I Suppose This Is Good News

Fox News reported yesterday that ISIS is advising terrorists not to travel to Europe for jihad. It’s a little ironic to me that ISIS is protecting its members from the flu while instructing them to engage in suicide missions.

The article reports:

ISIS’ al-Naba newsletter contains “sharia directives” urging its healthy members not to enter “the land of the epidemic” to avoid becoming infected, the New York Post reported Sunday.

But any sick jihadists already in Europe should stay there — presumably, to sicken infidels, the paper reported. The Sunday Times of London first reported on the newsletter, according to the paper.

The “healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it,” the ISIS newsletter advises, according to the Post.

…Ten people have died from the coronavirus in Iraq, where 110 cases have been reported, according to John Hopkins University which is tracking the endemic. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Europe is now the virus’ epicenter.

Iran has also become an epicenter for the coronavirus.

On February 28, The New Yorker reported:

Iran, a country of eighty-three million people, has now become one of the global epicenters of the coronavirus—with the highest mortality rate in the world. Based on official numbers, the mortality rate in Iran has fluctuated daily, between eight and eighteen per cent, compared to three per cent in China and less everywhere else. Iran is also unique, because a disproportionate number of confirmed cases are senior government officials. On Thursday, the Vice-President, Masoumeh Ebtekar—who gained fame in 1979 as Sister Mary, the spokeswoman for the students who seized the U.S. Embassy and took fifty-two Americans hostage—announced that she, too, had contracted the coronavirus. The day before, she had attended a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet. Two members of parliament, including the chairman of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, have also been infected, as has the mayor of a district in Tehran and a senior cleric who had served as Iran’s Ambassador to the Vatican. One of the lawmakers, Mahmoud Sadeghi, tweeted on Tuesday, “I send this message in a situation where I have little hope of surviving in this world.” The former Vatican Ambassador, who was eighty-one, died on Thursday.

The article in The New Yorker notes:

The first mention of the disease by the government was a report of two deaths in the city on February 19th. Initial reports indicate that the carrier of the virus may have been a merchant who travelled between Qom and Wuhan, in China, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated. The outbreak is estimated to have begun between three and six weeks ago, which would mean that the two Iranians who died could have been sick and infecting others for weeks.

The fact that the virus has impacted many high-level officials in Iran might be the result of the close relations between the Chinese government and the Iranian government. It seems that China’s failure to tell the truth about the virus has impacted both their friends and their enemies.

When Principles Depend On Who Is In Power

Yesterday Fox News posted an article detailing the Democrat’s reaction to President Trump’s suggested payroll tax cut. The tax cut is designed to counter some of the economic losses caused by fears over the coronavirus.

The article notes:

Democrats are lining up to condemn President Trump’s proposal to eliminate payroll taxes amid the coronavirus outbreak, even though many of them were lock-step in supporting former President Obama’s two-percent payroll tax cut in 2010.

The apparent flip-flop came as stocks rebounded on Tuesday on news of the president’s coronavirus initiatives, with the Dow posting its third-biggest point gain in history. Trump has called for a “dramatic” payroll tax cut, and Fox News is told there has been consideration of suspending the payroll tax for three months, through the fall, or even through the end of the year.

The article notes the Democrats’ previous stand on this issue:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is working with Democratic leaders on their own stimulus package, and has suggested that a payroll cut likely won’t be included because it amounts to “tax cuts for major corporations.”

However, in a 2011 press release, Pelosi called a brief extension of Obama’s payroll tax cut a “victory for all Americans” and said it would put “nearly $40 per paycheck in the pockets of the average family.”

“Today is a victory for all Americans – for the security of our middle class, for the health of our seniors, and for economic growth and job creation,” Pelosi said at the time. “The American people spoke out clearly and, thanks to President Obama’s leadership, 160 million Americans will continue to receive their payroll tax cut – nearly $40 per paycheck in the pockets of the average family. I salute the work of the unified House Democratic caucus on behalf of the American people.”

The article concludes:

“According to those knowledgeable about the events that played out over less than a week, the agreement was the product of a fast-paced series of telephone contacts, conference calls and consultations with Congressional leaders,” the Times wrote. “A critical negotiation on Sunday led to a surprise cut in employee payroll taxes as the men sought to wrap up the deal.”

For Republicans, the sudden change in tone on payroll taxes as a means of economic stimulus was evidence of election-year opportunism.

“Like clockwork, Democrats never miss an opportunity to oppose President Trump,” Republican National Committee spokesperson Steve Guest told Fox News.

As for the new proposal on Capitol Hill, a source familiar with the proposal tells Fox News that addressing the Trump administration’s payroll tax proposal is “the fastest possible way” to address economic concerns. The source said that crafting proposals such as “unemployment insurance and dropping money out of helicopters” takes months to engineer. But the payroll tax could hit immediately – especially if they include both employers and employees.

The reluctance among some Republicans is a payroll tax cut could explode the deficit. However, Fox News is told that there are concerns that if Congress waits to act amid the declining economy, an even bigger hit to the deficit might result — as large as “a $1 trillion direct score on the deficit.”

Unfortunately the game is played on both sides. I believe there may be a handful of people in Congress who actually put the welfare of the country ahead of the welfare of their political party. I just wish there were more of them. As a country, we need to learn to work together in times of crisis–not simply use the crisis for political gain.

