Some Sanity From The Federal Bench

With all the cries from hysterical Democrats that President Trump would be a dictator if he is elected, why don’t the Democrats look in the mirror? The student loan forgiveness has continued despite being ruled unconstitutional, domestic oil production has pretty much been shut down despite the fact that Congress passed no laws shutting it down, the border has been left open despite laws that would control the flow of illegal immigrants, and liquid natural gas exports have been shut down despite the fact that Congress never passed a law shutting it down (more on that in a moment). So who is the dictator?

On Friday, Hot Air posted an article about a recent decision by Judge James Cain of the Western District of Louisiana putting the Biden’s pause on LNG exports on hold.

The article quotes Politico:

A federal judge in Louisiana on Monday put the Energy Department’s pause on natural gas export permits on hold, dealing another legal blow to the Biden administration’s climate agenda.

Judge James Cain of the Western District of Louisiana, a Trump appointee, granted a request for a stay from 16 red states that had challenged the pause, arguing it will harm their economies.

The decision to stay the LNG pause upends one of Joe Biden’s major policy nods to climate-focused activists who have accused the president of not doing enough to mitigate planet-warming emissions despite Democrats passing the largest investment in climate in history via the Inflation Reduction Act.

The article also quotes The Wall Street Journal (behind the pay wall):

The Sierra Club, a vociferous and enthusiastic proponent of the January pause, is one of the more strident voices now encouraging our mush-brained hero to do an end-run around SCOTUS.

KEEP DOIN’ THAT VOODOO THAT YOU DO SO WELL

Who cares what a court says? Not the Sierra Club, which says the judge’s ruling doesn’t compel the Administration “to issue any specific decisions.” In other words, the Administration can continue to slow-walk reviews, as it has been doing.

…Democrats fret that Donald Trump will ignore court rulings, but the Biden Administration defies them left and right. A federal judge in June 2021 ordered the Administration to resume quarterly oil and gas lease sales as required under federal law. It didn’t hold its first auction until June 2022 and waited another year to hold a second.

Progressives have no credibility when they warn about an imperial Trump Presidency after encouraging a lawless Biden Administration.

Laws only apply to Republicans.

Why Are We Funding Terrorism?

On July 1st, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about a ruling by a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

The article reports:

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled on Friday that the lawsuit brought by victims of Palestinian terrorism can proceed, marking the second time the Biden administration’s motion to dismiss the case has been rejected. The court, in its latest decision, said there is evidence the Biden administration continued awarding taxpayer cash to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)—the leading aid organization in Gaza—even after Congress blocked funding to that group due to its support for Hamas’s military infrastructure.

The lawsuit, originally filed in December 2022 by American victims of Palestinian terror attacks and Rep. Ronny Jackson (R., Texas), alleges the Biden administration violated federal law when it restarted aid to the Palestinians, including for programs in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. This money, they argue, subsidized terrorism and contributed to the Palestinian government’s “pay to slay” program, which provides imprisoned terrorists and their families with monthly stipends.

The latest decision paves the way for the case to “move forward, tearing away the veil from the Biden Administration’s illegal and dangerous $1.5 billion terrorism subsidy program for the Palestinians,” America First Legal, a watchdog group handling the lawsuit on behalf of terror victims, said in a summary of the case provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

In September 2023, Medill News Service reported:

Members of Congress and top experts disagreed yesterday about whether the Biden administration has been complying with the Trump-era law to withhold economic assistance from the Palestinian Authority.

The 2018 Taylor Force Act ended economic aid for the Palestinian Authority over the Palestinian Authority’s controversial policy of compensating the families of terrorists who died or have been imprisoned. Critics of the policy dub it “Pay to Slay,” and say it incentivizes terrorism against Israeli citizens and visiting Americans.

Congress passed the Taylor Force Act to prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from incentivizing or funding Palestinian terrorism by cutting aid to the Palestinian Authority until the organization ceases to operate a fund providing salaries for families of deceased and imprisoned terrorists. During the hearing representatives of both parties expressed support for the Taylor Force Act, and questioned the witnesses on whether the Biden administration is complying with provisions of the Trump-era law.

“It is clear the Biden administration is not in compliance. The Palestinian Authority still has this fund in operation,” said Rep. Mike Lawler, R-NY. “The Biden administration resumed levels of payments and encouraged the Saudi government to do so.”

However, when asked by Rep. Dean Phillips, D-MN, the three witnesses disagreed on whether the Biden administration is complying with the law.

Elliott Abrams, President George W. Bush’s deputy national security advisor, said the Biden administration is “not fully” in compliance, but he said “our money is not going to the PA,” referring to the Palestinian Authority. Abrams believes the Biden Administration is not following the law’s requirements to highlight the issue of the Palestinian Authority funding terrorism at the United Nations and in relations with other countries.

America is funding both sides of the Israel/Hamas war. It is time we stopped. Please read both articles–they explain the details.

When An Agency Gets Too Big For Its Britches

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed under President Franklin Roosevelt during World War II. It was headed by William J. (“Wild Bill”) Donovan. It was a strategic part of the Allied war effort. In one instance, a group of agents stopped the German U-boats from sinking the oil tankers as they were leaving Venezuela to supply allied troops with oil. The agents found the person with the shortwave radio who was telling the U-Boats when the tankers were leaving port. The OSS was an important part of the war effort. The OSS was the root of what is now the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Unfortunately it does not seem as though the patriotism and devotion to America and its principles of government that was part of the OSS has carried over to the CIA.

On Wednesday, The Gateway Pundit posted two articles about the latest videotapes released by investigative reporter James O’Keefe. The first article deals with the videotape, and the second article deals with the reaction to the videotape by some in Congress. Basically, the videotape is of a CIA operative saying that the CIA intentionally withheld information from President Trump during the Trump administration. The CIA has responded to the videotape by claiming the agent is lying. Based on the past behavior of the CIA, we can all draw our own conclusions. The actual video is included in both articles.

