When Reason Takes A Vacation

I just returned from a vacation spent with people who hate President Trump for no apparent reason. It was an educational experience. They were not willing to give President Trump credit for any of the economic growth the country has experienced in the past two years. There was no acknowledgment of the President’s efforts to deal with the crisis on our southern border. All they knew was that ‘Trump was a bad man.’ That is so sad. That is what our media has done to Americans who depend on them for their news.

Townhall posted an article today about the attacks on President Trump and how the mainstream media and members of Congress are altering the facts to suit their purposes.

The article states:

The most significant take-away from my college education was learning to rely on evidence over opinion, hearsay, and rumor. “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,” said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “but not his own facts.” Never in a million years did I suspect that political correctness would come along and overrule Senator Moynihan’s famous dictum. That’s right—the geniuses of the Democratic Party Brain Trust are attempting to create their own facts.

We have a clear statement of two pertinent facts from the Mueller Report: (1) There was no Trump-Russia collusion; and (2) There is no basis for a charge of obstruction against the president. This comes after 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, and 500 witnesses over two years of investigation. Thanks to the mainstream media’s penchant for fake news, Mueller’s conclusion was the opposite of what the Democrats were anticipating. Trump was correct when he tweeted, “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION.”

The article then goes on to cite examples of the Democrats telling us things that totally contradict that report as if what they were telling us were true.

Some examples:

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, interviewed by Chris Wallace after Mueller’s finding of no collusion, had the gall to insist, “We know there was collusion.”

…Similarly, Democratic presidential candidate “Beto” O’Rourke tweeted, “You have a president, who in my opinion, beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to collude with the Russian government.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, speaking on ABC’s This Week, insisted there is “ample evidence of collusion in plain sight.” In fact, he added, “Every act that I’ve pointed to as evidence of collusion has now been borne out by the [Mueller] report.”

…Senator Elizabeth Warren, another deluded member of Congress, continues to insist that the Mueller Report justifies impeaching the president. “We cannot be an America that says it is OK for a president of the United States to try and block an investigation into a foreign attack on our country or an investigation into that president’s own misbehavior—so I have called on the House to initiate impeachment proceedings.”

The report is public. Are these people simply assuming people will believe them rather than the report of the summary of the report? This is irresponsible, dishonest,  and divisive.

The Question That Has Gotten Lost In The Politics

The Mueller Report is out. It is all over the news. The mainstream media is trying to find something in it that they can actually use to discredit President Trump; the Democrats in Congress are trying to find something in it that they can use to impeach President Trump. Unfortunately, the circus continues–the main event has moved on, but the clowns remain.

Yesterday, Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner that reminds us what the Mueller investigation was supposed to be about.

The article notes:

…At its heart, the Trump-Russia probe was about one question: Did the Trump campaign conspire, coordinate, or collude with Russia to influence the 2016 election? Mueller has concluded that did not happen.

…And now Mueller has determined there was no collusion. Not that there was no criminal collusion. Or no prove-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt collusion. Just no collusion. Mueller’s report says it over and over and over again. Here are seven examples:

1. “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

2. “The investigation examined whether [contacts between Russia and Trump figures] involved or resulted in coordination or a conspiracy with the Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future. Based on the available information, the investigation did not establish such coordination.”

3. “The investigation did not establish that [Carter] Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.”

4. “The Office did not identify evidence in those [contacts between Russians and people around Trump after the GOP convention] of coordination between the Campaign and the Russian government.”

5. “The Office did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort’s sharing polling data and Russia’s interference in the election … [and] the investigation did not establish that Manafort otherwise coordinated with the Russian government on its election-interference efforts.”

6. “The investigation did not establish that these [contacts between Russians and people around Trump during the transition] reflected or constituted coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in its election interference activities.”

7. “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons conspired or coordinated with the [Russian disinformation campaign].”

That is definitive. It is not kinda, sorta. It is definitive. As far as Mueller’s conclusions are concerned — and remember, he was long considered the gold standard of Trump investigations — there was no collusion.

Other than dealing with the abuse of power by some former high officials in our government, can we please move on now.

The Deep State Will Not Go Down Easily

The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday that House Democrat Committee Chairmen are demanding that Attorney General Barr cancel his planned press conference on Mueller’s report which is scheduled for 9:30 this morning. It seems to me that they might be getting a little out over their skis on this one.

The article includes House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler’s statement:

The Attorney General is allowed to hold all of the press conferences he wants. The reason the Democrats are objecting is that the press conference by the Attorney General will occur before they have the opportunity to spin whatever the Mueller Report says. The Democrats in Congress have still not given up hope that there will be something in that report that they can use as justification to impeach President Trump. Even if there is nothing in the report, I believe that they will attempt to impeach the President within the next year if not sooner. The whole scenario of Russian collusion, obstruction, etc., has been part of a plan to undo the 2016 election. The Democrats want to remove a duly-elected President from office. If they are successful, future elections will mean nothing and we will lose our Republic. This is serious.

We Spent An Awful Lot Of Money For Nothing

Yesterday Bryon York posted an article at The Washington Examiner about the upcoming release of the Mueller Report. The article lists five arguments that will not be settled by the release of the report.

The article lists those five items:

1. Collusion. On the face of it, Barr’s summary of Mueller’s conclusion could not be clearer: The evidence gathered by the special prosecutor does not show that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to fix the 2016 election. Barr included two brief quotes from the Mueller report on collusion: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” and “the evidence does not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” So on the question: Will Mueller show that collusion occurred? The answer seems a pretty straightforward no.

…2. Obstruction. This is a guarantee: Some readers of the Mueller report will swear that it proves the president obstructed justice, while others will swear it proves he did not obstruct justice. Mueller himself has made sure that will happen by not making what Barr called a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” on the obstruction question. Why Mueller did that is not clear; perhaps it will be revealed when the report is released. Barr said Mueller “views as ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the president’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.”

