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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Constitutional crisis? Another Democrat talking point gets life


So, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Chair of the House Judiciary Committee thinks we have entered into a Constitutional crisis because Attorney General William Barr has refused to turn over a completely un-redacted copy of Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s report.

Barr has, however, provided a copy for key members of Congress that is almost un-redacted. Out of the well-over 400 pages in the report only two entire lines of text are redacted, and seven lines are partially redacted. This version of the report is far better than the heavily redacted version previously made available, but only three members of Congress have chosen to review it, and – surprise, surprise, surprise – none of the three is a Democrat.

And, the redactions that remain are still in place because of a federal circuit court ruling to the effect that grand jury materials cannot be made public. The reason is that making public grand jury testimony about people who were investigated but not indicted would potentially unfairly harm those whose names appeared, even though they were not indicted for any criminal wrongdoing.

But that’s not a good enough reason for Nadler and his Democrat comrades.

It appears, therefore, that if there is unconstitutional behavior, it is the behavior of Nadler himself, who is attempting to punish the AG for refusing to break the law just to help Nadler and the Democrats create another smoke screen. He led the Judiciary Committee in holding Barr in contempt of Congress, although the entire body of the House has not yet voted to do so.

The following explanation appeared in National Review last month. “At issue was this question: Does a federal court have the authority to order disclosure of grand-jury materials if the judge decides that the interests of justice warrant doing so; or is the judge limited to the exceptions to grand-jury secrecy that are spelled out in Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure? The D.C. Circuit’s McKeever ruling holds that the text of Rule 6(e) controls. Consequently, judges have no authority to authorize disclosure outside the rule.” And if a judge may not do so, obviously the AG may not.

Surely Nadler, who is rumored to be a lawyer and is chair of the Judiciary Committee, knows that Barr cannot release a clean report. And wouldn’t he, and several more of his Democrat fellow travelers, benefit from the lightly redacted version that Barr provided. One would certainly think so.

All of these shenanigans are a strong indication that this entire episode is just more political swampiness by a desperate Democrat faction in Congress.

After all, Barr said in testimony before the Committee that he intends to look into several of the irregularities by the FBI and DOJ, and if Nadler himself is not at risk, quite a few public servants who share the anti-Trump obsession surely are.

Law professor Jonathan Turley, described by Townhall.com as “left-leaning,” has a reputation for ignoring political considerations when addressing constitutional issues.

About the topic of Barr’s refusal to respond to the subpoena, Turley said, “The problem is that the contempt action against Barr is long on action and short on contempt. Indeed, with a superficial charge, the House could seriously undermine its credibility in the ongoing conflicts with the White House.”

He went on to say, “As someone who has represented the House of Representatives, my concern is that this one violates a legal version of the Hippocratic oath to ‘first do no harm.’ This could do great harm, not to Barr, but to the House. It is the weakest possible case to bring against the administration, and likely to be an example of a bad case making bad law for the House ... Barr promised to release as much of the report as possible, and he has delivered.”

Nadler and his fellow OCD-plagued anti-Trumpers are uninterested in what destruction they may impose on the country in their frenzied efforts to harm Donald Trump.

“The end justifies the means” is the current ruling motto of Democrats, and some misguided Republicans. “Trump must be defeated, removed from office, even prosecuted” seems to be the operative theme. It doesn’t matter whose life is unfairly ruined, or how many people they trash in the process.

Being morally upstanding and behaving with integrity are lost virtues among Congressional Democrats, as they climb lower and lower in their efforts to remove Trump from office.

While the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was going on in strict secrecy, at the end of the proceedings a Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin responded immediately, "A republic, if you can keep it."

We must give Congressional Democrats their due for being transparent: They are clearly showing, for all to see, that they care little for the law or for honorable behavior. Nothing is as important than doing in Donald Trump, and it seems nothing will be allowed to stand in their way. And the republic that Franklin celebrated and warned about is under attack from within.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Activities in “The Swamp” reach disgusting and treasonous levels



“The Swamp.” That is how Donald Trump identifies the Washington bureaucratic morass. The Swamp, or however one identifies it, is the stuff of legend.

It has a life and a mind of its own, with bureaucrats who have made a career of federal employment sometimes indulging in activities other than serving the needs of the citizenry, which is their duty.

Sometimes that extraneous work involves merely not doing what should be done, and sometimes it involves doing what should not be done. Not every federal employee has the integrity, honesty and the devotion to duty that is expected of those serving the American people.

The misbehavior may be merely shirking one’s duty, such as sloppy work habits, or doing things other than what the job entails. Or it may be using the powers of the IRS improperly against certain types of organizations, as we saw with Lois Learner at the helm of the department responsible for granting non-profit status that purposefully denied approval or delayed action on legitimate applications of conservative organizations.

Or it may be a coordinated effort to affect the outcome of a presidential election, and following that failure, trying to sabotage that darned business guy outsider who beat the odds and won despite The Swamp’s substantial meddling.

