Transparency is Obviously A Lost Art

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the battle between CNN and the government about making public James Comey’s memos about his discussions with President Trump regarding the Russian investigation.

There are a few things that need to be noted here. In June, I posted an article which included the following:

In a statement delivered on the Senate floor, Grassley (Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA)) said that in March, former FBI Director James Comey had told him, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and the group of Senate and House members known as the “Gang of Eight” that the president was not under investigation.

But Schumer, who is part of the Gang of Eight, continued to tell the media Trump was under investigation, Grassley said.

Okay. So if those Senators knew in March that President Trump was not under investigation, why did Senator Schumer claim he was and why is Robert Mueller continuing to investigate something that was already known?

At any rate, the article at The Washington Examiner reports:

Government lawyers asked a judge Friday to deny CNN’s request to force the FBI to publicly disclose former FBI Director James Comey’s memos documenting his interactions with President Trump about the Russia investigation.

The news network made the case in a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in June that there was high public interest in Comey’s memos and that the notes were not classified, as insisted by Comey himself in testimony. CNN, along with other outlets and watchdog groups, had requested the memos under the Freedom of Information Act.

However, a report from CNN on Saturday explained that parts of Comey’s memos were determined to be classified and the government argued that to make them public would “reveal the scope and focus of the investigation and thereby harm the investigation” and possible prosecutions.

The government is also requesting that an unnamed “FBI employee” make the government’s case in secret.

Was the memo Comey leaked to Columbia University professor Daniel Richman, (who then at the request of Comey revealed the details of the notes to the New York Times to make sure a special prosecutor was appointed) a secret? if so, why hasn’t Comey been held accountable? Who is the government actually working for?

It’s time for the government to start cooperating with the citizens. I realize that might by an alien concept to some government employees, but I am sure they could get used to the idea that they work for the citizens, not the other way around. It truly is time for some transparency in government.

 

Restoring The Rule Of Law

A website called usconstitution.net explains the procedure involved in government spending:

…”All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives” (Article 1, Section 7). Thus, I’ve listed the House’s “original jurisdiction” over revenue bills (laws that affect taxes) as a check. The House, however, views this clause a little differently, taking it to mean not only taxation bills but also spending bills.

The plain language of the clause would seem to contradict the House’s opinion, but the House relies on historical precedent and contemporaneous writings to support its position. In Federalist 66, for example, Alexander Hamilton writes, “The exclusive privilege of originating money bills will belong to the House of Representatives.” This phrase could easily be construed to include taxing and spending. The Supreme Court has ruled, however, that the Senate can initiate bills that create revenue, if the revenue is incidental and not directly a tax. Most recently, in US v Munoz-Flores (495 US 385 [1990]), the Court said, “Because the bill at issue here was not one for raising revenue, it could not have been passed in violation of the Origination Clause.” The case cites Twin City v Nebeker (176 US 196 [1897]), where the court said that “revenue bills are those that levy taxes, in the strict sense of the word.”

Yesterday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article explaining how recent actions by President Trump are restoring that constitutional principle. On Thursday, President Trump announced that he was ending payments to insurance companies that were implemented by Executive Order under ObamaCare. Since the payments were never approved by the House of Representatives, the payments were illegal and should never have begun in the first place. The Obama Administration had made those payments.

The article at Power Line states:

Liberal news outlets are offering a parade of horribles that will ensue if the federal government doesn’t continue to pay off insurance companies. In most cases, they pay little or no attention to the constitutional issue at stake. Whether such consequences will result is not so clear. Chris Jacobs points out:

For the time being, individuals likely will not see any direct effects from the payments ceasing. Carriers cannot exit Exchanges mid-year, and contracts for the 2018 plan year are already signed. (A provision in carriers’ 2017 and 2018 contracts lets them exit Exchanges if enrollees do not receive cost-sharing reductions—not if the insurers themselves do not receive reimbursement for those cost-sharing reductions. This clause, awkwardly drafted by insurers’ counsel, may provide them with little legal recourse—and further highlights their questionable assumptions and behavior surrounding the subsidies.) So maybe—just maybe—Washington can spend some time focusing on the real issue behind the Administration’s action: Upholding the Constitution.

If Congress wants to continue the subsidies, it can do so. Its appropriation, obviously, will make them constitutional. But regardless of what happens from now on, the Trump administration has acted admirably by refusing to go along with the unconstitutional regime that Barack Obama instituted.

This is not about politics–it is about following the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land.

Is Anyone Really Surprised?

Does anyone remember what the Clintons taught us about how to handle a scandal in Washington–stonewall, stonewall, stonewall, and then claim it is old news? Well, they are still using the same playbook–even out of office.

The following is a Press Release from Judicial Watch today:

FBI Finds 30 Pages of Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Meeting Documents – Wants Six Weeks to Turn Over Docs

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch was informed yesterday by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that the FBI has located 30 pages of documents related to the June 27, 2016, tarmac meeting between former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton, and proposes non-exempt material be produced no later than November 30, 2017 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:16-cv-02046)).

The new documents are being sent to Judicial Watch in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to comply with a July 7, 2016, FOIA request seeking the following:

  • All FD-302 forms prepared pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during her tenure.
  • All records of communications between any agent, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding, concerning, or related to the aforementioned investigation. This request includes, but is not limited to, any related communications with any official, employee, or representative of the Department of Justice, the Executive Office of the President, the Democratic National Committee, and/or the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
  • All records related to the meeting between Attorney General Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on June 27, 2016.

The FBI originally informed Judicial Watch they did not locate any records related to the tarmac meeting.  However, in a related case, the Justice Department located emails in which Justice Department officials communicated with the FBI and wrote that they had communicated with the FBI.  As a result, by letter dated August 10, 2017, from the FBI stated, “Upon further review, we subsequently determined potentially responsive documents may exist. As a result, your [FOIA] request has been reopened…”

(Surprisingly, the Trump Justice Department refuses to disclose the talking points developed by the Obama Justice Department to help it respond to press inquiries about the controversial June 27, 2016, tarmac meeting between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.)

On June 27, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton on board a parked private plane at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting occurred during the then-ongoing investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s email server, and mere hours before the Benghazi report was released publicly involving both Mrs. Clinton and the Obama administration. Judicial Watch filed a request on June 30 that the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General investigate that meeting.

“The FBI is out of control. It is stunning that the FBI ‘found’ these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit,” stated Judicial Watch Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch will continue to press for answers about the FBI’s document games in court. In the meantime, the FBI should stop the stonewall and release these new records immediately.”

This case has also forced the FBI to release to the public the FBI’s Clinton investigative file, although more than half of the records remain withheld.  The FBI has also told Judicial Watch that it anticipates completing the processing of these materials by July 2018.

There is significant controversy about whether the FBI and Obama Justice Department investigation gave Clinton and other witnesses and potential targets preferential treatment.

The Obama administration extended numerous immunity agreements, including: Clinton’s former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills; John Bentel, former director of the State Department’s Office of Information Resources Management; Heather Samuelson, Clinton’s executive assistant; Brian Pagliano, an IT employee at the State Department who serviced the Clinton non-government server; and an employee at Platt River Networks, the company that maintained it.  It is not clear whether Hillary Clinton received some type of immunity.

