The Ever-Changing Story

There are some serious problems with the actions of the Obama Administration in terms of unmasking American citizens making phone calls. It is not an incredible coincidence that the unmasked citizens were people closely connected to the Trump presidential campaign. One name that has continually been mentioned as part of this unmasking is Susan Rice. She appeared on the Sunday News Shows (hasn’t she done that before?) today to explain her innocence.

The details are posted at Hot Air today.

Ms. Rice stated this morning:

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice denied President Donald Trump’s claim that she tried to unmask Americans in an attempt to implicate Trump campaign officials, adding that she never did anything “untoward with respect to the intelligence” she received.

During an interview with CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” airing Sunday morning, Rice said Trump’s accusation is “absolutely false” and that members of Congress have not found anything inappropriate in the situation.

“I think now we’ve had subsequently members of Congress on the intelligence committees on both sides of the aisle take a look at the information that apparently was the basis for Chairman [Devin] Nunes’ concern, and say publicly that they didn’t see anything that was unusual or untoward,” Rice said, referring to the California Republican.

But what has she said before? The article reports:

You may recall that when the story first broke Rice spoke to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC and at least heavily implied that Trump’s initial accusations were all some sort of fever swamp fantasies. (What she actually said was that she never leaked anything.) But before very long the details which emerged told a very different story. Within days it was revealed that she had, in fact, actively sought to have names revealed to her even if they had originally been picked up “incidentally.” Eventually we reached the point where the best they could say was that it appeared that she hadn’t done anything that was technically illegal.

Now, in the fashion so typical of politicians (as opposed to national security experts), she’s answering an entirely different question. Yes, she did get that information but she never did anything “unusual or untoward” with it. And why would we be so suspicious as to think she might have seen some value in data collected on people associated with the guy who was then in a heated battle to defeat the candidate who was promising to carry on her boss’s legacy? Perish the thought.

If the Justice Department has actually become the Justice Department rather than a political arm of the Democrat party, someone will be charged with a crime in this matter. The leaking of the names and information to the media was illegal. The leaking of the information was exactly what some members of Congress warned about when the Patriot Act was passed–that there would be eavesdropping on Americans that would be used for political purposes. What happened during the 2016 presidential campaign is an example of this. If no one is held accountable, it will continue to happen. That is not good news.


Do Some Democrats Really Believe In Free College?

Breitbart posted a story today about a recent audit of the University of California. During the time that she oversaw the University, University of California President and former Obama Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano raised tuition. That doesn’t seem all that unusual–tuition is raised all the time. However, there is more to the story.

The article reports the results of the audit:

The cover page for State Auditor Elaine Howle’s 167-page audit report states bluntly that the UC president’s office  “Failed to Disclose Tens of Millions in Surplus Funds, and Its Budget Practices Are Misleading.”

 The audit found that the UC spent $32.5 billion on expenses during the 2015-16 school year to fund 10 campuses, five medical centers, and its Office of the President headquarters. Although the UC states that its “fundamental missions are teaching, research and public service,” the UC only spent “$6.7 billion (21 percent) on teaching, “$4.6 billion (14 percent) on research” and “$630 million (2 percent) on public service.” The other $20.6 billion (63 percent) was spent on non-fundamental activities.

The audit highlighted criticism in January from students and lawmakers after the UC regents approved President Napolitano’s 2.7 percent tuition increase for the 2017-18 year, given that UC tuition nearly doubled from $6,141 in 2006–07 to the current $12,192 this school year.

In addition, State Auditor Howle’s audit found the “Office of the President has amassed substantial reserve funds, used misleading budgeting practices, provided its employees with generous salaries and atypical benefits, and failed to satisfactorily justify its spending on systemwide initiatives.”

The article further explains that the Office of the President interfered in the audit process. The article includes a list of financial issues discovered in the audit. The problems were outlined in a cover letter sent to California Governor Jerry Brown with the audit. If you follow the link above to the article, the list is posted there.

The Democrats are on the record as stating that they want free college for everyone. Meanwhile, the actions of Ms. Napolitano cause me to question the sincerity of that desire. There is also Senator Elizabeth Warren who make $300,000 to $400,000 per year for teaching two or three college classes a week. Didn’t these people study economics? Where do they think the money to pay the teachers and keep the buildings in a reasonable state of repair is going to come from if college is free?

The rapid increase in tuition costs is largely due to the government involvement in student loans. The colleges have no incentive to cut costs–students can get government loans to pay outlandish tuition costs. The government has no incentive to look carefully at the students taking out the loans–it’s taxpayer money. And meanwhile the current student loan debt is larger than the current credit card debt in America. It is a bubble waiting to burst, and the taxpayers will be left holding the bag. The student loan program is another federal entity that needs to be put back into the hands of private banks who understand how and when to lend money. Meanwhile, colleges need to learn to control their spending. Tuition increases should be about level with the rate of inflation.

The following chart shows what has happened to college costs from 1985 to 2011. The chart is from a website called inflation data:

The government took over the student loan program in 2010.


When Colleges Suppress Ideas

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article yesterday about a recent vote taken at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

The article reports:

Anti-Israel groups on college campuses have come up with a new tactic in their effort to pass BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) resolutions. They are manipulating the voting to exclude Jews from the process.

At Tufts, a group called Students for Justice in Palestine decided to place an anti-Israel divestment resolution on the school senate’s agenda on the evening before the Jewish holiday of Passover, at a time when many Jewish students would be unable to attend the student government meeting. More than 50 students emailed their “senators” urging them to postpone the vote until after the Jewish holiday. The senate ignored their request.

A number of Jewish, Christian, education, and civil rights groups have sent a letter to Anthony Monaco, president of Tufts, protesting the way the vote was held. Their list of remedies is included in the Power Line article.

Fortunately this story does have a happy ending.

The article at Power Line includes an update:

I’m happy to report, via a Tufts alum, that the Trustees have voted not to change Tufts’ investment policy. Further, they identified significant “concerns” in the manner in which the student senate passed the divestment resolution.

Unfortunately anti-Semitism is alive and well on America’s college campuses.

When The Media Does Not Tell The Truth, It Puts All Of Us At Risk

Tommy Waller at the Center for Security Policy posted an article today about a recent media story that totally misinformed the public. The media story in question  was a two-and-a-half-minute segment on an NPR show discussing the threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) strike from North Korea.

