Check The Candidate’s Biography Before You Vote

One of the slimy tricks sometimes used in politics is to introduce a candidate who is not really what they seem. The candidate can be introduced as a member of one party when a little research shows that they were not a member of that party until they decided to run for office (Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is an example of this–he has just switched back to Democrat after having served as a Republican mayor of the city). Another trick is to introduce a third-party candidate designed to take votes away from your opponent–generally a libertarian will take Republican votes, a green party candidate will take Democrat votes. Another trick is to bring someone into the district early enough in the process to meet the residency requirements when that candidate has little relation to the district.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported:

Michigan incumbent US Representative Mike Bishop is for Jobs not Mobs.  He’s being challenged by Obama lackey Elissa Slotkin who helped negotiate the failed Iran deal.  She is from outside the district and appears to be a hand-selected puppet of the Far-left establishment.

Michigan Congressman Mike Bishop shows that his competitor Slotkin was sent to Michigan to run against him. She never owned property in Michigan, never paid taxes in Michigan and never voted in Michigan until the primary where she voted for herself.

Although she grew up in Michigan, Ms. Slotkin left the state for college, joined the CIA after college and worked for the Obama administration. she has also served on the U.S. National Security Council as Director for Iraq, where her portfolio included a leading role in drafting of the U.S. – Iraq Status of Forces Agreement. That agreement was never put before the Senate to ratify because it was awful.  President Obama knew it would not pass. President Trump has since withdrawn from the agreement. The agreement simply put restrictions on Iran for a number of years, after which they could develop as many nuclear weapons as they chose. The agreement did not make the Middle East any safer, in fact it increased the possibility of a nuclear arms race in the area.

A vote for Ms. Slotkin is a vote for the deep state. It appears that she was sent back to Michigan for the purpose of unseating a Republican. That is the game of politics, but the people of Michigan need to know that she has not spent enough time in the state to represent them.

Maybe We Need To Rethink This

A website called Clearancejobs.com includes an article answering the question, “What happens to your security clearance after you’ve been fired, suspended or retired?” The website explains the various procedures based on the circumstances. The website points out that in many cases a clearance may remain in effect or be suspended but easily renewed if necessary. When you consider the politicization of the Justice Department and FBI during the Obama administration, it would seem logical to cancel all of the security clearances of those at the top of those organizations who are no longer employed there. However, as usual with anything involving common sense, this is considered a controversial idea.

Considering the news that surfaced over the weekend about the FISA abuse regarding the spying on Carter Page, anyone who was involved in that escapade should be fired and have their security clearance revoked. Clearly, the government’s ability to spy on American citizens was used for political purposes by the Obama administration. However, the media is not going to let common sense enter into the argument.

Bloomberg posted an article today stirring up the kerfuffle about revoking security clearances.

The article is headlined, “Trump Weighs Revoking Security Clearances for Several Ex-Obama Officials.” It should read, “Some of the people involved in the misuse of intelligence gathering within the United States may face consequences.”

The article states:

The president is “exploring the mechanism” to remove their access to classified information because of criticism the officials have leveled against his conduct of relations with Russia, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday.

“They’ve politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances,” Sanders said. “Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate.”

Sanders said Trump also was considering stripping security clearances from James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence; Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency; and Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.

The article concludes:

The idea of moving to revoke Brennan’s security clearance gained traction recently in conservative media circles. Fox News host Tucker Carlson on July 19 called Brennan an extremist with “a documented history of dishonesty” and said he shouldn’t have a clearance.

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said he urged Trump to revoke Brennan’s security clearance at a meeting with the president Monday. Trump is trying to court Paul to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite reservations the senator has expressed about Kavanaugh’s commitment to privacy rights.

I have my doubts as to whether anyone will face consequences for misusing FISA for political purposes. However, removing a few security clearances might send a message to those holding those clearances to use them judiciously.

 

The Plot May Be Beginning To Unravel

One of the problems with trying to maintain a conspiracy is that as it begins to unravel, people begin to say things to distance themselves from responsibility for any wrongdoing that has occurred. I believe that is what is happening regarding the wiretapping of the Trump campaign and possibly regarding the Mueller investigation.

The Gateway Pundit quoted President Obama’s Former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, today. James Clapper made the following statement on CNN yesterday:

If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.

We need to put this into perspective in terms of what was going on during the final days of the Obama administration. During the final year of the Obama administration, Susan Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations. made an unprecedented number of requests for unmasking Americans whose conversations were inadvertently captured in wiretapped conversations. (article here) Americans were routinely being spied on by their government at this time.

Most Americans, particularly those familiar with procedures in the intelligence community were reluctant to believe what was reportedly going on with domestic spying. However, the truth has become obvious in recent days.

The following is an interview with Andrew McCarthy, who was initially skeptical that the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court was being used for political purposes. The interview is posted at YouTube:

I believe that the Mueller investigation is the ‘insurance policy’ discussed in Andrew McCabe’s office. We know that Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were involved in that discussion. We don’t know if anyone else was. The investigation was supposed either to create enough turmoil to remove President Trump from office (before he could cut taxes, appoint judges, or actually accomplish anything) or to cripple his presidency to the point where he accomplished nothing. Obviously the plan has created a lot of turmoil, but not a lot of the results the plotters were aiming for.

Ideally we will see this entire charade resolved within the next year. I am hopeful, but not necessarily optimistic.

America Is Reducing Its CO2 Emissions

bp Global posted an article recently detailing CO2 emissions for 2017.

The article reports:

Global CO2 emissions from energy in 2017 grew by 1.6%, rebounding from the stagnant volumes during 2014-2016, and faster than the 10-year average of 1.3%.

This is not really a surprise since the worldwide economy improved during 2017. However, the article reports which countries increased emissions and which countries decreased emissions.

The article reports:

Carbon emissions from energy use from the US are the lowest since 1992, the year that the UNFCCC came into existence. The next largest decline was in Ukraine (-10.1%).

The largest increase in carbon emissions in 2017 came from China (1.6%), a reversal from the past three years when the largest increases in emissions came from India. China’s emissions in 2017 were 0.3% higher than the previous peak in 2014. China has had the world’s largest increments in carbon emission every year this century except in four years – 2000 and between 2014-16.

The next highest increment came from India where emissions rose by 4.4%, though lower than its 10-year average (6% p.a.).

Together, China and India accounted for nearly half of the increase in global carbon emissions.EU emissions were also up (1.5%) with just Spain accounting for 44% of the increase in EU emissions. Among other EU members, UK and Denmark reported the lowest carbon emissions in their history.

President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord. It is important to look at the above information in view of that agreement.

