Keeping Up With The Story

In August 2014, I posted an article about the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama Administration distributing funds from fines imposed on banks to political leftist groups. The article explains that the Bank of America was forced to pay fines that Countrywide Mortgage and Merrill Lynch had incurred before they were owned by Bank of America.

The article explains what happened to these fines:

The groups benefitting from the lawsuit, according to Investor’s Business Daily, are the National Council of La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. The money also went to “delinquent borrowers” in Chicago, Oakland, Detroit, Philadelphia and other major “Democrat strongholds.”

“This is a wealth redistribution scheme disguised as a lawsuit,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told The Daily Caller. “And who benefits from the distribution? Interest groups the administration relies on, outside interest groups, allies and politicians in communities trying to benefit as well.”

…La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America have all intimidated banks to give loans to minorities, even if they can’t afford to pay them back.

This was the government equivalent of a mob shakedown.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about this practice.

The article reports:

Emails written by Obama administration Department of Justice officials confirm reports the agency engaged in a systemic effort to funnel money to liberal advocacy organizations from settlements reached with big banks.

The documents, obtained by the House Judiciary Committee as part of an ongoing investigation, reveal the Obama Justice Department effectively skirted Congress’s budgetary authority by requiring that major financial institutions donate to a group of affordable housing nonprofits and legal advocacy organizations as part of settlement agreements resulting from predatory mortgage lending practices.

The internal DOJ documents represent the latest revelation in a two-year investigation spearheaded by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

The article at The Daily Caller reports that this practice has been stopped:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo banning the DOJ from entering into third party settlement agreements after substantial evidence emerged implicating the Obama DOJ in such practices.

“When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people — not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power,” Sessions said.

The more I learn about some of the actions of the Obama Administration, the more I wonder why Congress did not address some of the wrongdoings as they were going on.

After More Than A Year Of Questions, There Are Still No Answers

Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate ties between President Trump and Russia, possibly involved in sabotaging the election process. Historically, this was the excuse put out by the Hillary campaign when they lost, but the media liked it, James Comey played along, and we now have a special prosecutor. One of the questions in the part of the investigation that has been made public is the dossier on President Trump that was used as an excuse for the electronic surveillance on the Trump campaign staff and Trump cabinet before and after the election. Where did that file come from, how did the media get hold of it, and who authorized it? Even the Wall Street Journal is commenting on the media’s lack on interest in finding the answers to these questions. The article is behind the subscribers’ wall, but here is the link.

The Daily Caller has also taken an interest in the story. They posted an article today about the media cover up of the history of the dossier.

The article in the Daily Caller notes:

What’s significant about the newspaper’s piece is that Fusion GPS was co-founded by three former Journal reporters, Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch and Tom Catan. But that relationship provides no cover for the Fusion trio.

“The Beltway media move in a pack, and that means ignoring some stories while leaping on others. Consider the pack’s lack of interest in the story of GPS Fusion [sic] and the ‘dossier’ from former spook Christopher Steele,” writes the Journal’s editorial board, which is considered right-of-center on the political spectrum.

“Americans don’t need a Justice Department coverup abetted by Glenn Simpson’s media buddies.”

The dossier, which Steele began working on after being hired by Fusion GPS last June, has become a centerpiece of the ongoing investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian operatives.

Fusion was working for an ally of Hillary Clinton’s when it hired Steele to look into Trump’s activities in Russia. The result was a 35-page dossier consisting of 17 memos dated from June 20 to Dec. 13 containing a slew of salacious allegations about Trump’s personal activities in Russia. It also alleges that the Trump campaign was exchanging information with the Kremlin to help the election effort.

The article reminds us that when Republicans have attempted to investigate the origins and history of the dossier, they have been met with opposition from the Democrats. Not that opposition from the Democrats is anything new, but you would think that the Democrats might want to learn the truth about this matter.

The article concludes:

“The real question is why Democrats and Fusion seem not to want to tell the public who requested the dossier or what ties Fusion GPS boss Glenn Simpson had with the Russians in 2016,” they write.

Fusion GPS has maintained close ties to reporters at the major news outlets, not just on the Trump-Russia story but for other investigations conducted for corporate and political clients.

During the campaign last year, Fusion GPS and Simpson shared some of Steele’s reporting with reporters at The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo! News and Mother Jones. Steele has revealed in a court in London, where he is based, that Fusion GPS directed him to brief reporters on some of his findings. He has also said that Fusion directed him to provide some memos in the dossier to Arizona Sen. John McCain.

I totally understand why globalists in Washington would not want Donald Trump to become President and why they would not want his agenda to succeed. I guess I just thought that there might be a few more honest people in Washington who really wanted what was best for the country, rather than for their own personal ambitions. Obviously, the few honest people who are there are going to have to fight very hard to drain the swamp. As Harry Truman once said, “You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.”

