OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

Are We Still A Nation of the Rule of Law? A Serious Question – Part I

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on February 8, 2018

Is our country still a nation of the rule of law or are we now under the rule of men? This is now a very serious question facing the American people. At the beginning of our Republic the Founders instituted the U.S. Constitution with the original 10 amendments. One of them is the 4th Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure. It states:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue,     but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

One of the main reasons the Founders insisted on the inclusion of the 4th Amendment was to be rid of the British practice of issuing “general warrants” that allowed British officials to invade and search randomly vast numbers of homes and farms on no evidence of wrongdoing by those being searched.  Of course the Founders did not have “telecommunications” where our conversations, plans, information gathering, etc. is done over the telephone and the Internet.  However the Courts and Congress have recognized and applied 4th Amendment protections to those methods of communication and information gathering.

Today we are faced with a very serious challenge to our rights as Citizens of this Republic regarding our 4th Amendment rights with the recent revelation of abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (or FISA) laws being used against US Citizens by the FBI and the Dept. of Justice.

As you know the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have released the “Nunes Memo” which, if accurate, details serious misuse and maybe outright fraud upon the FISA court on at least one application – to surveil Carter Page, a onetime volunteer adviser to the Trump campaign.  Here is a link to the Nunes Memo.  It is important that people read this short three and one half page document.  Another important thing to read and understand is the timeline of these events.  Thomas Del Baccaro has put together that timeline in his article which appeared in Political Vanguard. Here is the link. One thing important to note from the timeline – the 2016 FISA warrant application and order were after Carter Page left the Trump campaign.  Also importantly Senator Charles Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham have released a letter to the DOJ (with some redactions) for potential criminal prosecution of Christopher Steele.  That letter confirms much of the Nunes Memo. Here is the link to that letter.

At the time of my writing this post the White House is reviewing the Democratic memo by Congressman Adam Schiff for release, release with redactions, etc.  I suspect it will be out soon.  Both the Nunes and Schiff memos claim to be accurate and based upon the underlying documents including the FISA application and renewal applications.   Reportedly the Schiff memo rebuts statements made in the Nunes memo.  As an aside, given that many things Adam Schiff has said have been proven to be untrue, in my opinion he is not to be trusted.

But this scandal raises serious questions: Are highly placed members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice actively misleading the FISA court to spy on American citizens?  If Carter Page was “surveilled” (spied upon), did the FBI follow others who spoke to Mr. Page such as persons in the Trump campaign separate and apart from any conversations Mr. Page had with them?  What part did the Fusion GPS “dossier” play in the FISA application?  Even if it was only a small part of the application, if the dossier was “salacious and unverified” as Former FBI Director Comey stated, why was it used in the application at all?  Did the FBI and Department of Justice attorneys withhold from the FISA court that the dossier was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC (via an illegal concealed payment to Fusion GPS by the campaign’s attorneys)?  If so, did the Court ask any questions about this either at the time of the original application or on one of the renewals of the warrant? If the origin of the dossier was disclosed to the FISA court why did it issue the warrant?  Were any other warrant applications to the FISA court by these same individuals made with tainted evidence?  Etc., Etc., Etc….There are SO MANY MORE QUESTIONS that the Nunes Memo and other information in the news regarding this scandal bring up.

One thing is certain – the American people deserve to have the entire FISA application and renewal documents (with only sparse redactions for true national security purposes) released and very soon.  Let the American people decide for themselves if the application and its renewals were done properly or not.

The fact that the FISA process, applications and courts are designed to operate in secret is no excuse for withholding this application and its renewals.  There is just too much independent evidence (such as the infamous texts between disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page) of bias investigations and abuse of the FISA process to keep this “under wraps” for any reason.  The American people have a legitimate reason to demand and receive these documents.  If it proves that Mr. Nunes is correct, then massive changes need to be made to the FISA process and certain people need, at the very least, to lose their jobs.  If the evidence is that the Nunes memo is false, the American people need to know that too.

In Part II – My Thoughts on What People Involved in this Scandal Should Do Now.

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Illegal Immigration: What do Latinos Want? What do Democrats Want?

Posted by Walter Myers III on October 21, 2014

10-21-14-Immigration-rally_full_600Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to first dispel any notion that I am prejudiced against “brown people.” I am “brown” myself, and while growing up in the south was on the receiving end of many ethnic slurs, slights, and threats of physical harm. I lived in Monterrey, Mexico in the early 1990s for a year and a half, and have made numerous visits there, most recently to do some consulting work for the Mexican government in Mexico City. So my love and respect for the Mexican people is unquestioned and enormously deep. I only want the best for the people who embraced me as one of their own showing me great hospitality and love during my days living in Monterrey. But I cannot ignore the utter lawlessness that many American born Latino and legal Latino immigrants are promoting, who are encouraged by Democrat politicians who have supposedly sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution.