…3. Impeachment. Some Democrats had hoped that the Mueller report would give them cover for impeaching the president. I was undecided, they might say, and then I saw the special counsel’s overwhelming evidence against the president, and I knew it was my duty to impeach. Some of those Democrats also hoped that the Mueller report would serve as a road map to impeachment, in effect doing for Congress the work of discovering and organizing evidence against the president.

…4. Investigating the investigation. Many Republicans, long convinced that the Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with Russia, have instead sought to uncover the events surrounding the decision by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate the Trump campaign in 2016. It’s been hard finding out what happened. Rep. Devin Nunes, when he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, shook loose a lot of information, but much remains unknown to the public. Now, those Republicans are counting on an investigation by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz to reveal more. And they are hoping that President Trump will declassify documents that could shed new light on the matter. One place they are not looking for answers is the Mueller report.

5. Why a special counsel? Some Republicans question whether there was really a need for a special counsel to investigate Trump-Russia. First, they cite the fact that there was no underlying crime. There was no crime specified in Mueller’s original scope memo, and Mueller could never establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia. Second, they point to the circumstances of Mueller’s appointment, when fired FBI director James Comey leaked confidential documents in order to set off an uproar that he hoped would result in the appointment of a special counsel. As it turned out, things went according to Comey’s plan. But was a special counsel really necessary to investigate the crime that did not occur? Like so many others, don’t look for that argument to be resolved by the Mueller report.

The Mueller investigation cost American taxpayers approximately $31 million. In the end, it proved to be nothing more than a way to keep a number of political people in Washington employed for a while after the administration they supported was not reelected.

 

 

There Is Something Upside Down About The Charges Made Here

CNS News posted an article today about  a recent comment by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The article reports what Speaker Pelosi said in a statement issued Sunday:

“Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video” of Rep. Omar’s comment.”

This is the full statement:

“Following the President’s tweet, I spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff. They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces.

“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger. President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”

So what is this disrespectful and dangerous video? It is simply a video of Congresswoman Omar stating that “CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) was founded after 9/11 because they realized that some people did something.”

So wait a minute. I am missing something here. First of all, CAIR was founded in 1994–not after 9/11. Second of all, how is showing a video of a person making a speech disrespectful and dangerous? The Congresswoman has stood by her words–she has not apologized for them or backed down in any way. Why is the video disrespectful and dangerous when it simply shows Congresswoman Omar making a speech? If the video is not edited in any way (no one is arguing that it was altered), whose speech is dangerous–the one saying the words or the one reporting the words? Is the problem with the speaker or the one reporting the speech?

The Evidence We Need

Today The Conservative Treehouse posted an article with the following title, “Jay Sekulow: “Three” FISA Applications Were Denied in 2016 and What This Means…”

The article reports:

During a rather innocuous podcast discussion panel yesterday, one of President Trump’s personal lawyers Jay Sekulow mentioned the FBI had three FISA applications denied by the FISA court in 2016. [Podcast Here – Note comment at 25:05]   The denials were always suspected; however, until now no-one in/around the administration has ever confirmed.

Jay Sekulow did not expand on his statement and did not explain where the information was derived from; however, if accurate this may explain the backstory to why FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras was recused.  This issue has been nagging many people since the recusal notation in December 2017.

The article continues, explaining why this is significant and the role the FISA court played in the undermining of the Trump campaign and transition team.

The most intriguing part of the article (at least to me) was the list at the end of the evidence needed to expose the misdeeds of the government during 2016 and beyond:

♦ Prove the July 31st, 2016, Crossfire Hurricane operation originated from fraud by exposing the CIA operation that created the originating “Electronic Communication” memo. Declassify that two-page “EC” document that Brennan gave to Comey.

♦ Release and declassify all of the Comey memos that document the investigative steps taken  by the FBI as an outcome of the operation coordinated by CIA Director John Brennan in early 2016.

♦ Reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse by declassifying the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Show the FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries. [Crowdstrike? Fusion-GPS? Nellie Ohr?]

♦ Subpoena former DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) head John Carlin, or haul him in front of a grand jury, and get his testimony about why he hid the abuse from the FISA court in October 2016; why the DOJ-NSD rushed the Carter Page application to beat NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to the FISA court; and why Carlin quit immediately thereafter. Squeeze this bastard’s nuts in the proverbial legal vice.

♦ Prove the Carter Page FISA application (October 2016) was fraudulent and based on deceptions to the FISA Court. Declassify the entire document, and release the transcripts of those who signed the application(s); and/or depose those who have not yet testified.

♦ Release all of the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages without redactions. Let sunlight pour in on the actual conversation(s) that were taking place when Crossfire Hurricane (July ’16) and the FISA Application (Oct ’16) were taking place.

♦ Release all of Bruce Ohr 302’s, FBI notes from interviews and debriefing sessions, and other relevant documents associated with the interviews of Bruce Ohr and his internal communications. Including exculpatory evidence that Bruce Ohr may have shared with FBI Agent Joseph Pientka. [And get a deposition from this Pientka fella]

♦ Release the August 2nd, 2017, two-page scope memo provided by DAG Rod Rosenstein to special counsel Robert Mueller to advance the fraudulent Trump investigation, and initiate the more purposeful obstruction of justice investigation.

Hopefully this evidence will emerge soon.

An Interesting Question

John Solomon posted an article today at The Hill titled, “Ukrainian to US prosecutors: Why don’t you want our evidence on Democrats?” That is a very interesting question.

The article reports:

Ukrainian law enforcement officials believe they have evidence of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes. But, they say, they’ve been thwarted in trying to get the Trump Justice Department to act.

Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Department, told me he and other senior law enforcement officials tried unsuccessfully since last year to get visas from the U.S. embassy in Kiev to deliver their evidence to Washington.

“We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States,” Kulyk told me in a wide-ranging interview. “However, the (U.S.) ambassador blocked us from obtaining a visa. She didn’t explicitly deny our visa, but also didn’t give it to us.”

