Getting It Wrong…Again

On Friday, Hot Air posted an article about some Democrat’s reaction to President Trump’s new policy regarding food stamps. I wish Democrats would get the facts before they start complaining.  On December 5th, I posted an article explaining the new policy. The new rules state that a person between the ages of 18 and 49 who are childless and not disabled must work at least 20 hours a week for more than three months over a 36-month period to qualify for food stamps. In the past, states could easily get around this requirement, but the President has altered the rules to make avoiding them much more difficult.

Meanwhile, some Democrats obviously did not look at the new rule carefully.

The article at Hot Air includes the following Tweets:

Please note–the new rule does not apply to people between the ages of 18 and 49 who have children. Both of these tweets are totally dishonest. Tweets like these are one of many reasons the country is so divided–when people lie and others believe them, it creates division. I am willing to bet that right now there are a number of Americans who believe that under President Trump, people will not be able to get food stamps if they have children and are not working. It should also be noted that incomes for middle income Americans have risen under the Trump administration. The middle class is profiting from President Trump’s economic policies in ways they have not prospered in years. If you want to see America continue to prosper, you only have one choice when you vote for President next year–President Trump.

 

Fiscal Insanity

The Daily Wire posted an article today about the latest proposal by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The article reports:

The 29-year-old former bartender has unveiled a new six-bill package of legislation titled “A Just Society.”

“A just society provides a living wage, safe working conditions, and healthcare. A just society acknowledges the value of immigrants to our communities. A just society guarantees safe, comfortable, and affordable housing,” says a page on her House website dedicated to the package. “By strengthening our social and economic foundations, we are preparing ourselves to embark on the journey to save our planet by rebuilding our economy and cultivate a just society.”

The package has six parts:

  • “The Place to Prosper Act” would prevent year-over-year rent increases of more than 3%.
  • “The Uplift Workers Act” would mandate that the Department of Labor to create a “worker-friendly score” considering factors such as paid-family leave, a $15 minimum wage and union membership.
  • “The Mercy in Re-entry Act” would grant public benefits to those convicted of criminal offenses.
  • The “Guarantees the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for All” Act does, well, just that.
  • “The Recognizing Poverty Act” orders the Department of Health and Human Services “to adjust the federal poverty line” based on location.
  • “The Embrace Act” would allow illegal aliens to claim the same welfare benefits as all U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.

How about a “just society” where everyone gets to keep what they earn, and those who feel the need to help others are free to do that.

A New York Times article from November 3, 2018, reported the following:

Charitable contributions may be lower in Democratic-leaning counties, but residents support the social safety net through higher taxes.

Note to those who support government programs over private charity–in general private charities are run much more efficiently than government programs. Private charities also have a handle on who genuinely needs help and who has learned how to game the system.

Generally speaking it is never a good idea to take money from people that earn it and give it to people who did not–at best it is de-motivational, at worst it is simple theft.

We’ve Heard This Song Before

Fox News posted an article today that details some of the dire predictions we have heard in the past regarding the future of the earth. The article is in response to some of the recent claims made by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other pseudo-scientists.

The article reports:

An Associated Press headline from 1989 read “Rising seas could obliterate nations: U.N. officials.” The article detailed a U.N. environmental official warning that entire nations would be eliminated if the world failed to reverse warming by 2000.

Then there were the fears that the world would experience a never-ending “cooling trend in the Northern Hemisphere.” That claim came from an “international team of specialists” cited by The New York Times in 1978.

.Just years prior, Time magazine echoed other media outlets in suggesting that “another ice age” was imminent. “Telltale signs are everywhere — from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest,” the magazine warned in 1974. The Guardian similarly warned in 1974 that “Space satellites show new Ice Age coming fast.”

In 1970, The Boston Globe ran the headline, “Scientist predicts a new ice age by 21st century.” The Washington Post, for its part, published a Columbia University scientist’s claim that the world could be “as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age.”

Some of the more dire predictions came from Paul Ehrlich, a biologist who famously urged population control to mitigate the impacts of humans on the environment. Ehrlich, in 1969, warned that “everybody” would “disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years,” The New York Times reported.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Ehrlich, warning of a “disastrous” famine,” urged placing “sterilizing agents into staple foods and drinking water.”

About the prediction of oceans rising and obliterating major cities–a science-oriented friend of mine pointed out that when ice melts in a glass of water, the water level stays the same–it doesn’t overflow the glass.

At any rate, the earth is in a warming stage. The earth periodically goes through warming stages. Warming stages have to do with sun spots, the earth’s orbit, and other natural occurrences. The earth went through warming stages before man even thought of burning carbon-based fuel. And last of all, man is simply not important enough to control the climate. However, the climate is important enough to be used by men to control a population that power-hungry politicians seek to control.

Can’t Both Viewpoints Have A Parade?

Last weekend there was a Straight Pride Parade in Boston. A group of people decided that since there have been gay pride parades, they should be able to have a straight pride parade. As expected, there were protestors in attendance. Some of them were not very nice.

The Washington Times is reporting today that some of the people who misbehaved during the parade, who expected to get off with a slap on the wrist after being arrested, are not necessarily getting off that easily.

