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We may as well note the Arpaio thing

To me, it’s a yawner, sorry. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a patriot. He tried to enforce existing border law. He stepped on some judge’s order and was then targeted for prosecution by the Obama administration. He was found guilty, under the letter of the law. The Constitution lets the President pardon people. Some lefties are calling it the end of the Constitution, that President Trump would have pardoned Arpaio; but it’s the usual misleading hyperbole. In reality, the whole thing from start to finish is an exercise of the Constitution.

Here’s video of former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (a clean government guy) making the point (among others) that President Obama pardoned or commuted the sentences of 1700 people, from drug dealers to forgers to the traitorous Chelsea Manning.

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UPDATE: Who can forget Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich? By any objective standard, Arpaio deserves his pardon more than Rich or Manning.

Which is what makes it so boring. The Left gins up non-controversy #1,388,544,877 over a pardon as reasonable/constitutional as any.

UPDATE: Our intrepid commenters point out other matters where Arpaio might deserve prosecution. I could be fine with that. Operative word, “other”.

In this post, I’m discussing the one contempt-of-court charge. I assumed that Trump’s pardon was tailored to that. I looked for the actual text of the pardon and didn’t find it. But I think it would have to be (since conviction comes before pardon).

The effort to Overturn 2016 continues

First, here’s Alan Dershowitz (a lifelong Democrat, and a law professor) on Special Counsel Mueller’s new grand jury:

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I do think that they’re looking to catch Moby Dick, the Big Whale, and that’s what the Special Counsel will be after…If he doesn’t get somebody, he will be regarded as a failure who spent a lot of money investigating and came up with nothing. So, I think there is very much an incentive to try to come up with something serious…

The fact that it’s empaneled in D.C., they already had a grand jury empaneled in Virginia, and I think one of the reasons they moved this to D.C. is that’s a completely Democratic district, as distinguished from Virginia which is a swing state, and it has an ethnic and racial composition that would be somewhat less favorable to Donald Trump. And any experienced lawyer understands that both prosecutors and defense attorneys look at factors like ethnicity, race, political affiliation, when they decide what venue is best for their case.

For such remarks made earlier, Maxine Waters called Dershowitz “racist.” (No, I’m not making this up. Her word.)

This is a witch hunt, plain and simple. They will find someone in Trumpworld who bought a ham sandwich in Russia. That ham sandwich will be said to break some law or other (Deep State has so many laws, for this very purpose of selectively punishing people who inconvenience them). They will indict that person and/or intimidate him into framing Trump, despite the fact that the American people already considered the possibility of all this in 2016 and gave Trump the nod anyway. They will do all this while ignoring Hillary’s destruction of smartphones and 30,000 emails intentionally to obstruct justice.

Hey lefties and Deep Staters: Any of you who may believe all this to be wonderful for your side, are morons. If your side should happen to succeed in overturning the 2016 election: you will only remind people of why you’re enemies of law and democracy who must be stripped of all political power. Call it the Obi Wan Effect. If you do knock out Trump, you will make him symbolically “more powerful than you can possibly imagine”.

Some more signs of lefties and/or Deep Staters up to no good:

  • Federal employees step up defiance of Trump. As NDT put it, “not only are these imbeciles demonstrating that they do not respect the will of the voters, they are openly bragging that they are out to sabotage and attack the will of the voters.”
  • At the end of July, Obama’s failed CIA Director Brennan called for government officials to disobey orders if Trump should put an end to the Mueller investigation.

    Let’s be clear: Trump has the constitutional authority to end Mueller’s investigation. Whether it’s politically wise, is another question. What Congress should or would do next, is another question. But he 100% has the authority, as the head of the Executive branch. As such, Brennan’s comments were a call to rebellion and irresponsibly wrong.

Judicial Watch, pushing on the voter fraud

There’s no question that vote fraud takes place in the U.S. The question is: the extent of it. Miniscule, vast, or something between?

A few weeks ago, I posted on Project Veritas’ efforts to expose people who admit or encourage fraud. Another group, working on the cleanup side of it, is Judicial Watch.

First, some background.

