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.