That is what was long suspected, but was well covered up by Swamp-creatures, and ignored by the liberal media, but is now emerging for all to see. In contrast to the left’s preferred narrative, Donald Trump’s allegations of “spying” and “wire-tapping” have been proven correct, with the evidence of our government listening in on the calls of a Trump associate who lived in Trump Tower in 2016, and other things of a similar nature.

Let’s shift our attention to London, weeks before the election, when Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos sat with a comely young lady going by the name of Azra Turk in a bar. Using her womanly wiles to best advantage for a while, she then asked Papadopoulos if the campaign was working with Russia.

The New York Times, no supporter of Donald Trump, reported last week, “The woman had set up the meeting to discuss foreign policy issues. But she was actually a government investigator posing as a research assistant, according to people familiar with the operation. The F.B.I. sent her to London as part of the counterintelligence inquiry opened that summer to better understand the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.”

“The decision to use Ms. Turk in the operation aimed at a presidential campaign official shows the level of alarm inside the F.B.I.,” The Times story continued, “during a frantic period when the bureau was trying to determine the scope of Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 election, but could also give ammunition to Mr. Trump and his allies for their spying claims.”

The question that jumps immediately out is, was the “level of alarm inside the F.B.I.” a legitimate criminal or counterintelligence concern, or was it just politics? Where was the concern about Russian involvement in Hillary Clinton’s campaign?

We know the Russians meddled in the election, but years and millions of dollars of investigations produced no evidence of Trump/Russian campaign involvement. Russian meddling appears to have been a convenient excuse for FBI and Department of Justice meddling in the Trump campaign.

Further evidence of government malfeasance involves the email correspondence by high officials at the FBI clearly leading to the belief that political considerations were, indeed, the motivation.

FBI Agent Peter Strozk and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, exchanged a series of emails that had nothing to do with legitimate agency business, but were focused on their dislike for Donald Trump, and efforts to stop him from winning the election. Then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and then-FBI Director James Comey are other names associated with the monkeyshines of the FBI.

The questionable Carter Steele dossier, financed indirectly by the Clinton campaign, and used to trick the FISA Court into issuing warrants to spy on various elements and persons associated with the Trump campaign, is a major element in this sordid story.

The FBI agents, who signed off on and presented the dossier to the FISA Court as a legitimate document supporting the permissions they were seeking, knew the dossier was, at best, questionable, and at worst, fraudulent. Nevertheless, it successfully won warrants that were used against American citizens.

The United States is often referred to as “a nation of laws,” and for the most part that is true. But there is another comment that is not so positive, that also applies: laws are not applied evenly; we have a two-tiered system, where people in positions of power often escape accountability that the rest of us are held to.

Donald Trump did not benefit from that second tier, but so far Hillary Clinton has.

While Congressional Democrats are busy cooking up new investigations of Trump, members of his family and his administration, looking for “anything,” Congressional Republicans are preparing to investigate the investigators.

They will work to get to the bottom of the now well-known malfeasance that took place in the upper echelons of the FBI, DOJ and in FISA Court proceedings.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Biden is correct: We are in a battle for the soul of America

Former Vice President Joe Biden, in his video declaring his candidacy for the Democrat nomination for president, actually identified a very real problem. In his breathy, half-whispering plea for support, he noted that the soul of America is up for grabs.

Uncle Joe has had a few memorable lines over the years, but none so profound and important as that concerning America’s soul. 

However, he did recently say this in answer to a reporter’s question. “America’s coming back like it used to be.” Sounds a lot like “Make America Great Again,” doesn’t it?

For us seasoned citizens who know and love America’s foundational principles, the crazy, un-American things that have become major talking points of the left has transformed the DNC into the gift that keeps on giving. 

The Democrat’s wild ideas comprise the best collection of crazy ideas yet developed by American politicos, and it is a work in progress.

*** Bernie Sanders thinks that people in prison for felonies – including murder, rape, terrorism, etc. – should not only get their rights back that they forfeited when they committed the crime, but should retain those rights, including the right to vote, even as they are still paying their voluminous debt to society in prison.

*** U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) has proposed a student loan forgiveness plan that could benefit tens of millions of Americans, and also to provide “free college” for all. She must be unaware of what the growth of student financial aid has done to help increase the cost of a college education. 

According to collegeboard.org, the price of private non-profit colleges and public two-year schools has doubled, and the cost of public four-year institutions has tripled over the last few decades. Universal “free college” would cost the nation $1.25 trillion over just the next decade.

*** Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA) thinks the voting age, now 18 years-old, needs to be lowered to 16 “to capture kids when they’re in high school.” What would prompt her to want to give people, who are still in school, just old enough to drive, but not to buy alcohol or serve in their country’s military, the right to vote? Perhaps it’s because about half of the current crop of adolescents — those no-longer children but not-quite adults — say they would prefer living in a socialist country, according to a Harris Poll.

