personal Papers and Non-Record Materials) forms completed by, or on behalf of, any of the following individuals:

Former Secretary Hillary Clinton

Former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills

Former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin

Former Deputy Chief of Staff Jacob Sullivan

The documents include a list of official and personal calls and schedules that Clinton removed, which carry a special notation that the documents were not to be made public records. The notation is on an addendum to a DS-1904 signed by Clarence N. Finney Jr., then-director of the Office of Correspondence and Records, who was the reviewing officer. (Judicial Watch has a pending request for the deposition of Finney in separate litigation concerning Clinton emails and the Benghazi terrorist attack.):

NOTE: The Secretary’s call log, grid and schedules are not classified, however, they would not be released to the general public under FOIA. They are being released to the Secretary with this understanding. [Emphasis in original]

***

Electronic copy of “daily files” – which are word versions of public documents and non-records: speeches/press statements/photos from the website, a non-record copy of the schedule, a non record copy of the call log, press clips, and agenda of daily activities

Electronic copy of a log of calls the Secretary made since 2004, it is a non-record, since her official calls are logged elsewhere (official schedule and official call log)

Electronic copy of the Secretary’s “call grid” which is a running list of calls she wants to make (both personal and official)

16 boxes: Personal Schedules (1993 thru 2008-prior to the Secretary’s tenure at the Department of State.

29 boxes: Miscellaneous Public Schedules during her tenure as FLOTUS and Senator-prior to the Secretary’s tenure at the Department of State

1 box: Personal Reimbursable receipts (6/25/2009 thru 1/14/2013)

1 box: Personal Photos

1 box: Personal schedule (2009-2013)

The originals of some Clinton documents were retained, such as the call logs and schedules. For other records, including material that predates Clinton’s tenure, there is no indication that a copy was made. The most significant of these are her personal correspondence and gift binders, which could reflect Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative ties.

Through its previous investigations Judicial Watch made public numerous examples of Clinton’s schedule being broadcast via email through her unsecure, non-government server (for example, see here, here, here and here.)

The records uncovered by Judicial Watch also contain a list of materials removed by Clinton accumulated by Robert Russo, Clinton’s then-special assistant, including PDFs of Clinton’s “correspondence in response to gifts … thank you and acknowledgements,” as well as other records.

The documents indicate that Clinton removed a physical file of “the log of the Secretary’s gifts with pictures of gifts.”

The receipt of gifts by federal employees in the Executive Branch is regulated:

A “prohibited source” [of gifts] under the regulations is one who seeks official action from the employee’s agency; one who does business or seeks to do business with the agency; one whose activities are regulated by the employee’s agency; one whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duties; or an organization a majority of whose members fit any of the above categories.

A gift is given “because of” the employee’s official position if it would not have been offered “had the employee not held the status, authority or duties associated with his Federal position.”  Gifts that are “motivated by a family relationship or personal friendship” may therefore be accepted without limitation.

“We already know the Obama State Department let Hillary Clinton steal and then delete her government emails, which included classified information. But these new records show that was only part of the scandal. These new documents show the Obama State Department had a deal with Hillary Clinton to hide her calls logs and schedules, which would be contrary to FOIA and other laws,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “When are the American people going to get an honest investigation of the Clinton crimes?”

What are they trying to hide?

Too Many Coincidences

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at National Review today about the Mueller investigation. It’s a rather long and detailed look at the people participating in the investigation. I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article. The article includes a lot of very insightful observations.

The article states:

The investigation is venturing well beyond the original mandate of rooting out evidence of Russian collusion. Indeed, the word “collusion” is now rarely invoked at all. It has given way to its successor, “obstruction.” The latter likely will soon beget yet another catchphrase to justify the next iteration of the investigations.

There seems far less special investigatory concern with the far more likely Russian collusion in the matters of the origins and dissemination of the Fusion GPS/Steele dossier, and its possible role in the Obama-administration gambit of improper or illegal surveilling, unmasking, and leaking of the names of American citizens.

The article concludes:

Indeed, the only remaining trajectory by which Mueller and his investigators can escape with their reputations intact is to dismiss those staff attorneys who have exhibited clear anti-Trump political sympathies, reboot the investigation, and then focus on what now seems the most likely criminal conduct: Russian and Clinton-campaign collusion in the creation of the anti-Trump Fusion GPS dossier and later possible U.S. government participation in the dissemination of it. If such a fraudulent document was used to gain court approval to surveil Trump associates, and under such cover to unmask and leak names of private U.S. citizens — at first to warp a U.S. election, and then later to thwart the work of an incoming elected administration — then Mueller will be tasked with getting to the bottom of one of the greatest political scandals in recent U.S. history. Indeed, his legacy may not be that he welcomed in known pro-Clinton, anti-Trump attorneys to investigate the Trump 2016 campaign where there was little likelihood of criminality, but that he ignored the most egregious case of government wrongdoing in the last half-century.

I totally agree with his conclusions, but I also believe that the chances of Mueller doing the right thing are about the same as finding a needle in a haystack!

 

Fact Checking The Democratic Talking Points On Tax Reform

Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall today about the Democrat‘s claim that if the tax reform bill is passed, millions of people will lose their health insurance.

The article reports:

In spite of a torrent of liberal attacks, independent analyses have confirmed that the plan would boost economic growth, create nearly one million new full-time jobs, and reduce the tax burden on the vast majority of Americans; on average, taxpayers in every income group would receive a tax cut.  There will be a small percentage of Americans — many of them wealthier people who itemize deductions and exploit loopholes — who would be worse off under the proposal.  Republicans would be foolish to pretend that every single household and business would emerge as ‘winners’ if reform is implemented; that would echo one of the biggest lies Democrats peddled about Obamacare.  But the data has found that an overwhelming majority of Americans, including (or even especially) the middle and working class, would benefit from the House-approved bill.  

The article explains the impact of cutting the healthcare mandate:

Regardless of where the revised number lands, dumping the mandate liberates millions of Americans to not purchase healthcare plans that they do not want or cannot afford, without getting slapped with government fines.  People making that choice for themselves and their families is absolutely not equivalent to the government taking away coverage.  Healthcare policy expert Avik Roy puts a finer point on this important truth, which underpins liberals’ mendacious claim:

[Another] category of Democratic complaints revolves around the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that 13 million fewer people would have health insurance in 2026 if Republicans repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate. “We’re kicking 13 million people off health insurance to give tax cuts to the wealthy,” exclaimed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Wednesday. There are two problems with Schumer’s assertion. As Glenn Kessler, fact-checker at the Washington Post, notes, nobody is being “kicked off” their insurance. People are no longer being fined for not purchasing it. (Kessler gives Schumer two Pinocchios.) The second problem is that the CBO’s projections of the mandate’s magical powers are inaccurate, by their own admission.

The bottom line here is that Democrats do not want to cut taxes. A tax cut will stimulate the economy and undo (and expose) the economic damage done by the Obama Administration. The Washington establishment cannot afford a successful Trump presidency–it would come too close to draining the swamp. It will be interesting to see if the tax bill passes (and in what form). If the Republicans do not pass the tax bill, they will probably lose Congress in 2018. If the Republicans do pass the tax bill, the economy will grow, at least part of the Washington swamp will be drained, and Trump will be a successful President. Get out the popcorn.

 

 

Great Idea Or Poison Pill?

The American Spectator posted an article today about the proposed tax reform bill working its way through Congress.

The article reports:

The Senate majority leader and the Senate finance committee endorsed Senator Tom Cotton’s proposal to include a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate alongside tax cuts.

