Stacking The Deck To Steal An Election

Next year is an important election for America. The ‘fundamental transformation of America’ has been temporarily interrupted by the Trump administration, but there are those who are extremely anxious to see the transformation continue. They are fully prepared to manage the decline of America. Unfortunately President Trump is fully prepared to manage the reemergence of America as a major economic player. That will be the battle fought. Americans (knowingly or unknowingly) will be asked to choose between growth or decline. President Obama is sending his henchman Eric Holder to see if the scales can be tipped in favor of decline. In August I posted an article about this effort. Now that effort is officially coming to North Carolina.

On Thursday, Channel 5 in Raleigh reported:

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder strategized on redistricting reform Thursday with left-leaning groups that are knee-deep in the issue in North Carolina.

Holder, who served under former President Barack Obama, met with activists in Raleigh and Greensboro. He’s chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, making him the Democratic Party’s point man on redistricting reform, gerrymandering lawsuits and state legislative fights heading into the 2020 elections.

Those elections will decide control of state legislatures, and thus a decade’s worth of election maps for legislative and congressional districts across the country. His group, with backing from the former president, has funded lawsuits and election campaigns with the overarching goal of electing Democrats and undoing maps his side sees as unfair Republican gerrymanders.

When that’s done, Holder said Thursday, he hopes to see nonpartisan redistricting reform take hold in more states. He said he favors an independent commission that takes the power away from elected officials to draw their own districts.

“We’ve got to get back to a place where elections are simply fair,” Holder said.

The article further explains:

Republicans have criticized Holder’s effort as a partisan one, geared toward electing Democrats whether the maps are fair or not. A spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, with whom Holder sparred a bit on Twitter last month, asked Thursday “how many times Eric Holder has hosted a roundtable in blue states.”

“It’s probably equal to the number of blue states he’s sued, which is zero,” Pat Ryan said in an email. “Holder’s support for ‘fair maps’ is a phony front to help Democrats win more elections.”

Holder hasn’t shied away from the partisan nature of his effort. He told those gathered in Raleigh that “it sounds kind of strange, but this is a partisan attempt at good government.”

Sorry, Eric Holder, there is no such thing as a partisan attempt at good government. Remember, this is the man who ignored a video of the New Black Panthers intimidating voters in Philadelphia and dropped the charges. The video has disappeared from YouTube, but here is a still shot:

When I think of Eric Holder, I don’t think of good government.

The President’s Immigration Policies Are Working

Breitbart is reporting today that new immigration procedures implemented by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) effectively disbanded a group of 2,000 mostly Central American caravan migrants.

The article reports:

Immigration policies put in place following an agreement between Mexico and the Trump Administration broke up a caravan consisting of approximately 2,000 people from Central America, Africa, and the Caribbean Islands, the Associated Press reported Saturday. The group began to move northward from Tapachula, Chiapas, early one morning last week after being held up for official travel documents. The group quickly encountered Mexican Federal Police and members of the newly formed National Guard.

When the group came upon the police and soldiers, some scattered while others surrendered.

“This caravan no longer exists,” migrant rights advocate Irineo Mujica told the AP.

The migrants are provided opportunities to request asylum in Mexico. Instead, the group chose to illegally attempt to move through Mexico to the U.S. border.

“I want to pass through Mexico, I don’t want to live here,” Amado Ramirez expressed. Reportedly traveling with his wife and young children, he said he hoped to obtain documents allowing him to pass through Mexico.

The article concludes:

Under the agreement between Mexico and the United States, Mexican immigration officials give the migrants two choices — stay in Mexico or leave via Mexico’s southern border. Many are flown back to their countries of origin. African migrants have a more difficult path as their home countries often lack the infrastructure to handle mass repatriations, the AP stated.

Migrant support groups reported that the presence of the National Guard and other law enforcement officials in southern Mexico made the process for moving north very difficult.

Large group migration through Mexico to the U.S. southern border hit a 12-year high during Fiscal Year 2019. However, changes in Mexican policies negotiated by the Trump Administration effectively dropped the numbers from a high mark of nearly 133,000 in May to about 40,000 in September, Breitbart Texas reported. By the end of the fiscal year, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended an estimated 850,000.

Migrant families and unaccompanied minors made up for nearly two-thirds of the apprehensions in the U.S.

President Trump threatened Mexico with high tariffs if they did not end the caravans passing through their country and entering the United States illegally. What we are seeing is an American President who understands that because of America’s strong economy, we can use economic leverage to persuade other countries to do what is right.

There Seems To Be A Lot More To The Ukraine Story

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article shedding light on an aspect of the Ukraine scandal that has yet to be explored.

The article reports:

Last week House Democrats called in fired US Ambassador Marie Yovanovich to testify in their sham impeachment proceedings.

Ambassador Yovanovich is a noted Trump-hater who blocked Ukrainian officials from traveling to the United States to hand over evidence of Obama misconduct during the 2016 election to President Trump.

Yovanovich was US ambassador to Ukraine during the 2016 election when the Ukrainian government was colluding with the DNC and Hillary Campaign to undermine the US presidential election.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenkoko told journalists in March that Yovanovitch gave him a “do not prosecute” list during their first meeting.

It gets worse.

The article continues:

Starting in 2018 Yovanovich denied Ukrainian officials visas to enter the United States to hand over evidence of Obama administration misconduct to Trump administration officials.

Wednesday night on Hannity John Solomon announced that the former Ambassador Yovanovich was monitoring the reporters digging into Ukrainian lawlessness.

There is evidence now that Yovanovich was spying on John Solomon.

There will be more to come.

Is Anyone Considering The Consequences?

The Democrats are accusing President Trump of an impeachable offense again. Russia, Russia, Russia didn’t work. Racist, racist, racist didn’t work. So the third chapter is Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine. Let’s look at some of the history of the Trump Administration.

Remember early on when conversations between President Trump and leaders from Australia and Mexico were leaked. That might have been the reason for placing conversations in more secure places. We have seen anyone working for President Trump subjected to incredible legal actions, some related to their position and some not. We have seen questionable information used as an excuse to spy on the Trump campaign and administration. We have seen people placed in the administration for the sole purpose of undermining the administration. We have seen people working for the Trump administration being removed from restaurants or harassed when out in public. This has gone far beyond partisan politics. There is no excuse for it.

What are those who oppose President Trump doing to the office of the presidency? How will their actions impact future Presidents? Have the actions of the opponents of President Trump created a new normal for political opposition?

Those who are too impatient to wait for the next election (or who fear the reelection of President Trump) are truly undermining our representative republic. At some point they need to be held accountable for their actions. It is a shame that the Republican party does not have the moral integrity to deal with the abuses of power engaged in by the opponents of President Trump.

 

Twisted, Twisted, Twisted

The political left has been trying to impeach President Trump since the day he was elected. Those efforts have been futile, although extremely expensive to the American taxpayer. The latest effort describes a so-called ‘whistleblower’ reporting on what he considered an alarming conversation between the President and a world leaders. The mainstream media has strategically leaked that the world leader was from Ukraine and President Trump asked for a corruption investigation into the antics of Hunter Biden (Joe Biden’s son, not known for his upstanding lifestyle). These efforts are beginning to look like those used by Wile E. Coyote to catch the roadrunner.

