THE HERD MENTALITY AND POLLING

By TEMPLE LI

Why does it appear that the recent polls are turning against Trump and that more Americans than ever are seemingly in support for impeachment inquiry or impeachment.  It is a combination of 1) the American herd mentality and 2) how polls are constructed and who are responding to polls.

Firstly, the herd mentality exists within a framework of our current political system and a biased, if not fake, news media.  “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” – Charles Mackay.  Our political system exists within a polarized environment, with Americans gravitating to either the left or the right represented by the Democrat or Republican parties respectively and the news media support this division through the written word and endless televised analysis.  Depending which newspapers Americans read and which television stations they watch will influence how they think and to which herd they will belong.  In our current environment, the majority of the news media are “left poll” leaning and are hard at work manipulating the public against Trump.

According to MARKETWATCH, a study conducted by Prof. Jens Krause of Leeds University, England, showed that humans “follow classic animal behavior.  His team performed a series of experiments where volunteers were told to randomly walk around a large hall without talking to each other.  A select few were then given more detailed instructions on where to walk.  The scientists discovered that, like sheep following the flock, people end up blindly following one or two people who appear to know where they’re going.  Many were unaware that they were following someone.  The published results showed that it only takes 5% of  ‘informed individuals’ to influence the direction of a crowed of around 200 people.  The remaining 95% follow without even realizing it.”  The results of this experiment can be used to explain how a few Democrats controlling the three Committees in the House of Representatives are able to influence the American public toward supporting impeachment or at least impeachment inquiries.  They are bolstered in these activities through the complicity of the media in selectively leaking to the public the results of extensive interviews with those officials related to the Ukraine inquiry which appear to best favor the support of impeachment. This smacks of the era of Senator Joe McCarthy who held televised hearings to support his “witch hunt” against American officials and citizens unjustly accused of disloyalty to the United States and its constitution—the influence of a few resulting in the sheep following suit.

Once impeachment is voted upon in the House of Representatives, it will be sent to the Senate for trial.  Regardless of some opinions which seem to suggest that more Republican senators will join the impeachment movement after the Dems have completed their inquiry, this would be contrary to the herd mentality within the political context.  Republicans are not going to “cut off their nose to spit their face,”   Trump will be exonerated and will win re-election on the backs of the herd.

Secondly, polls are conducted during periods of herd migration to and from support of a given proposition—in this case, impeachment of the President.  Based on the efforts of a few—the House Majority Leader, Democrat Chairmen and members of the press—polls appear to demonstrate their influence over the herd.  An Ipos/Reuters on October 9 reflects how polls can vary by party.   “Almost half (45%) of Americans believe the president should be impeached, compared to 39% who believe he should not. Opinion on this issue falls along party lines – 4 in 5 Democratic registered voters (80%) believe the president should be impeached, compared to just 1 in 10 Republican registered voters (12%). More Independents oppose impeachment (44%) than support (28%) but over a quarter remain undecided (27%).”

How questions are phrased also have an impact on the outcomes. MARKETWATCH in an October 14 article reported on the following related to impeachment polling questions.

“Different polls on the same topic may pose slightly different questions, as shown in this list of some polls conducted in October 2019.”

HarrisX Should President Trump be impeached and removed from office?
Washington Post/George Mason University As you may know, Congress has begun an impeachment inquiry that could lead to Trump being removed from office. Do you think Congress should or should not have begun an impeachment inquiry of Trump? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?
IBD/TIPP Do you approve or disapprove Congress’s decision to open an impeachment inquiry on President Trump?
Zogby Interactive/JZ Analytics Do you approve or disapprove of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump?
Ipsos In your opinion… Should the U.S. House vote to impeach President Trump?
 

The most recent Qinnipiac poll asked if Trump should be impeached because he requested a foreign country to investigate Biden.  The results were 49% against and 45% in favor.

Given the variance in phrasing, the reluctance of Republicans to participate in polls as proven by past polling efforts and their unreliability during the 2016 election, it is questionable as to whether they are reliable tools in determining the mind of the herd.

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

 

ANTIFA FIREBOMBING ICE IN TACOMA INSPIRED BY AOC’S RECKLESS COMPARISON OF THE BORDER CRISIS TO CONCENTRATION CAMPS AND THE HOLOCAUST

By ROBERT ROMANO

It appears that U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) irresponsible and reckless comparison of illegal immigrant detention facilities to Nazi concentration camps where millions were murdered inspired the Antifa member who firebombed an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Tacoma, Wash. on July 12.

manifesto reportedly left behind by Willem Van Spronsen, a 69-year-old, ran with the AOC comparison, stating, “evil says concentration camps for folks deemed lesser are necessary. the handmaid of evil says the concentration camps should be more humane… this is a call to patriots, too, to stand against this travesty against everything that you hold sacred. i know you. i know that in your hearts, you see the dishonor in these camps… here it is, in these corporate for profit concentration camps… detention centers are an abomination. i’m not standing by.”

Van Spronsen, who was armed with a rifle, blew up a vehicle with explosives, was attempting to detonate a propane tank near the facility and was shot to death by police who reported to the scene.

