Something To Consider

I am getting tired of the Michael Flynn controversy, and I suspect you are too, but there are some aspects of this incident that need to be considered. There are two stories that I think contain important information.

The first story is from The Week, a magazine not known for its conservative leanings.

Some highlights from that story:

In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That’s bad. But the answer isn’t to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.

As Eli Lake of Bloomberg News put it in an important article following Flynn’s resignation,

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do. [Bloomberg]

Those cheering the deep state torpedoing of Flynn are saying, in effect, that a police state is perfectly fine so long as it helps to bring down Trump.

It is the role of Congress to investigate the president and those who work for him. If Congress resists doing its duty, out of a mixture of self-interest and cowardice, the American people have no choice but to try and hold the government’s feet to the fire, demanding action with phone calls, protests, and, ultimately, votes. That is a democratic response to the failure of democracy.

John Podhoretz, also not a supporter of Michael Flynn,  posted an article at The New York Post.

He stated the following:

This information might have come because the US intelligence community has an active interest in the Russian official to whom he talked.

Or it could have come because the FBI had been pursuing some sort of secret investigation and had received authorization to monitor and track his calls and discussions.

If this was intelligence, the revelation of the Flynn meeting just revealed something to the Russians we shouldn’t want revealed — which is that we were listening in on them and doing so effectively.

And if it was an FBI investigation, then the iron principle of law enforcement — that evidence gathered in the course of an investigation must be kept secret to protect the rights of the American being investigated — was just put through a shredder.

Keeping our intelligence-gathering assets hidden from those upon whom we are spying is a key element of our national security.

And as for playing fast and loose with confidential information on American citizens: No joke, people — if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.

The danger in this situation is not whatever relationship Michael Flynn has or had with Russia; the danger is the means that the opponents of Donald Trump will use to take down one of his appointments.

We know that former President Obama has organized a nonprofit group called Organizing for Action (OFA) for the purpose of ‘protecting the Obama legacy from President Trump.’ Aside from the fact that this is highly unusual, it is simply classless. This group may or may not be involved in what happened to Michael Flynn, but I suspect that they have a few contacts within government that they might have encouraged along the way. OFA also has a press secretary and the ear of the major media. OFA also has an office paid for with taxpayer dollars because Barack Obama is a former President. The taxpayers are paying to undermine their own government!

Be prepared for more media attacks on members of the Trump Administration.



The Eternal Campaign Season

Yesterday John Podhoretz posted an article at the New York Post about some recent comments by Hillary Clinton. Hillary has made some very interesting comments about President Obama’s foreign policy–an interesting point of attack since she was Secretary of State for much of his tenure.

Mr. Podhoretz writes that he thinks President Obama miscalculated by not choosing Hillary as his Vice-President. If she were Vice-President, she would still be standing with him–not trashing his foreign policy.

The article points out some of the reasons Hillary may be striking out at President Obama:

What’s more, when she was working for you, you refused to give her the reins of US foreign policy and centralized all the power in the White House.

Fair is fair. You took Michael Corleone’s advice: You sought to keep this enemy close. But you didn’t keep her close enough. And now you shall pay. She has made you start paying already.

Hillary Clinton is the most popular politician in America now — more popular than you, if you haven’t noticed. And she has decided, for all intents and purposes, to go into opposition.

That was the meaning of the extraordinary interview she granted Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic over the weekend. It was the annunciation of her separation from you and your legacy.

Though filled with qualifications and words of praise for Obama here and there, the interview is a rare assault against a sitting president by his former secretary of state.

The key sentence is this: “Great nations need organizing principles,” Hillary told Goldberg, “and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

The article sums up the character of the Clintons:

Mrs. Clinton’s political judgment is not to be trusted. She allowed Obama to eat her lunch in 2008 in part because she was overconfident and tacked too far to the center too early. She may well be doing it again.

But she has made her choice. If Obama stumbles, she’ll be there — with her ankle turned out, to trip him up still further and then, with a sad smile, claim credit for having known that the obstacle had been there in his path all along.

I believe Hillary will again be challenged from the left for the Democrat nomination for President. I believe that challenge will come from Massachusetts’ own Elizabeth Warren. It may be an interesting primary season.

I Hope This Headline Is True

John Podhoretz posted an article at the New York Post today with the headline, “Congressional Budget Office sends death blow to ObamaCare.”

The article reports the contents of the CBO report:

The one-two punch: Virtually as many Americans will lack health coverage in 10 years as before the law was passed — but 2 million fewer will be working than if the law hadn’t passed.

One killer detail comes on Page 111, where the report projects: “As a result of the ACA, between 6 million and 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance coverage each year from 2016 through 2024 than would be the case in the absence of the ACA.”

The irony of the whole ObamaCare program is the fact that ObamaCare was supposedly designed to provide health insurance to some 30 million Americans who are currently without health insurance. The CBO report predicts that in 2024, under ObamaCare, 31 million Americans will be without health insurance. If you consider ObamaCare as  the ‘War on the Uninsured’ in America, it appears that it will be about as successful as the War on Poverty in America.

The article also reports:

If that’s not startling enough, there’s also the telling projection about ObamaCare’s impact on employment — “a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.”

Overall employment will rise, the report says, but not steady, secure, long-term assured employment. The possibility of securing government-provided health-care without employment will give people a new incentive to avoid it. “The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply,” the report says.

Indeed, overall, between 2017 and 2024, the actual amount of work done in this country will decline by as much as 2 percent.

