28 thoughts on “News/Politics 1-15-19

  1. A view from a federal worker you won’t hear on the nightly news. They only put on pre-approved union workers to tell of their hardships. They cry about missing a check that few even earned in the first place.

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/01/14/smoke-out-resistance/

    “The Daily Caller is taking the rare step of publishing this anonymous op-ed at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose career would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. ”
    ——————————–

    “As one of the senior officials working without a paycheck, a few words of advice for the president’s next move at shuttered government agencies: lock the doors, sell the furniture, and cut them down.

    Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form.

    The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.

    On an average day, roughly 15 percent of the employees around me are exceptional patriots serving their country. I wish I could give competitive salaries to them and no one else. But 80 percent feel no pressure to produce results. If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.

    Why would they? We can’t fire them. They avoid attention, plan their weekend, schedule vacation, their second job, their next position — some do this in the same position for more than a decade. (RELATED: EPA Employees Who Watched Porn, Harassed Women And Got Promoted)

    They do nothing that warrants punishment and nothing of external value. That is their workday: errands for the sake of errands — administering, refining, following and collaborating on process. “Process is your friend” is what delusional civil servants tell themselves. Even senior officials must gain approval from every rank across their department, other agencies and work units for basic administrative chores.

    Process is what we serve, process keeps us safe, process is our core value. It takes a lot of people to maintain the process. Process provides jobs. In fact, there are process experts and certified process managers who protect the process. Then there are the 5 percent with moxie (career managers). At any given time they can change, clarify or add to the process — even to distort or block policy counsel for the president.

    Saboteurs peddling opinion as research, tasking their staff on pet projects or pitching wasteful grants to their friends. Most of my career colleagues actively work against the president’s agenda. This means I typically spend about 15 percent of my time on the president’s agenda and 85 percent of my time trying to stop sabotage, and we have no power to get rid of them. Until the shutdown.

    Due to the lack of funding, many federal agencies are now operating more effectively from the top down on a fraction of their workforce, with only select essential personnel serving national security tasks. One might think this is how government should function, but bureaucracies operate from the bottom up — a collective of self-generated ideas. Ideas become initiatives, formalize into offices, they seek funds from Congress and become bureaus or sub-agencies, and maybe one day grow to be their own independent agency, like ours. The nature of a big administrative bureaucracy is to grow to serve itself. I watch it and fight it daily. ”

    When the agency is full, employees held liable for poor performance respond with threats, lawsuits, complaints and process in at least a dozen offices, taking years of mounting paperwork with no fear of accountability, extending their careers, while no real work is done. Do we succumb to such extortion? Yes. We pay them settlements, we waive bad reviews, and we promote them.

    Many government agencies have adopted the position that more complaints are good because it shows inclusion in, you guessed it, the process. When complaints come, it is cheaper to pay them off than to hold public servants accountable. The result: People accused of serious offenses are not charged, and self-proclaimed victims are paid by you, the American taxpayer.”

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  2. Turns out the “insurance policy” Strzok and Page discussed was actually a coup attempt.

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/01/14/john-dowd-coup-donald-trump/

    “One of President Donald Trump’s former lawyers for the Russia probe is accusing former FBI officials of staging a “coup” by opening a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump acted as a foreign agent of Russia.

    “This is our worst nightmare that someone with that kind of power would then decide to go after the president. I mean it’s a coup,” John Dowd told Fox’s Brian Kilmeade in a radio interview Monday.

    “That’s what it is an attempted coup by Comey and his crowd,” he said. “And the evidence is all over there. I take The New York Times article as an admission of their bad behavior.”
    ————————

    Trump has been right all along.

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  3. Once again, not a victim-less crime. And the judges who force the govt to release these criminals on unsuspecting citizens have blood on their hands.

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    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jan/13/unaccompanied-child-immigration-loophole-releases-/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=socialnetwork

    “Immigration loophole allows MS-13 gang members to go free”

    “If the Trump administration had its way, Ramon Arevalo Lopez and Oscar Canales Molina would have been either in detention or deported.

