Skirting Campaign Finance Laws

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about some of the dark money being spent in the 2020 elections.

The article reports:

When Hayden Ludwig and a colleague showed up at the Civic Participation Action Fund’s (CPAF) Washington, D.C., office in 2019 seeking copies of the group’s most recent tax returns, they were greeted by an angry Stephen McConnell.

McConnell, then-CPAF’s president, demanded to know who paid his inquisitors’ salaries. Ludwig identified himself as an investigative researcher for the Capital Research Center (CRC), and his colleague as an intern there.

Ludwig also reminded McConnell that federal regulations require groups like CPAF and CRC to provide the documents on request. At that point, Ludwig said McConnell cooled down and produced the documents.

“They’re not used to being in the limelight,” Ludwig laconically told The Epoch Times on Oct. 22.

Indeed, throughout its carefully planned five-year lifespan, CPAF flew under the radar even as it spent millions of dollars from anonymous overseas donors on campaigns to boost Democratic registration and voting in highly-targeted neighborhoods in the 2018 and 2020 campaigns.

The article notes:

“CPAF is best described as a $50 million secretive conduit for moving Atlantic Philanthropy’s foreign ‘dark money’ dollars into U.S. left-wing infrastructure groups doing Get Out The Vote (GOTV) and voter registration campaigns that help Democrats,” Ludwig said.

Atlantic Philanthropy is an offshore complex of closely related foundations based in Bermuda and established by American entrepreneur Chuck Feeney, who made his fortune with the Duty Free Shoppers line of retail stores. Atlantic received $1.6 billion when Feeney sold his interest in the stores in 1997.

Atlantic Philanthropy channeled nearly $50 million to CPAF in 2015 via Atlantic Advocacy Fund, one of its associated groups. McConnell was Atlantic’s U.S. Director before starting CPAF. The group also received funds from other liberal Democratic sources, including $367,000 from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

The plan from the outset was that CPAF—a “limited life initiative”—would complete its mission in time for the 2020 presidential election.

The article notes the legal loophole that allows CPAF to be involved in politics:

“Due to technicalities of American foundation law, since it is organized offshore, Atlantic Philanthropies is permitted to fund 501(c)(4) advocacy activities, which American-based foundations cannot,” according to CRC’s Influence Watch. Names of individual donors behind funding sources remain anonymous.

The article concludes:

In addition to encouraging voter registration in heavily Democratic neighborhoods, CPAF also made grants to activist groups closely aligned with Democratic candidates.

One such group, Arizona Wins, which got $437,675 from CPAF, played a major role in Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Ariz.) narrow win over Republican Martha McSally in 2018.

Neither McConnell nor Roberts could be reached for comment, while Atlantic Philanthropies completed its grant-making and closed down its media office earlier this year, according to a recording on the foundation’s main telephone line.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There is nothing wrong with encouraging voter registration, but there are laws that restrict the political activities of certain groups based on their tax status. Using offshore companies to skirt those laws is not ethical, even if it does not violate the ‘letter of the law.’

Can The People With A Vested Interest In This Story Remaining Untold Keep It Quiet Until After The Election?

The Epoch Times is reporting the following today:

Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is requesting a statement from FBI Director Christopher Wray about the veracity of details that were found on a laptop that purportedly belonged to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden after the New York Post published explosive new claims about the family’s business ties abroad.

Johnson, in a letter to Wray over the weekend, said a whistleblower contacted his committee on Sept. 24 about the laptop that was left at his business, saying he turned it over to the FBI. Johnson said that staff immediately asked if the agency can either confirm or deny details to validate the claim, but he said that the FBI wouldn’t confirm or deny the information that was found on the device.

“I have a responsibility to validate and verify the contents of any information produced to my committee,” Johnson said in his letter. “The committee must know if it receives information that could be fraudulent or not accurate.”

He mentioned that the information could be related to a foreign election interference campaign, saying that if that is the case, a defensive briefing is necessary. Johnson added that if the whistleblower provided false information, it could be a crime.

…“For these reasons, the committee must know whether the FBI has assessed the validity of materials the whistleblower has provided, and what, if any, actions the FBI has taken since obtaining this information,” Johnson said in the letter.

He also included a series of questions that the FBI should answer about the laptop, including whether the agency has material from the device, how they acquired it if they did indeed obtain the laptop, if the records on the hard drive have been altered or are genuine, whether the records were authored by Hunter Biden, or if the laptop was hacked in some way.

Unfortunately, Hunter Biden’s behavior is generally consistent with what was found on the laptop. He was discharged from the Navy for drug use, and he fathered a child with a stripper. However, we need to remember that the details of what is on the laptop matter. If Hunter was involved in selling access to his father, is his father also implicated? I don’t know. If the accusations about the money flowing to Hunter Biden from China and going to Joe Biden are true, it is an entirely different story. It will be interesting to see exactly what the FBI says about the information.

Avoiding Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Election

Early voting began in North Carolina yesterday. Recently the Democrat-controlled State Board of Elections attempted to change the rules regarding absentee ballots just before voting began. The Epoch Times reported yesterday that the effort has failed.

The article reports:

A federal judge on Oct. 14 ruled that absentee ballots in the crucial battleground state of North Carolina must include a witness signature.

District Judge William Osteen in Greensboro on Oct. 14 issued an injunction essentially prohibiting voters in the state from be able to “fix” an absentee ballot they had already sent in if it didn’t have a witness signature.

Osteen was reversing a Sept. 22 directive by North Carolina officials that had made it possible for state voters to return an affidavit verifying that the absentee ballot without a witness signature had been signed by them, and not somebody else.

The judge said the September directive conflicts with a ruling he issued in August upholding the overall witness requirement in state law, but requiring that voters be given due process to fix, or cure, minor ballot errors.

…Last week, Osteen raised concerns that eliminating the witness requirement for absentee ballots could open the door to ballot fraud. He suggested that someone could skip having a witness entirely, but then have their vote counted anyway by sending an affidavit to county officials.

“Judge Osteen was right to stop the … elimination of the absentee ballot witness requirement,” Sen. Phil Berger (R-N.C.) said in a statement in response to the ruling.

Republicans are fighting similar legal battles related to mail-in voting across the United States with the goal of preventing voter fraud. Democrats argue that voter fraud is virtually nonexistent and are fighting against various requirements they say make it hard to cast votes by mail. Democrats’ efforts involve at least 600 lawyers, and dwarf those of Republicans.

