This Makes My Heart Hurt

Yesterday Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about the spending bill the President signed this morning.

The article notes:

Forty-eight hours before the government would have shut down, Congress produced the conference report containing the seven remaining funding bills for the FY2019 budget. And less than 20 hours after producing the 1,159-page monstrosity, both the House and the Senate are expected to pass the bill. Perhaps members will take a nap with it under their pillow to absorb it by osmosis.

It’s not a good bill, and even if it were, how would anyone know? I am sure some members of Congress assigned various sections of the bill to staff members in the hopes of getting most of it read, but this is no way to run a country.

Meanwhile, the President is charged with defending our borders. We have had and continue to have thousands of people forming caravans to break into our country. Any public official who took an oath to defend our Constitution has an obligation to defend our borders. I really don’t understand why that is so difficult to understand. Well, yes I do–it’s about money and voters. When the Democrats look at illegal aliens, they see Democrat voters. Illegal aliens are already allowed to vote in local elections in some cities and states. When Republicans look at illegal aliens, they see cheap labor. Since much of the campaign money for Republicans comes from PAC’s related to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (made up of corporations that support cheap labor), Republicans are not inclined to seal our borders.

So what impact does illegal immigration have on those of us who are ordinary citizens? In June 2018, Numbers USA reported:

A recent report by the Migration Policy Institute, entitled Chilling Effects: The Expected Public Charge Rule and Its Impact on Legal Immigrant Families’ Public Benefits Use, revealed that 10.3 million out of the 22 million foreign nationals in the U.S. receive benefits from at least one welfare program funded by taxpayer dollars. Additionally, 54.2% of foreign national children, age 17 and younger, are granted welfare benefits. The data also showed that 46.3% of foreign national welfare recipients are adults, age 18 to 54, and 47.8% are older than 54.

MPI examined a leaked draft of an executive order that would deny green cards to individuals who use public benefits, or have relatives who do. The report goes on to explain how the Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule would reduce the number of foreign nationals on welfare, cause a decrease in immigration levels, and make it more difficult for foreign nationals and their dependents to be eligible for welfare benefits.

A website called nokidhungry.org reports that 17.9 percent of American children under the age of 18 are living in households that experienced limited or uncertain availability of safe, nutritious food at some point during the year. (Source: Feeding America). That number is a disgrace when you consider the amount of money we provide to poor families in this country, but it also illustrates the fact that we cannot afford to support more low-income families–particularly if they are not American citizens.

It is pathetic that Congress could not support preserving our country. Thank God we have a President who is willing to fight to preserve America.

Walter Jones Will Be Missed

Walter Jones was my Congressman. I met him on various occasions. He was a humble man who worked hard to represent the people of eastern North Carolina. I know of more than one instance when he went out of his way to help someone cut through the red tape of government to get help with an issue.

Tonight The Daily Caller posted an article about his death.

The article notes:

Jones, who represented his North Carolina district for over 20 years, was fighting off several illnesses over the last few months, according to Fox News, and was granted a leave of absence in late 2018 after missing several votes on the floor.

A strong supporter of the U.S. Marines, Jones previously served in the North Carolina General Assembly. His district has numerous military bases, and while he initially supported the war in Iraq, he eventually sided with Democrats calling for the withdrawal of troops from the country. 

…Back in 2011, Jones was one of 10 members of Congress to file a lawsuit against President Obama in an effort to stop the U.S. from sending troops to Libya, calling the U.S. bombing an “abuse of power.”

“Libya had done nothing to America,” Jones had said. “I realize they’ve got an evil leader, Qaddafi, but still, you don’t go around the world attacking countries because they have an evil leader.”

Any time a constituent spoke with Walter Jones, he told them how concerned he was about the budget deficit. He would not vote yes on any bill that increased the deficit. He was a man who represented the people in his district well and stuck to his principles.

A Representative Speaks About The Border And The Shutdown

On Saturday, The Alpha News, posted a column by U.S. Representative Jack Bergman.

Representative Bergman wrote:

For those of us who call the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan home, the discussion around border security is often different than what we see on the nightly news. The challenges for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agents and other federal, state and local law enforcement in the Soo vary greatly from those of their southern border counterparts. The commonality is we share the same goal: the safety and security of our citizens.

As the national debate rages on, we must remember that our nation is a welcoming nation and built by immigrants. I know firsthand — my grandparents immigrated from Sweden to the Upper Peninsula to start a new life.

Though, equally as true as the aforementioned: We are a nation of borders, as well as law and order. But our immigration system is broken — and to argue otherwise would be dishonest. From an ineffective visa system to porous borders, decades of disinterest, lazy legislation, and bureaucratic opposition have encouraged bad actors to take advantage of our current system. It’s not fair to put the needs of our citizens or of those who come here legally below those who enter illegally.

President Donald Trump is right to call this a crisis, and we have a unique opportunity right now to address these issues head on. Fixing our immigration system starts first and foremost with secure borders. Without that, everything else falls apart. While most are hoping to enter our country for a good reason, we can’t turn a blind eye to the facts. Over the past two years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested close to 300,000 criminal illegal immigrants in our country — 3,900 on murder charges, 27,000 on sex-related charges, 99,000 on assault-related charges, and over 160,000 on criminal traffic charges, such as driving under the influence.

Congress has the constitutional duty and obligation to provide for the safety and security of our citizens, and it’s time we put aside partisan games and secure our borders. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have identified the need for 234 miles of physical barrier (read: wall) on our southern border.

Yet, Nancy Pelosi and many other “leaders” have radically dismissed the notion of walls being a necessary part of securing a border.

