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Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that 13 million fewer people would have health insurance in 2026 if Republicans repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate.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.

 

 

What Is True vs. What Is Reported

Media bias is old news, but every now and then it can be really interesting. The following story illustrates why President Trump needs to hold on to his Twitter account.

This morning the Associated Press reported:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they had reached agreement with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancements — not including Trump’s long-sought border wall.

The agreement, the latest instance of Trump ditching his own party to make common cause with the opposition, was announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi following a White House dinner that Republican lawmakers weren’t invited to attend. It would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids who had benefited from former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which provided temporary work permits and shielded recipients from deportation.

Fox News reported today:

President Trump on Thursday denied reports that he struck a “deal” overnight with top Democrats to protect so-called “Dreamers,” while insisting “massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent.”

Trump’s Twitter post was in response to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announcing after a dinner meeting at the White House that they had “agreed to a plan to work out an agreement to protect our nation’s DREAMers from deportation.”

They also said “we would review border security measures that didn’t include building a wall.”

The president clarified Thursday morning that he intends for the wall to be built — and while he wants to helps Dreamers, there’s no deal yet. 

The political consequences for President Trump if he does not build a wall would be enormous.

On Tuesday The Hill posted an article about support for the wall among Americans.

These are a few highlights from the article:

Last February, Pew reported similar findings: 62 percent of Americans oppose building a wall. Only 35 percent support it.

But are we telling the whole story?

First, it’s worth looking at what Pew asked: “All in all, would you favor or oppose building a wall along the entire border with Mexico?” To me, it’s a confusing question. After all, there already is a wall or fencing along approximately 700 miles of the southern border. It might make more sense to ask, “Would you favor or oppose building a wall along the remaining, unwalled portion of the border with Mexico?”

…While we’re in the weeds, assuming there’s value to asking a poll question about something that nobody is proposing, there’s additional nuance to consider. Pew ended up with a Democrat-heavy sample: 38 percent Republican/Republican leaning and 52 percent Democrat/Democrat leaning. The 14 percentage point difference means Pew interviewed 38 percent more Democrat thinkers than Republican thinkers. I can’t find any estimate that says the actual U.S. population is politically lopsided along those lines.

That is how you skew a poll.

The article at The Hill concludes:

There are two things we could do to provide more meaningful reporting. First, when addressing polls on political topics, we should disclose the breakdown of Democrats and Republicans upfront. To state the obvious: findings from a sample that’s made up of 98 percent Republicans will be entirely different than findings from a sample of 98 percent Democrats. How can meaning be put behind results on any political topic without the partisan makeup of the sample being considered?

Second, our reporting could include opposing findings and trends, if they exist. For example, in the most recent Pew poll, “three-quarters (74 percent) of Republicans and Republican-leaners supported a border wall” and that support had grown substantially in recent months. Conservative Republican support for a wall was up nine points since Trump was elected President (from 71 percent to 80 percent).

Support also grew among moderate and liberal Republicans (from 51 percent to 60 percent). An accurate headline could just as well have been: “Poll shows growing Republican support for a wall under a Trump presidency.”

All things considered, I came up with my own headline that’s more transparent than many of the ones I saw: “In polls with Democrat-heavy sampling, there’s overwhelming opposition to building a wall along the ‘entire’ border; a concept that nobody is, in fact, proposing.”

The article at The Hill was written by Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson), an Emmy-award winning investigative journalist, author of the New York Times bestsellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program “Full Measure.” If you are not familiar with her story, please search for her on the Internet and read her history. She definitely knows what she is talking about.

Ignoring A Major Story

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article which reveals how biased our mainstream media has become. If you depend on the mainstream media for your news, the following events may come as a surprise to you.

The article lists the timeline on the scandal involving the Information Technology specialists working for many of the Democrats in Congress. This is the timeline (the story has been covered from the beginning by The Daily Caller):

