This Is How You Handle A Tyrant!

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State. I have to say that after reading the article, I like Rex Tillerson’s style. The story that follows is an example of quietly outsmarting someone who tries to take advantage of you.

The article quotes a Washington Post story that details what happened shortly after Tillerson became CEO of ExxonMobil. Hugo Chavez needed money and demanded more of the profits of the western oil companies in Venezuela. All of the companies agreed except ExxonMobil.

The Washington Post reports what happened next:

Chavez responded by nationalizing ExxonMobil’s considerable assets in the country, which the company valued at $10 billion. The losses were a big blow to Tillerson, who reportedly took the seizure as a personal affront.

Only Tillerson didn’t get mad, at least in public. He got even.

In the deep blue waters 120 miles off Guyana’s coast, the company scored a major oil discovery: as much as 1.4 billion barrels of high-quality crude. Tillerson told company shareholders the well, Liza-1, was the largest oil find anywhere in the world that year.

For tiny Guyana (population 800,000), the continent’s only English-speaking country and one of its poorest, it was a fortune-changing event, certain to mark a “before and after” in a country long isolated by language and geography.

The Stabroek block where ExxonMobil and its partners struck oil is off the coast of a patch of wild South American jungle known as the Essequibo territory. Venezuela and Guyana have haggled over it with oscillating levels of vehemence for more than 100 years. Amounting to two-thirds of Guyana’s surface area, it is, by any practical measure, a part of Guyana and populated by Guyanese people, albeit sparsely.

But Venezuelan claims on the land have long kept foreign investors out. In 2013, a research vessel exploring the area for U.S.-based Anadarko was intercepted by a Venezuelan warship, which temporarily detained the 36-member crew. It was a warning to other companies thinking of partnering with Guyana. Tillerson’s ExxonMobil went ahead anyway.

Maduro ordered military exercises along the border, appealed to the United Nations to intervene, and cast his country as a victim of “imperialist” aggression.

But Maduro was boxed in. Tillerson had taken him to school. And he was just getting warmed up. The company has moved quickly to drill more wells since then, racking up new discoveries in the area.

Think about it. Tillerson refused the wishes of a bully, elevated a more reasonable government in a South America country without violence, and made a profit. I like his style.

 

 

How To Lie With Statistics

The mainstream media has not yet realized that they have been revealed as dishonest and misleading. They are still at it. A story posted yesterday in The Daily Caller illustrates that point.

The article reports:

Two polls released Tuesday — one from ABC and a second from CNN — tout Donald Trump as being the most unfavorable incoming president in modern history — yet on second look, the data is clearly boosted by the pollers’ decision to oversample Democrats.

According to Gallup, 28 percent of Americans identify themselves as a Republican, while 25 percent identify as a Democrat.

ABC’s poll sampled 1,005 adults across the nation. However, partisan breakdown shows that only 23 percent of participants identified as Republican.

Conversely, 31 percent of participants identified as Democrats and 37 percent as independent, while nine percent did not answer.

…Similarly, CNN’s poll also featured an eight-point partisanship gap.

Of the 1,000 adults taking part in the Atlanta-based news network’s poll, 32 percent claimed to be Democrats, 24 percent claimed to be Republicans and the remaining 44 percent claimed to be “independents or members of another party.”

I they had chosen their samples according to the actual statistics on party affiliation, I suspect they might have gotten a different result. However, they did get the result they wanted so that they could report it as news.

Support Your Local Fisherman

Above is a picture of shrimp boats Tuesday morning at Union Point, New Bern, North Carolina. There were there so that their owners and crew could attend the meeting described below. We need to make sure we protect their livelihood.

Yesterday I attended the Joint Meeting of the Northern, Southern, Finfish, Habitat and Water Quality, and Shellfish/Crustacean Advisory Committee at the Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern, North Carolina. I am not a fisherman (I haven’t even done a lot of swimming in the ocean since I saw “Jaws.”), and I really don’t know a lot about fishing. I have learned over the years, however, that often the best conservationists are the people who hunt and fish because they respect the environment and observe changes in the population of the animals they are hunting or fishing. The meeting was called as a public meeting to discuss a petition from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) to change the rules on catching shrimp in the waters of North Carolina. One of my sources tells me that the impetus behind the petition is the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), which has in the past advocated for regulations that would severely limit commercial fishing.

There were three people who spoke in favor of the rule change—Blakely Hilderbrand, an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, David Knight, a policy advisor for the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, and Jack Travelstead.

The three NCWF representatives painted a bleak picture of fishing in North Carolina if the new regulations were not passed. They mentioned that all the other states on the east coast of America have passed these regulations. Then the people in the other groups got to ask questions. It came out in the questioning that the population of one particular fish that the NCWF claimed was threatened was not threatened according to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. It was also noted that the states that had already enacted the laws that the NCWF was requesting had also seen drops in certain fish populations. It appeared that the penalties imposed on the shrimp fishermen didn’t help anyone except foreign countries importing shrimp. It was also noted that there are numerous variables that impact fish population—upstream pollution, chemicals entering the water from activities on the shore or upstream, storms, weather conditions, etc. I should also note here that one of the characteristics of the North Carolina coast is that a severe storm can change inlets and water current patterns. This would also impact the fish population.

At the end of the meeting all of the groups (other than the NCWF) voted to deny the petition to change the laws. This is not, however, the end of the story.

According to the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission website, the next public meeting will be in Wilmington, North Carolina, on February 15th and 16th. This issue will be discussed at that meeting. The decision will rest with the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission. I sincerely hope that they understand that the rules proposed in this petition could end the shrimp industry in North Carolina and eventually put the commercial fishermen out of business. There is no positive side to these regulations—they will not increase the fish population, they will only hurt the fishermen.

 

There Is A Difference Between Protest And Destruction

Political protest has always be a part of America. It’s part of how we became America. Thomas Paine wrote “Common Sense” to protest the actions of King George. However, it seems that in recent years we have forgotten the difference between protest and destruction. Our civil rights include protest, but the right to protest ends when property is destroyed or people are put in danger. Unfortunately, that is what some angry Americans are planning for this Friday.

Yesterday John Sexton at Hot Air posted an article showing undercover video obtained by Project Veritas showing protestors planning destructive acts during the Inauguration of President Donald Trump.

The video of the planning is posted on YouTube. In case the video mysteriously disappears, here it is:

A group called Disrupt J20 is planning the disruptions.

