This Is Simply Sad

CNS News reported today on another serious gaffe by Joe Biden. It is really sad to see former Vice-President Biden publicly lose a step or two while running for President.

The article reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden accidentally called “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace “Chuck” at the end of his interview, thinking he was talking to NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.

The article includes the transcript of the interview. This is a portion of that transscript:

Wallace: Mr. Vice President. Thank you. Thanks for your time. Please come back in less than 13 years, sir.

Biden: Alright, Chuck. Thank you very much

Wallace: Alright, It’s Chris, but anyway.

Biden: Chris, I just did Chris. No, no, I just did Chuck. I tell you what, man. These are back-to-back. Anyway, I don’t know how you do it early in the morning too. Thank you Chris.

All of us make mistakes when we are tired, but I feel as if the mistakes being made by the former Vice-President are an indication of a deeper medical problem. It is time for the former Vice-President’s family to take a good look at the continuing mental slip-ups and encourage him to end his campaign.

A Little Perspective Please

As the coronavirus spreads, we need to put the threat into perspective. This is a serious virus, and people have died after contracting it, but how does this compare with the basic American flu season?

CNS News reports:

As explained by Johns Hopkins Medicine, COVID-19 is “caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus, now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.” The flu is “caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 45 million cases of the flu in the United States during the 2017-2018 influenza season. Among those cases, 810,000 people had to be hospitalized.

During that season, 61,000 people died from the flu.

…As of Feb. 25, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there were 80,239 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 34 countries. 

The WHO also reported that there have been 2,700 deaths from COVID-19.

As of Feb. 25, there were 54 COVID-19 cases in the United States but no deaths reported.

The coronavirus is a serious health concern. However, I am tired of watching news anchors with their hair on fire claiming we are all going to die and that it’s President Trump’s fault. These are the same people who criticized President Trump when he limited travel to America from China in January. That alone has probably prevented many cases of the virus in America.

Meanwhile, wash you hands. Stay away from sneezing and coughing people. Get enough sleep, and take your vitamins. Hopefully the coronavirus will be similar to the flu and will be seasonal.

 

Ignoring The Law Because You Think You Can

On Tuesday, CNS News reported the following:

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) confirmed Tuesday that he met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on the sidelines of a security conference in Germany at the weekend, justifying his decision to do so by saying that “if [President] Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should.”

There is little doubt that Iran is an enemy of America. Why is a member of Congress meeting with their Foreign Minister?

The article continues:

Murphy said he also wanted to request the Iranian regime’s help in bringing the civil war in Yemen to an end; and to push for the release of Americans incarcerated in Iran.

“I don’t know whether my visit with Zarif will make a difference. I’m not the President or the Secretary of State – I’m just a rank and file U.S. Senator,” Murphy wrote.

“I cannot conduct diplomacy on behalf of the whole of the U.S. government, and I don’t pretend to be in a position to do so.”

“But if Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should. And Congress is a co-equal branch of government, responsible along with the Executive for setting foreign policy. A lack of dialogue leaves nations guessing about their enemy’s intentions, and guessing wrong can lead to catastrophic mistakes.”

Senator Murphy may consider Congress a ‘co-equal branch of government,’ but the President is the person who conducts foreign policy. Congressmen on their own do not have that authority.

The article concludes:

The 1799 Logan Act prohibits unauthorized persons from negotiating with foreign governments which have a dispute with the United States. No-one has been convicted for violating the act.

In 2015, 47 Republican senators signed a letter to the Iranian regime suggesting that a nuclear agreement between President Obama and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would be an executive agreement which another president or Congress would be empowered to abrogate.

The initiative prompted some critics to invoke the Logan Act.

Among the Democrats who condemned the letter was Murphy, who accused the signatories of “undermining the president.”

“I can’t even imagine the uproar if Democratic senators [had been] writing to Saddam Hussein in the lead up to the Iraq War,” Murphy told the National Journal at the time.

I guess that was then and this is now. It’s amazing how quickly the rules change for the Democrats.

What Happens If The Trump Tax Cuts Are Repealed?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an opinion piece with the following title, “Democrats want to repeal most important part of Trump’s tax cuts.”

I would like to note at this point that according to CNS News:

The federal government set records for both the amount of taxes it collected and the amount of money it spent in the first four months of fiscal 2020 (October through January), according to data released today in the Monthly Treasury Statement.

So revenue has increased under the tax cuts–not decreased.

The piece at The Washington Examiner continues:

Democrats are vowing to repeal the GOP’s 2017 tax reform bill, starting with raising the corporate income tax. The Democrat-controlled House Ways and Means Committee recently held a hearing laying the groundwork for this tax increase, falsely claiming that the corporate rate was lowered at the expense of middle-class families.

Reality belies this rhetoric. The corporate tax reduction from 35% to 21% has benefited families and workers alike by growing the economy, raising wages, and creating new jobs.

It’s no coincidence that, in the two years since the tax cut, unemployment has dropped to a 50-year low. It has hit all-time lows for key demographics including women, African Americans, and Hispanics. Thanks to these pro-growth policies, nearly seven million jobs have been created since Trump took office, and there are now fewer unemployed people than job openings.

Wages have also grown.

Annual hourly earnings have grown by 3% or more in the past 12 months. In fact, real median household income has increased by over $5,000 during Trump’s tenure, according to data released by Sentier Research. In addition to this wage growth, the tax cuts have allowed businesses to expand, hire new workers, and increase pay and benefits.

Savings are also on the rise.

