We Know That This Is Not Political…

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today with the following headline, “Deep State FBI Director Wray Fights to Delay Release of Strzok-Page Text Messages Until AFTER 2020 Election.” If we had any doubts about Wray’s loyalties, I think those doubts were just erased.

The article reports:

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s FBI is fighting like hell to keep the thousands of outstanding text messages between FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page under wraps until after the 2020 election.

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has been in court this summer fighting to get their hands on 13,000 pages of Strzok-Page documents.

The FBI wants over 2 years to “process” the Strzok-Page docs.

The Court in late July ordered parties to negotiate a solution to getting key docs more quickly, Judicial Watch said. The FBI is protecting itself on illegal abuses.

“Wray FBI wants to stall until well after next presidential election before completing release of emails/texts between corrupt FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page,” Tom Fitton said.

“26 months for 13,000 pages!? President Donald Trump should order the FBI to comply with law and stop the stonewalling,” he added.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. I guess that is why the political left is fighting so hard against it.

The article concludes:

The FBI was forced to hand over text messages between Strzok and Page, however, they claimed that they were unable to retrieve several months worth of texts because they were ‘missing.’

Mueller also scrubbed other text messages between Strzok and Page. Their phones were set to ‘factory settings’ when the two FBI officials turned in their phones to the FBI resulting in ‘lost’ data.

Judicial Watch has been fighting in court to obtain the outstanding Strzok-Page texts and FBI Director Wray is working to keep the documents hidden from public scrutiny.

It’s amazing how many things were erased in the Clinton email investigation and in the Russia investigation. It’s time the American public got to see as much of that information as is possible to retrieve.

Those Who Ignore History Are Destined To Say Dumb Things

The Electoral College has come under fire in recent years. Those objecting to the Electoral College seem to have no idea why it was included in the founding of America. Small states were fearful of being shut out of the process of electing a President and wanted a way to insure that they would have a voice. Without the electoral college, no one would campaign in North Dakota, Idaho, Montana, Kansas, and many other states where the populations are not as dense as some of the coastal states. Without the Electoral College, America would be governed by New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia. Is that really what you want? Evidently Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks that would be a good idea.

The Washington Times posted an article today about Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s recent remarks about the Electoral College.

The article reports:

The Democratic congresswoman posted an Instagram story Monday that started with her driving along a deserted highway and joking about how many votes there are in rural America.

“We’re coming to you live from the Electoral College,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said, National Review reported. “Many votes here, as you can see. Very efficient way to choose leadership of the country. I mean I can’t think of any other way, can you?”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez cited a March New York magazine article that said black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters are underrepresented by the Electoral College compared with white Americans.

“Due to severe racial disparities in certain states,” the congresswoman said in her video, “the Electoral College effectively weighs white voters over voters of color, as opposed to a ‘one person, one vote’ system where all our votes are counted equally.”

What Representative Ocasio-Cortez wants is a democracy. We are a representative republic. She needs to go back to school and study American history.

Knowing Where The Bodies Are Buried

Insiders in Washington who are honest have a pretty good idea what went into the framing of candidate Trump (and President Trump) as a Russian agent. Many of them have remained relatively quiet for various reasons–not wanting to leak classified information, not wanting to get ahead of the story, and waiting for more information to come out. Well, it seems as if we may finally getting near some of that information.

John Solomon posted an article at The Hill yesterday listing ten items that should be declassified that will turn what we have heard from the mainstream media on its head.

This is the list:

  1. Christopher Steele’s confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier.
  2. The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November.
  3. The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources. We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election.
  4. The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele’s dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016.
  5. Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes’s five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason.
  6. The ‘Gang of Eight’ briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative.
  7. The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors.
  8. The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ’s inspector general interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton’s opposition research firm, Fusion GPS.
  9. The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe had started and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
  10. Records of allies’ assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas — possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy — were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence.

If what went on here were not so serious, it would be a major get-out-the-popcorn moment. However, the biggest questions is, “How much of this will the major media report when it is released?”

About The Taxes You Pay On Your Social Security

In the past few days I have been getting notices on my phone to sign a petition to end taxing Social Security. I normally support smaller government, less spending, and lower taxes, but in this case, I want to keep taxing Social Security. I want to keep taxing Social Security until the federal budget is balanced. Who do I hold responsible for the unbalanced budget and the increasing debt? The voters. I will explain.

There are a lot of factors that went into my deciding that Social Security should be taxed (despite the fact that the money has already been taxed once). I will attempt to list them here. The majority of today’s Social Security recipients are the baby boomers. Those born in 1957 or before are now eligible to collect Social Security. In 1971, the voting age was lowered to 18, and those people born in 1957 began voting in 1975. The gold standard ended in 1973. Up until that point, budget deficits were running between $1 billion and $23 billion.

I want to focus on the baby boomers. We were the generation that ‘had it all.’ We were the ‘me generation.’ Our parents had come through the depression and World War II and enjoyed the prosperity of the 1950’s. We were consumers. As adults, we began the serious use of credit cards. We took out student loans to send our children to college. We were seriously into instant gratification. We were idealistic–we wanted to end poverty. We also wanted to end communism. We tried to do both at once and spent money we didn’t have. In the 1970’s and 1980’s the deficits grew rapidly. We continued to elect people who helped them grow. We complained when they grew, but continued to elect people who overspent. We are the ones currently collecting Social Security. We deserve to be taxed on it because we are the ones who elected the people who have run up the deficit.

