The Economic Recovery In One Graph

Today’s Wall Street Journal posted a story about the latest Gross Domestic Product numbers. The article included the following graph:

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Gross Domestic Product grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.1% in the first quarter of 2014.

The article in the Wall Street Journal explains some of the factors responsible for the low economic growth. Some suggested causes were the extremely cold winter which slowed consumer spending, and the sudden drop in exports, declining at a 7.6% pace in the first quarter.

Obviously, this is not the robust economy the President has been claiming.

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It Took A While, But The Truth Is Out

This post is based on two articles–one at Power Line by John Hinderaker, and one by Sharyl Attkisson at  Both articles deal with the cover-up of what happened in Benghazi in September 2011.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a picture of the memo that called for the misleading talking points:

BenghaziMemoThere is a second memo between Susan Rice and Eric Pelofsky shown in the John Hinderaker article. This memo expresses concern over the fate of the ambassador.

John Hinderaker observes:

The other striking fact about the emails is the complete absence of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Maybe someone was keeping them informed, but they are never mentioned in the emails (except when someone prepares a statement to be issued under their names). During the crucial hours, they are never referred to. There is no suggestion that they are playing a part; that they are in the loop; that they are making decisions; or that they are, in any way, important players. Maybe there are more emails, not yet disclosed, that would reflect their roles. Or maybe they really were ciphers–seat warmers with no concerns beyond the political, not expected to do anything in an hour of crisis.

Sharyl Attkisson reports:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told me today that the government apparently tried to keep the Rhodes email out of Congress and the public’s hands by classifying it after-the-fact.

“They retroactively changed the classification,” Chaffetz says. “That was an unclassified document and they changed it to classified.”  

 In the past month, the government has supplied 3,200 new Benghazi-related documents under Congressional subpoena. In some instances, Congressional members and their staff are only permitted to see the documents during certain time periods in a review room, and cannot remove them or make copies.

 Chaffetz says that the State Department redacted more material on the copies provided to Congress than on those that it was forced to provide to JudicialWatch.

 One of the most heavily-redacted email exchanges is entitled, “FOX News: US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm.” The Fox News article was circulated among dozens of officials including Rhodes and then-Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough but the content of their email discussion is hidden.

The White House lied about Benghazi and then covered up its lies. The lies were told for political purposes–it was the middle of an election campaign. This is an impeachable offense, but America does not have the stomach for impeachment right now. It would be a mistake for the Republicans to go down that road at all. However, an effort should be made to get this story into the mainstream media and make sure Americans are aware that they have been lied to and are still being lied to. The only reason we have these emails is the work of Judicial Watch.

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The Law Of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

Yesterday Byron York posted an article in the Washington Examiner about the coming increase in the minimum wage for federal contractors. The minimum wage for federal contractors will go from $7.25 and hour to $10.10 an hour. This will include fast food workers, laundry workers, and other low paying jobs on military bases. So what are the consequences?

The article reports:

In late March, the publication Military Times reported that three McDonald’s fast-food restaurants, plus one other lesser-known food outlet, will soon close at Navy bases, while other national-name chains have “asked to be released from their Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracts to operate fast-food restaurants at two other installations.”

…The administration is making it very expensive to do business on military bases, and not just because of the minimum wage. Under federal contracting law, some businesses operating on military installations must also pay their workers something called a health and welfare payment, which last year was $2.56 an hour but which the administration has now raised to $3.81 an hour.

In the past, fast-food employers did not have to pay the health and welfare payment, but last fall the Obama Labor Department ruled that they must. So add $3.81 per hour, per employee to the employers’ cost. And then add Obama’s $2.85 an hour increase in the minimum wage. Together, employers are looking at paying $6.66 more per hour, per employee. That’s a back-breaking burden. (Just for good measure, the administration also demanded such employers provide paid holidays and vacation time.)

These are the actions of an administration that does not understand or value our military and does not understand basic economic principles. The Obama Administration has already begun to make changes in the way the military exchanges are run that will change the savings our military get on food and clothing (see We need to elect leaders who value our military and take care of them.

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This Could Be Pure Coincidence

I know we are all getting tired of hearing about Donald Sterling and his racist comments, but Yahoo News posted a story today that may put the entire situation in a different light.

These are some facts from the article:

Several league officials – including owners and Board of Governors members – told Yahoo Sports they believe Silver has been studying the nuclear option on Sterling: a provision in the NBA’s bylaws that would allow Silver to summon a vote of league owners to strip Sterling of his ownership. The NBA would run the Clippers until the team could be sold.