Absentee and mail-in ballots are the place where there seems to be the most voter fraud. There are also incidents of ballots not being delivered in a timely manner and also occasional instances where ballots are found in trash bins or discarded on the side of the road. This judge has made a decision that will help ensure the integrity of the election.

This Is Ridiculous

The Epoch Times reported  the following yesterday:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) announced a bill to create a “Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office” that would possibly attempt to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to enable Congress to “help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership in the highest office in the Executive Branch of government.”

The article continues:

Earlier on Thursday, Pelosi said Democrats were planning to discuss the 25th Amendment, but she did not elaborate. At the same time, she called on President Donald Trump, who tested positive for the CCP virus, to reveal his latest test results.

“I think that the public needs to know the health condition of the president,” Pelosi said in a news conference. “Before he got the virus and admitted to it, when was his last negative test?”

According to the Constitution, Section 4 of the 25th Amendment allows Congress to come up with a body to declare whether a president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

“In emergency situations, Congress could pass a concurrent resolution requiring the Commission to examine the President, determine his/her ability to execute the powers and duties of the office, and report its findings to Congress. If presidential incapacity exists, the Vice President would immediately assume the role of Acting President,” said Raskin’s office in a news release.

It really is time to take the House of Representatives away from the Democrats. They have done nothing for the past four years but try to undo the 2016 election. They keep asking President Trump if he will accept the results of the 2020 election if he loses, but they have never accepted the results of the 2016 election. Their actions are causing harm to America. They are creating division and doing nothing to help Americans deal with the coronavirus. This bill needs to die quickly, and those who sponsor it need to be removed from office in the November election. This is a horrible example of partisan politics that is harmful and divisive to the country.

People In The Obama Administration Seem To Have Very Faulty Memories

The Epoch Times reported yesterday that James Comey has no memory of receiving a recently declassified CIA memo about Hillary Clinton’s plan to smear President Trump with a charge of colluding with Russia.

The article reports:

The three-page referral, released by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to members of Congress in partly redacted form, apprised Comey and FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok that intelligence suggested that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had approved a plan concerning the Trump campaign and Russia’s alleged hack of the Democratic National Committee.

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Comey claimed not to remember ever receiving the referral.

Ratcliffe sent copies of the partly redacted, three-page referral (pdf) to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, alongside written notes (pdf) taken by CIA Director John Brennan.

Last week, Ratcliffe released a summary (pdf) of the contents of the documents, in which he alleged that Clinton approved the plan on July 26, 2016, and that Brennan’s handwritten notes concern a briefing he provided to President Barack Obama in late July. The information about the plan came from a Russian intelligence analysis obtained by U.S. authorities, according to Ratcliffe.

Please follow the link to the article to see the timeline.

The article concludes:

While a full accounting of the events is yet to be made public, the timing of the events suggests that the FBI may have pivoted its investigation of the DNC email hack into an investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia around the time Clinton allegedly approved the plan to stir up scandal around Trump and Russia.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who took over the Crossfire Hurricane investigation in May 2017, eventually indicted Russian intelligence officers for allegedly hacking the DNC. The indictment suggests that the DNC email hack was part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

Last night President Trump authorized the total declassification of all documents related to Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and Obamagate without redactions. This could be very interesting. Hopefully people who used their government positions for political purposes will be held accountable.

Taking Advantage Of The Coronavirus

On Saturday The Epoch Times posted an article that illustrates Andrew McCabe’s lawyer’s using the coronavirus as an excuse to block McCabe from testifying before Congress.

The article reports:

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe won’t be appearing before a Senate committee this week after two members of the panel tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, his lawyer said on Oct. 3.

McCabe was scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 6 to testify about the FBI’s handling of the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which later morphed into an investigation of President Donald Trump’s campaign.

An attorney for McCabe wrote to committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), informing him about the former bureau official’s decision to pull out of the hearing. The lawyer said that McCabe didn’t want to put his family at risk of catching the virus after Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who both sit on the committee, tested positive.

Congress can’t use Zoom? Does anyone actually believe that McCabe wanted to testify?

This is the attorney’s statement:

“Mr. McCabe is willing, able, and eager to testify in person about Crossfire Hurricane at any time in the future when it is safe to do so. But he is not willing to put his family’s health at risk to do so,” he continued.

“For these reasons, we are unwilling to appear in person for the October 6 hearing; and for reasons of fairness, we are unwilling to testify remotely. A fair and appropriate hearing of this kind—which is complex and contentious—simply cannot be conducted other than in person.”

Meanwhile, Americans have been working from home for months.

The article concludes:

“There’s a day of reckoning coming. Just stay tuned, and there’s more coming. There’s something else coming, more damning than this, believe it or not,” Graham told Fox News.

His comments came following revelations that the Washington-based Russian national who supplied former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele with most of the unverified claims in the infamous Russia dossier was himself investigated by the FBI on suspicions of being a spy for the Kremlin. The revelations were revealed in documents provided by Attorney General William Barr to Graham.

While aware of the counterintelligence concerns about Steele’s source, the FBI failed to disclose that to the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court as part of an application to surveil former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

“To me, failure of the FBI to inform the court that the Primary Sub-source was suspected of being a Russian agent is a breach of every duty owed by law enforcement to the judicial system,” Graham said in a statement in reaction to the revelation.

The goal here is to delay the testimony at least until after the election. If Joe Biden becomes President, the investigation will disappear and we can expect more political corruption in the future.

This Is Not A Surprise

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article reporting that some of the Democrats have called for a delay in the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

The article reports:

Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, wrote to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), to challenge the planned Oct. 12 date for Barrett’s hearing. Feinstein argued that there is not enough time to rush the vetting process for Barrett.

“The timeline for consideration of Judge Barrett’s nomination is incompatible with the Senate’s constitutional role,” Feinstein wrote. “We again urge you to delay consideration of this nomination until after the presidential inauguration. The Senate and the American public deserve a deliberative, thorough process, and this falls far short.”

Feinstein asserted that the current process to nominate Barrett “is a sharp departure from past practice” and “undercuts the Senate’s ability to fulfill its advice and consent role and deprives the American people of a meaningful opportunity to gauge the nominee and her record for themselves.”

The longtime California Democrat asked about whether the FBI can “thoroughly vet” Barrett’s background, review documents related to the judge, review her entire record, and provide “adequate time” for questioning her.

