Saturday, April 29, 2017

Illegal "Wire Taps"

Confirming that Obama ordered the NSA to spy on Trump



We are publishing Mark Levin's summary of the illegal wiretaps as the basis for our additional commentary of the rationale for the actions of all parties.  

In short, it was clear at the time of these incidents that Mr Obama was doing all in his power to eliminate Mr Trump as a candidate, and, as the election grew closer, Mr Obama pulled out all the stops to prevent Mr Trump from winning the election.  

In so doing, Mr Obama and his Intelligence Community henchmen committed a series of illegal actions which eventually will be the basis for their arrest and prosecution.

Notably, in hindsight following the election, we have seen Mr Obama forming a self-declared Shadow Government, sponsoring violent "protests" which appear to be financed by George Soros.  Additionally, Wall Street [led b CitiBank] has so far paid Obama over $400,000 for a "speech", and it is rumored there will be another $400,000 payment coming soon for still another "speech".

As for the motivations of Mr Trump, he followed the path of all of his predecessors of both Parties in strategizing his campaign and communicating legally with all those foreign and US elements who would be impacted by both the election as well as the new Administration.

Mr Trump and was eventually made aware of the technical capabilities of illegal surveillance by NSA, and established safeguards accordingly.

Mark Levin provides this astute summary of the "illegal wiretaps"

1. June 2016: 

FISA request denied. 
The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. 
The request, uncharacteristically, is denied.

Reason:  Trump's communications had no, repeat NO bearing on National Security, and the surveillance was clearly political, and thus illegal.


2. July 2016: 

The Russia joke. 
Wikileaks releases emails from the Democratic National Committee that show an effort to prevent Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) from winning the DNC presidential nomination. 
In a press conference, 

Donald Trump refers to Hillary Clinton’s own missing emails, joking: 
Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.” 
That remark becomes the basis for accusations by Clinton and the media that Trump invited further hacking by Russia.

Fact: The accusations were nonsense, and it was clear Trump joked about this event just as most informed Americans joke about NSA eavesdropping since it has been widely publicized by Edward Snowden, to include Methods and Sources [which were never intended to be used against US citizens.  

The NSA programs were patently illegal, and both the NSA Director and the Director of National Intelligence can still be arrested, tried, and convicted of National Security Laws, in spite of the effort by Congress and the White House to retroactively make such actions legal.


3. October 2016: 

Podesta emails. 
Wikileaks releases the emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, rolling out batches every day until the election, creating new mini-scandals. 

The Clinton campaign accuses Trump and the Russians of collaboration.

FACT:  There was, in no sense of the word, collusion between Trump and the Russians -- as there clearly was between Hillary and the Russians, to include her illegal sale of 20% the US uranium reserves while she was Secretary of State.
     a)  General Flynn's discussions with the Russian Ambassador were solely to 
           establish a dialog and to assure the Russians that Obama was clearly trying
           to create a crisis with his saber-rattling; however, Flynn reassured the Russian
           Ambassador that Trump regarded Obama as an idiot, and there would be no
           risk of war with Trump as President.  
      b) Flynn ws well within his rights as Trump's selected National Security Advisor 
           to conduct such discussions, as had occurred in every campaign of either 
           Party since the Cold War.


4. October 2016

New FISA request. 
The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. 
Still, NO evidence is found 

— but Andrew McCarthy at the National Review notes that the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons. 

FACT:  The Obama administration was now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.  


This was not the traditional tapping of phone systems by the FBI; instead, it was the employment of sophisticated collection of all information on Trump targeting all forms of communication, AND via electronic and imagery surveillance.  That was patently illegal under all aspects of the National Security Act.


5. January 2017: 

BuzzFedBen lost all credibility by being Obama's stooge
Buzzfeed released CNN reports, a supposed intelligence “dossier” compiled by "a foreign former British spy."

It purports to show continuous contact between Russia and the Trump campaign, and says that the Russians have compromising information about Trump. 
None of the allegations could be verified and some are proven false. 
Several media outlets claim that they had been aware of the dossier for months and that it had been circulating in Washington.