  • August 1GOP Rep: House IT Scandal Among ‘All-Time Congressional Scandals’ Of Last 30 Years.” That time frame would take things back to before the infamous House Bank scandal, which ended the careers of dozens of Congresspersons who routinely wrote checks despite having insufficient funds in their House Bank accounts to cover them. Of the 22 congresspersons singled out for particularly egregious abuse in this scandal (and although, to be clear, many other congresspersons engaged in the practice), 18 were Democrats.
  • August 3“Florida Congressman Pays Girlfriend’s Family, Money Launderer For Unexplained Work.” If it involves Florida and political corruption, you almost have to know that the name of Congressman Alcee Hastings, who was one a federal judge until he was impeached and convicted by the House and Senate, respectively, in 1989, will come up. In this instance, Hastings allegedly “used his taxpayer-funded office to pay high salaries to a convicted money launderer, as well as Hastings’s girlfriend and her daughter, and the Florida politician won’t say what kind of work the convicted money launder(er) does.” This is potentially relevant to the Imran Awan case because it “raise(s) questions about how common it is for members of Congress to place ‘ghost employees’ on the payroll” — an allegation which potentially applies to Awan’s vastly overpaid relatives.
  • August 4“DWS: Imran Awan Is The Kindest, Bravest, Warmest, Most Wonderful Human Being I’ve Ever Known In My Life.” This item by Jim Treacher, whose penetrating sarcasm is a national treasure, isn’t newsworthy by itself, but it does link to a Broward County (FL) Sun Sentinel item where Wasserman Schultz ridicules the notion that Awan was trying to flee the U.S. when he was arrested at Dulles Airport after having transferred about $300,000 to an account or accounts in Pakistan. If a Republican congressman made such a claim about an aide in a similar situation, the late-night leftist activists posing as comedians would be all over it.
  • August 4 — “Wasserman Schultz Says Laptop She Sought To Keep From Police Was Awan’s, Not Hers.” Imagine that: After resisting police efforts to seize the laptop based on issues relating to whether it belongs to a “member” (of Congress), Wasserman Schultz has now totally changed her tune, claiming that, in reporter Luke Rosiak’s words, “it was Imran’s laptop but purchased using taxpayer funds from her office,” and that, in her words, “This was not my laptop. I have never seen that laptop. I don’t know what’s on the laptop.”
  • August 5Jeb Bush Just RIPPED Debbie Wasserman Schultz Over The House IT Scandal.” What Bush said or didn’t say isn’t nearly as important as the should-be-obvious point that if someone like Chuck Schumer or Andrew Cuomo was “ripping” a Republican involved in a scandal like this, you’d have to rent a major hotel meeting room to accommodate the establishment media horde which would be hanging on their every word instead of ignoring the successful governor of one of the nation’s largest states.
  • August 8“Grassley Seeks Immigration Files For Pakistani Suspects In House IT Probe.” Yes, “suspects” is plural: “the immigration files were requested for … (Imran Awan’s) wife, Hina Alvi, his brothers Abid and Jamal, sister-in-law Natalia Sova and friend Rao Rabbas. All are suspects in the criminal investigation, which became public in February.”
  • August 17“Two Former Wasserman Schultz IT Aides Indicted For Conspiracy Against US.”
  • August 18“Media Ignores Indictment Of Wassermann Schultz IT Aide.” How often does the actual indictment of criminal arrested on serious charges while potentially facing far more serious charges relating to a congressional scandal get totally ignored by the establishment press? I’m sorry, I meant to ask how often that happens if the person involved is or is associated with a Republican or conservative. Answer: almost never.
  • August 22“Dem Rep Dodges Questions On Arrested House IT Staffer.” New York Congresswoman Yvette Clarke “agreed last year to sign away $120,000 of missing computer equipment for the two former IT aides who authorities now believe stole the gear from Congress,” and “refused to answer questions” from a reporter about Awan.
  • August 24“DWS ‘Islamophobia’ Claim Prompts Angered Marine To Go Public On Awans.” Yes, Wasserman Schultz and Awan’s Bill Clinton-connected lawyer are claiming that the matter is of no substance, and that it’s really about “Islamophobia.” It’s really hard to blame the Marine involved for getting extremely angry over this when he sees someone who has sworn to uphold the Constitution and protect this country’s interest so obviously demonstrate that she cares about neither.

Isn’t this story newsworthy?

An Amazing Historical Event

On Thursday, Legal Insurrection posted an article about the continuing attacks on President Trump. The title of the article is, “The Slow-Motion Coup d’Etat picks up steam.”

The article lists the attempts made by the political establishment to undo the results of last November’s election. Hopefully their efforts will result in a miserable failure. I did not start out as a Trump supporter, but I believe he won the election honestly (and probably by a wider margin than is reported due to illegal votes for Hillary Clinton). The attempts to find any excuse to remove him from office are shameful.

The article reminds us:

Chuck Schumer, for example, used the alleged fact of Donald Trump being under FBI investigation as an argument against confirming Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, even though Schumer (but not the public) knew from intelligence briefings that Trump was not personally under investigation.

All the while, the permanent bureaucracy, particularly in the intelligence community, started an unending and almost daily series of leaks meant to paralyze the administration.

Then FBI Director James Comey refused to tell the public what he privately told Trump on three occasions, that Trump personally was not under investigation, thereby aiding and abetting this false media attack on the administration. Comey then himself leaked non-public government information, after his termination, to manufacture an excuse to have a Special Counsel appointed. That Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, turns out to be a good friend of Comey, and is building a massive prosecutorial infrastructure in the attempt to find a crime.

At the same time, there has been unprecedented obstruction of Trump’s ability to staff his administration. Even non-controversial nominees are slow-walked by Democrats. Vast swaths of the federal bureaucracy remain under the sway of Obama holdovers and those who consider Trump illegitimate.

The purpose in all this has been to freeze and paralyze the Trump administration. If Trump could not be prevented from taking office, and cannot be physically removed from office, he will be prevented from functioning as president.

Those elected officials participating in this effort need to be removed from office.

The article lists numerous examples of career government employees working against the President and his policies. This used to be called treason.

The article concludes:

Not only is the Trump administration under unprecedented attack from outside, the foxes are inside the henhouse, and are gutting it from the inside out.

The attempt to unwind the 2016 election through paralyzing the Trump administration is a serious threat to our liberty. Our most basic of institutions, the transfer of power through elections, is under attack.

The actions of those people in government working against President Trump are not patriotic–they are treasonous and the people committing them belong in jail. It is up to the American voters to let those working to undermine a sitting President will not receive the support of the voters.

Watching The Senate Democrats Drag Their Feet

It is amazing to me that anything ever gets done in Washington. The Democrats in the Senate, led by Senator Schumer, have done everything they can to block the appointments and agenda of President Trump. Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article on that subject that included the following chart:

The article reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that after completing work on a health care bill to replace Obamacare, the Senate will turn to a defense spending bill and “the backlog of critical nominations that have been mindlessly stalled by Democrats.”

“In order to provide more time to complete action on important legislative items and process nominees that have been stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle, the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of August,” McConnell, R-Ky., said.

During a press briefing Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted McConnell’s announcement and accused Senate Democrats of “looking to set a record for pointless and dangerous obstruction.”

Citing the Obama administration, Sanders added:

While more than 90 percent of the previous administration’s nominations were confirmed by a voice vote, Democrats in the Senate have allowed only approximately 10 percent of President Trump’s nominees to be voted on in that way.

