Why The Support For Repealing ObamaCare Was Not There On Friday

Yesterday The Conservative Review posted an article about the fact that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pulled the bill to repeal ObamaCare because there were not enough votes to pass it. Well, that’s what happens when you change the rules in the middle of the game.

The article quotes a statement made by Speaker Ryan in January of 2016 after Obama vetoed the bill:

It’s no surprise that someone named Obama vetoed a bill repealing Obamacare, and we will hold a vote to override this veto. Taking this process all the way to the end under the Constitution. But here’s the thing the idea that Obamacare is the law of the land for good is a myth. This law will collapse under its own weight or it will be repealed. Because all those rules and procedures Senate Democrats have used to block us from doing this that’s all history. We have shown now that there is a clear path to repealing Obamacare without 60 votes in the Senate. So next year if we’re sending this bill to a republican president it will get signed into law. Obamacare will be gone … [emphasis added]

But the bill they sent to the Republican president (Donald Trump) was not the same bill that they had sent to President Obama.

The article concludes:

This week, Speaker Ryan should abandon his RINOcare bill and bring the 2015 reconciliation bill to the floor of the House for a vote.

It’s time to stop the bait and switch.

Donald Trump is the elected President of the United States. One of the reasons he was elected was that the voters were tired of the kind of behavior illustrated by Speaker Ryan. The problem Friday was the broken promise of Speaker Ryan–it was not the Freedom Caucus who expected Speaker Ryan to keep his word.

Why ObamaCare Was Not Repealed

I used to be a Democrat. Then I used to be a Republican. Now I am an unaffiliated voter because there is not a conservative party that believes in smaller government. The Republicans used to believe in smaller government, but they have forgotten who they are. Yesterday was a glaring example of that fact. The Conservative Review posted an article yesterday about the failure of the House of Representatives to vote on the repeal (and replacement) of ObamaCare. The headline of the article is, “How DARE House Freedom Caucus hold GOP accountable to its promises!?” For me, that pretty much sums up what happened.

The article reminds us:

In 2016, the GOP-controlled Congress passed a clean repeal bill through the reconciliation process. It was sent to Barack Obama who vetoed it, as CNN reported at the time. In 2017, Rand Paul (R-Ky) has offered a bill that does many of the same things, as the 2016 legislation.

CNN reported:

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon passed legislation that would repeal ObamaCare, and after more than 60 votes to roll back all or part of the law, the bill (to) dismantle it will finally get to the President’s desk.

But it won’t stay there long; President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any Republican bill that guts his signature health care law, a five-year-and-counting effort.

The vote was 240-181, largely along party lines.

The article goes on to explain that members of the House Freedom Caucus wanted the 2016 bill to be voted on in this session of Congress. It is very annoying to those of us who have followed this story closely (rather than listen to what the media is telling us) that the Freedom Caucus is being blamed for the failure of this bill. This is simply not true. As usual, the establishment GOP has dissed its voters.

The article concludes:

It’s pretty easy to see who one should truly be disgusted at. It’s not Mark Meadows (R-NC), and the other members of the Freedom Caucus. It is Paul Ryan and his leadership team, who refuse to offer the bill they already passed in 2016 as the model they would use if they had a president who would sign it.

Ryan now has a president who would sign the 2016 legislation that easily passed in a campaign year as the blueprint for repeal. He refused to bring it to a vote, lest it show that the GOP campaign promises mean nothing. The Freedom Caucus is absolutely right to insist that the House and Senate do so.

President Trump is a very smart man, but I believe that he does not yet fully understand the backstabbing that is an everyday part of Washington. I believe Paul Ryan purposely stabbed President Trump in the back. Paul Ryan has become part of the Republican establishment that is fighting to maintain the status quo. The Republican establishment would like to see President Trump fail as much as the Democrats would. As ObamaCare collapses, which it will, the establishment Republicans will be the ones who will bring us nationalized healthcare. That is truly sad. It can be prevented, but it needs to be done quickly and decisively. It may be time to change the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives.

Encouraging Voter Fraud

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about welcome baskets given to refugees coming to Nebraska. Below is the YouTube video included in the article:

Actually, I think it is very nice that the Democratic Party is giving these refugees welcome baskets with a welcoming letter. I suppose it is sweet to also give them voter registration forms before they are actually citizens who can vote. Nothing like encouraging voter fraud.

Changing the Wrapping Doesn’t Change The Package

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line about the changes made to the ObamaCare replacement bill.

The article quotes Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton:

“Despite the proposed amendments, I still cannot support the House health-care bill, nor would it pass the Senate. The amendments improve the Medicaid reforms in the original bill, but do little to address the core problem of Obamacare: rising premiums and deductibles, which are making insurance unaffordable for too many Arkansans. The House should continue its work on this bill. It’s more important to finally get health-care reform right than to get it fast.”

The article at Power Line states the following:

If, under a Republican plan, premiums/deductibles continue to rise, people will believe that Obamacare’s replacement made things worse. They will blame Republicans and the GOP will pay a heavy price.

No Republican should support replacement legislation unless he or she is confident it will result in better outcomes with regard to premiums/deductibles. If Democrats won’t support legislation that’s likely to produce that result, Republicans should either push such legislation through without Democratic support (overruling the Senate parliamentarian) if necessary or let such legislation be voted down.

Republicans have no obligation to pass replacement legislation they don’t like in order to patch up Obamacare. The Democrats created the current mess. If they won’t cooperate with the GOP in fixing it properly, Republicans shouldn’t take the political hit that would come with pretending to fix it on their own.

