Many were anticipating that #ComeyDay would be the most monumental congressional hearing in decades, but the truth is that it turned out to be quite a dud. During two and a half hours of testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI Director James Comey didn’t tell us anything that we don’t already know. Of course liberal news outlets such as CNN are breathlessly proclaiming that we are now “in Nixon territory”, but that isn’t accurate at all. There is absolutely no evidence that President Trump committed any crime, and there is absolutely nothing that warrants impeachment.
And I am far from alone in that assessment. For example, an analysis published by CNBC says that nothing in Comey’s testimony was “powerful enough to end the Trump presidency literally or figuratively”…
“Former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony Thursday will indeed have a big political impact in Washington. It will foster more partisan bitterness and more bad feelings about our political process and news media. But none of his testimony rises to the level of anything legally powerful enough to end the Trump presidency literally or figuratively.
The bottom line is that Comey spent a few hours Thursday telling the Senate committee that he felt uncomfortable and even stunned by President Trump’s behavior. And he peppered that narrative with numerous damaging statements about the president’s behavior and character, including basically calling him a liar”
When Comey accused Trump of being a liar, that certainly made a lot of headlines, but unless you are under oath it is not a crime to lie.
Perhaps we should make it a crime for our politicians to lie, because if we did we would clean out the toilet that Washington D.C. has become rather quickly. But as it stands, even if Trump is a low-down dirty liar as Comey is claiming, that would simply put Trump on the same level as most of the current members of Congress.
The much more important question is whether or not Trump committed obstruction of justice. Fortunately for Trump, there is a very clear answer to that question.
First of all, we must remember that Trump was Comey’s boss. As chief executive, Trump has constitutional power to direct the activities of his subordinates, and he is free to fire them whenever he chooses. So, as Alan Dershowitz just pointed out on CNN, Trump cannot be impeached for simply exercising his constitutional authority…
Renowned Harvard professor and legal mind Alan Dershowitz sparked quite a reaction during a CNN segment on Wednesday night after he proclaimed that former FBI director James Comey’s prepared testimony indicates that President Donald Trump didn’t commit any crimes.
Dershowitz argued that Trump “could have told Comey, ‘You are commanded, directed to drop the investigation against [Gen. Michael] Flynn,’” but noted that he didn’t do so, according to Comey’s prepared testimony that was published on Wednesday.
The famed attorney also said Trump could have pardoned Flynn as well, but also chose not to do so. In the end, he concluded that there appears to be no criminal activity on the part of the president, particularly when it comes to obstruction of justice claims.
Traditionally, the FBI has operated in a highly independent manner, but there is nothing in the law that gives the FBI independent status.
If Congress wants to pass a law to remove the FBI from being under the president’s authority they can certainly do that, but as it stands what Trump did was fully within the law.
But even if Trump didn’t have the authority, there would still be no obstruction of justice. The two most important federal statutes that cover obstruction of justice are 18 U.S.C. § 1503 and 18 U.S.C. § 1505. In both cases, it would be exceedingly difficult for prosecutors to prove that Trump acted “corruptly” in this case. Not only that, there was no “proceeding” that Trump was trying to influence. For a more extended analysis, please see the article that I posted yesterday entitled “Even If Everything James Comey Is Claiming Is True, There Is Still No Evidence That Trump Is Guilty Of Any Crime”.
If Comey is being straight with us, and at this point his credibility is pretty much shot, but if he is being straight with us there is still nothing that is going to end Trump’s presidency.
What Trump did may have been “inappropriate”, but you don’t impeach a president for being “inappropriate”.
President Donald Trump’s private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, on Wednesday said his client felt “completely and totally vindicated” by James Comey’s prepared opening statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Comey’s remarks, released Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s Senate hearing, confirmed previous statements by Trump that Comey had told him three times that he was not personally being investigated amid the FBI’s wide-ranging inquiry into Russian meddling in the election and the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.
Personally, I hope that this whole “scandal” will go away now. There never was anything to it in the first place, and the American people want a government that is going to focus on solving problems instead of focusing on investigations that were doomed to go absolutely nowhere from the start.
But even if this Comey angle doesn’t work out, the Democrats will just keep on trying. In fact, the Huffington Post is already starting to promote the theory that Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement is an impeachable offense.
In the end, the Democrats are never going to give up until they find something that they can use against Trump. What I am hearing is that they are going to make an all-out push to take back the House and the Senate in 2018, and if they can do that they plan to use their congressional majorities to get rid of Trump one way or another.
This is just another reason why the 2018 mid-term elections are going to be the most important mid-term elections in modern American history, because if the Democrats have their way Trump will never even make it to 2020.
After eight long, bitter years under Obama, will things go better for entrepreneurs and small businesses now that Donald Trump is in the White House? Once upon a time, America was the best place in the world for those that wanted to work for themselves. Our free market capitalist system created an environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses greatly thrived, but today they are being absolutely eviscerated by the control freak bureaucrats that dominate our political system. Year after year, leftist politicians just keep piling on more rules, more regulations, more red tape and more taxes. As a result, the number of self-employed Americans is now lower than it was in 1990…
In April 1990, 8.7 million Americans were self-employed, but today only 8.4 million Americans are self-employed.
Of course our population has grown much, much larger since that time. In 1990, there were 249 million people living in the United States, but today there are 321 million people living in this country.
What this means is that the percentage of the population that is self-employed is way down.