The attack appears to have been inspired by Ocasio-Cortez who on Twitter on June 18 declared, “This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying. This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis…”

But so far, Ocasio-Cortez refuses to denounce the attack or to walk back her unbelievable comparison of federal law enforcement to the perpetrators of those who murdered millions in the Holocaust.

Here, Ocasio-Cortez trivializes not only the scale of death in the Holocaust but the conditions of the concentration camps where so many perished.

As if nobody died in the concentration camps. Jews and others were not merely killed at the death camps in Poland. Many of the concentration camps were temporary housing for people on their way to the extermination facilities. Here, Ocasio-Cortez makes it sound like concentration camps were safe for those people who lived in them compared to those who were sent to the death camps.

It is a false distinction. People were absolutely murdered by security at the concentration camps sites other than the killing centers. When people couldn’t work anymore they were disposed of.

But not everybody even got to a camp. The Einsatzgruppen murdered more than 2 million people between 1941 and 1945 with its mobile killing squads, shooting large groups of people and filling mass graves.

15 to 20 million people including 6 million Jews were murdered in the Nazi concentration camp system, the ghettoes and by the SS in the mobile killing squads.

The mortality rates were through the roof and the truth is we don’t know how many truly perished because the Nazis incinerated them afterward.

But we do know how many survived. The Einsatzgruppen kept extremely accurate records of camp populations throughout the war. As of Jan. 1945, there were 714,211 persons in camps. About 200,000 died in the death marches in the spring of 1945, leaving about 500,000 total survivors from the camps at the time of liberation, but about 10 percent of those died in the aftermath from disease, and another 12,500 committed suicide. So, perhaps 437,500 survived the Holocaust. Out of upwards of 20 million, perhaps 2.25 percent survived, an astounding 97.75 percent mortality rate.

Not many people were living at the death camps. Almost all were taken off the trains and directly into the gas chambers. Where does Ocasio-Cortez suppose the victims on the trains came from?

The fact is that almost everybody who got sent to any camp or was imprisoned even for a short time ended up dead. The scale of death was unimaginable. The vast majority who were killed went through the camps system, and to suggest otherwise borders on a form of Holocaust denial.  In the least it is historical revisionism on the part of Ocasio-Cortez, all in a misguided effort to get Trump.

Ocasio-Cortez should visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., so she can learn the history she is obviously ignorant of. It’s not that far from the Capitol.

Calling the immigrant detention centers concentration camps absolutely, irrevocably invokes the Holocaust, and implies they are being housed in lieu of eventually being murdered.

In the meantime, almost nobody in federal custody dies, least of all by murder from the guards. From the beginning of 2017 through May 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have apprehended 1.41 million people entering the country illegally. Of that number, 24 died while in custody, a mortality rate of 0.0017 percent. Far more were ordered deported, about 452,000, having no legal basis for being here.

Compared to federal and state prison populations, in 2014 there were 3,927 deaths in federal and state prisons, which had a total population of 1.56 million that year, a rate of 0.25 percent. Nearly all the deaths were illness-related, suicides or drug and/or alcohol intoxication. Just 83 were determined to be homicides, or about 2 percent of the deaths.

Comparing the illegal immigrant detention facilities for the purposes of deporting illegal immigrants that were already in existence before President Donald Trump was even elected to the concentration camps that murdered millions is so outrageous, so reckless and so beyond the pale it is unbelievable.

And now it is resulting in political violence and an act of domestic terrorism.

Why have Ocasio-Cortez or her colleagues in Congress feuding with President Trump on Twitter refused to denounce this violence? When will she stop making these insane comparisons? When a Bernie Sanders supporter, James Hodgkinson, shot up the GOP Congressional baseball practice in 2017, Sanders immediately denounced it. It is shocking that in just two years, political violence has apparently become acceptable to the “woke” radical left-wing of the Democratic Party in Congress.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.  You can read more of his articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

CITIZEN, LEGAL RESIDENT AND ILLEGAL ALIEN POPULATIONS WILL STILL BE DETERMINED UNDER 2020 CENSUS VIA TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDER

By ROBERT ROMANO

Under a July 11 executive order, President Donald Trump is mandating federal departments and agencies to provide records to the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau to compile an accurate counting of citizen, legal resident and illegal alien populations for the 2020 Census — but without a citizenship question on the Census form for households to fill out.

Instead, the Trump executive order requires “All agencies shall promptly provide the Department [of Commerce] the maximum assistance permissible, consistent with law, in determining the number of citizens, non‑citizens, and illegal aliens in the country, including by providing any access that the Department may request to administrative records that may be useful in accomplishing that objective.”

In addition, the order specifically requires the following records to be furnished to the Census: “National-level file of Lawful Permanent Residents, Naturalizations” from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, “F1 & M1 Nonimmigrant Visas” from DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “National-level file of Customs and Border Arrival/Departure transaction data” from DHS, “Refugee and Asylum visas” from DHS and Department of State, Worldwide Refugee and Asylum Processing System, “National-level passport application data” from State, “Master Beneficiary Records” from the Social Security Administration and “CMS Medicaid and CHIP Information System” from the Department of Health and Human Services.

