I Thought This Was A Done Deal, Evidently It Is Not

The Daily Signal posted an article yesterday about the budget deal the House of Representatives put forth under Paul Ryan. The deal was essentially the deal that was negotiated by the previous Speaker of the House, John Boehner.

The article reports:

In October, in his effort to “clear the barn” for Ryan, then-Speaker John Boehner helped negotiate a two-year budget deal with President Barack Obama and Democrats. It raised the 2017 spending level roughly $30 billion above the total lawmakers set in 2011 to control spending.

Though the majority of Republicans did not vote for the Boehner-Obama budget deal, the new House leadership has indicated spending bills for fiscal year 2017 must abide by the higher spending level prescribed by the October agreement.

But a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projecting trillion-dollar deficit levels by 2022 appears to be persuading more than just the usual suspects to ignore the budget deal and insist on a lower spending level.

Someone considerable smarter than I am observed recently that the current difference between Democrats and (establishment) Republicans is not over the size of the federal budget, but over who controls the money. Conservative Republicans are more interested in the size of the budget and want to shrink both government and government spending. The establishment Republicans have consistently ignored the conservative base that put them in office. That is going to become a problem for the establishment Republicans in the very near future.

The article further reports:

“I can tell you that Obamacare and the spending crisis are the reasons why I came up here and the reason I voted against the omnibus [spending bill] is because we got off Paul Ryan’s path to prosperity,” Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “I will fight hard for a lower budget number, and I expect a great deal of my colleagues will do the same.”

Farenthold is referring to 2012 proposal authored by Ryan, R-Wis., when he was chairman of the House Budget Committee that reformed entitlement programs, cut taxes, and reduced spending.

While the conservative House Freedom Caucus is leading the charge to renege on the October budget deal and revert to the lower spending number set under the Budget Control Act of 2011, other GOP members also are concerned.

The Republican Study Committee, a larger group of conservative House members from which the Freedom Caucus sprang, will propose a budget that sticks to sequestration levels, its chairman says.

America cannot continue to spend money at its present rate. The deficit passed nineteen trillion dollars this week. I don’t even know how to write that number! Conservatives have been sending people to Washington since 2010 to cut spending. It is about time Washington heard their voices. If the people who are in Washington to represent us now do not represent us, we will have to send different people.

Does President Obama Have A Relationship With The Concept Of Truth?

Last night Breitbart.com posted a list of the top ten lies told during the State of the Union speech. I watched the speech last night and wondered what world President Obama was living in. I am thoroughly disgusted with the President and with Congress for not shutting down executive orders. I fear for an America whose politicians ignore the U.S. Constitution. The guilt is on the part of both the Democrats and the establishment Republicans.

Breitbart lists the lies. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The lack of truth in the speech is amazing:

1. “[W]e’ve done all this while cutting our deficits by almost three-quarters.”

2. “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.”

3. “That’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about. It’s about filling the gaps in employer-based care so that when we lose a job, or go back to school, or start that new business, we’ll still have coverage.”

4. “Food Stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did.”

5. “We’ve protected an open internet…”

6. “Seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. Here are the results.”

7. “No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin.”

8. “As someone who begins every day with an intelligence briefing, I know this is a dangerous time.”

9. “We are training, arming, and supporting forces who are steadily reclaiming territory in Iraq and Syria [from Islamic State].”

10. “Fifty years of isolating Cuba had failed to promote democracy, setting us back in Latin America.”

Now let’s look at a few facts.

President Obama did slow down the growth of government spending, but not until the Republicans took the House of Representatives in 2010. Generally, President Obama has had higher deficits than the Presidents before him.

The American economy is not currently healthy–the labor participation rate is down and wages are stagnant. The economic recovery has been very slow and is not yet complete.

There is at least one article every day about people forced to give up their health insurance because of huge increases in premiums due to ObamaCare. ObamaCare has not been a successful healthcare solution.

Wall Street did not cause the economic crisis. The roots are fully and correctly explained here.

President Obama’s Net Neutrality policy has limited freedom on the Internet–not opened it up.

President Obama’s policy on clean energy has wasted millions of dollars on companies that have gone bankrupt, killed the coal industry, and blocked the Keystone Pipeline that would have brought jobs and brought America closer to energy independence.

I am not sure our allies feel safe. Ukraine never received the help it needed, and certainly Iran had no second thoughts about capturing our sailors. A more accurate statement would be that our allies don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us.

We are making a show effort to stop the Islamic state in the Middle East. We have been on the wrong side of history since the revolution in Egypt. We have supported the Muslim Brotherhood to the point of having their members in the American government.

Opening relations with Cuba has not helped anyone. The government of Cuba is still aligned with Russia and Iran and is still imprisoning political dissidents. All we have done is provide them with more money with which to do their mischief.

Any resemblance to the world as it is and the world painted by President Obama is purely coincidental. The speech was a waste of airtime. I would have been better off watching reruns of the Weather Channel.

What In The World Is Happening In Our Schools?

This is not an article about Common Core. This is an article about common sense. Fox News posted an article today about an incident in a high school in Maine. In today’s world, students are encouraged to do community service. I think that is a really good thing, but there do need to be some parameters around what qualifies as community service.

The article reports:

A public high school in Maine was caught red-handed trying to recruit students to work on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as a “community service opportunity” – without the knowledge or consent of parents.

…Students at Marshwood High School in South Berwick received an email from the Clinton campaign – urging them to sign up for positions as unpaid “fellows”.

“Hillary for New Hampshire is looking for smart, energetic winter fellows who are committed to winning the New Hampshire primary for Hillary Clinton,” read the email from a campaign staffer. “Everyone working on the campaign now started off as a fellow at some point so it is a great way of getting a different skill set whilst helping an important cause.”

