Actions Have Consequences

WJLA is reporting the following today:

A rape suspect who was released from jail in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Ibrahim E. Bouaichi, went on to kill the woman who had accused him, police in Virginia say.

On Wednesday, July 29, officers found a woman shot to death on S. Greenmount Drive. It was Alexandria’s first homicide of the year. The victim was later identified as Karla Elizabeth Dominguez Gonzalez.

Gonzalez had testified against Bouaichi in Alexandria District Court in December. He was indicted on rape charges and jailed without bond.

When the pandemic hit, Bouaichi’s lawyers argued that he should be freed while awaiting trial because the virus endangered both inmates and their attorneys.

Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins released Bouaichi on $25,000 bond, ordering him not to leave his Maryland home unless meeting with his lawyers or court officials, The Washington Post reports. He was freed on April 9. Gonzalez was notified the same day, according to the Alexandria Sheriff’s office.

I have never understood the reason for letting violent prisoners out of jail due to the coronavirus. It seems to me that if you limit the number of people coming into the prison, you should be able to limit the number of cases of the virus. The virus is not capable of coming into the prison without being brought in by someone from outside. Taking temperatures of workers and practicing basic hygiene should be enough to keep prisoners safe. Letting out violent prisoners does not keep anyone safe.

When The Media Breaks The Law

Yesterday Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about the latest chapter in the saga of Nick Sandmann and the settlements reached with CNN and The Washington Post.

The article notes:

The first rule of Settlement Club is that you don’t talk about Settlement Club. And the second rule of Settlement Club — ah, heck, the first fifty rules of Settlement Club is that you don’t talk about settlements in lawsuits with mutual gag rules in place. Apparently that didn’t sink in at CNN or the Washington Post after both media outlets decided to quietly end the litigation brought by Nicholas Sandmann. Their employees went on social media attempting to spin the settlement and suggest that Sandmann only got a minimal payment to shut him up.

Big mistake, Sandmann attorney Lin Wood made clear almost immediately. “I know how to deal with liars,” Wood tweeted, and warned that new lawsuits would be filed unless “heads rolled” at both outlets:

…This started with speculation that Sandmann had indeed gotten paid nothing more than “nuisance value.” Law & Crime wrote a pretty comprehensive overview of the social-media discussion of that premise after some attorneys unconnected to the case tried to read the tea leaves from various announcements in both cases. It’s worth reading, at least for the legal theories behind the speculation. That included a rather anodyne statement from Wood expressing his opinion that the speculation was “uninformed, errant nonsense,” but added that “questions about confidentiality and the timing of the settlement will have to be directed to others.” Wood didn’t threaten anyone over the speculation — because they were not party to the confidentiality agreement, and neither was Law & Crime.

That isn’t the case with Stelter, Rangappa, and Zak. They work for the respondents in these lawsuits and act as their agents. As soon as they published and expanded on the speculation, they characterized the settlement in terms their employer specifically agreed not to do. Not only does that open up new avenues for Sandmann against the Post and CNN, it might allow Wood to add the three as respondents in a new libel/defamation action.

This may seem like a minor thing, but it is important that both parties act in accordance with the agreement they signed. I can understand why CNN and The Washington Post would want people to think that the settlement was small–they want to discourage future lawsuits. I can understand why Lin Wood would want to give the impression of a large settlement–it might discourage future character assassination of innocent people by the media.

Stay tuned. There may be more coming.

When The Fact Checkers Are Not Paying Attention

Generally speaking, The New York Times has been immune from the fact checkers. Somehow they are willing to overlook the misinformation and ‘leaked from anonymous sources’ misinformation that The New York Times routinely prints. The latest example of this is a claim by the times that “there had been a “longstanding American policy treating the settlements as illegal” prior to Secretary of State Pompeo’s 2019 reversal of that purported policy. (“Mixed Signals on Israeli Annexation Reflect Split Among Officials,” June 22, 2020, David Halbfinger and Michael Crowley.) That is simply not true.

CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis) notes the following:

• Note that although President Carter took the position that settlements are illegal, this was quickly reversed by the Reagan administration, which held that settlements are “not illegal.” Subsequent administrations either reiterated Reagan’s view or refrained from taking a position on legality.

• Note that the New York Times itself repeatedly reported on Reagan’s view that settlements aren’t illegal, and in the past several years has twice published corrections after wrongly suggesting the U.S. had consistently viewed settlements as illegal.

• Just as those corrections were appropriate, so too is it necessary to correct last week’s piece by Halbfinger and Crowley.

• Note that memos by past legal advisors in the State Department archive are advisory, and do not set policy or bind subsequent U.S. presidents. While Carter administration legal advisor Herbert Hansell believed settlements were illegal, the Reagan administration rejected that view.

CAMERA further notes:

To be fair, the Times isn’t the first to make this mistake. In October 2016, the Washington Post corrected its claim that the U.S. regarded settlements as illegal. A month later, the Associated Press corrected the same claim. The following month, The Times (UK) corrected, as did ABC News and the Times of Israel. In 2018, the Times of Israel corrected again. The Financial Times corrected this same error in November 2019. And two days later the Economist ran a correction of its own.

Even the New York Times itself has, in the past, corrected this false claim. After a March 2017 editorial asserted that the U.S. “has consistently held that settlement building in the occupied territories is illegal,” a correction clarified, “An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated the United States’ position on settlement building in the occupied territories. It has been highly critical of the activity, but has not consistent [sic] held it to be illegal.”

From the news side, an August 8, 2013 correction in the NY Times likewise acknowledged that “the United States has taken no formal position in the last several years on whether [settlements] are legal or illegal.”

Unless those corrections were themselves in error, last week’s claim about a “longstanding” policy that settlements are illegal (and a similar claim last November by the same reporter, David Halbfinger) can’t be true.

This sort of reporting by The New York Times might help explain why much of the Jewish vote (generally readers of The New York Times) is misinformed on America’s policy toward Israel and the value of Israel in the world community.

Leadership Matters

The Washington Post accused President Trump of lying when he stated that “the most dangerous cities are run by democrats.”  The Conservative Treehouse posted a graph yesterday the shows that the President’s statement was pretty accurate.

Here is the graph:

The article notes:

A republican mayor was elected to Jacksonville in the last election; therefore the Washington Post has declared that President Trump’s claim: “the most dangerous cities are run by democrats”, is false. There is a top-crime city now run by a republican.

This level of FAIL is so ridiculous, it presents itself almost as if the Washington Post intentionally trying to beclown themselves.

