When Politicization Of Government Goes Unchecked

I am sure politicization of government bureaucracy was not invented under President Obama. We all remember the Clinton White House file controversy when Craig Livingstone, director of the White House‘s Office of Personnel Security, improperly requested, and received from the FBI, background reports concerning several hundred individuals without asking permission. We also had the IRS scandal under President Obama, and we are still sorting through FISA abuses under President Obama. However, the anti-Trump people have taken this to a new level.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about some recent activities in the Washington swamp.

The article reports:

Michael Avenatti is the sketchy lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels. Following a similar approach deployed by Fusion-GPS, in a rush to spread rumors and accusations Avenatti has pushed stolen documents from Treasury Department filings to his allies in the media.

The documents appear to come from frequently submitted bank filings and treasury notifications known as Currency Transaction Reports (CTR’s), and Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR’s). SAR’s and CTR’s are compliance forms filed by organizations who engage in financial services.

…Somehow the sketchy lawyer for Stormy Daniels obtained a list of treasury filings attached to the name Michael Cohen; the same name as President Trump’s lawyer. It is likely someone within the Treasury Department, or the DOJ with search access to the Treasury Department, leaked this list to Michael Avenatti in an effort to assist his dubious motives.

Unfortunately, at least two of the people Avenatti is now accusing of scurrilous financial transactions are not the same Michael Cohen the dubious lawyer is seeking to attack.  One is a Canadian Michael Cohen, the other is an Israeli Michael Cohen; both have financial transactions in the United States.  The latter just sending his brother money.

The article explains how a previous search of documents connected the wrong Michael Cohen with travel to Prague:

The previous incorrect search result on ‘Cohen travel’, contained in the Clinton-Steele Dossier, likely came from unlawful FISA-702(17) “about” queries (opposition research) and was passed along from Fusion-GPS to Steele -laundered into an intelligence product- and later passed back to the FBI via the dossier.  Today’s incorrect search results likely came from a U.S. government agency with access to Treasury Department records.

The article explains why the Washington swamp has to be drained:

Agents, employees, private contractors, and entities within government agencies with political motives and agendas, how have the ability to weaponize information against people they consider their political opposition.

This was always the danger of allowing corrupt left-wing ideologues to have the ability to control the mechanics of government. This is part of Obama’s “fundamental change” that people allowed in 2009 through 2017.

After eight years of access and promotion of the processes, there are now thousands of like-minded political ideologues within government that will abuse their access to data in an effort to assist their allies. Leaking information has evolved into specific targeting as the process has become more refined and frequent.

It is time for the criminalization of political speech that the political left disagrees with to stop. The concept that conservative political thought was a crime has been brewing for a while and needs to be dealt with before we lose our republic.

Don’t Let Your Love Of American Interfere With Your Ego And Personality Conflicts

I realize John McCain is dying. I am sorry about that. His family has my sympathies, and I pray that his suffering is alleviated. However, that does not excuse petty, damaging things he has done in the recent past. Possibly the brain cancer has interfered with his better judgement for a while, and I need to give him the benefit of the doubt, but some of his past actions have had a detrimental impact on America‘s government.

Yesterday The Daily Beast posted an article about a recent action taken by John McCain that has consequences that are still reverberating. The only good thing I can say about what he did is that his actions may be partially responsible for revealing the depth of the Washington swamp (of which he is a member) and making it more easy to drain.

The article reports:

In his new book, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) defends his decision to give a controversial dossier about President Trump to former FBI chief James Comey.

“I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as ‘the dossier,’” McCain writes in the upcoming book, titled The Restless Wave, referencing information compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. “I reviewed its contents. The allegations were disturbing, but I had no idea which if any were true. I could not independently verify any of it, and so I did what any American who cares about our nation’s security should have done.”

If you had no idea if the allegations were true, why didn’t you investigate who paid for the dossier and check the background of Christopher Steele? The statement in the book is designed to put a positive spin on one of the nastiest political stunts ever pulled. McCain has previously stated his intense dislike for Donald Trump and had no problem passing on questionable information that had the potential of destroying the Trump presidency (if that information had actually been true). I have no doubt that McCain wanted Hillary Clinton elected and Donald Trump destroyed. He knew James Comey was aligned with the Clintons (not known for playing fair in the political game) and could have guessed what would happen next.

As I said, I am sorry that John McCain is dying, I acknowledge that he is a war hero, but his recent actions were just plain sleazy.

Slowly But Surely The Truth Quietly Comes Out

The Friday-night news dump is a tradition of politicians and Washington types who are forced to release information they don’t want to release and are hoping no one will actually notice it. The latest Friday-night news dump has to do with redactions made on the FBI Russia report that have more to do with protecting the mistakes of the FBI than protecting national security (as claimed by those doing the redacting).

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review today citing some of the redactions and why the reasons for them are invalid.

The article cites a number of examples:

When the House first issued its report on the Russia investigation, a heavily redacted portion (pp. 53–54) related that Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, had pled guilty to a false-statements charge based on misleading statements to FBI agents about his December 2016 conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

…But there was one intriguing disclosure in the redacted report: Flynn pled guilty “even though the [FBI] agents did not detect any deception during Flynn’s interview.” There was no elaboration on this point — no discussion of why Flynn was interrogated by FBI agents in the first place; no insight on deliberations within the FBI and Justice Department about whether Flynn had deceptive intent; no explanation of how he came to be charged months later by Mueller’s prosecutors even though the trained investigators who observed Flynn’s demeanor during the interview did not believe he’d lied.

This is what the unredacted Russian report reveals:

  • Elaborate on why the FBI did not believe Flynn had lied, including quotations from Comey’s testimony.
  • Reveal that for some period of time during 2016, the FBI conducted a counterintelligence (CI) investigation of Flynn.
  • Note that top Obama Justice Department and FBI officials provided the committee with “conflicting testimony” about why the FBI interviewed Flynn as if he were a criminal suspect.
  • Illustrate that the FBI and Justice Department originally insisted on concealment of facts helpful to Flynn that are already public.

Meanwhile Flynn’s reputation has been ruined, his finances wrecked, and his life turned upside down. I recently posted an article about the Special Prosecutor‘s dealings with Michael Caputo, a campaign worker for President Trump. He has also had his life ruined and his financial stability destroyed by the Mueller investigation. The Mueller investigation has now reached the point where its goal is intimidating and ruining the lives of people who hold political views different from those on the investigating team. It is long past time for this charade of an investigation to stop.

Please follow the link above to the article at The National Review to see what else the FBI really didn’t want the American public to know.