The Atlantic posted an article today with the headline, “If This Isn’t Impeachable, Nothing Is.” Wow. They’re got him dead to rights now. Except for a few things left out of the story.

The Atlantic reports:

Now, however, we face an entirely new situation. In a call to the new president of Ukraine, Trump reportedly attempted to pressure the leader of a sovereign state into conducting an investigation—a witch hunt, one might call it—of a U.S. citizen, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden.

As the Ukrainian Interior Ministry official Anton Gerashchenko told the Daily Beast when asked about the president’s apparent requests, “Clearly, Trump is now looking for kompromat to discredit his opponent Biden, to take revenge for his friend Paul Manafort, who is serving seven years in prison.”

The Conservative Treehouse reported today:

In what appears to be an effort to extract Ukraine from the toxic environment of American media fake political news, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko discusses the phone call between President Donald Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Minister Vadym Prystaiko was a participant in the discussions between the U.S. and Ukraine and has specific knowledge of the phone call. Minister Prystaiko says the phone call was long, friendly and covered a variety of important issues. There was no undue pressure or “coercion” from U.S. President Donald Trump.

The article includes a video:

 

It gets even more interesting. The Conservative Treehouse also reported:

The government of Ukraine under both Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and now President Volodymyr Zelensky, had been trying to deliver information about Obama officials and Democrat party officials (DNC on behalf of Hillary Clinton) requesting the government of Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election.

Both Poroshenko and Zelensky administrations had tried, unsuccessfully, to get information to current U.S. officials. U.S. State Department officials in Ukraine were refusing to give visa’s to Ukrainian emissaries because they did not want the damaging information sent to the President Trump administration.

Failing to get help from the U.S. State Department, the Ukranians tried a workaround, and hired a respected U.S. lawyer to hand deliver the documentary evidence directly to the U.S. Department of Justice. The contracted American lawyer hand-delivered the information to the U.S. Department of Justice in New York.

However, after delivering the information and not hearing back from the U.S. government, the Ukrainian government, now led by President Zelensky, interpreted the silence as the Trump administration and U.S. government (writ large) being upset about the Ukraine involvement overall. Out of concern for a serious diplomatic breakdown, the Zelensky administration made a personal request to the U.S. State Department for assistance.

About those impeachable offenses… The Acme Explosives Kit just blew up in Wile E. Coyote’s face.

An Illustration Of Chutzpah

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that two illegal aliens are suing the Trump administration to make sure they can continue to receive taxpayer money in the form of welfare and still be able to obtain green cards to permanently stay in the country. The two illegal aliens were granted the right to stay in the United States by Barack Obama through the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. I’m glad they are so grateful for being allowed to stay that they are suing the country so they can receive money they have not earned. How do illegal aliens have legal standing in America?

The article reports:

The open borders group CASA de Maryland and two DACA illegal aliens are suing the Trump administration over its soon-to-be enforcement of the ‘public charge’ rule, which would save American taxpayers billions by effectively ending welfare-dependent legal immigration to the U.S.,” Breitbart reports. “The regulation prevents legal immigrants from permanently resettling in the U.S. by obtaining green cards so long as they are found to have used or likely to use welfare programs like food stamps and subsidized health care.”

The illegal aliens were granted a shield from deportation by Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Trump has banned welfare-dependent legal immigrants from resettling in the United States. American taxpayers now spend nearly $60 billion a year to pay for the welfare, crime, and schooling costs for some 1.5 million low-skilled legal immigrants every year.

“The new rule would allow immigration officials to deny [Lawful Permanent Resident] status to many immigrants in an arbitrary and discriminatory way,” Amy Marshak, senior counsel at ICAP, said in a statement. “This is by design. President Trump and his advisors have expressed animus toward non-white immigrants, and studies already have shown that the new rule will disproportionately affect immigrants of color.”

Why would the new rule ‘disproportionately affect immigrants of color’? Are you saying that immigrants of color are less able to support themselves than other immigrants? Isn’t that racist?

Consider what it happening here. You want to break into the country (that’s what entering illegally is), take money from people who earned it, and then sue the country because they don’t want to take on the burden of granting citizenship to people who can’t support themselves. Wow.

To quote the movie “Men in Black,” “We’re not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here.

The Real Answer To Poverty

Breitbart posted an article today about the impact the economic policies of President Trump have had on poverty.

The article reports:

Black Americans are experiencing an economic renaissance under President Donald Trump.

Black unemployment hit a new low last week of 5.5% — the level once described in economics textbooks as “full employment” — and the gap between black and white unemployment shrank to its lowest margin ever.

This week, Census data showed that black poverty has dropped to its lowest level ever (18.8%). The reason: wages are climbing, even in low-wage jobs.

This is the Promised Land that left-wing activists have talked about for decades. Except they do not seem to have received the memo.

Listen to the Democratic presidential candidates debate, and you will still hear them complain that the economy is terrible, that the middle class is shrinking, that we need to redistribute income and wealth from the rich to the poor to over come the “white privilege” that is our country’s original sin, dating to slavery in 1619.

All of that is untrue. The economy continues to perform well, despite media-hyped fears of recession. Yes, the pace of hiring is slowing in some sectors, but that is partly because of the scarcity of labor — which is also driving wages up. Yes, the trade war is hurting some individual businesses, and China is retaliating against American agriculture — but the trade war has failed to drive up prices so far, as many people (including me) had expected.

The article notes:

While funding for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) declined under President Barack Obama, for example, “under the Trump administration, federal funding for HBCUs has increased by more than $100 million over the last two years, a 17% increase since 2017.”

The above information is a surprise to me. It totally goes against anything the mainstream media is telling us about President Trump. The article reminds us that President Trump’s economic policies have benefited all Americans–a strong economy is the best solution to poverty in minority communities.

The article concludes:

Limited government allows black Americans to do for themselves what government fails to do for anyone.

The Democrats do not get it. They are talking reparations — the brainchild of Al Sharpton, one of the worst racial demagogues in the country, whom Obama rehabilitated to provide political cover within the black community.

The frontrunners, including former vice president Joe Biden, promise to raise taxes, kill the energy industry, and bring back hyperregulation. They claim to be fighting racism. Trump has shown black Americans there is a better way.

Obviously this is not a message Americans will hear from the mainstream media. However, voters are perfectly capable of seeing the positive economic changes in their own lives and the lives of the people around them. That is one of the main reasons the media is trying to convince voters that a recession is right around the corner. Will voters believe what they see or what the media tells them? What voters believe will determine whether or not our economy continues to prosper.

Going To The Courts

Those of us who have followed the Russian collusion story closely are waiting for someone to actually be held accountable for the violations of civil liberties of Americans that went on during the Obama administration. It seems as if it is nearly impossible to get information on what went on and even when we have the information that things were not done properly, there is no accountability. The Russia hoax is actually following the pattern of many of the Clinton scandals–delay, delay, delay, and when damaging information finally surfaces, you say ‘that’s old news.’ Well, some of the people who actually know the truth are not willing to settle for delay, delay, delay.