And why do they believe this? They have not learned American History or Civics while in school. But they should vote?

*** Did you know that in February all six of the then-declared candidates for the Democrat nomination for president voted against the Born Alive Protection Act that would protect the life of newborns? From National Review: “All six of the Democratic senators currently running for the 2020 presidential nomination voted against the bill: Cory Booker (N.J.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (CA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), and Elizabeth Warren (MA), along with Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.”

*** Robert Francis O’Rourke (Texas), who answers to the name of “Beto,” claimed that if the American people are not able to view the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, it could mean the end of the country.

“This is an unprecedented attack on this country and on our democracy, and we are owed the facts. And if we do not receive them, 243 years in, there’s nothing that guarantees us a 244th.”

“For this democracy to succeed, people must put our country before their party, the next election, the approval of the president. What matters now is the future of the United States,” he said. Well, he got one thing right.

*** Illinois Rep. Dianne Pappas, a Democrat from Itasca, believes castrating men would help the problem of abortion. She made the suggestion not once, but twice, in recent meetings. If men were unable to “cause” pregnancy, there would be fewer abortions. Really?

*** Other similarly crazy ideas include, but are not limited to: a “living wage” government job for everyone; trashing the protections for small states from the tyranny of a big-state majority by eliminating the Electoral College; doing away with coal, oil and natural gas use within 10 years; open borders, sanctuary jurisdictions and federal aid for illegals.

We all know that America is not perfect, and the perpetually disaffected among us constantly remind us of what they think is wrong with it. But America has a long world-leading list of accomplishments, including being the most-free nation on Earth. Ever.

What made America great the first time largely consisted of not doing crazy things like the current bevy of Democrat “progressives” want to do.

The American Family Association recently sent out a mailing that included its president’s “6 reasons why America is worth saving.” Among Tim Wildman’s 6 reasons are that “The U.S. is the most generous and merciful nation ever;” “Peaceful change is always possible because it is build into our system;” and that “Americans are free to pursue their economic dreams.”

America’s soul is not at risk, so long as we stick to the things that made it great, and reject these crazy so-called “progressive” ideas.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Celebrate the good that’s happening and fix the country’s problems


That President Donald Trump has many critics is no surprise. That he has created much of the negative feelings people have for him is also no surprise. One interesting question is, “how much of the anti-Trump fervor is legitimate opposition to his agenda, or a true belief that he is unsuited for the job, and how much is just an emotional reaction to his personal behavior?”

His pugnacious style, attacking those who criticize him, and fighting back against those who attack him, is at the root of much of the negative sentiment towards him.

Genuine dislike for Trump, some of that from hurt feelings, seems to be what drives most – or at least much of – the bad feelings toward him. So, if Trump can be fairly accused of obsessive behavior that drives much of the negative sentiment, are his detractors not also behaving obsessively?

Some abandon their professional ethics and standards, saying, in effect, “Trump made me do it.” And that attitude has taken its toll in the field of journalism, which has been severely damaged of late, and elected representatives and senators shirk their responsibility to their constituents in order to focus on obstructing Trump.

Why not balance those negative emotions with earned appreciation for the good things that have happened and are happening during Trump’s tenure as president, the strong economy being a major factor? Are these folks so petty that they cannot admit that he is doing some good things?

For example: since Trump took office unemployment has dropped, currently at 3.8 percent; we have the lowest unemployment rate in history for women, African-Americans and Hispanics; there are more job openings than there are unemployed Americans, seven million job openings and six million unemployed; the number of those counted as outside the labor force tumbled by 487,000 in 2018, asworkers who had become discouraged and dropped out of the labor force are coming back.

He has eliminated many regulations that impeded economic progress; tax cuts have further spurred the economy and resulted in people keeping more of their earnings; wages are going up with Real Weekly Earnings up 2.6 percent; manufacturing added more jobs than government, reversing the Obama trend; some companies that left the U.S. have returned, bringing jobs back; and the GDP growth rate is up.

Why not focus on fixing problems that the nation faces?

The Left largely sympathizes with the undocumented immigrants – that’s “illegal aliens” for the non-politically correct among us – and denies that the tens of thousands sneaking across the southern border and the tens of thousands more who have over-stayed their visas comprise a crisis. Trump, on the other hand, understands that it is a crisis, agreeing with the federal immigration workers and those states that have to try to deal with this senseless situation. 

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, instead of doing its job and helping to revise outdated and flawed immigration laws and procedures to help protect the country and the constituents that elected its members, plans to investigate Trump some more.

The Left’s favorite narrative is that these people are fleeing dangerous conditions, or are just looking for a better life. Of course some, likely most, are. There are proper ways of doing this, and sneaking across the border is not one of them. But others are sex or drug traffickers, robbers, rapists and murderers. 

All of those groups – both those having the best intentions, as well as those with the worst – have one thing in common: they are in the U.S. illegally. Why is any true American willing to allow this to continue?