When You Understand The Connections, This Makes Sense

There are a lot of Republicans walking around wondering how they ever supported Mitt Romney. He has made some very strange comments and votes since Donald Trump was elected. Now we are beginning to see the reason behind some of his actions. Keep in mind that President Trump has consistently attempted to drain the Washington, D.C., swamp. There are investigations currently going on into various aspects of that swamp. Whether anyone will actually pay a price for their corruption I don’t know, but I suspect there are some seriously uncomfortable people walking around Washington right now.

Today Fox News posted an article about some of Romney’s recent comments.

The article notes:

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who faced the scorn of President Trump and fellow Republicans over his vote last month to convict at the Senate impeachment trial, questioned the motivation behind a Republican effort to issue a subpoena related to Hunter Biden and his dealing with Ukraine.

“I would prefer that investigations are done by an independent, non-political body,” Romney told the Washington Post. “There’s no question the appearance is not good.”

Oddly enough, he has not been equally concerned about all of the investigations into President Trump. The article notes that Romney’s vote in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is pivotal. That is the Committee that would approve a subpoena to gather information on the Ukrainian scandal involving Hunter Biden. Republicans maintain an 8-to-6 majority in the committee, and if Romney sides with Democrats the result would be a 7-7 tie.

PJ Media posted an article in February that reminded us of the following:

Romney’s vote to convict on the charge of abuse of power might very well be connected to his own links to the company via one of his top advisers. The Federalist reported back in September that “top Mitt Romney adviser Joseph Cofer Black, who publicly goes by ‘Cofer Black,’ joined Burisma’s board of directors while Hunter Biden was also serving on the board.”

I would be very surprised if Romney votes to investigate Ukrainian corruption since he has close ties to someone who may be caught up in the investigation. This might also explain some of Romney’s problem with President Trump–it is becoming obvious that Romney may well be part of the swamp. That may be the reason he worked so hard to be elected to the Senate–self preservation.

Why Border Security Matters

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about a recent drug seizure at the Arizona border.

The article reports:

A drug bust last year was hailed as the largest fentanyl bust in U.S. history—254 pounds seized at an Arizona border crossing.

The seizure came as the scourge of fentanyl continues to fuel the opioid epidemic, ravaging communities across the U.S. while killing tens of thousands of people.

“Fentanyl also continues to be a tremendous problem, contributing to 68,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2018,” Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Congress in November. He said CBP’s seizures of fentanyl rose by 30 percent in fiscal year 2019, totaling 2,770 pounds.

Fentanyl comes from China. Often it is smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico by drug cartels involved in a violent war with Mexican police and military forces.

The historic 254-pound bust was just one of a half-dozen big fentanyl busts recorded by law enforcement in recent years, a tally shows.

These six busts have led to the seizure of some 818 pounds of fentanyl–enough to kill 229 million people, according to authorities.

The article lists the six major drug busts. Please follow the link above to the article to see the details.

On March 22, 2019, I Heart Radio reported:

A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows how the opioid epidemic has ballooned over the past six years. The report found that from 2011 to 2016, the number of overdose deaths from the synthetic opiate fentanyl has risen by over 1000 percent.

The CDC says that in 2011 and 2012, around 1,600 people died each year from a fentanyl overdose. The number of deaths rose to 1,900 in 2013, but in 2014 officials saw the number of fatalities jump to 4,223. In 2015 the number of deaths nearly doubled to 8,251, and in 2016 there were another 10,000 deadly overdoses, bringing the total to 18,335 for the year.

The massive spike in fentanyl-related deaths was seen mainly in men. Up until 2013, the number of men and women who overdosed on fentanyl was about the same, but in 2014 the numbers began to diverge, and in 2016 there were three times as many men killed from an overdose as women.

Fentanyl is now considered the deadliest drug in America and is responsible for 29% of all overdose deaths in the nation.

Border security matters.

Someone Needs To Turn This Story Into A Movie

Fox News reported yesterday that Dave Ayres, a Zamboni driver for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, saved the day for the North Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes were playing the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The article reports:

Ayres, who works as a Zamboni driver for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, was forced into action midway through the second period after Carolina’s James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured. The Hurricanes were leading 3-1 when the 42-year-old Ayres took over.

The article details how the game went:

Carolina trailed 1-0 after the first, but tied it at 5:46 of the second when Wallmark scored off a scramble in front of Andersen. Niederrieter then blasted a one-timer on a power play at 9:43 before Foegele made it 3-1 at 10:49.

Mrazek made 14 saves in relief of Reimer, but left the game 30 seconds after Foegele’s first goal. The Czech netminder lay on the ice for a few minutes before leaving.

And after a delay, Ayres emerged from the Hurricanes locker room sporting No. 90. He got a some warmup shots from his new teammates before getting thrown into the fray.

Aho made it 4-1 with Clifford in the penalty box for charging at 13:17, but Tavares scored on the first shot against Ayres through the pads 19 seconds later.

Engvall scored off a loose puck on Toronto’s next shot against Ayres at 15:10.

The Leafs got a power play after that — fans at Scotiabank Arena screamed “Shoot!” almost every time a Toronto player had the puck anywhere near the Carolina goal — but the Hurricanes didn’t allow anything through.

Ayres made his first save late in the second on Auston Matthews as Carolina led 4-3 through a wild 40 minutes.

What a wild story!

Nature Is Amazing

On February 6th, Fox News reported the following:

A type of black fungus that eats radiation was discovered inside the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

In 1991, the strange fungus was found growing up the walls of the reactor, which baffled scientists due to the extreme, radiation-heavy environment.

