July 22, 2019

BREAKING: FBI Opens New Hillary Email Investigation

hillary-clinton-012

The FBI has discovered new emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server and has reopened its investigation, according to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Director James Comey sent this letter to the House Judiciary Committee regarding re-opening the investigation of Hillary Clinton‘s private e-mail server.

 

hillary-clinton-letter

 

PUBLIUS

Latest WikiLeaks: New ‘Pay-to-Play’ Revelations

cgi-clintonsDonald Trump and fellow Republicans are reviving long-simmering allegations of murky deals and ‘pay-to-play’ surrounding the Clintons, in the wake of new revelations from WikiLeaks-published emails about how the family, their foundation and the Hillary Clinton State Department operated alongside each other.

“The more emails WikiLeaks releases, the more the lines between the Clinton Foundation, the Secretary of State’s office, and the Clintons’ personal finances are blurred,” the GOP presidential nominee said in a statement Thursday.

Emails unearthed from Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s hacked account reveal numerous conflict-of-interest concerns raised by Clinton Foundation staffers and subsequent efforts to separate the entangled companies and roles that made Bill and Hillary Clinton wealthy. The messages also dredge up the several companies that donated to the Foundation – and at the same time had business before the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

“If the Clintons were willing to play this fast and loose with their enterprise when they weren’t in the White House, just imagine what they will do if they are given the chance to control the Oval Office,” Trump said.

‘BILL CLINTON INC.’: EMAIL DETAILS HOW AIDES HELPED MAKE EX-PRESIDENT RICH 

During a rally in Springfield, Ohio, on Thursday, Trump alluded to a 12-page memo written by Bill Clinton confidant Doug Band and revealed on Wednesday by WikiLeaks. The document spelled out in detail how Band and Clinton aide Justin Cooper had used their connections at global strategies company Teneo to enrich Clinton, while also raising funds for the Clinton Foundation. The memo claimed that Band and Cooper were responsible for earning Clinton at least $50 million in fees for speeches and other business ventures.

“Mr. Band called the arrangement ‘unorthodox.’ The rest of us call it outright corruption,” Trump said at the Springfield rally.

Teneo, which was co-founded by Band, issued a statement to FoxNews.com on Wednesday saying the company never received “any financial benefit or benefit of any kind” from Band’s work on behalf of the Clintons.

“As the memo demonstrates, Teneo worked to encourage clients, where appropriate, to support the Clinton Foundation because of the good work that it does around the world,” the statement said.

Teneo was founded in June 2011, while Band and Cooper were still employed by the Foundation. Bill Clinton soon also signed on as an adviser for Teneo.

But after Chelsea Clinton was brought on as a board member in November and Podesta as a special adviser at the same time, staffers began complaining about potential conflicts of interest and other misdeeds within the company, emails show. Band had his own list of allegations, implicating Bill Clinton in unnamed conflicts of interest, too. The Foundation also was undergoing an internal audit.

The Hillary Clinton campaign was seemingly well-aware of the ethical concerns surrounding the organization as it prepared to launch in early 2015. One unearthed email from now-Campaign Manager Robby Mook to key Clinton advisers cited “Foundation vulnerability points.”

This included “Money from foreign governments;” “Overseas events with foreign leaders or government officials;” and “Especially lavish/high-end hotels for events.”

Eventually, Band and Cooper left the Foundation but remained advisers to Clinton. Clinton resigned from his role at Teneo but became a client.

Trump spokesman Jason Miller on Thursday called for the Clintons to release “all the internal documents” related to the Clinton Foundation’s “in-depth investigation into whether they were violating IRS charity rules because of the money-making efforts of the Clintons.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also ripped the Clinton’s over the “Bill Clinton Inc.” memo that detailed how aides helped secure lucrative speaking gigs and posts for the former president.

“This memo is the smoking gun for how the Clintons used their foundation to create a massive for-profit paid speaking and consulting business to enrich themselves,” Priebus said in a statement. “All of their talk about charitable work masks the fact they were eager to get their own cut of the action. That the Clintons raked in millions of dollars while these same donors had business before Hillary Clinton’s State Department points to a rampant pay-to-play culture that would be on full display should Hillary Clinton be elected president.”

The Clinton campaign has rejected any ‘pay-to-play’ claims and has blasted WikiLeaks’ daily postings as the work of the Russian government.

“We are still not confirming the authenticity of individual emails hacked by the Russian government to influence the election by weaponizing WikiLeaks,” campaign spokesman Glen Caplin said in a statement.

Fox News also reported Thursday that while Podesta was serving with Clinton’s State Department, his sister-in-law Heather Podesta was hired by defense contractor Raytheon as a lobbyist in 2012. In that role, she lobbied the State Department, records show, while Raytheon was the prime contractor in numerous foreign military sales worth billions that year.

“Today’s report that a large government contractor hired the sister-in-law of Clinton campaign Chair John Podesta while he was at the State Department in order to win a massive arms contract shows the depths of the corrupt Clinton machine while she was at State,” Trump spokesman Miller said in a statement.

Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, told Fox News that the nominee “never took action as secretary of state because of any donations and any suggestion to the contrary is false.”

In a statement, Raytheon said its lobbying practices and policies are fully disclosed and comply with all federal, state and local laws. Heather Podesta sent Fox News a one-sentence email saying: “I never lobbied the Secretary or John Podesta on this matter.”

FoxNews.com’s Cody Derespina and Fox News’ James Rosen and Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.

Jury Acquits Leaders of Oregon Standoff of Federal Charges

The leaders of an armed group who seized a national wildlife refuge in rural Oregon were acquitted Thursday in the 41-day standoff that brought new attention to a long-running dispute over control of federal lands in the U.S. West.

A jury found brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy not guilty a firearm in a federal facility and conspiring to impede federal workers from their jobs at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, 300 miles southeast of Portland where the trial took place. Five co-defendants also were tried one or both of the charges.

Despite the acquittal, the Bundys were expected to stand trial in Nevada early next year on charges stemming from another high-profile standoff with federal agents. Authorities rounding up cattle at their father Cliven Bundy’s ranch in 2014 because of unpaid grazing fees released the animals as they faced armed protesters.

The brothers are part of a Nevada ranching family embroiled in a lengthy fight over the use of public range, and their occupation drew an international spotlight to a uniquely American West dispute: federal restrictions on ranching, mining and logging to protect the environment. The U.S. government, which controls much of the land in the West, says it tries to balance industry, recreation and wildlife concerns to benefit all.

The armed occupiers were allowed to come and go for several weeks as authorities tried to avoid bloodshed seen in past standoffs.

The confrontations reignited clashes dating to the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion of the late 1970s, when Western states such as Nevada tried to win more control of vast federal land holdings.

The group began occupying the bird sanctuary in remote southeastern Oregon on Jan. 2. They objected to prison sentences handed down to Dwight and Steven Hammond, two local ranchers convicted of setting fires. They demanded the government free the father and son and relinquish control of public lands to local officials.

Ammon Bundy gave frequent news conferences and the group used social media in a mostly unsuccessful effort to get others to join them.

Inmates (clockwise from top left) Ryan Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Peter Santilli, Shawna Cox, Ryan Payne and Joseph O'Shaughnessy, limited-government activists who led an armed 41-day takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, are seen in a combination of police jail booking photos released by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Portland, Oregon January 27, 2016.   Multnomah County Sheriff's Office/Handout via Reuters   FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Inmates (clockwise from top left) Ryan Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Peter Santilli, Shawna Cox, Ryan Payne and Joseph O’Shaughnessy, limited-government activists who led an armed 41-day takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, are seen in a combination of police jail booking photos released by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office in Portland, Oregon January 27, 2016. Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via Reuters

The Bundys and other key figures were arrested in a Jan. 26 traffic stop outside the refuge that ended with police fatally shooting Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, an occupation spokesman. Most occupiers left after his death, but four holdouts remained until Feb. 11, when they surrendered after a lengthy negotiation.

At trial, the case was seemingly open-and-shut. There was no dispute the group seized the refuge, established armed patrols and vetted those who visited.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this case is not a whodunit,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight said in his closing argument, arguing that the group decided to take over a federal workplace that didn’t belong to them.

On technical grounds, the defendants said they never discussed stopping individual workers from accessing their offices but merely wanted the land and the buildings. On emotional grounds, Ammon Bundy and other defendants argued that the takeover was an act of civil disobedience against an out-of-control federal government that has crippled the rural West.

