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.

 

 

Why We Need Conservative Republicans In Congress

After all the fuss this week about Planned Parenthood selling aborted baby parts, you would think it would be a given that Washington at least would stop funding Planned Parenthood. It would be nice if they would shut them down, but defunding them would be a really good  beginning. Since the Republican party platform is pro-life and the Republicans control the House and the Senate, defunding them should be fairly easy. If Republicans who believed in the Republican platform controlled the House and the Senate, it would be easy to defund Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, the Republican leaders in the House and Senate only believe in the Washington elite.

The Daily Signal posted the following yesterday:

What we saw in the Senate on Sunday is unprecedented in the annals of Senate history. It consisted of the majority leader and the minority leader denying members the ability to have votes on their amendments and indeed the ability even to have a roll-call vote. The denial of a second for a vote, which was aggressively whipped by the Republican majority, is an extraordinary measure designed to gag senators and enforce the will of the McConnell-Reid leadership team.

It saddens me as a Republican to see Republican leadership lead the effort to kill an amendment that would have prevented lifting sanctions on Iran unless and until Iran recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and unless and until Iran releases American hostages.

Make no mistake, granting a sufficient second for a roll call vote is done customarily in the Senate. Denying it is extraordinary, and it is done as a consequence of McConnell’s being afraid for his members to be on record on this issue.

I want my Senators on record on this issue. It is disgusting that under a Republican Senate and House the dismembering of babies and selling of baby parts will not only be allowed to continue–it will be subsidized.

Over The Top

On Wednesday, the Hartford Courant reported that the Connecticut Democrats will be changing the name of their annual fund raising dinner. The dinner has previously been called the Jefferson-Jackson-Bailey Dinner. John Bailey is a former Democrat party boss. It is possible that his name will remain in the new title given to the dinner. Jefferson and Jackson are being eliminated because of the fact that they were slave owners.

The article reports:

“Let’s work together to show the rest of the state exactly what it means to be a Connecticut Democrat,” party Chairman Nicholas Balletto said before introducing the resolution.

In part, the resolution said, “As members of the Democratic Party, we are proud of our history as the party of inclusion. Democrats have led the way on civil rights, LGBT equality and equal rights for women. … It is only fitting that the name of the party’s most visible annual event reflects our dedication to diversity and forward-looking vision.”

The article further reports:

Connecticut Democrats have had various ideas about the issue. U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, one of the state’s top liberal Democrats, has defended Jefferson — but at the same time said that both Democratic presidents are “very complicated” historical figures.

“I’m proud of Thomas Jefferson,” DeLauro told The Courant recently. “I think Thomas Jefferson is a founding father.”

Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut NAACP, had also asked state Democrats to consider a new name for the annual fundraiser.

“Democrats have a deeply rooted history with slavery,” he said recently. “They need to do the right thing.”

Before you rush to condemn slave holders in Colonial times, you need to remember that slavery was legal worldwide. It was an accepted practice. Slavery was outlawed in England in the early 1800’s due to the work of William Wilberforce, a devout Christian, who saw it as his Christian duty to end the practice. Slavery is a horrible practice, but before you condemn those who practiced it, think of the way future generations will look at abortion in America and the selling of baby body parts. Every generation is a mixture of good and evil. We do not have the right to condemn past generations when we are doing things as bad or worse than what they did.

If the Democrats no longer want Jefferson and Jackson, I am sure the Republicans will be glad to acknowledge the part both men played in the founding and keeping of America. They were not perfect men, but they were men used by God to guide this country.

Defending The Indefensible

Yesterday I posted a story showing a video of a Planned Parenthood executive negotiating the sale of aborted baby parts. Obviously, Planned Parenthood is denying the charges.

Today, The Hill posted an article stating Planned Parenthood’s claim that the video is misleading and that the only thing Planned Parenthood was doing was sharing fetal tissue for medical research.

The article reports:

Democrats have been mostly silent on the issue as details continued to emerge Tuesday evening, when Planned Parenthood released 11 pages of attack points against the makers of the video.

The rapid rise of what has widely been called a “sting video” has surprised some Democrats on the Hill, including one aide who called the attention “unexpected.”

When asked about Republicans’ planned investigations into Planned Parenthood, Schakowsky said she wanted an investigation, instead, into the Center for Medical Progress, which she called “a phony company.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), another prominent supporter of abortion rights, also dismissed the latest attacks against Planned Parenthood.   

