Stacking The Deck To Steal An Election

Next year is an important election for America. The ‘fundamental transformation of America’ has been temporarily interrupted by the Trump administration, but there are those who are extremely anxious to see the transformation continue. They are fully prepared to manage the decline of America. Unfortunately President Trump is fully prepared to manage the reemergence of America as a major economic player. That will be the battle fought. Americans (knowingly or unknowingly) will be asked to choose between growth or decline. President Obama is sending his henchman Eric Holder to see if the scales can be tipped in favor of decline. In August I posted an article about this effort. Now that effort is officially coming to North Carolina.

On Thursday, Channel 5 in Raleigh reported:

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder strategized on redistricting reform Thursday with left-leaning groups that are knee-deep in the issue in North Carolina.

Holder, who served under former President Barack Obama, met with activists in Raleigh and Greensboro. He’s chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, making him the Democratic Party’s point man on redistricting reform, gerrymandering lawsuits and state legislative fights heading into the 2020 elections.

Those elections will decide control of state legislatures, and thus a decade’s worth of election maps for legislative and congressional districts across the country. His group, with backing from the former president, has funded lawsuits and election campaigns with the overarching goal of electing Democrats and undoing maps his side sees as unfair Republican gerrymanders.

When that’s done, Holder said Thursday, he hopes to see nonpartisan redistricting reform take hold in more states. He said he favors an independent commission that takes the power away from elected officials to draw their own districts.

“We’ve got to get back to a place where elections are simply fair,” Holder said.

The article further explains:

Republicans have criticized Holder’s effort as a partisan one, geared toward electing Democrats whether the maps are fair or not. A spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, with whom Holder sparred a bit on Twitter last month, asked Thursday “how many times Eric Holder has hosted a roundtable in blue states.”

“It’s probably equal to the number of blue states he’s sued, which is zero,” Pat Ryan said in an email. “Holder’s support for ‘fair maps’ is a phony front to help Democrats win more elections.”

Holder hasn’t shied away from the partisan nature of his effort. He told those gathered in Raleigh that “it sounds kind of strange, but this is a partisan attempt at good government.”

Sorry, Eric Holder, there is no such thing as a partisan attempt at good government. Remember, this is the man who ignored a video of the New Black Panthers intimidating voters in Philadelphia and dropped the charges. The video has disappeared from YouTube, but here is a still shot:

When I think of Eric Holder, I don’t think of good government.

When The Politics Of Personal Destruction Became Acceptable

Many Americans look around at the political scene and wonder how we got to the point where anyone who disagrees with those in the media (and any liberal) is a horrible person probably guilty of hate speech. The concept of personal destruction has been with us for a while, but there are a few moments in American history that we can point to as watershed moments. One is the confirmation hearing of Robert Bork in 1987.

Robert Bork was recognized as a qualified conservative judge. In 1962, he became a law professor at Yale. In 1982, Ronald Reagan appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit. In 1987, he was nominated for the Supreme Court. His nomination hearing was one of the low points of American history. The unfounded attacks on him were a shadow of things to come.

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about Joe Biden’s role in the confirmation hearings of Robert Bork.

The article notes:

During the fourth Democratic debate on Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden — the ostensible moderate in the race — bragged about his role in the acrimonious political attack that first made Supreme Court confirmation battles as vicious as they are today. While Democrats often blame House Speaker Newt Gingrich for coarsening America’s political rhetoric, the character assassination of Robert Bork first ignited the partisan political warfare that hit a fever pitch with Trump.

Biden is campaigning on a platform of “restoring the soul” of America, aiming to reverse the influence of Trump, whom he blames for the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va. Yet the former VP played a key role in the political declaration of war that turned Bork’s last name into a verb. On Tuesday, he bragged about that.

Asked about abortion, the former senator — and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman — bragged, “When I defeated Robert Bork, I made sure we guaranteed a woman’s right to choose for the better part of a generation.”

So the smearing of Robert Bork (also the smearing of Brett Kavanaugh) was actually about abortion. It worked the first time; it didn’t work the second time–Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed–Judge Bork was not.

The article continues:

Yet bragging about Bork is a bad strategy, especially for a candidate who aims to present himself as a return to political civility.

As Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) wrote in his excellent book Them: Why We Hate Each Other—and How to Heal, the “Borking” of Robert Bork helped create the “angry constituency” that spurred on (Newt) Gingrich’s success.

…Biden played a large role in the character assassination.

Stage management was a key part of this made-for-tv political drama, and one of the central cast members was the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Delaware Senator Joe Biden. His former staffers later admitted that chairman Biden hatched a plan to work with outside advocacy groups to heighten the visibility of the Bork hearings. Biden thought a Supreme Court fight could be a key lever to boosting his name recognition in advance of the 1988 Democratic primary.

Because character assassination worked in that instance, the Democrat party has tried it on other occasions. It wasn’t until they tried it on President Trump that they met someone who was willing and able to fight back. That is one of many reasons that the Democrats are trying to remove him from office–their normal bag of tricks is not working on him.

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.

Ever Wonder About Polls?

Earlier this week, Fox News released a poll that stated that 51 percent of voters favored the impeachment of President Trump. That seemed odd for a number of reasons. Fair-minded Americans haven’t really been given a reason that President Trump deserves impeachment–all the the (expensive) Democrat schemes have come up empty. Most Americans view impeachment as a rather drastic step. Also, there is very little indication that the people who voted for President Trump regret their vote, and there seem to be indications that as his policies succeed, the President is gaining more support. The poll was suspicious at best. Well, Yesterday The New York Post posted an analysis of the poll.

Here is some of what they found:

Princeton, New Jersey, pollster Braun Research, which conducted the survey, noted 48% of its respondents were Democrats. But the actual breakdown of party-affiliation is 31% Democrat, 29% Republican and 38% independent, according to Gallup.

A poll weighted for party affiliation would have concluded that 44.9% favored impeachment and 44.4% opposed it, a Post analysis has concluded.