And while the mainstream media has successfully downplayed this situation, the problem is much worse this year than last. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) reported on its website, “According to U.S. Border Patrol (CBP), in six and a half months their agents have apprehended more than 418,000 illegal aliens, which surpasses the total for FY2018. In the last six months, CBP has encountered more than 3,000 fraudulent family units. And CBP had apprehended almost 1,000 illegal aliens, mostly family units, before 5 a.m. on April 16.”

“Anti-enforcement politicians and Democrats in Congress reflexively blame the Trump administration or Central American dictators,” the report continued. “Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee (Wash.) even blamed the crisis on climate change.”

While we know that the Russians attempted to affect the 2016 election, as they have in previous elections, there is no evidence that anything they did had a real effect on the outcome. Therefore, Trump was properly elected as president under the electoral system that our Founders designed, and that has worked for well over 200 years.

There is important work to be done that is currently being delayed largely by the obsession to obstruct Trump, and ultimately remove him from office. Those things include: reforming our immigration system, straightening out the shambles that are the healthcare system, paring down the size and cost of government, and continuing to reduce harmful regulations. And these areas affect all Americans, Republicans, Democrats and everybody else.

Finding satisfactory solutions to these problems requires everyone’s good intentions and honest efforts. Now it’s time to get to work.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

William Barr joins Robert Mueller on the Democrat’s Wall of Shame



Attorney General William Barr testified recently before the House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the Department of Justice budgetary request, but he was asked question after question after question about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russian collusion investigation, and the conclusions from  that report Barr released.

For doing his job as AG, Barr suddenly became the new Democrat target, as his conclusions from the Mueller report failed to satisfy the intense hunger of Democrats for evidence of impropriety, even criminality, by then-candidate Donald Trump and his team.

The sudden, virtually automatic and universal distrust of Barr by Congressional Democrats and the MSM for doing his duty in accepting the Mueller report and releasing the conclusions is more than just curious. 

Years ago, a Democrat-controlled Senate confirmed Barr by voice vote for attorney general under President George H.W. Bush. He was highly praised, both by Republicans and Democrats, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to recommend his confirmation, and then-Senate Judiciary Chairman, former Vice President, and now potential presidential candidate Joe Biden, and Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy both enthusiastically endorsed him for the position.

But now that political considerations have replaced obligations to duty, that support has vanished in a flash of desperate partisanship.

This same response occurred when Robert Mueller was named special counsel. Praise came abundantly from both sides of the political aisle, and Democrats could hardly contain their eagerness at the expected results of the investigation by this giant of a man, imagining a handcuffed Donald Trump being perp-walked out of the White House to the hoosegow along with Don, Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and yes, Melania and Barron, too.

But that was not what happened, and suddenly Mueller’s reputation lay in shambles in the gutters of Pennsylvania Avenue. Now there are two once-widely respected people associated with the Department of Justice who, by doing their jobs, lost the confidence and respect of Congressional Democrats.

When Barr’s appearance before the Subcommittee began, New York’s Rep. Nita Lowey, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, got things off to a creaky start: “Before getting into your budget request I want to discuss a serious oversight matter, your unacceptable handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.” 

“It’s been reported that the report is 300 to 400 pages, and I use the term ‘reported’ because we have no idea how long it actually is,” she continued. “All we have is your four-page summary, which seems to cherry pick from the report to draw the most favorable conclusion possible for the president.” 

And how would she know whether he is cherry picking or not, since she complained about having no knowledge of what is in the report?

Her deep ignorance of the situation shone forth again when she said, “I must say it is extraordinary to evaluate hundreds of pages of evidence, legal documents, and findings based on a 22-month-long inquiry, and make definitive legal conclusions in less than 48 hours.” 

Again, she makes assumptions without having seen the document, which might have contained conclusions. And she also didn’t know that Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, to whom Mueller reported during the investigation, helped Barr produce the document that contained the findings.

And then there was this brilliant question from Michigan Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence: “Who do you report to, the President of the United States or to the people of America?” 

After such great mischaracterizations of the Barr “summary,” the DOJ offered some perspective on it: "Given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the Attorney General decided to release the report's bottom-line findings and his conclusions immediately — without attempting to summarize the report — with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redaction process.”

Barr also aroused the ire of Committee Democrats, and others, when he said he believed there was “spying” during the presidential campaign.  By using the term “spying,” rather than their much-preferred and less-severe term, “surveillance,” he upset a lot of people.

Spying by any other name, like “surveillance,” is still spying. Which term is the correct one for listening to (intercepting) private conversations, and other such activities: Spying, eavesdropping, or the Democrats’ preferred term, surveillance?

Do you refer to your cousin as a relative, as family, or as kinfolk? Does it really matter? Isn’t this really just playing rhetorical games?

Whatever term one carefully chooses for describing the deed, spying is spying. AG Barr said the difference between legal spying and illegal spying occurs when there is a legitimate predicate for the deed. If there is one, fine; the spying is legal. If not, the spying is a crime.

