Counselling Sessions

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Eight months into the Trump Administration, one cabinet appointment stands out as a flop: Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

We all had a lot of hope. Back in January. Hope.

Hope for the Trump administration. Hope for American greatness. And hope for justice. If you’re a Tea Partier, you had a lot of hope.

Jeff Sessions looked like the ultimate pick for Attorney General. Conservatives berated Mitch McConnell to accelerate Sessions’ confirmation by the Senate. Conservatives threatened to break with Trump when the president attacked Sessions on Twitter.

And yet . . .

And yet, Attorney General Sessions has done almost nothing since taking office. Not only has Sessions failed to advance the Trump agenda, he has confirmed two of the Obama administration’s greatest injustices:

  • Sessions refused to investigate the criminal IRS manager Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the IRS’s attack on conservative and Tea Party groups
  • Sessions allowed the FBI and DOJ to withhold evidence of wrongdoing by James Comey in the Hillary email investigation

Plus, Sessions recused himself from the Russian witch without good cause. Sessions just wanted to appease the press. Like a typical, weak Republican Congressman.

Maybe Trump was right and we were wrong. Sure, Jeff Sessions’ heart and head are in the right place. But after decades in Washington, Sessions appears to be another establishment guy. A cheap, empty Republican suit who recites Cato the Younger but behaves like an Army private with battle fatigue.

Americans elected Trump hoping for justice. We thought Sessions was the perfect leader for the Department of Justice. But Sessions looks more and more like another Republican establishment swamp swimmer.

Perhaps Sessions will man up and do his job. But eight months in, I’ve lost most of my respect for Jeff Sessions. And most of my hope for justice in the Trump administration.

 

No Mercy for Equifax: Stock Price Zero

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Move Over, Enron: Equifax Is Next

The worst problem of modernity lies in the malignant transfer of fragility and antifragility from one party to the other, with one getting the benefits, the other one (unwittingly) getting the harm, with such transfer facilitated by the growing wedge between the ethical and the legal. This state of affairs has existed before, but is acute today— modernity hides it especially well.

—Nassim Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto) 

Expect the name John Gamble to join the pantheon of evil business crooks. Alongside Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, and Arthur Andersen.

Equifax executives, it seems, traded your most personal financial information to criminals for a few million dollars in personal gain. Here’s how it went down:

  • Equifax failed to properly secure its systems and your data
  • Hackers breached Equifax’s porous security 3 times this year alone
  • Cyber criminals stole Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, and credit card numbers belonging to 143 million Americans (or more)
  • Equifax executives sold their Equifax stock between the time the breach was discovered and the time the breach was disclosed

Simon Black summarized Equifax’s criminal negligence on Sovereign Man Blog:

Literally over one third of the entire US population is at risk of identity theft now thanks to Equifax’s bungling.

Bear in mind this is the THIRD TIME in 16 months that Equifax has been hacked– there was another breach earlier this year, and another in May 2016.

Even worse– this wasn’t an overnight attack. Hackers spent MONTHS probing the Equifax network, burrowing deeper into the system and gaining access to more and more data with each attempt.

Yet Equifax’s defenses failed to detect anything.

You feel for the people who work at Equifax. Not the executives and decision makers. The workers. The people who took a good job with good pay and benefits. The people who thought they were working for a solid company that provides a vital service.

You feel worse for the 143 million Americans who will suffer because Equifax executives put “shareholder value” ahead of responsibility, accountability, quality, and honesty. You pity 143 million who will suffer because Equifax executives wanted to pad their pockets.

Nobody likes credit bureaus. The term “credit bureau” raises blood pressure. Credit bureau means stress. Credit bureau means financial risk. Just hearing the name Equifax triggers a sick, “here we go” sensation.

And “here we go” means you will suffer, maybe lose your house or car, while Equifax executives enjoy their millions. Simon Black explains:

Finally on July 29, a whopping TEN WEEKS after the attacks started, Equifax realized that something was wrong.

Senior executive responded to the data breach by… selling their stock.

Yes, in the days following their discovery of the hack, three of the company’s executives sold nearly $2 million worth of stock.

If Simon Black’s blog is too sensational for you, here’s how Bloomberg put it:

Three Equifax Inc. senior executives sold shares worth almost $1.8 million in the days after the company discovered a security breach that may have compromised information on about 143 million U.S. consumers.