We’re coming up on the August recess of President Trump’s first term, by which point the Senate [had] confirmed 69 percent of President Obama’s nominations; less than a month out from that same point, the Senate has confirmed only approximately 23 percent of President Trump’s nominees. These numbers show the Democrats’ true colors.

I am not a big fan of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but he is right about this. Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.

Fake News Has Been Rampant Since President Trump Was Elected

The National Review posted an article yesterday that cited numerous examples of lies told to the American people by our media and so-called leaders in recent months. All of the liars knew at the time of their statements that the statements were not true. The article cited multiple examples of boldfaced lies Americans were encouraged to believe.

The article reports:

But with Comey’s repeated and emphatic testimony that Trump was not under investigation, we have some new revisionist history: wildly backtracking liberals and Democrats claiming that nobody ever said Trump was under FBI investigation. And this is simply untrue. Here’s a sampling of what Democrats, liberals, and the media were saying back when Comey was privately reassuring Trump that he wasn’t under investigation:

Salon, January 20 headline: “The FBI is leading an investigation into Donald Trump’s connections with Russia” — first line, “The FBI is leading a multi-agency investigation into possible links between Russian officials and President-elect Donald Trump.” Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, March 20: “The FBI is investigating a sitting President. Been a long time since that happened.”

…The Times: “Mr. Comey placed a criminal investigation at the doorstep of the White House and said officers would pursue it ‘no matter how long that takes.’” Russell Berman in The Atlantic, March 20 headline: “It’s Official: The FBI Is Investigating Trump’s Links to Russia”

DemocracyNow! March 22 headline on that Schumer speech: “Sen. Schumer Calls on Democrats to Boycott Neil Gorsuch Vote While Trump is Under FBI Investigation”

Rachel Maddow March 24 headline: “Schumer: Wrong to vote on Gorsuch while Trump under investigation.” Schumer told Maddow that “to have a president under investigation, appoint a lifetime appointment, it’s wrong.”

…John Aravosis at AmericaBlog, May 9 headline: “Trump fires FBI Director Comey, the man investigating Trump for treason”

The article concludes:

But in light of Comey’s repeated confirmation that the FBI was never investigating Trump during his tenure at the FBI, and that he had privately briefed both Trump and Congress to that effect, a whole lot of people — starting with Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren — owe President Trump an apology.

The media and the Democrats set the narrative. It didn’t matter that it was a lie. There are still a large number of Americans who believe the FBI was investigating President Trump. That is a problem for our representative republic. How can people make educated decisions about voting when they are being lied to?

 

 

 

An Unbelievable Temper Tantrum

America needs tax reform. Our current tax system is a tribute to lobbyists and special interests in Washington. It is not pro-growth and does not encourage Americans to save and plan for their futures. There is pretty much universal agreement that the tax code needs to be reformed. But the process of reform has run up against a truism stated by Harry S. Truman, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” The plan to reform the tax code has encountered opposition based not on its worth, but on politics–the Democrats don’t want President Trump to achieve any success, and also, part of the Democrats success as a party is in class warfare. Cleaning up the tax code might have an impact on those Democratic voters that receive more money from the government than they contribute. That is the actual reason the Democrats are going to fight any changes in the tax code. Now for the reason they will give (because it works politically).

From a Thursday editorial in the Investor’s Business Daily:

Taxes: Democrats say they won’t work with President Trump on tax reform unless he first releases his tax returns. This has to be the lamest excuse for not fixing the tax code we’ve ever heard.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said this week that “if he doesn’t release his returns, it is going to make it much more difficult to get tax reform done.”

Democrats say that seeing Trump’s tax returns is critical to tax reform, because otherwise how would anyone know if changes to the tax code will benefit Trump.

As Schumer put it, “releasing his own full tax returns (would) erase any doubt of where his priorities lie.”

Not coincidentally, this argument has started popping up in newspaper opinion pages at the same time.

USA Today posted an op-ed on Saturday by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, arguing that “before this administration even thinks of proposing any changes to the tax code, we should see what tax code provisions the president himself has been and is taking advantage of, and how much tax he has paid in the past few years.”

Some of President Trump’s tax returns have already been released. Also, we just finished eight years of a President who never released his college transcripts, or an explanation of why he had a Connecticut Social Security Number when he has never lived in Connecticut. The fuss over President Trump’s tax returns is simply a political red herring.

The article concludes:

Besides, the entire point of doing tax reform is to broaden the base and radically simplify the tax code — taking away the loopholes and other tax gimmicks that Democrats are sure Trump has used or will use, in exchange for lower and flatter tax rates.

The tax reform plan that Congress comes up with will have to be judged on those merits, not on how it might, possibly, conceivably affect one person many years from now.

Simplifying the code in this way will also make seeing a politicians’ tax returns — Trump’s or anyone else’s — even less important, since tax liability will be a straightforward calculation and there will be far fewer ways to dodge the tax man.

The real story here isn’t Trump’s tax returns. It’s the fact that Democrats don’t want to engage on tax reform because their highly agitated liberal base doesn’t want them to lift a finger to work with Trump on any issue.

Tax reform is vital to restoring economic growth and vitality. No one denies that. If tax reform fails — and the economy suffers as a result — it won’t be Trump’s tax returns that are to blame. It will be shortsighted Democratic lawmakers kowtowing to the extremists in their party.

The Democratic Party using the tax return issue to block tax reform is another reason that the Party is rapidly losing voters. As someone who feels that the Democratic Party has become a party that seeks to divide Americans and create divisions among us, I am not unhappy that they are losing support.