This either kills two birds with one stone or that one stone sinks the tax plan because of its weight. If Senator Bob Corker issued his complaints last month regarding deficit reduction in earnest, one guesses that the former occurs. Aside from moving toward individual freedom and the Constitution, the repeal of the individual mandate makes sense fiscally, particularly with a $20 trillion debt hanging above our heads. The added dynamic alleviates, at least, the concerns regarding the deficit aired by Senators Corker, John McCain, and Susan Collins.

Adding the repeal of the ObamaCare Mandate to the tax bill makes good sense in terms of what is the right thing to do. The move has questionable value politically. The Democrats are complaining that repealing the mandate will mean that low-income people will not have health insurance. Wait a minute. That claim defies logic. Repealing the individual mandate means that low-income people will not have to pay a fine if they don’t have health insurance. If they can’t afford health insurance, how are they supposed to pay the fine? Since when did the government acquire the right to force you to purchase something you don’t want?

The article concludes:

In 1981, when Ronald Reagan slashed the top personal rates from 70 to 50 percent, the federal government imposed the heaviest burden on Americans. Now, the cost of the federal government and the cost of healthcare approaches parity. The former gobbles up the same portion of the GDP, more or less, that it has throughout our lifetimes. The latter has almost tripled in its proportion of the GDP in just a half century.

Donald Trump’s tax plan puts American businesses on a level playing field with their competitors abroad and sensibly allows citizens to keep more of what they earn. This undoubtedly helps the economy. But the Trump tax cut will not boost growth the way the Reagan or Kennedy or Coolidge cuts did because 2017’s economy faces a special health-care challenge that did not exist in the 1920s, 1960s, or 1980s.

Prosperity proves illusory in any economy in which the cost of one commodity outpaces growth. Who cares if a tax cut boosts GDP by one percent if medical inflation devours that increase in the economy?

Good for Republicans for recognizing that relief for citizens requires reforming not just the tax code but the healthcare system, as well. Bad for any of them to imagine the job done, or a boom around the corner, through a modest personal tax cut, a robust corporate rate reduction, and a repeal of the individual mandate.

Adding the repeal of the individual mandate to the tax plan will help low-income people. However, in watching this debate, remember that the Washington establishment does not want Donald Trump to be a successful President–he is an outsider and the establishment thoroughly resents that. My fear is that the tax reform will not pass because the repeal of the ObamaCare mandate will be a poison pill for much of the establishment. At that point, the Republican establishment will whine, “We tried, but the Democrats wouldn’t let us pass tax reform.” If that happens, it will be a long time before I vote for a Republican again.

Talking Points vs Reality

Investor’s Business Daily recently posted an editorial about the impact of President Trump’s proposed tax cuts. The editorial notes that the Democrats sudden concern for deficits is a bit disingenuous after the impact President Obama had on the deficit during the past eight years. The editorial also notes that President Trump’s tax plan will not increase the deficit, but will probably decrease the deficit due to the economic growth created by lowering taxes.

The editorial includes the following chart:

The editorial explains:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House tax bill would boost deficits over the next 10 years by a total of $1.4 trillion. The added interest on the debt would kick that up to $1.7 trillion.

That looks like a lot of money. Except that equals just a 17% increase in total deficits projected over the next decade.

And that increase is a wild exaggeration, since it doesn’t allow for any extra economic growth from the GOP‘s pro-growth tax cuts — a premise that even some honest liberal economists don’t believe. The actual deficit boost, if there is any, will be far smaller than what the CBO says.

But let’s accept the CBO’s numbers as gospel truth.

Look more closely at the data and you see that what’s driving deficits ever upward isn’t the Republican tax cuts. It is out-of-control spending.

Over the past 50 years, despite all the myriad changes in tax laws, revenues as a share of GDP have remained remarkably close to the average: 17.4%.  In fiscal year 2017, which ended in September, the share was 17.3%. In Bush’s last in office, it was 17.1%. When Bill Clinton took office in 1991, it was 17.3%.

What happens if the Republican tax plan goes into effect? According to the CBO, taxes as a share of the economy in 2027 will be … 17.9%.

That’s right. Even with an allegedly budget-busting tax cut, the federal government will claim a greater share of the nation’s economy in 2027 than it does today, and that share will be above the average for the previous 50 years.

The only reason deficits continue to climb over the next decade is because federal spending is going up at an unsustainable rate.

The editorial concludes:

But the bigger problem is that any reasonable attempt to rein in any of the entitlement programs is met by fierce and unrelenting opposition from all those Democrats who now claim to worry about deficits. They will viciously demagogue any Republican who dares to propose real reforms of these programs, and then brag about any resulting election victories.

So, the next time you hear Democrats pretend to be deficit hawks, ask them what their plan is to bring entitlement spending under control.

 

It May Be Time For A New Attorney General

I like Jeff Sessions. I think he is a nice man, but I can’t figure out why he has not enforced some of the laws he is responsible to enforce.

On Thursday, PJ Media posted an article detailing some comments made by former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom about James Comey, Robert Mueller, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.

The article reports:

Appearing on Fox News’ Varney & Co., Kallstrom told the host that it “was obvious to anybody that knows anything” that former President Barack Obama was not going to let James Comey indict Clinton.

“It turns out — unfortunately — he was a political hack,” Kallstrom said flatly. “I think he maybe started out in an honorable way. His opinion of himself is sky high —  just an unbelievable guy with just an arrogance about him…. It got him in trouble because I think he thought he was Superman and he found out that he wasn’t.”

Kallstrom blamed the Clintons for Comey’s descent into hackery.

“The dogs are always going to bite your heels when you’re dealing with the Clintons,” he explained. “Look how long the public, the American people have been dealing with the crime syndicate known as the Clinton Foundation… just look at what’s in the public domain. The Clintons have been taking advantage of their stations in life for so long.”

…Kallstrom pointed out that just “the unmaskings of names alone is a major scandal.” Requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting — known as unmasking — was done at a freakishly rapid rate in the final months of the Obama administration.

“We got all these major crime things bubbling – all of which were 20 times bigger than Watergate! And nothing seems to be happening… the attorney general is in a coma!” he said.

I like Jeff Sessions. I think he is an honorable man. I also think he needs to investigate some of the corruption that is swirling around the previous administration or find another job.

 

The Trump Economy

There are no guarantees in the economy. There are certain things that the government can do that historically have aided growth and certain things that the government can do that have inhibited growth. We have history as our guide as to what works, but sometimes people have a political bias that tends to ignore history.

Real Clear Politics posted an article today about the Trump economy. The article was written by Stephen Moore. The economy is not booming, the workforce participation rate is still too low for it to be considered booming, but it is definitely improving. The title of the article is, “Why the Left Has Been So Wrong About the Trump Boom.”

The article reports:

Time magazine‘s cover story for the week of Nov. 6 is a classic. It blares: “The Wrecking Crew: How Trump’s Cabinet Is Dismantling Government As We Know It.” The New York Times ran a lead editorial complaining that team Trump is shrinking the regulatory state at an “unprecedented” pace.

Meanwhile, last week the stock market raced to new all-time highs; we had another blockbuster jobs report with another fall in the unemployment rate; and housing sales soared to their highest level in a decade.

The article at Time magazine fails to recognize that those two facts are related.

The article at Real Clear Politics further notes:

But so far the Trump haters have missed the call on the economy‘s trajectory. Doubly ironic is that the same Obama-era economists who are trashing Trump’s increasingly realistic forecast of 3 percent growth are the ones who predicted 4 percent growth from the Obama budgets. Obama never came anywhere near 4 percent growth, and at the end of his second term, the economy grew at a pitiful 1.6 percent.

Under Obama, free enterprise and pro-business policies were thrown out the window. What was delivered was the weakest recovery from a recession since World War II, with a meager 2.2 percent average growth rate. Middle America felt it, which is why Trump won these forgotten Americans.