In 1994 Rudy Giuliani became Mayor of New York City. Mayor Giuliani instituted what was referred to as ‘The Broken Windows Theory.”

Worldatlas.com describes The Broken Windows Theory as follows:

The origin of Broken Windows Theory can be traced back to a psychologist from Stanford, Connecticut, named Philip Zimbardo. He had set up a social experiment to test the theory in 1969. Zimbardo parked an old car in the Bronx, and another one of similar condition parked in Palo Alto, Califiornia. The car in the Bronx was vandalized almost immediately with all items of importance stolen. The other car in Palo Alto was left undisturbed for more than a week before Zimbardo himself went and smashed its windows. Within hours, other people came and vandalized the car as well. The hypothesis is that a community such as the Bronx, where city services may not have the resources to encourage the upkeep of its facilities, would be more apathetic than an upscale area like Palo Alto. This theory was later stated in an article in 1982 by James Wilson and George Kelling who stated that criminal activities in a community begin as small misdemeanors and gradually grow to become capital offenses. The authors also stated that the best way of dealing with crime was dealing with it in its infancy through making neighborhoods free of social ills such as prostitution, drug abuse, and other disorderly tendencies.

In the 1980s and 70s, New York City had seen an upsurge in criminal activity and the city’s municipal council was desperately seeking solutions to the menace that was tarnishing its reputation. The city’s Transit Authority then hired the author of the “Broken Windows” article, Mr. George Kelling as a consultant who then suggested the implementation of the theory. The Transit Authority’s leader, David Gunn implemented the approach by first clearing all graffiti from the city’s subway system which was conducted during his final term from 1984 to 1990. Kelling’s successor, William J. Bratton continued with the implementation of the theory through non-tolerance of fare-dodging as well as reducing leniency during arrests for petty offences. In 1993, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani hired Bratton as the police commissioner, and this gave Bratton a wider scope to implement the broken windows theory and was noted for arrests over public urination, public drinking, and other misdemeanors. Several studies in the past have linked the significant decline in criminal activities in the past decade to Bratton’s implementation of the “broken windows” theory. The impressive results of New York City’s implementation of the theory have made several other US cities implement the theory including Boston, Albuquerque, and Lowell.

Law and order makes a difference. When people understand that there are consequences for breaking the law, they tend to respect the law. When Mayors do not enforce the law, things will eventually become unruly. For whatever reason, Republicans seem to be more inclined to support the police and enforce the law than Democrats. The statistics posted by The Washington Post bear that out.

On His Way Out The Door…

Ambassador Rick Grenell did a wonderful job as Acting Director of National Intelligence. He showed himself to be a true patriot in revealing to the American public the misuse of the intelligence apparatus by the previous administration. Sara Carter posted an article yesterday about something he has done that will help further the cause of transparency.

The article reports:

Outgoing Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell slammed Sen. Mark Warner Tuesday saying his request last week to declassify and publicly release the underlying intelligence reports in which Obama officials “unmasked” the identity of former national security advisor Michael Flynn would jeopardize sources and methods.

Grenell also criticized Warner’s alleged political move as ‘cherry picking’ documents for political purposes at the expense of national security. Warner is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee and spoke out against Grenell’s declassification of the senior Obama officials that requested Flynn’s private conversations and unmasking of his name.

“I find it puzzling that your letter initially complains about the declassification of the identities of unmaskers, a declassification that posed no conceivable risks to sources or methods, only to then request the declassification of actual intelligence reports,” said Grenell. “Cherry picking certain documents for release, while attacking the release of others that don’t fit your political narrative, is part of the problem the American people have with Washington DC politicians. I would appreciate it if you would explain your philosophy on transparency as it appears to be based solely on political advantage.”

Grenell had declassified the names of 16 former senior Obama officials involved in requesting Flynn’s private communications 48 times, according to the declassified documents provided by the DNI. Grenell only declassified the requests made between Nov. 30, 2016 and Jan. 12, 2017, according to the documents. The most controversial request was the phone calls between Flynn and former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, who spoke on Dec. 29, 2016. The contents of that classified phone conversation, which was wiretapped by the FBI, would later be leaked to The Washington Post columnist David Ignatius in January.

Despite Warner’s concerns mentioned in his letter last week, the declassification of the Obama officials’ names did not violate any sources or methods, stated intelligence officials.

Please follow the link to the article for further details.

I would like to point out the contrast between what Mark Warner and Adam Schiff have been doing regarding classified information and what Ambassador Grenell has done. Mark Warner and Adam Schiff have been selectively leaking tidbits to their allies in the press for the purpose of making President Trump look bad. Ambassador Grenell is declassifying information to inform the American public about what has actually been going on. Representative Schiff and Senator Warner need to be held accountable for their leaking. If they are not held accountable, we will see more of the same.

Think About What Is Being Said Here

Hot Air posted an article today that included a recent quote from a Washington Post article:

Hot Air reports:

Over at the Washington Post, Keith Humphreys ended the week on a pessimistic note, opining that no matter how much testing and contact tracing is required to get us fully past this pandemic, America will never do as well as several other countries that seem to be taming the virus more quickly. The reason? Because Americans love their “freedom” too much. (Please note for the record that it was Humphreys who put the word freedom in scare quotes, not me.)

We love our “freedom” too much?! You mean that same freedom that men died for in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1912, World War I and World War II? You mean that same freedom that men and women today serve in our military to defend? You mean that same freedom that men and women spend months away from their families to protect? You mean that same freedom that allows you to post really dumb things in your newspaper?

The article continues:

He begins by quoting medical professionals who insist that the only path toward the new normal relies on our ability to “test, isolate, contact trace and quarantine.” He then lists a few examples of countries where those practices appear to be helping them tame the virus, including Germany, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. But, the author argues, we may never succeed in the same fashion because such programs would require not only a willingness to surrender considerable privacy rights and freedoms, but also a general attitude of trust towards the government which doesn’t exist in the United States today.

The article concludes:

I suppose we should examine this analysis with two questions in mind. First, is Humphreys correct? And second, even if we assume that he is, should we really be envious of people living under harsher authoritarian rule and emulate their behavior if it gets us past the pandemic faster?

As to the first question, I have no argument to offer. The author is absolutely correct. Americans are probably just about the orneriest group of curmudgeons on the planet when it comes to bending to the will of the government. That’s because we are arguably the freest people on Earth. We were born of generations of people who had experienced life under the rule of a monarch without any serious assurances of God-given rights. And they wound up telling that monarch to go stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. We’re not all that different today.

