The Hazards Of Chain Migration

CBS New York reported on the bombing at New York‘s Port Authority this morning. Fox News also posted a story.

This is how Fox News describes the suspect:

Ullah (Akayed Ullah) lived in Brooklyn after he entered the U.S. in 2011 from Bangladesh on a chain migration visa, Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement. 

The DHS said Ullah came to the U.S. on an F43 visa, a preferential visa available for those with family in the U.S. who are citizens.

He was considered a “Lawful Permanent Resident from Bangladesh,” Houlton told Fox News. 

This is how CBS New York describes the suspect:

Ullah is from Bangladesh. He arrived in the United States in February of 2011 and had a visa. He came in with his parents and 3-4 siblings and subsequently obtained a Green Card and became a permanent U.S. resident. Neighbors said he lived in a two-story brick house on East 48th Street in Brooklyn with parents and a brother, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

Somehow CBS forgot the chain migration aspect of Mr. Ullah’s arrival in America.

Four people were injured in the attack, one seriously, but none of the injuries are life-threatening.

The Collusion Without A Crime

Sometimes it is very easy to overlook the obvious when you in the middle of dealing with an intense situation. The Mueller investigation might be considered an intense situation, and there is something obvious being overlooked. Andrew McCarthy pointed it out in an article at National Review today.

Mr. McCarthy points out that after a year of investigation, there is no evidence of Russian cyberespionage. If there is no evidence of cyberespionage, how can there be collusion with cyberespionage? Remember, the FBI was never allowed to examine the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers–the examination was done by a group hired by the DNC. If I were guilty of a crime and the FBI wanted to search my house, would they let me hire a friend to do the searching? Somehow I don’t think so.

The article states:

We have paid too much attention to the so-called collusion component of the probe — speculation about Trump-campaign coordination in Russia’s perfidy. There appears to be no proof of that sort of collusion. Because it has been our focus, though, Mueller has gotten a free pass on a defect that would be fatal to any related prosecution theory: He cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia is guilty of hacking the Democratic National Committee and prominent Democrats.

This doesn’t mean it didn’t happen — like the U.S. intelligence agencies, I’m assuming it did, and that Russia should continue to be the subject of intense government counterintelligence efforts. The point is that Mueller can’t prove it in court, which is the only thing for which a prosecutor is needed. If he can’t establish to the required standard of proof that Russia conducted an espionage attack on the election, it is impossible to prove that anyone conspired with Russia to do so. There is no criminal case.

It is important to remember that when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed a special counsel, he did not specify a crime. That alone should have shut down the investigation immediately–what are you investigating? Are you simply on a fishing expedition hoping you can find someone who is guilty of something?

The article concludes:

That is another good reason to deduce that Mueller’s team is playing a long game — impeachment, not prosecution. As a practical matter, there is no prospect of articles of impeachment unless Democrats win the 2018 midterms. So, if you thought or hoped Mueller’s investigation would be winding down anytime soon, disabuse yourself.

Still, after 18 months of investigating, it would be worth putting two simple questions to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who — at least nominally — supervises Special Counsel Mueller: 1) Does the Justice Department believe, contrary to the apparent concessions in the intelligence agencies’ Russia report, that the government can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia is guilty cyberespionage against the 2016 election; and 2) if not, what is the point of Mueller’s investigation?

The Republican party almost destroyed itself when they tried to impeach President Clinton because the public liked him (and the media was on his side). The Democrats need to learn from that–the public trusts President Trump more than Congress or the media. If the Democrats attempt to impeach him, they will lose seats in 2020 and their presidential candidate will not have a chance.

 

How Fake News Works

Breitbart posted an article today that is a stunning example of how fake news works. Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel posted the following on Twitter to support his claim that the Trump rally in Pensacola was poorly attended:

What Mr. Weigel failed to mention was that the picture was taken before the Trump rally began.

President Trump called him out on his dishonesty with a Tweet:

I doubt the mainstream media made the correction (although Mr. Weigel’s tweet was deleted). This is the reason the President tweets–to get the truth out when the mainstream media lies.

The article at Breitbart concludes:

But how do Weigel’s elite colleagues respond? No reprimands. No embarrassment. No reaction that indicates in any way that they are concerned with holding on to whatever residual integrity might remain in their discredited institution. Instead, they all make excuses for the inexcusable and attack the president as though he does not have his own free speech rights, as though the elite media is exempt from criticism.

If you wanted to destroy the media by planting confederates in newsrooms all around the country, over this last week, none of your saboteurs could have been anywhere near as effective as the self-destructive Weigel, Maggie Haberman, Brian Ross, Alisyn Camerota; and everyone at CNN, the Washington Post, Reuters, and PolitiFact.

This Is The Cast Of Characters And How They Relate To Each Other

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about comments by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. Representative Nunes believes that the government has abused its surveillance privileges. Please follow the link to read the entire article, but there is one part of the article that I find particularly interesting.

Included in the article is the following chart showing how some of the characters in the rapidly being discredited Mueller investigation are connected and some related comments:

Wow. Just wow. Thank God for the investigative reporters that are operating on the Internet.