One reason that economist Larry Kudlow and I and others assured Donald Trump that 3 to 4 percent growth was achievable was that Trump could capitalize on the underperformance of the Obama years. Under Obama, business investment fell almost two-thirds below the long-term trend line — thanks to higher taxes on investment. Now, partly in anticipation of the tax cut, business spending keeps climbing.

The article at Real Clear Politics concludes:

Maybe the liberal economists and their shills in the media should show some humility. They should acknowledge they were dead wrong about how much Obamanomics was going to grow the economy and about how Trumponomics would crash the economy and the stock market. Or better yet, maybe the rest of us should all just stop listening to them.

The other conclusion that can be reached is that the free market works every time it is allowed to work. Government interference has a very negative impact on economic growth. We need to send President Obama’s economic advisors and a good number of Congressmen back to school to study basic economics.

It May Or Not Be True, But It Is Definitely Interesting


Usually I take the time to verify things before I post them, but I have no way to verify this. I am not sure anyone can verify it. The good news here is that the rats are deserting the sinking ship that the Democratic party has become.

Politico posted an article today about Donna Brazile‘s new book, Hacks. I have no idea how much of the book is true, but the excerpts are extremely interesting. The excerpts pretty much confirm the fact that the Democratic primary was rigged in favor of Hillary long before anyone even thought of voting.

The book explains:

When the party chooses the nominee, the custom is that the candidate’s team starts to exercise more control over the party. If the party has an incumbent candidate, as was the case with Clinton in 1996 or Obama in 2012, this kind of arrangement is seamless because the party already is under the control of the president. When you have an open contest without an incumbent and competitive primaries, the party comes under the candidate’s control only after the nominee is certain. When I was manager of Al Gore’s campaign in 2000, we started inserting our people into the DNC in June. This victory fund agreement, however, had been signed in August 2015, just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination.

I had tried to search out any other evidence of internal corruption that would show that the DNC was rigging the system to throw the primary to Hillary, but I could not find any in party affairs or among the staff. I had gone department by department, investigating individual conduct for evidence of skewed decisions, and I was happy to see that I had found none. Then I found this agreement.

The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.

The same lady talking about integrity is the person who fed the debate questions to candidate Clinton before the debates. Wow. I guess integrity depends on who you are talking about.

The book continues:

I told Bernie I had found Hillary’s Joint Fundraising Agreement. I explained that the cancer was that she had exerted this control of the party long before she became its nominee. Had I known this, I never would have accepted the interim chair position, but here we were with only weeks before the election.

Bernie took this stoically. He did not yell or express outrage. Instead he asked me what I thought Hillary’s chances were. The polls were unanimous in her winning but what, he wanted to know, was my own assessment?

I had to be frank with him. I did not trust the polls, I said. I told him I had visited states around the country and I found a lack of enthusiasm for her everywhere. I was concerned about the Obama coalition and about millennials.

I urged Bernie to work as hard as he could to bring his supporters into the fold with Hillary, and to campaign with all the heart and hope he could muster. He might find some of her positions too centrist, and her coziness with the financial elites distasteful, but he knew and I knew that the alternative was a person who would put the very future of the country in peril. I knew he heard me. I knew he agreed with me, but I never in my life had felt so tiny and powerless as I did making that call.

When I hung up the call to Bernie, I started to cry, not out of guilt, but out of anger. We would go forward. We had to.

Okay. Let’s back up a minute. Ms. Brazile is stating that the election of Donald Trump would put the very future of the country in peril, but electing someone who had to rig the system to make sure they won the primary would not? Wow.

Please follow the link above to read the entire Politico article. As I have stated, I have no idea how much of what Ms. Brazile is saying is true, but some of it confirms statements from other sources. At best the book would be very entertaining.

Smile, You Are Being Manipulated

This story is based on an article today at Yahoo News, but the information contained can be found pretty much anywhere on the Internet.

It was leaked Friday that Robert Mueller was going to arrest someone on Monday. Why do you think that leak came out Friday after we have heard nothing for so long? Is the timing suspicious to you? Well, last week the news was full of Uranium One and GPS Fusion. The major media gave as little time as possible to both of these stories, but the news still got out. Both of these stories look very bad for both Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. Unless someone changes the narrative, these stories will have to be covered in the mainstream media. Ergo, Robert Mueller is going to arrest someone.

In May 2015 the book Clinton Cash was published. The book explores the method the Clintons used to go from millions of dollars in debt due to legal expenses to earning over $230 million. Uranium One was one item mentioned in the book. There are also some real questions about how the money the Clinton Foundation raised for Haiti was spent. Although the news largely ignored the book, much of it has already been proven as true.

The Uranium One scandal and Fusion GPS were the news of the week last week. In order to take those stories off the front pages of objective or conservative media, a bigger story has to occur. Robert Mueller and the mainstream media are creating that story.

Smile, you are being manipulated.

Why Did The Economy Turn Around In Less Than A Year?

On Wednesday, The Observer posted an article titled, “How Trump Got the Economy Booming in Less Than a Year.” That’s a question we need to answer if we are going to continue the boom.

The article reports some of the economic successes:

Early into his administration, Trump’s policies are already restoring growth. Real GDP grew 3.1 percent in the last quarter, up more than 50 percent from the average for the eight years that Obama was president.

In Trump’s first six months in office, more than a million new jobs were created, driving unemployment down to a 16-year low. The stock market set 34 new record highs, with headlines just last week screaming “Dow Races Through 23,000.”

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to nearly a 16-year high, as did Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index, both contributing to soaring retail sales. The National Association of Manufacturers Outlook Survey rocketed to a record 91.4 percent, the highest two quarter average for manufacturing optimism in the survey’s 20-year history. The Institute for Supply Management reported it’s barometer of manufacturing rose to 57.8, with over 50 indicating expansion of the manufacturing sector.

So how did this happen. Part of the reason for the growth is the promise of pro-growth tax reform based on the Reagan model of lower marginal tax rates. But there is another reason–based on actions, not promises–deregulation.

The article explains:

Trump has already made a lot of progress in removing Obama’s boot on the neck of American energy producers. That is why U.S. shale oil production has already soared to record levels since Trump entered office.

America today has the resources to lead the world as the top producer worldwide of oil, natural gas and coal. Removing America from the Paris Climate Accord, the start of the demise of Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan,” and Trump’s ongoing dismantling of the anti-American energy regulation of Obama’s EPA has already liberated America’s energy producers to assume these world leading roles.

Any economy with the world’s number one oil producing industry, number one natural gas producing industry, and number one coal producing industry is going to be leading the world with booming economic growth. And not just in energy but in manufacturing too. Because manufacturing is an energy intensive activity.

The article concludes:

The House and Senate have now passed budgets providing for many of the spending reductions proposed in Trump’s budget. Contrary to outdated Keynesian economics, government spending detracts from rather than adds to the economy, draining resources from the productive private sector, which is why Obama’s “stimulus” never worked.

In the 2010 and 2014 elections, voters decisively expressed what they think of the Keynesian doctrine that increased deficits and government debt contribute to economic recovery and restored growth. Voters first obliterated the House Democrat majority in 2010 and then took away the Senate Democrat majority in 2014.

Wait until America gains the reality of pro-growth tax reform. When it further restores booming recovery, voters will feel vindicated in their judgements and continue their support for the economic policies of the Trump administration.

I am not convinced that all of the voters will be smart enough to realize what has happened to the economy this year. Unfortunately, we have a bloc of voters who will be more concerned with whether or not the government will continue to pay them not to work. Part of the challenge in growing America’s economy is restoring America’s work ethic. That is part of the foundation of the change that needs to come.

