Congress • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • GOPe • Post • Republicans

T’was a Nice Republic, While It Lasted

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On or around 9 a.m. EST, on July 24, 2019, as a gentle breeze wafted over the gingerly groomed Kentucky bluegrass grounds of the National Mall, the great God-Emperor of American Justice himself—Robert Swan Mueller III—descended, like Moses from Mount Sinai or Zeus from Mount Olympus. Downward he came from his lofty perch in the heavenlies, whence the right judgments of his all-knowing, unbiased and perfectly objective mind emanate like piercing UV rays of legal wisdom from the sun itself.

Why were we blessed with this spectacular, once in a lifetime visitation, which only a few million eyes have seen?

As the media mavens breathlessly informed us, over and over again, Lord Mueller was summoned to appear in deceptively frail human form to converse with his humble servants (i.e., congressional House Democrats) about his most recent, and apparently final, infallible encyclical on the serious matter of Russia’s successful attempt to install Donald J. Trump as president and personal sock-puppet to Vladimir Putin—thereby denying the Oval Office the graces of its rightful heir and pre-ordained occupant, Madam Secretary Hillary! Rodham Clinton.

Lord Mueller assured everyone that CrowdStrike was correct: Putin achieved this dastardly feat of WikiLeaks hacking and stole the American presidential election by: a) running a couple thousand dollars worth of ads on Facebook; b) somehow guessing that John Podesta’s email password was “password”; and c) somehow getting into the former secretary of state’s basement where she kept her private unsecured email server—no matter what Ellen Ratner says Julian Assange told her directly, and despite not ever having had either servers in the FBI’s chain of custody.

To lend Mueller’s definitive analysis even more credibility, the very Democrat attorney who represented Clinton’s former IT guy (who at Clinton’s direction allegedly wiped her server clean of any evidence) was sworn in with Mueller. This same attorney, the Democrats were relieved to hear, also ran the special counsel’s day-to-day affairs while Lord Mueller apparently was napping most of the time. But for Lord Mueller’s assurances, there were absolutely no conflicts of interest in any of this, this fact might otherwise have been mildly concerning, even to CNN legal analysts, who were busy organizing impeachment parties before the hearing started.

In any event, the assembled patron saints of congressional districts from sea to shining sea had been entrusted, by virtue of this divine commission, the great task of explaining to the boobery in red-state flyover country why—despite the apparent lack of any actual evidence of collusion, conspiracy, or whatever—and a terribly confusing explanation from Lord Mueller himself as to why he was (uncharacteristically) unwilling to make a prosecutorial decision at all about obstruction of justice—it is nonetheless their somber and sublime duty to impeach the duly elected president, Donald J. Trump. And, as a bonus, they must hang him high for treason (something to do with building hotels before he became president), too.

After all, Lord Mueller pronounced Trump “not exonerated,” and as everyone knows, the presumption in America has always been that Republican presidents must prove their innocence beyond any reasonable or unreasonable doubt whatsoever, and be subjected to endless accusation and systematic investigation until they resign, or are impeached, or at least are not re-elected.

Various sundry hoi polloi and their rabble-rousers (i.e., congressional House Republicans) also attended, to maintain the illusion that what was going on was somehow vaguely connected to the Constitution; but Mueller rightly paid them no mind. Instead, he cleverly Jedi mind-tricked them into repeating their questions several times over the course of nearly half their allotted time, and otherwise encouraged them to use the rest of their allotted minutes talking to his trembling right hand. Apparently, his hand had nothing to say, either.

He was, in short, having none of their impertinent inquiries into his staff deliberations, reasons for declining to prosecute implicated Democrats, decisions to arrest and torture others he wished to see punished, why he only looked into one side of his remit and studiously ignored the other, and other such off-topic desiderata that might actually have boosted the spectacle’s ratings.

To be sure, there was no way the majority was going to insist he lower himself and be subjected to mere mortal standards of under-oath testimony—which is to say, Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) were not going to allow much less compel him to be seriously cross-examined, or even frisked. No. That they will reserve for the likes of the fiendish (not to mention suspiciously hot) Hope Hicks.

All in all, Mueller’s testimony amounted to a dreadfully dull affair in which any discerning patriot would realize that all these endless XYZ-gates and their interminable special investigations have achieved is to flip every principle we say we stand for upside-down in the bloodlust for partisan electoral advantage.

T’was a nice republic, while it lasted. Requiescat In Pace.

Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images

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America • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Donald Trump • Immigration • Post

Can Trump’s New Asylum Rules Stem the Illegal Tide?

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Illegal immigration numbers remain at levels triple that of previous years, and Congress continues to bicker, foot stomp, other otherwise ignore the problem. In the face of this, the Trump Administration released its latest attempt to bring the border crisis under control. 

Under new rules issued last week, migrants will now be required to seek asylum in at least one country they pass through on their way north. In other words, to qualify for asylum in the United States, Hondurans and Salvadorans would first have to apply for—and be denied—asylum in Guatemala or Mexico.

The response from critics was predictable. “These new regulations are illegal and flout our asylum laws,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Tuesday. In a press release, the ACLU stated that the “Trump Administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger,” right after they vowed to file a lawsuit to fight the change. U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, described the regulations as “xenophobic and racist.”

None of them, however, acknowledged a key feature of the new rules: they put the United States in compliance with exactly the way the rest of the world handles the flow of refugees between borders. 

Under international law, the Dublin Regulation stipulates that migrants seeking asylum are required to claim it in the first safe country they enter. The basis of this rule prevents migrants from using the asylum process simply to shop for a preferred destination, because it assumes that if migrants truly are seeking shelter from persecution, they will stop in the first place they find relief.

In practical terms, it can be explained this way:

Passing through another country without seeking asylum undercuts any claim made upon arrival at the U.S. border. For example, a Honduran who claims he was forced to flee due to political persecution has no compelling reason to go further than Mexico. He obviously has no credible reason to fear he will be persecuted by the Mexican government. Thus, ignoring Mexico’s asylum process is prima facie evidence that a claim for asylum in the U.S. is bogus.

If this rule is racist and xenophobic, then so apparently is the prevailing legal standard in Europe. And so is our similar agreement with Canada, which has been in place since 2004.

Why Are These Rules Necessary?
A key feature of this ongoing border crisis is the exploitation of the asylum process by thousands of illegal crossers, which has resulted in a backlog of over 900,000 immigration cases and years of wait time. 

Under federal law, to be granted asylum an alien must prove that he faces persecution, or has a “well-founded fear of persecution,” in his native country “on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

Migrants claiming asylum are given an initial screen by Customs and Border Patrol agents, but then their claim must be heard by a judge. Given the years-long wait time, migrants are generally released into the country. By the time they show up for their hearing—if they do—many of them have been in the United States for years.

Migrants increasingly have figured out how to make this dysfunctional system work for them. Show up, claim asylum, get released. Come with a child, and the process is further expedited due to federal rules that prevent the detention of children for more than 20 days.

Border interviews confirm that while many migrants are fleeing violence, their primary goal in getting to the United States is economic. Many male migrants say they intend to secure work in the United States to send money back home, and in many cases have family already in the country and jobs lined up. At the same time, many don’t intend to stay in the United States permanently; they plan to work for a time before returning home. 

In other words, these are largely economic migrants using the asylum process—designed to protect people fleeing persecution—to gain entry to the United States to make money. 

Migrants exploiting the system in this way create huge backlogs that prevent true asylees from having the expedited access to necessary relief. But even that definition has been stretched by judges. 

Recent rulings have extended the legal meaning of “persecuted social group” to include “married women in Guatemala who are unable to leave their relationship” and “those likely to be recruited by gangs.”

With such a loose standard and nearly guaranteed release into the country, is it any wonder asylum claims have increased 1,700 percent in the last decade?

Congress Could Change All of This
Democrats are seething with indignation and immigration groups have already sued the administration over the new rule.

As with the furor over the immigration crisis, however, Congress has the power to change the situation.  Congress could change the asylum laws, to make them more restrictive, or more generous. Congress could give Border Patrol and the Department of Health and Human Services more resources to address conditions in the squalid detention facilities. Congress could also beef up enforcement resources to go after the cartels who are reaping billions of dollars from trafficking in drugs and people. 

Instead, the House Democrats spent last week passing a resolution to condemn a tweet, voting to hold Trump Administration officials in contempt, and trying (and failing) to pass a resolution of impeachment. Meanwhile, the Republican majority in the Senate spent last week voting on tax treaties that would largely benefit corporations. 

The same people who vilify the Trump Administration are, through their own inaction, leaving the White House to try and manage a daily overwhelmed and drastically under-resourced southern border.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images

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2016 Election • Congress • Deep State • Donald Trump • Post • The Resistance (Snicker)

Dems Try to Undo 2016 Election By Probing Trump’s Inaugural

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Even nearly three years later, Republicans still savor and chuckle at the video of the woman in a winter coat and glasses, howling a primordial “Nooooo!” into the cold January air as Donald Trump was inaugurated.

For Democrats, though, Inauguration Day 2017 remains a special kind of wound. As has often been said for going on three years, the Democrats have been trying—with all of the deep state and mainstream media power at their disposal—to undo the 2016 election of Donald Trump.

Democrats feel their opponents must be discredited and destroyed, and their preferred method is lawfare and media innuendo. And, as the ceaseless investigations and legal harassment of the last few years have shown, they have had the power of law enforcement and highly partisan elements of the Department of Justice with which they can exact revenge on Donald Trump and his supporters.

For the first time in memory, Democrats in the Senate have been bullying and frantically urging the Justice Department to investigate all aspects of the opposition party’s inauguration, from individuals connected to the inauguration committee to employees of the Trump Organization, high profile donors and fundraisers, and members of the post-campaign transition team. 

For months, federal prosecutors in New York have been on the hunt. Hundreds of news articles breathlessly reporting the inevitable downfall of these officials were created from leaks by deep state operatives in the Justice Department. 

Unsurprisingly, it always amounted to nothing. 

In a late Friday night news dump last week, prosecutors sheepishly admitted there would probably be no charges filed against anyone in the Trump Organization for inauguration-related activity. 

Where do the people who have been targeted by bogus, partisan investigations go to get their reputations back? Who pays their legal fees, and compensates them for months of time, stress, and worry? 

Now, Democrats and these same activist, partisan lawyers are moving on to Republican donors, again hounding them using the legal system. These donors might have more resources with which to fight such harassment, but any wealthy individual runs up against the limitless means with which the United States government can apply pressure.

In April 2018, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Dick Blumenthal (D-Conn.) authored a letter to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, demanding an investigation into Elliott Broidy, a prominent GOP fundraiser and donor to pro-Israel causes. Of course, the two senators weren’t really writing to Sessions. They were sending a signal to Democratic Party loyalists in the Justice Department—then, as now, crammed full of Obama appointees. 

As Liz Sheld at American Greatness asked, “Is this a fight to end corruption or a fight to use government agencies as weapons against political enemies?”

The attack on people like Broidy is strategic: Democrats wish to frighten potential Republican contributors with the prospect of invasive and costly investigations. If “the process is the punishment,” as they say, it’s better to just stop donating to conservative or Republican causes, keep your head down and allow the Left to prevail over American politics uncontested.

People like former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, who have been the target of this kind of politically motivated prosecution and investigation by the rogue prosecutors, know how daunting it is to face the limitless resources of the U.S. government. If a partisan prosecutor is determined to get you, odds are he will.

The parallels to RussiaGate are alarming, too. That started as a Democrat-funded opposition research project. Christopher Steele, Glenn Simpson, and the gang at FusionGPS—all former intelligence operators or investigative journalists for hire—concocted a narrative and created official-looking “dossiers” to peddle their fanciful stories to the media. It was dishonest, sure, but it was well within the subterranean workings of a political campaign. 

But what made RussiaGate a scandal—rife with illegality and alarming threats to American liberty—was how a phony “dossier” served as the basis for official investigations by the national security bureaucracy. This anti-American politicization of the legitimate functions of government should alarm us all.

“Regardless of the merits of the case,” wrote Streiff at Red State, “campaigning on using your personal clout to strong-arm the Justice Department into investigating someone who is a political opponent is something that just isn’t done in American politics.” 

Indeed.

