What Were These People Thinking?

Unfortunately politics is a blood sport. That is nothing new. It has been that way since the days of Julius Caesar.  Fortunately, not everyone in our nation who votes sees things that way. Many of us voice our opinions, but have no interest in threatening or promising to embarass people who do not do exactly what we want them to do. But there will always be a few people who say things or act in ways that actually harm their cause rather than help it.

Hot Air posted an article today that makes me wonder about the mentality behind a particular political campaign.

The article reports:

Supporters of Democratic candidate Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania’s First District have been going house to house and leaving some door hangers reminding people to vote. Nothing wrong with that message, of course, but these particular pieces are being described as Orwellian because of the implied threat they contain. Rather than simply saying you should get out and vote, the hangers have a cheerful message reminding the resident that records of whether or not you voted are public.

This is the door hanger:

I strongly believe everyone should vote. However, I wonder if this door hanger is helpful to the cause.

Things To Note…

European law, the Dublin Regulation, requires that asylum seekers register their asylum claim in the first country they arrive in, and that the decision of the first EU country they apply in is the final decision in all EU countries. This is the international law on asylum seekers. Somehow a lot of the American news media has neglected to mention that. The migrant caravan currently making its way to America is from Honduras. America is not the first country they have arrived in. It should also be noted that Mexico has a vested interest in stopping this caravan–if the caravan causes America to build the wall and stop illegal immigration, the amount of money sent from America to Mexico will decrease drastically. Those are only two aspects of the problem.

Hot Air posted an article about the caravan today dealing with some of the actions the Mexican government has taken regarding the caravan.

The article reports:

If you had any doubts about the intentions of the migrants in the Honduran caravan you can put them to rest. Mexico continues to make good faith efforts to deal with the flood of humanity in a legal fashion, but the organizers of the caravan have no interest in the law. This week the Mexican government offered the travelers refuge, supplies and the opportunity for permanent residency in two southern states if they applied for asylum. While hundreds of the Hondurans took them up on the offer, thousands more took a vote and decided once again to reject the plan, insisting that they were heading to the United States.

…As we’re seeing in this story, Mexico is also trying to take on the role of a Safe Third Country Agreement participant, even though we haven’t formalized that deal with them yet. By offering the migrants asylum status and temporary food and lodging while their claims are processed, there’s no reason the vast majority of them couldn’t remain in Chiapas and Oaxaca. It represents a major drain on Mexico’s resources to make such an offer and they should be earning a lot of credit and support from the United States for doing so.

Unfortunately, as I noted at the top, most of the migrants have no interest in accepting the offer. They plan to march on the United States border uninvited. We have no more ability to process that many requests in a short period of time than Mexico does and the travelers have already demonstrated what they plan to do if their demands can’t be immediately accommodated. They jumped one border crossing over from Guatemala to Mexico and they will obviously do it again when they reach the United States.

The caravan has more than 1,000 miles to go before they reach Texas. That gives us some time to come up with a plan to stop what can only honestly be described as an invasion. But that time isn’t unlimited, so the state and federal governments need to be working together and preparing for their arrival.

This may get very ugly, and we can depend on the American media to report anything that happens as unfairly as possible. However, we need to remember that as a sovereign county we have the right and responsibility to protect our borders. We also need to remember that the federal government is charged with protecting our borders. When the sympathy stories come out about these poor people, remember that they had a legal chance to settle in Mexico, they were paid to be part of the invasion of America’s southern border, and that the majority of them are military-age young men, The caravan heading for America is a disaster on many levels,

How To Spoil Your Daughter’s Fun

Evidently the idea of watching Disney movies has come into question as of late. I watched Tangled with my granddaughters and made a mental note of the fact that prince charming had a really checkered past. I watched Frozen with my granddaughters and noted that prince charming was a cad and a potential murderer. I watched Maleficent with my granddaughters and decided that Disney had been taken over by a group of radical feminists who were into special effects. Then I watched Into The Woods with my granddaughters and decided that Disney no longer dealt with moral lessons. At that point I gave up watching Disney movies with my granddaughters.

I grew up on Disney movies. Somehow I never expected a good-looking, rich man on a white horse to whisk me off to his castle where I would live happily ever after. After all, castles are drafty and generally don’t have central heating or air conditioning. I like my creature comforts. Well, evidently not all of today’s parents feel that common sense will overcome the lure of a handsome, rich man on a white horse with a castle.

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article that included the following:

This week there have been stories about two different Hollywood actresses who both find Disney Princess movies to be problematic in some way. Once celebrities are talking about it, it’s sure to become a trend if it wasn’t one already. First up is actress Keira Knightley who told Ellen Degeneres that she doesn’t allow her daughters to watch Cinderella or the Little Mermaid. From the BBC:

Knightley told Ellen DeGeneres that 1950’s Cinderella “waits around for a rich guy to rescue her. Don’t! Rescue yourself. Obviously!”

She said of Little Mermaid: “I mean, the songs are great, but do not give your voice up for a man. Hello!”

The actress added: “And this is the one that I’m quite annoyed about because I really like the film. I love The Little Mermaid! That one’s a little tricky – but I’m keeping to it.”

The insanity continues:

Actress Kristen Bell, who starred in Disney’s megahit Frozen, also has problems with at least one of Disney’s princess films. During a recent interview with Parents magazine, she said she talks to her kids about elements of Snow White that bother her, including the kiss:

“Every time we close Snow White I look at my girls and ask, ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that Snow White didn’t ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got that apple?’ I say, ‘I would never take food from a stranger, would you?’ And my kids are like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m doing something right.’”