Why The FBI And The Department Of Justice Would Really Rather Not Talk To Congress

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article this morning with a possible explanation as to why the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are withholding information from Congress. Evidently a lot of rather dubious actions that would have been buried had Hillary Clinton been elected President are beginning to come to light.

The explanation comes from a retired FBI agent. He explains:

As a retired FBI Special Agent with over two decades of experience in counterintelligence, I’d like to make a point that Scott and Paul are surely aware of, but which it’s useful to keep at the front of your mind.

Scott regularly refers to the Trump dossier as the “Rosetta Stone” of the “muh Russia” narrative. That’s true, but it’s helpful to go one step further. The real importance of the Trump dossier from a criminal law standpoint lies in the use it was put to for official government purposes. To understand that we need to know whether the dossier was used to justify the initiation of Full Investigations (FIs), according to the relevant AG Guidelines for National Security investigations.

The former agent explains the problem with that:

The full relevance of these considerations can be seen from Scott and Paul’s review of just how threadbare the dossier really was in terms of authentication. If it was used in applications to the FISC with the knowledge that it was “oppo research” and likely not credible, and if that knowledge was withheld from the FISC, I suspect we’re looking at the real possibility of criminal conduct. And bear in mind that such applications (for FISA coverage relating to a candidate for President or a President-elect) would have been approved only at the highest levels before submission to the FISC.

To put two names to that process: James Comey and Loretta Lynch. If they knowingly deceived the FISC–and that depends, as far as we can tell at this point, largely on how they may have used the “dossier”–they’re looking at serious criminal liability.

Here we have an example of the FBI and the DOJ being used for political purposes.

The agent concludes:

Investigations of the magnitude we’re discussing necessarily include a fair number of people and the testimony of those other people would likely shed valuable light on the true nature of the process that was followed, who made the decisions, what was known about the credibility of information that was used to justify official actions, who really believed those justifications, the nature of coordination with other government agencies, etc. This is where the investigative rubber will hit the road.

This sort of political spying is the sort of thing that happens in dictatorships where leaders are grasping to hold on to power. I guess President Obama thought that the election of Hillary Clinton would be his third term as President.

Whatever Happened To Elliot Ness?

In case you are too young to remember, Elliot Ness was:

the man most often recognized for destroying the multimillion-dollar breweries operated by Al Capone. Also responsible, in part, for Capone’s arrest and conviction of tax evasion, Ness was instrumental in ceasing the power Capone had over the city of Chicago.

Ness was also responsible for turning around Cleveland, Ohio, in the mid-1930s, when the city was overcome with crime and corruption. Weeding out 200 crooked police officers and bringing 15 other officials to trial for criminal behavior, Ness set many precedents. One such milestone was Ness’s efforts to correct Cleveland’s traffic problems, establishing a separate court in which all traffic cases were heard.  (quoted from biography.com)

Elliot Ness worked in law enforcement from 1927 to 1944. He was known as an corruptible example of integrity that was totally trustworthy. This was a man who successfully drained his local swamps. We need him now.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article yesterday listing a few of the Democratic scandals in the Obama Administration that have somehow not had consequences.

Here are a few highlights:

Exonerating Clinton before the facts were in. First was the fact that former FBI director James Comey had, contrary to what he told Congress, drafted what amounted to an acquittal letter for Hillary Clinton months before he’d even interviewed her regarding her unsecured private email server.

Comey interviewed Clinton on July 2, 2016, and three days later announced that he was closing the case because “no reasonable prosecutor” would pursue it.

…Setting up a liberal slush fund. Next, we learned that Justice was using settlement money as a slush fund to support liberal groups, to the explicit exclusion of any non-liberal ones. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte released what he called “smoking gun” emails to that effect.

Under Obama, the Justice department started sending money from legal settlements to third parties not involved directly in the litigation. At the time, there were lots of complaints (including in this space) that the money was being poured into left-wing groups. And Trump ended the practice when he took office.

…Papering over the Uranium One scandal. We’ve also only recently learned, thanks to intrepid reporters at The Hill, that the FBI had a substantial amount of evidence showing that Russian nuclear officials had been involved in a number of illegal schemes designed to expand its nuclear business in the U.S. — which included bribery, extortion and racketeering.

Worse, they had all this before top Obama administration officials — including Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder — signed off on a deal that gave Russia effective control of 20% of uranium in the U.S. by approving Russia’s purchase of Uranium One.

…Using Democratic-sponsored Russian dirt on Trump. Now that we know the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee — despite repeated denials — financed the so-called Trump dossier, a bigger question arises.

What did the FBI know and when did they know it?

Despite being labeled as “salacious and unverified” by former FBI director James Comey, it has served as a road map for journalists and federal investigators pushing the Trump-Russia meddling story.

The article concludes:

In the end, the FBI didn’t pay Steele, but as York notes, the question remains: “Did the FBI or other agencies use any information from the dossier as a basis for warrant requests before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court?”

House Republicans announced this week that they’ve started a probe into the FBI’s handling of both the Clinton email case and the Uranium One deal. Now they have a fresh angle on the dossier to pursue.

This is a good start. The Justice Department is supposed to be above politics. Obama tried to turn it into a political tool. The public needs to know how far he got.

Who do you trust to investigate this? Are the Justice Department’s hands clean? Are the FBI’s hands clean? Are the Special Prosecutor’s hands clean? Are Congress’ hands clean?

If you look at the cast of characters involved in or signing off on the Uranium One deal, you will see names you recognize as investigating President Trump for Russian connections. In what universe does that make sense?

The swamp is deep, and at this point we need an Elliot Ness who will go after the guilty parties in a manner showing integrity, impartiality, and honesty. This is not a political matter–this is an exercise that will determine whether or not all of us live under the same laws. If there are two sets of laws–one for the Washington elite (swamp) and one for the little people, our republic will not survive.

 

Keeping Up With The Story

In August 2014, I posted an article about the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama Administration distributing funds from fines imposed on banks to political leftist groups. The article explains that the Bank of America was forced to pay fines that Countrywide Mortgage and Merrill Lynch had incurred before they were owned by Bank of America.

The article explains what happened to these fines:

The groups benefitting from the lawsuit, according to Investor’s Business Daily, are the National Council of La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. The money also went to “delinquent borrowers” in Chicago, Oakland, Detroit, Philadelphia and other major “Democrat strongholds.”

“This is a wealth redistribution scheme disguised as a lawsuit,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told The Daily Caller. “And who benefits from the distribution? Interest groups the administration relies on, outside interest groups, allies and politicians in communities trying to benefit as well.”

…La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America have all intimidated banks to give loans to minorities, even if they can’t afford to pay them back.

This was the government equivalent of a mob shakedown.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about this practice.

The article reports:

Emails written by Obama administration Department of Justice officials confirm reports the agency engaged in a systemic effort to funnel money to liberal advocacy organizations from settlements reached with big banks.

The documents, obtained by the House Judiciary Committee as part of an ongoing investigation, reveal the Obama Justice Department effectively skirted Congress’s budgetary authority by requiring that major financial institutions donate to a group of affordable housing nonprofits and legal advocacy organizations as part of settlement agreements resulting from predatory mortgage lending practices.

The internal DOJ documents represent the latest revelation in a two-year investigation spearheaded by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

The article at The Daily Caller reports that this practice has been stopped:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo banning the DOJ from entering into third party settlement agreements after substantial evidence emerged implicating the Obama DOJ in such practices.

“When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people — not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power,” Sessions said.

The more I learn about some of the actions of the Obama Administration, the more I wonder why Congress did not address some of the wrongdoings as they were going on.