This is not campaign rhetoric or pandering for votes. This is a crisis of our own making. We are in the longest — and most avoidable — government shutdown in U.S. history. Those most vital to protecting our borders, coasts, and ports have now missed at least one paycheck, with little to no progress being made in Washington.

It’s time to end this shutdown, secure our borders, and get our government open and working for the people.

Come to the table Democrats.

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, represents Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, covering the northern Lower Peninsula and all of the Upper Peninsula.

Well spoken, sir.

 

 

But It Sounds So Wonderful

Sometimes I wonder if anyone in Congress has actually read the U.S. Constitution.

Shmoop states:

Clause 1. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Constitution generally leaves it up to the states to organize congressional elections, but gives Congress the power to set new rules for federal elections as it sees fit. In 1842, Congress passed an important law requiring single-member district elections in every state, standardizing congressional election practices nationwide. The same law set one standard Election Day—the Tuesday after the first Monday in November—throughout the country. We still use the same Election Day today.

On Thursday PJ Media reported that one of the top legislative priorities of the new House of Representatives is the passage of H.R. 1.

The official name of the bill is:

H.R.1 – To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes.

If only that were what the bill is actually about.

These are some of the provisions of H.R.1 listed in the article:

It forces states to implement mandatory voter registration. If someone is on a government list — such as receiving welfare benefits or rental subsidies — then they would be automatically registered to vote. Few states have enacted these systems because Americans still view civic participation as a voluntary choice. Moreover, aggregated government lists always contain duplicates and errors that states, even without mandatory voter registration, frequently fail to catch and fix.

H.R. 1 also mandates that states allow all felons to vote. Currently, states have the power under the Constitution to set the terms of eligibility in each state. Some states, like Maine, have decided that voting machines should be rolled into the prisons. Other states, like Nevada, have chosen to make a felony a disenfranchising event.

…H.R. 1 would also force states to have extended periods of early voting, and mandates that early voting sites be near bus or subway routes. While purportedly designed to increase participation, early voting has been shown to have no effect on turnout.

…H.R. 1 also undermines the First Amendment by exerting government control over political speech and undoing the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

The proposal also undoes another Supreme Court decision. In Husted, a case arising out of Ohio, the Court ruled that federal laws — known as “Motor Voter” — do not prohibit states from using a voter’s inactivity from triggering a mailing to that voter to see if they still are living at that location. H.R. 1 would undo that ruling and prohibit states from effectively cleaning voter rolls.

You get the picture. Please follow the link to read the entire article. Aside from the fact that most of H.R. 1 in unconstitutional, it is a naked power grab by the new House of Representatives. It needs to be stopped cold.

Something To Consider

Decisions that impact national security should be made on the basis of what is best for America. Unfortunately that has not been the case as of late.

On January 10th, The Washington Times reported:

President Trump has proposed spending $18 billion over the next decade to construct a new and improved border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. While some lawmakers have criticized the both the cost and the plan, a new analysis reveals the expenditure is relatively small compared to other federal spending.

“That $18 billion would equal just 0.0338 percent of the $53.128 trillion the Congressional Budget Office currently estimates the federal government will spend over that same 10-year period,” wrote Terence P. Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com.

It also equals only 2.7 percent of the money the federal government will spend on the food stamp program, Mr. Jeffrey wrote. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will eat up $679 billion in the 10 fiscal years from 2018 through 2027, according to budget office’s estimate.

He figured that this is 37.7 times as much as the $18 billion which would go to Mr.Trump’s proposed border wall.

The cost of the wall is also 0.34 percent of the $5.232 trillion which the federal government will spend on Medicaid over the next 10 years, and 0.26 percent of the $6.838 trillion allotted to national defense in the next decade.

So this battle is obviously not about money. We also have to realize that if either the Democrats or the Republicans were serious about border security, the wall would have been built by now. So why don’t we have a wall?

Carroll Quigley one wrote:

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” ~ Carroll Quigley

The Democrats and the establishment Republicans have a shared policy on open borders–they support them. The Democrats want voters and the Republicans want cheap labor. Until someone wants the safety of the American public, we have a problem.

The Numbers–Do They Actually Matter?

On January 6th, The Conservative Tribune posted an article about illegal immigration.

The article reported:

According to an Economist/YouGov survey, a jaw-dropping 93 percent of Americans believe that illegal immigration is a problem.

“A wide-ranging Economist/YouGov survey gauged the level of concern Americans have on the issue to find that only 7 percent of the overall public say illegal immigration is ‘not a problem’; 2 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and even 12 percent of Democrats agree with the statement,” The Washington Times reported.

There are differences in how serious people believe the immigration problem is, but those who shrug off illegal immigration are few and far between.

“40 percent of Americans overall say illegal immigration in the U.S. is a ‘very serious problem’; 73 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree,” The Times explained.

“22 percent overall say illegal immigration is a ‘somewhat serious problem’; 19 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree,” the paper summarized. Another 24 percent of Americans said that it was a “minor problem.”

At the same time, the Economist/YouGov survey revealed some inconvenient results for liberals.

When respondents were asked if they trusted Republicans or Democrats to deal with border security, a higher percentage — 31 percent — said “Republicans.” Meanwhile, 62 percent thought Congress should compromise with the president to end the government shutdown.

It seems as if most Americans are aware of the problems associated with illegal immigration regardless of what the media is trying to tell us. A border wall is a good idea. However, we also need to do something about America’s very broken immigration system. Our current immigration laws have been exploited by major corporations to replace American workers with cheaper workers. This has been done not only on the low end of the pay scale, but also on the higher end.

