Are Children Becoming Collateral Damage In The Culture War?

The Daily Signal today posted an article by Sydney Wright, a business sales representative in the private sector and a student at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Sydney Wright spent a year as a transgender man and shares her experience in the article.

In the article Sydney explains the path she traveled:

From my earliest years, I was always different from the other girls. I wore boy clothes, and I played with boy toys. I was a classic tomboy.

As I got older, I became romantically interested in other girls. In fact, with the exception of one guy I dated in high school, I exclusively dated girls.

At the time, you wouldn’t have been able to tell I was gay just from looking at me. I had long, blond hair, wore makeup, and carried myself rather femininely. But in my head, I knew I was gay—though I was more of a self-loathing gay.

The truth is, I didn’t like gays, and didn’t want to be associated with them. Yet there I was, dating only other girls.

Her journey begins in earnest with the viewing of successful transgender stories on Instagram. All the stories she saw painted a positive picture of transition and life after the transition. She expressed the feeling that being a transgender female would result in less negative feedback from society than being gay. She looked for books that would discuss both sides of the transgender issue, but found only books that supported the transgender movement and the medical procedures.

The article continues:

The first step was to find a therapist who would write me a letter to start me on male hormones.

I soon found a therapist who said she would help me, and I told her I wanted to start the hormones on my 19th birthday, which was only five weeks off. She required only a one-hour appointment each week.

That’s hardly enough time to get to know someone. Yet those five hours got me an official letter that unlocked the doors for me to get hormone therapy and become a “man.” It also helped me change my “sex” on my driver’s license from female to male.

I now see a huge problem with how easy this was. If the therapist had gone slower and been more careful, she would have seen that I wasn’t actually trans.

But by this time, I’d seen the promotional videos. I was convinced that my gender is what was “off,” and the therapist guided me along and made me feel like a sex change is what I needed.

By this point, my friends were also encouraging me to transition. “You’re a hot girl,” they said. “You’ll be a hot guy, too!” Others were too afraid to say anything against it, because after all, it was 2017. I never got pushback from anyone.

The article notes:

Not once did she tap the brakes to keep me from gender transition.

The article goes on to detail some of the medical problems a teenager may encounter with transition. Finally Miss Wright was encouraged to stop the transition by her grandfather. His wisdom probably saved her life. She then details the withdrawal process which also involved some serious medical problems.

The article concludes:

It’s insane to me that our society is letting this to happen to young people. At age 18, I wasn’t even legal to buy alcohol, but I was old enough to go to a therapist and get hormones to change my gender.

This is happening to vulnerable kids much younger than I was, and the adults are AWOL.

When you walk into these clinics, you won’t really see older people around. It’s boys and girls playing dress-up, brought there by clueless parents, waiting for the appointment that could likely ruin their lives.

I hope I’m not the only one who sees a major problem with this. Our culture has set up a fast-track to gender transition that will only result in scarred bodies and ruined lives—and the medical community is complicit. I met with these doctors in person and gave them my own cash. I can tell you they did not care.

At age 18, I wasn’t even legal to buy alcohol, but I was old enough to go to a therapist and get hormones to change my gender.

This is a public health crisis that our media and politicians are completely ignoring. More young people are being deceived every day, being told that the solution to their insecurity and identity problems is to get a sex change.

That’s just about the worst path you can put a young person on.

Until we do something, until the medical community puts up serious guardrails and begins to do its due diligence—and until politicians grow a spine and step in—expect to see more young people scarred for life.

If anything, I hope my story can serve as a warning bell and save some other young teenager the misery and grief I’ve been through.

Her story is chilling and should be a wake-up call to parents who for whatever reason are putting their children on the transgender train. The current transgender movement is a dangerous fad that ‘cool’ parents are taking part in. It is actually child abuse.

One Of Many Reasons Government Spending Keeps Increasing

On September 24, The Daily Signal posted an article about some recent comments made by Senator Joni Ernst. The Senator highlighted the practice of ‘Christmas in September’ spending by government agencies. There are some problems with the way our federal government’s budgeting system works. There is something called ‘baseline budgeting.’ This simply means that your starting point for your yearly budget is how much you actually spent of last year’s budget. Therefore, unless you want your budget to be cut this year, you had better spend all of the money you had in your budget last year. This means that as the fiscal year draws to a close, government agencies have the incentive to spend wildly. It also results in statements that actually make no sense but are widely accepted as fact. For instance, if I ask for a ten percent increase in my budget and only get a five percent increase, I will complain that my budget was cut five percent. In any other world, I got a five percent increase. In the world of government, I got a five percent cut. That is the reason that even though you are reading that the federal budget got cut, the spending actually increased. Unfortunately, to Washington it is all a game. Wild spending of taxpayer money is not a problem to our Congress–only to the taxpayers who have to pay the bill.

The article at The Daily Signal reports:

The fourth-ranking Republican in the Senate called on colleagues Tuesday to pass her legislation to reduce wasteful government spending and rein in agencies’ spending practices.

“Government agencies are going on their annual ‘Christmas in September’ use-it-or-lose-it shopping spree,” Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said in remarks prepared for delivery on the Senate floor.

“If not spent by midnight on Sept. 30, leftover dollars expire and can no longer be used,” Ernst said. “Rather than returning the money to taxpayers, binge-buying bureaucrats are wasting billions of taxpayer dollars needlessly.”

The federal government’s fiscal year ends Sept. 30, and Ernst’s legislation, called the End of Year Fiscal Responsibility Act, would end agencies’ annual 11th-hour sprints to spend all their budgeted money before the fiscal year runs out.

Her bill would curb how much an agency could spend in the last two months of the fiscal year to no more than what the agency usually spends each month on average during the rest of the year.

…“This bill won’t end all wasteful spending, but it will force agencies to put more thought into long-term planning and curtail the bad habit of out-of-control impulsive spending,” Ernst said.

Ernst said “spending sprees” in the past have included almost $12,000 for a commercial foosball table; $4.6 million for lobster tail and crab; $2.1 million for games, toys, and wheeled goods; over $53,000 on table china; and over $40,000 on clocks.

“With our national debt now surpassing $22 trillion, Washington should be looking for ways to save by canceling or delaying unnecessary expenses, rather than splurging on end-of-year wish lists,” Ernst said.

Another piece of legislation pushed by Iowa’s junior senator would keep her colleagues from returning home until they passed a budget.

“Through my No Budget, No Recess Act, members of Congress would be prohibited from leaving Washington if we fail to pass a budget by April 15 or approve regular spending bills by Aug. 1,” she said.

The government must stop enabling agencies to spend money that shouldn’t be spent, Ernst added:

I think Senator Ernst has some really good ideas.

This Is Not A New Problem

Congress has an uncanny talent for taking a bad situation and making it worse. Before they left for August recess, they did just that.

The Daily Signal posted an article yesterday headlined, “Congress Poised to Give Unions a Massive Bailout.”

The article reports:

A new report from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. shows that the private union pension crisis is only getting worse, and now Congress is poised to make it worse still.

Not only are many multiemployer pension plans rapidly approaching insolvency, but the situation is so bad that even the pension safety net—the PBGC’s Multiemployer Program—will be bankrupt in just six years, leaving pensioners with mere pennies on the dollar in promised benefits.

