Lest We Forget

On Friday, Breitbart posted an article about the five Americans who are still being held hostage by Hamas. These are the names of the five Americans–Keith Siegel, 65, Sagui Dekel-Chen, 35, Omer Neutra, 22, Edan Alexander, 20, and Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23.

The article includes a brief biography of each:

The last time Goldberg-Polin’s parents saw him, was on October 6, the night before Hamas’ attack on Israel, right before he left to go camping with a friend, Aner Shapira.

His mother, Rachel Goldberg, last heard from her son the next morning, receiving two texts from him. In one, he told his parents that he loved them. The other text message said: “I’m sorry.”

…Keith Siegel and his wife Aviva Siegel, 62, were taken hostage by Palestinian civilians from their home in the kibbutz of Kfar Aza. After being driven to Gaza in their own vehicle, the couple was then sold to Hamas terrorists.

Aviva Siegel was later released during a truce in November 2023 and has since spoken out about her time in captivity.

…The son of Connecticut-born Jonathan Dekel-Chen, Sagui Dekel-Chen lived on the Nir Oz kibbutz with his wife, Avital, and their children. Sagui’s parents also live on the same kibbutz.

In an interview with the Times of Israel, Sagui’s father explained that his son and others had sounded the alarm in their kibbutz after seeing “heavily armed and precisely organized” Hamas terrorists going through their community.

…Edan Alexander was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey. After graduating from high school, he went on to join the Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion.

At the time of Hamas’ attack, he had been stationed near the Gaza Strip, and a little after 6:30 a.m., he had informed his mom, Yael Alexander that he was safe.

However, around 7:00 a.m., she was not able to reach her son and a week later the family discovered Edan was among those taken hostage by Hamas.

…At the time of Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7, Omer Neutra had been serving as a tank commander near Gaza.

After graduating from high school in New York City, Omer went to Israel and enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces.

He went there for the right reasons, you know, he felt that he wanted to protect, and he’s not the kind of guy that was looking for a war,” Omer’s mom, Orna Neutra explained.

The last time Omer’s parents heard from him was the day before Hamas’ attack.

Let’s not forget who started the war in Gaza and the barbarism of the attack on Israel.

Priorities?

At a time when many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, I question how Congress is spending our tax dollars.

On Thursday, Breitbart reported the following:

Non-profit theater companies across the country would receive a $5 billion taxpayer-funded bailout under a new plan being promoted by a group of Democrats in the Senate. The proposed bailout comes as prominent stages are facing unprecedented financial crises following their embrace of woke identity politics, which has alienated audiences and donors.

Among the companies poised to receive the new federal dollars would be New York’s Public Theater, which staged the gruesome stabbing death of President Donald Trump in its infamous 2017 production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) is leading the way with the legislation, which is called the Supporting Theater and the Arts to Galvanize the Economy (STAGE) Act of 2024.

What about Americans who are facing ‘unprecedented financial crises’?

The article concludes:

The wave of unprecedented financial crises hitting prominent theaters comes as their far-left agendas continue to drive away loyal audiences and even some donors. Combined with Bidenflation that has caused their operating costs to soar, companies are facing catastrophic budgetary shortfalls and are resorting to layoffs and shutdowns.

Institutions hit hard by the perfect storm include The Public Theater in New York, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Lookingglass Theater in Chicago, The Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

I realize that theatre is an important part of culture, but movies and theatre need to consider what their audiences want to watch. What we are seeing here is the free market at work, and as usual Congress is attempting to interfere with free market forces.

 

Even Hamas Opposes A Two-State Solution!

On Monday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about a recent comment by Hamas Leader Abroad Khaled Mashal.

The article reports:

For Khaled Mashal, it marked the first time that Hamas successfully turned the West into cheerleaders for their genocide, which fuels their fight in Gaza to this day. “From the river to the sea” means exactly what it states, Mashal asserts in this interview caught by MEMRI — and that is a radical-Islamist Palestinian state replacing Israel entirely:

…“I believe that the dream and the hope for Palestine from the River to the Sea and from the north to the south has been renewed. This has also become a slogan chanted in the U.S. and in Western capital cities, by the American and Western public,” he said.

“Palestine is free from the River to the Sea—that’s the slogan of the American students and the [students] in European capital cities.

“The Palestinian consensus—or almost a consensus—is that we will not give up on our right to Palestinian in its entirety, from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea and from Rosh Hanikra to Eilat or the Gulf of Aqaba,” he continued.

The Charter of Hamas has always said that its goal was to drive Israel into the sea. Why are we still surprised when their actions support this goal? I wonder if the Americans chanting “from the river to the sea” understand the meaning of what they are chanting.

As Americans, we need to remember that Hamas’ sponsors in Tehran routinely promise “death to America.” Only Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, and their Obama-administration minders refuse to take that either seriously or literally.

 

 

The Decline Of The Influence Of America

America under President Biden has lost considerable prestige around the world. We are no longer feared, and countries that don’t like us feel free to harass American citizens (and worse) without fear of retribution. We are in a really bad place right now.

