Gay Patriot Header Image

Rep. Chaffetz is done

After 8 1/2 years of being a rising star in Congress (and sleeping on a cot in his office), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is quitting. A few weeks ago, he announced his resignation effective June 30. Sharyl Atkisson has a profile on him.

I’m sorry to see him go. As Chair of the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz has done a lot of good work to investigate Fast and Furious, the Obama IRS abuses, Hillary’s abuses, and more. I’m a fan of Judicial Watch and time and again, Chaffetz’ face pops up in their stuff as one of the good guys.

He hasn’t given one, overarching reason for quitting. Mainly he keeps it vague, saying it’s a decision that he and his wife made together. Surely the nastiness of Washington has played into their decision, in more than one way.

On a political level, Chaffetz is frustrated with the Trump administration’s lack of transparency and inability to change things:

The reality is, sadly, I don’t see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration. I thought there would be this, these floodgates would open up with all the documents we wanted from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon. In many ways, it’s almost worse, because we’re getting nothing, and that’s terribly frustrating and with all due respect, the [new, Trump] Attorney General [Sessions] has not changed [things] at all. I find him to be worse than what I saw with [Obama AG] Loretta Lynch in terms of releasing documents and making things available. I just, that’s my experience, and that’s not what I expected.

He goes on to characterize Washington Republicans as timid, and to express relief at not having to spend his weekends on political fund-raising anymore.

In defense of President Trump and AG Sessions, one could note the extreme “war zone” atmosphere in Washington at this time, in which the so-called “Trump administration” consists mostly of several thousand Obama holdovers who want to bring down their new President and are doubling down on all their old tricks.

But having noted that, I have to side with Chaffetz. Surely, AG Sessions could intervene with the bureaucracy to release documents that the Obama administration had stonewalled on. And the way forward in Washington is radical transparency: releasing as much information as possible, about as many bureaucratic, legal and political developments as possible.

Trump, and We The People, do not benefit from continuing the old Washington game. In fact, Trump will not survive if he lets it continue; and We The People benefit from smashing it. Smashing it means shining a light on what all the cockroaches, in both parties, have been up to. Thank you, Rep. Chaffetz, for having tried.

President Trump should fire Special Counsel Mueller

In the Watergate scandal of 4 decades ago, there were actual crimes at the heart of it.

  1. Five men, working for President Nixon’s campaign, broke into the other side’s headquarters to steal files and set up wiretaps.
  2. They were exposed and suffered consequences; but the consequences needed to reach up to Nixon as well, because he had known/approved their actions on some level, and lied to the nation (in denying his knowledge).
  3. In addition, the Nixon administration had spied on (and/or harassed) domestic opponents through the FBI, CIA and IRS.

In Bill Clinton’s impeachment 2 decades ago, there were actual crimes at the heart of it.

  • His conducting an affair with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office, while disgraceful, was not a crime.
  • But then Clinton and Lewinsky committed perjury – Lying while under oath, in sworn depositions in another matter (Paula Jones’ lawsuit). Also, they asked others to commit the crime of perjury. That’s what “obstruction of justice” looks like.

In both cases, there was something real to investigate and punish. In President Trump’s present situation, there isn’t. Trump’s only “crime” is that he won the election.

We already know because the Obama administration (like the Nixon administration) used the intelligence agencies against its domestic opponents. The Obama administration surveilled the living daylights out of the Trump campaign – using any excuse they could they could think of, “oh this is just incidental to surveilling someone else” – then carefully “unmasked” and circulated the data. That’s precisely why we have been treated to so many leaks to the media, these last several months, about who-met-when-with-whom.

And they’ve turned up nothing. There’s nothing there. No collusion with Russia. We know already.

The only other thing that Trump MAY have done (because we still have only one side of the story), is if he hurt the feelings of James “Leaker” Comey by expressing a polite “hope” that Comey wouldn’t prove to be a ridiculous butthole toward General Flynn. Big. Deal. Even by Comey’s account: No, Trump didn’t suborn anyone to wrongdoing.

As such, Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into these matters is a waste of time and resources that would be much better spent investigating the crimes of the Obama administration. Not only the spying and other harassment of domestic opponents, but also the Obama administration’s collusion with Hillary Clinton in covering up (or failing to prosecute) her many crimes; such as the Clinton Foundation pay-for-play corruption, Hillary’s willful and large-scale security breaches (that should have been prosecuted and weren’t – why not?), and more.

The purposes of Special Counsel Mueller are entirely political.

