AG Sessions Tilting Thug; Trump Should Rein Him In.

Jeff Sessions recently announced at a national prosecutors conference that the federal government is going to try to seize more money and property from Americans. That’s the disturbing gist of his statement that the Department of Justice will shortly issue new policies and practices to ramp up its use of what’s called civil assert forfeiture.

Asset forfeiture is the controversial practice by which state and federal prosecutors can seize money or property from people without convicting them or even charging them with a crime. If police or prosecutors believe there are grounds to suspect that money or cars or boats or even homes are connected with criminal activity, or are derived from the profits of crime, they can seize the property. The challenge then shifts to the deprived property owner to lawyer up and sue the government to get their property back.
 
The burden of proof of showing that property is connected to crime technically shifts to the government, but this is a thin civil protection. Unlike a criminal case, where the government must convict a defendant of a charged crime beyond a reasonable doubt, in a civil forfeiture case, the government’s burden is only the civil standard of preponderance of the evidence—51% more likely than unlikely. And the question pits career prosecutors with public budgets against overmatched citizens who may have had their bank account seized and no means to fight.
 
Jeff Sessions was a long time prosecutor and is a fan of asset forfeiture: “[W]e plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures,” he told the gathered district attorneys. “No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners.”
Most people would agree with the Attorney General that criminals should not get to keep and enjoy their ill gotten gains. But reasonable people, including a diverse coalition of limited government conservatives and civil libertarian liberals differ significantly with Mr. Sessions’ fondness for the aggressive practice, for good reason. Many people think there should be fair standards and procedures before the government gets to brand someone a criminal and visit harsh consequences on him or her.
 
That’s the very basis for the American criminal justice system and its embedded principles: Innocent until proven guilty; Proof beyond a reasonable doubt; The right to remain silent. Strict process and safeguards and limits on state power to abuse or dominate its citizens.
 
Too often, civil forfeiture inverts these principles. Police seize cash from a stopped driver for no reason other than there’s cash in his car. An indigent driver doesn’t have access to his own cash and he has no right to court-appointed counsel. He has to hire a lawyer to fight for his own money. Often these kind of cases are bargained away with the department offering to give a portion of the cash back, and the owner has to walk away, grateful for what he can keep.
 
Other kinds of injustices are common. A friend or family member may conduct a minor drug transaction out of someone else’s car or home. But the owner’s complicity is not an element of forfeiture. Police and prosecutors can make the overreaching claim that the property itself was material to the commission of a crime, and seize it from an innocent owner.
 
An insidious part of most forfeiture practice is that the seizing agency gets to keep the seized property or the profits from its sale. This creates a vicious profit motive that should not be part of professional law enforcement. It would be intolerable to accept a system in which the offices of IRS agents, for example, or traffic patrol officers get to keep and spend the fruits of tax audits or traffic citations. Yet, this is exactly the structure and incentive of many law enforcement agencies that conduct forfeiture.
 
As the practice becomes more exposed, more controversial, and abuses come to light, many states have adopted reforms to raise the standard of proof, or to remove the bounty hunting incentive by requiring law enforcement to deliver seized goods to supervising political bodies, such as city councils or state legislatures, for appropriation through a regular budget process. This is obviously a cleaner, less compromising process.
 
Better still would be to do away with the troublesome idea that authorities can take a person’s wealth on mere suspicion. People should not be held punishable for suspected criminal activity unless they are duly charged and convicted.
 

That is the direction America should be going, not back to past abuses that are becoming increasingly controversial and objectionable.Sessions’ stance is particularly troubling because he’s not just steering the federal government in an unjust direction, but he is telegraphing his intent to undermine state reforms and enlist local DA in his revenue dragnet by “adopting” their cases that might be locally barred.  “Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate, as is sharing with our partners.”  In other words, don’t worry, my local prosecuting brethren, about what limits and reforms your states adopt. If you find the cases, Uncle Fed will adopt them them, and share with you.

President Trump should put a stop to this.

Spinal Tap Instead Of 1984

Never have so many been so obtuse about so much for so long?

 

During the eight years of Obama $15 trillion in net wealth was transferred from the bottom 93% to the top 7%. Largest wealth transfer in history – and the Leftist call this “Progress”! No, they really do.

 

The current GOP healthcare bill is a monstrosity – but the Left is complaining about how 20 million people may lose their insurance while ignoring that approximately 80 million lost their insurance under Obamacare and another 22 million or so are now paying for health insurance that they cannot afford the deductible. Some how that is acceptable but what the GOP is doing is not?

 

What the GOP is doing is unacceptable – but arguing against the GOP and in favor of Obmacare is a non sequitur.