In 2015, a political action committee run by McAuliffe, a close friend and political supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, donated nearly $500,000 to Jill McCabe, wife of McCabe, who was then running for the Virginia State Senate. Also, the Virginia Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe had significant influence, donated an additional $207,788 to the Jill McCabe campaign. In July 2015, Andrew McCabe was in charge of the FBI’s Washington, DC, field office, which provided personnel resources to the Clinton email probe.  Judicial Watch has several lawsuits about this McCabe/FBI/Clinton scandal.

Is anyone really surprised? Every day we see another example of the deep state and the damage it has done to America. It is a living lesson illustrating the reason we still have a lot of swamp draining to do in Washington. It will be interesting to see how much of the information turned over is redacted!

Actually, This Is The Way It Was Supposed To Be Done In The First Place

According to the U.S. Constitution, the Senate has the responsibility of advice and consent regarding treaties:

The President…shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur… Constitution of the United States, Art. II, Sec. 2

The Senate never voted on the Iran Nuclear Treaty. President Trump has now “decertified” his support for the agreement and left its fate in the hands of Congress.

Yahoo News is reporting today:

And, outlining the results of a review of efforts to counter Tehran’s “aggression” in a series of Middle East conflicts, Trump ordered tougher sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and on its ballistic missile program.

Trump said the agreement, which defenders say was only ever meant to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, had failed to address Iranian subversion in its region and its illegal missile program.

The US president said he supports efforts in Congress to work on new measures to address these threats without immediately torpedoing the broader deal.

“However, in the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated,” Trump said, in a televised address from the Diplomatic Room of the White House.

“It is under continuous review and our participation can be canceled by me as president at any time,” he warned.

Simultaneously, the US Treasury said it had taken action against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards under a 2001 executive order to hit sources of terror funding and added four companies that allegedly support the group to its sanctions list.

Any business done with Iran is done under the auspices of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. It is a safe guess to say that any money Iran earns in international trade will be spent on its military and its support of terrorism throughout the world.

On May 10, 2016, I posted an article about the role that Ben Rhodes played in selling the Iran Treaty to the American public.In his statements to the New York Times, Mr. Rhodes was described as follows:

Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press. His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the president’s will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies. His lack of conventional real-world experience of the kind that normally precedes responsibility for the fate of nations — like military or diplomatic service, or even a master’s degree in international relations, rather than creative writing — is still startling.

The Iran Treaty was based on the lie that Iran would give up its aggressive tendencies and its search for nuclear weapons. There is no evidence that either one of those things has happened. Ending the Iran Treaty and renewing the economic sanctions would be a step toward peace in the Middle East.

Be Careful What You Say And Who You Say It To

Project Veritas has struck again. The Daily Caller posted a video of a New York Times bragging about opposing President Trump.

This is one of the videos involved, currently posted at YouTube:

I have embedded this video in case it disappears from YouTube.

The article further reports:

Conservative activist group Project Veritas released the video on Tuesday, showing Dudich joking about being objective, before saying: “No, I’m not. That’s why I’m here.” Dudich emphasized his influence within the Times newsroom, saying that his “imprint is on every video we do.”

The editor also claimed to be a former antifa member who frequently assaulted alleged neo-Nazis. “Yeah, I used to be an antifa punk once upon a time,” Dudich says, referring to the militant far-left movement that has repeatedly attacked conservatives and Trump supporters.

Are you still willing to believe what The New York Times is reporting?

In case you are not convinced, this is the longer version of the video:

Again, it is embedded here in case YouTube takes it down.

Dismantling ObamaCare One Rule At A Time

One of the mixed blessings about the way ObamaCare was passed was the fact that it was an unread law passed strictly along party lines (Democratic Party) and then filled in by Executive Order and orders from the Health and Human Services Department. Many of the mandates and other parts of ObamaCare were not written into the law, but came later. One of the advantages of that fact is that what was put in place by Executive Order can be taken away by Executive Order. Since the Republicans in Congress have broken their promise to the voters to repeal ObamaCare, President Trump is taking it apart piece by piece.

Today Red State posted an article showing the latest piece to go. The article included the following tweet by the President:

The article explains:

President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order later this week that would allow people to pool together and purchase group insurance plans, according to The New York Times.

Association health plans allow groups such as community organizations, churches or professional associations to purchase health plans together. Many insurance companies oppose this kind of pooled purchase, as they argue the plans take healthy patients out of the individual markets.

The executive order is the first step in President Trump’s plan to issue another directive that would allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, though it is still unclear if he has the authority to do so.

“I am considering an executive order on associations, and that will take care of a tremendous number of people with regard to health care,” President Trump said late September, according to The New York Times. “I’ll probably be signing a very major executive order where people can go out, cross state lines, do lots of things, and buy their own health care…It’s going to cover a lot of territory and a lot of people — millions of people.”

Letting the free market reign in health insurance is a giant step back to sanity. Health insurance companies are in business to make a profit, which they are entitled to, and they use actuary tables to calculate those projected profits. If you bring back competition, they will have to compete with each other in the area of pricing, and all Americans will benefit. This is a big step toward making health insurance affordable for everyone. The less the government is involved in health insurance and healthcare, the better it is for all of us.

Remember what Milton Friedman said:

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.

Let’s get the government out of health insurance.

Slowly But Surely Things Are Changing

On Friday, CNS News reported that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people working for the federal government declined by 13,000 in 2017.

The article reports:

At the same time, overall government employment in the United States increased by 7,000 as the number of people working at the state government level and the local government level both increased.

The following chart is from the article:

I realize the chart is difficult to read, but basically, the intersect of manufacturing and government jobs took place about 1989. That is when government jobs began to outpace manufacturing jobs in America. It should be noted that every dollar spent by the government on employment or anything else is a dollar taken away from the private sector. Since the private sector is responsible for growing the economy and increasing employment, increased spending by the government is not a wise long-term strategy.

The article concludes:

Despite losing 1,000 jobs in September, the manufacturing sector has still gained 104,000 jobs in this year. In December, there were 12,343,000 employed in manufacturing in the United States. In September, there were 12,447,000.

Despite the gain in manufacturing jobs since the start of this year, government jobs continue to massively outnumber manufacturing jobs in the United States. As of September, the 22,337,000 employed by governemt in the United States outnumbrered the 12,447,000 employed in manufacturing by 9,890,000.

The first time government jobs outnumbered manufacturing jobs in this country was August 1989, prior to that–going back to 1939 (the earliest year for BLS’s sector-by-sector employment numbers)–manufacturing jobs had always outnumbered government jobs in this country.

Slowly, but surely, things may be getting back under control.

 

Watching The Spin

President Trump has ended the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that required employers to provide birth control for their employees even if birth control conflicts with their moral or religious objections. Before ObamaCare, employers were allowed to follow their conscience. If you worked for a Catholic organization, your medical plan did not cover birth control, and if you had a baby in a Catholic hospital, the doctors were not going to instruct you in birth control. It was simply the way things were, and most Americans got along fine under that system. ObamaCare changed that system. Now President Trump is changing it back to what it was, giving people the right to follow their conscience. Based on the outcry from the political left, you would think he was slaughtering women on live television. He is not depriving anyone of birth control–he is merely saying he is not going to force employers to pay for it if it violates their conscience.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the controversy.

The article reports:

The new rule provides full protection for Americans with religious beliefs and moral convictions and acknowledges that the contraceptive mandate concerns serious issues of moral concern, including those involving human life.