Researchers eventually realized that not only was the fungi impervious to the deadly radiation, it seemed to be attracted to it.

A decade later, researchers tested some of the fungi and determined that it had a large amount of the pigment melanin — which is also found, among other places, in the skin of humans.

The article concludes:

In a 2008 paper, Ekaterina Dadachova, then of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, noted that the fungi attracted to radiation are unlikely to be the first examples of their kind.

“Large quantities of highly melanized fungal spores have been found in early Cretaceous period deposits when many species of animals and plants died out. This period coincides with Earth’s crossing the “magnetic zero” resulting in the loss of its “shield” against cosmic radiation,” the paper’s introduction states.

The fungi indicate that there could be places in the cosmos — which we are unaware of — where organisms could live in radiation-filled environments.

Just amazing.

Here We Go Again

Fox News is reporting today the following:

The Trump Economy Continues To Thrive

Fox News posted an article today about the January jobs numbers.

The article reports:

U.S. hiring topped expectations in January, as the economy added 225,000 jobs, kicking off the decade on a stronger-than-expected note.

It marks the 112th month of straight gains.

Unemployment ticked up slightly to 3.6 percent, as more people were looking for work, the Labor Department said Friday. The labor force participation rate edged up slightly to 63.4 percent. Average hourly earnings, meanwhile, rose by 7 cents over the past year to $28.44.

“Taken together, the first report of 2020 is a healthy one — showing that a possible redux of the roaring twenties updated for the 21st Century isn’t off the table yet,” Daniel Zhao, Glassdoor senior economist, said.

The labor force participation rate has not been at 63.4 percent since June of 2013.

The article notes:

“The labor market is continuing at a solid pace, and unemployment remains low,” said CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky. “It’s a crowded market for those battling to attract top talent and businesses are seeing the most traction when touting company culture along with their open positions.”

As the U.S. continues the longest economic expansion on record, investors are looking at the Department of Labor’s monthly payroll and unemployment data for signs that the rapid job growth over the past two years is softening and leading way to an overall growth slowdown.

The report contained a bad omen for manufacturing, which has been in a year-long rut: In January, the sector lost 12,000 jobs, most of which stemmed from motor vehicles and parts.

More Americans are going back to work, and wages at all levels are increasing. That is good news for all Americans.

President Trump And His Trade Policies

Yesterday Fox News reported that the US trade deficit has dropped for first time in 6 years because of the taxes President Trump has placed on China.

The article reports:

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as President Donald Trump hammered China with import taxes.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the gap between what the United States sells and what it buys abroad fell 1.7 percent last year to $616.8 billion. U.S. exports fell 0.1 percent to $2.5 trillion. But imports fell more, slipping 0.4 percent to $3.1 trillion. Imports of crude oil plunged 19.3% to $126.6 billion.

The deficit in the trade of goods with China narrowed last year by 17.6 percent to $345.6 billion. Trump has imposed tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese imports in a battle over Beijing’s aggressive drive to challenge American technological dominance. The world’s two biggest economies reached an interim trade deal last month, and Trump dropped plans to extend the tariffs to another $160 billion in Chinese goods.

The article notes:

Overall, the United States posted a $866 billion deficit in the trade of goods such as cars and appliances, down from $887.3 billion in 2018. But it ran a $249.2 billion surplus in the trade of services such as tourism and banking, down from $260 billion in 2018.

America is a nation of consumers, so I suspect trade deficits are something that will always be with us, but as the manufacturing base in America expands and our trade policies become more balanced, I believe we will see lower trade deficits.

Not A Good Look

The Iowa Democrat Caucuses have not gone well. As usually happens in the modern world of social media, the memes have begun.

This is one of the better memes that showed up on my Facebook feed:

However, on a more serious note…

One America News reported today:

Officials in Iowa reportedly knew there were problems with the mobile app used to tally the results in Monday’s caucus. The state’s Democrat Party released a statement late Monday to announce its decision to delay the release of the official results. They cited “inconsistencies” in the results as the reason for the postponement.

The Democrats went on to specify the delay was not because of a hack in an apparent effort to quell possible theories of election interference. On top of the supposed “inconsistencies,” however, many county chairs in Iowa have said they reported problems with the new app in the week before the caucus date. One chair from Polk County said not only were there unresolved problems with the app, but local Democrat officials weren’t provided any training on how to use it.

There were also reports of the phone lines being backed up for counties to report their results, with some reports suggesting county officials were on-hold for over an hour. Many counties were forced to switch to recording the votes on paper. Despite all this, the state’s Democrat Party has assured voters the underlying reporting was sound, but it would take time to tally the votes.

Fox News reported today:

The app that was supposed to help the Iowa Democratic Party quickly report Monday’s caucus results – but contributed to confusion and a muddled result as campaigns were in an uproar – is linked to Hillary Clinton campaign veterans.

Shadow, a tech firm that describes itself as a group that creates “a permanent advantage for progressive campaigns and causes through technology,” is the company that created the Iowa Democratic Party’s app, according to The New York Times. At least the COO, CEO, CTO and a senior product manager at Shadow all worked for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, according to LinkedIn profiles.

Shadow is associated with ACRONYM, a nonprofit dedicated to “advancing progressive causes through innovative communications, advertising and organizing programs.” Early last year, ACRONYM announced that it was acquiring an SMS tool called Groundbase and, out of Groundbase, “launching Shadow, a company focused on building the technology infrastructure needed to enable Democrats to run better, more efficient campaigns.”