Be Careful What You Say And Who You Say It To

Project Veritas has struck again. The Daily Caller posted a video of a New York Times bragging about opposing President Trump.

This is one of the videos involved, currently posted at YouTube:

I have embedded this video in case it disappears from YouTube.

The article further reports:

Conservative activist group Project Veritas released the video on Tuesday, showing Dudich joking about being objective, before saying: “No, I’m not. That’s why I’m here.” Dudich emphasized his influence within the Times newsroom, saying that his “imprint is on every video we do.”

The editor also claimed to be a former antifa member who frequently assaulted alleged neo-Nazis. “Yeah, I used to be an antifa punk once upon a time,” Dudich says, referring to the militant far-left movement that has repeatedly attacked conservatives and Trump supporters.

Are you still willing to believe what The New York Times is reporting?

In case you are not convinced, this is the longer version of the video:

Again, it is embedded here in case YouTube takes it down.

The Cost Of Keeping ObamaCare

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about what is happening to the cost of health insurance in Florida.

The article reports:

Obamacare plan premiums may increase an average of 45 percent in Florida next year due to health care insurers rate hike requests, according to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation.

There are six insurers in Florida selling plans on and off the exchanges in 2018 including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Celtic Insurance Company, Florida Health Care Plan, Health First Commercial Plans, Health Options, and Molina Healthcare of Florida.

Molina Healthcare requested the highest rate increase of 71.2 percent. Individuals with this coverage can expect their monthly premium to increase from $402 to $688.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield requested a 38.1 percent increase, Celtic Insurance Company requested a 46.1 percent increase, Florida Health Care Plan requested a 26.5 percent increase, Health First Commercial Plans requested a 39.3 percent increase, and Health Options requested a 36 percent increase.

On average, consumers in Florida can expect their monthly premium to increase from $463 to $671.

Part of the problem is the lack of competition. The article explains:

The Florida office notes declining insurer participation since 2015. In that year there were 21 participating insurers. In 2016 there were 19, in 2017 there were 14, and in 2018 there are 9, which includes the companies that participate off exchange. They also report there will be 42 counties in their state that will only have one health insurer participating on the exchange.

ObamaCare needs to be totally gone. Meanwhile, President Trump is dismantling the parts of it that he can legally dismantle. Since so much of ObamaCare was written as it went along, much of it can easily be eliminated by the Executive Branch. However, the ideal situation would be to get rid of ObamaCare totally and let the free market take over. That would probably result in lower healthcare premiums for everyone.

The Major Scandal The Mainstream Media Is Ignoring

The Congressional Democrat Information Technology scandal has not received a lot of press. The Daily Caller has been investigating it from the beginning. Their latest article was posted yesterday. Some of the excuses given for the misconduct of Imran Awan and his associates make ‘the dog ate my homework’ believable.

The article reports:

Democratic congressional aides made unauthorized access to a House server 5,400 times and funneled “massive” amounts of data off of it. But there’s nothing to see here, Democrats told The Washington Post: They were just storing and then re-downloading homework assignments for Imran Awan’s elementary-school aged kids and family pictures.

A congressional source with direct knowledge of the incident contradicted the Post’s account, saying that now-indicted IT aide Imran Awan and his associates “were moving terabytes off-site so they could quote ‘work on the files’” and that they desperately tried to hide what was on the server when caught, providing police with what law enforcement immediately recognized as falsified evidence and an indication of criminal intent.

…The Post did not note the “massive” outgoing data and unauthorized access until the 40th and 42nd paragraphs of its story, after it had quoted multiple defense attorneys and ventured into a lengthy and seemingly irrelevant but humanizing backstory on Awan’s childhood.

Its print headline was “Evidence Far Exceeds Intrigue” in the probe, yet it quoted only a congressional staffer who, TheDCNF’s congressional source said, would not have been able to make assurances that there was nothing to the criminal investigation, because Congress has been fire walled from the criminal probe since it was turned over.

The Post also did not specify that data was also being backed up online via unofficial Dropbox accounts. Wasserman Schultz has acknowledged that the accounts were used for congressional data, and that she has used the service in violation of House rules “for years.”

The article concludes:

Awan began selling off many of the multiple houses that his family owns around the time he learned he was subject of the cybersecurity probe, and wired money to Pakistan, resulting in Awan and his wife being indicted for bank fraud.

The Post confirmed that Democratic IT aides had no experience, such as Rao Abbas, who worked at McDonald’s. But it did not mention that an Iraqi politician tied to Hezbollah sent $100,000 to a company the family set up while working for Congress, and that Awan had a secret account unknown to authorities, 123@mail.house.gov, that was tied to the name of an intelligence specialist working for Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana. The intelligence specialist denies knowing anything about the account.

This obviously warrants serious investigation. What is Congress doing about it?

Are We Sure We Want To Go Here?

The Daily Caller posted an article today about someone protesting a Hobby Lobby decoration. The decoration had nothing to do with the Christian faith of the owners or their views on marriage–it was a piece of cotton!

