The Opioid Epidemic In Eastern North Carolina

Last night I attended a forum on the opioid problem in Eastern North Carolina hosted by the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (cctaxpayers.com). The forum was held at the Stanly Hall Ballroom. Some of the panelists speaking were Sheriff Asa Buck from Carteret County, Sheriff Chip Hughes from Craven County, Sheriff Chris Davis from Pamlico County, a representative from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney Scott Thomas, and District Court Judge Clinton Rowe. There were also representatives from groups dedicated to helping those who are addicted to opioids overcome their addictions.

There were many things mentioned that were really good to hear, but there were two things that stood out. The first was the level of cooperation between law enforcement in the counties represented to fight this problem. Our law enforcement agencies are working hard together to combat drugs in our communities. The second thing that stood out to me was the effort made to help any drug user that interacts with the law fight the addiction that he is dealing with. The level of cooperation among police, district attorneys, and judges to help individuals caught up in the drug scene was encouraging to hear. The coordination between law enforcement and programs that help addicts offers hope to those using drugs and their families.

This was a very informative forum, and hopefully portions of it will be broadcast on CCTA Wake-Up Call this Sunday at 11 am and 9 pm on 107.1 WTKF. (The show airs at 9 pm during the football season and 8 pm after the football season is over. I am honestly not sure whether the football season is considered over or not). Please take the time to listen to the show to hear what is being done to fight this problem.

 

The Value Of Doing Your Research

Sometimes people on the radio say things that are so ridiculous that you have to back up and wonder if they really believe the nonsense they are spouting. There was a blatant example of that on the David Webb show on Tuesday during David Webb’s interview with CNN analyst Areva Martin. For those of you not familiar with the David Webb Show, David is a black conservative who hosts a very low key, informative show. The Daily Caller posted the story yesterday.

The article reports:

Sirius XM radio host and Fox News Contributor David Webb brought Martin onto his radio show to discuss diversity in media, and he noted that he has always considered his accomplishments to be more important than his skin color when applying to jobs.

“I’ve chosen to cross different parts of the media world, done the work so that I’m qualified to be in each one. I never considered my color to be the issue — I considered my qualifications to be the issue,” Webb explained.

Martin, apparently unaware that she was talking to a black man, said that Webb’s approach to media came from a place of white privilege.

The article continues:

“That’s a whole other long conversation about white privilege, which assumes that you have the privilege of doing what people of color don’t have the privilege of,” Martin said.

“How do I have the privilege of white privilege?” Webb asked with an air of confusion.

“David, by virtue of being a white male, you have white privilege,” Martin replied.

Webb paused for a moment and then dropped a metaphorical bomb on Martin’s argument.

“Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped. I am black,” Webb asserted. “You’re talking to a black man who started out in rock radio in Boston … that’s actually insulting.”

Martin apologized for her comment and insisted that her team gave her incorrect information about Webb’s race.

Webb refused to let Martin off the hook, explaining that it was unacceptable for Martin to make assumptions about any person or his or her level of privilege because of his or her skin color.

I think all of us would do well to get rid of our pre-conceived notions and stereotypes about race. This conversation was hilarious to anyone who is familiar with David Webb.

Who Has The Transcript? Who Is Leaking The Transcript? Why Is It Being Leaked?

Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner today about James Baker’s two interviews with House of Representatives investigators last October. The article notes that Republican Rep. Mark Meadows called parts of Baker’s testimony “explosive.”

The article reports:

Republicans intended to make the interview transcripts public. The questioning was not conducted in a classified setting, and Baker had FBI and other lawyers with him the whole time. But the House still had to send the transcripts to the FBI for clearance, just to make sure public release would not reveal any classified or otherwise secret information.

If Republicans hoped for a quick OK from the bureau, they were sorely disappointed. October passed. Then November. Then December. And now, half of January. The FBI still has the transcripts, and there is no word on when the bureau will clear them for release.

Even though the transcripts have not been released, they are in the news.

The article explains:

Two major news stories in the past few days have been based in whole or in part on what Baker told lawmakers. Some news organizations appear to have read the transcripts, or at least significant portions of them, or had them read to reporters by someone with access. Suddenly, the Baker transcripts are hot.

Again, the FBI still has the transcripts and is not yet saying when they will be cleared for release.

It seems as if both The New York Times and CNN have reported on information in the transcripts (along with comments by Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows):

The Baker excerpt, revealing the criminal investigation, is a new and important part of the story of the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation. Release of the full transcripts could shed new light on the FBI’s use of the Trump dossier in the Russia probe. But they remain secret — and it is the FBI that has the final word on whether and when to allow the release of information that is unflattering to the FBI.

The second big story that came in part from the Baker transcript was the New York Times piece last Friday headlined, “FBI Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia.”

The story caused intense excitement in anti-Trump circles. “Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security,” the Times reported. “Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”

In the piece, the bureau’s reasoning was explained by references to … the secret Baker transcripts. The paper said Baker told lawmakers that the FBI viewed President Trump’s firing of Director James Comey as a national security issue. “Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security,” Baker said in the still-secret testimony, according to the Times. The paper said portions of the testimony “were read to The New York Times.”

Not long after, CNN published an article, “Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was ‘following directions’ of Russia.” CNN quoted significant portions of the Baker transcripts, in which Baker said the FBI wanted to know if Trump “was acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing [Russia’s] will.”

It’s time for the FBI to stop playing games and release the transcripts. If there are rogue elements of the FBI that will be revealed in these transcripts, so be it. It is time that we cleaned up our justice system and brought back transparency and equal justice under the law.

