Fighting Back Legally

The American Spectator posted an article today about the ongoing legal case of General Flynn. As you know, General Flynn’s new lawyer, Sidney Powell, is the author of the book Licensed to Lie, which details government abuses in cases against Enron and Ted Stevens among others. Ms. Powell has a very clear understanding of prosecutorial misconduct and how to deal with it.

The article at The American Spectator details a case in which a policeman charged with rape was able to get the charges dropped by shedding light on the actions of the prosecutors regarding the witnesses. The article refers to this as ‘graymail’ and suggests that this tactic will be used by Ms. Powell to defend General Flynn.

The article reports:

As you may recall, there are many disturbing questions surrounding the federal government’s investigation, arrest, and prosecution of Flynn. Although he has pled guilty to a flimsy and corruptly contrived charge of lying to the FBI, that plea came about after he had — according to media reports — bankrupted himself by paying $4 million in legal fees to the Washington law firm that represented him prior to Powell. In short, it appears that Flynn pled guilty because he couldn’t afford any more justice.

In addition to the law firm’s impressive professional achievement of turning a mere guilty plea proceeding into a reported $4 million payday, the known facts and circumstances surrounding the Flynn case are equally remarkable. We know that the charges arise out of an ambush interview orchestrated by former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe regarding contacts that Flynn, the incoming Trump administration’s National Security Adviser, had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. According to Powell’s thorough, broadly worded, and aggressive discovery motion, recently produced (and previously withheld) government documents disclosed that “Flynn passed his polygraph test in 2016 and his security clearance was renewed. This was at the same time the FBI seems to have been investigating him under the pretext that he was an ‘agent of Russia’ and/or of Turkey. Interestingly, the new production also shows that [former Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper refused to assist in the investigation for Mr. Flynn’s security clearance, which Mr. Flynn received after a full investigation despite Mr. Clapper’s actions.” In addition, at the bar of the Court, Powell advised U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan that the recently disclosed documents showed the government had concluded that Flynn was neither a Russian nor a Turkish agent.

The article notes:

So why and how was Flynn targeted for destruction by the FBI and Justice Department? Powell’s discovery motion seeks answers to these questions by demanding the production of evidence exposing the links between the investigation and prosecution of Flynn to the Obama administration’s efforts to target, spy on, and frame Donald Trump.

The article goes on to list the documents requested.

The article concludes:

Moreover, if Judge Sullivan grants the defense even partial relief, the prosecutors will then be faced with a bitter choice, to wit:

(a) They can produce the damning evidence of the government’s corrupt activities in order to continue the prosecution of their ludicrous and petty false statements case against Flynn. Or (b) the prosecutors can do the smart thing by dropping the charges and quietly disappearing into the witness protection program.

If the prosecutors want my advice, in the event Judge Sullivan grants any part of Powell’s lethal motion, they should pick option (b) and ask the U.S. Marshal’s Service to relocate them to Arizona. I hear it’s nice there in the winter, and retirees can live comfortably on even a modest government pension.

I really like Plan B.

What The Democrats Are Really Afraid Of

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

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

The article notes:

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

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

The article concludes:

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

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

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

The presidential election of 2020 will be very interesting.

Some Common-Sense Questions

Yesterday Ben Stein posted an article at The American Spectator which discussed some of the issues dealing with the idea of reparations. He points out a few basic facts that need to be considered in discussing the idea.

The article notes:

Slavery was so hideous a crime and caused so much pain and suffering that something should be done about it. But we face a lot of problems in the concept of reparations. For one thing, there were a fair number of black people who emancipated themselves through superhumanly hard work, then used their savings to buy slaves. How do we assess their liability?

For another, the conditions of slaves varied wildly. Some were house servants and lived halfway decent lives. Others worked like myrmidons in sugar cane fields and were literally whipped to death if they faltered. How do we account for this kind of difference in degree of suffering?

For yet another, some moved north immediately and led barely normal lives as did their children and grandchildren. Others stayed in the deep south and were subject to every kind of humiliation. How do we compare how much these two different groups are owed? If a black person voluntarily stayed in a horrible Jim Crow environment, what should be his progeny’s measure of damages as compared with that of the offspring of black people who moved to Des Moines?

Also, there is a chain of causation in many cases. One black tribe attacked and captured others then the captors sold their slaves to Arab slave traders who then sold the slaves to New England slave brokers.

…Also, who would be taxed for the reparations? The great majority of white Americans never owned any slaves. Why should they be taxed? The present population of America is by a wide margin the scions of Poles and Czechs and Italians and Chinese and Jews who never owned any slaves at all. Why should they be taxed at all for reparations?

Reparations sounds good to those who believe they might receive money, but the idea bears a strong resemblance to George McGovern’s campaign promise in 1972 that if elected he would give every American $1,000 (in 1972 that was real money). We all know how that campaign promise worked out–he lost forty-nine states. At any rate, the promise of free money to those who feel they are entitled to what other people earn has long been a staple of some politicians. What all Americans need to realize is that the government has no money of its own–any money it gives away is taken from someone who earned it.

