This Is How Sleight Of Hand Works

We have all heard that the border crisis is continuing because Congress and President Trump are not capable of working together to solve any problems. We have also heard that Republicans and Democrats are not capable of working together. Well, while the media was hyping Russia, Russia, Russia, those in Congress did pass a bill relating to immigration. It is bill that will hurt America’s high-skilled workers. The Democrats and the Chamber-of-Commerce Republicans (aka swamp dwellers) worked together to suspend the rules and pass the bill. Isn’t that special?

The Congressional website has the details (there is no direct link because the links expire):

H.R.1044 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

Passed House (07/10/2019)

Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

This bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%, and eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.

The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY2020-FY2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85% shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

This is the timeline on the bill:

Date Chamber All Actions
07/11/2019 Senate Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
07/10/2019-4:58pm House Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
07/10/2019-4:58pm House On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 365 – 65 (Roll no. 437). (text: CR H5323-5324)
07/10/2019-4:48pm House Considered as unfinished business. (consideration: CR H5336)
07/10/2019-3:24pm House At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
07/10/2019-2:51pm House DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 1044.
07/10/2019-2:51pm House Considered under suspension of the rules. (consideration: CR H5323-5328)
07/10/2019-2:51pm House Ms. Lofgren moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended.
06/18/2019 House Motion to place bill on Consensus Calendar filed by Ms. Lofgren.
03/22/2019 House Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship.
Action By: Committee on the Judiciary
02/07/2019 House Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
02/07/2019 House Introduced in House

This is the vote:

Understand that the Chamber of Commerce supports many Republican candidates. Their members support lower wages because it keeps corporate expenses down. The Democrats like the bill because it increases chain migration and theoretically provides future Democrat voters. Republicans and Democrats can agree when it is to their benefit. Unfortunately this agreement works against working Americans.

All t his was going on while the media was screaming “Russia, Russia, Russia.”

 

Progress?

Yesterday Hot Air reported that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has agreed to pass the Senate border funding bill after the House bill was defeated in the Senate. The bill has now passed the House by a vote of 305-102. Some Democrats want to be re-elected in 2020.

The article reports:

“Behind the scenes,” noted CNN, “moderates were encouraging members of the Blue Dog and Problem Solvers caucuses to vote against a procedural vote that governed floor debate and force Pelosi to pass the bipartisan Senate bill, as the White House and Hill Republicans have been demanding.” Per Politico, 18 centrist Dems were prepared to tank her revised bill on the floor if she didn’t hurry up and pass the Senate bill instead. The reason Democrats hold the House majority right now is because a bunch of centrists knocked off a bunch of Republican incumbents last year in purple districts. Those centrists are frightened of perceptions back home that Democrats don’t want to do much of anything to ease the crisis at the border except complain about how immigrants are being treated, and they know how potent Trump’s messaging on this topic can be. In the end, if Pelosi wants to keep her majority, those members need to be protected even if it makes AOC cry. So Pelosi made a hard choice: Hand the centrists a win, even at the price of being steamrolled by Mitch McConnell, even knowing how lefties will caterwaul, and get immigration off the table for now.

That choice was made slightly easier for her by the fact that McConnell’s Senate bill wasn’t a party-line matter.

The Senate border bill passed the Senate by a vote of 84-8. It has bipartisan support.

According to UPI:

The Senate passed the bill Wednesday, setting aside nearly $3 billion in humanitarian aid and increasing security measures at the border. The Democratic-controlled House passed its version of the bill earlier this week with a stronger focus on protecting migrant children.

At some point we need to understand that the more liberal Democrats are not interested in increasing security  measures at the border.

Good News From France

The Daily Wire reported yesterday that over the weekend, the French Senate approved a bill paving the way forward for restoring Notre Dame cathedral, which nearly burned to the ground back in April in a construction fire. There’s one caveat, however: the cathedral must be returned to its “last known visual state.”

The article reports:

In other words, despite French president Emmanuel Macron’s desire to see parts of the cathedral rebuilt with an eye to more “contemporary architecture,” the French government wants to see Notre Dame returned to its former glory, according to The Local.

“French Senators have stipulated that Notre-Dame cathedral must be restored exactly how it was before the devastating fire that tore through the Paris landmark,” the Parisian news outlet reported Tuesday.

The stipulation came in the form of an addendum to a bill authorizing French authorities to begin work on Notre Dame so that the cathedral is completely rebuilt in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024 — just five years from now. The French Parliament approved the measure earlier this month but did not comment on how the cathedral should look once restoration work was finished.

The bill is controversial already: it’s written so that the French government can bypass the traditional requirements of public and legislative approval before it can shuttle money from national coffers into the project. It’s also tied to what experts consider a “rush job,” allowing only five years for a refurbishment that could — or should — take decades.

The article cites some examples of suggested changes:

Part of the problem, the historians said, was that Macron and others wanted to incorporate contemporary modifications into the cathedral restoration. Proposed ideas included a new glass spire, a glass observation roof, and even a roof addition with a public swimming pool and community garden. Integrating those ideas into a centuries-old monument could prove almost impossible.

Sorry, I just can’t see a public swimming pool in the middle of Notre Dame. Notre Dame was a beautiful cathedral and needs to be restored to its former beauty. If you need a community garden and public swimming pool, please put them elsewhere.

J. Edgar Brennan

For those of you too young to remember some of the antics of J. Edgar Hoover as Director of the FBI. Some of the actions of the FBI and intelligence community under President Obama are reminiscent of those actions.

The website biography includes the following about J. Edgar Hoover:

During the Cold War, Hoover intensified his personal anti-Communist, anti-subversive stance and increased the FBI’s surveillance activities. Frustrated over limitations placed on the Justice Department’s investigative capabilities, he created the Counter Intelligence Program, or COINTELPRO. The group conducted a series of covert, and oftentimes illegal, investigations designed to discredit or disrupt radical political organizations. Initially, Hoover ordered background checks on government employees to prevent foreign agents from infiltrating the government. Later, COINTELPRO went after any organization Hoover considered subversive, including the Black Panthers, the Socialist Workers Party and the Ku Klux Klan.

Hoover also used COINTELPRO’s operations to conduct his own personal vendettas against political adversaries in the name of national security. Labeling Martin Luther King “the most dangerous Negro in the future of this nation,” Hoover ordered around-the-clock surveillance on King, hoping to find evidence of Communist influence or sexual deviance. Using illegal wiretaps and warrantless searches, Hoover gathered a large file of what he considered damning evidence against King. 

In 1971, COINTELPRO’s tactics were revealed to the public, showing that the agency’s methods included infiltration, burglaries, illegal wiretaps, planted evidence and false rumors leaked on suspected groups and individuals. Despite the harsh criticism Hoover and the Bureau received, he remained its director until his death on May 2, 1972, at the age of 77.

Does any of this sound familiar?

In December 2014, The Atlantic posted an article titled, “A Brief History of the CIA’s Unpunished Spying on the Senate.” Under that title is written, “President Obama’s choice to lead the intelligence agency has undermined core checks and balances with impunity.” Those are not encouraging words.

Below are some excerpts from The Atlantic article:

Late last week, that internal “accountability board” announced the results of its review. If you’ve followed the impunity with which the CIA has broken U.S. laws throughout its history, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that no one is going to be “dealt with very harshly” after all. “A panel investigating the Central Intelligence Agency’s search of a computer network used by staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who were looking into the C.I.A.’s use of torture will recommend against punishing anyone involved in the episode,” The New York Times reports. “The panel will make that recommendation after the five C.I.A. officials who were singled out by the agency’s inspector general this year for improperly ordering and carrying out the computer searches staunchly defended their actions, saying that they were lawful and in some cases done at the behest of John O. Brennan.”

…Brennan and the CIA have behaved indefensibly. But substantial blame belongs to the overseers who’ve permitted them to do so with impunity, including figures in the Obama administration right up to the president and Senate intelligence committee members who, for all their bluster, have yet to react to CIA misbehavior in a way that actually disincentivizes similar malfeasance in the future. President Obama should fire John Brennan, as has previously been suggested by Senator Mark Udall, Trevor Timm, Dan Froomkin, and Andrew Sullivan. And the Senate intelligence committee should act toward the CIA like their predecessors on the Church Committee. Instead, the CIA is asked to investigate its own malfeasance and issue reports suggesting what, if anything, should be done.

The article includes a quote from The New York Times:

Mr. Brennan has enraged senators by refusing to answer questions posed by the Intelligence Committee about who at the C.I.A. authorized the computer intrusion. Doing so, he said, could compromise the accountability board’s investigation.

“What did he know? When did he know it? What did he order?” said Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is a member of the Intelligence Committee, said in an interview last week. “They haven’t answered those basic questions.”

The article concludes:

Senator Levin, you’re a member of a coequal branch. You’ve flagged outrageous behavior among those you’re charged with overseeing. What are you going to do about it?

Obviously nothing was done about it. John Brennan remained the head of the CIA until January 2017. He was not retained as the CIA Director when President Trump took power.

We are at a crossroads. This article indicates that the misuse of government spy agencies has been going on for a long time. The people responsible have never been held accountable. We have a choice–we can hold the people responsible for the misuse of spy agencies accountable or we can see the illegal spying on political enemies continue. What has been done to President Trump and some of the people around him could be done to any American if the people responsible are not held accountable. Was it really necessary to roust an unarmed senior citizen and his deaf wife out of bed with a S.W.A.T. team in the middle of the night when he was charged with lying? Unfortunately this could be the future of America.

Some Good News From The Senate

On Friday, The Washington Free Beacon reported that the Senate passed an amendment on Thursday renewing and codifying a Congressional ban on earmarking bills.

The article quotes Senator Ben Sasse who led the initiative to ban earmarks:

“The last thing taxpayers need is for the same politicians who racked up a $22 trillion national debt to go on an earmark binge,” Sasse said in a statement. “It’s pretty simple: Earmarks are a crummy way to govern and they have no business in Congress. Backroom deals, kickbacks, and earmarks feed a culture of constant incumbency and that’s poisonous to healthy self-government. This is an important fight and I’m glad that my Republican colleagues agreed with my rules change to make the earmark ban permanent.”

Earmarks have been banned before, but somehow keep cropping up again. In 2011 the Senate passed a temporary ban on earmarks. In 2017, the Senate voted to keep the ban in place. However, in the past, the ban has not necessarily accomplished much.

The article reports:

The Senate voted in 2017 to keep the ban in place, with a push led by former Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.). Flake launched an investigation in 2015 which found that, despite the 2011 ban, many earmarks had slipped through, with hundreds of millions spent on side projects, such as grape research and subsidies for a ballet theater in the wealthiest congressional district in America.