On Thursday, Just the News reported the following:

A second U.S. citizen being held captive in Gaza was announced dead Thursday, and Israeli officials said she was actually murdered on Oct. 7 and Hamas has been holding her body captive ever since.

Kibbutz Nir Oz announced the death of resident Judi Weinstein Haggai, a 70-year-old New York native who was an English teacher who specialized in working with special needs children, according to Israeli and U.S. media reports

The kibbutz last week announced the death of her husband, Gadi Haggai, 73, who was also a U.S. citizen who was taken captive by Hamas. Officials believe he died after being wounded when Hamas took him captive on Oct. 7, per The Times of Israel.

Gadi Haggai’s body is also being held in Gaza. 

There was a time when killing Americans would get you in serious trouble.

The article concludes:

Six Americans are still being held hostage by Hamas, including Itay Chen, 19; Edan Alexander, 19; Omer Neutra, 21; Sagui Dekel-Chen- 35; Hersh Goldberg Polin and Keith Samuel Siegel, according to Fox News.

When Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, terrorists kidnapped about 240 people and murdered approximately 1,200 others.

Why are we not helping Israel rather than trying to slow them down>

Selling A Major American Icon

On Monday, The Daily Caller reported that Japanese Nippon Steel Corporation (NSC) is buying the United States Steel Corporation.

The article reports:

NSC will purchase U.S. Steel for $55.00 per share and assume the company’s debt equating to $14.9 billion, 40% higher than the company’s stock price as of Friday, according to a press release by U.S. Steel. The company was founded in 1901 in Pittsburgh by J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie through the merger of the Federal Steel Company and the Carnegie Steel Company

“NSC has a proven track record of acquiring, operating, and investing in steel mill facilities globally — and we are confident that, like our strategy, this combination is truly Best for All,” David Burritt, CEO of U.S. Steel, said in the press release. “For our U.S. Steel employees, who I continue to be thankful for, the transaction combines like-minded steel companies with an unwavering focus on safety, shared goals, values, and strategies underpinned by rich histories. For customers, U.S. Steel and NSC create a truly global steel company with combined capabilities and innovation capable of meeting our customers’ evolving needs.”

NSC will continue to honor all agreements between U.S. Steel and the United Steelworkers Union, pointing to the company’s history of working with unions. U.S. Steel will maintain its name, brand and current American headquarters, operating under NSC.

The Japanese have a record of managing corporations more efficiently than Americans do. It will be interesting to see exactly how the new owners deal with the unions.

Stay tuned.

Pay Attention To Your Airline Boarding Pass

On Monday, The World Tribune posted an article about some changes that have been made to airline boarding passes.

The article reports:

But if you do back Trump, advocate for conservative policies, or are an investigative reporter who doesn’t toe the Biden regime’s line, you may have seen the “SSSS” stamped on your airline boarding pass.

The “Quad S” stamp means the person is targeted for extra, often intrusive, TSA security screening before boarding a flight.

“The Biden regime is always working to concoct new methods to target, harass, and punish Trump supporters. And it appears they’ve discovered a fresh method by transforming the ‘friendly skies’ into a politically charged hellhole of harassment,” Revolver News said of the list.

Conservative activist Lauren Witzke said she was on the “SSSS” watchlist for over a year after running for the U.S. Senate in 2020.

“Every time I traveled, I had to make sure I arrived at the airport 3 hours early in order to be properly searched, swabbed for explosives, and escorted by Homeland Security to my gate — only to be searched and swabbed again before boarding… and then I had go through the whole process again at my connecting flight. I missed multiple flights and was left stranded in random cities multiple times because of it,” Witzke said.

“Every single time I was assured that this was just a ‘random selection,’ ” Witzke continued. “After a year of this humiliation ritual, Michelle Malkin finally filed a FOIA request on my behalf. She wanted to find out How and WHY patriotic Americans were being put on domestic terrorist watch lists.”

The FOIA request was not fulfilled, but Witzke said she was immediately taken off of the “SSSS” watch list one day after Malkin filed the request.

“The Biden Administration is putting conservative activists on lists for no reason apart from being their political opposition,” Witzke added. “It’s safe to say we’ve reached an extremely dangerous point in America. This must be stopped.”

The “SSSS” watchlist was put in the spotlight this week after investigative journalist James O’Keefe discovered his own name on the list and began digging for more information about it.

If you are simply an average America going about your business, not concerned about politics, you may think this doesn’t concern you–but it does. If the government can silence media that does not agree with the government narrative, how are Americans supposed to get unbiased news reporting?

This will eventually impact all of us and needs to be stopped immediately. Where is Congress?

More Shenanigans On The FISA Renewal

On Monday, The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Neither of the two bills to reauthorize and reform a powerful spy tool used by American intelligence agencies will be voted on this week after the Rules Committee pulled the legislation amid intense backlash.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who sits on the Rules Committee, confirmed to the Washington Examiner that neither the House Judiciary Committee nor Intelligence Committee bills to reauthorize and reform Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would be voted on this week.