 

An Anonymous Article

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an anonymous article written by someone they know to be a senior official in the Trump administration. I am posting the full text of the article because I believe all of it is very important. I have no additional comments.

As one of the senior officials working without a paycheck, a few words of advice for the president’s next move at shuttered government agencies: lock the doors, sell the furniture, and cut them down.

Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form.

The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.

On an average day, roughly 15 percent of the employees around me are exceptional patriots serving their country. I wish I could give competitive salaries to them and no one else. But 80 percent feel no pressure to produce results. If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.

Why would they? We can’t fire them. They avoid attention, plan their weekend, schedule vacation, their second job, their next position — some do this in the same position for more than a decade.

They do nothing that warrants punishment and nothing of external value. That is their workday: errands for the sake of errands — administering, refining, following and collaborating on process. “Process is your friend” is what delusional civil servants tell themselves. Even senior officials must gain approval from every rank across their department, other agencies and work units for basic administrative chores.

Process is what we serve, process keeps us safe, process is our core value. It takes a lot of people to maintain the process. Process provides jobs. In fact, there are process experts and certified process managers who protect the process. Then there are the 5 percent with moxie (career managers). At any given time they can change, clarify or add to the process — even to distort or block policy counsel for the president.

Saboteurs peddling opinion as research, tasking their staff on pet projects or pitching wasteful grants to their friends. Most of my career colleagues actively work against the president’s agenda. This means I typically spend about 15 percent of my time on the president’s agenda and 85 percent of my time trying to stop sabotage, and we have no power to get rid of them. Until the shutdown.

Due to the lack of funding, many federal agencies are now operating more effectively from the top down on a fraction of their workforce, with only select essential personnel serving national security tasks. One might think this is how government should function, but bureaucracies operate from the bottom up — a collective of self-generated ideas. Ideas become initiatives, formalize into offices, they seek funds from Congress and become bureaus or sub-agencies, and maybe one day grow to be their own independent agency, like ours. The nature of a big administrative bureaucracy is to grow to serve itself. I watch it and fight it daily.

When the agency is full, employees held liable for poor performance respond with threats, lawsuits, complaints and process in at least a dozen offices, taking years of mounting paperwork with no fear of accountability, extending their careers, while no real work is done. Do we succumb to such extortion? Yes. We pay them settlements, we waive bad reviews, and we promote them.

Many government agencies have adopted the position that more complaints are good because it shows inclusion in, you guessed it, the process. When complaints come, it is cheaper to pay them off than to hold public servants accountable. The result: People accused of serious offenses are not charged, and self-proclaimed victims are paid by you, the American taxpayer.

The message to federal supervisors is clear. Maintain the status quo, or face allegations. Many federal employees truly believe that doing tasks more efficiently and cutting out waste, by closing troubled programs instead of expanding them, “is morally wrong,” as one cried to me.

I get it. These are their pets. It is tough to put them down and let go, and many resist. This phenomenon was best summed up by a colleague who said, “The goal in government is to do nothing. If you try to get things done, that’s when you will run into trouble.”

But President Trump can end this abuse. Senior officials can reprioritize during an extended shutdown, focus on valuable results and weed out the saboteurs. We do not want most employees to return, because we are working better without them. Sure, we empathize with families making tough financial decisions, like mine, and just like private citizens who have to find other work and bring competitive value every day, while paying more than a third of their salary in federal taxes.

President Trump has created more jobs in the private sector than the furloughed federal workforce. Now that we are shut down, not only are we identifying and eliminating much of the sabotage and waste, but we are finally working on the president’s agenda.

President Trump does not need Congress to address the border emergency, and yes, it is an emergency. Billions upon billions of hard-earned tax dollars are still being dumped into foreign aid programs every year that do nothing for America’s interest or national security. The president does not need congressional funding to deconstruct abusive agencies who work against his agenda. This is a chance to effect real change, and his leverage grows stronger every day the shutdown lasts.

The president should add to his demands, including a vote on all of his political nominees in the Senate. Send the career appointees back. Many are in the 5 percent of saboteurs and resistance leaders.

A word of caution: To be a victory, this shutdown must be different than those of the past and should achieve lasting disruption with two major changes, or it will hurt the president.

The first thing we need out of this is better security, particularly at the southern border. Our founders envisioned a free market night watchman state, not the bungled bloated bureaucracy our government has become. But we have to keep the uniformed officers paid, which is an emergency. Ideally, continue a resolution to pay the essential employees only, if they are truly working on national security. Furloughed employees should find other work, never return and not be paid.

Secondly, we need savings for taxpayers. If this fight is merely rhetorical bickering with Nancy Pelosi, we all lose, especially the president. But if it proves that government is better when smaller, focusing only on essential functions that serve Americans, then President Trump will achieve something great that Reagan was only bold enough to dream.

The president’s instincts are right. Most Americans will not miss non-essential government functions. A referendum to end government plunder must happen. Wasteful government agencies are fighting for relevance but they will lose. Now is the time to deliver historic change by cutting them down forever.

The author is a senior official in the Trump administration.

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie…

I think “If you give a mouse a cookie…” is going to be my motto for 2019. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a children’s book written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond. The book was published in 2015 and contains more wisdom than most adult books. The basic premise is that if you give a mouse a cookie he will want milk to go with it. Then he will want a chair to sit in and a table to sit at. You get the picture. Well, on January 11th, The Las Vegas Review-Journal posted an article that beautifully illustrates the message of the book.