…In the end, we’re probably doing the best we can do in our fight against the novel coronavirus. Every nation has to come up with their own solution and ours will wind up being uniquely American, framed around both our scientific capabilities and our values. If that means that we can’t get our virus numbers down to nearly zero as fast as some other nations, so be it. Heck, we still don’t know with 100% certainty if this virus can ever be eliminated or if we’ll ever have a vaccine. But if not, we’ll at least go down swinging.

I wish we still taught civics in school. If we did, Keith Humphreys might realize that America was founded by people who had just fought a war against a tyrannical government. They set laws in place to protect what they referred to as ‘God-given rights.” The laws were to limit the government–not to limit people’s freedom. Anyone who wants to live under a more tyrannical system is free to move to another country–there are many out there that fit that description. Meanwhile, Americans like their freedom and are generally willing to protect it.

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

The media has become something of a joke during the past three years as they have been overtaken by Trump Derangement Syndrome. We have reached the point that whatever President Trump does is wrong and even when it turns out to be right, it is still wrong. On Friday, Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article that illustrates that point.

The article reports:

Yesterday, President Trump released federal guidelines regarding the reopening of the economy. Trump did not suggest a date by which the economy of the U.S. or of any state should be reopened. The guidelines call on state and local officials to make these decisions.

Trump was wise to say these decisions should be made locally. First, he lacks the power to make them. ( The Washington Post says that Trump’s “plan effectively reverses [his] claim that he had ‘total authority’ to declare the nation reopened.” But Trump hasn’t agreed that he lacks this power. He’s merely declining to attempt to exercise it.)

Second, in theory state and local officials are better able than the feds to decide when and how to reopen things in their jurisdiction. I say “in theory,” because some state and local officials, despite their closeness to the situation, have made highly questionable decisions.

However, Trump deals with governors on something like a daily basis. He has said that the vast majority of governors, whether Democrat or Republican, are doing a good job. If Trump is sincere, and he probably is, then it makes sense for him to defer to governors.

Finally, Trump’s deference makes political sense. If things go horribly wrong in a state, whether in terms of public health or the economy, its governor will have to take the blame. Trump can always say the governor made the wrong call.

After insisting that governors should be making these calls, and accusing Trump of playing “king” for denying their power to make them, the president’s critics are now accusing him of passing the buck. The Post asserts that “Trump’s the-buck-stops-with-the-states posture is largely designed to shield himself from blame should there be new outbreaks or for other problems. . .”

So when President Trump is taking charge, he is acting like a king. When President Trump appropriately delegates authority, he is passing the buck. So is there anything he could do that the press would approve of? Probably not, so he is better off simply following his instincts as a businessman and doing what he thinks is right.

The article concludes:

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has matched Trump’s media critics in this regard. He says Trump is “passing the buck without passing the bucks.” “Don’t ask the states to do this without the funding,” Cuomo moaned.

Cuomo, though, led the charge to brand Trump a king for claiming the power to make reopening decisions for states. Is Cuomo now saying that, absent the funding he desires, he doesn’t want to make such decisions?

Trump’s power (or lack thereof) to make reopening decisions isn’t contingent on federal funding decisions. If Cuomo doesn’t get the funding he wants, it’s still his call on when to reopen. If things go badly, he can blame the feds for not giving New York money. Voters can decide whether he made the right call under the circumstances.

As for Trump, I think he made the right call by deferring to state and local officials. As for his guidelines, they seem sensible, but I haven’t analyzed them carefully.

We are about to find out who the competent governors are in America!

Good News From France

The Gateway Pundit reported today that France has sanctioned the use of chloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus after 78 out of 80 patients recovered completely from the virus within five days after receiving the drug.

The article reports:

The French government has officially sanctioned the malaria drug chloroquine to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus, France 24 English reported Saturday.

“This ensures continued treatment of patients who have been treated for several years for a chronic condition with this drug, but also allows a temporary authorization to allow certain patients with coronavirus to benefit from this therapeutic route,” France’s Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon said.

The French move came after Didier Raoult, an infectious diseases specialist, reported that clinical results show 78 of 80 patients treated with chloroquine recovered within five days,.

This was Dr. Raoult’s second successful treatment against the coronavirus.

…On Thursday, France’s Minister of Health Olivier Véran said: “Hydroxychloroquine and the combination of lopinavir/ritonavir may be prescribed, dispensed and administered under the responsibility of a doctor to patients affected by Covid-19, in the healthcare establishments which take charge of them, as well as for the continuation of their treatment if their condition allows it and with the authorization of the initial prescriber, at home.”

The liberal Washington Post reported on Thursday that New York is using the drug as treatment.

“New York will use three medications — hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin — contributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Amneal Pharmaceuticals,” The Post said, citing state officials. “The first wave of patients will receive hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.”

This is great news.

The Washington Post And The Truth

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line Blog about a recent article in The Washington Post. The article totally misrepresented what President Trump said at the recent press conference held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The article reports:

In this article (the article in The Washinton Post),David Nakamura of the Washington Post ridicules Trump’s presser. That’s okay with me. Aspects of Trump’s performance invited ridicule.

Unfortunately, Nakamura also provides a false account of the substance of Trump’s remarks. The headline of his story asserts that “Trump second-guess[ed] the [medical] professions.” In the body of the story Nakamura goes further, claiming that the president “repeatedly second-guessed. . .the actual medical professionals standing next to him.” (Emphasis added)

Trump did no such thing. In fact, he did the opposite. He deferred to the medical professionals.

Nakamura cites no example of second-guessing. I watched the full presser and heard none.

The article concludes:

Nakamura also fails to note that Trump lavishly praised the U.S. medical experts dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. He called them the best experts in the world, and said that public health officials in other countries are relying heavily on them.

Trump made this statement repeatedly, so Nakamura couldn’t have missed it. He chose, however, to exclude it from his story. Why? Almost certainly because it didn’t fit Nakamura’s claim that Trump is “second-guessing the professionals.”

Nakamura is serving up fake news, and not for the first time.

The American news media gave up the illusion of fairness a long time ago. I believe that false reporting such as in The Washington Post is one of the main reasons the country is so divided. Americans who read The New York Times and The Washington Post have not seen a fair representation of President Trump. They are not acquainted with either the economic numbers or the efforts to deal with the coronavirus that began in January. They are reacting to second-hand gossip that they are reading in the newspaper. People who don’t read those newspapers have a much better grasp of the Trump administration and its accomplishments that those who do. The conflict between fact and bias is one source of the current division in our country. We got along much better when we had a more neutral news media.

