Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The real hacking scandal the MSM ignore

I feel like I'm living in some parallel universe. The news media, the Democrats, and even some Republicans continue to beat the drum of some sort of collusion between Trump and the Russians. What if I told you that neither the FBI nor any other intelligence agency had ever inspected the DNC servers that were supposedly hacked? That would be front-page news, right? It’s true. FBI Director James Comey confirmed it in testimony in January and again this week before the House Intelligence Committee.

If the FBI didn’t determine the DNC servers were hacked, who did? It was a private firm hired by the DNC itself. This is the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse. Hillary’s people concoct this story that the Russians hacked their servers in order to help Donald Trump. Instead of investigating the allegations themselves, the FBI just took the DNC’s word for it. This is akin to a private investigator investigating a murder scene and the police just taking his investigation at face value. This is the big story in all of this and nobody’s talking about it.

If the Russians didn’t hack the DNC who did? Let’s look at the evidence. When we say “hacked the DNC” what does that mean? As far as we know, then-DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s e-mails were the only ones hacked. Forget John Podesta. His e-mail account was a Google Gmail account. That, by definition, was not on the DNC server. That was an account any 16-year-old amateur hacker could break into.

So who had access to Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s e-mails?

There’s only one person aside from Schultz herself who had access to her e-mail and dozens of other Democrats’ e-mail accounts. It’s a guy who’s currently under investigation for accessing Congressional members’ computer networks without their knowledge or permission and stealing data and equipment from Congress. Imran Awan. He and his brothers—Abid and Jamal—managed IT for more than two dozen Democrat members, including the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. They owed money to a shady operator with ties to terrorists. The three men apparently went through little or no security scrutiny to get their jobs. After all, we wouldn’t want to make them feel uncomfortable just because they’re Muslim.

Who opened the gates and allowed this Trojan horse inside? Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She’s so politically correct that she wouldn’t dare question three guys who are Muslim and have ties to terrorism. In fact, even though they’re under police investigation for all sorts of crimes against the United States, Imran Awan still works for Debbie Wasserman Schultz!

But it gets worse.

According to the now-leaked e-mails from Wikileaks, Imran Awan had access to Schultz’s username and password at the DNC! Hello. We have leaked e-mails from Schultz’s account and the one guy who had access to her DNC e-mail is now under investigation for stealing data from Congress. Here’s the amazing thing. The Awan brothers are not under investigation by the FBI. It’s the Capitol Police. I’m not knocking the Capitol Police but you have guys stealing possibly sensitive data from Congress and the FBI is not called in?

Oh, did I tell you Imran Awan had a criminal record and bankruptcy? Not only did Schultz and the Democrats hire him, he didn’t even have to have Secret clearance. He also had major money problems giving him motive to sell secrets for cash.

While we continue this wild goose chase for Ruskies under every rock, the prime suspect is still sitting in Schultz’s office.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What to do about Obamacare

Unless you’re the most die-hard clinger to Obama’s legacy, the consensus is Obamacare was an unqualified failure. The only question now is what to do about it. The Republicans have put forth their plan, at least the first phase of it. The awkwardly-named American Health Care Act got low scores from the Congressional Budget Office. Of course, this is the same CBO the projected Obamacare would cost less than half this year what it actually does.

Obamacare needs to be replaced. What do we replace it with? Here’s a novel idea. How about the free market?

That’s not meant to be flippant. The free market lowers cost in every other imaginable sector. Cars are cheaper because of competition. Groceries are cheaper because of competition. So are clothes and houses. All of these are arguably bigger necessities than health insurance. Notice I said health insurance and not health care. There’s a big difference.

Healthcare is what we need when we’re sick or injured. Most of us—the vast majority of us—don’t need that on a daily basis. What we do need is transportation, shelter, food, and clothing. Only the most ardent socialists would argue that the government needs to provide those for us. Only the most ardent communist would argue that the free market hasn’t brought the cost of those necessities down.

So, why can’t the Republicans quite trust the market?

