37 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-24-17

  1. Well, well, well…..

    I’ll say it again. Trump was right.


    “Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week, a source told Fox News.

    Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretappedhim in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4.

    The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.

    The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, the sources said, adding that the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration.

    The FBI hasn’t been responsive to the House Intelligence Committee’s request for documents, but the National Security Agency is expected to produce documents to the committee by Friday. The NSA document production is expected to produce more intelligence than Nunes has so far seen or described – including what one source described as a potential “smoking gun” establishing the spying.”

    It’s time Comey was shown the door for his continued dishonesty on the matter, and his lack of cooperation in requests for documents.


    “The explosive reports uncovered by Nunes contradict public testimony Monday by FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers.

    Comey and Rogers stated during an intelligence committee hearing that they had no information to support Trump’s claims in a series of tweets that he had been placed under electronic surveillance by President Obama.

    An FBI spokesman said there would be no clarification of Comey’s testimony. An NSA spokesperson did not return emails seeking comment.

    Nunes said the new information was disclosed to him by intelligence community “sources” he would not identify. During Monday’s hearing, he appealed for anyone with information about Russian influence activities and possible improper political surveillance to come forward.

    The House chairman said it is possible Obama directed the spying.

    “We don’t know who sent the taskings, if the taskings were changed into what went into these intelligence reports, but we’re going to try to find that out,” Nunes said.

    Asked if he could rule out that Obama was personally involved in the surveillance, Nunes said “No, I cannot.”

    The disclosures about the spying appear to vindicate Trump, who was widely criticized for claiming he was spied on by the former president.

    Trump and his aides also have come under criticism by critics in Congress and the news media for the spying allegations.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Presently, there is so much resentment and resistance against the Administration within the bureaucracy that Comey may be incapable of obtaining the intelligence he needs. Deeper housecleaning needs to occur. Unfortunately, Comey may not be the one to lead that endeavor.


  3. I have long thought the judicial branch of government is due some discipline. I wonder if some removals could occur if the people would support their elected officials in doing so. I’m pretty sure Trump would be up to the task. :–)

    ……The Constitution provides a second, separate restriction on the tenure of a federal judge: Article III of the Constitution limits a judge’s tenure to continuous “good behavior.” This reinforces the democratic side of the Constitution: only elected officials can remove either elected or appointed officials. Congress clearly understood this as they passed a law in 1790 making federal judges automatically ineligible for continued service upon conviction of a crime. The “good behavior” limitation on appointed officials specifically states: “the judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior.” It does not say the judges shall hold their offices “during their lives” nor “unless removed by impeachment”; it says they keep their judicial powers only “during good behavior.”

    The recommended manner of determining good behavior incorporates procedures akin to an administrative trial process, where each of the political branches plays a role — the executive in initiating investigation and prosecution, and the legislative in a jury-like function. As fellow scholars note: “under any reading of the Constitution, the political branches have the authority to investigate and sanction judges.” Judges actually do this to each other for ethical breaches, including removal from hearing cases. The problem is that the judiciary does a lousy job of policing its own. Time for Trump to drain the judicial swamp.

    What defines “bad behavior”? The Code of Conduct for federal judges compel judges “uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary,” “perform their duties fairly, impartially and diligently,” and “refrain from political activity.”


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debra @ 8:10 No doubt The Orange One would start with the “Mexican” judge who presided over the fraud case involving Trump “University”. I am sure Trump wants him to be removed. Perhaps Trump could demand that all federal judges join The Cult and swear allegiance to Trump.


  5. Following the law of the land would be sufficient Ricky. But Globalists become so unaccustomed to the rule of national law, the mere prospect of it has reduced them to following after babbling Democrats. Though it’s pitiful to see the clay feet of leaders we once respected, it is also a useful reminder that such is the lot of man.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aj @ 7:10: Wouldn’t firing the FBI Director who is investigating the President lead to his own impeachment?


