An Expert Opinion

Regardless of how you may feel about him, Newt Gingrich is a brilliant political mind. He posted an article at Fox News today about the move to impeach President Trump. I recommend that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will try to highlight it here.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ tunnel-vision focus on impeaching President Trump puts all of us, as Americans, at risk.

This may sound extreme, but I lay it all out in this week’s episode of “Newt’s World.”

Since the day Trump was elected president, Democrats have been formulating and executing the plot we have been watching unfold. After Trump won a massive electoral majority, Democrats started digging.

They have been determined to find something – anything – they can use to attack him. The central focus of all of this is to describe and define Trump as a corrupt president so often that people begin to accept the narrative. It’s not only the elected Democrats. Much of the intelligence community has been equally determined to “uncover” something on President Trump from the beginning.

The article continues:

As this plot against Trump has continued, the American system has been bypassed, ignored, or misused to the point where it has been put it in jeopardy. Democrats, political operatives, American intelligence officials and the media have been forcing a manufactured narrative on the American people. Specifically, a group of these intelligence officials are breaking the law by leaking secrets to the media (whose members gladly overlook these crimes so long as it lets them accuse the president of something new).

We have seen this pattern with the so-called Trump Towers in Moscow scandal, the Robert Mueller investigation, and now the Pelosi-Adam Schiff impeachment effort.

Make no mistake: This is not politics as usual. It’s a concerted effort by one political party, the Washington bureaucracy, and the media to overrule the American people.

The continuing attack on President Trump is dangerous to our Republic. This is an attempt to overthrow the results of a legitimate election. If those responsible are not brought to justice, our government will constantly be in chaos because false charges can be filed against any elected official at any time in an effort to remove him from office.

It’s Nearly Impossible To Kill A Government Program–Even When It Doesn’t Work

Hot Air posted an article today about ethanol in America. The article notes that when the ethanol program (Renewable Fuel Standard) was put in place, it was based on two basic assumptions. The first assumption was that we would be producing huge amounts of biodiesel from sources like palm oil and recycled cooking oil. The other was that we would be pumping out massive volumes of cellulosic ethanol, derived from plants like switchgrass, which grows naturally all across the country. Well, both of those assumptions proved to be false. Because America is now the number one energy producer in the world, it no longer makes sense to use ethanol. Ethanol is not as environmentally friendly as carbon-based fuels when you consider the carbon footprint of its manufacturing process. There are also serious questions about the impact of ethanol on car engines.

The article concludes:

Corn is the least environmentally friendly way to create ethanol. It’s also a very inefficient fuel compared to gasoline so you wind up having to burn more of it to produce the same amount of energy. In short, we’re defeating some of the primary motivations that led us to start down this path to begin with. And yet the program endures for nothing other than political reasons. Midwestern states like Iowa want the government to keep demanding more and more corn ethanol to bolster agricultural markets. Meanwhile, refineries are stuck trading on a corrupt, fake market for RIN credits, driving some of the smaller ones toward insolvency.

The dream of corn ethanol has failed everyone across the board. But like most government mandates, once it’s been summoned into existence, it proves nearly impossible to kill. It would take a tremendous amount of political will to get rid of the RFS now, and that strength clearly doesn’t exist in the Trump administration. You won’t find it among the Democrats, either. And so we keep paddling upstream against the same forces for the foreseeable future.

The closest thing to immortality is a government program.

 

Am I Supposed To Be Surprised By This?

A while back, General Flynn got a new lawyer. It was probably the smartest thing he has ever done. Sidney Powell is an amazing lady. She has no fear of going after corruption, wherever it lies. Her efforts are definitely revealing things that were terribly wrong about the way the government handled General Flynn’s case.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about the latest development in the case against General Flynn. Please follow the link to read the entire article. It includes some very revealing screenshots.

The article reports:

Sidney Powell filed a motion a couple weeks ago revealing that General Flynn was indeed set up by the FBI with an ambush, damaging leaks and altered 302 reports.

Powell revealed that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page EDITED General Mike Flynn’s 302 report, then lied to the DOJ about the edits.

A 302 summary report consists of contemporaneous notes taken by an FBI agent when interviewing a subject.

The DOJ on Friday argued in a surreply that Sidney Powell’s motion should be denied because there were “no material changes made after 2/10/2017 to the draft of the January 24 interview report.”

However, there is evidence to the contrary.

The article shares some information from a website called Techno Fog which undermines the DOJ’s claim.

The article continues:

The DOJ argued that “Even if an earlier draft of the [302] once existed, there is no reason to believe it would materially differ” from the agents’ notes.” — SERIOUSLY??

So where are the original FBI notes taken on January 24, 2017? The government is now saying if they exist, they wouldn’t be any different than the reports drafted 2 weeks after the ambush interview!

The Justice Department’s decision is that Peter Strzok’s notes were taken contemporaneously during his interview with General Mike Flynn on January 24, 2017.

The article contrasts two pictures of notes supposedly taken during the interview. Peter Strzok’s notes are a little to neat to have been taken during the interview. Special Agent Joe Pientka, who was with Peter Strzok, took notes that look much more as if they were taken at the time of the interview.

Why are we not surprised that the DOJ seems to have lost the original notes of Peter Strzok’s interview of General Flynn?

Tearing Down The Foundation

The most important part of a building is the foundation. If the foundation is sturdy, chances are the building will stand. Our government is built on the concept of Judeo-Christian values. The Constitution states that our rights come from God and that the Constitution is there to insure those rights are protected–the rights do not come from government.

On Friday night, Attorney General William Barr gave a speech at Notre Dame about the attack on those traditional values that form the basis of our society. Yesterday The Observer posted an article about the speech. The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s & Holy Cross.