The objection was posted on Facebook:

The article includes some of the reaction:

The post received close to 15,000 shares and 160,000 comments. The user, Daniell Rider, then received backlash for her sensitivity and responded to her critics:

All those who are offended by cotton being a decoration need to quit buying any product made of cotton!

And other users quickly came to her defense, one adding:

What difference does it make if it’s a decoration or part of a product. You’re being hypocritical if your offended by cotton being a decoration and not offended by any product made of cotton.

Brutal grammar aside, these people are actually serious. They legitimately want consumers everywhere to stop buying cotton products because cotton “racist.”

Many Americans have lost their ability to reason and replaced it with a giant ability to be offended!

Curiouser and Curiouser

Last Tuesday, The Daily Caller reported that Imran Awan still has a secret email account on the House of Representatives computer system. Mr. Awan has been banned from the congressional network because of a criminal investigation into the alleged cybersecurity violations.

I need to say here that in spite of this blog, I am not a computer person and am not in danger of becoming one. However, I saw “War Games” and remember the comment that programmers often put ‘back doors’ in their programs. I checked with my husband, who is a computer person, and he assured me that programmers do things like that. Therefore, it should not be a surprise to anyone that Mr. Awan set up a secret email account. The article notes that authorities shut down Mr. Awan’s known email account in early February. If The Daily Caller knows about the second account, do the authorities? Now that this story is out, when will the second account be shut down? Are there more accounts? What is being done with the information collected in these accounts?

The story gets even more strange. The article reports:

Imran Awan’s still-active email address is linked to the name of a House staffer who specializes in intelligence and homeland security matters for Indiana Democratic Rep. André CarsonCourt documents and emails obtained by TheDCNF show Awan used the address 123@mail.house.gov in addition to his standard imran.awan@mail.house.gov account.

He and two of his Pakistani-born brothers, as well as his wife, are at the center of an FBI investigation over their IT work with dozens of Democratic congressional offices. Authorities shut down Awan’s standard email account Feb. 2, and he was arrested by the FBI at Dulles International Airport trying to board a flight to his native Pakistan on July 25.

Authorities apparently did not realize Awan has a second account that is not linked to his identity. While his main email address began rejecting mail after it was shut down, the 123 address was still accepting mail Tuesday.

Why doesThe Daily Caller has better investigators than the government?

The article further states:

Until last year, email addresses were created by individual offices, but now members have to request HIR to set up new addresses. Carson’s office is not showing any concern that an indicted IT guy apparently set up a secret email address using the name of his deputy chief of staff, who is also his top intelligence staffer, and that the account is still active. Since the account was still accepting emails as of Tuesday afternoon, it appears Carson’s office has not alerted anyone of the security vulnerability.

I have a feeling that if someone (whoever that someone may be) successfully unravels all the threads in this case, they will have made major progress in draining the swamp that is Washington, D.C. (if they are able to stay alive). That may be the reason most of the media is ignoring something that is major in terms of espionage and national security.

 

When The Numbers Don’t Add Up

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the voter rolls in Rhode Island.

The article reports:

The Providence Journal reports that Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea conducted an audit of the state’s voter registry and identified some 150,000 non-Rhode Islanders registered to vote in the state. Gorbea says this group of non-state residents is primarily composed of citizens who have since moved to other jurisdictions or died and does not suggest widespread fraud.

It’s not fraud if none of them voted, but how do we know how many of them voted?

The article continues:

The Journal previously reported that there were 781,770 registered voters in the state in 2016. As such, the group of non-state residents Gorbea’s audit identified account for 19 percent of all registered voters in Rhode Island.

…Still, Gorbea concedes an inaccurate voter registry jeopardizes the state’s elections.

“[H]aving clean voter lists [is] critical to preserving the integrity of our elections and ensure that elections are fair, fast and accurate,” she said.

One has to wonder why states are not more anxious to clean up their voter rolls.

This is another example of why the Commission on Election Integrity is needed.

Company-Provided Astroturf

Have you ever wondered where all the protesters with the professionally made signs come from? Have you ever wondered how so many people seem to be able to take a day off from work to don silly hats or make noise? Well, today’s Daily Caller has the answer.

The Daily Caller reports:

If you’re looking to stage a march or rally and need fake protesters to legitimize your cause, a company now exists solely to provide you with as many actors as you require.

Crowds on Demand provides its clients with people who will form protests, flash mobs, rallies, paparazzi events and other inventive stunts. The company serves every major U.S city, metro area and small city, and executes clients’ specific plans or provides strategies for more general plans.

“We can organize rallies and get media attention for your causes and candidates,” the Crowds on Demand website claims. “We also assist individuals, companies and political organizations with protests and picketing campaigns. We’ve protested governments, corporations and everything in between.”