After being questioned about believing spying occurred, Barr said that he wants to know whether the spying was done appropriately, or not, and plans to look into the matter to find if a suitable predicate existed to justify it.

No doubt this has not eased the Democrats’ disgust over Barr’s findings, and likely has caused a spike on their nervous meter, as the possibility of subversive shenanigans in the Obama FBI, DOJ and elsewhere being exposed looms large.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Jobs combat poverty; over-regulation discourages businesses and jobs

Magatte Wade was born in the West African nation of Senegal, was educated in Germany and France, then came to the U.S. She is a frequent speaker at business conferences and college campuses, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, MIT, and Wharton. She has started businesses and with her husband is working to create schools in Senegal.

Part of one of her addresses featured on YouTube dealt with how not to be poor. What she said to her audience is a good lesson for everyone.

“People are poor. Why are you poor?” She answered, “you're poor when you don't have enough money to meet your basic needs.” 

And then, the big question: “Where does a source of income come from for most of us?” The answer is, as former Vice President Joe Biden famously said: that three-letter word: ‘JOBS.’

This is not a bolt from the blue to most of us, but to her audiences in colleges and in her native Senegal, this solution may not be so obvious. In fact, some of her audiences responded that jobs actually come from government.

Yes, she responded, some jobs are provided by government. But where does government get the money to pay its employees?

“It comes from taxes. People who work, employees; people who hire them, the companies and employers, pay [taxes] so that we in turn pay these government people.”

So, “we're back to commerce … we're back to business.”

“So I say,” Wade continues, “okay, if ‘jobs’ is the solution to this massive, massive problem we have out there of poverty, then don't you think that maybe we should try to think about where jobs come from?”

If jobs are the answer, and jobs come from entrepreneurs, businesses, “then don't you think that we should really try and pay attention to what type of environment those businesses get to operate in,” Wade asked?

What a concept! Since businesses large and small provide the jobs people need to avoid poverty, and enable workers to pay taxes, and pay taxes themselves to support the government, let’s be careful about the environment that we create for businesses.

In America, it should be easy for someone with a new idea or just the drive to start a business that will provide goods or services, and hire some people to work in it, so long as it follows reasonable laws and regulations. The operative word is, “reasonable.”

Far too often, this is not easy, and sometimes impossible. 

Writing in Business Insider, Michael Snyder addresses this issue. “Small business in the United States is literally being suffocated by red tape. We like to think that we live in ‘the land of the free,’ but the truth is that our lives and our businesses are actually tightly constrained by millions of rules and regulations.” 

“Today there is a ‘license’ for just about every business activity,” Snyder adds. “In fact, in some areas of the country today you need a ‘degree’ and multiple ‘licenses’ before you can even submit an application for permission to start certain businesses.” It gets worse. “And if you want to actually hire some people for your business, the paperwork nightmare gets far worse. It is a wonder that anyone in America is still willing to start a business from scratch and hire employees.”

“The truth is that the business environment in the United States is now so incredibly toxic that millions of Americans have simply given up and don't even try to work within the system anymore.”

To put the regulatory issue into perspective, the Federal Register is where federal rules are catalogued. The number of pages in it was about 2,600 in 1936. That’s a lot of pages of rules, but it pales in comparison to the calendar year of 2016, when the number of Federal Register pages stood at 95,854.

Certain variables factor into this: Some rules take more pages than others, and page size is also important. However, most novels have 250 words per page, and a really long novel has 425 pages. At the end of 2016, the Federal Register had as many pages as 225 long novels, and 383 normal-sized ones.

President Donald Trump has implemented efforts to reduce regulations by signing an executive order on Jan. 31, 2017 for the agency requesting a new regulation to cut two older regulations.

A Daily Caller story said that the Trump administration “reported $23 billion in savings from 176 deregulatory actions in fiscal year 2018. Even more consequential, the administration has issued 65 percent fewer ‘significant’ rules — those with costs that exceed $100 million a year — than the Obama administration, and 51 percent fewer than the Bush administration, after 22 months in office.”

That’s a start, but a lot more needs to be done to give Americans the freedom and ability to start a business or get a job.

A final word from Magatte Wade: “Not living up to our potential is a failure for which the only person who can possibly be responsible is oneself.“

She’s right, of course, but things like over-regulation make that much more difficult for even those who are determined to succeed.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Border officials and facilities overwhelmed by illegal entrants


The number of illegal aliens captured at the southern border has overloaded the facilities that hold them, and thousands have been released into the country.

Illegal entry has been routinely called a non-crisis by much of the media and Congressional Democrats, and recently Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, called it that. Appearing on CBS last month, Johnson said: "So here are the facts: the facts are that illegal migration on our southern border is a fraction of what it used to be." He added, "But a security crisis per se? No. I would not characterize it that way. I think there is some fear-mongering going on."