…Now, with the bills being punted until next year, it theoretically gives committees the time to work out the differences. The House is also expected to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday, which includes a short-term extension of FISA until April 19, 2024, something certain members also oppose.

“I’m really disappointed that we’re talking about a four-month extension in the authorities of FISA,” said Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), who helped author the Judiciary Committee bill. “So we should be laboring through to get this thing done, in my opinion.”

Under Section 702 of FISA, the federal government can surveil foreigners without a warrant for national security purposes. The collected information becomes part of a vast database of foreign intelligence that incidentally includes information about U.S. citizens who may have been communicating with people overseas.

There have been documented abuses of FISA. Because of this, most members want reforms but disagree on what those reforms should be.

I personally think that we have seen enough abuses and misuses of FISA to want it to go away. Obviously Washington politicians and bureaucrats do not have the maturity to use it wisely.

On Monday, The Conservative Treehouse reported:

For those confused. There are two bills to modify the FISA702 reauthorization in the House.  (1) HR 6611 from the House Intel Committee and (2) HR 6570 from the House Judiciary Committee.  The intel committee bill expands domestic surveillance authority under the modifications; the judiciary committee bill requires the DOJ to get a search warrant before they can look at the incidental collection of American citizens.

Both bills came out of committee and were scheduled for a floor vote tomorrow, which has been cancelled due to public outcry (good job).  Speaker Mike Johnson initially planned to let both bills get voted tomorrow and the bill with the most votes advances to the Senate.  😬That’s a hot mess.

The House Intel Committee bill organized by Chairman Mike Turner is absolutely horrible. It expands FISA702 surveillance and makes things much worse.  The House Judiciary Bill organized by Chairman Jim Jordan is not structurally that much better, but it does put strong curtailments on the 702 surveillance authority by forcing the DOJ to get actual court approved search warrants on American citizens.

It should not come as a surprise to see a panel of 46 experts in Deep State weaponization come out in support of the Intelligence Committee bill, and then decry the insufferable 702 limitations put into place in the Judiciary Committee bill.   The bad guys want the House Intel version.

As I stated, it’s time for FISA to go away.

Spied On Again

On Wednesday, The U.K. Daily Mail posted the following headline:

Congress demands answers from White House over ‘invasive’ surveillance program known as Hemisphere that has tracked TRILLIONS of phone records for Americans each year – even if they are not suspected of a crime

Who authorized this surveillance?

The article reports:

Congress is demanding answers from the Biden administration about a secret spying program that tracks more than a trillion phone records from innocent and unsuspecting Americans each year.

The under-the-radar system, known as Data Analytical Services or ‘Hemisphere,’ has been in operation for over a decade. It allows federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to tap into the phone records of U.S. citizens who have not been accused of any crime.

Under the Hemisphere program the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) pays phone service provider AT&T to hand over phone records as far back as 1987.

The deal first came to light in 2013 after a bombshell New York Times report, but it has since been expanded.

The article notes that Congress is ready to investigate why the government is spying on innocent Americans.

The article reports:

Republican congressman Andy Biggs, Ariz., accused the government of spying on Americans.

Hemisphere is ‘invasive’ and allows ‘government agents warrantless access to trillions of Americans’ domestic communications records,’ he said.

Biggs went on: ‘The federal government doesn’t care about your privacy and it’s long past time we end these abuses and hold rogue actors accountable.

‘The Hemisphere Project highlights major loopholes in federal law through which the government is able to spy on Americans without judicial oversight, such as the purchase of personal data.’

Congress is currently considering renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s Section 702.

That allows for warrantless surveillance of foreigners but often catches the conversations of Americans.

Biggs said it must also look at the Hemisphere program.

The article concludes:

The program is run primarily by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Its stated purpose is to help investigate drug traffickers and other complex criminal enterprises.

However, it has also been used to arrest jewelry store robbers, a murder suspect and even a woman who was making nuisance bomb threats.

The program bypasses usual privacy regulations through a complex network of funding.

Rather than directly funding the surveillance, the ONDCP provides a grant to the Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which in turn pays AT&T to operate the program.

Because of this Hemisphere is not subject to a federal Privacy Impact Assessment like most projects funded by federal agencies.

The program is obviously not successful in stemming the drug problem; why is it still in place?

Destroying The Basis Of Past Unity

America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Our original laws were based on the Ten Commandments as listed in the Bible. In colonial America, children were taught to read using the Bible. The Bible was the common thread that united us. We were Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, but we all believed in the Bible. Religious freedom was  a major right of all Americans. Now that common thread is becoming frayed, and there are those who want to eliminate it altogether.

Just the News posted an article yesterday titled, “Democrat congressman calls religious liberty a ‘pretext for discrimination.’”

The article reports:

Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney described religious liberty as a “bogus term” and a “pretext for discrimination.”

The New York congressman made the comments Monday on MSNBC while reacting to a Supreme Court ruling banning discrimination against gay and transgender people.

“And we know that Neil Gorsuch is a supporter of so-called religious liberty, which is a bogus term,” Maloney said, describing it as a “pretext for discrimination hiding behind the guise of religion.”