It really is time to come up with an alternative to ObamaCare. I only hope Congress is up to the task.

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Behind The Scenes In The Student Loan Battle

Today’s Wall Street Journal posted an editorial about the current debate over student loan interest rates.

Today the Senate voted on student-loan subsidies. The news just reported that an attempt to roll back the interest rate increase has failed a procedural hurdle. One proposal suggests that the interest rate on the loans be tied to the 10-year Treasury rate. The advantage of this idea is that the taxpayers do not have to guarantee the lower rate to borrowers while the cost of the loans to the government goes up.

The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated taxpayer losses on student loans to be $95 billion over the next ten years. Remember that the government takeover of student loans was part of ObamaCare. (see

The article in the Wall Street Journal reports:

Liberals apologize for the price hikes imposed by their friends in the faculty lounge by pretending that universities are starved for revenue. Rep. Frank Pallone (D., N.J.) claimed on MSNBC on Saturday that “the federal government is not making the investment in higher education.” Perhaps he’s forgotten that annual Pell grant spending of $34 billion has roughly doubled in the Obama era, or that Uncle Sugar now originates more than $100 billion in annual loans.

In October 2011, I wrote in

The article also points out that under the proposed changes, the government would be entirely responsible for college loans. Students would borrow directly from the government and pay the government back. What happens when students default? The taxpayers pick up the tab. Aside from the fact that the benefits to the students of this program are minuscule, we need less government in all aspects of our lives–not more.

In a New York Post article quoted in the above article, John Podhoretz wrote:

One federal study found that between 1982 and 2007, tuition costs rose 432 percent while family income rose only 147 percent.

As taxpayers, we are subsidizing inflationary spending on the part of higher education. There is no incentive to cut costs if you know that the money will keep pouring in and that the government will enable the students to afford the rising tuition. Until parents refuse to pay the rising tuition at some of the prestige schools, we will continue to have this problem.

The Harvard University website reports:

The complete budget at Harvard College (exclusive of transportation) for 2012-2013 is $57,950. Tuition – $37,576; Room and Board – $13,630; College Facilities Fees (for use of library and other University facilities including the Health Services) – $3,290; Minimum for extras (books, clothing, dues, recreation, etc.) – $3,454.

In some parts of America, you can buy a house for that amount.

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Welcome To Alice In Wonderland’s America

John Podhoretz posted an article yesterday at the New York Post contrasting the press coverage of the Obama Administration with the press coverage of the Bush Administration. He cites specific instances of how similar stories were covered and how many stories were written about similar incidents. I admit–I assume bias on the part of the press, but to see the details listed was amazing to me.

The article reminds us:

To take just one example: Scooter Libby was accused, though not charged or convicted, of revealing the name of a covert CIA operative, thus potentially endangering her life. In the case of “Fast and Furious,” a federal agent was in fact murdered by a gun that was effectively sold to a Mexican cartel by the Justice Department.

The thing that always amazed me about the ‘covert CIA operative’ was that she drove to CIA headquarters every day. Didn’t anyone ever think that if anyone wanted to find out what she did for a living all they had to do was follow her to work?

The article reminds us:

But the issue isn’t whether the Times or any other media organization has done some stories. What was present during the Bush years scandals but isn’t in the Obama years is “the drumbeat.”

The drumbeat happens when a story reaches critical mass in all media sectors. The New York Times and The Washington Post assign reporters to focus on it full-time. Their stories appear daily, often on the front page or in prominent locations on their Web sites.

The questions raised by those stories dominate the White House press briefing at midday. The answers at the press briefing, combined with new details, are the focus of NPR’s “All Things Considered” and the network-news programs. The reports here are strengthened by reaction from Congress members.

All that, in turn, provide the Times and the Post with more stories, and the hearings they set up and the political machinations that follow create more stories in affiliated media.

None of this is managed, manipulated or directed communally. It’s organic, the way the media business works.

Except it really hasn’t worked this way with coverage of the Obama campaign in 2008 or the Obama administration in the years since.

I remember BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome). Generally speaking, the press would have had their toenails pulled out rather than say anything nice about George Bush or the people around him. I didn’t necessarily agree with everything George Bush did, but I believe he was a good man who loved America. The press treated him very shabbily. It is my hope that if Mitt Romney is elected, the press will do its job, but not set out to destroy his administration as they have attempted to do with Republican administrations in the past.

Finally, I should thank the major media for their bias–it has created a demand for alternative media, of which I am a part. Thank you, you have made a little old retired lady feel useful!

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The Promised Government Help With College Loans Is Not What It Appears To Be

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Yesterday John Podhoretz posted an article at the New York Post detailing what President Obama’s proposed changes in how college loans are financed would mean to the average student.

Mr. Podhoretz points out that the federal loan programs have resulted in out of control tuition costs at colleges. He states:

The staggering inflation in the cost of higher education since the federal government got involved in lending money to Americans for college in 1965 beggars description. One federal study found that between 1982 and 2007, tuition costs rose 432 percent while family income rose only 147 percent.

The article further reports:

So say you’re an average student carrying a $27,000 debt. Your monthly payment is about $208. With the reforms Obama is instituting, and assuming an interest rate of 6 percent, your monthly payment will drop $9 a month to $199. Staggering.

The article also points out that under the proposed changes, the government would be entirely responsible for college loans. Students would borrow directly from the government and pay the government back. What happens when students default? The taxpayers pick up the tab. Aside from the fact that the benefits to the students of this program are minuscule, we need less government in all aspects of our lives–not more.

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