The Race Begins

Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line today about Nancy Pelosi’s quest to become Speaker of the House again. Although many Democrats ran on the promise that they would not vote for Ms. Pelosi, there seemed to be a lack of opponents.

The article reports:

Yesterday, in a post about the opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s bid to become House Speaker, I noted that, thus far, no one has stepped forward to run against Pelosi. You can’t beat somebody with nobody.

I added that if somebody emerges to oppose Pelosi, it had better be a woman. Otherwise, Pelosi and her backers are sure to play the gender card, and the new House members who are resisting the former Speaker, many of whom are females who themselves played that card during the election, will probably cave.

Now, a potential opponent has emerged — Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio. Not only is Fudge a woman, she’s African-American.

Fudge hasn’t formally entered the race, but she’s already playing the race card. She told the Washington Post, “if we’re going to have a diverse party, it ought to look like the party.” Try parsing that gibberish.

We know what she’s getting at, though: “Support for me because I’m Black.”

The article goes on to anticipate Ms.Pelosi’s response to her opponent.

The article concludes:

I’m not sure how seriously to take a potential bid by Fudge for the Speakership. Pelosi has some support withing the congressional black caucus and Fudge’s opposition, for whatever reason, to pro-gay rights legislation might be a deal-breaker for many of those insurgent Democratic members.

In any event, Pelosi’s struggle within her caucus, and the fact that it’s being played out so blatently in identity politics terms, is a sign of trouble for Democrats down the road. As Steve likes to say, “pass the popcorn.”

Stay tuned.

Using The Law To Break The Law

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about a lawsuit a half dozen members of the Honduras caravan have filed against President Trump and various other federal officials. It is a class action lawsuit.

The article reports:

Trump’s professed and enacted policy towards thousands of caravanners seeking asylum in the United States is shockingly unconstitutional. President Trump continues to abuse the law, including constitutional rights, to deter Central Americans from exercising their lawful right to seek asylum in the United States, and the fact that innocent children are involved matters none to President Trump.

Remember that the majority of the caravan is comprised of military-age men. The women and children are put at the front of the line for photo ops (and will probably be put in the front during the attempt to break into the United States). It may be lawful for people to seek asylum, but I think it is rather cheeky to sue the leaders of the country where you are requesting asylum.

The article explains:

Asylum is supposed to be available to people who face persecution in their home countries on grounds of religion, race, etc. It was never intended to apply wholesale to entire populations on the ground that their country is poorly governed.

But the theory of the caravan (and the lawsuit) is that anyone who makes it to American soil has due process rights as an asylum seeker, meaning, as a practical matter, that he or she has plenty of time to disappear into sanctuary regions like California. Think of it as a kind of legal illegal immigration.

Canada is not impressed with the economic migrants either. Reuters posted the following headline on Wednesday, “Exclusive: Canada rushes to deport asylum seekers who walked from U.S.”

The article at Reuters reports:

Canada is prioritizing the deportation of asylum seekers who walked across the border from the United States illegally, federal agency statistics show, as the Liberal government tries to tackle a politically sensitive issue ahead of an election year.

…Toronto lawyer Lorne Waldman said there were good reasons for accelerating the processing and deportation of people who crossed the border: it deters people with weak claims from making refugee claims in the hopes of living in Canada for years while their case wends through the system.

“The best way of discouraging people from making frivolous claims is by having the claims processed quickly,” Waldman said.

Canada may have stumbled on the answer to the problem.

Questionable At Best

The October Surprise is a political tactic that has been used in the past to convince the public that a candidate is unfit for office. It is done close enough to the election so that there is not adequate time to research the the accusation before the election. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. Somehow the accusation and the accusers disappear after the election. Rarely does the accused get a chance to redeem his reputation. In the past the tactic has been used in presidential campaigns and Congressional campaigns. A form of it has also been used to attempt to block Supreme Court nominees. It worked on Robert Bork; it failed on Clarence Thomas. I have no idea what is going to happen with Judge Kavanaugh.

There are a few things to consider in the attack on Judge Kavanaugh. Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today that revealed the following:

It looks like Brett Kavanaugh’s mother, Judge Martha Kavanaugh, ruled against the parents of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Court documents show the losing party in a foreclosure case Martha Kavanaugh heard to be Ralph and Paula Blasey of Potomac, Maryland. They appear to be Christine Blasey Ford’s parents.

The fact that Kavanaugh’s mother ruled against Ford’s parents doesn’t prove Ford is lying about the conduct of the son. Her allegation, coming so many years after the fact and without a description of when or where the event supposedly occurred, is probably not susceptible to being ruled out conclusively. But there now seems to be a motive, beyond partisan politics, for Ford to make up or significantly embellish her story so long after the “fact.”

