Why The Democratic Primary System Does Not Represent The Voters

The Hill is reporting today that Hillary Clinton will leave New Hampshire with the same number of delegates as a result of the New Hampshire primary as Bernie Sanders. Despite the fact that Sanders won by approximately 20 percent, they will have an equal delegate count. If this doesn’t make the average Democratic voter furious, nothing will.

The article reports:

Clinton won nine delegates in the primary but came into the contest with the support of six superdelegates, who are state party insiders given the freedom to support any candidate they choose.

Superdelegate support is fluid, though, so some of those delegates now backing Clinton could switch to Sanders before the Democratic National Convention in late July.

But as it stands, the superdelegate support gives Clinton a total of 15 New Hampshire delegates.

The Clinton campaign has mounted an aggressive effort to secure about 360 superdelegates across the country, according to The Associated Press. Sanders has a total of eight superdelegates.

This is amazing. There is actually a possibility that Bernie Sanders could win every state primary and Hillary Clinton could be the Democratic party nominee for President. If that doesn’t make voters angry–nothing will. Either your primary vote counts or it doesn’t.. In this case, it looks like it doesn’t.

The article concludes:

Clinton’s superdelegate supporters includes Gov. Maggie Hassan, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and Rep. Annie Kuster.

She’s also backed by Democratic National Committee members Joanne Dodwell, Billy Shaheen and Kathy Sullivan.

It looks like the fix is in.

Of Course They Are Vetted

Breitbart.com is reporting today that German police are tracking a terrorist commander living among the refugees.

The article reports:

Two houses in the village (Sankt Johann) are used to house Syrian refugees, but among the opponents of the Assad regime living there SPIEGEL TV tracked down a suspected commander of the Islamic State terror group after tip offs from other Syrian activists. They had identified him as a man called Bassam, a notorious commander said to be responsible for the deaths of dozens of people.

…As Breitbart London recently reported, German security forces have received more than 100 tip-offs that Islamic State fighters may be hiding among migrants currently staying in the country.

Houston, we have a problem.

 

 

The First New Hampshire Primary Votes Are In

Mediaite posted an article this morning about the first primary election results from New Hampshire. Dixville Notch votes at the stroke of midnight, so their results are in.

The article reports the results:

On the Republican side of things, Ohio Governor John Kasich brought in one more vote than Donald Trump, for a total of 3 votes Kasich and 2 for the real estate mogul. As for the Democrats?

Call it a Dixville clean sweep for neighboring Senator Bernie Sanders, who brought in 4 votes compared to Hillary Clinton‘s 0.

Obviously, Dixville Notch may not be representative of the rest of America, or even of New Hampshire, but the numbers are interesting. The thing to remember when looking at the New Hampshire primary is that southern New Hampshire is generally inhabited by people who left Massachusetts because of the high taxes. It tends to reflect the liberal mentality of the northeast–even in the Republican party. A true conservative or an evangelical Christian running for President should not be expected to do well in New Hampshire.

It will be interesting to see how the media attempts to spin this. Will Hillary declare victory? Will the media attempt to push Kasich as a result of this vote? Stay tuned.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Fox News reported yesterday that illegal immigrants and others whose citizenship status was unclear received up to $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies as of June 2015.

The article reports:

The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, examined Affordable Care Act tax credits meant to defray the cost of insurance premiums. It found that as of June 2015, “the Administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence.”

The review found the credits went to more than 500,000 people – who are illegal immigrants or whose legal status was unclear due to insufficient records. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed to FoxNews.com on Monday that 471,000 customers with 2015 coverage failed to produce proper documentation on their citizenship or immigration status on time – but stressed that this does not necessarily mean they’re ineligible.  

The people who make comments like “that does not necessarily mean they’re ineligible” have obviously never raised teenagers.

The Senate report states that it is doubtful that the IRS will be able to recoup the money as there is no concrete plan to locate the people who illegally took the subsidies.

The article concludes:

The Senate report says the IRS and HHS initially failed to coordinate on a plan for recouping funds, and claimed that a subsequent plan from the IRS to recoup the money is still “ineffective and insufficient.”

In a July letter to Johnson, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen assured that the agency is “committed to identifying and efficiently addressing” improper payments. He reiterated that anyone “not lawfully present” who enrolls for ObamaCare coverage “must repay” the advance premium credit payments, and would be breaking the law if they don’t.

And the government has suddenly become efficient????

Who Is Responsible For Your Child’s Education?