I truly doubt that the support for impeachment is actually that high. Knowing that the pollster messed with the demographics, I wonder how he phrased the questions. Never believe anything you see in a poll. Remember, according to various polls, we would have had a President John Kerry and a President Hillary Clinton. I guess the polls have been inaccurate for a while.

There Seems To Be A Lot More To The Ukraine Story

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article shedding light on an aspect of the Ukraine scandal that has yet to be explored.

The article reports:

Last week House Democrats called in fired US Ambassador Marie Yovanovich to testify in their sham impeachment proceedings.

Ambassador Yovanovich is a noted Trump-hater who blocked Ukrainian officials from traveling to the United States to hand over evidence of Obama misconduct during the 2016 election to President Trump.

Yovanovich was US ambassador to Ukraine during the 2016 election when the Ukrainian government was colluding with the DNC and Hillary Campaign to undermine the US presidential election.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenkoko told journalists in March that Yovanovitch gave him a “do not prosecute” list during their first meeting.

It gets worse.

The article continues:

Starting in 2018 Yovanovich denied Ukrainian officials visas to enter the United States to hand over evidence of Obama administration misconduct to Trump administration officials.

Wednesday night on Hannity John Solomon announced that the former Ambassador Yovanovich was monitoring the reporters digging into Ukrainian lawlessness.

There is evidence now that Yovanovich was spying on John Solomon.

There will be more to come.

The Political Cost Of Impeachment

What the Democrats in the House of Representatives are doing is not impeachment. It might be called ‘impeachment light’, but it is not impeachment. Impeachment is something that is supposed to begin with a vote of the full House of Representatives. At that point, both parties are allowed to call witnesses and question witnesses. The accuser (or accusers) of the President is asked to step forward and state his case. What the Democrats are doing violates a number of basic principles in our Constitution. Our Constitution allows a person charged with a crime to face his accuser. Our Constitution allows for both sides of an accusation to be heard. Our Constitution allows for any exculpatory evidence to be heard. None of this is happening in ‘impeachment light.’ So what is the cost of this charade to the Democrats?

The Washington Times posted an article today that includes the following:

Independent voters are warming up to President Trump, says a new survey which finds that Mr. Trump is now besting Democratic front-runners in a theoretical matchup.

“A new IBD-TIPP poll shows President Trump has gained significant ground with independent voters in head-to-head matchups with the Democrat Party frontrunners for president,” wrote Matt Margolis, a contributor to PJ Media.

He cited the factors. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, for instance, leads Mr. Trump by just one percentage point among independents, down from Mr. Biden’s 18 percentage point lead in September. Against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 49% of independents backed Mr. Trump, while 43% favored the Massachusetts Democrat.

The article concludes:

“What caused such a dramatic swing in Trump’s favor with independents? Is it a coincidence that this poll was conducted after Nancy Pelosi formally launched an impeachment inquiry into President Trump? Not to me,” Mr. Margolis said.

“Impeachment is not exactly popular among voters, and only a minority of independents support it,” the analyst noted. “Many on the right have warned Democrats that impeachment fever will only benefit Trump in the long run — and they appear to be proven right by this poll.”

I am sure that the House Democrats are aware of these numbers. It will be interesting to see what they do about them.

When You Poke The Bear

There were two articles posted at The Federalist yesterday (here and here) about the current circus in the House of Representatives. I suspect this is not going exactly the way the Democrats had intended.

The first article notes:

In tense testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) on Friday, the inspector general for federal spy agencies refused to disclose why his office backdated secret changes to key whistleblower forms and rules in the wake of an anti-Trump whistleblower complaint filed in August, sources told The Federalist.

As The Federalist reported and the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) confirmed, the spy watchdog secretly changed its whistleblower forms and internal rules in September to eliminate a requirement that whistleblowers provide first-hand evidence to support any allegations of wrongdoing. In a press release last week, the ICIG confessed that it changed its rules in response to an anti-Trump complaint filed on August 12. That complaint, which was declassified and released by President Donald Trump in September, was based entirely on second-hand information, much of which was shown to be false following the declassification and release of a telephone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The first article concludes:

Several top lawmakers in the Senate raised similar concerns about Atkinson’s behavior in a separate letter.

“Why did the IC IG initially require first-hand information in its May 2018 disclosure form?” the senators asked. “Why did the IC IG remove the requirement for first-hand information?”

Atkinson has not answered their questions, either, raising questions that his behavior following his receipt of the anti-Trump complaint might not be completely above board. Atkinson ignored legal guidance from both the director of national intelligence and the Department of Justice that the anti-Trump complaint was statutorily deficient and forwarded it to HPSCI even though it did not meet the legal definition of an “urgent concern” that is required to be given to Congress.

The embattled ICIG also admitted on Friday that the anti-Trump complainant lied on his whistleblower complaint form by concealing the complainant’s previous secret interactions with House Democratic staff prior to submitting the complaint. Atkinson never even bothered investigating potential coordination between the complainant, whom DOJ said showed evidence of partisan political bias, and House Democrats prior to the filing of the anti-Trump complaint.

The second article is more of a history of the entire Ukraine scandal. It mentions the fact that there are genuine concerns about Ukraine interference in the 2016 American presidential election.

The second article also suggests some motivation behind this current circus:

The Democrats’ case for impeachment is hopeless, but their motivation is simple. They whipped up their base into such a delusional frenzy during the “Russia investigation,” they have to keep the narrative going at all costs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a rebellion from her caucus if she doesn’t go along with it.

There may be a more serious motivation behind this:

But there’s a group of intelligence bureaucrats at work here, and their motivation is a bit different. An immediate motive may be to prevent an investigation into how the Russia probe started. This includes an investigation into how a document the Hillary Clinton campaign created — using anonymous Russians and a British national tied to Russia — was used by our intelligence agencies to investigate Trump.

