Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Another terror attack

8 Dead 15 injured
At least eight people were killed and nearly a dozen more were injured when a truck driver deliberately mowed down people and targeted a school bus in lower Manhattan Tuesday in what authorities called a "cowardly act of terror."
A 29-year-old Uzbek national, identified as Sayfullo Saipov, drove a Home Depot rental pickup truck at least 10 blocks down the popular West Side Highway bike path from West Houston to Chambers streets, hitting nearly a dozen pedestrians and bicyclists before crashing into a school bus near Stuyvesant High School and elementary school P.S. 89, authorities said.

Terror suspect entered United States via what is called the "Diversity Visa Program".  Apparently we didn't have enough homicidal Islamic terrorist from Uzbekistan, so we had to let a few in for purposes of diversity.

Here is a question...

So George Papadopoulos apparently had correspondences with a Russian Professor and a woman who claimed (but wasn't) Putin's niece.  Liberals believe this is somehow proof of collusion.

What if the Trump administration had paid Papadopoulos to go meet with these Russian intermediaries, see who they otherwise knew, and find out what he could about Clinton.... you know like what the DNC and Clinton camp did with Christopher Steele who went to Russia and dug up dirt on Trump.

Would the fact he was paid to go to Russia and dig up dirt make it opposition research (like liberals claim it was for Christopher Steele) or is it still collusion because Papadopoulos would have been digging up dirt for the wrong team and against the wrong player?

Just curious...

Reality bites...

Here is how it goes. We hear a story. There are facts. There are realities. Then there are speculations as to why this particular fact is actually an certain indication of a whole other slew of facts that don't yet exist.  If you don't agree to the speculation and are unwilling to assume these facts that don't actually exist... then you are "in denial" or a "loyalist" or part of some "conspiracy theory".

Apparently  those who are willing to jump to conclusions without facts to back those conclusions up, are the open minded, grounded, logical thinkers. Anyone demanding evidence of claims, before accepting them as reality are the close minded, unhinged, illogical ones.

Welcome to 2017.

Case in point is the reaction to the Manafort Gates indictment. It's a simply factual legal document. It's in black and white. The contents of it are clear. Yet, if you dare to take the contents of the indictment at face value then you are being naive, an apologist, and are likely engaged in some sort of wishful thinking.

What Huckabee Sanders stated about the indictment is 100% factually accurate. The indictment had nothing to do with Trump, the White House, or the 2016 election. While we are all certainly allowed to speculate on any number of possible scenarios, that speculation doesn't change the fact that factually the indictment provides no evidence of collusion, nor does it in any way engulf Trump or his administration into that particular legal battle.

Why is it "unrealistic" to accept facts at face value?

Certainly it's a fair speculation to argue that Mueller is attempting to gain some sort of leverage over Manafort in order to get him to provide other information. But it's only speculation and even that speculation suggests that Manafort has not provided Mueller with any information that is helpful to Russian interference in the 2016 election. It's no more crazy to assume that he has none to give, than it is to assume that he is holding out on all of the top secret evidence that has otherwise yet to be uncovered.

Certainly it's a fair speculation to argue that Mueller is "just getting started" and that there are more indictments to come. But there is actually no evidence to suggest as much. Other than some paperwork issues with Michael Flynn, and some murky allegations about Carter Page, there is no known, leaked, or otherwise specific speculations as to whom might be charged for what crime.

Everyone knew that Manafort was a target and was likely to be indicted. Between the late night no-knock raid and the statements to the effect that Mueller was going to indict Manafort... the Manafort indictment was expected. Nobody else has been under that amount of scrutiny and from what we know, there has been no other moves made to link anyone else to any outside crimes (the whole false or misleading statement charges aside).

The reality is that when the speculation was (last Friday) that someone would be arrested on Monday, almost everyone knew that it would be Manafort. In fact, there was almost nobody else that made any sense. If Mueller made the same announcement on Friday that someone else would be arrested on Monday... there would not be such certainty of who it might be.  Why? Because there is not an obvious person out there for Mueller to indict. Why is it considered logical and fair minded to simply assume that there is?

Bottom line:  It is what it is. Paul Manafort and his business associate were indicted (as expected) for legal issues that has nothing to do with Donald Trump, nothing to do with Russia, and nothing to do with the 2016 election. That's all we know. It certainly  doesn't prove that Trump colluded with the Russians and it quite literally gets us no closer to proving that allegation. 

Why is that so hard for some people to accept?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Some odds and ends...

Manafort pleads not guilty
The two men pleaded not guilty to all charges during a court appearance later Monday. A spokesman for Gates said the former lobbyist "welcomes the opportunity to confront these charges in court."

Tony Podesta steps down from name sake lobbying firm

The Podesta Group is widely believed to be Company A or Company B and associated with the business dealings of Manafort and Gates.
23. To minimize public disclosure of their lobbying campaign, MANAFORT and GATES ananged for the Centre to be the nominal client of Company A and Company B, even though in fact the Centre was under the ultimate direction of the Government of Ukraine, Yanukovych, and the Party of Regions. For instance, MANAFORT and GATES selected Company A and Company B, and only thereafter did the Centre sign contracts with the lobbying firms without ever meeting either company. Company A and Company B were paid for their services not by their nominal client, the Centre, but solely through off-shore accounts associated with the MANAFORT-GATES entities, namely Bletilla Ventures Limited (in Cyprus) and Jeunet Ltd. and Global Endeavour Inc. (in Grenadines). In total, Company A and Company B were paid more than $2 million from these accounts between 2012 and 2014.
How deep was the Podesta group involved?  Were they a a partner in whatever scheme was being concocted or an unwitting pawn used by Manafort and Gates to accomplish their dastardly deeds? 

Former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos charged with lying to FBI

Something tells me that the at least some of the media will run further with this story than the Manafort indictment, largely because it still has an element of "collusion".

But there are a slew of major problems with this being a huge story.
  • First, the documentation and information on Papadopoulos was provided to the FBI from the Trump administration. 
  • Second, the documentation suggested that Papadopoulos's outreach to Trump's senior campaign staff was repeatedly rebuked. 
  • Lastly, Papadopoulos was charged with providing false statements, not talking to Russians.
People seem to forget that talking to Russians (even to gather dirt) is only "opposition research" when you are a Democrat and pay someone to do it for you. Of course, technically they are half correct. There is actually no law against digging up dirt on your political opponent whether you are either a Democrat or a Republican.


The indictment can be seen here:

The counts are
  • Conspiracy against the United States
  • Conspiracy to launder money
  • Failure to file reports 2011-2014
  • Unregistered agent of a foreign principal
  • False and misleading statements

Basically the first charge of conspiracy is a bucket list of the last three charges... that by failing to file reports, not registering, and making false statements, Mueller is suggesting that they conspired to commit crimes. I am no legal expert, but either you committed crimes or you didn't. I am not sure I have ever heard of someone being charges with crimes as well as conspiracy to commit those same crimes. 

I am also puzzled by the language that they "conspired to launder money".  According to the legal definition of "conspiring" to commit a crime, it suggests that the charge is an incomplete charge. In other words, you make an agreement or a plan to commit a crime, but never actually follow through with committing said crime or were otherwise unsuccessful. Either they laundered money or they didn't. The indictment shows a physical list of transactions that are being questions.