I left the Republican Party because I felt that they had forgotten their commitment to smaller government and had become part of the problem rather than part of the solution. The current ObamaCare replacement bill is a perfect example of that. Republicans were told that if we gave them the House, ObamaCare would be gone. When it wasn’t gone, we were told that if we gave them the House and the Senate, ObamaCare would be gone. When it wasn’t gone, we were told that if we gave them the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, ObamaCare would be gone. If this bill passes, it won’t be gone. We will simply have ObamaCare Light, a bad bill that the Republicans would be totally responsible for–just as the Democrats were totally responsible for ObamaCare. That is not a step forward–it is a step backward! Please, Republicans, do not pass this bill. Simply repeal ObamaCare. Then you can fight over its replacement. Don’t break faith with the voters.

 

The Lynch Pin That Connects The Scandals

American Lens posted an article today that reminds us why we need to drain the swamp.

The article states:

Loretta Lynch is the only Attorney General in American history to invoke her Fifth Amendment privileges in her appearance before Congress in October 2016 about the $1.7 billion dollar Iran ransom payments.

It is her constitutional right to assert that privilege, as it is for all Americans. However, it dramatically increased the already toxic environment between the Obama Justice Department and Congress and left serious concerns in the air about her actions surrounding the $1.7 billion in cash payments to a hostile terrorist regime.

Invoking the Fifth Amendment does not immediately make her guilty of anything, but she is the first Attorney General to do so.

The article explains:

Under Federal Law, 50 U.S. Code § 1805 (a) (1), the Attorney General must approve the application for the warrant before it goes to a judicial panel in a FISA court.

A FISA order is used to collect information on a foreign entity when there is no other normal means available to gather the information – 50 U.S. Code § 1805 (6)(c).

According to the law there must be credible evidence that demonstrates, “each of the facilities at which surveillance directed is being used or about to be used by foreign power or agent thereof .” That could mean trouble for President Trump.

If the FISA standards were upheld, it could mean that there were at least two intelligence indicators that Trump’s equipment or personnel were about to act as foreign agents.
However, with the revelation that General Flynn was a confidant of the Turkish regime and had been in contact with the Russian foreign minister, these would likely be the indicators that could have been or were used as part of the FISA affidavit.

But, as we have previously reported, there is at least one cooperating witness in the tap of Trump tower during his presidential campaign.

Stated another way, someone in the Obama/Lynch Justice Department swore under penalty of perjury that they had evidence that Trump Tower was being used by a foreign power during the presidential campaign and/or that there was reasonable suspicion that Trump or one of his associates at the tower was about to be a secret foreign agent.

Obviously, we do not yet know all the details of the FISA request, but it appears that the Democratic Party’s opposition research team definitely got out of hand. This wiretap is different from Watergate in that government agencies were used against an opponent of the opposite party. In Watergate, it was a Republican campaign committee–the government was not involved in the actual burglary, and when the guilty parties attempted to bring in the government, the scandal was uncovered and people went to jail. This is a much more serious breach of the trust of the American people–we expect those in office to follow the laws of the land–not break for their own personal gain.

Americans Are Actually Unified On Some Things

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an editorial written by David Schoenbrod, a Trustee Professor of Law at New York Law School. The editorial is titled, “Washington’s War Against The People.” Professor Schoenbrod makes a few very good points in his editorial. He reminds us that the percentage of Americans who trust Washington to “do the right thing” “just about always” or “most of the time” was 76 percent in 1964. In 2015, that percentage had fallen to 19 percent. So what happened? Those in power in Washington learned a few tricks to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and to increase their own power and wealth. Meanwhile, they began to ignore the wishes and well being of the American people.

The editorial lists some of the ways that those in Washington promise good things while avoiding the blame for bad things:

  1. The Money Trick lets them get credit for tax cuts and spending increases, but shift the blame for the inevitable tax increases and spending cuts to their successors in office when the deficits and debt will become unsustainable.
  2. The Debt Guarantee Trick lets them get support from the too-big-to-fail financial giants whose profits they increase by guaranteeing their debts at little or no cost, but shift the blame for the inevitable bailouts to their successors in office when the speculation encouraged by the cheap debt guarantees will trigger another fiscal crisis and economic crash.
  3. The Federal Mandate Trick lets them get credit for the benefits they require the state and local government to deliver, but shift the blame for the burdens required to deliver those benefits to state and local officials.
  4. The Regulation Trick lets them get credit for granting rights to regulatory protection, but shift the blame for the burdens required to vindicate those rights and the failures to deliver the protection promised to federal agencies.
  5. The War Trick lets members of Congress get credit for having a statute that requires them to take responsibility for going to war, while colluding with the president to evade responsibility for wars that might later prove controversial.  So members of Congress can march in the parade if the war proves popular, but otherwise put the entire blame on the president.
The editorial points out that many Americans believe that Washington insiders have misled or tricked them. That explains why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, both outsiders, received more votes in 2016 than anyone expected.

The current battle is between Washington insiders and the American people. Both Republicans and Democrats have forgotten who they represent. Some elected officials still try to represent the voters, but they are few and far between. The problem is across party lines. The only solution is well-educated voters (which will be a challenge because the mainstream media supports the Washington insiders). However, if it is possible to drain the swamp, I suspect it will have to happen in the next two years. I believe that is the size of the window Donald Trump will be given to accomplish anything.