The company cites measurable results in ending institutional discrimination, receiving compensation for hundreds of homeowners who bought hazardous land and affecting campaign results. The company specializes in political rallies, but has also been hired by foreign governments ‘to help generate positive receptions for newly elected leaders..’

I don’t know about you, but right now I am feeling manipulated. One of the strengths of America is its people and their right to protest. If you attend a protest, you can sometimes learn about an issue by seeing the people involved and their attitudes.The tons of garbage left behind after the Dakota Access Pipeline protest is a good example of this (article here). ( As an animal lover, I was really bothered by the number of dogs left behind when the protesters left.) Would people genuinely concerned about the environment have left so much garbage behind?

At any rate, we are entering a new political era where protesters can be bought and paid for whenever they are needed to manipulate the American public. Now we not only have fake news, we have fake protests. Buyer beware!

Does The Truth Matter?

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the reporting of the recent shooting in Fresno, California.

The article reports:

The Associated Press edited the words of a Muslim man who allegedly killed three white people in downtown Fresno Tuesday afternoon and shouted “Allahu Akbar!”

The suspect, 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, holds fervent anti-Trump beliefs according to his social media profile, and he told police afterward that he hates white people.

Rather than reporting the gunman’s literal words, however, the AP reported the gunman as saying “God is great.”

If David Duke made a racist statement saying ‘n***s are inferior’, would the media report it as ‘white people are wonderful’? I don’t think so. Yet that is essentially what the Associated Press (AP) did. By translating the phrase into English, the report misleads the reader into believing that some sort of Christian fundamentalist with a grudge against President Trump killed these people. There is no way an ordinary person would interpret this as an act of domestic terrorism by a radical Muslim (which it was) from the AP report.

Americans Are Actually Unified On Some Things

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an editorial written by David Schoenbrod, a Trustee Professor of Law at New York Law School. The editorial is titled, “Washington’s War Against The People.” Professor Schoenbrod makes a few very good points in his editorial. He reminds us that the percentage of Americans who trust Washington to “do the right thing” “just about always” or “most of the time” was 76 percent in 1964. In 2015, that percentage had fallen to 19 percent. So what happened? Those in power in Washington learned a few tricks to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and to increase their own power and wealth. Meanwhile, they began to ignore the wishes and well being of the American people.

The editorial lists some of the ways that those in Washington promise good things while avoiding the blame for bad things:

  1. The Money Trick lets them get credit for tax cuts and spending increases, but shift the blame for the inevitable tax increases and spending cuts to their successors in office when the deficits and debt will become unsustainable.
  2. The Debt Guarantee Trick lets them get support from the too-big-to-fail financial giants whose profits they increase by guaranteeing their debts at little or no cost, but shift the blame for the inevitable bailouts to their successors in office when the speculation encouraged by the cheap debt guarantees will trigger another fiscal crisis and economic crash.
  3. The Federal Mandate Trick lets them get credit for the benefits they require the state and local government to deliver, but shift the blame for the burdens required to deliver those benefits to state and local officials.
  4. The Regulation Trick lets them get credit for granting rights to regulatory protection, but shift the blame for the burdens required to vindicate those rights and the failures to deliver the protection promised to federal agencies.
  5. The War Trick lets members of Congress get credit for having a statute that requires them to take responsibility for going to war, while colluding with the president to evade responsibility for wars that might later prove controversial.  So members of Congress can march in the parade if the war proves popular, but otherwise put the entire blame on the president.
The editorial points out that many Americans believe that Washington insiders have misled or tricked them. That explains why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, both outsiders, received more votes in 2016 than anyone expected.

The current battle is between Washington insiders and the American people. Both Republicans and Democrats have forgotten who they represent. Some elected officials still try to represent the voters, but they are few and far between. The problem is across party lines. The only solution is well-educated voters (which will be a challenge because the mainstream media supports the Washington insiders). However, if it is possible to drain the swamp, I suspect it will have to happen in the next two years. I believe that is the size of the window Donald Trump will be given to accomplish anything.

An Update On An Important Story

On February 5th, I posted a story based on an article in The Daily Caller about three brothers who handled computer issues for some Congress members who were abruptly relieved of their duties.

The Center for Security Policy has some additional information that indicates that these men had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The article reports:

One of the Congressmen who was employing these operatives was Andre Carson. The Center has documented Carson’s extensive and alarming ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in the following dossier: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2015/02/24/center-releases-dossier-documenting-a-house-intelligence-committee-members-extensive-ties-to-the-muslim-brotherhood/

We have also released a montage of relevant videos of Carson speeches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reM5UAXG0sk.x

Please follow the link above to the article at The Center for Security Policy. The article includes a dossier illustrating the history of how these three men gained access to classified information. It is truly disturbing.

Where Is The Mainstream Media?

Somehow the mainstream media missed the following story. I almost did. The story is from August 19th and was posted at Investor’s Business Daily.