I would like to remind Senator Feinstein that Judge Barrett was thoroughly vetted when she was nominated to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on May 8, 2017, and confirmed on October 31, 2017. I would also like to note that three Democrats voted with the Republicans to confirm Judge Barrett–Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, and Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly.

If Senator Feinstein is so concerned about a thorough vetting, why not simply do a vetting from Mary 2017 to the present. I am sure that could be done quickly. However, since Senator Feinstein’s objection probably has very little to do with vetting, I suspect that would not solve the problem. Get out the popcorn. Although this is extremely sad, it may be very entertaining.

Gradually The Truth Emerges

The treatment of retired General Flynn by the FBI has alarmed many Americans. It has become increasingly apparent to people who don’t rely on the mainstream media for their news that the treatment of the General was an attempt to cripple the Trump administration. Information on what was actually going on has remained secret because career people in the FBI have a vested interest in hiding the truth. On September 25th, The Epoch Times posted two articles highlighting information that is coming from people involved in the investigation (here and here).

The first article reports:

FBI agent William Barnett told government investigators last week that he heard other FBI agents at the special counsel’s office (SCO) “comically talk about wiping cellular telephones,” according to a summary of the interview released as part of the court proceedings in the case involving former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

“Barnett had a cellular telephone issued by the SCO which he did not ‘wipe.’ Barnett did hear other agents ‘comically’ talk about wiping cellular telephones, but was not aware of anyone ‘wiping’ their issued cellular telephones,” the summary (pdf) states.

The article also notes:

Two well-known members of the Mueller team, FBI attorney Lisa Page and Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, mentioned sending and clearing iMessages from their SCO iPhones on more than one occasion.

“Clear imsg …” Strzok wrote to Page on June 5, 2017, and again on June 8.

The records officer, who isn’t identified in the documents, noted that Strzok’s phone contained “no substantive texts, notes or reminders.” Page’s phone went missing under questionable circumstances after she left the Mueller team. When it was recovered more than a year later, the device was already wiped.

The second article reports:

An FBI agent assigned to the investigation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn wanted to be taken off the case, he recently told FBI investigators, saying the prosecution of Flynn was being used as a means to “get Trump.”

FBI agent William Barnett was assigned to the Flynn case shortly after it was opened in August 2016, as part of the FBI’s probe into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, which was dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane.” But the case was “opaque,” lacking much detail of specific evidence of any crimes, Barnett told FBI and DOJ investigators on Sept. 17 (pdf).

The case theory was “supposition on supposition,” he said.

The second article concludes:

The lawyers were convinced Trump aide K.T. McFarland was the “key to everything” who had conveyed Trump’s orders for Flynn to talk to Kislyak. The “ground just kept being retreaded,” but it was just “astro projection,” he said. No evidence was found.

On multiple occasions, when Mueller lawyers interviewed people from Trump’s circle, it was Barnett who stepped in with clarifying and follow-up questions, such as, “Do you know that for a fact or are you just speculating?”

One time, the lawyers tried to kick Barnett off a McFarland interview. He had to threaten he’d report them to the inspector general before they allowed him in. When he started to ask clarifying questions, he said, they paused the interview and warned him, “If you keep asking these questions, we will be here all day.”

He called the lawyers in question the “obstruction team.”

In one interview, Flynn said something that suggested Trump knew about the calls to Kislyak. Barnett had the impression Flynn was just trying to say what the lawyers wanted to hear. He had to step in with a follow-up question and Flynn clarified that Trump wasn’t aware of the calls.

Flynn said in court papers his lawyers told him after the first special counsel interview that the investigators weren’t happy with his answers. For the subsequent session, his lawyers coached him to use words he wouldn’t have used himself, he said. He eventually fired the lawyers and accused them of ineffective counsel due to a conflict of interest.

The dismissal of his case is scheduled for a hearing on Sept. 29 before District Judge Emmet Sullivan after Flynn’s bid to have a higher court force the judge to accept the dismissal without further proceedings failed in August.

The FBI is out of control and will remain so until some of the people involved in this scandal are held accountable. So far only Kevin Clinesmith has been charged with anything. This is a disgrace.

About That Mail-In Vote

The Epoch Times reported yesterday that according to the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), nearly 350,000 dead registrants remain on voter rolls across 41 states.

The article reports:

The number is a major improvement over the last time an assessment of similar scope was performed in 2012, when a Pew Research report turned up 2 million deceased voters on the rolls.

In the 2016 and 2018 elections, states credited 14,608 registrants for voting after death, the PILF report found. The foundation didn’t count cases where votes could have been cast by living registrants during the early or absentee voting periods.

North Carolina led the United States in both 2016 and 2018 in the number of votes credited to deceased registrants. The second-worst states in both elections registered three times fewer votes cast by dead registrants.

The article concludes:

The Trump administration embarked on a similar audit in 2018 with the formation of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The commission was forced to disband after facing coordinated resistance from state officials who stonewalled requests for voter roll data. Adams, who was part of the commission, in 2019 picked up where the commission left off.

Three states sued to prevent their data from being released: Illinois, Maine, and Maryland.

The most populous states tend to have the most deceased registrants on voter rolls, the report found. New York, Texas, Michigan, Florida, and California accounted for 51 percent of all of the deceased registrants nationwide.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the potential for fraud in a mass mail-in vote election. He has instructed voters in North Carolina to vote by mail and then attend a polling place on Election Day to check if their mail-in ballot had been counted and, if it was not, to cast a vote in person. The PILF report found that 22 percent of the double vote credits in Arizona’s 2016 election were due to mail-in and subsequent in-person vote combinations.

The thing to remember when discussing voter fraud is that many of the people currently in office have been helped by voter fraud and do not want to give up power. The status quo that has allowed illegal voting works for many of those in office. They are reluctant to change it.

It Keeps Getting More Fishy

Yesterday The Epoch News reported the following:

An official who worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation wrote in a recently released email that he or she was in possession of an iPhone belonging to Lisa Page three days after the former FBI lawyer’s last day on the job and at a time when the device was thought to have been lost.

The special counsel’s office (SCO) and the Justice Department previously claimed to have no documents to show who handled Page’s iPhone after she turned it in on July 14, 2017, or who improperly wiped it two weeks later, before it could be checked for records, in violation of SCO policy.

But documents released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Sept. 11 tell a different story, with three officials certifying that Page turned over her phone and one claiming to have been in possession of it.