America has some problems with its public schools. I have done numerous articles about Common Core and Advanced Placement U.S. History. (If you are interested in reading those articles, use the search engine at the top of this blog.) Those two programs are equally guilty of not educating or miseducating our children. Many parents have decided to send their children to private schools or to home school them instead of exposing them to the indoctrination that our public schools now practice. Home-schooled children generally do better on their College Board exams than public school students and generally score better on all standardized tests. The problem with home-schooled students is that they illustrate the fact that our public schools are not doing a very good job of educating our children. Home-schooled children are a threat to the public-school establishment run by unions and big government types. Therefore, home schooling is frequently discouraged or disparaged by the educational establishment. That is the reason for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

Yesterday World Net Daily posted an article about two homeschooling families that are under attack in Ohio.

The article reports:

Authorities in Ohio have filed criminal charges against homeschool parents in two families, with trials  later this month that could result in fines and jail time if convicted.

For missing paperwork deadlines.

The parents, whose identities are not being publicized at this time, are facing accusations of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” for not having their paperwork filed appropriately – or on time.

…“Both families were somewhat new to homeschooling in Ohio. One family filed a notice of intent when they began homeschooling last year, but did not know they had to file another notice for this school year. The other family filed their annual notice of intent, but did not submit an educational assessment with their notice because they had not yet completed it, and had been told by their school district that there was no deadline for submitting the assessment.”

The article further reports:

He (Peter K. Kamakawiwoole Jr., a staff attorney for the HSLDA) continued, “The tragedy is that these prosecutions are entirely avoidable. Ohio’s compulsory attendance statute has specific provisions which are supposed to apply when a school district believes that a child is truant, and those provisions require – among other things – that parents be provided notice when a district believes a child is truant, and affords parents multiple opportunities to correct the behavior of the child (or, in this case, to correct clerical errors). The compulsory attendance statute recognizes that parents can ultimately be prosecuted – but only as a last resort, after intermediary measures have been taken to correct the problem, and have failed.”

He said in the current cases, school officials have blown off those procedures.

Instead, he reported, officials allowed the students “to accumulate weeks’ worth of ‘absences’ before the parents were ever contacted, and then prosecuting them even though the families have documentation showing that their homeschools are in compliance with state law.”

It’s an unsettling situation, he explained, one for which the HSLDA is marshaling its members and resources to address.

“The fact that these families are even facing prosecution is disturbing, and the fact that they could face significant fines or jail time if convicted is disproportionate and draconian. It is our hope that by defending these families and drawing attention to their plight, that we can prevent this issue from recurring in the future.”

This looks like at attempt to intimidate parents who want to home school their children. This is another illustration of the fact that our government (at all levels) has become too powerful and too intrusive. Our freedom is in danger.

One Way To Deal With A Dishonest Media

Al Jazeera TV is not known as an unbiased news outlet. They usually get away with unanswered propaganda because they control the editing of any interviews that they do. However, Gates of Vienna posted an article today illustrating how to deal with the editing of an interview.

Tommy Robinson is the head of Pegida UK, an organization formed in response to the Islamization of Britain and Europe. He was interviewed by Al Jazeera. Obviously, there were going to be some areas of disagreement. In order to protect himself from the editing that he knew would happen, Mr. Robinson recorded his side of the interview on his cell phone. He has released that video. It is posted below:

The article at Gates of Vienna reports:

First the interviewer tried to trick him by reading from the Old Testament, with a deliberate attempt at misdirection to make him think the source was the Koran. Notice the sly way the fellow, without actually telling a lie, made it seem as if he were describing the text of the Koran. It didn’t work — Tommy sussed him out immediately.

Next Tommy discussed Mohammed’s marriage to Aisha when she was just six years old, and the prophet’s deflowering of her when she was nine. That was too much for Al Jiz — they cut that segment out completely. But the clip below shows the missing section, as recorded by Tommy’s cell phone.

In order to make it difficult for Al Jazeera and other dishonest media outlets to manipulate their audience with selectively edited footage, please publicize this clip as much as you can. If it goes viral, their efforts will have been in vain.

We can’t stop the media from biased reporting, but we can keep our own records of interviews in order to expose biased reporting. I honestly don’t know anything about Mr. Robinson, but I applaud his quest for honest news coverage.

Has The Church Claimed Draft-Exempt Status In The Culture War?

After the Constitutional Convention a woman asked Benjamin Franklin whether the Constitution established a republic or monarchy. He said to her: “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”

“For if you altogether hold your peace at this time, then shall relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but you and your father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

“And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.” Matthew 22:21

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16

What is the current state of America and what can we do about it.

This is mainly a message for the American Church, but it really applies to all Americans who love their country.

In America we have recently seen: the total disregard for the borders of our country, an attempt to limit the first two Amendments of the U.S. Constitution (http://www.rightwinggranny.com/?p=27280) and (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obama-announce-executive-actions-gun-control-tuesday/story?id=36070572) a man shot in cold blood for exercising his right to protest (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUzzrjBo_HU), Christians being ordered to ‘reeducation camp’ (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jan/15/new-york-court-upholds-13000-fine-against-farm-own/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS), and teaching Islam in public schools while ignoring Christianity (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/12/20/school-islamic-vocabulary-lesson-part-common-core-standards.html).