On June 3, 2015, The New York Times reported:

Instead, about 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

Of course that was legal immigration, but it was a typical case of a corporation using a bad law to its advantage.

I don’t know if the wall will actually be built. It should be. The wall is opposed by Democrats (present and future voters–many illegals are currently voting in our elections) and Republicans (U.S. Chamber of Commerce members who support illegal immigration because it depresses wages in the lower sectors of the economy and increases their profits). We have reached a point where our representatives not only do not represent us–they have forgotten to represent the best interests of America.

This Is What Desperation Looks Like

Democrats and anti-Trump people will do almost anything to stop people from watching President Trump tonight when he explains why we need a border wall, but one person seems to have gone over the edge.

The Washington Examiner reported the following today:

Porn star Stormy Daniels will livestream herself folding her laundry in her underwear while President Trump addresses the nation regarding the southern border.

“If you’re looking for anything even remotely worth watching tonight at 9pm EST, I will be folding laundry in my underwear for 8 minutes on Instagram live,” Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, posted to Twitter.

We have reached a new low. Just for the record, I can tell you what the Democratic response to the President’s speech will be–“wall bad” “orange-haired man bad.”

Securing the border is part of the responsibility of the President. Congress needs to let him do his job.

More Shark Jumping In The House Of Representatives

While our southern border remains porous, the new majority of House Democrats is busy. On January 3rd, The Hill reported that Representative Julia Brownley of California has introduced a bill to rewrite federal laws with gender-neutral terms, codifying the progressive ideological tenet that distinctions between men and women are exclusionary.

The article reports:

The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, but LGBT rights advocates say discrimination against same-sex couples still persists.

Lambda Legal, a civil rights group, has filed two lawsuits in the past year challenging the Social Security Administration’s requirement that couples be married for at least nine months to qualify for survivor’s benefits.

Brownley introduced a similar bill in the previous Congress, and before that the bill was championed by former Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.). The measure failed to make it out of committee.

Brownley said the new legislation will “recognize and re-affirm that all Americans have the right to marry the person they love, to ensure no one is denied federal benefits and protections because of who they love, and more broadly to make sure that same sex couples are treated equally under the law in all respects.”

If the law requires that all couples must be married for at least nine months to collect survivor’s benefits, how is that discriminatory? I think this proposed law is another example of the children’s book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.

 

We Need A Wall

The following was posted at CBN recently:

As President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats remain at an apparent impasse over the border wall, the commander in chief is drawing criticism for shutting down the government. Others, however, insist the wall is necessary, saying the president must stand up for national security.

CBN News‘ Charlene Aaron spoke with Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney about why he believes it’s so important for the president to win this particular battle over immigration.

I realize that a five minute video is a lot to post on a blog, but it is worth listening to. Frank Gaffney has been involved in national security for a long time and knows what he is talking about.

You Had One Job…

In 1996 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act was passed, giving states control of welfare.

The site history.com reports:

Building on policies that had been passed by Reagan, and a foundational principle of “personal responsibility,” TANF added work requirements for aid, shrinking the number of adults who could qualify for benefits. This legislation also created caps for how long and how much aid a person could receive, and well as instituting harsher punishments for recipients who did not comply with the requirements.

Under President Obama, those requirements were loosened because of the recession. The Republican Congress under President Trump had discussed putting work requirements back, but somehow those requirements didn’t make it into the farm bill.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial yesterday about the recently passed farm bill. The article notes that there was bi-partisan support for the farm bill.

The editorial states:

How bad is the bill? Even Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley, himself a farmer, was outraged because the package granted federal subsidies even to distant relatives of farmers that don’t farm.

…Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group, a left-leaning environmentalist organization that has been critical of farm subsidies, notes that more than 1,000 “city slickers” who live in major American cities get farm subsidies. It’s absurd.

All in all, the nearly $1 trillion a year spent on farm subsidies and food aid is a massive waste, given that farmers on average have higher incomes than those who are taxed to subsidize them

As Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute points out, farm incomes in 2017 were 32% higher than average U.S. household incomes, while about 60% of subsidies for the three main farm programs went to the biggest 10% of farms. Welfare for the rich.

Meanwhile, the the new bill also provides “promotional funds” for farmers markets, research for organic farming, and money to train more farmers. It also grants more money to veteran and minority farmers. Everyone gets a handout, it seems, whether needed or not.

The editorial concludes:

In our increasingly socialized farm economy, nearly everyone is too big to fail. Which means the rest of us pay for it. President Trump, focused on other things, will likely sign this awful Farm Bill. After all, it has that golden seal of congressional approval: It was “bipartisan.” All that means is both sides found ways to rip off taxpayers.

The bill did not include work requirements for food stamps recipients. The Republican Congress had one job regarding the farm bill…

Unbelievable

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a recent statement by Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Representative Nadler told CNN’s Jake Tapper that President Trump’s hush money payments to two women with his own money are impeachable offenses.Somehow lost in this discussion was the fact that Congress paid has paid out $17 million in the past 10 years, public records show, for unwanted sexual advances by unnamed lawmakers.

The offenses were by unnamed lawmakers. And the money came from taxpayers. So paying women to be quiet with your own money is impeachable, but paying women to be quiet using taxpayer money is acceptable. Wow. Who knew?

The article includes the following tweet:

That is an interesting question.

What Is This Actually About?

On Friday, Breitbart posted an article about the debate over one of the questions that is supposed to appear on the 2020 Census.

The article reports:

Republican lawmakers are working with Democrats to ban the 2020 Census from asking United States residents whether or not they are American citizens.

