Watching The Double Standard In Action

Before I get into the substance of this article, I would like to note that the change in Lindsey Graham since the death of John McCain is interesting. All of a sudden Graham is sounding like a conservative. He is not up for re-election until 2020, so that’s not it. It seems as if he is finally waking up to what the deep state is up to and has decided not to be part of it. He may be beginning to realize that the days of the deep state may be numbered.

At any rate, yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article detailing some of Senator Graham’s comments at the confirmation hearings for Judge Kavanaugh.

The article reports:

Democrats bellyache that Kavanaugh worked as an attorney for the Ken Starr investigation and served in the White House of President George W. Bush. Graham could care less.

“Have you heard of Justice Breyer? Do you know him?,” Graham said in an opening statement equally rambling and passionate. “Where did he come from? He was Ted Kennedy’s Senate judiciary person. Where do you think Republicans are going to go find a judge?”

Good point. The article notes one other area where the double standard is glaring:

But Graham has another reason to be angry, and it isn’t just hypocrisy. He held up what he considered his end of the bargain during the Obama administration, voting for both Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. The Republican senator certainly didn’t agree with every decision either nominee made. But Graham found both of them to be qualified and found himself “getting a lot of crap” as a result.

The same standard, Graham groused, has not been applied to Republican nominees like Neil Gorsuch and now Kavanaugh. “I would suggest you think long and hard,” he said with some bitterness to the aspiring 2020 Democrats on the committee, “if you’ve got a political ambition, of voting for this guy because it will not play well on your side.”

Graham isn’t wrong, and that is why he’s angry.

The elected President is entitled to his choice of judges and cabinet members unless there is a moral or character issue with the candidate. That is what ‘advise and consent’ is about. The Democrats seem to have forgotten that.

Failing To Learn The Lessons Of History

In October 2002, Paul Wellstone was killed in a plane crash while running for office in Minnesota. A Memorial Service was held in October 2002.

In Its reporting on the Memorial Service Time Magazine asked the question:

Did the memorial service for Paul Wellstone cost Democrats the election?

The Memorial Service was a Democrat pep rally that disgusted many of the people who watched it.

According to a CNN article posted at the time:

Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, was booed Tuesday night when he entered Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota for the service. Scattered boos also greeted independent Gov. Jesse Ventura, who Wednesday lashed out at Democrats for what he called a “political rally.”

Unfortunately, we are seeing a similar phenomena with the media’s handling of the death of John McCain. John McCain was an American hero–he stayed in Hanoi with his men after being given the chance to come home. He was tortured. He showed courage. Fine. We can celebrate that aspect of his life. Let’s not forget, however, that he betrayed the voters of Arizona who re-elected him to repeal ObamaCare after he promised to do so, but he refused to vote to repeal ObamaCare because of his dislike for President Trump. Let’s remember what the Democrats who are so lavishly praising him right now said about him when he ran against Barack Obama in 2008. This funeral has turned into pure political theater.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about John McCain’s funeral. The headline of the article is:

“HOW AWFUL! Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Look Sick As Elites Pile on Their Father at McCain Funeral”

Ivanka and Jared attended the funeral to pay their respects. They behaved like the lady and gentleman they are. It is a shame that they had to sit there and listen to political garbage from people who have been running Washington for years and accomplished very little.

The Wellstone Memorial backfired on those who politicized it. I wonder if the McCain funeral will have the same effect. There has been so much of John McCain on television since his death, it is beginning to look like “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

This Is Really Sad

John McCain is a war hero. When given the chance to go home from a North Vietnam prison camp because of his father’s rank, he chose to stay with his men. Because of that choice he was severely beaten and mistreated. That is heroism. Unfortunately his actions in recent years have not reflected the patriotic service to his country that his time in Vietnam exemplified. We have no way of knowing how long the brain cancer he is suffering from clouded his judgement, but even so, some of his actions in recent years are reprehensible.

On Friday, The Washington Times posted an article about some recent documents received by Judicial Watch as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The article reports:

A new report from Judicial Watch reveals a concerted effort from Sen. John McCain’s office to urge the IRS under Lois Lerner to strike out against political advocacy groups, including tea party organizations. 

Thanks to the results of an extensive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that has been delayed for many years, Judicial Watch has obtained several key emails from 2013 that chronicle McCain’s and Democrat Sen. Carl Levin’s efforts to reign in the advocacy groups that sprouted immediately following the Citizens United decision from the Supreme Court. 

The documents uncovered by Judicial Watch include notes from a high-level meeting on April 30, 2013 between powerful members of McCain’s and Levin’s staffs and Lerner, then-director of tax exempt organizations at the IRS under Barack Obama. The notes reveal the suggestions from McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner who urges Lerner to use IRS audits on the advocacy groups to financially ruin them:

In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday detailing some of the biography of Henry Kerner.

The Conservative Treehouse reports:

Yesterday it was revealed that Henry J Kerner (Henry Kerner), as a former McCain senior staff official, was part of a bipartisan DC team who constructed the IRS weaponization program to target the Tea Party.  That’s bad enough.  However, a little more digging, you’re not going to believe this: the same guy who was attached to the prior investigations, is now in charge of all DC “corruption” and “whistle-blowing” cases, including the current FBI and DOJ corruption.

Henry Kerner is Special Counsel in charge of all “whistle-blowing” witnesses and cases of government corruption.  Henry Kerner controls the events as the lead official, the Special Counsel in charge of the Office of Special Counsel; and he is in the position to manipulate/control any investigative outcome.

Now a whole bunch of things begin to make sense. From his CV summary Henry Kerner would have been in position to influence: Fast-n-furious scandal (Issa), IRS scandal (Chaffetz), Benghazi (Chaffetz, Gowdy, McCain); and now in his position in charge of the entire Office of Special Counsel he would have influence and control over Spygate etc. (underline is mine)

This is how the deep state works–put a person in a position to act as a dam in case of scandal. In case we ever wondered why none of the above scandals ever resulted in a prosecution, we have a common thread–Henry Kerner.

John McCain’s treachery is bad enough, but to have his former staff member as the protector of those involved in scandals is disgusting. We really need to start voting some of our Congressmen out of office–they have not served us well.

The Smelly Swamp

Breitbart posted an article today with the following headline:

Russian Lobbyist at Don Jr. Meeting Says He ‘Might’ Have Seen John McCain at Summit Where Senator Learned of ‘Pee’ Dossier

Wow. What an incredible coincidence.