“I have her phone and laptop,” an administrative officer with the initials LFW wrote in a July 17, 2017, email to Christopher Greer, an assistant director at the DOJ Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO).

Beth McGarry, the executive officer at the special counsel’s office, told Greer in an email sent earlier in the day that Page “returned her mobile phone and laptop.”

The article notes:

The records officer’s log shows that Page’s iPhone wasn’t the only device to elude an examination for government records. A total of at least 22 iPhones with unique asset tags used by the Mueller team were wiped before the records officer could review the contents, according to an Epoch Times review of four inventory logs and various forms released on Sept. 11.

The Mueller team offered a number of excuses for the deletions. Two people claimed the phones wiped themselves. Others said they erased all the data by accident or had to do so because they forgot their passwords. Andrew Weissmann, a prosecutor, wiped his iPhone twice.

Mueller’s team used a total of 92 iPhones, according to the documents. Four of the phones appear in the inventory logs, but not on the records officer’s log, suggesting they were either recorded without their unique asset tag or evaded the officer entirely. One of the four phones belonged to deputy special counsel Aaron Zebley. Another belonged to Zainab Ahmad, a special counsel attorney.

One phone was partially wiped. Four phones were improperly handed over to the OCIO and wiped before the records officer’s review. As many as seven phones with no asset tags noted by the records officer were either reassigned or wiped before the officer could assess the device for records.

If you or I accidentally or otherwise destroyed evidence in an investigation, we would be in jail. It bothers me that no one has faced any consequences for the illegal use of the government in an attempt to unseat President Trump. I am hoping that will change, but I am not optimistic.

Waiting To See The Impact Of This

For years Americans have subsidized research by pharmaceutical companies by paying higher prices for drugs than other countries. Yesterday The Epoch Times reported that President Trump has signed an Executive Order that requires drug companies to charge Americans the same price for druges that the companies charge other countries.

The article reports:

The latest step would replace a July 24 Trump executive order.

It extends the mandate to prescription drugs available at a pharmacy, which are covered under Medicare Part D. The July version focused on drugs typically administered in doctors’ offices and health clinics, covered by Medicare Part B.

Specifically, it would pay a price for a drug that matches the lowest price paid among wealthy foreign governments. Medicare, the government healthcare program for seniors, is currently prohibited from negotiating prices it pays to drugmakers.

…Trump took executive action in late July on drug prices, which included discounts on insulin and EpiPens for hospitals, which would be passed down to patients, allowing the United States to allow the legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries where prices are lower, and a Medicare program will be required to purchase drugs at the same price that other countries pay.

The article notes:

The orders received swift pushback from the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said in a statement that the move was “a reckless distraction that impedes our ability to respond to the current pandemic—and those we could face in the future.”

The pushback is not a surprise. The pharmaceutical industry pays very well.

For example according to Fierce Pharma:

Len Schleifer, Regeneron has a salary package of $41.97 million

Jeffrey Leiden, Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a salary package of $36.64 million

Brent Saunders, Allergan (formerly Actavis) has a salary package of $36.61 million

You get the picture. While I believe in the Free Market and don’t want to see the government interfere in anyone’s salary, I also believe that there is something askew here. It seems to me that as the President moves to bring drug prices into the rhelm of reality, the pharmaceutical companies might want to re-evaluate what they are paying their CEO’s. I am sure the President’s Executive Orders will impact the bottom line of the pharmaceutical companies. The question will be how they choose to handle the revenue cuts.$

7 illion $41.million

 

 

A Positive Tool In The Fight Against Crime

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about Operation Legend.

The article reports:

Operation Legend, the federal initiative to drive down violent crime in major inner cities, has had a positive effect on fighting violent crime, with cities seeing falling rates of homicide and shooting incidents in recent weeks, Attorney General William Barr said.

“I am pleased to report that Operation Legend is working, crime is down, and order is being restored,” Barr said during a Sept. 9 press conference in Chicago.

The crime-fighting initiative is credited with more than 2,500 arrests, including 592 individuals who were charged with federal crimes, the Justice Department (DOJ) said in an update. Federal authorities have also seized 1,024 firearms, 241 other weapons, more than 17 kilograms (37 pounds) of heroin, more than 75 kilograms (165 pounds) of methamphetamine, more than 7 kilograms (15 pounds) of fentanyl, more than 12 kilograms (26 pounds) of cocaine, and about $5.19 million in drug proceeds.

Operation Legend is the latest major law enforcement program by the DOJ to crack down on violent crime across the country. It began to combat a surge in crime rates in major metropolitan cities.

This is a successful program, but the article points out that some of the Democrats whose cities are positively impacted by the program are very reluctant to give any credit to the program for reductions in crime.

The article notes:

We are absolutely making progress, we are absolutely leaning into those federal relationships, but the cause and effect that Attorney General Barr tried to make today, I don’t think the facts bear that, not yet,” Lightfoot (Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot) said. “I’m hopeful that these relationships and these additional resources would really bear fruit, but we’re still in the early stages.”

Similarly, Kansas City saw similar drops in violent crime following the launch of the program. The city’s police department stated on Aug. 25 that overall violent crime had decreased by 30 percent when comparing six weeks of crime statistics prior to the operation with current data. Homicides went from 33 cases between May 6 and July 7 to 28 cases between July 8 and Aug. 23—a 15 percent decrease.

Non-fatal shootings also fell to 84 incidents from 112 over the same comparable period—a 25 percent fall.

“While we can’t say Operation LeGend is the cause of this decrease, there’s certainly a correlation,” Kansas City Police Chief Richard Smith said in a statement.

The article concludes:

“The increase in violence that has plagued Chicago and other cities is what prompted the department to launch Operation Legend two months ago in Kansas City, Missouri,” the attorney general said. “The Operation is named for LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old Kansas City boy shot and killed.

“The purpose of the operation was to make clear that his life mattered, his name should be remembered and other innocent victims like him, including the 8-year-old girl killed in Chicago on Labor Day, should not suffer such senseless death.”

In Chicago, authorities have charged 124 individuals with federal crimes. Other cities have also seen a similar trend: 113 federal arrests in Kansas City; 45 in Albuquerque; 66 in Cleveland; 58 in Detroit; 16 in Milwaukee; 123 in St. Louis; 16 in Memphis; and 31 in Indianapolis.

The fact that the program is working is good news. This program is another reason we need four more years of President Trump.

Although I Understand The Sentiment, This Is A Bad Idea

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about a recent statement by President Trump.

