Friday, March 31, 2017

How twisted is "this" logic?

So congress is attempting to investigate who in the intelligence community may have monitored members of the incoming Trump administration, under what authority (if any) they monitored, and who may have publicly exposed the specifics of what was uncovered.

The fact that there was very specific information about conversations between a Russian ambassador and General Flynn released to the media is more than enough evidence to conclude that either members (like Flynn) were under subpoena, or that laws were broken in exposing Americans who were inadvertently captured in legal surveillance of foreigners.

Now the irony of this sort of investigation is that Congress literally has to request information from the very intelligence agencies that they are attempting to investigate. To this point, reports are fairly consistent that the FBI and other sources are being less than forthcoming. Why wouldn't they be less than forthcoming considering the situation. After all, they are being asked to provide evidence that their organizations broke the law.

However, these agencies all roll up into the executive branch.  Sessions, Comey, Pompeo, Coats all answer to the President. Moreover, with the exception of Comey, none of them were involved or can be acccused of any of the wrongdoing being investigated.

Bottom line is that there is simply an authority to access and gather information from the intelligence communities at the executive level that doesn't exist with other branches of the Government. Congress can ask for, or subpoena such information. But as we have learned, the intelligence community has any number of ways to parse, delay, deflect and otherwise obstruct Congress from getting full disclosure.

So now Democrats in Congress are upset that information was passed from people within the executive branch to Devin Nunes (who is leading the investigation). Information that very likely has been asked for, but not provided by the intelligence sources in question. Information that apparently shows evidence of what everyone at this point has already figured out... that the Trump team was being monitored, and that people and information was illegally exposed.

So if your sole goal was to really investigate what happened (and not to take partisan sides by attempting to prove the side of the story that benefits you politically) - why would the actual offering of information you are otherwise unsuccessfully attempting to gather through normal channels cause you grief?

It's almost as if certain people would prefer "not" to know the truth?


Flynn's lawyer calls investigation "Witch Hunt"

Media demands this proves Trump is guilty of something?

Many media outlets are suddenly beside themselves attempting to correlate a request by General Flynn's attorney for immunity in exchange for testifying to the concept that somehow this is proof of Trump/Russian collusion.

The reality here is that General Flynn was actually fired for lying about conversations he had with a Russian ambassador. At this point in time, the fact that his conversation included some back and forth on the sanctions that had been put in place by the Obama Administration is probably the closest thing to any "evidence" of any "collusion"... and even that is awful weak evidence of anything other than business as usual for an incoming national security adviser talking to a foreign ambassador.

The request for protection from immunity was made along with the following statement:
“No reasonable person would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution."
Here is the deal folks. If Trump/Pence/Flynn and gang were really colluding with the Russians, does anyone honestly believe that Trump and Pence would get together and "fire" General Flynn for actions that many believed were more than defensible?  You wouldn't "out" one of your co-conspirators, and promote the possibility that this person would eventually turn on you.

You can draw your conclusions that Donald Trump is a bumbling oaf of a child who cannot function his way out of a wet paper sack and just accidentally became President... or you can demand that he is an diabolical international genius mastermind criminal who conspired with world leaders to undermine our entire election process and take control of our Federal Government; singlehandedly outsmarting and eluding the Obama administration, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and everyone else during the process.

But he can't be both.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bedrock of liberalism...

Worst best kept secret

Here is the funny reality. Those on the left can continue to somehow believe that there is all of this "intelligence" regarding the Trump campaign team... but that there was no actual surveillance ordered by anyone on them. Apparently this "intelligence" just appeared out of thin air.
A former top Obama administration official has acknowledged efforts by her colleagues to gather intelligence on Trump team ties to Russia before Donald Trump took office and to conceal the sources of that intelligence from the incoming administration.

Evelyn Farkas, deputy assistant secretary of defense under Obama, made the disclosure March 2 while on the air with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski.

“I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration,” Farkas, who is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said.

“Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy ... that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their ... the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.”
I am not exactly sure if this person understood that gathering intelligence on Americans without proper warrants is actually illegal?  Or if there were warrants, then Trump was actually 100% correct about his allegations that there was an actual order for monitoring and surveillance of him and his staff prior to him becoming President.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How rare are Supreme Court nominee Filibusters?

Well to be blunt... there has never been a successful filibuster of any Supreme Court Nominee. If the Democrats were to muster the 41 votes necessary to block the up or down vote on Gorsuch, it would be literally the first time in American History that such a move was implemented.

There have been thirty unsuccessful Supreme Court nominees. One was eventually renominated and confirmed. Twelve have been rejected on their up and down vote. Seven have been withdrawn. Five saw "no action" on the nominations. Three others were postponed (and never confirmed). The final two were nullified.

While many bemoan the fact that "no action" was taken on Merrick Garland, this has precedent. Stanley Matthews was nominated in the final year of President Hayes, and the Senate never took action. Edward Bradford was another nominee who was nominated late in the term of President Fillmore, and not taken up by the Senate.

Quite literally there is little reason to oppose Neil Gorsuch on any test of competency, intelligence, distinguished service, or anything objective. Judge Gorsuch has consistently received the highest rating for his judicial career.

The only reason to oppose Gorsuch is political and ideological. As a fairly strict constitutionalist, Gorsuch will not likely be joining the liberal voting bloc very often (if at all). At a time where the American left is relying more and more on the courts to achieve political victories that they cannot achieve through referendums or governing actions... having a liberal Supreme court becomes more and more necessary.

The left saw the chance to replace Scalia with a fifth liberal Justice, likely changing the balance of power at the high court level. That chance evaporated when Garland was not given a hearing or vote. Now it looks inevitable that Gorsuch will replace Scalia, and that the next nomination likely changes the balance of the court even further right. The filibuster is an emotional political move that reeks of desperation and frustration. For all practical purposes, it's nothing more than a giant group temper tantrum.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Trump calls for Clinton Russia investigation

Remember Clinton Cash? Uranium for donations, etc... etc... 

Maybe he has a point? Certainly there is more actual "evidence' of collusion between the Clintons and the Russians than there is between Trump and the Russians. For the former there is actually evidence of things like money exchanging hands, and actual favorable state action for the Uranium deal. For the latter, there is really nothing more than unfounded conspiracy theories.

Take it outside...

Schiff Nunes schoolyard slap fest 

Recap of events:
  • Devin Nunes goes to media claiming evidence that Trump and surrogates were being monitored.
  • Adam Schiff goes to media claiming evidence that Trump and surrogates colluded with Russia.
  • Adam Schiff comes out and demands Devin Nunes Recuse himself from inquiry. 
  • Devin Nunes taunts Adam Schiff with the counter that Schiff just doesn't like that Nunes is effective. 