One focus of Ukrainian investigators, Kulyk said, has been money spirited unlawfully out of Ukraine and moved to the United States by businessmen friendly to the prior, pro-Russia regime of Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukrainian businessmen “authorized payments for lobbying efforts directed at the U.S. government,” he told me. “In addition, these payments were made from funds that were acquired during the money-laundering operation. We have information that a U.S. company was involved in these payments.” That company is tied to one or more prominent Democrats, Ukrainian officials insist.

In another instance, he said, Ukrainian authorities gathered evidence that money paid to an American Democrat allegedly was hidden by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) during the 2016 election under pressure from U.S. officials. “In the course of this investigation, we found that there was a situation during which influence was exerted on the NABU, so that the name of (the American) would not be mentioned,” he said.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The details are amazing. It still isn’t the Trump Justice Department–there are too many Obama holdovers.

Note that Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Department, claims that they were not able to get a visa to travel to Washington to share their evidence. I wonder how fast they would have gotten a visa if their evidence had been against Republicans. If you had any doubt about the deep state and its role in all aspects of the 2016 election, this article should erase those doubts. Oddly enough, Robert Mueller, although he found no evidence of collusion between candidate Trump and the Russians (or President Trump and the Russians), somehow failed to examine evidence of collusion with Russians on the part of the Hillary Clinton campaign. The problem here is that President Trump supports American sovereignty. The deep state supports globalism. That is why he was considered such a threat, and that is why so much of the deep state was trying to stop Donald Trump from becoming President. Hopefully, some of the misdeeds of the deep state will be coming to light shortly.

Irony At Its Best

The Trump tax cuts made life a little easier for most Americans. They made life a little more difficult for some middle class and wealthy people in states with high taxes. Oddly enough, many of these states with high taxes are blue states with large populations and huge state budgets. Some of the most affected states were California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, all reliably blue states. Those states control 116 Electoral College votes and send 106 Representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives (out of 435 total Representatives). Now, after all the complaining that the Trump tax cuts were tax cuts for the rich (which they were not), Democrats want to give the wealthy in high-tax states their tax cuts.

Real Clear Politics posted an article today about the Democrats’ plan.

The article reports:

Democrats often complain that tax cuts primarily benefit “the rich,” but apparently they only think it’s a problem when rich conservatives get a tax break, because they’re outraged that President Trump’s tax cuts scaled back a generous subsidy enjoyed by well-off taxpayers in liberal states.

A key provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a new cap on the so-called State and Local Tax (“SALT”) Deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes on their federal tax return. This provision forces taxpayers in low-tax states such as Florida and Texas to effectively subsidize those in high-tax states such as New York and California.

For years, blue-state Democrats have been able to raise state income and property taxes far higher than voters might normally tolerate. That’s because the SALT deduction softened the impact for taxpayers in those states, particularly for the rich campaign-donor class. Since the SALT deduction only applies to taxpayers who itemize their returns, its benefits naturally accrue to those in the highest income bracket.

There was previously no limit to how much taxpayers could deduct through SALT, but even though the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act capped the deduction at $10,000, almost 93 percent of American taxpayers will be unaffected. It’s likely that fewer taxpayers will elect to take advantage of SALT, since the law also doubled the standard deduction, but about 11 million of the highest-earning Americans living in high-tax states are seeing their federal income tax liabilities increase.

It’s curious that liberals who criticized Trump so vociferously for “cutting taxes on the wealthy” are so upset by an element of the tax reform plan that merely takes away a tax break enjoyed disproportionately by the wealthy.

The problem here is simple. The Democrats believe that President Trump cut taxes for the rich (which he didn’t), but it was the wrong rich. However, just for the record, since most of the tax burden falls on Americans who are relatively successful, their tax cuts are going to seem larger than those who pay little or no taxes.

The following chart is from a Pew Research article. The figures are from 2015:

People who make over $100,000 (which in some areas of the country is not a lot of spending power) pay over 80% of all income taxes paid. I think we need to reopen the discussion of a flat tax. Everyone needs to have an equal stake in the game.

How Is The Trump Economy Doing?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the impact of President Trump’s economic policies on the economy during the past two years.

The article reports:

President Trump has had a tumultuous two years in office, but as he starts to ramp up his reelection campaign, he can boast of having presided over the lowest recorded average unemployment rate of any of his predecessors at this point in their presidencies.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate had held steady at 3.8%. That brings the average unemployment rate for the first 26 months of Trump’s presidency, from February 2017 through March 2019, to 4.1%.

Starting with the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, there has never been a president who oversaw such a robust employment market at this point in his presidency. This is demonstrated in the chart below. The official BLS unemployment data go back to 1948, and thus is not available for the comparable period in the Harry S. Truman era or earlier.

Since the economy is a strong player in presidential elections, these numbers are important.

The article concludes:

The strong economic performance will also be a test of a lot of models predicting the outcome of elections. Many analysts rely heavily on the state of the economy when predicting whether an incumbent will get reelected. However, typically, when the economy is strong, it is also associated with a solid presidential approval rating. Yet Trump has polled consistently lower than other presidents, despite the strong economy.

For instance, take Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, whose unemployment rates came closest to Trump, at 4.4% and 4.5%, respectively. At the comparable points in their presidencies, according to Gallup, Eisenhower was polling at 71 percent and Nixon, while less popular, was still at 50%. In contrast, Trump is currently polling at 39%.

That’s why predicting the 2020 election is so perilous, especially with the Democratic nomination battle so wide open. It’s easy to come up with a scenario in which Trump loses reelection despite having the strongest presidential term for employment in recorded history, because he turns off voters in many other ways. On the other hand, it’s also possible to imagine an outcome in which the strength of the economy convinces voters to get past their objections with Trump and stay the course rather than risk radical change being promised by Democrats.

The strong economy may be the reason the Democrats are trying to get so much mileage out of the Mueller Report. It may be their only hope.

