From my friends at Lucianne.com:
The article reports:
In an astounding New York Times piece by David Samuels, senior White House officials gleefully confess they use friendly reporters and nonprofits as public relations tools in the selling of President Obama’s foreign policy — and can do it almost at will because these tools are ignorant, will believe what they’re told, will essentially take dictation and are happy to be used just to get the information necessary for a tweet or two.
Their greatest triumph, according to Samuels, was selling a misleading narrative about the nuclear deal with Iran — the parameters of which were set a year before the administration claimed and which had nothing to do with the fact that a supposedly more accommodating government had risen to power.
The mastermind of the Obama machine is Ben Rhodes, a New Yorker who joined the Obama campaign as a speechwriter in 2007 and has risen to become the most influential foreign-policy hand in the White House.
Rhodes drips with contempt for almost everyone but his boss. He consigns all those who do not share every particular of the Obama-Rhodes foreign-policy perspective to a gelatinous mass called “The Blob” — including, Samuels writes, Hillary Clinton.
I have previously written an article about this New York Times piece. However, as the media panic over ending the Iran deal continues, I would like to add a few thoughts to the discussion. First of all, many of the Democrats now yelling that the sky is falling because President Trump pulled out of the deal did not support the deal in the first place. The Iran deal was never given to the Senate as a treaty because the Obama Administration understood that it did not have the votes to pass. So I am not sure if the work of Ben Rhodes was actually successful–the treaty (or non-treaty as it was) never really gained majority approval.
The article at The New York Post concludes:
It was, Samuels says, a deliberately misleading narrative. The general terms were actually hammered out in 2012 by State Department officials Jake Sullivan and William Burns, rooted in Obama’s deep desire from the beginning of the administration to strike a grand deal with the mullahs.
Why on Earth was such conduct remotely acceptable? Because, Samuels makes clear, Rhodes and Obama believe they’re the only sensible thinkers in America and that there’s no way to get the right things done other than to spin them. “I mean, I’d prefer a sober, reasoned public debate, after which members of Congress reflect and take a vote,” he tells Samuels. “But that’s impossible.”
Impossible? There was a sober, reasoned public debate over the Iran deal. Its opponents were deadly serious. In the end, 58 senators voted against it on sober, reasoned grounds.
What the Samuels piece shows is that the Obama administration chose to attempt to get its way not by winning an argument but by bringing an almost fathomless cynicism to bear in manipulating its own clueless liberal fan club.
Would a Hillary Clinton presidency have been any different?
Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the contrast between what is actually happening in America regarding the economic improvement the average American is experiencing and the lens the press is looking through.
The article cited some of the questioning at the White House Press Briefing yesterday:
SANDERS: This doesn’t have anything to do with the President, and I would refer you to Michael Cohen and his attorney. When it comes to matters of the Special Counsel and dealings with the President, we’ve been fully cooperative.
Q Okay, and the next question. With all of this turmoil, particularly this last week, has the President at any time thought about stepping down before or now?
SANDERS: No. And I think that’s an absolutely ridiculous question.
Q No, it’s not ridiculous. It’s not ridiculous.
SANDERS: I gave you two questions, April. We’re moving on.
Jordan, go ahead.
Q [By April Ryan] It is a legitimate question. It’s not ridiculous.
I am beginning to wonder if we should just do away with the daily White House press briefing. It would be nice if the press would report some of the good things that have happened under President Trump–low unemployment, lower taxes, employee bonuses because of the changes in the tax code, fewer people on food stamps, etc. Where are the questions about these things?
The article reports:
The Washington Post quotes “five people with knowledge of the plans”.
Except there’s a problem, there are no plans.
No plans except to entrap staff and intelligence community leakers; likely those five ‘leakers’ are in/around the National Security Council, and they just got caught.
One of the most effective weapons of the ‘deep state‘ is leaks. Simply putting a stop to those leaks will allow President Trump to govern much more effectively.
The Washington Post ran the following report:
President Trump has decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser and is actively discussing potential replacements, according to five people with knowledge of the plans, preparing to deliver yet another jolt to the senior ranks of his administration.
Trump is now comfortable with ousting McMaster, with whom he never personally gelled, but is willing to take time executing the move because he wants to ensure both that the three-star Army general is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up, these people said.
Trump’s reaction–“the leaks are real, but the news is fake.”
That’s how you catch the leakers.
Frankly, I think that there are better choices than McMaster for national security advisor, but it really doesn’t look as if he is going anywhere right this second. However, I suspect the people who leaked to The Washington Post may be out looking for jobs!
The article outlines some of his views:
Kudlow spoke at length on the U.S. currency, including its appropriate valuation, saying he would like to see it “a wee bit stronger than it is currently, but stability is the key.” He said the president shares his views.
“A great country needs a strong currency, he knows that,” said Kudlow, after being chosen to replace Gary Cohn as director of the White House National Economic Council. “I have no reason to believe that President Trump opposes a sound and stable dollar.”
…He said the administration will pursue a “phase two” of Trump’s tax overhaul, seeking to make tax cuts for individuals permanent. Making the tax changes permanent would add $500 billion to the budget deficit, while tripling the amount of economic growth, according to a paper earlier this month from two Harvard economists.
The next phase, Kudlow said, should include a lower capital gains rate — and a rate that’s indexed for inflation. The top rate for long-term capital gains was left untouched at 20 percent.