  • America has roughly 3,000 counties.
  • Under federal law, they are required to provide voter lists to anyone who asks. (Some states sell voter lists for a nominal fee.)
  • States are also required to clean up their rolls over time, a law that President Obama did not enforce.
  • The average county would have around 2/3 of eligible adults registered to vote.
  • Several hundred U.S. counties have more people registered to vote than they have residents.
  • In other words: probably a third-or-more of their voter roll is some mix of people who are either non-resident, ineligible/illegal, dead or fake.
  • Included are some of America’s largest counties by population, such as Los Angeles County, San Francisco County.
  • The number of such counties is on the rise: In a federal government report in 2015, it was 300 counties. Today, it’s 470. This works out to millions of illegal registrants.

Judicial Watch has sent out letters telling these counties they have 90 days to clean up their rolls, or Judicial Watch will sue them. JW had to sue Montgomery County, MD a few weeks ago for something more basic, not providing information. Montgomery County refused under Maryland state law, which was a wrong action in that federal law pre-empts, here.

JW has also notified California counties to clean up, or else.

Judicial Watch announced it sent a notice-of-violation letter to the state of California and 11 of its counties threatening to sue in federal court if it does not clean its voter registration lists as mandated by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Both the NVRA and the federal Help America Vote Act require states to take reasonable steps to maintain accurate voting rolls. The August 1 letter was sent on behalf of several Judicial Watch California supporters and the Election Integrity Project California, Inc.

In the letter, Judicial Watch noted that public records obtained on the Election Assistance Commission’s 2016 Election Administration Voting Survey and through verbal accounts from various county agencies show 11 California counties have more registered voters than voting-age citizens: Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%), Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%), Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%).

Remember, by U.S. norms, the numbers should be well under 100%. So, many counties with 80% or 90% may also have many illegal registrants. I expect that the point of targeting the 100% counties is that the violation is so blatant, there.

In April, Judicial Watch sent notice-of-violation letters threatening to sue 11 states having counties in which the number of registered voters exceeds the number of voting-age citizens. The states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Thank you, Judicial Watch!

Let’s face it: Deep State is in full-on war against Trump

For months, and with the exception of some judges, the Senate has held up President Trump’s appointees – resulting in a government that is (still) filled with Obama holdovers. It’s semi-traditional for Presidents to make appointments during the Senate’s recess (Obama sure did it). Today’s news is that Senate Republicans have conspired to block Trump from doing so.

Their excuse is Trump’s recent public humiliation of AG Sessions. That was rather strange (as I commented on here). They don’t want Trump to suddenly appoint a new AG. The problem is, Trump also can’t make other (justified) appointments. And it’s not an isolated matter; you can fit it into a larger pattern.

Jumping over to yesterday’s theme about McMaster, the news there is also still “War”.

  • Business Insider’s writer frames McMaster as the good guy, has some worthwhile details.

    “There is a split in the White House between the Bannon camp of ideologues and the McMaster-Mattis-Tillerson camp of more centrist intellectuals,” Pete Mansoor, a retired Army colonel who worked closely with McMaster, told Politico…

    John Kelly’s recent move from homeland security secretary to White House chief of staff should ensure McMaster’s independence and control over the NSC…

    But the nationalists may have a competitive advantage: Trump, who already thinks McMaster is a “pain” who talks too much and has complained to aides that he wants Flynn back at the White House, is reportedly considering sending McMaster to replace Gen. John Nicholson as the top commander of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

    “What the nationalists are saying about McMaster: ‘He wants to send more troops to Afghanistan, so we’re going to send him,'” Axios’ Mike Allen reported Thursday.

  • Politico also says that McMaster is in a “pitched battle”, re-making the NSC in his own image. And that General Kelly will be his ally; uh-oh!
  • The Daily Beast says McMaster has gone to war and “has to move fast”.

    “The president hasn’t liked the plans he’s been presented on Iran, Afghanistan, or ISIS,”…“The process hasn’t worked like it should,” to produce the innovative plans President Donald Trump tasked his team with crafting—plans that look different from what the Obama administration, or even the Bush administration, tried before.

    So McMaster has been removing anyone on his team who either obstructed his own vision or had trouble rallying the other agencies around particular policy…

  • The Daily Caller: “Everything The President Wants To Do, McMaster Opposes,’ Former NSC Officials Say”.