The article concludes:

During his interview Maloney also said that America would benefit if there were high schoolers in the nation’s legislature.

“If we had more high school kids in Congress we’d be a better country,” he said, adding that young Americans are leading progressive movements.

I’m saddened to think this Representative thinks that religious liberty is a bogus term. It’s one of the things the Founding Fathers fought for. Does he think freedom of speech is also a bogus term? As for high school kids in Congress, the reason many of them are progressives is that they have not yet encountered the real world. Many high school progressives abruptly become conservatives when they see the amount of money the government takes out of their paycheck.

Mixed Emotions On This

Just the News updated its article about Michael White, a Navy veteran who was recently returned to the U.S. from Iran.

The article reports:

An Iranian doctor living in Florida has in recent days been allowed to return to his country in an apparent exchange with Tehran in which a U.S. Navy veteran was returned last week to America.

The doctor, Matteo Taerri, pleaded guilty late last year in connection with attempting to export a filter to Iran that he said was for vaccine research. However, U.S. authorities said the filter required a license because it could be used for chemical and biological warfare, according to the Associated Press. Taerri was also accused of orchestrating a series of bank deposits less than $10,000 to evade federal reporting requirements.

The article further reports:

Last week, Michael White, the Navy veteran, was returned to the U.S.

White, of California, was detained in July 2018 while visiting a girlfriend in Iran. He was convicted of insulting the country’s supreme leader and putting private information online, the wire service also reports. White had been released from prison in March on a medical furlough and was awaiting his return.

Earlier last week, Iranian scientist named Sirous Asgari returned to Tehran after being acquitted in a federal trade secrets case and deported. He was working on a U.S. Navy project at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

I am glad that Michael White was able to return to America, but I am concerned about the price we paid for that return. How many more Americans will Iran take hostage in order to get their intelligence assets out of America?

Much Of America Is Focused On Solving The Problem Rather Than Politicizing It

On March 30, The New York Post posted an article about the ways that Americans are fighting the pandemic of the coronavirus. The title of the article is, “Answering the coronavirus: exponential American innovation.”

The article reports:

America has long led the world in innovation, and the coronavirus won’t change that. Indeed, US inventors and entrepreneurs are rising to the occasion, jumping in to fill urgent needs.

With ramped-up testing the best way to discover who has the virus and so learn what the fatality rate really is, the news from Abbott Laboratories couldn’t be better. The Food and Drug Administration gave emergency-use approval to Abbott’s new test, the fastest available at the point of care: It can deliver a positive result in five minutes and a negative result in under 15.

…Even more promising are serology tests that can find antibodies in a finger-prick of blood — proving that you had COVID-19 even without any symptoms. That will make it easier to track contacts and clear some people to stop isolating. Biomerica has developed one that can deliver results in 10 minutes at a cost of $10; it’s already shipping kits to Europe but needs emergency-use Food and Drug Administration approval for US use. (Get going, FDA.)

The list goes on. Startup BioIntelliSense has developed the BioSticker, a wearable sensor that can measure vital signs — temperature, heart and respiratory rates and coughing — and transmit it to clinicians in near-real time.

Vici, an InTouch Health robot with a camera forehead, tablet chest and keyboard navel, let docs in Washington state communicate with the first US COVID-19 patient in isolation. And Stanford researchers are using the Crispr gene-editing tool to see if they can stop the coronavirus from hijacking human cells.

Other companies are at work to end shortages of vital equipment: The FDA on Sunday approved the nonprofit Battelle’s request to sterilize N95 masks without limit (after the agency at first tried to set a 10,000-a-day limit — why?). Battelle’s seeking approval to sterilize other equipment, such as ventilator parts, as well.

Here in New York, the Northwell hospital group is converting anesthesia machines and BIPAP devices (used for sleep apnea) into ventilators.

With the pandemic’s peak still ahead, take some consolation in the fact that innovators’ responses are expanding exponentially, too.

The test that can detect antibodies will be a game-changer. Once we can discover who has the disease, who has had the disease, and who is immune to the disease, we can limit our lockdowns to the people and places that are necessary. One of the reasons we are seeing the numbers in New York and some other places is that those places are densely populated and people we out eating, gathering together for plays and music, and generally spending time in close proximity for at least a month without anyone understanding the risk. When we reach the point where we know the risk and can test freely, we should be able to gradually open our economy back up.

Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting For Consequences

On October 9, One America News reported the following:

The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has ruled that the FBI previously violated Americans’ privacy rights by conducting unreasonable searches. The FISA Court opinion disclosed Tuesday revealed that the FBI violated constitutional rights and federal law through their warrant-less internet surveillance program.

A 2018 review revealed the bureau used their raw intelligence database in 2017 and 2018 to administer tens of thousands of searches on private U.S. citizens. The searches were conducted on some occasions to screen FBI personnel and sources, involving emails and phone numbers. In one instance, the court stated that an FBI contractor searched his family, staff members and himself on the database.

