Friday, March 31, 2017

Wikileaks publishes CIA's Marble software used to disguise hacks as Russian, Chinese etc. to mislead forensic investigators

From the story here:

Experts who've started to sift through the material said it appeared legitimate - and that the release was almost certain to shake the CIA.

Justin Amash, Republican best known for throwing spit balls from the back bench

Krauthammer thinks Trump might go for single payer in the end, in which case Americans should get it, good and hard

Think of it as socialism with Republican characteristics.

Krauthammer, here:

Obamacare may turn out to be unworkable, indeed doomed, but it is having a profound effect on the zeitgeist: It is universalizing the idea of universal coverage.

Acceptance of its major premise — that no one be denied health care — is more widespread than ever. Even House Speaker Paul Ryan avers that “our goal is to give every American access to quality, affordable health care,” making universality an essential premise of his own reform. And look at how sensitive and defensive Republicans have been about the possibility of people losing coverage in any Obamacare repeal. ...

As Obamacare continues to unravel, it won’t take much for Democrats to abandon that Rube Goldberg wreckage and go for the simplicity and the universality of Medicare-for-all.

Simplicity? Draco's laws were simple. The penalty for every crime was death.

I wonder if Krauthammer has a clue what he's talking about.

Total Medicare outlays in 2015 came to $632 billion.

Total Medicaid outlays in 2015 came to $552 billion country wide (read the Notes).

Total Social Security and Disability outlays in 2015 came to $897.1 billion.

That is a total of $2.0811 trillion from 2015 total net compensation of $7.4158 trillion, or 28%, without even talking about "universal coverage" yet.

Yet all your typical American pays now for this is 10.63%:

6.2% in Social Security tax and 1.45% for Medicare, plus whatever taxes are paid at the state and local level toward Medicaid, which federal law mandates must account for at least 40% of program revenues. So $221 billion from 160.8 million wage earners across the country in 2015 represents another 2.98% paid by them at the state level.

The status quo therefore is funded only 38% by its beneficiaries, at best. I say "at best" because many beneficiaries pay NOTHING because they don't work and never have. But I digress.

So bring about Krauthammer's revolution, for that is what he's talking about, and reset the table as follows.

Total healthcare outlays in the United States in 2015 came to $3.2 trillion. Add in $897.1 billion for Social Security and Disability, and you now have a "universal" obligation bloated to $4.097 trillion, which represents 55% of net compensation that year.

That's your tax.

You've become France, Germany, Denmark or some other Western European paradise which depends on the United States for its defense.

And that's before even talking about funding the $1.2 trillion part of the federal budget which is discretionary, like defending ourselves against that little fat kid playing with hydrogen bombs in North Korea.

Of course there's another chunk of money out there being made in the United States apart from net compensation, about $8 trillion in 2015. The recipients of this income typically pay the lower capital gains tax rates, not the payroll and income tax rates which are for the chumps.

It's a nice little system which isn't paying its fair share for socialism in the United States, even though it is rich guys who typically shout the loudest on behalf of it. They do this because they know it will keep the little guy down, from whom they don't want the competition some day. But tax that system equally to net compensation and you cut that 55% tax in half, to say 27.5%. That, however, means a big fat tax increase on the rich, and on everybody else. I doubt they'll stand for that any more than they open their checkbooks now to make patriotic voluntary donations to the US Treasury.

We live in a fantasy land where no one wants to pay what it costs for anything.

We think we can have our cake and eat it too.

We want infrastructure spending, and a tax cut dammit.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

57-year old female spacewalker drops and loses 18-pounds of thermal shielding outside International Space Station

Can't they find anybody younger and stronger to do this job and do it right?

She's on her 8th spacewalk for crying out loud.

Story here.

Property and sales tax revenues in fiscal 2016: $915.49 billion

$374.79 billion in sales and gross receipts taxes and $540.7 billion in property taxes.

Beancounter says so here.

The combined total is about 28% of total state and local revenues in fiscal 2016, which came to $3.26 trillion, according to .

National Review becomes the magazine for trannies, greens and higher taxes

Trump declares war on the House Freedom Caucus

Obama Real GDP Averaged 1.48%, never got above 2.6%

Obama finishes with the worst GDP growth record in the post-war

Bush era current dollar GDP grew 38.97% vs. Obama era at 29.62%

Had Obama era current dollar GDP grown at the Bush rate, we would have $1.36 trillion more GDP at the end of 2016 than we do.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Clinton era neocon seriously worries about US starvation and societal collapse from EMP attack

James Woolsey, here.