Kudlow said he is “on board” with the duties Trump has imposed on steel and aluminum imports. He said he was encouraged by the president’s move to grant temporary waivers to allies including Canada and Mexico.
Bloomberg is not known for his support of conservative politics, so the article goes on to list some of the times that Larry Kudlow has been wrong or not supported President Trump. Be that as it may, Kudlow has been a supporter of reasonable economic policies in the past, and I am sure he will do a good job as economic advisor.
President Trump has been willing to shuffle his cabinet to get the most qualified people in the right positions. I think the choice of Larry Kudlow is a good choice.
So far no one has come forward saying that anything in the Nunes memo is untrue. The charges have been that it somehow endangers national security or that it is partisan. There is no evidence of either–in fact it may have done nothing more than expose the partisanship of governmental organizations that are supposed to be non-partisan.
The Washington Times posted an article yesterday indicating its choice for winners and losers in the release of the memo.
The article lists the winners as President Trump, Representative Devin Nunes (author of the memo), the Republicans, and the American people. The American government is not supposed to operate in secrecy except where necessary for national security. National security was not involved in the surveillance of President Trump–politics was.
The losers are listed as James Comey and Andrew McCabe are totally compromised by their actions. They have lost their jobs due to engaging in the political shenanigans of the Obama Administration. Christopher Steele, whose personal feelings about Donald Trump strongly interfered with his integrity is also listed as a loser with the release of the memo. Rod Rosenstein, who signed off on a questionable FISA warrant that began the entire illegal process, is also listed. Lastly, Robert Mueller, whose investigation now appears to be based on a fraudulent dossier and whose role as special prosecutor has become a witch hunt, is named in the article as a loser.
Generally speaking, the losers are the people involved in this scandal who were willing to use their positions in the government (and government agencies) for partisan purposes. It is time for all of the losers listed to find other avenues of employment. It is quite possible that laws were broken and some of them belong in jail, but I am not sure Congress is that committed to justice at this point. It will be interesting to see what the Inspector General recommends.
The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the vote last night to approve the release of the memo involving FISA warrants and possible corruption int he FBI and DOJ. It is a rather complex article, and I suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article. The way this memo was released to the President with the intention of its being made public is not random–there seems to be a much larger plan in place here with the ultimate goal being to drain the swamp.
Some highlights from the article:
The White House has five days to review. Any DOJ or FBI officials who have a position against public release are now responsible to make their case known to the Office of the President who is in charge of them, and the executive branch.
Specifically because the Chief Executive (President Trump) granted permission for FBI Director Christopher Wray to see the intelligence memo prior to the House Intel vote; Director Wray and Asst. AG Rosenstein had an obligation to debrief the executive on their findings. That’s why Wray and Rosenstein were at the West Wing yesterday. However, the vote last evening transferred the declassification decision to the executive.
…With the executive holding the memo, opposing political talking-points will now shift their narrative and claim the President is undermining the DOJ and FBI with a pending release. Opposition does not want the memo released. It’s just pantomime politics.
The executive branch IS the DOJ and FBI; the President cannot, therefore, undermine himself. Media opposition have worked earnestly for two years to create a false illusion of the intelligence apparatus being separate from the executive branch, they’re not. President Trump is the Chief Executive over all the agencies; just like President Obama was accountable for James Comey (FBI) and Loretta Lynch (DOJ) previously.
Then again, the prior political abuse by those agencies explains the reasoning for the media’s attempt to conflate the structure of government. By creating a false separation they are, in essence, also protecting Obama from the discovery of any prior malfeasance within the executive branch Justice Department: James Comey, Andrew McCabe (FBI), or Loretta Lynch and Sally Yates (DOJ) et al.
Traditionally, Democrats would look to dilute any pending damage from the declassification release by leaking to the media the content therein. However, in this example, until actually released by the executive, any leaks of content by the legislative branch are felony releases of classified intelligence. And, remember, there’s a leak task force looking for an opportunity to cull oppositional leakers.
…The more the opposition fights against the memo, the more momentum there is to declassify and release the underlying supportive documents. Ultimately, that’s the goal. President Trump would want to draw all fire upon him and the memo bringing increased attention to it, and simultaneously providing support to release the underlying evidence.
The FBI and DOJ, or their immediate intelligence superior, DNI Dan Coats, can declassify all the underlying documents if needed; so long as they go through the appropriate channels – which means asking the Chief Executive (President Trump) for authority to do so; and going through the process of seeking input from all parties of interest including the National Security Council. Ultimately all declassification needs executive approval. (Underlines are mine)
The article concludes:
Ultimately, not only does President Trump hold authority over public release of the Intelligence Memo, President Trump also holds the declassification authority for all underlying evidence used in creating the memo.
Now you see why the Democrats were/are so apoplectic about how brilliantly Chairman Nunes gamed out the strategy. That’s why Democrats and Media were so violently trying to besmirch Nunes personally. He strategically outmatched them – and they were counting on using the compartmented structure of internal classified intelligence to keep the most damaging information hidden away from public view.
Where things are today appears to have been well thought out since sometime around April, May or June of 2017.
Key strategists: Dan Coats (DNI), Admiral Rogers (NSA), Chairman Nunes (House Intel), Chairman Goodlatte (House Judiciary) and Chairman Grassley (Senate Judiciary); against the complimentary timeline of Inspector General Michael Horowitz and his year-long Justice Department investigation.
None of this is random. All of this is sequential.
The Democrats in Congress have again been outsmarted by someone they considered too stupid to be President.