…Despite his denial of ownership interest in the Clippers, Magic Johnson and potential investors spent part of Monday working to understand the avenues to which they could eventually make a deal to become Clippers owners, sources told Yahoo Sports. If the franchise becomes available, Johnson wants to be positioned to make a deal.

Now let’s take a look at some background on this story. Evidently Mr. Sterling’s racist views had been known around around the league for years, why is this coming out now? Mr. Sterling is approximately 80 years old. He will probably not be with us for more than another 10 to 20 years. Upon his demise, it is assumed that the ownership of the team will pass to his family. That is generally how wills are written. Let’s just assume for a moment that Magic Johnson wants to buy the team at bargain basement prices. Oddly enough, Magic Johnson was the person Mr. Sterling’s girlfriend was seen with before the taped conversation. Magic Johnson might even have been the subject of part of the taped conversation. I am not accusing anyone of anything, but I think that is an incredible coincidence. I also think that when you have ideas that are not socially acceptable and that is known, you are always in danger of having your status changed by people with more clout than you have. This entire episode is an example of someone’s chickens coming home to roost. I am waiting for the fire sale of the Clippers. If Magic Johnson comes out of this with the team, I will always wonder if Mr. Sterling’s family was robbed.

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I Thought Diplomats Were Supposed To Be Diplomatic

The U.K. Telegraph posted an article today about Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent remarks about Israel.

Yesterday the Washington Times reported on John Kerry’s remarks:

Mr. Kerry told senior officials during a closed meeting on Friday that a two-state solution is the “only real alternative” for Israel and the Palestinian territories, “because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens, or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state,” The Daily Beast first reported.

It might be a good idea to mention at this point that Arabs who live or work in Israel have more freedom than their brothers anywhere else in the Middle East.

The U.K. Telegraph explains the problem with Secretary Kerry‘s remarks:

The use of such undiplomatic language also distracts from the very real difficulties the Israelis face in trying to reach an agreement. From the outset, Israel’s security concerns have dominated the discussions, with their negotiators offering to make painful territorial concessions in return for cast-iron guarantees concerning the future safety of Israeli citizens. But Mr Abbas’s refusal to allow Israel to maintain a limited military presence in any future independent Palestinian territory, together with his recent accord with Hamas, has meant that no such pledges have been forthcoming, thereby causing the talks to stall. Israel argues, with some justification, that there is little likelihood of reaching an agreement with an organisation such as Hamas, which remains committed to the destruction of the Jewish state. If Mr Kerry still wants his bold peace initiative to succeed, then he would be better advised to address these and other concerns than to use language that is guaranteed to cause offence to Israel.

Secretary Kerry says that he wants peace in the Middle East. What he does not seem to understand is that only one of his negotiating partners shares that goal. Before accepting the Palestinians as good-faith negotiators, Secretary Kerry needs to take a close look at their educational system. The Palestinian schools include terrorist training for kindergartners, maps without Israel, and teaching anti-Semitism. In a rational world, that would disqualify them as acceptable negotiators for peace. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration does not live in the rational world.

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Real News From The Library

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted a story about some recent documents released by the Clinton Library. These documents actually tell the correct story about the cause of the 2008 financial crash. I have posted stories about the cause of that crash before that included the YouTube video below:

The video is a few years old, but it is still worth watching if you have not seen it.

The article at Investor’s Business Daily explains the role that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)  played in creating the housing bubble. The CRA pressured banks to  make risky home loans.

The article reports:

Clinton’s changes to the CRA let ACORN use the act’s ratings to “target merging firms with less-than-stellar records and to get the banks to agree to greater community investment as a condition of regulatory approval for the merger,” White House aide Ellen Seidman wrote in 1997 to Clinton chief economist Gene Sperling.

“Community groups have come to recognize how terribly powerful CRA has been as a tool for making credit available in previously underserved communities,” Seidman added.

Seidman later boasted that Clinton’s 1995 CRA revisions created not only the subprime mortgage market but also the subprime securities market. Of course, subprime loans and their high default rates ruined minority neighborhoods when the market crashed.

Memos also reveal how Clinton aides held repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act hostage to strengthening the CRA. They gave Republicans deregulation of banking activities in exchange for over-regulating how those banking activities applied to low-income communities.