 

Nine Recent Fake News Stories

Today Breitbart posted an article listing nine recent news stories that were blatantly false yet made it into the mainstream media. Please follow the link to the article to see the details on why each story is false, but here is the list of the stories:

  1. CNN caught lying about Donald Trump, Jr.
  2. ABC News spreads lie about Mike Flynn proving Trump colluded with Russia.
  3. Reuters, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal spread lie about Trump bank subpoenas.
  4. MSNBC‘s Brzezinski questions accuser with photograph of Franken groping her.
  5. CNN’s Alisyn Camerota says anti-Trump Russian Dossier is ‘corroborated’.
  6. PolitiFact spreads lies about Breitbart, Roy Moore accuser’s forgery.
  7. Facebook flags Breitbart’s 100 percent accurate story, does not flag CNN’s fake news.
  8. Washington Post handwriting expert debunked by Moore accuser.
  9. New York Times falsely claims Secretary of State Tillerson will be forced to resign.

None of these stories are true, yet all were reported by the mainstream media and theoretically believed by the Americans who depend on the mainstream media for their news. We have reached the point where you are more likely to read accurate news on the Internet than on the major networks. That is sad.

 

The Most Important Question In The Investigation By The Special Prosecutor

The charges against Michael Flynn are based on the difference between how he described a telephone conversation and the written transcripts the FBI had of that conversation. The most important question is, “Why was his name unmasked in the transcript of that conversation?” That question is now being asked by Congress, and the FBI and the DOJ are refusing to answer it. Since Congress is charged with oversight of these government agencies, this is the making of a constitutional crisis.

Yesterday CNS News posted a story which details some of the problems with the ongoing investigation by the Special Prosecutor.

The article reports:

Two simple questions: How did the FBI’s Russia investigation start? And was it started because the Trump “dossier” was presented to somebody at the FBI?

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) asked FBI director Christopher Wray those questions at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, but he got no answers:

This is a portion of the questioning of the Director:

Wray answered, “I’m not aware of who started the investigation within the FBI.”

DeSantis followed up: “Was it started because the dossier was presented to somebody in the FBI?”

“I don’t have the answer to that question,” Wray said.

DeSantis asked Wray if he could get back to the committee with the answer:

“Well, if there’s information that we can provide that — without compromising the ongoing special counsel investigation, I’m happy to see what there is that we can do to be responsive,” Wray said.

Any bets on whether or not that question will ever be answered?

The article continues with questioning by Jim Jordan (R-Ohio):

Jordan questioned why someone like Strzok would be selected for Mueller’s team — and why he’d be kicked off it:

“If you kicked everybody off Mueller’s team who was anti-Trump, I don’t think there’d be anybody left,” Jordan said. “There’s got to be something more here. It can’t just be some text messages that show a pro-Clinton, anti-Trump bias. There’s got to be something more. And I’m trying to figure out what it is,” Jordan said.

“But my hunch is it has something to do with the dossier. Director, did Peter Strzok help produce and present the application to the FISA court to secure a warrant to spy on Americans associated with the Trump campaign?”

Wray refused to discuss anything having to do with the FISA process in an open setting.

“We’re not talking about what happened in the court,” Jordan said. “We’re talking about what the FBI took to the court, the application. Did Peter Strzok — was he involved in taking that to the court?”

Wray again refused to discuss it.

There is a house of cards here. The dossier was a piece of opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign. It has never been proven true. To use it as an excuse for surveillance and later to drum up support for a special prosecutor is to base an investigation on a fictitious political document and to use government agencies for political purposes. That shouldn’t happen in a representative republic–that is the kind of thing that goes on in a banana republic.

The Problem With The FISA Warrants On Members Of The Trump Campaign

Breitbart today posted a partial transcript of a discussion between FOX News host Martha MacCallum and Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) that occurred last night. The discussion was related to items discussed in a congressional hearing that was held yesterday.

Here is the that transcript:

MACCALLUM: Here now, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert. Good to see you this evening, sir. Thank you very much for being here.

GOHMERT: Glad to see you. Those are the scene, by the after my colleague across the aisle said that he admitted her nary word about Russian influence. I went ahead and said, I’m glad he brought it up basically because we need to talk about the Russian collusion in try to get uranium and the killing of that story. So, we brought up the Russian collusion with the Clinton State Department. So, anyway —

MACCALLUM: While I’m a student, that is usual in these environments. There were two different agendas that were in deeply at work today in the hearing room. But I’m —

GOHMERT: Well, Martha, we really wanted to get to the truth.

MACCALLUM: Well, want to know why you asked for those specific names. Do you believe that the people that you named in that hearing today need to be removed from the investigation or from the FBI? Why did you pick their names?

GOHMERT: Well, this is the only place I have to ask the FBI director if he knows of anything like that. There are indications that there will be other issues dropped in the future, and I wanted to know his position. So, all I can say is stay tuned.

MACCALLUM: So, you have reason to believe that the individuals that you named in there today may be added to the list of Peter Strzok and Bruce Ohr? They maybe removed?

GOHMERT: Martha, you know, before I was a judge and a chief justice, I tried lawsuits and this is the opening stage of where you gather information, and that’s the way I took it. I wanted to know what McCabe knew before we take any other steps. So, I’ll be glad to talk to you when we have other information.

MACCALLUM: Well, we’ll look forward to that. You know, the underlying umbrella question here, though, is whether or not the FBI and the DOJ were involved in perpetuating the initial — the initiation, I should say of this dossier. And that’s the big question about why Bruce Ohr was meeting with Christopher Steele and was also meeting with Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson?

GOHMERT: Oh, it’s outrageous. And we still need to know, and I know Ron Desantis did a great job, you know, in pointing out, we need to know, if you took a politically contrived and paid for dossier that ended up being totally false, and you use that as a basis to go to the foreign intelligence surveillance court and get a warrant to survey all members of the opposition presidential election team. If that’s the case, then the FBI has been co-opted and corrupted beyond perhaps even the sorriest days of the FBI’s time when J. Edgar Hoover was wiretapping Martin Luther King.