Admiral Mike Rogers Retires

The Conservative Treehouse reported yesterday that Admiral Mike Rogers has retired as National Security Agency Director. He will be replaced by Army General Paul Nakasone. Ordinarily this would not be a particularly newsworthy event, but there are some things that have been going on behind the scenes that make this noteworthy.

The article reminds us:

It does not seem coincidental that today, in the background of events, there is also a great deal of activity within the aggregate intelligence community (FBI/DOJ).  As DNI Dan Coats and NSA Director Mike Rogers are together in a formal and official capacity for the final time, the FBI was purging usurping agents (Page, Baker). Indeed with Admiral Rogers exit from service, he is now able to testify regarding his knowledge of prior FISA issues.

You might remember it was DNI Dan Coats and NSA Mike Rogers who worked together to investigate the FISA abuses and declassify the FISA court opinion presented by Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer in April 2017.  It was also Mike Rogers who went to see President Elect Donald Trump in November of 2016 and alerted him to the counterintelligence surveillance being conducted by FBI and DOJ officials within the Obama Administration.

The most important aspect of Admiral Rogers’ retirement:

Indeed with Admiral Rogers exit from service, he is now able to testify regarding his knowledge of prior FISA issues.

Stay tuned.

The Circus Continues

The National Review posted an article today by Andrew McCarthy on the subject of the questions Robert Mueller would like to ask President Trump. The article is written on the assumption that the list of leaked questions is relatively accurate.

Andrew McCarthy makes some very good points as to why the Justice Department should block any interview of President Trump by the Special Prosecutor.

Andrew McCarthy points out that there is no evidence of a crime:

A president should not be subjected to prosecutorial scrutiny over poor judgment, venality, bad taste, or policy disputes. Absent concrete evidence that the president has committed a serious crime, the checks on the president should be Congress and the ballot box — and the civil courts, to the extent that individuals are harmed by abusive executive action. Otherwise, a special-counsel investigation — especially one staffed by the president’s political opponents — is apt to become a thinly veiled political scheme, enabling the losers to relitigate the election and obstruct the president from pursuing the agenda on which he ran.

That is what we are now witnessing.

Pretextual appointment of the special counsel
Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel for two reasons: (1) ostensibly to take over a counterintelligence probe; (2) in reality, as a cave-in to (mostly) Democratic caviling over Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey — which was lawful but incompetently executed. Democrats contended that Comey’s dismissal, in conjunction with Comey’s leak of Trump’s alleged pressure to drop the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, warranted a criminal-obstruction probe. That is, the pretext of obstruction was added to “Russia-gate,” the already-existing pretext for carping about the purported need for a special counsel.

Neither of these reasons was a valid basis for a special-counsel investigation.

Andrew McCarthy also explains that the whole premise of the investigation is flawed:

As we have repeatedly noted, a counterintelligence investigation is not a criminal investigation. To the extent it has a “subject,” it is a foreign power that threatens the United States, not an American believed to have violated the law. A counterintelligence investigation aims to gather information about America’s adversaries, not build a courtroom prosecution. For these (and other reasons), such investigations are classified and the Justice Department does not assign prosecutors to them, as it does to criminal cases. Counterintelligence is not lawyer work; it is the work of trained intelligence officers and analysts. It is not enough to say that Justice Department regulations do not authorize the appointment of a special counsel for a counterintelligence probe. The point is that counterintelligence is not prosecution and is therefore not a mission for a prosecutor.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is extremely informative. What we have going on right now is a very expensive attempt to prove that the 2016 election victory was stolen from Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t. Get over it. She was a very flawed candidate that somehow committed numerous crimes that the Justice Department chose to ignore. The innate sense of fairness of the American voter and the American voters’ belief in equal justice under the law probably had something to do with Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016. The Special Prosecutor needs to stop spending money looking for a crime and deal with the crimes that were actually committed–mishandling of classified material, pay-for-play as illustrated by Uranium One, fixing the Democratic primary, etc.

The Millennial Generation Is Growing Up

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an article observing changes in the political affiliation of the millennial generation. Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” The millennial generation is illustrating the truth of that statement. The millennial generation is roughly defined as those people currently between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. As they are aging, some of their political ideas are changing. It should also be noted that the millennial generation is 71 million strong and almost as large as the baby boomer generation.

As the millennial generation grows up, they are getting married, buying homes, and starting families. They are beginning to re-evaluate the liberal ideas they espoused in their younger years and to calculate the cost of some of these lofty visions.

The article reports:

According to the census data, the median age at which women are getting married is now 27.4, and for men it’s 29.5. Given that the age range for millennials is roughly 18 to 38, that’s right in the middle of this generation.

Marriage alone can make a big difference in terms of political views. The IBD/TIPP poll, for example, has consistently found that married women are far more conservative on most issues than single women.

The article explains the impact of the Trump economy of the millennials:

There’s another factor at play here. And that’s the upturn in the economy under President Trump.

For years, millennials suffered as President Obama’s policies of tax, spend and regulate produced the weakest economic recovery in modern times. Wages stagnated, millions of workers left the workforce entirely, and surveys showed that millennials were staying in their parents’ homes in record numbers.

Many have no doubt noticed the change in the economy since President Trump started dismantling the regulatory state and since Republicans passed the epic tax reform.

The employment-to-population ratio among 24- to 34-year-olds, for example, is finally back to its pre-recession level of 79%, after remaining stuck in the low- to mid-70% range for most of the Obama years.

The Economic Optimism Index among those age 18 to 24 is now at 59.3, according to the IBD/TIPP Poll. It has averaged 57 since Trump took office. (Anything over 50 is optimistic, under 50 is pessimistic.) Among those age 25 to 44, the optimism index is 53.5, which is higher than the overall index.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article–there is a lot of surprising information included in the article.

Quote Of The Week

FBI Deputy Director, James Kallstrom appearing on on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo (courtesy of The Conservative Treehouse):

You can call it a soft-coup, or you can call it politicization of the DOJ and FBI, but the end result is the same – the intentional effort to manipulate, influence, and ultimately subvert an election for the presidency of the United States.

Here is the video:

Some Of The Fallout From The Inspector General’s Report Has Begun

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review reporting that the Justice Department’s inspector general has referred Andrew McCabe to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., for a possible false-statements prosecution. Andrew McCarthy points out that the important fact here is not that Andrew McCabe lied, but what he lied about. Andrew McCabe leaked a conversation in which the Obama Justice Department pressured the FBI to stand down on the Clinton Foundation investigation. He later lied about leaking the information.