Exactly what is an EMP strike and how does it work? Our electrical grid, satellites, computers, etc. all depend on an even flow of electricity. If you disrupt that flow and burn out a significant amount of the equipment that distributes that electricity in the process, you can cause some serious problems to America. It could be months before food, water, gasoline, natural gas, electricity, etc., could be delivered to the people impacted by an EMP. Detonating a nuclear bomb in the atmosphere will disrupt the electronics for a large area. There is some discussion about how large that area would be, but think of the impact of wiping out the electrical power and the equipment that distributes it in a large section of America.

A website called future science details a brief history of the impact of an EMP:

Starfish Prime

On July 1962, a 1.44 megaton United States nuclear test in space, 400 kilometers (250 miles) above the mid-Pacific Ocean, called the Starfish Prime test, demonstrated to nuclear scientists that the magnitude and effects of a high altitude nuclear explosion were much larger than had been previously calculated.  The detonation time was July 9, 1962 at 09:00:09 Coordinated Universal Time, (which was 8 July, Honolulu time, at nine seconds after 11 p.m.).  The coordinates of the detonation were 16 degrees, 28 minutes North latitude, 169 degrees, 38 minutes West longitude.7  The actual weapon yield was very close to the design yield, which has been described by various sources at different values in the very narrow range of 1.4 to 1.45 megatons. 

The Thor missile carrying the Starfish Prime warhead actually reached a maximum height of about 1100 kilometers (just over 680 miles), and the warhead was detonated on its downward trajectory when it had fallen to the programmed altitude of 400 kilometers.  The nuclear warhead detonated at 13 minutes and 41 seconds after liftoff of the Thor missile from Johnston Island.9

Starfish Prime also made EMP effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometers (898 miles) away from the detonation point, knocking out about 300 streetlights, setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone company microwave link.7

Starfish Prime was the first successful test in the series of United States high-altitude nuclear tests in 1962 known as Operation Fishbowl.  The subsequent Operation Fishbowl tests gathered more data on the high-altitude EMP phenomenon, especially the Bluegill Triple Prime and Kingfish test of October, 1962.8

The EMP damage of the Starfish Prime test was quickly repaired because of the ruggedness (compared to today) of the electrical and electronic infrastructure of Hawaii in 1962.  Realization of the potential impacts of high-altitude nuclear EMP became more apparent to some scientists and engineers during the 1970s as more sensitive solid-state electronics began to come into widespread use.

The relatively small magnitude of the Starfish Prime EMP in Hawaii (about 5600 volts/meter) and the relatively small amount of damage done (for example, only 1 to 3 percent of streetlights extinguished)10 led some scientists to believe, in the early days of EMP research, that the problem might not be as significant as was later realized.  Newer calculations7 showed that if the Starfish Prime warhead had been detonated over the northern continental United States, the magnitude of the EMP would have been much larger (22 to 30 kilovolts/meter) because of the greater strength of the Earth’s magnetic field over the United States, as well as the different orientation of the Earth’s magnetic field at high latitudes.  These new calculations, combined with the accelerating reliance on EMP-sensitive microelectronics, heightened awareness that the EMP threat could be a very significant problem.

As late as the 1980s, some distinguished scientist published articles which cast doubt on the magnitude of the E1-EMP.  Those scientists did not have access to some critical classified information that has subsequently been declassifed.  This primary mistake that these scientists made was apparently a large underestimation of the coherence of the pulse.  The initial electrons are knocked out of atmospheric molecules almost simultaneously over a large region.  The electrons then spiral almost simultaneously around the Earth’s magnetic field lines.  This results in a very narrow pulse of extremely high field strength, but one that last for less than a microsecond.  Each high-energy electronic emits only a very weak pulse, however a typical nuclear weapon produces about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ten septillion) of these high-energy electrons all spiraling around the geomagnetic field lines simultaneously.

We have the information showing the dangers of an EMP. Although much of that information is classified, enough of it is available to scientists for them to understand the risks.

However, not all scientists are paying attention.

The Center for Security Policy article reports:

At 5:10AM ET on 27 April 2017, the Morning Edition program at National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast a segment titled “The North Korean Electromagnetic Pulse Threat, Or Lack Thereof.”  An audio recording of this segment can be found here:

The 2 minute 26 second segment was in response to an interview of Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey from 26 April, where Ambassador Woolsey discussed the EMP threat posed by North Korea:

In the 27 April broadcast, NPR’s science editor – Geoff Brumfiel – gave prominent treatment to Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  Mr. Lewis not only dismissed the North Korean EMP threat but ridiculed it by laughing out loud at the comments of a former Director of the CIA discussing a real, present, and existential threat to the nation.

Mr. Lewis, who claims to be a nuclear expert, has been denigrating EMP for the last 6 years.   Aside from his brief time as an intern the Pentagon, he has never served in the DOD or intelligence community and his formal education is in policy studies and philosophy rather than engineering or nuclear weapons design.  Yet NPR’s editors thought it appropriate to champion not only his “analysis” but his obtuse laughter at a sobering subject that is one of the most important of our time.  It is clear by the way Geoff Brumfiel edited this broadcast that he sought to denigrate not only the topic of EMP, but also James Woolsey, the U.S. Military, and the U.S. Congress – since the Ambassador has warned for years about the EMP threat and the DOD and Congress have appropriated billions of dollars to protect America’s strategic forces against it.

This is an example of irresponsible journalism.

The article at the Center for Security Policy continues:

Evidently, National Public Radio, an organization whose operating expenses are paid in part by the U.S. taxpayer, considers it appropriate to promote ridicule of anyone concerned with the threat from Elecromagnetic Pulse, when the nation’s most informed authorities on EMP consider it to be a real, present, and existential threat to the country and it’s population.

In response to this abject failure in journalism, Center for Security Policy founder and president – Frank J. Gaffney Jr. – recently authored a formal letter to Senator Roy Blunt and Congressmen Tom Coles, who serve on their chambers’ respective Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittees.   This letter calls on these men and these subcommittees to hold NPR accountable for dereliction of its public trust.

We encourage all Americans who are concerned about EMP to join Frank, The Center for Security Policy, and The Secure the Grid Coalition in holding to account National Public Radio.  We encourage you to inform your own elected representatives of this journalistic malfeasance and to confront NPR directly through messages to its Ombudsman and Management by submitting your own comments at the following link:

The article at the Center for Security Policy reminds us that we need to beef up our missile defense programs to protect us from this threat. We also need to remember that when North Korea (or Iran) blows up a missile in mid-flight, it may not be an accident–it may be a practice run.

What Did He Actually Do?

The media has not given President Trump fair treatment. That is not a surprise–he is a Republican and is fighting the status quo. He might even make it necessary to change which cocktail parties they attend. Right now the media narrative is that President Trump is a disaster for the country and has accomplished nothing. Let’s take a look at what has actually taken place during President Trump’s short time in office.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday listing the accomplishments of the Trump Administration.