Tim and Elita Galvin were furious that their teenage son had received the solicitation – calling it “disingenuous and sneaky.”

“My son didn’t appreciate being targeted by anybody via his school email for a political campaign,” Mrs. Galvin told me. “I’ll be honest – he’s not a fan of Hillary Clinton to begin with. He’s done his homework and he doesn’t like her.”

If the students had received emails from all of the political campaigns and were asked to choose one, that might be a good lesson in civics. However, this seems to be another example of Hillary Clinton ignoring obvious rules–evidently the school staff person who forwarded the email did not “additional information regarding this community service opportunity.”

I have not objection to schools encouraging civic involvement–they just need to be balanced in their approach.

From A Friend On Facebook

We all recognize this picture. Here is some history:

SocialSecurityCardHISTORY LESSON ON YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD

Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn’t know this. It’s easy to check out, if you don’t believe it. Be sure and show it to your family and friends. They need a little history lesson on what’s what and it doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat or Republican. Facts are Facts.

Social Security Cards up until the 1980s expressly stated the number and card were not to be used for identification purposes.

Since nearly everyone in the United States now has a number, it became convenient to use it anyway and the NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION message was removed.

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. His promises are in black, with updates in red.

1.) That participation in the Program would be Completely voluntary [No longer voluntary],

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual Incomes into the Program [Now 7.65% on the first $90,000, and 15% on the first $90,000 if you’re self-employed],

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year [No longer tax deductible],

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent ‘Trust Fund’ rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program [Under Johnson the money was moved to the General Fund and Spent], and

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income [Under Clinton & Gore up to 85% of your Social Security can be Taxed].

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month — and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal government to ‘put away’ — you may be interested in the following:

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent ‘Trust Fund’ and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically controlled House and Senate.

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the ‘tie-breaking’ deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the US

AND MY FAVORITE:

Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?

A: That’s right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it!

Now, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it! If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe changes will evolve. Maybe not, though. Some Democrats are awfully sure of what isn’t so — but it’s worth a try. How many people can YOU send this to?

Actions speak louder than bumper stickers.

Taking A Stand

The Washington Times reported today that Franklin Graham has left the Republican Party. He left the party after the omnibus spending bill was passed. The bill continues the government funding of Planned Parenthood and was passed with both Republican and Democratic votes.

The article reports:

“This is an example of why I have resigned from the Republican Party and declared myself Independent. I have no hope in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or Tea Party to do what is best for America,” Mr. Graham said in a Facebook post. 

“Seeing and hearing Planned Parenthood talk nonchalantly about selling baby parts from aborted fetuses with utter disregard for human life is reminiscent of Joseph Mengele and the Nazi concentration camps!” Mr. Graham continued. “That should’ve been all that was needed to turn off the faucet for their funding.”

I totally understand his decision. I have remained in the Republican party in the hope that at some point they will return to the pro-life stand stated in their platform. I don’t see the possibility of having a strong voice in Washington without being associated with either the Republican or Democratic parties. That is unfortunate and has gotten us into the mess we are in, but I believe it is where we are. I hope Reverend Graham will continue to speak out for the principles that made America great.

The New Boss Seems No Different From The Old Boss

Paul Ryan took over as Speaker of the House in October. It was hoped that he would do a better job of opposing the liberal policies of President Obama than John Boehner. It seems to me that all he has accomplished is to advance the policies of the Republican establishment while ignoring the voice of the conservatives which form the base of the party. The more unhappy Republicans become with their leadership in Washington, the stronger the candidacy of Donal Trump for President becomes. As I have previously stated, I am not a Trump supporter, but I believe he represents a temper tantrum on the part of the Republican base, and the Washington Republicans keep adding fuel to the fire by not responding to that base.

My evaluation of the omnibus budget deal is based on two articles from Power Line. One is written by Paul Mirengoff about the impact of the bill on the Department of Education, and the other is written by John Hinderaker about the impact of the bill on American workers.

Mr. Mirengoff states:

I want to focus on one area that I care very much about — education. The omnibus bill apparently grants a 7 percent increase in the budget for the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

This outfit does all it can to impose the left’s agenda at the K-12 and college levels. In doing so, it often ignores the law, defining perfectly legal conduct as unlawful.

If the OCR’s resources are stretched thin, it’s because of its overreach, based on a willful misreading of the law. By increasing OCR’s budget, Congress rewards its misconduct. The budget should be slashed, not increased.

The article lists some of the recent actions of the OCR:

1. OCR’s school discipline policy has encouraged districts across the country to adopt racial quotas in discipline.

2. OCR’s guidance purports to convert ordinary incidents of schoolyard bullying into violations of federal law.

3. OCR misstates applicable law on sexual assault and harassment on campus, encourages unfair treatment for some accused students, and allows colleges and universities to abridge First Amendment rights.

These people don’t need more money–they just need to go away.

John Hinderaker deals with the impact of the bill on American workers. He quotes Senator Jeff Sessions:

The more than 2,000 page year-end funding bill contains a dramatic change to federal immigration law that would increase by as much as four-fold the number of low-wage foreign workers provided to employers under the controversial H-2B visa program, beyond what is currently allowed. These foreign workers are brought in exclusively to fill blue collar non-farm jobs in hotels, restaurants, construction, truck driving, and many other occupations sought by millions of Americans.

At a time of record immigration – with a full 83% of the electorate wanting immigration frozen or reduced – the GOP-led Congress is about to deliver Obama a four-fold increase to one of the most controversial foreign worker programs. The result? Higher unemployment and lower wages for Americans.

…The bill also funds sanctuary cities and illegal alien resettlement, allows the President to continue issuing visas to countries that refuse to repatriate violent criminal aliens, and funds the President’s ongoing lawless immigration actions – including his unimpeded 2012 executive amnesty for alien youth.