But It Was Such A Great Piece Of Fake News

Breitbart is reporting today that the the leak saying that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election is not true. Just as an aside, Russia has always interfered in our elections–they don’t care who wins–they just want to disrupt things and hopefully cause Americans to lose faith in the electoral process. Unfortunately they have been more successful at times than I would have liked.

The article reports:

U.S. intelligence and national security officials have reportedly refuted the claim that Russia is interfering in the 2020 elections to help President Donald Trump’s re-election, arguing in media reports published over the weekend that the United States does not have evidence to support the allegation.

House Democrat lawmakers pushing the allegation that the Kremlin is trying to help Trump “misheard or misinterpreted” the intelligence community’s formal assessment of ongoing U.S. election interference by the Russians, unnamed U.S. officials suggested to the New York Times. 

Just another example of fake news put forth by the Democrats and the mainstream media.

The article concludes:

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Washington Post recently reported that U.S. officials had warned Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that Russia is trying to get him to the White House. Sanders is currently the front-runner for the Democrat presidential nomination.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has described the assertion that Russia is trying to help Sanders as “false,” lambasting Trump for repeating it.

Echoing the U.S. intelligence and national security officers who spoke to CNN and the Times, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short denied the ODNI official’s claim that Russia is interfering in the 2020 presidential election to aid Trump’s re-election.

Nevertheless, Democrat lawmakers continue to claim that Russia is interfering in the U.S. elections on behalf of Trump.

President Trump has called for an investigation into a possible leak of classified intelligence unveiled during the briefing on election interference, accusing Schiff of leaking the information.

What needs to happen here is that the person who leaked whatever information was leaked needs to be prosecuted for leaking.

Sometimes It Takes A While For The Truth To Come Out

Newsbusters posted an article today confirming something President Trump has been asserting for quite some time.

The article reports:

President Donald Trump’s strategic silence on Puerto Rico’s earthquakes, while greenlighting billions of dollars in aid and a new major disaster declaration for the stricken U.S. territory, is forcing the liberal media into a most uncomfortable place…acknowledging that he was right all along.

Earlier this week, The Washington Post attempted to redeploy ye olde Hurricane Maria playbook, in order to commoditize human suffering for Democrat political gain. This ham-fisted close to their editorial gave the game away:

Still, it is worth remembering that many Puerto Ricans were forced to leave the island after Maria and are now living — and will be able to vote — in swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania. Presumably many of them will remember how the island has been treated.

It is important to recall that the national media was asleep at the switch during the initial aftermath of Hurricane Maria –devoting coverage instead to the president’s tweets regarding the NFL. In fact, the liberal media didn’t begin to cover Maria’s terrible aftermath until there was a clear anti-Trump angle as embodied by the radical, separatist mayor of San Juan, who rode her post-Maria notoriety all the way to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign — where she now serves as national co-chair.

The article concludes:

Additionally, the island was roiled by news that much-needed relief supplies sat in a warehouse as earthquake victims suffered- which only serves to bolster the president’s charge (one with which many Puerto Ricans agree, by the way) that the island’s government is corrupt and incompetent. Per CBS News:

Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced fired the island’s emergency management director on Saturday, after a video showing aid sitting unused in a warehouse went viral on social media. Some of the aid has allegedly been sitting in the warehouse since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017.

“There are thousands of people who have made sacrifices to help those in the south, and it is unforgivable that resources were kept in the warehouse,” Vázquez said in a statement. 

With no obvious anti-Trump angle to chase, the liberal media (with the continued exception of CBS’s David Begnaud) is forced to cover the issue itself, to wit: the earthquakes that have rattled Puerto Rico, and the local government’s continued inability to adequately respond to an emergency due to institutionalized corruption and incompetence. Trump was right after all.

The start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is four and a half months away.

This is typical of countries where corruption reigns–many of the famine problems around the world have more to do with the distribution of food rather than a shortage of food. Dictators around the world have often used food as a weapon to keep their populations under control. In this case, the corruption in Puerto Rico was such that the aid never reached the people who needed it–it remained in warehouses. Meanwhile, the Mayor of San Juan has moved forward to work on the Bernie Sanders campaign.

It Really Is A Shame That The Media Has Chosen To Ignore President Trump’s Economic Success

On Saturday, The Western Journal reported the following:

The Trump economy is giving the greatest benefits to those who have been at the bottom, according to new data from the Council of Economic Advisers.

Data released by the CEA shows that over 11 quarters from the end of 2016 through the first half of 2019, the net wealth of the top 1 percent of American households rose 13 percent. However, that rise is dwarfed by the 47 percent increase seen by the bottom 50 percent of America’s households over that same period.

…The report said that on average, workers’ pay has been rising faster than that of managers, and wage gains for Americans without a bachelor’s degree are rising faster than those for Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

And, in keeping with Trump’s campaign promise to lift up black Americans, “average wage growth for African Americans now outpaces wage growth for white Americans,” according to the White House report.

America’s labor force is growing because Americans who were not formerly even looking for jobs are now employed, the report said.

The article concludes:

The Labor Department’s December jobs numbers, meanwhile, showed that women now are the majority in the American workforce.

“Why is today a milestone? It’s a milestone because it’s really heralding the future and not just telling us where we are today,” Betsey Stevenson, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, told The Washington Post.

Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said the jobs report has political ramifications.

“This stuff will translate in the election, I’m surprised the Democrats are so pessimistic painting a picture of a deep recession,” Kudlow told The Post. “The key point here is 3.5 percent unemployment continues, and that is a very low number historically and shows you still have a healthy economy and healthy job market.”

There is another aspect of President Trump’s policies that is impacting the wages of working Americans. President Trump’s policy of ending illegal immigration also eliminates some downward pressure on the lower end of the wage scale. Illegal immigrants are willing to work for less than American workers and don’t demand the same benefits. If they are working ‘under the table’, their employee is not paying Social Security taxes on them. Ending the flow of illegal immigrants into America is a positive thing for everyone.

This May Be The Only Way To Deal With Fake News

Yesterday Power Line Blog posted an article about Nick Sandmann and his lawsuit against CNN.

The article reports:

Nick Sandmann is an innocent kid who was waiting for a bus with a group of his fellow high school students in Washington, D.C., when he was accosted by an Indian activist who, accompanied by a gang of his followers, aggressively and obnoxiously beat a drum in his face. Sandmann committed the apparently unpardonable sin of standing still in the face of this activist onslaught, which caused him to be viciously smeared by media outlets like CNN and the Washington Post. Happily, Sandmann’s family retained a good lawyer and has sued several of the media outlets that lied about him.

Now the first domino has fallen: CNN has settled Sandmann’s case against it:

CNN agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann.

