It’s Amazing What Comes To The Surface

Politico posted an update today on the hearings in the House Intelligence Committee.

The article reports:

Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under U.S. government surveillance following November’s presidential election, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday.

Nunes said the monitoring appeared to be done legally as a result of what’s called “incidental collection,” but said he was concerned because it was not related to the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and was widely disseminated across the intelligence community.

“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” Nunes told reporters. “It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”

Nunes said he is heading to the White House later Wednesday to brief Trump on what he has learned, which he said came from “sources who thought that we should know it.” He said he was trying to get more information by Friday from the FBI, CIA and NSA.

Nunes described the surveillance as most likely being “incidental collection.” This can occur when a person inside the United States communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be kept secret — but can be “unmasked” by intelligence officials under certain circumstances.

…It was previously known that Flynn’s pre-inauguration phone calls with Russia’s ambassador were intercepted by the U.S. government; he resigned last month after it became clear he misled his colleagues about the nature of the calls.

Nunes has said Flynn’s calls were picked up through incidental collection and said his committee is investigating why Flynn’s name was unmasked and leaked to the news media.

Obviously, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador were taped and transcribed. Because he has talking to the Russian ambassador, that is not unusual. What is unusual is for the transcripts of those calls to be leaked to the press with his name on them. That is against the law. The person who did that belongs in prison.

As this investigation continues, it is becoming obvious that candidate Donald Trump was under government surveillance during the campaign and after he was elected. That is a serious violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. This surveillance is one reason many Congressmen opposed the Patriot Act–they feared the kind of political abuse of the law that the Obama Administration was evidently guilty of. There are many stories out there documenting the surveillance of Donald Trump and his campaign. I have not posted some of them because I am not familiar with the sources. However, those sources are beginning to look reliable.

The Real Issue In The Hearings About Russia And The Election

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about the hearings on possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The article states:

President Trump posted video following the intelligence hearing pointing out there was no evidence of collusion with Russia.

Trump continued:

“The real issue is the unbelievable amount of classified information that has been illegally leaked, putting our national security at risk – must get to the bottom of it!”

President Trump represents the idea of shrinking government and going back to the form of government originally envisioned by our Founding Fathers–a weak federal government and strong state governments. That idea is a serious threat to the entrenched bureaucracy and the globalists who want to undermine American sovereignty. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people working in Washington who are feeling very threatened by President Trump’s policies because they have gotten fat and happy as members of the Washington establishment. These are the people behind the leaks, behind the fake news, and doing everything they can to block what President Trump is trying to do. Remember as you read all the stories that say the wiretapping claims are false that The New York Times posted a story on January 20th saying that there were wiretaps. As far as I know, that story has never been recanted. The claim of Russian involvement in our elections is simply a shiny object to distract us from the excessive leaking which is going on and the attempts by the Washington establishment to undermine President Trump. If the media and Democrats are successful in taking down President Trump, I can guarantee that we will lose the protections on our citizens found in the U.S. Constitution. Be alert, and don’t fall for the spin.

Whoops!

Was President Trump wiretapped during the presidential campaign? America‘s spy agencies say no. However, that doesn’t seem to be the end of the story.

The American Thinker posted a transcript today of an interview of Larry Johnson by CNN’s Brian Stelter.

This is the transcript:

STELTER: “Let me ask you about this thing.”
JOHNSON: “Sure.”
STELTER: “So my sense is that on Monday, Napolitano says this on TV, he says he has Intel sources who believe this is true. You’re saying you were one of those sources, but you didn’t know Napolitano was going to use you like that?”
JOHNSON: “What happened was I communicated, when Donald Trump tweeted what he did Saturday two weeks ago, the next day I was interviewed on Russia today. I had known about the fact that the British, through ghcq were information back channel, this was not at the behest of Barack Obama, let’s be clear about that. But it was done with the full knowledge of people like John Brennan and Jake clapper. Two people I flow within the intelligence community in January, they were very concerned about this because they saw it as an unfair meddling in the politics, but it was a way to get around the issue of American intelligence agencies not collecting.”
STELTER: “To be clear, you have this secondhand? So you didn’t get this information directly, you’re hearing from others.
JOHNSON: “I’m hearing it from people who are in a position to know, that’s correct.”

Obviously, there will be more information on this story in the coming days. The question is, “Who ordered the surveillance?”

ObamaCare Is Not Doing Well

Politico posted an article today about sign-ups for ObamaCare.

The article reports:

Sign-ups for Obamacare coverage declined for the first time in the 2017 season and fell below the Obama administration‘s estimates for the three-month enrollment window, according to figures released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

A total of 12.2 million people enrolled in Obamacare plans nationwide between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31 — a drop-off from the 12.7 million sign-ups at the close of the last open-enrollment season. The Trump administration soon after taking office scaled back enrollment outreach during the critical final week of sign-ups.

The article reminds us that roughly four out of five people who sign up for ObamaCare receive tax credits to offset their monthly premiums. Even at that, people are not rushing to sign up.

The article concludes:

The Trump administration reversed plans to scrap phone calls and other forms of outreach to encourage sign-ups in the finals days of the enrollment period after the move sparked outcry from the law’s supporters and health insurers. Officials said they were unable to pull back some HealthCare.gov radio and TV advertising that had been purchased by the Obama administration. HHS was able to cancel about $4 million to $5 million in ads.

The enrollment report comes amid a spate of troubling news about health law insurance markets. Last month, Humana announced it would become the first major insurer to pull out of the market completely next year. Molina, which had an unexpected loss, said it would assess ongoing participation at a later date. Other insurers are sounding alarms.

ObamaCare needs to go away. The Republicans need to pass the bill they have passed before in order to end it. The gamesmanship that is going on now in the Republican Party is totally unacceptable.

Three Phases Of HealthCare Reform Might Not Work

Townhall posted an article this morning about the Republican plan to reform ObamaCare. The current plan being discussed does not replace ObamaCare–it merely tweeks it a bit and changes the name.

The article quotes Senator Tom Cotton:

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), one of many skeptical Republicans, told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday that the three-phase process is a myth. What we see right now is what we get.