At this moment, it is anticipated that president Obama will sign an executive order after the November midterm elections that would provide some sort of amnesty for possibly tens of millions of illegal immigrants, which could include work permits and green cards. This is clearly above his constitutional authority, as in the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, it states only Congress has the authority “To establish a uniform rule of naturalization.” Yet pro-illegal immigration groups, the Mexican government, a number of Latino leaders and even Democrats in the U.S. Congress are stridently lobbying for Obama to do something about illegal immigration if Congress won’t act on their timetable. Now it is one thing for citizens to ask for a President to break the law, and another matter for a foreign government to ask for the same, but it is the height of lawlessness for members of Congress (specifically, Democrats) to encourage the president to wantonly and openly break the laws he is also charged to uphold and protect (but of course, we know, this has never stopped Obama from breaking the law so why should it now?).

Now as to citizens, primarily Latino citizens, asking the president to break our immigration and naturalization laws, I have to ask what they expect to gain, and if they have thought the ramifications of this through. If Latino citizens are asking the president to openly break the law, then what is to stop the next president from openly breaking law, which may not be in their favor? Moreover, isn’t the reason most Latinos who have immigrated to the U.S. because they are from countries that have widespread corruption and tyrannical dictators? Would any of these Latinos be willing to move to Argentina, a country in economic shambles?  Or Venezuela, a tyrannical socialist state where people don’t have basic needs met such as toilet paper, cooking oil, or powdered milk? Or do they wish for the grinding poverty of Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador? And Mexico, though better off than these countries, is one of astounding income inequality and corruption at the highest levels of government, forcing millions to flee to the U.S. for better economic opportunity and to escape drug violence.

So I ask my fellow citizens calling for Obama to break the law how they can possibly believe something good is going to come of this. If Obama legalizes millions of illegal immigrants by fiat, then this will only encourage the next wave of millions looking not only for opportunity but for benefits such as healthcare, food, and schooling for their children (which includes sending children here unaccompanied which is extremely dangerous). Clearly, Obama and Democrat members of Congress are motivated to do this because they believe when (and if) these illegal immigrants become citizens, they will vote Democrat. But what will be left of America after they have played the most cynical and dishonest of political ploys? Are they expecting to create a permanent Democrat majority by unbounded growth of the Latino population? And if that is the case, what will Latinos expect in return? Certainly, they will continue to demand more resources in a country where we have weak economic growth, fifty million people on food stamps, and we can’t even take care of the veterans who have fought for our country and returned with horrific injuries that demand ongoing treatment for the rest of their lives. You can’t indefinitely import low-wage workers into an economy where so many native-born citizens are struggling to simply make ends meet.

In essence, the demand that Obama break the law by American citizens of a particular ethnic group and liberal sympathizers, aided and abetted by congressional Democrats will only set America on the same path as many Latin countries that have abrogated rule of law for purely selfish and self-serving political ends. What happens in every case is that these countries who deceive their people into placing all of their faith in central government devolve into social democratic welfare states and eventually into tyrannical socialist or communist regimes because of the breakdown of the rule of law and the concentration of power into the hands of a few. I know, many don’t think it can happen in America. But don’t believe it can’t. It starts with lawlessness at the top and an uninformed public that would give up its liberties due to willful ignorance, until they eventually find out their fate is sealed and it is then too late to turn back the clock. Just ask the people of Venezuela and Argentina what happened to their republics. So I ask what is it really that Latinos want? What is it really that Democrats want? Is that the future they want?

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A Long Buried Reagan Nugget

Posted by Assemblyman Don Wagner on February 4, 2014

Ronald ReaganI had the opportunity recently to read some of Ronald Reagan’s personal diary from his White House days. I was struck by one very short sentence from April 20, 1982. It remains relevant today, and explains a lot about the differences between Republicans and Democrats.

In this particular passage, Reagan recounted a meeting earlier in the day with Tip O’Neill. At the time, O’Neill was the very liberal Speaker of the House. From Massachusetts and a committed man of the left, Reagan accurately described O’Neill as a “New Deal Democrat.” He and Reagan sparred constantly over policy but apparently got along famously well. And then Reagan said this of the Speaker:

“He honestly believes that we’re promoting welfare for the rich.”

I find the line instructive both about O’Neill and his mindset, but equally about Reagan and his.

In this seemingly offhand observation, Ronald Reagan gives Tip O’Neill credit for acting in good faith in their policy disputes. O’Neill and the Democrats really do believe that Republican policies are intended to help the rich get richer. Forget for a moment that they’re wrong about that (as I’ll demonstrate below) and set aside the evidence from Reagan’s time and ours that shows unmistakably that our policies actually help the poor get richer. Just consider that Reagan recognizes O’Neill, however wrong, actually believed that Republican policies were explicitly designed to help the rich.

The same remains true today. Democrats actually believe this stuff; they truly think that Republican policies are intended to help the rich become richer. And, of course, if you believe this of us, like O’Neill did and today’s Democrats still do, you would vigorously oppose and denounce our selfish, mean spirited “welfare for the rich” policies.

