The Next Government-Caused Financial Disaster

The Wall Street Journal has two stories in its opinion section about what is happening to student loans–the first is entitled, “Your Taxpayer Tuition Bill,” and the second is entitled, “The Hidden Student-Debt Bomb.” As you know, the federal government took over the student-loan market in 2010. The Department of Education now stands behind over $1 trillion in outstanding debt.

The first article explains:

Less well known is how the same federal government that has promoted and subsidized this debt is also scheming to make sure it doesn’t have to be repaid.

Jason Delisle of the New America Foundation has the story in a nearby op-ed. Even as the debt-level rises and the economy improves, the feds are promoting loan forbearance and forgiveness programs.

The first article explains that graduates who choose nonprofit or government jobs an have their loans forgiven entirely after 10 years.

The first article points out:

Two years ago the Administration’s estimate of the average amount to be forgiven in income-based repayment plans was already $41,000 per borrower. The total amount of forbearance loans is $125 billion, and rising. And even with all of these ways to avoid on-time repayment, borrowers are still defaulting at a rate of nearly 20%. The clear danger is that hundreds of billions of dollars will never be repaid, which means that future taxpayers will have to pick up the tab.

Now on to the second article. The problem with the government taking over student loans is that a large percentage of them will not be repaid–leaving the taxpayers to pay the bill. Conveniently, the bill will be due after President Obama leaves office.

The second article illustrates the trend:

Despite more borrowers taking advantage of benefits to suspend and lower their payments, the share of borrowers in default is still trending upward. It now stands at 19.8% of borrowers whose loans have come due—some 7.1 million borrowers with $103 billion in outstanding balances. That’s the highest share since the Education Department began making the statistic available in 2013, and given other trends, it probably is a record high.

These trends are troubling because the U.S. economy has been improving for some time. Yet fewer and fewer borrowers are repaying their federal student loans. For those who do make payments, more of them are paying too little to retire the debt they took on.

This all makes sense, however, when you realize that the student-loan program has been designed to achieve two political goals: Loans should be available to any student, at any school, pursuing any credential; and student debt is bad and burdensome, so it should be easy for borrowers not to repay.

Based on these goals, the program is performing quite well for students and the institutions whose coffers swell under such loose lending standards. Loan issuance has grown rapidly in recent years while repayment rates have declined steadily. From the perspective of the taxpayers who must ultimately finance these liabilities, however, the federal student-loan program is performing badly and steadily getting worse.

There are some things we need to remember. Any time the government takes over something, it makes it less efficient. Banks had motivation for collecting on these loans and thus used wisdom in granting them–the government has neither. The amount of a college loan should be connected to the marketability of the skill required–borrowing more than $100,000 to get a degree in Women’s Studies does not necessarily make sense. As an aside, I once knew a person who had a Ph. D. in lute, but he was working for a living and being responsible financially. I also once worked doing data entry in a call center where one of the telemarketers had a degree in Ancient Egyptian Archeology. I asked him why he was working as a telemarketer, and he replied, “I like to eat.” An education is a wonderful thing, but at some point employment has to be a goal. Not everyone needs to go to college, and the American taxpayer does not have to pay the bill for everyone to attend.


Observing The Double Standard

It’s always interesting to see how the press covers the occasional misdeeds of our political leaders. Recently, however, it has reached the point of absurdity. Jonah Goldberg posted an article at National Review Online today which showed some concrete examples of the double standard at work.

One of the recent examples is the attack on GOP House whip Steve Scalise because he spoke to a group of racists twelve years ago. No one seems to care what he said–so far I have seen no record of his comments–the uproar is because he addressed the group. Representative Scalise claims that he had no idea what the view of the group were (there was no ‘google’ then). But let’s look on the other side. The article points out:

Barack Obama was friends with a domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers. His spiritual mentor was a vitriolic racist, Jeremiah Wright. One of his administration’s closest advisers and allies is Al Sharpton, a man who has inspired enough racial violence to make a grand dragon’s white sheets turn green with envy.

Meanwhile, the Democratic party venerated the late senator Robert Byrd, a former Klansmen himself. He was one of 19 senators (all Democrats) to sign the Southern Manifesto opposing integration. One of his co-signers was William Fulbright, Bill Clinton’s mentor.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

There are other examples in the article:

Peaceful, law-abiding tea-party groups who cleaned up after their protests — and got legal permits for them — were signs of nascent fascism lurking in the American soul. Violent, anarchic, and illegal protests by Occupy Wall Street a few years ago or, more recently, in Ferguson, Mo., were proof that a new idealistic generation was renewing its commitment to idealism.