The article mentions the immediate impact President Trump’s election has had on the economy:

The US Stock Markets are at record highs and millions of Americans are benefitting in their retirement savings accounts. 

The article includes a number of specifics on the DOW, including:

The US Stock Market gained $2 trillion in wealth since Trump was elected!
The S&P 500 broke $20 Trillion for the first time in its history.

Since the majority of working Americans have 401k or other retirement accounts, this positively impacts most working Americans. It doesn’t help welfare recipients or people working part time or for minimum wage, but those people will be helped as the economy improves and they are able to get better jobs. This would also be a really good time for people who want to be successful to improve their marketable skills so that they will be ready to find a better job in an improved economy.

Other accomplishments listed in the article include:

President Trump decreased the US Debt in his first 100 days by $100 Billion.  (President Obama increased the US debt in his first 100 days by more than $560 Billion.)

The US Manufacturing Index soared to a 33 year high in this period which were the best numbers since 1983 under President Reagan.

President Trump added 298,000 jobs in his first month alone (after President Obama said jobs were not coming back!).

Housing sales are red-hot.  In 2011, houses for sale were on the market an average 84 days. This year, it’s just 45 days.

Illegal immigration is down 67% since President Trump’s Inauguration.

NATO announced Allied spending is up $10 Billion because of President Trump.

After being nominated by President Trump, Constitutionalist Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed and sworn in as  Supreme Court Justice in early April.

Please follow the link above to the article. There have been many accomplishments that have simply been overlooked by the mainstream media.

What Tax Reform Can Do

President Truman is quoted as saying, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” He also said, “You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook.” We are seeing the truth in both of those observations in the current tax debate.

This is a picture of America‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in recent years from the balance:

You might remember that 2012 was the year the tax increases to pay for ObamaCare began. In 2013 the Capital Gains tax increased for high income earners, and the increase in the medicare payroll tax also began in 2013. Obviously raising taxes did not help the economy.

This is the laffer curve:

As you can see, there is a point where tax increases no longer generate revenue.

I am going to assume that Democrats are going to try to block President Trump’s tax reform. I think that is rather obvious. So the question becomes, “Do Democrats not understand economic principles and economic growth (e.g. the Laffer curve) or do they simply want to enslave the American worker?” At this point it is a valid question.

I can understand high-tax states not wanting to give up the benefit they reap in the current tax code. I can also understand all the lobbyists tearing their hair out because their special interest will no longer get a tax break, but at some point Congress needs to do what is best for the country and for the American people. Economic growth is struggling under the current tax burden. Every American who works is giving the government a higher percentage of what they earn than the Medieval surfs paid their lords. That is a scary thought. At the same time, many people who choose not to work are driving expensive cars and living better than the people who do work. The poverty in America that the government is now supporting currently owns a nice car, a big-screen television, an ipad, a smart phones, and central air conditioning. I am all for helping people in time of need, but I think we have lost our way.

Congress needs to pass President Trump’s tax plan. Every Congressman who does not support the plan needs to be voted out of office as soon as possible. Unless the American voters begin to hold their representatives accountable for what they do, the swamp will never get drained. The problem is in both political parties. It is time to take note of the people whose votes help America and the people whose votes hurt America.


Is This A Surprise To Anyone?

Yesterday Western Journalism posted an article about Christopher Steele. Christopher Steele is the ex-MI6 Agent who created the dossier on then candidate Donald Trump alleging collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia.

The article reports:

The former British intelligence agent who authored the 35-page dossier alleging collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia admitted in a court filing that his memos contain “unverified” information.

Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who compiled the memos, is being sued in a UK court by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian tech executive who says he was falsely accused by Steele of running a hacking operation against the Democrats.

Steele has not spoken publicly about the salacious allegations against Trump but is being forced to respond in a London court through his attorneys. Steele acknowledged that the memo identifying Gubarev came from “unsolicited” and “raw” intelligence that “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified.”

…The former MI6 agent says he is the victim of Fusion GPS, the firm funded by Hillary Clinton backers that hired Steele to perform opposition research against Trump.

Steele says he never allowed Fusion GPS to circulate his dossier to media sources, but they did so anyway.

Let that sink in for a minute–Christopher Steele was specifically hired by Fusion GPS to perform opposition research against Donald Trump. He gave them unsubstantiated information which the campaign then distributed to a sympathetic media. Now he blames Fusion GPS because he is getting sued. Amazing.


Why Many Democrats Will Hate President Trump’s Tax Plan

One of the features of the tax plan proposed by President Trump is the elimination of all itemized deductions except for the mortgage deduction and the charitable giving deduction. Keeping these deductions makes sense. Home ownership produces pride in neighborhoods, helps stabilize our society, and actually helps people achieve financial success. Charitable giving is actually one of the traits of Americans. I have had people from foreign countries who have spent time in America tell me that they are amazed at the willingness of Americans to give or to help in an emergency. Keeping both of those deductions makes a lot of sense.

One deduction that will be eliminated is going to be fought by Democrats from some states with high income taxes. That is the deduction for state and local taxes. States like New York, Connecticut, California, and Massachusetts that have high income taxes or property taxes are currently being subsidized by the federal government. People who live in those states actually get a break on their federal taxes because their state taxes are so high. You can expect Senators and Representatives from the states listed above to protest loudly against this tax proposal. However, there may be some Democrats from smaller states that are tired of subsidizing the high tax states that will support it. The Democrats generally vote as a bloc, but because most Americans support tax reform, it will be interesting to see if all of them are willing to take a suicide plunge.

Another thing to watch in the reporting of this tax plan is the narrative. In the past, any time tax cuts are proposed, the Democrats begin their battle cry of ‘tax cuts for the rich.’ That battle cry and its previous success gave us eight years of a presidency where the GDP never reached 3 percent growth. At some point the American people are going to realize that the cry of ‘tax cuts for the rich’ has not helped those in the middle class. Salaries and home ownership rates have decreased during the past eight years. The poverty rate has increased and the number of Americans on food stamps has grown exponentially.

It is interesting that President Trump will be one of the people who will take a heavy hit in taxes if this proposal goes through. He will no longer be able to deduct the real estate taxes on the properties he owns in high tax states. He would probably fare better with the loopholes and deductions in the current tax plan. So much for ‘tax cuts for the rich.’