MACCALLUM: Congressman Louie Gohmert, thank you very much, sir. Good to see you tonight.

GOHMERT: Thank you, Martha, more to come.

The misuse of FISA to spy on an opposing political campaign is exactly what the opponents of the Patriot Act feared. The FBI and Justice Department were so totally politicized under the Obama Administration that the entire upper leadership may need to be fired. That is unfortunate, but it shows the danger our republic would have been in if Hillary Clinton had been elected–the politicization of these departments would have continued unchecked, and we would essentially be living in a country where holding political views not in agreement with those in power would be criminalized.

How The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Was Misused For Political Purposes

On Saturday, The New York Post posted an article about the impact of President Trump’s drastic cutting of government regulations.

The article reports:

Last week, the White House finally wrested control of the mammoth regulatory agency following the resignation of CFPB Director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee and liberal Democrat who quit his special five-year post early to run for Ohio governor. Trump installed his conservative budget director, Mick Mulvaney, to temporarily take over the powerful agency — which has the authority to determine the “fairness” of virtually every financial transaction in America.

On his first day on the job, Mulvaney instated a 30-day freeze on all new hiring and regulations at the CFPB, triggering a collective sigh of relief from the financial industry.

So what sort of activity has the CFPB been involved in?

The article reports:

  • Bounced business owners and industry reps from secret meetings it’s held with Democrat operatives, radical civil-rights activists, trial lawyers and other “community advisers,” according to a report by the House Financial Services Committee.
  • •Retained GMMB, the liberal advocacy group that created ads for the Obama and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns, for more than $40 million, making the Democrat shop the sole recipient of CFPB’s advertising expenditure, Rubin says.
  • •Met behind closed doors to craft financial regulatory policy with notorious bank shakedown groups who have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money to gin up housing and lending discrimination complaints, which in turn are fed back to CFPB, according to Investor’s Business Daily and Judicial Watch.
  • •Funneled a large portion of the more than $5 billion in penalties collected from defendants to community organizers aligned with Democrats — “a slush fund by another name,” said a consultant who worked with CFPB on its Civil Penalty Fund and requested anonymity.

What’s more, CFPB has secretly assembled giant consumer databases that raise individual privacy as well as corporate liability concerns. One sweeps up personal credit card information and another compiles data on as many as 230 million mortgage applicants focusing on “race” and “ethnicity.” Yet another database of consumer complaints contains more than 900,000 grievances against named financial companies without any vetting to determine their merit, points out Alan Kaplinsky, lead regulatory compliance attorney at Ballard Spahr LLP.

Do we really want to use taxpayers’ money to continue to fund the CFPB? This agency is truly a threat to our existence as a viable constitutional republic.

 

 

This Is Probably A Good Idea And Should Be Done Quickly

On Sunday, One America News reported that the Pentagon is considering installing a THAAD system on the West Coast. This is the anti-missile system designed to shoot down incoming missiles.

The article explains:

This comes days after Pyongyang launched a missile it claims is capable of reaching the United States mainland.

South Korea installed the same system in September to protect the nation against possible missile launches from Pyongyang.

This makes sense as a temporary measure. However, it is not a long-term solution. The thing to remember in dealing with North Korea is that any perceived aggression from America will most likely result in a massive attack on South Korea by North Korea. It would be nice to avoid that. China is not really going to help in this situation–they fear being overrun with North Korean refugees. The only real pressure we can put on China is to threaten to arm Japan with nuclear weapons. That will provide a check on China’s quest for increasing power in Southeast Asia, and the threat of that might be enough to cause China to put pressure on North Korea to stop testing nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, it is being reported that the mountain North Korea has been using for its testing has collapsed.

This is a complicated mess left for the Trump Administration by the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations. It may take a while to sort it all out. Hopefully, that can be done without waging war.

A Disgusting Waste Of Taxpayer Money

This post is based on two articles–one by Andrew McCarthy at the National Review and one by Byron York at The Washington Examiner.

Andrew McCarthy makes the case that the charges against Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI are an indication that Special Prosecutor Mueller doesn’t have anything else to charge anyone for. Byron York makes the case that the Trump Administration was set up by the Obama Administration to be charged with violating the Logan Act (a law under which no one has ever been prosecuted) on day one. Both articles are an indication of how desperate some people in Washington are to undo the results of a valid election. That is a sad place for our country to be.

Andrew McCarthy reminds us:

Bottom line: If the FBI had a collusion case of some kind, after well over a year of intensive investigation, Flynn and Papadopoulos would have been pressured to plead guilty to very serious charges — and those serious offenses would be reflected in the charges lodged against Manafort. Obviously, the pleas and the indictment have nothing to do with collusion because Mueller has no collusion case.

Since there is no collusion case, we can safely assume Mueller is primarily scrutinizing President Trump with an eye toward making a case of obstructing an FBI investigation. This also makes sense in light of the pleas that have been taken.

Obstruction itself is a process crime — i.e., it relates to interference in the investigation of an underlying transaction that may or may not be criminal. In the first point, above, we noted that prosecutors generally do not let a cooperator settle a case by pleading guilty to a mere process crime. But if the main case the prosecutor is trying to build is itself a process crime, such as obstruction, then it is not all that damaging that the witnesses have pled guilty only to process crimes. The theme of such a prosecution is that the investigative process must be protected, not that some terrible underlying crime (like an espionage conspiracy) has been committed. Witnesses such as Flynn and Papadopoulos would therefore not be made to look like they had gotten a pass on serious offenses; they would look like they had owned up to corrupting the process and are now helping the prosecutor against the principal corruption target.