The article reports:

The report concludes that the former deputy director “lacked candor,” the standard for internal discipline at the FBI, from which McCabe was fired. It is a charge similar to those spelled out in the federal penal code’s false-statements and perjury laws. Specifically, the report cites four instances of lack of candor; more comprehensively, McCabe is depicted as an insidious operator.

About two weeks before Election Day 2016, the then–deputy director was stung by a Wall Street Journal story that questioned his fitness to lead an investigation of Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ nominee. McCabe’s wife had received $675,000 in donations from a political action committee controlled by the Clintons’ notorious confidant, Virginia’s then–governor Terry McAuliffe — an eye-popping amount for a state senate campaign (which Mrs. McCabe lost). It was perfectly reasonable to question McCabe’s objectivity: The justice system’s integrity hinges on the perception, as well as the reality, of impartiality.

The reporter on the story, Devlin Barrett (then with the Journal, now at the Washington Post), soon had questions for the Bureau for a follow-up he was working on: Back in July, according to Barrett’s sources, McCabe had instructed agents to refrain from making overt moves that could alert the public that Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ nominee, was yet again on the FBI’s radar — this time, owing to a probe of the Clinton Foundation.

The article concludes:

The Obama Justice Department “guidance” about the Clinton Foundation probe reminds us of their approach to the Clinton emails caper — call it a “matter” not an investigation; do not use the grand jury; instead of subpoenas, try saying “pretty please” to obtain evidence; do not ask the co-conspirators hard questions because they’re lawyers so that might infringe attorney–client privilege; let the witnesses sit in on each other’s interviews; let the suspects represent each other as lawyers; if someone lies, ignore it; if someone incriminates himself, give him immunity; have the attorney general meet with the main subject’s former-president husband on the tarmac a few days before dropping the whole thing; oh, and don’t forget to write up the exoneration statement months before key witnesses — including the main subject — are interviewed. 

With the Clintons, though, enough is never enough. Obama Justice Department officials, figuring they were only a few days from succeeding in their quest to become Clinton Justice Department officials, decided to try to disappear the Clinton Foundation investigation, too. (The underline is mine.)

After nearly two years of digging, there is still no proof of Trump-campaign collusion in Russian election-meddling. But we have collusion all right: the executive branch’s law-enforcement and intelligence apparatus placed by the Obama administration in the service of the Clinton campaign. To find that, you don’t need to dig. You just need to open your eyes.

The picture here is becoming very clear–Hillary was going to be elected, and all criminal investigations regarding the Clintons were going to disappear. We were very close to becoming a country where justice was not blind–it was well-funded and biased. Hopefully we can get some of the swamp drained in a reasonable amount of time. It took us a long time to get here–it is going to take a while to reinstate equal justice under the law.

 

Do You Believe What You See Or What You Are Told

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the contrast between what is actually happening in America regarding the economic improvement the average American is experiencing and the lens the press is looking through.

The article cited some of the questioning at the White House Press Briefing yesterday:

Q Sarah, two questions. The President said yesterday he was compliant; that he turned over a million documents. If he was compliant with these investigation, why was there a search warrant needed?

SANDERS: This doesn’t have anything to do with the President, and I would refer you to Michael Cohen and his attorney. When it comes to matters of the Special Counsel and dealings with the President, we’ve been fully cooperative.

Q Okay, and the next question. With all of this turmoil, particularly this last week, has the President at any time thought about stepping down before or now?

SANDERS: No. And I think that’s an absolutely ridiculous question.

Q No, it’s not ridiculous. It’s not ridiculous.

SANDERS: I gave you two questions, April. We’re moving on.

Jordan, go ahead.

Q [By April Ryan] It is a legitimate question. It’s not ridiculous.

I am beginning to wonder if we should just do away with the daily White House press briefing. It would be nice if the press would report some of the good things that have happened under President Trump–low unemployment, lower taxes, employee bonuses because of the changes in the tax code, fewer people on food stamps, etc. Where are the questions about these things?

Undoing The Economic Damage Done By The Obama Administration

Yesterday Fox News posted an article detailing some of the damage the environmental policies of the Obama Administration did to rural America. The article reminds us that President Trump and Scott Pruitt have ended the Waters Of The United States (WOTUS)  which attempted to give the government control over any mud puddle that appeared in your yard during heavy rains.

The article reports:

The far left will stop at nothing in their efforts to derail the presidency of Donald Trump. Still bitter about the outcome of 2016, the left claims much of their outrage toward the president is driven by his unpredictable personality, but ideological opposition to his administration’s reform-minded agenda is the real root of their anger.

Nowhere is this more evident than the furor surrounding Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Trump’s opponents have seized on a number of recent unflattering news stories involving Pruitt and his agency. While admittedly not the best public relations for Pruitt, his “real sin is that he is one of Mr. Trump’s most aggressive reformers,” as the Wall Street Journal editorialized last week. President Trump expressed a similar sentiment over the weekend when he tweeted praise for his EPA chief’s “bold actions” and “record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars.”

Since taking office last year, Pruitt has boldly carried out the president’s campaign promises. In October, he moved to repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan regulations, ending the War On Coal and providing a shot in the arm for coal country that had been decimated.

The article points out the double standard in the attacks on Scott Pruitt:

Pruitt’s “scandals” are exaggerated for political expediency: never mind that the Obama EPA spent just as much, if not more, than Pruitt’s team, according to a recent Fox News report.  Or that Lisa Jackson, Obama’s EPA chief, was caught using the email alias “Richard Windsor” to communicate with people outside the government. Or that one Obama-era EPA employee was caught downloading and watching pornography on the job. These issues prompted no outrage from Hill offices, and one questions if Congressional inquiry could possibly be politically motivated, or if left-wing outrage is a one-way street.

The article concludes:

Our message to Administrator Pruitt: American energy workers who are going back to work thank you. The American economy thanks you. And please remember these wise words: if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.

The political left has become something of a joke with their attacks on the Trump Administration. Meanwhile, President Trump has boosted the economy, put people back to work, and continues to accomplish good things. It would be nice to see those in Washington support America rather than their own political interests.

 

 

What A Democratic Victory In The Mid-Term Elections Would Look Like

It is no secret that the Democrats would like to overturn the 2016 election. Representative Maxine Waters has been running around the country yelling, “Impeach 45″ for a while now. There are also some very uneducated Americans who believe that if President Trump were to be impeached, Hillary Clinton would become President. The ignorance of Americans regarding the U.S. Constitution is a whole other article that would take more pages than I can imagine.

At any rate, what would happen if the Democrats were to take the House and the Senate in 2018.