In March, President Donald Trump’s administration announced they would put the citizenship question back on the census. It has not been included since 1950. For seven decades, all residents living in the United States have been counted on the census but have not been asked whether or not they are American citizens, making it impossible for the federal government to know the size of the citizen population versus the immigrant population.

The article explains why this question is significant:

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has noted the citizenship question on the census is necessary to further implement congressional apportionment based on the citizen population rather than the current rules that base state representation on the total population — including ocitizens, illegal alien residents, legal immigrants, and nonimmigrants on visas.

Should congressional apportionment be based on the number of American citizens in each state — which is only possible through asking the citizenship question on the census — Democrat-strong coastal areas with large foreign populations like California and Florida could lose representation, while states with small foreigon populations like Wyoming and Ohio would likely gain representation in Congress. Such a rule change would shift power from coastal states to the heartland of the country, Breitbart News reported.

Keep in mind that there are some serious philosophical differences in the politics of the elites in Washington (combined with the elites in coastal America) and the average American living in the mid-west.

Congress has been discussing illegal immigration since the 1980’s. Why hasn’t the issue been resolved? It’s a matter of viewpoint–the Democrats see illegal immigrants as future citizen voters–the corporate Republicans (the non-conservative, country-club Republicans) see cheap labor.  Until we elect Congressmen who are willing to see the problem of having millions of people in the country who are not contributing to Social Security or taxes yet are receiving government benefits, we will continue to have the problem of a large population of illegal immigrants. They do not have the right to represented in Congress–they are not citizens,

The question belongs in the 2020 Census, but I sincerely doubt it will be there.

 

When The Deep State Overrides The Constitution

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a recent FBI raid. The raid was conducted on the home of a legally protected whistleblower who had blown the whistle on some of the illegalities in the Uranium One deal and some of the financial dealings of the Clinton Foundation.

The article reports:

FBI agents raided the home of a recognized Department of Justice whistleblower who privately delivered documents pertaining to the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One to a government watchdog, according to the whistleblower’s attorney.

The Justice Department’s inspector general was informed that the documents show that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and Rosatom, the Russian company that purchased Uranium One, a document reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation alleges.

The delivered documents also show that then-FBI Director Robert Mueller failed to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct pertaining to Rosatom and to other Russian government entities attached to Uranium One, the document reviewed by TheDCNF alleges. Mueller is now the special counsel investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

“The bureau raided my client to seize what he legally gave Congress about the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One,” the whistleblower’s lawyer, Michael Socarras, told TheDCNF, noting that he considered the FBI’s raid to be an “outrageous disregard” of whistleblower protections.

The article continues:

A special agent from the FBI’s Baltimore division, who led the raid, charged that Cain possessed stolen federal property and demanded entry to his private residence, Socarras told TheDCNF.

“On Nov. 19, the FBI conducted court authorized law enforcement activity in the Union Bridge, Maryland area,” bureau spokesman Dave Fitz told TheDCNF. “At this time, we have no further comment.”

Cain informed the agent while he was still at the door that he was a recognized protected whistleblower under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act and that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz recognized his whistleblower status, according to Socarras.

The article explains the whistleblower act:

The whistleblower act is intended to protect whistleblowers within the intelligence community, which includes the FBI.

“The [intelligence community] is committed to providing its personnel the means to report violations of law,” according to a 2016 intelligence community directive.

“The [whistleblower act] authorizes employees of contractors to take government property and give it to the two intelligence committees confidentially,” Socarras told TheDCNF.

The FBI has yet to talk to Cain’s attorney despite the raid, according to Socarras.

“After the raid, and having received my name and phone number from Mr. Cain as his lawyer, an FBI agent actually called my client directly to discuss his seized electronics,” Socarras told TheDCNF. “Knowingly bypassing the lawyer of a represented client is serious misconduct.”

The Justice Department and the IG both declined to comment.

Whoever authorized this raid and whoever was involved in it need to be fired from the FBI so that they can be replaced by people who respect the law and the U.S. Constitution.

Promises Made, Promises Broken

During the mid-term election campaign, a number of Democrats stated that it was time for new leadership in the Democrat party and that they would not support Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Well, guess what–yesterday The Western Journal posted an article with the following headline, “Democrats Nominate Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker.”

The article reports:

Nancy Pelosi has been nominated by House Democrats to lead them in the new Congress, but she still faces a showdown vote for House speaker when lawmakers convene in January.

Pelosi ran unopposed as the nominee for speaker in a closed-door Democratic caucus election Wednesday despite unrest from those clamoring for new leadership.

The California Democrat faces tougher math in January, when she’ll need 218 votes, the majority of the full House, to be elected speaker. House Democrats are taking control with at least a 233-vote majority, but some Democrats have pledged that they won’t back Pelosi for speaker.

Anyone ready to take bets? Actually Nancy Pelosi as speaker would be a good thing for Republicans–she is growing old and sometimes here statements indicate that. It truly is time for new leadership in both parties.

The Charges Are Unraveling

The Hill posted an article yesterday with the following heading, “A convenient omission? Trump campaign adviser denied collusion to FBI source early on.” Somehow that fact got left out of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) request.

The article reports:

Just weeks after the FBI opened a dramatic counterintelligence probe into President Trump and Russia, one of his presidential campaign advisers emphatically told an undercover bureau source there was no election collusion occurring because such activity would be treasonous.

George Papadopoulos says his spontaneous admission to London-based professor Stefan Halper occurred in mid-September 2016 — well before FBI agents and the Obama Justice Department sought a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to collect Trump campaign communications in the final days before the election.

