~ Featuring ~
Reining in the Unaccountable 'Deep State' 
by Michael Swartz
Trump is Right: China Is Cheating And Everyone Knows It
by Onan Coca
{ } ~ 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...
 Philippines Pres Duterte Warns 
UN ICC Busybody - Keep Out or Be Arrested
{ } ~ 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.”... 
‘Mission Accomplished’ in Syria, Trump declares after strikes 
{ } ~ 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... 
Putin Responds to Syria Missile Strikes – ‘Act of Aggression…’ 
by Jack Davis  
{ } ~ 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.”... 
Sweden's War on Free Speech
by Judith Bergman
{ } ~ 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"...

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

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Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne


FBI Text Should Alarm Every American

Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the reported FBI lovebirds, are the poster children for the next “Don’t Text and Investigate” public service ads airing soon at an FBI office near you.

Their extraordinary texting affair on their government phones has given the FBI a black eye, laying bare a raw political bias brought into the workplace that agents are supposed to check at the door when they strap on their guns and badges.

It is no longer in dispute that they held animus for Donald Trump, who was a subject of their Russia probe, or that they openly discussed using the powers of their office to “stop” Trumpfrom becoming president. The only question is whether any official acts they took in the Russia collusion probe were driven by those sentiments.

The Justice Department’s inspector general is endeavoring to answer that question.

For any American who wants an answer sooner, there are just five words, among the thousands of suggestive texts Page and Strzok exchanged, that you should read.

That passage was transmitted on May 19, 2017. “There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.

The date of the text long has intrigued investigators: It is two days after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump and the Russia campaign.

Since the text was turned over to Congress, investigators wondered whether it referred to the evidence against the Trump campaign.

This month, they finally got the chance to ask. Strzok declined to say — but Page, during a closed-door interview with lawmakers, confirmed in the most pained and contorted way that the message in fact referred to the quality of the Russia case, according to multiple eyewitnesses.

The admission is deeply consequential. It means Rosenstein unleashed the most awesome powers of a special counsel to investigate an allegation that the key FBI officials, driving the investigation for 10 months beforehand, did not think was “there.”

By the time of the text and Mueller’s appointment, the FBI’s best counterintelligence agents had had plenty of time to dig. They knowingly used a dossier funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign — which contained uncorroborated allegations — to persuade the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to issue a warrant to monitor Trump campaign adviser Carter Page (no relation to Lisa Page).

They sat on Carter Page’s phones and emails for nearly six months without getting evidence that would warrant prosecuting him. The evidence they had gathered was deemed so weak that their boss, then-FBI Director James Comey, was forced to admit to Congress after being fired by Trump that the core allegation remained substantially uncorroborated.

In other words, they had a big nothing burger. And, based on that empty-calorie dish, Rosenstein authorized the buffet menu of a special prosecutor that has cost America millions of dollars and months of political strife.

The work product Strzok created to justify the collusion probe now has been shown to be inferior: A Clinton-hired contractor produced multiple documents accusing Trump of wrongdoing during the election; each was routed to the FBI through a different source or was used to seed news articles with similar allegations that further built an uncorroborated public narrative of Trump-Russia collusion. Most troubling, the FBI relied on at least one of those news stories to justify the FISA warrant against Carter Page.

That sort of multifaceted allegation machine, which can be traced back to a single source, is known in spy craft as “circular intelligence reporting,” and it’s the sort of bad product that professional spooks are trained to spot and reject.

But Team Strzok kept pushing it through the system, causing a major escalation of a probe for which, by his own words, he knew had “no big there there.”

The answer as to why a pro such as Strzok would take such action has become clearer, at least to congressional investigators. That clarity comes from the context of the other emails and text messages that surrounded the May 19, 2017, declaration.

It turns out that what Strzok and Lisa Page were really doing that day was debating whether they should stay with the FBI and try to rise through the ranks to the level of an assistant director (AD) or join Mueller’s special counsel team.

“Who gives a f*ck, one more AD like [redacted] or whoever?” Strzok wrote, weighing the merits of promotion, before apparently suggesting what would be a more attractive role: “An investigation leading to impeachment?”

Lisa Page apparently realized the conversation had gone too far and tried to reel it in. “We should stop having this conversation here,” she texted back, adding later it was important to examine “the different realistic outcomes of this case.”