The article reports:

U.S. Attorney General William Barr spoke at Notre Dame Law School on Friday evening, calling for a defense of Judeo-Christian values and religious freedom in response to growing secularism in America.

The event was reserved for students, faculty and staff of the Notre Dame Law School and de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, both of which hosted the lecture. It took place in the McCartan Courtroom while another room in the law school streamed the speech to another crowd of ticket-holding students and faculty.

Barr began by discussing the new challenges the United States is facing today. It’s a difficulty he said the Founding Fathers foresaw as “the supreme test of a free society.”

“The central question was whether over the long haul, we the people can handle freedom,” Barr said. “The question was whether the citizens in such a free society could maintain the moral discipline and virtue necessary for the survival of free institutions.”

In the Founders’ view, Barr said, free government was only suitable for people who had the discipline to control themselves according to a transcendent moral order. As John Adams put it, he said, the United States Constitution was made only for “a moral and religious people.” 

“Now, modern secularists dismiss this idea of morality as sort of otherworldly superstition imposed by a killjoy clergy,” Barr said. “But in fact, Judeo-Christian moral standards are the ultimate utilitarian rules for human conduct. They reflect the rules that are best for man not in the by-and-by but in the here-and-now.”

By the same token, he said, violations of these moral laws have “bad, real world consequences” for man and society — such as society is seeing today.

“I think we all recognize that over the past 50 years, religion has been under increasing attack,” Barr said. “On the one hand, we have seen the steady erosion of our traditional Judeo-Christian moral system and a comprehensive effort to drive it from the public square. On the other hand, we see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism.”

With escalating suicide rates, the drug epidemic, hate crimes and more, there is a campaign to “destroy the traditional moral order,” Barr said, and secularists ignore these results and press on with “even greater militancy.”

Please follow the link to read the entire article. The last part of the article includes the students’ reaction to the speech. Some of that reaction reflects the moral rebellion that has characterized many of our young college students.

CNS News also posted an article about the speech.

CNS News notes:

The secularist government attempts to alleviate bad consequences by advancing abortion, enabling drug use and assuming the roles of parent and spouse, Barr said. And, while promising unlimited freedom, the end result of the secularist religion is one of servitude, he warned:

“So, the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion.

“The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites.

“The solution to the breakdown of the family is for The State to set itself up as an ersatz husband for the single mother and an ersatz father for the children. The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with this wreckage.

“And, while we think we are solving problems, we are underwriting them.

“We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on whom we depend.”

“Interestingly, this idea of The State as the Alleviator of Bad Consequences has given rise to a new moral system that goes hand-in-hand with the secularization of society. It can be called the System of Macro-Morality. And, in some ways, it is an inversion of Christian morality.

“Christianity teaches a Micro-Morality: we transform the world by focusing on our own personal morality and transformation. The new secular religion teaches Macro-Morality. Once morality is not gauged by their private conduct, but rather their commitment to political causes and collective action to address various social problems.

“This system allows us not to worry so much about the strictures on our own private lives, because we can find salvation on the picket line. We can signal our finely-tuned moral sensibilities by participating in demonstrations on this cause or on that.”

The generation that is fighting to destroy the foundation of America will have to live with the consequences of their actions. They might not like what they have created.

Update On Hong Kong

Politico posted an article today about the latest events in Hong Kong. The article is taken from the South China Morning Post. Please consider the source when reading the excerpts.

The article reports:

Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has formally withdrawn the much-despised extradition bill that sparked the nearly three-month long protest crisis now roiling the city, confirming the Post’s exclusive report earlier on Wednesday.

She will also set up an investigative platform to look into the fundamental causes of the social unrest and suggest solutions for the way forward, stopping short of turning it into a full-fledged commission of inquiry, as demanded by protesters.

The decision to withdraw the bill will mean that the government is finally acceding to at least one of the five demands of the protesters, who have taken to the streets over the past 13 weeks to voice not just their opposition to the legislation, but the overall governance of the city in demonstrations that have become increasingly violent.

Apart from the formal withdrawal of the legislation, the protesters have asked for the government to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate police conduct in tackling the protests, grant amnesty to those who have been arrested, stop characterizing the protests as riots, and restart the city’s stalled political reform process.

Whether they will view the investigative committee as adequate in meeting the call for a commission remains to be seen. On the bill withdrawal, a government source said that Lam will emphasize that the move was a technical procedure to streamline the legislative agenda, with the Legislative Council set to reopen in October after its summer break.

Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line Blog today about Hong Kong. In the article he quotes a Claudia Rosette article at The Wall Street Journal:

[T]he millions of protesters. . .have been doing the world a heroic service. Like their predecessors at Tiananmen, they are exposing on a world stage the brutality of the Beijing regime. From the only place under China’s flag where there is any chance to speak out, they are shouting the truth, day and night, in the streets and from the windows—while they still can.

During more than 13 straight weeks of protest, Hong Kong’s people have demanded the rights and freedoms—including free elections—that China, in a treaty with Britain, guaranteed to Hong Kong for 50 years after the 1997 handover. At a press conference last week held by Hong Kong’s Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized some of the biggest peaceful protests, spokeswoman Bonnie Leung observed that if the authorities would simply keep those promises, “the whole movement will end immediately.”

Instead, President Xi Jinping and his puppet, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, have defaulted to threats, propaganda and force. Ms. Lam’s administration has deployed riot police, tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. Officers have made more than 1,000 arrests.

China has been pressuring Hong Kong companies, including Cathay Pacific Airways, to fire employees who join the protests. Chanting “Stand with Hong Kong! Fight for freedom!” the protesters have refused to back down. Some told me they are ready to die for their cause. Many of their predecessors did in Tiananmen.

