It’s About Time

Anyone who has raised children understands that when they are doing things they are not supposed to do they are either very quiet or behind closed doors. Unfortunately, that can also be true for adults. The latest example of that concept is the fact that the House of Representatives, without taking a vote, has been conducting impeachment hearings behind closed doors. The most frustrating aspect of this is the Republicans who have not had the backbone to fight what is obviously unconstitutional. Well, that is about to change.

Yesterday CNS News reported that House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), introduced a rule change (H. Res. 639) to allow all members of Congress access to ongoing impeachment proceedings, including depositions and transcribed interviews. The only thing better than that would be to let the American people have access to these things.

The article reports:

House Intel Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) “has no intention of conduction a fair and open process” and wants to impeach the president of the United States through a secret, closed-door effort, Scalise charged:

“The American people’s elected representatives have been denied access to relevant documents and the opportunity to attend depositions and transcribed interviews. Chairman Schiff wants to impeach President Trump behind closed doors and clearly has no intention of conducting a fair and open process. We demand transparency.

“For the sake of our republic, Members of Congress must have access to proceedings with such monumental and dangerous consequences. Will House Democrats respect precedent and commit to transparency? Or will Speaker Pelosi continue to hold her sham impeachment inquiry in secret?”

“Real due process, which is part of our Constitutional duty, is being denied, in secret – that’s what’s happening in that room right now,” Scalise said in a House floor speech urging the rule change.

This is the Resolution:

‘‘Open and Transparent Impeachment Investigation Resolution’’

A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner shall not be excluded from non-participatory attendance at committee proceedings related to matters referred to by the Speaker in her announcement of September 24, 2019, including transcribed interviews and depositions, notwithstanding regulations issued by the chair of the Committee on Rules pursuant to section 103(a)(2) of H. Res. 6, at the following committees:

(1) Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

(2) Committee on Oversight and Reform.

(3) Committee on Foreign Affairs.

(4) Committee on Financial Services.

(5) Committee on Ways and Means.

(6) Committee on the Judiciary.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

When Hearings Don’t Really Want To Hear Anyone Who Doesn’t Fit Their Narrative

Yesterday House Republican Whip Steve Scalise wrote an op-ed piece for Fox News. The statement is included on his website.

This is the op-ed piece:

Statement for the Record

Republican Whip Steve Scalise

House Committee on the Judiciary

February 6, 2019

My name is Steve Scalise. I am the Congressman for Louisiana’s 1st District. I am the Republican Whip. I am also a target of gun violence.

Many of you may be familiar with the events of June 14, 2017. Around 7:00 AM, at the last morning practice before the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, an Illinois man named James Hodgkinson opened fire on myself and a group of Republican legislators and volunteers on an Alexandria, Va. baseball field.

Fortunately, as a member of House leadership, I was accompanied by my Capitol Police security detail who were able to return fire and engage the shooter until additional law enforcement officers arrived and ultimately took down the shooter. I was shot and nearly fatally wounded, and both of my detail agents were shot as well. I am alive today thanks to the bravery of U.S. Capitol Police and the Alexandria Police, heroes like Congressman Brad Wenstrup and the first responders who rushed to the scene, the incredible medical team at Washington MedStar Hospital Center, and most importantly the grace of God.

I applaud the intentions behind this hearing and believe we are all pursuing the same goal of reducing gun violence. As someone who experienced gun violence, I do not want anyone else to go through that trauma. However, it is also important to me that we be honest with ourselves and the American people about what will — or won’t — actually prevent these tragedies. The shooter who targeted me that morning was armed with an SKS rifle and a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun, both of which were purchased in compliance with Illinois gun laws.

The new gun control restrictions currently being considered by the Democratic majority in H.R. 8 would not have prevented my shooting.

In fact, these new gun control measures being proposed in H.R. 8 would not have prevented any number of recent mass violence events. Several perpetrators of recent multi-victim shootings also purchased their guns legally. In some instances, the background check system failed, and lack of intervention from law enforcement failed to intercept potential threats.