…In 2000, HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo lit the fuse on the subprime bomb by requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase subprime, CRA and other risky mortgages totaling half their portfolios.

A 1993 memo, “Racism in Home Lending,” captured the tone of Clinton’s affordable-housing crusade. It proposed coordinating with the Washington Post and Congressional Black Caucus on bank investigations.

These White House papers are smoking-gun evidence of Clinton’s culpability in creating the subprime bubble. The mainstream media’s silence is deafening.

It is entirely possible that Hillary Clinton will run for President in 2016. The role that the Clintons played in the housing bubble and the economic collapse that followed needs to be discussed during her campaign.

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Using A Fool’s Folly To Gain Political Advantage

The Democrat party is desperately looking for an issue that will bring Democrats out to vote in this year’s mid-term election. They have a few issues that have worked in the past, but they are having a hard time finding one that will work this year. Well, I think they think they have found their issue–it’s the ongoing problem of racism in America. We had our conservative racist last week–Cliven Bundy was taken to the cleaners by the press. Now we have our Democrat racist this week–Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team.

Mr. Sterling was taped by a former girlfriend during an argument. Those tapes were then released to the press as evidence that Mr. Sterling was a racist. At this point I should mention that Mr. Sterling is 80 years old, extremely wealthy and his girlfriend is young, black, and Mexican. He seems more like an older man in the clutches of a gold-digger than a racist.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article on the controversy yesterday.

The article reports:

The more you learn about the story, the stranger it gets. If you listen to the tapes, which have been made public by TMZ and Deadspin, it is hard to make sense of them. Sterling doesn’t want Stiviano to put up photos of herself with African-Americans on Instagram or bring them with her to Los Angeles Clippers games. He says he doesn’t care if she associates or sleeps with black people, just don’t put them up on Instagram. An odd distinction! His request was motivated, evidently, by the fact that one or more of Sterling’s friends called him to comment on the Instagram photos. While Sterling never says this, reading between the lines it appears that someone must have teased him about his mistress consorting with blacks.

As usual, President Obama chose to comment on how this incident shows that America is racist:

“The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation, that’s still there, the vestiges of discrimination,” Obama said during a news conference in Malaysia, where he was traveling.

No, the incident shows that a wealthy older man is vulnerable to a woman who wants a large portion of his money. Individual people may be racist in America, just as individual people all over the world may have prejudices. However, the comments of a man in a heated domestic argument should not be used to accuse America of being racist. There is also a strong possibility that Mr. Sterling’s girlfriend was baiting him to make sure she got a really good tape. I also wonder if she asked Mr. Sterling for money for the tape before releasing it and if he refused. That may be the reason the tape was released–blackmail didn’t work.

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Something To Consider

Be forewarned–this is going to be a controversial article, but it is definitely something to think about.

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. A website called The Bunker quotes off the record remarks he made at the time:

”These Negroes, they‘re getting pretty uppity these days and that‘s a problem for us since they‘ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we‘ve got to do something about this, we‘ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.” ~Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat)

President Lyndon Baines Johnson, And is “Great Society” to help the Negro… was recorded on a White House taped (and saved) conversation claiming, “I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.”

In a January 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal, Walter Williams stated:

Even in the antebellum era, when slaves often weren’t permitted to wed, most black children lived with a biological mother and father. During Reconstruction and up until the 1940s, 75% to 85% of black children lived in two-parent families. Today, more than 70% of black children are born to single women. “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do,” Mr. Williams says. “And that is to destroy the black family.”

Cliven Bundy recently stated (as reported by CNN):

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” Bundy said, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids – and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch – they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” Bundy continued. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Mr. Bundy has been accused of racism on the basis of that statement. My question is simple, “Is that statement racist, or is that statement honest?”


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Friends Are More Valuable Than Government

Yesterday The Blaze posted an update on a story about a soldier’s home in Florida that had been taken over by squatters.

The article reports what happened when Army Spc. Michael Sharkey, a soldier currently station in Hawaii, asked law enforcement to remove the squatters from his house:

Indeed Sharkey tried going through law enforcement to remove Ortiz and Cardoso, but that turned out to be in vain — sheriffs said it’s a civil matter and would take a court order to evict them since they established residency.

As you might guess, all of this has made other veterans and supporters of Sharkey absolutely livid.

That’s where the idea that it is good to have friends comes in.

The article reports:

Then WFLA reported that two Tampa motorcycle clubs filled with veterans were planning to ride over to the Sharkey residence on Sunday “and peacefully make the squatters uncomfortable.”