  1. Have a monkey on Trump’s back, instead of Obama’s and Hillary’s backs where it belongs.
  2. Have a monkey on Trump’s back, so that he will be unable to accomplish his campaign promises (infrastructure rebuild, tax reform, Obamacare reform, immigration / The Wall, smashing ISIS).
  3. Throw 1,000 lawyers at Trump and his key associates, so that eventually they will trip up in some “process” crime of not having responded with utter perfection, every time.

That’s how the game works. You just keep adding lawyers until you create a problem. Humans are forgetful, sloppy and flawed by nature. If you add enough lawyers, you are 100% guaranteed to catch someone in some inconsistency, eventually. It doesn’t matter whom you’re looking into. In this way, you can subvert or reject the result of an election.

If Trump were to fire Mueller, the controversy would be enormous but a lot of people would understand. Now including myself.

Under present circumstances, it would be reasonable and just. Let the Democrats demagogue their violent, insane “base” about it, and let the other half(-plus) of the country get on with the grownups’ business.

UPDATE: A prediction from Newt Gingrich that before it’s over, we’ll need a Special Counsel to investigate the Special Counsel.

An ethical question

Suppose you’re going after a job. It would be ideal for you in so many ways: it’s work that you really want to do, great company and setup, reasonable hours, no commute, having that job would enable you to complete a pending home purchase or marriage, etc. And, for whatever reason, you’re not having luck in other job offers – for now. Truth be told, you are desperate for this particular job.

It’s time to negotiate salary. You don’t want your employer to know your desperation. That would give them the edge. You want them to feel desperate. So, you drop hints about your many alternate offers and plans.

You don’t lie outright – for example, you don’t say “I have four other offers that I need to answer by Monday.” Because you know that would be false. You say things of a general nature whose implications could easily become true by next week or next month, such as “I have my shingle out there of course, and you can imagine some of the great responses coming my way.”

The distinction is that you’re saying things whose implications are not true at this moment, but not impossible either. You’re saying things that are potentially true, if you yourself were to invest more time or effort. Are such statements lies? Are you a fraud or sleazeball for making them?

I’m asking this for a political reason, not a personal one. After I see a few comments, I’ll write the second half of this post. 🙂


I appreciate the comments. Here’s the second half. (more…)

Kabuki theater

Figuring out what’s happening in Washington – under the surface, with the Deep State factions – is a guessing game. Highly uncertain. Of course I don’t “know anything”, in the sense of having sources. I read the tea leaves as best I can, and I guess.

When President Trump unexpectedly did a huge Saudi arms deal, I had a feeling that former FBI Director Comey’s testimony would then turn out as a net win for Trump. What’s the connection? Hard to explain. I’m going to say some stuff now which could easily be crap; feel free to shoot it down in the comments, or to add your own ideas.

(more…)

Much ado, part II

I wanted to capture some details for future reference.

  • Comey affirms that NYT has been publishing false stories of Trumprussia collusion.
  • Comey admits to maliciously leaking his own memos.

    Hmm – does this put Comey in legal jeopardy? (UPDATE: Seems more and more like it should. Comey’s formal memos of what happened on his job are government property. Could they be privileged information? Even classified? Then who was Comey to take them out of the office when he was fired; much less, to leak them?)

  • Senator Jim Risch dismantles any ‘obstruction’ case against Trump:

    Risch: ‘I hope’, this is [Comey’s version of] the President speaking, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go…I hope you can let this go.’

    […]

    Comey: “Correct.”

    […]

    Risch: “Thank you for that. He did not direct you to let it go.”

    Comey: “Not in his words, no.”

    Risch: “He did not order you to let it go.”

    Comey: “Again, those words are not an order.”

    Risch: “He said ‘I hope’. Now, like me you probably did hundreds of cases, maybe thousands of cases charging people with criminal offenses…Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice, for that matter of any other criminal offense, where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome?”

    […]

    Comey: “I don’t as I sit here.”

  • In other comments, Comey said that he interpreted Trump’s words as a direction, but that is, of course, B.S. Because
    1. Comey affirms above that he knew it wasn’t a direction, AND
    2. If Trump had given Comey a direction that Comey felt to be unethical or illegal, then Comey is in legal jeopardy for not having reported it sooner.
    3. Furthermore, per HotAir, Tom Cotton got Comey to acknowledge that he never threatened to resign over Trump’s behavior, as Comey did in a famous 2004 confrontation in John Ashcroft’s hospital room. Instead, and by his own admission, Comey told Trump “that I would see what we could do.”

