This Is Governing?

Yesterday Sara Carter posted an article on some recent actions taken by Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Elijah Cummings and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters.

The article reports:

Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Elijah Cummings and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters executed a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “target” President Trump and subpoena all his financial and banking records, according to a letter sent to Cummings from ranking committee member Rep. Jim Jordan.

Further, Jordan’s letter indicates that other MOUs have apparently been signed and agreed to with House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Ca, who has promised to continue investigations into the president despite findings by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office that there was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Mueller’s 400 page report several weeks ago and the redacted version of the report is expected to be released by the DOJ this Thursday.

I can’t believe that the American public will tolerate the use of Congressional Committees to target one American. This is the sort of thing you see done in Communist countries.

Representative Jordan has asked that Representative Cummings answer several specific questions about the MOUs.

These are the questions:

  1. How many MOUs with committee chairpersons have you signed as Chairman since the beginning of the 116th Congress?
  2. Would you provide the Committee with a detailed list of the other MOUs you have signed, including their dates, signatories, and topics?
  3. Why did you not publicly disclose that you had signed MOUs with committee chairpersons?
  4. Will you publicly disclose all the MOUs you have signed as Chairman since the beginning of the 116th Congress?
  5. Why did you choose not to consult with any Republican Members before signing these MOUs?
  6. Have you signed any MOUs as Chairman with any entities outside of the House Representatives relating to the Committee’s oversight or legislative work?
  7. To the extent your MOUs create duties for the Committee that conflict with the Rules of the House of Representatives or the Rules of the Committee, which duties prevail?
  8. The Rules of the Committee for the 116th Congress do not authorize the Chairman to bind the Committee through an MOU.[2]Could you explain the specific authority that allows you to bind the Committee through an MOU without first obtaining approval through a vote of the Committee?
  9. As I understand your MOU with Chairwoman Waters, you have committed to sharing Committee information with the Financial Services Committee. This provision of your MOU may conflict with Rules of the House of Representatives and the Committee’s whistleblower protocol, which requires the Committee to keep some Committee information confidential. Will you still protect the confidentiality of whistleblower information notwithstanding your apparent obligation to share it with the Financial Services Committee?
  10. As I understand your MOU with Chairwoman Waters, you have agreed to consult with her before issuing a subpoena. Do you intend to consult with Chairwoman Waters before or after you consult with me, as required by Committee Rules? If I object to your proposed subpoena, do you intend to consult with Chairwoman Waters before or after the Committee votes, as you promised in the Committee’s organizing meeting?
  11. As I understand your MOU with Chairwoman Waters, you have declined to include any provision protecting the Minority’s rights to documentary or testimonial information. Can you guarantee that Minority Members will have the same access to documentary or testimonial information under this MOU as we do in every other Committee inquiry?

At least some Republicans have learned to push back against the never-ending attempts to undo the results of the 2016 election. The Democrats would do better to focus on developing policies that will win the 2020 election rather than trying to undo 2016.

 

When Congress Becomes A Joke

PJ Media posted an article today about some recent statements by Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

The article reports:

Waters is the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee — the committee that regulates the banks.

During a hearing examining the practices of some of the nation’s biggest banks, Waters complained to a panel of seven bank CEOs that there are more than 44 million Americans that owe … $1.56 trillion in student loan debt.”

She added, “Last year, one million student loan borrowers defaulted, which is on top of the one million borrowers who defaulted the year before.”

She then demanded to know what they intended to do about this massive problem. “What are you guys doing to help us with this student loan debt?” she asked. “Who would like to answer first? Mr. Monahan, big bank.”

I guess she wasn’t paying attention when the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA) which put the government in charge of all student loans. The band CEO’s she was questioning both stated that they had stopped making student loans long before 2010.

The article also states:

Waters then quickly changed the subject to small businesses.

The Obama administration put the federal government in charge of student lending in 2010, with the intention of saving taxpayer dollars by “cutting out the middleman,” as President Barack Obama put it.

According to the Washington Times, “student loan debt exploded from $154.9 billion in 2009 to $1.1 trillion at the end of 2017”  with current student debt “estimated at more than $1.5 trillion.”

Earlier in the hearing, Waters grilled the bank execs about their interactions with Russia.

This woman serves in Congress. She continues to be re-elected. That is beyond sad.