Yeah, but Bill Clinton enabled North Korea's current nuclear capabilities, which you won't learn from the story.

Hillary's new mantra is R.I.P.E.





h/t to a caller to the Chris Plante Show

The Laugh of the Day is an oxymoron from Rush Limbaugh

"Genuine, legitimate fraud."

As opposed to your fake, illegitimate fraud.

So good, so good . . .

James Brown
Maxine Waters

Just when Bill O'Reilly begins to turn me on, he somehow immediately finds a way to turn me off

Liberals never apologize for ridicule.

[Maxine Waters] deserves a hearing and should not be marginalized by political opponents. In fact I made that mistake this morning on Fox & Friends. I said in a simple jest that the congresswoman's hair distracted me ["I didn't hear a word she said, I was looking at the James Brown wig"]. Well that was stupid, I apologize. It had no place in the conversation.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

DNC didn't allow FBI to examine servers for malware, used private firm issuing opinion it was Russian, other firms disagree

The Miami Herald has the story here.

Mark Levin's twisting of Mitch McConnell's statements about Obamacare repeal failure is as bad as MSM

Levin is proving to be as untrustworthy as the main stream media in reporting the news, as for example the source of the McConnell quotations provided below. But read the statements, and forget the commentary, whether The Hill's or Levin's.

McConnell isn't resigned to Obamacare staying in place forever as Levin implied on the radio tonight. McConnell is resigned to the recent failure to overturn Obamacare, that's all.

Of course the bill that failed is out of the question going forward.

McConnell, quoted in the story here, acting above it all and nonpartisan for public consumption, which is his job as Senate Majority Leader:

"[W]e have the existing law in place and I think we’re just going to have to see how that works out." 

"We believe it will not work out well, but we’ll see. [Democrats] have an opportunity now to have the status quo go forward, regretfully," he added. ...

"I want to thank the president and the Speaker, they went all out to try to pass a repeal and replacement," McConnell said. "I’m sorry that didn’t work, but our Democratic friends now have the law that they wrote in place, and we’ll see how that works out."

LawNewz calls armed teenage burglars shot dead in Oklahoma kitchen by homeowner's son "victims"

For a change it wasn't WaPo.

Story here.

This is why 100 lawyers at the bottom of the sea is called a good start.

Trump reverses Obama's Clean Power Plan, lifts ban on coal mining leases on federal lands

Another promise kept. Now if we could just get back all the income we lost because Obama deliberately did nothing about middle class jobs for eight years.

From the story here:

The Clean Power Plan required states to collectively cut carbon emissions [CO2] from power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Second night in a row, Mark Levin praises HR 3762 as a "clean repeal bill"

After trashing it as a sham last week.

That audio of Paul Ryan talking all tough about reintroducing the veteod HR 3762 after the 2016 election really impressed Mark Levin.

HR 3762 wasn't a clean repeal in the Senate's form passed by the House. It was veto bait, and political posturing.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Alabama's Mo Brooks introduces one sentence Obamacare Repeal Act

The Obamacare Repeal Act, here:

"Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted," the bill states.

Last week HR 3762 was a sham, now Mark Levin calls the Freedom Caucus standing for it heroes

Mark Levin obviously used the weekend to bone up on the legislative history.

Why weren't bills for Trump to sign lined up like planes on a runway on January 20th?

Glenn Reynolds wants to know, here.

Ted Poe quits House Freedom Caucus because it sees itself as the opposition party to the Republicans

Well there you go. It dawns on Ted that their self-identity is not Republican.

He's right. They see themselves as libertarians.

[T]he Freedom Caucus has always been the opposition caucus against the Democrats, and now that we are in the majority, it continues to be the opposition caucus.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jim Jordan blames House leadership for not beginning 2017 with HR 3762 from 2015

Quoted here:

Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), a member of the [House Freedom] caucus, also said that House Republican leaders were the ones who had moved the goal posts, not the caucus, when they decided against bringing up a bill that would simply have repealed the 2010 health law.

“You know when the goal posts were moved? When they didn’t start with the legislation we all voted for 15 months ago,” Mr. Jordan said on Fox.

Mick Mulvaney, charter member of House Freedom Caucus, is not too happy with it

Quoted here:

Mick Mulvaney, formerly a member of the Freedom Caucus and now Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, denied any move against the speaker.

“Never once have I seen him blame Paul Ryan,” Mulvaney said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “The people who are to blame are the people who would not vote yes.”