Photo credit: Tom Watson/Getty Images

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America • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Democrats • Immigration • Post • Republicans

High-Skilled Immigrants Act Is a Sop to Big Tech

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In a rare moment of bipartisanship last week, Democrats and Republicans joined hands to make a small, but fundamental change to our immigration system. Not to provide critically needed updates or wholesale reforms, but, rather, to toss a sop to the billionaires of Big Tech.

Thanks to furious lobbying from Microsoft, Amazon, Hewlett Packard, Equifax, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, IBM, Cisco, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Eric Schmidt of Google’s group FWD.us, among others, the House this week passed H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019.

The bill, which was supported by 140 Republicans and 224 Democrats, removes the per-country cap for employment-based immigration visas. In other words, it makes it easier for the tech giants and billionaires of Silicon Valley to hire cheap foreign labor over highly skilled Americans.

Current law requires that no country receive more than 7 percent of the employment-based green cards issued each year. This ensures that employment-based visas are limited to a global pool of talent in a wide variety of occupational sectors—and prevents one or two countries from dominating the distribution.

The practical effect is that individuals from countries with high demand for U.S. green cards—primarily China and India—can end up waiting years for their turn.

The wait is exacerbated by the fact that chain migration (which allows legal permanent residents to sponsor immediate and extended family members) accounts for about half of each country’s numerical limit being used each year. According to Department of Homeland Security data, in 2017 the family and employment-based country cap amounted to 25,620 slots from any single country.

H.R. 1044 seeks to address this by scrapping the caps for employment visas and raising the cap for family visas to 15 percent, without changing the total number of green cards available.

Tech companies may be celebrating that they can now more easily lay off American workers (though not before making sure they train their cheaper, foreign replacements), but there are other serious problems with this approach.

First among them is this is exactly the opposite of the goals President Trump touted during his campaign. “America First” requires a deference to domestic employment. The jobs in question are not the low-skilled labor jobs that Americans supposedly “will not do.”

Rather, these are the highly skilled tech jobs that current students are being told they can obtain, if only they take advantage of government programs promoting degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Why is one area of the government funding domestic STEM degrees with the promise of tech jobs, while the other is making it easier to undermine those positions with foreign labor?

Second, this change to our immigration system is hardly taken up on behalf of the interests of all Americans. The bill is a sop to Big Tech. Consider that Silicon Valley and their associates are those waiting for the green cards from China and India—with India getting about 25 percent of all the professional employment green cards each year.

Under the provisions of this bill, India would get more than 90 percent of the professional employment green cards, for at least the next 10 years. In other words, green cards would be unavailable to individuals from all other parts of the world, in every other occupation, for at least a decade. This is hardly fair, nor is it reflective of the American approach of welcoming immigrants from everywhere—not just one or two countries.

Finally, this entire debate is reflective of the blissful ignorance Congress chooses to live in when it comes to immigration. The entire system—how we handle both legal and illegal immigration—is in dire need of reform. But rather than focus on these major issues, Congress is content to pass tiny, rifle shot approaches that make small tweaks while doing nothing to solve the bigger issue, and in truth, they only complicate it.

This is all the more frustrating considering that the Trump administration has proposed a substantive, merit-based reform system that, if adopted, would eliminate the need for a per country cap system altogether—and, as Jessica Vaughan at the Center for Immigration Studies has put it, “would not reward the exploitative employers who thrive on the existing system.”

But all of this has not stopped the House of Representatives from stupidly patting themselves on the back for the bill’s passage, despite how wildly out of touch it makes them look.

This is the swamp President Trump promised to drain—where Big Tech can shell out dump trucks of money to make the immigration system work for them, but where the American people have no one who seems interested in making it work for us.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Congress • Democrats • Electoral College • Elizabeth Warren • Post

Democratic Candidates Aren’t on a Winning Track

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Presidential candidates from both parties usually sound hard-core in the primaries to appeal to their progressive or conservative bases. But for the general election, the nominees move to the center to pick off swing voters and centrist independents.

Voters put up with the scripted tactic as long as a candidate had not gone too extreme in the primaries and endorsed positions too far out of the mainstream.

A good example of this successful ploy was Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. In the primary against Hillary Clinton, Obama ran to her left. But he was still careful not to get caught on the record going too far left. That way, he was still able to tack to the center against John McCain in the general election.

As a general election candidate, Obama rejected the idea of gay marriage. He blasted illegal immigration. He railed against deficit spending. And he went so far as to label then-President George W. Bush as “unpatriotic” for taking out “a credit card from the bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt.”

The result was that Obama was elected. After taking office, in cynical fashion he endorsed gay marriage, ran up far more red ink than did Bush, offered blanket amnesties and relaxed immigration enforcement.

Yet the current crop of would-be Democratic nominees has forgotten the old script entirely. Nearly all of them are currently running so hard to the left that the successful nominee will never be able to appear moderate.

Bernie Sanders leads the charge for abolishing all student debt. Kamala Harris wants reparations for slavery. Joe Biden talks of jailing health insurance executives if they falsely advertise.

The entire field seems to agree that it should not be a criminal offense to enter the U.S. illegally. The consensus appears to be that no illegal entrant will be deported unless he or she has committed a serious crime.

Not a single Democratic candidate has expressed reservations about abortions, and a number of them have fought proposed restrictions on partial-birth abortions.

Elizabeth Warren has said guns are a national health emergency and would not rule out the possibility of federal gun confiscation.

Early in the campaign, no major Democratic candidate has questioned the Green New Deal and its radical proposals. No one has much objected to dismantling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or scrapping the Electoral College. An unworkable wealth tax and a top marginal income tax rate of 70 percent or higher are also OK.

Yet none of these positions currently wins 51 percent of public support, according to polls.

What are the Democratic frontrunners thinking?

Maybe the candidates assume that the present Democratic Party is so radical and so steeped in identity politics that everyone must run to the left of all other rivals, even if insincerely so. Then, once nominated, the survivor can back off from his or her earlier radicalism, move to the center in the general election and hope that voters prefer a centrist hypocrite to an unapologetic radical.

A second theory is that we are watching a sort of progressive feeding frenzy. Twenty or so candidates have become disconnected from reality. In their echo chamber, they have no idea that they are talking radical nonsense.

A third possibility is that the Democratic candidates believe the polling on these issues is wrong. They may assume that the American people either have moved hard left and really do believe in a radical agenda, or can be persuaded with enough time and effort.

There is a fourth hypothesis. It may be that the Democratic Party would rather lose in a fashion it considers noble than win insincerely.

Maybe the goal for Democratic candidates is to advance the hard-left cause, even if Democrats suspect it will mean that their nominee will lose to Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

Such blind idealism is not unprecedented in American electoral history. Republican nominee Barry Goldwater knew early on that his hard-right positions would likely mean a big loss to Democratic incumbent President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, but perhaps Goldwater hoped to lay the foundation of a new conservative movement.

George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic nominee, may have suspected that he would be demolished by incumbent Richard Nixon. But the hard-left McGovern nonetheless sought to preach a new sort of progressivism rarely embraced by Democrats.

Goldwater and McGovern lost in landslides. Yet eventually, true-blue conservative Ronald Reagan became the heir to Goldwater in much the same way that Obama would become their heir to McGovern.

If all of these explanations seem far out, it’s only because the current Democratic candidates sound far out—as if they either don’t know how to win in 2020 or don’t care to win at all.

Photo Credit: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call

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Administrative State • Congress • Deterrence • military • Post

Swampy Washington Should Not Compound the F-35’s Failure

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Mae West famously said that too much of a good thing can be wonderful. Well, Washington lawmakers seem determined to turn that logic on its head. They want too much of a bad thing, one that bad thing is already too expensive. And it’s not wonderful.

Recently, the House Appropriations Committee added two-dozen F-35 fighters to the number of such jets that the Pentagon has requested. If the purchase goes forward, those 103 new warplanes would represent a colossal waste of money on top of the tens of billions the federal government has already squandered on the massive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. 

The F-35’s proponents have been over-promising and under-delivering for decades now. Don’t take my word for it. Just last year the military completed an internal assessment of the plane. The review shows ongoing reliability issues with the jet that have already greatly shortened its useful life. In other words, lawmakers are lining up to say they want to buy more of a plane that can’t even fulfill its stated mission.

It’s one thing for lawmakers to have believed the hype and invested in the F-35 decades ago when the concept was introduced. Many people inside and outside our military fell for the pie in the sky promise of a single jet that could do it all. Lawmakers should not, however, trip over themselves to repeat their past mistakes by adding a hundred more of these clunkers to the military’s fleet. 

It might have been different if Lockheed had finally solved the problems with the JSF. But it hasn’t, and the problems that have long dogged the plane aren’t getting better. The same internal review found “no improving trend” among the number of aircraft available for training and combat missions.

This failing jet is good at one thing and one thing only: ringing up costs. Bloomberg News reported the F-35 program, which is already the most expensive weapons system in the history of warfare, is adding another $22 billion in unexpected costs. Expect that price tag to increase, not decrease.

Why would the Pentagon want so much of this less-than-wonderful weapon? Perhaps it just feels stuck, thinking that at this point it is too far down the F-35 road to turn back.

After all, the JSF was conceived decades ago with the promise it would solve problems and replace other legacy systems. Starting in the 1990s, military decisionmakers decided to give Lockheed a contract to build a one-size-fits-all jet, a weapon that could be used by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. 

Bottom line, It didn’t work. And, with the results we’re getting now, it would seem reasonable to conclude that it will never work as intended. This should be a warning that something is basically flawed that would accommodate a series of false assumptions in the face of all evidence. 

And here we are once again after investing billions of dollars and considering to keep spending more money because the project is too big to fail. This is the kind of government project management that drives Americans nuts. We’re told these project managers are brilliant. So why is their decision making so fundamentally flawed and costing us billions of dollars? 

A few years ago, a RAND Corp. study found the three F-35 variants had drifted so far apart during development that having a single base design may prove to be more expensive than if the armed services had built separate aircraft tailored to their own requirements from the get-go. That, unfortunately, was more than 20 years into the program, when most of the people who thought this was a good idea had retired or gone into consulting. 

It took these geniuses all this time and money to confirm that one size doesn’t fit all? That the F-35 is ineffective at many of the tasks the military needs, such as force projection? Flying an F-15 overhead lets the bad guys know we’re there in a way the F-35 cannot, for example.

The JSF may even be dangerous. Earlier this year, Japan grounded its F-35 jets after an accident. That would seem to negate another supposed advantage of the JSF: that we can sell it to our allies to help with joint defense.

There’s no reason to invest more money in a plane that’s ineffective, too expensive, and hazardous. The Pentagon needs more planes, but ones that can actually get the job done. Why not cut the F-35 order and invest in effective weapon systems instead?

Once again the treasury, resources, and lives of service members are needlessly at risk. Why? 

Why continue with a project that is not fulfilling it’s intended objective?

Why spend more money when the results continue to indicate failure?

Why invest time and resources on a “loser project” when that time and resources could be directed to a better idea?

Why is the House Appropriations Committee just going along with this increasingly costly program?

Why aren’t they asking more questions before committing to more money?

A robust military budget is in America’s interests, but the size and ambitions of the military-industrial complex demand oversight and accountability. The fact that in lieu of a complete accounting of military spending, we only get excuses is unacceptable because it leaves us vulnerable to misappropriations, the waste of our money and wasteful projects like this one.

It’s irresponsible to consider sending America’s best to war with a clearly flawed piece of machinery that has not delivered on its promises. Knowing what we know today after decades of investment, why pursue the F-35? “Close enough for government work” only misses the mark and promotes mediocrity over excellence. Excellence is what Americans deserve and what our military pilots deserve. 

Photo credit: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Congress • Conservatives • GOPe • Post • Republicans • Technology

Mike Lee Backs Big Tech Crony Capitalism

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U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has long warned against the dangers of crony capitalism, which he defines as “an unholy union of big government, big business, and big special interests that twists public policy to benefit Washington insiders unfairly at the expense of everyone else.”

But last week, Lee spoke in favor of a dubious immigration bill, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which would give special privileges to Big Tech—no doubt the biggest beneficiaries of this “unholy union.”

The bill would scrap country caps on immigration visas and allow a few nationalities to take the lion’s share of visas. Lee said the bill was necessary to make the immigration system “fairer.”

“These per-country caps cause serious problems for American businesses and workers, and unfair hardship for immigrants stuck in the backlog,” Lee argued.