The first article reports:

Amjad (Amjad Fseisi, a project manager working in Cyber Operations for the CIA with top-secret security clearance) reveals to OMG’s Undercover American Swiper that intel agencies not only kept intelligence information from a sitting United States President and Commander-In-Chief, they also used FISA to spy on President Trump and his team and are still monitoring President Trump according to Amjad who says, “We monitor everything.” Amjad adds “we also have people that monitor his ex-wife. He likes to use burner phones” – information only an insider with access to highly sensitive information would state.

“We steal it [information]” and “We hack other countries just like that,” Amjad, who states he currently works on the CIA’s China Mission Center, explains how intel agencies obtain information. He also describes a broken intelligence system where “We don’t share information across agencies” because the CIA is “very reluctant” to share information with the “careless” NSA.

O’Keefe Media Group’s bombshell undercover footage supports earlier reports by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag that revealed how the American intelligence community illegally ran a spy operation against then-candidate Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 and illegally acquired intelligence that was later used to justify the Federal Bureau of Investigation (@FBI) official probe, “Crossfire Hurricane,” which in turn led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that ultimately did not find evidence of Russia collusion by the 2016 Trump campaign.

Contractors like Fseisi hold the duty to withhold sharing confidential or national security information. In denying his statements, Fseisi may have realized he could be held liable for violating internal agency provisions and federal laws like the Executive Agency ethics provisions, which restrict what he may share with others outside of his contracted-to agency. Additionally, any government worker or agency head who withheld information from a superior (i.e. President Trump) may violate: (a) obstruction of justice by deception (18 USC 1512); (b) conspiracy to obstruct (18 USC 371); and false statements (18 USC 1001). Agency regulations may also provide offenses related to insubordination, reflecting poorly on the agency in public, or misrepresentation or dishonesty.

The second article reports:

Conservative Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) isn’t wasting any time getting to the bottom of this very serious and disturbing story. Rep. Gaetz has already formally called on the Weaponization Subcommittee to IMMEDIATELY launch an investigation into the BOMBSHELL report by James O’Keefe’s OMG Media Group.

Amjad claims that the CIA withheld information because they considered President Trump a ‘Russian asset.’ That was not their decision to make. Have they considered the Chinese money flowing into the Biden family where there is NO product or service involved?

Why Are We Just Learning This?

On Tuesday, The Gateway Pundit reported that Hamas is currently blocking about 500 Americans stranded in Gaza from leaving.

The article reports:

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) spoke the plain truth about the nearly 500 Americans in Gaza not being allowed to leave by Hamas: They are being held hostage by the Islamist Palestinian terrorist group. The nearly 500 are in addition to the “less than ten” Americans known to have been taken hostage in the October 7 terror attack by Hamas on Israel. The Biden administration has said Hamas has been making demands for their release that the U.S. is not prepared to meet.

Only two American have been allowed to leave Hamas-controlled Gaza since the October 7 attack that saw 1,400 Israelis and 33 Americans killed. Over 200 Israelis and “less than ten” Americans were taken hostage in the attack and are being held by Hamas. Four hostages have been released: the two Americans referenced above and two Israelis. One Israeli was rescued this week by the IDF and Shin Bet.

…Blackburn followed with a statement calling on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to resign, “Hamas is preventing 500 American citizens from being able to leave Gaza. These Americans are considered hostages under federal law. @JakeSullivan46 needs to resign immediately.”

The article also notes:

Blackburn signed on to a letter by a group of Republican senators denouncing Joe Biden’s proposal for $9 billion in “humanitarian assistance” for Gaza that said in part, “there is no way for the U.S. to have proper oversight over the billions of dollars that the administration intends to funnel to Gaza when Gaza is being ruled by a terrorist organization.”

I know that we have Americans working in Gaza–running schools and helping the poor, but 500? It’s time to destroy the people running Gaza. There will be civilian casualties, but the status quo is unacceptable.

The Plan To End The Suburbs

Yesterday Stanley Kurtz at The National Review  posted an article about the Democrat’s plan to abolish the suburbs.

The National Review reports:

The suburbs are the swing constituency in our national elections. If suburban voters knew what the Democrats had in store for them, they’d run screaming in the other direction. Unfortunately, Republicans have been too clueless or timid to make an issue of the Democrats’ anti-suburban plans. It’s time to tell voters the truth.

I’ve been studying Joe Biden’s housing plans, and what I’ve seen is both surprising and frightening. I expected that a President Biden would enforce the Obama administration’s radical AFFH (Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing) regulation to the hilt. That is exactly what Biden promises to do. By itself, that would be more than enough to end America’s suburbs as we’ve known them, as I’ve explained repeatedly here at NRO.

What surprises me is that Biden has actually promised to go much further than AFFH. Biden has embraced Cory Booker’s strategy for ending single-family zoning in the suburbs and creating what you might call “little downtowns” in the suburbs. Combine the Obama-Biden administration’s radical AFFH regulation with Booker’s new strategy, and I don’t see how the suburbs can retain their ability to govern themselves. It will mean the end of local control, the end of a style of living that many people prefer to the city, and therefore the end of meaningful choice in how Americans can live. Shouldn’t voters know that this is what’s at stake in the election?

It is no exaggeration to say that progressive urbanists have long dreamed of abolishing the suburbs. (In fact, I’ve explained it all in a book.) Initially, these anti-suburban radicals wanted large cities to simply annex their surrounding suburbs, like cities did in the 19th century. That way a big city could fatten up its tax base. Once progressives discovered it had since become illegal for a city to annex its surrounding suburbs without voter consent, they cooked up a strategy that would amount to the same thing.

This de facto annexation strategy had three parts: (1) use a kind of quota system to force “economic integration” on the suburbs, pushing urban residents outside of the city; (2) close down suburban growth by regulating development, restricting automobile use, and limiting highway growth and repair, thus forcing would-be suburbanites back to the city; (3) use state and federal laws to force suburbs to redistribute tax revenue to poorer cities in their greater metropolitan region. If you force urbanites into suburbs, force suburbanites back into cities, and redistribute suburban tax revenue, then presto! You have effectively abolished the suburbs.