Protecting American Women (Even When They May Not Want To Be Protected)

Planned Parenthood goes ballistic any time any changes are made to abortion laws in America. First of all, I need to mention that abortion should be a matter left to individual states. The U.S. Constitution (Tenth Amendment) states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Since abortion is not specifically delegated to the federal government, it should be left to the individual states. However, since Roe v. Wade. the federal government has pretty much taken charge on the issue. With that in mind, a recent Supreme Court case has allowed a change to abortion law that will protect women to stay in place. However, not everyone will see it that way.

The American Spectator posted an article today about the recent change.

The article reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition by Planned Parenthood to review an Arkansas statute requiring a provider of abortion-inducing drugs to have a contractual relationship with a doctor who has admitting privileges at a hospital. The point of the law is to assure that, if a patient has an adverse reaction to some abortifacient, there will be a physician and a hospital available to provide appropriate medical treatment.

No doctor was crazy enough to clean up behind Planned Parenthood, however, so the abortion mill sued. A district court did enjoin the statute, but that injunction was vacated by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Inevitably, SCOTUS found Planned Parenthood of Arkansas & Eastern Oklahoma v. Jegley lying on its doorstep. But the justices declined to take this legal orphan in, rejecting it without comment.

Abortion is a serious medical procedure. All medical procedures have risks. I had a friend who had a mole removed and died in the recovery room. The unexpected is always a possibility. Having a doctor with admitting privileges at a hospital on call when an abortion is taking place–whether it is drug induced or surgical–is a good idea. It protects women.

Not Really A Surprise

The American Spectator posted an article today that tells us everything we already knew about ObamaCare. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just released a report about uninsured Americans.

The article reports:

Anyone with the intestinal fortitude to subject themselves to the legacy media will have seen countless “news” stories about the devastation wrought by President Trump’s “sabotage” of Obamacare. A typical headline appeared a couple of weeks ago in the Washington Post: “Americans are starting to suffer from Trump’s health-care sabotage.” This work of fiction claimed that the number of working-ageAmericans without health insurance had risen to 15.5 percent, a 3 point increase since 2016. But a report just released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), says the real number is 12.8 percent — exactly what it was in 2015.

…NBC recently reported that the total number of uninsured Americans rose by a preposterous 3.2 million in 2017. According to the CDC, however, “There was no significant change from the 2016 uninsured rate.” The percentage is, like the working age statistic, precisely what it was in 2015. NBC, parroting the Post, based its uninsured propaganda on an unreliable source.

There are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating ObamaCare. The first is that is was never about health insurance–it was about giving government control of a major sector of the American economy and a major sector of people’s lives. We have seeen how well socialized medicine works in Britain when a child isn’t even given a chance to leave the country to receive alternative medical care that could possibly save his life. ObamaCare was a planned failure that would lead to socialized medicine in America during the presidency of Hillary Clinton. We have dodged that bullet (at least temporarily).

The major change that occurred to ObamaCare this year was the end of government subsidies to insurance companies and changing rules for insurance pools to make it easier for people to get health insurance in various groups. The real answer to health insurance is the free market–let companies compete without being over-regulated and let people know how much they are actually paying for healthcare services. It would also help to end ObamaCare completely. In order to end ObamaCare completely, the Republicans would have to learn how to get their message out over the din of the mainstream media. They would also have to develop a spine.

The article concludes:

A multi-year study dubbed the “Oregon Health Experiment,” whose results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May of 2014, has demonstrated that health outcomes for Medicaid patients are no better than those enjoyed by the uninsured. Scott Gottlieb, the current Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, summarized various Medicaid studies in the Wall Street Journal and also concluded that being covered by Medicaid is demonstrably worse for your health than having no coverage at all.

The CDC report doesn’t weigh in on this issue, of course. It just attempts to show us where the uninsured rate was and where it is now. But that is damning enough. It not only shows that the projections originally touted for Obamacare were wildly off the mark — it was supposed to have brought the non-elderly uninsured rate down to 7.6 percent by 2016 — it demonstrates that the Democrats and their media co-conspirators have been lying about what the real uninsured numbers are as well as President Trump’s role in their mythical increase. Not that this is new. The Democrats and the media have been lying about Obamacare from day one.

As more Americans realize that the media has been lying to them from the beginning, we may have a chance to get rid of ObamaCare. Until then, we are stuck with it.

A Law Went Quietly Into Effect January 1

The American Spectator posted an article today about a law that quietly went into effect on January 1, 2016.