So, citizens and illegal aliens are going to still be counted in the Census, but it will not be accomplished with a question on the Census questionnaire.

Not that it needed to be a question in order to be counted for the Census as the Constitution has no such requirement for how data must be gathered in the Census.

In fact, only about 74 percent of households responded to the Census questionnaire in the last go-around in 2010. In 2000, only 17 percent of the population received the long form that included the citizenship question. The 2020 Census would have changed that by including the question in every questionnaire sent out.

But like prior citizenship questions such as in the 2000 Census, the 2020 Census would not have required supporting documentation such as birth certificates or Social Security Numbers. As usual, it would have relied on the honesty of those taking the questionnaire. This certainly would have raised questions about the reliability of the question if those who are here illegally have a perverse incentive to either lie or simply not to take the survey.

Note this has almost nothing to do with apportionment in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 2016 that non-citizens could be counted in the Census for the purposes of districting. Unless Congress changes the law or the Constitution, even with gathering the citizenship data, the executive order will not change the apportionment in the 2020 Census, which will be based on total population.

In contrast, in announcing the shift in the White House’s approach to the Census, President Trump said on July 11, “The Census Bureau projected that using previously available records, it could determine citizenship for 90 percent of our population or more.”

Ideally, the Census Bureau would do both in terms of asking the question and then comparing it to agency records, but left with a choice to continue fighting a losing battle in court and delaying the Census or going ahead with what could be done administratively to get the same exact information, Trump opted for the latter.

The Trump executive order states, “The Court’s ruling, however, has now made it impossible, as a practical matter, to include a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census questionnaire.  After examining every possible alternative, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce have informed me that the logistics and timing for carrying out the census, combined with delays from continuing litigation, leave no practical mechanism for including the question on the 2020 decennial census.”

Trump added, “Nevertheless, we shall ensure that accurate citizenship data is compiled in connection with the census by other means.”

Trump’s pivot comes after the Supreme Court shot down inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 Census on the basis that the Department of Commerce had not provided a sufficiently reasoned basis for the question under the terms of the Administrative Procedures Act.

Now, the executive order clearly seeks to meet up with the Supreme Court’s decision, as it goes through great lengths to outline all the reasons for gathering citizenship data even without the citizenship question. It provides as reasons: 1) “data on the number of citizens and aliens in the country is needed to help us understand the effects of immigration on our country and to inform policymakers considering basic decisions about immigration policy…”; 2) “the lack of complete data on numbers of citizens and aliens hinders the Federal Government’s ability to implement specific programs and to evaluate policy proposals for changes in those programs. For example, the lack of such data limits our ability to evaluate policies concerning certain public benefits programs…”; and 3) “data identifying citizens will help the Federal Government generate a more reliable count of the unauthorized alien population in the country.  Data tabulating both the overall population and the citizen population could be combined with records of aliens lawfully present in the country to generate an estimate of the aggregate number of aliens unlawfully present in each State.”

While far from ideal, this might provide the best means of withstanding a court challenge, which appears inevitable. Opponents will attempt to call the new executive order a post-hoc rationalization and urge courts to overturn on that basis but it’s not the same policy since there is no citizenship question. Earlier in the process, the Commerce Department had ruled out using agency records to get citizenship numbers. Now, the Trump administration has reversed course and is going with that option. That should hopefully reset the clock in terms of the Administrative Procedures Act’s requirements. We’ll see.

If, at the end of the day, the Census Bureau is able to come up with an accurate estimate of citizens, legal residents and illegal aliens, which it has done in the past, then it will have accomplished its job. If the same data can be gleaned from means other than the questionnaire, then why not? President Trump is doing everything he can to ensure that the data is collected. It’s better than nothing.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.   You can read more of his articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

COLLEGE STUDENTS DESERVE TRANSPARENCY TO DETERMINE SALARIES AND DEBT LOADS OF GRADUATES OF PARTICULAR MAJORS

By RICHARD MCCARTY

With student loan debt soaring past $1.5 trillion, Democratic candidates for president are proposing “free” college; beyond criticizing this plan, Republicans need to formulate a plan that it can sell to voters. That plan has to consist of more than just “pay back your loans.” If it were that simple, there would not be so many graduates drowning in debt, delaying home purchases, putting off marriage, foregoing children, etc. Part of the solution is requiring colleges to be more transparent with students. College is a big investment for young people, and they deserve to know how well graduates of their alma mater are faring financially.

To help solve the problem of crippling student debt, it might be helpful to understand how we arrived at this point. Some want to solely blame college students for acquiring huge amounts of debt, but that is as absurd as solely blaming subprime borrowers for the housing market crash. Just as the government and banks played central roles in the housing debacle, so the government and colleges have played central roles in the student loan debt crisis. Government policies have made it easy to borrow money for college; and colleges have worked to collect as much of this money as possible by admitting students who struggle academically, spending lavishly on buildings and salaries, and replacing rigorous, but boring, courses with trendy, pointless classes. Despite the outcry over student debt, colleges do not seem to be making any serious efforts to try to restrain costs. In fact, the cost of tuition and fees is increasing at more than twice the overall rate of inflation.

