The Effort Continues

Just The News posted an article today about Congress’ continued effort to pass legislation that will help Americans cope with the financial fallout from the coronavirus.

The article reports:

The Senate on Monday afternoon resumes efforts to pass a trillion-dollar spending bill to help the country survive the severe economic impact of the coronavirus, following a failed vote Sunday that has put financial markets on edge.

The measure in the GOP-controlled chamber failed to get 60 votes to begin debate.

The failed vote has resulted in Democrats and Republicans blaming each other, with the virus rapidly spreading and threatening to inflict severe damage on the U.S. economy – from large-scale unemployment to a recession to businesses across the country shuttering.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the failed vote pointed his finger at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“The House speaker showed up, and we’re back to square one,” the Kentucky Republican said.

…Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he and fellow Democrats didn’t provide McConnell with enough votes to pass the bill in large part because, he argued, the money to help corporations doesn’t have enough restrictions and because of the lack of money for state and local governments.

The spending measure – now projected at more than $1.5 trillion – failed Sunday on a 47-47 vote. Five GOP senators are in coronavirus quarantine, making passage of the bill even more difficult for McConnell.

At this point, Congress does not represent the American people and is not acting in their behalf. It is time to withhold the salaries of Congress and all Congressional employees until a relief bill for ordinary Americans is passed. If the American people are not being helped in this crisis, Congress should not be paid.

In Case You Were Wondering Where The Holdup Was…

Breitbart posted an article today about Congress’ attempt to deal with the coronavirus epidemic. As usual, Washington is playing politics and not getting things done.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Sunday that she has decided to move forward with her own emergency coronavirus relief package.

Pelosi spokes just hours before the Senate was scheduled to take a procedural vote that would lead towards a final vote on a bipartisan economic relief package. The bill would provide economic relief after the coronavirus epidemic ravaged the country’s economy.

“From my standpoint, we’re apart,” she said.

Subsequently, Senate leaders decided to delay a planned vote to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor on Sunday that he intended for the legislation to be bipartisan and aimed at helping the American people.

“What we have is a compromise product which contains ideas, contributions, and priorities on both sides and which could become law as soon as tomorrow,” he said. “In other words, it’s just about time to take yes for an answer.”

…Pelosi said that Republicans and Democrats are still “talking” but that there is no need to meet McConnell’s Monday deadline for a Senate vote on the coronavirus package.
Senate Republicans and the White House have insisted that they will continue to push for the $1.6 trillion economic relief package, which would include $350 billion in support for small businesses and $250 billion for unemployment insurance. The package would also include direct cash payments to individuals around $1,200 per individual, with additional funds going to families with children.
Politico reported Sunday that “it’s not clear how Pelosi’s plan would work — committee chairs have been frenetically compiling ideas for a legislative package, but are not yet ready for legislative text.”
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said this weekend, “The Democrats are getting some of the things they’ve asked for. They’re getting what they wanted on unemployment insurance.”
It seems as if Washington is functioning as usual. Congress will continue to work and get paid while many Americans lose their source of income because of the coronavirus. They are playing politics rather than doing what they can to help Americans in a crisis.

Things To Keep In Mind

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the impending impeachment trial. The article is a summation of things to keep in mind as the trial progresses. Please follow the link to read the entire article. I will try to hit some of the high points here.

The article reports:

1. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced that the trial itself will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The Clinton impeachment took five weeks, and Johnson’s lasted 11 weeks. The Senate’s impeachment trial rules, adopted in 1986, mandate that the trial should begin at noon and last until the Senate decides to adjourn, Monday through Saturday, “until final judgment shall be rendered.”

2. When the trial begins, the Senate will adopt a resolution establishing the specific timetable, including the time allotted for each side to present its case, senators to ask questions, and the Senate to consider motions.

At that point, if the Senate follows the general pattern of the Clinton trial, the Senate will vote on a motion to dismiss the impeachment and, if that motion fails, on whether additional witnesses or evidence should be considered.

During Johnson’s impeachment trial, the prosecution and defense called a total of 41 witnesses. During the Clinton trial, three witnesses provided videotaped testimony.

McConnell and several other Senate Republicans have indicated they think the Senate should rely on transcripts of the testimony of witnesses who appeared before the House, while Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and several other Democrats have demanded that witnesses be called to testify.

3. Clinton likewise did not appear before the Senate during his trial.

Trump previously indicated he would “strongly consider” testifying or providing a written statement to the House during its impeachment inquiry, but that didn’t happen. Odds are, Trump won’t be present at the Senate trial.

4. Similarly, the rules of evidence used in criminal trials do not apply in an impeachment trial. The Senate’s impeachment trial rules state that the Senate’s presiding officer has the authority to rule on questions of evidence.

Any senator, however, may ask that the full Senate vote on such matters. That reflects the Constitution’s assignment to the Senate of “the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

5. There have already been calls for the House managers to move to disqualify senators whose impartiality is in question. There is no basis in the Constitution, Senate rules, or history for such an attempt.

The only qualification for participating in a Senate impeachment trial is to be a senator.

6. Removal from office is automatic upon conviction, and the Senate may vote separately whether to disqualify the defendant from serving in any other federal office.

The Constitution explicitly provides, however, that these consequences by the Senate do not, if the defendant’s conduct is also criminal, prevent “Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

7. In theory, he likely could be retried in the future. Although neither the Constitution nor Senate rules address this issue, and no precedent exists for it, a few legal scholars, such as former Obama administration official Neal Katyal, have pointed out that the Fifth Amendment Double Jeopardy Clause does not apply to impeachment proceedings. 

8. Senate committees may hold hearings in the morning of each trial day, but doing any business such as sending bills, nominations, or other matters to the full Senate would require the consent of all senators.

The Senate impeachment rules provide that the chamber must suspend its legislative and executive business while the trial is under way.