As feared, the effect is to fund the President’s entire immigration agenda.

I suspect that there are many Americans who would have been willing to endure the non-hardship of a government shutdown to avoid these two aspects of the omnibus spending bill. It really is time for new leadership in Washington. No one there (with very few exceptions) is listening to the American people who voted them into office.

Following The Money

The good news is that Congress has chosen a panel to look into Planned Parenthood‘s fetal tissue practices. The bad news is that today’s Washington Times reports that the six Democrats named to the investigative panel have received more than $81,000 from PACs affiliated with Planned Parenthood. I am sure their investigation will be totally unbiased despite the amount of money received. Yeah, right.

The article reports:

More than half of those donations, or $43,362, came in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, according to LifeNews.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi assigned the Democrats to the panel Wednesday, saying she was “proud to name six strong champions of women, families and facts to stand up against the latest Republican assault on women’s health.”

The Democrats are Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, Rep. Jackie Speier of California, Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee‘s Select Investigative Panel, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, is charged with examining “medical procedures and abortion business practices” stemming from allegations raised by recent hidden-camera videos involving fetal-tissue procurement from Planned Parenthood.

Anyone who has watched the videos of abortionists harvesting fetal tissue has very little doubt as the humaneness of this practice, much less the legality. Even if you are willing to defend the practice of abortion-on-demand in the latter stages or pregnancy, I do not understand how you can condone the actions depicted on the videos. The fact that this matter is even being discussed is a truly sad commentary on the value our culture places on the lives of the most innocent among us.

President Obama And The Democratic Party

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line about Tuesday’s election results. The article notes some of the results:

Matt Bevin was elected Governor of Kentucky.

Republicans maintained the majority in the Virginia Senate.

Ohio rejected a proposal to legalize marijuana.

The Sheriff of San Francisco, who supported the ‘sanctuary city’ was defeated.

Houston voters rejected an initiative claiming to be non-discriminatory that discriminated against Christians.

There are some happy conservatives around the country right now. However, the Associated Press (AP) did not see it that way.

The article at Power Line reports some of the comments from AP about the election:

State and local elections across the country this week produced warning signs for both Democrats and Republicans as they press toward next year’s presidential contest.

…Democrats lost ground in state legislatures and governor’s mansions, raising questions about the party’s strength when Barack Obama’s name isn’t on the ballot.

…And in Kentucky, Republican Matt Bevin’s win for the governorship could be a sign that many voters are serious about electing outsider candidates.

…That sounds good for the GOP, whose leading presidential candidates are Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

…But Democrats still have important demographic advantages in the states that often determine presidential elections.

…And Republican leaders are skeptical that outsiders’ rebellious appeal will be sufficiently deep and lasting to send such a candidate to the White House.

The article at Power Line mentions one inconvenient fact:

The AP fails to mention that the Obama administration has been a disaster for the Democratic Party. President Obama is widely seen as both incompetent and outside the mainstream of American politics. This has largely driven the flight of voters to the GOP, not only in the House and Senate, both now under Republican control, but also in state offices across the country.

The conclusion:

It is remarkable how far the press will go to cover for the Democrats, even after ballots have been cast. But does it do the Democrats much good? On the evidence of the last five years, the answer is no.

At some point, the American voters are quite capable of looking past the hype and seeing the impact of eight years of President Obama. The next President will have to reconstruct both our economy and our healthcare system. It is becoming obvious that the Democrats are not capable of doing that.

Are We Being Played?

It looks as if Paul Ryan will be the next Speaker of the House. That is not horrible news, but for the average conservative, it really isn’t great news. Paul Ryan is very smart, he understands the budget better than almost everyone, and he is well respected. However, he is not a strict conservative. The upside of Paul Ryan as speaker is that he can explain positions and articulate ideas very well. He will be good at contrasting differences between Republican and Democrats on most issues. The downside is that he is not really a strict conservative. So why are we getting Paul Ryan as Speaker?

There is such a thing as the ‘political class.’ There is also such a thing as the ‘donor class,’ the people who supply large sums of money to election campaigns. According to Rush Limbaugh on his show yesterday, Paul Ryan’s position on immigration appeals to both the Republican and Democratic donor class. The Democrats want voters and the Republicans want cheap labor. Therefore, Paul Ryan will be the next Speaker of the House.

The Daily Caller also posted an article about this yesterday.

The Daily Caller concludes:

Politics is messy. And while members of the Freedom Caucus are hard core conservatives, they do not share the same passion that animated the people who were most actively opposed to a Speaker Ryan. Additionally, Ryan has assured them he will not seek immigration reform while President Obama is in office.

Once you get past the “amnesty” issue — which was a deal breaker for some — Ryan is obviously the most conservative candidate who could ever realistically get the job. And a super majority of conservatives in the House, it seems, agree.

As usual, there is no perfect solution. The question in my mind is whether or not the people have a say in this process. Have we reached the point where the political class and the donor class unite to overrule the people’s class? We will see in the future whether or not this was an acceptable solution.

There Really Is No Free Lunch

There really is no free lunch (unless your parents or grandparents provide you with one!). Unfortunately, a substantial percentage of American voters have not figured that out yet.

The following video is posted on YouTube. It is from “This Week with George Stephanopoulos“:

George Stephanopoulos rightly observed that all of the free things Bernie Sanders was promising would cost money.

An article at The Libertarian Republic quotes the response:

“I think if you’re looking about guaranteeing paid family and medical leave, which virtually every other major country has… that will require a small increase in the payroll tax,” Sanders said.

“That’s going to hit everybody,” the host remarked.

“That would– yeah, that would,” Bernie acknowledges.

