So Which Answer Is Actually True?

The source for this story is The Gateway Pundit.There are a number of stories from various sources on the internet reporting the same thing. There are some serious problems in the charge that President Trump interfered in an investigation.

The Gateway Pundit reports:

Former FBI Director James Comey testified under Senate oath May 3rd that the Trump administration had not pressured his agency to halt any investigation for political purposes.

Comey admitted that the FBI has always been free to operate without political interference—flying in the face of Democrats’ paranoid delusions about Russia and President Donald J. Trump, and exposing for what it is a new political witch hunt Wednesday by enemies within the president’s own Justice Department.

Videotaped testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee blows apart the phony narrative New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt wove on Tuesday, which resulted in Mueller’s appointment. Schmidt’s only sources were anonymous. They claimed that on Feb. 14th, the day after National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned, Trump had asked Comey to end an investigation into Flynn’s connections to Russia.

Schmidt’s allegations that Trump attempted to obstruct justice hinged on the sources’ accounts of a memo authored the same day. Schmidt, a Democrat party lackey, admitted he hasn’t even seen the document—dated nearly three months before Comey’s testimony that totally contradicts it.

Comey’s statement to Hawaii Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono from May 3rd, which Center for Security Policy analyst Nick Short noted Wednesday, exposes the Democrats once again for their political gamesmanship.

The Gateway Pundit reports that lying during sworn congressional testimony is committing perjury, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison. The Special Prosecutor was appointed to investigate the wrong thing. Let’s hope he realizes that quickly.

There’s Gun Legislation That Makes Sense And Then There Are People Who Want Political Points

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about the four items related to guns that were voted down in the Senate yesterday. The four items were an overreaction to what happened in Orlando, but the votes and the suggested laws bear looking into.

The article reports:

Senator Chuck Grassley proposed legislation that would have increased funding for the NICS background check system, and would have pressed states to send more records to the FBI on felons and others barred from buying guns. It also revamped language that prohibits some people with mental health problems from buying guns. Grassley’s bill had majority support, 53-47, but wasn’t passed because the Democrats filibustered it.

Senator John Cornyn offered legislation to keep firearms out of the hands of suspected terrorists. His bill would let the government block a sale to a known or suspected terrorist, and prosecutors would then have three days to convince a judge that the would-be buyer was likely a terrorist. This seems like a sensible compromise, and it too had majority support, 53-47, but again the Democrats filibustered and blocked the bill from taking effect.

The Democrats likewise offered two proposals, both of which enjoyed less support. Dianne Feinstein proposed legislation that would bar gun sales to people on any federal terrorism watch list–a list that has included Ted Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and many random, innocent citizens–without providing any way for people to get themselves taken off the list. I think it is safe to say that this proposal was sheer political grandstanding. It went down to a 47-53 defeat. It is shameful that so many Democrats voted for it.

Chris Murphy’s bill would have required the current, inadequate list of people who can’t buy guns to be applied to even more sales, including sales between friends or relatives. That, too, was defeated 47-53.

Frankly, I am glad to see all of these laws defeated, although the defeat of all of them shows the depth of the political divide currently in America. The first bill listed actually makes sense, but I object to the other three. The problem with Senator John Cornyn’s legislation is that it would set up a nightmare system of paperwork that would quickly be abused. The right political connections and a good lawyer can fairly easily get you removed from the terrorist watch list.

The problem with this entire discussion is that the terrorists are not bound by any laws. Terrorism tends to morph–it can change according to circumstances and can easily do things outside the law–Paris has very strict gun laws–that didn’t stop the terrorists–it just made their attack easier. Criminals don’t pay attention to gun laws–Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws and America and also one of the highest gun murder rates–so does Washington, D.C.

The bottom line here is that we are so politically polarized right now that we cannot even cross party lines to commit common sense. Unless this changes, our country is in serious trouble.

Why Many Americans Are Losing Faith In Their Government

Yesterday The New York Post posted a story illustrating one way that some of our politicians exploit their offices. I suspect that what went on here may actually be legal, but that does not necessarily make it right.