One thing to consider in all of this is that the House of Representative’s evidence was generally hearsay evidence. Because impeachment does not follow the rules of evidence, it is possible that some of that evidence will be introduced. However, do Senators really want to go back to their districts to say that they voted for impeachment because a witness ‘felt’ that the President was thinking something that might have been against the law? Realistically, we also need to realize that there is an element of the Democrat party that will continue to do everything it can to destroy President Trump and his agenda regardless of what happens in the impeachment trial. At some point you have to wonder why successful economic and foreign policies are such a threat to the Democrat party.

An Insurance Policy Against Shenanigans

Breitbart posted an article today about one of the rules that will apply in the impeachment trial of President Trump in the Senate.

The article reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is as of now including in the U.S. Senate impeachment trial rules a “kill switch” that effectively allows for the president’s legal team to seek an immediate verdict or dismissal of the case should Democrats engage in any shenanigans like they did in the House process.

The revelation comes after the House finally late last week formally sent the Articles of Impeachment it adopted before Christmas—after holding them for more than a month without transmission—to the U.S. Senate, thereby triggering the start of a Senate trial. The Senate will formally commence its trial procedures in votes this coming week, and while some Republicans want to outright dismiss the charges altogether from the outset, others believe a trial should take place.

The article explains:

In other words, the big picture here is that it seems as though the Senate will move forward with an actual trial—details on a number of fronts on that as of yet to be determined—but that there will be one thing that is clear: If Schiff or the Democrats try anything untoward like they did in the House, the president and the Senate have the option to shut the whole thing down and blow it all up on them. That means Republicans hold the upper hand, and should things get crazy—while there are not currently enough votes to dismiss the trial or outright off the bat acquit Trump—after Democrat partisan gamesmanship there likely would be enough votes to dismiss the whole thing. Bad behavior, in a partisan way, from people such as Schiff and Nadler and other Democrats could drive more Republicans toward the motion to dismiss—the kill switch—if that ever becomes necessary.

The article concludes:

A former White House official added that including this “kill switch” in the resolution gives Senate Republicans the tools they need to help McConnell keep the trial on the straight and narrow.

“McConnell has proven time and time again he is a more effective Leader than Pelosi is Speaker,” the former Trump White House official told Breitbart News. “This resolution ensures the President and his team has every tool at their disposal.”

The even bigger picture here is that when it comes to the Senate trial, GOP senators—in particular McConnell—are taking an active role in ensuring it will be fair. They are leading the way in framing this.

Vice President Mike Pence, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News late last week, made it clear that “when it comes to the Senate trial, it’ll be for the senators to decide [on witnesses and process], but I think the fact that you hear people talking about witnesses in the Senate just proves how weak the case underpinning the Articles of Impeachment really is.”

“The fact that we’ve heard they had an open-and-shut case, that despite the fact the American people can read the transcript, see the fact the president did nothing wrong, no quid pro quo, the military aid was released,” Pence added. “The American people have the facts. We heard that Congress did what the facts demanded, and now suddenly we hear Democrats saying they need more facts and they need more witnesses. My view on this is the American people see through all of this—the sham investigation followed by a partisan impeachment. They’re saying ‘enough is enough.’”

Hopefully the Senators will act with more decorum than the members of the House of Representatives.

This Is A Perfect Example Of Spin

CNS News posted a transcript of the letter Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell regarding impeachment.

Here is the letter:

Dear Colleague on Next Steps on Impeachment

January 10, 2020

Press Release

Dear Democratic Colleague,

For weeks now, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been engaged in tactics of delay in presenting transparency, disregard for the American people’s interest for a fair trial and dismissal of the facts.

Yesterday, he showed his true colors and made his intentions to stonewall a fair trial even clearer by signing on to a resolution that would dismiss the charges.  A dismissal is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth.  Leader McConnell’s tactics are a clear indication of the fear that he and President Trump have regarding the facts of the President’s violations for which he was impeached.

The American people have clearly expressed their view that we should have a fair trial with witnesses and documents, with more than 70 percent of the public stating that the President should allow his top aides to testify.  Clearly, Leader McConnell does not want to present witnesses and documents to Senators and the American people so they can make an independent judgment about the President’s actions. 

Honoring our Constitution, the House passed two articles of impeachment against the President – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – to hold the President accountable for asking a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 elections for his own political and personal gain.  

While the House was able to obtain compelling evidence of impeachable conduct, which is enough for removal, new information has emerged, which includes: 

·         On December 20, new emails showed that 91 minutes after Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, a top Office of Management and Budget (OMB) aide asked the Department of Defense to “hold off” on sending military aid to Ukraine.

·         On December 29, revelations emerged about OMB Director and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s role in the delay of aid, the effort by lawyers at the OMB, the Department of Justice and the White House to justify the delay, and the alarm that the delay caused within the Administration.

·         On January 2, newly-unredacted Pentagon emails, which we had subpoenaed and the President had blocked, raised serious concerns by Trump Administration officials about the legality of the President’s hold on aid to Ukraine. 

·         And on January 6, just this week, former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton announced he would comply with a subpoena compelling his testimony.  His lawyers have stated he has new relevant information.  

I am very proud of the courage and patriotism exhibited by our House Democratic Caucus as we support and defend the Constitution.  I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate.  I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.  

In an impeachment trial, every Senator takes an oath to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.”  Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution.  

No one is above the law, not even the President.

Thank you for your leadership For The People.

Sincerely,

Wow. It is my sincere hope that American voters are smart enough to see this for the sham that it is.

