About That Refugee Resettlement Program

Received in my email today from Judicial Watch:

State Dept. Redacts Big Chunks of $22.8 Mil Contract to Resettle Muslim Refugees

MAY 24, 2017

The U.S. government spends billions of dollars to “resettle” foreign nationals and transparency on how the money is spent depends on the agency involved. Judicial Watch has been investigating it for years, specifically the huge amount of taxpayer dollars that go to “voluntary agencies”, known as VOLAGs, to provide a wide range of services for the new arrivals. Throughout the ongoing probe Judicial Watch has found a striking difference on how government lawyers use an exemption, officially known as (b)(4), to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to withhold records. All the cases involve public funds being used to resettle foreigners on U.S. soil and Americans should be entitled to the records.

The (b)(4) exemption permits agencies to withhold trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person which is privileged or confidential. Depending on the government agency and the mood of the taxpayer-funded lawyers handling public records requests, that information is exempt from disclosure. In these cases, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) disclosed a VOLAG contract to resettle tens of thousands of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) that entered the U.S. through Mexico under the Obama administration while the State Department withheld large portions of a one-year, $22.8 million deal to resettle refugees from Muslim countries. Most of the UACs came from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and the Obama administration blamed the sudden surge on violence in the three central American nations. The agency responsible for resettling the minors and issuing contracts for the costly services is HHS.

As a result of Judicial Watch’s work HHS furnished records  with virtually nothing redacted. Disclosed were employee salaries of VOLAGs contracted by the agency to provide services for the illegal immigrant minors, the cost of laptops, big screen TVs, food, pregnancy tests, “multicultural crayons” and shower stalls for the new arrivals. The general contract was to provide “basic shelter care” for 2,400 minors for a period of four months in 2014. This cost American taxpayers an astounding $182,129,786 and the VOLAG contracted to do it was government regular called Baptist Children and Family Services (BCFS). The breakdown includes charges of $104,215,608 for UACs at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and an additional $77,914,178 for UACs at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

HHS rightfully provided all sorts of details in the records, including the cost of emergency surge beds ($104,215,608) for just four months; food for the illegal alien minors and staff ($18,198,000); medical supplies such as first aid kits, latex gloves, lice shampoo and pregnancy tests ($1,120,400); recreation items such as board games, soccer balls and jump ropes ($180,000); educational items like art paper and multicultural crayons ($180,000); laptops ($200,000) and cellphones ($160,000). Hotel accommodations for the BCFS staff was $6,765,000, the records show, and the salary for a 30-member “Incident Management Team” was $2,648,800, which breaks down to $88,293 per IMT member for the four-month period. It was outrageous that the Obama administration spent nearly $200 million of taxpayer funds to provide illegal alien children with the types of extravagant high-tech equipment and lavish benefits many American families cannot even afford for their own children.

This has become a heated issue for the government which may explain why other agencies aren’t as forthcoming in providing specific figures, thus abusing the (b)(4) exemption. The State Department, for instance, redacted huge portions of records involving contracts with VOLAGs to resettle refugees from mostly Muslim countries. The files illustrate the disparate redaction treatment given by different government agencies to the same types of records. The State Department paid a VOLAG called United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) a ghastly  $22,838,173 in one year to resettle refugees that came mostly from Muslim countries. Unlike HHS, the agency redacted information related to what the USCCB charged the government for things like furniture, personnel, equipment and other costs associated with contracts to resettle refugees. Why did one government agency hand over the same types of records that another agency claims are trade secrets? Judicial Watch is challenging the State Department’s (b)(4) exemption and will provide updates as they become available.

HHS and the State Department work with nine VOLAGs to resettle refugees and the voluntary agencies have hundreds of contractors they like to call “affiliates.” It’s a huge racket that costs American taxpayers monstrous sums and Judicial Watch is working to pinpoint the exact amount. Besides BCFS and USCCB, other VOLAGs with lucrative government gigs to resettle refugees are: Church World Service, Ethiopian Community Development Council, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, International Rescue Committee, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Lutheran Immigration Refugee Services and World Relief Corporation.

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When Green Energy Kills Wildlife

On Monday The Daily Caller posted an article about the impact of ocean wind farms on the sonar capabilities of whales and other marine animals. It is known that wind farms impact radar when they are near airports, so it is not really a surprise that they would have an impact of the navigational systems of marine mammals. This report of the death of a family of whales near a wind farm comes from the United Kingdom.

The article states:

The U.K. coastguard received reports of a minke whale calf that had become separated from its mother Friday evening. By the next afternoon, it had been found dead at the mouth of the River Ore, and its mother washed up near Felixstowe. On Sunday, another dead adult whale surfaced, indicating that an entire family could have been killed.

…“There are studies that show that the sounds created by the operational noise of the turbines create vibrations under that may in fact disorient marine mammals like whales,” Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association who regularly discusses the impacts of noise on marine mammals, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “In the case of what looks like this mother and calf, they go on the wrong path and end up disoriented then beaching themselves. The sound kills.”

Both construction and ordinary operations noises from offshore wind turbines can travel immense distances under water. This harms whales, dolphins, marine mammals and fish that communicate with noises in order to breed. For this reason, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) guidelines show that high noise levels can cause marine mammals like whales and dolphins to go deaf and disrupt their vocal communications.

The acoustic disturbances from constructing wind farms and from the wind farms themselves are harmful to fish and water mammals. Combined with the fact that the wind cannot be depended on to generate electricity 24/7 and a backup fossil fuel energy source is needed for those times when the wind dies down, wind energy is not yet at a point where it makes sense. In America, wind farms are killing some of our most magnificent birds. We need to either improve the wind farm technology or look in another direction for alternative energy sources.

When Budget Cuts Are Actually Budget Increases

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about President Trump‘s budget proposal.