A Forbes article from March 2018 lists the changes the Democrats want to make in the tax plan:

Increase the top marginal income tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent.

This is not only a tax on the wealthy, but it is a tax on small business–the main creator of jobs in America. This would begin to slow down the economic growth we have seen under President Trump.

Increase the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 25 percent.

American corporations compete on the world market. Before this tax cut, America had the highest corporate tax rate in the world. The rate cut under President Trump puts us in the middle of the pack. To undo this would slow economic growth and job creation in America.

Bring back the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for 4 million families.

This is a tax that hits two-income families in states with a high cost of living–New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, etc. Oddly enough, these are the states that generally vote Democratic–these voters who vote Democratic in these states are voting against their own interests.

Cut the “death tax” standard deduction in half.

This is a tax that hits small business and family farms. Again, it hits those least likely to afford it and hurts the continuing growth of business.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * * * *

The other part of the possible Democratic takeover of Congress would be the impeachment of President Trump. This would further divide the country. It would also set the precedent that political use of government agencies against the opposing party is acceptable and can be successful. That would not bode well for the future of America.

I can guarantee that a Democratic mid-term victory would be the end of America as we know it. Political speech that does not agree with those in power will be labeled ‘hate speech.’ Those who publicly voice unacceptable opinions will be subject to harassment by an out-of-control government. We will see censorship of alternative news sources, and the American public will only have access to the news those in power want them to have access to.

A cautionary note to Democrats planning impeachment–remember what happened to the Republican party majority after they attempted to impeach President Clinton. The American people still vote, and they have a sense of fairness. It is very hard to watch the continuing attacks on President Trump and believe that the way the media treats him is fair.

 

Alan Dershowitz Is My New Hero

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted some comments by Attorney Alan Dershowitz regarding the raid on the offices of Michael Cohen, the personal attorney of President Trump.

The article reports:

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz warned Monday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to raid President Trump’s personal lawyer’s office is an assault on the privileged lawyer-client relationship.

Dershowitz said on Fox News that he believes the decision to raid Michael Cohen’s office would be a sign that Mueller is trying to turn Cohen against Trump.

“This may be an attempt to squeeze Cohen,” he said. “He’s the lawyer, he’s the guy who knows all the facts about Donald Trump, and to get him to turn against his client.”

“This is a very dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations,” he added.

Dershowitz, who has drawn the ire of Democrats for defending Trump, said Mueller’s move is also dangerous because it gives the FBI the option of deciding what information seized from Cohen to pursue.

“I tell [clients] on my word of honor that what you tell me is sacrosanct,” he said. “And now they say, just based on probable cause … they can burst into the office, grab all the computers, and then give it to another FBI agent and say, ‘You’re the firewall. We want you now to read all these confidential communications, tell us which ones we can get and which ones we can’t get.'”

“If this were Hillary Clinton being investigated and they went into her lawyer’s office, the ACLU would be on every television station in America, jumping up and down,” he added.

“The deafening silence from the ACLU and civil libertarians about the intrusion into the lawyer-client confidentiality is really appalling,” Dershowitz said.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution says:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I firmly believe that the raids conducted in coordination with the Special Prosecutor‘s Investigation were totally unconstitutional. This sets a very bad precedence for the future. It is also a very strong indication of the total politicization of the FBI and DOJ during the past administration.

In Case You Had Any Illusions About The Goal Of The Mueller Investigation

The supposed theory behind the Special Prosecutor is that he is supposed to be looking for Russian interference in the 2016 election. Theoretically Robert Mueller would follow the trail of Russian interference wherever it led. Well, he seems to have overlooked a few things.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article with the following headline, “Mueller Investigation Trump Over $150K Donation From Ukrainian Who Gave Clintons $13 Million.”

Seems a little odd.

The article reports:

The special counsel’s office is investigating a $150,000 donation a Ukrainian businessman made to President Donald Trump’s charity in 2015, according to a new report.

The donation, from steel magnate Victor Pinchuk, pales in comparison to contributions he gave to the charity Bill and Hillary Clinton set up. The billionaire has contributed $13 million to the Clinton Foundation since 2006 and had access to Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state.

But Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not investigating The Clintons. Instead, he is conducting a broad investigation of Donald Trump, including the flow of foreign money into various Trump-controlled entities.

Mueller began investigating the Pinchuk donation after receiving documents in response to a subpoena issued to the Trump Organization — the real estate company Trump ran before entering politics.

In September 2015, Trump appeared via video link at a conference Pinchuk hosted in Kiev. Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, negotiated details of the event with Douglas Schoen, a former consultant for Bill Clinton, according to The New York Times. Trump did not initially request payment for the appearance, but Cohen contacted Schoen at one point to request a $150,000 honorarium, The Times reported.

The last sentence of the article states:

The FBI reportedly investigated the Clinton Foundation over its foreign donations. The status of that investigation is unclear.

I may be cynical, but I suspect that 50 years from now the status of that investigation will still be unclear. If the FBI wants any credibility with the American people, they need to get their act together quickly. Right now their actions would be more appropriate in a banana republic than in an America that has a Constitution.

 

Now This Is Finally Starting To Make Sense

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that explains a lot about the Mueller investigation and the timing of various events in that investigation. It also explains where the team of partisan investigators was chosen. I am going to attempt to summarize the article, but I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article.

The article includes a previously unknown letter from Asst. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to Robert Mueller outlining the specific authority of his investigative appointment. The letter is dated August 2, 2017.

The article asks several questions about the letter:

  • Question #1) Why did Asst. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein deliver a non-public outline of investigative authority to Mueller on August 2nd, 2017?
  • Question #2) Why would Robert Mueller be seeking a signed more specific outline of his investigative authority on August 2nd, 2017; a full three months after he was assigned the role of Special Counsel?
  • Question #3) Why would Robert Mueller need to redact the content of an official outline of his investigative instructions from the Asst. Attorney General?

The article also includes the original May 17th, 2017, Press Release announcing the appointment of a Special Prosecutor.

The article states:

So there we have the three areas of direct authority:  ¹Links or coordination between the Russian Government and the campaign of Donald Trump.  ²Matters that may arise from the investigation of the Russian government and the campaign of Donald Trump. And ³other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a). [<- ie. ‘Jurisdiction‘]

So there’s the instructions to Robert Mueller and his team on May 17th, 2017.