With that, Ortiz started packing up, noting the planned biker visit was one of the reasons he and Cardoso were leaving, WFLA said.

The Veteran Warriors is organizing a cleanup and remodel of the house.

It’s good to have friends.

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Iran Has Been Apppointed To The United Nations Commission On The Status Of Women

Iran has been appointed to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Good grief. A country that stones women if they have been raped, beats them if their skirts are too short, and allows family members to kill them if the violate the family code in any way is now on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. reported yesterday that Iran has been named to five United Nations sub-committees. It is definitely time for the United States to leave the United Nations, stop funding it, and kick it out of New York City. The United Nations no longer supports the idea of freedom and democracy–something it was originally purposed to do.

The article reports:

The United States has objected to Iran’s election to these positions. UN Ambassador Samantha Power said in a statement: “The unopposed candidacy of Iran, where authorities regularly detain human rights defenders, subjecting many to torture, abuse, and violations of due process, is a particularly troubling outcome of today’s election.”

Iran’s history makes it a clearly unworthy steward of international human rights, though two of those appointments are far more distressing than the others: the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations and the Commission on the Status of Women. Power’s statement preceded a promise to continue supporting NGOs that work to expose human rights violations abroad, many of which have clashed with the Iranian government when attempting to investigate its abuses. 

The appointment to that committee reaches the Iranian government at a time when they are attempting to quell uprisings triggered by a massive human rights scandal. The head of the Iranian prison system was removed and appointed to a position of less power this week after relatives of political prisoners at the nation’s notorious Evin prison called for justice for their relatives. Political prisoners at Evin allege that an inspection at the institution resulted in more than one hundred guards savagely beating and abusing dozens of prisoners. Iranian legislators have promised to investigate the situation.

It is truly time to remove ourselves from the United Nations.

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A New Attack On Free Speech

Yesterday Godfather Politics posted a story about a new bill introduced in Congress by Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey (D) and New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D)  called the Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014. For those of you that still believe that Congress names bills according to what they actually do, this bill should be a wake-up call.

The article quotes the beginning of the bill:

“To require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to update a report on the role of telecommunications, including the Internet, in the commission of hate crimes.”

“The report required under subsection (a) shall— “

‘‘(1) analyze information on the use of telecommunications, including the Internet, broadcast  television and radio, cable television, public access television, commercial mobile services, and other electronic media, to advocate and encourage violent acts and the commission of crimes of hate, as de-scribed in the Hate Crime Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. 534 note);”

‘‘(2) include any recommendations, consistent with the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, that the NTIA determines are appropriate and necessary to address the use of telecommunications described in paragraph (1); and”

‘‘(3) update the previous report submitted under this section (as in effect before the date of enactment of the Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014).’’

Please do not assume that I support hate speech, but there are a few problems with this bill. Who determines what is hate speech? If I quote the Bible on the subject of homosexuality, is that hate speech? If I say that Jesus Christ is Lord (under Sharia Law, that is considered slander because it implies that Mohammad is not god), is that hate speech? Is criticizing the government hate speech?

You can see where this would go if the law were passed. Anything that limits our freedom of speech is wrong. Period. There will always be those among us who will say things we consider hateful, but it is their right to say those things. We have the option of attempting to correct them or ignoring them–we do not have the option of silencing them.

This is another reason why your vote is important when voting for Congressional representatives. Please do not vote for anyone who supports the idea of limiting free speech in America. It is a major part of our foundation as a nation.,

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Citizens Do Have A Voice

The North Carolina state legislature has listened to concerned parents and teachers who opposed Common Core.

Lady Liberty 1885 reported the following today:

At the fourth and final meeting of the NC General Assembly’s Common Core study committee, a bill was unveiled that will remove Common Core from the state’s statutes. The bill also calls for a return to North Carolina Standard Course of Study, which will be developed by an academic review commission.

The draft bill is titled “Replace Common Core To Meet NC’s Needs”. The draft number is TLza-24.  Update: Here is the link to the report and draft bill.

Chairman Holloway stated this bill is not intended to just rename Common Core but instead, replace it. The draft bill also leaves the national testing consortiums tied to the Common Core (PARCC, SBAC) in favor of a new assessment instrument to assess student achievement. In addition, the draft bill states, “The State Board shall not acquire or implement such an assessment instrument without the enactment of legislation by the General Assembly authorizing the purchase.”