The article included the following graph:

As you can see, the federal budget does increase. However, it increases at a lower rate than it would if baseline budgeting were used. Baseline budgeting is a tactic used by people who want to grow the government to convince the rest of us that the sky is falling. It is very simple–if you got a 3% budget increase last year and you get a 2% increase this year, your budget has been cut (even though it grew by 2%).

The article further reports:

Trump’s proposed spending cuts for entitlement programs have been described as “massive,” “sweeping,” and on the surface, the $1.7 trillion spending cuts Trump proposes look massive.

But these reports always leave out one key fact. Spending on entitlement programs isn’t being cut. At least not in the traditional sense of spending less next year than you spend this year. Trump’s budget doesn’t touch Social Security or Medicare, and only slows the growth of the remaining “safety net” programs.

In fact, the projected 10-year spending for all entitlement programs under Trump’s budget would be trimmed by less than 8%. (See the accompanying chart.)

Some analysts say Trump’s budget would end up cutting $1.4 trillion from Medicaid over 10 years, because his proposed $610 billion in savings from reforming the program would come on top of the $800 billion proposed cuts contained in the House ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill. (The budget doesn’t spell this out, but does contain a mysterious “allowance for ObamaCare repeal and replace” line item, with annual savings that match up to spending reductions in the House repeal bill.)

If true, that looks like a huge chunk, even from a program slated to spend $5.3 trillion. But keep in mind that states also contribute almost an equal share to Medicaid. In fact, when you combine federal and state spending, Medicaid is forecast to shell out more than $8 trillion over the next decade.

The article concludes:

Is Trump’s budget perfect? Hardly. We’d prefer that he tackle Social Security and Medicare reform in addition to Medicaid. The ObamaCare repeal savings are likely exaggerated. His $200 billion in infrastructure spending will only whet the appetite of lawmakers.

But on balance, this budget is far more realistic, and more responsible, than anything that ever came out of the Obama White House.

And as a statement of Trump’s governing principles — which is really all the presidents’ budgets ever amount to — Trump’s focus on spending restraint, entitlement reform, work incentives and on removing government impediments to growth is spot on.

In the world of Washington politics, power is measured by how much money you control. Bureaucrats love to spend our money. They will not give up that power easily. There will be a lot of people running around in the coming days yelling “the sky is falling.” They are misinformed. I wish this budget could pass Congress in its present form, but that is highly unlikely. However, I hope that the principles behind the budget will somehow survive and we will see a recognition of the fact that we are currently spending ourselves into destruction. The Washington establishment will not go down easily, but they seriously need to go down.

How Universities Limit Free Thought

On Sunday The Weekly Standard posted an article about some recent events at Duke University’s Divinity School. Paul Griffiths is an English-born possessor, whose specialty is Catholic theology. His resume includes writing ten scholarly books and co-authoring or editing seven others. His resume also includes teaching stints at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The article quotes an email Professor Griffiths received in February:

On behalf of the Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Standing Committee, I strongly urge you to participate in the Racial Equity Institute Phase I Training planned for March 4 and 5. We have secured funding from the Provost to provide this training free to our community and we hope that this will be a first step in a longer process of working to ensure that DDS is an institution that is both equitable and anti-racist in its practices and culture. … We recognize that it is a significant commitment of time; we also believe it will have great dividends for our community. … Duke Divinity School will host a Racial Equity Institute Phase I Training on March 4 and 5, 2017, 8:30—5 pm both days. Participants should plan to attend both full days of training.

Racism is a fierce, ever-present, challenging force, one which has structured the thinking, behavior, and actions of individuals and institutions since the beginning of U.S. history. To understand racism and effectively begin dismantling it requires an equally fierce, consistent, and committed effort” (REI). Phase I provides foundational training in understanding historical and institutional racism. It helps individuals and organizations begin to “proactively understand and address racism, both in their organization and in the community where the organization is working.”

In response to this email, Professor Griffiths sent out the following email:

I exhort you not to attend this training. Don’t lay waste your time by doing so. It’ll be, I predict with confidence, intellectually flaccid: there’ll be bromides, clichés, and amen-corner rah-rahs in plenty. When (if) it gets beyond that, its illiberal roots and totalitarian tendencies will show. Events of this sort are definitively anti-intellectual. (Re)trainings of intellectuals by bureaucrats and apparatchiks have a long and ignoble history; I hope you’ll keep that history in mind as you think about this instance.

The Professor’s email drew the following response from Elaine Heath, dean of the Duke Divinity School:

It is inappropriate and unprofessional to use mass emails to make disparaging statements–including arguments ad hominem–in order to humiliate or undermine individual colleagues or groups of colleagues with whom we disagree. The use of mass emails to express racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry is offensive and unacceptable, especially in a Christian institution.

Dean Heath requested a meeting with Professor Griffiths, but that meeting was never successfully scheduled. Later Professor Griffiths was banned from faculty meetings (therefore prevented from voting in faculty affairs) and banned from future access to research or travel funds (things included in his letter of appointment).

The harassment of the Professor continues:

In early March, Griffiths hears by telephone from Cynthia Clinton, an officer of the OIE, that a complaint of harassment has been lodged against him by Portier-Young, the gravamen of which is the use of racist and/or sexist speech in such a way as to constitute a hostile workplace. A meeting is scheduled for 3/20/17 between Griffiths and representatives of the OIE to discuss this allegation. Griffiths requests from the OIE a written version of the allegation, together with its evidentiary support, in advance of the scheduled meeting. This request is declined by Clinton on behalf of the OIE, as appears typical for these proceedings. Griffiths then declines the 3/20/17 meeting, and sends a written statement to the OIE … (a copy of that statement is here).

Professor Griffiths has tendered his resignation to Duke. What a shame. According to the Duke University website, the total cost of a student spending a year at Duke is about $70,000. I wonder if parents know that they are sending their children to school that does not allow diversity of opinion.