The article reports:

Leaked documents released a few days ago provide juicy insider details of how a fabulously rich businessman has been using his money to influence elections in Europe, underwrite an extremist group, target U.S. citizens who disagreed with him, dictate foreign policy, and try to sway a Supreme Court ruling, among other things. Pretty compelling stuff, right?

Not if it involves leftist billionaire George Soros. In this case, the mainstream press couldn’t care less.

On Saturday, a group called DC Leaks posted more than 2,500 documents going back to 2008 that it pilfered from Soros’ Open Society Foundations‘ servers. Since then, the mainstream media have shown zero interest in this gold mine of information.

The article goes on to list some of Mr. Soros’ activities:

As we noted in this space on Monday, the leaked documents show how Soros’ far-flung international organizations attempted to manipulate Europe’s 2014 elections. The “List of European Elections 2014 Projects” details over 90 Soros efforts he had under way that year.

The documents reveal that Soros has poured nearly $4 million into anti-Israel groups, with a goal of “challenging Israel’s racist and anti-democratic policies.”

Here at home, they show that Soros proposed paying the Center for American Politics $200,000 to conduct a smear campaign against conservative activists.

More recently, an October 2015 document came to light showing that Soros’ Open Society U.S. Programs had donated $650,000 to “invest in technical assistance and support for the groups at the core of the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter movement.” Since then, several BLM protests have turned violent.

That same document details how this group successfully used its “extensive networks” to pressure the Obama administration into increasing the number of refugees it would take to 100,000, despite concerns that Islamic terrorists could use the refugee program to infiltrate the U.S.

A separate memo details how Soros tried to use his clout to sway Supreme Court justices into approving President Obama’s unilateral effort to rewrite immigration law. “Grantees are seeking to influence the Justices (primarily via a sophisticated amicus briefs and media strategy) in hopes of securing a favorable ruling in U.S. v Texas,” the memo, dug up by the Daily Caller, states.

The article reports on an email leaked by Wikileaks showing that George Soros was giving then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton very specific instructions on how to handle unrest in Albania in early 2011.

Referring to the instructions given regarding Albania, the article states:

Thomas Lifson, writing in the American Thinker blog, said “Soros got the U.S. and other accomplices to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign state…. How is this not huge news?”

I guess the mainstream media has been dying for a while, but ignoring this story is amazing. I am waiting for the day that the mainstream media realizes that if we lose our freedom and security in America they will also be impacted. I am not holding my breath.

Sometimes Our Tax System Is A Joke

Hillary Clinton has released her tax forms. The Daily Caller has the story.

This screen shot from The Daily Caller tells most of the story:

ClintonDonationsThere’s even more. The article reports:

Desert Classic Charities effectively returned that donation back into the Clinton orbit. Its 2015 tax filing shows that it contributed $700,000 to the Clinton Foundation for work on obesity programs. The group handed out $1.6 million in grants that whole year.

The Clintons’ effective federal tax rate was 34.2 percent, the Clinton campaign said in a press release. With state and local taxes amounting to nine percent of their income, they paid just over 43 percent of their income in taxes.

It remains to be seen if Clinton will face the same scrutiny for her in-house contributions as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney did when he ran on the GOP ticket in 2012.

What the Clintons did is a glaring example of why the tax code needs to be changed drastically. Otherwise, in the interest of fairness, all of us should be able to declare ourselves a charity, give about 8 percent of our income to actually help people, and declare the rest as tax deductible. This is obscene.

 

A Questionable Visit

President Obama will visit a mosque next month. It will be the first U.S.-based mosque he has visited during his presidency. However, the President’s choice of which mosque to visit is rather odd.

The Daily Caller posted the following yesterday:

The White House announced on Saturday that Obama will visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) on Wednesday. He has visited several mosques overseas as president but has resisted visiting one in the homeland. The purpose of the trip, according to the White House, is to “celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life.”

But ISB is a curious choice for Obama’s first domestic visit.

The mosque is a member of a network of mosques controlled by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Muslim civil rights group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terror case. Several executives with that organization were convicted of sending money to aid the terrorist group Hamas.

The article goes on to list the various connections of those associated with or leading the mosque in recent years. It is not a list of people who love America or freedom.

Many of the mosques in America are built by ISNA. The money funding these mosques comes from overseas, as many new congregations do not have the money to build the elaborate mosques that ISNA provides them with. If you read the government exhibits from the Holy Land Foundation Trial, you will learn that these mosques are part of a plan for ‘civilization jihad’ to help convert America into an Islamic nation. It is somewhat disturbing that President Obama would choose a mosque with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood to visit (ISNA has strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood). Hopefully, this will be a one-time event.

This Is A Great Place To Cut The Federal Budget

The Daily Caller posted a story today about Veteran’s Administration (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald’s policy regarding bonuses to employees.

The article reports:

For 2014, employees received a total of $140 million in performance awards. Almost 50 percent of the 340,000 workers at the VA took home bonuses. The sheer number of employees awarded has raised questions about low-bar performance standards.