Federal law requires the database only be used to gather evidence of a crime or foreign intelligence information. According to the ruling, the FBI violated the law authorizing the program as well as the Fourth Amendment, which bars the government from conducting unreasonable searches.

Following the court’s decision, the FBI said it would apply new procedures as to how the database is used in order to better protect personal privacy.

The Foreign Intelligence Service Act has been under scrutiny for some time. Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has argued the Obama-era FBI may have used its FISA authority unlawfully against him.

Years ago I took a critical thinking course taught by a former NSA employee. At the beginning of the course, he assured us that guidelines that protected Americans from illegal surveillance were being followed. He stated that in his experience anyone who violated those guidelines was escorted out immediately. About a year later, I talked to him and he apologized for misleading the class. He commented that upon further research he found violations tolerated and sometimes encouraged. Unfortunately there were a lot of things that went on during the Obama administration regarding the politicization of government agencies that we are just now beginning to uncover. It is my hope that the people who chose to violate the civil rights of American citizens will be held accountable. If they are not, the abuses of power will continue.

Using The American Court System Against Americans

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a ruling by Federal Judge Anthony Trenga.

The article reports:

Federal Judge Anthony Trenga, a George W. Bush appointee ruled on Wednesday that the US government’s watchlist of over 1 million people violates the Constitutional rights of those placed on the list.

Terror-tied CAIR [Counsel on American Islamic Relations] filed the lawsuit in 2016 challenging the constitutionality of the US government’s terror watchlist which currently has over 1 million people in a database the FBI has labeled “known or suspected terrorists.”

CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror funding case in US history, and they are now trying to force the US government to dissolve a list of people deemed to be dangerous terrorists.

The article includes an portion of an AP report:

The watchlist, also known as the Terrorist Screening Database, is maintained by the FBI and shared with a variety of federal agencies. Customs officers have access to the list to check people coming into the country at border crossings, and aviation officials use the database to help form the government’s no-fly list.

The watchlist has grown significantly in size over the years. As of June 2017, approximately 1.16 million people were included on the watchlist, according to government documents filed in the lawsuit. In 2013, the number was only 680,000. The vast majority are foreigners, but according to the government, there are roughly 4,600 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents on the watchlist as well as of 2017.

First of all, I would like to point out that people who are not American citizens do not have Constitutional rights. The American Constitution applies to Americans. CAIR was named an an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Case (the largest terror funding case in US history). If you are unfamiliar with the case, please look up the government exhibits in the case. Those exhibits include the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to use the freedoms we have as Americans to undermine our government. CAIR has many questionable ties to groups that do not have the best interests of America as a priority. CAIR has been using our court system against us for years. If this ruling stands, Americans will be less safe. We are slowly sinking back into the naivete that we had before September 11, 2001.

A Vote That Will Illustrate The Lack Of Unity Among The Democrats

Yesterday The Hill reported that the House of Representatives will vote today to oppose the global boycott movement against Israel [known as the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) Movement].

The article reports:

Most Democrats in the House oppose the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, an international campaign meant to exert pressure on Israel over treatment of the Palestinians. Critics say it would isolate and harm Israel, which retains strong support in Congress from both parties.

But the BDS movement has support in Congress from some progressives, including Omar, who has offered her own resolution affirming the rights of Americans to participate in boycotts meant to promote human rights either in the United States or other countries.

Omar has cited boycotts of Nazi Germany and Apartheid-era South Africa in making the case for her resolution — comparisons that have drawn the ire of Israel’s supporters.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, a New York Republican who has frequently gone after Omar, criticized the Minnesotan’s resolution in a tweet last week for having the “nerve to claim moral equivalency between boycotting Nazi Germany and boycotting Israel.”

“Disgraceful,” Zeldin wrote.

The battle over the BDS movement on the House floor also comes as Omar has seen extraordinary attacks from President Trump, who in the last eight days has called her anti-American and anti-Israel, and tweeted that she and three of her congressional allies should “go back” to where they came from. Three of the congresswomen targeted by the tweet were born in the United States, while Omar was born in Somalia.

The article continues:

The resolution to formally oppose it has nearly 350 co-sponsors and is expected to pass easily with widespread bipartisan support. About three-quarters of House Democrats have co-sponsored the resolution authored by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), while close to 90 percent of Republicans have signed on. 

Democratic leaders, conscious of the intraparty debate, are bringing the anti-BDS resolution to the floor under a fast-track process, known as suspension of the rules, that requires a two-thirds supermajority for passage with only 40 minutes of debate — a briefer period that will cut down on the theatrics of a divided party.

Omar isn’t alone in opposing the resolution.

Another Israel critic, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), co-sponsored Omar’s resolution. Tlaib and Omar are the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.

Tlaib, who is Palestinian American, earlier this month called the resolution opposing BDS “unconstitutional,” saying it seeks to “silence opposition of Israel’s blatantly racist policies that demonize both Palestinians & Ethiopians.”

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is a co-sponsor of Omar’s resolution affirming the right to participate in boycotts, which doesn’t mention the BDS movement, but is also co-sponsoring the measure opposing BDS.  

