When Congress Becomes A Joke

PJ Media posted an article today about some recent statements by Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

The article reports:

Waters is the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee — the committee that regulates the banks.

During a hearing examining the practices of some of the nation’s biggest banks, Waters complained to a panel of seven bank CEOs that there are more than 44 million Americans that owe … $1.56 trillion in student loan debt.”

She added, “Last year, one million student loan borrowers defaulted, which is on top of the one million borrowers who defaulted the year before.”

She then demanded to know what they intended to do about this massive problem. “What are you guys doing to help us with this student loan debt?” she asked. “Who would like to answer first? Mr. Monahan, big bank.”

I guess she wasn’t paying attention when the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA) which put the government in charge of all student loans. The band CEO’s she was questioning both stated that they had stopped making student loans long before 2010.

The article also states:

Waters then quickly changed the subject to small businesses.

The Obama administration put the federal government in charge of student lending in 2010, with the intention of saving taxpayer dollars by “cutting out the middleman,” as President Barack Obama put it.

According to the Washington Times, “student loan debt exploded from $154.9 billion in 2009 to $1.1 trillion at the end of 2017”  with current student debt “estimated at more than $1.5 trillion.”

Earlier in the hearing, Waters grilled the bank execs about their interactions with Russia.

This woman serves in Congress. She continues to be re-elected. That is beyond sad.

Misleading The Public About International Affairs

NBC News posted an article today about the relationship between President Trump and the nation of Turkey.

The article reports:

As Trump administration officials presided over the second day of an international conference in Warsaw dominated by calls to ratchet up pressure on Iran, one longtime U.S. ally and NATO member was noticeably absent — Turkey.

Snubbing the gathering in Poland, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday attended a rival conference in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where he planned to meet his Russian and Iranian counterparts to work out a final settlement of the war in Syria.

The dueling summits illustrate President Donald Trump’s struggle to forge a united front against Iran, and reflect Turkey’s drift away from Washington as it finds common ground with Moscow and Tehran, experts and former officials said.

These three paragraphs are totally misleading and paint a negative picture of President Trump’ foreign policy that is totally inaccurate. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became President of Turkey in 2014. He had previously served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014. As he moves Turkey in the direction of an Islamic State, it is only natural that his friendly relationship with America would deteriorate rapidly.

On July 28, 2014, The Jerusalem Post reported:

Harold Rhode, a senior fellow at the New-York-based Gatestone Institute and a former adviser on Islamic affairs in the office of the American secretary of defense, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Sunday that the real issue in the ongoing conflict is that Turkey and Qatar are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in their goals.

“[Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan has been associated with the Muslim Brotherhood long before he was prime minister,” Rhode said.

It should now be clear to all that Erdogan “is now out of the bag,” Rhode said, adding that US President Barack Obama does not speak to the Turkish leader anymore despite previously describing him as one of his closest friends among the world’s leaders.

“Erdogan is doing whatever he can to help Hamas,” he said, asserting that it will only hurt the Palestinian people in the end.

On January 7, 2019, Clare Lopez posted an article at the Center for Security Policy that stated:

As National Security Advisor John Bolton heads to Turkey today for discussions about President Trump’s announced decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syrian battle spaces, he might question Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about his expressed intent to re-establish the Ottoman Empire and how Erdogan calculates U.S. policy in the region to figure into that ambition.

He might cite from Erdogan’s February 2018 assertion that “modern Turkey is a ‘continuation’ of the Ottoman Empire,” or ask exactly what Erdogan meant when, in November 2018 he declared that “Turkey is bigger than Turkey; just know this. We cannot be trapped inside 780,000 kilometers [Turkey’s total area].” He might perhaps ask also what exactly Erdogan meant by threatening the U.S. with an “Ottoman Slap,” in reference to American support for Kurdish forces fighting against the Islamic State.