Is it just me, or does this immature personal congressional argument remind anyone else of the sort of fight that the two school bookworms got into back in 5th grade. You know the one where neither actually understood how to fight, rather spending most of their time pulling hair, slapping at each other, all the while shouting out to "stop it" and maintaining absolutely no eye contact with anything other than their own feet. 

At this point in time, the deflated personal credibility of Adam Schiff and Devin Nunes only works to undermine the credibility of the actual investigation, as if anyone "really" cares about a congressional investigation into events that the FBI is supposedly also investigating. I mean, does anyone believe that Congress investigates anything for any purpose "other" than to make political points for the next election cycle. 

Here is a big and bold prediction:

The Democrats will do everything in their power to write a report that looks to show that there was collusion, but no monitoring... while the Republicans will do everything in their power to write a report that looks to show that there was monitoring, but no collusion.  

Yes... you heard it hear first? I must be a frigging psychic! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Forty Seven Democratic Senators Demand Vote to Confirm Justice

Adult Federal Judge rules in favor or Trump Travel Ban

"This court is no longer faced with a facially discriminatory order coupled with contemporaneous statements suggesting discriminatory intent," Trenga explained. "And while the President and his advisers have continued to make statements following the issuance of EO-1 (the first executive order) that have characterized or anticipated the nature of EO-2 (the revised ban) the court cannot conclude for the purposes of the motion that these statements, together with the President's past statements, have effectively disqualified him from exercising his lawful presidential authority."
 Judge follows a simple logical path:
  • The concept of a travel ban is within the President's lawful authority.
  • The order does not "facially" discriminate. In other words, no text within the ban exists that could be taken as discriminatory. 
  • Previous statements suggesting discriminatory intent (without any intent written into the E.O.) is not a basis for overturning an otherwise perfectly legal ban.
I should point out that this Judge acknowledges that a Travel Ban is constitutional, which the previous Judges have not acknowledged. In fact, previous Justices have made a point to completely ignore the statutes on the subject. 

I would also take issue with the underlying concept that something being reported in the media (such as a statement by Rudy Giuliani - who does not work for the President) is a valid legal point to bring up in hearing in the first place. The plaintiffs do not appear to have any witness testimony or even sworn statements from anyone involved, and even if they did, the information would clearly be considered hearsay.

We are quite literally in a situation where some of our Federal Justices are simultaneously ignoring the law, while using media stories (that have not been validated)... in order to come to legal conclusions.  God help us all. 

A new strategy?

Then, too, I can recall in detail the story arc of Reagan’s first year in office, which is regarded nowadays as a triumph of presidential leadership and legislative accomplishment, but in fact was a much closer run thing that people recall. By the last week of March in 1981, Reagan’s tax cut and budget proposals were in deep trouble on Capitol Hill. Like the House last week, the Senate finance committee had voted it down, prompting a famous Wall Street Journal editorial attacking the Republican committee chair Sen. Pete Domenici as “John Maynard Domenici.” Democrats and the media were getting ready at the end of March to declare that Reagan’s “honeymoon” was over, and that his tax and budget-cutting agenda was dead.

Then Reagan got shot, which reset Reagan’s honeymoon and allowed his team to regroup on Capitol Hill, ultimately yielding congressional victories in June and August (also, incidentally, using the budget reconciliation process for the first time to achieve their broad policy goals). Even with Reagan’s high popularity after his shooting, it was still a hard-fought battle on Capitol Hill. Whoever thought a health care bill could get through the House in two weeks was not thinking very clearly.

 Not sure what to make of this, other than to question whether this suggests that without getting shot, that Reagan would not have passed his tax agenda, or that in order to regain momentum, Donald Trump should take a bullet and spend some times in the Hospital.

I think the larger point is that sometimes we forget that we are still only sixty six days into the new Trump Presidency. Considering the President's complete lack of any prior political governing experience, one might think that two months and a week, might be a little too quick of a learning curve for pretty much anyone.

Personally I feel the real moral of the story here is that Trump should follow Reagan's foot steps and move forward with new tax cuts, and put the health care issue on the back burner. If all of the various factions of the GOP House and Senate cannot agree on the need for tax changes, then Trump (and the GOP) has bigger problems than Obamacare.

Obamacare will continue to crumble, and eventually the demand to do something will be too big to ignore, even for the Freedom Caucus. Maybe even for the Democrats. When that time comes, Trump and the GOP can revisit the American Health Care Act, or whatever they are wanting to call it. But as Tom Cotton implied recently, to write something this big, this serious, and this important, and in secret; then expect it to pass in eighteen days, is a little high in the expectations department. It's going to take a lot more work, and not such a reliance on deal making and politicking.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ever notice how many Liberals rely entirely on the opinion of others...

Conservative: Wow, it's really pouring out here today.
Liberal: You're wrong. The meteorologists says it's partly cloudy.

Obamacare is still doomed...

  • The conventional political wisdom (which has been more wrong than right in recent years) suggests that the GOP's inability to agree on a plan to replace Obamacare means that Obamacare must be here to stay.
  • Fundamental logic and objective reasoning suggests that a failing law is still a failing law, and the fact that it hasn't been repealed within two months of a new Presidency doesn't suddenly make the law successful. 

The problems with Obamacare are very real, very serious, and nothing happened this week that moves us any closer to fixing any of it. Let's be crystal clear here folks. without more funding or serious changes, many pieces of Obamacare will fail on their own.

As of 2017 a huge chunk of the country has only one insurance provider for their exchange. By 2018, there will be exchanges that have no insurance providers offering coverage. How does Paul Ryan pulling the repeal and replace bill change these problematic facts?

Short answer: it doesn't. The Republicans are not going to offer additional subsidies or Obamacare "upgrades" to help fend off collapse. The Democrats will fight any sort of repeal of insurance coverage requirements or mandates that have been handcuffing insurance companies and ultimately causing them to lose money. They will likely fight any repeal of the individual mandate, or any other bill (for that matter) with the word repeal in it.

In a Mexican standoff like this, the people who lose are going to be exactly those that both sides claim they are trying to protect. Meanwhile the GOP will be looking for their next legislative move to get the train back on track, and the Democrats will be looking to deflect blame for future problems and political fallout that everyone instinctively knows are coming. But whether Americans end up blaming the GOP for not fixing it, or the Democrats for protection it... ultimately Obamacare is still doomed to be seen as a failure.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Ryan pulls Obamacare repeal and replace bill...

