Trump Investigation: Part II

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) claimed in 2017 he had “factual evidence” that proved collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. (That evidence has never appeared)

Then Sunday, March 10, 2019, on CBS Schiff claimed “There is ‘direct evidence’ of Russian collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. He stated it this way:

“I think there is direct evidence in the emails from the Russians through their intermediary offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of what is described in writing as the Russian government effort to help elect Donald Trump,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“They offer that dirt. There is an acceptance of that offer in writing from the president’s son, Don Jr., and there are overt acts and furtherance of that,” he added. “That to me is direct evidence,” Schiff said. “But there’s also abundant circumstantial evidence.”

And then there’s Senator Mark Warner from that same Committee:

Given “the litany of what we know,” Warner said, “the ongoing negotiations about Trump Tower, well into the campaign, I believe the fact that Mr. Trump knew about the dump of the Wikileaks material, the fact that clearly the meeting at Trump Tower which was not described appropriately, in terms of offering dirt are examples. To me, that’s all evidence,” he said. “There’s no one that could factually say there’s not plenty of evidence of collaboration or communications between Trump Organization and Russians.”

I’m a simple American. But even in my small, trite world, when someone feels that something is illegal, you go get facts. Democrats did that: They saw to the appointment of an Independent Special Counsel — Robert Mueller. Special Counsel Mueller is 2 years and a reported $25 million into extensive investigations based on exactly what Schiff and Warner “claim” is “evidence.”

Definition of evidence: an outward sign; indication; something that furnishes proof — testimony; specifically; something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter.

Two years and $25 million — WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

The Mueller Probe has been going strong for two years. “Anonymous sources” (there they are again) say that probe is wrapping up and to expect the report from Mueller on his investigation of the Trump Gang any day now. With the “leaks environment” in Washington, conventional wisdom maintains that because there have been no reports of pending charges against the President or anyone in the Campaign regarding Russian collusion, there will be no smoking gun in the Mueller report. Finally: we’re getting through with investigations and now we can just get on with governing!

Of course, that’s not so. Congressman Schiff and fellow Democrats apparently are simply going to ditch Mueller’s findings, even though we don’t officially know they will even exonerate the President. But they simply cannot let sleeping dogs lie. That’s how we are now on the front-porch of Part II of the Trump Investigation. They’re never going to give up. Democrats are convinced there’s something in the Trump camp that is going to kick Donald Trump out of the White House.

And Adam Schiff shows up one more time with “news:”

“Within our committee, we certainly have a compelling interest in making sure that U.S. policy … is not driven by leverage that the Russians have over the president,” Schiff said. “There have been credible allegations that the Russians may have laundered money through the Trump organization, and if that’s the case, then we need to be able to look into it and be able to tell the country, ‘Yes, this is true,’ or ‘No, this is not.’ But I think it would be negligent not to find out.”

“It’s going to be important for Congress to ensure that U.S. foreign policy is being driven by U.S. national interests and not by Trump family finances,” Schiff said, in reference to the president’s business ties to Saudi Arabia and his pro-Saudi policies, such as backing the kingdom in its confrontation with neighboring Qatar. “The president has not truly divested his family’s interests or been the least bit transparent about it,” the congressman said, and lawmakers need to “make sure we’re protecting the country.”

Americans knew full well that with Democrats in the 2018 midterm taking control of the House of Representatives, investigations regardless of Mueller’s findings would definitely be the Democrat Party agenda for the next two years. And that certainly appears to be true. But there are a few things that may throw a wrench into Democrats’ plans.

Department of Justice Investigations

While the Democrat parade is ramping up, the Department of Justice continues its behind-the-scenes investigations of which very little is known. Many remember the comment former AG Jeff Sessions made to Congressman Goodlatte about the AG’s instructions to restart the investigation into the Uranium One transaction AND Hillary Clinton. Months later when asked about that investigation, a DOJ official stated there was NO such letter or authorization by Sessions to do so.

After it claimed no such document existed, the Justice Department just unearthed a letter Matt Whitaker (when Session’s chief of staff) delivered to the Utah U.S. attorney directing a review of how the department handled the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One issues.

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote the letter on Nov. 22, 2017, for Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber. Matt Whitaker emailed the letter to Huber that day, writing, “As we discussed.” He also sent Huber a copy of a letter the Justice Department’s Congressional affairs chief sent to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 13 of that year.

The existence of a letter documenting Sessions’ directive that the DOJ revisit probes of Trump’s top political foe is a surprise because a department lawyer said in court last year that senior officials insisted it didn’t exist. The liberal nonprofit American Oversight obtained the letter through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request they filed on Nov. 22, 2017––the same day Whitaker emailed Sessions’ letter to Huber.

The request asked for documentation of the directions Sessions gave Huber about the review of the Clinton investigations. After DOJ failed to produce any written directions, American Oversight sued.

And on Nov. 16, 2018, Senior Counsel in the Office of Information Policy Vanessa Brinkmann, who handles FOIA Requests, said a lawyer in Sessions’ office told her no such letter existed. That lawyer spoke with Huber and Whitaker, she said in a declaration filed in federal court, and then told her that “when the Attorney General directed Mr. Huber to evaluate these matters, no written guidance or directives were issued to Mr. Huber in connection with this directive, either by the Attorney General, or by other senior leadership office staff.”

That wasn’t correct. On Wednesday of last week (March 6, 2019), a DOJ lawyer told American Oversight that they had found the document that kicked off Huber’s work.

The letter is consistent with what the DOJ’s chief of legislative affairs has told Congress: that Huber is scrutinizing the sale of a Canadian uranium mining company with interests in the United States to Rosatom, a Russian state-owned company. Republicans have long alleged that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined to oppose the deal because of contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

The DOJ hasn’t brought any charges related to the foundation or the transaction. Some Hill Republicans and conservative media commentators have long argued this is because the Department hasn’t sufficiently investigated it. They have called for the appointment of a special counsel to scrutinize the transaction. Sessions didn’t bite.

Some Republicans say Huber’s work is too little, too late. Democrats, to no one’s surprise, argue it’s evidence of the Trump administration weaponizing law enforcement to target its political rivals.

Is Something Besides Mueller’s Report Imminent?

Hardly any of the media are talking about the publicly available list of 82,000 sealed federal indictments that have all been issued since the week after the instructions to Utah Federal Attorney Huber to reopen Clinton and Uranium One investigations. Every federal district court in the United States has issued several of those sealed indictments. The feds AND the media are strangely quiet about even speculating on the nature of those indictments.

What’s staggering about that is their number. For the previous decade, the total average number of sealed federal indictments issued by all federal district courts combined is 1077 — that’s for each year. These have all been created since October of 2017 — about 16 months.

Speculations of novices and political pundits are that at least some of those indictments are for those involved in human and sex trafficking. Another speculation exists that some may be for some current and past elected and appointed federal officials caught-up in various kinds of wrongdoing. No matter who or what they are for, when the veil of secrecy is pulled back there certainly will be some surprises, especially if any have to do with members of the Trump Administration, Hillary Clinton or her former staff, and even of those from the Obama Administration.

Subpoenas of 81 Trump Associates

House Judiciary Committee Chairmen Jerold Nadler (D-NY) announcing the committee’s subpoena of 81 Trump associates was no surprise. His explanation for doing so simply plays into the Congressional Democrat plan to go after the President.

Nadler has made numerous claims that he “knows” Trump colluded with Russia and/or has obstructed justice:

”It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice,” Nadler told ABC News on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

“It’s very clear,” he explained, “1,100 times he referred to the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt, he tried to have Mueller fired — he tried to protect Flynn from being investigated by the FBI. He fired Comey in order to stop the Russian thing, as he told NBC News. He — he’s dangled pardons — he’s threat(end) — he’s intimidated, witnesses, in public.”

But Nadler, his committee, and other Democrats may face an obstacle they did not expect in their serving subpoenas wholesale to the host of Trump associates they plan to intimidate into relaying something incriminating about the President. Doing so may be illegal: The attempted harassment of President Trump (as it appears to be too many), especially after two years of the Mueller probe, may be unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on a case that has direct implications for what Democrats are doing right now.

Watkins v. the United States

John Thomas Watkins, a labor union official from Rock Island, Illinois, was convicted of contempt of Congress, a misdemeanor under 2 U.S.C. § 192, for failing to answer questions posed by members of Congress during a hearing held by a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities on April 29, 1954. Watkins was asked to name people he knew to be members of the Communist Party. Watkins told the subcommittee that he did not wish to answer such questions and that they were outside the scope of the subjects on which he was summoned to testify and of the committee’s jurisdiction. He said:

“I am not going to plead the fifth amendment, but I refuse to answer certain questions that I believe are outside the proper scope of your committee’s activities. I will answer any questions which this committee puts to me about myself. I will also answer questions about those persons whom I knew to be members of the Communist Party and whom I believe still are. I will not, however, answer any questions with respect to others with whom I associated in the past. I do not believe that any law in this country requires me to testify about persons who may in the past have been Communist Party members or otherwise engaged in Communist Party activity but who to my best knowledge and belief have long since removed themselves from the Communist movement.

I do not believe that such questions are relevant to the work of this committee nor do I believe that this committee has the right to undertake the public exposure of persons because of their past activities. I may be wrong, and the committee may have this power, but until and unless a court of law so holds and directs me to answer, I most firmly refuse to discuss the political activities of my past associates.”

His conviction carried a fine of $100 and a one-year suspended prison sentence. Watkins first won a 3–2 decision on appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia but then lost, 6–2, when that court heard the case en banc. The Supreme Court heard arguments on March 7, 1957, and announced its decision on June 17, 1957.

The Supreme Court decided 6–1 to overturn Watkins’ conviction. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote for the majority. Warren noted that it is an offense for a witness to refuse to answer any question “pertinent to the question under inquiry” in testifying before a Congressional committee, but he wrote that the Court was unable to ascertain the nature of the Congressional inquiry with reasonable precision:

There are several sources that can outline the “question under inquiry” in such a way that the rules against vagueness are satisfied. The authorizing resolution, the remarks of the chairman or members of the committee, or even the nature of the proceedings themselves, might sometimes make the topic clear. This case demonstrates, however, that these sources often leave the matter in grave doubt.

The New York Times commented: “The Supreme Court has placed fundamental restrictions on a Congressional investigatory power that in recent years has been asserted as all but limitless.”

Senators James Eastland and William E. Jenner, who played principal roles in investigating left-wing activities, issued a statement accusing the Court of contributing to “the trend of the past year of undermining our existent barriers against Communist subversion.”

One can easily make a case that current House Democrats and their various committees that have started burying the White House with new investigations of these old allegations against the President are committing the same acts that resulted in the Watkins conviction being overturned by SCOTUS.

How would that Court finding apply to what’s underway now in D.C.? The exact same thing: “The Court was unable to ascertain the nature of the Congressional inquiry with reasonable precision.”

The difference now is that (as many have maintained since the inception of the Mueller probe) in normal investigations, the investigation begins because of specific wrongdoing and is to find the evidence sufficient to prove who is guilty of wrongdoing. This Congressional witchhunt is based on wrongdoing that hasn’t been proven to even exist!

Summary

Congressional Democrats are afraid. The leadership of the Democrat Party is afraid. What can they possibly be afraid of?

  • Not only the contents of the 82,000 sealed federal indictments but the results of the prosecution of those federal indictments as they are unsealed and executed;
  • President Trump really may NOT be guilty of anything sufficient to run him out of office one way or the other;
  • Extreme wrongdoing — both criminal and simply reprehensible — on their part may be exposed;
  • All of the above may result in their loss of political might and standing and even expulsion from their positions and status;
  • The Democrat Party totally imploding;
  • President Trump’s agenda actually succeeding.

I know there’s a lot in this discussion for us to chew on. It has become extremely difficult to get a fix on what is truthful and what is not, what is applicable to the President, members of Congress, and those from the Department of Justice. But there’s a worn out adage that I believe is appropriate here: “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.” I think it’s safe to say that so far in the exhaustive investigation of this president, his staff, family members, and even his friends, there may not even be smoke. To borrow a phrase from the President, this could all simply be more “Fake News.”

Whether you are a Democrat, a Socialist, a RINO, a Trump supporter, it is probably accurate to say you want this resolved. There may be an argument on the actual resolution you desire, getting this all done and getting the U.S. on the road to what’s ahead without further distractions is really all that matters. But it certainly is time to get this out of the way.

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Medicare For All: FRAUD!

It certainly sounds good: get all your healthcare that comes with 100% coverage for everyone. There are NO pre-existing condition exclusions, no deductibles, no co-pays, covers in-hospital treatments, out-patient treatments, dental, vision, and even covers pharmacy. That sounds too good to be true. 

Momma always said: “If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t true.” All of the “hooey” above IS NOT true. “Medicare For All” is a FRAUD!