 

 

Bringing The Federal Budget Under Control

The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that one of the steps President Trump will be taking to help balance the budget next year will be reining in tax payments to illegal immigrants.

The article reports:

Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget, set to be released Tuesday, will set higher eligibility standards for the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Monday. According to the administration, the measures will save $40 billion over 10 years.

In May 2014, The Washington Examiner reported:

The Treasury Department has released its latest report on the fight against widespread fraud in the Earned Income Tax Credit program. The problem is, fraud is still winning. And there’s not even much of a fight.

“The Internal Revenue Service continues to make little progress in reducing improper payments of Earned Income Tax Credits,” a press release from Treasury’s inspector general for Tax Administration says. “The IRS estimates that 22 to 26 percent of EITC payments were issued improperly in Fiscal Year 2013. The dollar value of these improper payments was estimated to be between $13.3 billion and $15.6 billion.”

There is no reason to continue funding tax fraud.

The article concludes:

Some anti-illegal immigration groups have said that allowing workers to claim credits without providing a Social Security number amounts to paying illegal immigrants to stay in the country. Conservative lawmakers also have favored tightening the restrictions as a matter of fiscal conservatism.

Liberal groups, though, argue that illegal immigrants pay taxes, such as payroll taxes for Social Security, for which they won’t get benefits. More generally, the low-income tax credits generally benefit needy families, even if they technically did not qualify for the benefits they received.

Why are we running huge budget deficits to pay benefits to people who are not eligible to receive them? This doesn’t make sense to me. It would be nice to see that change.

Losing Our Constitutional Rights One At A Time

Lately the First Amendment has been under attack at our colleges and universities. Speakers who do not hold views considered ‘acceptable’ are either disinvited or violently protested. However, there is another constitutional right that is also under attack–the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Yesterday a website called Circa posted an article about CIA Director John Brennan’s expected testimony before Congress today.

The article reminds us:

As former CIA Director John Brennan faces Congress anew on Tuesday, there is growing evidence the Agency he oversaw has become one of the largest consumers of unmasked intelligence about Americans even though its charter prohibits it from spying on U.S. citizens.

The CIA routinely searches data collected overseas on Americans by the National Security Agency, and frequently requests the names of intercepted U.S. persons to be unmasked, once-secret government documents reviewed by Circa show.

…Brennan himself was required last September to submit an affidavit to a court declaring he would keep his agency from abusing such expanded access to Americans’ private information.

Despite the declaration, there also is evidence that the CIA has broken its rules from time to time, a potential slight to Americans’ privacy protections, the documents show.

Last year, before leaving office, former President Obama relaxed the privacy rules protecting the privacy of Americans accidentally caught up in wiretaps of phone calls. Unfortunately, that policy change has been responsible for some of the leaks coming out of the Trump Administration. The unmasking of the names associated with those leaks was a violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens.

The article explains:

But Circa reported earlier this spring that former President Barack Obama, Brennan’s boss, substantially loosened those privacy rules in 2011 allowing agencies like the CIA and FBI to more easily access unredacted intelligence on Americans. That led to a massive increase in both searches inside the NSAdatabase and the actual unmasking of Americans’ names in intelligence reports, and increased fears that such requests could be abused for political espionage.

Making a request can be as easy as saying a name is needed to understand a report.

In 2016, the NSA unmasked Americans‘ names in intelligence reports more than 1,900 times and was asked to do more than 35,000 searches of intercepted data for information on U.S. persons or their actual  intercepted conversations, according to data released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

The searches for Americans’ names in the NSA database last year amounted to a three-fold increase over 2013. Officials note that their procedures for making such requests have undergone repeated court approvals.

I don’t believe that the fact that the unmasking of Americans’ names increased dramatically during an election year is a coincidence. This is exactly what the people who opposed the Patriot Act feared. Although we need to be able to protect ourselves from attacks by terrorists, we also need to protect the rights of Americans. We have to remember what the Founding Fathers knew–not everyone elected to pubic office is an honest upstanding citizen who will abide by his or her oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. That is the reason we need to make sure our Constitutional protections remain in place.

 

They Are Already Here

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about two recently arrested brothers Abdullah and Majid Alrifahe. The men were arrested while sitting in a parked car in Minneapolis. They had thrown a food wrapper out the window. A passerby confronted them, and they became belligerent, indicating that they were armed. The passerby called the police, the police placed the men in a squad car and did a quick search of the car. They found a hand grenade, weapons, and bomb-making material.

The local news carried the story:

The article at Power Line concludes:

Abdullah Alrifahe is in custody subject to $200,000 bail; he is scheduled to appear in court next month. We can only hope in the meantime that he doesn’t make bail.

Where is brother Majid? What is the brothers’ immigration status? What were they up to?

To be continued.

This could have ended very differently.

 

A Timeline That Raises More Questions Than Answers

On Saturday, Diana West posted a chronology on her blog of the history of the hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC). It is a rather long article, and I suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article. However, there are a few things that are noteworthy that can be mentioned in passing.

When The Washington Post reported that the DNC had been hacked by Russians, they claimed that the source of the information that it was the Russians who did the hacking was “committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.” 

The article reminds us:

These “security experts” are with CrowdStrike, a private cyber security firm hired and paid by the DNC.

While reading the following chronology, it is important to bear in mind that the FBI has never examined the DNC computer network because the DNC prohibited the FBI from doing so. Also, that the FBI, under former Director Comey, not to mention President Obama and the “Intelligence Community,” thought this was perfectly ok.

That’s just odd. Since when does any organization have the right to tell the FBI how to conduct an investigation?