There Are Unbalanced People On All Sides Of The Political Spectrum

In June of 2017, Steve Scalise was shot on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, by a Bernie Sanders supporter.

In June 2018, Maxine Waters said the following:

“If you think we’re rallying now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. You have members of your cabinet being booed out of restaurants. You have protesters taking up at their house. We say no peace, no sleep. No peace, so sleep. And guess what? We’re going to win this battle, because while you try to quote the Bible, Jeff Sessions and others, you really don’t know the Bible. God is on our side. On the side of the children. On the side of what’s right. On the side of what’s honorable. On the side of understanding that if we can’t protect the children, we can’t protect anybody, and so let’s stay the course. Let’s make sure that we show up where ever we have to show up. If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

How many Republican officials and lawmakers have been forced out of restaurants by angry mobs in recent months? The political rhetoric has reached a dangerous level in recent months. I do not think all of the blame for this falls on President Trump–I watched a few minutes of CNN yesterday and was truly surprised at the incendiary language used to malign the current President.

Today we have a suspect in the recent bombings. CNBC is reporting that the suspect has been in trouble with the law before.

The article reports:

Public records reveal that in 2002, Sayoc was arrested in Florida for allegedly making a threat to throw, place, project or discharge a destructive device, according to public records.

Sayoc, who is originally from New York, also had previously been arrested in Florida on multiple charges of theft and possession of steroids. He was convicted of grand theft in 1991 in Florida and placed on probation.

In 1994, a woman who had the same name as Sayoc’s grandmother accused him of domestic violence in the civil division of domestic violence court in Broward County, Florida. If it was Sayoc’s grandmother, she would have been about 80 years old at the time.

Sayoc filed for bankruptcy in 2012, public records show.

The mainstream media is making a big deal of the fact that the man is a registered Republican and has Trump stickers all over his van. I would just like to mention that one of the nicest people I know is a registered Republican and has Trump stickers all over his truck. The linking of this to President Trump is disingenuous at best and incendiary at worst.

Let’s tone down the rhetoric and try to work together to make America a better, safer place.

This Is Not How You Promote Racial Harmony

The following video was posted at YouTube:

Reparations will not bring racial harmony to America. The people asking for reparations were never slaves and the people asked to pay them were never slave owners. Many of the people asking for reparations do not even have ancestors that were in America during slavery. Currently the government of South Africa is taking land from white farmers and giving it to black farmers. That is a form of reparations, and I can guarantee that program will not bring peace either.

Slavery was wrong. Some of the indenture-ship agreements made with early Irish and other nationalities were also wrong. However, we can’t change the past. Taking money from one group of people for no reason and giving it to another group of people for no reason is not going to solve any problems. It simply convinces the group receiving the money that they are entitled to something they didn’t earn.

If you really want to see things change, bring fathers back into the homes in the black community. There are more black children living without fathers in the home than with fathers in the home. Instead of reparations, let’s talk about better schools. Let’s talk about changing the culture in the black community so that an education is something to be desired. While we are at it, let’s improve the culture in the Hispanic community and in the poor white communities. Education is the key–not necessarily college–trade school works just as well. I never went to college–I just wasn’t interested, so I spent two years in a liberal arts trade school program instead. It served me well.

Instead of worrying about reparations, let’s get all Americans working, earning a good living, and taking pride in what they are doing. That is a much more certain road to racial harmony than reparations.

 

Congress Needs A Babysitter

No wonder the federal deficit is out of control. Yesterday Judicial Watch sent out the following Press Release:

Obamacare Recruiters Get $1.2 Billion Under Proposed Law

A fraud-infested Obamacare “outreach” program will get an astounding $1.2 billion from American taxpayers if legislation introduced by a veteran congresswoman becomes law. The preposterous measure, introduced by California Democrat Maxine Waters a few week ago, aims to recruit customers for the health insurance exchanges set up under Obama’s disastrous healthcare overhaul. The 14-term congresswoman, investigated by the House Ethics Committee for steering federal funds to her husband’s failing Massachusetts bank, crafted the law because the Trump administration slashed Obamacare outreach funding by more than 90%.