Change All Your Credit Cards

At a minimum, all your credit cards and debit cards will probably be replaced with new ones in the next 30 days. Have autopay connected to those cards? You’ll have to update your card number.

You’ll also have to watch your credit reports. All three. Someone probably has your SSN, your DOB, and your driver’s license number. They have all the data they need to take out loans in your name, change your bank account, redirect your 401k. Whatever they want.

You’ll have to change it all. And the one you forget will bite you. Trust me. Expect to be hit with overdrafts, late payment penalties, and a crashing credit score when your autopay is declined because you forgot to update your debit card number.

Some of us will discover we own a house in Orange County. Maybe it’ll be used by a drug lord. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Equifax Hit With Largest Class Action Suit in History

Luckily, Mark Geragos has already filed a $70 billion class action lawsuit against these Equifax crooks. You find out more about the lawsuit here. The lawsuit alleges:

“In an attempt to increase profits, Equifax negligently failed to maintain adequate technological safeguards to protect Ms. McHill and Mr. Reinhard’s information from unauthorized access by hackers,” the complaint stated. “Equifax knew and should have known that failure to maintain adequate technological safeguards would eventually result in a massive data breach. Equifax could have and should have substantially increased the amount of money it spent to protect against cyber-attacks but chose not to.

The money that Equifax didn’t spend on security it spent on something else. It spent it on executives and shareholders, as we shall see.

Expect more suits. Suits against the three scumbag executives who sold their stock between the breach’s discovery and its belated disclosure.

John Gamble “With Your Money”: The New Kenneth Lay

Expect the names of those executives become synonymous with criminal disregard for the public’s well-being. But one name will stand out: John Gamble.

As in “Gamble with other people’s money.”

As in “Gamble with other people’s identity.”

As in “Gamble with other people’s lives.”

 

Equifax CFO John Gamble (with your money)

John Gamble is Equifax’s Chief Financial Officer. The CFO is typically the second most powerful person in the corporate management structure, second only to the CEO. The CFO knows more about the goings on in a business than anyone. Everyone who knows business knows the CFO knows.

 

Yet, Equifax claims John Gamble knew nothing about the breach when he conveniently sold 13 percent of his stock in the company. The stock he sold AFTER Equifax learned of the breach but BEFORE Equifax disclosed the breach.

Do you believe the second-ranking officer of Equifax did not learn about the breach before it was disclosed to the public? Is Equifax that poorly managed? Or is Equifax another criminal corporation?

As Corporate Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at EQUIFAX INCJohn W. Gamble Jr. made $2,652,107 in total compensation. Of this total $632,243 was received as a salary, $758,692 was received as a bonus, $0 was received in stock options, $1,244,532 was awarded as stock and $16,640 came from other types of compensation. —Salary.com

While Equifax maintains its CFO did not know about the breach, Gamble’s $1 million trade was NOT part of a 10b5-1 trading plan. 

A 10b5-1 trading plan allows corporate executives to trade company stock on a predetermined plan. The plans protect executives from accusations of insider trading by forcing the executives to schedule trades far in advance.

But Gamble’s million-dollar move wasn’t scheduled in advance. It was apparently ad hoc. On the spur of the moment. On a whim. Because CFOs make a lot big financial moves on a whim, don’t they?

So, do you still believe the Chief Financial Officer knew nothing about a massive data breach at his company? A breach that was sure to hurt Equifax’s stock price? A breach that was sure to require financial losses to victims? A breach that was sure to require huge investments in data security?

Why Did Equifax Wait a Month to Disclose the Breach?

Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge explains:

The company, which in delightful irony offers credit-monitoring and identity-theft protection products to “guard consumers’ personal information”, said that it had learned of the incident on July 29, 2017, at which point it reported the intrusion to law enforcement and contracted a cybersecurity firm to conduct a forensic review: based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. Oddly enough, it took shareholders and over a third of America, more than a month longer to learn that all their personal data may have been compromised.

Do you really believe that CFO John Gamble (with your money) was kept in the dark about the largest breach of sensitive information in the company’s history? For a full month?

Or is Equifax lying?