Federal prosecutors took two weeks to present their case, finishing with a display of more than 30 guns seized after the standoff. An FBI agent testified that 16,636 live rounds and nearly 1,700 spent casings were found.

Bundy testified in his defense, spending three days amplifying his belief that government overreach is destroying Western communities that rely on the land.

He said the plan was to take ownership of the refuge by occupying it for a period of time and then turn it over to local officials to use as they saw fit.

Bundy also testified that the occupiers carried guns because they would have been arrested immediately otherwise and to protect themselves against possible government attack.

Ryan Bundy, who acted his own attorney, did not testify.

Authorities had charged 26 occupiers with conspiracy. Eleven pleaded guilty, and another had the charge dropped. Seven defendants chose not to be tried at this time. Their trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 14.

Wikileaks Update: What We’ve Learned From the Clinton Campaign Emails So Far

clinton-podestaHere’s a rundown of what’s been revealed so far from the continuing release by Wikileaks of Clinton campaign emails. (This is an update of an earlier compilation.)

What is in the latest Wikileaks email dump?

For the last several weeks, the website Wikileaks has been publishing emails from the private Gmail inbox of John Podesta, a senior Democratic Party official who has served in a variety of senior positions. Mr. Podesta served as White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama and is currently serving as the chairman to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

How many emails are involved? Are there more coming?

Wikileaks says that it is in possession of about 50,000 of Mr. Podesta’s emails. So far, the group has published about 33,000 emails, in batches of a few thousand a day. Campaign officials are bracing for ongoing releases through Election Day, though Wikileaks has not “confirmed a release schedule.” Mrs. Clinton’s campaign has refused to confirm or deny the authenticity of the hacked documents.

How did Wikileaks get the emails?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation suspects Russian intelligence agencies are behind the hack and provided them to Wikileaks, according to people briefed on the investigation. It’s not the first time that actors linked to the Russian government have hacked political email accounts: Emails and documents belonging to Democratic Party officials have been released in the past few months, including one batch that forced the resignation of the head of the Democratic National Committee.

What have we learned?

Mr. Podesta’s emails contain interesting political gossip, strategy and personnel discussions, surrounded by a sea of mundane work emails and daily political newsletters.

The emails show the Clinton campaign’s frank internal conversations about how to deal with everything from the media firestorm over Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server, to Mrs. Clinton’s reversal on an Asian trade pact, to how to deal with complicated questions about the family’s charitable foundation.

Interspersed in the emails are plenty of personal gossip — showing feuds and divisions within Mrs. Clinton’s circle and personal disagreements between staffers and the Clinton family, as well as controversial exchanges about Catholics and CNN debate questions. And some have been more lighthearted: emails show the depth of Mr. Podesta’s well-document interest in UFOs and capture him giving advice on how to cook risotto.

Some of the main takeaways:

Mrs. Clinton’s top advisers were divided about what she should do on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with some fearing that opposition to the trade pact would look like a blatant “flip-flop.” On Oct. 8, 2015, Mrs. Clinton said she opposed the trade pact, a position that proved helpful in keeping her coalition intact and beating back a primary challenge from Vermont’s liberal senator, Bernie Sanders.

The emails show there were close ties between Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign and top Democratic Party officials long before she wrapped up the nomination, despite a longstanding mandate that the national party remain neutral in intraparty fights.

Mrs. Clinton’s political team sought to contain any potential fallout over her use of a private email server by communicating with government agencies, enlisting help of congressional allies and managing public statements

The emails also show Mrs. Clinton’s advisers and allies prodding the former secretary of state to apologize for using a private email server and acknowledging her reluctance to admit mistakes.

The emails reveal deep divisions within Mrs. Clinton’s political circle about the handling of the controversy over her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, with some upset that the arrangement wasn’t publicly disclosed far earlier.

Clinton aides chewed over campaign messages large and small as she moved through the Democratic primary and into the general election showdown with Republican rival Donald Trump. The emails underline Mrs. Clinton’s image as a highly scripted, deeply cautious candidate.

In a trio of paid talks before she entered the presidential race, Mrs. Clinton took on a more pro-business persona that Democratic voters typically saw as she pursued the party nomination. In what appear to be transcripts of her comments at the events in 2013, which were underwritten by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Mrs. Clinton spoke about the importance of free trade, sounded a skeptical note about financial regulation, and said the political system would benefit if more “successful business people” ran for public office. During the campaign, she cast herself as a committed populist fully prepared to jail Wall Street bankers.

An email sent by Chelsea Clinton in 2011 pointed to discord within the Clinton Foundation and bitter tensions inside the network of Clinton associates and aides.

Wall Street Journal

Mormons Determined to Give White House to Clinton, and Supreme Court to Left

utah_temple_mormon_trumpThe state of Utah is historically a solid red state, its heavily Mormon population identifying best with the pro-Christian, pro-life, limited government and spending philosophies of the Republican party. This election year, however, the voters of the state of Utah appear to be enamored of the idea of a protest vote, wherein they demonstrate their dislike for the superficially flawed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump by voting for independent third-party candidate Evan McMullin.

Putting aside the question of Evan McMullin’s fitness as a presidential candidate, the fact is he can’t win the 2016 presidential election. So whose votes will go to him? He claims to be the most conservative of the candidates–therefore, nearly every vote he receives will be poached from the Republican candidate.

The polls are extremely tight this election, despite a hailstorm of revelations about Hillary Clinton’s many criminal acts and daily bombshells about hers, her campaign’s and the Democratic Party’s disdain for America, its values, and its citizens. The press is clearly in Clinton’s back pocket, burying every salacious revelation about Clinton, while inflating every unsubstantiated handful of mud the Democrats can invent to sling in Trump’s direction.

The truth is that this year’s election is the last gasp of America and its ideals. Obama’s goal was to “fundamentally transform America,” and he has succeeded to a large degree, devastating our free-market economy, making immorality the norm, minimizing all aspects that demonstrate American greatness, regulating businesses to the point of shutting doors and moving operations overseas, and inflaming racial tensions. Internationally, he has decimated America’s influence and standing, and has undermined our loyal allies while propping up our enemies. Islamic terrorism has been nurtured under Democratic leadership, and Americans are no longer safe from terrorism in their own cities.

Hillary Clinton promises more of what Obama has given us. She has also made it clear that she will pack the Supreme Court with leftist judges, who will reinterpret the Constitution to allow every unconstitutional program and policy that the Court has disallowed for the past 200 years. She promises that America will be remade in the image of what she and her leftist Alinsky devotees have envisioned since the 1960s.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, offers America pro-life, pro-family, pro-Christian policies. His recently announced Contract with America is exactly what our nation needs to heal from the absurd policies the left has inflicted on our nation and its citizens. He pledges to replace Justice Scalia and other aging Supreme Court justices with Scalia-like jurists, who view our Constitution as the Founders viewed it–a document that limits the scope and power of government, and that protects American citizens from governmental overreach. Yes, Trump has some superficial blemishes, but they are insignificant in the big picture.

Mormons would be wise to remember how superficial prejudice backfired on the Evangelicals in the last election. Mormon Mitt Romney was eminently qualified to lead our nation, and would have spared us so much of the misery we have suffered at the hands of a leftist Obama–misery that is deeply entrenched in our institutions for generations to come if we don’t reverse the damage immediately. The feeling that Mormons aren’t quite Christian enough for Evangelicals, resulting in throwing their votes away, puts the blame of an Obama second term squarely at the feet of Evangelicals. Will similar shortsightedness and thoughtlessness on the part of Mormons rob Mr. Trump of Utah’s electoral votes and hand a close race to the left?

Remember Utah, every vote you cast for Evan McMullin, is a vote for Hillary Clinton.

By James Thompson
James Thompson is an LDS writer and ghostwriter, who is well acquainted with Utah politics–he was ghostwriting the book of Utah’s Speaker of the House, Becky Lockhart, when she died suddenly and unexpectedly. James’ latest book is an LDS historical fiction about the life of the young prophet Enoch titled Enoch in the City of Adam.


Thanks to my publisher, C. Michael Perry, who shared this video with me today. Thanks to the Editor of Federalist Press for posting it for us to view. Investigative journalist and host of the Nephite Explorer TV series: Ryan Fisher outlines 3 things every Mormon needs to know before voting in the 2016 presidential election.  Published Oct. 26, 2016.