Mulvaney was one of the leading officials lobbying House Republicans to pass the bill, which was pulled less than an hour before lawmakers were due to vote.

“We haven’t been able to change Washington in the first 65 days,” Mulvaney said. “I know the Freedom Caucus. I helped found it. I never thought it would come to this.”

Laugh of the Day: Hillary arrested for trying to scale White House fence for a second time

Since 2012 Republicans have voted against the Bush tax cuts and against repeal of Obamacare

We have no representation.

Mark Meadows: Ousted Boehner, voted against the original HR 3762 in October 2015, leads House Freedom Caucus against Obamacare repeal in 2017

Clearly Mark Meadows is Trump's number one problem in the US House of Representatives.

In view of the fact that Meadows was in the extreme minority in October 2015 voting with only six other Republicans against Obamacare repeal in the form of HR 3762, it was hypocritical of him to accuse John Boehner of bypassing the majority in the House in the summer of 2015 and filing the motion for him to vacate the chair. Meadows bypassed the majority in October.

Meadows only flipped his position on HR 3762 when it was revamped and hardened by the Senate to make a political point to the voters back home.

In other words, Meadows only supported the bill when it allowed him to hide behind the skirts of the Senate version which both they and he knew was designed merely to be vetoed:

[T]he Senate's version would have implemented a two year phase-out of Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies.

The House agreed to the Senate's changes, so the final version of the bill included the Senate's modifications.

There were concerns in Congress – particularly among lawmakers from states that have expanded Medicaid – that repealing the law would result in millions of people losing their health insurance coverage. But Politico reported that "senators were reminded that the president would veto the repeal bill anyway, meaning Republicans could vote on the measure without having to deal with the political risks of actually making major changes to existing law."

But there are still 206 Republican members in the US House in 2017 who voted for the original, honest HR 3762 in October 2015, and who should do so again in 2017, if only someone (not Mark Meadows, and not Paul Ryan) would lead them there:

The House version of H.R. 3762 included repealing the individual mandate, the employer mandate, the medical device excise tax, and the "Cadillac tax" on expensive employee health insurance premiums.

It also included a measure to eliminate federal Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. But it called for increasing funding for community health centers by $235 million/year for two years (a 6.5 percent increase over the currently scheduled funding).

Republicans used the budget reconciliation process to ensure that their bill could advance through the senate as long as it received a simple majority of at least 51 votes, instead of needing 60 votes. By using reconciliation, the measure was filibuster-proof, and advanced to a vote in the Senate.

Hey Donald Trump, lay off already, I'm tired of all this winning

Paul Ryan could have passed repeal easily, but deliberately crafted a bill that wouldn't pass

The 206 Republicans in the current House of Representatives named below voted for H.R. 3762 in October 2015, repealing Obamacare with the additional votes of 33 Republicans no longer there (Mulvaney, Pompeo, Price and Zinke resigned in 2017 to serve in Trump's administration--all voted for repeal in 2015). The bill passed the House 240-189-5.

More importantly the repeal bill passed the Senate as well, winding up on Obama's desk, where Obama promptly vetoed it.

Now we're supposed to believe Paul Ryan couldn't whip this vote again, and couldn't require repeal votes from the 28 freshmen just elected in 2016. All he needed was 216 votes. He had 206 in his pocket, 206 Republicans he could publicly and effectively intimidate if he needed to, and needed only 10 more from the freshman class.

How hard was that?

We can only conclude Paul Ryan and leadership deliberately didn't bring up that repeal bill again for a vote because they knew it would pass. They obviously didn't want repeal to pass. They crafted a different bill they knew the Republican caucus would reject.

Now it is Paul Ryan who must be rejected.

Bishop (MI)
Bishop (UT)
Brady (TX)
Brooks (AL)
Brooks (IN)
Carter (GA)
Carter (TX)
Collins (GA)
Collins (NY)
Costello (PA)
Curbelo (FL)
Davis, Rodney
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Emmer (MN)
Franks (AZ)
Graves (GA)
Graves (LA)
Graves (MO)
Herrera Beutler
Hice, Jody B.
Huizenga (MI)
Hurd (TX)
Jenkins (KS)
Jenkins (WV)
Johnson (OH)
Johnson, Sam
Kelly (MS)
Kelly (PA)
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kinzinger (IL)
McMorris Rodgers
Mooney (WV)
Murphy (PA)
Poe (TX)
Rice (SC)
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rooney (FL)
Ryan (WI)
Scott, Austin
Smith (MO)
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Thompson (PA)
Walters, Mimi
Weber (TX)
Webster (FL)
Wilson (SC)
Young (AK)
Young (IA)

Obamacare: Democrats ram it down your throat , but Republicans shove it up your ass.

