Why A Secure Border Matters

Evidently China has been dealing with the coronavirus since December of last year. The virus has had a serious impact on the country in both economic and health areas. The restriction on Chinese citizens traveling to America that began in January has probably helped prevent a widespread epidemic in this country. However, the risk is still there.

The Daily Wire is reporting today:

“Some 328 illegal immigrants from China have been nabbed jumping the U.S.-Mexico border so far this year, according to Homeland Security data that raises the prospect a coronavirus carrier could sneak into the country via the border,” The Washington Times reported. “Three other people from South Korea — another country with rapidly spreading cases — have also been arrested at the border, as have 122 people from the Dominican Republican, where the coronavirus has now been detected.”

…Border Patrol agents told the Times that in addition to the 1,000 illegal aliens who are caught every day entering the United States through the southern border with Mexico, which is also dealing with an outbreak of the coronavirus, a significant number of illegal aliens are managing to sneak into the country undetected.

“The journey to the U.S. border puts migrants in poor conditions,” a Homeland Security official told The Washington Times. “We don’t know if they have come into contact with someone who has the flu, there is no passport, medical history, or travel manifest.”

The article concludes:

Another senior administration official told The Examiner, “We have a unique public health threat posed by individuals arriving unlawfully at the border. Any halting of MPP (Migrant Protection Protocols –the remain in Mexico policy) would exacerbate that threat.”

DHS acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told The Examiner that the department’s top objective was protecting the American people, and that Trump’s efforts have gone a long way toward achieving that goal.

“The American people can be assured that we’re doing everything we can to protect our homeland. While the general risk to the American public remains low, DHS has mobilized a departmentwide response to keep Americans safe, secure, and informed,” Cuccinelli said. “Fortunately, we were able to engage DHS assistance early to prevent the spread of this virus in the U.S. We remain locked arm-in-arm with our interagency partners, HHS and CDC health professionals, and state and local officials acting as one to safeguard the health and safety of the American people.”

An open border represents both a security risk and a health risk. It is time to stop playing politics with the lives of American people and secure the border.

Good News For The Middle East

The biggest threat to peace in the Middle East is Iran. Iran has been a major fund source for terrorism around the world. Iran funds both Hamas and Hezbollah. The sanctions President Trump has placed on Iran have diminished those funds, but they are still flowing. The goal of Iran is to recreate the Ottoman Empire, which was a caliphate that ended after World War I. One of the major obstacles to the establishment of that caliphate is Israel. Anyone who has paid attention for the past seventy years or so knows that the goal of many of the countries surrounding Israel is to eliminate Israel as a nation. Israel lives in a tough neighborhood and relies on its scientists to create state-of-the-art defensive weapons. Yesterday The Daily Wire reported on a new technology Israel has developed.

The article reports:

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced on Thursday that it had conducted the first live demonstrations of its new Drone Dome-L counter-unmanned aircraft systems (CUAS) system which features an “integrated hard-kill high energy laser effector.”

“The system achieved 100% success in all test scenarios,” the company said in a statement. “Drone Dome is designed to address threats posed by hostile drones both in military and civilian sites, offering advanced solutions for maneuvering forces and military facilities, critical border protection, as well as civilian targets such as airports, public facilities, or any other sites that might be vulnerable to the increasing threat of both terror and criminal drones.”

The article includes the following video:

The better Israel is able to defend itself, the less likely its neighbors will attack her. That is a positive thing. It’s not as good as a peace treaty, but it does decrease the chances of war in the region.

 

Interesting Take

On Friday, The Daily Wire posted an article about Trey Gowdy’s recent comments concerning the purpose of impeaching President Trump. The article points out that there is very little hope that President Trump will be impeached in the Senate and that there is very little chance that President Trump will not be re-elected. So what is the goal?

The article notes:

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Thursday that Democrats are not trying to remove President Donald Trump with impeachment, but instead are focused on kneecapping his second term by flipping the Senate so he can’t get anything done.

“Let’s skip over the process,” Gowdy said. “The process, the three month long inquiry investigation was laughable. But they voted. That’s the House’s prerogative. They voted, not a single Republican went along with them. In fact, they didn’t even keep all the Democrats. But the House exercised its prerogative and they impeached the president.”

“There is no mathematical way he is ever going to be convicted and they know that,” Gowdy continued. “So their goal cannot be to remove Donald Trump from office, it is to neuter his second term. I think he is going to win in November. It’s to neuter that second term by targeting the Cory Gardners and the Martha McSallys and the Thom Tillises and the Susan Collins and Joni Ernst because if Trump wins and doesn’t have the Senate then he is not going to get any judicial vacancies filled and he’s not going to replace a Supreme Court Justice if he or she retires.”