The article reports:

Two Boston Municipal Court judges refused to throw out the charges against the 18 defendants who appeared Tuesday in court, frustrating defense attorneys and prosecutors who sought to have minor charges dismissed, as reported by local news outlets.

Judge Thomas Horgan also told out-of-towners that they risked 90-day jail sentences if they set foot in Boston for any reason other than court and lawyer appointments, rejecting one defendant’s request to visit relatives in the city’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

“Stay out of Boston,” said Judge Horgan, according to the Boston Herald.

The article continues:

Meanwhile, Larry Calderone, vice president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, praised the courtroom outcome, noting that many of those arrested came from outside the city and state and accusing them of coming to “create havoc.”

He said the four officers injured have not been able to return to work yet, and that the union wants the offenders “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“A lot of the assaults that happened during the day, you only knew of a few of them,” Mr. Calderone told reporters outside the courtroom. “Many officers were assaulted throughout the day with bottles of urine being thrown at them, bottles of chemicals, bottles of unidentified material, rocks.”

The city is looking into complaints that police used excessive force during the event.

“Multiple times I asked why I was arrested, he said ‘for calling me a pig,’” Joshua Abrams, who was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, told WBZ-TV before his arraignment. “Well, that’s my First Amendment right to do so.”

If Mr. Abrams was resisting arrest, that is a crime. This is how protestors who cross the line from protest to assault need to be treated. Enforcing the law serves as a warning to those who want to cause trouble that they will be held accountable for the trouble they cause. The First Amendment allows protest; it does not allow assault.

As a side note, American Greatness reported the following yesterday:

Far-left Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley lent a helping hand to violent antifa agitators over the weekend after a number of them were arrested on assault and battery charges.

The two “Squad” members urged their followers on Twitter to contribute to the bail fund for the “counter-protesters” who tangled with law enforcement while protesting the Straight Pride Parade in Boston on Saturday. A masked Antifa protester told reporters that the violence was necessary in order to shut up Straight Pride marchers.

This is the fact of the new Democrat party. If you are for law and order, there is no way you can support this. I have not yet heard any Democrats denouncing these tweets.

This Sounds Like A Logical Complaint Until You Look At The Actual Facts

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about something Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently retweeted. The original tweet was supposed to point out a problem with voter ID laws. Instead, when you looked at the actual facts, the policy in place makes sense.

This is the tweet:

In order to get a concealed carry permit in Texas, you have to be a legal resident of Texas. In order to get a student ID in Texas, you don’t have to be a resident of Texas or an American citizen. When the facts are considered, the policy makes sense.

Those Who Ignore History Are Destined To Say Dumb Things

The Electoral College has come under fire in recent years. Those objecting to the Electoral College seem to have no idea why it was included in the founding of America. Small states were fearful of being shut out of the process of electing a President and wanted a way to insure that they would have a voice. Without the electoral college, no one would campaign in North Dakota, Idaho, Montana, Kansas, and many other states where the populations are not as dense as some of the coastal states. Without the Electoral College, America would be governed by New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia. Is that really what you want? Evidently Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks that would be a good idea.

The Washington Times posted an article today about Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s recent remarks about the Electoral College.

The article reports:

The Democratic congresswoman posted an Instagram story Monday that started with her driving along a deserted highway and joking about how many votes there are in rural America.

“We’re coming to you live from the Electoral College,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said, National Review reported. “Many votes here, as you can see. Very efficient way to choose leadership of the country. I mean I can’t think of any other way, can you?”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez cited a March New York magazine article that said black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters are underrepresented by the Electoral College compared with white Americans.

“Due to severe racial disparities in certain states,” the congresswoman said in her video, “the Electoral College effectively weighs white voters over voters of color, as opposed to a ‘one person, one vote’ system where all our votes are counted equally.”

What Representative Ocasio-Cortez wants is a democracy. We are a representative republic. She needs to go back to school and study American history.

A Troubling Trend

On Thursday, Breitbart posted an article about some recent comments made by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy while he was visiting Israel with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The article reports:

The California Republican was also asked about the absence of any members of “The Squad” on the trip, which is the foursome of freshman Democrat members led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), which have embraced the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

“If you look at it, they did not come on the trip with their colleagues,” McCarthy said. “Secondly, if you look at the antisemitism that has been growing around the world, we haven’t seen something like this since the 1930s, and the actions that they have taken in Congress itself, whereas the Senate passed S-1. It’s the anti-BDS. It’s the stopping of the boycott, divestiture, and sanctions against Israel. That bill passed the Senate overwhelmingly. Chuck Schumer not only voted it, he cosponsored it.”

“But when it came to the House, they couldn’t pass the bill,” he continued. “They moved a resolution, and much of that was to do about this new movement of this new socialist democrat. And look at what Bernie Sanders, look at Kamala Harris, wouldn’t even go to the AIPAC meeting this year inside Washington, unheard of in the process that’s been going forward. There’s a number of Democrats that still stand with Israel, but this new socialist democrat group has a much different belief.”

