Wise Advice From The People Who Know

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This bureau was part of the Dodd-Frank legislation aimed at taking the focus away from the actual cause of the financial meltdown of 2008.

For those of you who are new to this website, the following video is the best analysis of the financial crisis of 2008 available. I have embedded it because at some point YouTube will probably take it down.

Dodd-Frank put a stranglehold on business growth and punished people who were not responsible for the crisis. However, those who like big government and wanted more power pushed the narrative that resulted in Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The current head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, has announced that he will resign at the end of November. Investor’s Business Daily suggests that instead of naming a replacement, President Trump should simply shut the agency down.

The editorial at Investor’s Business Daily reminds us of some of the history of the agency:

An October 2016 Supreme Court ruling found CFPB’s structure to be unconstitutional, a violation of the separation of powers in the nation’s supreme law.

One element of the high court’s decision was that Cordray could only be fired by the president for cause — making it very hard to get rid of even an incompetent in the job. Worse, by funding the CFPB from the Federal Reserve, not Congress, the agency lay just outside the direct oversight of Congress. It had massive power over finance in the U.S. economy, with little or no accountability. Cordray did little or nothing to remedy this.

“We are long overdue for new leadership at the CFPB,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas. “The extreme overregulation it imposes on our economy leads to higher costs and less access to financial products and services, particularly with lower and middle incomes.”

The editorial concludes:

From nothing in 2010, the agency now employs more than 1,600 people, with $647 million in budgeted spending last year and another $525 million in civil penalty fines — often collected without any due process for those who were forced to pay up.

Last January, Michael McGrady wrote on The Daily Caller website, “Like every new government program, (CFPB) became a corrupt political bargaining chip in Obama’s administration with the sole mission to assert government supremacy over the economy.” Nothing has changed since then. As we’ve said before, shut it down.

Think of the savings for taxpayers!

Let’s Name Names

Yesterday I posted an article about the $15 million of taxpayer money Congress has paid over the last decade to settle harassment cases. To be fair, some of this money was paid out in cases involving racial and religious discrimination cases, and discrimination against people with disabilities, as well as sexual harassment cases.

A friend on Twitter posted the following. I agree.

Ending Some Of Washington’s Political Gamesmanship

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the practice of ‘the blue slip courtesy’ used to block judicial nominees in Congress.

The website judicialnominations.org explains the process:

One way in which senatorial courtesy has manifested itself is something called the “blue slip.” This is a device used by the Senate Judiciary Committee to communicate with the home-state Senators about a nomination to the U.S. courts of appeal or district courts, or to be a U.S. marshal or U.S. attorney. When a nominee is referred to the committee, the committee sends a letter (typically on light blue paper) asking the two home-state Senators to take a position on the nomination. The Senators check off the appropriate box on the sheet—either approve or disapprove—and return the paper to the Judiciary Committee.

The blue slip process is used only by the Senate Judiciary Committee —no other Senate committee uses it for other kinds of nominations. The practice of using blue slips dates back to at least 1917. Since mid-2001, the status of blue slips for each judge nominated have been publicly available on the Web.

It is a matter of some debate how important blue slips are in the confirmation process. The blue slip practice is not a formal part of the Judiciary Committee’s rules, and the determination of just how much weight to give to a Senator’s opposition to a nomination is left largely up to the chair of the committee. Among other issues, the chair will decide whether to honor the objections, voiced through blue-slips, from all home-state senators or just those who belong to the same party as the president.

Unfortunately, the process has been occasionally abused. The Judicial Nominations website explains:

Much also has been written that is critical of the blue-slip system. George  Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley described the system this way:  Blue-slipping is a little known process by which senators can block federal judge nominees from their state. This means that judges who may rule in your case often are selected to meet senatorial, not professional, demands. By simply not returning blue slips sent by the Senate Judiciary Committee, a senator can block a nominee for the most nefarious or arbitrary reasons, including a personal grudge, a bargaining tool with the White House or failure of the nominee to be sufficiently fawning in the senator’s presence.

This courtesy has been misused by both sides–it was not meant as a negotiating tool–it was meant to be a courtesy.

The article at Power Line details some changes that Senator Grassley is making in order to expedite the confirmation of President Trump’s judicial nominees.

Power Line reports:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that he would not let Franken’s withheld blue slip block the nomination of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit (or Senator Kennedy’s block Kyle Duncan to the Fifth Circuit).

Senator Grassley took to the floor of the Senate to explain his disposition of “the blue slip courtesy” and his decision to schedule a committee hearing on the nominations of Stras and Duncan (text of statement here, video below). The Hill reported on Senator Grassley’s statement here.

Washington needs to stop playing games and get its work done. All Congressmen (and Congresswomen) should be paid according to what they actually accomplish. That might actually change how things are done in Congress.

One Way To Save Taxpayers Money

Yesterday Roll Call posted an article stating that the House of Representatives has paid out more than $15 million over the last decade to settle harassment cases, though that number also includes discrimination claims. There has been no information released as to exactly why the payments were made or exactly which members of Congress were involved.

The article reports:

Speier’s (Representative Jackie Speier) office clarified Wednesday that the Office of Compliance, which handles workplace and accessibility issues on Capitol Hill, does not provide a breakdown for the type of discrimination payments made.