    This exchange is stunning…ly bad for Comey:

    Rubio: Did you object to or inform the WH counsel about Trump’s “I hope” statement?
    Comey: “No.”
    Rubio: “Why not?”
    Comey: “I don’t know.”

  • We also have Comey and Trump both calling each other liars on certain points, which makes it he-said-he-said.

    Ever read Trump’s book? He has been dealing with lawyers day-in, day-out for DECADES. Figuring out how to influence people, without actually committing legal or ethical violations. His sister was a big-time Federal judge. The notion that President Trump would make inappropriate remarks to the likes of Comey, was always shaky.

  • Comey reveals that the Obama administration pressured him to downplay Hillary’s scandal. Call it a “matter”, not an “investigation”:

    LANKFORD: …the previous attorney general [Loretta Lynch] asking you about the investigation on the Clinton e-mails saying you were asked to not call it an investigation anymore. But call it a matter. You said that confused you. You can give us additional details on that?

    COMEY: Well, it concerned me because…the campaigns were talking about interacting with the FBI in the course of our work. The Clinton campaign at the time was using all kinds of euphemisms, security matters, things like that for what was going on.

    We were getting to a place where the attorney general and I were both going to testify and talk publicly about it I wanted to know was she going to authorize us to confirm we have an investigation. She said yes, don’t call it that, call it a matter. I said why would I do that? She said, just call it a matter…that concerned me because that language tracked the way the [Clinton] campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning…the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way [the Clinton campaign] was describing that. It was inaccurate. We had an investigation open for the federal bureau of investigation, we had an investigation open at the time. That gave me a queasy feeling.

    Where’s the outcry on that? Or, might it be coming? 🙂

UPDATE:

  • Alan Dershowitz – hardly a conservative – makes the interesting point that, if Trump ever had ordered Comey to stop an investigation, his actions would be totally constitutional. Worth viewing.

    Here’s what I got from it. A President can’t interfere with a judicial process. For example, he can’t tamper with juries or witnesses, end a prosecution (short of doing a presidential pardon), defy a subpoena or destroy evidence. But an FBI investigation is NOT a judicial process. Constitutionally, the FBI Director takes orders from the President. Past presidents have ended investigations they didn’t like. If Congress smells a rat, Congress can impeach the President; but that, too, is a non-judicial process (separate and political).

  • These exchanges settle a lot. Flaming skull time!

    Senator Burr: Are you confident that no votes cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered?
    Comey: I’m confident. By the time I left, I had seen no indication of that whatsoever.

    Senator Burr: Did the President, at any time, ask you to stop the FBI investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 elections?
    Comey: Not to my understanding, no.

    Senator Burr: Did you ever have access to the actual [DNC e-mail] hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?
    Comey: In the case of the DNC…we did not have access to the devices themselves. [ed: which means, and as I’ve stated before, the FBI relied on a report by CrowdStrike, a discredited DNC-paid company]

    Senator Risch: While you were director, the POTUS was not under investigation [at any time], is that a fair statement?
    Comey: That’s correct.

    Senator Collins: I’m trying to understand whether there was any kind of investigation of the President under way.
    Comey: No.

    Senator Rubio: …the president agreed with your statement that it would be great if we could have an investigation…
    Comey: Yes, sir. He actually went farther than that. He — he said, “And if some of my satellites did something wrong, it’d be good to find that out.”

    Lefties: You are not living in reality, if you think Trump is in trouble on this set of issues.

Flashback: Hillary’s Big Russia Deal

…in which Our Brrrrrrrrave Gal approved the transfer of 20% of the U.S. ongoing supply of uranium to Russian control, while taking millions in Russian- and/or deal-related donations.

I’m following this New York Times article from April 2015:

…the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, [took] over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal…brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain…

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

…the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States…the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among [them] was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns…Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show…

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. [ed: Riiiiiight.] But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors…

The article continues with pages of details. One tiny sample:

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

…several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

Did the Clintons hide some large donations, possibly showing consciousness of guilt? Yes. Example:

To judge from [Clinton] disclosures…the only Uranium One official to give to the Clinton Foundation was Mr. Telfer, the chairman, and the amount was relatively small: no more than $250,000, and that was in 2007, before talk of a Rosatom deal began percolating.

But a review of tax records in Canada, where Mr. Telfer has a family charity called the Fernwood Foundation, shows that he donated millions of dollars more, during and after the critical time when the foreign investment committee was reviewing his deal with the Russians.