Doesn't have the votes to pass the house... 
Look... I don't really like the manner in which this has been rolled out. I don't believe I am alone in all of this. It seems like a sped up version of how Obamacare was passed, without the full Party line support and parliamentary gimmicks. Nobody even "really" understands what it does or doesn't do. How can I say that I support or oppose something, if I don't know exactly what it is? They would be much better off getting their ducks in a row, and doing this one step at a time.
  • Find issues that are popular with the public
  • Explain those issues openly and plainly
  • Create a bill that specifically addresses these issue
Start with simple things, like repealing the mandate.  Make the CBO "specify" how repealing the mandate will somehow make people "lose coverage"... even as it would be their "choice" to do so. Create separate bills on other issues like repealing specific taxes that are unpopular and known to raise the costs of healthcare. 

Contrary to conventional wisdom I think it's a good thing that there are a variety of caucuses and groups within the GOP that have their own issues that they want addressed. I find this to be much more attractive to me as a voter than the lock step Party line attitude of the Democrats.   

If Lindsey Graham is open to the nuclear option...

Then I am betting McConnell has the votes to get this done. Schumer and the Democrats are playing a game of chicken that they will not only lose "short term" but likely lose "long term" as well. 

Filibustering Gorsuch as a replacement of Scalia means they will not be able to filibuster the next potential candidate that President Trump nominates to the court. As stated before, the Democrats could make much a much more valid political point by saving this option for when it really matters. Unfortunately for the Democrats, they have been engaged in short term strategic thinking that allows them to win some short term battles, while continuing to lose the long term war. It's the main reason why they are at century long political lows.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Starbucks CEO steps down after Refugee Hiring remarks...

Starbucks says it's a coincidence.... you be the Judge!

Vowed to hire 10,000 refugees instead of Americans after Trump's travel ban... 
Branding takes hit as Trump supporters vow to boycott...

Fourteen year old girl raped by illegal because Maryland refuses to cooperate with ICE

Montano and Sanchez were charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual assault. They are both being held without bond. Montana has been charged as an adult in the crime.

‘These are very serious allegations carrying a life sentence,’ a spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office told NBC 4. ‘The potential of life in prison would be available as we prosecute these individuals.’

Although authorities confirmed that Sanchez-Milian was an illegal immigrant, they would not confirm Montano’s immigration status because he is a minor. At the time of the rape, Sanchez-Milian was being considered for deportation. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement even released reports showing that Montgomery County had ignored ICE detainer requests.

BTW... you won't see much coverage of this story by your main stream media outlets. Apparently illegals with ICE detainers who rape fourteen year old girls, are not the sort of immigration narrative they would like to push.

I wonder out loud if the victim and her family would have a civil case against Montgomery County?

Democrats look to cut a deal with no leverage to do so...

The Buzz is that the Democrats are looking to cut a deal which would allow an up or down vote on Justice Gorsuch in exchange for a Republican promise "not" to eliminate the filibuster on any subsequent nominations to the Supreme Court.

Any Republicans crazy enough to agree?
This would be akin to me promising that I will give you what you already have in exchange for you giving me what I desire. Republicans would be crazy to agree to such a deal, knowing full well that Democrats are not "really" in any position to filibuster Gorsuch.

In many ways, this is a bizarro-world move that sort of runs completely the opposite of the implied and very tangible threat that the Republicans have in their back pocket. The last thing the Democrats want right now is to see McConnell and the GOP vote to dismantle the filibuster for USSC nominees. But if the Democrats decide to filibuster a very well qualified nominee (who's stock has gone up since his confirmation hearing) and who would be replacing a like minded conservative who passed... it would provide major political cover for the GOP to make the move to eliminate the filibuster. Thus, it would give Trump carte blanche to choose the next USSC nominee (assuming there is one). Politically the Democrats would be much better off fighting that fight if Trump was nominating someone to replace Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, or Breyer.

So it really begs the question. Why would the Republicans agree to any deal at this point that cuts off their future options, in exchange for helping the Democrats save face over their opposition to a well qualified nominee?

The answer is that they shouldn't. Not unless they are strategically challenged.

All out full frontal assault on media credibility...

CNN grabbed some headlines by trying to grab some headlines by creating a headline that was more headline than story.

 “US Officials: Info suggests Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians.”

Sounds like some sort of breaking news that would rock the free world!! Very soon every reporter in the country would be echoing the news, Democrats would be rehearsing their impeachment lines, and the Donald would be booking a flight to a remote country with no extradition. 

Only problem is that there was no "there" there. The story is little more than a hoax. Call it fake news, or whatever you want. But at the end of the day, someone was able to determine that with a little semantic tweaking, that you could redefine known information, and create a headline that suggested something different. 

So what specifically does the CNN story state for sure:
The FBI cannot yet prove that collusion took place, but the information suggesting collusion is now a large focus of the investigation, the officials said.
Well that falls a little short of something tangible, huh? This is just another manner to state that people within the Obama administration saw "red flags" regarding the amount of communication between certain Russians and the selected members of the Trump campaign that were either being monitored (as it pertains to the collusion charges) or not being monitored (as it pertains to the Trump allegations that they were being monitored).

So where do you go when the existing evidence doesn't prove any of the witchcraft you are hunting for?
One of the obstacles the sources say the FBI now faces in finding conclusive intelligence is that communications between Trump’s associates and Russians have ceased in recent months given the public focus on Russia’s alleged ties to the Trump campaign.
So there is apparently no old evidence that proves collusion, and there is no more communications that might prove any collusion after the fact. Some may deem this to be an obstacle, others may see it as a sign to move on to investigations where some actual evidence exists.

But wait... this is important!
The Russian operation was also in part focused on the publication of so-called "fake news" stories aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton's campaign.
So just to be clear... when you actually hack into the Clinton and DNC campaign emails, report on the substance of those emails (which nobody denies are real emails) - it's somehow considered "fake news"?

No, that would be called accurate news that also happened to be damaging. Let's be clear here folks. If the FBI is actually conducting a broader investigation into "fake news" that harmed Hillary's Presidential Campaign, Trump needs to have Comey's head on a stick (along with his immediate resignation).

If CNN really wants to uncover some fake news... they could start with this story. After all, the headline is fake and the goal is very specifically to undermine the Trump Presidency. There is a great deal of transparency in that reality.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

So either way...

Representative Nunes and Representative Schiff are having a little war of words over the latest revelation (which isn't much of a revelation) that communications of Trump and some of his campaign associates had communications intercepted and then widely disseminated.

Chairman Nunes apparently told the White House and the Press about the revelation before discussing the matter with other members of the intelligence committee. It's uncertain why Schiff believes that the White House should have not have been contacted or why the information should be withheld from the public, but he now has "grave concerns" about Nunes behavior as well as finding it "irregular".

