The Power Of The Media Illustrated

This is the current polling from RealClearPolitics:

This is some recent economic news reported by The Washington Times on January 9:

Given the dazzling December economic data, it’s no wonder the press gave it short shrift. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added a whopping 312,000 jobs, far more than the expected 176,000. After revisions, job gains have averaged an impressive 254,000 per month over the past three months. Job growth in 2018 (an average of 220,000 per month) passed that of both 2016 (195,000) and 2017 (182,000). Payrolls increased by 2.6 million in 2018, the highest since 2015.

The sunny jobs picture encouraged 419,000 new workers to enter the workforce and sent the labor force participation rate up to 63.1 percent. Unemployment rates among blacks, Latinos and women are at or near historic lows.

Job growth has also meant significant wage growth. Wages are up a stunning 3.2 percent from last year and .4 percent from November. December was the third straight month that the yearlong growth in nominal average hourly earnings was above 3 percent in nearly a decade; the last time we saw that trend was April 2009. Wages are also being given an assist by inflation being kept in check.

The article at The Washington Times concludes:

His (President Trump’s) astounding economic track record is their worst nightmare. It puts the lie to the nonsense Mr. Obama, the Democrats and the media have been shoveling for years: That anemic economic growth, high unemployment, the collapse of manufacturing and grotesque trade imbalances were the “new normal.”

It also pointedly demonstrates that the statist vision — radical wealth redistribution, socialized medicine, green energy chimeras, social justice enforcement, limits on free speech, private property and gun ownership, and the rule of the leftist mob — creates only tyranny, poverty, injustice and servitude. (Note the deflection: These are things the left claims to want to eradicate.)

Mr. Trump and his economic thunderbolt are exposing the left and its policies as irredeemably bankrupt, economically and morally. And that is perhaps the biggest reason why they must try to destroy him.

A lot of this economic news has not been reported. However, people do notice when there are more jobs available and there is more money in their paycheck. President Trump’s approval numbers are finally in positive numbers. The economy is booming. What would be the basis for most Americans believing America is headed in the wrong direction? Might it be the constant negative reporting from the media? Can you imaging what President Trump’s approval rating would be if the media were actually balanced? Just remember–the people vote. The media represents only a small percentage of votes.

Will Someone Please Tell Nancy Pelosi That She Is Not The President

The Daily Caller posted an article today about Speaker Pelosi’s reaction to the possibility that President Trump may declare a national emergency to build a border wall.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned President Donald Trump on Thursday that a future Democratic president could declare a national emergency to achieve an agenda, such as gun control policy.

Responding to the president’s announcement that he will declare a national emergency related to the U.S. southern border, Pelosi maintained that “Democratic presidents can declare emergencies as well. So the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans.”

The Constitution charges the President with the responsibility of defending our borders. The Constitution also enshrines the rights of American citizens to bear arms. What the President is doing is constitutional. What Speaker Pelosi is threatening is not constitutional. It’s that simple.

The article quotes Speaker Pelosi:

Speaker Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference, “You want to talk about a national emergency? Let’s talk about today, the one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President?”

Is the prospect of caravans of thousands of immigrants crossing our border illegally a national emergency? What else would you call it? I wonder if the Democrats are happy with their choice of Speaker of the House.

The Quality Of Life Index

Who knew that there was a Quality of Life Index? I certainly didn’t, but there is one, and Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about it on February 8th.

The editorial reports:

Unemployment at historic lows? Wages climbing at a fast pace? Who knew? The news media, fixated on Trump scandals, hasn’t exactly been broadcasting that good news. And media fact checkers busied themselves after the speech nitpicking Trump’s economic boasts.

But the upbeat assessment clearly resonated with the public, most of whom gave Trump’s speech top marks. Turns out they have been firsthand witnesses to the strength of the economy over the past two years.

How do we know? Look at the IBD/TIPP Quality of Life Index, which asks the public whether they think their quality of life will be better, worse or the same over the next six months.

In the 17 years IBD has been compiling this index, it’s averaged 56.2. Under President Obama, it averaged just 53.7. Even if you only include Obama’s second term, it was well below the 17-year average.

Under Trump? The Quality of Life Index has averaged 59.3. That’s a 10% increase over the average during the Obama years.

To be sure, there’s a partisan element to this. Republicans tend to rate their quality of life higher than Democrats when there’s a Republican in the White House, and vice versa. But look at independents: Their quality of life averaged 52 under Obama. It’s averaging 58.8 under Trump — a 13% bump.

What’ more, the gains are across the board. Households making from $35,000 to $50,000, for example, saw an 8% gain in this index when you compare Trump to Obama. Those making from $50,000 to $75,000, an 11% gain.

This is what winning looks like for the Middle Class.

Setting A Really Bad Precedent

The pettiness in Washington is getting totally ridiculous. We have reached the point where if President Trump endorsed the idea of Democrat  Congressmen wearing suits to work, they would all show up looking as if it were casual Friday. There have always been political differences in Washington, but the ‘resistance’ has reached a really unhealthy level.

Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line today about the confirmation process of William Barr for Attorney General.

The article notes:

The vote in the Judiciary Committee was 12-10. Every Democrat on the Committee voted against Barr.

This is the same William Barr whom the Senate confirmed unanimously three times during the Reagan-Bush years. The last of these times, when Barr was nominated to be Attorney General under Bush, the Judiciary Committee approved him by unanimous vote, and the full Senate confirmed him by a voice vote.

Barr was confirmed unanimously even though he testified that Roe v. Wade was incorrectly decided. Joe Biden, then the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, praised Barr for his candor. Biden added that Barr, who had been serving as Deputy Attorney General, as “a throwback to the days when we actually had attorneys general that would talk to you.”

This time around, Barr received no votes from Committee Democrats. In all likelihood, he will receive virtually no Democratic votes on the Senate floor.

The article concludes:

The Democrats’ unanimous opposition to Barr isn’t about Mueller, a personal friend of Barr. Rather, it’s the product of their resistance to President Trump. Indeed, any number of Trump appointees have been approved without any Democrat support or with virtually none.

Accordingly, the next time a Democrat is president, Republicans will be well within their rights unanimously to oppose his or her nominees. They should exercise this right freely, though not indiscriminately.

If Republicans happen to control the Senate, meaning that the nominee can’t be confirmed without some GOP votes, this should not deter them from saying no. I suspect it will deter a few GOP members, but it shouldn’t.

