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Worried about the economy

October 23, 2021

A new Fox News poll finds an overwhelming percentage of Americans are worried about the economy, and the negative ratings for President Biden’s handling of it are rising even among Democrats (an 11% drop in approval in just one month.) Almost nine in 10 voters are worried about inflation, and a staggering 84% say rising gas prices are a problem for their families.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/voter-worry-inflation-biden-economy-ratings

And no wonder: as of today, the average cost of a gallon of regular gas according to Triple A is just under $3.38. In California, land of liberal “governance,” it’s $4.53. And in the remote small town of Gorda, California, a gallon of regular unleaded is $7.59 and premium is nearly $8.50.

https://www.westernjournal.com/bidens-america-gas-skyrockets-7-59-per-gallon-us-town/

If you’re hoping for relief soon, dream on. The Biden Administration has backtracked and decided not to challenge a court ruling blocking the Willow Project, an oil and gas drilling project in Alaska that would have generated 100,000 barrels of oil a day and created 2,000 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs and which had already passed an extensive review for environmental impact.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2021/10/21/gas-hits-unbelievable-high-while-biden-shuts-down-more-american-oil-options-n460634

President Biden admitted that gas prices are up and said they likely won’t go down until 2022. I’d say 2024 is more like it, when we can get a President back into office who hasn’t declared war on our domestic fossil fuel industry that was thriving as recently as last year.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/biden-predicts-gas-prices-wont-go-down-until-2022

Just as a reminder of how your vote has consequences: In February of 2020, when Trump was still in office, one of my writers snapped a photo of the sign at his local gas station in suburban Dallas as he filled up his tank. A gallon of regular was $1.89.

And Biden told you he wasn’t going to tax the poor and middle class!

Latest poll news

October 23, 2021

Politico obtained the results of a private poll conducted by the Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC, which is warning Democrats of serious problems ahead in 2022. That poll showed that 53% of Americans think the economy has gotten worse (only 30% think it’s improved), 56% rank inflation as the most pressing economic issue, and Biden’s approval rating is only 41%, which is dragging all Democrats down.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/10/20/senate-dem-operatives-rough-road-516355

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 62% of Americans lay a lot or some blame for rising inflation on President Biden’s policies.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10112865/62-U-S-voters-blame-Biden-policies-increasing-inflation.html

Biden has now sunk so low in so many polls that for the first time, Real Clear Politics’ average of all polls shows a majority disapproving of the job he’s doing, by 52,3% to 43.2% approval.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/joe-biden-s-job-approval-hovers-at-all-time-low-in-realclearpolitics-average/ar-AAPLl1P

Most stunning of all, the latest Rasmussen Reports survey of likely voters finds that 58% believe Biden is not mentally or physically up to the job of President, and 53% believe someone else is making his decisions for him.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/10/20/nolte-58-say-joe-biden-not-mentally-physically-capable-being-president/

Caveat: I always warn readers not to pay attention to polls, especially those taken well in advance of elections. It’s good to see polls going your way, but if we’re going to save America, we have to volunteer, work, donate and vote as if they’re not.

One thing that’s been clear since Hillary’s Perkins Coie attorney Michael Sussmann was indicted by Special Counsel John Durham for lying to the FBI is that he is a pivotal character in the Russia Hoax. From Durham’s “speaking indictment” it’s easy to see that this man surely must be the Mother Lode of information about the whole scheme and virtually everyone involved, whether in the “Justice” Department and FBI, the media, the DNC, the Hillary campaign (same thing), or, with partner-in-slime Marc Elias, the fabricators of the “dossier.”

Yes, “fabricators.” George Stephanopoulos’s transparent and laughable attempts to redeem Christopher Steele via TV interview fell flat, as there’s still no verification of that stupid, mistake-riddled dossier.

Anyway, Aaron Mate at REAL CLEAR INVESTIGATIONS has a great piece on Sussmann and then-legal partner Marc Elias (who again made a name for himself in 2020 by dismantling election security measures in battleground states nationwide). Mate outlines how these two Democrat operatives were central to the Russia Hoax. “The emerging picture,” he says, “shows Sussmann and his Perkins Coie colleague Marc Elias, the chief counsel for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, proceeding on parallel, coordinated tracks to solicit and spread disinformation tying Donald Trump to the Kremlin.”