The article at Hot Air gives a little background on the group:

The DC Anti-Facist Coalition wrote the call to action for a protest of the Deploraball on the DisruptJ20 site. It reads in part:

This protest is being planned by the DC Anti-Fascist Coalition. We recently organized successful protests against the white supremacist “think tank” National Policy Institute. Our events drew about 500 activists and led the way for massive public outcry against the Fascist Alt-Right. Let’s repeat that, and open the Trump presidency on the proper foot.

The DC Anti-Fascist Coalition is an anti-racist, anti-fascist coalition; united along these principles:

We confront, and do not ignore, oppressors
We don’t rely on the cops or the courts. Cops reinforce oppressive systems. We rely on ourselves to protect ourselves and fight for deeper justice.

As I noted last month, Michael Moore has promoted DisruptJ20.

It is ironic that a group that is trying to disrupt the peaceful transition of power in a representative republic is complaining about oppression. These are very simply anarchists of the same stripe that routinely disrupt trade meetings. Their denunciation of both the police and the courts gives them away–they have no respect for law and order. If they actually do what they are talking about, they should be considered domestic terrorists and put in jail. Protest is fine. Destruction of people or property is not.

Some Common Sense Regarding The Inauguration Of President Trump

Holly Robichaud posted a column in The Boston Herald yesterday about the Inauguration of President Donald Trump that will occur this Friday.

The column states:

Failing to comprehend the mood of the country, Democrats have been working feverishly to undermine Trump in every way possible. In doing so they are holding back our country and further sabotaging any chance for a political comeback in two years.

Their collective tone-deafness emphasizes how out of touch and how much they are dedicated to the status quo of big government. Voters have had enough of the Washington political gamesmanship. That’s why the outsider candidate won the White House.

…Not only do Democrats need to give Trump a honeymoon, but so do establishment Republicans. They need to put aside their damaged egos. Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham are trying to hijack foreign policy and Marco Rubio is offering up some political payback. Being frustrated that Trump did what none of them could — win the presidency — is not acceptable.

The people deserve at least a 100-day honeymoon with Trump. I urge the Republican establishment and Democrats to work with our new president to get things done. The status quo is over! It is Trump time.

The thing to remember about the election of Donald Trump is that with the exception of parts of California and New York, Donald Trump won the popular vote by a wide margin.

This is the popular vote if you exclude California:

Popular vote total outside California:
Trump: 58,474,401
Clinton: 57,064,530
_________________
Trump: + 1.4 million

We have some serious problems globally and within America right now. Donald Trump has won the right to put his policies in place to solve them. Let’s at least give him a chance.

We Have The Facts, What Are We Going To Do Now?

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about two recent Congressional investigations into the selling of aborted baby body parts by Planned Parenthood.

The article reports:

Both were prompted by the Centre For Medical Progress (CMP) undercover investigation, which caught Planned Parenthood officials discussing how to illegally profit from selling baby parts. The first report in December was by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now House of Representatives Select Investigative Panel has published its report. Neither investigation relied on the CMP undercover videos to come to their conclusions.They carried out their own investigations — interviewing officials and employees under oath and using the power of subpoena to get their records.

What they found is horrifying and criminal. It’s disturbing that the results have been virtually ignored in the mainstream media. So to fill this gap, here are the top eight horrifying facts the mainstream media doesn’t want you know about aborted babies bodies being sold for profit.

The article lists eight facts that were determined by the investigation. Below is a summary of what they found:

  1. Advanced Biosciences Resources (ABR) had a “technician” embedded at a Planned Parenthood clinic who reportedly harvested and sold the skin of a Down Syndrome baby for $325.
  2. But Planned Parenthood and their business partners made a lot of money selling aborted baby body parts, according to the report. The House investigation found one case where Stem Express harvested an intact aborted baby’s brain at a Planned Parenthood clinic. They reportedly paid Planned Parenthood $55 but sold the brain to a researcher for over $3000 –  that’s a 2,800% profit. Planned Parenthood reportedly made their money on volume sales and “charitable donations” from these body harvesting companies.
  3. And “harvesting” is exactly what they were doing. The House investigation uncovered how “technicians” would look at the patient list in advance and try to sell the baby parts before the abortion. After securing the advance sale (with its massive profits) the technician would then be allowed to go and ask the pregnant woman to sign a consent form.
  4. And like any other business, there can be frustrations between buyers and sellers. The House Panel uncovered an email exchange between an excited Stem Express “technician” and a researcher who wanted to know if she could expect some parts the next day because she needed to book time at a very expensive research machine.
  5. And Slate writer William Saletan described Gosnell as an “outlier.” But then you read the House Investigation Report. They have interviewed, taken evidence, and secured affidavits from employees and patients of a Texas abortion doctor (whose name they have redacted). I have made a movie and written a book about Kermit Gosnell and his 30-year killing spree, and the similarities with this Texas doctor are shocking.

    According to one employee, the doctor would perform around 40 late second- or third-trimester abortions every week. Of these abortions, “three to four infants would show signs of life.” And just like Gosnell, the doctor would immediately kill them, according to the testimony. The employee said he employed Gosnell’s techniques of “snipping the infant’s spinal cord with scissors.”

  6. After the baby selling scandal broke, Planned Parenthood told the media they had a policy that prevented their affiliates from profiting from the process. But they didn’t mention that they had brought the policy in just as the CMP scandal developed. In fact, this report suggests a “criminal conspiracy” over their failure to have guidelines before this.

    According to the Senate Judicial Committee report, in 2001 Planned Parenthood did have a policy stating its clinics had to have an independent accountant verify they were not profiting from the sale of body parts. Those who did not follow these guidelines could be thrown out of the Planned Parenthood network, they were warned. In 2011, when they found their clinics were ignoring the guidelines, Planned Parenthood quietly deleted the guidelines from its requirements. By doing so, Planned Parenthood headquarters made it quite clear they would not stand in the way of their clinics profiting from the sale of baby parts.

  7. Planned Parenthood and the companies it was selling baby parts to fought tooth and nail against the investigations. They claimed privacy was an issue. But the House Investigation states they never cared about privacy when there was a lot of money to be made selling the body parts of their patients’ babies. They would regularly give confidential information about their patients to help the companies plan their harvesting in advance, the report says. And Stem Express would reportedly share this information with clients so they could look at what might be available and place advance orders.
  8. …in order to convince women to allow them to harvest their baby’s body parts, the Planned Parenthood consent form told the vulnerable women that the parts had been used to find a cure for AIDS.As a Planned Parenthood official admitted under oath to the House investigation, “there is no cure for AIDS. So that is probably an inaccurate statement.”