The “Real” Story

The United Kingdom has had national healthcare for as long as most remember. Heck, I’m 65 and I cannot remember a time when they didn’t have it. Proponents for “socialized healthcare” or “Medicare For All” as it has been called in the U.S. point to the U.K. and their National Health System. It technically is “single-payer” healthcare in which the government pays the tab.

Their system is failing. We’ll get into exhaustive details of the imminent demise of their system in a minute. First, let’s talk about the healthcare systems — Medicare specifically — that the U.S. has now.

In his 2016 bid for the Democrat Party’s nomination for president, Bernie Sanders (D-VT) rolled out his “Medicare For All” plan as being free for Americans. How so? Eliminate private insurance:

What Americans need to understand is that under our current system, healthcare coverage is NOT Free! What Bernie proposes is outlawing private insurance (premiums are now paid by the insured or their employers), BUT states under his plan, Americans save millions because they only have to pay for government healthcare premiums.

Medicare is NOT free. I hate it when in money discussions, members of Congress in interviews say, “We must cut entitlements!” Most Americans when the word “entitlements” is used think of government handouts: Welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, etc. Of those, Medicare is the one that is NOT free for its recipients. Medicare recipients pay for their Medicare coverage in 4 different ways.

First, from every paycheck received from an employer throughout one’s professional career, a small percentage is deducted and paid to the Federal government (with an employer equal matched amount) to “prepay” to partially cover the cost of Medicare when that employee retires.

Secondly, when that person becomes age-eligible and enrolls in Medicare, there is a monthly or quarterly premium that must be paid by the enrollee. The amount of that premium is based on that person’s previous year’s personal income: “means tested.” Currently, the minimum monthly premium is approximately $120.

Thirdly, there is an annual deductible that must be paid by the enrollee before Medicare payments kick-in. It is not excessive, but it still must be paid. Currently, it is approximately $180 annually.

And fourth, under Medicare Part B, (which includes most services other than those received in-patient in a hospital) Medicare only pays 80% of the approved costs of treatment for patients. The 20% leftover amount must be paid by the enrollee, and most purchase a supplemental insurance policy to cover that balance.

The bottom-line is Medicare is NOT free.

We’ll look at the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. But U.S. “Medicare For All” proponents point to European countries as the models for American healthcare that supposedly dwarf the American healthcare system in quality, accessibility, and costs for its citizens. Let’s look at a recent rating of the Top 5 European healthcare systems:

Denmark

Denmark has a universal health care system financed primarily through income taxes. Danish citizens and European Union citizens are eligible to receive free medical treatment in Denmark.

Officials in Denmark have gone through great effort to reduce bureaucracy in their system so that the majority of medical administration is done at the local level. The system is also broken up into two sectors. The primary sector is for those with general health issues, and the hospital sector is for those requiring more specialized care.

Norway

Norway has a mix of public and private health insurance, but the public system is much bigger and a lot more popular. Like many of the of the countries on this list, citizens are entitled to free health care through a system financed through taxes.

All hospitals and health facilities in Norway are owned by the central government and managed on a regional level. As radical of an idea as that may seem to those reading this in the United States, these facilities actually have a great deal of autonomy, so long as they operate within the budgetary restraints imposed on them by the government.

Switzerland

The Swiss have a health care system that is more similar to the American system than the other countries on this list. Their health care in Switzerland is not free. Instead, all residents are required by law to purchase a health insurance policy within three months of arriving in Switzerland.

Insurers in Switzerland sell a standardized form of basic insurance that covers a range of medical services. Companies aren’t allowed to make a profit on selling these plans, but instead, make money selling complimentary insurance that covers more medical services. Swiss health insurance plans also require consumers to pay for at least part of their health costs in the form of a deductible or other fees.

The Netherlands

The Dutch have a form of insurance based on universal health care in their country. Insurers are required by law to offer a basic government-defined health insurance plan to all those who would apply for it.

Typically the plan costs about 100 euros per month, with the insurance company optionally tacking on some extra administrative fees. Those buying Dutch health insurance have the option for extra supplemental insurance to cover more than the basic plan. For this extra insurance, you are required to apply and insurers can deny you for it.

Sweden

Closing out the top five is Sweden. Swedes enjoy a high-quality universal health care system. Their system has a yearly deductible of about $170 for doctors visits and $340 for prescription drugs. Private health insurance does exist in Sweden however it’s not very common.

Health care accounts for 9 percent of Sweden’s GDP, with the state paying for about 97 percent of the cost of health care, with the rest covered through deductibles. Primarily the health care system is financed by the taxpayers.

The UK’s National Health Service: The “MotherShip”

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service, which celebrated its 70th anniversary this year, is imploding. You probably noticed in the European Union’s analysis of Europe’s best health insurance programs, UK’s NHS didn’t crack the top 15. In fact, it’s in the bottom 5.

Why?

Vacancies for doctor and nurse positions have reached all-time highs. Patients are facing unimaginable waits for care as a result. In August of 2018, a record number of Britons suffered more than 12 hours in emergency rooms. In July, the share of cancer patients who waited more than two months to receive treatment soared.

Yet enthusiasm for government-run, single-payer health care continues to build in the United States. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that 70% of Americans now support “Medicare for All.” Virtually all the major candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 have come out in favor of banning private insurance coverage and implementing a single-payer system instead.

One look across the Atlantic, to the disaster unfolding in the United Kingdom’s government-run healthcare system, ought to curb that enthusiasm.

The NHS has struggled to fully staff its hospitals and clinics since its inception in 1948. But today, the shortages are growing worse. 9% of physician posts are vacant. That’s a shortfall of nearly 11,500 doctors.

The NHS is also short 42,000 nurses. In the second quarter alone, nurse vacancies increased by 17%. Meanwhile, in the United States, nearly all states will have a surplus of nurses by 2030.

It’s not surprising that people don’t want to work as nurses in Great Britain; it’s a stressful job, with long hours and terrible working conditions. Some NHS nurses are taking positions at supermarkets because stacking shelves comes with better hours, benefits, and pay, according to a report in the London Economic.

Consider one nurse’s letter explaining why she quit the profession. She described horrific working conditions. Medical professionals worked 12-hour shifts with little time for necessities like bathroom breaks or food. Managers felt they couldn’t do anything to change unsafe conditions created by overcrowded hospitals. “You cannot safely practice under such conditions,” she wrote. “Mistakes will be made and people will be harmed, some fatally.”

The shortage of providers has resulted in longer wait times for patients. In May of 2018, 4.3 million people in the United Kingdom were on waiting lists for surgery, a 10-year high. Adjusting for population, that would be like having everyone in the state of Florida on waiting lists. Roughly 3,500 British patients have been on hospital waiting lists for more than a year.

More than one in five British cancer patients waits longer than two months to begin treatment after receiving a referral from a general practitioner. In Scotland, fewer than 80% of patients receive needed diagnostic tests — endoscopies, MRIs, CT, scans and the like — within three months.

These delays are deadly. An analysis that covered just half of England’s hospitals found that almost 30,000 patients died in the past year while waiting for treatment — an increase of 57% compared to 2013.

In some cases, the NHS has refused to provide treatment at all. In June of 2018, NHS England said that it would discontinue coverage of 17 procedures, including tonsillectomies and knee arthroscopies for osteoarthritis patients.

Even when patients receive treatment, the quality of care is poor. Patients in British hospitals are four times more likely to die than in U.S. hospitals, according to an analysis of outcomes from 2,000 similar surgeries conducted by researchers from University College London and Columbia University in New York. Among the more severely ill patients, the disparity was worse; the sickest Brits were seven times more likely to die.

It’s no wonder that Britons who can afford private health insurance pay for it. About 10% of the population uses private coverage to help cover the cost of care delivered outside the NHS system — sometimes by NHS doctors. (Notice that U.S. Democrat candidates for president in 2020 who have Medicare For All in their campaign commitments ALL demand ALL private insurance in the U.S. be banned)

NHS defenders claim that the system’s poor results are the inevitable result of underfunding. Yet spending on health care in the United Kingdom has more than doubled in the past 18 years, after adjusting for inflation.

The problem is one of supply and demand. Single-payer systems offer “free” care, so patients have no incentive to moderate their demand for care. But government cannot procure enough supply to meet that demand without bankrupting taxpayers. Government officials’ only option is to ration care.

Despite the failings of the NHS, Democrats want to establish a single-payer system in the United States. The “Medicare For All” bill sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders would outlaw private insurance and funnel nearly all Americans into a one-size-fits-all, government-run health plan. That bill promises comprehensive medical, dental, and even vision care, courtesy of John Q. Taxpayer.

The total bill? A cool $32 trillion over 10 years. Next year, the federal government projects it’ll take in $3.4 trillion in revenue. So “Medicare For All’s” yearly tab is nearly equivalent to the federal government’s entire annual tax take.

Put another way, the feds would have to essentially double tax revenue in order to pay for “Medicare For All.”

And “Medicare For All’s”multitrillion-dollar cost estimate banks on bringing payments for healthcare providers down to the level paid by the existing Medicare program. That would represent a reduction of about 40%, compared to private insurance rates. Such pay cuts are likely to drive providers out of business — or discourage the next generation of doctors and nurses from entering the field.

“Medicare For All’s” proponents say single-payer delivers high-quality, free care to all. Britons stuck on wait lists, unable to secure the care they need, would surely beg to differ.

Before I weigh-in with my two-cents in summary, let’s get a “different” perspective from talk-show host Kennedy:

Summary

This will be brief. When considering “Medicare For All,” ask yourself these questions:

  • Can we trust our government to manage our money? Should we trust our government to financially manage our healthcare system?
  • Can we legitimately expect doctors in a single-pay healthcare system who have their compensation slashed as government employees to provide the same level of care as we currently receive?
  • Do you want a Washington bureaucrat making a decision on your receiving or not receiving a heart by-pass because you are “too old?”
  • Are politicians who rave about the viability of single-payer healthcare really being honest? Why haven’t any of them presented statistical facts as you heard here today to Americans?

There are many more unanswered questions that should be answered, and their answers given to us should be the priority for politicians. Why don’t they do that? Simple: they don’t want Americans to know the truth. They are simply using “Medicare For All” as the “cool” talking point that sounds so good, Americans who are not armed with facts will want to vote them into office for “Free Stuff.”

Do you want facts? We are just now after years of watching our own veterans who each volunteered their lives in combat for us to preserve our freedom, die from the inability of our CURRENT government health program to “get around” to seeing them: V.A. hospitals. The government does so many things better than the private sector, right?

Do you want facts about a plan that will comfortably and cost-effectively plug the holes in our existing government/private healthcare partnership program? On July 19th and 20th of 2017, we published that plan in two parts here at TruthNewsNet.org. Go back and take a look: “The Only Healthcare Plan that Will Work, Part 1 and Part 2.”

“Medicare For All” — especially under THIS government the way it is currently structured — WILL NOT WORK! And if implemented in the U.S. will destroy healthcare. Count on it.

 

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Jussie: Guilt or Innocence

Sixteen indictments were issued against Jussie Smollett by a Cook County grand jury on Friday, March 8 — felony indictments. Yes, a person is always (under U.S. law) “Innocent until proven Guilty.” And, no, Jussie has NOT been proven guilty. So why have the lines formed of people who are demonstrably declaring his guilt OR declaring his innocence?

I think it’s because it “appears” to be that Smollett attempted to in some way use the system, his ethnicity, his fame along with his sexual preference to sway the court of public opinion for some personal advantage. That in itself if true is sad on many levels. But there’s more to this story and its ramifications that haven’t been but should be discussed.

If allegations against him contained in these sixteen felony indictments are proven in court and he is found guilty, this case will prove to be just one more blight on today’s international media stage. This case so far has been nothing more than a three-ring circus. Wanna guess what specifically is on display in each of the three circus rings?

Jussie Smollett Is Famous: Ring #1

I’ve always heard: fame comes with a price. Maybe Jussie is finding that out firsthand.

He began his career as a child actor in 1987 acting in films including The Mighty Ducks (1992) and Rob Reiner’s North (1994). In 2015, Smollett attracted attention and received a highly positive critical reception for his portrayal of musician Jamal Lyon in the Fox drama series Empire (2015). Smollett has also appeared in Ridley Scott’s science fiction film Alien: Covenant (2017) as Ricks and in Marshall (2017) as Langston Hughes.

He doesn’t just act. Smollett signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and would be releasing an album in the future. Smollett co-wrote the songs “I Wanna Love You” and “You’re So Beautiful” on the Original Soundtrack from Season 1 of Empire album, which was released in March 2015. In March 2018, Smollett released his debut album, Sum of My Music.

Of course, his “current” fame stems from his starring role in the Series Empire. It has been alleged that part of this “circus” that has consumed his life of late came from his desire to get more fame and subsequent pay increase for his role in that series. “Alleged” is the magic word — nothing is proven yet.

Jussie Smollett is Gay: Ring #2

Smollett came out as gay during a televised interview with Ellen DeGeneres in March 2015.

