From my friends at Power Line Blog:
Monthly Archives: March 2018
Common Sense From Alan Dershowitz
Alan Dershowitz is a civil liberties attorney whose politics are generally left of center. He loves America, he loves the U.S. Constitution, and he is concerned about the direction in which the country is headed–not because of President Trump, but because of the intensity of the attacks on President Trump.
Attorney Dershowitz was recently interviewed by CBS News. Please follow the link and read the entire interview. It is very insightful.
Here are some highlights from that interview.
Dershowitz spoke to CBS 11 political reporter Jack Fink about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.
“I think the investigation should end and I think the Congress should appoint a special non-partisan commission,” said Dershowitz. He said he thinks a Congressional committee would be too partisan.
“That’s the way it’s done in other western democracies,” he continued. “They don’t appoint a special counsel and tell them to ‘Get that guy…’ that’s what they did in the Soviet Union. Lavrentiy Beria, the head of the KGB said to Stalin, ‘Show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime!’” That’s what special counsel does.”
Dershowitz was quick to point out that he was not making a direct correlation between the United States and the former Soviet Union. “I’m not comparing obviously the Soviet Union and the United States. We have structural protections in our Bill Of Rights but it’s going down the wrong direction.”
“The issue of criminalization [of political differences] has not been subject to rational discourse,” said Dershowitz. “Democrats hate when they politicize and criminalize political differences against Democrats… when they did it with Bill Clinton. Republicans hate when they do it against their people… President Trump. But each one supports it when they’re against their enemies and partisanship prevails over principle. It’s very hard to have a reasonable discussion.”
Until politicians on both sides of the aisle begin to put the interests of the country above their political interests and the interests of their particular political party, I don’t think any reasonable discussion will be possible.
Attorney Dershowitz added:
Dershowitz said that citizens should fear the direction of this investigation for their own sake. He warned that today criminalization of political differences appears – now – to only affect presidents and political leaders. “Tomorrow it can affect you and me. If you give the prosecutor the ability to stretch the criminal law to fit a target, it’s very dangerous.”
Dershowitz said that special counsels are not the right way to approach criminal justice. “When you appoint a special counsel you give them targets and you say, ‘You better get that guy or the people around him…and we’re going to give you tens of millions of dollars. And if you come up empty handed you’re a failure.’”
Dershowitz said that if an ordinary prosecutor goes months without finding a crime then “that’s great, no… there have been no crimes committed.” He says not so with a special counsel. “Special Counsel always has the goal of ‘getting the people.’ They’re going to find crimes, or they’re going to manufacture crimes or they’re going to stretch the criminal law to fit the ‘crimes’ because they’re not going to come away empty handed.”
Dershowitz was asked what he thinks should happen now. Should Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein curtail the investigation? “I think Rod Rosenstein needs to say to the special counsel, ‘Do not investigate the private finances of the president before he became president; do not investigate his relatives; do not investigate his sex life.’ Don’t do – to President Trump – what Ken Starr did to President Clinton,” said Dershowitz . “It started with Whitewater and ended up with a blue dress. That’s not the appropriate way a special counsel should operate.”
I don’t agree with Alan Dershowitz on much, but in this case he is totally right.
The Information Is Finally Coming Out
When Andrew McCabe was fired, there were a lot of questions as to why he was fired and why he was fired when he was fired. That information is slowly leaking out. The other information that is leaking out with that is that the alleged affair between Strzok and Page may have simply been a shiny object put in front of the public to take our attention away from what was actually happening.
The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about Andrew McCabe. It seems that the reason for Mr. McCabe’s firing was that he had made a number of false statements to the Inspector General, to internal federal investigators, and to James Comey. The interesting aspect of this information is that it comes from leaks at CNN.
The article reports:
Giving credence to the reason why Inspector General Horowitz and Federal Prosecutor Huber don’t want to release unredacted investigative information to a leaky congress, a report surfaces via anonymous sources to CNN.
The leaked information comes after the DOJ released the substance behind the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) recommendation to fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Previously, Inspector General Michael Horowitz referred McCabe’s false statements to the OPR; the OPR reviewed, investigated and then recommended McCabe’s termination to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions fired him.
Congress was recently provided information from within the IG referral and OPR report. Those details are now leaked, with an accompanying narrative, to CNN.
I’m skipping most of the narrative outline because, well, it’s an editorial narrative. However, at the bottom of the CNN narrative there’s an important series of dates which highlight the larger issue with McCabe.
The truth on what was actually going on at the FBI is coming out slowly, but it is coming out.
An article at Power Line notes:
If the report of serial lying by McCabe is accurate then he has bigger problems than his sacking by Jeff Sessions. Criminal charges may well be in his future.
McCabe has already raised $500,000 via a fundraising page for his legal defense. Smart move.
I don’t like to see anyone’s life ruined by stupid mistakes, but it seems as if some of the higher ups in the FBI were out to destroy other people’s lives. I guess poetic justice (and karma) have a way of catching up with all of us.
I guess I am just cynical, but The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article that I thought stated something very logical and obvious. Hillary Clinton spoke to a crowd at Rutgers University this week. She was paid $25,000–not her usual $200,000. Just as a comparison, Snooki (from the Jersey Shore television series) got $32,000 when she spoke.
The article reports:
The payment came from an endowment fund and not tuition or public funds, a Rutgers spokeperson told NJ.com.
Clinton appeared at at least eight universities in 2014 for paid speeches and took home a combined $1.8 million.
When Rutgers brought in reality TV star Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi to speak on campus in 2011, she was given $32,000. More than 1,000 people came to the university to hear Snooki speak after several students questioned if it was a wise use of money.
A spokesperson for Clinton told NBC last week that she planned to donate her Rutgers speaking payment to charity.
…The event was hosted by the Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics and its director Ruth Mandel.
I wonder if the charity she will donate to is the Clinton Foundation.
If you are still naive enough to believe that the $200,000 per speech that Hillary Clinton was receiving in the run-up to the election had nothing to do with the fact that she was expected to be the next American President, I have some oceanfront land I would like to sell you in Arizona.
Economic Policies Have Consequences
The really good news is that the labor force participation rate has increased from 62.7 in January percent to 6.3 percent in February. It’s a small increase, but it is moving in the right direction.