  7. Tychicus, It all depends on how many House Members belong to The Cult or fear retribution from The Cult.


  8. Wow. We’re in bad shape people. I was a little skeptical of the headline so I watched the video. It’s at about the 2:28 mark on the video. At first I thought she mistakenly said refugees were given a voter’s application, but she said it twice. This is what happens when Globalists—who may be either Democrats or Republicans— run our institutions. They have NO respect for the basic law of the land.


    Liked by 1 person

  9. I just met the best McDonalds employee I have ever seen. She is a Trainer who goes from store to store. Amazing positive attitude, work ethic and competence. She is a middle-aged Mexican lady. From her slight accent, I believe she was born here to a family of Spanish speakers. We need more like her.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tychicus,

    That depends. If what the NSA is holding further proves Comey’s complicity in all this, then the reasons for removal will be legit. As was mentioned in my first post, his FBI hasn’t been forthcoming with info requested by House investigators. Comey is not immune to consequences for his actions, or lack of action, and the dislike for him spans both parties. If they’re worried about optics, appoint a special prosecutor to review the entire sordid affair, then fire him. This will remove the idea that it was done to thwart an investigation as one would still happen.

    At this point Comey is severely compromised, in his judgement, his methods, and his ability to investigate fairly. He’s useless in his present state anyway.


  11. And also, if it’s proven by the NSA release that Comey’s FBI was involved in all these leaks and in illegally keeping tabs on Trump and his team, then he needs to be fired and investigated as well. He can’t be impartial if he’s responsible for ordering the possibly criminal acts in the first place. That would make him the fox in the hen house.


  12. Kizzie, in our recent discussion on the purpose of government, I mentioned the book of Judges. This blog post points out a fascinating aspect of one of the stories of the book of Judges: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/gospeldrivenchurch/2017/03/23/when-youve-got-a-bramble-for-a-king/

    Jotham’s story is a crypto-parable. His employment of trees and vines and fire are elemental to several of Jesus’s more prominent parables. Jotham includes three symbols of national flourishing that lay at the, for lack of a better word, root of Jesus’s own promises and warnings. They are the olive tree, the fig tree, and the grapevine. Each, personified by Jotham, is asked by the trees to come reign over them. In general, Jotham is indicting the people’s God-offending demands for a king. They should have no king over them but YHWH, yet still they stamp their foot. More specifically, however, there is a lesson to learn in each of the parable’s would-be rulers.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Two of my children started working (other than babysitting) at McDonalds. They had excellent training for working with the public. The trainer didn’t happen to be Hispanic, though. I appreciate well trained staff. It can make or break a restaurant experience. I really don’t care what their nationality or race is.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Ricky,

    Yep. More of her, and less of these resource sucking criminals.


    “Immigration offenses account for half of all federal arrests, according to Justice Department statistics released Thursday, which focus heavily on the role immigration plays in the federal justice system.

    The analysis of federal justice statistics from 2013-14 highlights how much of federal law enforcement is dedicated to immigration-related offenses, continuing the Trump administration’s efforts to place an emphasis on the criminal side of illegal immigration.

    “These statistics make it clear that immigration-related offenses along the United States border with Mexico account for an enormous portion of the federal government’s law enforcement resources and that we must enforce our immigration laws in a way that consistently deters future violations,” said Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokeswoman.”

    “According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report, half of all federal arrests in 2014 were immigration-related, a total of nearly 82,000.

    Sixty-one percent of all federal arrests were in the five districts along the US-Mexico border, along with 55% of suspects investigated and 39% of offenders who were given a federal prison sentence.

    Other highlighted statistics included that 32% of defendants facing charges in district courts were from Mexico, along with 5% from Central America, and 42% of defendants were non-US citizens. Non-citizens were also one-quarter of federally sentenced prisoners in 2014.

    The report also noted that 17% of immigration offenders who were released in 2012 ended up back in federal prison within three years.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Good.