Antisemitism is becoming acceptable in America because it is being taught on our college campuses. This is nothing new. In 2012, I attended a presentation about antisemitism on our college campuses (article here). After the presentation, which was attended by a small group of people, mostly Jewish, a person who I knew casually came up to me and said that her daughter (she was Jewish) was attending a well-known American university and had encountered antisemitism. The women who spoke to me made the comment that she would have been better off sending her daughter to a Christian college that supported Israel and the Jewish people. That is a truly sad comment.

About That Climate Change Thing

When did we ever get so arrogant that we thought we could control the climate? Do you really believe that Republicans oppose clean air and clean water? If that were true, why has the United States reduced its carbon emissions under President Trump? So what is this really about?

Townhall posted an article today that explains a lot of the thinking behind the politicians who are pushing drastic economic changes in the name of climate change.

The article reports:

Many of my friends have long referred to environmentalists as “watermelons” — green on the outside, red on the inside. The idea being, because communism and socialism (interchangeable political/economic systems in practice) have failed everywhere they’ve been imposed, doctrinaire socialist zealots have embraced environmental causes as a Trojan horse. Their goal is simple: use environmental policies as a backdoor way to implement socialist policies in the Western democracies. After all, who doesn’t care about the environment?

A recent admission by Saikat Chakrabarti, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) chief of staff, about the much-hyped Green New Deal (GND) reinforces the view socialists are using the environment to replace private property and free exchange in the market with state control of the economy.

In a meeting with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Chakrabarti said addressing climate change was not Ocasio-Cortez’s reason for proposing the GND, according to a report by The Washington Post.

“The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” Chakrabarti told Inslee’s climate director, Sam Ricketts, The Post reported. “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

This is not really a new idea. The article reports:

For instance, at a press conference in Brussels in early February 2015, in the run-up to negotiations culminating in the Paris climate agreement, Christiana Figueres, then executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, stated the global warming scaremongering going on for more than 25 years at the UN was about controlling peoples’ lives by controlling the economy, not fighting climate change.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” Figueres said. “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history,” she continued.

If we are stupid enough to fall for the lies some of our politicians are telling us, we deserve the mess that will ensue. God help our children and grandchildren.

A New Dimension Of Insanity

Om Wednesday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the latest protest by a group of climate activists. I don’t claim to be a scientist and I don’t claim to be a climate expert, but there are a few facts that I learned in school that have not changed. There is a difference between weather and climate. Climate is cyclical. The climate we are living with is always changing. Generally significant change takes a long time. Scientists have found plant fossils under the ice in Greenland. That indicates that at some point that part of the earth was much warmer. Right now you can’t grow much in Greenland. During the Middle Ages there was a period of global warming. There were no SUV’s. Generally speaking, there is a lot involved in climate science that we simply cannot explain.

The article reports:

When group members (of Extinction Rebellion) planned to glue themselves to the Capitol in early July, providence prevented them. Earlier in the day, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.) introduced legislation to declare a national state of climate emergency. It was one of the group’s primary demands, and nullified the need for drastic action.

But these climatistas had to do something. So instead of glue, on July 9 they marched on the Capitol armed with chalk to commit offenses that were “only slightly against the law,” according to spokeswoman Kaela Bamberger. Capitol Hill police prevented them from even approaching the building—much to their disappointment.

Two weeks passed, and Sanders’s legislation went nowhere. Extinction Rebellion leaders decided Tuesday was their chance for arrest. It was time to cover themselves in glue.

A few days before the big event, the group sent out a mass email advertising dramatic “action.” Journalists were contacted over encrypted messaging apps with vague instructions about when and where to arrive outside the Capitol.

Upon our arrival, Extinction Rebellion members shepherd us downstairs to the Cannon rotunda, where an underground passage leads into Capitol offices.

When several young people arrive and begin their work about half an hour later, it’s a bit underwhelming. Gluing oneself to a building sounds dramatic—just short of self-immolation—but in practice, it’s an unceremonious affair. The two climate warriors closest to me dump Gorilla Glue into their palms and plaster them to the open doors of the passageway. To make their roadblock complete, they glue their two free hands together, human chain style. If I had not seen the whole process, I would have thought they were overly romantic tourists.

The article concludes:

After about 15 more minutes of shouting, singing, and a few tears from the climatistas, the police decide they’ve had enough. They clear the hallway and remove everyone from the doors, leading them out of the Capitol building. According to Extinction Rebellion spokespeople, 13 people were placed under arrest.

But there is no photo-op. Any arrests that occur happen away from the reach of cameras; the arrest-hungry climatistas get a pyrrhic victory.

“Well, that was anticlimactic,” Bamberger (Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman Kaela Bamberger) sighs to me as we exit the scene.

Because our schools and colleges are indoctrinating rather than teaching the scientific method, we can expect to see more of this.-

 

Sometimes The Truth Just Kind Of Slips Out

The Washington Examiner posted an article today that stated something that most of us know but haven’t seen widely reported in the media.

The article states:

In Europe, you will often hear politically savvy people refer to Green Party politicians as “watermelons.” The reason is that although they might be environmentalist “green” on the outside, these leftists are secretly communist red if you look beneath the surface.

They typically resort to such subterfuge because environmentalism is more popular than Marxism. A former East German communist is bound to be unpopular, but perhaps not so much if he rehabilitates himself as a renewable energy enthusiast.