Good question. I suspect it’s the same Republicans who talked about how great capitalism was then bailed out the banks and the auto industry. These people are called Keynesians. That is, they subscribe to the economic theories of British economist John Maynard Keynes. Keynes believed the free market was great until it didn’t work, and then you needed the government to come in and bail it out. The free market is always preferable to government intervention.

What the Republicans all need to understand is the problem with health insurance isn’t all the government’s fault. Somewhere along the line the patient was disconnected from the product. HMOs are largely to blame for that. We became accustomed to paying a $10 or $15 co-pay for an all-you-can-eat buffet of health services. The result was higher healthcare costs.

Let me put the cookies on the low shelf. Let’s say you were able to drive into the dealership and get an oil change and pay a $10 co-pay. Who pays the other $40 or so? What if you could buy a new set of tires and pay a $10 co-pay? The last time I bought tires they were around a grand for a set of four. Who pays the other $990? The short answer is you do. It wouldn’t be long before your auto insurance went through the roof.

We were on the right track with health insurance. The market was moving us to higher deductibles and lower premiums. That’s basically where health insurance started. Remember? It was called ‘major medical’ or ‘hospitalization.’ Instead of paying for every oil change and new tire it paid for the big things, like a major accident. And healthcare was reasonably affordable.

Now we have an even better tool called HSAs, Health Savings Accounts. You can use pre-taxed dollars to save for that ‘major medical’ expense. The problem with Obamacare was not only did the deductible skyrocket, so did the premium.

The market would fix that. Let insurance companies do business across state lines, just like auto insurance. Let the market drive down the high cost of health insurance. Then we’ll worry about those who can’t afford it. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

News media ignore truth in 'Trumptap' scandal

I’ve often said media bias is not what they tell you, it’s what they don’t. There’s no truer example than the Trumptap scandal. After President Trump tweeted that he’d been wiretapped by the Obama administration, the mainstream media had a meltdown. The same media that had been beating the drum of an unfounded Russia conspiracy derided Trump’s claim as “false” and “baseless.” The scary part is they all knew that it wasn’t.

Something I noticed during last year’s campaign is the British news media are much more likely than the American media to report the truth about American politics. Three different news outlets in the UK were reporting, independent of one another, that a FISA warrant was requested on at least two occasions last year. FISA is the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It was designed to eavesdrop on foreign powers or those believed to be agents of foreign powers.

The British news outlets reported that someone either in Obama’s Justice Department or in the intelligence community went to the FISA court in June requesting a warrant to tap the information coming out of Trump’s campaign headquarters at Trump Tower. They named Trump specifically. That request was denied. One outlet says they tried again in July and were denied again. They all three agree that another attempt at a FISA warrant was made in October of 2016, just weeks before the election. This request did not include Trump as the target, rather it focused on individuals in the campaign. That request was granted and the subsequent inquiry turned up nothing.

The Washington Post’s so-called Fact Checker column was the only mainstream media outlet that even mentioned FISA. They determined that the three British outlets, including the BBC and a former member of Parliament, weren’t reliable enough. And that was that. By the way, Louise Mensch, the former Tory member of Parliament who writes for Heatstreet, is decidedly anti-Trump. One can only imagine that her reporting of the FISA warrant was meant to cast aspersions on Trump. 

The Fact Checker column the day after Trump’s initial tweet was the only mention of the FISA court in the mainstream media. If you were watching CNN you got headlines like “Trump’s baseless wiretap claim” and “Trump untethered to facts.”

Predictable Democrat stooge, Sen. John McCain, said Trump’s claim was unprecedented. He said Trump was accusing Obama of “violating the law.” McCain knows full well that if Obama or anyone in his administration got a FISA warrant they were not violating the law. Their pretense for the warrant may be questionable, but the frightening prospect is a sitting president was using the intelligence community against a political foe. At the very least, that’s a gross abuse of power.