“Hugh, there is no three-phase process,” Cotton said. “There is no three-step plan. That is just political talk. It’s just politicians engaging in spin. This is why. Step one is a bill that can pass with 51 votes in the Senate. That’s what we’re working on right now. Step two, as yet unwritten regulations by Tom Price, which is going to be subject to court challenge, and therefore, perhaps the whims of the most liberal judge in America. But step three, some mythical legislation in the future that is going to garner Democratic support and help us get over 60 votes in the Senate. If we had those Democratic votes, we wouldn’t need three steps. We would just be doing that right now on this legislation altogether. That’s why it’s so important that we get this legislation right, because there is no step three. And step two is not completely under our control.”

Somehow, when the Republicans were repealing ObamaCare knowing that whatever they did would not make it past President Obama, they were willing to repeal ObamaCare. Now, when their votes actually matter, they seem to be afraid to make a move. Republicans need to realize that even if they do nothing and ObamaCare collapses under its own weight, Republicans will be blamed. That is the nature of the media. ObamaCare was passed by reconciliation, it can be repealed through reconciliation. It is time to get it done.

Sometimes The Internet Just Makes Politics Difficult

On Sunday, Lifezette posted an article about Senator Elizabeth Warren‘s plan to obstruct the firing of U.S. Attorneys. Evidently Senator Warren has a short memory. Yesterday, The Gateway Pundit posted an article quoting California Democrat Representative Maxine Waters complaining that Barack Obama did not get rid of Bush-era U.S. Attorneys fast enough in May of 2009.

The Gateway Pundit quotes Representative Waters:

Maxine Waters: “As we understand it, the protocol has been that U.S. attorneys hand in their resignations and would give the new administration an opportunity to make new appointments, we don’t see that happening quite fast enough.”

Lifezette posted some tweets from Senator Warren:

Lifezette further reminds us:

While it is true that the Senate confirms any U.S. attorney appointees that a president names, neither the act of firing nor the appointment of replacements is something unusual in the transfer of presidential power.

I guess Senator Warren has forgotten recent history. Please follow the link to read the entire Lifezette article. Senator Warren’s tweets are totally over the top.

 

 

 

The Lynch Pin That Connects The Scandals

American Lens posted an article today that reminds us why we need to drain the swamp.

The article states:

Loretta Lynch is the only Attorney General in American history to invoke her Fifth Amendment privileges in her appearance before Congress in October 2016 about the $1.7 billion dollar Iran ransom payments.

It is her constitutional right to assert that privilege, as it is for all Americans. However, it dramatically increased the already toxic environment between the Obama Justice Department and Congress and left serious concerns in the air about her actions surrounding the $1.7 billion in cash payments to a hostile terrorist regime.

Invoking the Fifth Amendment does not immediately make her guilty of anything, but she is the first Attorney General to do so.

The article explains:

Under Federal Law, 50 U.S. Code § 1805 (a) (1), the Attorney General must approve the application for the warrant before it goes to a judicial panel in a FISA court.

A FISA order is used to collect information on a foreign entity when there is no other normal means available to gather the information – 50 U.S. Code § 1805 (6)(c).

According to the law there must be credible evidence that demonstrates, “each of the facilities at which surveillance directed is being used or about to be used by foreign power or agent thereof .” That could mean trouble for President Trump.

If the FISA standards were upheld, it could mean that there were at least two intelligence indicators that Trump’s equipment or personnel were about to act as foreign agents.
However, with the revelation that General Flynn was a confidant of the Turkish regime and had been in contact with the Russian foreign minister, these would likely be the indicators that could have been or were used as part of the FISA affidavit.

But, as we have previously reported, there is at least one cooperating witness in the tap of Trump tower during his presidential campaign.

Stated another way, someone in the Obama/Lynch Justice Department swore under penalty of perjury that they had evidence that Trump Tower was being used by a foreign power during the presidential campaign and/or that there was reasonable suspicion that Trump or one of his associates at the tower was about to be a secret foreign agent.

Obviously, we do not yet know all the details of the FISA request, but it appears that the Democratic Party’s opposition research team definitely got out of hand. This wiretap is different from Watergate in that government agencies were used against an opponent of the opposite party. In Watergate, it was a Republican campaign committee–the government was not involved in the actual burglary, and when the guilty parties attempted to bring in the government, the scandal was uncovered and people went to jail. This is a much more serious breach of the trust of the American people–we expect those in office to follow the laws of the land–not break for their own personal gain.

A Law We Can Understand And Support

Yesterday CSC Media Group, a conservative website, posted an article about S.222, a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Rand Paul. The bill, called the ObamaCare Replacement Act, would repeal and replace ObamaCare. Currently the bill has been referred to the Committee on Finance. The bill is four pages long. The summary of the bill is not yet posted at Thomas.gov, but you can go to Thomas.gov and put in S.222 and read the entire bill. You can also follow the link to the website above and read the bill.

The following is the CSC Summary of the bill given in the article:

Legalizes Inexpensive Insurance Plans:

  • Ensures that Americans can purchase the health insurance coverage that best fits their needs.
  • Eliminates Obamacare’s essential health benefits requirement, along with other restrictive coverage and plan requirements, to once again make low-cost insurance options available to American consumers.

Protects Individuals with Pre-Existing Conditions:

  • Provides a two-year open-enrollment period under which individuals with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
  • Restores HIPAA pre-existing conditions protections. Prior to Obamacare, HIPAA guaranteed that those in the group market could obtain continuous health coverage regardless of preexisting conditions.

Helps More People Save To Buy Health Insurance and Cover Medical Costs:

  • Incentivizes savings by authorizing a tax credit (up to $5,000 per taxpayer) for individuals and families that contribute to HSAs.
  • Removes the annual cap on HSAs so individuals can make unlimited contributions.
  • Allows HSA funds to be used to purchase insurance, cover premiums, and more easily afford a broader range of health-related expenses, including prescription and OTC drugs, dietary supplements, nutrition and physical exercise expenses, and direct primary care, among others. 

Guarantees Fair Tax Treatment of Health Insurance:

  • Equalizes the tax treatment of the purchase of health insurance for individuals and employers by allowing individuals to deduct the cost of their health insurance from their income and payroll taxes.
  • Frees more Americans to purchase and maintain insurance apart from their work status.
  • Does not interfere with employer-provided coverage for Americans who prefer those plans.