Equifax’s Stock Buy-Back Scam

Equifax likes stock buybacks. A stock buyback is a tool for companies to drive up their stock price without increasing the value of the company. Usually, companies borrow money and use the loans to buy their own stock. The buying activity drives up the price of the stock. Executives then sell their inflated shares (including those received as part of their executive compensation), removing value from the company.

Equifax is one of those companies that buys back its own stock to line the pockets of its executives. In 2015, Equifax bought back $550 million worth of its own stock. That $550 million could have bought a lot of data security.

And it probably did. You can bet John Gamble’s personal network is safe and secure. Gamble gambles with other people’s money, not his own.

 

Why Is Equifax Scamming Victims Out of Their Right to Sue?

Equifax, which waited a month to disclose its breach to consumers, inserted a neat little scam into its announcement. Enron would be proud.

Equifax posted an online page where consumers to check to see if Equifax lost their data to criminals. After you get the message, “Yeah, you’re probably screwed,” Equifax offers free, premium identity protection. (Like, really?)

I won’t link to Equifax’s scam page. It’s a scam.

Yes, really.

If you click the link for the free premium identity protection from the company that lost 143 million SSNs, driver’s license data, and credit card numbers, you forever waive your right to sue Equifax. 

In other words, Equifax is scamming the consumers they’ve already robbed. Scamming them out of their right to sue.

Crafty. Evil, but crafty.

Equifax’s identity-protection scam fits with the company’s lobbying efforts, too. Equifax wants the government to prohibit law suits against credit reporting bureaus. Via BoingBoing:

Before Equifax doxed 143 million Americans (but after it had suffered repeated smaller breaches that should have alerted the company to deficiencies in its security), it directed its lobbying body, the Consumer Data Industry Association, to pressure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to exempt credit-reporting bureaux from a soon-to-begin rule banning binding arbitration clauses in user agreements.

Free markets can’t work when government regulators get involved. Shouldn’t free marketers demand draconian punishment for people who give free markets a bad name?

Equifax Gives Free Markets a Bad Name

If you’re a free-marketer like me, you must really hate Equifax right now.

Every time a scumbag company like Equifax or Enron puts shareholder value first, a lot of people assume all business is evil and corrupt.

It’s not true. Most businesses and most corporate executives strive to build good companies that serve customers well. 

But the crooks like those at Equifax get all the press. When Equifax borrows money to buy back its stock to line the pockets of its executives who delay disclosure of a data breach while they sell off 13 percent of their Equifax stock before the plunge, people get cynical. About business.

Solution to Evil Executive Syndrome

Punishment for corporate malfeasance can go draconian for a time. By draconian, I mean something like this:

  • Freeze all assets of executives, board members, and major shareholders pending the results of litigation and prosecution. By “all assets,” I mean everything: homes, bank accounts, credit cards, investments, passports. Freeze all income in excess of $25,000. Everything. They’ll get it back if they’re innocent. We do this to kids who get caught with an ounce of pot; we can do it to millionaire executives and investors.
  • If found guilty of negligence, the minimum punishment for executives is 25 years in prison, forfeiture of all assets and income, and permanent loss of the right to own stock in any publicly traded company.

The goals of these draconian punishments are simple:

  • Encourage investors to hold management accountable for good business and great products first, not shareholder value.
  • Make the punishment for a white-collar crime so severe that no one would think about trying it.

In short, the solution begins to transfer the downside risks to the people with upside potential. It makes men like John Gamble have skin in the game. And it threatens to fry that skin if they cheat.

Put another way, my draconian punishments for white collar crimes would encourage “heroism” among business executives and investors. As Taleb explains in Antifragile:

In traditional societies, a person is only as respectable and as worthy as the downside he (or, more, a lot more, than expected, she) is willing to face for the sake of others. The most courageous, or valorous, occupy the highest rank in their society: knights, generals, commanders. Even mafia dons accept that such rank in the hierarchy makes them the most exposed to be whacked by competitors and the most penalized by the authorities. The same applies to saints, those who abdicate, devote their lives to serve others— to help the weak, the deprived, and the dispossessed.

Following the 2007-2008 financial crash, no one went to jail. No executive lost money. Taxpayers made them all whole. It was like a government-run stock buyback where you and your grandkids got stuck paying off the debt. In Taleb’s model, gains were involuntarily transferred to the rich and risks (and losses) to the poor. And the government oversaw that transfer.