The other possible motivation is more complex. During the “Russia investigation,” many in the intelligence agencies worked to subvert Trump’s foreign policy and remove Trump, through spying, a large series of leaks, and articles planted with friendly outlets. Trump’s campaign was even spied on before the election, via something called the “two-hop rule,” once a secret court granted a warrant to spy on Trump campaign officials such as Carter Page.

Because of this, the White House moved to cut off the broader “intelligence community” — inexorably tied to America’s foreign policy establishment that Trump ran against — from information the White House knew many in the intelligence agencies would use to selectively leak.

That could mean some of what’s going on today, at least from the CIA angle, is intelligence bureaucrats “striking back” because they lost their access to diplomatic communications, a coveted source of the intelligence community’s power. But even the Obama administration liked to hide diplomatic calls from the broader intelligence community, which should tell us something about that bureaucracy.

The second article includes the following statement:

In other words, the real big takeaway here is that we have a problem with our Washington bureaucracy, including our intelligence agencies, which have routinely crossed the line into policymaking. How much of the impeachment mess is due to CIA bureaucrats being incensed that Trump, who is elected, would dare to question military aid to Ukraine, and would dare to curtail their eavesdropping on diplomacy?

What we see here is an illustration of the reason why we need to drain the swamp.

The Truth Is Very Different From What The Media Is Reporting

If you are someone who relies on the mainstream media, you are probably ready to impeach President Trump. That is sad and destructive. The media has been leading the charge on impeachment since January 2017 when President Trump was sworn in. This is a political activity aimed as defeating the President in the 2020 election. If it works, it will provide the template for future campaigns. That will be very damaging to our republic, particularly if the media decides to take sides as they have currently done.

The Federalist posted an article yesterday about the testimony of Ambassador Kurt Volker, who served for two years as the top U.S. diplomatic envoy to Ukraine.

The article reports:

Congressional testimony from the former top American envoy to Ukraine directly contradicts the impeachment narrative offered by congressional Democrats and their media allies. Ambassador Kurt Volker, who served for two years as the top U.S. diplomatic envoy to Ukraine, testified on Thursday that he was never aware of and never took part in any effort to push the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter. He also stressed that the interactions between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials were facilitated not to find dirt on Biden, but to assuage concerns that the incoming Ukrainian government would not be able to get a handle on corruption within the country.

Volker’s full remarks, which were obtained by The Federalist, can be read here.

Volker said that an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Volker to connect the advisor to Rudy Giuliani, a personal attorney for President Donald Trump.

“[I]n May of this year, I became concerned that a negative narrative about Ukraine, fueled by assertions made by Ukraine’s departing Prosecutor General, was reaching the President of the United States, and impeding our ability to support the new Ukrainian government as robustly as I believed we should,” Volker said. “After sharing my concerns with the Ukrainian leadership, an advisor to President Zelensky asked me to connect him to the President’s personal lawyer, Mayor Rudy Giuliani.”

“I did so solely because I understood that the new Ukrainian leadership wanted to convince those, like Mayor Giuliani, who believed such a negative narrative about Ukraine, that times have changed and that, under President Zelensky, Ukraine is worthy of U.S. support,” Volker said. “I also made clear to the Ukrainians, on a number of occasions, that Mayor Giuliani is a private citizen and the President’s personal lawyer, and that he does not represent the United States government.”

Volker vehemently denied that he ever urged the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on the Biden family.

“As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing, which convey a sense of real-time dialogue with several different actors, Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion,” he said.

Volker testified that he never even mentioned a delay on U.S. military assistance to Ukrainian officials until late August, when news reports indicated that funding had been put on hold. Volker’s statement directly undercuts claims that the funding was part of a quid pro quo meant to force the Ukrainians to take certain actions in order for the military aids to be released. (The underline is mine.)

As you can see this latest attempt to discredit President Trump is smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately it will continue until the politicians behind it are voted out of office. Those government officials who have used their office either for personal gain or to spy on their political opposition need to face severe penalties.

What we need here is a “Mordecai moment.”

Hoisted On Their Own Petard

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about some recent documents requested by Congress and handed over by the State Department.

The article reports:

The House Congressional Democrats wrote the State Department last week to request testimony from career officials on Ukraine and to demand the Trump State Department turn over requested documents on Ukraine.

Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced he would refuse to allow State Department officials to testify before the Congressional committees on impeachment.

This was after Democrats in the House violated fundamental principles, contacted State Department officials directly and told them NOT to contact legal counsel.

 Democrat lawmakers also requested documents from the Pompeo State Department on Ukraine.

Today the State Department sent over the documents and announced they would brief Congress on their findings.
But the documents weren’t what the Democrats were expecting!

The Trump administration sent over documents on Hillary Clinton’s collusion with Ukraine in the 2016 election and the Biden Family’s massive pay-for-play with the Ukrainian regime!

Zing!

Those who are involved in a search for the truth are learning how to play the game.

The Truth May Be Slightly Different Than What You Have Heard

The Gateway Pundit today posted an article about some recent comments by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Some of Secretary Pompeo’s recent comments have been totally misrepresented in the press.

The article reports:

Pompeo told reporters how Democrats in the House violated fundamental principles, contacted State Department officials directly and told them NOT to contact legal counsel.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Back to first principles. The predicate of your final question about objecting to what the folks on Capitol Hill have asked. It’s fundamentally not true. What we objected to was the demands that were put that deeply violate the fundamental principle of separation of powers. They contacted State Department employees directly. They told them NOT to contact legal counsel at the State Department. That’s been reported to us. They said the the State Department wouldn’t be able to be present. There are important constitutional prerogatives that the executive branch has to be present so that we can protect the important information so our partners, countries like Italy, can have confidence that the information they provide can have with the State Department will continue to be protected. So the response that I provided them was one that could acknowledge that we will of course do our constitutional duty to cooperate with this co-equal branch but we are going to do so in a way that is consistent with the fundamental values of the American system. And we won’t tolerate folks on Capital Hill bullying, intimidating State Department employees.