However, Saturday Johnson said on Fox News’ “Cavuto LIVE,” “By anyone's definition, by any measure, right now we have a crisis at our southern border.” He added, “According to the commissioner of [Customs and Border Protection], there were 4,000 apprehensions in one day alone this past week, and we're on pace for 100,000 apprehensions on our southern border this month.”

Perhaps Congress will finally get the message. Had Congress taken administration warnings seriously and acted to relieve the situation months ago, this crisis could have been resolved.

Representative Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, noted that in the heat of summer “it’s going to be very, very dangerous in this part of the country to have young kids, women and other folks to come in.”

Cuellar said, after speaking to Customs and Border Patrol agents, he had discovered a disturbing trend of adults “renting” children in Central America in order to increase their chances of being able to stay in the U.S. once they cross over.

Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch visited Guatemala earlier this year to get a first-hand look at the first of several caravans headed toward our southern border.

Contrary to reports in the media and those who support unfettered immigration that the migrants were mostly women and children, Farrell observed that while there were women and children in the caravan, he estimated that between 90 and 95 percent of them were men 15 to 45 years old. The children, he said, were “recovered from a human smuggling operation using the caravan as ‘cover.’”

He said that it’s “A highly organized, very elaborate and sophisticated orchestration,” not a sudden movement of thousands of people who just happened to all decide to travel north at the same time. It’s an “organized group of people pushing a certain political agenda by a group calledPueblos Sin Fronterasbeing aided by hundreds of that organization’s workers.”

This effort, he estimated, cost several millions of dollars for food, water, transportation, medical equipment, mobile hospitals and child services, which reminded Farrell of a complex military operation. And while they did walk portions of the tremendous distance through Mexico, they primarily traveled on chartered tour buses, dozens of them.

The media reports of the plight of the migrants say that “they are trying to escape daily violence and daily threats. People are dying left and right. The conditions are extraordinarily dangerous.”

Farrell interviewed some of the marchers. He started every interview with, “Why are you coming to America?”

“They all said that their reason for joining the ‘caravan’ was economic,” he said. “It was job driven. And then, someone would say, ‘Oh, yeah, … we’re also fleeing violence’ as an after-thought.”

And then, Farrell asked the obvious question: “Well, if things are so bad, why did you leave your family back home? Of course, they couldn’t answer that question,” he said. 

Perhaps the growing recognition of the crisis at the southern border will bring a realistic attitude about the nature of the numerous migrant caravans headed our way and get Congress to do its job, and take action to address this crisis.

President Donald Trump has threatened to completely shut down the border this week if Mexico doesn’t take steps to stop the caravans from traveling through to the border. He has already cut funding to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras because they have not taken action to halt the flow of migrants. 

Shutting down the border has some serious problems for Mexico and the U.S., so Congress must act quickly. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said yesterday on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” that his state cannot deal with the number of illegals entering it, and the same situation exists for other border states.

The Los Angeles Timesaddressed the border shutdown in February: “Fortunately for Trump, the law on immigration and related matters favors the president. Legal precedents have traditionally accorded the chief executive complete and nearly unchecked power to deny foreigners permission to enter the United States.”

"The exclusion of aliens is a fundamental act of sovereignty … inherent in the executive power," the Supreme Court said in 1950. And the Timesadded, “Congress adopted a provision in 1952 saying the president ‘may by proclamation … suspend the entry of all aliens and any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants’ whenever he thinks it ‘would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.’”

That does not, however, preclude a block by an activist liberal judge.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

If you lose, improve your game; don’t change the game to suit you


What do people do when they can’t win by being better, but cannot stand to lose? The answer often is to fudge a little, or a lot, rather than to gracefully accept defeat, and try to improve.

Pitchers threw illegal spitballs to win. Some quarterbacks prefer underinflated footballs. Election officials stuff ballot boxes, encourage unregistered people to vote, or vote often, or simply report false totals.

Sometimes, those who can’t win under existing rules want to change the rules to make it easier to win, but they often choose the easier route of relying on preferable, though improper, interpretation of the rules.

Democrats once merely thought about things differently from Republicans, but worked within the existing, long-standing and sensible election system created by our Founders. Not so much these days.

What we are witnessing today is a broad coalition of people trying to silence ideas and points of view they disagree with, rather than try to win a debate against those opinions in the light of day.

We see this in the malpractice of some media outlets, both old (print media and radio/TV news providers), and new (social media etc.).

A veteran newsman, Ted Koppel, 25-year host of ABC’s “Nightline,” from 1980 to 2005, agrees that President Donald Trump is “not mistaken” when he says the major media are “out to get him.” “We are not the reservoir of objectivity that I think we were,” he told Marvin Kalb at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace earlier this month.

“We have things appearing on the front page of The New York Times right now that never would have appeared 50 years ago. Analysis, commentary on the front page,” Koppel added.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter, frequently receive criticism from conservatives, who say they are singled out and censored. Hardly ever do liberals/progressives have this complaint. And today, if you say certain newly unpopular things, you might be charged with a crime.