The amount of the settlement was not made public during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Covington, Kentucky.

Sandmann’s lawsuit sought $800 million from CNN, the Washington Post and NBC Universal. Trial dates are still not set for Sandmann’s lawsuit against NBC Universal and the Washington Post.

The amount of the settlement has not been disclosed, which is evidently not unusual in this type of court case.

The article concludes:

In this instance, I am pretty sure that it was CNN, one of the main malefactors, that didn’t want the world to know how much it paid Sandmann as a result of its pathetically biased reporting. Now Sandmann’s lawyers can use CNN’s contribution, likely in the mid six figures, to fund their ongoing battle against the Washington Post, NBC and any others who slandered the boy. That is how the system works, and in this case, it appears to be working for the good.

This may actually be the only way to deal with fake news.

The Quest For Relevance

Yesterday National Review reported  that former secretary of state John Kerry has endorsed Joe Biden for President. John Kerry cited Biden’s performance serving as vice president in the Obama administration as proof that he has what it takes to defeat President Trump. Wow. I don’t know where to start.

The article reports:

“The world is broken,” Kerry told The Washington Post. “Our politics are broken. The country faces extraordinary challenges. And I believe very deeply that Joe Biden’s character, his ability to persevere, his decency and the experiences that he brings to the table are critical to the moment. The world has to be put back together, the world that Donald Trump has smashed apart.”

Kerry’s announcement comes a week after news broke that former president Barack Obama reportedly said Biden “really doesn’t have it” in establishing a bond with the electorate.

Kerry seemingly disagreed with his former boss in describing Biden, calling him “the person for the moment.”

This is an amazing statement. John Kerry was elected to the United States Senate in 1984. He was sworn in as Secretary of State in February 2013. Joe Biden was a Senator from 1973 to 2009. President Donald Trump entered politics in 2015. If ‘the world is broken,’ I would tend to put the responsibility for that on those who have been in power for the longest time–not on the new kid on the block.

More Absurdity From The Media

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the way the media has reported the death of ISIS terrorist chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Below is a screenshot of The Washington Post headline. I am told that the headline was later edited, but this is where they started:

The article at The Conservative Treehouse notes:

In an era where the ideology of U.S. media has become increasingly disconnected from the majority of Americans, it is becoming less surprising to see radical leftist positions in mainstream organizations.  However, that said, for any U.S. media to position themselves as sympathetic to one of the most brutal terrorists in the last half-century, is a level of disconnect far beyond comprehension.

Unfortunately, this position by U.S. Media is not as shocking as it should be.

As a contextual reminder for the teachings of the “austere religious scholar” represented by al-Baghdadi, his ISIS terrorists: beheaded international journalists, buried journalists in the ground and ran them over with tanks, brutally raped captives, drowned and burned Syrian civilians in cages, burned a Jordanian pilot alive in a cage and murdered dozens of Coptic Christians on the beaches of Libya….

The article includes some pictures of what ISIS and other Islamic groups have done to Christians. There is no way this man deserves a sympathetic obituary.

Is We Can Read The Transcript, Why Do We Need The Whistleblower?

This entire news narrative about the ‘whistleblower’ has been a farce from the beginning. As usual, President Trump handled the situation beautifully by releasing the transcripts of his conversation with the Ukrainian President. He should not have had to do that, but because of all the accusations the Democrats are so freely throwing around, it was the best thing to do. It was also the thing that the Democrats hurling the accusations assumed that the President would not do. It blew a hole right in the middle of their little scheme. When the actual transcript was released, the ‘whistleblower’ became moot. He wasn’t needed anymore. In fact, he was a liability because it became obvious that his report had little to do with what actually happened. Now the story has a new twist.

The Daily Caller posted an article today reporting that Representative Adam Schiff has stated that the House Intelligence Committee might not have to interview the ‘whistleblower.’  Oddly enough, Representative Schiff seemed to lose interest in interviewing the ‘whistleblower’ after it was learned that the person had contact with a Schiff aide prior to filing the complaint Aug. 12. Wow. What a coincidence.

The article concludes:

House Democrats have given indications that they were shifting away from pushing for the whistleblower’s testimony.

House Democrats were considering disguising the whistleblower during any potential interview in order to prevent Republicans from leaking the whistleblower’s identity, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

A Republican source familiar with the matter told the Daily Caller News Foundation in response to that report that it appeared Schiff was “laying the groundwork” to announce the whistleblower will not testify, “and to blame that on Republicans.”

“Schiff may not want the whistleblower to testify anymore because the whistleblower would have to reveal more details about this cooperation with Schiff,” the Republican source told the DCNF.

I wonder how many Americans realize how totally contrived and dishonest this ‘impeachment investigation’ is. The President’s civil rights are being violated, and the Republicans are being as quiet as mice. Does anyone in Washington have enough backbone to stand up for the Constitution?

Putting Up The Smoke Screen

The Inspector General’s report on the foreign intervention in the 2016 election is expected to come out in the next two weeks or so. Many of us are getting very impatient. Based on what the alternative media has been reporting for years now, Attorney General Barr and his investigating team are looking in all of the right places–Russia, Australia, Italy, Ukraine, and Britain. Those who took part on the scam and the investigation that followed are correct to be very uncomfortable about what is to come. The mainstream media is trying to blunt the impact of the information that will be made public.

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article detailing exactly what is going on. It is a complicated article, so I suggest you follow the link and read the entire article, but I will provide a few highlights.

The article reports:

Once upon a time — in a galaxy far, far away — The New York Times and The Washington Post were the go-to papers when it came to uncovering political scandals.  

Both papers made a point of running the Pentagon Papers, an internal and secret U.S. government history of  various presidents and their relevant Cabinet secretaries decision-making on American involvement in the Vietnam War. The Post, of course, was also famous for its birddogging young reporters Woodward and Bernstein and their digging out the details of the Watergate scandal. In fact, movies have been made with Hollywood A-listers lionizing both The Post and the journalists involved. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman starred in the Watergate movie (All the President’s Men), while Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep starred in the dramatic tale of the Post’s battles with government officials over  breaking the Pentagon Papers story (The Post. )

So it is with no little irony that today the two papers are leading the media charge to cover-up “Spygate” – the considerable scandal that is the the use of American intelligence agencies to spy on the political opponents of Obama and Clinton in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal has noticed, saying this in an editorial titled: “Foreign Influence and Double Standards. Democrats want to stop Barr from investigating what happened in 2016.” 