Many others have also contributed often unwittingly to the crisis. These include well-meaning relatives and educators who drilled into students’ heads that college is a good investment, that skipping college threatens their future, or that they would disappointed if a student chose not to go to college. Unemployment rates are significantly lower for college graduates. For these and other reasons, many students have dutifully trudged off to college.  Some of these students probably are better off having a college degree, but not all. Of course, by herding as many students as possible into liberal academia, we have subsidized leftist professors and helped them spread their failed ideas. As if that were not bad enough, by pressuring more students to get college degrees, we have devalued bachelor’s degrees leading more people to pursue advanced degrees, costing them even more time and money.

So what can be done to address this sorry state of affairs? The Department of Education should require colleges that accept federal funds to survey their graduates on their salary and debt levels and report this information to students so that they can make informed choices. This information should be posted online and be publicly available. Specifically, students should be provided with information about the average student debt loads and the median salaries of graduates by major at the one-year, five-year, and ten-year post-graduation marks. Colleges should also be required to disclose what percentage of students in each major went on to graduate school. After all, publicly-traded companies are required to disclose relevant information to potential investors, why should not federally-funded colleges be held to a similar standard?

On this issue, Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, stated, “The publicly subsidized higher education system with its dependence upon federal loans has no excuse to not provide full transparency to its customers about the financial value of the intellectual improvement that student indebtedness is going toward. Americans for Limited Government is against needless federal regulation. However, our nation is suffering from a crisis of ignorance about the true cost of higher education, and it is incumbent upon this industry to provide the information necessary for its potential customers to make an informed choice about the product they are selling.”

Times have changed; college is no longer the ticket to the good life that it once was. Today’s college students deserve to know just what sort of return on their investment they can expect. A simple regulation requiring colleges that take federal funding to disclose graduate debt and salary information to students could make a huge difference for many students in choosing whether to go to college, where to go to college, and what to study while there.

Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.  You can read more of his articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

WHO ARE THE REAL WHITE SPREMACISTS?

By TEMPLE LI

So what is up with liberals and their proclivity for dressing up in black face or as Nazis?  Are they closet racists and anti-Semites?

Since it seems as if republicans are censored for what they say or do almost right after emerging from their mothers’ wombs, it is not stretching it to hold liberals accountable for their actions when in their twenties or even later in life.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry of Great Britain’s liberal American wife, snubbed Trump during his visit to England.  As a minor celebrity, she was outspoken against Trump during the 2016 election, particularly during an appearance on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.  Prince Henry and all royal personages are not permitted to publicly express their opinions regarding political issues; however, his views regarding climate change are well known.  According to NEWSWEEK, Prince Harry recently warned of the “terrifying” impacts of climate change at a youth-empowerment event in July known as WE Day.  Yet, what must Meghan think about her husband, who, according to another NEWSWEEK article reported that in 2005 a picture of him surfaced dressed as a Nazi officer.  “Tabloid covers were plastered with the image of Harry wearing a swastika armband under the headline ‘Harry the Nazi.’ Harry, who was 20 at the time, reportedly wore the outfit to a ‘colonial and native’ costume party.”  Not to be deterred, a year later, while serving at Sandhurst military academy training to be an army air corps helicopter pilot, he called a member of his platoon “our little Paki friend,” and referred to another as “raghead.”  Both these remarks outraged Muslim groups, who found them particularly offensive.  Has this guy really changed?  If while supposedly finding religion in supporting the climate change movement he and his family fly all over the world via private jets, then it is better for  his son that he was born looking white—not black.

Meanwhile, back in the States, the current Governor of Virginia,  Ralph Northam, an ardent supporter of abortion and infanticide when it comes to an aborted fetus being born live, has made conflicting statements related to “inappropriate” dressing up.  His “face page” in his Medical School yearbook also included a picture of two young men, one in black face and the other dressed as in Ku  Klux Klan regalia.  First he admitted that he was one of the two men depicted and then he denied it.  He later confessed in an interview to dressing in black face as part of a Michael Jackson costume and almost performed the “moon dance.”  After the initial outrage, the media’s interest eventually faded.  The lesson learned:  if as a white man you feel the need to dress up as a black man, make sure you are a governor in a state the Democrat liberals need to win in 2020.

Mostly recently, the ultra-liberal Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, was memorialized in a photograph of him when he was 29 in black face, dressed as Aladdin for a costume party at a private school where he was teaching.  He later admitted to at least two other times when he felt the urge.

Dressing up in black face, Ku  Klux Klan outfits and Nazi uniforms or uttering racist slurs are racist and/or anti-Semitic.  Prince Henry, Gov. Northam and Prime Minster Trudeau are white, liberal males who have participated in these aberrant behaviors…without consequence!   Who are the real “white supremacists?”

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

SPYGATE WAS AN ACT OF WAR AND IF ITS PERPETRATORS ARE NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE, IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN

By ROBERT ROMANO

Spygate was an act of war. Russia hacked the DNC and John Podesta and had the emails published on Wikileaks. That surely was viewed by the Obama administration as an act of war and it responded in kind. It was called a digital Pearl Harbor.