    Instead, they were out on the streets — thanks to judges’ orders — where, according to police, they and another illegal immigrant delivered an MS-13 gang beat-down to two high school students in New York.

    All three of the illegal immigrants entered the U.S. in 2016 as unaccompanied alien children, meaning they crossed the border without parents — a status that earned them a quick release into the country, where they were quickly reunited with their family and began to live while awaiting deportations that never came.

    For Homeland Security Department officials, it’s the latest sign of a legal system that stymies their efforts to oust dangerous figures.

    “One of the loopholes we are imploring Congress to close could have prevented this gruesome attack,” said Katie Waldman, a Homeland Security spokeswoman.

    The three illegal immigrants got into a melee outside a Burger King in Huntington Station, New York, one afternoon last week. One of the teens was stabbed in the back, according to local news reports.”

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  4. By her own petard.

    Illegals in Nancy’s yard?

    Police! Remove them!

    ————-

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/42171/watch-laura-loomer-brings-illegal-immigrants-nancy-amanda-prestigiacomo

    “Self-described investigative journalist Laura Loomer brought a handful of illegal immigrants to the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Monday.

    Pelosi — who has been unwavering in her opposition to funding a wall along the southern border, which she’s classified as an “immorality” — reportedly had Loomer and the illegals removed from her property.

    Loomer, accompanied by illegal immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico, lugged a tent onto Pelosi’s multimillion-dollar vineyard estate, freelance journalist Nick Monroe reported Monday. In large red letters, the word “immorality” was written across the tent; there were also photos of murder victims of illegal immigrants hanging from the front of the tent.

    Livestreaming the event, Loomer took the time to read each of the victims’ names and reiterate that these folks were not welcome in “sanctuary state California.””

    ———————–

    “Police officers were soon called to the property and asked for identification from the illegals and Loomer and company.

    “I was told IDs were racist,” Loomer repeatedly tells the officers. “I’m so confused.””

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  5. Kitchen closed for a govt. shut down?

    Improvise, adapt, overcome.

    Trump had the Clemson team over for burgers, pizza, and chicken nuggets. 🙂

    That’s what winners eat. 🙂

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6591039/McDonalds-Wendys-Burger-King-pizza-Trump-bringing-fast-food-Clemson-Tigers.html

    “‘We have many, many french fries’: In absence of furloughed White House kitchen staff, proud Trump ponies up for candle-lit junk food banquet with more than Big Macs for visiting Clemson Tigers after national title win

    President Donald Trump served a fast food smorgasbord to the Clemson Tigers on Monday evening that he paid for himself

    He showed off the spread of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Domino’s to reporters before the event began

    ‘If it’s American I like it. It’s all American stuff,’ he said

    White House kitchen staff are furloughed due to the government shutdown

    ‘The President is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favorite fast foods,’ Sarah Sanders said in a statement

    Fast food is President Trump’s favorite food, as he noted in his remarks

    Said he nearly tasked the first lady and second lady with making salads

    ‘I had a choice: do we have no food for you, because we have a shutdown,’ he revealed. ‘And I said, you guys aren’t into salads'”

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  6. An update to the first post.

    Has Trump outsmarted Democrats yet again?

    Sure looks like it. Let the mass layoffs begin.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/01/trumps_shutdown_trap.html

    “Trump’s shutdown trap?”

    “Has President Trump suckered Democrats and the Deep State into a trap that will enable a radical downsizing of the federal bureaucracy? In only five more days of the already-“longest government shutdown in history” (25 days and counting, as of today), a heretofore obscure threshold will be reached, enabling permanent layoffs of bureaucrats furloughed 30 days or more.