The apple question is not the only one that Bell—a Disney Princess herself as the voice of Anna in Frozen—has after reading the tale. “Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission?” Bell says she has asked her daughters. “Because you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping!”

I just hope that these statements don’t discourage parents from letting their children enjoy Disney movies. The ones made in the early days of Disney were really fun.

From my friends at Power Line Blog:

School Policies Have Consequences

In 2013, the Obama Administration instituted the Promise Program (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education). The purpose of the program was to slow down the rate of students going directly from high school to prison. If essence, the Promise Program simply looked the other way if the students committed crimes. Broward County Florida schools adopted the program.

An article at a website called Matter of Cause posted the following:

Broward’s Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline was announced in early November. Instead of suspensions, students can now be referred to the PROMISE program, where they receive counseling for several days and then return to school. A host of non-violent misdemeanors no longer require an arrest, though officers can sometimes override that if they feel it is necessary (“I wanted to make sure deputies always had discretion,” says Scott Israel, Broward County’s sheriff). The school district’s Office of Minority Male Achievement reviews data to ensure that punishments for minor infractions and racial disparities are on the decline.

“There’s been success with other districts working to address parts of the problem,” says Alana Greer, an attorney with the Advancement Project who consulted on the agreement. In recent years, Los Angeles and Denver have limited the range of minor behavior infractions that can be punished by a suspension. “But what Broward did that really set it apart is they put together this incredible breadth of stakeholders. They have been able to not only address one piece of it, but create a set of policies that work together to hopefully eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline in Broward.”

Broward is unusual because representatives from law enforcement, the district, and the community were able to agree on reform, and the superintendent approved it. “In dealing with the previous administration, people were afraid to look at disparate impact issues,” says Weekes. “[Runcie] was not backing away from it.” The new superintendent released the data and acknowledged that the problem had a racial dynamic. “It’s a problem all over the country,” Runcie says, “and Broward is no exception.”

The article was very optimistic, but Hot Air posted an article today with the results of the program:

Broward County’s PROMISE program (which stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education) coincides with higher levels of violent crime among juveniles, even as levels of such crime have been falling statewide.

…Broward County now has the highest percentage of “the most serious, violent [and] chronic”juvenile offenders in Florida, according to the county’s chief juvenile probation officer…

Within two years of adopting the discipline reforms, Broward’s juvenile recidivism rate surged higher than the Florida state average.

The negative trends continued through last year, the most recent juvenile crime data show.

Prosecutors and probation officers complain that while overall juvenile arrests are down, serious violent crimes involving school-aged Broward youths – including armed robbery, kidnapping and even murder – have spiked, even as such violent crimes across the state have dropped.

Juvenile arrests for murder and manslaughter increased 150 percent between 2013 and 2016. They increased by another 50 percent in 2017. County juveniles were responsible for a total of 16 murders or manslaughters in the past two years alone, according to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice…

After Broward schools began emphasizing rehabilitation over incarceration, fights broke out virtually every day in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias and campuses across the district. Last year, more than 3,000 fights erupted in the district’s 300-plus schools, including the altercations involving Cruz. No brawlers were arrested, even after their third fight, and even if they sent other children to the hospital.

Federal data show almost half of Broward middle school students have been involved in fights, with many suffering injuries requiring medical treatment.

Because the students involved in the fights are considered “mutual combatants,” administrators tell parents they cannot be referred to police under the new discipline code.

The Promise Program may have sounded really good on paper, but it lacked a knowledge of human nature and teenagers–teenagers generally like to push boundaries. If they can get away with something, they will. That’s human nature. It was unrealistic to expect that undisciplined students would discipline themselves.

I Just Wish All Terrorists Were This Dumb

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about a would-be New York City terrorist. The way the New York Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered this plot is somewhat amazing.

The police were investigating a bomb threat called into a school. When a 15-year-old student was bored in class one day, her teacher, Christian Toro, told her to call in a bomb threat to liven things up. When the threat was investigated, the student told the authorities that the teacher had suggested it. (I can’t believe she was stupid enough to follow the suggestion.) The teacher resigned, and two days later his brother returned the laptop computer that had been issued to Christian Toro by the school. When a school technician examined the computer, he found an instruction book on how to make explosives. NYPD dropped by to pay the former teacher a visit. Meanwhile, the student indicated to authorities that her relationship with the teacher was inappropriate. The former teacher was arrested for statutory rape. The student also mentioned that she and a friend had been in the teacher’s apartment and had been paid to empty black powder from fireworks. The investigation of the former teacher continued.

The article reports:

So police got a search warrant for the apartment shared by the twin Toros — and hit paydirt:

They discovered a box on the floor of the bedroom closet containing a glass jar of black powder, 20 pounds of iron oxide, five pounds of aluminum powder, five pounds of potassium nitrate, and two pounds of confectioners sugar. A small container held iron oxide and aluminum powder that had been mixed into thermite, which the complaint describes as “an explosive material that can create heat and high temperatures.”

They also found Tyler Toro’s diary, which had all sorts of interesting comments, including this epigram: “UNDER THE FULL MOON THE SMALL ONES WILL KNOW TERROR.” Yeah, nothing creepy at all about that.