When rich conservatives give money to Republicans, it is a sign that the whole system has been corrupted by fat cats. When it is revealed that liberal billionaires and left-wing super PACs outspent conservative groups in 2014: crickets.

That is just the way the mainstream media sees and reports it. Remember this as we go into the 2016 election season. Don’t believe everything you hear.

It Always Amazes Me When Spontaneous Protesters Carry Pre-Printed Signs

We have seen a lot of protests this year. Many of the spontaneous protestors carried pre-printed signs. That has always amazed me because in my protest days I always had to make my own signs. No one ever came forward to hand me a pre-printed sign. So who is printing the signs?

Gateway Pundit posted an article today that answers that question.

The article reports:

Many of the signs being carried by the protesters of the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “I Can’t Breathe” thugs are printed by RevCom (seen printed at the bottom of many of their signs). A quick investigation reveals that “RevCom” is shorthand for “Revolution Communists” with connections to Weather Underground.

The Independent Sentinel reported on Sunday:

If you were watching the news broadcasts about the protests in New York City, you undoubtedly saw many people carrying signs reflecting their beliefs. But wait. The people holding those signs don’t look even barely capable of having printed the signs themselves, so you might wonder who the sponsor of the rally could be.  Who furnished the signs?

Well, on the bottom of the signs is the name of the sponsor:

So, if you’re at all curious, just click right here on and see who provided those spiffy signs those idiots are holding up.  It’ll only take a second.

Americans are being played. It is up to us whether or not we choose to be part of something that is designed to destroy the country we love.

Why We Need Welfare Reform

Michigan is taking steps to reform its welfare program–on Friday the state announced its plan to drug test welfare recipients. Yesterday posted a story showing how much the food stamps program is impacting the state.

The article reports:

Michigan, which announced on Friday plans to begin drug testing some welfare recipients, currently has 1,679,421 individuals on food stamps (known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP), according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. According to the Michigan Department of Education, the state’s total pupil count for K-12 is 1,564,114.

Michigan’s food stamp program has struggled to combat fraud and abuse. As recently as last week, for example, three brothers pleaded guilty for their roles in a food stamp fraud scheme at the Middle Eastern Market in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that cost taxpayers $1,278,700.

This year, Michigan’s food stamp program cost taxpayers $2,576,165,148.

It is becoming very obvious that one way to stop runaway spending on both the federal and state level is to combat welfare fraud.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences

I wish the people who make our laws would think through the impact of those laws before they pass them.

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted a story about one of the results of the legalization of marijuana use in Colorado.

The article reports:

An informal survey of 500 people at a Denver homeless shelter reveals that 30 percent of new inhabitants came to Colorado because of the state’s legally available marijuana.

“The older ones are coming for medical (marijuana), the younger ones are coming just because it’s legal,” Brett Van Sickle, director of Denver’s Salvation Army Crossroads Shelter, told the Associated Press.

That particular shelter has more than doubled its staff to care for the new out-of-towners.

What in the world are the benefits of this law? A 30 percent increase in homelessness does not help anyone.

Exposing The Lies

Kurt Schlichter  posted an article at today entitled, “2014: The Year The Liberal Lies Died.”

He mentions some of the obvious recent battles:

The truth is poison to liberalism, so no wonder liberals hate the idea of a free press – after all, they are the ones who argued to the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case that the government has the right to ban books. Conservative magazines like National Review long fought the fight alone. But it is only recently that we saw the rise of a truly free press as technology put a camera in everyone’s cellphone and conservative new media (including social media) created a path around the gates that the liberal mainstream media kept.

The new media has had a lot to do with the public becoming more informed on both sides of an issue:

How about the Grubering of America? Obamacare was built and sold on a foundation of lies, buttressed with contempt and condescension toward normal Americans. Without the citizen journalists working in conservative new media, would we have ever seen Obamacare’s architect on video laughing at the giant scam he and the Democrats pulled on the American people? Would we have seen video compilations of Obama promising that if we liked our health plan we could keep it?

You think we would? Really? My unicorn’s name is Chet. What do you call yours?

The questions are simple. How many Americans still trust the mainstream media and the stories it is telling? As Americans begin to read new media, will the politics of America be changed? Will the new media affect the election of 2016? What will liberals do to discredit or shut down the new media?

We are at a crossroads. Americans need to take responsibility for what they believe. It is time for all Americans to learn to do their own political research. The mainstream media has forgotten the skill of honest investigative reporting–it is time for all Americans to learn that skill.