By the way, I didn’t know that “While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves…”

Exit questions:

  1. Why would NYT publish such an article? Why in April 2015? On whose hidden agenda?

    To be clear: I’m glad they gave us the info. But NYT is usually pro-Hillary. Why would they do something that undercuts her? Because Schweizer’s book was about to come out anyway?

  2. Why has no Special Counsel ever been appointed to look into all this?

UPDATE: Do the Clintons profit personally from the Clinton Foundation? (more…)

More Obama-NSA abuses

Yet another story that should be all over the media, but I haven’t seen it much. (If you have, let me know.)

Why wouldn’t it be covered? I find that it reflects great discredit on the Establishment (both political parties, Deep State and Controlled Media). As I started to say yesterday, they have ways to decide what you’re going to hear about. For as long as they can, they will bury stories that don’t fit their agenda.

To review some background:

  • Under the 4th Amendment, the government isn’t supposed to spy on U.S. people without a court-ordered warrant.
  • “The FISA Court” is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 “to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.” (Wiki)
    Note, foreign.
  • But FISA Court hearings are secret and only the government and the court judge are present, like a kangaroo court. The adversarial system is abandoned.
  • As such, FISA tends to be very lenient to the government. Over time, they have created a secret body of law that gives the government sweeping powers to do domestic warrantless surveillance under an alleged “special needs exception” to the 4th Amendment.
    • One example – In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked a FISA order that requires phone companies to provide a daily, ongoing feed of everyone’s phone call data to the NSA. Super invasive!
  • Even so, FISA isn’t toothless and doesn’t approve everything – as you shall see. They need to preserve respectability, at least in their own eyes.
  • FISA judges are appointed solely by the Chief Justice of the United States. In this regard, Establishment Republicans control the FISA court.

That’s just background. Now for the news, as reported by John Solomon and Sara Carter at Circa.com.

Under President Obama, the NSA secretly conducted years of surveillance and searches on Americans that not even the secret, super-lenient FISA Court would approve.

The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community…

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm…

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.

Circa has reported that there was a three-fold increase in NSA data searches about Americans and a rise in the unmasking of U.S. person’s identities in intelligence reports after Obama loosened the privacy rules in 2011.

Officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have argued their activities were legal under the so-called minimization rule changes Obama made, and that the intelligence agencies were strictly monitored to avoid abuses.

The intelligence court and the NSA’s own internal watchdog found that not to be true…

The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself…

RTWT. Naturally, the NSA is scrambling to reassure people that it has fixed the problem. Riiiiiiiight. And Susan Rice didn’t lie and none of the surveillance data was ever misused against Obama opponents or improperly unmasked. Riiiiiiiight.

To people who understand civil liberties and limited government, all this is a huge deal that shows how far out of control the U.S. “intelligence community” (Deep State) has gotten. Chris Farrell at Judicial Watch compares it to President Lincoln’s suspension of habeus corpus during the U.S. Civil War.

Where is the Special Counsel on this?

Or the media coverage? Bush’s NSA did some illegal surveillance in the 2000s – and in 2005, was duly slammed by The New York Times. A large kerfuffle. “But that was then.” It served the interests of someone powerful – someone in deep alliance with, or control of, The New York Times – to weaken Bush. Not so much with Obama, eh?

See the FISA Court’s declassified order spanking the Obama administration, here. By the way, note how large sections of the relevant law and dockets are blacked out, showing how the FISA system has created secret law that the citizens aren’t supposed to know about. That’s horrible.

Also from Circa: Comey’s FBI was neck deep in the abuses.

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances…

Obama Debt Roundup

I meant to do this awhile back, updating previous posts in the series.

When President Obama left office on January 20, 2017, the U.S. national debt was $19.9 trillion. ($14.4 trillion held by the public; $5.5 trillion “intragovernmental”, for example, Treasury bonds held by Social Security.)

When Obama took office on January 20, 2009, the U.S. national debt was $10.6 trillion. ($6.3 trillion held by the public; $4.3 intragovernmental)

Obama more-than-doubled the part of the U.S. national debt that everyone agrees is important (what’s “held by the public”). And he nearly doubled the total.

And for what? Eight years of the weakest economy “recovery” on record.

Deficit update

First, let’s do a National Debt update. You’ll see why, in a minute.

As of this day, the U.S. national debt is $19.3 trillion. ($13.9 trillion held by the public; $5.4 trillion “intragovernmental”, for example, Treasury bonds held by Social Security.)

When President Obama took over from President Bush, it was $10.6 trillion. ($6.3 trillion held by the public; $4.3 intragovernmental)

So, Obama has already more-than-doubled the part of the U.S. national debt that everyone agrees is important (what’s “held by the public”). And he’s on track to double the total, by the time he leaves office.