In the case of Equifax, I’d go one step further. I’d allow consumers to sue Equifax’s customers. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, all the banks. Anyone who pays Equifax for data and credit scores, anyone who reports to Equifax. Sue them all.

Because of the unique relationship between credit companies and credit bureaus, a credit bureau’s customers owe their customers fiduciary duty in scrutinizing vendors. Any bank that does business with Equifax is culpable for what Equifax does.

Strategically, if Discover and Bank of America face huge losses because of Equifax’s negligence and malfeasance, Discover and Band of America will beat the living hell out of Equifax.

In the end, the immediate goal is to drive Equifax’s stock to zero. It’s a shame that many retail investors will lose money. It’s a shame thousands of decent, innocent Equifax employees will lose their jobs. Just as Enron’s employees did. Most recovered.

But the free market is more important than any company, any job, within that market. To survive—to deserve to survive—free markets must be self-regulating. Rather than writing a flurry of laws will be penned by lobbyists, let’s allow Equifax’s victims to divide up whatever assets Equifax and its crooked executives might have. And let Equifax’s corporate customers put skin the game, too.

The Strategy That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By now you’ve heard that President Trump struck a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Trump struck a deal to raise the debt ceiling. Trump struck a deal by going around Congressional Republicans. Trump struck a deal with Democrats.

It’s about time, frankly. But Trump can go a lot further on this path. If I were his chief strategist, I’d tell him to go further. How far? Keep reading.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are lazy, selfish, greedy, and kind of stupid, frankly. They surround themselves with lazy, selfish, greedy, stupid “leaders.” For the record, Paul Ryan is the least effective Speaker since recordkeeping began. He raises money. That’s about all he does well.

So Donald Trump struck a deal with the Democrat leaders.

Pelosi and Schumer are good friends to have. They’re loyal. They do whatever it takes to defend their friends, to advance their party’s positions, and to win every battle. Unlike their Republican counterparts, those Democrat leaders stand by their presidents, too. They stood by Bill Clinton. They stood by Obama. They even stood by Hillary, holding her up when she toppled and swayed. Which she did often.

So Donald Trump struck a deal with the Democrats. Because, at least, the Democrats know how to get stuff done.

Trump is a builder. A deal-maker. A problem solver. He’s not an ideological conservative. We didn’t elect him to be an ideological conservative. We elected him to make America great again.

Because he’s not ideological, Trump doesn’t give a damn how he makes America great again. Just so he gets the job done.

Trump gave Paul “The Dumbbell” Ryan and whining Mitch McConnell every chance to make America great again. Trump urged them, praised them, cajoled them. He warned them, too. He warned them that he wouldn’t put up with lazy, selfish, greedy stupidity from the GOP.

It’s obvious that Trump’s patience with Ryan and McConnell has run out. As it should have. Ryan and McConnell couldn’t find work in the private sector if their lives depended on it. They’re only good for government work. A government where lazy, greedy, selfish, and stupid are considered skills.

So Trump did the smart strategic thing. He struck a deal with Democrats. He’ll strike many more deals with Democrats. Unless Ryan and McConnell get off their asses and do their goddamn jobs.

But if I were Trump’s strategist, I’d go a lot further than striking a deal with Democrats over the debt ceiling. I’d go way further. Way, way further.

If I were Trump’s strategist, I’d tell him to go All. The. Way.

All the way where?

All the way.

I’d advise Donald J. Trump to switch parties. 

Right now.

Today.

I’d tell Trump to become a Democrat. Why the hell not? Churchill did it.Twice!

As a Democrat, Trump stands a chance of making America great again. And that’s why we elected him.

We conservative Trump voters put aside our ideology in 2016. We put aside ideology and put America first. We on the right said to ourselves, “Look, if America goes down, our conservative ideas are dead forever. So let’s make America great again, first. Then, we’ll get back to fighting for our ideas.”

If Donald Trump becomes a Democrat, I’ll support him just as strongly as I support him today. I wouldn’t bat an eye. I have a lot of friends who are Democrats. Like Jane Dueker. I like Jane. I’d like her more if she supported Trump. And if Trump were a Democrat, she probably would.

If Donald Trump becomes a Democrat, the Democratic Party will move to the right. Trust me. I told you about missing the good liberals. Go read that post for a minute and come back.