Stay Tuned

The Democrats in Congress seem intent on rewriting the Constitution and rewriting precedent on how things are supposed to be done. The latest rewrite involves the comment by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that she will delay forwarding articles of impeachment to the Senate until she is convinced that the Senate trial will be fair. That is an amazing statement given the total unfairness of the trial in the House of Representatives, but it also goes against precedent. I am not a lawyer, but one lawyer who graduated from Harvard Law School has weighed in on what may happen next.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article written by Joel B. Pollak about the legal aspect of what Speaker Pelosi is doing.

The article reports:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appears to be considering an idea Democrats have floated for several days of holding back the articles of impeachment to exercise leverage over the Senate and the president.

She declined formally to transmit the articles to the Senate on Wednesday evening after the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump.

Unfortunately for them, the Senate can act, regardless — and would vote to acquit.

That’s because the Constitution is absolutely clear about the Senate’s authority. Article I, Section 3 says: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

That is all.

The Chief Justice presides over a trial involving the president, but the Senate makes the rules. And the Senate is controlled by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who regards what the House has done with contempt.

You’re in Cocaine Mitch’s court, now.

Politico outlined Democrats’ new idea, citing constitutional lawyer Laurence Tribe (but, interestingly, not the Constitution itself). Pelosi hopes to pressure McConnell into holding a “fair trial” — this, after she and her party broke every relevant House rule and precedent, and several Amendments in the Bill of Rights, all in the name of their “sole Power of Impeachment.”

They forget that a “fair trial” applies to the accused, not the accuser, and has since 1215.

The article notes the contradiction between what Speaker Pelosi is doing now and previous statements by House of Representatives regarding impeachment.

The article concludes:

If Pelosi refuses to submit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, McConnell can convene the Senate anyway, summon the Chief Justice, and swear in the Senators as jurors. Democrats can boycott, but they can’t stop the trial.

McConnell can then propose to dismiss the charges or even hold a vote to acquit the president.

Pelosi can hide the articles of impeachment in Adam Schiff’s basement forever, and it won’t make a bit of difference.

Stay tuned. This entire process has turned the Constitution on its head–from the rights of the accused, to vague articles of impeachment, to ignoring precedents involved in impeachment.

What You Are Not Supposed To See

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article with the following headline, “Twitter Suspends Mitch McConnell Campaign Account for Sharing Death Threats Against Mitch McConnell…”

Now why do you suppose they did that? If the threats had been against a Democrat, would the account have been suspended? No–The tweet would have simply highlighted as an example of the actions of violent right wing extremists.

The article reports:

Black Lives Matter Louisville leader Chanelle Helm is a political activist who has met with numerous high profile politicians, including current presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, to advance the identity politics of her movement.

Ms. Chanelle Helm posted video to her Facebook page showing a protest Monday at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s house. Ms. Helm was proud.

Ms. Helm was shouting: “just stab the motherf—er in the heart.”  F*ck yo neck, b*tch. Murder Turtle! Murder Turtle! … F*ck yo thoughts and prayers … F*ck you, f*ck yo wife, f*ck everything you stand for.”

To highlight the hypocrisy of the radical leftists, several social media and twitter accounts began sharing the video of Ms. Helm’s call to violence; including the twitter account of Mitch McConnell.

In response to the video showing how violent Ms. Chanelle Helm is, and bringing forth the transparency of sunlight upon the group’s objectives, Twitter began demanding the videos and tweets must be removed.  Failure to remove the video results in the twitter account being suspended from the platform.  Twitter suspended Mitch McConnell’s account.

The article concludes:

The same simpatico relationship exists with Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and a host of social media platforms. The events in/around Sanford, FL (2012); Ferguson, MO (2014) and Baltimore Maryland (2015), were not just purposeful; they were quite financially lucrative for the identity network. After all, they learned at the knee of the master:

The question to ask is, “Who gains by pitting one group of people against another?” If we are fighting each other, we are noticing that our Washington politicians go to Washington as members of the middle class and quickly become millionaires. As long as they can keep us fighting among ourselves and not noticing what they are doing, they can continue their corruption.

Progress?

Yesterday Hot Air reported that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has agreed to pass the Senate border funding bill after the House bill was defeated in the Senate. The bill has now passed the House by a vote of 305-102. Some Democrats want to be re-elected in 2020.

The article reports:

“Behind the scenes,” noted CNN, “moderates were encouraging members of the Blue Dog and Problem Solvers caucuses to vote against a procedural vote that governed floor debate and force Pelosi to pass the bipartisan Senate bill, as the White House and Hill Republicans have been demanding.” Per Politico, 18 centrist Dems were prepared to tank her revised bill on the floor if she didn’t hurry up and pass the Senate bill instead. The reason Democrats hold the House majority right now is because a bunch of centrists knocked off a bunch of Republican incumbents last year in purple districts. Those centrists are frightened of perceptions back home that Democrats don’t want to do much of anything to ease the crisis at the border except complain about how immigrants are being treated, and they know how potent Trump’s messaging on this topic can be. In the end, if Pelosi wants to keep her majority, those members need to be protected even if it makes AOC cry. So Pelosi made a hard choice: Hand the centrists a win, even at the price of being steamrolled by Mitch McConnell, even knowing how lefties will caterwaul, and get immigration off the table for now.

That choice was made slightly easier for her by the fact that McConnell’s Senate bill wasn’t a party-line matter.

The Senate border bill passed the Senate by a vote of 84-8. It has bipartisan support.

According to UPI:

The Senate passed the bill Wednesday, setting aside nearly $3 billion in humanitarian aid and increasing security measures at the border. The Democratic-controlled House passed its version of the bill earlier this week with a stronger focus on protecting migrant children.

At some point we need to understand that the more liberal Democrats are not interested in increasing security  measures at the border.

An Obvious Conflict Of Interest

Senator Mitch McConnell does not like tariffs. He does not like them on China where they are levied in an attempt to level the playing field on trade, and he does not like them on Mexico where they are being levied in an attempt to stop the flow of illegals and drugs over our southern border.