This issue should be quite simple to sort out. Take a look at the FISA applications for 2016. Apparently there were 10,700 of them between 2009 and 2015, according to ABC News. Only one was rejected entirely. There’s a pretty low bar when it comes to FISA approval. The fact that the probe against Trump was rejected (possibly twice) should help Trump’s case. Also, the fact that the one warrant granted turned up nothing should put the whole Russia controversy behind us.

The left-wing media don’t want to put that behind us. They want to milk it for everything it’s worth. They have managed to scare the American public with a complete non-issue. Finally Republicans have started fighting back by showing as many Democrats with Russians as anyone else.

The truth will set you free, but only if the media report it.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What conservatives can learn from the Oscars

I must admit that I was determined not to watch the Oscars this year. Like many of you, I had grown weary of awards shows that turned into Trump-bashing festivals. Traditionally, my wife and I have watched the Oscars from red carpet to Best Picture. She coaxed me into watching the red carpet broadcast with the promise that when it turned political we would turn it off. Next thing I knew, we were watching the opening number of the Oscars.

Jimmy Kimmel took heat from both sides for his role as host. Here’s the deal. If Kimmel did not make jokes about Donald Trump during the Oscars it would’ve been comedic malpractice. There hasn’t been this much comedy gold in a White House since Bill Clinton—maybe ever. Trump’s feud with Hollywood was ripe for the picking. And, for the most part, I thought Kimmel’s jokes were not only funny but fair.

The left went nuts when Kimmel held up the 8-year-old star of the movie of Lion, Sunny Pawar, like he was the Lion King. Little Sunny happens to be from India. They said it was somehow racist. And then there was the brilliant stunt where Kimmel lured a dozen unsuspecting tourists into the auditorium under the guise they were viewing past Oscar gowns. In a passing impromptu interview with on of the tourists named Yulerie he had a hard time understanding her name. “It rhymes with jewelry,” she explained. Kimmel asked what her boyfriend’s name was. He said, “Patrick.” Kimmel replied, “Now that’s a name.” To the hypersensitive-offend-me-with-everything-liberals, that was racist because she was Asian.

Cue the rolled eyes.

Mark Rylance, who won last year’s best supporting actor Oscar, seemed to scold the people losing their minds over Trump. “Opposition is really good in society,” he said before presenting the Oscar for best supporting actress. “Something women seem to be better at than men is opposing without hatred.”

Even the commercials seemed to be more unifying. Cadillac’s ad showed crowds of protestors dating back to the ‘60s and flashing forward to today. It then reminded us, “What doesn’t make the news is this: We carry each other forward—no matter who we are or what we believe.” It closes by saying, “While we’re not the same, we can be one. And all it takes is the willingness to dare.” 

Aside from some foreigners who won and made snide remarks about the United States, the theme at this year’s Oscars seemed to be “Enough.” Enough with the hysterics. Enough with the hatred. Enough with the notion that if you disagree with me you must be evil. The behavior from the left, and specifically Hollywood, since Trump won leaves us longing for a time when we looked at one another and simply said, “You’re wrong.” That used to pass for division in this country. The people who profess to love everyone have taken hatred to a whole new level.

But it is incumbent upon those of us who point fingers not to fall into the same trap. We can’t flip the channel every time someone makes a joke at our expense. We can’t scream someone down just because they’re losing their minds at us. We can’t fail to see a good idea just because we didn’t think of it first. We can’t fuel the furnace of hatred with more hate. 

As conservatives, we have to be very careful not to be so thin-skinned that we can’t laugh at ourselves. Otherwise, we become just like the hysterical snowflakes on the other side.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ICE raids just a fraction of what's needed

Reality aside, whether or not something is actually happening in the minds of the public depends, in large part, on the media coverage. That may sound strange but it’s true. For example, ice has been melting and reforming in the Arctic for millions of years. It wasn’t until 1979 when satellite technology advanced to a point that we could see it that it became big news. That news coverage changed the perception, but it did not change the reality.