A few minutes later Strzok texted his own handicap of the Russia evidence: “You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there’s no big there there.”

So the FBI agents who helped drive the Russia collusion narrative — as well as Rosenstein’s decision to appoint Mueller — apparently knew all along that the evidence was going to lead to “nothing” and, yet, they proceeded because they thought there was still a possibility of impeachment.

Impeachment is a political outcome. The only logical conclusion, then, that congressional investigators can make is that political bias led these agents to press an investigation forward to achieve the political outcome of impeachment, even though their professional training told them it had “no big there there.”

And that, by definition, is political bias in action.

How concerned you are by this conduct is almost certainly affected by your love or hatred for Trump. But put yourself for a second in the hot seat of an investigation by the same FBI cast of characters: You are under investigation for a crime the agents don’t think occurred, but the investigation still advances because the desired outcome is to get you fired from your job.


 Trump Poised To Take
 Control Of The Federal Reserve 

  • The Fed doesn’t stabilize markets and money — it does the opposite
  • President Trump sharply criticized the Federal Reserve this week, saying interest rate increases are hurting the economy.
  • Trump will have the opportunity to fashion the central bank in the image he would like as he has four vacancies to fill on the board of governors.
  • The result could be a more politicized Fed.

President Donald Trump has multiple reasons as to why he should take control of the Federal Reserve. He will do so both because he can and because his broader policies argue that he should do so. The president is anti-overregulating American industry. The Fed is a leader in pushing stringent regulation on the nation. By raising interest rates and stopping the growth in the money supply it stands in the way of further growth in the American economy.

First, He Can

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve is required to have seven members. It has three. Two of the current governors were put into their position by President Trump. Two more have been nominated by the president and are awaiting confirmation by the Senate. After these two are put on the Fed’s board, the president will then nominate two more to follow them. In essence, it is possible that six of the seven Board members will be put in place by Trump.

The Federal Open Market Committee has 12 members and sets the nation’s monetary policy. Seven of the 12 are the members of the Board of Governors. Five additional are Federal Reserve district bank presidents. Other than the head of the Fed bank in New York, who was nominated by the president, the other four can only take their positions as district bank presidents if the board in Washington agrees to their hiring. One of these, the Fed Bank president in Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, is already arguing for no further rate increases.

Second, Regulation

Following the passage of the Dodd Frank Act in July 2010, the Fed was given enormous power to regulate the banking industry. It moved quickly to implement a number of new rules. The Fed set up a system that would penalize banks that failed to obey its new rules. These rules included setting limits as to how big an individual bank could be; how much money the banks had to invest in fed funds and Treasurys as a percent of their assets; which loans were desirable and which were not; where the banks had to obtain their funding and many, many, more up to and including how much a bank could pay its investors in dividends.

These rules have meaningfully slowed bank investments in the economy (the Volcker Rule) and they have had a crippling effect on bank lending in the housing markets (other agencies have had an impact here also).

Thus, of all of the government agencies the Fed has been possibly the most restrictive. The president has already moved to correct these excesses by putting in place a new Fed Governor (Randal Quarles) to regulate the banking industry.

Three, Killing Economic Growth

In the second quarter of 2018, the growth in non-seasonally adjusted money supply (M2) has been zero. That’s right, the money supply did not grow at all. This is because the Fed is shrinking its balance sheet ultimately by $50 billion per month. In addition, the Fed has raised interest rates seven times since Q4 2015. Supposedly there are five more rate increases coming.

This is the tightest monetary policy since Paul Volcker headed the institution in the mid-1980s. It will be recalled his policies led to back-to-back recessions. Current Fed monetary policy is directly in conflict with the president’s economic goals.

Moreover, the Treasury is estimating it will pay $415 billion in interest on the federal debt in this fiscal year. A better estimate might be $450 billion if rates keep going up. There are a lot of bridges and tunnels and jobs that could be created with this money.

Then there is inflation. It is likely to rise if the Fed eases its policies. If that happens paying down the federal debt becomes easier. On a less desirable note, higher interest rates lower real estate values. Lower rates that stimulate inflation increase real estate values.

Bottom Line

The president can and will take control of the Fed. It may be recalled when the law was written creating the Federal Reserve the secretary of the Treasury was designated as the head of the Federal Reserve. We are going to return to that era. Like it or not the Fed is about to be politicized.

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