    Don’t believe me that federal bureaucrats can be laid off? Well, in bureaucratese, a layoff is called a RIF – a Reduction in Force, and of course, it comes with a slew of civil service protections. But, if the guidelines are followed, bureaucrats can be laid off — as in no more job. It is all explained by Michael Roberts here (updated after the beginning of the partial shutdown):

    A reduction in force is a thoughtful and systematic elimination of positions. For all practical purposes, a government RIF is the same thing as a layoff. (snip)

    Organizations must stick to predetermined criteria when sorting out what happens to each employee. They must communicate with employees how and why decisions are made. (snip)

    In deciding who stays and who goes, federal agencies must take four factors into account:

    1. Tenure

    2. Veteran status

    3. Total federal civilian and military service

    4. Performance

    Agencies cannot use RIF procedures to fire bad employees.

    A lot of procedures must be followed, and merit (“performance”) is the last consideration, but based on the criteria above, employees already furloughed can be laid off (“RIFed”) once they have been furloughed for 30 days or 22 work days):

    When agencies furlough employees for more than 30 calendar days or 22 discontinuous work days, they must use RIF procedures.

    An employee can be terminated or moved into an available position….

    This seems to be what was referenced in this remarkable essay written by an “unidentified senior Trump official” published in the Daily Caller, which vouches for the authenticity of the author, and explains that it is protecting him or her from adverse career consequences should the name become known. I strongly recommend reading the whole thing.”

    —————————

    There’s more than one way to shrink govt. 🙂

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  7. I know just the place to start the layoffs…….

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/01/what_the_fbi_was_willing_to_do_to_take_out_trump_with_no_evidence.html

    “What the FBI was willing to do to take out Trump with no evidence”

    “For almost three years, bureaucrats from the Obama administration, including those at the FBI and Justice, have tried to take out candidate and then president Trump with no actual evidence. Robert Mueller knew that Michael Flynn didn’t violate any laws by talking with a Russian after the election, knew that Comey tried to entrap Flynn, knew that FBI agents didn’t think he lied but badgered and sought to destroy and bankrupt Flynn and his family until he caved to plead to perjury. Now we learn from an article in the New York Times that the FBI started a secret investigation into whether President Trump worked for Russia even though there was no evidence that he did.

    In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

    The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

    Of course, they found nothing.

    Somehow, the Times, other media outlets, and Democrats have absolutely no concern about the abuse of power by the FBI and say it is Trump who should be investigated, even though there is no evidence that Trump did anything wrong. If the FBI is willing to destroy Trump and others surrounding him because they wanted Hillary to be president, what would it be willing to do to other people? Tyranny creeps in on secret FBI investigations, leaked when it is convenient to the plotters seeking to oust a duly elected president of the United States.

    Let’s take a short trip down memory lane to see how all this fake news from the media started over two years ago and continues to this day.”

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  8. While the State of California burned, these %@#hats were off partying in Hawaii. That’s a big old middle finger to taxpayers.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/01/as-california-burned-state-politicos-headed-to-hawaii-with-utility-executives/

    “As California burned, state politicos headed to Hawaii with utility executives

    Pacific Gas and Electric CEO is resigning & the company plans on filing for bankruptcy.”

    “Legal insurrection readers will recall the historic wildfires of 2018, which included the destruction of Paradise and subsequent lawsuits filed against Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) by survivors.

    Now reports have revealed that while wildfires raged, state lawmakers headed to Hawaii with utility company executives.

    During the junket, representatives from utility companies discussed with the bipartisan group of lawmakers just how much responsibility they should bear for wildfires – even as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) could be on the hook for several billions of dollars in damages for fires it caused over the past few years.

    The utility companies are pushing for a new state law that would raise electricity prices to offset costs incurred from wildfires, according to The New York Times.

    The annual event, hosted by the nonprofit Independent Voter Project, was held in Maui in November. PG&E executives did not attend the conference because of the wildfires, but representatives from San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison did, KABC-TV reported.

    Here is a list of the California politicians who headed to Maui:

    “The cost of the event was $8000 per person. Of those listed above in attendance, only Frank Bigelow and Bill Brough are Republicans.

    In related news, the CEO of PG&E has resigned as the company faces potential bankruptcy and possible criminal charges after last year’s deadly Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history.”

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  9. Once they purge the FBI and DoJ, they should move on to these frauds.

    They aren’t worth the cost, and even though they are considered “essential” they keep using it as a union protest and call out.

