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Showing posts from January, 2018

Rep. Gowdy Not Running for Re-Election

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina), the former chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi and the current chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced that he will not be running for re-election in the 2018 midterms.


The 53-year-old Gowdy represents the heavily Republican 4th congressional district of South Carolina, and he will be the ninth GOP congressional committee chairman to hold off on reelection this season.

Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, first entered Congress by defeating an incumbent, former Rep. Bob Inglis, in the 2010 Republican primary.

In a press release, Gowdy stated that he is retiring not to pursue higher elected office, but instead to reenter the judicial system. He explicitly said, "I will not be filing for re-election to Congress nor seeking any other political or elected office; instead I will be returning to the justice system."

Gowdy's full statement:

President Trump's Address Gets High Marks

President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, speaking for one hour and 20 minutes about foreign policy, immigration, healthcare, and other pressing topics.

The president received thunderous applause from most of those present at the Capitol, but the Democrats were noticeably seated for the large majority of the president's speech.


On social media, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) were widely critiqued for the apathetic attitude that they displayed as President Trump spoke.

The reaction from most of the viewers outside of the Capitol, however, was far less polarized. A CBS News YouGov poll shows that 75% of those who watched the speech approved of it, while only 25% disapproved.

A more detailed breakdown of these results shows that 97% of Republicans, 43% of Democrats, and 72% of independents approved the speech.

The margin of error was +/-3%.

The speech started on a positive n…

Intelligence Committee Votes to Release Memo

The House Intelligence Committee voted on Monday evening to declassify the so-called Nunes memo, which will make light of surveillance abuses by the U.S. intelligence community.


The memo, which has been viewed by over 100 members of Congress, "reportedly shows how FBI officials concealed the use of political opposition research in their application to surveil members of the Trump campaign," according to POLITICO.

Compiled by GOP members of the committee under the stewardship of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California), the document was the subject of the #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag on Twitter because of its alleged contents.

Members of Congress who have seen the document attest to its explosiveness. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) said, "When you read the memo, it is going to be pretty clear why the Democrats -- and the Democratic Party in particular -- did not want it to come into the public light."

President Donald Trump has five days to decide whether he seeks to authorize the r…

Rosenstein & Wray Visit Gen. Kelly

According to NBC News, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray are visiting John F. Kelly, President Donald Trump's chief-of-staff, at the White House.


Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife received money from Hillary Clinton-tied SuperPACs when she ran for a Virginia Senate seat, stepped down on Monday. It is unclear whether Rosenstein, Wray, and Kelly's discussion will concern the departure of McCabe, who was controversial in conservative circles due to his Clinton connections.

The meeting could also regard the House Intelligence Committee's vote to declassify the GOP's memo on FISA abuses, which was conducted on Monday evening.

The White House vows that President Trump had no role in the early retirement of McCabe, who was slated to step down in a month. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "The president wasn't part of the decision-making process."

Read NBC News' update, which was posted at Twitter:

Rep. Zeldin: Does Schiff Memo Exist?

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-New York) questioned the existence of the so-called "counter memo" produced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), a document that Schiff alleges refutes claims made in the GOP's classified memo on FISA abuses.


Schiff is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, a congressional body that voted on Monday evening to release the FISA memo (pending further authorization from President Donald Trump, who previously signaled his willingness to declassify the document).

According to POLITICO, the GOP's memo "reportedly shows how FBI officials concealed the use of political opposition research in their application to surveil members of the Trump campaign." Expected to contain explosive content, the document triggered the popular #ReleaseTheMemo campaign on Twitter.

According to Town Hall's Guy Benson, the GOP's memo could have had a role in the ouster of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who stepped down from his post on Monday.

Long kno…

American Resurgence: President Trump at Davos

On Friday, President Donald Trump spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a gathering of economists, world leaders, and business moguls. He outlined his accomplishments, presented policy, and affirmed the U.S. commitment to the global community.


The president first spoke about his first-year economic accomplishments, which include fostering record-breaking growth through deregulation and tax cuts.

Regarding the records set by the Dow Jones Industrial Average since his election, President Trump said, "The stock market is smashing one record after another, and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election."

As for the regulatory state in the United States, President Trump echoed free market conservatives when he said, "In the United States, like in many countries, unelected bureaucrats have imposed crushing anti-business and anti-worker regulations on our citizens with ... no real accountability."

President Trump also reaffirmed his…

House Passes Temporary Budget

Late on Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to approve a thirty-day budget for the U.S. government.

The next step for the House's budget bill is the Senate, where it must get 60 "ayes" in order to make it to President Donald Trump's desk. This effort may be futile: Senate Democrats seek to freeze the process in order to secure protections for DACA Dreamers.


The bill extends Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding for six years and delays certain Obamacare taxes.

Much to the chagrin of conservative House members and Democrats, the budget does not address illegal immigration. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), the Republican majority leader in the Senate, addressed this in a tweet:

Just so #Senate Democrats know, #DACA does not begin to face a deadline until March, at the earliest. The deadline to fund the government and the Children’s Health Insurance Program is TOMORROW.
The House's budget was passed on a party-line vote with no Democrat…

President Trump Heralds Economic Prosperity

President Donald Trump, whose time in the Oval Office has been marked by huge gains in the stock and job markets, heralded Wednesday's economic headlines.


