↓ Archives ↓

Archive → May 14th, 2017

In Swamp Washington, the sludge just gets thicker

In Swamp Washington, the sludge just gets thicker

98 Shares

The Trump administration’s decision to fire FBI director James Comey created quite a stir in Washington—but what happens in the weeks ahead is far more important than the termination.

There’s no question that Comey’s politicization of his post was out of hand. But, given the tumult of the 2016 presidential election and the accusation-hurling it elicited from all sides, the director could have avoided being used as a political pawn only by refusing to direct the FBI at all.

And certainly the FBI’s involvement in political investigations took away from its ability to do other things.

But again, lawmakers and American citizens on both sides of the aisle repeatedly demanded that Comey launch investigations that would have political implications.

After Comey announced just ahead of the election that his agency found Hillary Clinton indeed mishandled sensitive government documents, Democrats wanted his head on a platter.

Clinton blamed her defeat on the FBI chief.

Trump, after the election, suggested that he no longer had any intention of pursuing a broader investigation into Clinton’s misdeeds.

As I wrote last November:

During the presidential election, Donald Trump said that he intended to make certain that Hillary Clinton would be prosecuted for her email mistakes. The president-elect has now softened his tone— and some supporters aren’t happy.

Trump reportedly told reporters at The New York Times that he doesn’t want to do anything to “hurt the Clintons.”

“She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways,” Trump said.

He later reportedly added that prosecuting Clinton is “just not something that I feel very strongly about.”

The president-elect’s softened stance has surprised many supporters who believed the election as much a victory for Trump as it was a referendum on the Clinton family’s longtime abuse of the political system for personal gain.

Fair enough, I guess. Although, Trump did promise voters that his administration would have Clinton fitted for jailhouse stripes on day one.

Curiously, the president is now saying that he fired Comey on the advice of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who made the recommendation on the advice of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Rosenstein wanted Comey canned because of the press conference Clinton blamed for killing her campaign.

As The Los Angeles Times reported:

Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that he had no choice but to disclose the re-opened investigation and not “conceal” it. Rosenstein sharply disagreed.

Prosecutors don’t disclose non-public information about investigations, he wrote: “Silence is not concealement.”

Given Comey’s actions and his refusal to admit that they were mistakes, “the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them,” Rosenstein wrote.

Sessions, in a letter to Trump, said that he was recommending Comey’s dismissal “for the reasons expressed” by the deputy attorney general and in order for the department to “clearly reaffirm its commitment to longstanding principles” of proper conduct by investigators.

Trump, in a letter to Comey informing him of his dismissal, said he had accepted the recommendation. He added that he “greatly appreciate[d] you informing me on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation.”

Rosenstein also complained that the “goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference.”

As deputy attorney general, Rosenstein gets to oversee the FBI’s investigation into whether there is any merit at all to Democrat claims that Trump officials had unbecoming ties to Russian operatives—or if Trump, his family, his businesses, etc., could be wheeling and dealing with Russians for personal gain— ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Prior to his firing, Comey was making moves within the FBI that suggested his investigation into the matter was about to heat up.

Whether you believe Democrat claims about Russia or not, that investigation ought to happen.

But Rosenstein, it turns out, isn’t the kind of guy who is comfortable seeing very powerful people get taken down for selling out Americans for personal gain—just ask Hillary Clinton.

In 1995, Rosenstein served on the team of investigators that ultimately cleared Bill and Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing in the Whitewater affair. Later, Rosenstein served as a special prosecutor in a case involving whether the Clinton administration had improperly used FBI background reports. Nothing ever came of the inquiry, though Rosenstein did sit with Mrs. Clinton for a chat at the White House in January 1998.

The whole situation, given President Trump’s “drain the swamp” talk, feels like the entire population is being trolled.

Nothing ever happened with Clinton, nothing ever will. The FBI investigation into questions about possible Trump corruption is dead in the water. A guy who’s been in Washington long enough to have been involved in the Whitewater investigation is calling the shots at the DOJ, alongside a former senator who has kept a government job in one form or another for around 40 years.

And, no doubt, Comey’s replacement will be liberty’s worst nightmare.

Meanwhile, many Republican voters continue to refuse to even consider that the billionaire reality television star in the Oval Office deserves to be held to the same level of scrutiny from conservatives as President Barack Obama—or, if she’d won, Clinton— because of a bunch of marketing jargon.

For those who can’t yet see through Trump’s great, successful, terrific veneer, allow me to paint you a little mental picture.

The president on Wednesday was asked by a reporter visiting the Oval Office to comment on the Comey firing.

“He wasn’t doing a good job. Very simple. He was not doing a good job,” the president replied.