“They’ve been attacking Planned Parenthood for years,” she said. “They’ve been calling for investigations for years, and they surface videos and they come on the attack … and I think it’s outrageous.”

Lee also said she has not seen the video.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who is also a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, said she had not heard of the video and could not comment.   

“I’ll take a look at it, but I did not see it so I have no idea what’s in it,” she said.

Take a look at these arguments. Demanding an investigation into the Center for Medical Progress is a way to deflect attention away from Planned Parenthood. Another defender of Planned Parenthood refuses to acknowledge that there might be anything new in this video. Another defender would not comment because she had not heard of the video. Does anyone believe that you could have turned on the news at any time yesterday and missed hearing about the video?

The article also reported:

Democrats have been mostly silent on the issue as details continued to emerge Tuesday evening, when Planned Parenthood released 11 pages of attack points against the makers of the video.

Note that Planned Parenthood is not defending its actions–it is simply attacking the people that exposed the truth.

The selling of any part of aborted babies should be illegal. I don’t care what the purpose is, it should be illegal. We have people complaining about scientific testing done on animals. Who is standing up for murdered babies? We have people protesting the killing of baby seals. Who is going to protest the killing of baby humans?

This practice should not even qualify as part of any civilized society.

Words Of Wisdom From A Democrat

Yes, you read that right. As the Democrat party deals with the candidacies of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and possibly Elizabeth Warren there is a quieter, more rational candidate. His name is Jim Webb.

Jim Webb was interviewed on Fox News Sunday today. The Daily Caller posted an article about the interview.

The article posted Jim Webb’s remarks about the direction his party has taken:

BRET BAIER: You mentioned the Democratic race. In the RealClearPolitics average of polls, you’re at about 2.3 percent, and well behind the front runner, Hillary Clinton. You have an uphill climb against this Clinton machine. Most political analysts will tell you that Democrats have moved resolutely to the left and that basically Hillary Clinton has renounced Clintonism, which really was the vital core of the center, used to be, in your party. In a party that seems to thrill to Bernie Sanders and maybe long for Elizabeth Warren, who are the Jim Webb Democrats?

JIM WEBB: I believe we can bring a different tone to the Democratic Party. You’re right. The party has moved way far to the left, and that’s not my Democratic Party, but in and of itself. We need to bring working people back into the formula. Next Saturday, in the far southwest of Virginia there’s going to be a medical clinic, a remote area medical clinic to take care of people who don’t have medical insurance. It’s out at the Wise County fairgrounds. I hope Fox will go down there and take a look at it. They’ll going to take care of at least 6,000… people with no medical care. They’re going to pull about 3,000 teeth. These are people who have been forgotten by both parties and, I think, they need a voice.

The Democrat party has claimed for years to represent the forgotten man. However, both the Republican and Democrat parties have been taken over by special interest groups that have forgotten the forgotten man. Very few Americans are currently represented by either party establishment. It is time for Americans to begin to take back whichever party they choose to support. The time for allowing the establishment of both parties to do what is in the interest of their party rather than what is in the interest of America is over. There used to be small-government, constitutional conservatives in both political parties. Now it is hard to find those people in either party. It is up to the American people to elect people who will support the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land and who will actually represent the voters and not the political class.

POSTSCRIPT: I just watched the entire interview. Frankly, that is the only thing Jim Webb said that I agree with.

The New Voting Laws In North Carolina

The North Carolina legislature has been working on a good voter identification law for a while. They are aware of the fact that a law has to be strong enough to be effective, yet able to get through any court challenges that may ensue. I don’t understand why the Democrat Party supports voter fraud, but that is a story for another day.

The Voter Integrity Project North Carolina released the following press release yesterday:

Update on Voter ID Compromise

June 19, 2015

Excuses

June 19, 2015 (RALEIGH)–After tapping several legislative sources today, we’re convinced the GOP caucus did not “intentionally” gut the voter ID law. Also, their limited window into election fraud analysis leads them to believe the new loophole won’t be a big deal in North Carolina. We humbly accept the former assertion but guardedly accept the latter.

At the end of the day, their new exception will, indeed, allow anybody to walk in with one of several non-photo pieces of paper (called “HAVA IDs”) and be guaranteed a vote that counts . . . so long as they fill out the paperwork correctly. We view this as a major security breach, but Rep Lewis said South Carolina, only had 114 voters exercised this loophole. We hope the same holds true here, but we’ll prepare for the worse.