When Trump was elected president, the Dow Jones sat at 18,332. It is now at roughly 29,000, an increase of about 60%. This stock market growth benefits the 100 million 401(k)s, the 46.4 million households that have an individual retirement account, and the nearly $4 trillion in public pension funds, half of which is invested in stocks.

And the Congressional Budget Office has revised revenue up by over $1.2 trillion, 80% of the cost of the tax cuts, due to improving economic conditions since the tax cuts were passed.

You have to wonder why the Democrats would want to undermine an economy that is obviously working for everyone. If federal revenue is at record levels, why would you change things?

The piece concludes:

Utility savings for households are another benefit of the corporate rate reduction. As a direct result of the corporate rate cut, utility companies in all 50 states reduced their prices. That means lower monthly electric, gas, and water bills for households and businesses. If Democrats raise the corporate rate, they will be saddling households with higher utility bills.

The Left won’t stop there, either.

Democrats have proposed trillion-dollar annual tax increases that include payroll tax increases, small-business tax increases, income tax increases, and even an increase in the “death tax.” The fact is, corporate tax cuts have grown the economy, lifted wages, and created more jobs. Democrats would undo these gains and harm middle-class families.

Are the Democrats economically ignorant, or do they simply not care about the impact of their policies on everyday Americans?

It’s The Spending

On Wednesday, CNS News posted an article about the income and revenue of the federal government from October 2019 to January 2020.

The article reports:

The federal government set records for both the amount of taxes it collected and the amount of money it spent in the first four months of fiscal 2020 (October through January), according to data released today in the Monthly Treasury Statement.

So far in fiscal 2020, the federal government has collected $1,178,800,000,000 in total taxes.

The previous high for total federal taxes collected in the first four months of the fiscal year came in fiscal 2018, when the Treasury collected $1,172,088,080,000 in constant December 2019 dollars.

While the federal government was collecting that record $1,178,800,000 in federal taxes in October through January of this fiscal year, it was spending a record total of $1,567,985,000,000.

…In the first four months of this fiscal year—while collecting a record $1,178,800,000,000 and spending a record $1,567,985,000,000—the federal government ran a deficit of $389,185,000,000.

The Department of Health and Human Services led all federal agencies in spending in the first four months of fiscal 2020 with outlays of $443,759,000,000. The Social Security Administration was second with $380,623,000,000 in spending. The Defense Department and Military Programs was third with $237,702,000,000.

Spending is controlled by the House of Representatives. It is our responsibility to elect representatives who will cut spending. This has nothing to do with what political party a person belongs to–it has to do with whether or not they are willing to take steps to cut government spending. It has to do with campaign contributions that encourage the spending. It’s time to hold Congress accountable. If we don’t get government spending under control, we will be carrying briefcases of cash to the grocery store because the value of our dollars will crash.

A Move In The Right Direction

CNS News posted an article yesterday about President Trump’s proposal to bring peace to the Middle East. The proposed plan allows Jerusalem to remain the undivided capital of Israel and offers financial incentives to Hamas and Hezbollah to end their reign of terror.

The article reports:

“Palestinians have been trapped in a cycle of terrorism, poverty, and violence, exploited by those seeking to use them as pawns to advance terrorism and extremism,” Trump said, adding that he returned from his visit “determined to find a constructive path, and it’s got to be a very powerful path forward in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

“To further this effort, I also met with President Abbas at the White House. Forging peace between Israelis and Palestinians may be the most difficult challenge of all. All prior administrations from President Lyndon Johnson have tried and bitterly failed, but I was not elected to do small things or shy away big problems,” he said.

The president said he delivered his “vision for peace, prosperity, and a brighter future for Israelis and Palestinians” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was on hand for the joint White House press conference.

The article concludes:

“As I have seen throughout my long career as a dealmaker, complex problems require nuanced, fact-based remedies. That is why our proposal provides precise, technical solutions to make Israelis, Palestinians, and the region safer and much more prosperous,” he said. “My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.”

Netanyahu has agreed to “endorse the vision as the basis for direct negotiations,” Trump said, calling it a “giant step toward peace.“

“This is the first time Israel has authorized the release of a conceptual map illustrating the territorial compromises it is willing to make for the cause of peace, and they’ve gone a long way,” Trump added.

I am never optimistic about peace in the Middle East, but this is an interesting proposal.

This Is A Perfect Example Of Spin

CNS News posted a transcript of the letter Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell regarding impeachment.

Here is the letter:

Dear Colleague on Next Steps on Impeachment

January 10, 2020

Press Release

Dear Democratic Colleague,

For weeks now, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been engaged in tactics of delay in presenting transparency, disregard for the American people’s interest for a fair trial and dismissal of the facts.

Yesterday, he showed his true colors and made his intentions to stonewall a fair trial even clearer by signing on to a resolution that would dismiss the charges.  A dismissal is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth.  Leader McConnell’s tactics are a clear indication of the fear that he and President Trump have regarding the facts of the President’s violations for which he was impeached.

The American people have clearly expressed their view that we should have a fair trial with witnesses and documents, with more than 70 percent of the public stating that the President should allow his top aides to testify.  Clearly, Leader McConnell does not want to present witnesses and documents to Senators and the American people so they can make an independent judgment about the President’s actions. 

Honoring our Constitution, the House passed two articles of impeachment against the President – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – to hold the President accountable for asking a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 elections for his own political and personal gain.  