This is a quote from a friend who has done a lot of research on Common Core:

I know that there was a 2nd grade unit on traditions and cultures around the world, and the out loud reading books were, Kevin’s Kwanza, Caleb’s Hanukkah, and Twas the Night Before Christmas. Christian holiday tradition was diminished to Santa, for the children to compare and contrast with a made up holiday and a true religious tradition, for 2nd graders?

So where am I going with this? The Presidential (or any other national) election is not going to solve our problem. We are losing our country and losing our freedom. The one force that can put an end to our societal decline and the loss of our freedom (those two things are totally interrelated) is the church. I am not talking about any denominations here; I am talking about the Bible-believing church. The church that has sat on the sidelines for too long because they did not want to get involved in the messiness of the political system. The church that has been blessed with a republic but is unwilling to do what is necessary to keep that republic. The church that is unwilling to “render unto Caesar” the time to be an informed citizen. The church that is unwilling to be salt and light in a crumbling society. The church that has not loved its neighbors enough to protect them from tyranny. The church that is unwilling to take a stand for righteousness. The church that has been willing to allow the triumph of evil but is unwilling to get involved in the representative government that is supposed to protect its freedom.

In the first Star Wars movie, a holograph comes out of a cute little robot saying, “Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” Luke Skywalker moves mountains (so to speak) to find out what that hope is and to eliminate the bad guys. Where is our Obi Wan Kenobi? Do we believe enough in the founding principles of America to fight for them? Do we know enough about the role the church played in the early history of America because the church was involved? Is the church willing to step up to the plate again to prevent the triumph of evil? I don’t know if it is too late to save America, but I know that if we don’t try we will have to explain to our children and grandchildren why we failed them and lost the republic. Are you willing to do that?

When The Government Acts Like The Mob

The New York Post posted an article today about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The article reports:

Newly uncovered internal memos reveal the Obama administration knowingly exaggerated charges of racial discrimination in probes of Ally Bank and other defendants in the $900 billion car-lending business as part of a “racial justice” campaign that’s looking more like a massive government extortion and shakedown operation.

So far, Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reached more than $220 million in settlements with several auto lenders since the agency launched its anti-discrimination crusade against the industry in 2013. Several other banks are under active investigation.

That’s despite the fact that the CFPB had no actual complaints of racial discrimination — it was all just based on half-baked statistics.

A confidential 23-page internal report detailing CFPB’s strategy for going after lenders shows why these companies are forking over millions of dollars in restitution and fines to the government despite denying any wrongdoing.

Ally Bank was willing to settle on paying $98 million rather than the $204 million the government had initially requested. Why were they willing to pay at all? The FDIC was looking at charges of ‘red lining’ at the time the suit was brought. Ally Bank needed to pass its Community Reinvestment Act exam. If the suit had not been settled, it probably would not have passed the exam.

This bears a striking resemblance to a mob shakedown. Someone would come into a business and say, “You have a nice place here, it would be a shame if something bad happened to it.” Now the government is doing that. It gets worse.

The article concludes:

In fact, CFPB still has not been able to definitively ID the race of any borrower it claims Ally victimized — which is why it has taken more than two years to send remuneration checks to alleged victims. Desperate to find them, the bureau recently had to mail 420,000 letters to Ally borrowers to coax at least 235,000 into taking the money, and to allow Cordray (CFPB chief Richard Cordray) to save face.

Checks started going out this month to the fictitious victims — just in time for the election. So what if some recipients are white? They will all no doubt thank Democrats for the sudden, unexpected windfall of up to $520 in the mail.

When the government becomes a thug, it is time to shrink and replace the government. Who exactly was the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau set up to protect?

A Reasonable Plan To Balance The Federal Budget

According to the U.S. Constitution, all spending bills originate in the House of Representatives. Therefore, constitutionally the House of Representatives controls government spending. In recent years, voters concerned about the amount of government spending and the rapidly increasing federal deficit have sent people to Congress that promised to shrink government and cut spending. Evidently there is something in the water in Washington, D.C., because as soon as those elected representatives get to Washington, they forget why there were elected. There are a few exceptions, but they are few. One Representative may have the answer to this problem.

On Friday, the Daily Caller posted an article about legislation introduced on Friday by Iowa Republican Rep. Rod Blum.

The article states:

Iowa Republican Rep. Rod Blum introduced legislation Friday that would decrease congressional members’ salaries annually until the national budget is balanced.

Lawmakers’ pay would be docked 5 percent the first year and an additional 10 percent each year after, according to the legislation. The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2016 would restore compensation levels upon the closure of the deficit.

Representative Blum explained that there need to be consequences when Congress mismanages resources. In the private sector, there are consequences. Thus far, in Congress there are not consequences. That needs to change.

Why I Think The Republican Debate Is A Joke

I am watching the Republican debate. This is a collaboration between the Republican establishment and the media to make sure a non-establishment candidate does not win the Republican nomination. The media would like Hillary Clinton to win the presidency, but a lot of Americans are not necessarily following the media in this plan.

Note that Carly Fiorina is not on the stage and the John Kasich is. The only voting that has taken place in this election cycle has been in Iowa, where Carly Fiorina got more votes than John Kasich. Since that number represents actual votes, rather than inaccurate polls, I believe the people on the stage tonight were not chosen fairly. The establishment candidate is on the stage; the non-establishment candidate is not. Admittedly, the difference in the number of votes is small, but the fact remains that Carly Fiorina got more votes than John Kasich.

To add insult to injury, Breitbart.com has posted an article today about one of the moderators of the Republican debate. Martha Raddatz is married to a Harvard Law School classmate of Barack Obama. President Obama attended her wedding. President Obama appointed Julius Genachowski (Ms. Raddatz’s husband) to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Ms. Raddatz is one of the moderators of the Republican debate. Does anyone actually believe that she will be an unbiased moderator?

The Republican Party needs to choose the moderators for the Republican debates. These moderators need to be people who do not have strong ties to the Democratic Party. What is happening now on ABC is an attempt to use the Republican Presidential candidates to ensure a Democratic victory in the Presidential election in November.

I Don’t Condone Violence, But I Guess Sometimes It Is Effective

Recently The Federalist Papers posted an article about some Muslim refugees that were asked to leave Norway because of their bad behavior and decided to head for Russia. The refugees discovered that the behavior that got them removed from Norway was not only also unacceptable in Russia–the behavior had more serious consequences in Russia.

The article reports:

Taking their cues from the assaults in Cologne, Germany, the refugees began groping and harassing the women. Taken aback by this behavior, a group of Russian men pulled them aside and told them that’s not what they do in Russia. They told them: “Cologne is 2,500 kilometers south of here.”

The refugees tried to leave, but the Russians caught up with them and gave them a beating they won’t forget. Police arrived and had to transport 18 of the refugees to local hospitals due to their injuries. An additional 33 were arrested.

One website is reporting that when law enforcement arrived, they “quietly assisted in the educational process” of the migrant gropers.

Russians don’t seem to be as “tolerant” of migrant bad behavior as folks in the European Union.

Meanwhile, many European countries are getting ready for their carnival season. Safe zones have been set up in Europe to protect women from the kind of sexual harassment that has occurred in Germany and other European countries.

The article concludes:

European officials –rather than tackling the problem of criminal migrants – have told women they should “be careful” and dress appropriately so they don’t attract the lustful eyes of the migrants.

This is so upside-down, I don’t even know what to say. Any religion that gives anyone the idea they can sexually harass another person is not a religion–it is a perversion of truth. The request that women modify their dress to prevent men from becoming criminals is garbage. It is the beginning of requiring women in Europe the wear burkas. It should be made clear to these refugees that any harassment of women will be responded to with jail time. When the jails get overcrowded, the refugees should be returned to their home countries. There is no reason to consider people who break the laws of common decency as refugees.

When You Look At The Entire Picture, It Does Not Look Really Good

Chances are that someone in the news today is going to celebrate the fact that the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.9 percent (he lowest since February 2008, the Labor Department said on Friday). That sounds really good until you start looking at the entire picture.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today that shows the entire picture. Here are a few inconvenient facts from the article:

Looks like the 2015Q4 GDP results told a broader story than some credited. The Associated Press called the results from today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reporta sharp deceleration from recent months” (later removing “sharp” from that description), paralleling the sharper deceleration of production. The US economy added only 151,000 jobs, a miss on expectations and barely enough to tread water on population expansion.

…Numerous news services heralded the a drop in U-3 rate of unemployment to 4.9%, but the number of people not in the workforce also rose by 360,000 people from last month (table A-16). That follows an increase of 284,000 the previous month. Those not in the labor force who want a job increased by 461,000, and that follows an increase of 379,000 in the previous month. The latter measure had been falling in 2015, but has reversed itself by 840,000 in two months — both in the 0.7%-growth-rate Q4.

The article concludes:

The sharp reversal on exits from the labor force should be the greatest concern from this report. The 151,000 added jobs pales in comparison to those numbers, and those added jobs only account for population growth anyway. Combined with last quarter’s GDP growth rate, it appears that 2016 is off to a tough start, and may signal a very tough year.

Eight years of President Obama’s economic policies have had consequences. The over regulation, the war on coal, the war on fracking, the decision to stop the Keystone Pipeline, and ObamaCare have all had economic consequences. If Hillary Clinton is elected, we will have more of the same. If a small government Republican is elected, he will be in a position to set the American economy free. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

I Thought This Was A Done Deal, Evidently It Is Not

The Daily Signal posted an article yesterday about the budget deal the House of Representatives put forth under Paul Ryan. The deal was essentially the deal that was negotiated by the previous Speaker of the House, John Boehner.