Unfortunately, the meme below is not a joke:

An article posted at Breitbart today explains the problem. Senator McConnell is married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

In the article, Peter Schweizer explains why that is important:

Schweizer highlighted Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is married to McConnell, as illustrative of what he described as widespread political conflicts of interest between sitting American officials and foreign governments.

“The Chao family are deeply embedded commercially and financially with the Chinese government,” explained McConnell. “The Chinese government essentially set them up in the shipping business. Their ships — these are large cargo ships that transport a large amount of goods around the Pacific.”

Schweizer added, “The Chinese government is financing the building of these ships for the Chao family business. They provide crews for these chips, and they provide contracts to ship steel and other products around the Pacific.”

The Foremost Group is a shipping business founded by James Chao, Elaine Chao’s father. The Chao family business primarily revolves around China, necessitating “deep ties to the economic and political elite in China,” according to a Sunday-published New York Times report.

“[The Chao family’s shipping business] started out in the early 1990s with just a couple of vessels, a couple of large cargo ships,” said Schweizer. “They now have, by some estimates, 35 or 36, many of those built by the Chinese government. The estimates are that hundreds of millions of dollars in financing is done by the Chinese to build these ships, and that they give them preferential treatment.”

Schweizer explained, “Business in China is done with a political purpose. The China State Shipbuilding Corporation is controlled by the government, by the Communist Party, and they do business deals with people in the West with the expectation that they will get things in return.”

That is called a conflict of interest. So what is Senator McConnell’s problem with the Mexican tariffs? Many Republicans have aligned themselves with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which supports our porous southern border as a source of cheap labor. There has never been a border wall because Republican business men who contribute to political campaigns want cheap labor and Democrats want future voters.

Knowing Who Your Friends Are

There will be an attempt to impeach President Trump within the next few months. It will happen as soon as the Democrats can actually come up with some sort of charges. However, the ground work is currently being laid–in the Senate. Mitch McConnell has lined up the Senators he will need by undermining the President’s decision to pull many of our troops out of the Middle East. Pay attention to which Senators voted to undermine the President in taking troops out of the Middle East. Those are the Senators who will be called upon to vote for impeachment. Also, note that a lot of people make money when our troops are overseas. Those are the people making large campaign contributions to those opposing the President.

Below is a video of Rand Paul’s response to the bill:

Stellasplace1 posted the following this morning:

The Senate passed an amendment yesterday demanding that President Trump keep American troops actively engaged in war in the Middle East. The cloture vote in favor was 68-23, which includes 43 Republicans. Think of it. Most of our Republican Senators are in favor of continuing USA war presence in Afghanistan and Syria. Why?

It finally passed by a majority of 70 to 26 — opposed by only three of the 53 Senate Republicans. According to AFP/Yahoo News, the amendment will eventually be incorporated into a broader security law on the Middle East.

The Senate finally flexes their muscles and who do they attack? The President of their own party. It seems to me that if the Senate disagrees with President Trump and wants US forces to remain in Afghanistan and Syria, why don’t they just formally declare war?

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the deep state’s nuclear attempt to get President Trump out of office before America realizes that he is actually accomplishing things that are making their lives better.

President Trump’s Saturday Speech

I watched the President’s speech on Saturday afternoon. I have a few observations. As the President pointed out, the proposals he is offering to the Democrats are things that they have voted for in the past (as is the fence, actually). He is also asking the Senate to introduce a bill on Monday based on his proposals. This is smart–the bill has a reasonable chance of passing in the Senate. If the bill passes in the Senate and fails in the House of Representatives, then the Democrats can be blamed for the shutdown, which is definitely lingering on. It also puts the Democrats in the position of keeping the government shut down by voting against things they have voted for in the past. That is not a good optic for them. Introducing the bill in the Senate first is a win-win for President Trump. There may be information that some Democrats in the House will support the President’s compromise. I don’t know that, but I wonder because of the speech today.

Mitch McConnell posted a press release following the President’s speech that included the following:

“I commend the President for his leadership in proposing this bold solution to reopen the government, secure the border, and take bipartisan steps toward addressing current immigration issues.

“Compromise in divided government means that everyone can’t get everything they want every time. The President’s proposal reflects that. It strikes a fair compromise by incorporating priorities from both sides of the aisle.

“This bill takes a bipartisan approach to re-opening the closed portions of the federal government. It pairs the border security investment that our nation needs with additional immigration measures that both Democrat and Republican members of Congress believe are necessary. Unlike the bills that have come from the House over the past few weeks, this proposal could actually resolve this impasse. It has the full support of the President and could be signed into law to quickly reopen the government.

“Everyone has made their point—now it’s time to make a law. I intend to move to this legislation this week. With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well. The situation for furloughed employees isn’t getting any brighter and the crisis at the border isn’t improved by show votes. But the President’s plan is a path toward addressing both issues quickly.”

Opening the government without fully funding the wall would be a mistake. Congress has proven in the past that they do not always get things done if the pressure is taken away. I can guarantee that if the government is opened before an agreement is reached, the wall will never be built and our border will remain unsecured.

Getting Things Done

Yesterday Politico reported that Senate Democrats have accepted an offer Thursday from Senate Republicans to confirm 15 lifetime federal judges in exchange for the ability to go into recess through the midterms, allowing endangered Democrats to campaign.

This was not the result of anyone’s great negotiating skills–this was the acknowledgement of a practical fact–the Democrats wanted time to go home and campaign.

The article explains:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would be able to confirm roughly 15 judges if he kept the Senate in session for the next few weeks anyway. So Democrats OK’d an offer to confirm three Circuit Court judges and 12 Circuit Court judges as the price to pay to go home for election season.