Helps Individuals Join Together to Purchase Insurance:

  • Expands Association Health Plans (AHPs) to allow small business owners and individuals to band together across state lines through their membership in a trade or professional association to purchase health coverage for their families and employees at a lower cost.
  • Also allows individuals to pool together through any organization to purchase insurance.
  • Widens access to the group market and spreads out the risk, enhancing the ability of individuals and small businesses to decrease costs, increase administrative efficiencies, and further protect those with pre-existing conditions.

Allows the Purchase of Insurance Across State Lines:

  • Creates an interstate market that allows insurers who are licensed to sell policies in one state to offer them to residents of any other state.

Increases State Medicaid Flexibility:

  • Enables states to fully exercise current flexibilities afforded to them through Medicaid waivers for creating innovative state plan designs.

Empowers Physicians:

  • Allows non-economically aligned physicians to negotiate for higher quality health care for their patients.
  • Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a physician a tax deduction equal to the amount such physician would otherwise charge for charity medical care or uncompensated care due to bad debt, limited to 10% of a physician’s gross income for the taxable year.

Rand Paul is a doctor who practiced medicine for more than ten years before becoming a Senator. I believe he understands the problems involved in health insurance better than most senators. Among other things, his plan allows doctors to treat patients who cannot pay and take a limited tax deduction for providing the services. I think that is a wonderful idea.

This is a healthcare plan I can support.

It Can Be Fixed, But It’s Not Right Yet

Yesterday The Heritage Foundation posted their evaluation of the bill to replace ObamaCare. Admittedly, The Heritage Foundation is a politically conservative group, so their solution to ObamaCare would be aimed at shrinking government, not just moving the chairs around.

The article lists some of the problems with the bill:

Basically, the bill focuses on protecting those who gained subsidized coverage through the law’s exchange subsidies and Medicaid expansion, while failing to correct Obamacare’s misguided insurance regulations that drove up premiums for Americans buying coverage without government subsidies.

That is both a policy problem and a political problem.

The article goes on to explain that the people who need relief from ObamaCare are the people whose premiums and deductibles rose dramatically. That is the group the does not get relief in the new bill. The new bill leaves costly regulations in place and attempts to offset those costs with subsidies. That is what most Americans want to get rid of.

The article explains:

In that regard, the draft bill’s new “Patient and State Stability Fund” is particularly problematic. That program would provide grants to states of up to a total of $100 billion over the nine years 2018-2026.

There are a several significant problems with this new program.

First, it substitutes new funding for old Obamacare funding without adequately addressing the misguided Obamacare insurance market rules and subsidy design that made the exchanges a magnet for high cost patients.

Those mistakes in Obamacare created an insupportable burden on the individual insurance market by concentrating expensive patients in only that small portion of the total market.

Second, like Obamacare, it doesn’t actually reduce premiums, but rather masks with subsidies the effects of Obamacare provisions that drove up premiums in the first place.

Third, it creates a new entitlement for states. Furthermore, without a resulting reduction in unsubsidized premium levels, future Congresses will likely face pressure from states and constituents to extend and expand the program.

That is exactly backwards from what is needed.

The new healthcare bill also fails to reign in Medicaid.

The article reports:

Under the Medicaid expansion, the federal government reimbursed states 100 percent of the cost of expanding Medicaid to able-bodied adults, with federal support eventually declining to 90 percent.

Yet, states continue to receive significantly less federal assistance (50 percent to 75 percent, depending on the state) for covering the more vulnerable populations (such as poor children and the disabled) that the program was intended for. That policy was both inequitable and unaffordable.

The draft bill does not correct that inequity, but rather reduces the enhanced match rate from 95 percent to 80 percent. The better approach would be to allow states to immediately cap expansion population enrollment, while also setting federal reimbursement for any new expansion enrollees at normal state match rates.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There are three things that need to happen with health insurance in America–the policy needs to be attached to the person–not their employer, policies need to be portable across state lines, and people with pre-existing conditions need to have a way to be insurance. Other than that, the government needs to get out of the healthcare business and let the free market rule. It will be bumpy for a short while, but if we don’t do it now, things will only get worse.

The Mainstream Media Is Still Reporting Fake News

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about the current discussion about wire taps at Trump Tower.

There are two major points in the article:

  1. There is one item of actual hard news: the House Intelligence Committee will investigate.

      2. Every time the AP mentions FISAgate, it includes this ritual defense of the Obama administration:

Trump has offered no evidence or details to support his claim, and Obama’s spokesman has denied it.

The AP’s statement is false. It is a classic instance of fake news. Barack Obama’s spokesman has not denied that “the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower last year.” He only denied that Barack Obama personally ordered such surveillance. But that isn’t the question. Presumably, the order to conduct surveillance came from Loretta Lynch’s Department of Justice. But no one thinks that Lynch would have ordered the opposing presidential candidate’s telephones tapped, or his computers hacked, without her boss’s approval.

Zero Hedge posted an article yesterday that also sheds some light on the issue.

Zero Hedge reports:

The best example of this came from Ben Rhodes, a former senior adviser to President Obama in his role as deputy National Security Advisor, who slammed Trump’s accusation, insisting that “No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you.” He also said “only a liar” could make the case, as Trump suggested, that Obama wire tapped Trump Tower ahead of the election.

It would appear, however, that Rhodes is wrong, especially as pertains to matters of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, and its associated FISA court, under which the alleged wiretap of Donald Trump would have been granted, as it pertained specifically to Trump’s alleged illicit interactions with Russian entities.

…But what is perhaps most important, is that we may know soon enough. As the NYT reported on Saturday afternoon, a senior White House official said that Donald F. McGahn II, the president’s chief counsel, was working on Saturday to secure access to what the official described as a document issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing surveillance of Mr. Trump and his associates.

If and when such a document is made public – assuming it exists of course – it would be Trump, once again, that gets the last laugh.

Stay tuned. This is going to be an interesting story. However, it is becoming obvious that we cannot trust the mainstream media to report it honestly.

