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Saturday, June 23, 2018

This Tells You A Lot About The Media

Last year, three people who worked at CNN were forced to resign after CNN published a phony story about supposed Russia Trump collusion that the network had to retract.  That story was based upon a single anonymous source of questionable validity and it turned out to be completely wrong.  Indeed, many of the people about whom the story spoke weren't even contacted by CNN before the phony story was published for their side of the matter.  It was a complete and embarrassing journalistic failure.  (And given that it happened at CNN, you can gauge that it would have to be terrible for the reporters to be forced out.)

The point today is not, however, that CNN published clearly Fake News.  It is, rather, that CBS just hired one of the three who were fired by CNN as the new head of its online division.  The guy got a promotion following the debacle at CNN.

It's obvious that CBS doesn't care about journalistic standards.  Still, this is a pretty egregious example of just how poor the quality of the mainstream media truly is.

Friday, June 22, 2018

They Can't Even List Things Fairly

Real Clear Politics is supposed to be a site that amalgamates politically themed articles from both sides of each argument.  It just can't stay out of swinging the argument to one side, however.

Here's a good example:  This afternoon, RCP lists a Mollie Hemingway article in the Federalist under the title "Trump's Immigration Policies Are Surprisingly Popular".  I read that article, but when I went to it, I was surprised to find that the actual headline is "Trump’s Immigration Policies Are Actually Pretty Popular".  Note the difference.  Hemingway's article is an explanation of how American voters favor President Trump's policies on immigration; she found nothing surprising about that.  The RCP headline, however, throw the concept into her article that the feelings of the people are "surprising".  In other words, RCP makes it seem that Mrs. Hemingway is somewhat shocked by the views of the people (when she isn't).

This happens over and over again.  Articles with a conservative slant are converted into headlines that seem to go the other way.

A Massive Fail By The Left

There's a poll out today that puts the recent uproar over separation of some families at the border into proper perspective, and it's not a good look for the Democrat/media complex that has been pushing the story.  By about a 20% margin, Americans blame the illegal aliens for the crisis rather than the government.  Indeed, only about a third of voters blame the Trump administration as the principal cause of the problem.  Imagine that!  After endless discussions of how Trump is a Nazi using Nazi tactics to send poor immigrants and children to concentration camps, the American people blame the illegals and not the Trump administration.  Remember, there are about a third of the voters who would blame Trump for any ill in the world, and I mean ANY ill in the world.  That means that the big onslaught by the media and the Dems on this point hasn't convinced any of the non-core anti-Trumpers that it is the President's fault.

So what have the been the effects of this mess?  For one thing, the Democrats have made clear that they care more about the illegal immigrants than the rest of America.  Democrats don't do anything or even try to do anything for children inside the USA who are separated from their parent when he or she is incarcerated; that concern only applies for the illegal immigrants.  Democrats don't do anything or even try to do anything for homeless veterans or other homeless people on the streets of our cities, particularly ones like Chicago, Philadelphia or Baltimore which have been run by the Democrats for nearly a century.  They do run to shelters to check on the rather fine conditions in which the illegals are being held.

Another effect is that the media manufactured "crisis" has taken attention away from nearly everything else.  We haven't really heard much of anything about how things are going with North Korea following the Singapore summit.  We don't know what Congress is doing with regard to pending appropriations bills.  Even the economic news has receded into the mist.  It has been non-stop border news about children.  America, however, does know that the Democrats say that the problem could be solved by President Trump and that they refused to vote for any bill to fix the situation.  Then when Trump acted, the same Democrats said that he didn't have the authority to take action, but they still refuse to vote for any solution.  They are blocking action to protect the very illegals who most Americans blame for the crisis.  It sounds good in the DC bubble, but the poll says it won't play very well across the country.

This is just one poll, so maybe it's wrong.  Still, if this poll is even remotely correct, we are witnessing a massive fail by the left.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

CFPB held Unconstitutional

The Consumer Finance Protection Board or CFPB was set up by the Dodd Frank law.  The Democrats who passed that law structured the Board so that it would not be answerable to Congress or the President.  The CFPB is not funded by Congress; it gets its money from the Federal Reserve.  The head of the CFPB cannot be removed by the President at will; he or she may only be removed for cause.  There are other special wrinkles in the law setting up the CFPB, but the two listed make it unique among federal agencies.  They also make it unconstitutional according to a decision today in the Southern District of New York.  Judge Prenska dismissed the CFPB as a party in a pending action as a result of her finding that the Board was unconstitutional.