In fact, one study found that the percentage of Americans that are self-employed fell by more than 20 percent between 1991 and 2010.
And if you go back even farther, the numbers are even more depressing. It may be hard to believe, but the percentage of “new entrepreneurs and business owners” declined by a staggering 53 percent between 1977 and 2010.
Sometimes I like to watch a television show called Shark Tank, and on that show they make it seem like entrepreneurship in America is thriving.
But the exact opposite is actually the case. In a previous article, I discussed how the number of new businesses being created in the United States has been steadily falling over the years. According to economist Tim Kane, the number of startup jobs per one thousand Americans has been declining for several consecutive presidential administrations…
Bush Sr.: 11.3
Bush Jr.: 10.8
So why is this happening?
As I mentioned at the top of this article, self-employed Americans are being absolutely strangled by oppressive rules, regulations and taxes.
To illustrate this point, I would like to share with you some quotes from an open letter that was authored by a small business owner named Don Chernoff…
#1I work for myself and have to pay my own medical expenses. Before the “affordable care act” I was paying about $200 per month for a high deductible policy. It was far from perfect but it got so much worse under the “Affordable” care act.
I now pay over $400 a month, my deductible went from $5,000 to over $6,000 and my out of pocket costs for care have skyrocketed.
#2I have to spend dozens of hours and thousands of dollars for a tax accountant each spring to prepare my taxes because I cannot possibly understand how to do it myself, and I have a master’s degree in engineering.
#3Many years ago when I quit a perfectly good job to start my own small business, I was shocked to learn that I had to pay both my share and what had been my employer’s share of Social Security.
#4Between state, federal and local taxes you’ve probably paid 50% or more of your income in taxes, but that’s not enough for politicians.
If you’ve been lucky enough to have created a business you can sell, now you’ll get to enjoy paying another tax on the capital gain from the sale.
This is another reason why we need a conservative revolution in Washington. We should demand that our members of Congress lower tax rates dramatically, completely eliminate the self-employment tax, greatly simplify the tax code and get rid of as many regulations on small business owners as possible.
What we are doing right now is not working. Small businesses have traditionally been one of the main engines of economic growth in this country, but thanks to the left they are unable to play that role at the moment.
It isn’t an accident that over the last ten years the U.S. economy has grown at exactly the same rate as it did during the 1930s.
If we want our economy to be great again, we need to go back and start doing the things that made it great in the first place. If we continue to suffocate our economy, we will continue to get the same results.
And with each passing day, we get more signs that the economy is heading into another major downturn. For instance, we just learned that Sears is closing 30 more stores on top of the 150 that had already been announced…
Sears Holdings, which wasn’t shy when it announced at the start of the year that it is closing 150 underperforming stores, has quietly added at least 30 more to the list.
Another 12 Sears stores and 18 Kmarts are among the locations that are closing, from Carson, Calif., to Hialeah, Fla., with most scheduled to shut their doors in July, based on calls to the stores, malls and confirmation in local media.
At the start of the year, the retailer pinpointed the 150 stores it said it would close. But it declined this week to provide a list of additional locations that are slated to shut since then, saying that it update store counts each quarter.
If you’re surprised by the collapse in new home sales in April, then you’re not paying attention.
The 11.4% MoM plunge in new home sales in April was 5 standard deviations below expectations and the biggest since March 2015.
Yes, the stock market is holding up for the moment, but for most Americans the “real economy” just continues to deteriorate. Just because we are at the end of a giant financial bubble does not mean that everything is going to be okay.
The numbers that I brought up in this article are just another example of our long-term economic decline. In a healthy economy, entrepreneurs and small businesses would be thriving. But instead, they are being systematically strangled out of existence by a political system that is wildly out of control.
The wolves are circling, and members of Congress from both political parties are now openly talking about impeaching President Trump. On Wednesday, speculation of a looming Trump impeachment sent stocks plunging. The Dow was down 372 points, and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both experienced their largest declines in eight months. This downturn was sparked by a New York Times report that said that a memo that FBI Director James Comey wrote in February stated that Trump requested that Comey “end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn”. Democrats and Republicans are both jumping on this memo as potential evidence of “obstruction of justice”, but as I will explain below, even if everything that Comey is saying is true there is no evidence of obstruction of justice in this case. However, perception is often more important than reality, and at this moment Wall Street and many of Trump’s fellow Republicans in Washington believe that the Trump administration is coming apart at the seams. After the events of this week, it is clearer than ever that it is imperative that we get Trump some friends in Congress in 2018.
Following Trump’s surprise election victory in November, stocks surged as investors anticipated the implementation of a robust pro-business agenda.
But now that the Trump administration is deeply embroiled in controversy, many fear that Trump’s pro-business agenda will never become a reality…
“A week ago, we were talking about the agenda grinding to a halt,” the Republican said. “Now, the train is going down the hill backwards.”
And even before Wednesday’s revelation about Comey’s memo, some top Republican leaders were already disavowing Trump’s agenda. For example, just check out what Bloomberg is reporting about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell…
Earlier Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s prepared to block Trump on many of his proposed budget cuts and won’t support major tax cuts that add to the deficit. Nor would he commit to building Trump’s border wall.
The financial markets had already “priced in” big tax cuts, reduced regulations and a massive increase in infrastructure spending.
If the markets believe that none of those things are going to happen now, that is likely to result in a significant downturn for stocks.