A Wise Governor

Arutz Sheva reported yesterday that Indiana Governor Mike Pence, while visiting Israel with his family, declined a dinner invitation from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Governor Pence was also in Israel to discuss expanding economic ties between Indiana and the Jewish State.

Governor Pence has been a long-time supporter of Israel.

The article quotes some of the Governor’s statements in 2010 about Israel:

“I believe the Obama administration is the most anti-Israel administration in the modern history of the state of Israel and our relationship with her. Israel is our most cherished ally. The American people support Israel’s right to self-defense. The American people support the Jewish state of Israel, and the American people expect the American president to unambiguously do the same.”

“I’ll be honest with you: I never thought I’d live to see the day that an American administration would denounce the Jewish state of Israel for rebuilding Jerusalem,” Pence added. 

It is wonderful to see a state wanting to do business with Israel. Governor Pence obviously understands that Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood and does need to defend itself. There is no other country in the world that would put up with rockets continually being fired at their civilian population and not respond forcefully. Israel has consistently tempered its responses.

A Picture Of The Next Two Years

Holly Robichaud posted a column in the Boston Herald today about the political landscape over the next two years.

The article lists the conservative Republican presidential candidates as follows:

The GOP’s extensive field includes Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Govs. John Kasich of Ohio, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Mike Pence of Indiana and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal.

While Cruz is no favorite of the D.C. 
establishment, his political backbone in working to stop the Obama agenda will be an advantage. Unlike Speaker John Boehner, Cruz embraces November’s message that Americans overwhelmingly reject Obama’s policies, including amnesty.

Paul should be red hot due to his appeal to younger voters, but his foreign policy and amnesty positions will hold him back.

Kasich, from a key electoral state, has served in Congress and been a Fox News host. As governor he created 45,000 new jobs and fixed an $8 billion budget deficit, and he’s someone to watch.

The article also mentions the moderate Republican candidates–Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Mitt Romney. If the number of conservative candidates split the conservative vote, one of these men could win the nomination.

The article also discusses the Democrat field:

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have to decide between being a Boehner clone — which will depress the GOP base vote in 2016 — and being a leader in fighting Obama’s destructive executive orders. If he chooses the latter, McConnell could play kingmaker in the primary.

Most Democrats understand President Obama has moved the country too far to the left, except our U.S. Sen. Lizzy Warren, who thinks the whole world is the People’s Republic of Cambridge. Ultraliberals will continue to rally around her as the rest of Democrats try to go mainstream to save the party from extinction.

If the conservative movement wants a presidential candidate in 2016, they are going to have to unite around one candidate, and during the next two years, they are going to have to show the country that they have workable ideas as to how to turn America back to the constitutional republic it was intended to be.

The Story Behind The Problem Of Income Inequality

Jeff Jacoby posted an article at in November of this year entitled, “The Real Cause of Rising Income Inequality.” Income inequality has increased under President Obama, and Mr. Jacoby points out a few reasons why.

Before I get to Mr. Jacoby’s article, I want to refer to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report on “the breakdown of the Negro family.”

Senator Moynihan’s report stated:

The Breakdown of the Negro Family Has Led to a Startling Increase in Welfare Dependency.

The majority of Negro children receive public assistance under the AFDC program at one point or another in their childhood.

At present, 14 percent of Negro children are receiving AFDC assistance, as against 2 percent of white children. Eight percent of white children receive such assistance at some time, as against 56 percent of nonwhites, according to an extrapolation based on HEW data. (Let it be noted, however, that out of a total of 1.8 million nonwhite illegitimate children in the nation in 1961, 1.3 million were not receiving aid under the AFDC program, although a substantial number have, or will, receive aid at some time in their lives.)

Again, the situation may be said to be worsening. The AFDC program, deriving from the long established Mothers’ Aid programs, was established in 1935 principally to care for widows and orphans, although the legislation covered all children in homes deprived of parental support because one or both of their parents are absent or incapacitated.

In the beginning, the number of AFDC families in which the father was absent because of desertion was less than a third of the total. Today it is two-thirds. HEW estimates “that between two-thirds and three-fourths of the 50 percent increase from 1948 to 1955 in the number of absent-father families receiving ADC may be explained by an increase in broken homes in the population.”10

A 1960 study of Aid to Dependent Children in Cook County, Ill. stated:
“The ‘typical’ ADC mother in Cook County was married and had children by her husband, who deserted; his whereabouts are unknown, and he does not contribute to the support of his children. She is not free to remarry and has had an illegitimate child since her husband left. (Almost 90 percent of the ADC families are Negro.)”11

The steady expansion of this welfare program, as of public assistance programs in general, can be taken as a measure of the steady disintegration of the Negro family structure over the past generation in the United States.