While the House was able to obtain compelling evidence of impeachable conduct, which is enough for removal, new information has emerged, which includes: 

·         On December 20, new emails showed that 91 minutes after Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, a top Office of Management and Budget (OMB) aide asked the Department of Defense to “hold off” on sending military aid to Ukraine.

·         On December 29, revelations emerged about OMB Director and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s role in the delay of aid, the effort by lawyers at the OMB, the Department of Justice and the White House to justify the delay, and the alarm that the delay caused within the Administration.

·         On January 2, newly-unredacted Pentagon emails, which we had subpoenaed and the President had blocked, raised serious concerns by Trump Administration officials about the legality of the President’s hold on aid to Ukraine. 

·         And on January 6, just this week, former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton announced he would comply with a subpoena compelling his testimony.  His lawyers have stated he has new relevant information.  

I am very proud of the courage and patriotism exhibited by our House Democratic Caucus as we support and defend the Constitution.  I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate.  I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.  

In an impeachment trial, every Senator takes an oath to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.”  Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution.  

No one is above the law, not even the President.

Thank you for your leadership For The People.

Sincerely,

Wow. It is my sincere hope that American voters are smart enough to see this for the sham that it is.

Why Your News Source Matters

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about recent events involving Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge Rosemary M. Collyer and the FBI.

The article reports:

A complete and total blackout. That was how ABC, CBS, and NBC reacted on their Tuesday evening newscasts when the top Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge, Rosemary M. Collyer blasted the FBI for misleading the court when seeking surveillance warrants for a former Trump campaign staffer. The order was damning, accusing an FBI lawyer of a criminal act in intentionally lying to the court. It added that the court’s confidence in the FBI’s evidence was so shaken they needed extra oversight for all cases.

Judge Collyer penned the four-page order declaring: “When FBI personnel mislead NSD [National Security Division] in the ways described above, they equally mislead the FISC.” Much of the order explained the application process for obtaining FISA warrants and what happened in the case of Carter Page; in order for the public to “appreciate the seriousness of that misconduct and its implications…

On page three of the order, the judge accused an unnamed FBI lawyer of intentionally lying to other FBI personnel and the FISC in turn, which was a criminal act:

In addition, while the fourth electronic surveillance application for Mr. Page was being prepared, an attorney in the FBI’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) engaged in conduct that apparently was intended to mislead the FBI agent who ultimately swore to the facts in that application about whether Mr. Page had been a source of another government agency.

She added that the FISC couldn’t trust anything the FBI told them anymore:

The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.

From Fox News:

Please follow the link to the CNS News article to read the entire piece. Not only were the civil rights of American citizens violated, the mainstream media has refused to report what is going on.

 

The Trump Economy

The November jobs report was released this morning. CNS News posted an article this morning with the numbers.

The article reports:

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says the economy added a whopping 266,000 jobs in November; and for the sixth month in a row, a record number of Americans were counted as employed.

158,593,000 Americans were working in November, the 24th record of Trump’s presidency.

The unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 3.5 percent, a 50-year low.

In November, the civilian non-institutional population in the United States was 260,020,000. That included all people 16 and older who did not live in an institution (such as a prison, nursing home or long-term care facility).

Of that civilian non-institutional population, 164,404,000 were participating in the labor force, meaning that they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month. This resulted in a labor force participation rate of 63.2 percent.

The labor force participation rate has never been higher than 67.3 percent, a level achieved in the early months of 2000. The Trump-era high was set last month at 63.3 percent. Economists say retiring baby boomers account for some of the decline since the turn of the century.

This report partially explains why the Democrats are in such a rush to impeach President Trump. Historically a President whose first term includes a booming economy is almost always re-elected. Unless the economy changes drastically in the next year, President Trump will serve two terms. There is also the matter of the electability of the Democrat candidates.

Wouldn’t You?

If you had a person in your life that was constantly spreading gossip about you that was not true, would you allow that person to remain in your life? That is roughly the situation between President Trump and Bloomberg News.

In 2017, The Washington Examiner reporting the following:

How negative was press coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office? Far more than that of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton, according to a new report from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

The Harvard scholars analyzed the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the main newscasts (not talk shows) of CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC during Trump’s initial time in office. They found, to no one’s surprise, that Trump absolutely dominated news coverage in the first 100 days. And then they found that news coverage was solidly negative — 80 percent negative among those outlets studied, versus 20 percent positive.

The numbers for previous presidents: Barack Obama, 41 percent negative, 59 percent positive; George W. Bush, 57 percent negative, 43 percent positive; and Bill Clinton, 60 percent negative, 40 percent positive.

Things have not changed–on November 13, 2019, CNS News reported the following:

On Tuesday, nationally-syndicated radio host Mark Levin demonstrated how corrupt and bias network news has become, by quoting extensively from a new Media Research Center (MRC) study documenting the overwhelmingly negative coverage of President Donald Trump.

Levin used the opening segment of his show to explore the findings of a study by NewBusters, a division of MRC (as is CNSNews.com):

“Media Research Center: now, that’s a solid organization, come hell or high water. Pressure or no pressure. Because, (MRC President) Brent Bozell is a patriot, as are the people who work with him and for him. And, they stay on it. They will not be deterred.

“And, in a fantastic piece today: ‘Impeachment Frenzy: TV Networks Blast Trump with 96% Negative News’ – That should be the headline right there.”

How can a President be expected to run a country with that kind of news coverage?