The article at Fox News continues:

Groundbase co-founders Krista Davis, who is the current Shadow CTO, and Gerard Niemira, who is the current Shadow CEO, both held senior positions with the Clinton campaign.

Tara McGowan, the founder and CEO of ACRONYM, posted a statement from an ACRONYM spokesman early Tuesday morning distancing the nonprofit from Shadow, which is a for-profit company.

“ACRONYM is a nonprofit organization and not a technology company. As such, we have not provided any technology to the Iowa Democratic Party, Presidential campaigns, or the Democratic National Committee,” spokesman Kyle Tharp said in the statement. “ACRONYM is an investor in several for-profit companies across the progressive media and technology sectors. One of those independent, for-profit companies is Shadow, Inc, which also has other private investors. We are reading confirmed reports of Shadow’s word with the Iowa Democratic Party on Twitter, and we, like everyone else, are eagerly awaiting more information from the Iowa Democratic Party with respect to what happened.”

McGowan is an alumna of Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and previously worked as a digital director for NexGen America, a progressive organization founded by presidential candidate Tom Steyer.

Remember in 2016 when the DNC took the nomination away from Bernie Sanders? Is there any reason not to believe that those in the smoke-filled rooms are doing a repeat performance? I am willing to go on the record to say that somehow, I don’t know how, Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat Presidential Candidate in 2020. Stay tuned.

Michael Flynn and FBI Misconduct

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the case of Michael Flynn.

The article reports:

“I did not lie to them.”

With those words in a declaration and supplemental motion filed Wednesday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn formally asked a federal judge for permission to withdraw his guilty plea for making false statements to two FBI agents in the White House back on Jan. 24, 2017.

In a sweeping argument that took aim at the bureau’s “outrageous” conduct, Flynn’s legal team highlighted a slew of information that has come to light since Flynn’s plea — including that no precise record of Flynn’s statements to the agents exists and that the original handwritten FD-302 witness report from the interview is “missing,” with subsequent versions later “edited” in some undisclosed manner by anti-Trump FBI officials.

Moreover, Flynn’s team maintained he had no reason to lie about his communications with the Russian ambassador concerning how the country should respond to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration, or a then-pending vote on Israel in the United Nations. After all, Flynn said, he knew federal officials “routinely monitor, record, and transcribe” conversations like the ones he had with Russian diplomats.

The article continues:

Horowitz further revealed that Pientka (FBI Agent Joe Pietnka) was part of an apparent undercover operation to essentially spy on the Trump campaign and Flynn during a routine intelligence briefing in August 2016.

Pientka’s “participation in that presidential briefing was a calculated subterfuge to record and report … anything Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump said in that meeting,” Flynn’s lawyers wrote. Morever, the FISA court itself has rebuked the FBI as a whole, the filing noted.

Pientka “bore ultimate responsibility for four falsified applications to the FISA court and oversaw virtually every abuse inherent in Crossfire Hurricane — including suppression of exculpatory evidence,” Flynn’s team added.

The FBI has repeatedly refused to respond to Fox News’ request for clarification on Pientka’s status, even as Republicans in Congress have sought to question him.

The article concludes:

In December, U.S. District Judge Emmitt Sullivan had seemingly crushed Flynn’s hopes for ditching his guilty plea, saying that Flynn had waived his constitutional rights to obtain exculpatory information by pleading guilty.

Then, earlier this month, Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea for this first time —  just days after the Justice Department reversed course to recommend up to six months of prison time in his case, alleging he was not fully cooperating or accepting responsibility for his actions.

On Wednesday, the govenrment kept its recommendation of between zero and six months in prison, but specifically stated it would not “oppose” a sentence of probation. That walkback was notable, and signaled that Flynn likely will not serve time in prison.

Flynn’s lawyers, earlier this month, argued that “because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement,” Flynn’s plea should be withdrawn. That led to Wednesday’s supplemental filing — and, perhaps, new life for Flynn’s defense team.

Please follow the link to read the entire article–it includes a lot of significant details. I hope that Michael Flynn is not only exonerated, but reimbursed for the legal expenses he has incurred defending himself from a smear campaign.

How Does This Make Sense?

On Saturday, BizPacReview posted an article about some recent comments made by Fox News Analyst Juan Williams.

The article reports:

Fox News co-host Juan Williams vehemently disagreed with the praise for President Trump’s appearance at the March For Life rally, saying his attendance further “divides the country.”

The liberal co-host of “The Five” delivered his tone-deaf argument on Friday’s show, criticizing Trump for what many have lauded as a powerful message with his appearance at Friday’s event, making him the first sitting U.S. president to address the March for Life rally in person.

In January 2017, Real Clear Politics reported the following:

If politicians really want to show that they trust American women, then they should follow the advice of the overwhelming majority of us and restrict abortion in meaningful ways.

This means supporting the president’s action to ban funding of abortion internationally, which is supported by 83 percent of women, and same percentage of all Americans.

This means limiting abortion substantially through legislation. Nationwide, 77 percent of women support limiting abortion to – at most – the first trimester. That is slightly higher than the percentage of all Americans – 74 percent. Laws restricting abortion should be embraced, not resisted.

And 61 percent of women think it is important, or an immediate priority, for our government to restrict abortion in this way, a slightly higher percentage than the 59 percent of all Americans who hold this position.

Not surprisingly, the majority of American women (59 percent) say abortion is morally wrong, the same percentage of all Americans who agree.