But there’s more. On this day 3 years ago, the total was $16.7 trillion. So, over the past 3 years, the U.S. operating deficit – the money that the U.S. Treasury actually had to borrow to pay for stuff – has been $2.6 trillion, or roughly $865 billion per year.

That’s funny because the three most recent U.S. budget deficits are supposed to be much smaller. 2014 – $483 billion, 2015 – $438 billion, 2016 – $616 billion; for a total of $1.5 trillion. (September-ending fiscal year means a 2-3 month shift from the dates I used above; but that does not alter the story drastically.)

What does it mean? It means they’re lying to us about the size of the U.S. budget deficit. And they’ve been lying for years, as I’ve blogged previously.

Oh, you could say “Come now, the accounting numbers are accurate, they’re just using some budget/accounting tricks to hide a big chunk of their spending-and-borrowing.” But I consider tricks to be lies. Don’t you?

According to left-wingers like MSNBC and Rachel Maddow, or even the Dear Leader Himself, His Dear Leadership has reduced the U.S. annual budget deficit by 2/3. No, pumpkins. It hasn’t. You lie.

Irwin Schiff, R.I.P.

This past week, we had news that Irwin Schiff passed away on October 16. Schiff was a U.S. veteran, author, heroic income-tax protestor and, sadly, a U.S. political prisoner.

photo of Irwin Schiff
Irwin Schiff, 1928-2015

Big Government advocates will sometimes claim that the U.S. tax system is voluntary. They say it because they want to deny the obvious: that government is force (by its nature, it operates by forcing people against their will) – and that, as advocates of Big Government, they do basically want a dictatorial, regimented society.

I’ve seen lefties making the “voluntary” claim in GP comments. But as a stronger example, here is Democrat leader Harry Reid saying, “Our system of government is a voluntary tax system…We have a voluntary system.” Because, says Reid, if you don’t pay taxes in the U.S., “You don’t go to jail.”

That “voluntary” claim is nonsense, in practice. Some people, such as Eric Garner in 2014, are hounded by the police for selling untaxed cigarettes and then fatally assaulted by the police. Others like Gilbert Hyatt may be hounded by State authorities for decades, although they paid all taxes in full. Others like perceived Tea Party groups may be blocked (silenced) by the IRS for their political beliefs, before they could even have a chance to file tax reports.

And those who refuse to pay income taxes due to their outspoken moral and constitutional principles, such as Irwin Schiff, are jailed – and then forced to die in jail from untreated cancer. So much for the U.S. system being “voluntary”. You can be a conscientious objector to the draft! But not to the federal income tax.

I could try to tell more of Irwin Schiff’s story, but Peter Schiff does it best in his article, Death of a Patriot. Read the whole thing.

And consider downloading and reading Irwin Schiff’s last book, The Federal Mafia: How the Government Illegally Imposes and Unlawfully Collects Income Taxes. It’s free.

It’s free because, during Schiff’s lifetime, the government enjoined him from selling it. That makes it a banned book; indeed, it’s supposed to be the only book banned in the U.S. in the last 50 years (other than libel cases).

The book also claims that the U.S. income tax system is voluntary. I must suggest that Mr. Schiff’s own experience shows that, as a practical matter, he was mistaken about that. But he covers the history of the income tax in the U.S. and the IRS’ own use of the word “voluntary”. As such, Schiff may well have been right about the underlying Constitutional principle, or what *should theoretically* be true under the U.S. Constitution (which today’s U.S. government flouts in many ways).

Anyway, the book’s unusual ban, and Schiff’s cruel death in federal prison, should tell you something about our government’s true priorities. Hint: It’s much more to do with protecting the government’s power and jobs, than protecting or serving you.

Corruption and Malfeasance Breed Distrust

Pollster Rasmussen is shocked… SHOCKED… to find that people are losing their respect for laws and the courts.

Rasmussen’s new survey found that now a third (33%) of likely U.S. voters support the rights of states to ignore federal court rulings, a 9-point increase from February. The number opposing states’ rights to override the federal courts fell by six points to 52 percent, while 15 percent remain undecided.
Rasmussen declares that what is “even more disturbing” about the findings is that those who support the states are Republicans and conservatives, those who “traditionally have been the most supportive of the Constitution and the separation of powers.”

What Rasmussen is missing is that Rule of Law in this country has been undermined by the ruling party for political purposes, and that’s why Conservatives have lost faith in the courts.
Illegal Aliens are essentially exempt from American law. The president lawlessly decided to wave his hand and nullify immigration laws passed by the legislature.