The Washington Examiner reported the following yesterday:

Congressman Devin Nunes filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against opposition research firm Fusion GPS, its founder Glenn Simpson, and left-leaning watchdog group Campaign for Accountability, accusing them of “racketeering” and interfering with his congressional Trump-Russia investigation.

Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee until Democrats won the majority in 2018, claimed that Simpson, Fusion GPS, and the Campaign for Accountability illegally conspired to “harass” him in an attempt to “hinder, delay, prevent, or dissuade” him from looking into issues surrounding the federal investigation into the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and to scare him off from investigating possible wrongdoing by Simpson and Fusion GPS.

The California Republican is asking the judge to award him $9.9 million in damages.

The 35-page complaint Nunes filed in the Eastern District of Virginia today pointed to a Daily Caller article from early August that revealed the Campaign for Accountability hired Fusion GPS as an “independent contractor” in 2018 and paid the firm close to $140,000 for research. And the Nunes lawsuit alleged the watchdog group and the opposition research firm then colluded to target him and stymie his efforts, pointing to three ethics complaints filed by the Campaign for Accountability allegedly “in concert with” Fusion GPS in an effort to “chill reporting of Fusion GPS and Simpson’s wrongdoing” and to dissuade Nunes from making criminal referrals to the Justice Department.

Nunes described Fusion GPS as “a political war room for hire that specializes in dirty tricks and smears” and the Campaign for Accountability as a “dark money, partisan, left-wing” nonprofit that he said targets mainly conservatives.

The article continues:

Nunes said Simpson and Fusion GPS “shared a common goal” with the Clinton campaign of “using the false and defamatory statements in the Steele dossier to poison the minds of voters.”

“Fusion GPS and Simpson harbored spite and ill-will towards [Nunes] and decided to smear [him] as a result of his tenacious efforts in 2017 to expose Fusion GPS’ nefarious activities,” the lawsuit alleges.

Nunes said Fusion GPS retaliated through the Campaign for Accountability because of subpoenas he issued in 2017 to the FBI and DOJ for information on their relationship with Steele, to Simpson and other Fusion GPS partners to compel their testimony, and to the bank Fusion GPS used, which “revealed that the Clinton campaign, the DNC and Perkins Coie paid for Fusion GPS’ anti-Trump research.”

Nunes claimed that “corrupt acts of racketeering are part of [Fusion GPS’] regular way of doing business” and said “that way of doing business must end here and now.”

Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s report on the use of Steele’s dossier and alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which started more than a year ago, is expected in September or early October. The DOJ watchdog’s report harshly criticizing former FBI Director James Comey over the mishandling of his memos was released last week.

The deep state is somewhat like an octopus–it has many tentacles. The entire ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ operation was illegal from the start and should be tried under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). There are now stories that James Comey placed spies in the White House in the early days of the Trump administration until Comey was fired in May 2017. More on that when I can confirm it.

Usurping Parental Rights

Yahoo News posted a USA Today article about a 14-year-old school child who decided that she was a boy. The story is heartbreaking because the parents tried to provide the help the child needed, and the school undermined them every step of the way.

The article reports:

In April 2016, my then 14-year-old daughter became convinced that she was my son. In my attempt to help her, her public school undermined me every step of the way.

Throughout my daughter’s childhood, there were no signs that she wanted to be a boy. She loved stuffed animals, Pocahontas and wearing colorful bathing suits. I can’t recall a single interest that seemed unusually masculine, or any evidence that she was uncomfortable as a girl.

The only difficulty she had was forming and maintaining friendships. We later learned why: She was on the autism spectrum. She was very functional and did well in school, helped by her Individualized Education Program (IEP), a common practice for public school students who need special education.

At her high school, my daughter was approached by a girl who had recently come out at school as transgender. Shortly after meeting her, my daughter declared that she, too, was a boy trapped in a girl’s body and picked out a new masculine name.

The school began treating the girl as a boy and addressing her with masculine pronouns. The parents were unaware of this. When they found out about it, they requested that those in the school call her by her legal name at all times. Their request was ignored–the school continued to address her by a masculine name and masculine pronouns.

The article continues:

We met with the school district’s assistant superintendent, who told us the hands of school personnel are tied and that they had to follow the law. But there was no law, only the Obama administration’s “Dear Colleagues” letter of May 2016 that said schools need to officially affirm transgender students. Just three months later, in August 2016, a federal judge in Texas blocked the guidelines from being enforced. And in February 2017, the Trump administration rescinded the Obama-era guidelines, leaving it to the states to set their own policies.

I also learned that the ACLU has sent threatening letters to schools stating that it is against the law to disclose a student’s gender identity, even to their parents. But this letter appears to misunderstand federal law. The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act requires that schools allow parents to “inspect and review” their child’s education records as long as the child is under 18.

The article then reveals the peer pressure in the world of psychology:

We had our daughter evaluated by a psychologist approved by the school district. He told us that it was very clear that our daughter’s sudden transgender identity was driven by her underlying mental health conditions, but would only share his thoughts off the record because he feared the potential backlash he would receive. In the report he submitted to us and the school, he did not include these concerns that he would only share in person.

Please follow the link to the article to read the rest of the story. I need someone to explain to me how this sort of behavior by schools is in any way helpful to our children.

A Common Sense Approach To Saving Taxpayer Money

Welfare was meant to be a safety net–not a career choice. Unfortunately we have lost the war on poverty started by President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960’s. According to the social work degree center website, in the 1960’s, 22 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line. In 2014, 14.8 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line. In January 2016, The Daily Signal reported:

First, the War on Poverty has failed to achieve Johnson’s goal: to “strike at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.” Since he declared “unconditional war,” poverty has thumbed its nose at its would-be conquerors.

The official poverty rate has hovered between ten and fifteen percent for 50 years. But that is only a part of the story. Since the 1960s, the institutions that contribute to self-sufficiency—namely, marriage and work—have declined. Today, more than 40 percent of children are born outside marriage; in 1964, only 7 percent were.

…Robert Rector, senior research fellow in domestic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, writes that “taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s war. Adjusted for inflation, that’s three times the cost of all military wars since the American Revolution.” It’s time to change course. We need a new strategy against poverty.

The changes in our culture are part of the problem, but there is another increasing problem–people who come to this country to take advantage of our generous welfare system.

Breitbart posted an article today stating:

President Trump is set to save American taxpayers billions of dollars as his administration announces a new rule on Monday that will essentially ban welfare-dependent legal immigrants from permanently resettling in the United States.

A new regulation set to be published by the Trump administration will ensure that legal immigrants would be less likely to secure a permanent residency in the U.S. if they have used any forms of welfare in the past, including using subsidized healthcare services, food stamps, and public housing.

