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You talkin’ to ME?

It appears that James Comey is planning to plead non compos mentis if he is ever actually put in a witness box regarding his testimony in the closed door hearing Thursday.

Reading his testimony in the transcript it almost appeared that the former FBI director was suffering from selective early onset dementia, considering how many times he either said he didn’t remember or didn’t know the answers to the questions and inquiries. Even being spared having to watch his testimony doesn’t rid it of its faintly reptilian feel.

Still, this IS James Comey. We kind of know what we’re getting with him.

One thing that was interesting was his access to a DOJ attorney throughout the hearing.

Mr. Comey is a private citizen. Yes, he was a highly placed DOJ official and is privy to many of the secrets and motives of that department, and this wasn’t a court of law.

Nevertheless, in a setting other than a hastily put together impotent hearing, Comey would not have been able to use the cover of an “ongoing investigation” to avoid answering questions, and he would certainly not have a government lawyer assisting him in doing that.

That brings up an interesting question. Could a private citizen or an organization bring civil or criminal  charges against him for tampering with an election, since it is obvious no one in Congress or the Mueller investigation is going to do so?

That’s unclear, but certainly to an outsider, it appears that the real “collusion” to tamper with the election originated with Comey and his cohorts.

TGIF – December 7, 2018

The people’s wall.

So, Nancy P. thinks the border wall is “immoral?”

Considering she apparently sees no problem with 30 to 50,000 people overrunning the border every month, one wonders about her definition of morality.

With Democrats promising to block any border wall funding (the $1.6B Dems have offered specifically forbids the money being used for the wall,) more and more people are beginning to wonder if a human wall might be a better answer.

The French citizens’ rioting against a massive increase in gas taxes hasn’t gone unnoticed, leading many people to wonder if a massive peaceful  public display along the border might be necessary to move Washington off dead center.

The trouble with that is that those sorts of things seldom stay peaceful, as evidenced by the massive public and private property damage in France.

Still, it might be hard for Democrats to justify their continued opposition to secure borders in the face of a few thousand human fence posts.

Is GM making workers pay for management errors?

By now we all know that the Chevy Cruze is a financial lemon for GM.

GM’s Mary Barra is under considerable attack for closing several GM manufacturing facilities in the U.S., while moving production to Mexico.

Not lost on the public is that they bailed GM out over  similar management missteps, among other things, ten years ago

Also not forgotten is that GM did not pay back the TARP loans with earnings, but rather with funds from another TARP loan program.

Some GM employees are hoping President Trump can convince Barra to keep the plants open to manufacture the vehicles and components being outsourced to Mexico.

This is a more complicated story than it appears on the surface.

Barra would say that it is just too expensive to manufacture cars in the U.S. A look at average salaries for assemblers and production workers on Indeed.com shows medians of $48,000 and $51,000 respectively.

That’s not a lot by U.S. standards, but it is above the average wage in Mexico, even under the new USMCA agreement.

Apparently lost on Barra is that these “overpaid” workers are the ones who can afford GM’s vehicles.

Of course wages and basic benefits aren’t the only costs, but still, GM seems to have simply misjudged the current market for economy cars.

That’s not the fault of the people making those cars.

Comey hearing blessedly private.

Finally, as we remember Pearl Harbor,  a big thank you to Congress for sparing us from James Comey on parade.  Those who are interested can read the transcript, while the rest of us can blissfully ignore his self-promotional grandstanding.

 

Longevity doesn’t always produce wisdom.

On December 4,  The Atlantic published an article by John D. Dingell, a nearly six-decade- long member of Congress offering his thoughts on how to “fix” Congress or more accurately, to restore the people’s faith in government.

Former Senator Dingell is a Democrat, but hey, anyone who’s served in government that long should have some good points to make.

And some of his points are cogent.

For instance, he opines that every citizen over 18 should be required to vote. Some would say that’s a bad idea…after all, how informed would their vote be if they wouldn’t vote unless compelled to do so?

But if the entire country has to suffer along under our government, then shouldn’t the entire country have to participate in government?

And in principle, his suggestion that elections be publicly funded, presumably via some sort of levy or tax to avoid the “purchasing” of a senator or representative by big donors has been suggested for some time.

But he kind of loses us when he suggests that the Senate, like the House of Representatives, should have members that are determined by population.