However, their first response was not to sanction Russia. No, that would not come until Dec. 2016 — after the election.

Before the election, the first response was to obtain surveillance against the Trump campaign and the GOP, first by targeting George Papadopoulos via foreign agency efforts beginning in mid-2016, and then the FISA warrant applications, assuming there weren’t more, on Carter Page beginning in Oct. 2016, fueled by the DNC-Steele dossier falsely accusing President Donald Trump, Page and Paul Manafort of being Russian agents, that was renewed after the election and then finally the fateful strike on Michael Flynn in Jan. 2017, spying on his phone call with the Russian ambassador, leaking it to the Washington Post on Jan. 12, 2017, sending the FBI to ask about it on Jan. 24, 2017 — all encompassing the bedrock of a three-year-long Justice Department investigation, undertaken under the mistaken belief that the nation had just elected the Manchurian Candidate.

Now, Washington, D.C. and the American people patiently await the publication of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ report on abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 2016 and beyond, wherein the Trump campaign, the opposition party at the time, was unjustly surveilled by the Obama administration, the incumbent party, in an election year.

The surveillance gave intelligence agencies unprecedented access to the operations of one of the major parties’ presidential campaigns. They had Page’s contacts, including telephone, email, text, documents and more, his contacts’ contacts, at least, throughout the campaign, Trump’s sphere and the Republican National Committee, certainly.

The surveillance carried over into the Trump administration in 2017, and the investigation persisted until 2019, when Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally concluded it, finding in his report that, after all, there was no criminal conspiracy between President Donald Trump or his campaign and Russia to steal emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and John Podesta and have them put on Wikileaks.

The Mueller report stated, “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” and “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.”

So, if it was not true, then what made intelligence agencies and the Justice Department come to believe in what amounted to a hare-brained conspiracy theory that tore the country in half for three years?

The fact that it was used politically and in a partisan context, and wrongly at that to identify fictitious threats to national security, does not ameliorate and only compounds concerns about how these powers were used and how they may be used again in the future.

Intelligence and surveillance powers are war powers. They are designed to identify targets, usually military, for purposes of eliminating threats to national security in the event of war. Their use, therefore, is itself an act of war, including when it is used domestically.

The American people are told that these powers are essential to defending national security. But used wrongly, as they were in spygate, they become themselves the greatest threat to national security and the Constitution.

The fact that it was used politically and in a partisan context, and wrongly at that to identify fictitious threats to national security, does not ameliorate and only compounds concerns about how these powers were used and how they may be used again in the future.

To create accountability when this sort of thing happens, there must be an accounting of how these powers were wrongly deployed in the first place, highlighting the need for oversight by Horowitz, but it must be followed up by action by Attorney General William Barr. Why did the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court repeatedly rubber stamp the warrant applications against the Trump campaign that found no conspiracy? Why did judges keep renewing it if it wasn’t true?

What was the extent of the surveillance? Who did it net? Were they in the White House? It seems hard to believe they weren’t.

Moreover, what laws (if any) were violated and who will be held accountable so the American people can have certainty that these powers are not abused again in the future?

The worst possible outcome of the Horowitz report would be if it found that, yes, the FBI and Justice Department were given bad, concocted intelligence by political actors, including the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign who hired former British spy Christopher Steele to produce the bogus allegations that President Trump was a Russian agent, used in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to violate their constitutional rights, but that doing so violated no laws.

This dilemma, more than anything, will come to define Barr’s tenure in office as well as determine whether the national rift caused by the abuse of surveillance powers can ever be mended.

This was a blow on democracy itself, an effort to overturn a decisive electoral outcome in 2016. A place the Justice Department and intelligence agencies have little role in interfering. What we did to ourselves pales in comparison to anything Russia was accused of.

Tthe whole reason the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 was adopted was prevent unconstitutional domestic spying. A select committee headed by Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) convened in 1975 to get to the bottom of revelations by Seymour Hersh’s explosive report to the New York Times on Dec. 22, 1974 that the CIA had been engaged a mass, domestic surveillance program against anti-war protestors, members of Congress and other political figures.

On NBC’s Meet the Press on Aug. 17, 1975, Church who had led the committee warned, “If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology…”

Church added, “I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

The committee led to the adoption of the law, which sought to reform how intelligence is gathered and the limited circumstances it can be used in the U.S. If 40 years later, the Justice Department concludes an internal review into the gravest abuses of this law ever seen, where surveillance was used to yield partisan political advantage and even to unseat a sitting president on made-up allegations of treason, that it violated no laws, it will discredit the very rule of law FISA sought to engender.

The real dilemma Attorney General Barr faces is the reality that if the perpetrators of spygate are not held accountable now, and the mass surveillance powers reined in, this will happen again. This was one of the most terrible things that ever happened to our country. How do we put the genie back in the bottle?

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.  You can read more of his articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK. 