According to Townhall:
The rate of layoffs in the U.S. fell again in late March and dropped to the lowest level since 1973. Initial U.S. jobless claims declined by 12,000 to 215,000 in the seven days ended March 24,
…Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 230,000. The more stable monthly average of claims dipped by 500 to 224,500…The revisions erased the previous low in jobless claims, a reading of 210,000 last month that would have been the lowest since 1969. But no matter. Layoffs in the U.S. is extremely low, as reflected by a 4.1% unemployment rate that is the smallest in 17 years…The labor market is so strong that it’s even drawing back in people who’ve been out of the workforce for years. And it doesn’t show any sign of letting up. The economy added 313,000 new jobs in February and economists predict another solid gain of around 200,000 in March.
Like him or not, Donald Trump is an experienced businessman who understands economics. I am not happy with the spending that is currently going on in Washington, but I suspect that will be dealt with in due time. Until then, President Trump’s economic policies have improved the lives of many Americans.
The Democrats have already stated that they want to repeal the policies that are causing the current economic growth. If they are elected in the House and Senate in November, they will do that. This is something to consider when voting.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It lists some of the specific companies who have passed their tax savings on to their employees. That is good news.
A Lie Goes Halfway Around The World Before The Truth Gets His Boots On
This is a story about how the media got it wrong. I don’t believe that they intentionally got it wrong, I think they were just in a hurry to be first with a story. That can be risky.
On February 16th, Politico posted an article about the history of the claim that Nikolas Cruz was associated with white supremacist groups. Since the charge of racism or white supremacy is very popular now, I suppose it’s not a surprise that this charge was levied against this deeply troubled young man. It’s easier to blame racism than it is to blame the Promise Program (article here) which prevented the gun shop owner from knowing Nikolas Cruz should never have been allowed to buy a gun. I don’t know if Nikolas Cruz would have been able to get a gun illegally or not, but at least if his information had been included in a background check, it would have slowed him down a little. At any rate, the media decided he was a white supremacist.
The article explains how that happened:
On Thursday afternoon, the Anti-Defamation League reported that a white supremacist group claimed ties with Nikolas Cruz, who confessed to the shooting spree that killed at least 17 people, including many high-school students, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“A spokesperson for the white supremacist group Republic of Florida (ROF) told the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday, February 15, that Nikolas Cruz [….] was associated with his group,” the ADL reported. The ADL quoted a man named Jordan Jereb, who runs the small group, which is based in Tallahassee.
“Jereb added that ROF had not ordered or wanted Cruz to do anything like the school shooting,” the ADL wrote in a blog post that was quickly picked up by ABC News and The Associated Press, and later percolated through dozens of other media outlets. Even The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, picked up the claim.
…But a few hours later, after law enforcement agencies said they had no evidence linking Cruz to ROF, Jereb said his identification of Cruz was a “misunderstanding” and that he, too, had been the subject of a “prank.” On online forums and Twitter, trolls and white nationalists gloated at the disinformation they had sowed.
“All of our evidence seems to point to the ADL getting this wrong,” said Joan Donovan, a researcher who tracks online misinformation campaigns for Data & Society, a think tank in New York City.
The ADL subsequently revised its report, as did many news outlets.
The saga continues:
In posts to Gab, a social-networking site used by many in the alt-right, early Friday morning, one user said the Discord group “spent around 18 hours orchestrating, contacting ABC, being interviewed by reporters, etc.”
Members swapped links to articles that identified Cruz as a member of ROF, celebrating each story and keeping a tally of media interview attempts.
“ABC messaged me. Asked to use my name in this article,” wrote one user.
“This is spreading like wildfire,” wrote another user, “Renegade,” after someone in the chat shared a link to the ADL blog post.
“All it takes is a single article,” the first user wrote back. “And everyone else picks up the story.”
ABC News reported that its reporters spoke with three “former schoolmates” of Cruz, but did not indicate whether these communications were over social media. A spokesperson for ABC News declined to comment on how its reporters vetted the identities of these purported acquaintances.
For its part, an AP spokesperson said, “AP spoke with the leader of Republic of Florida, who said Cruz was a member of his group and had participated in exercises in Tallahassee. In the course of continued reporting, police and other groups were not able to confirm Cruz’s association with the white nationalist militia, and that is what is reflected on the wire.”
Others in the Discord chat said they were contacted by a reporter from The New York Times.
At some point, the trolls started a “confessional” 4chan thread dedicated to convincing readers that Cruz had been a member of ROF. The ADL confirmed this 4chan post was the one that led to their blog post.
The people behind the disinformation campaign were very proud of themselves. The article reports:
By Thursday evening, 4chan users were celebrating their efforts, posting screenshots of their communications with reporters and faux posts pretending to be ROF members.
“[T]hey are so hungry for a story that they’ll just believe anything as long as its corroborated by a few people and seems legit,” wrote the creator of one 4chan thread.
Donovan, the disinformation researcher, said reporters need to be more vigilant against these kinds of campaigns, which are going to get only more common and more sophisticated.
“We have to start thinking of these white nationalist groups as what some of them describe themselves — ‘media militias,’” said Donovan. “They think of media as adversarial territory.”
The internet can be a dangerous place for truth.
The Numbers Behind The Conclusions
Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about the mathematics and science between the claims of global warming. The title of the editorial is, “The Stunning Statistical Fraud Behind The Global Warming Scare.”
The editorial points out:
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has made repeated “adjustments” to its data, for the presumed scientific reason of making the data sets more accurate.
Nothing wrong with that. Except, all their changes point to one thing — lowering previously measured temperatures to show cooler weather in the past, and raising more recent temperatures to show warming in the recent present.
This creates a data illusion of ever-rising temperatures to match the increase in CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere since the mid-1800s, which global warming advocates say is a cause-and-effect relationship. The more CO2, the more warming.
The editorial includes some examples of how NOAA has altered temperatures to conform to their theory:
This winter, for instance, as measured by temperature in city after city and by snow-storm severity, has been one of the coldest on record in the Northeast.
But after the NOAA’s wizards finished with the data, it was merely about average.
Climate analyst Paul Homewood notes for instance that in New York state, measured temperatures this year were 2.7 degrees or more colder than in 1943. Not to NOAA. Its data show temperatures this year as 0.9 degrees cooler than the actual data in 1943.
…By the way, a similar result occurred after the brutally cold 2013-2014 winter in New York. It was simply adjusted away. Do this year after year, and with the goal of radically altering the temperature record to fit the global warming narrative, and you have what amounts to climate fraud.