Hong Kong police have begun firing warning shots with live ammunition. This weekend, police were caught on video beating unarmed civilians bloody on the subway. China has been conspicuously drilling troops of its People’s Armed Police across the border, and last week it sent fresh army troops to its garrison in Hong Kong, labeling this a routine rotation to ensure “prosperity and stability.”

(Emphasis added)

The article at Power Line Blog concludes with an UPDATE:

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, has finally agreed to withdraw the extradition bill discussed above. She takes her order from Beijing, so it looks like China wants to avoid a Tiananmen Square style massacre and the worldwide condemnation it would bring.

Will this concession, absent the freedoms China promised Hong Kong in 1997, be sufficient to take the steam out of the protests? Perhaps.

Another possibility is that the protesters, if anything, will be emboldened by the concession and that China, having made it, will believe it can defend a crack down by claiming that the protesters couldn’t take “yes” for an answer.

 Stay tuned.

 

Ignoring Our God-given Rights Enumerated In The U.S. Consitution

Yesterday Townhall posted an article that illustrates the problem with the ‘red flag’ laws currently being discussed by gun-control advocates. The article tells the story of Jonathan Carpenter, a Florida resident.

The article reports:

According to Ammoland, Jonathan Carpenter received a certified letter from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services saying his concealed handgun permit had been suspended for “acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violations.”

Carpenter was forced to go to the Osceola County clerk’s office to have a form filled out stating he wasn’t the person law enforcement was looking for. At that point, the clerk instructed Carpenter to speak with the sheriff’s office.

Ammoland reports:

The Sheriff’s office supplied Carpenter with a copy of the injunction. In the statement, the plaintiff stated that she rented a room out to a “Jonathan Edward Carpenter” and his girlfriend. She alleged that this Carpenter was a drug dealer who broke her furniture and sold her belongings without her permission. He had a gun, and she feared for her life. She was not sure if the firearm was legal or not.

Carpenter had never met the woman in question and never lived at the address listed in the restraining order. Moreover, other than being white, he looked nothing like the man the terrorized the woman.

The man in question is 5’8. Carpenter is 5’11. The alleged drug dealer is 110lbs. Carpenter is over 200. The man has black hair. Carpenter is completely bald. Last but not least, the man in question is covered in tattoos, and Carpenter only has a few.

Even though it was evident they had the wrong man, Carpenter was forced to hand over his firearms. There was no hearing or any kind of court proceeding.

Read those last two sentences again.

The article concludes:

Carpenter’s firearms had to remain in police custody until the plaintiff can say, in court, that he’s not the man that she filed a complaint against. He’d then have to petition the court to get his firearms back…and he would have to bear the cost. Carpenter will get his day in court later this month. 

What’s happening to this man is the exact instance Second Amendment supporters have worried about. This very instant is what we’ve talked about, time and time again. What if Carpenter needed to defend himself between now and his court date? He couldn’t, because the government failed him. He’s having to prove himself innocent in a country where everyone is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

The ‘laws’ used to confiscate Mr. Carpenter’s firearms are not constitutional. This nightmare scenario would be frequently repeated if ‘red flag’ laws are passed. Mr. Carpenter is innocent until proven guilty. He was not treated that way.

Ruining The Environment Because You Want To Win

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the Iowa Caucuses and the role that ethanol plays in them. In theory ethanol is a great idea. In practice it has not had the positive impact on the environment that was hoped for.

The article reports:

The summer before the Iowa caucuses is when politicians abandon whatever it is they believe in and instead pay homage to King Corn.

When Republicans are running, any belief in free enterprise is scuttled in favor the big government ethanol mandate.

Among Democrats, concern about smog and pollution evaporates in the heat of an Iowa summer.

The politicians who pledge to take on the special interests instead bow obediently before the ethanol lobby.

Al Gore, who admits federal support for ethanol was a mistake, explains his own advocacy of such policies thus: “I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.”

It’s a dispiriting sight, but it’s as much a part of the Iowa caucus tradition as butter cows and fried Oreos.

The article explains some of the problems with ethanol:

Also, federally mandated use of ethanol wreaks havoc on the environment.

“Making corn into ethanol threatens surface and sub-surface waters in several ways,” the Freshwater Society states.

For starters, there are the spills, which occur every two days on average. Ethanol can’t be transported by pipeline, and so it rides trains and trucks from the heartland where it’s made to the coasts, where Uncle Sam forces refiners to buy it.

The added use of fertilizers in the extra corn-growing creates lots of runoff, which down the line deprives rivers of oxygen. Distilling ethanol requires four times as much water as does refining real gasoline — so the ethanol mandate depletes water supplies.

Ranchers pay the price as corn is shifted from feed to fuel. Drivers pay the price as they have to refuel more (ethanol has less energy per gallon than gasoline does). Bikers and boaters suffer more, as ethanol gunks up those smaller engines. Ethanol is also destroying your lawnmower this summer.

The article concludes:

Refiners, corn growers, and ethanol distillers all suffer from uncertainty and inconsistency. So, we’ve got a proposal for any 2020 Democrat who cares about taking on the special interests, protecting the air and the water, and moving beyond the inconstancy of the Trump administration.

Abolish the ethanol mandate altogether.

Maybe Cory Booker or Joe Biden can pick up the bill Ted Cruz pushed in 2015, which would wind the mandate down to zero gallons in five years. Cruz even won Iowa, in part because enough voters liked a man who stood on principle.

Do the Democrats have a man or a woman like that?

Stay tuned.

This May Not Be A Smoking Gun, But It Is Close

On Thursday, The Gateway Pundit posted part of an on-air conversation between Sean Hannity and Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani.

The article reports the conversation regarding the Russian collusion scandal:

Rudy then went on to describe the international expanse of this illegal operation.