The article reports:

Russian-born Washington lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin says he might have spoken to McCain and the senator’s assistant David J. Kramer at the Halifax International Security Forum in 2016. However, Akhmetshin claimed that he did not discuss the dossier with McCain or Kramer, and that he didn’t know about the existence of the controversial dossier.

The information raises immediate questions about the possibility of dirty tricks in arranging the infamous Trump Tower meeting. This considering a recent Breitbart News report that email transcripts and other information disclosed in Akhmetshin’s testimony reveal a significant relationship between the lobbyist and the controversial Fusion GPS firm that produced the infamous, largely discredited anti-Trump dossier.

It was at the security conference in Canada in November 2016 that McCain says he was approached by Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow and friend of ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier.

Wood briefed McCain and Kramer, a former State Department official and longtime McCain associate who agreed to meet Steele in London for a fuller briefing on the dossier contents.

The Washington Post reported in February that after meeting with Steele, Kramer went to Washington and received the dossier document directly from Fusion GPS. McCain then passed the dossier to FBI Director James Comey.

In a New York Times oped in January, GPS co-founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritch wrote that they helped McCain share their anti-Trump dossier with the Obama-era intelligence community via an unnamed “emissary.”

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is becoming obvious that members of both parties were involved in the ‘insurance policy’ to derail the Trump administration. This actually makes sense when you realize the threat President Trump is to both parties–if an outsider who is not part of the ‘in crowd’ can be successful in Washington, the power of both political parties will be diminished. Most of the people in Congress are there to increase their power–not to have it diminished. We can only hope that the few members of Congress who love America more than they love their own power can drain the smelly swamp Washington has become.

Don’t Let Your Love Of American Interfere With Your Ego And Personality Conflicts

I realize John McCain is dying. I am sorry about that. His family has my sympathies, and I pray that his suffering is alleviated. However, that does not excuse petty, damaging things he has done in the recent past. Possibly the brain cancer has interfered with his better judgement for a while, and I need to give him the benefit of the doubt, but some of his past actions have had a detrimental impact on America‘s government.

Yesterday The Daily Beast posted an article about a recent action taken by John McCain that has consequences that are still reverberating. The only good thing I can say about what he did is that his actions may be partially responsible for revealing the depth of the Washington swamp (of which he is a member) and making it more easy to drain.

The article reports:

In his new book, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) defends his decision to give a controversial dossier about President Trump to former FBI chief James Comey.

“I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as ‘the dossier,’” McCain writes in the upcoming book, titled The Restless Wave, referencing information compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. “I reviewed its contents. The allegations were disturbing, but I had no idea which if any were true. I could not independently verify any of it, and so I did what any American who cares about our nation’s security should have done.”

If you had no idea if the allegations were true, why didn’t you investigate who paid for the dossier and check the background of Christopher Steele? The statement in the book is designed to put a positive spin on one of the nastiest political stunts ever pulled. McCain has previously stated his intense dislike for Donald Trump and had no problem passing on questionable information that had the potential of destroying the Trump presidency (if that information had actually been true). I have no doubt that McCain wanted Hillary Clinton elected and Donald Trump destroyed. He knew James Comey was aligned with the Clintons (not known for playing fair in the political game) and could have guessed what would happen next.

As I said, I am sorry that John McCain is dying, I acknowledge that he is a war hero, but his recent actions were just plain sleazy.

Lied To Again

I don’t know how many times Senator John McCain promised to repeal ObamaCare when he was running for office. Evidently he doesn’t remember either. So it’s time to take a different approach to repeal. Understand that the Democrats will never support a bill that de-funds Planned Parenthood, something that the Graham Cassidy bill does. Every Republican should support the bill for that reason alone.

A website called The Stream posted an open letter to Senator Rand Paul yesterday. Here are some highlights from the letter:

Dear Senator Paul,

Let me start by saying “Thank you.” On issue after issue, from individual privacy to economic freedom, from constitutional war-making to criminal justice reform, you have been a light in an often murky Senate and a muddled GOP.

…Your stand on foreign policy in the 2016 election was equally brave and principled. Here at The Stream I echoed your sensible objections to the Syria policies of GOP establishment politicians. You were right in warning against Marco Rubio’s support for arming Syrian rebels. And against Chris Christie’s proposal to threaten to shoot down Russian planes in defense of jihadists. Indeed, you helped lead the fight to stop President Obama from a reckless and destructive U.S. intervention in Syria a year before.

You have been a voice of principle, of course. In the Republican party you may have the best claim to Reagan’s mantle. His optimism, his confidence that Americans would prevail if the government simply protected their rights and left them alone … there’s too little of that spirit in the GOP today, much less in the country. In an age where the competition seems to be for the label of “victim,” you carry on like the Gipper.

Here is the purpose of the letter:

I urge you to reconsider your position. To support an imperfect bill for the sake of the greater good. The Graham-Cassidy Bill is not the repeal of Obamacare that any of us hoped for. It doesn’t dismantle the huge array of perverse incentives, subsidies, and crony-capitalist tinkering that distort American medicine. However, as National Review has noted, it does make some real progress. It does restore some liberty. In fact, the bill offers some concrete benefits not to be sneezed at. Per NRO:

It abolishes the individual and employer mandates, caps per capita spending on Medicaid, blocks federal funds from going to insurance plans that cover abortion, and lets interested states attain freedom from some of Obamacare’s regulations. Some of those states could use that freedom to create markets in which people outside of Medicare, Medicaid, and employer-based coverage would finally be enabled to buy cheap, renewable catastrophic-insurance policies.

All of those are important improvements. But I’d like to focus on one. Pro-life groups have put heavy pressure on you to reverse your stand on this bill. That’s because it’s the one plausible chance to accomplish something which you’ve tried manfully to do on several occasions: to defund Planned Parenthood.

The letter concludes:

It’s crucial to keep the close attachment that evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics have had to American ideals of liberty. We don’t want the growth of a statist, nationalist party in America along the lines of France’s National Front. That’s not our GOP.

With your principled stand on life, your balanced stance on immigration, you could help anchor the party. You might well come to lead it. But if you get blamed for the failure to defund Planned Parenthood, and undo at least some of Obamacare’s damage. … I fear that will never happen.

So please, Senator Paul. The causes of life and liberty are here in perfect alignment. So is political prudence. And your own lofty ambitions, which I support. Please change your vote.

It is obvious that we cannot count on Senator McCain. Can we count of Senator Rand Paul to help end the nightmare of ObamaCare? This may be our last chance to get rid of this horrible law. I suggest that if we cannot end ObamaCare that President Trump immediately sign an executive order putting Congress under ObamaCare. If Congress if going to force the American people to live with a bad law, they should have to live with it also.