“Clearly NOAA’s highly homogenized and adjusted version of the Central Lakes temperature record bears no resemblance at all the the actual station data,” writes Homewood. “And if this one division is so badly in error, what confidence can there be that the rest of the U.S. is any better?”
That’s the big question. And for those who think that government officials don’t have political, cultural or other agendas, that’s naivete of the highest sort. They do.
Since the official government mantra for all of the bureaucracies at least since the Clinton era is that CO2 production is an evil that inevitably leads to runaway global warming, those who toil in the bureaucracies’ statistical sweat shops know that their careers and future funding depend on having the politically correct answers — not the scientifically correct ones.
Who would have thought that research into climate science has reached the point where it is simply about money.
Every Saint Has A Past And Every Sinner Has A Future
All of us have some tendency to judge a person based on what we think we know about them and predict their future based on that judgement. However, every now and then something comes along that shows us how limited and incorrect our judgement can be.
Yesterday an article was posted at The Daily Wire that convinces me that sometimes God laughs at all of our conclusions about other people.
The article reports:
In an interview with the New York Daily News‘ Confidential published Sunday, legendary rocker Alice Cooper said his personal relationship with Jesus Christ saved him from going the way of Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix.
Cooper gave the interview a week ahead of the debut of NBC’s live version of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” starring John Legend and featuring Cooper as King Herod, the role he played back in 1996 when he recorded what writer Andrew Lloyd Webber called the “definitive” version of “Herod’s Song.”
While Cooper did talk some with Confidential about the new production, what earned the headline was his account of his journey out of a self-destructive rock and roll lifestyle 37 years ago, for which the now 70-year-old rocker credits Christianity.
“Everything that could go wrong was shutting down inside of me,” he said. “I was drinking with Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and trying to keep up with Keith Moon and they all died at 27.”
Thirty-seven years ago, one of his binges landed him in a hospital, where a doctor diagnosed him as a “classic alcoholic.” Cooper told Confidential his desire to drink ended that day as he faced the reality that he must put the bottle down or die. His return to his Christian roots is what prevented him from falling back into his unsustainable lifestyle.
“My father was a pastor, my grandfather was an evangelist. I grew up in the church, went as far away as I could from it — almost died — and then came back to the church,” he said.
“There’s nothing in Christianity that says I can’t be a rock star,” he said. “People have a very warped view of Christianity. They think it’s all very precise and we never do wrong and we’re praying all day and we’re right-wing. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with a one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Part of the reason he was able to keep himself on the straight and narrow was his wife, whom he married in 1976 and who is also a Christian, and the couple’s commitment to reading the Bible and staying connected in their church. Cooper told the outlet that he has never been unfaithful to his wife, performs a daily Bible study, and regularly attends church on Sunday.
Wow. Just wow.
Getting Through The Establishment In Washington Is A Fight
Yesterday Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner that shows how slowly and frustratingly things can move in Washington.
The article reports:
Last week the House Judiciary Committee sent a subpoena to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein demanding documents from the Justice Department and the FBI “regarding charging decisions in the investigation surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s private email server, potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommendation to fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe,” according to a committee press release.
In a letter accompanying the subpoena, Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., told Rosenstein the committee had asked for the documents months ago and received little or nothing in response. “Given the department’s ongoing delays in producing these documents, I am left with no choice but to issue [a] subpoena to compel production of these documents,” Goodlatte wrote.
We have a problem right now in Washington. There is a very powerful group of people entrenched in the Washington bureaucracy that would very much like to undo the results of the 2016 election, and they are trying very hard to use any means at their disposal to do that. This group is composed of both Republicans and Democrats. Many have grown used to accepting perks from lobbyists and other groups and don’t want to give those perks up. Others simply do not believe in the principles that established America and want to undo them in favor of one-world government (with them in charge of course).
The article concludes:
In recent days Jordan and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Oversight Committee‘s subcommittee on government operations, have been sending staff to the Justice Department to view less redacted copies of key documents in the various investigations under review. The presence of those congressional investigators sent a clear message to the Justice Department that the House was not going to give up.
Now, the Justice Department is promising to do better — and the attorney general has signaled that he is not happy with the FBI director’s performance. Now, lawmakers will wait to see what that means.
Voting according to political party is not going to work anymore–both parties have elements of corruption in them. The only real answer to the corruption in Washington is for more Americans to become informed voters and vote out those politicians who represent groups other than the voters. All of us need to pay more attention to the votes our Congressmen have cast and who is donating to their campaigns. Congress.gov and Open Secrets.org are good places to begin your research.
Using The Media To Brainwash Our Children
I am very glad that I am no longer raising children. Keeping track of their social media, internet use, and entertainment choices would give me more gray hair than I already have. However, even as a grandparent, I need to remember that generally speaking, the entertainment industry is working against the morals that most of us tried to teach our children. Gone are the days of the good guys winning and those who played the good guys serving in the military and staying married to the same person. The teenage idols our children look up to today are more than a little scary to those of us who are early baby boomers. Today’s teenage idols make Elvis and the Beatles look like choir boys.
So where am I going with this? I have said before that I think Disney has been taken over by radical feminists who love special effects. A number of recent Disney movies confirmed that suspicion. Now we have further evidence of the entertainment industry being used to shape our children’s values.
An article posted at Townhall yesterday included the following:
Planned Parenthood Keystone published (and later deleted) an inflammatory tweet advocating for several Disney princess characters that it claimed “we need.” Although conservative parents who wish to shield their young children from media propaganda promoting ideas like abortion and transgender ideology would likely disagree.
The list of princesses proposed by Planned Parenthood Keystone included a princess who has undergone an abortion, a transgender princess and others.
Prior to its deletion, the tweet had generated hundreds of responses on Twitter. Here’s a screenshot of the now-deleted tweet:
Does anyone else fondly remember the days of Annette Funicello?
America is not a perfect country, but we need to be grateful for the freedom it allows us. We need to make sure those who come here to live understand the freedoms and responsibilities of America and are willing to honor the laws of the country they now reside in. One of the challenges America is facing now is the assimilation of many legal immigrants who have no understanding of western law and western culture. That problem was illustrated recently by events in Texas.
The National Review posted an article today about Maarib Al Hishmawi, a sixteen-year old who was reported missing by her father.