According to The New York Times on May 31, 2017:

Under the deal (The Paris Climate Accord), the Obama administration pledged to cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 as well as to commit up to $3 billion in aid for poorer countries by 2020. (The United States has delivered $1 billion to date.) China vowed that its emissions would peak around 2030 and that it would get about 20 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by then. India would continue to reduce its carbon intensity, or CO2 output per unit of economic activity, in line with historical levels.

So under the Paris Climate Accord, the U.S. would cripple its economy and pay money to other countries. China would not really do much before 2030, while America would have to be below 2005 emission levels before 2025. President Trump again withdrew America from an unfair deal, while actually accomplishing the aim of the agreement without crippling the American economy. Meanwhile, China and India, who signed the deal, are increasing their carbon emissions. This is typical of how those who want to weaken America to achieve their goal of one-world government operate. Americans need to understand that America is the biggest obstacle to one-world government, particularly with President Trump in charge.

 

 

When Is The Playing Field Actually Level?

Channel 8 in Cleveland reported yesterday that President Trump is planning to rescind the Obama administration policy of considering race in college admissions,

The article reports:

The shift would give schools and universities the federal government’s blessing to take a race-neutral approach to the students they consider for admission.

A formal announcement was expected later Tuesday from the Justice and Education departments, according to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan had not yet been disclosed.

The guidance from the Obama administration gave schools a framework for “considering race to further the compelling interests in achieving diversity and avoiding racial isolation.” That approach replaced Bush-era policy from a decade earlier.

The new guidance will not have the force of law, but schools will presumably be able to defend themselves from lawsuits by following administration policy.

Yesterday a video was posted on YouTube of an Indian student Tucker Carlson interviewed who claimed to be black in order to get into medical school. The student explains the problems with acceptance to schools based on race.

Here is the interview:

Making decisions on race is racism, regardless of who benefits. The idea that someone with lower grades or test scoress would be admitted to medical school simply because of their color may be well-intentioned, but it is wrong. The answer to past racial discrimination is not present discrimination, it is treating everyone equally. Until we learn to hire people, admit people to college, and treat all people equally, we will not have racial harmony. More discrimination is not the answer to past wrongs.

I Robbed A Bank, But That Was Okay Since It Helped Them Improve Their Security Measures

The Media Research Center posted a startling article yesterday about a media outlet in America and their attitude toward truth.

The article reports:

ABC openly admitted Sunday to having published “fake news” – their words, not mine – about the Trump administration “losing” 1,500 migrant children, a debunked story that quickly caught fire and spawned countless hashtag campaigns and anti-ICE protests across the country. (Here’s MSNBC’s Chris Hayes boo-hooing over the whole nonsensical thing about a month ago.)

Now, well after the myth has been permanently ensconced as fact in the brains of millions of rapid anti-Trumpers nationwide, ABC’s admitting the entire thing was false – but, in a stunning feat of mental gymnastics, they claim the bogus story ended up being a good thing.

In an article actually entitled, “A fake news story helps expose a real crisis,” author Lauren Pearle admits the Trump administration was unfairly accused of having “lost” 1,500 kids who’d crossed the southwest U.S. border illegally – a claim I’d disputed in a video roughly four weeks ago, only to be accused of Nazism by radical progressives.

But by ABC’s own admission (and as I’d pointed out), the administration didn’t “lose” anyone; they’d simply placed these kids with sponsors, usually a family member, who didn’t respond when the government tried to check up on the child.

Wow. So it’s okay to report news that is false as long as you believe it serves a higher purpose. Does that mean it’s okay for your child to tell you a lie if that serves a higher purpose? Is it okay for your government to lie to you if that serves a higher purpose? Whatever happened to the concept of integrity.

The article explains what actually happened at the border:

Pearle doesn’t point out, of course, that the Obama administration also had a policy of temporarily separating families at the border (a fact MSNBC finally and begrudgingly admitted after weeks of slamming Trump), albeit to a lesser extent given the administration’s policy of simply releasing illegal aliens into the country without so much as a slap on the wrist. In fact, the policy of family separation was first launched after the Obama administration was sued for holding migrant children in detention facilities with their parents for extended periods of time – a court case that ended when the Ninth Circuit ruled these kids couldn’t be held for more than 20 days.

When the Trump administration reversed the previous policy of simply letting illegal alien families go free, that Obama-era court decision resulted in temporary family separations.

Is it okay to lie because you have an agenda to push and then claim it was done for higher purposes? Evidently the mainstream media thinks so.

Irony At Its Best

There have been a lot of accusations against President Trump for his attitudes about women. There have been charges of sexism, mysogyny, etc. Some of those things may or may not be true, but there are certain facts that indicate President Trump has been more fair to women than his accusers. In 1980 Donald Trump hired Barbara Res as the construction executive on Trump Tower. She was the first woman assigned to oversee a major New York City construction site. Currently there are many women in high-level positions in the Trump administration. He may or may not be a cad, but he is someone who believes in equal opportunities for women.

On Saturday, Townhall posted an article about a recent Inspector General’s Report on gender equality in various federal agencies. The article deals with the report on the Department of Justice. The report covers the period during fiscal years 2011 through 2016. The government’s fiscal year ends on September 30, so the report generally focuses on the Obama administration.

The article lists a number of findings from the review:

• A significant amount of women, especially criminal investigators, had experienced gender discrimination. 33 percent of female ATF agents, 41 percent of female DEA agents, 43 percent of female FBI agents and 51 percent of female U.S. Marshals said they experienced gender discrimination in the last five years.

• All staff perceive that personnel decisions are based more on personal relationships than on merit. Criminal investigators especially felt this to be true.

• One-quarter of female Criminal Investigator survey respondents believed that men were favored for career enhancing opportunities, such as detail assignments, special assignments, and training opportunities.

• Female focus group participants and interviewees, especially those at headquarters and the Washington, D.C. sites said that they believed they had to work harder than men to be recognized by supervisors in their performance evaluation or to receive a performance bonus.

• Both men and women said female Criminal Investigators often delayed having children or did not have children at all because having children could have affected both their promotion potential and the type of unit to which they would be assigned.

• Across the board, all employees didn’t trust the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) process. Many who felt they were discriminated against would not report it out of fear of it negatively impacting their career.

In 2014 McClatchy posted the following:

President Barack Obama calls it “wrong” and an “embarrassment” that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, saying women deserve equal pay for equal work.

“At a time when women make up about half of the workforce, but still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns – we’ve got to finish the job and give women the tools they need to fight for equal pay,” Obama said Wednesday in Maryland…

…But a McClatchy review of White House salaries shows that when the same calculations that produced the 77 cents is applied to the White House, the average female pay at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is less than the average male pay. When counted the same way that produced the 77-cent figure, the analysis found, women overall at the White House make 91 cents for every dollar men make. That’s an average salary of $84,082 for men and $76,516 for women.