It almost appears as of the money transfers may not be technically illegal (which could explain why charges were not previously brought)... but that Mueller is suggesting that they their intentions were to break the law.

I will have to see what the legal "experts" make of this. But at first glance the indictment looks a little "Trumped" up. That being said, the failure to file FBAR reports (alone) can result in fines upwards of $500,000 and jail time. That seems to be where much of the exposure lies at this point.

Lastly: The indictment has nothing to do with the 2016 election, Donald Trump, or Manafort actions regarding the Trump campaign. 

Look for more of these "headlines"

Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Told to Surrender
WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates were told to surrender to federal authorities Monday morning, the first charges in a special counsel investigation, according to a person involved in the case.
The charges against Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Mr. Gates were not immediately clear but represent a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over the president’s first year in office.

At this point in time, there is literally nothing to suggest that Manafort being part of Trump's campaign has anything to do with the charges being brought. But rest assured, the fact that Manafort worked with Trump is what the NYT, Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC will focus on.

Manafort has been investigated previously for offshore banking transactions with a bank in Cyprus. The Manafort Cyprus bank accounts were opened in 2007 and closed sometime between 2012 and 2013. Transactions were made between Manafort and multiple Russian and Ukrainian parties, but there seems to be much focus on transactions between Manafort and Russian oligargh Oleg Deripaska.

The indictment can be seen here:

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Assuming Manafort is Mueller's target...

UPDATED:  Manafort (and business partner unrelated to Trump) are the targets

I argued back in Sept that an indictment against Paul Manafort would likely be a bad sign for those expecting to find evidence of 2016 election Russian Trump collusion.

Assuming that Now that we know Manafort is the target (and so far I have not heard any other names that make any real sense) and assuming that the focus is on international banking transactions that took place in 2012 and 2013, then I would stand by that reasoning.

The exception would be if there was some sort of indictment, charges, and then some quick plea agreement that suggests there was some sort of cooperation involved. If (as Manafort attorneys have stated) Manafort is providing no information and there is no plea, then it would stand to reason that the charges are the equivalent to Mueller making a statement (to others) or basically calling Manafort down (possibly hoping it's a bluff).

The other issue to keep in mind here is that while the media is suggesting that these international banking transactions were "previously undisclosed" the reality is that they were only undisclosed to media sources. The banking community provided the government with a list of these transactions (as they are required to by law) at the time they took place. Furthermore, by all accounts the FBI has previously investigated these transactions and chose (at the time) not to press any charges. So it seems unlikely that any potential charges against Manafort are slam dunk obvious charges (if they were, then he would have been charged when they were first investigated).

Either way... if the indictment and charges that come this week are not related specifically to something specific to the 2016 election and some sort of conspiracy charge... then bringing charges this early seems more like a sign of weakness, than a sign of strength. Especially considering the timing of everything involved.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

According to sources - Mueller is going to:
charge someone with something sometime next week

So sources are saying that Robert Mueller will be charging a person (or persons) with a crime, but nobody knows who, what for, or even when. Most people say the smart money is with Paul Manafort, although the Manafort attorneys are denying that they have received any notification of any indictment. Not sure how that protocol goes, but one would believe that a professional investigator would call the attorneys of the person they are charging, before calling CNN. At least if they want their investigation to be taken seriously.

Most legal experts have expected the first charges to be something that is not "directly" related to Russian interference... mainly because there are not a lot of laws that make it illegal to talk to Russians, or work with Russians, or do business with Russians. Most are expecting something such as money laundering, criminal omission of information on security forms, or even perjury. Manafort has been previously accused of, but never charged for, a variety of money laundering schemes having to do with foreign officials. Mike Flynn (and others) have been accuse of non-disclosure of international ties on his security forms.

Obviously the timing seems odd (for a variety of reasons).

  • First are the reports that Mueller has been settling in for the "long haul" and some people have expected for him to keep up the probe well into 2018 and possibly longer. Generally bringing charges happens closer to the end (rather than closer to the beginning) of an investigation. That being said, if the charges are something "unrelated" as speculated, then they could simply be a leverage thing.
  • Secondly, the timing also coincides with the reports that Mueller and gang have been most recently interviewing some new players (including lobbyist Tony Podesta) suggesting that their focus has been on situations and events that took place long before the 2016 election rather than specifically on Trump and his team. Is it just a coincidence that the focus has been altered just prior to choosing to charge someone with something?  
  • Lastly, the timing might appear to be a "reaction" to heavy criticism of the Mueller investigation, and the calls by many that he should step aside due to his own possible involvement in FBI cover ups surrounding allegations of criminal actions (bribery and kickbacks) as it relates to member of the Obama Administration and Russian players. If the charges don't appear to be founded on "recent discovery" - then that argument can probably  be made without much challenge. 

At this point, assuming Mueller is the professional many claim him to be,  then Occam's razor suggests that the charges will likely not be the start of any "end game" as some are speculating and that they may be reliant on information gathered from their most recent contacts (most likely something like money laundering).  Of course, if you believe Mueller is a thin skinned egotistical partisan with an ax to grind, then Occam's razor suggests that he is making a politically timed power play in reaction to recent criticism (then the charges could be any number of things).

Friday, October 27, 2017


Trump wanted gag order on FBI informant lifted!

CNN is reporting that President Trump believed that the FBI informant who had been under a "gag order" to not talk about the Uranium One deal should be able to speak to Congress about it. Oh my... the horror of it all!

According to CNN, the Justice Department has "strict rules" limiting the White House's involvement in law enforcement matters. However, considering the Justice Department technically works under the umbrella of the White House, and that the job of the Justice department is "law enforcement" it seems sort of like a strange rule to have. In fact, if the Justice Department had some sort of constitutional or legal shield from White House involvement, they wouldn't need a "rule". 

Where else would you find an entire department who's entire purpose would be shielded from any oversight from the people they work for. Moreover, imagine if an entire department declared as much because of a "strict rule" they put in place themselves? Try that sometime. Tell your boss that you have created a "strict rule" that limits their oversight on the basic principal of what your job actually is. She how far that gets you.

Bottom line:  this is CNN at it's finest. Ignoring the fact that there is an FBI informant that potentially has information that could expose a scandal of epic proportions, all the while  their eye is on whether or not the President followed some odd "protocol" that nobody can even confirm exists (or should exist).

Four more Justices to be confirmed next week..

Adding to the one Supreme Court, one DC Court, and four Court of Appeals confirmations, the expectations are the four more  Court of Appeals Justices will be confirmed next week. 
  • Stephanos Bibas (3rd Circuit)
  • Joan Larsen (6th Circuit)
  • Amy Coney Barrett (7th Circuit)
  • Allison Eid (10th Circuit)
According to Politico “Trump already has gotten more judges installed at this point in his presidency than his predecessor.”  According to the Powerline blog "Trump is virtually certain to deliver more Court of Appeals judges during his first year than any of his five predecessors".

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Exactly to what extreme is the worm turning?

Recent revelations have suggested that Mueller's interest in Paul Manafort may actually be more in line with things he did "prior" to the 2016 election and "prior" to his brief encounter with the Trump campaign. In fact, it's starting to look as if the Manafort relevance to the special counsel probe is in regards to work he did with one (or both) of the Podesta brothers. There are suggestions that Manafort previously had helped line up influential Russians with equally influential American officials, possibly up to and including the Clintons and other high ranking members of the Obama team. 