College campuses, once the arena for lively and beneficial debate of ideas, both friendly ideas and otherwise, now often ban conservative speakers from campus when heated protests against them arise. Claiming safety as the reason, administrators ban these speakers. But whose safety is at risk, and safety from whom?

The conservative speakers and those who support them are at risk of violence because campus leftists cannot abide those who do not think like they do. And rather than disciplining the violent protesters and restoring order and healthy debate to the learning environment, college administrations take sides and cave in to the leftists.

Stories of political indoctrination replacing or supplementing the presentation of subject matter in schools, all the way from colleges down to elementary grades, are not uncommon, particularly at the higher education levels.

Thanks to the abandonment of professional ethics by the leftist media and leftist educators, free speech is being stamped out, replaced by an “our way is THE way” message.

Along with free speech, important historical monuments and other fundamental elements of our democratic republic are under attack. Changing inconvenient rules is gathering a significant following. Some of the Democrat presidential hopefuls have targeted the Electoral College, and some have taken aim at the Supreme Court.

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), both of whom see themselves someday wearing the president’s title, are ready to chuck the Electoral College in order to earn that title.

And much of the electorate has been uneducated or mis-educated in the whys and wherefores of their country’s system of government, and have no idea why this is a bad thing. 

As a safety device – an “insurance policy,” in common parlance – they now want to stack the United States Supreme Court with more activist justices, who will focus on desired outcomes, not on constitutional and legal original meaning and intent.

This group includes Robert Francis O’Rourke (D-Texas), who calls himself by the Hispanic nickname “Beto,” to attract votes. And the previously mentioned Sens. Harris and Warren, along with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are on board with this “solution” to their electoral problems.

And if changing those rules isn’t sufficient to win elections, some also want to lower the voting age to 16, and even allow illegal aliens to vote. Claiming “voter suppression,” they complain that asking people at polling places to prove they are eligible to vote, one of the most valued rights of a United States citizen, is somehow voter suppression.

Missing the essential point, liberals/progressives say, “If the Founders were alive today, they would think differently about things than they did back then.” The point they miss or ignore, of course, is that the Founders were not speaking about specifics, but about principles in creating a unique system of government.

Never before in recent history has an American political party been so determined to trash so much of the design of a government that has proven to be so superior to any other in history as today’s most prominent Democrats.

Are they really so desperate to impose their will on the rest of us that they will act to take down the entire country in order to gain power?

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Democrats exercising new-found power: some good, some not so much

Since Democrats reclaimed the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives last November, they have wasted no time in putting their agenda into action. 

Unsatisfied with the special counsel’s investigation of then-candidate, and now-President, Donald Trump’s alleged illegal interaction with Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton, there has been a lot of talk about starting new Trump investigations, all while serious national problems are left waiting for attention.

But the House has produced and passed one piece of legislation, H.R. 1, which the Democrat majority calls the “For the People Act.” It is intended “To expand Americans' access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes.”

H.R. 1 has some potentially good features, if properly structured, such as reducing big money in politics.Money for political campaigns should come only from those who are eligible to vote for those candidates or measures on the ballot, and who will be directly affected by those elections. That includes businesses in districts where they actually operate, which should be able to make limited contributions.

However, H.R. 1 contains campaign-spending restrictions that benefit incumbents, including President Donald Trump. Why should incumbents receive favored status?

One poorly considered feature is that Democrats want to lower the voting age to 16. They argue that 16 year-olds are old enough to drive, get married, rent an apartment, work and pay taxes, therefore they are old enough to vote. However, that list contains things that are not universally allowed for 16 year-olds across the nation, and other things that require parental approval.

We are reminded that voting is a right. But it is also a serious responsibility; it should not be available to just anyone, or to everyone. Voting requires maturity, knowledge and forethought. Are 16 year-olds really mature enough, and knowledgeable enough to vote responsibly?

When the voting age was lowered from the age of majority – 21 years of age – to 18, the rationale was that anyone old enough to fight, be injured or perhaps die for their country is old enough to vote.

Whether one is capable of voting responsibly is not a question of age, but of preparation and maturity. At what age is someone adequately versed in the way our country is organized, and why it was designed that way? At what age are they knowledgeable enough about political issues and candidates?

Therefore, a better idea would be that someone 18, 19 or 20 who is actually serving in the military would be able to vote. Otherwise, that right and responsibility comes at age 21.

Some Democrats would go even farther in allowing unprepared and otherwise ineligible people to vote. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), for example, recently proposed a truly irresponsible idea. Citing what she termed the wondrous things immigrants bring to America, she said: “And we want them, when they come here, to be fully part of our system. And that means not suppressing the vote of our newcomers to America.” She left unaddressed the question of whether they are here legally or illegally.