In any event, the fact that Ford’s story, having been presented so late and with little detail as to time and place, is probably not susceptible to being ruled out means that, if not “ruled in” conclusively, the story should not preclude Kavanaugh’s confirmation. We have statutes of limitations for a reason.

Finally, unless we accept the view that Kavanaugh truly attempted to rape this girl, I don’t believe his conduct provides a basis for rejecting his nomination. Kavanaugh was still a teenager. More than five dozen women who knew him at the time vouch for his behavior. His female law clerks consider him a gentleman and a mentor.

The American Thinker posted an article today detailing some of Ms. Ford’s student reviews. It is very obvious that Ms. Ford easily fits into the category of a radical liberal. The question is whether or not she has any foundational principles that would prevent her from making false accusations.

The article at The American Thinker concludes:

So has Kavanaugh gotten on Ford’s bad side by expressing conservative ideas?  Probably.  And even if her allegations are true, I very much doubt she’d have come forward had Kavanaugh stayed on her good side by being a leftist reprobate in the mold of Slick Willie or Chappaquiddick Ted Kennedy.  For a good example of such situational sexual mores, note that liberal reporter Nina Burleigh actually said in 1998 about B. Clinton, “I’d be happy to give him [oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal.”

As for Kavanaugh, unless it’s shown that he’s like Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy and has exhibited a pattern of sexual wrongdoing, there’s nothing to see here.  Ford claims that the 36-year-old alleged incident of sexual misconduct took place in a room with only her and the two boys present.  So while 65 women who knew Kavanaugh in high school have come forward to vouch for his character as a gentleman, Ford’s lone word is the only claim against him.  Heck, there are more testimonials as to Ford’s alleged insanity than there are regarding Kavanaugh’s alleged impropriety.

This is foul play on the part of the anti-Trump crowd. The fact that Jeff Flake is using these accusations as an excuse not to vote Judge Kavanaugh out of committee and let the Senate vote is an indication of where things are. The fact that the Democrats are using this tactic to attempt to stall the nomination also illustrates their pettiness in trying to prevent the President from exercising his Constitutional right to select judges. The actions of Diane Feinstein and the other Democrats involved in this smear campaign are a disgrace to their party and to their country. These are the people who supported Bill Clinton as President when there was current evidence against him. Now they have discovered morality and can’t support a man with a questionable accusation from thirty years ago. That really does not pass the smell test.

Another Global Threat Down The Drain

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line yesterday about some recent research on deforestation. It seems that it is not happening.

The article reports:

I have noted from time to time the data from the United Nations Global Forest Resource Assessment (UNGFRA) that has found that deforestation stopped at least 25 years ago, and that net reforestation has been taking place.

But the UN data is not as good as one would like. This week, however, Naturemagazine published a major new studywith much more precise measurements and analysis than the UNGFRA based on 35 years’ worth of satellite imagery, and it finds that since 1982 global forest cover has increasedby 7.2 percent, or 2.24 million kilometers.

The article includes information from the study:

Changes in land use and land cover considerably alter the Earth’s energy balance and biogeochemical cycles, which contributes to climate change and—in turn—affects land surface properties and the provision of ecosystem services. However, quantification of global land change is lacking. Here we analyse 35 years’ worth of satellite data and provide a comprehensive record of global land-change dynamics during the period 1982–2016. We show that—contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally—tree cover has increased by 2.24 million km2 (+7.1% relative to the 1982 level). This overall net gain is the result of a net loss in the tropics being outweighed by a net gain in the extratropics. Global bare ground cover has decreased by 1.16 million km2 (−3.1%), most notably in agricultural regions in Asia. Of all land changes, 60% are associated with direct human activities and 40% with indirect drivers such as climate change. Land-use change exhibits regional dominance, including tropical deforestation and agricultural expansion, temperate reforestation or afforestation, cropland intensification and urbanization. Consistently across all climate domains, montane systems have gained tree cover and many arid and semi-arid ecosystems have lost vegetation cover. The mapped land changes and the driver attributions reflect a human-dominated Earth system.

In addition to the reforestation of the earth, global warming has slowed down since 1999.

In 2014, the BBC reported:

Scientists have struggled to explain the so-called pause that began in 1999, despite ever increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The latest theory says that a naturally occurring 30-year cycle in the Atlantic Ocean is behind the slowdown.

The researchers says this slow-moving current could continue to divert heat into the deep seas for another decade.

However, they caution that global temperatures are likely to increase rapidly when the cycle flips to a warmer phase.

I guess those who study the earth and its climate have not yet figured out all of the answers.

Charts Tell The Story

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about the impact the economic policies of President Trump have had on the State of Minnesota. The focus of the article is the economic impact of the tax cuts.

The article includes the two following graphs:

The article also includes the following news from the Labor Department:

American wages unexpectedly…

Unexpectedly!