 

We Have Been Here Before

In 1968, there was unrest in America. In April, Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed in Memphis, and in June, Robert F. Kennedy was killed by a disgruntled Palestinian in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California Presidential primary election. It was a long, hot summer or riots and protests culminating in the Democratic National Convention in August in Chicago. The Democratic Convention was protested by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) (after the fall of the Soviet Union, it was discovered that the SDS had been infiltrated by Russian agents), the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam and the Youth International Party (Yippies).  The purpose of these groups was simply to disrupt the convention. These groups were not unlike some of the groups operating today that refer to themselves as ‘the resistance.’

The Daily Caller is reporting today that a group of George-Soros-backed protesters is planning to show up in Phoenix to disrupt President Trump’s visit on Tuesday.

The article reports:

Although originally founded by activists not backed by donors, Indivisible’s website now states that the group “is a project of the Advocacy Fund,” a progressive advocacy group that receives money from the Open Society Policy Center, an arm of Soros’ Open Society Foundations. That revelation follows USA Today’s reporting in May that leaders of Indivisible and Women’s March met with Democracy Alliance, a Soros-led network of left-wing donors, to discuss funding options.

So what is this really about? George Soros is an avowed enemy of the United States. He is working toward one-world government where he and his friends would be in charge, and there would be no sovereign states as we know them. The freedoms we enjoy under the U.S. Constitution would be gone under the vision of George Soros.

The Republican Senators in Arizona, Jeff Flake and John McCain, are not supporters of President Trump, and cannot be expected to do anything to support his visit. It is also possible that President Trump will endorse the primary challenger to Jeff Flake while he is in Arizona. It is also possible that President Trump will pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been charged with criminal contempt.

The swamp in Washington is deep and wide and extends out into the nation in many directions. Until President Trump makes some real progress in draining the swamp, we will probably see misguided or paid protesters making an effort to disrupt our country. If they protest peacefully, we need to leave them alone. If they destroy property or injure people, they need to be arrested. Eventually they will realize that breaking the law has consequences and either protest peacefully or go away.

The Fourth Estate Has Forgotten Its Purpose

The purpose of journalism in a representative republic is to keep the voters informed on the issues so that they can make intelligent choices at the voting booth. The idea is that the voters will elect people who represent them and who make wise decisions. In theory that is a really great idea. In practice, it currently does not work.

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about some of the recent reporting by the mainstream media on ObamaCare. Now that the repeal of ObamaCare has failed in Congress, evidently the media feels comfortable reporting the truth about how bad ObamaCare is.

The article reports:

Up until last week, the Times had been reassuring its readers that ObamaCare was doing just fine. In an April story, for example, it said that “growing evidence suggests that the markets are far from collapse. Several recent analyses argue that this year’s increase was a market correction, and that a smoother market would follow in the years ahead.”

It added that “many insurers had been struggling to make money but now seem closer to breaking even.”

Another Times article from a few months back quoted Gary Claxton, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, saying that “things are getting better.”

In fact, we were told that the only reason the ObamaCare markets were struggling now was because Republican repeal threats were creating “uncertainty.”

Now the Times is telling readers that “even people who rely on its coverage agree that it still has big problems.”

Reuters, meanwhile, published a story the day after the Senate repeal votes failed, reporting that “hundreds of U.S. counties are at risk of losing access to private health coverage in 2018 as insurers consider pulling out of those markets in the coming months.” This information has been widely available for months, but was apparently of no interest to Reuters before the repeal effort collapsed.

Much of the mainstream media is now reporting that ObamaCare is unsustainable and will collapse under its own weight. So where were those stories when the votes were taken? There is a lot going on here. The Democrats want ObamaCare to fail so that they can institute single-payer, totally government-controlled healthcare. If you think that is a good idea, take a look at how it has worked at the Veterans Administration. Also consider the fact that the British healthcare system has considered denying people needed care because they were overweight or smokers or drinkers. Do you really want the government telling you how to live your life?

The Republicans (specifically John McCain and Lisa Murkowski) betrayed the voters when, after seven years of promising to repeal ObamaCare, they voted not to repeal. It is time to put the Washington elites under the same health insurance as the average American. The media does not realize what single-payer will do to them, but the Washington elite knows they can avoid the hazards of single-payer by exempting themselves (as they have in the past). If the current Congress will not create a healthcare system that covers themselves as well as the rest of the country, it is time to elect a new Congress. ObamaCare does not need to be modified–it needs to be destroyed. It was a bad idea from the beginning.

 

A Rational Solution To Health Insurance

Townhall posted an article today that contains the perfect solution to fixing health insurance in America.

The article breaks the solution into two distinct Executive Orders:

Executive Order #1: President Trump should issue an immediate Executive Order forcing every member of Congress to use the same healthcare plan as the rest of us. Let Senator McCain come off his high horse and live under the rules of Obamacare. Make every member of Congress live by same rules as the rest of us.

Executive Order #2. My gut instinct is usually on the money. I feel it in my bones. The Senators who voted against the repeal are corrupted, bribed, on the take. Senators and Congressmen are making an unimaginable fortune off of Obamacare. That’s why they are against the repeal. They don’t want to end the gravy train.

…President Trump should issue an immediate Executive Order demanding disclosure of all financial interests and ownership in healthcare related companies or stock by every member of Congress- including all family members and offshore accounts. Failure to disclose will result in a long prison term.

I think that about covers it! I have nothing to add.

The Need For New Leadership And Different Republicans In Congress

Last night the Senate voted on a bill to repeal certain aspects of ObamaCare. The Senate failed to repeal ObamaCare. The Gateway Pundit reported the story. Three Republicans voted against the bill to repeal ObamaCare–Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona. The first thing that needs to happen here is that all members of Congress and their staffs need to no longer be exempted from ObamaCare. Let’s make these legislators live under the laws they are forcing the voters to live under. The second thing that needs to happen is that the Republicans in Congress need different leadership. The third thing that needs to happen is that the three Republicans that voted against the partial repeal need to have primary challengers when they run for re-election.

According to the article, the bill to end ObamaCare that was voted on late last night included:

  • It would repeal the individual mandate, which is the requirement that most Americans buy insurance or pay a penalty. The provision was intended to help control costs by encouraging younger, healthier people to enter the market. Republicans have said it forced people to buy plans they did not want.
  • The bill would roll back the employer mandate, a similar provision that says large employers have to provide insurance for their workers.
  • The plan would expand a program that allows states to waive certain provisions under Obamacare.
  • It would suspend the medical device tax.
  • The proposal would increase contribution limits for tax-free health savings accounts.
  • It would defund women’s health provider Planned Parenthood for one year.