I wonder if Democrats who live in the suburbs were aware of this plan, would they vote for Joe Biden?

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. So far President Trump is the only person willing to fight this move.

The Right To Work

The American Spectator posted an article today about a recent decision by the West Virginia Supreme  Court.

The article reports:

This spring, the West Virginia high court upheld the state’s right-to-work law. That part of the ruling was no surprise, as courts for over 70 years have said right-to-work laws are constitutional.

Perhaps the more significant part of the ruling, which garnered less attention, is that the court essentially said the entire country should be right-to-work.

Right-to-work simply means that a union cannot get a worker fired for not paying the union. A right-to-work law gives workers the freedom to support a union if they are doing a good job, and refrain from supporting a union if they wish.

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Janus v. AFSCME  that everything government unions do is political and that public employees have a First Amendment right to decide to support their union or not. The Janus case brought right-to-work to public employees across the country.

The article concludes:

Even West Virginia Justice Margaret Workman, who was critical of right-to-work, agreed in part and disagreed in part with the decision, writing, “I also believe that although Janus was a decision involving only public employees’ unions, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows; there is no principled basis on which to conclude that under the legal analysis upon which Janus is based, a prohibition on the collection of agency fees is constitutional for public employees’ unions but unconstitutional for private employees’ unions.”

Currently, 23 states can force private sector employees to pay unions. Similarly, airline and railroad employees, who are governed by a separate federal law, are also forced to support unions whether they want to or not.

If the U.S. Supreme Court does eventually decide the question with the same reasoning as the West Virginia Supreme Court, then all employees, public and private, will have the right to choose whether or not the union at their workplace is doing a good job and if they want to support it.

After all, freedom is blowing in the wind.

If a union is necessary in a company, the employees will support it. If it is not, the employees will not support it. That is called freedom.

We Are Slowing Seeing Admissions About Illegal Spying On President Trump

Just The News posted an article Monday by John Solomon about a recent statement by U.S. District Judge James A. Boasberg, the new chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Evidently the Judge is not impressed by what went on during 2016 and 2017.

The article reports:

For much of the last three years, key law enforcement leaders have insisted they did nothing wrong in pursuing counterintelligence surveillance warrants targeting the Trump campaign starting during the 2016 election. And, they’ve added, if mistakes were made, they were unintentional process errors downstream from them and not an effort to deceive the judges.

But in a little-noted passage in a recent order, U.S. District Judge James A. Boasberg, the new chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, took direct aim at the excuses and blame-shifting of these senior Obama administration FBI and DOJ officials.

In just 21 words, Boasberg provided the first judicial declaration the FBI had misled the court, not just committed process errors. “There is thus little doubt that the government breached its duty of candor to the Court with respect to those applications,” Boasberg wrote.

Finally someone is placing responsibility for previous FISA abuses on the people in charge and not the people working for them.

The article concludes:

“The frequency and seriousness of these errors in a case that, given its sensitive nature, had an unusually high level of review at both DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have called into question the reliability of the information proffered in other FBI applications,” Boasberg wrote.

In another words, he is worried the bad conduct exhibited by the FBI may extend to more cases affecting others’ civil liberties.

Finally, Boasberg put Wray on notice — even while praising the current director — that process fixes alone won’t suffice.

“The errors the OIG pointed out cannot be solved through procedures alone,” he wrote. “DOJ and the FBI, including all personnel involved in the FISA process, must fully understand and embrace the heightened duties of probity and transparency that apply in ex parte proceedings.”

Boasberg’s ruling was far more than a temporary suspension of FBI personnel’s participation in the FISA court. It is the first and only judicial finding in the Russia case that the FBI vastly misled the nation’s intelligence court and that blame must be shouldered by federal law enforcement’s top leaders, many of whom have spent much of the last three years trying to escape such accountability.

For those who have begged the FISA court for years to more aggressively rebuke the conduct in the Russia case, Boasberg’s ruling was a welcome step in the right direction and a first effort to end the excuse-making. But those critics are holding out for more, including prosecutions or disciplinary action.

In the meantime, those who led the FBI and DOJ through that turbulent time — Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as well as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and Rosenstein — must come to grips with this new reality. A judge has formally concluded that his court was misled by the work product they oversaw and signed.

It’s about time.

This Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

The Epoch Times posted an article today about a sexual assault case in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The alleged assault took place in a gender-neutral bathroom in a high school. I sincerely question if the people who came up with the idea of gender-neutral bathrooms were ever teenagers. Unfortunately we don’t live in a world that can safely support the idea of gender-neutral bathrooms. I’m not sure that world ever existed, but it does not exist now.

The article reports:

According to News 9 WOAW, 18-year-old Austin Sauer was arrested on Thursday on charges of child enticement, fourth-degree sexual assault, and exposing genitals to a child, the sex of whom has not been reported.

The Wisconsin state law defines fourth-degree sexual assault as “sexual contact with a person without the consent of that person.”

An officer from the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department told the local ABC affiliate that the incident took place in a gender-neutral bathroom at Rhinelander High School. The school has promptly closed that bathroom.

In a statement released to WOAW, Rhinelander School District Superintendent Kelli Jacobi said that “both students went into the bathroom voluntarily.”

“This was not a random incident, as both students went into the bathroom voluntarily,” she said. “The male student will no longer be able to be on school grounds, and the gender-neutral bathroom is no longer available to students.”

The article concludes:

Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision in a privacy lawsuit against a public school district in Dallas, Oregon. A panel of three judges ruled in favor of the school district, saying that it did not violate federal law or constitutional rights with a “student safety plan” that allows transgender students to use bathroom, locker, and shower facilities that “match their self-identified gender.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court last May refused to hear an appeal in a case from Pennsylvania, in which lower federal courts upheld a school district’s policy of permitting transgender students to use restrooms or locker rooms matching their gender identity. Four students, who felt uncomfortable with the policy, sued the school district on the basis that it violated their privacy rights and federal laws under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

It seems to me that common sense needs to be part of this discussion. The majority of our high school students are not transgender. Those students are entitled to privacy. There is no reason for a student with male genitals to be in a high school girls’ locker room. I don’t know exactly what provisions would have to be made, but I wouldn’t want my granddaughters to have to deal with boys in their locker room. If they still have their male body parts, they are boys and do not belong in the girls’ locker room. If they no longer belong in the boys’ locker room, then other facilities need to be made available.