The article reports:
Two Iraqi immigrants allegedly beat, choked and threw hot oil on their sixteen-year-old daughter because she refused to enter into an arranged marriage that would have netted her parents roughly $20,000, according to local police.
The couple, both of whom immigrated to San Antonio, Texas two years ago, are facing family abuse charges, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday.
Authorities first became aware of the situation after the alleged victim, Maarib Al Hishmawi, was reported missing in January by her father, 34-year-old Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi, according to the local CBS affiliate.
Maarib told police when she was found earlier this month that she ran away to avoid the arranged marriage, which she eventually consented to in order to stop the abuse.
…“Several times it was reported to us that this young lady was abused, with hot oil being thrown on her body. She was beaten by broomsticks. At one point she was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness,” said Salazar.
The man who planned to pay Maarib’s parents $20,000 to marry her will likely also face charges.
The thing to remember here is that this young lady is lucky to be alive. In Iraq, the parents could have killed her in what is called an honor killing. It is likely that the only reason she is still alive is because the parents wanted the $20,000 they would have received for selling her into marriage.
This is the type of problem that is created when immigrants do not understand the laws and practices of America and are not being taught to follow those laws.
Common Sense Has Left The Building
The Hill posted an article today stating that a group of Democrats led by Eric Holder will go to court to stop the U.S. Census from asking people if they are citizens of the U.S. Think about that for a minute. The census is used to determine the number of representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives. These representatives represent citizens of the United States. Therefore a state with a large number of non-citizens reported on the census could actually get more representatives in the House of Representatives than they are actually legally entitled to. As more people leave California and the number of illegal immigrants increase, it is less likely that California will lose representatives as have other states with decreasing populations. Since illegals vote in California (against the U.S. Constitution, but it happens), there will be more Democrats (Hispanic illegals tend to vote Democratic–article here). So Eric Holder and his friends are suing in a blatant attempt to get more Democrats in the House of Representatives. Makes perfect sense to me.
The article reports:
“We will litigate to stop the Administration from moving forward with this irresponsible decision,” Holder said. “The addition of a citizenship question to the census questionnaire is a direct attack on our representative democracy.”
Holder’s announcement came a day after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that the Census Bureau would reinstate a question about individuals’ citizenship status on the 2020 census, despite objections from Democrats on the matter.
Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department has argued that including such a question would help it enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a notion Holder rejected.
“Make no mistake — this decision is motivated purely by politics,” Holder said. “In deciding to add this question without even testing its effects, the Administration is departing from decades of census policy and ignoring the warnings of census experts.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) also said late Monday that he would file a lawsuit over the Commerce Department’s decision.
“We’re prepared to do what we must to protect California from a deficient Census,” Becerra said in a statement. “Including a citizenship question on the 2020 census is not just a bad idea — it is illegal.”
First of all, we are a representative republic–not a democracy. Eric Holder is a lawyer–shouldn’t he know that? The California Attorney General also seems rather ignorant of the law–why is it illegal to ask a person if they are a citizen if they are living here? Shouldn’t a representative republic represent the citizens of the country?
The bottom line here is simple–the Democrats are losing the center of their voting base. The party has shifted left, and the American public has remained pretty much in the center. The Democrats need the illegal immigrant votes. That is the reason they are trying to make them citizens and that is the reason they are trying to get them counted in the census.
Amazing Scientific Commentary
The following comments are from an article in The New Yorker from January 30, 2017. Unfortunately the article is still extremely relevant.
The article reports:
Calling it a “medical mystery of the first order,” scientists are baffled by the ability of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to stand upright without the benefit of spines.
Doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical School, who have been studying the skeletal structures of both Republicans for months, believe that their ability to stand, walk, and even break into a brisk trot when confronted by reporters’ questions is “virtually inexplicable.”
“The fact that they can do these things without the aid of spines makes McConnell and Ryan anomalies in the animal kingdom,” said Dr. Davis Logsdon. “According to everything medical science teaches us, their bodies should be collapsing to the ground in two heaps.”
…Logsdon said that the anatomies of McConnell and Ryan require further study, and that there was growing public support for both men to be dissected.
There is nothing I can add to this!
This Sums It Up
On Saturday, The Daily Signal posted an article listing some observations about the protest march last weekend. The author of the article went to the march and lists his observations about the march.
These are his observations:
1) A Left-Wing Movement
As Julie Gunlock at The Federalist noted, some parents were led to believe that the March 14 National School Walkout would be about memorializing victims of the Parkland shooting. It wasn’t.
“The real mission of the walkout is to demand Congress pass more restrictive gun laws,” Gunlock wrote.
This goal was even more obvious at the March for Our Lives.
The author noted that there were many pink hats from the 2017 Women’s March and many anti-Trump or anti-Republican signs. One wonders what the Republicans had to do with the shooting at Parkland since it was the policies of the Obama administration that allowed the shooter to buy a gun (see article here about The Promise Program).
2) Well-Organized and Well-Funded
As BuzzFeed reported, a litany of leftist organizations and politicos got involved, including the George Soros-backed MoveOn.org, Women’s March LA, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and, curiously, Planned Parenthood.
There were certainly many children present, but there’s no way they could have put this all together on their own. Outside help and organization was apparent.
It is ironic that Planned Parenthood, a group that is directly responsible for the murder of nearly one million unborn babies a year, provided part of the funding for the March for Our Lives.
3) Prayer Is Out
Taking away guns from ordinary Americans and denigrating prayer are two things that would have horrified our Founding Fathers.
4) Those Who Disagree Viewed as Complicit in Murder
So much for constructive debate.
5) Second Amendment Seen as Problematic and Outdated
This is probably a reflection on the failure of our education system to teach American history. The protesters seem to lack understanding of why the Second Amendment is included in the Bill of Rights.
6) Fuzzy Facts
For instance, in an interview with The Daily Signal’s Genevieve Wood, one marcher repeated the thoroughly debunked claim that there had been 18 school shootings this year prior to Parkland.
This shocking number, repeated by Obama and some major media outlets, was a bogus stat cooked up by a pro-gun control group.
Almost none of the incidents used in that statistic can be described as anything like a school shooting—several were suicides or random shootings that simply took place near a school campus.
The Washington Post even called the statistic “flat wrong.”
There were other examples of misinformation as well, including one sign that called for a ban on “automatic weapons,” which have actually been banned since 1934.
Unfortunately, Americans have received a huge amount of disinformation about guns and gun control, much of it perpetuated by the media.