    “Trump wants to get us out of Afghanistan — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to get us out of Syria — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to deal with the China issue — McMaster doesn’t. Trump wants to deal with the Islam issue — McMaster doesn’t. You know, across the board, we want to get rid of the Iran deal — McMaster doesn’t. It is incredible to watch it happening right in front of your face. Absolutely stunning.”

Jumping to the White House staffing issue: word from Jack Posobiec is that “If You Like Infowars or Milo You’re Fired”.

Jana Toner, a member of the Presidential Personnel Office, is regularly heard publicly insulting prominent pro-Trump media figures, including former Breitbart Technology editor Milo Yiannopoulos and Infowars founder Alex Jones. Mrs. Toner has even told White House interns that sharing content from Mr. Yiannopoulos or Mr. Jones’ Infowars on social media is grounds for dismissal.”

…a PPO employee who reports directly to Mrs. Toner declared: “We will search through your Facebook and we will find everything,” and “If you like Milo Yiannopolous or Alex Jones this isn’t the place for you”…

…Johnny DeStefano, who previously served as an aide to ousted House Speaker John Boehner, is currently the head of the PPO [Presidential Personnel Office], and has used his position to block Trump supporters from key positions…

Toner has established herself as a prominent anti-Trump presence within PPO…Toner was heard [saying] that students who took time off school to work for the Trump campaign are typically not “intellectually qualified” to work as White House interns.

Toner is a Bush family loyalist, having served the George W. Bush Administration in numerous capacities…

I have mentioned 3 elements of the Establishment’s (or Deep State’s) war on Trump:

  1. The Senate blocking Trump’s appointments.
  2. McMaster purging Trump loyalists, non-interventionists or “nationalists”.
  3. Who’s in charge of the White House staff? Former Speaker Boehner and the Bush family?

More elements that I didn’t even touch on, here:

  • The unprecedented levels of media bias (which were already bad, before Trump).
  • The cynically paid (Soros-funded) protests.
  • The giant nothing-burger of evidence-free innuendo that is Trumprussia.
  • And of course, the corrupted Mueller investigation (that is supposed to be restricted to Trumprussia, but isn’t).

The common theme is Trump not rewarding his own supporters, not paying attention to who’s installing the personnel, not pursuing saboteurs (or racketeers) under the law, letting the Republican Establishment cuck him, and in general, not being in charge of his own administration. We have to give him some of the fault. This isn’t what anyone voted for.

But the even larger point is: What happens if Trump loses this epic conflict?

  • Does America, under President Pence or whomever, go back to war-mongering and ruining entire countries like Obama did?
  • With the Deep State and Senate Republicans having colluded to destroy a populist President (however flawed he was): must we, the People, then turn to violent revolution to break Washington and finally get some decent policies?
  • And will it be too late?

This week on Game of Thrones

The recent White House shake-ups (resignations of Spicer, Priebus and Scaramucci) seemed to have driven the previous “Trump Jr” frenzy from the news. But it’s back. And all of it may be connected – on the themes of leakers, scheming advisers, and Trump (possibly) not being in control of his own crew.

The new brouhaha is a story from The Washington Post which claims that President Trump personally dictated the initial Trump Jr. statement about Trump Jr.’s short meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya in 2016. Naturally, WaPo tries to make it all sound worse than it is. The question arises: How did WaPo get the story?

One clue could be that the WaPo story praises Jared, Ivanka, and White House aides Hope Hicks and Josh Raffel. The praise is traditionally a signal that they are valued sources.

But the leakers of this particular story could be others. Cernovich claims that leaks are coming from White House interns, and/or civilians related to Air Force One. He says:

With Mooch out of the way, Jared Kushner’s interns feel free to record conversations and leak away. Indeed, people on Air Force One are leaking damaging stories to the Washington Post…

Pro-Trump interns were blocked by Kushner and Reince Preibus, as I reported back on May…These [actual, anti-Trump] interns are now recording White House conversations and sharing those recordings with the media…

Trump gave the power of personnel to swamp monster Johny DeStefano, who squeezed out Trump’s most loyal supporters…HR McMaster has also been hard at work purging the NSC of anyone who puts America First…McMaster has been pulling security clearances of Trump supporters…Never Trump’er Brian Hook is in complete control of the State Department…Hook is using this power to block Trump hires at State…Trump is being abused like a beta male by the GOP establishment, McMaster, and Never Trump’ers like Brian Hook.