…climbed in August by the most since the recession ended in 2009 and hiring rose by more than forecast, keeping the Federal Reserve on track to lift interest rates this month and making another hike in December more likely.
Average hourly earnings for private workers increased 2.9 percent from a year earlier, a Labor Department report showed Friday, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey and the median projection for 2.7 percent. Nonfarm payrolls rose 201,000 from the prior month, topping the median forecast for 190,000 jobs.

As I have previously stated, why is good economic news unexpected during a Republican administration and expected by the media during a Democrat administration?

The conclusion of the article reminds us what will happen in the Democrats take control of Congress:

A Democratic Congress never would have passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In fact, not a single Democrat voted for it. And Hillary Clinton never would have signed it. The progress the U.S. economy has made since Donald Trump took the helm from the hapless Barack Obama is an ongoing rebuke to the Democrats’ anti-growth policies. This is one reason the Democrats are so anxious to regain control over the House in November. With the House in Democrat hands, they won’t be able to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but they will be able to guarantee that no more pro-growth, pro-worker legislation will be enacted. They will focus on impeaching President Trump instead.

If you don’t like the current economic growth, vote Democrat and it will stop.

The Major Media Did Tell You Part Of The Story

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about a story that has recently been in the news.The media has been reporting that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was training children to commit school shootings at a compound in New Mexico. The compound housed eleven hungry children in deplorable conditions.

The article includes the Associated Press report:

The father of a missing Georgia boy was training children at a New Mexico compound to commit school shootings, prosecutors said in court documents obtained Wednesday.

The documents say Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was conducting weapons training with assault rifles at the compound near the Colorado border where 11 hungry children were found in filthy conditions.

The article also includes The Daily Caller report which actually tells the readers what is going on:

The son of a prominent Brooklyn-based imam was training children at a New Mexico compound to commit schools shootings, prosecutors said in court documents released Wednesday.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, was training 11 children at a compound north of Taos, New Mexico, according to The Associated Press. Authorities raided the compound Friday and arrested Wahhaj, two of his siblings and two other men during a search for Wahhaj’s son, who had been abducted from Georgia late in 2017.
***
Residents in Amalia, New Mexico, near the Colorado border, had complained for months about the squalid conditions of the makeshift compound before Friday’s raid, according to news reports. Authorities recovered multiple firearms as well as an AR-15.
***
Wahhaj’s father, also named Siraj, is a controversial cleric with close ties to Muslim rights groups like the Islamic Circle of North American, the Muslim American Society and the Center for American Islamic Relations. The elder Wahhaj was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case. He was a character witness for Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called “Blind Sheikh.”

I suspect at least some members of the major media have children in school. Shouldn’t they at least be concerned for the safety of their own children? Keeping Americans in ignorance of the threat of Islamic supremacists does not help keep Americans safe.

When The Pot Calls The Kettle Black

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about a recent tweet from Jim Acosta.

This is the tweet (without the video):

The sad scene he was referring to was probably not Americans at their best, but it was real–it was people protesting the false reporting of CNN. Mr. Acosta seems to have forgotten the actual incidents of Trump supporters being abused. The article at Power Line cites a number of these incidents. However, I believe the most egregious incident is a statement by Representative Maxine Waters to a group of supporters.

According to CNN, Ms. Waters said:

“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere…”

Again, I don’t necessarily approve of the way Mr. Acosta was treated, but it was tame compared to being confronted with an angry mob when you are taking your family out to dinner. Mr. Acosta needs to clean up his own back yard before he attacks anyone else.

How Things Actually Work In Washington

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the confirmation vote that will eventually take place to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Judge. The article explains exactly how things work in Washington. If Judge Kavanaugh has enough Republican votes to be confirmed, he will probably receive a few votes from Democrats in favor of his confirmation. This has nothing to do with his qualifications or what those Democrats believe about his willingness to uphold the Constitution–it has to do with their election prospects in 2018. If there are enough Republican votes to confirm Judge Kavanaugh (and the votes of Democrats will not change the outcome), Democrat Senators from states that voted for President Trump will probably vote to confirm. If there are not enough Republican votes to confirm Judge Kavanuagh, all of the Democrat Senators will vote against him. The good of the country or the man’s qualifications have nothing to do with the way they will be voting. That should give all of us pause.

The article includes a quote from Senator Joe Manchin on the vote:

“I think he seems to be a very fine person of high moral standards, a family person who’s very involved in his community, has all the right qualities. He’s well-educated. And with that, you know, we have to just look at making sure that the rule of law and the Constitution is going to be followed, and that’s going to basically preempt anything else he does.

“Most importantly. . .I intend to hear from West Virginians. And during that period of time, I just announced, I’ll be hearing from West Virginians and their opinion. And I think they have, also, a right. And that’s who I work for. They’re my boss. And we want to hear from them, too, during this process. .”

The article notes:

A new poll released on Tuesday by Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) found that 59 percent of West Virginia voters want Manchin to vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

I looks to me like Manchin will do so unless something is discovered that causes one or two Republican Senators to defect.

The same poll finds that 56 percent of Indiana voters want their Senator, Joe Donnelly, to vote to confirm the Kavanaugh. Sen. Donnelly has not, to my knowledge, praised the nominee the way Sen. Manchin has. But Donnelly echoed Manchin when he said, “I work for the people of Indiana and I want them to have a voice in this.”

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see whether Sen. Heidi Heitkamp begins to make mildly pro-Kavanaugh statements. The poll I cited above found that 68 percent of North Dakota voters want Heitkamp to vote to confirm Kavanaugh. If that number holds, the pressure on her to comply will be enormous.

Stay tuned.

Get out the popcorn!

Political Attacks On Good People

Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line today about the appointment of Fred Fleitz as chief-of-staff of the National Security Council. The smear campaign against a good man has begun. Yesterday the Washington Monthly posted an article calling Fred Fleitz a Neo-Nazi.  He is not a neo-Nazi–but he is a man who understands the threat of radical Islam. They describe him as the anti-Muslim senior vice-president of an Islamaphobic think tank and now NSC chief of staff. The think tank they are referring to is the Center for Security Policy headed by Frank Gaffney. The Center for Security Policy has been one of the few honest sources for information on Sharia Law and the attempts to infiltrate Sharia into our government. They are described as Islamaphobic just as anyone who understands the threat of Sharia extremists in America is described.

The article at Power Line concludes:

The previous administration did not take the danger seriously. Or maybe it just couldn’t discern an Islamic radical group when it saw one.

Adam Kredo of the Washington Examiner argues that members of the Obama administration are instrumental in the slander of Fleitz. He notes that “organizations closely tied to the Obama administration” have led the charge. Kredo cites the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Southern Poverty Law Center. He also includes or Anti Defamation League which is currently headed by Jonathan Greenblatt, a former Obama administration official.

Desperate to defend Obama’s major legacy item — the Iran nuclear deal — Team Obama has a strong interest in bringing down John Bolton and Fred Fleitz, as it brought down Michael Flynn. But CAIR, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and even the Washington Post aren’t the FBI. These outfits are just shouting into the wind. But that doesn’t make some of the shouting any less despicable.

There are many places in our government that need to be revamped after the damage done by the last presidential administration. The National Security Council is one of those places. The appointment of Fred Fleitz is definitely a step in the right direction.

 

Circular Logic

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article today about the cancelled 2017 Arctic expedition of the University of Manitoba.

The article reports:

The University of Manitoba has canceled its 2017 Arctic expedition because there is too much ice to execute the mission safely. The U of M headlines: “Large Canadian Arctic climate change study cancelled due to climate change.”

So too much ice is the result of climate change? I thought we were concerned about global warming. Generally speaking, global warming does not result in more ice.

After explaining how the extreme ice conditions made the expedition impossible, the University of Manitoba explains:

This experience, and climate change conditions currently affecting Churchill, Man., clearly illustrates that Canada is ill prepared to deal with the realities of climate change.

Someone needs to explain to these scientists that the climate has been changing constantly (and cyclically) since earth began. I refuse to believe climate predictions from people who have been consistently wrong for more than forty years. Does anyone remember ‘the coming ice age‘ headlines of the seventies?

 

 

 

 

Where Are The Fact Checkers?

On Saturday, John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story about one of Hillary Clinton’s recent stories. For whatever reason, the mainstream media never bothered to fact check the story. The article at Power Line pointed out some of the more obvious errors.

The story had to do with Hillary Clinton taking the LSAT (the exam required to get into Law School). She claims that she took the LSAT at Harvard where she encountered a barrage of male chauvinism. The first obvious problem with the story is that Hillary attended Wellesley College. Did Wellesley students take the LSAT at Harvard? Maybe. Maybe not.

The second problem with the story is that she claims that she and her friend were some of the only women in the room and were subjected to heckling by the men in the room.

The article reminds us:

Hillary was a senior during the 1968-1969 school year, and presumably took the LSAT in the fall of 1968. Women were not exactly pioneers in the law business at that time. Seven percent of the first year law class of 1969 was female, a percentage that rose rapidly over the next few years.

She included the following statement in her story:

One of them even said: ‘If you take my spot, I’ll get drafted, and I’ll go to Vietnam, and I’ll die.’ And they weren’t kidding around. It was intense. It got very personal.