The article reports:

One of the worst of Obamacare’s ill-conceived provisions went quietly into effect on January 1. The employer mandate, previously inflicted only on businesses with 100 or more employees, will now be imposed on those with as few as 50. This mandate will prevent countless small employers from hiring workers they would otherwise have hired and incentivize many others to replace full-time employees with part-timers. It is such an obvious job killer that the Obama administration delayed enforcement until after the 2014 midterms, the liberal Urban Institute has called for its repeal, and it has even been obliquely criticized by Hillary Clinton.

The employer mandate requires all businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health coverage to at least 95 percent of these employees as well as any dependents they may have under age 26 — or pay crippling fines. But not all small employers can afford to offer insurance. Those which lack the resources to do so will avoid the mandate by assuring that the number of full-time workers they employ remains below 50. And, because Obamacare has arbitrarily redefined “full-time” to mean 30 or more hours per week, the employer mandate effectively caps both the number of workers many businesses can hire and how many hours they will work.

As someone who spent most of my working career working for small businesses, I can state from personal experience that small companies are very aware of government regulations and how to avoid them. One way to get around this rule is to keep the size of a company under 50 employees–this impacts unemployment–companies that might want to hire additional people will not hire them because they want to avoid coming under the employer mandate. The other way to get around this is to use contract workers that are self-employed and do not receive any company benefits, but there are very strict rules governing contract workers, and they are not practical for every business. Either way, the employer mandate is going to have a chilling impact on hiring. The labor force participation rate has been dropping consistently during the Obama Administration. The employer mandate will cause it to drop further. Bringing companies of more than 50 employees under the employer mandate will not be a good thing for the economy.

The article further reports:

Ironically, considering that the question came from an obvious audience plant, Mrs. Clinton got it wrong on the Family and Medical Leave Act. FMLA eligibility isn’t based on full time or part time status. And she also seems unaware that an employee can work fewer than 40 hours per week and still be considered full-time in the brave new world of Obamacare. But the most telling part of her answer was her use of the word “believe.” Playing off the questioner’s placement of the FMLA issue in the realm of “discrimination,” she implied that employers who are simply following federal law are in reality just crooks who want to deny benefits to their workers.

She was clearly waiting for that question and the opportunity to suggest that, as President, she would work to fix the “unfortunate incentives” created by Obamacare. However, considering that Hillarycare included an employer mandate, and that it was an integral part of the health care reform plan she offered the last time she ran for President, it’s extremely unlikely that she would follow the eminently sensible policy recommended by the authors of the Urban Institute report: “In summary, eliminating the employer mandate would eliminate labor market distortions in law, lessen opposition to the law from employers, and have little effect on coverage.”

Is there anyone in the Obama Administration that understands basic economics and business?

About The Claim That Women Are Paid Less Than Men Who Do The Same Job

First of all, if there were real wage equality, mothers would be the highest paid workers ever–they are on call 24/7, often act as family CEO’s, peacemakers, custodial staff, grounds keepers, in charge of grocery logistics, family nurse, and often hold a job outside the home as well. If there were true wage equality, mothers would make more than most company presidents.

However, in regard to President Obama’s statement on Tuesday night that “You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.” This is simply not true.

The argument against this statement comes from three articles from people with very different political persuasions. On November 5,2012, Real Clear Politics posted an article by Dean Kalahar, on January 29, 2014, the American Spectator posted an article by Natalie deMacedo, and on January 30, 2014, Power Line posted an article by Scott Johnson.

All three articles said essentially the same thing–the figure of 77 cents on the dollar does not represent equal work–it represents the overall workplace and does not take into consideration the fact that many women work part time or that men tend to go into the higher paying professions–engineering, medicine (as doctors), etc.

What should be considered here is that women don’t always have the luxury of dedicating themselves to the high-paying corporate fast track. Women have to make a choice of priorities–motherhood versus career. While many women in lucrative careers can afford good child care, women in jobs in industries that do not pay as well often have difficult choices to make. That is not the government’s fault or the government’s responsibility–it is simply the way that things are.

Many years ago, I spent a few years working as a temporary employee. I learned a few things along the way. One of the things I learned was that pay scales in various industries vary a great deal. I have no idea why this is, but it was very obvious during the early 90’s in New England. I definitely considered that fact when I finally accepted a full-time job. It is also good to remember that a good statistician can make any given set of statistics say anything he wants them to say. The 77 cents on the dollar quote is a good example of that.

Just for the record, this is the statistic that was not cited (from the American Spectator):

Women congregate in different professions than men do, and the largely male professions tend to be higher-paying. If you account for those differences, and then compare a woman and a man doing the same job, the pay gap narrows to 91 percent. So, you could accurately say in that Obama ad that, “women get paid 91 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”

Many men tend to go into science and engineering fields which generally pay more. Women who stay at home with children are factored in as earning nothing. Therefore, the 77 cent stat is a misleading one.

Rosin adds that the reason women are making less could largely depend on more complicated issues, such as maternity leave, marriage, and a lack of childcare options. Debates on those topics can be saved for another day.

Remember, any good statistician can make any given set of statistics say anything he wants them to say!

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