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MARCH 18-19,  2023

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE:

AMERICAN COMMON SENSE:  FROM DAILY CALLER: 

The vast majority of Americans believe U.S. companies should hire executives based solely on merit, character and quality, according to a CRC Research poll shared exclusively with the Daily Caller News Foundation.  Among respondents, 87% supported a merit-based approach, compared to 8% who supported a quota system for race and gender and 5% who were unsure or refused to answer, according to the CRC Research poll conducted for the 85 Fund. The pattern held true across political affiliations, with most Democrats, Republicans and independents favoring a merit-based hiring approach for executives.  At 93%, Republicans were only slightly more likely to oppose racial and gender quotas in corporate hiring compared to other groups: 90% of independents and 86% of Democrats supported a merit-only hiring approach, according to the poll. “Instead of simply finding the best people to serve their customers, companies utilizing these quotas admit that they are prioritizing catering to extreme Leftists over the people who actually purchase and use their products,” Will Hild, Executive Director of Consumers’ Research, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “As we have seen with SVB, there are real-world consequences when businesses focus on identity politics over their core business.”   Well said.  The future of this country will heavily depend on whether major companies can get out from under the weight of socialist politics.  If they can, we have a chance to return to the concept of a strong, free America.  If they can't, we are reduced to a pitiful, helpless giant.

March 18, 2023       Permalink

 

 

THE VULGARITY OF IT ALL:  Former President Trump says he expects to be arrested on Tuesday. Whether you like Trump or not, there is something vulgar about the whole affair. 

We've never had a president arrested.  I think most people believe that it should be done in only the most extreme circumstances, and for the gravest of crimes.  This case doesn't come close.  The fact that the presumed arrest will come so soon after Mr. Trump announced that he was running again for the presidency suggests that justice is not the motive, but that driving the former president out of the race might be closer to the mark.  From Fox: 

Prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office won't have much of a legal leg to stand on if they indict former President Donald Trump on violating campaign finance law, according to a legal expert and former member of the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
"If the state charges are based on a supposed violation of federal campaign finance law, then the Manhattan DA is way off base," Hans von Spakovsky told Fox News Digital.
Von Spakovsky's comments came shortly after Trump said Saturday that he expects to be arrested Tuesday amid reports saying the Manhattan district attorney's office is preparing to issue an indictment for alleged hush money payments that Trump made as a presidential candidate in 2016.

"NOW ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE, WHICH HAS ALLOWED NEW RECORDS TO BE SET IN VIOLENT CRIME & WHOSE LEADER IS FUNDED BY GEORGE SOROS, INDICATE THAT, WITH NO CRIME BEING ABLE TO BE PROVEN, & BASED ON AN OLD & FULLY DEBUNKED (BY NUMEROUS OTHER PROSECUTORS!) FAIRYTALE, THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!, [sic]" Trump posted to his Truth Social account.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office will reportedly meet with law enforcement officials to discuss logistics for some time next week regarding a potential indictment, which stems from a years-long investigation into Trump's alleged hush money scandal involving porn star Stormy Daniels.

In the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump's then-lawyer Michael Cohen sent $130,000 to Daniels to prevent her from disclosing her alleged 2006 affair with Trump, who has denied the affair. Trump subsequently reimbursed Cohen.

It's been widely speculated that Trump could be charged with overseeing the false recording of the reimbursements in his company's internal records as "legal expenses."

Prosecutors are also expected to charge Trump with violating campaign finance laws by arranging the payments to buy Daniels's silence weeks before the 2016 election. However, experts have questioned the legal reasoning behind such a charge.

"A settlement payment of a nuisance claim is not a federal campaign expense," said von Spakovsky, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. "The state DA has no authority to prosecute a federal campaign finance violation in any event."

Such cases, he argues, are within the province of the FEC, where he served as a commissioner, or the U.S. Justice Department, explaining that both agencies have known about the facts for years but have chosen not to prosecute Trump.

"So, the federal agencies with jurisdiction did not consider it a violation," said von Spakovsky, who's been following this case for years.

In 2018, von Spakovsky wrote that the payment to Daniels seemed to be a "nuisance settlement," which celebrities often make, especially when faced with the threat of a false or salacious claim.