And a majority of women (51 percent) believe that abortion causes more harm than good in the long run; 50 percent of all Americans agree.

According to Juan Williams, is the President prohibited from speaking out or supporting controversial issues? Doesn’t the President have the same First Amendment rights that all Americans have?

I don’t think abortion is what divides the country–I think that biased news that only reports things that support their agenda is actually what divides the country. Right Wing Granny is a politically-biased site–it says so in the title. I share facts, but I share them with opinion. It is very difficult right now to watch the mainstream media and find unbiased information–while the mainstream media is totally unwilling to admit that it is biased.

No, President Trump has not divided the country–those who despise the fact that he was elected and are willing to do anything to undermine his presidency are dividing the country.

Don’t Trust What You Read On Twitter

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a tweet by CNN’s Joe Lockhart .

This is the tweet:

There’s only one problem with the tweet–it is totally made up.

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

After his tweet went viral with thousands of retweets and 10’s of thousands of ‘likes’ with ‘conservative’ WaPo blogger Jennifer Rubin retweeting it, Lockhart admitted he made up the entire conversation.

“Ok maybe I made up the convo, but you know that’s exactly what they’re thinking.” Lockhart tweeted.

After major backlash from thousands of people calling Lockhart out for his lies, he pulled a Schiff and claimed it was just satire and parody.

This is what all Democrats do when they get caught lying and fabricating conversations.

Note that in the tweet Lockhart is saying that the Senators don’t know incriminating information against President Trump because they watch Fox News. Think about that for a minute–CNN, known for its fake news has reported stories that are totally false. The reporting on Fox News–particularly Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham has consistently proved to be true. What about the people who watch CNN and have no idea that everything Fox News has reported for the past two years has turned out to be true? How does that compare to the truthfulness of CNN? The false reporting of CNN and other biased media outlets bears much of the responsibility for the divisiveness currently found in America.

Policies Have Consequences

Fox News is reporting today that Mayor Douglas Nicholls of Yuma, Arizona, has withdrawn his city’s state of emergency that was declared in response to this year’s migrant crisis at the southern border — saying that the crisis has diminished in recent months.

The article reports:

“I am grateful to be able to withdraw the Proclamation of Emergency due to the Trump Administration’s policy changes that diminish the flow of the migrant family units to the Yuma area and prevent releases into the Yuma community,” Mayor Douglas Nicholls said in a statement earlier this month.

Nicholls declared a state of emergency in April near the peaks of the border crisis, when the number of migrants apprehended or turned away at the border soared to over 109,000. That number would hit 144,000 in May, but then decline sharply in the months since then, down to about 42,000 in November. At the time, Nicholls said the state of emergency was “due to the migrant family releases overwhelming the local shelter system.”

The administration has credited a slew of measures for bringing down the numbers of migrants approaching the border. Most significantly is the ramping up of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) over the summer — which sees migrants returned to Mexico as they await their hearings. So far more than 53,000 migrants have been returned to Mexico under MPP. That has been coupled with asylum agreements with countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador that sees migrants sent there to claim asylum instead

While those policies have drawn significant criticism from pro-migrant and humanitarian groups, who warn that they could send migrants into dangerous areas and place them at risk of violence, the administration claims it is those policies that have helped slow the crisis and end the pull factors that brought migrants north. They also mean that apprehended migrants can be processed quicker and, in many cases, be sent to Mexico or a Central American country rather than released into the U.S. interior. In a press release, Nicholls also credited those initiatives for alleviating the crisis in Yuma.

The constant flow of illegal immigrants flowing into America from our southern border does not help anyone–it puts those immigrants at risk and puts American citizens at risk. It puts downward pressure on the wages of working Americans. It poses a security risk. The wall is not the entire answer–the policies that the Trump administration is putting in place are also very helpful.

In Britain, The People Are Winning

Fox News is reporting today that British lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to approve Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal Friday. The deal means that Britain will leave the European Union by January 31st.

The article reports:

Before Friday’s vote, Johnson painted it as a moment of closure for Britons, saying, “Brexit will be done, it will be over.”

“This is a time when we move on and discard the old labels of ‘leave’ and ‘remain’,’ he added. “Now is the time to act together as one reinvigorated nation.”

He said passing the bill would end the “acrimony and anguish” that has consumed the country for the last three years.

…The bill commits Britain to leaving the EU on Jan. 31 and to concluding trade talks with the bloc by the end of 2020. Trade experts and EU officials say striking a free trade deal within 11 months will be a struggle, but Johnson insists he won’t agree to any more delays, The Brexit bill has been amended to bar ministers from agreeing to extend the transition period with the EU.

The new divorce bill needs to be ratified by the European Parliament, whose vice president, Pedro Silva Pereira said officials expect to happen by Jan. 29.

It took a referendum and another election, but the wishes of the people in Britain are finally being honored. The political elites who fought Brexit have now been defeated–at least temporarily.

Slowly Getting To The Truth

Fox News posted an article today about a recent comment by James Comey. In an interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, James Comey stated that the recently released Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the launch of the FBI’s Russia investigation and their use of the surveillance process showed that he was “overconfident” when he defended his former agency’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). I don’t mean to be difficult, but I think you could fertilize your garden with that statement. Remember, it was James Comey who leaked information to his friend to leak to The New York Times in order to promote the idea that a Special Prosecutor was needed. It was James Comey who listed all the crimes committed by Hillary Clinton and then said they weren’t really crimes because she didn’t mean to commit them. It was James Comey who briefed the President on the Steele Dossier so that it could be leaked to the press. It was James Comey who paved the way for the entire phony Russia investigation that cost taxpayers millions and prevented Congress from actually accomplishing anything for the good of the country. Keep that in mind as he proclaims he had no idea what was going on.