Though left-wing groups claim President Donald Trump is taking away women’s birth control – which can be purchased for relatively little expense – the Obama administration itself actually exempted at least 25 million Americans, through various exemption allowances, from its own rule.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the Little Sisters of the Poor in its case against the HHS mandatenoted the Obama administration had exempted large corporations such as Chevron, Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi Bottling from the rule, as well as the U.S. military and large cities like New York City.

The headline for the story covered at NBC News reads, “Trump Just Made It So Employers Can Refuse to Pay for Birth Control.”

Just for the record, this isn’t really about birth control–it’s about abortion. Under ObamaCare, the morning-after pill, which causes an abortion was included in birth control. This was the first step toward government funding of abortions.

Here are a few facts on abortion from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ):

The fact of the matter is that 51 percent of Planned Parenthood’s yearly clinic income – their only self-sustaining revenue source – comes from abortion, 329,445 abortions.

40 percent of all reported abortions committed in the United States occur at a Planned Parenthood clinic, making it by far the largest abortion provider in America.

…Planned Parenthood’s latest report states that it performed “11 million services during nearly five million clinical visits.” So, now their abortion number jumps to 6.6 percent of clinic visits were for abortions. That’s right 6.6 percent of all visits to Planned Parenthood result in an abortion.

Digging a little deeper, Planned Parenthood claims that all those “services” it provides only go to 3 million women. So by it’s own admission, 11 percent of the women that visit a Planned Parenthood clinic in any given year obtain an abortion there.

What about some of the other “services” Planned Parenthood claims it provides? Prenatal services (those services provided to women who choose to keep their baby) account for a measly 0.28 percent off all services provided. Moreover, the 841 adoption referrals made by Planned Parenthood in their last reported year amount to a whopping 0.0076 percent of services rendered.

The outcry over the change in the HHS Mandate is born out of fear that the abortion industry will eventually be threatened by the Trump Administration. I need to explain here that I don’t want to see abortion made illegal. However, if an abortion is medically necessary, it needs to be done in a hospital. It does not need to be part of a multi-million dollar industry.

When Charity Becomes Political

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial recently about charities that are funding the ‘never Trump’ movement. I find it hard to view what these organizations are doing as charity.

The article reports:

An investigation by the Washington Free Beacon looked into the progressive community organizing group called the Center for Community Change Action (CCCA), which has spearheaded the anti-Trump “resistance.” What the Beacon found by looking at the group’s unredacted tax returns was surprising: Far from being funded by like-minded activists and grass-roots contributions, the anti-Trump CCCA is secretly funded by major charities with respectably wholesome, centrist images. In some cases, the charities fund other extreme left-wing activist groups, too.

Among those giving money to the CCCA — which, the Beacon notes, “has been involved in direct action against President Donald Trump and Republicans before and after the November elections” — include the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Ford Foundation and billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, which have together funneled millions of dollars to the anti-Trump, anti-conservative, anti-Republican activist group.

Kellogg alone gave $3 million, while the Ford Foundation ponied up $2.3 million. Soros delivered a cool $1.75 million to the anti-Trumpistas.

And there were others, among them the California Endowment (created by the 1996 acquisition of WellPoint Health Networks by Blue Cross of California), $524,500; the Marguerite Casey Foundation (started by UPS founder Jim Casey), $515,000; and the National Immigration Law Center, $316,000.

These groups are funding the ‘resistance,’ a group of sore losers attempting to undermine America’s representative republic. I really don’t know what has happened to the Democratic Party and the ideas it used to espouse. I used to be a Democrat, but that was when you could be a conservative Democrat and remain in the party. Now the Democratic Party has become the party of ugly. They oppose anything, even if it would help move America forward. They stand for nothing except opposition to Donald Trump. It is sad that the Democrats and so many Republicans have become so attached to the Washington establishment that they have forgotten that they were sent to Washington to represent the American people. It truly is a shame that some charities have chosen to fund ‘the swamp.’

 

Cutting Federal Spending On ObamaCare

The rather feckless Republicans don’t seem to be able to get rid of ObamaCare, but President Trump is managing to clip its wings somewhat. Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial explaining one way President Trump is cutting ObamaCare spending.

The editorial reports:

In late August, the administration announced that it was sharply cutting the promotional budget for ObamaCare as well as money spent on “navigators” paid to help people enroll when open enrollment starts on November 1.

Both cuts were more than justified.

The Obama administration nearly doubled ObamaCare promotional spending in 2016 to more than $100 million, only to see overall enrollment decline by 400,000 and the number of new enrollees drop by 42%. This year, the Department of Health and Human Services is slashing the ad budget to $10 million.

The navigator program was an even bigger waste of money. HHS notes that the Obama administration dumped $62.5 million on navigators last year — who then managed to help fewer than 82,000 people enroll. That’s $762 per enrollee. One navigator got $200,000 and enrolled one person. HHS is cutting the navigator budget by almost 40%.

Not surprisingly, the cuts were treated by ObamaCare defenders as another effort by Trump to sabotage the law.

But then something interesting happened. The private sector mobilized to pick up the slack.

The Huffington Post reports that former Obama administration officials just launched a project — called Get America Covered — that has raised at least as much money from foundations and private groups as the feds were going spend. It’s also established “partnerships with businesses, state officials and local media that will help spread the word.”

When the government gets out of the way, good things happen.

The editorial concludes:

Why should taxpayers fork over hundreds of millions of dollars for dubious federal ad campaigns and to pay underworked navigators, when there are passionate people and plenty of money in the private sector to take on this job?

It’s a safe bet, too, that these privately run and privately funded groups are going to use their money more efficiently and effectively than the government ever could. Plus, they will be able to look with pride at their successes, rather than complain about how the government should do more.

Instead of attacking Trump, these groups should be thanking him for giving them the opportunity to take on this challenge.

As for the rest of us, this is a perfect example of how government programs can be cut without harming citizens. With any luck, there will be many more such examples in the years ahead.

Milton Friedman said it best–“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

Confirming What We Knew All Along

On Monday, Hot Air posted an article about media coverage of President Trump. Those of us who thought that according to the media President Trump could do nothing right have been proven correct.

The article includes the following:

Aside from being unfair, this is not good for Americans. This is divisive and accomplishes nothing.

The article reminds us:

The obvious counterpoint is that Trump’s first 60 days had an unusual amount of bad news in them so of course the coverage would be negative to match. He rolled out the travel ban in late January without much of a heads up to John Kelly or James Mattis; he watched the House GOP introduce a fantastically unpopular health-care bill and fail to pass it; his national security advisor resigned over discussions he’d had with the Russian ambassador about sanctions; and Trump himself did what Trump tends to do, popping off on Twitter about Obama wiretapping his phones, assuring congressional leaders that he actually won the popular vote, and so on.

Still, the first 60 days were also when Trump delivered his well-received address to Congress, and it was a period in which various well-regarded cabinet members were nominated and/or confirmed. He nominated the eminently qualified and amiable Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court just 10 days into his term. Still: 5/62 on the coverage. Even allowing for the fact that there’s more overtly partisan media now than there was when Obama took office, let alone Bush or Clinton, some of the media outlets and programs tracked by Pew for this survey include *overwhelmingly* pro-Trump entities like Breitbart, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Tucker Carlson. Exclude them from the data and what’s the split on positive and negative coverage overall? 1/62? 0/62?

As the mainstream media becomes more irrelevant because of alternative news sources, they are jockeying for a place in the new news paradigm. Today’s reporters live in a politically left vacuum where facts are irrelevant. When today’s liberals are confronted with facts, they either change the subject or personally attack. It is my belief that the anti-Trump bias we are seeing in the mainstream media is the result of the fact that the 60’s hippies became college professors and chose to indoctrinate their students rather than teach them to think. That may be why the average liberal reacts the way he/she does when confronted with facts.