Unfortunately, the House of Representatives passed a bill just before leaving for August recess that will make the situation even worse. Not only would the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act (H.R. 397), exacerbate the problem, it would put taxpayers on the hook for potentially $638 billion or more in broken pension promises.

This is the summary of the bill posted at Congress.gov:

Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019

This bill establishes the Pension Rehabilitation Administration within the Department of the Treasury and a related trust fund to make loans to certain multiemployer defined benefit pension plans.

To receive a loan, a plan must be (1) in critical and declining status, including any plan with respect to which a suspension of benefits has been approved; (2) in critical status, have a funded percentage of less than 40%, and have a ratio of active to inactive participants which is less than two to three; or (3) insolvent, if the plan became insolvent after December 16, 2014, and has not been terminated.

Treasury must transfer amounts, which may include proceeds from bonds and other obligations, from the general fund to the trust fund established by this bill as necessary to fund the program. The Pension Rehabilitation Administration may use the funds, without a further appropriation, to make loans, pay principal and interest on obligations, or for administrative and operating expenses.

The bill allows the sponsor of a multiemployer pension plan that is applying for a loan under this bill to also apply to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for financial assistance if, after receiving the loan, the plan will still become (or remain) insolvent within the 30-year period beginning on the date of the loan.

The bill also appropriates to the PBGC the funds that are necessary to provide the financial assistance required by this bill.

No. In 2010, I wrote about this problem at rightwinggranny. One source of my article was Human Events, which stated:

“EPI has published and advocated what we feel would be an excellent national supplemental retirement plan, the Guaranteed Retirement Account, which was authored by Prof. Teresa Ghilarducci, Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. In a nutshell, the GRA would mandate employer and employee contributions to a federally administered cash balance plan. The combined 5% of payroll contributions would be invested by a Thrift Savings Plan-like entity in the bond and stock markets, with a guaranteed minimum return of 3% beyond inflation. A $600 tax credit would cover the entire 2.5% contribution for workers earning $24,000 or less, and greatly reduce the effective contribution rate for other lower-paid workers. We calculate that at the end of a normal working life, the average worker would accumulate, along with Social Security, enough to assure a 70%replacement rate of pre-retirement income.”

The Daily Signal article concludes:

Under H.R. 397 (which is similar to the Butch Lewis Act already before the Senate), insolvent union pension plans would receive taxpayer dollars to invest in the stock market, as well as loans to cover their broken pension promises.

Risking taxpayer money in the stock market and making loans to insolvent pension plans is reckless and wrong.

And instead of fixing the underlying problems, this bailout-without-reform proposal would incentivize union pension plans to become more underfunded so they could receive taxpayer funds.

That would be particularly unfair, considering that Congress has not even addressed its inability to pay its own Social Security obligations to taxpayers.

Instead of a costly bailout-without-reform, Congress should improve the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.’s solvency, prevent plans from overpromising and underfunding pensions, and help plans minimize pension reductions across workers.

The current House of Representatives will go down in history as one of the most irresponsible governmental bodies ever elected.

A Common Sense Approach To Saving Taxpayer Money

Welfare was meant to be a safety net–not a career choice. Unfortunately we have lost the war on poverty started by President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960’s. According to the social work degree center website, in the 1960’s, 22 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line. In 2014, 14.8 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line. In January 2016, The Daily Signal reported:

First, the War on Poverty has failed to achieve Johnson’s goal: to “strike at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.” Since he declared “unconditional war,” poverty has thumbed its nose at its would-be conquerors.

The official poverty rate has hovered between ten and fifteen percent for 50 years. But that is only a part of the story. Since the 1960s, the institutions that contribute to self-sufficiency—namely, marriage and work—have declined. Today, more than 40 percent of children are born outside marriage; in 1964, only 7 percent were.

…Robert Rector, senior research fellow in domestic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, writes that “taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s war. Adjusted for inflation, that’s three times the cost of all military wars since the American Revolution.” It’s time to change course. We need a new strategy against poverty.

The changes in our culture are part of the problem, but there is another increasing problem–people who come to this country to take advantage of our generous welfare system.

Breitbart posted an article today stating:

President Trump is set to save American taxpayers billions of dollars as his administration announces a new rule on Monday that will essentially ban welfare-dependent legal immigrants from permanently resettling in the United States.

A new regulation set to be published by the Trump administration will ensure that legal immigrants would be less likely to secure a permanent residency in the U.S. if they have used any forms of welfare in the past, including using subsidized healthcare services, food stamps, and public housing.

Below is a chart of current welfare expenditures:

I have no problem with having a safety net, but it seems that our priorities are out of order. The first group of people that we should be helping are our veterans. Too many of them come home and need help to get on their feet when they separate from the military. I would like to see that as our first priority in welfare spending.

The article at Breitbart concludes:

Currently, there is an estimated record high of 44.5 million foreign-born residents living in the U.S. This is nearly quadruple the immigrant population in 2000. The vast majority of those arriving in the country every year are low-skilled legal immigrants who compete against working and middle-class Americans for jobs.

If we don’t get a handle on immigration, we are going to bankrupt America.

A List The Media Has Failed To Mention

Over the weekend we had two horrendous shootings–one in Texas and one in Ohio. We also had the usual carnage in Chicago which no one seems to mention anymore. There will be calls to limit the number of guns in America and calls for ‘red flag’ laws and calls to confiscate guns from any suspicious person. There will be lists of the dead and the injured. But there will be one list that you won’t see in the mainstream media.

Today The Daily Signal posted a list of a handful of the many times law-abiding citizens have used their firearms in defense of their rights or the rights of those around them. The article links to the January, February, March, April, May and June examples.

The article lists the July examples:

July 3, Summerville, South Carolina. Concerned neighbors went to check out loud noises that they thought might be someone breaking into the local church, only to discover a very drunk trespasser roaming through a nearby backyard.

The drunk trespasser began attacking one of the neighbors, who then shot the drunk man in self-defense after his warning shot went unheeded.

Law enforcement officers determined the neighbor acted justifiably, and the drunk man is facing charges related to the incident.

July 5, Danville, Kentucky. A homeowner held a would-be thief at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived, after investigating why his gate intercom rang at 4 a.m.

The homeowner looked outside and saw that his vehicles had been moved, then found the cars parked away from the house, with the thief still inside one of them.

July 10, Summerfield, Florida. A disabled 61-year-old homeowner kept his AR-15 loaded by his bedside after a suspicious interaction earlier in the day with a man who was looking through the sliding glass door on his back porch.

When the homeowner awoke to loud noises that night, he grabbed his rifle just in time to defend himself from four armed men who had broken into his home.

He killed two of the armed intruders and sent the other two fleeing, until they were tracked down by a police K9 unit. Despite being outnumbered and wounded himself, the homeowner survived.

July 11, Tampa, Florida. A pastor, joined by a deacon, held an intruder at gunpoint for nearly 10 minutes after responding to the church’s alarm system and discovering a man who had used a brick to break in. The intruder was in the process of stealing electronics from the place of worship.

July 15, Phoenix. A retired military law enforcement officer acted quickly to defend himself and his family against a home invasion, drawing his handgun from his bedside table and chasing the intruder out of the house.

After running, the suspect broke into another home and attempted to sexually assault a woman before being arrested by police, who the first homeowner had called.