"Critics of the president claim this not only was a campaign expense that should have been reported but a potentially illegal loan by Cohen. But the settlement was ultimately paid out of Trump's personal funds and had nothing to do with the campaign since their alleged one-night stand occurred 10 years before the campaign," wrote von Spakovsky. "No reasonable member of a jury would consider this to be a campaign-related expense that needed to be reported, or to which any other campaign finance rules in the Federal Election Campaign Act apply."

COMMENT:  Other legal commentators have made similar points.  And Trump's claim that the district attorney of Manhattan is highly political is underestimating the reality.  He seems at times to be all about politics.  His predecessor reportedly turned this case down cold.  But Bragg is in the Soros army, a select group of soft-on-real-crime prosecutors.  We know him well in New York.  He is protected by the hard left of the Democratic Party, which wields a mighty sword in our once-great state. 

We will always consider facts, of course, but this really does look like a political hit job.  If it is, and Trump survives, he may well come out an unstoppable hero.

March 18, 2023       Permalink 

 

AS WE WERE LOOKING ELSEWHERE:  One of our tasks here at Urgent Agenda is to alert readers to important events that are happening "in the background," not necessarily on the front page.  As an example, consider this chilling report about the last few days.  From Fox: 

A New York man who expressed support online for the Islamic State is charged with plotting to kill police officers and threatening to kill a mayor on the street where the local St. Patrick’s Day parade was slated to be held, federal prosecutors said Friday. 

Ridon Kola, 32, was arrested and charged with making threatening interstate communications, the Justice Department said. 

"As alleged, Ridon Kola posted threats on social media against law enforcement, stating his support for ISIS and his intention to murder numerous police officers.  Undeterred after questioning from law enforcement, Kola’s conduct escalated, as he continued to assure police his threats would be carried out," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. 

Over several months, Kola made several posts supporting the terror group and threats against the Yonkers Police Department in connection with the city's parade, which will be held Saturday. 

On March 9, Kola messaged the police department directly, saying: "First people to be crucified will be the Yonkers rats Vallahi.  Allahu Ekberr"; and "I will crucify Yonkers cops and their bosses all along McLean ave.  It will be a horror scene . . . Allahu Ekberr."  

McLean Avenue is part of the route for the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade where police officers will be posted throughout. 

In another post made days later, he took a photo of himself with an ax, authorities said. 

"Come on Judas, I’m waiting for you," the caption read in Albanian. 

COMMENT:  The fact is that the threat of terror is very much with us, and may grow in coming years if appeasement of Iran, the world's greatest sponsor of terror, continues.   Our guard is down.  Police departments, our front line of defense, are being gutted in too many "woke" places, and getting qualified officers is becoming harder and harder.

Terrorism is barely mentioned in the hard-left environment that pervades our colleges.  If it is, it is often defended as the "desperate" acts of oppressed people.  But terrorism is real, and will continue.  I fear it will take another 9-11, maybe even a nuclear 9-11, to wake us up.

March 18, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

MARCH 15-16, 2023

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE:

COMING HOME TO ROOST:  Madness has its costs.  From Fox:   The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office began a program this week to shuttle employees between their cars and workplaces in downtown Los Angeles amid a series of incidents in which some have been confronted by the public, officials said Thursday.   On Monday, the DA's office launched the Employee Secure Transport and Escort Program (E-STEP) in an effort to provide free secure transportation for employees assigned to the Civic Center area.  "Security incidents involving aggressive confrontations initiated by members of the public have occurred to our employees assigned in the Civic Center area, while walking between their vehicles or transportation area and the office," a news release announcing the program said.  The Los Angeles district attorney is one of the wokest in the country, a true follower of George Soros.  You don't think the crime upsurge has anything to do with that, do you?  Take your time in answering.  And if you're in L.A. right now, stay inside.

March 16, 2023       Permalink 

 

NOW HERE'S AN IDEA:  Republicans plan how they will deal with the woke press in 2024.   Press policy will no doubt influence the vote.  From Breitbart: 

Conservatives and Republicans could, a new report suggests, cut off establishment media outlets’ access in the 2024 election cycle as GOP lawmakers and candidates look to alternative communication channels to tell their stories.