 

The Deep State Lives

I am becoming discouraged about the possibility of anyone cleaning up Washington. We have a new President, but there are so many career establishment people there, cleaning up the city is definitely a slog.

On Sunday The Washington Examiner posted an article that reinforces my concern. Judicial Watch is a watchdog organization that closely watches administrations of both parties and uses Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to hold them accountable.

The article at The Washington Examiner reports:

It has now been more than a month since a House Intelligence Committee subpoena set a September 1 deadline for the FBI and the Justice Department to turn over documents related to the Trump dossier.

Not a single document has been produced. The first deadline was extended once, then again, then again, and is now on some sort of hold. But no documents have been handed over.

…Just as they have been doing with the House intelligence panel, the FBI and Justice Department tried to blow off Grassley, saying any talks with Rybicki and Ghattas might interfere with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. Then, after Grassley threatened to subpoena the two officials, the Justice Department wrote back to Grassley on September 22 to say, “Upon further evaluation, we believe that it is appropriate to make Mr. Ghattas and Mr. Rybicki available to the committee for interviews.”

But Justice still had conditions, particularly where the Mueller investigation was concerned. So in a letter last week, Grassley reminded them that, “contrary to the implication [from the Justice Department], the committee had, in fact notified and consulted with special counsel Mueller’s office for deconfliction purposes about interviewing these two witnesses. Specifically, the committee provided ample opportunity for that office to voice any objection, and accommodated that office’s concern…” In other words, Grassley said, Mueller’s office did not voice any concern about the committee’s request.

Of course, Grassley is so far just threatening a subpoena. The House committee had already issued one. And in both cases, the FBI and Justice Department have not produced either the dossier documents or the two FBI officials (who are thought to know quite a bit about the dossier).

Who is hiding what? Since this dossier was the basis of the wiretapping of people close to Donald Trump when he was running for president, the content and the history of the dossier are important in determining whether or not those wiretaps were illegally done by the Obama Administration.

Ignoring Facts For Political Purposes

President Trump has introduced his tax reform plan. It’s not a truly conservative plan, but it is a plan that will ease the tax burden of many Americans. It will also eliminate the ‘death tax,’ which has resulted in the sale of many family farms and small family businesses. The Democrats are making their usual noises–tax cuts for the rich, etc., choosing to ignore the fact that the top 10 percent of earners pay 80 percent of federal income taxes. Obviously, if that is the case, those are the people who are going to benefit from lower taxes. Actually, President Trump’s tax cuts are aimed more at the middle class and at corporations, two groups that have been negatively impacted by the current tax code. As it stands now, the tax code is a recognition of the hard work of lobbyists. That needs to change.

One of the needed changes that will get the most opposition is the elimination of the deduction for state taxes. Under the present tax code, states with low taxes are currently subsidizing states with high taxes. Congressmen from New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and other high-tax states love this. The residents of these states grumble less when their taxes go up because they can deduct them on their federal income taxes. You may not hear this discussed a lot in the debate on the tax plan, but it is a major issue. Expect a lot of opposition from Congressmen from high-tax states. Those states may be forced to become more fiscally responsible if this change is made.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article listing some of the lies we can expect to hear from those opposed to the proposed tax reform. The article also includes some of the past history of the impact of lowering taxes.

The article reports:

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy slashed investment taxes. After his assassination, his broader tax cuts were enacted, producing eight years of soaring growth — 5 percent a year.

In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan slashed rates again, giving the nation nearly a decade of robust 3.8 percent growth.

In 2003, George W. Bush’s tax cut boosted the economy, producing 4 percent growth for six straight quarters.

Compare this vigorous growth with President Barack Obama’s eight years of stagnation. Obama’s economy lumbered along at around 2 percent growth because high taxes and over-regulation discouraged companies from investing. Democrats still insist that 2 percent growth is the new normal. Nonsense. Roll back regulations and taxes, and the economy will surge.

So why would anyone oppose something that would grow the economy and increase the spending power of working Americans. There are a few reasons. There are people who simply refuse to learn the lessons of history–the simply do not understand the economics of lowering taxes. There are people who oppose the plan for political reasons–Democrats have made it clear that they have no intention of cooperating with anything President Trump proposes. And last of all, there are establishment Republicans who are determined to protect the status quo. Expect a lot of political posturing in the near future about the tax reform. The thing to remember here is that Washington does not need more of our money to spend–Washington needs to learn how to be responsible with the taxpayers’ money.

This Sort Of Thinking Might Be Part Of The Problem

How many of you reading this work forty hours a week? Fifty hours? How many of you would like to work less and have more free time, but you are encumbered by such nuisances as needing a place to live and liking to eat? Well, take heart, a college professor has an interesting observation on this whole ‘work ethic‘ thing.

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about a quote from Pennsylvania State University-Brandywine professor Angela Putman.

The article states:

Pennsylvania State University-Brandywine professor Angela Putman recently asserted in an academic paper that the notion “if I work hard, I can be successful” is merely a product of white ideology, reports Campus Reform.

Angela Putman conducted a study to critique and examine “ideologies within college students’ discourse that are foundational to whiteness.” Her resulting conclusion published on Thursday was that “meritocracy”, or the belief that people should rise based on the fruits of their own labor, is a “white ideology.” In her mind, this “white ideology” is unfortunately widely accepted in academia.

But, Professor Putman argues that professors can change this “ideology” by teaching students “how racism and whiteness function in various contexts, the powerful influence of systems and institutions, and the pervasiveness of whiteness ideologies within the United States.”

So according to this lady, the idea of meritocracy is “white ideology.” Interesting. It is really interesting that one of the few workplaces in America that is truly a meritocracy is the National Football League (NFL). According to the census, as of 2016, 13.3 percent of America’s population was African-American. In the National Football League, 67 percent of the players are black. The NFL is one of the true meritocracies in America and is largely composed of African-Americans. How in the world is the NFL meritocracy an example of ‘white ideology.”

The article further reports:

Putman believes that it is somehow a bad thing to teach students personal responsibility. Emphasizing a collectivist mindset, Putman puts forth the idea that Americans are falsely “socialized to believe that we got to where we are… because of our own individual efforts.”

This “ideology” she says, perpetuates whiteness and racism throughout society. Once students learn more about “white ideology,” they will hopefully “resist perpetuating and reifying whiteness through their own discourse and interactions,” and challenge systemic “manifestations of racism and whiteness.”

Until students learn the hidden dangers of believing in the value of hard-work and a positive attitude, “whiteness ideologies may be reproduced through a general acceptance and unchallenging of norms, as well as through everyday discourse from a wide variety of racial positionalities.”

We need to remove students from this professor’s classroom. What she is teaching them is not only divisive–it is harmful. She is essentially destroying the work ethic of her African-American students. The black culture is such that it handicaps black students immensely–if a black student does well in school, he is considered an “Uncle Tom.” How do we expect these children to succeed unless we are willing to change the culture of their communities? It is bad enough that schools in low-income black neighborhoods often do not have all the supplies and textbooks that they need, but no one should be adding to their problems by telling them that they are victims.

The Insanity That Roams Our Colleges

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about Edith Macias, an Ethnic Studies major at the University of California Riverside who stole a man’s “Make America Great Again” hat.