Rodent Problems

Several highly placed sources convince us that it was an inside job. This emergency legislation was caused by middle- and lower-level bureaucrats at DMV who collected fees for those “free” voter ID cards and demanded more documentation than allowed by law. Whether accidental or deliberate, those state employees raised new doubts about winning the entire voter ID lawsuit and that’s what triggered the lopsided vote count.

Unconfirmed report: One of DMV’s victims was a State Senator’s own mother, so they’re paying closer attention now.

At any rate, we’re modifying our “tell them to veto cry” and are now urging them to investigate the sources of such harassment, . . . down to the specific employee.

The notion of “progressive” moles undermining Republicans in the NC government complex is no shocker. One Rep even laughed, “they’re not used to having Republican bosses.” But jokes aside, Linda Paine, Director of California’s Election Integrity Project, even caught their DMV subverting laws against driver’s licenses for illegal aliens. So, NCDMV workers hassling applicants for their free voter ID cards is all too plausible . . . and very convenient for voter ID opponents!

Governor McCrory and Transportation Secretary Bob Tata owe the public a full explanation.

Sometimes you just have to take a first step before everything falls into place.

 

The Intolerance Of Those Who Call For Tolerance

On Thursday the Daily Haymaker posted an article about some recent events in North Carolina that are an affront to the concept of freedom of speech. Recently New Hanover County school board member Tammy Covil posted an opinion on a closed Facebook page.

This is her post and one of the replies after it was screen captured and sent to the Democrat party:

covil

She posted this on a Facebook page that was supposed to be for a closed group. It is her personal opinion. Obviously it does not agree with the person who replied at Equality NC, but are they both not entitled to their opinions?

The article concludes and suggests a course of action:

The left sees Covil as a big problem.  She is serving on the state’s Common Core study commission. My New Hanover sources tell me she is a possibility for superintendent of the school district there.

Covil has spoken out against the teaching of nonsense like “gender fluidity.”  (I’ve heard about that in some amphibians and reptiles, but not in humans.)

The lynch mob has already set up a Facebook page aimed at shutting Covil down.

If you live in New Hanover County, do what you can to help this woman out.  If you don’t live there, talk to any of your friends who do.  Donate money to her campaign. Leaders like Tammy Covil — who dare to stand firm on their principles — are our only hope for saving our society, our culture, and our country.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of gay marriage, there is no reason to shut down free speech on the issue. Ms. Covil is a conscientious person who is doing a good job in her role as a New Hanover County School Committee member and as a member of the Common Core study commission. What she said, essentially, is that she holds a Biblical view of marriage. She is as entitled to her belief as those who oppose her are to theirs. The difference is that she is not trying to shut down their right of free speech.

There Is A Third Democrat Candidate For President

There are three Democrat candidates who want to run for President in 2016–Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley. Bernie Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist. His voting record is generally in line with liberal ideas. Hillary is running on her accomplishments as Secretary of State, and Martin O’Malley is running on his record as governor of Maryland.

Bernie Sanders wants to make college tuition free, end income inequality, raise the minimum wage, and cut taxes for the middle class. There is no mention of how he is going to pay for any of this. He also says he stands for much higher taxes on businesses and rich people. The man is obviously unfamiliar with the Laffer Curve.

Hillary on March 11, 2014, described her accomplishments as Secretary of State as follows:

My accomplishments as Secretary of State? Well, I’m glad you asked! My proudest accomplishment in which I take the most pride, mostly because of the opposition it faced early on, you know, the remnants of prior situations and mindsets that were too narrowly focused in a manner whereby they may have overlooked the bigger picture and we didn’t do that and I’m proud of that. Very proud. I would say that’s a major accomplishment.   Hillary Clinton 11 March 2014

That makes my head hurt, but maybe someone can figure out what she said.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today on Martin O’Malley’s record as governor of Maryland. The headline of the article read, “From the ‘rain tax” to the ‘flush tax’: 40 times Martin OMalley raised taxes.”

Do we really want any one of these people running our country?

Rewriting History To Help An Election Campaign

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article entitled, “Stop It Liberals: Bush Didn’t Lie About Iraq Having WMDs.” Please follow the link to read the article, I am simply going to focus on the reason this is important.

The seemingly only candidate the Democrats have right now is Hillary Clinton. She has some basic scandal problems. If the media can get the focus off of Hillary Clinton’s scandals and back to Bush Derangement Syndrome, they can tell people that a Republican President is not a good idea–without talking about Hillary or her scandals (or qualifications).