DESPITE OBSTRUCTION FROM CONGRESS, TRUMP DELIVERS ON PROMISES INCLUDING BUILDING THE WALL

By RICHARD MCCARTY

From cay one of his Administration, President Trump has been working to deliver on his campaign promises. Because the hostile, liberal media does such a lousy job of informing voters of Trump’s accomplishments, a quick rundown of some of the promises he has kept is in order. As promised, Trump has rolled back numerous regulations, signed tax cuts into law, appointed conservative Supreme Court justices, approved the Dakota Access Pipeline, ended Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” withdrew the country from the Paris Climate Agreement, negotiated the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), withdrew the country from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, labelled China a currency manipulator, withdrew the United States from the Iran “deal,” defeated ISIS, moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, has forgone his presidential salary, and has helped bring back hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs. Furthermore, as with his promises of rebuilding the military and achieving energy independence, Trump is making considerable progress on building the wall.

To date, 66 miles of dilapidated barriers have been replaced with border wall; another 167 miles of border wall are currently under construction; and, by the end of next year, 450 miles of border wall should be completed. Nor does the good news end there: the 66 miles of new border wall are already paying off—big-time. In fact, border crossings along that stretch have dropped by 86 percent. Of course, the Trump administration is doing a lot more than just building a wall. It is also building roads, installing lighting, and placing cameras along the wall to further enhance security.

The progress on the wall is especially impressive given the astonishing level of resistance to securing the border. Congressional Democrats were so adamant that the border should not be secured that they were willing to partially shut down the government, leaving many of their supporters in the bureaucracy unpaid for more than a month.

Because President Trump stood by his guns, in 2018, $1.6 billion that Congress passed in 2018 for replacing existing fencing with new steel barriers and the $1.375 billion in 2019 for more steel barriers that was approved after the shutdown. And whatever Trump couldn’t get from Congress, he is getting from his national emergency declaration, reprogramming $5.6 billion from other Defense and Homeland Security funds to build the wall.

Even with tens of thousands of people streaming over the border each month, some Congressional Democrats absurdly tried claiming that there was no crisis at the border. Many Congressional obstructionists, along with their donors, are motivated by the prospect of gaining new voters or cheap, exploitable labor. So while they would have you believe they are acting out of compassion for illegal immigrants, they are actually being quite cynical.

Just a few years ago, senior Democrats agreed that securing the border and building a border wall was prudent; now, they support open borders and call anyone who wishes to secure the border a “racist.” Some even denounce Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for attempting to enforce laws passed by Congress. Democrat officeholders have gone so far left on immigration that even senior Obama administration officials, such as Eric Holder and Jeh Johnson, have warned them that they have gone too far.

On the progress on the construction of the border wall, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning stated the following, “ALG commends President Trump for continuing to fight against overwhelming odds to keep his promise to build the wall. Despite the efforts of Congressional obstructionists to keep our borders open to drug cartels and human traffickers, progress on the wall is finally being made.” Manning went on to say, “If the obstructionists in Congress truly cared about their constituents, they’d put aside their narrow interests and join President Trump in securing our border.”

The left has done virtually everything it can think of to prevent President Trump from securing our border, but they are failing. While a border wall, by itself, will not end illegal immigration, it is a key component of securing our border. The President deserves a lot of credit for fighting so hard to secure our border and for putting the interests of American workers and taxpayers first. Lesser presidents, at the urging of their donors and the liberal media, would have retreated on this issue long ago.

Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.  You can read more of his articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

 

LEGENDARY FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY AND JUDGE HERBERT STERN PARTNERS UP WITH ACCLAIMED FILMMAKER/BEST-SELLING AUTHOR KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

By TEMPLE LI

Herbert Stern and Kenneth Del Vecchio have led storied careers.

Herbert Stern – as a former top prosecutor. A defense attorney. And as a former federal judge. He’s also a published novelist (with one book adapted into a major movie), and the author of a series of legal books. But those are just titles.

Kenneth Del Vecchio is a filmmaker, author (novels and legal books), TV legal analyst, film festival chairman, former prosecutor, former judge, and a defense attorney. Again, these are just titles.

What these men have done with their titles is incredibly impressive. Details are coming.

Stern and Del Vecchio have now partnered up, in a writing and film project. One based upon Stern’s newest book, Diary of DA (Skyhorse Publishing). The pair’s legal ingenuity and writing flare – coupled with their similar moral compasses – has led to Del Vecchio adapting the book into a screenplay. And it’s a pretty damn exciting story, based upon Stern’s remarkable career.

Del Vecchio wrote the following in a book review of Diary of a DA:

Stern spearheaded the successful prosecutions of the real-life mafiosos who inspired the HBO hit series, The Sopranos. He brought down guys with names like Sam “The Plumber” DeCavalcante and Anthony “Tony Boy” Boiardo, whose father, Richie “The Boot” Boiardo, maintained an incinerator at his Livingston, NJ property so he could effectively dispose of mob-hit bodies. He also oversaw the prosecutions of mafia made men Anthony “Little Pussy” Russo and Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo, the latter of which was Frank Sinatra’s cousin. 