At Some Point We Are Going To Have To Deal With This

There are some things going on in Washington that are under reported in the news. We as Americans are going to have to deal with these things quickly. Most of them have to deal with the actions of the former President and his undermining of the current President. Evidently the plans for undoing the Trump Administration were laid before the November election. Some of these actions would be envied by the Nixon Administration–they make Watergate look like the third-rate burglary that it actually was.

Breitbart posted the list yesterday. Mark Levin is credited with doing the research:

1. June 2016: FISA request. The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied.

2. July: Russia joke. Wikileaks releases emails from the Democratic National Committee that show an effort to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) from winning the presidential nomination. In a press conference, Donald Trump refers to Hillary Clinton’s own missing emails, joking: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.” That remark becomes the basis for accusations by Clinton and the media that Trump invited further hacking.

3. October: Podesta emails. In October, Wikileaks releases the emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, rolling out batches every day until the election, creating new mini-scandals. The Clinton campaign blames Trump and the Russians.

4. October: FISA request. The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.

5.  January 2017: Buzzfeed/CNN dossier.Buzzfeed releases, and CNN reports, a supposed intelligence “dossier” compiled by a foreign former spy. It purports to show continuous contact between Russia and the Trump campaign, and says that the Russians have compromising information about Trump. None of the allegations can be verified and some are proven false. Several media outlets claim that they had been aware of the dossier for months and that it had been circulating in Washington.

6. January: Obama expands NSA sharing. As Michael Walsh later notes, and as the New York Times reports, the outgoing Obama administration “expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.” The new powers, and reduced protections, could make it easier for intelligence on private citizens to be circulated improperly or leaked.

7. January: Times report. The New York Times reports, on the eve of Inauguration Day, that several agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties. Other news outlets also report the exisentence of “a multiagency working group to coordinate investigations across the government,” though it is unclear how they found out, since the investigations would have been secret and involved classified information.

8. February: Mike Flynn scandal. Reports emerge that the FBI intercepted a conversation in 2016 between future National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — then a private citizen — and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The intercept supposedly was  part of routine spying on the ambassador, not monitoring of the Trump campaign. The FBI transcripts reportedly show the two discussing Obama’s newly-imposed sanctions on Russia, though Flynn earlier denied discussing them. Sally Yates, whom Trump would later fire as acting Attorney General for insubordination, is involved in the investigation. In the end, Flynn resigns over having misled Vice President Mike Pence (perhaps inadvertently) about the content of the conversation.

9. February: Times claims extensive Russian contacts. The New York Times cites “four current and former American officials” in reporting that the Trump campaign had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials. The Trump campaign denies the claims — and the Times admits that there is “no evidence” of coordination between the campaign and the Russians. The White House and some congressional Republicans begin to raise questions about illegal intelligence leaks.

10. March: the Washington Post targets Jeff Sessions. The Washington Post reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contact twice with the Russian ambassador during the campaign — once at a Heritage Foundation event and once at a meeting in Sessions’s Senate office. The Post suggests that the two meetings contradict Sessions’s testimony at his confirmation hearings that he had no contacts with the Russians, though in context (not presented by the Post) it was clear he meant in his capacity as a campaign surrogate, and that he was responding to claims in the “dossier” of ongoing contacts. The New York Times, in covering the story, adds that the Obama White House “rushed to preserve” intelligence related to alleged Russian links with the Trump campaign. By “preserve” it really means “disseminate”: officials spread evidence throughout other government agencies “to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators” and perhaps the media as well.

President Trump is continuing to move forward on his agenda. That is good, but at some point the Justice Department that former President Obama is attempting to cripple will have to move forward with charges on some of these actions. The actions of former President Obama are a serious threat to our republic. This is not about Democrat or Republican–this is about a former President who is willfully undermining a current President. That is not acceptable behavior.

Why We Need To Support Trump As President

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about an event that somehow has escaped the major media. Sabrina De Sousa is a former CIA agent caught up in the legal fight in Europe over the US’ controversial “extraordinary rendition” program.

Newsweek provides a summary of the case:

De Sousa, who was freed Tuesday from a Portuguese prison where she was awaiting extradition to Italy, has always maintained her innocence in the case, which was the subject of a sensational 2009 trial. She and 25 other Americans, all but one CIA employees, were convicted in absentia for their roles in snatching an Egyptian cleric off a Milan street and transporting him to Cairo. Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, known more widely as Abu Omar, says he was repeatedly tortured while under interrogation there. He was released in 2007 and convicted of terrorism charges in absentia by an Italian court in December 2013.

De Sousa, the subject of an international arrest warrant since her conviction, was detained as she tried to transit the Lisbon airport from the U.S. en route to visit her mother in India in October 2015. (De Sousa was born in the former Portuguese enclave of Goa.) She was freed shortly afterward but ordered to stay in Portugal pending a decision on her extradition. …

As is often the case involving the CIA, the U.S. government had nothing to say about De Sousa’s reprieve this week. The CIA has consistently refused to comment on the case. A State Department spokesman referred Newsweek to the White House for comment, but officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Yet Pete Hoekstra, a former Republican representative and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee who took up De Sousa’s cause, claims she would not have been released “without extraordinary help from the Trump administration.” Hoekstra told Newsweek he began lobbying officials in the Donald Trump campaign, and later the transition, to do something about the former officer’s predicament. He had a number of friends in the national security apparatus from his time on the House Intelligence Committee—people like Michael Flynn, the recently departed White House national security adviser, fellow former Representative Mike Pompeo, now director of the CIA, and former Senator Dan Coats, the new director of national intelligence. And it didn’t hurt that he had chaired Trump’s Michigan campaign.

Ms. De Sousa tweeted the following:

The Trump Administration prevented a patriotic American (she held dual citizenship in the United States and in Portugal) from being imprisoned for doing her job.

The article also includes a rather sad side note:

De Sousa, 61, a dual U.S. and Portuguese citizen who lives in Lisbon, said she is elated by the last-minute decision, although she feels it came three months too late: Her mother, Julia De Sousa, died in early December at the age of 90. De Sousa couldn’t be with her.

“The sad thing is, I really wanted this to be resolved awhile ago so I could turn to her and say ‘It’s done,’” De Sousa said in a Skype interview on Wednesday. “People don’t seem to realize how a conviction impacts you and your normal daily life. I couldn’t see my family.”

