Why The Support For Repealing ObamaCare Was Not There On Friday

Yesterday The Conservative Review posted an article about the fact that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pulled the bill to repeal ObamaCare because there were not enough votes to pass it. Well, that’s what happens when you change the rules in the middle of the game.

The article quotes a statement made by Speaker Ryan in January of 2016 after Obama vetoed the bill:

It’s no surprise that someone named Obama vetoed a bill repealing Obamacare, and we will hold a vote to override this veto. Taking this process all the way to the end under the Constitution. But here’s the thing the idea that Obamacare is the law of the land for good is a myth. This law will collapse under its own weight or it will be repealed. Because all those rules and procedures Senate Democrats have used to block us from doing this that’s all history. We have shown now that there is a clear path to repealing Obamacare without 60 votes in the Senate. So next year if we’re sending this bill to a republican president it will get signed into law. Obamacare will be gone … [emphasis added]

But the bill they sent to the Republican president (Donald Trump) was not the same bill that they had sent to President Obama.

The article concludes:

This week, Speaker Ryan should abandon his RINOcare bill and bring the 2015 reconciliation bill to the floor of the House for a vote.

It’s time to stop the bait and switch.

Donald Trump is the elected President of the United States. One of the reasons he was elected was that the voters were tired of the kind of behavior illustrated by Speaker Ryan. The problem Friday was the broken promise of Speaker Ryan–it was not the Freedom Caucus who expected Speaker Ryan to keep his word.

Why We Need To Increase Military Spending

On March 23rd, The Sacramento Bee posted an article with the following headline, “Yes, Obama-era cuts left US too weak to deal with multiple global menaces.”

The article points out that there are currently multiple threats to the United States worldwide.

The article explains:

The global forces of instability are growing, especially in three parts of the world where regional peace and stability are particularly important to the U.S.

The solidity of Europe, Asia and the Middle East is threatened by Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and the transnational Islamist threat spearheaded by al-Qaida and the Islamic State.

Individually, none of these powers rise to the level of menace posed by the old Soviet Union. But when one of these threats acts up, we cannot expect the others to stand down. Indeed, we can expect them to try to exploit the situation.

For that reason, the U.S. must have the capacity to deal with all of them at once, and here we have a problem. While we need to be able to respond globally, the Pentagon no longer has a global-size force.

Because former President Obama chose to ignore the growing instability around the world, he did not prepare the United States to deal with it.

The article reports:

The Heritage Foundation‘s annual Index of U.S. Military Strength objectively measures the ability of our armed forces to protect vital national interests in a multi-conflict scenario.

And the measurement shows that, in terms of capacity, capability and readiness, the military has been in noticeable decline for years. In the 2017 index, the military’s overall ability to provide the hard power needed to prevail in a multi-conflict scenario was rated as “marginal.” Subsequent assessments suggest no change in the downward trend.

It is time for Americans to realize that we have to take a really good look at our budget priorities. The time has come to go back to the budge priorities set by our Founding Fathers. The federal government was supposed to be weak, and the state governments were supposed to be strong. The federal government has no business being involved in either health insurance or education–those are state issues if individual states choose to deal with them. There are many areas that the federal government has taken control over that they have no constitutional right to be involved in. Our Founding Fathers never planned to have generations of families who never went to work a day in their lives because other Americans were supplying all of their needs. We have turned a helping hand into a crutch. That is not healthy for either the people receiving the handout or the people giving the handout. The government does not have the right to take money from people who earned it and give it to people who did not. In any other context that would be called robbery.

What Is Happening At Our Colleges?

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article some recent events at Swarthmore College. The administration of the college has announced that it may discipline five students for taking over an administration building for four hours last month. The students have responded with disappointment and confusion.

The article reports:

The demonstrating students are part of Swarthmore’s Mountain Justice group, a campus organization which is perpetually demanding that Swarthmore’s trustees sell all the fossil-fuel stocks in the school’s luxurious $1.9 billion endowment portfolio.

The latest divestment protest occurred on Swarthmore’s campus on Feb. 24, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

…Then, on March 17, Swarthmore’s administration sent disciplinary citations to five of the students. The quintet of protesters now faces punishments ranging from a mere warning to possible probation.

In a statement, Swarthmore president Valerie Smith observed that the college has a long tradition of student protest, but noted that the protesters “crowded into” Amstutz’s (Mark C. Amstutz, the chief investment officer) office and prevented him “from completing all but the most menial of tasks and restricting his movements and rights.”

The students “were warned multiple times that they were in violation of the student conduct policy and were given the chance to move to the hallway to continue their protest,” Smith said.

Turns out, keeping administrators from doing their jobs is a violation of Swarthmore’s student conduct policies.