What kind of kangaroo court were the Democrats planning? The ‘don’t contact legal counsel’ approach was used on General Flynn, and that didn’t work out too well for him. What we have here is Democrats in the House violating constitutional rights of American citizens. I guess the Democrats have failed to get enough spies into the inner circle of Mike Pompeo and now feel the need to find another way to spy on him. This is ridiculous.

Is Anyone Considering The Consequences?

The Democrats are accusing President Trump of an impeachable offense again. Russia, Russia, Russia didn’t work. Racist, racist, racist didn’t work. So the third chapter is Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine. Let’s look at some of the history of the Trump Administration.

Remember early on when conversations between President Trump and leaders from Australia and Mexico were leaked. That might have been the reason for placing conversations in more secure places. We have seen anyone working for President Trump subjected to incredible legal actions, some related to their position and some not. We have seen questionable information used as an excuse to spy on the Trump campaign and administration. We have seen people placed in the administration for the sole purpose of undermining the administration. We have seen people working for the Trump administration being removed from restaurants or harassed when out in public. This has gone far beyond partisan politics. There is no excuse for it.

What are those who oppose President Trump doing to the office of the presidency? How will their actions impact future Presidents? Have the actions of the opponents of President Trump created a new normal for political opposition?

Those who are too impatient to wait for the next election (or who fear the reelection of President Trump) are truly undermining our representative republic. At some point they need to be held accountable for their actions. It is a shame that the Republican party does not have the moral integrity to deal with the abuses of power engaged in by the opponents of President Trump.

 

Show Me The Man And I’ll Find You The Crime

Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria, head of Stalin’s secret police, is said to have told Josef Stalin,  “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

That is the story of the Democrats and President Trump. This is getting ridiculous. The only good thing about this latest escapade is that it brings into light some of the dealings that Joe Biden had with the Ukraine regarding a prosecutor. The transcript of the telephone conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky creates more of a problem for Joe Biden than it does for President Trump. There is also the YouTube video of Joe Biden bragging about causing the firing of a Ukrainians prosecutor (posted here).

It is time for the Democrats to realize that the presidential election is about a year away and that if the American voters don’t like President Trump, they will vote him out of office. Until that election, the Democrats need to try to do something helpful that is actually supported by the American people.

Before We Get Too Hung Up On President Trump’s Phone Call

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today that includes a copy of a letter sent by Democrat Congressmen to the Prosecutor General of the Ukraine written on May 4, 2018.

This is the letter:

So why is this okay when Democrats in Congress do this, but not okay when a Republican President does this?

When They Always Go After My Cheeseburger

The latest sin named by the church of climate change is eating meat. Why do all of these fringe religions always go after cheeseburgers?

The Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday about some of the antics of the climate change extremists.

This is a short video about the Iowa steak fry:

The article at The Gateway Pundit points out:

The Democrats grilled 10,500 steaks this year at the annual event in Des Moines.

 This is the same party that is pushing a meat tax.
On the one hand, the Democrats are saying that Americans need to change their diet in order to stop climate change. On the other hand, the Democrat candidates are having a steak fry to raise money. That sort of logic makes my head hurt.

North Carolina Has A Budget

The North Carolina House has overridden Governor Cooper’s veto of the state budget. As expected, the Democrats are protesting. Below is the statement issued by Speaker of the House Tim Moore:

Raleigh, N.C. – The Office of House Speaker Tim Moore released a factual recap on Thursday of how the budget veto override unfolded this week to debunk outrageously false claims that House Republicans misled their Democratic colleagues about a no-vote session on Wednesday morning.