The Obama Administration had a checkered record of how they treated Americans who had worked for America overseas. Hopefully, this story is an indication that the Trump Administration will not abandon people who have faithfully done their jobs.

The Dangers Of Government Overreach

Government overreach is a term thrown around frequently by conservatives. To most of us it doesn’t mean very much–until our ox is gored. Well, today I stumbled across a story that illustrates the impact it has on all of us.

John Hinderacker posted a story at Power Line about a new book, Cardiac Arrest: Five Heart-Stopping Years as a CEO On the Feds’ Hit-List. The book was written by Howard Root, the founder and CEO of Vascular Solutions, Inc.

The article reports:

Howard was the founder and CEO of Vascular Solutions, Inc., a successful medical products company that was set up as a victim by Barack Obama’s hyper-politicized Department of Justice. For five years, Obama’s DOJ persecuted and harassed Howard and his company with bogus claims. Thankfully, Howard Root had both the financial resources and, more important, the courage–he was facing prison time–to stand up to the DOJ’s bullies.

Ultimately, a jury acquitted Howard and Vascular Solutions on all charges. One of the jurors wrote Howard to say that what the government tried to do to him was a disgrace. Still, Howard had to leave the medical products industry, as he knew that he could continue to be a target of vengeful prosecutors, to the detriment of the company that he had led since its founding. Last month, he sold Vascular Solutions.

Think about this for a moment. What if he had not had the financial resources to stand up to an overzealous Department of Justice? How much were the company and the products it sells impacted by the money that had to be diverted to legal expenses? Did the cost of the product sold increase because of the mounting legal expenses?  Isn’t it sad that an overzealous government agency can force a man to sell a business he has spent years building?

Repeal It Or Go The Way Of The Whigs

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the repeal of ObamaCare. The editorial made some very important points. First of all, the writer reminded us that the demonstrations opposing the repeal of ObamaCare were planned by the Democrats shortly after the election. There are some people who want to keep ObamaCare, but despite what you see on the news, they are a minority.

The editorial reminds us:

Imagine that Democrats announced a health care reform plan that would force millions to cancel health plans and leave the doctors they like, drastically reduce choice and competition in the individual market, cause health insurance premiums to skyrocket, blow billions of taxpayer dollars creating faulty “exchanges” and failing co-ops, leave millions of middle-class families stuck with higher deductibles and higher premiums, cause massive industry losses, slow the economy, cost jobs, and increase the deficit.

Those are the results ObamaCare’s critics predicted and, without exaggeration, what it has produced. Does anyone honestly believe ObamaCare would have ever made it to Obama’s desk if its backers had been honest with the public?

Yes, the uninsured rate has come down, but as IBD noted, the “20 million gained insurance thanks to ObamaCare” claim is a wild exaggeration, and the gains that did occur are entirely due to the expansion of Medicaid — a terrible and financially troubled program — and other government insurance programs, not ObamaCare’s individual market “reforms.”

ObamaCare will implode on its own in a year or so, but the chaos it will leave will take years to undo. It makes much more sense to repeal it before it collapses.

There is another aspect of this mentioned in the editorial–the trust of the voters. First Republicans said, “Give us the House, and we will repeal ObamaCare.” Voters did that, and ObamaCare was not repealed. Then Republicans said, “Give us the House and the Senate, and we will repeal ObamaCare. Voters did that, and ObamaCare was not repealed. Then Republicans said, “Give us the Presidency, and we will repeal ObamaCare.” Well…

During the Obama Administration, Congress took numerous votes to repeal ObamaCare. It was a safe vote–Congressmen knew that President Obama would veto anything that actually got through the Senate, and nothing would happen. Now that a vote to repeal ObamaCare would actually mean something, Congress is stalling.

I have not given up on the repeal of ObamaCare. However, I have pretty much given up on the Republican party. If they choose not to repeal ObamaCare, how are they any different from the Democrats? How can their platform say that they support smaller government and their actions say something else? In plain English, it is time for the Republicans in Congress to put up or shut up.

The Consequences Of ObamaCare

We all know the obvious consequences of ObamaCare–higher premiums, people losing their insurance policies, people having health insurance but not being able to find doctors that accept their plans, etc. Well, there were also some other consequences.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article that illustrates one consequence of ObamaCare that is sometimes not mentioned. The article mentions that Senator Harry Reid kept the Senate in session during the ObamaCare debate so that Democratic Senators would not hear the voters’ opposition to ObamaCare. The Democrats claimed that the Tea Party was astroturf. Was it?

The article includes the following chart:

Recently we have seen protesters at townhall meetings of Congressmen who want to repeal ObamaCare. These are protesters organized according to the Democrat’s Alinsky playbook. They can protest all they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that more Americans have been hurt rather than helped by ObamaCare. Those Senators who do not support the repeal of ObamaCare need to keep this in mind.

 

President Trump By The Numbers

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about President Trump’s first month in office.

The article reports:

On January 20th, the day of the Trump Inauguration, the US Debt stood at $19,947 billion.  On February 21st, a month later, the US Debt load stood at $19,935 billion.  Trump cut the US Debt burden by $12 billion and 0.1% in his first month in office!

On January 20, 2017, the US debt was $19.947 billion.
On February 21, 2017, the US debt was $19,935 billion.

By comparison, under President Obama, the US Debt burden increased by more than $200 billion in his first month in office. 

The article includes a chart showing the increase in the debt during the first month of President Obama’s presidency.

Federal spending has gotten totally out of hand. It will be wonderful if President Trump can continue moving in the direction of cutting spending. One of the reasons he is meeting so much resistance is that in the culture of Washington, D.C., money equals power. Both Republicans and Democrats will fight anything that diminishes their perceived power. President Trump represents that threat.

 

Who Got Deported?

Yesterday The Independent Journal Review posted a story about the recent deportations of illegal aliens in America by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Some of the Democrats in Congress have expressed skepticism about whether or not the people deported had committed crimes.

The article reports:

The raids stretched from California to New York, where more than 680 unauthorized immigrants “who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system” were apprehended for deportation and jail, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a statement.