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2021/10/19/coming_into_focus_hillarys_secretive_russiagate-flogging_pair_of_super-lawyers_799168.html

Sussmann was indicted for concealing the fact that he was working on behalf of Hillary’s campaign when he went to the FBI in September 2016 with a fake story about computer servers at Trump Tower “pinging” with those at Alfa Bank, a financial institution allegedly linked to Vladimir Putin, suggesting “collusion.” Fortunately, Alfa Bank sued Christopher Steele and others involved in this fabrication, and court documents apparently provided Durham’s investigators with a lot of pertinent details.

What we like about Mate’s piece is its look at the activities of Hillary’s “dynamic duo,” Sussman and Elias, as they fulfilled their mission to get the “Russia” narrative going. It’s also got some interesting details on Sussmann and CrowdStrike, the tech company that ended up with the DNC servers after the DNC claimed in April 2016 that their emails had been hacked. It was Sussmann who immediately hired CrowdStrike. And it was CrowdStrike who quickly made the claim –- still unproven –- that Russia had hacked the DNC servers to obtain the emails that were made public by WikiLeaks.

In moves that “smell” coordinated, just days before Sussmann hired CrowdStrike and pressed them to implicate the Kremlin, Elias retained opposition research company Fusion GPS to, as Mate puts it, “dig up dirt on Trump and the Kremlin.” CrowdStrike alleged the Russia “hack” and Christopher Steele produced his first “dossier” report within six days of each other. Mate’s report is the first we’ve seen of this part of the timeline.

In later congressional testimony, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson called the overlap of the two lawyers’ activities “an extraordinary coincidence.”

But together, these two Democrat Party lawyers played a central role in defining the fake Trump-Russia narrative. In Mate’s words, their “odd relationship” with the FBI gave them “unprecedented influence over a high-stakes national security scandal that upended U.S. politics and ensnared their political opponents.” We’ve all heard plenty about Marc Elias, Fusion GPS and the “dossier,” so for now let’s focus on the emerging story of Sussmann’s involvement with CrowdStrike.

When another Perkins Coie colleague, Graham Wilson, told Sussmann in April 2016 that a DNC server had been breached, Sussmann immediately called CrowdStrike. (He later testified to the House Intel Committee that CrowdStrike had been hired on his “recommendation.”) And here’s something dodgy: CrowdStrike’s contract to examine the DNC servers was NOT with the DNC but with Sussmann and Perkins Coie. The contract states: “CrowdStrike shall cooperate with Firm in protecting the Parties’ communications and work product from disclosure under the attorney-client privilege, work product doctrine or other applicable privileges or protections.”

Pretty slick, huh? But Elias/Perkins Coie and Fusion GPS had the same arrangement, to protect THEIR communications, too. And apparently, both attorneys hid the fact that it was the DNC and Hillary’s campaign who were footing the bill for the Russia Hoax. Everybody in this whole scheme was set up to have privileged communications!

Still, though I’m not a lawyer, I seem to recall that such privilege is not applicable if it’s a cover for breaking the law.

Apparently, it was Sussmann who controlled what the FBI was allowed to see. It was reported by THE NEW YORK TIMES that within a day, CrowdStrike “confirmed that the intrusion had originated in Russia.” In June 2016, Sussmann and DNC executives met with the FBI and encouraged the Bureau to go public with the “Russia” story and even say specifically that it was espionage. Sussmann pushed hard for this but offered the FBI no evidence in the form of forensic images or an unredacted report from CrowdStrike.

So the FBI wasn’t ready to proclaim this, but that didn’t stop the DNC from going public on its own. Sussmann and CrowdStrike CEO Shawn Henry were named as sources for a story that ran in the WASHINGTON POST.

Much later, after his testimony before the House Intel Committee was finally declassified in May 2020, we learned that Shawn Henry had no actual indication that the DNC servers had even been hacked, let alone by Russia. “There’s circumstantial evidence,” he said, “but no evidence that they were actually infiltrated.” U.S. intel officials were using weasel-words such as “likely” and “appears to” in their own documents –- including Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report –- to cover up the lack of proof.

On big question is why the FBI would rely on CrowdStrike’s word on the “hacking” of the DNC servers. The FBI has said the DNC denied them access to the servers, while the DNC said the equivalent of, “Well, they never asked.” When Sussmann and Shawn Henry testified before the House Intel Committee in December 2017, they said the FBI “did not try” to conduct an independent investigation. Sussmann testified that he said he offered access to “everything CrowdStrike was developing,” but to his knowledge they never sought access. It’s hard to know what is true, especially since Sussmann has been INDICTED FOR LYING. Another tip-off: he’s a lawyer for the DNC.