There was much more to the Iraq War than WMDs. Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review yesterday talking about the reasons for invading Iraq. Please follow the link and read it–it is extremely insightful.

Like it or not, the 2016 Presidential Campaign is upon us. The press has been given its marching orders and is dutifully following them. Unless Americans begin to look past what the mainstream media is telling us, we will have another President who does not believe in the basic tenets that America was founded on. It is our choice. That is the reason the articles at the Daily Caller and National Review about the invasion of Iraq are important.

 

At Some Point We Are Going To Have To Admit That We Are Guilty Of Murder

On May 1, Red State posted an article about a vote in the United States House of Representatives that took place on April 30. The Republican party has a reputation for being pro life–their platform in the past has affirmed that–I am not sure what it says at this point–but some Republicans decided to go off the reservation.

The article reports:

Last night, the U.S. House passed a Resolution (H. J. Res 43) to disapprove of a law passed by the District of Columbia that seeks to do two things:

 •    Force pro-life and religious organizations to pay for abortion coverage for their employees

•    Force these same organizations to employ individuals directly opposed to their beliefs

The D.C. law – the so-called “Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA)” – is in fact, discriminatory. It’s pro-abortion tyranny, it’s anti-conscience, and it’s anti-free speech.

While 225 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted to disapprove of this absurd law, 179 Democrats were joined by 13 Republicans in granting their explicit approval of the District of Columbia to bully organizations like the one I work for, the Susan B. Anthony List.

At some point the minority community that makes up the voters in Washington, D.C. and other places needs to come to grips with the following (from a website called Black Genocide.org):

Minority women constitute only about 13% of the female population (age 15-44) in the United States, but they underwent approximately 36% of the abortions.

Minority women are not being empowered by abortion–they are being eliminated. America is committing genocide against the children of its minorities.

The Voters In Illinois Are Being Hoisted On Their Own Petard

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal posted an article about what is happening with public employee pension funds in Illinois. To quote a Chicago pastor, “The chickens are coming home to roost.”

The article reports:

The Constitution is not a suicide pact—except maybe in Illinois. On Friday the Illinois Supreme Court struck down modest pension reforms as a violation of the state constitution in a decision that tees up state taxpayers for years of tax increases.

The Court stated that the pensions were a contract “the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

So where did this begin? It began with a very cozy relationship between unions and Democrat politicians. Politicians promised the unions benefits that could not be sustained in exchange for the support of the unions.

The article explains:

Less than 40% of the increase in the state’s unfunded liability since 1995 is due to inadequate payments. The rest is due mainly to benefit growth and faulty actuarial assumptions such as investment rate of return.

The 2013 reforms at issue capped salaries of current workers that are used to calculate pensions at $110,600 (with a carve-out for collectively bargained increases) and raised the retirement age for workers in their 20s to the ripe, old age of 60. Compounded 3% annual cost-of-living increases were also tweaked for younger workers, a modification that courts in nearly every other state have upheld.

The article concludes:

All of this means that Illinois and its municipalities may soon have little choice but to raise taxes or restructure debts to pay for pensions. Chicago, whose credit rating is two notches above junk, faces a $20 billion unfunded liability for pensions and $1.1 billion balloon payment next year. Unions (and perhaps investors) were counting on a state bailout, but now they will probably beg Washington for a rescue.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has floated an alternative: a state constitutional amendment allowing pension modifications, which would require a public referendum and two-thirds vote of the legislature. Barring that, Illinois taxpayers may want to start contemplating Indiana or Florida residency.

The voters of Illinois have brought this upon themselves. In case you are in another state and laughing at their plight, don’t laugh too hard–this may be coming to your city or state soon. Most states and cities have unfunded mandates involving pensions for public employees which were given in union negotiations with politicians in exchange for union support. There has been a very unhealthy alliance between public employee unions and Democrat politicians for years in many cities and states. Although the Democrats and unions share a good part of the blame for this mess, the ultimate responsibility rests with the voters.

A representative republic needs informed voters. If voters are not informed, they are at the mercy of alliances such as these.

Which Party Is The Party Of Old Politicians?

The Republicans have the reputation of being the party of ‘old white guys,’ but in this presidential cycle Democrats are becoming the party of ‘old white candidates.’ Byron York posted an article at the Washington Examiner last Thursday entitled, “Why is the 2016 Democratic field so old?” That is an interesting question. The presidency of Bill Clinton did not boost the influence of the Democrat party, despite the fact that he was generally a popular President. Despite his personal failings, Bill Clinton is a person most people would enjoy having a beer with. Barack Obama has also not increased the power of the Democrat party. Again, despite the failure of many of his policies, Barack Obama is a person most people would enjoy having a beer with. So why are the potential candidates for President in the Democrat party so old?