…There were 161 DUIs, 47 cases of domestic violence, 15 assaults with an aggravated weapon, 15 cases of sex offense/fondling against a child and dozens of other cases of sexual and violent crimes.

In total, 507 of the 683 apprehended immigrants had criminal convictions, on par with Kelly’s claim of 75 percent. However, as Democrats noted, some of the crimes were less severe, including traffic violations and shoplifting.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) told IJR, “If they’re lawbreakers, there are consequences to breaking the law,” adding:

“I don’t understand why we defend criminals. I don’t understand it. If the other side of the aisle wants to defend the criminals, I guess that could be their thing.”

I would like to know how they came up with the names of those who had not committed crimes other than entering the country illegally. However, DUI is a serious offense that can result in the death of innocent people. I have no problem deporting people who have not only broken the law to get here, but have broken the law after they got here.

It is interesting to note the following from an ABC News story from August 2016:

President Barack Obama has often been referred to by immigration groups as the “Deporter in Chief.”

Between 2009 and 2015 his administration has removed more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, which doesn’t include the number of people who “self-deported” or were turned away and/or returned to their home country at the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

…According to governmental data, the Obama administration has deported more people than any other president’s administration in history.

In fact, they have deported more than the sum of all the presidents of the 20th century.

President George W. Bush’s administration deported just over two million during his time in office; and Obama’s numbers don’t reflect his last year in office, for which data is not yet available.

Somehow I just don’t remember the outcry.

What Is Being Hidden Here?

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted a story about some recent comments by senior Iranian officials.

The article reports:

Senior Iranian officials are warning the Trump administration about disclosing secret deals related to the nuclear deal that have long been hidden from the public by the Obama administration, according to recent comments that prompted pushback from senior sources on Capitol Hill.

Does anyone else wonder why the details of this agreement are such a closely guarded secret? What ever happened to transparency in government? Iran may be a tyrannical dictatorship, but America is supposed to be a representative republic.

The article further reports:

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a senior Iranian lawmaker and head of country’s foreign policy committee, warned the Trump administration against making these documents public in recent remarks.

“If Trump wants to publish confidential documents exchanged between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, it will in fact constitute a violation of the agency’s obligations, because the agency has been committed not to make Iran’s confidential nuclear information and documents available to any country, including the U.S.,” Boroujerdi was quoted as saying in Iran’s state-run media.

Some of these documents surround side deals struck between Iran and the IAEA regarding the Islamic Republic’s ability to enrich uranium. They also include deals about how much information Iran must disclose to international inspectors about the country’s contested nuclear program.

As part of the nuclear deal, U.S. inspectors are not permitted to take part in the review of any Iranian sites.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), a vocal opponent of the Iran deal who has long been fighting for the full disclosure of the Iran deal documents, told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration hid these documents in order to mislead Americans about the true nature of the agreement.

“The administration is under no obligation to conceal information about secret side deals, nor should they feel obligated to protect the anonymity of individuals or institutions who misbehaved at the behest of the Obama administration,” Roskam said.

Included in these documents are details of multiple, secret payments to Iran that totaled close to $2 billion. The money is believed to have been part of an incentive package aimed at securing the release last year of several American hostages in Iran.

None of this information is technically classified, yet it remains hidden from the American public and a large portion of Congress.

This is a nuclear agreement that could potentially impact the future of not only the Middle East but also America. The American public has a right to know exactly what was agreed to by the Obama Administration.

 

Something To Consider

I am getting tired of the Michael Flynn controversy, and I suspect you are too, but there are some aspects of this incident that need to be considered. There are two stories that I think contain important information.

The first story is from The Week, a magazine not known for its conservative leanings.

Some highlights from that story:

In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That’s bad. But the answer isn’t to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.

As Eli Lake of Bloomberg News put it in an important article following Flynn’s resignation,

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do. [Bloomberg]

Those cheering the deep state torpedoing of Flynn are saying, in effect, that a police state is perfectly fine so long as it helps to bring down Trump.

It is the role of Congress to investigate the president and those who work for him. If Congress resists doing its duty, out of a mixture of self-interest and cowardice, the American people have no choice but to try and hold the government’s feet to the fire, demanding action with phone calls, protests, and, ultimately, votes. That is a democratic response to the failure of democracy.

John Podhoretz, also not a supporter of Michael Flynn,  posted an article at The New York Post.

He stated the following:

This information might have come because the US intelligence community has an active interest in the Russian official to whom he talked.

Or it could have come because the FBI had been pursuing some sort of secret investigation and had received authorization to monitor and track his calls and discussions.

If this was intelligence, the revelation of the Flynn meeting just revealed something to the Russians we shouldn’t want revealed — which is that we were listening in on them and doing so effectively.

And if it was an FBI investigation, then the iron principle of law enforcement — that evidence gathered in the course of an investigation must be kept secret to protect the rights of the American being investigated — was just put through a shredder.

Keeping our intelligence-gathering assets hidden from those upon whom we are spying is a key element of our national security.

And as for playing fast and loose with confidential information on American citizens: No joke, people — if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.

The danger in this situation is not whatever relationship Michael Flynn has or had with Russia; the danger is the means that the opponents of Donald Trump will use to take down one of his appointments.

We know that former President Obama has organized a nonprofit group called Organizing for Action (OFA) for the purpose of ‘protecting the Obama legacy from President Trump.’ Aside from the fact that this is highly unusual, it is simply classless. This group may or may not be involved in what happened to Michael Flynn, but I suspect that they have a few contacts within government that they might have encouraged along the way. OFA also has a press secretary and the ear of the major media. OFA also has an office paid for with taxpayer dollars because Barack Obama is a former President. The taxpayers are paying to undermine their own government!

Be prepared for more media attacks on members of the Trump Administration.

 

 

Is This Really Necessary?

On Saturday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the confirmation hearings for President Trump’s cabinet.

The article reports:

Trump has now been president for a full three weeks, and the number of approved members in his cabinet stands at seven—a number that was boosted by three contested confirmations last week that were opposed by almost the entire Democratic caucus.

Senate Democrats, vowing to use “everything” they can to stop Trump‘s nominees, have used procedural tricks like boycotting committee meetings to slow the confirmation process to a historically slow pace.