When Your Weapon Backfires

BizPacReview posted an article yesterday about a recent Rasmussen poll.

The article reports:

A new Rasmussen poll shows more voters believe it is Crooked Hillary Clinton rather than President Trump who is guilty of colluding with foreign operatives during the 2016 election campaign. Of likely voters polled, 47% believe the Clinton campaign was involved in collusion, as opposed to 45% who still buy the fraudulent Trump collusion story.

The worm is turning in spite of a non-stop, years-long onslaught of lies from the never-Trump media about it all. The tipping point is now … with the majority finally discerning the truth and slowly more and more rejecting the coordinated MSM disinformation campaign.

…The March 25-26 survey found 50% of voters satisfied with the conclusions reached by Mueller. About one-third, or 36%, are not satisfied and 13% are undecided.

The article also includes the following:

On March 25th, Yahoo News reported the following:

After 16 months of investigation, the cost had ballooned to $25 million, CNBC reported. Based on those figures, that works out to approximately $1.5 million spent per month. And that’s just working from September 2018, the 16-month mark. The cost has very likely gone up since then. If the $1.5 million figure remains static, taxpayers have paid another $7.5 million between October 2018 and February 2019.

In Mueller’s latest filing, released in September 2018, he reported “spending nearly $3 million on compensation, $580,000 on travel and transportation, $1 million on rent and related expenses, and $300,000 on contractual services, primarily related to IT,” according to CNBC.

The Democrats might want to keep all of these numbers in mind as they pursue their subpoenas of the Mueller Report. After the government spent some serious money and the mainstream media claimed that President Trump was a Russian agent, many Americans were not fooled.

Trying To Keep The Drip Going

Someone once told me that the Grand Canyon was the result of water dripping on a rock. I’m not sure if that is true, but it is an interesting thought. The Congressional Democrats are actually setting out to prove or disprove that theory.

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill titled, “Note to Team Mueller: If you don’t indict, you can’t incite.” Those are wise words that could actually do a lot of good in healing the divide in America if they were heeded.

The article states:

I’ve covered the Justice Department for three decades, and seldom have I seen a story like the one published in The New York Times this week under the headline, “Some on Mueller’s Team Say Report Was More Damaging Than Barr Revealed.”

What concerned me most is that the story’s anonymous allegations reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the role prosecutors play, including special counsels such as Robert Mueller.

The job of prosecutors is not, as the Times headline suggested, to pen “damaging” narratives about people they couldn’t indict. And it’s not their job to air those people’s dirty laundry, or that of suspects outside of a grand jury room or a courtroom.

Mueller concluded there wasn’t evidence President Trump colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election, and therefore no indictment was warranted. And he punted on the question of obstruction, leaving his bosses — Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — to determine that there wasn’t enough evidence to indict the president on that charge.

And, most significantly, there were no other people charged. That means Trump legally could not be named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an obstruction plot.

Many of the Democrat Congressmen (and Congresswomen) who are calling for the full, unredacted release of the Mueller Report are lawyers. They know that the full Mueller Report includes both Grand Jury testimony and classified information. They know that Grand Jury testimony is not public information and often contains things that may be misleading or have a negative impact on an innocent person’s life. Theoretically they are also aware of the rules regarding the handling of classified information. So if they understand the law, why are they requesting that the Attorney General break the law? Actually, the subpoena for the Mueller Report is simply part of a larger strategy.

The Attorney General is compelled by law to deny the subpoena. This sends the case to the courts where it will be tied up for at least two years–through the 2020 presidential election. I am sure some of the actions of whatever court is involved will keep the story in the news through the election.

Recently someone familiar with the report noted that the summaries in the report, written by highly partisan investigators contain classified information or Grand Jury testimony. If Congress has the full report (or even the redacted version), they can selectively leak things (that might be misleading) to keep the collusion-delusion in the headlines. Victor Davis Hanson noted in a recent article that the Russian investigation was a soft coup attempted by the deep state. I have no reason to believe that the attempt is over.

Objectivity From A Surprising Source

On Monday USA Today posted an article about the Mueller investigation.

The article asks a very interesting question:

The Russian collusion story had been an article of faith for the Resistance and the press. But why were so many people so deeply convinced of something that was not true? Who was behind not only concocting this fantastic tale but also embedding it in the highest levels of the Justice Department, the intelligence community and the news media?

This question had been on hold during the Mueller investigation. Government officials could not dig into it because anything they might do publicly would have been denounced as interference or “obstruction.” But with the Mueller phase concluded, the gates have opened.

President Trump retweeted a link about a Wall Street Journal op-ed saying the Obama administration must account for “abuse of surveillance powers.” “Time to investigate the Obama officials who concocted and spread the Russian conspiracy hoax!” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tweeted. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called for the appointment of a new special counsel. And former George W. Bush administration spokesman Ari Fleischer asked what could be the ultimate question, “What did Barack Obama know and what and when did he authorize it?

The surveillance of the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team was inexcusable. It was a more blatant an abuse of federal power than anything previously seen.

This is Article I of the Impeachment Articles against Richard Nixon:

On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.

Note that the crime was breaking and entering to secure political intelligence and using the powers of government to cover up the crime. What about lying to a FISA court to be able to conduct illegal surveillance and then fabricating a crime to cover up your activities?

The article at USA Today includes the following:

Yet Obama officials also treated Trump campaign staffers as targets themselves. They used cooperative foreign intelligence services to chat them up overseas, both to put a layer of deniability between them and this questionable behavior, and to get around prohibitions against spying on American citizens. The recently released transcript of the House Committee on the Judiciary and Committee on Government Reform and Oversight interview with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos goes into great detail how this targeting was conducted. Papadopoulos claims that foreign governments are now cooperating to reveal more about these activities. 

These activities are illegal. Those involved in illegal FISA warrants, targeting innocent staff members of the campaign, and other misuses of government need to be held accountable. Unless they are held accountable, we can expect to see more of this behavior in the future.