The article reports some of Ms. Macias’ comments:

The alleged thief, Ethnic Studies major Edith Macias, accuses the student of endorsing “genocide” by owning the hat. “So this guy thought it would be a good idea to go into a conference wearing this f***ing hat,” the student says in the video. “Look at the kind of sh*t he’s wearing, You know what this represents? This represents genocide—genocide of a bunch of people.”

“Do you have any f***ing conscience?” she continues, before adding that “f***ing freedom of speech is genocide, homeboy.”

“I swear to God I could burn this sh*t. I swear to God I could burn this sh*t,” she adds.

“Are you people not going to do anything? She is stealing my property,” Vitale says, as university staff looks on silently.

“We will need to return his property to him, but we can talk about…” one university employee eventually interjects.

“How about we talk about not letting him wear this sh*t on campus?” Macias says.

“The fact that you people haven’t gotten this back for me is sad and wrong,” Vitale says at one point.

“Oh my God, you’re going to keep letting him wear it?” Macias says. “That just shows how the f— UCR is and the education system. It’s geared to benefit white people, white people, not me.”

This is frightening. First of all, she is an Ethnic Studies major. How does one turn that into a marketable skill after graduation? Second of all, in what universe is Donald Trump connected to genocide? The man has won awards for helping minorities succeed (but that was before he was a Republican and became President). Does she realize that President Trump’s Cabinet includes minorities?

Where did she get her information? Do her comments reflect what she is being taught in school? Is there any truth or logic to anything she is saying?

This is a whole new level of insanity from our college campuses.

There Seems To Be More To This Story Than Is Being Reported By Most Of The Media

The Conservative Treehouse posted a story today about the crisis in Puerto Rico following hurricane Maria. The mainstream media is making all sorts of charges against President Trump’s handling of the relief effort. Well, it seems that there is a little more to the story.

The article reports:

Puerto Rican born and raised, Colonel Michael A. Valle (”Torch”), Commander, 101st Air and Space Operations Group, and Director of the Joint Air Component Coordination Element, 1st Air Force, responsible for Hurricane Maria relief efforts, has the following comment:

…They have the generators, water, food, medicine, and fuel on the ground, yet the supplies are not moving across the island as quickly as they’re needed.

“It’s a lack of drivers for the transport trucks, the 18 wheelers. Supplies we have. Trucks we have. There are ships full of supplies, backed up in the ports, waiting to have a vehicle to unload into. However, only 20% of the truck drivers show up to work. These are private citizens in Puerto Rico, paid by companies that are contracted by the government”.. (link)

The ports are so full of relief supplies they can’t fit any more on the available space.

This is a report posted on Twitter from someone who is there:

There is nothing that President Trump could do in any situation that would make the media report on him favorably. I wonder if they are even aware of what is actually happening in Puerto Rico.  It’s just a shame that the union drivers won’t help in the effort to help Puerto Rico recover from this massive hurricane.

Taking All Of The Joy Out Of Childhood

Yesterday The Howie Carr Show (a talk show out of Boston) posted an article about a librarian in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To celebrate National Read A Book Day, Melania Trump sent ten Dr. Seuss books to a Cambridge public school.

This is the letter she received from the librarian:

Dear Mrs. Trump,
Thank you for the ten Dr. Seuss titles that you sent my school library in recognition of this year’s National Read a Book Day. (Sent second-day air, no less! That must have been expensive.) I’m proud that you recognized my school as something special. It truly is. Our beautiful and diverse student body is made up of children from all over the world; from different socioeconomic statuses; with a spectrum of gender expressions and identities; with a range of abilities; and of varied racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.
According to the White House website, you selected one school per state by “working with the Department of Education to identify schools with programs that have achieved high standards of excellence, recognized by State and National awards and Blue Ribbon Awards…” Each of those carefully vetted schools received ten books: Seuss-isms!; Because a Little Bug Went KaChoo; What Pet Should I Get?; The Cat in the Hat; I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; The Foot Book; Wacky Wednesday; Green Eggs and Ham; and Oh, the Places You’ll Go!.
My students were interested in reading your enclosed letter and impressed with the beautiful bookplates with your name and the indelible White House stamp, however, we will not be keeping the titles for our collection. I’d like to respectfully offer my explanation.
* * * * *
My school and my library are indeed award-winning. I work in a district that has plenty of resources, which contributes directly to “excellence.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an amazing city with robust social programming, a responsive city government, free all-day kindergarten, and well-paid teachers (relatively speaking — many of us can’t afford to live in the city in which we teach). My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science. Multiple studies show that schools with professionally staffed libraries improve student performance. The American Association of School Librarians has a great infographic on these findings. Many schools around the state and country can’t compete.
Yearly per-pupil spending in Cambridge is well over $20,000; our city’s values are such that given a HUGE range in the socioeconomic status of our residents, we believe that each and every child deserves the best free education possible and are working hard to make that a reality (most classrooms maintain a 60/40 split between free/reduced lunch and paid lunch). This offers our Title I school and the district a lot of privilege and room for programming and pedagogy to foster “high standards of excellence.” Even so, we still struggle to close the achievement gap, retain teachers of color, and dismantle the systemic white supremacy in our institution. But hell, we test well! And in the end, it appears that data — and not children — are what matters.
Meanwhile, school libraries around the country are being shuttered. Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit are suffering through expansion, privatization, and school “choice” with no interest in outcomes of children, their families, their teachers, and their schools. Are those kids any less deserving of books simply because of circumstances beyond their control? Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos? Why not reflect on those “high standards of excellence” beyond only what the numbers suggest? Secretary DeVos would do well to scaffold and lift schools instead of punishing them with closures and slashed budgets.
* * * * *

So, my school doesn’t have a NEED for these books. And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips. Just down the street you have access to a phenomenal children’s librarian: Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. I have no doubt Dr. Hayden would have given you some stellar recommendations.
Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes. Open one of his books (If I Ran a Zoo or And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, for example), and you’ll see the racist mockery in his art. Grace Hwang Lynch’s School Library Journal article, “Is the Cat in the Hat Racist? Read Across America Shifts Away from Dr. Seuss and Toward Diverse Books,” reports on Katie Ishizuka’s work analyzing the minstrel characteristics and trope nature of Seuss’s characters. Scholar Philip Nel’s new book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, further explores and shines a spotlight on the systemic racism and oppression in education and literature.
I am honored that you recognized my students and our school. I can think of no better gift for children than books; it was a wonderful gesture, if one that could have been better thought out. Books can be a powerful way to learn about and experience the world around us; they help build empathy and understanding. In return, I’m attaching a list of ten books (it’s the librarian in me) that I hope will offer you a window into the lives of the many children affected by the policies of your husband’s administration. You and your husband have a direct impact on these children’s lives. Please make time to learn about and value them. I hope you share these books with your family and with kids around the country. And I encourage you to reach out to your local librarian for more recommendations.
Warmly,
Liz Phipps Soeiro
School Librarian

Cambridge, MA

Interesting. Particularly when you consider the following:

The double standard here is amazing. First of all, Dr. Seuss was not a racist. His actual name was Theodor Seuss Geisel.