The Truth About Purging Voter Rolls

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about some of the lies the media is telling about purging voter rolls.

The article reports:

Maggie Haberman, the esteemed New York Times reporter, recently tweeted out a Mother Jones article to 1.2 million followers. It was titled: “GOP-Led Voter Purges in Wisconsin and Georgia Could Tip 2020 Elections.”

The chilling piece warns readers that “hundreds of thousands of voters are set to be purged in two key swing states,” which “potentially” gives Republicans “a crucial advantage by shrinking the electorate” in those states.

None of this, of course, is true. Cynical pieces of this genre, an election-time tradition at this point, only allow Democrats to warn of widespread disenfranchisement and preemptively give aggrieved Democrats such as Stacey Abrams a baked-in excuse for losing elections and smearing Republicans.

How many people who fall for these claims understand that both federal law and state law mandate the updating of voter lists?

In Georgia, we already know that hundreds of thousands of “voters” were not purged, because at least 62% of registrations that were canceled recently by the state had surely moved away or died. Either their mail was returned as undeliverable or they had officially changed their address to a different state.

Other registrations were purged because the person hadn’t voted in years. Georgia has automatic registration. I know it’s difficult for some people to believe this, but lots of Americans have no interest in voting.

And Georgia voters can be declared “inactive” if they haven’t participated in elections, contacted officials, responded to officials, or updated their registrations since the 2012 election.

That’s state law. Georgia sends everyone letters explaining how they can fix any potential problems. Georgia, in fact, publishes a list of names online so anyone who has not received a letter can check if they are still registered. Gov. Brian Kemp recently signed a law that lengthens the period before voters become “inactive” from three to nine years.

As Justin Gray, a reporter in Atlanta, notes, the reason you don’t hear complaints from these “hundreds of thousands” of disenfranchised voters is because “most on [the] list are either dead, have moved, or as some told me were registered automatically when they got [a] license and don’t ever want to vote.”

It’s important to note, as well, that despite what you’ve heard, and what Democrats are constantly intimating, an analysis by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution uncovered no racial disparities in the voter roll purge in Georgia, finding that blacks and whites were purged in proportion to their shares of the state’s registered voters:

The article concludes:

However you look at these situations, though, “hundreds of thousands of voters” are not losing their right to cast ballots. Even if judges began forcing Wisconsin and Georgia—and the seven other states with “use it or lose it laws”—to ignore the law, there’s no evidence that it would have any bearing on the election.

Because even if we conceded that a tenth of these purges were inappropriate (and there’s zero evidence that suggests that even 1% of them are wrong), and even if we conceded that every single one of those voters would then cast their ballots for Democrats (which is implausible), it still wouldn’t change the outcome.

Not in Georgia. Not in Wisconsin. Not anywhere.

None of this is to contend that there isn’t a single person in the country who is being unfairly denied the right to vote. But the notion that “hundreds of thousands of voters” will be stopped from participating in the 2020 election through voter purges is nothing but destructive scaremongering meant to undermine American belief in the veracity of our elections.

Purging the voter rolls cuts down on voter fraud. It eliminates the possibility of someone claiming to be someone who has either moved or died. It prevents the vote of an American citizen from being cancelled out by fraud. It helps keep our elections honest.

Usurping Parental Rights

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

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

The article continues:

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

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

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

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

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

Remembering Our Roots

On Wednesday, The Washington Times posted an article about the Second Amendment. There has been a lot of talk lately about the Second Amendment, but very little talk about the relationship of the Second Amendment and the U.S. Constitution.

The article reminds us:

The U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled in the past 11 years that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual pre-political liberty. That is the highest category of liberty recognized in the law. It is akin to the freedoms of thought, speech and personality. That means that the court has recognized that the framers did not bestow this right upon us. Rather, they recognized its pre-existence as an extension of our natural human right to self-defense and they forbade government — state and federal — from infringing upon it.

It would be exquisitely unfair, profoundly unconstitutional and historically un-American for the rights of law-abiding folks — “surrender that rifle you own legally and use safely because some other folks have used that same type of weapon criminally” — to be impaired in the name of public safety.

It would also be irrational. A person willing to kill innocents and be killed by the police while doing so surely would have no qualms about violating a state or federal law that prohibited the general ownership of the weapon he was about to use.

With all of this as background, and the country anguishing over the mass deaths of innocents, the feds and the states face a choice between a knee-jerk but popular restriction of some form of gun ownership, and the rational and sound realization that more guns in the hands of those properly trained means less crime and more safety.

Can the government constitutionally outlaw the types of rifles used by the El Paso and Dayton killers? In a word: No. We know that because in the first Supreme Court opinion upholding the individual right to keep and bear arms, the court addressed what kind of arms the Second Amendment protects. The court ruled that the Second Amendment protects individual ownership of weapons one can carry that are of the same degree of sophistication as the bad guys have — or the government has.

The government? Yes, the government. That’s so because the Second Amendment was not written to protect the right to shoot deer. It was written to protect the right to shoot at tyrants and their agents when they have stolen liberty or property from the people. If you don’t believe me on this, then read the Declaration of Independence. It justifies violence against the British government because of such thefts.

Governments are the greatest mass killers on the planet. Who can take without alarm any of their threats to emasculate our right to defend our personal liberties?

The Second Amendment is there to protect us from a tyrannical government. Does anyone believe that 90 percent of the people in government would not become tyrants if the population were not armed?

The article concludes:

The president also offered his support for “red flag” laws. These horrific statutes permit police or courts to seize guns from those deemed dangerous. Red flag laws are unconstitutional. The presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of demonstrable fault as a precondition to any punishment or sanction together prohibit the loss of liberty on the basis of what might happen in the future.