Rasmussen Reports: White House Watch–Still A Close One

trump_vegasEarly results from their final debate are in, and Donald Trump remains barely ahead of Hillary Clinton in the White House Watch.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Trump with a 43% to 41% lead over his Democratic rival. Five percent (5%) favor Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein earns three percent (3%) support. Another three percent (3%) like some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Yesterday, Trump was ahead by three. The lead has been shifting back and forth since late last week.

Rasmussen Reports updates its White House Watch survey daily Monday through Friday at 8:30 am Eastern based on a three-day rolling average of 1,500 Likely U.S. Voters. This is the first survey to include a full night following the final presidential candidate debate in Las Vegas.

A new high of 88% of voters now say they are certain how they will vote in this election. Among these voters, it’s Trump 48%, Clinton 47%, Johnson three percent (3%) and Stein two percent (2%). Among voters who say they still could change their minds between now and Election Day, it’s Trump 38%, Clinton 25%, Johnson 21% and Stein 16%.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,500 Likely Voters was conducted on October 18-20, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

[Rasmussen Reports analysts Amy Holmes  and Fran Coombs are available for interested media. Please call 732-776-9777 ext. 205 for interviews.]

Eighty percent  (80%) of voters believe this year’s presidential campaign is more negative than past campaigns.

Trump has the support of 78% of Republicans and 15% of Democrats and continues to hold a small lead among voters not affiliated with either major political party. Clinton has the backing of 77% of Democrats and 11% of GOP voters. Johnson has 10% of the unaffiliated vote, but both he and Stein now earn just low single-digit support among voters in both major parties.

Just over 90% of both Republicans and Democrats are certain of their vote, compared to 77% of unaffiliateds.

Twelve percent (12%) of men and 10% of women say they still could change their minds. Trump has a double-digit lead among men; Clinton has a slightly smaller lead among women.

The older the voter, the more certain they are of how they will vote. Trump continues to lead among those 40 and over, while Clinton remains ahead among younger voters. Johnson and Stein run strongest among voters under 40 who are also the likeliest age group to still be undecided.

Mitt Romney earned 17% of the black vote in 2012, and Trump appears to be running near that level. Seventy-three percent (73%) of black voters favor Clinton. Ninety-one percent (91%) of blacks say they’ve made up their minds, making them slightly more certain than whites and other minority voters.

Whites prefer Trump; other minorities like Clinton by a 20-point margin.

Newly released information shows that a State Department official offered the FBI a secret deal to take the classified rating off at least one of the e-mails that Hillary Clinton was sending around on her private e-mail server while the FBI was investigating the matter. We’ll tell you at 10:30 this morning whether voters still disagree with the FBI’s decision not to seek a criminal indictment of Clinton.

Voters now rate a candidate’s business past as more important to their vote than experience in government.

Republicans and unaffiliated voters tend to see Trump’s lifetime of business experience as good training for the White House. Most Democrats do not.

Trump continues to trash Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State, but as far as voters are concerned, it’s her biggest professional achievement.

Fortunately for both major party candidates who have been beset with questions about their honesty and integrity, most voters put their policy positions ahead of their character.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily email update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

Rasmussen Reports

The Need for School Choice: Millennials Clueless About Communism’s Massacres

communismAmerican education is failing thousands of students every year. But this crisis is not just about poor scores in math and reading. It is a deeper failure, leaving entire generations of Americans without the most basic knowledge of the country’s past and its civic institutions.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s first “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Towards Socialism” showed that just 42 percent of millennials view capitalism favorably compared to 64 percent of Americans over 65.

Perhaps more disturbingly, a third of millennials believe that more people were killed under former President George W. Bush than under notorious Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, and just 37 percent of millennials had a “very unfavorable” view of communism.

These findings are merely the latest in a pattern of documented cluelessness on the part of the American population about history and civics—even among those with college degrees. This failure to teach citizens puts America’s future at risk and puts us out of step with the vision of the Founding Fathers.

In his advocacy for American education, Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence (for those who got the Stalin question wrong), wrote about the necessity of grounding young Americans in a solid base of knowledge about history, lest our republican form of government risk the rise of scheming demagogues and tyranny.

To Jefferson, the people were the ultimate guardians of their liberty—a tall order for those who remain completely in the dark about what liberty means or how it has been curtailed in the past. He wrote of the need to teach students history early in their lives, that “by apprizing them of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and nations; it will qualify them as judges of the ambitions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume, and, knowing it, to defeat its views.”

It would be unfair to pin modern historical ignorance on the “stupidity” of millennials, who are generally entrepreneurial, and certainly tech savvy. There is certainly some blame to be shared by education institutions—K-12 and higher education alike.

Instead of merely lamenting the results of this tragic failure, concerned Americans can and should use the tools at their disposal to make things better for the next generations.

The educational choice movement, launched by economist Milton Friedman just over 60 years ago, has done a great job of opening up education options for American families using vouchers, tax credit scholarships, charter schools, and education savings accounts.

These programs have already produced some incredible results, but those who believe America needs to make a serious pivot toward a better civics education should look to growing freedom in the education sector as a way to reinvigorate civics.

“An education system that allows parents … to resolve the tensions between different visions of the purpose of education is key for America’s diverse republic.” —@InezFeltscher

For example, The Federalist author Joy Pullmann recently wrote about how a number of K-12 charter schools, which are publicly financed but privately run, have returned to focusing on a “classical education” for students. A Hillsdale College project called the Barney Charter School Initiative has founded 16 schools that focus on distributing “knowledge for and habits of self-government.”

As Pullmann noted, the purpose of these schools is to create an “academically coherent curriculum … that helps form a common culture and an attendant sense of national unity” that has not existed for generations.

Charter schools are not the only opportunity to improve civics education for young people. Innovative  education savings account programs, which give parents control over the money used for their child’s education may open up enormous opportunities for parents of all backgrounds to seek out the right situation for their child.

If states move toward a more universal education savings account  system, all parents will have the ability to seek out customized, quality education options, including civics and history courses. Imagine being able to pay for a history lesson being taught at a local university or on location at a historical site such as Gettysburg or Mount Vernon. Or, imagine, as education savings accounts allow, being able to hire a private tutor to teach a civics lesson, or to pay for on online history course.

Additionally, schools would have to compete for students and would have more pressure to give children a civics education their parents find satisfactory.

As American Legislative Exchange Council’s Inez Feltscher, my wife, noted in a paper about 21st century education savings account reform:

In an [education savings account] world, Hillsdale College, BJU Press [a source for Christian education materials], and college and career-ready standards would compete alongside dozens of other educational visions, from Howard Zinn’s ‘People’s History’ to hands-on learning to STEM-focused blended learning. An education system that allows parents, not politicians and bureaucrats, to resolve the tensions between different visions of the purpose of education is key for America’s diverse republic.

The depressing studies demonstrating rampant historical and civic illiteracy should provoke a sense of urgency rather than hopelessness. Future voters have a right to know what has gone before and we have the tools to make that happen, and parents should have the right to place their children in an educational environment that aligns with their values, civic and otherwise. The turnaround starts with educational choice.

By Jarrett Stepman /

Retired CIA: More Evidence of Efforts to Rig Presidential Election

obama_clintonI had planned on taking a day off from the blog, but developments with the Wikileaks email dump obliged me to stay on the job.  Late last night a friend informed me that Julian Assange’s internet access had been disrupted.  Let me give you a bit of background on Assange and Wikileaks.  Julian Assange is an Australian citizen, computer programmer by occupation, who created the organization known as Wikileaks.  Since its inception over ten years ago, Wikileaks has been dedicated to hacking into private government and business computer systems, and releasing to the public confidential information.  The organization claims no political bias, and only releases information that it decides is in the public interest.  You may recall that former U.S. Army soldier Bradley Manning was Court-martialed for sharing Top Secret military intelligence with Assange and Wikileaks.  While Wikileaks was making a name for itself in the Bradley Manning affair, Assange found himself in “unrelated” difficulty with the Swedish police.  Two women accuse Assange of sexual assault, relating to the time period that Assange was living in Sweden.  Assange, who was in England when the accusations became public, has been hiding out at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in order to avoid extradition to Sweden to face trial.  While he has been holed up in the Embassy of Ecuador, Assange has continued to control Wikileaks.  In fact, Assange claimed that Wikileaks had hacked into Hillary Clinton’s server when she was Secretary of State, and that Wikileaks intended to release these emails in October, just prior to the U.S. presidential election.

juian_assangeWhen October rolled around, and Wikileaks started releasing Clinton emails, the U.S. media was busy giving airtime and legitimacy to a string of slanderous, false stories about Donald Trump.  A number of us noted with anger the “coincidental” timing of the stories about Trump, but we also realized that the media could not distract the American public forever.  The Wikileaks emails would eventually be disseminated, and barring any unforeseen developments, the release would take place before the November election.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered Sunday night, that Assange’s email access had been disconnected, just prior to the release of another batch of emails.  Wikileaks, which claims to have other methods of sharing the emails, announced that Assange’s access was terminated by the government of Ecuador.  I have also read that the CIA was involved, but I doubt the veracity of that particular accusation.  I am convinced that the Obama Administration put the heat on the Ecuadorians, strongly advising them to shut down Assange’s access in order to avoid an incident with the U.S. government.  We all know just how popular Barack Obama is internationally, so I doubt the effort required much arm-twisting. continued>>

‘Quid pro quo’: FBI files show top State official tried to ‘influence’ bureau on Clinton emails

kennedy_clintonA senior State Department official proposed a “quid pro quo” to convince the FBI to strip the classification on an email from Hillary Clinton’s server – and repeatedly tried to “influence” the bureau’s decision when his offer was denied, even taking his plea up the chain of command, according to newly released FBI documents.

