The Federal Election Commission (FEC) Fails To Rule

Yesterday The Independent Journal Review posted an article about vacancies on the Federal Election Commission and the consequences of those vacancies.

The article reports:

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is facing a lawsuit for its inaction on a complaint filed against Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The right-leaning Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a lawsuit — obtained exclusively by IJR — on Wednesday morning in the hopes of getting a ruling that would force the FEC to address the complaint it filed on August 1, 2018.

Its original complaint with the FEC requested an investigation into Hillary for America — the official name of Clinton’s campaign — and the DNC for their role in obtaining and financing the anti-Donald Trump dossier penned by former British spy Christopher Steele.

By law, if the FEC does not rule on a filed complaint within 120 days, the party that filed the complaint has the authority to sue the commission. Almost 300 days have passed since the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed that original complaint, and nothing has happened.

The exact incident that caused the Foundation to sue is explained in the article:

The original FEC complaint alleged that Hillary for America and the DNC breached campaign finance law by issuing a false report with the intention of misleading the American people. The complaint notes that campaign expenditure forms show that the DNC and Hillary for American paid their mutual legal advisers at Perkins Coie, LLP for “legal services,” but the law firm turned around and paid Fusion GPS for the Steele dossier.

The Coolidge Reagan Foundation argues that Hillary for America and the DNC used Perkins Coie, LLP as a “strawman” organization to distance themselves from Fusion GPS and Steele and submitted a false FEC complaint in the process:

The FEC is composed of six members. Right now there are two vacant seats on the Commission. The seats on the Commission are supposed to be filled two at a time–one by the President and one by the highest ranking Senator from the opposite party. As of now, Senator Schumer has not submitted a name, so the President cannot proceed with a nominee. Since FEC rules require four votes in order to begin an investigation, unless there is a unanimous vote by the four current commissioners, nothing will happen.

The article further notes:

As IJR previously reported, the Coolidge Reagan Foundation also filed an FEC complaint against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, for their sketchy campaign funding operation and for failing to disclose payments to congresswoman’s boyfriend.

According to Backer, neither of those complaints have received a ruling from the FEC.

It’s a fairly safe bet that if an FEC complaint were filed against a Republican, Senator Schumer would very quickly come up with a name so that the investigation could move forward!

This Doesn’t Sound Like The Sort Of State We Should Promote

The Independent Journal Review is reporting today that the Palestinian Authority has handed over to U.S. authorities an American-Palestinian it had sentenced to life imprisonment for violating a ban on selling land to Israelis.

The article reports:

“Issam Akel holds an American passport and he was handed over to the U.S. authorities upon their request,” one senior security official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

A second official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed Akel’s release.

Both declined to give any more details. Akel’s family was not available for comment. U.S. officials did not comment when asked about Akel’s release.

Akel was convicted by a West Bank court in December of attempting to sell a property in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem without the permission of his business partners or the Palestinian authorities.

Akel’s family has denied the allegations against him.

The U.S. ambassador to Israel called in November for Akel to be released, after he was first detained.

The Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is a rival to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, said releasing Akel was a “grave crime”.

The so-called West Bank is a terrorist state. East Jerusalem is not ‘Israeli-occupied’–it is part of the country of Israel. Arabs who live in Israel have full rights. There are no Jews allowed to live in the territories controlled by either the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. That tells you all you need to know about the prospects for a two-state solution.

Some Economic Numbers

The Independent Journal Review is reporting today that initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000 for the week ended Dec. 22. The article states that initial claims have now fallen in three of the last four weeks and are just above the 49-year low of 202,000 reached in the week ended Sept. 15.

The article reports:

After several years of near-steady falls, claims trended higher between mid-September and mid-December, prompting concern the U.S. economy was losing a step.

It remains unclear how much of that increase was related to the difficulty government statisticians have in adjusting the claims data for seasonal swings. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims increasing to 217,000 in the latest week.

The latest claims data “signals improvement in the labor market relative to a few weeks ago, but softening in conditions relative to a few months ago,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 4,750 to 218,000 last week.

The workforce participation rate is steady at slightly less than 63 percent in recent years. It will be interesting to see if it begins to climb in the coming months.

This Is A Scary Statement

On Wednesday, The Independent Journal Review posted an article that included a very interesting quote.

The article reports:

Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) claims that having strong emotional reactions could be grounds to disqualify Judge Brett Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Booker said that Kavanaugh should not be confirmed, regardless of the conclusion of the FBI investigation.

“Ultimately — not whether he’s innocent or guilty, this is not a trial … have enough questions been raised that we should not move on to another candidate?” said Booker.

The senator questioned if the uncorroborated accusations against Kavanaugh were enough to deny him a seat on the Supreme Court. He also brought up Kavanaugh’s emotional testimony and labeled it as shocking.

“Is this the right person to sit on the highest court in the land for a lifetime appointment — when their credibility has been challenged by intimates, people that knew the candidate well as a classmate, when his temperament has been revealed in an emotional moment where he used language that, frankly, shocked a lot of us?” asked Booker.

So let me get this right. A man accused of a vicious crime with no supporting evidence reacts to the charges. Therefore he is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court. Imagine if this set a precedent for future Supreme Court hearings. Find someone the person knew in high school and make up a great story. Professor Ford may have been telling the truth as she believed it, but it is telling that there were a few obvious lies in her testimony–she is obviously not afraid of flying, the front door was to run a business out of her house, and she had previously coached a friend for a lie detector test. Interestingly enough, that friend is a former FBI agent who was present at the hearing, sitting behind her. It is also interesting that all the people that she claimed as witnesses denied the story.

This whole charade was a little too much like the Salem Witch Trials to belong in today’s America. Hopefully there will be enough of a backlash so that the Democrats do not do this to the next Supreme Court nominee.

How Would This Be Handled In The Business World?

During my working years I was hardly at the executive level–although at various times I was involved in hiring decisions, I was rarely involved in firing decisions. However, I did see a number of those decisions going on around me. Insubordination or working against the basic aims of the company were often the reasons given for someone being fired. With that in mind, I wonder what the appropriate response is to the actions of Rod Rosenstein as reported by The New York Times today.

The Independent Journal Review posted an article today about a recent disclosure by The New York Times.

The article reports:

The U.S. official who oversees the federal investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election last year suggested secretly recording President Donald Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke a constitutional amendment to remove him from the White House, the New York Times reported on Friday.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the suggestions in the spring of 2017 after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the newspaper said.

…Rosenstein told McCabe, who was also later fired by Trump, that he might be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John Kelly, the former homeland security secretary and current White House chief of staff, to invoke the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which deals with presidential succession and disability.

The Times said none of those proposals came to fruition.

Rosenstein assumed oversight of the investigation into Russian interference and possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Moscow because Sessions in March 2017 recused himself from the matter, citing his service on the campaign. In May 2017, Rosenstein appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead the investigation.

How long would this person have a job in your corporation? I strongly suggest following the link to The Independent Journal Review to read the entire article. President Trump needs people in his administration who will work with him–not against him. It is truly time to clean house.