On the government front, Stern shredded the most notorious of corrupted political machines. Not only did he ensure the convictions of the law-breaking mayors of Newark, Atlantic City, and Jersey City, but he broke the backs of their seemingly impenetrable behind-the-scenes bosses. Longtime Hudson County chieftain John V. Kenny was considered the most powerful – and most corrupt – political boss in New Jersey. His group heisted 10% of all monies paid for public contracts in Hudson County and extorted 3% of the salaries of municipal employees throughout the county. Stern ended their abusive operations. 

You see, Stern was the U.S. Attorney for the State of New Jersey in the early 1970s. His groundbreaking work not only was national news at the time, but it paved the way for other corruption-busting prosecutors. Stern is a legend in this field, and one who handled these historic prosecutions while only his 30s. At 37, he became the youngest Federal District Court judge in the U.S. Del Vecchio noted in his book review:

[This] resulted in even more notoriety for the ever-motivated legal stalwart. Presiding over the only case ever tried in an American court in the then-American occupied sector of West Berlin, Germany, Stern gained international acclaim through this 1986 trial and a book he authored about it, Judgment in Berlin. This first writing effort netted Stern a movie deal, as the book was adapted into a screenplay and produced into a feature film of the same title. Academy Award winner Martin Sheen played Stern in the movie, and Academy Award winner Sean Penn co-starred in the flick. Upon retiring from the bench at 50 (an age at which most lawyers do not even first-become federal judges), Stern launched one of New Jersey’s most fabled and respected criminal defense practices.

Stern also has authored volumes of legal books, including Trying Cases to Win, published by ABA Publishing. His advice on how to win, for sure, is sage – given the voluminous trial victories he obtained.

Del Vecchio proclaimed that Stern “is one of the most impressive individuals I have ever met, seen, or read about. I’m blown away by his accomplishments. And I couldn’t put his book down. It will make an amazing movie.”

The titles that Del Vecchio owns also have netted rather impressive accomplishments. Still in his 40s, Del Vecchio is an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Anchor Bay, Millennium Entertainment, Cinedigm, Screen Media Films, Vivendi Entertainment, Gravitas Ventures, and E-1 Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. Del Vecchio is founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.” He also is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journals. A best-selling criminal suspense novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years-old. In addition, he is a regular legal analyst on i24 News and Fox News, and he is the owner of the Criminal Law Learning Center, where he has taught thousands of police officers and lawyers…And he is a former judge, who also has tried over 400 cases as a practicing ttorney.

The pair, who are also now law partners, share more than just legal and writing successes. They also hold a common bond in their pursuits to seek justice. Stern and Del Vecchio believe that the great majority of elected officials and law enforcement officers, at all levels, are honest men and women, who are acting in the best interests of Americans, in legislating, reviewing, and upholding laws—with thoughtfulness and fairness. This fundamental belief is what causes them to be so highly concerned with those who abuse their positions of power.

The worst act of injustice to Stern and Del Vecchio: when law enforcement misuses its power and falsely charges individuals or otherwise engages in illegal investigations. With real-life professional experiences that run as deep as possible, these two men have protections and mechanisms to thwart such misconduct—and ensure legal punishment for those who violate these scared grounds.

Del Vecchio considers himself pragmatic in this regard. He details his thoughts about this issue in another Empire State News article, ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE RESULTING IN HARSH CONSEQUENCES FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AT ALL LEVELS.

And as for the Diary of a DA book-to screenplay-to movie project currently ongoing with Stern and Del Vecchio, it is anticipated that a TV mini-series will be in production in 2020. Del Vecchio says that the book has so much rich material that there are multiple viable options, with many suitors. As Del Vecchio wrote in his book review:

Diary of a DA, by Herbert Stern, is a thought-provoking, educational, highly interesting and entertaining literary work. It belongs on the must-read list for anyone who enjoys crime genre books, and for anyone who simply likes a good, inspirational story. 

Well, soon, it will be on the must-watch list.

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE?

By TEMPLE LI

Millennials have been raised in an environment which fosters a disdain of country and an affinity for socialism.  They have a cynical view of their nation’s past and have expectations that the government owes them big time and should provide for all their wants and needs.  They are indoctrinated in schools under union control and liberal bias whose teachers are more interested in political correctness rather than freedom of expression and the exchange of ideas.  A former winner of the National Teacher of the Year Award, Tracey Bailey, after giving up his membership in the American Federation of Teachers, indicated that unions are just “special interests protecting the status quo,” pillars of “a system that too often rewards mediocrity and incompetence.”

Millennials are very verbal about their discontent with capitalism.  Abel Delgado has been politically active in Flint, Michigan, regularly attending protests, city council meetings and community discussions throughout the ongoing water crisis in this city.  According to a NBC report in a November 2016 report, Delgado reflected: “It really came down to me seeing the effects of capitalism and seeing that all of that was driven by greed,” Delgado said. “It came down to (that) I’m sick and tired of seeing people oppressed.”

The election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes represents their growing tendency to reject capitalism in favor of a more socialist government which they perceive will, through control by big government, improve the climate, provide free higher education,  more inclusive medical care, and eliminate income inequality .  Yet they are very naive about finance, economics, budgetary issues and the workings of  huge bureaucracy.  Their heroes are celebrities that travel to aclimate change event in Italy in private jets, yachts and helicopters.