Fox News first reported Saturday that the FBI interview summaries and notes, known as 302s, contained allegations of a quid pro quo. Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who initially told Fox News of the claim, called it a “flashing red light of potential criminality.”

Documents published Monday morning confirm the account. Notes from an interview with an unnamed FBI official reveal the State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy tried to horse-trade with the FBI, offering additional slots for the bureau overseas if they would de-classify a particular email marked “SECRET.”

According to the documents, an unnamed individual said he was “pressured” to “change the classified email to unclassified.”

“[Redacted] indicated he had been contacted by PATRICK KENNEDY, Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the email’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo,’” the 302 states. “[Redacted] advised that in exchange for marking the email unclassified, STATE would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more Agents in countries where they are presently forbidden.”

At a subsequent meeting at the State Department regarding the classification review of Clinton’s materials where Kennedy presided, someone asked whether any of the emails in question were classified.

“Making eye contact with [redacted] KENNEDY remarked, ‘Well, we’ll see,’” the document says. The official, according to one account, was “attempting to influence the FBI to change its markings.”

Kennedy allegedly asked at that point who else he could speak with and was referred to Michael Steinbach, then a top official with the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. Kennedy “continued to pressure the FBI to change the classified markings on the email to unclassified,” the document says. “STEINBACH refused to do so.”

The document says Kennedy then asked about whether the FBI would be making a public statement and was told they would not. Shortly afterward, the story about the email contents broke in the press and Clinton publicly denied having sent classified emails on her server.

In the wake of the document release, House Oversight Committee Chairman Chaffetz and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., have written letters to Secretary of State John Kerry and Inspector General Steve Linick seeking Kennedy’s removal and a misconduct investigation.

“We find Under Secretary Kennedy’s actions extremely disturbing. Those who receive classified intelligence should not barter in it – that is reckless behavior with our nation’s secrets,” they said in a statement. “Someone who would try to get classification markings doctored should not continue serving in the State Department or retain access to classified information. Therefore, President Obama and Secretary Kerry should immediately remove Under Secretary Kennedy pending a full investigation.”

State Department spokesman Mark Toner on Monday denied the “quid pro quo” allegation.

At a press briefing, he said, “[Kennedy] contacted the FBI to understand what their rationale was for requesting an upgrade of this particular information.”

A spokesperson at the FBI provided a lengthy statement to Fox News on Saturday night ahead of the document release — disputing Chaffetz’s characterization and stating that, while the conversation did happen, the two issues discussed were not connected.

The FBI account is as follows:

“The FBI determined that one such email was classified at the Secret level. A senior State Department official requested the FBI re-review that email to determine whether it was in fact classified or whether it might be protected from release under a different FOIA exemption. A now-retired FBI official, who was not part of the subsequent Clinton investigation, told the State Department official that they would look into the matter. Having been previously unsuccessful in attempts to speak with the senior State official, during the same conversation, the FBI official asked the State Department official if they would address a pending, unaddressed FBI request for space for additional FBI employees assigned abroad. Following the call, the FBI official consulted with a senior FBI executive responsible for determining the classification of the material and determined the email was in fact appropriately classified at the Secret level.”

According to the FBI, “The classification of the email was not changed, and it remains classified today. Although there was never a quid pro quo, these allegations were nonetheless referred to the appropriate officials for review.”

The FBI documents fueled GOP allegations about Clinton’s handling of classified material.

“These documents further demonstrate Secretary Clinton’s complete disregard for properly handling classified information. This is exactly why I called on DNI Clapper to deny her access to classified information,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “Moreover, a senior State Department official’s attempt to pressure the FBI to hide the extent of this mishandling bears all the signs of a cover-up.”

Kennedy appears in other sections of the FBI documents as well. According to another FBI interview, Kennedy wanted some information changed to an obscure code known as B9 to “allow him to archive the document in the basement of DoS [Department of State] never to be seen again.”

The State Department inspector general also told the FBI Kennedy’s “tone and tenor were definitely not positive when dealing” with their office.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge contributed to this report. 

Obama Orders Feds to Shut Down WikiLeaks to Prevent Clinton Email Revelations

juian_assange

 

WikiLeaks said Monday that its founder Julian Assange’s Internet link was severed by a “state party” and that “appropriate contingency plans” had been activated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-7-53-32-am

The website’s announcement came hours after it published three cryptic tweets. The messages referenced Ecuador, Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth Office. Each tweet was matched with a string of numbers.

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-7-53-42-am screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-7-53-53-amscreen-shot-2016-10-17-at-7-54-04-am

Gizmodo noted that the 64-character codes sparked a whirlwind of rumors that the 45-year-old Assange had died. Rumors on Reddit and Twitter said the numbers triggered a so-called “dead man’s switch,” which could be enacted in case Assange did die. Gizmodo reported that such switches do exist.

WikiLeaks hasn’t tweeted anything else about Assange’s Internet access or how it may have been “severed.”

Various U.S. officials and pundits have made threatening statements directed at Assange in the past. WikiLeaks tweeted in early October an alleged 2010 quote from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking if Assange could be killed in a drone strike, and, that same year, former Democrat strategist Bob Beckel said on Fox News Channel that “a dead man can’t leak stuff.” This month, “specific information” prompted Assange to scrap a dramatic London balcony address to celebrate WikiLeaks’ 10th anniversary.

Assange also has hinted that deceased DNC staffer Seth Rich may have been a secret source for WikiLeaks. Rich, 27, was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds to the back at a Washington, D.C., intersection in July. He died soon thereafter. Authorities believe Rich was the target of a botched robbery; however, odd circumstances surrounding his death have invited conspiracy theories.

The controversial anti-secrecy website has been busy in October, methodically releasing a trove of emails allegedly stolen from the gmail account of Clinton presidential campaign chair John Podesta. WikiLeaks had released just more than 12,000 emails of a purported 50,000 they have access to as of Monday morning. The Podesta emails have raised questions about a too-cozy working relationship between the Clinton campaign and some members of the media and has also shed light on how Clinton’s team handled various scandals.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the Podesta revelations were the “October surprise” Assange hinted his group would release in advance of the U.S. election.

Many experts believe WikiLeaks is not an independent organization, but in fact a front for the Russian government. Podesta suggested recently on “Fox News Sunday” that his emails had been hacked by the Russians, and officials also have determined a recent hacking of the Democrat Party’s computer files was likely the work of Russian actors.

Vice President Joe Biden told NBC News on Friday that the U.S. would be “sending a message” to Russian President Vladimir Putin “at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.”

Assange has lived in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for five years as officials in Sweden have sought him on criminal charges.

One of the last reported interactions with Assange came Saturday when former “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson brought the WikiLeaks boss a vegan meal.

FoxNews.com

The All-Out Assault on the First Amendment

Lawmakers Trying To Avert Fiscal Cliff To Prevent Short-Term Shock To The EconomyThe Constitution has long been subject to attacks from individuals hostile to its guarantees of freedom, economic opportunity, and limited government, but in recent days no other provision has been as widely and intensely attacked as the First Amendment.

From the IRS targeting conservative groups to those trying to limit the ability of Americans to freely practice their religious beliefs, to membership organizations being forced to disclose their donors, the First Amendment is being assaulted on all sides.