This is no way to run a country. It is also pointless. The Republicans have enough votes in the Senate to pass the nomination. The ‘resistance’ simply looks stupid and petty. If I were a Democrat in the Senate, I might want to consider the concept of karma before I voted no.

Does Anyone Actually Believe This?

Sometimes I wonder if our Congressmen (and Congresswomen) actually listen to their own words. Some of the logic coming from the people who are supposed to represent us is just amazing.

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about some recent comments by Representative Al Green, a Democrat from Texas.

The article reports:

Green said the refusal of Virginia’s governor and attorney general to resign after admitting to wearing blackface “is but a symptom of a greater syndrome that currently plagues our country as a result of not acting on President Trump’s bigotry,” the Hill reports.

Green added that Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring have been emboldened “to a great extent because the Trump presidency has sent a message that you can be immune to the consequences of bigotry, by daring those with the authority and power to constitutionally remove you from office.”

“Further, an argument that Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring should resign will subject us to accusations of political hypocrisy if we refuse to take on a bigoted president,” Green continued in a statement.

The Democratic congressman introduced articles impeachment against the president in the last Congress, accusing Trump of fostering racial divisions in the United States.

Was President Trump a bigot when he fought city hall to open Mar-a-Lago to Jews and blacks? Was he a racist when he sheltered Jennifer Hudson and some of her relatives at the Trump International Hotel & Tower free of charge after her mother, brother and nephew were murdered in Chicago on Oct. 24 (article here)? There are countless other examples that show that the media’s attempt to portray President Trump as a racist are simply fake news.

The article concludes with a quick summary of the situation in Virginia:

Most Virginia Democrats, however, privately want Northam to stay in office until more information comes out about Herring and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, according to the Washington Post. Fairfax faces an allegation he sexually assaulted a woman in 2004. Should all three Democrats resign, the governorship would go to the state House Speaker, who is a Republican.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) suggested last month that Democrats would not try to impeach Trump without Republican support and noted that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has not reached its conclusion. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) said an impeachment process was not inevitable and not what Democrats were focused on pursuing.

The remarks from Pelosi and Hoyer came days after freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) promised Democrats would “impeach the mother****er.”

This is another attempt to deflect attention from Govern Northam’s statement about abortion.

This Could Take Some Very Interesting Turns

This article is based on two articles posted yesterday–one in The New York Post and one at Fox News.

The New York Post reports:

The Justice Department has opened an investigation into its own possible misconduct in the wrist-slap prosecution of multimillionaire serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The investigation is being conducted by the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, according to MSNBC.

“OPR has now opened an investigation into allegations that Department attorneys may have committed professional misconduct in the manner in which the Epstein criminal matter was resolved,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd said in a Feb. 6 letter to Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

“OPR will thoroughly investigate the allegations of misconduct that have been raised and, consistent with its practice, will share its results with you at the conclusion of its investigation as appropriate,” he wrote.

Sasse, a member of the Judiciary Committee, had asked last month for an investigation into Justice’s treatment of Epstein, citing a Miami Herald series on the pervy hedge fund manager’s crimes and the sweetheart deal that let him off the hook.

Senator Sasse has a reputation as someone who opposes President Trump.

Fox News reports:

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has opened an investigation into a generous plea bargain awarded in 2007 by a top Florida prosecutor — who now serves as President Trump’s secretary of labor — to a wealthy, Clinton-connected financier and sex offender accused of abusing underage sex slaves.

…Alexander Acosta negotiated what critics are calling a sweetheart, potentially corrupt plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein when he was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. The arrangement required Epstein to pay restitution to dozens of victims, but offered a variety of unusual concessions as part of a non-prosecution agreement.

So let’s back up and look at this for a minute. Jeffrey Epstein was (and is) very well connected politically. Bill Clinton is directly involved in this scandal–there are records of him flying to Epstein’s island on Epstein’s plane. However, the Clintons have lost a lot of their political sway in the past two years. It is quite possible that this investigation will snare Bill Clinton, but it will also make President Trump look bad because he appointed Alexander Acosta as Secretary of Labor. For a never-Trumper like Senator Sasse, it’s a win-win situation–the Republicans get Bill Clinton and he gets President Trump.

The matter did come up during Alexander Acosta’s confirmation hearing.

Fox News reports:

In 2017, Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine asked Acosta about the plea deal during his confirmation hearings.

“Why cut a non-prosecution deal despite your staff saying you shouldn’t?” Kaine asked.

“That is not accurate,” Acosta, who at the time was dean of Florida International University’s law school, responded. ““It was a broadly-held decision. … The grand jury recommended a single count of solicitation not involving minors. That would have resulted in zero jail time, zero registration as a sexual offender and zero restitution for the victims in this case.”

Instead, Acosta said, he pushed to escalate Epstein’s case to the federal level, even as he recognized that proving all of the allegations against him would be difficult.

“It was highly unusual where a U.S. attorney becomes involved in a matter that has already gone to the grand jury at the state level,” Acosta told senators. “We decided that Mr. Epstein should plead guilty to two years, register as a sexual offender, and concede liability so the victims should get restitution in this matter.”

Asked about keeping the deal confidential, Acosta suggested that he was following common practice.

Jeffrey Epstein’s sentence was a joke. The Department of Justice should investigate it. However, considering some of the bias shown in the recent actions of the Department of Justice, I have no idea what to expect.

Let’s Talk About The Rebuttal

It’s not easy to give the rebuttal speech to the State of the Union. Chances are that you don’t have a copy of what you are rebutting. I guess you can make changes at the last minute, but the majority of your speech has to be written before you have a clue what it is supposed to be about. It’s not a great place to be. That said, however, I would like to take issue with some of the comments made by Stacey Abrams last night. Much of what she said was only half of the truth, and some of what she said was simply not true.

Time posted a transcript of her speech. I would like to talk about sections of that speech.

Ms. Abrams stated:

Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks. Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace. The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the President of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people – but our values.

It was nice of her to give out meals, but she failed to mention that all of those furloughed workers received every penny of their back pay. The simply got an extra paid vacation.

She further stated:

In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security. But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it. Under the current administration, far too many hard-working Americans are falling behind, living paycheck to paycheck, most without labor unions to protect them from even worse harm.

The Republican tax bill rigged the system against working people. Rather than bringing back jobs, plants are closing, layoffs are looming and wages struggle to keep pace with the actual cost of living.