“He was there to probe me on the behest of somebody else,” Papadopoulos told me in an interview this week, recalling the Halper meeting. “He said something along the lines of, ‘Oh, it’s great that Russia is helping you and your campaign, right George?’ ”

Papadopoulos said Halper also suggested the Trump campaign was involved in the hacking and release of Hillary Clinton’s emails that summer. “I think I told him something along the lines of, ‘I have no idea what the hell you are talking about. What you are talking about is treason. And I have nothing to do with that, so stop bothering me about it,’ ” Papadopoulos recalled.

The former campaign aide is set to testify behind closed doors Thursday before two House panels.

Sources who saw the FISA warrant and its three renewals tell me there is no mention of Papadopoulos’s denial, an omission of exculpatory evidence that GOP critics in Congress are likely to cite as having misled the court.

It is becoming more and more obvious that President Obama’s administration used the power of the federal government to spy on the Trump campaign and later to work against the Trump administration. Whether or not we will ever learn the full extent of the misuse of government agencies will depend largely on the results of the mid-term election. If the Democrats take over the House of Representatives, it is fairly certain that all investigations regarding misuse of government agencies will cease. That will send a clear message to those in power in Washington that it is okay to misuse the powers of government as long as you continue to hold power over the oversight committees that would investigate those abuses. That is not a county that we all want to live in.

In Areas Involving Security, The Government Needs To Function More Like A Business

Yesterday Fox News posted an article with the title, “Here’s why Hillary Clinton losing her security clearance matters for the rest of us.”

The article explains:

Hillary Clinton no longer has a security clearance. A letter released from the Department of State to Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, says she lost her clearance on August 30 at her request. The State Department also withdrew security clearances from five people Clinton had previously requested clearances for, as she had designated them “researchers.” One was Cheryl Mills, who was once the deputy White House counsel for President Bill Clinton who defended him during his 1999 impeachment trial. The names of the others were redacted.

The mainstream media is treating the loss of these clearances as a move by Clinton to avoid a political snub by the Trump administration.

The article points out that Hillary Clinton should have lost her clearance when it was discovered that she had classified information on her private servers. Unfortunately, Hillary’s servers were not the only problem.

The article continues:

For instance, the group of House IT aides who made up what amounted to a spy ring didn’t even have to undergo background checks to get their insider positions—jobs that allowed them to see and copy all of the emails and more from the members of Congress they worked for.

Evidence shows that Imran Awan, the head of the group who was an IT aide working for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida, was spying on congressmen and even congressional staffers. A current IT aide who wants his name kept out of print told me Awan even used his own email address as the Apple IDs when setting up staffer’s phones.

“The only reason I can think of for why Imran would do that is this would have given him the ability to see everything these staffers were doing,” said the House IT aide, a contracted employee who has more than a decade of experience working for congressmen.

This IT spying scandal, however, was covered up – as it only had to do with Democrats in Congress, the mainstream media apparently had no interest in pursuing the story.

But this lax security is not simply a political story. It puts every one of us in jeopardy. A congressman whose private emails or other data are in the hands of someone who can blackmail or otherwise influence them is a risk. For all of us. And without public pressure, it’s next to impossible to know whether Congress has tightened security to prevent this kind of spying from taking place.

There is a more recent incident:

Only weeks ago, a volunteer on the staff of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Jackson A. Cosko, was arrested after Capitol Police became aware the Wikipedia pages of three U.S. Senators had been edited to include restricted personal information without their knowledge or permission.

“On the night of Oct. 2, 2018, according to the affidavit,” says a Department of Justice press release, “a witness saw Cosko at a computer in the office of a U.S. Senator who had once employed him. The witness confronted Cosko, who left the office. An investigation led to Cosko’s arrest by the U.S. Capitol Police.”

If Cosko hadn’t posted the information, as he is alleged to have done, for political purposes (called “doxxing”) but had instead used it privately or even gave it or sold it to a news agency or a foreign government, he might never have been arrested. Or he might have gotten off just as Imran Awan and his associates did.

The article reminds us that private companies do a much better job of internet security:

What other employer allows former employees to access their networks? Companies commonly terminate employees email accounts and access before they even tell them they’ve been let go.

The government needs to learn the lesson that private companies have already learned.

The Deep State Continues To Block Investigations

The Hill posted an article today about Nellie Ohr’s refusal to answer questions asked by members of a congressional task force investigating the FBI’s handling of the infamous Steele dossier. The questions were asked in a closed-door session.

The article reports:

Congress faced another hurdle this week in its effort to establish the record of how, why and when the FBI was given information from Fusion GPS on its controversial investigation of President Trump.

Just last week, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson refused to answer any additional questions by invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Now, former Fusion employee Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, has invoked spousal privilege to refuse to answer questions from the committee. The use of spousal privilege in this context, however, could prove more damaging for Congress than the underlying allegations involving Ohr. Congress needs to seriously examine of the basis and scope of this common-law privilege in the context of an oversight investigation.

Despite exaggerated claims on both sides, Congress has a legitimate interest in establishing the underlying facts concerning the work of Fusion GPS and the novel involvement of the Ohrs. The fact that a secret investigation was launched under the Obama administration targeting associates of a political opponent should concern all citizens. We now know the Clinton campaign funneled a huge amount of money through its campaign counsel to fund the report by former British spy Christopher Steele. Fusion GPS and Steele also actively tried to place negative media stories about Donald Trump during the presidential campaign.