One of the major accomplishments of the Trump administration is the reshaping of the judiciary. President Trump has appointed a record number of judges to serve in the federal appeal courts.

On December 19th, The National Review reported:

Let’s first put the confirmation results in some statistical perspective. From 1981 through last year, the Senate confirmed an average of 45 judges, or 5.5 percent of the judiciary, per year. This year’s total is more than twice the annual average and constitutes 11.9 percent of the judiciary. It’s the second-highest confirmation total in a single year in American history.

Those 102 confirmations include 20 to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the third-highest annual total in history. President Donald Trump has appointed 50 appeals court judges in his first three years, compared to 55 appointed by President Barack Obama — in eight years. And this is only the second time in American history that the Senate has confirmed double-digit appeals court nominations three years in a row. The only downside is that only one current appeals court vacancy exists anywhere in the country right now, the fewest in more than four decades.

The Democrats understand that the legacy of judges will be a lasting legacy. They desperately need to take the Senate in order to stop the continuing confirmations of judges. That strategy is much more logical than a futile effort to unseat a President who is popular with most Americans (although hated by the Washington establishment).

A Partial Victory For Freedom Of The Press

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported the following:

On Friday, a San Francisco Superior Court judge dropped five of the standing 14 felony charges against undercover journalist David Daleiden in the so-called “Baby Body Parts” case that exposed unsavory and potentially illegal practices by abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

“Today, Thomas More Society attorneys secured the dismissal of five more felony counts, six in total, at the conclusion of the Preliminary Hearing in the California criminal case against undercover journalist David Daleiden,” the Thomas More Society, a nonprofit law firm representing Daleiden, said in a press release sent to The Daily Wire.

“Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite issued his final probable cause order today, leaving nine out of an original fifteen felony counts, to proceed to trial,” the press release explained.

Friday’s ruling concluded the preliminary hearing held in September 2019, the nonprofit said.

Peter Breen, Daleiden lawyer and Thomas More Society VP, said the legal team was “pleased” over the tossing of another five felonies, but underscored the absurdity of any of the charges holding up.

“We are very pleased by the decision today to throw out another five felony charges against David Daleiden,” Breen said in a statement to The Daily Wire.

The article continued to say that Peter Breen, Daleiden lawyer and Thomas More Society VP, intends to mount a strong defense to get all of the charges thrown out. Mr. Breen noted that David Daleiden provided information to the public that the public has a right to know. The article also notes that the original case was initiated by then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Keep in mind that Planned Parenthood pours millions of dollars into political campaigns all over the country. If politicians want to keep that money flowing, they are required to support the actions of Planned Parenthood. Regardless of how you feel about abortion, it should not be a million-dollar industry and should not be engaged in the sale of aborted baby body parts. It’s time to stop giving Planned Parenthood government money and time to provide young women an option other than abortion.

Is Lying Under Oath A Problem?

A name that seems to be in the news a lot lately is Marie Yovanovitch, who was appointed to be the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine by former President Barack Obama. She was fired by President Trump. Just for the record, ambassadors serve at the discretion of the President and can be fired for any reason. Marie Yovanovitch, however, had a reputation for saying negative things about President Trump and not supporting his policies. That is why she was fired.

Marie Yovanovitch was called before Congress as a witness in the faux impeachment hearings. She testified on October 11 in a closed-door session.

The Daily Wire posted an article today citing some problems with her testimony.

The article reports information obtained by the Tucker Carlson show:

“This show has obtained exclusively an email for that Democratic staffer for the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent by private email to the former American ambassador Marie Yovanovitch,” Carlson continued. “Yovanovitch, you know, is a key player in the Democrats’ impeachment probe and was recalled from her post in Ukraine by President Trump in May 2019 following allegations of serious partisanship and political bias.”

This is the content of the email:

I’m writing to see if you would have time to meet up for a chat — in particular, I’m hoping to discuss some Ukraine-related oversight questions we are exploring. I’d appreciate the change to ground-truth a few pieces of information with you, some of which are quite delicate/time-sensitive and, thus, we want to make sure we get them right.

The article continues:

Carlson noted that Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) asked Marie Yovanovitch about the email during her testimony and she allegedly stated that she never responded to the email.