The article reports:

In October, in his effort to “clear the barn” for Ryan, then-Speaker John Boehner helped negotiate a two-year budget deal with President Barack Obama and Democrats. It raised the 2017 spending level roughly $30 billion above the total lawmakers set in 2011 to control spending.

Though the majority of Republicans did not vote for the Boehner-Obama budget deal, the new House leadership has indicated spending bills for fiscal year 2017 must abide by the higher spending level prescribed by the October agreement.

But a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projecting trillion-dollar deficit levels by 2022 appears to be persuading more than just the usual suspects to ignore the budget deal and insist on a lower spending level.

Someone considerable smarter than I am observed recently that the current difference between Democrats and (establishment) Republicans is not over the size of the federal budget, but over who controls the money. Conservative Republicans are more interested in the size of the budget and want to shrink both government and government spending. The establishment Republicans have consistently ignored the conservative base that put them in office. That is going to become a problem for the establishment Republicans in the very near future.

The article further reports:

“I can tell you that Obamacare and the spending crisis are the reasons why I came up here and the reason I voted against the omnibus [spending bill] is because we got off Paul Ryan’s path to prosperity,” Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “I will fight hard for a lower budget number, and I expect a great deal of my colleagues will do the same.”

Farenthold is referring to 2012 proposal authored by Ryan, R-Wis., when he was chairman of the House Budget Committee that reformed entitlement programs, cut taxes, and reduced spending.

While the conservative House Freedom Caucus is leading the charge to renege on the October budget deal and revert to the lower spending number set under the Budget Control Act of 2011, other GOP members also are concerned.

The Republican Study Committee, a larger group of conservative House members from which the Freedom Caucus sprang, will propose a budget that sticks to sequestration levels, its chairman says.

America cannot continue to spend money at its present rate. The deficit passed nineteen trillion dollars this week. I don’t even know how to write that number! Conservatives have been sending people to Washington since 2010 to cut spending. It is about time Washington heard their voices. If the people who are in Washington to represent us now do not represent us, we will have to send different people.

Keeping Your Child’s Data Safe

One of the problems with Common Core is the data mining. There are some very intrusive questions asked of young children about their families (does anyone in your house own a gun? what religion are your parents?). This data is collected (along with data predicting the success of your child in future years). The law allows videos of your child to be taken and stored in ‘the cloud.’ The proponents of Common Core have always gone out of their way to assure parents that this data is secure and cannot be accessed by anyone not entitled to access it. They also have overlooked the fact that the data will follow the child from kindergarten through five years into the workplace.

Lady Liberty posted an article today about the security of the data involving your child. The article quotes WRAL News in Raleigh, North Carolina:

CARY, N.C. — A Panther Creek High School student was arrested Wednesday in connection with a hack of the school’s computer system last fall, police said.2

Saivamsi Hanumanthu, 17, of Pilot Hill Drive in Morrisville, was charged with felony accessing government computers, felony breaking and entering and misdemeanor accessing government computers. He was released on a unsecured $15,000 bond to the custody of his parents.

Cary police began investigating unauthorized access to Panther Creek High’s computers on Oct. 13 and later determined that the system had been hacked into several times and that student grades had been changed.

Wake County school officials discovered that an email sent from one Panther Creek High teacher to another a few days before the initial hacking contained keystroke-tracking malware, according to a search warrant in the case.

We either need dumber high school students or smarter computers.

Lady Liberty concludes her article by stating:

I’ve noted a lot of issues with Powerschool since it was implemented both here and in other states. I’ve also noted issues with other Pearson products. Everything from the system going down to wiping out entire gradebooks, and from delayed report cards to DDOS attacks.

Now we have a high school student getting into it multiple times to change his grades.

But your child’s data is safe, they said…

Small wonder Pearson sold Powerschool last year to Vista Equities. NC went with the very pricey Powerschool because of the established relationship with Pearson, now they’ve sold it off.

As a point of interest, as an elementary parent, three years after Powerschool went live I still don’t have access to it, which is arguably a FERPA violation.

Another reason to get rid of Common Core.

What Happened In Iowa?

Yesterday the Des Moines Register posted an editorial about the Democratic Caucus in Iowa. The editorial reminds us that because the results of the Caucus were so close, it would be a good idea to do an audit of those results.

The editorial also reminds us:

Second, too many questions have been raised. Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems. Too many of us, including members of the Register editorial board who were observing caucuses, saw opportunities for error amid Monday night’s chaos.