There was an obvious attempt to block the election of President Trump and an obvious attempt to limit his ability as President to accomplish anything. It appears that Mrs. Ohr was part of that effort, along with many high-ranking members of the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ). We need to find out who did what and what happened. If we don’t hold the people involved accountable, we can expect our justice system to be used in the future for political purposes. If we don’t deal with the wrongdoing that went on during the 2016 election and beyond, we will lose the principle of ‘equal justice under the law.’

The article concludes:

Washington is a small town filled with power couples. Under Ohr’s approach, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, could refuse to answer questions on a corruption scandal due to their speaking more as spouses than officials.

Ohr may have been asked questions that inappropriately delved into marital confidences; such questions can threaten the “harmony” of marriages long protected under the rule. If, however, Ohr used the privilege to refuse to answer an array of questions, as was reported, then Congress may want to challenge the assertion or, at the very least, consider how to approach such questions in the future.

Nellie and Bruce Ohr chose to mix their marital and professional worlds. The use of the privilege outside of marital conversations would be opportunistic, obstructionist and increasingly irresistible, if allowed. None of this means that the allegations involving Nellie Ohr are true — but she needs to answer those questions in her professional, not her marital, capacity.

The American public is entitled to answers to all questions regarding the corruption in the FBI and DOJ. Congress needs to use its power to get those answers.

Some People Who Don’t Want To Talk To Congress

The Daily Caller is reporting today that sources have told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, is refusing to appear before Congress for a closed-door hearing that was scheduled to take place this Friday. Former FBI general counsel James Baker has also refused to cooperate with requests for an interview.

The article reports:

Ohr was slated to appear before the committees to discuss her work for Fusion GPS. Ohr, an expert on Russian affairs, worked for Fusion GPS from December 2015 until just after the election.

Bruce Ohr, the former assistant deputy attorney general, was in contact with dossier author Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson before and after the election.

The Ohrs both met Steele, a former British spy, in Washington, D.C. on July 30, 2016, a day before the FBI formally opened its counterintelligence investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

Congressional sources have told TheDCNF that Bruce Ohr briefed then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe about his interaction with Steele within days of the meeting.

Ohr’s contacts with Steele increased after the FBI cut ties with the dossier author just before the election because of unauthorized contacts with the press. Ohr provided at least a dozen briefings to the FBI about his interactions with Steele from November 2016 to May 2017.

The article concludes:

Baker, a close ally of former FBI Director James Comey’s, resigned from the FBI on May 4. Congress has wanted to quiz him about his knowledge of the Trump-Russia probe as well as the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Neither Ohr nor Baker responded to emails seeking comment.

Just by watching the squirming about declassification and the people who do not want to talk to Congress, I can’t help but believe that the scandal around spygate extends even further than we have been led to believe.

Breaking The Rules To Save Your Own Skin

We are about a month away from early voting in the mid-term elections and about two months out from the actual election. Generally speaking the party of the President loses Congressional seats in the first mid-term elections of his presidency. That is generally because people are disappointed that he has failed to keep his campaign promises. That rule may or may not apply to President Trump–it seems as if a lot of rules don’t apply.

Some of the things the Democrats would do if they were to take over Congress would include:

  1. Ending the tax cuts for both individuals and corporations (this would promptly end the economic growth we have seen in the past year or so)
  2. Ending any investigation into the misuse of the Justice Department to spy on political opponents during and after the 2016 election
  3. Ending any investigations that may be going on into Uranium One or the Clinton Foundation
  4. Starting extensive investigations into President Trump with the aim of impeaching him
  5. Reinstating many of the regulations that prevented the economy from growing in the past
  6. Opening the borders and eliminating ICE
  7. Reinstating the original rules of ObamaCare (which would drastically increase the cost of health insurance for everyone) and reinstating the individual mandate

Some of the things the Republicans would do if they were to take over Congress:

  1. Complete Mueller’s investigation and finish the investigations into possible illegal spying by government agencies during the 2016 presidential campaign
  2. Make the tax cuts permanent (businesses don’t like uncertainty, until the tax cuts are made permanent there is some degree of uncertainty)
  3. Move further toward energy independence
  4. Seal the border
  5. Revise immigration policies so that people come here to assimilate and contribute to America–not just take advantage of our welfare programs.
  6. Clean out the swamp that is Washington, D.C.

With that in mind, I would like to post an excerpt from an article posted at The Conservative Treehouse today:

Many media outlets are now carrying the former Presidents’ daily speeches live during their broadcasts. There is a visible sense of panic amid the far-left apparatchik.

One thing stands as abundantly clear, the former president is afraid – very afraid.

Former President Obama is acting like a man who knows there is a strong likelihood a win for President Trump in the mid-terms means all of the corruption discovered during Obama’s administration will surface.   When campaigning today Obama says: “things can get worse“, he’s right.  Things likely will get much, much worse…. FOR HIM.

If President Trump can keep control or gain seats within the House of Representatives; and simultaneously build on the republican majority within the senate; there’s a horizon filled with consequences for President Obama, democrat politicians, and former administration officials who weaponized government to retain power.

Everything is being controlled, scripted and planned. On the surface it might seem like President Obama is violating every polite political custom in an effort to win seats in the mid-term election; however, below the surface the real motive is to save himself.

There were some serious shenanigans that went on during the Obama administration–the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, Uranium One, Hillary’s server–just to name a few. If the Democrats fail to take control of Congress this year, it is quite possible that these scandals will be dealt with and the people responsible will be held accountable. There is a fairly substantial group of people in Washington that does not want that to happen. That is the reason the former President is running around the nation saying dumb things.