“Our health care system is under attack by a president, administration, and Republican-controlled Congress that – after numerous failed attempts to repeal Obamacare – are sabotaging it for political gain,” Waters said in a statement. “My legislation seeks to reverse their vindictive efforts to undermine and de-stabilize our health care system by ensuring that all consumers are provided with the information they need to make timely and well-informed decisions when purchasing health coverage through the federal and state-run marketplaces.” The bill, Affordable Care Act (ACA) Outreach for the Uninsured, Transformative Recruitment, and Enrollment Action for Compassionate Healthcare (ACA OUTREACH) Act, is cosponsored by 36 other lawmakers. If it passes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would dole out $300 million annually through 2021 for “navigator” grants. Minority and underserved communities would be especially targeted, according to language in the bill’s text.

The Obamacare navigator program was rife with fraud and corruption and Judicial Watch sued HHS back in 2014 to obtain records that the agency refused to provide under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In 2013, the Obama administration gave dozens of leftists organizations a whopping $67 million to help people “navigate” health insurance exchanges that weren’t even fully established. In a “culturally competent manner” the so-called navigators were tasked with helping people shop for and enroll in plans that would eventually be available on the federal government market places. The money was divided between 105 mostly leftist groups that assisted and recruited the uninsured to sign up for coverage and understand their options.

Here are a few examples of the community organizations that received navigator grants from the government; an Arizona nonprofit called “Campesinos Sin Fronteras” that provides services to farm workers and low-income Hispanics; a south Florida legal group that provided navigators in “racially, ethnically, linguistically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse” communities; three Planned Parenthood branches—in Iowa, Montana and New Hampshire—got a combined $655,000 to serve as navigators. Others include; the Arab Community Center in Michigan, which got nearly $300,000 to reach out to and engage uninsured community members through “multicultural” media. A Black Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina received north of $230,000 to “provide outreach around new coverage options” and a Hispanic aging group in Texas got over $646,000 help members that are “socially isolated due to cultural and linguistic differences.”

Some of the navigator money went to a labor front group called Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York headed by an illegal immigrant activist named Maria Marroquin. The group received navigator funds shortly after Marroquin, an illegal alien from Peru, had been arrested for participating in disruptive demonstrations protesting the deportation of fellow undocumented immigrants and demanding amnesty.

Besides the outrage of hiring an illegal immigrant to promote a U.S. government program, it’s equally disturbing to know that navigators have access to the sensitive personal information of healthcare enrollees. This includes Social Security numbers, which can be used for identity theft, a rampant crime among illegal alien populations seeking to establish residency and land jobs in the U.S.

Navigator funds also went to a nonprofit (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with such a huge history of corruption that Congress issued a federal funding ban. As part of a broader investigation into ACORN Judicial Watch obtained records showing that HHS violated the congressional ACORN funding ban by awarding a Louisiana nonprofit called Southern United Neighborhoods (SUN) a $1.3 million Obamacare navigator grant to recruit customers. Headquartered in New Orleans, SUN is dedicated to combating poverty, discrimination and community deterioration that keep low-income people from taking advantage of their rights and opportunities, according to its website.

This is what Congress is doing with our money.

The Key To Understanding Recent Sexual Scandals And How They Have Been Handled

It seems like almost every public person in American life has now been accused of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior or some other horrible crime. I don’t mean to make light of these accusations, but there is a wide range of things that can be considered inappropriate behavior. Telling someone they look nice can be misconstrued. Also, I am aware of a case where two people who worked for the same company lived together for a number of years and had children together. The relationship ended, and the women sued the man for sexual harassment. That seems like a stretch to me. However, the obvious problem in this discussion is the discrepancy in the way in which these charges are reported and handled.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today that explains it all in one sentence:

Maxine Waters to women: John Conyers ‘has impeccable integrity on our issues’

Note that she did not say that he had impeccable integrity–she said he had impeccable integrity on our issues! That is the key. It doesn’t matter how badly Democratic lawmakers behave on their own time as long as they are consistent on ‘our issues.’ Think Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Chris Dodd, etc. That is the key to understanding how the media is treating the various stories involving sexual scandals of public figures.

The article further quotes Ms. Waters:

“He is quiet, he is confident, he is powerful, but he has impeccable integrity on all of our issues. Give John Conyers a big round of applause.” C-SPAN captured her comments and those of others who spoke at the event.

In her address she rallied women. “We are reclaiming our time,” said the outspoken Trump critic.