Then there was the November 2018 “International Islamic Union Congress,” held in Istanbul. Headed by Erdogan’s chief military advisor, Adnan Tanriverdi, the event’s participants endorsed the aim of “unity of Islam” through establishing the “Confederation of Islamic Countries.” It was not entirely clear how or if such a “Confederation” would differ from a Caliphate or Islamic State.

Clearly, U.S. objectives for the region are not the same as Turkey’s.

I don’t think President Trump is the problem in our relationship with Turkey.

A Relevant Political Strategy?

Every Friday I have a brief conversation with Lockwood Phillips that airs on 107.1 WTKF some time between 6 and 7 pm. This week we talked about the Cloward-Piven political strategy. This strategy was developed by Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven at Columbia University in May 1966. A description of the strategy was posted in the magazine “The Nation” with the title, “The weight of the poor: A strategy to end poverty.” I think ending poverty is a wonderful idea, although I don’t think it is possible. Deuteronomy 15:11 says, “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” If you believe the Bible, we will always have poor people; it is our responsibility to treat them kindly and help them–not enable them to stay in poverty.

So what is the Cloward-Piven strategy to end poverty? It is a political plan to overload the U.S. public welfare system so that it collapses and then replace it with a system that provides a guaranteed annual income for everyone. Theoretically this will end poverty. Some of the people who have espoused this strategy are Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Bernadine Dohrn, Frank Marshall Davis, and George Soros. Many of these people were very instrumental in the political career of former President Barack Obama.

So let’s look at where our welfare system is now (the figures below are from 2015):

  • Roughly $1 trillion annually is given to more than 107 million Americans who receive some type of government benefits–not including Social Security, Medicare or unemployment
  • Before President Obama took office there were 26 million recipients of food stamps. In 2015, there were 47 million. The number peaked in 2013, at 47.6 million. In July 2017, the number was 42.6. Economic policies make a difference.

In 2012, Forbes posted the following about President Obama’s welfare society:

  • An increase of 18 million people, to 46 million Americans now receiving food stamps;
  • A 122 percent increase in food-stamp spending to an estimated $89 billion this year from $40 billion in 2008;
  • An increase of 3.6 million people receiving Social Security disability payments;
  • A 10 million person increase in the number of individuals receiving welfare, to 107 million, or more than one-third of the U.S. population;
  •  A 34 percent, $683 billion reduction in the adjusted gross income of the top 1 percent to $1.3 trillion in 2009 (latest data) from its 2007 peak.

And let’s not forget new entitlements like Obamacare, which will result in government expansion and expenditures by 2022 to the tune of:

  • Federal expenditures on Obamacare will total $2.3 trillion, a $1.4 trillion increase from the program’s initial estimates;
  • The combination of budget cuts and sequestration will reduce defense spending by $1 trillion, while total government spending will increase by $1.1 trillion;
  • Taxes will be increased by $1.8 trillion;
  • Yet, the national debt will increase by another $11 trillion.

The Heritage Foundation summarized well: “In 1964, programs for the poor consumed 1.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Today, spending on welfare programs is 13 times greater than it was in 1964 and consumes over 5 percent of GDP. Spending per poor person in 2008 amounted to around $16,800 in programmatic benefits.”

How will illegal immigration impact these numbers? What is the current financial situation of California? Do we want the financial situation in California to become the financial situation of America?

There are people in our government working behind the scenes to implement the Cloward-Piven strategy. The honestly believe that taking money from the people who earn it and giving it to the people who did not will end poverty. Most of the people working toward this goal are quite well off and somehow figure that their wealth will not be impacted. I guess if they succeed and are in control, it is possible that their wealth will not be impacted. Good luck to the rest of us.

 

Things Haven’t Changed, But You Wouldn’t Know It If You Watch The Mainstream Media

This article is based on two articles, one from Breitbart posted today and one from The San Diego Union-Tribune, dated November 25, 2013. If you watch the mainstream media, recently you heard how inhumane it was to use tear gas on people trying to break through the southern border of America. No one mentioned that this was not the first time this approach was used, or that tear gas was probably the most harmless approach available to the border agents that were faced with people charging the border.