The article also notes:

Over at the Times, that paper is busy running stories like this one by the virulent Trump-hater Michelle Goldberg. This jewel of political framing is titled: “Just How Corrupt Is Bill Barr?” 

Perhaps the real question should be: Just How Corrupt is The New York Times

A perfect example of the game at play in this article is Goldberg citing one “Stephen Gillers, a professor of legal ethics at New York University School of Law.” I recall Stephen Gillers. In fact, I took a look at Gillers in my 2005 book The Borking Rebellion, a recounting of the Senate confirmation of Bush nominee Judge D. Brooks Smith for the Third Circuit of Appeals. The Post had asked Gillers for comment on a supposed ethics issue involving Judge Smith, presenting him, as does Goldberg today, as an above-it-all, strictly non-partisan legal ethics expert.

In fact, in the Smith battle I uncovered the fact that Gillers was hardly a non-partisan. He had served as a consultant to a far left special interest group called the Community Rights Counsel. The CRC had issued a report harshly critical of the Judge, and The Post went to Gillers for comment, leaving out of their story Gillers own ties to the CRC, the very group whose report on Smith he was being asked to comment. 

Goldberg plays the same game, citing Gillers as if he were some lofty non-partisan when, in fact, his background and record illustrate that he is anything but. Goldberg’s presentation is, to borrow again from her title, corrupt.

Andrew McCarthy at The National Review noted recently:

The strategy here is obvious. The Democrats and their note-takers would like the public to believe that Barr’s investigation is an adjunct of the Trump 2020 campaign — and a grossly improper one at that. The misimpression they seek to create is that Barr is putting the nation’s law-enforcement powers in the service of Trump’s reelection campaign, in the absence of any public interest. The hope is that this will delegitimize not only any information that emerges from Ukraine but the whole of the Justice Department’s investigation of intelligence and law-enforcement abuses of power attendant to the 2016 election.

If the people who used government and foreign resources to spy on a political opponent in 2016 are not held accountable, their actions will become the template for future political campaigns. This will destroy our republic.

I Guess This Is Not A New Problem

In April 2015 TruthorFiction posted an article stating the following:

It’s true that newspapers across the country published a story about climate change in the Arctic Ocean in 1922.

The article appeared on page 2 of the Washington Post on November 2, 1922, under the headline, “Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt.” The text of the article reads:

“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.

“Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.

“Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.”

The article, which was written by the Associated Press, appeared in scores of newspapers around the country in November of 1922. A researcher named John Lockwood found the article archived at the Library of Congress in 2007.
The article was based on a report that appeared in the November 1922 edition of the Monthly Weather Review. The original report says an expedition was sent by the Norwegian Department of Commerce to the Arctic Circle to survey land and to make “oceanographic investigations.” According to excerpts from the report:

“Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted … This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus.”

“…It is of interest to note the unusually warm summer in Arctic Norway and the observations of Capt. MartinIngebrigstaen, who has sailed the eastern Arctic for 54 years past. He says that he first noted warmer conditions in 1918, that since that time it has steadily gotten warmer, and that to-day the Arctic of that region is not recognizable as the same region of 1868 to 1917.”

The article notes that this article does not prove that climate change is a hoax. It notes that changes in temperature from year to year can result in significant changes in ice levels. I posted this article to prove that we really don’t know as much as we like to think we do about how climate works. I suspect that the amount of carbon emissions flowing into the atmosphere in 1922 was considerably less than it is today. We can therefore conclude that there might be other factors involved in our changing climate. Put simply, man is not important enough to control the climate.

I Guess The Truth Is Not Important If You Are A Democrat Candidate

Newsbusters posted an article today about the reporting on some recent embellished stories told by Joe Biden.

The article reports:

Apparently, the truth and the accuracy of details meant little to the so-called “powerhouse roundtable” on ABC’s This Week. During the latter half of the Sunday show, the panel defended former Vice President Joe Biden after The Washington Post exposed that a war story Biden had been telling for years was actually a tall tale.

But it wasn’t entirely false. As The Post explained and ABC rationalized on Thursday, Biden created the story by conflating several real events into a, sort of, Frankenstein’s monster designed to tug on the heartstrings of listeners. According to The Post, “Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony.”

But the facts be damned on ABC News.

First up was ABC political director Rick Klein, who said the story “shows the best of Joe Biden and the worst of Joe Biden. It’s him connecting and telling a really compelling story. It’s also him sanding away the edges and conflating things and maybe confusing details.”

The thing that is amazing about the above statement is that if your grandfather was ‘sanding away the edges and conflating things and maybe confusing details,’ you would probably have him checked for dementia. I really wonder if Joe Biden is going to be the Democrat nominee for President. I wonder if by some miracle he is the candidate, is he up for the task?

The article continues:

Washington Post national correspondent Mary Jordan was flippant about her own paper’s reporting on Biden’s latest gaffe. She suggested the voters she was talking too were telling her: “Come on, let’s focus on the big stuff, it’s the economy and the character of the leader and the character of the country that we want going forward”.

“And that’s what they’re saying. It’s big time. It’s big stuff that we care about. It’s not about the stories,” she concluded.

As Klein’s argument showed, it’s a double standard with it came to Democratic candidates and President Trump. If it was Trump telling Biden’s tale, then the media would be running story after story about him intentionally “gaslighting” America. Perhaps that’s why the news story wasn’t “resonating”.

I guess we are going to find out if American voters are willing to elect a candidate who the friendly media admits doesn’t even tell the truth when he is running.

The Wheels Of Justice Sometimes Turn Very Slowly

Yesterday The Washington Post reported the following:

The FBI on Wednesday arrested two former senior officials who served in administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, leading the chair of the House committee that oversees Puerto Rico to call for the governor to step down.

The arrests also spurred concerns on Capitol Hill about the billions of dollars in aid that Congress has approved for the island.

The federal indictment says the former officials illegally directed federal funding to politically-connected contractors. The arrests come about a month after Congress approved a controversial disaster aid bill that earmarked additional funding for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017, which were tied up in part because President Trump called Puerto Rico’s officials “incompetent or corrupt.”

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the Natural Resource Committee that oversees Puerto Rico, called on Rosselló to resign amid the ongoing federal investigation.

The article concludes:

The arrests come as senior White House officials are searching for new ways to limit the amount of federal aid going to help Puerto Rico, and the island’s allies fear the arrests will give Trump greater justification for curtailing additional aid to the island.

“The governor of Puerto Rico and his administration have now given President Trump the ammunition he needed,” said San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz, a political opponent of the governor.