“We’re speaking to women who are single mothers, women who work two and three jobs making minimum wage or less, women who have been exploited, harassed, or taken advantage of in their personal and professional lives,” said Waters, adding:

“I just want to take time to focus on something that I think we need to focus on right now. It is very fortuitous that we are gathered here this afternoon in Detroit as we continue to recognize a record number of women who are boldly coming forward to reveal disturbing and grotesque acts of sexual harassment, assault and rape, often times at the hands of men who believed they were too rich and too powerful to ever be confronted or held accountable.”

It must hurt your head to engage in the kind of reasoning it takes to justify the behavior of some of these men.

If You Are Already Feeling Uncomfortable With the National Security Agency Surveillance Program This Article Is Not Going To Help You

In February of this year, Breitbart.com posted the following:

“The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life,” Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday. “That’s going to be very, very powerful,” Waters said. “That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it. And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.”

Have you noticed that the advertisements on the websites you frequent are related to other websites you have recently visited or possibly to organizations you receive e-mail from? The database being compiled by the Democrats will aim their campaign ads at every voter according to websites they visit and organizations they receive e-mail from. If you are a frequent visitor of education websites, the pop-up ad on your computer will tell you that Republicans don’t care about education. If you frequent websites dealing with investments, your pop-up ad will tell you that Republicans are bad for the economy. The only way to protect yourself from this is to do your own research on the issues and to stay informed. A well-informed voter is the best defense against targeted propaganda.

Now, to make things worse, the Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about two instances where non-terrorists who were caught up in NSA surveillance.

In the first instance the NSA routinely listed to the telephone calls of Americans traveling overseas.

The article reports:

Two former intercept officers who worked at the NSA facility in Fort Gordon, Georgia told ABC News’s Brian Ross in 2008 that they and their colleagues listened in on phone calls home of hundreds of Americans living and working abroad.

These were not suspected terrorists–they were Americans traveling or working abroad.

The article further reports:

Navy Arab linguist David Murfee Faulk told ABC News a similar story. He said that he and his colleagues listened in on the calls of American officers living in the Green Zone in Baghdad.

Faulk described the personal nature of many of the calls, and how he and his colleagues would encourage each other to listen into a call where “there’s good phone sex” or “some colonel making pillow talk.”

Kinne said when concerns were raised with her superiors about the nature of the calls they were listening in on, she was told “your job is not to question.”

Obviously that is an example of an abuse of the NSA program. But there is another abuse that hits much closer to home. The article alleges that Eliot Spitzer was brought down through the use of the Patriot Act.

The article quotes a Newsweek article to explain how this happened:

Another element of the formulas: whether an account holder was a “politically exposed person.” At first focused on potentially crooked foreign officials, the PEP lists expanded to include many U.S. politicians and public officials who were conceivably vulnerable to corruption.

The new scrutiny resulted in an explosion of SARs, from 204,915 in 2001 to 1.23 million last year. The data, stored in an IRS computer in Detroit, are accessible by law-enforcement agencies nationwide. “Terrorism has virtually nothing to do with it,” says Peter Djinis, a former top Treasury lawyer. “The vast majority of SARs filed today involve garden-variety forms of white-collar crime.” Federal prosecutors around the country routinely scour the SARs for potential leads.

One of those leads led to Spitzer. Last summer New York’s North Fork Bank, where Spitzer had an account, filed a SAR about unusual money transfers he had made, say law-enforcement and industry sources who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the probe. One of the sources tells NEWSWEEK that Spitzer wasn’t flagged because of his public position. Instead, the governor called attention to himself by asking the bank to transfer money in someone else’s name. (A North Fork spokesperson says the bank does not discuss its customers.) The SAR was not itself evidence that Spitzer had committed a crime. But it made the Feds curious enough to follow the money.

When the Feds followed the money, they discovered that Eliot Spitzer had engaged in activities not befitting his office, and he was removed from power. When the government snooped General Petraeus‘ email, they found an illicit relationship that was probably used by the Obama Administration for political purposes. When the government snooped James Rosen’s email, they found nothing they could use against him.

There are dangers to our freedom in this kind of snooping, but there are also dangers to our political system. Unbridled snooping by the political party in power could have major negative consequences for our republic. It is time to rein in the NSA–they need to be tracking terrorists–not Americans.