The students claim that they broke no rules and even helped with shredding some papers in the office. Wow. I wonder if they were papers that Amstutz wanted shredded.

There are a lot of things to think about in this article.

The article reminds us:

Swarthmore costs $63,550 for a single year of tuition, fees and room and board.

By way of comparison, Swarthmore’s $1.9 billion endowment is worth more than the entire annual gross-domestic product of Belize.

The students who attend Swarthmore are either very smart and go there on a scholarship or they are the children of privilege. These students find it disappointing and confusing that they were expected to follow the rules listed in their student handbook. Theoretically, these students would be the leaders of tomorrow. If they cannot even follow the rules in the student handbook, what kind of leaders will they make?

The article concludes with an amazing fact:

In 2014, a then-sophomore at Swarthmore, Erin Ching criticized her school for allowing Christian conservative thinker Robert George to speak on campus. “What really bothered me is, the whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion,” Ching whined — apparently without irony.

Wow.

The Cost Of Raising The Minimum Wage

On Friday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about a new minimum wage law in Washington, D.C.

The article reports:

Washington, D.C. will lose thousands of jobs as the district’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 goes into effect, while the higher wages will primarily benefit workers in the surrounding suburbs, according to a new report by the city’s chief financial officer.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser spearheaded the effort for a $15 minimum wage, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Analysis by the city’s Office of Revenue Analysis, however, says the plan could cost the district 2,500 jobs by 2026, the Washington Times reports.

The district’s minimum wage is currently $11.50 an hour and each year will grow by 70 cents until it reaches $15 in three years. After 2020, the minimum wage will grow based on inflation.

The article explains that the probable impact of the increase in the minimum wage will be to bring more workers into Washington from the neighboring suburbs. This will increase the competition for jobs within the city and make it more difficult for residents of the city to find jobs.

The article concludes:

D.C. passed a measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 for hourly employees in June. Critics immediately castigated the law at the time.

“Unfortunately, it’s employees and small businesses who will pay the tab,” Michael Saltsman, research director of the free market Employment Policies Institute, told the Washington Free Beacon at the time.

D.C. restaurants lost 1,400 jobs in the first six months of 2016 and experienced their worst hiring period in 15 years. Suburbs in Virginia and Maryland added nearly 3,000 jobs over the same period.

Setting The Narrative

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article that beautifully illustrates how the media shapes our opinion.

The article opens with the story of the role the media played in establishing the legacy of John F. Kennedy after he was killed:

On November 29th, a week after JFK was killed and four days after he had been laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery beneath an eternal flame lit by his widow and brothers – a flame that still burns today – the newly widowed Jacqueline  Kennedy summoned the Pulitzer Prize winning author Theodore H. White to the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. White, who had won his Pulitzer for writing The Making of the President 1960, the groundbreaking book on JFK’s winning presidential campaign, dutifully responded, notebook in hand. 

White was not selected by accident. He had become an admirer and friend of the young President. He was a friendly journalist. The new widow chose him specifically because she had something she wanted to say for history – something she wanted to accomplish. And she wanted White to do it for her in the pages of arguably the most famous publication of the day — Life magazine.

…Why is this important to recall now? While the term had not yet been invented in 1963, what Mrs. Kennedy was doing —  with the ready acquiescence of Theodore White and Life magazine —  was creating the media narrative of JFK’s presidency. Today the liberal media does this all the time.

The article goes on to contrast the way that the mainstream media treated President Obama with the way the mainstream media is treating President Trump.

There were some very obvious lies told by President Obama. Five of the more obvious lies are listed by conservative author Jack Cashill in the New York Post all the way back there in 2014:

My father left my family when I was two-years old.”

…“The Fast and Furious program was a field-initiated program begun under the previous administration.”

…There was “Not even a smidgen of corruption” in the Obama administration.

…“We revealed to the American people exactly what we understood at the time.”

…“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

Please follow the link above to read the entire article with the explanations of the lies.

These are obvious lies, yet the media never called President Obama on his lies. The article reminds us:

But what is the liberal media narrative Time — and other outlets — are pumping out there? The Obama presidency was fabulous.He was young, glamorous, literate, and oh so smart. The economy roared along. The world respected us. The eight years of Obama were like those three years of the Kennedy Camelot. And most importantly of all? The president told the truth. 

Fast forward to the media reporting about President Trump. The article reminds us that today at least we have the alternative media to help us find the truth:

So here we go again. Trump lies is the new media narrative. This is nothing more than the latest way to attack not only Trump but the newest Republican president. It succeeds the liberal media narrative about President Bush 43 (“Bush lied! People died!”) and the liberal media narrative of Mitt Romney. Romney, recall, was portrayed as having killed a steel workers wife by denying her health care! He beat up a gay kid! He was cruel to his dog! And on and on it goes, all the way back to 1964 GOP nominee Barry Goldwater and his alleged affection for the Nazis. (Really!)