The article reports:

The Fight for $15 isn’t living up to its promise.

For years, liberals have claimed that the minimum wage needs to increase to $15 an hour to provide a living wage for full-time workers. The stated goal, as socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders writes on his website, is straightforward, “We must ensure that no full-time worker lives in poverty.”

In one way, the campaign has been remarkably successful. California and New York are phasing in a statewide $15 an hour minimum wage. Numerous cities, including Seattle, Minneapolis and Washington D.C., have passed $15 an hour minimum wage laws as well.

But as sure as the sun comes up in the morning, progressives are now demanding more.

“$15 an hour: A higher wage, but hardly a living,” a CBS News headline from October reads. After bemoaning the inadequacy of the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage, the CBS story asserts that “even at $15 an hour, life doesn’t get a whole lot easier.”

The article continues:

“The arrival of a $15 hourly minimum wage cannot be considered the end of something,” New York Times columnist Ginia Bellafante wrote last week. Her suggestion? A $33 an hour minimum wage for the Big Apple.

Ah, the wonders of progressive economics. Just pass a law mandating that everybody must make at least $68,000 a year — with full medical benefits, vacation time and family leave allowances, of course. But why stop there? Why with a stroke of the pen, we could all be millionaires!

The argument for a higher minimum wage is that in some cities housing is very expensive. Might this be an argument for the free market? If housing is too expensive and people cannot easily afford to live there, don’t they move to places they can afford? If people can’t afford housing in a city, doesn’t the availability of housing increase and put downward pressure on the price?  It seems to me that is one of the reasons many states are losing rather than gaining population.

The article concludes:

The minimum wage was never intended to provide a living wage. Most minimum wage workers aren’t trying to make a living. A great many are earning supplemental income. Most are between 16 and 24 and work part-time. Inexperienced workers don’t produce that much value. It can still be profitable for the company to hire them — at a lower wage rate.

This creates a win-win. Companies make money by hiring less expensive workers. The workers receive the experience and training that allows them to move up the career ladder. According to the Heritage Foundation, two-thirds of minimum wage workers see their wages increase within a year of starting their job.

This normal career progression is short-circuited when politicians meddle in the marketplace and set unreasonable wage floors. As some leftists are now acknowledging, it’s not even as beneficial as advertised for the workers who manage to find work.

Raising the minimum wage isn’t going to end poverty. But it can make it worse.

If the minimum wage ever increases to $50 an hour, I promise to come out of retirement!

Shoes? She’s Writing About Shoes?

It’s my blog, and I can write about anything I want. Yes–I am writing about shoes. Americans are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Half of America is waiting for the shoe that says Donald Trump is a Russian agent planted in the White House, and half of America is waiting for the shoe that says the Obama administration misused government for political purposes and that abuse is continuing under the guise of the deep state.

Only one side of this debate has actual evidence (even though much of it has been erased, gone missing, or willfully destroyed–which in itself is telling), so what has the other side got? On Sunday The Washington Post posted an opinion piece with the title, “Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset.” Some items listed were pulling troops out of Syria, doing business with Russia for years, Russians interference in the 2016 election to help President Trump get elected (so far no evidence of that), candidate Trump encouraging Russia to hack into Hillary’s emails (they already had, and he was joking), Paul Manafort owing a Russian oligarch money, President Trump firing James Comey (something the Democrats had previously recommended and Rod Rosenstein wrote the letter for), and President Trump citing the corruption in the FBI and DOJ–the charge is that President Trump has undermined these organizations by citing corruption (how about the leadership undermined them when they allowed them to be used for political purposes).

The opinion piece ends with the following:

This is hardly a “beyond a reasonable doubt” case that Trump is a Russian agent — certainly not in the way that Robert Hanssen or Aldrich Ames were. But it is a strong, circumstantial case that Trump is, as former acting CIA director Michael Morell and former CIA director Michael V. Hayden warned during the 2016 campaign, “an unwitting agent of the Russian federation” (Morell) or a “useful fool” who is “manipulated by Moscow” (Hayden). If Trump isn’t actually a Russian agent, he is doing a pretty good imitation of one.

Last time I checked, you couldn’t convict someone on the basis of your opinion or simply because he won an election. The argument for this shoe seems to be rather weak.

Continuing with this shoe… The Federalist posted an article yesterday with the title, ” NYT Reveals FBI Retaliated Against Trump For Comey Firing. ”

The most important paragraph in the New York Times article states:

No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.

I will discuss the other shoe in my next article.

The Other Shoe

Now it’s time to talk about the other shoe some Americans are waiting to drop.

Let’s talk about the evidence for the government’s abuse of power in dealing with candidate Trump and later President Trump.

Yesterday Joe Hoft posted an article at The Gateway Pundit with the title, “HUGE REVELATION! DEEP STATE LIED! Investigated Trump Campaign with FOUR SEPARATE INDIVIDUAL PROBES – All With Separate Code Names!”

The article reports:

As has been suspected to date, the FBI had four separate investigations – one each on Flynn, Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Manafort. [This is why they were all targeted by Mueller – to attempt to find anything on these individuals to support their spying on them and Trump!]

The article includes documentation on the four investigations and notes that because of “the sensitivity of the matter,” the FBI did not notify congressional leadership about this investigation during the FBI’s regular counterintelligence briefings. So the FBI was purposely avoiding congressional oversight.