Similarly, a Citizens Against Government Waste report found that Congress had approved $5.1 billion in earmarks in 2016. In 2016, House Republicans attempted to undo earmark bans, but the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) rebuffed the effort, saying that it would inappropriate right after a “drain the swamp” election.

Earmarks are a tool to get bills passed that might not otherwise be passed. If a Senator is promised a new highway for his state in exchange for his vote, he might vote for whatever is being considered. However, earmarks make it possible to pass bills that are wasteful and would not otherwise pass. Banning earmarks is a really good idea.

No Wonder The Democrats Are Attempting To Storm The Castle

The hearings the Senate held for Attorney General Barr were a disgrace. He was attacked, slandered, and generally treated very badly. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are not allowed to call each other liars (that rule has its roots in British Parliamentary Law), but evidently the Senate thinks its okay to call a member of the Executive Branch a liar. That is so unhelpful–particularly if it is not true. Well, the Senate acted like animals backed into a corner for a reason–they are. An article posted at The Hill last night might explain a few things.

The article reports:

The boomerang from the Democratic Party’s failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia’s 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow’s pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton.

In its most detailed account yet, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee (DNC) insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

Chalupa later tried to arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort’s Russian ties on a U.S. visit during the 2016 campaign, the ambassador said.

Chaly says that, at the time of the contacts in 2016, the embassy knew Chalupa primarily as a Ukrainian-American activist and learned only later of her ties to the DNC. He says the embassy considered her requests an inappropriate solicitation of interference in the U.S. election.

“The Embassy got to know Ms. Chalupa because of her engagement with Ukrainian and other diasporas in Washington D.C., and not in her DNC capacity. We’ve learned about her DNC involvement later,” Chaly said in a statement issued by his embassy. “We were surprised to see Alexandra’s interest in Mr. Paul Manafort’s case. It was her own cause. The Embassy representatives unambiguously refused to get involved in any way, as we were convinced that this is a strictly U.S. domestic matter.

The investigations are ongoing into illegal spying, working with foreign intelligence agencies, misusing government agencies, etc. During the 2016 campaign Hillary Clinton is reported to have emailed Donna Brazile the following:

“If that f***in’ bastard wins, we’re all going to hang from nooses! You better fix this sh*t!” – Hillary Clinton email to Donna Brazile, October 17 2016

I have heard similar statements from Hillary Clinton reported by various sources and have always wondered what she was talking about. I think we are about to find out.

The article at The Hill concludes:

Chaly over the years has tried to portray his role as Ukraine’s ambassador in Washington as one of neutrality during the 2016 election. But in August 2016 he raised eyebrows in some diplomatic circles when he wrote an op-ed in The Hill skewering Trump for some of his comments on Russia. “Trump’s comments send wrong message to world,” Chaly’s article blared in the headline.

In his statement to me, Chaly said he wrote the op-ed because he had been solicited for his views by The Hill’s opinion team.

Chaly’s office also acknowledged that a month after the op-ed, President Poroshenko met with then-candidate Clinton during a stop in New York. The office said the ambassador requested a similar meeting with Trump but it didn’t get organized.

Though Chaly and Telizhenko disagree on what Ukraine did after it got Chalupa’s request, they confirm that a paid contractor of the DNC solicited their government’s help to find dirt on Trump that could sway the 2016 election.

For a Democratic Party that spent more than two years building the now-disproven theory that Trump colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election, the tale of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington feels just like a speeding political boomerang.

What Many Americans Believe

Last night during her show, Laura Ingraham ran a Twitter poll to see how many people in her audience disagreed with the Senate’s move to block President Trump’s emergency declaration to build a wall on our southern border.

This is a screenshot of the poll results:

Her audience is conservative, but I still think the margin is very interesting. Senators might consider this poll when making their decisions this week.

Bias Is As Much About What Isn’t Reported As How News Is Slanted

Newsbusters posted an article yesterday about the report that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no material evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. You might think that after two years and millions of dollars spent on an investigation, that might be news. You might think that, but evidently the major news media disagrees with you.

The article reports:

It’s been two days since NBC’s exclusive reporting that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no material evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and as of yet none of the three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have given it even a single second of coverage in their evening newscasts. Considering these networks have given the Russia probe a massive 2,202 minutes of airtime, their silence on this major development is deafening. 

MRC analysts examining all coverage on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and the NBC Nightly News found that those 2,202 minutes spent on the Russia investigation accounted for nearly 19 percent of all Trump-related reporting between January 21, 2017 and February 10, 2019. However none of those three shows have even mentioned the investigation since NBC’s report came out on February 12.

The situation has been much the same on those networks’ flagship morning shows. Neither CBS This Morning nor NBC’s Today have even acknowledged this new information from Senate investigators since the news broke on February 12. ABC’s Good Morning America briefly touched on it in a news brief totaling less than one minute on February 13. 

In that segment, ABC’s Mary Bruce focused only on the public disagreement between Republican Chairman Richard Burr and Democratic Ranking Member Mark Warner. She failed to acknowledge NBC’s reporting that other Democrats on the Committee had agreed with Burr’s finding that thus far, they had found no direct evidence of collusion.

The article concludes:

Over the past two years, broadcast evening news shows have spent more than 36 hours haranguing viewers about potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Given their keen interest in the subject, you might expect a bipartisan group of investigators finding “no material evidence” of collusion to be newsworthy. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

And there are still some people who wonder why most Americans do not trust the mainstream media.

