What The Democrats Are Really Afraid Of

You can dismiss the turnout at Trump rallies versus the turnout for Democrat candidates. You can dismiss the tweets you may not like, but you can’t dismiss what is happening to the President’s approval numbers in minority communities.

The American Spectator posted an article today with the following headline, “Why Trump’s Approval Ratings Are Up Among Minorities.”

The article notes:

A mounting number of voter polls show that, despite shrill denunciations of the President by the Democrats for his alleged racism, Trump is enjoying a dramatic increase in his approval ratings among minorities. This isn’t, as some liberal news outlets and pundits have suggested, wishful thinking based on outlier polls. The trend began showing up in surveys early this year and appears to be gaining momentum. Some polls now show his approval numbers at 25 percent among African-American voters and 50 percent among Hispanic voters. If those figures hold for the next 15 months, they will render Trump unbeatable in November of 2020.

The article notes a number of reasons for the rising approval ratings. Among the Hispanic community, two reasons are the President’s stand on immigration and the economy. Those in the Hispanic community who followed the rules to become Americans do not support endless illegal immigration. Those in the Hispanic community have also seen a dramatic increase in employment opportunities and a decrease in unemployment. In the black community, people are asking why cities that have been controlled by Democrats for decades and given massive amounts of money by the government still look worse than cities in other countries that were totally destroyed during World War II. In other words, after voting Democrat for decades with no visible improvement in their situation, minorities are seeing positive change. Minorities have the lowest unemployment numbers in history. They are seeing employment opportunities they have not seen before. Pocketbook issues are having an impact on the way they view President Trump.

The article concludes:

The main reason for the surge in Trump’s Hispanic support, however, is the economy. As Steve Cortes, a member of the President’s Hispanic Advisory Council, points out:

Hispanics neither desire nor expect a laundry list of deliverables from government, but rather seek the conditions to advance and prosper independently.  As the most statistically entrepreneurial demographic in America, Hispanics have thrived amid the Trump boom as regulatory and tax relief unleashes a small business surge. Every American benefits from this new dynamism, but Hispanics most of all.

Hispanic voters, mind you, will be the largest ethnic minority in the electorate by 2020. They, combined with African Americans, may very well decide who will live in the White House after the next election. Moreover, the days when Democrats could win all of their votes by screeching “racism,” encouraging illegal immigration, and offering massive giveaway programs are probably over. President Trump appears to be building real support among minorities by providing genuine opportunity in a thriving economy. If he receives their support in anywhere near the percentages suggested above, he will win in 2020 no matter who runs against him.

The presidential election of 2020 will be very interesting.

Moving The Goalposts When They Aren’t Winning The Game

The Democrat loved the Supreme Court before President Trump appointed two Justices. They are concerned now because their allies on the Court are not young, and President Trump is still President despite their best efforts. So, since they can’t seem to get what they want honestly, they are trying to change the rules.

CNS News posted an article today with the headline, “Five Democrats Warn Supreme Court It Could be ‘Restructured;’ Urge It to Drop 2nd Amendment Case.” Wow. Talk about arrogance.

The article reports:

Five Democrat senators have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging it to stay out of a pending Second Amendment case and warning it that a majority of Americans now believe the “Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.”

The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, is the first major challenge to gun laws since 2010, the senators said.

According to SCOTUS blog, the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association, representing gun owners who live in the city, are challenging the city’s ban on transferring licensed, unloaded guns anywhere outside city limits — including to a weekend home or to a shooting range.

The lower courts upheld those restrictions, so the gun owners took their case to the Supreme Court.

The article continues:

The senators argue that the National Rifle Association and The Federalist Society have “engineered the case” so the Republican-appointed majority will rule in their favor.

“[C]ourts do not undertake political ‘projects.’ Or at least they should not,” Whitehouse, Hirono, Blumenthal, Durbin, and Gillibrand wrote. “Americans are murdered each day with firearms in classrooms or movie theaters or churches or city streets, and a generation of preschoolers is being trained in active-shooter survival drills.

“In the cloistered confines of this Court, notwithstanding the public imperatives of these massacres, the NRA and its allies brashly presume, in word and deed, that they have a friendly audience [on the Court] for their ‘project.’”

Further, the Democrats argue that the gun-transporting restrictions have now been rescinded, making the case moot, yet the plaintiffs “soldier on” with their case.

“The judiciary was not intended to settle hypothetical disagreements,” the brief says. “Rather, the Framers designed Article III courts to adjudicate actual cases and controversies brought by plaintiffs who suffer a real-world harm.”

The Democrats also argue that the Supreme Court is increasingly “political” (now that it has an “engineered” Republican-appointed majority).

“Today, fifty-five percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court is ‘mainly motivated by politics'(up five percent from last year); fifty-nine percent believe the Court is ‘too influenced by politics’; and a majority now believes the ‘Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics,'” the brief says.

The senators conclude their brief with a warning about “restructuring” the court, an idea advocated by some of the Democrats running for president:

“The Supreme Court is not well,” they wrote. “And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

Presumably, the court will not be “healed” until a majority of the justices are appointed by Democrats.

When they are out of power, Democrats tend to act like spoiled brats.

This May Not Be A Smoking Gun, But It Is Close

On Thursday, The Gateway Pundit posted part of an on-air conversation between Sean Hannity and Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani.

The article reports the conversation regarding the Russian collusion scandal:

Rudy then went on to describe the international expanse of this illegal operation.