I would argue that the ADC program has actually encouraged the breakdown of families of all races. When the government subsidizes a behavior (in this case, fatherless families), that behavior increases. The welfare programs as currently written are a perfect example of this.

Now, back to Mr. Jacoby. The article states:

One report, aptly titled “For Richer, For Poorer,” is by sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox of the American Enterprise Institute and economist Robert I. Lerman of the Urban Institute. It documents the profound links that connect family structure and financial well-being, and underscores what decades of empirical data have shown: Families headed by married couples tend to be much stronger economically than those headed by unwed single parents.

“Anyone concerned about family inequality, men’s declining labor-force participation, and the vitality of the American dream should worry about the nation’s retreat from marriage,” the authors write. The steady fall in the percentage of married two-parent households — from 78 percent in 1980 to 66 percent in 2012 — goes a long way toward explaining why so many ordinary families have trouble climbing beyond the lower rungs on the economic ladder. Correlation isn’t proof of causation, of course. But there is no refuting the strong association between growing up with both parents in an intact family and achieving higher levels of education, work, and income as young adults.

Basically, intact families are economically stronger than broken families.

The article at concludes:

Income inequality may or may not be “the defining challenge of our time,” as Obama and others have proclaimed. But the most significant driver of that inequality — the biggest impediment to upward economic mobility — isn’t hard to identify. The higher the fraction of children not being raised by their married parents, the more of our fellow citizens for whom the American Dream is likely to remain beyond reach.

The family is one of the building blocks of our society. Unless we strengthen that building block, our society will crumble. Our compassion needs to be combined with wisdom. Children from broken families are more likely to commit crimes and less likely to finish their education. The government needs to find a way to strengthen marriage–not undermine it.

Common Sense Comes To Michigan

Today’s Washington Times is reporting that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law putting in place a new drug-testing program for welfare recipients.

When you read the details of the program, you realize that it is intended to help those on welfare who have drug dependency problems, not penalize anyone. The article explains:

Welfare recipients or applicants suspected of drug use will be required to take a drug test. Anyone who refuses to take the test will be suspended from welfare benefits for six months.

If a person tests positive for drugs they will be referred to a treatment program and required to submit periodic drug tests. Refusal to participate in the rehab program will result in a termination of welfare benefits. But benefits can be restored after a person submits a clean drug test.

Welfare in many cases has been abused and used as an excuse to stay drugged and not work. This program is a step toward helping people end drug dependency and become working members of society. This needs to be done in all states.

The Friday Night News Dump

While the rest of us were recovering from Christmas, Hugh Hewitt was working. Today he posted an article at about some news the White House released on the day after Christmas (Friday) at 5 pm. The news was about President Obama’s desire to close Guantanamo.

Mr. Hewitt quotes a CNN New Story:

Once a detainee is deemed no longer a risk, they are either transferred back to their country of origin, or a third country that is willing to take them.

Sixty-four of the 132 remaining detainees have been ruled eligible for transfer.

Of the 64 eligible, 54 are from Yemen. But the United States is not willing, at this point, to send them back to Yemen because of concerns that the government — under pressure from al Qaeda and Houthi militants — cannot ensure they do not join al Qaeda elements there. The administration for the last several months has been trying to find a country that will take the Yemenis and provide security and human rights assurances for them.

If the sixty-four are not dangerous, why would there be a problem sending them to Yemen? (Because they actually are dangerous–there is a game being played here).

The article lists President Obama’s reasons for wanting to close Guantanamo:

“It is something that continues to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world, the fact that these folks are being held,” Obama said. “It is contrary to our values and it is wildly expensive. We’re spending millions for each individual there. And we have drawn down the population there significantly.”

Guantanamo is not the problem in creating jihadists. Our values do include locking up people who are dangerous to society. Guantanamo may be expensive, but how much is an American life worth? A large percentage of prisoners released have returned to the battlefield and killed Americans. The fact that we have drawn down the population does not mean that we have done the right thing,

On December 24, Hot Air posted an article with the headline, “U.S. offering $5 million reward for Al Qaeda capo…who was released from Gitmo in 2006.” Unfortunately, that story is not unique.

Mr. Hewitt’s article concludes:

In short, an absurd, serial set of non-sequitors, about par for this president’s command of logic and persuasive argument. Windy and without logic or fact to back it up.  The new Congress should block him not only from closing Gitmo, but from expending money to relocate prisoners –a classic appropriations’ rider.  Given the way the world is going, we are going to need the facility for decades into the future, and a full throated defense of the necessity as well.