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.

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.

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.

Who Is James Wolfe?

Who is James Wolfe, and why does it matter? On Thursday, American Greatness posted an article about James Wolfe, a former staff employee of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).

The article reports:

Late Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Wolfe to two months in jail for one count of lying to the FBI; the prosecution had asked for 24 months. After a tearful apology to the judge, Wolfe essentially escaped with a slap on the wrist. Outrageous.

Wolfe, 58, was a key player in the leaking strategy employed by anti-Trump bureaucrats to seed bogus Trump-Russia collusion stories in the news media during the administration’s early months. Entrusted with safekeeping the committee’s most secret documents, Wolfe was caught passing off the information to four reporters. One of the journalists, Ali Watkins, was at least 30 years his junior; their three-year affair began when she was a college intern working for a Washington, D.C. news organization.

The first lesson here is don’t let your daughters be interns in Washington–there are a lot of older men walking around with evil intentions. The second lesson is more serious. James Wolfe was leaking classified information to newspapers with the intention of discrediting the Trump administration. He then lied about his actions when caught. He is looking at two months in jail. General Flynn has agreed to a plea of lying to investigators. He has lost his house, been financially ruined, etc. I realize that there is probably much more to that case than the public is aware of, but it seems to me that General Flynn’s actual crime was agreeing to be part of the Trump administration. His treatment by those in the ‘deep state’ was meant to send a message to anyone who was willing to be part of the Trump administration. The Mafia has been known to use similar tactics.

The article continues:

When confronted by the FBI about the affair and the disclosure of classified information to the other reporters, Wolfe repeatedly lied both during a personal interview and on a questionnaire. The investigation into Wolfe’s activities was so critical and risky that “the FBI’s executive leadership took the extraordinary step of limiting its notification to two individuals—the Chair and Vice Chair of the [committee]. Had this delicate balance not been achieved, this situation could easily have resulted in the possible disruption of information flow—an untenable degradation of national security oversight.”

Sounds a little bit more consequential than a phone conversation about Russian sanctions, right?

But here is the real injustice: While it was clear by both the original indictment and the sentencing memo that Wolfe was responsible for disclosing details about the FISA warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, he was not charged with that crime—a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The investigation into Wolfe began after the Washington Post published an explosive story in April 2017 confirming that the FBI had obtained a FISA order right before the election to spy on Page.

“There was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia,” the Post reported. “This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump associate was in touch with Russian agents. Such contacts are now at the center of an investigation into whether the campaign coordinated with the Russian government to swing the election in Trump’s favor.” The information was given to the reporters “on the condition of anonymity because [the sources] were not authorized to discuss details of a counterintelligence probe.”

James Wolfe belongs in prison for much longer than two months. Until we have equal justice under the law, we will not have our republic. The press is supposed to be holding elected officials and other bureaucrats accountable–not putting their thumb on the scales of justice.

When Congress Fails To Do Its Job, The Executive Branch Has To Do It

The Washington Times posted an article today about the Farm Bill that was recently passed. The House of Representatives added a more stringent work requirement to the Food Stamps Program, but the Senate eliminated the requirement. Thus the Farm Bill as it currently stands puts a 20-hour-per-week work requirement only on people between the ages of 18 and 49 who receive food stamps.

The article reports:

President Trump moved Thursday to tighten work requirements for people who receive food stamps, after Congress failed to include the proposal in a $400 billion farm bill that’s headed to the president’s desk.

The Agriculture Department said it is proposing a rule on Mr. Trump’s orders that would move “more able-bodied recipients” of food stamps back into working at least 20 hours per week.

“Long-term reliance on government assistance has never been part of the American dream,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “As we make benefits available to those who truly need them, we must also encourage participants to take proactive steps toward self-sufficiency. Moving people to work is common-sense policy, particularly at a time when the unemployment rate is at a generational low.”

…Currently, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without children are required to work 20 hours a week to keep their food-stamp benefits. The House measure would have raised the age of recipients subject to work requirements from 49 to 59 and required parents with children older than 6 to work or participate in job training.

The Labor Force Participation Rate currently stands at 52.9 percent. The Unemployment Rate currently stands at 3.7 percent. Wages at all levels have risen under President Trump. Inflation for 2018 is slightly over 2 percent. There is no reason anyone collecting food stamps cannot find a place to work for 20 hours a week or enter a job-training program that will help them find a job that pays enough for them to get off of food stamps. The Agriculture Department is doing the right thing in looking into strengthening the work requirements to collect food stamps.

Thank You, Goernor Ducey

Fox91 in Arizona announced today that Governor Doug Ducey has appointed Representative Martha McSally to replace U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl in the U.S. Senate seat that belonged to Sen. John McCain. Senator Kyl had only agreed to serve until the end of 2018.

Just as an aside, we have lost the vision of our Founding Fathers when Senators hold a Senate seat long enough to die while in office and have the Senate seat they vacated referred to as their seat. It wasn’t John McCain’s seat any more than the seat in Massachusetts was Ted Kennedy’s seat. However, these men had been in office for so long it was as if they owned the seat. That is not what our Founding Fathers intended–Congressmen were supposed to serve one or two terms and then return to public life to live under the laws they passed. In 1992, former Senator George McGovern wrote a letter to The Wall Street Journal about what he had learned since leaving office. Please follow the link and read the letter. It perfectly illustrates our current problems in Washington.

