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~ Featuring ~
Reining in the Unaccountable 'Deep State' 
by Michael Swartz
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Trump is Right: China Is Cheating And Everyone Knows It
by Onan Coca
{ lidblog.com } ~ There’s a lot of concern in the media about the possibility of a coming trade war with China... In fact, many leftwing TV personalities want to lay the growing trade friction at the feet of our President, but to do so is to ignore the facts. The reality is that the current trade problems we face with China pre-existed President Trump, but the previous administrations chose to ignore them, while the current President has decided the time has come to confront the imbalance. While the media may wring their hands about the possibility of a trade war, they’re missing the point… China’s been conducting a trade war against us for years...  https://lidblog.com/trump-right-china-cheating/
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 Philippines Pres Duterte Warns 
UN ICC Busybody - Keep Out or Be Arrested
{ rickwells.us } ~ Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is staunchly independent and demands the same for his nation... eschewing efforts by the UN and previously Hussein liar-nObama to stick their busybody noses into the affairs of his nation. In a speech on Friday upon his return from a visit to China, Duterte warned the UN International Criminal Court, and its prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer not to set their meddling feet on Filipino soil. They UN is attempting to insert themselves into Duterte’s no-nonsense war on drugs and drug dealers. He reminded the court and the UN of his position, that they have no jurisdiction in the Philippines and therefore no authority to investigate him or his efforts to rid his nation of its drug scourge. He warned them not to interfere, asking, “If we are not members of the treaty, why are you f****** in this country? You cannot exercise any proceedings here without basis. That is illegal and I will arrest you.”...  https://rickwells.us/philippines-president-duterte-un-icc/ 
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‘Mission Accomplished’ in Syria, Trump declares after strikes 
by ROBERT BURNS, JILL COLVIN and ZEKE MILLER 
{ timesofisrael.com } ~ Allied missiles struck at the heart of Syrian chemical weapons arsenal in a show of force... and resolve aimed at punishing the Assad government for a suspected poison gas attack against civilians and deterring the possible future use of such banned weapons. “A perfectly executed strike,” President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday in the aftermath of his second decision in two years to fire missiles against Syria. “Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!” His choice of words recalled a similar claim associated with President George W. Bush following the US-led invasion of Iraq. Bush addressed sailors aboard a ship in May 2003 alongside a “Mission Accomplished” banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that tied down US forces for years. Syria’s chief allies, Russia and Iran, called the use of force by the United States, Britain and France a “military crime” and “act of aggression” with the potential to worsen a humanitarian crisis after years of civil war. The UN Security Council planned to meet later Saturday at Moscow’s request...  https://www.timesofisrael.com/mission-accomplished-in-syria-trump-d... 
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Putin Responds to Syria Missile Strikes – ‘Act of Aggression…’ 
by Jack Davis  
{ westernjournal.com } ~ Russian officials launched a verbal onslaught against President Donald Trump on Saturday, hours after Trump approved attacks on Syria... to retaliate for the country’s use of chemical weapons against its own people. Russian leader Vladimir Putin called Friday night’s American attack against Syrian targets involved in the making of chemical weapons an “act of aggression,” USA Today reported. Russia’s envoy to the U.S. said Russia will not sit by while its ally is attacked. “We are being threatened,” said Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., according to The Guardian. “We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.” On Friday night, American planes and cruise missiles attacked targets in Syria. Trump said the attacks would continue “until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.”...  https://www.westernjournal.com/putin-responds-to-syria-airstrikes-a... 
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Sweden's War on Free Speech
by Judith Bergman
{ gatestoneinstitute.org } ~ According to the Swedish mainstream media, the country has experienced a significant rise in prosecutions for "hate speech" on social media last year... The organization believed to be largely responsible for this rise is "Näthatsgranskaren" "The Web Hate Investigator", a private organization founded in January 2017 by a former police officer, Tomas Åberg, who has taken it upon himself to identify and report to the authorities Swedish individuals whom he and his organization decide are committing thought crimes and "inciting hatred" against foreigners. Åberg's organization reported no fewer than 750 Swedish citizens in 2017 to the authorities for "web hate". According to Aftonbladet, 14% of the reported cases went on to prosecution of which about 7% -- 77 cases -- led to actual convictions. Most of the people identified and reported by the organization were middle aged and elderly ladies. "The average age is around 55 years", said  Åberg, "Young women almost do not appear at all"...  https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12078/sweden-free-speech.
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Reining in the Unaccountable 'Deep State' 