The businesses that have “serious problems” are tech giants, which rely heavily on foreign labor. Silicon Valley’s workforce is dominated by foreign workers. Sure enough, FWD.us—a lobbying group funded by executives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and other Silicon Valley monopolies—tweeted out Lee’s speech, adding “This legislation is vital.”

Seventy-one percent of tech workers in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area are foreigners. The Lee-sponsored bill would drive those numbers even higher as Big Tech would be allowed to recruit even more foreign workers.

Big Tech embodies crony capitalism. Tech giants receive billions of dollars in government subsidies and maintain powerful lobbying arms to protect their interests. This is one industry that should draw Lee’s ire. Instead, he is one of Big Tech’s biggest champions.

Lee claims the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act would make the system fairer, but it would do no such thing. It would reserve nearly all of our green cards for just a few nationalities. According to one estimate, Indians would obtain at least 75 percent of all employment-based visas under Lee’s proposal.

More importantly, the bill is unfair to American workers who would like good jobs with good wages. The bill directs those good jobs to foreign workers who don’t require a fair wage. If passed, expect lobbyists from other industries and countries to demand they get more visas as well.

The good news, for the moment, is Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), another vocal critic of crony capitalism, blocked Lee’s bill. This may be a temporary hindrance, but it is reassuring that at least one critic of crony capitalism votes his principles.

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act is only the latest example of the conservative senator’s preference for the industry’s interests. Over the past few months, Lee has opposed antitrust investigations against Big Tech. In a March op-ed, Lee argued “antitrust law” is not the answer to Big Tech’s problems. In early 2018, Lee debated Fox News host Tucker Carlson about what to do with Google. Tucker argued that the state would be justified in regulating Google. Lee dismissed Tucker’s concerns about Google’s censorship and said the state is the real problem. The senator said the right way to fight back against Google was to “use another search engine.”

Fortunately, new senators such as Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) are willing to stand up to Silicon Valley’s agenda, though they haven’t spoken out against the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act yet.

Lee used to critique Google’s power and its ability to manipulate the market. But those days seem long gone when he promotes Big Tech’s immigration priorities on the Senate floor.

Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

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Center for American Greatness • Congress • Democrats • Donald Trump • Immigration • Political Parties • Post

The Continuing Border Crisis

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Apparently, now it’s permissible to acknowledge we have a crisis on our southern border. That information, just a few months ago, was news to many on the Left. Their erstwhile leaders and many in the corporate leftist media said there was no crisis, that it was manufactured, phony, imaginary, but certainly not real. 

One of the first responses of rational people is simply to ask, “Were they lying then or lying now?” I know most on the Left abandoned rational thought a long time ago, but it would be nice for someone at least to ask that question. 

The situation on the border was a crisis before the Democrats recognized it and it’s an even greater crisis now. Because Democrats have refused to provide more funding for beds at detention centers, or funding for ICE and the Border Patrol, and refused to deal with fixing the asylum loopholes, the situation has deteriorated. Congress has now passed a $4.6 billion dollar emergency humanitarian spending bill to put a bandaid over the meltdown taking place on the border, but you can rest assured it will likely do nothing that actually fixes the problem.

In a world governed by common sense, which is not the one inhabited by Democrats, there would be a wall on the southern border and we would do everything possible to discourage uninvited foreigners from making the arduous journey to get there. The southern border would be sealed. People wouldn’t be coming here if they knew there was no chance of illegal entry. We wouldn’t even be having the debate about detention centers because we might not even need them if the southern border were sealed. But that would all be too rational. 

Now we find out from Bloomberg one of the reasons we’re seeing such an increase in illegal immigration: the northern triangle countries are intentionally exporting their poor, encouraging immigration north. Why, you ask? Because that’s all part of those countries’ economic plans: invest as little money as possible into social welfare programs, and encourage the poor to leave and voilà! American taxpayers will be the suckers to pick up the tab.

So we have countries systematically sending us their poor, Democrats refusing actually to craft long term solutions, and now we have Flappy Hands O’Rourke tweeting pictures of drowned illegals and blaming Trump for the crisis. Trump is precisely the last person responsible for this crisis. If anyone should be blamed it’s the wall deniers who have blood on their hands. By leaving our borders wide open and demonstrating no will to discourage illegal entry, we are begging for this to happen. We are daring people to engage in risky behavior, begging for people to be abused by the coyotes and cartels. 

The situation on the southern border is immoral, and it’s brought about by the immorality of our elected officials on Capitol Hill. 

It is the moral imperative, first and foremost, of every elected official to prioritize and protect the interests of the American people. But this seems not to be a concept most in Washington can begin to comprehend. No one in his right mind can argue that what is taking place on the border right now is to the benefit of the American people, the American taxpayer and worker, morally or otherwise. And it certainly can’t be argued that it’s a good situation for the people languishing in humane yet overcrowded and underfunded detention centers.

Yet the answer to the crisis from many running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 is not to try to curtail it. Oh, no! It’s to incentivize even more of it by changing attempts at illegally crossing to civil offenses on the level of a parking ticket. 

And consider this: we hear about all kinds of free stuff, like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, free college, a universal basic income, reparations, all of which cost somewhere around $150 trillion, give or take a few trillion. But somehow, magically, Democrats can’t find any real money for the thing they’re now admitting is a big problem. They can be shamed into a $4.6 billion emergency package, but $25 billion for a wall? More funding for ICE and the Border Patrol? Don’t be ridiculous.

Their solution for solving the crisis on the southern border has nothing to do with sealing it and protecting the interests of the American people or our national sovereignty and security. Their solution involves trying to find a way to secure open borders and defy President Trump, pure and simple. 

If anyone thought that perhaps the Democratic Party had any interest in the continuation of our constitutional republic, this should remove all doubt. They want to abandon physical enforceable borders which means there is no national sovereignty. And if there is no national sovereignty—if our elected officials cannot, will not, take measures actually to govern our borders and decide who is coming in and who is not—we will have ceased to be a self-governing people.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

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Center for American Greatness • Congress • Democrats • Donald Trump • Immigration • Post • Republicans

Chip Roy Takes a Stand—Will Republicans Learn?

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People often question whether it’s still true that one man can make a difference in the modern Congress. This week, Representative Chip Roy (R-Texas) proved that it is.

Fed up with the House passing legislation on autopilot (that is, passing amendments and bills “unanimously” without recorded votes and no one in the chamber) and outraged that House Democrats have been blocking the Trump Administration’s request for border funding, Roy used the power he has as a member of Congress to force his will on the body: he objected.

Roy objected to unanimously passing amendments, to unanimously agreeing to procedural motions, and even to continuing House business altogether. He objected more than 100 times, forcing the House to take recorded votes on amendments as it processed spending bills that totaled well over $1 trillion.

Roy and his colleagues lined up on the House floor demanding that these spending bills include money to address both the security and humanitarian elements of the ongoing crisis at the border.

Predictably, they suffered the slings and arrows of their colleagues, many of whom had never taken this many roll call votes in a row. “Wow, who is this a—hole making me stay here and vote,” one congressman reportedly remarked. The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee accused Roy of having a “tantrum.” Congressional reporters publicly griped about Roy’s tactics (congressional reporters apparently get upset when Congress does things that are reportable).

Attuned observers, however, recognized that Roy was following a long congressional tradition, thereby elevating himself into the select group of members with the guts and the brains to use procedural leverage to get what they want.

And it worked.

That Democrats were openly criticizing the status of detentions at the border while blocking the money to fix the problem was little known outside of the Beltway before Roy led his colleagues in forcing national attention to the issue.

With their abject hypocrisy in the spotlight, Democrats were forced to the negotiating table. Within days, Republican and Democrat negotiators in the Senate struck a deal to pass the legislation. Presumably, the House will follow.

The bill provides a little over $3 billion to shelter and care for unaccompanied children—specifically to address the overcrowding at shelters and humanitarian needs. According to the White House request, that money would have run out by year’s end.

The Senate legislation, however, does very little to fix the problem at hand. Much of the money merely manages what has become a chaotic flow of people. There are no changes to the asylum laws, no modification to legal parameters surrounding family detainment, and very little else in the way of border security.

Critically, the Department of Health and Human Services—the agency assigned with caring for the thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the border—would still be unable to share information about the children with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Predictably, Democrats had tried to make the bill even worse.)

In short, the bill does not resolve the border crisis. Far from it. It simply attempts to streamline the chaos.

Meanwhile, at the White House . . .
The Trump Administration, fed up with congressional inaction, announced this week that it would begin enforcing statutorily required deportations for those ordered to leave who have not.

According to statistics provided by the White House, “catch and release” (the practice where family units are taken into custody, released into the interior of the country, and told to show up later for an asylum hearing) has resulted in 207,000 families being released into the country since December 2018.

The latest Department of Justice statistics show that as of this month, close to 85 percent of the families who were given accelerated consideration due to family status, and full due process that included interpreters and access to legal counsel, still failed to show up for their required hearings. Per the law, they were given a deportation order in absentia.

Mark Morgan, the new head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, put it this way,

We have a demographic that has had an enormous amount of due process. They’ve had access to attorneys. They’ve had access to interpreters. They’ve received a final order of removal from a judge. We’ve even sent them letters saying you’ve received an order, come to ICE, we’ll work with you, we’ll give you 30 days to get your affairs in order, and we’ll help you return to you your country. Those have been ignored. Those people in those categories over 90 percent haven’t showed up.

Without action from Congress, the administration is faced with doing what they can with the executive authority they have. They’re hoping that re-directing resources toward enforcement will help deter the massive waves of migrants.

In the annals of addressing the pressing situation at the border, this week was full of high drama, but short on results. Thanks to the colossal efforts of a single, freshman member however, Congress has at least taken a tiny step. The administration is making plans to enforce the law. The crisis, however, persists.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

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Congress • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • Post

Impeachment Is the Greatest Campaign Strategy for Trump

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Democrats have done much to ensure President Trump’s reelection—but much work remains. Any number of impeachment theories have been floated—emoluments, Russia collusion, obstruction of justice, attempted obstruction, abuse of power, campaign finance, contempt of Congress, bigotry.

Strictly speaking, Democrats don’t care what the specific charges are—Trump is obviously guilty of everything.

Their logic is simple: once the process gets rolling, it will be unstoppable. Enough dirt on Trump will surface to change enough independent and Republican minds to reach a bipartisan semi-consensus not just for impeachment, but for a conviction in the Senate. Even if the Senate fails to convict, Trump would be so damaged that voters will turn away in disgust.

Bizarrely, the biggest obstacle to impeachment is . . . Nancy Pelosi. In a farcical reversal of roles, the speaker of the House of Representatives is ignoring the screeching from her berserker flock, even as the circle of “impeachment skeptics” around her shrinks. Pelosi, being a good tactician, understands that the outcome might be calamitous for the Democrats, and bucks the pressure like an old horse being led to slaughter.

I hope she fails. In the last scene of “Thelma and Louise,” with the police blocking their car’s escape and the edge of the cliff ahead of them, Geena Davis says: “Let’s keep going,” motioning with her head toward the cliff. In the movie’s final image, their 1966 Ford Thunderbird is in free flight over Grand Canyon.

I hope this summer, Democrats launch into impeachment hearings. The results will indeed be catastrophic—but not for Trump. This is a battlefield that Trump owns, in a war that’s been going on for many years. Pelosi knows this—which is why she has to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to impeachment.

So let’s imagine Pelosi capitulates, and the Democrats finally pull the trigger. Jerry Nadler (the overweight 71-year-old New York blowhard who mumbles and nearly faints at most public events) will preside over the impeachment hearings as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The outcome of such proposed “hearings” is pre-ordained. We know how the vote in the committee will go before it’s even taken. We know how the vote in the House of Representatives will go, months before it takes place. The hearings will be nothing more than a partisan flagellation show, the sole purpose of which is to repeat Democratic talking points on live TV, ad infinitum, month after month, under the guise of “fact-finding”. Except—we’ve seen this movie before.

All the facts have been found already, all the “investigations” have already investigated everything under the sun, all the papers and TV networks have talked about all of this for years. But Democrats want to do one more round, and this time call it “impeachment.”

Napoleon is often quoted as saying “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” So I say: let them be!

Starting in (let’s say) July-August, for the following six to eight months, Washington, D.C. and the nation’s entire political class would be consumed with impeachment. Democrats won’t be able to walk and chew gum at the same time—with impeachment on TV, nothing else matters. No legislation of any kind will get through Congress (and that’s a good thing for Americans—but not for Democrats trying to get reelected in competitive districts). There are 35-45 borderline congressional seats ripe for flipping back to the Republicans in 2020, especially when Democrats prove themselves the party of impeachment, and nothing else.