Under Senate rules, even if Democrats fought the nominees tooth and nail and forced the Senate to burn 30 hours of debate between each one, McConnell would have gotten them all confirmed by Nov. 1. Democrats could have conceivably left a skeleton crew of senators in Washington to force the GOP to take roll call votes on the judges over the next few weeks, although that tactic is not typically employed by the minority.

The article reminds us:

McConnell and President Donald Trump will now have confirmed 84 judges over the past two years, including two Supreme Court nominees, after the deal. Democrats also allowed a package of judges to be confirmed in August as a condition of going home.

This is important because the Democrats have used to courts to get laws passed (which is not actually the duty of the courts) that they could not get through Congress. Changing the composition of the courts may slow down that process and bring us closer to the government our Founding Fathers envisioned.

This Is Dangerous And Those Responsible Need To Be Held Accountable

Last Thursday Breitbart posted a list of “305 Acts of Violence and Harassment Against Trump Supporters.” I don’t care what you think of President Trump or what you think of anything he has done, this is not acceptable. Some of the political left is using the argument that ‘he started it’ and then naming some outrageous statement by the President. However, that is no excuse–President Trump is not assaulting people, throwing drinks at them, harassing them in public places or stealing or destroying their property. Some of his opponents are.

Here are only the top 25 items on the list:

  1. July 10, 2018: Fox News Reporter Harassed, Threatened And Forced To Leave Supreme Court By Leftist Mob
  2. July 9, 2018: Far-left blog Talking Points Memo mocks Stephen Miller over report of confrontation with bartender.
  3. July 9, 2018: Trump senior aide Stephen Miller harassed on street by angry bartender.
  4. July 9, 2018: Motorists scream curse words at Sean Spicer in his yard.
  5. July 9, 2018: Trump senior aide Kellyanne Conway harassed in grocery store
  6. July 9, 2018: Anti-Trump activists vandalize New York DHS office
  7. July 8, 2018: LISTEN: Idaho GOP Rep. Receives Threatening Voicemails, Emails Because of This Facebook Post
  8. July 8, 2018: Longtime Hillary Clinton aide publishes contact information about bookstore owner who stopped the harassment of Steve Bannon, Reines’s  obvious goal is to see the bookstore owner harassed.
  9. July 8, 2018: Far-left Daily Beast writer defends public harassment of Steve Bannon
  10. July 7, 2018: Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) menaced outside restaurant. We know where you live!
  11. July 7, 2018:Steve Bannon harassed at bookstore; police called
  12. July 7, 2018: Left-wing AntiFa terrorists attack peaceful Tommy Robinson supporters in San Francisco
  13. July 7, 2018: New York Times editorial calls for Dems to “take a page from The Godfather” to “go to the mattresses” to stop Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
  14. July 6, 2018: CNN analyst justifies violence against Trump supporters
  15. July 6, 2018:  Long Island Man Threatened to Kill Supporters of Republican Congressman, Trump: Police
  16. July 6, 2018: Florida man attacked over Trump flag in yard.
  17. July 6, 2018: Woman threatens to stab Alan Dershowitz in heart.
  18. July 5, 2018: Founder of #WalkAway campaign refused service at camera store.
  19. July 5, 2018: Trump supporter wearing Make America Great Again hat allegedly assaulted in burger joint (video at link).
  20. July 3, 2018: Left-wing Catholic calls for sending Trump supporters to the guillotine
  21. July 3, 2018: Nebraska GOP office vandalized.
  22. July 3, 2018: EPA head Scott Pruitt harassed at restaurant.
  23. July 2, 2018: MAGA hat wearer harassed at seafood restaurant
  24. July 2, 2018: Mother of cancer survivor harassed online for thanking Eric Trump for $16 million in St. Jude support
  25. July 2, 2018: Cher accuses ICE of “Gestapo tactics.”

At some point we all need to get along. We are never going to agree on everything. The press is playing a large role in this–they have been running around with their hair on fire since the 2016 election. The press has refused to report on much of this and refused to condemn on what it has reported. The left political spin is that any violence is President Trump’s fault because he is so over the top. The actual truth is that the deep state is feeling backed into a corner and is reacting like a cornered animal. Unfortunately, until the American voters wake up and realize that the press is manipulating them, we will probably see more of this.

Amazing Scientific Commentary

The following comments are from an article in The New Yorker from January 30, 2017. Unfortunately the article is still extremely relevant.

The article reports:

Calling it a “medical mystery of the first order,” scientists are baffled by the ability of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to stand upright without the benefit of spines.

Doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical School, who have been studying the skeletal structures of both Republicans for months, believe that their ability to stand, walk, and even break into a brisk trot when confronted by reporters’ questions is “virtually inexplicable.”

“The fact that they can do these things without the aid of spines makes McConnell and Ryan anomalies in the animal kingdom,” said Dr. Davis Logsdon. “According to everything medical science teaches us, their bodies should be collapsing to the ground in two heaps.”

…Logsdon said that the anatomies of McConnell and Ryan require further study, and that there was growing public support for both men to be dissected.

There is nothing I can add to this!

I Would Rather See The Government Shut Down Than See The Current Budget Bill Pass

I would like to remind Republicans that they were sent to Washington to shrink the size of government and reduce spending. If they choose not to do that, I will gladly vote to replace them with people who will. On Wednesday night, a $1.3 trillion budget plan was introduced. The proposal does not include many of the things the Republicans that were sent to Congress promised–there is funding for Planned Parenthood, funding for Sanctuary cities, and there is very limited funding for a border wall. The bill also does not include any remedy for the DACA children, which is something the Democrats said they wanted (I don’t think they wanted a solution–I think they wanted the issue). It is a bad bill. Not only is it a bad bill–it was introduced in a manner that does not allow anyone to analyze it properly.

In an article posted yesterday Breitbart points out:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) struck a deal in February to increase domestic and military spending by nearly $300 billion over the next two years. The bill includes an additional $90 billion in disaster aid for states and localities affected by last year’s hurricanes and $140 billion for emergency military funds.