The is an excerpt from his biography at Wikipedia:

Geisel was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of Henrietta (née Seuss) and Theodor Robert Geisel.[5][6] All four of his grandparents were German immigrants.[7] His father managed the family brewery and was later appointed to supervise Springfield’s public park system by Mayor John A. Denison[8] after the brewery closed because of Prohibition.[9] Mulberry Street in Springfield, made famous in Dr. Seuss’ first children’s book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, is less than a mile southwest of his boyhood home on Fairfield Street. Geisel was raised a Lutheran.[10] He enrolled at Springfield Central High School in 1917 and graduated in 1921. He took an art class as a freshman and later became manager of the school soccer team.[11]

Geisel attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1925.[12] At Dartmouth, he joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity[5] and the humor magazine Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, eventually rising to the rank of editor-in-chief.[5] While at Dartmouth, he was caught drinking gin with nine friends in his room.[13] At the time, the possession and consumption of alcohol was illegal under Prohibition laws, which remained in place between 1920 and 1933. As a result of this infraction, Dean Craven Laycock insisted that Geisel resign from all extracurricular activities, including the college humor magazine.[14] To continue work on the Jack-O-Lantern without the administration’s knowledge, Geisel began signing his work with the pen name “Seuss”. He was encouraged in his writing by professor of rhetoric W. Benfield Pressey, whom he described as his “big inspiration for writing” at Dartmouth.[15]

Upon graduating from Dartmouth, he entered Lincoln College, Oxford intending to earn a PhD in English literature.[16] At Oxford, he met Helen Palmer, who encouraged him to give up becoming an English teacher in favor of pursuing drawing as a career.[16]

The actual footnotes can be found at Wikipedia.

There is no way that Dr. Seuss was a racist. This is an example of how trite the charge of ‘racism’ has become. America has not solved the problem of racism, but we have made strides in the right direction. We need to encourage strong families and good education in the black communities in America. However, to label things and people that are not related to race as racist does not help the cause of racial equality in America. Trump derangement syndrome has taken over the media and much of our educational system. It is time to get back to working together to improve our country–not trying to tear it down.

Avoiding The Truth For Political Purposes

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted a story about the hospital ship USNS Comfort which is headed to Puerto Rico to help with disaster relief. The story details the attempt by Hillary Clinton to take credit for the ship heading there.

The article reports:

The Washington Post is praising former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who tweeted about sending the hospital ship Sunday, for the federal government’s decision to provide additional relief.

The Post article links Clinton’s tweet to a petition that was launched on change.org to send the Comfort to Puerto Rico, even though the petition appears to have been put in motion before her social media post. The petition gained more than 100,000 signatures, but there is no clear indication that Clinton’s actions triggered the deployment of the Comfort. The WaPo article may be a logical “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy.

“I don’t know anything about that,” a Department of Defense official told The Daily Caller News Foundation when asked if the Pentagon took the former Democratic presidential nominee’s tweet or the petition into consideration when it decided to send the Comfort.

The U.S. deployed naval assets to assist in the aftermath of both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, and the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsage and the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill were dispatched to provide aid to those in need in Puerto Rico, which was recently devastated by Hurricane Maria.

The efforts by those on the political left to deny that President Trump is helping Puerto Rico have reached an unbelievable level. It would be nice if those who accuse the President of being divisive would at least unite behind him on the relief efforts.

For those of you still claiming that the president is a racist, how do you explain the awards he has been given in the past for promoting harmony between races and providing job opportunities for minorities? Also, have you looked at the history of Mar-a-Lago? Donald Trump literally fought city hall to allow blacks and Jews to come to his resort. Why was he never called a racist until he became a Republican?

At Least They Are Correcting Some Of Their Fake News

President Obama has often accused the conservative media of fake news. I wonder if he will speak out against the latest example of fake news by the liberal media.

Fox News reported yesterday that The Washington Post has issued a correction of one of their ‘breaking news’ stories.

The article reports:

The Washington Post has made a correction to an explosive cover story that undermines the entire premise of Monday’s front-page article headlined, “Obama sought to prod Facebook on Russia role.”

The problem, according to a Facebook executive, is that when Obama reached out to the social media giant in 2016 to discuss political disinformation spreading on the site, he didn’t actually call out Russia – essentially making the Post’s headline misleading and inaccurate. Or, as President Trump would call it, “fake news.”

As first reported by Axios, the Post added significant information to the digital version of the story with the disclaimer, “This story has been updated with an additional response from Facebook.” The response from Facebook that didn’t make the paper’s print edition is vital and changed the story enough that the word “Russia” was removed from the updated headline.

The story detailed how then-President Obama gave Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a “wake-up call” regarding fake news spreading on his social media platform. After reporting that Obama “made a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously,” the paper has added that Obama “did not single out Russia specifically.”

The story reported that Obama and his top aides “quietly agonized on how to respond to Russia’s brazen intervention on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign without making matters worse.” 

Well, not quite.

This is the important paragraph in the article:

The paper also added a statement from Facebook’s vice president of communications, Elliot Schrage, which it received after the front-page story was published. Schrage told the Post that Obama’s talk with Zuckerberg was about “misinformation and false news” and “did not include any references to possible foreign interference or suggestions about confronting threats to Facebook.”

The Russian connection has been fizzling out for some time. What we can expect is to see Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller charge Paul Manafort with some sort of process crime or questionable act totally unrelated to the original reasons for a special prosecutor. The thing to remember here is that despite the fact that James Comey stated numerous times that President Trump was not under investigation to the Senate, some senators chose to mislead the American people into believing that President Trump was under investigation. What Robert Mueller is doing is conducting a very expensive witch hunt based on a story which has been proved questionable at best. The mainstream media is attempting to relive their glory days of bringing down Richard Nixon, and there is a group of people in America with little regard for the U.S. Constitution that is willing to use violence to bring about the change they want. We have a choice here. Either we believe in the U.S. Constitution, the elected government, and the rule of law, or we do not. If we want our country to stand, the rule of law has to stand. The media does not understand that if the government is brought down, they will also be destroyed in the chaos that follows.

Why Are These People Ever Believed?

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at American Greatness yesterday about four members of the Obama Administration that seemed to be challenged when asked to tell the truth and were never held accountable for their lies.

The four members are former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, Former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Defense Intelligence Agency Director James Clapper.

These four people routinely misled the American public for political purposes.

The article cites some examples of Susan Rice’s lying:

On five occasions, Rice lied to the media that the murder of Americans in Benghazi, Libya by al-Qaida affiliated-terrorists was a result of spontaneous rioting—in response to an obscure, rogue, and right-wing Coptic filmmaker.

…Rice assured the nation that the AWOL and traitorous Bowe Bergdahl was a hostage taken during combat and had served nobly (“with honor and distinction”). In fact, the renegade Bergdahl likely was exchanged for terrorist prisoners for two reasons: one, to diminish the number of terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as promised by Obama during his campaign, and two, to highlight the humanitarian skills of Barack Obama in bringing home an American “hero,” especially defined as one who was so loudly aware of his own country’s foibles.

Rice also assured the nation that her administration, through its diplomatic brilliance, had eliminated Bashar Assad’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

…Once House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced that key administration officials illegally might have unmasked and leaked the names of U.S. citizens on government intercepts connected to the Trump campaign and transition team, Rice issued a blanket denial (“I know nothing about this”). That assertion predictably was untrue, as Rice herself was forced to concede when she altered narratives to later justify rather than deny her role in such improper leaking.

Rice assured the nation there were no hidden side-deals in the Iran Deal, such as a prisoner-swap concession.

Obviously the woman is not a stellar example of honesty.