Below is a chart of current welfare expenditures:

I have no problem with having a safety net, but it seems that our priorities are out of order. The first group of people that we should be helping are our veterans. Too many of them come home and need help to get on their feet when they separate from the military. I would like to see that as our first priority in welfare spending.

The article at Breitbart concludes:

Currently, there is an estimated record high of 44.5 million foreign-born residents living in the U.S. This is nearly quadruple the immigrant population in 2000. The vast majority of those arriving in the country every year are low-skilled legal immigrants who compete against working and middle-class Americans for jobs.

If we don’t get a handle on immigration, we are going to bankrupt America.

The Need For Civility (And Sanity)

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about some recent remarks by Elie Mystal on MSNBC Thursday night.

According to Legal Talk Network:

Elie Mystal is the Managing Editor of Above the Law Redline and the Editor-At-Large of Breaking Media. He’s appeared on MSNBC, Fox, and CNN, and pretty much any network that will invite him. He’s written editorials for the New York Times, the Daily News, and would make a good character in a Billy Joel song. He graduated from Harvard University in 2000, Harvard Law School in 2003, and was an associate at Debevoise and Plimpton.

Townhall reports:

Earlier this week Rep. Joaquin Castro in Texas “named and shamed” San Antonio supporters of President Donald J. Trump in what he says was an effort to get these Americans to think twice before being “complicit in white supremacy.” Anybody with common sense understood the move was dangerous, especially coming from a public official, as it could paint a target on these individuals’ backs regardless if the information was already public or not. On MSNBC Thursday night, guest Elie Mystal took the hysteria over supporting President Trump one step further, saying that protesters should form literal mobs outside the SoulCycle and Equinox chairman’s home in the Hamptons due to his support for the commander-in-chief.

“People of color are already targeted under this administration,” Mystal said Thursday night regarding Rep. Castro’s actions. “I have no problem with shining the light back on the donors who fund this kind of racialized hate.”

“I mean I go further, I want pitchforks and torches outside [Stephen Ross’] house in the Hamptons,” Mystal continued. “I’ve been to the Hamptons, it’s very nice. There’s no reason why it has to be. There’s no reason he should be able to have a nice little party. There’s no reason why people shouldn’t be able to be outside of his house and making their voices peacefully understood.”

I am amazed that such a well-educated man would say something that stupid. Just for the record, people of color are not being targeted under the Trump administration. First of all, let’s take a detour here to look at some actual facts. President Trump signed the First Step Act into law, a bipartisan measure to give prisoners getting out of jail a chance to find jobs and contribute to their communities. Since 38 percent of prisoners at the state level are people of color, that law will have a positive impact on people of color.  Unemployment for people of color is at historic lows under President Trump. Second of all, pitchforks and torches? Really?

Whatever happened to the calls for civility?

Trying To Level The Playing Field Has Its Challenges

Fox Business posted an article today about the devaluing of the Chinese yuan. The devaluing of the Chinese currency (currency manipulation) has been used by China for decades to grow their economy at the expense of America. It has been used to lure manufacturing away from America, impact our trade balance, and generally work against the American economy. We have needed to combat this practice for decades, but no President had the courage.

The article reports:

The onshore Chinese yuan weakened to worse than seven per U.S. dollar, hitting its lowest level since 2008, as Beijing looks to cushion the blow from Trump’s tariffs. A weaker yuan makes Chinese goods cheaper for overseas buyers, which may be necessary as China just lost its spot as the US’s biggest trading partner.

Trade data released Friday by the Department of Commerce showed U.S. imports from China fell by 12% in the first six months of the year, allowing Mexico to supplant it as the U.S.’s biggest trade partner.

“China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low,” Trump tweeted Opens a New Window. on Monday. “It’s called “currency manipulation.” Are you listening Federal Reserve? This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time!”

Last week, Trump said beginning Sept. 1 the U.S. would place a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese goods. He went ahead with the announcement despite objections from his advisers.

The president warned he could “always do much more” with respect to tariffs, adding the 10 percent tax could go “well beyond 25 percent” if necessary. Earlier this year, the administration placed a 25% tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Weakening the yuan isn’t the only form of retaliation Beijing took on Monday. It also ordered state-owned enterprises to stop purchases of U.S. agricultural products, according to a Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the situation.

That is a reversal from just last week, when Beijing said it had purchased several tons of U.S. soybeans Opens a New Window. as a gesture of a goodwill amid trade negotitations. Before the trade war began, China was the largest buyer of U.S. soybeans, accounting for 70% of all purchases, but their imports have fallen by 97% since the trade war began.

The article notes:

Over the weekened, The Trump administration pushed back against the idea the trade war was hitting the wallets of U.S. consumers.

“China has strategically gamed the tariffs by slashing their prices and by devaluing their currency,” White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told “Fox News Sunday.”

This trade dust-up with China may get ugly, but it is something that has to be done.

A Small Step Forward For Americans Filling Prescriptions

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about the new initiative rolled out by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

The article reports:

Democrats ate the GOP’s lunch on health-care messaging in 2018’s midterms. The Trump administration might be preparing better for the 2020 election. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar rolled out a new initiative today that would allow for prescription purchases from Canada, addressing a key Democratic talking point on the cost of health care:

“President Trump has been clear: for too long American patients have been paying exorbitantly high prices for prescription drugs that are made available to other countries at lower prices. When we released the President’s drug pricing blueprint – PDF for putting American patients first, we said we are open to all potential solutions to combat high drug prices that protect patient safety, are effective at delivering lower prices, and respect choice, innovation and access,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “Today’s announcement outlines the pathways the Administration intends to explore to allow safe importation of certain prescription drugs to lower prices and reduce out of pocket costs for American patients. This is the next important step in the Administration’s work to end foreign freeloading and put American patients first.”

The article lists some of the details of the plan. Please follow the link above for more information.

The article also lists some of the problems with the plan:

The question of pharmaceutical importation has its complexities, and it might not be a great idea in terms of long-term policy outcomes. For one thing, drug prices in Canada are artificially low thanks to intervention by the Canadian government, which will be tougher to maintain if demand increases exponentially via re-importation into the US. (Canadians in particular might not be very happy about what happens to their drug prices.) It doesn’t solve the major problems in pharmaceutical production costs, which are consolidation in the industry, copyright issues, and bureaucratic delays in FDA approvals, among others. It’s a Band-Aid over a gaping wound.

However, it’s going to be a very popular Band-Aid in the short run. The new HHS effort also lends itself to a slow rollout, which will play right into Trump’s need to pre-empt Democrats on health care in this cycle…

The article takes a rather cynical view regarding the motive for this action, but at least temporarily many Americans will appreciate the savings. On a personal note, one of the maintenance drugs my husband takes for heart problems sells for $600 a month. With the help of our health insurance, we have managed to get that price down to $70 a month, but the idea of having to pay $600 a month out-of-pocket for a drug is more than a little frightening.

This is a small step in the right direction. I understand that high drug prices are the result of the procedures for the invention, development, and selling of a new drug, but Americans shouldn’t have to pay for all of the research while other people reap the rewards of that research without paying for it.