The case of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, is different in that she openly advertised herself as a socialist in a country with a well-grounded historical aversion to such alien ideologies. But her grand policy initiative, the $93 trillion Green New Deal, was still billed as if it were a legitimate environmentalist idea. We were supposedly trying to save the world from imminent destruction. As Ocasio-Cortez herself put it, “We’re, like, the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”

When Representative Ocasio-Cortez makes statements like that, this is what she reminds me of:

At any rate, her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, let the cat out of the bag recently.

The article reports:

Her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti (the brains and the money behind her political operation ever since her 2018 primary victory) divulged in an unintentionally blunt comment in the Washington Post that the Green New Deal was not only not based in the science of climate change, but in fact not even designed with climate change in mind. “[I]t wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” he is quoted as saying.

In other words, it’s not that they looked for a way to save the world, and just happened to find a way that involved full employment pledges, the retrofitting of millions of buildings, income for those unwilling to work, high-speed passenger rail, and the curtailment of plane travel and carnivorousness. That’s precisely backwards. The Green New Deal came about because Chakrabarti wanted to transform the U.S. economy into something more primitive, and environmentalism struck him as the best excuse for doing so.

The American economy currently is working for everyone who chooses to work. When people work, they are aware of how much money the government takes out of their paychecks. That in itself may present a problem for the Democrats running for election in 2020.

A Very Misleading Statement

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez visited the southern border of America earlier this week. She tweeted about the deplorable conditions of the illegal immigrants held there awaiting processing. Somehow she neglected to mention that she had voted against additional funding to provide resources to improve conditions. In addition, she made some pretty outrageous claims about the conditions.

The Washington Examiner posted some of her comments:

“Now I’ve seen the inside of these facilities. It’s not just the kids. It’s everyone. People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members Congress. I brought it up to their superiors. They said ‘officers are under stress & act out sometimes.’ No accountability,” she tweeted. “Just left the 1st CBP facility. I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me. Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress.”

This comment creates an impression of a horrible situation. However, I later found a picture of the toilets in the holding areas:

Does this change the meaning and the impact of her statement?

The article further clarifies and concludes:

The agent on scene said the congresswoman misrepresented why a person in custody had drunk from a toilet.

“So this is what happened with the migrant and drinking water from toilet: she wanted water, didn’t know how to use the faucet in the cell, and drank from the toilet. She never told AOC that we made her drink from the toilet. AOC, of course, changed it … This was when she [the migrant] was apprehended and brought into the facility,” according to the agent.

A Border Patrol official familiar with the sector’s media and congressional visits said the city’s congresswoman, Veronica Escobar, has been through stations “15 times” but did not respond in the same way as her colleague on Monday. Later in the visit, the first official said Escobar “yelled” at El Paso Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Hull about its care of detainees.

“We’ve never hidden anything from her,” the official said.

We are being played.

 

We Are Being Played

We have a humanitarian crisis on our southern border. We also have a legal crisis of our southern border. No country can randomly allow non-citizens to cross their borders illegally and then take advantage of the largess of their citizens. All of these immigrants crossing  into the country illegally are receiving  medical care, dental care, etc. at the border. Many of them manage to collect government benefits after being here. Many receive free college tuition that American citizens do not get. Yes, there is a problem. It would be nice if Congress solved the problem. Hopefully they are moving in that direction.

Meanwhile, as Rahm Emmanuel once said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

The first thing you do is create a really good photo op. Below is an example:

This is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez crying over the plight of immigrant children at our southern border. There is only one problem with the picture.

This is the shot from another angle:

I guess it is touching that AOC has compassion for border patrol agents standing in an empty parking lot, but somehow that is not how the media described the picture. The media suggested that AOC was sobbing presumably at the sight of migrant children being inhumanely detained. From the looks of the second picture, that was not exactly the case.

Photos posted at The Gateway Pundit.

 

 

 

Congress Needs To Remember That They Are Responsible For Making Laws

There was some genuine ugly in Congress this week. Unfortunately that is fairly common lately, but sometimes things are said that are really over the top. Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a discussion Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez probably should not have gotten involved in.

The article reports:

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended a fellow Democrat who argued in a Wednesday hearing that the deaths of migrant children in U.S. custody were “intentional.”

“Yesterday, GOP moved to silence Lauren Underwood’s words bc she had the audacity to say the obvious: that stealing children away from their parents, trafficking, & caging them w/o end is intended to do harm,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “They tried to silence her; make her back down. She didn’t. Be proud.”

…Underwood, a Democrat representative from Illinois, had claimed a day earlier that Republicans, and specifically the Trump administration, had intentionally chosen a policy that they knew would result in harm or death to migrant children.

…What neither Ocasio-Cortez nor Underwood acknowledged was the fact that the family separation policy had been adopted in part to reduce the trafficking of children, and neither mentioned the hundreds of children who had been removed from adults who were not actually their parents or even relatives, some of whom had been “rented” in order to help a single adult gain entry to the U.S. more easily.

Just for the record, the policy was implemented during the Obama administration. If Congress is against the policy, it is their responsibility to change it–not to blame someone else for their inaction.

False Advertising

Hot Air posted an article today about the 5K Family Fun Run Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez held in Queens, New York, on Saturday.