Rudy Giuliani: The whole thing was made up from the very beginning and they sold it to 90% of our media! It’s a tragedy… The dimensions of it you still don’t realize. There’s plenty of evidence of what happened in Ukraine. Plenty of evidence of what happened in UK. In Italy. This was a massive conspiracy!

Sean Hannity: Do you believe, sir. It appears (investigator) John Durham is spending an awful lot of time in Europe.

Rudy Giuliani: I know why he’s spending an awful lot of time in Europe… He’s spending a lot of time investigating Ukraine, Italy, UK and Australia.

Sean Hannity: Was there outsourcing of techniques that are illegal. In other words, did our top intelligence officials, did they outsource spying on American citizens for the purpose of hurting President Donald Trump or candidate Trump or transition to be President Trump? Did they outsource intelligence gathering methods to spy on Americans to circumvent US law and outsource it to even allied countries. Did that happen, sir?

Rudy Giuliani: There is plenty of evidence that it happened, Sean. Plenty of evidence. Some of it documentary, some of it already recorded. And for a year people in Europe have been trying to get this to our FBI. And they have been thwarted and ignored and pushed aside. It was a deliberate effort to cover this up. It didn’t just happen. Even during the Trump administration there was a deliberate effort to cover this up to protect the prior wrongdoing. That’s really sick.

A video of the conversation is included in the article at The Gateway Pundit. What we are learning is that the ‘deep state’ is an international phenomena. Those who support One World Government were very unhappy with the election of President Trump and the British vote on Brexit. We can expect to hear more about efforts to undo both in the very near future.

Somehow The Government Doesn’t Seem To Be Able To Get This Done

WITN Channel 7 posted an article on Thursday about the recovery funds for Hurricane Matthew. Yes, that’s Matthew–not Flo.

The article reports that because of administrative mistakes and inexperience, federal housing funds for victims of Hurricane Matthew have been delayed. As of July (two years after the hurricane) only 6% of the hurricane relief funds have been distributed.

Many organizations, such as Operation Blessing, Samaritan’s Purse, and other groups, have been working to help victims of Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Flo repair their homes, but are still a lot of people waiting for help.

In New Bern, it is currently very difficult to find a contractor to do repair work. Some less-than-ethical contractors came in from out of state, did part of a job, and left with the payment. The New Bern Convention Center is not expected to open until September.

It is a disgrace that two years after a natural disaster people are still waiting for federal aid. It is also discouraging that we have had a major disaster since Hurricane Matthew that we have not fully recovered from and that this year’s hurricane season is rapidly approaching.

 

 

We Need To Celebrate This

Issues & Insights posted an article today about the change in the number of Americans dependent on Government since President Trump took office.

The article includes a chart showing the change:

Here are some of the highlights listed in the article:

Disability. The number of workers on Social Security’s Disability Insurance program has sharply declined as well. It went from 88 million in January 2017 to 84.9 million as of May. That’s the lowest it’s been since August 2011.

…Medicaid. Enrollment in Medicaid also has dropped sharply since Trump took office — despite the fact that Virginia decided to expand its program under Obamacare, which added some 300,000 to its Medicaid rolls over those years.

As of this March, the total number of people on Medicaid and CHIP — the health insurance program for children — was down by 2.5 million.

Obamacare. The number enrolled in Obamacare has declined every year since Trump took office as well, and is now 1 million below where it was at the end of 2016.

Welfare. The number of those collecting welfare — either on the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or what are called “separate state programs” — has dropped by more than 800,000 under Trump.

The article concludes:

In a less biased news media world, the decline in government dependency would be front-page news.

Instead, when they’re acknowledged at all, these enrollment drops are treated as bad news by the Left, which treats any declining benefit programs as a problem that needs to be fixed — usually by expanding these programs. Thus, you have every Democratic candidate for president talking about trillions upon trillions of new benefit programs, which are designed to ensnare as many as possible in the net of government dependency.

They have it exactly backward. The goal should be to have zero people collecting government benefits — because they are gainfully employed and don’t need them. Anything else should be treated as a failure.

One of the reasons that it is so difficult to shrink government programs is that in addition to the people they serve, they provide employment for government workers. These workers understand that if assistance programs shrink drastically, then there will be fewer staff members needed to oversee the programs. It is definitely a reverse incentive to cut dependence on the government.

High Crimes–Not Misdemeanors

Yesterday Sebastian Gorka posted an article at American Greatness titled, “ObamaGate: No Misdemeanors, Only High Crimes.” I understand all of us are getting tired of hearing about any of the garbage that went on in the Obama administration in terms of spying on the political opposition. However, because that issue has not yet been dealt with, it will remain in the news until those guilty of misusing federal agencies are held accountable.

Sebastian Gorka points out:

…Or look instead at Anderson Cooper, CNN’s putative doyen, who can’t even garner 0.3 percent of the population as viewers for his “flagship” program, and who recently accused Jared Kushner of “gaslighting” the nation over Russia; in other words of making statements aimed at convincing the listeners that they are insane.

This from the network that has so stoked the flames of Russia conspiracy-mongering every day for two years, that they publish outlandish pieces on Robert Mueller’s sealing indictments against the president, and as Cooper’s fellow show host Chris Cuomo qualifies the president’s public statements as those made by a convict already wearing an “orange jumpsuit,” statements that are less gaslighting than full on tinfoil-hattery.

And why was Kushner so calumniated? What craziness was he trying to sell to America as fact? His “gaslighting” sin was to state early last week that the Mueller investigation and the rest of the related farrago had done more damage to our republic and democratic practices than the original illegal actions of Russian actors on Facebook. Yet, ironically, Kushner was lambasted all over the corporate leftist media as the majority of Americans actually agreed with the president’s senior advisor.