Seems to me, that Schiff might be better served having grave concerns over the information, rather than grave concerns over the handing of the information. What we can be certain is that either way this is explained, it's not good.
  • Option one: if the information was intercepted because Trump and his associates were the target of monitoring, then it proves Trump's claims pretty much true, and would signal a major scandal.
  • Option two: if the information was intercepted because Trump and his associates happened to be no the other end of conversations with people that were the target of monitoring, then leaking the names of the Trump associates would be highly illegal, and also a major scandal. 
Either way, the law was broken by people within our Government... with the direct intent to hamper and discredit the incoming Administration. Perhaps the media could concentrate on the law breaking and real scandalous acts... rather than worrying about 140 character late night tweets.

The other obvious thing the left missed regarding Comey hearing...

The Director gave plenty of opinions, and plenty of suggestions, and plenty of observations. But one of those that really resonates is the suggestion that the "loudness" of the Russian hacking was not a mistake. Comey testified that it is logical to conclude that the Russians left fingerprints in a blatant attempt to discredit our elections by "freaking people out" over their actions.

But a second look at this suggestion begs a couple of questions:

  • If the Russians wanted to "freak people out" over their hacking attempts, wouldn't it make sense to hack the side that they felt would lose? Certainly the left would be only "marginally" upset by Russian hacking if President Clinton was overlooking the confirmation hearings of Merrick Garland. The main reason they are completely out to lunch up in arms is because Clinton lost and Trump is actually President.
  • Since everyone expected Donald Trump to lose, and Trump was already fanning the flames of conspiracy... wouldn't it have made more sense to hack the Trump campaign, expose all of their dirty secrets? 

Putin bet on the craziness and sore
loser traits of American liberalism

Bottom line: Why pick the Clinton and DNC? Did they really feel that there was a better chance of disrupting the election process by going after the side they felt would win, and who's candidate was telling everyone how horrible it was that Trump was suggesting that there may be election cheating going on? Probably not.

But perhaps they understood from experience... that the left is simply more apt to go bananas over a loss (this is the third Democratic Presidential loss in a row where there have been recounts. Liberals are just inherently bad losers.)  Perhaps they placed the bet that when it came to the ultimate freak out, that going after conservatives was a lost cause. Better to go after those who might react with the most craziness (win or lose).  In the end, if that was the plan... it was a pretty good bet cashed in.

Hearings going well for Gorsuch!
Not so well for Democrats!

By all accounts, the Gorsuch hearing is going well for the good guys. The good guys being anyone who wants Justices who will abide by the constitution, not impose their own personal opinions over the letter of the law, and objectively call legal balls and strikes.

Meanwhile things are not going so well for the Democrats who have been flailing around in vain attempts to undermine the future Supreme Court member. I can personally say I am embarrassed by our own Minnesota Senator, who repeatedly showed the country how little he actually respects a the confirmation process. In posing questions about Justice Merrick Garland, about the actions of a law school friend, and whether Gorsuch can tell him exactly what Steve Bannon and Reince Preibus meant when they said such and such... Al Franken was more comedian than Senator.

Did you hear the one about a guy you knew in college who helped get an amendment
on the ballot in Ohio? It turns out I believe that should disqualify you to be a judge?

At this point in time, there is little reason to vote against Gorsuch, other than for pure political spite. If he is not the most qualified nominee in recent history, he has certainly been the hardest one to crack in the confirmation hearing.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bottom line: Multi-agency investigation of Donald Trump authorized

Whatever semantics people want to argue... the reality (confirmed by Comey) is that there were investigations into Donald Trump regarding campaign collusion. These investigations included intercepted communications of Trump and three of his associates (many from during the campaign). These communications were illegally leaked to the media

Imagine if Trump and his administration were to do that to the 2020 Democratic nominee.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Support emerging for Trump to ignore courts on immigration..

If the Maryland judge were to order the administration to admit 100,000 refugees per year, and if this ruling somehow were to survive judicial review, I can see President Trump adopting Andrew Jackson’s defiant approach. There is something particularly egregious about judges deciding how many immigrants must be injected into American communities. I’m not sure Trump would tolerate this.

More generally, if liberal judges continue to wage war against the Trump administration through the kind of ridiculous, made-up law being fashioned in the immigration order cases, it seems quite likely that at some point in the not-too-distant future President Trump will refuse to obey the robed politicians.

Andrew Jackson got away with it. He won his fight with John Marshall. If Donald Trump picks his case shrewdly, he might well win too. - Paul Mirengoff 

What’s more, the idea that these courts are putting forth that restricting entry to a country with a majority religion suggests bias against that entire religion would make any and all immigration policy unconstitutional. Very few countries don’t have a majority religion, after all. 
Regardless of one’s views on the particulars of this executive order and its efficacy, the ability to determine who can enter the country is one of the most obvious and important sovereign decisions a people makes. That power is vested in the executive branch and should not be enjoined by rogue judges. Unelected and unaccountable judges ignoring the law in favor of their feelings is a threat to self-government and rule of law. It needs to stop. - Mollie Ziegler Hemingway
Arguably President Trump has a duty to disregard the Hawaii and Maryland courts’ illegal injunctions, and direct the executive branch to carry out his order. His obligation under the Constitution is to exercise his powers in defense of the American people.

If that proposition seems debatable, it is only because the president’s travel order has such minimal impact. If, for example, the United States were under attack, and a judge ordered the president to ground the U.S. Air Force–perhaps because using the Air Force would “discriminate” against the country that attacked us–the president would disregard the injunction. No one would criticize him for doing so. - John Hinderacker

Considering our previous President at least temporarily ignored immigration rulings that went against him, I don't believe it's too big of a stretch to consider that President Trump might choose to do the same thing. Certainly it would be in his wheelhouse to ramp up the fight with the judiciary. As pointed out Paul Mirengoff, there is Presidential precedent for this.  

Nobody would really want this sort of constitutional crisis. But the blame for such a situation would likely (like everything else) fall largely down partisan lines, with conservative blaming the judicial branch for overreach, and liberals blaming Donald Trump for being President.

Moreover it seems at this stage that such a constitutional crisis is ultimately unavoidable. Our unelected branch of the Government has increasingly become political and at this point is wading into the unconstitutional concept of arbitrating "policy disputes" - which is not their role.

When the Constitution clearly provides checks and balances, and one branch clearly overreaches their's up to the other branches to rectify it. The concept that there is no means to stand up to the Judicial branch would be scary if taken at face value.

If this concept becomes more of an open reality, then avoidance of this sort of crisis should become part of the equation at the USSC level. It would be up to them to set aside politics, personal feelings, political correctness, and go back to the basics of constitutional and statutory law. This is the oath of office that they swore to when they accepted their responsibility as Justices. Is it too much to ask that they follow that oath?

Any decision that is not firmly rooted in those two areas may be what triggers such a crisis.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Judges ruling on travel would also apply to military force...

There is literally no difference between the constitutional/statutory authority for the United States to use military force and the constitutional/statutory authority for the United States to restrict travel.