7) Not a Gun-Free Zone
The March for Our Lives crowd may have wanted to disarm Americans, but the event hardly took place in a gun-free zone.
Armed police covered the streets to ensure the safety of those gathering in the nation’s capital. In fact, there were even armored military vehicles embedded within groups of protesters.
Some signs essentially called for only the government to have firearms.
Of course, the idea that only the government and the military should have access to firearms would not have sat well with the Founders. They feared a government powerful enough to disarm the citizenry and a standing army. That’s why we have the Second Amendment.
Sir Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I suggest those students asking for the repeal of the Second Amendment do a study of the history of countries where only the government has seized firearms from ordinary citizens. That scenario generally does not end well.
On February 6, 2010, I posted an article about the changes being made to the bar glasses in Britain.
This is the article:
The bar glasses had recently been reinvented. According to the Houston Press, a new shatterproof pint glass is being introduced in the British Pubs.
The article states:
“According to British Home Secretary Alan Johnson, there are about 87,000 of these (glass) attacks every year, some very serious. We even read a story about a bloodbath in a London bar in which 50 pint glasses were smashed in a minute and one person’s eye popped out. Sounds more like a horror movie than a night out at the pub.”
I must admit I live in a very sheltered world–I wasn’t even aware of the problem. I am glad they have come up with a solution to ‘glass attacks’ at the pub, but it occurs to me that you could still knock a person out with a well-placed hit on the head even if the glass didn’t break. I’m not sure what the solution to that would be.
The article also points out that the new glass will keep the beer (or ale) cold longer. Since the British drink their beer at room temperature, I suspect that would be more of an American selling point. Oh well, I’m glad that some inventor has solved one of life’s problems. Let me know when someone comes up with an idea of how to prevent the fights in the first place.
Guns are generally illegal in Britain, so people in bars were fighting with broken bar glasses. Maybe the problem isn’t the weapon.
Some Of The Signs Don’t Agree With The Stated Purpose
The rallies held around the country yesterday supposedly had the aim of ending gun violence, but when you looked at some of the signs the protesters carried, you began to wonder what the actual agenda was.
Jazz Shaw at Hot Air posted a few pictures from the “March for Our Lives”:
So what have we here? The march opposed the Second Amendment–an Amendment that actually protects their right to protest–without the Second Amendment it is very unlikely that the right of free speech or the right of assembly would exist. The march blames the GOP for the loss of life due to gun violence. To say that is a stretch is a bit of an understatement. Also, doesn’t that make this a political march? If so, why did schools bus children to various cities to participate? Is that not a use of tax dollars for political purposes? The march targeted the NRA–a group that promotes gun safety. I guess they needed a target–regardless of the validity of targeting that organization.
The true purpose of this march was to register young Democrat voters–the Democratic party is losing voters because of its dramatic shift left. As the party is being taken over by the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer, the traditional base of the Democratic party is leaving the party. President Trump’s win in 2016 included votes from many of the Democrats who were Reagan Democrats. This is frightening to the party leaders. The two groups currently being used to build up Democratic voters by the party leaders are Hispanic immigrants (legal or illegal) and youth. This march was an example of the lack of knowledge of American history and the U.S. Constitution in our young people. These things are no longer being taught effectively in school. Therefore these young people are easily manipulated through emotion rather than logic. We may be in danger of losing the republic that we know and love if the Democratic party is successful in their goals.
There is some good news. Breitbart reported today:
A report indicates attendance at Saturday’s student march for gun control was approximately 200,000, which is less than half of the expected crowd size.
…But CBS News reports that the actual number of attendees turned out to be about 300,000 lower than Witt expected. They put the number at “202,796” at its peak.
Nevertheless, USA Today reports that march organizers claimed “800,000 protesters attended the gun-control demonstration in Washington, DC, on Saturday.”
Despite what you have heard in the media, hopefully many of our youth are smarter than we give them credit for.
On Friday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about a recent policy change by Citibank.
This is the new policy:
[…] Today, our CEO announced Citi is instituting a new U.S. Commercial Firearms Policy. […] Under this new policy, we will require new retail sector clients or partners to adhere to these best practices: (1) they don’t sell firearms to someone who hasn’t passed a background check, (2) they restrict the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age, and (3) they don’t sell bump stocks or high-capacity magazines. This policy will apply across the firm, including to small business, commercial and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners, whether co-brand or private label.
Citibank has every right to do what they are doing. However, the American public has every right to choose whether or not to do business with Citibank. Unfortunately the American public did not have any say in the $476.2 billion in cash and guarantees that Citibank received from TARP, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis .
The article notes:
However, with more and more organizations deciding to limit the use of their products and services based on political ideology; and with Citibank now openly stating their intent to create national legislation without actually applying congressional laws to their endeavors; it’s a fair request to say Citi-group should no longer be permitted any favorable benefits from the FDIC.
As a private company, Citibank has the right to a company policy about guns, but restricting the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age is contrary to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. I wonder if a retail sector client has a legal case against Citibank if he refuses to abide by these terms and his business is prohibited from using Citibank credit cards.
The idea of injecting political views into business practices can be a problem. What if a bank decides it will not grant car loans to cars that run on gasoline because they believe in the concept of electric cars? What if a bank refuses loans to homes unless they have solar power? A corporation has the right to set their own company policies, but those policies should be in line with the U.S. Constitution if they are a business based in America.
From my friends at Power Line Blog:
The Irony Of Students Marching Asking The Government To Take Away Their Rights
The Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution reads:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
That Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights–the document that protected the rights of the people from government overreach. It was there in response to the experiences the Americans had had with the overreach of the British government. The American people wanted to protect themselves from random searches, limits on speech, limits on the ability to assemble, and property seizure without proper legal procedure. That is the context of the Second Amendment. There was a feeling that without the Second Amendment, none of the other Amendments could be defended. Unfortunately, this is not something American students are currently being taught.
There was a student protest in Washington, D.C. (and other places) today to challenge gun ownership in America. The Gateway Pundit posted a speech by Delaney Tarr, who survived the Florida school shooting.
The is her speech:
My name is Delaney Tarr, and I’m here today because I’m a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student. However, I’m not here today for the media. I’m not here for the crowds, as great as you all are, for the fame, for the fun. I’m here on this stage today and I’ve been working everyday for my 17 fellow Eagles who were pronounced dead because of gunfire.