“In fact, it turns out that she did respond,” Carlson revealed. “She said she ‘looked forward to chatting with [the Democratic staffer].”

“As Congressmen Zeldin pointed out, the ambassador’s original answer, which was dishonest, was given under oath,” Carlson concluded.

Zeldin confirmed Carlson’s segment on Twitter, writing: “It appears Ambassador Yovanovitch did not accurately answer this question I asked her during her ‘impeachment inquiry’ deposition under oath.”

The article concludes:

“I would highly suspect that this Democratic staffer’s work was connected in some way to the whistleblower’s effort, which has evolved into this impeachment charade,” Zeldin told Fox News on Thursday night. “We do know that the whistleblower was in contact with [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff’s team before the whistleblower had even hired an attorney or filed a whistleblower complaint even though Schiff had lied to the public originally claiming that there was no contact. Additionally, while the contents of the email from this staffer to Ambassador Yovanovitch clearly state what the conversation would be regarding, Yovanovitch, when I asked her specifically what the staffer was looking to speak about, did not provide these details.”

“I specifically asked her whether the Democratic staffer was responded to by Yovanovitch or the State Department,” Zeldin concluded. “It is greatly concerning that Ambassador Yovanovitch didn’t answer my question as honestly as she should have, especially while under oath.”

Those attempting this faux impeachment need to remember that there are electronic records everywhere and Youtube videos of previous statements. They are in danger of being hoisted on their own petard!

Fiscal Insanity

The Daily Wire posted an article today about the latest proposal by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The article reports:

The 29-year-old former bartender has unveiled a new six-bill package of legislation titled “A Just Society.”

“A just society provides a living wage, safe working conditions, and healthcare. A just society acknowledges the value of immigrants to our communities. A just society guarantees safe, comfortable, and affordable housing,” says a page on her House website dedicated to the package. “By strengthening our social and economic foundations, we are preparing ourselves to embark on the journey to save our planet by rebuilding our economy and cultivate a just society.”

The package has six parts:

  • “The Place to Prosper Act” would prevent year-over-year rent increases of more than 3%.
  • “The Uplift Workers Act” would mandate that the Department of Labor to create a “worker-friendly score” considering factors such as paid-family leave, a $15 minimum wage and union membership.
  • “The Mercy in Re-entry Act” would grant public benefits to those convicted of criminal offenses.
  • The “Guarantees the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for All” Act does, well, just that.
  • “The Recognizing Poverty Act” orders the Department of Health and Human Services “to adjust the federal poverty line” based on location.
  • “The Embrace Act” would allow illegal aliens to claim the same welfare benefits as all U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.

How about a “just society” where everyone gets to keep what they earn, and those who feel the need to help others are free to do that.

A New York Times article from November 3, 2018, reported the following:

Charitable contributions may be lower in Democratic-leaning counties, but residents support the social safety net through higher taxes.

Note to those who support government programs over private charity–in general private charities are run much more efficiently than government programs. Private charities also have a handle on who genuinely needs help and who has learned how to game the system.

Generally speaking it is never a good idea to take money from people that earn it and give it to people who did not–at best it is de-motivational, at worst it is simple theft.

Reaching For Fairness

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported the following:

On Monday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys representing teen track star Selina Soule and two other minor female track athletes submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights seeking an investigation into sex discrimination. The complaint specifically challenges the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) policy allowing biological males who identify as female to compete in girls’ athletics, ADF announced in a press release sent to The Daily Wire on Monday.

Per the CIAC policy, Soule was forced to compete against female-identifying biological males in a high-stakes track competition where two transgender sprinters beat the field, taking first and second place by significant margins; Soule landed in 8th place, missing an opportunity to compete in front of college coaches by two places.

“I am very happy for these athletes and I fully support them for being true to themselves and having the courage to do what they believe in,” Soule told host Fox News host Laura Ingraham in February. “But, in athletics, it’s an entirely different situation. It’s scientifically proven that males are built to be physically stronger than females. It’s unfair to put someone who is biologically a male, who has not undergone anything in terms of hormone therapy, against cis-gender girls.”

“Throughout the 2018-19 track season, males consistently deprived the female athletes who are part of the complaint of dozens of medals, opportunities to compete at a higher level, and the public recognition critical to college recruiting and scholarship opportunities,” an ADF news release said. “The complaint notes that CIAC’s policy and its results directly violated the requirements of Title IX, a federal regulation designed to protect equal athletic opportunities for women and girls.”

I will admit that this is a new issue to me. Transgender was not common when my children were in school. It does seem to me that adolescent girls and adolescent boys are different physically. Generally boys have more muscle mass and more upper body strength. That makes competition between the sexes uneven. If a male transitioning to female is allowed to compete against women, he has a physical advantage–he will generally be taller with more muscle mass. That seems unfair to me. The only logical solution is to set up athletic events specifically for transgender students. Otherwise the athletes are not competing on a level playing field.

Good News From France

The Daily Wire reported yesterday that over the weekend, the French Senate approved a bill paving the way forward for restoring Notre Dame cathedral, which nearly burned to the ground back in April in a construction fire. There’s one caveat, however: the cathedral must be returned to its “last known visual state.”

The article reports:

In other words, despite French president Emmanuel Macron’s desire to see parts of the cathedral rebuilt with an eye to more “contemporary architecture,” the French government wants to see Notre Dame returned to its former glory, according to The Local.

“French Senators have stipulated that Notre-Dame cathedral must be restored exactly how it was before the devastating fire that tore through the Paris landmark,” the Parisian news outlet reported Tuesday.

The stipulation came in the form of an addendum to a bill authorizing French authorities to begin work on Notre Dame so that the cathedral is completely rebuilt in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024 — just five years from now. The French Parliament approved the measure earlier this month but did not comment on how the cathedral should look once restoration work was finished.

The bill is controversial already: it’s written so that the French government can bypass the traditional requirements of public and legislative approval before it can shuttle money from national coffers into the project. It’s also tied to what experts consider a “rush job,” allowing only five years for a refurbishment that could — or should — take decades.

The article cites some examples of suggested changes:

Part of the problem, the historians said, was that Macron and others wanted to incorporate contemporary modifications into the cathedral restoration. Proposed ideas included a new glass spire, a glass observation roof, and even a roof addition with a public swimming pool and community garden. Integrating those ideas into a centuries-old monument could prove almost impossible.

Sorry, I just can’t see a public swimming pool in the middle of Notre Dame. Notre Dame was a beautiful cathedral and needs to be restored to its former beauty. If you need a community garden and public swimming pool, please put them elsewhere.

When The Press Works Hand In Hand With A Political Party

We have all heard examples of news articles being withheld until after an election or until the politicians involved can figure out a spin. (see article here). Well, someone blew the whistle on NBC recently. In an article posted at The Daily Wire today, investigative reporter Yashar Ali reported that the managing political editor for NBC News and MSNBC bullied him on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) into holding a scoop that he broke yesterday. Think about that–the managing political editor for NBC News and MSNBC was helping the DNC.

The article reports:

“Yesterday, I received a call from @DafnaLinzer who serves as managing editor of NBC/MSNBC politics,” Ali tweeted. “Dafna’s conduct during the call was highly inappropriate and unethical. So what was the purpose of her call? She called me to bully me on behalf of the DNC.”

“Dafna, who oversees the political coverage for NBC and MSNBC, was calling to bully me into delaying the publication of an innocuous scoop and at no point did she advocate for her network, it was only about the DNC,” Ali continued. “Yesterday morning I received a tip from a trusted source. The source told me the DNC would be announcing the dates of the first 2020 primary debates later that day. The source gave me the dates they would be announcing: June 26 and 27.”

This is the most interesting part of the story:

“I realized that @DafnaLinzer, the head of all political coverage for NBC News and MSNBC wasn’t calling to advocate for her network, she was calling to advocate the DNC’s position,” Ali continued. She wanted me to wait so they could call state party leaders. I thought to myself ‘this is how people think it works.’ It’s not. But Dafna was doing it. She kept pressing me. Now I acknowledged, for stuff that isn’t about serious investigative reporting, there is no problem holding something. But I knew once others got the call.”

So much for objective reporting.

How Much Did This Cost The Taxpayers?

The Daily Wire posted an article today about the final required filing on Friday by Robert Mueller on the Paul Manafort case.

The article reports:

Mueller and his team made their final required filing in Manafort’s case late Friday, submitting a “government sentencing memorandum” to the United States District Court in Washington, D.C., justifying their request for a harsh, 17-year prison sentence against Manafort.

In it, the government argues that Manafort “chose repeatedly and knowingly to violate the law— whether the laws proscribed garden-variety crimes such as tax fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and bank fraud, or more esoteric laws that he nevertheless was intimately familiar with, such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA),” both before and after he was under scrutiny by the Special Counsel.