So let’s recap. The teacher had decided to build a bomb for “terror,” but rather than keep things quiet, he had teenage students emptying out fireworks for the powder in large quantities. He then started having sex with one of them, and then encouraged her to call in a fake bomb threat to relieve her boredom. If all this is true, the only thing Toro didn’t do is to install a large sign on his apartment building that said “TORO TWINS TERROR, INC.”

The article concludes:

If stupidity was a federal crime, Christian Toro would be a death-penalty case. And yet, it apparently took all of this sequence of events for someone to finally say something about the Toros and their black-powder reclamation project. Next time, let’s hope “see something, say something” gets taken more seriously earlier in the cycle. Thankfully, an alert IT technician at the school managed to get it right.

I wish all terrorists were this stupid.

One Example Of Why ObamaCare Needs To Be Repealed Immediately

The following excerpts are part of a Department of Health and Human Services Report from the Office of the Inspector General. The report states, “Colorado Did Not Correctly Expend Establishment Grant Funds For Establishing A Health Insurance Marketplace.” The report can be found on the Internet here.

The mission of the Office of Inspector General (OIG), as mandated by Public Law 95-452, as amended, is to protect the integrity of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) programs, as well as the health and welfare of beneficiaries served by those programs. This statutory mission is carried out through a nationwide network of audits, investigations, and inspections conducted by the following operating components:

Office of Audit Services

Office of Evaluation and Inspections

Office of Investigations

Office of Counsel to the Inspector General

The report explains why the agency did the review–the review was part of a series of reviews of establishment grants for State marketplaces across the Nation. You can read the details if you choose, but the details are not what is important here–what is important is that the Federal and State governments never work as well as the free market.

This is the list of what the review found:

1. The Colorado marketplace did not expend $9,678,635 of Federal establishment grant funds in accordance with Federal requirements. Specifically, the Colorado marketplace:did not adequately document $4,398,333 in costs that it charged to the establishment grants;

2. charged the establishment grants $4,504,799 for unallowable hardware and software operational support and maintenance contract costs whose periods of benefit occurred after December 31, 2014;

3. improperly transferred costs totaling $312,449 from one establishment grant to another without demonstrating that these cost transfers were performed to correct bookkeeping or clerical errors;

4. did not efficiently and effectively administer establishment grant funds totaling $463,054 consisting of improperly awarded executive and employee bonuses, overpayments to subgrantees, unallowable promotional giveaway items, excessive and unreasonable tips, vendor rebates that were received but not credited to the establishment grants, and unallowable social activities;

5. drew down establishment grant funds that it did not immediately use;

6. entered into contracts with consultants and other contractors that did not conform to Federal and State requirements and the Colorado marketplace’s own policies on contract administration, including approval procedures and required contract information; and

7. engaged in a number of procedures and practices that, contrary to Federal requirements and cost principles and, in some cases, to the Colorado marketplace’s own  policies, (1) required the use of personal credit cards to purchase equipment, supplies, and services for the marketplace, (2) permitted self-approval of purchases on behalf of the previous executive staff, (3) permitted incomplete and inadequate disclosure of possible conflicts of interest, (4) did not properly document inventory of equipment, and (5) allowed the use of establishment grant funds to purchase equipment for a previous Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who kept it for personal use when the CEO left the organization.

These findings were caused by a lack of adequate stewardship of Federal funds. Specifically, the Colorado marketplace had not developed, finalized, and implemented policies and procedures to ensure that it expended and accounted for establishment grant funds in accordance with Federal, State, and Colorado marketplace requirements.

This is a chart showing the bonuses given:

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about this report today.

The article concludes:

Later in the report, the IG explains that this was spent on a holiday party, with “cake, punch, holiday cards, and decorations.” Why the Colorado exchange felt it necessary to charge the federal government for those expenses will be one of the more interesting explanations we’ll hear … if we ever do hear it. At any rate, such expenses are explicitly prohibited from federal grants, as the IG points out in the report.

The whole report is damning for the arrogance of the bureaucracy when it came to spending federal grant money, especially on a flop like ObamaCare. One has to wonder just how many other states have used their federal grant money in such a cavalier manner, and for little purpose in the end.

It might be a good idea to note at this time what the planned future of ObamaCare actually was. Had Hillary Clinton been elected as President, the Democrats in Congress would have acknowledged that ObamaCare had failed and suggested a single-payer (read that ‘government run’) healthcare program similar to what Canada and the U.K. have to replace ObamaCare. When Donald Trump was elected, things got complicated for the Democrats. As I write this, they are fighting to preserve ObamaCare long enough so that it can fail and be replaced by single-payer healthcare. Hopefully the Republicans will not let that happen and will repeal ObamaCare quickly.

Let’s get the government out of healthcare.

 

 

 

 

A Circumstantial Smoking Gun

The Internet has gone a bit crazy (as it sometimes does) about new Hillary Clinton emails released that show her instructing someone to remove the classified header and footing from a classified document and then send it over a regular fax machine. That is a serious offense that would send an ordinary citizen to jail. Therein lies the problem–Hillary Clinton is not an ordinary citizen. That is not a problem for Hillary–that is a problem for America. Somehow we have forgotten the concept of equal justice under the law.