The Sanders campaign is rechecking results on its own, going precinct by precinct, and is already finding inconsistencies, said Rania Batrice, a Sanders spokeswoman. The campaign seeks the math sheets or other paperwork that precinct chairs filled out and were supposed to return to the state party. They want to compare those documents to the results entered into a Microsoft app and sent to the party.

“Let’s compare notes. Let’s see if they match,” Batrice said Wednesday.

…So her path forward is clear: Work with all the campaigns to audit results. Break silly party tradition and release the raw vote totals. Provide a list of each precinct coin flip and its outcome, as well as other information sought by the Register. Be transparent.

And then call for a blue ribbon commission to study how to improve the caucuses, as the Republican Party of Iowa did after its own fiasco in 2012. Monday’s mess showed that it’s time for the Democrats to change, too.

The Iowa Caucus is really not the most important election on the primary circuit. However, it is the first election on the primary circuit. This is the first chance the voters have to actually voice their opinion. This is the chance the voters have to confirm or dispute what the pollsters are saying. It needs to be done right.

The editorial concludes:

Democrats should ask themselves: What do we want the Iowa caucus to be? How can we preserve its uniqueness while bringing more order? Does it become more like a straw poll or primary? How do we strike the balance between tradition and transparency?

We have time to consider these questions. First, however, we need answers to what happened Monday night. The future of the first-in-the-nation caucuses demands it.

How Far Up Does This Go?

The Judicial Watch Press Room posted an article on Monday about State Department efforts to set up a private computer for Secretary of State Clinton.

The article reports:

Judicial Watch announced today that it recently received records from the Department of State disclosing plans by senior State Department officials to set up a “stand-alone PC” so that Clinton could  check her emails in an office “across the hall” through a separate, non-State Department computer network system. Referencing the special Clinton computer system, Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, writes Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, “The stand-alone separate network PC is a great idea.”  The emails are from January 23-24, 2009, a few days after Clinton was sworn in as Secretary of State.

The new emails were obtained by Judicial Watch in response a court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for State Department records about Hillary Clinton’s separate email system  (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00689)).

In the email chain, Lewis Lukens, former deputy assistant secretary of state and executive director of the secretariat, responds to a request from Mills by informing her, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and Kennedy that the new personal computer “in the secretary’s office” would be “connected to the internet (but not through our system).” Abedin responds, “We are hoping for that if possible.”

The email exchange discussing plans to provide Clinton a separate computer to skirt the internal State Department computer network begins with a message from Mills to Lukens in which she requests Clinton being able to access her emails through “a non-DOS computer.” The email discusses how the stand-alone computer can be set up and why it is “a great idea’ and “the best solution:”

The article includes copies of the emails involved. Please follow the link to the Judicial Watch article to read them.

So why is this important? What they were doing was illegal. There may be a totally innocent reason for doing this, but the obvious reason would be to avoid archiving requirements and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. It really is difficult to see this as an innocent action. If the major media covers this, the entire email scandal may well unravel as people attempt to defend themselves, legally and otherwise.

Can We Please Move On To Other Things

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported that the Illinois Board of Elections has ruled that Ted Cruz is a “natural born citizen” of America.

The article reports:

The Candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth,” the board stated, saying that Cruz “did not have to take any steps or go through a naturalization process at some point after birth,” adding, “Further discussion on this issue is unnecessary.”

That does make sense (although legal decisions do not always make sense). Ted Cruz did not have to take steps to become an American citizen because he already was one. I also suspect his draft card, social security number, etc. actually reflect places he was living at that time. I also suspect that at some point we will have access to his college records. Now, can we please put this issue to rest?

The person who challenged Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for President is also challenging Marco Rubio’s eligibility.

Craven County Board of Commissioners

Last night I attended the meeting of the Craven County Board of Commissioners. One item on the meeting agenda was a discussion of a proposed draft resolution on refugees from terrorist nations. The substitute amendment, which was voted on, basically stated that because proper vetting of refugees from areas controlled by terrorist organizations is impossible, the Craven County Board of Commissioners opposes the relocation of these refugees to Craven County. The resolution has no enforcement mechanism, but does make a statement to those concerned with refugee resettlement that these refugees are not welcome in Craven County.

One of the main concerns of the people speaking for the resolution at the meeting was the safety of the people who currently reside in Craven County. Craven County is close to two major military installations, and our military has warned some residents of the county that they are terrorism targets. It is also noteworthy that one of the 911 hijackers took his flight training in Craven County. Evidently, we are already on the terrorists’ map.

The meeting was very well run, and personal attacks were discouraged. In spite of that, at various times during the evening those who supported the resolution were described as bigots, racists, unchristian, and uncaring. There seemed to be very little concern on the part of those opposing the resolution for the safety of those currently living in Craven County. At one point a person opposing the resolution stated that they were more afraid of American’s political right wing than they were of terrorism.