At any rate, yesterday Hot Air reported the following:

Bloomberg News decided that it would grant Bloomy’s primary opponents an exemption from investigative coverage but couldn’t grant that sort of exemption to a sitting president, setting up a double standard in which Democratic candidates get a free pass while the Republican nominee is scrutinized. That’s the sort of unworkable ethical nightmare Mike Bloomberg created for his own news agency by choosing to run despite having no realistic path to the nomination. Today the Trump campaign struck back, saying that if Bloomberg News can’t investigate — or won’t investigate — all candidates equally then they’ll no longer be credentialed for Trump campaign events.

The only difference between Bloomberg and the rest of the mainstream media is that Bloomberg is at least being honest about what they are doing. Wouldn’t you kick them off the bus?

This Might Be A Problem For The Democrats

CNS News is reporting today on a national voter survey, conducted November 12-13.

The article reports:

…53% of all voters said most reporters are trying to help impeach Trump:

“When they write or talk about the impeachment effort, are most reporters trying to help impeach President Trump or block his impeachment? Or are most reporters simply interested in reporting the news in an unbiased manner?”:

    • “Help impeach President Trump”: 53%
    • “Block his impeachment”: 8%
    • Report “news in an unbiased an unbiased manner”: 32%

But, 53% of black voters and 60% of other minorities, compared to 51% of whites, said reporters are trying to get Trump rather than report the news fairly.

What’s more, 58% of voters who say they are watching impeachment news “very closely” believe that most journalists are trying to help impeach the president, while only 34% say they’re just trying to report unbiased news.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters has a margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

The mainstream media is digging its own grave. It is driving concerned citizens to alternative news sources that are seen as more objective or sources that at least state that they hold a certain point of view. As this happens, there will be stronger moves to censor the internet. We are all responsible for finding reliable news sources in order to be informed voters. Right now the mainstream media is making being an informed voter very difficult.

Joe Biden Continues To Say Really Odd Things

CNS News posted an article today about some recent comments by former Vice-President Joe Biden. The former Vice-President made the remarks at the opening of a new campaign office in Iowa.

The article reports:

Biden twice envisioned what could be accomplished with “Trump out of the way”:

    • “Literally, with Donald Trump out of the way, there’s not a thing we can’t do.”
    • “With Trump out of the way, we’ve never been in a better position to lead the world.”

The former Vice-President stated:

“Literally, with Donald Trump out of the way, there’s not a thing we can’t do. Our ability to compete is incredible. We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. We have more great research universities in America than all the rest of the world combined, and every major life-changing thing that has come out in the last 25 years has come out of one of those universities. We have the greatest researchers in the world. We’re in a position where our workers are, literally, three times as productive as workers in Asia. So, why do we walk around like, ‘Oh, my God, what are we going to do?’ We’re in trouble because of Trump.

“With Trump out of the way, we’ve never been in a better position to lead the world in the 21st century and restore America’s integrity and word around the world. So folks, that’s why I’m running. That’s what I hope we’re going to be able to do. We have enormous capacity. Thank you, thank you for being here. I promise you, you’re probably going to see more of me than you want to see, but I plan on winning Iowa.”

The article concludes:

Biden did not mention that Trump had not been in his way during the eight years Biden served as vice president in the Obama Administration.

I guess the former Vice-President hasn’t realized that our current economic growth began when he and President Obama got out of the way.

Interesting Question

CNS News posted an article today that includes a very interesting question.

The article reports:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says his impeachment inquiry hearing is not classified, so why won’t he allow the media to see what’s going on in it, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) asked reporters after he attempted to enter Schiff’s secretive, closed-door proceeding on Wednesday.

Both they and members of Congress should be allowed into the hearing, Scalise told reporters:

“As soon as we went into the room, Adam Schiff hadn’t even started the hearing – which, by the way, Schiff pointed out himself was not a classified hearing.

“So, again, it begs the question: why aren’t members of Congress allowed to come into an unclassified hearing dealing with impeachment of the president?

“Why aren’t you, as the press, allowed to go into an unclassified hearing to find out what’s really going on?”

Representative Scalise stated:

“Every member of Congress should be allowed in that room. The press ought to be allowed in that room.

“And, when we got there – and we were there peacefully, we were there to hear what was going on – we actually wanted to hear the witness. And, instead, he left – he threatened us. Adam Schiff threatened us.

“We’re not going to bow down to his threats. We’re going to represent the voices of the millions of Americans that our districts represent. The vast majority of members of Congress, by the way, who are not allowed to be in that room, ought to be in.

“Everybody ought to be able to see what’s going on in this inquiry – including members of Congress and the press – so our constituents can see what’s going on.”

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Sunlight is exactly what the Democrats are avoiding.

It’s About Time

Anyone who has raised children understands that when they are doing things they are not supposed to do they are either very quiet or behind closed doors. Unfortunately, that can also be true for adults. The latest example of that concept is the fact that the House of Representatives, without taking a vote, has been conducting impeachment hearings behind closed doors. The most frustrating aspect of this is the Republicans who have not had the backbone to fight what is obviously unconstitutional. Well, that is about to change.

Yesterday CNS News reported that House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), introduced a rule change (H. Res. 639) to allow all members of Congress access to ongoing impeachment proceedings, including depositions and transcribed interviews. The only thing better than that would be to let the American people have access to these things.

The article reports:

House Intel Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) “has no intention of conduction a fair and open process” and wants to impeach the president of the United States through a secret, closed-door effort, Scalise charged:

“The American people’s elected representatives have been denied access to relevant documents and the opportunity to attend depositions and transcribed interviews. Chairman Schiff wants to impeach President Trump behind closed doors and clearly has no intention of conducting a fair and open process. We demand transparency.