  • The constitution provides the President and executive branch very wide latitude to engage in military action limited to a specific amount of time. It's up the legislative branch to offer a declaration of war or an authorization of military force, for the executive branch to move forward. 
  • For border security the constitution (and Supreme Court precedents) provides the President and executive branch with very wide latitude to control who is and is not permitted to visit, immigrate, or garner refugee status. The legislative branch has already clarified much of this with the statutes that have been posted previously. 

If it holds true that the United States Government issuing a travel ban to a specific country represents a violation to the constitution because that country is mostly Islamic and therefore the ban is religiously discriminatory... then it would also hold equally true that any use of military force, declaration of war, or authorization of military force would offer the same violation.

Moreover... as a matter of potential harm... certainly the concept of military action with the intent of injuring or killing military personnel, destruction of property, and the very real potential for collateral damage to civilians would be considered much more harmful than a restriction of travel.

The constitution of the United States places the executive branch with the main control of national security for a reason. They have the FBI, CIA, DOJ, DHS, NSA, and all branches of the military answering to them. They have all of the national security information required to make national security decisions. When the decision becomes larger (as in declaring war) they must involve the legislative branch, which has access to a subset of that information. Nowhere does the constitution suggest that the executive branch must ask the courts for permission to make national security decisions.

Bottom line. The Judicial branch effectively has no national security information in which to question either the executive or legislative branches on the merits of any decision. Plainly stated, the constitution does not give them any authority on the subject. This is exactly why the concept that any one of twenty seven hundred federal judges could conceivably put a temporary restraining order the use of military force is absurd. Therefore the same basic logic holds true for a travel restriction.

Still no evidence of Trump Russian collusion!

You help me win the election!
I'll get you on Celebrity Apprentice!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Unless the President is Donald Trump

(f)Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

Would Donald Trump be favored for reelection at 43% ?

So 93% of Trump voters support him as President, while 93% of Clinton voters do not. If we want to split hairs, 4% of Clinton voters now approve of President Trump, versus only 2% who now disapprove.

This certainly plays out much differently than many in the media would like you to believe. Most of those people are aghast that President Trump has followed through on much of what Candidate Trump campaigned on. Surely his voters didn't actually want him to do what he said he would?

But as turbulent as his first few weeks have been in office, it hasn't dissuaded those who voted for him to regret their choice. Common sense suggests that if the same people came out and voted again, primarily in the same manner that they voted the first time Trump ran... the results would be pretty much the same.

So logically, things would have to "go downhill" from here for the pundits to realistically start to declare the President as vulnerable. Of course, when it comes to President Donald Trump, pretty much everyone tosses their logic out the window.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Federal Judge rules new Travel ban unconstitutional.

Let's be clear here... these Justices are not ruling "this" travel ban unconstitutional. They are ruling "all" travel bans unconstitutional. Based on the wording of the rulings, the entire concept of picking areas of the world for a travel ban amounts to discrimination. Justice Watson writes:
"The illogic of the Government's contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed,"
Of course the concept of targeting one group of people from one part of the world is precisely what the travel ban laws provide the President.
(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President:  Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.
 Furthermore, these exact travel bans have been used by every President in most of our life times (including President Obama). According to this Judge, even travel bans set up to prevent people from countries we are at war with would be "illogical and fundamentally flawed".

Actually the statute itself (which none of these Justice have even acknowledged in their rulings) would be considered "illogical and fundamentally flawed" by Watson.

So are we (as a country) no longer to determine who can and who cannot enter our country? Are we really wanting to take away national security decisions from the executive branch (which has the FBI, CIA, NSA, DHS, and every branch of the military under it's charge) and hand it off to the courts?

Furthermore, the constitution clearly isn't designed to protect the feelings of people who are not even citizens of our country. There is a reason why the plaintiffs in this case end up being actual "States" or American citizens (rather than the foreign individuals effected). Wouldn't the criteria be whether or not the travel ban effects the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs?

I defer to one of the adult conservative voices. John Hinderacker (He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. During his career as a lawyer, he was named one of the top commercial litigators and one of the 100 best lawyers in Minnesota, and was voted by his peers one of the most respected lawyers in that state. He was repeatedly listed in The Best Lawyers in America and was recognized as Minnesota’s Super Lawyer of the Year for 2005.) He writes:
Derrick Watson, a Democratic Party activist who was appointed to the federal bench in Hawaii by President Obama in 2012, has issued a purported injunction barring implementation of President Trump’s travel order. I have not yet read Watson’s opinion, and will comment on it in detail when I have done so. But I have read Trump’s order, and the idea that it somehow can be blocked by a federal judge is ridiculous. The order is absolutely within the president’s constitutional discretion.
Herein lies the rub. I don't believe that these Justices are ruling on this travel ban as it would pertain to a generic President. They are choosing to treat this particular President differently than they would a different President. The travel ban as written as a generic matter is perfectly constitutional, perfectly lawful within statutory, and specifically addresses the main legal concerns of the Justices that blocked the first order. The problem for this Justice is simple.

The signature on the bottom.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Pro Trump Political Pundit Rachel Maddow has the scoop!

Obama and Sanders paid less in taxes than Trump!

Rachel Maddow has the scoop. She tweeted it out in advance of her big show. Exposure at the highest levels of which politicians are paying taxes and which ones are not. Leave it to MSNBC and "The Rachel" for coming to Donald Trump's aide in an area where he has been unfairly maligned.

Apparently in the biggest scoop since that one thing about the Duck Dynasty cast, Rachel Maddow exposed the fact that Donald Trump paid 38 million in taxes in 2005. That's actually a 25% tax rate, and shows that he pays more in percent than either Barack Obama (19.5%) or Bernie Sanders (13.5%).

Maddow went on to talk about the hypocrisy of those politicians on the left who demand big Government, but seem unwilling to personally pay for it. She also attacked Hillary Clinton for making the false accusation during the campaign that Donald Trump had paid nothing in taxes.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Will Democrats shut down the Government over "The Wall"

Democrats pilloried Republicans for irresponsibly shutting down the government when Barack Obama was president, but as a minority party struggling to show resistance in the era of President Trump, they are now ready to let the lights of government go dark.

A group of prominent Senate Democrats on Monday raised the specter of a shutdown over the funding of President Trump’s proposed wall along the border with Mexico.

Let's start with the reality. It really doesn't matter if the President is Democrat or Republican or if Congress is Democrat or Republican... the media will ultimately attempt to blame Republicans for any Government shut down. The Democrats always take comfort in the fact that the media will explicitly support them pretty much regardless of what they do. They could propose the torture of every living puppy in America, and the media would declare it to be a good thing.

The problem is that even with the support of the MSM... it's unlikely that most voters will take their side on this one. Even if you are not a big supporter of "The Wall" you have to concede that this was a major campaign promise, and campaign promises are occasionally (albeit rarely) kept. More-over, they hypocrisy is something that even the media cannot spin their way out of.