We owe more to the millions of everyday folks who keep our economy running: like truck drivers forced to buy their own rigs, farmers caught in a trade war, small business owners in search of capital, and domestic workers serving without labor protections. Women and men who could thrive if only they had the support and freedom to do so.

Hasn’t she read the economic numbers? On December 20th, The National Review reported:

A recent Wall Street Journal economic analysis of current jobs reports found that worker wages were starting to rise above inflation and that the biggest percentage gains were showing up in the paychecks of the lowest income workers. In other words, income inequality with respect to take home pay was shrinking.

…Remarkable, too, about this chart is that every group that was least likely to vote for Trump has seen an abnormally large gain in jobs and wages. Our supposed racist president has delivered outsized economic gains for blacks and Hispanics — with both groups now experiencing the lowest unemployment rates in at least a half century. So much for Trump’s policies benefiting only white America. The rich are clearly not “the big winners” from Trump’s economic policies.

Contrast that with the economy when Democrats were in charge:

The poor and unskilled that Mr. Obama was supposed to lift out of poverty saw their incomes fall by 7.4 percent for those with less than a high school diploma and 8.2 percent for those with only a high school diploma. In dollar terms, between the time the Obama recovery began in June 2009 and until June 2014, median black household income fell by nearly $3,000, Hispanic households lost nearly $2,500, and female-headed households lost roughly $1,500. In 2015 and 2016, income gains were thankfully reversed for these demographic groups, but many still lost ground over eight years. The income gains under Mr. Obama were mostly concentrated in those Americans in the top 20 percent of income. This is why the income gap between rich and poor rose nearly every year under Obama.

Ms. Abrams, if you truly cared about the success of the middle and lower classes, you would support the policies of President Trump. President Trump’s economic policies have worked. President Obama’s economic policies failed miserably. I would also like to note that illegal immigration depresses the wages of unskilled workers. The Democrat party sold out the working man a long time ago.

 

Knowing Who Your Friends Are

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

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

Stellasplace1 posted the following this morning:

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

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

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

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

This Is How You Actually Help Middle-Class Families

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial with the title, “Trump Delivers For Workers … After Years Of Empty Obama Promises.” The editorial cites the latest jobs report and explains how that excellent report is the result of President Trump’s economic policies. The first thing to remember here is that President Trump is a businessman–not a politician (although he has a very fast learning curve). His approach to government seems to be very similar to that of a businessman–what is the most efficient way to solve a problem? There are those in Washington who do not welcome this approach.

The editorial reminds us:

The 304,000 gain in jobs reported by the Labor Department was nearly twice the consensus estimate. And it comes after December’s expectation-busting gains.

There’s more. The jobs picture is so strong right now that it’s pulling people in who’ve been sitting on the sidelines.

In fact, for the first time in more than 20 years, the number of people who are out of the labor force — those without jobs and not looking — shrank by 647,000 over the past 12 months. So many people are returning to the labor force that the official unemployment rate is going up, even as the job market booms.

This comes, mind you, at a time when baby boomers are retiring en masse. Under Obama, in contrast, the number of labor force dropouts exploded by 14.4 million.

The latest numbers also underscore a point we’ve been making in this space for months — that all the talk of a tight labor market overlooked the vast pool of idle workers during the Obama years.

The editorial concludes:

Other evidence of this turnaround came earlier in the week, when the Labor Dept reported that private sector wages and salaries climbed 3% last year — the biggest annual increase in a decade. Under Obama, private sector wage gains averaged just 2%.

Why Now?

So why now, this late in the game?

The answer is simple. At least to those not blinded by partisanship or economic ideology.

For eight years, Obama kept promising “bottom-up growth,” while telling the country that tax cuts and deregulation would only benefit the rich. But his policies — Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, higher taxes, a regulatory tsunami — produced economic stagnation. As it always does, that stagnation hurt the working class most.

Trump went in the opposite direction. His pro-growth tax cuts, deregulatory campaign and pro-energy policies fueled huge increases in economic optimism and turbocharged the economy. And now we’re seeing real job growth and strong wage gains for the first time in more than a decade.

You tell us which approach is proving more worker friendly.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Republicans and Democrats could work together to insure the continuation of this economic growth?

The Need For A Reality Check

Green energy is a wonderful concept. Energy in Iceland is almost entirely green because the country sits on a number of volcanoes that supply it with thermal energy. I’m not sure that I am willing to live on a volcano to get thermal energy, but that is one way to go green. However, the quest for green energy where there is not such an obvious energy source has not been particularly successful.

CNS News posted an article yesterday about the statement put out by Speaker Pelosi to recognize Black History Month.

The article has the entire statement, but I think the focus is interesting:

Democrats will be pushing a “For the People” agenda that will include raising wages by building green infrastructure.

“And we are pushing forward a bold, ambitious agenda For The People to make good on the promise of the American Dream for everyone by lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs, raising wages by rebuilding America with green, modern infrastructure, and strengthening our democracy by ensuring that our government works for the public interest, not the special interests,” Pelosi said.

Let’s talk about rebuilding America with green, modern infrastructure. Green energy is one of the major special interest groups in America.

In 2015, The Washington Times reported:

Taxpayers are on the hook for more than $2.2 billion in expected costs from the federal government’s energy loan guarantee programs, according to a new audit Monday that suggests the controversial projects may not pay for themselves, as officials had promised.

Nearly $1 billion in loans have already defaulted under the Energy Department program, which included the infamous Solyndra stimulus project and dozens of other green technology programs the Obama administration has approved, totaling nearly about $30 billion in taxpayer backing, the Government Accountability Office reported in its audit.

The hefty $2.2 billion price tag is actually an improvement over initial estimates, which found the government was poised to face $4 billion in losses from the loan guarantees. But as the projects have come to fruition, they’ve performed better, leaving taxpayers with a shrinking — though still sizable — liability.

It’s a good thing Speaker Pelosi didn’t say anything about lowering taxes–maybe the increased wages with increased taxes will pay for the green energy.

This green energy idea has not been successful when tried before.

In August 2014 The Daily Caller posted an article about Spain’s attempt to convert to green energy:

According to a new report by the free-market Institute for Energy Research, Spain’s green energy policies have resulted in skyrocketing electricity prices, billions of euros in debt and rising carbon dioxide emissions.