I want to stress that the man who shot me was issued a permit to purchase firearms by the state of Illinois, and had acquired them legally. At Virginia Tech, Charleston, and Sutherland Springs failures in the background check system allowed individuals to illegally obtain the firearms they used to commit their crimes. The alleged loopholes that H.R. 8 claims to fix would not have prevented these tragedies either.

Instead, whether intentionally or not, the gun control proposals in H.R. 8 could turn law abiding citizens into criminals while also failing to achieve the stated purpose of reducing gun violence.

A recent study by the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis and Johns Hopkins University into California’s effort to implement “comprehensive background checks” found that, “The simultaneous implementation of [the Comprehensive Background Check policy] and [prohibitions on firearm purchase and possession for persons convicted within the past 10 years of certain violent crimes classified as misdemeanors] was not associated with a net change in the firearm homicide rate over the ensuing 10 years in California.” Even though California implemented more stringent background checks, this study shows that these measures did not reduce gun violence.

In fact, most criminals obtain firearms through unlawful means — whether through theft, straw purchases, or lying on the required paperwork. A DOJ study of federal inmates found that only seven percent who possessed a firearm while committing the crime they were serving time for purchased it legally from a firearms dealer under their own name. Based on similar gun control measures in states like California, H.R. 8 would not deter a criminal from engaging in criminal activity, and it won’t decrease gun crime. Instead, it only succeeds in limiting the ways that law-abiding citizens could exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Every single month in America, law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits defend themselves and others against criminals who have guns. For example, on January 8th, a man approached a 25-year-old woman in Chicago, displayed a weapon, and attempted to rob her at a bus stop. The woman had a concealed carry permit. She drew her own weapon and fired a shot, killing the armed robber. The owner of a nearby pharmacy said such violence happens “all over” Chicago. However, in this case, the intended victim was able to defend herself with her own gun.

On January 2nd, a Good Samaritan in California with a concealed carry permit used his firearm to stop an attempted stabbing of a security guard and held the perpetrator until law enforcement could arrive at the scene.

On January 17th, a man at an IHOP in Alabama opened fire on employees, killing one before another employee pulled his handgun and killed the shooter in self-defense.

On January 29th, an armed robber held up a Family Dollar Store in Georgia. A customer was able to use a personal firearm to shoot and kill the robber before the criminal could hurt any of the many employees or customers in the store.

These are just some examples from the last month alone. There are hundreds of stories like these every single year from law-abiding Americans all over the country.

I am alive due to the effective and immediate response of my Capitol Police detail, and the Alexandria Police Department. Most victims of gun violence do not have law enforcement already on the scene to respond to a violent gunman. Instead of making it harder for citizens to defend themselves until law enforcement arrives, Congress should consider legislation like H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill that would help law-abiding citizens have the same tools to defend themselves as a criminal has of trying to inflict harm, regardless of where they travel.

I firmly believe we must never forget, nor minimize, the importance of the Second Amendment to our Constitution.

H.R. 8, as well as other new gun control legislation currently being considered by the House Democrat majority do not accomplish the goal of reducing gun violence.

If our goal is to reduce gun violence, then we should focus on penalizing criminals, not law-abiding citizens.

Thank you.

Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens does not make us safer. It is also unconstitutional. It will not reduce gun violence. The only thing that reduces gun violence is a good guy with a gun.

When You Are Convinced You Know It All

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

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

The article concludes:

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

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

There Are Unbalanced People On All Sides Of The Political Spectrum

In June of 2017, Steve Scalise was shot on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, by a Bernie Sanders supporter.

In June 2018, Maxine Waters said the following:

“If you think we’re rallying now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. You have members of your cabinet being booed out of restaurants. You have protesters taking up at their house. We say no peace, no sleep. No peace, so sleep. And guess what? We’re going to win this battle, because while you try to quote the Bible, Jeff Sessions and others, you really don’t know the Bible. God is on our side. On the side of the children. On the side of what’s right. On the side of what’s honorable. On the side of understanding that if we can’t protect the children, we can’t protect anybody, and so let’s stay the course. Let’s make sure that we show up where ever we have to show up. If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

How many Republican officials and lawmakers have been forced out of restaurants by angry mobs in recent months? The political rhetoric has reached a dangerous level in recent months. I do not think all of the blame for this falls on President Trump–I watched a few minutes of CNN yesterday and was truly surprised at the incendiary language used to malign the current President.