This bill was an extremely stripped-down version of repeal. It is a reflection on the swamp in Washington and those Republicans who are part of it that the Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare for seven years. The promise was,  “Give us the House, and we will repeal ObamaCare. Give us the Senate, and we will repeal ObamaCare. Give us the White House, and we will repeal ObamaCare.” I guess the real solution is, “Give us a Republican Congress with integrity and a spine, and we will repeal ObamaCare. It is truly a shame that Senator McCain chose to reappear in Congress only to submarine the wishes of the American public.

Some Common Sense Regarding The Inauguration Of President Trump

Holly Robichaud posted a column in The Boston Herald yesterday about the Inauguration of President Donald Trump that will occur this Friday.

The column states:

Failing to comprehend the mood of the country, Democrats have been working feverishly to undermine Trump in every way possible. In doing so they are holding back our country and further sabotaging any chance for a political comeback in two years.

Their collective tone-deafness emphasizes how out of touch and how much they are dedicated to the status quo of big government. Voters have had enough of the Washington political gamesmanship. That’s why the outsider candidate won the White House.

…Not only do Democrats need to give Trump a honeymoon, but so do establishment Republicans. They need to put aside their damaged egos. Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham are trying to hijack foreign policy and Marco Rubio is offering up some political payback. Being frustrated that Trump did what none of them could — win the presidency — is not acceptable.

The people deserve at least a 100-day honeymoon with Trump. I urge the Republican establishment and Democrats to work with our new president to get things done. The status quo is over! It is Trump time.

The thing to remember about the election of Donald Trump is that with the exception of parts of California and New York, Donald Trump won the popular vote by a wide margin.

This is the popular vote if you exclude California:

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

We have some serious problems globally and within America right now. Donald Trump has won the right to put his policies in place to solve them. Let’s at least give him a chance.

The Economy President Obama Is Leaving Behind Left The Middle Class Behind

I wrote the article below for a local newspaper. It was published a few weeks ago. I thought I would also share it here.

 

This is the picture of the Gross Domestic Product since 2006 (from tradingeconomics.com).

As you can see, it has taken almost eight years to get back to where we were in 2008. The other interesting number is the Workforce Participation Rate. Here is that chart:

The number of people participating in the workforce has dropped steadily since 2009.

We have not recovered from the recession that followed the collapse of the housing bubble. I would like to remind everyone what caused that collapse and who was actually responsible for it.

The root of the collapse of the housing market is the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) passed by Jimmy Carter in 1977. The idea of the law was to make housing more affordable for low income families and to make sure minorities were not discriminated against. The intentions were good.

In 1995 President Clinton added some new provisions to the Community Reinvestment Act. Part of these revisions allowed CRA loans containing subprime mortgages to be traded with securities. Banks were forced to issue $1 trillion in subprime loans. There were sit-ins at annual meetings of major banks to pressure them to issue loans in risky neighborhoods. Banks were threatened with fines if they denied loans in risky neighborhoods. The normal rules for issuing mortgages were suspended because of government interference and pressure.

In 2000 Fannie Mae announced it would purchase $2 billion of “My Community Mortgage” loans. The idea was to customize affordable products for low and moderate income borrowers. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moved into the subprime mortgage market. Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored entity that guarantees mortgages and then sells them to banks and investors. Fannie Maw pursued subprime mortgages to increase their profit–the more mortgages Fannie Mae sells, the more money it makes. House prices began to rise as more loans became available and more people purchased houses.

Mortgage products were created to make home buying something people at all income levels could afford. Interest only loans, adjustable loans, and variable rate loans were created. Qualifications for borrowers were loosened–no income verification, no money down. Banks had to issue subprime mortgages or face penalties.

In 2004, 92% of Fannie Mae subprime loans were variable rate. In 2005, the number was 91%. Fannie Mae told banks that they would guarantee the subprime loans. House prices rose, interest rates rose, variable interest rates increased and payments got bigger. Gas prices went up, so low-income borrowers were squeezed. Some borrowers stopped paying, and bankers stopped lending. The subprime mortgage market collapsed. Foreclosures began, and home prices fell. Banks collapsed due to worthless government sponsored securities.

Before the revisions to the CRA, home prices rose at about the rate of inflation. After the CRA revisions, the rapid rise of home prices created a bubble. When prices rose quickly, speculation also rose. This further fueled the bubble.

In 2003 President Bush proposed an agency inside the Treasury Department to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Democrats in Congress stopped the proposal. Barney Frank, a Democrat Representative from Massachusetts, said that the problem with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was exaggerated.

In 2005, Senator John McCain warned of a mortgage collapse. Senator McCain sponsored “The Housing Enterprise Regulator Act of 2005 (S.190 109th). The Democrats blocked the bill. He tried again in 2207, and the bill was again blocked.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made large campaign donations to members of Congress. They also provided ‘special mortgage rates’ to certain Congressional leaders. Many of the executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were government officials after the housing crisis–they paid no price for their mismanagement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–instead they profited greatly while the bubble was growing and after the collapse.

I tell this story for one reason. We have heard the media blame greedy bankers on the housing market collapse and the economic chaos that followed. Actually, greedy bankers were not the problem–government regulation and Congressmen who accepted contributions and sweetheart loan deals from mortgage companies were. Why were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-sponsored agencies, making campaign contributions?

This is one aspect of the swamp Donald Trump was elected to drain. People connected to the mortgage companies or the government walked away from the housing bubble with millions; many average Americans lost their homes and their jobs. It is ironic that President Obama, who should have been able to relate to the Middle Class, decimated the Middle Class during his eight years in office. I am thankful that we have elected someone as President who has business experience and a proven history of economic success.

A Letter From A Veteran About The Budget Deal

This post is taken from The Blaze. It is a Facebook post and a letter to Paul Ryan from a veteran:

FB Friends,

I’m still mulling this Paul Ryan budget deal that stole money from every military retiree (past, present and future). This morning, upon opening my email, I noticed I had a letter from Congressman Paul Ryan…and it was begging me for an “emergency end of the year donation.” It only proves what we already know. The folks in Washington are indeed clueless. Instead of hitting the delete button, I decided to call Congressman Ryan out on his audacity and lack of self-awareness. I sent the following to him. I’m also posting it on the FB USAF Chiefs page as an open letter to the Congressman. If you’re a retiree, I will tell you we may have lost the battle, but not the war. If you’re inclined and find it worthy, let’s flood social media with this letter and see if we can get some traction. Thanks.