The article continues through a timeline of events:

December 14, 2016: Former UK Amb. to Uzbekistan and Wikileaks associate Craig Murray tells the Daily Mail that he flew to Washington in September 2016 to receive emails from one of Wikileaks’ sources. Both the DNC emails and the Podesta emails, Murray said, came from inside leaks, not hacks. “He said the leakers were motivated by ‘disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.’ “

December 22, 2016: The Washington Post reports CrowdStrike links Russian hacking of the DNC to Russian hacking of the Ukrainian military. Said CrowdStrike’s Alperovitch: ‘The fact that [these hackers] would be tracking and helping the Russian military kill Ukrainian army personnel in eastern Ukraine and also intervening in the U.S. election is quite chilling.” 

This new Russian hacking claim will be widely and loudly debunked by British, Ukrainian and other sources. 

The article ends with some references to tweets involving Seth Rich, who was murdered in Washington in July of 2016. There are some serious questions as to whether or not the murder of Seth Rich is related to the corruption in the Democratic primary elections of 2016, or if he was the source of the leaked material that was so damaging to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

I have no idea if we will ever find out the truth of the ‘hacking’ of the DNC or the murder of Seth Rich. I do hope, however, that the corruption of the Democratic Party during the primary season leading up to the 2016 presidential election will be dealt with by those within the party who may have some small amount of moral fiber. If not, it is a safe bet to say that the Democratic Party will continue to lose voters until they clean up their act.

Hopefully This Was Not A Practice Run

The problem with terrorists is that they are always probing–looking for new ways to create problems for the rest of us. One reason the attacks of 9/11 were so successful is that no one actually believed terrorists would fly planes into a buildings. Now we know that this is not unthinkable. Americans have also learned that terrorists often do practice runs to test our security in various areas. Terrorists also engage in ‘lawfare’ to create court cases that result in changes to security rules and make it easier to attack us in the future. There was an incident on Friday on a flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii that might cause our security people to sleep a little less soundly.

MSN News posted a story this morning stating that on Friday two Air Force fighter jets were scrambled to escort an American Airlines jet into Honolulu International Airport after a disturbance involving a Turkish passenger aboard the plane was reported.

The article reports:

Federal authorities were preparing a criminal complaint to charge Turkish national Anil Uskanil, 25, with interference with a flight crew, Federal Bureau of Investigation special-agent-in charge Paul Delacourt said at a Honolulu news conference.

Delacourt, when asked by a reporter if Uskanil tried to break into the cockpit, said the Turkish man was in the aisle of the plane and it was “unclear what his motivation was”.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) police said separately that Uskanil had been detained, questioned and released hours earlier after he was caught by security there going through a terminal concourse door leading out to the airfield.

Los Angeles airport police spokesman Rob Pedregon said Uskanil was a ticketed American Airlines passenger with a boarding pass who had cleared security screening but claimed that he lost his way because he was tipsy from drinking.

As he did not appear to meet the criteria for public drunkenness, police let him go with a citation for misdemeanor trespassing, Pedregon said. He was escorted to the street in front of the terminal when released, Pedregon said.

Because the LAX incident occurred at about 2:45 a.m. Pacific time, nearly three hours before the first flights of the day, he would have had ample time to get through security again and catch a plane to Hawaii as scheduled.

This is how someone could probe airport security–go through a door they were not supposed to go through to see what happens next and then claim to be drunk and lost. This is not a comforting story. However, one of my sons-in-law just reminded me that Americans will not allow an airplane to be hijacked again–we have learned our lesson. The article states that the man was subdued by an off-duty law enforcement officer and others aboard the aircraft. The only way to prevent future hijackings is for everyone on an airplane to take responsibility for the safety of the plane. If you are young and fit, you can attack a potential hijacker. If you are older or not fit, you can throw something. There are many ways to stop a potential hijacker. Meanwhile, we have to be alert to probes of the security at our airports and on our airplanes.

A Problem Made Worse By Failure To Deal With Another Problem

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article yesterday about a problem in Boston that unfortunately has become a problem throughout the nation. The number of heroin overdoses in all fifty states has risen dramatically in recent years.

According to the Center for Disease Control website:

As heroin use has increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths:

  • Heroin-related overdose deaths have more than quadrupled since 2010.
  • From 2014 to 2015, heroin overdose death rates increased by 20.6%, with nearly 13,000 people dying in 2015.
  • In 2015, males aged 25-44 had the highest heroin death rate at 13.2 per 100,000, which was an increase of 22.2% from 2014.

This is a nationwide problem. However, each area of the country has its unique source or the problem. In Boston, Massachusetts, the problem is leaked to the problem of illegal immigration.

The article at Power Line reports:

I want to focus on certain findings in the BRIC report regarding drug traffickers. According to the report, only 39 percent of those arrested for Class A Trafficking claimed to have been born in the United States. 26 percent claimed to have been born in Puerto Rico. Records showed, however, that 65 percent were born in a foreign country, with the Dominican Republic accounting for 84 percent of the foreign born arrestees.

The numbers add up to more than 100 percent because, in many cases, the records listed multiple places of birth.

The problem of multiple places of birth listed for the same person can be explained by the fact that identify fraud is involved in many of these arrests.

The article concludes:

It would seem, then, that there is a connection between heroin trafficking in Boston and illegal immigration. However, Steve Robinson, writing on the web page of the Howie Carr show, notes that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh offered to open City Hall as a sanctuary to illegal aliens facing deportation under the Trump administration. In addition, says Robinson, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker has resisted President Trump’s efforts to withdraw law enforcement grants from towns and cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in the enforcement of immigration laws.

Might not better cooperation with federal authorities in enforcing our immigration laws — enacted by Congress, not by President Trump — help rid Boston of some who are killing Bostonians via drug overdoses?