Flashback January 1, 2013, 2257 hours: 151 House Republicans who voted against making the Bush tax cuts permanent

The roll call vote is here.

Barton (TX)
Bishop (UT)
Broun (GA)
Coffman (CO)
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Franks (AZ)
Gingrey (GA)
Graves (GA)
Griffin (AR)
Griffith (VA)
Huizenga (MI)
Johnson, Sam
King (IA)
McCarthy (CA)
Miller (FL)
Poe (TX)
Price (GA)
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Ross (FL)
Scott (SC)
Scott, Austin
Smith (NE)
Turner (OH)
Walsh (IL)
Wilson (SC)
Young (IN)

Flashback January 1, 2013, 0159 hours: Senate Republicans who voted against making the Bush tax cuts permanent

From the roll call vote (89-8-3) here:

Grassley of Iowa, Lee of Utah, Paul of Kentucky, Rubio of Florida, Shelby of Alabama.

Demented Jim of South Carolina didn't vote, and neither did Mark Kirk of Illinois (stroke victim).

Democrats still controlled the Senate at the time, the close of the 112th Congress, 53-47. Their caucus power increased by 2 in the 113th Congress.

John Boehner must be laughing his ass off this morning

John Boehner got Obama to sign the Bush tax cuts, but Paul Ryan can't even get a bill on Trump's desk. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

HR 3762 should have been on Trump's desk on January 20th, but Republicans were too full of themselves for that

We'd be long into tax reform by now.

Day One repeal of Obamacare my sweet German-American ass.

Mark Levin is a jerk . . .

He complains about the left criticizing conservatives while bashing the 2015 bill conservatives and all Republicans except for 7 (Mark Meadows!) passed through the House and Senate and to Obama's desk!

P.O.S. is Mark Levin.

Mark Levin calls HR 3762 a sham

Mark Levin is what is wrong with conservatism.

We don't need no stinkin' new bill: Obamacare repeal H.R. 3762 passed the Senate on Dec. 3, 2015 52-47

The roll call vote is here.

Senate Republicans passed the repeal of Obamacare despite two defections, from liberal Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Mark Kirk of Illinois.

Pass H.R. 3762 again and dare Trump to veto it.

House Freedom Caucus' Meadows was one of just 7 Republicans to vote against the 2015 Obamacare repeal

Meadow's leadership against the current repeal bill, which is in fact a crummier bill, obscures his isolation previously. 

The roll call vote is here. Buck, Dold, Hanna, Jones, Meadows, Salmon, and Walker voted No. The majority of the Freedom Caucus voted for the bill, including leaders like Justin Amash and Jim Jordan.

Unlike Meadows, Americans for Tax Reform here also supported the bill at the time, as did the broader Republican Caucus in the House (it passed 240-189). ATR acknowledged the difficulty of repealing Obamacare's policy provisions without 60 votes in the Senate, which remains the problem now in 2017.

Jim Jordan is right. Repass H.R. 3762 and send it to Trump.

From ATR:

H.R. 3762 repeals most of the heart of Obamacare. The individual and employer mandates and their attendant tax penalties are gone. The medical device tax is repealed. The “Cadillac plan” excise tax is prevented from coming into effect (more on that later).

On the spending side, H.R. 3762 repeals some unaccountable Obamacare slush funds, shutters IPAB (the Medicare rationing board that Sarah Palin called a “death panel”), and ends Obamacare auto-enrollment. Importantly, it also defunds Planned Parenthood for the fiscal year.

At a markup for the bill, liberal Congressmen went apoplectic at the effect H.R. 3762 would have on Obamacare. Top House Ways and Means Democrat Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) said that the bill ”effectively guts [Obamacare].” Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) said, “this bill really is pulling the legs from under [Obamacare]. It is a deliberate, systematic attempt, not just to repeal, but to destroy [Obamacare].” ...

When the Republicans took the Senate in the 2014 elections, there was a lot of talk about moving bills from Capitol Hill to the President’s desk to force showdowns with the White House. That hasn’t happened, largely because Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has bottled up the Senate in 60 vote purgatory.

The one area he cannot do that is on a privileged budget reconciliation bill like H.R. 3762.

The Wall Street Journal lies: No alternative to AHCA could pass the House and Senate

No one has offered a better policy alternative to the American Health Care Act that could pass the House and Senate.