The article reports:

President Donald Trump on Sunday warned the Department of Education is investigating the use of the New York Times’ “1619 Project” in schools, saying that institutions that use the alternative narrative of U.S. history could lose federal funding.

The “1619 Project,” created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and widely panned by historians and political scientists, attempts to cast the Atlantic slave trade as the dominant factor in the founding of America instead of ideals such as individual liberty and natural rights. Some critics have said that it is an attempt to rewrite U.S. history through a left-wing lens. Some historians have criticized the project over inaccuracies such as the American Revolution having been fought to preserve the institution of slavery rather than for seeking independence from Britain.

“Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!” Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday, responding to a post that said California has “implemented the 1619 project into the public schools,” and that “soon you won’t recognize [A]merica.” California’s Department of Education came up with a draft model last month to include some of the project in history classes.

It echoes the sentiment of a bill that was proposed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced in July that proposes denying funds to a school that uses the 1619 Project. Schools in places like Washington D.C. and Chicago have modified their curriculum for the project.

The Federal Government has no business influencing school curriculum. That was one of the major problems with Common Core (other than the fact that it didn’t work). Education is supposed to be a matter left to the states–it is not listed in the Tenth Amendment. I would like to point out that teaching the 1619 Project is not good for America–it trains black children to be perpetual victims and creates anger. Local governments would do well to withhold funds to schools that use this curriculum, but it is not the job of the Federal Government. The Department of Education needs to be disbanded and the money funding it returned to the taxpayers. The taxpayers could then use the money to send their children to a school that actually taught reading, writing and arithmetic. What a novel idea.

Good Economic News

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the August Workforce Participation Rate was 61.7 (in July it was 61.4). This is good news. In February it was 63.4, so we are moving in the right direction after the coronavirus shutdown. Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about August  manufacturing levels.

The Epoch Times reports:

U.S. manufacturing levels exceeded economists’ expectations in August, accelerating close to a two-year high as new orders increased beyond that of July, according to data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released on Sept. 1.

The ISM’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which gauges national factory activity, rose to 56.0 last month, marking the fourth straight month of economic growth for the manufacturing sector.

A PMI reading above 50 points indicates an expansion in the manufacturing sector, which makes up 11 percent of the U.S. economy. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a more modest increase.

The index, which climbed from a reading of 54.2 in July, is now at its highest since November 2018.

I know this is just an incredible coincidence, but it seems that when a Republican is in the White House, good economic news always exceeds economists’ expectations.

The article also reports:

According to ISM Chair Timothy Fiore, the August data also “indicates expansion in the overall economy for the fourth month in a row after a contraction in April, which ended a period of 131 consecutive months of growth.” A PMI reading above 42.8 generally indicates economic expansion.

Fiore also said that the ISM’s New Orders Index had reached 67.6 percent—a 6.1 percentage point increase from July. The production index increased, as did the order backlog and supplier deliveries indexes. According to the ISM, inventory levels fell in August while prices, new export orders, and imports all increased.

The employment index for August continued to show factory workers losing their jobs, although at a slower rate than in July. The federal government’s employment report is due out on Sept. 4, and the Reuters survey of economists is expected to show that roughly 1.4 million jobs were created in August, after 1.76 million were added in July.

The economy is coming back, and statistically the virus is declining. That is a great combination.

This Is Where The Candidates Stand

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted a summary of the stands taken by President Trump and former Vice-President Biden on various issues. Please follow the link to the article to read it in its entirety, but here are a few examples:

Economy

Trump

    • Grant tax credits to companies that move manufacturing back to United States, tariffs on those that don’t.
    • Continue improving trade deals after USMCA, China Phase 1, South Korea, and Japan deals.
    • Continue to cut regulations for businesses.
    • Fund on-the-job training, apprenticeships.
    • Make major investment in infrastructure.
    • Launched “opportunity zones” program in 8,766 distressed areas, which, so far, have attracted $75 billion in private capital.
    • Build on becoming a net energy exporter.

Biden

    • Increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
    • Strengthen worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions.
    • Make major investment in infrastructure focused on reducing carbon emissions.
    • Make racial equity part of the mandate of the Federal Reserve.
    • Will insist on strong and enforceable standards for labor, human rights, and the environment in any future trade agreements
    • Will ban anonymous shell companies, expand anti-money-laundering requirements, disclosure of beneficial ownership, and greater oversight of cross-border transactions.

Taxes

Trump

    • Signed tax cut legislation.
    • Cut capital gains tax to 15 percent.
    • Increased the estate tax basic exemption amount from $5 million to $10 million.
    • Proposes a cut to payroll tax.

Biden

    • Greatly increase capital gains tax to same rate as income tax.
    • Increase taxes by $4 trillion over 10 years, including raising taxes on people making over $400,000 a year.

Governance

Trump

    • Restore balance and vertical separation of powers between the federal and state governments.
    • Promote voter ID, urging all states to join program to keep voter rolls accurate.
    • Supports apportionment and redistricting based on Census count of all citizens, and not including illegal immigrants.
    • Appoint more federal judges.
    • Make Puerto Rico the 51st state; keep the District of Columbia as a district.
    • Pass congressional term limits.
    • Directed federal agencies to move out of D.C. to opportunity zones.

Biden

    • Make the District of Columbia the 51st state.
    • Supports removing the Confederate flag and statues of Confederate leaders from public properties.
    • Establish a national commission to examine slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and racially discriminatory federal policies on income, wealth, educational, health, and employment outcomes, and to study reparations.
    • Opposes Voter ID laws and supports automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, early voting, and universal vote-from-home and vote-by-mail options.
    • Supports apportionment and redistricting based on Census count of everyone, including illegal immigrants.
    • Supports requirement for all federal office candidates to disclose at least 10 years of tax returns.

Health Care

Trump

    • Rescinded the individual mandate in Affordable Care Act and supports repealing the entire act.
    • Protect those with pre-existing conditions.
    • Supports health care price transparency.
    • Stop “surprise billing” by banning out-of-network charges when the patient doesn’t have control over provider choice.
    • Drive down prescription drug prices. Allow purchases from abroad; cut out the middlemen who negotiate drug rebates; introduce “favored nation status” where Medicare pays the lowest drug price available globally.
    • Accelerated generic drug approval.
    • Signed the Right to Try bill.
    • Anti-abortion—curbed federal spending that even indirectly supported abortion.
    • Permanently expand telehealth through Medicare payments and preserve more rural hospitals through Medicare incentives.
    • Enabled short-term insurance up to a year and is expanding the use of health savings accounts.
    • Allowed employers to pay premiums for employees in individual market.
    • Allowed small businesses to band together to access insurance plans available to large employers.
    • Declared opioid crisis a national public health emergency and focused resources on supply, demand, and treatment.