Those presidential candidates with a “D” next to their name? Forget them. Pocahontas can release another 65 position papers and nobody will notice. Biden can stutter and stammer on the campaign trail and nobody will pay attention. Bernie can cough and wheeze about the joys of socialism and nobody will remember. The others? They won’t even be footnotes. Impeachment is a prairie fire. It will consume all the oxygen in our political ecosystem.

But you know whom impeachment won’t consume? Trump.

Trump will be on TV all the time, too. He’ll be talking about impeachment, sure, but also talking about jobs, economic growth, immigration, and national security. Something tells me his rallies will be overflowing (unlike Biden’s half-empty ones). As Nadler “finds facts,” the entire national conversation, for months on end, will be—once again—all about Trump. Beto? Buttigieg? Kamala? Booker? By the time it’s over, voters will forget how to spell their names.

Trump should beg for impeachment.

Democrats think this will be just like Nixon—the more they do it, the more people will buy into the notion. This logic has a major flaw: Nixon’s impeachment was launched long after the “crime” (such as it was) became public, and involvement of people around him became known. But Democrats have been talking about impeaching Trump since well before he was the Republican nominee.

Moreover, impeachment itself is very old news. Indeed, it’s been daily news since Trump won the election. All the charges Democrats can concoct—whether emoluments, or Stormy Daniels, or attempted obstruction, or intent to attempt to “collude” with Russia—have been regurgitated by the Democratic Media Complex for months and years. Old news repackaged as impeachment charges is still old news.

So let’s imagine early spring of next year. By then, Democrats will have spent months talking about nothing except subpoenas, testimony, redactions, witnesses, documents, emoluments, Stormy’s $130,000 college fund, obstruction, and all sorts of things that nobody other than they care about. There will be tedious wrangling about executive privilege, documents, transcripts, testimony, and all the boring stuff that goes with a quasi-legal proceeding. All these things matter a great deal to lawyers working for Nadler’s committee, but they don’t matter one whit to real people outside the Beltway.

Nadler will regurgitate yet again the Billy Bush tape, the Charlottesville canard, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Stormy, what Trump said or didn’t say to Don McGahn, on and on. His mistake is thinking that what goes on in front of his committee matters. It doesn’t.

Trump will spend the same months talking about what normal people care about—jobs, money in their pockets, security, immigration. For Trump, Nadler’s flatulent sniping won’t be anything new; and Trump knows how to choose the battlefield.

Trump will not fight this latest battle of the endless war to destroy his presidency in Nadler’s committee room. His battlefield will be the election rallies in swing districts and states, where people drive for hours and wait overnight just to hear him speak. Biden can barely scare up a few hundred people to see him, but Trump packs stadiums. Trump will slam Democrats again and again for re-litigating the 2016 election while he delivered what he promised. Meanwhile, the steady drumbeat of indictments against Clapper, Comey, Brennan, McCabe, and their ilk will continue in the background. The hunters will become the hunted. No wonder they are starting to twitch nervously and turn on each other.

At that point, the Democratic presidential candidates will have been drowned out. The Senate (predictably) will have refused to convict. Republicans will be energized and united like never before. Independents will be sick and tired of the utterly pointless Washington spectacle.

Does anyone really doubt that Trump and the GOP will clean the Democrats’ clocks? Please, please, pretty please! Impeach Trump!

I leave you with the final three minutes of “Thelma and Louise” as they drive off the cliff into the Grand Canyon. Picture Nancy Pelosi’s face in place of Susan Sarandon’s.

Photo Credit: Fotos International/Getty Images

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Center for American Greatness • Congress • Democrats • Donald Trump • Immigration • Post

Democrats Offer ‘Faux Compassion’ on the Border, Says Texas Rep

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As Texans go, Michael Cloud is more down-to-earth than boisterous. The freshman member of Congress is reserved and deliberate, answering questions with a soft drawl and a quick smile. Before coming to Congress in a special election last year to replace Representative Blake Farenthold, Cloud owned a video production company. In the years prior, he served on the staff of his local church. His wife, Rosel, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Mexico, teaches school in the area where they’ve lived for more than 20 years.

But Cloud’s peaceful demeanor belies a rock-ribbed determination to address the crisis at the southern border.

While most of his colleagues were on vacation over the Memorial Day recess, Cloud was in Laredo and the Rio Grande, showing his colleagues Jody Hice (R-Ga.) and Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) the details of the border crisis first-hand. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a Democrat from the neighboring congressional district, joined them for part of the visit.

Cloud represents the Corpus Christi and Victoria areas of Texas, in a district which gently curves along the Gulf Coast, a little over 150 miles from the border. The congressman is a frequent visitor to border checkpoints, where he meets with border patrol officers, gets updated statistics, and sees up close the chaos that most of us only read about.

The first-hand accounts from border patrol are incredibly valuable, he tells me, during a conversation in his D.C. office last week.

“You hear things like, ‘I was standing here three weeks ago when tracer rounds were shot over my head from Mexico,’ or ‘I took the lady to the hospital who was hit with a .50 caliber round that went through her trailer home that was fired from Mexico,’” Cloud said.

“If most people knew what was going on,” Cloud continued, “they’d be able to make better informed decisions.”

The Cartels Are the Villains
This is what Cloud aims to achieve by leading congressional delegations to the border. For both Hice and Grothman, the trip was an eye-opener.

“I saw for myself that we have a genuine national emergency that’s already out of control,” Hice said in a statement. “Time and time again, I heard from our border patrol agents that we are at—or well beyond—full capacity.” The trip, he said, provided a “shocking firsthand look at just how easy it is for cartels to exploit our open border.”

Indeed, the cartels are a key concern for Cloud, who is visibly frustrated that the partisan entrenchment over immigration policy has meant very little is being done to address the rampant criminality on the border.

“I had just gotten to Congress,” he explained, “and you had Democrats blaming Republicans and Republicans blaming Democrats and I’m standing here going ‘it’s the cartels! The cartels are the villains!’”

“You’d think we’d have bipartisan support, at least, that the cartels are bad, and we should not be helping them,” Cloud said. “I mean, what’s going on at the border is impacting neighborhoods all over the country. This should be a much higher priority.”

But the lack of action by Congress, and the continued focus from Democrats on passing the DREAM Act and other amnesty measures that encourage further illegal immigration, have simply aided and abetted the growth of the cartel activity.

Cartels are making about $80 million a week on cross-border criminal activity, Cloud said. That number comports with a recent study by the RAND Corporation, which estimates that cartels made $2.3 billion in 2017 from human trafficking and drug smuggling.

And yet the impact on American communities is rarely a topic of national attention.

“At some of the places on the border,” Cloud said, shaking his head, “you see these beaten dirt paths where drugs, migrants, traffickers, are coming across and it’s literally steps from a neighborhood in the United States. Those areas deserve to be protected.”

On the other side of all of this criminal activity, of course, are the victims. The crisis of sexual assault at the border has been well-documented by the New York Times, the Huffington Post, Doctors Without Borders, and other outlets, often in graphic detail. A survey by Fusion estimates that 80 percent of women and girls are raped on their way to the U.S. border. Traffickers have a name for them: nueva carne. New meat.

During their visit, Cloud, Hice, and Grothman toured a facility in Driscoll, Texas, housing unaccompanied girls under the age of 18 who crossed the border alone.

“They were in class when we were there,” Cloud recounted, “but in one of the bedrooms I saw a sketch that simply said ‘I miss mom.’”

In an arresting statistic, 40 percent of the girls housed in the facility Cloud visited had been sexually assaulted on their way to the U.S. border.

A Basic Need for Resources
All of this—the illegal crossings, the drug trade, the human trafficking—continues unabated due to one reason: a lack of resources.

“In the Laredo sector we visited,” Cloud explained, “they have cameras that only cover about 30 percent of the territory they’re supposed to be monitoring—that is, when the cameras are working, which is about 75 percent of the time. And the cameras are from the 1990s. Meanwhile the cartels are flying modern day drones on the other side of the border to monitor what we’re doing.”

“The big thing right now is manpower,” he continued. “And the infrastructure to go along with that. They’re hand in hand. It’s a system. The wall gets a lot of attention but it’s part of a system.  You need the technology, you need the boots on the ground, you need immigration judges to hold asylum hearings. They should be done within 30 minutes of someone crossing the border, not two years later.”

But the goal is even more basic than that. “We’re even trying to just get the resources to where we have situational awareness of what’s going on at the border, so we can understand what the cartels are doing,” he said.

“I would think the goal would be, let’s stop the cartels, let’s stop the drugs coming into the country, let’s stop the slave trade, let’s stop these things, but we don’t have the resources to even begin tackling that,” Cloud added.

In early May, the Trump Administration sent a request for additional funds for the border, noting that several accounts would be completely drained by the end of the fiscal year. Of the $4.5 billion request, $3.3 billion would be allocated for humanitarian purposes. The rest would be earmarked for increasing detention facilities and border security resources.

Democrats have continued to block the requested appropriation.

I ask Cloud about this, and the fact that Democrats would rather spend floor time passing the DREAM Act than appropriating money to help sick children and trafficked women.

He sighed. So much of what happens on the House floor nowadays, he replied, is “political posturing for the next campaign.”

“It’s sad to me that few and far between are these discussions where people actually . . . talk policy and what fixes it, and how do we find common ground, and how do we move forward and take care of people,” Cloud told me.

But he recognizes that none of this is easy. “There are no good options on the table right now,” he said. “We’ve passed the point of all the good options. We’re to the point of dealing with an emergency situation that we’ve allowed to fester for a long time.”

Best of a Bad Situation?
In the face of Democratic intransigence, Cloud is urging President Trump to do what he can with the authority he already has. Cloud recently joined several of his colleagues in sending President Trump a letter, outlining steps his agencies could take to more fully address the border crisis. One of the suggestions—aligning Mexico with the international standard for asylum seekers—is high on the president’s request list in his ongoing negotiations.

Meanwhile, Cloud is clear about how he views Democrats’ refusal to even consider sending more resources to the border, voting instead last week to grant permanent legal status to “Dreamers” (illegal immigrants brought to the United States before they turned 18), and those with temporary protected status.

During committee consideration of the DREAM Act, Democrats voted down Republican amendments that would have barred legal status to illegal immigrants convicted of a DUI causing death or serious injury, a misdemeanor firearm crime, or individuals with known gang affiliations.

I asked Cloud what he thinks about the Democrats’ approach. He gives me the straightforward, no-nonsense answer of a Texan who has seen the true impact of the illegal immigration crisis on American communities, border patrol officers, and the illegal immigrants themselves.

“It’s a feigned compassion. It’s a faux compassion. Somehow, we’ve gotten away with thinking that lawlessness is compassion. And it’s not.”

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Big Media • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Post • Silicon Valley • Technology

A Sovereign People Need Data Sovereignty—Now

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It’s time the American people woke up and understood what the big tech companies, many of which are now publishers and telecommunications companies masquerading as neutral platforms, are doing with their personal data.

Respecting individual privacy is the most common concern you find in the media and elsewhere. But privacy is only part of the challenge before us—and a relatively small part at that. By feeding companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook untold amounts of personally identifiable data, Americans—specifically American workers—are helping sow the seeds of their own demise.

Many people don’t take the time to consider what happens to their data when they give it away. Where does it go? With whom is it being shared? How is it being used to accelerate the growth of new technologies, including artificial intelligence and automation?

The data being given freely to these tech companies and the amount of personally identifiable data being collected put the National Security Agency’s efforts to shame. Like it or not, all of this data isn’t being used simply to inform algorithms that help you make better movie selections or put funny cat videos into your Facebook feed or remind you that you’re about to run out of toilet paper.

All of that information is feeding projects such as Google Brain and Facebook’s artificial intelligence research and development. These are grand efforts by very large, private companies that have vast and untold implications for public policy. Yet these same companies are not being very transparent about their work.

They are, in reality, playing with fire that they can barely control—such as building robots that invent languages understandable only to themselves, as happened at Facebook two years ago. Facebook was able to shut the program down, but what happens in the future if the kill switch fails? What then?

Are we really so arrogant as human beings to think we can unleash general artificial intelligence and still be in control a generation or two from now? Would it even take that long?