Regardless, McDonald was quick to justify the bonuses in an op-ed in USA Today. First, the bonuses covered the time period of October 2013 to September 2014, meaning that they are not based on current scandals. Second, bonuses play a large role in retaining talent. Third, the huge majority of the 156,000 workers who did receive bonuses definitely put veterans first.

I don’t want to see the VA budget cut in the areas that provide services to veterans, but it seems to me that bonuses at this particular time might be a little over the top.

The article includes a few illustrations of how bad things are:

Kim Graves, a regional benefits director in St. Paul, who recently pleaded the Fifth Amendment at a congressional hearing, received an $8,700 bonus.

Dr. David Houlihan, infamously known as the Candy Man at the Tomah VA, took home a bonus fo $4,000 10 months before he was fired from his post.

We need accountability in government spending. This sort of thing is unacceptable. Congress needs to do a better job of oversight.

They Must Be Using Common Core Math

On Thursday, The Daily Caller posted an article about the cost of the new stricter Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) smog limits. According to EPA estimates, the new limits would cost Americans $1.4 billion a year (it’s bad enough that the government is taxing us to death, now they have a new way to take our money).

However, it doesn’t seem seem quite that simple. The article reports:

The right-leaning American Action Forum says EPA’s updated smog, or ground-level ozone, rule could cost $56.5 billion in lost wages based on economic losses from counties that couldn’t comply with the agency’s 2008 rule.

“Observed nonattainment counties experienced losses of $56.5 billion in total wage earnings, $690 in pay per worker, and 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013,” according to AAf policy experts.

The new regulations lower the ambient levels from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. That is not a drastic change, but counties that have heavy manufacturing centers have had a difficult time complying with the current standards, much less the new ones. These counties may be forced to limit either manufacturing or oil and gas extraction.

How can Presidential candidates talk about bringing manufacturing back to America when federal bureaucracies are creating regulations that will ultimately limit manufacturing? I would also like to mention that these regulations are perceived as law, yet are not actually put into force the way that laws are created. The people creating these laws are not elected officials–the voters are not able to hold them accountable. I don’t know exactly how we have gotten to this place, but it is not constitutional. Laws need to be passed by Congress and signed by Congress. It’s time to get back to that.

The Truth Has A Way Of Showing Up

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the early intelligence reports regarding the attack at the diplomatic facilities in Benghazi. Michael Morell, former deputy director and acting director of the CIA, wrote a book entitled The Great War of Our Time.

The article in The Daily Caller quotes his book:

In Morell’s 2015 book The Great War of Our Time, he writes that while the CIA knew “the demonstration and violence in Cairo were sparked by people upset over a YouTube video,” intelligence “analysts never said the video was a factor in the Benghazi attacks.” (p. 205-206).

It has also been shown that Mrs. Clinton told the Libyan President on the night of the attacks that Ansar as-Sharia was responsible. She also emailed her daughter stating that the attack was carried out by an “Al Qaeda-like group.” The Egyptian Prime Minister also stated on the day after the attack that the attack was not related to the video–it was a planned attack. So we are left to wonder why the American public was given an account of the events of September 11, 2012, that was very different from the facts as they were known almost immediately after the attack.

Mrs. Clinton made the following statement before the Benghazi Committee hearing last week:

When asked at last week’s Benghazi Committee hearing why she blamed the You Tube video when she knew very well it was not the cause of the attack, Clinton proclaimed, she “needed to be talking about the video.”

“None of us can speak to the individual motivations of those terrorists who overran our compound and who attacked our CIA annex. There were probably a number of different motivations,” she said, adding that the intelligence community “took the lead” in analyzing the information at the time.

“We also knew, congressman, because my responsibility was what was happening throughout the region, I needed to be talking about the video, because I needed to put other governments and other people on notice that we were not going to let them get away with attacking us, as they did in Tunis, as they did in Khartoum,” she said.

It is becoming very obvious that Mrs. Clinton has been lying about Benghazi since it occurred. It is unfortunate that she has chosen to involve other people in her lies–sending Susan Rice out to do the Sunday talk shows to spread the lies. However, even in the Obama Administration, the truth has a way of coming to the surface.

Why Local Elections Matter

It is a given that parents care about the education of their children. Currently, North Carolina has an Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC) which is looking at the Common Core standards to see if they are appropriate for North Carolina. The ASRC has heard testimony from people who support Common Core and from people who oppose it. I have attended a number of the ASRC meetings, and have listened to both sides of the story. I have learned that even the teachers who like Common Core talk about the difficulties in implementing it. I have also learned that two of the people involved in the creation of Common Core have refused to sign off on the program because it did not do what it was supposedly intended to do. I have also learned that there is some information gathering included in Common Core that makes the NSA look like amateurs. Common Core is a copyrighted program, making it difficult to alter, that includes millions of dollars in unfunded liabilities because of the software licensing and computers needed to meet the testing requirements of the program. These are just a few of the issues. On September 21, 2013, (according to The Washington Post), Bill Gates stated, “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.” Just for the record, The Daily Caller reported in March 2014 that the children of Bill Gates attend a private school that does not use Common Core standards. Common Core for thee, but not for me.

So where am I going with this? I am looking at the way local school boards are not looking out for the students in their districts. On September 19, 2015, The New Bern Sun Journal posted a story about the Craven County Board of Education. The state has recently released the test scores for area schools for last year. Common Core has been in North Carolina since the 2012-2-13 school year, so these scores reflect the success (or failure) of Common Core.

The article mentioned that across North Carolina, 72.2 percent of traditional public schools received grades of C or better. The article also notes that in 2014-2015, the period covered by the grades, there is a 15-point scale used in the grading process. That means that a C is from a 55 to a 69. Meanwhile, the students are on a different grade scale–a scale which would consider those numbers as failing grades. What we have here is a different standard for the school than for the students. How convenient. Note that this shows that more than one fourth of the schools scored below a 55. Wow.

There is a very viable option to Common Core–it is called the North Carolina Education Plan, and is based on a successful program previously used in Greensboro. This is the website.

If you are a parent, there are a number of things you can do to protect your child’s education. You can begin attending Board of Education Meetings and speaking out when those in charge try to tell you that a failing grade is not a failing grade. You can also seek out people to run for the local Board of Education who will look out for your child’s education and not simply go along with what the state bureaucracy tells them. You have a voice in your child’s education. You have the option of speaking out or remaining silent and paying the consequences.

This Really Does Not Look Good

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article stating that the attorney for the Information Technology (IT) specialist who handled Hillary Clinton’s email server has informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi that his client, Bryan Pagliano, will plead the 5th Amendment if he is called to testify before the Committee. The article states that Mr. Pagliano had worked on the 2008 Clinton campaign, moved to the State Department several months after Mrs. Clinton took office, and left the agency in February 2013, when Mrs. Clinton stepped down as Secretary of State.

There are a number of questions about Mrs. Clinton’s emails. The obvious question is whether there was classified information on the server, but in light of all of the information that has come out since we have learned about the server, the real question is who ordered the wiping of the server and when that order was given. If the wiping of the server was done while it was under investigation, that is a crime. It is questionable whether or not the current Justice Department will prosecute the destruction of evidence, but it is a crime.

The other thing that this story illustrates is the problem with rewarding campaign workers with government jobs. In my mind there is a question as to whether Mr. Paliano‘s first loyalty is to America or to Hillary Clinton. Political appointments to government jobs is nothing new, but in light of recent events, I think the practice needs to be reexamined.

This Really Isn’t Much Of A Defense

The Daily Caller posted a story today reporting that Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who fired the bullet that killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco on July 1, has stated that he did not intend to kill Ms. Steinle. My question is simple, “Why was he firing a gun on the San Francisco Pier in the first place?”  As you know if you read this blog regularly, I fully support gun rights, but I don’t support people being stupid with guns. I support things like gun safety courses in high schools, and people being taught to respect guns and the damage they can do. Mr. Lopez-Sanchez belongs in jail for many reasons, one of which is firing a gun in a public place.

The article reports:

According to the Associated Press, Gonzalez (Matt Gonzalez, who is representing Mr. Lopez-Sanchez) said in court that Lopez-Sanchez “mishandled” the gun.

But a San Francisco police ballistics expert said that the gun was in good condition and would not have been prone to an accidental firing.

Pulling the trigger, however that trigger was pulled, was the only way for that gun to discharge,” the expert said. “This gun could not just be sitting on a table and all of a sudden, due to some malfunction, go off.”

Aside from the fact that this is a very serious matter in which a woman was killed, I put that excuse on about the same level as “the dog ate my homework.”

 

Words Of Wisdom From A Democrat

Yes, you read that right. As the Democrat party deals with the candidacies of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and possibly Elizabeth Warren there is a quieter, more rational candidate. His name is Jim Webb.

Jim Webb was interviewed on Fox News Sunday today. The Daily Caller posted an article about the interview.

The article posted Jim Webb’s remarks about the direction his party has taken:

BRET BAIER: You mentioned the Democratic race. In the RealClearPolitics average of polls, you’re at about 2.3 percent, and well behind the front runner, Hillary Clinton. You have an uphill climb against this Clinton machine. Most political analysts will tell you that Democrats have moved resolutely to the left and that basically Hillary Clinton has renounced Clintonism, which really was the vital core of the center, used to be, in your party. In a party that seems to thrill to Bernie Sanders and maybe long for Elizabeth Warren, who are the Jim Webb Democrats?