Either the man was misinformed or she is lying. Take your pick. This is the background:

Her senior year began in autumn, 1968. She says she was a senior during this harrowing experience, which is when the LSAT is normally taken. But the LBJ administration ended all graduate school deferments on February 16, 1968, except for medical, dental and divinity students, when Hillary was still a junior in college.

Hillary also told this story to New York Magazine in 2016.

Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the truth is even more questionable than her relationship with Bill Clinton.

 

The Fight For Honest News Continues

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story today about Sharyl Attkisson, the investigative reporter who resigned from CBS’s Washington Bureau in March of this year.

Ms. Attkisson tells her story in her book Stonewalled: My Fight For the Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.

In the book, Ms. Attkisson describes the hacking of her computer while she was at CBS:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

It is scary that our government is involved in this sort of thing.

John Hinderaker comments on Ms. Attkisson’s story:

If the Obama administration hacked into a reporter’s computers, used them to spy on her, and even prepared to frame her for a potential criminal prosecution by planting classified documents, aren’t we looking at the biggest scandal in American history? Perhaps I’m forgetting something, but I can’t come up with anything to equal the stunning lawlessness on display here–if what Attkisson says is true (which I don’t doubt), and if the administration is the guilty party.

John Hinderaker suggests that she file a lawsuit against the offending agency. Ms. Attkisson’s story is another example of a government that is out of control.

It’s Only Unfair When The Other Guys Do It

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about a video  Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, has done for the Democrat Senatorial Campaign. The video warns that if the Republicans take over the Senate, they might use a “tricky, little-known maneuver” to “ram through” their “right-wing policies” with only 51 votes, instead of the 60 votes “usually required” in the Senate. In case you have forgotten, that ‘tricky little-known maneuver’ is called reconciliation and was used by the Democrats to pass ObamaCare.

On October, 18, 2011, James Capretta posted an article at National Review which stated the following:

Without reconciliation, Obamacare would not have become law at all. It’s true that the main Obamacare structure was passed by the Senate in December 2009 under normal rules for legislative consideration. That’s because Democrats at that time had 60 votes (including two independent senators who caucus with them). They didn’t need to resort to reconciliation to pass the bill as long as  all 60 of their senators stuck together and supported passage, which they did.

But then Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate race in January 2010; the Democrats lost their 60-vote supermajority and could no longer close off debate on legislation without the help of at least one Republican senator.

At that point, the president and his allies had two choices. They could compromise with Republicans and bring back a bill to the Senate that could garner a large bipartisan majority. Or they could ignore the election results in Massachusetts and pull an unprecedented legislative maneuver, essentially switching from regular order to reconciliation at the eleventh hour, thereby bypassing any need for Republican support. As they had done at every other step in the process, the Democrats chose the partisan route. They created a separate bill, with scores and scores of legislative changes that essentially became the vehicle for a House-Senate conference on the legislation. That bill was designated a reconciliation bill. Then they passed the original Senate bill through the House on the explicit promise that it would be immediately amended by this highly unusual reconciliation bill, which then passed both the House and Senate a few days later, on an entirely party-line vote.

The article at Power Line states:

Reich knows all of this, but he is secure in the knowledge that the Democrats’ rank and file, including the donors to whom MoveOn’s video is addressed, are ignorant of the most basic facts of government and do not have memories that reach back to the distant past of 2010. So there is no effective constraint on dishonesty if you are a Democrat bent on fundraising.

In order to survive, a representative republic needs an informed electorate. It is unfortunate that at the moment America does not have one.

Hopefully This Bad Behavior Will Not Be Successful And Thus Will Not Be Repeated

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about the continuing Democrat party attacks on Charles and David Koch. The article reminds us that “It is rare for the Democratic Party to send out a fundraising email that fails to invoke the specter of the “Koch brothers,” who are treated essentially as bogeymen.”

The article reports:

This is unprecedented in our history. Never before has a political party based a campaign on demonizing individual, private citizens who hold opposing beliefs and who exercise their First Amendment right to participate in the political process. In my view, it would be a very bad thing if attacks like those the Democrats have made against Charles and David Koch–which, frankly, border on the insane–were to become the norm.

Charles and David Koch are American citizens who have been very successful in business and are exercising their right to free speech. To attack them for their wealth and involvement in politics is an example of class envy at its worst. Hopefully the attack will not be successful and will not be repeated in future campaigns. The politics of pitting one American against another in the way the Democrats have done is very unattractive.

The Pictures Tell The Story

As President Obama goes around the country praising the economic growth in America, there is another side of the story.

Yesterday, John Hinderaker at Power Line posted the following charts:

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 3.41.36 PM

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The charts are taken from a booklet put out by the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee. The booklet includes another chart which explains the low unemployment numbers that were released today–the workforce has significantly decreased. If the unemployment rate reflected the number of workers that have left the work force, the number would be considerably higher.

workforceparticipationratePlease follow the link above to the booklet to see the eleven charts that explain what is happening to the American economy and to the Middle Class in America.

