More Absurdity From The Media

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the way the media has reported the death of ISIS terrorist chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Below is a screenshot of The Washington Post headline. I am told that the headline was later edited, but this is where they started:

The article at The Conservative Treehouse notes:

In an era where the ideology of U.S. media has become increasingly disconnected from the majority of Americans, it is becoming less surprising to see radical leftist positions in mainstream organizations.  However, that said, for any U.S. media to position themselves as sympathetic to one of the most brutal terrorists in the last half-century, is a level of disconnect far beyond comprehension.

Unfortunately, this position by U.S. Media is not as shocking as it should be.

As a contextual reminder for the teachings of the “austere religious scholar” represented by al-Baghdadi, his ISIS terrorists: beheaded international journalists, buried journalists in the ground and ran them over with tanks, brutally raped captives, drowned and burned Syrian civilians in cages, burned a Jordanian pilot alive in a cage and murdered dozens of Coptic Christians on the beaches of Libya….

The article includes some pictures of what ISIS and other Islamic groups have done to Christians. There is no way this man deserves a sympathetic obituary.

Is We Can Read The Transcript, Why Do We Need The Whistleblower?

This entire news narrative about the ‘whistleblower’ has been a farce from the beginning. As usual, President Trump handled the situation beautifully by releasing the transcripts of his conversation with the Ukrainian President. He should not have had to do that, but because of all the accusations the Democrats are so freely throwing around, it was the best thing to do. It was also the thing that the Democrats hurling the accusations assumed that the President would not do. It blew a hole right in the middle of their little scheme. When the actual transcript was released, the ‘whistleblower’ became moot. He wasn’t needed anymore. In fact, he was a liability because it became obvious that his report had little to do with what actually happened. Now the story has a new twist.

The Daily Caller posted an article today reporting that Representative Adam Schiff has stated that the House Intelligence Committee might not have to interview the ‘whistleblower.’  Oddly enough, Representative Schiff seemed to lose interest in interviewing the ‘whistleblower’ after it was learned that the person had contact with a Schiff aide prior to filing the complaint Aug. 12. Wow. What a coincidence.

The article concludes:

House Democrats have given indications that they were shifting away from pushing for the whistleblower’s testimony.

House Democrats were considering disguising the whistleblower during any potential interview in order to prevent Republicans from leaking the whistleblower’s identity, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

A Republican source familiar with the matter told the Daily Caller News Foundation in response to that report that it appeared Schiff was “laying the groundwork” to announce the whistleblower will not testify, “and to blame that on Republicans.”

“Schiff may not want the whistleblower to testify anymore because the whistleblower would have to reveal more details about this cooperation with Schiff,” the Republican source told the DCNF.

I wonder how many Americans realize how totally contrived and dishonest this ‘impeachment investigation’ is. The President’s civil rights are being violated, and the Republicans are being as quiet as mice. Does anyone in Washington have enough backbone to stand up for the Constitution?

Putting Up The Smoke Screen

The Inspector General’s report on the foreign intervention in the 2016 election is expected to come out in the next two weeks or so. Many of us are getting very impatient. Based on what the alternative media has been reporting for years now, Attorney General Barr and his investigating team are looking in all of the right places–Russia, Australia, Italy, Ukraine, and Britain. Those who took part on the scam and the investigation that followed are correct to be very uncomfortable about what is to come. The mainstream media is trying to blunt the impact of the information that will be made public.

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article detailing exactly what is going on. It is a complicated article, so I suggest you follow the link and read the entire article, but I will provide a few highlights.

The article reports:

Once upon a time — in a galaxy far, far away — The New York Times and The Washington Post were the go-to papers when it came to uncovering political scandals.  

Both papers made a point of running the Pentagon Papers, an internal and secret U.S. government history of  various presidents and their relevant Cabinet secretaries decision-making on American involvement in the Vietnam War. The Post, of course, was also famous for its birddogging young reporters Woodward and Bernstein and their digging out the details of the Watergate scandal. In fact, movies have been made with Hollywood A-listers lionizing both The Post and the journalists involved. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman starred in the Watergate movie (All the President’s Men), while Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep starred in the dramatic tale of the Post’s battles with government officials over  breaking the Pentagon Papers story (The Post. )

So it is with no little irony that today the two papers are leading the media charge to cover-up “Spygate” – the considerable scandal that is the the use of American intelligence agencies to spy on the political opponents of Obama and Clinton in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal has noticed, saying this in an editorial titled: “Foreign Influence and Double Standards. Democrats want to stop Barr from investigating what happened in 2016.” 

The article also notes:

Over at the Times, that paper is busy running stories like this one by the virulent Trump-hater Michelle Goldberg. This jewel of political framing is titled: “Just How Corrupt Is Bill Barr?” 

Perhaps the real question should be: Just How Corrupt is The New York Times

A perfect example of the game at play in this article is Goldberg citing one “Stephen Gillers, a professor of legal ethics at New York University School of Law.” I recall Stephen Gillers. In fact, I took a look at Gillers in my 2005 book The Borking Rebellion, a recounting of the Senate confirmation of Bush nominee Judge D. Brooks Smith for the Third Circuit of Appeals. The Post had asked Gillers for comment on a supposed ethics issue involving Judge Smith, presenting him, as does Goldberg today, as an above-it-all, strictly non-partisan legal ethics expert.

In fact, in the Smith battle I uncovered the fact that Gillers was hardly a non-partisan. He had served as a consultant to a far left special interest group called the Community Rights Counsel. The CRC had issued a report harshly critical of the Judge, and The Post went to Gillers for comment, leaving out of their story Gillers own ties to the CRC, the very group whose report on Smith he was being asked to comment. 

Goldberg plays the same game, citing Gillers as if he were some lofty non-partisan when, in fact, his background and record illustrate that he is anything but. Goldberg’s presentation is, to borrow again from her title, corrupt.