Keep in mind that the obstruction charge is obstructing justice in the investigation of a crime that was never committed. This is beyond bizarre–particularly when Hillary Clinton was not charged with obstruction after she destroyed evidence in the email case.

Byron York reports:

As for another concern that Yates said she had over the Flynn-Kislyak conversations — the worry that Flynn’s lie to Vice President Mike Pence (that sanctions were not discussed on the call) would open Flynn up to possible blackmail — perhaps that is a legitimate concern, but why did it warrant FBI questioning of Flynn under the penalty of prosecution for making false statements? Certainly Yates could have warned the White House about that without interrogating Flynn at all.

Instead, it was the prospect of a Logan Act prosecution that led to the FBI interview, which then, when Flynn lied to investigators, led to his guilty plea on a false statements charge.

From today’s perspective, nearly a year later, it has become apparent that, farfetched as it might seem, the Logan Act made it possible for the Obama administration to go after Trump. The ancient law that no one has ever been prosecuted for violating was the Obama administration’s flimsy pretense for a criminal prosecution of the incoming Trump team.

And by the way, when it finally came time to charge Flynn with a crime, did prosecutors, armed with the transcripts of those Flynn-Kislyak conversations, choose to charge him with violating the Logan Act? Of course not. But for the Obama team, the law had already served its purpose, months earlier, to entangle the new administration in a criminal investigation as soon as it walked in the door of the White House.

Our FBI has become an arm of the Democratic Party. It needs to be replaced. That is a shame.

Investigating The Investigators

Get out the popcorn, this is going to get very interesting. Byron York at The Washington Examiner posted an article yesterday about the firing of an FBI investigator.

The article reports:

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes has issued an angry demand to the FBI and Department of Justice to explain why they kept the committee in the dark over the reason Special Counsel Robert Mueller kicked a key supervising FBI agent off the Trump-Russia investigation.

Stories in both the Washington Post and New York Times on Saturday reported that Peter Strzok, who played a key role in the original FBI investigation into the Trump-Russia matter, and then a key role in Mueller’s investigation, and who earlier had played an equally critical role in the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation, was reassigned out of the Mueller office because of anti-Trump texts he exchanged with a top FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair. Strzok was transferred to the FBI’s human resources office — an obvious demotion — in July.

Note that this man was also involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Might that explain why no formal charges were brought after an obvious breach of the law occurred?

The FBI and the DOJ have consistently stonewalled Congress when Congress has sought to exercise its role oversight responsibility.

The article concludes:

As a result, Nunes said he has instructed committee staff to draw up a contempt of Congress citation for Rosenstein and for FBI Director Christopher Wray. The chairman promised to take action on the citation before the end of December unless the FBI and DOJ meet all the committee’s outstanding demands.

Obviously Nunes is angry that he did not know about the real reasons for Strzok’s demotion. And he is equally angry with the FBI’s and DOJ’s treatment of the committee. Contempt of Congress is a big move for lawmakers to take, especially against an agency controlled by the same party as leaders of the House. But remember, House Speaker Paul Ryan has already said the FBI and DOJ “stonewalled” the House, and he demanded that it comply immediately. That was five weeks ago. Now, after this latest episode, it seems likely that leaders in Congress are becoming increasingly frustrated with what they see as the FBI and DOJ jerking lawmakers around. At some point, they will act.

It is becoming obvious that the Washington swamp includes many agencies that until recently have avoided politics. There is an awful lot that needs to be cleaned out.

A Lie Is Halfway Around The World While The Truth Is Still Putting Its Boots On

Fake news hit a new low this week. ABC News had to apologize for a totally misleading report. The Independent Journal Review posted the details yesterday.

The article shows the initial ABC tweet (which has since been deleted):

Well, that wasn’t quite what happened.

This is the correction later issued:

The article concludes:

In short, Flynn was ordered to make contact with the Russians after Trump won the election when he was president-elect. According to ABC News now, Flynn was told to see if the United States could work with Russia in order to fight ISIS, among other issues.

The correction changes certain ideas that many were originally hyping up.

It is a shame that Americans cannot depend on their mainstream media sources for honest reporting.

The Tax Bill Passed Last Night

This is the summary from Thomas.gov of the tax bill that passed the Senate last night.

H.R.1 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Introduced in House (11/02/2017)

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to reduce tax rates and modify policies, credits, and deductions for individuals and businesses.

With respect to individuals, the bill:

  • replaces the seven existing tax brackets (10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%) with four brackets (12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%),
  • increases the standard deduction,
  • repeals the deduction for personal exemptions,
  • establishes a 25% maximum rate on the business income of individuals,
  • increases the child tax credit and establishes a new family tax credit,
  • repeals the overall limitation on certain itemized deductions,
  • limits the mortgage interest deduction for debt incurred after November 2, 2017, to mortgages of up to $500,000 (currently $1 million),
  • repeals the deduction for state and local income or sales taxes not paid or accrued in a trade or business,
  • repeals the deduction for medical expenses,
  • consolidates and repeals several education-related deductions and credits,
  • repeals the alternative minimum tax, and
  • repeals the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes in six years.