Ed Morrissey posted the details of the story at Hot Air yesterday. The article includes a picture of the email in question. I recommend going to Hot Air and reading the entire article, but here are some highlights:

Has the State Department released a smoking gun in the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal? In a thread from June 2011, Hillary exchanges e-mails with Jake Sullivan, then her deputy chief of staff and now her campaign foreign-policy adviser, in which she impatiently waits for a set of talking points. When Sullivan tells her that the source is having trouble with the secure fax, Hillary then orders Sullivan to have the data stripped of its markings and sent through a non-secure channel.

I don’t even have the words to tell you how much of a ‘no-no’ that is when dealing with classified information. The relevant criminal (yes, I said criminal) statutes are posted in the article at Hot Air.

There is an update to the article at Hot Air that concludes:

Update: There are a few people wondering whether the “TPs” (talking points”) in question in this thread were classified in the first place. There are a couple points to remember in that context:

  • Unclassified material doesn’t need to be transmitted by secure fax; if the material wasn’t classified, Sullivan would have had them faxed normally.
  • Ordering aides to remove headers to facilitate the transmission over unsecured means strongly suggests that the information was not On top of that, removing headers to avoid transmission security would be a violation of 18 USC 793 anyway, which does not require material to be classified — only sensitive to national security.
  • State did leave this document unclassified, but that’s because there isn’t any discussion of what the talking points cover. They redacted the subject headers with B5 and B6 exemptions, invoked to note that the FOIA demand doesn’t cover the material (in their opinion).

Ordering the headings stripped, and Sullivan’s apparent reluctance to work around the secure fax system, makes it all but certain that the material was classified at some level — and Hillary knew it.

I am sharing this information because it is something voters need to be aware of. Do I think this will amount to anything? No. I have become somewhat cynical about enforcing any laws regarding the Clintons. Unless the FBI decides to go against the obvious political biases of the Justice Department, this is not going anywhere. If there is someone in the FBI who has enough ethics and backbone to pursue this, we might see something, but I doubt it. General Patraeus was charged and convicted of a much lesser infraction and was dealt with. He obviously was not part of the in crowd and did not know where enough of the bodies were buried. The Clintons know where all the bodies are buried and probably helped bury a few of them.

 

The Outrageous Claim Of The Day

The following statement made on MSNBC (and reported at Hot Air) gets my award for the Outrageous Claim of the Day:

If only there was someone around who could educate the American public about the actual level of risk. Someone who was trusted as a public health expert and whose job it was to help us understand what we really need to worry about and what precautions we should take.

Actually, that is one of the primary responsibilities of the United States surgeon general. There’s just one problem: Thanks to Senate dysfunction and NRA opposition, we don’t have a surgeon general right now. In fact, we haven’t had a surgeon general for more than a year now — even though the president nominated the eminently qualified Dr. Vivek Murthy back in November 2013.

I am supposed to believe that there is only one man in all of America who can educate the American public on how to deal with ebola? Wow. Just for the record, the fact that Dr. Murthy’s nomination did not go through was not the fault of either the NRA or the Republicans (two favorite targets of blame on MSNBC). Conservative Democrats opposed the nomination because of Dr. Murthy’s stand on gun control (which he considers a health issue). The NRA opposed the nomination because the Doctor did not support the rights of Americans outlined in the Second Amendment. However, the Congressmen who voted are responsible for their vote–not the NRA.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

Murthy is a vigilant spokesman for the idea that guns are a health issue, and doctors should be asking patients if they have weapons in their homes. (Not to mention potentially collecting that information and passing it along.) This is very much along the same lines as finding out who enjoys hang gliding or lives in tall apartment buildings. The problem with this sort of muddled thinking is that it confuses the topics of disease and injury. We want to reduce the incidence of illness among Americans and education can play in important role in that mission. But injuries are a different category, and gun injuries in particular have nothing to do with communicable health hazards.

Murthy is a willing volunteer in a somewhat obscure column of the army trying to limit the Second Amendment rights of Americans. We don’t need him taking a seat in the Cabinet. And in the meantime, the White House can surely find someone else with a medical degree to talk about Ebola.

I wonder if people who get all of their news at MSNBC actually believe what the network is saying.

At Some Point, Even Low-Information Voters Will Laugh At These Reports

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about recent economic growth in America. The Bureau of Economic Analysis claimed a moderate economic annualized growth rate of 3.2% last month. The Bureau has now adjusted its numbers, saying that the economy only grew at the stagnation level of 2.4%:

The article reports the following from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 3.2 percent. With this second estimate for the fourth quarter, an increase in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) was smaller than previously estimated.

Reuters reports the following:

Consumer spending was cut to a 2.6 percent rate, still the fastest pace since the first quarter of 2012. It had previously been reported to have grown at a 3.3 percent pace. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, contributed 1.73 percentage points to GDP growth, down from the previously reported 2.26 percentage points.

As a result, final domestic demand was lowered two-tenths of a percentage point to a 1.2 percent rate. The loss of momentum appears to have spilled over into in the first quarter of 2014, with an unusually cold winter weighing on retail sales, home building and sales, hiring and industrial production.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

Weather will be a factor in 2014 Q1, but it wasn’t in 2013 Q4. The economy was stagnating well before the polar vortices arrived, and has been ever since the June 2009 technical recovery. This is just more of the same.

President Obama’s economic policies are not working. Can we please try something else?

 

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Blaming Others For A Crisis You Caused Yourself

I have written about the Central Valley in California before. In September 2010, I posted the following vacation picture (rightwinggranny.com):

IMG_2957.JPG

This picture was taken driving through the Central Valley of California. In case you can’t read the sign, it says, “Stop the Congress Created Dust Bowl.”