This is wonderful news. The invasion of privacy included in Common Core, along with the age-inappropriate material and the convoluted approach to mathematics is not a good thing.

Thank you, legislators in North Carolina for listening to the people who elected you.

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The Dangers Of Being Uninformed

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog has done a number of articles recently about Democrat mega-donor Tom Steyer. This is the link to one of those articles. Somehow the information in these articles has escaped the mainstream media, so if you don’t follow the alternative media, chances are this information is new to you.

Tom Steyer is an opponent of the Keystone Pipeline. He claims that his opposition is based on his principle of environmental concerns and that he is strongly opposed to any sort of fossil fuel. Okay. He is entitled to his opinion and principles. However, when you look a little closer, some questions crop up. Mr. Steyer is a major investor in Kinder Morgan, a company that is building a pipeline that will compete with the Keystone Pipeline. If you look even a little closer, you find out that Mr. Steyer made his fortune in coal.

Mr. Steyer has recently written a letter to the Middlebury College and Brown University Boards of Trustees stating that a coal free portfolio is a good investment strategy. That is very interesting considering that Mr. Steyer founded Farallon Capital Management L.L.C. (“Farallon”) in 1986.

The article at Power Line (linked above) reports:

In order to gain an appreciation of the extent of Farallon’s epic involvement in the coal sector under Mr. Steyer’s tenure one needs to spend time in Jakarta and Sydney, and in the regional financing centers in Hong Kong and Singapore, and speak to professionals (bankers, lawyers, mining consultants and principals) who were directly involved in these Farallon-sponsored coal transactions. With a modicum of effort one discovers that since 2003 Farallon has played the pivotal role in financing the tremendous restructuring and growth in thermal coal production in the region. All of this took place under Mr. Steyer’s tenure as founder and senior partner of Farallon.

YouTube posted a recent interview of John Hinderaker on the subject of Tom Steyer:

As usual, liberal principles don’t apply to liberals–they only apply to Republicans and conservatives.

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How Far Do States’ Rights Go?

KWKT,com posted a story yesterday (updated today) about the federal government’s latest land grab. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has written a letter to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze about a BLM potential seizure of land that rightfully belongs to Texas landowners.

This is the letter:

April 22, 2014
The Honorable Neil Kornze
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Director Kornze:
Respect for property rights and the rule of law are fundamental principles in the State of Texas and the United States. When governments simply ignore those principles, it threatens the foundation of our free and prosperous society. That is why I am deeply concerned about reports that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering taking property in the State of Texas and that it now claims belongs to the federal government. Given the seriousness of this situation, I feel compelled to seek answers regarding the BLM’s intentions and legal authority with respect to Texas territory adjacent to the Red River.

I understand that your office is in the early stages of developing a plan—known as a Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS)—to regulate the use of federal lands along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River. As Attorney General of Texas, I am deeply troubled by reports from BLM field hearings that the federal government may claim—for the first time—that 90,000 acres of territory along the Red River now belong to the federal government.

Private landowners in Texas have owned, maintained, and cultivated this land for generations. Despite the long-settled expectations of these hard-working Texans along the Red River, the BLM appears to be threatening their private property rights by claiming ownership over this territory. Yet, the BLM has failed to disclose either its full intentions or the legal justification for its proposed actions. Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box.

Nearly a century ago, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the gradient line of the south bank of the Red River—subject to the doctrines of accretion and avulsion—was the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma. Oklahoma v. Texas, 260 U.S. 606 (1923). More recently, in 1994, the BLM stated that the Red River area was “[a] unique situation” and stated that “[t]he area itself cannot be defined until action by the U.S. Congress establishes the permanent state boundary between Oklahoma and Texas.” Further, the BLM determined that one possible scenario was legislation that established the “south geologic cut bank as the boundary,” which could have resulted “in up to 90,000 acres” of newly delineated federal land. But no such legislation was ever enacted.

Instead, in 2000, the U.S. Congress enacted legislation ratifying an interstate boundary compact agreed to by the State of Texas and the State of Oklahoma. With Congress’ ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact, federal law now provides that the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma is “the vegetation on the south bank of the Red River . . .”—not the “south geologic cut bank.” Given this significant legal development, it is not at all clear what legal basis supports the BLM’s claim of federal ownership over private property that abuts the Red River in the State of Texas.