    This is being done to inconvenience travelers for political points. Show up, or make them pay for not doing so.

    https://apnews.com/a50e00cb683b4b9697c1c957bae39cd2

    “No. of no-show airport security screeners soars in shutdown”

    “The number of airport security screeners failing to show up for work around the country is soaring as the partial government shutdown goes into its fourth week.

    No-shows among screeners jumped Sunday and again Monday, when the Transportation Security Administration reported a national absence rate of 7.6 percent compared with 3.2 percent on a comparable day a year ago. Monday marked the first business day after screeners did not receive a paycheck for the first time since the shutdown began.

    At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest, some passengers waited more than an hour to get through checkpoints. The airport reported the long lines on its website Monday morning, showing the hour-plus waits at all three checkpoints in the domestic terminal.

    “It’s chaos out here,” passenger Vincent Smith said as he stood in a line that snaked through the Atlanta airport’s atrium and baggage claim areas. “This line, I’ve been here about 15 minutes and it has moved 2 feet.”

    TSA is working with the Atlanta airport and airlines “to maximize all available operational resources at the airport,” TSA spokesman Jim Gregory said.”
    ——————-

    That’s a load of you know what.

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  10. @11:48 I met up with my son who flew in to Atlanta from Las Vegas on Sun. evening. It was a great visit, but he didnt mention that airports were unusually disorganized or busy. He flies occasionally for his business.
    I have wondered how the shutdown is affe ting airport security. I saw a piece on news last night that sais TSA is currently hiring.

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  11. This is yet another reason a huge portion of Americans view the press as an absolute joke.

    It’s called “exaggerating” morons.

    ——————-

    https://news.grabien.com/story-wapo-fact-check-trump-did-not-pile-burgers-one-mile-high-he

    “WAPO ‘FACT CHECK’: TRUMP DID NOT PILE BURGERS ‘ONE MILE HIGH’ AS HE PROMISED CLEMSON

    The paper’s fact checker spent more than 1,200 words investigating Trump’s fast food spread”

    “The White House announced Monday that “because the Democrats refuse to negotiate on border security” and “much of the residence staff at the White House is furloughed” the Clemson University football team, which just won the NCAA national championship and was coming to meet the president — would instead enjoy “some of everyone’s favorite fast foods,” which President Trump would personally pay for.

    After the spread was laid out — including food from McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Dominoe’s — Trump told reporters:

    “We have the national champion team, as you know, Clemson Tigers, and they had a fantastic game against Alabama, and they’re all here, they’re right outside the room. And I think we’re going to let you see them, but I’ll bet you, as much food as we have, we have pizzas, we have 300 hamburgers, may, many French fries, all of our favorite foods. I want to see what’s here when we leave, because I don’t think it’s going to be much.” [Video]

    Not so, a Washington Post’s “fact check,” reported. The Post’s Philip Bump published a 1,200 word opus taking apart the fast food spread in excruciatingly mundane detail, including that only “177” of the 319 sandwiches were in fact hamburgers. “Perhaps Trump’s ‘300’ hamburgers figure referred to all of the sandwiches,” Bump writes, “or perhaps they weren’t all put out at the outset.”

    Bump’s article even included a detailed graphic showing how the food was organized:”

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    How pathetic can they get?

    Really, really, REALLY pathetic.

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  12. Nope, no bigots here.

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  13. The Trump-buying-fast-food-and-putting-it-on-fancy-platters story is getting different play from each side. The liberals seem to think it was pretty tacky.

    So what happened to the illegal immigrants that Laura Loomer (who is she, BTW?) brought onto Nancy Pelosi’s lawn? I would think that she just got them into trouble with ICE.

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  14. Silly Kizzie.

    It’s California. The police are prohibited by law with threat of firing if they dare call ICE on an illegal. Nor are they allowed to arrest them for being illegal. In fact, it’s illegal now for the cop to even ask about legal residency status. Get with the times Sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The left side of the internet found the big macs more than tacky. The president can’t even organize a dinner….how hard is it find a caterer who can feed a football team properly. He turned a special occasion into a joke.