The article reports:

It started innocently enough. AOC advertised the 5K run as an opportunity to support her far left aspirational environmental policy known as the Green New Deal. It was billed as “a Family Fun Run supporting U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal on the Saturday following Earth Day.” That’s a clear statement, right? The message says come out and support AOC’s Green New Deal. Period.

It turns out that the $30 registration fee plunked down by participants went directly into AOC’s campaign coffers. Instead of saving the planet, they are saving AOC’s congressional seat. Ocasio-Cortez even told the runners that the purpose was to “fight for the Green New Deal together.” It is reported that 400 people turned out for the event. So, that’s a tidy sum for a campaign to raise on a Saturday afternoon in a congressional district.

It seems that charging children a registration fee when the money is going into campaign coffers is a violation of campaign laws–it is illegal for parents to donate their money on behalf of their children. I  somewhat sympathize with Representative Ocasio-Cartez on this one. Campaign laws are complicated, and it is easy to violate them unintentionally. However, it does appear that the advertising for this run was misleading at best.

The article concludes:

So, the moral of the story is to read the fine print, just as your parents told you to do as you became old enough to sign your name on the dotted line.

The questions you have to answer when you contribute to a political campaign are a bit much–if you are retired, you have to list what you did for work before you retired. Why is that important? At any rate, campaign laws are complex, and candidates ought to have someone on their staff to make sure they are in compliance. This was a rookie mistake.

Accusations Vs Facts

Congressional hearings provide an opportunity for member of both parties to grandstand on behalf of their pet causes. It is no secret that Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is opposed to fossil fuel in general. However, she needs to get her facts straight before she makes her claims.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday on Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s latest gaffe:

The Daily Caller reported:

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed the Keystone XL pipeline for leaking about 5,000 barrels of oil in rural South Dakota about two years ago.

There’s just one problem: The Keystone XL pipeline has not been built yet.

During a House hearing Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that “Keystone XL, in particular, had one leak that leaked 210,000 gallons across South Dakota” while she questioned Wells Fargo president and CEO Timothy Sloan.

…The existing Keystone pipeline, however, was responsible for leaking up to 9,700 barrels in South Dakota in 2017. The initial estimate for the spill was about 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons of oil. Both Keystone and the planned XL line are operated by Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada.

TransCanada said it repaired the pipeline and cleaned-up the spill, Reuters reported in 2018, though the event has been used by environmental activists to gin up opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Ocasio-Cortez, who recently introduced the Green New Deal resolution, also took aim at Wells Fargo’s financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which sparked violent protests along the project’s planned route throughout 2016.

For those of you new to this site, I have previously posted the reason for some of the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline during the Obama administration. In a 2014 article I stated:

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

…The freshman Democrat (Senator Kaine) has between $15,000 and $50,000 invested in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, according to his most recent financial disclosure. Kinder Morgan is looking to build a pipeline that would directly compete with Keystone.

Kinder Morgan is considering expanding its Canadian pipeline infrastructure with an expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which carries oil sands crude from Alberta to refineries and export terminals on Canada’s west coast.

The expansion would boost Trans Mountain’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day. Keystone, a project of energy company TransCanada, is expected to carry about 830,000 barrels per day if fully constructed.

Observers have said a rejection of Keystone would be a boon for Kinder Morgan, since the Trans Mountain pipeline presents a viable alternative for exporting crude from Canadian oil sands.

The second scenario is a blatant example of how freshmen Congressmen arrive as middle-class Americans and leave as millionaires. The first example shows how environmental policy can be easily influenced by money.

This Lady Needs To Read American History

The Herald Mail Media reported yesterday that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, speaking at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, stated the following:

“Capitalism is an ideology of capital — the most important thing is the concentration of capital and to seek and maximize profit,” Ocasio-Cortez said. And that comes at any cost to people and to the environment, she said, “so to me capitalism is irredeemable.”

Although she said she doesn’t think all parts of capitalism should be abandoned, “we’re reckoning with the consequences of putting profit above everything else in society. And what that means is people can’t afford to live. For me, it’s a question of priorities and right now I don’t think our model is sustainable.”

…While America is wealthier than ever, wealth is enjoyed “by fewer than ever,” she said.

“It doesn’t feel good to live in an unequal society,” she said, citing an increase in homelessness in New York City among veterans and the elderly while penthouses sit empty. “It doesn’t feel good to live in a society like that.”

Let’s look at those statements through the lens of American history. In November 2005, the Heritage Foundation published an article about communism in America.

The article included the following notes on American history:

Recalling the story of the Pilgrims is a Thanksgiving tradition, but do you know the real story behind their triumph over hunger and poverty at Plymouth Colony nearly four centuries ago? Their salvation stemmed not so much from the charitable gestures of local Indians, but from their courageous decision to embrace the free-market principle of private property ownership a century and a half before Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations.

Writing in his diary of the dire economic straits and self-destructive behavior that consumed his fellow Puritans shortly after their arrival, Governor William Bradford painted a picture of destitute settlers selling their clothes and bed coverings for food while others “became servants to the Indians,” cutting wood and fetching water in exchange for “a capful of corn.” The most desperate among them starved, with Bradford recounting how one settler, in gathering shellfish along the shore, “was so weak … he stuck fast in the mud and was found dead in the place.”