When A Simple Investigation Turns Into A Witch Hunt

I have previously posted articles about the bias that seems to be part of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election. (You can locate these articles using the search engine at the top of the blog to locate articles about Robert Mueller.)  The list of people he hired and the strong-arm tactics used against Paul Manafort are an indication that he had decided on the verdict before he conducted the investigation–much like his friend James Comey and the investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s emails. Well, this endless and wandering investigation may be called on to provide some accountability.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that nineteen Republican Congressmen have called for hearings on Robert Mueller’s investigation. It is definitely about time.

Following is the letter they sent:

Special Prosecutors need a deadline, a specific investigation subject, and a budget. The abuses connected with special prosecutors are numerous. If Congress is unwilling to terminate the position, they should at least limit it.

Restoring The Rule Of Law

A website called usconstitution.net explains the procedure involved in government spending:

…”All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives” (Article 1, Section 7). Thus, I’ve listed the House’s “original jurisdiction” over revenue bills (laws that affect taxes) as a check. The House, however, views this clause a little differently, taking it to mean not only taxation bills but also spending bills.

The plain language of the clause would seem to contradict the House’s opinion, but the House relies on historical precedent and contemporaneous writings to support its position. In Federalist 66, for example, Alexander Hamilton writes, “The exclusive privilege of originating money bills will belong to the House of Representatives.” This phrase could easily be construed to include taxing and spending. The Supreme Court has ruled, however, that the Senate can initiate bills that create revenue, if the revenue is incidental and not directly a tax. Most recently, in US v Munoz-Flores (495 US 385 [1990]), the Court said, “Because the bill at issue here was not one for raising revenue, it could not have been passed in violation of the Origination Clause.” The case cites Twin City v Nebeker (176 US 196 [1897]), where the court said that “revenue bills are those that levy taxes, in the strict sense of the word.”

Yesterday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article explaining how recent actions by President Trump are restoring that constitutional principle. On Thursday, President Trump announced that he was ending payments to insurance companies that were implemented by Executive Order under ObamaCare. Since the payments were never approved by the House of Representatives, the payments were illegal and should never have begun in the first place. The Obama Administration had made those payments.

The article at Power Line states:

Liberal news outlets are offering a parade of horribles that will ensue if the federal government doesn’t continue to pay off insurance companies. In most cases, they pay little or no attention to the constitutional issue at stake. Whether such consequences will result is not so clear. Chris Jacobs points out:

For the time being, individuals likely will not see any direct effects from the payments ceasing. Carriers cannot exit Exchanges mid-year, and contracts for the 2018 plan year are already signed. (A provision in carriers’ 2017 and 2018 contracts lets them exit Exchanges if enrollees do not receive cost-sharing reductions—not if the insurers themselves do not receive reimbursement for those cost-sharing reductions. This clause, awkwardly drafted by insurers’ counsel, may provide them with little legal recourse—and further highlights their questionable assumptions and behavior surrounding the subsidies.) So maybe—just maybe—Washington can spend some time focusing on the real issue behind the Administration’s action: Upholding the Constitution.

If Congress wants to continue the subsidies, it can do so. Its appropriation, obviously, will make them constitutional. But regardless of what happens from now on, the Trump administration has acted admirably by refusing to go along with the unconstitutional regime that Barack Obama instituted.

This is not about politics–it is about following the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land.

Ignoring Facts For Political Purposes

President Trump has introduced his tax reform plan. It’s not a truly conservative plan, but it is a plan that will ease the tax burden of many Americans. It will also eliminate the ‘death tax,’ which has resulted in the sale of many family farms and small family businesses. The Democrats are making their usual noises–tax cuts for the rich, etc., choosing to ignore the fact that the top 10 percent of earners pay 80 percent of federal income taxes. Obviously, if that is the case, those are the people who are going to benefit from lower taxes. Actually, President Trump’s tax cuts are aimed more at the middle class and at corporations, two groups that have been negatively impacted by the current tax code. As it stands now, the tax code is a recognition of the hard work of lobbyists. That needs to change.

One of the needed changes that will get the most opposition is the elimination of the deduction for state taxes. Under the present tax code, states with low taxes are currently subsidizing states with high taxes. Congressmen from New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and other high-tax states love this. The residents of these states grumble less when their taxes go up because they can deduct them on their federal income taxes. You may not hear this discussed a lot in the debate on the tax plan, but it is a major issue. Expect a lot of opposition from Congressmen from high-tax states. Those states may be forced to become more fiscally responsible if this change is made.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article listing some of the lies we can expect to hear from those opposed to the proposed tax reform. The article also includes some of the past history of the impact of lowering taxes.

The article reports:

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy slashed investment taxes. After his assassination, his broader tax cuts were enacted, producing eight years of soaring growth — 5 percent a year.

In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan slashed rates again, giving the nation nearly a decade of robust 3.8 percent growth.

In 2003, George W. Bush’s tax cut boosted the economy, producing 4 percent growth for six straight quarters.

Compare this vigorous growth with President Barack Obama’s eight years of stagnation. Obama’s economy lumbered along at around 2 percent growth because high taxes and over-regulation discouraged companies from investing. Democrats still insist that 2 percent growth is the new normal. Nonsense. Roll back regulations and taxes, and the economy will surge.

So why would anyone oppose something that would grow the economy and increase the spending power of working Americans. There are a few reasons. There are people who simply refuse to learn the lessons of history–the simply do not understand the economics of lowering taxes. There are people who oppose the plan for political reasons–Democrats have made it clear that they have no intention of cooperating with anything President Trump proposes. And last of all, there are establishment Republicans who are determined to protect the status quo. Expect a lot of political posturing in the near future about the tax reform. The thing to remember here is that Washington does not need more of our money to spend–Washington needs to learn how to be responsible with the taxpayers’ money.

At Least They Are Correcting Some Of Their Fake News

President Obama has often accused the conservative media of fake news. I wonder if he will speak out against the latest example of fake news by the liberal media.

Fox News reported yesterday that The Washington Post has issued a correction of one of their ‘breaking news’ stories.

The article reports:

The Washington Post has made a correction to an explosive cover story that undermines the entire premise of Monday’s front-page article headlined, “Obama sought to prod Facebook on Russia role.”

The problem, according to a Facebook executive, is that when Obama reached out to the social media giant in 2016 to discuss political disinformation spreading on the site, he didn’t actually call out Russia – essentially making the Post’s headline misleading and inaccurate. Or, as President Trump would call it, “fake news.”

As first reported by Axios, the Post added significant information to the digital version of the story with the disclaimer, “This story has been updated with an additional response from Facebook.” The response from Facebook that didn’t make the paper’s print edition is vital and changed the story enough that the word “Russia” was removed from the updated headline.

The story detailed how then-President Obama gave Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a “wake-up call” regarding fake news spreading on his social media platform. After reporting that Obama “made a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously,” the paper has added that Obama “did not single out Russia specifically.”

The story reported that Obama and his top aides “quietly agonized on how to respond to Russia’s brazen intervention on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign without making matters worse.” 

Well, not quite.

This is the important paragraph in the article:

The paper also added a statement from Facebook’s vice president of communications, Elliot Schrage, which it received after the front-page story was published. Schrage told the Post that Obama’s talk with Zuckerberg was about “misinformation and false news” and “did not include any references to possible foreign interference or suggestions about confronting threats to Facebook.”