The article concludes with some troubling information:

It has been brought to my attention by a former CIA station chief of some prominence and who has a legendary reputation inside the community of pre-Brennan operators, that Hillary Clinton’s loss did not curtail the worst activities of the outgoing Obama team. In fact, through the use of a walled-off team of contractors working inside the Intelligence Community, and for political realms alone, with no FISA-authorization or other national security justification, the Trump White House was spied upon after the January 20 inauguration. (Those responsible for this on-going crime are known to more than one investigative journalist and I have been told that the first of the new revelations will be published in the coming week).

Simply put: the Obama Administration used the most powerful intelligence capabilities in the world to attempt a penetration and subversion of the presidential campaign of the the opposing party. When that failed, they used a special prosecutor to divert attention away from that activity, log-jam the work of the new president, and clean up the evidence of what had been done to him and his team. And most un-American of all: the former intelligence leadership of the Obama Administration continued to spy illegally on Donald Trump and his closest advisers after they had moved into the White House.

Many take offense at the way President Trump uses language, at his tweets and at what they see as his hyperbole. But this week when he called the operations against him and the will of the people who chose him, a “coup” and an “attempted overthrow” of the government, he was making a simple statement of fact. One that will soon make Watergate an irrelevance.

The spying that was done in the Obama administration more closely resembles Soviet Russia than it does America. It is frightening to think that someone whose administration had so little regard for the law or the civil liberties of Americans sat in the White House for eight years. I don’t think a lot of Americans realize that the same force of government used against individuals in the Trump campaign and transition team could someday turn against them for no reason. The punishment for the actions taken against the Trump campaign and administration needs to be severe enough so that another coup attempt will never happen.

 

Where Are We And Where Are We Headed?

Politics in America right now is disturbing. It is becoming obvious that the resources of government were used for political purposes against a presidential candidate. Now that the candidate is in office, the ‘deep state’ continues to oppose him. During the next year and a half, we are going to be subject to endless investigations of everything Donald Trump has ever done combined with a media that wants to recapture the power they had during Watergate (the ability to drive a President from office). So what are we to do about it?

American history tells us that during the American Revolution, it is estimated that only 3% of the colonists were actively fighting in the field against British forces at any given time. These 3% were people who saw what was going on and chose to be involved. We need that 3% now. We need people who are willing to look past the lies being told in the mainstream media and do their own research. We need people who don’t believe the constant drumbeat of the major media that says “Orange man bad” and are willing to look at what the Trump administration has accomplished.

Next November there will be an election. President Trump will run again. A lot can happen between now and then, but even a casual glance shows that currently almost all of the Democrat candidates have wandered away from the mainstream of America. It’s up to voters to do their homework, decide what they want for America, and vote. The plans of the Democrat candidates will negatively impact our freedom and our economy. All of us who care about our country should fight those plans with everything we have. Study voting records of those in office, and study campaign contributions (opensecrets.org lists campaign contributions of all candidates).

Get involved. You future, your children’s future, and your grandchildren’s future depend on it.

 

The Supreme Court Will Hear The Case Regarding The Citizenship Question On The Census

Yesterday Breitbart reported that the Supreme Court will hear the case regarding putting a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

The article details some of the history of the question:

The Enumeration Clause in Article I of the Constitution requires a nationwide census be taken every ten years. The Census Act empowers the head of the Commerce Department to determine what the census will ask, aside from the number of persons residing at every address in the nation. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross decided for the Trump administration that the census will ask each person in the nation next year if that person is a citizen of the United States.

That was a recurring question on census forms until recently. The first census to ask about citizenship was the one conducted in 1820, and the last was 1950. After 1950, the Census Bureau – which is part of the Commerce Department – has continued to ask that question on the “long form” census form that goes to some census-takers, as well as on its yearly questionnaire that goes to a small number of households each year, called the American Community Survey (ACS).

…However, when Ross put that question on the 2020 census, leftwing partisans sued, claiming that inserting this question violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). More surprising to many, Judge Jesse Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed, writing a 277-page decision (which is shockingly long) holding that it is illegal to ask about citizenship.

The article explains that the case revolves around the APA:

There are three issues in the case. The first is whether it violates the APA for the census to ask about citizenship. The second is whether courts can look beyond the administrative record to probe the thinking of top-ranking government officials in an APA case. The justices inserted a third issue of their own, asking whether asking that if the APA allows the question, would that question nonetheless violate the Enumeration Clause.

In other words, the case is about whether asking about citizenship violates either federal law or the Constitution, and also whether it is out of bounds to chase down a member of the president’s Cabinet in such lawsuits.

This case has very significant implications. Legislative districting lines for Congress and statehouses are based on census data. Dozens of congressional seats and perhaps hundreds of state seats could shift if states drew lines based on citizenship, instead of total numbers of persons. Some even argue that congressional seats, and with them Electoral College votes for president, could be reallocated among the states based on citizenship data. At minimum, billions of dollars in federal spending is based on census numbers.

The states that will probably lose representatives and electoral college votes if the citizenship questions is on the census are California, New York, Arizona, and possibly New Mexico.

The question to me is whether or not people who are in America but not citizens should have a voice in our government. Would you allow a guest in your house to determine your household budget?

How Your Tax Money Is Spent

The Daily Signal posted the following today:

Obviously we have some work to do. The question that comes to mind is why do we always hear that Social Security is running out of money but we never hear that the Welfare State is running out of money. I think it is truly time to examine the bureaucracy that support each. I suspect we could save some serious money there without hurting the people who truly need government assistance.

Is Equal Justice Under The Law Possible?

The Daily Caller is reporting that Attorney General William Barr stated today that an inspector general’s investigation into whether the FBI abused the surveillance court process during the Russia probe will be completed by May or June.