 

The History Of The Judicial Filibuster

The following is taken from a transcript of the Rush Limbaugh Show:

All that is happening today is that the Senate is being returned to the rules that lasted for 100 years prior to 2003.

The judicial filibuster was invented by the Democrats in 2003. The point is there was no filibuster anywhere… It’s not even mentioned in the Constitution. It’s a Senate rule. The Senate can make whatever rules it wants. The Democrats… I just listened to Dick Durbin. (paraphrased) They’re talking about decades and centuries of Senate tradition being wiped aside by these evil Republicans! The Republicans didn’t do anything but stand aside while the Democrats changed the rules. So all that’s happening is that Democrat rules that created filibustering judicial nominees are now being removed.

That’s all that’s happening. The Senate is being returned to normal. That’s all that’s happening. There is no great earthquake happening here. The Senate is not being forever undermined and changed. But that’s the media’s story, and so the Democrats are going along with it. The media’s devising all this strategy, and they’re showing by virtue of controlling the news how the Democrats should act and what the Democrats should say.

…The Senate has just affirmed the nuclear option on the Gorsuch confirmation. To prove the point that prior to 2003 judicial filibusters didn’t exist, look at Clarence Thomas! Clarence Thomas — after all of that crap that was his confirmation hearings — was confirmed to the court with fewer than 60 votes. So was Samuel Alito, and there have been others.

But in the modern era, those are two prominent justices confirmed with fewer than 60 votes. The filibuster didn’t exist. The Democrats invented the judicial filibuster in 2003 to stop the nominees to lower courts of George W. Bush. Harry Reid pulled it again in 2013 to include all presidential judicial nominations except those nominated for the Supreme Court. What McConnell has done today is not alter the Constitution.

McConnell and the Republicans have not nuclearized the Constitution. They have not actually triggered a nuclear option. That’s just words. All that’s happened here is that Mitch McConnell has returned to the Senate its rules that existed prior to the Democrats changing them in 2003. And, by the way, the Senate can make whatever rules it wants. And if a majority votes on the rules change, then it’s changed. The Constitution does not say anything about filibusters, because the filibuster was not actually invented until long after the country was founded and began operating.

So what is this actually about? This whole exercise was nothing more than a political game of chicken. I am still not convinced that the Democrats thought the Republicans would use the nuclear option. There will be Senate and House seats up for grabs in 2018. The recent track record of the Democrats in Senate and House elections is abysmal. It is hoped that all this fuss about the nuclear option (and forcing the Republicans to use it) will energize the Democratic voter base. It has nothing to do with the qualifications of Judge Gorsuch (and it doesn’t even have anything to do with Judge Merrick Garland). Judge Garland is a good excuse for the Democrats to throw the temper tantrum they are currently throwing. It’s all about the next election. That shouldn’t surprise anyone.

How The Deep State Works

It is nearly impossible to fire a federal employee. The logic behind this is that civil servants should not be at the mercy of elections. They should have some modicum of job security. Although in theory that is a really good idea, it prevents the occasional housecleaning that Washington, D.C. needs. The group in Washington that is dedicated to maintaining the status quo is a small portion of the deep state. The deep state is much more complex and entangled than that, but for the purposes of this article, the deep state is simply the entrenched bureaucracy that is intent on maintaining the status quo. The deep state is one of the few things in Washington that is truly bi-partisan.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday that illustrates how the deep state works.

The article reports:

Chairman Nunes is the only member of the Intelligence Oversight Gang-of-Eight who has reviewed the executive level intelligence product which caused him concern.  Nunes alleged in the last week he received evidence that Obama administration political figures gained access to unmasked American identities through foreign intercepts involving the Trump transition team between November 2016 and January 2017.

Media and congressional leadership intentionally skip the obvious questions:

Why don’t the other seven members also go look at the same executive intel?

  • Why, instead of looking at the same data, does the entire UniParty political apparatus and DC media now seem intent on eliminating Devin Nunes?
  • Why doesn’t Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer or Mark Warner simply go look at the same executive intelligence product?
  • Why doesn’t Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell or Richard Burr simply go look at the same executive intelligence product?
  • Why doesn’t any member of the DC media ask such brutally obvious questions?
  • Why is the DC UniParty both intent on not looking at the intelligence and simultaneously intent on removing Nunes, and getting the investigation removed from the House Intelligence Committee (Nunes/Schiff) and over to the Senate Intelligence Committee (Burr/Warner)?
  • What is it about that Executive Office Level Intelligence Product the gang-of-eight are all so desperately afraid of?
  • Why would the Senate launch another entire congressional intelligence inquiry, when the head of the Senate Intelligence Committees, Burr and Warner, are desperate NOT to see the intelligence product that causes Nunes such concern?

In a previous article, The Conservative Treehouse explains why much of those in Washington who should see the intelligence reports have not:

If Representative Schiff saw the same intelligence that substantiates Nunes he couldn’t keep up the fake outrage and false narrative. Right now Schiff can say anything about it he wants because he hasn’t seen it.  If Schiff actually sees the intelligence Nunes saw he loses that ability. He would also lose the ability to criticize, ridicule and/or marginalize Devin Nunes.

The same political perspective applies to Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Mark Warner. For each of them to see the information would eliminate their ability to talk about it, or criticize Nunes. The politics of the situation are more valuable so long as they don’t engage in actual truthful knowledge.

Chairman Nunes cannot share his intelligence finding with the House Committee, because the intelligence product is beyond their intel authority. Nunes has to ask for it in portions as each compartment would permit and authorize; And so long as Pelosi, Schumer, Warner and Schiff refuse to look at the intelligence that ‘only they’ are allowed to see, they can continue to ridicule and take political advantage.