Did you read it?

If you’re over 40, you probably felt some nostalgia. Nostalgia for the old days. The old days when you could argue with a liberal and still be friends. And Ronald Reagan was still president, so who cares what they thought, anyway.

I suspect there are a lot of good, old-school liberals in the Democratic Party. They would love to be civil and reasonable and debate issues with us. In public. Without fear of violence.

Those good liberal Democrats wish they were free to wave the flag and be patriotic and tell the communist-anarchist Antifa terrorists to go to hell. 

But, right now, those good Democrats feel constrained. Constrained by a party that won’t let them be liberals. Constrained by a party that demands progressivism and anti-Americanism and anarchy and communism.

You can say, “they should stand up for their principles.” I disagree. So does my favorite philosopher, Epictetus.

Don’t brag about the principles you follow in life. Don’t even mention them to others. Instead, act according to those principles. In social situations, do not tell others how to behave.

Epictetus. The Good Life Handbook: Epictetus’ Stoic Classic Enchiridion (Kindle Location 409). The Stoic Gym Publications. Kindle Edition.

Liberals and conservatives should live their principles. Telling others to live by our principles doesn’t get us very far. Eventually, people tune us out. Like people tuned out Antifa. The only way Antifa can get anyone’s attention is to bash their skulls with nail-encrusted Louisville Sluggers.

So I’ll be fine with my liberal friends living their liberal principles and my conservative friends living their conservative principles and all of us arguing over policy and having a drink afterward.

As a Democrat, Trump can put a lot of pressure on the majority party in Congress. Plus, he’ll have a lot of help from the Democrats.

Plus, he’ll be able to campaign for Blue Dog Democrats. To defeat those do-nothing Republicans. So many of Trump’s voters are Blue Dog, blue collar Democrats. They’d feel more at home.

If Trump were a Democrat, he’d have zero chance of getting impeached. CNN would treat him fairly. So would the New York Times. And Amazon lobbyist Washington Post. Democrat Trump would be a celebrity again. And he’d be getting things done.

With a few Republicans and all the Democrats on his side, Trump would pass a lot of legislation. He’d end identity politics in the Democratic Party. And he’d probably end Paul Ryan’s political career. All good.

I want to make America great again. That means high GDP growth. But it also means getting along with my Democrat friends. It means arguing, learning, winning, and having a drink. Like good people do.

It’s so much easier to marginalize the idiots when the decent people get along despite our differences.

It’s American.

It’s great.

It’s why we elected Donald J. Trump.

And it’s the best way for me to get my wish (and my birthday’s coming up). So I advise President Trump to switch parties.

 

UPDATE: McConnell told President Trump to stop talking about “draining the swamp.” Which is more reason for Trump to jump parties.

Did Mark and Andrew Madoff Profit from Bernie’s Crimes?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many people say, “you shouldn’t punish children for sins of the parent.” That’s something we firmly believe as Americans. The US Constitution even prohibits “corruption of blood.” Corruption of blood refers to laws that pass guilt genetically from generation to generation.

I think we can all agree that punishing children for their parents’ crimes is un-American. But what about children who profit from their parents’ crimes? Should they be allowed to keep the booty?

Andrew and Mark Madoff were the sons of Bernie Madoff. Bernie Madoff was convicted of the largest Ponzi scheme since Social Security. You probably remember the Madoff scandal.

Andrew Madoff and his older brother Mark turned their father in after he confessed his crime to them. They ratted out their old man.

Both sons denied any knowledge of the Ponzi scheme. Neither son was prosecuted. Mark hanged himself amid continuous accusations, one year after his dad’s conviction. He couldn’t take the shame. Andrew died of lymphoma at age 48. His cancer had been in remission, but it returned after his father went to prison. You can imagine the stress he was under.

On the other hand, Andrew and Mark died rich. Their children, Andrews’s ex-wife, and Andrew’s fiancee divided the $16 million of Andrew’s assets. Mark, the older brother, left an even larger estate. So, while they may not have known that their dad was ripping people off, they got rich, to some degree, as a result of his crimes.