The Russian connection has been fizzling out for some time. What we can expect is to see Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller charge Paul Manafort with some sort of process crime or questionable act totally unrelated to the original reasons for a special prosecutor. The thing to remember here is that despite the fact that James Comey stated numerous times that President Trump was not under investigation to the Senate, some senators chose to mislead the American people into believing that President Trump was under investigation. What Robert Mueller is doing is conducting a very expensive witch hunt based on a story which has been proved questionable at best. The mainstream media is attempting to relive their glory days of bringing down Richard Nixon, and there is a group of people in America with little regard for the U.S. Constitution that is willing to use violence to bring about the change they want. We have a choice here. Either we believe in the U.S. Constitution, the elected government, and the rule of law, or we do not. If we want our country to stand, the rule of law has to stand. The media does not understand that if the government is brought down, they will also be destroyed in the chaos that follows.

Why Are These People Ever Believed?

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at American Greatness yesterday about four members of the Obama Administration that seemed to be challenged when asked to tell the truth and were never held accountable for their lies.

The four members are former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, Former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Defense Intelligence Agency Director James Clapper.

These four people routinely misled the American public for political purposes.

The article cites some examples of Susan Rice’s lying:

On five occasions, Rice lied to the media that the murder of Americans in Benghazi, Libya by al-Qaida affiliated-terrorists was a result of spontaneous rioting—in response to an obscure, rogue, and right-wing Coptic filmmaker.

…Rice assured the nation that the AWOL and traitorous Bowe Bergdahl was a hostage taken during combat and had served nobly (“with honor and distinction”). In fact, the renegade Bergdahl likely was exchanged for terrorist prisoners for two reasons: one, to diminish the number of terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as promised by Obama during his campaign, and two, to highlight the humanitarian skills of Barack Obama in bringing home an American “hero,” especially defined as one who was so loudly aware of his own country’s foibles.

Rice also assured the nation that her administration, through its diplomatic brilliance, had eliminated Bashar Assad’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

…Once House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced that key administration officials illegally might have unmasked and leaked the names of U.S. citizens on government intercepts connected to the Trump campaign and transition team, Rice issued a blanket denial (“I know nothing about this”). That assertion predictably was untrue, as Rice herself was forced to concede when she altered narratives to later justify rather than deny her role in such improper leaking.

Rice assured the nation there were no hidden side-deals in the Iran Deal, such as a prisoner-swap concession.

Obviously the woman is not a stellar example of honesty.

Next the article deals with former FBI Director James Comey:

Comey did not interview Hillary Clinton in his supposedly exhaustive investigation of her alleged crimes before he cleared her of any wrongdoing.

Comey did know of a FBI communications trail surrounding the stealthy June 2016 meeting of Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac.

Comey did accede to Lynch’s cover up by altering the official nomenclature of the investigation to an innocuous “matter.”

Comey misled about the actual contents of Clinton confidante Huma Abedin’s email communications; the versions that he gave at various times and in different venues cannot be reconciled.

In his habitual lies of omission, Comey made no effort to correct a false public impression that he had helped foster and yet knew was a lie—namely that the FBI was investigating Trump on charges of Russian collusion at the very time he was assuring the president of just the opposite.

…Comey had obfuscated or masked the FBI’s role in the acquisition and dissemination of the infamous Steele-Fusion fake dossier. He was likely less than honest as well about his full knowledge of Obama administration reverse targeting, unmasking, and leaking related to U.S. citizens—both before and after the election.

Obviously, Comey expected to be rewarded for his actions in a Hillary Clinton Administration.

Next the article addresses the conduct of former CIA Director John Brennan:

Brennan had a weird habit of becoming outraged at any who quite accurately alleged that he was mendacious, such as when he deceived the Senate Intelligence Committee officials that he had never unlawfully surveilled the computers of particular U.S. senators and their staffs (e.g., “beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we would do”).

Brennan also misled Congress when he assured that U.S. drone strikes had not killed a single civilian—a preposterous claim that was widely and immediately recognized as deceptive before he was forced to backtrack and admit his untruth.

…Brennan also told a series of whoppers to establish his new politically correct bona fides, among them that jihad was “a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community.” Tell that to the incinerated victims of self-proclaimed jihadist Mohammed Atta or those beheaded by ISIS.

In his third incarnation, as a postelection stalwart opponent to Donald Trump, the partisan former “nonpartisan” intelligence chief Brennan has both quite publicly denied that U.S. intelligence agencies ever improperly surveilled and unmasked the identities of Trump campaign and transition officials.

Even on his last day of office, Brennan was still busy reviewing intelligence surveillance of U.S. citizens and later deceiving Congress about it. His part in preparing the Benghazi talking points, and in the creation of the Russian collusion mythos, are still not known fully. Nor understood is his apparent background role in the rather strange and abrupt postelection resignation of his immediate predecessor David Petraeus.

Brennan’s misunderstanding of jihad was dangerous to American national security.

Last, the article addresses former Defense Intelligence Agency Director James Clapper:

Indeed, it is uncanny how Clapper emulated the Brennan model: the former Bush appointee reinventing himself as an Obama partisan after assuring the country that Saddam Hussein’s WMD depots were transferred to Syria; lying about the rise of ISIS and pressuring others in military intelligence to mimic his pre-planned deceptions; not being forthcoming about surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition; becoming a loud and partisan accuser of Trump’s supposed mendacities on cable television, while finding himself increasingly exposed at the center of the growing unmasking scandal.

If Brennan lied about surveilling U.S. senators and the drone program, Clapper in turn lied to Congress about the National Security Agency’s illegal monitoring of U.S. citizens.

If Brennan assured Americans that jihadism was not a violent effort to spread radical Islam, Clapper topped that by assuring Congress that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular.”

One thing that is noteworthy but not mentioned in the article cited above is the fact that John Brennan, in 2011, during his time as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism received at request form Farhana Khere, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates requesting that all material relating to Islamic-based terrorism be removed from government documents and briefings. According to the book Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin, “The Department of Defense followed shortly thereafter with a Soviet-style purge of individuals along with disciplinary actions and re-education.” Why our government put the interests of a Muslim-Brotherhood related group above the security interests of America is anyone’s guess. I have personally met a CIA agent who was no longer allowed to brief our diplomats and military after this change was made.

I have no doubt that if Hillary Clinton had won the election, these four individuals would be part of her administration. As it stands, they are still part of the deep state that is working against President Trump. When we hear these individuals make public statements, we need to remember what they have done in the past.

 

Lied To Again

I don’t know how many times Senator John McCain promised to repeal ObamaCare when he was running for office. Evidently he doesn’t remember either. So it’s time to take a different approach to repeal. Understand that the Democrats will never support a bill that de-funds Planned Parenthood, something that the Graham Cassidy bill does. Every Republican should support the bill for that reason alone.

A website called The Stream posted an open letter to Senator Rand Paul yesterday. Here are some highlights from the letter:

Dear Senator Paul,

Let me start by saying “Thank you.” On issue after issue, from individual privacy to economic freedom, from constitutional war-making to criminal justice reform, you have been a light in an often murky Senate and a muddled GOP.

…Your stand on foreign policy in the 2016 election was equally brave and principled. Here at The Stream I echoed your sensible objections to the Syria policies of GOP establishment politicians. You were right in warning against Marco Rubio’s support for arming Syrian rebels. And against Chris Christie’s proposal to threaten to shoot down Russian planes in defense of jihadists. Indeed, you helped lead the fight to stop President Obama from a reckless and destructive U.S. intervention in Syria a year before.

You have been a voice of principle, of course. In the Republican party you may have the best claim to Reagan’s mantle. His optimism, his confidence that Americans would prevail if the government simply protected their rights and left them alone … there’s too little of that spirit in the GOP today, much less in the country. In an age where the competition seems to be for the label of “victim,” you carry on like the Gipper.