Next the article deals with former FBI Director James Comey:

Comey did not interview Hillary Clinton in his supposedly exhaustive investigation of her alleged crimes before he cleared her of any wrongdoing.

Comey did know of a FBI communications trail surrounding the stealthy June 2016 meeting of Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac.

Comey did accede to Lynch’s cover up by altering the official nomenclature of the investigation to an innocuous “matter.”

Comey misled about the actual contents of Clinton confidante Huma Abedin’s email communications; the versions that he gave at various times and in different venues cannot be reconciled.

In his habitual lies of omission, Comey made no effort to correct a false public impression that he had helped foster and yet knew was a lie—namely that the FBI was investigating Trump on charges of Russian collusion at the very time he was assuring the president of just the opposite.

…Comey had obfuscated or masked the FBI’s role in the acquisition and dissemination of the infamous Steele-Fusion fake dossier. He was likely less than honest as well about his full knowledge of Obama administration reverse targeting, unmasking, and leaking related to U.S. citizens—both before and after the election.

Obviously, Comey expected to be rewarded for his actions in a Hillary Clinton Administration.

Next the article addresses the conduct of former CIA Director John Brennan:

Brennan had a weird habit of becoming outraged at any who quite accurately alleged that he was mendacious, such as when he deceived the Senate Intelligence Committee officials that he had never unlawfully surveilled the computers of particular U.S. senators and their staffs (e.g., “beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we would do”).

Brennan also misled Congress when he assured that U.S. drone strikes had not killed a single civilian—a preposterous claim that was widely and immediately recognized as deceptive before he was forced to backtrack and admit his untruth.

…Brennan also told a series of whoppers to establish his new politically correct bona fides, among them that jihad was “a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community.” Tell that to the incinerated victims of self-proclaimed jihadist Mohammed Atta or those beheaded by ISIS.

In his third incarnation, as a postelection stalwart opponent to Donald Trump, the partisan former “nonpartisan” intelligence chief Brennan has both quite publicly denied that U.S. intelligence agencies ever improperly surveilled and unmasked the identities of Trump campaign and transition officials.

Even on his last day of office, Brennan was still busy reviewing intelligence surveillance of U.S. citizens and later deceiving Congress about it. His part in preparing the Benghazi talking points, and in the creation of the Russian collusion mythos, are still not known fully. Nor understood is his apparent background role in the rather strange and abrupt postelection resignation of his immediate predecessor David Petraeus.

Brennan’s misunderstanding of jihad was dangerous to American national security.

Last, the article addresses former Defense Intelligence Agency Director James Clapper:

Indeed, it is uncanny how Clapper emulated the Brennan model: the former Bush appointee reinventing himself as an Obama partisan after assuring the country that Saddam Hussein’s WMD depots were transferred to Syria; lying about the rise of ISIS and pressuring others in military intelligence to mimic his pre-planned deceptions; not being forthcoming about surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition; becoming a loud and partisan accuser of Trump’s supposed mendacities on cable television, while finding himself increasingly exposed at the center of the growing unmasking scandal.

If Brennan lied about surveilling U.S. senators and the drone program, Clapper in turn lied to Congress about the National Security Agency’s illegal monitoring of U.S. citizens.

If Brennan assured Americans that jihadism was not a violent effort to spread radical Islam, Clapper topped that by assuring Congress that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular.”

One thing that is noteworthy but not mentioned in the article cited above is the fact that John Brennan, in 2011, during his time as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism received at request form Farhana Khere, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates requesting that all material relating to Islamic-based terrorism be removed from government documents and briefings. According to the book Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin, “The Department of Defense followed shortly thereafter with a Soviet-style purge of individuals along with disciplinary actions and re-education.” Why our government put the interests of a Muslim-Brotherhood related group above the security interests of America is anyone’s guess. I have personally met a CIA agent who was no longer allowed to brief our diplomats and military after this change was made.

I have no doubt that if Hillary Clinton had won the election, these four individuals would be part of her administration. As it stands, they are still part of the deep state that is working against President Trump. When we hear these individuals make public statements, we need to remember what they have done in the past.

 

In Danger Of Being Hoisted On Your Own Petard

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today with the headline, “Mueller Investigation Desperate As More Information About Obama‘s Illegal Spying Is Uncovered.” How did the Obama Administration expect to get away with their massive abuse of government power? If Hillary Clinton had won the election, there would never be an investigation. Even with the election of President Trump, I am not sure anyone in Washington has the intestinal fortitude to investigate the wiretaps fully (this is a g-rated blog–intestinal fortitude was the closest I could come to what I really wanted to say). Bad things happen to people who investigate the Clintons or people close to the Clintons.

The article reports:

Mueller’s investigation is a farce and now  Clarice Feldman at American Thinker reports that Mueller’s team is getting desperate to find any crime related to Trump:

I agree with Daniel Greenfield. Based on what I’ve read and observed, while the initial surveillance was to stop Trump and help Clinton, Obama used FISA to provide a “national security” cover for politically spying on Trump right up to the inauguration. As he notes, the first 2016 application was made the month after Trump obtained the nomination and the second in October, the month before the election.

As the unmasking picked up pace after the election, the reasonable assumption is that its purpose was to undo the results of the election or hamstring the incoming President.

Now Obama and his allies are or should be terrified that the scope of the illegal surveillance is revealing their criminal acts.

This is why I believe Mueller is growing increasingly desperate to find one crime by one person he can force by threat of jail to provide any shred of anything that might be used to justify their illegal espionage. Greenfield’s conclusion is apt: “The left is sitting on the biggest crime committed by a sitting president. The only way to cover it up is to destroy his Republican successor. A turning point in history is here. If Obama goes down, the left will go down with him. If his coup succeeds, then America ends.”

The current US Attorney General is either over his head or part of the swamp. He recused himself from the phony Russia scandal and left our President open for attack. He’s the man in charge when the FBI recently declined a request for information related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation. He let crooked IRS officials walk after targeting thousands of conservative Americans. Sessions should either address the corruption in his shop or the President should find someone who will.

This is scary stuff for those of us who want America to survive as a place where all men are equal under the law and our government has some degree of integrity.

Perspective From Someone Familiar With The Law

Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at The National Review regarding the investigating tactics of special prosecutor Robert Mueller. The title of the article is “Mueller Scorches the Earth.”

The article reports:

It was not enough to get a search warrant to ransack the Virginia home of Paul Manafort, even as the former Trump campaign chairman was cooperating with congressional investigators. Mueller’s bad-asses persuaded a judge to give them permission to pick the door lock. That way, they could break into the premises in the wee hours, while Manafort and his wife were in bed sleeping. They proceeded to secure the premises — of a man they are reportedly investigating for tax and financial crimes, not gang murders and Mafia hits — by drawing their guns on the stunned couple, apparently to check their pajamas for weapons.

To say that this was unnecessary is an understatement.

The article continues:

Law enforcement is hard and sometimes dangerous work. Thus, there is leeway for officials to make errors in judgment. Without that leeway, they would be too paralyzed to do their jobs, and there would be no rule of law. But when prosecutors and investigators go way overboard just because they can, it is not law enforcement. It is abuse of law-enforcement power in order to intimidate.

There is no other way to interpret the brass-knuckles treatment of Manafort, a subject in a non-violent-crime investigation who is represented by counsel and was cooperating with Congress at the time Mueller’s Gang of 17 chose to break into his home. Did they really think they couldn’t have gotten the stuff they carted out of Manafort’s residence by calling up his well-regarded lawyers and asking for it? After he had already surrendered 300 pages of documents to investigative committees?

