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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Obama's DHS Secretary: "We Are Truly in a Crisis" at the Southern Border

No less than Jeh Johnson, who served as Secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama administration from 2013-2017, has declared the situation at our southern border a "crisis." Best of all, he did so on MSNBC.

Refusing to take the political bait from "Morning Joe's" Mika Brzezinski when she condescendingly asked, "Do these proposals [from Kirstjen Nielsen, Pres. Trump's Secretary of Homeland Security] even come close to representing America?" Much to Mika's disappointment, Johnson replied,
When I was in office in Kirstjen Nielsen's job at her desk, I'd get to work around 6:30 in the morning and there'd be my intelligence book sitting on my desk, the PDB, and also the apprehension numbers from the day before. And I'd look at them every morning, it would be the first thing I'd look at, and I probably got too close to the problem. [M]y staff will tell you if it was under 1,000 apprehensions the day before, that was a relatively good number. And if it was above 1,000, it was a relatively bad number, and I was going to be in a bad mood the whole day. On Tuesday, there were 4,000 apprehensions. I know that a thousand overwhelms the system. I cannot begin to imagine what 4,000 a day looks like. So, we are truly in a crisis.
Watch the exchange below:

I'm sure the democrat hacks at MSNBC were greatly disappointed to hear someone from the Obama administration stray so far from the Democrat Party narrative on immigration and border security--and on their network no less! They shouldn't be too surprised. Former Sec. Johnson has, at times, been truthful about our border situation. In a report from his office of Homeland Security in 2014, he wrote,
The fact is, over the last several years, we have made great strides in border security. With the support of Congress, total apprehensions by Border Patrol – which are a direct indicator of total illegal attempts to cross the border – have gone down substantially in recent years. In FY 2000, Border Patrol apprehensions were at a high of more than 1.6 million. In FY 2013, Border Patrol apprehensions dropped to less than 420,000. That number will increase somewhat in FY 2014, owing to the spike in migration this summer in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, which has now receded to at least FY 2013 levels. The overall decline in illegal migration over the last 14 years is due in very large measure to the unprecedented levels of personnel and resources we have dedicated to border security. Today there are 20,000 border patrol agents (compared to 15,000 in 2008), 652 miles of fencing and barriers (compared to 267 in 2008), 9 unmanned aircraft systems (compared to 4 in 2008) and 12,722 ground surveillance systems (compared to 6,712 in 2008) all devoted to this Nation’s border security. 
With the help of Congress, we must and we will continue this good progress.
Note that "good progress" includes an increase of over 140% in border "fencing and barriers." Of course, President Trump is trying to continue such "good progress" when it comes to border security, but lying liberal hacks in the Democrat Party and the left-wing media stand against such efforts. Good for Jeh Johnson for telling them some truth!

Copyright 2019, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Democrats and the Mueller Report: Remember What They Said

Robert Mueller is done; Trump-Russia collusion is dead; but the war on the Trump presidency rages on. As many Congressional democrats and their lackeys in the left-wing media continue to pursue their foolish dream of removing President Trump from office, it’s important to remember that swing-district democrats—whose victories gave control of the U.S. House to their party—won their elections not by promising to impeach President Trump.

In other words, all those Democrat Party chairs now promising endless investigations of the President are only in the position to do so because their swing-state comrades laid off the impeachment chatter. Or, as John Lawrence of The Hill put it the day after the Mueller report summary was released,
Democrats did not win the majority on a promise to relentlessly pursue Trump; they won because candidates for Republican seats persuaded voters, long before the Mueller report was issued, that they could be trusted to address tough issues like health care, immigration, campaign finance reform, and integrity in government. If Democrats hope to retain those seats — and a majority — in 2020, they will have to demonstrate that the voters’ confidence was not misplaced. They assuredly will not retain the hard-won majority if they are perceived as single-mindedly heading down the impeachment, or even the Mueller-Barr, rabbit hole.
Again, not only did swing-district democrats avoid or down-play talk of impeachment, they also frequently spoke of waiting on the Mueller report—as well as relying upon Mueller’s report—before deciding on whether impeachment of President Trump was indeed called for. Let us review their own words.