So who is responsible for the rapidly growing federal debt–the voters. Don’t talk to me about the money or lobbyists in politics–if your Congressman is voting against your interests because of lobbyists, it is your responsibility to vote him out of office. When the Republicans caved on repealing ObamaCare, they deserved to be voted out of office. We need to keep voting people out of office until we get what we want.

I would love for Social Security to be tax free, but let’s put people in Congress who will control spending first!

Now They’re Coming After Bacon

On Sunday, PJMedia posted an article with the following headline, “Harvard Climate Loon: Keto Dieters Are Killing the Planet Because Bacon and Butter or Something.”

The interesting thing about the article is that it contains two contradicting tweets:

What’s a person to do? Note the comment by Dr. Wrigley, “…puts power with those who own the food.” It makes me wonder if all the emphasis on eating plants and not meat might have something to do with power and control.

Ignoring Our God-given Rights Enumerated In The U.S. Consitution

Yesterday Townhall posted an article that illustrates the problem with the ‘red flag’ laws currently being discussed by gun-control advocates. The article tells the story of Jonathan Carpenter, a Florida resident.

The article reports:

According to Ammoland, Jonathan Carpenter received a certified letter from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services saying his concealed handgun permit had been suspended for “acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violations.”

Carpenter was forced to go to the Osceola County clerk’s office to have a form filled out stating he wasn’t the person law enforcement was looking for. At that point, the clerk instructed Carpenter to speak with the sheriff’s office.

Ammoland reports:

The Sheriff’s office supplied Carpenter with a copy of the injunction. In the statement, the plaintiff stated that she rented a room out to a “Jonathan Edward Carpenter” and his girlfriend. She alleged that this Carpenter was a drug dealer who broke her furniture and sold her belongings without her permission. He had a gun, and she feared for her life. She was not sure if the firearm was legal or not.

Carpenter had never met the woman in question and never lived at the address listed in the restraining order. Moreover, other than being white, he looked nothing like the man the terrorized the woman.

The man in question is 5’8. Carpenter is 5’11. The alleged drug dealer is 110lbs. Carpenter is over 200. The man has black hair. Carpenter is completely bald. Last but not least, the man in question is covered in tattoos, and Carpenter only has a few.

Even though it was evident they had the wrong man, Carpenter was forced to hand over his firearms. There was no hearing or any kind of court proceeding.

Read those last two sentences again.

The article concludes:

Carpenter’s firearms had to remain in police custody until the plaintiff can say, in court, that he’s not the man that she filed a complaint against. He’d then have to petition the court to get his firearms back…and he would have to bear the cost. Carpenter will get his day in court later this month. 

What’s happening to this man is the exact instance Second Amendment supporters have worried about. This very instant is what we’ve talked about, time and time again. What if Carpenter needed to defend himself between now and his court date? He couldn’t, because the government failed him. He’s having to prove himself innocent in a country where everyone is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

The ‘laws’ used to confiscate Mr. Carpenter’s firearms are not constitutional. This nightmare scenario would be frequently repeated if ‘red flag’ laws are passed. Mr. Carpenter is innocent until proven guilty. He was not treated that way.

Ruining The Environment Because You Want To Win

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the Iowa Caucuses and the role that ethanol plays in them. In theory ethanol is a great idea. In practice it has not had the positive impact on the environment that was hoped for.

The article reports:

The summer before the Iowa caucuses is when politicians abandon whatever it is they believe in and instead pay homage to King Corn.

When Republicans are running, any belief in free enterprise is scuttled in favor the big government ethanol mandate.

Among Democrats, concern about smog and pollution evaporates in the heat of an Iowa summer.

The politicians who pledge to take on the special interests instead bow obediently before the ethanol lobby.

Al Gore, who admits federal support for ethanol was a mistake, explains his own advocacy of such policies thus: “I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.”

It’s a dispiriting sight, but it’s as much a part of the Iowa caucus tradition as butter cows and fried Oreos.

The article explains some of the problems with ethanol:

Also, federally mandated use of ethanol wreaks havoc on the environment.

“Making corn into ethanol threatens surface and sub-surface waters in several ways,” the Freshwater Society states.

For starters, there are the spills, which occur every two days on average. Ethanol can’t be transported by pipeline, and so it rides trains and trucks from the heartland where it’s made to the coasts, where Uncle Sam forces refiners to buy it.

The added use of fertilizers in the extra corn-growing creates lots of runoff, which down the line deprives rivers of oxygen. Distilling ethanol requires four times as much water as does refining real gasoline — so the ethanol mandate depletes water supplies.

Ranchers pay the price as corn is shifted from feed to fuel. Drivers pay the price as they have to refuel more (ethanol has less energy per gallon than gasoline does). Bikers and boaters suffer more, as ethanol gunks up those smaller engines. Ethanol is also destroying your lawnmower this summer.

The article concludes:

Refiners, corn growers, and ethanol distillers all suffer from uncertainty and inconsistency. So, we’ve got a proposal for any 2020 Democrat who cares about taking on the special interests, protecting the air and the water, and moving beyond the inconstancy of the Trump administration.

Abolish the ethanol mandate altogether.

Maybe Cory Booker or Joe Biden can pick up the bill Ted Cruz pushed in 2015, which would wind the mandate down to zero gallons in five years. Cruz even won Iowa, in part because enough voters liked a man who stood on principle.

Do the Democrats have a man or a woman like that?

Stay tuned.