The Initial Case Against The Internal Revenue Service

As the investigation into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues and the Democrats continue to obstruct the investigation, there is one part of the investigation that is finished.

Scott Johnston at Power Line reported yesterday that under a consent judgment entered earlier this week, the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The IRS released the donor list of NOM to a gay rights group that opposed the legislation NOM was supporting.

The article reports:

NOM’s statement on the settlement is posted here. The statement quotes NOM chairman John Eastman: “In the beginning, the government claimed that the IRS had done nothing wrong and that NOM itself must have released our confidential information. Thanks to a lot of hard work, we’ve forced the IRS to admit that they in fact were the ones to break the law and wrongfully released this confidential information.” Hmmmm.

That sounds strangely similar to what is happening in Washington in the investigation of the IRS’s targeting of the Tea Party.

The article at Power Line concludes:

Reminder: The charge that Richard Nixon “endeavored” to misuse the IRS made its way into the second of the three articles of impeachment voted against him by the House Judiciary Committee. Nixon’s efforts to misuse the IRS were futile. They went nowhere. Nixon and his henchmen desired the IRS to “screw” their political opponents, but their efforts were a pathetic failure.

Nixon henchman Jack Caulfield astutely complained that the IRS was a “monstrous bureaucracy…dominated and controlled by Democrats.” As we have come to see, Caulfield was on to something. By contrast with Nixon’s failures to misuse the IRS, the IRS has very effectively “screwed” Obama’s political opponents, and we have yet to learn what the president knew and when he knew it.

The War On The Koch Brothers Continues

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about Harry Reid and the Democrat Party‘s continuing war on the Koch brothers. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will appear at a screening of the movie, “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition.” The screening will take place Tuesday evening in the Capitol Visitor Center.The movie is a documentary that Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) participated in.

Think about this a minute. A sitting Senate Majority Leader is putting the power of his office behind an attack on two successful American businessmen who have not broken any laws. What in the world is this about? It’s about the fact that the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United broke the monopoly that labor unions had on campaign donations. Notice that the attack is on the Koch brothers, no mention is made of the impact money from George Soros or other left-leaning millionaires has had on American political campaigns.

Because it’s Friday, and we should have at least a little fun, I present to you a video from YouTube which adds entertainment value to the problem:

Enjoy.

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It Took A While, But The Truth Is Out

This post is based on two articles–one at Power Line by John Hinderaker, and one by Sharyl Attkisson at sharylattkisson.com.  Both articles deal with the cover-up of what happened in Benghazi in September 2011.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a picture of the memo that called for the misleading talking points:

BenghaziMemoThere is a second memo between Susan Rice and Eric Pelofsky shown in the John Hinderaker article. This memo expresses concern over the fate of the ambassador.

John Hinderaker observes:

The other striking fact about the emails is the complete absence of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Maybe someone was keeping them informed, but they are never mentioned in the emails (except when someone prepares a statement to be issued under their names). During the crucial hours, they are never referred to. There is no suggestion that they are playing a part; that they are in the loop; that they are making decisions; or that they are, in any way, important players. Maybe there are more emails, not yet disclosed, that would reflect their roles. Or maybe they really were ciphers–seat warmers with no concerns beyond the political, not expected to do anything in an hour of crisis.

Sharyl Attkisson reports:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told me today that the government apparently tried to keep the Rhodes email out of Congress and the public’s hands by classifying it after-the-fact.

“They retroactively changed the classification,” Chaffetz says. “That was an unclassified document and they changed it to classified.”  

 In the past month, the government has supplied 3,200 new Benghazi-related documents under Congressional subpoena. In some instances, Congressional members and their staff are only permitted to see the documents during certain time periods in a review room, and cannot remove them or make copies.

 Chaffetz says that the State Department redacted more material on the copies provided to Congress than on those that it was forced to provide to JudicialWatch.

 One of the most heavily-redacted email exchanges is entitled, “FOX News: US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm.” The Fox News article was circulated among dozens of officials including Rhodes and then-Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough but the content of their email discussion is hidden.

The White House lied about Benghazi and then covered up its lies. The lies were told for political purposes–it was the middle of an election campaign. This is an impeachable offense, but America does not have the stomach for impeachment right now. It would be a mistake for the Republicans to go down that road at all. However, an effort should be made to get this story into the mainstream media and make sure Americans are aware that they have been lied to and are still being lied to. The only reason we have these emails is the work of Judicial Watch.