Some figures

  • Medicare Expansion:  As of about a year ago, the number of people eligible in the 32 states that put Medicaid expansion in place would be approximately 8.2 million
  • Exchange Sign Ups: According to the numbers from the Obamacare website, there were about 12.7 million Americans who signed up on the exchanges in 2016.

So the CBO suggests that twenty 24 million Americans could lose insurance by repealing and replacing Obamacare with the new plan the GOP is looking at. Interestingly, the total number of people who are currently benefiting (or could benefit) from Obamacare is only 20.9 million. Other provisions of the law (such as children staying on the plan) are retained in the new plan, and even if they were not, most states already had laws that allowed for this.

Now even if every single one of these people went from insured to uninsured (which is not even close to being realistic considering most people on the exchanges previously had insurance)... this number suggests that 3.1 million Americans who currently have private insurance (that in no manner, shape, or form is benefiting even one penny from Obamacare) would lose insurance?

There is some suggestion that the CBO is making some assumptions about the amount of people who would "choose" to drop their insurance if the mandate was lifted. But someone voluntarily choosing to be uninsured is not an indication of any lost benefit. Unless, of course, you see a benefit from being told what you have to do by the Government?

Note: Gallup uninsured polling suggests that the number of uninsured has gone from around 15% prior to the passing of Obamacare, down to about 12%. Simple math suggests that a little more than 9 million more Americans are stating they are insured since the passing of Obamacare. Yet somehow the CBO suggests that 24 million will be negatively effected?

Update: Forbes has a good article on how the CBO got from point A to point B on this one. Apparently it includes a projected loss of future gains, including their estimates that the amount of people on the exchanges will go up by 50% and than the eighteen states that have not expanded Medicaid will do so and start to insure people.  (Forbes argues that neither suggestion has much merit.) This is similar to those "job's saved" number that the previous Administration made up. Only in this case it's the CBO projecting a number that is basically defined as "future insured lost" .


The Good: The CBO suggests that after some growing pains for the first couple of years, that Americans will actually see an overall decrease in health care premiums (in spite of less Government assistance). Moreover, there would be a budgetary savings for the Federal Government over the old plan. 

The Bad: Short term, cost (premiums minus subsidies) may go up, and some (although certainly not 24 million) will lose their coverage. Obviously things would be confusing for a while.

The Ugly: The CBO actually shows that more people will lose the insurance than have actually benefited. Simply stated, the CBO is no longer seen by most as a reliable objective source of this information. They seem more of a means for one side or the other to use for political purposes. This is unfortunate.

New poll shows "voters" essentially spit on the plan to replace subsidies with tax credits. This is a generic question and breaks down largely on Party lines. Like it or not. This issue is probably not going to swing many people. Republicans are in nearly full favor of the changes, while Democrats are nearly lockstep in their opposition.   
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters favor replacing subsidies with tax credits to help those who cannot fully afford health insurance. Thirty-nine percent (39%) are opposed, but one-in-five (19%) are undecided about the new proposal. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

An interesting take...

The buzz is that the CBO will show that the new GOP plan will reduce coverage by several millions. Those in the know say that these numbers will not just include those losing insurance... but also include people who went from "comprehensive" coverage to having what might otherwise be known as "catastrophic" coverage. Basically demanding that a so called reduction of coverage is the same thing as losing coverage.

With the House repeal bill under attack by Republican moderates worrying about coverage and conservatives fuming about entitlements and spending, the CBO assessment will matter. It’s widely expected early next week. Hall, in the post for two years, has signaled that his office won't soft-pedal the coverage assessments. If a health plan doesn't have comprehensive benefits, it won't count as coveragewww.politico.obamacare-repeal-congressional-budget-office 

But here is the rub. Currently the CBO is including in their numbers (as they should) all plans, including those that may be comprehensive, but have deductibles so high that they would only really kick in if they ran into a medical issue that many might label "catastrophic".

These are plans that in some case cost people several hundred dollars a month, but only kick in after several thousands of out of pocket expenses are paid first. Most of the people on these plans receive the highest amount of subsidies, as those who do not receive subsidies cannot afford it.

So this begs the question... what's really the difference between how many different things are covered, if you never get to the point of being able to be reimbursed? If given the option, many of these people would choose a much less expensive catastrophic plan. In fact the availability of such plans would lead to more coverage, not less... by almost every available means to measure. But not (according to the CBO) who will insist that only coverage that they deem acceptable can be counted.

This seems to be doubling down on Government overreach and Government stupidity. Government bureaucracy demand that everyone has to purchase the insurance they deem they should have. If an American citizens purchases another form of insurance that isn't what the Government believes that they should have, then another bureaucracy will claim they didn't actually purchase anything.

And people wonder why the 2016 electorate rejected the status quo?

Russian Ambassador met with Clinton Campaign

So apparently the Russian Ambassador met with members of the Clinton campaign as well. I suppose that means that there must have been secret Russian/Clinton collusion to interfere with the Presidential election?

Since we know that nobody actually meets with Ambassadors, unless they have secrete plans to undercut some pillar of American democracy... one has to wonder what the Russian Ambassador and representatives from the Obama White house had to talk about during their twenty two separate meetings last year? Must have been approximately eleven times more scandalous than the Russia/Trump claims.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

More unexpected economic news

  • analysts expected 200,000 new jobs - we got 235,000
  • analysts expected 0.1% growth in retail - we got 0.4%
  • analysts expected 5.5 million new home sales - we got 5.7
Meanwhile many of the January numbers have been revised upwards? 

Sound counter-familiar? For eight years, we got "unexpected economic news" in that the real numbers never quite matched the expectations of the analysts. For eight years, it seemed like previous numbers were nearly always revised down. 

One has to wonder how deep the anti-capitalism, pro-socialism feelings really run in the Washington, New York world of political insiders, media, and the so called analysts? Perhaps they should open up their eyes and take a good hard look at why the stock market is up over 15% since the election, and why small business confidence has hit a twelve year high. Obviously there is a disagreement in the best way to run the country economically.

Perhaps it's the difference between those who live in economic theory and those who live in economic reality?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

How does this benefit Americans?