But former FBI Director James Comey testified that the FBI had made “multiple requests at different levels” to access the servers and had been denied. Gosh, it’s hard to know what to believe when known liars are contradicting each other.

James Trainor, who was then assistant director for the FBI Cyber Division, told the Senate Intel Committee that Sussmann had “scrubbed” the CrowdStrike report before it was given to the FBI, resulting in a “stripped-down version” that was “not optimal.” So the FBI was left with no investigation of its own, only CrowdStrike’s report that Sussmann had finessed and redacted. CrowdStrike’s original, unredacted report remains unreleased to this day.

So, no one has seen evidence of a Russia “hack.” But someone got the DNC emails to WikiLeaks. Julian Assange still won’t say, but he has said it wasn’t Russia or any state. There’s no indication –- so far –- that Durham is looking into that. CrowdStrike told REAL CLEAR INVESTIGATIONS that the special counsel hasn’t been in touch.

But maybe he'll find out from Michael Sussmann.

Thursday, President Biden took questions in a CNN “townhall.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10118843/Biden-says-cops-emergency-responders-fired-not-getting-vaccine.html

I use the quotation marks because CNN always seems to find a “town” that’s at least 90% Democrats. In this case, of the 12 people allowed to ask questions, only two were Republicans, and the first one didn’t get to speak until 20 minutes before it ended. Even one of the questioners identified as an “Independent” attacked Republicans and “rogue moderates” and asked why Biden didn’t just force through the Democrat agenda. Sounds like that person is an “Independent” like “Democratic socialists” are “Democrats.”

https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnn-biden-town-hall

The biggest news points to come out of the evening were:

* Biden admitted he didn’t have the votes to pass his $3.5 trillion spending bill if it retained his hike in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%.

* He said he was considering doing away with the Senate filibuster to pass the Democrats “voting rights” (i.e., “legalize vote fraud”) bill, but not for all bills, because that would lose him three votes for his $3.5 trillion spending bill. (Note: I don’t think “doing away with the filibuster” works that way. You’d think that someone who spent 370 years in the Senate would know that.)

* He said he was considering sending in the National Guard to ease the supply chain crisis. I guess that’s easier than reversing the liberal policies that are causing it, like the AB-5 law in California that banned independent contractor truckers. A national version of that is in his $3.5 trillion bill, if you want to know how serious he really is about fixing the supply chain crisis.

By the way, over 100 House Republicans signed a letter explaining why Biden’s $3.5 trillion porkulus bill would be a death blow to the supply chain.

https://www.westernjournal.com/100-gop-reps-bidens-3-5-trillion-bill-death-blow-americas-supply-chain/

* He said the US would defend Taiwan if China attacked it. China seemed really intimidated by that threat.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-taiwan-china-defend

And why should they be, since they now seem to be outstripping us in military weapons development?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10116479/China-tested-SECOND-hypersonic-orbital-nuke.html

* And the quote that made the biggest news: Biden doubled down on threatening police officers and other emergency workers and first responders, saying that if they refuse to comply with his COVID vaccine mandate, they should stay home or be fired (the fact that this received “thunderous applause” from the audience should tell you the kind of audiences CNN assembles for these dog-and-pony shows.) He then ridiculed the very idea of Americans having the freedom of autonomy over their own bodies, mocking them by saying, “I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID. Come on.” (Still unanswered: the question of how unvaccinated people endanger vaccinated people if the vaccines work.) This also overlooks the fact that many of those people worked through the pandemic at great personal risk, and were likely already exposed to and recovered from COVID so they have natural immunity.

I have a feeling that Biden dismissing cops and first responders and mocking freedom will be a recurring theme in many 2022 campaign ads.

I couldn’t help wondering what people might be thinking who actually voted for Biden because he was sold to them as a moderate centrist who would return compromise and respect for other people’s views to the White House. Also, he hailed first responders as the heroes of the pandemic, vowed not to impose a government vaccine mandate, and even expressed reluctance himself to take any vaccine that was rushed to market under Donald Trump. Now, those first responder bums' lives can just be ruined if they’re skeptical of vaccines he sowed distrust in, and they resist the mandate he promised never to impose.

I’m leaving out the biggest news of the night: he got through it without dissolving into gibberish or wandering off stage. But it might have been better if he’d done either one of those things rather than say what he did about first responders. He might want to consider that if he plans to brutally enforce a vaccine mandate, it might be good not to alienate the police. The Democrats have done enough of that already by defunding police departments and legalizing crime.