The article states:

Barr also told lawmakers during a House Appropriations Committee hearing that he is reviewing how the FBI handled the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign that began in summer 2016.

…The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Trump campaign advisers on July 31, 2016, purportedly based on information from the Australian government about Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos.

Alexander Downer, who then served as Australia’s top diplomat to the United Kingdom, claimed that Papadopoulos mentioned to him during a meeting in London on May 10, 2016 that Russia might release information on Hillary Clinton later in the campaign.

While the FBI has claimed its investigation did not begin until receiving the tip from Australia in late July 2016, a longtime FBI and CIA informant, Stefan Halper, made contact with Page in England earlier that month.

The entire Russian collusion investigation was a scam set up by the deep state during the Obama administration. The question is whether or not President Obama was in on the scheme.

The article notes that the entire basis for the FISA warrants was the rather questionable Steele Dossier, which was simply a piece of political opposition research:

The FBI relied heavily on the Democrat-funded Steele dossier to obtain four FISA warrants against Page. The dossier, authored by a former British spy, alleged that Page acted as a liaison between the Trump campaign and Kremlin during the 2016 campaign. Republicans have argued that the FBI should not have relied on the dossier since its allegations were unverified and because the document was opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

If this investigation is not handled properly, we can expect political parties in power to use the force of the government against their political opponents in the future. Richard Nixon was impeached for far less. I hope Attorney General Barr has the courage to see this investigation to the end.

The Deep State Continues To Fight

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday with the following headline, “Judicial Watch Forced to Delay Clinton Email Deposition After DOJ and State Dept Defy Court-Ordered Deadline.”

Judicial Watch is a nonpartisan group that was founded in 1994. They have held both Republican and Democrat politicians accountable through the Freedom of Information Act, which was passed in 1966 and went into effect in 1967.

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch was scheduled to take the deposition of John Hackett, a State Department records official “immediately responsible for responding to requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act” on Friday, April 5th.

The government watchdog group was forced to delay its Clinton email deposition because the Deep State DOJ and Department of State failed to comply with a deadline.

“Turns out we had to delay today’s Clinton email deposition because the State and Justice Departments failed to comply with the court-ordered deadline for needed documents,” JW president Tom Fitton said in a tweet Friday evening.

The article concludes:

If not for Judicial Watch, Americans wouldn’t even know about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server which she set up to avoid FOIA oversight of her Clinton Foundation pay-to-play while she was the head of the Department of State.

Judicial Watch blew the story wide open and their FOIA lawsuits also revealed Hillary Clinton was sending classified information over her private server.

A name of a clandestine CIA agent was even found in a tranche of emails uncovered by Judicial Watch — classified Hillary emails were found on pervert Anthony Weiner’s laptop after his wife, Huma Abedin, who happened to be Clinton’s aide, appeared to sync Hillary’s emails to her computers at home.

This is the second time in recent days the DOJ and State Department tried to derail Judicial Watch’s scheduled deposition of Obama-era-Clinton aides.

A couple weeks ago, Obama’s speech writer-turned-Iran-echo-chamber Ben Rhodes defied a court order to provide written answers, under oath to Judicial Watch and the State Department and Justice Department objected to Judicial Watch who sought an in-person interview with Mr. Rhodes.

The deep state is alive and well and continuing its attempt to preserve its power until President Trump is out of office.

Following The Money On Renewable Energy

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article yesterday about the cost of the a green energy proposal in Minnesota. The article illustrates what will happen if this sort of program is attempted on a national scale.

The article reports:

Today Center of the American Experiment released a groundbreaking paper that addresses a relatively mild “green” proposal: legislation that would raise the renewable energy standard in Minnesota from 25% to 50%. Two of my staffers have been working on the paper for months, drawing on publicly available (but rarely consulted) sources to understand what would be necessary to achieve that 50% goal, what it would cost, how it would impact the state’s economy, and what effect it would have on global temperatures.

The paper is titled “Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion.” With appendices, it runs to 75 pages. I am not aware of a similarly comprehensive analysis that has been done of any “green” proposal at either the state or the federal level. The paper is fully transparent: all assumptions, data and calculations are clearly set forth. The appendices are largely spread sheets. If anyone disagrees with the report’s conclusions, it should be easy to identify where and why those disagreements arise. You can read the paper here.

The article cites a few highlights from the report:

* Building and maintaining “green” wind and solar facilities, along with transmission lines and necessary natural gas complementary plants (to provide electricity when the wind isn’t blowing, i.e. 60% of the time), would cost $80.2 billion through 2050. For a state like Minnesota, that number is out of the question.

* Every household in Minnesota would pay an average of $1,200 per year, in 2016 dollars, through higher electricity rates and otherwise.

* Electricity prices would rise by 40.2%.

* Electricity-intensive industries like mining, agriculture, manufacturing and health care would be hurt the most. Once again, urban greenies are hammering rural, and physically productive, America. [That last is my commentary, not found in the executive summary.]

* Higher electricity prices are a dead loss that will reduce spending in other areas as household budgets are squeezed. Therefore, according to economist John Phelan, using the generally accepted IMPLAN software, achieving the 50% renewable goal would cost Minnesota 21,000 permanent jobs, and reduce the state’s GDP by $3.1 billion annually. It is one small step on the road to Venezuela.

This really does not sound like a good idea. The push for green energy has always been about government power–whether at the state or federal level. It is interesting that the political left has chosen to attack fossil fuels just at the time when America has achieved energy independence because of fossil fuels and fossil fuels are driving our economic success. Economic success is the enemy of those who espouse socialism–if people are become prosperous, why would they want something different?