I am here for every person that has died at the hands of gun violence and for the many more whose lives were irreparably changed because of it.
I think, I hope that that is why we are all here. Because this is more than just a march. This is more than just one day, one event, then moving on. This is not a mere publicity stunt, a single day in the span of history. This is a movement.
This is a movement reliant on the persistence and passion of its people. We cannot move on. If we move on, the NRA and those against us will win. They want us to forget.
They want our voices to be silenced. And they want to retreat into the shadows where they can remain unnoticed. They want to be back on top, unquestioned in their corruption, but we cannot and we will not let that happen.
Today, and every day, we will continue to fight for those things that are right. We will continue to fight for common sense. We will continue to fight for our lives. We will continue to fight for our dead friends. There will be no faltering, no pauses in our cause.
Every moment will be dedicated to those pieces of legislation ― every march, every meeting, every moment. All for that assault weapons ban to keep these weapons of war out of the hands of civilians who do not need them. All for the prohibition of high-capacity magazines.
Because no hunter will ever need access to a magazine that can kill 17 in mere minutes. All for the reinforcement of background checks and closing of loopholes, because there must be more of a requirement for a person to access a gun than just a wad of cash.
There are so very many things, so many steps to take. Like right now, sign our petition. It takes two seconds and it matters. We will take the big and we will take the small, but we will keep fighting. When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile. We are not here for bread crumbs. We are here for real change. We are here to lead.
We are here to call out every single politician, to force them into enacting this legislation, to addressing this legislation, to doing more than a simple Band-Aid on a broken bone. The pressure is on for every person in power, and it will stay that way. Because they know what is coming.
They know that if there is no assault weapons ban passed, then we will vote them out. They know that if there is no tightening of the background checks, we will vote them out. They know that if there is no shrinking of magazine capacity, then we will vote them out.
If they continue to ignore us, to only pretend to listen, then we will take action where it counts. We will take action every day, in every way, until they simply cannot ignore us anymore.
Today we march, we fight, we roar. We prepare our signs, we raise them high. We know what we want, we know how to get it, and we are not waiting any longer.
There is a problem with what she is saying (other than not understanding the Second Amendment).
Let’s talk about the ban on assault weapons.
In June 2016 The Federalist posted an article about the banning of assault weapons. The article stated:
But before we dive into whether the assault weapons ban was merely dumb, or if it was monumentally stupid and counterproductive, it’s important to define what the previous federal ban covered and how it defined an “assault weapon.” The 1994 assault weapons law banned semi-automatic rifles only if they had any two of the following five features in addition to a detachable magazine: a collapsible stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor, or a grenade launcher.
That’s it. Not one of those cosmetic features has anything whatsoever to do with how or what a gun fires. Note that under the 1994 law, the mere existence of a bayonet lug, not even the bayonet itself, somehow turned a garden-variety rifle into a bloodthirsty killing machine. Guns with fixed stocks? Very safe. But guns where a stock has more than one position? Obviously they’re murder factories. A rifle with both a bayonet lug and a collapsible stock? Perish the thought.
A collapsible stock does not make a rifle more deadly. Nor does a pistol grip. Nor does a bayonet mount. Nor does a flash suppressor. And for heaven’s sake, good luck finding, let alone purchasing, 40mm explosive grenades for your rifle-mounted grenade launcher (and remember: the grenade launcher itself is fine, just as long as you don’t put the ultra-deadly bayonet lug anywhere near it).
So what was the impact of the assault weapons ban?
The law expired in September of 2004, making 2003 the last full calendar year in which the law was in effect. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime statistics, 390 people were murdered with rifles in 2003, making rifles the weapon of choice in 2.7 percent of murders that year. But in 2014, more than a decade after these vile weapons of war flooded American streets, the number of rifle murders surely skyrocketed, right?
Not so much. Quite the opposite. In 2014, the most recent year for which detailed FBI data are available, rifles were used in 248 murders. And not only are rifles used in far fewer murders over a decade following the expiration of the 1994 gun ban, they’re also used in a smaller percentage of homicides. In 2003, when the gun ban was in full effect, rifles were used in nearly 3 percent of murders. In 2014, they were used in barely 2 percent.
I think it is wonderful that students want to get involved in politics, but it is a shame that our schools are not teaching them the facts about what they are protesting.
We need good background checks for gun owners, but let’s remember that the school shooter in Florida would not have been able to purchase a gun but for the changes in law enforcement policies in the school made by the Obama administration. The problem was not the background check–it was that the student’s history was not reported to the authorities so it could be included in his background check.
The irony here is that there was a person on the campus of the school whose job it was to protect the students who was armed. That person chose not to enter the building and confront the shooter. A good guy with a gun could have stopped a bad guy with a gun had he chosen to act. The gun was never the problem–the problem was the morality of the person holding the gun.
This Might Explain A Few Things
National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has been replaced by John Bolton. I am celebrating this change–John Bolton is a man of integrity replacing someone with a somewhat questionable resume.
The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday detailing some of H.R. McMaster’s previous work.
The article reports:
Outgoing National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster served for more than a decade as a consultant to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, a foreign-based think-tank that has received funding from hostile foreign governments to include Russia and China, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
…IISS operates offices in the Bahrain, Singapore and Washington, D.C. It generally reflects a globalist “realist” Eurocentric view of foreign and military postures that’s at odds with Trump’s foreign policy. The think-tank was a major advocate of former President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
IISS receives funding from friendly Western sources such as aerospace firms and even the British army, but is also has received funding from the Russian Federation, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the governments of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, according to the IISS website.
During McMaster’s time at IISS, the think tank also received $700,000 from George Soros’s Open Society and $140,000 from Ploughshares, the pacifist organization that aggressively pushed for Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.
The organization’s council — its board of directors — also is filled with people who have ties to the Kremlin, to the Qatari emir who has been accused of supporting terrorists, to people associated with the Uranium One scandal, and with a Russian investment bank that paid former President Bill Clinton $500,000 for a single speech.
The article includes a few comments from former military officers on the appointment of McMaster:
“This is bizarre,” retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin said in an interview with TheDCNF. “If that kind of information was available to The Trump administration before they selected him, the question is: Would they have selected him for this very job?”
…Retired Rear Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, who served 35 years in the Navy, including a stint as commander of the Pacific Fleet, told TheDCNF McMaster’s consulting role at the think tank was “absurd.”