I really think we need to make sure that any additional aid given to Puerto Rico will be properly administered and distributed. It appears that they have a corruption problem, and there is no way of knowing whether or not it has been solved. Unfortunately, it will be the people who need to help the most who will suffer the most because of the corruption.

Socialism In The Nordic Countries

On Monday The Washington Post posted an article about how the economies of the Nordic countries work.

These are some of the things noted:

Undoubtedly, the Nordic nations, with their high incomes, low inequality, free politics and strong rule of law, represent success stories. What this has to do with socialism, though, is another question.

And the answer, according to a highly clarifying new report from analysts at JPMorgan Chase, is “not much.”

Drawing on data from the World Bank, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and other reputable sources, the report shows that five nations — Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands — protect property rights somewhat more aggressively than the United States, on average; exercise less control over private enterprise; permit greater concentration in the banking sector; and distribute a smaller share of their total income to workers.

“Copy the Nordic model if you like, but understand that it entails a lot of capitalism and pro-business policies, a lot of taxation on middle class spending and wages, minimal reliance on corporate taxation and plenty of co-pays and deductibles in its healthcare system,” the report notes.

This really does not sound like the utopia that Bernie Sanders is pushing–particularly the co-pays and deductions.

The article continues:

Sanders and other left-leaning Democrats promise to pay for tuition-free college and Medicare-for-all with higher taxes on the top 1 percent of earners. Most Nordic countries, by contrast, have zero estate tax. They fund generous programs with the help of value-added taxes that heavily affect middle-class consumers.

In Sweden, for example, consumption, social security and payroll taxes total 27 percent of gross domestic product, as compared with 10.6 percent in the United States, according to the JPMorgan Chase report. The Nordic countries tried direct wealth taxes such as the one that figures prominently in the plans of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); all but Norway abandoned them because of widespread implementation problems.

The Nordic countries’ use of co-pays and deductibles in health care may be especially eye-opening to anyone considering Sanders’s Medicare-for-all plan, which the presidential candidate pitches as an effort to bring the United States into line with European standards.

His plan offers an all-encompassing, government-funded zero-co-pay, zero-deductible suite of benefits, from dental checkups to major surgery — which no Nordic nation provides.

The Netherlands’ health insurance system centers on an Obamacare-like mandate to buy a private plan; individuals face an annual deductible of $465 (as of 2016), according to the Boston-based Commonwealth Fund.

Dutch consumers’ out-of-pocket spending on health care represented 11 percent of total health expenditures in 2016, according to the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker — the same percentage as in the United States. In Sweden, meanwhile, out-of-pocket spending accounted for 15 percent of health expenditures. Who knew?

The article concludes by noting that the burden for these programs falls on the middle class–the rich will always have tax accountants to limit the amount of taxes they pay–the middle class has no such luxury. Bernie Sanders’ proposals will essentially rob the poor to pay the rich. I really don’t think that is what most Americans have in mind.

Are We Really All On The Same Team?

On Saturday The Washington Examiner posted an article with the following headline, “Officials accuse DHS chief Kevin McAleenan of leaking ICE raids plan to sabotage operation.”

The leak was to the Washington Post.

The article reports:

This week’s big leak about a major Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation was orchestrated by acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan in an effort to sabotage the raids before they were scheduled to take place, according to three current and two former senior administration officials.

In a move he said was to placate Democrats, President Trump announced on Saturday that the nationwide immigration enforcement operation planned to start Sunday — aimed at migrant families who illegally remain in the country despite being denied asylum — was called off to give lawmakers two weeks to work on a plan to fix legal “loopholes” he said have enticed migrants to come to the U.S.

However, all five officials who spoke with the Washington Examiner confirmed McAleenan’s decision to go rogue and stymie the operation was what prompted the White House to call off the 10-city operation.

I have a few comments on this. First of all, if you are going to deport illegal immigrants, there needs to be a hierarchy in doing it. Most Americans would not object if the deportations began with members of MS-13. They need to go back to the countries they left. Even if they are here legally, they need to go back to the countries they left. Next, anyone convicted of a criminal offense–dealing drugs, drunk driving, illegally possessing firearms, etc., needs to be given a ticket out of the country. I would hope that the issue of deporting family members when only part of the family is here illegally would be put at the bottom of the priority list. It also might be better to deny welfare benefits to illegals in order to encourage them to leave on their own.

The article concludes:

Following the Post report Friday, ICE advised the White House not to go forward with the raids, in part because those who were the targets might have fled the locations Enforcement and Removal Operations officers had expected to find them.

“Leaking the locations and details to stop the operation from happening not only harmed operational integrity, but it put the safety and well-being of his own officers in jeopardy,” the third official wrote.

“That’s law enforcement sensitive information. You just don’t reveal that,” the second official said. “It gets people hyped up. It gets the NGOs activated, and then anyone wearing a jacket with the ICE name on it is really chastised. Cities are coming out saying, ‘Here’s how you can protect yourself against it.’”

That same official said the “worst” consequence of the leak, especially if it was directed by the department’s leader, was how it endangered personnel.

“It really jeopardized the safety of law enforcement officers — that’s the part that’s really detrimental,” the official said.

Whoever the leaker is, he needs to be fired.

This Incidental Information Is Going To Be Very Important In The Near Future

Before you read this article, I want you to consider how the Democrats (particularly the Clintons) have avoided being held accountable for skirting the law in the past. Generally speaking, the playbook means keeping questions about whatever the scandal is in the news until everyone is sick of hearing about the scandal. At that point, when the answers begin to come out, everyone tunes out because they are totally bored with anything having to do with whatever behavior went on. That is exactly the playbook that is being used on the question of how the Russian-collusion investigation began and why members of President Trump’s campaign and transition team were under surveillance. Keep that in mind as you read the following.

Today Breitbart posted an article with the following headline, “Biden Present at Russia Collusion Briefing Documented in ‘Odd’ Susan Rice Email.”

The article reports:

Vice President Joe Biden was documented as being present in the Oval Office for a conversation about the controversial Russia probe between President Obama, disgraced ex-FBI chief James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and other senior officials including Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice.

In an action characterized as “odd” last year by then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Rice memorialized the confab in an email to herself describing Obama as starting “the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’”

Grassley, in a letter to Rice, commented: “It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation.”

Grassley noted the unusual timing of the email sent by Rice to herself more than two weeks after the January 5, 2017 White House meeting on the Russia investigation, but mere hours before she vacated the White House for the incoming Trump administration.

The email, Grassley documented, was sent by Rice to herself on Trump’s inauguration day of January 20, 2017.