In a 2016 interview with Out, he clarified his sexual orientation by stating “If I had to label myself, I would label myself as a gay man.” However, he stated his belief that openness to love is more important than gender, revealing that “If I fall in love down the road with a woman, I’m going to love that woman.” When Smollett’s gay character from Empire engaged in a tryst with a female character, Smollett defended the plot development by stating that he and Empire‘s creator Lee Daniels were trying to create a conversation about sexual fluidity in the gay community. Daniels has stated that while he and Smollett are gay, they both occasionally want to have sex with women. Daniels stated that “We’re showing life on Empire,” in that both he and Smollett were incorporating their own sexual fluidity as gay men into the show.

Smollett told his parents he was gay when he was 19.

Jussie Smollett is African American: Ring #3

Smollett grew-up in Santa Rosa, California, a small city in the Wine Country about 50 miles north of San Francisco. He is the third of six children of Janet (née Harris) and Joel Smollett (1956–2014). He has three brothers and two sisters: Jake, Jocqui, Jojo, Jurnee, and Jazz, several of whom are also actors.

Smollett is actually biracial. His mother is African-American and his father was Jewish (his family emigrated from Russia and Poland). He has said that his father would have “killed you if you called him white.”

Jussie Smollett is a Professional Entertainer: Ring #4

Yes, I know this is a “three-ring” circus. But in Jussie’s case, his circus has a fourth. Of course, we’ve all seen in past years the never-ending Hollywood circus. I don’t know exactly why, but it seems that folks who breathe Hollywood air and who work in the entertainment field  (acting, directing, music, etc.) have a propensity to concentrate on self-awareness. Jussie is definitely qualified as a member of that group.

Smollett Support from the Rich and Famous

On January 30, 2019, public figures expressed support for Smollett on social media. Entertainment industry figures, including Shonda Rhimes and Viola Davis, tweeted their outrage over the attack and support for Smollett. Democratic senators and presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Cory Booker both described the attack as an attempted modern-day lynching. Booker urged Congress to pass a federal Anti-Lynching bill co-sponsored by him and Harris. Smollett faced skepticism regarding his claim of being attacked; he responded by saying that he believed that, if he had said his attackers were Mexicans, Muslims, or black people, “the doubters would have supported me much more … And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now.”

Entertainment industry figures who worked with Smollett speculated about what may have motivated the actor to stage the hate crime. Some of the cast members of Empire believe that Smollett might have gotten the idea to stage a hate crime after the show’s creator, Lee Daniels, discussed a homophobic assault against his cousin with the show’s cast. Smollett’s co-stars theorized that the actor might have wanted to gain Daniels’ favor and become an “LGBT hero” by staging the attack. Director Lucian Read drew a connection between the hoax and a May 2018 episode of the Epix series America Divided about lynching which he directed; Smollett narrated and appeared in the episode. Epix also released a statement saying “with respect to the sensitivities around recent events…Epix is no longer making available the episode of America Divided featuring Jussie Smollett.”

What Happened to Jussie?

A recent Billboard Magazine article talked about a widespread lack of awareness about the importance of mental health in the jazz/hop Los Angeles music community. Six up-and-coming artists were invited to discuss how they took care of themselves. Among them was Jussie Smollett, who, in addition to his own fledgling solo musical career, played Jamal Lyon, a singer on the hit Fox series Empire. Smollett stressed the importance of honesty in his own internal struggles. “I admit that I’m jealous, I admit that I’m insecure and that I’m not good at certain things,” he said. Then, in a comment that didn’t get any attention at the time, Smollett suggested that these pressures might be catching up to him. “I’m in my 30s and I’m trying my best to learn that I can’t bend anymore,” he said. “I’m about to break.”

Six months later, he may have done just that.

On Jan. 19, 2019, the actor tweeted, “Depression is a real thing Y’all.” Three days later, a threatening letter targeting Smollett arrived at the Empire production offices in Chicago. And a week after that, the actor told Chicago police that two masked assailants had attacked him in a wealthy Chicago neighborhood as he walked home from a Subway at 2 a.m. while he was on the phone with his music manager, Brandon Z. Moore. Because Smollett, who is black and openly gay, identified his attackers as white males who shouted “This is MAGA country” and claimed they hung a noose around his neck, his case was immediately held up as an example of the growing problem of hate crimes in the Trump era. In Hollywood, where the alleged attack played perfectly into the community’s worst fears about prejudice, support for Smollett was strident. Robin Roberts interviewed him sympathetically on Good Morning America. Ellen Page called out the Trump administration for the incident on Colbert.

Synopsis

There are no doctors here at TruthNewsNetwork (TNN). There’s no way for us to draw any meaningful and educated decisions about what has been going on with Smollett and what could lead him down the path on which he finds himself. One would think he has some personal issues that fed this narrative. One can only speculate about what they are. And speculation ran amuck in the early days following the report of the “alleged” hate crime. Speculation like we see and hear in this NBC News report:

I doubt anyone will ever be able to provide an accurate “why” answer for Jussie’s creation of this alleged crime. Certainly, many factors contributed: disdain for President Trump, struggling with mental and professional pressure he felt, whether real or perceived job stress and personal insecurities. Honestly, most every American deals with those issues in their life at some point. And thankfully, most Americans do not find themselves where Smollett is today: career destroyed, dozens if not hundreds of friendships ended because of betrayal, disdain more than ever for being gay, and nowhere to turn for a peaceful way out of this dilemma.

It is a good thing that most Americans have the resources that come through family members, friends, business associates, and medical professionals necessary to successfully work through the issues that apparently drove Smollett to this point in his life. In Jussie’s case, however, it seems that all the things and circumstances that gave him the fame and fortune in which he found himself are actually major contributors — if not THE contributors — to the state of mind that created the Hate-Hoax scenario surrounding Jussie.

We have been accused of being too hard on the media at TruthNewsNetwork. And sometimes, maybe we are. But in this century and in this decade, everyone needs to understand the power of media communication. And those in media of every kind need to understand that with that power comes responsibility.

Jussie himself railed loudly and constantly against President Trump. I doubt Smollett stopped to consider the power of HIS words, of HIS political stances given in public that even though were his opinions, in most instances were swallowed by his followers as factual. Why is that? His fame and his universal support by those in his industry: Entertainment. Unfortunately, success in the U.S. entertainment industry resonates to many who watch and listen-in as integrity, honesty, and they give those stories total acceptance.

Maybe Jussie just flipped out; maybe he really believes the extent of American racism he expressed; maybe he really believes President Trump is a racist, an Islamophobe, and homophobe. If that is true, we could more easily understand his acting on those beliefs in the manner in which he did.

But one thing is certain: the American media fawn over those in Entertainment from Hollywood and Manhattan and elsewhere in the U.S. And it seems to be the same thing in American politics and even professional sports. Heretofore those in the media have rejected any calls for responsibility on their part. In a way, they are justified in doing so. Their reasoning? The media in part are the driving sources for the monumental adoration of Americans for all those in the movies, music, and professional sports. Without their news coverage, they maintain, stars in sports and entertainment would not have anything close to the adoration of adoring fans that they experience. For that, the media have forsaken any responsibility for any Jussie Smollet stories or any others. And there are many.

I’ll close today with a personal story to help explain what, why, and how Jussie Smollett happened. In 2006, I owned a professional arena football team. The availability of a really good quarterback was made known to me by an assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Quincy Carter became available when the Cowboys released him and no other NFL team picked him up. “If he was so good, why did the Cowboys cut him and why did no other NFL team sign him?” I was asked. There’s a reason…or two. Believe me.

Quincy grew up in Georgia. He was a stellar athlete who was pampered because of his outstanding athletic abilities from a very young age. He excelled in football in middle school. He picked apart the defenses of high school football opponents. He rocked the Southeastern Conference playing for the University of Georgia. And he was the first quarterback to take the Dallas Cowboys to the NFL playoffs since Troy Aikman. But Quincy had some issues.

Few knew that he was the victim of Bipolar Disorder. He had dramatic mood swings that were uncontrollable and unavoidable. When diagnosed, the prescribed medication worked well at helping to control his wild swings in temperament and concentration. But he hated taking the medicine. It left him feeling funny. He tried marijuana, and marijuana worked. Quincy while at the University of Georgia began self-medicating with marijuana.

Marijuana was not acceptable, not only in the National Football League but in the Arena Football League as well. Quincy’s professional football career was over in the NFL — unless we could change things. We were called to see if we could work with him in the AFL and get him back to doing the right things medically. We agreed, but with conditions: Quincy had to agree to drug treatment prior to our 2006 season and throughout our season, he had to speak to a chosen (by our team doctors) drug counselor every day — either in person or via telephone when the team was traveling. It went well — at first.

Quincy was a quarterback phenomenon. He comfortably made the transition from outdoor football to indoor and the field half the size as that of an outdoor field. He easily won our starting QB job in training camp. We started our season 5-0, primarily because of Quincy. He was benched for game 6 for “team infractions.” We lost. And then Quincy came back with his head straight and led us to the Conference Championship game against our arch rival, only to lose on a freak play.

During that season, we saw firsthand why the Jussie Smollett’s and Quincy Carter’s and other in similar shoes fought different demons from most of the rest of us. Quincy was a god in Texas. We played against 5 Texas teams in our division. Everytime we played in one of those Texas team stadiums, they sold out. THEIR fans came to the games wearing Quincy Carter Dallas Cowboy jerseys, not those of their home team. And after games, Quincy was flooded with fans getting his autograph and a picture with him. Media interviews had to be closely monitored and scheduled. All through our league, conversations about Quincy were top of the news all season long.

The week after we lost that conference championship game, Quincy was arrested for DWI: marijuana.

We cannot blame that on the media. We cannot blame that on rampant fan support. We cannot blame that on Quincy’s upbringing in Georgia. We cannot even blame that on marijuana. But each one of those “things” in Quincy’s life was a huge contributing factor in the fall of Quincy Carter.

Jussie Smollett just like all of us has a bunch of “stuff” in his closet. Some of it Jussie’s friends and family members know about. There are probably other things Jussie keeps in that closet and with the closet door closed.

So what should Quincy have done about those things? What about Jussie? What about you and me? I’m fairly certain there’s no absolute answer to those questions. But one answer that I DO know for certain: doing NOTHING about them is NEVER the right answer.

So next time we see or hear about the failure of a movie or television star, a college or professional basketball, baseball, football, soccer, or golf star that has failed, let’s think through these and other possible factors that usually together put that person in the position in their life where that failure happened. And while we’re trying to understand, remember this: “But for the grace of God, that could be me.”

 

 

 

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Is It “Socialism” or “Democratic Socialism?”

In 2016, it was Bernie. But after the 2018 midterm election primaries, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) took over Bernie’s mantle of Socialism. And ramping up to 2020, the dozen or so declared Democrat Party presidential candidates are running over each other, each crying for the World to hear, “I’m the bigger Socialist…I’m the biggest Socialist!” 

It’s a bit spooky that the “next” generation of Americans are getting so chummy with Socialism. The reason for the far-too-common use of the term is simple: today’s educators have wrapped their classroom agendas in a cloak of Socialism. And Democrat presidential candidates have done so too with their campaigns. They talk about it like it has brought Nirvana to the countries who have embraced it, and they use that to demonize Capitalism. Educators nor politicians discuss the horrors of Socialism in Germany, China, Venezuela, the Czech Republic, Turkey, and nations who long ago disappeared because Socialism always implodes. All they share with our next generation is this: “Socialism is a political environment in which everyone is guaranteed by the government that all their fundamental needs are going to be met — no matter what.” I’ve not heard of any of these Socialists in their speeches espousing the grandeurs of Socialism even mention that it has never worked in any country on Earth. It seems that would be a pretty important fact to mention, don’t you?

Let’s be honest: who doesn’t like the idea of someone taking care of all our needs and wants? It’s a warm and fuzzy thought — at least initially. Remember when we were kids? We worried only about “important” things, like recess, and a new bicycle. “Where’s my catcher’s mitt?” was about the most serious thing we had to deal with. Fighting with a brother or sister over control of the tv remote finished a close second. We did all that while Dad worked, Mom cooked and cleaned and carpooled, and everyone and everything was peachy. The 60s and 70s families were the U.S. Socialism models that worked — at least that’s what pundits point to today.

What’s so spooky about it is that this utopian promise is based on totally false information. These Socialists and economic elitists are filling the heads and hearts of the next generation of Americans with untruths. And our kids and many adults are swallowing that propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

When asked about the history of the universal failure of Socialist nations, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is quick to correct that question: “What we need is not the old Socialism. What we need and must have in the U.S. is Democratic Socialism,” says AOC.

So let’s today compare Socialism with Democratic Socialism. We’ll then consider Capitalism and contrast and compare how each has succeeded or failed.