The president recognized Apple, Inc., who announced that they will be launching new investments in the U.S. (to the tune of $350 billion), creating 20,000 new jobs, and giving $2,500 in unrestricted stock bonuses to employees. He wrote:

I promised that my policies would allow companies like Apple to bring massive amounts of money back to the United States. Great to see Apple follow through as a result of TAX CUTS. Huge win for American workers and the USA! https://t.co/OwXVUyLOb1 — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2018
President Trump recognized the correlation between Apple, Inc.'s announcements and the recently-passed GOP tax reform legislation, which he signed just prior to Christmas.

Liberals stated that the law would balloon the deficits and give the middle class the shaft, but in practice, it is accelerat…

Apple Announces New Investments in U.S.

On Wednesday, Apple, Inc. announced that they will contribute over $350 billion to the U.S. economy and create 20,000 new jobs over the next five years. According to their press release, some of the new investments are related to the GOP tax reform legislation, which was passed by Congress in December and signed by President Donald Trump just before Christmas.


Apple, Inc.'s new investments will commence immediately, and they estimate that there will be $55 billion in new spending in 2018 alone.

According to Apple, Inc.'s press release on their investments, the new money will be directed to "direct employment by Apple, spending and investment with Apple’s domestic suppliers and manufacturers, and fueling the fast-growing app economy which Apple created with iPhone and the App Store."

Apple, Inc. also writes that the "record tax payment upon repatriation of overseas profits will account for approximately $75 billion of Apple’s direct contribution." This oppor…

Report: Berlusconi's Game Plan

Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, is at the forefront of Forza Italia, a populist party with conservative inclinations. According to documents attained by Bloomberg, they plan to focus on the economy in the final stretch of the election season, which ends on March 4, 2018.


Berlusconi plans to propose a flat tax rate for all Italian individuals and companies. His policy papers state that this will give "families purchasing power, thus increasing consumption and endowing companies with liquidity to raise investments." No suggested tax rate was included in the plans, but Berlusconi has previously cited 23% as the magic number.
Berlusconi will promise the creation of two million jobs for Italy along with GDP growth of 3% by the end of 2023. He also seeks to reduce the Italian public debt, which has soared in recent years, from 130% of the GDP to less than 100% of the GDP.
Bloomberg wrote:

The program aims to relaunch the euro region’s third-biggest economy wit…

Americans Divided on Media Fairness

Much to the chagrin of some, President Donald Trump has attacked deceiving mainstream media coverage and dubbed their propagators as "fake news" sources, a phrase that was ranked by Collins Dictionary as the word of the year. The American people are strongly divided along partisan lines as to whether they see the media as being fair, and this split represents the largest in the world.


According to a Pew Research Center survey of news consumption habits, only 47% of Americans believe that the mainstream media covers "political issues fairly." This would be a reasonable assumption: Studies have shown that media coverage of President Trump is mostly negative.
Only 21% of Republicans believe that the media covers the "political issues fairly." On the other hand, a whopping 55% of Democrats perceive fairness in coverage of political issues. This 34-point differential is the largest spread between supporters and non-supporters of the government in all of the co…

Bannon Deposed by Breitbart

Stephen K. Bannon is to step down as the executive chairman of Breitbart News Network, LLC. Last week, it was revealed that Bannon made inflammatory comments concerning President Donald Trump and his family to author Michael Wolff, who reprinted them in his book, "Fire and Fury."

Wolff claimed that Bannon represented Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer as "treasonous," chided Jared Kushner's business practices, and dubbed Ivanka Trump as the "queen of leaks." President Donald Trump responded harshly, saying that Bannon had "lost his mind" after being ousted from his post in the West Wing.

Bannon didn't deny making the remarks, but he did apologize to the president through a delayed statement. The president rejected the extension of a mea culpa.
Previously the White House chief strategist and a member of the National Security Council, Bannon returned to his role as executive chairman. He had previously held this role from…

DACA Amnesty for the Wall?

The buzz in Washington, D.C. concerns the Democrats' unwillingness to support budget negotiations unless there is a deal reached concerning DACA Dreamers. If the talks reach fruition, the government will shut down on January 19, 2018. 63% of the American body politic is against that course of action, making the prospect a source of great worry for members of both political parties.


President Donald Trump declared that he will not sign off on amnesty for the DACA Dreamers unless they approve his signature campaign promise, a $18 billion border wall. Some Democrats responded harshly: Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) essentially stated that no deal could be reached due to this key item from the president's wishlist.

The president also requested "more immigration enforcement agents, punishment for so-called 'sanctuary cities,' restrictions on citizens and legal residents sponsoring family members’ visas, and policies to make it easier to detain and deport undocum…

Report: Budget Cuts Can Finance Wall

Prior to the candidacy of Donald Trump, the prospect of constructing a border wall was far-fetched due to its cost and its scope. However, it may now reach fruition: President Trump proposed amnesty for DACA Dreamers in exchange for $18 billion for the wall.