In September of 2018, The Washington Free Beacon reported,
Gil Cisneros (CA-39) and Katie Porter (CA-45), have generally said they support the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, and that decisions on impeachment should wait for a conclusion and report by Mueller and his team.
Lucy McBath (GA-6) said she “would not call for impeaching Trump unless there was a bad report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible Russian influence on the 2016 presidential campaigns.” Reporting on Haley Stevens (MI-11) just three weeks prior to the 2018 midterms, The Detroit News declared,
Stevens takes a wait-and-see approach on possible impeachment hearings for Trump, saying that conversation depends on the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry. “We need to see the Mueller investigation through,” Stevens said. “I believe we need to put the country first and certainly treat anything along those lines very seriously.”
In May of 2018, the Fort-Worth Star Telegram asked 22 Texas democrats running for U.S. Congress whether they would vote to impeach President Trump. Two democrats—Lizzie Pannill Fletcher and Colin Allred—flipped seats in Texas. When asked about impeachment, Ms. Fletcher declared, “Congress must ensure that [Mueller’s] investigation is completed, and that if President Trump has committed impeachable offenses must be prepared to bring the charge.” Allred added, “We need to make sure the Mueller probe is protected and that it’s able to reach its conclusion.”

Reporting on Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) last year ABC News noted,
Wexton was also cautious when discussing Trump and possible impeachment. A former prosecutor, she said she wants special counsel Robert Mueller to continue his work and that “we need to follow the facts and we can’t rush to judgment.”
Just days from the 2018 election, New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill joined her New Jersey swing-district colleagues in calling for restraint on impeachment. She declared, “Congress should support Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation and allow him to finish his work.”

And so on. (I chronicle 2018 swing-district democrats on Trump, Mueller, and impeachment here.) Democrats flipped dozens of GOP-held seats because they painted themselves as rational, non-hyper-partisan candidates who would follow the facts—especially on impeachment. Now that Mueller’s report has further revealed the Trump-Russia-collusion farce for what it really was, these democrats must be held accountable to their words.

Furthermore, ever since the Mueller investigation began, there was a bi-partisan chorus of politicians telling us that the Mueller investigation should be “protected” and that Mueller must be “allowed to complete his work.” Of course, to a great extent this was because so many liberals and never-Trumpers were convinced that the end of the Mueller investigation would spell the end of the Trump administration.

Whether or not they felt that the Muller investigation would be the ultimate undoing of President Trump, many democrats put all of their impeachment eggs in the Mueller investigation basket. Leon Panetta—defense secretary and CIA director under Barack Obama and chief of staff to Bill Clinton—summed up this position well. Two months prior to the 2018 midterms, ABC News reported Panetta saying,
“I think the most important thing that the Democrats could do is to allow Bob Mueller to complete his work.” Panetta continued, “I think Bob Mueller’s work will ultimately determine whether or not there are going to be additional steps taken against the president and they ought not to get ahead of that report because that will be the key to determining what happens.”
Now that the collusion narrative has finally officially collapsed, impeachment-obsessed democrats must look elsewhere to satisfy their anti-Trump hate. Of course, as they chase this political unicorn, they only reinforce the notion that the Mueller investigation was never really about Russian collusion at all, but rather just a convenient means of undoing the results of the 2016 presidential election. In other words—as the actions of congressional democrats prove—it seems that the Mueller investigation was little more than a “witch-hunt” all along. 