Rudy Giuliani: The whole thing was made up from the very beginning and they sold it to 90% of our media! It’s a tragedy… The dimensions of it you still don’t realize. There’s plenty of evidence of what happened in Ukraine. Plenty of evidence of what happened in UK. In Italy. This was a massive conspiracy!

Sean Hannity: Do you believe, sir. It appears (investigator) John Durham is spending an awful lot of time in Europe.

Rudy Giuliani: I know why he’s spending an awful lot of time in Europe… He’s spending a lot of time investigating Ukraine, Italy, UK and Australia.

Sean Hannity: Was there outsourcing of techniques that are illegal. In other words, did our top intelligence officials, did they outsource spying on American citizens for the purpose of hurting President Donald Trump or candidate Trump or transition to be President Trump? Did they outsource intelligence gathering methods to spy on Americans to circumvent US law and outsource it to even allied countries. Did that happen, sir?

Rudy Giuliani: There is plenty of evidence that it happened, Sean. Plenty of evidence. Some of it documentary, some of it already recorded. And for a year people in Europe have been trying to get this to our FBI. And they have been thwarted and ignored and pushed aside. It was a deliberate effort to cover this up. It didn’t just happen. Even during the Trump administration there was a deliberate effort to cover this up to protect the prior wrongdoing. That’s really sick.

A video of the conversation is included in the article at The Gateway Pundit. What we are learning is that the ‘deep state’ is an international phenomena. Those who support One World Government were very unhappy with the election of President Trump and the British vote on Brexit. We can expect to hear more about efforts to undo both in the very near future.

The Need For Civility (And Sanity)

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about some recent remarks by Elie Mystal on MSNBC Thursday night.

According to Legal Talk Network:

Elie Mystal is the Managing Editor of Above the Law Redline and the Editor-At-Large of Breaking Media. He’s appeared on MSNBC, Fox, and CNN, and pretty much any network that will invite him. He’s written editorials for the New York Times, the Daily News, and would make a good character in a Billy Joel song. He graduated from Harvard University in 2000, Harvard Law School in 2003, and was an associate at Debevoise and Plimpton.

Townhall reports:

Earlier this week Rep. Joaquin Castro in Texas “named and shamed” San Antonio supporters of President Donald J. Trump in what he says was an effort to get these Americans to think twice before being “complicit in white supremacy.” Anybody with common sense understood the move was dangerous, especially coming from a public official, as it could paint a target on these individuals’ backs regardless if the information was already public or not. On MSNBC Thursday night, guest Elie Mystal took the hysteria over supporting President Trump one step further, saying that protesters should form literal mobs outside the SoulCycle and Equinox chairman’s home in the Hamptons due to his support for the commander-in-chief.

“People of color are already targeted under this administration,” Mystal said Thursday night regarding Rep. Castro’s actions. “I have no problem with shining the light back on the donors who fund this kind of racialized hate.”

“I mean I go further, I want pitchforks and torches outside [Stephen Ross’] house in the Hamptons,” Mystal continued. “I’ve been to the Hamptons, it’s very nice. There’s no reason why it has to be. There’s no reason he should be able to have a nice little party. There’s no reason why people shouldn’t be able to be outside of his house and making their voices peacefully understood.”

I am amazed that such a well-educated man would say something that stupid. Just for the record, people of color are not being targeted under the Trump administration. First of all, let’s take a detour here to look at some actual facts. President Trump signed the First Step Act into law, a bipartisan measure to give prisoners getting out of jail a chance to find jobs and contribute to their communities. Since 38 percent of prisoners at the state level are people of color, that law will have a positive impact on people of color.  Unemployment for people of color is at historic lows under President Trump. Second of all, pitchforks and torches? Really?

Whatever happened to the calls for civility?

Doxing Is Illegal

A website called Subliminal Ridge posted the following about doxing in 2012:

Doxing is always illegal, whether it is done against a federal employee, a state employee, or a regular person. There are federal and state laws that specifically address doxing government employees. With regular citizens, doxing falls under various state criminal laws, such as stalking, cyberstalking, harassment, threats, and other such laws, depending on the state. Since these doxing threats and activities are made on the internet, the law of any state may be invoked, though most often an investigator will look to the state in which the person making the threat is located, if this is known, or the state in which the victim is situated. A state prosecutor can only prosecute violations of the laws of his or her own state, and of acts that extend into their state. When acts are on the internet, they extend into all the states.

 Misinformation was spread that doxing is legal. I am not sure how or why anyone fell for that misinformation. Surely, people must understand instinctively, even if they were misled about the law, that if they are threatening someone or putting them at risk, or tormenting or harassing the other on the internet, that this must be illegal. Common sense would tell you that bullying or jeopardizing another would be illegal in some way. So yes, doxing is illegal, no matter who the target.

Meanwhile The Hill reports:

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) on Wednesday was pressed by MSNBC’s Willie Geist after he used his Twitter account earlier in the week to identify a number of people who had made the maximum allowable donations to President Trump‘s campaign.

Geist said that the Trump donors “are undoubtedly already being harassed online or perhaps face-to-face in some cases” because of Castro’s actions. 

Castro, the brother of 2020 Democratic hopeful Julián Castro and chairman of his campaign, faced pushback on Tuesday from a number of conservatives for sharing the list of names. He said he published the names because he hopes that people “will think twice about contributing to [Trump’s] campaign.”

“What I hope is that this has started a conversation about what exactly Donald Trump is doing with these people’s money,” Joaquin Castro explained. “And I hope donors in San Antonio and donors throughout the country, unless you support the white nationalism and the racism that Donald Trump is paying for and fueling, then I hope that you, as a person of good conscience, will think twice about contributing to his campaign.”