This is what is really going on in the Central Valley of California:

A letter to the editor at the Herald and News in July 2009 stated:

“Thousands of people have also become unemployed or lost the ability to farm, which adversely affects both local and national economies.

“In addition to the California drought, there has been court-ordered protection of a 2-inch smelt fish that has stopped the pumping of water from the delta that is necessary for agriculture in central California. If it is listed as an endangered species, it’s likely that California agriculture, which supplies a third of the nation’s food supply, will be permanently changed.”

The water was cut off to protect the delta smelt, a small fish that was getting caught in the pumps. California is currently having a drought, but the drought has been exacerbated by the water shutoff.

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air yesterday stating that President Obama during his visit to the Central Valley blamed the drought on global warming.

This is a YouTube video of the President’s statement:

The article at Hot Air quotes Investor’s Business Daily on the history of the Central Valley drought:

The one thing that will mitigate droughts in California — a permanent feature of the state — is to restore the water flow from California’s water-heavy north to farmers in the central and south. That’s just what House Bill 3964, which passed by a 229-191 vote last week, does.

But Obama’s plan is not to get that worthy bill through the Senate (where Democrats are holding it up) but to shovel pork to environmental activists and their victims, insultingly offering out-of-work farmers a “summer meal plan” in his package.

“We are not interested in welfare; we want water,” Nunes told IBD this week. He and his fellow legislator Valadao are both farmers who represent the worst-hit regions of the Central Valley in Congress and can only look at the president’s approach with disbelief.

“He’s not addressing the situation,” Valadao told us.

“They want to blame the drought for the lack of water, but they wasted water for the past five years,” said Nunes.

The two explain that California’s system of aqueducts and storage tanks was designed long ago to take advantage of rain and mountain runoff from wet years and store it for use in dry years. But it’s now inactive — by design. “California’s forefathers built a system (of aqueducts and storage facilities) designed to withstand five years of drought,” said Nunes.

“We have infrastructure dating from the 1960s for transporting water, but by the 1990s the policies had changed,” said Valadao.

Environmental special interests managed to dismantle the system by diverting water meant for farms to pet projects, such as saving delta smelt, a baitfish. That move forced the flushing of 3 million acre-feet of water originally slated for the Central Valley into the ocean over the past five years.

If California would stop flushing millions of gallons of water into the ocean and give it to the farmers, the Central Valley would not be a dustbowl. It is truly a shame that President Obama chooses to use the hardship of the farmers as a political platform rather than solving the problem. This drought is not caused by global warming or climate change–it is caused by Washington politicians!

 

 

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Whoops!

On Friday Hot Air reported that the auction for leases for the development of wind and solar farms in the western United States did not go as planned.

The article reports:

The nation’s first federally run auction for a chance to develop solar power projects on public lands was a bust.

No bidders showed up for the auction by the federal Bureau of Land Management, which was held Thursday in Lakewood.

“We did not have any bidders come to the sale and we did not receive any sealed bids on the sale,” BLM spokeswoman Vanessa Lacayo said. …

“The BLM had received interest in developing the sites, that’s why we moved forward,” she said. “It’s hard to say why we didn’t have any bidders.” …

“We will evaluate today’s auction as we look at future opportunities to offer lands in Solar Energy Zones for development, both in Colorado and other Western states,” the statement said.

Maybe there were no bidders because at the present time the technology for both wind and solar has not proven to be economically profitable. The sad part of this is that at the same time the government is holding these auctions with no takers they are blocking oil leases on government land. The oil boom in the west is almost entirely on private land–the government is not allowing the leases on government land. So what we have is the government selling leases of questionable value on government land while blocking the leases that might actually help the economy and lower unemployment. In what universe does that make sense?

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What Are Our Welfare Programs Encouraging?

On Friday, Fox News posted the following video (also in YouTube):

So how is it possible to live on the generosity of the American taxpayer with no concept of working for a living? In September 2012, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air noted the impact of the 2009 Stimulus Bill on the Food Stamp Program. Included in the Stimulus Bill were changes in the welfare program that waived the work requirement and made it easier for people with no intention of working to collect benefits.

The article at Hot Air reports:

In addition to the broader work requirement that has become a contentious issue in the presidential race, the 1996 welfare reform law included a separate rule encouraging able-bodied adults without dependents to work by limiting the amount of time they could receive food stamps. President Obama suspended that rule when he signed his economic stimulus legislation into law, and the number of these adults on food stamps doubled, from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010, according to the CRS report, issued in the form of a memo to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.

“This report once again confirms that President Obama has severely gutted the welfare work requirements that Americans have overwhelmingly supported since President Clinton signed them into law,” Cantor said in an emailed statement. “It’s time to reinstate these common-sense measures, and focus on creating job growth for those in need.”

This is the law that allows a beach bum in California to surf his life away and eat lobster on the money paid in taxes by families struggling to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.

I think it’s time for Congress to grow a backbone and change the law back to what it was. That alone will save millions of dollars in federal spending.

 

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The Pro-Abortion Movement Gives New Meaning To The Term Grassroots

The picture below is from an article by Ed Morrissey posted at Hot Air. The ad appeared in Craigslist in Austin, Texas.

craigslist-prochoice-texas

Mr. Morrissey stated in his article that he posted the picture in case the website took it down. The bottom line is simple–you can make money be being an advocate for abortion. Somehow that just doesn’t seem to belong in the concept of ‘grassroots.’