What The Democrats Are Really Afraid Of

You can dismiss the turnout at Trump rallies versus the turnout for Democrat candidates. You can dismiss the tweets you may not like, but you can’t dismiss what is happening to the President’s approval numbers in minority communities.

The American Spectator posted an article today with the following headline, “Why Trump’s Approval Ratings Are Up Among Minorities.”

The article notes:

A mounting number of voter polls show that, despite shrill denunciations of the President by the Democrats for his alleged racism, Trump is enjoying a dramatic increase in his approval ratings among minorities. This isn’t, as some liberal news outlets and pundits have suggested, wishful thinking based on outlier polls. The trend began showing up in surveys early this year and appears to be gaining momentum. Some polls now show his approval numbers at 25 percent among African-American voters and 50 percent among Hispanic voters. If those figures hold for the next 15 months, they will render Trump unbeatable in November of 2020.

The article notes a number of reasons for the rising approval ratings. Among the Hispanic community, two reasons are the President’s stand on immigration and the economy. Those in the Hispanic community who followed the rules to become Americans do not support endless illegal immigration. Those in the Hispanic community have also seen a dramatic increase in employment opportunities and a decrease in unemployment. In the black community, people are asking why cities that have been controlled by Democrats for decades and given massive amounts of money by the government still look worse than cities in other countries that were totally destroyed during World War II. In other words, after voting Democrat for decades with no visible improvement in their situation, minorities are seeing positive change. Minorities have the lowest unemployment numbers in history. They are seeing employment opportunities they have not seen before. Pocketbook issues are having an impact on the way they view President Trump.

The article concludes:

The main reason for the surge in Trump’s Hispanic support, however, is the economy. As Steve Cortes, a member of the President’s Hispanic Advisory Council, points out:

Hispanics neither desire nor expect a laundry list of deliverables from government, but rather seek the conditions to advance and prosper independently.  As the most statistically entrepreneurial demographic in America, Hispanics have thrived amid the Trump boom as regulatory and tax relief unleashes a small business surge. Every American benefits from this new dynamism, but Hispanics most of all.

Hispanic voters, mind you, will be the largest ethnic minority in the electorate by 2020. They, combined with African Americans, may very well decide who will live in the White House after the next election. Moreover, the days when Democrats could win all of their votes by screeching “racism,” encouraging illegal immigration, and offering massive giveaway programs are probably over. President Trump appears to be building real support among minorities by providing genuine opportunity in a thriving economy. If he receives their support in anywhere near the percentages suggested above, he will win in 2020 no matter who runs against him.

The presidential election of 2020 will be very interesting.

The Spoiled Children Are Acting Up Again

Yesterday Breitbart reported that senior Democratic members of Congress are said to have launched discussions to formally censure the U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Jerusalem’s envoy in Washington over Israel’s decision to bar entry to congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. Keep in mind that Rashida Tlaib was later given permission to visit her grandmother in Israel on the condition that she not promote BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) while she was there. Representative Tlaib changed her mind and that point and decided not to visit her grandmother.

The article reports:

Around a dozen lawmakers, several of whom are Jewish, have begun talks to communicate a “deep lack of confidence and trust” in Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and U.S. envoy to Israel David Friedman, the McClatchy news service reported, citing congressional sources.

According to the report, the Democrats are considering releasing a statement of no confidence in Dermer and opening an inspector-general investigation into Friedman.

Among the twelve are House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, two Jewish lawmakers from New York.

“We are reviewing all of our options,” McClatchy quoted a source as saying. “With Dermer, the issue is that there already was a severe lack of trust. But now there is a severe lack of confidence. It is completely unclear that he represents his government given he has made promises that he has not kept and wasn’t clear if he ever had any chance of keeping.”

Last month, Dermer assured lawmakers that Omar and Tlaib — open supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel — would be allowed into Israel “out of respect for Congress.”

The article further states:

The prime minister said that Tlaib was welcome to apply to visit on humanitarian grounds to see her family, with the caveat that she not engage in promoting boycotts of Israel while in the country. Tlaib acquiesced, and quickly received permission to visit. However, she changed her mind hours later, saying that coming to Israel on its terms would be “humiliating” and she would not “bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who recently led a large Democratic delegation to Israel, issued a statement Thursday censuring Israel over the decision and said it contradicted what he and others had been told by Dermer.

McClatchy quoted the source as saying, “Dermer is saying privately that he expects this to go away within a day — it’s a real lack of understanding on the consequences of this.”

In the discussions Friday, the lawmakers raised an incident in 1975 in which Henry Waxman, a longtime Democratic congressman from California, was initially banned from Saudi Arabia for his Jewish roots. He was eventually granted entry following pressure from the State Department.

Friedman’s endorsement of Israel’s decision to bar Omar and Tlaib’s entry into the country broke with that precedent, they argued, and as a result called for an investigation “into the role the ambassador played in barring them from entering the country,” the report quoted another congressional source as saying.

I guess my question is whether or not we would welcome a dignitary from another country into America who wanted to visit Texas while waving a Mexican flag and claiming that it was Mexico. As usual, the Democrats are acting like the spoiled brats they have become. I guess there is no longer a place for moderate Democrats who do not hate Israel in today’s Democrat party.

We Now Have The Proof

On May 8, I posted an article about Joseph Mifsud. The article pointed out that some members of Congress were aware that Joseph Mifsud was an American asset. The Mueller Report describes him as a Russian spy. Well, that was the beginning clue that something might be wrong. Now we have the evidence.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about an interview by Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. Ms. Bartiromo interviewed John Solomon of The Hill.