Speaking earlier on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House intelligence committee, said the Republican legislative agenda “is lying in ruins on the floor of this building.”
“It was tenuous when they got through their so-called health care bill in the House. You can still see blood on the floor here for what it cost them to get that through the House,” Himes told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in an interview from the U.S. Capitol.
“Now, you know, things like tax reform , which is, you know, very, very difficult in the best of times — with that cloud, with this cloud, hanging over this building, that legislative agenda is all but gone.”
Previously, I have warned about the “gangster culture” in Washington D.C., and the truth is that the “Deep State” has been out to get Trump since the moment he was elected.
There are thousands upon thousands of laws that apply to the presidency, and the jackals among the establishment have been waiting for Trump to trip up just a little bit so that they can try to take him down for good.
And things are starting to move very quickly now.
Within hours of the revelation about the Comey memo, Democratic Representative Al Green called for Trump to be impeached from the House floor: “This is about what I believe. And this is where I stand. I will not be moved. The president must be impeached.”
It isn’t much of a surprise to see this sort of rush to judgment from the Democrats, but the speed at which Republicans are turning on Trump is more than just a little bit alarming…
-Senator John McCain raised the specter of impeachment when he told the press that the crisis surrounding Trump has reached “Watergate size and scale”.
-McCain’s partner in crime, Senator Lindsey Graham, released a statement that said he “will follow the facts — wherever they may lead”. Graham has always been one of Trump’s biggest critics, and he clearly is ready to move forward with impeachment.
-According to the Hill, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash is saying that if Comey’s memo is true “it would merit impeachment”.
-Commenting on Trump’s troubles, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) told reporters that obstruction of justice “has been considered an impeachable offense”.
But what none of them understand is that Trump has not committed any crime.
As a former lawyer with two law degrees (a JD and an LLM), it is my opinion that even if everything in Comey’s memo is true (and that is a big if), it still would not mean that President Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice.
A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.”
However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him.
Then there is the question of corruptly influencing what? There is no indication of a grand jury proceeding at the time of the Valentine’s Day meeting between Trump and Comey. Obstruction cases generally are built around judicial proceedings — not Oval Office meetings.
You can’t charge someone with a crime just because you don’t like that person.
We are not supposed to be a nation that conducts witch hunts. The law is supposed to be applied equally to all of our citizens, and that includes the president of the United States.
I know that the left and the establishment Republicans that hate Trump would love to use the law as a weapon to remove Trump from office, but the truth is that there is no evidence that Trump has done anything wrong.
And if the law was actually applied objectively in our land, it is quite likely that Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton would all be in very hot water about now. The following comes from Mike Adams of Natural News…
It is literally going to take a miracle for Trump to survive the next couple of years. If he can do that, we can definitely greatly strengthen his hand by sending hordes of Trump supporters to D.C. during the mid-term elections in 2018.
If the impeachment process moves forward, there are a whole lot of Republicans that would gleefully plunge knives into Trump’s back. So Trump needs to be very careful, because he doesn’t have a lot of true friends in Congress at this point.
This is why we can no longer vote for someone just because they carry the label of “Republican”. What we really need is a conservative revolution in this country, and my hope is that we can start a movement that will turn Washington D.C. completely upside down.
It is really easy to sit back and complain about the direction of this country, but what America really needs at this hour are men and women that are willing to step into the fight to save our constitutional republic. As I have said before, getting Donald Trump elected was the greatest miracle in U.S. political history, but he should not have to wage this battle alone. Trump has very few friends in Congress at this point, and so it is absolutely critical that we get him some during the 2018 mid-term elections. So I am calling for an army of pro-Trump activists to run for national, state and local offices all over America in 2018. Donald Trump started this revolution, and now it is our job to continue it.
My father was in the U.S. Navy, and so sometimes I like to put things in military terms. When an amphibious invasion is being conducted, it is the troops that hit the beach first that take the most fire. To me, that is a perfect picture of what is happening to Donald Trump right now. He has established a beachhead, and now the rest of us need to rush to shore to back him up.
If we are not willing to try, what is going to happen? Our political system on the national, state and local levels will continue to be dominated by Democrats and “progressive Republicans”, and our once great nation will continue to fall apart all around us.
We need patriotic men and women to challenge every available seat in America in 2018. Some of us will win and others will lose, but at least we will have given the American people a choice.
We are never going to have a true political revolution if we don’t at least try, and this election cycle represents a tremendous opportunity. I really like how Rush Limbaugh made this point during one of his programs…
Do you realize what a nothing burger the Democrat Party is? Do you realize the Democrat Party literally has nothing virtuous, positive, uplifting to run on? In all of this, the Democrat Party dares not ask people, “Hey, take a look at us. We got better ideas. Hey, take a look at us. We can fix this.” None of that. The only thing they’ve got is this insane, invisible, nonexistent, so-called connection between the Russians and our election. They have no ideas. They have no optimism. They have no leaders. They have no vision. They are ripe for being smoked for generations! This is the time to move in politically and wipe them out. …
Don’t misunderstand here, folks. I’m not saying the Democrats don’t pose a threat. I’m not… Look, two things here. The Democrats are in deep trouble, electorally. The Democrats are not running the left; the media is. And the media is clearly not inconsequential. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying that what’s happening here is obviously to everyone. I’m saying the Republican Party has a golden opportunity here to continue to hammer the nail into the coffin of the Democrat Party.