The OOC’s $15 million figure covered more than 200 payouts made from fiscal years 1997 to 2016 for all claims the office covered, such as racial and religious discrimination cases, discrimination against people with disabilities and sexual harassment, a Speier staffer said.

Why were the taxpayers paying out this money instead of the people involved?

It seems as if sexual harassment has become the issue of the day. I find this a bit disingenuous. In addition to the pass given to Bill Clinton, where was this issue when Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd were in Congress? There is a danger of a witch hunt here. There is also a danger that because of the political divide in the country right now, the investigation of sexual harassment in Congress will turn into a very ugly political process.

 

Great Idea Or Poison Pill?

The American Spectator posted an article today about the proposed tax reform bill working its way through Congress.

The article reports:

The Senate majority leader and the Senate finance committee endorsed Senator Tom Cotton’s proposal to include a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate alongside tax cuts.

This either kills two birds with one stone or that one stone sinks the tax plan because of its weight. If Senator Bob Corker issued his complaints last month regarding deficit reduction in earnest, one guesses that the former occurs. Aside from moving toward individual freedom and the Constitution, the repeal of the individual mandate makes sense fiscally, particularly with a $20 trillion debt hanging above our heads. The added dynamic alleviates, at least, the concerns regarding the deficit aired by Senators Corker, John McCain, and Susan Collins.

Adding the repeal of the ObamaCare Mandate to the tax bill makes good sense in terms of what is the right thing to do. The move has questionable value politically. The Democrats are complaining that repealing the mandate will mean that low-income people will not have health insurance. Wait a minute. That claim defies logic. Repealing the individual mandate means that low-income people will not have to pay a fine if they don’t have health insurance. If they can’t afford health insurance, how are they supposed to pay the fine? Since when did the government acquire the right to force you to purchase something you don’t want?

The article concludes:

In 1981, when Ronald Reagan slashed the top personal rates from 70 to 50 percent, the federal government imposed the heaviest burden on Americans. Now, the cost of the federal government and the cost of healthcare approaches parity. The former gobbles up the same portion of the GDP, more or less, that it has throughout our lifetimes. The latter has almost tripled in its proportion of the GDP in just a half century.

Donald Trump’s tax plan puts American businesses on a level playing field with their competitors abroad and sensibly allows citizens to keep more of what they earn. This undoubtedly helps the economy. But the Trump tax cut will not boost growth the way the Reagan or Kennedy or Coolidge cuts did because 2017’s economy faces a special health-care challenge that did not exist in the 1920s, 1960s, or 1980s.

Prosperity proves illusory in any economy in which the cost of one commodity outpaces growth. Who cares if a tax cut boosts GDP by one percent if medical inflation devours that increase in the economy?

Good for Republicans for recognizing that relief for citizens requires reforming not just the tax code but the healthcare system, as well. Bad for any of them to imagine the job done, or a boom around the corner, through a modest personal tax cut, a robust corporate rate reduction, and a repeal of the individual mandate.

Adding the repeal of the individual mandate to the tax plan will help low-income people. However, in watching this debate, remember that the Washington establishment does not want Donald Trump to be a successful President–he is an outsider and the establishment thoroughly resents that. My fear is that the tax reform will not pass because the repeal of the ObamaCare mandate will be a poison pill for much of the establishment. At that point, the Republican establishment will whine, “We tried, but the Democrats wouldn’t let us pass tax reform.” If that happens, it will be a long time before I vote for a Republican again.

What Will Be The Impact Of This In Twenty Years?

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail reported that sixty percent of babies born in London are born to foreign mothers. That means six out of ten will be raised by people who have not been part of British culture. We need to think about what this means to the future of Britain.

The article explains some of the reasons for the high number of babies born to immigrants:

The new statistics on babies born to foreign-born mothers come after earlier figures from the ONS which showed that in some areas of London they account for more than three-quarters of births.

In the East London borough of Newham in 2014 more than three quarters of babies – 77 per cent – were born to mothers who were themselves born outside Britain.

In that year most of the foreign-born mothers who gave birth in the UK were from Poland, followed by Pakistan and India.

The 2014 figures showed immigrant mothers are more likely to be married than those born in Britain. Some 72 per cent of immigrant mothers were married that year, compared with 45 per cent of UK-born mothers. The ONS said this ‘reflects different expectations between cultures’.

The rise in the number of babies with foreign-born mothers has partly come because fertility rates among immigrants are higher than those of British-born women.

Although fertility rates among foreign-born women fell in 2015, an immigrant could expect to have 2.08 children. For UK-born women, the rate was 1.76.

 In the early days of the country of America, the population was made up of people who were not born here. Those immigrants formed the culture that eventually became the American culture. The shared values of those immigrants formed the basis of that culture–many had fled religious persecution–their faith was important to them and their freedom was important to them. They had a pioneering spirit that allowed them to journey through hardships for the chance to be free and reap the rewards of their efforts. America continued to take in immigrants, but screened them at Ellis Island to make sure they were willing to work and contribute to America. Originally there was no welfare system–an immigrant either worked hard and was successful or went home. Things have changed in America and in other places. Now immigrants are not necessarily encouraged to assimilate, learn the language, or work hard. The are not encouraged to become part of the culture or to help preserve the culture. When sixty percent of mothers in London are foreign born and may not be part of western culture, where will the country be in twenty years? Will Britain still be part of western civilization?