“For years, President Obama has pointed to Europe’s energy policies as an example that the United States should follow,” said IER in a statement on their new study. “However, those policies have been disastrous for countries like Spain, where electricity prices have skyrocketed, unemployment is over 25 percent, and youth unemployment is over 50 percent.”

Spain began heavily subsidizing green energy sources, like wind and solar, in the early 2000s with its“Promotion Plan for Renewable Energies. The country used a combination of generous feed-in tariffs, green energy generation quotas and green power subsidies to boost renewable energy development in the country and lower its carbon dioxide emissions.

…But what seemed like a booming green energy economy on the surface was really becoming a costly way to help drive Spain into economic recession. By 2011, Spain’s electricity prices stood at 29.46 U.S. ¢/kilowatt-hour — two and a half times what electricity cost in the U.S. at the time.

President Trump has helped all Americans. We have the lowest unemployment among minorities that we have had in a very long time. Wages are going up, taxes are going down, and the workforce participation rate is climbing. I suggest that if Speaker Pelosi truly wants to help minorities during Black History Month she should support President Trump’s economic agenda.

The Workforce Participation Rate

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about the January Workforce Participation Rate. This is the number of people in America either working or looking for jobs. When President Obama took office in January 2009, the Workforce Participation Rate was 65.7. That number dropped to a low of 62.4 in September 2015 and began slowly climbing, reaching a high of 62.9 in September 2016. The number hovered around there for a while until finally reaching 63.2 in January 2019.

Here is the chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The article at CNS News reports:

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 304,000 jobs last month, higher than analysts were expecting.

The number of employed Americans, 156,694,000, was slightly below last month’s record (156,945,000), and the unemployment rate increased a tenth of a point to 4.0 percent.

But the labor force participation rate increased a tenth of a point to 63.2 percent — the highest it’s been on President Trump’s watch.

The CNS News article included an excerpt from the Congressional Budget Report released this week:

According to CBO:

Employment: Nonfarm payroll employment is projected to grow by an average of 148,000 jobs per month in 2019, a decline from 213,000 jobs/month in 2018 but “still a healthy pace of job growth at this stage of the business cycle.”

Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate, now at its lowest point since the 1960s, is projected to fall from 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 3.5 percent by the end of 2019. The anticipated decline in the unemployment rate reflects a continued increase in the demand for labor, which will reduce the number of unemployed workers in the labor force this year.

CBO said the demand for labor and the resulting upward pressure on compensation also encourages people to remain in the labor force or rejoin it, making the labor force larger and thus moderating the decline in the unemployment rate.

Labor force participation: The labor force participation rate, which has hovered around 62.8 percent since 2014, is expected to remain close to that rate during the next two years.

CBO explained that the stability of the labor force participation rate in recent years reflects the balancing of two opposing forces: sustained economic growth, which continues to encourage additional workers to enter the labor force and currently employed workers to stay on the job; and long-run shifts in demographics (particularly the aging of the population).

Labor compensation. After several years of prolonged weakness, wage growth accelerated notably in 2018, CBO noted. Over the next few years, labor compensation is expected to rise further as employment remains at elevated levels and firms must compete for a relatively small pool of unemployed or underemployed workers.

In CBO’s projections, annual growth of the employment cost index for wages and salaries of workers in private industry averages 3.5 percent between 2019 and 2023, slightly more rapid than its 3.3 percent pace in 2018 and considerably more rapid than the 2.0 percent average from 2009 to 2017.

President Trump’s economic policies are working. If he is allowed to continue those policies with a Democrat House of Representatives, he will be re-elected in 2020, so prepare to see the House of Representatives attempt to roll back many of those policies.

The Problem With The Tower Meeting

One of the lynchpins of the Democrat theory about Russian collusion is the meeting at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.

According the The Gateway Pundit in an article posted today, the people present were:

— Donald Trump Jr.
— Jared Kushner (left early)
— Paul Manafort
— Natalia Veselnitskaya (Fusion GPS)
— Anatoli Samochornov (translator and Fusion GPS)
— Rinat Akhmetshin (lobbyist – Fusion GPS)
— Rob Goldstone
— Rep. of the Agalarov Family

The Gateway Pundit reported the following regarding that meeting:

Congressional testimony confirms that consultant Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS, was hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee to work his “political opposition” magic against President Trump.

Simpson has testified he put former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele on the job and sent him to Russia. Simpson and Steele both kept a constant back channel to Bruce Ohr, the fourth-highest ranking member of the Department of Justice, as recently declassified messages prove.

…Ohr, who’s wife Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion GPS right alongside Simpson, “coordinated before, during and after the election” with both Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson.

Also, Hillary Clinton wasn’t Simpson’s only employer.

The night before the Trump Tower meeting, Simpson had dinner with another client, Natalia Veselnitskaya. He had dinner with her again the night after the meeting, he told Congress. [Veselnitskaya was at the Trump Tower meeting and is suspected of working for Simpson.]

The article quotes Devin Nunes:

… but something also probably important to note about the so called Trump Tower meeting.  This is the meeting that actually Fusion GPS met with the people before and after that meeting.

Fusion GPS, once again, was a Clinton Campaign paid for operations outfit.  They were clearly involved in the set up of the Trump Tower meeting.  So if they want to bring Cohen in and talk to him, that’s great, we’ll participate.  But the truth, if you really want to get to the truth behind the Trump Tower meeting, Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign are all over it, and probably behind it.

One other note about that meeting.

The American Thinker reported today:

But yesterday, someone privy to the information held by the Senate Intelligence Committee leaked the Awful Truth to CNN, who reported it (credit to CNN for not burying it) with sad faces:

Senate investigators have obtained new information showing Donald Trump Jr.’s mysterious phone calls ahead of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting were not with his father, three sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

As a number of people in Washington have said after various witch hunts have proved to be wild goose chases, “Where do I go to get my reputation back?” I wonder where the Department of Justice and the FBI will go to get their reputations back after what they have been involved with for the past two years.

The Week To Come

Next week is shaping up to be an interesting week. On Tuesday we will hear President Trump’s State of the Union Address followed by a response given by failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

On Tuesday Townhall posted an article about the choice of Ms. Abrams.

Some highlights from the article:

Abrams, who believes illegal aliens should be able to vote in elections, refused to concede to duly elected Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and repeatedly accused him of racism.