When You Think You Dodged A Bullet, But You Didn’t

In January 2015, Politifact reported:

Obama’s record for losses, at least through the 2014 midterms, is historically bad having overseen two horrible midterm elections for Democrats. Overall, Sabato wrote, Democrats during Obama’s presidency lost 11 governorships, 13 U.S. Senate seats, 69 House seats, and 913 state legislative seats and 30 state legislative chambers. (Our analysis of legislative seats is off from Sabato’s (Larry Sabato, a political expert at the University of Virginia Center for Politics) by three. The small discrepancy is likely due to run-offs and recounts.)

The shedding of U.S. House seats, state legislative seats and statehouse control is at least twice the average two-term losses from Truman through George W. Bush, Sabato  said.

There were further losses in the past election, including the presidency. So where do the Democrats go from here? Well, I don’t think they actually have that totally figured out yet.

Yesterday, The American Thinker posted an article about Tom Perez, the newly-elected Democratic National Committee Chairman. Conventional wisdom says that the Democratic Party dodged a bullet by not electing Rep. Keith Ellison, who has some rather interesting radical associations in his past and present. However, the article disputes the conventional wisdom by claiming that Perez is as radical as Ellison, just more quiet about it.

The article reports:

Perez had a actual track record. It could be summed up as one damaging-to-democracy act after another, all in the name of advancing he Democratic Party’s partisan interests. What it means is that he places party over state, same as Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez did.

Interestingly enough, CASA de Maryland, a Soros-funded group dedicated to helping illegal immigrants flout U.S. immigration law that Perez headed up, took a $1.5 million donation in 2008 from the Venezuelan dictator. Perez seems to have taken Chavez’s philosophy along with it, which isn’t that surprising: His dad was a well-known henchman for Rafael Trujillo, the bemedaled, mirrored-sunglassed Idi-Amin-style thug dictator of the Dominican Republic who used to throw his opponents literally into the shark pools over his 30-plus years rule. Trujillo was the grotesque dictator featured in Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa’s Feast of the Goat. One cannot control who one’s relatives are, of course, but Perez is notable for lying about it, not just in denying the relationship but in saying it was the opposite of what it was.

Admittedly, you can’t choose your relatives, but combined with his association with CASA de Maryland, Perez does not appear to be a moderate alternative to Ellison.

The article further reports:

As for his (Perrez) own division of DOJ, a 250-page internal DOJ Inspector General’s report blasted it for its hothouse atmosphere of racial grievance mongering, “with several incidents in which deep ideological polarization fueled disputes and mistrust that harmed the functioning of the Voting Section.”  Some leadership.

This is the work of a rabid activist who sees advancing the leftist agenda and the party that has adopted it as the goal. The party’s supremacy is his goal and the law is an obstacle. Sounds a heckuva lot like the Obama administration, which he exerted considerable influence over. Will the voters go for same-old, same-old? The current state of the Democratic Party seems to think there’s a need for more of it.

As the Democratic Party moves left, they may find themselves representing fewer and fewer Americans. We have seen the fruit of an overreaching and overspending government, and we want our country back. I am not sure how many generations that will take, but it can be done.

It will be interesting to see if the election of Tom Perez stops the losses of the Democratic Party. I have a suspicion that it will not.

The Consequences Of ObamaCare

We all know the obvious consequences of ObamaCare–higher premiums, people losing their insurance policies, people having health insurance but not being able to find doctors that accept their plans, etc. Well, there were also some other consequences.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article that illustrates one consequence of ObamaCare that is sometimes not mentioned. The article mentions that Senator Harry Reid kept the Senate in session during the ObamaCare debate so that Democratic Senators would not hear the voters’ opposition to ObamaCare. The Democrats claimed that the Tea Party was astroturf. Was it?

The article includes the following chart:

Recently we have seen protesters at townhall meetings of Congressmen who want to repeal ObamaCare. These are protesters organized according to the Democrat’s Alinsky playbook. They can protest all they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that more Americans have been hurt rather than helped by ObamaCare. Those Senators who do not support the repeal of ObamaCare need to keep this in mind.

 

Americans Have Common Sense, Do Our Leaders?

Yesterday The Hill posted an article about sanctuary cities. There is a surprising amount of public support for President Trump’s deportation of criminal aliens.

The article reports:

The poll shows that President Trump has broad public support in his effort to crack down on sanctuary cities.

A survey from HarvardHarris Poll provided exclusively to The Hill found that 80 percent of voters say local authorities should have to comply with the law by reporting to federal agents the illegal immigrants they come into contact with.

As it stands, hundreds of cities across the nation — many with Democratic mayors or city councils — are refusing to do so.

Trump has signed an executive order directing Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to find ways to starve these sanctuary cities of federal funding. A Reuters analysis found the top 10 sanctuary cities in the U.S. receive $2.27 billion in federal funding for programs ranging from public health services to early childhood education.

We need to deal with our own citizens who are living in poverty before we open our borders to more dependents.

The article includes the following graph:

If we are to be a nation of laws, we need to enforce our laws.

Slowly But Surely

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the Senate has confirmed Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The article reports:

The 52-46 vote came during a rare Friday floor session, which was held amid an intensified campaign by Democratic lawmakers to stall the vote.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said “enough is enough” to the Democratic opposition on the floor ahead of the vote. He said confirming Trump’s Cabinet has taken the “longest” amount of time “since George Washington,” which shouldn’t be seen as a record of pride for the minority party.

McConnell said the delaying tactics “won’t change the outcome of the election last November,” but instead are keeping the government from serving the American people.

President Trump was elected in November and sworn in in January. It is time to allow him to get his cabinet confirmed.

The Plot Thickens

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported that three brothers who handled computer issues for some Congress members and for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have been relieved of their duties.

The article reports:

Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.

Also among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.

The investigation of these men has been going on since late 2016.