America is a long, long way from that sad week in November of 1963 when a grieving First Lady made it her business to set the media (and history’s) narrative about her late husband. What’s changed is that creating liberal media narratives is a full time occupation  (obsession?) for today’s liberal media.

The difference between 1963 and today is that there is a conservative media around to correct the record.

 

Somehow A Lot Of The Media Missed This

On March 20, The Washington Times posted an article about the impact of HB2 (also known as the bathroom bill) on the North Carolina economy. Despite much of the media in North Carolina telling you that the bill has hurt the state economically, the actual numbers tell a different story.

Here are some basic facts taken from the article:

Tourism has thrived: Hotel occupancy, room rates and demand for rooms set records in 2016, according to the year-end hotel lodging report issued last week by VisitNC, part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

Meanwhile, North Carolina ranked fourth in the nation for attracting and expanding businesses with the arrival of 289 major projects, and seventh in projects per capita — the same as in 2015, according to Site Selection magazine, which released its 2016 rankings in the March edition.

North Carolina finished first for drawing corporate facilities in the eight-state South Atlantic region, said Site Selection, which uses figures tracked by the Conway Projects Database.

And in November, both Forbes and Site Selection magazine ranked North Carolina the No. 2 state for business climate.

Also unscathed was the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which registered at 5.3 percent in January 2016 and 5.3 percent in January 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The figures released almost exactly a year after the bill’s passage appear to fly in the face of predictions of economic doom made by opponents of HB2. The Center for American Progress estimated in April that the state would lose more than $567 million in private-sector economic activity through 2018.

Obviously the predictions of gloom and doom if HB2 passed were not true. I have stated before that I truly believe if you asked parents of high school children whether or not they wanted members of the opposite sex in their children’s high school locker rooms, the answer would be a resounding NO. I understand that there are a small number of people impacted by this law, but the answer is simply to allow them private changing and restroom facilities. The same people who support ‘safe spaces’ for college students because their candidate lost the last election should at least support private spaces for students and others struggling with their sexuality.

Why ObamaCare Was Not Repealed

I used to be a Democrat. Then I used to be a Republican. Now I am an unaffiliated voter because there is not a conservative party that believes in smaller government. The Republicans used to believe in smaller government, but they have forgotten who they are. Yesterday was a glaring example of that fact. The Conservative Review posted an article yesterday about the failure of the House of Representatives to vote on the repeal (and replacement) of ObamaCare. The headline of the article is, “How DARE House Freedom Caucus hold GOP accountable to its promises!?” For me, that pretty much sums up what happened.

The article reminds us:

In 2016, the GOP-controlled Congress passed a clean repeal bill through the reconciliation process. It was sent to Barack Obama who vetoed it, as CNN reported at the time. In 2017, Rand Paul (R-Ky) has offered a bill that does many of the same things, as the 2016 legislation.

CNN reported:

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon passed legislation that would repeal ObamaCare, and after more than 60 votes to roll back all or part of the law, the bill (to) dismantle it will finally get to the President’s desk.

But it won’t stay there long; President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any Republican bill that guts his signature health care law, a five-year-and-counting effort.

The vote was 240-181, largely along party lines.

The article goes on to explain that members of the House Freedom Caucus wanted the 2016 bill to be voted on in this session of Congress. It is very annoying to those of us who have followed this story closely (rather than listen to what the media is telling us) that the Freedom Caucus is being blamed for the failure of this bill. This is simply not true. As usual, the establishment GOP has dissed its voters.

The article concludes:

It’s pretty easy to see who one should truly be disgusted at. It’s not Mark Meadows (R-NC), and the other members of the Freedom Caucus. It is Paul Ryan and his leadership team, who refuse to offer the bill they already passed in 2016 as the model they would use if they had a president who would sign it.

Ryan now has a president who would sign the 2016 legislation that easily passed in a campaign year as the blueprint for repeal. He refused to bring it to a vote, lest it show that the GOP campaign promises mean nothing. The Freedom Caucus is absolutely right to insist that the House and Senate do so.

President Trump is a very smart man, but I believe that he does not yet fully understand the backstabbing that is an everyday part of Washington. I believe Paul Ryan purposely stabbed President Trump in the back. Paul Ryan has become part of the Republican establishment that is fighting to maintain the status quo. The Republican establishment would like to see President Trump fail as much as the Democrats would. As ObamaCare collapses, which it will, the establishment Republicans will be the ones who will bring us nationalized healthcare. That is truly sad. It can be prevented, but it needs to be done quickly and decisively. It may be time to change the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives.