The colony’s leaders identified the source of their problem as a particularly vile form of what Bradford called “communism.” Property in Plymouth Colony, he observed, was communally owned and cultivated. This system (“taking away of property and bringing [it] into a commonwealth”) bred “confusion and discontent” and “retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers’] benefit and comfort.”

The most able and fit young men in Plymouth thought it an “injustice” that they were paid the same as those “not able to do a quarter the other could.” Women, meanwhile, viewed the communal chores they were required to perform for others as a form of “slavery.”

On the brink of extermination, the Colony’s leaders changed course and allotted a parcel of land to each settler, hoping the private ownership of farmland would encourage self-sufficiency and lead to the cultivation of more corn and other foodstuffs.

As Adam Smith would have predicted, this new system worked famously. “This had very good success,” Bradford reported, “for it made all hands very industrious.” In fact, “much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been” and productivity increased. “Women,” for example, “went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn.”

The famine that nearly wiped out the Pilgrims in 1623 gave way to a period of agricultural abundance that enabled the Massachusetts settlers to set down permanent roots in the New World, prosper, and play an indispensable role in the ultimate success of the American experiment.

A profoundly religious man, Bradford saw the hand of God in the Pilgrims’ economic recovery. Their success, he observed, “may well evince the vanity of that conceit…that the taking away of property… would make [men] happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.” Bradford surmised, “God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

There will always be inequities in wealth. A person who works 12-hour days will generally earn more than a person who works a 6-hour day. People who invent things or have new ideas generally do very well financially. Rewarding innovation provides an incentive for progress. Capitalism (or the free market economy) is not perfect, but it creates fewer problems than any other economic system. Those touting the wonders of socialism need only look at the economic history of Venezuela during the past ten years. Once the wealthiest country in South America, now a place of unspeakable poverty. That is the fruit of socialism or communism.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez, please learn your history.

Campaign Finance Violations On Steroids

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about some campaign finance violations by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. The violations listed are not minor violations, there are some major amounts of money involved here.

The article reports:

Two political action committees founded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s top aide funneled over $1 million in political donations into two of his own private companies, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday.

…The arrangement skirted reporting requirements and may have violated the $5,000 limit on contributions from federal PACs to candidates, according to the complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group.

Campaign finance attorneys described the arrangement as “really weird” and an indication “there’s something amiss.” They said there was no way of telling where the political donations went — meaning they could have been pocketed or used by the company to pay for off-the-books campaign operations.

PACs are required to disclose how and when funds are spent, including for expenditures such as advertisements, fundraising emails, donations to candidates, and payments for events and to vendors.

The private companies to which Chakrabarti transferred the money from the PACs are not subject to these requirements.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article for the details.

This is interesting for a number of reasons. Was it a rookie mistake or was it planned corruption? Is this coming out now because AOC has become a problem for the Democrats–she is so far left that she may cost them votes in 2020?

The article concludes:

Bradley A. Smith, a former chairman of the FEC, said he has never seen such an arrangement. “It’s a really weird situation,” he said. “I see almost no way that you can do that without it being at least a reporting violation, quite likely a violation of the contribution limits. You might say from a campaign finance angle that the LLC was essentially operating as an unregistered committee.”

Chakrabarti declined to comment on the FEC complaint or provide details about his companies’ financial activities. Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, declined to comment.

Zeynab Day, communications director for the Brand New Congress PAC, said Chakrabarti was not currently affiliated with the group and that it recently went through a “transition period.” She referred questions about the LLC to Chakrabarti. “I’m unable to answer any questions about the LLC … I am not informed about them. We are not an affiliated group,” she said.

A spokesperson for Justice Democrats said he did not know why the PAC paid so much money to Chakrabarti’s LLCs. When asked what the Justice Democrats PAC does on a daily basis, he said, “It’s very clear what we do,” but declined to elaborate.

Chakrabarti founded Brand New Congress PAC, in April 2016. According to a statement released by Justice Democrats PAC last May, Chakrabarti “was the only controlling member” of the company Brand New Congress LLC and “took no salary.” The statement added: “Saikat is lucky to have a small side business that generates him enough income that he is able to do all of this work as a volunteer.”

If this story is accurately reported, it is bound to get more interesting!

The Details Matter

Campus Reform posted an article today about college students’ reaction to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. As might be expected, the students loved the idea–until they learned the details.

YouTube posted the video of the students’ reactions:

So what can we learn from this? When the 2020 campaign begins (actually, it already has), the key to success for Republicans will be getting the information out about what the Green New Deal actually entails and what socialism actually is. The example of Venezuela does not have traction for some reason, but when college students are confronted with the idea of people who don’t contribute to society getting paid, they seem to wake up a bit.  Venezuela is a striking example of a socialist society–there is no middle class–the majority of the population is equally poor. A small minority of the population is extremely wealthy. That’s not economic justice–that’s theft.

What Does The Green New Deal Have In Common With The United Nations’ Solutions To Global Warming?