In America, we do not punish a person or deprive anyone of liberty on the basis of a fear of what the person might do. When the Soviets used psychiatric testimony to predict criminal behavior, President Ronald Reagan condemned it. Now, the president wants it here.

The United States is not New Zealand, where a national legislature, animated by fear and provoked by tragedy, can impair fundamental liberties by majority vote. In America, neither Congress nor the states can outlaw whatever handguns or rifles they want to outlaw or infringe upon the right to own them.

The government can no more interfere with Second Amendment rights than it can infringe upon any other rights. If this were not so, then no liberty — speech, press, religion, association, self-defense, privacy, travel, property ownership — would be safe from the reach of a fearful majority.

That’s why we have a Constitution.

A government that prefers an unarmed citizenry is not a government I want to support.

Pulling Back The Curtain On Over-The-Top Investigation Tactics

On June 6, Real Clear Investigations posted an article by Paul Sperry about the tactics used by the people working with Robert Mueller in the Mueller Investigation. Now that the investigation is complete, some of the people who were investigated feel free to speak out about the extreme tactics used in dealing with witnesses and suspects in this investigation.

The article first deals with general misbehavior by the Mueller team:

Veteran journalist Art Moore was editing a story on the Trump-Russia probe last October when he heard a knock at the door. He saw a couple of men in suits on the front porch of his suburban Seattle home and thought they were Jehovah’s Witnesses making the rounds. But they weren’t missionaries there to convert him; they were FBI agents there to interrogate him, sent by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The G-men wanted to talk about WikiLeaks, specifically whether the Trump campaign had any connection to the hacktivist group’s release of thousands of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 election.

Art Moore: “They were clearly on a fishing expedition.”

The two FBI agents – cyber-crimes experts Jared Brown and Aleks Kobzanets, the latter of whom had a Russian accent – grilled Moore, an editor for the news site WND.com, for about 90 minutes. Among other things, they asked about former WND correspondent Jerome Corsi and whether he had any advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ dumps of Clinton campaign emails. Corsi, who is friendly with the president, had used Trump confidante Roger Stone as a source during the campaign.

“They were clearly on a fishing expedition,” Moore said, recounting the incident to RealClearInvestigations publicly for the first time.

“They seemed desperate to find something to hang onto the narrative” of Russian collusion, he said.

The article notes that the accounts of the people interviewed are similar:

Their firsthand accounts pull back the curtain on the secret inner workings of the Mueller probe, revealing how the special counsel’s nearly two dozen prosecutors and 40 FBI agents used harshly aggressive tactics to pressure individuals to either cop to crimes or implicate others in felonies involving collusion.

Although they interacted with Mueller’s team at different times and in different places, the witnesses and targets often echoed each other. Almost all decried what they called Mueller’s “scorched earth” methods that affected their physical, mental and financial health. Most said they were forced to retain high-priced Washington lawyers to protect them from falling into “perjury traps” for alleged lying, which became the special counsel’s charge of last resort. In the end, Mueller convicted four Trump associates for this so-called process crime, and investigated an additional five individuals for allegedly making false statements – including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Some subjects of investigation said Mueller’s agents and prosecutors tried to pressure them into admitting things to give the appearance of collusion. They demanded to know if they had spoken to anyone with a “Russian accent.” They threatened to jail them “for life” and to drag their wives or girlfriends into the investigation.

Former special prosecutors say the tactics used by Mueller’s team appear excessive.

The article then goes on to tell the stories of people specifically targeted during the investigation. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read those stories. Investigations in America should not be handled this way.

The article concludes with a statement by former Pentagon inspector general who worked on the Trump campaign, Joseph Schmitz:

Schmitz said Mueller’s investigation was a costly and terrible waste of time. Even federal law enforcement veterans say the probe was overkill.

“[He] put the country through two years of divisive trauma based on an investigation that he knew was baseless,” former FBI agent and lawyer Mark Wauck said.

After the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Biasello said, he was one of 10 FBI agents selected to serve on Mueller’s team to investigate and research the hijackers assigned to American Airlines Flight 77.

“In this case,” he said, referring to the Trump-Russia probe, “he obviously was corrupted by his personal relationship with [former FBI Director James] Comey and politics. The glaring failure to produce a thread of a case against the president caused him and his office to resort to unethical investigative and prosecutorial methods.”

Ex-Trump campaign official Michael Caputo, who went public earlier, complaining he had to remortgage his house after having to hire expensive Washington lawyers, wants Mueller and his team investigated for “prosecutorial abuses.” “Ruining lives was blood sport for them,” he said.

Moore (veteran journalist Art Moore) agreed: “You look at the lives ruined — Corsi, Michael Flynn and others. That alone is enough to warrant a special investigation.”

Rules??? What Rules?

The Federalist posted an article yesterday listing five times the Mueller Probe broke basic prosecutorial rules.

The article lists the rules broken:

1. Using Leaks And Press Conferences to Trash Un-charged Targets

Rule 3.8 of the American Bar Association’s rules of professional responsibility for prosecutors provides,

A prosecutor shall, except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

2. Using Their Power to Crush Client-Attorney Privilege

Rule 3.8 also provides,

A prosecutor shall not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless the prosecutor reasonably believes:

(1) the information sought is not protected from disclosure by any applicable privilege;

(2) the evidence sought is essential to the successful completion of an ongoing investigation or prosecution; and

(3) there is no other feasible alternative to obtain the information;

3. Prosecuting Despite Knowing They Can’t Prove Their Case

Rule 3.8 also provides “The prosecutor in a criminal case shall: refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.”

Notwithstanding that the key collusion allegation had already been disproven before Mueller first turned on the lights in the special counsel’s office, for nearly two years Mueller has been trying President Trump in the court of public opinion. This is more than a mere expression. The venue for trying the president is in the Senate under Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, and the constitutional framers always intended that senators make their decisions based in part on the opinions of the electorate they represent.