Americans are familiar with the recent attacks on religious liberty, present in everything from forcing religious business owners to offer abortion-inducing drugs and perform same-sex wedding services that violate their fundamental beliefs to the exclusion of churches from secular public projects.

Cases questioning the government’s encroachment on religious liberty continue to come before the U.S. Supreme Court, as seen in Zubik v. Burwell last term and potentially Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley this term, which deals with a church’s exclusion from public funding for construction of a playground.

The First Amendment has also been caught in the crosshairs of a battle between the IRS and various conservative organizations. As a result of the IRS inappropriately targeting conservative organizations because of their “disfavored viewpoints,” they were subjected to long delays, investigations, and intrusive and unjustified interrogations about their opinions, views, members, and practices.

As a federal appeals court recently said, the IRS “utterly failed” to apply “the tax law with integrity and fairness.” Instead, its behavior was a “blatant violation of the First Amendment.”

This abuse of governmental power against organizations with a conservative and traditional view of the Constitution, culture, and government policy does not bode well for protection of free speech and freedom of association.  Neither does the continual push to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United, which restored vital First Amendment rights that had been limited by unconstitutional campaign finance laws.

Nor does the aggressive move by certain state attorneys general to criminalize scientific dissent by initiating criminal investigations targeting companies and others who disagree with the unproven theory of catastrophic, man-made global warming.

And, of course, the attacks on freedom of speech are most prevalent on college campuses, as speech codes and safe spaces abound. These attacks are evident in “speech zones,” which restrict free speech activities to only a small area of campus, and “speech codes,” which include broad anti-harassment policies frequently construed to limit speech on the basis of content or viewpoints that are not politically correct.

These policies are starkly at odds with the First Amendment, yet students are often some of the staunchest defenders of these misguided and unconstitutional policies, and the administrations follow suit.

This was most recently demonstrated in a University of Virginia professor’s forced leave of absence for engaging in classic First Amendment activity—posting a comment critical of the Black Lives Matter movement on Facebook.

The backlash from students and administrators alike resulted in his swift removal. Ironically, the great damage being done to college students’ First Amendment rights is self-inflicted, as they advocate for further restrictions of their own rights and the rights of others.

All of these attacks on the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment will be discussed at The Heritage Foundation on Thursday, Oct. 13, in its fifth “Preserve the Constitution” event. It can be watched online or attended in person.

“The All-Out Assault on the First Amendment: Restricting Speech, Religion, and Association” will start at noon and feature four of the country’s leading experts on the First Amendment, including Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute; Robert Alt, president of the Buckeye Institute; John Eastman of the Chapman University Fowler School of Law; and Cleta Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner.

Hans von Spakovsky / / Jennifer Matthes 

Trump Pummels Clinton in Debate #2

trump-clintonIn the second debate of the 2016 presidential race, Trump came back strong, obviously deciding that the “gentleman” approach he had adopted for the first debate had not worked well in his favor.

Trump had suffered over the weekend by the revelation of an audio tape made over a decade ago wherein he sounded like a rock star who could take any woman he pleased. As the debate took shape, however, the focus quickly and clearly shifted to Mrs. Clinton’s actual acts against women, not just words.

In this debate, Clinton often looked like a deer in the headlights as Trump laid bare the details of her husband’s many abuses of women, one even claiming he raped her, and how Hillary had become an accomplice-after-the-fact by publicly flogging his accusers, despite the overwhelming evidence of his guilt. Mr. Clinton was later impeached, lost his license to practice law, and paid an $800,000 settlement in court as a result of his attacks on some of these women. Hillary, however, never apologized for her public besmirching of the victims.

Similarly, Trump confronted Clinton with evidence of her wrongdoing in regard to erasing over 30,000 emails and “acid washing” the email server AFTER she received a congressional summons telling her to preserve the emails as evidence in a congressional investigation.

When Hillary was asked by moderators about the recent Wikileaks posting of her Wall Street speeches, which she had previously refused to make public herself, where it was revealed that she actually supports completely open borders among other things, Hillary attempted to advocate a schizophrenic view of public life, where it’s alright for a politician to express one view publicly, and the opposite view behind closed doors, invoking Abraham Lincoln’s methods of dealing with a pro-slavery Democratic party as an example. Trump rebuked Clinton, saying, “You’re no Lincoln,” telling her that her unwavering dishonesty with the American people was in stark contrast to Lincoln’s pristine reputation for honesty.

trump-clinton_2

As she did in the first debate, Hillary Clinton repeatedly cried for help from so-called “fact-checkers,” in an effort to deflect Trump’s blows, but everyone watching the debate was painfully aware that Hillary’s record is cemented in historical fact, and that no amount of spin from her campaign or the press could provide relief as she took punch after punch.

When Trump was allowed to speak to substantive issues, he was thoughtful and pro-American, in contrast to Mrs. Clinton. He pummeled her on her record as First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, pointing out that she had accomplished nearly nothing in her 25+ years of accumulating power, while making many foreign policy blunders (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, etc.) and accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars in personal wealth by selling favors as Secretary of State.

When asked about their choices for Supreme Court justices, Mr. Trump said he would appoint justices in the mold of the late Justice Scalia, men and women who honor the Constitution and the Founders’ intent when they adopted it. Mrs. Clinton, conversely, said she would look for justices who would provide a modern, liberal interpretation of law.

Mrs. Clinton was clearly shaken by the overwhelming evidence of her corruption and self-dealing (with much more to come in debate #3), and was on the ropes much of the evening, stammering and white-faced on several occasions. As the debate drew to a close, Clinton was reduced to wandering incoherence while Trump remained focused and substantive. It was a clear victory for Mr. Trump.

by James Thompson

visit Mr. Thompson @facebook and on his website

 

Every Immigrant Without High School Degree Will Cost Taxpayers $640,000

children_on_borderOn Thursday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will release its report on “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration.” According to the report, first generation immigrants as a group increase the nation’s fiscal deficit. In other words, the government benefits they receive exceed the taxes paid.

The National Academies’ report provides 75-year fiscal projections for new immigrants and their descendants. The fiscal impact varies greatly according to the education level of the immigrant. Low-skill immigrants are shown to impose substantial fiscal costs that extend far into the future. The future government benefits they will receive greatly exceed the taxes they will pay.

On average, a nonelderly adult immigrant without a high school diploma entering the U.S. will create a net fiscal cost (benefits received will exceed taxes paid) in both the current generation and second generation. The average net present value of the fiscal cost of such an immigrant is estimated at $231,000, a cost that must be paid by U.S. taxpayers.

The concept of “net present value” is complex: it places a much lower value on future expenditures than on current expenditures.

One way to grasp net present value is that it represents the total amount of money that government would have to raise today and put in a bank account earning interest at 3 percent above the inflation rate in order to cover future costs.

illegal-aliens-voting-democratThus, as each adult immigrant without a high school diploma enters the country, the government would need to immediately put aside and invest $231,000 to cover the future net fiscal cost (total benefits minus total taxes) of that immigrant.

Converting a net present value figure into future outlays requires information on the exact distribution of costs over time. That data is not provided by the National Academies.

However, a rough estimate of the future net outlays to be paid by taxpayers (in constant 2012 dollars) for immigrants without a high school diploma appears to be around $640,000 per immigrant over 75 years. The average fiscal loss is around $7,551 per year (in constant 2012 dollars).

Slightly more than 4 million adult immigrants without a high school diploma have entered the U.S. since 2000 and continue to reside here. According to the estimates in the National Academies report, the net present value of the future fiscal costs of those immigrants is $920 billion.

This means government would have to immediately raise taxes by $920 billion and put that sum into a bank account earning 3 percent plus inflation per year to cover the future fiscal losses that will be generated by those immigrants.

To cover the future cost, each taxpaying U.S. household, on average, would have to pay an immediate lump sum of over $10,000. Costs would go up in the future as more than 200,000 additional adult immigrants without a high school diploma arrive in the country each year.

Again, converting a net present value figure into future outlays requires information on the exact timing of future costs that are not provided by the National Academies. However, a rough estimate of the future net outlays (benefits minus taxes) for the 4 million adult immigrants without a high school degree who have entered the U.S. since 2000 is perhaps $2.6 trillion.

One might argue that these estimates are exaggerated because many immigrants may return to their country of origin. But the report estimates already have a re-emigration rate of 31 percent built in.