Talking Points vs Reality

Investor’s Business Daily recently posted an editorial about the impact of President Trump’s proposed tax cuts. The editorial notes that the Democrats sudden concern for deficits is a bit disingenuous after the impact President Obama had on the deficit during the past eight years. The editorial also notes that President Trump’s tax plan will not increase the deficit, but will probably decrease the deficit due to the economic growth created by lowering taxes.

The editorial includes the following chart:

The editorial explains:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House tax bill would boost deficits over the next 10 years by a total of $1.4 trillion. The added interest on the debt would kick that up to $1.7 trillion.

That looks like a lot of money. Except that equals just a 17% increase in total deficits projected over the next decade.

And that increase is a wild exaggeration, since it doesn’t allow for any extra economic growth from the GOP‘s pro-growth tax cuts — a premise that even some honest liberal economists don’t believe. The actual deficit boost, if there is any, will be far smaller than what the CBO says.

But let’s accept the CBO’s numbers as gospel truth.

Look more closely at the data and you see that what’s driving deficits ever upward isn’t the Republican tax cuts. It is out-of-control spending.

Over the past 50 years, despite all the myriad changes in tax laws, revenues as a share of GDP have remained remarkably close to the average: 17.4%.  In fiscal year 2017, which ended in September, the share was 17.3%. In Bush’s last in office, it was 17.1%. When Bill Clinton took office in 1991, it was 17.3%.

What happens if the Republican tax plan goes into effect? According to the CBO, taxes as a share of the economy in 2027 will be … 17.9%.

That’s right. Even with an allegedly budget-busting tax cut, the federal government will claim a greater share of the nation’s economy in 2027 than it does today, and that share will be above the average for the previous 50 years.

The only reason deficits continue to climb over the next decade is because federal spending is going up at an unsustainable rate.

The editorial concludes:

But the bigger problem is that any reasonable attempt to rein in any of the entitlement programs is met by fierce and unrelenting opposition from all those Democrats who now claim to worry about deficits. They will viciously demagogue any Republican who dares to propose real reforms of these programs, and then brag about any resulting election victories.

So, the next time you hear Democrats pretend to be deficit hawks, ask them what their plan is to bring entitlement spending under control.

 

Insanity?

Posted at Lifezette yesterday:

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) said on Friday that if the allegations against Alabama candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore are true, he should step aside, and “should be dealt with severely.”

But Graham not only hasn’t called for Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), accused of having sex with underage prostitutes, to step aside — he also went to New Jersey on his own dime two weeks ago to testify as a character witness in Menendez’s corruption trial, telling the judge that Menendez is “very honest” and “honorable.”

I’m just going to leave this here for your consideration.

This Is The Way To End Free Speech

If you believe that political debate is wrong and that only one side of a story should be told, you are probably in agreement with the actions of some of the sponsors of the Sean Hannity show. The American Thinker posted an article today about the actions of some recent sponsors of the show.

The article reports:

On Friday, Sean Hannity reignited efforts by enemies of his on the left to take him off the air via putting pressure on his advertisers to dump his show. His telephone interview with Senate nominee Roy Moore, broadcast live on his radio show and replayed later on his nightly Fox News Channel program, actually won more praise than might have been expected from a variety of analysts. 

Hannity asked Moore tough questions and got the former judge to go on the record. The interview represented Moore’s first spoken comments on the controversy since the story was initially reported on Thursday in the Washington Post.

Almost immediately, his enemies, in particular Media Matters for America, struck. Earlier attempts of this kind, including last May after Hannity reported on the unsolved murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, did not succeed.

The actions of Media Matters are not acceptable. Roy Moore deserves a chance to clear his name. It is obvious that the mainstream media will not give him that chance.

This is the information on Media Matters from discoverthenetworks.org:

Established in May 2004, Media Matters for America describes itself as a “web-based, not-for-profit … progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation” in print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets across the United States. Such “misinformation” includes “news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda.” Moreover, Media Matters is a constituent member of the Shadow Party, which is a network of non-profit activist groups organized by George Soros and others to mobilize resources — money, get-out-the-vote drives, campaign advertising, and policy initatives — to advance Democratic Party agendas.

Using its website, MediaMatters.org, as its principal vehicle for disseminating information, Media Matters posts rapid-response items as well as longer research and analytical reports “documenting conservative misinformation throughout the media.” In its earlier years, Media Matters highlighted such “misinformation” directly alongside what it depicted as examples of wild, angry rhetoric by conservatives. By so doing, it blurred the distinction between research and opinion. Eventually the organization recognized this error and began to list factual challenges in a designated Research section, while attacks on conservative rhetoric were relegated to the Media Matters Blog.

Influence on the Mainstream and Left-wing Media

In addition to its website postings, Media Matters “works daily to notify activists, journalists, pundits, and the general public about instances of misinformation, providing them with the resources to rebut false claims and to take direct action against offending media institutions.” As the Capital Research Center reports, Media Matters “works in conjunction with liberal blogs, using sympathetic reporters and pundits to promote far-left messages to the mainstream media and to attempt to force right-leaning media figures out of the public debate.”

In February 2012 Media Matters was the subject of a damning exposé by Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, which revealed the extent to which the organization had become successful in dictating the content of left-liberal media reports. As documented by the Caller, newspapers like the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times all took their editorial cues from Media Matters’ talking points.