The article at Hot Air states:

The special session got announced by Gov. Rick Perry on the 26th; this ad went up three days later, and just two days before a swarm of “volunteers” arrived at the capitol building today.  Pro-choice Texas employees get paid roughly minimum wage to “stand,” I mean start, assuming that the $1300 per month is for full-time work.  The position ranges to nearly $12.70 for standing around and yelling slogans like, “Hey hey, ho ho, fully-formed human life’s got to go,” and so on.

The article reminds us that 62 percent of Texans support the bill that the special session will be taking up. I guess that is why the organizations that oppose the bill are having to pay people to show up to protest the bill.

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How To Lie With Statistics

This article has three sources–a Power Line article by John Hinderaker posted yesterday, a Hot Air post from yesterday, and a CNS News article from today. The subject of this article is the Congressional Budget Office report being hailed by supporters of the immigration bill as another reason to pass the bill. Not so fast.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is non-partisan. It is also required to base its report of the numbers given to it. This makes it fairly easy for Congress to scam the system. Since the CBO only scores a ten-year window, all Congress has to do is put the major expenses of the legislation being scored outside of that window. Thus the current immigration bill says that the newly legalized immigrants will not be eligible for any federal programs for ten years. Amazing coincidence that the period of ineligibility ends after ten years. Does anyone want to predict what will happen on the first day after the ten years is up and our government is flooded with applications for government aid?

The article at Power Line points out:

Behind these rather antiseptic observations lies a human tragedy: falling wages and rising unemployment for the very segment of American society that has struggled the most in recent years. On top of that, the nation’s welfare system will be severely strained. While newly-legalized immigrants will not immediately be eligible for federal welfare benefits, that does not apply at the state and local levels. Those welfare systems will be overwhelmed with millions of new claimants–the cost to be borne, of course, by the taxpayers.

CNS News reports:

However, the cost estimate of the legislation that was released on Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office says that the legislation would actually allow the flow of new illegal aliens into the United States to continue at a rate equal to 75 percent of the current rate of illegal immigration. This will be the case, in part, argues CBO, because of people who overstay temporary work visas that will be authorized by the bill.

This revelation that 75 percent of illegal immigration would continue if the Senate immigration reform proposal were enacted is included in a section of the report headlined, “Future Unauthorized Residents.” The section is on page 23 of the 63-page report.

So let’s get this straight. The current immigration bill would negatively impact wages of Americans, strain state welfare programs, hurt taxpayers, and only stop 25 percent of illegal immigration. So why in the world would we want to pass it?

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About That Election Fraud Thing

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported that Miami-Dade investigators busted a ring of Democrats for attempting to push hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests in the 2012 election. The case reached the inner circle of at least one Democrat Congressman and possibly two.

Jeffrey Garcia, chief of staff for Congressman Joe Garcia (no relation), was asked to resign after being involved in a scheme that requested hundreds of fraudulent absentee ballot requests.

The article reports:

Garcia didn’t just work to defeat Rivera, who had ethics issues that made his re-election dicey at best.  He also worked to defeat Allen West, who lost by less than 2,000 votes and who complained about voter fraud at the time.

America works when elections are fair and people have confidence in them. Election fraud or attempted election fraud should be met with stiff penalties in order to discourage it from happening. It is quite possible that the defeat of Allen West was not done by an honest election. If that is so, dishonesty on the part of the Florida Democrats cost us a good man in Congress.

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What Happens When Your Administration Focuses On The Wrong Things

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported yesterday that the U. S. Marshall Service has lost track of two terrorists that had entered the Witness Security Program. The latest search for these two men indicates that one man is definitely living outside the United States and the other man is probably living outside the country.

Let’s look at some of the facts surrounding this–both men were involved or accused of being involved in terrorism. They have now left America. They took with them a personal knowledge of how the American Witness Security Program works.

So what happened? The article states:

The DoJ also failed to update the Terrorist Screening Center, which runs the no-fly lists.

I am reminded of an old episode of the television series WINGS in which Lowell Mather finds himself in the witness protection program. As he is leaving the airport on Nantucket, he shouts to his friends, “Aloha.” Needless to say, he is very quickly given a new destination. Anyone can make a mistake, but that mistake may cost American lives either in America or overseas. Who in the world is running our government?

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Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about the level of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. It seems that carbon dioxide emissions fell once again in 2012, bringing the United States’ emissions levels down to a two-decade low.

This is the chart:

Graph of annual light bulb sales, as explained in the article text

So what is responsible for the drop in carbon dioxide emissions– the increased use of natural gas obtained by hydraulic fracturing. This has got to drive the environmentalists nuts.

The article at Hot Air reports:

The largest drop in emissions in 2012 came from coal, which is used almost exclusively for electricity generation (see figure below). During 2012, particularly in the spring and early summer, low natural gas prices led to competition between natural gas- and coal-fired electric power generators. Lower natural gas prices resulted in reduced levels of coal generation, and increased natural gas generation—a less carbon-intensive fuel for power generation, which shifted power generation from the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel (coal) to the least carbon-intensive fossil fuel (natural gas).

The article concludes:

It’s yet another piece of evidence that environmental quality and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive, even on a large scale; the innovations, efficiencies, and technological developments that come with an advanced economy can be good for both humanity and the planet.