The Game Being Played

Yesterday I posted an article about the release of Bruce Ohr’s testimony by House Judiciary Committee Georgia Representative Doug Collins. There were some obvious differences between Bruce Ohr’s testimony and other testimonies. At some point that will have to be sorted out, but there is another interesting aspect to the story.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the release of the transcript.

The article notes:

NBC News penned an article about the unorthodox release of DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s transcript.  Within the article NBC notes current DOJ officials responded to the congressional request for release by sending them an approved “redacted version”:

…Having read the Ohr transcript (also provided below), there didn’t appear to be any national security interests, sources or methods, beyond investigative embarrassment for DOJ and FBI, simply because of the sham of it all.

What parts did the current DOJ redact, and what would have been their justification? What did the current DOJ attempt to hide? …Maybe Representative Doug Collins could provide the redacted version, so we can find out.  Curiouser, and curiouser…

Can we all agree that redactions supposedly in the name of national security have become redactions in the name of keeping the misconduct of the government under President Obama out of the public eye?

What Happened To Ethics In Science?

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about research going on at the University of California at San Francisco. This research is so horrific I can’t even believe it is being done in America, much less being partially financed by the government.

The article reports:

The Department of Health and Human Services says it has granted a second 90-day extension to a contract it has with the University of California at San Francisco that requires UCSF to make “humanized mice.”

These creatures are made by implanting mice with human tissues taken from late-term aborted babies.

The HHS’s multi-million-dollar contract with UCSF that requires the construction of these “humanized mice” creates a demand–driven by federal tax dollars–for tissue taken from late-term aborted babies. According to an estimate it has published on its website, the National Institutes of Health (which is a division of HHS) will spend $95 million this fiscal year alone on research that–like UCSF’s “humanized mouse” contract–uses human fetal tissue.

Under the new 90-day extension, the contract—which the government calls “Humanized Mouse Models for HIV Therapeutics Development”–will run through June 5.

HHS also is still in the process of conducting the “comprehensive review” it announced last September “of all research involving fetal tissue.”

It’s bad enough that we are killing the unborn. Now we are using them for scientific experiments. That is beyond repulsive.

Most People Got Bigger Tax Refunds This Year Than Last Year

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about this year’s tax refunds. The article was in response to a Washington Post article claiming that people were getting lower tax refunds this year than last year.

The article at Hot Air pointed out a number of things that might result in getting a smaller tax refund:

But since we have to play this game, let’s figure out why your refund is smaller. Did you get a raise or a significant bonus last year? Did you perhaps start a new job that pays more? Were there any other major changes in your financial situation? Tax filing company Intuit has a list of possible explanations you could look for. They include things such as your filing status changing, the selling of assets or the possibility that you were hit with a penalty.

There will be a small number of people who lost out on part of their SALT (state and local tax) deductions, but that should really only have a significant impact on people in high-tax states like New York who are earning well into six figures. As for everyone else, if your income went up, did you adjust your withholdings accordingly? If not, perhaps you need to have a chat with an accountant.

The article also reminds us that a tax refund is a refund of the money that you gave to the government during the year. You allowed them to have that money interest free until you filed your tax return and they were obligated to give the money back to you. Ideally, your tax refund should be small–that means that you correctly calculated the amount of money you actually owed the government. The question is not how big your tax refund is–the question is how much money you actually paid in taxes. The size of your tax refund is simply a reflection of how much money the government took from you during the year.

Our Future?

I think most Americans realize that Big Brother is getting to be a bit intrusive. Our computer searches are mined for advertising information, Alexa listens to our conversations, our government has been known to listen to our telephone conversations. This is not headed in a good direction. However, it gets even worse when you consider the fact that the next step will be modifying our behavior to fit some ideal created by someone who believes he has the right to control everyone. Not a pleasant thought. Think it’s too farfetched? An article posted at Wired on January 23 might change your mind.

The article begins:

A friend of mine, who runs a large television production company in the car-mad city of Los Angeles, recently noticed that his intern, an aspiring filmmaker from the People’s Republic of China, was walking to work.

When he offered to arrange a swifter mode of transportation, she declined. When he asked why, she explained that she “needed the steps” on her Fitbit to sign in to her social media accounts. If she fell below the right number of steps, it would lower her health and fitness rating, which is part of her social rating, which is monitored by the government. A low social rating could prevent her from working or traveling abroad.

China’s social rating system, which was announced by the ruling Communist Party in 2014, will soon be a fact of life for many more Chinese.

By 2020, if the Party’s plan holds, every footstep, keystroke, like, dislike, social media contact, and posting tracked by the state will affect one’s social rating.

Personal “creditworthiness” or “trustworthiness” points will be used to reward and punish individuals and companies by granting or denying them access to public services like health care, travel, and employment, according to a plan released last year by the municipal government of Beijing. High-scoring individuals will find themselves in a “green channel,” where they can more easily access social opportunities, while those who take actions that are disapproved of by the state will be “unable to move a step.”

We do an awful lot of business with China. When trade was opened with China, the idea was that our form of government and freedom would influence their government in the direction of freedom. Somehow, based on this story, I don’t think that is what has happened.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There is no way I can summarize all of it, but I would like to share a few more points.

The article continues:

Perhaps we are reading the wrong books. Instead of going back to Orwell for a sense of what a coming dystopia might look like, we might be better off reading We, which was written nearly a century ago by the Russian novelist Yevgeny Zamyatin. We is the diary of state mathematician D-503, whose experience of the highly disruptive emotion of love for I-330, a woman whose combination of black eyes, white skin, and black hair strike him as beautiful. This perception, which is also a feeling, draws him into a conspiracy against the centralized surveillance state.

The Only State, where We takes places, is ruled by a highly advanced mathematics of happiness, administered by a combination of programmers and machines.