The article reports:

The two discussed John Solomon’s latest interview with CIA operative Joseph Mifsud’s attorneys.

According to Mr. Mifsud’s attorneys their client was working for the CIA and was NOT a Russian operative as reported by the Mueller witch hunt team of liars.

Maria Bartiromo: We know that there were informants thrown at certain Trump campaign people, like George Papadopoulos. George Papadopoulos was on this show and he told me directly on this show that Mifsud was the guy they wanted him to meet in Italy… That is the individual who told him that Russia has emails on Hillary Clinton. Why is that important, John?

John Solomon: Well, I interviewed Mr. Mifsud’s lawyer the other day, Stefan Rowe, and he told me and also provided me some deposition evidence to both Congress and myself that his client was being directed and long worked with Western intelligence. And he was being directed specifically, he was asked to connect George Papadopoulos to Russia, meaning it was an operation, some form of intelligence operation. That was the lawyer’s own words for this. If that’s the case that means the flash point the started the whole investigation was in fact manufactured from the beginning.

The use of Joseph Mifsud in this manner is an example of blatant misuse of intelligence operations for political purposes. All of those involved need to be charged with violating the civil rights of various people in the Trump campaign. They need to be punished so that this will not happen again.

False Statements That Create Division And Unrest

The mainstream media is not known for unbiased reporting, but every now and then even they have to correct something that is not only false but incendiary.

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article on Thursday about a recent lie by two political candidates that could easily be called incendiary.

The article reports:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) doubled down on her tweet that claimed black teenager Michael Brown was “murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri,” saying Wednesday what mattered was an “unarmed man” was shot in the street.

Campaigning in New Hampshire, Warren was asked about her inflammatory tweet, which received the harshest “Four-Pinocchio” rating from the Washington Post.

“What matters is that a man was shot, an unarmed man, in the middle of the street, by police officers and left to die,” Warren said. “And I think that’s where our focus should be.”

Warren and fellow presidential candidates Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Tom Steyer all used the term “murder” to describe Brown’s death in 2014 at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson. The incident set off a debate about police violence and racial injustice. Although the notion that Brown was killed with his hands up and begging Wilson not to shoot was apocryphal, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” became a mantra for protesters.

To Senator Warren and Senator Harris the narrative was more important than the truth. Rather than tell the truth, they lied in order to advance the idea that the police involved were racist.

The article concludes:

The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler said for Warren and Harris—he didn’t include Steyer in his story—to dismiss the Justice Department’s findings was “galling.”

“Harris and Warren have ignored the findings of the Justice Department to accuse Wilson of murder, even though the Justice Department found no credible evidence to support that claim,” Kessler wrote. “Instead, the Justice Department found that the popular narrative was wrong, according to witnesses deemed to be credible, some of whom testified reluctantly because of fear of reprisal. The department produced a comprehensive report to determine what happened, making the senators’ dismissal of it even more galling.”

The Massachusetts Police Union ripped Warren as well, saying she had unfairly accused police of harming society.

So what is the impact of these statements? Those Americans who are unaware of the Justice Department findings or the grand jury’s decision are left with the impression that the police in Missouri murdered a man without cause. How does that impact the opinion of law enforcement held by the people who believe this lie? How does this lie impact the amount of respect for law enforcement needed to maintain a civil society? The statements of Senators Harris and Warren are totally irresponsible. Even if they thought they were telling the truth, they owe those people who work in law enforcement an apology.

A Troubling Trend

On Thursday, Breitbart posted an article about some recent comments made by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy while he was visiting Israel with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The article reports:

The California Republican was also asked about the absence of any members of “The Squad” on the trip, which is the foursome of freshman Democrat members led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), which have embraced the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

“If you look at it, they did not come on the trip with their colleagues,” McCarthy said. “Secondly, if you look at the antisemitism that has been growing around the world, we haven’t seen something like this since the 1930s, and the actions that they have taken in Congress itself, whereas the Senate passed S-1. It’s the anti-BDS. It’s the stopping of the boycott, divestiture, and sanctions against Israel. That bill passed the Senate overwhelmingly. Chuck Schumer not only voted it, he cosponsored it.”

“But when it came to the House, they couldn’t pass the bill,” he continued. “They moved a resolution, and much of that was to do about this new movement of this new socialist democrat. And look at what Bernie Sanders, look at Kamala Harris, wouldn’t even go to the AIPAC meeting this year inside Washington, unheard of in the process that’s been going forward. There’s a number of Democrats that still stand with Israel, but this new socialist democrat group has a much different belief.”

Antisemitism is becoming acceptable in America because it is being taught on our college campuses. This is nothing new. In 2012, I attended a presentation about antisemitism on our college campuses (article here). After the presentation, which was attended by a small group of people, mostly Jewish, a person who I knew casually came up to me and said that her daughter (she was Jewish) was attending a well-known American university and had encountered antisemitism. The women who spoke to me made the comment that she would have been better off sending her daughter to a Christian college that supported Israel and the Jewish people. That is a truly sad comment.

It Really Is A Matter Of Perspective

Yesterday WattsUpWithThat posted an article that puts the claims that July 2019 was the hottest July ever in perspective. I don’t claim to be science oriented, but I can look at pictures and learn from them.

The article included two pictures that tell the story:

For people who actually understand scientific papers, the article refers to an article by Dr. Roy Spencer titled, ” July 2019 Was Not the Warmest on Record.”