Any time a news outlet gets too close to a truth the left does not want revealed, they can expect to be attacked by Media Matters. This is an attempt by the political left to silence their political opposition. Rather than engage in a battle of ideas and principles, the political left would like to simply shut down free speech. We saw that with the IRS during the Obama Administration. It is nothing new.

The article at The American Thinker concludes:

The stakes in this emerging fight couldn’t be higher. Sean Hannity, and a handful of other high profile conservative hosts on Fox News, represent the last thin line in the mainstream media that is left standing against the almost universal fake news onslaught by the MSM aimed at taking down President Donald Trump. Last April, advertisers who deserted Fox News’ #1 program at the time, The O’Reilly Factor, after allegations of sexual harassment by host Bill O’Reilly resurfaced in the media, got the host of that program summarily fired in less than three weeks.

Obviously it is easier to silence the opposition than to defeat them with sound ideas.

How Is The Money We Spend On Education Actually Spent?

Last week Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial explaining how the proposed tax bill might impact educational spending.

The editorial included the following chart:

As you can see from the chart, the number of administrators in education has risen much faster than the number of teachers and students, while test scores have remained essentially the same. It is definitely time that we examined our priorities in education spending,

The editorial also points out how the tax bill under consideration might impact education spending:

The National Education Association blasted the GOP tax reform plan saying that eliminating the state and local tax deduction for those who itemize taxes would be a severe blow to schools, putting 250,000 education jobs at risk.

“It would,” says NEA president Lily Eskelsen Garcia, “jeopardize the ability of state and local governments to fund public education. That will translate into cuts to public schools, lost jobs to educators, overcrowded classrooms that deprive students of one-on-one attention, and threaten public education.”

There are other provisions in the tax bill that might worry teachers’ unions, such as letting parents use 529 college savings plans to pay for elementary and secondary school costs. That would help make private schools more affordable — a small step toward encouraging school choice.

But it’s the so-called SALT deduction that has the unions up in arms. Why? Because getting rid of it might force high-tax states — which benefit the most from the deduction — to cut taxes and rein in their own spending.

Of course, that’s pure speculation on the NEA’s part. States won’t be obligated to change anything if the SALT deduction goes away.

I think we need to understand that the Trump Administration is generally a goal-oriented group and sometimes their goals are very subtle. The Secretary of Education is a proponent of school choice, and it seems as if the tax proposals might also encourage school choice. The public schools are not doing their job of educating our children, and parents are becoming more willing to find alternative solutions. The amount of children being home-schooled has rapidly increased in recent years. Part of this is due to the fact that test scores have not improved, and part of this is due to the fact that the schools are teaching children values that in many cases contradict the values of their parents.

It would probably be a really good idea to take a look at where our education dollars are being spent. Somehow our students managed to learn more before there was a federal Department of Education.

 

People With An Agenda Who Make Predictions Rarely Get It Right

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the impact the election of President Trump has had on the American economy. The article begins by reminding us of the predictions made that if Donald Trump was elected President, he would ruin the American economy. The people making this prediction chose to overlook the fact that President Trump had a reasonable successful record as a businessman.

The article reports:

Foreign tourism to New York City is set to rise 3.6 percent this year — defying yet another of the many doomsday predictions about Donald Trump’s presidency.

Back in February, the city tourism agency said Trump’s “travel ban and related rhetoric” would mean a drop of 300,000 visitors this year. But the NYC & Co. prophecy proved false.

…Of course, other predictions were more dire — particularly those about the stock market.

Finance expert Steve Rattner foresaw “a market crash of historic proportions” under a President Trump. Moody’s warned of a “weaker” economy. Many said 2 percent GDP growth was the best that could be hoped for.

Other doomsayers included Mark Cuban, CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and firms such as Bridgewater Associates and Macroeconomic Advisers. (A less-dishonorable mention goes to Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman, who at least walked back his doomsaying about “a global recession, with no end in sight,” soon after election night.)

In fact, the Dow has climbed more than 25 percent since Hillary Clinton conceded. And the first two full quarters of Trump’s term both saw growth of 3 percent or more. Oops.

The article further reminds us that as President, President Trump has followed the Constitution. The article also reminds us that a downturn of the economy is always a possibility, but currently it seems as if President Trump’s business acumen is paying off for the American economy. It would be nice if Congress would clear the way for President Trump’s full economic agenda to go into effect. I have a feeling that all Americans would enjoy the results of that.

It May Be Time For A New Attorney General

I like Jeff Sessions. I think he is a nice man, but I can’t figure out why he has not enforced some of the laws he is responsible to enforce.

On Thursday, PJ Media posted an article detailing some comments made by former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom about James Comey, Robert Mueller, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.

The article reports:

Appearing on Fox News’ Varney & Co., Kallstrom told the host that it “was obvious to anybody that knows anything” that former President Barack Obama was not going to let James Comey indict Clinton.

“It turns out — unfortunately — he was a political hack,” Kallstrom said flatly. “I think he maybe started out in an honorable way. His opinion of himself is sky high —  just an unbelievable guy with just an arrogance about him…. It got him in trouble because I think he thought he was Superman and he found out that he wasn’t.”

Kallstrom blamed the Clintons for Comey’s descent into hackery.