Making The Election Process More Confusing Than It Already Is

On August 31, The Washington Post posted an article about redistricting in the State of North Carolina. Before I go into detail, here is a picture of what is being discussed:

I don’t know about you, but the bottom map looks much more logical than the top map.

This is what true gerrymandering looks like:

I am sure I could have found many other examples, but this is one I know. Note the lavender that meanders from the Rhode Island border up to near Boston. I suppose it is simply an incredible coincidence that the lower part of that lavender is less populated than the area approaching Boston. Also, much of the lower part of that lavender tends to be Republican. What better way to dilute those votes than combine them with the more densely populated Democrat areas approaching Boston. Massachusetts is a one-party state, and its Congressional districts have never been challenged in court. Hmmm.

At any rate, the courts threw a monkey wrench into North Carolina’s November election. It is too late to change the districts, undo the primary elections, and print the ballots. It appears that saner heads have prevailed and the districts will remain in place at least until November.

The article reports:

The plaintiffs who persuaded federal judges to declare unconstitutional North Carolina’s Republican-drawn congressional maps have “reluctantly concluded” that there is not enough time to draw new maps in time for the November elections.

A three-judge panel ruled this week that the maps were an “invidious” plan to favor Republicans over Democrats and had resulted in the GOP capturing 10 of the state’s 13 congressional districts in 2016, even though its share of the statewide vote was just over 53 percent.

There is a reason we live in a representative republic and not a democracy. I think the redrawn districts appear to be much more logical than the previous districts.

Nothing To See Here–Keep Moving

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the House Democratic Caucus’s server. It seems that the server went missing soon after it became evidence in a cybersecurity probe. Wow. What a coincidence. A newly obtained secret memo also said more than “40 House offices may have been victims of IT security violations.”

The article reports:

In the memo, Congress’s top law enforcement official, Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, along with Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko, wrote, “We have concluded that the employees [Democratic systems administrator Imran Awan and his family] are an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems and thereby members’ capacity to serve constituents.”

The memo, addressed to the Committee on House Administration (CHA) and dated Feb. 3, 2017, was recently reviewed and transcribed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The letter bolsters TheDCNF’s previous reporting about the missing server and evidence of fraud on Capitol Hill.

It details how the caucus server, run by then-caucus Chairman Rep. Xavier Becerra, was secretly copied by authorities after the House Inspector General (IG) identified suspicious activity on it, but the Awans’ physical access was not blocked.

…Rep. Louie Gohmert — a Texas Republican on the House Committee on the Judiciary who has done oversight work on the case — said the missing server contained copies of Congress members’ emails.

“They put 40 members of Congress’s data on one server … That server, with that serial number, has disappeared,” he said.

The article concludes:

A Democratic IT aide who alleged that Imran solicited a bribe from him told TheDCNF he believes members of Congress are playing dumb and covering the matter up. Wendy Anderson, a former chief of staff to New York Rep. Yvette Clarke, told House investigators that she suspected that her predecessor, Shelley Davis, was working with Abid on a theft scheme, but Clarke refused to fire Abid until outside investigators got involved, TheDCNF reported.

Eighteen months after the evidence was recounted in the urgent memo, prosecution appears to have stalled for reasons not publicly explained. Imran is in court July 3 for a possible plea deal in the bank fraud case. Gohmert said the FBI has refused to accept evidence demonstrating alleged House misconduct, and some witnesses with first-hand knowledge say the bureau has not interviewed them.a

I will admit that over the years of writing this blog I have become somewhat cynical–with that in mind, I am convinced that there is someone or some people walking around Washington that have a lot of pictures showing many of our Congressmen that the Congressmen do not want revealed. I suspect those pictures and information will eventually come out. My suspicion is based on a public, but unique, internet source that I will not name. It is possible that the July 3 court date could take an interesting turn. Stay tuned. This story is totally underreported by the mainstream media, but The Daily Caller has followed it from the beginning.

Sometimes You Wonder If Members Of Congress Have Ever Read The Constitution They Swore To Uphold

Yesterday The Hill posted an article about legislation proposed by Republicans to keep families together at the southern border of the United States.

The article reports:

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Tuesday dismissed a legislative proposal backed by Republican leaders to keep immigrant families together at the border, arguing that President Trump could fix the problem more easily with a flick of his pen.

“There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense,” Schumer told reporters. “Legislation is not the way to go here when it’s so easy for the president to sign it.”

Asked if that meant Democrats would not support a bill backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to keep immigrant families together while seeking asylum on the U.S. border, Schumer said they want to keep the focus on Trump. (Italics mine)

Legislation is the job of Congress. They are responsible for making laws. Not only is Senator Schumer shirking his responsibility, his statement makes it clear that he is more interested in politics than finding a solution. Senator Schumer is illustrating the difference between a politician and a businessman, and he is also illustrating the reason Donald Trump got elected. A politician ‘never lets a crisis go to waste.’ A businessman’s focus is on solving problems and moving forward.

It’s time to stop playing politics with border enforcement, secure our borders, and discourage people from trying to come to America illegally. If Senator Schumer chooses not to do his job, he should be replaced by a Senator who has read the Constitution and is willing to abide by his Oath of Office.

There Are Reasons Congress Needs To See The Original, Unedited Documents

Fox News posted an article today about some questions that arose during the House Judiciary and Oversight committee hearings yesterday. Congressmen are questioning Inspector General Michael Horowitz about his recent report on the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The article reports:

The House Judiciary and Oversight committees were questioning Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz over his bombshell report into FBI and DOJ misconduct during the Hillary Clinton email probe.