The article notes:

“He’s right, I was wrong,” Comey said about how the FBI used the FISA process, adding, “I was overconfident as director in our procedures,” and that what happened “was not acceptable.”

Horowitz did make it clear that he believes the FBI’s investigation of Russian election interference and possible connections with the Trump campaign was properly initiated, but he did note that this is based on a “low threshold.” He also concluded that there was no testimonial or documentary evidence to show that the investigation started due to any political bias, but said the issue of bias “gets murkier” when it comes to the various issues with the FISA process.

That process included the reliance on information gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele as part of opposition research conducted by Fusion GPS for the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign. Horowitz’s report stated that government attorneys were hesitant to approve a FISA warrant application until they relied on unverified information from Steele. That information also was used in subsequent renewals for the FISA warrant.

Comey downplayed the role of Steele’s information in obtaining the FISA warrant against Page, claiming Sunday that it was “not a huge part of the presentation to the court,” just part of the information included in the warrant application.

It will be interesting to see if James Comey is included when indictments are handed out. My bet is that he will be. He should at least be held accountable for leaking information.

This Is Long Overdue

Yesterday Fox News reported that President Trump has awarded the posthumous Presidential Citizens Medal to Rick Rescorla. Rick Rescorla was one of the heroes of September 11, 2001. This medal is long overdue.

The article reports:

The U.K.- born Rescorla worked as the director of security for Morgan Stanley, which had its headquarters in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Following the 1993 bomb attack on the Trade Center, Rescorla designed and implemented evacuation drills to prepare employees for another attack.

Rescorla was born in Cornwall and served in the British army in Cyprus. He also worked as a policeman in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) before coming to America at the age of 24. He enlisted in the Army and fought in Vietnam before leaving active duty in 1967. He then studied at the University of Oklahoma, earning a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a master’s degree in English. He also earned a law degree from Oklahoma City University and taught at the University of South Carolina. He retired from the Army in 1990.

The article continues:

After the first plane hit the towers on 9/11, Rescorla ordered Morgan Stanley employees to get out of the South Tower and ignore building announcements telling people to stay at their desks. As he directed workers in the stairwells, Rescorla went right on singing his hymns. One of Rescorla’s last phone calls was to his close friend, Dan Hill, who he had known since his days in Rhodesia. Rescorla told Hill to get to New York to help with the aftermath of the attack.

The article concludes:

Rescorla was last seen climbing up the stairs on the 10th floor of the South Tower. He is credited with saving nearly 2,700 people that day. He was 62 when he died.

Rescorla’s wife Susan, who has spent the last 18 years preserving her late husband’s memory, accepted the honor from Trump.

“Of all the accolades… and all the people along the journey who have touched my life, each is so memorable because I was able to learn more about this incredible man than I had during our short time while he was here on earth,” she said. Susan and Rick had been married for fewer than three years at the time of his death.

In his remarks, the president recalled Rescorla’s last words to his wife, spoken in a phone call from the South Tower: “I’ve never felt better in my life. I love you so.”

For more of Rick Rescorla’s story, see the article posted here on September 10, 2008.

Is Lying Under Oath A Problem?

A name that seems to be in the news a lot lately is Marie Yovanovitch, who was appointed to be the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine by former President Barack Obama. She was fired by President Trump. Just for the record, ambassadors serve at the discretion of the President and can be fired for any reason. Marie Yovanovitch, however, had a reputation for saying negative things about President Trump and not supporting his policies. That is why she was fired.

Marie Yovanovitch was called before Congress as a witness in the faux impeachment hearings. She testified on October 11 in a closed-door session.

The Daily Wire posted an article today citing some problems with her testimony.

The article reports information obtained by the Tucker Carlson show:

“This show has obtained exclusively an email for that Democratic staffer for the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent by private email to the former American ambassador Marie Yovanovitch,” Carlson continued. “Yovanovitch, you know, is a key player in the Democrats’ impeachment probe and was recalled from her post in Ukraine by President Trump in May 2019 following allegations of serious partisanship and political bias.”

This is the content of the email:

I’m writing to see if you would have time to meet up for a chat — in particular, I’m hoping to discuss some Ukraine-related oversight questions we are exploring. I’d appreciate the change to ground-truth a few pieces of information with you, some of which are quite delicate/time-sensitive and, thus, we want to make sure we get them right.

The article continues:

Carlson noted that Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) asked Marie Yovanovitch about the email during her testimony and she allegedly stated that she never responded to the email.

“In fact, it turns out that she did respond,” Carlson revealed. “She said she ‘looked forward to chatting with [the Democratic staffer].”

“As Congressmen Zeldin pointed out, the ambassador’s original answer, which was dishonest, was given under oath,” Carlson concluded.

Zeldin confirmed Carlson’s segment on Twitter, writing: “It appears Ambassador Yovanovitch did not accurately answer this question I asked her during her ‘impeachment inquiry’ deposition under oath.”

The article concludes:

“I would highly suspect that this Democratic staffer’s work was connected in some way to the whistleblower’s effort, which has evolved into this impeachment charade,” Zeldin told Fox News on Thursday night. “We do know that the whistleblower was in contact with [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff’s team before the whistleblower had even hired an attorney or filed a whistleblower complaint even though Schiff had lied to the public originally claiming that there was no contact. Additionally, while the contents of the email from this staffer to Ambassador Yovanovitch clearly state what the conversation would be regarding, Yovanovitch, when I asked her specifically what the staffer was looking to speak about, did not provide these details.”