The earth’s climate is constantly changing. Some scientists in the 1970’s said we were heading for a global Ice Age; others predicted a period of warming. So far, no scientist has created a computer model that is accurate. The weatherman can’t even tell us if it will rain tomorrow. At any rate, July 2019 was not the warmest July ever.

Watching The Slippery Slope

Every time a criminal or a crazy person shoots people, the Democrats decide that the gun was the problem. They just don’t seem to be able to focus on the person doing the shooting. There is a total disregard for the purpose and history of the Second Amendment.

Townhall posted an article today about some recent comments by a Democrat candidate for President regarding Americans who own guns.

The article reports:

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is one of them and said earlier this week she’s open to putting gun owners who refuse to comply with bogus government “buybacks,” which is simply government confiscation, in prison.

“You don’t want to grandfather in all of the assault weapons all across America. We’d like people to sell them back to the government,” Gillibrand said during an interview with MSNBC. “The point is you don’t want people using assault weapons so the point is ff you’re arrested for using an assault weapon you’re going to be arrested for an aggravated felony. The whole point is when you make it a crime to own an assault weapon then if you are found using it, that would be the issue. It would be part of law enforcement.”

Let’s put this into context. The semi-automatic AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. The left considers it an “assault rifle.” There are more than 20 million of them owned by Americans across the country. Gillibrand wants to turn every single person who has one into a felon and institute a police state for enforcement.

The article also notes that candidate Kamala Harris is also talking about taking away the right of Americans to own guns. This is obviously unconstitutional, but there are some real questions as to whether our courts are following the Constitution. This is a critical time for gun rights in America.

 

A Program That Is Getting Results

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the oldest voucher program in the United States. This program began in 1990. The program offers private school vouchers to low-income Milwaukee kids using a lottery system. The article reports that just 341 students participated in the program’s first year. Today, that figure is nearly 30,000 across 126 public schools.

The article reports:

Because it has been running for so long, the MPCP has been widely studied. Past analyses have found that it increases math scores (although not reading), as well as high-school graduation and college enrollment rates. Other voucher experiments have also shown encouraging results: A 2013 study found that Washington, D.C.’s voucher program increased graduation rates by 21 percentage points, while a 2015 analysis of New York’s voucher system saw an increase in college enrollment among students with black mothers.

The authors of the new paper looked at data on students from elementary school through ninth grade who were enrolled in Milwaukee private schools in 2006. They identified 2,727 MPCP students, then used a detailed methodology to “match” them to comparable students in the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) system based on where they lived, their demographic information, their parents’ educational backgrounds, and other controls.

Having constructed their “treatment” and “control” groups, the researchers then looked at how each group faired in relation to pivotal achievement milestones: completing high school, ever enrolling in college, completing at least a year of college, and graduating from college.

The article concludes:

“MPCP students are more likely to enroll, persist, and have more total years in a four-year college than their MPS peers,” the authors write. “We also find evidence that MPCP students are significantly more likely to graduate from college, although that college completion finding is only statistically significant in our sample of students who entered the program in third through eighth grade.”

Specifically, MPCP students who were in ninth grade in 2006 were 6 percentage points more likely than their MPS peers to enroll in a four-year college—46 percent versus 40 percent. MPCP students who were in third through eighth grades were 4 percentage points more likely to enroll in a four-year college, and 3 percentage points more likely to graduate (all effects statistically significant).

These results contribute to what the authors call “a growing body of evaluation results indicating that private school voucher programs positively affect student educational attainment.” They point in particular to a Florida program, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the effects of which on graduation are “nearly identical.”

“The collective evidence in this paper indicates that students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program tend to have higher levels of educational attainment than a carefully matched comparison group of Milwaukee Public School students,” the authors conclude. “The MPCP students are more likely to enroll, persist, and experience more total years in a four-year college.”

Obviously the children using the vouchers to attend private schools are getting a better education than the students in public schools. I would guess that children involved in the voucher program also have a higher level of parental involvement–one of the keys to success for students. The children involved in the voucher program probably also know that there may be penalties for not doing the work required. I suspect that discipline in the private schools is probably more prevalent than in public schools. Our public schools have become places where children are not held to an academic or behavior standard. The success of the children in the voucher programs is an indication of problems in our public schools.

Slowly Dealing With The Problem

On Wednesday, CNS News posted an article about the number of border crossings in recent months.

The article reports:

The number of border crossings have dropped by 43 percent since May, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday.

Furthermore, the number of illegal immigrants in custody at border stations has dropped from 20,000 in June to less than 4,000 as of today.

“So those efforts are making progress – 43% reduction in crossings since May. We’re hoping to continue the progress in August. I’ll be going back to Central America next week to try to build on that with El Salvador and Panama and really address this problem as a regional effort,” he told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.

“On the first week of June, we had 20,000 people in custody in border stations. They’re having a difficult time managing that overcrowding. This morning we have less than 4,000, and they’re not staying with us very long. We’re able to repatriate the single adults quickly. The unaccompanied children are going to a better situation with Health and Human Services,” McAleenan said.

Speaking about the recent attacks on ICE facilities across the country, the acting director said, “It does appear to be targeted, and again, as you just noted, this is the fourth incident of violence or an issue at an ICE facility, and our top priority is the safety of our men and women who are out there protecting American communities.

Some Americans are being told that law enforcement is a bad thing. We have seen increased attacks on police as well as border agents. This is an undermining of the things that keep us safe. It is an attempt to bring anarchy to America. We need to educate our children to respect those in law enforcement. Without those who risk their lives when they go to work every day, we would have chaos in this country. We need to remember that.