The article reports:

“It’s the snuffing out of young talent by the strength and size and sheer velocity of the inevitable nominee,” says a well-connected Democratic strategist. “The Clintons took all the air out of the collective Democratic room. There are a lot of people who would be running who are much younger, but they’ve got their future in front of them, and they don’t want the Clintons to ruin it, in this campaign or after this campaign. So they’re waiting for a moment when there is enough oxygen to run.”

“If Hillary Clinton weren’t running, we’d have a field that looks like the Republican field — young and vibrant and diverse.”

Dynasties are not a good thing in a republic–they tend to discourage young talent from rising through the ranks.

Playing Politics With National Security

The topic of discussion right now is the nuclear deal reached with Iran. What is needed is an open, honest discussion about what the deal does and what it doesn’t do. What we are getting is political garbage.

Townhall.com posted an article today which perfectly illustrates what has happened to honest debate in America.

The article reports:

Regardless of bipartisan opposition, the White House is pinning opposition and criticism of the current deal and process on Republicans. The administration is painting Republican concerns as illegitimate while at the same time entertaining the same concerns of “principled” Democrats.

“My view is that there are a number of members of Congress that have considered this in a principled way. And those are members of Congress with whom we can have legitimate conversations about our efforts to try and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Earnest (Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary). said Monday afternoon. “There are a substantial number of members of Congress, all of them Republicans as far as I can tell, who have engaged in an effort to just undermine the talks from the very beginning.” 

These are the sort of remarks that make cooperation between the political parties very difficult. Voters who are thoughtfully considering issues will view these statements as one more reason to tune out Washington.

This really is not the way to run a country.

Harry Reid Is Retiring

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about Senator Harry Reid‘s announcement that he is retiring. The article lists some of the highlights of Senator Reid’s career.

The article states:

With his signature ruthless political style, Reid was also instrumental in winning a Senate majority for Democrats in 2006, steering his party through a changing campaign finance landscape, and helping Senate Democrats weather the 2010 Republican wave.

In 2006, shortly after Reid became leader, Democrats wrested back the Senate majority from Republicans, netting a six-seat gain — in no small part due to Reid’s influence on the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and his work with its chairman, Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is expected to succeed Reid as the Democratic leader.

Harry Reid, unfortunately, was a Democrat before he was an American. He did some serious damage to the Senate in recent years–refusing to allow any controversial legislature to reach the floor so that Democrats would not have to vote on anything that might negatively impact their reelections. He also simple removed the filibuster for confirmation of some judges–allowing some very controversial nominations to go through the Senate.

When the history is written after a few years, I don’t think history will be kind to Senator Reid. He did his party’s bidding and aided President Obama whenever possible, but I don’t believe that he acted for the good of America. I wish him the best in his retirement, but I am glad to see him go. I don’t think Senator Schumer will be much of an improvement. What we need are leaders who put their country first and their party second. I am not sure we have very many of those.

Let’s Give Away More Of Taxpayers’ Money

Sometimes you wonder if Congress were spending their own money, would they be a little more careful with it?

On Saturday, The DC Clothesline reported that the Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee voted unanimously to allow illegal immigrants to receive Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and child credit. Note the words “illegal immigrants.”

The article reports:

Sen. Jeff Sessions proposed an amendment, which would prevent illegal aliens from receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)  and child credit.

…In the last year with complete records, 2010, the amount of fraudulent payments hit 4.2 billion dollars and all tax credits combined cost about 7.6 billion last year.

Democrats who voted against the amendment were:  Bernie Sanders, Debbie Stabenow,  Sens. Patty Murray, Ron Wyden, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Mark Warner, Tammy Baldwin, Tim Kaine and Angus King.

…Debbie Stabenow, who is one of many democratic women with IQs in single digits said she doesn’t believe illegal aliens are collecting federal benefits even though the idea came from the Treasury Inspector General who stated unequivocally that illegals are collecting benefits was right in front of her.

The amendment failed with unanimous support of the republicans on the committee.

Why don’t we either return illegal aliens to their home countries or take steps to prevent them from taking money out of the pockets of Americans. I don’t mind giving someone a hand-up when needed, but we have reached the point where illegal aliens are committing fraud to take money from Americans. That has got to stop.