Trying To Drive A Stake Through The Establishment

On March 22, President Trump nominated Stephen Moore to serve on the Board of the Federal Reserve. The establishment began their attack almost immediately. Why? Because Stephen Moore is a respected economist who will rock the boat of the establishment. He supports the economic policies of President Trump (which incidentally have been successful in reviving a struggling economy). The negative reports and personal attacks are all through the mainstream media–very little is being said about the accomplishments of Stephen Moore.

In December 2018, World Net Daily posted an article by Stephen Moore titled, “Fire the Fed.” Stephen Moore called on Chairman Powell to resign in wake of interest-rate hike.

In the article, Stephen Moore states:

In one of the most remarkable Abbott and Costello routines in modern times, the economic wizards at the Fed again raised interest rates on Tuesday. Their crackerjack logic for doing so is to steer America on a course toward recession so they have the tools in hand to end the recession they themselves created. Can anyone tell us who’s on first?

Worse, this Fed move doubles down on its blunderous interest rate rise in September. President Donald Trump turned out to be exactly right: The central bank pullback on money would slow growth and crush the stock market in order to combat nonexistent inflation.

…Since its peak on Oct. 3, which, not coincidentally, was right after Powell gave a speech suggesting that the Fed might be through tightening money, the Dow has fallen by more than 3,500 points. Market fears about his bad judgment have cut the value of all U.S. stocks by about $4.5 trillion, which is enough to buy 16,000 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The Fed economists use twisted logic that the economy is “strong enough” to absorb the rate hikes – which is simply an admission that their policy will slow growth.

Stephen Moore needs to be on the Board of the Federal Reserve. His presence might prevent the Federal Reserve from raising rates just before the 2020 election in order to cause a recession. Just as the Federal Reserve kept rates low during the Obama administration to give the appearance of a healthy economy, they may raise those rates in the coming year to give the impression that President Trump’s economic policies are not working. They need a watchdog.

Good News On Healthcare

The Daily Signal posted an article today about President Trump’s plan to reform healthcare (which obviously starts with the removal of ObamaCare).

The article reports:

A look at his fiscal year 2020 budget shows that the president has a plan to reduce costs and increase health care choices. His plan would achieve this by redirecting federal premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion money into grants to states. States would be required to use the money to establish consumer-centered programs that make health insurance affordable regardless of income or medical condition.

The president’s proposal is buttressed by a growing body of evidence that relaxing federal regulations and freeing the states to innovate makes health care more affordable for families and small businesses.

Ed Haislmaier and I last year published an analysis of waivers that have so far enabled seven states to significantly reduce individual health insurance premiums. These states fund “invisible high risk pools” and reinsurance arrangements largely by repurposing federal money that would otherwise have been spent on Obamacare premium subsidies, directing them instead to those in greatest medical need.

By financing care for those with the biggest medical bills, these states have substantially reduced premiums for individual policies. Before Maryland obtained its waiver, insurers in the state filed requests for 2019 premium hikes averaging 30 percent. After the federal government approved the waiver, final 2019 premiums averaged 13 percent lower than in 2018—a 43 percent swing.

The article explains that the President’s plan is similar to another proposed plan:

It closely parallels the Health Care Choices Proposal, the product of ongoing work by national and state think tanks, grassroots organizations, policy analysts, and others in the conservative community. A study by the Center for Health and the Economy, commissioned by The Heritage Foundation, found that the proposal would reduce premiums for individual health insurance by up to 32 percent and cover virtually the same number of people as under Obamacare.

It also would give consumers more freedom to choose the coverage they think best for themselves and their families. Unlike current law, states could include direct primary care; health-sharing ministries; short-term, limited-duration plans; and other arrangements among the options available through their programs.

Those expanded choices would extend to low-income people. The proposal would require states to let those receiving assistance through the block grants, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs apply the value of their subsidy to the plan of their choice, instead of being herded into government-contracted health maintenance organizations.

We can do better at healthcare. Either one of these proposals would be a great start.

The Saga Continues

As the Russian collusion charges are exposed as a hoax, many of those involved are heading for the tall grass or implicating others. There is no honor among thieves, and many of these people compromised their principles long ago.

Today The Gateway Pundit posted an article about some recent remarks made by James Clapper to Anderson Cooper.

The article reports:

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The 2017 assessment that the President says he now agrees with, that was done while you and then NCI Director John Brennan were still in office. So, how can we reconcile the President attacking you, but apparently after a very long time finally, allegedly saying — or saying he allegedly agrees with the product of the intelligence community that you, yourself oversaw?

JAMES CLAPPER: Yes, well, this is — yes, as we’ve come to know the President, he is not a stalwart for a consistency or coherence. So it’s very hard to explain that. One point I’d like to make, Anderson, that I don’t think has come up very much before, and I’m alluding now to the President’s criticism of President Obama for all that he did or didn’t do before he left office with respect to the Russian meddling. If it weren’t for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Mueller’s investigation.

President Obama is responsible for that, and it was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place. I think it’s an important point when it comes to critiquing President Obama.

That sounds to me as if James Clapper is blaming President Obama for the surveillance of the Trump campaign and later the transition team of President Trump. That spying violated the civil rights of a number of Americans. There are also some serious questions about the basis for the FISA warrants. It seems that a number of laws were violated and the people who violated those laws need to be held accountable.

Fixing The Intelligence Community

On Friday, The Daily Caller posted an article titled, “OPINION: How Could The Intelligence Community Fail So Badly?”

The article states:

Far more than a failure of journalism, the Russia collusion narrative was, at its core, a monstrous failure of U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence.

All criticism of the news media aside for the moment, the bottom line is that professional journalists received fake intelligence information from U.S. government leakers whom they trusted.

That is probably true, but I also think that the personal bias of those individuals reporting the news caused them to believe things that most people would have regarded as totally ridiculous.