Socialism

Exactly what is Socialism? Webster defines it these two ways:

1.  Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. (It requires termination of Capitalism)

2.  The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

Socialism is almost totally a political system, which does claim to magically solve all problems even though a socialist concept is what creates the problems that result in its inevitable failure. The Soviet Union is a good example. The claim for establishing the socialist Soviet Union was to solve the disparity between rich and poor and assure that everyone will have at least a minimum good life. (“Hey Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: does that sound familiar?”) The reality is, Socialism Soviet-style resulted in making everyone extremely poor and destitute, including people who were not poor before it was instituted.

Democratic Socialism

As compared with “Normal” Socialism, Democratic Socialism means that this political reality—the abolition of capitalism—will be achieved and administered through democratic, as opposed to authoritarian, means.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) website explains: “Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.”

AOC defines Democratic Socialism this way: “So when millennials talk about concepts like Democratic Socialism, we’re not talking about these kinds of ‘Red Scare’ boogeyman,” she said. “We’re talking about countries and systems that already exist that have already been proven to be successful in the modern world.”

Ocasio-Cortez has likened her view of Democratic Socialism to Scandinavian Social Democracy. The congresswoman’s progressive platform consists of a single-payer health care system that covers all forms of health care.

“We’re talking about single-payer health care that has already been successful in many different models, from Finland to Canada to the UK,” she said.

She also believes in tuition-free public colleges and universities. Her platform includes guaranteeing Americans a living wage that maintains “basic levels of dignity so that no person in America is too poor to live,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “That’s what democratic socialism means in 2019, and not this kind of McCarthyism Red Scare of a past era.”

Capitalism

“An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.”

Capitalism has always been the home of true entrepreneurship, encouraging through free market trade the initiative for people to create and develop new technology and continual innovation for improvement and invention. Those who take advantage of the capitalistic environment receive rewards tied directly to their efforts. 

The greatest drawback of Capitalism is corruption that results in individuals and groups from both private and government sectors taking advantage of capitalistic opportunities to garner power and wealth: sometimes illegally and sometimes skirting the law but doing so unethically.

Bar Stool Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

  1. The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
  2. The fifth would pay $1.
  3. The sixth would pay $3.
  4. The seventh would pay $7.
  5. The eighth would pay $12.
  6. The ninth would pay $18.
  7. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.” Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. The first four men were unaffected: they would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay:

  1. The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
  2. The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
  3. The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
  4. The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
  5. The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
  6. The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings:

  1. “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”
  2. “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”
  3. “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
  4. “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important: they didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

Summary

Socialism, whether called simply that or with the word “Democratic” in the front, is nothing new. And there have been those who have tried and tried to get Americans to take more than just a passing glimpse at Socialism to try here. Very smart men and women have spurned the idea for a couple of centuries. They have stood on America’s shores and watched Socialism destroy cultures and societies all around the World. One of them was Ronald Reagan and long before he became President. A half-century ago, “The Gipper” had this to say about Socialism:

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system AND Socialism works. The people who pay the highest taxes today or do the most effort and provide the greatest amount of work in Socialism don’t get any extra benefit from what they bring “to the table.” Like the guys who met for drinks in the bar night after night — especially the guy who made the most money. Tax him too much, attack him for being wealthy, take from him the extra he put into the system, and he just may not show up anymore. In fact, he might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier!

One of our forefathers was asked once why Socialism never lasts anywhere. When does Socialism die? His answer: “It happens every time the country spends all of the ‘other’ guy’s money and there’s none of the ‘other’ guy’s money left.”

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Civil War: About Race or Something Else?

We are inundated in today’s U.S. about the racial divide that has existed for several hundred years. It is amazing to me that with our living in the greatest country in world history, arguably the most innovative technology in existence (with the exception of maybe China), and without question the best economy on Earth today, we do NOT tackle the problems that go hand in hand with racial divide and racism to finally put this puppy to bed. The most frustrating part of that? “IF” we honestly did address the issues from all sides, Americans could resolve ALL of those differences. But we don’t — and we never have.

Just so you remember, here are a few notes about the Civil War:

The war began when the Confederates bombarded Union soldiers at Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861.  The war ended in Spring, 1865.  Robert E. Lee surrendered the last major Confederate army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.  The last battle was fought at Palmito Ranch, Texas, on May 13, 1865.

At the beginning of the war, the Northern states had a combined population of 22 million people. The Southern states had a combined population of about 9 million. This disparity was reflected in the size of the armies in the field. The Union forces outnumbered the Confederates roughly two to one. The “North,” or Union forces, numbered approximately 2.1 million while the “South,” or Confederate forces, numbered approximately  1.08 million.

Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. This number comes from an 1889 study of the war performed by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore. Both men fought for the Union. Their estimate is derived from an exhaustive study of the combat and casualty records generated by the armies over five years of fighting.  A recent study puts the number of dead as high as 850,000.

620,000 soldiers died in the Civil War. 644,000 Americans died in all OTHER wars combined. It wasn’t until Vietnam American military war death total numbers passed those lost solely in the Civil War. Needless to say, it was a horror to this nation then and still is. And many Americans still struggle with its aftermath. Those struggles stretch across the entire landscape of the United States and touch every sector of our lives.

The War impacted every American and even those who lived here without citizenship.  With the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862, African-Americans – both free and runaway slaves – came forward to volunteer for the Union cause in substantial numbers. Beginning in October, approximately 180,000 African-Americans, comprising 163 units, served in the U.S. Army, and 18,000 in the Navy. That month, the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers repulsed a Confederate attack at Island Mound, Missouri. Men of the U.S.C.T. (United States Colored Troops) units went on to distinguish themselves on battlefields east and west – at Port Hudson, Louisiana; Honey Springs, Oklahoma; Fort Wagner, South Carolina; New Market Heights, Virginia. African Americans constituted 10% of the entire Union Army by the end of the war, and nearly 40,000 died over the course of the war.

Slaves and free blacks were present in the Confederate lines as hand servants and manual laborers. On March 13, 1865, the Confederate Congress passed a law to allow black men to serve in combat roles, with the provision “that nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which said slaves shall bear toward their owners,” i.e. that black soldiers would still be slaves. On March 14, 1865, the Confederate military issued General Orders No. 14, which provided for the raising of black combat regiments, but there is no official military documentation that indicates these orders were carried out or that any black soldiers were ever properly enlisted in the Confederate army. There are a few photographs of blacks in Confederate uniforms, but these appear to be hoaxes.

So What Started “The War Between the States?”

While many still debate the ultimate causes of the Civil War, Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson writes that “The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states. When Abraham Lincoln won the election in 1860 as the first Republican president on a platform pledging to keep slavery out of the territories, seven slave states in the deep South seceded and formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America. The incoming Lincoln administration and most of the Northern people refused to recognize the legitimacy of secession. They feared that it would discredit democracy and create a fatal precedent that would eventually fragment the no-longer United States into several small, squabbling countries.”

The burning issue that led to the disruption of the union was the debate over the future of slavery. That dispute led to secession, and secession brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states and territories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establish Southern independence as a new confederation of states under its own constitution.

The agricultural South utilized slaves to tend to its large plantations and perform other duties. On the eve of the Civil War, some 4 million Africans and their descendants toiled as slave laborers in the South. Slavery was interwoven into the Southern economy even though only a relatively small portion of the population actually owned slaves. Slaves could be rented or traded or sold to pay debts. Ownership of more than a handful of slaves bestowed respect and contributed to social position, and slaves, as the property of individuals and businesses, represented the largest portion of the region’s personal and corporate wealth, as cotton and land prices declined and the price of slaves soared.

The states of the North, meanwhile, one by one had gradually abolished slavery. A steady flow of immigrants, especially from Ireland and Germany during the potato famine of the 1840s and 1850s, insured the North a ready pool of laborers, many of whom could be hired at low wages, diminishing the need to cling to the institution of slavery.

States quickly jumped into the fray as well, but not so much about slavery. Seldom discussed in Civil War conversations are the “State issues” of the day. State issues arose from State rights as compared to those of the federal government. Remember: many American settlers fled from Europe less than a century before. They fled to America in large part to get out from under the heavy hand of a government that controlled just about every aspect of their lives. The framers of the Constitution made it clear with the First Ten Amendments — known better as “The Bill of Rights” — that the ONLY rights held by the federal government were those that were specifically given to them by the States. Jefferson and Company were petrified that any United States federal government would as quickly as possible seize control of Americans throughout the New World. They were committed to prevent that from happening. Many leaders in that evolving nation feared the power that the centralized government in the U.S. was spreading itself into. Their fear of a too powerful federal government was a large contributing factor to the Civil War. The southern States were impacted in greater fashion because of slavery.

But were these concerns driven by disdain or hatred for Africans? Was the racial divide that is so powerful today in America a force in the attack on Fort Sumter? And was that racial chasm initiated by hatred for diversity, ethnic origin, religion, and skin color?

To the editorial staff of TruthNewsNetwork, honestly ALL of the above contributed to the deadliest war in U.S. history. Just imagine how much more devastation Americans would have sustained if the armies of the Union and Confederacy had access to weapons as do our current military members!

The “Rest of the Story”

Throughout human history whenever two countries or two factions within a country or MULTIPLE factions determine their differences substantiate going to war, seldom does this happen with just one specific initiating factor. Certainly, slavery was a HUGE factor in the Civil War. Historians have on the most part ignored this in discussions about the reason or reasons for the Civil War — until the 1990s. Then things changed a bit.

One major universal factor in historical wars was almost always economics. Let’s face it: dollars and cents or money in some other form are the energy that drives the growth of all nations in many different ways. The economy in the United States in the run-up to the Civil War was in transition. But until the 1990s, historians pretty much ignored the role that American economics might have played in starting the Civil War. The efforts to explain economic growth and the timing of the United States’ “take-off” into industrialization in the decades leading up to the 1860s, together with extensive research into the “economics” of the slave system of the South and the impact of emancipation, brought economic questions dealing with the Civil War to the front of the line in “causes of the War” discussions.

No one seriously doubts that the enormous economic stake the South had in its slave labor force was a major factor in the disputes that erupted in the middle of the nineteenth century. Remember this: northern states were NOT exempt from slavery. They sooner than southern states took action to move away from slavery, but slavery was not new to those settlers. Slaves and slavery made a huge impact on Americans socially AND economically. And “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Throughout World history, many wars have been fought and millions have died in the name of $$$$.

Historians in the early 1990s took the cue and launched into an analysis of the economic impact of slavery in the South. Here are some of their findings:

  • In 1805 there were just over one million slaves worth about $300 million; fifty-five years later there were four million slaves worth close to $3 billion. In the 11 states that eventually formed the Confederacy, four out of ten people were slaves in 1860, and these people accounted for more than half the agricultural labor in those states.
  • In the cotton regions, the importance of slave labor was even greater. The value of capital invested in slaves roughly equaled the total value of all farmland and farm buildings in the South. Though the value of slaves fluctuated from year to year, there was no prolonged period during which the value of the slaves owned in the United States did not increase markedly.
  • It is hardly surprising that Southern slaveowners in 1860 were optimistic about the economic future of their region. They were, after all, in the middle of an unparalleled rise in the value of their slave assets.
  • A historical economist named Gerald Gunderson unearthed some amazing facts regarding the economics of slavery in the South. In the seven states where most of the cotton was grown, almost one-half the population were slaves, and they accounted for 31 percent of white people’s income; for all 11 Confederate States, slaves represented 38 percent of the population and contributed 23 percent of whites’ income. That explained why Southerners — even those who did not own slaves — viewed any attempt by the federal government to limit the rights of slaveowners over their property as a potentially catastrophic threat to their entire economic system.
  • “Cotton is King” was heard all over the South, but also in the Northern States. The economic impact of cotton exploded in every sector of the U.S. The export of cotton exploded. By the 1850s the large majority of cotton produced in America was shipped to and sold in Great Britain and Europe. The Northern States benefited greatly as cotton drove the economic opportunities in the textile industry and other sectors in the Industrial Revolution. Slaves in the South primarily planted, developed, and harvested cotton that northern textile mills turned much of it into cotton products. The remainder primarily went to Great Brittain or Europe.
  • With so much to lose on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line, economic logic suggests that a peaceful solution to the slave issue would have made far more sense than a bloody war. Yet no solution emerged.

Summary

There is no doubt that slavery was the match that lit the fire that consumed the lives of 600,000+ in the Civil War. But was racial animus the cause? Critical thinkers disagree. (Of course they do! They disagree on everything) Those “experts” are actually split right down the middle on that issue. But one thing is certain: money played a significant role. Don’t get me wrong: race did too. But it is time to take a step back and analyze the total story from every side. If one does so, finding that economic factors and the way they played in the U.S. during this piece of the Industrial Revolution probably played an equal role in the Civil War as did slavery. How so?

Southerners did not want to give up their revenue generating platform! Abrahan Lincoln and Republicans were NOT against the wonderful economic achievements directly and indirectly derived from the cotton industry. They were opposed to the ownership of humans by other humans. And, quite honestly, slavery has been the principal contributor to the racial fires that still to this day burn brightly in America.

Is there a way to a resolution on these disagreements?