Some Basic Facts

Yesterday Mark Penn posted an article at Fox News about the Mueller investigation. Mark Penn was the chief strategist on Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, and Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The article reminds us of some important facts regarding the investigation:

Robert Mueller’s testimony to Congress, by any reasonable standard, should have been the swan song of the impeachment movement.

To state the obvious, there is no evidence that President Trump or any other American probed by the Mueller investigation conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election.

…So why does a third or more of the public still believe in Russia collusion? Because partisanship by our politicians and some in the media knows no bounds, and to partisans, facts and evidence are simply inconvenient bumps on a road to power.

That brings us back to the Mueller testimony and the Mueller Andrew Weissmann investigation. Mueller turned out to be the classic emperor-has-no-clothes witness. He once again said that he did not indict Trump because of the Justice Department policy against indicting a president only to once again retract the statement hours later.

He may be old, but he surely understood he was playing and retracting that card — he would have practiced that question 10 times as it was the only anti-Trump card remaining in his dwindling hand. He ignored that Attorney General William Barr, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and career Justice Department lawyers all determined that the facts he listed didn’t constitute criminal obstruction of justice.

The president was, as far as the Justice Department was concerned, cleared on obstruction of justice.

Mueller’s weak grasp of the facts, combined with his deputy Weissmann’s documented history of prosecutorial abuse, strongly suggests Weissmann ran the investigation, not Mueller. It also indicates that Weissmann enjoyed free rein to go after not just the facts, but the people associated with the president.

The article concludes with a very important observation:

Targeting political opponents through the legal and subpoena process after a massive investigation revealed no collusion undermines our democracy. It is a far greater threat to our country and its institutions than any ads on Facebook. Whether you think the FBI acted out of political malice (which is now being investigated) or a sense of duty, there is simply no evidence that the president ever committed a crime, or that his top aides were involved in collusion or conspiracy. Nothing of consequence alleged in the Steele dossier was ever proven true.

Mueller’s testimony confirmed these basic facts, and it should put impeachment investigations in the rearview mirror.

The investigation and surveillance of the Trump campaign and the early days of the Trump administration were a violation of the civil rights of a number of Americans. This is unacceptable. Those who violated those civil rights need to be held accountable or our Justice Department will become a political instrument to be used against political opponents. At that point we will have lost our republic.

Moving In The Right Direction

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the Trump administration’s restrictions on family planning funds could go into effect, a move that would cut off millions of dollars from organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide abortions.

The article reports:

The Trump administration refers to the provision as the “Protect Life Rule,” and its supporters say that funding for family planning should not be used to help subsidize abortion providers.

The rule will go into effect everywhere except in Maryland, due to a lawsuit from Baltimore. The state legislature there also passed a bill that would reject the Title X funds if the Trump administration’s rules were attached to them.

Planned Parenthood’s president, Dr. Leana Wen, said the organization would continue to fight the rule from taking effect.

…The rule applies to a $286 million-a-year grant that 4 million low-income people use. Planned Parenthood receives between $50 million and $60 million from the grants.

On January 21, 2019, The Daily Caller reported:

Planned Parenthood has claimed that stripping federal funds from the organization would devastate women’s access to health care, but private contributions put the organization’s donations total at nearly $631 million.

Total net assets also increased from roughly $1.6 billion to nearly $1.9 billion in 2018, according to the report.

“Planned Parenthood turned a profit of nearly $250 million, a 150 percent increase, according to its own accounts,” Students For Life (SFL) President Kristan Hawkins said in a Monday statement. “What a waste of taxpayer dollars.”

The abortion organization reported findings through the fiscal end year date June 30, 2018.

Somehow I think Planned Parenthood can manage to squeeze by. Meanwhile, taxpayers should not be required to fund Planned Parenthood.

How Should We Deal With Iran?

On Friday, Bret Stephens posted a column in The New York Times about the recent aggressive actions taken by Iran against international shipping. Bret Stephens is not a supporter of President Trump, but in this instance, his views seem to be in line with the policies of the Trump administration.

The column notes:

On April 14, 1988, the U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts, a frigate, hit an Iranian naval mine while sailing in the Persian Gulf. The explosion injured 10 of her crew and nearly sank the ship. Four days later, the U.S. Navy destroyed half the Iranian fleet in a matter of hours. Iran did not molest the Navy or international shipping for many years thereafter.

Now that’s changed. Iran’s piratical regime is back yet again to its piratical ways.

Or so it seems, based on a detailed timeline of Thursday’s attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman provided by the U.S. Central Command, including a surveillance video of one of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps patrol boats removing an unexploded limpet mine from the hull of one of the damaged tankers.

The column notes that the evidence points to Iran as behind the recent attacks:

In this case, however, the evidence against Iran is compelling. CentCom’s account notes that “a U.S. aircraft observed an IRGC Hendijan class patrol boat and multiple IRGC fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft (FAC/FIAC) in the vicinity of the M/T Altair,” one of the damaged tankers. The Iranian boats are familiar to the U.S. Navy after decades of observing them at close range. And staging deniable attacks that fall just below the threshold of open warfare on the U.S. is an Iranian specialty.

So what do we do now?

The column concludes:

It can’t be the usual Trumpian cycle of bluster and concession. Neither can it be the liberal counsel of feckless condemnation followed by inaction. Firing on unarmed ships in international waters is a direct assault on the rules-based international order in which liberals claim to believe. To allow it to go unpunished isn’t an option.

What is appropriate is a new set of rules — with swift consequences if Iran chooses to break them. The Trump administration ought to declare new rules of engagement to allow the Navy to engage and destroy Iranian ships or fast boats that harass or threaten any ship, military or commercial, operating in international waters. If Tehran fails to comply, the U.S. should threaten to sink any Iranian naval ship that leaves port.

If after that Iran still fails to comply, we would be right to sink its navy, in port or at sea. The world cannot tolerate freelance Somali pirates. Much less should it tolerate a pirate state seeking to hold the global economy hostage through multiplying acts of economic terrorism.

Nobody wants a war with Iran. But not wanting a war does not mean remaining supine in the face of its outrages. We sank Iran’s navy before. Tehran should be put on notice that we are prepared and able to do it again.

Sometimes you simply have to stand up to a bully in order to correct his behavior.

Twisted

No one ever claimed that the team put together by Robert Mueller to investigate President Trump was politically unbiased, but I at least expected them to report the facts as they uncovered them. Evidently my expectations were too high. On May 8, I posted an article about Joseph Mifsud, claimed by the Mueller Report to be a Russian asset. It turns out that he was training American intelligence officers. His contract with George Papadopoulos had nothing to do with Russia. On June 1st, I posted an article about the editing of a phone message from President Trump’s attorney John Dowd to Michael Flynn. The message was edited in a way that left an impression totally different than what was actually happening. Well, okay, maybe that was just an oversight. That’s two strikes. Now we have another incident where something totally misleading (and false) was stated in the Mueller Report.