The article continues:

The entire Russian collusion debacle shows that the American intelligence and counterintelligence processes have broken down.

Emphatic former CIA director John Brennan, a main engine behind spreading the Russia collusion story through the intelligence community and into the media, suddenly doesn’t sound so certain about himself. The day after Attorney General William Barr released the special prosecutor’s finding of no collusion, Brennan confessed to MSNBC, “I don’t know if I received bad information but I think I suspected that there was more than there actually was.”

This is a shocking admission from the man who was, at the time, the nation’s highest-ranking professional intelligence officer.

Brennan wasn’t indicting just himself. He inadvertently accused the entire CIA. Whatever quality control systems it has, the CIA failed to prevent “bad information” from making its way up the chain to the national strategic level.

The article goes on to mention that journalists have learned to depend on leaks from government officials. Leaking classified information is a crime punishable by law. Those leaking need to be held accountable. At the same time, the government needs to be more transparent. A lot of things that are classified are classified to save the government from embarrassment.

The article concludes:

This leads to the most dangerous conclusion of all. The Russia collusion debacle has shown that the FBI and CIA leadership are not effectively under the oversight of elected officials, but instead are capable of tampering with the American democratic process and constitutional governance.

All this must stop. President Trump should assemble a team of solid intelligence and counterintelligence veterans to dig deep into the FBI and CIA leadership, discover the real nature of the problems and devise solutions before our system self-destructs.

It’s time to create an intelligence community that is apolitical. I don’t know if that is possible, but it’s a great goal.

If President Trump Did Nothing Else, This Makes Him A Great President

For years national security experts have been warning of the dangers of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. A nuclear warhead exploded at a precise altitude in the middle of America could totally disable our electric grid. Car engines with electronic fuel injection would no longer run (older cars could simply replace their spark plugs and a few other parts and carry on). One well-placed EMP attack could instantly bring Americans back to the early 19th Century. The phenomena of EMP was discovered in the 1940’s and 1950’s during the nuclear testing the United States did on Bikini Atoll. When an atomic bomb was set off on the Atoll, it scrambled all of the traffic lights in Hawaii. That was an early example of the impact of an EMP.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about a recent Presidential Executive Order.

The article reports:

In the first step of its kind, President Trump has signed an executive order calling for a government wide war on EMP, the types of electromagnetic pulses that can wipe out every computer, electric grid, and jet.

In joining the voices of those warning of EMP attacks, Trump called on his government to quickly generate a plan to detect EMP, protect critical infrastructure like water and electric sources, and also to recover if a hit lands.

This is part of the Executive Order:

(b) The Secretary of Defense shall:

(i) in cooperation with the heads of relevant agencies and with United States allies, international partners, and private-sector entities as appropriate, improve and develop the ability to rapidly characterize, attribute, and provide warning of EMPs, including effects on space systems of interest to the United States;
***

(iii) conduct R&D and testing to understand the effects of EMPs on Department of Defense systems and infrastructure, improve capabilities to model and simulate the environments and effects of EMPs, and develop technologies to protect Department of Defense systems and infrastructure from the effects of EMPs to ensure the successful execution of Department of Defense missions;
***
(vi) incorporate attacks that include EMPs as a factor in defense planning scenarios; and

(vii) defend the Nation from adversarial EMPs originating outside of the United States through defense and deterrence, consistent with the mission and national security policy of the Department of Defense.

In 2014 Natural News reported:

Meanwhile Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., has been working to raise concern about the issue (EMP attack) for years. He said during the first panel testimony that “catastrophic civilian casualties” could occur unless Congress acts.

…Franks has introduced H.R. 3410, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which would enable the Department of Homeland Security to adopt measures necessary to protect the power grid.

Dr. Michael J. Frankel, a senior scientist at Pennsylvania State University, said Franks’ bill is a “necessary first step” for the defense of the electric grid, WFB reported. Currently, the measure has 19 co-sponsors.

Dr. Peter Pry, a member of the Congressional EMP Commission and executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, said during testimony that the issue is urgent because an EMP event could wide out nine-tenths of the nation’s population.

“Natural EMP from a geomagnetic super-storm, like the1859 Carrington Event or 1921 Railroad Storm, and nuclear EMP attack from terrorists or rogue states, as practiced by North Korea during the nuclear crisis of 2013, are both existential threats that could kill 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse,” he said.

That was almost five years ago. It seems as if an Executive Order may be the only way to protect Americans–Congress does not seem capable of the job.

Even The Good News Is Clouded With Doom When The Media Reports It

Market Watch posted an article yesterday about the January trade deficit in America. The article notes that the deficit shrank to $51.1 billion in January from almost $60 billion in December. That is really good news. However, the media doesn’t seem to want good economic news.

The article notes:

Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a $57.7 billion deficit.

Notice that they were more than a little off.

The article continues:

The lower U.S. trade deficit, if it persists, could provide a small boost in the first quarter to gross domestic product, the official scorecard of the economy. But the drop in imports could also be taken as sign of softening demand in the U.S. that adds to worries about a slower growth.

Whatever the case, the U.S. is coming off the highest annual deficit in a decade and it’s unlikely the gap will shrink much if at all in 2019.

The President is renegotiating trade deals. This is not an ‘instant’ process. His negotiating skills and business acumen are responsible for the growing economy–the unemployment rate is down and the workforce participation rate is up. Can someone in the media please give President Trump a little credit and show a little optimism.

The Golan Heights

On March 21st The New York Post reported that President Trump called for the US to recognize Israel’s sovereignty of the Golan Heights, the 700-square-mile northern plateau that Israel captured from Syria in the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, although the territorial claim was never acknowledged by the international community. The Golan Heights is strategic to the survival of Israel geographically.

In an article from December 2016, The U.K. Daily Mail reported on a strange event in the Golan Heights.

The article reports:

A huge cloud of dust and rain blew up along the border between Israel and ISIS last week, sparking online claims that it was a biblical storm.