This Is Just Strange

The Washington Examiner posted a story today with the following quote from Secretary of State John Kerry:

“We’ve been clear from the beginning we’re not negotiating a legally binding plan. We’re negotiating a plan that will have a capacity for enforcement,” he (John Kerry) told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“We don’t even have diplomatic relations with Iran right now.”

I have a few questions. Legally binding for whom? If it is not legally binding for Iran, why are we bothering to negotiate? If it is not legally binding for us, why is Iran bothering to negotiate? Why in the world is everyone wasting time on something that is not legally binding?

The article reminds us:

Kerry, who was visibly irritated by what he called misconceptions by lawmakers about the ongoing talks, was criticizing an open letter to Iran’s leaders signed by 47 Republican senators. The letter has angered Democrats, but appears not to have slowed bipartisan efforts to force congressional approval of a deal, in spite of stiff opposition by the Obama administration.

As he spoke, committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who did not sign the letter but is a sponsor of legislation to require approval of any deal, cut him off.

Corker later noted that as a senator, Kerry had demanded congressional approval of a proposed agreement with Iraq on the status of U.S. troops there.

It is amazing how John Kerry’s opinions change according to the position he holds.

The Double Standard At Work

Unfortunately the mainstream media in America has become the spokesperson for the Democrat Party. Things are reported or not reported according to the impact they will have on the success of that party.

On March 8, New York Magazine posted a story about the problems at NBC that led to the dismissal of Brian Williams.

The story reports:

Others complained about Williams’s unwillingness to go after hard-hitting stories. Multiple sources told me that former NBC investigative reporters Michael Isikoff and Lisa Myers battled with Williams over stories. In February 2013, Isikoff failed to interest Williams in a piece about a confidential Justice Department memo that justified killing American citizens with drones. He instead broke the story on Rachel Maddow. That October, Myers couldn’t get Williams to air a segment about how the White House knew as far back as 2010 that some people would lose their insurance policies under Obama­care. Frustrated, Myers posted the article on NBC’s website, where it immediately went viral. Williams relented and ran it the next night. “He didn’t want to put stories on the air that would be divisive,” a senior NBC journalist told me. According to a source, Myers wrote a series of scathing memos to then–NBC senior vice-president Antoine Sanfuentes documenting how Williams suppressed her stories. ­Myers and Isikoff eventually left the network (and both declined to comment).

The actual definition of divisive is having a negative impact on a Democrat.

Today Newsbusters posted another example of how the American mainstream media works.

Newsbusters explains:

Despite the networks’ eagerness to tout Democratic opposition to the GOP letter (the letter stating that the Senate should weigh in on any agreement with Iran), on two separate occasions the “big three” completely ignored a letter penned by former Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) written to the Soviet Union in 1983 aimed at undermining President Ronald Reagan’s nuclear negotiations with the Communist regime.
…Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”

The Republicans who signed the letter are reminding the President of the Senate’s role in approving treaties. They are asking the President to respect the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution. Ted Kennedy was asking the Russians to get involved in an American election. It seems to me that the latter is much more significant than a reminder of how the U.S. Constitution works.

 

Sounds Good, But The Numbers Just Don’t Work

The Democrat Party has long claimed to be the champion of wage equality–women should make as much as men. I agree they should if they do the same job. I think most people agree on that, but what are the facts?

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today showing the differences between the pay of men and women in the Obama White House and on Hillary Clinton’s staff.

These are the charts from the article:

Perry 1 copy

Perry 2 copy

In his 2014 State of the Union speech, President Obama stated, “You know, today, women make up about half our White House workforce, but they still make only 86.7 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”

This is a copy of a tweet by Hillary Clinton:

Hullary Tweet copy

Facts are just inconvenient things.

Looking Past The Current Crisis

The current crisis in Washington is the Democrat filibuster of the Homeland Security Department budget. The news media doesn’t frame it that way, but the last time I checked, the people doing the filibuster were the people preventing the bill from being discussed or passed.

At any rate, the Republicans refuse to fund executive amnesty, and the Democrats refuse not to fund executive amnesty. That is the discussion in a nutshell. So how in the world can we be safe if the Department of Homeland Security is not funded (please excuse the sarcasm)? We will be equally safe whether the department is funded or not. You see, even if the department is not funded, ‘essential’ workers will still report for work. (If they are not essential, why are they working there in the first place?)