Of course, when you’re calling for $18 trillion in new spending (around $2 trillion more than the nation’s entire GDP), you are going to get inventive with how to pay for it. Bernie will raise taxes on everyone and that’s just the kicker. If Sanders were to become president, he would severely devalue our dollar to enable spending, the results of which would be inflation and a higher cost of living for everybody.

Bernie! You’re supposed to promise them free things– now you’ve spilled the beans that people will have to pay for these things. Think of how disillusioned you supporters will be when they find out you want to tax them more

The average low-information voter would probably find a way to blame the Republicans!

Is There Room For A Moderate In The Democratic Party?

The stage for the Democratic Party held a declared socialist, an undeclared socialist, a former governor who taxed rainfall, someone whose issue was bringing the metric system to America, and a former Republican. Jim Webb is the former Republican. He is also known as a very common-sense politician who tends to be toward the middle of the political spectrum. USA Today posted an article today stating that Jim Webb has dropped out of the Democratic race for President and is considering a run as an independent.

So what are the implications of this? First of all, I suspect Jim Webb has already received a number of telephone calls from major Democrats asking him not to run as an independent. His running as an independent would give moderate Democrats an option in the Presidential race. If the Democrats feel sufficiently threatened by Jim Webb as an independent candidate, I am sure he will be told that he is a contender for Vice President.

I seriously doubt that Jim Webb will run as an independent. Although I respect him as an independent thinker, the amount of pressure brought to bear to prevent that run will, I believe, prevent him from running.

However, this has been a very unpredictable election cycle. Stay tuned.

Fact Checking The Democratic Debate

My Way reported the Associated Press fact check of the Democratic debate.

Some highlights:

Hillary Clinton saying that she did not support the Trans Pacific trade agreement.

THE FACTS: Clinton did not say anything about mere hope in her speeches around the world in support of the trade deal. She roundly endorsed the deal taking shape.

In a November 2012 speech in Australia, she declared the Trans-Pacific deal “sets the gold standard in trade agreements,” a sentiment she echoed in many venues.

Clinton said in the debate that when she looked at the final agreement last week, “it didn’t meet my standards.”

The final agreement, however, dropped or changed some provisions that liberal activist groups — the wing of the party she is assiduously courting at this stage of the campaign — had strongly criticized.

Bernie Sanders complaining that almost all new wealth is going to the top 1%.

THE FACTS: Sanders appears to be relying on outdated data. In the first five years of the economic recovery, from 2009 through 2014, the richest 1 percent of Americans captured 58 percent of income growth, according to Emmanuel Saez, a University of California economist whose research Sanders uses. While certainly a large gain, that is a lot less than “almost all.”

In just the first three years of the recovery, from 2009 through 2012, the richest 1 percent did capture 91 percent of the growth in income. But part of that occurred because of impending tax increases on the wealthiest Americans that took effect in 2013.

Many companies paid out greater bonuses to their highest-paid employees in 2012 before the higher tax rates took effect. Those bonuses then fell back in 2013. And in 2014, the bottom 99 percent finally saw their incomes rise 3.3 percent, the biggest gain in 15 years.

Tax policies influence the actions of businesses and the people that run them.

Hillary Clinton claimed that she has been transparent about her emails.

THE FACTS: Clinton has yet to explain how the server was set up and serviced, whether she informed the State Department about her decision to use the private system and, most important, how it was protected from hacking attempts.

Russia-based hackers tried at least five times to trick her into infecting her computer system with malware in 2011, The Associated Press learned, and her server was hit by attempted cyber intrusions in 2014 from China, South Korea and Germany.

Her server also was connected to the Internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers. But her campaign has repeatedly declined to address these details.

The article mentions that the free college tuition programs espoused by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would shift the burden of the cost of a college education from the student to the taxpayer. It would do nothing to lower the cost of that education.

Please follow the link to the article to read the details on the other lies told by the Democratic frontrunners.

Some Random Thoughts On The Democratic Debate Last Night

I will post more detailed comments on the debate, but these are just my initial reactions:

  1. It was interesting to hear millionaires complain about income inequality. Are they planning on redistributing their own wealth? Bill and Hillary Clinton’s combined net worth is $121 million; Bernie Sanders‘ average net worth is $528,014. Bernie Sanders is not a millionaire, but he is in no way struggling economically. Are the Democrats on the stage prepared to pay the higher taxes needed to pay for all the free things they are suggesting?
  2. Let’s take a look at income inequality for a moment. An entrepreneur starting his own business may work as many as 80 hours a week. In the beginning of the business, his hourly pay rate will probably be well below the minimum wage. After a few years of hard work, he may build a million dollar company and make some drastic changes in his lifestyle. The income inequality there is the result of work-effort inequality. The government cannot (and should not) guarantee income equality–what the government needs to protect (not guarantee) is equality of opportunity. Equal opportunity is more likely to be achieved by the government getting out of the way than by the government interfering.
  3. The biggest threat to America’s security is not global warming. Global warming has not been proven to exist–much less to be man-caused. I suggest checking Watts Up With That, one of the best scientific websites on climate for specifics.
  4. Before we decide that the issue of Hillary Clinton’s emails are a partisan issue, we might want to take a look at the laws broken and the national security compromised. There is sufficient evidence in those emails that Sidney Blumenthal was working closely with Hillary Clinton (after she was told by President Obama not to hire him)–even naming a CIA-operator in an email that was on the private server. Scooter Libby went to jail for less.
  5. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a lobbying group (also a gun safety education group) similar to many liberal lobbying groups. They are  not villains–they are simply protecting the Second Amendment.
  6. If the rich are evil (as was implied) and gained their wealth at the expense of everyone else, how do the millionaires on the stage explain their wealth? Was it also evil or was it okay because it was theirs?

Overall, the Democratic debate was a circus. If the Democrats will the next election, it will be because Americans have totally abandoned their Constitution.