To Congressman Paul Ryan
Today at 8:19 AM

Congressman Ryan,

Please note that this request by you for a cash donation from me is extremely unfortunate and very ill-timed. You see sir, I am one of the military retirees your “bipartisan” budget just impacted. You and every Republican (both in the House and Senate that voted to pass this travesty betrayed and broke trust with me and everyone like me. You may not know us by name, but we’re the people, Congressman, who answered our Nation’s call, some of us at a very early age to willingly serve YOU and others LIKE YOU so you could safely attend college and pursue your personal ambitions without fear of harm.

You might also want to note that for at least 20 years, my brothers-in-arms answered that call of duty EVERY SINGLE DAY, without fail, without complaint, without enough money to sustain our loved ones we had to leave behind while we DID OUR JOB in every corner of the Earth. And for that service, we were given absolute assurance our so-called retirement benefits would be protected by law. The very law you shattered in your zeal to impress your Democratic cohorts in your back room deal–with the enemy. Yes, I said it. The liberal Democrats are an enemy to the American people and our Nation. Your lack of judgement and eagerness to compromise on the backs of us who protected you is sickening. Congressman, you and every Republican that voted for injuring military retirees have engaged in a complicit, sordid affair with the Democrats who’s objective has always been to dismantle the military. By climbing into their bed on this issue, you have confirmed you are absolutely no better than they and have proven it with your vote.

Congressman Ryan, the audacity which you display is noteworthy, but to unceremoniously snatch earned money from a small group that has added so much more value than the paltry $6B you looked to “save” (which is all smoke and mirrors and you know it), is reprehensible and insulting.

We have, despite the hardships, meager salaries and harsh conditions, have performed with honor and excellence…in silence, which is something most members of Congress have no idea about doing. Our job approval was, is and always be better than yours. We knew our mission and we got it done, then handed it off to a new generation in better shape than we found it.

Your ability to look us in the eye, take money from us (apparently there was ZERO, other source of waste within the federal government that you could have recovered this money from…right, got it), while simultaneously holding your hand out to beg (with passion) for our cash is stunning. Your actions have proven you do not have the tremendous intellect you’ve sold the American people on. I say, with all seriousness, Congressman, what you lack in intellect and spinal rigidity, you make up for in cajones.

I hope you and your cowardly, Republican “colleagues” hear a message from me loud and clear. You will NEVER receive another cent of financial support from me. Further, if you happen to be at a Capitol Hill dinner or at a K Street cocktail party with RNC Chair Reince Priebus, Rep. Ron Barber, Sen. Jeff Flake or Sen. John McCain, I would be honored if you communicate with them that I am launching an effort to ensure NONE of you traitorous “representatives of the people” ever receive another vote from a military retiree. Remove me from your contact lists.

Chuck Wooten,
Chief Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret)

He says it better than I could.

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The Lies

On November 1, John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article entitled, “Lies of ObamaCare, Documented.” The article is a detailed analysis of what Americans were told and what the law actually does.

Here are some highlights:

In the context of announcing its rules, the administration predicted that because of their restrictiveness, many millions of Americans would lose their existing insurance coverage, whether they liked it or not. Further, it has been widely reported (as by CNN, here) that Republicans tried to reverse the administration’s “grandfather” rules so that those who liked their insurance would be allowed to keep it, but Senate Democrats voted them down.

This is a chart showing what was actually predicted:

http://www.rightwinggranny.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/FederalRegister092.jpg

…Those numbers starkly contradict Obama’s “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” assurances. But it is worth noting that the percentage of pre-Obamacare plans that would terminate within the first few years after the law was enacted isn’t the main point. The administration never intended to allow any American to keep a non-Obamacare insurance policy for any length of time.

…Finally, it should be noted that John McCain, now the bete noire of some activists, weighed in powerfully against the administration’s Obamacare rules. Among other things, he pointed out that they do not apply to unions. They can negotiate changes in the pre-Obamacare plans that cover their members without having them terminate. This is one of the weird features of gangster government: the administration passes terrible laws, and then excuses its friends from complying with them.

The article concludes:

As of 2010, it was blindingly obvious–was baldly stated by the Obama administration itself–that under Obamacare, far from being permitted to keep your health care coverage if you like it, most Americans’ policies would speedily be terminated, and all would soon cease to exist. Given the dozens of misrepresentations by Barack Obama and other members of his administration, and given the entirely dishonest basis on which Obamacare was rammed through the Democratic Congress without a single Republican vote, and given that Republicans’ warnings were indisputably coming true–was there not a news story here? How can it be that three more years went by before our one-party media thought to mention what happened back in 2010? One can only imagine how the 2012 election might have been different if the electorate had understood that Obamacare was sold on a scaffold of lies.

Our current media is a danger to Americans’ freedom.

 

 

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A Piece Of History Will Become Scrap

Last week Stars and Stripes reported that the USS Forrestal, the Navy’s first supercarrier, will be towed from the Navy’s inactive ship facility in Philadelphia to All Star Metals’ facility in Texas, where it will be broken down into scrap metal.

The Forrestal  played a major role in the war in Vietnam. In 1967 there was a tragic fire on the ship which killed 134 men and injured more than 300 men.

The article reports:

The Navy’s first “supercarrier,” the Forrestal was in the Gulf of Tonkin the morning of July 29, 1967, for the Vietnam War effort when stray voltage triggered a rocket to launch from an F-4 Phantom on the flight deck.

The rocket struck an armed A-4 Skyhawk — piloted by a young Lt. Cmdr. John S. McCain III — rupturing the fuel tanks and sparking a chain reaction of fires and explosions on the deck, which was parked full of planes.

The crew fought the flight deck fire for an hour, but other fires blazed into the next day.

A piece of history is now become scrap metal.

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One Theory On Why President Obama Consulted Congress About Syria

President Obama does not have a history of working closely with Congress. That is somewhat odd, since he served in Congress before becoming President, but that is the situation. President Obama did not consult Congress before intervening in Libya, and has not seemed particularly interested in consulting Congress on domestic budget issues. So why did he decide he needed to consult Congress on military intervention in Syria? I didn’t say he wasn’t supposed to, I just wondered why he decided to.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today with an interesting theory. Two related stories give us clues.

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported:

Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Forces, Wednesday told the Assembly of Experts — the body that chooses the supreme leader — that “[w]e will support Syria to the end.”

And in an unprecedented statement, a former Iranian official has warned of mass abductions and brutal killings of American citizens around the world and the rape and killing of one of Obama’s daughters should the United States attack Syria.

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal Reported:

The U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria, officials said, amid an expanding array of reprisal threats across the region.

Obviously there is no way to know if Iran can make good on these threats, but it is, nevertheless, chilling.

John Hinderaker at Power Line concludes:

If sending a few cruise missiles into Syria was a symbolic act, without serious consequences, like blowing up an aspirin factory in Sudan, then Obama was happy to go it alone. But if there was a possibility of major blowback, not just from an isolated terrorist or two but coordinated by Tehran, the situation would have seemed entirely different. In the event of a significant retaliatory response, Obama would not want to be out on a limb by himself on Syria. Rather, he would want it to be clear that the Syrian intervention was a decision for which the entire U.S. government was responsible, including some Republicans (like, say, John McCain). This conclusion is even stronger, given the risk that a significant retaliation traceable to Iran would escalate tensions with that nation and could lead to a broader and far more substantial conflict. In this event, Obama most certainly would not want to be seen to have triggered the conflagration by himself.

…What is still an open question, in my mind, is whether Obama really wants Congress to say Yes. Certainly there is reason to believe that he does: his minions lobbied for a favorable vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and he will give a speech on Tuesday that apparently will try to convince voters to support an attack. But he has done almost nothing to lobby House members, and it seems a foregone conclusion that the House will vote No. What will Obama do then? If he cancels the attack, many will conclude that going to Congress was Obama’s way of saying, Let’s call the whole thing off.

I hate to think that President Obama went to Congress to shield himself from the responsibility of an attack on Syria, but based on his past history, that is a strong possibility. I hope we don’t bomb Syria–I am not sure who we would be actually helping if we did–I am not convinced that the rebel forces are our friends.

Prepare for war, but pray for peace.

 

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Some Objective Commentary On America’s Foreign Policy In The Middle East

One of the best sources of objective information on the Middle East is the Middle East Forum. The Middle East Forum posted an article last week entitled, “America‘s Problems in the Middle East are Just Beginning.” The article is not particularly encouraging, but it is frank and objective.

The opening paragraphs of the article state:

It’s 2015, and there is a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas), financed by Iran, wins an election on a platform demanding the expulsion of the Jews from Israel. Iran meanwhile smuggles shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to terrorist cells in Palestine that can take down civilian airlines at Ben-Gurion airport. With backing from the Egyptian military, Fatah throws out the elected Hamas government and kills larger number of Hamas supporters. What will Washington do? Given the track record of both the Obama administration and the Republican mainstream, one would expect America to denounce the use of violence against a democratically-elected government.

Such is the absurdity of both parties’ stance towards Egypt: the Egyptian military is doing America’s dirty work, suppressing a virulently anti-modern, anti-Semitic and anti-Western Islamist movement whose leader, Mohammed Morsi, famously referred to Israelis as “apes and pigs.” It did so with the enthusiastic support of tens of millions of Egyptians who rallied in the streets in support of the military. And the American mainstream reacted with an ideological knee jerk. America’s presence in the Middle East has imploded.

It is obvious to even the most casual observer that America’s Middle East policy is a disaster. It has been so dictated by our dependence on oil and by our lack of understanding of the civilizations and organizations we are dealing with that we have absolutely no moral authority or solid ground to stand on. Our government has been infiltrated and influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1990’s (see government exhibit 3-85.pdf–as it was called during the first part of the Holy Land Foundation Trial). The first half of the exhibit is in Arabic, you have to scroll about halfway through it to find the English translation. The document explains how to present Islam as a civilization alternative with the goal of bringing America into a world-wide caliphate.

The article at the Middle East Forum concludes:

America cannot bear to think about its own Civil War because the wounds are too painful; in order to reunite the country after 1865, we concocted a myth of tragic fratricide. Wilsonian idealism was born of the South’s attempt to suppress its guilt for the war, I have argued in the past. That is an academic consideration now. America’s credibility in the Middle East, thanks to the delusions of both parties, is broken, and it cannot be repaired within the time frame required to forestall the next stage of violence. Egypt’s military and its Saudi backers are aghast at American stupidity. Israel is frustrated by America’s inability to understand that Egypt’s military is committed to upholding the peace treaty with Israel while the Muslim Brotherhood wants war. Both Israel and the Gulf States observe the utter fecklessness of Washington’s efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The events of the past week have demonstrated that America’s allies in the Middle East from Israel to the Persian Gulf can trust no-one in Washington–neither Barack Obama nor John McCain. Those of us in America who try to analyze events in the region will be the last to hear the news, and the value of our work will diminish over time.

I don’t know if democracy is possible in the Arab world. Turkey did a reasonable job of it for a while, but the Islamists are in the process of taking over Turkey, and democracy and Sharia Law are not compatible. Western civilization promotes freedom, property rights, and individual achievement. Those values are not part of Sharia Law. Until we acknowledge that there is such a thing as a superior civilization, we will continue attempting to negotiate with people who simply want us dead or under their control.

Please follow the link above to the Middle East Forum and read the entire article. It is not encouraging, but it is honest.

 

 

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Our Current Foreign Policy Toward Egypt Has A Problem

Yes, I know that there was a coup in Egypt. If a coup is defined as a group of unelected people seizing power from an elected group of people, there was a coup in Egypt. However, when the elected group (the Muslim Brotherhood) begins to change the government to end democracy, someone has to act to preserve democracy. That is what happened. in Egypt. The problems that led to the problem begin almost immediately after Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011. To understand exactly what happened, it is important to look at the history of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928. It was founded to re-establish the imperial Islamic state. It was established as a reaction to the fact that the government of Turkey was established as a secular government after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is to establish a world-wide caliphate through political and violent means. If you google the exhibits in the Holy Land Foundation Trial and read them, you will discover the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan for America.

Under Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood was in jail in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Anwar Sadat after he signed a peace treaty with Israel, and the military put Hosni Mubarak in power. Mubarak put the Brotherhood in jail.  When President Obama spoke in Cairo in 2009, he put the Muslim Brotherhood in the front row–signaling to the Brotherhood that he would support them. Despite vague statements from the Obama Administration to the contrary, that support has not changed.

On Friday, a website called The Middle East Forum posted a story about how the average Egyptian feels about what is going on in his country and the role America is playing in Egypt.