All of this makes more "logical sense" if you are not predisposed to believe that Donald Trump actually was colluding with Vladimir Putin, and that Trump's campaign manager for less than three months was either "in on it" or was otherwise provided all sorts of damaging information in regards to all of the collusion... only to be fired.

Of course it's entirely possible that Mueller was (or still is) holding prosecution over the head of Manafort, in hopes that Manafort will provide damaging information about the Trump campaign. But at this point it seems more likely that Manafort's potentially damaging information has little to do with Trump, and more to do with his interactions with the Podesta brothers. Certainly the news that Tony Podesta is now on the Mueller radar would seem to validate this.

I would be curious as to the level of liberal brain explosion we would see if ultimately the Mueller probe came back with evidence that the Russians and Democrats (not the Russians and the Trump campaign) were actually the ones in cahoots. I wonder how bad it would get if special counsel indicted people tied to the Democrats, rather than Trump?

CNN's take on transgenderism?

Federal Judge rules in favor of Trump administration

In other news... hell freezes over 
A federal judge denied a request to immediately force the Trump administration to resume making the Obamacare insurance subsidy payments that it cut off earlier this month. The decision, made just a week before open enrollment begins, is a blow to plaintiffs
Chhabria, an Obama appointee, failed to see the immediate threat to consumers that would require him to compel the federal government to make the payments, particularly because most states have implemented a work-around plan to mitigate financial harm to consumers.
The ruling's language suggested the case may have been brought more for political reasons than legal merit. “With the important caveats that the Court has only been given a few days to study this complex matter and the states may not have fully developed all arguments, it initially appears the Administration has the stronger legal position,” Chhabria wrote.
I've become sort of used to these rulings going against the Trump administration, and it was always a fun game to see what sort of unlawful reasoning the court would use to rule against him. Generally the age old "he's a racist" legal argument seemed to be at the top of the list. But I guess it just didn't apply here.

That being said, the judges ruling was heavy on explaining the reasoning behind the CSR payment as well as how the states have been adopting to the reality that these payments might not be made. As it is with most of the Obama era Judges (especially from the 9th circuit region) they seem to worry more about what they believe is the correct "political" position than they do about the law.
First, although the case is at an early stage, and although it's a close question, it appears initially that the Trump Administration has the stronger legal argument. Second, and more importantly, the emergency relief sought by the states would be counterproductive.
The Judge spent much of his argument suggesting that there wasn't enough "harm" being done to justify the stay rather than explain more about the legal argument. The judge seems to openly admit that if the states could have shown more "harm" that the Judge may have ruled in their favor, in spite of having the weaker legal position. This sort of reasoning is exactly why McConnell and the Senate must move to get more adult Judges in place. Ones who are willing to honor their oath of office and follow the law (not their own political sense of right and wrong).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Kid Rock singing his upcoming hit song:
"Fuck no, I am not running for Senate"

Left upset with the new direction of investigations...

In front of cable news cameras and on Twitter, the tensions between Republicans and Democrats on the House intelligence committee’s Trump-Russia investigation are pointed and more than occasionally nasty.
But inside the Secure Compartmented Information Facility while members of the intel committee grill Obama administration alums and Trump allies, things can get even messier. Rep. Devin Nunes, who has ostensibly stepped back from the probe, still controls its subpoena power—and significant aspects of its agenda. Nunes’ staffers are tracking down leads. Just not those about Trump.

People familiar with the probe say it’s becoming increasingly clear where the committee’s Republican staffers are focusing their energy—and it’s not on the possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump Tower.
This all points to a larger, fundamental tension: For all practical purposes, the House intel committee is running two investigations, not one.

Couple this with the news that the Mueller Investigation has now expanded into the dealings of Tony Podesta (Democratic lobbyist and brother of Clinton campaign director John Podesta)... as well as news that the Senate Intelligence committee has opened an investigation into the FBI's handling of the Uranium One probe... and you have some very angry liberals.

It's almost as if the left somehow believes that our officials should not only maintain a never ending investigation into the so called "Trump/Russia collusion" allegations... but that it's the "only" investigation that should be taking place. The attitude seems to be that any energy used on anything else is energy wasted.

But every week that goes by is another week where we still have no known evidence of any illegal actions on the part of the Trump administration. We are still running three simultaneous investigations, and at some point in time... these sorts of things just run out of steam.

Eventually you must ask the lingering question: wow long do you continue to "search" for evidence of something that remains nothing more than an allegation. How many rocks do you turn over, until you realize that it's an exercise in futility.

Meanwhile, we are uncovering "actual" evidence of unethical and potentially illegal actions between the Russian Government and Democratic politicians, as well as a potential cover up by both the FBI and the Justice Department in regards to said actions.  By all logical measures, these sorts of allegations deserve at least the same amount of attentions that we have brought to the Russian Trump allegations... up to and including an independent counsel.

Why would any reasonable person disagree?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Arizona Senator Flakes out...

With an approval rating that needs a ladder to even see the bottom of Trump's approval rating, it was only a matter of "how" Jeff Flake was going to be replaced on the ticket. Would he step down willingly (as he has) or would he be crushed by an ugly primary challenge.

Jeff Flake will not run for reelection

This is ultimately a good thing for the GOP. Jeff Flake was not going to win reelection. When you are a Republican who seems to find yourself constantly second guessing everything your Party leaders do, then it's a difficult thing to get past. You don't win elections catering to the opposition Party.

Who was so stupid as to...

  • Believe that you could stimulate the economy by spending millions on "green energy" companies?
  • Believe that the worst economic recovery in seventy years was the best we could do.
  • Believe that you could reduce insurance choices, reduce competition, mandate coverage, and simultaneously make insurance "cheaper" to the tune of $2500/year on average.
  • Believe that you could make people change insurance but they could all keep their doctor. 
  • Believe that it is up to the President (not congress) to create immigration laws.
  • Believe that it is up to the President (not congress) to appropriate funding.
  • Believe that the idea of Russia being a geopolitical foe was worthy of a joke.
  • Believe that you can just draw red lines, and then ignore them.
  • Believe that ISIS was a JV team.
  • Believe that you could not defeat the ISIS caliphate in the Middle East.
  • Believe that your agreement was preventing North Korea from building nuclear weapons.
  • Believe that you don't need the Senate to ratify international agreements.
  • Believe that the Benghazi attacks on American facilities were caused by a YouTube Video.  
  • Believe that there are 57 States. 

and last, but certainly not least...

  • Believe that Donald Trump could never become President.

When you point a finger, the other four are pointing back at you...

So I read "another" article today from some incensed journalist who is mad at General Kelly for going after Congresswoman Wilson. In this case it was Richard Cohen, who is issuing a demand (can journalist still do that with a straight face?) that General Kelly actually apologize to the Congresswoman.

His beef appears to be more about how Kelly got the details of a bravado speech she made regarding the naming of an FBI field office back in 2015 (Kelly said she took credit for the funding, rather than the naming). Cohen also suggests that the empty barrel statement was inappropriate (although he seems confused by the context). Overall, he is one of those who simply is "taking sides" here and has made the decision that when it comes to fallen soldiers that a cowboy hat wearing congresswoman from Florida has a better grasp on things than a four star General who's own son died in combat.