Sometimes Media Bias Is Very Subtle

One way the mainstream media is showing its favoritism toward Democrat candidates is the way the debates are conducted. A website called bizpacreview posted a story today about CNN’s plans for the debate.

This is the quote that says it all:

As much as CNN “trumped” up their Republican debate to get the candidates digging at each other, the network will handle the Democrats with kid gloves.  And nobody is expecting sparks to fly, with Rush Limbaugh calling it “a dryball.”

Moderator and CNN host Anderson Cooper said in a Sunday interview, “Going into the Republican debates, you pretty much knew there were a number of candidates who were willing to [attack each other].” He added, “That’s not the case, so far as we’ve seen, on the Democratic side.”

“I’m always uncomfortable with that notion of setting people up in order to kind of promote some sort of a face off,” Cooper continued, contradicting the entire format of the Republican debate CNN hosted.

CNN’s Jake Tapper seemed very comfortable getting the GOP candidates to face off against each other.

Translated loosely, what is being said here is simple–we are hoping that the Republican Presidential candidates will destroy each other and we can appear to be objective. However, we don’t want the Democratic Presidential candidates attacking each other, as that would provide ammunition for the Republicans during the actual Presidential campaign.

The article reports Rush Limbaugh’s comments on Monday:

So it’s Anderson Cooper who’s just out front here saying, sorry, we’re not gonna do that, we’re not gonna pit these people against each other…  [They] certainly don’t think they have to be critical of people on their own side for credibility, which, sadly, is what many Republicans still believe.  That the only way you can be credible as a Republican or as a conservative media person is to be critical of your own team.  That proves that you’re not biased.  That proves you are not afraid to criticize your own people.  Except it never happens on the left.  CNN would never, ever, do anything. Now, the candidates might, but CNN’s not gonna do anything to make any of these people look bad.  They rally the troops. They circle the wagons. They do everything they can to protect.

The political parties (and the people in them) are entitled to act in any way they please. It is just a shame that the mainstream media chooses to take sides and the American voters do not get a clear picture of their choices.

Symbolism Over Substance

The Washington Examiner reported today that the House of Representatives has voted to suspend federal funding of Planned Parenthood for a year. The vote was largely along party lines–five Democrats joined the Republicans in calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood for a year.

The article reports:

After Friday’s House votes, the Planned Parenthood fight will move to the Senate, which is expected next week to consider a spending bill with a defunding measure attached, although Republicans admit they’ll almost certainly fall short of the 60 votes needed to pass it. Then the major question will be whether Republican and Democratic leaders in both chambers can negotiate a spending bill if conservatives don’t give any ground.

House Democrats were outraged by the Friday vote, and defended Planned Parenthood’s work providing non-abortion healthcare services to poor women. They also accused Republicans of pushing the issue to shut down the government.

This is another example of why Donald Trump is leading in the polls. The Planned Parenthood videos were horrific. Even if they were edited, it was obvious that Planned Parenthood was making money selling aborted baby body parts. The media has chosen to give very little attention to this matter, and thus it has generally escaped the attention of the American public. However, at some point in the future, when the facts are actually known, many Americans are going to wonder what kind of people would participate in selling baby parts for profit.

The funding of Planned Parenthood will not stop–they have paid too much for those Democratic Senators, and those Senators want to continue to receive nice campaign contributions from the Planned Parenthood PAC‘s so that they can remain in office (see opensecrets.org). This is a show vote, and unless the Republicans make a strong stand on this and other matters, we will continue to see Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders surge in the polls.

Stepping Back And Looking At The Big Picture

There are a number of conservatives seriously alarmed at the rise of Donald Trump. Donald Trump has not consistently espoused conservative principles and probably does not qualify as a conservative in the minds of many of the conservative intellectuals. What Donald Trump represents is the anger of the conservatives at the miserable performance of the establishment Republicans in Washington. The conservatives believed what they were told–elect Republicans and things will change–the debt will decrease, ObamaCare will go away, and the Republicans will check the runaway executive orders of President Obama. Right. And I saw a flying pig last week.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an open letter to Jonah Goldberg, a conservative who is concerned that the Donald Trump candidacy will destroy the Republican party.

The article reminds us:

Angered (by the tricks used to pass ObamaCare), we rallied to the next election (November 2010) and handed the usurping Democrats the single largest electoral defeat in the prior 100 years.  The House returned to Republican control, and one-half of the needed Senate seats reversed.  Within the next two election cycles (’12 and ’14) we again removed the Democrats from control of the Senate.

Within each of those three elections we were told Repealing Obamacare would be job #1.  It was not an optional part of our representative agreement to do otherwise.

We are still waiting.

The article points out:

We are not blind to the maneuverings of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and President Tom Donohue.  We are fully aware the repeal vote did not take place because the U.S. CoC demanded the retention of Obamacare.

Leader McConnell followed the legislative priority of Tom Donohue as opposed to the will of the people.   This was again exemplified with the passage of TPPA, another Republican construct which insured the Trans-Pacific Trade Deal could pass the Senate with 51 votes instead of 3/5ths.

We are not blind to the reality that when McConnell chooses to change the required voting threshold he is apt to do so.  Not coincidentally, the TPP trade deal is another legislative priority of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Again, the Republican party ignored the people who elected them.

The article cites the Iran deal:

Another bill, the Iran “agreement”, reportedly and conveniently not considered a “treaty”, again we are not blind.  Nor are we blind to Republican Bob Corker’s amendment (Corker/Cardin Amendment) changing ratification to a 67-vote-threshold for denial, as opposed to a customary 67 vote threshold for passage.  A profound difference.

The elected Republicans again ignored the wishes of the people who elected them.

The article lists examples of the establishment GOP working against the will of the voters. Please follow the link to the article to read the list. It is eye-opening.