4. Special Counsels Aren’t Supposed to Be a Partisan Hit Squad

Federal law regarding the “Independence of the Special Counsel” says: “An individual named as Special Counsel shall be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decisionmaking, …. The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government.”

Mueller should not have been selected as the special counsel, due to his close personal relationship with Comey. Further, his entire staff was clearly not impartial.

As one example, the prominent attorney Jeannie Rhee worked for the Clintons to keep Hillary’s emails out of public view only months before joining the Mueller team to investigate Hillary’s political opponent. Clinton might face legal consequences for secretly starting the Russia collusion hoax using campaign funds.

5. Rosenstein Used His Government Position to Protect Himself

Federal conflict of interest law (28 C.F.R. § 45.2 (a)) says:

Unless authorized under paragraph (b) of this section, no employee shall participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with: (1) Any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution; or (2) Any person or organization which he knows has a specific and substantial interest that would be directly affected by the outcome of the investigation or prosecution.

The article concludes:

The get-Trump crowd has been carrying the scorpion of the Mueller investigation on their backs for nearly two years. The damage this has done to America may never be undone. The zealots claiming Trump to be a threat to the rule of law have proven themselves right by using their outrage to trample important constitutional principles such as the presumption of innocence, the right to defend oneself from criminal accusations, attorney-client privilege, and the right to be free from unreasonable searches.

None of that seemed important if we truly had a Russian agent occupying the White House. But we don’t. The anti-Trump zealots, not Trump, threatened these cherished principles that ensure equal treatment under the law for all Americans, even the president, regardless of political party.

The people responsible for the abuse of the role of the Special Counsel need to be held accountable. Otherwise, anytime someone the deep state disapproves of is elected, we will go through this entire scenario again. Rules were broken, attorney-client privilege was totally disregarded, and innocent people had their lives ruined simply because they tangentially worked with President Trump. That is unacceptable. The price paid by those who engineered and carried out this travesty needs to be so high that no one will ever attempt it again. This truly was an attempted coup. Those responsible need to pay the appropriate price.

The Democrats’ First Proposal Upon Taking Control Of The House Of Representatives

The first bill introduced in the House of Representatives when the Democrats took over was H.R. 1. The bill was sponsored by Representative John P. Sarbanes of Maryland and is called the “For the People Act of 2019.” Great, only it’s really not for the people–it’s for bigger federal government and smaller state governments.

Politifact posted an article on February 8th about the bill.

The article mentions some of the demands the bill would make on states:

• Offer online voter registration;

• Establish automatic voter registration;

• Allow voter registration on the day of a federal election;

• Allow voters to correct their registration information at the polls;

• Restore voting rights to felons after they leave prison;

• Offer at least 15 days of early voting; and,

• Follow new rules before purging voters from registration lists.

The bill also has several measures related to campaign finance or ethics:

• Require super PACs to disclose donors who give more than $10,000;

• Require major online platforms to maintain an online public record of people who buy at least $500 worth of political ads; and

• Use public financing to match small dollar donations to House and presidential candidates.

There are also some other interesting items in the bill listed in a pjmedia article of January 10th:

It forces states to implement mandatory voter registration. If someone is on a government list — such as receiving welfare benefits or rental subsidies — then they would be automatically registered to vote. Few states have enacted these systems because Americans still view civic participation as a voluntary choice.

…H.R. 1 would also force states to have extended periods of early voting, and mandates that early voting sites be near bus or subway routes.

…H.R. 1 also undermines the First Amendment by exerting government control over political speech and undoing the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

The proposal also undoes another Supreme Court decision. In Husted, a case arising out of Ohio, the Court ruled that federal laws — known as “Motor Voter” — do not prohibit states from using a voter’s inactivity from triggering a mailing to that voter to see if they still are living at that location. H.R. 1 would undo that ruling and prohibit states from effectively cleaning voter rolls.

For further information follow the link to the pjmedia article.

Article 1 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

States are given the authority to hold elections. To put the federal government in charge of elections is to open the door for fraud on a large scale. That is exactly what H.R. 1 does.

But It Sounds So Wonderful

Sometimes I wonder if anyone in Congress has actually read the U.S. Constitution.

Shmoop states:

Clause 1. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Constitution generally leaves it up to the states to organize congressional elections, but gives Congress the power to set new rules for federal elections as it sees fit. In 1842, Congress passed an important law requiring single-member district elections in every state, standardizing congressional election practices nationwide. The same law set one standard Election Day—the Tuesday after the first Monday in November—throughout the country. We still use the same Election Day today.

On Thursday PJ Media reported that one of the top legislative priorities of the new House of Representatives is the passage of H.R. 1.

The official name of the bill is:

H.R.1 – To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes.

If only that were what the bill is actually about.

These are some of the provisions of H.R.1 listed in the article:

It forces states to implement mandatory voter registration. If someone is on a government list — such as receiving welfare benefits or rental subsidies — then they would be automatically registered to vote. Few states have enacted these systems because Americans still view civic participation as a voluntary choice. Moreover, aggregated government lists always contain duplicates and errors that states, even without mandatory voter registration, frequently fail to catch and fix.

H.R. 1 also mandates that states allow all felons to vote. Currently, states have the power under the Constitution to set the terms of eligibility in each state. Some states, like Maine, have decided that voting machines should be rolled into the prisons. Other states, like Nevada, have chosen to make a felony a disenfranchising event.

…H.R. 1 would also force states to have extended periods of early voting, and mandates that early voting sites be near bus or subway routes. While purportedly designed to increase participation, early voting has been shown to have no effect on turnout.

…H.R. 1 also undermines the First Amendment by exerting government control over political speech and undoing the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

The proposal also undoes another Supreme Court decision. In Husted, a case arising out of Ohio, the Court ruled that federal laws — known as “Motor Voter” — do not prohibit states from using a voter’s inactivity from triggering a mailing to that voter to see if they still are living at that location. H.R. 1 would undo that ruling and prohibit states from effectively cleaning voter rolls.