Newsbusters posted an article today analyzing how the major media covers President Trump. As I am sure almost everyone is aware, the coverage is almost always negative. I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article–the statistics are amazing.
The article includes the following graph:
The media reaction to Trump’s first year has been so extreme, the public itself has become polarized over the coverage. In September, Gallup discovered that record numbers of Democrats are reporting “trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news ‘fully, accurately and fairly,’” with 72 percent of Democrats saying they trusted the press in 2017, compared to just 51 percent who said that a year ago.
A month later, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found that “more than three-quarters of Republican voters, 76 percent, think the news media invent stories about Trump and his administration.” That number swells to 85 percent when just Trump supporters are asked the question.
What seems to be happening is that many in the media, including the broadcast networks, have chosen to morph into anti-Trump activists. As a result, they provide massive attention to stories that they think make him look bad, give little airtime to more positive aspects of his administration, and punish him with massively negative spin.
The polls suggest anti-Trump Democrats love that kind of news, pro-Trump Republicans hate it — while the national media are cementing their reputation as biased partisans. Their hostility against the White House is now so obvious, nobody could possibly take them seriously if they ever again claim to be fair and non-partisan professionals.
When politicians (or the media) complain about the divisiveness in America, they need look no further than themselves. The lies that the media is telling and the things that the media is choosing to emphasize are not helping inform the public and they are surely not helping to unite us in the common goal of making America a better place.
It’s no secret that the mainstream media does not love President Trump. It is no secret that the percentage of Americans who get their news from said mainstream media do not like President Trump. So all you need to do to create a best selling book is say horrible things about the President and those around him. Those things don’t have to be true–you can even say in your introduction to the book that they might not be true–it doesn’t matter–you should have a best seller on your hands. Well, maybe. But what if you are dealing with people who understand the media?
If you choose to read this piece of garbage, at least you won’t have to pay for it!
This image was posted at The Gateway Pundit:
This was posted at One America News today:
From the White House Thursday, the president said this will allow the U.S. to build and create more jobs.
President Trump said checking on unlawful regulations means “defending Democracy” and “draining the swamp.”
In a symbolic “cutting of red tape,” the president compared a short stack of papers representing regulations from the 1960’s to that of a tall stack of papers symbolizing today’s regulations.
President Trump has stated that his goal is to get the stack of regulations smaller than the stack from 1960.
This story is based on articles in Politico, The Conservative Treehouse, and The Washington Examiner. All three articles deal with comments by former interim CIA Director Mike Morell about the politicization of the CIA during the presidential election campaign on 2016 and after President Trump was elected.
Politico quotes Mr. Morell on the friction between the CIA and President Trump when he became the Republican nominee for President:
And then he sees a former acting director and deputy director of CIA criticizing him and endorsing his opponent. And then he gets his first intelligence briefing, after becoming the Republican nominee, and within 24 to 48 hours, there are leaks out of that that are critical of him and his then-national security advisor, Mike Flynn.
And so, this stuff starts to build, right? And he must have said to himself, “What is it with these intelligence guys? Are they political?” The current director at the time, John Brennan, during the campaign occasionally would push back on things that Donald Trump had said.
So, when Trump talked about the Iran nuclear deal being the worst deal in the history of American diplomacy, and he was going to tear it up on the first day—John Brennan came out publicly and said, “That would be an act of folly.” So, he sees current sitting director pushing back on him. Right?
Then he becomes president, and he’s supposed to be getting a daily brief from the moment he becomes the president-elect. Right? And he doesn’t. And within a few days, there’s leaks about how he’s not taking his briefing. So, he must have thought—right?—that, “Who are these guys? Are these guys out to get me? Is this a political organization? Can I think about them as a political organization when I become president?”
So, I think there was a significant downside to those of us who became political in that moment. So, if I could have thought of that, would I have ended up in a different place? I don’t know. But it’s something I didn’t think about.
The Washington Examiner notes:
The answer to that was simple: Yes, they were political. But the astonishing part of the Morell interview is his admission that at the time he did not stop to consider what was happening from Trump’s perspective, even as the leaks continued when Trump took office. “He must have thought, ‘Who are these guys?'” Morell said. “Are these guys out to get me? Is this a political organization?”
The first time Trump met the FBI‘s then-director, James Comey, was when the intelligence chiefs chose Comey to tell Trump, then the president-elect, about a collection of “salacious and unverified” (Comey’s words) allegations about Trump, compiled by operatives working for the Clinton campaign, that has since become known as the Trump dossier. That surely got Trump off to a good start with the FBI’s intelligence-gathering operation. It was also a clever way for the intel chiefs to push the previously-secret dossier into the public conversation, when news leaked that Comey had briefed the president on it.
The Conservative Treehouse reports:
It is important to emphasize here the possibly illegal “unmasking“, and the certainly illegal “leaking“, were all based on intelligence reports generated from raw intelligence, and not the raw intelligence itself. It was the FBI (Comey) and ODNI (Clapper) generating the intel reports, including the Presidents’ Daily Briefing (PDB).
The CIA provided raw intel, and the NSA generated the raw monitoring intelligence from the characters identified by the CIA and approved by FBI FISA warrant submissions.