Encouraging Voter Fraud

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about welcome baskets given to refugees coming to Nebraska. Below is the YouTube video included in the article:

Actually, I think it is very nice that the Democratic Party is giving these refugees welcome baskets with a welcoming letter. I suppose it is sweet to also give them voter registration forms before they are actually citizens who can vote. Nothing like encouraging voter fraud.

When You Don’t Do It Right, You Have To Do It Over

A.P. Dillon at American Lens is reporting today that a bill has been proposed in the North Carolina House of Representatives to accept the findings of the Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC) and get rid of Common Core.

I attended most of the ASRC meetings. I was at the meeting where the findings of the Mathematics and English Language Arts Committees gave their results. What I witnessed was the total perversion of the purpose of the Commission. On December 30, 2015, I posted a letter from a member of the Commission who did not agree with the final actions of the Commission. I have also posted other information and letters about the Commission. You can access those by using the search engine on this website at the top of the page and putting in “ASRC”. It became obvious in the final ASRC meeting that the Commission was set up to maintain the status quo of Common Core.

The article explains:

Representative Larry Pittman has introduced a bill to get rid of Common Core and has aptly named it, “Actually Get Rid of Common Core.” The Primary sponsors joining Pittman are Representatives SpecialeFord and Boswell.

House Bill 417 seeks to replace Common Core with the recommendations that the ASRC had originally proposed and then killed in their last meeting.

…The Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC), which was created by a bill whose title said the ASRC was being created to REPEAL AND REPLACE COMMON CORE, was actually stacked against fulfilling that purpose. Common Core was not repealed and replaced. It was merely renamed and slightly tweaked.

This bill would correct that by requiring that the proposed math standards offered by the Math Work Group of the ASRC actually be adopted, and that the English Language Arts standards offered by Dr. Sandra Stotsky to the State, free of charge, be adopted.

…The bill passed its first reading on March 22nd and has been referred to the Committee on Education – K-12.

The idea of explaining mathematical principles to students at the elementary level (as Common Core did) is valid, but to demand cumbersome solutions to simple addition problems took all the joy out of learning mathematics for these children. It will be wonderful to see that corrected. This bill is definitely a step in the right direction.

This Is Not Incidental Data Collection

As I have listened to the Congressional hearings, I have heard the term ‘incidental data collection‘ mentioned as the reason there were transcripts of conversations between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador. Well, that excuse is no longer valid. The Gateway Pundit posted an article today that included information from a whistleblower who Congressional investigators chose to ignore. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article. It is chilling to realize how seriously the rights of American citizens were breached and that people in high places chose to try to bury the information on the surveillance.

The article cites a letter from the whistleblower to Representative David Nunes from the General Council at Freedom Watch.

The article includes the following excerpt from the letter:

If these charges are true, and it sounds as if the whistleblower has the information to back them up, some of our highest government officials belong in jail. It truly is time to drain the swamp.

I’m Not Sure What The Underlying Strategy Is On This

John Hinderaker at Power Line is reporting this morning that the Democrats plan to filibuster the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch.

The article reports:

It seems odd, too, that Schumer didn’t even wait until the hearing on Gursuch’s nomination has been concluded to announce the Democrats’ filibuster. This would appear to support the view that the decision is political and has little to do with the merits of Gorsuch’s nomination.

I don’t know how to explain Schumer’s announcement, except as evidence that 1) Senate Democrats perceive that they need to cater to the party’s hysterical base, and 2) they are convinced that the filibuster, as to Supreme Court nominees, is dead in any event.

This is an awkward decision–Judge Gorsuch was confirmed by voice vote by the U.S. Senate on July 20, 2006. In September 2016. He was respected by members of both parties. He has done nothing in his career since his 2006 confirmation that warrants any changed votes. It is unfortunate that the choosing of a Supreme Court Justice is now a political exercise rather than a judgement on qualifications. I would like to point out that the Republicans gave Democratic presidents most of their nominees (with the exception of following the Biden Rule, which the Democrats have now chosen to ignore). An elected President should be able to put his nominees on the Supreme Court. In this case, because President Trump released a list of potential nominees during the election campaign, the people who voted for him obviously approved on the list. The filibuster may please the base of the Democratic Party, but I suspect it will make moderate Democrats (if there are any left) very unhappy.

It’s Amazing What Comes To The Surface

Politico posted an update today on the hearings in the House Intelligence Committee.

The article reports:

Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under U.S. government surveillance following November’s presidential election, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday.

Nunes said the monitoring appeared to be done legally as a result of what’s called “incidental collection,” but said he was concerned because it was not related to the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and was widely disseminated across the intelligence community.

“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” Nunes told reporters. “It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”

Nunes said he is heading to the White House later Wednesday to brief Trump on what he has learned, which he said came from “sources who thought that we should know it.” He said he was trying to get more information by Friday from the FBI, CIA and NSA.

Nunes described the surveillance as most likely being “incidental collection.” This can occur when a person inside the United States communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be kept secret — but can be “unmasked” by intelligence officials under certain circumstances.

…It was previously known that Flynn’s pre-inauguration phone calls with Russia’s ambassador were intercepted by the U.S. government; he resigned last month after it became clear he misled his colleagues about the nature of the calls.

Nunes has said Flynn’s calls were picked up through incidental collection and said his committee is investigating why Flynn’s name was unmasked and leaked to the news media.

Obviously, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador were taped and transcribed. Because he has talking to the Russian ambassador, that is not unusual. What is unusual is for the transcripts of those calls to be leaked to the press with his name on them. That is against the law. The person who did that belongs in prison.

As this investigation continues, it is becoming obvious that candidate Donald Trump was under government surveillance during the campaign and after he was elected. That is a serious violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. This surveillance is one reason many Congressmen opposed the Patriot Act–they feared the kind of political abuse of the law that the Obama Administration was evidently guilty of. There are many stories out there documenting the surveillance of Donald Trump and his campaign. I have not posted some of them because I am not familiar with the sources. However, those sources are beginning to look reliable.

Better Late Than Never

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon reported on a Supreme Court ruling that happened on Tuesday.

The article reports:

The court ruled Tuesday that Obama appointee Lafe Solomon illegally served as acting general counsel to the National Labor Relations Board from 2010 to 2013. Solomon, who once violated the agency’s ethics rules, should have vacated the position in accordance with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) after the Senate refused to take up his nomination to serve as permanent general counsel in 2011, the court found in a 6-2 opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts. The appointment was an “end-run around” the Constitution.

“We cannot cast aside the separation of powers and the Appointments Clause‘s important check on executive power for the sake of administrative convenience or efficiency,” the majority ruled.

The case came to the court after the NLRB filed unfair labor practice charges against an Arizona-based ambulance service, Southwest General, following union complaints.

David Phippen, a management-side labor attorney at the firm Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, said the decision clarifies the meaning of the FVRA.

“The case is a reminder that the language of the FVRA statute means what it says and must be followed, not ignored by Presidents, as appeared to be the case here,” Phippen said in an email. “The decision … appears to make it somewhat more difficult for Presidents to put ‘her or his people’ into important agency positions unilaterally, i.e.,  without approval of the Senate.”

The article notes that Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg were the only Justices who dissented from the majority vote.

On another note, the media spin on this story is very interesting. While The Washington Free Beacon focused on the case and the fact that the actions of President Obama were unconstitutional, Yahoo News posted the following headline about the story:

Supreme Court restricts Donald Trump’s power to fill temporary government posts

This case had nothing to do with Donald Trump, although it will prevent him from ignoring the Constitution, as President Obama did.

Changing the Wrapping Doesn’t Change The Package

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line about the changes made to the ObamaCare replacement bill.

The article quotes Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton:

“Despite the proposed amendments, I still cannot support the House health-care bill, nor would it pass the Senate. The amendments improve the Medicaid reforms in the original bill, but do little to address the core problem of Obamacare: rising premiums and deductibles, which are making insurance unaffordable for too many Arkansans. The House should continue its work on this bill. It’s more important to finally get health-care reform right than to get it fast.”

The article at Power Line states the following:

If, under a Republican plan, premiums/deductibles continue to rise, people will believe that Obamacare’s replacement made things worse. They will blame Republicans and the GOP will pay a heavy price.

No Republican should support replacement legislation unless he or she is confident it will result in better outcomes with regard to premiums/deductibles. If Democrats won’t support legislation that’s likely to produce that result, Republicans should either push such legislation through without Democratic support (overruling the Senate parliamentarian) if necessary or let such legislation be voted down.

Republicans have no obligation to pass replacement legislation they don’t like in order to patch up Obamacare. The Democrats created the current mess. If they won’t cooperate with the GOP in fixing it properly, Republicans shouldn’t take the political hit that would come with pretending to fix it on their own.

I left the Republican Party because I felt that they had forgotten their commitment to smaller government and had become part of the problem rather than part of the solution. The current ObamaCare replacement bill is a perfect example of that. Republicans were told that if we gave them the House, ObamaCare would be gone. When it wasn’t gone, we were told that if we gave them the House and the Senate, ObamaCare would be gone. When it wasn’t gone, we were told that if we gave them the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, ObamaCare would be gone. If this bill passes, it won’t be gone. We will simply have ObamaCare Light, a bad bill that the Republicans would be totally responsible for–just as the Democrats were totally responsible for ObamaCare. That is not a step forward–it is a step backward! Please, Republicans, do not pass this bill. Simply repeal ObamaCare. Then you can fight over its replacement. Don’t break faith with the voters.

 

The Real Issue In The Hearings About Russia And The Election

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about the hearings on possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The article states:

President Trump posted video following the intelligence hearing pointing out there was no evidence of collusion with Russia.

Trump continued:

“The real issue is the unbelievable amount of classified information that has been illegally leaked, putting our national security at risk – must get to the bottom of it!”

President Trump represents the idea of shrinking government and going back to the form of government originally envisioned by our Founding Fathers–a weak federal government and strong state governments. That idea is a serious threat to the entrenched bureaucracy and the globalists who want to undermine American sovereignty. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people working in Washington who are feeling very threatened by President Trump’s policies because they have gotten fat and happy as members of the Washington establishment. These are the people behind the leaks, behind the fake news, and doing everything they can to block what President Trump is trying to do. Remember as you read all the stories that say the wiretapping claims are false that The New York Times posted a story on January 20th saying that there were wiretaps. As far as I know, that story has never been recanted. The claim of Russian involvement in our elections is simply a shiny object to distract us from the excessive leaking which is going on and the attempts by the Washington establishment to undermine President Trump. If the media and Democrats are successful in taking down President Trump, I can guarantee that we will lose the protections on our citizens found in the U.S. Constitution. Be alert, and don’t fall for the spin.

Giving Land Management Authority Back To The States

On March 10, One America News Network reported that congress has used the Congressional Review Act to roll back aggressive land use regulations that undermined local land management in many western states implemented by the Obama Administration in the last days of that administration.

The article reports:

“In the West particularly where the abundance of of our natural public lands are at, we want to make sure we have access to those lands and make sure that our local communities are engaged in the planning process, as well. Local governors, as well. The 2.0 rule was implementing a process where communities weren’t having that actual input and supplanting the actions our governors could take, as well,” Tipton (Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton) explains.

It was that 2.0 rule, implemented by the Bureau of Land Management or BLM that caused Westerners to object. The rule would have taken many land and resource management decisions away from states and localities. Tipton says his legislation will reverse that.

“You know, our lands are incredibly important in the State of Colorado in my district and access to those public lands. Keep them in the public domain, but let’s make sure we are having the opportunity to grow businesses, let’s make sure that we’re using resources going to be responsible. And protecting the land as well. And we want to make sure that we are having a place at the table. With our state government when there is a planning process on those lands,” Tipton said.

More local control of local public lands that happen to be owned by the federal government. That’s what western states want, but that was not what the Obama administration was doing, says Frontiers for Freedom President George Landrith who got his start as staff member for a Wyoming senator.

At the time the article was written, the legislation was approved by the House and the Senate and was waiting the President’s signature. This is another move back to the government our Founding Fathers created. The Tenth Amendment specifically states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

We need to get back to our Constitution.

The Politicization Of The Supreme Court

In 1987, Judge Robert Bork was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Bork was a man of character who had a sterling record as a judge. Bork served as a Yale Law School professor, Solicitor General, Acting Attorney General, and a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was, however, a judge who believed in the Constitution as it was written–a problem for the Democrats. The attack on Judge Bork was without merit and brutal.

Senator Ted Kennedy, not a man of character, stated:

Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy … President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice.

None of this was true, but the mainstream media loved it. We can expect the same kind of inappropriate behavior by the Democrats in dealing with the nomination of Federal Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Breitbart posted an article today about the comments by Senator Ted Cruz on the nomination.

Senator Cruz stated:

“A decade ago, Judge Gorsuch was confirmed by this committee for the Federal Court of Appeals by a voice vote,” Cruz said. “He was likewise confirmed by the entire United States Senate by a voice vote without a single Democrat speaking a word of opposition.

“Not a word of opposition from Minority Leader Chuck Schumer,” Cruz said. “Not from Harry Reid, or Ted Kennedy, or John Kerry.”

“Not from Senators Feinstein, Leahey, or Durbin, who still sit on this committee,” Cruz said. “Not even from Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Joe Biden.”

“Not a one of them spoke a word against Judge Gorsuch’s nomination a decade ago,” Cruz said.

Senator Cruz also pointed out that candidate Donald Trump put out a list of the people he would nominate for the Supreme Court. That list was part of the election process, and the American people were able to consider that list when voting.

The article also reminds us:

Notwithstanding its leftist political leanings, the American Bar Association (ABA) earlier this month gave Gorsuch a “well qualified” rating to serve as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ABA has three ratings for judicial nominees: not qualified, qualified, and well qualified. The ABA’s standing committee on the federal judiciary was unanimous in granting Gorsuch its highest rating.