“It is really absurd that an active duty military officer, particularly one of flag rank, is a consultant to a foreign organization that is taking money and contributions from questionable countries that are known enemies of the United States,” Lyons told TheDCNF in an interview. “This to me seems to be outside the bounds of what we’re committed to. This is atrocious.”
“I’ve never seen this kind of thing before,” said Boykin, a 36-year veteran who served as under secretary for defense intelligence for President George W. Bush.
Boykin said he was convinced any commanding officer would have rejected McMaster’s proposed consulting work at IISS. “I cannot believe that the ethics people of the U.S. Army would approve of him doing that, and I can’t believe that any responsible person he worked for in the Army would have agreed to that.”
The article details some questionable activities of IISS and the secrecy surrounding its Bahrain conferences called the “Manama Dialogue.” I suspect the removal of McMaster is another blow against the deep state and might have a very positive impact on ending some of the leaks coming from the White House.
Getting Rid Of The Deep State Is A Slow Methodical Process
I am sure that I am not the only person who gets discouraged and impatient about the seeming lack of speed in dealing with the corruption that seems to run rampant in Washington. However, it seems like things are happening outside the public eye that should give us all hope that the mess in the Justice Department, FBI, and other places will be cleaned up. One of the major problems is leaks to the media, which can seriously hamper an investigation. Unfortunately we have seen a lot of leaks, generally from people with a political agenda.
Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the investigation into Washington corruption. The article included some things that should cause the average America to be mildly optimistic.
The article reports:
Today chairman Bob Goodlatte sends a formal subpoena to the DOJ (Inspector General Michael Horowitz) for documents regarding the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommendation to fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The article notes the response:
You can read the Goodlatte Subpoenas – HERE – along with the letter that accompanies his demand. However, more important is the response from the DOJ as communicated by Fox News journalist Chad Pergram (emphasis mine):
So exactly what is going on here? The article explains:
Oh, what’s that? Yes, the DOJ has to review the demand for evidence because release of those documents might conflict with ongoing Grand Jury information (evidence). Yes, that means a Grand Jury is impaneled, exactly as we expected.
Yes, that also means there are “law enforcement actions” currently ongoing as a result of the prosecutor assigned to reviewing the evidence discovered by Inspector General Horowitz.
Congress keeps asking for another Special Counsel. The author of the article at The Conservative Treehouse opines that he believes that Congress has not been informed that there is a Grand Jury investigating the corruption at the DOJ and FBI.
The article further reports:
Within this specific investigation there is a triple role. ¹A DOJ Inspector General conducting an internal investigation; ² Appropriate congressional oversight; and ³ the collection of evidence that might also be used in criminal indictments.
Within the IG collection of evidence there are two competing issues: #1) Evidence of misconduct and political bias (shared openly with congress and oversight); and #2) evidence of illegal activity (retained from congress to preserve integrity of evidence for later used in criminal proceedings); this is where the “outside DC prosecutor” comes in.
The article reminds us where this is leading and of the uproar we can expect from the media when it comes together. The article also encourages us to be patient:
You and I might be frustrated with the pace of the activity for a myriad of righteous reasons. However, we must also remind ourselves of the scale and scope of the corruption here that is inherent within the BIG PICTURE. All of this was done on purpose. None of this was accidental.
The prosecutor could, likely would, be having to outline the biggest political conspiracy in the history of politics. It is entirely possible officials within the CIA, NSA, DOJ, FBI, State Department, ODNI, and national security apparatus along with the Obama White House, Clinton campaign officials, politicians, career bureaucrats and possibly judges are all entwined and involved.
Add into this likelihood the complicit ideological media who will go absolutely bananas about any single member of their team being indicted; and a better than average chance the media will follow instructions from their leadership and send tens-of-thousands of low-info sycophants into the streets in protest, and well… you see the picture.
The left only know one narrative: “Jeff Sessions is doing Trump’s evil bidding.” That’s it. That’s the drumbeat. 24/7/365 That’s the narrative pushed over and over.
Just look at the media reaction to Andrew McCabe’s simple firing, which Trump had nothing to do with, and think about what their response would be to indictments?
Get out the popcorn.
I Would Rather See The Government Shut Down Than See The Current Budget Bill Pass
I would like to remind Republicans that they were sent to Washington to shrink the size of government and reduce spending. If they choose not to do that, I will gladly vote to replace them with people who will. On Wednesday night, a $1.3 trillion budget plan was introduced. The proposal does not include many of the things the Republicans that were sent to Congress promised–there is funding for Planned Parenthood, funding for Sanctuary cities, and there is very limited funding for a border wall. The bill also does not include any remedy for the DACA children, which is something the Democrats said they wanted (I don’t think they wanted a solution–I think they wanted the issue). It is a bad bill. Not only is it a bad bill–it was introduced in a manner that does not allow anyone to analyze it properly.
In an article posted yesterday Breitbart points out:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) struck a deal in February to increase domestic and military spending by nearly $300 billion over the next two years. The bill includes an additional $90 billion in disaster aid for states and localities affected by last year’s hurricanes and $140 billion for emergency military funds.
Jason Pye, vice president of legislative affairs for FreedomWorks, said, “Republicans don’t know how to stop spending money.”
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that our national debt has skyrocketed in recent years to untenable levels.
“This year, we’re looking at a deficit of $750 to $1 trillion. Next year, the estimate is $1 trillion or more. I have to wonder if there is any way that we can avoid a national insolvency or bankruptcy.”
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) lamented in an interview with Breitbart News Daily on Tuesday that the “Senate Democrats seem to be calling most of the shots.”
A report on Monday suggested that the omnibus spending bill will not include a bailout of Obamacare.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), another member of the House Freedom Caucus, suggested that a number of liberal policies will be included in the omnibus, without any substantial border wall funding.
Jordan said, “Planned Parenthood, Gateway Bridge, Planned Parenthood, trillion dollar deficit, and no wall.”
This is a bad bill, and Congress should be forced to go back to the drawing board and cut spending. I don’t care if the government shuts down–they need to get it right.
Ever Wonder How Congressmen Become Millionaires On Less Than $200,000 A Year?
There are strong laws on the books to prevent lawmakers in Washington from profiting from their jobs in ways that are not ethical. However, there are no laws on the books to prevent the families of lawmakers in Washington from totally taking advantage of their relative’s position. Peter Schweizer has written a book titled Secret Empire which sheds light on some of the unsavory financial activities of some of our politicians.
Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the book discussing how laws and regulations can be used to enrich friends and family.
The article lists a few specific examples:
Schweizer said the Vistria Group, run by Obama’s best friend, Marty Nesbitt, drove the for-profit school University of Phoenix into the ground and then swooped in to buy it.
…Schweizer said the level of corruption extended to former Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State John Kerry after both leaders negotiated with China on trade issues.
“At this time the sons, or in one case, John Kerry’s close aide, are involved in businesses that involve multi-billion dollar deals with the Chinese government,” he said on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”
Schweizer claims that 10 days after Biden flew to Beijing, his son, Hunter Biden, scored a $1.5 billion private equity deal from the Chinse government.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, current US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, are also mentioned in the book. The book details the couples close relationship to China through Elaine Chao’s family.
The New York Post reported on March 17th:
As Schweizer tells it, the Chao family fortune derives from the Foremost Group, a shipping company that Chinese native James Chao, a classmate of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin at Jiao Tong University, founded in New York in 1964. Chao remains Foremost’s chairman today, and his daughters Angela and Christine are the company’s deputy chairwoman and general counsel, respectively. Elaine Chao worked there in the 1970s, and has been quoted as saying, “Shipping is our family tradition.”
It really is time to begin again in Washington. The only people who should be allowed to stay in Congress are people whose net worth has not increased more than 10 percent during their terms of office. (Of course then you could make the argument that they simply did not take advantage of the opportunities around them!)
At any rate, it really is time to drain the swamp (and to understand that both political parties are involved in the swamp).
Only Monitoring The Lawbreakers–Not Arresting Them
CNS News posted an article on Friday about identity theft in America.
The article reports:
The Internal Revenue Service in 2011 through 2016 documented more than 1.3 million cases of identity theft perpetrated by illegal aliens whom the IRS had given Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN), which are only given to people who are ineligible to work in the United States or receive Social Security Numbers, according to information published by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
However, in response to inquiries from CNSNews.com, the IRS could not say if it had referred even one of these cases for criminal prosecution.
Imagine how you would feel if you were one of the people whose identity had been stolen–would you want the person prosecuted?
The article reminds us that using a fake or stolen Social Security is a felony.
The article includes a picture of the types of identity theft involved:
A January 2004 TIGTA report said: “The IRS Office of Chief Counsel determined that, ‘the group of persons with United States federal tax obligations who are not eligible to obtain an SSN is limited to non-citizens who either do not reside in the United States or reside here illegally.”
In 1999, TIGTA released a report warning that with its ITIN program the IRS had embraced a policy to “‘legalize’ illegal aliens” that “increases the potential for fraud.”
In a follow-up report in 2004, TIGTA concluded that ITIN holders who filed tax returns using a Social Security Number were in fact illegal aliens.
“Our conclusion is that, generally, the individuals who file a United States (U.S.) Individual Income Tax Return (Form 1040) with an ITIN as the identification number and receive wages that are identified with a Social Security Number (SSN) on the attached Wage and Tax Statements (Form W-2) are unauthorized resident aliens,” said TIGTA.
Then-Deputy IRS Commissioner Mark Matthews responded to this TIGTA report by conceding that ITIN holders who filed tax returns reporting wages earned in the United States were likely to be illegal aliens and that if they used a SSN it was “stolen or fabricated.”
“The Service has concluded that most resident aliens who hold ITINs and who report and pay tax from wage income are not legally employed in the United States,” he told TIGTA in a memo. “This is because such a taxpayer would have a valid SSN if the holder were legally employed in the United States, making procurement of an ITIN unnecessary and duplicative.”
The article explains the process for dealing with identity theft:
When it notifies victims of employment identity theft, the IRS does not tell the victim the name of the person who stole their identity. The notification form it used in its pilot program told the victim: “Federal law prevents us from providing specific details regarding the identity of the individual who used your SSN for employment purposes.”
However, the IRS can refer identity theft cases to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.
So, how many of the 1,346,485 cases of employment-related identity theft the IRS documented in 2011 through 2016 did it refer to DOJ? How many of the 1,227,579 cases in 2017 where an ITIN holder used an SSN that was fabricated or had not been issued to them did the IRS refer to DOJ?
The IRS’s Criminal Investigation division publishes an annual report stating how many “prosecution recommendations” it makes each fiscal year and the crimes for which it makes them. In the six fiscal years from 2011 through 2016, according to these reports, IRS CI made 20,986 prosecution recommendations and 4,329 of them were for identity theft cases.
If everyone one of these identity theft prosecution recommendations had been for a case of employment identity theft—rather than refund-fraud identity theft—that would have equaled 0.3 percent of the 1,346,485 ITIN-holder cases the IRS documented in those years.
It seems to me that we should prosecute these cases and send those committing the crimes back to their home countries. It sounds as if our government is not at all interested in protecting Americans from identity theft.
Democrats Really Don’t Want Diversity Of Opinion In Their Ranks
The Hill is reporting today that Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) will be strongly challenged by Marie Newman, a candidate supported by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Representative Lipinski is pro-life, and the progressive Democrats want him removed from office.
The article reports:
But Lipinski, who has represented the Chicago-area district since 2005, has shored up support from both party leaders in Washington and the House Democrats’ campaign arm.
Lipinski, a co-chairman of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, is no stranger to primary challenges from the left. But now he faces his toughest reelection race to date, coming under fire for voting against marriage equality, ObamaCare and the DREAM Act in 2010.
Lipinski was also one of only six House Democrats who voted in 2013 for a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, a vote that’s inflamed pro-abortion rights activists who see Lipinski as out of step with his party on the issue.
Whoever earns the Democratic nomination on Tuesday will be all but certain to win the seat in November, since it’s a reliably blue district that Hillary Clinton carried by 15 points in 2016. And Republicans have disavowed their only candidate in the race: Arthur Jones, a white supremacist and Holocaust denier.
That has Democrats who support abortion rights wondering why the party needs to compromise by running an anti-abortion rights candidate, when any Democrat is practically guaranteed to carry the seat.
…Beyond Tuesday’s primary, progressives argue that other Democrats with voting records like Lipinski’s should expect major pushback at the ballot box.
There was a time when blue-dog Democrats were welcomed in the party. The recent special election in Pennsylvania showed that moderate Democrats can win elections. I wonder how successful radically-left candidates will be in the middle areas of the country.