    They also reportedly misled clients about what they were actually harvesting. The consent form only described “pregnancy tissue” — not a baby’s arms, legs, eyes, brains, and skin.

Do want this activity to continue in America?

Don’t Get Lost In The False Narrative

As I sit here writing this post, I am listening to the news. The news is telling me that a number of Democrats will not attend the inauguration of President Trump because they feel that he is an illegitimate President. Hopefully most Americans realize how ridiculous this charge is. However, there is a full-blown effort by the media and the political left to undermine Donald Trump before he is even sworn in as President.

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review yesterday detailing one aspect of the attack on soon-to-be President Trump. The article deals with the strategy behind the Justice Department Inspector General’s review of some aspects of the Justice Department’s handing of the Hillary Clinton email scandal. Mr. McCarthy explains how the parameters of this investigation will make sure the investigation determines exactly what the political left wants the investigation to determine. It is important to note that the investigation will not look into the meeting between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch on the tarmac in Arizona during the Justice Department investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server. They will not look into immunity granted to witnesses and evidence destroyed during the original investigation. They will not look at ways in which Mrs. Clinton‘s private server compromised national security. So what is going on here?

The article explains:

The aim is obvious: If Comey’s statements were against protocol, then they will be portrayed as violations that caused Clinton to lose — the argument will be that Trump’s victory was as razor thin as it gets, Clinton decisively won the popular vote, so surely Comey’s impropriety is what swung the few thousand votes Clinton would have needed in key states to win in the Electoral College. Therefore, the narrative goes: Trump’s victory, and thus his presidency, is illegitimate.

…The Democrats erase your first argument by reducing the whole election down to the e-mails investigation, such that Mrs. Clinton’s many other flaws as a candidate do not matter. The Democrats erase your second argument by making sure the IG investigation focuses on James Comey, not on Hillary Clinton’s crimes and the Justice Department’s outrageous machinations to make sure she was not prosecuted for those crimes.
There you have it. The public’s perception of Trump’s legitimacy may hinge on the public’s understanding of the Justice Department inspector-general’s probe. The Democrats fully grasp this and are lining things up so that they’ll win before Republicans even realize the game is on.

I hope most Americans will see through this dog and pony show. It is really sad that the political left is doing everything it can to damage the Presidency of Donald Trump even before he is sworn in. If Donald Trump is such a horrible person with such bad ideas, why not just sit back and wait for him to fail? It is disheartening to hear politicians on the left repeating charges that have no proof behind them as if they were fact. Unfortunately I think this is going to get worse. The only cure for the lying media is for Americans to stop listening to the mainstream media and their lies. Maybe at that point, the mainstream media will realize that it is in their best interests (and the interests of America) to report the truth.

Honesty In The Mainstream Media Seems To Be A Lost Art

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about Major General Errol Schwartz, the head of the Washington, D.C. National Guard.

The article cites a Washington Post story about General Schwartz’s resignation.

The Washington Post story on the resignation reports:

“The Army general who heads the D.C. National Guard and has an integral part in overseeing the inauguration said Friday that he will be removed from command effective at 12:01 p.m. Jan. 20, just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president.

Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz’s departure will come in the middle of the presidential ceremony — classified as a national special security event — and while thousands of his troops are deployed to help protect the nation’s capital during an inauguration he has spent months helping to plan.

“The timing is extremely unusual,” Schwartz said in an interview Friday morning, confirming a memo announcing his ouster that was obtained by The Washington Post. During the inauguration, Schwartz will command not only members of the D.C. Guard but also 5,000 unarmed troops dispatched from across the country to help. He also will oversee military air support protecting Washington during the inauguration.

“My troops will be on the street,” said Schwartz, who turned 65 in October. “I’ll see them off, but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory.” He said he would “never plan to leave a mission in the middle of a battle.”

However, that’s not actually what is going on.

The Washington Post has changed its story.

The Gateway Pundit reports:

Now This…
The Trump administration told FOX News of Friday the story is a crock.

Schwartz was offered to stay on his post until after the Inauguration but decided to quit during the ceremony and then he ran to the press to complain.

According to FOX News,

“The Trump Transition team reportedly offered to let him keep his job until the ceremonies were over. Maj. Gen Schwartz refused. It appears he would rather argue his would rather argue his case though in the press.”

The article at The Gateway Pundit also mentions:

The Washington Post completely rewrote their story since it was originally posted without any mention of an update.

We need to be aware of what is happening here. The mainstream media remembers the time when they were able to bring down a sitting President (Richard Nixon) by constantly tearing him down. When you go back and read some of this history of Watergate, you discover that it was a case that should have been over in two months, but behind the scenes in Congress many former members of Bobby Kennedy’s Justice Department were engaged in a strategy to delay indictments and prolong hearings in order to bring down the President and the Republican party. Their long-term goal was to prepare the way for Ted Kennedy to become President. What we are seeing now in the mainstream media today is simply another example of the press trying to create opinions rather than to report news..

We are undergoing a peaceful transition of power. It would be wonderful if those who supported Hillary Clinton during the election would remember that Donald Trump won and Hillary Clinton lost. This is the time for working together for America. This is not the time for unending attacks on the new President.

 

 

Please Share This Post If You Like To Eat Local Fish

There will be a PUBLIC MEETING ABOUT THE SHRIMP PETITION NEXT TUESDAY, January 17th, beginning at 12:30pm at the RIVERFRONT CONVENTION CENTER IN NEW BERN, NORTH CAROLINA.

In North Carolina right now there is a conflict between the sports fishermen and the commercial fishermen. Please keep in mind that in North Carolina the commercial fishermen are generally family business that have fished our waters for generations–they are not large commercial operations with no relationship to the area. There is currently a petition to turn our major fishing waters into shrimp nurseries. While all of us want to protect our local shrimp, this is not necessary.

Here are a few things to remember as you hear the discussion of this issue:

Measures proposed by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) were thoroughly considered by the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) and North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission (NCMFC) and recently addressed in the 2015 North Carolina Shrimp Fishery Management Plan-Amendment 1.

 

North Carolina, namely Pamlico Sound, is one of the few water bodies that supports commercial quantities of pink, white and brown shrimp in the south Atlantic.

 

Shrimp trawling effort peaked at 40,000 trips in 1982, and has declined since 1994 to an average of 7500 trips over the last 5 years, with the decline being completely unrelated to shrimp abundance.