Lies! The 2015 repeal bill already passed both the House and the Senate and Obama vetoed it in early 2016.

Republicans knew Obama would veto it, so nothing was really at stake for them at the time.

But now that there is, they won't send that bill to Trump, either because they're afraid Trump might sign it, or because they're afraid he'll veto it too. Instead they've crafted a bill they know can't pass the Congress.

What a contemptible lot are the Republicans, the Democrats, both presidents Obama and Trump, and The Wall Street Journal.

And your mother wears Army boots.

That would be messy spats, but hey, it's Drudge

Thursday, March 23, 2017

If the Republicans had any balls they'd send the 2015 repeal bill which Obama vetoed to Trump and make him veto it

Jim Jordan of Ohio supports this.

Trump turns tables on Republican Congress, demands vote on healthcare bill that won't pass

Scorched earth politics, making the Republicans humiliate themselves.

In other words, "You're fired!"

From the story here:

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, a member of the whip team, said he believed Trump's ultimatum is "credible" and predicted the bill's passage during Friday's vote.

Trump Care or Trump Steaks? I'll decide . . .

Michigan ranks fourth in the nation for power outages, first on a per capita basis since 2011

Reported here.

And in Crain's Detroit Business, here.

Mickey Kaus had the House Freedom Caucus figured out in 2015: Preeners, and open-borders lunatics just like Paul Ryan

Aka libertarians. You know, that motley crue 100 of which in the same room can never all agree about any one thing of importance.

AP finally runs story detailing Treasury's leadership of Trump-Russia investigation

Gee, how does the Treasury Dept. "collect a vast repository of records" in order to "piece money trails together and identify leads for criminal investigators", huh?

You don't suppose they ever wiretap anybody, do you?

U.S. Treasury Department agents have recently obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as part of a federal anti-corruption probe into his work in Eastern Europe, The Associated Press has learned.

Information about Manafort's transactions was turned over earlier this year to U.S. agents working in the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network by investigators in Cyprus at the U.S. agency's request, a person familiar with the case said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss a criminal investigation. ...

Manafort, who was Trump's unpaid campaign chairman from March until August last year, has been a leading focus of the U.S. government's investigation into whether Trump associates coordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 campaign. This week, the AP revealed his secret work for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago. ...

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN, was established in 1990 and became a Treasury Department bureau soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. It collects a vast repository of records that financial institutions are required to report under the Bank Secrecy Act, such as suspicious activity reports and currency transaction reports, and assists law enforcement agencies in helping analyze complex data.

The agency is a part of an international network of so-called financial intelligence units that share information with each other in money laundering and terrorism financing investigations. Its work has been critical in helping officials piece money trails together and identify leads for criminal investigators.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Like Michael Savage, Scott Adams has succeeded despite anti-white racism

From the story here:

At both the bank and the phone company, Adams has said, his professional advancement was thwarted by diversity hires. “There was no hope for another generic white male to get promoted any time soon,” he wrote in Dilbert 2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert. (Later in the book, he noted that his Dilbert TV show was canceled after “the network made a strategic decision to focus on shows with African-American actors.”)

Laugh of the Day: Black Susan Rice Pot calls Trump kettle black

This woman LIED for weeks on every news show out there, saying the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous event caused by an anti-Muslim video. Now she lectures the Trump Administration about twisting the truth. Ya, sure.

Tea Party Patriots' Jenny Beth Martin just robocalled me to ask me to tell my congressman I support his opposition to Ryan Care

Did that already.

The full-court-press is on to stop this bill.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hillary so mistaken about her support we never tire of mentioning it anymore

Republicans don't have the votes for Ryan's Obamacare-Lite bill, so . . .

. . . if Ryan allows the bill to come to the floor for a vote and it fails, you'll know Ryan did that to embarrass Trump. It's fully within Ryan's power to whip the vote and to discover the bad news ahead of time to keep the bill from coming to a vote to prevent embarrassing Trump.

Consider how Ryan has been promoting Trump's negotiating skills in this affair in the build up to the vote in the meantime, how involved Trump is, how Trump is closing the deal according to Ryan. Suddenly Ryan is Trump's greatest advocate anywhere on Capitol Hill!

And when the bill fails, Trump doesn't look so hot, does he. The vaunted deal-maker is brought down a few notches. And Ryan blames the conservatives, achieving two objectives in one stroke. Trump is humiliated, and conservatives become even more marginalized.

Ryan is Trump's enemy, not his friend. Ryan is our enemy.

If all that happens, watch out.