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the Democrat’s Green New Deal. Oddly enough, when you look at the consequences of the policies of the Green New Deal, they have a lot in common with ideas espoused by the United Nations.

The motives of both are somewhat questionable.

In March 2016, I posted an article with the following:

…Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

For those who want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn’t really mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also said that “the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

Mad as they are, Edenhofer’s comments are nevertheless consistent with other alarmists who have spilled the movement’s dirty secret. Last year, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, made a similar statement.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said in anticipation of last year’s Paris climate summit.

“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

Let’s compare that to the Green New Deal.

Investor’s Business Daily reports:

Reading the Green New Deal (GND) plan, put out Thursday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, one is tempted to think it’s not real, just a joke from the satirical “The Onion.” The individual planks in the plan, individually and collectively, sound like the rantings of someone who should be institutionalized, not like a rational political plan to solve a real problem.

Let’s begin with what the plan promises: “a massive transformation of our society with clear goals and a timeline.”

That’s a sweeping, explicit pledge of radical socialist change. And that’s  not all. It offers “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and create economic prosperity for all.”

The editorial at Investor’s Business Daily concludes:

“The so-called Green New Deal resolution presented today by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., is a Back-to-the-Dark Ages Manifesto,” said Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment. “It calls for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in ten years, ‘upgrading all existing buildings’, and replacing our vehicle fleet with electric cars and more mass transit. And turning our energy economy upside down must be accomplished while ending historic income inequities and oppression of disadvantaged groups. Needless to say, the costs would be stupendous, and the damage done by its policies would be catastrophic.”

We’re grateful that President Trump threw down the gantlet against socialism during his Tuesday night State of the Union address. As he said, “America will never be a Socialist country.” And he drove that point home by adding: “We were born free and we will stay free.”

Scourge Of Socialism

We hope he’s right, and America’s declining education system and the increasingly far-left mainstream media have’t made socialism a palatable choice against the extraordinary success of  the free market. Socialism is among humanity’s worst ideas and it has failed everywhere — everywhere — it has been tried.

Those who don’t think the socialist disaster of Venezuela can happen here are sadly — tragically — mistaken.

It should never be tried again, anywhere, but especially not here.

They idea that a country can prosper by guaranteeing everyone a comfortable standard of living whether they choose to work or not goes against human nature. Prosperity comes from achievement, and achievement is generally spurred on by the rewards it receives. If hard work is not rewarded, there will be no great achievements. It’s that simple.

Prepare For A Very Ugly Year In The House Of Representatives

You can tell a lot about what is going on in the House of Representatives by the committee assignments. Based on the assignments being given out now, this is going to be a very ugly year. We have already seen two news stories in the past week that were an indication that facts don’t matter. We are going to see many more of those stories in the near future; and those stories, whether true or false, will be the excuse for the Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump in the House of Representatives. The Democrats would do well to remember what happened to the Republicans after they tried to impeach President Clinton. What the Democrats need in order to avoid paying a heavy penalty for this move is to get President Trump’s approval ratings below 30 percent. They were able to do that with previous Republican presidents, but President Trump keeps fighting back (and the economy is providing jobs for people who might otherwise be disgruntled).

Yesterday Politico posted an article detailing some of the committee assignments that are relevant to the impeachment process.

The article reports:

The House Oversight Committee is adding a group of progressive flamethrowers to its ranks.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) won spots on the high-profile committee on Tuesday, two sources told POLITICO.

…The new members, all of whom are freshmen except Khanna, have been critical of President Donald Trump, and their addition to the committee comes as Democrats have pledged to launch wide-ranging investigations into the president and his administration.

Tlaib drew swift backlash when she vowed to “impeach the motherf—er,” referring to Trump. Republicans have discussed a censure for Tlaib for railing against Trump.

Not only did the Democrats not chastise Representative Tlaib–they rewarded her behavior!

The article continues:

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the Oversight Committee, dismissed concerns about the outspoken freshman lawmakers.

“If I based the choices going on the committee based on what people said or their reputations or whatever, I probably wouldn’t have a committee,” Cummings told POLITICO. “I am excited — there were a lot of people that wanted to come on our committee.”

…Rep. Dan Kildee, a member of the Democratic steering panel, said he was excited about the progressive picks.

“I want people to be aggressive, especially on that committee. It’s good to have people who aren’t afraid,” the Michigan Democrat said in an interview. “They’re going to be dealing with some pretty important stuff.”

The Democrats are continuing their effort to bring down a duly-elected President and totally undermine our representative republic instead of actually passing laws that will continue our strong economic growth. How sad.

Watch Out For The Bright, Shiny Object

Rightwinggranny is a little more than ten years old. I have learned a few things along the way. One of those things is that when the media is screaming headlines in unison, there is probably something going on behind the scenes that I need to be aware of. This article is an example of that.

On January 16th, Breitbart reported that New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be serving on the House Financial Services Committee. The Committee is led by Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez has made some remarks that indicate she may not totally understand exactly how America’s Representative Republic works, but that’s okay–she still got elected. So let’s look at who supported her election. Opensecrets.org is a website that tracks political campaign donations, The link I highlighted leads to information on the funding of Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign for the House of Representatives. There is nothing illegal here, but it is always interesting to see where a candidate gets their funding.