Some Perspective On A Recent Event

The mainstream media has been quick to condemn Israel for denying Reps. Rashida Talib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) entry into Israel. Somehow the mainstream media has overlooked some of their actions and statements regarding Israel.

Townhall posted an article today highlighting why the two Representatives were barred from visiting:

Dana Loesch tweeted the following:

The article also includes the following tweet:

The article states:

Netanyahu defended the decision to deny entry to the two congresswomen, saying the move is in line with a new law that would prevent any supporter of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement against Israel from visiting the country.

“The two-member congressional visitation plan shows that their intent is to hurt Israel and increase its unrest against it,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

Both congresswomen voted against a nonbinding resolution last month condemning the so-called BDS movement.

The article concludes:

Oh, and Omar compared BDS to the Boston Tea Party. Tlaib equated the BDS movement’s activities against Israel as akin to a boycott on the Nazi Party. Omar has given the House Democratic leadership serial heartburn for peddling anti-Jewish remarks. She invoked the dual loyalty smear against those who support Israel. Oh, and these women reportedly didn’t even refer to Israel on their itinerary. They called it “Palestine.” So not only are they historically illiterate, they’re making up countries as well. Palestine does not exist.  And yes, the Left will foam at the mouth over this. Let them.

Sometimes you just have to bar the door to keep out the troublemakers.

The Pandering Continues

One friend on Facebook commented that the last Democrat debate looked like an auction to see who could give away more of other people’s money. We have a debt problem in America. So far, neither the Democrats or the establishment Republicans have been willing to address Washington’s addiction to spending. However, based on the Democrat debates, the Democrats would increase the debt rapidly. The Republicans are only leading us off the cliff slowly.

The Federalist posted an article today about the Democrat plans to forgive all student loans.

The article reports:

Of all the pandering showcased during Democrats’ attempts to win back the presidency, wiping out student debt ranked at or near the top.

“I believe that education is the future for this country,” socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders barked during the first round of Democratic primary debates, explaining that’s why we must “eliminate student debt and we do that by placing a tax on Wall Street.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar spoke similarly. “I can tell you this,” the Minnesota senator demagogued, “if billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their student loans.”

There can be no serious discussion of this issue, however, in 60-second sound bites. So, beyond the soak-the-rich shtick that shades every Democratic economic debate point, the candidates resorted to two tactics: shock and sob stories.

The article reminds us of some basic reality that reveals the absurdity of the sob stories:

There are many ways to counter these arguments, based on both economics and equity. But it’s hard to counter soundbites with sense, so instead, here are my inquiries for these politicians, the press, and all the students demanding relief from the burdens of their debt: Tell me your sob stories from age 12 on, not what you can’t do now, but what you couldn’t do then. Tell what you had to do then and through college to avoid what is now, to you, crushing student debt.

What time did you get up to deliver papers in junior high? How many hours a week did you work since 14 to save for college? How many toilets did you scrub? How many high school football games did you miss because you were working? What dream college did you forgo to avoid taking out student loans?

Which 8 a.m. class did you take so you could complete your major’s requirements and still work in the afternoon? Which bus line did you take to get to your job because you didn’t borrow to buy a car? What job did you work full-time while completing your MBA at night?

What did you do to afford college? What didn’t you do because of the cost of college? Were you getting tattoos and traveling your way through college? Were you pledging and partying? Did you go to your top-choice university? Maybe an out-of-state public university with higher tuition rates? Which spring break and study abroad destinations did you visit along the way?

The article concludes:

Did you splurge on your fairytale wedding instead of paying down your student loans? What cars did you buy or lease? Where did you live? What electronics did you own? What clothing and other personal expenditures did you have? In short, show me the money and how you spent it!

None of my business? You’re right. Nor is your student debt my business or my problem.

Moving The Goalposts When They Aren’t Winning The Game

The Democrat loved the Supreme Court before President Trump appointed two Justices. They are concerned now because their allies on the Court are not young, and President Trump is still President despite their best efforts. So, since they can’t seem to get what they want honestly, they are trying to change the rules.

CNS News posted an article today with the headline, “Five Democrats Warn Supreme Court It Could be ‘Restructured;’ Urge It to Drop 2nd Amendment Case.” Wow. Talk about arrogance.

The article reports:

Five Democrat senators have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging it to stay out of a pending Second Amendment case and warning it that a majority of Americans now believe the “Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.”

The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, is the first major challenge to gun laws since 2010, the senators said.

According to SCOTUS blog, the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association, representing gun owners who live in the city, are challenging the city’s ban on transferring licensed, unloaded guns anywhere outside city limits — including to a weekend home or to a shooting range.

The lower courts upheld those restrictions, so the gun owners took their case to the Supreme Court.

The article continues:

The senators argue that the National Rifle Association and The Federalist Society have “engineered the case” so the Republican-appointed majority will rule in their favor.

“[C]ourts do not undertake political ‘projects.’ Or at least they should not,” Whitehouse, Hirono, Blumenthal, Durbin, and Gillibrand wrote. “Americans are murdered each day with firearms in classrooms or movie theaters or churches or city streets, and a generation of preschoolers is being trained in active-shooter survival drills.

“In the cloistered confines of this Court, notwithstanding the public imperatives of these massacres, the NRA and its allies brashly presume, in word and deed, that they have a friendly audience [on the Court] for their ‘project.’”