The discussions of reparations keep coming up again and again and are once again on the minds of Americans, thanks to Democrat 2020 presidential candidates already on the campaign trail. Whether or not reparations are “owed,” are necessary, or even workable is a hypothetical conversation we will NOT undertake at TruthNewsNetwork. It’s tough enough to analyze factual data to reach factual conclusions. Without that data, a reparations conversation is nothing more than more fuel to this raging fire of racial tension and divide.

Unfortunately, the political agenda has for 150+ years kept racism around as a convenient tool to use whenever politically appropriate. Doing so is a blight on the political landscape of the U.S. But human nature has always prevailed in this depraved pursuit of a division.

And it’s intentional. Sadly, there are those who surreptitiously find ways to insert racial animus in every political conversation. Their objective for doing so? Division. One would think that after so many years of watching the cyclical rise and fall public outcry against racial issues, America’s political leaders would diligently determine to finally smoke the “peace pipe” of unity and find an effective process to bring Americans back together. Obviously, that has NOT happened. And sadly, I cannot see that happening in the current political atmosphere.

But there’s hope: hope in the fact that this nation is really “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The critical word of that sentence is “all.”

Who can be the tie that binds? Who can tamp down the massive fires of racism that burn ever so brightly from the West to the East?

I have no idea who that might be. But what I know for absolute certainty is that God opened the door to this nation, has led through a couple of centuries groups of people in leadership in the right direction for the people of the United States, and that He will continue moving us down that path. We’ve made mistakes. But getting and giving forgiveness for those mistakes and making route adjustments is what being human beings that interact with each other is all about.

We’ll get there. Boy, I hope it will happen in my lifetime!

Here’s one factor that will play heavily into the timing of total racial reconciliation in America: when we EACH are willing to say to each other, “Just because I think something is right doesn’t automatically make it right. And just because I think something is wrong doesn’t automatically make it wrong.”

You’ve heard that multiple times in our stories. That is a principle that honest Americans must grasp before we will ever achieve racial unity.

I’m positive: I’m certain we can do it!

“Anything worth having is worth hurting for.”

If hurting is necessary for racial harmony, I think Americans have hurt just about enough now!

Let’s take a hint from Larry the Cable Guy, and “Get ‘er Done!”

 

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“I Know You Are But What Am I?”

“I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.” Pee Wee Herman wasn’t the only one to use these insults in arguments with his peers. Members of Congress and other politicians do the same thing around the clock. That’s really mature, isn’t it?

America is bleeding reason: reason of all types. Whether in politics, media, entertainment, athletics, religion, or education, having differences is common, but serious attempts to find resolution with others regarding differences are long gone. Political bi-partisanship: a lost art. The culture of recognizing differences of all kinds with others and working collectively for resolution disappeared in America in the ’80s. It began with the loss of fundamental understanding of how to even start a reconciliation process yet alone try to work through conflict.

Remember President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neil? The Massachusetts Democrat was a firebrand: so was President Reagan. The government was deeply divided — an eerily similar Congressional divide as we see today: a slim GOP Senate majority with Democrats firmly in charge in the House. 

Now, as both sides grapple with a Grand Canyon-size political divide, some are looking to the O’Neil and Reagan model for guidance. “You have to develop the relationship before bipartisanship,” says moderate Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf, who was one of 54 Republicans swept into office with Reagan in 1980. “A lot of it was done after hours. They got together, they broke bread, they told stories, and they did things that I think helped us do things to make some accomplishments,” says Wolf. But, alas, I doubt we will ever see Speaker Pelosi and President Trump sharing a cozy dinner or even an occasional nightcap at the White House.

Today’s divide and resulting political animus have unfortunately tainted the discourse between Americans of all descriptions. O’Neil and Reagan got together often, not to badger each other about differences, but to recognize those differences and then discuss solutions. They ALWAYS sought solutions. As argumentative as was Speaker O’Neil, so too was President Reagan. But here’s the difference between then and now: the objective was never “It’s my way or the highway.” Each understood and accepted that there always WERE differences. Each understood and accepted that there always WERE possible solutions. But, more importantly, both were driven by one thing only: the necessity of finding compromise sufficient to implement policies that, while addressing the issues of each side, always put the Nation and its citizens’ welfare first. And each outcome rarely contained demands for political power for either’s advantage. That quest for advantage and power consumes all Congressional negotiations today.

Why?

We’ll detail that answer in our summary. But let’s examine what is lost (besides common sense) in all this: time and taxpayer money.

It’s bad enough that Congress is barely in session throughout the year. They justify this with “I have to spend time in my district/state because I represent the People in D.C.” That’s a total cop out! They know what their constituents want regarding every issue. In today’s electronic 24/7 instant media environment, every member is inundated with their constituents’ thoughts on every key issue. They’re being out of session and D.C. so much is about maintaining D.C. status and raising campaign dollars — PERIOD.

While they’re away from Washington, the extensive cost of Congressional operations continues: U.S. Capitol operating expenses, Congressional office staff, and office operations — hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. And nothing gets done.

Don’t forget about taxpayer payment for  Congressional travel. Oh sure, most of the junkets (like the one taken to the Caribbean by Democrats during the partial government shutdown) are paid by lobbyists, (which in our opinion is campaign fraud) but most of their travel costs come from taxpayers.

And, obviously, while away from D.C., they’re not doing what they were hired by Americans to do: LEGISLATE.

Just how much does Congress cost to run? Latest “estimated” costs to taxpayers are $5.75 Billion each year. That’s $10.75 Million per member of Congress annually!

Can you imagine any scenario in which Speaker Pelosi would introduce for floor debate legislation to rein-in Congressional spending and waste?

Not going to happen: but it certainly should. And her counterpart in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, certainly is not planning on doing that either.

Congressional Comradery Just Got Worse

Remember this: Congress gave Reagan fits with investigations. Everything wasn’t rosy then either. Even though there was definitely partisanship — especially in Tip Oneil’s House — members from both parties found ways to work together, even during investigations. Remember the Iran Contra Affair? Put Google to work when you have some time and watch or read some of those hearing minutes. They were contentious, but they were “real” investigations. Not so in this New Democrat House. Here’s what the next two years in Congress will be consumed with: Investigations – “Partisan” Investigations.

Investigations are piling up. If it seems like new ones are being announced every day, that’s because they are. In fact, February 27th we saw three new investigations crop up.

Early that day, House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent a letter to the White House announcing an investigation into the Trump team’s shoddy handling of the security clearance process.

Just a couple hours later, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) said his committee will look into whether Trump’s tangled network of business dealings are influencing foreign policy decisions.

It’s a logical choice for an investigation. We already know Democrats claim Trump’s D.C. hotel is a conduit for foreign money, particularly Saudi Arabian money, to make its way to Trump. They maintain Trump is willing to go easy on Saudi Arabia, even after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was allegedly ordered by that country’s crown prince.

That same day, we learned that House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) are teaming up to dig into Deutsche Bank. Dems feel there’s “Trump blood in the water” there, given that special counsel Robert Mueller has already subpoenaed the bank for its records related to Trump and his family.

Schiff says that the bank is an “obvious place to start” in examining whether the Trump Organization laundered money. Deutsche Bank was recently fined several hundred million dollars for helping the Russians launder money. Additionally, that bank made numerous business loans to the Trump Organization.

Here’s the one that Americans knew was coming, but most still shake their heads hearing about it. Schiff said the investigation will include “the scope and scale” of Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election, the “extent of any links and/or coordination” between Russians and Trump’s associates, whether foreign actors have sought to hold leverage over Trump or his family and associates, and whether anyone has sought to obstruct any of the relevant investigations.

Forget about the Democrat adoration for that bastion of investigatory perfection who spent (so far) $50 million U.S. dollars doing just what Schiff is planning. Forget that Democrats threatened anyone who even frowned at Robert Mueller — especially the President. And Schiff was chief among them!

House Democrats are opening an investigation into what they say are abuses of power by President Donald Trump through his attacks on the courts, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the media, according to a House official familiar with the plans.

Topics for the inquiry will include Trump’s public humiliation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his attacks on actions by the liberal Ninth Circuit Court and his abuse of reporters as “dishonest” and “enemies of the people,” said the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

And those are just the beginning.

Just how many meetings do you think those Democrat committee chairmen had with their Republican counterparts, coordinating these pending investigations to assure maximum results for Americans, minding the use of their time and our money in the process?

Not One Minute! Dollars? Add another Billion or so the cost of operating Congress each of the next 2 years: “Investigation Gate!”

The fundamental flaw of all these investigations is exactly as that in the Mueller probe. Typically in law enforcement investigations, a crime (or wrong) happens. Officials examine that crime (wrong), obtain evidence of every kind to determine its scope, origin, intentions of perpetrators of that crime (wrong), and hopefully from those will determine the identity of the wrongdoer.

Robert Mueller worked backward, and so is the Democratic Congress. No crimes or wrongdoing initiated these investigations! Instead, Mueller, Schiff & Company have determined who the perpetrator is: Donald Trump. These investigations are not to track a wrongdoer for committing a wrong. They are to find or create some criminal act committed by the President. And if they find something, their political lives will be complete!

Does anyone else smell something foul in that philosophy?

Summary: “Why?”

For the “Why,” one must begin here: there is no verified crime or wrong exposed to justify initiating these investigations. The reason for doing so must be one thing and one thing only: to somehow through what is found (if anything) put President Trump in House impeachment.

I know: that sounds ridiculous. Do you know why? Because it IS ridiculous. 

Just imagine what the U.S. Government would have looked like in 1984 if House Speaker Tip O’Neil had simply started a dozen or so investigations into President Reagan, with NO evidence of any crimes or wrongdoing. Honestly, that Congress would not have done so. But if they did, the American people would have revolted. But the main reason was that Americans were still unified, still respected the Office of the President AND who was in it, and expected all elected officials to abide by the Rule of Law while working for the American people crafting Legislation.

What a unique idea. We’d all pass out if this Congress did that!

What happened during the last administration is Washington leadership devolved into a petty partisan operating system in which ALL reason and all accountability to the American electorate were abandoned. And that started at the top.

The truth was abandoned. Integrity was non-existent and deemed unnecessary. The Rule of Law and respect for leadership were banished to Gilligan’s Island. All-consuming power and its pursuit devoured our government. And it’s alive and well today. Example?

Speaker Pelosi and a delegation of U.S. lawmakers were recently in Brussels to convince European heads they had control amid the uncertainty around transatlantic relations. Pelosi claimed that the U.S. president is not all-powerful in the meetings in Europe. The House speaker used her recent standoff over the government shutdown as some sort of ‘evidence’ that she has power over the president.

Further evidence of this pervasive evil gripping our country is what we see and hear in Media. Formerly non-partisan news is almost entirely nothing more than propaganda. And news “reporters” long ago evolved into nothing more than “Opinionists” who demand those who read, watch, and listen to their mantra accept it as gospel. And 90% of their “gospel” is garbage when vetted.

Peter Jennings worked the desk at ABC Evening News during Reagan’s two terms. I was a huge fan of his. He never once that I can recall made a single negative remark, editorial comment, or read a partisan story about any politician — Democrat OR Republican.

And, by the way, at the re-lighting of the Statue of Liberty that was nationally televised, Jennings cried after Sandy Patti sang the Star Spangled Banner. And he was Canadian!

In closing, let’s dream a little:

  • Pelosi and Schumer will call for meetings with the President, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy. In those meetings, they will all mutually commit to regular policy conversations about EVERY legislative issue.
  • They will each present their ideas about every pending piece of legislation. Then they will each amicably and honestly discuss specifics of reasons why each legislative matter is not acceptable.
  • They will in EVERY case find consensus on all issues, even if and when the end product is NOT what each desired.
  • They will discuss truthfully separately and together in total honesty the details of any good results of implemented laws and policies. They will separately and together in total honesty discuss the details of any bad results of those same items.
  • They will NEVER publicly denigrate each other or the offices they separately hold.

Let’s be honest: Reagan made some bonehead mistakes in office. So did Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama, and Trump. We all have our opinions about things they did and did not do. We ALL have political perspectives.

Recognizing our differences should be just the start. Objectively discussing our differences as only steps to find a reconciliation of those differences into positive outcomes should be the ONLY end result we look for.

Everyone in D.C. needs to take a hard look in the mirror. They all need to pull out some history books and revisit past governments methods of reaching governing consensus. That is NOT happening in this government and didn’t in at least the last 3 either.

We owe at least that to the next generation so they can know something other than political partisanship. How can we expect them to build this nation into something greater without learning how to resolve differences for “the common good?”

If Pee Wee Herman could do that in “Pee Wee’s Great Adventure,” we certainly can.

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Dems 2020: Radical Extremism

Americans have wondered for a while, “What is and will be the Democrat Party platform today and for the 2020 election cycle?” Wonder no more. The Democrat Party has moved so far to the left, not even Bernie Sanders recognizes it. And NO one should be surprised. Why?