On Sunday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article with the title,””Backtracking Lies Worsening – REMINDER: The FBI Counterintelligence Operation into Donald Trump *DID NOT* Start After Comey Firing….

The article reminds us:

John Brennan realized someone has focused attention on Comey’s admission to congress that the FBI intentionally kept congress in the dark during the construct of the counter-intel narrative. Congress was kept in the dark during this phase because the narrative can only thrive with innuendo, rumor, gossip etc. The appearance of the investigation itself was the political need; the substance was non-existent and immaterial to the creation of the narrative.

If Comey notified congress, via the Gang of Eight oversight, the counter-intel narrative would have been harder to manufacture as details would have to be consistent. That’s the benefit to keeping any oversight away while creating the politically useful narrative.

John Brennan, facing the looming certainty of the underlying Russian ‘collusion evidence’ being non-existent, in 2017 was trying to give the appearance that he briefed congress on larger Russian election interference issues. However , the trouble for Brennan is his own admission that these issues were the underlying principle for the FBI counter-intelligence investigation. Brennan specifically says he gave his intelligence product to the FBI.

Additionally, “Brennan put some of the dossier material into the PDB [presidential daily briefing] for Obama and described it as coming from a ‘credible source,’ which is how they viewed Steele,” … “But they never corroborated his sources.”  (link)

The material within Obama’s PDB, placed by Brennan, is what initially set off alarm bells for Devin Nunes (early 2017) because the material underlying the PDB intelligence product was unmasked by Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Today Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial with the following headline, “Deep State: Did Justice, CIA And FBI Commit Crimes To Get Rid Of Trump?”

The editorial reminds us:

The actual investigation by the Justice Department and FBI began during the election campaign. Using half-baked and “unverifiable” intelligence about Trump’s purported links to Russia, officials used the so-called Steele Dossier four separate times for FISA court approval to spy on the Trump campaign.

The only problem is, the Steele Dossier didn’t come from the FBI or Justice Department. It came from Fusion GPS, an opposition research group linked to the Democrats. And Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for it.

“Ostensibly, the surveillance application targeted Carter Page,” wrote Andrew McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and himself a former federal prosecutor. “But Page was just a side issue. The dossier was principally about Trump – not Page, not Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, or other Trump associates referred to by Steele. The dossier’s main allegation was that Trump was in an espionage conspiracy with Russia to swing the election to Trump, after which Trump would do Putin’s bidding from the White House.”

So for all intents and purposes, the Deep State holdovers from the Obama administration were serving as an adjunct to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Early on in the investigation, CIA chief John Brennan convened multi-agency meetings about Trump. They included Peter Strzok, the head of the FBI’s counter-intelligence, and James Clapper, national intelligence director under Obama, among others.

The premise of the meetings, again, was that Trump possibly colluded with the Russians to hack our election and might even be an agent of Russia.

This is the shoe that has evidence attached. I can promise you that if the rogue members of the DOJ and FBI are not held accountable for their behavior, we will see more of this in the future. At that point, no candidate that does not reflect the values of the deep state will ever be elected.

More Insanity From The Political Left

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about a recent statement from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Mayor stated, “Here’s the truth. Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.”

Wow. So it’s wrong for the money to be in the hands of the people who actually earned it?

The article notes:

• Perhaps he means David Koch, the retired businessman and libertarian who donated the entire $65 million cost for the new public plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The more than six million people who visit the museum each year can now stroll past trees and fountains on their way in and out of the Met, which by the way is also supported by private donors.

• Or perhaps the mayor is thinking of Ken Langone, the Home Depot founder, who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the New York University Medical Center that treats patients of all incomes and social strata. Mr. Langone’s most recent $100 million gift, made last year, will go to provide cost-free tuition for every NYU medical student. Wrong hands?

• Or maybe the mayor has in mind Richard Gilder, who made a fortune in finance and provided the first major grant for the Central Park Conservancy that has rescued the park from its sad mid-20th-century decline. Each year the conservancy, led by private donors, restores eroding corners of this grand public space with new trees, lawns, playgrounds and ballfields that are used by tens of thousands across the city regardless of income.

Mr. Gilder has also given generously to the American Museum of Natural History and the New-York Historical Society, two other favorites for visitors and students of all ways and means.

• Then again the mayor dislikes charter schools, so perhaps he means Stanley Druckenmiller, the legendary investor who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars for Geoffrey Canada’s successful charter-school network in the poorest neighborhoods of the city. These students would otherwise be stuck in failing schools run by Mr. de Blasio’s friends in the teachers union.

But thanks to donations from Mr. Druckenmiller, and hedge-fund operator Dan Loeb’s gifts to the Success Academy charter network, thousands of kids have a shot at a better life.

The article reminds us that because of capitalism and the fact that when men can keep the fruits of their labor, donations are made that educate children, improve neighborhoods, and provide playgrounds and recreation.

Let’s compare that record with what happens when government controls the money. The article concludes:

As for Mr. de Blasio’s right hands, there are those failing schools. And don’t forget the New York City Housing Authority, which last year had to sign a consent decree with the federal government for lying about its failure to provide safe and sanitary conditions.

“Somewhat reminiscent of the biblical plagues of Egypt, these conditions include toxic lead paint, asthma-inducing mold, lack of heat, frequent elevator outages, and vermin infestations,” federal Judge William Pauley III wrote last year, adding that the authority “whitewashed these deficiencies for years.”

Perhaps those are the hands Mr. de Blasio should do something about.