It would be EXPLOSIVE if it turned out the October 2016 FISA warrant was gained by deception, misleading/manipulated information, or fraud as a result of the Russian Dossier; and exponentially more explosive if the dossier was -in part- organized by the wife of an investigative member of the DOJ who was applying for the FISA warrant; the same warrant that led to the wiretapping and surveillance of the Trump campaign and General Flynn, and was authorized by FISA Court Judge Contreras – who was, until recently, the judge in Flynn’s case.
The FBI were running the counter-intelligence operation and generating the actual reports that were eventually shared with the White House, Susan Rice and the Dept of Justice. Those reports, and interpretations of the report content, were eventually leaked to the media.
During the time James Comey’s FBI was generating the intelligence reports, Comey admitted he intentionally never informed congressional oversight: “because of the sensitivity of the matter“.
John Brennan effectively (and intentionally) took himself out of the picture from the perspective of the illegal acts within the entire process. James Clapper while rubbing his face and scratching his head had taken the same route earlier.
That leaves James Comey.
Stay tuned. This is going to get interesting, even while the press tries to avoid the major question of whether or not the Russian dossier was used as the basis for surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition team.
On Saturday, The New York Post posted an article about the impact of President Trump’s drastic cutting of government regulations.
The article reports:
Last week, the White House finally wrested control of the mammoth regulatory agency following the resignation of CFPB Director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee and liberal Democrat who quit his special five-year post early to run for Ohio governor. Trump installed his conservative budget director, Mick Mulvaney, to temporarily take over the powerful agency — which has the authority to determine the “fairness” of virtually every financial transaction in America.
On his first day on the job, Mulvaney instated a 30-day freeze on all new hiring and regulations at the CFPB, triggering a collective sigh of relief from the financial industry.
So what sort of activity has the CFPB been involved in?
The article reports:
- Bounced business owners and industry reps from secret meetings it’s held with Democrat operatives, radical civil-rights activists, trial lawyers and other “community advisers,” according to a report by the House Financial Services Committee.
- •Retained GMMB, the liberal advocacy group that created ads for the Obama and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns, for more than $40 million, making the Democrat shop the sole recipient of CFPB’s advertising expenditure, Rubin says.
- •Met behind closed doors to craft financial regulatory policy with notorious bank shakedown groups who have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money to gin up housing and lending discrimination complaints, which in turn are fed back to CFPB, according to Investor’s Business Daily and Judicial Watch.
- •Funneled a large portion of the more than $5 billion in penalties collected from defendants to community organizers aligned with Democrats — “a slush fund by another name,” said a consultant who worked with CFPB on its Civil Penalty Fund and requested anonymity.
What’s more, CFPB has secretly assembled giant consumer databases that raise individual privacy as well as corporate liability concerns. One sweeps up personal credit card information and another compiles data on as many as 230 million mortgage applicants focusing on “race” and “ethnicity.” Yet another database of consumer complaints contains more than 900,000 grievances against named financial companies without any vetting to determine their merit, points out Alan Kaplinsky, lead regulatory compliance attorney at Ballard Spahr LLP.
Do we really want to use taxpayers’ money to continue to fund the CFPB? This agency is truly a threat to our existence as a viable constitutional republic.
The article reports:
“We’re working to reduce wasteful government spending,” Trump said. “We’ll be working on healthcare, infrastructure, and welfare reform. We’re looking very strongly at welfare reform, and that will all take place right after taxes — very soon, very shortly after taxes. So we’ll be submitting plans on healthcare, plans on infrastructure, and plans on welfare reform — which is desperately needed in our country — soon after taxes.”
Welfare is needed as a safety net–it should not be a career choice. It is time to examine what we are doing to educate those children from families where education is not seen as valuable. It is time to make sure that children who graduate from American high schools know how to fill out a job application, a college application, etc. The key to welfare reform is education and providing a reasonable transition from welfare to work. I think we can do that if both parties in Congress would work together.
The article concludes:
At the White House press briefing on Monday, a reporter asked spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders what Trump meant when he mentioned welfare reform:
“I think there’s no secret,” Sanders said, noting that Trump had spoken about it during the campaign. “And when we have specifics on what that will look like, we’ll certainly announce them and roll them out. I don’t anticipate that happening over the next couple of weeks. We’re very focused on tax reform and making sure we get that done by the end of the year.
“But this is something that the president has a great deal of interest in, and I think you can count on probably the first part of next year seeing more specifics and details coming out on that.”
To be a healthy country, we need to give Americans opportunities to improve their lives through education and hard work. Welfare reform would be a step in that direction.
The following is a press release from Congressman Steve King:
King, Colleagues Want King’s Commonsense “New IDEA” In “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”
Nov 6, 2017
Congressman Steve King announces today that he is asking Chairman Kevin Brady of the House Ways and Means Committee to include King’s New IDEA (Illegal Deduction Elimination Act) legislation as a component of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. King’s legislation, HR 176- The New IDEA Act, amends the Internal Revenue Code to make it unlawful for employers to deduct wages and benefits paid to and on behalf of an illegal alien. New IDEA also makes the federal E-Verify Program permanent. King, joined by 11 of his colleagues, made the request in a letter sent to Chairman Brady today.
“Including this legislation in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the right action for the American taxpayer—it preserves the rule of law and provides a significant tax savings. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has estimated that eliminating deductibility for unlawful employment would increase federal tax revenues by approximately $25.4 billion per year, which is $254 billion over 10 years. This amount more than pays for any increase in the deficit over the limit set by reconciliation.