The article explains where the Special Prosecutor’s team came from:

Now, as we previously discussed: “Robert Mueller didn’t necessarily appoint or select a team of lawyers and investigators…. the previously assembled team of lawyers and investigators selected him.”  The key player in that assembly was FBI Chief-Legal-Counsel and personal confidant to Robert Mueller, James Baker. (pictured right)

Remember, the “small group”, career officials inside the DOJ and FBI needed to continue their group effort after the election.  Therefore they needed to stay assembled as a group; they needed to stay on task, to facilitate the original intent of their association.  The Special Counsel was merely a way, an approach, a tool for this specific team to continue their efforts after the 2016 presidential election, nothing more – nothing less.

The team already existed. The objectives already existed. The only thing they needed was a willfully-blind leader and an excuse to continue their ideological efforts. Robert Mueller became their selected willfully-blind leader because the small group already knew him and they knew they could manipulate/use him.

Their ideological association is why the same people behind Phase 1 (Clinton Exoneration ’15, ’16), and Phase 2 (opposition research, counterintelligence and surveillance against Trump ’15, ’16, ’17), became the same people in Phase 3, the post-election vast Russian-Trump Collusion Conspiracy; also known as “The Insurance Policy”.  In many ways Phase 3 was/is more of a continued opposition research endeavor, part of the “resistance” per se, with a good dose of self-preservation binding them all together.

The article concludes:

Because Mueller’s team, the small group of political officials and lawyers, know all of these people inside the DOJ apparatus.  These are their peers, their comrades in ideology… this is their crew and social circle.  The last thing their legal endeavors need is to be put in a position of intel or information about their brethren.

And for Team-Leader Robert Mueller, against the back-drop of this information; and with IG Horowitz giving him details about Page/Strzok messages; there’s a strong motive to ask for a signed letter from Rosenstein prior to continuing to investigate the President of the United States knowing President Donald Trump was also a target of this plan – and these details were going to surface at some point.

Lastly, and specifically about Rod Rosenstein, perhaps at a certain point in the spring and early summer 2017 he might have thought there was a substantive way for the assembly to carry out their plan.  Perhaps he even believed the popular leftist narrative and thought there might be something to these ‘Trump-Russia-Collusion’ claims.  Perhaps that’s why he directed the Muller investigative mandate in May 2017 to the exclusivity of President Donald Trump with no mention of any other campaign (Hillary Clinton) contact with Russian entities.

However, by August 2017 with full information coming from IG Horowitz about the likelihood of criminal conduct by FBI and DOJ officials; at the time Rosenstein wrote the more carefully detailed outline; he had to know the investigation into Trump was heading no-where.

This is the best explanation of what the ‘deep state’ does that I have seen. It puts clarity on the ‘meeting in Andy’s office to discuss the insurance policy.’ What we have here is an illustration of exactly how that insurance policy has worked and continues to work.

Is This Really What We Want?

Forbes Magazine posted an article yesterday about the Democrats planned tax policy. The article lists the specifics of the plan.

The article reports:

Increase the top marginal income tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent. This nearly 3 percentage point increase in the top personal rate is not only a hike in the top bracket levy, but it’s also a direct tax increase on small and mid-sized businesses. The 30 million companies which are organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, Subchapter-S corporations, and LLCs pay their business taxes on their owners’ 1040 personal tax returns. Hiking the top tax rate is a small business tax increase.

 Increasing personal income taxes would be particularly unfortunate since workers are now seeing the results of lower rates in their paychecks. Thanks to the new IRS withholding tables, in February of this year over 90 percent of workers saw higher take home pay in the form of fatter direct deposits (for a humorous spectacle of the New York Times desperately trying to get people to down-talk their bigger paychecks, click here).

I honestly cannot imagine how the Democrats can successfully sell that one.

The next change:

Increase the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 25 percent. Up until this year, the United States labored under the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world. As a result, jobs and capital were fleeing America for more normal tax rates that could be found in tax havens like France and China (saracasm font very much activated). Finally, after many years of bipartisan consensus that the U.S. corporate rate had become an impediment to attracting new jobs and investment, Congress cut the rate all the way from 35 to 21 percent. Even doing that only puts us in the middle of the pack of developed nations, but that’s a heck of a lot better than dead last.

 

As a result of this change, companies like Fiat Chrysler, Amgen, and Amicus Therapeutics (among many others) have announced new factories and jobs would be built in America, not in other countries.

Again, do we really want to undo the benefits of this tax cut?

The attack on American prosperity continues:

Bring back the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for 4 million families. Up until this year, 4 million upper middle class families had to calculate their income taxes two different ways, and then pay the higher result. This was due to a provision of the law known as the “alternative minimum tax” or AMT. Millions more had to at least pay a tax preparer to run the calculation, even if they didn’t end up paying the AMT. The new tax law all but repealed the AMT for 99 percent of these families thanks to a higher AMT “standard deduction.” Congressional Democrats would bring back the dreaded AMT, which especially hit hard two-income white collar families with kids in New York, New Jersey, and California.

And finally–bring back the tax on money already taxed at least once (if not more):

Cut the “death tax” standard deduction in half. Over the past few decades, no tax has proven more unpopular in every single poll than the death tax, the federal tax on estates. 60 to 70 percent of poll respondents consistently call for its full repeal. The new tax law didn’t repeal the death tax, but it did the next best thing–it doubled the death tax’s “standard deduction” from $5.5 million to $11 million (and twice that for surviving spouses). As a result, far fewer family businesses and farms will be subject to the death tax, and many smaller firms can shed the costly insurance, legal, and actuarial costs of avoiding the death tax. Like the top personal rate, the death tax is not something that really affects the rich, who have plenty of resources to avoid the levy. Rather, it hits hardest those companies profitable enough to worry about it but not profitable enough to not worry about, if you catch my meaning.

Remember, this is what you will get (along with the attempted impeachment of President Trump) if the Democrats regain control of the House or the Senate. Yikes.

 

More To Come

In case you are not yet convinced that there were government connections to the campaign of Hillary Clinton, more evidence has surfaced.

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that there was a second Christopher Steele dossier.

The article reports:

A newly released document from the Senate Judiciary Committee says Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the Trump dossier, wrote an additional memo on the subject of Donald Trump and Russia that was not among those published by BuzzFeed in January 2017.

The newly released document is an unclassified and heavily redacted version of the criminal referral targeting Steele filed on Jan. 4 by Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. It appears to confirm some level of coordination between the extended Clinton circle and the Obama administration in the effort to seek damaging information about then-candidate Trump.

According to the referral, Steele wrote the additional memo based on anti-Trump information that originated with a foreign source. In a convoluted scheme outlined in the referral, the foreign source gave the information to an unnamed associate of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who then gave the information to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who then gave the information to Steele. Steele wrote a report based on the information, but the redacted version of the referral does not say what Steele did with the report after that.