Our founders intended for us to have a constitutional republic with a limited central government, but the globalists have turned the federal government into an absolute monster. We need to tame that monster and restore the constitutional republic that our founders originally designed.
The easy route would be to sit back and wait for someone else to do something.
But I have decided not to do that.
Earlier today, I announced on the Alex Jones Show that I am “strongly considering” running for Congress in 2018…
Labrador represents the district in which my wife and I live, and when I heard this news I realized that this represents a truly unique opportunity.
Congressman Labrador has been doing a wonderful job, and if he had run again he would have won by a landslide. But now that he is not running, there is no incumbent and the race is entirely wide open.
If I decide to run, and I am very strongly leaning in that direction, the key to the race will be to win the Republican primary. Hillary Clinton got only 27.5 percent of the vote in Idaho last November, and Labrador won his last election by more than 120,000 votes. So whoever wins the Republican primary will almost certainly win the general election.
Donald Trump has shown us that nothing is impossible in politics. When he first declared his candidacy, liberal pundits literally laughed at him on the air because they thought his candidacy was such a joke. But his bold message struck a chord with conservative voters all over the country, and now he is the president of the United States.
If he can do it, why can’t we?
If I run, I plan to continue the absolutely outstanding work that Congressman Labrador has been doing, and I plan to be a key ally for President Trump in Congress. Right now Trump has very few friends in Congress, and that desperately needs to change.
In recent years, the House has lost some tremendous conservative voices. I plan to continue the legacy of Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann and so many others that stood strong for conservative causes at a time when it was not always popular to do so.
But if I am going to do this, I am going to need lots of assistance. If you have experience with campaigns on a state or local level, or if you just want to help out any way that you can, please feel free to drop me an email or contact me on Facebook. I have never run for office before, and so I have a lot to learn, and I greatly value the advice and counsel of others.
Also, if there are other pro-Trump activists out there that plan on running in 2018, we should definitely connect. If we all work to promote one another, we can create a giant groundswell of momentum which could sweep a whole bunch of pro-Trump activists into political positions all around the country.
For a long time I have been writing about the great problems that this nation is facing, and now I am trying to be part of the solution.
It has been said that life is like a coin. You can spend it any way that you want, but you can only spend it once.
As for me and my house, we are going to spend our lives doing things that really matter.
Donald Trump has proven that you don’t have to be a career politician to successfully run for president, and so now a number of top celebrities are actually seriously thinking about running against him in 2020. Unless Hillary Clinton runs again, the Democrats really don’t have an obvious choice, and so this next election cycle presents a unique opportunity for outsider candidates that may want to test the political waters. In politics, timing is everything, and for celebrities at the peak of their popularity the 2020 election may be their best and only shot at the highest office in the land.
One name that keeps coming up over and over again is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. As Salon has detailed, he is already behaving very much like a presidential candidate…
Zuckerberg recently started his “personal challenge for 2017,” which is focused on meeting individuals in every state. Just last week Zuckerberg visited a Ford factory in Michigan and made an unexpected visit to Ohio where he was hosted by a family of Democrats that voted for Donald Trump, according to the Guardian. A few days later Zuckerberg was on the move to Indiana where he met with members of a fire department in Elkhart, and then he finished his trip in Wisconsin. He said he needs to visit about 30 states to complete the challenge by the end of the year.
David Plouffe, who served as campaign manager for Barack Obama, “joined the philanthropic Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, to lead policy and advocacy. Other politicians from both parties have also joined the organization,” according to Vanity Fair.
Zuckerberg also recently backtracked on his stance as an atheist. “I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important,” Zuckerberg said. Of course, it’s quite difficult for someone to run for president and not believe in a God.
Because Facebook has become so immensely powerful, there are some that would suggest that going to the White House would actually be a step down for Zuckerberg.
So far, he seems to be the most serious of the “celebrity candidates”, but another that is getting quite a lot of attention right now is “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson. During a recent interview with GQ, he said that a run for president was “a real possibility”…
So, after all that consideration, Johnson doesn’t hesitate when I ask him whether he honestly might one day give up his life as the highest-paid movie star on earth—which is unquestionably easier, more fun, and more lucrative than being president of the United States—in order to run for office. “I think that it’s a real possibility,” he says solemnly.
Last summer, Johnson, who was the highest paid actor of 2016, bringing home a whopping $64.5 million, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-host Michael Strahan that a political career is “very real” to him.
The “Baywatch” star said the idea of him becoming commander in chief “has become a legit thing to some people.” He said he will take the “temperature of the American people” as “time goes on.”
“If it is a very real, overwhelming, positive, strong, ‘We want you to run for president,’ and if I felt that I can step up to the plate and become a tremendous leader for our country and make a real difference and make change, I would do it,” he said at the time.
Of course if he continues to make more than 60 million dollars a year, it may be difficult to throw all of that away for the world of politics.
Katy Perry is another name that Democrats are throwing around right now. She was more involved in Hillary Clinton’s campaign than just about any other major celebrity, and a message that she posted on Instagram has many of her followers wondering if Perry might step up to the plate herself in 2020…
Perry was a constant presence on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton, campaigning for the eventual Democratic nominee before the primaries began.
And perhaps all that political chatter got her thinking — why don’t I run for office myself? In July 2015, she posted an Instagram with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush with the caption “42, 43, 46?!”