Manafort’s portfolio of crimes include incidents going back more than a decade to 2005, to when Manafort was a lobbying the federal government on issues involving Russia and Ukraine. They run all the way up to last year, when Manafort was discovered to have engaged in witness tampering, even after he was indicted on tax fraud charges.

But what the government sentencing document — and Manafort’s apparent list of transgressions — doesn’t include is evidence of actual collusion with Russia during the course of the Trump for President campaign, the actual focus of Mueller’s investigation. Instead, the filing simply says that Manafort committed some of his crimes while under the “spotlight” of the campaign.

The filing is 25 pages long and barely mentions President Trump’s campaign. Collusion between candidate Trump and the Russian government is never mentioned.

The article concludes:

One item does seem to be from the correct era — an instance of “false statements to the Department of Justice” in late 2016, just before the presidential election — but those statements appear, based on the filing, to relate to Mueller’s (and before him, the Justice Department’s) investigation of his work with Ukraine. Instead of lying about something new, it seems Manafort was still covering for actions he took years earlier.

Mueller’s report is expected in early March, but so far, it seems, may have little in the way of evidence that the Trump campaign is guilty of collusion, as a number of Democrats desire.

Keep in mind that eight years ago Paul Manafort was investigated (and cleared) of most of the charges currently against him. The prosecutor that led the exoneration was Rod Rosenstein. Paul Manafort may not be as pure as the driven snow, but I strongly suspect the charges against him have more to do with the “insurance policy” discussed by the FBI than any actual crimes.

My, How Times Change

Remember when the Democrats told us that ObamaCare was not a step in the direction of government-controlled single-payer healthcare? Well, that statement is now inoperative.

The Washington Examiner reported the following yesterday:

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., has asked the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the effects of shifting all healthcare costs onto the federal government, a first step toward the “Medicare for all” legislation sought by progressives.

…Yarmuth said in a statement that his request for the score is aimed to inform House hearings on “single payer,” proposals. Such hearings would be the first step in the process toward passing legislation enacting single payer systems, a top goal pursued by progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

The article concludes:

The study concluded that overall spending, not just government spending, would be $2 trillion less compared to where spending is projected under the current healthcare system, but that would come mostly through cutting payments that hospitals and other providers were getting from private insurance by about 40 percent. Higher taxes may be under consideration to have Medicare payments align more closely with those of private insurers.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., had asked CBO to score the Medicare for All Act introduced by Sanders. In taking up various requests, CBO analysts tend to focus on bills that are closer to passage.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you have seen this quote before, but here it is again:

Milton Friedman, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

Britain has single-payer health care. In March 2017, The Daily Wire posted an article about the problems with the British health care system.

These are some of the highlights from the article:

“Pressure on all services is rising and care is increasingly being rationed. Waiting lists should not be rising, and yet they are,” said Mark Porter, council chair of the British Medical Association (BMA).

“Doctors always want to deliver the best possible care for our patients, but we can’t continuously plug gaps by penny pinching and poaching from elsewhere in an overstretched NHS.”

…A study conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine concluded that around 750 patients a month – one in 28 – pass away due to subpar quality of care, which includes “inattentive monitoring of the patient’s condition, doctors making the wrong diagnosis, or patients being prescribed the wrong medicine.” In other words, patients needlessly die as a result of the incompetence of the NHS.

For example, in January an elderly woman died from cardiac arrest after waiting 35 hours on a trolley because there was a shortage in hospital beds. A 73-year-old man also died from an aneurysm in the same hospital as he languished in the waiting room.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Note that single-payer health care is government-controlled. Do you really want the government controlling your health care?

Government Health Care Comes To New York City

The Daily Wire is reporting today that New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has announced that the city will begin a ‘universal’ health care program that will provide for health care for all uninsured New York City residents, “regardless of their ability to pay or their immigration status.”

The article reports:

ABC News reports that de Blasio’s new plan, NYC Care, isn’t exactly a “universal health care” plan, but rather a “guarantee” that the city will pay for preventative medical care for an estimated 600,000 who do not have insurance, but live within the boundaries of New York City.

Health care, De Blasio announced, is now a “right” for anyone who gets sick in NYC.

“We recognized that obviously health care is not just in theory a right,” de Blasio told media ahead of his announcement. “We have to make it in practice a right.”

“Health care is a human right. In this city we are going to make that a reality,” de Blasio repeated at a press conference on the expansion Tuesday morning.

The plan, which isn’t precisely a plan — details are scant on how the system will actually work — will cover everything from mental health services, to well visits, to maternity care for New Yorkers who choose to go without insurance, or who can’t afford even the basic, public insurance option that New York City already offers, and aren’t signed up for “Obamacare” options on the state exchange.