    “Last night we highlighted a Fox News story which suggested that Devin Nunes expected the NSA to deliver a “smoking gun” which would prove that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, as early as today.

    Moments ago, Nunes fanned that speculation by holding an impromptu press conference announcing that he’ll call both FBI Director Comey and NSA Director Rogers before a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee to discuss topics which “they couldn’t answer in a public setting.””

    And a bonus.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. More good news.


    “President Trump got his first court win on Friday in the challenges to his new travel and refugee executive order, as a federal judge ruled against a lawsuit backed by the Council on American–Islamic Relations in Virginia.

    US District Judge Anthony Trenga, in a 32-page opinion, found that the plaintiffs in the case — Linda Sarsour v. Donald Trump — were not likely to succeed in their challenge to the March 6 executive order barring travel from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and temporarily halting the refugee program.

    Specifically, Trenga ruled that the challenge to the executive order was unlikely to succeed on the statutory claim that the order violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the constitutional claims that it violates the Establishment Clause or the Equal Protection Clause.
    “In determining whether the Plaintiffs have made the required showing, the issue is not whether EO-2 is wise, necessary, under- or overinclusive, or even fair. It is not whether EO-2 could have been more usefully directed to populations living in particular geographical areas presenting even greater threats to national security or even whether it is politically motivated,” Trenga wrote.

    The legal issue before him, Trenga wrote, “is whether EO-2 falls within the bounds of the President’s statutory authority or whether the President has exercised that authority in violation of constitutional restraints.”

    Trenga placed great weight on the significant changes made between the first and second executive orders on the issue and concluded that the executive order likely did fall within the president’s authority. While he did take Trump’s campaign and other statements into account, in addition to those by advisers like Stephen Miller, Trenga concluded that the new order is clearly enough within the president’s authority that the statements do not render it unconstitutional.””

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Well it looks like Ryan and his gang have failed. But as expected, the media will portray it as Trump’s failure.


    “House Republican leaders abruptly pulled a Republican rewrite of the nation’s health-care system from consideration on Friday, a dramatic acknowledgment that they are so far unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

    “We just pulled it,” President Trump told the Washington Post in a telephone interview.

    The decision came a day after President Trump delivered an ultimatum to lawmakers — and represented multiple failures for the new president and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

    The decision means the Affordable Care Act remains in place, at least for now, and a major GOP campaign promise goes unfulfilled. It also casts doubt on the GOP’s ability to govern and to advance other high-stakes agenda items, including tax reform and infrastructure spending. Ryan is still without a signature achievement as speaker — and the defeat undermines Trump’s image as a skilled dealmaker willing to strike compromises to push his agenda forward.”


  18. Personally I don’t see it as all bad. Maybe this way some reasonable reform can be accomplished. And at this point, as Trump said in his presser, ObamaCare is imploding. So just let it, while constantly pointing out it’s a 100% Democrat failure. Their only failure will be having 8 years to have a replacement ready that members would pass, and failing miserably.

    We know what happened the last time it was attempted along strictly party lines. This way we can save tons of money on a failed attempt at replacement at least. No sense throwing good after bad.

    It’s time both parties grew up and acted like adults with reasonable legislation. It can be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Debra,



    “According to a tally by NBC News, at least 34 Republicans had said publicly over the last few days that they were planning to vote against the measure or leaning toward voting no on the “American Health Care Act.” It’s possible there were other Republican lawmakers who also would have voted no but had not yet made their position public. All House Democrats had planned to vote against the bill.”

    Liked by 1 person

  20. AJ – re: your 11:27 – Notice they are referring to “immigration offenses”, not necessarily other criminal offenses.
    This morning I posted on Facebook that piece by Mona Charen that Ricky had shared here the other day. One of her points is that many conservatives are reacting to emotions, such as fear or anger, when we hear anecdotal stories of crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

    Here’s the part I excerpted in my preface to it. . .