It is not a coincidence that the two Muslim women in Congress are sponsoring a resolution that is anti-Israel. The fact that these women were elected to Congress from their districts should cause us to reevaluate how well we are assimilating the refugees we take in. Refugees who assimilate are a wonderful addition to our country. Refugees who do not assimilate who form political blocs that are inconsistent with the history and beliefs of our country often create problem areas.

When Your Weapon Backfires

BizPacReview posted an article yesterday about a recent Rasmussen poll.

The article reports:

A new Rasmussen poll shows more voters believe it is Crooked Hillary Clinton rather than President Trump who is guilty of colluding with foreign operatives during the 2016 election campaign. Of likely voters polled, 47% believe the Clinton campaign was involved in collusion, as opposed to 45% who still buy the fraudulent Trump collusion story.

The worm is turning in spite of a non-stop, years-long onslaught of lies from the never-Trump media about it all. The tipping point is now … with the majority finally discerning the truth and slowly more and more rejecting the coordinated MSM disinformation campaign.

…The March 25-26 survey found 50% of voters satisfied with the conclusions reached by Mueller. About one-third, or 36%, are not satisfied and 13% are undecided.

The article also includes the following:

On March 25th, Yahoo News reported the following:

After 16 months of investigation, the cost had ballooned to $25 million, CNBC reported. Based on those figures, that works out to approximately $1.5 million spent per month. And that’s just working from September 2018, the 16-month mark. The cost has very likely gone up since then. If the $1.5 million figure remains static, taxpayers have paid another $7.5 million between October 2018 and February 2019.

In Mueller’s latest filing, released in September 2018, he reported “spending nearly $3 million on compensation, $580,000 on travel and transportation, $1 million on rent and related expenses, and $300,000 on contractual services, primarily related to IT,” according to CNBC.

The Democrats might want to keep all of these numbers in mind as they pursue their subpoenas of the Mueller Report. After the government spent some serious money and the mainstream media claimed that President Trump was a Russian agent, many Americans were not fooled.

The Numbers–Do They Actually Matter?

On January 6th, The Conservative Tribune posted an article about illegal immigration.

The article reported:

According to an Economist/YouGov survey, a jaw-dropping 93 percent of Americans believe that illegal immigration is a problem.

“A wide-ranging Economist/YouGov survey gauged the level of concern Americans have on the issue to find that only 7 percent of the overall public say illegal immigration is ‘not a problem’; 2 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and even 12 percent of Democrats agree with the statement,” The Washington Times reported.

There are differences in how serious people believe the immigration problem is, but those who shrug off illegal immigration are few and far between.

“40 percent of Americans overall say illegal immigration in the U.S. is a ‘very serious problem’; 73 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree,” The Times explained.

“22 percent overall say illegal immigration is a ‘somewhat serious problem’; 19 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree,” the paper summarized. Another 24 percent of Americans said that it was a “minor problem.”

At the same time, the Economist/YouGov survey revealed some inconvenient results for liberals.

When respondents were asked if they trusted Republicans or Democrats to deal with border security, a higher percentage — 31 percent — said “Republicans.” Meanwhile, 62 percent thought Congress should compromise with the president to end the government shutdown.

It seems as if most Americans are aware of the problems associated with illegal immigration regardless of what the media is trying to tell us. A border wall is a good idea. However, we also need to do something about America’s very broken immigration system. Our current immigration laws have been exploited by major corporations to replace American workers with cheaper workers. This has been done not only on the low end of the pay scale, but also on the higher end.

On June 3, 2015, The New York Times reported:

Instead, about 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

Of course that was legal immigration, but it was a typical case of a corporation using a bad law to its advantage.

I don’t know if the wall will actually be built. It should be. The wall is opposed by Democrats (present and future voters–many illegals are currently voting in our elections) and Republicans (U.S. Chamber of Commerce members who support illegal immigration because it depresses wages in the lower sectors of the economy and increases their profits). We have reached a point where our representatives not only do not represent us–they have forgotten to represent the best interests of America.

Quote Of The Week

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about the G7 meeting. I seriously doubt the American mainstream media will report this story correctly, but The Conservative Treehouse summed it up beautifully:

The underlying Trudeau trade premise is that the U.S. should be thankful for the products brought into the U.S. market by Canadians and Europeans. And Americans should express their appreciation through unilateral indulgence-fees for friendship. If President Trump does not agree to continue the cycle of abusive trade policies, the Europeans and Canadians might stop saying they are our closest and most valuable ally.

I think that about covers it!

Freeing American Hostages In Diverse Places

The Daily Caller posted an article today about one impact of the Trump Presidency that the mainstream media seems to have overlooked. Since he became President, President Trump has freed seventeen American prisoners detained by foreign governments.

The article reports:

“We’ve had 17 released, and we’re very proud of that record. Very proud. And we have others coming,” Trump said Saturday evening as he welcomed home Joshua Holt, an American citizen who had been detained in Venezuela for two years without trial.

Unlike his predecessor, the president has managed to bring these prisoners home without freeing terrorists or paying millions of dollars in suspected ransom payments.