July 16, San Diego. A man armed with a knife broke into a home and began stabbing the 54-year-old homeowner until the homeowner’s son was able to intervene, shooting and killing the attacker with his father’s gun.

The home invasion caused some residents to question the logic of a proposed local ordinance that would require gun owners to keep their firearms locked in a safe or left inoperable when not on their person.

July 17, Oneida, Tennessee. A man rushed to his mother’s home after receiving a phone call from the mother’s caretaker about hearing suspicious talking from other parts of the house.

He discovered a woman in the process of burglarizing the home who was armed with a pocket knife, and held her at gunpoint until police arrived.

July 24, Rochester, New Hampshire. A father, whose two young children were in the car with him, spotted a would-be burglar while pulling up in the driveway of his home.

The father confronted the man and held him at gunpoint while waiting for law enforcement. He told reporters that while he wished he had not needed to draw his gun in the presence of his children, he hopes it taught them a valuable lesson.

“I don’t carry a gun to kill people. I carry a gun to neutralize threatening situations,” he said.

July 27, High Point, North Carolina. A woman fatally shot an ax-wielding man who broke into her property and charged at her. The man had assaulted the same woman earlier that night but was able to elude police.

July 29, Prospect, Kentucky. A homeowner brandished his handgun to chase away a man attempting to break into his home. The incident was captured by a security camera, and the homeowner believes that the presence of the firearm allowed him to scare off the suspect without putting himself in danger.

July 31, Nashville. An Uber driver defended himself and his passenger by shooting a man who opened fire on the driver’s vehicle. The man—who had a long history of violent crimes, including armed robbery—said he had felt “disrespected” by the Uber driver’s passenger and followed the car to exact revenge.

Neither the passenger nor the Uber driver was harmed, but the perpetrator was later treated at a local hospital for wounds to his chest and arm.

The guns are not the problem. The people holding them can be. Any restriction on gun ownership runs the risk of taking the guns away from law-abiding citizens and allowing criminals, who don’t follow laws, to have them. Disarming a population does not decrease crime–it increases it. I am also very suspicious of a government that wants to disarm its population. An armed population is one of the things that keeps government power in check.

A Disturbing Trend On College Campuses

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Basically that means that even people you disagree with have the right to speak. However, that principle is not being taught on many of our college campuses.

The Daily Signal posted an article today about some recent events at Williams College.

The article reports:

At Williams College in Massachusetts, biology professor Dr. Luana Maroja wrote online last year that she was concerned about student and administrator attitudes regarding free speech. She gathered more than 100 faculty signatures on a petition calling for the school to adopt what is known as the “Chicago Principles,” a statement in favor of free expression developed by the University of Chicago.

More than 60 schools have endorsed this statement, a welcome response to the disrupted events and other nonsense that have plagued universities around the country.

Some Williams students will have none of it. Maroja says that more than a dozen of them barged into a faculty meeting last November holding signs such as “free speech harms” and saying faculty were trying to “kill” the students.

After that, tensions escalated. The College Fix reports that a professor subsequently “threatened violence” if Williams adopted the Chicago statement. All this, because Maroja dared to promote the idea that Williams should maintain a “climate of mutual respect.”

If that isn’t troubling enough, a poll of the students is even more troubling:

A recent survey of college students found that more than half of respondents say shouting down speakers is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable. Sixteen percent of respondents say it is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable to use violence to stop a speech protest or rally.

These responses are disturbing. Civil society – life in the office, in your neighborhood, at your child’s soccer game – depends on people tolerating those who do not share their beliefs, not trying to silence them through intimidation or violence. The American Dream dies if we live in fear of persecution.

Williams officials should take seriously the threats posed to the next generation of adults that come from limiting the ideas that can be considered on campus. The school should require students to attend sessions on free speech during freshman orientation – and explain that hiding from ideas with which you disagree is a poor strategy for life.

New policies for public universities in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin now serve as examples of how to protect everyone’s freedom of expression in a campus community.

These policies affirm the idea that anyone should be allowed to protest or demonstrate in public areas as long as they do not prevent others from doing the same. Moreover, they stipulate that their public universities must be prepared to penalize individuals who silence others.

The article notes that Williams is a private college and can set its own policies regarding free speech. However, it is troubling that the First Amendment is no longer appreciated or practiced on some college campuses.

How Your Tax Money Is Spent

The Daily Signal posted the following today:

Obviously we have some work to do. The question that comes to mind is why do we always hear that Social Security is running out of money but we never hear that the Welfare State is running out of money. I think it is truly time to examine the bureaucracy that support each. I suspect we could save some serious money there without hurting the people who truly need government assistance.

Good News On Healthcare

The Daily Signal posted an article today about President Trump’s plan to reform healthcare (which obviously starts with the removal of ObamaCare).

The article reports:

A look at his fiscal year 2020 budget shows that the president has a plan to reduce costs and increase health care choices. His plan would achieve this by redirecting federal premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion money into grants to states. States would be required to use the money to establish consumer-centered programs that make health insurance affordable regardless of income or medical condition.

The president’s proposal is buttressed by a growing body of evidence that relaxing federal regulations and freeing the states to innovate makes health care more affordable for families and small businesses.

Ed Haislmaier and I last year published an analysis of waivers that have so far enabled seven states to significantly reduce individual health insurance premiums. These states fund “invisible high risk pools” and reinsurance arrangements largely by repurposing federal money that would otherwise have been spent on Obamacare premium subsidies, directing them instead to those in greatest medical need.

By financing care for those with the biggest medical bills, these states have substantially reduced premiums for individual policies. Before Maryland obtained its waiver, insurers in the state filed requests for 2019 premium hikes averaging 30 percent. After the federal government approved the waiver, final 2019 premiums averaged 13 percent lower than in 2018—a 43 percent swing.

The article explains that the President’s plan is similar to another proposed plan:

It closely parallels the Health Care Choices Proposal, the product of ongoing work by national and state think tanks, grassroots organizations, policy analysts, and others in the conservative community. A study by the Center for Health and the Economy, commissioned by The Heritage Foundation, found that the proposal would reduce premiums for individual health insurance by up to 32 percent and cover virtually the same number of people as under Obamacare.

It also would give consumers more freedom to choose the coverage they think best for themselves and their families. Unlike current law, states could include direct primary care; health-sharing ministries; short-term, limited-duration plans; and other arrangements among the options available through their programs.

Those expanded choices would extend to low-income people. The proposal would require states to let those receiving assistance through the block grants, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs apply the value of their subsidy to the plan of their choice, instead of being herded into government-contracted health maintenance organizations.

We can do better at healthcare. Either one of these proposals would be a great start.

Comparing Apples To Apples

Most of us understand that the media is biased and slants its articles accordingly. The challenge for voters is to look past the obvious to make sure what they are reading is actually true. One recent example of misrepresenting a basic fact is the way the Trump tax cuts are being reported.

On February 13th The Daily Signal posted an article illustrating the fake news regarding the tax cuts.

The article includes the following tweet:

The article explains the problem with her statement:

This is simply the latest episode in a long-running campaign to demagogue tax cuts that let the vast majority of Americans keep more of their hard-earned money.

Some of the biggest cuts are actually being enjoyed by the lowest-income Americans. A typical family of four got a $2,917 tax cut this year.

…So what’s the complaint about?