As we continue to debate the merits of this bill, and attempt to establish a more equitable system of taxation while ensuring that it does not contribute to our nation’s fiscal challenges, I can think of no better single piece of legislative language to include in this landmark tax bill.”
The signatories to King’s letter asking King’s New IDEA be included in the tax reform legislation include: Rep. Louie Gohmert, Rep. Paul Gosar, Rep. Mo Brooks, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Andy Biggs, Rep. Randy Weber, Rep. Lou Barletta, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Rep. Brian Babin, and Rep. Scott Perry.
This is one of the best ideas to reform taxes and to begin to deal with the problem of illegal immigration that I have heard. E Verify would be a big step toward making sure that the workers in America are here legally.
Below is the Heritage Foundation‘s analysis of the proposed tax plan:
Months ago, conservatives began pressuring their lawmakers to ensure that tax reform followed five conservative principles. Here’s how the bill stacks up to those principles:
Lowering and Simplifying the Individual Tax Rates: The GOP proposal provides long overdue relief to millions of Americans by simplifying and lowering the individual tax rates to 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent and 39.6 percent. For married couples, the 25 percent rate starts at $90,000, the 35 percent rate starts at $260,000 and the top rate starts at $1 million. The bill will also double the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for families.
Lowering the Corporate Tax Rate: This bill will immediately lower the corporate rate to 20 percent — the rate demanded by conservatives for months — making American businesses more competitive with the rest of the world and providing hard working Americans with a much needed raise. Rates for small business pass throughs were also reduced by 15 percentage points, down to 25 percent.
Tax Free Entrepreneurship (Full Expensing): The GOP proposal includes full expensing for some investments that phases out after 5 years. This is a necessary boost to investment in the short-term, though improvements could be made as the process advances.
Establishing a Territorial Tax System: This bill attempts to eliminate the double taxation that defines our current worldwide tax system, though there are some provisions that could undermine the full value of that reform. Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis.
Ending Cronyism in the Tax Code: Conservatives have also been fighting back against big-government special interest groups. The plan eliminates many special interest provisions including the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT), though it allows a write off for property taxes. If not for conservative pushback, the swamp creatures would have been far more successful in defending the broken, corrupt status quo.
Here are some other things included in the bill you should know:
Repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax
Child tax credit goes to $1600 from $1000 plus additional $300 credit for parents and non-child dependents.
State and local deduction converted to property tax deduction with $10K cap
401k’s are untouched
The Death Tax exemption will be doubled and eventually phased out after five years.
Preserves the home mortgage interest deduction for current mortgages and limits the deduction to $500,000 for new mortgages.
Preserves the Charitable Tax Deduction.
At first glance, the preliminary text released today has the potential to unleash economic growth, create American jobs, increase wages for American workers, allow families to keep more of their hard-earned money, and make U.S. businesses competitive across the globe.
According to documents released by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, a typical middle-income family of four, earning $59K (median household income), will receive a $1,182 tax cut under this bill.
The headlines are screaming today–“Paul Manafort Indicted.” Well, before the Democrats celebrate too loudly, they might want to take a look at the indictment.
The New York Post posted an article today listing the charges:
The indictment says Manafort and Gates worked as “unregistered agents” for Ukraine and the Party of Regions, a political party run by Yanukovych.
They “generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work” and hid the payments from US authorities, the indictment says.
From 2006 through 2016, Manafort and Gates laundered $75 million through “scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts,” it says.
The 31-page indictment does not mention Trump or the 2016 election.
There are a few things that need to be noted about the indictment of Paul Manafort. Wikipedia lists a few positions Paul Manafort held in the past. Between 1978 and 1980, Manafort was the southern coordinator for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, and the deputy political director at the Republican National Committee. After Reagan’s election in November 1980, he was appointed Associate Director of the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House. Paul Manafort worked as an advisor to the presidential campaigns of George H.W. Bush in 1988 and Bob Dole in 1996. Manafort was someone used by the Republican establishment in the past, it is quite likely that establishment Republicans had something to do with Manafort being chosen to work on the Trump campaign. It is also important to note that Manafort was hired in March 2016 and fired in August 2016.
So what can we conclude from this? It is quite likely that Robert Mueller has indicted Manafort as an attempt to bring down President Trump. All Mueller has to do is promise leniency to Manafort if Manafort will blow the whistle on the President.
The fact that the special prosecutor indicted someone who worked on the Trump campaign for a matter of months on charges that were in no way connected to the campaign or Donald Trump is an indication that Mueller is not finding what he needs to find in order to go after President Trump. It is becoming very obvious that Mueller is conducting an extensive witch hunt that is only yielding shady characters not related to the President.
In a nutshell, if this is all Robert Mueller can come up with, he needs to go away. He is a very expensive distraction.
The Washington Examiner is reporting today that former United Nations Ambassador Susan Powers requested the unmasking of more than 260 Americans‘ identities during the waning days of the Obama Administration. These were conversations captured inadvertently while non-citizens were being wiretapped (theoretically). Susan Powers is scheduled to testify before Congress in October.
The article reports:
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., submitted a letter in July to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that said the committee was aware “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”
It is suspected that the official referenced is Power.
Power also was one of three top Obama administration officials named in subpoenas received by several of the nation’s intelligence agencies in May.
Power is not the first U.N. ambassador to make unmasking requests, but Fox News reports the requests fall in the low double digits.
Power will meet with congressional intelligence committees as part of their Russia probes and is expected to appear before the House intelligence panel in a classified session next month.