Biden

    • Introduce “public option” health insurance plans run by the federal government.
    • Protect and expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
    • Increase tax credits toward health coverage. Give the tax credits to higher-income people who currently aren’t eligible
    • Provide free health care to illegal aliens.
    • Expand Medicaid in states that rejected expansion offered by ACA.
    • Stop “surprise billing”—ban out-of-network charges when the patient doesn’t have control over provider choice.
    • Lower drug prices. Repeal law barring Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug corporations; government-set prices for new drugs with no competition; allow consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries.
    • Treat abortion as a constitutional right and restore federal funding to Planned Parenthood.
    • Double the federal funding to community health centers.
    • Target health care companies for antitrust violations.
    • Exclude drug ads from tax deductible costs for pharma companies.
    • Expand national and global vaccine programs.

These positions should be the basis of your decision on how you vote in November.

Moving Our Supply Lines Out Of China

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article reporting that American companies are moving away from relying on China as a single supplier.

The article reports:

The U.S.–China trade war and the COVID-19 pandemic have forced companies to reduce their excessive dependence on China as a single supplier.

U.S. brands have started to explore sourcing options closer to home, with Latin and South America gaining significant traction in recent months, according to a survey by Qima, a Hong Kong-based supply chain inspection company.

The survey conducted in July among more than 200 businesses around the world found that respondents are increasingly moving their sourcing away from China. Ninety-three percent of U.S. respondents reported that they had plans to further diversify their supply chains. Meanwhile, less than half of EU respondents had a similar strategy.

The article notes that China is rapidly losing ground as the primary supplier of goods in the world:

For example, 75 percent of respondents globally named China among the top 3 sourcing geographies this year, compared to an overwhelming 96 percent in 2019.

The article concludes:

President Donald Trump pledged to end U.S. reliance on China and bring back 1 million manufacturing jobs in his second term. He recently proposed providing tax credits and allowing “100 percent expensing deductions for essential industries like pharmaceuticals and robotics” to incentivize companies to produce in the United States.

Trump also signed an executive order on Aug. 6 to ensure that essential medicines, medical supplies, and equipment are made in the United States.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, also pledged to “bring back critical supply chains.” He promised to “bolster American industrial and technological strength and ensure the future is ‘made in all of America’ by all of America’s workers.”

In the past two decades, China has become a crucial global supplier. According to the United Nations, China accounts for nearly 20 percent of global trade in manufacturing intermediate products, up from 4 percent in 2002.

It is interesting that former Vice President Joe Biden has also pledged to “bring back critical supply chains” when the policies of the Obama administration sent manufacturing and product sourcing to China. I don’t know if that pledge represents an understanding of the mistakes made during the Obama administration or is simply a politically expedient platitude.

Combating The Leaks

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe‘s recent decision to scale back election security briefings in person to Congress because of leaks.

The article reports:

Over the weekend, reports said Ratcliffe and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) told the House and Senate intelligence committees that it will still provide written briefings on election security matters. Ratcliffe, in letters to the panels, said that leaks from members of Congress were a primary reason for the change.

Ratcliffe said on Fox News that he had been frequently briefing “not just the oversight committees but every member of Congress.”

But, he said, “within minutes of one of those briefings ending, a number of members of Congress went to a number of different outlets and leaked classified information for political purposes.”

He said that it was designed “to create a narrative that simply isn’t true, that somehow Russia is a greater national security threat than China.”

“I don’t mean to minimize Russia. They are a serious national security threat, but day in, day out, the threats that we face from China are significantly greater,” Ratcliffe said. “Anyone who says otherwise is just politicizing intelligence for their own narrative.”

Obviously Democrats are complaining about the move, but until the leaking stops, I think it is a good idea. The Democrats are still being briefed, but I suspect leaks may be easier to trace. Leaking classified information is punishable by law.

Common Sense Rears Its Head In Washington

On Wednesday, The Epoch Times reported the following:

President Donald Trump issued on Aug. 24 an executive order to direct federal agencies to prioritize moving their facilities to distressed areas, including opportunity zones, in an effort to lower costs and uplift poor communities.

The new order could help support investments in any of the 8,766 distressed areas designated as opportunity zones, a bipartisan incentive created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

In the past, federal agencies were encouraged to consider locating facilities in central business districts, which were often the most expensive areas, according to a White House statement.

But the new order will change that policy and “invest Federal resources in distressed areas and save taxpayer dollars.”

There is another aspect of this. The move will put federal employees in contact with real people who live with the policies the bureaucracies create. It will get federal employees out of the ‘Washington bubble’ and into communities where people have different ideas than the political elite.

The article concludes:

There has been a bipartisan push to move some federal agencies outside the Beltway to help distressed communities.

Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced in 2019 the HIRE Act that proposed moving most federal agencies out of Washington and into the heart of America.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang also proposed moving agencies to support distressed communities.

“Federal agencies that aren’t directly tied to general government activities (e.g., the NIH) should be relocated to different areas throughout the country to provide a boost to local economies,” he stated on his campaign website in 2019.

 

Who Took The Emails?

On Tuesday The Epoch Times posted an article titled, “900-Page Senate Russia Report Includes No Evidence for How Emails Were Taken From DNC.” The article provides a detailed account of the Senate investigation and what was NOT concluded. Please follow the link to read the entire article–it is very detailed.

The most important point in the article is the conclusion:

While details about what happened with the DNC emails have been scant, details about what didn’t happen have recently emerged. On May 7, the HPSCI released the transcripts of the interviews it conducted as part of the investigation for the Russian active measures report. The transcript of the interview of Shawn Henry showed that CrowdStrike “did not have concrete evidence that data was exfiltrated from the DNC.”

“We have indicators that data was exfiltrated. We did not have concrete evidence that data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated,” Henry told lawmakers on Dec. 5, 2017.

When asked about the date on which the indicators occurred, Henry referred to the separate exfiltration event on April 22, 2016, which occurred a month before the emails were allegedly stolen.