This reality is also the reason why the media is so able to manipulate the narrative around Chairman Nunes; and simultaneously why he’s able to say he’s done nothing wrong.

Until we go back to a system under which civil servants can be fired and there is a periodic housecleaning in Washington, we will be a bi-partisan government of unelected bureaucrats and our votes will not be worth much. If President Trump is serious about changing Washington, he needs to begin clearing out the deep state by firing civil servants who are working against the interests of elected officials. The uproar will be monstrous, but it is truly the only way to drain the swamp.

 

 

What Would Be The Result Of This Goal?

On September 13th, The Daily Signal posted an article about one of the goals of the current Democratic Party. This explains one of the reasons this coming election is so important.

The article reports:

Sen. Chuck Schumer has reminded us just how important the upcoming presidential election will be in shaping the federal judiciary, calling getting a progressive Supreme Court his “number one goal.”

So what would a progressive Supreme Court mean?

The article cites a few examples:

Schumer specifically criticized a 2013 decision involving a 5-4 decision about voting rights. In Shelby County v. Holder, the court held that Section 4 of the Voting Right Act, which set forth a 40-year-old coverage formula laying out which states needed to get preapproval from the federal government before making any changes in their voting laws, was unconstitutional.

The court explained that Congress “did not use the record it compiled to shape a coverage formula grounded in current conditions” and that the formula had “no logical relation to the present day.”

As Roll Call reported, Schumer “predicted that the Shelby County decision on voting rights would be overturned by a Supreme Court with the kind of progressive justices he would prioritize confirming as majority leader.”

A progressive Supreme Court would, therefore, be willing to infringe on states’ rights.

The article further reports:

The high court has been closely divided on a number of contentious issues in recent years: the Second Amendment (Heller, McDonald), religious liberty (Hobby Lobby, Town of Greece), the First Amendment (Citizens United), racial preferences (Fisher I), and the death penalty (Glossip), among others. One vote made the difference in each of these cases, which most consider as victories for the conservative wing of the court.

Our basic liberties are at stake. Are we going to follow the Constitution or are we going to become a banana republic? Consider this when you vote.

Some Things To Consider

This is my statement on the current state of affairs in the Republican primary.

I don’t support Donald Trump. I understand the anger of Trump supporters, and I share that anger. I just don’t think Donald Trump is the solution to our current problems. Emotionally, I just don’t like the man. His arrogance and mannerisms are in the same league as Barack Obama’s, and I don’t want to watch another four years of someone who thinks I am too stupid to see what is happening around me. I also haven’t heard any concrete ideas from Donald Trump about how he wants to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. Those ideas may be there, but they are not at the forefront.

I don’t support Marco Rubio because I don’t trust his wisdom. He is too naive.

Breitbart.com reported on February 26th:

He’s often seen by some voters as not serious, as immature, as a little bit naive,” Conway said on Breitbart News Daily Friday. “You see him at that Gang of Eight podium — and you see Chuck Schumer… You see Chuck Schumer off to his left. You can almost see the saliva coming out of Chuck Schumer’s mouth, because he’s like, ‘We got this guy! This guy will never be president now. We’ve got him dead-to-rights. He is molding, leading, authoring, and shepherding through this amnesty bill that his base will never accept.’ Chuck Schumer knew that. And Marco Rubio didn’t.”

On February 25th Breitbart.com reported:

Ken Palinkas—who served as the President of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Council during the Gang of Eight fight and is now a local chapter president for USCIS officers—weighed in on the fight between America’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and Sen. Rubio.

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Palinkas detailed the dangers a Rubio Administration would pose to national security and U.S. sovereignty—perhaps adding more trouble to an already embattled Rubio campaign.

“He’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Palinkas told Breitbart—explaining that Rubio would “absolutely” represent President Obama’s third term on immigration.

As I said, the purpose of this article is to give readers some things to consider.

I do support Ted Cruz. Here are my reasons:

I think he is the smartest and most principled candidate running. Neither of these traits will ever win a popularity contest (and both traits tend to be disliked by those who do not have them), but I believe they are important traits in a presidential candidate.

Ted Cruz has already proven that he will defend the U.S. Constitution. He respects the Constitution and plans on upholding it. I am not sure Donald Trump understands that as President, he would represent one of three branches of government. Donald Trump does not do well as one of three.

Ted Cruz has already stood up for the values that are important to me. It is up to the voters to decide if those values are important to them. He has pledged to defund and investigate Planned Parenthood, stop the Iranian nuclear deal, end Common Core and defend the Second Amendment. That works for me.

If you are reading this, your vote counts as much as mine. I hope you will consider what I have said. Just vote.

 

Harry Reid Is Retiring

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about Senator Harry Reid‘s announcement that he is retiring. The article lists some of the highlights of Senator Reid’s career.

The article states:

With his signature ruthless political style, Reid was also instrumental in winning a Senate majority for Democrats in 2006, steering his party through a changing campaign finance landscape, and helping Senate Democrats weather the 2010 Republican wave.

In 2006, shortly after Reid became leader, Democrats wrested back the Senate majority from Republicans, netting a six-seat gain — in no small part due to Reid’s influence on the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and his work with its chairman, Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is expected to succeed Reid as the Democratic leader.

Harry Reid, unfortunately, was a Democrat before he was an American. He did some serious damage to the Senate in recent years–refusing to allow any controversial legislature to reach the floor so that Democrats would not have to vote on anything that might negatively impact their reelections. He also simple removed the filibuster for confirmation of some judges–allowing some very controversial nominations to go through the Senate.