There’s a simple answer: Democrats had nowhere else to go, other than to Extremism. Donald Trump has won the middle — where Democrats have always excelled. Their only “middle” scrap left on which to campaign is “Trump’s tax cuts left middle-class Americans out and has given the wealthiest of Americans billions in income.” That’s simply untrue. Then why are Dems who are scrambling to put their “candidate card” in for the 2020 White House race railing so loudly about something that is untrue? Because the  financial analysis is incomplete for determination of the exact impact of those tax cuts up and down the tax charts. And Dems need something — anything — to go after Trump other than how mean he is. They’re grasping for straws.

Where Is Democrat Extremism?

You don’t have to look very far. It’s everywhere. There are so many examples of Dems’ extremism — many of which we have exhaustively detailed here — that we will list them only in bullet point fashion, just to jog your memory.

  • The Green New Deal Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) takes credit for the 18-page manifesto with basic details of this “deal.” It probably is the MOST extreme of current Democrat proposals. It is such an elaborate scam that is fundamentally impossible for the U.S. to do, it deserves its own bullet point references. A brand new report released in the last few days sets the price tag for this proposal at $94 Trillion.

The resolution in Congress from Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., calls for a “10-year national mobilization” that would include:

– “Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.”

– “Providing all people of the United States with – (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.”

– “Providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States.”

– “Meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”

– “Repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in the United States, including . . . by eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as technologically feasible.”

– “Building or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and ‘smart’ power grids, and working to ensure affordable access to electricity.”

– “Upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification.”

– “Overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in – (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and (iii) high-speed rail.”

– “Spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible.”

– “Working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.”

  • Medicare For All Touted nationally by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) in his 2016 run for the presidency, this idea is NOT a new one. Proponents have brought it up again and again from as far back as prior to World War II. But it always dies for lack of its feasibility on many levels. Such a plan in its purest form is financially unsustainable  — at least when compared to current healthcare. Sanders’ plan was not Medicare For All, but a “single-payer” system. The “Bernie-version” would greatly expand Medicare and overhaul it — for example, it would greatly expand the type of coverage offered and also eliminate deductibles, copays, and premiums. Private insurance companies are also currently a part of the Medicare system. That wouldn’t be the case under Sanders’ plan. It would eliminate co-pays and deductibles, would offer comprehensive coverage for a host of treatments heretofore typically not included in health insurance, like dental and vision care. The gargantuan cost of such a program is the primary reason single-payer health insurance has never been implemented. And Democrats of all ilks are all over this concept. Every declared Democrat candidate for president in 2020 has voiced their support for Medicare for All. Its cost according to several non-partisan groups: $32 Trillion over 10 years.
  • Free College Tuition No doubt college is expensive. Total student loan debt has reached an abysmal level, reaching per the latest report $1.56 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt. 44.7 million Americans currently have a student loan debt of which 11.5% is 90 days or more delinquent or are in default. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been a vocal proponent for free college tuition. However, several other declared Democrat presidential candidates are not so sure. But as a whole, Democrat Party members nationwide favor a plan for free college financed through increased taxes on the wealthy.
  • Gov’t takeover of Student Loan Debt This novel idea was the foundation of a secret plan created by former President Obama with Hillary Clinton. Obviously, it was never implemented, but leaks have confirmed that if Clinton had been elected President in 2016, this would have been chief among her policy proposals. Several Democrat presidential candidates are for the forgiveness of student loan debt. But as yet, no one has offered up a specific plan for doing so.
  • Late-term Abortion It began in New York which passed a law allowing abortion — with the consensus of the mother and a “medical professional” which is not necessarily a doctor — at any time up to the actual birth of a baby. That idea quickly showed up in Virginia’s legislature and is being considered in other states across the country. The outcry against this among many Americans reached a fevered pitch when a bill in the U.S. Senate that would require physicians to give medical care necessary to sustain the life of a baby that lived in a botched abortion procedure was shot down by Democrats who voted against the measure. In essence, by doing so, Senate Democrats endorsed the actual killing of a baby who is born alive after a botched abortion procedure.
  • Anti-Semitism Two professed Muslims were elected to the House Democrat majority in 2018. Muslims fundamentally debunk even the right for the existence of the nation of Israel. Newly elected Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) recent antisemitic comments threw the Democrat Party for yet another wild loop. Some Democrats in Congress voiced their disagreement with Omar’s stance against U.S. support of Israel; most were eerily silent. To many Americans, the Dem silence signaled a shift in Democrat Party national support for America’s strongest ally in the Middle East. In case after case, public comment after public comment, the two have made serious anti-semitic comments. Yet other Democrats throw out the allegation against Republicans for being anti-semitic without giving specifics showing such charges are true. Donald Trump has even been accused of anti-semitism, even though Jared Kushner — President Trump’s son-in-law and White House Advisor — is Jewish. Ivanka Trump has become a Jew and their children (who are the President’s grandchildren and who he adores) are Jewish.
  • Reparations Those Democrats declaring for president in 2020 have made it clear they support reparations for African Americans for the slavery of their ancestors. In doing so, those Democrats have revealed a likely objective Americans will probably see in the 2020 general election. But many Dems feel that may be a difficulty in primaries in that rank-and-file Democrat voters are split pretty much down racial lines regarding reparations. While reparations may play well among followers of Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, it will be a divisive topic for others.
  • Southern Border Security The Democrat talking point regarding border security — at least so far — has been that there is NO border security issue at the southern border that requires urgent action by the government like the declaration of a National Security Notification issued by President Trump. This may be the most polarizing party policy of Democrats for the 2020 election. Polls show that most Americans feel there IS a border crisis and they want the southern border enforced. Democrat candidates continue banging that drum while crying that President Trump is “ripping babies from the arms of their mothers.” That line may play well in soundbites, but facts do not bear out those claims. The same policies are in place today as were under President Obama that resulted in the same actions then as now.
  • Investigate, Investigate, Investigate At the writing of this story, the President’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen is appearing in a public hearing before the Democrat-controlled House Oversight Committee. As we reported in our most recent report here, that committee’s chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has notified all that they have and will launch relentless investigations into all things that pertain to the President  from even BEFORE he was inaugurated. Though that hearing is still ongoing, Mr. Cohen has been exposed in multiple lies other than those exposed previously. He testified to the committee he never wanted to be a part of a Trump Administration when in his sentencing summary for his crimes prosecuted by the Southern District of New York federal attorney, his personal texts and emails to his friends and associates detailed his desire and plans regarding what his anticipated role in the Administration would be. In his questionnaire he completed regarding his testimony before this committee, his answer to the question regarding what foreign entities with which he held contracts, his questionnaire answer was “Not Applicable.” But in his testimony when asked that question, he testified that he was contracted with 20 foreign companies. In fact, one GOP committee member made a motion for criminal referral of Mr. Cohen for violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act — the same act that led to federal criminal charges against Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta. Cohen testified that he overheard a telephone conversation via speaker between Mr. Trump and Roger Stone in which Stone told the President that Julian Assange of Wikileaks was about to make a massive public dump of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Cohen testified that happened on either July 18th or 19th. Cohen was shocked to be notified today that those emails and that dump were made public 5 weeks before that alleged phone call on June 10. As a side note regarding how outrageous the actions of Democrats are regarding their platform, the Democrat Chair and Vice-Chair of the House Oversight Committee actually met with Mr. Cohen to coordinate his testimony — a very unusual action which is also unethical and illustrates desperation of Democrats.

Summary

Angst among Democrats is front and center every day. And Americans — especially Democrats — are wondering where the party is on policies, who speaks for Democrats, how will the party successfully take-on President Trump in 2020. And they’re not getting good answers.

  1. It is true that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House has more women, persons of color and LGBT members than any House in history — and fewer white males. But many Democrats are wondering if that will be enough to win. And the day Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) was sworn in, her hand on a Quran, our first Palestinian-American congresswoman showed us what Democrats may expect. As a rally of leftists lustily cheered her on, Tlaib roared, “We’re gonna impeach the (expletive deleted)!” How did Pelosi respond to her “rookie’s” attack on Trump? Not only was no apology forthcoming from Pelosi, the host of the New American Leaders event where Tlaib spoke those words warmly endorsed her gutter language. Her remarks said Sayu Bhojwani, “were raw and honest, and came straight from the heart. … a refreshing break from the canned comments our elected leaders usually make. Tlaib spoke … with the fire that so many at our event wanted to hear.”
  2. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, the youngest member of the new House, told CNN there is “no question” President Donald Trump is a “racist,” for he regularly uses “historic dog whistles of white supremacy.” Ocasio-Cortez at no time has offered any support for racist allegations against Mr. Trump. Many Democrat voters are now asking for examples of those often-mentioned “dog whistles.” Are such racial attacks going to be a plank in the new Democrat Party platform?

Who’s running the Democrat Party? Where are they going? Less than two years before the next federal election and there being no answers to those questions is the actual reason for the all-out extremism being demonstrated by Democrats. Many Democrat leaders are very concerned about this as they should be. They and many others are asking this question: “Can we beat Donald Trump by simply beating the drum of emotion against the President or should we circle the wagons around the publicly incendiary policies (many which are mentioned above) trying to galvanize Democrat voters on the issues?” Can the Democrat Party make “The Green New Deal” and “Medicare for All” palatable to Americans, especially when their combined cost projection is just over $110 Trillion over 10 years, which is more than the entire tax revenue of the federal government?

Here’s the thing that Democrats don’t know or understand, or maybe just ignoring: Donald Trump. I have seen not a single Democrat politician act in a manner that shows they understand they are NOT dealing with a politician, that they ARE dealing with a legitimate businessman who is focused on specific issues in American life. He has committed and performed as President what is necessary to tackle and solve those issues. No Democrat so far has shown any initiative to address that capability that most American voters relate better with. Why? Almost all Americans are NOT politicians, do NOT have the fairy tale existence that most federal politicians have, and DO live day-to-day in a world that requires hard work, specific job performance, and accountability. American voters accountability? Achieving expected results for ALL those for whom they perform.

Politicians thumb their noses at that premise. And their doing so may cost them the White House — AGAIN.

This journalist at this point feels certain that without specific tangible, detailed, and Democrat Party supported policies with which American voters identify and embrace, Democrats are doomed to only continue to be who they appear to Americans to be today: Extremists, and nothing more. And their 2020 Platform: “Radical Extremism.”

 

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“Investigator in Chief” Adam Schiff

The California Congressman loves the camera, loves the interview, and hates President Trump. He has now (with the Democrat Party control of the House of Representatives) seen Part 1 of his dream come true: the opportunity to be the “boss” of the House Intelligence Committee with unfettered access to whatever investigations his committee wants to initiate: chiefly that of harassment of this President. And that’s the direction that Congressman Schiff has already pointed his investigators.

Adam Schiff: “The Russians are Coming!” Claims in 2017

In 2017, Schiff was constantly in front of television cameras. This story came out in an interview Schiff had on MSNBC.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that there is “more than circumstantial evidence now” to suggest that President Donald Trump’s campaign may have colluded with Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election, but he would not offer details.

“I can tell you that the case is more than that,” Schiff told Chuck Todd on MSNBC. “And I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now.”

Schiff Keeps it Going! Claims in 2018 Before Midterms

Schiff just kept pontificating about the President. He obviously is on a quest to “get” Mr. Trump.

During an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” host Margaret Brennan said she wanted to “drive distinctions as we’ve been saying here that some of the facts can get muddled here in the president’s language. I want to make sure we’re being precise in our conversation. Can you agree that there has been no evidence of collusion coordination or conspiracy that has been presented thus far between the Trump campaign and Russia?” she said.

“No, I don’t agree with that at all. I think there’s plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy in plain sight. Now, that’s a different statement than saying that there’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a criminal conspiracy. Bob Mueller will have to determine that,” Schiff said in response.

“It’s going to be important for Congress to ensure that U.S. foreign policy is being driven by U.S. national interests and not by Trump family finances,” Schiff said, in reference to the president’s business ties to Saudi Arabia and his pro-Saudi policies, such as backing the kingdom in its confrontation with neighboring Qatar. “The president has not truly divested his family’s interests or been the least bit transparent about it,” the congressman said, and lawmakers need to “make sure we’re protecting the country.”

In that CBS interview Schiff doubled and tripled down on Russian election tampering looming over the U.S. 2018 midterm elections and that President Trump and his administration firmly stand against the truth of such hacking. Schiff quoted statements made by heads of U.S. Intelligence agencies made in a press conference. U.S. intelligence agencies warn that Russia – among other countries posing cybersecurity threats – will continue to meddle in U.S. politics.

“Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea will pose the greatest cyber threats to the United States during the next year,” the report states. “These states are using cyber operations as a low-cost tool of statecraft, and we assess that they will work to use cyber operations to achieve strategic objectives unless they face clear repercussions for their cyber operations.”