Given the Democrats consistent obstruction of Trump’s efforts to halt the entry of thousands of illegal aliens across the southern border, it appears that she not only prefers no restriction on who comes into America, but also thinks that once here they should be able to vote in elections.

It is incomprehensible that so many actually think this idea is sensible. Many or perhaps most of those wanting to enter America are good people looking for a better life. But not all are. They need to prove they deserve to be admitted, before they come in, and not receive any benefits until they do.

Though not a part of H.R. 1, the Electoral College is a target of the Left. Many of them, still feeling the sting of defeat more than two years after the election, think it denied Clinton the presidency after she collected more of the popular vote than did Trump.

The Electoral College is an original element in the Founders’ design of the government, being addressed in Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution, which outlines the way presidential elections are conducted. It was a brilliant element of our government’s structure.

In reality, Clinton lost because she ran a bad campaign, choosing not to campaign in some states that ended up voting red. This helps explain precisely why the Electoral College is necessary: because Americans who do not live on the coasts and in other population centers – who live in what is called “flyover country” – deserve something to balance their desires and electoral preferences against those of the population centers.

Ask yourself: Do we really want presidential candidates focusing only on New York, California and a few other highly populated places during campaigns, telling them what it takes to get their votes, and ignoring the rest of us? 

The Electoral College helps balance the electoral power of large states and large cities with the tens of millions of Americans who would otherwise be at their mercy. It must be protected from the power seekers.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

More news of concern on the environment and manmade climate change



 
The results of a new peer-reviewed Organization Studies survey are out, published in a Forbes article. Founded in 1993, the Organization Studies Research Network’s website explains that it “comes together around a common concern for, and a shared interest to explore, new possibilities in knowledge, culture and change management, within the broader context of the nature and future of organizations and their impact on modern society.”

The survey polled 1,077 geoscientists to find the current thinking of this large group on how human activities are affecting our climate.

The largest subgroup of participants fit the “Comply with Kyoto” model. This subgroup of 36 percent of participants expressed the strong belief that climate change is happening and is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main cause. This result will not surprise the manmade climate change faction among us.

The next largest subgroup is the “Nature is Overwhelming” faction, at 24 percent. These scientists believe that changes to the climate are natural and normal, but they strongly disagree that climate change poses any significant public risk, and see no impact on their personal lives.

Those two groups, however, represent only 60 percent of the total.

Following at 17 percent in third place are the “Fatalists.” They credit both human and natural causes for climate change; consider climate change to be a smaller public risk with little impact on their personal lives; are skeptical that the scientific debate is settled regarding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) modeling; and think climate change is but a small risk. They are said to hold the position, “How can anyone take action if research is biased,” the report notes.

Coming in fourth are those in the “Economic Responsibility” model at 10 percent of participants. These Earth scientists “diagnose climate change as being natural or human caused,” but more than any other group hold to the idea that the real cause of climate change is unknown, as nature is forever changing and therefore uncontrollable. They also are unlikely to accept that scientific debate is settled.

The smallest subgroup is the “Regulation Activists,” which, at just 5 percent of the total, are skeptical that the scientific debate is settled, and also blame both natural and human causes.

These findings prompted the author of the Forbes article, James Taylor, to conclude that, “Taken together, these four skeptical groups numerically blow away the 36 percent of scientists who believe global warming is human caused and a serious concern.”

Taylor adds, “Now that we have access to hard surveys of scientists themselves, it is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.”

These findings should not surprise those who have followed this debate, and who do not automatically subscribe to the idea that fossil fuel use is causing climate change.

“Climate change itself is already in the process of definitively rebutting climate alarmists who think human use of fossil fuels is causing ultimately catastrophic global warming,” wrote Peter Ferrara of the Heartland Institute, in Forbes all the way back in 2012, discussing the seventh International Climate Change Conference.

“That is because natural climate cycles have already turned from warming to cooling, global temperatures have already been declining for more than 10 years, and global temperatures will continue to decline for another two decades or more,” Ferrara continued.

He called attention to the fact that temperatures dropped steadily from the late 1940s to the late 1970s. The popular press even predicted a coming ice age. Ice ages have cyclically occurred roughly every 10,000 years, with a new one actually due around now, Ferrara wrote.

He writes about Don Easterbrook, Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University, who “publicly predicted in 2000 that global temperatures would decline by 2010. He made that prediction because he knew the Pacific Decadal Oscillation had turned cold in 1999, something the political scientists at the UN’s IPCC did not know or did not think significant.”

Easterbrook was correct, and the IPCC was wrong, Ferrara notes. And 56 percent of the Earth scientists surveyed say that natural causes are a significant factor, and perhaps a more significant factor than fossil fuel use.

Using fossil fuels will naturally give way to other methods when those methods are able to provide the needed energy economically and without drastic disruption.

Until then, we need to stop the climate alarmism and focus on actual problems, like drug addiction, the national debt, and illegal immigration.