Andrew McCarthy at The National Review noted recently:

The strategy here is obvious. The Democrats and their note-takers would like the public to believe that Barr’s investigation is an adjunct of the Trump 2020 campaign — and a grossly improper one at that. The misimpression they seek to create is that Barr is putting the nation’s law-enforcement powers in the service of Trump’s reelection campaign, in the absence of any public interest. The hope is that this will delegitimize not only any information that emerges from Ukraine but the whole of the Justice Department’s investigation of intelligence and law-enforcement abuses of power attendant to the 2016 election.

If the people who used government and foreign resources to spy on a political opponent in 2016 are not held accountable, their actions will become the template for future political campaigns. This will destroy our republic.

I Guess This Is Not A New Problem

In April 2015 TruthorFiction posted an article stating the following:

It’s true that newspapers across the country published a story about climate change in the Arctic Ocean in 1922.

The article appeared on page 2 of the Washington Post on November 2, 1922, under the headline, “Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt.” The text of the article reads:

“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.

“Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.

“Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.”

The article, which was written by the Associated Press, appeared in scores of newspapers around the country in November of 1922. A researcher named John Lockwood found the article archived at the Library of Congress in 2007.
The article was based on a report that appeared in the November 1922 edition of the Monthly Weather Review. The original report says an expedition was sent by the Norwegian Department of Commerce to the Arctic Circle to survey land and to make “oceanographic investigations.” According to excerpts from the report:

“Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted … This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus.”

“…It is of interest to note the unusually warm summer in Arctic Norway and the observations of Capt. MartinIngebrigstaen, who has sailed the eastern Arctic for 54 years past. He says that he first noted warmer conditions in 1918, that since that time it has steadily gotten warmer, and that to-day the Arctic of that region is not recognizable as the same region of 1868 to 1917.”

The article notes that this article does not prove that climate change is a hoax. It notes that changes in temperature from year to year can result in significant changes in ice levels. I posted this article to prove that we really don’t know as much as we like to think we do about how climate works. I suspect that the amount of carbon emissions flowing into the atmosphere in 1922 was considerably less than it is today. We can therefore conclude that there might be other factors involved in our changing climate. Put simply, man is not important enough to control the climate.

I Guess The Truth Is Not Important If You Are A Democrat Candidate

Newsbusters posted an article today about the reporting on some recent embellished stories told by Joe Biden.

The article reports:

Apparently, the truth and the accuracy of details meant little to the so-called “powerhouse roundtable” on ABC’s This Week. During the latter half of the Sunday show, the panel defended former Vice President Joe Biden after The Washington Post exposed that a war story Biden had been telling for years was actually a tall tale.

But it wasn’t entirely false. As The Post explained and ABC rationalized on Thursday, Biden created the story by conflating several real events into a, sort of, Frankenstein’s monster designed to tug on the heartstrings of listeners. According to The Post, “Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony.”

But the facts be damned on ABC News.

First up was ABC political director Rick Klein, who said the story “shows the best of Joe Biden and the worst of Joe Biden. It’s him connecting and telling a really compelling story. It’s also him sanding away the edges and conflating things and maybe confusing details.”

The thing that is amazing about the above statement is that if your grandfather was ‘sanding away the edges and conflating things and maybe confusing details,’ you would probably have him checked for dementia. I really wonder if Joe Biden is going to be the Democrat nominee for President. I wonder if by some miracle he is the candidate, is he up for the task?

The article continues:

Washington Post national correspondent Mary Jordan was flippant about her own paper’s reporting on Biden’s latest gaffe. She suggested the voters she was talking too were telling her: “Come on, let’s focus on the big stuff, it’s the economy and the character of the leader and the character of the country that we want going forward”.

“And that’s what they’re saying. It’s big time. It’s big stuff that we care about. It’s not about the stories,” she concluded.

As Klein’s argument showed, it’s a double standard with it came to Democratic candidates and President Trump. If it was Trump telling Biden’s tale, then the media would be running story after story about him intentionally “gaslighting” America. Perhaps that’s why the news story wasn’t “resonating”.

I guess we are going to find out if American voters are willing to elect a candidate who the friendly media admits doesn’t even tell the truth when he is running.

The Wheels Of Justice Sometimes Turn Very Slowly

Yesterday The Washington Post reported the following:

The FBI on Wednesday arrested two former senior officials who served in administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, leading the chair of the House committee that oversees Puerto Rico to call for the governor to step down.

The arrests also spurred concerns on Capitol Hill about the billions of dollars in aid that Congress has approved for the island.

The federal indictment says the former officials illegally directed federal funding to politically-connected contractors. The arrests come about a month after Congress approved a controversial disaster aid bill that earmarked additional funding for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017, which were tied up in part because President Trump called Puerto Rico’s officials “incompetent or corrupt.”

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the Natural Resource Committee that oversees Puerto Rico, called on Rosselló to resign amid the ongoing federal investigation.

The article concludes:

The arrests come as senior White House officials are searching for new ways to limit the amount of federal aid going to help Puerto Rico, and the island’s allies fear the arrests will give Trump greater justification for curtailing additional aid to the island.

“The governor of Puerto Rico and his administration have now given President Trump the ammunition he needed,” said San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz, a political opponent of the governor.

I really think we need to make sure that any additional aid given to Puerto Rico will be properly administered and distributed. It appears that they have a corruption problem, and there is no way of knowing whether or not it has been solved. Unfortunately, it will be the people who need to help the most who will suffer the most because of the corruption.

Socialism In The Nordic Countries

On Monday The Washington Post posted an article about how the economies of the Nordic countries work.

These are some of the things noted:

Undoubtedly, the Nordic nations, with their high incomes, low inequality, free politics and strong rule of law, represent success stories. What this has to do with socialism, though, is another question.

And the answer, according to a highly clarifying new report from analysts at JPMorgan Chase, is “not much.”

Drawing on data from the World Bank, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and other reputable sources, the report shows that five nations — Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands — protect property rights somewhat more aggressively than the United States, on average; exercise less control over private enterprise; permit greater concentration in the banking sector; and distribute a smaller share of their total income to workers.