Jason Pye, vice president of legislative affairs for FreedomWorks, said, “Republicans don’t know how to stop spending money.”

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that our national debt has skyrocketed in recent years to untenable levels.

“This year, we’re looking at a deficit of $750 to $1 trillion. Next year, the estimate is $1 trillion or more. I have to wonder if there is any way that we can avoid a national insolvency or bankruptcy.”

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) lamented in an interview with Breitbart News Daily on Tuesday that the “Senate Democrats seem to be calling most of the shots.”

A report on Monday suggested that the omnibus spending bill will not include a bailout of Obamacare.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), another member of the House Freedom Caucus, suggested that a number of liberal policies will be included in the omnibus, without any substantial border wall funding.

Jordan said, “Planned Parenthood, Gateway Bridge, Planned Parenthood, trillion dollar deficit, and no wall.”

This is a bad bill, and Congress should be forced to go back to the drawing board and cut spending. I don’t care if the government shuts down–they need to get it right.

Ever Wonder How Congressmen Become Millionaires On Less Than $200,000 A Year?

There are strong laws on the books to prevent lawmakers in Washington from profiting from their jobs in ways that are not ethical. However, there are no laws on the books to prevent the families of lawmakers in Washington from totally taking advantage of their relative’s position. Peter Schweizer has written a book titled Secret Empire which sheds light on some of the unsavory financial activities of some of our politicians.

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the book discussing how laws and regulations can be used to enrich friends and family.

The article lists a few specific examples:

Schweizer said the Vistria Group, run by Obama’s best friend, Marty Nesbitt, drove the for-profit school University of Phoenix into the ground and then swooped in to buy it.

 “They come in, they buy it for pennies on the dollar and low and behold, the Obama administration says, ‘You know what, we think we’re going to let GI money float again back to the University of Phoenix,’” he said.

…Schweizer said the level of corruption extended to former Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State John Kerry after both leaders negotiated with China on trade issues.

“At this time the sons, or in one case, John Kerry’s close aide, are involved in businesses that involve multi-billion dollar deals with the Chinese government,” he said on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

Schweizer claims that 10 days after Biden flew to Beijing, his son, Hunter Biden, scored a $1.5 billion private equity deal from the Chinse government.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, current US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, are also mentioned in the book. The book details the couples close relationship to China through Elaine Chao’s family.

The New York Post reported on March 17th:

As Schweizer tells it, the Chao family fortune derives from the Foremost Group, a shipping company that Chinese native James Chao, a classmate of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin at Jiao Tong University, founded in New York in 1964. Chao remains Foremost’s chairman today, and his daughters Angela and Christine are the company’s deputy chairwoman and general counsel, respectively. Elaine Chao worked there in the 1970s, and has been quoted as saying, “Shipping is our family tradition.”

It really is time to begin again in Washington. The only people who should be allowed to stay in Congress are people whose net worth has not increased more than 10 percent during their terms of office. (Of course then you could make the argument that they simply did not take advantage of the opportunities around them!)

At any rate, it really is time to drain the swamp (and to understand that both political parties are involved in the swamp).

A Valid Perspective

Yesterday The Conservative Review posted an article about the two-year budget recently passed by Congress. Although there are two good things about the budget–the fact that it funds the military and the fact that it prevents government shutdowns for the next two years–there are some serious problems with it–mostly overspending. I understand the objection to the overspending (and agree with it), but I wonder if a budget without overspending could have been passed. I suspect with good leadership and good messaging, we could have passed a much more sensible budget.

The article reports:

A travesty occured in the chambers of Congress last night and early this morning. Republicans in Congress exposed themselves as hypocrites and frauds by passing an unconscionable two-year budget deal that will explode this year’s deficit and add $1.5 trillion to the debt. This is a level of spending that is three times larger than government spending in President Obama’s final year in office.

A majority of Republicans in both chambers of Congress voted for the bill, and President Trump signed it Friday morning. Whatever pretense of fiscal conservatism the Republican Party once professed has vanished from all but a few conservatives in Congress.

In the United States Senate, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., stood in objection to the Republican Party’s fundamental betrayal of conservative principles. He was joined by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. Paul held up the Senate vote Thursday evening, triggering a short government shutdown in the middle of the night. In a lengthy speech on the Senate floor, Paul criticized his colleagues for assailing government spending under President Obama and then outdoing Obama under President Trump.

“So the reason I’m here tonight is to put people on the spot. I want people to feel uncomfortable,” Paul said on the Senate floor. “I want them to have to answer people at home who said, ‘How come you were against President Obama’s deficits and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?’ Isn’t that the very definition of intellectual dishonesty? If you were against President Obama’s deficits, and now you’re for the Republican deficits, isn’t that the very definition of hypocrisy?”

It is, on both counts. And the liars and the hypocrites are outraged that Sen. Paul would dare expose them as such. Republicans are savaging Sen. Paul in the media. Sen. John Thune, the number three Republican in the Senate, called Paul’s actions “a colossal waste of time.” “He wanted attention and he got attention,” said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Penn., went so far as to suggest it’s “easy to understand why it’s difficult to be Rand Paul’s next door neighbor.” Dent is referring to the neighbor who assaulted Sen. Paul, breaking several of his ribs and putting him in the hospital. But receiving disgusting comments like that are the norm when you expose the swamp, as Sen. Paul has done.

I would like to mention at this point that I believe John Thune is gearing up for a presidential run. He is not a conservative and will say what he thinks will get him the highest approval ratings.

Voters elected Republicans to shrink government and decrease spending. If Republicans want to be re-elected in the mid-terms, they are certainly not moving in the right direction. The budget that was recently passed is an illustration that there are really only two parties in Washington, and those parties are not the Democrats and the Republicans. One party is the Democrats and what are called mainstream Republicans; the other party is the Republicans who hold to the Republican party platform of smaller government and lower taxes. We need more Republicans who believe in the party platform and fewer Republicans who have chosen to become part of the Washington establishment (swamp).