It will be war.

Here in Michigan the biggest FU ever recorded in human history still feels GREAT!

Monday, March 20, 2017

March Madness for Trump in Louisville KY tonight

American Action Network is a Fred Malek-Norm Coleman operation

Doug Holtz-Eakin of John McCain Campaign infamy runs the sister organization.

Moderates all!

Don't listen to American Action Network phone calls, they advocate passage of the Ryan Obamacare Lite bill

American Action Network is targeting 29 or 30 congressional districts where Freedom Caucus members oppose the Ryan Obamacare Lite bill.

I just got the call today, asking me to tell Rep. Justin Amash to vote for this repeal and replace bill.

Ain't gonna do it.

We want a clean repeal bill, not Ryan's repeal and replace.

For a change I agree with Justin Amash.

Trump and his advisers know all about the intelligence Obama gathered on them and leaked like water

The New York Times, March 1st, here:

In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. ...

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information ... classified intelligence.

Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates. ...

Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators . . ..

At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. This allowed the upload of as much intelligence as possible to Intellipedia, a secret wiki used by American analysts to share information.

There was also an effort to pass reports and other sensitive materials to Congress. ...

... [W]ith the most sensitive intelligence, including the names of sources and the identities of foreigners who were regularly monitored . . . [o]fficials tightened the already small number of people who could access that information. They knew the information could not be kept from the new president or his top advisers, but wanted to narrow the number of people who might see the information, officials said. ...

On Jan. 2, administration officials learned that Mr. Kislyak — after leaving the State Department meeting — called Mr. Flynn, and that the two talked multiple times in the 36 hours that followed. American intelligence agencies routinely wiretap the phones of Russian diplomats, and transcripts of the calls showed . . ..

Pew: 23 states still struggle with less revenue than in 2007

From the summary here:

Twenty-three states still collect less tax revenue than at their recession-era peaks, after adjusting for inflation, and most have a thinner financial cushion than they did before the last downturn. In addition, 18 states’ employment rates still trail 2007 levels. 

Economic reality: Budgets in 33 states face shortfalls now or next year, some from Obamacare-related Medicaid costs

From the story here:

A recent Associated Press survey found that more than half of the states — 33 — are currently dealing with a budget shortfall or expect to confront one in the coming fiscal year. Experts say state economic growth has been slower than expected, with revenue in some places failing to meet projections or keep up with rising spending needs. ... Medicaid costs are contributing to budget gaps in Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New York and Rhode Island. Other states are dealing with increasing spending demands in education and health care.

Sen. Rand Paul: We know Obama spied on General Michael Flynn because he outed him

Trey Gowdy never asks Comey about Treasury's possible role in outing General Michael Flynn

Muslim attacker at Orly Airport is a dead hypocrite

Notice how quickly the French get the toxicology report finished, here:

Yelling that he wanted to kill and die for Allah, according to the Paris prosecutor, Ziyed Ben Belgacem can be seeing trying to wrestle away the soldier's assault rifle near the small cluster of people. ...

Earlier Saturday, a police officer was shot in the face with birdshot when officers stopped Belgacem for a traffic violation.

Authorities say Belgacem, a 39-year-old Frenchman, had a long criminal record of drug and robbery offenses.

Autopsy toxicology tests found traces of cocaine and cannabis in Belgacem's blood, according to the Paris prosecutors' office. He also had 0.93 grams of alcohol per liter of blood when he died Saturday, the prosecutors' office said. That is nearly twice the legal limit for driving in France.

In an interview Sunday with French radio Europe 1, a man identified as the suspect's father said that Belgacem wasn't a practicing Muslim and drank alcohol.

James Comey couldn't find any information to support "Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower"

Yeah, that's because the FBI didn't do it. Plausible deniability.

Congress should subpoena Jack Lew.

All is not lost: Some kids are still impervious to liberal indoctrination, and liquor laws

ABC's cross-eyed Terry Moran is an object of ridicule in American homes

We told you in October 2012 that the income tax makes big government POSSIBLE

As an invention of progressivism the income tax eventually worked a revolution in government by allowing government to grow to gargantuan size with a ready pool of available cash, stolen by force from the population's income. And it is no coincidence that the first major expenditure financed by the income tax was US entry into The Great War. Not long after which came The Great Depression. If progressive ideas were good ones, no one seems to have paid much heed to the early evidence to the contrary.