When the history is written after a few years, I don’t think history will be kind to Senator Reid. He did his party’s bidding and aided President Obama whenever possible, but I don’t believe that he acted for the good of America. I wish him the best in his retirement, but I am glad to see him go. I don’t think Senator Schumer will be much of an improvement. What we need are leaders who put their country first and their party second. I am not sure we have very many of those.

Figuring Out Part Of The Problem

CNS News posted a story yesterday about some recent comments by New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

The article reports:

Schumer said the health care law, popularly known as Obamacare, is “very important” but the timing was wrong, and was not at the “top of the agenda” of the American people.

“We were in the middle of recession. … People were hurting and said ‘What about me? I’m losing my job,’” said Schumer, who spoke as the Democratic Policy Chairman on why his Party was defeated in the 2014 mid-term elections by Republicans.

“Like I said, about 85 percent of all Americans were fine with their health care in 2009, mainly because it was paid for by either the government or their employer – private sector,” said Schumer. “And so the average middle-class voter, they weren’t opposed to doing health care when it started out but it wasn’t at the top of the agenda.”

“Don’t get me wrong,” Schumer also said. “I think it’s a good bill [Obamacare] and I’m proud to have voted for it.”

“But, it should have come later,” said the senator.

That is a very interesting statement. If 85 percent of all Americans were fine with their health care in 2009, why would it have been different if ObamaCare had come later? If 85 percent of Americans were happy with their health care in 2010, should that bill have been passed then? If 85 percent of Americans were happy with their health care, why was a bill necessary? Couldn’t you have found many things that 85 percent of Americans thought needed to be changed?

Senator Schumer goes on to say that the $787-billion federal stimulus was not large enough. Good grief! I think it is obvious that the grass roots message of smaller government and less spending has not gotten through to the Democrats (and unfortunately, a large proportion of the Republicans). If we are going to turn this country around, Washington needs to begin to listen to the average middle class Americans who makes this country work. The policies of the Obama Administration have harmed both the middle class and the lower class, and it is time to admit that those policies do not work. Smaller government benefits everyone–when the government spends less, the people have more to spend. We need to remember that in 2016.

A Political Gambit That Failed

Politico.com is reporting tonight that the Keystone XL Pipeline has been defeated in the Senate. The bill received 59 votes–not the 60 needed to break a filibuster. The bill had been sitting on Harry Reid‘s desk for years–he would not bring it to the floor after it passed the House of Representatives.

The article reports:

The defeat deals a blow to Landrieu’s campaign ahead of her Dec. 6 runoff against GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, whom polls show running comfortably ahead. Winning on Keystone would have helped her demonstrate her clout on the Hill as a champion of her state’s influential oil and gas industry.

The Republicans will bring the bill up again when they take control of the Senate. At that time, they will aim for a veto-proof majority vote.

The article also illustrates some divisions in the Democrat party:

The bill’s failure left a bad taste in the mouth of centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), who had urged his colleagues in a closed door meeting to support it.

“This was ridiculous for us to [get] 59, one short. It really was uncalled for,” he said. “And those were some passionate conversations that we had in there. They were respectful and they were very passionate that we had in the caucus, and I would have thought it would have changed [the vote].”

Passing the bill will help American energy independence and will boost the American economy. Hopefully, it can be passed with a veto-proof majority in January.

 

The Senate’s Latest Attempt At Muzzling The Press

Senate Bill S987 is sponsored by New York Senator Charles Schumer. It is called the “Free Flow of Information Act of 2013.” The name is totally misleading.

According to Thomas.gov:

Free Flow of Information Act of 2013 – (Sec. 2) Prohibits a federal entity (an entity or employee of the judicial or executive branch or an administrative agency of the federal government with the power to issue a subpoena or other compulsory process), in any proceeding or in connection with any issue arising under federal law, from compelling a covered journalist to disclose protected information, unless a U.S. judge in the jurisdiction where the compulsory process has been or would be issued determines, after providing notice and an opportunity for the journalist to be heard, that all reasonable alternative sources have been exhausted and that separate specified conditions have been met depending on whether the matter is a criminal investigation or prosecution. (Thus, establishes a qualified privilege for journalists to withhold confidential information unless a judge makes a determination to compel disclosure under conditions that apply differently in criminal and civil matters.) (the bold italics are mine)

DaTechGuy posted an interesting article on this today.

DaTechGuy reports:

As we watch the spectacle of the mainstream media decide which internal investigations are believable (White House investigations on Benghazi & the IRS scandal) and which are not (Chris Christie Bridge Scandal) the Senate Judiciary Committee is advancing a bill “The Free Flow of Information Act of 2013” (S.987) that supposedly enhances freedom of the press by providing journalists with a legal shield in order to keep them from being forced to testify concerning sources.

While the actions of this administration might suggest a need of such a law, there is a huge catch in this bill that’s getting little play.  In order to determine who gets this shield privilege the bill devotes seven pages to define who a “journalist” and who is not.

In other words, this bill codifies the government’s the power to decide who is a legitimate journalist and who is not,  in effect licensing journalists.

DaTechGuy reminds us of where we would be if the government had declared that Matt Drudge was not a ‘covered’ journalist (remember the blue dress?) or Woodward and Bernstein were not ‘covered’ journalists. The White House already controls the press. There is no need to make it official.

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The Timeline Of The IRS Scandal

This article has two sources, an article posted in the Wall Street Journal yesterday and an article posted by Scott Johnson at Power Line today. Both articles printed the timeline of events surrounding the IRS’s attempt to curtail the free speech of groups that opposed the Obama Administration.