The article includes the heavily redacted memo to Rod Rosenstein referring Christopher Steele for potential violation of federal law. As more of this use of the government for political purposes comes to light, one can only hope that there will be a series of jail sentences for those involved.

The Memo Is Released

The long-awaited memo put out by the House Intelligence Committee has been released. The news source you listen to may determine your evaluation of how important the memo is. There is enough nastiness, hand wringing, and shouts of triumph to provide a space for everyone.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about the memo at Power Line. John Hinderaker is a lawyer from Minnesota who operates Power Line Blog. The blog includes a few lawyers as writers and can always be depended upon for logical, clear-headed analysis of any situation.

The article at Power Line reports a few items in the memo:

The FISA warrants that are the subject of the memo all relate to Carter Page. The original warrant was sought on October 21, 2016, and the memo says that there were three renewals, which apparently occur every 90 days. This would appear to take the surveillance well past the presidential election, and beyond President Trump’s inauguration. The memo does not explain this aspect of the timing. The FISA applications were signed by some familiar names: James Comey signed three, and Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein all signed one or more.

The fake “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele with the assistance of unknown Russians “formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. In fact, McCabe testified before the committee that no FISA warrant would have been sought without the fake dossier. Steele was paid over $160,000 by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to come up with derogatory information–true or false, apparently–on Donald Trump.

DOJ and FBI failed to mention in their FISA application that it was based on opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, even though this apparently was known to the FBI. The application apparently tried to mislead the FISA court by saying that Steele “was working for a named U.S. person”–the memo doesn’t tell us who that person was–but not disclosing Fusion GPS or Glenn Simpson, let alone Hillary Clinton and the DNC. This appears to be a deliberate deception of the court.

In addition to Steele’s fake dossier, the FISA application cited an article about Carter Page that appeared on Yahoo News. The application “assessed” that this corroborating account did not originate with Christopher Steele. In fact, it did: Steele himself leaked the information to Yahoo News.

The memo casually notes that “the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.” This is news to me. It has been reported that Steele sought funding from the FBI, but I believe prior reports have been to the effect that the Bureau refused. Was the FBI paying Steele, known to be working for the Hillary Clinton campaign?

Please follow the link to the article at Power Line to read the rest of the highlights.

So what does this mean?

This is the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The FISA act establishes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism.

The FISA act states:

Approval of a FISA application requires the court find probable cause that the target of the surveillance be a “foreign power” or an “agent of a foreign power”, and that the places at which surveillance is requested is used or will be used by that foreign power or its agent. In addition, the court must find that the proposed surveillance meet certain “minimization requirements” for information pertaining to U.S. persons. Depending on the type of surveillance, approved orders or extensions of orders may be active for 90 days, 120 days, or a year.

It is becoming very obvious that the FISA applications were being used for political purposes. This is the kind of thing that goes on in a police state. All the people who knowingly engaged in this activity violated their Oath of Office to act in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. Everyone involved needs to be charged with a crime appropriate to their level of involvement. The decisions made from this point forward will determine whether we are a nation of equal justice under the law or we have become a nation where the powerful are exempt from the law.

Immigration As Seen By A Thirty-Something

Below is a guest post by Michael Daskalos, a young friend who follows history and politics very closely. The links with the paragraphs are the sources for his statements.

Trump wants a deal; and indications are that if you voted for him, you consider what he wants is pretty moderate by any reasonable standards. If you voted for him and are incredibly disappointed, it’s probably because you think this is way less effective than a reasonable and well thought out plan that involves more deportations, lots of rope and assorted other things best left unsaid…and that’s just for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and its immigration activist allies. Let them run for office in Mexico, or the Knesset where they can have all the open borders immigration they want.
http://www.unz.com/isteve/drumpf-regime-attempts-to-deport-saintly-immigration-activist-white-collar-felon/

The sticking point is the Democrats vested interest—getting every single possible future vote out of this that they can get as fast as possible. Trump’s vested interests—getting re-elected and Making America Great Again are counter to this plan. As such President Trump wants whatever deal is made to have teeth and enforcement up front and concrete—just like people have been promised for years now. It is telling that when anyone asks for the law as written to be applied, they are called a fascistic racist white supremacist. If President Trump does not get guaranteed ironclad language, he knows he would have on his hands what most will instantly understand as “Getting Reaganed” wherein every state mentioned below gets the California treatment in short order.
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/01/shock-report-3-6-million-dreamers-us-enough-flip-florida-arizona-georgia-north-carolina/

The corporate-paid-for class of professional Republicans are fine with this. Many of them are getting forced out or retiring from seats that are becoming “electorally unwinnable” (political euphemism for “your voters were demographically displaced”) or being voluntold by their donor handlers to take the money and run because they don’t fit in this new divide. This anti-Trump gambit supported by all the anti-Trump voices we are familiar with is attempting to give the Democrats the House and increase pressure for amnesty that way and feign the appearance that Americans support it. The anti-Trump forces are also aware that one of the first actions of a Democratic House of Representatives would be to initiate the impeachment process.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42821505
What flashy titles for pieces like the one linked above are doing is taking a simple thing that’s well known: Trump is ok with a few DACA recipients, a micro fraction of the eligible “Dreamers” that might be useful and possibly a few hangers on that also attended diploma mills, a path to citizenship as a bargaining chip, and framing it for a particular audience. They leave out or bury the fact that the concessions on DACA are being made in exchange for teeth everywhere else in the deal. The reason President Trump is demanding specific language is so that it won’t or can’t be expanded by the courts later, as anyone with a couple brain cells knows will happen if they have seen the last year unfold.

Those articles are an attempt to separate hardliners and reasonable people like myself from supporting the president because he might not force as tough a line as could be imagined. The governing dynamic that has to be understood is that Democrats want every single illegal immigrant in the country currently to be eligible to vote in 2018.  That’s the starting position they are working from when they approach the table for any “compromise.” The wording is to be designed to wiggle as high a number of them into that possible, and as soon as possible, regardless of language that might infer otherwise. This fight is about language that will allow Democrats and their Republican allies, you know the names, the legal space to pull shenanigans through the courts with hand picked judges to make that happen.

Results Matter

Breitbart posted an article today about some recent comments by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It seems that the story the mainstream media is peddling that the election of President Trump has hurt America‘s image overseas may not be entirely true.

The article reports:

U.S. President Donald Trump’s sweeping tax cuts combined with reforms in corporate regulation are benefiting the global economy, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

Mr. Turnbull pointed to the International Monetary Fund’s strong predictions of global economic growth in the wake of the Trump tax cuts as testament to his economic drive.