“For the sake of our republic, Members of Congress must have access to proceedings with such monumental and dangerous consequences. Will House Democrats respect precedent and commit to transparency? Or will Speaker Pelosi continue to hold her sham impeachment inquiry in secret?”

“Real due process, which is part of our Constitutional duty, is being denied, in secret – that’s what’s happening in that room right now,” Scalise said in a House floor speech urging the rule change.

This is the Resolution:

‘‘Open and Transparent Impeachment Investigation Resolution’’

A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner shall not be excluded from non-participatory attendance at committee proceedings related to matters referred to by the Speaker in her announcement of September 24, 2019, including transcribed interviews and depositions, notwithstanding regulations issued by the chair of the Committee on Rules pursuant to section 103(a)(2) of H. Res. 6, at the following committees:

(1) Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

(2) Committee on Oversight and Reform.

(3) Committee on Foreign Affairs.

(4) Committee on Financial Services.

(5) Committee on Ways and Means.

(6) Committee on the Judiciary.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

Trying To Change The Cultural Norm

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about the discussion of whether or not we should allow drag queen story hours at public libraries. Where does free speech end?

The article notes:

Before our days, no one could ever have thought that we would have decayed to the point that drag queens would be reading to our three-year-olds. However, we have reached that point of absurdity. The maximizers of liberty have decreed that all must be permitted even though an overwhelming majority inside the community does not desire these lewd performances.

In a democratic society, where the people are supposed to rule, how does this angry majority defend themselves against the Drag Queen Story Hours and similar things that happen in their communities?

The article continues:

For this reason, some say liberalism has failed because its inner dynamism has pushed unrestrained and disordered liberty beyond the limits needed for society to function properly. A social consensus around certain moral norms that used to filter excesses is crumbling and coming apart. A tiny minority can now tyrannize over others in the name of liberty gone awry.

The problem with liberalism is that its value-neutral public square easily becomes a value-free place where a Ten Commandments monument and a Satanist Baphomet statue share equal space. Sacred text and pornography are equally qualified as literature. There is no notion of a moral right and wrong, save that defined by the exercise of freedom. Except when it threatens the physical integrity of another, anything can and must be tolerated. We must recognize any absurd self-identification or pronoun.

The article notes that there is a solution to allowing a total lack of standards to rule:

The only way to fight today’s destructive moral relativism is to have recourse to a universal moral law based on human nature and not individual whims. There must be a return to a natural law discussion that elevates the debate beyond the field of personal opinions and whims.

That is to say, there is a natural moral law, which Saint Paul says, is inscribed on the hearts of all men whereby all might know by reason those moral precepts that define the good in life. This law’s general precept, from which all the others follow, is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” This law is valid for all times and all people in all places.

This law is not limited to Christians, although the Church is its best guardian. Throughout history, it has provided that rock of moral stability that favored human prospering. It is hardly a novel invention since American law and English common law are rooted in natural law traditions. It is not too much to insist that we might return to our roots.

It’s time to bring back common sense and community standards.

This Kind Of Logic Makes My Head Hurt

On Friday, CNS News posted an article about a recent statement by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The article reports:

Using money earmarked for construction projects to build a wall to secure the border “is bad for security of our border” and is “undermining our national security,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

President Donald Trump’s decision to reallocate $3.6 billion to fund border wall construction is an “assault on Congress’s power of the purse,” Pelosi said in opening remarks at her weekly press conference:

“The President’s decision to cancel $3.6 billion for military construction initiatives makes us less safe by undermining our national security and the quality and life and the morale of our troops. And it dishonors the Constitution of the United States as the President negates the Constitution’s most fundamental principle, the principle of checks and balances, the separation of powers and his assault on the Congress’s power of the purse.

“The decision is bad for security of our border, for the security of our nation and the well‑being of our children.

How is securing our border bad for the security of our border?

It’s always about the children. What about the children who are in overcrowded classrooms due to the influx of illegal immigrants? What about the children who have contracted diseases because illegal immigrants rarely have the vaccines that American children have? What about the children whose parents are working for lower wages because illegal aliens will work for less?

The Democrat party has lost its way on national security. They are simply ignoring the negative impact of illegal immigration in order to promote a political agenda.

Hopefully The Mainstream Media Understands This Was A Joke

President Trump loves to excite the mainstream media. It doesn’t take much for him to make them totally crazy. Last night at a rally in North Carolina, he made a comment that I suspect may have that effect.

CNS News posted an article today about that comment:

Having some fun at the media’s expense, President Trump said Monday night he may have to run for a third term, so he’ll still be in the White House when the United States hosts the soccer World Cup in 2026.

Addressing supporters at a rally in North Carolina, Trump spoke of his meeting at the White House earlier in the day with Gianni Infantino, president of the world soccer governing body FIFA.

The U.S. is set to host the 2026 men’s championship, the largest event in global sports, in conjunction with Canada and Mexico.

“We’ve got a problem – it’s in 2026,” Trump said. “I said, well wait a minute. Under the normal rules, I’ll be out in 2024. So we may have to go for an extra term, OK?”

Needless to say, the crowd loved it.

There will also be a change in how the World Cup is hosted. The article reports:

The U.S. will host 60 games in ten cities including all the knockout stage games, while Canada and Mexico will host ten games each. It will be the first time in the competition’s almost century-long history that three countries co-host the event, which will see a newly-expanded roster of 48 national teams fight for the trophy.