 

North Carolina has the largest estuarine system within any one state of the entire USA. It is unique and caution should be taken in comparing management with that in other estuarine systems.

 

North Carolina is the only state that has formally designated primary and secondary nursery areas for juvenile fish, shrimp and crabs. All bottom-disturbing fishing gear, including shrimp trawls, has been prohibited in these areas for over 35 years.

 

North Carolina has 2,220,000 acres of estuarine surface waters with over one million acres or 48% of estuarine waters are closed to trawling. Using sound science, these vital habitat areas are protected by rules set forth in state legislation. (broken down below)

 

  • Since 1978 over 124,000 acres of estuarine nursery areas have been closed to trawling to protect juvenile fish and crustaceans.

 

  • There are approximately 77,000 acres of Primary Nurseries, 47,000 acres of Secondary Nursery areas, 37,000 of special Secondary Nursery areas, and over 78,000 acres of military danger zones and restricted areas are also closed to trawling for safety reasons.

 

  • Special Secondary Nursery areas can only be opened to trawling by proclamation from August 16 through May 15.

 

  • In the mid-90s the sea grass beds along the Outer Banks were closed to trawling to protect this critical habitat. North Carolina closed extensive areas of submerged aquatic vegetation located on the eastern shore of the Pamlico Sound from Oregon Inlet to the mouth of Core Sound to shrimp trawling in 1994.

 

  • In 2006 almost 92,000 additional acres were closed to shrimp trawling as part of the North Carolina Shrimp FMP.

 

North Carolina historically leads research to refine practices and develop devices to reduce bycatch, reaching a 70% total reduction in total juvenile finfish bycatch, and becoming the first state to require finfish excluders in shrimp trawls. Current efforts continue to seek further improvement.

 

North Carolina is recognized by states and the federal government as having one of the best fisheries data collection programs in the country and Scientists studying bycatch in North Carolina have cautioned that finfish/shrimp ratios tend to overestimate bycatch.

 

No correlation was observed in abundance indices of juvenile Atlantic croaker, weakfish, and spot and shrimp trawl effort for the last 21 years in analyses performed for the NC 2015 Shrimp FMP, and none are listed as experiencing overfishing.

 

  • The shrimp trawl fishery has been ongoing in the estuarine waters of North Carolina since 1917. Since that time landings, and abundance levels of spot, croaker and weakfish in North Carolina, have fluctuated widely, yet experienced peaks in the late 1970’s to mid 1980’s.

 

  • Based on extensive and current scientific data, fishermen are not overfishing Atlantic croaker and croaker are likely not overfished.

 

  • Based on a 2016 weakfish stock assessment, extensive scientific data and comprehensive analyses determined that fishermen are not overfishing weakfish. The lack of recovery in weakfish populations is primarily from natural causes, such as predation and diseases, which has prevented the stock from recovering.

 

  • Additionally, recent population assessments on weakfish show a strong correlation with decreasing juvenile numbers and rising striped bass and spiny dogfish abundance. Juveniles that are caught are returned to the ecosystem where many serve as forage, where they are consumed by many highly-prized sportfish that the recreational industry benefits from, as well as commercially important species.

 

  • North Carolina under the jurisdiction of the ASMFC, manages and conserves many migratory species. None of the plans, amendments, or addendums to do so have recommended a closure on inside shrimp trawling in North Carolina to ensure sustainability of these fisheries resources.

 

  • The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC), a federal agency, has developed a FMP for shrimp in the south Atlantic, with numerous amendments. None of its plans, amendments, or addendums have recommended a closure on estuarine and near-shore shrimp trawling in North Carolina to ensure sustainability of the fisheries resources within their jurisdiction.

 

  • Implementing an 8-inch size limit for spot and a 10-inch size limit for American croaker for recreational fishermen would be arbitrary considering neither species is experiencing overfishing.

 

To recommend such significant management measures by rulemaking on one of North Carolina’s most important fisheries without a thorough and objective review of pertinent science/information and existing management policies is disingenuous and irresponsible, and may very well lead to some serious unintended consequences.

 

The discussion of this issue is based on a petition. The State of North Carolina is required to respond to that petition. The fact that they are responding to the petition is not related to the validity of the petition–it simply a  recognition of the fact that the people who filed the petition were able to get the required number of signatures. The ideas this petition presents need to be voted down in order to protect the commercial fishermen of North Carolina.

 

George Washington Didn’t Have These Problems

When George Washington became President, he was a very wealthy man. He had been a successful land surveyor who used his profits to buy land in Virginia. He was a successful farmer, and eventually grew his Mount Vernon farm from 2,000 acres to 8,000 acres. Because America was a very different place then, he was allowed to enjoy the profits of his farm by putting other people in charge of it during his time in the White House. Class warfare had not yet reared its ugly head, and Americans were working together to build their country. Unfortunately, we seem to have lost that spirit.

On Thursday, Townhall.com posted an article about the Senate Confirmation Hearings for Ben Carson as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spent a large part of her questioning wanting to make sure that no company connected with Donald Trump would be involved in any HUD projects during the time that Donald Trump was President. I agree that no company connected with Donald Trump should be given preferential treatment, but should they be discriminated against if they are the lowest bidder on a project?

The article reports:

Warren repeatedly pressed Carson over whether he could assure the American people that not a single taxpayer dollar would go towards contracts with any real estate companies linked to the president-elect.

“Can you assure me that not a single taxpayer dollar you give out will financially benefit the president-elect or his family?” Warren asked Carson.

The retired neurosurgeon promised he would not “play favorites.”

“I can assure you that the things that I do are driven by a sense of morals and values,” he said.

“It’s not about your good faith,” she replied. “My concern is whether or not, among the billions of dollars you will be responsible for handing out in grants and loans, can you just assure us that not $1 will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family?”

The article concludes:

“The problem is that you can’t assure us that HUD money — not of $10 varieties but of multimillion-dollar varieties — will not end up in the president-elect’s pockets,” Warren responded.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the lead Democrat on the banking panel, echoed concerns raised by Warren.

Trump has an interest in at least one low-income hosing development — Starrett City — which Brown said posed an inherent conflict for the new leader of HUD.

Starrett City is a massive development in Brooklyn that sends Trump millions in revenue through rent. In his financial disclosures filed as president, Trump lists his 4 percent share in the asset as being worth between $5 million and $25 million. 