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A Scandal Under The Radar

John Hinderaker at Power Line has posted a number of articles about the use of the Washington Post by the Democrat party to attack the Koch brothers about the Keystone Pipeline. Never mind that the Koch brothers have no connection to the Pipeline or that building it would not help their business, the Washington Post still reported supposed connections as fact. I haven’t written about the scandal because it is complicated and hard to detail in a concise manner. However, John Hinderaker appeared on Fox News and explained it beautifully.

The video is posted on YouTube:

This is an example of why many Americans, including myself, do not trust the mainstream media.

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The Timeline Of The IRS Scandal

This article has two sources, an article posted in the Wall Street Journal yesterday and an article posted by Scott Johnson at Power Line today. Both articles printed the timeline of events surrounding the IRS’s attempt to curtail the free speech of groups that opposed the Obama Administration.

One of the most telling events on the timeline is from the Wall Street Journal article:

• Feb. 11, 2010: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) says he will introduce legislation known as the Disclose Act to place new restrictions on some political activity by corporations and force more public disclosure of contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations. Mr. Schumer says the bill is intended to “embarrass companies” out of exercising the rights recognized in Citizens United. “The deterrent effect should not be underestimated,” he said.

All of this was in response to the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, which allowed corporations to make political donations. This ruling finally leveled the playing field–the unions had been contributing massive amounts of money to political campaigns for years. (See rightwinggranny.com). The actions of the IRS were an attempt to undo the leveling of the playing field that occurred with the Citizens United decision.

Please follow one of the links above to see the timeline. It paints a picture of a genuine attempt to limit free speech in America.

The President may or may not have given any direct orders regarding the use of the IRS to limit free speech, but the ending paragraph of the Wall Street Journal article truly sums up what happened:

In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.

Unfortunately we are dealing with a President who chooses to act more like a king than a president.

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A Victim Of IRS Targeting Speaks Out

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story today about the testimony recently  given by Catherine Engelbrecht before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Some of Mrs. Engelbrecht’s testimony is reported in the article:

In nearly two decades of running our small business, my husband and I never dealt with any government agency, outside of filing our annual tax returns. We had never been audited, we had never been investigated, but all that changed upon submitting applications for the non-profit statuses of True the Vote and King Street Patriots. Since that filing in 2010, my private businesses, my nonprofit organizations, and family have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry by federal agencies.

* In 2011, my personal and business tax returns were audited by the Internal Revenue Service, each audit going back for a number of years.

* In 2012, my business was subjected to inspection by OSHA, on a select occasion when neither my husband nor I were present, and though the agency wrote that it found nothing serious or significant, it still issued fines in excess of $20,000.

* In 2012 and again in 2013 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms conducted comprehensive audits at my place business.

* Beginning in 2010, the FBI contacted my nonprofit organization on six separate occasions – wanting to cull through membership manifests in conjunction with domestic terrorism cases. They eventually dropped all matters and have now redacted nearly all my files.

The story continues:

I also refuse to let a precedent be set that allows Members of Congress, particularly the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to misrepresent this governing body in an effort to demonize and intimidate citizens. Three times, Representative Elijah Cummings sent letters to True the Vote, demanding much of the same information that the IRS had requested. Hours after sending letters, he would appear on cable news and publicly defame me and my organization. Such tactics are unacceptable. It is for these reasons that immediately after this hearing I am filing a formal complaint with the House Office of Congressional Ethics and asking for a full investigation.

If we as Americans continue to elect people who engage in this sort of behavior, we will all eventually pay the price. This is a direct attack on someone who was attempting to insure that an election was honest, and they were attacked by the government. Is that the country we want to live in?

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Lawyers Are Revolting Against Attorney General Holder

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about a letter the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys sent Holder three days ago. The letter was in reference to the Attorney General‘s support of the Durbin-Lee bill, which would overturn the current mandatory minimum sentences not only for marijuana violations but for all drug offenses, including major and repeat trafficking in heroin, meth, PCP and other extremely dangerous, and often lethal, drugs.

The article quotes the letter:

We believe the merits of mandatory minimums are abundantly clear. They reach to only the most serious of crimes. They target the most serious criminals. They provide us leverage to secure cooperation from defendants. They help to establish uniform and consistency in sentencing. And foremost, they protect law-abiding citizens and help to hold crime in check.

The Justice Department under Attorney General Holder has a history of ignoring laws and practicing unequal justice. Hopefully, if this law is defeated, the Justice Department will continue to do its job in accordance with the current law.

Putting drug dealers back on the streets more quickly does not help our society in any way.

 

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About The Claim That Women Are Paid Less Than Men Who Do The Same Job

First of all, if there were real wage equality, mothers would be the highest paid workers ever–they are on call 24/7, often act as family CEO’s, peacemakers, custodial staff, grounds keepers, in charge of grocery logistics, family nurse, and often hold a job outside the home as well. If there were true wage equality, mothers would make more than most company presidents.