Somehow They Don’t Seem Overly Concerned

Optics do matter in politics. However, some of our politicians are so accustomed to the media covering up their antics that they don’t even worry about the optics anymore. This was obvious last weekend when thirty Democrats headed out for a fun weekend in Puerto Rico despite the continuing government shutdown.

On Friday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the weekend trip.

The article reports:

Some 30 Democratic lawmakers left the government shutdown behind Friday on a chartered flight to Puerto Rico for a winter retreat with 109 lobbyists and corporate executives during which they planned to see the hit Broadway show “Hamilton” and attend three parties including one with the show’s cast.

Those attending the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC winter retreat in San Juan planned to meet with key officials to discuss the cleanup after Hurricane Maria at a roundtable Saturday.

But the weekend is packed with free time for the members and their families on the trip.

“We are excited for you to join us for CHC BOLD PAC’s 2019 Winter Retreat in San Juan, Puerto Rico! Each year, this retreat serves as a way for our CHC BOLD PAC Members and friends in the D.C. community to come together to escape the cold and discuss our shared priorities for a stronger and more prosperous country,” said a memo on the trip.

Some 109 lobbyists and corporate executives are named in the memo, a rate of 3.6 lobbyists for every member. They include those from several big K Street firms, R.J. Reynolds, Facebook, Comcast, Amazon, PhRMA, Microsoft, Intel, Verizon, and unions like the National Education Association.

What chance does the average American citizen have in getting the ear of his Congressman when lobbying groups can do this sort of thing?

The press release regarding the event is predictable–it blames President Trump for the shutdown and explains that the event was scheduled months before the shutdown. President Trump is at least partially responsible for the shutdown, but another aspect of the shutdown is the refusal of Representative Pelosi to negotiate. Having thirty of your Democrat Congressmen running off to Puerto Rico to party when the government is shut down does not make good political optics. I wonder if the American people will notice.

A Perspective You Won’t Hear In The Mainstream Media

Any illusions I might have had about objectivity in the mainstream media have been totally destroyed during the Trump administration. I understand that the press is biased, but I don’t believe I have ever seen them this vicious.

The American Thinker posted an article today that provides a perspective on President Trump that we haven’t heard a lot of.

The article reports:

My husband worked for Trump when he took over the Old Commodore Hotel on 42nd Street and transformed it into the Grand Hyatt.

He was then married to Ivana Trump, and for twelve years, my husband watched him completely salvage the dying Midtown area of Manhattan.  Not only did he never see a hint of racism in the man, but he was convinced he was completely colorblind.  He staffed the hotel with a majority of minority workers in all positions, from executive managers to housekeeping.

My husband was raised in the Deep South and knows what a racist looks and acts like, and it ain’t our president.  In 1998 and 1999, Jesse Jackson was praising Trump for a lifetime of help to the black community.  Trump had been involved with Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition and was instrumental in opening Wall Street to it.  Of course, Jesse Jackson has never been one to adhere to deep convictions.  He was against abortion and redefining marriage before succumbing to the Democrat left wing.

If, as critics allege, Trump is truly a Nazi, then why has he been heralded as Israel’s biggest supporter?  Why was he the only president to move our embassy to Jerusalem?  Why didn’t he object to his daughter’s conversion to Judaism?  It’s so easy to hurl accusations of racism and Nazism because frankly, the brain-dead mobs are interested only in vandalism and mayhem and totally disinterested in truth.  They also have no idea what racism and Nazism historically mean.

What on Earth did Donald Trump do to deserve these unfair labels?  Apparently, he told the truth about what was happening to the country he loves so much.  The fact is that Trump has never been against immigrants or immigration – just the abuse of our laws.

There are a lot of reasons for the hatred of President Trump. He represents a serious threat to the status quo. He is a businessman–businessmen solve problems–politicians simply recite problems to get re-elected and then neglect to solve them. If President Trump is successful, the gravy train that Washington politicians have been on for decades may slow down a little. If President Trump succeeds in solving even a small percentage of Washington’s problems, he will expose the ineffectiveness of government by the political class. Government by the political class was not what our Founding Fathers designed, and it would be wonderful to see it end.

Because I Have To Write Something About The Wall

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the wall that seems to be responsible for the government shutdown.

The article reports:

According to the results of an ABC News and Washington Post poll released Sunday morning, 42 percent of Americans support a wall. That is up from 34 percent one year ago and a previous high of 37 percent in 2017.

With 54 percent, the majority of Americans polled still oppose building a border wall. However, that opposition is shrinking, as 63 percent opposed the wall a year ago and the previous low was 60 percent two years ago.

The article also reports:

According to the poll, only about a quarter of Americans — 24 percent — believe there is a crisis-level situation in regards to immigration at the border.

That is a very sad statistic. We have drugs coming across the border, human trafficking is happening at the border, and American citizens are being killed by illegal aliens that should not even be in the country. There is a crisis. A wall will not end that crisis, but it will provide a partial solution that will greatly help the border patrol. Either Americans are not well-informed or they don’t see a crisis because it hasn’t directly impacted them. I am not sure which is the case. At any rate, the wall (and the increased border security requested with it) represents such a small part of the federal budget that there shouldn’t even be a question about whether or not to build it.

In Fiscal Year 2019, the federal budget will be $4.407 trillion. Compare the cost of the wall and the increased security at our border with the annual cost of illegal immigration. The wall is a bargain.

Something To Consider On A Sunday Morning

The information below is from the book In God We Still Trust by Dr. Richard G. Lee.