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2019, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Remember: Democrats Didn’t Take the House by Promising Impeachment

It seems Speaker Pelosi and her party are no longer on the same page. Mrs. Pelosi’s recent revelation that she’s “not for impeachment” directly contradicts the political priorities of many—if not most—on the American left. Recent actions by House Democrats make this clear. By most indications, number one on the liberal agenda is not national security, the economy, jobs, healthcare, education, abortion rights, or even the climate. The highest priority for many congressional democrats and their base is the impeachment of President Trump. As Byron York noted last week,
[Rep. Jerrold] Nadler’s talk with ABC was the clearest indication yet that Democrats have decided to impeach Trump and are now simply doing the legwork involved in making that happen. And that means the debate among House Democrats will be a tactical one — what is the best time and way to go forward — rather than a more fundamental discussion of whether the president should be impeached. 
On Monday morning Nadler released a list of 81 names of Trump associates from whom the Judiciary Committee is requesting documents in what Nadler called “the first steps of an investigation into the alleged corruption, obstruction, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates and members of his administration.” 
Other House Democrats are sending similar messages.
Of course, Nadler and his impeachment allies are only in this position because democrats wrested control of the U.S. House from republicans last November. With one seat in North Carolina still pending, in the 2018 midterms, the democrats had a net gain of 40 seats, giving them a total of 235 in the U.S. House. According to Ballotpedia’s election accounting, there were 82 so-called “battleground” U.S. House districts in the 2018 midterms. Of these 82 districts, 46 of them changed party hands. The democrats flipped 43 House districts while the GOP flipped only three.

To give a better picture of the partisan swing that occurred in the 2018 midterms, examine the Cook Partisan Voter Index (CPVI; a nice table is here). According to the CPVI, after the 2018 election, only one district (New York 24) rated D+3 or higher belongs to republicans. On the other hand, 22 districts rated R+3 or higher are now occupied by democrats. (Recall, the democrats needed to flip 23 seats to gain control of the U.S. House.) The democrats won nine districts that were rated R+6 or higher. In other words, democrats won more than a few seats in solidly republican districts.

In case you’ve forgotten—Mrs. Pelosi seems not to have—democrats gained control of the U.S. House not by promising, pledging, or even hoping to impeach President Trump. They could not have flipped as many GOP-leaning districts as they did with such a message. On the contrary, as memory serves, and as a few dozen internet searches would reveal, democrats gained control of the U.S. House by talking down impeachment, dismissing impeachment, or ignoring it altogether.

According to my research, of the 43 seats they flipped, only one victorious democrat—California’s Harley Rouda—made impeachment a priority of his winning campaign. Other than Rouda, even just days from the 2018 election, as the prospects of democrats retaking the House grew, I couldn’t find another democrat in those 43 races who was openly talking about impeachment. In fact, among such candidates, virtually without exception, impeachment was only discussed when the media brought it up.

The battleground districts won the easiest prove this the best. For example, Democrat Susan Wild won Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district (rated “D+1” by CPVI) by 10%. According to The Washington Post, in late August in a piece that notes how democrats “are avoiding the word” (impeachment), Wild declared, “I don’t want to see a two-year distraction.” She added, “I think, honestly, impeachment proceedings would obviously derail getting other things done in Congress.”

In the same piece, The Post notes that a day after Michael Cohen surrendered to the FBI and plead guilty to eight criminal charges, Wild “did not issue so much as a tweet” to mark the event—“joining other Democrats in swing districts with her silence.”

Jeff Van Drew (D) won New Jersey’s 2nd district (Rated R+1) by 7.7%. In late August of 2018, Van Drew spoke of working with President Trump. In an interview he declared,
[I]f Donald Trump is right about an issue that is going to affect my people in my district or in my state or in the United States of America, I will say he’s right… 
If Donald Trump was — or any president — was guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, and all a number of serious issues, then you have to look at that. But, I’m certainly not going there in my mind thinking, “Gee, I want to impeach Donald Trump. That’s what my job is.” It is not.
California’s 25th and 49th districts (rated “Even” and R+1 respectively) were won by Katie Hill (D) and Mike Levin (D) by 8.8% and 12.8%. As the Washington Free Beacon reported in early September of 2018,
California billionaire and political activist Tom Steyer has scheduled an October fundraiser for 9 Democratic challengers for seats in the U.S. House, most of whom have been silent on Steyer's pet issue of impeachment.