You get the picture. Please follow the link to read the entire article. Aside from the fact that most of H.R. 1 in unconstitutional, it is a naked power grab by the new House of Representatives. It needs to be stopped cold.

A Step In The Right Direction

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article this morning about California and voting.

The article reports:

California and Los Angeles County have agreed to purge as many as 1.5 million inactive voter registrations across the state as part of a court settlement finalized this week with Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog.

Judicial Watch sued the county and state voter-registration agencies, arguing that the California government was not complying with a federal law requiring the removal of inactive registrations that remain after two general elections, or two to four years.

In August 2017, Judicial Watch reported:

Judicial Watch announced it sent a notice-of-violation letter to the state of California and 11 of its counties threatening to sue in federal court if it does not clean its voter registration lists as mandated by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Both the NVRA and the federal Help America Vote Act require states to take reasonable steps to maintain accurate voting rolls. The August 1 letter was sent on behalf of several Judicial Watch California supporters and the Election Integrity Project California, Inc.

In the letter, Judicial Watch noted that public records obtained on the Election Assistance Commission’s 2016 Election Administration Voting Survey and through verbal accounts from various county agencies show 11 California counties have more registered voters than voting-age citizens: Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%), Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%), Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%).

In the letter, Judicial Watch noted that Los Angeles County officials “informed us that the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age.”

Under Section 8 of the NVRA, states are required to make a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from official lists due to “the death of the registrant” or “a change in the residence of the registrant,” and requires states to ensure noncitizens are not registered to vote.

There is “strong circumstantial evidence that California municipalities are not conducting reasonable voter registration list maintenance as mandated under the NVRA,” Judicial Watch wrote in the notice letter sent to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Because the states refused to supply information to the President’s Commission to study election fraud, private groups like Judicial Watch have to to the work themselves. It is good to see that the work of protecting the votes of American voters who are legal voters is proceeding.

More Shark Jumping In The House Of Representatives

While our southern border remains porous, the new majority of House Democrats is busy. On January 3rd, The Hill reported that Representative Julia Brownley of California has introduced a bill to rewrite federal laws with gender-neutral terms, codifying the progressive ideological tenet that distinctions between men and women are exclusionary.

The article reports:

The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, but LGBT rights advocates say discrimination against same-sex couples still persists.

Lambda Legal, a civil rights group, has filed two lawsuits in the past year challenging the Social Security Administration’s requirement that couples be married for at least nine months to qualify for survivor’s benefits.

Brownley introduced a similar bill in the previous Congress, and before that the bill was championed by former Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.). The measure failed to make it out of committee.

Brownley said the new legislation will “recognize and re-affirm that all Americans have the right to marry the person they love, to ensure no one is denied federal benefits and protections because of who they love, and more broadly to make sure that same sex couples are treated equally under the law in all respects.”

If the law requires that all couples must be married for at least nine months to collect survivor’s benefits, how is that discriminatory? I think this proposed law is another example of the children’s book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.

 

An Unfortunate Decision

Fox News is reporting the following:

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that Congress had no authority to enact a law that criminalizes female genital mutilation (FGM). “As despicable as [FGM] may be… [Congress] overstepped its bounds” by banning the procedure, the judge said.

FGM is a procedure that leaves the victim scarred for life and can cause serious medical problems as she gets older. It is barbaric. It should be banned by cultural norms, but because of the Muslim influences in our government, a judge has allowed the procedure to continue.

The article continues:

Michigan state Sen. Rick Jones also slammed the ruling.

“I’m angry that the federal judge dismissed this horrific case that affected upwards of a hundred girls who were brutally victimized and attacked against their will,” he said in a statement. “This is why it was so important for Michigan to act. We set a precedent that female genital mutilation will not be tolerated here … I hope other states will follow suit.”

The case in Michigan prompted state officials to pass a state law officially banning FGM. The law carries a penalty of 15 years in prison for assisting or performing the procedure, but applies only to future instances. Nagarwala and other members of the sect were charged under an old federal law passed by Congress.

The federal law was passed in 1996 under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The federal judge ruled the banning of the procedure under the clause was unconstitutional.

“There is nothing commercial or economic about FGM,” Friedman wrote in the opinion. “[FGM] is not part of a larger market and it has no demonstrated effect on interstate commerce. The Commerce Clause does not permit Congress to regulate a crime of this nature.”

Shannon Smith, Nagarwala’s lawyer, told the Free Press that they are “unbelievably happy” after the judge’s ruling, saying “The impact is huge. It eliminates four defendants from the indictment, and it severely punctures major holes in the government’s case.”

FGM is not an acceptable practice, and all states need to ban the practice immediately. FGM is barbaric and has severe negative health implications for the children who undergo it.

Where In The World Does This Appear In The U.S. Constitution?

The Gateway Pundit reported today that the State of Maryland has filed a legal objection to President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General. When did state courts have any say over presidential appointments?

The article notes:

The state seeks a preliminary injunction that prevents the federal government from responding to the suit while Whitaker appears as acting attorney general. Instead, Maryland requests a declaration that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is the acting attorney general.

Jonathan Turley posted an article about the apointment of Matthew Whitaker.

The article states:

However, this morning some members and commentators have declared that Whitaker cannot serve as an Acting Attorney General under federal law.  I have to disagree.  While not getting into the merits of the selection, it seems clear to me that, under 5 U.S.C. 3345, that Whitaker does indeed qualify.  (This of course does not address the long-standing debate over the constitutionality of such laws.  A challenge can be made under the Appointment Clause of the Constitution, mandating that a “principal officer” in the federal government may not be appointed without Senate confirmation).

…I fail to see the compelling argument to disqualify Whitaker. Any challenge would face added challenge of finding someone with standing, though Mueller could contest an order on the basis of the legal status of Whitaker. That would make for an interesting challenge but the odds would be against Mueller over the long course of appeals.