The article concludes:

Geist pushed back again later, pointing to Castro’s comments that President Trump’s rhetoric has led to violence.

“If you agree rhetoric can lead to incitement, even if it triggers one person to do something terrible, does it give you any pause to put these names out in public?” Geist asked.

“Well, Willie, they’re already public, they’re already out there,” Castro responded.

“There are 11 retirees and one homemaker who are not public,” Geist noted.

“And this was already circulating. I shared it, so I didn’t create the graphic,” Castro replied.

“Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Brzezinski defended Castro earlier in the interview, with the latter arguing that Castro was only “reframing” public information.

“If you’re proud of funding President Trump, you need to understand that that will be public information. And all you’re doing is trying to explain what it is in terms of the policies or the morals that you are funding,” Brzezinski said.

Geist is also the anchor “Sunday Today with Willie Geist.”

You can’t draw a straight line from anything President Trump has said to violence. If any one of the people Castro listed are harassed or bullied, Castro is directly responsible. Mr. Casto, you need to be charged with a crime.

Rewriting History For Political Purposes

The Washington Examiner posted an article today a news report posted on the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America website.

The Washington Examiner reports:

By pure chance I stumbled recently on a news report posted on the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America website. It was a news feature story about the personality cult of Argentine Communist Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

He is described as a “Marxist revolutionary” in a complimentary narrative that would make any antifa sympathizer proud. Americans who know something about the history of communist atrocities of the last century might find it shocking and wonder how their tax money is being spent. What VOA failed to mention is that Che was a ruthless communist, directly and indirectly responsible for brutal murders of tens of thousands of innocent human beings in Cuba and elsewhere.

I discovered through further research that this news feature report was originally prepared by Reuters, but VOA posted it on its main desktop website without giving credit to the news agency. VOA staff even put VOA letters on a Reuters photo showing the famous image of the communist hero. Whether or not it gives proper credit to Reuters, VOA is still responsible for everything it offers for public view under its name. The feature glorifying a Communist mass murderer was presented by the U.S. government as VOA’s own work.

The article details the changes in the VOA in recent years:

Much of the blame for the return of journalistic bias and chaos to the Voice of America in recent years rests with the recent and current leadership of the agency, which seems have a distorted view of VOA’s past and its mission, in addition to being managerially challenged.

But the biggest problem is the political bias, partisanship, and the ineffectiveness of many VOA programs. VOA still has a few excellent and unbiased journalists, but they are deeply unhappy being unable to practice their craft the way they think most Americans would want to support with their tax money. “Professionalism at VOA is dead, because [VOA Director] Amanda Bennett and [USAGM CEO] John Lensing killed it,” a VOA employee was reported to have said.

…An ahistorical Voice of America can be a dangerous anti-democratic, anti-liberal, anti-conservative and anti-humanist propaganda tool both abroad and in the United States, regardless of which party controls the White House. VOA needs much better oversight from Congress and American taxpayers than it has now.

Please read the entire article. It is time for new leadership at the VOA. President Trump is moving in that direction.

The article concludes:

The current Obama administration officials in charge of VOA have demonstrated their partisanship and remarkable managerial incompetence. Haroon Ullah, a top aide recruited and frequently feted by USAGM CEO John Lansing as a strategic planner, recently pleaded guilty to federal charges of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the agency.

Award-winning PBS film documentarian and former federal government official Michael Pack is President Trump’s nominee to become the next agency head. He is conservative, but from what I can tell from his documentaries, he possesses a good grasp of history and seems ideologically less dogmatic than some of the current agency leaders and editors. He appears to have much more public service experience to run a government media program than any of the holdover officials currently in charge of USAGM. However, he and any other future VOA officials also need to be constantly watched and scrutinized to make sure that they fully obey the VOA Charter, which is U.S. law.

Hopefully the change in leadership will happen soon.

Lies That Create Political Unrest

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels

Dennis Prager posted an article at Townhall today about the lies the media has consistently repeated about President Trump. Unfortunately, those Americans who rely on the mainstream media believe these lies.

The article notes:

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, never said there were “fine” Nazis or Ku Klux Klansmen.

This is one of the two great lies of our time — the other being that all Trump supporters are racists — and perhaps in all of American history. I cannot think of a lie of such significance that was held as truth by so many Americans, by every leading politician of one of the two major political parties and disseminated by virtually the entire media.

The major news media need to understand these are important reasons that half of America considers them frauds. And we get no pleasure from this fact. The reason we don’t recoil when the president labels the mainstream media “fake news” is that we know the charge is true. Has one major media news outlet yet apologized to the American people for preoccupying them for nearly two years with the lie of “Trump collusion” with Russia? Has one Democrat? Of course not. Because with regard to the Trump-Russia collusion issue, the news media were never driven by a pursuit of truth; they were driven by a pursuit of Trump.

…By remarkable coincidence, this week’s PragerU video is titled “The Charlottesville Lie.” It proves the president never said Nazis were fine people. When Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides,” he was referring to people demonstrating in Charlottesville for and against tearing down a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, not to Nazis and antifa.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It illustrates the lies the American people have been told since President Trump came down the elevator.

President Trump is not dividing the country–a left-wing media that fails to tell the truth has fueled the division with its constant attacks. How many Americans believe that the President colluded with Russia to win the election? How many Americans are aware of the roots of the Russia investigation? How many Americans will be shocked by the coming declassification of documents related to that investigation? How much of that declassification will the mainstream media report? The answers to those questions illustrate what is actually going on.