Today we have a suspect in the recent bombings. CNBC is reporting that the suspect has been in trouble with the law before.

The article reports:

Public records reveal that in 2002, Sayoc was arrested in Florida for allegedly making a threat to throw, place, project or discharge a destructive device, according to public records.

Sayoc, who is originally from New York, also had previously been arrested in Florida on multiple charges of theft and possession of steroids. He was convicted of grand theft in 1991 in Florida and placed on probation.

In 1994, a woman who had the same name as Sayoc’s grandmother accused him of domestic violence in the civil division of domestic violence court in Broward County, Florida. If it was Sayoc’s grandmother, she would have been about 80 years old at the time.

Sayoc filed for bankruptcy in 2012, public records show.

The mainstream media is making a big deal of the fact that the man is a registered Republican and has Trump stickers all over his van. I would just like to mention that one of the nicest people I know is a registered Republican and has Trump stickers all over his truck. The linking of this to President Trump is disingenuous at best and incendiary at worst.

Let’s tone down the rhetoric and try to work together to make America a better, safer place.

Whoops!

Yesterday, Newsbusters posted an article about the recent scandal involving House majority whip Steve Scalise.

The article reports:

Drat! Foiled again!

That is going to be the feeling of much of the mainstream media which has been incessantly pushing the narrative about House majority whip Steve Scalise supposedly speaking at a David Duke sponsored white supremacist event in 2002. It turns out that it never happened. Instead he spoke at a local neighborhood association. And who discovered this vital information? A very unexpected source, the liberal Slate.

The mix-up had something to do with Representative Scalise speaking at a different event in a small conference room in the same hotel as the event in question was held.

Kenny Knight, a longtime associate of David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan explains the confusion:

 Knight invited then–state Rep. Scalise as well as a representative from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and a person from the American Red Cross to speak to the civic association at the hotel. Knight said he thinks the Red Cross speaker was from a local chapter but didn’t remember specifically. He also said he didn’t remember the names of either of the other speakers. The representative from the sheriff’s department spoke to attendees about a neighborhood watch program, and the person from the Red Cross discussed CPR techniques. Scalise also spoke.

 Whoops!

 

Observing The Double Standard

It’s always interesting to see how the press covers the occasional misdeeds of our political leaders. Recently, however, it has reached the point of absurdity. Jonah Goldberg posted an article at National Review Online today which showed some concrete examples of the double standard at work.

One of the recent examples is the attack on GOP House whip Steve Scalise because he spoke to a group of racists twelve years ago. No one seems to care what he said–so far I have seen no record of his comments–the uproar is because he addressed the group. Representative Scalise claims that he had no idea what the view of the group were (there was no ‘google’ then). But let’s look on the other side. The article points out:

Barack Obama was friends with a domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers. His spiritual mentor was a vitriolic racist, Jeremiah Wright. One of his administration’s closest advisers and allies is Al Sharpton, a man who has inspired enough racial violence to make a grand dragon’s white sheets turn green with envy.

Meanwhile, the Democratic party venerated the late senator Robert Byrd, a former Klansmen himself. He was one of 19 senators (all Democrats) to sign the Southern Manifesto opposing integration. One of his co-signers was William Fulbright, Bill Clinton’s mentor.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

There are other examples in the article:

Peaceful, law-abiding tea-party groups who cleaned up after their protests — and got legal permits for them — were signs of nascent fascism lurking in the American soul. Violent, anarchic, and illegal protests by Occupy Wall Street a few years ago or, more recently, in Ferguson, Mo., were proof that a new idealistic generation was renewing its commitment to idealism.

When rich conservatives give money to Republicans, it is a sign that the whole system has been corrupted by fat cats. When it is revealed that liberal billionaires and left-wing super PACs outspent conservative groups in 2014: crickets.

That is just the way the mainstream media sees and reports it. Remember this as we go into the 2016 election season. Don’t believe everything you hear.