2018 Midterm Election Hacking or Not?

In spite of Schiff’s claims, a “different story” about Russian 2018 hacking in our elections has surfaced:

A new report from two top Trump administration officials said they have found no evidence that foreign governments had a significant impact on the integrity of the 2018 midterm elections. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Homeland Security chief Kirstjen M. Nielsen said in a Feb. 4 report to President Donald Trump that both the election and political infrastructure used during the midterm vote were free from meaningful interference. The election marked a key test for Pentagon leaders, who were using the event as a measuring stick for a new cybersecurity strategy.

In the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, senior Trump administration officials worried about the potential for a series of cyber mishaps, from hacked preliminary results to inaccurate voter registration databases. Burke Wilson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber, told reporters Oct. 30 that the midterm elections was one metric that could be used to judge the success of the Trump administration’s plan to become more aggressive in cyberspace.

But the new report does not mean that other nations were quiet or that their efforts were non-existent during the midterm elections, only that they had no significant impact on the vote.“Russia, and other foreign countries, including China and Iran, conducted influence activities and messaging campaigns targeted at the United States to promote their strategic interests,” Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, said in a December 21 report.

Adam Schiff Today

The 2018 Midterm elections are behind us. Congressman Schiff in coordination with Democrat heads of other House committees even before taking control of the new Congress ramped up getting set to take on Donald Trump with non-stop investigations. That meant subpoenas: subpoenas to the Trump Campaign and the White House for documents and records, subpoenas to members of the Trump Campaign and members of the Administration for sworn Congressional testimony, and has even threatened to subpoena Special Counsel Robert Mueller to appear. (Whatever happened to the praise and adoration Democrats had for Mueller and how afraid they were Trump would either fire Mueller or interfere in other ways with Mueller’s investigation?)

And Schiff continued:

“Within our committee, we certainly have a compelling interest in making sure that U.S. policy … is not driven by leverage that the Russians have over the president,” Schiff said. “There have been credible allegations that the Russians may have laundered money through the Trump organization, and if that’s the case, then we need to be able to look into it and be able to tell the country, ‘Yes, this is true,’ or ‘No, this is not.’ But I think it would be negligent not to find out.”

In that same conversation, Schiff identified some of the factual information he holds about wrongdoing of President Trump: “We know the president used a blocked cellphone during the campaign, and so naturally we sought to subpoena the phone records to determine whether the president, despite his protestations to the contrary, was knowing and approving of this meeting with the Russians to get dirt on his opponent,” Schiff said, without elaborating on the source of the claim that Trump frequently used a blocked number.

By the way, Schiff’s claim of the blocked phone purportedly used by President Trump to hide his “secrets” in his phone calls was debunked. The Donald Trump, Jr. calls in question were to other folks, not the President. But Schiff didn’t just now indicate he had “factual” information that verified Trump collusion with Russia.

Michael Cohen

The President’s former personal attorney is headed to Capitol Hill for testimony before Adam Schiff’s committee. In that testimony, the name Felix Sater will certainly come up in questions asked of Cohen by committee members. The political dance between Adam Schiff and Congress, Michael Cohen and Felix Sater are going to be very interesting. Felix Sater is the linchpin for the British Spygate scandal because he was James Comey’s FBI asset used to set up numerous October Surprises that were intended to “take out” candidate Trump. Felix is the “Russian spy” who tried, again and again, to set up Trump through the Trump Towers/Alfa Bank accusations, the Michael Cohen Russian sanctions letter, the meeting with Natalia Veselnetskya, the Russian Trump Towers deal, and many other crooked “frame-ups.”

Last year, Cohen pleaded guilty to a series of felonies, including campaign-finance violations that involved hush-money payments he made to two women who alleged past affairs with Trump to silence them just weeks before the 2016 presidential election.

Cohen also pleaded guilty to making false statements to congressional investigators about the scope and timeline of negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen had originally said that talks were not pursued past the very onset of 2016 only to later admit that they went on into that summer. He said he lied in order to keep in line with Trump’s narrative about the Russian dealings. Cohen was then sentenced to serve a three-year prison sentence for his conviction.

Cohen pleaded guilty to 8 total charges. But in the context of Cohen’s appearances before House and Senate Intelligence Committees, an obvious question even if not asked of Cohen will certainly dominate the atmosphere in those hearing rooms: What if anything should members of Congress or anyone else believe that Cohen says? Think about it: when testifying previously before House and Senate committees, Cohen lied! He was sworn, under oath, and he lied. And he pleaded guilty to lying: for which he is going to prison!

Only Cohen and his attorney have information regarding exactly what he will testify to in these hearings. But that really doesn’t matter. What matters is the truth and the fact that on multiple occasions about multiple issues in multiple answers to the Committee’s questions, Cohen lied. How does anyone know which if any of the things he testifies to is true and which is false? For me, “if the tree is poisoned, then the fruit of the tree is automatically poisoned as well.”

Don’t forget this: as of Tuesday, February 26th, Michael Cohen is no longer a lawyer. He’s joining Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama in that high honor. Bill and Hillary “voluntarily surrendered” their licenses. Michelle Obama declared herself as “inactive.” Barack Obama’s is in “retirement” status. But, “if it quacks and waddles it’s usually a duck.” Cohen was disbarred because of his felony conviction he just pled to.

Summary

The bottom line is this: Adam Schiff is willing to do pretty much anything to “get” President Trump. He’s made it a personal quest. Just as has U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Schiff has proven he is NOT above stretching the truth a bit to open the door to investigations, taint the opinions of the American people, and even lie. Their objective? To find some way to kick Donald Trump out of office.

Isn’t it a sad state of affairs that we in which find ourselves? A U.S. President has just endured two years of an approximate $50 million investigation by a person who holds what is literally the most powerful position in the United States — Special Counsel Robert Mueller? During that two-year period, the sitting president has been smeared as have members of his Cabinet, Administration, friends, and even his own family. For what? To find some way in which the President colluded with Russia to take the 2016 election away from Hillary Clinton.

Could it be more obvious to Americans that there is something to hide, something to cover, some mysterious gotcha hanging out there that Schiff, Blumenthal, and a host of other Democrat operatives and career politicrats fear will be uncovered in some way by President Trump or those in his Justice Department? Why else would there be such animus for a president who has done more for more American citizens than any other president in recent history? It can only be to keep hidden some very nasty things that if uncovered under the light of Justice would end many careers and probably send multiple people to prison.

Who are they and what have they done? I cannot answer that. But one thing is certain: THIS president is guilty of NO political wrongdoing or civil or criminal political activities. How do I know that? In the short time that he has even been a politician, every waking moment, every phone call, every email, every meeting, every conversation that he has had have been monitored electronically in at least one way and probably in multiple ways. His wrongdoing would be trumpeted to the World immediately upon discovery because the evildoers who are so desperate to cover up their misdeeds cannot afford for President Trump to continue down his present path. They are certain if he stays in the White House, their sins will be uncovered.

Q-Anon (who we have introduced to you earlier with a video or two) today stated this: “It’s going to be HISTORIC! Planned long ago. Within the next 21 days, BIG BIG BIG HAPPENINGS are going to take place.”

I have no idea who Q-Anon is or if there is any validity in what Q-Anon says. But with 70,000+ federal sealed indictments pending — a fact that we at TruthNewsNetwork have independently confirmed on our own — it seems that time is running out on a bunch of people.

I wonder who that could be?

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America’s Socialist Darling: “AOC

Few could believe that a bartender from The Bronx could upset the 3rd most powerful Democrat in Congress. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did just that. She’s now a member of the United States Congress: a loud member, and is an example of the “new breed” taking over Washington. And she’s taken leadership from Senator Bernie Sanders and is not the “Purveyor-in-Chief” of Socialism in America.

“AOC” (as she’s called) began her endorsement of Socialism and her anti-Capitalist campaign in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections. Her following is bountiful, comprised mostly of Millennials who love the idea of the government paying for EVERYTHING. She’s picked up that mantle and is racing down a path toward Socialism with NO hesitation.

In doing so, AOC’s shiny exterior is beginning to show some wear — the in-your-face facts of true Socialism are currently playing out on the world stage in a not-so-pretty fashion. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The reality is, she is — like so many people crying out for socialism today — responding to a form of trendy political “hipsterism.” The need to signal herself as a radical, a leader of counter-culture, ahead of her time, rebelliously new-age icon is powerful, and adopting a once-scorned label and trying to make it cool is a great way to do that.

She doesn’t have to actually understand socialism at all, she can just makeup whatever she wants and call it socialism. She can position herself as mainstream and her opposition as extremist by suggesting that any and all government action, tax collection or spending is an example of socialism. “What, do you hate road, highways and schools, you dinosaur?”

I understand why Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s philosophy can be mistaken for actual socialism. They both have in common their glorification of big, powerful government. They both have a slavish devotion to the state. They both require restrictions on personal freedom. They both worship at the altar of humanitarianism. There’s no doubt, they do share a lot in common, and I don’t think there is any question that Ocasio-Cortez’s actual philosophy paves the road for her stated philosophy.

But it is important to say without question that actual socialism is, in fact, worse than the agenda of the typical American liberal, and I think we need to start making that plainly clear so that we don’t ever open the door to socialism — real socialism — being implemented in this country.

One of the reasons that socialism has been such a miserable failure — worldwide — over the course of the last hundred years, is because it inevitably takes a very strong, centralized government command economy that restricts civil, political and economic freedom to force society to behave in the way that socialism demands. This isn’t FDR or Barack Obama’s big government, we are talking about. This is Venezuela’s big government.

There actually aren’t very many countries left that practice true socialism. Those that do, (like just-mentioned Venezuela) are riddled with political corruption — which unfortunately flows from a powerful central authority —  as well as economic instability, stagnant growth, and virtually non-existent personal freedom.

But to socialists, Venezuela, Cuba, the Soviet Union and every other failed state that practices socialism is not “real” socialism. No, they are fake socialism. They were just doing it wrong.

Fake socialists and real socialists alike will tell you that today there are in fact socialist success stories, like the Scandinavian countries, which are constantly held up as shining “see, I told you so!” examples of socialism in action.

This, predictably, is not true.

Countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are not socialistic. As the Foundation for Economic Education pointed out two years ago, in Scandinavia (like virtually all wealthy, economically developed western countries) the means of production is mostly owned by private individuals. It is not owned by the government or the local community.

More importantly, resources are not allocated by central government planning, but rather by various capitalistic markets. Scandinavians operate under a privately owned, market economy.

People think that the Scandinavians — and the rest of Europe, while we’re at it — are socialist because they have a very extensive social safety net, and heavy government spending. Conservatives have historically reinforced this perception, using the term “socialist” to describe them because they associate high taxes,  spending, and big government with socialism.

But once again, government programs and the welfare state — whatever your opinion on their wisdom — are not examples of socialism. The Nordic model so frequently cited as a success is really just the European concept of “social democracy,” which ultimately boils down to public welfare mixed with a capitalistic economy.

The Scandinavians themselves reject the socialist label. Speaking in a lecture at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government during the last presidential election, Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen didn’t mince words.

“I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy,” Rasmussen said. “The Nordic model is an expanded welfare state which provides a high level of security for its citizens, but it is also a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish,” he added.

No doubt, comparing the Ocasio-Cortez socialism model with that of Scandinavia and Europe does not fly with reality. But still, AOC and her followers think that, call it that, and will go to the mat screaming THAT socialism model is the one the U.S. must have.

The “Green New Deal”

Who doesn’t think the U.S. and every other country must get their environmental goals and objectives cleaned up? Who doesn’t want clean air, clean water, and less reliance on fossil fuels? Who doesn’t want more green energy?

But who thinks we should find ways to get to those objectives with realistic and attainable steps? Who REALLY thinks we can achieve the Green New Deal plans for NO fossil fuel cars, NO fossil fuel air travel, retro-fitted buildings — ALL buildings — to be totally fuel efficient, solar and air power at full speed in just 10 years?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does. How? We don’t know. Her “deal” that has taken Washington by storm is actually NOT legislation at all — though she claims it is. It is actually an 18-page draft document — “draft” being the operative word. Several draft versions of the Green New Deal have come and gone from the Congresswoman’s website, specifically the one that included the problem in getting cows to stop farting.

Meanwhile, Back in the Big Apple….

Then there were her victory laps for taking leadership in killing the Amazon deal to bring their 2nd headquarters to Long Island — just next to HER district — along with 25,000-40,000 jobs in the tech sector. New York Mayor de Blasio stated the Amazon deal would have given New York $27 billion in new revenue. Those would be NEW jobs. Her reasoning? It would be stupid for New York to cut a $3 billion check to Amazon. New York should instead take that $3 billion and invest it in infrastructure, education, and paying off college student educational debt.

Ocasio-Cortez does not seem to understand that by helping to drive Amazon away, she did not save New York $3 billion; she cost New York $27 billion. There is a difference between having bad ideas and not grasping basic facts. Reasonable people can disagree about whether New York should have offered Amazon $3 billion in tax incentives — or anything at all — to build its headquarters in the city. But that is different from not understanding that New York is not writing a $3 billion check to Amazon.