“Copy the Nordic model if you like, but understand that it entails a lot of capitalism and pro-business policies, a lot of taxation on middle class spending and wages, minimal reliance on corporate taxation and plenty of co-pays and deductibles in its healthcare system,” the report notes.

This really does not sound like the utopia that Bernie Sanders is pushing–particularly the co-pays and deductions.

The article continues:

Sanders and other left-leaning Democrats promise to pay for tuition-free college and Medicare-for-all with higher taxes on the top 1 percent of earners. Most Nordic countries, by contrast, have zero estate tax. They fund generous programs with the help of value-added taxes that heavily affect middle-class consumers.

In Sweden, for example, consumption, social security and payroll taxes total 27 percent of gross domestic product, as compared with 10.6 percent in the United States, according to the JPMorgan Chase report. The Nordic countries tried direct wealth taxes such as the one that figures prominently in the plans of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); all but Norway abandoned them because of widespread implementation problems.

The Nordic countries’ use of co-pays and deductibles in health care may be especially eye-opening to anyone considering Sanders’s Medicare-for-all plan, which the presidential candidate pitches as an effort to bring the United States into line with European standards.

His plan offers an all-encompassing, government-funded zero-co-pay, zero-deductible suite of benefits, from dental checkups to major surgery — which no Nordic nation provides.

The Netherlands’ health insurance system centers on an Obamacare-like mandate to buy a private plan; individuals face an annual deductible of $465 (as of 2016), according to the Boston-based Commonwealth Fund.

Dutch consumers’ out-of-pocket spending on health care represented 11 percent of total health expenditures in 2016, according to the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker — the same percentage as in the United States. In Sweden, meanwhile, out-of-pocket spending accounted for 15 percent of health expenditures. Who knew?

The article concludes by noting that the burden for these programs falls on the middle class–the rich will always have tax accountants to limit the amount of taxes they pay–the middle class has no such luxury. Bernie Sanders’ proposals will essentially rob the poor to pay the rich. I really don’t think that is what most Americans have in mind.

Are We Really All On The Same Team?

On Saturday The Washington Examiner posted an article with the following headline, “Officials accuse DHS chief Kevin McAleenan of leaking ICE raids plan to sabotage operation.”

The leak was to the Washington Post.

The article reports:

This week’s big leak about a major Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation was orchestrated by acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan in an effort to sabotage the raids before they were scheduled to take place, according to three current and two former senior administration officials.

In a move he said was to placate Democrats, President Trump announced on Saturday that the nationwide immigration enforcement operation planned to start Sunday — aimed at migrant families who illegally remain in the country despite being denied asylum — was called off to give lawmakers two weeks to work on a plan to fix legal “loopholes” he said have enticed migrants to come to the U.S.

However, all five officials who spoke with the Washington Examiner confirmed McAleenan’s decision to go rogue and stymie the operation was what prompted the White House to call off the 10-city operation.

I have a few comments on this. First of all, if you are going to deport illegal immigrants, there needs to be a hierarchy in doing it. Most Americans would not object if the deportations began with members of MS-13. They need to go back to the countries they left. Even if they are here legally, they need to go back to the countries they left. Next, anyone convicted of a criminal offense–dealing drugs, drunk driving, illegally possessing firearms, etc., needs to be given a ticket out of the country. I would hope that the issue of deporting family members when only part of the family is here illegally would be put at the bottom of the priority list. It also might be better to deny welfare benefits to illegals in order to encourage them to leave on their own.

The article concludes:

Following the Post report Friday, ICE advised the White House not to go forward with the raids, in part because those who were the targets might have fled the locations Enforcement and Removal Operations officers had expected to find them.

“Leaking the locations and details to stop the operation from happening not only harmed operational integrity, but it put the safety and well-being of his own officers in jeopardy,” the third official wrote.

“That’s law enforcement sensitive information. You just don’t reveal that,” the second official said. “It gets people hyped up. It gets the NGOs activated, and then anyone wearing a jacket with the ICE name on it is really chastised. Cities are coming out saying, ‘Here’s how you can protect yourself against it.’”

That same official said the “worst” consequence of the leak, especially if it was directed by the department’s leader, was how it endangered personnel.

“It really jeopardized the safety of law enforcement officers — that’s the part that’s really detrimental,” the official said.

Whoever the leaker is, he needs to be fired.

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.

The Geo-Political Impact Of America’s Energy Independence

In January of this year, Forbes Magazine reported:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published their 2019 Annual Energy Outlook. Whenever your optimism on the prospects for U.S. energy infrastructure waivers, this will restore your confidence. The outlook for domestic energy production is bullish, and in many cases more so than a year ago.

For example, in their 2018 report, the EIA’s Reference Case projected that the U.S. would eventually become a net energy exporter. Now, thanks to stronger crude and liquids production, they expect that milestone to be reached next year.

We have reached that milestone. So what is the impact? Fist of all, we are free of the threat of an oil boycott by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). The oil embargo placed on the United States by OPEC in the early 1970’s rapidly increased gasoline prices and caused shortages at the gas pumps. We don’t want to do that again. Aside from the impact on average Americans, we need gas to fuel our military. However, being energy independent does not entirely free us from having to be nice to Arab countries that don’t like us. Because of an agreement made between Richard Nixon and Saudi Arabia, oil is traded in American dollars. This is one of the reasons American dollars still have value despite our large national debt. The Saudis have been responsible for seeing that oil continues to be traded in American dollars, so it is in our best interest to be nice to them. The Saudis are also moving toward a friendlier relationship to Israel because of fear of Iran. Being energy independent allows us to support the nation of Israel without fearing another oil embargo.

American energy independence also has a potential impact on our relations with Russia and Europe.

In July 2018, The Washington Post posted an article about Europe’s dependence on Russian oil.

The article notes:

Putin has proved through his actions that he views everything as a potential tool to gain an advantage economically, politically and militarily. One of his most powerful tools is Russia’s energy resources, and he has used Europe’s reliance on these resources to strengthen his position. Some European leaders have been all too willing to take the bait.