John Solomon at The Hill posted an article yesterday with the following headline, “Key figure that Mueller report linked to Russia was a State Department intel source.” The person in questions in Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik.

The article reports:

In a key finding of the Mueller report, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is tied to Russian intelligence.

But hundreds of pages of government documents — which special counsel Robert Mueller possessed since 2018 — describe Kilimnik as a “sensitive” intelligence source for the U.S. State Department who informed on Ukrainian and Russian matters.

Why Mueller’s team omitted that part of the Kilimnik narrative from its report and related court filings is not known. But the revelation of it comes as the accuracy of Mueller’s Russia conclusions face increased scrutiny.

It gets worse:

Three sources with direct knowledge of the inner workings of Mueller’s office confirmed to me that the special prosecutor’s team had all of the FBI interviews with State officials, as well as Kilimnik’s intelligence reports to the U.S. Embassy, well before they portrayed him as a Russian sympathizer tied to Moscow intelligence or charged Kilimnik with participating with Manafort in a scheme to obstruct the Russia investigation.

Kasanof’s and Purcell’s interviews are corroborated by scores of State Department emails I reviewed that contain regular intelligence from Kilimnik on happenings inside the Yanukovych administration, the Crimea conflict and Ukrainian and Russian politics. For example, the memos show Kilimnik provided real-time intelligence on everything from whose star in the administration was rising or falling to efforts at stuffing ballot boxes in Ukrainian elections.

Those emails raise further doubt about the Mueller report’s portrayal of Kilimnik as a Russian agent. They show Kilimnik was allowed to visit the United States twice in 2016 to meet with State officials, a clear sign he wasn’t flagged in visa databases as a foreign intelligence threat.

The emails also show how misleading, by omission, the Mueller report’s public portrayal of Kilimnik turns out to be.

For instance, the report makes a big deal about Kilimnik’s meeting with Manafort in August 2016 at the Trump Tower in New York.

By that time, Manafort had served as Trump’s campaign chairman for several months but was about to resign because of a growing controversy about the millions of dollars Manafort accepted as a foreign lobbyist for Yanukovych’s party.

Specifically, the Mueller report flagged Kilimnik’s delivery of a peace plan to the Trump campaign for settling the two-year-old Crimea conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“Kilimnik requested the meeting to deliver in person a peace plan for Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged to the Special Counsel’s Office was a ‘backdoor’ way for Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine,” the Mueller report stated.

But State emails showed Kilimnik first delivered a version of his peace plan in May 2016 to the Obama administration during a visit to Washington. Kasanof, his former handler at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, had been promoted to a top policy position at State, and the two met for dinner on May 5, 2016.

I am grateful for investigative reporters. It is time to acknowledge that the Mueller Report, despite the fact that it found no evidence of collusion on the part of the Trump campaign, is tainted. It is time to put this entire farce to rest and lift the cloud the Democrats have placed over the Trump administration. It is time to allow the President to solve the problems at our southern border, deal with Iran, negotiate trade deals, and generally be President.

Illegal Immigrants Can’t Reach The Southern Border Of The United States Without Traveling Through Mexico

It seems a rather obvious point, but illegal immigrants entering America through our porous southern border have to go through Mexico to get to that border. That is the reason it makes sense to involve Mexico in the process of securing our southern border.

First of all, let’s look at the increase in the number of people attempting to cross our southern border. The chart below is from U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

As you can see, the total apprehensions have increased dramatically in the past two years.

On June 1st, American Greatness posted an article with some suggested solutions to the problem. The article includes a list of how Mexico can become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

The article reports:

On Thursday, the administration rolled out a new policy aimed at encouraging Mexico to do more to crack down on the thousands of Central American migrants passing through their country on the way to the United States to claim asylum.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan described the three efforts the United States wants to see from Mexico:

    • More vigorous efforts by Mexico to secure the border between Guatemala and the Mexican state of Chiapas. The Guatemala-Chiapas border is approximately 500 miles—small as borders go. For comparison, the U.S.-Mexico border is close to 2,000 miles.
    • A crackdown on the organizations that help migrants travel through Mexico to the United States. These organizations range from the criminal—a RAND corporation study estimates that Central American cartels made $2.3 billion on human trafficking across the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017—to the activist groups organizing massive surges toward the U.S., to the bus lines that have arisen to facilitate entrance to the U.S. There’s a reason why more migrants are appearing in large groups—Customs and Border Enforcement report that they’ve found 180 groups of more than 100 people since October, compared to only 13 in the previous 12-month period, and only two the year before.
    • Finally, McAleenan says he wants “align with Mexico on asylum.” This is a reference to the “safe third country” agreement that is common practice throughout the rest of the world, but with which Mexico refuses to engage.

The article notes the rules on aslyum:

This is where the “safe third country” doctrine comes in. Under international law known as the Dublin Regulation, migrants seeking asylum are required to claim it in the first safe country they enter. The theory behind this is that if migrants are truly seeking shelter from persecution, rather than simply trying to use the system to reach a specific destination, they will stop in the first place they find relief.

One interesting aspect of this is that the migrants would be more culturally compatible with Mexico than America. Mexico speaks Spanish, their native language. America speaks English (or some form of it).

At any rate, it is time for a solution. I hope the tariffs the Trump administration is threatening to impose provide an incentive for Mexico to help stop the flow of illegal drugs and immigrants at our southern border.

This Incidental Information Is Going To Be Very Important In The Near Future

Before you read this article, I want you to consider how the Democrats (particularly the Clintons) have avoided being held accountable for skirting the law in the past. Generally speaking, the playbook means keeping questions about whatever the scandal is in the news until everyone is sick of hearing about the scandal. At that point, when the answers begin to come out, everyone tunes out because they are totally bored with anything having to do with whatever behavior went on. That is exactly the playbook that is being used on the question of how the Russian-collusion investigation began and why members of President Trump’s campaign and transition team were under surveillance. Keep that in mind as you read the following.

Today Breitbart posted an article with the following headline, “Biden Present at Russia Collusion Briefing Documented in ‘Odd’ Susan Rice Email.”

The article reports:

Vice President Joe Biden was documented as being present in the Oval Office for a conversation about the controversial Russia probe between President Obama, disgraced ex-FBI chief James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and other senior officials including Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice.

In an action characterized as “odd” last year by then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Rice memorialized the confab in an email to herself describing Obama as starting “the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’”

Grassley, in a letter to Rice, commented: “It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation.”

Grassley noted the unusual timing of the email sent by Rice to herself more than two weeks after the January 5, 2017 White House meeting on the Russia investigation, but mere hours before she vacated the White House for the incoming Trump administration.

The email, Grassley documented, was sent by Rice to herself on Trump’s inauguration day of January 20, 2017.

“If the timestamp is correct, you sent this email to yourself at 12:15 pm, presumably a very short time before you departed the White House for the last time,” Grassley wrote to Rice in a letter seeking clarification on a number of issues regarding the email and the Oval Office briefing at which Biden was documented as being present.