A lot of Bernie Madoff’s victims wanted the courts to seize Andrew’s and Mark’s assets. To divide among the victims. Some of Madoff’s victims lost their life savings. According to USA Today:

At the time of his death, according to the Post, Madoff had been contesting an effort by the victims’ court-appointed trustee, Irving Picard, to recover $153.3 million from Andrew and from the estate and widow of his brother, Mark, who hanged himself in 2010. Picard, according to the News, said the brothers “knew, saw, and were simply too intelligent to plausibly feign ignorance about the fraud that was occurring.”

The brothers worked in a supposedly legitimate arm of the Madoff business. But Madoff’s victims figure all the Madoff money is tainted. And they want some of their lost treasure returned, even after the deaths of Andrew and Mark.

Two questions to ponder:

  1. Did society punish Andrew Madoff for the sins of his father?
  2. Did Andrew and Mark Madoff profit from the sins of their father?

If you said “yes” to number two, do you think victims should get to recover from their estates?

I’ll tell you how the Madoff story ends in a moment. But, first, let’s think about DACA and the Dreamers.

A lot of Democrats, like Senator Dick Durbin and Speaker Paul Ryan (it’s a joke), say “Trump must not end DACA because you can’t punish children for the sins of their parents.” But are Durbin and Ryan making a valid argument? Or is this a red herring? Let’s take it apart.

Part One: “Trump must not end DACA.” That’s an opinion. Durbin and Ryan both support DACA even though Ryan admits it’s blatantly un-Constitutional. But at least he’s honest. He prefers convenience over the Constitution, like most politicians. So I’m okay with the first have. Now, let’s look at the next word: “because.”

Because is a subordinating conjunction. That means the two parts of the sentence are not equal. The part before the because relies on the truth of the part that follows because. And the part after the because must support the first part. It’s like a belt. For a belt to hold up your pants, it must be buckled (true) AND it must fit snuggly enough (logical fit). Which brings us to the second part:

Part Two: “you can’t punish children for the sins of their parents.” Logically, this is true. We already admitted up at the top that punishing children for their parents’ sins is a sin. And un-Constitutional. But the clause doesn’t fit logically. No logical fit.

But what about the Madoff case? If courts seized the assets from Bernie Madoff’s grandchildren, would that be punishing his descendants? After all, they were accustomed to being millionaires. They’d be plunged into poverty. It would sure feel like punishment to them, wouldn’t it?

Now, these “Dreamers” profited from their parents’ crimes, did they not? No one is claiming the Dreamers helped their parents break American immigration law. Just as no one accused Madoff’s grandchildren of helping gramps run a Ponzi scheme.

But the Dreamers certainly profited from the crime of their parents. The Dreamers got great American educations, great American health services, and many of them have great jobs with Google and Apple making more than double the average American wage, according to . . . Google and Apple.

In other words, Dreamers profited from their parents’ crimes. No one can deny that Dreamers profited from their parents’ crimes.

So what happened to Bernie Madoff’s kids’ money that was inherited by their children who had nothing to do with Bernie’s famous Ponzi scheme?

The Madoff grandchildren had to give a lot of it back to the victims. Via New York Post:

The estates of Bernie Madoff’s sons have agreed to fork over $23 million in ill-gotten gains from years of benefiting their dad’s Ponzi scheme, according to a joint announcement Tuesday by the court-appointed Madoff trustee and the Justice Department.

Mark Madoff, his widow Stephanie Mack, and Andrew Madoff have agreed to cough up the money as part of a deal hashed out with Irving Picard, the trustee responsible for recouping money for investors. Half the money will also go to the Madoff Victim Fund, which is run by the DOJ and has recovered $9 billion for victims.

I agree that it’s wrong to punish children for their parents’ sins. But I’d also agree that it’s wrong for children to profit from their parents’ crimes.

Those who support DACA, like Paul Ryan, think it’s okay, apparently, for criminals to pass their ill-gotten gains on to their children. In Paul Ryan’s world, if a bank robber gives the money to his kid, the kid gets to keep the money.

Look, I don’t have anything against the Dreamers or against Madoff’s grandchildren. I think they all got a raw deal because of their parents (or grandparent, in the case of the Madoffs). But there were victims of these immigration crimes, too. American citizens who didn’t get the Dreamer’s scholarship or job. People in many countries who wanted to immigrate to the USA but couldn’t because of so many illegals.