The same can be said for a different kind of ice, the recent ICE raids. The media are in hysterics over Trump’s 680 criminal illegal alien arrests last week. However, Obama averaged 1,250 arrests per week in his last year in office according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). An average of 1,250 arrests and the media hardly noticed.

And, yes, I said criminal illegal aliens. It’s already a misdemeanor to break into this country the first time. The second and subsequent times are felonies. Those people targeted by ICE are illegals with criminal records for crimes other than merely coming here illegally. The sad reality is we’re only arresting a fraction of those people who need to be kicked out of the country.

According to the current acting ICE director, there are 950,062 illegal aliens in the country with active deportation orders. These people have been convicted of crimes in the United States and ordered to self-deport. The Trump raids constitute just .07 percent of those with deportation orders. ICE currently has in custody 11,006 criminal illegals. The vast majority of those were obviously arrested under Obama. Still, that’s only about 1 percent of those with active deportation orders.

It gets worse. There are about 3 million criminal illegal aliens just walking around our country. The ones we have in custody make up only .37 percent of those who should be in custody. If there are 20 million illegals in the country then about 15 percent of them are bad actors. That’s a pretty alarming rate, and that’s just the ones we know have criminal records. Countless crimes by illegal aliens go uncounted because we have no idea who they are.

If you knew that 15 percent of any group was statistically criminal would you feel good about letting them on an airplane without going through security? Then why on earth are we letting people come unvetted to this country?

The Washington Examiner cites immigration experts as saying the reason most of these criminal illegal aliens aren’t in custody is because of sanctuary cities. So many of these criminal illegals are jailed in sanctuary cities then set free. Many of the ICE raids would be unnecessary if cities simply did their jobs and held criminals until ICE agents arrived. And we only need look to the Kate Steinle case in San Francisco to see what happens when they don’t.

I hear all sorts of excuses for illegal aliens. It takes too long to get here, or it cost too much to come here. The figure that’s now taken hold in the pro-illegal movement is $7,000 for a green card. It’s actually $1,000 for a green card. If your home loan takes too long or the fees are too much does that mean you rob the bank?

It’s time we stopped making excuses for illegal immigration. Two-thirds of the people coming up from Mexico come legally. Two-thirds come the right way! There is no excuse for coming any other way.

So, what do you call 680 criminal illegals arrested in one week? A good start.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flynn's departure emboldens the media

The media smell blood in the water. There are four people in Trump’s orbit who they’ve been trying to take down and they just got their first kill. General Mike Flynn, the now-former national security advisor to the president was the first. They hope he won’t be the last.

Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and Sean Spicer are all on their hit list. Unfortunately, Flynn gave them the rope to hang him. In the end, it wasn’t some ridiculous violation of some arcane law (the Logan Act), it was the fact that Flynn lied to Vice President Mike Pence which caused Pence to repeat the lie.

And it was all so unnecessary. Flynn was talking to a Russian ambassador about all sorts of issues, including the Obama sanctions against his country. Trump’s position had been that he would take a look at those sanctions once he became president. Telling the ambassador that was neither illegal nor improper. Misrepresenting the conversation apparently damaged Flynn’s credibility, and credibility is crucial to a national security advisor.

It’s a dangerous game to give the media their pound of flesh. Thus far in this administration, they have been relegated to mere spectators. They’re accustomed to driving the narrative. They’ve convinced themselves that Flynn, Conway, Bannon, and Spicer drive the narrative in the Trump White House. What they fail to realize is that Trump drives the narrative in the Trump White House. They seem to believe if they can destroy his inner circle they can destroy him.

With the Flynn kill it’s even more than that. To a journalist, Watergate is the gold standard. It’s the Pulitzer. It’s journalistic immortality. Before Flynn’s resignation, I predicted you’d hear the famous question crafted by the late Senator Fred Thompson and uttered by Senator Howard Baker: What did the president know, and when did he know it? Now it’s on every reporter’s lips.