Judge Gorsuch needs to be confirmed quickly. He is well qualified. His becoming a member of the Supreme Court will not impact the balance of the Court, although that should really not be a part of the deliberation.

Whoops!

Was President Trump wiretapped during the presidential campaign? America‘s spy agencies say no. However, that doesn’t seem to be the end of the story.

The American Thinker posted a transcript today of an interview of Larry Johnson by CNN’s Brian Stelter.

This is the transcript:

STELTER: “Let me ask you about this thing.”
JOHNSON: “Sure.”
STELTER: “So my sense is that on Monday, Napolitano says this on TV, he says he has Intel sources who believe this is true. You’re saying you were one of those sources, but you didn’t know Napolitano was going to use you like that?”
JOHNSON: “What happened was I communicated, when Donald Trump tweeted what he did Saturday two weeks ago, the next day I was interviewed on Russia today. I had known about the fact that the British, through ghcq were information back channel, this was not at the behest of Barack Obama, let’s be clear about that. But it was done with the full knowledge of people like John Brennan and Jake clapper. Two people I flow within the intelligence community in January, they were very concerned about this because they saw it as an unfair meddling in the politics, but it was a way to get around the issue of American intelligence agencies not collecting.”
STELTER: “To be clear, you have this secondhand? So you didn’t get this information directly, you’re hearing from others.
JOHNSON: “I’m hearing it from people who are in a position to know, that’s correct.”

Obviously, there will be more information on this story in the coming days. The question is, “Who ordered the surveillance?”

Comments On A Current Scandal

This is not a news article—this is a rant from an old person who is concerned about the activities of the current younger generations. There is no source for this article although it is the result of the news we have recently seen about the scandal in the Marine Corps regarding nude pictures and videos. Admittedly, I come from a generation that was more accustomed to privacy—we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. to post pictures of our lunch and other activities. The older generation had a different concept of privacy than the current generations.

I don’t find it odd that men would look at pictures of naked women. I don’t find it odd that a man would look at an explicit video. I do question the wisdom of the women posting these pictures or videos. A good rule of thumb is to never put anything on the internet that you wouldn’t mind seeing on the front page of The New York Times or on the evening news. Even if the pictures of videos were not intended for the internet, there is no guarantee when you give a person a picture or a video that the picture or video will never be seen by anyone else. Again, wisdom is called for. Never put anything on film or in your phone or laptop that you don’t want to go public. These pictures and videos could create a serious problem if a future employer were to see them.

I don’t know what the eventual punishment of the people involved in this scandal will be. It is my hope that the people who created the pictures and videos will be disciplined as well as those who set up the Facebook page to view them. There are no victims here—the women who created the pictures and videos are not victims—the pictures and videos were created with their consent. They are guilty of bad judgement, just as the men who set up the Facebook page are guilty of bad judgement.

As I have previously stated, I am part of a generation that believed in privacy. These pictures and videos devalue the women that made them. They are the result of the lies that many women are told about their value and about their role as women.  My advice to a woman whose boyfriend or husband asks for such a picture or video is to find another boyfriend of husband. You are worth more than that.

I am sure there will be some serious consequences for the people involved in this scandal. It is my hope that they will learn from their mistakes and be more prudent in their actions in the future. I also hope that the women involved begin to realize their true worth and that the men involved begin to respect the women in their lives rather than viewing them as sex objects.

Sad News For Those Of Us Who Remember New York City In The 1960’s

The New York Daily News is reporting today that columnist Jimmy Breslin has died. During the 1960’s, Jimmy Breslin was a columnist for the New York Herald Tribune. His columns were insightful and often hilarious. They were the subject of many conversations in my house when I was growing up. He wrote many books, but my two favorites are Can’t Anyone Here Play This Game, a book about the 1962 New York Mets (who were an adventure in themselves) and The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight based on the life of Joey Gallo (later made into a movie).

Jimmy Breslin was definitely a product of New York. Born in Jamaica, New York, he attended Long Island University.

The Daily News article describes the article that got him noticed:

In 1963, Breslin was hired as a news columnist for the New York Herald Tribune and quickly made his mark.

He was sent to cover the funeral of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, and found an angle that eluded other reporters. Breslin’s story about Clifton Pollard, the man who dug the President’s grave is still one of the most talked about stories in journalism history, even used in J-school courses as a prime example of enterprise reporting.

“One of the last to serve John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was the thirty-fifth President of this country, was a working man who earns $3.01 an hour and said it was an honor to dig the grave,” Breslin wrote.

Over the next quarter century Breslin was a scoop machine, scoring exclusives on government corruption and Mafia malfeasance.

His unique views on the events of the day and the humor he added to reporting those events will be missed.