Further, the Democrats argue that the gun-transporting restrictions have now been rescinded, making the case moot, yet the plaintiffs “soldier on” with their case.

“The judiciary was not intended to settle hypothetical disagreements,” the brief says. “Rather, the Framers designed Article III courts to adjudicate actual cases and controversies brought by plaintiffs who suffer a real-world harm.”

The Democrats also argue that the Supreme Court is increasingly “political” (now that it has an “engineered” Republican-appointed majority).

“Today, fifty-five percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court is ‘mainly motivated by politics'(up five percent from last year); fifty-nine percent believe the Court is ‘too influenced by politics’; and a majority now believes the ‘Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics,'” the brief says.

The senators conclude their brief with a warning about “restructuring” the court, an idea advocated by some of the Democrats running for president:

“The Supreme Court is not well,” they wrote. “And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

Presumably, the court will not be “healed” until a majority of the justices are appointed by Democrats.

When they are out of power, Democrats tend to act like spoiled brats.

Will The Victims Receive Justice?

The death of Jeffrey Epstein was not the end of the story. Today Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about one of Epstein’s victims filing a lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, described as one of Epstein’s enablers.

The article reports::

A new front in the Jeffrey Epstein case opened Wednesday morning, as Epstein accuser Jennifer Araoz filed a lawsuit against his estate, his longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell and three unnamed female household staff.

Araoz alleges she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by Epstein at his New York City townhouse when she was 14 and 15 years old, including a forcible rape in 2002. She first disclosed her alleged abuse publicly in an exclusive TODAY Show interview with Savannah Guthrie of NBC News on July 10, the same day she filed papers in New York state court saying she intended to sue Epstein.

The complaint Araoz filed Wednesday alleges Maxwell and the other staffers “conspired with each other to make possible and otherwise facilitate the sexual abuse and rape of Plaintiff.”

Meanwhile, The U.K. Daily Mail reported today:

Ghislaine Maxwell, long-time consort of Jeffrey Epstein and the alleged procurer of victims in his underage sex trafficking ring, has been laying low in a New England beach town, DailyMail.com has learned exclusively.

Maxwell, 57, is in a relationship with Scott Borgerson, 43, and has been living with him at his secluded oceanfront property at the end of a long private road in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.

The British socialite has been loath to leave the $3 million mansion, a source told DailyMail.com amid heightened focus on Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators following the convicted pedophile’s apparent suicide on Saturday.

‘She’s become a real homebody, rarely ventures out. She’s the antithesis of the woman who traveled extensively and partied constantly with Epstein,’ said a source familiar with Maxwell’s new life.

Hot Air concludes:

Araoz explains her decision in today’s New York Times to press forward with her civil claims, not just against Epstein’s estate but also against his “adult enablers.” Without them, Epstein could never have succeeded in the scope of his predation, Araoz convincingly argues:

The power structure was stacked against me. His money, influence and connections to important people made me want to hide and stay silent. Those same powerful forces let him hide and evade justice.

That changes, starting now. I want my story to hold Epstein to account and also his recruiters, the workers on his payroll who knew what he was doing and the prominent people around him who helped conceal and perpetuate his sex-trafficking scheme. Their hideous actions victimized me and so many young girls like me. …

Standing up to the entrenched network of power and wealth that surrounded Epstein is scary, but I am no longer afraid. Reliving these experiences is tough, but I’ve learned to be tougher.

I used to feel alone, walking into his mansion with the cameras pointing at me, but now I have the power of the law on my side. I will be seen. I will be heard. I will demand justice.

So will others, especially now that Epstein’s dead and his “power structure” is on the run. Or at least the part of it that we know about at the moment. When other victims start adding some high-profile male names to this “power structure” in court documents, we’ll see how well the justice system works.

We are about to find out if there really is equal justice under the law

We Have Seen This Play Before

The American economy is based on consumerism. Americans buy things and the economy continues. It is a rather delicate balance that can be manipulated for political purposes. We are currently watching an attempt to manipulate that economy for political purposes–President Trump’s strongest positive for re-election is the impact his administration has had on the economy. If the Democrats can ruin the economy, they might have a chance to win the presidency in 2020. After watching their behavior for the past two years, I am not surprised by any tactic they might use. So how are the Democrats and their friends in the media attempting to impact the economy?

The Associated Press reported today:

The threat of a recession doesn’t seem so remote anymore for investors in financial markets.

The yield on the closely watched 10-year Treasury fell so low Wednesday that, for the first time since 2007, it briefly crossed a threshold that has correctly predicted many past recessions. Weak economic data from Germany and China added to recent signals of a global slowdown.

That spooked investors, who responded by dumping stocks, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average into an 800-point skid, its biggest drop of the year. The S&P 500 index dropped nearly 3% as the market erased all of its gains from a rally the day before. Tech stocks and banks led the broad sell-off. Retailers came under especially heavy selling pressure after Macy’s issued a dismal earnings report and cut its full-year forecast.

The article goes on to list things that the writer is convinced are evidence of an imminent recession. But let’s step back a minute. The American economy is cyclical. We have been in a growth spike for the past two years due to tax cuts and deregulation. Those factors are not changing. Unemployment is at historic lows. There are more jobs than workers. There is no evidence of that changing. We might be due for a correction in the stock market, but it’s not time to panic.