Does He Really Believe This?

Pardon my skepticism, but One America News reported yesterday that Senator Mitch McConnell is optimistic that Democrats and Republicans can work together to pass legislation in 2018. Really??!!  One of the things that President Trump has put on the agenda is infrastructure spending. That might be the easiest thing to find bipartisan support on, but based on some of the statements being made by Democrats lately, I can’t imagine them cooperating with Republicans on anything. The tax bill recently passed provided more spending money for the average working man–the person the Democrats have always claimed they represent. Yet no Democrats crossed the aisle to vote to save money for the people they claim to represent.

The article reports:

“There’s not much you can do on a partisan basis in the Senate at 52-48 or at 51- 49 which will be the number for us next year,” said McConnell. “I don’t think most of our Democratic colleagues want to do nothing. And there are areas I think where we can get bipartisan agreement.”

McConnell went on to say two areas of potential bipartisan agreement could be a rollback of some of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, and a permanent solution for young illegal immigrants, which could come to a floor vote in mid-January.

I can’t imagine the Democrats working to rollback any of Dodd-Frank. Elizabeth Warren wants to run for President, and she will use any legislation to limit Dodd-Frank to increase her visibility. Whether or not that will help her cause remains to be seen. I also suspect any agreement on DACA will be elusive–the Democrats look at the DACA kids (who are no longer kids) as their future voting base.

It soon will be 2018–an election year. Historically, very little meaningful legislation gets passed during an election year. It will also be interesting to see how many days Congress actually works before they shut down and leave for campaigning.

The Democrats Won In Alabama

Last minute smear campaigns work. That is unfortunate. There was never any proof of the allegations against Judge Moore; and in fact, some of the allegations have already been proven false. Where does this man go to get his reputation back? It is really sad to me that the establishment Republicans, who were so glad to see this man defeated, never once questioned the validity of the charges or fought back. Roy Moore was a threat to the establishment. He has made it very clear by his past actions that he believes in the Constitution. He would not have been easy for the establishment to control.

Late yesterday PJ Media posted their take on what the Doug Jones’ victory means. They listed five aspects of the Democratic victory:

  1. Character matters. (Again, there is the assumption of guilt with no proof.)
  2. Steve Bannon’s populism won’t work. (I wouldn’t count him out just yet.)
  3.  Write-ins could have decided the race.
  4. McConnell and the establishment Republicans dodged a bullet. (They were in an awkward position because they believed the accusations and acted accordingly rather than relying on the principle of innocent until proven guilty.)
  5. The Senate is not necessarily in play for 2018. (Possible but not likely if the differences in fund raising totals between the two parties are an indication of future elections.)

Again, I think the victory of Doug Jones is a sad thing–no allegations were ever proven, and no charges were less than twenty-five years old. In claiming moral superiority, the establishment Republicans indirectly supported the election of someone who supports killing babies, does not support traditional marriage, and supports ObamaCare. I also believe the establishment Republicans did not want someone elected who would support the policies of President Trump–if the Trump economy continues to grow at its present rate, President Trump will be a successful President–the Washington establishment’s worst nightmare. They should be ashamed–not of Roy Moore–but of themselves.

An Agenda That Would Help All Americans

On Tuesday, CNS News posted an article about President Trump‘s agenda after tax reform. It is an ambitious agenda that would do great things for America.

The article reports:

At the start of a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Trump plugged the Republican tax plan, then said spending cuts and welfare reform are next on the list:

“We’re working to reduce wasteful government spending,” Trump said. “We’ll be working on healthcare, infrastructure, and welfare reform. We’re looking very strongly at welfare reform, and that will all take place right after taxes — very soon, very shortly after taxes. So we’ll be submitting plans on healthcare, plans on infrastructure, and plans on welfare reform — which is desperately needed in our country — soon after taxes.”

Welfare is needed as a safety net–it should not be a career choice. It is time to examine what we are doing to educate those children from families where education is not seen as valuable. It is time to make sure that children who graduate from American high schools know how to fill out a job application, a college application, etc. The key to welfare reform is education and providing a reasonable transition from welfare to work. I think we can do that if both parties in Congress would work together.

The article concludes:

At the White House press briefing on Monday, a reporter asked spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders what Trump meant when he mentioned welfare reform:

“I think there’s no secret,” Sanders said, noting that Trump had spoken about it during the campaign. “And when we have specifics on what that will look like, we’ll certainly announce them and roll them out. I don’t anticipate that happening over the next couple of weeks. We’re very focused on tax reform and making sure we get that done by the end of the year.

“But this is something that the president has a great deal of interest in, and I think you can count on probably the first part of next year seeing more specifics and details coming out on that.”

To be a healthy country, we need to give Americans opportunities to improve their lives through education and hard work. Welfare reform would be a step in that direction.

Can The Republicans Stop Fighting Themselves Long Enough To Pass A Tax Bill?

One American News posted an article today about Senate plans to pass a tax bill. The Senate is expected to vote on their version of the tax bill next week. Speculation is that Mitch McConnell will bring the bill to the floor on Thursday.

The article reports:

The senate plan includes a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate, which penalizes Americans for not buying into the failed health care system.

Only a handful of republican senators have expressed concerns with the bill, but none have indicated they will not vote in favor of the plan.

If the bill passes, the Senate and the House will have to hammer out the final details before sending the finalized legislation to President Trump.

I can almost guarantee it will not be a perfect bill, but hopefully it will provide the tax relief that the middle class and businesses need.