This was the point President Trump was making at a NATO summit this month. He caused a stir for speaking undiplomatically in a room of diplomats. He was also pointing out what everyone in the room already knew: Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas undermines its security.

Trump also understands, as he demonstrated this week in his talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, that the United States can and should help solve this problem. By supplying our own natural gas reserves to Europe, the United States can loosen Putin’s economic grip on the region.

The article concludes:

By increasing exports of American natural gas, the United States can help our NATO allies escape Russian strong-arming. America is the world’s leading producer of clean, versatile natural gas. There are two export facilities in the United States. able to ship natural gas overseas — one in Maryland and one in Louisiana. Three more are due to be operational by the end of this year, and at least 20 additional projects are awaiting federal permits. We must speed up these approvals to give our allies alternatives to Russian gas.

We have plenty of natural gas to meet Americans’ needs and increase our exports. Independent studies have found that prices will remain low even with significant gas exports. Now we just need to clear away the regulatory hurdles and show our European allies that U.S. natural gas is a wiser option than Russia’s.

When Putin looks at natural gas, he thinks of politics, he thinks of money and he thinks of power. It is in America’s national security interests to help our allies reduce their dependence on Russian energy. We need to make clear how important it is for their own security, as well.

Our NATO alliance is strong. Ending Europe’s dependence on Russian energy will make it even stronger.

An energy-independent America is good for America, good for Europe, and good for Israel.

Objectivity From An Unexpected Source

Paul Farhi posted an article yesterday at The Washington Post about the media’s role in the Mueller investigation.

The article reports:

After more than two years of intense reporting and endless talking-head speculation about possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian agents in 2016, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III put a huge spike in all of it on Sunday. Attorney General William P. Barr relayed Mueller’s key findings in a four-page summary of the 22-month investigation: The evidence was insufficient to conclude that Trump or his associates conspired with Russians to interfere in the campaign.

Barr’s announcement was a thunderclap to mainstream news outlets and the cadre of mostly liberal-leaning commentators who have spent months emphasizing the possible-collusion narrative in opinion columns and cable TV panel discussions.

“Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media,” Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi wrote in a column published Saturday, a day before Barr nailed the collusion coffin shut. He added: “Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population.”

That’s bad enough, but there is another noteworthy observation in the article:

Other news outlets defended their reporting as well, noting that much of it is undisputed and has led to indictments and guilty pleas by figures associated with Trump’s campaign.

“I’m comfortable with our coverage,” said Dean Baquet, the New York Times’s top editor. “It is never our job to determine illegality, but to expose the actions of people in power. And that’s what we and others have done and will continue to do.”

He noted that Barr’s letter summarizing Mueller’s findings points out that the actions that warranted an obstruction inquiry were “the subject of public reporting” — a fact “that’s to the credit of the media.”

In fact, revelations by the Times and The Washington Post about contacts between Russian agents and Trump’s campaign advisers in 2016 helped prompt the inquiry that the special counsel took over in May 2017. The two newspapers shared a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the issue that year.

Although the mainstream media tried to make this Watergate, it wasn’t, and I suspect they have little or no intention of admitting their misreporting of major aspects of the story. First of all, where was the reporting of the abuse of power by the Obama administration in surveillance of an opposition party political campaign? Second, where was the commentary on inflammatory statements by former intelligence officials that later proved to be wrong? Third, where was the commentary on the accomplishments of the Trump administration in trade, taxes, and economic policy? If you are still watching the mainstream media and believing what they say, you will continue to be misinformed and mislead.

Things That Began Well Don’t Always End Well

This is my eulogy for Fox News. I remember Fox News Sunday when Tony Snow was hosting it. It was balanced and informative. That has changed in recent years. I enjoy Tucker Carlson. I understand we may not agree on everything, but he is fair, logical, and informative. I used to enjoy Hannity and Colmes when they debated both sides of an issue. I guess the fairness and balance of Fox News will be a distant memory.

The Los Angeles Times posted an article yesterday about some changes to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox as it prepares for a merger with Walt Disney Company. 21st Century Fox created a new company, Fox Corp., made up of Fox News Channel and Fox broadcast network.

Yesterday The Washington Post reported that Paul Ryan will be a board member for Fox Corp., the new parent company of Fox News.

The Washington Post reports:

Last week, Ryan reportedly told a crowd during a lecture in Vero Beach, Fla., that the Democrat who defines the race as one about Trump and Trump’s personality could beat him. But he quickly backtracked on Twitter to clarify that he believes Trump deserves to win.

“To be clear, GOP wins elections when they’re about ideas not when they’re personality contests like Dems & media want. We’re clearly better off because of @RealDonaldTrump,” Ryan tweeted. “His record of accomplishment is why he’ll win re-election especially when compared to Dems’ leftward lurch.”

Ryan will serve on the seven-member board along with Murdoch, Fox’s founder, and his son, Lachlan Murdoch, Fox’s chairman and chief executive.

I believe the choices currently being made will be the end of Fox News as the most-watched news network in America.

It’s Hard To Figure Out Who To Believe

The mainstream media lies. We could debate whether they lie or are simply misinformed, but the fact remains that they do not do a good job of informing the public on current events. Today Fox News posted an article that illustrates the problem with discerning the truth.

The article reports:

The Washington Post was among many news organizations to denounce President Trump’s claim of tape being used to silence women during illegal border crossings — but a subsequent New York Times article revealed the president wasn’t making things up after all.

Back on Jan. 25, the Post published an update to a piece headlined, “Trump again mentioned taped-up women at the border. Experts don’t know what he is talking about.” It claimed the president’s “new favorite anecdote” was about tape covering the mouths of migrant women.

Post reporter Katie Mettler wrote that Trump, in pushing for a border wall, was claiming “without evidence that traffickers tie up and silence women with tape” before illegally crossing the border. The Post called Trump’s claims “salacious and graphic,” even providing a timeline of Trump’s taped-women rhetoric.