“The dogs are always going to bite your heels when you’re dealing with the Clintons,” he explained. “Look how long the public, the American people have been dealing with the crime syndicate known as the Clinton Foundation… just look at what’s in the public domain. The Clintons have been taking advantage of their stations in life for so long.”

…Kallstrom pointed out that just “the unmaskings of names alone is a major scandal.” Requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting — known as unmasking — was done at a freakishly rapid rate in the final months of the Obama administration.

“We got all these major crime things bubbling – all of which were 20 times bigger than Watergate! And nothing seems to be happening… the attorney general is in a coma!” he said.

I like Jeff Sessions. I think he is an honorable man. I also think he needs to investigate some of the corruption that is swirling around the previous administration or find another job.

 

Why American Energy Matters

On Thursday The Daily Signal posted a story about American coal imports to Ukraine. One of the problems in the attempted Russian takeover of Ukraine is the dependence of the country on Russian energy imports.

The article reports:

“In recent years, [Kyiv] and much of Eastern Europe have been reliant on and beholden to Russia to keep the heat on. That changes now,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in July, announcing an $80 million deal to ship more U.S. coal to Ukraine.

“The United States can offer Ukraine an alternative,” Perry said.

…Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has often leveraged its power over Ukraine through the energy economy. Particularly, by cutting off gas supplies in winter. Consequently, energy security remains a linchpin for Ukraine’s fight for sovereignty from Moscow.

“Energy for years has been and continues on a daily non-military basis to be the prime Russian instrument for corrupting and subverting Ukraine,” Stephen Blank, senior fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council, told The Daily Signal.

American energy independence (and the ability of America to export energy sources) can play an important part in determining world politics. As America becomes more energy independent, the hold that OPEC has had over the American economy lessens. As America becomes more energy independent, we are free to choose our friends and allies on the basis of their commitment to freedom and democracy rather than having to support dictators and tyrants because they supply the oil our economy needs. Green energy is not the solution to this problem–the technology is not yet developed enough to be practical and cost efficient. At this time, the world runs on fossil fuel, and we need to make sure that we can power our economy with our own resources.

Bias Can Be Illustrated As Much By What Is Left Out As By What Is Reported

The big news story this week was the accusations against Judge Roy Moore. The media does not seem to like the concept of innocent until proven guilty (as least as far as Republicans are concerned). Some leading Republicans have pulled their support of Moore based on the accusations and The New York Times is reporting that the Senate Republicans are looking for a way to block Judge Moore’s path to the Senate–over thirty-eight-year-old-unsubstantiated charges. Really? There were, however, some things the mainstream media left out of its reporting,

The Gateway Pundit has run a number of stories about the accuser of Judge Moore. Two of them deal with her past history of bringing charges and her work on behalf of Democratic candidates (here and here). The Republicans have a choice–they can support Judge Moore until something recent and believable is charged or they can use these charges as an excuse to remove a candidate whose primary opponent they funded. If they choose the latter, the base will totally desert them. The actions of the Senate in this matter will determine the future (or end) of the Republican party. If all the Democrats have to do is invent a thirty-year-old charge to cause a candidate to lose the support of the Republican Party, the Republican Party isn’t worth much.

Two Sides Of The Same Coin

There is really one political party in Washington, D.C. It is made up of establishment politicians of both parties. They are an elite group that tends to make a lot of noise when an outsider invades their group. This group wants any outsider to fail, regardless of what that failure would mean to the country. The name of the game is protecting their elite circle and its power. Donald Trump has really messed up that circle and revealed for what it is. That is why ObamaCare is still with us, the wall has not been built, and tax reform is questionable at best. That is also why the media made such a big deal of a Democrat winning a gubernatorial race in a state that previously had a Democratic governor.

The latest attempt at keeping an outsider out of Washington is the current salacious attack on Roy Moore, currently running for the U. S. Senate in Alabama. Suddenly candididate Moore is charged with having inappropriate relationships with underage girls thirty plus years ago. Think Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain–somehow the charges were not pursued after they made the confirmation of Judge Thomas very difficult and after Herman Cain withdrew from the presidential race.

Judge Moore has been a judge since he was appointed in 1992.

Wikipedia reports:

In 1992, Etowah County Circuit Judge Julius Swann died in office. Republican Governor H. Guy Hunt was charged with making a temporary appointment until the next election. Moore’s name was floated by some of his associates, and a background check was initiated with several state and county agencies, including the Etowah County district attorney’s office. Moore’s former political opponent Jimmy Hedgspeth, who still helmed the D.A.’s office, recommended Moore despite personal reservations, and Moore was installed in the position he had failed to win in 1982. “The impossible had happened!” Moore wrote afterward. “God had given me something that I had not been able to obtain through my own efforts.” Judge Moore ran as a Republican in the 1994 Etowah County election and was elected to the circuit judge seat (6 year term) with 62% of the vote. He was the first county-wide Republican to win since the Reconstruction.

That was 25 years ago. If the charges were true, they would have been much more current then. Why were the charges not brought out then? Judge Moore is 70 years old. Even if the charges were true, there have been no other similar charges in the past 25 years. Why?

This has the total appearance of a smear campaign to end the candidacy of someone the Washington establishment does not like. The behavior, if it were true, would be gross, but I seriously doubt it is true. It is more likely that the elites in Washington are threatened by the growing influence of Steve Bannon and by the fact that a man of integrity may show up in the Senate and join forces with the few men of integrity that are already there.,

 

Why Is An American City Giving Money To A Front Group For Hamas?