The Coming Election Impacts Foreign Policy

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about China’s plans to influence the 2020 presidential election.

The article reports:

In his conversation with Levin, Gertz (Washington Free Beacon senior writer Bill Gertz) reflected on his interview with Guo, who told Gertz earlier this week that the Chinese government has been deploying a prolonged campaign to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020. Gertz asserted the Chinese government may try to wait out Trump’s time in office so it can negotiate trade deals with a new Democratic president if Trump loses in 2020.

Trump announced Thursday he would impose an additional 10-percent tariff on certain Chinese exports as a trade agreement between the United States and China has yet to materialize.

“The China threat to me is the most serious threat facing the country,” Gertz told Levin.

He pointed to the economic integration between the U.S and China and how those relationships make it difficult for lawmakers and military officials to address Chinese aggression head-on, which he referred to as “an existential threat.”

The article concludes:

“There’s a major push right now to try and build up of American courses in Asia so we won’t have to go to war with China,” Gertz said of the government’s efforts to deter a war hypothetical war with China.

Looking towards the presidential race, Gertz warned the Chinese government would prefer to have a Democrat in the White House.

“It’s going to be a huge problem if the Democrats retake the administration,” Gertz said, pointing to former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent downplaying of threat China poses to the United States.

Gertz pointed out that during the Obama presidency the Chinese government expanded their presence in Asian waterways, in addition to ramping up their theft of intellectual property from American companies and entrepreneurs.

This may be the reason the negotiations with China have become so difficult–China is waiting for a President who will cave into their demands. It is obvious that President Trump is not that person.

By undermining President Trump since he was elected, the Democrat party has made international trade negotiations much more difficult. Creating an even playing field in trade with China would result in continued growth of the United States economy. It is time to repair the damage bad trade deals have done in the past.

A Small Step Forward For Americans Filling Prescriptions

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about the new initiative rolled out by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

The article reports:

Democrats ate the GOP’s lunch on health-care messaging in 2018’s midterms. The Trump administration might be preparing better for the 2020 election. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar rolled out a new initiative today that would allow for prescription purchases from Canada, addressing a key Democratic talking point on the cost of health care:

“President Trump has been clear: for too long American patients have been paying exorbitantly high prices for prescription drugs that are made available to other countries at lower prices. When we released the President’s drug pricing blueprint – PDF for putting American patients first, we said we are open to all potential solutions to combat high drug prices that protect patient safety, are effective at delivering lower prices, and respect choice, innovation and access,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “Today’s announcement outlines the pathways the Administration intends to explore to allow safe importation of certain prescription drugs to lower prices and reduce out of pocket costs for American patients. This is the next important step in the Administration’s work to end foreign freeloading and put American patients first.”

The article lists some of the details of the plan. Please follow the link above for more information.

The article also lists some of the problems with the plan:

The question of pharmaceutical importation has its complexities, and it might not be a great idea in terms of long-term policy outcomes. For one thing, drug prices in Canada are artificially low thanks to intervention by the Canadian government, which will be tougher to maintain if demand increases exponentially via re-importation into the US. (Canadians in particular might not be very happy about what happens to their drug prices.) It doesn’t solve the major problems in pharmaceutical production costs, which are consolidation in the industry, copyright issues, and bureaucratic delays in FDA approvals, among others. It’s a Band-Aid over a gaping wound.

However, it’s going to be a very popular Band-Aid in the short run. The new HHS effort also lends itself to a slow rollout, which will play right into Trump’s need to pre-empt Democrats on health care in this cycle…

The article takes a rather cynical view regarding the motive for this action, but at least temporarily many Americans will appreciate the savings. On a personal note, one of the maintenance drugs my husband takes for heart problems sells for $600 a month. With the help of our health insurance, we have managed to get that price down to $70 a month, but the idea of having to pay $600 a month out-of-pocket for a drug is more than a little frightening.

This is a small step in the right direction. I understand that high drug prices are the result of the procedures for the invention, development, and selling of a new drug, but Americans shouldn’t have to pay for all of the research while other people reap the rewards of that research without paying for it.

The Heart Of The Matter

In September 2018, The Western Journal reported:

President Trump ordered declassification of several documents and texts related to the FBI’s Russia investigation during the 2016 presidential election.

Included among the documents are the 21 pages of the FISA court application used by the FBI to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Monday.

Sanders added that the president has also directed the release of all reports by the FBI of interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr in relation to the Russia investigation.

One of the people involved in the declassification process was Dan Coats. Evidently he has been something of a bottleneck in the process. Thus, he is resigning. President Trump is expected to nominate Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe to replace him.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported:

On May 23rd, 2019, President Donald Trump gave U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr full authority to review and release all of the classified material hidden by the DOJ and FBI.

Sixty-five days ago….

It has been 65 days since President Trump empowered AG Bill Barr to release the original authorizing scope of the Mueller investigation on May 17, 2017. A Mueller investigation now being debated and testified to in congress, and yet we are not allowed to know what the authorizing scope was…. Nor the 2nd DOJ scope memo of August 2nd, 2017… Nor the 3rd DOJ scope memo of October 20th, 2017.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit noted:

Ratcliffe, a pro-Trump GOP favorite grilled Mueller real good on Wednesday about his Constitutional abuses and according to Axios, Trump was impressed with his performance during the House Judiciary Hearing.

‘Can you give me an example other than Donald Trump where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined?’ Ratcliffe asked Mueller.

Mueller was left stuttering and could not answer Rep. Ratcliff so he mumbled something about this being a ‘unique situation.’