I hope we have someone in Washington who has that much wisdom.


The Law Of Unintended Consequences At Work

On Tuesday, the Daily Caller posted a story about Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The farmers the ban was supposed to protect are complaining about the ban.

The article reports:

“I’m devastated,” apple farmer David Johnson told The Guardian after Wednesday’s announcement that New York was banning fracking. “I have concerns about how to continue this farm that’s been in the family for 150 years.”

“If we had been able to get some gas drilling going it would have made our lives a little easier and taken a few of the stresses away,” echoed Judi Whittaker, who owns a dairy farm and hoped for gas royalties to help pay her high property taxes. “We’ll just have to rethink what we’re doing and move ahead. Agriculture has ups and downs all the time. You just have to go along for the ride.”

There is so far no scientific evidence that fracking harms the environment.

The article further explains:

Just across the border from Johnson’s farm, the economy is booming in rural Pennsylvania where the state allows oil companies to extract natural gas using fracking. Oil and gas activities support 300,000 jobs in the state and contributed $34 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy.

“I mean, I would say to New Yorkers, ‘Come to Pennsylvania and take advantage of these jobs that are available with this well-paying industry,’” Stephanie Catarino Wissman, head of the Pennsylvania branch of the American Petroleum Institute, told NPR.

We are crippling state economies for the sake of unproven science.


Don’t Get Too Excited About The 5% Economic Growth

Some things are just not what they appear to be. John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about the 5% GDP increase in the third quarter of 2014. Admittedly, that sounds really good, but unfortunately, there is a fly in the ointment.

The New York Times was all abuzz on Tuesday::

So here, for the holidays, is the festive news: The economy roared ahead at a 5 percent annual growth rate in the July through September quarter, the fastest quarterly growth since 2003.

…The biggest revision that boosted G.D.P. was in personal consumption spending, the biggest engine of overall economic activity, which rose at a 3.2 percent annual rate, not the 2.2 percent rate earlier estimated. That suggests that falling energy prices are leaving Americans in better position to spend on everything else.

Wow. That sounds really great, but let’s look a little closer.

Power Line reports:

But no: the “personal consumption” that drove the supposed economic boom in the third quarter was the increased cost of Obamacare, spending that had been moved from the first quarter to make the third quarter look better:

This is the chart:


Final Q3 GDP contribution_2_0

In short, two-thirds of the “boost” to final Q3 personal consumption came from, drumroll, the same Obamacare which initially was supposed to boost Q1 GDP until the “polar vortex” crashed the number so badly, the BEA decided to pull it completely and leave this “growth dry powder” for another quarter. That quarter was Q3.

The article at Power Line concludes:

We can only hope that exploding Obamacare costs don’t drive “personal consumption” any higher in future quarters, and also that this sort of statistical manipulation comes to an end when the endlessly corrupt Obama administration finally departs the scene.

Between now and 2016, we need to make sure the voters understand what is going on.

There Might Be A Bit Of A Double Standard Here

Charlie Rangel has served continuously in the House of Representatives since 1971. He has had a few challenges along the way. There was the question of using Congressional letterhead to raise money for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York, the question of receiving unusually low rents on his four Harlem apartments, failure to pay taxes on income from his Dominican home, along with unreported assets and other challenges.

In March of 2010, Charlie Rangel temporarily stepped down from his chairmanship of the ethics committee because of the charges against him ( There was no talk of him leaving Congress, it was simply an embarrassment to the Democrats to have him as chairman of the ethics committee.

Now, fast forward four years. Roll Call is reporting today that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi became the first member of leadership on either side of the aisle to call for Rep. Michael G. Grimm’s ouster from Congress. Michael Grimm has been charged with felony tax evasion. I guess Representative Grimm is simply not as good at making up excuses as Representative Rangel was.

I am not endorsing tax fraud, but even a quick glance at Representative Rangel’s tax history causes one to wonder why he is still on Congress. Representative Rangel only had to step down from his chairmanship of the ethics committee while he was under investigation. It seems to me that Representative Rangel and Representative Grimm should either both be asked to resign from Congress or they both should be allowed to stay. I really don’t think anything else makes any sense.

Will President Obama Work With The New Senate?

The Washington Examiner posted a story today about President Obama’s new liaison to the Senate.

The article reports:

Marty Paone will be the new deputy assistant for legislative affairs with the White House, the White House confirmed to the Washington Examiner. Paone has previously lobbied for construction of the 1,200-mile TransCanada Corp. oil sands pipeline on behalf of a coalition of Canadian oil companies through his job at lobbying shop Prime Policy Group, where he most recently served as executive vice president.