Later in the interview, when asked specifically about the emails, Henry said it was possible for the alleged hackers to view and copy the content of the emails in addition to taking screenshots. The monitoring activity he described is unlikely to have yielded the raw email files published by WikiLeaks and was different from the allegation by the special counsel, who claimed that the emails were taken during a separate breach.

A source with the HPSCI told The Epoch Times that the committee relied on sources other than CrowdStrike to conclude that Russians stole the DNC emails, but couldn’t provide further details because they were classified. The evidence for the theft of the emails was as strong as the evidence of the attribution of the overall hacking campaign to Russia, the source said.

The release of Henry’s transcript prompted CrowdStrike to issue on June 5 the fourth significant update in as many years to its DNC incident response blog post. The update, running at more than 2,400 words, consisted of a Q&A and a timeline of events surrounding CrowdStrike’s remediation work.

The CrowdStrike timeline extensively references the Mueller report, but doesn’t include the crucial May 25 to June 1, 2016, time frame the special counsel provided for the alleged hacking of the DNC mail server.

The Q&A features an apparent misinterpretation of Henry’s testimony, claiming, contrary to what Henry told lawmakers, that CrowdStrike has evidence that data was exfiltrated from the DNC but omitting Henry’s qualification that the evidence was circumstantial. Regardless, the statement, as expected, included no dates and didn’t use the word “emails.”

I still believe, and will continue to believe unless shown proof that I am wrong, that the hacking of the DNC emails is connected to the death of Seth Rich. I don’t know whether that is being looked into or not, but it should be.

 

Not Really A Surprise

The Epoch Times reported yesterday that Alexander Yuk Chung Ma, a 67-year-old Hawaii resident has been arrested and charged with selling top-secret information to China over the span of a decade, the justice department said.

The article reports:

Ma began working for the CIA in 1982 and later became an FBI linguist.

Prosecutors said Ma worked with a relative who was also a former CIA officer, an 85-year-old Los Angeles man, but he was not charged because he suffers from a “debilitating cognitive disease.”

The charges are the latest in a string of prosecutions targeting Chinese espionage activities in the United States.

Ma, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Hong Kong, was stationed overseas, where he had a “Top Secret” clearance, prosecutors said. He left the agency in 1989, and then lived and worked in Shanghai before moving to Hawaii in 2000.

Prosecutors said Ma turned allegiances by 2001, when he met several times with at least five officers of China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), the country’s top intelligence agency, in a Hong Kong hotel room. During these meetings, Ma “disclosed a substantial amount of highly classified national defense information,” including the identities of CIA officers and assets, methods of covert communication, information about the CIA’s internal structure, and details about the agency’s spycraft.

The FBI procured video footage of one of the meetings in March 2001, which showed MSS agents paying Ma $50,000, which he counted while relaying the classified information, the court document said. It is unclear how the FBI obtained the footage.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article.

The article concludes:

The justice department has in recent years brought cases against several current and former U.S. officials accused of supplying secrets to the Chinese regime. Last year, former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee was sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to deliver classified information to Chinese intelligence after leaving the agency in 2010.

“The trail of Chinese espionage is long and, sadly, strewn with former American intelligence officers who betrayed their colleagues, their country and its liberal democratic values to support an authoritarian communist regime,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a statement.

China is not our friend and has not been a fair trading partner or a responsible member of the world community. It is time to hold them accountable for their spying and for their human rights violations within their country.

The Under-The-Radar War With China

On August 6th, The Department of the Treasury posted a press release on the Internet.

This is a portion of that press release:

In response to President Trump’s June 4 Memorandum on Protecting United States Investors from Significant Risks from Chinese Companies, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG) today released a report making five recommendations. These recommendations are designed to address risks to investors in U.S. financial markets posed by the Chinese government’s failure to allow audit firms that are registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to comply with U.S. securities laws and investor protection requirements.

“The PWG examined the risks to investors posed by the Chinese government’s failure to allow access. The PWG unanimously recommends that the Securities and Exchange Commission take steps to enhance the listing standards on U.S. exchanges for access to audit work papers, among other recommendations,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, Chairman of the PWG. “The recommendations outlined in the report will increase investor protection and level the playing field for all companies listed on U.S. exchanges. The United States is the premier jurisdiction in the world for raising capital, and we will not compromise on the core principles that underpin investor confidence in our capital markets.”

Basically what that says in that Chinese companies investing in the U.S. stock markets will be required to comply with the same auditing standards that American companies are required to comply with. That should be an obvious requirement, but has not been in the past. Actions have consequences.

On Monday The Epoch Times reported:

A rising number of Chinese companies are considering delisting from the U.S. stock exchanges as Washington increases its crackdown on foreign companies that fail to comply with U.S. audit standards.

Chinese online travel giant Ctrip is the latest company reportedly exploring going private. The company has held early-stage talks with a number of investors, including private equity firms and tech companies, about funding its delisting from Nasdaq, Reuters reported.

Chinese companies would rather leave U.S. stock markets than comply with the auditing requirements that American companies are subject to. That tells us all we need to know about the financial practices of Chinese companies.

Good Economic News

The Epoch Times reported the following yesterday:

Manufacturing in the United States, as measured by a key business activity gauge, surged to a 15-month high in July, exceeding economists’ expectations.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) business survey, published Aug. 3, shows that its topline manufacturing activity indicator, called the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), surged to a reading of 54.2 in July.

Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below mean contraction.

“The PMI signaled a continued rebuilding of economic activity in July and reached its highest level of expansion since March 2019,” Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said in a statement (pdf).

Economists polled by Reuters predicted the manufacturing index would rise to 53.6 in July, so the higher-than-expected number is encouraging, particularly in light of April’s 11-year low of 41.5.

Why is it that when a Republican is the President, good economic news always exceeds expectations?

The article also notes:

Another manufacturing sector gauge tapped by ISM in the survey is the New Orders measure, which soared to 61.5, up 5.1 percentage points from June.

“Orders starting to pick up. [An] increase of about 35 percent to 40 percent,” a chemical product manufacturing executive said.

“Incoming orders are slow. This is usually our busiest time of the year, but production is reduced due to lack of demand. Additional layoffs expected,” an executive at a furniture maker said.

Another gauge, the production index, showed 4.8 percentage point growth from June to July, coming in at 62.1, the highest reading of all the ISM gauges.

“Manufacturing outlook has improved greatly in June, as business has resumed at nearly 100 percent. We have implemented a number of safeguards that are costing extra money, but we are running,” an executive at a computer and electronics products maker said.