The article lists the people brought home and the circumstances of their becoming prisoners in foreign countries. Please follow the link above to read the entire article–it is very interesting.

President Trump’s success in bringing these Americans back home is something he is to be praised for. Unfortunately I haven’t seen a lot of these stories in the mainstream media.

The New Economic Advisor

Bloomberg reported yesterday that Larry Kudlow was chosen to be the new White House economic adviser.  Mr. Kudlow is an economist frequently seen on CNBC.

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.

 

 

The Speech

First a few general comments. If you watched the State of the Union speech by President Trump last night, there were some things you might have noticed. First of all, the State of the Union speech has become a forum for Congressmen and women to act like children. If you are in Congress, why would you not stand when someone suggests that standing for our national anthem is appropriate? If you do not want to stand for our national anthem, what are you doing in Congress? There were other similar moments that called for unity, but that particular one really should be non-partisan. Charles Edward Montague, English novelist and essayist (1867-1928), one stated, “There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.” It is time we realized that as a country.

There were some very unifying parts of the speech. Unfortunately there are also members of Congress who prefer divisiveness.

Some excerpts:

Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.

Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

…We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.

The economic turnaround created by de-regulation and tax cuts has impacted all working Americans.

The speech continues:

We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.

People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”

One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.

Lower drug prices are needed. Access to experimental treatments will also be a good thing.

There were a few areas where bipartisanship was called for. One example:

I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.

Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.

The President also outlined his immigration plans:

The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.

The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”

The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.

The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

This is a good starting place. If Congress can debate without acting like five-year olds, something might actually get accomplished.

The President concluded:

And freedom stands tall over one more monument: this one. This Capitol. This living monument to the American people.

A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.

They work in every trade. They sacrifice to raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our flag abroad. They are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.

But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.

Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.

Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it is the people who are making America great again.

As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.

Our families will thrive.

Our people will prosper.

And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.

Thank you, and God bless America.

This was a very unifying speech, whether or not you like President Trump. It is time to put petty personalities behind us and work together. It would be nice if this speech was the beginning of that unity.

Sequential Planning Behind The Release Of The FISA Memo

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.

When All Else Fails, Do The Math

The Democrats are screaming that the tax bill will add to the national debt. It might. Or it might not–depending on the growth of the American economy unleashed by lower taxes. However, there are some numbers that those Democrats might want to consider before they scream too loud.

A website called The Balance posted the following and updated it earlier this month:

The Gateway Pundit reported the following yesterday:

The major complaint that the Democrats have with the tax bill is that it is projected to increase the U S debt by $1.5 trillion. However, when compared to Obama President Trump already nearly has it covered.

The article at the Gateway Pundit includes the following:

The Gateway Pundit also points out:

The FED kept interest rates at near zero percent for most of Obama’s eight year term. Since President Trump was elected the FED have increased rates four times by a total of 1%. Increases in the Fed Funds Rate increase the cost of borrowing and the largest borrower in the world is the US government. With $20 trillion in debt, a 1% increase in interest payments equals $200 billion in annual interest payment increases.

President Trump has already paid for nearly all of the tax cuts. Aside from that fact, whose money is it anyway? The tax cuts will allow Americans to keep more of what they have earned. That is a good thing.

Acting As A Sovereign Nation

One America News is reporting today that the United States has withdrawn from the United Nations Global Compact on Migration.

The article reports:

In a statement Saturday, U.S. officials said the Obama-era deal was inconsistent with America’s immigration and refugee policies.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley explained the move, saying the U.S. will decide how to control its border and who will be allowed to enter.

Haley said the U.S. immigration stance must always be made by “Americans and Americans alone.”

Historically, sovereign nations have controlled their own borders. A world-wide organization is not capable of understanding the ability of each nation to assimilate migrants and the need for a nation to control the number of people taking advantage of its resources. It is also unfortunate that the United Nations is not currently the organization it was founded to be. The current United Nations is not controlled by people who support freedom and democracy–the current voting blocs support dictatorships and countries that treat women as second-class citizens. It is time for America either to leave the United Nations or to form an alternative group of nations that support freedom and national sovereignty for all nations.

There Are Two Things In Play Here

Special interests are important in Washington; lobbyists and lobbyists’ money have a lot of power. However, educated voters also have a lot of power. We are about to see a clash between special interests (lobbyists, big business, the political establishment, etc.) and educated voters. The clash is going to take place before September 30 and will involve the repeal of ObamaCare.

ObamaCare is a nightmare for many Americans–their insurance premiums and their deductibles have risen drastically over the past six years, and some middle-class Americans are forced to choose between paying their mortgage or paying their health insurance bill. ObamaCare has failed, and the Republicans in Congress have thus far broken their promise to repeal it. Democrats are offering single-payer healthcare which will break the bank, but at least the are offering something. Voters have given Congress an approval rating of about 15 percent.  Next year is an election year for all of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. Congressmen (and Congresswomen) have a choice–who do they represent? Some Republicans may be getting the message that voters are important.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today with the following headline:

Mitch McConnell asks CBO to score Obamacare overhaul

That is the sound of a Congressman who is beginning to feel the impact of the grassroots of the Republican party. Someone in Washington is beginning to understand that the Republican party will go the way of the dinosaur if they do not start listening to their base. Lobbyists may have money, but there are a lot of angry voters out there.