Samuel Adams, the great American patriot accused by King George III of being “the chief rabble-rouser” of American Independence, wrote the following in a letter to James Warren, the president of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, in 1779:

A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. How necessary then is it for those who are determined to transmit the blessings of liberty as a fair inheritance to posterity, to associate on public principles in support of public virtue.

Until public virtue again becomes part of our culture, there is little hope for our future.

A Pleasant Surprise

I never know who is reading my blog or how they discover it, but when I find out, it is always interesting.

Today I received the following email:

My name is Jenn, and I’m an Editor at Jen Reviews. I was doing research on defensive softball drills and just finished reading your wonderful blog post: http://www.rightwinggranny.com/?p=20111

In that article, I noticed that you cited a solid post that I’ve read in the past: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Softball

We just posted a guide that is even more detailed, updated and comprehensive on 20 defensive softball drills that are effective and fun. You can find it here: https://www.jenreviews.com/defensive-softball-drills/

If you like the guide, we’d be humbled if you cited us in your article. Of course, we will also share your article with our 50k newsletter subscribers and followers across our social platforms. 

Either way, keep up the great work!

Warmly,
Jenn

The article Jenn cited is from 2013. It deals with some amateur athletes that were participating in a marathon on Long Island. I don’t see the point in citing the drills in an older article, but for anyone who plays softball and is interested in softball, the link is above. I am grateful for anyone who reads this blog, and emails like Jenn’s are always a pleasant surprise.

 

Comments From Someone Who Knows

On Thursday The Washington Examiner posted an article that featured comments by Mark Morgan, the Obama appointee who oversaw U.S. Border Patrol in 2016.

The article reports:

Mark Morgan, stealing a line from President Trump’s presidential campaign announcement in June 2015, said his agents were “apprehending and interdicting pedophiles, rapists, murderers, gang members every single day.”

“I’m outraged that we haven’t fixed this problem. I’m outraged,” Morgan told Fox News. “Who can say that this is a manufactured crisis? Anyone? Anyone left, right? I don’t care who it is — anyone that says this is a manufactured crisis, they are absolutely lying to the American people.”

Mark Morgan left the Border Patrol shortly after President Trump was elected.

Morgan has remained out of the public spotlight over the past two years, but broke his silence this week as Democrats and the White House have fought over whether to include an additional $5.7 billion for security measures at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In fiscal 2018, more than 360,000 people were arrested for illegally entering the U.S. from Mexico and Canada. That number is comparable to figures over the past decade.

Hopefully the publicity given to the people who lost family members because of illegal immigrants will wake people up to the fact that a porous border is a crisis that needs to be dealt with.

But It Sounds So Wonderful

Sometimes I wonder if anyone in Congress has actually read the U.S. Constitution.

Shmoop states:

Clause 1. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Constitution generally leaves it up to the states to organize congressional elections, but gives Congress the power to set new rules for federal elections as it sees fit. In 1842, Congress passed an important law requiring single-member district elections in every state, standardizing congressional election practices nationwide. The same law set one standard Election Day—the Tuesday after the first Monday in November—throughout the country. We still use the same Election Day today.

On Thursday PJ Media reported that one of the top legislative priorities of the new House of Representatives is the passage of H.R. 1.

The official name of the bill is:

H.R.1 – To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes.

If only that were what the bill is actually about.

These are some of the provisions of H.R.1 listed in the article:

It forces states to implement mandatory voter registration. If someone is on a government list — such as receiving welfare benefits or rental subsidies — then they would be automatically registered to vote. Few states have enacted these systems because Americans still view civic participation as a voluntary choice. Moreover, aggregated government lists always contain duplicates and errors that states, even without mandatory voter registration, frequently fail to catch and fix.

H.R. 1 also mandates that states allow all felons to vote. Currently, states have the power under the Constitution to set the terms of eligibility in each state. Some states, like Maine, have decided that voting machines should be rolled into the prisons. Other states, like Nevada, have chosen to make a felony a disenfranchising event.

…H.R. 1 would also force states to have extended periods of early voting, and mandates that early voting sites be near bus or subway routes. While purportedly designed to increase participation, early voting has been shown to have no effect on turnout.

…H.R. 1 also undermines the First Amendment by exerting government control over political speech and undoing the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

The proposal also undoes another Supreme Court decision. In Husted, a case arising out of Ohio, the Court ruled that federal laws — known as “Motor Voter” — do not prohibit states from using a voter’s inactivity from triggering a mailing to that voter to see if they still are living at that location. H.R. 1 would undo that ruling and prohibit states from effectively cleaning voter rolls.

You get the picture. Please follow the link to read the entire article. Aside from the fact that most of H.R. 1 in unconstitutional, it is a naked power grab by the new House of Representatives. It needs to be stopped cold.

Yes, The Drug Companies Do Not Always Act In The Best Interest Of The Consumer

On Wednesday Reuters reported that Michael Babich, former chief executive of Insys Therapeutics Inc (INSY.O), pleaded guilty on Wednesday to participating in a nationwide scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe an addictive opioid medication and has agreed to become a government witness.

The article reports:

Prosecutors allege that from 2012 to 2015, Kapoor, Babich and others conspired to pay doctors bribes in exchange for prescribing Subsys, an under-the-tongue fentanyl spray for managing severe pain in cancer patients.

Fentanyl is an opioid 100 times stronger than morphine.

Prosecutors said Insys paid doctors kickbacks in the form of fees to participate in speaker programs ostensibly meant to educate medical professionals about Subsys that were actually sham events.