FACT: The dossier was proven to have been created at CIA under the direction of then-CIA Director Brennan


6. January 2017: 

Obama expands NSA sharing. 
Michael Walsh later notes, and as the New York Times reports, 
the outgoing Obama Administration 
“...expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.” 

These new powers, and reduced protections, could make it easier for intelligence on private citizens to be circulated and/or improperly or leaked.

FACT: This action technically legitimized the actions of NSA's illegal surveillance of US citizens, making prosecution of Obama and his Intelligence henchmen difficult, but, not altogether impossible under the National Security Act of 1947. 


7. January 2017: 
The New York Times reports monitoring of Trump:
On the eve of Inauguration Day, that several agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties. 

Other news outlets also report the existence of 
a multiagency working group to coordinate investigations across the government,” 
though it is unclear how the news agencies found out, since the investigations would have been secret and involved classified information.  

FACT: This reveals a leak not only of unauthorized wire-tapping/electronic surveillance, but also a violation of National Security Laws, indicating, at a minimum, complicity by former President Obama in likely directing this monitoring, but what constitutes Conspiracy, which is the basis for arrest and prosecution of all involved.


8. February 2017: 

Mike Flynn scandal.
Mike Flynn
Reports emerge that the FBI intercepted a conversation in 2016 between future National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — then a private citizen — and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. 
The intercept supposedly was part of routine spying on the ambassador, not monitoring of the Trump campaign. 

The FBI transcripts reportedly show the two discussing Obama’s newly-imposed sanctions on Russia, though Flynn earlier denied discussing them. 

Sally Yates, whom Trump would later fire as acting Attorney General for insubordination, was involved in the investigation; it is believed she was responsible for releasing the classified records to the Media -- a National Security felony.. 

In the end, Flynn resigns over the charge of having misled Vice President Mike Pence  about the content of the conversation.

FACT:  Flynn was under no obligation to inform the Vice President since his chain of command would have had him report directly, and only to Trump.  The VP, an important member of the Cabinet, has never been in that chain of command, in spite of his rank and position.  

Harry Truman, Roosevelt's VP, was never privy to FDR's State Secrets and commented that his VP position was "... not worth a bucket of warm spit!".  Flynn was likely a trap established by Trump to draw out and identify his detractors, and to demonstrate that Obama and the NSA had violated the law.

[While working for Reagan via Ambassador at Large (Vernon Walters) we frequently met with foreign dignitaries at the direction of Reagan for National Security reasons.  At the direction of Mr Reagan, Vice President Bush was intentionally left out of the loop.]


9. February 2017:
 

New York Times claims extensive Russian contacts. 
NYT unable to refute its own headlines


The New York Times cited “four current and former American officials” in reporting that the Trump campaign had 
“... repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials. The Trump campaign denies the claims — and the Times admits that there is “no evidence” of coordination between the campaign and the Russians".

The White House and some congressional Republicans begin to raise questions about 
illegal intelligence leaks.





FACT:  It is clear that Obama's Intelligence chiefs were actively, and illegally  communicating with the New York Times, and had created the bogus story to impugn Trump and his staff.  

The NYT was outed as fabricating this story when two editions were compared, with a two-month gap; there is no statute of limitations in this episode, and both the authors as well as the editors will be held responsible.



10. March 2017: 
The Washington Post targets Jeff Sessions. 
The Washington Post reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contact twice with the Russian ambassador during the campaign 
— once at a Heritage Foundation event and once at a meeting in Sessions’ Senate office. 


Senator Schumer [D] and Putin 
[illegal meeting?]
The WaPo suggests that the two meetings contradict Sessions’ testimony at his confirmation hearings that 
he [Sessions] had no contacts with the Russians, though in context (not presented by the Post) 
it was clear Sessions meant he had no contact with the Russians in his capacity as a campaign surrogate, 
and that he was responding to claims in the “dossier” of ongoing contacts. 