The article states:

Signs of trouble have long been visible in public records. The Congressional Credit Union repossessed Abid’s car in 2009, and he declared bankruptcy in 2012, facing multiple lawsuits.

Alvi, who did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment, has taken multiple second mortgages.

Security-sensitive jobs typically require background checks for credit and legal problems that can create pressures to cash in on access to secret information and documents.

Jamal, who public records suggest is only 22 years old and first began working in the House when he was 20, was paid nearly $160,000 a year, or three times the average House IT staff salary, according to InsideGov, which tracks congressional salaries. Abid was paid $161,000 and Imran $165,000.

You would think someone might have noticed before last year. It will be interesting to see how much of the media report this story and how they spin it.

 

How Can We Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?

President Obama seems to be reluctant to leave the stage. We haven’t seen this amount of trying to hog the spotlight since the Clintons. It really is getting pathetic. There is a tradition that the outgoing President would go quietly into the private sector and let the new President do his job. That is not a guarantee in the present situation.

The U.K Daily Mail posted a story yesterday about some recent comments by President Obama.

The article reports:

President Obama issued a farewell warning to President-elect Donald Trump, saying he would jump off the political sidelines if Trump goes against certain ‘core values.’ 

At his last scheduled news conference before leaving office on Friday, Obama said if there was ‘systemic discrimination,’ efforts to ‘silence dissent’ or to ‘roll back voting rights,’ he would be ‘speaking out.’

It was among his most activist descriptions of his next act, and indicates Obama may be rethinking his post-presidency role and heeding the urging of some activists to play a stronger function in the leaderless Democratic Party as it navigates the Trump administration.

That group of issues, Obama explained, were ‘core values that may be at stake’ and would prompt him to get off the sidelines.

Would someone please remind President Obama that he campaigned for Hillary Clinton and said that his policies were on the ballot. With the exception of New York, California, and a few other liberal states, those policies were rejected. He will be an ex-President and deserves a certain amount of respect as an ex-President. However, he has no legal role to play in the upcoming administration.

There is a problem with President Obama’s intentions. If the press continues to support him, he will be an obstacle to forward progress in America. He is leaving a mess for President Trump–both nationally and internationally. If President Obama is seen (the press won’t report this, but people are waking up) as an obstacle to progress, the Democratic Party can count on further losses in Congress, state governments and local governments. At some point even the Democrats are going to realize that President Obama has been a liability for the Democratic Party–not an asset.

How To Lie With Statistics

The mainstream media has not yet realized that they have been revealed as dishonest and misleading. They are still at it. A story posted yesterday in The Daily Caller illustrates that point.

The article reports:

Two polls released Tuesday — one from ABC and a second from CNN — tout Donald Trump as being the most unfavorable incoming president in modern history — yet on second look, the data is clearly boosted by the pollers’ decision to oversample Democrats.

According to Gallup, 28 percent of Americans identify themselves as a Republican, while 25 percent identify as a Democrat.

ABC’s poll sampled 1,005 adults across the nation. However, partisan breakdown shows that only 23 percent of participants identified as Republican.

Conversely, 31 percent of participants identified as Democrats and 37 percent as independent, while nine percent did not answer.

…Similarly, CNN’s poll also featured an eight-point partisanship gap.

Of the 1,000 adults taking part in the Atlanta-based news network’s poll, 32 percent claimed to be Democrats, 24 percent claimed to be Republicans and the remaining 44 percent claimed to be “independents or members of another party.”

I they had chosen their samples according to the actual statistics on party affiliation, I suspect they might have gotten a different result. However, they did get the result they wanted so that they could report it as news.

Don’t Get Lost In The False Narrative

As I sit here writing this post, I am listening to the news. The news is telling me that a number of Democrats will not attend the inauguration of President Trump because they feel that he is an illegitimate President. Hopefully most Americans realize how ridiculous this charge is. However, there is a full-blown effort by the media and the political left to undermine Donald Trump before he is even sworn in as President.

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review yesterday detailing one aspect of the attack on soon-to-be President Trump. The article deals with the strategy behind the Justice Department Inspector General’s review of some aspects of the Justice Department’s handing of the Hillary Clinton email scandal. Mr. McCarthy explains how the parameters of this investigation will make sure the investigation determines exactly what the political left wants the investigation to determine. It is important to note that the investigation will not look into the meeting between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch on the tarmac in Arizona during the Justice Department investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server. They will not look into immunity granted to witnesses and evidence destroyed during the original investigation. They will not look at ways in which Mrs. Clinton‘s private server compromised national security. So what is going on here?

The article explains:

The aim is obvious: If Comey’s statements were against protocol, then they will be portrayed as violations that caused Clinton to lose — the argument will be that Trump’s victory was as razor thin as it gets, Clinton decisively won the popular vote, so surely Comey’s impropriety is what swung the few thousand votes Clinton would have needed in key states to win in the Electoral College. Therefore, the narrative goes: Trump’s victory, and thus his presidency, is illegitimate.

…The Democrats erase your first argument by reducing the whole election down to the e-mails investigation, such that Mrs. Clinton’s many other flaws as a candidate do not matter. The Democrats erase your second argument by making sure the IG investigation focuses on James Comey, not on Hillary Clinton’s crimes and the Justice Department’s outrageous machinations to make sure she was not prosecuted for those crimes.
There you have it. The public’s perception of Trump’s legitimacy may hinge on the public’s understanding of the Justice Department inspector-general’s probe. The Democrats fully grasp this and are lining things up so that they’ll win before Republicans even realize the game is on.