Ratfcliffe interjected and told Mueller the reason why he can’t find another example of this happening is because it doesn’t exist.

Dan Coats is a Deep State stooge and is causing a bottleneck for Barr and Durham in the declassification process in their Spygate investigation.

Stay tuned. The Inspector General’s report is due out in September. Some declassification may take place before then. I honestly don’t know if the media will report what actually happened or if many Americans will believe it. What appears to be the case is that we have watched Peter Strzok’s insurance policy against the Trump presidency in action for more than two years now. Hopefully that insurance policy will not only fail miserably but result in jail time for those who misused the intelligence assets of America.

The Economy Continues To Move In A Positive Direction

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about the latest economic numbers. As usual when a Republican is President, the ‘experts’ were surprised that the numbers were better than expected.

The article reports:

It’s not great news for the White House, but it could have been a lot worse. The US economy’s growth slowed to 2.1% in the second quarter, down a full point from Q1. However, with economists predicting a recession right around the corner, the growth is still substantial enough to look positive:

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019 (table 1), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.

The Bureau’s second-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see “Source Data for the Advance Estimate” on page 2). The “second” estimate for the second quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on August 29, 2019.

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential fixed investment and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased (table 2).

The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter reflected downturns in inventory investment, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment. These downturns were partly offset by accelerations in PCE and federal government spending.

President Trump weighed in on Twitter:

The article at Hot Air concludes:

“Not bad” is a little bit of an understatement, actually. It’s pretty good, especially in the context of the global economy. That’s the bigger anchor, especially the trade disputes that at least for one quarter hit our exports hard.

The steady growth with low inflation should result in the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates in the near future.

The Plot Thickens

On Monday, John Solomon posted an article at The Hill stating that in early June 2017 prosecutor Andrew Weissmann quietly reached out to the American lawyers for Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash with a tempting offer: Give us some dirt on Donald Trump in the Russia case, and Team Mueller might make his 2014 U.S. criminal charges go away. Wow.

The article further reports:

The DOJ, Mueller’s office and Weissmann did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment on Monday.

At first blush, one might ask, “What’s the big deal?” It’s not unusual for federal prosecutors to steal a page from Monty Hall’s “Let’s Make a Deal” script during plea negotiations. 

But Weissmann’s overture was wrapped with complexity and intrigue far beyond the normal federal case, my sources indicate.

At the time, pressure was building inside the DOJ and the FBI to find smoking-gun evidence against Trump in the Russia case because the Steele dossier — upon which the early surveillance warrants were based — was turning out to be an uncorroborated mess. (“There’s no big there there,” lead FBI agent Pete Strzok texted a few days before Weissmann’s overture.)

Likewise, key evidence that the DOJ used to indict Firtash on corruption charges in 2014 was falling apart. Two central witnesses were in the process of recanting testimony, and a document the FBI portrayed as bribery evidence inside Firtash’s company was exposed as a hypothetical slide from an American consultant’s PowerPoint presentation, according to court records I reviewed.

In other words, the DOJ faced potential embarrassment in two high-profile cases when Weissmann made an unsolicited approach on June 4, 2017, that surprised even Firtash’s U.S. legal team.

To some, the offer smacked of being desperately premature. Mueller was appointed just two weeks earlier, did not even have a full staff selected, and was still getting up to speed on the details of the investigation. So why rush to make a deal when the prosecution team still was being selected, some wondered.

Please follow the link to read the entire article.

The article concludes:

Weissmann long has been a favorite target of conservatives, in part because his earlier work as a prosecutor in the Enron case was overturned unanimously by the U.S. Supreme Court because of overly aggressive prosecutorial tactics. Former DOJ official Sidney Powell strongly condemned Weissmann’s past work as a prosecutor in “Licensed to Lie,” a book critical of DOJ’s pressure tactics. 

It is now clear that Weissmann’s overture to a Ukrainian oligarch in the summer of 2017 is about to take on new significance in Washington, where Mueller is about to testify, and in Austria, where Firtash’s extradition fight has taken a new twist.

This is reminiscent of Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria, head of Stalin’s secret police. He told Stalin, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”.  It seems as if that was the approach of the Mueller investigation of President Trump, regardless of who was actually leading the investigation.

Trivial Pursuit By The Press Corps

We have a quickly changing international situation brewing with the seizure of ships by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. Decisions made in the White House could have major consequences in the lives of all Americans. Hopefully the right decisions will be made, but the situation is worth everyone’s attention. But I guess the Press Corps has other things on its mind.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that shortly after receiving news that two tankers had been seized by the Iranians, the President was talking to the Press Corps.

The article reports:

President Trump was asked if he was “in favor of banning plastic straws” by a reporter on Friday afternoon, just a short time after an Iranian provocation in the Strait of Hormuz.

“Are you in favor of banning plastic straws?” a reporter asked the president outside the White House.

“I do think we have bigger problems than plastic straws. You know, it’s interesting about plastic straws. So you have a little straw, but what about the plates, the wrappers, and everything else that are much bigger and they’re made of the same material? So the straws are interesting, everybody focuses on the straws, there’s a lot of other things to focus on. It’s an interesting question.”

Evidently there was some context for the question:

“Trump Straws” went on sale on the Trump campaign website on Thursday. The 10-pack of reusable red straws are laser engraved with “Trump” on them, and the description reads, “Liberal paper straws don’t work. STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP and buy your pack of recyclable straws today.”

I don’t know whether I would have been so gracious as to answer the question. It seems as if the Press Corps is playing Trivial Pursuit and ignoring the major news around them.

Why Do We Need A Secure Border?

There are a number of different reasons we need to secure out borders–north, south, east, and west.

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation list a few basic facts about our current border situtation:

  • Over the past two years, roughly 235,000 illegal immigrants were arrested—including roughly 100,000 for assault, 30,000 for sex crimes, and 4,000 for homicides.
  • 300 Americans die of heroin overdoses a week, and 90 percent of that heroin is smuggled through our southern border.
  • Loopholes in our immigration law coupled with our porous border encourages parents to send their children on a dangerous journey to the U.S., often at the hands of threatening human traffickers. 68 percent of migrants are victims of violence along the journey. One in three migrant women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek to the border.
  • Securing the border is the first step. We also need rational reforms such as a skills-based migration system and an end to chain migration.

So what is the solution? Below are some of the items President Trump has asked Congress to fund:

  • $5.7 billion for construction of approximately 234 miles of steel barrier along the Southern Border
  • $675 million to deter and detect dangerous materials crossing our borders like narcotics and weapons
  • $563 million that would provide for 75 additional immigration judges and support staff who are necessary to reduce the backlog of immigration cases that are sitting right now at the border
  • $211 million for 750 additional border patrol agents, who DHS officials have deemed paramount to this fight
  • $571 million for additional ICE personnel
  • $4.2 billion for detention center materials and personnel

As a first step to combat this crisis, Congress must pass a spending bill that provides the funding that the President has requested. In addition to obtaining increased border security funding today, we must continue to push for real reforms to our legal immigration system. Necessary reforms include ending chain migration, adopting a skills-based immigration system, and closing loopholes in the asylum claim process.

Securing the border should not be a political issue. It is an issue that impacts all Americans–lower wages for low-skilled workers, drugs smuggled in that have killed countless Americans, increased crime, and an unsustainable burden on those government programs designed to create a safety net for Americans in need. It’s time to seal the border and take care of the needs of Americans among us who are homeless or living in poverty,

Looking Past The Obvious

Today The Washington Examiner posted an article about the resignation of Britain’s ambassador to the United States, Sir Kim Darroch. The Ambassador was forced to resign after some leaked diplomatic cables that said some very unflattering things about President Trump. Obviously, the man is entitled to his own opinion and obviously, the cables should not have been leaked, but there is a certain amount of karma involved here.

The Washington Examiner reports:

According to one current and one former U.S. government official speaking on the condition of anonymity, Darroch repeatedly leaked classified U.S. intelligence information, including highly classified information, to a journalist for a U.S.-based media outlet. The sources are confirmed by the reaction my related inquiries have received from other government officials.

These leaks are unrelated to the diplomatic cables which sparked Trump’s anger and Darroch’s departure.

Still, one source says that the U.S. government was so alarmed by Darroch’s leaks that it launched an official investigation to find the source of the information. That source described the leaked intelligence as “very sensitive,” and suggested that exigent U.S. security concerns motivated the investigation. That source says that non-U.S. government derived records showed the ambassador and journalist exchanging messages on a continuing basis. The source emphasized that these communications were not derived from U.S. government actions.

A second source, a career government official, described the leaks as “unprecedented.”

Obviously, if you live by the leak, you die by the leak.

The Wheels Of Justice Sometimes Turn Very Slowly

Yesterday The Washington Post reported the following:

The FBI on Wednesday arrested two former senior officials who served in administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, leading the chair of the House committee that oversees Puerto Rico to call for the governor to step down.

The arrests also spurred concerns on Capitol Hill about the billions of dollars in aid that Congress has approved for the island.

The federal indictment says the former officials illegally directed federal funding to politically-connected contractors. The arrests come about a month after Congress approved a controversial disaster aid bill that earmarked additional funding for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017, which were tied up in part because President Trump called Puerto Rico’s officials “incompetent or corrupt.”

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the Natural Resource Committee that oversees Puerto Rico, called on Rosselló to resign amid the ongoing federal investigation.

The article concludes:

The arrests come as senior White House officials are searching for new ways to limit the amount of federal aid going to help Puerto Rico, and the island’s allies fear the arrests will give Trump greater justification for curtailing additional aid to the island.

“The governor of Puerto Rico and his administration have now given President Trump the ammunition he needed,” said San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz, a political opponent of the governor.

I really think we need to make sure that any additional aid given to Puerto Rico will be properly administered and distributed. It appears that they have a corruption problem, and there is no way of knowing whether or not it has been solved. Unfortunately, it will be the people who need to help the most who will suffer the most because of the corruption.

When Following The Law Is Controversial

Issues and Insights posted an article today about President Trump’s plan to deport about one million illegal aliens. These are aliens that have already had their court hearings and been ordered deported by judges. The article notes that Acting United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ken Cuccinelli is simply the first federal official, besides President Trump, brave enough to follow and implement the law.

The article notes:

That is what President Trump pledged to do when he took the oath of office. Take care that the laws be faithfully executed. That is why the President is called the Chief Executive. Democrats, and their party-controlled media, find that shocking because they have been in an insurrection since Trump took that oath of office.

Cuccinelli said in a CBS interview on Sunday,

“[ICE agents are] ready to just perform their mission which is to go and find and detain and then deport the approximately one million people who have final removal orders. They’ve been all the way through the due process and have final removal orders.”

If we are not going to deport illegal aliens who have had their cases adjudicated with final deportation orders fully in accord with due process, then Democrats would have effectively opened the borders to Central America, and the entire third world, to just walk in, and sign up for welfare paid for by U.S. citizens. That would amount to a coup against American democracy, as that policy has never been adopted into law by representatives democratically elected by those same U.S. citizens.