“Yet human-trafficking experts and advocates for immigrant women have said they are perplexed by this increasingly repeated story in Trump’s repertoire — and are at a loss for where he got his information. It was not from them, they say; in fact, they have no idea what he is talking about,” Mettler wrote.

Not so fast. Last week, The New York Times published a piece headlined, “Yes, there was duct tape: The harrowing journeys of migrants across the border.” The piece – part of a limited-run series on border crossing – reveals that tape is used during border crossings.

The Times report said that women are “tied up” and “bound,” featuring first-hand accounts from several women who experienced the brutality themselves.

“For weeks, President Trump has been criticized for exaggerating the brutality experienced by migrant women on the border as he makes his case for a wall,” the Times wrote. “But there is some truth to the president’s descriptions of the threat of sexual assault and of women who have been duct-taped and bound.”

Building a border wall will not put an end to all of the evil that is happening at the border. However, we do need to acknowledge that there is a lot of evil happening at the border. The situation at our border is a national emergency with caravans of people breaking into our country. It is time Congress stopped ignoring the safety of Americans and of those in the caravans and got behind President Trump to build the wall.

Most People Got Bigger Tax Refunds This Year Than Last Year

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about this year’s tax refunds. The article was in response to a Washington Post article claiming that people were getting lower tax refunds this year than last year.

The article at Hot Air pointed out a number of things that might result in getting a smaller tax refund:

But since we have to play this game, let’s figure out why your refund is smaller. Did you get a raise or a significant bonus last year? Did you perhaps start a new job that pays more? Were there any other major changes in your financial situation? Tax filing company Intuit has a list of possible explanations you could look for. They include things such as your filing status changing, the selling of assets or the possibility that you were hit with a penalty.

There will be a small number of people who lost out on part of their SALT (state and local tax) deductions, but that should really only have a significant impact on people in high-tax states like New York who are earning well into six figures. As for everyone else, if your income went up, did you adjust your withholdings accordingly? If not, perhaps you need to have a chat with an accountant.

The article also reminds us that a tax refund is a refund of the money that you gave to the government during the year. You allowed them to have that money interest free until you filed your tax return and they were obligated to give the money back to you. Ideally, your tax refund should be small–that means that you correctly calculated the amount of money you actually owed the government. The question is not how big your tax refund is–the question is how much money you actually paid in taxes. The size of your tax refund is simply a reflection of how much money the government took from you during the year.

Who Is James Wolfe?

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

The article continues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sorry State Of Freedom On Our College Campuses

A friend sent me a link to a Washington Post article posted on October 9. The headline in the article is, “A second Michigan instructor withheld a recommendation letter from student headed to Israel.”

The disturbing part is the reason given:

The article continues:

Her email echoed the one that arrived last month in the inbox of Abigail Ingber, another junior at the University of Michigan. 

“I am very sorry, but I only scanned your first email a couple weeks ago and missed out on a key detail,” John Cheney-Lippold, a cultural studies professor, wrote to Ingber in early September, upon realizing that the reference was for a program at Tel Aviv University. “As you may know, many university departments have pledged an academic boycott against Israel in support of Palestinians living in Palestine. This boycott includes writing letters of recommendation for students planning to study there.”

The concept that Israel includes Palestinian land is simply not true. As Walid Shoebat has stated, “One day during the 1960s I went to bed a Jordanian Muslim, and when I woke up the next morning, I was informed that I was now a Palestinian Muslim, and that I was no longer a Jordanian Muslim.” Jordan was established to be the Palestinian state. The Palestinians were kicked out of Jordan after they attempted to overthrow its government. The Arab countries have kept them as refugees for generations in order to gin up anger against Israel with the hopes of driving the Jews into the sea. It is unbelievable that our college professors are encouraging this sort of behavior. It’s a shame our college teachers don’t know history. In actuality, the land occupied by Jordan was initially given to Israel.

The article concludes:

Michael Zakim, a cultural historian at Tel Aviv University, argued that the boycott would end up undermining “the Palestinian struggle” by unwittingly supporting forces “determined to delegitimize the humanism and internationalism that predominates on Israeli university campuses.” He labeled as “inanity” some of the means taken to “discredit Israeli academic culture,” such as the refusal to serve as an external reader on a dissertation.

Feisal G. Mohamed, then of the University of Illinois and now at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, responded, saying the boycott didn’t compel each of the actions decried by Zakim. Still, he reasoned, “any and all available means must be used to end an occupation.”

At Michigan, the board of regents declined last year to form a committee to investigate divesting the university’s endowment from companies doing business with Israel, after the student government passed a resolution supporting such a move.

But refusing to throw its weight behind BDS isn’t enough, Secker (Jake Secker) warned. If the university doesn’t take further action to insulate its students from the political actions of their professors, he said, it could have a crisis on its hands.

“This is an epidemic that’s starting to begin,” he said. “Especially being someone who has an Israeli background, I took it personally. It really disturbed me.”

Any university discriminating against students who want to study in Israel should lose all federal and state funding. BDS is not an acceptable policy, and the government should not be funding it.

There Seems To Be A Lack Of Ethics Among Some Of Our Senators

This post is not directly related to the Senate hearings yesterday, but it may be an indication of the ethics of the people involved.

The Washington Post posted an article yesterday about something that happened to the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee as the hearings were going on.

The article reports:

Several Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee had their home addresses and phone numbers released to the public on their Wikipedia pages during Thursday’s hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The victims included Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

According to Caleb Hull, editor of the Independent Journal Review, the wife of Mr. Hatch “has been receiving calls nonstop ON HER BIRTHDAY and their home address was made public.”

The article explains what happened:

CongressEdits, a bot account that for four years automatically retweets edits to Wikipedia made anonymously from IP addresses associated with the U.S. Congress, said the information was also posted on Mr. Lee and Mr. Graham “from US House of Representatives.”

The article auto-posted screen shots supporting the edits being made and noting the inclusion of private information, a practice known as “doxxing.”

The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday:

The private information on the Republican Senators is coming from a computer from the House of Representatives!