The article at Fox91 reports:

McSally is a two-term congresswoman who was long considered for the Senate by the state’s GOP establishment. The first female combat pilot, McSally rose to the rank of colonel in the Air Force before entering politics. She got a taste for it through working for Kyl’s office as a national security aide.

McSally represented a swing district in Tucson that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. She carved out a reputation as a moderate who could win tough elections. That went out the window during her Senate campaign this year. She had been critical of President Donald Trump in 2016 but praised him during the midterm election. Facing a primary challenge from her right, McSally embraced a tougher stance on immigration.

Hopefully Ms. McSally will vote with the President to keep our country’s borders secure.

What’s Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander

Much has been made about contracts President Trump entered into with sexual partners that were supposed to buy their silence. We saw how well that worked. Meanwhile Congress had a slush fund used to pay off sexual harassment claims and other matters dealing with misbehavior on the part of Congressmen. That fund was paid for by taxpayers.

The Daily Wire reported yesterday that the House of Representatives and the Senate passed a bill yesterday (by unanimous consent) that will require Congressmen to pay out of pocket for settlements with former staffers and aides who accuse them of sexual misconduct and will not be allowed to rely on taxpayer money to defend themselves in lawsuits brought by former colleagues.

The article reports:

The Huffington Post reports that the bill goes a bit further than just limiting cash flow, reforming a grievance reporting system mired in the 1990s: “Under the current law, which has been in place since 1995, Capitol Hill staffers who claim they’ve been harassed or discriminated against have to undergo counseling, mandatory arbitration and a 30-day ‘cooling off’ period before going to court. They won’t have to do any of that anymore.”

The bill doesn’t accomplish everything Speier [Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)] set out to do. The provisions within the bill are limited to sexual harassment claims and sexual misconduct claims only — not claims of discrimination, even if those claims are sexual in nature. The bill also does not provide representation to alleged victims free of charge. Although those two requests were in the House version of the bill, Senate leadership encouraged the bill’s authors to pursue those objectives in separate legislation.

This is a mixed victory. One aspect of being in the public eye is that you are vulnerable to false claims made by people seeking money. In corporations, the corporations simply pay the ‘victim’ without confirming the charges because in the long run that is cheaper and easier. One example that comes to mind is a company in Massachusetts that awarded a large settlement to an employee who claimed sexual harassment. The company paid the claim despite the fact that the employee had lived with the person she made the charges against and actually had two children with him. Rather than debate the circumstances, the company paid. Not all charges against Congressmen are valid, and it is actually easier (and probably cheaper) to pay all of them. This may not actually be a step forward.

Misplacing The Blame

For years the Republicans told us that if they controlled the House of Representatives and the Senate, they would repeal ObamaCare, defund Planned Parenthood, and build a border wall. We gave them the House and the Senate. Then they said they couldn’t do what they said because they didn’t have the Presidency. So we gave them the Presidency. We were so naive. When they knew their votes on these matters would not be vetoed, they broke the promises they made to the voters and voted against repealing, defunding, and building.

On Thursday Breitbart posted an article about some recent comments by Tucker Carlson.

The article reports:

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in an interview Thursday that President Donald Trump has succeeded as a conversation starter but has failed to keep his most important campaign promises.

“His chief promises were that he would build the wall, de-fund Planned Parenthood, and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson told Urs Gehriger of the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche.

“I’ve come to believe that Trump’s role is not as a conventional president who promises to get certain things achieved to the Congress and then does,” said Carlson, whose new book Ship of Fools is a New York Times bestseller.

I like Tucker Carlson. I enjoy his TV show, but I think he is totally wrong on this. Republicans in Congress also made these promises. They had the votes to keep all of these promises, pass the laws needed, and send the bills to President Trump for his signature. I don’t think the problem is President Trump. I think the problem is Republicans in Congress that have reneged on their promises because of the groups that are funding their campaigns. Opensecrets.org is the website that tracks campaign donations. If you want to know why we don’t have a border wall, look at the expenditures of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They are a group that likes the cheap labor of a porous border. The contribute heavily to Republican lawmakers. That is one reason there is no border wall. There won’t be as long as the Congressmen who receive money from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are in office. If you want to know why Planned Parenthood is still getting government money, look at the campaign donations they make. How much money is the healthcare lobby pouring into Congress? The problem is not President Trump.

Voting Problems In Texas

Yesterday The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth reported the following:

A Fort Worth woman recently indicted on voter fraud charges paid others involved in the scheme with funds provided by a former Tarrant County Democratic Party leader, court documents filed this week say.

After learning about a state investigation, Leticia Sanchez — one of four women arrested and indicted on voter fraud charges — allegedly directed her daughter to send a text message to others in the scheme, urging them not to cooperate with investigators, state officials say.

The allegations are made in the state’s notice of intent to introduce evidence in Sanchez’s criminal case, where state officials say she was among those who collaborated to vote for certain down-ballot candidates with a number of north side residents’ mail-in ballots.

The notice, filed Tuesday, states that Sanchez engaged in organized criminal activity in collaboration with her three co-defendants; Stuart Clegg, a former executive director for the Tarrant County Democratic Party; and others.

The article reports that the voter fraud included illegally obtained mail-in ballots Forged signatures were also used on absentee ballots and mail in ballots.

The article continues:

Earlier this month, four women were arrested — Sanchez, her daughter, Leticia Sanchez Tepichin, and Rosa Solis and Laura Parra — after being indicted on more than two dozen felony counts of voter fraud.