…”As an expert on Senate procedure, [Paone] will be instrumental in helping the White House navigate complex developments like reconciliation and potential rules changes in the next Congress,” a White House official said. “Marty has longstanding Senate relationships, which will help the president advance major bipartisan legislative issues like trade and long-term transportation bill. Marty has the reputation as a tough but fair negotiator, and is known for his good sense of humor.”

Does this mean that President Obama actually wants to work with the Senate to get things done? Grad some popcorn, this could get interesting!

I Guess You Really Don’t Need A High Tech Security System

The Blaze posted a story today about an Arizona homeowner who set up a video system with an old cell phone so that she could check on her dogs while she was at work. When she checked on her dogs by logging on to her computer at work, she saw a strange man in her living room. She called the police as she watched the stranger feeding her dogs treats to keep them from barking.

The article reports:

Shortly after the crook was seen feeding the dogs, he noticed the camera and turned it off. However, it was too late. The 911 call had been made and cops were en route.

Police responded quickly, surrounding the property. They nabbed the would-be burglar in the alley as he exited the back of the house. He reportedly confessed to the arresting officer that he was trying to steal an X-Box gaming system.

I guess sometimes it pays to check up on your dogs.

Cleaning Up Pennsylvania Politics

On Friday, The Daily Signal reported that a grand jury in Philadelphia has found two Pennsylvania legislators guilty of taking bribes.

The article reports:

A grand jury convened by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has indicted two Democratic state legislators for accepting bribes in exchange for voting against a voter ID bill, among other legislative actions.

The grand jury findings also represent a withering rejection of the unjustifiable behavior of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who shut down the three-year investigation that caught state Democratic legislators on video and audio tapes taking bribes. Williams stepped in and successfully prosecuted the case.

One of the bribes taken involved voting against voter identification laws.

The article reports of the fact that the previous investigation had been shut down:

Because Waters, Brown and other legislators involved in the bribery scheme are black, Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane shut down the investigation in March. She claimed that the investigation was “poorly conceived, badly managed and tainted by racism…[and] had targeted African-Americans.” Williams, who also is black, was particularly incensed by this claim, saying that he was “disgusted that the attorney general would bring racism into this case. It’s like pouring gasoline on a fire for no reason, no reason at all.”

Equal rights involves equal justice–it does not involve shielding a person from the consequences of their actions just because of their race.

The article concludes:

As the grand jury concluded, the evidence of bribery was “unusually damning, consisting as it does not only of eyewitness accounts, but of hours of tape recordings, and of detailed admissions by the subjects of the investigation themselves.”

In light of those findings, it is difficult to come up with any reason for Kane’s actions other than a political one. Thankfully, Williams was not deterred from seeking indictments for crimes that strike at the very heart of the legislative process. Kane may not be interested in trying to clean up state politics, but Williams certainly is.

It is good to see someone working to clean up politics. We need people like Attorney General Williams in every state.

The IRS Smoking Gun Will Be Released Tuesday Morning

The Daily Caller posted a story today stating that they have received an advance copy of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that definitively proves malicious intent by the IRS to improperly block conservative groups that an IRS adviser deemed “icky.”

The article lists six findings from the report:

1. The IRS admitted that the front office was “spinning” about the targeting rumors as early as 2012, after IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman denied the tea party targeting to Congress.

2. Then-IRS commissioner Steven T. Miller almost broke down and told the truth about the tea party targeting at a July 2012 hearing, but Lerner’s sidekick Nikole Flax told him not to.

3. The IRS definitely treated tea party applications by a different standard than applications from other (c)(4) groups.

4. Lois Lerner expressed her frustration about having to potentially approve a lot of groups, and her colleagues in the agency assured her that she wouldn’t have to.

5. So the IRS reached out to outside advisers to help come up with ways to deny tax-exempt status to “icky” organizations.

6. A May 2011 email from a lawyer in the IRS chief counsel’s office made clear that the agency sought to use a new “gift tax” to target donors to nonprofit political groups.

Lying to Congress is perjury and I believe it carries a jail term. Unfortunately, the charges would have to be brought by the Justice Department, and I don’t see that happening. At any rate, this information needs to be shouted across the media, although my bet is that most of the  media won’t report it.

Weak Leadership Has Many Different Results

President Obama has been a weak President. He has not directly faced any of the threats against us. His comments on SONY were rather interesting considering the arrest of the man who made the video the Obama Administration blamed for Benghazi. But more important (and disturbing) is his unwillingness to stand up to Iran. This has left something of a vacuum in the Middle East power struggle which is now having interesting results.