Some Random Comments On President Trump’s Budget Proposal

The first thing to keep in mind when viewing this budget is that President Trump made his money by negotiating real estate deals. He is a negotiator. I seriously doubt that his proposed budget will pass exactly as proposed. I suspect there is some wiggle room built into his budget. That being said, however, the budget moves in the direction of cutting spending, an anathema to lobbyists and professional politicians in Washington, but a necessary strategy to protect the financial futures of our children and grandchildren.

The Heritage Foundation has a number of articles analyzing the budget proposal. I chose the article posted yesterday for highlights.

Here are a few comments on President Trump’s proposed budget from The Heritage Foundation:

The new budget proposal put a high priority on national defense. While the FY18 defense boost would be fully paid for with cuts to nondefense programs, the proposal would raise the FY17 Budget Control Act caps by $10 billion. Boccia (Romina Boccia, Deputy Director, Thomas A. Roe Institute) suggests that the president “should set a precedent this year that budgeting is about prioritizing which means fully offsetting any new spending.”

All-in-all she says, “the proposed cuts to non-defense programs, together with executive actions to streamline federal agencies and cut waste, signal that this administration is serious about cutting the bloated Washington bureaucracy down to size. Congress should work with the administration to bring greater accountability to government and to eliminate federal programs that intervene in areas that are rightfully the domain of the private sector or state and local government.”

Two other experts comment on the State Department cuts:

Brett Schaefer (Jay Kingham Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs) and James Carafano (The Heritage Foundation’s Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, E. W. Richardson Fellow, and Director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies) weigh in on the budget cuts to the State Department, saying, “the cuts to the State Department budget proposed by the Trump administration largely represent a return to focusing taxpayer dollars on the business of true statecraft and away from funding global pet projects championed by the Obama administration.” 

Furthermore, they add “the State Department budget grew roughly 30 percent under President Obama, yet the jump in spending has failed to make the world safer for the United States or our allies. North Korea continues to threaten Japan and South Korea, Iran – further emboldened by a misguided nuclear deal – is destabilizing the Middle East, and Russia continues to exert itself over eastern Europe largely unchecked. The administration is right to refocus on supporting statecraft that will advance American interests and benefit our allies.” and James Carafano weigh in on the budget cuts to the State Department, saying, “the cuts to the State Department budget proposed by the Trump administration largely represent a return to focusing taxpayer dollars on the business of true statecraft and away from funding global pet projects championed by the Obama administration.”

The article also examines the changes in education spending:

“For the first time in decades, the Trump administration is significantly trimming the budget at the U.S. Department of Education, demonstrating a commitment to restoring federalism in education,” according to Lindsey Burke, Director of the Center for Education Policy at Heritage.

Burkes argues, “the budget correctly zeroes out funding for various programs, such as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program and the Supporting Effective Instruction state grants program.” According to her, “ it is not appropriate for the federal government to fund high school counseling programs, after-school programs, teacher professional development and a myriad other programs it currently runs.”

The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

It seems that we have forgotten the Tenth Amendment when we produce federal budgets. It is time to get back to the country our Founding Fathers designed. That includes an end to career politicians and an end to the bloated federal government.

Countering Fake News

The major media sources are all abuzz with the fact that President Trump is denying food to senior citizens by cutting Meals on Wheels. How awful. How awful that the media is reporting something that is not true. Meals on Wheels only gets a small percentage of its funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs. The cuts President Trump is making will have little or no impact on Meals on Wheels.

The Conservative Review posted an article today explaining the details:

President Donald Trump is catching hell from the media over accusations that his budget will cut off funding for Meals on Wheels as part of his proposal to eliminate funding for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs.

Most of the media’s hysterics are exaggerating the effects of the Trump proposal, or being downright dishonest about CDBGs. Examine what Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mulvaney actually said during Thursday’s press conference on the budget, in response to a question on Meals on Wheels.

“As you know, or I think you know, Meals on Wheels is not a federal program,” he began. “It’s part of that community that CDBGs — the block grants that we give to the states, and then many states make the decision to give that money to Meals on Wheels.” (emphasis added)

The article goes on to mention that the government has spent $150 billion on CDBG programs since 1970 and has no results to show for it.

The article explains the problem:

This program is ineffective because the administration of these funds is often absolutely corrupt. In 2013, the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee identified “more than $770 million in questionable costs and included recommendations for putting $739.5 million in HUD funds to better use.” The subcommittee identified CDBGs as one of HUD’s largest programs that “lack proper oversight” and are “especially vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse.”
The article goes on to list some of the abuses in past use of CDBG money. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. President Trump is acting like a businessman–he is cutting funds to programs that do not work and moving funds to programs that show results. If we are ever to find a way out of our increasing debt, these are the steps that will be necessary. It is a shame that the mainstream media wants to continue to increase the debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off.