Trump's proposal of $18 billion would pay for 700 miles of new border security, according to the administration, and they are also asking for $15 billion to cover maintenance costs. While this $18 billion may seem insurmountable, relinquishing other funding commitments would free up the money in a heartbeat.
Four examples immediately come to mind:

The United States gives $368 million to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees on a yearly basis, according to a Haaretz report. Eliminating this spending would free up $3.68 billion over the course of the next ten years.Since 2002, the U.S. has given Pakistan $33 billion. Canceling these programs would surely free up at least $6.62 billion over the next 10 years.On a…

Breitbart News Planning Next Step

Less than 36 hours after the release of juicy tidbits from Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff, Stephen K. Bannon may be on his way out of Breitbart News Network, the alternative media enterprise where he currently serves as executive chairman.


Wolff claimed that Bannon represented Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer as "treasonous," chided Jared Kushner's business practices, and dubbed Ivanka Trump as the "queen of leaks." President Donald Trump responded harshly, saying that Bannon had "lost his mind" after being ousted from his post in the West Wing. Bannon has yet to state that he didn't make the comments against his former boss.

Bannon, whose site has bleeding readers since November 2016, was panned widely by those still tuning in.

For example, regarding Bannon, one Breitbart commenter wrote, "I supported the guy until this episode with the book. He's become a liability. Trump's right- he's lost his mind. Breitbar…

Editorial: Bannon Needs the Readers

On Wednesday, excerpts from Michael Wolff's new book were released. Gossipy tidbits concerning the Trump administration were unleashed on the public, and one of the sources has been the subject of much Twitter discussion: former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.


Bannon, who served in the administration until August 2017, has since rejoined Breitbart News, where he is the executive chairman. His White House tenure was marked by infighting and advocacy for controversial policy proposals.

Breitbart News has been bleeding readers since the 2016 presidential election concluded with the victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. In a June 2017 report published by The Week, the site's dilemma was outlined by Becca Stanek:

Readership on right-wing website Breitbart News has dropped dramatically since President Trump won the election. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that visitor traffic on the site 'has fallen 53 percent since November, from 22.96 million uni…

The Trump-Bannon War of Words

Excerpts from journalist Michael Wolff's upcoming book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, were released on Wednesday. The text included quotations attributed to former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who was ousted by President Donald Trump over the summer. Trump responded harshly through a press release, saying that Bannon was fired and that he is only in it for himself.


Bannon purportedly said that the Mueller investigation was probing money laundering, that Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer in 2016 constituted treason, that Jared Kushner had shady financial dealings, and that Ivanka Trump was the "queen of leaks."

Wolff has a long history of poor sourcing, and Brill's Content review of Burn Rate acknowledged "apparent factual errors" in the book. Bannon, who currently serves as the executive chairman of Breitbart News, has yet to confirm or deny the quotes assigned to him by Wolff.

Bannon's previous statements …

Gov. Romney Likely to Run for Senate

According to the Washington Examiner, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts) is likely to run for U.S. Senate from Utah. The current holder of the seat, 83-year-old Republican Orrin Hatch, announced on Tuesday that he will not be running for reelection in 2018. Since Hatch has served since 1977, the news of his retirement shocked some Washington insiders.


Romney, who criticized Republican candidate Donald Trump over the course of the 2016 presidential election and into his presidency, was the nominee of the GOP in the 2012 election against former President Barack Obama. He ran alongside Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), who is now the speaker of the House.

The Examiner's report read:

Republicans in Utah expect Mitt Romney to announce for Senate after allowing at least a few days for retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch to bask in the limelight of a high profile, four-decade career on Capitol Hill. Hatch revealed plans Tuesday to step down at year-end after seven terms, putting an immediate spo…

President Trump to Iran: "The U.S. is Watching!"

Amid massive anti-government protests in the Islamic Republic of Iran, President Donald Trump declared his support for the demonstrators and jabbed his predecessor's Iran deal. He also attacked the Irani regime specifically for spurring "big inflation" with poor economic policy and affording the citizenry "no human rights."


The Iran deal, negotiated by former President Barack Obama, released Irani money (which was previously frozen due to sanctions) and led to the airdropping of $150 billion in cash, a key component that was hidden from the American public. The Irani government funds terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, which call for the destruction of the U.S. and Israel.

The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching! — Donald…

President Trump Tears into "Failing" New York Times

President Donald Trump, oftentimes a foe of bias within the mainstream media, composed a pair of tweets that called on the "failing" New York Times to "fulfill the vision of its Founder" and "give the news impartially."


In the past, the New York Times received scrutiny for publishing pieces perceived as being favorable towards communism. Additionally, their editorial page has been dominated by anti-Trump, pro-Mueller coverage.

The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger. Congratulations! Here is a last chance for the Times to fulfill the vision of its Founder, Adolph Ochs, “to give the news impartially, without fear or FAVOR, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.” Get... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
....impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent “sources,” and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, y…