In an early sample of tax returns, the IRS has reported that average refunds are down $170 from last year and that they hadn’t changed much from 2017, the year before.

But this is not relevant, for two reasons.

First, the sample of tax returns cited by the IRS is very small, and some analysts expect refunds will actually go up this year.

But second, and more importantly, tax refunds have nothing to do with the size of anyone’s tax cut. A refund is what you get back if you’ve paid too much in taxes throughout the year. Your tax cut is the drop in total taxes you owed to Uncle Sam last year. The two are not connected.

Employers across the country already gave us our tax cuts by withholding less money from our paychecks every pay period. Americans saw a bump to their paychecks in February 2018.

Of course, withholding is never perfectly accurate, so your refund or tax payment at the end of the year is simply a last-minute adjustment. But that refund does not cancel out the overall bump in take-home pay due to the tax cut.

Do you remember when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the tax cuts “monumental, brazen theft,” or when former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers predicted the tax cuts would kill 10,000 people every year? This most recent round of hysteria is just more of the same.

Be prepared for more false stories as the 2020 election grows closer.

The Real Numbers

On Friday The Daily Signal posted an article about the consequences of winding down ObamaCare. It seems that the press and the Congressional Budget Office lied to Americans about the consequences of repealing ObamaCare.

The article reports:

According to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office wildly overestimated the number of people who would lose their health insurance with the repeal of the individual mandate penalty.

Initial estimates from the Congressional Budget Office said 14 million would drop off their health insurance coverage due to the elimination of the individual mandate. Then, during the height of the 2017 debate over repeal, progressives touted a leaked number from the Congressional Budget Office claiming that 22 million people would “lose” their insurance if Congress repealed the law.

However, as health care analyst Avik Roy pointed out, what made this number so high was the inflated number of people expected to lose their insurance due to repeal of the mandate—about 73 percent to be exact. So, it wouldn’t be 22 million Americans losing their insurance. Most of those in the projection would simply be choosing to opt out of insurance.

And it turns out even that wasn’t true. A far smaller number of Americans appear to be opting out of insurance since the individual mandate’s repeal. Only 2.5 million more people are expected to go without insurance in 2019 due to its repeal, according to the latest report, and that number is expected to decline in the years ahead.

Putting the government in charge of healthcare is always a bad idea. Economist Milton Friedman once stated, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.” The government is not responsible for providing healthcare to anyone. Charitable hospitals and charitable organizations are welcome to take on that responsibility, but government healthcare is nowhere to be found in the U.S. Constitution.

The article further states:

Doug Badger, a visiting fellow in domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that Congressional Budget Office analysis has been a chronic problem.

“When it comes to the individual mandate, CBO has never let the facts affect their wildly inaccurate estimates. CBO continued to forecast that millions of insured Americans would suddenly become uninsured if the mandate were repealed,” Badger wrote in an email to The Daily Signal. “CBO’s faulty estimates misled the public into believing that repealing Obamacare would lead to a vast increase in the number of uninsured. Bad estimates produced bad policy.”

Many conservatives are fed up with the deference shown to the agency, given it’s poor track record and track of transparency. Reps. Mark Walker, R-N.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suggested in 2017 that it’s time to stop “blindly” following the agency’s predictions.

“The value of having outside experts review legislation cannot be understated,” they wrote for the Washington Examiner. “But continuing to hinge congressional actions on the projections of an agency that has proven to be so consistently wrong does a disservice to not only members trying to represent their constituents, it primarily does a disservice to the public.”

I wrote in 2017 that perhaps we should be more skeptical toward the findings of independent agencies like the Congressional Budget Office. It seems those doubts were valid.

People based their votes on the information they were given. It is a shame that a government agency provided inaccurate information.

The Lesson Of History

The Daily Signal posted an article today about the legislative battle currently waging regarding abortion.

The article reports:

A Democratic senator blocked on Monday night the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which would have ensured children who survived abortions were given medical care.

Unfortunately, this shouldn’t be a complete shock. In the years since Roe v. Wade, our culture has continued its downward trend to supporting death, not life.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and came on the heels of comments last week from Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia insinuating that he supports infanticide in some instances.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., objected to the bill, arguing that the legislation is unnecessary, and thus preventing the bill from receiving unanimous consent.

The article cites an interesting contrast:

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., pointed out that the Senate unanimously confirmed legislation congratulating New England Patriots on winning the Super Bowl but, sadly, couldn’t unify on behalf of a resolution condemning infanticide.

Freshman Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., called upon American citizens to speak out against infanticide and added that he was surprised to encounter pro-infanticide sentiment so soon in his tenure.

Braun is right to be horrified by the situation and he is right to ask citizens to speak out.

That is a sad commentary on the relevancy of the Senate.

The article continues:

Roe v. Wade legalized abortion by implicitly categorizing an unborn baby as the “personalty” (a legal term referring to one’s private property). Thus, ironically, merely a few years after America’s affirmation of the Civil Rights movement, the Supreme Court majority in Roe declared that there was, after all, an entire class of human beings—unborn babies—for whom there would be no guarantee of justice and equality.

Regrettably, left-leaning jurists such as Justice John Paul Stevens supported the perverse logic of Roe by arguing that an unborn baby does not become a human being until the moment of birth.

But such an argument is deeply incoherent; a being’s nature is not determined by its location.

Furthermore, as Valparaiso University law professor Richard Stith argued 20 years ago, the incoherence of this progressive argument—that the moment of birth is a “bright line” at which an infant becomes a human being—may very well lead to the embrace of infanticide.

In other words, since medical science makes clear that there is very little difference between a baby the day before birth and the day after birth, Stith speculated that progressive thought leaders would increasingly argue for the legalization of post-birth abortion.

And that is exactly what has happened in ensuing years.

The article concludes:

Since the Netherlands legalized euthanasia nearly 20 years ago, doctors have taken the lives of thousands of elderly citizens annually. In the Netherlands’ culture of death, it is therefore not surprising that thousands of citizens carry cards prohibiting doctors from euthanizing them, and some elderly citizens express fear about going in for basic medical care because of the possibility of euthanasia.

Recently, The Telegraph and the Daily Mail reported that a Dutch family had to hold down their mother, as she fought against being euthanized by her doctor. The patient, who was not named in the reports, suffered from dementia and had reportedly told medical officials that she wished to be euthanized when “the time was right.”

And yet, even though she reportedly said “I don’t want to die” several times in the days leading up to the killing, the doctor, who was also not named, determined that the time was right, slipped a sedative into her coffee to relax her, and then tried to administer the lethal injection. The patient awoke and resisted the doctor, causing the physician to ask the family for help in holding down the patient down while he finished her off, per the reports.

Northam’s support for infanticide and Murray’s objection to anti-infanticide legislation should not be viewed as insignificant. However, they should likewise not be seen as entirely surprising.

Anti-life legislation is arguably the most consistent consequence of the culture of death enshrined in our legal code since Roe v. Wade. Northam and Murray represent a powerful movement to stay true to the ethic undergirding pro-abortion activism, and they are gaining support day by day.

This unashamed movement to undermine the sanctity of human life must be resisted, not only by Congress but by the citizens of our great nation. If the United States Congress can unify to support a football team, then surely they can unify to defeat any movement that threatens the sanctity of human life.

The generation that first made it legal to kill their children will be the first generation to be killed by their children.