This issue is of significant importance to the State of Texas and its private property owners. As Attorney General of Texas, I am deeply concerned about the notion that the BLM believes the federal government has the authority to swoop in and take land that has been owned and cultivated by Texas landowners for generations. Accordingly, I hereby request that you or your staff respond in writing to this letter by providing the following information as soon as possible:
1. Please delineate with specificity each of the steps for the RMP/EIS process for property along the Red River.

2. Please describe the procedural due process the BLM will afford to Texans whose property may be claimed by the federal government.

3. Please confirm whether the BLM agrees that, from 1923 until the ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact, the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma was the gradient line of the south bank of the Red River. To the extent the BLM does not agree, please provide legal analysis supporting the BLM’s position.

4. Please confirm whether the BLM still considers Congress’ ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact as determinative of its interest in land along the Red River? To the extent the BLM does not agree, please provide legal analysis supporting the BLM’s new position.

5. Please delineate with specificity the amount of Texas territory that would be impacted by the BLM’s decision to claim this private land as the property of the federal government.
In short, the BLM’s newly asserted claims to land along the Red River threaten to upset long-settled private property rights and undermine fundamental principles—including the rule of law—that form the foundation of our democracy. It is incumbent on BLM to promptly disclose both the process it intends to follow and the legal justification for its position.
Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

At least Texas has an Attorney General that is willing to stand up for the rights of its citizens.

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And All This Time You Thought Common Core Was About Education

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that Bill Gates will shut down his Gates Foundation (and Carnegie Corporation) financed nonprofit educational-software company InBloom Inc. permanently.

This was the company that was going to compile large amounts of information on students.

The article reports:

The strategy driving inBloom had been to create a huge database connecting local school districts and state education bureaucracies with behemoth education companies.

To accomplish this goal, the nonprofit had hoped to provide a smorgasbord of data about students. What homework are they doing? What tests are they assigned? What are their test scores? Their specific learning disabilities? Their disciplinary records? Their skin colors? Their names? Their addresses?

The Atlanta-based company had originally signed up nine states for the database. It planned to charge school districts between $2 and $5 per student for the privilege of participating in the student data collection scheme.

The intrusive data collection of student information was not the only surprise in Common Core. (also note that the school systems would be paying for the privilege of having their students’ privacy violated)  Upon investigating the curriculum which is aligned to Common Core, parents found lessons that were age inappropriate, lessons that were historically inaccurate and slanted, and literature for junior high reading that bordered on pornographic.

A few states are already are already responding to parental concern about Common Core and are backing away from using the standards and curriculum. Hopefully all states will move in that direction and then move to set up standards that work for them.

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An Emboldened Russia Begins To Move

There was no real cost to Russia for taking over the Crimean region of Ukraine, so Russia has decided to see exactly how far it can go. There are three stories linked on the Drudge Report right now that are merely a taste of things to come.

The three stories are:

RAF Jet Chases Russian Planes Away

U. S. Troops Arrive in Poland For Exercises across Eastern Europe amid Ukraine crisis

Russia Says Conducting Military Drill Near Ukraine

The first story is from Sky News. The story reports:

Two Russian bombers which flew close to UK airspace have been chased away by an RAF jet fighter.

The aircraft, believed to be Tupolev 95s, were spotted off the coast of northeast Scotland.

They were turned away from Britain when an RAF Typhoon was scrambled from Leuchars airbase, near Dundee.

Crews stationed there are on standby to intercept unidentified aircraft at a moment’s notice.

…The two Russian planes were escorted by the Typhoon, as well as military aircraft from the Netherlands and Denmark, until they flew off towards Scandinavia.

Also known as ‘Bears’, the aircraft – turboprop-powered bombers which also conduct airborne surveillance – have been used for more than 50 years.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “The Russian military aircraft remained in international airspace at all times and they are perfectly entitled to do so.

“Russian military flights have never entered UK sovereign airspace without authorisation.”

If you believe the denial by Russia that the planes entered UK airspace, I have a bridge you might be interested in buying. You can have all the tolls.

The second story is from Fox News.  The story reports:

U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland on Wednesday as part of a wave of U.S. troops heading to shore up America‘s Eastern European allies in the face of Russian meddling in Ukraine. 

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said an initial contingent of about 600 troops will head to four countries across Eastern Europe for military exercises over the next month. 

First, about 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy, are arriving in Poland. 

Additional Army companies will head to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and are expected to arrive by Monday for similar land-based exercises in those countries.

Six hundred soldiers is not going to stop anything, but it might send a message that continued aggression against former Soviet satellites will not be accepted.