Im reality, during that meeting, Sessions was performing his duty as a US senator, meeting routinely with a foreign official, as all of his predecessors had done, and as Senator [D] Shumer had frequently done in his Committee capacity.

The New York Times, in covering the story, adds that the Obama White House 
“rushed to preserve” intelligence related to alleged Russian links with the Trump campaign. 

By “preserve” it really means “disseminate”
as officials spread evidence throughout other government agencies 
to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators” and perhaps the media as well.

In summary: 


Ex-President Obama, while in office, violated a broad number of National Security Regulations to spy on Candidate Donald Trump; he [or his Intelligence operatives] then worked with the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN to disclose classified information -- or to create the illusion of Intelligence documentation of purported illicit contact between Trump and/or his staff with Russians.

The Obama administration sought, and eventually obtained, authorization via the FISA Court to eavesdrop, not through wiretap, but using NSA sophisticated espionage capabilities on the Trump campaign; 

Obama's team continued monitoring, illegally, the Trump team even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found -- a violation of the National Security Act of 1947.

Obama subsequently relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely within the government, virtually ensuring that the information, including the conversations of private citizens, would be leaked to the media.

All in a bid to stop or overthrow a Trump administration.


In the post-election era, we note that former CIA Director Brennan seems to have remained in contact with his minions at the CIA, illegally discussing classified information and having access to CIA and NSA Methods and Sources to further disrupt President Trump's Administration.

We refer here to a bit of history, in which the Espionage Act of 1917 was extended by the Sedition Act of 1918, which made it a crime to "... willfully utter, print, write, or publish and disloyal, profance curious, or abusive language about the form of the Government of the United States, or ... speech and expression of opinion that cast the government in a negative light,
or, and this is important
to "willfully urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production."

The Sedition Act was replaced by the Smith Act of 1940 [Alien Registration Act] which set criminal penalties for advocating the overthrow of the US government.

The Patriot Act of 2001, was extended by President Obama in 2011 for an additional four years, never presuming the Act could be used to monitor, surveil, and prosecute him 

Within the Patriot Act is a provision which will likely be used against Mr Obama and Mr Soros; it's called the National Security Letter [NSL], which authorizes the FBI to search telephone, e-mail, and financial record without a court order.  

Although the NSL has been successfully challenged in various courts, and remains in legal limbo, it would be rather fitting to have this mechanism used to investigate Mr Obama, Mr Soros, Ms Jarrett, and Hillary Clinton, who likely used this mechanism against their political enemies.






Interestingly, as of 29 April 2017,  NSA has officially revised its collection practices so that it is no longer actively collecting information on US citizens, but merely through collateral collection against foreign targets.  

It all sounds good, but, thanks to NSA's politicization under Obama, can we ever trust our Intelligence services again?  Or, did we EVER trust NSA.  

Here's a trailer from 1998 [those were Clinton years] from the movie Enemy of the State.  Supposedly it is fiction; judge for yourself.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoNT6u3mQew ]



Friday, April 28, 2017

Draining the VA Swamp

Draining the VA Swamp
Click here for full story


President Trump signed a new EO [Executive Order] entitled 
"Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection"
at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This EO addresses a portion of the myriad of bureaucratic issues, and particularly the widespread and embedded corruption documented and reported on for the past eight years, and historically, with no action taken by Congress to reform these problems.

The EO addresses endemic problems in the 150+ VA hospitals throughout the country, many of which have been cited for corruption, incompetent or belligerent staffs, and generally, a failure to provide treatment and support for Veterans.  It also addresses the unwieldy and seemingly ineffective VA bureaucracy which routinely delays and denies legitimate claims because the claims reps simply don't feel like doing their job.  It appears it is much more fun for bureaucrats denying these claims and frustrating Veterans than actually doing their job

VA Waiting List Scandal


One of the biggest opponents of reform in this process has been Senator McCain, but we'll address that issue in a separate blog post as his position on Congressional Committees impacts the Active Military, and importantly, his blocking of data on countless US POWs reportedly alive and officially abandoned in Vietnam.






This EO, to be employed and enforced by the VA Secretary, Dr David Shulkin, will consist of three primary issues:

1)  Creates an office at VA dedicated to "accountability and whistleblower protection", reporting directly to the Director to identify barriers that are "... preventing us from removing employees and people we have identified that should no longer be working at VA".

-- In effect, it's a "You're Fired policy" which would reverse the embedded hatred policy evident in a number of VA regional offices, and at the VA Hospital in Washington, DC where we have witnessed outright hostility by administrative personnel driving Veterans into a rage to force them out of the system -- based on the Veteran's "instability".

    a)  It will also terminate the endless bureaucratic delays by which the VA administrators have created countless barriers to a Veteran claiming benefits.  A personal example involves the VA's demand that we show "documentation of 'BOOTS ON THE GROUND" to claim benefits for Agent Orange, in spite of a four year tour "on the ground" which included a variety of combat medals as well as Vietnam Service medals, and deployment medals.

    b)  Since our Officer Efficiency Reports did not specifically state that we engaged in classified Special Operations in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, VA administrators initially denied benefits.  We requested they obtain our records, and they then sent us a five page document  with the entire content, including VA document number and date redacted.

    c)  Eventually, we overcame much of this bureaucracy, but noted that fellow Veterans without our persistence were left high and dry.  In this process, we spoke with a VA shrink who described a homeless Vet who was denied treatment judged to be crazy because he claimed to have operated in Cambodia; we provided the shrink with a full description of the individual and the classified operation that he worked under -- and he now receives benefits.

    d)  Basically unresolved is the issue of how to guarantee benefits for all combat Vets who operated in covert or classified status since their records do not specifically state [for a reason] where they were operating or when [e.g., Laos, Cambodia, various places in the Middle East and Africa, and on special assignment to deal with Special Weaponry].

22 Suicides per day
   e)  Also yet to be addressed is the massive death toll among Veterans committing suicide, an issue essentially dismissed by the VA, which should be held accountable.

   f)  A footnote, as yet unreported in any detail is the issue of the overworked, understaffed psychiatric doctors and specialists who suffer from overwhelming depression when they are unable to
address the needs of their suicidal patients.
The issue here is that there is a large number of these psychiatrists who themselves commit
suicide when beaten down by an uncaring VA bureaucracy.

  g)  A final issue to examine is what appears to be a VA DEATH PANEL, in which treatment  Veterans is denied or not recommended based on age or severity of illness/injury.  These decisions are made via private contractor consultants who are hired by VA to "... establish claims eligibility"; the "physician" conducting these evaluations are often foreign and have no concept whatever of the Veteran's ailments, and their contract is for simply filling out a VA form.  Among these contractors are Quest and LHI, with which we have had personal experience in this process.

2)    Effective 28 April 2017, the VA will partner with the Department of Health and Human Services to supplement VA medical personnel with medical professionals drawn from the Public Health Service.

3)  An initiative to detect and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in the VA Department.  

Demoted, but not fired
This initiative follows an 18 month Comey-led FBI investigation which produced no progress in the face of blatant fraud in the VA.

It will be employed and enforced by professionals brought in from both the Private Sector and other components of the government to examine -- with a fine-tooth comb -- major construction contracts, pharmaceutical contracts, track records of questionable health care providers, and administrative delivery of benefits to Veterans.

These professionals will examine the fraudulent contracts which enriched regional directors and hospital administrators, leaving operational equipment and facilities severely lacking.
Some examples found by the new Inspector General so far:

   a)  VA Medical Center in Washington, DC put the 98,000 Veterans it serves at risk stemming from the use of Dirty Equipment, lack of necessary medical supplies, and the possible use of recalled equipment.

   b)  Since 2014, the DC VA had 194 Patient Safety Reports regarding "the unavailability of equipment or supplies."

   c) In June, 2016, surgical staff used expired equipment during a procedure because of "...the lack of an inventory management program".

   d) More than 27,000 items purchased by the facility -- at a cost of more than $150 million -- were unaccounted for as of March, 2017.

e)  The Carl T Hyden VA Medical Center in Phoenix reportedly allowed patients to die while awaiting appointments, while bureaucrats falsified "wait-time" data to collect performance bonuses.  The director of that Center was Sharon Helman, who admitted taking at least $50,000 in contractors' gifts [aka: bribes], was tried, convicted, and placed on two years probation.

Helman accepted these "gifts" from Dennis Lewis, a former VA executive who retired and became a lobbyist, securing millions of dollars in VA contracts from Helman.  Although charged with falsified appointment data, whistleblower retaliation, and falsified conflict-of-interest statements, the Merit System judge dismissed the criminal charges, leaving the US District Judge, Steven Logan, only able to convict/sentence her on the administrative charge.

   f)  In a variety of cases, to include Wisconsin and Texas, administrator violations and corruption have been tied to the deaths of a number of Veterans.


4)  The long range target of this EO is the capacity to hold the three million VA employees and administrators accountable for criminal actions, to include corruption, fraud, negligence, and incompetence -- and to perhaps reform the Civil Service system which provides shelter for these criminals.

We encourage President Trump to fully implement his EO and to pursue all his options.  We quote Jarrett Stepman's American Legislative Exchange Council policy paper.

"By stripping the bureaucratic class of their special protections that few 
other americans enjoy through comprehensive Civil Service reform, 
Trump can fulfill his Inaugural promise, and ensure that when 
the People speak, Washington has to listen!"


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Trump's Tax Plan




Today's discussion will focus on the impact of President Trump's Tax Plan.

[We feel qualified to discuss this topic as we maintain advanced degrees in 
Business Administration and Economics from well regarded institutions 
such as Webster, Georgetown, and Oxford Universities, and
we have taught senior level International Business 
courses at the University of Maryland.

We also conducted a NSC/CSIS study of the impact of business
 on local and international economies to assist the 
Reagan Administration develop a strategy for 
International Economic Development.
]

Leftist [e.g., NYT, WaPo, CNN, etc.,] criticism of Trump's Tax Plan worries that it will reduce tax revenues, undercutting the ability of Congress to spend extraordinary amounts of money on pet projects, like the Trillion Dollar F-35, and will benefit "The Rich" at the expense of "The Working Class".

In reality, most economists [including this author] will point out that Economies of Scale play a major role in increasing tax revenues:

1)  The tax base of employed taxpayers expands as jobs are created
      by the return of corporation to the US [inspired by a reduced tax
      rate]; the more taxpayers, the more tax revenue,
2)  Companies previously squeezed by ObamaCare's requirement
      to provide health benefits forall employees, if the number of
      employees exceeds 49, can now return to normal business
      practices and hire more than 49 employees legally; thus, a
      larger taxpayer base,
3)   New companies will be created to meet increased demand for goods and services, no longer
       hampered by the burdensome bureaucratic regulations and criminal penalties buried
       in ObamaCare,
4)   The defunding and termination of enforcement of ObamaCare criminal penalties will end the cost
       of ObamaCare special enforcement units which had hired massive staffs and generated equally
       massive budgets, incurring massive court costs in prosecution of "offenders".
5)  Disposable income of taxpayers will increase, facilitating their expenditures on taxable goods
      and services; the net tax revenues gained through expanded commerce will more than offset
      the reduction in individual tax revenue.
6)  Home equity will continue to increase for
      taxpayers who no longer have to worry that
      Obama or Congress will eliminate the tax
      deduction for mortgage interest and real estate
      taxes; that concept created a negative impact
      on the expansion of the housing industry
      which had begun to contract based on rumors
      from Capitol Hill.
      a)   Home equity allows homeowners greater
             availability of cash through refinancing,
      b)   Home equity translates to more profit in
             the pocket when homeowners sell,
      c)   Home equity encourages new homebuyers,
             expanding the housing market at all levels.
      d)   Housing Market expansion encourages new construction, which employs skilled and
             unskilled labor, expanding the workforce -- and again, expands the taxpayer base,
       e)  Housing Market expansion translates into increased sales of goods and services at all levels,
             from wood, nails, electrical components, stoves, ovens, HVAC systems, etc., all of which will
             both expand as well as create new companies which will hire new workers/taxpayers.
        f)  Housing Market expansion will create new companies which will not only hire new workers,
             but which will increase the business tax base for local and federal taxes.

Individual Reform
1)  Tax relief for American families, especially middle-income families:
     a)  Reducing the 7 tax brackets to 3 tax brackets of 10%, 25% and 35%
     b)  Doubling the standard deduction
     c)  Providing tax relief for families with child and dependent care expenses
     d)  Eliminate tax on individuals earning below $25,000 per year,
           and on couples eating less than $50,000 per year,
2)  Simplification:
     a)  Eliminate targeted tax breaks that mainly benefit the wealthiest taxpayers    
     b)  Protect the home ownership and charitable gift tax deductions
     c)  Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, allowing standard deductions once again,
     d)  Repeal the death tax, allowing family wealth to be passed directly to heirs

As for business, we've noted the expansion above of Small Business in the economy is of major significance.  Here are the documented facts of the impact of Small Business:

1)  99.7%    of US employers
2)  64%       of net "new Private-Sector jobs"
3)  42.9%    of Private-Sector payroll
4)  46%       of Private-Sector output
5)  43%       of high-tech employment
6)  98%       of exporting firms
7)  33%       of value of exported goods

Notably, the impact of ObamaCare provisions forced many Small Business to shut their doors and cease to operate, laying off employees, terminating their sale of goods and services, eradicating their percentage of the economy of local, national, and international commerce, and thus eliminating the tax revenues previously tied to Small Business.

Most politicians -- and economists -- fail to factor in the impact of ObamaCare on the economy and joblessness rates.  The data above makes it a bit more clear for the uninformed.

As a footnote to this mini-discussion of Small Business. we will point out that such companies as Microsoft, Apple, Northrup-Gumman, Oracle, HP, Google, Amazon, and EBay all began as "Small Businesses" -- none of which would have flourished had ObamaCare existed when these companies were start-ups.

Business Reform
1)   15% business tax rate
2)   Territorial tax system to level the playing field for American companies
3)    One-time tax on trillions of dollars held overseas
4)    Eliminate tax breaks for special interest groups
5)    Repeal the 3.8% Obamacare tax that hits small businesses and investment income

The reform of the tax rates on business is especially significant for large, multi-national corporations [MNC], many of which moved their operations outside the US to avoid high taxes and onerous regulations which significantly increased overhead costs and decreased the levels of profit centers.

Lowering the tax rate will attract these extra-territorial companies back to the US where they will not only pay corporate taxes on their profits, but, they will hire American workers to produce goods and services.  These new hires will pay taxes, and consume goods and services provided by Small Business; they will also buy durable goods such as Appliances, TVs, Electronics, etc., and, they will consume services as they expand and enhance their lifestyles.

The territorial tax system will also make these American-based MNCs more competitive, increasing taxable profits, and expanding employment.

The One-Time tax on the protected overseas assets will generate hundreds of billions of dollars in a single event, which can then be invested in the US infrastructure -- creating more jobs.  It has the spin-off effect of eliminating the burden of criminality declarations against US executives who can better expend their resources on building business enterprises rather than expanding the number of lawyers in their legal offices.

And, last, but certainly not least, repeal of the 3.8% ObamaCare tax which has smothered Small Business enterprise, and stifled investment in publicly traded companies, many of which have gone private to reduce the costly impact of federal restrictions.

Noteworthy of this entire review is the impact of ObamaCare -- which most critics have considered merely a fly in the health-care ointment.  In reality, its impact has affected US commerce in all phases of the economy based on its myriad provisions hidden from view in the thousands of pages of both the original ACA as well as the implementation instructions.  

Eliminate ObamaCare, and we can return to business as normal.