Our elected representatives appear to be asleep at the switch on both general AI and automation. Ford Motor Co. recently announced it would be cutting 7,000 jobs, or roughly 10 percent of its entire workforce. Those jobs will be replaced by automation and Ford reportedly will increase its profits by $600 million annually. But to what end? And where does it stop?

If you think corporations are interested in merely cutting 10 percent of the workforce to increase profits, just wait until it’s feasible to cut 90 percent of the workforce. What are the implications for American society then?

Imagine a country in which one-third of Americans are put out of work because of automation—it may not be far off.  What about 40 or 50 percent of workers? And why—because corporations, many of which are foreign-owned or based offshore, want to increase their profits?

To be clear, I am all for smart people making money. But in this scenario, corporations make greater profits and the American people are stuck with the tab. What happens when the tax base dries up and there’s a significant decrease in tax revenue so that something like a universal basic income is impossible?

It’s past time for our elected representatives to step up and insert themselves into this conversation in a real way and address this issue of the tech companies and artificial intelligence and automation.

First, it begins with protecting the individual’s right to his or her own data. The individual’s personal data is sovereign to the individual and individuals have the explicit right to control that data.

As John Locke and James Madison wrote with respect to property rights, property is not just physical objects or even land. Property is about all of our unique qualities as human beings, from our rights to intellectual content to personal data. Locke believed the first object and priority of government “created by the consent of the governed is to protect the right to property.” So we need to view data sovereignty as a natural right for every individual human being and that all humans own their data—not the party that collects it.

Part of the solution involves shifting the burden of individual informed consent from “opting out” to “opting in,” and doing so with transparent, clear, and plain language provisions, not several dozen pages of dense legalese presented in six-point type. Then individuals must “opt-in” to all technology, software, and platforms that ask for and use personal data, including personal information, imagery, location data, financial data, consumer data—everything.

At any point, an individual should have the right to be forgotten—the right to have their data removed and permanently deleted, including all derivative works from any platform.

For reasons good and bad (mostly bad), we’ve abandoned common sense when it comes to tech companies. We’ve allowed them to masquerade as something they are not while abusing personal and private data to pursue ends that many of us believe are not beneficial to the American people.

Our leaders need to come to grips with the rapid changes underway. AI, automation, personal data, illegal immigration, and social welfare systems are all interconnected. In the near future, when artificial intelligence leads to mass automation, accelerated by personal data, while we’re accepting small cities’ worth of low-skilled and unskilled workers, while more American workers are jobless, our social welfare systems will come to rely more and more on draconian taxes. We’ll essentially be working for the state, all thanks to the feckless leadership of the major political parties.

So we must ask ourselves what kind of future we want for ourselves and for our children. Because those decisions are being made right now and will impact each and every one of us.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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2016 Election • Big Media • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Post • Trump White House

Why Are Democrats Obstructing Justice?

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It was a shocking acknowledgment from a fierce (and profane) Russian collusion propagandist.

“The Democrats have a clock ticking,” warned CNN analyst Phil Mudd on Tuesday. “If they can’t get things underway before the Department of Justice says, ‘here’s our report on how the [Trump campaign] investigation was initiated, they’re in trouble because the Department of Justice is gonna say, ‘when this thing got started, about the Trump campaign, it was pretty ugly.’ And then we’re off to the races.”

As if that revelation wasn’t enough to panic CNN host Don Lemon, Mudd continued. “I’m going to bet a paycheck when [dossier author Christopher] Steele gets in front of investigators and they say, how can you confirm to us that the information you acquired in that dossier is true, that he is not going to be able to answer.”

Here, Mudd admits two things: One, the attempt by House Democrats to harass Bill Barr over the Mueller report and threaten the attorney general with contempt charges are diversions from the real scandal—the corrupt origin of the Trump campaign probe largely based on a garbage political document. (Calls for impeachment also are a smokescreen intended to distract the attention of the American people.)

And two, the results of the investigation into how James Comey’s FBI launched and handled his agency’s counterintelligence probe into alleged Russian election “collusion” will not be pretty. In fact, it will be ugly.

This is why Democrats and the news media (I know, I repeat myself) want to delay the investigation and discredit Barr. Since his confirmation in February, Barr has publicly expressed his alarm at how the Obama administration weaponized powerful surveillance tools, along with other methods, to target political foes.

Barr last month appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to take on this task after numerous delays and empty promises from Barr’s predecessor; this is welcome news as Trump’s base is eager for action.

Barr compared former FBI Director James Comey and his top officers to the Praetorian Guard in an interview last week.

“I just think it has to be carefully looked at because the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign to me is unprecedented and it’s a serious red line that’s been crossed,” Barr told CBS News reporter Jan Crawford.

In what can only be described as legitimate obstruction of justice, unlike the vague allegations against Donald Trump in the Mueller report, Democrats are frustrating Barr’s investigative efforts with a number of procedural maneuvers coupled with public ad hominem attacks against the attorney general.

Panicked over a White House directive that would permit the declassification of key documents related to the FBI probe, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) encouraged top intelligence officials to quit rather than submit to Trump’s request.

“If it gets to a point they are asked to do things that are unlawful or jeopardize the men and women that work within the I.C., they should speak out,” Schiff told the New York Times on May 30, referring to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel. “And, if necessary, follow the example of Secretary Mattis.” (Trump’s former defense secretary resigned in 2018 amid a dispute over troop levels in Syria.)

Schiff, who for more than two years assured Congress and the American public that solid evidence of Russian collusion existed, then made a series of demands in a May 31 letter to the head of each intelligence agency, including the FBI and NSA.

Exceeding his congressional oversight boundaries, Schiff instructed the chiefs to notify his committee prior to any declassification move and provide in-person briefings to disclose which documents have been flagged for declassification.

“The President and Attorney General have engaged in a public campaign to further a conspiracy theory about the investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election,” Schiff wrote.

Schiff continues to call Barr “the second most dangerous man in the country” and unfit for office.

Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee which still is investigating Russian collusion and recently subpoenaed Donald Trump, Jr., is really on a rampage against Barr. Warner wants Barr to resign or be impeached by House Democrats; he told intelligence community chiefs he will “have their back” if they intend to thwart Trump’s declassification orders, and also warned that their actions could endanger the lives of confidential sources and “damage relations with foreign intelligence agencies.”

”Mr. Barr has very little credibility with me and I think the vast majority of not just Democrats but many Americans because he time and again is not acting as our attorney general but as a personal advocate for Donald Trump,” Warner said on “Face the Nation” Sunday.

(Important to remember that the security chief of Warner’s committee, James Wolfe was caught leaking classified documents to his journo-girlfriend in 2017 to smear Trump associates and convicted of lying to federal investigators about it.)  

Barr also has been attacked by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted that Barr’s investigation into the investigators is “the height of irresponsibility and politically interferes with both the DOJ/the Intelligence Community. This is a dangerous precedent.”

It’s bad enough that Democrats who are guilty of lying to the American public about Russian collusion for more than two years now want to block Barr’s investigation, but the targets of the inquiry also are speaking out. Comey accused Barr of “echoing conspiracy theories.”

Comey, who said he has no idea where Barr got the idea that the FBI spied on the Trump campaign even though Comey signed a warrant to ask a secret court in October 2016 to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, also accused Barr of acting dishonorably.

“I think he has lost most of his reputation with the way he’s conducted himself,” Comey told CNN’s Anderson Cooper last month.

Comey’s former deputy Andrew McCabe is hitting the cable news circuit, insisting that the Mueller report vindicates the FBI. McCabe recently claimed that Barr “misrepresented” the Mueller report in his four-page summary. (When he served as acting attorney general after Comey was fired, McCabe opened another investigation to determine whether President Trump was a Russian agent.)

Former CIA Director John Brennan, also a potential subject of Barr’s investigation, is doing his part to discredit the attorney general. Brennan laughed off Barr’s characterization of spying and told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he’s been “very disappointed in Attorney General Barr. I had higher expectations of him. He [acts] more like a personal lawyer for Donald Trump rather than the attorney general.”

So, for two years, we were told that any criticism of Robert Mueller met the legal threshold for obstruction of justice. The commentariat class insisted that any harsh tweet, comment, or facial expression by Trump about Mueller or his team was intended to thwart his investigation. Even a casual conversation allegedly documented by Comey about former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn is contained in volume two of the Mueller report as possible evidence of obstruction of justice by the president.

But now Democratic lawmakers are openly smearing the attorney general and no one objects?

The very subjects of a criminal investigation into abuse of power, illegally leaking classified information, misleading a federal court, and violating the rights of private citizens are permitted to publicly denigrate the man in charge of the investigation, and that’s not obstruction of justice? Imagine if Republican lawmakers had made the same comments about Robert Mueller: the outrage would have been nonstop.

Let’s hope Barr—or John Durham—gets the last word.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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Administrative State • Congress • Democrats • Post • Republicans

Free Government and the Rules of the Game

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Richard Nixon was no paragon of public virtue. Still, when John F. Kennedy won the 1960 presidential election, probably on the basis of voter fraud in Illinois and Texas, Nixon refused to challenge the results. Nixon understood the good of the country required that candidates accept the results of less-than-perfect elections.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley had manufactured enough votes to swing victory to Kennedy in Illinois and vice presidential candidate Lyndon Johnson did the same in Texas—and with them went the nation.

Even so, to challenge a national election on the basis of a relatively small, if strategically placed, amount of fraud could have been disastrous. A republic can’t survive for long if its people doubt their leaders gained power in a legitimate fashion. Fighting over the details—even when those details affect the outcome—would undermine the political system and free government.

Al Gore was no Richard Nixon. In 2000, when some questionable vote tallies (or “hanging chads”) showed up in Florida, Gore sought to claim victory there and, with it, the nation. He called in the lawyers. Only a split Supreme Court decision stopped Gore from re-running the election before a hyperpartisan state supreme court that had already begun to pervert Florida’s state constitution in service of a Gore victory.

And now we live in the midst of Democrats’ (and some Republicans’) ardent refusal to accept the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency. There was no pro-Trump voter fraud, of course, only debunked claims of “collusion” and loud disapproval of the character and policies of the victorious candidate and his supporters.

Nevertheless, the anti-Trump “resistance” has been strident and persistent, endlessly “investigating,” demanding impeachment, and obstructing legislative initiatives and presidential appointments alike.

Checks and Balances Are Not Enough
I merely note in passing the hypocrisy here. People who accused President Trump of being a poor sport and were sure he would refuse to accept an electoral loss have constructed their own alternative universe of Trumpian illegitimacy, justifying selfish and destructive conduct on a massive scale. But the more frightening story lies deeper, in the widespread breakdown of public morals that brought us to this point.

By “public morals,” I mean nothing so pedestrian as sexual conduct but, rather, loyalty to our constitutional order. The bar is not terribly high here (even Nixon had managed it, after all). But, as James Madison wrote in defending the Constitution, a people must have “sufficient virtue for self-government” or the only thing to keep them from “destroying and devouring one another” will be “the chains of despotism.” The more powerful the person, the more dangerous the loss of virtue will be.

Our constitutional system provides all kinds of incentives for members of Congress and others to follow the rules of the game by accepting elections, discouraging electoral violence, negotiating in good faith, and, most importantly, upholding the basic duties of their offices.

But checks and balances are not enough; a certain amount of public morality is needed, too. In a system where ambition counteracts ambition there must be an internal check on that ambition, a recognition shared by all parties that each of us must respect the rules, even if that means we lose an election or policy dispute, so that our civil social order can survive.

Power Plays
Sadly, America’s loss of public morals has taken place over many years, largely unnoticed, and corrupted our very understanding of what public morality demands.

We’ve heard a great deal since 2018 about how President Trump is “undermining the Constitution” with his rhetoric and his pugnacious attitude toward congressional adversaries. And it is obvious to any constitutionalist that over the past century, the executive branch has gained far more power than the Framers of the Constitution intended.

But the main culprit in Congress’ loss of power has been Congress itself. The result has been a perverse set of incentives that undermine our constitutional order and encourage destructive behavior masquerading as public virtue.

Members of Congress “investigate,” which generally means grandstand, shout, and preen, because that is all they have left. They have given away their legislative power in exchange for permanent tenure of office, the glamor of television cameras and, with them, perhaps a shot someday at the White House.

As a result, the administrative agencies govern most of America most of the time. For the past 30 years, presidents have gone along with this arrangement, sometimes tinkering at its edges, sometimes wielding administrative power to “fundamentally transform” our society.