An annual FIFA Congress in June 2018 handed the hosting rights to the North American trio, which saw off a rival bid by Morocco.

The United States has qualified for ten of the 21 World Cups held to date since 1930, reaching the quarter-final stage in 2002. The U.S. hosted the competition in 1994.

I remember the 1994 competition in Foxborough, Massachusetts–my daughters worked security for the stadium. At one point my middle daughter was watching the electronics equipment when a smart-Alec twelve-year old came up to her and said, “You can’t be security, you don’t have a gun.” She answered, “I don’t need a gun–I go to school in New York City!”

I am looking forward to the press reaction to the President’s statement.

The First Amendment Allows The Free Exercise Of Religion–It Doesn’t Restrict It

The First Amendment was designed to prevent the establishment of one religion sanctioned by the government. It was not designed to put obstacles in the way of people choosing to practice their religion.

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about a policy of the Trump administration designed to protect the rights of Americans to practice their religion.

The article reports:

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham praised Vice President Mike Pence for defending religious freedom at Veterans Affairs hospitals in a recent speech, where Pence said, “Under this administration, VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.” 

In an Aug. 29 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham wrote, “‘VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.’ Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the American Legion’s 101st National Convention yesterday about all that this administration is doing to help our nation’s military veterans.”

“He also addressed the issue of a current lawsuit in New Hampshire to remove the Bible of a World War II POW from a VA hospital’s ‘missing man’ table,” remarked Graham. “Vice President Pence said, ‘…under the last administration, VA hospitals were removing Bibles and even banning Christmas carols in an effort to be politically correct.

The article concludes:

“In 2014, the Navy Exchange Service Command issued a memo for the removal of Bibles in Navy Lodge guest rooms following a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation,” reads the letter. “The Navy reversed course and announced that the Bibles would be replaced.  Similarly, the Establishment Clause does not require that you remove Bibles from the Missing Man Table displays.  The mere presence of a Bible coerces no one.”

At the Manchester Veterans Affairs hospital in New Hampshire there is a “missing man” memorial table that includes a Bible. In May, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, headed by Michael Weinstein, filed a federal lawsuit to have the Bible removed. The litigation is ongoing.

“That sectarian Christian Bible bolted down to that POW/MIA table at the Manchester NH VAMC is a grotesque gang sign of fundamentalist Christian triumphalism, exceptionalism and supremacy, indeed a middle finger of unconstitutional repugnance to the plurality and separation of church and state guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution,” Weinstein told the Military Times.

Weinstein is well known in the military as someone who frequently uses lawsuits to end religious speech. Barack Obama appointed Mikey Wienstein to be a consultant to the Pentagon to develop new policies on religious tolerance, including a policy for court-martialing military chaplains who share the Christian Gospel during spiritual counseling of American troops. These are some of the policies that President Trump is quietly undoing.

It’s Better To Owe Money To A Friend Than To Owe Money To Someone Who Is Not Your Friend

America’s runaway spending is a problem. So far no one in Washington has either the power or the will to bring that spending to a screeching halt. But at least we are being a little wiser in our borrowing habits.

CNS News posted an article today with the following headline, “Japan Surpasses China as Top Foreign Holder of U.S. Debt.” It would be better if we had no debt, but at least the majority of our debt is held by a country that is not out to destroy us.

The article reports:

In May of this year, the Chinese owned $1,110,200,000,000 in U.S Treasury securities and the Japanese owned $1,101,000,000,000. In June, however, Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities rose only to $1,112,500,000,000 and Japanese ownership climbed to $1,122,900,000,000.

That marked the first time since May 2017 that entities in Japan have owned more U.S. Treasury securities, as estimated by the U.S. Treasury, than entities in China.

In May 2017, the Japanese owned $1,111,500,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities and the Chinese owned $1,102,200,000,000. In June 2017, Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities increased to $1,146,500,000,000 and Japanese ownership declined to $1,090,300,000.000.

Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities, according to the estimates, peaked in November 2013 at $1,316,700,000,000.

…The Federal Reserve owns more U.S. Treasury securities than either Japan or China. As of June 27, according to the Federal Reserve’s balance statement, the Federal Reserve owned $2,110,256,000,000 in Treasury securities.

U.S. Treasury securities held by entities in Hong Kong are counted separately from those in Mainland China. According to the Treasury’s estimate, entities in Hong Kong owned $215,600,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities in June.

Entities in the United Kingdom were the third largest foreign holders of U.S. Treasury securities after Japan and China. In June, entities in the U.K. owned $341,100,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities.

The article concludes:

In explaining its methodology for estimating foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, the Treasury explained that some countries have higher numbers because owners of Treasury securities from third countries “entrust the safekeeping of their securities” to institutions in these countries.

“Imperfections caused by ‘custodial bias’remain in the current MFH [Major Foreign Holders of U.S. Treasury Securities] table,” said the methodology statement. “Some foreign owners entrust the safekeeping of their securities to institutions that are neither in the United States nor in the owner’s country of residence. For example, a German investor may buy a U.S. security and place it in the custody of a Swiss bank. In both the SLT and the periodic surveys of holdings of long-term securities, such a holding will typically be recorded vis-a-vis Switzerland rather than Germany. This ‘custodial bias’ contributes to the large recorded holdings in major custodial centers including Belgium, the Caribbean banking centers, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.”

It truly is time to cut our spending. We owe too many people too much money.

Slowly Dealing With The Problem

On Wednesday, CNS News posted an article about the number of border crossings in recent months.