Did the president invite the press to the Oval Office to discuss a breakthrough in his big beautiful wall, a meaningful improvement in efforts to replace Obamacare, a budget that will get the U.S. out of debt, or a foreign policy proposal that would get the country out of everyone else’s wars?

Nope.

Reporters were there for a photo-op of an “honored” President Donald Trump hanging out with globalist war criminal Henry Kissinger.

Maybe Trump is doing the best he can despite insurmountable opposition from within. That’s what many of his apologists are saying, anyway.

If that’s the case, we’re doomed. And if that’s the case, there are a lot of folks who must lose the blinders and realize that there’s a very good chance a big orange Trojan Horse is playing president in Washington as big government makes losers of us all.

Source: Will County News

‘Taxpayer Bargain’ Budget Puts Taxpayers First

‘Taxpayer Bargain’ Budget Puts Taxpayers First
‘Taxpayer Bargain’ Budget Puts Taxpayers First
Written By John Biver   |   05.09.17

Editor’s note: Since the op ed below was first drafted, the authors have introduced their proposal in a series of bills to be considered by the state senate.

By State Sens. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) and Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods)

For two years, a political paralysis has had a grip on Illinois government. For two years, we have operated the state without a regular budget – the longest in American history. Unfortunately, even though we don’t have a budget, the spending spree continues unabated. With no controls, spending is out-of-control. The state is on pace to spend 38 billion in the current fiscal year when we expect to collect $32 billion in revenue.

The budget proposals offered over the last two years have either been wildly out of balance or raised taxes first while doing little to restrain the growth of government. Tax and spend solutions have never worked for the long-term fiscal health of our state, nor contributed to sustainable economic growth and job creation.

The “Taxpayer Bargain” budget plan we unveiled April 4 will end the failure of what passes as ‘business as usual’ in Springfield, because it will begin to put our fiscal house back in order. It took years of mismanagement to get into this crisis and it will take years to get out of it. We must begin now. We are approaching an insurmountable debt crisis, but there is hope if we act in a fiscally responsible manner from this point forward. Under the “Taxpayer Bargain” budget, for the first time in many years, Illinois will have a complete and constitutional budget, meaning spending is limited to the actual revenue collected. It requires reforms that make government more efficient and accountable, and creates guidelines to reduce the waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars. It does this with no tax increase and no new taxes.

The plan is very strong medicine for a very sick state. It forces the Legislature to make tough decisions between needs and wants. The “Taxpayer Bargain” requires lower spending, with 10% across-the-board cuts at state agencies and departments. It simply asks for a dime of savings for every dollar spent. Recognizing that there are priorities, primary and secondary education is protected, as is Medicaid for the most vulnerable, and pension payment obligations. The plan includes a hard, enforceable cap on spending. Part of the fiscal management under the “Taxpayer Bargain” includes borrowing $7 billion to begin to pay off old bills so we can eliminate $500 million in late payments and fees. Paying back the bonds (borrowed money) will be tied to the spending cap. If the Legislature ignores the cap and returns to their overspending abuses of the past, they lose their salary for that fiscal year. On the other hand, any revenue collected that comes in above the cap, will go directly to priorities: Education – 25%; Capital construction (roads and bridges) – 25%; Pension debt payments – 10% and Paying off old bills – 40%.

A lot of input from both Republican and Democrat legislators was included in the “Taxpayer Bargain.” It also includes pending legislation sponsored by members of both parties. It is a compromise between political differences, but does not compromise or sellout common sense principles that Illinois government must live within its means just like Illinois families and businesses. If Illinois families can’t afford to overspend year after year then state government can’t afford it either. We know that making these cuts will be difficult and painful, but in order to restore Illinois’ fiscal health for today and for future generations we must act. The “Taxpayer Bargain” is the only budget proposal without punishing tax increases.

We’ve been asked, “Why make this effort when your plan won’t have a chance of passing, especially in the House.” The answer is simple: We are obligated, as elected members of the General Assembly, to do what’s right, regardless of the political probabilities.

Remember the results the last time taxes were raised without reforms: People fled the state, prosperity and opportunity were diminished as jobs were lost and businesses closed or moved away. There is another way. Intrigued? We created a website www.taxpayerbargain.com where we are continually adding details of the “Taxpayer Bargain.” Our challenge is to save our state. The “Taxpayer Bargain” is how to do it without asking for one more dime from you.

TAKE ACTION

Click Here to contact your state senator and representative and ask them to support and co-sponsor the 15 bills that are needed to deliver a no-tax-increase-balanced-budget to the governor.

Source: Will County News