  • The budget veto override was taken during a House floor session with a properly noticed calendar following two public announcements votes would be taken on Wednesday.
  • There was never any of the customary public communication of a no-vote session by the Speaker’s office, which makes all such announcements to members of the House when a no-vote session is planned. 
  • House Republicans never planned to attempt a veto override on Wednesday, nor were they aware House Democrats were falsely told by their own leadership of a no-vote session.
  • House Republicans had only 55 members in session on Wednesday morning – not even enough to hold a majority on the floor with all members present. 
  • By their numbers alone, it is obvious House Republicans never planned to override the veto Wednesday.   
  • Contrary to false claims that House Democrats in North Carolina were attending 9/11 commemoration ceremonies on Wednesday morning, four extremely credible, separate accounts factually demonstrate this is an outright lie. 
  • The editor of the News & Observer’s ‘Insider’ Colin Campbell tweeted the following: “So much misinformation going around the #ncga today: -Only one Democratic House member has been confirmed as attending a 9/11 event during the veto override vote.”
  • Governor Roy Cooper said in a noon press conference (4:45 mark) Wednesday that he did not see and was not aware of any House Democrats at a ceremony he attended, directly contradicting a false narrative spun by national media outlets like the Washington Post.  
  • As widely reported, House Rep. Deb. Butler (D-New Hanover) said on the floor (5:20 mark) that Democrats were downstairs drawing maps during the veto override. 
  • House Minority Leader Darren Jackson confirmed in his press conference that in-fact Democrats had a redistricting committee meeting planned that morning.
  • The North Carolina House held its commemoration session for 9/11 first responders and victims in its afternoon session on Wednesday.
  • The narrative that the budget veto override vote on Wednesday had anything to do with 9/11 ceremonies is a provably false fabrication debunked by extremely credible sources – the House Democrats themselves – and any reproduction of this narrative is simply spreading a lie. 
  • Democrats meeting privately about ongoing redistricting in the General Assembly – particularly with all of their members of the House Redistricting Committee together – is a potential violation of a three-judge panel’s order that redistricting committee efforts take place in public view. 
  • The Governor falsely alleged in his press conference that Republicans “orchestrated” the veto override and Democrats “were lied to.”  This is a complete and total fabrication that he must retract immediately and cease misleading North Carolinians about the circumstances.   
  • House Republican members and staff had no idea that House Democrats were told by their leadership Wednesday was a no-vote session
  • This was a mistake by the House Democratic leadership that they took responsibility for it in their press conference Wednesday morning
  • The Speaker frequently announces no-vote legislative sessions for members’ planning purposes, often at least once or twice a week. 
  • The announcement is made by the Speaker from the floor of the House, by email from the Speaker’s office to all members, or both
  • The announcement is often shared on social media to make the broader General Assembly community aware of a no-vote legislative session. 
  • None of the customary public announcements were ever made of a no-vote session Wednesday by the Speaker’s office. 
  • To assume a no-vote session based on private oral conversations about specific bills is an erroneous presumption by House Democrats’ leadership that ignores the consistent procedures of the House for notifying members of a no-vote session. 
  • The Speaker’s office relies on public announcements of no-vote sessions from the floor of the House and by direct communication to all members to avoid exactly this type of confusion. 
  • In three terms as the presiding officer, Speaker Moore has never, and would never, announce a no-vote session then hold votes that session. 
  • Speaker Moore is serving his ninth term in the state House, as is House Rules Committee Chairman David Lewis.  They have a combined 36 years of experience serving in the North Carolina General Assembly.
  • Both leaders have far too much respect for the North Carolina House and their colleagues to announce no recorded votes, then hold a vote. 
  • In Tuesday afternoon’s no-vote legislative session at 4:30 p.m. on September 10, 2019, North Carolina House Republicans likely had the votes on the floor to override the Governor’s budget veto. 
  • Chairman Lewis was presiding at the time but did not take a vote, because Speaker Moore had announced in that morning’s session that Tuesday afternoon would be a no-vote session. 
  • House Republican leadership always honors announcements of no-vote sessions and this week was no different
  • In Tuesday afternoon’s session, Chairman Lewis announced publicly the intention to take recorded votes the following day on two appropriations bills that were directed to Wednesday’s calendar “without objection.”
  • When adding both bills to the calendar on Tuesday, Chairman Lewis explicitly announced that there would be recorded votes on Wednesday (5:20 mark of the session’s House audio archive.)
  • Shortly after Chairman Lewis announced intention to take recorded votes on the two budget bills the following day, he announced a start time of 8:30 a.m. for Wednesday. 
  • The Speaker of the House, present members of the House, and staff, were all planning to hold recorded votes on bills on the published calendar for Wednesday’s morning session
  • All were completely unaware that House Democrats were told by their leadership of a no-vote session
  • The consideration of the veto override was properly noticed and published on the House calendar, as it has been for nearly 2 months.   
  • The House clerks and staff conducted standard preparation for a voting session.
  • House Republicans clearly, by their numbers, had no plans to attempt a veto override on Wednesday:
  • Republicans did not have enough votes to maintain a majority on the floor if all members were voting and present, with just 55 members.
  • The Republican caucus had 10 of its members missing from its 65-member majority. 
  • Republicans were missing the House Majority Leader and Rules Chairman from the floor on Wednesday
  • This is an obvious demonstration Republicans never planned to attempt an override and had no awareness Democrats did not plan to attend the voting session
  • Any suggestion that Republicans planned the veto override on Wednesday – which is demonstrably false – is an outright lie.
  • The House Republican caucus was genuinely confused and surprised when the Democrats did not arrive for the 8:30 am voting session. 
  • The Speaker confirmed with the clerks and his staff that no announcement had been made of a no-vote session following the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance
  • Members and staff briefly discussed whether to hold the veto override with the votes appearing secured on the floor during a voting session   
  • The veto override was never planned, discussed, or considered, by House leaders or staff until Wednesday morning’s session when Democrats did not arrive
  • House Republicans were completely transparent about what happened.  They held a public press conference, answered questions from the media, and Speaker Moore joined Capital Tonight on Spectrum News the day of the vote after speaking with reporters throughout the day. 
  • The Speaker has said repeatedly he would hold the veto override when the votes were secured on the floor of the House in a voting session.
  • He did so, advancing a historic school construction initiative in education communities across the state, more than $100 million in disaster relief funds, and another round of tax relief for North Carolina families. 

These are the facts and the Office of the Speaker appreciates your time reviewing this memo that dispels false claims that House Democrats were misled on Wednesday, or that they were attending 9/11 ceremonies during the veto override vote, or that House Republicans planned to attempt the veto override on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, very little of this information will find its way into the mainstream media. Fortunately, the Senate is also expected to override the veto and pass the budget.

When You Are Totally Out Of Step With The Voters

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the current Democrat primary campaign for President. The writer refers to a New York Times article noting that the ideas the candidates are espousing are not popular with voters.

The article reports:

Here’s a hot new tip for Democrats wanting to win the presidency next year: Lie about what you believe!

That piece of advice comes from liberal New York Times columnist David Leonhardt, who on Sunday warned Democrats that they have lately been professing policy views that “alienate most American voters.”

It turns out that eliminating private health insurance and opening up the southern border to all of the world’s poor aren’t home runs with the electorate. But these are precise examples of what the 2020 Democratic field has been pushing.

In each of the Democratic debates and in media interviews, the leading candidates have said they support decriminalizing illegal immigration and replacing all private insurance with one government-run plan.

Observing that public opinion on those proposals isn’t rocking through the stratosphere, Leonhardt wrote that Democrats need to stop talking about what they truly believe and do the opposite: “The best strategy for Democrats,” he said, “is a populist one that speaks to voters of all races.”

That is actually really good advice for the candidates. I am hoping that they won’t take it.

The article concludes:

That sounds nice, but it would require that Democrats shut up about reparations, abandon their immigration fetish, and discontinue their climate change fearmongering.

There’s absolutely no chance any of them will do that. Democrats may routinely lie about the chaos at the border and about the cost of their healthcare plans but they’re being completely honest when they say they want open borders. They’re telling the truth when they call for government-run healthcare.