Breitbart reported today:

Five years almost to the day before President Donald Trump’s border officers blocked migrants with tear gas, authorities under President Barack Obama used identical tactics along the same stretch of border near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, according to 2013 press accounts.

From The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2013:

A group of about 100 people trying to illegally cross the border Sunday near the San Ysidro port of entry threw rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents, who responded by using pepper spray and other means to force the crowd back into Mexico, federal officials said.

The incident has raised concerns among advocates on both sides of the immigration debate, as well as Border Patrol representatives.

…As the crowd kept advancing and throwing rocks and bottles, she said, more agents came to the scene and used other “intermediate use-of-force devices” to push back the group. The agents also contacted Mexican law enforcement.

Tijuana’s top police officer, Public Safety Secretary J. Alberto Capella, said “There is no information that we can provide.” He referred questions to the U.S. Border Patrol.

The spokesman for Tijuana police, Rafael Morales, said the agency’s officers did not intervene and had no knowledge of the incident.

Caston said several agents were struck in the arms and legs with rocks, and that one agent was hit in the head with a filled water bottle.

“While attacks on Border Patrol agents are not uncommon, the agents showed great restraint when faced with the dangers of this unusually large group, and fortunately no one was serious injured,” said Paul Beeson, San Diego sector chief for the Border Patrol.

The agency did not specify the time of Sunday’s incident.

This type of rush on the border has not been seen since the late 1980s and early ’90s, when groups of border-crossers would run into the U.S. while agents tried to apprehend as many people as possible. The practice mostly disappeared after Operation Gatekeeper began in 1994 and brought with it tall fences, walls and more agents.

How did the press treat President Obama during this incident versus how the press is treating President Trump during the recent incident? Double standard anyone?

Did You Know That Today Was “Equal Pay Day?”

Equal Pay Day is a day invented by those who still believe that women are paid less than men.

A website called nolo.com reminds us:

A federal law, the Equal Pay Act (EPA), requires employers to pay men and women equally for doing the same work — equal pay for equal work. The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act and can be found at 29 U.S.C. § 206. Although the Equal Pay Act protects both women and men from sex discrimination in pay rates, it was passed to help rectify the wage disparity experienced by women workers, and in practice, this law has almost always been applied to situations where women are paid less than men for doing similar jobs.

If you are a woman who believes you are being paid less than a man for equal work, you have legal recourse.

Today The Washington Free Beacon reported the following:

The gender pay gap in Sen. Elizabeth Warren‘s (D., Mass.) office is nearly 10 percent wider than the national average, meaning women in the Massachusetts Democrat’s office will have to wait longer than most women across the country to recognize Equal Pay Day.

Last year, Senator Warren tweeted out the following:

Evidently, the rule of equal pay does not seem to apply to Democrats:

“The game is rigged against women and families, and it has to stop,” Warren continued. “It is 2016, not 1916, and it’s long past time to eliminate gender discrimination in the workplace.”

Historically, 1995 was the last year where the national pay gap was comparable to the 2016 gap in Warren’s office, according to data collected by the group that founded Equal Pay Day.

Warren is far from the only politician who pays women less than men.

Most notable on the list is failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who paid women less than men first as a senator, then as secretary of state, and as a presidential candidate. Her campaign viewed her tendency to pay women less than men as a campaign vulnerability.

Former President Barack Obama regularly spoke out about the gender pay gap, but women working at the White House were paid less than men.

Also paying women less than men were Democratic Govs. Jon Bel Edwards (La.), who last month held an “equal pay summit,” and Andrew Cuomo (N.Y.), who has signed two executive orders this year to eliminate the wage gap.

It seems odd to me that the political party that makes such a fuss over women’s issues accepts the fact that some of its leaders choose to ignore the law that say women should receive equal pay to their male counterparts.