Many liberals would love to see “the first female president” in 2020, and a lot of them are suggesting that Oprah Winfrey would be an ideal candidate. In fact, Michael Moore suggested that she would be an excellent candidate just one week after the election…
“Democrats would be better off if they ran Oprah or Tom Hanks … why don’t we run beloved people?” Moore told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“We have so many of them,” he said. “The Republicans do this — they run Reagan and the Terminator and other people.” It was a reference to former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as former President Ronald Reagan.
“Why don’t we run somebody that the American people love and are really drawn to, and that are smart and have good politics and all that?” Moore said.
RUBENSTEIN: Have you ever thought that given the popularity you have—we haven’t broken the glass ceiling yet for women—that you could actually run for president and actually be elected?
WINFREY: I actually never thought– never considered the question, even the possibility. I just thought, oh, oh.
RUBENSTEIN: Because it’s clear you don’t need government experience to be elected president of the United States.
WINFREY: That’s what I thought. I thought, ‘Oh gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough.’ Now I’m thinking oh, oh.
But of course you don’t have to run for president to get involved with national politics. Just this week we learned that actor Antonio Sabato Jr. has decided to run for Congress as a Republican…
Actor Antonio Sabato Jr has decided to run for Congress after claiming he was blacklisted by Hollywood producers for his public support of President Donald Trump.
Sabato, 45, will challenge US House Representative Julia Brownley, a Democrat representing the Westlake Village area in California, in the 2018 election according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday.
His choice to run was confirmed by Republican strategist Charles Moran, according to the Los Angeles Times.
If they can do it, why can’t we?
Is there still room for ordinary citizens to step forward in this day and age, or do you have to be wealthy and powerful to run for office?
We can’t just sit back and wait for someone else to change the direction of our nation. If we truly want to make a difference, now is the time for good men and good women all over the country to step up and take action.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives finally approved a bill that would repeal and replace significant portions of the law that created Obamacare. But it was a very close vote. On Donald Trump’s 105th day in the White House, 217 members of the House voted in favor of the bill, and 213 members of the House voted against the bill. Of course “Trumpcare” is far from perfect, and it actually does very little to fix our rapidly failing healthcare system, but the reason why this is the best thing that Trump has done so far is because this bill would greatly reduce federal funding for Planned Parenthood. But first this bill must get through the Senate before it can become law, and that is looking extremely doubtful at this point. In fact, The Hill is reporting that one Republican Senator has said that this bill has less than a 20 percent chance of succeeding in the Senate…
A senior GOP senator said the chances of getting 51 votes for legislation based on the House healthcare bill are less than 1 in 5.
The senator also put the chances that the House bill will meet Senate budgetary rules preventing a filibuster at less than 1 in 5, meaning portions of the legislation would have to be removed.
Lawmakers are keeping quiet about their concerns because they want to help Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), whose job they fear may be in jeopardy if the House fails again to approve an ObamaCare repeal bill.
Yes, I know that Trump and the Republicans in the House were greatly celebrating on Thursday, but there really isn’t anything to celebrate yet.
The Senate is probably going to come up with an entirely different version of this legislation, and it is likely to look far different from the bill that just passed the House.
If a bill of some sort can actually get through the Senate, and that is a huge “if”, then an attempt would be made to reconcile the differences between the two bills, and then the final version would be submitted to both the House and the Senate for an up or down vote.
The problem is that the Senate is not going to pass anything like the version that the House just came up with, and conservatives in the House are likely to balk at anything that the Senate comes up with.
So please don’t think that an Obamacare repeal is a done deal.
The truth is that it probably is not going to happen any time soon.
But for the moment, I am going to applaud President Trump and House Republicans for doing something right. I have been very tough on them in recent weeks, and rightly so, but when they do something good I am certainly going to give them the praise that they are due.
The bill that the House just passed would greatly reduce federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and that fact alone more than makes up for all of the other flaws in it. The following comes from CNS News…
The American Health Care Act—the Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill that the House of Representatives passed by a 217-to-213 vote this afternoon–will temporarily and significantly reduce, but not eliminate, federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The bill will prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving funding through “mandatory” federal funding streams—primarily Medicaid—for exactly one calendar year after the president signs it.
But it does not prevent Planned Parenthood from getting “discretionary” funding through the Title X family planning program.
The pro-life bill would eliminate more than $390 million (over 86%) of over $450 million in annual federal funding to Planned Parenthood, from all mandatory spending programs. The measure also redirects funding to community health centers which outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to 1 and offer a wider array of health care services, but not abortion.
Of course this is one of the provisions in the bill that some Republicans in the Senate want to eliminate.
It is extremely unlikely that any bill that even defunds Planned Parenthood in part will ever get through the Senate, but Trump should make an all-out effort to get this accomplished anyway.
And if Republican leadership can somehow get a bill through the Senate and signed into law that at least significantly reduces federal funding for Planned Parenthood, I will officially take back all of the negative things that I have said about the Republicans so far this year.
The order, signed during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, directs the Internal Revenue Service to exercise “maximum enforcement discretion” over the so-called Johnson amendment, which prevents churches and other tax-exempt religious organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. The order also provides “regulatory relief” for organizations that object on religious grounds to a provision in Obamacare that mandates employers provide certain health services, including coverage for contraception.
All Americans, including Christians, should be free to express their political beliefs without fearing repercussions from the federal government. The Johnson Amendment was probably always unconstitutional, and that is one of the reasons why it has never really been enforced. Congress should go even farther and completely repeal it, and hopefully that will happen someday.