I hope most Americans will see through this dog and pony show. It is really sad that the political left is doing everything it can to damage the Presidency of Donald Trump even before he is sworn in. If Donald Trump is such a horrible person with such bad ideas, why not just sit back and wait for him to fail? It is disheartening to hear politicians on the left repeating charges that have no proof behind them as if they were fact. Unfortunately I think this is going to get worse. The only cure for the lying media is for Americans to stop listening to the mainstream media and their lies. Maybe at that point, the mainstream media will realize that it is in their best interests (and the interests of America) to report the truth.

The Facts You Need To Fight The Current Spin

Yesterday Investors.com posted a story about what the repeal of ObamaCare will actually mean. The story separates the lies we are being told from the actual truth.

These are the five main points from the story:

  1.  Repealing ObamaCare will not add 20 million to the number of people without health insurance.
  2.  Repealing ObamaCare will not increase the deficit–leaving it in place with significantly increase the deficit in coming years.
  3.  Repealing ObamaCare will not mean that people with pre-existing conditions cannot get health insurance–the replacement plans being considered will have a place a way to cover pre-existing conditions.
  4. Repealing ObamaCare will not increase health costs. The article points out that the rate of increase in premiums for employer-provided insurance had also slowed before ObamaCare took effect. The shift in the employer market toward Health Savings Account plans — which Democrats hate — is largely responsible for that.
  5.  The claim that the voters do not want ObamaCare repealed is also false. The passage of ObamaCare strictly along Democratic Party lines lead to the loss of the House of Representatives by the Democrats in 2010, the loss of the Senate by the Democrats in 2014, and the loss of the Presidency by the Democrats in 2016.

Please follow the link above to read the details of the above points. We need healthcare to be allowed to function under a free-market system with as little interference from the government as possible. That will provide the most cost-efficient and most available healthcare for everyone.

Sometimes I Simply Lack Sympathy

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that George Soros lost $1 billion after the 2016 election.

The article reports:

“Mr. Soros was cautious about the market going into November and became more bearish immediately after Mr. Trump’s election, according to people close to the matter,” according to the Wall Street Journal report. After the rally, Soros dropped many of his losing positions but not before incurring substantial losses.

The billionaire likely will be able to absorb the hit. His namesake firm, Soros Management Fund LLC, has a reported $30 billion in assets.

Soros, an 86-year-old native of Hungary, is a prominent supporter of liberal causes and groups. He was instrumental in founding such groups as the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America. He poured $19 million into the 2016 election on behalf of Democrats, including presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Mr. Soros has been meddling in American politics for some time. It was revealed last summer that many of the people arrested in various protests supporting left-wing causes were being paid through Soros’ organizations. Frankly I am glad that he will have a little less money to try to influence our elections. He is not a friend of our republic.

Behavior Befitting A Two-Year Old

It is obvious that Donald Trump as President will be a serious threat to the status quo. It is understandable that those who are doing quite well with the status quo will do anything they can to undermine his efforts to drain the swamp. However, I really didn’t think it would be this bad.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story with some details about some recent attempts to undermine the Presidency of Donald Trump.

Evidently the current ‘fake news’ scandal about Donald Trump has its roots in the Republican Party during the Republican Primary Election.

The article reports:

This Politico story looks at the Paul Manafort angle. It reports that “a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia.” These efforts affected the campaign, says Politico, in that Manafort had to step down and assertions of Trump ties to Russia were advanced.

This amounts to foreign meddling in the election, though not through any cyber-intrusion (an important distinction). Unlike Russia’s meddling, there is strong evidence that the DNC was involved with Ukraine’s.

The Politico story doesn’t bear directly on the infamous dossier, but this article in the New York Times does. According to the Times, in September 2015, a wealthy Republican donor who strongly opposed Donald Trump put up the money to hire a Washington research firm — Fusion GPS — run by former journalists to compile a dossier about the tycoon’s past scandals and weaknesses.

After Trump emerged as the presumptive nominee in the spring of 2016, the Republican interest in financing the effort ended. However, “Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton” paid Fusion GPS to keep doing the same basic anti-Trump research.

In June, according to the Times, Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS, hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with whom he had worked before. Having previously carried out espionage inside Russia, Steele was in no position to travel to Moscow to study Trump’s connections there. Instead, he hired native Russian speakers to call informants inside Russia and made surreptitious contact with his own connections in the country.

The result was the infamous dossier which was peddled to news organizations during the Fall of 2016 without much success.

This was obviously a smear campaign. I suspect that there are some Americans out there who have heard the story and choose to believe it. That is their privilege. However, it really is time to realize that if Donald Trump is successful in draining the swamp in Washington, all of the people who are not getting rich because of the political corruption in Washington will prosper. That would be nice.

The Past Eight Years

Jeff Jacoby at The Boston Globe posted an article today evaluating the eight years of the Presidency of Barack Obama. President Obama is planning to give his farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday. The purpose of the address is to“celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years.” Wow.

The article takes a look at the past eight years to see if there is anything worth celebrating. Here are a few of the highlights:

In 2010, two years after electing him president, voters trounced Obama’s party, handing Democrats the biggest midterm losses in 72 years. Obama was reelected in 2012, but by nearly 4 million fewer votes than in his first election, making him the only president ever to win a second term with shrunken margins in both the popular and electoral vote.

The trend continued, he campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016, saying that a vote for Hillary would be a vote to support his policies during the past eight years. Hillary lost.

The article notes the economy during President Obama’s time in office:

The economy. Obama took office during a painful recession and (with Congress’s help) made it even worse. Historically, the deeper a recession, the more robust the recovery that follows, but the economy’s rebound under Obama was the worst in seven decades. Annual GDP growth since the recession ended has averaged a feeble 2.1 percent, by far the puniest economic performance of any president since World War II.