Officials allege the women were paid to target older voters on the city’s north side “in a scheme to generate a large number of mail ballots and then harvest those ballots for specific candidates in 2016.”

The notice did not specify which candidates the suspects were allegedly paid to support, but it noted that Sanchez and others marked down-ballot candidates “without the voter’s knowledge or consent.”

AG officials have said these charges “are in connection with the 2016 Democratic primary, but the case has connections with the 2015 city council election.”

AG spokesman Jeff Hillery declined to comment when asked if any other charges would be filed.

This development comes as early voting for the Nov. 6 midterm election is underway. Voters may vote early through Nov. 2. Election Day is Nov. 6.

The article suggests that the arrest and indictment of Ms. Sanchez may be a political move because it occurred right before the election, but it seems to me that the time to find and deal with voter fraud issues is before the election. People need to know that there are consequences for committing voter fraud.

A report from The Star-Telegram today warns voters to check the voting machines carefully before recording their votes.

The article reports:

Texas voters: Take your time when casting ballots.

This advice comes as state election officials receive complaints across the state from early voters casting straight tickets on Hart eSlate machines who believe the machines changed their votes.

Two complaints, reported through a third party, have been made in Tarrant County, said Heider Garcia, elections administrator.

“We have … tested everything,” he said. “We don’t have any indication that there’s a technical issue.”

The Texas Secretary of State’s Office has issued a statement about the issue.

The article cites one example:

Evelyn Brown, a 63-year-old longtime Fort Worth voter, said she had a problem voting this week.

She had gone to the Southwest Community Center on Welch Avenue and had cast a straight party ticket.

When she reviewed the summary, she saw that her choice in the U.S. Senate race — which pits Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz against Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke — had flipped to the candidate in the other party.

She spent seven or eight minutes trying to move back to change the candidate in that race, but wasn’t successful.

“I’m accustomed to using the booth,” she said. “I used the keys that let you move forward and back. It didn’t move at all. It was stuck.”

So she called the election judge over who ended up calling the Tarrant County Elections Office.

In the end, the election judge had to at least temporarily put that machine out of service. He moved Brown to a different machine, where she said she was able to cast a vote for all the candidates of her choice.

Vote carefully, Your country depends on it.

Abandoning What You Probably Never Read

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted a commentary with the headline, “Democrats Abandon the Constitution.” Actually they did that a long time ago, which is why they were so upset at the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh–he might work to bring it back.

The commentary goes on to list some of the basic tenets of the Constitution that the Democrats are currently railing against:

Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court has sparked a firestorm of outrage and recrimination on the left. Some attacks seem aimed at intimidating the justices into supporting progressive causes. “The Court must now prove—through its work—that it is worthy of the nation’s trust,” Eric Holder, President Obama’s attorney general, tweeted Oct. 6.

Yet the attacks go beyond ideology. Detractors of Justice Kavanaugh and President Trump are denouncing the Constitution itself and the core elements of America’s governmental structure:

  • The Electoral College. Mr. Trump’s opponents claim he is an illegitimate president because Hillary Clinton “won the popular vote.” One commentator even asked “what kind of nation allows the loser of a national election to become president.” The complaint that the Electoral College is undemocratic is nothing new. The Framers designed it that way. They created a republican form of government, not a pure democracy, and adopted various antimajoritarian measures to keep the “demos” in check.

The Electoral College could be eliminated by amending the Constitution. But proposing an amendment requires two-thirds votes in both houses of Congress, and the legislatures of three-fourths, or 38, of the states would have to ratify it.

  • The Senate. The complaint here is that the 50 senators who voted in Justice Kavanaugh’s favor “represent” fewer people than the 48 who voted against him. But senators represent states, not people.

Equal Senate representation for the states was a key part of the Connecticut Compromise, along with House seats apportioned by population. The compromise persuaded large and small states alike to accept the new Constitution. It was so fundamental that Article V of the Constitution—which spells out the amendment procedure—provides that “no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.” That means an amendment changing the structure of the Senate would require ratification by all 50 states.

  • Judicial independence. Commentators who disapprove of the Supreme Court’s composition have urged, as one law professor put it, “shrinking the power of the courts to overrun our citizens’ democratic decisions.” Some suggest limiting and staggering the justices’ terms so that a vacancy would come up every other year, ensuring that the court follows the election returns. That could be achieved via constitutional amendment, but it would go against the Framers’ wisdom. As Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 78, life tenure for judges is “the best expedient which can be devised in any government, to secure a steady, upright and impartial administration of the laws.”

What we have hear is a living example of what happens when you don’t teach American history and the principles of the Constitution in schools. The people calling for these changes have no concept of how our government was designed or the safeguards that were put in it. Their desire is to take those safeguards out and institute mob rule. That has not worked well in other places, and I seriously doubt it would work well here. It was what our Founding Fathers sought to avoid.

The commentary concludes:

The anger and disappointment of Justice Kavanaugh’s opponents is understandable, as would be that of his supporters if the vote had gone the other way. They are perfectly entitled to pursue political remedies, including using his appointment as a campaign issue. They also are entitled to pursue amendments to the Constitution that would make our system of government more responsive to the popular will. What they cannot do is overturn the Connecticut Compromise guaranteeing each state equal representation in the Senate, or launch unconstitutional investigations or impeachment of a sitting Supreme Court justice. The Constitution protects all of us, even Supreme Court justices.