The resolution passed on a 6 to 1 vote. Although I respect the Commissioner who voted against the resolution, I feel that voting against the resolution was not in line with the oath he took to protect his constituents. There is a reason that countries in the Middle East are refusing to take these refugees. In September of 2015, Luay Al Khatteeb, a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution, posted the following map on Twitter:

SaudiRefugees

We do need to be compassionate in dealing with refugees from countries that have been taken over by terrorists, but we also need to consider our own safety. The ideal scenario would be to provide these refugees a place to live somewhere near their home countries so that after the hostilities in their home countries cease, they can go home and help rebuild their country. This is the effort we need to support.

Elections Have Consequences

One of the things to keep in mind as you prepare to vote in your state’s primary election is that elections have consequences. The Daily Signal posted an article today about the decline in economic freedom during the Obama Administration. The Heritage Foundation posted a more complete article.

The Heritage Foundation reports:

According to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, an annual publication by The Heritage Foundation, America’s economic freedom has tumbled. With losses of economic freedom in eight of the past nine years, the U.S. has tied its worst score ever, wiping out a decade of progress.

The U.S. has fallen from the 6th freest economy in the world, when President Barack Obama took office, to 11th place in 2016. America’s declining score in the index is closely related to rapidly rising government spending, subsidies, and bailouts.

Economic freedom creates prosperity across the board. Without economic freedom there is no incentive to achieve. When there are no rewards for achievement, there is less achievement.

The Heritage Foundation reports:

Since early 2009:

  • Government spending has exploded, amounting to $29,867 per household in 2015.
  • The national debt has risen to $125,000 for every tax-filing household in America—a total over $18 trillion.
  • The government takeover of health care is raising prices and disrupting markets.
  • Bailouts and new government regulations have increased uncertainty, stifling investment and job creation.

This is not something to take lightly. Economic freedom is the foundation of U.S. economic strength, and economic strength is the foundation of America’s high living standards, military power, and status as a world leader. The perils of losing economic freedom are not fictional.

This is something to consider as you cast your primary ballot, regardless of which political party you belong to. Economic freedom matters–to you, to your children, and to your grandchildren.

Surrendering Before The Battle Begins

The results of the Iowa Caucus are in. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are essentially tied, and three Republicans are running neck and neck. The obvious lesson from the caucus is that Iowa voters do not support the establishment candidates of either party. Bernie Sanders is not an establishment candidate and received about half of the Democratic votes. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are the non-establishment  Republican candidates, and together they received slightly more than half of the Republican votes. The message being sent by the voters seems rather obvious–we don’t want more of the same.

Today The Hill posted a story that might indicated that the Washington establishment may not have received the message the Iowa voters have sent.

The article reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), seeking to protect his majority in a tough cycle for Republicans, is leaning toward holding back several measures that have bipartisan support but are divisive in his conference.

McConnell, who will meet in the Oval Office on Tuesday with President Obama and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), is under pressure from some in his conference to take action this year on a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal, criminal justice reform legislation and an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Others in McConnell’s conference are not keen to tackle any of those issues, however, and Senate GOP sources say McConnell is likely to take the safe route and not advance any bills that divide his ­conference.

“McConnell is smart to wait on issues that divide us until such time as we can achieve a consensus,” said a senior Republican aide. “There’s no question that some members want to turn to some things sooner than others. But McConnell’s duty is to do what’s best for the entire conference. Seems what’s best for the conference is to focus on the things that unite us.”

Essentially, Leader McConnell is saying that he isn’t going to lead. He doesn’t want to rock the boat. If the voters did not want to rock the vote, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz would not have been the top two winners in Iowa last night. Remember when the Senate refused to join Ted Cruz in fighting ObamaCare? There were convinced that if they did not cave, the world would end. Ted Cruz was told that he had ruined the Republican name. Somehow, I think that observation has been proven to be false.

The Republicans need a backbone. Given the chance, the voters will elect those candidates that exhibit a backbone. Those who do not have a backbone can expect to have their political fortunes changed at the first opportunity. Regardless of how you feel about him, Donald Trump has energized those voters who want the Washington establishment and the media that supports it to go away. A victory in the Republican primaries for either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump will be a step in that direction.

During the coming weeks, watch for a major attack on both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Those are the two candidates in the Republican party that are most threatening to the status quo that includes both the Washington establishment and the dominant media.

Also note that one of the leading contenders in the Democratic primary is an avowed Democratic Socialist. I am not even sure what that actually means. It is, however, an indication that Democrats are also unhappy with the status quo.

In Case You Have Forgotten What A Rational Political Discussion Looks Like

It has been a rough political season and will probably get rougher. My rule of thumb is, “Don’t listen to anything said within six weeks of an election–regardless of the type of election.” Why? Because that is the time the candidates are most likely to throw the ugliest mud–when the opposition has the shortest amount of time to respond. The hope is that the mud will stay with the voter and any good said about the candidate will be forgotten.