The campaign funding information on Representative Ocasio-Cortez shows that during her primary campaign, two-thirds of the donations came from small donors. She may not fully understand how our government works, but she did a very good job or organizing a campaign. Eighty-eight percent of the large donations to her campaign (over $200) came from outside her district. From the time she won the primary election until the end of June, she received $70,000 from out-of-state donors. How does a newcomer to politics build that kind of a political machine? Who were the people who helped her organize her campaign? I don’t have answers to those questions.

So why is it significant that Representative Ocasio-Cortez has been appointed to the House Financial Services Committee? That is the committee that oversees big banking, lending, and the financial sector. Representative Ocasio-Cortez has already expressed an interest in looking into the student loan crisis (a crisis created when the government took over student loans). It is quite possible that the committee will attempt to undo the deregulation President Trump has done that has led to the economic growth we are experiencing. Hopefully the Senate can protect our booming economy.

The other significant appointment you might not have heard about is the appointment of Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (You can read more about Ilhan Omar at Power Line Blog.) 

Breitbart posted an article about the appointment yesterday.

The article reports:

Omar supports the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which has been called antisemitic because it singles out the Jewish state for isolation and ignores the Palestinian side.

…House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) issued a statement in which he reminded Pelosi that she said Congress “must” oppose BDS, and that Schumer had called BDS “anti-Semitism.”

“I would love to know what changed, because Democratic leaders just promoted a pro-BDS Democrat to a key committee that deals with the State of Israel.”

McCarthy continued: “Anti-Semitism has no place in Congress and certainly not on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) blasted Pelosi for appointing Omar to the committee, saying she had a “documented history of making anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks.”

He added: “House Democrats have now just endorsed that ideology.”

This appointment may simply be a reflection of the ongoing battle between Nancy Pelosi and President Trump as to who is going to lead the country. However, both of these appointments represent a very severe left turn on the part of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. It remains to be seen if Americans will support this extreme left turn.

A Rookie Mistake Or A Portent Of Things To Come?

Not every country in the world has freedom of speech. In a case recently decided, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff appealed an Austrian court’s conviction of her for denigrating the beliefs of an officially recognized religion by uttering “hate speech” against the prophet Mohammed. Unfortunately the European Court of Human Rights ruled against her appeal.

For those who came in late, the hateful words uttered by Elisabeth were in the form of a rhetorical question about Mohammed’s sexual relationship with a 9-year-old girl: “What would you call it, if not ‘pedophilia’?”

The European Court of Human Rights is made up of a group of countries considered to be part of western civilization. What Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff said is true, but evidently that fact did not help her case. How in the world did we get here? We need to realize that free speech is a gift that needs to be protected.

Meanwhile back in America, yesterday The Federalist posted an article about a recent statement by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Admittedly the new Congresswoman is not known for her knowledge of the U.S. Constitution or any familiarity with her new job description, but her comment is somewhat chilling.

The tweet below is her response to a meme about socialism that she did not find humorous:

There are some problems with that statement.

The article notes:

Now, in a perfect world, we’d be holding debates about the merits of state-controlled economies versus markets via more dignified forums and mediums, but that’s not how things go in 2018. Not only is this all absurdly juvenile, but Ocasio-Cortez should be aware that, per page 150 of the House Ethics Manual, “Members…are not to take or withhold any official action on the basis of the campaign contributions or support of the involved individuals, or their partisan affiliation. Members and staff are likewise prohibited from threatening punitive action on the basis of such considerations.”

This seems like a small matter, but it is not. Essentially it is an incoming member of Congress threatening to use subpoena power against someone she disagrees with. Combine that with the censorship of conservatives on social media, the concept of ‘hate speech’ (who determines hate speech?), and the rumblings that the First Amendment is no longer needed, and you have the potential for Americans losing a large portion of their freedom. Pay attention and stay tuned. This may not have been a casual remark.

 

 

The New House Of Representatives Could Be Very Interesting

The Washington Times posted an article yesterday that included some recent quotes by Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The lady is obviously very impressed with herself. I wonder if she realizes that she is one of 435 members of the House of Representatives.

The article reports:

The New York Democrat told reporters on Friday that once again the U.S. is “at the brink, at the cusp of an abyss” that requires citizens of a special kind of mettle. She says that such an elite group exists — and that she and other newly elected Democrats are in it.

“This is not just about a Green New Deal, this is about a new deal for the United States of America,” the 29-year-old said at a “Sunrise Movement” press conference in Washington. “Because in every moment where our country has reached the depths of darkness, in every moment, when we were at the brink, at the cusp of an abyss, and we did not know if we could be capable of saving ourselves, we have.”

“We’ve done what we thought was impossible. We went to the moon,” she added. “We electrified the nation. We established civil rights. We enfranchised the country. We dug deep and we did it. We did it when no one else thought that we could. That’s what we did when so many of us won an election this year. That’s what so many of us did.”

I believe that if you look back at history, the Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Democrats in the Senate staged a 75-day filibuster against the measure. I don’t think you can say that the Democrats established civil rights.

This is a picture of the voting taken from the govtrack website:

I look forward to many more interesting statements from Representative Ocasio-Cortez.