The article concludes:

The last federal budget was passed in September of 2007, and EVERY FLIPPING INSUFFERABLE YEAR we have to go through the predictable fiasco of a Government Shutdown Standoff and/or a Debt Ceiling increase specifically because there is NO BUDGET!

That’s a strategy?

That’s the GOP strategy?  Essentially:  Lets plan for an annual battle against articulate Democrats and Presidential charm, using a creepy guy who cries and another old mumbling fool who dodders, knowing full well the MSM is on the side of the other guy to begin with?

THAT’S YOUR GOP STRATEGY?

Don’t tell me it’s not, because if it wasn’t there’d be something else being done – there isn’t.

And don’t think we don’t know the 2009 “stimulus” became embedded in the baseline of the federal spending, and absent of an actual budget it just gets spent and added to the deficit each year, every year.  Yet this is somehow smaller fiscal government?

….And you’re worried about what Donald Trump might do?

Seriously?

I truly believe that this article expresses the frustration of the conservatives in the Republican party. Right now there is very little difference between the establishment Republicans and the Democrats. If the establishment Republicans don’t wake up soon, there will be two political parties–the Democrats and the Conservatives. Donald Trump is not the problem–he may be a symptom, but he is not the problem.

Fixing Washington One Thing At A Time

Most Americans are not happy with the way Washington works (or doesn’t work). Conservative Republicans complain that they keep voting for Republicans, Republicans win, and nothing changes. Democrats complain that the Republicans are blocking President Obama’s policies, but almost everything President Obama has wanted to do, he has done–if not through Congress, through Executive Order. There is, however, someone in the House of Representatives who has proposed a way to change the status quo.

On Monday, Breitbart posted an article about Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina. Representative Meadows has initiated a “motion to vacate the chair.” The motion would remove Speaker John Boehner from his position as the Republican leader in the House of Representatives.

The article reports:

Meadows said “it’s time for our leaders to stop making promises and leaving them unfulfilled.” He added that, based on the whip count, if a vote had taken place to remove Boehner from the speakership before the recess, he would have had to wrangle up votes from house Democrats to keep his seat.

“At town hall meetings and every where I go, people tell me, ‘I’m, standing with you. We’re standing behind you.’ There is a growing momentum. I’m hoping that leadership can change course and they are willing to listen, and willing to fight for Americans.”

Meadows believes that it’s a good sign that, if we had a presidential Republican primary right now, we would have a “more non-conventional nominee than an establishment one.” Meadows concluded saying that, “Having the people at my back is better than having D.C. in my Pocket.”

The dissatisfaction with Washington politics is on both sides of the aisle. The dissatisfaction partially explains why both political parties have popular candidates that have historically had very loose relationships with the parties–Bernie Sanders is described as a Socialist–not a Democrat, although he caucuses with the Democrats in Congress, and Donald Trump has been a Democrat for more years than he has been a Republican.

I think Representative Meadows represents the feelings of the average American. They may not know exactly what is needed, but they know something is wrong. Representative Meadows is willing to take a first step toward changing Washington.

The Ugly Side Of Politics

This article is based on two articles. One article is from Front Page Magazine on August 25th, and the other article is from The Washington Times yesterday.

The Front Page Magazine article reports:

Senator Markey has announced his support for the Iran deal that will let the terrorist regime inspect its own Parchin nuclear weapons research site, conduct uranium enrichment, build advanced centrifuges, buy ballistic missiles, fund terrorism and have a near zero breakout time to a nuclear bomb.

There was no surprise there.

Markey had topped the list of candidates supported by the Iran Lobby. And the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) had maxed out its contributions to his campaign.

After more fake suspense, Al Franken, another IAPAC backed politician who also benefited from Iran Lobby money, came out for the nuke sellout.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the Iran Lobby’s third Dem senator, didn’t bother playing coy like her colleagues. She came out for the deal a while back even though she only got half the IAPAC cash that Franken and Markey received.

As did Senator Gillibrand, who had benefited from IAPAC money back when she first ran for senator and whose position on the deal should have come as no surprise.

The Iran Lobby had even tried, and failed, to turn Arizona Republican Jeff Flake. Iran Lobby cash had made the White House count on him as the Republican who would flip, but Flake came out against the deal. The Iran Lobby invested a good deal of time and money into Schumer, but that effort also failed.

I understand that lobbying is a legal part of American politics, but it bothers me to see lobbying done by a country whose leadership is shouting, “Death to America.” Iran has never claimed to be an ally of America and has been killing American soldiers since the 1980’s (Iran funds Hezbollah, who bombed the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983). If lobbying is legal (which it is, and I suspect will continue to be), I have no problem with our allies meeting with Congressmen. However, I do believe that donations from foreign countries are illegal. Despite the fact that IAPAC is probably based in America, they represent donations from a foreign government. That is illegal.

Fast forward to The Washington Times story from yesterday.

The Washington Times reports:

Democrats will try to mount a filibuster to block the Iran nuclear deal from even having to reach President Obama’s desk for a veto, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid signaled Saturday in a statement.

He and his party colleagues already have enough committed supporters that they would be able to sustain an Obama veto and allow the Iran deal to proceed, but a filibuster would be an even bigger coup, halting the issue earlier in the process and heading off a protracted — and potentially politically costly — veto fight.

What does this actually mean? It is very simple. The Democrats (many of whom have been given money by the Iranian lobby) do not want to go on the record as voting on the Iranian nuclear deal. It is common knowledge that the American people overwhelmingly oppose this agreement and that it is a bad deal. However, many Democratic politicians have been bought.

It is also disturbing to see how far-reaching the efforts of the Iranian lobby are. The Iran Lobby’s Hassan Nemazee was Hillary Clinton’s national campaign finance director before pleading guilty to fraud.