Those victims of illegal immigration, like the victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, deserve restitution.

If you like DACA, you must also demand Madoff’s victims give their money back to Madoff’s grandchildren.

Preparing for the Worst Case Scenario in North Korea

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You wake up and nothing works.

No electricity.

No cell phone or land line.

No radio.

No electric tooth brush.

No internet or cable.

No laptop. No tablet.

Car: nothing.

What happened?

No, it’s not a scene from the Twilight Zone. It’s the aftermath of an electromagnetic pulse attack. EMP for short.

An EMP attack would look like this:

  • North Korea launches an ICBM toward North America
  • The warhead detonates 100 miles above Colorado
  • Waves of electromagnetic energy pulse down across the fruited plain
  • Every semiconductor and small wire in the United States burns out

No boats. No lights. No motor cars.

Not a single luxury.

Like Robinson Carusoe—as primitive as

Fox News: Millions of American lives could be at stake as North Korea threatens to attack power grid

Communication would be reduced to two kinds:

  • Face-to-face
  • Walkie talkie radio

For walkie talkies to work, people must have protected them. Protected them in a Faraday cage.

A Faraday cage is a device. It’s a device that protects what’s inside from electrical damage. Faraday cages work because they’re super-conductive. They give electricity the ultimate path of least resistance.  Why does resistance matter?

Electricity operates likes this: positive and negative poles. One seeks the other. When you release a large amount of positive electricity, it goes looking for negative electricity. It looks for grounding.

Electronics, like radios, are full of wires and stuff. Stuff that conducts electricity. So those protons in the atmosphere use that wiring to find a ground. To find their negative mates. That’s what fries out the electronics.

But a Faraday cage conducts electricity better than a radio. Or a cell phone. If your device is inside a Faraday cage, the electricity passes around the outside of the cage. Your electronic device inside is left unharmed.

So paranoid people who keep their radios and electronics inside Faraday cages will have electronic communications. The rest of won’t.

But there’s good news. You can protect your stuff.

You can buy anti-static zip lock bags. I like 10″ x 14″ bags. They hold a MacBook Air. Or an emergency radio. Or multi-band walkie talkies. Or cell phones.

You can keep your devices sealed in one of these bags overnight. You can carry a few in a back pack to work, in case you hear a civil defense warning in the middle of the day. A warning that North Korea has launched an ICBM. The ICBM evaded our missile defenses. You have about 20 minutes. Twenty minutes to prepare.

You grab your radios, your phone, and your laptop. You slide them into anti-static bags. You seal the bags. And you wait.

Wait for the boom.

Wait for the power to go out.

Wait to see cars stop in the middle of the highway.

And if the EMP attack never comes? Well, you’re out $10 for the anti-static bags.

Maybe Kim’s a lunatic. Maybe he’s a fox. Maybe he’s playing us all. The USA. China. The UN.

Or maybe he’s a genius. Maybe he sees a path to an end game. Maybe he’s thought ahead about how others will respond to various moves on his part. And maybe he has found his best move. Kim could think like this:

  • If I bomb Guam or Japan, the world will applaud the USA’s nuclear retaliation that wipes out my kingdom.
  • If I keep acting belligerent but do nothing, China will eventually get tired of my antics and cut trade ties with my kingdom.
  • If I hit the USA with an EMP, there’s no visible destruction, no mushroom cloud, no radiation burns, no Hiroshima-like aftermath. Their lights go out. If anyone dies, it’s because the USA is weak and unprepared and soft.
  • And if the USA tries to retaliate against my EMP with the full-on attack, the world will be on my side. They’ll see that the USA is over-reacting to a demonstration of power that directly killed nobody.

I have no idea if that’s how Kim thinks. I have an idea that, if he thinks that way, he’s somewhat right. The USA and our western allies are soft and weak. The American people, save for a few rugged places like Houston (and thereabouts) are soft and weak and desperate for comfort. People would trade their freedom for comfort. They do it all the time.

Would Chuck Schumer support retaliation for an EMP attack? Would Paul Ryan?

I honestly doubt it. I promise you the US Chamber of Commerce would oppose retaliation. For fear of stock market losses. Since Schumer and Ryan are both employed by the Chamber, they’ll oppose retaliation out of fiduciary duty. So will Code Pink. And Bernie “Stalin” Sanders. And Mitch McConnell. And Google and Mark Zuckerberg. And Apple. And Theresa May and that wimpy French president. And Angela Merkel.