There is more than a hint of partisanship when he trashes the framers of the U.S. Constitution for suggesting that small flyover states like Wyoming and Vermont should be protected in at least one branch of the government. As a part of that he suggests that we should just abolish the Senate, so that we have just one body whose motto is “bigger is better.”

Yeah, that ought to restore people’s faith in government.

And of course there is the obligatory horror that those small state rubes elected someone like Trump.

Those are just a few of his points, and regardless of your party affiliation or lack thereof, you really should read  the whole article. It will tell you a lot about the mindset of a lifelong Democrat.

One thing we didn’t read in the article…any suggestion of term limits. Fifty-nine years in office is about 47 years too long.

Self-loathing is not the Democrat’s problem.

If you don’t believe that, just ask Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono. After all, she’s on your side.

Senator Hirono has displayed a propensity towards foot-in-mouth disease before, but her supercilious assumption that Democrats are just too left-brained to connect easily to non-Democrats is simply astounding.

Well, we agree that they are definitely left-something, although the brain isn’t exactly what we thought of first.

Perhaps if her party didn’t show it’s contempt for anyone not on their team so openly, more people would be willing to at least listen to the party line.

During the 2016 campaign, one of the reasons HRC lost the election, perhaps even the main reason, was her “basket of deplorables” comment, coupled with her not so empathetic “we’re going to put you out of business” declaration to coal miners.

And now we have Senator Hirono pontificating about the native intelligence of her party, and how hard it is to connect to people who don’t think with their brains.

It has been noted that if you have to tell people you are smart, then maybe you are not as smart as you think you are.

Although it is unfair to paint all Democrats with the same smelly brush, a boatload of them simply despise the people they want to vote for them, and they don’t even have the smarts to conceal their contempt.

Speaking of left-brained, isn’t the myth that those who are left-brained are supposed to be more logical and math-proficient than their creative and emotional right-brain opposites?

That must surely explain how Democrats can support single payer Medicare-for-all as a cheaper and better alternative to individualized health care, even as countries utilizing that model are moving away from it as it bankrupts their economies.

Yep, those Democrats are definitely just too smart for the rest of us to understand.

Or not.

_______________________________________

May our 41st President, George H.W. Bush, Rest in Peace. He gave us his best.

Can we “fix” asylum immigration?

According to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) there are nearly 700,000 asylum-related cases backlogged in the system at present. That’s nearly  2100 cases for each one of the approximately 334 judges.

That’s not something the people encouraging Central Americans to join “caravans” are advertising.

Obviously the more people that decide to head for the U.S. border the more that number potentially increases.

That isn’t to say none of these cases are being heard. The CIS article estimates that based on the first two quarters of the year, the courts are on track to decide on 182,000 cases this year.

Over and above the caravan members that made it to Tijuana last month, the Border Patrol is reported  to have detained 90,000 people since the latest caravan left their home country in October.

That’s nearly 100,000 illegal immigrants being potentially pushed into our court system in less than 90 days.

There have been requests to double the number of immigration court judges, but at the rate of illegal entrants above, that’s still going to be woefully short of enough.

Obviously not all of these people have credible claims for asylum, and are never going to be docketed into any court calendar.

Those are the people who jump the border and drop children over the border from the height of a two-story building.

Somehow, we need to get the word out south of the border (WAY south) that the open border mouthpieces, socialists, cartels and coyotes are lying to would-be immigrants.

As Musings noted before, some of the best advertising will be done by disenchanted caravan members who return to their own countries, provided that they are allowed to inform their countrymen and women.

Maybe we should be spending the money we have been sending to Central America, and use it for better PR at the source of the problem.

Welcome to progressive America.

Progressive Washington state lawmaker and open border advocate Pramila Jayapal makes it pretty clear where the House will stand on uncontrolled immigration and open borders if she and her cohorts have their way, according to an article in Politico.

Let ’em all in.

In her world all the people at the border are “…running from death…” apparently ignoring the plain facts, captured on videotape, that many plainly state they are economic migrants who are probably in no greater danger of death than people walking the streets of Los Angeles, Seattle or Chicago.

There is nothing wrong with being an economic migrant.  It’s not illegal or a sin to want to improve one’s economic condition.

We have a process for that. It’s called legal immigration, and we bring in a million or more people a year under that system.