“I specifically asked her whether the Democratic staffer was responded to by Yovanovitch or the State Department,” Zeldin concluded. “It is greatly concerning that Ambassador Yovanovitch didn’t answer my question as honestly as she should have, especially while under oath.”

Those attempting this faux impeachment need to remember that there are electronic records everywhere and Youtube videos of previous statements. They are in danger of being hoisted on their own petard!

Really Bad Advice

I don’t watch The View. I watched a few minutes once and realized instantly that it was simply not something I wanted to spend time watching. However, occasionally the ignorance of our Constitution illustrated on that television show is simply astounding.

Fox News posted an article today that illustrates that ignorance.

The article reports:

Politicians seeking to confiscate guns from Americans shouldn’t share their plans with the public beforehand and should seek to maintain an element of surprise, Joy Behar said on “The View” Monday.

Behar was discussing former 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat from Texas, and said it was foolish of him to announce his plans for gun confiscation before he was elected. She advised all politicians to go after the country’s guns after they’ve assumed office.

Co-host Meghan McCain also weighed in on the issue and said O’Rourke has poisoned the well and scared off independent voters from the Democratic party.

“They should not tell everything they’re going to do. If you’re going to take people’s guns away, wait until you get elected — then take the guns away,” she said. “Don’t tell them ahead of time.”

“I will also say that his stance on gun buybacks — Mayor Pete said it was a shiny object that distracts from achievable gun reform,” she said earlier in the interview. “That clip will be played for years… with organizations that try and scare people by saying that Democrats are coming for your guns.

“[Beto] also made some statements about religious institutions getting their tax-exempt status removed from them because they didn’t support same-sex marriage,” McCain continued. “He did a lot of, like, battleground culture war, and he ran as the most left, most woke candidate and look where he ended.”

The Second Amendment is not a cultural issue–it is an integral part of the Bill of Rights, a document written to limit the power of government–not the power of citizens. The ladies on The View need to take a basic civics course.

It’s Working

President Trump’s policy on immigration has been mocked, blocked, and generally fought by Democrats and Chamber of Commerce Republicans. The President has continued to push ahead and get things done. Now we have the numbers to show that he has been successful.

Yesterday Fox News posted an article with the following headline, “Thousands of migrants sent back to Mexico under Trump policy have given up their asylum claims: DHS.”

The article reports:

Thousands of migrants returned to Mexico under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy have given up their asylum claims, with many of them returning home, according to statistics included in a new assessment of the policy released this week by the Department of Homeland Security.

The policy, known formally as the Migrant Protection Protocols, sends migrants seeking asylum at the southern border back to Mexico for the duration of immigration proceedings. It is a cornerstone of the administration’s efforts to end “catch and release,” by which migrants are released into the U.S. while their cases are heard.

The article notes the following:

So far, the administration has returned more than 55,000 migrants to Mexico. The assessment describes the policy as an “indispensable tool in addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border and restoring integrity to the immigration system.” It says that it has completed almost 13,000 cases as of Oct. 21.

The article concludes:

The new assessment, significantly, cites estimates from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that approximately 20,000 migrants are currently being sheltered in Mexico near the U.S. border as they still seek entry to the U.S. The assessment says that number, though, suggests “a significant proportion of the 55,000+ MPP (Migrant Protection Protocols) returnees have chosen to abandon their claims.”

The report notes that the work of the International Organization of Migration, supported in part by the U.S. government, is helping migrants return home for free if they choose to do so. It says that as of October, almost 900 migrants have participated in that program.

The statistics put some meat on the bones of what officials have been saying for months, specifically that many of those in MPP — particularly those who do not have a legitimate asylum claim — realize that they will not be released into the interior and then just return home. Those returning migrants may then dissuade others from making the journey, reducing one of the “pull factors” bringing people north illegally.

“We’re now sending the message that, if you’re coming here as an economic migrant, you’re not going to be allowed into the United States,” Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, who has called MPP a “game-changer,” told reporters this month. “That’s driving a lot of people to return.”

The MPP policy has been one of the most effective parts of the administration’s crackdown on asylum seekers and illegal immigration, but also one of the most controversial. Critics claim that migrants are being sent into camps with squalid conditions, and are also at risk of violence from cartels.

A country without a border cannot defend itself. We have not stopped the drugs and illegal immigrants coming into American, but we have decreased the numbers. It’s a good start.

Ever Wonder About Polls?

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

Here is some of what they found:

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

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

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

How Is This Compatible With The First Amendment?

Fox News posted an article today reporting some recent comments by Beto O’Rourke.

The article reports:

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke says he’d strip churches of tax-exempt status if they don’t support same-sex marriage.

When the former Texas congressman was asked if religious institutions — “colleges, churches, charities” — should be stripped of tax-exempt status Thursday night by CNN anchor Don Lemon during the LGBTQ town hall, he immediately responded, “Yes.”

The article continued:

“There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us,” he said. “So as president, we’re going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”

First of all, the churches who hold a Biblical view of marriage are not restricting your human rights–they are simply saying that they do not support something that is against the teaching of the Bible. These are churches who believe in the Bible. The Bill of Rights gives them the right to those beliefs. You are perfectly free to get married in any church that has a different view of marriage, you are just not allowed to coerce a church to go against its basic tenets.