Brown pressed Carson to stay in contact with the committee if he — or anyone at HUD — has communications with anyone in the Trump Organization or the White House about development projects.

Carson said he would be happy to set up a process that identifies conflicts.

This is an example of why Ben Carson, as smart and honest as he is, should never be President. He was just too nice to this awful lady. I am not supporting corruption, but if Trump Enterprises can do a job better and cheaper than another company, Trump Enterprises should get the job. All you need is a blind bidding process. This is much ado about nothing.

One thing we all need to remember about having Donald Trump in the White House is that he is very rich. He doesn’t need to cheat to get rich. He doesn’t need to take donations to a foundation from foreign countries that want favors. He doesn’t need to take million dollar vacations on the taxpayers’ money. He doesn’t need to take items out of the White House when he leaves (if you doubt that the Clintons did that, read the GAO report (link and article here). There are also enough Trump resorts around the world to accommodate his vacations.

Senator Warren wasted her time during the confirmation hearings. She should have asked Dr. Carson how he plans to help poor families escape poverty. He is certainly an example of the fact that it can be done. If the government were more concerned about helping people escape poverty rather than simply adding to the bloated bureaucracy that only continues if they remain in poverty, the federal deficit would be considerably lower. It will be refreshing to see a HUD Secretary who wants to decrease the number of people dependent on government rather than grow the government infrastructure that benefits the government more than the poor.

It Is Important To Know Where The Money Is Coming From

The Daily Caller posted a story today about the 2017 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report. The report labels the U.S. as a major human rights abuser. Wow! Who knew? That sounds really alarming until you look at the money behind Human Rights Watch.

The article reports:

The 687-page report provides overviews of human rights situations in approximately 90 countries around the world. It rates countries based upon their treatment of  journalists and dissenters, the freedom of their elections, and their positions on the death penalty, the use of torture and the fairness of their judicial systems.

Though Trump has yet to shape any policies in the U.S., the HRW survey mentions the Republican 19 times, including under a section with the heading “Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric.”

The group is most disturbed with Trump’s comments regarding immigration and Muslims.

The 19 mentions of Trump is compared to 11 mentions of both Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, both of whom have cracked down heavily on reporters and dissidents. Bashar al-Assad, the dictator of Syria who has murdered tens of thousands of his own citizens, receives 15 mentions in the report.

In his introduction to the report, Roth argued that Trump is one of a new class of Western leaders who are riding a wave of anti-globalist, nationalistic populism.

So let’s look at the money behind the group:

HRW is heavily funded by Soros, a Hillary Clinton supporter who backs hundreds of leftist and progressive groups across the world. Soros pledged to give $100 million to HRW over a ten year period in 2010. Open Society Foundations, Soros’ main vehicle for funding U.S.-based groups, gave $10 million to HRW in 2014, its most recent tax filings show.

President-elect Trump hasn’t done anything yet, and this group is already accusing him of human rights violations. Nothing like getting ahead of the curve. So what is really going on here? George Soros is a globalist who supports one-world government (which he, of course, would help control). Nationalism is a threat to those who want one-world government, as is patriotism. The globalists have had a bad spell lately–they thought Britain would stay in the EU and they thought Hillary would win the election. Now they are desperate to regain some sort of relevancy in countries that are actually free and value freedom.

We can expect more of this behavior in the future from people who believe that everyone around the world should live in a third-world country and that George Soros and his friends should be in charge and live very, very well.

This Is Sad, Petty, And Unnecessary

Some of the attacks labeled at Donald Trump and his family are simply amazing. The man won an election–that is no reason to insist that he and his family be drawn and quartered. I simply do not understand it. I was never a fan of Barack Obama, but he was President, and that was that. I don’t think his political opponents ever stooped to the level of childishness and meanness that we are seeing in the political left right now.

Newsbusters posted an article today about Robin Givhan, the fashion writer at the Washington Post.

The article reports:

Robin Givhan, the liberal political columnist who plays fashion writer at The Washington Post, dominated the front of the Style section on Friday with a question: Can a fashion designer in good conscience agree to dress Melania Trump? Givhan argued that blacklisting the new First Lady is a good way to show a social conscience. The Trumps can buy off the rack, so it’s not really a blacklist.

The subheadline explained: “When it comes to dressing the Trump women, a designer’s most natural vehicle for protest — and patriotism — is the absence of their name.” Would it be “patriotism” if a designer refused to dress Michelle Obama? Perish the thought. Givhan said dressing the First Lady – especially for Inauguration Night, has always been an honor, until Donald Trump inspired “new waves of racism and violence.”

I really can’t believe the pettiness.

I love the way Givhan explains that refusing to dress Melania Trump is different than refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding. I guess freedom of association (as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution) only applies sometimes.

This is the explanation given:

Givhan implicitly argues against the conservative pushback without being forthright: So a Christian baker has to make a cake for the gay wedding, but the gay fashion designer can refuse service to the President of the United States? It’s not the same, she argued:

Anyone with disposable income can buy a designer’s wares at retail — and even some red-carpet celebrities choose to do so. Hayden Panettiere purchased a Tom Ford gown for the 2014 Golden Globes. For the 2016 Globes, Bryce Dallas Howard picked up her Jenny Packham gown at Neiman Marcus.

That’s why declining to dress a celebrity is not the equivalent of refusing service. In doing so, designers would in fact be refusing a favor, with all the publicity that goes along with it.

What about patriotism? Should personal feelings and personal satisfaction be put aside out of respect for the symbolism of the first lady? Not necessarily. Protest that grows out of a desire to make the country better, to push it to live up to its ideals, is surely a form of patriotism….for those designers for whom fashion serves as their voice in the world, they should not feel obligated to say something in which they do not believe.

It is really sad to see people behave this badly because their candidate lost the election.

 

The Facts You Need To Fight The Current Spin

Yesterday Investors.com posted a story about what the repeal of ObamaCare will actually mean. The story separates the lies we are being told from the actual truth.

These are the five main points from the story:

  1.  Repealing ObamaCare will not add 20 million to the number of people without health insurance.
  2.  Repealing ObamaCare will not increase the deficit–leaving it in place with significantly increase the deficit in coming years.
  3.  Repealing ObamaCare will not mean that people with pre-existing conditions cannot get health insurance–the replacement plans being considered will have a place a way to cover pre-existing conditions.
  4. Repealing ObamaCare will not increase health costs. The article points out that the rate of increase in premiums for employer-provided insurance had also slowed before ObamaCare took effect. The shift in the employer market toward Health Savings Account plans — which Democrats hate — is largely responsible for that.
  5.  The claim that the voters do not want ObamaCare repealed is also false. The passage of ObamaCare strictly along Democratic Party lines lead to the loss of the House of Representatives by the Democrats in 2010, the loss of the Senate by the Democrats in 2014, and the loss of the Presidency by the Democrats in 2016.