After all these words, my point is simple–the American public has been sold a bunch of garbage about President Obama and President Trump. President Obama has been praised as a supporter of women while paying them less than men, and President Trump as been accused of not treating women well while allowing them equal job opportunities. Actually the only thing this is actually related to is the stand on abortion taken by each man. In the liberal world, a man who supports unlimited abortion is given pretty much free rein (Bill Clinton should have been the poster child for the ‘me too’ movement, but he wasn’t because he supported abortion). President Trump has shown that he values the lives of the unborn and therefore must be demonized by the media. Once you understand that reasoning, you can understand why the media ignores so much of the hypocrisy of the political left.

Unfortunately This Is Actually Plausable

The Washington Times posted an opinion piece today about President Obama. The title of the opinion piece is “America really did have a Manchurian Candidate in the White House.” The piece lists some of the actions of the Obama administration that weakened America and caused discord around the world.

The piece notes:

After returning from a tour of some of the war zones in the Middle East — which ended with the Free Iran Gathering 2018 in Paris — I am struck by the realization that America really did have a Manchurian Candidate in The White House for eight years. If you look at the evidence, there really is no other conclusion. The calamitous consequences of the Obama presidency will be felt for the foreseeable future.

In the short year and a half that President Trump has been in office, he has put in place policy that has mitigated the damage that President Obama inflicted on our national security and on our allies. The speed with which Trump has been able to turn things around points to the diabolical depths the Obama administration went to in order to undermine our national strength and way of life. All Trump had to do was stop doing things that hurt America; America could then take care of itself. The results are plain as day. However, it will take decades for the Obama damage to be completely undone. The deviousness of the Obama sedition runs deep.

Some examples cited were the support of an Egyptian President with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the ousting of Moammar Gadhafi, who had given up his nuclear weapons, the premature withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, and the Iran treaty. Any one of these policies could be viewed individually as bad judgment, but when you look at all of these decisions together, there is a pattern. All of these policy decisions weakened America and made the world less safe. It is extremely doubtful that was simply a coincidence.

Please follow the link above to read the entire piece.

What A Difference A President Makes

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about recent events in Iran. The editorial highlights the difference between the way the Obama administration handled protests and the Trump administration is handling protestors.

The editorial states:

In recent days, headlines such as “In Iran, revolution is starting in the bazaar,” “Clashes Continue in Iran for Third Day After Grand Bazaar Merchant Protest,” and “Tehran’s Grand Bazaar Shut Down As Economic Protests Spread,” have run in global media, with little apparent notice.

It’s a big deal. A very big deal.

The 39-year-old dictatorship of the Mullahs in Tehran may be on the verge of dissolving, as Trump imposes new, stiff sanctions on Iran’s economy and Iran’s currency, the rial, plunges sharply, prices soar and the economy collapses. Average Iranians are losing faith in the government and taking to the streets.

In dealing with Iran, it is important to remember the demographics of the country. A large segment of their population was killed during the Iran/Iraq War between 1980 and 1988. The current profile of the Iranian population is 24.1 percent under the age of 15, 70.1 percent between 15 and 64 years old, and 5 percent of the population 65+. That means that the twenty year olds who participated in the Iranian revolution now comprise 5 percent of the population.

According to unc.edu:

A scholarly article based on the records of the Veteran and Martyrs Affairs Foundation, a government agency, recently counted 183,623 Iranian deaths as a result of the war.

To put that into perspective, Iran had a population of 80.9 million people in 2017.

The majority of the population has grown up in a very restrictive culture and  does not necessarily supported the rule of the mullahs. The current economic struggles have only exacerbated the discontent of the majority of young Iranians.

The editorial states:

Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, its central meeting place and business center, has been filled with tens of thousands of angry protesters nearly every day. Yet, the media are paying little attention. Neither are average citizens in the West. But it bears close watching.

Some chant anti-government slogans, including “The enemy is here. They (the regime) lie that it is the U.S.” Not lost on average Iranians is the fact that, as Najmeh Bozorgmehr writes in the Financial Times, “The bazaar played a crucial role in the 1979 Islamic revolution when traders joined forces with the clergy to overthrow Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.”

Is history repeating itself?

If so, this will remake the entire Mideast. Without the fundamentalists in power, Iran will almost certainly begin modernizing both its economy and its culture. Moreover, the nuclear weapons program that is at the heart of western discontent with Iran could be dismantled.

Last time, the U.S. sat and watched, not giving its ally, the Shah, any support. This time is different.

The U.S. Treasury under President Trump has already begun to revoke licenses, according to the Associated Press, that let U.S.-controlled foreign companies sell commercial jet parts and oilfield gear to Iran. It also bans sale of Iran’s famous carpets, pistachios and caviar in the U.S., major exports for the financially troubled nation.

This follows Trump’s decision in May to pull out of President Obama’s so-called Iran nuclear agreement. That deal didn’t halt work on a nuclear weapon; it merely postponed an Iranian nuke by 10 years.

Despite criticism from Britain, China, Russia, Germany, France and the European Union, Trump held fast. Angry rhetoric notwithstanding, foreign banks have fallen into line, fearing sanctions from the U.S. Two-thirds of all global trade is conducted in dollars. As sanctions bite and its oil industry struggles, Iran’s mullahs are short on cash.

By these moves, Trump has empowered the people taking to the streets in Tehran and elsewhere. The last time this happened, during Iran’s 2009 “Green Revolution,” by comparison, President Obama did nothing. Indeed, within years, Obama had signed a Neville-Chamberlain-style appeasement deal Iran’s leaders. Disgracefully, it basically gave them a sure path to a nuclear bomb.

This protest is important. It could eventually change the face of the Middle East.

Small Business Growth Was Killed Under Dodd-Frank

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the impact of the Dodd-Frank Bill on the growth of small businesses in America.

The editorial reports:

A new study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the quasi-private think tank that serves as the referee for deciding U.S. upturns and downturns, shows the damage done by Dodd-Frank to small businesses was severe.

The study, “The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on Small Business,” by economists Michael D. Bordo and John V. Duca, goes a long way toward explaining why GDP growth under Obama was a mere 2%, a full third slower than the long-term average.

It’s based on a long-term and well-known dynamic. Small businesses grow faster than large ones, and account for over two-thirds of all U.S. jobs growth. Dodd-Frank’s damage was substantial and persistent.