The Supreme Court gives itself the power to write marriage laws for all fifty states, on the basis that gay people’s feelings get hurt and there is a Constitutional right to “dignity.”

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton… commits a string of felonies… mishandling classified data, influence peddling, tax evasion… and is untouched by the law.
Democrat Governor Jon Corzine bilks investors out of billions, and walks away scot-free.

But Christian bakeries and Gibson Guitars get legally curb-stomped for political incorrectness.

The reason people are losing faith in the ‘Rule of Law.’ and Separation of Powers is because it’s become very clear that the political leadership and their activist mob groups are using the law as a tool to punish political opponents. There is no more equality under the law; the law has become just a political weapon wielded by Democrats and their voting constituencies to punish the other side.

And people who aren’t angry about it are ignorant or like that the law is being used in this way.

In other polling news. 70% of Americans believe the media is intentionally biased. On a related note, CNN gave Hillary Clinton a tongue-bath this afternoon.

When public lying is your job

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:19 am - December 9, 2014.
Filed under: Government Accountability & Ethics,National Security

HotAir had this clip a few days ago, making the point that President Obama is flailing on his Egypt policy. I’m more into the “human interest” side of it.

The State Dept. spokeswoman has only meaningless answers on Egypt. Her smile frozen, she delivers her lines to her skeptical audience in a patronizing tone. When it’s over, she confessionally mutters, “That Egypt line is ridiculous.”

I almost feel sorry for her. But, if being Bree on Desperate Housewives were my job, I’d quit.

Video via the Washington Free Beacon; also on Russia Today via Zero Hedge.

Mary Landrieu can’t go away fast enough

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 4:14 pm - December 4, 2014.
Filed under: Democratic Scandals,Government Accountability & Ethics

James O’Keefe explains how her cronies engaged in (what judges have called) prosecutorial misconduct:

YouTube Preview Image

They apparently mis-used an anti-terrorism statute and leaked privileged material seized from O’Keefe, in throwing the book at him (one crony literally threw a book at O’Keefe, on-camera) for his having dared to investigate Sen. Mary Landrieu (D – LA) the Princess. O’Keefe has filed ethics complaints.

What’s the deficit, really?

In October 2013, I noted that the U.S. national debt leapt over $300 billion – the day after they raised the debt ceiling. It went from $16.75 trillion to $17.08 trillion, just days after President Obama had publicly lied that “…raising the debt ceiling…is not raising our debt. This does not add a dime to our debt.”

Update: Today, the U.S. national debt is about $18.01 trillion (or as this post is being written, $18,005,549,328,561.45).

$18 trillion! Up from $10.63 trillion when Obama took office on January 21, 2009. The Obama administration is 70% of the way to doubling the U.S. national debt – and still has two years to run!

But here’s the fishy part. Officially, the U.S. budget deficit for FY2014 was only $483 billion. If that’s true, our debt should have gone up a lot less. It should be just over $17.5 trillion.

There are two basic ways to measure the deficit.

  1. The official number: What the government budget states as revenue minus spending.
  2. The reality check: What the government had to borrow, to actually pay its bills.

Let’s take a look at the second one. I don’t have the exact numbers for the U.S. national debt for FY2014’s beginning vs. ending. But it should be obvious that, with the debt increasing by about $1 trillion from late October 2013 to end of November 2014, the real FY2014 deficit (covering twelve months from start of October 2013 to end of September 2014) had to be something larger than $483 billion. Otherwise, the FY2015 deficit would have to be $500 billion in just the last two months alone; and it isn’t.

So if an Obama supporter tries to say “The Dear Leader has reduced the deficit to $483 billion!”, you say: Then why did the national debt rise by roughly a trillion, over that same period? BALONEY.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has found yet another way of lying to us. I’m becoming convinced that all of the ‘headline’ statistics put out by this administration are manipulated to the point where they’re a fraud, at least partly.

The Left Comes for the Churches

In Houston Texas, where the mayor is a lesbian,  the local Democrat leadership is seeking to make the sermons of local church leaders subject to Government oversight, and, as usual, it’s because LGBT feelings got hurt.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed a motion in a Texas court to stop an attempt by the city of Houston to subpoena sermons and other communications belonging to several area pastors in a lawsuit in which the pastors are not even involved.

City officials are upset over a voter lawsuit filed after the city council rejected valid petitions to repeal a law that allows members of the opposite sex into each other’s restrooms. ADF attorneys say the city is illegitimately demanding that the pastors, who are not party to the lawsuit, turn over their constitutionally protected sermons and other communications simply so the city can see if the pastors have ever opposed or criticized the city.