So once again I want to take this opportunity to applaud Trump for doing something right. This is a good executive order, although it doesn’t quite go far enough. A major war against people of faith is being waged by very powerful forces in this country, and I am thankful for a president that is at least trying to keep some of the heat off of our backs.
I tend to get criticized by both the pro-Trump and anti-Trump camps because I try to be objective.
When our politicians do things that are wrong, I am going to say that they are wrong.
And when our politicians do things that are right, I am going to say that they are right.
We lose credibility when we act as cheerleaders for politicians that are “on our side” no matter what they say or do.
In our society today, there is a desperate need for people that are willing to think critically and that are willing to cling objectively to the truth.
Because once we let go of the truth we are all in trouble…
Did World War III begin on April 6th, 2017? After Donald Trump fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria on Thursday night, millions of Americans were cheering, but the cheering isn’t going to last for long if a new world war erupts. What is amazing to me is that this happened on the 100th anniversary of the United States entry into World War I. The U.S. officially entered that war on April 6th, 1917, and now 100 years later to the day Donald Trump has essentially declared war on Syria.
If you think using the term “World War III” is alarmist, you might want to tell that to the vast numbers of people that are buzzing about a new world war all over social media. If you don’t yet understand why a strike on Syria could be so dangerous, go back and read my article from yesterday. If we continue striking Syria, we could very easily find ourselves in a direct military conflict with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.
Hopefully last night will be the full extent of U.S. military action. If Donald Trump and his national security advisers pat themselves on the back for “looking tough” and decide that was enough, we probably won’t see a major regional war break out.
But if the U.S. decides that regime change is necessary and continues to conduct more strikes, we will have war. And unfortunately, there are already signs that this may happen. On Friday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley stated that the Trump administration “is prepared to do more”…
“The United States took a very measured step last night,” Haley said. “We are prepared to do more. But we hope that will not be necessary. It is time for all civilized nations to stop the horrors that are taking place in Syria and demand a political solution.”
I don’t understand why so many Americans seem to have a thirst for war.
I have been studying war virtually all my life. When I was just a small boy, I would check huge volumes on World War I, World War II and the Korean War out of the library and read them cover to cover. And let me tell you, war is hell. Nobody should actually want to see war, and now we are closer to the next world war than we have been in decades.
Needless to say, the Russians are extremely angry about what Trump has done. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced it as an “illegal act of aggression”, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that the U.S. came “within an inch” of a direct conflict with Russian forces…
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said the US air strike on a Syrian air base came “within an inch” of militarily clashing with their forces.
He said the action taken by the Americans was in breach of international law and their own internal procedures, and accused Washington of “barely avoiding combat clashes with Russia”.
In a post on Facebook, Mr Medvedev said the air strike had “completely ruined relations” between the two superpowers.
What in the world is Trump thinking?
The Russians very much wanted Trump to win the election because they felt that there was a very high probability of war between our two nations if Hillary Clinton would have won.
And the Russians were quite right to think that.
So the Russian people rejoiced greatly when Trump won, because they thought that it would be a new day for relations between our two great countries.
But after last night that hope is dead.
In fact, historians will probably mark April 6, 2017 as the day when the relationship between the United States and Russia officially died.
And it didn’t take long for the Russians to start to respond. The following comes from Business Insider…
The Russia Foreign Ministry announced that it suspended an agreement to avoid clashes between Russian and US-led coalition jets over Syrian airspace, while Reuters reporter Idrees Ali reports that Russia withdrew from a deconfliction channel, which the US used Thursday night to warn Russian forces of the incoming cruise-missile strikes (which took place Friday morning local time).
In addition, it has been announced that Russia will be significantly bolstering air defenses in Syria, and according to Fox News a Russian warship has been dispatched to confront the two U.S. naval vessels that fired the cruise missiles at Syria…
A Russian warship entered the eastern Mediterranean Friday and was heading toward the area where two U.S. Navy destroyers launched missile strikes into Syria, Fox News has learned.
The Russian frigate, Admiral Grigorovich RFS-494, crossed through the Bosphorus Strait “a few hours ago” from the Black Sea, according to a U.S. defense official.
Here in the United States, we need to start making our voices heard very loudly so that President Trump will understand that most Americans do not want to go to war in Syria.
And of course the same thing can be said about a potential war with North Korea. After last night’s cruise missile display, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is warning that his nation is on the “brink of war” with the United States.
One of the angles that is not getting a lot of discussion in the mainstream media is how the events of last night were viewed by the Chinese.
Donald Trump grew up in New York City at a time when the mafia still had a dominant presence, and to put a “hit” on another rival across town when you are sitting down for a meeting with a top boss from another family sends a very, very powerful message.
The fact that Trump ordered those 59 cruise missiles to rain down on Syria at the exact moment when he was having dinner with the president of China is going to be remembered by the Chinese for a very, very long time. In Asian cultures respect is a very big thing, and the Chinese had to be deeply embarrassed by what just happened last night.
On top of everything else, the truth is that Donald Trump blatantly violated the U.S. Constitution by conducting a military strike against Syria without the approval of Congress. This is something that U.S. Senator Rand Paul pointed out very clearly in an editorial that was released on Friday…
The Constitution clearly states that it is Congress that has the power to declare war, not the president. Even the War Powers Resolution, shoved forward by hawks as justification, clearly states criteria under which the president may act – a declaration of war, a specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by an attack on the United States.