The editorial explains how the regulations impacted small businesses:

Dodd-Frank made making loans to large companies far more attractive. They did so by new compliance rules that treated small and startup loans as inherently more risky than big-business loans.

In economic terms, Dodd-Frank increased the fixed cost of making a loan to smaller companies. So banks simply stopped lending to them. Overnight, businesses that once had lines of credit lost them. Many closed. Startups could get nothing.

This may sound like a wonky debate, but it isn’t. Dodd-Frank’s destructive lending restrictions destroyed millions of jobs and kept entrepreneurs from creating thousands and thousands of new, wonderful businesses.

And it also explains why, with a few deft strokes of his presidential pen, cutting both regulations and taxes sharply, President Trump has been able to offset Dodd-Frank’s growth-killing rules and restored 3% growth to the economy.

The cutting of regulations and the tax cuts created the economic atmosphere that has resulted in stunning economic growth in the past year. Now if the Federal Reserve will be very careful as it raises interest rates to reasonable levels, we should be able to come out of the slump we were in during the Obama administration smoothly.

What Is The Difference Between A Leaker And A Source?

Yesterday The New York Times reported the following:

…James A. Wolfe, 57,  (a former Senate Intelligence Committee Aide) was charged with lying repeatedly to investigators about his contacts with three reporters. According to the authorities, Mr. Wolfe made false statements to the F.B.I. about providing two of them with sensitive information related to the committee’s work. He denied to investigators that he ever gave classified material to journalists, the indictment said.

The article states:

Mr. Wolfe’s case led to the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump. The seizure was disclosed in a letter to the Times reporter, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Mr. Wolfe. The seizure suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.

…Court documents describe Mr. Wolfe’s communications with four reporters — including Ms. Watkins — using encrypted messaging applications. It appeared that the F.B.I. was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser. She published an article for BuzzFeed News on April 3, 2017, about the attempted recruitment of Mr. Page in which he confirmed the contacts.

However, we are dealing with The New York Times, which is not above using very selective memory in spinning a story.

The article states:

Ms. Watkins’s personal lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall, said: “It’s always disconcerting when a journalist’s telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department — through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process. Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges.”

Poor Ms. Watkins. Let’s go back to the case of James Rosen.

The following was reported by Fox News on May 23, 2013:

Newly uncovered court documents reveal the Justice Department seized records of several Fox News phone lines as part of a leak investigation — even listing a number that, according to one source, matches the home phone number of a reporter’s parents.

The seizure was ordered in addition to a court-approved search warrant for Fox News correspondent James Rosen’s personal emails. In the affidavit seeking that warrant, an FBI agent called Rosen a likely criminal “co-conspirator,” citing a wartime law called the Espionage Act.

Rosen was not charged, but his movements and conversations were tracked. A source close to the leak investigation confirmed to Fox News that the government obtained phone records for several numbers that match Fox News numbers out of the Washington bureau.

Further, the source confirmed to Fox News that one number listed matched the number for Rosen’s parents in Staten Island.

A journalists right to report needs to be protected, but the leaks out of the Senate Intelligence Committee are ridiculous. There have been instances of matters not taken up by the Committee because the members knew that anything said would be leaked. I am not sure where we need to draw the line on investigating leakers, but it seems as if both the Obama administration and the Trump administration have used questionable methods to try to stop leaks.

The Positive Economic News Continues

Yahoo News is reporting today that jobless claims expectantly fell last week. (Why was it unexpected–the trend has been going downward for a while?) Because of this, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates next week to keep the economy from overheating. I have mixed emotions about this. We do have to get back to reasonable interest rates, but it seems as if the federal reserve also has a habit of overreacting and slowing down (or speeding up) the economy a little too quickly.

This is a chart of interest rates starting in approximately 2008 taken from trading economics:

As you can see, the rates were kept very low during the Obama Administration in order to avoid an economic crash. Ideally, the Federal Reserve will raise them very slowly so as to protect the economic growth we are currently seeing.

Yahoo News reports:

The dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies. Prices for longer-dated U.S. Treasuries rose marginally and stocks on Wall Street were mixed. The labor market is considered to be close to or at full employment. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 223,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent.

The jobless rate, which has declined by three-tenths of a percentage point this year, is now at a level where the Fed projected it would be by the end of this year.

The number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid increased 21,000 to 1.74 million in the week ended May 26. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims dropped 13,250 to 1.73 million, the lowest level since December 1973.

…The strong job market conditions were also underscored by the publication on Thursday of the Labor Department’s Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements survey, which showed 1.3 percent of U.S. workers in May 2017 held jobs they considered temporary or did not expect to last beyond a year.

That is a decline from 1.8 percent in February 2005 when the government last conducted a similar survey.

When self-employed individuals and independent contractors were included, the share of workers was 1.6 percent in May 2017, down from 2.3 percent in February 2005. Most contingent workers were under the age of 25.

The Labor Department will publish its Contingent Worker Supplement report in September. It is expected to shed light on the so-called gig economy.

Like him or not, President Trump is a successful businessman who understands how economics works. It might be a good idea in the future to elect businessmen to the presidency instead of politicians.

Funny Money In The 2016 Election Campaign

The slime that is leaking from the FBI and Department of Justice relating to their conduct during the 2016 election campaign just keeps getting worse. On Monday, The Conservative Tribune posted an article about money paid to Stefan Halper to spy on the Trump campaign.

The article reports:

Over the past few days the public has learned that the FBI had at least one spy in the Trump campaign, Stefan Halper. It’s also been revealed that Halper formerly worked for the CIA (and perhaps still does). In addition, Halper allegedly meddled in at least one previous U.S. presidential election and appears to have continued spying at least nine months after the 2016 election.

The latest devastating revelation? The Obama administration paid Halper $282,000 (or $411,000 depending on how the budgeting worked) to work for a mysteriously named “Other Defense Agency” just days after Trump pulled to within a point of Clinton in the polls.

The ‘cover story’ for this payment was that Halper was being paid to produce an economic study on India and China. $282,000 is a serious amount of money to be paid for that study.

The article continues:

Want to hear a remarkable coincidence? On July 26, 2017, Halper appears to have been paid $129,000 for further work on the Sino-Indian study. Two days later, Halper emailed Carter Page, asking what he or the Trump administration (it’s not clear which) planned to do moving forward on the collusion investigation.

He also told Page that Virginia’s summer was pleasant and that it “would be great to catch up.” Civility in spying really has come a long way.

Has anyone ever seen this study?

This is more than a little fishy. It also illustrates the need for a serious audit of how the government spends our tax money. It has taken many years to build the swamp. Unfortunately it may take many years to drain it. Hopefully we can keep the right people in place long enough to get the job done.