…Records searches for five of the nine candidates turned up no comment or position offered on the idea of impeaching President Trump, …Those candidates and their corresponding house district are Jessica Morse (CA-04), Josh Harder (CA-10), T.J. Cox (CA-21), Katie Hill (CA-25), and Mike Levin (CA-49).
In early October of 2018, in a debate Levin declared, “I do not seek impeachment.” Just a week out from the election, Katie Hill believed “Talk of impeaching President Donald Trump is a waste of time until Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is completed.”

“Let’s wait on Robert Mueller” was a common theme from battleground democrats. Jason Crow (D) beat five-term republican Mike Coffman in Colorado’s 6th district (rated D+2) by 11.2%. Just over a month prior to the 2018 election, The Colorado Sun reported,

Crow isn’t fully embracing calls from some in his party to seek Trump’s impeachment — at least not yet. He says he wants to see what Special Counsel Robert Mueller digs up in his investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Just days from the 2018 election, New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill—who won NJ-7 (rated R+3) by 14.7%—joined her New Jersey battleground colleagues in calling for restraint on impeachment. She declared, “Congress should support Special Counsel Robert Muller's investigation and allow him to finish his work.”

There are dozens of similar examples. I chronicle all of the flipped seats here, including democrats in what were deemed hotly contested U.S. House races, and their campaign position on impeaching President Trump. What’s more, even democratic leadership—including Mrs. Pelosi—were not fond of talking about impeachment while they were trying to take back the U.S. House and Senate.

With the Mueller investigation looking more and more like a dud and the Russia-Trump collusion farce being exposed for what it really is, many democrats now want to target President Trump’s finances as a means of impeachment. “Impeachment is the only answer,” says Maxine Waters—right, because nothing else has worked so far.

If collusion has truly collapsed, to pivot to Trump’s finances as an attempt to remove him from office only makes democrats appear as if their mouths remain filled with sour grapes over the 2016 election. A seasoned politician such as Mrs. Pelosi knows this all too well. Thus, avoiding impeachment is not a matter of President Trump not being “worth it.” It’s simply a matter of election math and politics. Speaker Pelosi may need to conduct some tutorials.

(See this piece at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2019, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Battleground House Democrats and Impeachment

The table below (looks better using Chrome and Safari--working on fixing that) shows the 43 House districts flipped by Democrats in the 2018 midterms along with the candidate who won and their campaign position on impeaching President Trump. It should go without saying that a single quote from one or two links does not make a political position. (Some of them are virtually silent on the matter, which, of course, is telling.) However, with each of the candidates below, the links and the quotes provided are indicative of the candidates overall position on impeachment of President Trump. The table below will be updated as necessary.

(Read: Remember: Democrats Didn’t Take the House by Promising Impeachment.)

Dem. Winner
Impeachment Views

(See link above)
(See link above)
(See link above)
(See link above)
(Spoke directly in favor of impeachment.)
(See link above)
NYT: “You, of course, are somebody who’s recently started advocating impeachment.” Shalala: “No, I have not. I have not.”
Would you vote to impeach the President?

Buzzfeed Headline: “Democrats Are Not Eager To Talk About Impeaching Trump”

When asked about impeaching Trump, Phillips refused to address the matter directly.
(See link above)
(See link above)
From a report on a forum with his opponent: “Neither candidate supported the impeachment of President Donald Trump, with Delgado saying that federal investigations into the president should be completed before any calls for action.”
Washington Post headline includes the phrase, “Democratic Candidates Are Avoiding the Word [Impeachment].” From the article: “‘I don’t want to see a two-year distraction,’ said Susan Wild, a Democrat who is favored to win a key Republican-held House seat in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. ‘I think, honestly, impeachment proceedings would obviously derail getting other things done in Congress.’”
(See link above)
“Virginia Politics” headline: “Hampton Roads congressmen said felony crimes by former Trump associates don’t mean impeachment is coming
From the article: Luria: “Any time there are allegations of wrong doing by people close to the president, it is troubling. But I have faith in our justice system and believe the Mueller investigation needs to continue until all the facts are presented.”

Copyright 2019, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America