Every effort by the people since the introduction of the income tax to obtain deductions, exemptions, credits and other incentives in the tax code should be understood by conservatives as wholesome reactionary, counter-revolutionary, rear-guard opposition to what the income tax represents, but today you can hardly find a conservative who will even entertain the idea of overthrowing the income tax, let alone any other of the so-called "achievements" of the progressive era. In fact, some so-called conservatives have become veritable cheerleaders for the income tax. Rush Limbaugh, for one, can't seem even to imagine an America without one for the first 137 years of its existence. An originalist in name only is he.

The problem with so-called Reagan conservatism, then and now, is that it makes peace with the tax code, just as it does with the social welfare state, including Social Security and especially Medicare. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan actually campaign on just such a platform of preserving Medicare for future generations. As Reagan compromised in the direction of liberalism in the 1986 tax reform, so will they.

Brian Domitrovic and Larry Kudlow aren't the first to tell you the income tax made big government possible

Their book, JFK and the Reagan Revolution, released in September 2016, makes the point well, as does this article in Forbes:

And sure enough, with the income tax presenting itself as patriotically taxing the rich—at times with utterly fictional 91 and 94% top rates, from the 1940s until the 1960s, as Larry Kudlow and I marvel at in our recent book, JFK and the Reagan Revolution—government was able to grow where government under the tariff could not. The income tax supervised the rise of the federal government to well over a fifth of national output—from 3% during the era of the tariff. ... The dishonesty at the heart of the income tax was the key that unlocked the financing of big government, by the little guy no less.

We've been making the same point, more or less, since at least 2011, and especially in March 2016 here:

[Mark Levin's] tariff rant this evening ignores that the America of his precious founders was a tariff regime until the dreaded income tax of 1913.

The America of the founders was also a limited government for that reason until that very day.

But open wide the avenue for revenue, and you open the maw of the Leviathan and crawl into it.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Funniest headline of the weekend: Women's Strike a Huge Bust

Equally funny comment: "Most women blew the whole thing off."

And: "Who were the big boobs that thought this might actually succeed?"

Dowd, Upper-Class bunko

Maureen Dowd, the ever clever mistress of written fraud, makes it appear as if Nunes says Trump must be taken literally as commander in chief, but makes sure not to quote him saying as much:

Even Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, gave up the Sisyphean effort of defending Trump’s tripe. He said that if you took Trump’s remarks “literally” — as we expect to do with our commander in chief’s words — “clearly the president was wrong.”

The fundamentalism is all hers.

Fundamentalist Maureen Dowd calls her own newspaper's claim of Trump wiretaps "unhinged" from which the Times hasn't backed off since publishing it

For two weeks, [Trump] has refused to back off his unhinged claim that his predecessor tapped his phones during the election. ... Even Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, gave up the Sisyphean effort of defending Trump’s tripe. He said that if you took Trump’s remarks “literally” — as we expect to do with our commander in chief’s words — “clearly the president was wrong.”

Friday, March 17, 2017

Five 9th Circuit judges say fellow 3-judge panel usurped Trump's constitutional presidential rights

Aside from the procedural defects of the process, the five panel jurists then noted the deep legal problems with the panel’s order: its a-historicity, it’s [sic] abdication of precedent, and its usurpation of Constitutionally delegated Presidential rights. Mirroring much of the Boston judge’s decision, the five judges then detail and outline what other critics, skeptics and commentators have noted of the prior panel decision, including critical commentary from liberal law professors and scribes Jonathan Turley, Alan Dershowitz, and Jeffrey Toobin. The original 3-judge panel “neglected or overlooked critical cases by the Supreme Court and by our making clear that when we are reviewing decisions about who may be admitted into the United States, we must defer to the judgment of the political branches.” Of particular note, the five panel judges note how the 3-judge panel decision in “compounding its omission” of Supreme Court decisions and relevant sister Circuit precedents, also “missed all of our own cases” on the subject. The 5 judges conclude the panel engaged in a “clear misstatement of law” so bad it compelled “vacating” an opinion usually mooted by a dismissed case.

At $1.1512 trillion, Trump's 2018 budget request is actually 1/2 percent higher than Obama's projected

Story about pre-emptive first strike against North Korea is total crap, Rex Tillerson never used the term

The dishonest media put the words in his mouth, but Tillerson never used them.

It's an effort to paint the Trump administration with the stink of George W. Bush.

Foreign Policy acknowledges preemption is only hinted at, here.