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about what has been happening to oil prices recently. Mr. Hayward points out that the Saudi decision to keep production levels up (therefore keeping prices low) may not actually be about stunting the American shale oil market. It quite possibly has more to do with crippling the economies of Iran and Russia, the two biggest problems for the Saudis in their neighborhood.

In a National Post article posted yesterday, Conrad Black explains:

Saudi Arabia has resigned itself to the fact that neither its oft-demonstrated ability to play the periodic U.S. resolve to reduce its dependence on foreign oil like a yo-yo by price-cutting until the impulse of self-discipline passes, nor the agitation of the environmentalists for restrained oil production, will work again. . . a Saudi move on this scale, with the resulting self-inflicted reduction in their income, makes no sense for the marginal impact it will have on American future production and imports; it is a geopolitical move targeted much closer to home. . .

Saudi Arabia is trying to discourage the use of Iranian and Russian oil revenues to prop up the blood-stained and beleaguered Assad regime in Damascus, to finance Iran’s nuclear military program, and to incite the continuing outrages of Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories against Israel. The exotic community of interest that has suddenly arisen between the historically Jew-baiting Saudis and the Jewish state is because the countries in the area fear, with good reason as far as can be discerned, that the UN Security Council members, plus Germany, may be on the verge of acquiescing in Iran’s arrival as a threshold nuclear military power. The oil-price weapon, in the face of the terminal enfeeblement of the Obama administration, is the last recourse before the Saudis and Turks, whatever their autocues of racist rhetoric, invite Israel to smash the Iranian nuclear program from the air.

I guess this is one time having a weak President actually helps the American economy. However, if the price of oil remains low, future investment in American oil will decrease, and that will cause an economic problem for America. For many reasons, we need to make energy independence for America a priority.

Illegal Immigration In 2014

On Friday, the Washington Times posted an article about the illegal immigration numbers for 2014.

The part of the article that caught my attention was:

Mr. Johnson (Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson), in a statement releasing the figures, blamed this summer’s surge of illegal immigrant children for the poor results.

“This year’s statistics are informed by a number of complex and shifting factors, most notably the 68 percent increase in migration from countries other than Mexico, predominately from Central America, and a 14 percent drop in Mexican migration since fiscal year 2013,” he said.

An administration official said this is the first time on record that border authorities have caught more non-Mexicans than Mexicans at the border, underscoring the changing demographics.

It is interesting to note that in order for illegal immigrants to come to America from Central America they usually have to cross through Mexico. It seems to me that we should be putting some pressure on the Mexican government concerning that. The number of ‘other than Mexicans (OTM’s)’ is also a concern. How many of these OTM’s are from countries that sponsor terrorism? This is no way to run a country.

The statistics on immigration and deportation for last year were listed in the article:

Apprehensions on the border, which Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says is a yardstick for overall illegal immigration, rose 16 percent in fiscal year 2014, while deportations from within the interior of the U.S. — the measure of how much the administration is going after long-time illegal immigrants — fell 24 percent.

I am not against immigration, but it seems to me that a government that wants to control what children eat for lunch should be able to control its borders.


An Unnecessary Tragedy

Today’s New York Post is reporting that two policemen have been killed in the Brooklyn while they sat in their police car. Unfortunately, this is the result of much of the media’s and some of our local and national leaders’ ‘war on the police’ that has been going on for the last few months.

May the policemen rest in peace and their families be comforted.

The article reports the response of some of the New York City Police:

The two officers were pronounced dead at Woodhull Hospital, where their colleagues and family members huddled tearfully.

City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio were less than welcome guests at the poignant gathering.

“We’re all in this together,” the mayor told grieving cops, according to a cop who was there.

“No we’re not,” one officer said tersely in response.

Just last week cops began signing a “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice” waiver, distributed by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, that warned the mayor and speaker to stay away from funerals of cops killed in the line of duty.

Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco, like many cops, likened the murders to the 1988 assassination of Police Officer Eddie Byrne.

The 22-year-old rookie cop was alone in a squad car in Jamaica, Queens, guarding the home of a witness in a drug case, when he was shot in the head five times. The hit was ordered by jailed drug kingpin “Pappy” Mason, in retaliation for his arrest.

“I don’t even know how to respond to this,” Turco said. “Twenty-eight years on and I don’t know what to say.”

Another cop, who is black, said he fears that “this is just the beginning.