Speaking during a radio interview, Mr. Turnbull happily declared: “Donald Trump is delivering on economic leadership, that’s for sure” before outlining his own close personal relationship with the president.

“You’ve only got to look at the IMF to see they regard the American tax cuts as being very pro-growth,” he said. “And, of course, because the US is such a big part of the global economy, that has lifted global growth forecasts as well.

The article also quotes the Prime Minister reaffirming that America and Australia have a good relationship and would act as allies if either one were attacked. I think we need to realize that the leadership of President Trump both in America and around the world has achieved positive results.

Putting 2017 In Perspective

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article today at a website called American Greatness. It is an amazing article in that it lists all the activities of the anti-Trump people during President Trump’s first year in office. The article is appropriately named, “From Conspiracy Theories to Conspiracies.” As you read the article (I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article–my summary cannot do it justice), remember that the opposition to candidate (and later President) Trump came from Democrats and some Republicans.

My favorite part of the article states:

What better way to derail a presidency would there be than to allow a blank-check special counsel to search out alleged criminal activity on the part of the president? We have seen FBI Director James Comey confess that he deliberately leaked, likely illegally, confidential notes of a meeting with president Trump to the media, with the expressed intent of creating a “scandal” requiring a “special counsel”—a gambit that worked to perfection when Comey’s close friend, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed.

To facilitate those efforts, the counsel would appoint to his team several attorneys who despised the very target of their investigation. In fact, many special investigators have given generously to the campaign of Trump’s past political opponent Hillary Clinton and in at least one case had worked previously for the Clinton Foundation. Note that after nearly a year, the Mueller investigation has not indicted anyone on collusion charges and is unlikely to. Rather, in special counsel trademark, low-bar fashion, it is seeking to indict and convict suspects for not telling the whole truth during interrogations, or violating other statutes. As Peter Strzok—once one of the FBI’s lead investigators in the Mueller investigation—concluded of the “collusion” allegation to his mistress Lisa Page: there was “no big there there.”

The FBI itself would have earlier trafficked in a fraudulent document funded by the Clinton campaign to “prove” Trump and his team were such dangers to the republic that they required surveillance under FISA court warrants and thus should surrender their constitutional rights of privacy. The ensuing surveillance, then, would be widely disseminated among Obama Administration officials, with the likely intent that names would be unmasked and leaked to the anti-Trump press—again, in efforts to discredit, first, the Trump campaign, and later the Trump transition and presidency. A top official of the prior Department of Justice would personally consult the authors of the smear dossier in efforts to ensure that its contents would become useful and known.

It is totally scary that this has happened.

The article concludes:

Subversion as Plain as Day
Key officials of the prior government would likewise weigh in constantly to oppose the subsequent Trump agenda and demonize their own president. Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and Ben Rhodes would warn the country of the threats posed by their successor, but fail to disclose that they had previously requested to view FISA surveillance of the Trump team and to unmask the names of U.S. citizens which predictably soon appeared in media reports. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, according to the Jerusalem Post, assured a prominent Palestinian government leader, “that he should stay strong in his spirit and play for time, that he will not break and will not yield to President Trump’s demands.” Kerry reportedly further assured the Palestinian representative that the president may not be in White House for much longer and would likely not complete his first term. In sum, the former American secretary of state all but advised a foreign government that his own president is illegitimate and thus to be ignored or resisted in the remaining time before he is removed.

If any of these efforts were undertaken in 2009 to subvert the presidency of Barack Obama popular outrage might well have led to criminal indictments. If Hollywood grandees had promised to do to Barack Obama what they boast doing to Donald Trump, the entire industry would have been discredited—or given the Obama investigatory treatment.

Indeed, in many cases between 2009-2017, U.S. citizens the Obama Administration found noncompliant with its agendas became targets of the IRS for their political activity or monitored by the Justice Department. The latter included reporters from the Associated Press and James Rosen of Fox News. Many a journalist’s sources were prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917.  In another case, a filmmaker had his parole revoked and was scapegoated and jailed to advance a false administration narrative about the death of four Americans in Benghazi. Still others were surveilled by using fraudulent documents to obtain FISA court orders.

Everyone should be keen to distinguish conspiracies from conspiracy theories. The above are real events, not the tales told by the paranoid.

In contrast, unhinged conspiracy theorists, for example, might obsess yet again over the machinations of multibillionaire and leftist globalist bogeyman George Soros, and float wild yarns that he would fly to Davos to assure the global elite that he considers Trump “a danger to the world,” while reassuring them that the American president was “a purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020—or even sooner.” . . . 

It is becoming very obvious that some of the people in high government positions belong in jail. The question is whether or not they will go there. If equal justice under the law is truly one of our founding principles, it needs to be practiced at all times–regardless of the political consequence.

What To Expect This Coming Week

I expect the memo Congress has put together detailing domestic abuses by the FBI and DOJ to be released Tuesday or Wednesday. I also suspect that the Democrats will plan something dramatic to distract Americans from the release of the memo. It should be pointed out that because the Executive Branch of our government is in charge of the FBI and the DOJ, those agencies need to ask President Trump–not Congress–to give them access to the memo.

So what will happen when the memo is released? Democrats will dismiss it as Republican talking points. If that happens, the Republicans may release the source documents–which are not talking points. The Democrats will have to figure out whether it is better to ignore the memo or deal with the source documents. Since the media will help the Democrats whichever path they choose, expect to see a lot of Democratic spin regarding the memo.

If the memo shows that illegal spying took place, will anyone be prosecuted? As much as I would like to see certain people in jail, I suspect the more visible culprits will be pardoned by President Trump. It would make America look like a banana republic if key players in the previous administration were arrested by the administration that followed. I also realize that it makes America look like a banana republic when a sailor who took a picture of his work station goes to jail for having a classified picture on his cell phone and has his life ruined, and the President and Secretary of State routinely send classified documents over an unsecured server with no consequences. However, I believe that the entire upper echelon of the FBI and DOJ needs to be fired. Although I believe the spying was orchestrated at the highest level, the leadership of those agencies had the choice as to whether or not they would participate. If a few of the leaders of the FBI and DOJ had had the courage to resign, questions might have been asked and this whole mess avoided.

It is a safe bet that this week is going to be a roller coaster. Although I believe the memo will be released, there are no guarantees. I also expect that we will see a degree of spin that we haven’t seen since Bill Clinton was in the White House and told us he didn’t have sex with Monica Lewinsky.