There was also some negative news included in the article, but considering the fact that the country has been locked down or in semi-lockdown since March, that is not surprising. The two-week shutdown has extended far past where it was scheduled to be. I would also like to note that the purpose of the lockdown was to avoid overwhelming our hospitals. Now we are in semi-lockdown to avoid the spread of the disease. There is significant information that this is not the best course of action (see article here), so why are we still in semi-lockdown? Why are churches limited in the amount of people they can allow in their buildings when the John Lewis funeral was packed? Why was there an exception to the quarantine rule for the people who attended the John Lewis funeral? Has the damage from the lockdown now exceeded the possible damage from the disease?

This Really Shouldn’t Be A Surprise To Anyone

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about some recent changes in arrangements for the Democrat National Convention.

The article reports:

At least 100 police agencies are pulling out of agreements to send personnel to next month’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Milwaukee, partly over concerns that officers will be unable to use tear gas to control crowds under a recent directive.

The law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin and across the country who are set to withdraw from the security agreements had previously said they will send officers to bolster security at the DNC, which will run from Aug. 17-20 at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee.

The move follows an order from the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission last week, which directed Chief Alfonso Morales to revise the police department procedures—including prohibiting the use of tear gas and pepper spray. The order threatens Morales’s termination if he fails to comply “fully and promptly.”

The article notes:

Fond du Lac Police Chief William Lamb, who chairs the Wisconsin Police Executive Group, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he expects other Wisconsin police agencies to withdraw from the security agreements.

“We respect the Fire and Police Commission’s decision. But in this particular case, we strongly disagree with the actions they’ve taken,” Lamb said.

He said he was concerned that the safety of the public and police officers could be compromised.

“We believe in removing those tools, the use of chemical irritants or pepper spray, from the available resources that the law enforcement officers would have at their disposal if protests become non-peaceful would severely compromise the safety of the public and also the safety of the law enforcement officers who would be assigned to protect the DNC,” he added.

As I have stated before–protesting is legal–rioting is not. Watching the videos of the ‘protests’ that are happening in some of our major cities leaves little doubt that these ‘protests’ are riots. It is amazing to me that the police have used the self-restraint they have. The police have been attacked by bottles, bricks, firecrackers, and worse. What in the world is to be gained by taking away the non-violent weapons they have to defend themselves? Is this move going to result in the police finding it necessary to use deadly force? That would only make things worse. It’s time to remove those in power in the cities that are supporting rioters and attempting to limit the ability of the police to protect themselves and innocent citizens.

Under The Radar

On Wednesday The Epoch Times reported the following:

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced on Wednesday significant developments in the administration’s efforts to eradicate the notorious MS-13 gang, including its plan to seek the death penalty of an alleged gang member in connection to the slayings of two New York teens.

Trump said his administration’s “campaign to destroy MS-13” had lead to the arrest and indictment of dozens of MS-13 members and its leaders. The Justice Department launched Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV) in August 2019 in an effort to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately destroy the vicious gang, which has been responsible for a wide range of criminal activity across the United States such as human trafficking, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and murder.

Among the arrests include the indictment of Melgar Diaz, who became the first MS-13 member to be charged with terrorism-related offenses, officials say.

“He was responsible for activities in 13 states—20 cliques in the United States.  He was also the person who would greenlight assassinations in the United States.  The orders come from El Salvador—or they request to assassinate people who go down to El Salvador, and he would greenlight the hit,” Barr said during a press conference at the oval office on Wednesday.

Diaz, whose indictment was unsealed on July 14, was charged with offenses including conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to kill or maim individuals overseas, and conspiring to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries.

The article concludes:

The attorney general told reporters that more actions against the leadership of MS-13 are expected, saying that the administration had been working very closely with counterparts in El Salvador.

MS-13 was initially formed by Salvadoran immigrants that came to the United States in order to escape the civil war in their home country, according to a study published in the Journal of Gang Research in 2009.

This action is long overdue. Securing our borders is one way to keep members of MS-13 from coming into the country. Arresting the members that are already here is another step toward making America a safer place.

Finally

Yesterday (updated today) The Epoch Times reported that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on Monday, sending the National Guard to Atlanta to restore order.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported:

In Atlanta this weekend, an 8-year-old girl was shot and killed while riding in a vehicle with her mother. The driver was trying to enter a parking lot where a group of people had illegally placed barricades. Someone in the group reportedly opened fire.

The article at The Epoch Times reports:

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an order declaring a state of emergency on Monday, authorizing the deployment of the troops.

He argued that the troops are needed to protect state buildings, including the state capitol, the Department of Public Safety headquarters, the governor’s mansion, and the Georgia World Congress Center. He noted these troops will free up state troopers from those locations to patrol the streets of Atlanta.

“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead,” Kemp said in a statement on Monday. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”

Kemp said that as a result, he declared an emergency “because the safety of our citizens comes first,” adding that it will “allow troops to protect state property and dispatch state law enforcement officers to patrol our streets. ”

“Enough with the tough talk,” the Republican governor concluded. “We must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”

Across Atlanta over the Fourth of July weekend, 31 people were shot and five people died, including an 8-year-old girl. The Georgia State Patrol headquarters were also vandalized by protesters over the same time period, according to local media reports.

“They were armed with bricks, landscaping bricks, Molotov cocktails, fireworks. Their one mission was to destruct property and that is exactly what they did,” Lt. Stephanie L. Stallings, spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Public Safety, told WSB-TV, adding that between 60 and 100 vandals dressed in dark clothing came to the headquarters in the early-morning hours to cause havoc.

This is not a protest–it is a murderous rampage of lawlessness.

The article concludes:

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, said the 8-year-old child wasn’t killed by police officers and referenced recent calls for police reform.

“Well, now we’re demanding action for Secoriea Turner and for all of the other people who were shot in Atlanta last night and over the past few weeks because the reality is this—these aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta, these are members of the community shooting each other,” she told reporters on Monday.

“If you want people to take us seriously, and you don’t want us to lose this movement, then we can’t lose each other,” the mayor said, adding that “you can’t blame this on a police officer, you can’t say this is about criminal justice reform.”

“This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby in the car.”

If the Mayors of our largest cities cannot maintain order, the Governors of their states need to declare an emergency and call in the National Guard to restore order. Lawlessness is not an option, and those who choose to practice it need to be arrested and sent to jail.