Prior to working at Insys, Babich had worked at Kapoor’s venture capital firm.

Insys in August said it had agreed to pay at least $150 million as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. The company has said it has taken steps to ensure it operates legally going forward.

On November 29, 2018, The New York Times reported:

A class of synthetic drugs has replaced heroin in many major American drug markets, ushering in a more deadly phase of the opioid epidemic.

New numbers Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that drug overdoses killed more than 70,000 Americans in 2017, a record. Overdose deaths are higher than deaths from H.I.V., car crashes or gun violence at their peaks. The data also show that the increased deaths correspond strongly with the use of synthetic opioids known as fentanyls.

Since 2013, the number of overdose deaths associated with fentanyls and similar drugs has grown to more than 28,000, from 3,000. Deaths involving fentanyls increased more than 45 percent in 2017 alone.

The article includes a number of graphs showing the increase in drug overdoses in recent years and the role that fentanyl  has played in that increase.

This is only one aspect of the opioid epidemic, but at least some action has been taken on this aspect.

 

This Really Shouldn’t Be A Surprise

A few years ago, I moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina. There was some culture shock. One part of that shock was the gun culture of some of the South. I grew up in a house where no one hunted, so the whole gun thing was very foreign to me. One of the first things I did was to take a gun safety course to education myself. I learned a lot and began to understand why the Second Amendment is so important to our freedom. Unfortunately the leaders in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have not yet gotten that message.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted the following headline, “Boston Mayor’s Office to Force Doctors to Identify and Document Patients Who Own Guns.” Wow. What is the Mayor’s office doing collecting information from doctors?

The article reports:

Here are three of the top goals for health care legislation outlined by his office:

Involving doctors in gun safety: This act would require medical professionals to ask patients about guns in the home, and bring up the topics of gun safety. The goal, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said, is to identify those at risk for domestic violence, suicide or child access to guns in order to guide people to mental health counseling, resources or other help. “We’re just asking them to help identify ways to save lives,” Gross said.

The fact that a patient owns guns would not be put in their medical record, and is not intended to have physicians help solve crimes.

Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez said that while the program is already common practice at many of the city’s community health centers, legislation would broaden the program statewide.

Does anyone actually believe that gun ownership would not be made part of a patient’s medical record? If the measure is supposed to save lives, what action are the doctors supposed to take after they have determined that a person has guns in the house?

I may be paranoid, but this seems like a back door approach to finding out who has guns so that the guns might be taken away later.

When Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Narrative

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the situation on our southern border. I guess you might even call the editorial a fact-check on some of the things we have been told recently by the mainstream media.

The editorial reports:

NPR’s “fact check” — like countless others — dismissed Trump’s claim as false because “illegal border crossings in the most recent fiscal year (ending in September 2018) were actually lower than in either 2016 or 2014.”

What they aren’t telling you is border patrol agents apprehended more than 100,000 people trying to enter the country illegally in just October and November of last year. Or that that number is way up from the same two months the year before.

Nor do they mention that last year, the border patrol apprehended more than half a million people trying to get into the country illegally. And that number, too, is up from the year before.

NPR may call that a fact-check, but it seems to me that it is more like political spin.

The editorial continues:

Trump’s critics certainly don’t bother to mention that those figures only count illegals the border patrol caught. It does not count the ones who eluded border patrol agents and got into the country.

The Department of Homeland Security claims that about 20% of illegal border crossers make it into the country. Other studies, however, say border agents fail to apprehend as much as 50% of illegal crossers.

Even at the lower percentage, that means that 104,000 illegals made it into the country in 2018 alone.

Is that not a crisis at the border?

I strongly suggest that you follow the above link to read the entire editorial. It contains a lot of important information that is not necessarily being reported.

The editorial notes that previous Presidents noted the crisis and promised to fix it:

Here’s another problem with claims that we don’t have a crisis at the border.

Past presidents all treated it like one.

In 1982, for example, President Ronald Reagan said that “The ongoing migration of persons to the United States in violation of our laws is a serious national problem detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

President Bill Clinton said in his 1995 State of the Union address that “All Americans … are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country.” That’s why, he said, “our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders.”

President George Bush, in a prime-time Oval Office speech in 2006, declared that securing the U.S. border is a basic responsibility of a sovereign nation. It is also an urgent requirement of our national security.”

Bush also promised to end the practice of catch-and-release “once and for all.” He said that “people will know that they’ll be caught and sent home if they enter our country illegally.” 

President Barack Obama in 2005 declared that “we simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked.” And in 2014 even he admitted there was a crisis on the border — one that he did virtually nothing to fix. (Apprehensions at the border last year were almost the same as in 2014.)

The editorial concludes:

Yet despite repeated promises by presidents and Congress for the past three decades, the border remains nearly as porous as ever. And catch-and-release is still alive and well. Is it any wonder so many try to cross the border illegally every month.

Isn’t the failure of leaders to do what they all say is necessary to protect national security interests the very definition of a crisis at the border?

Democrats, it seems, want to label everything a crisis. We have a health care crisis. A clean water crisis. A “food desert” crisis. An infrastructure crisis. A homelessness crisis.

Democrats label just about everything a crisis. Why? Because they want to whip up public support for bigger, more expensive, more intrusive government programs.

Everything, that is, except for the very real, long-standing crisis posed by a porous border that each year lets in tens of thousands of illegals.