That’s it. Absent those criteria, the president has no authority to act without congressional authorization. Congress must stand up and assert its authority here and now.
Conservatives always protested whenever Barack Obama violated the U.S. Constitution in this manner, and so they should protest when Donald Trump acts in the same fashion.
A lot of people will read this article and they aren’t going to grasp the importance of what is going on because they do not understand where all of this is ultimately heading.
But there are some of you that have major alarm bells going off in your head because you have been listening to the warnings and you know what comes next.
We have entered a season of time that myself and other watchmen have been warning about for many years. I just can’t believe that it is starting to happen so quickly. Many had been hoping for a time of peace and prosperity during a time of “reprieve” under Donald Trump, but you can forget that now.
The events of April 6th, 2017 have changed everything, and most Americans are completely unprepared for what will soon follow.
It makes me physically ill when I think that the U.S. could be on the verge of starting a disastrous war in the Middle East that will not benefit us in any way, shape or form. I can’t believe this is happening, and a lot of other people apparently can’t either. In fact, there were some that heavily criticized me when I suggested that Donald Trump had just committed to taking military action in Syria in part 1 and part 2 of this series of articles. But less than 24 hours later, the front page of USA Today was running this jarring headline: “Trump team developing military response in Syria”. It is interesting to note that this came on the 77th day of Trump’s presidency, and on Thursday it was also revealed that the Trump administration is working to put together an international coalition to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power. The following comes from Fox News…
America’s top diplomat addressed the Syria crisis a day after Trump declared in the Rose Garden that the chemical strike would not be tolerated. Tillerson pointedly said Russia should “consider carefully” its support for the Assad regime, while calling for an international effort to defeat ISIS in Syria, stabilize the country and ultimately work with partners through a political process that leads to Assad leaving power.
Asked if the U.S. would organize a coalition to remove Assad, Tillerson said: “Those steps are underway.”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also told the press that Assad has “no role” in governing Syria in the future, and he pledged there there will be a “serious response” to the recent chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province.
Of course it is extremely doubtful that Assad had anything to do with that chemical attack, and I am going to share some more of that evidence with you in part 4 of this series.
Defense Secretary James Mattis will brief President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on military options against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime later on Thursday in the wake of a deadly attack which activists said killed at least 100 people — including 25 children — and injured at least 400 others earlier this week.
The White House and Pentagon have had detailed back-and-forth conversations over the past two days over options including a National Security Council meeting Wednesday. Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster have had repeated contact about the best way forward, a U.S. official told NBC News.
It is being reported that airstrikes and the use of cruise missiles against Syrian targets are among the initial options under consideration.
If Trump drops a few bombs or fires of a few cruise missiles that likely wouldn’t spark a broader conflict, but there is one option that is reportedly being considered that could bring us into direct military conflict with Russia. According to The Intercept, the Trump team is actually considering a “saturation strike” which would result “in Russian military deaths”…
The proposed strike would involve launching Tomahawk cruise missiles to overwhelm Russian air defense systems used by the Syrian military. The Russian government currently helps maintain the air defense sites and advises the Syrian military.
According to both U.S. military officials, the current proposal would likely result in Russian military deaths and mark a drastic escalation of U.S. force in Syria.
One U.S. military official said the decision to allow the strikes, which would kill Russians, signals a significant change in policy by the Trump administration. A decision by Trump to go forward with the plan would be a reversal from the Obama administration, which denied multiple air strike proposals that would likely cause Russian personnel casualties in Syria.
If that happens, any hope for improved relations with Russia will be permanently extinguished and it could easily result in the Russians shooting back at us.
The Russians have S-300 and S-400 air defense systems already in place in Syria. Both of those systems are some of the most advanced in the world and are a significant threat to U.S. warplanes.
As I discussed yesterday, it is not difficult to imagine what would happen if footage of U.S. aircraft being blown out of the sky by Russian missiles started rolling on our cable news channels 24 hours a day.
“In addition to other measures, the United States should lead an international coalition to ground Assad’s air force. This capability provides Assad a strategic advantage in his brutal slaughter of innocent civilians, both through the use of chemical weapons as well as barrel bombs, which kill far more men, women and children on a daily basis … Ultimately, the grounding of Assad’s air force can and should be part of a new comprehensive strategy to end the conflict in Syria.”
Of course if Trump goes to war with another sovereign nation without the approval of Congress that would be a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution, and that is something else that I would be talking about in part 4 of this series.
Even though I am writing about all of this, I still have a hard time believing that this is all happening less than three months into Trump’s presidency. The stage is being set for the kind of scenario that I outlined in The Beginning Of The End, and right now I am far more alarmed by the state of world events than I was at any point in 2016.
I am particularly disturbed by all of this talk about removing Assad.
How in the world does the Trump administration plan to do that?
Even if they conduct a massive bombing campaign that would turn Damascus into a “ruinous heap”, that would still not guarantee regime change.
The only thing that would guarantee regime change is a full-scale ground invasion and the conquest of the entire city of Damascus.
Of course the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah would not willingly step aside and let “coalition forces” march to Damascus, and so such a move could very easily spark World War 3 in the Middle East.
I can’t believe that Trump is actually thinking of going to war with Syria. There is nothing to be gained and so much that could be lost. Let us hope that someone can talk some sense to him while there is still time to do so.