Front Page Magazine reports:

Bill Clinton had nominated Hassan Nemazee as the US ambassador to Argentina when he had only been a citizen for two years.  A spoilsport Senate didn’t allow Clinton to make a member of the Iran Lobby into a US ambassador, but Nemazee remained a steady presence on the Dem fundraising circuit.

Nemazee had donated to Gillibrand and had also kicked in money to help the Franken Recount Fund scour all the cemeteries for freshly dead votes, as well as to Barbara Boxer, who also came out for the Iran nuke deal. Boxer had also received money more directly from IAPAC.    

 In the House, the Democratic recipients of IAPAC money came out for the deal. Mike Honda, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Iran Lobby backed the nuke sellout. As did Andre Carson, Gerry Connolly, Donna Edwards and Jackie Speier. The Iran Lobby was certainly getting its money’s worth.

But the Iran Lobby’s biggest wins weren’t Markey or Shaheen. The real victory had come long before when two of their biggest politicians, Joe Biden and John Kerry, had moved into prime positions in the administration. Not only IAPAC, but key Iran Lobby figures had been major donors to both men.\

This is the kind of corruption we need to remove from our national government. Term limits might be a good first step.

Curbing Runaway Spending In Washington

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about spending in Washington. The article included the following chart:

The chart shows the impact that the spending caps have had on the federal budget. The decline in spending is due to the Budget Control Act of 2011. The caps limit both domestic non-entitlement spending and national defense spending. However, it is becoming obvious that the President wants to be free of those restraints.

The article reports:

The White House plan would increase discretionary spending to $1.091 trillion from $1.017 trillion. This $74 billion increase would be split evenly between defense and domestic spending. The 7% hike in 2016 would dish out plums to unions, foreign aid groups, the education blob, government contractors, federal employees, the climate change lobby and other tax guzzlers.

Our Senate sources tell us that Minority Leader Harry Reid is threatening in private that if Republicans don’t give Democrats the raise they want, there will be fiscal paralysis in the Senate and another government shutdown Oct. 1 — which, of course, they will blame on the GOP.

Many Republicans are inclined to go along with the great fiscal escape plan. Some have legitimate concerns about more money needed for our military in times of growing national security threats. Already 60% of the cuts are in defense, even though military spending is less than 20% of the budget. But many GOP appropriators just want more domestic pork for their own districts.

I would like to remind every Republican Congressman now serving in Congress. You were elected to bring the spending under control. If you are not able to do that, we need to elect someone who can. End of story.

Why Voter Identification Is Important

This is an old story, but it is worth revisiting as the changes to the North Carolina voter id laws are making their way through the courts right now.

In April 2014, PJ Media reported that there was massive voter fraud in North Carolina during the 2012 election. Unfortunately, voter fraud is pretty common in most states. The only real way to stop it is through requiring voter identification. Those who have gained through voter fraud are reluctant to see an identification requirement to vote. There are also some politicians who are currently proposing that we allow noncitizens to vote.

The article at PJ Media reports:

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has found thousands of instances of voter fraud in the state, thanks to a 28-state crosscheck of voter rolls. Initial findings suggest widespread election fraud.

  • 765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in N.C. and the other state in the 2012 general election.
  • 35,750 voters with the same first and last name and DOB were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.
  • 155,692 voters with the same first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state – and the latest date of registration or voter activity did not take place within N.C.

So what is the penalty for committing voter fraud? Double voting is election fraud under state and federal statutes. Punishment for double voting in federal elections can include jail time.

The article also reported:

In addition to the above, the crosscheck found that more than 13,000 deceased voters remain on North Carolina’s rolls, and that 81 of them showed voter activity in their records after death.

There is a quote that goes around Facebook periodically, “Grandma voted Republican until the day that she died. After that she voted Democratic.”

If you say that I am being unfair by accusing the Democrats of voter fraud, can you explain to me why the Democrats are the party that has opposed voter identification laws in states where voter fraud exists?

Add This To Your Current List Of Really Bad Ideas

On Friday, The Boston Globe reported that there was a move to draft Michael Dukakis (former Massachusetts Governor) to run for President in 2016. First of all, Michael Dukakis is 81 years old. I thought the Republicans were the party of old white males.

The article reports:

Max Smith, who describes himself as a Democratic activist from Boston, said this is no joke, that there are political donors from Boston and New Hampshire who want to help fund the effort.

“The [State Department] e-mail revelations are going to rock the Hillary Clinton campaign. We need somebody with stability,” said Smith, who is part of the Draft Dukakis campaign.

But the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee told the Globe that another potential Dukakis versus Bush matchup is not in the cards.

“I am absolutely not a candidate for the presidency,” said Dukakis, who is 81. “Kitty and I are supporting Hillary.”

It sounds like Governor Dukakis is more in line with the mainstream Democratic party than the people who are supporting him. His decision not to run is a very intelligent decision. It’s probably the only political thing he has ever done that I wholeheartedly agree with.

When I first saw this article, I checked the source because I didn’t believe it. I still really can’t imagine what a disaster his candidacy would be. I remember him well as the Governor of Massachusetts.

The Silly Season Is In Full Swing

The Silly Season usually occurs a few months before an election, but because of the importance of this Presidential election, it has begun more than a year early. I will be posting comments on the Silly Season as it progresses, but I have a few comments on the early events.

It is interesting to me that both parties have people out of the party establishment doing very well. The Democratic Party establishment does not love Bernie Sanders, and the Republican Party establishment does not love Donald Trump. Neither man would be willing to follow orders from the party establishment if he actually become President. We could debate whether or not that is a good thing, but we need to understand that the party establishments fear that threat.

