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The only question that really matters in the Russia investigation

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The only real question that matters in the Russia investigation

From now until special counsel Robert Mueller delivers whatever he’s going to deliver to the government and the American people, everyone will speculate about who did what, who knew what, and when. This is an exercise in reading tea leaves and inserting bias into reports. That’s what both politicians and mainstream media do in an effort to influence people into feeling one way or another about any particular topic.

Despite the cacophony that surrounds Mueller, President Trump, and Russia, this really comes down to a single question that matters: Did the President or his campaign staff collude with Russia to engage in illegal activities in an effort to win the election?

Up front, it’s important to declare my perspective on the issue. I’d suggest all journalists declare their biases up front, but few will. I’m not a fan of President Trump. I don’t care for him as a man and I am against a few of his policies such as banning bump stocks and promoting fair trade over free trade. I am happy that he beat Hillary Clinton but I felt there were much better options for the GOP and for the nation that were ignored because mainstream media pushed Trump to be the nominee in hopes he would lose spectacularly to Clinton. That didn’t work out for the media or the nation.

Even with my bias, I call things the way I see them and right now, I’m not seeing much coming from the investigation I think it’s very unlikely the President colluded with the Russians to influence the election. Let’s be clear what that means. Do I think members of Trump’s campaign worked with Russians? Yes. Do I think Russians tried to influence the election? Of course. But I am fairly certain the Trump campaign did not participate in activities that would be deemed illegal. They didn’t accept foreign funds to fuel the campaign. They didn’t supply the Russians or anyone else with damaging information about Hillary Clinton. They didn’t actively engage in subverting the election system to “steal” votes or otherwise manipulate the outcome. Most importantly, they didn’t collude with Russia or WikiLeaks to release the hacked emails.

They didn’t have to. Russia and WikiLeaks did all that without input from the Trump campaign.

I believe what the Trump campaign did was on par or possibly below what the Clinton campaign did in working with foreign actors to gather and transmit opposition research about Trump. Both campaigns were wrong for doing so but neither campaign broke the law.

Let’s all understand what’s required to prove this conspiracy. First, the Russians must be proven to have unlawfully “hacked” the election. That doesn’t mean finding Russian social media bots. That means finding proof that the Russians committed illegal activities such as hacking the DNC emails or paying political organizations to promote their messages.

Second, the Trump campaign must be shown to have direct knowledge of the illegal activities. The closest thing we have to that is Roger Stone. If he had direct knowledge that Russia hacked the DNC and/or John Podesta’s emails and gave those emails to WikiLeaks so they could be made public, then there’s something worth investigating. Having that knowledge alone is enough to get him in trouble for not reporting it, but it’s unlikely that route will be pursued. What the investigation needs is actual collusion. That could come in the form of coordinating the release date, giving access to certain people in the media, or aiding in corroboration if any became necessary to prove the leaked documents were real.

From there, Mueller’s team would have to connect the dots directly back to the Trump campaign. Then and only then can any measure of collusion in Russia’s influence of the election be proven.

So far, noise but no substance

Much is being made of Michael Flynn’s, Michael Cohen’s, and Paul Manafort’s upcoming sentences. All have admitted to committing crimes. Cohen has gone so far as to publicize some of the things he knows about the Trump campaign. None of those revelations have linked the campaign to Russia in a conspiratorial manner.

Everything the public knows about the crimes these men committed have nothing to do with Russian collusion. It’s ironic that Mueller’s investigation led to so many charges that have nothing to do with the original scope of the investigation. One might argue the greatest damage this investigation will have on the President is that it demonstrates he likes to surround himself with criminals.

There are only two major players who are in real jeopardy: Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner. If they were working with Stone or anyone else to coordinate with Russia on illegal activities, we might see something big come from this investigation. It’s highly unlikely at this point, but that’s really the only thing Democrats and mainstream media can hope for right now.

Democrats and mainstream media are up in arms trying to connect distant dots in a way that proves the President or his campaign stole the election with the Russians. A sober examination of everything we know points far away from that conclusion.

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Culture and Religion

The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

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The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

There’s a trend that’s been quietly, consistently rearing its ugly head against the President of the United States and his supporters since before the 2016 election. We’ve seen it among unhinged journalists, virtue-signaling celebrities, and Democratic politicians. We’ve seen it manifest in the ugliest form of hatred – the common hate-hoax – and it’s doing more to divide America than the source of the perpetrators’ anger.

They hate President Trump. They hate the people who got him elected. The hate the idea of making America great again because as much of the MAGA agenda comes to pass, they’re learning they’ve been wrong the whole time. I know first hand. I’ve been proven wrong myself.