True.

The Timetable On The Vote On Judge Kavanaugh

Below is a quote from Tucker Carlson regarding the timing of the vote on Judge Kavanaugh. The remarks were made on the Tucker Carlson show last week. The transcript is from the Tea Party:

Tucker Carlson: Here are the basic facts about it. According to the original schedule most of us assumed was real two weeks ago the senate should have already voted on the nomination by now and Kavanaugh almost certainly would have been confirmed. He had the numbers. And then the wrinkle. Democrats leaked the name of Christine Ford to the press. For alleges that sometime back in high school, about 36 year ago, Kavanaugh jumped on her at a party and groped her over her clothes. She’s provided very few details including when and where it allegedly happened. Kavanaugh has denied the story entirely and so has the other person Ford said was present, a man named Mark Judge. That’s pretty much what we know. In order to know more we’re going to need to hear from Christine Ford. But both sides once agreed on that because it’s obvious she should have a chance to speak. Everyone thought that was a good idea. It was a consensus view. Republicans in the senate asked for her to testify this week, she refused. They offered to send a staff to her house in California to take her testimony privately and she refused that too. Finally they asked her to testify this coming Monday, she said she won’t but she won’t explain why she won’t. Ford’s attorneys now say she’s willing to explain herself in the senate next Thursday.

Thursday is a significant date in this story. Because of senate rules which are complex, if Ford testifies next Thursday the vote on Kavanaugh will be pushed back at least another week. In this environment that very well means – forever. His nomination will be over.

And So will any Trump nomination to the court. There is a time before the midterms for the White House to introduce and vet a new candidate. Democrats will have prevented the president from filling this vacancy. We’ll have just eight justices for the foreseeable future. And probably until there is another Democratic president. You may have voted for Trump in hope that he would put reasonable people on the Supreme Court. But TOUGH!

In another story, I will explain why the charges against Judge Kavanaugh are questionable at best. However, the above quote shows the end game–block this nomination at any cost.

When Your ‘Moment’ Becomes A Total Disaster

Yesterday there was a litmus test to see how well informed voters are. Those who pay close attention shook their heads in disbelief at the grandstanding; those who do not pay close attention were impressed by what they thought was courage. Of course, I am talking about Corey Booker’s performance at the Kavanaugh hearings yesterday.

Today Townhall posted an article about Corey Booker’s Emily Litella moment. For any youngsters who might be reading this, Emily Litella was an early Saturday Night Live character played by Gilda Radner. She was known for saying “never mind” after totally misunderstanding and misreporting a news story.

Townhall reports:

Booker’s theatrics came at the very beginning of the hearing. He interrupted Chairman Chuck Grassley’s opening remarks to announce that he had broken Senate rules and released “committee confidential” documents about Kavanaugh’s opinions on racial profiling. He even referred to himself as “Spartacus,” as if he was some kind of martyr. 

Well, two things. First, it turns out that those “confidential” documents he was talking about had already been cleared for release. Bill Burck, the former Bush administration lawyer overseeing the production of Kavanaugh’s documents, said so in an email, adding he was surprised by Booker’s histrionics.

“Yes, we cleared the documents last night shortly after Senator Booker’s staff asked us to,” Burck said. “I was surprised to learn about Senator Booker’s histrionics this morning because we had already told him he could use the documents publicly.”

So, his “sacrificial” heroics were all for show. Second, the document in question showed Kavanaugh was against racial profiling. So, just like that, both of his narratives were debunked.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reacted to Booker’s display Friday morning on Fox News by giving his colleague some friendly advice.

“If you’re gonna use a document to disqualify a nominee, read it,” Graham suggested. “If you read the damn thing,” he added, you’ll see that Kavanaugh “was against racial profiling.”

Please understand that Corey Booker is planning to run for President in 2020 on the Democrat ticket. I hope he puts someone on his staff that can read. Otherwise, we can look forward to many Emily Litella moments in the coming two years.

Where Is The Younger Generation?

A baby boomer is our current President. Chances are, if the economy continues to grow, he will serve two terms. Logically in 2024, Mike Pence would run. So who would the Democrats run in 2020 and 2024? The Democrats are a party in flux–half of them are openly embracing socialism and half of them are trying to bring their party more into the mainstream of America.

The Hill posted an article recently about the Democrat field of candidates for President in 2020.

The article reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are the most popular potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, according to a new American Barometer poll. 

The poll, which is a joint project of Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, showed Biden with a 50 percent favorable rating, while Sanders trailed with a 48 percent favorable rating. 

Only 31 percent of those polled said they viewed the former vice president unfavorably. A third of respondents said they viewed Sanders unfavorably. 

The survey comes as speculation swirls around a slew of potential Democratic contenders, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Cory Booker (N.J.), who could challenge President Trump in 2020. 

Warren held the highest favorable rating among Democratic senators listed in the survey, with 33 percent of those polled saying they held a favorable view of the senator.

The poll showed Gillibrand holding a 20 percent favorable rating, while 21 percent of respondents said they have a favorable view of Harris, and 23 percent said the same for Booker.  

Name recognition remains an obstacle for many Democratic contenders. 

Thirty-four percent of respondents said they had never heard of Gillibrand, while 36 percent said the same for Harris. Thirty-two percent of respondents had not heard of Booker.

Only 4 percent of those polled said they had never heard of Biden or Sanders. 