When Donald Trump threatened to blow up it up—or “drain the swamp”—leaders within the administrative state weaponized every institution they could, from the IRS to the FBI to the CIA, to stop him. And now the Democratic-held House of Representatives wants to use its own powers of oversight to achieve what the bureaucracy could not: eliminate an existential threat to the current, unconstitutional system of melded powers.

Make Congress Legislate Again
A bit of history is important here.

Beginning in the New Deal and accelerating exponentially with Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” Congress ceased passing real laws, instead saying, in essence, “let there be clean air” and “let there be safe workplaces,” then leaving it to bureaucratic agencies to draft actual rules and regulations in place of actual laws.

Rather than work at writing legislation (and taking blame as well as praise for their handiwork) members for half a century have concentrated on legislating impossible goals, then “overseeing”—that is, criticizing, blaming, and blustering over—bureaucratic failures. Members have become media stars and some real corruption has been revealed, but the posturing has distracted Congress from its real job (legislating) and too often has turned politics into a vulgar circus.

It also has entrenched a system in which agencies enjoy ever-increasing budgets and authority so long as they keep members and their more powerful donors happy. Real electoral accountability has almost disappeared, and bureaucratic accountability is a sham in all but the most embarrassing circumstances.

From Filibuster Reform to Abuse
In the Senate, we can see how this system has broken down the customs that support public morality.

Our “greatest deliberative body” was designed to stop more legislation than it makes for the simple reason that a free country requires a limited government, in which only proposals that a large majority of the people’s representatives believe are in the public interest become law. This is why the Senate always has had supermajority requirements, usually embodied in the right to “filibuster” or block votes on a bill or other action, provided 40 members are willing to wait out a long set of speeches and arguments.

But the filibuster was turned into a farce decades ago. Ever since an ill-conceived “reform” in 1975, senators have been able to “filibuster” by simply saying the word. No longer do they have to stay on the floor, speechifying and doing without nourishment and bathroom breaks. Like legislation itself, there was no longer anything real or legitimate about the filibuster. Business goes on as vast national programs continue interfering with Americans’ lives, all while Senators posture and point fingers when they are not holding them up to the wind.

Members of both parties share the blame. The corrupt ideologue, former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, and the politically malleable Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) both have put short-term victory above loyalty to the Constitution. And so the filibuster, “blue slips” regarding judicial appointments, and other customs meant to encourage reasoned discourse, whether slowly or quickly, are being undone. The result is a Senate that no longer fosters reasoned deliberation and consensus-building. Instead, like the House, the Senate is a collection of posturing hecklers pretending to govern.

Rebuilding the Bases for Public Morality
It would be wrong to say that our republic is in danger merely because of “bad people.” Politicians of all stripes for decades now have been working within a system of corrupt incentives. Having forgotten their true constitutional duties—to protect the public from foreign enemies and maintain peace among the people in their states and localities—public leaders have sought to provide all good things to all people. From economic security, to health, to happiness, the federal government now considers itself guardian of our well-being.

No government can provide these things. No politician can retain public morality if he or she tries. And no people can remain free if it tolerates the attempt.

If our Constitution is to survive, we must rebuild the bases for public morality. This means, first, bringing to account all those who weaponized the administrative state and those in Congress now protecting them.

More broadly, it requires re-establishing limited government. No Congress can write comprehensive legislation for a free country of more than 300 million people. Power must be handed back to the states and—more importantly—the people by requiring that members of Congress actually write any legislation that is applied to them, and that their legislation actually comport with the terms and intentions of the Constitution.

Congress must do a better job of doing less if we are to remain a self-governing people. The only other options are a loss of free government or a breakup of the republic itself.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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2016 Election • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Post • The Constitution • The Resistance (Snicker)

Democrats Have Always Wanted to Impeach Trump

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Let’s imagine for a moment a hypothetical situation in which a president shoots someone on the White House lawn. A two-year, $34 million special counsel investigation ensues. As a result of the investigation, the special counsel finds that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the president committed murder.

Now does anyone honestly believe the special counsel, in announcing his findings, would refrain from stating a clear conclusion and instead of announcing that simply say, “Charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider”? Of course not because that would be ludicrous. If the evidence were there, the special counsel would say he found sufficient evidence to conclude that the president committed murder.

Whether the special counsel could “charge” the president with that crime would be totally irrelevant to the inquiry because charging him is not his role and responsibility. The House would initiate impeachment proceedings, the president would be tried in the Senate, and the president would be removed from office. That’s the way it should and would work.

The hypothetical above shows that the blessed “Saint” Robert Mueller is playing games. On the collusion and conspiracy issue, Mueller stated pretty clearly that “there was insufficient evidence to charge.”

Yet on the obstruction of justice allegation, Mueller would not say his team found obstruction but then offered weasel words to the effect that they didn’t find that the president did not commit a crime, noting that charging him was not an option.

Well, that conveniently leaves it wide open, doesn’t it? Which seems to be exactly as Mueller intended.

Mueller could have said there was insufficient evidence to charge. He also could have said there was sufficient evidence to charge but that he had no authority to charge. Or he could have left out the verb “charge” altogether, since his ability to charge is irrelevant, and simply stated his conclusions. As in the murder hypothetical above, he might have said our investigation has led us to the conclusion that the president obstructed the investigation.

But he didn’t say any of those things. Instead, dropping all pretense about his motivations, the partisan political hack played cute. He winked and nodded to Congress without stating a clear conclusion.

Mueller’s equivocation and inconsistency tell you all you need to know. This was always a political hit job with two alternatively acceptable goals in mind: either they were going to impeach the president or damage and undermine him going into the 2020 elections. To be clear, I don’t think Democrats truly care which one it is so long as Donald Trump does not win reelection next year.

There are several sickening aspects to yesterday. First, as Sean Davis at The Federalist noted, we had Robert Mueller trying to propose a new legal theory that an uncharged person was not innocent. Not only does that flip the presumption of innocence on its head—positing now that someone is guilty until that person can prove himself or herself innocent—it also shows that Mueller intended to muddy the waters and wants to undercut this president.

Mueller’s was not the only major investigation over the past two years. We had one underway with the House Intelligence Committee, another with the Senate Intelligence Committee, and yet another with the Senate Judiciary Committee. In addition to the 500 witnesses Mueller interviewed, there were likely hundreds more with those concurrent investigations. Yet all of those people, under oath, didn’t give even one piece of evidence for “collusion” or criminal conspiracy, nor did they give any definitive proof that there was any obstruction of justice—because there wasn’t any.

Now Mueller and the Left are signaling to the country that a political opponent can help instigate an investigation based on false premises through partisan propaganda or through illegally leaked memos, without proof of any wrongdoing, and that such an attempt by someone to defend oneself against such actions will now be construed as obstruction of justice.

Have we completely lost our minds?

If we accept these innovations suggested by Mueller’s actions, we will now be saying that due process and the presumption of innocence are dead. For what? We would destroy the foundations of our republic for a short term and purely partisan gain, to our eternal shame. If we remove those principles and eviscerate the rule of law, all bets on the longevity of our political society are off.

The fact is, Democrats have always wanted to impeach Donald Trump. From day one, unable to accept the results of the 2016 elections, they have sought to nullify them.

Now, with a strong economic tailwind at his back and a collection of Democratic Lilliputians clamoring to be the nominee against him, all of their election models are showing Trump winning re-election in 2020. Democrats, in defiance of common sense, knowing that a Republican Senate won’t remove him, want to impeach him because they think that might be the only way they can cripple him and keep him for winning again in 2020.

They keep blabbering about principle and a supposed constitutional crisis, to which I say: it’s hardly principle to launch oneself off a political cliff, but by all means, stop talking, find the nerve and do it—and be prepared to accept the political consequences for your actions at the ballot box in 2020.

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Photo credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

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America • Congress • Democrats • Post • The Left

Don’t Just Resist—Insist!

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It takes clarity and consistency to face down an extinction burst successfully.

“An extinction what,” you ask?

“Extinction burst” is the term behavioral scientists use to explain the angry, escalating, often violent response you get when you say “No” after having said “Yes” in the past.

An extinction burst is what your toddler does when he screams and drops to the floor kicking wildly because you won’t let him race down the store aisle after he knocked things off a shelf. It’s what teens do when their curfew is finally enforced. It’s what office gossipers do when coworkers signal they don’t want to hear it any more.

What purveyors of poisonous political calumny do when . . . well, we’ll get to that shortly.

It’s a truism that what gets rewarded, gets repeated. The fancy term for this process is operant conditioning—the person or animal operates on its environment through behaviors that either get rewarded in some way or don’t. Behaviors that result in desired outcomes get repeated. Behaviors that get no response, or that get an unwanted outcome, eventually fade away.

Operant conditioning is a respectful way to influence the behavior of others. Reward what you seek or approve of. Withhold rewards for behaviors you don’t. Try to reason and compromise with political opponents—give a little to get a little.

Of course, it’s important to recognize what a child or puppy or politician really wants. Negative attention is often better than no attention at all. And sometimes that politician wants to disrupt and sabotage rather than find a common solution.

It’s dismayingly easy to reinforce an unwanted habit in ourselves or in others. All it takes is complacency. A parent who’s tired and decides to let an infraction pass without comment “this time.” A teacher who overlooks evidence of cheating because he has to get grades in and doesn’t want the hassle of explaining to parents or the principal. Members of Congress who ignore bureaucratic overreach from the executive branch because it doesn’t impact their home districts—at least not in an obvious way.

Punishment and Complicity
It’s correspondingly difficult to change an unwanted behavior that’s become entrenched.

Behavioral scientists describe four kinds of responses we can make to an offered behavior. Positive reinforcement rewards by giving something that’s desired—a treat for my dog, a bonus for extra performance at work. Negative reinforcement rewards by removing something that’s not desired—a reprieve from weekly chores for an outstanding report card.

Reinforcements are generally the best way to shape behavior we desire. They directly reward and encourage the other person or the animal to choose behaviors we both find desirable.

But what about punishment? Aren’t there times when it’s needed?

There are certainly times when it’s the most effective way to deal with behavior. Negative punishment withholds something desirable. Ignoring a toddler’s tantrums and refusing to engage until the child calms down can often discourage tantrums over time.

Positive punishment ups the ante by actively imposing something that is not desired by the recipient. A swat on the butt and a time out for a child who repeatedly hits others despite being told not to. A significant fine and jail time for financial fraud. Multi-million dollar defamation lawsuits for irresponsible smears of a teenager by major media companies.

Behavioral science explains why the policy that Rudy Giuliani enforced as mayor of New York City—a policy in which minor public disorders and violations were regularly prosecuted—improved quality of life and lowered serious crime rates there.

It also explains why some positive rewards are ineffective—the recipient simply gets more out of continuing other behaviors than out of whatever they’re being offered as an inducement to change.

And it explains why accepting poor behavior isn’t honorable, but makes you complicit in that behavior and its consequences.

So what happens when you refuse to remain complicit? When you stop rewarding a behavior that the other party has learned it can get away with? When, for example, you no longer give in to a child’s screaming demands in the store aisle?

Or when you no longer take the “high road” of silently allowing lies, intimidation, and calumny to deter good people from holding public office, or scholars from publishing research whose findings some dislike for political reasons?

You get an extinction burst. Before the behavior finally ends—if it does—the other party does all it can to deflect your new intentions and bully you into enabling them once again. You get increasingly vitriolic, angry, violent demands and escalating threats.

That is what we’ve seen in Congress, on traditional media, and on social media since the candidacy and election of Donald Trump to the presidency. A massive extinction burst across the Left and throughout the unelected administrative state apparatus.

And here’s the key thing to remember. Once a bad habit has been allowed to persist, the path to extinguishing it is absolutely to hold firm. That mean not providing the reinforcement rewards the other party demands no matter how nasty the escalating reaction might be.

The Power of “No”
There is nothing so rewarding for the other party than to have you give up your attempt at enforcing “No.” To have you acquiesce in “Yes” again.

But resisting by withholding “Yes” isn’t always enough. Sometimes, when the entrenched behavior and the extinction burst itself become egregious, only punishment will deter it. Positive reinforcement is the way to go when you can, but there’s a very sound reason behavioral scientists note that punishment also shapes behaviors.

It’s time for some conservatives to take seriously their complicity in the escalating destructive behavior we see coming from Democratic Party leaders in the House of

Representatives. What gets rewarded gets repeated—and failure to punish destructive behavior is a powerful reward to those committing it.

It’s not enough to shake one’s head and deplore defamatory actions in theory.

It’s not enough to accept destructive actions in Congress because you dislike the current president’s style.

It’s not enough to decry overt manipulation of information availability and suppression of expert, dissenting voices by major online platforms ahead of an upcoming major election.

It’s time to act.

But acting poses a dilemma for many. A parent who spanks a child after losing her temper will often feel remorse and shame. That sets up a downward spiral if those feelings lead the parent to overlook or even reward other poor behavior.

“Whoever fights a monster should see to it that he does not become a monster,” warned Nietzsche. It’s good advice, and it explains—but does not excuse—the reluctance of some conservatives to push back effectively on longstanding escalation of destructive tactics from the Left.

The reality is one needs to become like those one fights, to some degree, in order to fight effectively. The United States needed to develop a coordinated, industrially based military capability to defeat the Nazi Wehrmacht. We needed to develop different means and messaging to counter Soviet agitprop and infiltration during the Cold War.

Where we couldn’t or didn’t do so—as in Vietnam and Afghanistan—things did not go so well.

But that doesn’t mean anything goes. Just as losing one’s temper disproportionately at a child’s misbehavior is counterproductive, so, too, must we be very focused and intentional in responding to misuse of the powerful, secret FISA courts, lies by officials in testimony before Congress, gleeful harassment of peaceful citizens by elected officeholders, and other escalating attacks from the Left.

A good place to start is by insisting that the laws already in place be applied to everyone equally. A federal judge did just that when she dismissed with prejudice the federal government’s charges against Cliven Bundy and others, on the grounds that prosecutors illegally and unethically withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense—including evidence that the FBI agents were involved in a violent encounter.

It’s important to resist when federal agencies misuse federal power. But in some cases, when senior people bear direct responsibility for egregious offenses, we must insist that they be held to account personally.

That means investigation, indictment, and prosecution where politicized use of powerful national security capabilities is established. In the coming weeks undoubtedly we will learn more about what and who might fall under that description.

It means countering public harassment with public gatherings that insist on the right of every American to peaceful public speech.

It means seriously considering whether it is time to break up or regulate social media platforms that attempt to influence public debate with a clear political bias.

Heck, it may even mean insisting that other countries abide by negotiated agreements.

Time to Learn a Little Ideological Krav Maga
Just be prepared for even greater escalation of the Left’s violent extinction burst. They’ve escalated already from the street violence of Antifa to calumny during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings and now to openly political moves in Congress to destroy the current administration. As Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz completes his investigation into the FISA warrants secured against Trump campaign associates the stakes could scarcely be higher. The Left desperately wants to reverse the “No” they received with the election of Trump.

When I was a child, my father told his children that he did not ever want to hear that any of us—girl or boy—had started a fight. But he also told us that if we were attacked, we should end the attack by fighting back decisively and effectively. For if we did not, the attacker would only be emboldened to worse and worse behavior.

In the past month, we’ve seen an elected official openly call to have several pro-life teenagers doxxed. It’s one of several increasingly popular ways the Left attempts to intimidate and punish any who have the temerity to disagree with them.

Multiple leftists, including a GQ writer, moved quickly last January to dox Covington teens in response to the smear videos alleging the teens had confronted Native American activist Nathan Phillips after the March for Life in Washington D.C. Not only did they misidentify the actual wrongdoers in that event—they misidentified the teenager involved, resulting in death threats and harassments to him and his family.

It is time for conservatives and libertarians to respond to the increasing aggression of the Left with the equivalent of krav maga. It’s a self defense art developed in Israel whose purpose is to effectively end threats to one’s own safety, avoiding conflict where possible but ending it with efficient and even deadly force where needed.

The appropriate response to media feeding the flames of Twitter mobs with false information is to file defamation lawsuits. The appropriate response to a bigoted elected gay activist who tries to sic a mob on three girls is to file criminal complaints.

And the appropriate response to massive misuse of our national security mechanisms for partisan benefit? Here’s a hint—it requires a bit more than tut-tutting. Unless of course you privately intend to be saying “Yes,” in which case you will soon find you’ll need to say it openly. Because others intend to say “No” and make it stick.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Administrative State • America • Congress • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • History • Intelligence Community • Law and Order • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Post • the Presidency

Deep Throat and Donald Trump

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You have to give it to Democrats; they are organized.

As soon as Attorney General Bill Barr refused to commit a crime by releasing a fully unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, the Democrats’ talking-point team was drafting the mandatory soundbites.

In a flurry of interviews over the past few weeks, everyone has been on message: If they work for, or are related to President Donald Trump, just jail them.

Whether it’s the ongoing calls for the attorney general to be imprisoned  or Da Nang Dick Blumenthal (D-Conn.)—the only senator in office who lied about serving in Vietnam—calling for the imprisonment of the president’s son or whether Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saying she doesn’t have enough prison cells to lock up all the “criminals” in the Trump administration, the refrain has been remarkably consonant.

Just a reminder friends, this is America in 2019. Not Russia in 1918. Or Cuba in 1960. Or Venezuela today.

As a legal immigrant to this the greatest nation on God’s Earth, I find this shocking. It’s all the more shocking given what my family suffered during the 20th century, with my parents surviving as children under a fascist occupation and then persecuted under a Communist regime before escaping to the West and to freedom. The recent actions and statements of the Democrats are so surreal, so over-the-top, that it feels like we’ve crossed into new and very dangerous territory.

But then I read the latest issue of the superb Hillsdale publication Imprimis and I realized I was so very, very wrong. I had lost all historic perspective. This is the Left. This is who they have been for a very long time.

In his essay, “Politics by Other Means: The Use and Abuse of Scandal,” John Marini of the University of Nevada, takes us back to Watergate and juxtaposes the conventional wisdom about who Richard Nixon was and the significance of Watergate with what actually happened and why the then President had to be neutralized. He writes:

The popular understanding of the Watergate scandal—that it was somehow rooted in Nixon’s flawed personal character, and that it was essentially a legal matter—remains unshaken after more than 40 years. But I was not convinced then, nor am I convinced today, that Watergate can be properly understood in either personal or legal terms. By promising to use his executive power to bring the executive bureaucracy under his control, Nixon posed a danger to the political establishment after his landslide re-election. In response, the establishment struck back.

And how did they do that exactly? If you ask anyone of the right age, or even a Millennial who has received the requisite indoctrination (or happened to see the film version of “All the President’s Men”), the same answer is the same: The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein risked their all for the truth in a fight with the “criminal” in the White House.

But that’s not really what happened. That’s a narrative that has been drummed into the public psyche thanks to the Noam Chomsky-Howard Zinn-Oliver Stone-Michael Moore machine intent on falsifying our history for political ends.  

The real story is that an incredibly vain self-appointed “elite” who fancied himself a Guardian of the Good and who became notorious as “Deep Throat,” spoon-fed information to the Post duo for over a year. (Remind you of anyone called Jim you know? Possibly a very tall former FBI director?) Woodward and Bernstein didn’t investigate anything. The deep state was in control the whole time. Who was the puppet master? None other than FBI Associate Director Mark Felt.

As Marini writes, the media merely “served as a conduit by which the bureaucracy undermined the authority of the elected chief executive.” He adds, fascinatingly, that  “Geoff Shepard, a young member of Nixon’s defense team who has continued investigating Watergate using the Freedom of Information Act, has recently established as well that the prosecutors and judges involved in Watergate violated the procedural requirements that ensure impartiality, acting instead as partisans opposed to Nixon.” Can you say FISA Court? Can you say “Operation Crossfire Hurricane”?

What was the catalyst for this series of seditious leaks that led to a president’s downfall? Marini has done his homework and provides us an answer from the Congressional Quarterly of the period:

When the 93rd [Congress] first convened in January 1973, President Nixon’s sweeping assertions of executive authority posed a threat to the viability of the legislative branch. Even as Congress braced for confrontations with Nixon over spending, war powers, and other issues, its defiance was tempered by doubts as to whether it was indeed any match for the newly re-elected President. But by the time Congress adjourned [on] December 20, 1974, the balance of power had shifted dramatically. Both Nixon and . . . [Vice President] Agnew had been driven from office in disgrace—replaced by men whom Congress had a hand in selecting. 

The opening sentences may as well be a description of Congress today and the cries to impeach President Trump must be put into this broader, more strategic context.

This is not a case of the Democrats lacking imagination and not having a platform for the 2020 election and simply defaulting to “Impeach, Impeach, Impeach!” This isn’t just a delayed act of revenge for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, a settling of scores with the GOP. The Democrats couldn’t care less about the Clintons today. Just look at the fate of the Clinton Foundation or the pathetic spectacle that is the Clintons’ speaking tour fiasco.

This is about one thing and one thing alone. It’s yet another case of the deep state deciding that the will of the American people must be overridden and an election nullified with the help of their domesticated lackeys in the media.

Richard Nixon was never supposed to be president. And the billionaire from Queens most certainly wasn’t. Donald Trump is a threat to the Comeys, the Brennans, the Nadlers, the Schiffs, the Pelosis, and the Mark Felts of the world. Just who do the American people think they are to threaten the power and control of people who have made up the modern professional political class since the 1960s?

These are the stakes involved and this is why 2020 will be even more important than 2016. The Republic hangs by a thread. Remember that when next you hear the Speaker of the House laugh like a despot about jailing those who support the president.

Photo credit: © Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

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Administrative State • Center for American Greatness • Congress • GOPe • Post • Republicans

Senate Republicans Use New Rules to Save a Crony Institution

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After nuking their debate rules for nominations last month for the stated reason that they wanted to push the confirmations of more Republican judges, the Senate this week used the rule change instead to waste precious floor time expanding corporate cronyism.

The Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank for more than 1,000 days has lacked the full quorum of its board of directors, which is necessary to approve taxpayer-funded loans of over $10 million to benefit America’s richest corporations (think Boeing, Caterpillar, and General Electric). The board now has a full slate, and can confirm loans up to $100 million.

The Ex-Im bank, you may recall, loomed large on the Tea Party agenda in 2014 and 2015. It stood as a symbol of everything establishment Washington had gotten wrong: K Street colluding, corporate favoritism, and the general feeling of, “Wait, I’m sorry, my tax dollars do what?”

It’s why many Tea Party conservatives counted the inability of the bank to operate properly as a success, arguing that shelling out millions in taxpayer-backed loans to help some of the richest corporations in the world access “difficult” markets wasn’t a question of national interest.

But the recent inability of the Ex-Im board to waste as much taxpayer money as its mandate allows has provided a good test case, ironically, for why the Export-Import Bank is completely unnecessary.

Its proponents claim we need the bank to support American exports overseas; that without the bank, U.S. exports would crumble. It follows, then, that the bank’s limited capacity since 2015 should have resulted in a sharp fall in U.S. exports.

But research by Mercatus Center scholar Veronique de Rugy shows otherwise. Since 2015, when the Ex-Im board lacked a quorum for loans over $10 million, U.S. exports have not been affected at all. Neither has the U.S. trade balance. In fact, since 2015, the bank showed a 72 percent drop in financing capabilities, only to be met with exports that were $266 billion higher than when Ex-Im’s financing was at its peak.

The total value of U.S. exports has averaged $2.3 trillion annually since 2015—far from the “serious blow to the United States economy” which U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer recently claimed was happening due to the lack of a full functioning bank.

To put this in perspective, consider that Boeing—far and away the largest beneficiary of Ex-Im financing—managed to have its best year ever in 2018 with significantly less support from the U.S. taxpayer.

Of course, now that Boeing’s shares are crashing due to the fact that one of its airplane models keeps . . . well, also crashing, suddenly, it’s become necessary again for the bank’s board to be firing on all cylinders.

Correlation or causation? Your guess is as good as mine.

Lately, Ex-Im advocates have been touting the bank as a “national security weapon,” critical to blunting China’s actions to subsidize their own exports. But, as Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Diane Katz has pointed out, China’s goals are far broader than simply raising its economy through exports. They are also dumping over $1 trillion on “new infrastructure and connectivity across the Indo-Pacific and Eurasian supercontinent.”

Using taxpayer money to subsidize purchases of U.S. exports is hardly going to stop China’s trillion-dollar freight train of economic nationalization. It’s like arguing that a mosquito can single handedly stiff-arm a rocket propelled grenade.