…In 2008, when Obama was first elected president, 63 percent of Americans considered themselves middle class. Seven years later, only 51 percent still felt the same way.

The article talks about President Obama’s impact on healthcare:

But Obamacare has been a fiasco. At least 27 million Americans are still without health insurance, and many of those who are newly insured have simply been added to the Medicaid rolls. Far from reducing costs, Obamacare sent premiums and deductibles skyrocketing. Insurance companies, having suffered billions of dollars in losses on the Obamacare exchanges, have pulled out from many of them, leaving consumers in much of the country with few or no options. And the administration, it transpired, knew all along that millions of Americans would lose their medical plans once the law took effect. The deception was so egregious that in December 2013, PolitiFact dubbed “If you like your health plan, you can keep it” as its “Lie of the Year.”

President Obama has not been successful in the area of foreign policy. The world is less safe now than it was when he took office. Part of the problem is the premature troop withdrawal from Iraq, which paved the way for ISIS. This is not totally President Obama’s fault–America has politicized wars since the Korean War. We have forgotten how to win them, and thus have wasted more lives because we were not willing to fight hard. War is ugly, nasty, and horrible, but there would be less of it if it were fought quickly and ended quickly. Somehow since the Korean War, politics have determined battle strategy, and that is a recipe for disaster. President Obama has to take some responsibility for politicizing the war in Iraq (along with his Democratic Party allies), but the precedent for their behavior was set many years ago.

The most disturbing area of failure that the article brings up is the area of national unity. The article states:

According to Gallup, Obama became the most polarizing president in modern history. Like all presidents, he faced partisan opposition, but Obama worsened things by regularly taking the low road and disparaging his critics’ motives. In his own words, his political strategy was one of ruthless escalation: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” During his 2012 reelection campaign, Politico reported that “Obama and his top campaign aides have engaged far more frequently in character attacks and personal insults than the Romney campaign.” And when a Republican-led Congress wouldn’t enact legislation he sought, Obama turned to his “pen and phone” strategy of governing by diktat that polarized politics even more.

The article concludes:

Obama’s accession in 2008 as the nation’s first elected black president was an achievement that even Republicans and conservatives could cheer. It marked a moment of hope and transformation; it genuinely did change America for the better.

It was also the high point of Obama’s presidency. What followed, alas, was eight long years of disenchantment and incompetence. Our world today is more dangerous, our country more divided, our national mood more toxic. In a few days, Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Behold the legacy of the 44th.

We need to remember that the U.S. Constitution was put in place to limit government–not to limit American citizens. Hopefully Donald Trump is aware of that history and will act accordingly.

Looking Past The Obvious

HB2 is a controversial piece of legislation passed in accordance with the North Carolina Constitution. Efforts to repeal it recently failed. Actually, the Democrats in the North Carolina legislature (yes, I said Democrats) have blocked repealing it four times.

American Lens has the story and reports:

May 2016
The Charlotte Observer reported that a bipartisan group of Charlotte City Council (CLTCC) members went to Raleigh to meet with House Speaker Tim Moore to try to facilitate a deal where the council would repeal their ordinance in exchange for the state making significant changes to HB2.

In response, the Democrat-controlled council, led by Mayor Jennifer Roberts – and after heavy-duty lobbying by liberal LGBT groups – refused to put on the table the possibility of repealing the city’s controversial non-discrimination ordinance, which passed in February. The ordinance included a ban on sex-segregated facilities like showers, locker rooms, fitting rooms, and bathrooms in both public and private businesses.

June/July 2016
Charlotte’s WBTV News reported that a bipartisan deal to broadly amend HB2 was axed after political strong-arming from then-candidate-for-governor Roy Cooper (emphasis added):

September 2016
The NC Restaurant and Lodging Association said in a press release they had “received assurances this week from legislative leadership” that they were ready to move on a repeal of House Bill 2 provided that the Mayor Jennifer Roberts and the CLTCC agreed to repeal their ordinance

…December 2016
In a surprise flip-flop from their September stance, the CLTCC voted on Monday the 19th – over a month after the election- to repeal their February ordinance as part of an alleged deal “brokered” by Gov.-Elect Cooper in an effort to motivate the NCGA for a HB2 repeal.

A special session was called by Gov. McCrory in response and Republican members of the House and Senate began informally caucusing on Tuesday in advance of the Wednesday special session.

One small problem blew everything up, though. As it turns out, Mayor Roberts and the CLTCC did not repeal the February NDO in full as they’d previously announced.

So why did the Democrats vote against repeal? Because that keeps the issue on the table to be used to sway voters who do not truly understand the implications of the Charlotte ordinance.. Do North Carolina parents of high school girls want high school boys in their daughters’ locker rooms? Do North Carolina women using locker rooms at fitness facilities want men in their locker rooms? Keep in mind that the non-exclusive locker room part of the Charlotte ordinance that HB2 eliminated did not distinguish as to what private parts a person actually had. A fully equipped male (if he claimed to be transgender) was allowed to use the women’s locker room and women’s showers. I am not sure that every women in North Carolina would be happy to find a man in her gym locker room.

The purpose of leaving HB2 in place was to continue to bring outside money into the coffers of Democratic candidates in North Carolina. It’s not about rights–it’s about politics.

Common Sense Shows Up

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about a ruling by U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

The article reports:

A Texas judge has temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s new requirements for transgender care, granting a preliminary injunction Saturday to several states and religious health organizations suing over the rules.