A surge of low-skill immigrant workers may push down wages and thereby reduce consumer costs. But the National Academies report indicates such consumer gains would be modest, and if the wages of less-educated immigrants are driven down, the wages of less-educated U.S. workers will fall as well. Any consumer gains would come at the cost of wage losses for the most vulnerable American workers.

One might also argue that is it misleading to assign the costs of government “public goods” such as defense and interest of the national debt to recent immigrants. But the National Academies estimates exclude such public goods costs.

Advocates of ongoing, massive low-skill immigration have suggested that low-skill immigrants generate large-scale economic externalities that benefit U.S. workers. The National Academies report finds minimal evidence of such effects.

The continuing inflow of low-skill immigrants into the U.S. creates large fiscal burdens for U.S. taxpayers in both the present and the future.

By Robert Rector / Jamie Bryan Hall / /

Expert Says Up to 15% of Noncitizens in US Are Voting

border-crossingsThe Obama administration opposes states verifying citizenship status of registered voters. Inquiries into voter fraud are typically met with derision from both government and the media—and in at least one instance with prosecution. Prosecutors don’t prioritize voter fraud, while convictions only garner light sentences.

These are among the voter fraud problems facing the United States, experts noted this week, even as prominent voices on the left say such fraud is a myth.

The left’s opposition to voter integrity laws or even inquiry can be simply explained, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.

“Why on earth would you not want to make sure that only citizens are registered and voting?” Fitton, author of “Clean House: Exposing Our Government’s Secrets and Lies,” said at a forum at The Heritage Foundation Tuesday. “That to me shows that the Obama administration and the left generally, which is behind this, wants to be able to steal elections if necessary. To me, that’s a crisis.”

A 2014 study by Old Dominion University found that 6.4 percent of all noncitizens voted in the 2008 election and 2.2 percent voted in the 2010 midterm elections. The study concludes this likely put Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat, over the top in the race in his 312-vote statewide victory over Republican Norm Coleman in 2008.

“The left generally, which is behind this, wants to be able to steal elections if necessary,” says @TomFitton.

Fitton said this is approaching 15 percent of all noncitizens voting.

In the past, opponents have argued that ID requirements hurt minority participation. Meanwhile, studies have found minority voting has increased after voter ID was implemented.

“If you think your vote is going to be stolen, especially in urban areas where you have political machines controlling the voting process or the perception that they control the voting process, you may not bother to vote,” Fitton said. “But, if you think your vote will be counted, of course you’re going to be more likely to turn out.”

Kids_Border_ObamaSome recent cases cited by the panelists demonstrate the reality of voter fraud.

In August, in St. Louis, a court ordered a do-over in a Democratic primary for a Missouri state legislative seats after finding absentee voter fraud.

Last year in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a state legislator was convicted of voter fraud and given a suspended sentence.

Still, some commentators contend there is no voter fraud problem in the United States. For example, this week a New York Times editorial called voter fraud a “myth” and “fake”:

As study after study has shown, there is virtually no voter fraud anywhere in the country. The most comprehensive investigation to date found that out of one billion votes cast in all American elections between 2000 and 2014, there were 31 possible cases of impersonation fraud. Other violations—like absentee ballot fraud, multiple voting and registration fraud—are also exceedingly rare. So why do so many people continue to believe this falsehood?

Credit for this mass deception goes to Republican lawmakers, who have for years pushed a fake story about voter fraud, and thus the necessity of voter ID laws, in an effort to reduce voting among specific groups of Democratic-leaning voters.

However, it was in New York City where the city’s Department of Investigation (DOI) determined the city’s Board of Elections (BOE) was doing a poor job of preventing ineligible voters from voting. During the 2013 mayor’s race, 63 city investigators went to polling places impersonating someone who was either dead, moved outside the city, or was in jail. Of those, 61 were cleared to vote. The department’s report stated:

The 60 investigators, among other investigative activities, conducted quality assurance surveys of voters at poll sites throughout the five boroughs, logging complaints from 596 of 1,438 voters relating to subjects such as ballot readability, poll workers, and poll site locations. DOI’s operations also revealed that there are names of ineligible voters (e.g. felons and people no longer City residents), and deceased voters, on the BOE voter rolls, some for periods of up to four years.

Accordingly, DOI investigators posing as a number of those ineligible or deceased individuals, were permitted to obtain, mark, and submit ballots in the scanners or in the lever voting booths in 61 cases, with no challenge or question by BOE poll workers. Investigators were turned away in 2 other cases. No votes were cast for any actual candidate or on any proposal during the course of the DOI operation.

Interestingly, the result was not to demand more accountability from the city’s Board of Elections. Rather, the New York City Council voted to prosecute the investigators for impersonating voters, said John Fund, a National Review columnist, previously with The Wall Street Journal, during the panel.

Progressive critics reference the rarity of voter fraud prosecutions as evidence of a “myth.” Fund said it is actually because such cases can be politically disadvantageous to elected district attorneys.

“Most prosecutors run for election. Most prosecutors want to have higher election,” Fund said. “The last thing you want to do is take on voter fraud cases which are highly politicized and infuriate half the people in your community on partisan basis. Judges require incredible standards of proof and often the sentences of the few people who are convicted of voter fraud are community service.”

Maintaining clean voter rolls from ineligible voters is also important and required by law, said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow with The Heritage Foundation. And New York isn’t the only place with a problem. In Indiana, 16 counties had more registered voters than voting-age adults based on U.S. Census Bureau data, he said.

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, better known as the “Motor Voter Law” allows people to register to vote when they get their driver’s license law. But it also requires local governments to maintain clean voter rolls, which the federal government can enforce. The Obama administration has never enforced this provision, von Spakovsky said at the forum.

“There has been a war being waged against election integrity for the past decade,” von Spakovsky said. “The leader in this has been the U.S. Justice Department. Instead of making sure every voter can vote and that no one’s vote is stolen through fraud, they have been on the other side of that, waging war against any efforts to prove election integrity.”

By Fred Lucas

Don’t Forget–It Was Obama That Started the Birther Movement

barack-obama-smokingWhat did we know about Barack Hussein Obama in 2008? His qualifications listed on his public resume were 1) Foreign Exchange Student?, 2) Law School “Professor,” 3) Community Organizer, 4) State Senator, and 5) and freshman U.S. Senator.

What do we mean by Foreign Exchange Student? Fact-checkers attempting to vet him at the time first found that Obama was unknown to his fellow Columbia classmates, and no one recalled seeing him in any classes he says he took at the university. A 2008 Wall Street Journal article cited a survey of 400 people who were Columbia students from 1981 to 1983 and found no one who remembered him.This, in itself, caused doubts about Obama’s backstory.

Then it was discovered that the only people who knew him as a child have said that he presented himself as a “foreign exchange student.” Strike two.

obama-kenyaOn his book publicity bio (right –>) he says of himself: “. . . was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.” Our point here is not to suggest that Obama was actually born in Kenya, because the state of Hawaii eventually produced a birth certificate for him. It is to show that Obama himself garnered special attention and favors as he was growing up through various false claims, like being “born in Kenya.” Strike three.

Regarding Mr. Obama’s tenure as a Law School Professor, the man was never a professor, but merely collected a paycheck for having an office at the University of Chicago Law School. He lectured infrequently, in any capacity, and was rarely seen by anyone at the school.

Community Organizer is one of those catch-all terms, meaning that Obama was active in leftist political causes. By his own admissions in his multiple autobiographies, from his early youth Obama was influenced by friends of his parents and grandparents who were blatant communists and socialists. He was a drug user and dealer, and frequently attended anti-American rallies and strategy sessions throughout his formative years.

Obama was elected an Illinois State Senator in 1996, suddenly unopposed in the election, and took office in 1997, where he remained until 2004 when he ran for the U.S. Senate seat. As a state senator he was often a no-show, and learned to vote “present” instead of yea or nay, to avoid creating a track record.

As a U.S. Senator Obama voted as a straight leftist, but 143 days into his term launched his bid for the presidency, and stopped voting on most issues thereafter.

Whether or not Obama was born in America, which issue the Hawaiian birth certificate puts to rest as far as we know, the fact that he grew up claiming otherwise is precisely why the original vetting process turned up questions and doubts about his American origins. His entire life was one of pretense and subterfuge, leading to confusion. We don’t blame Hillary Clinton’s people for floating the confusion as a reason to doubt him, any more than we blame Donald Trump for raising the Clinton Campaign’s doubts as an issue at the time. We just want everyone to remember who created the birther issue–and it was Barack Hussein Obama.