Why would anyone even consider a law that would allow illegal aliens dealing drugs to stay in America? Everyone who comes to America illegally has broken the law. However, not everyone who comes here illegally continues to break the law. We need to gain control of our immigration so that people who want to come here and assimilate and contribute to America can come and people who want to come here and take advantage of America’s government assistance programs will be kept out. Under our present laws, people who come here illegally are not able to legally work and sometimes resort to identity fraud in order to make a living and survive. We need to find a way to let productive people stay in the country. I would suggest that illegals be given the right to work, but be barred from voting for life. It is time to get control of our borders and to know exactly who is in America.

Some Things Can Be Done Better Without The Government

This video was posted at YouTube yesterday by The Daily Signal. It is the story of Solutions for Change, an organization that is helping solve homelessness in Vista, California. The organization does not receive federal aid because the program requires residents to be drug-free.

The article summarizes how Solutions for Change makes a difference:

Instead of simply providing residents a place to sleep, Solutions for Change takes a holistic approach to solving homelessness, requiring residents to go through counseling, take courses in financial literacy, parenting, leadership, and anger management, and eventually, get a job.

 

Solutions for change had to choose between keeping their drug-free policy or accepting federal money. I believe that they made the right choice.

The Lawsuit The Media Has Overlooked (Purposely??)

On Tuesday, Mary 16, Legal Insurrection posted a story about two class-action lawsuits brought against the Democratic National Committee.

The article lists the two complaints involved:

1) It’s shenanigans during the primary to weigh the nomination in Hillary Clinton’s favor.
2) Failure to pay its campaign workers for overtime.

The article explains:

This class action lawsuit has been making its way through the court system since October of 2016, and reports are now available covering the the hearing in the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida in which the DNC requested the base be dismissed.

The lawsuit alleges that the DNC and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz violated the DNC charter and helped tip the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton.

As most conservatives usually have little interest in liberal politics, and the media has even less desire to cover this topic, it took some searching to discover interesting analysis from Bernie supporter and Washington DC show host Tim Black and Huffington Post author H.A. Goodman: Seven Jaw-Dropping Revelations From DNC Fraud Lawsuit’s Motion to Dismiss.

The article lists the seven revelations (taken from the CounterPropa website):

1. The crux of the Motion to Dismiss asserts the Judge is not in a position to determine how the Democratic Party conducts its nominating process.
2. The Democratic Party views itself as having authority to favor a candidate without any legal repercussions.
3. Judge Zloch appeared skeptical, noting the Democrats’ interest to obscure the guarantee of the Party’s impartiality clause.
4. The Democrats insist that “impartial” cannot be defined, so the DNC’s impartiality clause is akin to a political promise in that it can not be guaranteed.
5. DNC’s legal counsel appeared unaware of any procedures in place to determine how the DNC supports state parties as they conduct individual primary nominating contests.
6. The Democrats’ lawyers takes the position that while the Democrats are not legally obligated to conduct the primary fairly, they did in fact conduct the 2016 primary fairly.
7. In closing remarks, U.S. Federal Court district judge emphasized: “Democracy demands the truth”.

Has anyone seen any reports in the mainstream media about this lawsuit?

It was noted in the Legal Insurrection article that some Democratic Workers who supported the platform plank of a $15 per hour minimum wage were not paid anywhere near that amount. Another example of do as I say, not as I do.

 

A Quick Summary Of The Trump Economy

Elections have consequences. Thank goodness that one of the consequences of the 2016 presidential election is a rollback of some of the regulations that were crippling the American economy. The Gateway Pundit has a summary of what has happened to the American economy under President Trump:

The DOW daily closing stock market average has risen nearly 14% since the election on November 8th. (On November 9th the DOW closed at 18,332 – on May 19th the DOW closed at 20,804).
* Since the Inauguration on January 20th the DOW is up 5%. (It was at 19,827 at January 20th.)
* The DOW took just 66 days to climb from 19,000 to above 21,000, the fastest 2,000 point run ever. The DOW closed above 19,000 for the first time on November 22nd and closed above 21,000 on March 1st.
* The DOW closed above 20,000 on January 25th and the March 1st rally matched the fastest-ever 1,000 point increase in the DOW at 24 days.
 * On February 28th President Trump matched President Reagan’s 1987 record for most continuous closing high trading days when the DOW reached a new high for its 12th day in a row!
* The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ have both set new all-time highs during this period.
* The US Stock Market gained $2 trillion in wealth since Trump was elected!
* The S&P 500 also broke $20 Trillion for the first time in its history.

Somehow this news has escaped the mainstream media.

The article also includes the following:

The article goes on to list job statistics and home sales statistics. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article.

The article concludes:

In Summary

President Obama left President Trump with a weak economy and all sorts of domestic and foreign policy nightmares.  To date President Trump has had little time to address all of these messes but if he handles these as well as he has the economy Americans will soon be in a much better and safer place.

Overall based on the above data it is clear that President Trump is doing a solid, if not excellent job.

The mainstream liberal media won’t report this, but when looking at the economy, President Trump the businessman thumps the former community organizer Barack Obama.

Despite what the media is telling us, this does not sound like a White House in chaos. It sounds like a White House that is getting the country back on a solid economic footing despite tremendous opposition from the media.

While You Were Watching The Political Circus…

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that at the beginning of May the total continuing claims for unemployment benefits ran at the lowest level in 28 years. The workforce participation rate in April was 62.9 percent (in March it was 63.0). That number has been hovering at 62 and 63 percent since January of 2012.

The article reports:

Over the past month, the average number of continuing claims per week has clocked in at 1.95 million, the lowest number in 43 years.

Those numbers were released as part of the department’s weekly jobless claims report, which is valued by investors and government officials because it provides a frequently-updated indication of new claims for unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs. Fewer layoffs means more job creation.

Thursday’s report showed just 232,000 new claims, adjusted for seasonal variations, for the week ending on May 13. That was the lowest number in nearly three months, and an extremely low mark by historical standards.

…At 4.4 percent in April, the unemployment rate is already below where Federal Reserve officials thought it could sustainably go if the economy were fully healthy.

Jobless claims below 300,000, economists calculate, go along with steady or declining unemployment, meaning that the unemployment rate could fall further still.

Deregulation, efforts to repeal ObamaCare, and the development of America’s energy resources have a lot to do with the economic growth that has begun under President Trump. Note that all three of these things involve an undoing of President Obama’s policies. Elections do have consequences, and the 2016 election has had very positive economic consequences.

After A While It Just Gets Silly

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial reminding us of how many times we have watched the Democrats and the media attempt to bring down a President. It worked once. The Democrats and media liked the experience so much that they have been trying to duplicate it ever since.

The editorial reminds us:

On May 1, 1981, thousands of protesters marched in Washington to denounce President Reagan‘s economic and social policies. The event was billed as ”Days of Resistance to Roll Back Reaganism.” (Sound familiar?) At the event, at least two speakers called for impeaching Reagan.

”Our purpose is to turn this country around,” one said. ”Getting rid of Reagan is the first step.”

In early 1983, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said Reagan should be impeached “for incompetence.” Later that year, he called for impeaching Reagan over his military action in Grenada.

Jesse Jackson wanted Reagan impeached in 1984 for mining Nicaragua’s harbors. Texas Rep. Henry Gonzalez and six other Democrats introduced a resolution to impeach Reagan in 1987 over the Iran-Contra affair.

Gonzalez pushed to have President George H.W. Bush impeached in 1991 because of the Gulf War.

Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Robert Wexler introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush in 2004 that centered on the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, global warming and the 2004 elections.

Conyers filed a resolution in 2005 calling for Bush’s impeachment, and was still publicly advocating it by 2007. And Kucinich kept pushing for impeachment into Bush’s last months in office.

Most of these efforts were aided and abetted by the media. It is truly a shame that our Fourth Estate has chosen to become a Fifth Column.

The article continues:

Heck, Rep. Maxine Waters — who is currently making a big stink about impeaching Trump — first called for his impeachment before Trump was inaugurated. Rep. Alan Grayson was talking up Trump’s impeachment before he’d even secured the Republican nomination.

What is newsworthy, however, is the fact that some Democrats outside the Beltway — as well as some inside the Beltway — are urging their colleagues to get a grip.

In an interview with Politico that aired online this week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel warned that the party’s monomaniacal focus on the president wasn’t doing anything to make Democrats more appealing to voters who cast ballots for Trump last November.

“We don’t talk about and fight for the middle class like we are,” he said. “We believe we’re for them, but they don’t — if they don’t hear we’re for them, then we got a problem.”

Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere said Emanuel “thinks everyone in Washington is too focused on the crazy around Trump to see what’s actually going on — and what’s not.”

Meanwhile, the American voters are not buying into this garbage. They are looking at the economic improvement, the reduction in regulations, and efforts to help the middle class made by the Trump Administration.

It is really wild when the sane Democrat on the subject of impeachment is Dennis Kucinich, not known for always being the most rational voice in the room. This is his comment:

“This is about the political process of the United States of America being under attack by intelligence agencies and individuals in those agencies,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday.

“You have politicization of agencies that is resulting in leaks from anonymous, unknown people and the intention is to take down a president,” he said. “Now, this is very dangerous to America. It’s a threat to our republic. It constitutes a clear and present danger to our way of life.”

The American people voted. In three years they will get to vote again. If the Democrats continue to behave like spoiled two-year-olds, they can expect to continue to lose elections. That’s fine with me.

It Really Is All About The Money

None of the predictions made about global warming have come through–the polar bear population has increased, New York City is not under water, and there have not been more catastrophic hurricanes (remember Andrew, Camille, and Hazel?).

WattsUpWithThat reports:

Guest essay by Dr. Susan J. Crockford of polarbearscience.com * see update below on the % number

Survey Results: Svalbard polar bear numbers increased 30 42% over last 11 years

Results of this fall’s Barents Sea population survey have been released by the Norwegian Polar Institute and they are phenomenal: despite several years with poor ice conditions, there are more bears now (~975) than there were in 2004 (~685) around Svalbard (a 30 42% increase) and the bears were in good condition.

So what is all the fuss regarding global warming about? Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted a commentary about global warming.

The commentary reports:

Just when you think the climate change lunacy couldn’t get any worse, the U.N.’s climate-crats up the ante. Meeting in Bonn, Germany, for yet another unneeded climate conference, attendees are now demanding $300 billion a year more to help less-developed nations cope with anticipated climatic warming. Are they kidding?

By the way, that $300 billion is in addition to the $100 billion that the world’s governments have already promised to deliver under the Paris Climate Agreement. So now they’re asking for a total of $400 billion a year in climate welfare for the developing world. No sane government would sign on to such a scam. Which of course means that most of them probably will.

There’s really no end to this insanity. To make it worse, the proposal before the Bonn climate talks calls for the added taxpayer-funded cash to be doled out not by the governments themselves, or even the U.N. No, the money will be channeled through existing nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs.

In other words, left-wing green groups around the world will become the conduits for billions of dollars in money handed out to ethically challenged, nondemocratic governments. Think there might be a tiny temptation for corruption there?

It gets worse when you realize that most of the countries that would wind up with this money are run by tyrants and that none of that money would actually be used to raise the standard of living for the average citizen of that country.

The article concludes:

We have suggested before, and we will repeat now, what the only rational response to such financial and scientific lunacy should be: to cease all cooperation with the U.N. on its global warming schemes — which amount to little more than a massive effort to redistribute wealth from rich nations to poor nations, and to put all free people directly under the controlling thumbs of global bureaucrats.

That means we should pull out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which President Trump promised to do as a candidate, but has yet to do as president. It’s a costly fraud perpetrated on the America people by morally preening global socialists. It’s time to make the world great again.