The comment above represents the kind of balance we need more of in the environmental movement.

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Don’t Mess With My Haircuts

This article is based on a story posted at Hot Air on Sunday.

In 1995, as part of what was going on in the House of Representatives at the time, the House barber shop was revamped and privatized. For whatever reason, the Senate barber shop was not. Now, Hot Air is reporting that the Senate barber shop needed a $300,000 bailout from the Senate to keep operating. In response to this expense, Senate sergeant at arms Terry Gainer is attempting to privatize the Senate barber shop. (Why do the House and the Senate need separate barber shops in the first place?) So far, Mr. Gainer has bought out four employees in order to replace them with independent contractors, and he hopes to do more of that in the future.

The article reports:

…in merely the past fifteen years, has cost taxpayers over five million dollars. Senate Hair Care Services is technically open to the public, for those who know/care about it, but last year alone the salon needed a $300,000 bailout from the Senate coffers to cover their jacked-up costs.

Might I suggest that the Senate barber shop might be a prime candidate for some serious budget cuts.

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Messing Up The Environment In Your Home To Save The Environment Outside Your Home

The American Congress has done it again. In an effort to save the environment, they have put American households at risk. Hot Air posted an article yesterday stating that a study done at Long Island‘s Stony Brook has shown that compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) emit high levels of ultra violet radiation. The report states that the bulbs emit rays so strong that they can actually burn skin and skin cells.

The article at Hot Air reports:

“The results were that you could actually initiate cell death,” said Marcia Simon, a Professor of Dermatology.

Exposure to the bulbs could lead to premature aging and skin cancer, according to doctors.

“It can also cause skin cancer in the deadliest form, and that’s melanoma,” said Dr. Rebecca Tung.

The article points out that in every bulb the researchers tested they found that the protective coating around the light creating ‘phosphor’ was cracked, allowing dangerous ultraviolet rays to escape. This sounds like a quality control problem in the manufacturing process as much as anything else.

The radiation problem is in addition to the danger caused by actually breaking a bulb in your home.

The article reminds us:

Actually, they’re not all that eco-friendly, as even the government acknowledges.  The EPA wants to argue that the release of mercury from CFLs in disposal is less than that released from the burning of the amount of coal one saves by using them.  That may well be true overall, but not if one breaks in your house.  At that point, you need to conduct an hours-long cleanup — and even if you want to dispose of an unbroken CFL, it takes special disposal in most jurisdictions due to the eco-unfriendly nature of CFLs.

I am beginning to appreciate the genius of Thomas Edison.

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The Questions About Libya Continue

This is a video of a CBS interview of one of the security people withdrawn from Libya in August:

The interview was posted at Hot Air yesterday. It is becoming obvious that the State Department cut security at the embassy at a time when it was needed.

The article at Hot Air reports:

One State Department source tells CBS News the security teams weren’t “pulled,” that their mission was simply over.

State Department officials have told CBS News that Wood was not part of the security assessment in Benghazi and that his assignment to Tripoli means he was unfamiliar with the local situation in the smaller port city in the country’s east.

Wood, however, says some of the members of his own team and additional personnel from the State Department’s elite security detail – the two teams which left Libya in August – would have traveled to Benghazi with Ambassador Stevens had they still been in the country. He did not say how many additional security agents might have been deployed for the Ambassador’s trip to the city, which is at least 400 miles east of Tripoli, but he tells Attkisson that he’s wondered if it might have made a difference on the night of the attack.

This really looks as if the State Department had no idea of what was going on in Libya.

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Much Ado About Something

This story is based on two articles–one posted at The Blaze on Tuesday and one posted at Hot Air on Tuesday. The article at The Blaze reports that the Jim Henson company will be donating its profits from its partnership with Chick-fil- A to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The two companies were in discussions about a deal to include muppet toys in children’s’ meals at the restaurant. That won’t be happening.

All of this is in response to Chick-fil-A’s owners making a statement that they support traditional marriage.

Hot Air reports the comment that started the controversy:

The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners. It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.

“That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries,” Cathy added.

Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. …

“We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized. “We intend to stay the course,” he said. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

Chick-fil-A’s stand on marriage is not news to anyone familiar with the company. They are simply practicing their First Amendment rights. Unfortunately, Boston and Chicago are attempting to ban the restaurant from their cities because of that stand.

Can’t we all just get along?

 

 

 

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Under The Radar In The Blogosphere

When I began this blog, my children asked me not to connect my name and address with the blog. They feared that someone would get upset at what I wrote and choose to attack a little old lady. I thought they were being ridiculous, but I have generally respected their wishes. Something has been happening lately that shows the wisdom of their request.

There are a few links to the story I am about to tell–Michelle Malken, Datechguy’s Blog, and Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

Michelle Malken reports:

Over the past year, Aaron Walker (who blogged as “Aaron Worthing”), Patterico, Liberty Chick, and now Stacy McCain have been targeted by convicted Speedway bomber Brett Kimberlin because they dared to mention his criminal past or assisted others who did. The late Andrew Breitbart warned about Kimberlin and company.

I have spoken directly with both Patterico and Aaron about their ongoing battles.

The mainstream press, not just the conservative blogosphere, needs to hear and report their stories.