The Need For New Leadership And Different Republicans In Congress

Last night the Senate voted on a bill to repeal certain aspects of ObamaCare. The Senate failed to repeal ObamaCare. The Gateway Pundit reported the story. Three Republicans voted against the bill to repeal ObamaCare–Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona. The first thing that needs to happen here is that all members of Congress and their staffs need to no longer be exempted from ObamaCare. Let’s make these legislators live under the laws they are forcing the voters to live under. The second thing that needs to happen is that the Republicans in Congress need different leadership. The third thing that needs to happen is that the three Republicans that voted against the partial repeal need to have primary challengers when they run for re-election.

According to the article, the bill to end ObamaCare that was voted on late last night included:

  • It would repeal the individual mandate, which is the requirement that most Americans buy insurance or pay a penalty. The provision was intended to help control costs by encouraging younger, healthier people to enter the market. Republicans have said it forced people to buy plans they did not want.
  • The bill would roll back the employer mandate, a similar provision that says large employers have to provide insurance for their workers.
  • The plan would expand a program that allows states to waive certain provisions under Obamacare.
  • It would suspend the medical device tax.
  • The proposal would increase contribution limits for tax-free health savings accounts.
  • It would defund women’s health provider Planned Parenthood for one year.

This bill was an extremely stripped-down version of repeal. It is a reflection on the swamp in Washington and those Republicans who are part of it that the Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare for seven years. The promise was,  “Give us the House, and we will repeal ObamaCare. Give us the Senate, and we will repeal ObamaCare. Give us the White House, and we will repeal ObamaCare.” I guess the real solution is, “Give us a Republican Congress with integrity and a spine, and we will repeal ObamaCare. It is truly a shame that Senator McCain chose to reappear in Congress only to submarine the wishes of the American public.

“Don’t Throw Me Into The Briar Patch”

Joel Chandler Harris was an American author who wrote the Uncle Remus stories. Some of these stories later became an animated film by Walt Disney called “Song of the South.” One of the characters in these stories was Br’er (“brother”) Rabbit, who when captured by Bre’r Fox pleads, “Don’t throw me into the briar patch.” Of course, Br’er Rabbit has grown up in the briar patch, is quite at home there, and sees the briar patch as an escape route. So why in the world is a political blog talking about Br’er Rabbit and the briar patch? Because I believe the story of Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox totally explains the current healthcare debate.

Let’s look at the healthcare debacle strictly through a political lens. The best outcome for the Republicans (with a Republican President) is the complete failure of ObamaCare–rising costs, escalating premiums, denial of healthcare to senior citizens and young people, etc. Theoretically, President Trump has tried to avoid this. Had this failure occurred under a Democratic President, the solution would have been single-payer socialistic medicine. Under a Republican President, a free-market solution may be possible, but only after the total failure of ObamaCare. As premiums rise and health insurance and healthcare become more difficult to obtain, voters may get angry enough to remove from office those who had blocked the repeal of ObamaCare. I suspect that much of the Tea Party is already there. Because the Republicans could not repeal ObamaCare, it is still the Democrat’s policy. That may be exactly where the Republicans wanted it.

So where are we now in the healthcare debate?

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that there is no possibility of repealing and replacing ObamaCare and there is no possibility of repealing ObamaCare over the next two years.

The article reports news from two sources:

From Bloomberg News:

GOP Senators Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito and Lisa Murkowski said Tuesday they’ll oppose a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. McConnell said late Monday the Senate would vote on a repeal with a two-year delay to give Congress time to agree on a replacement, but he could afford to lose no more than two Republican votes to advance the measure.

Repealing the law now and then hoping for a replacement “would create great anxiety for individuals who rely on the ACA,” Collins of Maine told reporters in Washington. “I believe it would cause the insurance markets to go into turmoil.” She said she would oppose bringing a repeal bill up for debate.

Capito of West Virginia said she would refuse to take up a repeal plan without an adequate replacement. “I did not come to Washington to hurt people,” she said in a statement.

Murkowski of Alaska also said she wouldn’t vote to take up a repeal-alone measure.

From the Washington Examiner:

House Republicans on Tuesday were seething with anger over the Senate GOP’s late Monday decision to pull the plug on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Lawmakers leaving the House GOP’s weekly conference meeting said feelings of exasperation and anger have set in, now that the Senate has dropped plans to vote on an Obamacare replacement bill this month.

“There is a lot of frustration, borderline anger I guess, at what really has to be described as some level of incompetence to be able to get together and get something done,” Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee, told the Washington Examiner.

I am not sure the Democrats are celebrating the fact that the Republicans could not repeal ObamaCare–now the Democrats are stuck with a healthcare plan that is rapidly crashing.

 

Watching The Senate Democrats Drag Their Feet

It is amazing to me that anything ever gets done in Washington. The Democrats in the Senate, led by Senator Schumer, have done everything they can to block the appointments and agenda of President Trump. Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article on that subject that included the following chart:

The article reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that after completing work on a health care bill to replace Obamacare, the Senate will turn to a defense spending bill and “the backlog of critical nominations that have been mindlessly stalled by Democrats.”

“In order to provide more time to complete action on important legislative items and process nominees that have been stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle, the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of August,” McConnell, R-Ky., said.

During a press briefing Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted McConnell’s announcement and accused Senate Democrats of “looking to set a record for pointless and dangerous obstruction.”

Citing the Obama administration, Sanders added:

While more than 90 percent of the previous administration’s nominations were confirmed by a voice vote, Democrats in the Senate have allowed only approximately 10 percent of President Trump’s nominees to be voted on in that way.

We’re coming up on the August recess of President Trump’s first term, by which point the Senate [had] confirmed 69 percent of President Obama’s nominations; less than a month out from that same point, the Senate has confirmed only approximately 23 percent of President Trump’s nominees. These numbers show the Democrats’ true colors.

I am not a big fan of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but he is right about this. Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.