Please follow the link above to read the details of the above points. We need healthcare to be allowed to function under a free-market system with as little interference from the government as possible. That will provide the most cost-efficient and most available healthcare for everyone.

Sometimes I Simply Lack Sympathy

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that George Soros lost $1 billion after the 2016 election.

The article reports:

“Mr. Soros was cautious about the market going into November and became more bearish immediately after Mr. Trump’s election, according to people close to the matter,” according to the Wall Street Journal report. After the rally, Soros dropped many of his losing positions but not before incurring substantial losses.

The billionaire likely will be able to absorb the hit. His namesake firm, Soros Management Fund LLC, has a reported $30 billion in assets.

Soros, an 86-year-old native of Hungary, is a prominent supporter of liberal causes and groups. He was instrumental in founding such groups as the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America. He poured $19 million into the 2016 election on behalf of Democrats, including presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Mr. Soros has been meddling in American politics for some time. It was revealed last summer that many of the people arrested in various protests supporting left-wing causes were being paid through Soros’ organizations. Frankly I am glad that he will have a little less money to try to influence our elections. He is not a friend of our republic.

Only Some Illegals Are Welcome

The  Associated Press is reporting today the President Obama is changing the policy regarding Cubans who flee to America seeking freedom.

The article reports:

President Barack Obama announced Thursday he is ending a longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident.

The repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy is effective immediately. The decision follows months of negotiations focused in part on getting Cuba to agree to take back people who had arrived in the U.S.

“Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with U.S. law and enforcement priorities,” Obama said in a statement. “By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries. The Cuban government has agreed to accept the return of Cuban nationals who have been ordered removed, just as it has been accepting the return of migrants interdicted at sea.”

This is from the President who has consistently refused to secure the southern border of America. This is from the President who has been trying for years to make every illegal in America a citizen.

I question the timing of this more than I question the action. I honestly don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but why is it being done a week before President Obama leaves office? Why is President Obama so willing to take Middle Eastern refugees who do not value democracy and so unwilling to take Cuban refugees who are seeking freedom?

 

Behavior Befitting A Two-Year Old

It is obvious that Donald Trump as President will be a serious threat to the status quo. It is understandable that those who are doing quite well with the status quo will do anything they can to undermine his efforts to drain the swamp. However, I really didn’t think it would be this bad.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story with some details about some recent attempts to undermine the Presidency of Donald Trump.

Evidently the current ‘fake news’ scandal about Donald Trump has its roots in the Republican Party during the Republican Primary Election.

The article reports:

This Politico story looks at the Paul Manafort angle. It reports that “a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia.” These efforts affected the campaign, says Politico, in that Manafort had to step down and assertions of Trump ties to Russia were advanced.

This amounts to foreign meddling in the election, though not through any cyber-intrusion (an important distinction). Unlike Russia’s meddling, there is strong evidence that the DNC was involved with Ukraine’s.

The Politico story doesn’t bear directly on the infamous dossier, but this article in the New York Times does. According to the Times, in September 2015, a wealthy Republican donor who strongly opposed Donald Trump put up the money to hire a Washington research firm — Fusion GPS — run by former journalists to compile a dossier about the tycoon’s past scandals and weaknesses.

After Trump emerged as the presumptive nominee in the spring of 2016, the Republican interest in financing the effort ended. However, “Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton” paid Fusion GPS to keep doing the same basic anti-Trump research.

In June, according to the Times, Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS, hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with whom he had worked before. Having previously carried out espionage inside Russia, Steele was in no position to travel to Moscow to study Trump’s connections there. Instead, he hired native Russian speakers to call informants inside Russia and made surreptitious contact with his own connections in the country.

The result was the infamous dossier which was peddled to news organizations during the Fall of 2016 without much success.

This was obviously a smear campaign. I suspect that there are some Americans out there who have heard the story and choose to believe it. That is their privilege. However, it really is time to realize that if Donald Trump is successful in draining the swamp in Washington, all of the people who are not getting rich because of the political corruption in Washington will prosper. That would be nice.

The End Of The Road

President Obama will be leaving the Presidency next week. Unfortunately for America, he will not be leaving politics. The Democratic Party has moved left, and he is their most popular figure. It remains to be seen if Muslim Brotherhood-connected Keith Ellison will become chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). It will be interesting to see if Ellison becomes DNC Chairman, how many people will remain in the party if they discover some of his not-so-moderate Islamic connections.  At any rate, President Obama gave his farewell speech in Chicago last night.

Scott Johnson at Power Line summed up President Obama’s speech in an article he posted today.

The article includes some very good comments:

One may question the premise of the farewell address. As Dan Hicks asked in one of his twisted songs with the Hot Licks, how can I miss you when you won’t go away? We will be hearing from him early and often in the days to come. Think of them as the years After Obama.

In his farewell address President Eisenhower famously warned of the military-industrial complex. The peril of the military-industrial complex has nothing on the Democrat/Media complex. The Democrat/Media complex has been with us for a long time, it goes from strength to strength and it will never die. Add its immortality to the eternal verities of death and taxes.

That pretty much sums it up!

This Doesn’t Deserve The Attention It Is Getting

Yesterday John Podhoretz posted an article at The New York Post about some unfounded allegations against President-elect Trump reported by Buzzfeed. John Podhoretz is not by any stretch of the imagination a Trump supporter, and these are his comments about the allegations:

So the website BuzzFeed decided to publish a series of memos that have been floating around for months alleging all kinds of terrible things about Donald Trump.

Some of those terrible allegations have to do with efforts to influence the American elections and Trump. Some of them have to do with Trump’s personal sexual conduct.

…There is literally no evidence on offer in these memos or from BuzzFeed that any single sentence in these documents is factual or true. What’s more, we know most major news organizations in America had seen them and despite their well-known institutional antipathy toward Trump, had chosen not to publish them or even make reference to them after efforts to substantiate their charges had failed.

…“Publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017,” Smith (Ben Smith, editor of Buzzfeed) writes. This is an amazing thing to say, because if you think it through, it means publishing open libels and slanders is the job of reporters in 2017.