The motive behind the lawsuit evidently has to do with fear that Matthew Whitaker will shut down the Mueller Investigation. That may be a valid fear, but I think a more valid fear would be that under Matthew Whitaker the Justice Department might actually take another look at how some people handled classified information during the Obama administration. Hillary Clinton was not the only person with classified information on a non-government secured device. An investigation into mishandling of classified information under President Obama would be a serious threat to many people who were in the Obama administration.

 

 

Quite Often There Is A Reason For Protocols And Procedures

The Hillary Clinton private email server scandal is old news. However, there is a new aspect of this story that has just recently come out.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the Chinese hacking into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

The article reports:

  • A Chinese-owned company penetrated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server, according to sources briefed on the matter.
  • The company inserted code that forwarded copies of Clinton’s emails to the Chinese company in real time.
  • The Intelligence Community Inspector General warned of the problem, but the FBI subsequently failed to act, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert said during a July hearing.

Wow. The Chinese had all of our classified correspondence from the State Department in real time. That is scary.

The article reports the timeline:

Two officials with the ICIG, investigator Frank Rucker and attorney Janette McMillan, met repeatedly with FBI officials to warn them of the Chinese intrusion, according to a former intelligence officer with expertise in cybersecurity issues, who was briefed on the matter. He spoke anonymously, as he was not authorized to publicly address the Chinese’s role with Clinton’s server.

Among those FBI officials was Peter Strzok, who was then the bureau’s top counterintelligence official. Strzok was fired this month following the discovery he sent anti-Trump texts to his mistress and co-worker, Lisa Page. Strzok didn’t act on the information the ICIG provided him, according to Gohmert.

Gohmert mentioned in the Judiciary Committee hearing that ICIG officials told Strzok and three other top FBI officials that they found an “anomaly” on Clinton’s server.

The former intelligence officer TheDCNF spoke with said the ICIG “discovered the anomaly pretty early in 2015.”

“When [the ICIG] did a very deep dive, they found in the actual metadata — the data which is at the header and footer of all the emails — that a copy, a ‘courtesy copy,’ was being sent to a third party and that third party was a known Chinese public company that was involved in collecting intelligence for China,” the former intelligence officer told TheDCNF.

“The [the ICIG] believe that there was some level of phishing. But once they got into the server something was embedded,” he said. “The Chinese are notorious for embedding little surprises like this.”

As if this were not discouraging enough:

London Center for Policy Research’s vice president of operations, retired Col. Anthony Shaffer, told TheDCNF that Clinton’s server was vulnerable to hacking.

“Look, there’s evidence based on the complete lack of security hygiene on the server. Fourteen-year-old hackers from Canada could have probably hacked into her server and left very little trace,” Shaffer said. “Any sophisticated organization is going to be able to essentially get in and then clean up their presence.”

For a list of the federal laws that may have been violated in setting up the private server go here.

It is difficult to create a totally hack proof server, but had Hillary used her proper email address and government servers, it is much less likely that the Chinese would have been able to obtain the classified information that flowed through the State Department during her tenure. The rules and regulations regarding email by government bureaucrats are there for a reason. Although I have my theories as to why she ignored them, by ignoring them she put national security issues of America at risk. That is not acceptable.

Eventually Justice Shows Up

Most of us remember the stand-off between ranchers and the federal government in Oregon in 2016. Robert LaVoy Finicum was killed during the protests surrounding these events. Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about W. Joseph Astarita, who was part of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team deployed out of Quantico, Va., to assist other state and federal law-enforcement officers during the standoff. Mr. Astarita is now on trial in U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., on charges of making false statements and obstruction of justice related to the 2016 fatal shooting of Robert LaVoy Finicum.

The article reports:

The trial will bring to a head the tensions between Western ranchers and the government that had been at the heart of the 2016 standoffs. Mr. Bundy’s armed occupation was fueled by the federal prosecution of Oregon rancher Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, for arson. The duo, who were sentenced to five years in prison, received a presidential pardon earlier this month.

Mr. Bundy was acquitted for his role in the occupation, along with six followers.

The death of Mr. Finicum has spurred outrage among friends and family. They have long accused the government of carrying out a deadly vendetta. While federal investigators determined the rancher was reaching in his coat for a gun when he was shot, supporters said he was surrendering.

“Someone needs to be charged with murder,” said Angie Bundy, wife of Mr. Bundy’s brother, Ryan.

Local law-enforcement authorities also have criticized the Justice Department for Mr. Astarita’s alleged actions. When the indictments of Mr. Astarita were announced last summer, Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson said they “damage the integrity of the entire law-enforcement profession, which makes me both disappointed and angry.”

The original disagreement between the Bundy family and the federal government had to do with federal regulation of grazing lands.

Bobby Jindal On Common Core

On Wednesday, the Daily Caller posted an article about Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal‘s battle against Common Core. Governor Jindal is fighting Common Core on the grounds that it is a violation of federal law.

The article reports:

In a brief submitted Wednesday as part of a lawsuit against Louisiana’s Board for Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), Jindal’s attorneys claim that a consortium used to create multistate standardized tests aligned with Common Core was transformed into a cudgel to force states to obey federal edicts on education.

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that gives the federal government control over education–that was left to the state and local governments.

The article explains:

“Simply put, PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) is the implementation platform for a carefully orchestrated federal scheme to supervise, direct and control educational curriculum, programs of instruction and instructional materials in direct violation of federal law,” the report argues.

PARCC’s creation, as well as the creation of the Smarter Balanced consortium (which serves the same purpose but has different members), was enabled through grants by the federal government through the Race to the Top program. That federal involvement, Jindal’s team argues, irretrievably taints the organization as well as Common Core more broadly, even though the government was not directly involved with the standards’ creation. The Department of Education Organization Act (DOEA) and other federal laws, they say, explicitly bar the Department of Education from taking actions that increase federal control over education.

“Race to [the] Top…effectively coopted Common Core for the federal government, attempting to accomplish indirectly through economic coercion that which the federal government is prohibited from accomplishing directly,” the brief argues.

Common Core is unconstitutional and does not make a positive contribution to the education of our children. How long will it take state to figure that out? Many of them already have.