Now the irony in all of this is that Cohen and the media in 2017 gets nearly nothing 100% accurate anymore... and that's their job. If it became a prerequisite for people to apologize every time they got a fact wrong, the media would be spending more time apologizing than writing.  Getting the facts just slightly wrong (many times apparently on purpose to make a point) is likely what is being taught in journalism school these days, at least as it pertains to the political beat. As editors at the NY Times and other publications have openly admitted, they have a predisposed bias against Trump, and are willing to use (or misuse) their pulpit to discredit him.

The bottom line here is that General Kelly is a highly respected General. Instead of assuming (as most liberals do) that he is willing to lie about military deaths in order to defend the President, perhaps it would be wiser to believe that a Democratic politician was willing to use a military death  to make a political statement.

The reality is that there is no history of General Kelly playing politics with dead soldiers. There is plenty of history of politicians doing so. The Democrats quite literally "staged" such an event by putting the Kahn family front and center in their convention last year.

Put your partisanship aside for a moment, and use your common sense. Common sense tells us that politicians (not Generals) play politics with fallen soldiers. When that General in question lost his own son in combat, the concept that "he" would be the exception to that rule is ludicrous.

Monday, October 23, 2017

California A.G. Xavier Becerra discussing lawsuits

So yesterday I watched an interview with Xavier Becerra regarding the two major lawsuits that certain states have filed against the Trump administration. The first lawsuit would be challenging the Trump decision to end the insurance subsidies, while the second lawsuit would be the challenging the Trump decision to end the DACA program.

What struck me about both subjects was the noticeable lack of any actual legal reasoning behind the lawsuits. Becerra spent the entire interview telling us why these were poor decisions by the President, rather than why what Trump was doing was lawless or unconstitutional. Moving past the fact that a good portion of what he stated was factually untrue, both of his arguments were emotional tugs at the heart strings aimed to convince everyone that Trump is simply mean.

If one didn't know any better, it would appear that Becerra truly believes that a federal court is a place you go to argue the political merits of policy disputes, rather than somewhere you go to arbitrate the law.

The problem with both of these lawsuits is that previous courts have already rendered rulings that go so far as to the say that the policies that Trump is ending, were both illegal or unconstitutional. Courts already ruled that the President does not have constitutional authority to either spend money that is not allocated from Congress, or create legal status for immigrants that otherwise are not covered by any laws.

Both of these issues are constitutionally under the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, which is exactly why Trump is challenging Congress to come up with legislation to address both situations. What Obama did was constitutionally wrong, and what Trump is doing is constitutionally correct. As far as the separation of powers is concerned, the constitutional relevance is all that matters (or all that should matter) in a lawsuit such as these.

If Becerra plans on going to court with the same argument that he is bringing to the Sunday Morning talk shows, he shouldn't get very far. That being said, I cannot discount the concept that some rogue judge will decide that Trump is wrong on policy merit and try to come up with a legal justification ordering as such. But the idea that either of these cases will ultimately prevail (up through the USSC) is a legal long shot.

In a nutshell...

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Christopher Steele, the Russians, Fusion GPS, the FBI, and the cover up...

So even as a team of investigators move forward investigating unsubstantiated allegations of ties between the Russians the Trump administration in order to manipulate the 2016 election...

The msm continues to ignore actual existing proof that Americans (quite possibly our own government) paid a British agent to use Russian sources to find "opposition research" on a  Presidential candidate. Basically doing exactly what we are investigating "allegations" of.

Over the past few days, executives and employees at Fusion GPS (who hired a British agent to use Russian source to find dirt on Donald Trump) have refused to answer questions from the congressional committees. From various reports they have attempted to use most every amendment in the bill of rights in order to refuse to testify. One reporter from USA today suggested that the took the 3rd amendment privileges as an attempt to not answer questions. (look up the 3rd amendment if you are not familiar with it). Fusion GPS itself has said they are relying on 1st amendment rights to not answer questions. According to court documents, they repeatedly took the 5th.

Meanwhile, the FBI has refused multiple times to turn over subpoenaed documentation as it relates to Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele, and the Trump dossier. The congressional committees have provided two previous deadlines, which have come and gone without response.

Here is the coldheartedtruth. Liberals are hypocrites. 

When they thought that it was possible that Trump somehow collaborated with Russians to undermine the election, they acted as if it was the end of the world as we know it. They maintained throughout that they were not mad because it was Trump, but that they were mad because it was possible that foreign interests had attempted to manipulate our elections. They used words like sacred to describe our institution of democracy and our open elections... and expressed horror that someone might have tried to work with foreign interests to manipulate our election outcome.

Some even thought Donald Jr should go to jail because he offered to meet a Russian lobbyist who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.

But these same people who used words like sacred, and pretended that this was about election integrity (not an irrational hatred of Donald Trump) seem to believe that what is totally unacceptable, illegal, immoral, and unethical for the gander... is just peachy fine for the goose.

When it turns out that Russians did provide opposition research, and that Americans paid foreigners to do so. When it's possible that people in our own Government possibly paid a former British spy to go talk with Russians and  dig up research on the opposition Party candidate...

The left defends it... or ignores it... or simply plays the old Clinton era game of calling it "old news".

Sorry to tell you this, but all of this took place during the election. If the Trump dossier story is old news, then all of the Russian influence stories are equally old. If the Russian influence story is still important, than so is the Fusion GPS/Christopher Steele/FBI/Russian Trump Dossier story.

Liberals cannot have it both ways.  Pick a side and stick with it. Either it's wrong to use foreign agents to manipulate elections or it's okay to do so.  If it's the former, than every liberal should be calling on the FBI and Fusion GPS to fess up and provide the information that is being requested. If it's the latter, than every liberal should call on Robert Mueller to resign.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Trump phone call to widow... (recorded)

Tax Cuts one step closer...

Senate Republicans passed a budget resolution Thursday evening, clearing a significant hurdle and setting up the process to consider tax legislation later this year.
As expected, the approval margin was narrow, 51-49, with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and all Democrats voting against the measure. Though the budget resolution does not become law, it is a critical step in GOP plans to overhaul the tax code this year. It sets up the process known as reconciliation, by which Republicans can bypass a filibuster and pass tax legislation in the upper chamber with just 51 votes -- a likelihood if Democrats remain united against the GOP plan.
While it would be nice to believe that the GOP and Democrats could work together on this issue, I guess you take what you can get, however it is that you can get it. That being said, just because 51 Republicans voted for the budget resolution, doesn't mean that 51 Republicans will agree on tax reform.

What I would "expect" would end up being some watered down version of the tax reform that the President and Republicans are floating, rather than the full implementation. I can already see the possibilities of John McCain  and a couple others "holding out". With Rand Paul a likely no, the GOP can only lose one other Senator and still pass through reconciliation.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

General Kelly

who was in the room when Donald Trump made his call to the widow Johnson... had this to say about the Democratic Congresswoman who is attempting to politicize the President's call to the widow, offering condolences.
“I was stunned when I came to work yesterday, and brokenhearted, when I saw what a member of Congress was doing. What she was saying, what she was doing on TV. The only thing I could do to collect my thoughts was to go walk among the finest men or women on this Earth.”
Kelly also stated that he thought that Trump's call was both appropriate and respectful, and that the President did the best he could offering his condolences. Kelly further backed Trump on another "media created controversy" when he offered that he did not receive a phone call from President Obama when his son died in battle.

So now I guess the left will apparently have to call General Kelly a liar as well as the President on this one. A man who lost his own son in battle, vs a woman who continuously votes against military benefits.