Breitbart News reported on July 7, “The latest Harvard/Harris Poll finds that a majority of Americans support Trump’s plan to mass deport illegal aliens following inaction from Congress. This includes support from more than 8-in-10 Republican voters and more than 5-in-10 swing voters. Breitbart News further reports that there are about 1.7 million illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico, alone, living in the U.S. despite already being ordered deported or having pending deportation orders. The latest federal data concludes that there are more than 925,000 illegal aliens, in total, with final deportation orders who have continued living freely in the U.S. About 20% of these illegal aliens have at least one criminal conviction…. Roughly 60% of these illegal aliens come from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

The article makes a very good point:

Ken Cuccinelli and Bill Barr just need to enforce the Rule of Law, whatever it takes, to stop this modern Resistance and Insurrection, and restore Due Process and the Rule of Law.

The Democrats (and the media) have been acting like spoiled children since the 2016 presidential election. It’s time they grew up and realized that America is supposed to be a country of laws that apply equally to all. I guess they just can’t get used to the idea of having a President who actually enforces the law as it is written.

Going Against Public Opinion In An Attempt To Gain Power

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about whether or not the citizenship question should be on the 2020 census. The article cited some interesting poll results.

The article reports:

Two-thirds of voters approve of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and that includes a majority of Hispanic voters — despite claims by Democratic lawmakers that the inquiry would discourage participation in Latino communities.

A Harvard University Center for American Political Studies/Harris poll found that 67% of all registered U.S. voters say the census should ask the citizenship question when the time comes. That includes 88% of Republicans, 63% of independents and 52% of Democrats.

Most notably, the poll found that 55% of Hispanic voters favor the idea.

Also in agreement: 74% of rural voters, 59% of black voters, 58% of urban voters and 47% of voters who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. At 44%, liberal voters were the least likely to favor the citizenship question.

At the other end of the scale, 92% of Trump voters and 90% of conservatives back the question.

The article concludes:

On Tuesday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway challenged why the citizenship question should even be an issue on the census — which makes a variety of personal household inquiries. She faults Democratic critics.

“We’re asking people how many toilets in your house and you don’t want to know who’s using them? It’s absolutely ridiculous — and this is why the president is fighting for the question’s inclusion,” Ms. Conway told Fox News.

“The census is important, and as President Trump has mentioned, we spend about $20 billion on it. We have said it’s an important exercise. So why not get it right? The census in the past has been increasingly responsive to changes in American demography,” she continued.

“I would ask the Democrats —I hear they’re screaming rhetoric — I would ask what are you afraid of? Why wouldn’t you want to know who’s living in this country, and who’s a citizen and who’s not a citizen?” Ms. Conway asked.

The concept to keep in mind here is that there are a limited number of members in the House of Representatives. The number of Representatives a state has is determined by how many people in that state. Congress is supposed to represent Americans. States who have a large number of non-citizens are not entitled to more Representatives because they have a larger population. If that happens, American citizens are not fully represented. That is the reason the citizenship question needs to be on the census.

We Need To Celebrate This

Issues & Insights posted an article today about the change in the number of Americans dependent on Government since President Trump took office.

The article includes a chart showing the change:

Here are some of the highlights listed in the article:

Disability. The number of workers on Social Security’s Disability Insurance program has sharply declined as well. It went from 88 million in January 2017 to 84.9 million as of May. That’s the lowest it’s been since August 2011.

…Medicaid. Enrollment in Medicaid also has dropped sharply since Trump took office — despite the fact that Virginia decided to expand its program under Obamacare, which added some 300,000 to its Medicaid rolls over those years.

As of this March, the total number of people on Medicaid and CHIP — the health insurance program for children — was down by 2.5 million.

Obamacare. The number enrolled in Obamacare has declined every year since Trump took office as well, and is now 1 million below where it was at the end of 2016.

Welfare. The number of those collecting welfare — either on the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or what are called “separate state programs” — has dropped by more than 800,000 under Trump.

The article concludes:

In a less biased news media world, the decline in government dependency would be front-page news.

Instead, when they’re acknowledged at all, these enrollment drops are treated as bad news by the Left, which treats any declining benefit programs as a problem that needs to be fixed — usually by expanding these programs. Thus, you have every Democratic candidate for president talking about trillions upon trillions of new benefit programs, which are designed to ensnare as many as possible in the net of government dependency.

They have it exactly backward. The goal should be to have zero people collecting government benefits — because they are gainfully employed and don’t need them. Anything else should be treated as a failure.

One of the reasons that it is so difficult to shrink government programs is that in addition to the people they serve, they provide employment for government workers. These workers understand that if assistance programs shrink drastically, then there will be fewer staff members needed to oversee the programs. It is definitely a reverse incentive to cut dependence on the government.

Does The Will Of The People Mean Anything?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the question of asking people if they are citizens on the 2020 census.

The article reported:

Americans by a wide margin agree with President Trump that the upcoming 2020 census should ask a citizenship question.

The latest Economist/YouGov poll found that 53% feel it should ask the question versus 32% who don’t.

The survey asked: “Do you think the federal government should or should not ask people whether they are American citizens as part of the 2020 census?”

  • Should ask 53%
  • Should not ask 32%
  • Not sure 14%

The Supreme Court has rejected including the question in a form the administration proposed but left the door open to another version. And Trump is considering changing the version.