Congress reporter for Politico Burgess Everett tweeted: “Someone is doxxing GOP senators on a computer from the House of Representatives, began shortly after the Graham speech. I’m not going to retweet the account where this is posted.”

The person who leaked this information needs to go to jail. He has put members of Congress at risk.

This is a new low in American politics, and one has to wonder what it is about. What is the threat that confirming Judge Kavanaugh represeents? Why are the Democrats willing to go to such lengths to block him?

I suspect that if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, we will know the answers to those questions fairly quickly. We have watched the Advise and Consent process turned on its head. A strategy that failed with Anita Hill was retried. Hopefully it will fail again. The politics of personal destruction should not be a part of the confirmation process–particularly when an allegation is not able to be proved. If you are going to make a charge that has the potential of ruining a man’s career, come with evidence.

The Economic Impact Of Tax Cuts

First of all, let’s take a short walk down memory lane to a Washington Post article from November 20, 2017.

The article explains how the Democrats plan to use the tax cut plan in the 2018 mid-term elections:

The goal of the ads will be to hit two messages. The first is that the GOP changes to the tax code themselves would be enormously regressive, showering most of their benefits on the wealthy while giving crumbs to working- and middle-class Americans or even raising their taxes. The second is that these tax cuts would necessitate big cuts to the safety net later — the ad references $25 billion in Medicare cuts that could be triggered by the GOP plan’s deficit busting — further compounding the GOP agenda’s regressiveness down the line.

Geoff Garin, a pollster for the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, tells me that his polling shows that this combination alienates working-class whites, particularly Obama-Trump voters. “They are fundamentally populist in their economic views, and they find big breaks to corporations and the wealthy especially heinous when the flip side of that means cutting Medicare and Medicaid,” Garin said.

That was the original plan. Now lets look at an article posted yesterday in The New York Post about the results of the tax cut plan.

The New York Post reports:

We are already starting to see a fiscal dividend from Trump’s pro-business tax, energy and regulatory policies. The Congressional Budget Office reports that tax revenues in April — which is by far the biggest month of the year for tax collections because of the April 15 filing deadline — totaled $515 billion. That was good for a robust 13 percent rise in receipts over last year. ‎

…But there’s another lesson, and it’s about how wrong the bean counters were in Congress who said this tax bill would “cost” the Treasury $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion in most revenues over the next decade. If the higher growth rate Trump has already accomplished remains in place, then the impact will be well over $3 trillion of more revenue and thus lower debt levels over the decade.

Putting people back to work is the best way to balance the budget. Period.

The article concludes:

No one thought that Trump could ramp up the growth rate to 3 percent or that his policies would boost federal revenues. But he is doing just that — which is why all that the Democrats and the media want to talk about these days is Russia and Stormy Daniels.

I want to go back to the original Democrat statements about the damage the tax cuts would do to the economy. Did they really believe that or do they simply want more of our money under their control? Either way, it doesn’t say good things about them–either they don’t understand economics (see the Laffer Curve) or they lied. Obviously they have to continue lying if they want to use the tax cuts as part of their mid-term election campaign–they have already stated that they want to rescind many of the tax breaks that have resulted in the recent economic growth.

If you are inclined to vote on pocketbook issues, the only choice in November is to vote for Republican candidates for Congress.

Arriving Soon

Yesterday The Washington Post posted a story about a caravan of more than 1,000 Central Americans, primarily from Honduras, trekking up through Mexico to the U.S. border on a nearly month-long trip that began March 25. These migrants are looking to seek asylum from criminal elements back home or slip into the United States undetected.

The article explains why they are traveling in a group:

Marching in a large group is expected to blunt the efforts of criminal gangs and cartels known to isolate and later rob immigrants, many of whom bring large sums of money to make the long journey north through Mexico. The caravan organizers, Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, appeared to have concluded that it is safer for these people to travel together.

The article cites President Trump’s claim that Mexico is doing nothing to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and offers the following reply:

Mexico is doing something — with the help of the United States. Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid flow to Mexico every year, including funds for strengthening its border with Guatemala, where migrants generally cross.

One wonders how those funds are actually being spent.

On March 30 (updated March 31), Buzzfeed reported:

For five days now hundreds of Central Americans — children, women, and men, most of them from Honduras — have boldly crossed immigration checkpoints, military bases, and police in a desperate, sometimes chaotic march toward the United States. Despite their being in Mexico without authorization, no one has made any effort to stop them.

Organized by a group of volunteers called Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, the caravan is intended to help migrants safely reach the United States, bypassing not only authorities who would seek to deport them, but gangs and cartels who are known to assault vulnerable migrants.

Organizers like Rodrigo Abeja hope that the sheer size of the crowd will give immigration authorities and criminals pause before trying to stop them.

“If we all protect each other we’ll get through this together,” Abeja yelled through a loudspeaker on the morning they left Tapachula, on Mexico’s border with Guatemala, for the nearly monthlong trek.

When they get to the US, they hope American authorities will grant them asylum or, for some, be absent when they attempt to cross the border illegally. More likely is that it will set up an enormous challenge to the Trump administration’s immigration policies and its ability to deal with an organized group of migrants numbering in the hundreds.

If America is such a horrible country (as stated by college professors at our top colleges every day) why are so many people trying to come here? Also, what can these people do to improve conditions in their own countries? We cannot take in the entire world and continue to support our own population.

The Issue Or The Solution?

One of the problems with Washington is that if there is a problem, the political types will always try to figure out if solving it is the answer or if playing up the issue and the fact that it is not solved will gain votes. That is one of many reasons it is so hard to get things done. It is a shame that our politicians have forgotten that they are supposed to work for the voters and that they were sent to Washington to accomplish things. There are a few aspects of illegal immigration that make it very difficult to solve. The Democrats want the issue and the future voters. The Republican corporate types want cheap labor. There is also a school of thought that leaving the issue of the ‘dreamers’ unsolved will bring out Democratic voters–another reason Democrats would rather have the problem than the solution. Meanwhile, no one in Washington is looking at the negative impact of illegal workers on the salaries of Americans with low skills.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today about the failure of Congress to pass a bill to help the ‘dreamers.’ He pointed out some of the last minute things that were added to one ‘compromise’ bill.