For businesses, the bill:

  • reduces the corporate tax rate from a maximum of 35% to a flat 20% rate (25% for personal services corporations),
  • allows increased expensing of the costs of certain property,
  • limits the deductibility of net interest expenses to 30% of the business’s adjusted taxable income,
  • repeals the work opportunity tax credit,
  • terminates the exclusion for interest on private activity bonds,
  • modifies or repeals various energy-related deductions and credits,
  • modifies the taxation of foreign income, and
  • imposes an excise tax on certain payments from domestic corporations to related foreign corporations.

The bill also repeals or modifies several additional credits and deductions for individuals and businesses.

Some Background On The Indictment Of Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn is expected to plead guilty this morning of lying to the FBI. Seems as if a lot of other people have done that in the past with limited consequences, but that was then and this is now.

Fox News is reporting the details this morning.

These are the details of the charges:

  • “On or about Dec 29, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Government of Russia’s Ambassador to the United States … to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and FLYNN did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.”
  • “On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and  that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described to FLYNN Russia’s response to his request.”

At this point I am not going to mention that this information was probably obtained through the illegal surveillance by the Obama Administration during and after the election. That alone would result in the case being thrown out in a legal court.

I want to mention a few other things about Michael Flynn. Unfortunately, he is a pawn in a much larger attempt to end the Trump presidency before it can be successful. Since the economic success of the Trump Administration is already becoming obvious to anyone who is paying attention, those who want Trump impeached are starting to get desperate. I would also like to note that the FBI has a past history with Flynn that might influence those doing the investigating.

In September, I posted an article that included the following:

When the FBI launched an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one of the bureau’s top former counterterrorism agents believed that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe would have to recuse himself from the investigation.

Former Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz was one of the bureau’s top intelligence analysts and terrorism experts but resigned from the bureau five years ago after she said she was harassed and her career was blocked by top FBI management. She filed a formal sexual discrimination complaint against the bureau in 2013 and it was Flynn, among many others, who publicly came to her aide.

In her first on-camera interview she described the retaliation from McCabe and others in the bureau as “vicious.”

…She told Circa, current senior level management, including McCabe, created a “cancer like” bureaucracy striking fear into FBI agents and causing others to resign. She eventually resigned herself, but her case is still pending.

Lying to the FBI is not a good idea, but I would like to note that the Clintons have done it consistently over the years with very little consequences. The indictment of Flynn is nothing more than the deep state at work. Those responsible for the illegal surveillance need to be held accountable, and all conflicts of interest in the office of the special prosecutor need to be revealed and dealt with. Unfortunately, Flynn has been caught up as a pawn in a much larger witch hunt. It should also be noted that Flynn was fired after about a month in his job in the Trump administration for lying to Vice-President Pence.

Behind The Protests

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the recent protests against the Republican tax reform bill.

The article reports:

Organizers with the left-leaning group Housing Works told protesters they must “risk arrest” in order to be reimbursed for airfare to Washington, D.C., according to an internal email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We will transport, house and feed you, and deal with all legal support. Caveat: if you are far away from DC and expensive to transport, we can probably only fly you if you can risk arrest,” the internal email told supporters.

The article includes a screenshot of the email.

The article further states:

Housing Works is based out of New York City, and aims to further the health of the LGBTQ community, according to the group’s website.

“Housing Works fights for funding and legislation to ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS  have access to quality housing, healthcare, HIV prevention, and treatment, among other lifesaving services,” the group asserts.

Since the organizers are based in New York, officials were forced to organize nearly every aspect of the protester’s lives during their stay in D.C. The protesters will be housed in a local church’s basement and will be provided sleeping bags, as well as free meals and a place to shower in the morning, according to the group’s email.

Organizers on either side of the aisle sometimes attempt to coordinate logistics for their teams, but the requirement that an individual need to risk arrest in the District in order to qualify for aid is unique, especially given the fact that hundreds of protesters are facing decades of prison time for violently protesting President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

There are a few obvious questions here. Why is the group protesting tax cuts that will put more money in American tax payers’ pockets and boost the economy? What kind of a church houses paid protesters? What has tax reform got to do with HIV/AIDS? What we have here is an example of the fact that the left has the ability to get splinter groups to work together. How many times have you seen the homosexual community out protesting to support abortion rights? Obviously, they don’t have a horse in that race, but they are there to show solidarity with leftest causes. The ability to bring various leftest groups together to protest issues makes the protest group appear to be larger than it actually is. Paying the protesters also increases the number of protesters. This is not grassroots–this is astroturf!

An Agenda That Would Help All Americans

On Tuesday, CNS News posted an article about President Trump‘s agenda after tax reform. It is an ambitious agenda that would do great things for America.

The article reports:

At the start of a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Trump plugged the Republican tax plan, then said spending cuts and welfare reform are next on the list:

“We’re working to reduce wasteful government spending,” Trump said. “We’ll be working on healthcare, infrastructure, and welfare reform. We’re looking very strongly at welfare reform, and that will all take place right after taxes — very soon, very shortly after taxes. So we’ll be submitting plans on healthcare, plans on infrastructure, and plans on welfare reform — which is desperately needed in our country — soon after taxes.”

Welfare is needed as a safety net–it should not be a career choice. It is time to examine what we are doing to educate those children from families where education is not seen as valuable. It is time to make sure that children who graduate from American high schools know how to fill out a job application, a college application, etc. The key to welfare reform is education and providing a reasonable transition from welfare to work. I think we can do that if both parties in Congress would work together.