Today the Washington Free Beacon posted a story about the Department of Homeland Security and some of their budget.

The article reports:

Funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—which is due to expire at the end of this week unless an agreement in Washington is reached—has continued to rise under President Barack Obama. His administration claims the agency’s increased funding is necessary to protect the homeland, but records show that the DHS has continued to increase its spending on furniture and office makeovers as its budget has been increased.

A review of records on the official government spending website by the Washington Free Beacon shows the agency has spent nearly $150 million on office furniture and makeovers since Obama took office. Those fiscal years for which he has been responsible and whose budgets have been enacted are FY2010 through 2014.

“The FY 2015 Budget reflects the Administration’s strong commitment to protecting the homeland and the American people through the effective and efficient use of DHS resources, continuing the focus on preserving frontline priorities across the Department by cutting costs, sharing resources across Components, and streamlining operations wherever possible,” the administration’s request states.

Each year under Obama the administration, DHS funding has increased. The FY 2015 budget request is $60.9 billion, compared with FY 2014’s budget of $60.7 billion. In fiscal year 2013, the DHS budget was $59.2 billion. By contrast, President George W. Bush’s last budget for DHS for FY 2009 was $52.5 billion.

Please understand. Whether amnesty is funded or not, there is never any desire on the part of most Congressmen to cut the federal budget. Money is power, and Congressmen like power. The problem is on both sides of the aisle. The reason the Tea Party and Tea Party groups are such a threat to both parties (yes, they are a threat to the Republicans as well as the Democrats) is that they support smaller government. America will not see smaller government unless we elect fewer Democrats and fewer establishment Republicans. We also need to take the leadership of the Republican party away from establishment Republicans and put it into the hands of people who support the values the Republican party used to espouse.

The article concludes, reminding us:

Although the upcoming budget has not yet been approved, records show the DHS has already signed contracts in the amount of $2.2 million for new furniture for FY 2015. A total of 247 contracts have already been signed. They include a contract signed two weeks ago for $294,058 for “furniture and furniture installation services” for the agency’s office in Coleman, Fla.

Jeh Johnson, the secretary of the DHS, went on five talk shows Sunday urging passage of his agency’s budget and said the national security of the country is at risk. Essential employees of the DHS, including border patrol agents, members of the Coast Guard, and Transportation Security Administration workers are required to report to work even if the budget is not approved.

Wouldn’t we all like their furniture budget?

Federal Election Violations In 2014

Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted an article about a 29-page complaint filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust. The charges are against Catalist, a Washington, D.C.-based firm.

The article reports:

Catalist, the Washington, D.C.-based firm at the heart of the allegations, was accused of “providing candidates and federal party committees data and list-related products and services at below-market rates, constituting excessive, source-prohibited, and unreported in-kind contributions” to the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Also named in the complaint were nearly 400 Democratic campaign committees, including Obama for America, the re-election committee for DNC national chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and the re-election committee for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Additionally, the complaint charged that Catalist engaged “in an illegal coordination scheme where the common vendors use their specific products and services to exchange their campaigns and parties data with soft-money groups making independent expenditures.”

The nonprofit watchdog further charged that Catalist was “established, financed, maintained and/or controlled by the Democratic National Committee.” The complaint was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay.

Follow the link above to the Washington Examiner to read the entire complaint–it is included in the article.

The article states:

Former U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker, who heads the nonprofit watchdog, estimated that Catalist and the other committees and allied groups named in the complaint spent more than $100 million in illegally coordinated and unreported campaign contributions in 2014.

On February 18, 2015, opensecrets.org reported the following:

The final figures are in: The 2014 election was the most expensive midterm election in history, costing a grand total of $3.77 billion. But for the first time since 1990, fewer Americans donated money in this midterm election than the one before. Simply put, more money went into the system, but fewer people provided it.

…Even when it came to outside spending groups, there were fewer donors. In 2010, there were 57,405 individual donors to outside spending groups (including 527s) who gave a total of $104.6 million, or roughly $1,800 apiece. In 2014, there were 53,725 donors to outside groups, whose average donation was $8,011. That’s an increase in the size of the average donation of almost 445 percent.

We are not going to be able to take the money out of elections. What we can do is make sure that all donations are transparent and all sources and amounts of money known.