I got chills when I saw a CNN report that said that a White House official has just warned that “the clock has now run out” on North Korea’s nuclear program and that “all options are on the table”. That second phrase has been repeatedly used by members of the Trump administration in recent days, and everyone knows what it means. When I wrote that a conflict with North Korea could be “Trump’s first war” last month, I was still hoping that cooler heads would prevail and that a military conflict could be avoided. Unfortunately, it appears that a peaceful solution is not in the cards, and that means that the United States may soon start bombing North Korea. And of course if that happens the North Koreans will strike back with whatever they can, and that includes nuclear weapons.
A senior White House official issued a dire warning to reporters Tuesday on the state of North Korea’s nuclear program, declaring “the clock has now run out and all options are on the table.”
“The clock has now run out, and all options are on the table,” the official said, pointing to the failure of successive administration’s efforts to negotiate an end to North Korea’s nuclear program.
Later this week, President Trump is going to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida. The eyes of the entire world will be on this summit, because everyone knows that Trump is going to press the Chinese leader for help on resolving the crisis with North Korea.
But what can China actually do?
The Chinese could cut off trade with North Korea, and that would definitely hurt, but North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to have become convinced that long range nuclear missiles are the key to the survival of his regime, and so he will never give up his nuclear program.
And the Chinese will certainly not strike North Korea militarily, and so ultimately if something is going to be done to stop North Korea from getting long range nuclear missiles it will be up to the United States.
On Tuesday morning, North Korea once again showed their defiance by firing yet another test missile into the Sea of Japan…
The missile was fired from the Sinpo region at 10.40pm GMT (6.10am local time) on the communist nation’s east coast and landed into the sea off the Korean peninsula, South Korean military officials confirmed.
The rocket is believed to have flown around 37 miles before crashing into the sea. Specific details about the type of projectile were not immediately available.
Kim Jong Un conducted more missile tests in 2016 than his father did in nearly two decades.
It has become crystal clear that North Korea is not going to back down.
President Trump is still hoping that China will step up to the plate, but if the Chinese don’t he has already stated that the United States is fully prepared to “act alone”. In fact, he made headlines all over the planet when he told the Financial Times the following: “Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you.”
It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what Trump is saying there.
Previous administrations have tried sanctions and negotiations for decades, and they all failed.
In the end, Trump is going to be faced with a choice whether to bomb North Korea or not, and four-star general Jack Keane says that bombing North Korea “may be the only option left”…
A four-star general with close ties to Donald Trump has warned that military strikes are ‘rapidly’ becoming the only solution to North Korea’s nuclear program.
Jack Keane, who declined the President’s offer to become Defense Secretary last year, said bombing Kim Jong-un’s nuclear facilities ‘may be the only option left.’
But bombing North Korea is not like bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria.
The North Koreans already have nuclear weapons, and the U.S. better destroy them all in an overwhelming initial assault, because Kim Jong Un will use any that survive to strike back.
A senior North Korean defector has told NBC News that the country’s “desperate” dictator is prepared to use nuclear weapons to strike the United States and its allies.
Thae Yong Ho is the most high profile North Korean defector in two decades, meaning he is able to give a rare insight into the secretive, authoritarian regime.
According to Thae, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is “desperate in maintaining his rule by relying on his [development of] nuclear weapons and ICBM.” He was using an acronym for intercontinental ballistic missiles — a long range rocket that in theory would be capable of hitting the U.S.
North Korea is currently developing an intercontinental ballistic missile known as the “Taepodong 2” that will have a range of approximately 8000 kilometers.
In other words, it would be capable of striking cities in the western portion of the United States.
It is unthinkable that we would allow a tyrannical leader that is literally insane and that is obsessed with destroying the United States to have such a weapon.
But the moment that we start dropping bombs on North Korea we will start a war in which millions could die. Whatever nuclear weapons are missed in the first assault will likely be fired at U.S. military bases in Japan or at South Korea’s capital city of Seoul. Approximately 10 million people live in Seoul, so the death toll would be absolutely enormous. And even if all North Korean nuclear devices are destroyed by the first attack, the North Koreans still have thousands of artillery guns and rocket launchers trained on Seoul, and they would not hesitate to use their vast stockpile of chemical warheads.
After the initial North Korean barrage, the fourth largest military on the entire planet would start pouring across the border in a massive invasion of South Korea. The U.S. military would be forced to respond with large scale ground forces if South Korea would have any chance of surviving, and just like in the first Korean War the Chinese may decide to respond to that move by committing their own troops to the war on the side of North Korea.
This is a season of “wars and rumors of wars”, and most Americans have no idea how dangerously close we are to the beginning of World War III. My hope is that a peaceful way out of this crisis can still be found, but at this point that is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine.
If Donald Trump decides to go to war with North Korea, he needs to hit them with an absolutely overwhelming first strike that takes out every single North Korean nuke, the bulk of North Korea’s artillery and rockets, and the entire North Korean leadership team within the first few minutes of the attack.
It is hard to imagine a scenario that does not involve nukes that would accomplish that.
And Donald Trump better get the public approval of South Korean and Japanese leadership before ever attempting such an attack, because they will likely pay the highest price if North Korea is able to strike back.
If South Korea or Japan balk at backing such an operation and then they get hit by North Korean nukes, the United States could lose them as friends and allies forever.
The stakes are incredibly high, and there are so many things that could go wrong.
So let us pray for peace, because the alternative is almost too horrible to imagine.