I realize that you have to be 35 to be President, but you don’t have to be over 60! Bernie Sanders is 76, and Joe Biden is 75. They are leading in the polls. Elizabeth Warren is 69. The younger contenders are Kirsten Gillibrand is 51, Kamala Harris is 53, and Cory Booker at 49 is the youngest of the group.

Where are the millenniums in either party?

In November 2017, Quorum posted the following chart about the House of Representatives:

This is the Senate:

Where are our young political leaders?

 

The Democrat Party Moves Further Left

Yesterday The Los Angeles Times reported that California Democrat leaders have endorsed Kevin de León for Senate in a stinging rebuke of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. Senator Feinstein has been in the Senate since 1992. While some voters might see her an a poster child for term limits, she has been a mostly rational voice on the liberal side of the aisle during her time in the Senate. However, she has been rejected in favor of someone who has espoused views very much to the left of her views.

The article reports:

De León’s campaign has focused on the party’s energized liberal faction. He supports single-payer healthcare, aggressive goals for renewable energy and helped lead the successful effort to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. He has criticized Feinstein, known for having moderate tendencies, for being too conciliatory toward Trump, such as when she urged people to have “patience” with the president last year.

Senator Feinstein needs to remember that today’s Democrat party does not allow ‘moderate tendencies.’ It will be interesting to see in November if Americans in states other than California approve of ‘moderate tendencies.’

Why The Republican Party Is Losing Voters

The 2016 Republican Platform includes the following on Page 8:

Reducing the Federal Debt

Our national debt is a burden on our economy and families. The huge increase in the national debt demanded by and incurred during the current Administration has placed a significant burden on future generations. We must impose firm caps on future debt, accelerate the repayment of the trillions we now owe in order to reaffirm our principles of responsible and limited government, and remove the burdens we are placing on future generations. A strong economy is one key to debt reduction, but spending restraint is a necessary component that must be vigorously pursued.

On May 10, 2018, CNS News reported:

The federal government collected a record $2,007,451,000,000 in total taxes through the first seven months of fiscal 2018 (October through April), but still ran a deficit for that period of $385,444,000,000, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

It’s the spending–not the revenue–that is the problem. So what are Republicans doing about it?

On May 8, 2018, The Washington Times posted the following:

House GOP leaders vowed Tuesday to speed President Trump’s new $15.4 billion spending cuts proposal through their chamber, brushing aside complaints from Democrats and some Republicans over the trims the White House wants to see.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday predicted the House will pass the package, which includes 38 cuts to programs and generally involves money that’s sitting unused.

So what happened when the bill reached the Senate?

The Daily Haymaker posted the story today:

Senators voted Wednesday to block President Trump’s $15.4 billion spending cuts package, with lawmakers saying it trimmed the budget too much.

Brushing aside administration promises that the cuts were chiefly to money that was never going to be spent, the Senate voted 50-48 to keep the bill bottled up. Two Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine and Richard Burr of North Carolina — joined Democrats to defeat the package.[…]

So if the Republicans won’t even cut spending on money that wasn’t even spent, why in the world should I vote for them? Didn’t they read their own platform? How long could you run up your credit card before creditors would start clamoring for their money? Is the government any different?

 

This Might Actually Be A Serious Proposal

CNS News posted an article today about an item that will appear on the ballot in California in November.

The article reports:

The State of California is “nearly ungovernable,” given its “diverse population and economies.” So says a newly qualified ballot initiative that would split California into three states — maybe — if voters approve the proposal in November.

The summary posted online by the State Attorney General’s office says the split would require the approval of Congress and undoubtedly the courts. If all parties approved the plan, “all tax collections and spending by the existing State of California would end. California’s existing state assets and liabilities would be divided among three new states. These states would make their own decisions about state and local taxes and spending.”

One of the new states would be named Northern California (or a name to be chosen by the people of that state). It would encompass 40 northern counties, including San Francisco and its surrounds.

The second state, tentatively named California, would include only six counties: Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

The third new state, to be named Southern California (or a name chosen by the people), would include 12 counties, including Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Tulare.

Los Angeles Times cartoonist David Horsey has already proposed names for the three new states:

Los Angeles Times cartoonist David Horsey suggested naming the Northern California/Napa area “Weed” or “Merlot”; he suggested that the Silicon Valley area be named “iState”; and Los Angeles/Hollywood could be called “Bling.”)

The article points out two aspects of this change if it is voted in–first, California would then have six representatives in the Senate–making it more influential than states with only two representatives (but there is no guarantee all six senators would agree on anything). Secondly, California votes in the Electoral College might be split between candidates–giving Republicans votes from a state that generally does not give them Electoral Votes.

It will be interesting to see exactly how this plays out.

The Right To Try Bill

Yesterday President Trump signed a “Right to Try” bill. The bill had been introduced in the Senate on January 24, 2017. It passed the Senate in August of 2017, The bill passed the House of Representatives in May 2018.  This is the link to view the text of the bill.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article on the bill.

The New York Post reported:

President Trump signed a bill on Wednesday that will let terminally ill people use experimental drugs, citing the meds’ ability to save “tremendous numbers of lives.”

…The measure gives terminally ill patients the ability to seek drug treatments that​ haven’t been fully approved by the FDA.

More than 1 million Americans die from a terminal illness each year, the White House said.

During the ceremony, Trump also said that in two weeks, major drug companies will announce “voluntary drops in prices.”

Hopefully this bill will be helpful to medical research and will keep all of us healthier for longer.