The article reports:

The number of border crossings have dropped by 43 percent since May, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday.

Furthermore, the number of illegal immigrants in custody at border stations has dropped from 20,000 in June to less than 4,000 as of today.

“So those efforts are making progress – 43% reduction in crossings since May. We’re hoping to continue the progress in August. I’ll be going back to Central America next week to try to build on that with El Salvador and Panama and really address this problem as a regional effort,” he told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.

“On the first week of June, we had 20,000 people in custody in border stations. They’re having a difficult time managing that overcrowding. This morning we have less than 4,000, and they’re not staying with us very long. We’re able to repatriate the single adults quickly. The unaccompanied children are going to a better situation with Health and Human Services,” McAleenan said.

Speaking about the recent attacks on ICE facilities across the country, the acting director said, “It does appear to be targeted, and again, as you just noted, this is the fourth incident of violence or an issue at an ICE facility, and our top priority is the safety of our men and women who are out there protecting American communities.

Some Americans are being told that law enforcement is a bad thing. We have seen increased attacks on police as well as border agents. This is an undermining of the things that keep us safe. It is an attempt to bring anarchy to America. We need to educate our children to respect those in law enforcement. Without those who risk their lives when they go to work every day, we would have chaos in this country. We need to remember that.

Moving The Goalposts When They Aren’t Winning The Game

The Democrat loved the Supreme Court before President Trump appointed two Justices. They are concerned now because their allies on the Court are not young, and President Trump is still President despite their best efforts. So, since they can’t seem to get what they want honestly, they are trying to change the rules.

CNS News posted an article today with the headline, “Five Democrats Warn Supreme Court It Could be ‘Restructured;’ Urge It to Drop 2nd Amendment Case.” Wow. Talk about arrogance.

The article reports:

Five Democrat senators have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging it to stay out of a pending Second Amendment case and warning it that a majority of Americans now believe the “Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.”

The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, is the first major challenge to gun laws since 2010, the senators said.

According to SCOTUS blog, the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association, representing gun owners who live in the city, are challenging the city’s ban on transferring licensed, unloaded guns anywhere outside city limits — including to a weekend home or to a shooting range.

The lower courts upheld those restrictions, so the gun owners took their case to the Supreme Court.

The article continues:

The senators argue that the National Rifle Association and The Federalist Society have “engineered the case” so the Republican-appointed majority will rule in their favor.

“[C]ourts do not undertake political ‘projects.’ Or at least they should not,” Whitehouse, Hirono, Blumenthal, Durbin, and Gillibrand wrote. “Americans are murdered each day with firearms in classrooms or movie theaters or churches or city streets, and a generation of preschoolers is being trained in active-shooter survival drills.

“In the cloistered confines of this Court, notwithstanding the public imperatives of these massacres, the NRA and its allies brashly presume, in word and deed, that they have a friendly audience [on the Court] for their ‘project.’”

Further, the Democrats argue that the gun-transporting restrictions have now been rescinded, making the case moot, yet the plaintiffs “soldier on” with their case.

“The judiciary was not intended to settle hypothetical disagreements,” the brief says. “Rather, the Framers designed Article III courts to adjudicate actual cases and controversies brought by plaintiffs who suffer a real-world harm.”

The Democrats also argue that the Supreme Court is increasingly “political” (now that it has an “engineered” Republican-appointed majority).

“Today, fifty-five percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court is ‘mainly motivated by politics'(up five percent from last year); fifty-nine percent believe the Court is ‘too influenced by politics’; and a majority now believes the ‘Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics,'” the brief says.

The senators conclude their brief with a warning about “restructuring” the court, an idea advocated by some of the Democrats running for president:

“The Supreme Court is not well,” they wrote. “And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

Presumably, the court will not be “healed” until a majority of the justices are appointed by Democrats.

When they are out of power, Democrats tend to act like spoiled brats.

How Is This Helpful?

CNS News posted an article yesterday about recent comments by former President Obama about the shootings over the weekend.

The article notes:

Former President Barack Obama issued a statement Monday expressing grief for the families of the victims of the El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, shooting massacres and calling for people to reject language from leaders “that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.”

“Even if details are still emerging, there are a few things we already know to be true,” Obama tweeted on Monday. “First, no other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United States. No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do.

…Second, while the motivations behind these shootings may not yet be fully known, there are indications that the El Paso shooting follows a dangerous trend: troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy. Like the followers of ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations, these individuals may act alone, but they’ve been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet. That means that both law enforcement agencies and internet platforms need to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of these hate groups.

This is not helpful. We have had troubled people in our country since the founding of the country. While the media is focused on the shootings over the weekend, how many people in Chicago died during that same weekend? Why isn’t that mentioned? Hate groups are not the problem–mental illness is the problem. These individuals acted as individuals. There are indications that they were troubled before the shootings.

During his administration, President Obama perverted justice on numerous occasions. He was quick to condemn the police before the facts were known, and at the beginning of his administration he refused to charge the New Black Panthers with voter intimidation despite the fact that there was obvious video evidence. Undermining authority and unequal enforcement of the law creates a climate of unrest. Using the government against political opponents ( using the IRS to suppress conservative speach)  also undermines our republic

When History Isn’t Taught In Schools

Last week we celebrated Independence Day. It was the day that America declared its freedom from British rule. It was the day that Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.