Fake news will become more sophisticated, and fake, ambiguous, and spun-up stories will spread widely,” warned an important American editor at the end of December 2016. His name: Ben Smith. His publication: BuzzFeed.

Every day we see new evidence of the threat Donald Trump as President poses to the status quo in Washington. It is amazing. It is not just Democrats–some high level Republicans would also like very much to discredit President Trump before he takes office. If he can be stopped before he takes the oath of office, President Trump won’t be able to interfere with the cushy lifestyles that Washington politicians have acquired through insider trading, rewarding large donors, and exempting themselves from the laws that they have passed. The Buzzfeed story has been claimed as a hoax (story here). However, this won’t be the last story we hear reporting horrible things about Donald Trump. I would love to be wrong about that, but I don’t think I am.

I Wish Everyone In Congress Would Play By The Same Rules

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the Senate hearings that will begin today on the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. The article compares what is expected at those hearings with what actually happened at the hearings for the confirmation of Eric Holder.

It is interesting to look back at statements made about Senator Sessions in the past and in the present.

The article reports:

Ahead of the confirmation hearing Tuesday for Trump’s attorney general designee, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, brought up issues that prevented Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., from becoming a federal judge three decades ago.

“Now that he is nominated to be attorney general, we will see if the same person is still too extreme for Republicans,” Leahy said in a Boston Globe op-ed Sunday, later adding, “Sen. Sessions has repeatedly stood in the way of efforts to promote and protect Americans’ civil rights.”

It’s a departure from what Leahy said of Sessions in 2009, when both men voted to confirm Obama’s controversial nominee, Eric Holder, to be attorney general.

“Sen. Sessions is also a former U.S. attorney and knows what one goes through in that regard, and we’ve relied on him for that experience,” Leahy said to his colleague during the Holder confirmation hearing in January 2009, according to the Washington Examiner.

In June 2010, Leahy called Sessions “wonderful to work with,” the Examiner reported.

This should not be political–the Republicans gave President Obama the Cabinet he wanted. The Democrats need to be equally courteous. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if that will be the case.

Please follow the link to the Daily Signal article to read the entire story. Jeff Sessions will probably be confirmed, but the dog and pony show is really unnecessary.

A Proposed Solution That Will Only Make The Problem Worse

Yesterday the Associated Press posted an article about a proposal to designate election systems as critical infrastructure. On the surface this sounds like a really good idea, but when you examine the idea closely, there are some problems with it.

But first, let’s look at the article, which states:

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the move Friday with 30 minutes’ notice to the National Association of Secretaries of State and U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an independent bipartisan federal agency that develops voluntary voting guidelines and certifies voting systems.

Officials at both agencies are criticizing the department for what they said was a failure to work with state officials to fully answer their questions about the designation before making the change.

“We’re having trouble understanding exactly what they’re going to do, that we’re not already doing,” Connecticut Secretary of State Denise W. Merrill, who heads the national secretaries association, told The Associated Press. “States were already doing much of this (security work) themselves using very different products.”

The U.S. Constitution states in Article I Section 4:

The times, places and methods of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, will be decided by each State legislature. Congress may override these regulations at any time by  Law.

The U.S. Constitution states in Article 2 Section 2:

Each State, (and Washington D.C.), must appoint a number of electors equal to the total number of Senators and Representatives which that State (or District) is entitled to in Congress. The legislator of each State may determine the manner in which the electors are chosen. No Senator or Representative, or person holding an official position under the United States, may be appointed as an elector.

What is illustrated here is the fact that the individual states control elections within their states–the federal government does not. One reason it is difficult to ‘hack’ voting machines is that they are often not networked–they are individual machines and must each be ‘hacked’ individually. Although this suggestion by the Obama Administration sounds like an idea that would protect our elections, it would, in fact make hacking easier for hackers by centralizing the voting machines on one network.

Aside from being a federal power grab, this is a really bad idea. The goal here is federal control of elections. This will no longer limit corruption to some of our major cities–anyone will be able to be able to participate!

 

States Begin To Examine Civil Asset Forfeiture

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about a move in Texas to abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture. I have written about this procedure in the past (here, here, and here). One of the most common examples of Civil Asset Forfeiture occurs when the government accuses a small business owner of making multiple deposits of less than $10,000 in order to avoid federal regulations that track such deposits. The law has been used to take assets away from small business owners with little regard for their Constitutional rights. The assets seized can be sold and the money used to shore up local budgets. Needless to say, there is a lot of temptation there for some local governments. A few states have taken action to limit these forfeitures. Texas is now joining them.

The article reports:

Texas is looking to become the third state in the last year to abolish civil asset forfeiture, and replace it with criminal asset forfeiture. State Senator Konni Burton filed a bill last month which requires a felony conviction before law enforcement can gobble up someone’s property. It’s a major step in Texas’ fight for justice reform which has saved the state $3B (while crime rates are at record lows).

…There’s just one problem…the asset forfeiture laws are being misapplied in cases where people who are not convicted of crimes, end up losing their property because prosecutors and police believe they “may have” been involved in/had knowledge of a crime. A Philadelphia family was forced out of their home because their son was arrested on drug charges, even though it didn’t appear they knew what the 22-year-old was doing. A Texas man had over 53-thousand dollars in cash donations for an orphanage and school seized after he was pulled over in Oklahoma.

The home and money were eventually returned to their rightful owners after the cases got a ton of press. But Right on Crime Deputy Director Derek Cohen points out media attention doesn’t always happen, because the numbers aren’t really sexy (emphasis mine).

Ordinary citizens trying to run a business and live their lives should not have to worry about a government that almost arbitrarily can take their assets. It is good to see Texas moving in the right direction. Hopefully now the federal government will follow suit.

 

Why We Will Need Guantanamo For A Very Long Time (Warning!! Graphic Content)

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article showing pictures of young Muslim children killing infidels. The children appear to be between the ages of about four to eight. The pictures are chilling, but I will post one here just to illustrate the point.

How do you undo the damage to a young child’s mind that is done by having adults tell the child to do this? This is child abuse in spades.

The article includes other similar pictures.

I seriously doubt that these children can be retrained. I suppose it is possible, but it will take at least a generation to undo the brainwashing that radical Islam is guilty of. Teaching young children to ‘kill the infidel’ is child abuse. If these children are ever captured alive by non-Muslim troops, I don’t know what the solution would be. I would like to think that putting them in loving homes and teaching them that killing is wrong would be the answer, but I am not sure what a successful deprogramming of these children would look like.