The decision will no doubt be appealed by the CFPB.  After all, the DC circuit court of appeals previously held to the contrary.  At some point, the issue will end up in front of the Supreme Court. 

Right now, however, the future of this agency is in question. 

Sales Tax On The Internet

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can have businesses collect sales tax on purchases even if that business has no physical presence in the state.  This changes a rule that has been in place for decades. 

Let's be clear what this means.  Until now, a company that sold items on the internet but which has all its offices and warehouses in Connecticut was only required to collect sales tax from residents of that state.  Now, that same company will have to collect taxes from nearly every other state.

The first effect of this ruling is that companies like Wayfair (the defendant in this case) can no sell at lower prices than other companies because they are using the internet and can avoid sales taxes.  This will mean more taxes collected for the states, higher prices for consumers and fairer competition between competitors.  Of course, a company like Wayfair will now have to collect fifty different state sales taxes and literally thousands of different local taxes.  It will be a nightmare.  Surely, there will have to be companies that develop computer programs that impose the correct sales tax on a transaction.  This will cost money and will just add another level of expense onto the price of internet goods.

A friend of mine suggested today a possible fix.  He suggests that Congress pass a law setting a sales tax on internet interstate sales at 5% (or something similar).  The revenue received would than be distributed to each state proportionately with population.  State sales taxes on interstate sales would otherwise be banned.  This would mean that all internet sales would be hit with the same tax level.  Millions or billions in extra costs could be avoided.  States could avoid the expense of collecting the tax.  The feds could even keep a piece of the collection sufficient to cover the cost of collection.  It's a great solution.

Investigating the Investigators

The latest news in the Russia Trump hoax investigation is that according to Congressman Mark Meadows, some of the FBI agents involved with that matter are being investigated for altering evidence pertaining to the FBI interview with General Flynn.  Remember, General Flynn was then the National Security Adviser and he was asked about his contacts with Russia and Russians.  According to reports, the FBI agents who spoke with Flynn reported that they saw no evidence that he told them anything other than the truth.  Flynn was never told of this conclusion by the agents involved.  Then came the Mueller investigation and not long after that, Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI in that interview.  The evidence which may have been tampered with by the FBI are the reports filed by the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn.  These reports are FBI 302 statements which record what transpired when a witness was interviewed.

If Meadows is correct and there really is an investigation of tampering with the 302 statements, then that means that not only did the FBI withhold from Flynn the conclusion that he had told the truth, but the reports filed by the agents involved were also altered so as to make them fit better with a charge of lying to the FBI.  It's the ultimate in police state tactics.

If there is any truth to the charges that the FBI's 302 statements were altered to help in the prosecution of Flynn by Mueller, then anyone involved should go to prison.  And I mean DIRECTLY TO JAIL.  They shouldn't pass GO or collect $200.  This is heinous.


Back to The Law

It's amazing to watch the flip flop on immigration law that took place in Washington in the last 24 hours.  Prior to yesterday afternoon, the media and the Democrats were in unison announcing that President Trump had the power alone to fix the separation of children from their parents after those parents were arrested for illegally crossing the border into the USA.  Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer put the Democrat position best on Tuesday afternoon:  "Mr. President, you alone can fix it."  Schumer was not alone in expressing that view; nearly every Democrat who spoke to the issue and nearly every pundit in the mainstream media told the country that President Trump could fix this mess all by himself.  Then everything changed.  Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order that ended the separation of families on a temporary basis.  The order also directed the Justice Department to ask a federal court in California to allow children to stay with their parents after twenty days.  You see, there is an old court decree that requires the federal government not to hold children after twenty days.  That means that children of parents who are arrested for violating the immigration law cannot be held with their parents after 20 days.  Of course, that means family separation.

After this executive order was issued, there was a complete reversal by the Democrats and the media.  "The President can't do that on his own" is the new battle cry.  Suddenly, President Trump who they assured us could act by himself can't do that anymore now that he has taken action.  It's sad to see this happen, but it does reveal a basic truth about the Democrats and the media:  they really don't care all that much about the children; they only want to be able to make Trump look bad.  The goal is election of Democrats, not helping of immigrant families.