The prospect of the establishment media’s precarious position was captured in a Tuesday article written by the Dispatch’s David Drucker in which he warned Republican lawmakers and candidates heading into the 2024 election cycle “could attempt to freeze out mainstream journalists,” paralyzing television networks’ content creation and crushing their claims of political neutrality.

We can dream, can't we?

Drucker warned the establishment media could be suffocated by conservatives because “many young GOP communications aides staffing campaigns who came of age in the past decade remain unaccustomed to working with mainstream journalists.”

Public trust in national news media has plummeted in recent years. For instance, a February poll found 50 percent of Americans say the national media intend to mislead, misinform, and persuade the public. Only 35 percent say most news organizations could be relied upon.

Garrett Ventry, a GOP strategist who advises Republican House Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), told Breitbart News that Republican lawmakers are turning to alternative strategies to communicate with Americans due to unfair coverage.

Just last week, Stefanik was targeted by a taxpayer-funded NPR affiliate. In a Breitbart News article, Stefanik’s office pushed back and called out the “sexist” network for “lying” to its readers.

“Republicans are smartly leveraging other avenues to get out their message instead of relying on the mainstream press,” Ventry said. “Trump started this smart strategy when he ran for President in 2016, engaging with conservative media to pump his message to millions of readers and voters.”

Some Republicans may be worried that if they do not participate in establishment media stories their media presence may be diminished — however distorted their views and positions might be presented to viewers and readers in those media outlets.

COMMENT:  Read the whole thing.  I'm encouraged that the Republicans, not always quick on the trigger, are trying to develop a new press strategy.  The press is not going to improve in the next few years.  The mainstream outlets depend on recruits from the already brain-dead universities.  The "top" papers and networks show little interest in thoughtfulness or balance.  It will be up to Republicans to learn to get around the mainstreamers and speak directly to the American people.  Ronald Reagan did it.  And he understood why it was important. 

March 16,  2023     Permalink

 

A FINE GOVERNOR ACTS:  I'm surprised more people aren't mentioning Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas as a possible presidential candidate.  His record is solid, and he actually knows how to take action.  Consider this latest move in his fight against educational mediocrity.  From Legal Insurrection: 

I didn’t go to school in the Houston Independent School District (HISD), but I remember always being thankful I didn’t, which was in the 1990s!

It hasn’t gotten better.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s administration snatched HISD “after years of academic failures,” according to the letter given to the Daily Caller:

In June, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will be put in control of Houston Independent School District (HISD), made up of 76 schools and nearly 200,000 students, replacing the school’s “board of managers” and superintendent, according to a TEA letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The takeover comes after the school district has repeatedly failed to meet the state’s academic standards, according to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath. (RELATED: Texas Lawmaker Introduces Bill That Allows Teachers To Reject CDC Trans Activism)

“I think it’s actually important for families to know that this decision is not a reflection of the incredible students in Houston ISD, nor is it a reflection of the hard working teachers and staff of Houston ISD,” Morath, who was appointed by Abbott in 2015, told Houston Public Media. “There are many students in Houston that are truly flourishing, but there are also a large number of students in Houston who have not been given the supports necessary to succeed.”

Abbott spoke about the takeover in Dallas, lamenting about how HISD has consistently failed its students:

“But know this, when I talk about what we’re gonna do going forward, some have suggested this will be used for parental empowerment and things like that,” Abbott said.

“All of that is completely separate from what’s happening with HISD.”

Democrats complained about the takeover, but Democrat State Rep. Harold Dutton from Houston wrote in an op-ed that the TEA has the legal ability to take over HISD because the district has not done enough to improve the education in all the schools.

But the Houston Democrats and NAACP vow to fight.

How about you fight for the kids and provide them with better education?

COMMENT:  I hope it works, but Houston may be beyond repair.  It is typical of cities where well-meaning minorities put people into power because "they look like us," and then the trainwreck starts.  We'll hold our breaths and hope, but I'm glad Texas has a governor willing to take a decisive, if risky, action.

March 16, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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