Those may not be winning positions in the general election but at least they’re honest ones.

In this case, I am not sure honesty will win the nomination or the election.

Searching For The Truth Regarding Guns

Yesterday American Greatness posted an article detailing some of the lies the American people are currently being told about guns.

The article reports:

There’s a lot to unpack here about so-called “assault weapons.” The first challenge is the absence of any fixed legal definition of what constitutes an “assault weapon.” Numerous state laws have defined the phrase as everything from paintball guns to all semiautomatic firearms to Remington 11-87 shotguns, the latter famously used by former presidential candidate John Kerry (D-Mass.) on Labor Day in 2004 to demonstrate his legitimately good trap-shooting skills.

The vague term “assault weapon” is distinct from an assault rifle, however, which refers to a rapid-fire, magazine fed rifle that allows the shooter to select between semiautomatic (requiring you to pull the trigger for each shot), fully automatic (hold the trigger and the gun continuously fires) or three-round-burst modes. Assault rifles are, for all intents and purposes, already banned in the United States. More on that shortly.

The next lie is that the assault weapons ban worked:

Except it didn’t. “There is no compelling evidence that it saved lives,” according to Duke University public policy experts Philip Cook and Kristin Goss. A 2004 Department of Justice study found no evidence the ban had any effect on gun violence, stating “should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” Other studies have found no statistically significant relationship between “assault” weapons or large-capacity magazine bans and homicide rates.

There is also substantial misunderstanding surrounding what the Assault Weapons Ban, which passed in 1994 and sunset in 2004, actually did. It didn’t ban anyone from owning an “assault-style” (again, an undefined term) weapon. All magazines and weapons produced before the ban were grandfathered in, and some companies actually ramped up production of the soon-to-be-outlawed firearm components, drastically increasing ownership of what lawmakers were seeking to reduce.

The article mentions:

Also, given the frequently cited claim that “assault weapons lead to more murder,” it’s worth pointing out that at least 730,000 AR-15s (not an assault rifle, but more on that in a bit) were manufactured and legally sold while the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect, and the national murder rate declined.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. We are being sold a bill of goods by people who want to take our Second Amendment rights away.

The article concludes with information about the shooting that recently occurred in Odessa, Texas:

The shooter was also prohibited under federal law from owning a firearm because a court previously had found him mentally unfit. He evidently had tried to purchase a gun in January 2014 but failed because the nationwide criminal background check system had flagged the mental health determination.

The federal Firearms Transaction Record, form 4437, required for all gun purchases, asks “have you ever been adjudicated as a mental defective or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?” Falsifying the form is a crime.

It was later revealed the shooter had a criminal record that included pleading guilty to criminal trespassing and evading arrest, both of which are misdemeanors in Texas. He did not receive jail time, but instead got two years of probation.

The Odessa shooting was a horror. But existing laws prevented it from happening sooner. And the fact that he got a gun at all tells us what common sense already teaches: motivated criminals don’t abide by laws.

As my boss, former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said recently, the breakdown of the culture is more responsible for mass shootings than the availability of the guns themselves. There are myriad reasons for this, but lawmakers, he noted, need to set a better example for how to treat people before rushing to strip Second Amendment rights from the rest of us.

If guns are illegal, people who follow the law will not have them. If guns are illegal, people who do not follow the law will have them. It’s that simple.

What The Democrats Are Really Afraid Of

You can dismiss the turnout at Trump rallies versus the turnout for Democrat candidates. You can dismiss the tweets you may not like, but you can’t dismiss what is happening to the President’s approval numbers in minority communities.

The American Spectator posted an article today with the following headline, “Why Trump’s Approval Ratings Are Up Among Minorities.”

The article notes:

A mounting number of voter polls show that, despite shrill denunciations of the President by the Democrats for his alleged racism, Trump is enjoying a dramatic increase in his approval ratings among minorities. This isn’t, as some liberal news outlets and pundits have suggested, wishful thinking based on outlier polls. The trend began showing up in surveys early this year and appears to be gaining momentum. Some polls now show his approval numbers at 25 percent among African-American voters and 50 percent among Hispanic voters. If those figures hold for the next 15 months, they will render Trump unbeatable in November of 2020.

The article notes a number of reasons for the rising approval ratings. Among the Hispanic community, two reasons are the President’s stand on immigration and the economy. Those in the Hispanic community who followed the rules to become Americans do not support endless illegal immigration. Those in the Hispanic community have also seen a dramatic increase in employment opportunities and a decrease in unemployment. In the black community, people are asking why cities that have been controlled by Democrats for decades and given massive amounts of money by the government still look worse than cities in other countries that were totally destroyed during World War II. In other words, after voting Democrat for decades with no visible improvement in their situation, minorities are seeing positive change. Minorities have the lowest unemployment numbers in history. They are seeing employment opportunities they have not seen before. Pocketbook issues are having an impact on the way they view President Trump.

The article concludes:

The main reason for the surge in Trump’s Hispanic support, however, is the economy. As Steve Cortes, a member of the President’s Hispanic Advisory Council, points out:

Hispanics neither desire nor expect a laundry list of deliverables from government, but rather seek the conditions to advance and prosper independently.  As the most statistically entrepreneurial demographic in America, Hispanics have thrived amid the Trump boom as regulatory and tax relief unleashes a small business surge. Every American benefits from this new dynamism, but Hispanics most of all.

Hispanic voters, mind you, will be the largest ethnic minority in the electorate by 2020. They, combined with African Americans, may very well decide who will live in the White House after the next election. Moreover, the days when Democrats could win all of their votes by screeching “racism,” encouraging illegal immigration, and offering massive giveaway programs are probably over. President Trump appears to be building real support among minorities by providing genuine opportunity in a thriving economy. If he receives their support in anywhere near the percentages suggested above, he will win in 2020 no matter who runs against him.