The story reports:

The US Postal Service plans to sell 56 buildings — so it can lease space more expensively — and the real estate company of the California senator’s husband (Sen. Dianne Feinstein), Richard Blum, is set to pocket about $1 billion in commissions.

Blum’s company, CBRE, was selected in March 2011 as the sole real estate agent on sales expected to fetch $19 billion. Most voters didn’t notice that Blum is a member of CBRE’s board and served as chairman from 2001 to 2014.

This feat of federal spousal support was ignored by the media after Feinstein’s office said the senator, whose wealth is pegged at $70 million, had nothing to do with the USPS decisions.

It would be nice if, just for the sake of appearances, Mr. Blum chose not to participate in the deal.

Playing Politics With National Security

Senator Diane Feinstein chose to release the Senate Intelligence Committee majority report of Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation after 9/11 yesterday. Today’s Wall Street Journal posted two editorials on the release of the report–one editorial entitled, “Spooks of the Senate,” and one opinion piece by former CIA Directors George J. Tenet, Porter J. Goss and Michael V. Hayden (a retired Air Force general) and former CIA Deputy Directors John E. McLaughlin, Albert M. Calland (a retired Navy vice admiral) and Stephen R. Kappes.

The Spooks of the Senate piece points out:

It (the report) devotes 6,000 pages to marshalling evidence to indict the CIA program, and nothing was going to interfere with its appointed verdict.

Not former CIA directors, who weren’t even interviewed (see the op-ed nearby). Not the virtues of bipartisanship, as the GOP minority staff were reduced to bystanders (see the minority report). And not the requirements of future security, which have been sacrificed to the immediate need to embarrass the agency to prove that Democrats were right.

The worst CIA failing in the report is poor management and a lack of adequate oversight. Junior officials were put in charge of detainees when wiser hands were needed, and in one case a detainee died from hypothermia. This may have resulted from the rapid CIA recruitment after 9/11, but it is a major failing, especially given the political backlash that CIA leaders knew was inevitable.

The opinion piece by the former Directors reminds us:

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation of terrorists, prepared only by the Democratic majority staff, is a missed opportunity to deliver a serious and balanced study of an important public policy question. The committee has given us instead a one-sided study marred by errors of fact and interpretation—essentially a poorly done and partisan attack on the agency that has done the most to protect America after the 9/11 attacks.

Examining how the CIA handled these matters is an important subject of continuing relevance to a nation still at war. In no way would we claim that we did everything perfectly, especially in the emergency and often-chaotic circumstances we confronted in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. As in all wars, there were undoubtedly things in our program that should not have happened. When we learned of them, we reported such instances to the CIA inspector general or the Justice Department and sought to take corrective action.

The country and the CIA would have benefited from a more balanced study of these programs and a corresponding set of recommendations. The committee’s report is not that study. It offers not a single recommendation.

I have no idea what the motive for the undertaking and release of such a biased report was. However, it is time to put political bias aside and get down to the business of defending America. The current crop of Washington ‘leaders’ has run up an unreasonable deficit, cut our military back to a dangerous level, and padded their own nests constantly. There are a few exceptions, but the Democrats and establishment Republicans are working very hard to prevent them from doing anything constructive. It is truly time to clean house in Washington. Watch the voting in the House and the Senate in the next two years and cast your vote accordingly. We need to elect leaders who actually represent us–not their own political and private interests.

Senators Opposed To Free Speech

On Monday, the Washington Post posted an article by George Will on a recent move by Senate Democrats to limit free speech.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I am not a lawyer (neither were most of our founding fathers), but that seems pretty clear to me.

The Washington Post reports:

The 48 senators proposing to give legislators speech-regulating powers describe their amendment in anodyne language, as “relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.” But what affects elections is speech, and the vast majority of contributions and expenditures are made to disseminate speech. The Democrats’ amendment says: “Congress and the states may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections,” and may “prohibit” corporations — including nonprofit issue-advocacy corporations (such as the Sierra Club, NARAL Pro-Choice America and thousands of others across the political spectrum) from spending any money “to influence elections,” which is what most of them exist to do.

Because all limits will be set by incumbent legislators, the limits deemed “reasonable” will surely serve incumbents’ interests. The lower the limits, the more valuable will be the myriad (and unregulated) advantages of officeholders.