I apologize for the graphic picture, but we need to know what we are up against. The radical Islamist fighters have no problem teaching children to kill people who do not share their beliefs.

The Past Eight Years

Jeff Jacoby at The Boston Globe posted an article today evaluating the eight years of the Presidency of Barack Obama. President Obama is planning to give his farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday. The purpose of the address is to“celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years.” Wow.

The article takes a look at the past eight years to see if there is anything worth celebrating. Here are a few of the highlights:

In 2010, two years after electing him president, voters trounced Obama’s party, handing Democrats the biggest midterm losses in 72 years. Obama was reelected in 2012, but by nearly 4 million fewer votes than in his first election, making him the only president ever to win a second term with shrunken margins in both the popular and electoral vote.

The trend continued, he campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016, saying that a vote for Hillary would be a vote to support his policies during the past eight years. Hillary lost.

The article notes the economy during President Obama’s time in office:

The economy. Obama took office during a painful recession and (with Congress’s help) made it even worse. Historically, the deeper a recession, the more robust the recovery that follows, but the economy’s rebound under Obama was the worst in seven decades. Annual GDP growth since the recession ended has averaged a feeble 2.1 percent, by far the puniest economic performance of any president since World War II.

…In 2008, when Obama was first elected president, 63 percent of Americans considered themselves middle class. Seven years later, only 51 percent still felt the same way.

The article talks about President Obama’s impact on healthcare:

But Obamacare has been a fiasco. At least 27 million Americans are still without health insurance, and many of those who are newly insured have simply been added to the Medicaid rolls. Far from reducing costs, Obamacare sent premiums and deductibles skyrocketing. Insurance companies, having suffered billions of dollars in losses on the Obamacare exchanges, have pulled out from many of them, leaving consumers in much of the country with few or no options. And the administration, it transpired, knew all along that millions of Americans would lose their medical plans once the law took effect. The deception was so egregious that in December 2013, PolitiFact dubbed “If you like your health plan, you can keep it” as its “Lie of the Year.”

President Obama has not been successful in the area of foreign policy. The world is less safe now than it was when he took office. Part of the problem is the premature troop withdrawal from Iraq, which paved the way for ISIS. This is not totally President Obama’s fault–America has politicized wars since the Korean War. We have forgotten how to win them, and thus have wasted more lives because we were not willing to fight hard. War is ugly, nasty, and horrible, but there would be less of it if it were fought quickly and ended quickly. Somehow since the Korean War, politics have determined battle strategy, and that is a recipe for disaster. President Obama has to take some responsibility for politicizing the war in Iraq (along with his Democratic Party allies), but the precedent for their behavior was set many years ago.

The most disturbing area of failure that the article brings up is the area of national unity. The article states:

According to Gallup, Obama became the most polarizing president in modern history. Like all presidents, he faced partisan opposition, but Obama worsened things by regularly taking the low road and disparaging his critics’ motives. In his own words, his political strategy was one of ruthless escalation: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” During his 2012 reelection campaign, Politico reported that “Obama and his top campaign aides have engaged far more frequently in character attacks and personal insults than the Romney campaign.” And when a Republican-led Congress wouldn’t enact legislation he sought, Obama turned to his “pen and phone” strategy of governing by diktat that polarized politics even more.

The article concludes:

Obama’s accession in 2008 as the nation’s first elected black president was an achievement that even Republicans and conservatives could cheer. It marked a moment of hope and transformation; it genuinely did change America for the better.

It was also the high point of Obama’s presidency. What followed, alas, was eight long years of disenchantment and incompetence. Our world today is more dangerous, our country more divided, our national mood more toxic. In a few days, Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Behold the legacy of the 44th.

We need to remember that the U.S. Constitution was put in place to limit government–not to limit American citizens. Hopefully Donald Trump is aware of that history and will act accordingly.

It’s Amazing How The Narrative Changes

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted an article about Donald Trump’s dismissal of politically appointed ambassadors. If you have seen the story in the mainstream media, it is probably accompanied by some level of hysterical hand-wringing. Well, wait a minute.

The article quotes The New York Times:

The mandate — issued “without exceptions,” according to a terse State Department cable sent on Dec. 23, diplomats who saw it said — threatens to leave the United States without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and Britain. In the past, administrations of both parties have often granted extensions on a case-by-case basis to allow a handful of ambassadors, particularly those with school-age children, to remain in place for weeks or months.

Mr. Trump, by contrast, has taken a hard line against leaving any of President Obama’s political appointees in place as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20 with a mission of dismantling many of his predecessor’s signature foreign and domestic policy achievements. “Political” ambassadors, many of them major donors who are nominated by virtue of close ties with the president, almost always leave at the end of his term; ambassadors who are career diplomats often remain in their posts.

But (as usual) there is more to the story. The article reports:

Fox News recalls the Washington Post reporting the news in December 2008 without the slightest hint of disapproval, or a single heartstring-tugging anecdote about the difficulties faced by the ambassadors and their families:

The clean slate will open up prime opportunities for the president-elect to reward political supporters with posts in London, Paris, Tokyo and the like. The notice to diplomatic posts was issued this week.

Political ambassadors sometimes are permitted to stay on briefly during a new administration, but the sweeping nature of the directive suggests that Obama has little interest in retaining any of Bush’s ambassadorial appointees.

Most ambassadors, of course, are foreign service officers, but often the posts involving the most important bilateral relations (such as with Great Britain, Japan and India) or desirable locales (such as the Bahamas) are given to close friends and well-heeled contributors of the president.

The article further reminds us:

The Center for Public Integrity counted 31 Obama campaign “bundlers” — good for at least $500,000 in donations — named as ambassadors, mostly to Western Europe and other “highly developed and stable countries such as Canada and New Zealand.”

“Another 39 of Obama’s second-term ambassador nominees are political appointees who either gave his campaign money or are known political allies. They, too, largely enjoyed postings to wealthy and peaceful nations — Ireland, Denmark and Australia, for example — or high-profile countries such as China and India,” the Center added.

It is quite possible that President Trump will also reward supporters with ambassadorships, but somehow I suspect the media will handle it very differently than they did with President Obama.

Just as a side note–is there anywhere that President Obama’s foreign policy was so successful that we should hang on to his ambassadors? Actually, I am hoping that the entire State Department will be fired for the horrendous job they have done during the past eight years.