by Michael Swartz:  Thanks to overuse and over-imagination, the term “deep state” has become somewhat cliché. But the term is still useful when it takes the threat of impeachment to pry lightly redacted information out of the Justice Department — a card that Rep. Devin Nunes had to play to get Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to cough up access to a two-page letter that was the linchpin of the entire Trump-Russia investigation. Worth noting: The material was originally requested last August. That’s the slowest of walks.

               There’s a second good point to be made about this, though, and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy recently made it at National Review: Maybe the slow-walk is to protect Trump, or to create artificial tension to cover for a lack of legislative accomplishment.
               “Prosecutorial power is executive in nature,” wrote McCarthy. “Federal prosecutors therefore exercise the president’s power. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Robert Mueller have no power of their own; they exercise President Trump’s prosecutorial power for as long as that arrangement suits President Trump. The president does not need cause to fire them. He does not need to explain any dismissal to Congress — ‘Gee, it’s Thursday and I feel like firing someone’ is good enough.”
               Rosenstein and Mueller, though, make perfect foils for Trump, who seems to thrive when he can portray himself as fighting against a particular enemy. Enter “the deep state,” which works both as a foil to Trump and, as McCarthy implies, a useful took for him as well.
               But there are many in Trump’s administration who are truly swimming against the tide to make things better — and succeeding.
               Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, for example, is clearing away the deadwood of useless liar-nObama-era rules that targeted males accused of rape on campus, made restrooms unsafe for young girls, and encouraged schools to turn a blind eye toward violent acts perpetrated by children of certain races. Most important for all students, DeVos declared earlier this year that, “at the U.S. Department of Education, Common Core is dead.”
               Another example has been EPA head Scott Pruitt, who’s come under fire for picayune ethics questions about his choice of travel and lodging. Nate Jackson runs down the reasons why Pruitt’s really torquing the Left: “He stewarded the agency through the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, rolled back Barack liar-nObama’s clean water and clean power regulations, cut costs by $1 billion, pushed through transparency reformson how the EPA uses science, and … scrapped liar-nObama’s vehicle-emissions rules.” That’s a solid record of accomplishment for a full term, let alone less than 14 months.
               And then there’s Mick Mulvaney’s tenure at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), where’s he’s been driving Democrat Sen. Elizabeth dinky-Warren up a wall. As Philip Wegmann describes it in the Washington Examiner, it’s a match of Mulvaney, who “hates the organization he leads, because it’s unaccountable to the people it governs,” against Warren, who “hates the organization she used to love, because it’s unaccountable to her and under [Mulvaney’s] control.”
               After dinky-Warren — frustrated that Mulvaney wouldn’t answer a 105-question diatribe of a letter outside of his scheduled congressional testimony — lashed out at Mulvaney for “hurting real people to score cheap political points,” Mulvaney chided Warren with a taunting comeback. “Prior to receiving your letter,” said Mulvaney, “I never would have thought to consider … whether your vote against repealing the bureau’s arbitration rule was influenced by campaign donations you may have received from trial lawyers or other parties who stood to gain financially from the rule. Perhaps I should reconsider.
               Actually, dinky-Warren should be grateful that Mulvaney said anything. As he noted, thanks to the statute creating the CFPB, “I believe it would be my statutory right to just sit here and twiddle my thumbs while you all ask questions.” In other words, he’s not accountable to anyone by Democrat design.
               This bitter fight between Mulvaney and Warren is all part of his effort to place the heretofore barely accountable agency — which gets its funding from the Federal Reserve and, thus, doesn’t answer to Congress — under some sort of oversight and control. Democrats simply can’t stand a federal agency steeped in “bureaucratic fiat and administrative absolutism” being held to heel by a Republican.
               And that may be the beauty of having the Trump-Mueller imbroglio dominating the airwaves: A lot of good stuff is happening behind the scenes, and the press that would normally circle the wagons to “save” the Department of Education, EPA or CFPB is being distracted by the shiny object of Robert Mueller’s  interminable investigation of Trump. Chalk one up for the swamp drainers.  
 