“If the timestamp is correct, you sent this email to yourself at 12:15 pm, presumably a very short time before you departed the White House for the last time,” Grassley wrote to Rice in a letter seeking clarification on a number of issues regarding the email and the Oval Office briefing at which Biden was documented as being present.

The article cites a Washington Post article describing how few people were involved in the Trump/Russia investigation:

The lengthy Washington Post article from 2017 detailed the closed circle of Obama administration officials who were involved in overseeing the initial efforts related to the Russia investigation — a circle than was narrowly widened to include Biden, according to the newspaper report.

According to the newspaper, in the summer of 2016, CIA Director John Brennan convened a “secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.”

The Post described the unit as so secretive it functioned as a “sealed compartment” hidden even from the rest of the U.S. intelligence community; a unit whose workers were all made to sign additional non-disclosure forms.

The unit reported to top officials, the newspaper documented:

They worked exclusively for two groups of “customers,” officials said. The first was Obama and fewer than 14 senior officials in government. The second was a team of operations specialists at the CIA, NSA and FBI who took direction from the task force on where to aim their subsequent efforts to collect more intelligence on Russia.

The number of Obama administration officials who were allowed access to the Russia intelligence was also highly limited, the Post reported. At first only four senior officials were involved, and not Biden. Those officials were CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and then-FBI Director James Comey. Their aides were all barred from attending the initial meetings, the Post stated.

This is looking more and more like an attempted political coup.

The Geo-Political Impact Of America’s Energy Independence

In January of this year, Forbes Magazine reported:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published their 2019 Annual Energy Outlook. Whenever your optimism on the prospects for U.S. energy infrastructure waivers, this will restore your confidence. The outlook for domestic energy production is bullish, and in many cases more so than a year ago.

For example, in their 2018 report, the EIA’s Reference Case projected that the U.S. would eventually become a net energy exporter. Now, thanks to stronger crude and liquids production, they expect that milestone to be reached next year.

We have reached that milestone. So what is the impact? Fist of all, we are free of the threat of an oil boycott by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). The oil embargo placed on the United States by OPEC in the early 1970’s rapidly increased gasoline prices and caused shortages at the gas pumps. We don’t want to do that again. Aside from the impact on average Americans, we need gas to fuel our military. However, being energy independent does not entirely free us from having to be nice to Arab countries that don’t like us. Because of an agreement made between Richard Nixon and Saudi Arabia, oil is traded in American dollars. This is one of the reasons American dollars still have value despite our large national debt. The Saudis have been responsible for seeing that oil continues to be traded in American dollars, so it is in our best interest to be nice to them. The Saudis are also moving toward a friendlier relationship to Israel because of fear of Iran. Being energy independent allows us to support the nation of Israel without fearing another oil embargo.

American energy independence also has a potential impact on our relations with Russia and Europe.

In July 2018, The Washington Post posted an article about Europe’s dependence on Russian oil.

The article notes:

Putin has proved through his actions that he views everything as a potential tool to gain an advantage economically, politically and militarily. One of his most powerful tools is Russia’s energy resources, and he has used Europe’s reliance on these resources to strengthen his position. Some European leaders have been all too willing to take the bait.

This was the point President Trump was making at a NATO summit this month. He caused a stir for speaking undiplomatically in a room of diplomats. He was also pointing out what everyone in the room already knew: Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas undermines its security.

Trump also understands, as he demonstrated this week in his talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, that the United States can and should help solve this problem. By supplying our own natural gas reserves to Europe, the United States can loosen Putin’s economic grip on the region.

The article concludes:

By increasing exports of American natural gas, the United States can help our NATO allies escape Russian strong-arming. America is the world’s leading producer of clean, versatile natural gas. There are two export facilities in the United States. able to ship natural gas overseas — one in Maryland and one in Louisiana. Three more are due to be operational by the end of this year, and at least 20 additional projects are awaiting federal permits. We must speed up these approvals to give our allies alternatives to Russian gas.

We have plenty of natural gas to meet Americans’ needs and increase our exports. Independent studies have found that prices will remain low even with significant gas exports. Now we just need to clear away the regulatory hurdles and show our European allies that U.S. natural gas is a wiser option than Russia’s.

When Putin looks at natural gas, he thinks of politics, he thinks of money and he thinks of power. It is in America’s national security interests to help our allies reduce their dependence on Russian energy. We need to make clear how important it is for their own security, as well.

Our NATO alliance is strong. Ending Europe’s dependence on Russian energy will make it even stronger.

An energy-independent America is good for America, good for Europe, and good for Israel.

Objectivity From An Unexpected Source

Paul Farhi posted an article yesterday at The Washington Post about the media’s role in the Mueller investigation.

The article reports:

After more than two years of intense reporting and endless talking-head speculation about possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian agents in 2016, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III put a huge spike in all of it on Sunday. Attorney General William P. Barr relayed Mueller’s key findings in a four-page summary of the 22-month investigation: The evidence was insufficient to conclude that Trump or his associates conspired with Russians to interfere in the campaign.

Barr’s announcement was a thunderclap to mainstream news outlets and the cadre of mostly liberal-leaning commentators who have spent months emphasizing the possible-collusion narrative in opinion columns and cable TV panel discussions.

“Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media,” Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi wrote in a column published Saturday, a day before Barr nailed the collusion coffin shut. He added: “Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population.”

That’s bad enough, but there is another noteworthy observation in the article:

Other news outlets defended their reporting as well, noting that much of it is undisputed and has led to indictments and guilty pleas by figures associated with Trump’s campaign.

“I’m comfortable with our coverage,” said Dean Baquet, the New York Times’s top editor. “It is never our job to determine illegality, but to expose the actions of people in power. And that’s what we and others have done and will continue to do.”

He noted that Barr’s letter summarizing Mueller’s findings points out that the actions that warranted an obstruction inquiry were “the subject of public reporting” — a fact “that’s to the credit of the media.”

In fact, revelations by the Times and The Washington Post about contacts between Russian agents and Trump’s campaign advisers in 2016 helped prompt the inquiry that the special counsel took over in May 2017. The two newspapers shared a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the issue that year.

Although the mainstream media tried to make this Watergate, it wasn’t, and I suspect they have little or no intention of admitting their misreporting of major aspects of the story. First of all, where was the reporting of the abuse of power by the Obama administration in surveillance of an opposition party political campaign? Second, where was the commentary on inflammatory statements by former intelligence officials that later proved to be wrong? Third, where was the commentary on the accomplishments of the Trump administration in trade, taxes, and economic policy? If you are still watching the mainstream media and believing what they say, you will continue to be misinformed and mislead.