Who do you side with?

We now have people who "covered up" U.S. Russia collusion...

investigating allegations of U.S. Russia collusion that cannot be uncovered...  

Here are the facts:
  • We have evidence of a bribery plot dealing with the sale of Uranium One to a company with close ties to Vladimir Putin. A sale that turned over 20% of America's Uranium production to Russia.
  • Court documents reveal that the FBI had enough evidence to prove the bribery charges related to Uranium One, but that the sale was ultimately approved  anyways. (Timothy Geithner, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder where three major players responsible for approval) 
  • This bribery plot was concocted and executed while Robert Mueller was director of the FBI. 
  • The plot was apparently uncovered under the James Comey reign at the FBI. 
  • The investigation into this bribery plot was supervised by Rod Rosenstein.  
  • In spite of evidence, the investigation never led to charges, and was for all practical purposes swept under the rug.
  • The Loretta Lynch Dept of Justice threatened criminal action against an FBI informant who wanted to notify congress to the details of the investigation.

  • James Comey (The FBI director responsible for concealing the original investigation)  admitted (while under oath) to leaking information to the press in order to facilitate the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations of "Trump/Russian" collusion in spite of not having any evidence of such collusion.
  • Rod Rosenstein (who headed the original investigation into the actual collusion) called for the appointment of a special prosecutor for allegations of collusion that had no evidence.
  • The Special Prosecutor Rosenstein appointed was none other than Robert Mueller, who was in charge of the FBI when the "actual" collusion was taking place. 
I tell you... you can't make this shit up.  

Politico Poll - 46% believe media "makes shit up" about Trump

Am I paranoid, or are they really just out to get me? 

A new poll by Politico and Morning Consult shows that 46% of voters believe that major news organizations fabricate stories about the president and his administration.
The poll, published Wednesday, also found that 37% of voters think the media doesn't fabricate stories about the president. Another 17% were undecided.
Morning Consult conducted the poll between October 12-16 and surveyed 1,991 registered voters.

That's a fairly strong sentiment. We are not talking about 46% of the public believing that the MSM gets things wrong, or that 46% of the public believes that the MSM has some bias, or that 46% of the public believes that the MSM is willing to misrepresent. Nope. 46% of the public believes that the MSM flat out lies and makes shit up.  

So keep this in mind, if you are one of those people who believes everything you hear from the MSM as it pertains to Trump. You represent just over one third of the country. You are in the minority. You might ask yourself why?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

So called "bipartisan" subsidy agreement blows up...

Trump won't sign it - Ryan won't back it

I guess it takes more than two Senators to agree on something?

The reality here is that Trump, Ryan, and most of the GOP will want some tangible concessions before they are seen (to their voters) as caving in and funding Obamacare. For many conservatives, voting for a measure that would legislate tax-payer bailouts of the insurance companies (as they see it) would be political suicide.

Hawaii Judge substitutes his judgement for that of...

The Department of Homeland Security and pretty much every other intelligence agency.
EO-3 suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries 2 would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States".
Basically Derrick Watson believes he knows better than the entire executive branch as to what does and does not constitute something that is "detrimental to the interests of the United States".  His order even admits that the President received recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security before formulating his executive order. In other words, Judge Watson concedes that reasoning is not the Presidents, but came from National Security experts from the Department of Homeland Security who offered extensive research.

But apparently Judge Watson isn't convince that our Nation's intelligence community knows enough, has enough information, or is collectively smart enough to know better than him. Unfortunately for Judge Watson, these sorts of "substitutions" of their own personal opinions over that of the legislation or executive branch generally don't end well for the Judge in question.

A second mistake that Judge Watson makes is referencing (several times) the 9th circuit court case as a precedent in terms of judging the new E.O. While it's technically true that the 9th circuit court case has not yet been dismissed (as it doesn't expire for another 6 days) the same logic used by the 9th was also used by the 4th and the USSC already dismissed that case (including any of the legal logic that could otherwise be used for precedent).  If, as expected, the USSC does dismiss the 9th circuit court case (as they did the 4th) then a good portion of the legal reasoning Judge Watson uses will also be invalidated.

I've said it before, and I will say it again. We have the worlds largest and most robust intelligence communities. They are capable of gathering and analyzing data and information as well as anyone.  The fact that a District Judge feels qualified to question the Department of Homeland Defense and basically tell them that they are wrong... is an alarming display of someone who has both a god complex and no clue what the term "separation of powers" means.

Breaking News - Proof of collusion finally found!

Of course, you won't be hearing about this in the MSM
Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.
Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.
They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.
Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions. The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

If you read the whole article, there appears to be more hard evidence of  collusion between Obama officials (mainly Clinton) and the Russians, than have even been offered as possibilities regarding Trump officials and the Russians.

Worse yet, but overseeing most of this was current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and of course the person in charge of the FBI at the time was Robert Mueller.

This begs the question. What would happen if the actual Attorney General (Jeff Sessions) called for an independent prosecutor to investigate this. This independent prosecutor would then be in a position to be investigating the same people in charge of investigating the alleged Russian interference in our election, and possible ties to Americans.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Anyone else see a trend?

  • Donald Trump takes away DACA and tells Democrats that they need to negotiate a compromise on immigration security to get it back.
  • Donald Trump pulls out of the Paris accord, and tells the world that they need to renegotiate the deal to get us back.
  • Donald Trump refuses to certify the Iranian's compliance, and tells everyone that they need to renegotiate a better deal to get our support again.
  • Donald Trump takes away insurance company subsidies, and tells the Democrats that they will need to negotiate a compromise on health care to get it back.

Some perspective...

So a lie is a lie is a lie, right?

While the left get's their collective undies in a bunch over whether or not we are the highest corporate taxed nation (or the third), and whether or not past Presidents called or wrote the parents of fallen soldiers...

Sometimes there are lies we are told that actually have tangible consequences.

The guilty plea of Bowe Bergdahl has reminded us that he was a traitor and deserter. It reminded us that brave soldiers lost their life in a vain search for him, when he originally went missing.

Yet, we traded five Taliban members for Bergdahl, and our former President treated him and his family as if they were cherished patriots. In spite of our own military refusing to list Bergdahl as a POW and suggesting that he more likely deserted... our President and administration went out and publicly demanded that Bergdahl was captured in battle and was a Prisoner of war. He was a brave American hero according to them.

Moreover, the entire situation appeared to have more to do with moving people out of Guantanamo Bay, than anything else. Our former President was bound and determined to close that facility, even if it meant trading brutal killers for a deserter and traitor. Bergdahl was little more than a political pawn being used for a larger political goal.

Bottom line: President Obama stood up in front of the world, and demanded that this was representative of who we are as a country. Potentially putting killers back into the battlefield to kill some more, in exchange for a traitor and deserter... all so we could move closer to closing a military prison.

Yeah, exactly who we are as a Country.

Reality here folks. Some lies matter more than others.

Meanwhile... ISIS being destroyed

Isis driven out of Syria 'capital' by US-backed forces
Fall of city is a potent symbol of the movement's collapsing fortunes
US-backed militias have completely taken Isis' de facto capital, Raqqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Tuesday, in a major symbolic blow to the jihadist group.
The fall of Raqqa, where Isis staged euphoric parades after its string of lightning victories in 2014, is a potent symbol of the movement's collapsing fortunes. The city was used as a base for the group to plan attacks abroad.
Seems like this is something we should be hearing about more. Doesn't the destruction of ISIS across the region feel like a more important story than what some "unnamed source" is telling some reporter about Donald Trump's late night television viewing habits and whether or not he regularly flosses?