Interesting, if true. Is it? All I know for the moment, is: Cernovich’s pattern is to wrap hyperbole around grains of truth that nobody else had (also known as “scoops”).

*IF* Trump’s presidency does fail in the end, the probable reason will be this set of issues: that his people were working at cross purposes, allowing The Swamp to infiltrate and consume them all.

de Blasio’s Secret Pizza Party

I’m late getting to this, but there’s been a lot of other news. Bill de Blasio faces questions over his apparent pay-for-play. From The New York Times’ July 24 article, a sample:

Less than six months after Bill de Blasio became mayor of New York City, a campaign donor buttonholed him at an event in Manhattan. The donor, Harendra Singh, one of the earliest contributors to his mayoral campaign, ran a restaurant on city property and was having problems with the lease. Could the mayor help him?

That encounter, on June 3, 2014, set the wheels of government turning in an extraordinary way on behalf of Mr. Singh. City officials at the highest levels became involved, ultimately drawing the interest of federal investigators focused on what they saw as a pattern of trading favors for campaign contributions…

Allegedly, de Blasio’s behavior extended to retaliatory firing of whisteblowers. Both the Manhattan and U.S. attorneys investigated in 2016, and it’s unclear why de Blasio wasn’t charged. (Preet Bharara, anyone?)

The fun bit was when de Blasio read a book to a bunch of kids, Secret Pizza Party. By example, the story encourages kids to steal things, keep it secret, and have secret parties that they don’t tell grownups about. Right up his alley.

I digress now, but it’s even creepier that the book tells kids, “When you make something secret, you make it special,” a line straight out of Pedophile 101. I mean, don’t get me started on Jacob Schwartz, who was a top de Blasio staffer.

Trump’s thing with Sessions is weird

President Trump continues to take pot shots at his own appointee, Attorney General Sessions. First, we have to admit where Trump is right. Here’s one example:

Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!

It’s true.

  • The FBI and DOJ leaderships are indeed politically corrupted. Trump probably hired Sessions to clean them up.
  • Andrew McCabe is indeed a raging Democrat whose wife takes money from Hillary.
  • Special Counsel Mueller does hire only strict Hillary partisans, and looks to be going out of control. (He was supposed to deliver a timely report on 2016 election interference. It looks like that won’t be happening.)
  • Former FBI Director, James “Leaker” Comey, probably was a “fixer” for the Clintons as I explained at length, awhile back.
  • Sessions should indeed be focused on these matters, and on the government leaks (which are probably related to these matters or a good entrance into them) – NOT marijuana.

But, given all that…Why doesn’t Trump just fire him? And don’t say “loyalty”.

The only answer I have thought of yet, is if Trump is afraid that he won’t be able to get a decent replacement for Sessions through the Senate. And it has been a joy, sort of, to see Senate Democrats suddenly rush to Sessions’ defense – after having painted him as a racist during his confirmation hearings.

Having said that: Trump’s public humiliation of his own Attorney General is unseemly and unhelpful. He should either fire Sessions already, or straighten him out – in private.

Vote fraud in America

One thing our political-media Establishment doesn’t want to acknowledge, is vote fraud. America is crawling with anecdotes of it. Some even made it to the GP archive on the subject. (Mostly posted by V the K; thanks V!)

A recent case was Andrew Spieles, a Democrat activist in Virginia, who was caught registering numerous dead people. Since he was caught, the judge sentenced him to 100-120 days in prison. But most are not caught.

Project Veritas has great coverage of different methods of vote fraud. For example,

And more. Here is a summary of PV’s undercover videos on vote fraud in the last 5 years, and here is their archive of posts on the subject.

Once you’ve accepted the idea that America is largely run by corrupt political-media elites – who can protect their own from investigation, or at least from indictment (*cough* Hillary); arrange for punitive investigations on others; suppress media stories that they don’t like; push nonsense media stories that they do like – even to the point of hysteria; and so on: It’s easier to accept the idea of vote fraud machinery that is hidden from public view (never reported on). Especially in States that don’t clean up their voter rolls and don’t have voter ID laws. Which is, most States.