The rule, which was slated to go into effect Jan. 1, says that doctors can’t refuse to provide medically necessary health services within their scope of practice because of a patient’s gender identity. It doesn’t explicitly require doctors to perform gender transition services, but it says providers can’t refuse services they already provide based on discrimination.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas temporarily blocked the requirements at the request of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arizona and Mississippi along with the Franciscan Alliance and several other religiously affiliated organizations.

Judge Reed O’Connor wrote that the rule contradicts existing law and “likely violates” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Becket Fund, which is representing the states and organizations, said the decision ensures doctors won’t be required to act against their best medical judgement or violate their religious beliefs.

Transgender rights seem to be the new cause of the political left. According to the statistics I could find, the LGBT community makes up between 3 to 4 percent of the American population, and the transgender community makes up a small percentage of that 3 to 4 percent. I really don’t care what anyone does in their spare time or in their bedroom–that is way above my pay grade to judge. However, when their practices begin to infringe on my rights as a religious person, I have a right to defend those rights. Again, I don’t care if you get married–just don’t ask a person who believes in the Biblical definition of marriage to marry you. Don’t ask a baker who holds a Biblical definition of marriage to bake you a cake. Ask someone who is comfortable with being involved in some way with your wedding. (No, I don’t think the Rockettes should be required to perform at Trump’s Inauguration either). You are entitled to your freedom as long as it does not interfere with my freedom. As far as the battle over restrooms is concerned, to me it is very simple–there are non-LGBT people out there who will take advantage of a law allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of the sex they are becoming by using the bathroom that does not correspond with their obvious sexual characteristics. The problem is not the transgender community–it is the disturbed people outside of that community who will take advantage of the law if it changes. In places where the law has changed, there have already been arrests. I don’t want a man in the ladies’ room when I (or my daughters or granddaughters) are in there. If he feels like a woman, he is still not welcome if he is a man.

Again, I don’t need to know or care what anyone else does in their bedroom, but I do need to care when someone tries to infringe on my right to practice my religion.

 

In The End, Our Votes Do Count

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about some of the things President Obama has done in the final days of his administration. His actions have not been respectful of either the American voters or the incoming President. Just for the record, outside of the State of California, Donald Trump won 58,474,401 votes and Hillary Clinton won 57,064,530 votes–a victory margin of approximately 1.4 million for Donald Trump. I won’t even speculate on how many non-citizens voted in California.

If you remember, back in 2008, after the votes were tallied, but before the electoral college had met, Barack Obama created the office of the President-elect. There was no such office, and until the Electoral College voted in December, he wasn’t even officially the President-elect. However, President George W. Bush did everything he could to insure a smooth transition. Unfortunately, President Obama has chosen to ignore the good example that was placed before him.

The New York Post reports:

From his dramatic and disastrous change of US policy on Israel to his executive order restricting 1.65 million acres of land from development despite local objections, Obama is trying to make it impossible for Donald Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress to govern.

Even Thursday’s announcement of wide-ranging sanctions against Russia presents Trump with a foreign-policy crisis immediately upon taking office.

By contrast, many of Obama’s predecessors have stood back in their final days in office and refrained from any dramatic shifts, in deference to the agenda of the man voters sent to succeed them.

But Obama won’t accept the election results. As he suggested the other day, Trump’s election was a fluke — and he himself would have easily been re-elected if allowed to stand for a third term.

He believes this not just because he’s an effective campaigner, but because he thinks his “vision” and policies continue to be backed by “a majority of the American people.”

But Obama, like many Democrats, fails to understand what happened in the election: Voters were calling for real change from the status quo — from his policies. Indeed, before the vote, he himself said it was a referendum on him and his policies.

Memo to the president: You lost.

President Obama has stated that if he were able to run for a third term as President, he would have won. To believe that is to ignore the fact that during the Obama Administration the Democrats have lost a tremendous number of governorships, state legislatures, and majorities in Congress.

On Tuesday, Fox News reported the following:

While Obama’s tireless campaigning, broad demographic appeal and message of “hope” and “change” helped propel him to two terms in the White House, his skills on the stump haven’t translated down the ballot.

The Democratic Party suffered huge losses at every level during Obama’s West Wing tenure.

The grand total: a net loss of 1,042 state and federal Democratic posts, including congressional and state legislative seats, governorships and the presidency. 

The latter was perhaps the most profound example of Obama’s popularity failing to translate to support for his allies. Hillary Clinton, who served as secretary of state under Obama, brought the first family out for numerous campaign appearances. In September, Obama declared that his “legacy’s on the ballot.”

Less than two months later, Americans voted for Donald Trump.

American voters voted against President Obama’s legacy–now President Obama is trying to tie President-elect Donald Trump’s hands in undoing the parts of that legacy that have been harmful to Americans–the Iran deal, fighting against energy independence, over regulation, extreme environmentalism, treating our allies badly and our enemies well, etc. The voters have spoken. It is time for President Obama to quietly leave the stage.

 

 

 

 

A New Degree Of Pettiness

Reuters is reporting today that the U.S. Government has ordered 35 Russian suspected spies to leave America and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their involvement in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 presidential election. First of all, the people who leaked the emails have repeatedly stated that Russia had nothing to do with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)–those who released the emails have stated that they came from a whistleblower within the DNC who objected to the primary election being rigged to give Hillary Clinton the nomination.

The article at Reuters is a classic example of spin. They go on to say that the Russians were responsible, yet ignore the content of the emails released, which is actually what turned voters off. There is no mention of the fact that no one has ever denied the content of the emails despite the fact that it revealed horrible things about how the DNC operated.  One can’t help but wonder if the sanctions and expulsion of diplomats would be happening if Hillary Clinton had won the election. Would President Obama care?