Earlier this year, the IRS – weaponized by Obama into an instrument of political control – was colluding with groups of atheists to subject the content of religious services to State scrutiny.

The Culture War is over; we now live in the era of the Cultural Occupation. The social left… with its agenda of abortion, pornography, and the destruction of traditional moral and social values… occupies the Government, Academia, and Media. Anyone not on board with that agenda is living under occupation (and the Republican Party has gone Vichy). The only refuge left is the church, and the left is coming for that, as well.

Separation of Church and state is not enough; it now has to be subjugation of the church to the state.

Tax Day homily

Although this story focuses on California’s abuses, it shows how government gets its revenue in general: arbitrarily and with the power and willingness to ruin people’s lives.

In 1970, a young Southern California electrical engineer and inventor named Gilbert Hyatt filed a patent application for an innovative microprocessor chip…

Twenty years later…the U.S. patent office awarded Hyatt the patent…a multimillion-dollar windfall. He moved to Las Vegas, where he said he was a full-time resident before he received the earnings.

California’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB)…decided to seek $7.4 million in back taxes, claiming that he was still a resident of California when the money came in. That sounds like a simple enough dispute that could quickly be resolved, but what followed has been an ordeal that has consumed a good bit of Hyatt’s adult life.

…[for] a sum that now tops $55 million as interest and penalties have accrued…The tax authorities have been pursuing him through its administrative process. Tired of the endless investigations, Hyatt filed suit in Nevada court in 1998. California officials said they weren’t subject to an out-of-state tort lawsuit. California lost that argument in the Nevada Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court and the high court decision sent the case back to a Nevada district court, which awarded Hyatt nearly $400 million in damages after finding that the California authorities abused their power and invaded his privacy. That case is on appeal.

Hyatt believes that California officials are purposefully delaying. “Specifically, because of the 20 year delay Hyatt can no longer obtain a fair and full adjudication of whether he owes state taxes to California,” according to his lawsuit. “During this time, material witnesses have passed away, memories of witnesses have faded, and documents relevant and important to Hyatt are no longer available.” The board keeps assessing penalties…He suspects the tax board is waiting for him to die so that it can go after his estate.

Under California law, the Franchise Tax Board has the “presumption of correctness,” meaning that the onus always is on Hyatt to disprove what the tax officials say. And, he argues, they keep changing their stories and their allegations, thus resulting in more years of legal expenses and disputes…

To sum up – When dealing with the tax man in America today, you have:

  • No “innocent until proven guilty”.
  • No real “right to a speedy trial”.
  • Kafka-esque complexity and situations rigged for you to lose.

To anyone who wants to claim that our tax system is “voluntary”, or that government somehow isn’t a gun, or that taxation somehow isn’t a use of force on people (many conscientious tax-objectors are given long jail sentences): You’re just lying.

And suddenly, HFT

I never knew that Casey Kasem was the voice of Shaggy. But I digress.

CBS recently did a good piece on High Frequency Trading (HFT), a means by which well-connected computers churn the stock markets and skim the cream. 15 minutes, here it is:

But a few things are odd about HFT as a story, or at least noteworthy.

First: the curious absence of government involvement. HFT has been going on for years (Zero Hedge started blogging it in 2009). Where have the vaunted government regulators been, all this time? Answer: Nowhere (until right now, as we’ll discuss in a minute).

The CBS piece praises Brad Katsuyama, a trader who figured out years ago how HFT works and founded a new exchange, IEX, to try to defeat HFT. That’s a great example of private enterprise being ahead of the regulators.

In fact, private enterprise has run circles around the regulators; first by creating HFT, then by being years ahead of government in working to defeat HFT. Could it be that government regulation isn’t effective? (cough)

The mainstream media’s absence from the HFT story until now (2014) is also striking. And that brings us to the second oddity: the timing of the CBS story. As if by magic, within days of its airing, we have also had announcements that the FBI will finally probe HFT. And that Goldman-Sachs will back IEX, the new HFT-free exchange. (Update: And the pr0n-watching SEC finally, also, investigating.)

I’m old enough to recognize a co-ordinated campaign. Granting that HFT is a real story, I still must speculate that the reason why HFT is suddenly on our collective lips, under investigation, etc., is because somebody powerful finds it convenient, at this time. (Where in the previous five years, they didn’t find it convenient.)