Interestingly enough, in addition to scheduling President Trump’s address for the coming week, the Democrats have now scheduled February 7 as the date to vote on the confirmation of William Barr as Attorney General, and scheduled acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee for February 8. There is a method to their plan. Part of the method is that the President’s speech is quite likely to be about the amazing economic achievements of his two years in office and he will probably talk about some of the problems on our southern border. The Democrats are looking for a way to blunt any positive impact of the speech.

Yesterday American Greatness posted an article about some aspects of the scheduling.

The article reports:

The committee’s vote is scheduled to take place one day before acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies in front of the House Judiciary Committee on a number of topics, including the Mueller probe; Trump foes claim Whitaker should have recused himself from oversight of the investigation based on some of his past comments, even though a Justice Department ethics review cleared him of any conflicts.

This one-two punch has a purpose: To taint Barr’s impartiality and discredit his office on all matters related to Trump-Russia. Why? Because during his confirmation hearing, Barr agreed—at the behest of Republican senators—to begin his own inquiry into who, why, and how the FBI launched several investigations into Trump’s presidential campaign and, eventually, into the president himself.

As indictments unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion pile up, Republican lawmakers and Trump’s base increasingly are outraged that the culprits behind perhaps the biggest political scandal in American history remain untouched. Barr signaled that the good fortune of these scoundrels could soon take a dramatic shift under his stewardship.

The article notes a very interesting aspect of this whole Russian investigation:

A few days before Barr’s hearing, the New York Times reported that in May 2017, the FBI opened an investigation into the sitting U.S. president purportedly based on suspicions he was a Russian foreign agent. Then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe—whom the Times does not mention by name at any time in the 1,800 words it took to report this information—initiated the probe immediately after Trump fired his predecessor, James Comey.

McCabe was fired last year and now is under criminal investigation for lying to federal agents.

The article concludes:

Other materials of public interest include the initiating documents for Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s investigation into four Trump campaign aides—which Comey claimed he never saw—and any details about who at the FBI started the unprecedented counterintelligence and criminal investigation into a sitting U.S. president.

And while he’s at it, and before Mueller’s team is finished, Barr should begin a formal inquiry into why the special counsel’s office scrubbed the iPhones used by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page while they worked for Mueller for a brief time in 2017. The phones and the data contained on those devices are public property. Barr needs to find out why that information was not collected and archived since both FBI officials already were under scrutiny. Destroying potential evidence is a crime.

The enormousness of Barr’s task and the devastating consequences for those involved are now coming into clear view. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans who are desperate to defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. That’s why we can expect both parties to whip up more criticism of Barr over the next few months. One hopes he will resist that criticism—and both Trump and Graham need to reassure the new attorney general and the American public that his investigation will receive the same amount of protection that was afforded to the Mueller team.

Get out the popcorn, the show is about to begin.

Little By Little The Truth Drips Out

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the role Nellie Ohr played in spying on the Trump family during the presidential campaign.

The article reports:

As the details surrounding the Spygate scandal are uncovered, connections draw closer to former President Obama.

The connections between Nellie Ohr and the ‘Spygate’ scandal were hidden from congressional investigators for months.

As noted previously by TGP, Nellie Ohr is a Communist sympathizer connected to Russia.  She is also a corrupt Never-Trumper.

It appears that the men in Nellie’s life did all they could to prevent Nellie Ohr from being outed for her involvement in the Russian dossier because she also has links to the CIA and therefore to John Brennan.

If Brennan is outed as the quarterback of the dossier scandal, then by association, so is his boss, former President Obama.

Now we know that communist sympathizer Nellie Ohr, and the men who surrounded her, her husband, business partners, John Brennan, and by association President Obama, were all connected.

Together they attempted to prevent Candidate Trump from being elected and later to remove duly elected President Trump from office. 

And today we find out Nellie Ohr was also investigating the Trump children during the election while she was feeding Democrat propaganda to the FBI and deep state.

The Daily Caller also posted the story yesterday.

The Daily Caller reported:

The wife of a Justice Department official who worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign told Congress in 2018 that one of her tasks at the opposition research firm was to research President Donald Trump’s children, including their business activities and travel.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for Fusion GPS, also told lawmakers during an Oct. 19 deposition that she recalls that Christopher Steele gave her husband, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, materials from the infamous anti-Trump dossier funded by Democrats.

Ohr said during the testimony that Steele, who like her was a contractor for Fusion GPS, hoped that her husband would pass the materials to the FBI.

It seems that Robert Mueller is investigating the wrong collusion.

This Explains A Lot

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article that explains a few things that were curious at the time. When viewing these events, it’s a good idea to consider the underlying currents–establishment Republicans don’t want the wall any more than the Democrats. Their reasons are different, but the goal is the same. That is why the Secure Fence Act of 2006 was never actually carried out.

100 percent fed up detailed the timeline of events following the passage of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 in an article posted on August 16, 2015.

Here are some highlights from that timeline:

In his speech in El Paso on immigration reform on May 10, 2011, Obama declared that the fence along the border with Mexico is “now basically complete.” Like much of what comes out of the Obama administration, that was a lie. What was supposed to be built was a double-layered fence with barbed wire on top, and room for a security vehicle to patrol between the layers. Except for 36 of the seven-hundred-mile fence, what was built looks like the picture above or the one below.

This is the above picture:

This is the below picture:

Somehow the two pictures do not appear to be the same.

So what happened? The article reports:

The first blow against the promised fence was made by Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican Senator from Texas, at the urging of DHS she proposed an amendment to give the Department discretion to decide what type of fence was appropriate in different areas. The law was amended to read,
“Nothing in this paragraph shall require the Secretary of Homeland Security to install fencing, physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors in a particular location along an international border of the United States, if the Secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain operational control over the international border at such location.”
Hutchison’s amendment was included in a federal budget bill in late 2007 despite the fact that Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., had a cow…he argued the amendment effectively killed the border fence promised in the 2006 bill, he was right. Hutchison’s intentions may have been honorable, but she didn’t foresee Barack Obama being the next president.

The article concludes:

Here’s the bottom line. Back in 2006, the people of the U.S. were promised a border fence. Since then thanks to Kay Bailey Hutchison and Barack Obama 95% of the fence wasn’t built. The arguments against the fence are bogus especially if you look at Israel’s history. It’s time for America to demand that its leaders build the fence they promised. No one can honestly say it wont work, after all, it hasn’t been tried.