The travel-ban casualty the White House is ignoring
President Trump’s travel ban is creating turmoil in U.S. laboratories. It is discouraging foreign scientists from coming to the United States, and it is creating a climate of insecurity and fear among many of those who are already here. It is threatening collaborative research projects involving U.S. and foreign scientists. And it is disrupting the flow of international students to U.S. universities. 
As reported in the journal Nature, foreign-born scientists are reconsidering their plans to work or study in the United States because of Trump’s actions on immigration. Meanwhile, administrators at Harvard University have cautioned foreign students and faculty about potential problems of reentry after traveling outside the United States. Such fears could have serious consequences for research and education in this country. Although the administration limited the scope of its 90-day travel ban to six majority-Muslim nations, the president’s heated rhetoric has raised fears and created a climate of uncertainty about his administration’s longer-term plans and intentions. 
We have already seen a precipitous drop in applications to some U.S. engineering schools from international students, who are vital to science, technology, engineering and math graduate programs at universities. According to data from the National Science Foundation, foreign nationals represent more than 70 percent of full-time graduate students in electrical engineering, 63 percent in computer science and about half of all engineering faculty members. But the latest figures from many universities are worrisome. International applications for Dartmouth College’s master’s in engineering management are down 30 percent; at Vanderbilt University, engineering graduate applications from international students have declined 18 percent. The timing and application deadlines suggest that these drops may be due to Trump’s campaign rhetoric rather than the recent travel bans. 
The United States has long benefited from the contributions of foreign-born scientists and engineers. Examples abound: Nearly a third of all science Nobel laureates who won their prizes while working in the United States were foreign born. Approximately 40 percent of Fortune 500 firms — including such tech-based giants as Google, Intel, eBay, and Apple — were started by immigrants or children of immigrants. More than five out of six patents in information technology in the United States in 2010 listed a foreign national among the inventors. In view of such contributions, the government should be doing more to attract foreign talent, not driving it away.

So the major take away we should get out of this is that there simply are not enough gifted American born students to fill out or college campuses?  That there is not enough American born adults with the necessary skill to perform technical jobs like engineering and computer technology?

Because that appears to be the argument, and the solution certainly isn't to fix our ailing public school system, or provide American born children with the means to make expanded educational choices. The solution seems to be a matter of us conceding that our country no longer can produce top prospects and therefore we should subsequently make it easier for companies like Amazon and Microsoft to hire foreign workers via work Visas.

Of course, this benefits who exactly?

For starters it benefits companies like Amazon and Microsoft. Many visa workers make pennies to the dollar versus their American peers. The more visa workers they have. The less they pay in salaries. The higher the profits. Isn't it convenient that there just isn't enough bright and hard working native born Americans that they otherwise might hire?

It also benefits the public schools and the unions that represent them. They are free to turn out students who do not meet the same major core educational standards that either previous generations of American students do or that foreign born students do. American schools drop out of the top three, top ten, top fifteen... and nobody seems to be alarmed. At least we are in the top twenty, and we have plenty of foreign students who can come here and take the jobs we are not preparing our own children to perform.

Who doesn't benefit? Those who are born and raised here in the United States who may someday want one of these high paying engineer or technical jobs, or may want their children to grow up and garner the same. Why should a naturalized American encourage American Companies and the American Government to politically collude in order to provide education and jobs for foreigners that could otherwise benefit our own?

Somebody please answer that question in a logical, reasonable fashion that does not simply involve calling me a racist?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Polling suggests that increase in Obamacare support nearly entirely from Democrats...

In other words, this bill is no more popular among Republicans than it has ever been. In fact, 90% of Trump voters have an unfavorable opinion of the law, while 90% of the Hillary voters now have a favorable view of the law.

This has nothing to do with any real change in the law as all the news regarding the law has continued to be bad. Even the most ardent supporters are starting to realize that the exchanges are headed for the dreaded "death spiral" if something isn't done. By next year large parts of the country will have zero insurers providing health care plans on the exchanges. Many other parts will continue to see only one single choice. Anyone suggesting that having zero or only one insurer competing on the exchange is not the result of the "death spiral" is being little more than dishonest.

The reality remains that the exchanges are basically a place where the Government subsidized both the seller and the buyer, and still nobody is happy. The sellers loose money, and the buyer receive a bad product. These exchanges were supposed to be an improvement over a system where 95% or more of insured were completely happy, and the Government had nothing to do with it.

This is nothing more than another knee jerk reaction by Democrats, who are suddenly upset that they lost another election and that all of these losses piling up will actually have real governing consequences. There is really fundamentally no "rational" reason to have changed your mind about the law. Unless you were a previous supporter who now opposes it.

Perhaps the GOP would have been wise to wait another year or so to watch the exchanges crumble even more before coming up with proposals to repeal and replace. While it may have caused unrest with many of the most vocal of Trump voters, it probably would make for more widespread support.

Book with blank pages hits #1 on

For $7.02 you too can purchase this book you can read in two minutes... 


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Secretary of State Jonathan Gordon vs Business Icon Brenda King

What a great scientific experiment... they make Donald Trump out to be a woman and Hillary Clinton to be a man. Although the experiment didn't turn out as expected.
Maria Guadalupe and Joe Salvatore, two professors at New York University, planned to demonstrate the alleged gender bias Clinton faced in the 2016 election by acting out the presidential debates with Trump as a woman and Hillary as a man, reports NYU News.  
The goal of the “Her Opponent” project was to prove that people would not have accepted Trump’s aggressive behavior had it come from a woman, and that Hillary’s debate style would be much more likable if she were a man. 
The professors and audiences of the mock debates, however, were “unsettled” to discover that the opposite was true—Trump became more likable as a woman and Hillary became even less likable as a man.  
To isolate the gender variable to the greatest extent possible, the actors portraying the candidates sought to emulate their debate performances exactly, down to gestures and intonation, though it was necessary in some instances to tweak the language to reflect the gender reversal. 
Salvatore also related that several audience members felt they finally understood how Trump won after watching the gender-swapped debate. “The simplicity of Trump’s message became easier for people to hear when it was coming from a woman,” Salvatore explained, sharing the reaction of a female audience member who said the male version of Clinton was “very punchable” because he smiled too much. 

Classic Case of Bias Confirmation...

I have not hidden the fact that I have been intrigued with the writings of Scott Adams as it pertains to subjects like persuasion, bias confirmation, cognitive dissonance, and the fact that different people can view the exact same events but see completely different realities. Or as Adams would say, they are viewing the same scenes play out...  but actually watching different movies.

I think the recent late night tweets from the President regarding the alleged Government monitoring of communications of Trump Towers is maybe one of the most glaring examples of the same events being seen as completely different realities.

Movie one:  This view is based on the preconceived idea that Donald Trump is an overgrown adolescent, with limited intelligence, who is on the verge of a complete mental breakdown. It's quite obviously the consensus among those in the main stream media (who are mostly anti-Trump).

In this movie, the crazy old man probably was up late at night reading the right wing blogs, ran across some of the allegations regarding FICA warrants (quite possibly Mark Levin), and impulsively sent out a barrage of tweets making completely unfounded allegations.