Here is the purpose of the letter:

I urge you to reconsider your position. To support an imperfect bill for the sake of the greater good. The Graham-Cassidy Bill is not the repeal of Obamacare that any of us hoped for. It doesn’t dismantle the huge array of perverse incentives, subsidies, and crony-capitalist tinkering that distort American medicine. However, as National Review has noted, it does make some real progress. It does restore some liberty. In fact, the bill offers some concrete benefits not to be sneezed at. Per NRO:

It abolishes the individual and employer mandates, caps per capita spending on Medicaid, blocks federal funds from going to insurance plans that cover abortion, and lets interested states attain freedom from some of Obamacare’s regulations. Some of those states could use that freedom to create markets in which people outside of Medicare, Medicaid, and employer-based coverage would finally be enabled to buy cheap, renewable catastrophic-insurance policies.

All of those are important improvements. But I’d like to focus on one. Pro-life groups have put heavy pressure on you to reverse your stand on this bill. That’s because it’s the one plausible chance to accomplish something which you’ve tried manfully to do on several occasions: to defund Planned Parenthood.

The letter concludes:

It’s crucial to keep the close attachment that evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics have had to American ideals of liberty. We don’t want the growth of a statist, nationalist party in America along the lines of France’s National Front. That’s not our GOP.

With your principled stand on life, your balanced stance on immigration, you could help anchor the party. You might well come to lead it. But if you get blamed for the failure to defund Planned Parenthood, and undo at least some of Obamacare’s damage. … I fear that will never happen.

So please, Senator Paul. The causes of life and liberty are here in perfect alignment. So is political prudence. And your own lofty ambitions, which I support. Please change your vote.

It is obvious that we cannot count on Senator McCain. Can we count of Senator Rand Paul to help end the nightmare of ObamaCare? This may be our last chance to get rid of this horrible law. I suggest that if we cannot end ObamaCare that President Trump immediately sign an executive order putting Congress under ObamaCare. If Congress if going to force the American people to live with a bad law, they should have to live with it also.

 

Was The Obama Administration Using The Government To Spy On Americans?

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that former United Nations Ambassador Susan Powers requested the unmasking of more than 260 Americans‘ identities during the waning days of the Obama Administration. These were conversations captured inadvertently while non-citizens were being wiretapped (theoretically). Susan Powers is scheduled to testify before Congress in October.

The article reports:

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., submitted a letter in July to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that said the committee was aware “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”

It is suspected that the official referenced is Power.

Power also was one of three top Obama administration officials named in subpoenas received by several of the nation’s intelligence agencies in May.

Power is not the first U.N. ambassador to make unmasking requests, but Fox News reports the requests fall in the low double digits.

Power will meet with congressional intelligence committees as part of their Russia probes and is expected to appear before the House intelligence panel in a classified session next month.

It will be interesting to see exactly who winds up taking the fall for the abuses or power that occurred during the Obama Administration.

 

The Deep State Or The Police State?

Sharyl Attkisson posted an article at The Hill today about the Obama Administration’s spying on Donald Trump. I don’t care which side of the political spectrum you are on, this story should disturb you.

The article reports:

According to media reports this week, the FBI did indeed “wiretap” the former head of Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort, both before and after Trump was elected. If Trump officials — or Trump himself — communicated with Manafort during the wiretaps, they would have been recorded, too.

But we’re missing the bigger story.

If these reports are accurate, it means U.S. intelligence agencies secretly surveilled at least a half dozen Trump associates. And those are just the ones we know about.

Besides Manafort, the officials include former Trump advisers Carter Page and Michael Flynn. Last week, we discovered multiple Trump “transition officials” were “incidentally” captured during government surveillance of a foreign official. We know this because former Obama adviser Susan Rice reportedly admitted “unmasking,” or asking to know the identities of, the officials. Spying on U.S. citizens is considered so sensitive, their names are supposed to be hidden or “masked,” even inside the government, to protect their privacy.

In May, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates acknowledged they, too, reviewed communications of political figures, secretly collected under President Obama. 

The article goes on to remind us that James Clapper assured Congress in 2013 that the NSA was not collecting data on American citizens.

The article also lists many of the violations of the rights of Congressmen, reporters, and other political figures. This is illegal.

The article concludes:

Officials involved in the surveillance and unmasking of U.S. citizens have said their actions were legal and not politically motivated. And there are certainly legitimate areas of inquiry to be made by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. But look at the patterns. It seems that government monitoring of journalists, members of Congress and political enemies — under multiple administrations — has become more common than anyone would have imagined two decades ago. So has the unmasking of sensitive and highly protected names by political officials.

Those deflecting with minutiae are missing the point. To me, they sound like the ones who aren’t thinking.

If we want to keep our privacy and our freedom, the people responsible for spying on us need to face the consequences of their breaking the law.

Let’s Look At Some Facts

While everyone in Washington is screaming that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) should be repealed, let’s look at some of the facts about President Obama‘s Executive Order that began the program.

From YouTube:

When DACA was originally enacted, Paul Ryan and other Republicans agreed that it was an illegal executive overreach. They criticized it frequently. Now they are criticizing President Trump for ending it.

Red State has a very logical explanation for this change of heart:

The reason for the inaction is pretty banal. If Ryan convinces Trump to leave DACA intact, he gets his caucus through 2018 without having to cast a vote to either grant “amnesty” so some 800,000 illegals or to okay the deportation of some 800,000 people who are pretty much American in outlook. If Trump pulls the plug on DACA, then Ryan has to decide which hurts his caucus more: acting or not acting. Neither of those options is going to sell all that well.

What Ryan said is utter gibberish. Congress has uncontested power to regulate immigration and naturalization. The President is charged with faithfully executing the laws. DACA is a violation of that charge. Congress is part of the solution; in fact, Congress is the whole solution. Unfortunately, Paul Ryan wants Congress to continue being part of the problem and he wants cover from Trump to do it.

Congress has lost the ability to do anything but worry about its own re-election. We should take that worry away from them by voting them out of office.

Meanwhile, Breitbart posted an article yesterday about some of the people DACA has allowed to remain in America.

The article includes the following:

Below, Breitbart News has compiled a list of 50 of the 2,139 DACA recipients, deemed “DREAMers” by the open borders lobby, who have had their temporary protected status revoked due to crimes including: “A felony criminal conviction; a significant misdemeanor conviction; multiple misdemeanor convictions; gang affiliation; or arrest of any crime in which there is deemed to be a public safety concern,” according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency.

The majority of crimes by DACA recipients include: “Alien smuggling, assaultive offenses, domestic violence, drug offenses, DUI, larceny and thefts, criminal trespass and burglary, sexual offenses with minors, other sex offenses and weapons offenses,” USCIS has stated.

Do we really want these people in our country?

The adults who were brought here as children are a unique problem, but DACA is not the correct answer. Congress should actually do something constructive. The best way to handle this would be to begin to document who the ‘dreamers’ are and begin a path to citizenship for those who are actually contributing to the welfare of America. It would also be necessary to end ‘chain migration’ for the dreamers. I would allow those people brought here as children to stay, but I would prohibit them from receiving government benefits and from bringing their relatives here. Any dreamer convicted of a crime should be sent back to their home country, regardless of whether or not they have a relationship with that country. If you won’t respect our laws, you can’t stay here.

The dreamers are already here.–you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, but America should not have to support them. They need to find a way to support themselves.

Exactly What Did The Stimulus Do?

The American Thinker posted an article today about what happened to the Middle Class under President Obama. Basically the value of the American dollar shrank and the Middle Class shrank.

The article reports:

A December 2015 study of the American middle class done by the Pew Research center found that for the first time in over forty years the middle class no longer includes the majority of Americans.  The plain fact is, after the largest so-called stimulus government spending program in world history, conducted by President Obama and his Democratic Party, both the number of persons in the middle class and the proportion of the population shrank.