So Which Answer Is Actually True?

The source for this story is The Gateway Pundit.There are a number of stories from various sources on the internet reporting the same thing. There are some serious problems in the charge that President Trump interfered in an investigation.

The Gateway Pundit reports:

Former FBI Director James Comey testified under Senate oath May 3rd that the Trump administration had not pressured his agency to halt any investigation for political purposes.

Comey admitted that the FBI has always been free to operate without political interference—flying in the face of Democrats’ paranoid delusions about Russia and President Donald J. Trump, and exposing for what it is a new political witch hunt Wednesday by enemies within the president’s own Justice Department.

Videotaped testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee blows apart the phony narrative New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt wove on Tuesday, which resulted in Mueller’s appointment. Schmidt’s only sources were anonymous. They claimed that on Feb. 14th, the day after National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned, Trump had asked Comey to end an investigation into Flynn’s connections to Russia.

Schmidt’s allegations that Trump attempted to obstruct justice hinged on the sources’ accounts of a memo authored the same day. Schmidt, a Democrat party lackey, admitted he hasn’t even seen the document—dated nearly three months before Comey’s testimony that totally contradicts it.

Comey’s statement to Hawaii Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono from May 3rd, which Center for Security Policy analyst Nick Short noted Wednesday, exposes the Democrats once again for their political gamesmanship.

The Gateway Pundit reports that lying during sworn congressional testimony is committing perjury, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison. The Special Prosecutor was appointed to investigate the wrong thing. Let’s hope he realizes that quickly.

Using Watergate As A Template

The Watergate Scandal began a period of Democratic control of Washington that essentially lasted until the 1990’s. Ronald Reagan won the Presidency, but the Democrats controlled Congress. The Watergate Scandal played a role in the Democrats obtaining and keeping that power. It was their high watermark of political influence. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that they would like to repeat their success. Unfortunately for the Republican party, this time they have a few turncoat Republicans helping them.

This is a quote from an article I posted in March:

The actions of the Democrats during Watergate provide a preview of what is happening now. Watergate was a high watermark in the politics of personal destruction. In his book, Inside the Real Watergate Conspiracy, the author, Geoff Shepard, states:

“It seems clear that without Cox’s intervention, the federal prosecutors would have issued indictments at least by August 1973, and the public’s desire to know that the government was seriously pursuing the Watergate case would have been fully satisfied. Indeed, on May 24, 1973, the U.S. attorney publicly stated that comprehensive indictments were imminent; and the prosecutorial memo submitted to Cox on his arrival stated that the case was all but closed.”

As Americans, we need to make sure that this sort of manipulation of the news does not happen again. Today we have an alternative media that we did not have then. Hopefully that will make a difference. At any rate, we need to be aware of what is being attempted.

As Democrats and some Republicans applaud the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel there are some things we need to remember. First of all–no investigation has turned up any evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign to impact the 2016 election. Second of all–the longer these accusations can be dragged out, the more people will accept them as fact. Third of all–if the Democrats can turn the heat up high enough with fake stories, they may be able at least to vote on impeachment. The don’t have the votes to impeach President Trump, but impeachment hearings might win them some votes among some Americans (or it could seriously cost them votes as the impeachment of Bill Clinton cost the Republicans votes).

What we have watched this week is political theater. Unfortunately it is political theater played without any sense of truth or fairness. It is a glaring example of the fact that the swamp in Washington needs to be drained–and Donald Trump is not the problem. The media has created chaos with anonymous sources and unseen memos. The chaos is not from the Trump Administration, it is from a media that is trying very hard to reverse the votes of the American people.

The Deep State At Work

No one ever suggested that fighting an entrenched Washington establishment would be easy. My husband used to have a sign on his desk at work that said, “When you are up to your neck in alligators, it is hard to remember that your objective was to drain the swamp.” That is a very accurate picture of what the Trump Administration is dealing with.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the latest attempt by the Deep State to bring down the Trump Administration.

The article reports:

Always remember the basic rule that has been proven accurate 100% of the time:

  • When the CIA wants to leak a damaging story they coordinate with the Washington Post and ABC. (and vice-versa).
  • When the State Dept. or FBI/DOJ wants to leak a damaging story they coordinate with CNN and the New York Times. (and vice-versa)

This consistent pattern has NEVER been broken.

Tonight using “unnamed” and the most vague descriptions of  “anonymous sources” The Washington Post creates a fake news story specifically timed to release at the 5pm hour to hit President Donald Trump.

This is the tweet the Washington Post used to begin the attack on the Trump Administration:

The article at The Conservative Treehouse provides the timeline:

Transparent Media Agenda:

  • First indication is the timing of the Washington Post news release (5:02pm EDT).
  • Second indication coordination with NYT for immediate follow (6:26pm EDT)
  • Third indication – Same exact pattern as Flynn intelligence leaks. Identical timing.
  • Fourth indication – Same use of entirely anonymous sources: “former American government official” ie. an Obama official.
  • Only 3 U.S. Officials actually in the room with first-hand information:  National Security Advisor HR McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Senior Adviser for policy, Dina Powell.
  • Publication motive/intent – The Washington Post never contacted anyone in the White House for questions, nor did they ask McMaster, Tillerson or Powell for comment before publication.  All three call the Post article – fake News.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It provides a lot of insight into how the media manipulates facts to create a narrative that may not be true. The good news here is that those in the Trump Administration responded to this attack quickly, and it was quickly revealed to any thinking person that this was fake news.

It is very obvious that the long knives are out to get Donald Trump. The good news is that the people attacking him are becoming desperate and more blatant in their attacks and their disregard for the truth. If the media continues in this direction, they will lose whatever following they have left. That is good news.