It will be interesting to see exactly who winds up taking the fall for the abuses or power that occurred during the Obama Administration.
Media bias is old news, but every now and then it can be really interesting. The following story illustrates why President Trump needs to hold on to his Twitter account.
This morning the Associated Press reported:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The top House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they had reached agreement with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancements — not including Trump’s long-sought border wall.
The agreement, the latest instance of Trump ditching his own party to make common cause with the opposition, was announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi following a White House dinner that Republican lawmakers weren’t invited to attend. It would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids who had benefited from former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which provided temporary work permits and shielded recipients from deportation.
Fox News reported today:
President Trump on Thursday denied reports that he struck a “deal” overnight with top Democrats to protect so-called “Dreamers,” while insisting “massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent.”
Trump’s Twitter post was in response to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announcing after a dinner meeting at the White House that they had “agreed to a plan to work out an agreement to protect our nation’s DREAMers from deportation.”
They also said “we would review border security measures that didn’t include building a wall.”
The president clarified Thursday morning that he intends for the wall to be built — and while he wants to helps Dreamers, there’s no deal yet.
The political consequences for President Trump if he does not build a wall would be enormous.
On Tuesday The Hill posted an article about support for the wall among Americans.
These are a few highlights from the article:
Last February, Pew reported similar findings: 62 percent of Americans oppose building a wall. Only 35 percent support it.
But are we telling the whole story?
First, it’s worth looking at what Pew asked: “All in all, would you favor or oppose building a wall along the entire border with Mexico?” To me, it’s a confusing question. After all, there already is a wall or fencing along approximately 700 miles of the southern border. It might make more sense to ask, “Would you favor or oppose building a wall along the remaining, unwalled portion of the border with Mexico?”
…While we’re in the weeds, assuming there’s value to asking a poll question about something that nobody is proposing, there’s additional nuance to consider. Pew ended up with a Democrat-heavy sample: 38 percent Republican/Republican leaning and 52 percent Democrat/Democrat leaning. The 14 percentage point difference means Pew interviewed 38 percent more Democrat thinkers than Republican thinkers. I can’t find any estimate that says the actual U.S. population is politically lopsided along those lines.
That is how you skew a poll.
The article at The Hill concludes:
There are two things we could do to provide more meaningful reporting. First, when addressing polls on political topics, we should disclose the breakdown of Democrats and Republicans upfront. To state the obvious: findings from a sample that’s made up of 98 percent Republicans will be entirely different than findings from a sample of 98 percent Democrats. How can meaning be put behind results on any political topic without the partisan makeup of the sample being considered?
Second, our reporting could include opposing findings and trends, if they exist. For example, in the most recent Pew poll, “three-quarters (74 percent) of Republicans and Republican-leaners supported a border wall” and that support had grown substantially in recent months. Conservative Republican support for a wall was up nine points since Trump was elected President (from 71 percent to 80 percent).
Support also grew among moderate and liberal Republicans (from 51 percent to 60 percent). An accurate headline could just as well have been: “Poll shows growing Republican support for a wall under a Trump presidency.”
All things considered, I came up with my own headline that’s more transparent than many of the ones I saw: “In polls with Democrat-heavy sampling, there’s overwhelming opposition to building a wall along the ‘entire’ border; a concept that nobody is, in fact, proposing.”
The article at The Hill was written by Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson), an Emmy-award winning investigative journalist, author of the New York Times bestsellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program “Full Measure.” If you are not familiar with her story, please search for her on the Internet and read her history. She definitely knows what she is talking about.
I am sure much will be made about President Trump‘s changing his position on Afghanistan. At least he is willing to listen to those around him. I would like to leave Afghanistan behind–I have family members who have been there and may return in the future–I wonder about the wisdom of our involvement. However, there were a few things I heard in the speech the President gave last night that I thought were very encouraging.
Below are some excerpts from the speech with commentary:
That is why shortly after my inauguration, I directed Secretary of Defense Mattis and my national security team to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options in Afghanistan and South Asia. My original instinct was to pull out. And historically, I like following my instincts.
But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, in other words, when you’re president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my cabinet and generals to complete our strategy.
I arrived at three fundamental conclusion about America’s core interests in Afghanistan. First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win.
He formed a study committee and actually listened to their recommendations. That is a trait of a good leader.
President Trump noted the lessons of Iraq, where early withdrawal of troops left a vacuum filled by terrorists. President Trump also acknowledged the role of Pakistan in international terrorism. He also noted that decisions have to be made on the basis of where we are–not where we would like to be.
The President further noted:
A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions. I’ve said it many times how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin or end military options.
We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on. America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out.
I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.
Another fundamental pillar of our new strategy is the integration of all instruments of American power — diplomatic, economic, and military — toward a successful outcome. Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But nobody knows if or when that will ever happen.
Anyone who is acquainted with strategy in any situation understands the wisdom of not telling your opponent what your next move is going to be.
The President also showed that he has learned the lessons of Vietnam and other wars America has fought:
Finally, my administration will ensure that you, the brave defenders of the American people, will have the necessary tools and rules of engagement to make this strategy work, and work effectively, and work quickly.
I have already lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on our war fighters that prevented the secretary of defense and our commanders in the field from fully and swiftly waging battle against the enemy.
Micromanagement from Washington, D.C., does not win battles. They’re won in the field, drawing upon the judgment and expertise of wartime commanders, and front-line soldiers, acting in real time with real authority, and with a clear mission to defeat the enemy.