The article concludes:

At the White House press briefing on Monday, a reporter asked spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders what Trump meant when he mentioned welfare reform:

“I think there’s no secret,” Sanders said, noting that Trump had spoken about it during the campaign. “And when we have specifics on what that will look like, we’ll certainly announce them and roll them out. I don’t anticipate that happening over the next couple of weeks. We’re very focused on tax reform and making sure we get that done by the end of the year.

“But this is something that the president has a great deal of interest in, and I think you can count on probably the first part of next year seeing more specifics and details coming out on that.”

To be a healthy country, we need to give Americans opportunities to improve their lives through education and hard work. Welfare reform would be a step in that direction.

Can The Republicans Stop Fighting Themselves Long Enough To Pass A Tax Bill?

One American News posted an article today about Senate plans to pass a tax bill. The Senate is expected to vote on their version of the tax bill next week. Speculation is that Mitch McConnell will bring the bill to the floor on Thursday.

The article reports:

The senate plan includes a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate, which penalizes Americans for not buying into the failed health care system.

Only a handful of republican senators have expressed concerns with the bill, but none have indicated they will not vote in favor of the plan.

If the bill passes, the Senate and the House will have to hammer out the final details before sending the finalized legislation to President Trump.

I can almost guarantee it will not be a perfect bill, but hopefully it will provide the tax relief that the middle class and businesses need.

Do Some Democrats Even Read The Law?

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the change in leadership at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The current director, Richard Cordray, is resigning from the position. There are some constitutional problems with the CFPB, in that it is accountable to no one–not even the voters.

The article reports:

A federal court found the CFPB Director position held too much power and deemed it unconstitutional. The court decision noted that giving the President power to fire the Director would fix the constitutional problem.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is complaining that with the resignation of Cordray, the directorship should automatically go to the Deputy Director. Instead, President Trump is planning to appoint Mick Mulvaney as temporary head of the agency until a permanent person can be appointed. Senator Warren has tweeted that this is unacceptable.

However, the article goes on to explain why President Trump’s appointment of a temporary director would be legal:

President Trump has power to appoint the interim or ‘acting‘ head of the agency in the case of a vacancy just like he would any other vacancy. [Important Reminder: A DC appellate court already ruled the legal issues with the CFPB Director position necessitate oversight by the executive branch.] The President fills the vacancy using the familiar mechanism of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA); until such time as a permanent replacement is nominated and confirmed by the Senate.

The Dodd-Frank statute Warren cites doesn’t provide a mechanism in case of vacancy. It has a provision for when the Director is “absent” or “unavailable”, both considered temporary terms by design, but not when the Director-ship is “vacant”.

The resigning director, Richard Cordray, (who resigned from a confirmed position) cannot appoint his replacement; that responsibility falls to the President.

Nowhere in Dodd-Frank statute does congress say they are repealing Federal Vacancies Reform Act for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Therefore FVRA applies to CFPB regardless of whether Senator Warren likes the designated person assigned, or not.

Please follow the link to the original article to read the entire story. It is much more colorful than what I have posted here!

Protecting Voter Fraud

The Daily Signal posted an article today about the President’s election commission that is investigating voter fraud.

The article reports:

Many of the states refusing to cooperate with President Donald Trump’s election commission aren’t in compliance with federal law on maintaining voter registration lists, according to government watchdog groups.

So far, 18 states and the District of Columbia have declined or are still considering whether to provide election data to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, established in May to examine and prevent voter fraud, among other concerns.

The commission requested voter registration data from every state and the District and 14 states include counties where registered voters outnumbered eligible voters based on Census Bureau data, according to findings from Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group.

The 1993 ‘motor voter law‘ requires states to purge their voter rolls of ineligible voters periodically.

The article explains:

Kentucky, a decisively red state in previous elections, had the most counties where registered voters outnumber eligible voters. California, a strongly blue state, also had significant problems, according to findings from Judicial Watch and the Public Interest Legal Foundation, both conservative watchdog groups.

Other states that outright refuse to cooperate with the commission are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.

The states of Arizona, Illinois, and Indiana are still undecided.

“Overall, in most of the states not providing information to the commission, there are a significant number of counties with problems,” Robert Popper, senior attorney for Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project, told The Daily Signal.

Common sense tells us that if registered voters outnumber eligible voters in a county, there is a problem. Every fraudulent vote cast in an elections voids the vote of a legitimate voter. That is the true definition of voter suppression and needs to be stopped.

Fact Checking The Democratic Talking Points On Tax Reform

Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall today about the Democrat‘s claim that if the tax reform bill is passed, millions of people will lose their health insurance.

The article reports:

In spite of a torrent of liberal attacks, independent analyses have confirmed that the plan would boost economic growth, create nearly one million new full-time jobs, and reduce the tax burden on the vast majority of Americans; on average, taxpayers in every income group would receive a tax cut.  There will be a small percentage of Americans — many of them wealthier people who itemize deductions and exploit loopholes — who would be worse off under the proposal.  Republicans would be foolish to pretend that every single household and business would emerge as ‘winners’ if reform is implemented; that would echo one of the biggest lies Democrats peddled about Obamacare.  But the data has found that an overwhelming majority of Americans, including (or even especially) the middle and working class, would benefit from the House-approved bill.  