This tactic has been used before. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush agreed to a tax bill with the Democrats. The agreement broke his pledge of ‘no new taxes’, but it also did something else. The tax increase on luxury items worked its way through the economy causing a recession. Workers in industries making ‘luxury items’ lost their jobs are sales of these items decreased due to the tax increases. As those workers lost their jobs, they stopped going out to dinner, traveling, and doing the things that people do when economic times are good. People in service industries and tourism lost their jobs. The impact trickled through the economy, and we were in a recession. We were coming out of the recession during the campaign, but the media failed to note that.

In the coming days, watch for a media narrative of ‘the sky is falling’. That narrative will be in play for the next year in order to convince American voters to vote Democrat.

The only way to crash this economy is to panic the public. Large investors in the market with a political agenda can begin that process. The media can fan the flames.

The fundamentals of the American economy are strong. If Americans refuse to play along with a media-created financial panic, all will be well.

This Is Not A New Problem

Congress has an uncanny talent for taking a bad situation and making it worse. Before they left for August recess, they did just that.

The Daily Signal posted an article yesterday headlined, “Congress Poised to Give Unions a Massive Bailout.”

The article reports:

A new report from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. shows that the private union pension crisis is only getting worse, and now Congress is poised to make it worse still.

Not only are many multiemployer pension plans rapidly approaching insolvency, but the situation is so bad that even the pension safety net—the PBGC’s Multiemployer Program—will be bankrupt in just six years, leaving pensioners with mere pennies on the dollar in promised benefits.

Unfortunately, the House of Representatives passed a bill just before leaving for August recess that will make the situation even worse. Not only would the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act (H.R. 397), exacerbate the problem, it would put taxpayers on the hook for potentially $638 billion or more in broken pension promises.

This is the summary of the bill posted at Congress.gov:

Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019

This bill establishes the Pension Rehabilitation Administration within the Department of the Treasury and a related trust fund to make loans to certain multiemployer defined benefit pension plans.

To receive a loan, a plan must be (1) in critical and declining status, including any plan with respect to which a suspension of benefits has been approved; (2) in critical status, have a funded percentage of less than 40%, and have a ratio of active to inactive participants which is less than two to three; or (3) insolvent, if the plan became insolvent after December 16, 2014, and has not been terminated.

Treasury must transfer amounts, which may include proceeds from bonds and other obligations, from the general fund to the trust fund established by this bill as necessary to fund the program. The Pension Rehabilitation Administration may use the funds, without a further appropriation, to make loans, pay principal and interest on obligations, or for administrative and operating expenses.

The bill allows the sponsor of a multiemployer pension plan that is applying for a loan under this bill to also apply to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for financial assistance if, after receiving the loan, the plan will still become (or remain) insolvent within the 30-year period beginning on the date of the loan.

The bill also appropriates to the PBGC the funds that are necessary to provide the financial assistance required by this bill.

No. In 2010, I wrote about this problem at rightwinggranny. One source of my article was Human Events, which stated:

“EPI has published and advocated what we feel would be an excellent national supplemental retirement plan, the Guaranteed Retirement Account, which was authored by Prof. Teresa Ghilarducci, Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. In a nutshell, the GRA would mandate employer and employee contributions to a federally administered cash balance plan. The combined 5% of payroll contributions would be invested by a Thrift Savings Plan-like entity in the bond and stock markets, with a guaranteed minimum return of 3% beyond inflation. A $600 tax credit would cover the entire 2.5% contribution for workers earning $24,000 or less, and greatly reduce the effective contribution rate for other lower-paid workers. We calculate that at the end of a normal working life, the average worker would accumulate, along with Social Security, enough to assure a 70%replacement rate of pre-retirement income.”

The Daily Signal article concludes:

Under H.R. 397 (which is similar to the Butch Lewis Act already before the Senate), insolvent union pension plans would receive taxpayer dollars to invest in the stock market, as well as loans to cover their broken pension promises.

Risking taxpayer money in the stock market and making loans to insolvent pension plans is reckless and wrong.

And instead of fixing the underlying problems, this bailout-without-reform proposal would incentivize union pension plans to become more underfunded so they could receive taxpayer funds.

That would be particularly unfair, considering that Congress has not even addressed its inability to pay its own Social Security obligations to taxpayers.

Instead of a costly bailout-without-reform, Congress should improve the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.’s solvency, prevent plans from overpromising and underfunding pensions, and help plans minimize pension reductions across workers.

The current House of Representatives will go down in history as one of the most irresponsible governmental bodies ever elected.

Technology Isn’t Perfect

The San Francisco Chronicle posted an article today about facial recognition technology. The technology was developed by Amazon.

The article reports:

San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting has never been arrested, but facial recognition technology developed by Amazon links his image to a jailhouse mugshot.

Ting is one of 26 state legislators who were wrongly identified as suspected criminals using the technology, according to results of a test released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

Matt Cagle, a technology and civil liberties attorney at the ACLU, said the organization ran its experiment using Amazon’s Rekognition software and screened 120 lawmakers’ images against a database of 25,000 mugshots.

The article concludes:

More than half the 26 California lawmakers who were falsely identified in the ACLU’s experiment are people of color, Ting’s office said. Ting said that makes the technology especially dangerous for African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans.

“This could lead to more false arrests in those particular communities,” he said.

Last year, the ACLU ran a similar experiment using images of members of Congress. It found that Amazon’s program incorrectly matched 28 of them with suspected criminals.

I realize that this technology may have some usefulness after it is improved, but there is an important fact that needs to be acknowledged here.  In America a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. I am afraid that the use of this technology might shortchange that process. It might be used to recognize a criminal, but I question how it would be used in a court of law.