Have We Passed The Point Of Being Able To Have A Serious Discussion Of Issues?

On Friday, The Daily Signal posted an article that provides some background information on Stacey Abrams.

These are some basic facts about Ms. Abrams listed in the article:

1. She ‘Wouldn’t Oppose’ Noncitizen Voting  –  she did support the idea of non-citizens voting to local elections, but the fact remains that people who are here illegally are breaking the law and should not have voting rights.

2. She Wants to Turn Georgia Blue – that’s not all that unusual, but her approach in somewhat interesting.

3. She Wants to Promote ‘Race and Gender’ Issues – has anyone else noticed that promoting race and gender issues divides us rather than unites us?

4. She Was Endorsed by Planned Parenthood – just for the record, Planned Parenthood receives on average approximately $500 million a year in taxpayer funds. How much of that money is essentially laundered and spent on campaign contributions?

5. She Is ‘Sick and Tired’ of Free Market Role in Health Care – actually health care worked very well until the government got involved – people were taken care of and the cost was not prohibitive.

6. She Says ‘Liberal’ Is a Good Word – that is her privilege.

7. She Says the AR-15 Doesn’t Belong in Civilian Hands – Don’t look for her to support the Second Amendment.

And finally:

8. She Is a ‘Romance’ Novelist – she writes sexually explicit romance novels under the name of Selena Montgomery.

The comments in bold type are from the article. Other comments are mine.

This is the person the Democrats have chosen to respond to the State of the Union address.

The Wrong People Are Paying For This

On January 11th, The Daily Signal posted the following article, “Conservative Groups Targeted in Lois Lerner’s IRS Scandal Receive Settlement Checks.”

The article reports:

The federal government in recent days has been issuing settlement checks to 100 right-of-center groups wrongfully targeted for their political beliefs under the Obama administration’s Internal Revenue Service, according to an attorney for the firm that represented plaintiffs in NorCal v. United States.

Three of the claimants in the $3.5 million national class-action suit are based in the Badger State.

“This is really a groundbreaking case. Hopefully it sets a precedent and will serve as a warning to government officials who further feel tempted to discriminate against U.S. citizens based on their viewpoints,” Edward Greim, attorney for Kansas City, Missouri-based Graves Garrett LLC told MacIver News Service.

Most of the claimants will each receive a check for approximately $14,000, Greim said. Five conservative groups that were integrally involved in the lawsuit get a bonus payment of $10,000 each, the attorney said.

About $2 million of the settlement goes to cover the legal costs of five long years of litigation. IRS attorneys attempted delay after delay, objection after objection, trying to use the very taxpayer protection statutes the plaintiffs were suing under to suppress documents.

The agency has admitted no wrongdoing in what a federal report found to be incidents of intrusive inspections of organizations seeking nonprofit status. Greim has said the seven-figure settlement suggests otherwise.

Folks, these checks are coming out of our tax dollars. As taxpayers we are paying for the corruption in the IRS during the Obama administration.

The article continues:

Disgraced former bureaucrat Lois Lerner led the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt groups. A 2013 inspector general’s report found the IRS had singled out conservative and tea party organizations for intense scrutiny, oftentimes simply based on their conservative-sounding or tea party names. The IRS delayed for months, even years, the applications, and some groups were improperly questioned about their donors and their religious affiliations and practices.

Lerner claims she did nothing wrong. In clearing her of wrongdoing, an Obama administration Department of Justice review described Lerner as a hero. But she invoked her Fifth Amendment right in refusing to answer questions before a congressional committee. The plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit took the first and only deposition of Lerner, a document that the former IRS official and her attorneys have fought to keep sealed.

“At one level, it’s hard to even assess a dollar amount to what they did, it’s so contrary to what we think our bureaucrats in Washington should be doing. It boggles the mind,” Greim said.

This was an egregious violation of free speech and disregard for the law, and no one actually was held accountable. That is sad.

The March For Life

Today was the March for Life in Washington, D.C. The Gateway Pundit posted a story today about the March. The media never reports this event exactly as it is.

The article at The Gateway Pundit notes:

An estimated 100,000 people — including Vice President Mike Pence — gathered in DC on Friday for the annual March for Life.

…USA Today, the first result when you search for the march in Google News, began their story by saying, “more than a thousand  anti-abortion activists, including many young people bundled up against the cold weather gripping the nation’s capital, gathered at a stage on the National Mall Friday for their annual march in the long-contentious debate over abortion.”

CNN and MSNBC chose not to report on the March.

Here are some of the best signs from the March (posted at The Daily Signal):

 

The Problems With The Climate-Change Report

The Daily Signal posted an article today about the new Climate Report presented to President Trump.

These are the four areas of the report that are questionable at best:

1. It wildly exaggerates economic costs.

2. It assumes the most extreme (and least likely)climate scenario.

3. It cherry-picks science on extreme weather and misrepresents timelines and causality.

4. Energy taxes are a costly non-solution.

The article notes that the study was partially funded in part by climate warrior Tom Steyer’s organization. How is this supposed to be an objective study?

The article further notes how the study came up with the economic costs:

The study…calculates these costs on the assumption that the world will be 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. That temperature projection is even higher than the worst-case scenario predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In other words, it is completely unrealistic.

The article notes that the climate trajectory used in the study is not realistic. The article states:

Despite what the National Climate Assessment says, Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 is not a likely scenario. It estimates nearly impossible levels of coal consumption, fails to take into account the massive increase in natural gas production from the shale revolution, and ignores technological innovations that continue to occur in nuclear and renewable technologies.

When taking a more realistic view of the future of conventional fuel use and increased greenhouse gas emissions, the doomsday scenarios vanish. Climatologist Judith Curry recently wrote, “Many ‘catastrophic’ impacts of climate change don’t really kick at the lower CO2 concentrations, and [Representative Concentration Pathway] then becomes useful as a ‘scare’ tactic.”

The article explains how some of the data in the study is being manipulated:

Another sleight of hand in the National Climate Assessment is where certain graph timelines begin and end. For example, the framing of heat wave data from the 1960s to today makes it appear that there have been more heat waves in recent years. Framing wildfire data from 1985 until today makes it appear as though wildfires have been increasing in number.

But going back further tells a different story on both counts, as Pielke Jr. has explained in testimony.

Moreover, correlation is not causality. Western wildfires have been particularly bad over the past decade, but it’s hard to say to what extent these are directly owing to hotter and drier temperatures. It’s even more difficult to pin down how much man-made warming is to blame.

Yet the narrative of the National Climate Assessment is that climate change is directly responsible for the increase in economic and environmental destruction of western wildfires. Dismissing the complexity of factors that contribute to a changing climate and how they affect certain areas of the country is irresponsible.

The article explains why carbon taxes are not the answer:

Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change proposed a carbon tax of between $135 and $5,500 by the year 2030. An energy tax of that magnitude would bankrupt families and businesses, and undoubtedly catapult the world into economic despair.

These policies would simply divert resources away from more valuable use, such as investing in more robust infrastructure to protect against natural disasters or investing in new technologies that make Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 even more of an afterthought than it already should be.

Climate change has been with us as long as the earth has existed–they found plant fossils under the ice in Greenland. The question is, “How much impact does man have on climate, and do we have the ability to impact climate in a positive way?” Considering some of the mistakes we have made in the past when tampering with nature, I truly believe we need to attempt to keep our air and water as clean as possible and leave the rest to nature.