The article concludes:

Beauty is the ultimate example of human un-freedom and un-reason, being a subjectivity that is rooted in our biology, yet at the same time rooted in external absolutes like mathematical ratios and the movement of time. As the critic Giovanni Basile writes in an extraordinarily perceptive critical essay, “The Algebra of Happiness,” the utopia implied by Zamyatin’s dystopia is “a world in which happiness is intertwined with a natural un-freedom that nobody imposes on anyone else: a different freedom from the one with which the Great Inquisitor protects mankind: a paradoxical freedom in which there is no ‘power’ if not in the nature of things, in music, in dance and in the harmony of mathematics.”

Against a centralized surveillance state that imposes a motionless and false order and an illusory happiness in the name of a utilitarian calculus of “justice,” Basile concludes, Zamyatin envisages a different utopia: “In fact, only within the ‘here and now’ of beauty may the equation of happiness be considered fully verified.” Human beings will never stop seeking beauty, Zamyatin insists, because they are human. They will reject and destroy any attempt to reorder their desires according to the logic of machines.

A national or global surveillance network that uses beneficent algorithms to reshape human thoughts and actions in ways that elites believe to be just or beneficial to all mankind is hardly the road to a new Eden. It’s the road to a prison camp. The question now—as in previous such moments—is how long it will take before we admit that the riddle of human existence is not the answer to an equation. It is something that we must each make for ourselves, continually, out of our own materials, in moments whose permanence is only a dream.

This is scary–not scary enough to get me to get rid of Alexa–but scary.

Thoughts For The New Year

The following is from In God We Still Trust by Dr. Richard G. Lee:

“Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” from President George Washington’s Farewell Address 1796

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams, U.S. President 1797-1801

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” James Madison, U. S. President 1809-1817

Dr. Lee also points out how a change in definition of a word reflects a concerning change in our society:

Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828, defines patriotism as follows:

n. Love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institution in vigor and purity. Patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, copyright @ 2004 defines patriotism as follows:

n. Love for or devotion to one’s country.

Noah Webster’s definition includes service; Merriam-Webster’s definition is simply an emotion. Noah Webster’s definition includes action, not just acceptance of an idea.

It is time to return to Noah Webster’s definition of patriotism.

Legislating Against The Middle Class

Everyone loves vacations–the adventure of spending a few days in a different place and relaxing. However, vacations are not cheap. Travel can be expensive, and hotels are expensive. Several alternatives to hotels have appeared in recent years to make vacations more affordable and to give Americans a way to supplement their income–companies like Airbnb provide cheaper lodging at popular destinations and allow people to earn extra income by renting out their houses on a short-term basis. Needless to say, hotels are not happy about the existence of a cheaper alternative. In Massachusetts, the hotel lobby has been successful in creating regulations that will greatly limit the availability of Airbnb lodging.

On December 30, Hot Air posted an article about a law recently passed in Massachusetts that will probably end Airbnb in that state.

The article reports:

Baker (Governor Charlie Baker) is touting this as a compromise which he claims is able to, “avoid placing undue burdens on occasional renters.” This is nonsense, of course, because in order to qualify for the exemptions to most (though not all) of these new burdens on hosts, you can only rent out your room for a maximum of fourteen nights per year. For most hosts, that’s not going to be worth the bother of signing up for the app in the first place.

The article lists the new requirements for people who want to rent their property on a short-term basis:

And what are these burdens? First of all, anyone with a spare room will now have to carry the same type of insurance as a hotel chain, basically wiping out any profit they might make. On top of that, they’ll be paying a 5.7 percent state tax, plus another 6% tax if municipal or county governments decide to impose one.

Further, hosts will be legally required to list themselves on a publicly available registry. Proponents claim this allows neighbors to know who is renting out rooms to “strangers” but it’s obviously intended as an intimidation tactic, opening up hosts to public shaming, abuse or worse.

The bottom line here is that the hotel industry and their lobbyists have won a massive victory. They don’t like private citizens cutting into their business so they’ve greased the palms of enough politicians to essentially shut Airbnb down in the state. As the New York Times reported more than a year ago, leaked documents from the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) revealed, “a multipronged, national campaign approach at the local, state and federal level.” The goal of that campaign was to enlist elected Democrats to pass laws which would choke the life out of Airbnb and protect their profits. They specifically mentioned Boston as one of their key target markets, and now they have succeeded in bribing the state government to shut Airbnb down.

The article concludes:

It’s true that some people have begun “abusing” the system by purchasing large amounts of property and renting it out like a hotel using the app service. Perhaps a law like this might have been more palatable if it were applied only to people with more than ten rental units or something along those lines. But for all the private individuals with an extra room or a guest house who were using the system as originally intended and making a little extra money, this basically shuts them out of the game.

Airbnb already has one lawsuit in progress against Boston for similar municipal laws they passed earlier. Now they’re saying a new suit against the state may be coming. But if they find no satisfaction through the courts we’re probably seeing the beginning of the death of the gig economy along with the chance for private citizens to profit from their own homes or apartments.

I hope Airbnb wins their lawsuit. They are essentially the Uber of the hotel industry and are going to have to fight many of the battles against lobbyists that Uber had to fight.

We Need A Wall

The following was posted at CBN recently:

As President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats remain at an apparent impasse over the border wall, the commander in chief is drawing criticism for shutting down the government. Others, however, insist the wall is necessary, saying the president must stand up for national security.

CBN News‘ Charlene Aaron spoke with Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney about why he believes it’s so important for the president to win this particular battle over immigration.

I realize that a five minute video is a lot to post on a blog, but it is worth listening to. Frank Gaffney has been involved in national security for a long time and knows what he is talking about.