That’s why we will also expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorists and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan. These killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might and American arms. Retribution will be fast and powerful, as we lift restrictions and expand authorities in the field. We’re already seeing dramatic results in the campaign to defeat ISIS, including the liberation of Mosul in Iraq.
War has to be fought to win. The people in the field understand what is needed and how to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. We need to let them do what they do best.
The President also understands how an alliance is supposed to work:
America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress. However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check. The government of Afghanistan must carry their share of the military, political, and economic burden.
The American people expect to see real reforms, real progress and real results. Our patience is not unlimited. We will keep our eyes open. In abiding by the oath I took on Jan. 20, I will remain steadfast in protecting American lives and American interests.
I look forward to the day when American troops are no longer needed in Afghanistan. However, I celebrate a President who understands that we need to fight this war quickly with the goal of winning. The harder we fight, the sooner we get to bring our troops home. I believe President Trump’s policies will make a victory and a return of our troops possible.
On Tuesday there was a rally in Washington, D.C., to support continuing the DACA program. This is the program that allows children who were brought to America illegally by their parents at a young age to remain in the country. There are some good aspects of this law–this is the only country these children have ever known, and theoretically these children have adapted to American culture. However, DACA was never proposed as a law and Congress was never given the chance to vote for or against it–it was done by Executive Order. The downside of DACA is that it encourages illegal immigration. I suspect there is a compromise somewhere in the middle, but I haven’t seen it yet.
But we need to look at this rally in light of who put it together and who handled the expenses (the signs and the t-shirts were not homemade).
Breitbart posted an article today about the backers of the rally.
The article reports:
United We Dream and CASA, two Soros-funded pro-immigration groups, were behind the rally outside the White House where illegal aliens demanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be kept in place by the President Trump Administration.
At the protest, more than 25 open border activists were arrested by Metro Police outside of the White House, according to Democracy Now.
The article further explains some of the troubling aspects of DACA:
DACA recipients are given protection by the federal government and since the Trump Administration has not ended the program. Experts like Mark Krikorian have previously said that 800 new permits for protected DACA status can be granted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) per day.
Immigration hawks have long criticized the temporary amnesty program as being unconstitutional, mainly because former President Obama enacted the program through executive order. Since DACA’s inception, potentially dozens of recipients of the federal protection may be MS-13 gang members, Breitbart Texas reported.
There is a pattern here with the current unrest that we need to note. Many of the people protesting are paid, many of the people protesting have ties to international movements working against America, and many of the people protesting have no idea why they are protesting or who they are involved with.
Donald Trump is a serious threat to those who seek global governance. The political left, the establishment Republicans, and the globalists are all very unhappy about the results of the last election. Up until the election of Donald Trump, things were traveling in the direction they wanted to travel, and he has thrown a real wrench in the works. They are not going to take this lying down. If Americans truly want America to be the country that was founded in 1776, they are going to have to get involved, find their own news sources, and stand up against those who want to take our freedoms away.
We need to remember that the group that controls the vocabulary controls the news narrative. Hate speech can be used to describe any speech that does not conform to the mainstream media template. Have you ever wondered why the media refers to pro-life people as ‘anti-abortion’ and pro-abortion people as ‘pro-choice’? Have you noticed the attempt to declare anyone espousing conservative values as a racist or bigot? Why is it homophobic to support marriage the way it has been for centuries? Why is the church being asked to condone homosexual marriage–isn’t it enough to allow it to be legal? There is an attempt to undermine America’s cultural and moral fiber that has reached major proportions in the past few years. Either we are going to fight to preserve those morals and that culture or we are going to have to explain to our children and grandchildren why we were unwilling to defend their freedom.
On August 4th, Daniel Greenfield posted an article at Front Page Magazine about National Security Council head H.R. McMaster. Daniel Greenfield has concluded that McMaster is part of the deep state and is working against the interests of both America and the Trump Administration. At this point I should mention that like it or not, Donald Trump is the President, and working against Donald Trump is working against the interests of America. It is not patriotic to oppose anything and everything the Trump Administration proposes–it is obstructionism. The Washington establishment’s worst nightmare is for the Trump Administration to succeed–that will be the end of their stranglehold on our government and their success as an elite class.
The article notes:
Derek Harvey was a man who saw things coming. He had warned of Al Qaeda when most chose to ignore it. He had seen the Sunni insurgency rising when most chose to deny it.
The former Army colonel had made his reputation by learning the lay of the land. In Iraq that meant sleeping on mud floors and digging into documents to figure out where the threat was coming from.
It was hard to imagine anyone better qualified to serve as President Trump’s top Middle East adviser at the National Security Council than a man who had been on the ground in Iraq and who had seen it all.
McMaster had a different list of people he wanted to fire. It was easy to make the list. Harvey was on it.
All you had to do was name Islamic terrorism as the problem and oppose the Iran Deal. If you came in with Flynn, you would be out. If you were loyal to Trump, your days were numbered.
And if you warned about Obama holdovers undermining the new administration, you were a target.
One of McMaster’s first acts at the NSC was to ban any mention of “Obama holdovers.” Not only did the McMaster coup purge Harvey, who had assembled the holdover list, but his biggest target was Ezra Watnick-Cohen, who had exposed the eavesdropping on Trump officials by Obama personnel.
It seems as if the NSC under McMaster has turned political, gotten totally out of control, and needs to be promptly reined in.