 

Insurance premiums have risen 113% in just the last four years! Deductibles have risen 67% under Obamacare! A study by TransUnion Healthcare shows that

 

– 63% of hospital bills were $500 or less; of those hospital bills, 68% were not paid in full in 2016.

 

– 14% of hospital bills were $3,000 or more; of those hospital bills, 99% were not paid in full in 2016.

 

– 10% of hospital bills were $500 to $1,000; of those bills 85% were not paid in full in 2016.

 

Great coverage! Obamacare is nothing more than corporate welfare for insurance companies, as it was meant to be. The legislation was written by a former VP of Lobbying for WellPoint!

 

Once again – the Left calls this ‘Progress’! This is Spinal Tap politics- “it goes to eleven!”

 

There is simply no way to morally defend Obamacare with out pretending that one hundred million Americans simply do not exist. That is the level of obtuseness required in order to make an argument in favor of the Affordable Care Act.

 

If someone was to make a parody documentary about Progressives no one would be able to suspend disbelief long enough to believe it was true, but people would laugh at every absurd line in the film. Yet here it is in real life right before us. Transfer $15 trillion in net wealth from the bottom 93% to the top 7%? Progress! Strip-mine 30% of the net wealth of the middle class and 45% of the net wealth of the poor and give it to the 1%? Progress! Make people give their money to insurance companies in exchange for benefits never realized? Progress!

 

Once again – no one would believe this if it were not before our eyes – yet here it is.

 

Quite a few people are comparing our situation to 1984 or Animal Farm (I have indeed committed that offense quite often) – but perhaps the analogy really is Spinal Tap?

 

Still not at peak absurdity!

What a Week. The Left is Imploding and It’s Only Tuesday.

What a Week.
 
The Supreme Court punk slapped those judicial rascals on the 4th and 9th Circuit. Stay reversed and presidential authority upheld. 
 
Seattle is learning–and serving as a national lab–that a politically inflated minimum wage hurts poor people, bad.
 
The Russia narrative is crumbling and Chuck Schumer is revealed as a deliberate conniving liar in the mold of Harry Reid.
 
Three CNN staffers are forced to resign over a fake news story.
 
A CNN producer is caught on tape boasting the Russia story is “mostly BS” but great for ratings.
 
Loretta Lynch is under well deserved investigation for obstruction of justice.
 
I’m sure there’s more but this is off the top of my head. It’s a great start to the week for truth, justice, and the American way.
 
Imagine the orgy if the media covered liberals the way it covers conservatives.

Breaking! Mayhem at the Supreme Court. Masked Judges from the 9th and 4th Circuits Occupy Court, Decry Supreme Racism. An Insurgent Tribe Exclusive.

Urgent Breaking! An Insurgent Tribe Cherokee Mormon Network exclusive.
 
Following the US Supreme Court’s reversal of lower Circuit courts’ stays against President Trump’s Order on immigration from certain countries, violent resistance has erupted. Judges from 9th Circuit and the 4th Circuit have heeded Rob Meathead Reiner’s call for “all out war.”
 
Emerging from a procession of limousines, masked judges quickly occupied the High Court’s lobby and hallways, chanting: “Hey hey, Ho ho, racist robes have got to go!” .Chief Justice Roberts made a frantic 911 call: “They’re macro-aggressing against my legacy! Come fast!” Swarming court security police tried to restore order. But as they attempted to remove protesters, the masked judges screamed: “Don’t touch me! You’re in contempt!”
 
Other Circuit judges held vigils on the court steps, some kneeling in loud prayer, others screaming distraught obscenities at the court, and still others joining hands and singing the justice anthem “We Shall Overturn”
 
One masked invader waved a menacing gavel. She agreed to comment on condition of anonymity, because of the inadmissible nature of his her remarks. “This might be hearsay, and violate Rule 403, too, but I don’t give a damn. I’m gonna say what I think. I think this stinks. Every one of those racists lives with Supreme privilege. They have no idea what it’s like to kill yourself working 24/7 in the appellate courts, paying your nanny overtime. And, trying to decipher justice from the nonsense they hand down, don’t get me started!. And this, this, they might as well burn Korans and start committing Muslims to the internment camps with their bare hands. But they don’t have the guts. No. They’re fascist sissies! ‘Wah! John Roberts has issued his order. Now let President Trump enforce it.'”
 
Chaos continues at the Court. The Insurgent Tribe Cherokee Mormon Network will update this report as information becomes available.
 

A Trump Skeptic’s Defense of the White House Policy Barring Cameras and Live Feed From Press Briefings

Media bigs and activist hots are in high dudgeon about the recent White House policy barring cameras from press briefings. “Freedom of the press!” they scream. “The people have a right to know!” they remonstrate.