They are perfectly okay with someone like Colin Kaepernick taking a knee and refusing to salute the flag or sing the National Anthem; while intolerant of others who do not embrace  their liberal way of thinking.  They gladly support trying to obliterate the statues, pictures, symbols which represent the growth of a truly unique nation and the individuals who contributed to its formation, failing to realize that history is contextual and these represent historical points of reference.  Instead they are products of a school system imbibed in revisionist history, where  individuals are memorialized based on their sexual orientation rather than the relevance of their contributions.

They march in demonstrations against a country which has given them the greatest freedoms the world has ever known.  In a 2017 article in HUFFPOST, the headline was, “Millennials Are The Foot Soldiers Of The Resistance.”  PJ MEDIA writer Rick Moran decided to ask millennials how they felt about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s comment that “America was never that great.”  By and large the young people queried by Moran backed Cuomo.  “I don’t believe that America has been great for all folks ever,” said one.  “Even today.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, millennials in Hong Kong are fighting and protesting to maintain the continuation of a democratic, capitalistic society. According to THOUGHTCO, a reference site with a 20+ year focus on expert-created education content: ”In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang negotiated the underlying plan for the lease to end, such that Hong Kong would remain a semi-autonomous region for a 50-year period after the lease ended.  The lease ended on July 1, 1997, and since then tensions between the democratically-minded Hong Kong population and the PRC have continued, although Hong Kong remains functionally separate from the Chinese mainland.”

These Hong Kong millennials see their freedoms gradually being eroded away by China’s desire to dominate and they have been protesting since June, putting their lives in peril, to prevent a communist/socialistic takeover.  Millennials in Hong Kong sing the Star Spangled Banner, holding American flags, during their protests, seeking U.S. support in their pursuit for their continued democratic way of life.

The millennials in America may think the “grass is always greener on the other side;” while those in Hong Kong realize that the seeds China is trying to plant are anything but green.

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.             

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.

 

 

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HOARDS SO MUCH LAND IT DOESN’T EVEN KNOW HOW MUCH IT HAS

By RICHARD MCCARTY

It is well-known that the federal government has a spending problem, but it is less well-known that the government also has a hoarding a problem. As most Western state residents know, the federal government likes to hoard land. Unfortunately, it has not shown itself to be capable of managing the land that it holds. This hoarding impedes economic growth, and federal land mismanagement allows catastrophic fires that unnecessarily endanger lives and property. To address this problem, Congress should stop appropriating funds to buy more land and direct the administration to begin selling off unneeded federal lands to the private sector or turn the land over to lower levels of government that are closer to the people.

Just how much land does the federal government own? It turns out that the federal government owns so much land that it does not even know exactly how much it owns. According to a report issued this year by the Congressional Research Service, “The total federal land in the United States is not definitively known.” The government’s “rough estimate” is that it owns 640 million acres, which is equivalent to one million square miles. To put that in perspective, 640 million acres is about 28 percent of all the land in the country; and it is more land than is contained in the 21 states in the Northeast and the Midwest.

Just four federal agencies control 608 million acres, or 95 percent, of federal lands.

  • The Bureau of Land Management manages 246 million acres,
  • The Forest Service manages 193 million acres,
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages 89 million acres, and
  • The National Park Service manages 80 million acres.

The Forest Service is part of the Department of Agriculture while the other three agencies are part of the Department of the Interior.

It is bad enough that the government holds so much land, but what is worse is that it is a poor manager of the land that it owns. Basically, the federal government acts much like an absentee landlord, which is part of the reason why there are huge maintenance backlogs on federal lands and why forest fires are so devastating. In fact, the four major land management agencies have a deferred maintenance backlog of more than $19.3 billion. Furthermore, the amount of lumber harvested from national forests has declined precipitously in recent decades, and the amount of wildland burned in an average year is dramatically higher than it was in the 1980s and 1990s.

Of course, the government’s failure to properly manage land is in spite of the efforts of dedicated public servants. Unfortunately, these workers must navigate through a maze of laws, regulations, and bloated bureaucracies that can hinder progress. Federal land management employees must also deal with constant lawsuits from left-wing groups trying to ensure that as much land as possible is locked up and made unavailable to loggers, miners, drillers, hunters, and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

With a national debt of over $22 trillion, Congress must take action. The federal government simply must get its finances under control — and stop hoarding land that it cannot properly manage. Some necessary budget changes might be painful, but halting the expansion of the federal government’s footprint should be an easy way to save hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Selling off federal lands or transferring them to state or local governments should lead to additional improvements in the federal balance sheet. With fewer federal lands, management and maintenance costs should decline, and money collected from land sales could be used to further reduce the deficit. Finally, selling off federal land would create economic opportunities likely leading to more jobs; and economic growth should lead to higher tax revenues at all levels of government, further offsetting the deficit.

Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.  You can read more of his articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

COMMENTS DISABLED BY SITE.             

YOU MAY, HOWEVER, COMMENT THROUGH FACEBOOK.