Yesterday after an interview with President Trump, The Daily Caller reported:

President Donald Trump says former House Speaker Paul Ryan promised to secure wall funding while Republicans controlled both Houses in exchange for the president’s signature on the 2018 omnibus spending bill.

But after the president signed the massive, $1.3 trillion spending package, Ryan reneged on his commitment.

“Well, I was going to veto the omnibus bill and Paul told me in the strongest of language, ‘Please don’t do that, we’ll get you the wall.’ And I said, ‘I hope you mean that, because I don’t like this bill,’” the president recounted in an exclusive Wednesday interview with The Daily Caller.

“Paul told me in the strongest of terms that, ‘please sign this and if you sign this we will get you that wall.’ Which is desperately needed by our country. Humanitarian crisis, trafficking, drugs, you know, everything — people, criminals, gangs, so, you know, we need the wall.”

“And then he went lame duck,” Trump said.

“And once he went lame duck, it was just really an exercise in waving to people and the power was gone so I was very disappointed. I was very disappointed in Paul because the wall was so desperately needed. And I’ll get the wall.”

Paul Ryan began well. He stood up to President Obama on various issues (without actually accomplishing anything). He began as a budget hawk, trying to keep spending under control. However, he somehow became part of the Republican establishment and went down the wrong path. I seriously doubt that he ever had any intention of building the wall.

I Don’t Think This Is Helpful

CNN posted an article today with the following headline, “State of the Union will not take place Tuesday, Pelosi aide says.”

The article reports:

President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address will not take place on Tuesday, an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN.

The aide confirmed that the address, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, will not happen — answering a key question about the address’s fate in the wake of the reopening of the federal government.

At a news conference Friday following Trump’s announcement that there was a deal to end the partial government shutdown, Pelosi said, “The State of the Union is not planned now.” The California Democrat added that discussions about the date of the address would take place after the shutdown — the longest in US history — officially ended.

Trump’s director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp said Monday that the White House has been in discussions with Pelosi’s office about rescheduling the address and that “we should have a response soon.”

In order to give an address like the State of the Union to a joint session of Congress, both the House and Senate must pass a resolution allowing it to happen, making Pelosi’s voice an important part of the discussions.

I truly believe that this is a new low in partisan politics. There is no excuse for this. The State of the Union Speech is a tradition and should not be the victim of political pettiness. If this is the attitude the House of Representatives is going to show to the President, he needs to cut to the chase now, declare an emergency on the southern border, build a wall, and tell Ms. Pelosi to go pound sand. I also think Ms. Pelosi is trying to block President Trump from speaking directly to the American people about the need for border security on our southern border. She is definitely out over her skis on this one.

Rules For Radicals In Action

Rule number 13 of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” That is currently what the mainstream media is doing to the students of Covington High School in Kentucky. The students are being targeted because they are pro-life, Catholic, go to private school, and support President Trump. A full viewing of the video shows that they were simply waiting for a bus while being harassed by a racist group and rudely treated by an elderly native American. I can pretty much guarantee that if Nathan Phillips had done what he did to the Covington High School students to a group of New York City students, the invasion of their personal space might have been handled very differently.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article illustrating how this works.

The article cites the media’s bringing up a previous story that has already been proven false:

Nevertheless, the media jihad continues, and that includes NBC shamelessly running a debunked and deceptive smear story that had been reported on and debunked all the way back in May.

NBC’s deliberately misleading headline reads: “Gay valedictorian banned from speaking at Covington graduation ‘not surprised’ by D.C. controversy.” The story accuses “Covington” (I’ll explain the quote marks in a bit) of “banning” a speech that was to be given by an openly gay student.

The article then explains the problem with the story about the graduation speech:

  1. NBC News does not concede the fact that Bales submitted the speech late, instead framing it only as an allegation — an excuse from the diocese.
  2. Nowhere does NBC News reveal that Bales’ speech was a Parkland-inspired diatribe about gun control.
  3. Christian Bales was not a student at Covington High School.
  4. Christian Bales graduated from Holy Cross High School, a completely different high school.
  5. If his speech had been approved, he would have given it at Holy Cross High School, not at Covington High School.
  6. Holy Cross High is run by the same Catholic diocese as Covington High, but they are two completely different schools.
  7. NBC News bombards the story with more than a dozen references to “Covington” but goes out of its way to obscure the fact Bales attended a completely different school…

Since Covington High School is the target of the current media attack, the fact that the incident happened at a different high school is not relevant to the media. This is how fake news works, and this is how Rules for Radicals are implemented.

 

Anatomy Of A Smear

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill that details the role the Clinton campaign played in creating a situation where a Special Counsel needed to be appointed. It is a sobering tale of how a group of people can manipulate the government for nefarious purposes.

The article reports:

When at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That’s what Hillary Clinton’s machine did in 2016, eventually getting the FBI to bite on an uncorroborated narrative that Donald Trump and Russia were trying to hijack the presidential election.

Between July and October 2016, Clinton-connected lawyers, emissaries and apologists made more than a half-dozen overtures to U.S. officials, each tapping a political connection to get suspect evidence into FBI counterintelligence agents’ hands, according to internal documents and testimonies I reviewed and interviews I conducted.

In each situation, the overture was uninvited. And as the election drew closer, the point of contact moved higher up the FBI chain.

It was, as one of my own FBI sources called it, a “classic case of information saturation” designed to inject political opposition research into a counterintelligence machinery that should have suspected a political dirty trick was underway.

Ex-FBI general counsel James Baker, one of the more senior bureau executives to be targeted, gave a memorable answer when congressional investigators asked how attorney Michael Sussmann from the Perkins Coie law firm, which represented the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party, came to personally deliver him dirt on Trump.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is further proof that the government wittingly or unwittingly put its thumb on the scale during the 2016 election cycle. Thank God their efforts did not work. However, every person who willingly used the power of their government position to undermine President Trump needs to be immediately fired. Most of them have been, but I suspect there are still people in our government who are working against the President and against the American people.

The article describes an escalation of the efforts to get the FBI to respond to the political opposition research of the Clinton campaign:

But the bureau apparently did not initially embrace Steele’s research, and no immediate action was taken, according to congressional investigators who have been briefed.

That’s when the escalation began.

During a trip to Washington later that month, Steele reached out to two political contacts with the credentials to influence the FBI.