 

 

An Interesting New Wrinkle In The Immigration Fight

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen has issued a temporary injunction blocking President Obama’s executive action to shield up to 5 million immigrants from deportation. The injunctions at least temporarily blocks those immigrants from applying for social security numbers and work permits (see previous articles about many of these people voting and receiving earned income tax refunds for years when they were here working illegally).

The article reports:

However, uncertainty persists at a time when the Obama administration was banking on clarity.

The judicial fight also comes as the White House and Senate Democrats engage in a standoff with Republican lawmakers over funding for the Department of Homeland Security.

Conservatives insist the court ruling gives them ammunition to roll back the president’s executive action on immigration, but they still don’t have the 60 votes in the Senate to get such legislation through the upper chamber.

Hanen, the South Texas judge, did not rule on the legality of the executive action taken by Obama in November. He simply said the president’s blueprint should be put on hold while 26 states pursue a lawsuit arguing that Obama lacked the authority to make such a decree to governors already dealing with budget shortfalls.

The Fifth Circuit Court is now the gatekeeper for whether Obama’s power play on immigration will proceed. It will have to decide whether to grant the Justice Department’s expected request for a stay on the district court ruling.

President Obama has admitted numerous times that he does not have the authority to issue the executive order that he issued. However, there has not been anyone in Congress with the backbone to stop the runaway executive branch. Unfortunately, the court ruling in this case, while needed to stop the runaway train, may actually give the Republicans in Congress permission to cave. That would not be a good thing. There is a reason we have three branches of government. Legislation is supposed to come from Congress–the President is supposed to uphold the laws–not write them!

Make no mistake–executive amnesty is about future Democrat voters. While I have no problem with expanding immigration, I am not convinced America can assimilate 5 million people all at once in the current economy. We do need to overhaul our immigration policy, but 5 million people at a time is not the way to do it.

Unintended Consequences of Executive Amnesty

On Monday, the Daily Signal posted an article about the current battle in Congress about funding the Department of Homeland Security. The House of Representatives has passed a bill to fund the Department, but the Democrats in the Senate have begun a filibuster to prevent the bill from being voted on. So what is the problem?

The article reports:

But last week as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried for a third time to open debate and allow for amendments on the bill, Democrats in the Senate continued to vehemently oppose the bill’s consideration. Before the Senate can move to consideration of the bill, 60 senators are needed.

“I don’t understand why they’d want to block the Senate from even debating a bill to fund homeland security,” McConnell said on the Senate floor last week. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

“You’d think Democrats would at least want to give the Senate an opportunity to make improvements to the bill, if it needs them,” he continued. “Why would Democrats want to stand tall for the ability of politicians to do things President Obama himself has described as ‘unwise and unfair’?”

It’s true that if the bill funding the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t pass, it won’t be the end of the world: 86 percent of the Department will continue to operate without the bill.

But with funding set to expire on Feb. 27, why are so many Democrats unwilling to consider a bill that would fund the Department—and keep all operations going?

The thing to remember here is that the Democrats are blocking even a discussion of the bill. They are playing the games they have long accused the Republicans of playing.

There is another aspect of Presidential amnesty that needs to be considered. In November of 2014, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about the fact that illegals granted amnesty under President Obama’s executive amnesty will be able to file tax returns with their newly minted social security numbers and claim the Earned Income Tax Credit for the years they worked here illegally. The Earned Income Tax Credit is one aspect of the Income Tax that is noted for fraud, and amnesty could result in each illegal immigrant family receiving thousands of dollars courtesy of the American taxpayer. This is obscene.

It is quite possible that the financially rewarded new immigrants will become permanent Democrat voters–that may be the reason the Democrats in the Senate are fighting to protect executive amnesty.

I have no source for this quote, but I believe it applies (these are two of the variations):

The American Republic will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.

The Children Are Misbehaving Again

John Hinderaker posted a article at Power Line yesterday about the Democrats latest antics in the Senate.

The article explains:

In a shocking move, Senate Democrats today filibustered all funding for the Department of Homeland Security. They refused to allow the DHS funding bill, which has already passed the House, to be brought up for a vote. This means that funding for DHS, including its many vital national security functions, will soon run out.

Why would Democrats vote unanimously to shut down DHS? Because the funding bill excludes the implementation of President Obama’s patently illegal and unconstitutional subversion of the nation’s immigration laws. The Democrats’ position is: either you go approve of and pay for the president’s illegal acts, or we will shut DHS down.

The Republicans need to develop some backbone and deal with this. I am sure (I hope) there are some Democrats who put national security over politics. Essentially the Democrats have shut down one part of the government.