The third article is from Reuters. It is a correction of a previous article. The article states:

Russia on Wednesday conducted military exercises in its south-western Rostov region, which borders Ukraine, a spokesman for Russia’s southern military district said.

Another probe to see if the NATO nations or any other nations are willing to stand up to the naked aggression of Russia.

I hope that our State Department and Defense Department are smart enough to get out of this without starting World War III. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic.




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Justice Turned Upside Down

On Friday, National Review reported that the Center of Public Service and Social Justice at Yale University (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group) has rejected the membership request of Choose Life at Yale (CLAY) to join the group, the school’s community-service umbrella organization. Joining the Center of Public Service and Social Justice group would give the pro-life group access to Dwight Hall’s funds, meeting rooms, service vehicles, and many other resources.

The article reports:

CLAY had one minute to present its case for membership, followed by no deliberations whatsoever. Immediately after the presentation, one representative from each of the 96 member organizations of Dwight Hall voted. The exact tally is unknown to those outside Dwight Hall, but a majority voted against the pro-life group.

The article explains one reason for the opposition:

On the day before the vote, one of the student leaders of Dwight Hall wrote an op-ed in the Yale Daily News that asked fellow student leaders to reject CLAY’s petition for membership. Andre Manuel argued that the vote was not a matter of free speech but of a difference in opinion over the definition of “social justice.” According to Manuel, a group that denies reproductive rights cannot have a claim to an organization that promotes social justice.

Obviously, this social justice group sees no injustice in killing the unborn.

The article further reports:

But the group’s work is not limited to such activism (pro life activism). In recent years, with the opening of a nearby crisis pregnancy center, CLAY members have devoted themselves to volunteering and serving mothers in their time of material, emotional, and spiritual need.

All of these aspects of CLAY certainly fit within Dwight Hall’s purported mission “to foster civic-minded student leaders and to promote service and activism in New Haven and around the world.” By rejecting the group, Dwight Hall has made clear that its definition of “social justice” — with member organizations ranging from Amnesty International to Students for Justice in Palestine — does not include active service to the community by conservative groups.

This is what our young adults are being taught about social justice at one of the most prestigious schools in the nation. What a disgrace.

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Fraud In The Census Bureau

John Crudele has been reporting on fraud in the Census Bureau for the past six months. His work has been posted at The New York Post website. His latest story deals with data on unemployment and inflation being falsified by a data collector named Julius Buckmon.

The article in the New York Post explains how this false data impacts the reports we hear on the news:

Because the Census Bureau’s surveys are scientific — meaning each answer, in the case of the jobless survey, carries the weight of about 5,000 households — Buckmon’s actions alone would have given inaccurate readings on the economic health of 500,000 families.

Buckmon alleged that he was told to fudge the data by higher-ups. There was no formal probe back then into what Buckmon was doing or what he was alleging, although a Census investigator — who is now under indictment for other crimes against the bureau — did question a few people.

A source told me from the start of my investigation last October that Buckmon’s actions weren’t isolated and that falsification continued in the Philadelphia office right through the 2012 presidential election, only stopping when I exposed the practice last fall.

This is not acceptable. Mr. Crudele also reports that some of the people who work for the Census Bureau are talking to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the House Oversight Committee about their allegations. The OIG, Oversight Committee and several others will be investigating the claims of these workers.

The story in the New York Post goes on to explain exactly how the fraud is taking place. Please follow the link to the article to learn more about how the numbers in the jobs report are being falsified.

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What Are We Telling Our Graduates? posted an article today about the difference in numbers between conservative and liberal graduation speakers. They also looked at the statistics on Democrat and Republican speakers.

The article reports:

Democratic governors set to speak outnumber Republican ones by a ratio of 11-6, reports Campus Reform’s editor in chief, Caleb Bonham, while Democratic senators overshadow Republican  senators by a 9-4 ratio.

The most heavily weighted group of invited speakers? Liberal political appointees and operatives are 21-5 over conservative counterparts.

…“The bullies’ vision of America is alarming to behold, with the values of peaceful coexistence turned on their head,” Jennifer A. Marshall, director of domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, wrote recently for The Foundry in a piece about the growing intolerance of the Left.”

What is the message that we are sending our young adults?