PUBLIUS

Obama Lies about Border Crossing Numbers, and Orders DHS to Bury Report

immigrants_criminalsFederal lawmakers seeking to pinpoint the number of illegal immigrants who successfully sneak across the southern border ordered up a report from the Department of Homeland Security, but the agency refuses to release it and instead cites a misleading statistic that overstates the number who are nabbed, sources told Fox News.

DHS denied it is holding back the report, but sources say it was completed in November and that it shows roughly half of adults who attempt to cross the border make it. But that number that is at odds with DHS’ official estimates that authorities catch 80 percent, a number critics say is padded to make the feds look more effective. If released by the Obama administration, the true numbers could have major implications in the current presidential race, in which illegal immigration and border security has become a key issue, say observers.

One source familiar with the report told Fox News DHS is suppressing the report for “political reasons…because it would ‘look bad’ and ‘help elect Donald Trump.”

Republican lawmakers are furious that the report they ordered is not being released.

“It erodes the trust as to whether the administration is being honest with the American people about what the threat is,” said Rep. Martha McSally, R-AZ, who serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and chairs the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. “This should not be a partisan issue. Democrats, Independents and Republicans in my community want to make sure that border communities are safe.”

The report was requested by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees as part of the Fiscal 2016 Omnibus Bill, but has been shrouded in secrecy. Viewed by a select few in key administration figures, critics say it is being withheld because of its explosive findings, which could potentially benefit GOP nominee Donald Trump. FoxNews.com requested a copy from both DHS and the White House, but was told the report is not yet finished, an assertion disputed by sources familiar with the process.

“Any suggestion that DHS is delaying release of a report on new border enforcement measures for political reasons is false,” a DHS spokesperson told Fox News. “To the contrary, at Secretary Johnson’s direction, DHS has been making significant progress in the development of such measures.  At this point, however, the work is still preliminary and requires further refinement, to ensure the new measures are accurate and reliable.

“The November 2015 report purportedly obtained by Fox News is one building block provided by a research organization DHS has been working with to develop these measures,“ the spokesperson added.

children_on_borderThe study was written by analysts from DHS and the outside firm Institute for Defense Analyses, and is the most extensive survey of illegal activity and U.S. enforcement at the southwest border to date. Researchers went to the Southwest border three times over 9 months and conducted independent surveys of Mexican migrants caught by the Border Patrol. They also reviewed Border Patrol intelligence, internal DHS records, apprehensions at ports of entry and detention records. The report was peer reviewed by a number of experts.

The document examines, in part, the Interdiction Effectiveness Rate (IER), or the number adults caught at the border by law enforcement. But when DHS briefed members of the House and Senate earlier this year, sources familiar with the report say it was blended with non IER statistics, such as unaccompanied children and those who surrendered to Border Patrol. Those figures were used to buttress the claim that only 20 percent of would-be illegal immigrants are successful when the real IER estimation was half, sources said.

“There is a distrust, because of the shifting measurements,” McSally said. “We would like to follow up with those researchers and better understand what is going on related to suppressing those results, if that’s an accurate report.”

It is concerning, but not surprising, that the Obama administration has kept secret this credible research, said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy research for the Center for Immigration Studies.

“It appears to me that this research could have been suppressed because it contradicts the Obama administration’s narrative that the border is secure, and it contradicts the administration’s wish for people to believe that illegal immigration is a thing of the past,” Vaughan said.

The taxpayer-funded research should be released to the public and available for review by experts, said Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a co-author of the CFR report, “Managing Illegal Immigration to the United States: How Effective is Enforcements.” Alden was one of the private sector researchers who worked on the DHS report.

“How can we expect Congress to make decisions on border enforcement if it doesn’t know how many people are entering illegally, if it doesn’t know the apprehension rate, if it doesn’t know the detection rate…. what percentage of people the border patrol is seeing,” Alden said. “All of these are critical variables about making intelligence decisions about border enforcement and they simply at the moment are not in the hands of the Congress and the public.”

The irony is the data, by and large, reveals what appears to be a “good news” story, Alden said.

“We have seen a significant decline in illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States and it’s clear that the Border enforcement build up has been a big reason why that decline has been as sharp as it has been,” Alden said. “Our estimates suggest that the number of successful illegal entries has fallen from extremely high numbers – more than 3 million annually up to the mid-2000s– to much, much smaller numbers, about 250,000 last year. Keep in mind that these numbers do not represent individuals who came to stay in the United States – these are the total number of illegal border crossings.”

The numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years partly due to economic and demographic changes, such as a smaller population of young Mexicans looking for work, Alden said. But enforcement also has played a significant role because the odds of getting caught while crossing have gone up, and more importantly the consequences for getting caught are much greater, he acknowledged.

The Institute for Defense Analyses report is not classified or marked in any way and can be publicly disseminated without restriction, its authors said. But the chances of it getting out look dim, as a decades-old report also commissioned by DHS – the 2006 “CBP Apprehensions at the Border” study prepared by the Homeland Security Institute – has also never been released.

By William Lajeunesse

Dem Sen. Schumer Says Conservatives Should Worry: Leftist Supreme Court Top Goal

supreme_Court_ObamaSen. Chuck Schumer has reminded us just how important the upcoming presidential election will be in shaping the federal judiciary, calling getting a progressive Supreme Court his “number one goal.”

“A progressive majority on the Supreme Court is an imperative, and if I become majority leader, I will make it happen,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said to attendees at a conference last week hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

These statements should concern individuals with a proper understanding of the limited role of the judiciary. The next president will appoint at least one justice to the Supreme Court and could fill one-third of judgeships on the lower courts by the end of two terms.

And a “progressive” Supreme Court is not outside the realm of possibilities.

The high court has been closely divided on a number of contentious issues in recent years: the Second Amendment (Heller, McDonald), religious liberty (Hobby Lobby, Town of Greece), the First Amendment (Citizens United), racial preferences (Fisher I), and the death penalty (Glossip), among others. One vote made the difference in each of these cases, which most consider as victories for the conservative wing of the court.

Schumer specifically criticized a 2013 decision involving a 5-4 decision about voting rights. In Shelby County v. Holder, the court held that Section 4 of the Voting Right Act, which set forth a 40-year-old coverage formula laying out which states needed to get preapproval from the federal government before making any changes in their voting laws, was unconstitutional.

The court explained that Congress “did not use the record it compiled to shape a coverage formula grounded in current conditions” and that the formula had “no logical relation to the present day.”

schumerAs Roll Call reported, Schumer “predicted that the Shelby County decision on voting rights would be overturned by a Supreme Court with the kind of progressive justices he would prioritize confirming as majority leader.”

But returning to an outdated coverage formula and continuing to subject states that no longer rampantly discriminate to extra burdens can no longer be justified. In fact, if Congress had updated the coverage formula using recent registration and turnout data, none of the previously existing covered states would have remained so because the registration and turnout of black voters in those states is either on par or exceeds that of white voters.

We don’t need judges who impose their own policy predilections on the rest of society, read new rights into the Constitution that are not grounded in the text, or strain the text to achieve their desired ends. Instead, we need judges who are faithful to the text of the Constitution and of statutes and who interpret the text and structure of the law based on the original public meaning of that text at the time it was adopted.

As we have written, the fate of the federal courts rests with the next president. Yet the Senate has a critical role to play too. The president must nominate and the Senate must confirm individuals who understand the proper, limited role of the judiciary. Any nominee’s record should demonstrate that he or she will apply the Constitution and laws according to their original public meaning.

Importantly, the Senate should not rubber-stamp nominees who would be bad judges. In fact, the Senate has a duty to reject any nominee who would not uphold the Constitution.

The next election could transform the federal judiciary and impact the law for decades. We don’t need a results-oriented “progressive” Supreme Court. We need one that’s faithful to the Constitution.

By Tiffany Bates / / John G. Malcolm / /

BREAKING – Hillary Clinton Leaves 9/11 Ceremony and is Rushed to Hospital

ap_clinton_wtc_ac_160911_4x3_992Moments ago, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suddenly left 9/11 ceremonies at Ground Zero in New York City, stumbling to the curb to await her motorcade to arrive. Police sources say Mrs. Clinton seemed to be suffering from some kind of “medical episode.” Witnesses say she stumbled off the curb and appeared to faint, losing one of her shoes under the van. We are awaiting word of her condition.