The New American website includes what I consider the most important quote of the time period:

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

We are an imperfect nation founded by imperfect people. However, those imperfect people relied on basic historic principles to create a land that would promote freedom. They were constrained by the customs of their time, and acted accordingly. Many of the issues they did not address (because they were not considered issues at the time) have since been addressed. Unfortunately some of our Congressional representatives do not appreciate the history that gave us our freedom or that allows them supposedly to represent us.

On July 5th, CNS News posted a tweet by Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). This tweet was posted on July 4th:

The article notes:

Controversial Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) both “liked” and shared Pressley’s post on her Twitter page.

In her Twitter thread, Rep. Pressley argued that the “prejudices, biases & contradictions codified by our founding fathers is still felt today.” She continued to compare the detention of migrants awaiting trial to slavery, writing that “We continue to struggle as a nation to embrace our full history, one that includes family separation of black families at the auction block & today of migrants at camps.”

Writing for The Daily Wire, Josh Hammer rebuked the article, saying that its author was “profoundly ungrateful” and “affirmatively wrong to muddle and belittle the genius that was Thomas Jefferson’s drafted Declaration of Independence.”

Hammer added that the Declaration of Independence actually laid the foundation for the extermination of slavery:

“Slavery was not in any way a tenet of the American Founding; it was an institution manifestly athwart the Founding. The sagacity of the Declaration, in fact, was that it actually laid the seeds — the very codified foundation — for the eventual eradication of that most horrific of compromises of principle.”

Again, history has to be viewed in context. Slavery was an acceptable practice at the time, and women did not have rights at the time. That has changed. As for the Indians, unfortunately it is the rule of nations that since man arrived on the planet that nations have changed hands because of force. Generally speaking, the conquered people assimilated into the new nation. Look at the nations of Europe and Great Britain to find multiple examples of that principle.

America is one of the freest nations in the world–our Bill of Rights protects that freedom. If Representative Pressley thinks the nation she is supposed to serve is so horrible, I would ask what legislation she has introduced to make it a better place.

Meanwhile, let us heed the words of Benjamin Franklin and celebrate our republic.

A Positive Economic Picture

CNS News is reporting today that the economy is doing better than predicted.

The article reports:

A record 157,005,000 people were employed in June, the most since February and the 19th record of Trump’s presidency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

And the economy added a strong 224,000 jobs in June, well above the estimate of 160,000.

The unemployment rate, the lowest in 50 years, ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.7 percent.

In June, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 259,037,000. Of those, 162,981,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 162,981,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 259,037,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population. That’s up a tenth of a point from May’s 62.8 percent participation rate. The payroll taxes paid by people who participate in the labor force help support those who do not participate, so the higher this number, the better.

The participation rate reached a record high of 67.3 percent in early 2000; the highest it’s been under Trump is 63.2 percent.

In December 2016, the labor force participation rate was 62.7. It has moved between 62.7 and 63.1 since President Trump took office.

I love the fact that during a Republican administration, the estimates of jobs created is always low and economists are always surprised when the real numbers come out.

The article concludes:

And wages continue rising: In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.90, following a 9-cent gain in May. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in a June 25 speech, said the economy has performed “reasonably well” so far this year, with continued growth and strong job creation keeping the unemployment rate near historic lows.

But Powell also mentioned “some ongoing cross-currents,” including trade uncertainty and incoming data about the strength of the global economy.

He said the Fed “will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion…” That could mean lower interest rates — or not, if the employment and job numbers remain strong.

Economic policies impact the economy. It matters who is occupying the White House. President Trump has proved that.

Be Careful What You Wish For

CNS News posted an article today about the upcoming appearance of Robert Mueller before the House of Representatives.

The article notes:

Be careful what you wish for, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Tuesday night:

“Listen, it is not a good day for America, but Bob Mueller better be prepared. Because I can tell you, he will be cross-examined for the first time, and the American people will start to see the flaws in his report.”

Republicans have many unanswered questions about the scope of Mueller’s investigation, including the process leading up to the FISA warrant on Carter Page and when Mueller’s team learned that there was no coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Meadows said Democrats have courted Mueller “just so that they can harass the president” and keep the collusion/obstruction narrative going for political reasons.

Meadows predicted that Mueller’s testimony will “backfire” on Democrats.

Mueller, in his only public comment on the report, said it speaks for itself and he would have nothing to add beyond what is in it.

But “Congress has questions that go beyond the report,” Rep. Schiff told CNN Tuesday night:

“So we have any number of questions about the counter-intelligence investigation, and the role of the counter-intelligence agents within his team to questions about some of the prosecutorial decisions that were made. We have fact questions about some of the statements that are made in the report, so there are any number of issues that we wish to cover with him,” Schiff said.

So what about the questions some of the rest of us have:

  • How was the investigation team chosen?
  • Why was the investigation team composed solely of Democrat campaign contributors and in one case a lawyer who had worked for the Clintons?
  • Why was someone put in charge of investigating the President right after the President had rejected his job application? Was he expected to be objective?
  • Why did the Mueller Report totally ignore Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, etc.?
  • Why was an unverified dossier used as the basis for a FISA Warrant?
  • How many attempts were made to place undercover agents in the Trump campaign?
  • Why were charges against Paul Manafort that had been deemed not worth prosecuting more than ten years ago suddenly brought to life again?
  • Why did the investigation look equally into both campaigns?
  • Did the report include the fact that the Democrats never allowed the FBI to examine their computer servers that they claimed the Russians had hacked?
  • When did Robert Mueller realize that there was no collusion between President Trump and Russia?

Those questions might make for an interesting hearing. I would be willing to watch that on C-SPAN.