John Hinderaker posted a more balanced article dealing with the Russian sanctions at Power Line today.

The Power Line article asks an obvious question:

The Obama administration insists that Russia’s government was behind the DNC intrusion, but acknowledges that those who actually carried out the operation were not Russian government employees. Rather, the Fancy Bear group is said to be “affiliated with the GRU.” The administration says it will publish a report before Obama leaves office that will detail the evidence against Vladimir Putin’s administration. Until then, there is no way to evaluate the reliability of the claim that Russia’s government was involved.

But let’s assume it was. This is the question I haven’t seen the press corps ask; needless to say, the administration hasn’t answered it. Why didn’t Obama impose sanctions on Russia in October 2014, when, by the administration’s own account, the Russian government hacked into both the White House’s and the State Department’s computers? This was a much more serious infraction than invading Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s emails. Yet it drew zero response from Obama, who seemed more interested in covering up an embarrassing episode than in punishing the Russians.

Given that history, it is hard to disagree with Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said:

We think that such steps by a U.S. administration that has three weeks left to work are aimed at two things: to further harm Russian-American ties, which are at a low point as it is, as well as, obviously, to deal a blow to the foreign policy plans of the incoming administration of the president-elect.

I knew President Obama would not go quietly, but I did not expect him to complicate America’s relationships around the world. Russia under Putin will never be trustworthy, but at least there was a possibility of a working relationship under President Trump. President Obama has done what he could to make any cooperation between our two countries very difficult.

 

Creating A Problem Where There Shouldn’t Be One

Townhall.com posted an article yesterday about the plans for an upcoming concert. Somehow politics has crept into all areas of our lives and we are no longer capable of simply enjoying art and entertainment together. This phenomena is not the result of the election of Donald Trump–he hasn’t taken office yet and was only elected a few weeks ago–it is something that has been building in recent years. Somehow, an idea has taken hold in certain areas of our society that people who do not agree with certain voices on the political left must be punished in some way. To call that idea divisive is the understatement of the year.

The Townhall article reports:

While there are few actually confirmed details as of now, there’s apparently a massive, star-studded “We The People” concert being planned for Miami on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. The idea is to counter Trump’s inauguration and garner higher television ratings than the swearing-in. Normally, the presidential inaugurals carry several a-list acts, but Trump has had issues booking artists to perform. So far, the only confirmed acts are Jackie Evancho (singing the National Anthem), the Rockettes, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

What are the people planning this concert trying to do? To me, this looks like a bunch of spoiled brats throwing a temper tantrum.

The article concludes:

While artists and concert promoters are free to do whatever they’d like, this still strikes me as being rather petty. Donald Trump won the election and he was elected president of the United States. He will continue to be president of the United States even if nobody watches him be sworn in because they’re too distracted by the likes of Madonna and Lady Gaga. A mega-concert cannot change the fact that he won more Electoral College votes than Hillary Clinton did.

As I said, Donald Trump has not taken office yet. Is this an example of the divisiveness and unwillingness to work together that the Obama Administration has left us with?

 

Character Does Matter–One Senator Seem To Be Lacking In That Area

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about retiring Senator Harry Reid. Harry Reid was one of the most divisive and obnoxious Senators every to have a leadership position in the Senate. Comments he made during one of his parting interviews did not help his image as a very dishonest man.

The article reports:

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he “did what was necessary” in 2012 when he falsely accused Mitt Romney of not having paid his taxes for 10 years.

Reid was asked about those comments, which he made during a speech on the Senate floor, in response to call during a live interview on Las Vegas’ KNPR.

The caller asked Reid if he thought that “the brazen lie he told about Mitt Romney not pay his taxes has in anyway contributed to the fake news debate that we now find ourselves in.”

Reid, who is leaving the Senate next month, denied the accusation. But he offered up a flimsy and fact-devoid defense of those 2012 claims.

The article continues:

“First of all, there were no brazen lies. What I said is the truth,” he maintained.

“There’s no brazen lies. I did what was necessary,” he said a few moments later.

…In September 2012, Romney released a notarized letter from his tax preparer showing that he paid state and federal income taxes for the previous 20 years. The lowest federal tax rate he incurred during that span was 13.66 percent, according to the documents he released.

The is the integrity level of the current Democratic Party. They should be ashamed.

About The Popular Vote vs. The Electoral College Thing

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the final numbers from the 2016 Presidential Election.

The article reports some amazing statistics:

If you take California out of the popular vote equation, then Trump wins the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes. And if California voted like every other Democratic state — where Clinton averaged 53.5% wins — Clinton and Trump end up in a virtual popular vote tie. (This was not the case in 2012. Obama beat Romney by 2 million votes that year, not counting California.)

Meanwhile, if you look at every other measure, Trump was the clear and decisive winner in this election.

Number of states won:
Trump: 30
Clinton: 20
_________________
Trump: +10

Number of electoral votes won:
Trump: 306
Clinton: 232
_________________
Trump: + 68

Ave. margin of victory in winning states:
Trump: 56%
Clinton: 53.5%
_________________
Trump: + 2.5 points

Popular vote total:
Trump: 62,958,211
Clinton: 65,818,318
_________________
Clinton: + 2.8 million

Popular vote total outside California:
Trump: 58,474,401
Clinton: 57,064,530
_________________
Trump: + 1.4 million

This is a stunning example of the reason our Founding Fathers made the Electoral College part of the U.S. Constitution. Do you really want California determining who will be President?