A Different Perspective On The Possible “Schumer Shutdown” Of The Government

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the looming government shutdown. He comments on some of the strategies being used by the Republicans to avoid a shutdown and some of the strategies the Republicans can use to make the shutdown as painful as possible for the Democrats if a shutdown occurs.

The article reports:

Senate GOP leaders prepared to force Democrats into a series of uncomfortable votes, aimed at splitting their ranks by pitting moderates from states that Trump won against party leaders and the handful of outspoken liberals considering a run for the presidency.

For one, Republicans attached a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and delays to several unpopular health-care taxes. The bill does not include protections for “dreamers,” immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children or who overstayed their visas as children, a top Democratic priority.

That represented an election-year bid by the GOP to cast the spending vote as, in part, a choice between poor children and undocumented immigrants. Ryan, McConnell, and other Republicans also sought to highlight the potential erosion to military readiness that could result from a shutdown.

At a press conference this morning, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, referred to the possible shutdown as the “Schumer Shutdown.” Maybe the Republicans are finally beginning to understand the value of messaging.

I need to mention that in order to continue to fund the government, the Republicans need sixty votes in the Senate–that means that some Democrats need to vote to keep the government running. The Republicans do not have enough votes in the Senate to keep the government running by themselves.

The article suggests ways to make the shutdown work for Republicans:

But perhaps Republicans should shrug off the media headwinds here and allow Democrats to shut down the government. The White House has the upper hand in these stunts, as both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton proved, by picking and choosing which workers to furlough. Both Obama and Clinton made it as painful as possible; Obama locked veterans out of national parks in 2013, garnering huge headlines and generating lots of anger toward Ted Cruz and his fellow futile obstructionists.

Donald Trump and his team should take the opposite approach: make everything seem normal while shutting down the regulatory agencies Democrats love. Keep the national parks open, but shut down the EPA. Maintain military readiness, but close down the Departments of Education and Labor. Rather than look at the short-term public relations hit, the White House should keep their eyes on the long game by using a shutdown to remind Americans just how much of the government they could truly live without. And when all of those union-represented employees have gone without a couple of paychecks on top of that, wait for Democrats to come back to the table.

It’d be much better if Democrats didn’t obstruct the budget over DACA, of course. But if they do, it shouldn’t be Republicans panicked over a shutdown.

Hopefully, the government will keep running. It is ridiculous to give government workers a paid vacation that they didn’t earn–they may not get paid immediately, but they will be paid for the time they did not work.

Sometimes It’s All About Marketing

It’s no secret that the mainstream media does not love President Trump. It is no secret that the percentage of Americans who get their news from said mainstream media do not like President Trump. So all you need to do to create a best selling book is say horrible things about the President and those around him. Those things don’t have to be true–you can even say in your introduction to the book that they might not be true–it doesn’t matter–you should have a best seller on your hands. Well, maybe. But what if you are dealing with people who understand the media?

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Wikileaks has provided a leak to the book “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff. This is the full PDF: https://t.co/sf7vj4IYAx

If you choose to read this piece of garbage, at least you won’t have to pay for it!

This image was posted at The Gateway Pundit:

I think that about covers it!

The Story The Mainstream Media Wants You To Ignore

All we heard from the new yesterday was the Twtter battle between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump. It turns out that the quote in the book involved may not be accurate. So why was this the main story of the day? Because the real main story of the day was not part of the narrative the mainstream media is selling.

In case you missed it, The Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday about a civil lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C.,  by Paul Manafort against the Department of Justice, Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller.

The article explains the basis for the suit:

To put it plainly, Mueller is tasked with finding a crime that does not exist in the law. It is a legal impossibility. He is being asked to do something that is manifestly unattainable.  Today as reported by Cristina Laila at TGP, Manafort sued the DOJ, Mueller and Rosenstein because what they are doing is not supported by US Law. This is the biggest story of the day! Manafort is suing to have the Mueller investigation shut down!

Manafort’s case argues in paragraph 33 that the special counsel put in place by crooked Rosenstein gave crooked and criminal Mueller powers that are not permitted by law –

  1. But paragraph (b)(ii) of the Appointment Order purports to grant Mr. Mueller further authority to investigate and prosecute “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” That grant of authority is not authorized by DOJ’s special counsel regulations. It is not a “specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated.” Nor is it an ancillary power to address efforts to impede or obstruct investigation under 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

If Manafort wins this case – which it appears according to the law he will – the entire investigation would be deemed illegal – which it is – and therefore legally would have to be shut down – which it should be.

There have been a lot of problems with this investigation from the beginning–the choice of an obviously politically biased investigative team, the early morning raid on Manafort’s home when he was already cooperating with investigators, the uneven application of the law by the Justice Department, and the relational incest among the investigators. There has been a year of investigations and so far the only charges have been unrelated to the supposed purpose of the investigation. Meanwhile, the investigation contrasts vividly with the investigative standards used to investigate the Clinton emails and Uranium One.

The Mueller investigation is part of the swamp that needs to be drained. Hopefully this lawsuit will be the beginning of this process.

As If The Middle East Could Get More Complicated…

This article this post is based on is from April, but I suspect we may hear more about it in the future. The article appeared at Yahoo News on April 10, 2017.

The article reports:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran‘s exiled crown prince wants a revolution.

Reza Pahlavi, the son of the last shah to rule before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, has seen his profile rise in recent months following the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who promises a harder line against the Shiite power.

Pahlavi’s calls for replacing clerical rule with a parliamentary monarchy, enshrining human rights and modernizing its state-run economy could prove palatable to both the West and Iran’s Sunni Gulf neighbors, who remain suspicious of Iran’s intentions amid its involvement in the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

But the Mideast is replete with cautionary tales about Western governments putting their faith in exiles long estranged from their homelands. Whether Pahlavi can galvanize nostalgia for the age of the Peacock Throne remains unseen.

“This regime is simply irreformable because the nature of it, its DNA, is such that it cannot,” Pahlavi told The Associated Press. “People have given up with the idea of reform and they think there has to be fundamental change. Now, how this change can occur is the big question.”

This is another example of the ways that the foreign policy of the Trump Administration has impacted countries in the Middle East. President Obama was willing to do almost anything to form an alliance with Iran–he saw Iran as a country that could unify the Middle East and bring peace to the region. I think that is something of a naive hope, but based on his actions, that was the plan of President Obama. President Trump understands that the only truly free country in the Middle East is Israel, and as President, Trump has aligned himself with Israel. The son of the shah may feel that this is the time to bring Iran into a free society–somewhat like what it was before the 1979 revolution. Stay tuned.