It's time to face the fact that our new main stream media norm is to ignore most "real" news and focus on their soap opera coverage of "As the Donald Turns". Nothing, apparently, is more important than reporting on the day to day events of our President. The world could probably be invaded by aliens, and reporters would flock to report on whether or not the President's greeting was offensive with pages and pages of analysis on how other Presidents probably would have handled it differently.
"Chris, key analysis suggests that the President's choice of tie color may have been a factor in why the alien invaders chose to destroy the continent of South America. Had he worn a blue tie, and given his greeting while sitting down, all of this could have been avoided. Unnamed sources have said that the President has become increasingly agitated with recent events, and that there is disagreement between advisers on how best to deal with the alien war ships. After the break, we will have a two hour round table discussion on how the potential destruction of the planet will hinder the President's agenda and reelection chances. We will also interview Chuck Schumer and see what criticism of the President he can come up with."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Typical Liberal Rant...

Janet Napolitano:  I Wrote DACA. Now I'm Suing to Ensure Trump Can't Destroy It.
Now the future of DACA is in jeopardy. The Trump administration’s plan to end the program is illegal, unconstitutional, and anathema to our national ethos. It also defies common sense. I believed in the importance of DACA five years ago, and I will fight for it now.
So Janet Napolitano suggests that Donald Trump's actions are "illegal and unconstitutional".  Meanwhile Napolitano spends the three preceding paragraphs (prior to the quote) and then spends the next nine paragraphs explaining why she believes DACA is a good program. She even manages to provide us with specific examples of individuals who are part of the program, as if any of that is relative to the legality of the action.

She waits until the fourteen paragraph as an attempt to make any actual "legal" argument to back up her claim. She puts her best legal foot forward by arguing that just because a similar immigration program was deemed illegal by the courts, doesn't mean DACA would be. She offers that it must be legal, because the Loretta Lynch run Department of Justice offered such an opinion. Of course, even if you take all of that at face value, it still wouldn't make the elimination of the program "illegal". One executive action can undo a previous "legal" executive action without breaking any laws or running amok of the constitution.

Of course, she saves her best argument for last, by offering that such an executive action would "clearly" violate the "due process" rights of those covered by DACA because the executive action would be in violation of the Administration Procedural Act (which prohibits "capricious" actions). By those standards, every administrative procedure that grants any benefit to any people (Americans or not) would be untouchable, due to the outstanding legal argument that doing so would constitute capricious action that violates due process.

I am sure there is a judge in Hawaii or California just itching to agree. 

Fake News?

Some media outlets and political pundits are advocating that by ending the cost-sharing reduction payments for the insurance companies selling health insurance on the exchanges, that somehow this will also end the rules put in place that require the health insurance companies to reduce the premiums for individuals who meet certain financial eligibility.

In other words, the law states that your insurance premiums (charged to you by the insurance company) will actually be different depending on your income. You buy the plan at one price, someone who makes less money than you, will buy the same plan at a cheaper cost.  This is oddly called "cost sharing". I guess it's "cost sharing" in the same manner that the entire law has made insurance "affordable".

I guess I should have read the law before we passed it.
So the implication from many news sources is that the decision of the Justice Department and Health and Human services (aka Trump) to end the subsidies will also end the cost reduction breaks given to those who qualify by income to receive them. Meaning the poor will suddenly lose all of these income based premium reductions.

That is simply not true. That portion of the law is straight forward and still in place. Lower income Americans purchasing "qualified health plans" will still get the same breaks that they have always been given. Not doing so, would be a matter of insurance companies breaking the law.

The contention here is in the direct reimbursement to the insurance companies for the "cost" of said price breaks. While the law clearly requires that insurance companies provide breaks to the cost of insurance, and there is language that suggests that the insurance companies should be reimbursed, it's not so clear that "how" or "where" that funding is actually made available. According to the very distinct actions of everyone (including the current and former administrations, congress, and a district Judge) any such payments must be requested as a separate allocation from congress (almost like a news spending law) on a year to year basis to congress and apparently congress is under no obligation to provide it.

The previous Administration had suggested that the lack of such a requirement was an drafting oversight. They claim that the law was just poorly written, and that the cost was always meant to be covered somewhere (I guess Pelosi should have read it first). They are probably correct, and if this was anything but a matter of the "purse" the President could probably write an executive order to make a slight change to the law. But as it stands, there is no constitutional means for the executive branch to take funding from where it is otherwise legally appropriated and use it to pay insurance companies.

This would be no different than Donald Trump ordering that funding being appropriated for new security agents instead by used to fund the building of a wall. I am guessing that the people who supported Obama's fund shifting, would have an entirely different reaction if Trump did the same thing.

Bottom line: While insurance premiums on qualified plans will likely rise as a whole,  this will not "specifically" effect those who are receiving the income related premium breaks from the insurance companies. They will still receive them as a matter of law. Anyone telling you or implying different, is simply flat out lying.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Trump to end "Obamacare Insurance company subsidies"

At least insurers can no longer claim uncertainty 

This is not unexpected, since a federal judge had already ruled that such payments were not funded as a permanent part of the Obamacare law and that the executive branch was overstepping it's constitutional boundaries in allocating money to fund them. The long and short of it, was that the law "allows" for them, but never bothered to appropriate funding for them. Congress could appropriate funds for them separately on a year to year basis, but there is no "requirement" that congress do so. The Obama administration argued that the law was simply poorly drafted and it should be open to executive interpretation. But this (of course) is the sort of thing that happens when you have to "pass a law to find out what is in it".

Obviously it would be up to congress to "amend" the law to make those payments permanent, but that seems highly unlikely unless (once again) the Democrats would be willing to make concessions and agree to make more substantial changes.

That being said, there is already talk that some states are looking to go to court to "force" the administration to continue with the payments. Look for California and Hawaii to be one of the first to go to court and challenge the action. They certainly have the best shot at finding a judge to figure out a way to twist the constitutional law and grant them relief.

But such a suit would seem to be a significant uphill legal battle ultimately, considering the existing ruling on the subject. At best, the higher courts might ultimately rule that the administration should be "allowed" to continue the funding (in spite of the actual law not providing for it specifically). But we would be getting into the area of "constitutional crisis" if the judicial branch started ordering the executive branch to spend money that was not legally allocated from the legislative branch, or started ordering the legislative branch to allocate money... because a Judges believes it's a worthy cause.

But look for liberals and Democrats to focus on the optics. Telling us how damaging it will be for poor people, and trying to make this about anything but the actual fact of law.  But at a certain point, the left must at least "acknowledge" that there is such a thing as a constitution, checks and balances, and a separation of powers, and that our Government has to actually follow these rules... not just do what liberals feel they should.

The adult lectures the media

Chief of Staff John Kelly
I would just offer to you that although I read it all the time pretty consistently, I’m not quitting today. (Laughter.) I don’t believe — and I just talked to the President — I don’t think I’m being fired today. (Laughter.) And I’m not so frustrated in this job that I’m thinking of leaving.
I will tell you, this is the hardest job I’ve ever had. This is, in my view, the most important job I ever had. I would offer, though, it is not the best job I ever had. The best job I ever had, as I’ve said many times, is when I was an enlisted Marine sergeant infantryman. That was the best job I ever had.
So unless things change, I’m not quitting, I’m not getting fired, and I don’t think I’ll fire anyone tomorrow. (Laughter.)