The article explains the impact of cutting the healthcare mandate:

Regardless of where the revised number lands, dumping the mandate liberates millions of Americans to not purchase healthcare plans that they do not want or cannot afford, without getting slapped with government fines.  People making that choice for themselves and their families is absolutely not equivalent to the government taking away coverage.  Healthcare policy expert Avik Roy puts a finer point on this important truth, which underpins liberals’ mendacious claim:

[Another] category of Democratic complaints revolves around the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that 13 million fewer people would have health insurance in 2026 if Republicans repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate. “We’re kicking 13 million people off health insurance to give tax cuts to the wealthy,” exclaimed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Wednesday. There are two problems with Schumer’s assertion. As Glenn Kessler, fact-checker at the Washington Post, notes, nobody is being “kicked off” their insurance. People are no longer being fined for not purchasing it. (Kessler gives Schumer two Pinocchios.) The second problem is that the CBO’s projections of the mandate’s magical powers are inaccurate, by their own admission.

The bottom line here is that Democrats do not want to cut taxes. A tax cut will stimulate the economy and undo (and expose) the economic damage done by the Obama Administration. The Washington establishment cannot afford a successful Trump presidency–it would come too close to draining the swamp. It will be interesting to see if the tax bill passes (and in what form). If the Republicans do not pass the tax bill, they will probably lose Congress in 2018. If the Republicans do pass the tax bill, the economy will grow, at least part of the Washington swamp will be drained, and Trump will be a successful President. Get out the popcorn.

 

 

It Doesn’t Have To Be Real To Make The News

Yesterday Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner about the Trump dossier that received so much attention during the 2016 Presidential campaign. The article notes that the FBI has not verified the dossier.

The article reports:

FBI and Justice Department officials have told congressional investigators in recent days that they have not been able to verify or corroborate the substantive allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign outlined in the Trump dossier.

The FBI received the first installment of the dossier in July 2016. It received later installments as they were written at the height of the presidential campaign, which means the bureau has had more than a year to investigate the allegations in the document. The dossier was financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

An August 24, 2017 subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee to the FBI and Justice Department asked for information on the bureau’s efforts to validate the dossier. Specifically, the subpoena demanded “any documents, if they exist, that memorialize DOJ and/or FBI efforts to corroborate, validate, or evaluate information provided by Mr. Steele and/or sub-sources and/or contained in the ‘Trump Dossier.'”

It sounds as if Congress wants the dossier proven or disproven, but the FBI and the Justice Department are dragging their feet.

The article reminds us that some parts of the dossier have already been shown to be untrue:

Some Republicans point out that at least one group of assertions, the ones concerning Michael Cohen, have been convincingly debunked. (Cohen has produced proof that he was not in the Czech Republic, or even in Europe, when the purported meeting took place.) The dossier attributed the Cohen story to a “Kremlin insider” who was “speaking in confidence to a longstanding compatriot friend.” Investigators want to know if that insider-compatriot line of sourcing provided other, equally unreliable information in the dossier.

The article concludes:

That’s fine, as far as it goes — after all, investigators unanimously agree that Russia tried to influence the election — but what about the Trump campaign? What about all those specific allegations of coordination between Team Trump and the Russians? Those were the most explosive parts of the dossier. And they remain unverified.

The bigger question is whether or not the dossier was used as a justification to put the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team under electronic surveillance. If that was done without verifying the information in the dossier, the people who signed off on the surveillance should at the very least be fired.

This Really Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Breitbart posted an article today about donations to the Clinton Foundation since the 2016 election.

The article reports:

The latest tax filings released by the foundation a week ago showed that contributions dropped 42 percent in 2016 from $108 million to $63 million—right around the time Clinton lost last year’s presidential election, according to the New York Post.

Donations tanked by 37 percent in 2015 after the organization tried to fend off allegations that Clinton had used the foundation to engage in pay-to-play schemes with foreign governments.

The former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee allegedly used the charity to solicit millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments and corporations in exchange for giving these entities favorable treatment while she served as Secretary of State.

The Justice Department announced Monday that the agency is weighing whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate the millions of dollars in Clinton Foundation donations tied to the Uranium One deal, whereby the Obama administration permitted a Canadian company called Uranium One to sell one-fifth of America’s uranium to Russia in 2010.

I don’t wish anyone ill, but the rumors of misuse of funds in the foundation have been around for years. In September 2015, Politico posted an article about the Clinton Foundation’s activities in Haiti.

Anyone who has done some basic research quickly discovers connections between donations to the Clinton Foundation and State Department decisions. There is reason to believe that if Hillary Clinton had become President those connections would have appeared at the executive level of our government. Therefore, it is not a surprise that as the influence of the Clinton family is waning, the donations to the Clinton Foundation are dropping. That’s not really rocket science.

Great Idea Or Poison Pill?

The American Spectator posted an article today about the proposed tax reform bill working its way through Congress.

The article reports:

The Senate majority leader and the Senate finance committee endorsed Senator Tom Cotton’s proposal to include a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate alongside tax cuts.

This either kills two birds with one stone or that one stone sinks the tax plan because of its weight. If Senator Bob Corker issued his complaints last month regarding deficit reduction in earnest, one guesses that the former occurs. Aside from moving toward individual freedom and the Constitution, the repeal of the individual mandate makes sense fiscally, particularly with a $20 trillion debt hanging above our heads. The added dynamic alleviates, at least, the concerns regarding the deficit aired by Senators Corker, John McCain, and Susan Collins.

Adding the repeal of the ObamaCare Mandate to the tax bill makes good sense in terms of what is the right thing to do. The move has questionable value politically. The Democrats are complaining that repealing the mandate will mean that low-income people will not have health insurance. Wait a minute. That claim defies logic. Repealing the individual mandate means that low-income people will not have to pay a fine if they don’t have health insurance. If they can’t afford health insurance, how are they supposed to pay the fine? Since when did the government acquire the right to force you to purchase something you don’t want?