The foxes are guarding the hen house again.

This is the list of Senators proposing this bill. The names in italics are Senators running for re-election:

Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Benjamin Cardin (Md.), Thomas Carper (Del.), Robert Casey (Pa.), Christopher Coons (Del.), Richard Durbin (Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Al Franken (Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Angus King (Maine), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Christopher Murphy (Conn.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Harry Reid (Nev.), John Rockefeller (W.Va.), Bernard Sanders (Vt.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Udall (Colo.), John Walsh (Mont.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Ron Wyden (Ore.).

This is one example of why we need term limits and Congressmen who understand the Constitution.

Occasionally Someone In Washington Actually Tells The Truth

Frank Gaffney at the Center for Security Policy posted an article last Tuesday about a recent statement made on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The guests on the program were chairpersons of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI).

The article quotes Senator Feinstein’s comments on the subject of terrorism:

“There is a real displaced aggression in this very fundamentalist jihadist Islamic community, and that is that the West is responsible for everything that goes wrong and that the only thing that’s going to solve this is Islamic shariah law.”

She used some very intellectual sounding words to speak the obvious truth–the goal of Islam is a worldwide caliphate governed by Sharia Law. Unfortunately, due to the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, there are many places in our government where it would be illegal to speak those words.

The article cites an example of what happens when people in government (other than Senator Feinstein) tell the truth:

For example, on May 10, 2012, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, used a press conference to denounce a highly decorated and up-and-coming Army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, for teaching an elective course at the Joint Forces Staff College using an approved curriculum.  According to Gen. Dempsey, what prompted this extraordinary action was that a student – who it turns out had not actually been enrolled in Col. Dooley’s class – “was concerned that the course was objectionable and that it was counter to our values…our appreciation for religious freedom and cultural awareness. And the young man who brought it to my attention was absolutely right. It’s totally objectionable.”

At the core of what was so “totally objectionable” is the fact that students were exposed to information that made plain the gravity of the threat of which Sen. Feinstein warned: the supremacist, totalitarian Islamic doctrine of shariah and the jihad or holy war it obliges adherents to perform.  Col. Dooley’s promising career was cut short and the files of his institution and that of the rest of the national security community have been purged of all such information deemed by unidentified subject matters experts engaged for the purpose to be “counter to our values.”

Why isn’t the government telling us about the dangers of radical Islam? The answer to that questions can be found in a ten-part on-line series entitled, “The Muslim Brotherhood in America.” I realize that watching the entire series is time consuming, but every American should be required to watch the last part of the series–it is the part that outlines what we are Americans need to do to preserve our liberty.

Senator Feinstein spoke the truth. Is anyone out there listening?

 

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Ignoring The Facts In Order To Pursue A Political Agenda

Yesterday’s shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. was a tragedy. It was an incident of a mentally ill person who had anger issues who went berserk. So what happens next? Democrats in Washington start calling for gun control. Somehow they seem to have forgotten that this shooting occurred in Washington, D. C., a gun-free zone, inside the Navy Yard, also a gun-free zone. The problem was not the laws–the problem was that the laws were broken. Based on the background of the killer released by the press, this man should never had been allowed to own a gun. Two stories illustrate the fact that politicians are overlooking the fact that these murders happened in a gun-free zone.

Politico posted an article yesterday quoting Senator Dianne Feinstein:

She (Dianne Feinstein) added: “Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life.”

Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have spoken about trying to revive the background checks measure from Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), but that effort has yet to come to fruition.

Feinstein was the first prominent politician to draw a bright line from the shooting to the congressional gun debate on Monday, though Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) also made a less direct reference to the subject that afternoon.

CBS DC reported:

In the wake of the shooting at the Navy Yard, Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president is implementing executive actions and reiterated his commitment to strengthening gun laws, including expanding background checks to sales online and at gun shows.

“The president supports, as do an overwhelming majority of Americans, common-sense measures to reduce gun violence,” Carney said.

Even as it was unfolding, the Washington shooting was reigniting talk about guns. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a leading advocate of gun control legislation, mourned “the litany of massacres” the country has suffered in the form of mass shootings.