America’s current tax plan is a tribute to lobbyists. There are a lot of very wealthy special interest groups that do not want to see major changes in our current tax plan. Those groups will be very busy in the coming weeks. The only way to counter the negative spin that will be used to fight this tax plan is to email, call, write, or speak to your Senator or Representative to Congress and tell them that you support the changes proposed. It is time to simplify the tax code and to stop forcing lower tax states to subsidize higher tax states. This plan is something that will be good for most Americans and good for America.

Can You Buy An Election?

Can you buy an election? We may be about to find out. The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. Tom Perriello is one of the Democratic candidates for governor.

The article reports:

Tom Perriello, a Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia, has pulled in a majority of his campaign contributions from donors who live outside the state.

The family of liberal billionaire George Soros has also donated nearly 20 percent of all of the money that has been given to Perriello’s campaign.

Perriello, who represented Virginia’s fifth congressional district until becoming the director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, is challenging Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the June Democratic primary.

A website called describes the Center for American Progress as follows:

The Center for American Progress think tank and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Center’s 501(c)(4) arm, were founded by former Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta (2013 compensation $244,874). Podesta served as President of CAP until 2013, when he left to join the White House staff as a Senior Counselor to the President. Podesta was succeeded by Neera Tanden (2013 compensation, $316,346). Tanden was a policy advisor to both the Bill and Hillary Clinton Presidential campaigns and the Barack Obama Presidential campaign. The Action Fund lobbying companion is run by former Democratic Representative Tom Perriello (compensation $151,146).

If Tom Perriello wins the primary in June, it will be a definite left turn for the State of Virginia. It would also put a George Soros funded candidate on the ballot in a state where many people work for or are closely involved with the federal government. I am not totally comfortable with that.

The article concludes:

“Virginia voters are quickly learning that Tom Perriello is a hypocrite on multiple issues, including campaign finance,” Jon Thompson, spokesman for the Republican Governors Association, told the Washington Free Beacon. “He bemoans big money in politics, but a large majority of his contributions come from far-left billionaires. He touts that his campaign is ‘people-powered’ by Virginia voters, but most of his contributions come from donors outside of the Commonwealth.”

“Virginians need a governor who they can trust to keep their word, but Perriello’s campaign mantra continues to be “Do as I say, not as I do.” Voters can’t trust what comes out of his mouth.”

Ralph Northam, Perriello’s opponent in the Democratic primary, has raised $4.4 million to date. Almost 90 percent of his donations have come from Virginians.

Perriello is also garnering support from a number of politicians from outside Virginia including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), who both endorsed Perriello.

Virginia Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, are backing Northam.

In June we will find out if money can buy elections in Virginia.

Throw The Bums Out–All Of Them

The Republicans still don’t get it. They were voted in to repeal ObamaCare and let the free market apply to all Americans. Well, according to an article in The Conservative Review today, they haven’t figured that out yet.

The article reports:

How many times have conservatives criticized Democrats in Congress for exempting themselves from feeling the full effects of Obamacare?

Well, now Republicans in Congress have done the same thing, exempting themselves and their staff from the effects of their own proposed health insurance legislation.

The GOP’s proposed reforms to the Affordable Care Act will permit states to apply for waivers to repeal Obamacare regulations driving up the cost of premiums — regulations like the essential benefits mandates and community rating requirements. The tentative proposal is a compromise between the Freedom Caucus conservatives who want to see Obamacare fully repealed and the party moderates who want Obamacare regulations to remain in place. On the face of it, the idea is “if you can’t fix it, federalize it.”

Unless the Republican Party fully repeals ObamaCare and puts Congress under the same healthcare program as the rest of America, they will be voted out of office as soon as possible. I will work hard to do this. If they are going to do the same corrupt things and the Democrats, why should we vote for them? Who do they actually represent? Thank God for the Freedom Caucus. May they stand strong again.

The article concludes:

Republicans are trying to sell something to the American people they don’t want to buy themselves. Is it any wonder 50 percent of Americans have “little or no confidence” in the Republican plan to reform health care? Not even Republicans believe in it!

Has Sovereignty Become An Issue?

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today about the repeal of ObamaCare. That’s not so unusual, but some of the source of the pushback against the repeal is interesting.

The article reports:

Dana Milbank reports, with glee, that the United Nations “has contacted the Trump administration as part of an investigation into whether repealing [Obamacare] without an adequate substitute for the millions who would lose health coverage would be a violation of several international conventions that bind the United States.” The warning comes from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva.

The U.N. Human Rights Commission (now known as the Human Rights Council) purports to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights,“ Its members include China, Cuba, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

This would be laughable if it were not serious. So what is happening here? President Trump is not a globalist. Unfortunately for a number of decades, the American government has been run by globalists. Our recent Presidents have been in step with the United Nations and have done things that have put our national sovereignty in jeopardy. Evidently the globalist elites at the United Nations now feel that they have a valid voice on the American political landscape. That’s a notion that needs to be put to rest very quickly. It is a little upsetting to think that countries with such dismal human rights records as China, Cuba, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela feel free to criticize America because America does not want socialism. Let’s look at what poverty looks like in those countries versus what poverty looks like in America.

The article goes on to report:

By way of illustration, one of the provisions the U.N. relies on in this case is Article 5(e) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, ratified by the U.S. in 1994. It calls on states to “guarantee the right of everyone” to, among other things, “public health, medical care, social security and social services” without regard to race or color.

It is not far-fetched to imagine lawsuits in U.S. courts based on claims that the government is violating this kind of “obligation” to which America agreed. How far-fetched is it to imagine left-liberal judges seriously entertaining such lawsuits? Not very, in my view.

In reality, pre-Obamacare America offered health care to everyone without regard to race or color. It provided poor Americans with free health care via Medicaid. Millions of other Americans received health insurance from their employer. The rest (except those with pre-existing conditions, a matter of real concern) were free to purchase health insurance, if they so desired. The market offered plans that were not expensive — my wife had one — at least not compared to the ones Americans are required to purchase under the Obamacare regime.

No one was denied health insurance due to race or color. Nor, to my knowledge, was anyone denied service — e.g. at an emergency room — on that basis.

The article concludes:

The U.N., through its “investigation,” is claiming the right to evaluate Obamacare replacement packages. In effect, it asserts the right to assess whether the replacement incentives measure up to the Obamacare incentives (inadequate though these are).

The U.N.’s infringement on our democracy is obvious.

It’s not surprising that elites in the rest of the world want to dictate to America. It’s not surprising that many of the left want such leftist elites to dictate to us. What’s surprising is that America has gone as far as it has to provide the tools with which claims like those being made by these elite, via bureaucrats in Geneva, can be asserted with a straight face.

When the United Nations begins to attempt to interfere in internal politics of its member countries, it is time for the United Nations to go away. We need to withdraw our membership, make them pay their parking tickets, and kick them out of the country.