Four days after ISIS fighters attacked an Israeli patrol in the Golan Heights, a plateau in Syria which the Jewish state has occupied since 1967, the bizarre meteorological phenomenon suddenly appeared. 

Eyewitnesses said the storm seemed to stop at the boundary and be unable to enter the Golan Heights, which tower above the rest of Syria.

Footage of the dust barrier was uploaded onto Facebook by Israel News Online

They wrote: ‘A weather phenomenon occurred at 8am Thursday on the other side of the Syrian border, in the same place where ISIS attacked Israel.

This strange storm of what appears to be dust, cloud and rain did NOT cross the border fence into Israel. It sat like a barrier between ISIS and Israel.’

Underneath Deborah Van Dam posted: ‘Absolutely the divine intervention of God protecting Israel. Amen!’

This is the picture (taken from the U.K. Daily Mail):

This is a map showing the location (taken from the U.K. Daily Mail):

The Golan Heights is strategic because it is high ground that overlooks Israel. It is part of what protects Israel from rocket fire or invasion from Syria. Because Syria has become a satellite of Iran, it also protects Israel from Iranian forces working in Syria.

The Bible says that he who blesses Israel will be blessed and he who curses Israel will be cursed. History bears that out. By moving the Israeli embassy and acknowledging Israel’s possession of the Golan Heights, President Trump is blessing Israel.

 

The Letter

Below is a copy of Attorney General Barr’s summary letter to Senator Lindsey Graham, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Representative Doug Collins. You can view the letter on Scribd by clicking on the link.

Barr’s Letter by on Scribd

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article about the letter today.

He notes a few basic facts about the letter:

This investigation is the product of a Clinton campaign fabrication. That’s why the investigation was a witch hunt. It is also why the finding of no collusion is unsurprising to anyone who has paid attention with a modicum of impartiality and critical intelligence. The finding of no obstruction is made by Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. If there was no collusion, they suggest, there was highly likely no obstruction and in fact they find that Mueller did not identify any actions that in the judgment of Barr and Rosenstein constituted obstructive conduct. See page 3, paragraph 3.

While investigations and prosecutions will continue for the foreseeable future, we can turn out the lights on the Mueller investigation; the party’s over. Mainstream media hardest hit.

One thing to keep in mind is that a team of totally partisan Democrats looking under every rock they could find for two plus years not only could not find evidence of Russian collusion by President Trump, they somehow failed to notice the entanglement of the Clinton campaign in providing a dossier that paved the way for surveillance of a political opponent’s campaign. As the Democrats continue to investigate in the hope of turning public opinion against President Trump before the 2020 election, I hope the American voters begin to realize where the scandal was in this investigation–it wasn’t in the Trump campaign.

What Happens Next?

The Mueller Report cost American taxpayers just more than $25 million through December according to The Weeklyn on March 22nd. The Conservative Treehouse is reporting today that the Report has now been submitted to AG William Barr and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. AG Barr will commission a “Principle Conclusion” summary report that he will deliver to congress.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse reports:

The summary report from AGBarr will be given to House and Senate judiciary oversight committees before wider dissemination. The Chair of the House Judiciary Committee is Jerry Nadler (ranking member Doug Collins); the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is Lindsey Graham (Vice-Chair Dianne Feinstein). AG William Barr may also brief those committees, or he may assign DAG Rosenstein to the briefing.

Depending on conversations between the DOJ and congressional leadership, there’s also a possibility of a more extensive briefing covering details within the Mueller investigation. However, that briefing would likely be reserved for the intelligence oversight group known as the “Gang of Eight”: Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Adam Schiff, Devin Nunes, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.

Due to the politics surrounding the Barr report, it is likely the White House will be given the Principle Conclusion Summary around the same time as congress. The White House (executive branch) may also be able to review the full underlying documentation behind the summary…. that’s likely where the political fight for the ‘narrative’ will take place.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse explains the next steps in the drama:

Each of the Mueller team members will be leaking information, and building innuendo narratives about their investigative activity, to the Lawfare community and media.  The ‘small group‘ effort will certainly work in concert with political allies in congress and the DNC.  This is just how they roll.

Keep in mind the larger picture and most likely political sequence:

    1. Mueller report.
    2. Chosen One.
    3. Cummings Impeachment Schedule, known as “oversight plans” (April 15)
    4. Horowitz report

#2 and #3 are not sequence specific; they may reverse.  However, the larger objective of the resistance apparatus will remain consistent.

The narrative around the Mueller investigative material will launch the chosen DNC candidate (possibly Biden).  The professional political class will work to lift this candidate by exploiting the Mueller investigative file as ammunition against President Trump.

As pre-planned within Speaker Pelosi’s rules, House Oversight Chairman has until April 15, 2019, to deliver his schedule for congressional hearings to Speaker Pelosi.  That hearing schedule is based around witnesses they can extract from the Mueller material.

Nothing happens organically.  All of the broad strokes are planned well in advance, and the democrats just fill in the details as they successfully cross pre-determined tripwires.  Once we know where the tripwires are located, their behavior becomes predictable.

…As Pelosi and Schumer wage their political battle and attempt to weaponize the Mueller report for maximum damage, Senator Graham will be exploring the DOJ and FBI corruption of the FISA court and spygate. That angle is a risk to multiple Obama-era administration officials.

President Trump and team have genuine political ammunition that includes FISA abuse, the ‘spygate’ surveillance scandal and an upcoming OIG Horowitz report.

Speaker Pelosi and team have the fabricated political ammunition of the Mueller probe to weaponize.

Both teams will now go to battle on the road to 2020.

This is a sad moment for our country–even after the investigation is concluded, the political slander of people in government continues, and a number of people have had their lives and reputations ruined for no reason.

A Further Step In The Wrong Direction

The media likes to think they elect Presidents. Although they have a lot of influence, they can be overcome. If Americans support President Trump, they may have to deal with an even more biased media than they did in 2016. Fox News has gone over to the dark side.