One of the most telling events on the timeline is from the Wall Street Journal article:

• Feb. 11, 2010: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) says he will introduce legislation known as the Disclose Act to place new restrictions on some political activity by corporations and force more public disclosure of contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations. Mr. Schumer says the bill is intended to “embarrass companies” out of exercising the rights recognized in Citizens United. “The deterrent effect should not be underestimated,” he said.

All of this was in response to the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, which allowed corporations to make political donations. This ruling finally leveled the playing field–the unions had been contributing massive amounts of money to political campaigns for years. (See rightwinggranny.com). The actions of the IRS were an attempt to undo the leveling of the playing field that occurred with the Citizens United decision.

Please follow one of the links above to see the timeline. It paints a picture of a genuine attempt to limit free speech in America.

The President may or may not have given any direct orders regarding the use of the IRS to limit free speech, but the ending paragraph of the Wall Street Journal article truly sums up what happened:

In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.

Unfortunately we are dealing with a President who chooses to act more like a king than a president.

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This Really Does Not Sound Like Co-operation

Yesterday’s Washington Examiner posted an article stating that the Democrat Senate intends to pass a budget this year. Sounds like good news, but wait a minute.

The article reports:

But now a prominent Democratic lawmaker says his party will finally pass a budget — for the express purpose of raising taxes.  “We Democrats have always intended to do a budget this year,” Sen. Charles Schumer said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”  “It’s a great opportunity to get us some more revenues.”

“You’re going to need more revenues as well as more cuts to get the deficit down,” Schumer said.  “And I’ve talked to Leader Reid. I’ve talked to Budget Chair Murray. We’re going to do a budget this year. And it’s going to have revenues in it. And our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact.”

Great. More taxes. The article also explains why the Democrats have not passed a budget since 2009:

The Democrats’ strategy has long been clear.  The last time Majority Leader Harry Reid allowed a budget through the Senate was in April 2009, when huge Democratic majorities in Congress passed steep increases in spending.  Since then, Democrats have funded the government through a series of continuing resolutions — essentially locking in the 2009 budget as the new baseline for spending.

The article concludes:

Schumer, with 55 Democrats in the Senate, is now saying: Think again.  We’re going to raise taxes, and you can’t stop us.  The battle between the two sides will likely consume the Senate for the next two years.

The question is simple. Are there enough grown-ups who vote in America who realize that we cannot continue to spend money we don’t have? Raising taxes does not necessarily increase revenue. (Please see the Laffer Curve.) Raising taxes also slows the economy, increases unemployment, and ultimately causes the cost of government to increase while slowing growth in the private sector.

Part of our current economic problems is the relationship between government spending levels and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Traditionally spending has been about 18 percent of GDP and tax revenue has been about 18 percent of GDP.  Unfortunately since 2009 (when the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives), spending has been approaching 25 percent of GDP. Unless the government takes almost all of the money that Americans earn away from them, there will never be enough tax revenue to fund that spending.

The chart below (from The Big Picture) shows where we are:

The American voters will determine in 2014 whether or not America survives economically.

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Chutzpah On Parade

There is currently a debate in Congress on how to prevent mass murders. When you consider that mass murders are as old as civilization and have involved everything from knives to guns, that is quite a quest. The focus seems to be on gun control–regardless of the fact that the Second Amendment does not allow for the infringement of the right to bear arms. Anyway, Senator Chuck Schumer has added a new level of chutzpah to the debate.

Gateway Pundit reported yesterday:

Schumer on Sunday released a letter he sent to major retailers asking for a voluntary moratorium.

The New York Democrat says consumer demand for guns has gone up in the weeks since the December mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Schumer says Congress is debating the issue, and if measures get passed that limit these type of weapons, it won’t help if more of them have recently been sold.

Has it occurred to the Senator that the reason people are stocking up on these weapons is that they fear the weapons will be unavailable in the future?

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Trying To Win The Media War Instead Of Governing

The basis of the American republic is the U. S. Constitution. It serves as a guide to governing the nation.. We ask the President and Congress to swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution when they take office. It is a little disconcerting when our elected officials seem to forget or ignore this oath.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article which illustrates an apparent lack of knowledge of the Constitution by some of the leaders of the Democrat party. Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Patty Murray and Chuck Schumer have written a letter to President Obama asking him to take all “lawful steps” to increase the debt ceiling–with or without the Republicans. They are fully entitled to write that letter, and they are fully entitled to their opinion, but do they have any idea what the U. S. Constitution says?

This is the letter (from the website Scribd):

This letter is political theater. Either the Senators who wrote it have not read the U. S. Constitution or they don’t understand it.

John Hinderaker at Power Line takes a closer look at the letter. Some of his comments:

Why are they talking about default? Default is constitutionally prohibited by the 14th Amendment. The federal government’s cash flow is more than ample to pay all interest on the national debt and to retire bonds as they mature. Other spending would have to be cut, to be sure; but default will not, and cannot, happen.

The senators telegraph here what they are really afraid of: the House may pass legislation that extends the debt limit along with spending cuts–cuts that will no doubt seem reasonable, not “unreasonable” or “unbalanced,” to voters. I believed that the Republicans wouldn’t be able to get much in exchange for increasing the debt limit because the threat not to do so lacks credibility, but this letter suggests that the Democrats are more worried than I thought.

…What “lawful steps” could Obama take “without Congressional approval” that would permit racking up more debt? Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the exclusive “Power…To borrow Money on the credit of the United States.” Obama has no such authority. Are the senators urging Obama to violate the Constitution? Or perhaps to pursue the trillion-dollar platinum coin gambit? It is impossible to say.

Sure. They want it for nothing, just like Obama wanted tax increases for nothing. The Dems say they are willing to negotiate, they just don’t want the GOP to have any bargaining power.