The article cites a Washington Post article describing how few people were involved in the Trump/Russia investigation:

The lengthy Washington Post article from 2017 detailed the closed circle of Obama administration officials who were involved in overseeing the initial efforts related to the Russia investigation — a circle than was narrowly widened to include Biden, according to the newspaper report.

According to the newspaper, in the summer of 2016, CIA Director John Brennan convened a “secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.”

The Post described the unit as so secretive it functioned as a “sealed compartment” hidden even from the rest of the U.S. intelligence community; a unit whose workers were all made to sign additional non-disclosure forms.

The unit reported to top officials, the newspaper documented:

They worked exclusively for two groups of “customers,” officials said. The first was Obama and fewer than 14 senior officials in government. The second was a team of operations specialists at the CIA, NSA and FBI who took direction from the task force on where to aim their subsequent efforts to collect more intelligence on Russia.

The number of Obama administration officials who were allowed access to the Russia intelligence was also highly limited, the Post reported. At first only four senior officials were involved, and not Biden. Those officials were CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and then-FBI Director James Comey. Their aides were all barred from attending the initial meetings, the Post stated.

This is looking more and more like an attempted political coup.

An Entirely Predictable Outcome

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about some recent statements by top Iranian leaders.

The article reports:

Top Iranian leaders issued a series of warnings on Tuesday, telling world leaders it is on the brink of restarting a significant portion of its most contested nuclear work, including the enrichment of uranium to prohibited levels that could be used as part of a weapons program.

With tensions mounting between the United States and Iran following a bevy on new sanctions issued by the Trump administration, Iranian leaders warned their counterparts in Europe that the country will begin to enrich uranium—the key component in a nuclear weapon—to levels needed for weapons research.

Iran also will begin to stockpile low-enriched uranium instead of shipping it out of the country, as it had been doing under the nuclear agreement. The Islamic Republic also will stop exporting its heavy water reserves, a nuclear byproduct that can provide a plutonium-based pathway to a weapon.

Both of these moves are enflaming global tension surrounding Iran’s nuclear program, which the country has used to receive billions in sanctions relief and cash windfalls as a result of the Obama administration’s accord. Iranian leaders insist that if Europe does not reject the new U.S. sanctions and help Tehran bypass them, they will stop adhering the nuclear deal, which several European counties are still party to.

Does anyone actually believe that Iran suspended its nuclear program while the treaty was in effect?

The article concludes:

Iran also is seeking to have its international oil trade restored.

The Trump administration, after a protracted inter-agency fight, decided last month to stop issuing sanctions waivers to several countries purchasing large amounts of Iranian crude oil. The removal of these waivers effectively killed Iran’s oil trade.

Keivan Khosravi, a spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said all banking and oil rights must be immediately restored or Tehran will continue with efforts to ramp up prohibited nuclear work.

“As the honorable president declared, concurrent with the SNSC statement, Iran will continue subsequent and staged steps to stop nuclear deal undertakings based on the UNSC statement until the status quo of its oil sales and banking transactions return to the conditions that prevailed before the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal,” Khosravi wrote in a memo published Tuesday by Iran’s state-controlled press.

Translated loosely, this means that the sanctions are working and we need to leave them in place. If Iran does ramp up its nuclear program, we need another computer virus to slow it down. The reactor sites are hidden too deep underground to be bombed successfully, but an electronic attack on their computers and power grid would probably slow them down for a few years at least. The answer to the problem of a nuclear Iran is an Iran not controlled by the mullahs. That is a possibility as the younger generation tends to lean toward western ideas, but those that make those tendencies known wind up in prison or dead. Iran needs another revolution. The sanctions and the economic hardship they cause make that revolution a possibility.

One thing I believe we need to consider is a lesson learned in recent years about setting up democracies in places that do not understand freedom. It seems that in order to create a free county, you need brave men of integrity willing to lead a revolution and fight for freedom for all people. You can’t come in and just plant a democracy. Planting a democracy is somewhat like helping a baby chick hatch–the baby chick needs the hatching process to gain the strength to survive. If you help a baby chick hatch, it will not survive. It seems that in recent years we have learned that democracies have the same problem–they have to do their own hatching. When the work is done for them, the wrong leaders rise and the people gain new despots–they don’t gain freedom.

Act II

The Mueller Report fizzled. Donald Trump is still President. The House of Representative is preparing for impeachment on possible charges of a cover-up where there is no crime. Most of the Democrat candidates running for President in 2020 support socialism, killing babies up until the moment when they are actually born, open borders, free healthcare for everyone (including those here illegally), and free college. What could possibly go wrong? Well, now is the time to get out the popcorn.

On Thursday, Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at The National Review about the collapse of the Russian-collusion narrative.

Mr. Hanson points out a few obvious facts that made the narrative doubtful from the start:

One, the Washington swamp of fixers such as Paul Manafort and John and Tony Podesta was mostly bipartisan and predated Trump.

Two, the Trump administration’s Russia policies were far tougher on Vladimir Putin than were those of Barack Obama. Trump confronted Russia in Syria, upped defense spending, increased sanctions, and kept the price of oil down through massive new U.S. energy production. He did not engineer a Russian “reset” or get caught on a hot mic offering a self-interested hiatus in tensions with Russia in order to help his own reelection bid.

The article concludes by noting that the rats are deserting the sinking ship:

Comey is also in a tiff with his former deputy, Andrew McCabe. Both know that the FBI under Comey illegally leaked classified information to the media. But Comey says McCabe went rogue and did it. Of course, McCabe’s attorney shot back that Comey had authorized it. Comey also claims the Steele dossier was not the chief evidence for a FISA warrant. McCabe insists that it was. It’s possible that one might work with prosecutors against the other to finagle a lesser charge.

Former CIA director John Brennan has on two occasions lied under oath to Congress and gotten away with it. He may not get away with lying again if it’s determined that he distorted the truth about his efforts to spread the Steele dossier smears. A former CIA official claims that Comey put the unverified Steele dossier into an intelligence community report on alleged Russian interference. Comey has contended that Brennan was the one who did.

It’s possible that both did. Doing so would have been unethical if not illegal, given that neither official told President Obama (if he didn’t already know) that the silly Steele dossier was a product of Hillary Clinton’s amateurish efforts to subvert the 2016 Trump campaign.

In sum, the old leaky vessel of collusion is sinking.

The rats are scampering from their once safe refuge — biting and piling on one another in vain efforts to avoid drowning.

The really scary part of this is that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, we would know none of this, and using the government to spy on political opponents would have become a way of life in America. Unless the people responsible for using the government as a political weapon are brought to justice, using the government to spy on political opponents will become a way of life in America.

Congress Needs To Remember That They Are Responsible For Making Laws

There was some genuine ugly in Congress this week. Unfortunately that is fairly common lately, but sometimes things are said that are really over the top. Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a discussion Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez probably should not have gotten involved in.

The article reports:

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended a fellow Democrat who argued in a Wednesday hearing that the deaths of migrant children in U.S. custody were “intentional.”