Either the leaders of the city of Columbus, Ohio, are simply uninformed about terrorist networks in America, or we have a more serious problem.

On Tuesday, Judicial Watch released the following information:

Ohio’s capital city has launched a defense fund for illegal immigrants facing deportation and thousands of taxpayer dollars will go to the local chapter of a terrorist front group that promotes itself as a Muslim civil rights organization. The pot of cash is known as Columbus Families Together Fund and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a national organization that serves as the U.S. front for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, will be among the recipients.

CAIR was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad, and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2008 CAIR was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation. Read more in a Judicial Watch special report that focuses on Muslim charities. Top FBI counter terrorism chiefs have described CAIR as an entity that not only promotes terrorism, but also finances it. One group has dedicated itself to documenting CAIR’s extensive terrorist ties which include a top official sentenced to 20 years in prison for participating in a network of militant jihadists, another convicted of bank fraud for financing a major terrorist group, a board member who was a co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a fundraiser identified by the U.S. Treasury Department for financing Al Qaeda.

Allocating public funds to assist illegal aliens with their legal problems is bad enough, but giving some of the cash to a group like CAIR is like pouring salt on the wound. The effort started when Donald Trump got elected president. Columbus City Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown vowed to help illegal immigrants fight deportation and posted this on her social media account on January 30: “In Columbus, we stand with immigrants! This morning I announced Council’s commitment to a legal defense fund to support our refugees and immigrants as they face an onslaught of new hurdles to keep their families together. I’m excited to get to work. Who wants to help?”

Last week the Columbus City Council made it official, establishing the new legal defense fund with a $185,000 infusion to help provide legal services to the area’s illegal aliens and their families. The money will go to various nonprofits that will also “educate detained immigrants on their rights under immigration law,” according to a local newspaper report. A nonprofit called Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc. will get the largest chunk of city money, the article reveals, but other groups will also benefit. Priority will go to Columbus-area illegal aliens facing deportation in Cleveland Immigration Court and preference will be given to cases involving children. CAIR will receive $17,500 to provide “legal services that help keep families together in the central Ohio immigrant and refugee communities.” This includes “know your rights” education sessions in Columbus that will cover encounters with federal immigration agents. Brown, the councilwoman behind the effort said “we’re sending a signal here tonight. We value our immigrants. We welcome you. We know that the demonization of immigrants throws them into the shadows and makes a class of silent victims. We won’t allow it.”

City leaders feel an obligation to protect immigrant and refugee families in Central Ohio from the financial and emotional devastation that results from aggressive immigration enforcement, according to a document describing the Columbus Families Together Fund. “The wellbeing of our immigrant communities is intertwined with the city’s overall wellbeing,” the document states. “Ultimately, Columbus is a safer, more just, and more economically vibrant city for everyone when we address the needs of all our residents.” It also says that, because an intact family is one determining factor in economic self-sufficiency and long-term child success, the city will also pay for additional services that help keep immigrant and refugee families together.

Columbus is not alone in allocating public funds to help those in the country illegally after the Trump administration announced a harder line on immigration enforcement. Last year two major U.S. cities that have long offered illegal aliens sanctuary allocated millions of dollars to help them avoid deportation. A few days after the Chicago City Council approved a $1.3 million legal defense fund to assist illegal aliens facing deportation, official in Los Angeles unveiled a similar program with a $10 million infusion.

We are funding our own destruction. Anyone having doubts about the networks involved here needs to google the government exhibits from the Holy Land Foundation Trial to find the list of undicted co-conspirators. Unfortunately the Bush Administration prevented further legal action against these groups. However, the networks are well known among those who study terrorism in America.

Toward Energy Independence

One America News is reporting today that Senator Lisa Murkowski will propose legislation to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The article reports:

In a tweet Senator Lisa Murkowski said the bill will create jobs, keep energy affordable, and reduce the deficit.

The legislation would open up roughly one-and-a-half million acres of the refuge to oil and gas drilling

It would also allow federal officials to sell leases for drilling rights.

Analysts claim the move could increase federal revenues by more than one billion dollars over the next decade.

The bill only requires a simple majority to pass in the Senate.

There will be a hearing next week.

The House Committee on Natural Resources has the following information on its website:

Opening less than 3% of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska for responsible energy production could create thousands of jobs, generate billions in new revenue and help reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

Small Area = Big Energy Potential

  • The North Slope of ANWR, known as “Area 1002”, was specifically set aside by Congress and President Carter in 1980 for oil and natural development. This area is not designated as Wilderness.
  • A plan developing 500,000 acres—less than three percent of ANWR’s acreage—would provide access to the majority of ANWR’s resources.

Supplying America’s Families and Businesses with American Energy

  • According to U.S. Geological Survey estimates, the North Slope contains an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil.
    • This is more than the known oil reserves of entire countries that the U.S. currently imports oil from, including: Mexico, Angola, Azerbaijan, Norway, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Australia and New Zealand, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • At peak production, ANWR could supply up to 1.45 million barrels of oil per day.
    • This is more than the U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia every day.
    • Alternatively, 1.45 million barrels of oil per day is over one quarter of what the U.S. imports from OPEC countries each year.

The article at the House Committee on Natural Resources website includes the following map, which shows how little of ANWR would be impacted by the drilling permits.