The presidential election of 2020 will be very interesting.

A Troubling Trend

On Thursday, Breitbart posted an article about some recent comments made by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy while he was visiting Israel with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The article reports:

The California Republican was also asked about the absence of any members of “The Squad” on the trip, which is the foursome of freshman Democrat members led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), which have embraced the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

“If you look at it, they did not come on the trip with their colleagues,” McCarthy said. “Secondly, if you look at the antisemitism that has been growing around the world, we haven’t seen something like this since the 1930s, and the actions that they have taken in Congress itself, whereas the Senate passed S-1. It’s the anti-BDS. It’s the stopping of the boycott, divestiture, and sanctions against Israel. That bill passed the Senate overwhelmingly. Chuck Schumer not only voted it, he cosponsored it.”

“But when it came to the House, they couldn’t pass the bill,” he continued. “They moved a resolution, and much of that was to do about this new movement of this new socialist democrat. And look at what Bernie Sanders, look at Kamala Harris, wouldn’t even go to the AIPAC meeting this year inside Washington, unheard of in the process that’s been going forward. There’s a number of Democrats that still stand with Israel, but this new socialist democrat group has a much different belief.”

Antisemitism is becoming acceptable in America because it is being taught on our college campuses. This is nothing new. In 2012, I attended a presentation about antisemitism on our college campuses (article here). After the presentation, which was attended by a small group of people, mostly Jewish, a person who I knew casually came up to me and said that her daughter (she was Jewish) was attending a well-known American university and had encountered antisemitism. The women who spoke to me made the comment that she would have been better off sending her daughter to a Christian college that supported Israel and the Jewish people. That is a truly sad comment.

Watching The Slippery Slope

Every time a criminal or a crazy person shoots people, the Democrats decide that the gun was the problem. They just don’t seem to be able to focus on the person doing the shooting. There is a total disregard for the purpose and history of the Second Amendment.

Townhall posted an article today about some recent comments by a Democrat candidate for President regarding Americans who own guns.

The article reports:

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is one of them and said earlier this week she’s open to putting gun owners who refuse to comply with bogus government “buybacks,” which is simply government confiscation, in prison.

“You don’t want to grandfather in all of the assault weapons all across America. We’d like people to sell them back to the government,” Gillibrand said during an interview with MSNBC. “The point is you don’t want people using assault weapons so the point is ff you’re arrested for using an assault weapon you’re going to be arrested for an aggravated felony. The whole point is when you make it a crime to own an assault weapon then if you are found using it, that would be the issue. It would be part of law enforcement.”

Let’s put this into context. The semi-automatic AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. The left considers it an “assault rifle.” There are more than 20 million of them owned by Americans across the country. Gillibrand wants to turn every single person who has one into a felon and institute a police state for enforcement.

The article also notes that candidate Kamala Harris is also talking about taking away the right of Americans to own guns. This is obviously unconstitutional, but there are some real questions as to whether our courts are following the Constitution. This is a critical time for gun rights in America.

 

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.

Elected Officials Are Supposed To Represent The People Who Voted For Them

The Democrats have always been able to count of the labor unions to support their candidates. However, in recent years, Democrat policies have worked against people who belong to labor unions. Illegal immigration depresses the wages of American workers. Bad trade agreements send jobs overseas. Both of these problems are things that President Trump is trying to fix, but the Democrats in the House of Representatives are generally a road block to dealing with either problem.

Breitbart posted an article on Friday about some recent comments by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

The article reports:

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blasted Democrats during a private meeting this week for their globalist free trade agenda where 2020 Democrat presidential primary candidates have continued to embrace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

During a private meeting with Democrat National Committee (DNC) members, including Chairman Tom Perez who pushed TPP while working for President Obama, Trumka blamed a coalition of elected Republicans and Democrats for the country’s entering into a multitude of free trade agreements that have gutted America’s working and middle class while outsourcing those jobs to China, the Phillippines, Vietnam, and India.

“It’s time to do better,’ Trumka said, scolding Democrat Party leaders, according to the Huffington Post. “I believe you can. I believe you will. And working people are hungry for it. But you can’t offer campaign rhetoric or count on workers’ votes simply because you have a ‘D’ next to your name.”

The article continues:

“You need to prove that this party is the one and only party for working people,” Trumka said, according to the Huffington Post. “And recognize that unions and collective bargaining are the single best way to make this economy work for everyone.”

Trump has sought to protect and create American working and middle-class jobs by imposing tariffs on China and other foreign imports. Likewise, during his first year in office, he ended the Obama effort to enter TPP — which would have eliminated millions more U.S. jobs by allowing multinational corporations to outsource them directly to Vietnam and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Biden has continued to defend NAFTA, which he claimed in 1993 would add American jobs to the American economy but actually helped eliminate nearly five million U.S. manufacturing jobs and resulted in the closure of nearly 50,000 U.S. manufacturing facilities. A number of American towns and small cities were left economically destroyed and have yet to recover.

I would call this a shot across the bow. Unions provide major money to Democrat political campaigns, even when their members don’t vote for Democrats. If the Democrat party continues in its current direction, the labor union leaders may be less enthusiastic about promoting and funding Democrat candidates.

When The Issue Is More Important Than The Solution

Immigration will probably be a major issue in the 2020 presidential election. Traditionally that issue works to benefit the Democrat party. Therefore it is to the Democrats’ advantage to avoid solving the immigration problem in the coming year.

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about Republican’s effort to solve the immigration problem. This is not to suggest that the Republicans are the men in white hats coming to the rescue on principle–this is to suggest that the Republicans want the problem solved so that it cannot be used against them. I really don’t care about the motives–I just want the problem solved.

The article describes the events in the House of Representatives:

“Blame me but we’re not going to stop”, he said. Senator Lindsey Graham, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee kept his promise to move a bill on asylum out of the committee today. Committee Democrats aren’t happy about that. Graham acknowledges his failure to get joint support, but that’s the breaks. He’s moving forward.