“The other thing that I would ask you to look into, there is growing evidence that 302s were edited and changed,” Meadows told Horowitz. “Those 302s, it is suggested that they were changed to either prosecute or not prosecute individuals. And that is very troubling.”

So-called “302s” are reports on witness interviews compiled by federal investigators. Horowitz said later he has additional information suggesting that the witness reports were changed after-the-fact in both the Clinton and Russia probes — a particularly alarming possibility given the IG report’s findings of bias in those investigations.

Horowitz suggested that the IG is reviewing information concerning modified 302s, saying his office intended to “follow up” on the matter.

In an article posted July 6, 2016, Townhall.com reminds us:

Director Comey added that Clinton and her senior aides had only been guilty of “extreme carelessness” in how they handled classified information, not “gross negligence.”

This is the law in question:

18 U.S.C. § 793 – U.S. Code – Unannotated Title 18. Crimes and Criminal Procedure § 793. Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

(f)  Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer–

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(The underline is mine).

When the report on Hillary Clinton’s email was changed, it was changed to avoid the legal term “gross negligence.” This was done to prevent Hillary Cllinton from being charged with a crime. That is the reason the investigators need to see original documents. That is the only way any of us will actually be able to find and end the corruption that has been revealed in the FBI and the Department of Justice.

There Are Definitely A Lot Of Alligators In The Swamp

Yesterday Sara Carter posted an article on her website about the long-awaited (and we are still waiting) Inspector General’s report of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation.

The article reports:

The Department of Justice and the FBI are deliberately attempting to slow roll and redact significant portions of DOJ Inspector General, Michael Horowitz’s report on the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation, according to numerous congressional officials and investigators.

The 400-page report, which was completed several weeks ago and addresses Clinton’s use of her private server for government business, is currently being reviewed by the DOJ and FBI. According to sources, individuals mentioned in the reports are also allowed to review the document. It is expected to be “long and thorough” and will criticize the handling of the investigation by former FBI Director James Comey, who has spent the better part of the past several months promoting his book A Higher Loyalty.

Hillary Clinton is said to have stated in an email to Donna Brazile, “If that f***ing bastard wins, we’re all going to hang from nooses!!!!” I think we are beginning to see what she was talking about. The swamp is fighting the release of information related to what went on during the 2016 election campaign. I honestly don’t know if there are enough honest people left in our government to be able to expose the use of the Justice Department and FBI for political purposes that obviously occurred.

The article concludes:

In a turn of events, Democrats later changed their position on Comey after President Trump fired him at the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who stated that he failed in leading the investigation into Clinton.

“The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution,” Rosenstein wrote in his May 9, 2017 letter.

The letter continued:

It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. However, the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation’s most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.

Now, however, it is Rod Rosenstein who is overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as obstruction for firing Comey.

Get out the popcorn, there is going to be a show.

Funding Terrorism Because You Don’t Think You Will Get Caught

Iran is known to be one of the major suppliers for weapons and terrorists around the world. The IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) American troops encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan generally originated in Iran. This is not a country that we want to give a lot of money to–the  money doesn’t go to the people–it goes to the military and to fund terrorism. So what in the world was President Obama thinking when he made a deal with Iran that gave them a boatload of money? It gets worse.

The Washington Times posted an article today about an attempt by President Obama to give Tehran access to American banks to convert the large amount of money Iran received after the nuclear agreement into American dollars.

The article reports:

The Obama administration — despite repeatedly assuring Congress that Iran would remain barred from the U.S. financial system — secretly mobilized to give Tehran access to American banks to convert the windfall of cash it received from sanctions relief under the 2015 nuclear deal into dollars, an investigative report by the Senate has revealed.

A copy of the report, obtained by The Washington Times, outlines how Obama-era State and Treasury Department officials discreetly issued a special license for the conversion to a major Omani bank and unsuccessfully pressured two U.S. banks to partake in the transaction, all while misleading lawmakers about the activities.

The document, compiled by the Senate’s Republican-led chief investigative subcommittee, began circulating Tuesday, just as the Trump administration issued its harshest warnings to date to foreign governments and companies to avoid doing business with Iran or find themselves in the crosshairs of Washington’s reimposition of sanctions as part of Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

The article explains that Congress was not informed of what was going on–in fact they were lied to:

The Senate Homeland Security Committee’s permanent subcommittee on investigations probe contends that the Obama administration went out of its way to keep U.S. lawmakers in the dark about calculated and secretive efforts to give Tehran a back channel to the international financial system and to U.S. banks, facilitating a massive U.S. currency conversion worth billions of dollars.

“Senior U.S. government officials repeatedly testified to Congress that Iranian access to the U.S. financial system was not on the table or part of any deal,” according to a draft copy of the document obtained by The Times. “Despite these claims, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, at the direction of the U.S. State Department, granted a specific license that authorized a conversion of Iranian assets worth billions of U.S. dollars using the U.S. financial system.

“Even after the specific license was issued, U.S. government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system,” the report said.

The article concludes:

Mr. Portman said in a statement Tuesday night that “the Obama administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran.”

“Despite claims both before and after the Iran deal was completed that the U.S. financial system would remain off limits, the Obama administration issued a specific license allowing Iran to convert billions of dollars in assets using the U.S. financial system,” Mr. Portman said. “The only reason this transaction wasn’t executed was because two U.S. banks refused, even though the administration asked them to help convert the money.”

Such sanctions, he added, “are a vital foreign policy tool, and the U.S. government should never work to actively undermine their enforcement or effectiveness.”

Thank God our banks had more integrity than President Obama.