No, I’m not frustrated. This is really, really hard work running the United States of America. I don’t run it, but I’m working for someone who is dedicated to serving the country in the way that he’s talked about for a number of years. There are incredible challenges — you know, economic challenges, healthcare challenges, all of that; obviously international challenges that have to be dealt with.
I don’t mean any criticism to Mr. Trump’s predecessors, but there is an awful lot of things that were, in my view, kicked down the road that have come home to roost, pretty much right now, that have to be dealt with.
This is hard, hard work, John. And my only frustration, with all due respect to everyone in the room, is when I come to work in the morning and read about things I allegedly said, or things that Mr. Trump allegedly said, or people who are going to be fired, or whatever you all think. And it’s just not true.
That’s my frustration. And I mean no disrespect to you all.

All of you. Not all of you, but many of you. As I said when I first started talking — again, I’m a reasonable guy, but when I read in the morning — I read the — well, I won’t tell you what I read — but when I watch TV in the morning, it is astounding to me how much is misreported. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are operating off of contacts, leaks, whatever you call them. But I would just offer to you the advice: I would say maybe develop some better sources. Some person that works way down inside an office, or — well, just develop some better sources….

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins visit White House - The left is upset

So according to all sources, the team and the President all had a good time. The NHL and the Penguins franchise both put out statements to the effect that the visit was not political, it was an endorsement of any political policy, but rather a traditional event that they would attend regardless of who was in the White House.

Of course, this didn't stop the media as describing the visit as "controversial" and in some cases actually criticizing the Penguins for accepting the invitation and attending. Others flat out suggested that the Penguins, the NHL in general, and NHL fans are white racists:
An NBA champion was invited to the White House two decades before an NHL champion, yet that tradition didn’t stop Stephen Curry and the Warriors from speaking out against going (with Trump pulling his invitation to them afterwards). The NHL may have other reasons for its attempts at political neutrality — namely, it’s a league comprised primarily of wealthy, white men who aren’t impacted in the same way by the issues being protested in the NFL — but in wake of the collision between Trump and activism by athletes, that’s an uphill climb. Link
Apparently, according to the media, the new acceptable norm for athletes is the spoiled brats of the NBA refusing to go to the White House, and the spoiled brats of the NFL refusing to stand for the anthem. Anyone who does other wise is now a problem and I guess doesn't understand "reality".

Of course, the Pittsburgh Penguins quite literally are a "multi-cultural" team... represented by players from eight different countries. This includes players from Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, and of course the U.S. and Canada. But according to the haters, they simply are not represented by the "correct" culture (aka: black America) and therefor they simply "don't get it".

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tell all your %$&ing Christian friends don't &^%ing come in here!!!

I'd *&^% Christ up the ass! Christ is hot!! 

McConnell puts his foot down

So Mitch McConnell has stepped up and decide if nothing else is going to get done... well then by gosh and by gully, they will confirm some Justices.

In the wake of the Senator Franken fiasco, the Senate Majority leader has determined that the "Blue Slip" tradition is no longer going to be honored. According to Fred Barnes, McConnell told him  “The majority will treat a blue slip as simply notification of how you’re going to vote, not as an opportunity to blackball.”

McConnell added that contrary to some rumors, there is not going to be a lifting of the debate limit per Justice. As Majority Leader, McConnell sets the schedule, and has vowed to make debate on Judicial nominees a top time priority moving forward. There is some suggestion that he will start to schedule every Thursday and Friday to be specific towards Judicial hearings.

President Trump has nominated a stellar group of Justices that all deserve hearings and up and down votes. McConnell has stated that this will now become priority one in the Senate. Looks like this is one thing that actually may get done.

USSC dismisses 4th circuit court ruling on Travel ban...

The court said the case the International Refugee Assistance Project brought against the ban is now moot since Trump’s order banning nationals from six majority-Muslim countries expired on Sept. 24.
We granted certiorari in this case to resolve a challenge to “the temporary suspension of entry of aliens abroad under Section 2(c) of Executive Order No. 13,780.” Because that provision of the Order “expired by its own terms” on September 24, 2017, the appeal no longer presents a “live case or controversy.” Burke v. Barnes, 479 U. S. 361, 363 (1987). Following our established practice in such cases, the judgment is therefore vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with instructions to dismiss as moot the challenge to Executive Order No. 13,780. United States v. Munsingwear, Inc., 340 U. S. 36, 39 (1950). We express no view on the merits.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented from Tuesday's order vacating the judgment. She said she would have dismissed the case as improvidently granted.
Not sure "exactly" what the difference is between the order and Sotomayor's dissent. The term improvidently granted seems murky to me. But it appears that Sotomayor wanted to provide some semantic merit to the original decision that the rest of the court passed on.

What is most relevant in this decision is the order that original judgement is to be vacated, making the original fourth circuit decision a "legal nullity". For all practical purposes, the decision never existed and has no legal precedent.

Most everyone expects that the USSC will also dismiss (in the same manner) the 9th circuit court ruling when that expires on October 24th.

The ACLU (and others) are suggesting that the court did not say that the ruling was "wrong" and are moving ahead with challenges to what they call the third "Muslim Ban".  Of course, with the addition of North Korea and Venezuela, as well as a much more detailed explanation of the security reasons for the ban, the argument that it is a third "Muslim ban" becomes more of a political rhetorical argument than a fundamentally sound legal one. Regardless of how the experts viewed the original ban, these same experts seem to all agree that the latest ban is much stronger (from a legal standpoint).

Given that the USSC seemed primed to overturn the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Court decisions on the second ban there is little reason to expect that the USSC would not do the same thing if the fourth or ninth Circuit Courts decided to go down that same road again. The only question is whether or not they will.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Roger Goodell shows some backbone...

Or he just wants to stop the bleeding...

To: Chief Executives/ Club Presidents
From: Commissioner Goodell
Date: October 10, 2017
Re: Fall Meeting/National Anthem
We live in a country that can feel very divided. Sports, and especially the NFL, brings people together and lets them set aside those divisions, at least for a few hours. The current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country. 
Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players. 
I expect and look forward to a full and open discussion of these issues when we meet next week in New York. Everyone involved in the game needs to come together on a path forward to continue to be a force for good within our communities, protect the game, and preserve our relationship with fans throughout the country. The NFL is at its best when we ourselves are unified. In that spirit, let’s resolve that next week we will meet this challenge in a unified and positive way.

Yeah, it was just a matter of time before Management would step up and tell their spoiled rich brats to grow up and behave themselves. While the players may feel "unified", Goodell is exactly right to see that the players and fans are anything but.

Between Jerry Jones laying down the law that players who do not stand and respect the anthem will not play (perfectly legal btw...) and now Goodell tossing this statement out to the teams... it looks like some of the adults are taking charge again.

Problem is... it might be too little and too late. Once you get used to not watching NFL football it's pretty easy to not miss it, and not come back. Especially when you realize that you are putting your emotional state of mind into the hands of idiots. 

Trump seek concessions from Democrats on DACA

Democrats go nuts and threaten government shutdown!