The Conservative Treehouse quotes a NewsMax article:

The parent company of Fox News has hired a former top aide to Joe Biden as its chief lobbyist in Washington.

On Tuesday the new Fox Corp., a spin-off of 21st Century Fox which just merged with Disney, became a standalone public company, controlling television assets such as Fox News and the Fox television network.

Broadcasting & Cable reported that new Fox “hit the ground running on day one” with its Washington lobbying operation headed by Danny O’Brien, a well-known Democrat.

O’Brien was brought on last October as executive vice president and head of government relations for the Fox Corp.

Previously, he had served as Senator Joe Biden’s chief of staff and went on to head Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign.

This is another indication that Fox Corp. is moving left and that Fox News may no longer be the source of objective news for conservatives. There are three obviously conservative shows left on Fox News, two of them are in the top three of the ratings for all networks. It would seem to me that if Fox News wants to keep those ratings, if is not moving in the right direction.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse explains why the hiring of Danny O’Brien is important:

Danny O’Brian now steps conveniently into the role of emissary between the Big Club and the DC political influencers, just as the Club prepares the landscape for Joe Biden.

As we said, nothing the club does is organic.

Biden will have access to unlimited financial support from the multinational Wall Street community. However, Biden’s weakness in 2020 is the same as Jeb’s weakness in 2016, a lack of grassroots support. That’s why Bernie and Beto are currently data-mining the electorate to gather up the contact info (data harvesting) for later Club deployment.

Now things are coming into greater focus…

2020 for the DNC club is shaping up identically as 2016 was for the RNC club. Again, not to beat a dead horse, but the clubs never change the playbook, only the portfolio cover.

There’s still a possibility Biden is not the DNC club’s ‘chosen one’; but the odds of that are diminishing. We keep watching…

The swamp is planning on regaining and staying in power. The only thing that will stop it is educated voters who turn out in 2020.

 

When Integrity Dies

I used to like Mitt Romney. He lost me when he penned his editorial about President Trump after President Trump had supported him in his run for Congress. That seemed a little ungrateful and a lot tacky. As of late, Mitt Romney has become a political opportunist seeking favor from the establishment Republicans who hate President Trump. At this point I would like to note that the establishment Republicans gave us ObamaCare, an over-regulated economy under President Obama, open borders, TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) which doubled the national debt, and Dodd Frank, which blamed all of the wrong people for the real estate bubble (see “Burning Down the House” video on YouTube). Well, Romney is still at it.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the ongoing feud between Mitt Romney and President Trump.

The article reports:

Freshman Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Tuesday evening said he cannot understand why President Donald Trump would “disparage” the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), whom Romney described as “heroic,” “courageous,” “patriotic,” and “honorable.”

“I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, self-sacrificing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country, and God,” Romney tweeted.

John McCain was a war hero. He chose to stay in Hanoi with other prisoners rather than return home. That is an act of heroism that can never be taken away from him. His actions after he returned home, however, do not live up to the character he displayed while in Hanoi.

I am not going to go through McCain’s biography. The man is dead, may he rest in peace. However, there are some things that he did in the later years of his life that were questionable at best. He was involved in the whole scam to bring down President Trump with the phony dossier. He also betrayed those who elected him when he refused to vote to repeal ObamaCare. McCain did not always uphold the exemplary values he exhibited while a Prisoner of War. As a Senator, he was vindictive and often petty. I am afraid Mitt Romney may be following his example.

Laws Have Consequences

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported that Toyota has announced the following:

  • By 2021, Toyota will now invest nearly $13 Billion in its U.S. operations with plans to add nearly 600 new jobs at American manufacturing plants
  • Hybrid versions of the popular RAV4 and Lexus ES to be produced in Kentucky for the first time
  • Production capacity increases and building expansions at Toyota’s unit plants in Huntsville, Alabama, Buffalo, West Virginia, Troy, Missouri and Jackson, Tennessee

The article states that this is a direct outcome of the NAFTA replacement USMCA trade deal; and the new 75% rule of origin within the Auto sector.

The article explains:

The guiding decision here relates specifically to the construct of the USMCA (NAFTA replacement).   Toyota was previously focused on multi-billion-dollar investments in Canada as they exploited the NAFTA loophole and procured component parts from Asia for North American assembly and shipment into the U.S. Market.  However, when they renegotiated NAFTA and created the USMCA President Trump and USTR Lighthizer closed closed the loophole.

The new USMCA agreement requires that 75% of automobile parts must be made in North America; and 45% must come from plants with minimum labor costs ($16/hr); or face tariffs to access the U.S. market with the finished good.  As a result Toyota has to either pay a tariff to continue importing Asian component parts, or move the higher-wage component manufacturing directly into the U.S.

Obviously, Toyota chose the latter.

The article explains that Toyota is not the first automobile company to respond to USMCA:

Keep in mind Toyota is not the first Auto manufacturer to respond with increased U.S. investment. Prior to the USMCA German auto-maker BMW began building a $2 billion assembly plant in Mexico. Under the old NAFTA plan most of BMW’s core parts were coming from the EU (steel/aluminum casting components, engines, transmissions etc.) and/or Asia (electronics, upholstery etc).

However, under the USMCA the Mexico BMW assembly plant has to source 75% of the total component parts from the U.S, Canada and Mexico; with 45% of those parts from facilities paying $16/hr.

The result was BMW needing to quickly modify their supply chain, build auto parts in the U.S. and Mexico, or they would end up paying a tariff on the assembled final product.

Like Toyota, BMW made the financial decision to open a new engine and transmission manufacturing plant in South Carolina…. exactly as Trump and Lighthizer planned.

And don’t forget Fiat Chrysler made a similar announcement in February: “The automaker says it will hire 6,500 workers and invest $4.5 billion by adding a new assembly plant in Detroit and boosting production at five existing factories.”

Like him or not, President Trump is a businessman who is doing things that are helping the American economy and the average worker.