No, I’m not a hate-hoaxer, but I’ve been against the President to varying degrees for over three years now. Before he officially won the GOP nomination in 2016, I opposed him because I felt he would do too much damage while delivering only a moderate amount of good policies. He wasn’t as bad as John Kasich or Jeb Bush, but we had Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul as better candidates. Nevertheless, he won the nomination, prompting me to spend the final leg of the 2016 election without a horse in the race. I didn’t like the idea of Trump being President, but under no circumstances did I want Hillary Clinton to be President, either.

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After he won, I became a cautious but hopeful watcher. While we worked on alternatives to bring limited-government federalism to the forefront of local, state, and national politics, I took a case-by-case stance on the President himself. When he did well, I praised him. When he did poorly, I criticized him. This stance has remained until this day, though there have been times when I was more supportive or more critical, depending on the policy discussion of the day. Tax and bureaucratic cuts – good. Tariffs and bump stock bans – bad. The recent cave on the border omnibus – very bad. Most foreign policy moves (leaving Iran deal, leaving Paris accords, moving embassy to Jerusalem) – very good.

Unfortunately, it seems many on the left have been unwilling to recognize even the remotest possibility anything the President is doing is good. What’s worse is that some have been so aggressive in their desire to prove their point that they’ve pretended to be victims for the sake of getting their “victims’ perks” of love and affection from their peers while painting anyone wearing a MAGA hat as bigoted and hateful.

Thus, the anti-MAGA hate hoax was born and it’s been so prominent over the last two-and-a-half years, one must wonder how mainstream media and Democrats became so gullible that they fall for it every single time.

Andy Ngo at Quillette put together a comprehensive list of hate hoaxes that leftists have perpetrated to paint the President and his supporters as racists. It’s absolutely stunning when you see the magnitude of the hatred – THEIR hatred – that makes them willing to tell bald-faced lies just to prove the movement they oppose is as bad as they think it is.

I’ve had ideological disagreements with nearly every presidential candidate (let alone every President) since I became an adult. There’s nothing wrong with disagreement as long as one is willing to not be blinded in one direction or the other. There are plenty who blindly follow President Trump to approximately the same degree that supporters blindly followed President Obama. The herd mentality seems to have become the way of the political world in America for our last two presidents. But that blind devotion is simply an annoyance. The blind hatred that drives people to commit these hoaxes is far more dangerous.

It’s likely when the details are fully revealed regarding Jussie Smollett’s hate-hoax, it was driven more by a narcissistic desire to advance his career rather than pure hatred for the MAGA crowd or the President, but obviously the latter hatred played a role in his decision-making process. This type of action is never acceptable. We have enough outrage in America. There’s no need to manufacture even more for false reasons.

It’s time for the unhinged left to stop assuming every MAGA supporter is racist and start asking how the actions of those on their side of the political aisle drove massive amounts of people to support President Trump. Perhaps then, they’ll realize the hatred is coming mostly from them.

 


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Guns and Crime

6 illegal aliens, rivals of El Chapo, arrested in massive drug sting

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6 illegal aliens rivals of El Chapos arrested in massive drug sting

A massive drug trafficking operation by law enforcement in North Carolina resulted in the arrests of six illegal immigrants with connections to a Mexican drug cartel. The organization, which is a competitor of the Sinaloa cartel made famous by its jailed leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was operating along the east coast pushing drugs ranging from cocaine to methamphetamine.

Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez, Raul Rangel-Gutierrez, Regulo Rangel Gutierrez,  Rodolfo Martinez, Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez and Francisco Garcia-Martinez were arrested and tied to the Jalisco New Generation cartel.

“Members of the investigative team believe — based on wire intercepts, surveillance and other facts discovered from the investigation — that Oscar and Regulo transport illicit proceeds, derived from the sales of narcotics, when they travel from Myrtle Beach to Charlotte,” according to federal court documents, as WMBF reported.

My Take

What makes this so concerning is that Jalisco New Generation cartel is known to operate mostly out of Tijuana on the west coast of Mexico, shipping drugs along the porous southern California border. For them to be reaching all the way to the east coast is telling of their influence and reach.

Unfortunately, leftists believe in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s solution, which is to stop drug trafficking by making it harder to cross the border at the ports of entry.

Progressives often refer to statistics that show most drug busts happen at the ports of entry, ignoring the obvious fact that fewer drug traffickers are caught when they breach the border away from ports of entry.

 


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Democrats

Sex offender Anthony Weiner released from federal prison early

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Sex offender Anthony Weiner released from federal prison early

Disgraced former Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has been released from federal prison ahead of the completion of his 21-month term for good behavior. He is currently in a Residential Re-entry Management facility in Brooklyn, New York, where he will remain until his full release in May.

He will be on probation for three years after his release and must register as a sex offender.

My Take

Something tells me this isn’t the last we’re going to see from Anthony Weiner. He’s not only a sick, sexual pervert, but he’s also a narcissist who can be easily made to believe the people want him back in public office.

 


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