The article reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has asked the Congressional Budget Office to quickly score an Obamacare overhaul bill introduced this week, his office confirmed Friday.

The bill would take revenues from Obamacare and distribute them as block grants to states so they could write their own healthcare plans. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced the bill along with Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

This is not a perfect bill, but it may have conservative support because it moves money out of Washington and back to the states.

The article states:

Supporters hope the bill can be passed through the reconciliation, would need just 50 votes to advance and pass in the Senate, assuming a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence. Reconciliation is a budget measure that allows passage with a simple majority rather than the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster. The Senate faces a Sept. 30 deadline to use reconciliation, according to the Senate parliamentarian.

There are three choices–leave ObamaCare in place, single-payer healthcare or this bill. This bill is not perfect, but it is the best choice of the three. If the Republicans do nothing, they will lose badly in the mid-term elections.

It is ironic that many Republican Congressmen are spending more time opposing President Trump than they did opposing President Obama.

What Needs To Be Done

Congress has had a rather lackluster session so far this year. They failed to repeal ObamaCare and generally have not done anything to help the economy or the American people come out of the recession. Any economic growth has been the result of undoing regulations. That has been done by President Trump without the help of Congress. Now, as Congress comes back from their recess, it would be very nice to see them actually accomplish something. However, that is definitely wishful thinking, considering Congressional leaders and their agendas. The thing to remember here is that even though Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have R’s after their name, they are not Republicans who believe in the Republican platform. They are Washington establishment types who believe in big government, expanding budgets, and expanding control over the lives of ordinary Americans. They have no intention of ever having to live under the laws they passed (they made sure they exempted themselves from any changes due to the repeal of ObamaCare before they discussed repeal). Keep in mind that the biggest nightmare of the Washington establishment is a successful Trump presidency. That is one of the reasons President Trump is so viciously attacked in the mainstream media.

One of the big items on the agenda for Congress this fall is tax reform. Our current tax system is a tribute to the efforts of lobbyists. Unfortunately, many of our political leaders are in the pockets a those lobbyists, so I am not optimistic that anything meaningful will be accomplished (other than possibly convincing Americans to vote these leaders out of office).

The Daily Signal posted an article today listing some of the problems with our current tax code. The current tax code is outdated, unfair, overly complicated, and an indication of the corruption that has crept into our government over the years.

The article lists some of the major areas where change is needed:

Problem 1: Our Tax Code Is Not Pro-Growth

Our current tax code suppresses business creation, expansion, and reinvestment thanks to high tax rates. The U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the industrialized world, which makes it difficult for American businesses to compete with their foreign counterparts.

America’s tax code puts companies at a disadvantage by failing to allow full expensing, or the ability to allow all businesses to deduct the full cost of new capital investments such as a building, machinery, technology, etc., necessary for business creation and growth.

It also taxes companies on the profits they earn overseas, discouraging foreign investment here in the U.S. to the tune of $2.6 trillion.

Finally, the tax code punishes saving and investment through double or even triple taxation, hurting small businesses and families looking to grow their personal wealth.

The tax code needs to be changed to encourage the growth of entrepreneurship and small business.

The article lists the second problem:

Problem 2: Our Tax Code Is Too Complex

When it started in 1913, the tax code was 400 pages long. By 2013 it was over 74,000 pages.

Americans spend 9 billion hours complying with the tax code every year, which costs them over $400 billion in lost economic productivity every year. It’s critical that we don’t just cut the tax rate, but that we work to simplify it as well.

More and more tax professionals are specializing in a small segment of the tax code, such as estate tax or small business taxes or companies with large assets that depreciate.

Four hundred pages was too long, seventy-four thousand is ridiculous.

Problem number three:

Problem 3: Our Tax Code Is Full of Corporate Favoritism

Well-connected people and businesses routinely game the tax system, precisely because it’s designed that way. This leaves the majority of hard-working taxpayers at a disadvantage.

For example, Nevada agreed to give Elon Musk’s Tesla $1.3 billion in tax incentives in exchange for them building a lithium battery production plant in the state.

Timothy Carney points out that other producers of batteries were experimenting with other types of battery power, but when they found about the special interest subsidy given to lithium batteries, they abandoned their testing of those battery types and focused on producing lithium.

Not only are taxpayers having to foot the bill for nearly a quarter of this for-profit investment, but there are opportunity costs lost in what could have come out of further innovation that was halted because business owners wanted to take advantage of a tax break.

Thank God the people manufacturing buggy whips didn’t have a better lobbyists. Who knows what subsidies they would be getting!

It’s time for common sense to intervene. It is questionable whether or not Washington is capable of common sense, but if the current Congress intends to be re-elected, they need to do what needs to be done to correct the problems in our tax system. It is long past time for an overhaul and long past time for excuses.