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Senate Democrats try to stop Trump from using defense spending to build the wall

June 17, 2019

    House Democrats had mixed results in trying to sue Donald Trump to stop him from using defense funds to build the border wall but then a Federal Judge ruled the House did not have legal standing to sue the President over this. So now the Democrats are looking at “Plan B”:  Senate Democrats are trying the old fashioned way of actually trying to pass legislation. Here is more:

Senate Democrats are trying to prevent President Trump from being able to redirect Defense Department funding to construction of his border wall.

Democrats filed an amendment, spearheaded by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would prohibit Trump from using national defense funds authorized by the mammoth policy bill toward the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The amendment would also prohibit Trump from using national defense funds authorized between fiscal years 2015 and 2019 as part of the NDAA, an annual measure that outlines broad policy and spending guidelines for the Pentagon.

  At least the Democrats are trying to do something legislatively for a change but I believe the whole NDAA should be thrown out anyway. Of course that is not going to happen however because both sides love to have the power so it will he a case of who blinks first.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

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Sunday, June 16th open thread: ‘Heartache’

June 16, 2019

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 KJV)

  open-threadHere is this week’s open thread. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

 You can subscribe to America’s Watchtower to receive email updates and you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right. 

  Here is Gene Loves Jezebel performing “Heartache” live on The Late Show in 1986:

Christopher Wray is not cooperating with the spygate investigation

June 15, 2019

  The Department of Justice IG report was supposed to be released in May but to date it has remained unreleased and there is no indication that it will be coming any time soon. It has been rumored that the man behind the effort to stonewall the release of this report is non other than FBI Director Christopher Wray.

  On top of that it is now being reported here that House Republicans do not believe Chistopher Wray is not cooperating with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into the Russia investigation origins and alleged FISA warrant abuses. Here is more:

  According to the accusation not only is Christopher Wray not cooperating but he is also hindering the investigation by hiding documents from the Attorney General. If these allegations are true, and I do not doubt that they are, this does not sound like the actions of an innocent man and it sure looks like the FBI has a lot of explaining to do.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Donald Trump introduces new rule to help expand healthcare coverage options for small businesses

June 15, 2019

    Yesterday the Trump administration issued a new rule which, according to this story, is designed to help small businesses provide healthcare coverage options to their employees. Here is more:

The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a rule aimed at expanding health insurance options for small businesses and others, the latest action stemming from President Trump’s health care executive order in 2017.

The White House framed the move as part of its efforts to expand health care choices for people now that efforts to repeal ObamaCare have come up short.

“This new rule gives businesses a better way to offer health insurance to employees and allows workers to select coverage that best fits their and their families’ needs,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The rule allows employers to use tax-exempted funds, known as health reimbursement arrangements, to give to workers for purchasing coverage in the individual market.

Brian Blase, a White House health care adviser, told reporters the move would “particularly benefit smaller employers … by creating another option for financing worker health insurance coverage.”

  It sounds to me like expanding healthcare options is a good idea so I find it interesting that the Obama administration levied fines against these health reimbursement arrangements which basically made them null and void…unless of course the goal of Obamacare was actually limiting options in an attempt to eventually usher in single payer…

   It does not matter if this is going to help the people or not because since Donald Trump proposed this idea the Democrats are going to oppose it sight unseen and we can expect the lawsuits to follow.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

William Barr to interview senior CIA officials over spygate

June 13, 2019

  It is not a question of “if” the Trump campaign was spied on, it is a question of if the spying was justified. That is what William Barr told us under oath and now it looks as if he is starting to get serious about investigating what actually went on during the 2016 campaign and the alleged FISA abuses.

  According to this story William Barr is preparing to interview two senior CIA officials, here is more:

The Justice Department plans to interview senior CIA officers as part of its investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, according to The New York Times.

CIA Director Gina Haspel has told senior officials that while the CIA plans to cooperate, it will protect information that could place sources or collection methods at risk, the newspaper reported, citing current and former American officials.

The Department of Justice has not filed formal written requests to talk to the officers, but intelligence officials have been informed that Attorney General William Barr has assigned the United States attorney in Connecticut, John H. Durham, to seek the interviews, according to the Times.

Haspel does not plan to block the interviews and has told officers it will be possible to talk with Durham without risking agency secrets.

Barr is reportedly seeking further information on how the agency concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian operatives to aid President Trump’s 2016 campaign and damage that of Hillary Clinton, according to the Times, citing current and former officials.

Specifically, Barr wants more information about the CIA sources the agency relied on in analyzing Russian interference as well as the intelligence pathways between the CIA and the FBI in the summer of 2016, according to the newspaper.

    The Democrats are afraid of what this investigation might turn up and that is why they are working over time trying to discredit the Attorney General but it does not look like William Barr is going to be intimidated.

 I know the CIA and the FBI do not like the term “spying,” they prefer “unauthorized surveillance” or something to that effect, but this is just a game of semantics and the bottom line is that the Trump campaign was spied on and the Russian dossier was used as justification to gain access to the campaign.

  Even if it turns out the spying was justified it does not mean the spy organization went about it the right way when fake documents were used. The end does not justify the means and hopefully William Barr will get to the bottom of this. 

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defends Congressional pay raises

June 11, 2019

  Last week the Democrats tried to give the Congress a $4,500 pay raise but were forced to pull the legislation amid a tremendous backlash they somehow neglected to predict. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has been in office for all of about 5 months or so and has yet to do anything along with her other Democratic buddies, is one who thinks she deserves a pay increase already.

  The freshman Representative from New York had this to say in defense of the pay raise after she learned the legislation was pulled:

“What this does is punish members who rely on a straight salary, and reward those who rely on money loopholes and other forms of self-dealing. For example, it incentivizes the horrible kinds of legislative looting we saw in the GOP tax scam bill,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Tuesday.

“Voting against cost of living increases for members of Congress may sound nice, but doing so only increases pressure on them to keep dark money loopholes open. This makes campaign finance reform *harder.* ALL workers deserve cost of living increases, incl min wage,” she added.

  Wow, she managed to get several talking points in while defending her need for more money: the GOP tax “scam”, dark money, tax loopholes, and increasing the minimum wage. I have to say that was pretty impressive! I also find it interesting she thinks it is more important for her to take care of her own house before seeing if she can do something about minimum wage workers.

  But seriously, did she just not say we should give the Congress a raise because they are corrupt and this would mean they could afford to be less corrupt with a pay raise? That is what it sounded like to me…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Democrats pull congressional pay raise bill off the table

June 10, 2019

  Last week the do-nothing Democrats in the House had the audacity to declare that the House members deserved a pay raise and were set to introduce legislation giving themselves a $4,500 raise.

  This was met with quite a bit of backlash, and I would be willing to bet the backlash was from both sides of the aisle, and it is just breaking right now that the Democrats have decided to pull the pay raise legislation off the table. Here is what we know:

House Democrats are postponing consideration of a bill that would include a pay raise for members of Congress, after facing a major backlash from the party’s most vulnerable members.

The bill was part of a roughly $1 trillion funding package scheduled to be voted on by the House this week.

  I think what was even more offensive to many of the American people besides the fact they actually thought they deserved a raise was the way the Democrats described the $4,500 raise as a “modest” pay increase.

  I do not know too many people, and I do no think you do either, who would describe a $4,500 pay raise in that manner and I think it shows just how out of touch these people really are despite their claims they understand the Middle Class and want to help them.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium