Republicans Pushing National Biometric ID Bill

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The two major parties in Washington, D.C., have been playing “good cop, bad cop” with the American people for decades, and the charade is still working. The vast majority of voters seem totally oblivious to the fact that both parties are little more than puppets for the “man behind the curtain” (to borrow a line from “The Wizard Of Oz”). After all is said and done, both parties are destroying constitutional government and liberty in America. They merely approach their duplicity from different directions. But both parties are taking the country down the same slippery slope to serfdom.


Democrats are the out-front bad guys on domestic/social issues such as abortion, gay rights, and gun control. Unfortunately, these are about the only issues conservative Christians pay much attention to. So, to them, Democrats are big bad sinners and Republicans are spotless saints. But what Christians and most conservatives never seem to notice is that when it comes to the advancement of the Warfare State and the promotion of the Police State, Republicans are far and away the baddest of the bad. So, depending on what the “man behind the curtain” wants to push at the time, he knows he has both parties in his pocket to do his bidding.


When pushing a pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, pro-gun control agenda is on tap, the game is rigged for Democrats. And when pushing a perpetual war, police state agenda is on tap, the game is rigged for Republicans. No matter who wins, the “man behind the curtain” is always able to successfully push one part of his agenda or the other. So, now that Republicans are in power in Washington, D.C., perpetual war and a burgeoning Police State is on tap. And, again, most conservatives and Christians will not even notice.


But for those who are interested in preserving whatever is left of America’s individual liberty, they need to be aware that the Republicans in D.C. are in the process of pushing a bill through Congress (Donald Trump would sign it in a heartbeat) that creates a biometric National ID card for every American.


Couched in anti-immigration language, Republican House members—the main sponsor of the bill is Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6)—have proposed H.R. 4760. The bill already has 82 cosponsors. The bill was introduced on January 10.


H.R. 4760 forces a new biometric National ID on every American citizen. One would not be able to get a job, get a loan, open a bank account, or board a plane without this National ID. And as is always the case, there is a total blackout in reporting on this bill by the mainstream media—including FOX News.


Writing for The New American, Alex Newman writes, “Republican leaders in Congress are once again plotting with Democrats to stab the American people and the U.S. Constitution in the back, on multiple key issues. Under the guise of getting ‘something’ in exchange for providing amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants (and future Democrat voters) in Obama’s illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the establishment wing of the GOP is pushing a radical longtime goal of the bipartisan Deep State: mandatory national biometric ID cards for all Americans. Privacy and liberty are under serious threat, critics warned.  


“The Orwellian national ID scheme, known as ‘E-Verify,’ is ostensibly aimed at making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in the United States. Basically, as part of the program, which would become mandatory under the bill, every employer would be forced to buy a scanner and use it to check the legal work status of potential employees. On top of that, every worker would be forced to have a biometric ID issued by the federal government in order to be able to legally work. Without this national ID, employers would not legally be able to hire somebody.   


“But in reality, illegal immigrants are typically paid under the table anyway — many of them simply work as day laborers and get paid in cash at the end of the day. In light of that fact, the unconstitutional plot to mandate national ID will do little to prevent unscrupulous employers from continuing to hire illegal immigrants, off the books. What the scheme will do, though, is force all law-abiding Americans to carry an unconstitutional national ID with all their information on it, including sensitive biometric data, just to be allowed to work. It will also give the feds a key new tool to monitor and control people.


“There is a reason the leadership of both parties have supported the effort for many years. Indeed, even Obama, who did his best to help the United Nations flood America with Third World immigration under various guises, firmly supported the national ID plan, calling for a package containing it to be sent to him so he could sign it as quickly as possible. But now, instead of a Big Government liberal program to track Americans, the plot is being marketed as an ostensibly ‘conservative’ measure to supposedly boost ‘border security’ and limit illegal immigration.  


“A previous version of the scheme was actually sponsored by ultra-leftist open-borders advocate Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). But with the GOP in firm control now, the controversial national ID provision most recently surfaced in the Republican-backed ‘Securing America’s Future’ Act (H.R. 4760). Sponsored by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the bill has some 70 cosponsors less than two weeks after being introduced. And already, organizations such as NumbersUSA that portray themselves as pro-America, anti-amnesty are expressing a willingness to cave on amnesty as long as the national ID and E-Verify become law.”


See The New American report here:


GOP Leaders Plot Amnesty In Exchange For National ID


Former Congressman Ron Paul is also trying to sound the alarm about this Orwellian bill. Writing to his supporters at Campaign For Liberty, Dr. Paul warns: “This bill would give DACA recipients a 3-year renewable legal status while forcing a biometric National ID card on virtually everyone else.


“That’s right — the statists want to control you.


“Just think about it. . .  


“Gun ownership.  Employment history.  Family and friends.


“Purchasing habits.  Health records.  Travel.  Religious beliefs.  Past political contributions. . .


“Just imagine all these records and more on EVERY American citizen stored in a massive national database right at a federal government bureaucrat’s finger tips.


“But that’s not all.


“Under the statists’ National ID scheme, you’d be forced to carry around your National ID card, tied to this massive database, chockfull of biometric identifiers like fingerprints and retina scans.


“Without this ID, you won’t be able to legally hold a job — or likely even open a bank account or even board a plane!”


“You see, this National ID scheme is a key component of H.R. 4760.


“If passed, this dangerous scheme would require all Americans to carry an ID card that would:


“***    Allow federal bureaucrats to include biometric identification information on the card, potentially even including fingerprints, retinal scans, or scans of veins on the back of hands, which could easily be used as a tracking device;


“***    Be required for all U.S. workers regardless of place of birth, making it illegal for anyone to hold a job in the United States who doesn’t obtain an ID card;


“***    Require all employers to purchase an ‘ID scanner’ to verify the ID cards with the federal government.  Every time any citizen applies for a job, the government would know — and you can bet its [sic] only a matter of time until ‘ID scans’ will be required to make even routine purchases, as well.


“Of course, you and I have seen this before. . .


“For years now, statists in BOTH parties have been fighting to RAM their radical National ID-database scheme into law.


“In fact, this scheme was a key portion of the infamous failed ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform’ bills BOTH parties tried to ram through during the Obama administration.


“Now, using the momentum behind Trump’s tough talk on immigration and border security, I’m afraid the statists believe the best way to finally enact their National ID scheme is by promoting their bill on Capitol Hill as a ‘DACA fix’ while they sell it to the GOP base as a border ‘security’ measure.


“Of course, that’s nothing more than a buzzword meant to trick Americans from all over the country into thinking that Congress is going to seal our southern border.


“But in reality, it means something far different.


“[What] the ‘security’ members of BOTH parties in the U.S. House want doesn’t target any U.S. border.  Instead, it’s meant to create an all-out police state within them.


See Ron Paul’s letter here:


Papers, Please


So, what Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress want to do is provide amnesty for illegals (1.8 million vs the 800,000 proposed under Barack Obama—meaning another Trump campaign promise goes down the toilet), while strapping the American citizenry with a biometric national ID card, so WE can be tracked by Big Brother.


And, again, the national news media is hiding the bill from public scrutiny by completely ignoring it (which is what they always do to help an anti-freedom bill become law), and since Republicans are the ones promoting this bill, so-called conservatives and Christians are ignoring it also. More than that: many so-called conservatives and Christians are actively supporting the bill.


It’s the “good cop, bad cop” façade working to perfection.


If conservatives, constitutionalists, Christians, and civil libertarians do not awaken to this phony left/right, conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat dog and pony show that plays nonstop in Washington, D.C., freedom is not long for this country of ours.


H.R. 4760 doesn’t secure America’s borders; it puts the people who live inside America’s borders in a cage—a Big Brother, Orwellian, Police State cage. It makes illegals legal and liberty illegal.


If you want to protect your children and grandchildren’s prospects of inheriting even a modicum of freedom, you will do everything you can to dissuade your congressman from supporting and voting for this horrific bill. A good place to start is finding out if your congressman is a cosponsor.


I shudder to think what America will look like a year after this bill passes.


WE MUST STOP H.R. 4760.


P.S. Since both parties in Washington, D.C. (including and especially Donald Trump) seem determined to turn America into a Police State, it is urgent that every freedom-minded citizen educate themselves as to constitutional principles relating to police contacts.


Not long ago, my constitutional attorney son brought an outstanding lecture to help people know how to act constitutionally and safely when they are stopped, pulled over, or brought into contact with police officers. The address is simply entitled “Police Contact: How To Respond.”


Americans are more and more frequently falling victim to bad arrests and even physical harm at the hands of eager—but reckless—police officers. If a policeman believes you are guilty, being innocent may not be enough to keep you protected. There are many innocent people incarcerated in America’s prisons—or worse, killed by trigger-happy police officers. And oftentimes, citizens themselves help bring on this improper conduct through their own ignorance of the law or through their egregious misunderstanding of the proper way to interact with police officers.


This presentation focuses directly on the “Dos and Don’ts” of dealing with police contacts. Tim discusses how to—and how not to—react to police traffic stops and other contacts. He clearly and simply shows citizens their rights and duties under the Constitution and why it is so important that citizens understand these rights. This material will help citizens preserve liberty in their communities, and it will help policemen be better peace officers. It also might keep you out of jail—or out of the morgue.


To order “Police Contact: How To Respond,” go here:


Police Contact: How To Respond



© Chuck Baldwin



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Source Article from https://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Opinion/233964-2018-02-01-republicans-pushing-national-biometric-id-bill.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS

House Republicans Vote To Release Classified Memo They Wrote Attacking Russia Probe

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s Republican allies in Congress advanced their monthslong assault on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election on Monday, voting along partisan lines to release a classified memo slamming officials from the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation who have investigated the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

The episode has more than a touch of Washington theater to it: Republican staffers wrote the memo, and Republican members of Congress, who always had the power to vote to release it, spent weeks calling on themselves to do so. 

But it was still an extraordinary event. In a letter last week, a top Justice Department official said releasing the classified memo would be an “unprecedented action” that would be “extraordinarily reckless” and could “risk harm to national security and to ongoing investigations.”

The department did not “understand why the Committee would possibly seek to disclose classified and law enforcement sensitive information without first consulting with the relevant members of the Intelligence Community,” the letter read.

It is extremely unusual for lawmakers — especially Republican lawmakers — to clash so publicly with law enforcement on issues of national security and classification. Trump has five days to block the memo’s release, but has indicated he will side with congressional Republicans on the matter, over the objections of the Justice Department.

Republicans argued that releasing their own memo is a matter of transparency. Making the GOP memo public will allow journalists and the public to at least partially assess the claims it makes. But fully judging its merits will also be difficult without access to the underlying intelligence information, which is also classified and will not be released.

At the same time, Republicans voted down a Democratic effort to release a memo authored by Democratic staffers that they say combated some of the inaccuracies in the GOP memo. While members of Congress will be allowed to read the Democratic memo, the public will not.

“The ‘release the memo’ crowd, apparently, doesn’t want to release the memo,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters after the vote. 

“We have crossed a deeply regrettable line in this committee, where for the first time in the 10 years or so that I’ve been on the committee, there was a vote to politicize the declassification process of intelligence, and potentially compromise sources and methods,” Schiff added.

There’s indeed more at stake than D.C. grandstanding: The release of the document is part of a pattern of behavior by the president and his congressional allies — all of it apparently aimed at undermining Mueller’s probe and shielding Trump from scrutiny.

Since Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey — then the official responsible for the Russia investigation — last summer, the president, Republican members of Congress and the right-wing media have battled to undermine public perceptions of the bureau and of the Justice Department:

  • Andrew McCabe, Comey’s former deputy, stepped down Monday after weeks of pressure from Trump and Republicans. Republicans have charged that McCabe was biased against the president because his wife ran for a Virginia state Senate seat as a Democrat, but FBI documents released earlier this month indicate he followed bureau recusal rules. The day after Trump fired Comey, the president called McCabe to complain about Comey being allowed to take a government-funded plane back to Washington, NBC reported Monday. When McCabe said he wasn’t asked to authorize the flight but would have approved it, Trump told McCabe to ask his wife — who lost her race for state Senate — how it feels to be a loser, and hung up the phone, according to NBC.

  • The president, Republicans in Congress, and the right-wing media have spun tales of a dark conspiracy involving Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, two FBI officials who were having an affair and exchanged text messages critical of Trump and other politicians from both parties. The evidence suggests Page and Strzok were actually driven more by loyalty to the FBI than partisan political considerations.

  • The memo the House voted to release Monday reportedly focuses on criticizing Rod Rosenstein, a Republican Trump appointee at the Justice Department who now has responsibility over the Mueller probe. The memo, The New York Times reported, accuses Rosenstein of approving an application to surveil a former Trump campaign official last spring. Trump has long resented Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel after Trump fired Comey. Trump reportedly considered firing Rosenstein last summer, but instead ordered Mueller’s firing — only to back away the decision after his lawyer threatened to quit.  

The sustained assault on the FBI seems to have affected perceptions of the bureau among Republicans and independents. Just over half of the public has at least a fair amount of trust in the FBI, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, down 12 points since 2015. The percentage of Republicans and independents saying they trust the agency dropped by 22 points and 15 points, respectively.

The GOP memo lays the groundwork for that distrust. It was the work of the office of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee chairman and close Trump ally who recused himself from the committee’s investigation into ties between Trump and Russia after he was caught last year promoting a different surveillance scandal with intelligence cooked up by Trump White House officials.

The memo reportedly suggests that FBI agents obscured their reliance on a controversial dossier about Trump’s ties to Russia when they sought a warrant to spy on Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser. Republicans have long sought to discredit the dossier, which was compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

Committee members voted along partisan lines earlier this month to allow any member of Congress to read Nunes’ classified memo. Some of the Republicans who read the memo described the allegations as “sickening” and “worse than Watergate.” Democrats who read it said it was a partisan hack job.

“Rife with factual inaccuracies,” said Schiff. “This may help carry White House water, but it is a deep disservice to our law enforcement professionals.”

Ariel Edwards-Levy contributed to this article.

President Donald Trump, left, and special counsel Robert Mueller, right. (The Washington Post via Getty Images)President Donald Trump, left, and special counsel Robert Mueller, right. (The Washington Post via Getty Images)
  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/house-republicans-vote-release-classified-234334335.html

Wisconsin Republicans Abruptly Decide To Oust Top State Elections And Ethics Officials

Wisconsin Republicans voted Tuesday to remove the state’s top election and ethics officials, despite looming state and federal elections.

Led by Republicans in a vote along party lines, the state Senate voted to oust Ethics Administrator Brian Bell and Elections Administrator Michael Haas from their respective roles by denying to confirm them on a permanent basis. Both men did not get a customary public hearing before the vote.

Haas and Bell previously worked for the state’s Government Accountability Board when it was probing whether the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker (R) illegally coordinated with outside conservative groups. The probe was shut down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2015, but The Guardian obtained information from the investigation and published an article on its contents. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel (R) conducted an investigation into the leak and recommended charges against nine people who worked on the probe, but not Bell and Haas. Despite that, House Speaker Robin Vos (R) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) both called on Haas and Bell to resign.

The Government Accountability Board was disbanded in 2015 and replaced with the state ethics commission and election commission.

In 2016, the members of the elections commission, which is bipartisan, unanimously picked Haas to lead it. The six-member body is charged with overseeing and implementing Wisconsin’s election laws.

Haas’ removal comes just weeks before a Feb. 20 primary in the state and a little under three months before the first day when candidates can begin circulating petitions for the 2018 fall election. As Wisconsin’s chief election official, Haas is responsible for administering those elections, ensuring compliance with federal law and overseeing investigation and enforcement of the state’s election code. He is also charged with overseeing the state’s election equipment, a role with increased importance this year because Wisconsin was one of 21 states targeted by Russian hackers ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Mark Thomsen, a Democrat and the election commission’s chairman, noted during a meeting Wednesday that Haas was the only person in the agency with the required clearance to work with the Department of Homeland Security to secure the state’s election system.

Haas only had a peripheral role in the Walker probe, where he was responsible for legal documents, but not the core part of the investigation into the governor’s campaign, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Meanwhile, the members of the state’s ethics commission unanimously picked Bell to serve as their administrator in 2016. The six-member panel is charged with overseeing the state’s campaign finance, lobbying and ethics laws. An investigation by the ethics commission into Bell found there was “not a scintilla of evidence” he was partisan in his duties at the Government Accountability Board. Earlier this month, Bell said he left the board because it was too partisan.

Fitzgerald, the Republican Senate leader, said Tuesday the fact that neither men had been linked to wrongdoing didn’t really matter to him.

“I can’t have confidence in an agency that still is employing some of the individuals that were there [the Government Accountability Board],” he told the Wisconsin State Journal on Tuesday.

Chris Ott, the executive director of the Wisconsin ACLU, said the timing of Haas’ dismissal was suspicious and said the sudden push to oust the officials was out of the blue.

“The Wisconsin Senate’s vote yesterday along party lines to try ousting the head of our Elections Commission looks like political interference in a nonpartisan agency that helps and protects Wisconsin voters, just a few weeks before important statewide elections start,” he said in a statement.

Jay Heck, the executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, called the vote not to confirm Haas and Bell “one of the most grotesque abuses of power that has occurred in Wisconsin in its history.”

“No evidence, no charges, no specific examples of misconduct, nothing. Just secret agreement among the members of the majority party in the State Senate to get rid of them both, right before important elections, and replace them, presumably, with sycophants and pawns that the Republicans will dictate what they decide and what the result of their work on elections and ethics will be,” Heck said in a statement.

Wisconsin law says both the election and ethics commissions ”shall be under the direction and supervision of an administrator, who shall be appointed by a majority of the members of the commission, with the advice and consent of the senate” to a four-year term. While the law says the administrator will only serve on an interim basis until approved by the state Senate, it also says the administrator can only be removed “by the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the commission voting at a meeting of the commission called for that purpose.” 

The Walker administration said Wednesday it does not believe the commission can legally appoint Haas to lead it. “Because the Senate voted against confirmation of the potential Administrator who was serving as the interim, there was no way for the statutory requirement of ‘consent of the Senate’ to be met and thus the appointment had to end. This is not a removal of an administrator because the administrator serves as interim until consented to,” Steven Michels, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Administration, said in an email to HuffPost.

A legal fight is expected over Haas’ future at the election commission.

Thomsen, the commission’s chairman, believes only the commissioners can vote to fire Haas despite the Senate vote. The panel met Wednesday afternoon and split along party lines about keeping Haas, with Republicans saying they believed the law made the administrator position vacant after the Senate vote on Tuesday. The election panel eventually voted 4-2 to keep Haas as administrator through April 30 to oversee some of the state’s elections.

Fitzgerald told reporters Tuesday he hoped the Republicans on the commission would decline to support Haas. He said he also wants lawmakers to get rid of the positions of two civil servant lawyers at the ethics and elections commission who worked at the Government Accountability Board.

“It’s just hard to develop any type of cooperative relationship or establish credibility as long as some of those people are over there,” he said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/wisconsin-republicans-abruptly-decide-oust-233118864.html

MSNBC Republicans Hit GOP ‘Nuts’ on FBI ‘Secret Society,’ Liken to ‘Pizzagate’

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David Brooks: ‘Ruinous for the Party’ If Republicans Cut Immigration

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Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/brad-wilmouth/2018/01/19/david-brooks-ruinous-party-if-republicans-cut-immigration

Trump Secures Major Victory As Senate Republicans Pass $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut









 






The Senate passed the GOP’s $1.5 trillion tax cut early Wednesday morning, leaving just one technical hurdle and President Trump’s signature as the final steps before the president’s top legislative priority becomes reality.

There was little last-minute drama in the Senate where the final tally was 51-48 – hardly different from the original version that cleared the Senate earlier this month.

Not a single Democrat voted for it, just as none in the House voted for a similar bill earlier on Tuesday.

Moments after the measure passed, Trump was quick to voice his approval and said if the House succeeds in a final re-vote Wednesday morning, there will be a White House news conference at 1:00 p.m.

‘The United States Senate just passed the biggest in history Tax Cut and Reform Bill,’ he tweeted just after 1:00 in the morning. ‘Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare) Repealed. Goes to the House tomorrow morning for final vote.’

During an afternoon cabinet meeting, Trump said that the bill will provide ‘a tremendous amount of relief for the middle class, including a doubling of the child tax credit and a nearly doubling of the standard deduction.’

‘That’s going to be tremendous for people. They’re going to start seeing the results in February. This bill means more take home pay,’ he said.

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Top Republicans Say Trump Isn't About To Fire Mueller. But They Can’t Stop Attacking Him.

Top Republicans on Sunday used news shows to assure the media and America that President Donald Trump is not on the verge of firing Robert Mueller, the special counsel charged with investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by the president.

“There’s no conversation about” firing Mueller “whatsoever in the White House,” Marc Short, the White House legislative director, told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “I read that the president’s own lawyer says” Trump isn’t going to fire Mueller, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “I think that would be a mistake myself.”

But both men devoted large chunks of their time on the morning shows trying to discredit and undermine Mueller. Cornyn, who challenged the legitimacy of the probe in a tweet Saturday night, criticized Mueller for having an FBI agent on his team who sent text messages critical of Trump. When Stephanopoulos noted that the agent, who also criticized Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Attorney General Eric Holder, has already been removed from the investigation, Cornyn doubled down. 

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“He needs to make sure he vets that team,” Cornyn said. “There are plenty of FBI agents and prosecutors who have not been politically involved on behalf of Democrats or overtly critical of the president that can serve in this important investigation. So I have confidence in Director Mueller. I would just think he would be concerned about the appearance of conflicts of interest that would undermine the integrity of the investigation.”

Short pivoted back and forth between denying the president would fire Mueller and arguing that the special counsel and his investigation are wasting time and taxpayer money. “This administration has cooperated in every single possible way with the special counsel,” Short said. “Taxpayers have spent millions and millions of dollars on this investigation that has not yet proven any sense of collusion with the Russians. I think the American people are ready to turn the page.”

On CNN, Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s treasury secretary, got in on the action, too. 

Responding to “State of The Union” host Jake Tapper’s question on Trump possibly firing Mueller, Mnuchin replied: “I don’t have any reason to think the president is going to do that, but that’s obviously up to him.”

Mueller has already charged Trump’s former national security adviser, former campaign chairman, and two other Trump campaign aides with federal crimes. One of the president’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow, has called for another special counsel to investigate Mueller himself, and a lawyer for Trump’s transition team has attacked Mueller for obtaining transition emails without going through the White House. (That’s a strange objection; prosecutors often obtain documents from third parties.) 

Mueller’s team is set for an important meeting with the president’s lawyers this week. But in the days beforehand, Trump’s team seems eager to convince people that the president won’t try to fire the man investigating him ― despite their repeated claims of misconduct and conflict of interest. Maybe that will change when they hear what the special counsel and his team have to say.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/top-republicans-trump-won-t-183529876.html

MSNBC’s Steele Blames Republicans When Dems ‘Have to Raise’ Taxes

12:14 p.m. ET

ALEX WITT: I want to get right into this New York Times / Survey Monkey poll. Here are the numbers which show a majority, 57 percent of Americans, they disapprove of this tax plan — 37 percent approve. The President’s calling this the greatest Christmas present, but are Americans willing to say, “Yeeaah, no thanks.” What do you think?

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, I think Americans have done something that they have learned to do from the Obamacare era, and that’s actually just sort of figure out what’s in the bill since our legislators seemingly don’t really pay that much attention to what’s actually in the bill. And they’ve discerned for themselves that this is not something that’s going to necessarily be beneficial to them. Certainly not long-term. I mean, I think folks understand that all these, you know, all these tax cuts that are being trumpeted by my party go away in 2025. 

And they’ve got these little caveats in there saying, “We’ll revisit this — we’ll see where we are in the economy,” and all this other things. But the expectation is this is going to be massive growth off of this because, yeah, we have been in a sluggish growth period — there’s no doubt about that. Wall Street has done very well, main street not so much. But there are ways in which conservative, you know, fiscally conservative Republicans in the past would have approached this a lot differently. But this is a political grab as much as it is a reform of tax legislation. And I think it’s important for people to understand — and they seemingly do — that there are some down sides to this that folks aren’t being very honest about now.

WITT: Well, yeah, I mean, the last time we did this and had massive tax overhaul was in the Reagan era —

STEELE: Right.

WITT: — so, I mean, you look at that, and you’re basically kicking the can down the road since these aren’t permanent. They expire in what, seven or eight years, so you’re dooming whoever is in power in Congress or who’s in the White House to potentially — if there’s not this extraordinary growth that’s being promised here — raise taxes on everybody like that’s going to go over like a lead balloon.

STEELE: And that actually, Alex, has been somewhat the cycle as we’ve seen. Republicans have cut taxes, and Democrat administrations have had to come in and raise them. We saw it with Clinton after Reagan — we saw it with Obama after Bush. And so now the question becomes: Do we want to continue that cycle? There was a smarter way to do this.

I love the idea of cutting taxes and having, you know, average Americans keep more in their pockets every pay period, but there are also costs that come with that. And saddling $1.5 trillion on the backs of future generations is not the way to do it, and it just shocks me still that the very conservatives that I helped get elected in 2010. The fiscal hawks who came to Washington to say, “We will not spend one dime more than the American people can afford,” have just signed off on a $1.5 trillion tax increase on those very same Americans.

WITT: I know. That’s remarkable.

STEELE: It’s amazing.

(…)

STEELE: Right now, you have a party in desperation for a win. They want to get out of this year as soon as fast as they can with a pat on their back to say, “Gee, look what we finally did,” so they can go into next year making the case to people who are already on shaky ground with the party in terms of supporting them in 2018 and say, “We have given you the best Christmas present we could possibly give you, and that is a massive tax cut,” without letting them know that when you unwrap this thing, it may actually contain coal.

And that’s the problem that the party’s going to have to deal with as people go through next year and really drill down on how this affects them, then realize that with respect to their state and local taxes — their property taxes and other things that are impacted — they’re going to come on the short end.

(…)

WITT: You still have to explain to me how trickle-down economics is going to work in this effect because we’ve not seen it work before.

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/brad-wilmouth/2017/12/16/msnbcs-steele-blames-republicans-when-dems-have-raise-taxes

NRA & Republicans Pushing Bill to Make it Easier for Feds to Disarm Citizens

nranra

In yet another example of how both parties are willing to completely compromise their ostensible principals to further the agenda of usurping your rights, the Republican-controlled house just recently voted to federalize gun laws across the country. Not only was this bill—which makes it easier for the federal government to disarm the citizens—voted for by the alleged pro-2nd Amendment Republicans but it was also supported by the NRA.

After finding out that the US Air Force failed to turn over the information that would’ve made it illegal for Devin Kelly—the coward terrorist behind the horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas—the federal government came up with the “Fix NICS” bill. NICS stands for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System which was missing information that could’ve prevented Kelly from buying a gun.

It is important to note that checks were already in place to prevent Kelly from acquiring a gun. Kelly was given due process and legally lost his 2nd Amendment right. However, he was allowed to by a gun, not because NICS failed, but because the Air Force did.

To make sure the Fix NICS bill gets passed, Democrats joined together with Republicans and tied an ostensible pro-gun bill in with it called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38), sponsored by Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC. This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.

However, Fix NICS, as noted above, does nothing to prevent what could’ve happened in Sutherland Springs as that was a mistake on behalf of the government. Instead of punishing the Air Force for allowing a wife beating psycho to discharge with no criminal record—despite having a criminal record—this bill simply throws money at states to force citizens to turn over more data.

While it may seem rational to bolster the Federal gun registry, we need to heed the warning from those in Congress as to how it’s been used in the past to violate the gun rights of veterans and senior citizens.

As Congressman Thomas Massie noted in his own criticism of the bill:

When President Obama couldn’t get Congress to pass gun control, he implemented a strategy of compelling, through administrative rules, the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration to submit lists of veterans and seniors, many of whom never had a day in court, to be included in the NICS database of people prohibited from owning a firearm. Only a state court, a federal (article III) court, or a military court, should ever be able to suspend your rights for any significant period of time.

Guess who championed that Obama-enabling measure as a pro-gun bill when it passed? The NRA did, that’s who—and now they are doing it again.

Ten well-informed Republicans chose to vote “NO” on the bill last week, however, the overwhelming majority of them voted for it. Here’s why:

The NRA threatened them. 

“Please vote “YES” on the Rule for H.R. 38, as reported. Due to the importance of this issue, votes on this rule will be considered in future candidate ratings and endorsements by the NRA Political Victory Fund,” read the NRA’s threat.

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The irony and ignorance of Republicans being threatened by the NRA for wanting to uphold the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans is glaring, to say the least.

As the Mises Institute notes, while Republicans and supporters of the NRA may not fear the Trump Administration coming after their guns, it is obviously reckless to grant additional power and resources to future administrative states that may be quite hostile to the right to gun ownership. To put it simply, there is never a good reason to give Federal agencies the power the revoke an individual’s ability to lawfully purchase a weapon without due process.

To see how this gross abuse of power is already being used without this bill further increasing federal reach, we need only look at Hawaii who began disarming their citizens in compliance with a 2011 federal mandate that prohibits medical marijuana users from owning firearms.

As TFTP reported last month, residents in Honolulu, Hawaii, were recently informed that if they use cannabis for medicinal purposes, they will be given 30 days to “voluntarily surrender” their firearms and ammunition before the Honolulu Police Department begins confiscation.

Similar confiscations are happening in Ohio as well.

As Tho Bishop explains in his article for the Mises Institute, while the simplicity provided by nationalizing laws is an understandable appeal, especially if you’re a gun owner who frequently travels, political centralization is never the answer. By supporting this flawed attempt at “National Concealed Carry Reciprocity,” the NRA and their supporters in the House have sided with the power of Federal agencies over the Second Amendment rights of Americans.”

Even if you are for the reciprocity bill, and you are willing to take a hit on NICS just to get it passed, as Business Insider reports, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said that Senator Cornyn, R-Texas, agreed with him to push “Fix NICS” as a stand-alone bill. Meanwhile, he says reciprocity is dead in the Senate.

Even with the already expanded NICS that happened under Obama, thanks to a grossly negligent mistake in the Air Force, Devin Kelly was able to purchase a gun. Even if this bill is passed, it won’t prevent that from happening again it merely expands the state’s authority to remove rights with no due process.

As CR reports, the NRA suggests that this bill actually helps those wrongly placed into NICS by truncating the appeals process. But that is only a moderate fix on the back end once people have already lost their rights without due process. We need a fix on the front end. Though government has the power to limit the gun rights of someone who is a threat to society, the Second Amendment is the most foundational right and requires due process to take it away. Imagine if we placed people on a No Free Speech list without due process and invited them to prove they could have their free speech back after the fact.

In short, this bill will pressure federal agencies and states to place as many names as possible on the list, making it only a matter of time before this list becomes so large that nearly any activity could serve to remove your 2nd Amendment rights. And, Republicans and so-called gun rights activists in the NRA are willing to sell you out to get it passed.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/nra-republicans-pushing-bill-make-easier-feds-disarm-citizens/