An Honest Man Creates A Problem For The Deep State

The American Thinker posted an article today about the role of retired Admiral Mike Rogers in making things difficult for the deep state during the primary election season. The article is a perfect example of how one honest man can make a difference.

The article deals with the revelation of the identity of the spy the Obama administration had placed inside the Trump campaign during the primary and beyond.

The article reports:

Last week I reported that Internet sleuths had winkled out the name of the spy/agent provocateur that Obama’s intelligence officers had used on the Trump campaign. The New York Times and Washington Post, the Democrats’ semi-official newspapers this week megaphoned the instigators, offering up their justifications without naming his name. 

Again, the name is Stefan Halper, who, as I wrote here last week, was paid a substantial sum by the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment. 

If it was for this work – and it suspiciously looks like it because the payments were made in July and September of 2016 when he was weaseling his way into the campaign – then we know we have the DNI, CIA, DOJ, FBI, Dept. of State and the Defense Department working for Hillary’s election and to smear and create a basis for further spying on Trump and his campaign. 

This is the story:

Former FBI agent Mark Wauck suggests Halper may have been operating under a preliminary investigation(PI), not a full Investigation (FI)

The FBI is asked–way back as early as 2015, but who knows? — to be helpful to the Dems and they agree. What they do is they hire non-government consultants with close Dem ties to do “analytical work” for them, which happens to include total access to NSA data. Advantages? For the Dems, obviously, access to EVERYTHING digital. A gold mine for modern campaign research. For the FBI there’s also an advantage. They get to play dumb — gosh, we didn’t know they were looking at all that stuff! They also don’t have to falsify anything, like making [stuff] up to “justify” opening a FI [full investigation]on an American citizen and then lying to the FISC to get a FISA on the USPER [US person] and having to continually renew the FISA and lie all over again to the FISC each renewal. And the beauty of it all is, who’s ever going to find out? And even if they do, how do you prove criminal intent?

So everything’s humming along until a pain in the a** named Mike Rogers at NSA does an audit in 4/2016, just as the real campaign season is about to start. And Rogers learns that 85% of the searches the FBI has done between 12/2015 and 4/2016 have been totally out of bounds. And he clamps down — no more non-government contractors, tight auditing on searches of NSA data. Oh sh*t! What to do, just give up? Well, not necessarily, but there’s a lot more work involved and a lot more fudging the facts. What the FBI needs to do now is get a FISA that will cover their a** and provide coverage on the GOPers going forward. That means, first get a FI on an USPER [US person] connected to the Trump campaign (who looks, in [April] or [May] 2016, like the GOP candidate) so you can then get that FISA. That’s not so easy, because they’ve got to find an USPER with that profile who they can plausibly present as a Russian spy. But they have this source named Halper.

So they first open a PI [preliminary investigation]. That allows them to legally use NatSec Letters and other investigative techniques to keep at least some of what they were doing going. But importantly this allows them to legally use Halper to try to frame people connected to the Trump campaign — IOW, find someone to open a FI on so they can then get that FISA. However the PI is framed, that’s what they’re looking to do. It has legal form, even if the real intent is to help the Dems. And you can see why this had to be a CI [counterintelligence] thing, so in a sense the Russia narrative was almost inevitable — no other bogeyman would really fit the bill, and especially on short notice.

So that’s what they do, and Halper helps them come up with Papadopoulos and Page, so by the end of July they’ve got their FI. Problem. Their first FISA is rejected, but eventually, 10/2016, they get that.

And then Trump wins and Rogers visits Trump Tower. And the Deep State has a fit.

The article also reveals the role of Virginia Senator Mark Warner in this story:

Mark Warner was also the guy caught text messaging with DC Lawyer Adam Waldman in the spring of 2017. (his first assignment) Waldman was the lawyer for the interests of Christopher Steele – the author of the dossier.

While he was working as an intermediary putting Senator Warner and Christopher Steele in contact with each other, simultaneously Adam Waldman was also representing the interests of… wait for it… Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Derispaska was the Russian person approached by Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok and asked to assist in creating dirt on the Trump campaign, via Paul Manafort.

You see, Senator Mark Warner has a vested interest in making sure that no-one ever gets to the bottom of the 2016 political weaponization, spying and surveillance operation.

Senator Mark Warner was a participant in the execution of the “insurance policy” trying to remove President Trump via the Russian Collusion narrative. 

The article concludes:

Wretchard tweets something impossible to deny: “The biggest problem with politically weaponizing intelligence agencies is it CREATES a pathway for the foreign takeover of the system. If once a hostile power takes over the WH, it obtains the power to remain indefinitely.”

We now have an imaginary crime – collusion – with imaginary evidence and even imaginary defendants. What is not imaginary is the selfish effort to destroy our polity by several handfuls of men and women who abused their positions of trust for intended partisan gain that failed. Give them the hook already.

No wonder Congress is having such a hard time obtaining the documents it is entitled to!

Please follow the link to read the entire article. There are some amazing connections revealed here. There are also many people named in this article that need to suffer the consequences of their actions.

The Pieces Are Beginning To Fit Together

Townhall posted an article today that explains a lot of the pieces in the Special Prosecutor story and how those who supported Hillary Clinton for President worked together inside the government to create problems for President Trump.

The article reminds us:

On December 29, 2016, the Obama Administration – with three weeks remaining in its term – issued harsh sanctions against Russia over supposed election interference. Two compounds in the United States were closed and 35 Russian diplomats were ordered to leave the country.

In the two years since that was done, it has become obvious that the basis for the sanctions was questionable at best. So what was this all about?

The story begins with the emails showing that the Democratic primary election was rigged for Hillary Clinton. There are still questions as to whether those emails were ‘phished’ or hacked. The scandal was significant enough to cause the resignation of DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the eve of the Democratic convention.

The article points out:

The FBI never bothered to test the computers for a hack.  That task was left to CrowdStrike, a private contractor whose CTO and co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a Russian ex-patriot and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank with an anti-Russian agenda.

The Atlantic Council is funded by Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk, a $10 million donor to the Clinton Foundation.  The fix was in.  CrowdStrike dutifully reported that the Russians were behind the hack.

Lat year The Nation, a progressive publication, got a group of unaffiliated computer experts to test CrowdStrike’s hypothesis and they concluded that the email files were removed from the computer at a speed that makes an off-site download from Russia impossible.  

The saga continued:

Trump protested by stating the obvious: the federal government has “no idea” who was behind the hacks.

The FBI and CIA called him a liar, issuing a “Joint Statement” that suggested 17 intelligence agencies agree that it was the Russians. Hillary Clinton took advantage of this “intelligence assessment” in the October debate to portray Trump as Putin’s stooge.