However, in regard to President Obama’s statement on Tuesday night that “You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.” This is simply not true.

The argument against this statement comes from three articles from people with very different political persuasions. On November 5,2012, Real Clear Politics posted an article by Dean Kalahar, on January 29, 2014, the American Spectator posted an article by Natalie deMacedo, and on January 30, 2014, Power Line posted an article by Scott Johnson.

All three articles said essentially the same thing–the figure of 77 cents on the dollar does not represent equal work–it represents the overall workplace and does not take into consideration the fact that many women work part time or that men tend to go into the higher paying professions–engineering, medicine (as doctors), etc.

What should be considered here is that women don’t always have the luxury of dedicating themselves to the high-paying corporate fast track. Women have to make a choice of priorities–motherhood versus career. While many women in lucrative careers can afford good child care, women in jobs in industries that do not pay as well often have difficult choices to make. That is not the government’s fault or the government’s responsibility–it is simply the way that things are.

Many years ago, I spent a few years working as a temporary employee. I learned a few things along the way. One of the things I learned was that pay scales in various industries vary a great deal. I have no idea why this is, but it was very obvious during the early 90’s in New England. I definitely considered that fact when I finally accepted a full-time job. It is also good to remember that a good statistician can make any given set of statistics say anything he wants them to say. The 77 cents on the dollar quote is a good example of that.

Just for the record, this is the statistic that was not cited (from the American Spectator):

Women congregate in different professions than men do, and the largely male professions tend to be higher-paying. If you account for those differences, and then compare a woman and a man doing the same job, the pay gap narrows to 91 percent. So, you could accurately say in that Obama ad that, “women get paid 91 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”

Many men tend to go into science and engineering fields which generally pay more. Women who stay at home with children are factored in as earning nothing. Therefore, the 77 cent stat is a misleading one.

Rosin adds that the reason women are making less could largely depend on more complicated issues, such as maternity leave, marriage, and a lack of childcare options. Debates on those topics can be saved for another day.

Remember, any good statistician can make any given set of statistics say anything he wants them to say!

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What Spending Cuts?

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line about the omnibus spending bill recently passed.

The article states:

…Which illustrates, for the umpteenth time, a point I have made over and over: budget/spending deals that purport to dictate spending many years into the future are a joke. No Congress can bind a future Congress. When a Congressman tells you that a purported ten-year deal cuts spending in the “out years,” grab your wallet and run. The out years never come.

***Because the defense cap was lower in 2014 under the original Budget Control Act, defense spending does not meaningfully increase from 2013 enacted levels. Nondefense spending, however, receives an increase that is 10 times larger than defense. The 5 percent rate of growth of nondefense spending is almost three times the projected 1.7 percent rate of inflation (see table below).

Spending Chart 02

As you can see, the budget does not decrease–it increases! Then why is the only actual cut the decrease in the cost of living adjustment (COLA) to military retirement?

The article concludes:

The other point that emerges from these spending numbers is that discretionary spending is relentlessly being squeezed out by entitlements. The real constraint on the growth of both defense and non-defense discretionary spending is the explosion in entitlements–Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and now Obamacare. With the Democrats vowing to fight to the last ditch to resist any sort of entitlement reform, and with federal debt having risen to more than $17 trillion–another budget-crusher as soon as interest rates rise again–there is simply no money for the social spending boondoggles that the Democrats would dearly love to finance. I suppose we should count our blessings.

***This paragraph is taken from a Senate Budget Committee report.

 

 

 

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Did We Mean To Give Fallujah To Al Qaeda?

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story today about the fact that Al Qaeda has taken over the city of Fallujah in Iraq. American lives were sacrificed to free that city from terrorists, and now it has fallen back into the hands of Al Qaeda.

A friend who is more familiar with Iraq than I am tells me that the fall of Iraq was inevitable whether America left forces there or not. I am not so sure.

The article reports:

A rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday, raising its flag over government buildings and declaring an Islamic state in one of the most crucial areas that U.S. troops fought to pacify before withdrawing from Iraq two years ago. …

In Fallujah, where Marines fought the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war in 2004, the militants appeared to have the upper hand, underscoring the extent to which the Iraqi security forces have struggled to sustain the gains made by U.S. troops before they withdrew in December 2011. …

Events Friday suggested the [Marines’] fight may have been in vain.

“At the moment, there is no presence of the Iraqi state in Fallujah,” said a local journalist who asked not to be named because he fears for his safety. “The police and the army have abandoned the city, al-Qaeda has taken down all the Iraqi flags and burned them, and it has raised its own flag on all the buildings.”

I may be naive, but I believe that the people of Iraq would have stood with us to gain their freedom had we chosen to stay and fight the evil that is Al Qaeda with them, I believe that the country could have become a democracy. Now we will never know.

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