The Search For Honest Elections

The Daily Haymaker posted a story on Saturday about voter irregularities in North Carolina. The watchdog group Judicial Watch has decided to hold the state accountable for the integrity of its elections.

The article reports:

In the wake of an audit that found ineligible voters casting votes in the state’s 2016 elections, an advocacy group called Judicial Watch is stepping forward with a pretty serious demand for state elections officials:

Dear Director Strach:

We write to bring your attention to violations of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”) in North Carolina. From public records obtained, fifteen (15) counties in North Carolina have more total registered voters than adult citizens over the age of 18 living in that county as calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey. This is strong circumstantial evidence that these North Carolina counties are not conducting reasonable voter registration record maintenance as mandated under the NVRA. […]

This letter serves as statutory notice that Judicial Watch will bring a lawsuit against your office if you do not take specific actions to correct these violations of Section 8 within 90 days. In addition, by this letter we are asking you to produce certain records to us which you are required to make available under Section 8(i) of the NVRA. We hope that litigation will not be necessary to enforce either of these claims.

The letter also notes that North Carolina is not in compliance with voter registration list maintenance requirements. In fifteen counties in the state there are more total registered voters than adult citizens over the age of eighteen. Those counties include Buncombe (registration rate 101 %), Camden (100% ), Chatham (101 % ), Cherokee ( 100% ), Clay (106% ), Dare ( 107% ), Durham ( 111 % ), Guilford ( 101 % ), Madison ( 100% ), Mecklenburg ( 108% ), New Hanover (101 %), Orange (111 %), Union (106%), Watauga (105%), and Yancey (104%). When I looked at the results of the 2016 election in those counties, they were mixed–about half voted for Donald Trump and about half voted for Hillary Clinton. Hopefully, if there was cheating, it did not impact the outcome.

Judicial Watch is a successful watchdog organization. I hope that their efforts in North Carolina will put other states on alert that they also need to clean up their voter rolls.


More Truth Comes Out

Even what we knew about the Iran deal at the time was questionable at best, but it keeps getting worse. Yesterday Politico posted an article about one aspect of the deal that somehow wasn’t covered by the press at the time.

The article reports:

When President Barack Obama announced the “one-time gesture” of releasing Iranian-born prisoners who “were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses” last year, his administration presented the move as a modest trade-off for the greater good of the Iran nuclear agreement and Tehran’s pledge to free five Americans.

“Iran had a significantly higher number of individuals, of course, at the beginning of this negotiation that they would have liked to have seen released,” one senior Obama administration official told reporters in a background briefing arranged by the White House, adding that “we were able to winnow that down to these seven individuals, six of whom are Iranian-Americans.”

Sounds pretty innocent. But wait–there’s more to the story. Although President Obama described the seven as civilians, that is not actually true.

The article further reports:

But Obama, the senior official and other administration representatives weren’t telling the whole story on Jan. 17, 2016, in their highly choreographed rollout of the prisoner swap and simultaneous implementation of the six-party nuclear deal, according to a POLITICO investigation.

In his Sunday morning address to the American people, Obama portrayed the seven men he freed as “civilians.” The senior official described them as businessmen convicted of or awaiting trial for mere “sanctions-related offenses, violations of the trade embargo.”

In reality, some of them were accused by Obama’s own Justice Department of posing threats to national security. Three allegedly were part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles like the kind Tehran test-fired recently, prompting a still-escalating exchange of threats with the Trump administration. Another was serving an eight-year sentence for conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware. As part of the deal, U.S. officials even dropped their demand for $10 million that a jury said the aerospace engineer illegally received from Tehran.

Why in the world was President Obama so desperate to make a deal with Iran?

Please follow the link above to the Politico article. It is a rather lengthy article, but has a lot of insight into the difficulties created by President Obama’s Iran treaty. The treaty not only will allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon in the near future (think North Korea). The treaty also creates immediate security and safety issues for American troops in the Middle East because of the large amounts of untraceable cash sent to Iran. That money can be used to support worldwide terrorism or to fund actions against American troops.

We need to scrap the treaty and put the sanctions back!

Some People’s First Amendment Rights Are Better Than Others

According to Wikipedia:

While the United States Constitution‘s First Amendment identifies the rights to assemble and to petition the government, the text of the First Amendment does not make specific mention of a right to association. Nevertheless, the United States Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Alabama that the freedom of association is an essential part of the Freedom of Speech because, in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others

It is not too much of a stretch to say that this includes the right of a business to do business (or not do business) with whomever they choose (excluding national security issues and things like that). Is that still true in America?

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about a recent poll of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison regarding the rights of people engaged in business.

The article reports:

Students told ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom) that it was okay for a dress designer to turn down Melania Trump for political reasons. “You should be able to control your business in that regard, yeah,” one young man said. “I mean, it’s a free market, that’s what most conservatives want anyway,” another student chimed in. When asked if the dress designer has the right to do that, a young woman replied, “Absolutely.”

ADF also asked students what should happen if a church approached a Muslim singer for an Easter service. Students unanimously said that such a singer has a right to “opt out” of that arrangement. “That seems like such an unusual circumstance that they would want them … like a Christian church would force a Muslim singer to sing at their church if they didn’t want to,” one young woman said. Students agreed that no law should force someone to serve another person against their religious convictions.

But when asked if a Christian has the right to opt out of serving a same-sex wedding, the students hesitated.

The question behind this poll is something that is going to continue to arise in our country as we take in more refugees that choose not to assimilate and as Christianity is no longer respected in our culture. What about the Muslim who refuses to drive a truck that transports beer? What about the Muslim taxi driver that refuses a fare because the man is blind and has a seeing-eye dog? What about the checkout person at the supermarket who refuses to scan bacon? Generally speaking, these are employees–not the business owner. Does the business owner have to allow the limitations on their ability to do their job? If these people are given a pass on the basis of their religious beliefs, should Christians also get a pass?

One of the dangers of bringing people into America with a different culture and no desire to assimilate is that it opens the door for lawfare. Lawfare is the use of frivolous lawsuits to advance a political agenda. It is a primary tool of organizations like CAIR (The Council on American-Islamic-Relations) to bring American laws in compliance with Sharia Law. CAIR will create a situation to be used as a test case to further its agenda.

There was a recent instance of a situation where a person who spoke the language needed probably has prevented a lawsuit that was being planned (here). Please follow the link and read the story. We don’t know exactly what was being planned–whether it was a lawsuit or something more serious–but thanks to a lady who spoke the appropriate language, whatever was planned was stopped in its tracks!