“There are people out there who will want to be copycats. The tension out there is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”

The lack of support shown to the New York City Police recently has not helped the safety of policemen. It is time for those who seek to divide America along racial lines and those who seek to blame the police for those divides to be quiet. Lack of respect for policemen endangers all of us. It will make America less safe and create chaos in our cities.


Teaching Islam Under The Guise Of Common Core

Yesterday Todd Starnes at Fox News posted an article about a Common Core vocabulary assignment given in English class in Farmville, North Carolina.

The article details the assignment:

“In the following exercises, you will have the opportunity to expand your vocabulary by reading about Muhammad and the Islamic word,” the worksheet read.

The lesson used words like astute, conducive, erratic, mosque, pastoral, and zenith in sentences about the Islamic faith.

“The zenith of any Muslim’s life is a trip to Mecca,” one sentence read. For “erratic,” the lesson included this statement: “The responses to Muhammad’s teachings were at first erratic. Some people responded favorably, while other resisted his claim that ‘there is no God but Allah and Muhammad his Prophet.”

Another section required students to complete a sentence:

“There are such vast numbers of people who are anxious to spread the Muslim faith that it would be impossible to give a(n)___ amount.”

The writer of the article at Fox asked the school district to provide me with a copy of vocabulary worksheets that promoted the Jewish, Hindu and Christian faiths. The school district did not reply.

The article concludes:

The student I spoke with told me they have not had any other assignments dealing with religion – other than the one about Islam.

Why is that not surprising?

Based on its official statement, Pitt County Schools seems confident that the vocabulary lessons are in compliance with three Common Core standards related to literary. If you want to look up those standards, reference CCSSELA-Literary L11-12.4.A, 12.4.D and 12.6.

Since the Common Core folks seem to be infatuated with sentence completion – let me try one out on them.

Use “Islamic” and “proselytizing” in the following sentence: Somebody got their ____ hand caught in the ____ cookie jar.

Where are the protests from the ‘Freedom From Religion’ people?

How Many Times Did Scott Walker Have To Run For Governor During One Term?

The American Thinker posted an article today about the legal attack on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in recent years. The opponents of Governor Walker have used “John Doe” investigations against the governor and midnight SWAT team raids on Walker’s political supporters.

The article reports:

Yesterday, Judge Lee S. Dreyfus of the Waukesha County Court unsealed a trove of documents in  he civil lawsuit being brought by the Wisconsin Club for Growth against the GAB (Government Accountability Board).

The article lists some of the information in the documents:

Staff members engaged in the probe seem to have defied their own board. Documents show the board voted on July 21, 2014 refused to reauthorize the investigation, on a 3-2 vote.

Documents show the GAB staffers were preoccupied with their own legal exposure rather than whether those staffers were engaged in a lawful investigation. As late as May, they urged the board to continue to fund the agency’s probe because “terminating the investigation could undermine the position of the Board’s investigators in the civil case, exposing them, and potentially Board members to civil liability with no legal support.” (snip)

Under state law, the agency’s board must meet “at least once every 90” days to review the progress of the investigation. The board must approve the reauthorization of the investigation or the probe is considered closed.

The GAB is not authorized under law to prosecute criminal investigations, such as John Doe probes.

GAB spokesman Reid Magney earlier this week told Wisconsin Reporter, “John Doe investigations are initiated by district attorneys and controlled by a judge, not the Government Accountability Board.”

Asked whether the board has reauthorized the probe, he declined to comment, citing confidentiality laws.

Technically, the GAB’s involvement in the investigation should have been terminated over a year ago.

According to documents, the GAB voted to authorize the probe on June 20, 2013 but did not vote to reauthorize until Sept. 25, 2013 – 97 days after the GAB’s investigation was officially launched.

GAB Judge Harold Froehlich extensively discussed the lapse at a board meeting in May 2014.

But the GAB, according to court documents, had been admitted as a party to the probe and assisting prosecutors 10 months prior to the board’s formal vote to begin its investigation.

The unsealed documents show GAB director and general counsel Kevin Kennedy and Jonathan Becker, administrator of the agency’s ethics division, involved the accountability board in the secret probe without the approval or even knowledge of the judges. Board members were not informed of the involvement until Dec. 18, 2012, some three months after Kennedy and crew jumped on board.

And it seems Kennedy and Becker misled the board about precisely when they had “learned” of the John Doe investigation, according to a Dec. 18, 2012 memorandum.

“Since the time of the October 23, 2012 Board meeting, staff has learned that the Milwaukee District Attorney has opened another John Doe investigation,” the memo states.

It is not a crime to be a conservative governor. Hopefully the people who attempted to make it a crime will find themselves defending their actions rather than attacking people for their political views.