    Democrats and Republicans both choose chase money over working for the people. The left half of the internet is upset some Republican senators are hosting fundraisers during shutdown. But in America money is speech and those with the most money get the most speech.

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  16. The shutdown reminds me of Trump’s business practices. If things don’t go your way, don’t pay your workers or contractors and then declare bankruptcy.

    I thought permanent layoffs would be a possibility. Standard contract rules. So Trump supporters went from don’t worry back pay will come to people shouldn’t live day to day to hey lets lay these people off permanently.

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  17. The right side of the internet seems intent on painting some Dems as anti Semitic. Given the racist nature of some Republicans (eg King of Iowa), it seems a strange strategy. However, Pelosi is/will have a difficult time with some of the younger Dems. Perhaps this an attempt to create internal divisions or to alienate pro Israel donors or both.

    Of course being critical of Israel is not anti-Semitic and nor is a pro Israel policy always in the US interests.

    As I noted to my conservative friends elsewhere, its liberal Canada, not the posturing right wing populists, which has managed to annoy China and Saudi Arabia by standing up for western values. But in doing so, we’ve also annoyed Israel, Eastern European nationalist, and other non liberal parts of the world.

    In response we sent a pizza lunch to US air traffic controllers. Union solidarity.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/13/us/canadian-air-traffic-send-pizzas-to-us-controllers-without-pay/index.html

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  18. hwesseli, From 20 to 22 I worked for a company that ended up, a few months before I left for college at 22, declaring chapter 21 bankruptcy. (They stayed in business for a while longer, not sure how long.) We had one employee who should have been fired before I ever started working there. Her cash register was off $5 or $10 a couple times a week (sometimes over, sometimes under), she would wait on customers while chewing on taffy, if there were no customers she wouldn’t come to the back and help out but would just hang out the cash register unless our boss saw her (she was cashier #2; cashier #1 was supposed to stay with the cash register even if there were no customers, but #2 wasn’t supposed to).

    When we went through bankruptcy, our store had to cut 60 or 70 hours a week, and we had a really easy 40 right off the bat. She should have been fired long before then, but firing her at that point was a real no-brainer. As far as I can see, this situation is just such an opportunity–if someone is worthless, this is a good time to go ahead and do without paying them, as you have already been doing without their work. Employment shouldn’t be “charity”; it should be paying people because you need what they do. If they don’t do anything, or you don’t need what they do, then this is an excellent time to realize that and do something about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. HRW – The way I figure it, people – left, right, and in-between – are people. People tend to have biases, whether they realize it or not. Some biases are minor, but others veer into racism.

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  20. Kizzie, agreed. Basically my point with AJ. There’s more than enough blemish on any side to go around.

    Cheryl. not sure of your point. Its true, public or private, there’s some dead weight. However, that’s no excuse for the glee some might express over laying people off.

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  21. No, there probably shouldn’t be glee . . . though “relief” can be a legitimate emotion. If you have an employee who deserves to be fired but can’t be because of a technicality, can you imagine a circumstance in which you would be happy you can fire him? Let’s say he is somewhere between lazy and incompetent, where he literally does nothing at all at work (if he is a teacher, he stays in the teachers’ lounge all day, but it is against the law to fire him) OR he is a negative (the teacher who has sexually abused some children, but no one can actually prove it, and maybe that’s why he is in the lounge all day, because you can’t fire him but you don’t trust him with children). I think in cases like this (and I have heard of cases like this, and have seen with my own eyes people who “need to be fired” but can’t be) one actually might feel at least a little gleeful, but will definitely feel satisfaction.

    I am an outsider to this, with no dog in this fight. But I have heard of government employees who literally do not work at all, and I feel no sympathy at all for the possibility that they might lose their jobs with no notice at all. So I can imagine that those who work with them might feel something between relief and joy at seeing them leave. I personally don’t “feel” anything at all about it; I just hope that those making decisions do so wisely.

    Liked by 1 person

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