America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Our culture (up until recently) was a Christian culture. Many parts of America still have a Christian culture. To attempt to bring an alien culture into America rather than assimilate as refugees is going to create problems and tension. You can only live in peace with people who choose to live in peace with you. Unfortunately there is an element in Islam that does not want to live in peace with anyone who does not follow the tenets of Islam. That is a problem.

Attempting To Work Together

Partisanship in Washington is a way of life, but it can also be a serious problem when there is a crisis. It would be nice to believe that both sides of the aisle can work together if they have to in a crisis. Unfortunately, we may be about to find out if that is possible.

Fox News is reporting today that the entire U.S. Senate has been invited to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on the North Korean situation.

The article reports:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats plan to provide the update to lawmakers.

It is rare for the entire Senate to be invited to such a briefing. 

Spicer (White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer) clarified that while the event will take place on the White House campus, it is technically a Senate briefing and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is the one who convened it.

The briefing, first reported by Reuters, was confirmed after President Trump earlier spoke to the leaders of both China and Japan.

I believe that this is an attempt at working together, and working together is desperately needed right now.

The article concludes:

On Monday, Trump also had lunch with ambassadors of countries on the U.N. Security Council. Ahead of the meeting, Trump called for “big reforms” at the U.N. and criticizing its handling of recent events in Syria and North Korea – but said it has “tremendous potential.”

“You just don’t see the United Nations, like, solving conflicts. I think that’s going to start happening now,” he said. 

It is going to be an interesting year.


Using False Accusations To Silence Opposing Speech

Bill O’Reilly has departed from Fox News amid charges of sexual harassment and payoffs for past charges of sexual harassment. The departure of Bill O’Reilly was the result of an orchestrated attack to convince advertisers to withdraw their advertising from the show. It had much more to do with politics than it did with sexual harassment (story here). Now that Bill O’Reilly is gone, the attack has moved to Sean Hannity, another very popular host on Fox News.

Yesterday The Blaze reported the latest events.

The article reports on the accuser:

The radio segment started with Campbell (Pat Campbell, an Oklahoma radio talk show host) asking Schlussel (attorney/blogger Debbie Schlussel) if she experienced or witnessed any inappropriate behavior during her time at Fox News. “Only by Sean Hannity, not by Bill O’Reilly,” Schlussel replied.

Campbell jumped on that statement and asked Schlussel to explain. The lawyer proceeded to launch into a rambling, nearly eight-minute monologue with a laundry list of charges against Hannity, Fox News executive Bill Shine, Hannity’s replacement hosts and several women working at Fox News who Schlussel called “fixers for Roger Ailes.”

At the core of Schlussel’s charges is her claim  that Hannity attempted to get her to come to his hotel room before and after his appearance in Detroit. Schlussel alleges her refusal to accept Hannity’s invitation doomed her from future appearances on the popular program.

Sean Hannity was very clear in his response to those accusations:

“LET ME BE CLEAR – THE COMMENTS ABOUT ME ON A RADIO SHOW THIS WEEK by this individual are 100% false and a complete fabrication.

This individual is a serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade. The individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear and besmirch my reputation.

The individual has not just slandered me over the years but many people who this individual disagrees with.

This individual desperately seeks attention by any means necessary, including making unfounded personal attacks and using indefensible and outrageous political rhetoric.

My patience with this individual is over. I have retained a team of some of the finest and toughest lawyers in the country who are now in the process of laying out the legal course of action we will be taking against this individual.

In this fiercely divided & vindictive political climate, I will no longer allow slander and lies about me to go unchallenged, as I see a coordinated effort afoot to now silence those with conservative views. I will fight every single lie about me by all legal means available to me as an American.”

The article at The Blaze also notes that this woman had previously made false accusations against Hannity for his activities with the Freedom Alliance.

There is an attempt by the political left to shut down any conservative media that is having an impact. In this world of political correctness and lawfare, it is relatively easy to make accusations that will tie a person up for years with legal actions that will be very expensive. The best way to handle this behavior is to expose it whenever it appears. Hopefully the lawyers that Sean Hannity has hired will be able to teach an object lesson about false accusations and using lawsuits to stop opposing speech.

UPDATE (from Western Journalism):

Schlussel clarified her accusation in a Monday interview with LawNewz. She now insists that Hannity’s actions did not constitute “sexual harassment,” but they were still “creepy” nonetheless.

“I would never accuse him of that. Sexual harassment has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that,” Schlussel said.

“I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity, I thought he was weird and creepy not someone I liked,” she added.

Simply amazing. A good lawyer is worth his weight in gold!

The Truth Will Eventually Come Out posted an article today about a recent New York Times story about the actions of Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The Townhall article reports:

In a lengthy New York Times piece, the publication charted the history of Mr. Comey’s actions, which placed the FBI in the eye of the 2016 election. We also found out that the Obama Justice Department tried to water down the language, like calling the investigation a “matter,” and playing down the fact that the FBI’s investigation was a criminal one [emphasis mine]:

The Justice Department knew a criminal investigation was underway, but officials said they were being technically accurate about the nature of the referral. Some at the F.B.I. suspected that Democratic appointees were playing semantic games to help Mrs. Clinton, who immediately seized on the statement to play down the issue. “It is not a criminal investigation,” she said, incorrectly. “It is a security review.”

In September of that year, as Mr. Comey prepared for his first public questions about the case at congressional hearings and press briefings, he went across the street to the Justice Department to meet with Ms. Lynch and her staff.

Both had been federal prosecutors in New York — Mr. Comey in the Manhattan limelight, Ms. Lynch in the lower-wattage Brooklyn office. The 6-foot-8 Mr. Comey commanded a room and the spotlight. Ms. Lynch, 5 feet tall, was known for being cautious and relentlessly on message. In her five months as attorney general, she had shown no sign of changing her style.

At the meeting, everyone agreed that Mr. Comey should not reveal details about the Clinton investigation. But Ms. Lynch told him to be even more circumspect: Do not even call it an investigation, she said, according to three people who attended the meeting. Call it a “matter.”

Ms. Lynch reasoned that the word “investigation” would raise other questions: What charges were being investigated? Who was the target? But most important, she believed that the department should stick by its policy of not confirming investigations.

It was a by-the-book decision. But Mr. Comey and other F.B.I. officials regarded it as disingenuous in an investigation that was so widely known. And Mr. Comey was concerned that a Democratic attorney general was asking him to be misleading and line up his talking points with Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, according to people who spoke with him afterward.

As the meeting broke up, George Z. Toscas, a national security prosecutor, ribbed Mr. Comey. “I guess you’re the Federal Bureau of Matters now,” Mr. Toscas said, according to two people who were there.