With the advent of the new year, the House Judiciary panel has already stated that one of its first goals will be to probe President Trump’s immigration policies, presumably with the aim of blocking said policies.

On the other side of that coin are ordinary people who note that stopping the so-called caravan on the Mexican side of the border has reportedly produced proof of some of the adverse results of uncontrolled immigration.

Things such as chronic communicable  illnesses like chickenpox,  tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS incubating in the migrant population.

That’s information the left has kept conspicuously out of the news when discussing the impact of illegal immigration.

Take chickenpox for example.  Recently the CDC has reported an uptick in chickenpox cases in the U.S., blaming it on U.S. parents refusing to have their children vaccinated, but could there be another cause?

It has been reported that when unattached children are detained they do receive health checks and vaccinations, but it is unknown whether that applies to family units who are essentially given a free pass into the country. And obviously, people who simply sneak in illegally don’t first stop at the nearest public health office to get vaccinated.

Does that have anything to do with the increased instances of chickenpox?  We don’t know, but it’s a question worth exploring.

Also highlighted is the cost of supporting the people in Tijuana. Mexico doesn’t have nearly the width and depth of social services for migrants that we do, and they are still spending more than $25,000 a day just to keep them meagerly fed and inadequately sheltered.

These are both negatives that the progressive left hopes you won’t think about too much.

And this is just for 6,067 people. In 2018, CBP reports there were over 10,000 people arriving, illegally crossing the border, being apprehended and placed into our welfare system every week, and many more are getting through without being stopped.

Many of those initially claiming asylum will never leave the country because they will never face an immigration court.

Like Tijuana, eventually even this country will reach its financial and social limits.  What then?

This about more than just flooding the country with illegal immigrants in the name of “social justice,” or virtue signaling.  It is about our entire government failing to address immigration sensibly.

It costs too much, takes too long and has no methodology or goal behind the reasoning governing the legalities of immigration at present, and quite frankly, politicians are much happier to keep it that way than to overhaul immigration  in the 21st century.

Far better apparently to retain the issue than to address the problems.

How much justice for citizens and immigrants alike is there in that?

TGIF – November 30,2018

Mueller probe fatigue

The question of the week is when will the Mueller probe going to be over.

The simplest answer?

When he has successfully completed his assignment, which appears to have been to get rid of Donald Trump as President.

Since running Trump down with a truck after he upset the Clinton applecart was somewhat too obvious even for his enemies, the “collusion” investigation became the next best thing.

Now we have Michael Cohen who conveniently remembered  (purportedly after 70 hours of  “interviews”) yesterday that he lied to Congress.

Americans are beyond tired of the Mueller probe.  Even the most casual observers now feel that this is a partisan crime-hunting exercise.

Wouldn’t you love to hear a defense attorney question Cohen on the stand?  “Mr. Cohen, you have repeatedly confessed to lying, in exchange for sentencing leniency.  Why should we believe you now?”

Shades of Perry Mason.

Flake carries out threat.

Jeff Flake, or as some people call him, Senator Turncoat, carried out his threat to block 18  Senate judicial confirmation votes until his “Cover Mueller’s ass” bill was brought to a vote.

Perhaps McConnell should just put all the confirmation votes on hold until January, and go ahead with the other pressing things until Flake is gone. It isn’t as though Congress has nothing else to do in its remaining 10 or 11 days in session.

The truth about 19th century immigration.

The current gnashing of teeth over the caravan almost always includes someone whining about the “immigrants” having to present themselves at ports of entry to claim asylum.

Imagine how they’d screech if they could only go to one place to apply for entrance.

However, that’s exactly how it was during the late 19th and early 20th century.

History.com offers this tidbit:

“After an arduous sea voyage, immigrants arriving at Ellis Island were tagged with information from their ship’s registry; they then waited on long lines for medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States.” (Underline emphasis added.)

That’s right, they had to report to Ellis Island to get in, and furthermore, if they were ill, they were denied entry. In other words, they were screened.

They didn’t get to just walk in. Horrors!

Of course we admitted far fewer people then. From its inception in 1892 to its closure in 1954, Ellis Island is reported to have admitted some 2.3 million people, about as many as are legally admitted in 2.5 years now.

The left hopes you don’t know things like this, but the history of the past informs the vision of the future.