But wait! Didn’t Obama just get higher income and investment taxes on everyone earning over $250,000, precisely the higher taxes on the “rich” he has always said he wanted? The Democrats’ greed is never satisfied.

It would be a wonderful thing if the entire budget were on the table, but that isn’t what the Democrats have in mind. Still, the Democrats’ evident concern about the debt limit, manifested not just by this letter but by the trillion-dollar coin and other half-baked ideas that are being taken seriously by Democrats, suggests that more of the budget might be on the table than we once thought possible.

Does anyone remember what President Obama said about the national debt? RedState reminds us:

On July 3, 2008, Presidential candidate Obama said that adding $4 trillion in debt was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” Obama was referring to the $3.764 trillion that had been added to the national debt during the seven and one-half years Bush had been president. Obama of course got his facts wrong when he falsely claimed President Bush increased the national debt by $4 trillion “by his lonesome.” When Speaker Pelosi took over Congress on January 3, 2007, the national debt was $8.7 trillion. So the Democrats must get some of the credit for one of the four trillion dollars candidate Obama tried to blame on Bush.

I guess debt is only good when the Democrats are in the White House.

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The Problem With The Internet (If You Are A Politician) Is That Everything You Have Said Or Done In The Past Is Easily Accessed

National Review Online posted an article today about some inconvenient history that seems to have been overlooked in the current debate about gun control. NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre was denounced, ridiculed, and called all sorts of names for suggesting that we put policemen in our schools. Although his statement, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” makes sense, he was ridiculed for stating the obvious.

Oddly enough, President Clinton did put policemen in our schools as a response to the April 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.

The article lists some of the supporters of President Clinton’s program to put guns in the school:

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district was one of the first to receive funding through the program: $3.25 million for 26 new police officers, to be exact. As a whole, California, also home of Dianne Feinstein, received $5.6 million in grants from the COPS in Schools program in 1999 alone.

Touting the grants set to be distributed to several New York state school districts in 2004, Senator Chuck Schumer acknowledged that “we live in a different world now than we did 20, 30, or even three years ago” and said that the new realities are forcing parents to think constantly about the safety of their children. “Getting more police officers on school grounds will go a long way toward making sure our kids stay out of harm’s way,” he said. Schumer assailed the Bush administration’s 2005 budget for doing away with the COPS in Schools program and, in doing so, attested to its efficacy. “Thanks to COPS, people feel safer with their children on the streets today,” he said in a press release in May 2004. “But now the Administration has proposed ending the program and taking away funding to hire thousands of police officers just when they are needed most. Why the Administration would want to rip a hole in that sense of security by slashing COPS funding is beyond me.”

It’s amazing to me that the history of guns in our schools is being overlooked in the current effort to take guns away from private citizens.

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What Would You Do ?

Yesterday ABC News reported the reaction from Senater Charles Schumer to Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin‘s statement that he is renouncing his American citizenship in order to avoid taxes on his Facebook profits. Mr. Saverin is a thirty-year old with an estimated net worth of about $2 billion and has lived in Singapore since 2009.

The article reports:

At a news conference this morning, Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey, D-Pa., will unveil the “Ex-PATRIOT” – “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” – Act to respond directly to Saverin’s move, which they dub a “scheme” that would “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”

The senators will call Saverin’s move an “outrage” and will outline their plan to re-impose taxes on expatriates like Saverin even after they flee the United States and take up residence in a foreign country. Their proposal would also impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on the capital gains of anybody who renounces their U.S. citizenship.

The plan would bar individuals like Saverin from ever reentering the United States again.

There are some basic problems with this proposal (other than the fact that it is strictly for show). The text of the Constitution, Article I, Section 9; Clause 3 is “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed”. Aside from the fact that this law is aimed at one specific person, Senator Schumer is making something illegal after it has been done and attempting to make a law retroactively apply to that action. There is no way that should happen under the Constitution.

Frankly, I don’t blame Mr. Saverin for renoucing his citizenship–he doesn’t live in America to begin with, and he wasn’t born here. Why should he let the U. S. Government take upwards of a third of the money he worked hard to earn? If Congress lowered taxes, more people would be willing to pay them instead of avoid them.

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The Children Need To Grow Up And Stop Squabbling

Yesterday the New York Daily News reported on recent Congressional testimony by FBI chief Robert Mueller. Mueller told a Senate panel that he still hasn’t bothered calling NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly about the latest terror threat.

The article reports:

If Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly wanted to know more about the foiled Yemeni underwear bomb plot, he could have picked up the phone and called, Mueller sniffed.

“As I told Ray, he’s always welcome to call,” he said, repeatedly referring to the commissioner as “Ray.”

Mueller found himself being grilled by Sen. Chuck Schumer about his secret-hoarding after Kelly fumed Friday that the NYPD had been left in the dark on the details of the plot.

“That’s the type of information, quite frankly, that we need, deserve,” Kelly vented.

The FBI finally got around to briefing NYPD brass Monday — but Mueller made no effort to contact Kelly.

New York City has been targeted by terrorists a number of times. Thank goodness that most of the attempts have been stopped. If we intend to prevent future attacks, we need to keep lines of communication open and information flowing freely. Since President Obama took office and instituted the killing of terrorists with drones rather than taking them to Guantanamo for imprisonment and questioning, American intelligence about terrorist activities has decreased considerably. Because of this, communication between the people who are supposed to protect us from terrorists is critical. This is not the time to play silly games with the lives of Americans.

Representative Peter King summed things up:

Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), who heads the House Homeland Security Committee, said “the bottom line” is that Kelly should have heard directly from Mueller.

“We have to assume that sooner or later, everything targets New York.”

 

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