 

Don’t Look For This On Tonight’s News

Lifezette is reporting the following today:

A class-action suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in October by residents of 45 states against both the committee and Wasserman Schultz for “intentional, willful, wanton, and malicious” conduct in violating Article 5, Section 4 of the DNC Charter.

They  represent three classes of plaintiffs: donors to the DNC, donors to the Bernie Sanders campaign, and all registered Democrats — and they want their money back.

On April 25, the court held a hearing on a motion to dismiss, with the DNC’s lawyers arguing that the party has every right to pick candidates in back rooms.

Then why did they spend the money on state primary elections?

The article concludes:

A WikiLeaks document dump also revealed that former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile appeared to favor Clinton when she leaked a Democratic primary debate question to Clinton in an email. Sanders supporters cried fowl. But the media largely spurned them in favor of dogging Trump.

“The elephant in the room for the DNC isn’t Trump or the GOP or Bernie bros or Russian hackers; it is its own elitist, corporatist, cronyist, corrupt system that consistently refuses to listen to the will of the people it hopes to represent,” McClennen wrote. “This all proves that the DNC has a serious problem not only with the democratic process but also with the very idea of representing the will of its constituents.”

The Democrats needed someone like Donald Trump to shake up their primary process!

There Is A Certain Amount Of Irony In This

The political left spends a lot of time complaining about income inequality. They place the blame for that on CEO’s of large companies that are compensated well. Yes, CEO’s are compensated well. They also work a lot of hours a week and have spent a lot of time getting the education that qualifies them for the job they hold. But somehow, they are the villains that are responsible for wage inequality. Well, we have another villain,

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about the compensation paid to union officials.

The article reports:

Leading union officials earned an average salary of $252,370 in 2016, outpacing the average salary of private sector chief executives, according to a new report.

The Center for Union Facts compiled the salary information from federal labor filings of 192 of the largest national, state, and local unions. The report found that labor presidents enjoyed nearly a $60,000 advantage over the take-home pay of the nation’s business leaders, who earned an average of $194,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average compensation of union officials, which includes salary and other perks, was $283,678, according to the report.

One of the complaints of the unions is the ratio of the average CEO’s salary versus the wages of the average worker.

The article further notes:

Airline Pilots Association President Timothy Canoll was the highest-paid union official, according to the federal data. He earned total compensation of $775,829 with a base salary of $526,292. The union, which is a member of the AFL-CIO, gave Canoll about $250,000 in perks in addition to the take-home pay, including $24,000 in allowances and $29,000 in official business expenses, such as meals and entertainment. He was given $196,534 in compensation classified as “Other.”

The claim of wage inequality is bogus to begin with. Like it or not, people are paid according to the scarcity of their skills and their value to a company. It is also noteworthy that somehow when the discussion of wages comes up, athletes, and movie starts are not generally mentioned. How much do they make in relation to the wages of the people who work for them?

Wage inequality is a fake issue, and the hypocrisy of those on the political left regarding union executive wages makes that very obvious.

A Few Reminders About Current Accusations

I don’t even have the words to explain how tired I am of hearing the accusation that Russia helped Donald Trump win the election. The obvious answer to this charge is ‘how?’ However, as this charge is bandied about, there are a few things that need to be noted.

The investigation into the so-called Russian interference began with an alliance between John Brennan, CIA Director, and British Intelligence. In April I reported (here) that the ex-MI6 agent who created the dossier that accused President Trump of behaving badly in Russia was being paid by Fusion GPS to perform opposition research against Donald Trump. That dossier was part of the basis for the wiretapping and investigation into Donald Trump and Russia.

I want to back up and take a look at one of the people involved in the charges against President Trump regarding Russia. I would like to note at this point that so far there is no evidence of any wrongdoing between President Trump and Russia. But let’s look at who is involved in the investigation.

John Brennan was Director of the CIA until President Trump took office. When President Trump took office, John Brennan was replaced by Mike Pompeo. It was assumed in 2016 that the next President of the United States would be Hillary Clinton. There were a lot of people in Washington doing a lot of things to ensure that they would remain in their positions under a Clinton presidency. FBI Director Comey probably would have assured his position in the new administration by his July press conference where he listed the charges against Hillary Clinton and invented a new reason not to prosecute her–she didn’t intentionally break the law. John Brennan would have preferred a Hillary Clinton presidency because she would have continued President Obama’s policies that chose to ignore the relationship between Islam and terrorism.

It is important to remember that in October 2011, then Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, John Brennan, received a letter from Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates. The letter demanded an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism. The letter insisted that officers, analysts, special agents, and decision-makers who created or made these materials available be fired or re-trained. In 2012, that purge was executed. Evidently, John Brennan was not serious about dealing with Islamic terrorism. President Trump obviously takes a different view.

There is a swamp in Washington that needs to be drained. All efforts to drain this swamp will be met by resistance by the Washington elite, the media, and those in the swamp seeking to retain their jobs. Please keep this in mind as you follow the news and attempt to sort fact from fiction. Keep in mind that Russia had no reason to help Donald Trump win the election and every reason to want Hillary Clinton to become President–in addition to the fact that Hillary could be blackmailed (her private server was probably hacked by at least three or four foreign powers), Hillary had been such a failure at the State Department, there was no reason to believe that she would actually accomplish anything as President. It should be noted here that frequent flyer miles are not an accomplishment.

While the media is attempting to distract us with a totally irrelevant and useless investigation of cooperation between candidate Trump and Russia, they are ignoring a lot. There have been some major accomplishments during the beginning of the Trump Administration–undoing some of the regulations that are crippling American businesses, discussions with foreign leaders that have led to some apparent cooperation between the U.S. and China, and some substantial reductions in government spending. These have been overlooked (I believe purposely) in favor of a fake scandal. It is time to realize that the mainstream media has become a force for political propaganda. Because of that, they need to be ignored.