    “”As a survey by the CATO Institute shows, immigrants — both legal and illegal — are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans. And when you exclude those illegal immigrants who are jailed for immigration offenses (i.e., just for being here illegally), the numbers really plunge. Looking at the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, CATO notes that illegal immigrants are 44 percent less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans. Legal immigrants are 69 percent less likely to be jailed than natives. White native-born Americans are more likely to be imprisoned than black immigrants, legal or illegal. The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley cites a Public Policy Institute study showing that while the foreign-born comprise 35 percent of California’s population, they represent 17 percent of the state prison population.

    Some immigrants commit crimes. But as the data shows, most keep their noses clean. About 7 percent of our population is comprised of non-citizens, yet they account for only 5 percent of the prison population.

    We don’t yet know the facts of the rape case in Maryland. But even if they turn out to be every bit as brutal as first reports indicate, the attempt to tar all immigrants with this brush — or to let emotional appeals dictate policy — is exactly what fair-minded admirers of Judge Gorsuch will resist.”

    Here’s the link again. . .


    Liked by 2 people

  21. Thank, AJ. There’s one from TN, but he’s not mine. If the subsidies are clipped and the mandate is not enforced, the ACA will probably collapse fairly soon.


  22. Btw. I’m not saying we shouldn’t deport them when they are discovered (although I am against deporting the parents but keeping the children born here), they are illegal after all, but that the fear & anger (often leading to hatred, or near it) that is being stirred up against them is unnecessary.

    I do think it would be good to come up with an easier path to being legal. A few years ago, an article in World (not exactly a bleeding heart liberal source) said that it is very hard for Mexicans, in particular, to gain citizenship. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the details.


  23. Debra@1:23. From reading a few weeks ago, and maybe it was even posted here, I think this is the “logic” that makes them think the president’s campaign statements are relevant to deciding an executive order is unconstitutional.

    The precedent is that the courts will use the record of congressional discussions to understand Congress’s intent in passing a law. I think this is legitimate if there’s some ambiguity in the wording of the law that allows reasonable people to interpret it differently. But the idea can be turned into a license to fish for a way to mis-interpret a clear law and make it mean something different.

    They’re extrapolating from that to considering the president’s campaign statements as relevant in discerning the intent behind his executive orders. In this case they see in Mr. Trump’s campaign statements an intent to keep all Muslims out. That being his intent, his executive order is clearly unconstitutional on grounds of religious discrimination.

    It’s complete bunk, but there it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Personally, I would be just as happy if they stopped all immigration for awhile….of course that wouldn’t go down too well with some of my more liberal friends. In truth, legal, judicious immigration is not a bad thing, and would be a net plus in the right circumstances. We’ve just not been legal OR judicious about it for a looong time.


  25. Kevin, I think you’re right. And the judges seem to find ‘ambiguity’ hiding behind every colon and semicolon when they’re in the mood to legislate. :–/


  26. Look for this Tweet in the morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. It is possible to have rational political discussions about Trump with the remaining rational conservatives. It is possible to have such discussions with educated liberals. It is really not possible to have such discussions with Trumpkins who now have their own set of alternate facts gleaned from Trump, Assange, Russia, Hannity, Breitbart, InfoWars, Limbaugh and Sean Spicer.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Karen,

    I read the link when you posted it to Facebook. The numbers don’t lie. It’s not just the immigration offenses. And thousands of those criminal acts adversely affect tens of thousands of US citizens and people legally here. While Mona and Ricky might like to dismiss this fact, the evidence is hardly anecdotal. I trust the govts crime numbers more than her opinion. She dismisses critics as driven by emotion while she ignores the obvious and suggests others ignore evidence to the contrary, like the numbers from the DoJ. It was a rather weak attempt in my opinion.


  29. AJ, Charen’s opinion was backed up by data from the FBI, the Census Bureau, the Cato Institute and the Public Policy Institute. As Charen noted, there are arguments to be made to restrict immigration. Reducing crime isn’t one of them. You are constantly proving the point I made @ 9:39.


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