There is no point in talking about changing the gun laws until we know how this killer obtained his weapons. A background check should have prevented him from obtaining guns, but the fact remains that these killings took place in a gun-free zone. If he ignored the gun-free zone, do we really believe that the killer would have had a problem obtaining the guns illegally?

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Please Listen To The Entire Statement From Senator Feinstein

Please listen to the entire statement from Senator Feinstein.  As Senator Cornyn points out, PTSD sufferers are already prohibited from owning weapons by law. It is horribly unfair to accuse all veterans of having PTSD.

The transcript of the video is at C-SPAN:

Our military is well trained and can be trusted with guns. It bothers me that there are people in our government who seem to be trying to undermine the rights of veterans to buy and possess firearms.

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Proposed Minnesota Law Proposes Gun Confiscation

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story yesterday about a proposed law in the Minnesota legislature that does call for confiscation of guns.

The article reports:

H.F. 241 relates to “assault weapons.” It defines “assault weapons” in more or less the usual way; I haven’t compared it line by line to Dianne Feinstein’s federal legislation, but the definition is similar if not identical. “Assault weapons” include all semiautomatic rifles that have a pistol grip or a hole in the stock through which you can put your thumb; any “protruding grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand;” a folding or telescopic stock; or a barrel shroud. So, what is it about a hole in the stock, a “protruding grip,” a folding stock and so on that explains why such weapons should be singled out for banning by the state? Nothing. These features have nothing to do with lethality and bear no rational relation to any legitimate governmental purpose.

…Under the Democrats’ legislation, no one can buy or possess an “assault weapon” in Minnesota. If you already own one as of February 1, you can keep it. But you have to register it, and give the state permission to inspect your home–which is the only place you can keep the “assault weapon”–to make sure you are storing it properly, and undergo annual background checks. You can’t sell the firearm or give it away, and when you die, your heirs are required to either destroy it or “surrender the weapon to a law enforcement agency for destruction.” So the statute represents a ban, followed by confiscation.

President Obama will be in Minnesota today supposedly to support this proposal. As I have said before, I am not personally a gun owner, although many members of my family are; however, I support the right of people to own guns, and I worry when the government talks about taking them away–for any reason.

This law (although hopefully it has no chance of passing) is frightening. It is frightening because the legislators think they can bring it up without fear of being voted out of office. The musket was the assault weapon of its day, and it was not banned in the Constitution. I think the founding fathers knew what they were doing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Loss Of Wealth In America

Legal Insurrection posted an article today about what has happened to the wealth of Americans over the past three years. It is interesting to note that average net worth of Congress has increased since 2004, and held about even from 2007 to 2010, the average American family net worth dropped 40 percent from 2007 to 2010 to an average of $77,300.

In the Senate, the article shows that the Democrats have more wealth:

Top 10 Senators in 2010
             Senator                                          Average Net Worth
John Kerry (D-Mass)                                         $231,722,794
Mark Warner (D-Va)                                          $192,730,605
Herb Kohl (D-Wis)                                             $173,538,010
Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa)                                     $99,057,011
Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)                               $85,572,116
Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn)                            $73,151,590
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif)                                  $69,046,622
Bob Corker (R-Tenn)                                          $59,550,022
James E. Risch (R-Idaho)                                 $54,088,026
Mitch McConnell (R-Ky)                                     $27,213,024

In the House Of Representatives, the Republicans have more wealth:

Representative                               Average Net Worth
Darrell Issa (R-Calif)                                    $448,125,017
Michael McCaul (R-Texas)                           $380,411,527
Jane Harman (D-Calif)                                 $326,844,751
Jared Polis (D-Colo)                                     $143,218,562
Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla)                            $136,152,641
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif)                                  $101,123,032
Alan Grayson (D-Fla)                                      $93,896,519
Kenny Marchant (R-Texas)                             $49,340,275
Gary Miller (R-Calif)                                         $46,008,028
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)                        $42,900,594

Although I am reporting these numbers, I am not as concerned about what the current wealth of Congress is as I am curious about what the wealth of our elected officials was when they entered Congress. Is Congress a ticket to major wealth, or were they wealthy when they got elected? That would be a very interesting study.