Recent administrations have had many more nominees approved at the three-week mark. Barack Obama had 12 out of 15 nominees approved, George W. Bush had his entire cabinet approved, and Bill Clinton had all but one approved in less than a day.

For most of history, approving cabinet nominees has been a non-issue. Presidents John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter had their entire cabinet approved in the first days of their presidency—a brisk pace that has been the norm for most of U.S. history.

As noted by historian Robert David Johnson, the only confirmation process at all comparable to the current situation was that of President George H.W. Bush, and even he had 10 of his 14 nominees confirmed by the three-week mark.

The article reminds us that in the case of President H.W. Bush, the Democrats controlled the Senate and had the power to stop his cabinet choices. The Republicans currently control the Senate, and even then the Democrats are successful at slow-walking President Trump’s cabinet choices. Odds are that all cabinet members will eventually be confirmed. It doesn’t make sense to obstruct, and obstruction may have a political price.

The article further reports:

The continuing obstruction of even uncontroversial cabinet choices is being driven by demands from the liberal base of the Democratic Party, which is demanding that Democratic lawmakers not cooperate with Trump on anything.

“Democrats, pushed by their base, are under pressure to not cooperate with the new president—on anything,” wrote the Wall Street Journal following reports that Democrats boycotted committee hearings for multiple nominees.

“Gone are the concerns about appearing overly obstructionist,” Politico reported. “Officeholders are now chasing a base that will not tolerate any sign of accommodation.”

The White House has complained that Democrats are “working overtime” to stop the administration from putting qualified nominees in place at agencies.

The Partnership for Public Progress, a nonpartisan group that promotes public service, has said the slow pace of confirmations is damaging the country.

“They are running the most important organization on the planet, and they don’t have their team on the field,” said the organizations CEO. “They don’t have their critical people in place and that’s vital to being able to do their jobs appropriately.”

This is ridiculous. I am waiting for the Democrats who are slowing the confirmation process to start complaining that the Trump Administration isn’t doing anything. Meanwhile, the Democrats are planning on obstructing anything that is attempted. This is not what the American people signed up for. We want a government that gets things done. We want a government that will do what is needed to restart the economy. We want a government that will get out of health insurance and let the free market work. Simply stated, we want a government that will let us live our lives. This obstructionism is not appreciated by anyone except the extreme left, and candidates running for re-election need votes from all groups of voters. The current actions of the Senate Democrats may please the base, but we will see in 2018 if they actually helped the party or hurt the party.

The Business Optimism That Surrounds President Donald Trump

President Trump has been in office for about two weeks. He has issued a number of executive orders that he believes will help restart the American economy, but he really hasn’t been in office long enough to see very much in terms of results. However, what he has done is increase optimism, which does influence the business climate.

Yesterday the January jobs report was released. Hot Air posted a story.

Here are some of the highlights:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 227,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, and financial activities. …

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the civilian labor force increased by 584,000 in January, and the labor force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, was up by 457,000 over the month, and the employment-population ratio edged up to 59.9 percent.

…U.S. job growth surged more than expected in January as construction firms and retailers ramped up hiring, which likely gives the Trump administration a head start as it seeks to boost the economy and employment.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 227,000 jobs last month, the largest gain in four months, the Labor Department said on Friday. But the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent and wages increased modestly, suggesting that there was still some slack in the labor market.

This is the chart on the workforce participation rate since 2007:

It may be a slow climb, but we are at least moving in the right direction.

If You Repeat A Lie Often Enough, It Becomes The Truth

The above quote is attributed to Vladimir Lenin. It has been used successfully by the political left for a very long time. The Wall Street Journal posted a story on Wednesday illustrating how the political left is repeating a lie in order to gain advantage in the efforts to confirm a Supreme Court Judge.

The article reports:

…But Democrats are still itching for a fight, and their first line of offense is the myth of the “stolen” seat.

“This is a seat that was stolen from the former President, Obama, that’s never been done in U.S. history before,” declared Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley in announcing that he will attempt to filibuster Judge Gorsuch. “To let this become normal just invites a complete partisan polarization of the Court from here to eternity.” The “stolen” line is echoing across Progressive Nation, but it’s a complete political invention.

The “theft” is supposedly the GOP Senate’s refusal last year to vote on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat. But the standard of not confirming a Supreme Court nominee in the final year of a Presidency was set by . . . Democrats. And by no less a Beltway monument than the current Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer.

 

“We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances,” Mr. Schumer declared in a July 2007 speech to the American Constitution Society. Democrats then held the Senate and Mr. Schumer was putting down a marker if someone on the High Court retired. George W. Bush didn’t get another opening, but Mr. Schumer surely meant what he said.

Ah, but that was then and this is now. We had a Republican President then. Last year we had a Democratic President.

The article continues:

The Democratic theft standard goes back further to Joe Biden’s days as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In June 1992 in President George H.W. Bush’s final year, Robber Joe opined that the President “should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”

Naming a new Justice, he said, would ensure that a confirmation “process that is already in doubt in the minds of many will become distrusted by all.” If Mr. Bush made an election-year nomination, Mr. Biden said his committee should consider “not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”

Does anyone outside the MSNBC audience think that had the roles been reversed in 2016, and a Democratic Senate faced a Republican Court nominee, Harry Reid would have held a confirmation vote? As John McEnroe liked to shout, “You can’t be serious!”

It must be frustrating to the Democrats (and at times to the Republicans) than anyone can google a subject and find out what politicians have said in the past. What we need now is an honest mainstream media that will report previous statements.

Why It Is Necessary To Drain The Swamp

Yesterday Lifezette posted a story about problems with leaks in the State Department. This is a security problem as well as a political problem. We need to remind all those in the State Department that they work for the President. We also need to remind them that they are not the elected President and do not have the authority to run the government. Leaking information for the purpose of embarrassing an administration you don’t like should result in job loss. Hopefully under President Trump, it will.

The article reports:

Serious leaks have rocked the White House and likely sent top staffers searching for the individuals in the West Wing and Cabinet-level agencies responsible for the disclosures — some of which may have included classified information.

Washington and the diplomatic enclaves across the world were jolted on Wednesday night when two reports — one by the Associated Press and one by The Washington Post — outlined what Trump said to the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

…Since Trump took office on Jan. 20, the administration has been plagued by a number of leaks about the internal process. Some leaks have panned out, while others have been hotly denied by the White House.