…And it can be done, according to legal expert and George Washington University Law professor John Banzhaf.

“There are several rationales — including one based upon the Constitution itself — which could well still persuade the courts to permit a citizenship question on the census, especially if the explanation were included in the executive order now being considered, rather than in some new declaration by the Secretary of Commerce,” he said in a review of the court’s decision.

Why does this matter? The census is used to determine the number of Representatives a state has in the House of Representatives. Theoretically these Representatives represent American citizens living in their districts. The number of Representatives a state sends to Congress also helps determine the number of votes a state has in the Electoral College.

So if people who are not citizens and may be here illegally are counted in the census, what happens? California, whose population is losing American citizens to other states and gaining illegal immigrants will either retain its current number of Representatives or gain some. States with lower non-citizen populations may be underrepresented in Congress and in the Electoral College. In a sense, when you count non-citizens in the census, you risk taking representation away from Americans. Counting non-citizens will also skew the Electoral College.

This Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Yesterday One America News reported that the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani warned European partners in its faltering nuclear deal on Wednesday that Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to “any amount that we want” beginning on Sunday, putting pressure on them to offer a way around intense U.S. sanctions targeting the country.

This is called nuclear blackmail. It is the technique that Iran would have used when the limits on their uranium production ended as provided in the nuclear treaty. First of all, does anyone actually believe that Iran was following the rules of the treaty to begin with? Note that the treaty did not allow inspections of all probable uranium enrichment sites.

The article reports:

The hike will put the country above the limits set by the 2015 nuclear deal made with six major world powers. President Trump pulled out that deal, saying the country was showing no intention of abiding by the agreement.

Earlier this week, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani teased their latest move, threatening to violate the terms of the 2015 agreement.

“We will increase the cap to whatever level we deem is essential for us and to a level that we need, you must also know that if you do not fulfill all your obligations to us under the agreement and in the agreed time frame, then from July 7th the nuclear reactor will return to its previous activity,” Rouhani said.

Iranian state media said, the Ayotollah regime will officially make the announcement on Sunday.

The only way to end the danger of the Iranian quest to be a nuclear power is to increase the sanctions to the point where there is a change of leadership in Iran. Many of the Iranians who thought they were fighting for freedom in 1978 were very disillusioned by the government that followed the revolution. A free Iran would be considerably less dangerous to the world than the current totalitarian Islamic state.

How Do You Run Against This Record?

Yesterday Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner about the 2020 Presidential election. The title of the article is, “Byron York: Dem 2020 task: Convince voters to overlook economy.” He is right assuming that the economy continues to do as well as it has. We need to remember that the Federal Reserve is in a position to undercut our prosperity. A few key interest rate raises would definitely slow down our growth. The fed is already making noises that it might not cut rates this year as previously expected. That might also have a negative impact on our growing economy. I am not convinced that the problem the Democrats have is to convince voters to overlook the economy as much as all Americans need to make sure that political forces do not move to wreck a good economy for political gain.

The article concludes:

“Trump’s tenure is straining one of the most enduring rules in presidential politics: the conviction that a strong economy benefits the party holding the White House,” wrote analyst Ron Brownstein in The Atlantic. “Across many of the key groups in the electorate, from young people to white college graduates, Trump’s job-approval rating consistently runs at least 25 points below the share of voters who hold positive views about either the national economy or their personal financial situation.”

Of course Democrats can’t ignore the economy. So far, when they have addressed it, they haven’t been terribly creative, relying on the standard-issue Democratic critique of Republican presidents — that Trump is creating an economy that only benefits his rich friends.

“Who is this economy really working for?” asked Elizabeth Warren at the first Democratic debate. “It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top.”

It’s not clear how well that will work. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board pointed out recently, under Trump, “wages are rising at the fastest rate in a decade for lower-skilled workers, and unemployment among less-educated Americans and minorities is near a record low.” The result of the president’s policies, the Journal argued, “has been faster growth and less inequality.”

Another way to say that is that millions of Americans are better off than they were four years ago. The question in 2020 will be whether that matters.

Actually, if the  Democrat debates continue at their present level of relevance, President Trump may easily cruise into another term as President.

A Positive Economic Picture

CNS News is reporting today that the economy is doing better than predicted.

The article reports:

A record 157,005,000 people were employed in June, the most since February and the 19th record of Trump’s presidency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

And the economy added a strong 224,000 jobs in June, well above the estimate of 160,000.

The unemployment rate, the lowest in 50 years, ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.7 percent.

In June, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 259,037,000. Of those, 162,981,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 162,981,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 259,037,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population. That’s up a tenth of a point from May’s 62.8 percent participation rate. The payroll taxes paid by people who participate in the labor force help support those who do not participate, so the higher this number, the better.

The participation rate reached a record high of 67.3 percent in early 2000; the highest it’s been under Trump is 63.2 percent.

In December 2016, the labor force participation rate was 62.7. It has moved between 62.7 and 63.1 since President Trump took office.

I love the fact that during a Republican administration, the estimates of jobs created is always low and economists are always surprised when the real numbers come out.

The article concludes:

And wages continue rising: In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.90, following a 9-cent gain in May. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in a June 25 speech, said the economy has performed “reasonably well” so far this year, with continued growth and strong job creation keeping the unemployment rate near historic lows.

But Powell also mentioned “some ongoing cross-currents,” including trade uncertainty and incoming data about the strength of the global economy.

He said the Fed “will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion…” That could mean lower interest rates — or not, if the employment and job numbers remain strong.

Economic policies impact the economy. It matters who is occupying the White House. President Trump has proved that.