Let’s consider this. All the nation’s self important scribes will be in the room. They all get to hear and report on every word the president says. Every syllable he utters will be under intense scrutiny, dissected into puree, distorted, baked in a liberal cake, and then served in fictionalized cupcakes to the public. In other words, business as usual.

The president is not escaping scrutiny by this policy. Rather, he is shifting the playing field on who gets to be star of the show. We live in uncharted times. Our threatened elites and their imperial media allies believe the president’s vulgarity plus their disgust and contempt equal impeachable offenses. The media has declared open war on the administration. Truth and facts are not important ordnance in their arsenal. They will manufacture any nonsense that can control the narrative for a news cycle, and then they will move on to the next piece of nonsense. They have swarmed like mosquitoes around his head from the shocking moment he was elected.

They will keep doing it even under the new policy. Then what difference does the exclusion of live feed and moving cameras make? Well, under those terms of engagement, the distorted reporting will have to focus on Trump’s answers. The Big Pens and Big Hairs who think they are part of the story won’t be afforded free air time to look like champions of the people lying their truth to power. Instead of making smug, righteous speeches on national TV, they will be relegated to composing and reporting to their national audience their distortions of what the president of the United States actually said.

Oh, the ignomy, suppression, and censorship. The media might have to fill the airtime with their assassinations of Trump without the satisfaction of all their pontificating being an equal part of the story.

I think this policy will marginally improve the reporting from the pack of hyenas.

Government Beggars, Bluffers, and Bullies, and the Truth about Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

They fib about everything. In their endless campaign to get their hands deeper into Coloradans’ pockets, all the government pleaders, the non-profit advocates, the squinting analysts, and the sniffing journalists agree on their biggest enemy. The main target, the bête noir, the great white whale, public sector enemy number one is the Colorado Taxpayers Bill of Rights, the TABOR Amendment.
 
The taxing crew is forever trying to convince the skeptical public that TABOR, adopted by voters in 1992, has changed Colorado from a bountiful land of milk and honey into a North American colony of Somalia. This post is the first in a Tribe series that will explain why that charge is bogus and the taxers know it’s bogus.
 
The Moaners’ Litany:
 
First lets review a few of the descriptions of TABOR from the taxers.
 
The Denver Post is more measured than most when it says TABOR is “inefficient and ultimately hurtful to our growing state. [snip] TABOR’s powerful check on government spending in reality has been a padlock on the purse-strings. [snip] We are convinced Colorado needs more revenue to fund the quality of life we’ve all come to expect from this great state.”
 
 
The Colorado Fiscal Institute laments that TABOR saddles the state with “antiquated tax policy” that produces “painful results.”
 
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warns that TABOR is a “formula for decline” that causes “essentially a permanent revenue shortage” that “slowly starves the services on which state residents rely”
 
And, of course, to protect the children, the National Education Association weighs in to condemn TABOR as
“a proven failure” that is “destroying public services in Colorado.”
 
Simple Proof They are All Dissembling:
 
So, are the critics right? Is Colorado withering on the vine? Does state government lack the resources to provide quality modern services? Does its budget put it in the company the bottom 10% or 5% of states? Or closer to the level of a developing nation?
 
Not at all, any of that. The basic budget fact is that Colorado has about as much money for its population as any other state. Less than some, more than others, and above the national average.
A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation (no libertarian outfit) analyzed the budgets of all 50 states, including general funds, federal funds, and other state funds. The study reports Colorado at $6,320, ranks 23rd in per capita spending, right in the pack and a little above the middle.
 
It’s a very interesting list, and poses questions about some of the high and low placers. But, importantly, here are a few of the states that spend less per capita than Colorado: 26. Maine–$5,811; 28. Pennsylvania–$5,746; 31. Virginia–$$5,623; 32. Ohio–$$5,609; 33. Washington–$5,598; 34. Michigan$5,364;
 
As it turns out, California, at $6,420 lands just three spots above our Rocky Mountain home. And if government spending more money is the key to better living, why are so many Californians coming to Colorado? The US average, incidentally, is $5,777, landing between 27 Nebraska and 28 Pennsylvania. Colorado spends 9% more than the national average on each of its residents
.
The takeaway from these figures is that money, like all resources is finite. We all would like more. Your kid’s baseball team holds fundraisers because it needs more. Your school PTA does too. And the Girl Scouts. Every person, family, institution, and government would like and could use more money.
 
But, next time of one of Colorado’s public money hungry sob sisters tells you that TABOR is tightening his/her corset, don’t give in to guilt. Don’t let them off the hook without demanding better information. Smile and ask, why are you such a poor budgeter? Why do you need 9% more than Virginia for decent schools? Why do you need 9% more than Washington for decent roads? Why do you need 8% more than Kansas to provide health and human services?
 
The answers should be enlightening.
 
To be continued…
 
 
 
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