The leaks include: a charge that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was not briefed on the executive order on restrictions on travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; a charge that Trump ended a call with Turnbull; a charge that Trump said he could send troops to deal with Mexico’s “bad hombres”; and a charge that Trump asked U.S. Judge Thomas Hardiman to drive toward D.C. to increase speculation before the selection of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

There is no excuse for this. Cleaning up the worldwide mess that President Obama left behind needs the full attention and cooperation of those in the State Department. Using leaks to destroy a President for political purposes is not patriotic, in fact it borders on treason.

President Trump Seen Through The Perspective Of Common Sense

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at Townhall.com today that pretty much sums up the political climate in America today. In his article, Mr. Hanson reminds us that Barack Obama ran for President on a moderate Democratic platform rather than a hard-left platform. Candidate Obama promised to balance the budget, oppose gay marriage, and pursue a bipartisan foreign policy. What he actually did was very different, and the media supported his actions.

The article highlights some  of President Obama’s policies:

Soon, the border effectively was left open. Pen-and-phone executive orders offered immigrant amnesties. The Senate was bypassed on a treaty with Iran and an intervention in Libya.

Political correctness under the Obama administration led to euphemisms that no longer reflected reality.

Poorly conceived reset policy with Russia and a pivot to Asia both failed. The Middle East was aflame.

The Iran deal was sold through an echo chamber of deliberate misrepresentations.

The national debt nearly doubled during Obama’s two terms. Overregulation, higher taxes, near-zero interest rates and the scapegoating of big businesses slowed economic recovery. Economic growth never reached 3 percent in any year of the Obama presidency — the first time that had happened since Herbert Hoover‘s presidency.

A revolutionary federal absorption of health care failed to fulfill Obama’s promises and soon proved unviable.

Culturally, the iconic symbols of the Obama revolution were the “you didn’t build that” approach to businesses and an assumption that race/class/gender would forever drive American politics, favorably so for the Democrats.

Those policies led to the defeat of Hillary Clinton in her presidential campaign. Donald Trump won the election, much to the dismay of the media and the Democratic party.

So what did we get when we elected Donald Trump? We got a man who wants better trade deals and more jobs for Americans. We got a man who wants energy independence, secure borders, deregulation, tax reform. and traditional values. Sounds pretty basic to me.

The article continues:

Yet securing national borders seems pretty orthodox. In an age of anti-Western terrorism, placing temporary holds on would-be immigrants from war-torn zones until they can be vetted is hardly radical. Expecting “sanctuary cities” to follow federal laws rather than embrace the nullification strategies of the secessionist Old Confederacy is a return to the laws of the Constitution.

Using the term “radical Islamic terror” in place of “workplace violence” or “man-caused disasters” is sensible, not subversive.

Insisting that NATO members meet their long-ignored defense-spending obligations is not provocative but overdue. Assuming that both the European Union and the United Nations are imploding is empirical, not unhinged.

Questioning the secret side agreements of the Iran deal or failed Russian reset is facing reality.

Making the Environmental Protection Agency follow laws rather than make laws is the way it always was supposed to be.

Unapologetically siding with Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East, used to be standard U.S. policy until Obama was elected.

Issuing executive orders has not been seen as revolutionary for the past few years — until now.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It applies common sense to what the media chooses to misreport.

The article concludes:

In sum, Trump seems a revolutionary, but that is only because he is loudly undoing a revolution.

 

 

Developing A Backbone

Yahoo News is reporting today that Senate Republicans used a parliamentary tactic to change the rules of the Senate Finance Committee, allowing allowed them to pass the nominations on to the full Senate without Democrats in attendance. The Democrats had boycotted the Committee meetings so that the nominees for President Trump’s Cabinet could not be approved and sent out of committee. It was a childish move by people who are still sulking over the fact that they lost an election they did not plan to lose.

In a story posted on January 9 of this year, Fox News reminds us:

Eight years ago, the Senate confirmed seven Cabinet-level nominees the day of Obama’s inauguration, including top picks like Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security secretary. Hillary Clinton was confirmed as secretary of state the following day.

I will admit that I was not a fan of any of President Obama‘s Cabinet picks, but elections have consequences, and a President should be allowed to have the Cabinet of his choice. Evidently Democrats do not feel that way.

The article at The New York Post lists the problems the Democrats cited with the two candidates in the committee, but the Democrats fail to mention that similar problems were overlooked in the past.

The article reports:

Price had numerous investments in healthcare-related stocks while drafting legislation with the potential to influence the healthcare sector. Additionally, an investment in an Australian pharmaceutical company was called into question as a possible violation of the Stock Act, which governs investments from congressional members.

Price told the committee that the investment into the Australian company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, was available to all investors. A report from The Wall Street Journal, however, found that his investment was through a private offering in the US available to fewer than 20 Americans. It was available to all investors in Australian and New Zealand.

Mnuchin was attacked for failing to disclose nearly $100 million in assets — mostly real-estate holdings — and directorships at offshore entities related to his hedge fund, Dune Capital Management. Additionally, Democrats called out foreclosure activities by OneWest Bank, a mortgage lender owned by a group led by Mnuchin.

Mnuchin said during testimony that OneWest had not used so-called robosigning for foreclosure documents, but an investigation by the Columbus Dispatch showed that such automation was used for at least some loans in Ohio.

Hatch (Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the chair of the committee), on the other hand, said that these were simply distractions used by Democrats to block two qualified nominees and the delay tactics forced the Republican controlled committee’s hand.

Hatch also pointed to the Finance committee’s approval of Timothy Geithner for Treasury secretary in 2009, at which point he had an outstanding tax bill of around $40,000, as an example of Republicans being willing to compromise on appointments. Geithner passed with a 18 to 5 vote.

This kind of shenanigans on the part of the Democrats is exactly why Donald Trump won the election. Politicians are getting old, boring, and ridiculous. The political posturing has become so over the top that nothing can be accomplished for the good of the American people. Donald Trump was elected to put an end to that sort of foolishness.

Hopefully these nominees can be quickly confirmed in the Senate.