And, there is also the awkward fact that while the bank’s supporters are busy hyping it as a critical tool to stop Chinese economy hegemony, the bank is also providing subsidies to Chinese firms to purchase U.S. goods. Oops.

Republicans Nuked the Rules for This?
Then there is the obvious issue of why the Republican Senate chose to waste precious floor time on corporate cronyism, rather than confirming judges, or higher level executive branch nominations. There are over 250 nominations still pending in the Senate, and 144 judicial vacancies. The Senate may have just confirmed its 39th circuit court nominee, but there remain more judicial vacancies (there are now 144) than when Trump took office (when there were 112).

And, despite Senate Republicans nuking their debate time in order to speed up confirmation, they still aren’t working more than 2.5 days a week, putting floor time at a premium.

Why, then, is the Senate prioritizing the Ex-Im board over the roughly 30 pending district court judges? Particularly when one of the Ex-Im nominees—Judith Pryor—was chosen by Democrats? (Yes, the Senate just burned floor time confirming a Schumer nominee rather than a Trump judge.)

Remember, the Senate could easily overcome their nominations backlog—that is, confirm every single nominee in the queue—in just nine weeks if they decided to work the same amount of time as every other American. (That is, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week.)

But since they clearly don’t intend to work a normal work week, prioritization is key. And, I would argue, nominees to the Export-Import Bank (one of whom, again, was chosen by Chuck Schumer) hardly rise to the level of burning valuable floor time—particularly for a corporate crony bank that many in the Republican conference think shouldn’t exist in the first place.

But, this is Washington, after all. So unless the rest of those 250 pending nominations (including more than 60 judges) have K Street lobbyists and a dump trucks of campaign cash, they can just get in line.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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2016 Election • Congress • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Post

Nadler’s Contempt

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday held a press conference responding to the effort by Representative  Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for his testimony last week. McCarthy was relaxed and jovial as he approached the entrails of the self-destructing anti-Trump movement with a voracious appetite.

For too long the media and their client Democrats in Congress have operated in an environment in which the rule of law meant only one law: “Get Trump.” That “law” made everything done in service to that goal “legal” and everything in opposition to the goal “illegal.” Cries of a “constitutional crisis” are simply rehashing the received wisdom that there is a new, unwritten amendment to the Constitution called the “Get Trump” provision.

Thus, an exercise of delegated power by an elected president over the unelected subordinate branches could be called (without intended irony) an attack on democracy. The Obama era ushered in a convergence of power among the powerful federal agencies, the media, and the Democrats. In the early part of the Trump Administration, it even appeared strong enough to overcome the inconvenient election of a candidate who ran in opposition to the cabal.

But, as they say, something that cannot go on forever must eventually stop. With Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge of the Department of Justice and all “Get Trump” operations, there appeared to be no exception to the new law. Rosenstein dutifully used the Department of Justice against Trump’s allies while seeming to grant immunity to Trump’s enemies.

It’s easy to be an attorney or a lawmaker when the law is whatever you need it to be to help get your target. But Rosenstein is leaving and the Attorney General has committed the unforgivable sin of suggesting that the law is something that doesn’t change depending on whether it helps or hurts Trump.

Thus, it is with considerable embarrassment that Nadler now flops about like a fish finding that the waters of the friendly “Get Trump” legal environment are receding. If you read the House Judiciary Committee’s vague explanation of the contempt citation, you find that balloon inflated with hot air so it can float above the dangerously sharp underlying facts of the case. Lest the true motive of revenge become even more apparent than it already is, obfuscation is required.

Still, it boils down to this: Barr isn’t following the “Get-Trump” playbook and for that he must be punished. According to a House Judiciary Committee release:

Today we consider a report recommending that the House of Representatives hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a valid subpoena issued by this Committee. This is not a step we take lightly. It is the culmination of nearly three months of requests, discussions, and negotiations with the Department of Justice for the complete, unredacted report by Special Counsel Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election, along with the underlying evidence.

Nadler bloviated further, raising the common talking point that “this decision represents a clear escalation in the Trump Administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’s constitutionally mandated duties.” There must be a conference call or a chat room because the “constitutional crisis” talking point was echoed by the New York Times, NBC, The Hill, USA Today, the Washington Post editorial board, the Week, and on and on. It’s simply embarrassing that, in a free country, the so-called independent media outlets (which is really just a corporate leftist media conglomerate) allow themselves to be directed, scripted, and coordinated to a single message with a precision and fidelity that the Communist Chinese would envy.

On May 1, the Department of Justice issued a letter that irrefutably demolishes the “contempt” case against Barr. The author, Stephen Boyd, himself a bit of a deep-state acolyte who helped oppose the publication of the incredibly important House memo exposing FISA abuse, has apparently changed sides. Boyd pointed out that the attorney general, “offered [Nadler] and other congressional leaders the chance to review the report with redactions only for grand-jury information (because disclosure of that information is prohibited by law). That would permit you to review 98.5% of the report, including 99.9% of Volume II, which discusses the investigation of the President’s actions.”

Boyd wrote a follow-up letter on Monday, in which he succumbed to a little exasperated mocking of Nadler’s pursuit of a contempt citation. Nadler would not even read the less-redacted materials the Department of Justice provided, causing Boyd to write: “The Committee [issued its subpoena that predicated the contempt motion] even though you have yet to take advantage of the Department’s offer to review the less-redacted version of the Special Counsel’s report—which naturally raises questions about the sincerity of the Committee’s interest in and purported need for the redacted material.”

Nadler did little or nothing to contest the Department of Justice’s key opposition to the subpoena—that it can’t legally turn over grand jury information without a court order. But Nadler did write this:

With respect to grand jury information, in past cases involving allegations of presidential misconduct, or misconduct by other high-ranking public officials, the DOJ, as a matter of course, has sought the permission of a court to release relevant information to Congress, if not to the public. Notably, this includes several cases that were not impeachment inquiries—including the investigation into former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and the Iran-Contra investigations—as well as other investigations that were not governed by the independent counsel law.

Perhaps. But there is no current court order allowing release of that material and Nadler has done nothing to establish a legitimate need for the information.

To Boyd’s point, if Nadler won’t read what Barr can give him, then how does he know there’s anything of interest in what remains? Thus, Nadler has given the Justice Department nothing to put in a petition to a court asking for permission to release the material.

The Russia investigation has turned into a Democratic opioid crisis as the media and congressional Democrats continue to try to chase the dragon-hoping that the next high will be as good as the last. Gone is the unifying crisis of removing a Russian agent from the White House. Now Americans are slowly waking up to the reality that under Trump the economy has posted eye-popping GDP and unemployment numbers and this, after all, is the real crisis of the Left.

Democrats depend on dependency to propel them to power. The success of the American individual makes sweeping social justice policy seem less relevant and even dangerous. Kevin McCarthy made this exact point during his press conference in which he openly and gleefully displayed his own contempt for Nadler’s contemptuous contempt resolution against the attorney general. The days of everyone agreeing that the Constitution has an implied “Get Trump” clause are over. With an attorney general like Barr, we may yet see the blindfold restored to lady justice.

Photo Credit: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

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Center for American Greatness • Congress • Democrats • Donald Trump • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Post

Does President Trump Want to Be Impeached?

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The aphorism is as logical and demonstrable, as can be demonstrated by current events: “The more illogical the proposition, the more political the proposition.” Fortuitously, too, current events have conspired to reveal this aphorism intersecting with the political truism that “the Left accuses its victims of that which the Left is doing.”

Per CNN, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is asserting that “every single day, [President Trump’s] just like taunting, taunting, taunting . . . Because he knows that it would be very divisive in the country, but he doesn’t really care. He just wants to solidify his base . . . Every day, he’s obstructing justice by saying this one shouldn’t testify and that one shouldn’t testify and the rest. So he’s making the case, but he’s just trying to goad us into impeachment.”

Let’s examine her propositions to see if they are illogical and, hence, political.

Does the President Want to be Impeached to “Solidify His Base”?
As is her party’s wont, Pelosi is portraying her caucus as the victims of a president and his “deplorable” supporters. This is despite the fact the Democrats have spent more than two years merrily smearing them all as treasonous, racist, and sundry other vile, baseless epithets. Even if Pelosi is oblivious, President Trump and his base are keenly aware of this.

Logically, then, the reality is that the Democrats are victims of themselves, because their own unwarranted calumny and despicable tactics have inextricably solidified the GOP behind the president; moreover, it then follows that he has no need for impeachment to “solidify” his base.

In fact, by claiming the only way for President Trump to solidify his base is to get impeached and divide the country and, moreover, that he cares not a whit about doing so, implies Republicans are desirous of the same and also don’t give a damn. Ironically, this is the very type of causal smear against the president and his supporters that helped solidify them behind him.

This Pelosi proposition is illogical and, thus, political.

Does the President Want to be Impeached “Because He Knows It Would be Very Divisive in the Country”?
Like any president, Donald Trump would like the country united behind his agenda. Yet, as most presidents do, he knows this is not going to happen. “No one pitches a shutout” is an old saw in politics. It means that no politician will ever have 100 percent support or even anything close to it.

Nancy Pelosi is no different. She, too, would love the country to unite around her caucus’ agenda, but that won’t happen, either. America has two major parties and a host of other parties precisely because such ideological unanimity on the vast majority of issues does not exist (which I would argue is a damn good thing). Ergo, in reality, on a day to day basis on the vast majority of issues the country is divided as to which public policies are most beneficial to the citizenry.

In newly alleging President Trump wants Democrats into impeach him, Pelosi deliberately ignores her party’s long expressed desire to impeach him. From his inauguration on, her caucus’ strident calls for and rashly filed articles of impeachment. And don’t forget the efforts of external Left-wing groups and Super PACs, such as Tom Steyer’s efforts to push for the president’s impeachment.

So who spent the last two years exacerbating the divisiveness in the nation over the issue of impeaching President Trump for supposedly being Putin’s stooge?

(Hint: it wasn’t Trump.)

This Pelosi proposition, too, is illogical and, thus, political.

Is the President “Every Day . . . Obstructing Justice by Saying This One Shouldn’t Testify and That One Shouldn’t Testify and the Rest”?
The Democrats’ earlier calls for Trump’s impeachment were based primarily upon the now-proven lie that he colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

True, Pelosi hasn’t ruled out Trump colluding with Putin, but Special Counsel Robert Mueller has. This wrinkle makes it impolitic for Pelosi to cite “collusion” as the main rationale for impeaching the president. Hence, her new emphasis is on “obstruction,” which Mueller did not rule out—or in, for that matter. (Attorney General William Barr, however, decidedly did rule it out).

Claiming he obstructed justice to mask a crime no one committed, Pelosi argues that, though other presidents (including the last one) have long exercised it, when President Trump asserts executive privilege it is more evidence of “obstruction” and further grounds for his impeachment.

Why? Apparently, the Constitution—or at least CNN—compels this president to servilely abnegate his duty to ensure the proper functioning of the executive branch to satisfy the partisan whims of House Democrats who by hook or crook or leak want to terminate his presidency ASAP.

Doubtless this tack also helps explain, in part, the rationale for smearing the attorney general, as Andrew McCarthy trenchantly observes: “the House Judiciary Committee’s party-line vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt—for purportedly failing to produce a report he has actually produced . . . [W]hat Congress is demanding that Barr do is illegal—namely, disclose grand jury material to Congress in violation of Congress’ own law.”

In a nutshell from the Democrats’ Nut House, Pelosi and her caucus are claiming there is a “constitutional crisis” and that Barr must be held in contempt of Congress because he is honoring its request and following the law; and the president must be impeached for obstructing justice when no crime was committed and for following the tradition of asserting executive privilege.

Again, this Pelosi proposition is illogical and, thus, political.

So, Does the President Want House Democrats to Impeach Him or Not?
Notwithstanding how illogical or political this proposition, it is irrelevant.

Do not make the mistake of assuming that because Nancy Pelosi’s propositions are illogical and, thus, political, they won’t be efficacious to her party’s aims. The fact that she is no long Minority Leader Pelosi results from the 2018 midterm elections, wherein House Democrats were rewarded with a majority for their divisive, duplicitous smears of President Trump, his supporters, and the Republican majority.

And you can be absolutely certain that, if it is believed to be in their cynical interests, House Democrats will impeach President Trump.

Whether he wants them to or not.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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