The article quotes a Washington Post article:

[A]s the “war room” of administration lawyers and policy experts examined the 64-page text on Wednesday, it was a handwritten note on the final page that set off the loudest alarm bells. That section dealt with setting in law DHS’s priorities for enforcement. Under the proposal, the agency would focus its powers on immigrants with felonies or multiple misdemeanors, who were national security threats and who had arrived in the country after a certain date.

Scribbled in the margins was a date: June 30, 2018 [Note: an end of January date in the typed text was crossed out].

The administration team was dumbstruck: In addition to making it harder for DHS to deport all of those already here illegally, lawmakers were opening the door to a surge of new unauthorized immigrants by setting an effective “amnesty” date four months in the future.

“No one who has worked on immigration issues in the administration or on the Hill was aware of any legislation that had ever been proposed and scheduled to receive a vote on the floor of the Senate that created an amnesty program effectively for those who arrive in the future,” said a DHS official who helped lead the review. “That would clearly and unequivocally encourage a massive wave of illegal immigration and visa overstays.”

(Emphasis added by Paul Mirengoff)

What this bill would do would be to extend amnesty to anyone who arrived before June 30. Does anyone believe that setting that date would not encourage a flood of illegal immigrants wanting to arrive before the deadline. There is no way anyone who read the bill all the way through and understood its consequences could support it.

The article at Power Line concludes:

Perhaps some wanted to maximize the amnesty, while others were too lazy to read to the end of bill or too clueless to grasp the consequences of what they read.

From the Democrats’ perspective, was the prospective amnesty something they thought they could sneak through or was it a poison pill? Some have speculated that Democrats don’t want any deal that includes a wall and would like (or be okay with) a political landscape in which the Dreamers are still in limbo.

Perhaps Democrats saw inclusion of the handwritten note as a win-win. Either they get all those new illegal immigrants ensconced here or they blame the administration for doing nothing for Dreamers.

Today’s Post story looks like implementation of the second option.

When you hear the Democrats complain that President Trump refused to help the ‘dreamers,’ remember that it was the Democrats who made sure the bill would not be passed. It is obvious that the issue is of more value to the Democratic party than a solution.

How Fake News Works

Breitbart posted an article today that is a stunning example of how fake news works. Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel posted the following on Twitter to support his claim that the Trump rally in Pensacola was poorly attended:

What Mr. Weigel failed to mention was that the picture was taken before the Trump rally began.

President Trump called him out on his dishonesty with a Tweet:

I doubt the mainstream media made the correction (although Mr. Weigel’s tweet was deleted). This is the reason the President tweets–to get the truth out when the mainstream media lies.

The article at Breitbart concludes:

But how do Weigel’s elite colleagues respond? No reprimands. No embarrassment. No reaction that indicates in any way that they are concerned with holding on to whatever residual integrity might remain in their discredited institution. Instead, they all make excuses for the inexcusable and attack the president as though he does not have his own free speech rights, as though the elite media is exempt from criticism.

If you wanted to destroy the media by planting confederates in newsrooms all around the country, over this last week, none of your saboteurs could have been anywhere near as effective as the self-destructive Weigel, Maggie Haberman, Brian Ross, Alisyn Camerota; and everyone at CNN, the Washington Post, Reuters, and PolitiFact.

Gentlemen, This Is A Football

Legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi was known for beginning the first team meeting of the preseason by stating, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” The Green Bay Packers were the team to beat in the 1960’s, winning the first two Super Bowls. Vince Lombardi was their coach during this time. Many of the players at those initial team meetings had already won Super Bowls. So what is the point of the statement, “Gentlemen, this is a football?” Simple, there comes a time (quite often) when you simply have to get back to basics.

The news story of the day is the resignation of General Flynn. The bottom line on the story is that the General was not totally truthful in his statements to Vice-President Pence about his contacts with Russia. The contacts with Russia may not actually be a serious problem, but if you want to be part of an administration, it’s not a good idea to lie to those in charge. However, there is much more to the story.

Those of us who want more honesty in government may not be too upset by this resignation. General Flynn is a good man who made a mistake. Unfortunately that mistake cost him his job.

Yesterday, Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the kerfuffle that reminds us of some of the elements surrounding the story.

These are some of the observations in the article:

Thus, I agree with David Goldman that even if reports of the conversation are true, Trump need not remove Flynn over it. (Goldman, by the way, sees the attack on Flynn as part of a CIA vendetta against the retired general).

Misleading Mike Pence, if that’s what Flynn did, is another matter. Obviously, the president and the vice president should be able to count on the national security adviser for honest reports about his conversations with foreign ambassadors (and about all other matters). If Flynn was not honest, that’s a problem.

…ONE MORE THING: It’s clear from the Post’s (Washington Post) report that Sally Yates and the others discovered that the Russians conceivably could blackmail Flynn by listening to a recording of the Russian ambassador’s phone call with Flynn. That’s how they learned Russia could show Flynn might have misled Pence about what was said during the call.

Thus, the Post has reported that the U.S. is tapping the Russian ambassador’s phone. Now, maybe the Russians already know, or assume, this. On the other hand, it may be that the Post has harmed U.S. intelligence gathering capability by running its breathless “blackmail” story.

One final thought. Remember that those of us who want President Trump to drain the swamp are not playing on a level playing field. The political left and their allies in the press are working very hard to undermine President Trump. You could probably also include many career government workers in that category. So what is going on here is not simply the resignation of someone who was less than truthful in his dealings with his boss. The political left will celebrate this as a victory because they caused the removal of General Flynn. We need to be very careful that this does not become a pattern. Also, anyone in the Trump Administration needs to realize that they have to be one hundred percent above board in their actions or the press will destroy them. This is not the Obama Administration where obvious violations of civil rights laws and other laws was overlooked by the press. Under a Republican Administration, the press will suddenly rediscover its role as watchdog.