Russia has been made the bogeyman. Seems like I remember not too long ago Hillary Clinton was hitting a reset button with her Russian counterpart. What happened? Well, what happened was Hillary was desperately searching for a vehicle to derail the Trump train and cloak-and-dagger intrigue reminiscent of the Cold War era seemed to be the only option. Vladimir Putin had made Obama look like a White House intern by comparison. His KGB ties and sinister looks made him the perfect personification of the leader of SPECTRE.

The left-wing media ran with the narrative. Any type of contact with Russia was suddenly an act of treason, despite the fact that since the fall of the Soviet Union they ceased to be our mortal enemy. Meanwhile, fraternizing with the true enemy of the United States—China—was not only tolerated but encouraged. China is a country that has hacked into defense contractors, social media outlets, and countless other American companies. They’ve manipulated their currency to our detriment. They’ve employed slave and near-slave labor to unfairly compete against American businesses, and they’ve killed or imprisoned millions of their own people.

But don’t look over there. Look over here at Putin and the Russians. Putin may have ordered the murder of somebody, somewhere. He rides a horse shirtless and snarled at Obama as a weak and ineffective leader. God forbid a future national security advisor was trying to build a diplomatic bridge with the likes of him.

No, let’s cozy up to the brutal butchers of Beijing instead.

Flynn’s departure was probably necessary, but it breathed new life into the left-wing media who were all but relegated to irrelevancy. Now it gets interesting.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

84 Lumber fumbles the Super Bowl ad

There are three things we’ll remember from Super Bowl LI. The greatest comeback in the history of the big game, Brady winning a record five Super Bowls, and the day 84 Lumber went all in on supporting illegal aliens and lost.

A couple of weeks before the Super Bowl I was alerting my listeners that Fox had nixed the long version of 84 Lumber’s commercial. The network found it too political because the beautiful young mother and the beautiful young girl make it to the border only to find a large wall in their way. In the version we all saw on TV they catch a freight, walk for days, and cross a river to finally arrive in the Promised Land. It was promised by the last several administrations, a promise that was expressly against the law. 

President Trump has a new promise, only this one is for the American people. He promises that illegal aliens will no longer cross our border at will. Illegal aliens will stop taking American jobs. Illegal aliens will stop killing American citizens and draining our coffers of valuable resources.

84 Lumber chose only to show you illegal immigration in the most positive light. What they didn’t show you was the MS-13 gang member getting up early in the morning, stealing his way across Mexico, hauling illicit drugs across the border, then killing Americans on the other side. What they didn’t show you were the 25 Americans killed, on average, each day in America by illegal aliens.

Sure, there are plenty of people coming across the border who just want a better life. The problem is we don’t know who’s who. That’s the whole point of legal immigration. Proponents of illegal immigration love to point out that our country was built on immigration. That’s true, but it was also built on the rule of law. There is a right way to come into the country and there’s a wrong way. Two-thirds of those coming up from Mexico into the United States come legally. Two-thirds. It’s the other third that’s breaking in. It’s the other third that we have no idea who they are.

You don’t have to be a Republican or a Democrat to recognize common sense. If two-thirds of the people coming up from Mexico are coming legally, what’s up with the other third? Why are they breaking in? The short answer is a disproportionate number of them couldn’t come the legal way because of shady backgrounds, disease, gang affiliations, terrorist ties, or myriad other reasons.

Someone on Twitter told me “human beings should allowed to travel without fear.” My response was that Americans should be allowed to live without fear. Right now we can’t.

I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life. I’ve never assumed that I have a right to break into someone else’s country. If France or Canada or any other country I travel to decided they no longer wanted Americans, I wouldn’t break in. And I darn sure wouldn’t sue to get in. I recognize that countries have a right to control their borders and their people. That means they, and they alone, get to decide who comes in and who doesn’t.

Too many people believe it’s a God-given right to travel freely wherever they please. It’s not. The reason we have borders in the first place is to protect the people within them. A country without borders is not a country at all. These days the stakes are so much higher. It’s literally a matter of life or death. Which side are you on?

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.