But I note the passage from Reagan’s diary for another reason than just to explain Democrats. It really says eloquently that O’Neill and today’s fellow travelers with him are just plain wrong. That is actually the most telling point of the diary entry. Quite simply, Ronald Reagan knew that this absurd Democratic belief was not true. The diary entry is inexplicable otherwise.

Note that Reagan did not say “O’Neill is on to me about our policies . . . .” He did not say, “Well, Old Tip finally figured us out . . . .” Instead, one can almost hear the incredulity in Reagan’s voice.

There can be no other explanation of this diary comment. It only makes sense if Reagan saw it as saying something important about O’Neill: He actually does believe that nonsense. How silly of him.

A simple sentence in a personal diary from a generation ago gives lie to the Democratic canard and still prevalent notion that the GOP is all about making the rich richer.

Tip O’Neill might have believed that. But Ronald Reagan knew better.

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Assembly Democrats Join Senate Democrats In Assault On Public Records Act (Updated)

Posted by Greg Woodard on June 19, 2013

Following up on Chris Emami’s story from yesterday, as reported by the OC Register today, the Assembly passed AB76, which has identical language to SB71, and will be submitted to Governor Brown for his signature.  Every Republican legislator in the Assembly and Senate (except Tom Berryhill – 14th Senate District who is listed as “Other”) opposed both AB76 and SB71, and just a single Democrat voted no for either bill (Senator Leland Yee – 8th Senate District).  If Governor Brown signs the bill into law, it will eviscerate the open government protections of the Public Records Act by making local agencies’ compliance with the Act voluntary instead of mandatory.

Courts interpreting the Public Records Act have consistently held that the Act is to be read broadly in favor of disclosure of documents to the public, and the Act has only a few categories that are exempt from disclosure (and when a local agency refuses to provide documents, it must explain why).  Under AB76, disclosure will be voluntary, meaning that local agencies can refuse to provide documents, and do not have to provide any reason for the refusal.

Ironically (or perhaps not when it comes to Democrats and their legislative tactics), AB76 was added as a budget trailer bill.  Trailer bills are often drafted in secret, sometimes just days or hours before they are voted on in both houses of the state legislature.  You read that right, a bill that allows local agencies more secrecy and less transparency was drafted in a most un-transparent manner.

Journalists often use the Public Records Act to sniff out public corruption.  The City of Bell scandal was exposed in part by use of the Act, as have many other stories of local government waste and fraud.  In addition, private individuals and groups often use the Act to obtain documents needed to challenge local government decisions that affect their property or the environment.  If the changes to the Act become law, local agencies who are hiding things from the public will no longer be compelled to produce any documents, and scandals will go unexposed.

Assemblyman Don Wagner, 68th Assembly District, says AB76 highlights the dangers created by the Democrats’ stranglehold on power in Sacramento: “AB 76 shows why the entire public — Republicans and Democrats alike — should be worried about one party rule.  Eliminating compliance with the Public Records Act has nothing to do with the budget.  So why is this abomination in a so-called Budget Bill?  Because Democrats have complete control and can do it this way to avoid the public scrutiny that comes with committee hearings and an open discussion through the normal legislative process.  This bill, written behind closed doors without a shred of bipartisan input, shields even more government behind those very same closed doors.  The public should be appalled.”

As Emami said in his story, this is a terrible bill that will have a dramatic negative impact on local government transparency.  Democrats apparently believe that secretly passing bills that allow local agencies to act with more secrecy is good government.  I hope that most Californians disagree.

****UPDATE****

As Don Wagner mentioned yesterday, Sacramento Democrats have done one of the most rapid u-turns ever (perhaps the nuclear retort from the media inspired them).  Wagner reported this afternoon that the Assembly voted today to pass the same budget trailer bill as AB76, but without the provisions that would eviscerate the Public Records Act.  While the Senate initially resisted similar efforts, reports are coming out that they will acquiesce and pass a similar bill to the Assembly’s fix.  Governor Brown is expected to sign the fix, therefore preserving the Public Records Act in its current form, which is a good thing for all Californians.

Wagner also reported that both the Assembly and Senate will propose constitutional amendments to eliminate the state’s obligation to reimburse local agencies for Public Records Act compliance.  (Warning, boring political inside baseball stuff ahead).  Apparently, when the Legislature ended redevelopment agencies (another measure that crossed the aisle considerably), the local agencies got too cute and started seeking reimbursement from the state for the cost of every minute copy, office supply, etc. that they incurred for compliance with the Public Records Act but previously had not sought reimbursement for.  That may have taken the Democrats in Sacramento by surprise but unfortunately their “fix” would have ended open government as we know it in this state.  I guess the moral for Democrats is not to target the media’s bread and butter because they actually start doing their job when you threaten the source of their juiciest stories.

I would like to return the favor and thank Don for all of his information and for all of the Republicans in Sacramento and their efforts to undo this terrible stinker of a Democratic bill.

Stay tuned in case there are even more breaking updates.

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