All the Obama wiretapped Trump news that's fit to print

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wilders' Dutch Freedom Party gains 5 seats over 2012, ruling People's Party loses 8, media say Wilders defeated

Clearly Bernie Sanders has not been paying his fair share in taxes

Obama's legacy of student loan dependency: America has 2 million too many enrolled in college

In 1990 7.3% of the civilian noninstitutional population was enrolled in college or graduate school.

In 2016 that has grown to 8.1%.

The difference in 2016 comes to almost 2 million.

That's one reason why college tuition has exploded, along with the student loans to fund it.

Loans outstanding in 2016 are FIFTY-ONE TIMES their size in 1997.

The current balance of $1.05 trillion is an artifact of the Obama disaster, financing "education" for the chronically unemployed.

Just ask the kids using their loans to finance Spring Break. 

Trump orders review of Obama's crazy CAFE standards

From the story here:

Mr. Trump on Wednesday announced plans to re-examine the fuel mandates, taking a step back from Obama-era environmental regulations. ... The standard for passenger cars stayed at 27.5 mpg from 1990 until 2007. In 2009, the government set a fuel economy standard of 34.1 mpg for cars and light trucks by 2016. In 2012, it set a new target of 54.5 mpg by 2025. The number can change depending on the mix of vehicles customers buy. Right now, it stands at 51.4 mpg because people are buying more SUVs and trucks.

Michigan's Steve Gruber and Tim Walberg peddle stupid, continue to insist Obamacare passed with fewer than 60 votes in the Senate

This morning on Gruber's radio show before the eight o'clock hour.

Republicans continue to peddle this ridiculous idea that Obamacare passed without 60 votes in the Senate, for political reasons.

They're trying to build support for the current repeal effort, and give it a legitimacy with their constituencies which it will never have on its own, by elevating the possible outcome which won't pass with 60 votes in the Senate by denigrating Obamacare's legislative legitimacy.

That way they hope that the repeal bill, which won't repeal the shell provisions of the law because it can't, only the budget (reconciliation) provisions, will acquire an authority politically which Obamacare indisputably possesses because it passed with 60 votes.

But since the non-budgetary provisions of Obamacare will remain, and will not be repealed until Republicans have 60 votes in the Senate like Democrats had in 2009, Obamacare as law will continue to tower over this fiasco.

They all know that. They just don't want to remind you of that.

It's a Rube Goldberg strategy as ridiculous as Obamacare itself, except that Democrats beat Republicans with a stick in passing Obamacare and remain able to wield it.

Don't think that they won't.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Unhinged John McCain says Rand Paul is working for Vladimir Putin: The American people were right not to elect McCain

Imagine this guy in charge of the nuclear arsenal, quoted here:

“You are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin... trying to dismember this small country [Montenegro] which has already been the subject an attempted coup.

If they object, they are now carrying out the desires and ambitions of Vladimir Putin and I do not say that lightly.

I note the senator from Kentucky leaving the floor without justification or any rationale for the action he has just taken.

That is really remarkable, that a senator blocking a treaty that is supported by the overwhelming number—perhaps 98, at least, of his colleagues—would come to the floor and object and walk away.

The only conclusion you can draw when he walks away is he has no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians.

So I repeat again, the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.”

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Maybe up to 1 million lost power in Michigan, but mlive says "millions"!

The age of hyperbole rolls on.

Everything is awesome.

If Trump nuked North Korea it might at least GLOW in the dark

Judicial overreach: 3-judge panel invalidates 3 Texas congressional districts, 2 Republican, 1 Democrat

Never mind every congressional district in America is a joke.

There is no way one man or one woman can claim to represent the interests of 743,126.4 people, on average, as is the case now countrywide.

Texas has 36 men and women representing nearly 27 million in the US House, but 254 counties. Give Texas 254 seats in the House, and representation would increase to 106,299.2 Texans per member of Congress, on average. Who knows, the members of such a Congress might actually knock on your door every two years.

Do the same with the rest of the country and we could dispense with legislatures redrawing district lines every ten years after every Census, and more importantly with meddling courts trying to interfere in the politics of self-government.

The county system is ancient, venerable and stable. Black counties will have black representatives, Latino counties Latino representatives, and so on, just as it should be.

The time is long past to reform representation in the United States so that we actually get some for a change. Not coincidentally, that's the main impediment to it.

From the story here:

[T]he court ruled that the legislature drew the lines with “the intent and effect of diluting Latino voter opportunity.” ... [T]he court said the legislature used race to draw the lines, packing Democrats into the district and thereby diluting their voting power elsewhere. The court also ruled that the legislature pushed Hispanics into the district in an effort to defeat Doggett if a Hispanic candidate challenged him.