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An Opinion From An Interesting Source

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article quoting Cleta Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner, on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal,

The article quoted Ms. Mitchell:

“This is a sea change! People need to understand — this has never happened before in my lifetime and I don’t think anybody’s lifetime, where you have the president of the United States, elected members of Congress calling on the IRS to silence their political opponents, and having the IRS management and top brass doing what the politicians wanted them to do, and essentially taking sides in a philosophical and political debate between conservatives and liberals,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner.

“The more we allow government to mushroom and metastasize, we become more like the former Soviet Union where you have the commissars who have laws for everybody else, the little people, that don’t apply to them, and they use the government to go after their opponents and people are afraid of the government,” Mitchell said. “I mean, this is happening. And we have to stop it.”

It has become very obvious that the Obama Administration wants to silence anyone who is opposed to their policies. If they are successful in this, it is not a stretch to think that any future administration of either party will employ similar tactics.

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When The Science Doesn’t Agree With The Politics

Associated Press posted a story today about a recent government study about the use of biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants. The study showed that these biofuels release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with gasoline.

The article reports:

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won’t meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue.

Note–the “cellulosic biofuels have received more than a billion dollars in federal support.” That is obscene. America would have a better chance of finding alternative fuels if we allowed private industries to develop them and make a profit from the research.

The article concludes:

Still, corn residue is likely to be a big source early on for cellulosic biofuels, which have struggled to reach commercial scale. Last year, for the fifth time, the EPA proposed reducing the amount required by law. It set a target of 17 million gallons for 2014. The law envisioned 1.75 billion gallons being produced this year.

“The study says it will be very hard to make a biofuel that has a better greenhouse gas impact than gasoline using corn residue,” which puts it in the same boat as corn-based ethanol, said David Tilman, a professor at the University of Minnesota who has done research on biofuels’ emissions from the farm to the tailpipe.

Tilman said it was the best study on the issue he has seen so far.

Alternate fuels are somewhere in our future, but they are not currently ready for prime time. It’s time to get the government out of the energy business, build the Keystone Pipeline and get on with it.

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An Easter Message From General Boykin

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Post by Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin.
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What Are We Doing To Our Children?

Fox News posted a story today about some of the lessons given to fourth grade students at Pasodale Elementary School in El Paso, Texas. One of the lessons cited was the story of a wife finding a strange hairclip under her bed with a different color hair in it than her hair. The second lesson deals with a mother learning about the death of her son. In the second lesson, the entire situation does not even accurately describe how the military brings the news to the family of a fallen hero. These are not age-appropriate subjects for fourth grade students.

The article reports:

Today on Your World, parenting expert Dr. Deb Gilboa said she was “shocked” by the material.

She said, “This teacher either didn’t read the assignment before handing it out, or had not enough life experience to realize that there’s no correct answer to these questions.”

Last year in Arizona, reported that students at Playa Del Rey Elementary School were asked to read the same passages. In that instance, the teacher hadn’t read the assignment and immediately apologized.

Dr. Gilboa noted that kids already see messages they’re not old enough to comprehend, but parents shouldn’t have to worry about that coming from a school.

The article does not state this, but I strongly suspect that the material is part of the suggested lessons included in the Common Core.  There are a number of textbooks that have been written to be compatible with the Common Core curriculum. The best thing that could happen for American students would be for the Common Core curriculum to be thrown out and states be allowed to set their own standards. Hopefully the textbooks adopted after the demise of Common Core will not include the kind of fourth grade lessons shown above. These lessons should be categorized as child abuse.

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But I Didn’t Think That Law Would Apply To Me!

Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon reported that Media Matters is forcing its employees to make the vote to unionize under the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) a secret ballot. This is amazingly ironic. Media Matters is a liberal organization headed by David Brock, a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton.

The article reports:

It is unclear why Media Matters did not opt to allow its employees to organize through a card check campaign, in which a union submits signed petitions from employees expressing their interest to join the union. MMFA, its attorneys, and the SEIU did not return requests for comment.

Media Matters has a long record of slamming Republicans and conservatives who want to protect secret ballot union elections.

The organization published multiple pieces celebrating the Democrat’s so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for unions to organize through card check campaigns and prevent employers from forcing a secret ballot election.

Media Matters researcher Meagan Hatcher-Mays took to the organization’s blog to criticize “a wave of Republican anti-union legislation [that] has placed obstacles between workers and union representatives and disrupted opportunities for workplace productivity.”

It is becoming very obvious that the best way to illustrate the problems with the liberal agenda is to ask liberals to abide by their own laws.

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