JIM WEBB: I believe we can bring a different tone to the Democratic Party. You’re right. The party has moved way far to the left, and that’s not my Democratic Party, but in and of itself. We need to bring working people back into the formula. Next Saturday, in the far southwest of Virginia there’s going to be a medical clinic, a remote area medical clinic to take care of people who don’t have medical insurance. It’s out at the Wise County fairgrounds. I hope Fox will go down there and take a look at it. They’ll going to take care of at least 6,000… people with no medical care. They’re going to pull about 3,000 teeth. These are people who have been forgotten by both parties and, I think, they need a voice.

The Democrat party has claimed for years to represent the forgotten man. However, both the Republican and Democrat parties have been taken over by special interest groups that have forgotten the forgotten man. Very few Americans are currently represented by either party establishment. It is time for Americans to begin to take back whichever party they choose to support. The time for allowing the establishment of both parties to do what is in the interest of their party rather than what is in the interest of America is over. There used to be small-government, constitutional conservatives in both political parties. Now it is hard to find those people in either party. It is up to the American people to elect people who will support the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land and who will actually represent the voters and not the political class.

POSTSCRIPT: I just watched the entire interview. Frankly, that is the only thing Jim Webb said that I agree with.

This Needs To Be Done In Every State

The Daily Caller posted an article today about a law passed by the New Mexico state legislature. The law will abolish civil asset forfeiture. The bill now goes to the desk of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

The article reports:

Civil asset forfeiture is a practice where police can take and keep your property without convicting or even charging you of a crime. Then, you must go through the arduous and often unsuccessful process to get your property–whether it’s a vehicle, cash or your home–back from the police.

New Mexico police must now convict you of a crime and prove your property was used in the crime before you forfeit it to the authorities. Also, the money gained from the property will now go to the state’s general fund instead of police budgets, so that police do not have incentives to take from citizens.

Civil asset forfeiture is one of the issues in the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as U.S. Attorney General (rightwinggranny.com). While in charge of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York she brought in more than $113 million in civil actions between 2011 and 2013.

The article concludes:

The implementation of this bill would send a message to other states that this widespread practice can be abolished despite the lobbying of law enforcement and prosecutors.

Continuous media reports of extreme abuses by police in civil asset forfeiture have helped draw national bipartisan scrutiny that has been building in recent months. (RELATED: The 7 Most Egregious Examples Of Civil Asset Forfeiture)

This practice is unconstitutional and needs to end.

Policies Have Consquences

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article detailing some of the impact President Obama’s policies will have on the federal deficit after he leaves office.

The article states that during the remainder of President Obama’s term, the deficit should shrink. That is the good news. However, all of the news is not good.

The article reports:

…The bad news is the deficit begins spiking again in 2017, the year Obama’s successor will be sworn into office, before returning to $1 trillion a year in 2025.

All that red ink comes without another Great Recession, with the country’s biggest wars supposedly ending, without any new big-ticket spending items.

The article explains the reason for the increasing deficit:

Medicaid spending will be double what it was when Obama took office, thanks in part to Obamacare. Spending on the health care exchanges, a mere $15 billion in 2014, will be just under $100 billion annually in only two years.

Between 2016 and 2025, the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will cost $920 billion and $1.1 trillion on health insurance subsidies. That’s a rounding error away from $2 trillion.

…The baby boomers’ retirement isn’t Obama’s fault. The fact that the major federal retirement programs are all still structured the way they were for the baby boomers’ parents and grandparents is partly his fault. And the costs of Obamacare are almost entirely his fault (Congress deserves its share of the blame too).

It is very obvious that the first step to solving this problem should be to abolish ObamaCare and return healthcare and health insurance to the private sector. That will not solve the entire problem, but it would be a big step forward. Let’s see if the new GOP majority in Congress is willing to do that. If not, it’s time to elect a different GOP majority.

The Type Of Leadership We Need

The Daily Caller posted a story today that included some comments by Representative Tim Huelskamp. Representative Huelskamp has been in the House of Representatives since 2010.

The article reports:

Now the new chairman of the Tea Party Caucus, one of several conservative enclaves being fortified, he (Representative Tim Huelskamp) says, “This town does not listen.”

As for the controversial vote against the speaker this month, he admits “it’s a difficult vote that comes with a lot of intimidation.” The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs committee, Florida Republican Rep. Jeff Miller, let Huelskamp know he was jeopardizing an expected subcommittee chairmanship by announcing his intentions to not vote for Boehner.

Defiant, Huelskamp stood resolute against the threats and pressure tactics, as leadership punished Huelskamp last Congress for voting his conscience by stripping him of two committees. For Huelskamp, the lame duck CRomnibus was among the clues that this Republican leadership was not inclined to stand up to President Obama on principle. “They weren’t going to push conservative principles. They, actually, were pushing back against conservatives!”

Right now, Washington is not listening. The only way they are going to listen is if more Americans get involved. We need to send the emails, make the phone calls, and vote out of office those politicians who do not listen. At the same time, we need to support those Senators and Representatives who are trying to do what they were elected to do. This is not the time to tune out–this is the time to get involved.