The current government shutdown is about border security. Any other discussion is irrelevant spin. The Democrats simply do not want President Trump to have a border wall, and the Republicans do not want to see an end to cheap labor. That is the impasse.

I Will Just Leave This Here

On Tuesday wdef.com reported that the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta has just convicted a fourth suspect of sex trafficking.

The article reports:

Prosecutors say the ring compelled young women from Mexico and Central America to engage in commercial sex.

Severiano Martinez-Rojas of Mexico was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Two co-defendants pleaded guilty to sex trafficking while a third admitted to harboring aliens.

“Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that exploits and traumatizes some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.

The prosecution alleged that the ring lured the girls to the U.S. with faked romantic relationships, promising love, marriage and work.

They smuggled them into the country illegally, then used violence and threats to put them to work in a brothel.

A person who is here legally has the protection of the law. A person who is not here illegally may fear the law because they are here illegally. This is one aspect of the human cost of open borders. Making it harder to enter America illegally is one small step in fighting the battle against human trafficking.

The article concludes:

“Human trafficking is disgraceful and unacceptable. The sentence demonstrates the Department of Justice’s unwavering commitment to combatting these crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband.

“This sex trafficking enterprise was extensive and resulted in the abuse of young women and girls.”

Fighting Human Trafficking

One America News reported yesterday that President Trump signed a bill to curb human trafficking yesterday.

The article reports:

President Trump is ramping up efforts to combat human trafficking through a bill he signed into law Wednesday.

…The new law will grant the State Department more funding for its annual human trafficking report, which monitors efforts being made to combat the global crisis.

Despite ongoing efforts, the president suggested a wall will substantially help stop the practice domestically.

“Human trafficking cannot be stopped if we don’t have a steel barrier or a concrete wall, something very powerful — it cannot be stopped,” said President Trump. “We have the most talented law enforcement people in the world as far as I’m concerned…it doesn’t mean a thing if they’re going to be driving women and children through sections of the border where nobody is, where you can’t be because you don’t have enough man power.”

Somehow most of the media neglected to cover the signing ceremony.

Something To Consider

Decisions that impact national security should be made on the basis of what is best for America. Unfortunately that has not been the case as of late.

On January 10th, The Washington Times reported:

President Trump has proposed spending $18 billion over the next decade to construct a new and improved border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. While some lawmakers have criticized the both the cost and the plan, a new analysis reveals the expenditure is relatively small compared to other federal spending.

“That $18 billion would equal just 0.0338 percent of the $53.128 trillion the Congressional Budget Office currently estimates the federal government will spend over that same 10-year period,” wrote Terence P. Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com.

It also equals only 2.7 percent of the money the federal government will spend on the food stamp program, Mr. Jeffrey wrote. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will eat up $679 billion in the 10 fiscal years from 2018 through 2027, according to budget office’s estimate.

He figured that this is 37.7 times as much as the $18 billion which would go to Mr.Trump’s proposed border wall.

The cost of the wall is also 0.34 percent of the $5.232 trillion which the federal government will spend on Medicaid over the next 10 years, and 0.26 percent of the $6.838 trillion allotted to national defense in the next decade.

So this battle is obviously not about money. We also have to realize that if either the Democrats or the Republicans were serious about border security, the wall would have been built by now. So why don’t we have a wall?

Carroll Quigley one wrote:

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” ~ Carroll Quigley

The Democrats and the establishment Republicans have a shared policy on open borders–they support them. The Democrats want voters and the Republicans want cheap labor. Until someone wants the safety of the American public, we have a problem.

The Numbers–Do They Actually Matter?

On January 6th, The Conservative Tribune posted an article about illegal immigration.

The article reported:

According to an Economist/YouGov survey, a jaw-dropping 93 percent of Americans believe that illegal immigration is a problem.

“A wide-ranging Economist/YouGov survey gauged the level of concern Americans have on the issue to find that only 7 percent of the overall public say illegal immigration is ‘not a problem’; 2 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and even 12 percent of Democrats agree with the statement,” The Washington Times reported.

There are differences in how serious people believe the immigration problem is, but those who shrug off illegal immigration are few and far between.

“40 percent of Americans overall say illegal immigration in the U.S. is a ‘very serious problem’; 73 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree,” The Times explained.

“22 percent overall say illegal immigration is a ‘somewhat serious problem’; 19 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree,” the paper summarized. Another 24 percent of Americans said that it was a “minor problem.”

At the same time, the Economist/YouGov survey revealed some inconvenient results for liberals.

When respondents were asked if they trusted Republicans or Democrats to deal with border security, a higher percentage — 31 percent — said “Republicans.” Meanwhile, 62 percent thought Congress should compromise with the president to end the government shutdown.

It seems as if most Americans are aware of the problems associated with illegal immigration regardless of what the media is trying to tell us. A border wall is a good idea. However, we also need to do something about America’s very broken immigration system. Our current immigration laws have been exploited by major corporations to replace American workers with cheaper workers. This has been done not only on the low end of the pay scale, but also on the higher end.

On June 3, 2015, The New York Times reported:

Instead, about 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

Of course that was legal immigration, but it was a typical case of a corporation using a bad law to its advantage.

I don’t know if the wall will actually be built. It should be. The wall is opposed by Democrats (present and future voters–many illegals are currently voting in our elections) and Republicans (U.S. Chamber of Commerce members who support illegal immigration because it depresses wages in the lower sectors of the economy and increases their profits). We have reached a point where our representatives not only do not represent us–they have forgotten to represent the best interests of America.