The Truth About The New Secretary Of State

If you believe the mainstream media, you might be convinced that not only did the Russians win the Cold War, they are taking over America. Relax. It’s just the media and the Democrats trying to tell you that the world is going to end because Donald Trump was elected President.

So who is Rex Tillerson and what will he represent as Secretary of State? He is the CEO of ExxonMobil. Rex Tillerson joined Exxon Company, U.S.A. in 1975 as a production engineer. He has a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. So he has worked for the same company for forty-one years. That says good things about him and about ExxonMobil.

The Washington Times posted an article about Rex Tillerson today.

The article reports:

“Rex Tillerson’s Russia problem,” The Washington Post wrote in headline above the fold on Tuesday.

“Trump’s credibility problem on Russia,” NBC wrote, warning: “Tillerson has ties to Russia and Putin, including being awarded Russia’s ‘Order of the Friendship’ honor in 2013 and opposing the U.S.-led sanctions against Russia for its intervention in Crimea. And already, GOP senators are expressing concern about Tillerson’s Russia ties.”

Would Condoleezza Rice, James Baker, Bob Gates and Dick Cheney — who all have endorsed Mr. Tillerson’s nomination — be in favor of handing over Eastern Europe to the Russians? Would they all support a candidate for secretary of state who they believed to be a puppet of Mr. Putin’s?

In a Facebook post Tuesday morning, Ms. Rice wrote: “Rex Tillerson is an excellent choice for Secretary of State. He will bring to the post remarkable and broad international experience; a deep understanding of the global economy; and a belief in America’s special role in the world.

“I know Rex as a successful business man and a patriot. He will represent the interests and the values of the United States with resolve and commitment. And he will lead the exceptional men and women of the State Department with respect and dedication. I look forward to supporting Rex through the confirmation process and then welcoming him to the family of Secretaries of State,” she said.

I am beginning to think that all American patriots should simply tune out the mainstream media for the next four years. I suspect that 99 percent of what they report is going to be ‘fake news.’

We have just experienced eight years where the Gross Domestic Product did not increase by more than 3 percent in any year. That is historically bad. We have watched the labor participation rate sink to its lowest level since the 1970’s. That is also historically bad. America elected a successful businessman who wants to turn the American economy around, lead us to energy independence, and drain the swamp that is Washington. Needless to say, those who profit from the swamp in Washington are going to make his job difficult–Donald Trump’s success is a serious threat to their survival. Expect a lot of pushback on anything Donald Trump does, and expect all Americans to have to fight those establishment politicians who want him to fail. Get ready to call or write your Congressman if he is part of the problem. If you want America to come out of the slump it has been in for the past eight years, you are going to have to make your voice heard.

Why Are We Negotiating?

Today’s Washington Post posted an article about Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian.

The article reports:

An Iranian court on Monday held a third hearing for a Washington Post journalist facing charges that include espionage in a trial that has drawn sharp criticism from press freedom groups and the State Department.

The attorney for Jason Rezaian, The Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, said the “remaining charges” were reviewed during the closed-door session in the Revolutionary Court.

But the lawyer, Leila Ahsan, could give no further details about the session. She is barred from publicly discussing the proceedings against Rezaian, who has been detained nearly a year.

Jason Rezaian held dual citizenship in Iran and the United States. He worked in Iran as a journalist.

The article further reports:

The Revolutionary Court held two sessions in Rezaian’s trial in May and June. The charges against him include espionage and distributing propaganda against the Islamic republic.

Rezaian, his Iranian wife and two photojournalists were detained July 22, 2014, in Tehran. His wife, Yeganeh Salehi, a correspondent for the National newspaper in Abu Dhabi, was later released on bail. A photojournalist also faces charges related to the case.

The claims against Rezaian, 39, appear to include a visit he made to a U.S. consulate seeking a visa for his wife and a letter he wrote seeking a job in the Obama administration in 2008 — material that was apparently taken from his confiscated laptop.

Jason Rezaian is not the only American citizen the Iranians currently have in prison. I truly believe that we should suspend all negotiations with Iran and leave the economic sanctions in place until these political and religious prisoners are released and sent back to America. I really don’t understand why we are continuing to negotiate with a country that puts American citizens in prison.

A City Recognizes Freedom Of Religion

On Sunday I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who run the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.

I quoted a Daily Signal article which reported:

Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.

The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.

On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

It seemed to me that the ruling did not respect the Knapps right to practice their religious beliefs freely. Evidently the town in Idaho had second thoughts on the decision and has changed its mind.

The Washington Post is reporting today:

The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, said a for-profit wedding chapel owned by two ministers doesn’t have to perform same-sex marriages….

[City Attorney Michael] Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.

“After we’ve looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation,” Gridley explained.

One has to wonder who the city attorneys talked to before they decided that the ministers were not breaking any laws.

The article concludes:

As I’ve argued before, I think more than just religious freedom is at stake here — the Free Speech Clause protects the right not to participate in verbal ceremonies, whether religious or otherwise, and whether they are pledges of allegiance (even ones without “under God”) or the conducting of wedding vows (even ones that are secular). A secular freelance writer, for instance, has a Free Speech Clause right to refuse to write news releases for religious groups that he disapproves of (even if he generally takes commissions from the public), or articles praising ceremonies that he disapproves of. Likewise, a wedding officiant has a Free Speech Clause right to refuse to lead wedding ceremonies that he disapproves of. But at least I’m glad that, in this instance, the city has agreed that the ordinance doesn’t apply.

I believe that the freedom to practice religion is under attack in America. The Bible is very clear on the subject of homosexuality, and those Christians who believe in the Bible should be free to practice their religion. If the state chooses to marry homosexuals, that is a civil matter. If the state orders Christian pastors to perform gay weddings, the state is then infringing on the rights of Christians.That is the problem with the homosexual agenda–it discriminates against people who have a Christian worldview.