For more on that, check out this story about how an iconic Target store is the latest to close in San Francisco because the same people come back every day and rob them blind, and the liberal leaders who refuse to make them pay any consequences for theft are denying that’s the real reason. This account comes directly from some fed-up cops speaking anonymously, so you can imagine how much loyalty they still have to liberal Democrats.

https://californiaglobe.com/local/san-francisco/exclusive-iconic-target-store-in-mission-district-to-close-amid-a-shoplifting-tidal-wave/

Prof. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has a good op-ed on police pushback against vaccine mandates, and how forcing officers to quit will result in them becoming private security so the wealthy will be safe while poor and minority neighborhoods will suffer (thanks again, Democrats!) One silver lining: the Democrats seem to want to impose a police state, but that’s going to be hard if the police are so furious they’d rather quit than obey Democrat policies.

Finally, it wasn’t as if the Biden Townhall didn’t have a healthy scoop of false claims and incoherence, which Nick Arama at Redstate.com chronicled:

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2021/10/21/bid

Fighting back works

October 22, 2021

The good news is that Congressional Democrats have caved before the tsunami of outrage over their plans to have the IRS track every financial transaction or bank balance over $600 and have raised the limit to $10,000. The bad news is that they’re still trying to have the IRS track every transaction or bank balance over $10,000.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2021/10/20/democrats-now-say-they-will-only-snoop-on-bank-transactions-over-10000-n1525471

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, “Today’s new proposal reflects the Administration’s strong belief that we should zero in on those at the top of the income scale who don’t pay the taxes they owe, while protecting American workers by setting the bank account threshold at $10,000 and providing an exemption for wage earners like teachers and firefighters.”

Republicans pointed out that this would still intrude on the privacy of every small business owner and many individuals who might have balances or transactions over $10,000, for everything from depositing daily restaurant earnings to saving for a car to making a down payment on a house.

We’ve heard this “It'll only trap rich crooks” claim before, when law enforcement was given civil asset forfeiture powers. It wasn’t long before they were happily abusing that power to seize cash, houses and other assets from innocent Americans who were lucky if they could ever get their rightful property back. Here are just 10 particularly egregious examples out of many:

https://listverse.com/2015/06/29/10-egregious-abuses-of-civil-asset-forfeiture/

Do you really think that if the IRS gets this snooping power, that agency or the politicians overseeing it won’t abuse it?

Besides, if the real target is very rich tax evaders, why is the threshold set at $10,000? People in that tax bracket spend that much on a watch or a designer gown to wear to a gala with AOC. Would they really risk audits and jail time over what they would consider sofa cushion change? $10,000 may sound like big bucks to you, but it’s nothing to the people the Democrats claim are the target. Setting it that low means you are the target.

I know that most Americans don’t care to read about the problems of nations on the other side of the world. But I urge you to read this story from the Epoch Times about the ongoing genocide of Christians in Nigeria (70,000 so far) at the hands of Muslim extremists.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/epoch-times-journalists-praised-for-coverage-of-nigerias-genocide_4051465.html

It’s shocking that so many American media outlets trumpet their belief that “black lives matter,” yet give no coverage to the genocide of black Christians in Nigeria. But Lara Logan of Fox Nation has produced a documentary on it called “21st Century Terrorism Revealed.”

One thing it reveals is that if you think, “It’s a terrible tragedy, but it has nothing to do with us,” you couldn’t be more wrong. Bad American policy under Obama had a direct impact on causing this genocide. Obama and John Kerry worked to undermine the Christian President of Nigeria because he passed a ban on gay marriage, and helped elect a Muslim President who’s turning a blind eye to the slaughter of Christians – and who also kept the ban on gay marriage.

Nor is the danger likely to stay isolated to Nigeria. As Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom told the Epoch Times, this is “not simply a human rights and humanitarian crisis of genocidal proportions, it is also an American security concern. Today, Mahanga is a terrorist base camp; tomorrow, half of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous and economically prosperous country, could be one. The U.S. government must recognize the gains being made by Islamist extremists in this region under the approving eye of its President - an apologist President who continues to generously aid their efforts. Nigeria is rapidly becoming a global catastrophe.”

It may be too much to hope that the same President who just handed over Afghanistan to the Taliban and left our people behind will do anything about saving Christians in Nigeria or preventing that nation from becoming a new haven for global terrorism. But if enough Americans learn what’s going on and how it could come back to bite us, maybe our next President will.