The article concludes:

In 1981, when Ronald Reagan slashed the top personal rates from 70 to 50 percent, the federal government imposed the heaviest burden on Americans. Now, the cost of the federal government and the cost of healthcare approaches parity. The former gobbles up the same portion of the GDP, more or less, that it has throughout our lifetimes. The latter has almost tripled in its proportion of the GDP in just a half century.

Donald Trump’s tax plan puts American businesses on a level playing field with their competitors abroad and sensibly allows citizens to keep more of what they earn. This undoubtedly helps the economy. But the Trump tax cut will not boost growth the way the Reagan or Kennedy or Coolidge cuts did because 2017’s economy faces a special health-care challenge that did not exist in the 1920s, 1960s, or 1980s.

Prosperity proves illusory in any economy in which the cost of one commodity outpaces growth. Who cares if a tax cut boosts GDP by one percent if medical inflation devours that increase in the economy?

Good for Republicans for recognizing that relief for citizens requires reforming not just the tax code but the healthcare system, as well. Bad for any of them to imagine the job done, or a boom around the corner, through a modest personal tax cut, a robust corporate rate reduction, and a repeal of the individual mandate.

Adding the repeal of the individual mandate to the tax plan will help low-income people. However, in watching this debate, remember that the Washington establishment does not want Donald Trump to be a successful President–he is an outsider and the establishment thoroughly resents that. My fear is that the tax reform will not pass because the repeal of the ObamaCare mandate will be a poison pill for much of the establishment. At that point, the Republican establishment will whine, “We tried, but the Democrats wouldn’t let us pass tax reform.” If that happens, it will be a long time before I vote for a Republican again.

Talking Points vs Reality

Investor’s Business Daily recently posted an editorial about the impact of President Trump’s proposed tax cuts. The editorial notes that the Democrats sudden concern for deficits is a bit disingenuous after the impact President Obama had on the deficit during the past eight years. The editorial also notes that President Trump’s tax plan will not increase the deficit, but will probably decrease the deficit due to the economic growth created by lowering taxes.

The editorial includes the following chart:

The editorial explains:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House tax bill would boost deficits over the next 10 years by a total of $1.4 trillion. The added interest on the debt would kick that up to $1.7 trillion.

That looks like a lot of money. Except that equals just a 17% increase in total deficits projected over the next decade.

And that increase is a wild exaggeration, since it doesn’t allow for any extra economic growth from the GOP‘s pro-growth tax cuts — a premise that even some honest liberal economists don’t believe. The actual deficit boost, if there is any, will be far smaller than what the CBO says.

But let’s accept the CBO’s numbers as gospel truth.

Look more closely at the data and you see that what’s driving deficits ever upward isn’t the Republican tax cuts. It is out-of-control spending.

Over the past 50 years, despite all the myriad changes in tax laws, revenues as a share of GDP have remained remarkably close to the average: 17.4%.  In fiscal year 2017, which ended in September, the share was 17.3%. In Bush’s last in office, it was 17.1%. When Bill Clinton took office in 1991, it was 17.3%.

What happens if the Republican tax plan goes into effect? According to the CBO, taxes as a share of the economy in 2027 will be … 17.9%.

That’s right. Even with an allegedly budget-busting tax cut, the federal government will claim a greater share of the nation’s economy in 2027 than it does today, and that share will be above the average for the previous 50 years.

The only reason deficits continue to climb over the next decade is because federal spending is going up at an unsustainable rate.

The editorial concludes:

But the bigger problem is that any reasonable attempt to rein in any of the entitlement programs is met by fierce and unrelenting opposition from all those Democrats who now claim to worry about deficits. They will viciously demagogue any Republican who dares to propose real reforms of these programs, and then brag about any resulting election victories.

So, the next time you hear Democrats pretend to be deficit hawks, ask them what their plan is to bring entitlement spending under control.

 

People With An Agenda Who Make Predictions Rarely Get It Right

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the impact the election of President Trump has had on the American economy. The article begins by reminding us of the predictions made that if Donald Trump was elected President, he would ruin the American economy. The people making this prediction chose to overlook the fact that President Trump had a reasonable successful record as a businessman.

The article reports:

Foreign tourism to New York City is set to rise 3.6 percent this year — defying yet another of the many doomsday predictions about Donald Trump’s presidency.

Back in February, the city tourism agency said Trump’s “travel ban and related rhetoric” would mean a drop of 300,000 visitors this year. But the NYC & Co. prophecy proved false.

…Of course, other predictions were more dire — particularly those about the stock market.

Finance expert Steve Rattner foresaw “a market crash of historic proportions” under a President Trump. Moody’s warned of a “weaker” economy. Many said 2 percent GDP growth was the best that could be hoped for.

Other doomsayers included Mark Cuban, CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and firms such as Bridgewater Associates and Macroeconomic Advisers. (A less-dishonorable mention goes to Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman, who at least walked back his doomsaying about “a global recession, with no end in sight,” soon after election night.)

In fact, the Dow has climbed more than 25 percent since Hillary Clinton conceded. And the first two full quarters of Trump’s term both saw growth of 3 percent or more. Oops.

The article further reminds us that as President, President Trump has followed the Constitution. The article also reminds us that a downturn of the economy is always a possibility, but currently it seems as if President Trump’s business acumen is paying off for the American economy. It would be nice if Congress would clear the way for President Trump’s full economic agenda to go into effect. I have a feeling that all Americans would enjoy the results of that.