The Pew Hispanic Center May 2016 Study found that at the end of President Obama’s second term, the middle class had been shrinking in the vast majority of metropolitan areas of the US.  The important of the metropolitan areas is that 1) 76% of all Americans live in metro areas, 2) metro areas are the areas where most jobs are located, and 3) illegal immigration is promoted in metro areas all across the nation.

While the shrinking middle class proves that government cannot raise the incomes of middle class persons in the US through stimulus spending, at the same time it shows that the increasing tax burden on the middle class eats away at their disposable income and their lack of spending hurts the local economies.

The article concludes:

The Tax Foundation also looked at the sources of state and local taxes and published a study in June 2017.  While property taxes remain the single greatest source of tax revenues, the idea that the property tax goes solely to fund public services such as police, water and sewer maintenance, street lighting, etc. is now a lie in many areas.   The Illinois Policy Institute audited all the cities of Illinois and found that in 10 of the cities including Chicago, all of the property taxes collected go only to pay public sector pensions.  This leaves a huge gap in the funding of local public services, which is why Chicago has the highest sales tax, some of the highest taxes on tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, etc.

OXFAM reported that during Obama’s terms, 95% of the wealth created went to the top 1% of the world’s wealthy.  This can be interpreted as proof that stimulus programs don’t work or, as I have argued, that the spending was never intended to stimulate the economy: only to bolster the equities values of public sector union pension plans, since they are the largest contributors to the Democratic Party’s national machine in all fifty states.  We are losing our incomes because we’ve been forced to subsidize Obama’s political party.   The debt, Fed balance sheet, and financial instability indicate there’s no end in sight. 

There are a number of conclusions we can draw from this. First of all, when workers in local municipalities formed unions, bad things happened. Unions donate to political candidates. Therefore people elected to municipal offices have an incentive to be nice to unions. How do you be nice to unions and also nice to taxpayers? When negotiating contracts, you provide benefits that will not immediately show up in the budget. You create unfunded liabilities such as permanent health care for retirees or wonderful pensions that employees don’t have to pay into.  Unfunded liabilities are the burden that is poised to sink many of our towns and cities in America.

In actuality, if the federal government had simply given every taxpaying American $40,000, the stimulus would have been cheaper and actually made a difference in the average American’s life. Instead, the President who claimed to represent the little people simply paid off the wealthy donors who paid to elect him.

This Just Gets Uglier

Some serious and relevant information has come out in the past few days regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the documents that were not turned over to the people investigating the server. On Friday, I posted an article dealing with the information that the decision to exonerate Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing was made before the investigation was complete. That is true, but I missed to root of the problem.

The following video was posted at YouTube on Thursday. It further explains what has recently been revealed:

Yesterday Andrew McCarty posted an article at National Review that pointed out some things that I had overlooked.

The article at National Review states:

The thing to understand, what has always been the most important thing to understand, is that Jim Comey was out in front, but he was not calling the shots.

On the right, the commentariat is in full-throttle outrage over the revelation that former FBI Director Comey began drafting his statement exonerating Hillary Clinton in April 2016 – more than two months before he delivered the statement at his now famous July 5 press conference.

The news appears in a letter written to new FBI Director Christopher Wray by two senior Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham. Pundits and the Trump administration are shrieking because this indicates the decision to give the Democrats’ nominee a pass was clearly made long before the investigation was over, and even long before key witnesses, including Clinton herself, were interviewed.

Andrew McCarthy reminds us of one of his previous statements:

On April 10, 2016, President Obama publicly stated that Hillary Clinton had shown “carelessness” in using a private e-mail server to handle classified information, but he insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security (which is not an element of the [criminal statutes relevant to her e-mail scandal]). The president acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Secretary Clinton’s server, but he suggested that, in the greater scheme of things, its importance had been vastly overstated.

This is the statement we need to be looking at. This was President Obama telling the FBI to ‘stand down’ on the investigation. It was later revealed that President Obama had communicated with Mrs. Clinton on her private email server. It is quite possible that these communications included classified information. Therefore, if Hillary Clinton was guilty of mishandling classified information, so was President Obama. Therefore, the FBI had to find a way not to charge Mrs. Clinton with a crime (regardless of the fact that she had obviously committed one). The moral of the story is, “If you are going to do something illegal, make sure a very powerful person does it with you.”

Andrew McCarthy concludes:

Bottom line: In April, President Obama and his Justice Department adopted a Hillary Clinton defense strategy of concocting a crime no one was claiming Clinton had committed: to wit, transmitting classified information with an intent to harm the United States. With media-Democrat complex help, they peddled the narrative that she could not be convicted absent this “malicious intent,” in a desperate effort to make the publicly known evidence seem weak. Meanwhile, they quietly hamstrung FBI case investigators in order to frustrate the evidence-gathering process. When damning proof nevertheless mounted, the Obama administration dismissed the whole debacle by rewriting the statute (to impose an imaginary intent standard) and by offering absurd rationalizations for not applying the statute as written.

That plan was in place and already being implemented when Director Comey began drafting the “findings” he would announce months later. But it was not Comey’s plan. It was Obama’s plan.

And that is the reason we will probably never see Mrs. Clinton held accountable for her mishandling of classified information.

 

The FBI Is Beginning To Look Like Tammany Hall

On Wednesday, Circa posted an article about the current culture in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Circa is one of the few current news outlets that is actually doing investigative reporting. I don’t know how big their footprint is in the news world, but I know that I have found them to be a reliable source and a source that generally has a story before the mainstream media.

The article reports:

When the FBI launched an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one of the bureau’s top former counterterrorism agents believed that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe would have to recuse himself from the investigation.

Former Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz was one of the bureau’s top intelligence analysts and terrorism experts but resigned from the bureau five years ago after she said she was harassed and her career was blocked by top FBI management. She filed a formal sexual discrimination complaint against the bureau in 2013 and it was Flynn, among many others, who publicly came to her aide.

In her first on-camera interview she described the retaliation from McCabe and others in the bureau as “vicious.”

…She told Circa, current senior level management, including McCabe, created a “cancer like” bureaucracy striking fear into FBI agents and causing others to resign. She eventually resigned herself, but her case is still pending.

…McCabe, who is under three separate federal inquiries, did not respond to requests for comment. (The italics are mine)

The article details some of the legal issues surrounding Deputy Director McCabe:

In June, a Circa investigation revealed that two weeks after Gritz filed her EEOC complaint, McCabe referred her for an Office of Professional Responsibility investigation for timecard irregularities.

Although the FBI claimed they had filed their OPR investigation prior to Gritz’s EEOC, McCabe’s own sworn testimony painted a much different picture. Gritz’s case, which is still pending, was required McCabe to submit to a sworn statement. In his testimony he recounted a conversation on June 19, 2012 in which he authorized the OPR investigation of Gritz after one of his deputies told him she was about to file a complaint, as reported by Circa.

And McCabe is also challenged with an Office of Special Counsel investigation.

The embattled former agent filed a complaint in April, alleging McCabe violated the Hatch Act, as reported by Circa in June.

The OSC is the government’s main whistle blower agency. The Hatch Act prohibits FBI employees from engaging “in political activity in concert with a political party, a candidate for partisan political office, or a partisan political group.” McCabe appeared to be participating in his wife’s unsuccessful bid for Virginia State Senate in 2015, according to Gritz and documents obtained by Circa.

The Justice Department Inspector General investigation is also investigating McCabe after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, alleged McCabe may not have properly disclosed the roughly $700,000 in campaign contributions to his Democratic wife on his ethics report and should have recused himself from the Clinton server case.

It seems that much of the FBI is part of the Washington swamp.