For fear of losses to the world’s elites, all the old allies would oppose US retaliation for what some would call “a sophisticated prank.”

Call me cynical. But I’m preparing (mildly) for an EMP attack. Just in case Kim Jong-un’s opinion of western world leaders is as low as mine.

Next: The Great Lefty Shark Jump

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It might happen before I finish typing this post.

Maybe it already happened. Maybe we just haven’t heard.

Or maybe it’s a few days away.

But it’s coming, folks. Believe me, it’s coming. And it’s gonna be a doozy.

So many lefties were hoping that Hurricane Harvey would finally knock out President Trump. If they pray, they prayed. They prayed for a monumental catastrophe. They prayed for total collapse of FEMA. They prayed for live video people drowning, of rednecks wearing Stars and Bars bandanas floating helplessly on the rooves of their double-wide mobile homes into the stormy Gulf of Mexico. They prayed for Trump to say something racist and homophobic. They prayed for failure.

And they got this, instead:

They got images of a president who knows how to run something. A builder who loves being around people. A guy who touches everybody while he’s talking to them. A guy who uses the word “love” more than a megachurch preacher. A guy talks about how great the recovery is going to be instead of how miserable the disaster was. A guy who focuses on a better future instead of whining about the troubled past.

Hurricane Harvey reminded millions of Americans why they voted for Donald J. Trump.

He’s a leader.

He’s a builder.

He’s job maker.

He’s a visionary.

He’s managing a crisis without working up a sweat. Making it look easy. Making it look like he was born to pull America through disasters and build something better on the other side. Like the Commodore Hotel. Like the ice rink in Central Park.

On time.

Under budget.

When everybody said it couldn’t be done.

The left will have to respond. Their narrative is cracking. And it’s cracking fast. Faster than an egg boiling too quickly. Faster than Hillary’s pancake makeup. Cracking like poorly mixed concrete. Cracking up. Their narrative is cracking up.

When people see their false narrative cracking, they rarely question that narrative and adjust. Instead, they deny the obvious. The obvious truth that the left’s Trump narrative was wrong all along.

They won’t adjust or recognize. They’ll try to tape their narrative back together again. Like Humpty Dumpty.

They’ll need something big. Something grand. Something outrageous.

To save their false narrative, CNN and NYTimes and MSNBC will need something with two heads:

  1. A head that makes the Trump look eviler than evil itself.
  2. A head that’s so spectacular everybody must pay attention.

The Russia story is dead, so that won’t work.

Comey looks like a criminal, so you can’t use him.

Mueller looks as crooked as a dog’s hind leg, so better not look there.

Antifa’s credibility is falling apart at the seams.

So where do the lefties turn for their two-headed monster? Where do they find a two-headed dragon?

Maybe Kim Jung-un. Rehabilitate him into a sympathetic victim of Trump’s insane foreign policy.

Who knows? I don’t. But I can guarantee you editors and producers from the MSM are colluding right now. Colluding on a fake news story to make Trump look bad. Really bad.

They will orchestrate one if they have to. They’ve done it before. (A lot of the news you see on TV is pure fiction created by news producers for ratings or drive a narrative. Dan Rather did it. NBC did it. ABC does it. CNN does it. They write the script, they rehearse the blocking, they hire the actors, and they pretend it’s real.)

So I’m predicting two things now. Two things that will change everything.

Prediction One: The left (media, Democrats, friends) will stage a fake event in an attempt to make Trump look bad.

Prediction Two: The left’s scam will fail miserably, permanently destroying what’s left of their credibility and permanently solidifying Trump’s presidency.

A lot will change after that. Paul Ryan will decide to finally live up to his campaign promises. Tax reform, Obamacare repeal, the Wall will get legislative attention. Democrats in red states will panic and join the Republicans on key votes.

All because of Hurricane Harvey? No.

Because President Trump is actually really good at being President of the United States. Better than anyone since Ronald Reagan.

And because the Trump’s enemies can’t deal with that truth. So they’ll jump the shark in attempt to change the narrative. To save their false narrative.

They’ll fail.

And it will be so sweet to watch.