This is a convoluted, ongoing nightmare that combines abuse of the court system, workplace intimidation, serial invasions of privacy, perjury, and harassment of family members. McCain was forced to move with his family out of his house this week, and has just gotten a small taste of what Aaron and Patterico have been enduring over the past year. Aaron and his wife were fired from their jobs after their employer feared the office would be targeted next. Convicted bomber Kimberlin has filed bogus “peace orders” against Aaron, when it is the Walkers who are the victims, not the perpetrators.

And Patterico’s plight will send chills up your spine when he is ready to tell it.

Datechguy reminds us:

Robert Stacy McCain is not just a blogger he is a reporter, he has chosen to cover a story and because he has and his family are in hiding for their own safety.

Run that through your head MSM. This is an American JOURNALIST forced into hiding IN AMERICA for covering a story and you don’t find that newsworthy?

I’d like to say I’m surprised at this but remembering Molly Norris (who is STILL in hiding) but the MSM’s silence doesn’t surprise me.

I stumbled on this story by accident. Where is the reporting in the major media? Have we become a country that routinely threatens and silences any speech that does not agree with those in power?

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air states:

I know what it’s like to find out that you’ve been targeted for violence — real violence, as in being targeted for death by an extremist who has picked out his target based on nothing more than writing about politics.  My situation got resolved, fortunately, but my life has not been quite the same since.  I had the good fortune of having friends who quietly made sure that my family had the security we needed for me to continue my work in American politics.

Looks like that time has come around for some of our friends in the blogosphere.  Aaron Walker, Patterico, Liberty Chick, and Stacy McCain have written extensively about a man named Brett Kimberlin and connections to violent political action.  I have only followed the story at a distance, and don’t hold myself out to be an expert on the subject.  The result of their investigations has prompted a flurry of legal harassment in some cases, and worse in others.  Today, the Boss Emeritus — who knows a thing or two about Unhinged reaction to free speech — rallies the blogosphere in defense of our friends:

…Institutional inertia, incompetence, and apathy among law enforcement officials on both coasts have exacerbated the victims’ suffering. It has moved far beyond a partisan or political story to a bottomless, Kafka-esque morass. And, via investigative journalist Matthew Vadum, it certainly doesn’t help that “progressive,” left-wing foundations that have funded Kimberlin continue to look the other way.

Ted Frank at Point of Law summed it up: “A scary tale of what can go wrong if one makes the wrong enemy of someone willing to persistently abuse the civil and criminal legal system, and how poorly the legal system protects those victims.”

This is an important story–our freedom of speech is at stake.

 

 

 

 

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Things That Slow Down The Growth Of The Economy

In September of 2010 I posted a story about the water shutoff in the Central Valley region of California (rightwinggranny.com). The irrigation systems that water the valley were shut down by Congress to protect the delta smelt, a supposedly endangered small fish that was getting caught in the irrigation pumps. Before the shutdown, the Central Valley was the breadbasket of America, supplying a major part of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables found in American supermarkets.

To add insult to injury, On April 28, 2010, Investors.com  reported:

Take the three congressmen who represent the valley and how they were pressured to vote for President Obama’s health care bill. It didn’t go without notice by farmers like Jasper that the 5% water allocations announced in February for all three congressional districts were lifted to 25% for the two whose Democratic representatives, Jim Costa of Fresno and Dennis Cardoza of Modesto, switched their votes on health reform from “no” to “aye.”

That is a disgrace.

Now to the present. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported yesterday that President Obama has stated that if the bill to restore the water to the farmers of Central Valley passes Congress, he will veto the bill. California Representative Devin Nunes has sponsored the Sacramento-San Joaquin Water Reliability Act.

The article at Hot Air reports:

“The bill restores the flow of water and establishes a framework for meaningful environmental improvements. It is a repudiation of the left’s assault on rural communities, which began with the decimation of the West’s timber industry and now is focused on Central Valley agriculture,” Nunes told IBD.

The stand-alone bill, H.R. 1837, marks the first time Central Valley water shortages and the federal role in creating them will be considered directly in Congress.

The statement from the White House regarding this bill includes the following:

H.R. 1837 would undermine five years of collaboration between local, State, and Federal stakeholders to develop the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan.  It would codify 20-year old, outdated science as the basis for managing California’s water resources, resulting in inequitable treatment of one group of water users over another.  And, contrary to 100 years of reclamation law that exhibits congressional deference to State water law, the bill would preempt California water law.

The article at Hot Air also includes a picture of what five years of collaboration have created. I posted my own picture back in April 2010. This is that picture:

Near Bakersfield, Calif., a farmer posts a sign blaming Congress for a sharp drop in water supplies that has slashed farm output.

Sometimes a picture is all you need.

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When Government And Common Sense Part Company

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article yesterday about California’s plans to build a high speed railway. In 2008 the voters approved bonds for the $33 billion that the project was estimated to cost. Unfortunately, the project, which is not yet started, has now been estimated to cost $99 billion to complete (and not provide any service for ten years). If this sounds like insanity, that’s because it is insanity.

A few of the problems with the project–California is a net importer of electricity–no one has proposed how to power the train, the fixed-rail system will be on top of or parallel to the San Andreas fault, and taxpayers will have to heavily subsidize the service to make it price competitive with the other options of driving or flying.

The article reports:

The Obama administration vowed Thursday at a House committee meeting in Washington that it would not back down from its support of California’s bullet train project despite attacks from critics who alleged it is tainted by political corruption.

We need people in Congress who will put a stop to this sort of outrageous spending.

 

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