I think it is time to stop the unnecessary hysteria and begin to develop America’s energy resources.

The Insanity Continues

The Daily Caller posted a story today about the latest protest of the National Anthem.

The article reports:

According to SFGate.com, the national anthem is a “racist song” and the NAACP wants to push state lawmakers to change it.

Alice Huffman, the president of the California chapter of the NAACP, said the song is “racist” and that it “doesn’t represent our community. It’s anti-black people.”

 The cites the song’s third verse, which is usually not sang, as evidence of its racist overtones. The third verse includes a line that says, “no refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”

When the song was written in 1814, slavery was still legal in the United States.

Slavery is part of America’s history. It’s not a positive part, but it is a part. In 1814, slavery was legal.

Just as a point of information, according to a website called federalobserver:

…according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.

And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That’s right: a tiny percentage.

Slavery is over in America. Unfortunately it is still alive and well in other parts of the world. Those protesting the National Anthem might do better to protest the places where slavery still exists.

One Way To Save Taxpayers’ Money

The following is a press release from Congressman Steve King:

King, Colleagues Want King’s Commonsense “New IDEA” In “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”

Nov 6, 2017

Press Release

Congressman Steve King announces today that he is asking Chairman Kevin Brady of the House Ways and Means Committee to include King’s New IDEA (Illegal Deduction Elimination Act) legislation as a component of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. King’s legislation, HR 176- The New IDEA Act, amends the Internal Revenue Code to make it unlawful for employers to deduct wages and benefits paid to and on behalf of an illegal alien. New IDEA also makes the federal E-Verify Program permanent. King, joined by 11 of his colleagues, made the request in a letter sent to Chairman Brady today.

Including this legislation in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the right action for the American taxpayer—it preserves the rule of law and provides a significant tax savings.  The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has estimated that eliminating deductibility for unlawful employment would increase federal tax revenues by approximately $25.4 billion per year, which is $254 billion over 10 years.  This amount more than pays for any increase in the deficit over the limit set by reconciliation.

As we continue to debate the merits of this bill, and attempt to establish a more equitable system of taxation while ensuring that it does not contribute to our nation’s fiscal challenges, I can think of no better single piece of legislative language to include in this landmark tax bill.”

The signatories to King’s letter asking King’s New IDEA be included in the tax reform legislation include: Rep. Louie Gohmert, Rep. Paul Gosar, Rep. Mo Brooks, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Andy Biggs, Rep. Randy Weber, Rep. Lou Barletta, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Rep. Brian Babin, and Rep. Scott Perry.

This is one of the best ideas to reform taxes and to begin to deal with the problem of illegal immigration that I have heard. E Verify would be a big step toward making sure that the workers in America are here legally.

The Trump Economy

There are no guarantees in the economy. There are certain things that the government can do that historically have aided growth and certain things that the government can do that have inhibited growth. We have history as our guide as to what works, but sometimes people have a political bias that tends to ignore history.

Real Clear Politics posted an article today about the Trump economy. The article was written by Stephen Moore. The economy is not booming, the workforce participation rate is still too low for it to be considered booming, but it is definitely improving. The title of the article is, “Why the Left Has Been So Wrong About the Trump Boom.”

The article reports:

Time magazine‘s cover story for the week of Nov. 6 is a classic. It blares: “The Wrecking Crew: How Trump’s Cabinet Is Dismantling Government As We Know It.” The New York Times ran a lead editorial complaining that team Trump is shrinking the regulatory state at an “unprecedented” pace.

Meanwhile, last week the stock market raced to new all-time highs; we had another blockbuster jobs report with another fall in the unemployment rate; and housing sales soared to their highest level in a decade.

The article at Time magazine fails to recognize that those two facts are related.

The article at Real Clear Politics further notes:

But so far the Trump haters have missed the call on the economy‘s trajectory. Doubly ironic is that the same Obama-era economists who are trashing Trump’s increasingly realistic forecast of 3 percent growth are the ones who predicted 4 percent growth from the Obama budgets. Obama never came anywhere near 4 percent growth, and at the end of his second term, the economy grew at a pitiful 1.6 percent.

Under Obama, free enterprise and pro-business policies were thrown out the window. What was delivered was the weakest recovery from a recession since World War II, with a meager 2.2 percent average growth rate. Middle America felt it, which is why Trump won these forgotten Americans.

One reason that economist Larry Kudlow and I and others assured Donald Trump that 3 to 4 percent growth was achievable was that Trump could capitalize on the underperformance of the Obama years. Under Obama, business investment fell almost two-thirds below the long-term trend line — thanks to higher taxes on investment. Now, partly in anticipation of the tax cut, business spending keeps climbing.

The article at Real Clear Politics concludes:

Maybe the liberal economists and their shills in the media should show some humility. They should acknowledge they were dead wrong about how much Obamanomics was going to grow the economy and about how Trumponomics would crash the economy and the stock market. Or better yet, maybe the rest of us should all just stop listening to them.

The other conclusion that can be reached is that the free market works every time it is allowed to work. Government interference has a very negative impact on economic growth. We need to send President Obama’s economic advisors and a good number of Congressmen back to school to study basic economics.

Do You Still Trust The Mainstream Media?

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article which sums up how the mainstream media works.