The article in the Middle East Forum reports:

First, most offensive to Egyptians—and helpful to the Brotherhood’s cause—is McCain‘s insistence on calling the June 30 Revolution a “military coup.” In reality, the revolution consisted of perhaps thirty million Egyptians taking to the streets to oust the Brotherhood. McCain is either deliberately misconstruing the event, or believes the story as manufactured by Al Jazeera and promulgated by Ambassador Anne Patterson. In this narrative, at least an equal amount of Egyptians supported Morsi, and the military overthrew him against popular will. Al Jazeera has actually broadcast images of the millions of anti-Morsi protesters and identified them as pro-Morsi protesters, disinformation which was quickly adopted by Western media.

Several Al Jazeera correspondents have resigned due to Al Jazeera acting as the Brotherhood’s international mouthpiece.

Fortunately, some American officials have formally rejected this false narrative. A new congressional resolution states:

Whereas in recent weeks, an estimated 30,000,000 Egyptians in a majority of Egypt’s 27 provinces gathered to protest the widespread failures of former President Mohamed Morsi and the Government of Egypt and its violations of the most basic rights of all Egyptian citizens, including Egyptian women, minorities, and those publicly dissenting from its views and policies; Whereas the participants in the June 30, 2013, popular protests far outnumbered those involved in the protests and demonstrations of January and February 2011 …

Even the Obama administration has been sensible enough not to call the June 30 revolution a “military coup.” Nevertheless, McCain rejected John Kerry’s statement that “the [Egyptian] military did not take over.”

What happened in Egypt was a movement by the people of Egypt to attempt to form a democracy in the face of an elected government trying to undo the concept of democracy. In supporting the idea of even letting the Muslim Brotherhood take part in the Egyptian government, we would be supporting persecution of Christians and other minority religions, the institution of Sharia Law, which takes away the equality of women, and the formation of an Islamic state similar to Iran. I really don’t think that is in the best interest of the Egyptians, the Americans, or peace in the Middle East.

We need to remember that terrorists in the Middle East (and other places) have learned to use the weapon of propaganda very well. The Middle East Forum is one of the few reliable sources for unbiased information on what is going on in the Middle East.

 

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A Hero From The Past

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story today about Ted Williams. I didn’t grow up in Massachusetts, and I admit that I really didn’t know much about Ted Williams. The story surprised me.

Ted Williams was called into the Army during the Korean War. At the time he had a wife and a child. He was offered the chance to avoid combat by playing on a service baseball team, but chose to go into combat instead. It had been eight years since he had flown an aircraft.

Mr. Mirengoff at Power Line relates a story about Ted Williams that was shared by John McCain during the “Straight Talk Express.” John McCain admired Ted Williams, who served as a fighter pilot in two wars.

The article reports:

During a mission in North Korea, Williams’ fighter plane was crippled by a strike that knocked out its hydraulics and electrical systems. The plane already was on fire when an explosion rocked its undercarriage as it approached the landing strip.

Williams pulled off a wheels-up “belly” landing, skidding along the tarmac with sparks flying for almost a mile before coming to a stop. The nose burst into flames, threatening the cockpit. Williams blew off the canopy, struggled out of the plane, and, after limping clear of it, hit the ground.

John McCain one asked Ted Williams about the incident–why he didn’t eject instead of attempting such a dangerous landing.

The article reports the answer:

Williams explained that, at six feet three inches tall, he believed he would have blown out both knees had he ejected himself from the cramped cockpit. And that would have meant the end of his baseball-playing career. Therefore, he decided he had to land the plane.

Sometimes we just don’t know what goes into the thought processes of a hero.

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Form 86

Andrew C. McCarthy posted an article today at The Corner at the National Review about the confirmation hearing for Chuck Hagel. The mainstream media is doing a pretty consistent job of criticizing Senator Ted Cruz for his questioning of Senator Hagel–even going so far as to call up their favorite slander–McCarthyism.

The article reports:

Cruz made much of the fact that, in connection with his nomination to be secretary of defense, Hagel refused to disclose to the committee all compensation he has received in excess of $5,000 over the last five years, the point being to probe Hagel’s connections to foreign governments and their agents — Hagel already being known to have troublesome ties to outfits like the National Iranian American Council, which is the Islamo-fascist Iranian regime’s pom-pom squad.

The article goes on to report that Form 86, a lengthy questionnaire candidates for any governmental national security position have to fill out, has to be filled out for much less important jobs than Secretary of Defense.

The article reports:

Have a look at the form (here), and in particular at pages 59–83. It is a searching inquiry into every conceivable aspect of the candidate’s connections to and financial entanglements with foreign countries and their agents — and that’s only after similarly exacting questions earlier in the form about the candidate’s family connections to foreign countries and their agents (a topic we discussed back when Democrats, as well as some leading Republicans like Senator John McCain, were making similarly ridiculous “McCarthyism” allegations about inquiries into the Islamist connections of Huma Abedin, top adviser to former Secretary of State Clinton).

The Senate’s job is to advise and consent. They are supposed to ask the hard questions. Unfortunately, they rarely do, that’s why Ted Cruz is being accused of everything except murder (give them time!).

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The Testimony On Benghazi Only Gets Worse

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about the testimony of Army Gen. Martin Dempsey during the Congressional hearings Thursday.

The testimony from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was telling:

“The United States military is not and should not be a global 911 service capable of arriving on the scene within minutes to every possible contingency around the world,” Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

This was followed by the testimony of General Dempsey:

“Why didn’t you put forces in place to be ready to respond?,” Senator John McCain asked the general.

Dempsey started, “Because we never received a request to do so, number one. And number two, we –”

McCain interrupted, “You never heard of Ambassador Stevens’s repeated warnings?”

“I had, through General Ham,” responded Dempsey, referring to the commander of AFRICOM. “But we never received a request for support from the State Department, which would have allowed us to put forces–”

“So it’s the State Department’s fault?”

“I’m not blaming the State Department,” Dempsey responded.

Any American who is paying attention and has common sense knows that September 11 has become an important day for terrorists who want to attack America. It is also logical that terrorists would attack a ‘soft’ target–one that was not heavily defended. It is also obvious to Americans paying attention that the situation in Libya has not been stable since the revolution there. So the logical thing to do would have been to increase the security at Benghazi at least on a temporary basis. Instead, the brilliant minds at the State Department decreased security (Washington Times October 2012) in the weeks before September 11.

Four Americans died because the people in charge were not paying attention. It is extremely unfortunate that many of the same people were still in charge after the attack.Enhanced by Zemanta

The Statement Released After The Meeting

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted the statement released by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) after their meeting with UN Ambassador Susan Rice.