Publius

Voter Fraud Update: Votes of Thousands Who Haven’t Proven Citizenship Could ‘Swing’ Kansas Elections

kansas_voteWith the presidential election two months away, a Kansas law requiring voters to show proof of citizenship remains in legal limbo.

Late last month, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach asked a U.S. appeals court to reinstate a provision of a law requiring Kansans to prove their citizenship when registering to vote while obtaining driver’s licenses.

Kobach, a conservative crusader in a movement in Republican-led states to toughen voting laws, wants the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a ruling by a federal judge in May. The judge’s decision temporarily restored voting rights to about 18,000 individuals who, as of the ruling, had registered to vote at motor vehicle offices without providing citizenship paperwork.

Kobach estimates that 18,000 will swell by November to about 50,000 potential voters who haven’t proven citizenship, so the appeals court decision will determine the fate of their votes.

He views the Kansas law as a guard against illegal immigrants voting.

“There is a huge potential for aliens’ votes to swing a close election,” Kobach told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “Even if it’s just a handful of votes, it’s still a huge injustice. Every time an alien votes, it effectively cancels out a vote of a U.S. citizen.”

“We have law-breaking when it comes to elections, and solving the problem is not difficult,” @KansasSOS says.

Since 2013, Kansas has required voters to provide proof of citizenship when voting—whether they are applying at a motor vehicle office or elsewhere in the state—by showing birth certificates, passports, or naturalization papers.

Kansas is one of four states—the others are Alabama, Arizona and Georgia—to have adopted laws requiring proof of citizenship during voter registration.

In February, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of the League of Women Voters and individual Kansans who said they were left off the voter rolls after registering at the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Voter-Fruad-1250The ACLU lawsuit specifically targets the issue of Kansas’ requiring proof of citizenship from those registering to vote at the DMV.

The plaintiffs argue that the Kansas law violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, particularly a provision that requires states to offer people the opportunity to register to vote when they get a driver’s license. That section says that those who register to vote in this way can be asked only for “minimal information,” allowing them to simply affirm that they are citizens—under the threat of perjury if they lie.

The federal law does not require registrants to bring more documentation than they would need to get a driver’s license.

Kobach says that motor vehicle clerks sometimes accidently offer noncitizens the option to register to vote.

He argues that federal law doesn’t expressly bar states from asking for documentation proving citizenship for people registering to vote at the DMV.

“If a state wants to ask for proof of citizenship, nothing in the law prevents it,” Kobach said. “The absurdity of the legal argument that the ACLU is advancing is this notion that Congress intended to present a special privilege for people registering to vote at the DMV that other people don’t get to enjoy.”

voter_fraudBut the ACLU counters that, under the Kansas proof of citizenship law, people who register to vote at the DMV are not always told that they have to provide additional paperwork to get on the voter rolls. These people only learn later on—after they thought they had registered successfully—that they actually were blocked from voting.

Critics also note that Kansas identified to the court only three cases of noncitizens who voted between 2003 and the implementation of the law in 2013.

“We do not have proof of fraud in Kansas,” Marge Ahrens, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview, adding:

We do not have illegal persons who want to vote. It’s the last thing illegal people would want to do. I do think it appeals to our sense of fear, but we just can’t find the evidence to support these laws.

Like other opponents of tougher voter identification laws, Ahrens contends that such requirements disenfranchise poor citizens who may not have the money or means to obtain documentation easily.

The League of Women Voters generally focuses its voter registration efforts on people 60 years or older. Ahrens says the elderly encounter similar challenges in trying to meet the requirements of Kansas’ proof of citizenship law.

“Older people can be stymied just by the idea of trying to pull together documents that may or may not exist,” Ahrens said. “Under this law, the complexity of the voting process has become so difficult that we really cannot do our work in a way that is effective.”

In response to these concerns, Kobach notes that Kansas eases the registration process by allowing voters to fax, email, or text a copy of their birth certificate to the DMV.

acorn_vote_fraudKobach said he expects a decision from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals before the Nov. 8 presidential election. Even if a decision comes close to the election, he says, his state has contingency plans no matter the ruling.

Voters subject to U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson’s May 17 ruling—those who registered at the DMV since 2013 but haven’t provided proof of citizenship—will vote with provisional ballots and whether they’re counted won’t be decided until after Election Day.

While he acknowledged a wave of recent court rulings against voter identification laws in the states, Kobach said he intends to continue his push for stronger legal provisions, and will appeal to the Supreme Court if he loses.

“This about the rule of law,” Kobach said. “We have law-breaking when it comes to elections, and solving the problem is not difficult.”

By Josh Siegel /

Conservative Matron Phyllis Schlafly dead at 92

schlafly interviewPhyllis Schlafly, the iconic pro-family activist who rose to fame in the 1970s when she campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment, has died at age 92, according to the Eagle Forum, the conservative organization she founded.

Schlafly had been an activist since the early Cold War era, but gained national prominence by leading traditional-religious women in the movement against the Equal Rights Amendment. President Reagan praised her campaign against ERA as “brilliant” and called Schalfly “an example to all those who would struggle for an America that is prosperous and free.”

Schlafly rose to national attention in 1964 with her self-published book, “A Choice Not an Echo,” that became a manifesto for the far right. The book, which sold three million copies, chronicled the history of the Republican National Convention and is credited for helping conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona earn the 1964 GOP nomination.

She went on to become one of the most influential pro-family activists in the 1980s and 1990s, and her support was courted by all GOP presidential candidates. She authored 27 books and thousands of articles.

Founded in 1972, Eagle Forum focuses on pro-family and socially conservative issues and now has an estimated 80,000 members.

Republican candidate Donald Trump praised the conservative activist in a statement released Monday evening.

“Phyllis Schlafly is a conservative icon who led millions to action, reshaped the conservative movement, and fearlessly battled globalism and the ‘kingmakers’ on behalf of America’s workers and families,” the statement read. “I was honored to spend time with her during this campaign as she waged one more great battle for national sovereignty.”

Schlafly endorsed Trump at a rally in St. Louis in March, and she co-authored a book called “The Conservative Case for Trump” that is being released Tuesday. Trump says he was “honored to spend time with her.”

In April, Schlafly’s endorsement purportedly sparked uproar among Ted Cruz supporters on the Eagle Forum board of directors.

In a statement posted on its website Monday afternoon, the Eagle Forum said Schlafly died at her home in St. Louis surrounded by family members.

PS-Reagan-400“Her focus from her earliest days until her final ones was protecting the family, which she understood as the building block of life,” read the statement. “She recognized America as the greatest political embodiment of those values. From military superiority and defense to immigration and trade; from unborn life to the nuclear family and parenthood, Phyllis Schlafly was a courageous and articulate voice for common sense and traditional values.”

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement that Schlafly was “an unflinching champion of many ideas Republicans have long held dear.”

“Through her tireless activism that continued even into her 90s, Phyllis Schlafly never wavered in giving a voice to millions of Americans concerned about preserving constitutional rights, strong families, and American greatness. Her influence will continue to be felt for years to come, and as we celebrate an iconic figure in the conservative cause, our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends, and many admirers.”

Schlafly was born Aug. 15, 1924, and grew up in Depression-era St. Louis. Her parents were Republican but not politically involved.

With the country involved in World War II during her college years, Schlafly worked the graveyard shift at the St. Louis Ordnance Plant. Her job included testing ammunition by firing machine guns. She would get off work at 8 a.m., attend morning classes, then sleep in the middle of the day before doing it all over again.

The schedule limited her options for a major. “In order to pick classes to fit my schedule I picked political science,” Schlafly recalled in a 2007 AP interview.

She graduated from Washington University in 1944, when she was 19. Her first taste of real politics came at age 22, when she guided the 1946 campaign of Republican congressional candidate Claude Bakewell, helping him to a major upset win.

In 1952, with her young family living in nearby Alton, Illinois, Schlafly’s husband, attorney John Schlafly Jr., was approached about running for Congress. He declined, but she ran and narrowly lost in a predominantly Democratic district. She also ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1970.

Schlafly earned a master’s degree in government from Harvard in 1945. She enrolled in Washington University School of Law in 1976, and at age 51, graduated 27th in a class of 204.

Schlafly received an honorary degree at Washington University’s commencement in 2008. Though some students and faculty silently protested by getting up from their seats and turning their backs to the stage, Schlafly called it “a happy day. I’m just sorry for those who tried to rain on a happy day.”

She is survived by six children, 16 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

Fox News’ Chris Snyder, Joe Weber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.