The article continues:
Ezra Watnick-Cohen had provided proof of the Obama surveillance to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. McMaster, however, was desperately working to fire him and replace him with Linda Weissgold. McMaster’s choice to replace Watnick-Cohen was the woman who helped draft the Benghazi talking points which blamed the Islamic terrorist attack on a video protest.
After protests by Bannon and Kushner, President Trump overruled McMaster. Watnick-Cohen stayed. For a while. Now Ezra Watnick-Cohen has been fired anyway.
According to the media, Watnick-Cohen was guilty of “anti-Muslim fervor” and “hardline views.” And there’s no room for anyone telling the truth about Islamic terrorism at McMaster’s NSC.
McMaster had even demanded that President Trump refrain from telling the truth about Islamic terrorism.
Another of his targets was Rich Higgins, who had written a memo warning of the role of the left in undermining counterterrorism. Higgins had served as a director for strategic planning at the NSC. He had warned in plain language about the threat of Islamic terrorism, of Sharia law, of the Hijrah colonization by Islamic migrants, of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of its alliance with the left as strategic threats.
Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is chilling to think that a group of people have become so entrenched in a government agency that they will risk the security of America to remain in power.
The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about California voters. The article notes that 10 out of 11 counties where there are more registered voters than adults of voting age voted for Hillary Clinton. Obviously it is possible that fact is simply a coincidence, but then it is also possible that 90-foot alligators live in the sewers of New York City.
The article includes the following graph:
In a number of those counties, illegal Democratic voters would not have changed the election result. However, we need to remember that every illegal vote cancels out the vote of a legitimate voter. That is unacceptable.
The article concludes:
In June California Secretary of State Alex Padilla told the Trump administration the state will not cooperate with the election integrity commission because it would “only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud.”
That statement is a really good example of the concept of ‘spin.’ Don’t confuse the issue with facts!
It has been understood by those of us who look behind the curtain that ObamaCare was simply a step toward a single-payer healthcare system. ObamaCare was designed to collapse under its own weight (as it is doing) so that the Democratic Party and President Hillary Clinton could be heroes by replacing it with a wonderful single-payer system. Some Democrats (despite losing the White House and being a minority in both the House and the Senate) are suggesting that it is now time to move to a single-payer system. So how has single-payer worked in other places it has been instituted?
Some highlights from the article:
The report illuminates that a “typical Canadian family of four will pay $12,057 for health care in 2017—an increase of nearly 70 percent over the last 20 years.”
Canada operates under a medicare system that is understood as single-payer. Not only does the federal government use money from its general revenue to finance this taxpayer-funded health care system, individual provinces also contribute by raising money through special levies that are deducted when Canadians pay their income tax.
The article continues:
The think-tank compiled information from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information to base its claim that the “average Canadian family with two parents and two children with a household income of $127,814 will pay $12,057 for public health-care insurance this year.”
Barua told The Daily Caller that Canada is in a health care crisis. “Services are being rationed. In our last report on wait times in Canda, we discovered that the average wait time from referral to treatment was 20 weeks. That was the longest wait time in the history of our survey,” he said
The senior economist emphasized that the study was designed to show Canadian families what kind of value they’re getting for their health care dollar. They will have reason to look at things differently if they read this study,” Barua (Bacchus Barua, senior economist with the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies) told The Daily Caller.
The free market works every time it is tried. Socialism, not so much.
For seven years, Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare if voters gave them the House, the Senate, and the White House. Last week they failed to repeal ObamaCare. What were some of the things that kept them from keeping their promise.
The article reports some of that history:
In 2009, when lawmakers were debating Obamacare, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, put forth an amendment calling for congressional employees to subject themselves to insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The amendment was unanimously adopted.
“The whole point of this provision was to make them feel the pain if it didn’t work,” Kerpen (Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment) said in an interview Wednesday with CBN’s Pat Robertson.
One flaw in the final Senate bill was that the amendment did not include employer contributions. Consequently, when Obamacare passed, it terminated coverage that members and their staff previously had through the Federal Employee Health Benefit program, which subsidized about 75 percent of their health care plans.
…Senate Democrats met with President Barack Obama in 2013 to address this problem. After the meeting, Obama directed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to issue a rule qualifying both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate as small businesses, which is a label legally only given to businesses with less than 50 employees.
Kerpen says one person filed “blatantly false documents,” which were obtained by Judicial Watch, in order to sign up 12,000 people in an exchange that should only apply to companies with 50 employees or fewer.
…When President Trump threatens to end the bailouts for members of Congress for Obamacare, he is threatening to direct the OPM to reverse Obama’s regulation allowing employer contributions to exchange plans.
If this rule is reversed, members and their staff would lose their government-funded subsidies and be subjected to paying the premiums people without employer coverage have to pay that make too much money to qualify for subsidies.
“This is mandatory work they’ve got to get done for the American people,” Kerpen said.
This is the tweet from President Trump:
One of the worst things that can happen to a representative government is for a political leader to use the power of his position to spy on his political opposition. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more obvious that under President Obama that was the norm.
Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the latest leak from the Washington establishment.
The article reports:
Obama officials later moved the unmasking documents to the Obama library.
Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Jeff Sessions, who was at the time a Senator from Alabama, were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, according to the far left Washington Post.
Once again this proves President Trump was right.
Barack Obama was spying on his political opponents.
Robert Mueller is investigating the wrong people. I suspect that is by design.