~The Patriot Post
https://patriotpost.us/articles/55345-reining-in-the-unaccountable-...

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LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

ALERT ALERT

OMG!! -> Government Now Wants To Seize Your Car For Going 5MPH Over The Limit

We’ve discussed this on and off for several years now. Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process that allows the government to seize assets and cash from citizens without any due process or judicial oversight.

You don’t even have to be charged with a crime. You are assumed guilty unless you can somehow prove your innocence.

Of course, not everyone has this ability… if you aren’t local, state, or federal law enforcement, this is called stealing, and you go to prison.

But the government is actually a bigger problem than common thieves.

A 2015 report showed that law enforcement used civil asset forfeiture to steal more from US residents than every thief, robber, and burglar in America combined.

About $4.5 BILLION worth of cash, cars, homes, and other property is taken by civil asset forfeiture each year – hundreds of millions more than common criminals steal.

And it happens at every level. Your local cop can use civil asset forfeiture just like your state trooper. And then any one of the armed agents of the US government—from the FBI to the Fish and Wildlife Service—can rob you for whatever reason they want.

This travesty continues to grow because the cops who take your stuff get to keep it. Police departments and government agencies around the country depend on civil asset forfeiture to boost their budgets.

Cops will literally keep some of the cars they take as squad cars. And they make a fortune auctioning off the houses, boats, and anything else they confiscate.

Obviously this gives cops an incentive to steal, whether or not they actually think the property was used in a crime, or acquired illegally. Remember, civil asset forfeiture adds billions every year to their bottom line.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case of civil asset forfeiture.

Tyson Timbs was convicted of selling a small amount of drugs to an undercover police officer. He was sentenced to house arrest, and paid about $1,200 in fines.

But then police used civil asset forfeiture to take his $42,000 Land Rover which Timbs purchased with money from a life insurance policy after his father died. The money did not come from selling drugs, or any other illegal activity.

Timbs sued, and the case made its way to the Supreme Court, because every lower court in Indiana said the forfeiture was perfectly legit.

The case revolves around whether or not the seizure of the Land Rover was an excessive fine under the 8th amendment, and whether or not this protection against excessive fines applies to state governments.

And the public got some crazy insight into the government’s position.

The Indiana Solicitor General was arguing in favor of civil asset forfeiture when Justice Stephen Breyer asked him a hypothetical.

Breyer asked, if a state needs revenue, could it force someone to forfeit their Bugatti, Mercedes, or Ferrari for speeding? Even if they were going just 5 miles per hour over the speed limit?

And the utterly appalling answer from the Indiana Solicitor General was, yes.

That’s right… the official government position is that they can steal any amount of your property in “connection” with any crime whatsoever, no matter how trivial the crime may be… even exceeding the speed limit by 5 miles per hour.

This is how overbearing and authoritarian the government has become in the land of the free.

This is how much power your local cop has… and the power only grows as you go to state, and federal officials.

If there is any solace in any of this, it is that the other Supreme Court Justices were reportedly laughing at this exchange.

The justices seemed incredulous that Indiana’s top lawyer was using such absurd assertions and flimsy reasoning in his arguments.

So, for now, we can keep our cars if we get pulled over for speeding. But that may not always be the case…

Depending on how this is ruled, it could pave the way for even more egregious abuses of power… or it could curb the practice, and reign in these thieves in uniforms.

Just understand where the government is coming from. These politicians, bureaucrats and officers think they can do whatever they want. Absolutely anything goes, with no limitation whatsoever.

And that makes it a little tough to feel like you really live in the land of the free.

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