“Yesterday, GOP moved to silence Lauren Underwood’s words bc she had the audacity to say the obvious: that stealing children away from their parents, trafficking, & caging them w/o end is intended to do harm,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “They tried to silence her; make her back down. She didn’t. Be proud.”

…Underwood, a Democrat representative from Illinois, had claimed a day earlier that Republicans, and specifically the Trump administration, had intentionally chosen a policy that they knew would result in harm or death to migrant children.

…What neither Ocasio-Cortez nor Underwood acknowledged was the fact that the family separation policy had been adopted in part to reduce the trafficking of children, and neither mentioned the hundreds of children who had been removed from adults who were not actually their parents or even relatives, some of whom had been “rented” in order to help a single adult gain entry to the U.S. more easily.

Just for the record, the policy was implemented during the Obama administration. If Congress is against the policy, it is their responsibility to change it–not to blame someone else for their inaction.

This Should Never Have Been Legal

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported that President Trump made a change to a 2014 Medicaid regulation. Some states had been skimming money from Medicaid payments and funneling it into union coffers.

The article reports:

The Obama administration issued a regulation that protected a state practice that had, by that time, been practiced for decades. Since the 1990s, states have accepted Medicaid money from the federal government meant for home health service providers, often the family or friends of the Medicaid-assistance recipient, according to the conservative think tank Freedom Foundation.

In distributing checks to the health providers, some states had begun skimming money and diverting it to unions and other interest groups in the form of dues, even though home health providers may not be members. The Center for Medicaid Services will begin cracking down on the process in July.

…The new regulation will prevent states from skimming up to $150 million per year from Medicaid payments and diverting it to other causes. The Freedom Foundation found that in 2018 eight states – California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont and Washington – were skimming money off Medicaid payments to caretakers.

As expected, the unions opposed this new regulation:

Unions slammed the Trump administration over the new rule. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the largest public-sector unions in the U.S., said the new policy was “anti-worker.”

The final rule attacks “roughly 800,000 home care workers’ ability to use common paycheck deductions for health insurance contributions, union dues, and other expenses,” the SEIU said in a statement. “The rule wrongly targets independent provider home care workers who, without a union, are faced with a physically and emotionally demanding job with a median wage of just $10.49 an hour, no healthcare, no paid sick time and no benefits.”

How about letting home care workers decide for themselves whether or not they want to join a union or pay union dues? The Obama regulation was simply another way to put money in union coffers that they could donate to Democrats during election cycles.

The Scam We Hope Will Be Fully Revealed Soon

The mainstream media has been less than enthusiastic about uncovering the root of the investigation into the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. However, in spite of their efforts to bury the misdeeds of people in the Obama administration, the story is slowly beginning to come out. Most of the mainstream media is still avoiding telling the story, but you can still find it in some outlets.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article by Andrew McCarthy that reminds us of some of the unseemly (and probably illegal) things that were going on in late 2015 through early 2017. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but there are a few things that need to be highlighted.

The article notes:

In Senate testimony last week, Attorney General William Barr used the word “spying” to refer to the Obama administration, um, spying on the Trump campaign. Of course, fainting spells ensued, with the media-Democrat complex in meltdown. Former FBI Director Jim Comey tut-tutted that he was confused by Barr’s comments, since the FBI’s “surveillance” had been authorized by a court.

(Needless to say, the former director neglected to mention that the court was not informed that the bureau’s “evidence” for the warrants was unverified hearsay paid for by the Clinton campaign.)

The pearl-clutching was predictable. Less than a year ago, we learned the Obama administration had used a confidential informant — a spy — to approach at least three Trump campaign officials in the months leading up to the 2016 election, straining to find proof that the campaign was complicit in the Kremlin’s hacking of Democratic emails.

But there is more to the story. I never understood the significance of some of the other events in the story. Andrew McCarthy explains them:

In the months prior to the election, as its Trump-Russia investigation ensued, some of the overtly political, rabidly anti-Trump FBI agents running the probe discussed among themselves the prospect of stopping Trump, or of using the investigation as an “insurance policy” in the highly unlikely event that Trump won the election. After Trump’s stunning victory, the Obama administration had a dilemma: How could the investigation be maintained if Trump were told about it? After all, as president, he would have the power to shut it down.

On Jan. 6, 2017, Comey, Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers visited President-elect Trump in New York to brief him on the Russia investigation.

Just one day earlier, at the White House, Comey and then–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration — President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and national security adviser Susan Rice — to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.

Rice put this sleight-of-hand a bit more delicately in the memo about the Oval Office meeting (written two weeks after the fact, as Rice was leaving her office minutes after Trump’s inauguration):

“President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia. [Emphasis added.]”

It is easy to understand why Obama officials needed to discuss withholding information from Trump. They knew that the Trump campaign — not just some individuals tangentially connected to the campaign — was the subject of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe. An informant had been run at campaign officials. The FISA surveillance of Page was underway — in fact, right before Trump’s inauguration, the Obama administration obtained a new court warrant for 90 more days of spying.

This memo is evidence that President Obama was at least aware of what was going on. That should be all over the front pages of every newspaper in the country. Somehow it isn’t.

Who Gets To Be Represented In Congress?

One America News Network reported yesterday that the Supreme Court will take up the matter of the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

The article reports:

The Trump Administration is looking to appeal a ruling by the Southern District of New York, which struck down their request. The ruling then headed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals; however, this latest move means Justices will resolve the case before the lower court has the chance to review it.

The Department of Justice said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who announced he would pursue updating the questionnaire in 2018, has the legal authority to include the citizenship question on next year’s census.

However, the district judge cast doubt on the reasoning behind Ross’ decision to include the question in the survey. The judge argued its inclusion would be unlawful and would violate the Administrative Procedure Act, but Ross cited the need to enforce the Voting Rights Act by asking census-takers if they are citizens of the United States.

The agency argued the question was included in previous years, with it last being seen in 1950.

Why is this important? It’s important for the House of Representatives and for the Electoral College.

The National Immigration Forum explained the impact of the question in an article posted in August 2018:

Because Congress is reapportioned in accordance with overall population, states with large undocumented populations that would go uncounted stand to lose representation. Due to the growth of the immigrant population in the southeast in recent years, in both rural towns and large southern cities like Atlanta and Charlotte, the impact of a census undercount will be felt in blue and red areas alike. As one expert has noted, the states “most disadvantaged, however, are not those with simply the most undocumented people,” like New York or Illinois. Rather, the states with the highest proportion of undocumented people compared to overall population would be the most impacted. These states include solid blue states like California, Maryland and New Jersey, but also a number of red states and swing states – Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and Texas. To the extent the citizenship question drives down the response rate, these states are most likely to lose congressional representation.

The number of votes a state receives in the Electoral College is also partially determined by the number of Representatives the state has in Congress, so an accurate count of the population is also important in determining the number of electors.

Putting the citizenship question on the 2020 Census will allow a more realistic count of American citizens. American citizens are the people Congress is supposed to represent. You gain the right to vote and to be represented when you become a citizen. Otherwise, you are simply a guest. Would you let a guest (invited or uninvited) determine the rules and budget of your household?