Movie two:  This view is based on the preconceived idea that Donald Trump is reasonable person, with reasonable to intelligence, who has become a successful businessman, author, reality television producer and star, and was able to win both the GOP nomination and the general election. While this is a minority view in the media at this point, it happens to be the opinion of several people whom I personally view as being both prudent (and mostly historically correct in their positions).

In this movie, the combined buzz from the NY Times story about how Obama had been intercepting communications, declassifying information, leaving bread crumb, etc... along with the renewed media buzz regarding the two FICA requests, sent the Trump team into action to verify and/or clarify what they could find out. In this movie, Trump is the President, Jeff Sessions is the Attorney General, and the validity of the FICA warrant story could be ascertained fairly quickly. Given Sessions had just met with Trump, the tweets regarding "just found out" were not in response to any blog post he read in the middle of the night, but more likely a response to what he had been told by the Attorney General.

Now what is interesting here, is that those who are watching the first movie, don't even take into consideration the possibility that the second movie is even playing. They are so convinced of Trump's incompetence that the idea that he would have gone through the logical channels available to him to verify these claims doesn't even enter their brains. They still don't consider that such channels would be used by the President to verify even after the fact. In their minds, the claims will always be unfounded. 

On the flip side, those who are watching the second movie, do acknowledge the possibility that Trump may have just tweeted off the cuff but find it to be the less likely scenario here. They also point out that even had the original tweets were not based on any confirmed information, that the chances of the administration not taking the actions (after tweet) to confirm the existence or non-existence of said FICA warrants is next to zero. Either way, the President knows today if these FICA requests do or do not exist. The media does not. 

Which movie are you watching? 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wikileaks confirms...

Paranoid Obama White House wanted to bug everything and everyone...

298,000 new jobs

Trump's first full month in office brings massive employment boom as U.S. companies added whopping 298,000 new jobs in February

  • New job figures from ADP beat economists' estimates by more than 100,000
  • Official February numbers will be out on Friday and are expected to lower the unemployment rate to 4.7 per cent
  • Trump tweeted that January and February 'were the strongest consecutive months for hiring since August and September 2015' 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Not that they are going to change anything...

The mainstream media's open hostility to President Trump may be starting to backfire, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll. 
The poll found that 55% of the public says they've grown "weary from the media's persistently negative coverage of President Trump." A roughly equal share (54%) also believe that the news media "has assumed the role of the opposition party, constantly opposing the president and his policies at every turn."
We've seen it around here. When it comes to Donald Trump Derangement Syndrome, some people just cannot control their emotions. They find it almost impossible to discuss anything about the President without lashing out with some form of crazed incoherent rant that generally include something about Russians, article 25,  or some other grand conspiracy.

The problem for the media is that they were beaten and humiliated by Donald Trump during the election season. Their transparent attempts to lift him during the GOP primary contest, and then crush him during the general election quite obviously backfired. Trump won the Presidency in spite (and quite possibly because) of a hostile media.

The media is still trying to undermine, delegitimize, and destabilize both Donald Trump and his Presidency. Meanwhile, they continue to hover around all time lows as it pertains to overall public trust... and the President is still the President and much to their chagrin will continue to be.

The one thing people desperately need to remember is that the old rules of politics do not apply to Donald Trump. If he can win the Presidency with unfavorables between twenty and thirty points above his favorables, then he can function (and certainly win reelection) with job approvals in the mid forties. In spite of very vocal minorities protesting pretty everything about Trump, his policies remain favorable. As long as the economy plugs along at a reasonable pace, he's going to be a formidable force.

Peaceful transition of power?

One of the hallmarks of our storied Republic is the historical peaceful orderly transition of power from an outgoing to an incoming Presidential Administration. Of course, this peaceful transition of power is not just a literal military issue, but to a large degree a basic fundamental thought process that Republican or Democrat, ultimately we are all Americans and it's in the Country's best interest for everyone to work together to ensure that an incoming President is given full cooperation and is given the best possible chance for success.

At least it was a hallmark of our society prior to 2017.

Very recently the NY Times reported some very incredible charges regarding the variety of ways that the Obama Administration was working to undermine the incoming Trump administration. The Times reported about intercepted communications that was passed around. They reported that the Obama administration was declassifying information that may have been troublesome for the new team, in order to encourage leaks. The Times mentioned that the outgoing administration had left "bread crumbs" so that new people would be pulled into certain directions. The Times even went so far as to say that Obama appointees were working against the new Administration.  Moreover, there is suggestion that the Democrats in the Senate have been and still are purposely delaying the confirmation of new appointees so that the old Obama appointees could stick around to do as much damage as possible.

Now what I find almost equally as alarming as the fact that our traditions regarding transition of power may have come to a screeching halt... is the manner in which the NY Times reported on all of this. There was no outrage or even much negative being reported about the actions of undermining the new President. Rather the Times was reporting on this as if it is normalized political strategy. That this is all part of an acceptable means for the previous President to remain relevant in the political and governing aspects of the Country.  

Ironically, it's the NY Times that seems to be one of the most vocal critics of the Trump charge that Obama was abusing his power by intercepting conversations of him and some of his campaign team prior to the election. They are calling it a "conspiracy theory". Of course most of that theory can be traced right back to the reports that they have been making regarding the previous President's behavior.

I wonder out loud if this is actually how these people think. That the sort of things that the Obama administration put in place to undercut the Trump administration are perfectly acceptable political tactics... and that anyone who suggests differently is part of a broad conspiracy theory.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Supreme Court vacates transgender bathroom ruling...

The Supreme Court has vacated a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of Gavin Grimm, a Virginia transgender student who sought to use the boys room at school despite being a female biologically. The Court sent the case back to the Fourth Circuit for reconsideration in light of the Trump administration’s revocation of Obama-era guidance that supported Grimm’s claim under Title IX. 
The Fourth Circuit had relied heavily on the Obama-era guidance document in reaching its decision in Grimm’s favor. Thus, it makes sense for the Supreme Court to remand the case to see whether the Fourth Circuit still agrees with Grimm’s claim in the absence of the federal government’s guidance.
This was said to be a very big disappointment for those transgender advocacy groups, as they were hoping for a possible 5-3 ruling or even a 4-4 split that would leave the order in place. As it stands, it looks unlikely that the USSC will make any sort of definite ruling this session. By the time the it may roll back around, there may be a fourth of even a possible fifth conservative on the court.

Now we will see how the fourth circuit court decides to rule now that they have been asked to reconsider. I am no expert on the nuances on the various court decisions, but obviously the order to vacate (while not a good outcome for transgender advocates) isn't quite as bad as being overruled.

Ironically another Judge had actually put a hold on the Administration's guidance in this matter, meaning the Trump administration decision to not continue with the guidance policy was somewhat moot. The High Court probably would have come to the same conclusion with or without the revocation of the guidance by Trump.