Bottom Line: The Democrats want something for nothing because their base is screaming for "clean DACA legislation". Trump isn't going to give it to them. While I am sure he would settle for less than what he is asking for, the Democrats are going to have to play ball if they want to save the "dreamers". 

In March, the work permits start to expire for those on the program... at which time, they officially become undocumented. That appears to be sort of the drop dead date on this one. Trump has drifted away from his "play nice" position on this one. So we are back to expecting the unexpected, which could include even the concept of some of these people risking deportation.

Of course, even with these deadlines and giant stakes... one can expect that pretty much nothing will get done...

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Here is an idea? Let all illegal aliens move to California!!

California becomes 'sanctuary state' in rebuke of Trump immigration policy
Under threat of possible retaliation by the Trump administration, Gov. Jerry Brown signed landmark "sanctuary state" legislation Thursday, vastly limiting who state and local law enforcement agencies can hold, question and transfer at the request of federal immigration authorities.
Senate Bill 54, which takes effect in January, has been blasted as "unconscionable" by U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, becoming the focus of a national debate over how far states and cities can go to prevent their officers from enforcing federal immigration laws. Supporters have hailed it as part of a broader effort by majority Democrats in the California Legislature to shield more than 2.3 million immigrants living illegally in the state.
Seriously... if California want's to deal with the illegal immigration population, then all the more power to them. They can invite all 11 million to come live with them.

The only thing I would caution, is that they shouldn't ask for a red cent of federal funding for anything that goes towards that cause, including federal subsidies for medical expenses, housing expenses, or any other expenses that can be tied back to "their" decision to allow the illegals to roam free.

If California truly wants to act independently of Federal law, then let them do it outside of the Federal dime. But, we know that won't fly.  Like most liberals, Californians probably feel entitled to act however that they want to (responsible or not), without having to deal with the consequences of those actions.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Sue happy culture runs amok

Trump lifts birth control mandate. ACLU sues.
"This will leave countless women without the critical birth control coverage they need to protect their health and economic security. We will take immediate legal steps to block these unfair and discriminatory rules.”
So, to be clear... we are talking about undoing a government mandate that the courts already deemed to be in violation of the federal religious freedom restoration laws in certain situations (Hobby Lobby - Little Sisters of the Poor). In fact, there are currently 200 employers who either have been or currently are in court cases making similar arguments as Hobby Lobby and LSOTP. The Trump move was made largely as a means to help these organizations to reinforce existing or resolve their lingering court cases.

However... we now have people who will advocate that it's unconstitutional for the Government "not" to mandate that private citizens (employers) provide a particular good (birth control) to other private citizens... because "not" doing so would somehow be deemed to be "discriminatory". Makes you wonder out loud which part of the constitution is being violated and whether or not they will even provide any such argument.

I would love to hear how your Hawaii or California Judge is going to spin this one, in order to reach a liberally political favorable decision? At some point in time, will the left finally admit that they no longer see the courts as an arbitrator of the law, but as a means to challenge policy they disagree with?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Quote of the day...

Standing up by kneeling? 
"I don't see kneeling while the anthem is being played as being disrespectful," said Mary Taylor, 64, a retired law librarian from Olympia, Washington. "Somebody has to stand up. Right now, it's black football players."
er, I think they are the one kneeling... 

So why is it...

That liberals are willing to take away rights of millions of American citizens who are responsible rifle owners, because a few use them irresponsibly to kill someone (less than four hundred rifle murders a year).... but are willing to look the other way as more than a thousand people a year are murdered by illegal immigrants?

On average, the percentage of legal American citizens who legally apply for and legally own some sort of rifle and then go on to murder someone is fractions of a percentage. Meanwhile, the percentage of illegal immigrants (who by nature have already broken the law) who go on to murder someone is actually higher. Approximately between two and three times as many people are murdered by illegal immigrants than are murdered by someone with a rifle.

I will tell you why

I think the reality is that people will always find an acceptable degree of collateral damage when it fits their personal priorities and personal politics.... but seem intolerant of any negative consequences to things that don't matter to them.

If you have desire for a gun for whatever reasons... the fact that a statistical blip of people are irresponsible with their guns will not convince you that you should give up your guns. Just as millions of car owners are not willing to give up their cars just because some people are irresponsible with their vehicles and people get hurt.  Likewise, if you are a political advocate for amnesty and opening up our southern borders, you are equally immune to the fact that over a thousand Americans a year are murdered by someone who is living here illegally.

But if you don't own a gun, don't care to own a rifle, and otherwise don't think they are necessary... then of course you only see the negative consequences. All murders committed with a rifle are senseless. Likewise, if you are not personally an illegal immigrant, do not have any personal ties to illegal immigration, and otherwise don't see any real benefit to illegal immigration... then the fact that a thousand people are killed every year by illegals will seem equally senseless.

So here is the question

Who gets to decide which freedoms outweigh the costs and which do not? Should there be some reasonable compromise that everyone sort of agrees upon (which has seemed to be our historical basis) or do we just follow the crowd in terms of which specific issues are worthy of cost and which are not... basically looking at majority rule and coloring everything black and white?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Here is a good stat for you...

In 2016 we had:

  • 7105 murders by handguns
  • 1604 murders by knife
  • 656 murders by personal weapon (hand, fist, foot, etc)
  • 472 murders by blunt object (club, bat, hammer, etc)
  • 372 murders by rifle

So is concentrating on automatic rifles really the best way to go about reducing murder and violence?

In every "other" situation that I can imagine, we are told to not make emotional decisions. To make sure our decisions are based on facts, logic, and reason. Yet, when it comes to these sorts of shootings, your gun control crowd will openly advocate using the "emotions" of a mass shooting to push for knee jerk legislative action.

They will tell us that if you wait a few weeks, when the emotions die down, that the very same legislation that might be able to be pushed through when everyone is in an emotional state, will no doubt lose support as people come down to earth.

Perhaps the reasonable assumption here is that if you cannot push the legislation on it's simple merits, then it's probably not good legislation. If you require the aftermath emotions of some national tragedy to pass it, then it probably shouldn't be passed.   

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Obama Administration used "behavior scientists" to promote Obamacare...

According to Judicial Watch spent $5 million on letters put together by "behavior scientists" using psychological gimmicks to "pressure" Americans who claimed exemptions or otherwise chose not to purchase insurance.

Moreover, it would appears that the Centers for medicare and medicaid services coordinated with the IRS to use taxpayer information for their tickler file on whom to contact. Judicial watch has finally gotten documents showing the CMS and IRS attempting to devise a plan to get around those pesky laws that prohibit the IRS from providing taxpayer information to "anyone" (including other government agencies). 

Apparently, the idea is that if the CMS and IRS "agreed" to use our personal tax information for actions prohibited by law... that it really isn't "against" the law.

But that begs the question... what other situations does our justice system "allow" people whom the law says are supposed to protect us to agree not do so in order to allow another party to exploit us... just because those two parties agree it's in "their" best interests?  

Another example of reckless law breaking by the previous administration... that will not only go unpunished but likely pretty much unnoticed. 

CBS executive fired for social media bender

After referring to the victims as "republicans gun toters"  whom deserved no sympathy and demanding that the "repugs" would fail to do anything to prevent the killing of children...

we finally see the "line" that you cannot cross and still remain an employee of a 2017 main stream media outlet.