This is the statement:

We respectfully disagree with the White House’s statement today that ‘there are no unanswered questions’ about Ambassador Rice’s September 16 Sunday show appearances and the talking points she used. 

Around 10:00 this morning in a meeting requested by Ambassador Rice, accompanied by acting CIA Director Mike Morell, we asked Mr. Morell who changed the unclassified talking points to remove references to al-Qaeda.  In response, Mr. Morell said the FBI removed the references and did so to prevent compromising an ongoing criminal investigation.  We were surprised by this revelation and the reasoning behind it.

However, at approximately 4:00 this afternoon, CIA officials contacted us and indicated that Acting Director Morell misspoke in our earlier meeting. The CIA now says that it deleted the al-Qaeda references, not the FBI.  They were unable to give a reason as to why.

We are disturbed by the Administration’s continued inability to answer even the most basic questions about the Benghazi attack and the Administration’s response. 

Beyond Ambassador Rice’s misstatements, we continue to have questions about what happened in Benghazi before, during, and after the attack on our consulate – as well as the President’s statements regarding the attack.

Perhaps most important, we also need to understand why the U.S. military was unable to respond within seven hours to save American lives in Benghazi and why our consulate was left so unsecure despite a series of previous attacks. 

In more than a dozen letters, we and other Senators have repeatedly requested that the Administration provide answers to our questions.  Yet, today most of them remain unanswered.  We eagerly await their response.

It does seem from this statement that answers to even basic questions about Benghazi are nearly impossible to come by.  At least someone should know who actually changed the talking points or why no help was available to the Americans in Benghazi. At the rate we are going, we might have some of these answers after the 2016 election.

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The Gift Of Distraction

Up until the sex scandal broke, the media had been doing a pretty good job of ignoring the death of four Americans in Benghazi. When the sex scandal broke, the media had something to write about related to Benghazi that didn’t relate in any way to the fact that these Americans were put in harms way and then abandoned. Most of the media (there are one or two exceptions) is continuing to ignore the real story. Every now and then, though, they have to work at it, and were it not for the seriousness of the situation, their efforts would be comical.

The Daily Caller posted a story yesterday with the headline, “Sure, our ambassador was murdered and the Obama administration is lying about it, but the real story is that McCain is a grouch.” Unfortunately, that pretty much sums up the approach taken on Benghazi by most of the major media.

An article at CNN reported this week that Senator McCain skipped a classified briefing by administration officials on the Benghazi attack Wednesday and then got testy when asked about it. What in the world does this really have to do with the attack on Benghazi? How many classified briefings has the President missed?

The article at the Daily Caller reminds us:

Meanwhile, four Americans who fell in service of their country are still dead, a guy who made a stupid YouTube video is still sitting in jail, and the Obama administration is still lying about it. But hey, what is all that compared to Wolf Blitzer’s hurt feelings?

This kind of reporting by CNN is one of the main reasons the alternative media has grown. Unless the Obama Administration seriously limits the First Amendment, Americans looking for real news will continue to turn to the alternative media rather than those sources who have forgotten the concept of actually reporting the news.

 

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Overruling The Law When Convenient

Sequestration is scheduled to occur on January 2, 2013. As usual, note that this is after the November election. Sequestration is essentially drastic cuts to government spending triggered by the fact that Congress was unable to reach a budget compromise. Sequestration will have an incredibly negative aspect on the American economy overall if is actually happens, and as of now, it will happen.

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about some of the political maneuvering revolving around sequestration. The article explains that under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, defense contractors are required to issue notices of layoffs to employees 60 days before the layoffs occur. Since under sequestration defense contractors can expect major layoffs (January 2, 2013), those notices would go out in early November. Obviously, the Obama Administration does not want that to happen.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued a memorandum stating that they do not believe these notices should be issued. Please follow this link to read the entire memorandum.

Some highlights from the memorandum:

DOL (Department of Labor) concluded that it is neither necessary nor appropriate for Federal contractors to provide WARN Act notice to employees 60 days in advance of the potential sequestration because of uncertainty about whether sequestration will occur and, if it did, what effect it would have on particular contracts, among other factors:

Specifically, if (1) sequestration occurs and an agency terminates or modifies a contract that necessitates that the contractor order a plant closing or mass layoff ofa type subject to WARN Act requirements, and (2) that contractor has followed a course of action consistent with DOL guidance; then any resulting employee· compensation costs for WARN Act liability as detennined by a court, as well as attoroeys’ fees and other litigation costs (irrespective of li tigation outcome), would qualify as allowable costs and be covered by the contracting agency, if otherwise reasonable and allocable.

Translated into English, this says don’t send out the notices and the government will pay any legal penalties.

The Hill reports:

“The Obama Administration is cynically trying to skirt the WARN Act to keep the American people in the dark about this looming national security and fiscal crisis,” Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said in a statement. “The president should insist that companies act in accordance with the clearly stated law and move forward with the layoff notices.”

No one actually knows if sequestration will happen, but right now it is scheduled to happen. The law needs to be followed, regardless of the politics involved. The government is not supposed to be used as a campaign committee. This is totally over the top.

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A Case Of Misplaced Priorities

The Obama Administration has become more concerned with its image in America’s liberal media that it is with doing its job.

The Hill reported today that the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal got more complete briefings from Hillary Clinton on the attack that killed U.S. envoy Christopher Stephens in Libya than Senate Republicans received.

The article reports:

“I was very disappointed in the briefing yesterday, too. The bottom line is, we asked questions like, ‘How many people were at the Benghazi consulate?’ You pick up The New York Times and you get a blow-by-blow description of what supposedly went on,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Times published a timeline of the attacks chronicling militants gaining access to the U.S. compound after 9:35 pm on Sept. 11, American security forces attempting to retake it at 10:45 pm and American and Libyan forces regaining control of the main compound around 11:20 pm, before evacuating.

The article further states:

“We were told nothing. We were told absolutely nothing,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), ranking Republican on the Armed Services Panel.

McCain said the details lawmakers sought were in The Times and The Journal.

“If that isn’t an incredible disrespect to the members of the United States Senate, I don’t know what is,” he said. “It’s an example of the disdain with which this body is held by the administration, including, I’m sorry to say, the secretary of state.”

“She didn’t talk about anything,” McCain said of Clinton in a subsequent interview.

Senators asked Clinton about the sequence of events during the Benghazi attack. She and other officials declined to provide any specifics, citing an ongoing investigation.

If Washington is broken, part of the reason may be the fact that in an important national security matter, the Obama Administration chose to brief the friendly media rather than Congress.

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