The article concludes:

And Hiram Sasser, general counsel for First Liberty Institute, told Fox News their faith-based organization has taken on the government before.

“When the Obama IRS came after pastors gathering together in conferences with Rick Perry support traditional marriage, we had to defend the pastors,” Sasser said. “We beat the IRS then and we would do it again if O’Rourke attacks churches with the IRS in the future.”

President Trump has championed religious liberty, largely winning the evangelical vote in 2016, and earlier this year, his administration launched a global effort to decriminalize homosexuality.

Be very careful here. Regardless of how you feel about this particular issue, please understand that this is an attempt to chip away at the rights guaranteed to Americans in the Bill of Rights.

Suspended For Following The Law

The lack of respect for basic legal principles on the part of some of our elected officials is getting totally out of control. It used to be understood that if you broke the law, you got arrested, and possibly spent some time in jail. Now it depends on which law, which police department, and whether or not you are here illegally. There is no consistent rule of law anymore.

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about a Virginia police officer who has been suspended from his job.

The article reports:

A Virginia police officer was suspended after allegedly turning over a suspected undocumented immigrant to federal authorities following a traffic accident last month.

The Fairfax County Police Department didn’t identify the officer in a statement released Tuesday but said the incident occurred on Sept. 21 when an officer was dispatched to a car accident.

The officer discovered one of the drivers didn’t have a Virginia driver’s license and ran a check with the state Department of Motor Vehicles, police said. The check revealed the driver had a violation for failing to appear for a deportation hearing.

The officer verified the warrant and alerted officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

An ICE agent was close by and arrived at the scene. The officer cited the driver for not having a driver’s license and turned them over to the federal agent.

The Fairfax County Police Department enacted a 2007 policy that prohibits officers from confirming a person’s immigration status and detaining them solely based on civil violations of immigration law.

“This is an unfortunate issue where the officer was confused,” Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said. “We have trained on this issue a lot. This is the first time we’ve had a lapse in judgment, and the officer is being punished.”

The article concludes:

The officer involved has been on the job for a few years, Roessler told The Washington Post. He added that the officer did not willfully violate the department’s policy with respect to cooperating with immigration officials.

He said the officer will undergo remedial training.

I think the people in charge need to undergo remedial training.

Can I Help You Pack?

Yesterday Fox News reported the following:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday that his country’s delegation would vote for the United Nations headquarters to be moved out of New York if given the chance, in the latest sign of escalating tensions with the United States on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

“If we’re ever asked, we will, of course, vote for it, for the United Nations headquarters to be transferred to a more secure and better country that does not have the narrow viewpoints that we have been witnessing,” he said in response to a question at a press conference. There appears to be no significant movement to move the U.N.

This is probably the first and last time I will agree with President Rouhani.

The article continues:

He mentioned a number of instances of Iranians being barred from entering the U.S. The Trump administration this week restricted senior Iranian government officials and their family members from entering the U.S.

“For years, Iranian officials and their family members have quietly taken advantage of America’s freedom and prosperity, including excellent educational, employment, entertainment, and cultural opportunities in the United States,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Thursday.

“Under this proclamation, designated senior regime officials and their families will no longer be allowed entry into the United States. No longer will elites reap the benefits of a free society while the Iranian people suffer under the regime’s corruption and mismanagement.”

Rouhani accused the U.S. of capitalizing on its position as host nation for the U.N.

“This is the house of peace and house of communications with one another and America must not take advantage of its position as a host and only grant visas to whom America likes,” he said.

Rouhani spoke at a lengthy press conference in which he blamed the U.S. for the collapse of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and called on the U.S. to remove sanctions before talks can occur between the two countries. President Trump had opened the door to talks with the Iranian regime, but has also kept up his “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against Tehran.

“If these preconditions are taken off the table and then of course the possibility exists to talk with America,” Rouhani said.

Would the UN just leave if all the delegates were asked to pay their parking tickets?

Election Fraud Is An Issue

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about Sherikia Hawkins, city clerk for the city of Southfield, Michigan.

The article reports:

A Michigan official who earlier this year received an award from the state’s Democratic Party is now facing six felony charges for allegedly forging records and falsely marking absentee ballots as invalid during the 2018 election.

Sherikia Hawkins, 38, city clerk for the city of Southfield, was arrested Monday after the Oakland County Clerk’s office noticed discrepancies in voter counts while certifying absentee ballots from Southfield. State police investigated and found that records had been altered so that nearly 200 voter files were improperly listed as invalid.

…According to court documents, Michigan police found that 193 absentee voter files were changed in the city’s computer system to say they either had no signature or no return date, when they had both valid signatures and return dates. Police stated that after Oakland County Election Director Joseph Rozell found that Hawkins had submitted altered reports, his staff found the original ones in a trash can at the election division office.

The article notes that the ballots were found and tallied, so the actions of Ms. Hawkins did not have an impact on the outcome of the election.

The article concludes:

Hawkins was charged with falsifying records in violation of state election law, forgery of a public record, misconduct in office and three counts of using a computer to commit a crime. The top count carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

She was arraigned on Monday and released on $15,000 bond, according to a state press release. Hawkins has a probable cause conference set for Sept. 30, and another hearing scheduled for Oct. 15.

Unfortunately this is a problem that voter identification will not solve, but the situation here reminds us that there are people willing to cheat to win elections. Any procedures we can put in place to limit opportunities for election fraud need to be put in place.