She said, “We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber-attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.”

The media’s fact checkers excoriated Trump for lying. It was the ultimate campaign dirty trick: a joint operation by the intelligence agencies and the media against a political candidate.

The article concludes:

The machinations that followed, the secret memos and special counsel, the prosecution of Flynn anyway for what happened in his conversation, the whole sordid mess, is a cover-up.

In the inverse logic of Russian collusion, the investigation itself supplies credibility to the collusion narrative. Any attempt to end the investigation is obstruction of justice.

One person has the constitutional responsibility end this nonsense. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who himself was duped into recusing himself by since discredited intelligence, should bow to recent disclosures of impropriety and say enough is enough.

His Inspector General will be issuing a report to him sometime soon. Maybe then he will lift his recusal and start the prosecutions. People should go to jail for this.

This is a scenario generally reserved for third-world countries. It is distressing to know that we have people in government who are so unpatriotic as to engage in this sort of shenanigans. Hopefully there will be an influx of politicians into our jail cells in the near future.

The Evidence Slowly Drips Out

The American Center for Law and Justice posted an article yesterday about the documents they have begun to receive as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding the unmasking of Americans in wiretaps.

The article reports:

We’ve all seen the reports of the unprecedented unmasking of U.S. citizens by senior Obama official, Ambassador Samantha Power, in the final days of the of the Administration – to the tune of more than one a day.  Now, through our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation, we have unearthed evidence of significant political bias during the same time period she was unmasking Americans.

Last fall the media began reporting that among other Obama Administration officials, former Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power made numerous requests seeking the “unmasking” (or unredacted identification) of names and other information about members of the Trump campaign team whose communications had been incidentally caught up in intelligence surveillance efforts. Power’s requests, reported to number in the hundreds, occurred mostly in the final days of the Obama Administration, that is between the election of President Trump in November 2016 and his inauguration in January 2017.

What the media has not reported, but the ACLJ has since discovered through one of our FOIA lawsuits, is that the clear political—and personal—bias of Power against the incoming President and the conservative agenda led her to undertake efforts aimed at undercutting support for the new Administration.

The article further reports:

We warned you about the 73 Days of Danger – the final days of the Obama Administration, and this new evidence confirmed what we said all along. The Administration was fully engaged in attempts to do whatever they could to undermine the conservative agenda and the will of the American voters.  But it was far worse than we thought.

Power goes on in this November 11th email to pitch a 60 Minutes episode to help lay a public foundation to undermine the incoming Administration. She wrote:

I am not sure exactly what I am pitching, but it seems there could be something interesting to show through USUN about this waning multilateral moment for the US, how we use these last two months, what we are trying to defend, how we are consoling other countries, etc. I wondered if there could be something in this that would hit home for viewers, even or perhaps especially those who support Trump. Let me know if you would like to brainstorm.”

The conversation continues four days later with Owens acknowledging and agreeing to help pitch the piece. He further stated, “I can only imagine the conversations you are having with some of our allies now and I would love a chance to brainstorm.”

The article concludes:

Further, and of critical importance, is that nothing in the unredacted portion of either email chain that day is responsive to our FOIA request. That means, that something in those redacted email chains – sent just 3 days before the presidential inauguration – is responsive to our FOIA request.

What is the Deep State hiding?

We will be challenging these redactions. The American people deserve to know the truth. 

In addition, we are pleased to report that late last week we secured a federal court order increasing the State Department’s required processing rate for production in this case by 33%. With nearly 9,000 pages that we know have yet to be processed, there is much more that we can and will learn about this situation.

Power’s political bias was palpable and calls into severe question any suggestion that Power’s unprecedented unmasking requests against U.S. citizens was done with anything other that political animus.  If this production is what the Deep State was willing to turn over to us, we can only imagine what remains to be turned over, litigated over, and be unredacted.

Stay tuned. The Freedom of Information Act may be the only way will be able to save our republic.

Some Thoughts On The FISA Court

The following video from One America News was posted at YouTube on Friday:

What happened during the end of the Obama Administration was a violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens by the abuse of a secret court. It is the obligation of the government to insure that never happens again. The surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition team makes the wiretapping engaged in by the Watergate burglars look like child’s play. The use of government agencies for political purposes was something that happened more than once in the Obama Administration–the IRS was eventually forced to pay fines to the conservative organizations it refused to grant tax-exempt status to. The purpose of not granting the tax-exempt status was to silence organizations engaging in conservative speech during the 2012 elections. Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, that is a dangerous thing. Remember, it is always possible that someday the shoe will be on the other foot. If we don’t end the practice of using the government against people who disagree with us now, it will not end.

An Investigation Of These Russian Ties Is Needed

The Hill posted a very disturbing article today about a deal with Russia that was made during the Obama Administration. Evidently the Department of Justice slow walked an investigation that had been done by the FBI and did not brief Congress on the investigation in a timely manner.

The article reports:

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

It pays to donate to the Clinton Foundation. Or at least it did.

It gets worse:

The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

This is the swamp that needs to be cleaned out. Anyone involved in this investigation and the fact that it was kept secret from Congress needs to be unemployed immediately. Please follow the link to the article and read the entire story and review the documents involved. This story is an example of government corruption and that corruption needs to have consequences for those involved.

The Plot Thickens

It seems as if there were some major infringements on the privacy and civil rights of American citizens during the last year or so of the Obama Administration. Fortunately, it looks as though these violations will be investigated and the guilty parties will be held accountable.

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the ongoing investigation into the unmasking of the names of American citizens who were named in classified intelligence community reports. Oddly enough, many of these citizens were associated with the Donald Trump campaign for President or his transition team.

The article reports:

Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, which is handling the probe, petitioned Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats last week to request his help in addressing the unmasking issue.

Nunes disclosed in his letter that the former Obama administration had “easy access” to sensitive classified information and that they may have used it to “achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information.”

Congressional investigators uncovered that “one official [whose] position has no apparent intelligence-related function”—now believed to be Power—”made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama administration.”

Little justification was provided for the request of this sensitive classified information, which government insiders described as outside the purview of a U.N. ambassador.

“Of those requests, only one offered a justification that was not boilerplate and articulated why that specific official required the personal information for the performance of his or her official duties,” according to Nunes.

One former senior U.S. official intimately familiar with the national security infrastructure told the Free Beacon that Power would have little reason to be requesting such information, particularly information that included in raw intelligence reports related to Trump and his team.

“Asking for an unmasking is rare at the [National Security Council] or the State Department. It is frankly shocking that anyone would be asking for dozens, and if there are really hundreds it is indefensible,” said the former official. “It does make me wonder why [National Security Agency] didn’t stop her [Power], by questioning this practice and getting the head of NSA to raise it with the president or the national security adviser.”