This Is Really Sad

The Daily Signal is reporting today that the United Nations Human Rights Committee drafted a memo saying that abortion and physician-assisted suicide should be universal human rights.

The article reports:

The United Nations Human Rights Committee drafted a memo saying that abortion and physician-assisted suicide should be universal human rights.

The memo, or “general comment” on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, calls for abortion to be decriminalized everywhere. Nations and states should “not introduce new barriers and should remove existing barriers [to abortion] … including barriers caused as a result of the exercise of conscientious objection by individual medical providers,” it said, Crux Now reported Thursday.

To see where this is headed, we need only to look at a New York Times article from October 2016. The headline reads, “Dutch Law Would Allow Assisted Suicide for Healthy Older People.”

The New York Times reports:

In the Netherlands, a country vaunted for its liberalism, a proposal to legalize assisted suicide for older people who are generally healthy but feel they have led a full life has stirred up an ethical storm in some quarters.

In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for patients who were suffering unbearable pain and had no prospects of a cure.

Now, some critics say the country has gone too far with a proposed law that would allow people who are not suffering from a medical condition to seek assisted suicide if they feel they have “completed life.” Proponents of the law counter that limiting assisted death to patients with terminal illnesses is no longer enough, and that older people have the right to end their lives with dignity, and when they so choose.

Edith Schippers, the health minister, read a letter to the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday defending the measure. It is needed, she said, to address the needs of “older people who do not have the possibility to continue life in a meaningful way, who are struggling with the loss of independence and reduced mobility, and who have a sense of loneliness, partly because of the loss of loved ones, and who are burdened by general fatigue, deterioration and loss of personal dignity.”

We are in danger of creating a world where life has no value in itself–it only has value in how useful or convenient it is to the people around it.

To add to the picture of what is happening, The Daily Signal also reported today:

Get ready to watch one of the most heart-wrenching pro-life ad campaigns you’ve ever seen.

It’s called “Endangered Syndrome,” and in it, children with Down syndrome dress up as endangered species—pandas, polar bears, and lions.

Why?

Because like endangered animals, in many parts of the world, children with Down syndrome are becoming critically endangered, if not extinct. The point is simple—if we care so much about endangered animals, shouldn’t we also care about endangered humans, too?

This is the video:

Are you comfortable with where we are headed?

How Much Does It Cost?

The Daily Signal posted an article today about single-payer health care. This was one of the signature issues of the Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President and is still being considered in some states.

The article reports:

Earlier this year, Sanders introduced a big and comprehensive “Medicare for All” proposal that would create a government-controlled health care system at the national level. The plan has gained momentum among Senate Democrats, but has also slammed into a fiscal reality check.

Three independent estimates from a diverse range of health care economists and policy analysts have highlighted the enormous additional cost of Sanders’ proposal. The liberal Urban Institute estimated that the 10-year costs would amount to a stunning $32 trillion, while the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University put the cost at $32.6 trillion.

Professor Kenneth Thorpe of Emory University, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, used a different set of assumptions and set the 10-year price tag at $24.7 trillion.

Charles Blahous of the Mercatus Center said his own $32.6 trillion estimate made generous concessions for the purposes of calculation, and he accepted Sanders’ assumptions that the proposal would also generate savings, such as massive payment reductions to doctors and other medical professionals.

Blahous added that more realistic assumptions underlying estimates of the Sanders legislation would likely push the total taxpayer price tag even higher than $32.6 trillion.

The article mentions what has happened to state efforts to institute single-payer programs:

Officials in Sander’s home state of Vermont tried to make their state the first in the nation to create a “single payer” health care system. The ambitious proposal died after the costs were made known. According to an official state analysis, the proposal would have cost a total of $4.3 billion, with the state cost reaching $2.6 billion. As The Boston Globe noted, the entire Vermont budget in 2015 was just $4.9 billion. The state would have to increase the state personal income tax to 9.5 percent and add an 11.5 percent payroll tax.

Same problems with Colorado. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a Colorado ballot initiative to create a government-controlled health care system. That’s no surprise. According to an independent analysis, the proposed program, funded by an increase in state taxes, would still run an estimated deficit of $7.8 billion by 2028.

Even liberal California legislators have struggled to advance a “single payer” program. Their proposal has stalled, lacking the necessary legislative support. Again, this was not surprising given the cost. A California State Senate report concluded that the cost would total $400 billion and the state would have to raise $200 billion in new taxes.

There are things to consider other than cost. People in countries with single-payer often come to America for health care–it’s not that we are cheaper–we are not–but health care is available here. In Britain, people sometimes wait more than a year for heart surgery. Often they die while waiting. The free market works–even in health care. If America wants to improve its health care and reduce the cost, it needs to introduce the free market. That means getting rid of over-regulation by the government. There should be basic safety standards imposed by the government, but that should be the end of it. The free market works.

The Ignored Threat

On October 5, The Daily Signal posted an article about the threat posed to the United States by China.

Vice-President Pence lists four major threats to America from China:

1. Cyber Espionage

…Microchips, about the size of a grain of sand, were inserted into the manufacturing of equipment in China of Super Micro Computer Inc., which is a server supplier for several major companies in the United States.

Investigators determined the chips allowed attackers to create backdoor entry to alter computers. However, Amazon, Apple, Super Micro itself, and the Chinese government all disputed the Bloomberg reporting.

“This is a backdoor into the hardware level in determining personal identification, health care records, and possibly even voting machines,” Dean Cheng, research fellow on Chinese political and security affairs at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

“If the chip story is true, there is something fundamentally wrong with our supply chain,” he added.

Cheng contends these cybersecurity concerns are far weightier than concerns about election interference and spreading propaganda.

2. Election Meddling

…“It’s using wedge issues, like trade tariffs, to advance Beijing’s political influence,” he said.

“When it comes to influencing the midterms, you need only look at Beijing’s tariffs in response to ours,” Pence added. “The tariffs imposed by China to date specifically targeted industries and states that would play an important role in the 2018 election.

“By one estimate, more than 80 percent of U.S. counties targeted by China voted for President Trump and I in 2016. Now, China wants to turn these voters against our administration,” he said.

3. Squeezing US Companies

Pence called out Google for its seeming willingness to work with the Chinese government.

“Google should immediately end development of the ‘Dragonfly’ app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers,” he said in his Thursday speech.

Pence also noted that Chinese officials tried to influence business leaders.

“In one recent example, China threatened to deny a business license for a major U.S. corporation if they refused to speak out against our administration’s policies,” Pence said.

4. Military Buildup

…China wants nothing less than to push the United States of America from the Western Pacific and attempt to prevent us from coming to the aid of our allies. But they will fail.

America had hoped that economic liberalization would bring China into a greater partnership with us and with the world.

Instead, China has chosen economic aggression, which has in turn emboldened its growing military.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. We ignore this threat at our own peril.

Walking Away From A Brutal Practice

The Daily Signal is reporting today that the Trump administration has ended a government contract to buy fetal tissue from a research firm and will conduct an audit of any such research subsidized by federal taxpayers.

The article reports:

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration signed a one-year, $15,900 contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources to acquire human fetal tissue “for implantation into severely immune-compromised mice to create chimeric animals that have a human immune system.”