Despite his concerns, Mr. Comey avoided calling it an investigation. “I am confident we have the resources and the personnel assigned to the matter,” Mr. Comey told reporters days after the meeting.

Please follow the link above to the Townhall article. The article goes on to list some of the problems the FBI encountered while trying not to politicize the investigation.

The article at Townhall further reports:

The Russian collusion allegations have yet to bear fruit. Senate Democrats have admitted that their investigation into possible collision might not find a smoking gun. Over at the House side, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the intelligence committee (and Democratic attack dog), said that there is no definitive proof of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. As for the interference, well, the election wasn’t hacked in the sense that many on the Left think (i.e. messing with vote tallies), instead it was a concerted effort by state-funded media outlets and social media trolls. None of which had an impact in swaying the election and fake news played no pivotal role either.

Some of the mainstream media is still claiming Russian interference. No one has evidence of that, but I believe that the feeling is that if they claim it long enough, some people will accept it is fact, even though it is not true.

I don’t know what the eventual outcome of Hillary Clinton and her private server will be. I do know that if John Q Public had handled classified information as carelessly as she did, he would be in jail. That clearly illustrates a problem within our legal system.

The Politics of Abortion

Hot Air posted an article today about a recent statement by Democrat National Committee Chairman Tom Perez.

The article reports:

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez became the first head of the party to demand ideological purity on abortion rights, promising Friday to support only Democratic candidates who back a woman’s right to choose.

“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said in a statement. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”

“At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country,” he added, “we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice.”

Has anyone really thought this through? They are fighting for a woman’s right to kill her child because the child is inconvenient, not perfect, not wanted, etc. I am sure it is simple coincidence that one of the major contributors to Democratic political campaigns is Planned Parenthood, a million dollar business that performs the majority of abortions in America.

As I have previously stated, I do not support making abortions illegal–there may be times when an abortion is necessary to protect the live of the mother. However, I don’t believe that abortion should be a multi million dollar industry. Planned Parenthood specializes in abortion. They provide minimal healthcare for women in other areas. Planned Parenthood is a major contributor to Democratic political campaigns. The Democratic Party is simply protecting a major source of their funding.

It is time to re-evaluate abortion in America.

This is a picture of abortion in America in 2016 (from the Guttmacher Institute):

As you can see, the majority of abortions in America are performed on poor minority women. Our goal should be to help these women with birth control–not kill their children.



Please Don’t Come Here If You Don’t Want To Assimilate

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about some recent arrests in Michigan.

The article reports:

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar was arrested in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, Michigan Friday, accused, along with his wife Farida Attar, of involvement in the same female genital mutilation conspiracy that led to the landmark arrest last week of Dr. Jumana Nagarwala.

The three suspects now charged represent the first prosecution in the United States for female genital mutilation (FGM), a practice common primarily in Muslim countries, particularly those in Africa. For example, UNICEF estimates that 98% of Somali girls and 87% of Egyptians have endured the procedure.

 FGM perpetrates a range of different mutilations on its victims—mostly young girls. In its most extreme from, called infibulation, the girl is left with virtually no externally visible genitalia. The clitoris and labia are removed entirely and what is left is sown together, leaving only a small hole from which to urinate and menstruate.

Aside from being painful, the procedure creates many health problems for women as they grow older. Problems can include can include recurrent infections, difficulty urinating and passing menstrual flow, chronic pain, the development of cysts, an inability to get pregnant, complications during childbirth, and fatal bleeding. There are no known health benefits

The article concludes:

In a statement accompanying the first arrest, Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch said, “The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.”

Each count of FGM could yield the co-conspirators up to five years in federal prison.

Jail terms and loss of medical licenses would be an appropriate penalty. The procedure is illegal in the United States. Unfortunately, part of Sharia Law is that in the eyes of the Muslims, Sharia Law supersedes American Law. That is part of the problem with allowing large numbers of Muslims into a country–they do not feel obligated to respect the laws of that country if the laws are not in compliance with Sharia Law.


How To Shut Down The Voices Of People You Don’t Agree With

Free speech is part of the fabric of American political discourse. In recent years it has been seriously under attack by the political left. That attack also involves some serious double standards. First, I would like to address the double standard. Bill O’Reilly has been fired from Fox News for sexual harassment. Evidently he made inappropriate remarks to women at Fox over the years. Remarks. Inappropriate remarks–but remarks. I don’t condone that, but I seriously question whether he should have lost his job. President Clinton did far worse (even in the Oval Office) and did not lose his job. So remarks are worse than actions. The specific circumstances of Bill O’Reilly’s firing get even more interesting.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line shared some interesting details today.

Here are some highlights from the article:

I very much doubt that the decision to fire O’Reilly was driven by the facts of his conduct. In all likelihood, it was driven by sponsor reaction. In other words, it was the product of corporate America — spineless and liberal as ever — and left-wing groups that exploit these weaknesses.

William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection writes:

…The conventional wisdom is that after the NY Times exposed a history of sexual harassment settlements, and two new accusers came forward, advertisers “fled” the show, forcing the hand of News Corp and the Murdochs.

That conventional wisdom is only partially correct — advertisers didn’t flee, they were chased away by the same organized effort as was used against Glenn Beck once upon a time, and Rush Limbaugh in 2012.

…The use of organized attacks on advertisers will continue, and will be used against conservative personalities who are not accused of anything near what O’Reilly was accused of. There’s blood in the water now.

This is disturbing. Fox News has moved toward the center since Roger Ailes left. However, it is still a good place to get conservative commentary on occasion. It is a valid news source despite the political left’s attempts to discredit it.

The attack on Bill O’Reilly is part of an orchestrated attack on Fox News by Media Matters.

Legal Insurrection further reports:

But of course, for Carusone and Media Matters, it was all about politics, and part of a plan hatched years ago, as we wrote about in 2011, Media Matters Plans “Guerrilla Warfare and Sabotage” on Fox News And Conservative Websites.

Stay tuned. I am sure there is more to come.