Summary

Millions have watched as Ocasio-Cortez has whipped her followers into a frenzy after frenzy, breathlessly dominating prime time news minutes. Many of those millions have been wondering why leaders in the Democrat Party have not stepped into to muzzle this rookie who is just barely even in Congress. But so far every announced Democrat candidate for the 2020 presidency has loudly proclaimed their support for that Green New Deal. They are doing so not even knowing what is in it — BECAUSE IT HASN’T BEEN WRITTEN YET! But endorsing her deal is the “hip” thing to do right now — forget about the $7 trillion estimated price tag. We all know that in “D.C. Speak,” $7 trillion really means “$20-30 trillion — maybe that…maybe more.”

But while we’re waiting for Pelosi and Schumer to rein in their starlet from the Bronx, consider this: maybe, just maybe, they don’t want to rein her in. Maybe they are confident her blazing exuberance will burn out before they have to step in and shut her up. So far, she’s doing a pretty good job working on that. Chuck and Nancy maybe just “giving her enough rope to hang herself.”

Even if Ocasio-Cortez loses her steam and her bully pulpit, the scary thing remains that talks about socialism and its merits are today, have been for several years, and likely will continue and probably even increase, with AOC and her followers aggressively pushing it to other Millenials as exactly where the U.S. must go to survive.

How will they handle that?

Don’t think for one moment that what she is selling is new to them. An entire generation of American youngsters has for more than a decade worshipped at the altar of socialism being propagated by teachers and professors across the nation. Highschools and universities are full of 1960’s hippy and free love loyalists who were taught Big Brother was evil. That generation has grown up and is now teaching our kids and their kids the glories of Big Brother and government doing for and providing citizens everything necessary to be happy.

Baby Boomers can’t fathom that. But our kids can…and do.

Chuck and Nancy are holding on to the hope that Ocasio-Cortez’s star will burn out and she’ll melt back into the landscape of Washington, quietly taking her rightful place as a rookie lawmaker. But I’m not confident AOC will be comfortable with that.

She’s confrontational, she’s loud, she’s opinionated, and she’s a woman on a quest. She was outspent in her 2018 election campaign 18 times over by her establishment opponent, and she still won. She’s a fighter. She’s not “quietly going into the night.”

But as we all watch exactly what longterm impact she will have on her party and the U.S. Congress, she will certainly give Americans a few laughs. Her tenure in office so far has been replete with the opportunities for giggles and chuckles. Try YouTube and enter her name for a search. You’ll get more than just a few good laughs. Like this:

”Jack walked into a sports bar around 9:58 pm. He sat down next to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) at the bar and stared up at the TV as the 10:00 o’clock news came on. The news crew was covering a story of a man perched on a ledge of a large building preparing to jump.
Alexandria looked at Jack and said, “Do you think he’ll jump?”
Jack says, “You know what, I bet he will.”
Alexandria replied, “Well, I bet he won’t.”
Jack placed a couple of twenties on the bar and said, “You’re on!”
Just as she placed her money on the bar, the guy did a swan dive off of the building, falling to his death.
Alexandria was very upset, but she handed Jack her $40, saying, “Fair’s fair, here’s your money.”
Jack replied, “I can’t take your money, I saw this earlier on the 5 o’clock news and knew he would jump.”
Alexandria replies, “I did too; I just didn’t think he’d do it again.”

No matter how successful the young Congresswoman is in D.C., we’ll all get plenty of laughs at her expense.

Don’t go postal on me: every politician is fair game when it comes to being fuel for jokes! Even Obama chuckled at some of the jokes at his expense.

And so does the “orange-hair” guy in the White House!

 

 

 

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“Hate-Hoaxing”

”It’s new…it’s exciting…and it’s coming soon to your neighborhood!” I thought this being the most innovative country in world history meant we had either invented or discovered everything there possibly was to invent or discover: until now. Actor Jussie Mollett just proved me wrong. He added one to the record book: “Hate-Hoaxing.” I don’t know if Jussie invented or discovered it. But what I DO know is that he at least put it on the front page of every newspaper, lead story of every newscast, and slug line of every internet news site. He gave it a life of its own.

Mollett’s Hoax

The perplexing story as it has come together regarding the black, gay television star in Chicago illustrates just how dividing the racial and sexual animus is in the U.S. And the finger pointing and blame game have been running amuck.

Why all of a sudden do we have people unable to study while black, unable to mow a lawn while black, unable to have a picnic while black and being attacked?” wondered Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. She answered her own question: “It’s coming from the president of the United States.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said: “When one of the most famous black and gay men in America is not safe, the message is clearer than it has ever been. The dangerous lies spewing from the right wing is (sic) killing & hurting our people.”

The same day that this scenario unfolded, GQ magazine published their writer Joshua Rivera’s rant on “the blind rage of late-stage whiteness” beneath this headline: “The Racist, Homophobic Attack on Jussie Smollett Is Far-Right America’s Endgame.”

Rivera complained that police called this a “possible hate crime.” He moaned: “The cautious wording is one last wound inflicted on Smollett’s battered body, careful hedging of bets that don’t need hedging – a crime scene involving a corpse is not discussed aspossible death.’”

Actress Alyssa Milano took her usual position on such occurrences tweeting: “The red MAGA hat is the new white hood,” she wrote on Twitter. “Without white boys being able to empathize with other people, humanity will continue to destroy itself.” #FirstThoughtsWhenIWakeUp.

I have news for Alyssa Milano, Maxine Waters, Rashida Tlaib, and Mr. Rivera: this entire debacle WAS AND IS A HATE CRIME! But Oh the irony! Smollett was NOT the victim — he was the “HateHoaxer.” The victims were President Trump and all who consider themselves conservative.

Smollett Thursday morning was in police custody, awaiting charges regarding the reported attack committed by two men against the actor in Chicago.

Smollett’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson stated, “Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”

The first travesty of this event is that with Chicago’s staggering crimes — especially those of assault and even murders — several dozen officers were taken away from their normal jobs of investigating those crimes to around-the-clock investigating the reported hate crime against Smollett. Smollett will certainly be forced to pay those “hard” costs sustained by the police. But will we ever know the REAL cost paid by Chicago residents who were not able to receive police protection because of the Smollett investigation? Few if any media reports will reference those.

The second travesty is the creation of a “new” divisive classification that the obvious charade perpetrated by Smollett birthed: “HateHoaxing.” It’s happened before — just not often enough to get its own name. But the uproar among those who have made themselves (or have been made by others) arbiters of identifying and calling-out sex and/or racial criminal acts have a new class of discriminated-against Americans to which to lend their undying support: those victimized by “HateHoaxers.” The problem, in this case, is that the darling of the Left — Jussie Smollett — is NOT the victim of this incident. Jussie is the “HateHoaxer.”

Shrinks will have a heyday with this. Why? We now have a new class of disadvantaged and discriminated-against Americans who will need psychological assistance in overcoming the trauma they sustain from being targets of “Hate-Hoaxing.” It’s been around for a while. But the desperation on the part of leftists to rid themselves of Donald Trump has taken “Hate-Hoaxing” to new heights. And it’s NOT exclusive to this matter starring Jussie Smollett. I could take a huge chunk of your day by listing dozens of examples of other such attacks on President Trump from people from every walk of life. The videos of some of those hoaxes are mind-boggling.

There are many traps being created not by these hoaxes, but by the mindset that allows them to even happen. Can you imagine what thought process Smollett went through to put this  plan in place? (And he wasn’t very smart with his methodology) Let’s bullet point them:

  1. Police said Smollett was walking home from a Subway restaurant, in the 300 block of E. Lower North Water Street, around 2 a.m. on January 29th when two offenders yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him. According to Smollett, they beat him, put a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, yelled homophobic slurs at him and cried “This is MAGA country!”
  2. Have you ever been to Chicago on a January 29th? I have. It’s cold! That day at that time, the REAL temperature was 1 degree — windchill was -11 degrees. To make it more unbelievable is that address is 1 block from Lake Michigan! The windchill in that part of Chicago would have been at least -25 degrees at that time.
  3. After attacking him, the men shouted “This is MAGA country!” Hmmm…..Chicago voters gave Trump a scant 12% of their votes in 2016. I doubt there are ANY black guys in Chicago that consider the Windy City “MAGA Country.”
  4. Two black attackers. When I’m in Chicago, I stay at a hotel just 1 block from Lower North Water Street. Seldom have I been outside at 2 a.m. — especially not with below freezing temperatures — but I assure you, two black guys roaming downtown at that time in those conditions is sketchy at best.
  5. Jussie wrote a $3500 check to pay them for the setup attack. WROTE A CHECK! I don’t know Jussie or how intelligent he is. He does well in his series Empire, so I assume he is intelligent. Writing a check — a very traceable check — for a setup hoax was NOT intelligent.

The Sting

I kept waiting as the Smollett story developed over 10 days for Robert Redford to show up to perpetrate “The Sting,” just like he did in the blockbuster movie of the same name. But the Smollett actions and attempted coverup were NOT a sting. The big sting in this all was the extreme outcry about what would have been an amazingly atrocious homophobic, racist attack against a well-known entertainer who lives in two minority groups. But such a story was a blockbuster for the Mainstream Media in America and their fawning California, New York, and Washington leftist minions. And they did not disappoint.

The New York Times story headline January 29th just after the “alleged” attack: Jussie Smollett, Star of ‘Empire,’ Attacked in What Police Call a Possible Hate Crime.

Writer after writer, television commentator after commentator, talk show hosts almost without number, blasted the President of the United States because two of his reported backers did this to a homosexual black man.

The sting is that the Left — not the media, not Democrats, not Hollywood, but ALL of those on the Left — showed their colors in the Trump attacks. And in doing so, we discovered something: America’s “slip is showing.”

Summary

America’s “slip” is really its under-belly. It’s something that we most often hide: we’re ashamed of it. Remember when months ago we made this statement? “Most of the time, someone who shouts loudly that someone is doing something horrible, is actually doing that very same horrible thing they are accusing the other person of doing. By shouting, they’re simply trying to cover up what THEY are doing.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that all those who have been attacking Donald Trump and his followers for instigating this attack on Smollett are racist homophobes. But what it DOES show is that they are all consumed by Identity Politics! We’ve been pointing out for a couple of years now each time the hypocrisy of Identity Politics shows its ugly face to the nation and the World. This latest escapade is literally “The Grand Reveal.” And they don’t like it.

Honestly, it’s a shame that politics even enter stories like this. Why? Because politics has nothing to do with the actual circumstances. Human Nature fueled this story. As it turns out, the two men caught up in this by Smollett told Chicago police that Smollett created this (along with the hate letter he sent to himself but swore it was from a Trump supporter) because he wanted to get Fox Entertainment to pay him more! (The “love of money is the root of all evil.”)

But it doesn’t stop there. Millions of Americans — including the previous president — refuse to accept any of the positives the U.S. has experienced from actions taken by the Trump Administration. They cannot believe that the economic and social values espoused by this President could EVER accomplish any good in the World. Fundamental economic measures like lowering taxes, piling on tariffs to level the trade imbalance in favor of the U.S., attracting companies to expand, hire more people, repatriate billions of dollars being held in foreign companies, drawing a REAL redline in front of America’s foreign foes that they feel is meaningful and not like Obama’s red line in Syria, renegotiating Bill Clinton’s atrocious NAFTA trade deal with Mexico that prompted the abandonment of the U.S.(along with several million jobs in the auto industry) that reappeared in Mexico. All of these changes and more have been the direct result of the “orange-haired, loud, narcissistic billionaire from Queens. AND THE LEFT CANNOT STAND IT! Furthermore, they will NEVER accept it.

But just because they don’t accept it doesn’t mean it’s not real. In rejection of President Trump, they have shown their loss of the grasp of the reality that 60+ million Americans saw even before the 2016 election!

Smollett now faces both state and federal felony charges, probably has lost his starring role in the series Empire, has shown everyone that he is not only a liar but probably has far-reaching psychological damage that means he needs professional mental treatment. All of that when all he wanted was a pay raise!

Do you know what that really is? “Symbolism over Substance.” Identity Politics is covered with it. And those who have picked up the mantle of Identity Politics now proudly show their membership cards, assuming their being in that club means they are something much more than who they really are. So to stay in line and keep their facade in place, they symbolically say exactly what Symbolism demands, simply (and gladly) ignoring the Substance of their fault.

And you know who suffers through all this? The REAL victims out there whose attacks sustained at the hands of REAL racists and homophobes get ignored, covered up, or just forgotten. Their tragedies are lost in the breathless 24/7 news and entertainment world that those in Hollywood, New York, and Washington D.C. call “Reality.” All it is is a sad shadow across the calendar marked “The Trump Era.”

I bet historians will have a much different and more positive summary than that of these elitists. And many members of the “Identity Politics Club” will shake their heads in shame, knowing they were foolish enough to fall for “Jussie’s Attack.”

Here’s the real travesty from the mouth of the Superintendent of Police in Chicago — Ed Robinson:

(click on this hyperlink)

Smollett Presser

 

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