The article concludes:

If there is strong suspicion that Manafort has committed fraud crimes unrelated to the 2016 campaign, then fine, investigate him. But investigate him as you would any other white-collar fraudster who (a) has counsel willing to honor your lawful demands to produce evidence and (b) has, at least ostensibly, been cooperative. Paul Manafort is not Osama bin Laden, so there’s no reason for Bob Mueller to make like the commander of Seal Team Six.

Why is this worth pointing out? Because someday, maybe, we’ll get around to asking: What would have happened if Hillary Clinton’s very real email scandal — with its mountainous evidence of felony mishandling of classified information and destruction of government records — had been investigated with the no-holds-barred vigor Mueller and his band of Hillary donors are applying to the surmise of Trump collusion in Russian espionage?

This investigation has all the makings of a political hit-job. It is really sad that it is being allowed to continue. Where is Congress or the Attorney General? What has happened to our legal system? On one hand we have a presidential candidate with a mountain of evidence showing that she did break the law and no investigation. On the other hand we have a rumor with no evidence that has been investigated for a year without any verification. It seems to me that our resources are being focused in the wrong direction.

 

 

Lied To Again

I don’t know how many times Senator John McCain promised to repeal ObamaCare when he was running for office. Evidently he doesn’t remember either. So it’s time to take a different approach to repeal. Understand that the Democrats will never support a bill that de-funds Planned Parenthood, something that the Graham Cassidy bill does. Every Republican should support the bill for that reason alone.

A website called The Stream posted an open letter to Senator Rand Paul yesterday. Here are some highlights from the letter:

Dear Senator Paul,

Let me start by saying “Thank you.” On issue after issue, from individual privacy to economic freedom, from constitutional war-making to criminal justice reform, you have been a light in an often murky Senate and a muddled GOP.

…Your stand on foreign policy in the 2016 election was equally brave and principled. Here at The Stream I echoed your sensible objections to the Syria policies of GOP establishment politicians. You were right in warning against Marco Rubio’s support for arming Syrian rebels. And against Chris Christie’s proposal to threaten to shoot down Russian planes in defense of jihadists. Indeed, you helped lead the fight to stop President Obama from a reckless and destructive U.S. intervention in Syria a year before.

You have been a voice of principle, of course. In the Republican party you may have the best claim to Reagan’s mantle. His optimism, his confidence that Americans would prevail if the government simply protected their rights and left them alone … there’s too little of that spirit in the GOP today, much less in the country. In an age where the competition seems to be for the label of “victim,” you carry on like the Gipper.

Here is the purpose of the letter:

I urge you to reconsider your position. To support an imperfect bill for the sake of the greater good. The Graham-Cassidy Bill is not the repeal of Obamacare that any of us hoped for. It doesn’t dismantle the huge array of perverse incentives, subsidies, and crony-capitalist tinkering that distort American medicine. However, as National Review has noted, it does make some real progress. It does restore some liberty. In fact, the bill offers some concrete benefits not to be sneezed at. Per NRO:

It abolishes the individual and employer mandates, caps per capita spending on Medicaid, blocks federal funds from going to insurance plans that cover abortion, and lets interested states attain freedom from some of Obamacare’s regulations. Some of those states could use that freedom to create markets in which people outside of Medicare, Medicaid, and employer-based coverage would finally be enabled to buy cheap, renewable catastrophic-insurance policies.

All of those are important improvements. But I’d like to focus on one. Pro-life groups have put heavy pressure on you to reverse your stand on this bill. That’s because it’s the one plausible chance to accomplish something which you’ve tried manfully to do on several occasions: to defund Planned Parenthood.

The letter concludes:

It’s crucial to keep the close attachment that evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics have had to American ideals of liberty. We don’t want the growth of a statist, nationalist party in America along the lines of France’s National Front. That’s not our GOP.

With your principled stand on life, your balanced stance on immigration, you could help anchor the party. You might well come to lead it. But if you get blamed for the failure to defund Planned Parenthood, and undo at least some of Obamacare’s damage. … I fear that will never happen.

So please, Senator Paul. The causes of life and liberty are here in perfect alignment. So is political prudence. And your own lofty ambitions, which I support. Please change your vote.

It is obvious that we cannot count on Senator McCain. Can we count of Senator Rand Paul to help end the nightmare of ObamaCare? This may be our last chance to get rid of this horrible law. I suggest that if we cannot end ObamaCare that President Trump immediately sign an executive order putting Congress under ObamaCare. If Congress if going to force the American people to live with a bad law, they should have to live with it also.

 

President Trump Is Not The Only One Who Has Noticed This

Yesterday One America News posted a quote from French President Macron:

The president of France says the Iran Nuclear Deal is no longer enough to contain Tehran’s aggressive behavior in the Middle East.

Emmanuel Macron made the comments Wednesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

The French president said Iran recently increased pressure on its neighbors, and has conducted several ballistic missile tests.

Macron went on to propose adding new components to the Nuclear Deal in order to contain Tehran’s de-stabilizing activities in the region.

The first thing President Macron needs to realize is that there are no components that could be added to the Nuclear Deal that would cause Iran to stop its de-stabilizing activities in the region–the purpose of the deal was to provide cover for those activities.

Iran is an Islamic Republic run by religious leaders. We need to remember that the Ottoman Empire, which was a Muslim Caliphate, existed until the early 1900’s. The one thing the Sunni and Shiite Muslims agree on is that they want to establish a Muslim Caliphate in the Middle East to replace the fallen Ottoman Empire. There are two principles in Islam that make it difficult for western nations to counter this effort–taqiyya and hudna. Taqiyya is the concept in Islamic law that translates as “deceit or dissimulation,” particularly toward infidels (Quran 3:28 and 16:106). Hudna is loosely defined as a ten-year truce, but historically was a peace treaty used to the advantage of Islam when it found itself in a state of temporary weakness. In other words, a break in which to rearm.

Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that western nations are going to be able to prevent Iran from having full nuclear capabilities. Israel, acting alone, may be able to achieve this, but would be (at least publicly) condemned by the rest of the world for taking action against Iran.

Probably the best thing western nations could do would be to immediately end the Iran Nuclear agreement and put full sanctions on Iran (with the understanding that Russia, China, North Korea, and a few other nations would ignore those sanctions). Until all of the world sees the danger of a nuclear Iran, a nuclear Iran is not only possible–it is likely. Meanwhile, enemies of the United States can use Iran as a weapon to keep America involved in a never-ending military adventure in the Middle East.

Was The Obama Administration Using The Government To Spy On Americans?

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that former United Nations Ambassador Susan Powers requested the unmasking of more than 260 Americans‘ identities during the waning days of the Obama Administration. These were conversations captured inadvertently while non-citizens were being wiretapped (theoretically). Susan Powers is scheduled to testify before Congress in October.

The article reports:

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., submitted a letter in July to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that said the committee was aware “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”

It is suspected that the official referenced is Power.

Power also was one of three top Obama administration officials named in subpoenas received by several of the nation’s intelligence agencies in May.

Power is not the first U.N. ambassador to make unmasking requests, but Fox News reports the requests fall in the low double digits.

Power will meet with congressional intelligence committees as part of their Russia probes and is expected to appear before the House intelligence panel in a classified session next month.

It will be interesting to see exactly who winds up taking the fall for the abuses or power that occurred during the Obama Administration.