Some History To Explain Some Current Events

Technically Egypt is considered a Republic. However, Egypt has a history of military coups, protests, and assassinations that have forced changes in leadership. As I am sure you remember, there were protests in Egypt as part of the so-called Arab Spring. As a result of those protests, on 13 February 2011, the military dissolved the parliament and suspended the constitution. In June 2012, Mohamed Morsi was elected President of Egypt. On 2 August 2012, Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Qandil announced his 35-member cabinet comprising 28 newcomers including four from the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood was formed in Egypt in 1928. It has a two-fold purpose–to implement sharia law worldwide and to re-establish the imperial Islamic state (caliphate). Al Qaeda has the same objectives as the Muslim Brotherhood–they differ only in timing and tactics. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was responsible for the assassination of Anwar Sadat after he signed a peace treaty with Israel. Although most Egyptians supported the treaty, Egypt was kicked out of the Arab League because of Anwar Sadat’s actions, and he was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood. That is some of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and explains why the Egyptian military removed Mohamed Morsi from office. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected President and sworn in on June 8, 2104. My purpose in explaining the history is to illustrate the reasons el-Sisi has found it necessary to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood. They are very active in Egypt and are a threat to the nation’s freedom.

President Obama had a much better relationship with Morsi than he did with el-Sisi. President Obama was much more sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt than he was to those who opposed them. When President Obama spoke al-Azhar University in Cairo in 2009, he specifically invited 10 members of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc to attend the speech. President Obama’s actions showed much more sympathy to the Muslim Brotherhood than to those who wanted religious freedom in Egypt. So where am I going with this?

Our relationship with Egypt has improved since President Trump took office.

The Daily Caller is reporting today:

Egypt has released an Egyptian American woman who was imprisoned in Cairo for several years after Donald Trump struck a deal with the Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi.

Aya Hijazi, 30, a U.S. citizen and humanitarian worker, had been in prison for three years on child abuse and trafficking charges — which the U.S. dismissed as false — because she operated a nonprofit dedicated to helping kids on the street with her husband. Last week, an Egyptian court dropped all charges against her.

Ms. Hijazi had been in prison for three years. Donald Trump has been President for three months. There is no reason that President Obama could not have freed this woman as soon as she was arrested (other than the fact that he did not have a good relationship with el-Sisi).

Egyptians will probably never enjoy the degree of freedom that Americans enjoy, but it is to our advantage to stay on good terms with as many world leaders as possible. Some of the early indications are that the Trump Administration will endeavor to do this.

An Unbelievable Temper Tantrum

America needs tax reform. Our current tax system is a tribute to lobbyists and special interests in Washington. It is not pro-growth and does not encourage Americans to save and plan for their futures. There is pretty much universal agreement that the tax code needs to be reformed. But the process of reform has run up against a truism stated by Harry S. Truman, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” The plan to reform the tax code has encountered opposition based not on its worth, but on politics–the Democrats don’t want President Trump to achieve any success, and also, part of the Democrats success as a party is in class warfare. Cleaning up the tax code might have an impact on those Democratic voters that receive more money from the government than they contribute. That is the actual reason the Democrats are going to fight any changes in the tax code. Now for the reason they will give (because it works politically).

From a Thursday editorial in the Investor’s Business Daily:

Taxes: Democrats say they won’t work with President Trump on tax reform unless he first releases his tax returns. This has to be the lamest excuse for not fixing the tax code we’ve ever heard.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said this week that “if he doesn’t release his returns, it is going to make it much more difficult to get tax reform done.”

Democrats say that seeing Trump’s tax returns is critical to tax reform, because otherwise how would anyone know if changes to the tax code will benefit Trump.

As Schumer put it, “releasing his own full tax returns (would) erase any doubt of where his priorities lie.”

Not coincidentally, this argument has started popping up in newspaper opinion pages at the same time.

USA Today posted an op-ed on Saturday by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, arguing that “before this administration even thinks of proposing any changes to the tax code, we should see what tax code provisions the president himself has been and is taking advantage of, and how much tax he has paid in the past few years.”

Some of President Trump’s tax returns have already been released. Also, we just finished eight years of a President who never released his college transcripts, or an explanation of why he had a Connecticut Social Security Number when he has never lived in Connecticut. The fuss over President Trump’s tax returns is simply a political red herring.

The article concludes:

Besides, the entire point of doing tax reform is to broaden the base and radically simplify the tax code — taking away the loopholes and other tax gimmicks that Democrats are sure Trump has used or will use, in exchange for lower and flatter tax rates.

The tax reform plan that Congress comes up with will have to be judged on those merits, not on how it might, possibly, conceivably affect one person many years from now.

Simplifying the code in this way will also make seeing a politicians’ tax returns — Trump’s or anyone else’s — even less important, since tax liability will be a straightforward calculation and there will be far fewer ways to dodge the tax man.

The real story here isn’t Trump’s tax returns. It’s the fact that Democrats don’t want to engage on tax reform because their highly agitated liberal base doesn’t want them to lift a finger to work with Trump on any issue.

Tax reform is vital to restoring economic growth and vitality. No one denies that. If tax reform fails — and the economy suffers as a result — it won’t be Trump’s tax returns that are to blame. It will be shortsighted Democratic lawmakers kowtowing to the extremists in their party.

The Democratic Party using the tax return issue to block tax reform is another reason that the Party is rapidly losing voters. As someone who feels that the Democratic Party has become a party that seeks to divide Americans and create divisions among us, I am not unhappy that they are losing support.


Caught Lying Again

The problem with The New York Times is that you don’t know whether they are simply misinformed or are deliberately lying.

Yesterday The New York Times article posted an article about the New England Patriots visit to the White House. The headline of the article is “Tom Brady Skips Patriots’ White House Visit Along With Numerous Teammates.”

At the end of the article is a correction:

Correction: April 19, 2017

An earlier version of this article included photos comparing the size of the Patriots’ gathering at the White House in 2015 and the gathering on Wednesday. The photo from Wednesday only showed players and coaches; the 2015 photo showed players, coaches and support staff and has been removed.

So what is this all about? It’s about The New York Times politicizing a visit by the winning Super Bowl team to the White House. The headline states that ‘numerous teammates’ skipped the visit to the White House. That headline is totally misleading, even the facts given in the article do not fit the headline.

The New York Times article states:

A Patriots spokesman, Stacey James, said Wednesday night that 34 players had attended, similar to the turnout when President George W. Bush hosted them in 2004 and 2005. He said that more than 45 players attended the ceremonies in 2002, after the franchise’s first Super Bowl, and that in 2015, when Barack Obama was president, the number of players approached 50.

James said that one reason substantially fewer players showed up this time as compared to 2015 was that some veteran players did not see the need to go twice in three years.

I realize that this is trivial pursuit, but I lived in Massachusetts about five miles from the Patriots’ stadium for thirty-five years and although I am not a Patriots fan (Jets fan), I hate to see the team being used for political purposes when there should be no politics involved. The Super Bowl win in January was spectacular, and the team should be honored for the effort involved in that comeback. Period. This is not the time for The New York Times to make political points, and the New England Patriots office has called them on their fake news.