The good news is that, earlier this year, President Trump formed a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, to look into this issue.

The bad news is, 29 States are refusing to comply with the Commission’s requests for information. Republican as well as Democrat (though NY Governor Andrew Cuomo – D showed extra hypocrisy).

What are they trying to hide?

As one angry election official put it, “This commission was formed to try to find basis for the lie that President Trump put forward that has no foundation.” Such bravado. As we’ve seen, it’s no lie; it’s a claim with plenty of foundation, even ignoring the potential role of illegal aliens.

Perhaps there are privacy concerns, as the information being requested sounds a bit intimate – names, the last four digits of social security numbers, addresses, birth dates, political affiliation, felony convictions and voting histories – until you realize that the Commission only asked for information that was publicly available under each State’s laws.

If these State election officials have nothing to hide, they should be happy to prove it – by complying with the Commission’s legally-allowed requests. Election officials are supposed to be our servants, not our masters. We The People demand answers.

The real coup d’etat?

We’ve had weeks of exciting news elsewhere, but I’m finally updating an earlier post on President Trump’s budget plans. Where we are:

  • The U.S. national debt is at $20 trillion and counting, with an operating cash deficit around $800+ billion per year. (Thanks, Obama!)
  • Trump hasn’t changed anything – yet; he has allowed Congress to pass continuing resolutions that change nothing.
  • Having said that: his proposals are revolutionary.

From the Associated Press:

JULY 07, 2017 – The Trump administration aims to further tighten its grip on spending, issuing a memo Friday that calls for eliminating some federal agencies and cutting government jobs as part of the upcoming fiscal 2019 budget.

…the 2019 budget would be a “comprehensive plan” to reduce the number of government workers and merge or terminate federal agencies as requested by an executive order signed in March…

…sharply reduce spending for Medicaid, food stamps and student loan subsidies, among other programs. Even Republican lawmakers called the cuts draconian…

The memo for fiscal 2019 is an initial step for a budget the White House would propose early next year.

FY2019 begins a little over a year from now, in October 2018. That’s a ways off. Trump’s proposals don’t touch Social Security or Medicare, the most fiscally-dangerous entitlements. And Congress will mangle any cuts that he does propose. So, all this is slow progress.

Having said that: It is very different from what Obama or Hillary would have proposed. While the President does not set the budget, he runs OMB and gives important input. Trump has suggested that food stamp recipients should have to work. And here are 66 programs that Trump would want to eliminate.

All this surely adds to the intensity of left-wing and Deep State opposition to Trump. As the saying goes, “Follow the money”.

Re: Deep State, consider that Trump has proposed deep cuts to the State Department and foreign aid. And I’ve heard tales (sorry, I can’t find the link right now) of CIA employees adoring Obama because of the way he boosted their budgets and salaries; if true, of course they would perceive the “unknown”, budget-cutting Trump as an enemy.

Again, the President does not dictate the budget – constitutionally, the Congress does – but the tendency/direction of his proposals has an impact. That we have a President who will propose cuts, is a Regime Change. Let’s hope it sticks.

Taking your money at gunpoint

You pay taxes because the government forces you to. The only differences between taxation and robbery are:

  1. The government makes it legal (when they do it).
  2. The government has more window-dressing or layers of deception. For example, they’ll say that you pay taxes voluntarily. (Which is deception, because they will jail you and/or your banker if you don’t pay; and shoot you if you resist jail.)

In Seminole County, FL, they just got a little more honest. Seminole County tax collector will allow employees to carry guns.

Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg told the Orlando Sentinel that according to Florida law, he and his employees are considered “revenue officers” and are exempt from the state’s ban on the open carrying of firearms while performing their duties…

He said 15 to 20 employees will be allowed to carry firearms. Greenberg said no one will be forced to carry a weapon, adding that he “can’t imagine that they wouldn’t want to.”

The citizens, by contrast, can’t carry guns. So now the tax collectors are armed, and the citizens aren’t. (Whereas before, they met on slightly more equal terms and had to bring the police in for any physical disputes.) Roman empire, here we come!

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.