In addition to Power, the House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and other top officials as part of its investigation into these leaks.

This is NOT politics as usual. The unmasking of American citizens and then leaking classified information is an example of using a government position for political purposes. Not only is it illegal, it is a danger to our republic.

The article concludes:

One veteran congressional adviser who has been briefed by senior Intelligence Committee members told the Free Beacon that the emergence of Power’s role in these unmasking efforts could point to the improper use of this information, given her unrelated role at the U.N.

“The outrage about Obama officials spying on Americans, let alone on the Republican candidate and then incoming president, is both real and legitimate,” said the source, who would only discuss the sensitive matter on background. “But there are still a lot of known unknowns, which could make things a lot worse.”

“The Obama folks may have made a deliberate decision to use Power, even though they knew it would risk giving away their unmasking campaigns, because she had no business making those requests,” the source said. “What was so bad they had to use her for the requests, rather than someone who would have had a better excuse but may have balked?”

Stay tuned. Even if the mainstream media ignores this story, you will be hearing more about this in the future.

 

This Is Not A Surprise

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that Iran is using the money that it was paid as part of the Iranian nuclear deal to fund an unprecedented military buildup.

The article reports:

Iran is using the billions in cash resources provided under the landmark nuclear deal to engage in an unprecedented military buildup meant to transform the Islamic Republic’s fighting force into an “offensive” juggernaut, according to a largely unreported announcement by Iranian military leaders that has sparked concern among U.S. national security insiders and sources on Capitol Hill.

Iranian officials announced late last month that Iran’s defense budget had increased by 145 percent under President Hassan Rouhani and that the military is moving forward with a massive restructuring effort aimed at making it “a forward moving force,” according to regional reports.

Iranian leaders have stated since the Iran deal was enacted that they are using the massive amounts of cash released under the agreement to fund the purchase of new military equipment and other armaments. Iran also has pursued multi-million dollar arms deals with Russia since economic sanctions were nixed as part of the deal.

Iran is not our friend and has been funding weapons used against American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since American troops got there. We need to remember that the goal of Iran is to establish a caliphate with Iran in charge. Iran is currently working with Russia to support the current regime in Syria and is working to fight ISIS. ISIS also wants to set up a caliphate. The difference is Sunni and Shiite. ISIS is the remnants of the Baathist regime that ruled Iraq with Saddam Hussein, Sunni Muslims. Iran is Shiite Muslim.  A caliphate set up by either group would be ruled by a brutal regime according to Sharia Law–women would be second-class citizens, homosexuals would be killed, and freedom of religion would not be allowed. The establishment of that caliphate by Iran is what the large amounts of cash given to Iran by the Obama Administration will be used to attempt.

The article concludes:

One senior congressional source tracking the matter expressed concern about the safety of U.S. forces in the region, which already are routinely harassed by Iranian military personnel.

“This is certainly grounds for concern,” the source said. “An Iranian military buildup coupled with an offensive posture is a threat to the United States and our allies. This also serves as an important reminder of why the Obama administration’s cash infusion to Iran was so dangerous.”

The cash windfall provided by the United States and European countries is “fungible and hence can be used for everything from sponsoring terror proxies to developing ballistic missiles,” the source warned. “Congress will continue to take action to counter Iranian terrorism and ensure this regime never acquires a nuclear weapon.”

Iran’s military announcement has already sparked a renewed push on Capitol Hill to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran.

“The Iranians know that the party will end this fall, when Congress will pass bipartisan legislation that begins to roll back Iran’s military growth,” one senior congressional adviser working on the sanctions effort told the Free Beacon.

“The Obama administration avoided any serious action for years, and so Iran kept growing its arsenal and using it against our allies, against Syrian civilians, and increasingly against our military,” said the source. “Now they’re rushing to accomplish as much as they can before Congress and the Trump administration get around to reversing Obama’s policies.”

Let’s hope Congress reverses this policy. They haven’t shown the spine yet to reverse much of anything. If Congress cannot reverse a policy that puts American soldiers at risk, then they should be made to put on uniforms to get a new perspective.

Republicans May Be Learning To Fight Back

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about a lawsuit filed by the Watchdog group, Cause of Action (CoA) seeking records relating to the relationship between the FBI and Christopher Steele, a former British spy who was the lead author of the largely debunked Trump dossier.

The article reports:

Via Cause of Action:

According to a news report, Mr. Steele entered an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the November 2016 election to investigate then-candidate Donald Trump while, at the same time, he was employed by an opposition research firm to collect information for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

CoA Institute President and CEO John Vecchione: “If a former spy who was being paid to do opposition research on a U.S. presidential nominee was also on the FBI’s payroll, there are serious concerns about the agency’s independence. We need to better understand this financial relationship to ensure the FBI was not misusing taxpayer money to interfere in a presidential election on behalf of one of the candidates.”

On March 7, 2017, CoA Institute sent a FOIA request to the FBI seeking access to records into whether the FBI paid money, or had plans to pay, Mr. Steele for any purpose. To date, the FBI has failed to produce any responsive records within the applicable FOIA timeframe.

The obvious questions is, “Exactly who was Mr. Steele working for–the FBI or the Clinton Campaign?”

The article concludes:

The amount of corruption in these government agencies is astounding. The FBI is damaged. Comey needs to go. Trump needs to gut these institutions! The Obama administration weaponized every agency to target his political opponents. Every person involved must be prosecuted and brought to justice.

It truly is time to drain the swamp!

The Timeline Shows The History

Sharyl Attkisson was an investigative journalist who resigned from CBS News in 2014. She was unbiased and reported events as she saw them. In July 2012, Ms. Attkisson’s reporting on the Fast and Furious scandal received an Emmy Award. Ms. Attkisson has reported that her personal computer and work computer were illegally accessed beginning in 2012. She has posted an article on her website about some of the indications that government surveillance of Americans during the Obama Administration was not unusual.

The article includes a timeline. Here are some highlights:

 April 2009:

Someone leaks the unmasked name of Congresswoman Jane Harmon to the press. According to news reports, the Bush administration NSA incidentally recorded and saved Harmon’s phone conversations with pro-Israel lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage. The story is first broken by Congressional Quarterly’s Jeff Stein.

December 17, 2009:

The Obama administration prosecutes FBI contractor Shamai Leibowitz for leaking documents to the media in April 2009. Leibowitz says he leaked because he felt FBI practices were “an abuse of power and a violation of the law” which he reported to his superiors at the FBI “who did nothing about them.”  (According to the ACLU: “Amazingly, the sentencing judge said, ‘I don’t know what was divulged other than some documents, and how it compromised things, I have no idea’.”)

2010:

The IRS secretly begins “targeting” conservative groups that are seeking nonprofit tax-exempt status, by singling out ones that have “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names.

Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning begins illegally leaks classified information to WikiLeaks revealing, among other matters, that the U.S. is extensively spying on the United Nations.

Obama Attorney General Eric Holder renews a Bush-era subpoena of New York Times reporter James Risen in a leak investigation.

Obama administration pursues espionage charges against NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake. (According to the ACLU: spy charges were later dropped and Drake pled guilty to a misdemeanor. The judge called the government’s conduct in the case “unconscionable.”)

May 28, 2010:

The government secretly applies for a warrant to obtain Google email information of Fox News reporter James Rosen in a leak investigation, without telling Rosen.

September 21, 2010:

Internal email entitled “Obama Leak Investigations” at “global intelligence” company Stratfor claims Obama’s then-Homeland Security adviser John Brennan is targeting journalists.

“Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources,” writes one Stratfor official to another.

The email continues: “Note — There is specific tasker from the [White House] to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is shocked. The Wonder Boys must be in meltdown mode…”

“The Wonder Boys” reportedly refers to the National Security Agency (NSA). Brennan later becomes President Obama’s CIA Director.

Early February 2011:

After receiving an anonymous tip, CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson begins researching the Department of Justice “gunwalking” operation nicknamed “Fast and Furious” that secretly let thousands of weapons be trafficked to Mexican drug cartels. One of the “walked” guns had been used by illegal aliens who murdered U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

February 22, 2011:

CBS’ Attkisson breaks news about “Fast and Furious” on The CBS Evening News.

After the story airs, the government issues an internal memo that seeks to “push positive stories” to contradict the news.

Given the negative coverage by CBS Evening News last week…ATF needs to proactively push positive stories this week, in an effort to preempt some negative reporting, or at minimum, lessen the coverage of such stories in the news cycle by replacing them with good stories about ATF.

March 4, 2011:

CBS News’ Attkisson exclusively interviews sitting ATF special agent John Dodson. He gives a firsthand account contradicting government denials re: Fast and Furious.

The article continues with the timeline continuing through April 11, 2017, citing actions by the Obama Administration and by the people who remained in government positions after the Obama Administration ended. I think we have a problem. The only possible solution is to find the guilty parties and hold them accountable to the law. One wonders if we are not in a situation similar to what happened when J. Edgar Hoover headed the FBI and collected enough damaging information on everyone in government so that no one ever challenged him when he overstepped the limits of his position. If we have a similar situation now, we may not be able to solve the problem of overactive government surveillance for political purposes, and voters are simply going to have to be smart about what they believe.

 

 

 

The Keystone Pipeline Will Be Good For The Environment, But You Might Have To Search A Bit To Find That Story

On March 24th, The New York Post posted an article about the environmental impact of the Keystone Pipeline. I would like to point out that none of the environmental studies on the pipeline done during the Obama Administration ever stated that the pipeline would harm the environment. The objection to the pipeline at that point was that if President Obama allowed the pipeline to be built, the Democratic Party would lose the donations of the radical environmental groups. If they refused to build the pipeline, they would lose a large portion of donations from unions. They made a choice to keep the environmentalists happy and ignore the unions who wanted the jobs the pipeline would create.

The article points out:

Environmentalists like to tout scary spill statistics. But in actuality, oil travels most securely by pipeline, reaching its destination safely 99.999 percent of the time, according to the Association of Oil Pipe Lines and the American Petroleum Institute.

A recent study by Canada’s Fraser Institute provided more reassuring information: Of the rare spills that do occur, 83 percent happen in facilities specially equipped to handle them, not along the pipeline’s route, where they could cause environmental harm. Moreover, 70 percent of the spills that do occur amount to a total of less than a cubic meter of spilled oil.

The article explains the impact of alternative forms of transporting oil:

As energy-related rail traffic increased, 2013 alone saw more train-related crude-oil spills than the entire 37 years prior, combined. And between 2013 and 2015 alone, the United States and Canada saw 10 separate explosions involving oil-laden trains.

To understand how much riskier railway transportation can be, look no further than to Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. In 2013, a crude-oil train derailed, plowing into town at more than 62 miles per hour and exploding. Forty-seven people died, and the blaze wiped out 44 buildings.

The wreck unleashed nearly 1.5 million gallons of oil, and what didn’t char the town seeped into the soil and contaminated the nearby Chaudière River.

Transporting oil by truck also carries major risks. At the peak of the oil boom, The New York Times reported that highway fatalities were the top cause of deaths in the industry — more than 300 between 2002 and 2012. In North Dakota, highway fatalities skyrocketed as energy production soared; at one point, a person was killed in an accident every two-and-a-half days.

A 100 percent risk-free method of energy transportation doesn’t exist, and the Obama administration was well aware of the comparative risks of pipeline, rail and road. Five separate State Department studies examined safety and environmental concerns surrounding the pipeline. Their findings were consistently favorable to Keystone XL.

The most recent State Department report concluded that because of pipelines’ superior safety record, Keystone XL could prevent as many as six fatalities and 48 injuries each year.

Without the pipeline, the oil would travel by truck and rail. Both of these methods have a higher carbon footprint and a higher risk than a pipeline. It is also no coincidence that without the pipeline the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad is transporting large amounts of oil through the area where the pipeline will be built. The railroad is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett, a close friend of former President Obama. The delay of the Keystone Pipeline was truly a case of ‘follow the money.’

While We Were All Focused On A Shiny Object Over There…

BizPacReview reported yesterday about some information in the Obama Administration’s Friday night document dump.

The article reports:

Before the start of the Columbus Day holiday weekend, the Treasury Department made it easier for offshore banking institutions to make transactions with Iran, as long as the money doesn’t actually enter the U.S. financial system. Although many sanctions were lifted as a part of the Iran deal, certain “specially designated nationals,” or SDNs, are still subject to the sanctions for reasons which include their human rights record or support for terror groups.

Now, even these SDNs are no longer completely banned from transacting with U.S. businesses.

The Associated Press reports that this change in the rules is the result of complaints from Iran that the remaining U.S. Sanctions have limited Iran in its commercial dealings with other countries.

The article concludes:

Just another bad postscript to a bad deal, and we can expect plenty more of the same if people keep paying attention to the puppet shows instead of the man, or woman, behind the curtain.

The Iran deal was a really bad deal. We are financing terrorism and the development of an atomic bomb by Iran. We can expect more of the same from a President Hillary Clinton.