Then-senior State Department official Jonathan Winer, who worked for then-Secretary John Kerry, wrote that Steele first approached him in the summer with his Trump research and then met again with him in September. Winer consulted his boss, Assistant Secretary for Eurasia Affairs Victoria Nuland, who said she first learned of Steele’s allegations in late July and urged Winer to send it to the FBI.

(If you need further intrigue, Winer worked from 2008 to 2013 for the lobbying and public relations firm APCO Worldwide, the same firm that was a contractor for both the Clinton Global Initiative and Russia’s main nuclear fuel company that won big decisions from the Obama administration.)

When the State Department office that oversees Russian affairs sends something to the FBI, agents take note.

But Steele was hardly done. He reached out to his longtime Justice Department contact, Bruce Ohr, then a deputy to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Steele had breakfast July 30, 2016, with Ohr and his wife, Nellie, to discuss the Russia-Trump dirt.

(To thicken the plot, you should know that Nellie Ohr was a Russia expert working at the time for the same Fusion GPS firm that hired Steele and was hired by the Clinton campaign through Sussmann’s Perkins Coie.)

Bruce Ohr immediately took Steele’s dirt on July 31, 2016, to then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

When the deputy attorney general’s office contacts the FBI, things happen. And, soon, Ohr was connected to the agents running the new Russia probe.

Around the same time, Australia’s ambassador to London, Alexander Downer, reached out to U.S. officials. Like so many characters in this narrative, Downer had his own connection to the Clintons: He secured a $25 million donation from Australia’s government to the Clinton Foundation in the early 2000s.

Downer claims WikiLeaks’s release of hacked Clinton emails that month caused him to remember a conversation in May, in a London tavern, with a Trump adviser named George Papadopoulos. So he reported it to the FBI.

The Clintons had been involved in government long enough to know how to set the wheels in motion to undermine Candidate Trump and later President Trump. It is a shame they didn’t direct their focus to something more constructive.

Prepare For A Very Ugly Year In The House Of Representatives

You can tell a lot about what is going on in the House of Representatives by the committee assignments. Based on the assignments being given out now, this is going to be a very ugly year. We have already seen two news stories in the past week that were an indication that facts don’t matter. We are going to see many more of those stories in the near future; and those stories, whether true or false, will be the excuse for the Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump in the House of Representatives. The Democrats would do well to remember what happened to the Republicans after they tried to impeach President Clinton. What the Democrats need in order to avoid paying a heavy penalty for this move is to get President Trump’s approval ratings below 30 percent. They were able to do that with previous Republican presidents, but President Trump keeps fighting back (and the economy is providing jobs for people who might otherwise be disgruntled).

Yesterday Politico posted an article detailing some of the committee assignments that are relevant to the impeachment process.

The article reports:

The House Oversight Committee is adding a group of progressive flamethrowers to its ranks.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) won spots on the high-profile committee on Tuesday, two sources told POLITICO.

…The new members, all of whom are freshmen except Khanna, have been critical of President Donald Trump, and their addition to the committee comes as Democrats have pledged to launch wide-ranging investigations into the president and his administration.

Tlaib drew swift backlash when she vowed to “impeach the motherf—er,” referring to Trump. Republicans have discussed a censure for Tlaib for railing against Trump.

Not only did the Democrats not chastise Representative Tlaib–they rewarded her behavior!

The article continues:

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the Oversight Committee, dismissed concerns about the outspoken freshman lawmakers.

“If I based the choices going on the committee based on what people said or their reputations or whatever, I probably wouldn’t have a committee,” Cummings told POLITICO. “I am excited — there were a lot of people that wanted to come on our committee.”

…Rep. Dan Kildee, a member of the Democratic steering panel, said he was excited about the progressive picks.

“I want people to be aggressive, especially on that committee. It’s good to have people who aren’t afraid,” the Michigan Democrat said in an interview. “They’re going to be dealing with some pretty important stuff.”

The Democrats are continuing their effort to bring down a duly-elected President and totally undermine our representative republic instead of actually passing laws that will continue our strong economic growth. How sad.

Attempting To Move Toward A Solution

One America News Network posted an article today about the latest development in the government shutdown. The Republicans are making a sincere effort to reopen the government. The Democrats will join in that effort when their focus groups tell them they are losing the argument. The bill that will be introduced in the Senate this week includes things that the Democrats have voted for in the past. The difference is that we currently have a President who will actually do these things after they vote for them. In the past when Republicans agreed to Democrat terms and let a deal go through, the terms the Republicans were promised never happened. The unwillingness to give in without funding for the wall on the part of the Republicans is the result of lessons learned in the past.

The article reports:

Senate Republicans are releasing a bill to reopen the government. The legislation relates with the president’s proposal he unveiled in his address Saturday, which calls for $5.7 billion for a physical barrier at the southern border and funding for nine closed government agencies.

It also grants a three-year extension for DACA recipients and those under temporary protective status. A plan to ease the asylum process for Central American migrants is also included.

…Senate Republicans said they plan to vote on the bill this week, however, no Democrats have voiced their support for the legislation.

Meanwhile, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin remains on the fence about the president proposal to end the shutdown despite his initial optimism about the deal. On Monday, a spokesperson for the West Virginia lawmaker said Manchin is waiting to see the final draft of the proposal before making a decision.

This comes after Manchin tweeted on Saturday, saying he was looking forward to working with both sides to make the immigration reforms proposed by President Trump happen. However, Democrat leadership has since slammed the plan as a non-starter.

If this bill is blocked in the Senate or in the House of Representatives by the Democrats, they will have to take responsibility for the continuing shutdown. Their unwillingness to vote for things they have voted for in the past is becoming very obvious.

Is There A Problem?

President Trump made a very generous offer to the Democrats in the House of Representatives today regarding border security on our southern border. Unfortunately it is a pretty safe bet that they will turn down the offer. So exactly what is at stake?

On January 7th Christopher Holton posted an article at The Center For Security Policy about the security threat on our southern border. It is a rather detailed article, and I suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article.

Here are some of the highlights:

For instance in May 2001, former Mexican National security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, reported, that ‘Islamic terrorist groups are using Mexico as a refuge.’

There is no way to estimate how many jihadists may already have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico. But the time to play politics with the border issue is long past. The shallow sloganeering and race-baiting that have dominated the national debate about border controls should be recognized as what they are: hindrances to sane and sensible national defense measures.