Just to remind you what rational political discourse looks like, I am posting the following YouTube video:

Committing Economic Suicide Over Questionable Science

The Daily Caller posted an article today about the cost of President Obama’s Paris Global Warming Treaty.

The article reports:

The United Nations Paris agreement to stop dangerous global warming could cost $12.1 trillion over the next 25 years, according to calculations performed by environmental activists.

“The required expenditure averages about $484 billion a year over the period,”calculated Bloomberg New Energy Finance with the assistance of the environmentalist nonprofit Ceres.

The article goes on to explain:

Despite relatively high levels of taxpayer support, in 2014 solar and wind power accounted for only 0.4 and 4.4 percent of electricity generated in the U.S., respectively, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Ironically, solar and wind power have not done much to reduce America’s carbon dioxide emissions. Studies show solar power is responsible for one percent of the decline in U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions, while natural gas is responsible for almost 20 percent. For every ton of carbon dioxide cut by solar power, hydraulic fracturing for natural gas cut 13 tons.

It might be common sense to forget about solar and wind until the technology improves and focus on fracking since that is already getting results.

Meanwhile, in its weekly energy summary, wattsupwiththat reports:

One of the most dramatic statements made by the IPCC appeared in its Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4, 2007) which claimed the glaciers in the Himalaya Mountains will disappear by 2035, depriving hundreds of millions of people their primary source of water, the rivers the run off the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau.

Alarmed, the government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests had its glacial expert, Mr. V.K. Raina, Executive Director General of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) prepare a report based on decades of on-the-ground observations. Fear of the possible melting of the glaciers has been expressed for about 100 years resulting in scientific efforts to recognize and examine the fluctuations at the front-snout of glaciers, starting in the early part of the 20th century, although some studies go back 150 years.

Overall, there is a net decrease in mass balance in the 20th century, though some glaciers are increasing in mass balance. This net decrease in mass balance is within the boundaries of prior interglacial warm periods over the last two million years, the period identified as the Pleistocene (major ice age). According to the report, some glaciologists believe that there may have been as many as 21 glacial cycles during this period.

In short, the net decrease in mass balance appears to be part of a natural cycle, not human caused global warming. Of course, the advance and retreat of Himalayan glaciers need to be monitored, but there is no indication that they will vanish by 2035.

There is no reason for so-called climate experts to take control of the world’s economy in the name of protecting us from global warming. The planet goes through cycles. The planet has always gone through cycles. We are now able to measure and track those cycles. If the numbers were not tampered with, we would find out that the world is not coming to an end due to global warming. As usual, follow the money. If you have not followed the escapades of the global warming people from the beginning, I suggest you begin your research at wattsupwiththat. That is one of the most reliable sources of climate information on the internet.

A New Dimension In First World Problems

On January 20, The Pacific Sun posted an article warning California motorists to be aware of the ‘staring coyote.’

The article reports:

A coyote has taken to staring down automobile drivers as they drive through this twisting, turning section of highway, before attacking the car and then skulking off back into the wilderness. The coyote runs up to the cars, usually at night, forcing drivers to stop as the beast stares and sniffs around the vehicle.

…the latest grist out of Bolinas has it that there are now two coyotes acting a little weird, or a lot weird: Drive-by coyote stare-downs have now become part of the normative experience for a Bolinas-based individual who makes numerous nighttime airport runs every week. We are not identifying this individual, who fears retribution at the vengeful paws of these bushy-tailed beasts. He would only say, “It’s a terrifying, yet beautiful thing to behold.”

The Marin Humane Society has fielded at least one inquiry from a coyote-concerned citizen and is looking into the case of the aggressive coyote, says Lisa Bloch, director of marketing and communications for the society. “We are trying to figure this out.”

At present there are three basic theories as to what is causing the coyotes to act strangely. The first is rabies, which has been ruled out due to the lack of rabies in the area and due to the fact that the stare-downs have gone on for three weeks (rabies would have killed an animal within a week). The second possibility is more interesting.

The article reports:

It is possible, but not probable, that the coyote has eaten something—perhaps a fly agaric mushroom (amanita muscaria) which has hallucinogenic properties—and has subsequently been tripping its tail off. The cars would therefore be some sort of coyote vision, a dark vision of human interlopers, who must be stopped before the rents get any higher in West Marin. That would be kind of cool.

Bloch could not completely rule out the possibility that coyotes are having psychedelic experiences out on the feral fringes of civilization, and in fact she has been counseling dog owners of late on the dangers of poisonous mushrooms in our midst.

The last possibility is that someone has been feeding the coyotes. This is a really bad idea. When coyotes lose their fear of humans, bad things happen–animals and humans become vulnerable to attack.

Anyway, the thought of a bunch of coyotes wandering around California stoned out of their minds does paint an interesting picture. It seems to me that they might fit right in.