Who is that somebody? I don’t know. I did just note that Goldman-Sachs is rolling with the punches, at least. Over at Zero Hedge, they speculate that HFT is now being set up as the scapegoat for a coming stock market bubble-crash. The Federal Reserve is (by its QE, ZIRP and many other policies) the biggest market-rigger of all. The Fed has engineered the stock market bubble of the last five years. And, when that bubble bursts eventually, the Fed will want us all to blame something or someone else.

UPDATE: On CNBC, Katsuyama and a (truly obnoxious) pro-HFT guy get down-n-dirty. Good times.

So let me get this right:

The administration—whose latest foray into unobstructed, unlegislated, we’ve-got-this, go-it-aloneism was the fabulously ‘effed up roll-out of HealthCare.gov—is going to make 2014 the year of the Executive Branch takes on the world without the messiness of involving the People’s Branch of the federal government?

This’ll be something to see…

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from The Ranch)

Greens Behaving Badly; Evil Corporations Doing Good

The UK Daily Mail has exposed how the Green Movement has enabled the wealthy to become wealthier by using green energy initiatives to extract money from the working class. (This does not come as a surprise to those of us who have long found it curious that all the answers to Global Warming involved giving billions of dollars to organizations run by Global Warming activists.)

And in the USA, the highest paid employee at the EPA has been revealed to be perpetrating  a massive fraud. (Two, if you count both impersonating a CIA officer and Global Warming.)

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin — the evil defense contractor that Left Wing Nut/fat sack of crap Job Michael Moore blames for somehow causing school shootings — has developed a revolutionary desalination process that has the potential to bring clean drinking water to millions of poor people around the world and lessen global tensions over water supplies.

I know there is outrage on the left over the private distribution of water, but, come on. Delivering clean potable water requires massive investment in infrastructure. The private sector, with an appropriate level of oversight, is well-equipped and incentivized to provide this service. And one need look no further than socialist Venezuela to see that putting bureaucrats in charge of public utilities doesn’t work out so great.

In any case, my guess is that due to Green interference, this technology will never reach its full potential.

Purity, Principles, and Dealbreakers

You get kind of tired of hearing Establishment Republicans whine that those of us who support the Tea Party over the Establishment are putting purity before pragmatism. Not at all. We just don’t trust the Establishment GOP because, time and time again, they’ve shown that they define pragmatism as stabbing the base in the back and helping the Democrat Left advance its agenda.

Marco Rubio won his senate seat promising to oppose Amnesty, and by his admission, a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants was Amnesty. Once in office, Rubio quickly betrayed his voters and signed onto the Gang of 8 Immigration Bill, that contained not only a path to citizenship, but gives the President almost unlimited authority to waive any of the bill’s requirements. (As if Obama would never do anything like that.) Pat Toomey also betrayed conservative who supported him by signing onto gun control. It’s Republican Standard Operating Procedure: Get Elected as a Conservative, Betray the Base, then lie about it . Meanwhile, someone like Ted Cruz actually does what he promised to do … fight Obamacare tooth and nail … and gets Cruzified.

You can follow the old, “someone who agrees with me 70% of the time is my 70% friend, not my 30% enemy” chestnut… and broadly that is valid. Sometimes you have to accept half a loaf. But not every compromise is worth making. There have to be some deal-breakers attached to that:

  • Amnesty – The importation of millions of unskilled foreign workers at a time when millions of Americans can’t find work is a crime against the working class.
  • Gun Control – The Second Amendment is Sacrosanct. And we know even the most benign-sounding gun control law is just part of the “just the tip” incrementalism the left uses to lead to eventual gun confiscation. They have admitted it. Repeatedly. And openly.
  • Fiscal Responsibility – Wasting money is a thing up with which we should not put. And especially no sucker deals where Democrats promise cuts later for tax increases now and the cuts never, ever happen.

You could probably add abortion-on-demand to that list as well. But the key point is, there is something very important that the Establishment GOP political insiders and their highly paid consultants (not to mention the left) don’t get and that is this:

Conservative voters don’t care about party affiliation, and we don’t care about personalities; we don’t base our votes on whom we would prefer to have a beer with or who has the nicest crease in their pants. (We further think people who vote on those criteria are idiots.) We vote based on principles, and we expect those whom we vote for to uphold those principles once elected. And when they don’t uphold them, we get pretty pissed off about that.

Update: Remember John McCain’s Gang of 14, that classic case of bipartisan compromise, where 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans ganged up to save the filibuster, prevent the nuclear option, and s-can most of Bush 43’s judicial appointment? Today, the Democrats showed their gratitude.