…Mexicans trying to enter the U.S. illegally are often simply processed at the border and sent back. But Mexico won’t allow us to send citizens from other countries back through Mexico, and under U.S. law, they’re entitled to a formal deportation hearing. The immigration service lacks beds to hold them, so the vast majority of OTMs are released from custody and asked to voluntarily return for their court date.

For instance, in 2005 alone, there were estimated to be 71,000 such OTM fugitives.

…The intrepid Todd Bensman of the excellent Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has provided the highlights of that report’s findings:

• The recent migrant caravans originating in Central America have included “several SIAs (Special Interest Aliens), and potentially” known or suspected terrorists traveling toward the U.S. border.

• The U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues to prioritize the SIA threat as one of the top threats to the homeland because of the consistently “large number” of individuals from special interest countries that travel to the Western Hemisphere using illicit pathways.

• Written ISIS materials and publications have encouraged ISIS followers to cross the U.S. Southwest Border.

• DHS Border Patrol Agents “routinely” encounter SIAs at the border using routes controlled by transnational criminal organizations.

• Statistics on the number of known or suspected terrorists on routes to the border are often classified, but the threat posed by “the existence of illicit pathways into the United States” highlights that “border security is national security” as terrorist groups seek to exploit vulnerabilities among neighboring countries to fund, support, and commit attacks against the homeland.

• The report lists five open-source, unclassified cases representing the types of individuals and threats associated with illicit routes to the homeland. (CIS recently compiled and published a list of 15.) A number of heavily redacted cases are included in which biometric enrollment information uncovered suspected terrorists in 2013, 2015, and 2018.

• The frequency of international flights from special interest regions into Latin America and the Caribbean continues to increase due to economic and governance challenges in those countries that create an attractive environment for illicit SIA travel to the U.S. border.

• ICE Homeland Security Investigations is deeply enmeshed in investigations and operations throughout Central America to counter human smuggling organizations that move SIAs in Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Brazil.

• The United States-Canada border “is also susceptible to exploitation by SIAs.”

It’s time for the politicians in Washington to stop fooling around and secure the border. The next terrorist attack in America will be on their hands.

President Trump’s Saturday Speech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Wall For Thee But Not For Me

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about some recent comments by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. It seems that walls work in other places, but they don’t work in America when President Trump wants them.

The article reports:

Baier (Bret Baier of Fox News)pressed on this point, asking Hoyer about border barriers that have already been built: “Would you remove those existing barriers because you say they don’t work?”

“No, no,” Hoyer replied.

“So they work there?” Baier asked. Hoyer rambled for a bit about people living along the Rio Grande and eventually, Baier asked him again, “So they work some places.”

“Obviously they work some places,” Hoyer said as if it hadn’t taken three minutes of concerted effort to get him to admit the obvious.

Not only do they work in some places, America has helped finance them in some places.

Some places in the world where border walls are used for security:

India and Pakistan

Morocco and Algeria

Israel and the West Bank

Cyprus

Northern Ireland

Saudi Arabia and Yemen

Saudi Arabia and Iraq

Turkey and Syria

Kenya and Somalia

The list is courtesy of The Washington Examiner.

So even some Democrats know that walls work, and the amount of money requested to build a wall is a totally insignificant part of the budget, so what is this about? Do not be fooled. The establishment Republicans do not want the wall any more than the Democrats do. To the Democrats, open borders represent future voters. To the Republicans, open borders represent cheap labor for their corporate sponsors who belong to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There is also the added aspect of the Washington establishment finally getting a victory over President Trump. The only way Americans are going to ever have a voice in Washington is if they clear out ALL of the establishment politicians in both parties. Term limits might be a really good place to start.

What Fake News Looks Like

Yesterday Fred Fleitz posted an article at The National Review about some recent claims regarding President Trump and Russia (will we ever get past this foolishness?).

The article reports:

On Sunday, the mainstream media launched a new ploy to promote their Trump-Russia collusion narrative with a story that first appeared in the Washington Post titled “Officials in dark on Putin talks.” A similar piece was published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, titled “Trump didn’t use notetakers at Putin/ Meeting.” Cable-news networks and Democratic congressmen claim these stories indicate that President Trump held secret discussions with Russian president Putin that were revealed to no one. For example, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) told CNN on Sunday that the U.S. government “does not know” what Trump and Putin discussed.

It is now clear that these stories were misleading, if not mostly false. First, they neglected to mention that the president’s decision to restrict access to read-outs of his two one-on-one meetings with Putin were due to the extraordinary number of leaks to the press of his phone calls and meetings with foreign officials at the beginning of his presidency.

Second, it is untrue that senior officials are unaware of what was discussed in President Trump’s meetings with Putin.

Now that we know that President Trump was under surveillance for political reasons by the FBI and the Department of Justice during the early days of his presidency, why are we surprised that he took precautions to make sure he had the privacy presidents are usually accorded.

The article concludes:

The media’s claim that this story amounts to a U.S. president concealing his secret discussions with the Russian president as part of his alleged collusion with Russia is fake news. Senior U.S. officials knew exactly what was discussed in these meetings. This story is really about a successful effort by President Trump to prevent anti-Trump government officials from leaking sensitive national-security information to the press.

After a while, you begin to wonder what President Trump could accomplish if he didn’t have to spend so much time fighting the political establishment, the media, and the deep state.

When You Are Convinced You Know It All

Power can do strange things to people. Some people handle it well, and some people are so impressed that they have some power that they decide they are all-powerful. Nancy Pelosi is a good example of the latter.

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about one of Speaker of the House Pelosi’s recent statements.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Wednesday night she “doesn’t care” if the Secret Service said it was prepared to appropriately secure the State of the Union address despite the partial government shutdown.

Instead, she stood firm in her resolve to delay the January 29 event until the government completely re-opens.

In a letter to President Trump, Pelosi claimed the lack of funds to Homeland Security posed a risk to the White House and the Congress during the event, but the Department of Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen released a statement refuting that.

So Speaker Pelosi knows more about security than the Department of Homeland Security?

The article concludes:

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise called Democrats’ security concerns nonsense, telling reporters on Wednesday, “There are no security concerns that have been raised and that has nothing to do with that. Ironically, it seems like she’s only concerned about security when it’s a State of the Union that will expose what this fight is all about.”

It may be that the Democrat focus groups are starting to indicate that the shutdown isn’t going exactly the way the Democrats thought it would. Meanwhile there is another caravan headed our way. I wonder what the impact of that will be on public opinion.