The article reports:

Carlson (Tucker Carlson, Fox News) said, “According to highly informed sources we spoke to–highly informed–top management at CNN directed its employees to undermine Brazile’s credibility. Anchors and producers were vocally offended by her attacks on their friends, the Clintons. If you’ve been watching that channel, you may have noticed CNN’s anchors suggesting that Donna Brazile cannot be trusted, precisely because she took part in efforts to break the primaries for Clinton.”

The Daily Caller co-founder then played a clip of CNN hosts trying to make Brazile look bad over her sharing a primary debate question with Clinton’s campaign, which he compared to political talking points.

The mainstream media has a stake in this fight. They supported Hillary Clinton for President and pretty much ignored any unfavorable stories about her. I think the most damaging thing in Donna Brazile‘s book is her comment about Seth Rich. Seth Rich was killed in Washington, D.C., in what was described as a foiled robbery–nothing was taken from him. There are people who believe that Seth Rich was the person leaking information to Wikileaks. Julian Assange has stated numerous times that the leaked emails he received were not from Russia–they were from inside the campaign. Considering the number of Clinton associates or people who have told the truth about the Clintons who have died suddenly in mysterious circumstances, I can understand why Donna Brazile feared for her safety.

The article reminds us:

The former DNC interim chair revealed in Politico last week that the Clinton campaign had a fundraising agreement with the DNC long before it was clear she would be the nominee, a move that many saw as tipping the scales against Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The federal government pretty much allows parties to run their campaigns with minimum federal intervention, but this may cross a line. I do know that the funneling of money through various entities to the Clinton campaign probably violated campaign finance laws. We will have to see how much of what was done was illegal and if charges will be brought.

Politicizing And Misleading The Public On A Tragedy

Yesterday there was an horrific shooting at a church in Texas. The Guardian posted a story yesterday about how the gunman was stopped. An armed citizen engaged the gunman and another citizen pursued the gunman in a vehicle with the armed citizen. The police arrived after the two citizens chased the gunman and held him at bay with a rifle. It took the police between five and seven minutes to arrive. How many more people would have been killed but for the actions of the armed citizen?

There is another aspect to this story. Breitbart is reporting today that the man who shot up the church had been denied a Texas concealed carry permit.

USA Today failed to mention that in their rather biased reporting

Breitbart reports:

USA Today chided Texas for “lax” concealed carry laws after the Sutherland Springs church shooting but the attacker, Devin Kelley, was denied such a permit.

Mr. Kelley had been denied a concealed carry permit–stricter gun laws would not have mattered in this case because he was not interested in following the gun laws (or the laws against murder). Other sources indicate that he should not have been able to pass any kind of background check to purchase a weapon as he had previously been convicted of domestic violence. There is no way under current gun laws he should have been able to purchase a gun. His rampage was stopped short by a citizen with a gun permit.

Unfortunately we will never find a way to stop criminals (or those with criminal intent) from obtaining guns illegally. Therefore it makes no sense to deny law-abiding Americans the ability to defend themselves. Thank God there was a legally armed citizen to stop the rampage.

The Numbers Are Good, But They Need To Be Better

The American economy is slowly improving. It is not racing along, but it is improving. Investor’s Business Daily recently posted an editorial explaining that although we have a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, we are not yet at full employment. As the article explains, there are other numbers that need to be considered when looking at the economy.

The editorial reports:

But look at the numbers more closely and you see that we are far from full employment.

First, the 0.1 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate in October was almost entirely the result of the fact that 968,000 dropped out of the labor force that month.

That’s right, for every new job created, nearly four people left the labor force.

The broader measure of unemployed — which combines those actively searching for a job with those working part time but want to work full time or are “marginally attached” to the labor force — show the jobless rate to be 7.9%.

And the IBD-TIPP poll shows that there’s likely even more slack than that. The October survey — which asks those polled whether they or anyone in their household is looking for work — shows that the share of job seekers is currently above 10%. This number, by the way, has consistently tracked higher than either of the BLS’s two measures.

Here’s another way to look at it. Back in December 2000, the unemployment rate was 3.9%. But that month, the labor force participation rate — the share of the population that’s either working or looking for a job — was 67%.

The current rate: 62.7%.

If the labor force participation rate were the same today as it was in 2000, the official unemployment rate would be more like 10%.

The 10% unemployment rate would be better than what the actual rate has been in recent years, but obviously, it is not good.

The editorial concludes:

There is clearly still a need for pro-growth policies to get millions of workers sitting on the sidelines back to work.

Those pro-growth policies need to begin with the passage of President Trump’s tax proposal followed by a complete repeal of ObamaCare. If the Republicans in Congress want to be re-elected, they need to do both. It is time to put away the fear of a political outsider succeeding as President and begin to work together to move the country forward.

An article on

An article on the website of the JFK Library includes the following paragraph:

The president finally decided that only a bold domestic program, including tax cuts, would restore his political momentum. Declaring that the absence of recession is not tantamount to economic growth, the president proposed in 1963 to cut income taxes from a range of 20-91% to 14-65% He also proposed a cut in the corporate tax rate from 52% to 47%. Ironically, economic growth expanded in 1963, and Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress insisted that reducing taxes without corresponding spending cuts was unacceptable. Kennedy disagreed, arguing that “a rising tide lifts all boats” and that strong economic growth would not continue without lower taxes.

I wonder if John Kennedy would be welcome in today’s Democratic party.