So what should we learn from this? This is a temper tantrum by Americans on both sides of the political spectrum. People of all political stripes are tired of having their wishes ignored by the political elites who are currently in control of Washington, D.C. We have phoned, emailed, faxed, held rallies, formed tea parties, formed occupy Wall Street, and all but stood on our heads and spit wooden nickels, and Washington has chosen to ignore us. I think it would be a mistake to elect either Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump, but I think the energy around their campaigns is something that the establishment in Washington needs to take note of.

There is another aspect of this campaign season I find interesting. Below is a chart showing voter participation by age:

As you can see, senior citizens vote. If you are 65, in 2012 you were born in 1947. You were part of the generation the lived through major cultural changes in America. Some of you protested the War in Vietnam; some of you served in the War in Vietnam. Some of you attended Woodstock. Some of you did drugs. Some of you didn’t do drugs. Some of you fought for legal abortion; some of you protested legal abortion. You are a very diverse generation that has had a lot of influence from the time you were born because of your size. This is the generation that will determine our next President. It is a generation of diverse politics, independent thinkers, and stubborn mules. It is a generation that has never been afraid to fight the ‘establishment.’ It will be interesting to see what they do next.

The Path To National Prosperity

 

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today citing the results of a recent National Bureau of Economic Research study by MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and University of Chicago economist James A. Robinson.

The study reports:

It’s long been a truism that democracy brings benefits and flexibility to an economy that help boost growth. But some theoretical work “suggests that not all the mechanisms unleashed by moving political institutions from autocratic to democratic are positive for economic growth.” The economists built a model that controlled for possible unexpected influences — such as recessions and negative economic shocks, which often take place before a nation turns democratic. It’s tricky.

After doing the necessary number fiddling, what they found was pretty remarkable: “Our central estimates suggest that a country that switches from autocracy to democracy achieves about 20% higher GDP per capita over roughly 30 years.” That’s a huge difference.

The article mentions that after the fall of the Berlin wall, there was a movement around the world toward democracy. Unfortunately, some of the countries that attempted to become democracies have slipped back to their totalitarian ways. Russia, Venezuela, China and Argentina have all encountered major financial crisis since moving away from democracy. The statistics indicate that one of the most basic solutions to those financial problems would be a move toward democracy. The other kingpin of national prosperity is private property rights (rightwinggranny). That is an area where Americans need to be paying attention to what their government is doing. Less private property rights means less prosperity for the citizens of a country. Freedom breeds prosperity. We need to make sure we guard our freedoms.

 

 

It’s Not Only A War On Coal

On Sunday, Stephen Moore posted and article at the Washington Times about President Obama’s war on coal. Oddly enough, it’s not really about coal. Somehow in recent years, the environmental movement has been taken over by an extreme element more closely related to communism than environmentalism. These are the people who want total government control of even the puddles that form on your lawn in the Spring.

The article at the Washington Times noted some very interesting facts about the war on coal:

In fact, almost all of the states that are politically liberal and vote unfailingly Democratic are low coal use states. Washington, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are also in the top 10 states least reliant on coal. Only conservative Idaho is a red state with low coal consumption.

Meanwhile, the heavy coal using states bleed red. West Virginia, Kentucky and Wyoming are all states that get about 90 percent of their electric power from coal. Missouri, Utah, Indiana and North Dakota also get 75 percent of their electricity from coal.

Here is the information in chart form:

So what is the war on coal about?

The article reports:

But the pain from the new EPA rules won’t be evenly distributed across America. Far from it. The coal producing states like West Virginia and Wyoming will see massive job losses and increases in electric utility costs. The nationwide costs will be about $100 billion a year eventually or a reduction in GDP by about one-half percentage point, the Heritage Foundation finds. But for heavily impacted states — Republican areas in the Midwest, South and mountain states — the costs will reach about $1,200 a year to average families. Mr. Obama’s policies that have had such a crushing effect on middle-income family finances are about to get a whole lot worse.

The liberal coastal states will feel only modest effects because they don’t use much coal.

Would Barbara Boxer of California and Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island, two of the biggest cheerleaders for the new regulations, be so euphoric if their voters were paying these massive costs for their green agenda? But the east and west coast green snobs can live with raising costs and unemployment in “fly over country.”

It’s time to label the Obama green policies what they truly are: steep taxes on red state America. By the way, many purple states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia also get hammered by Mr. Obama’s climate change agenda.

The article concludes:

I did the rough calculations. For every reduction in BTUs burned from coal in the United States, China and India alone will burn 10 to 12 more BTUs. Even if the United States cut coal use to zero over the next 20 years, global emissions from coal will rise sharply. So the Obama plan is all pain no gain. It would be like trying to reduce unwanted pregnancies in the Third World by having Americans use more birth control. Stupid.

But back to the Obama assault on red and purple states. Let’s hope the voters get the message that Mr. Obama’s green energy policies are directed at their jobs and their paychecks. Most people in blue states and the workers around the rest of the world won’t feel a thing. This is fair?

It’s time to get back to a time when Congress passed the laws and our elected officials took responsibility for the laws they passed.

Follow The Money

The filibuster in the Senate yesterday prevented the defunding of Planned Parenthood. I am heartbroken that after videos showed that Planned Parenthood is selling aborted baby body parts, we couldn’t even cut off their federal funding. I wonder how people can be aware of what is happening to these unborn children and support the organization.

I looked up some of the political contributions Planned Parenthood makes. The information can be found at opensecrets.org. This is what I found:

PlannedParenthoodDonationsIt gets even more interesting:

PlannedParenthoodDonations2

This is how politicians can ignore the dismembering of babies and avoid a vote to defund Planned Parenthood. The Democrats who voted in support of Planed Parenthood are bought and paid for. The Republicans are not. The funding of Planned Parenthood by the federal government allows them to have the money to pour into political campaigns. This is a vicious cycle, and it needs to be stopped.