The Look Of Desperation

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Robert Mueller is investigating ‘billionaires with ties to Russia’ who attended Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities. Good grief. We have large donations from Russia to the Clinton Foundation followed by a transfer of a large portion of America’s uranium resources, and Robert Mueller is investigating businessmen who attended the inauguration parties? This totally smacks of desperation!

The article quotes ABC News:

The presence of people with Kremlin ties in Washington for Trump’s inaugural celebration was first reported by The Washington Post. But the guest lists obtained by ABC News offer a new glimpse at the level of access granted to several well-connected oligarchs.

Several donated enough to the Presidential Inaugural Committee to qualify for tickets to a “Candlelight Dinner” in Washington’s Union Station on the eve of the inauguration, a perk for $1 million contributors, the list of attendees show. Guests were treated to a preview performance by singer Jackie Evancho, a one-time runner-up on “America’s Got Talent,” who would go on to sing at the inauguration the following day.

…The Trump inauguration brought in more than $107 million, double the amount of President Obama, to finance a week of festivities that was filled with far fewer events than past inaugurations – only three Presidential balls. In May, ABC News reported that the Special Counsel had questioned several witnesses about millions of dollars in donations from donors with connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Donating to the inauguration is not unusual. Has anyone looked at donations to the Clinton Foundation during the time that Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State? This investigation is clutching at straws hoping that the American people are unaware of what is normal practice in Washington. It would make more sense to evaluate the funding of inaugurations than to try to accuse President Trump of something based on donations from Americans (which are perfectly legal, regardless of who those Americans do business with).

Pork In The North Carolina Budget

Washington isn’t the only place where lawmakers love to spend money that isn’t theirs. The North Carolina legislature is currently working on its state budget for FY 2018-19. On Monday, Civitas posted an article about the current budget proposal.

The article reports:

The state budget for FY 2018-19 contains nearly 170 line items totaling $30 million that are highly inappropriate or outright pork.

Appropriations directing funding to local pet projects include items such as walking trails, playgrounds, county fairs and highway signs. Moreover, dozens of nonprofit organizations receive direct appropriations in the budget. Make no mistake, these nonprofits perform admirable work. However, it is highly inappropriate – and unfair favoritism – to single out nonprofits for specific appropriations of state tax dollars, instead of having them go through the appropriate grant process.

There is little doubt that a large percentage, if not all, of these earmarks represent legislators trying to “bring home the bacon” to their districts in an election year. State taxpayers should not be forced to finance explicitly local projects.

Note that the items identified in this article include only adjustments made to the second year of the biennial budget passed last year. There no doubt are many more such earmarks that will be doled out this year that were previously included in last year’s budget.

Legislative leaders have rightly been criticized for the closed-door, non-transparent process used in crafting the budget. It is plausible to believe that these 166 line items were the result of political horse-trading behind closed doors, which left virtually no time for objections from legislators before the House and Senate voted.

Such a significant number of earmarks, while not adding up to a major percentage of the budget in dollar terms, raises legitimate concerns about political patronage in which representatives direct state funds to local projects in exchange for political support.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It includes a specific list of the earmarks in question.

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.