The contract, first reported by CNS News, prompted 45 pro-life leaders to sign onto a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar calling for an end to the government’s use of tissue from aborted babies for research.

Thee article includes the following:

Late Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement announcing termination of the contract:

After a recent review of a contract between Advanced Bioscience Resources Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration to provide human fetal tissue to develop testing protocols, HHS was not sufficiently assured that the contract included the appropriate protections applicable to fetal tissue research or met all other procurement requirements.

As a result, that contract has been terminated, and HHS is now conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations.

The Food and Drug Administration’s presolicitation notice had said that Advanced Bioscience Resources “is the only company in the U.S. capable of supplying” the fetal tissue, and “no other company or organization is capable of fulfilling the need.”

Advanced Bioscience Resources reportedly is among the entities under referral for a criminal investigation into whether they profited from the sale of tissue from aborted babies. Among the company’s sources for fetal tissue are Planned Parenthood-affiliated clinics.

This will be a financial blow to Planned Parenthood. I don’t know how much of a financial blow, but Planned Parenthood profits off of the sale of aborted baby body parts. This will at least end public funding of research on aborted baby body parts. It is a step in the right direct. Next, we need to defund Planned Parenthood. No organization that accepts government money should be able to contribute to the campaigns of the people who allocate that money.

The Impact Of President Trump’s Economic Policies On Working Ameicans

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the impact of President Trump’s economic policies on average Americans.

The article highlights the story of Tom Condon, a factory worker for 28 years, employed by Jamison Doors.

The article reports:

Before the election of President Donald Trump, John T. Williams, chairman and chief executive officer of Jamison Doors, said the policies of the federal government “had not been kind to us.”

“The economy has not been good to us and we’ve had a pretty rocky road,” he told The Daily Signal.

But since Trump became president, “the business climate changed in a significantly positive way.”

“Now not all of it could be attributed to the election,” Williams explained, “but the general attitude seemed to change because of the prospect of fewer regulations in tax reform and a generally positive attitude toward businesses and building the economy.”

Condon, and two other factory workers The Daily Signal spoke with, agreed.

“We got a good bonus this year,” said Condon. “We appreciate that. And the way the company talks, in the future we can look forward to those pretty regularly.”

Economic policies matter.

The article explains the impact of the tax cuts:

Because of tax reform passed by Congress and signed by Trump just before Christmas, the company is expanding, investing in new equipment and making plans to open a new factory.

Workers are personally benefiting, too. Condon, along with the rest of the company’s estimated 150 full-time employees in the United States, already has received two bonuses related to tax reform this year.

“Passage of the tax reform was important because it provided more money that could be used to grow our business and improve our business,” Williams said. To share in the benefits of that, Williams gave two special bonuses to everybody who’s on the payroll, each time equal to a week’s worth of salary.

In January, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described those benefits as “crumbs.”

“The bonus that corporate America received versus the crumbs that they are giving workers to kind of put the schmooze on is so pathetic,” she said.

But for workers like Condon, those bonuses are meaningful. Married for 44 years, Condon has a son and a daughter to care for, both with cerebral palsy. Twice a year, the family goes on vacation to Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland. This year, thanks to the bonuses Condon received, he’s able to rent a bigger, nicer house, and able to extend the vacation by a few days.

The American people will decide in November whether or not they want to keep this economic growth going.

Taking Advantage Of Those Who Can Least Afford It

The Daily Signal posted an article today about another battle in the war on the involuntary taking of union dues.

The article reports:

Sally Coomer of Seattle, who cares for her disabled adult daughter at home, doesn’t like the fact that union dues are deducted from the Medicaid payment she gets for her services under a Washington state policy.

“The money that is taken out in union dues, if it was not siphoned off, could be used to provide for more care,” Coomer told The Daily Signal about the Medicaid stipend given to home care providers.

“A lot of family members forgo careers to take care of family members and are working in situations where they are really financially struggling,” she said.

Washington is one of 11 states where the state governments work with public-sector unions to automatically deduct a portion of the Medicaid stipend and divert it to unions representing state employee unions.

The other states are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont, according to the State Policy Network, a conservative think tank that focuses on state issues.

Nine states take money from Medicaid home child care workers: Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.

Taking care of your child at home should not result in having union dues taken out of money you receive for the care of that child.

The Trump administration agrees:

However, the states face pushback from the Trump administration and, potentially, the courts in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling striking down mandatory payments to public employee unions by employees who don’t belong to the union.

The rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would eliminate states’ ability to divert part of Medicaid payments from providers to a third party.

The article continues:

Caregivers may pay up to $1,000 per year in union dues, according to the State Policy Network, which says state governments are “dues-skimming” an estimated $200 million per year from home health providers and $50 million from child day care providers to give to unions.

Coomer’s daughter Becky, almost 28, has cerebral palsy and a disorder that causes seizures. She is blind and developmentally disabled.

Coomer, who has become an advocate for other families who don’t want to be forced to pay union dues, said many home care providers are not aware they have a choice in joining a union.

To qualify in Washington state, family members are required to go to an orientation run by the Service Employees International Union, which represents state government employees.

“At the orientation, they would tell people they are required to sign up,” Coomer said. “I don’t know what benefit we get from the dues. The only time I hear from the union is when they inundate me with a political agenda.”

The proposed new Medicaid regulation, announced July 10, is open for public comment.

Let’s hope that the practice of taking union dues from people caring for family members is ended quickly.

 

Misleading Propaganda From The United Nations

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the latest numbers on worldwide poverty.

The article reports:

Philip Alston, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, recently reported that in the United States, “[a]bout 40 million live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in third-world conditions of absolute poverty.”

He further argued before the U.N. Human Rights Commission that “one of the world’s wealthiest countries does very little about the fact that 40 million of its citizens live in poverty.”

That would be very serious if it were true. Thankfully it is not.

The article further reports:

Such claims do have a veneer of legitimacy, however, because when compiling the U.S. government’s official poverty statistics, the Census Bureau considers only the cash income each family reports in an annual survey.

These “official” income figures exclude substantial off-the-books earnings among low-income households and omit roughly 95 percent of the $1.1 trillion U.S. taxpayers provide in means-tested cash, food, housing, and medical benefits for low-income persons each year.

Fortunately, the Census Bureau also conducts, on behalf of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a survey of household expenditures, in which families are asked to report how much money they spend each month on each of up to 594 categories of purchases. Poor families routinely report spending an average of $2.40 for each dollar of official cash income.

…Alston claims that 40 million Americans have incomes below the official U.S. poverty level of roughly $24,000 per year for a family of four. However, the reality is that at most 25.9 million Americans live in poverty, based on reported spending less than the official poverty threshold. And, the official U.S. poverty threshold is far higher than the living standard for most of the world’s population.

The article explains what poverty looks like in America:

The severe shortcomings of income-based poverty measures are made clear when one considers the actual living conditions of those whom Alston considers to be in “extreme poverty.” American families living in “extreme poverty” typically have air conditioning, computers, DVD players, and cellphones. They rarely report material hardships such as hunger, eviction, or having utilities cut off.

The article notes that we need to find a better way of compiling our poverty statistics in America so that they actually reflect the truth. An accurate reporting of poverty statistics would help the government gauge exactly what our spending on poverty needs to be.