“I don’t want to separate families. I want to adjudicate families and I don’t want to release families unless they win their day. So, right now, we’re in the worst of all worlds. We can’t hold children beyond 20 days. If you don’t want to separate the family you have to let them all go because we just don’t have the capability to hold them. This is a mess, it’s a disaster and it needs to change.” He voiced disappointment that the committee couldn’t reach agreement on a broader package but noted he doesn’t want the committee to become irrelevant.

The Democrat members of the committee are not happy about the move:

“I told him it is the first immigration bill before the committee in the last six or seven years. It’s the first partisan immigration bill that we’ve ever had, that I know of,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat who has worked with Graham on numerous immigration bills over the years.

“I think it’s a terrible mistake that will sharply divide our committee,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, another Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The article notes that the committee is already divided.

The article concludes:

The bill is introducing some pretty basic changes to asylum law, especially in handling families at the border. The proposed increase in immigration judges will help to speed up the process and move migrants more quickly.

It would increase the number of days a family can be held together from 20 days to 100 days, preventing family separations but lengthening the period children could be held in custody with their parents.

It would also require asylum claims be filed in Mexico or a home country instead of the United States, provide funding for 500 new immigration judges and allow unaccompanied minors from Central America to be sent back to their home countries, similar to unaccompanied minors from Canada or Mexico.

Today’s vote should not be controversial, nor should it have been obstructed for as long as it has been. It is Democrats trying desperately to continue to make illegal immigration and open borders a campaign issue in 2020. Democrats would rather prey on a humanitarian crisis than work on real solutions.

Stay tuned. Generally speaking, major legislation does not happen in the last eighteen months before an election. That should give you an idea of how hard Congress actually works.

A Small Step Forward For Americans Filling Prescriptions

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about the new initiative rolled out by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

The article reports:

Democrats ate the GOP’s lunch on health-care messaging in 2018’s midterms. The Trump administration might be preparing better for the 2020 election. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar rolled out a new initiative today that would allow for prescription purchases from Canada, addressing a key Democratic talking point on the cost of health care:

“President Trump has been clear: for too long American patients have been paying exorbitantly high prices for prescription drugs that are made available to other countries at lower prices. When we released the President’s drug pricing blueprint – PDF for putting American patients first, we said we are open to all potential solutions to combat high drug prices that protect patient safety, are effective at delivering lower prices, and respect choice, innovation and access,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “Today’s announcement outlines the pathways the Administration intends to explore to allow safe importation of certain prescription drugs to lower prices and reduce out of pocket costs for American patients. This is the next important step in the Administration’s work to end foreign freeloading and put American patients first.”

The article lists some of the details of the plan. Please follow the link above for more information.

The article also lists some of the problems with the plan:

The question of pharmaceutical importation has its complexities, and it might not be a great idea in terms of long-term policy outcomes. For one thing, drug prices in Canada are artificially low thanks to intervention by the Canadian government, which will be tougher to maintain if demand increases exponentially via re-importation into the US. (Canadians in particular might not be very happy about what happens to their drug prices.) It doesn’t solve the major problems in pharmaceutical production costs, which are consolidation in the industry, copyright issues, and bureaucratic delays in FDA approvals, among others. It’s a Band-Aid over a gaping wound.

However, it’s going to be a very popular Band-Aid in the short run. The new HHS effort also lends itself to a slow rollout, which will play right into Trump’s need to pre-empt Democrats on health care in this cycle…

The article takes a rather cynical view regarding the motive for this action, but at least temporarily many Americans will appreciate the savings. On a personal note, one of the maintenance drugs my husband takes for heart problems sells for $600 a month. With the help of our health insurance, we have managed to get that price down to $70 a month, but the idea of having to pay $600 a month out-of-pocket for a drug is more than a little frightening.

This is a small step in the right direction. I understand that high drug prices are the result of the procedures for the invention, development, and selling of a new drug, but Americans shouldn’t have to pay for all of the research while other people reap the rewards of that research without paying for it.

This Is How Sleight Of Hand Works

We have all heard that the border crisis is continuing because Congress and President Trump are not capable of working together to solve any problems. We have also heard that Republicans and Democrats are not capable of working together. Well, while the media was hyping Russia, Russia, Russia, those in Congress did pass a bill relating to immigration. It is bill that will hurt America’s high-skilled workers. The Democrats and the Chamber-of-Commerce Republicans (aka swamp dwellers) worked together to suspend the rules and pass the bill. Isn’t that special?

The Congressional website has the details (there is no direct link because the links expire):

H.R.1044 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

Passed House (07/10/2019)

Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

This bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%, and eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.

The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY2020-FY2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85% shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

This is the timeline on the bill:

Date Chamber All Actions
07/11/2019 Senate Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
07/10/2019-4:58pm House Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
07/10/2019-4:58pm House On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 365 – 65 (Roll no. 437). (text: CR H5323-5324)
07/10/2019-4:48pm House Considered as unfinished business. (consideration: CR H5336)
07/10/2019-3:24pm House At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
07/10/2019-2:51pm House DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 1044.
07/10/2019-2:51pm House Considered under suspension of the rules. (consideration: CR H5323-5328)
07/10/2019-2:51pm House Ms. Lofgren moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended.
06/18/2019 House Motion to place bill on Consensus Calendar filed by Ms. Lofgren.
03/22/2019 House Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship.
Action By: Committee on the Judiciary
02/07/2019 House Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
02/07/2019 House Introduced in House

This is the vote:

Understand that the Chamber of Commerce supports many Republican candidates. Their members support lower wages because it keeps corporate expenses down. The Democrats like the bill because it increases chain migration and theoretically provides future Democrat voters. Republicans and Democrats can agree when it is to their benefit. Unfortunately this agreement works against working Americans.

All t his was going on while the media was screaming “Russia, Russia, Russia.”