Good News For Taxpayers

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about a new bill in Tennessee. On April 9, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill that ends state taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the state.

The article states:

The bill will direct TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, money to health care facilities instead of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

“This money is a form of supporting abortions,” state Rep. Jimmy Matlock said last month, reported The Tennessean. He fought to remove state funding from Planned Parenthood, saying that in the last six years, nearly $1 million has been paid to abortion clinics in Tennessee out of TennCare reimbursements.

…Monica Burke, a research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that no state should use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.

“The government should not be entangled with Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry,” Burke said. “Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion. In order to provide women with quality health care, public funding should be directed to qualified health care centers instead.”

Abortion is legal in America, but there is no reason taxpayers should be forced to pay for it. I am not a doctor, but my understanding is that there is sometimes a medical need to do an abortion. I have no problem with that, but abortion should not be a million dollar industry. In 2015, Breitbart reported that Planned Parenthood reports more than $127 million in excess revenue, and over $1.4 billion in net assets. The majority of that money comes from performing abortions. I am sure that I am not the only person who finds that offensive. It’s time for Americans to step up to the plate–teach abstinence in our schools, help teenage mothers who do get pregnant, and adopt the children of teenage mothers. We also need to look closely at those government programs that encourage having children without benefit of marriage. We are looking at the future predicted by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1965. We can change that future, but it will take time and serious effort.

This Sums It Up

On Saturday, The Daily Signal posted an article listing some observations about the protest march last weekend. The author of the article went to the march and lists his observations about the march.

These are his observations:

1) A Left-Wing Movement

As Julie Gunlock at The Federalist noted, some parents were led to believe that the March 14 National School Walkout would be about memorializing victims of the Parkland shooting. It wasn’t.

“The real mission of the walkout is to demand Congress pass more restrictive gun laws,” Gunlock wrote.

This goal was even more obvious at the March for Our Lives.

The author noted that there were many pink hats from the 2017 Women’s March and many anti-Trump or anti-Republican signs. One wonders what the Republicans had to do with the shooting at Parkland since it was the policies of the Obama administration that allowed the shooter to buy a gun (see article here about The Promise Program).

2) Well-Organized and Well-Funded

As BuzzFeed reported, a litany of leftist organizations and politicos got involved, including the George Soros-backed MoveOn.org, Women’s March LA, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and, curiously, Planned Parenthood.

There were certainly many children present, but there’s no way they could have put this all together on their own. Outside help and organization was apparent.

It is ironic that Planned Parenthood, a group that is directly responsible for the murder of nearly one million unborn babies a year, provided part of the funding for the March for Our Lives.

3) Prayer Is Out

Taking away guns from ordinary Americans and denigrating prayer are two things that would have horrified our Founding Fathers.

4) Those Who Disagree Viewed as Complicit in Murder

So much for constructive debate.

5) Second Amendment Seen as Problematic and Outdated

This is probably a reflection on the failure of our education system to teach American history. The protesters seem to lack understanding of why the Second Amendment is included in the Bill of Rights.

6) Fuzzy Facts

For instance, in an interview with The Daily Signal’s Genevieve Wood, one marcher repeated the thoroughly debunked claim that there had been 18 school shootings this year prior to Parkland.

This shocking number, repeated by Obama and some major media outlets, was a bogus stat cooked up by a pro-gun control group.

Almost none of the incidents used in that statistic can be described as anything like a school shooting—several were suicides or random shootings that simply took place near a school campus.

The Washington Post even called the statistic “flat wrong.”

There were other examples of misinformation as well, including one sign that called for a ban on “automatic weapons,” which have actually been banned since 1934.

Unfortunately, Americans have received a huge amount of disinformation about guns and gun control, much of it perpetuated by the media.

7) Not a Gun-Free Zone

The March for Our Lives crowd may have wanted to disarm Americans, but the event hardly took place in a gun-free zone.

Armed police covered the streets to ensure the safety of those gathering in the nation’s capital. In fact, there were even armored military vehicles embedded within groups of protesters.

Some signs essentially called for only the government to have firearms.

Of course, the idea that only the government and the military should have access to firearms would not have sat well with the Founders. They feared a government powerful enough to disarm the citizenry and a standing army. That’s why we have the Second Amendment.

Sir Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I suggest those students asking for the repeal of the Second Amendment do a study of the history of countries where only the government has seized firearms from ordinary citizens. That scenario generally does not end well.

On February 6, 2010, I posted an article about the changes being made to the bar glasses in Britain.

This is the article:

The bar glasses had recently been reinvented.  According to the Houston Press, a new shatterproof pint glass is being introduced in the British Pubs.

The article states:

“According to British Home Secretary Alan Johnson, there are about 87,000 of these (glass) attacks every year, some very serious. We even read a story about a bloodbath in a London bar in which 50 pint glasses were smashed in a minute and one person’s eye popped out. Sounds more like a horror movie than a night out at the pub.”

I must admit I live in a very sheltered world–I wasn’t even aware of the problem.  I am glad they have come up with a solution to ‘glass attacks’ at the pub, but it occurs to me that you could still knock a person out with a well-placed hit on the head even if the glass didn’t break.  I’m not sure what the solution to that would be.

The article also points out that the new glass will keep the beer (or ale) cold longer.  Since the British drink their beer at room temperature, I suspect that would be more of an American selling point.  Oh well, I’m glad that some inventor has solved one of life’s problems.  Let me know when someone comes up with an idea of how to prevent the fights in the first place. 

Guns are generally illegal in Britain, so people in bars were fighting with broken bar glasses. Maybe the problem isn’t the weapon.

 

Good News For Free Speech

The Daily Signal reported yesterday that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Baltimore pro-life pregnancy centers do not have to put up signage in their waiting rooms saying they do not offer or refer for abortions.

The article reports:

At least 10 pregnancy help centers in the city of Baltimore are being spared the city’s “weaponized” attack on their work—including Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, which opened its fifth location in May 2017, right next door to a Planned Parenthood.

A legal process that has played out since early 2010 has failed to establish even one instance of pregnancy centers deceiving or misleading women into their offices, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III wrote in the ruling.

“After seven years of litigation and a 1,295-page record before us, the city does not identify a single example of a woman who entered the Greater Baltimore Center’s waiting room under the misimpression that she could obtain an abortion there,” Wilkinson, a Ronald Reagan appointee, wrote.

With pregnancy centers awaiting the Supreme Court’s say on a 2015 California law that forces state-licensed pro-life medical clinics to tell women where and how to get taxpayer-funded abortions, the 4th Circuit’s ruling could play into a number of state and local efforts to curb life-saving alternatives to abortion.

The article concludes:

As the abortion industry continues to spin its wheels in opposition to pro-life efforts, the pregnancy help community continues to celebrate lives saved and families transformed, one woman at a time.

And, should the courts continue to shift the battlefield from government coercion to compassionate persuasion, the pregnancy help community can expect to go on celebrating more and more lives in the coming year.

I wonder how people will look back at abortion in twenty years. Since Roe v. Wade (1973), there have been 59,115,995 abortions based on numbers reported by the Guttmacher Institute 1973-2014, with projections of 926,190 for 2015-16. GI has estimated possible undercounts of 3-5%,so an additional 3% is factored into the overall total. That’s a lot of American children that are not with us.