The article mentions Mayor De Blasio’s estimate of the cost:

As Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro pointed out on Twitter, de Blasio’s government estimates the plan will cost the city no more than $100 million per year — an amount that de Blasio says precludes having to raise taxes to cover the program. But the $100 million number assumes either that not all 600,000 uninsured individuals will need medical care, or that medical care will be provided at far below market value.

If anyone wants to start a pool on how long it is before New York City has to raise taxes to pay for this, I’m in. I wonder if this new service (and its cost) will speed up the exodus from New York.

I Think We Have Gone Over The Edge

The Daily Wire is reporting today that the TSA will be replacing many of its pointy-eared dogs at airports with floppy-eared dogs. It seems that children are less scared of the floppy-eared dogs. So this decision was made not on the basis of public safety, but on the basis of children who might be intimidated by dogs with pointy ears.

The article reports:

“We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better. It presents just a little bit less of a concern,” Pekoske added. “Doesn’t scare children.”

My former Examiner colleague Anna Giaritelli reports that the TSA currently has 1,200 doggos across the country performing security checks, and about 80% have floppy ears (such as Labradors or Golden Retrievers). In order to phase out the remaining 20%, the TSA is replacing retiring pointed-ear dogs with their floppy-eared cousins. Further, the TSA is purchasing sporting or hunting breeds, since they are easier to find.

“TSA uses five types of sporting breeds: Labrador Retrievers, German Short-haired Pointers, Wirehaired Pointers, Vizslas, and Golden Retrievers,” Giaritelli wrote. “It also uses two types of pointy-ear, or working breed, dogs: the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.”

Christopher Shelton, branch manager of the San Antonio, TX, canine training center, told Giaritelli that the TSA wouldn’t rule out a pointy-eared pup just because of his or her ears. The dog’s health, willingness and ability to sniff out security risks and its disposition still matter more. Training these dogs costs between $26,000 and $42,000, so the agency can’t be too picky about looks.

I remember coming into Logan Airport in Boston many years ago from an overseas trip. I was surprised to see beagles running around the area where we picked up our luggage. Although it seemed a little odd, it made perfect sense–beagles have very good noses. The top three breeds considered to have the best sense of smell are the bloodhounds, the basset hounds, and the beagles. It’s just that the look of the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois seems much more appropriate for a dog involved in law enforcement.

At any rate, I wish the TSA luck with their new program. It’s nice to see some of the working breeds get the recognition they deserve.

What’s Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander

Much has been made about contracts President Trump entered into with sexual partners that were supposed to buy their silence. We saw how well that worked. Meanwhile Congress had a slush fund used to pay off sexual harassment claims and other matters dealing with misbehavior on the part of Congressmen. That fund was paid for by taxpayers.

The Daily Wire reported yesterday that the House of Representatives and the Senate passed a bill yesterday (by unanimous consent) that will require Congressmen to pay out of pocket for settlements with former staffers and aides who accuse them of sexual misconduct and will not be allowed to rely on taxpayer money to defend themselves in lawsuits brought by former colleagues.

The article reports:

The Huffington Post reports that the bill goes a bit further than just limiting cash flow, reforming a grievance reporting system mired in the 1990s: “Under the current law, which has been in place since 1995, Capitol Hill staffers who claim they’ve been harassed or discriminated against have to undergo counseling, mandatory arbitration and a 30-day ‘cooling off’ period before going to court. They won’t have to do any of that anymore.”

The bill doesn’t accomplish everything Speier [Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)] set out to do. The provisions within the bill are limited to sexual harassment claims and sexual misconduct claims only — not claims of discrimination, even if those claims are sexual in nature. The bill also does not provide representation to alleged victims free of charge. Although those two requests were in the House version of the bill, Senate leadership encouraged the bill’s authors to pursue those objectives in separate legislation.

This is a mixed victory. One aspect of being in the public eye is that you are vulnerable to false claims made by people seeking money. In corporations, the corporations simply pay the ‘victim’ without confirming the charges because in the long run that is cheaper and easier. One example that comes to mind is a company in Massachusetts that awarded a large settlement to an employee who claimed sexual harassment. The company paid the claim despite the fact that the employee had lived with the person she made the charges against and actually had two children with him. Rather than debate the circumstances, the company paid. Not all charges against Congressmen are valid, and it is actually easier (and probably cheaper) to pay all of them. This may not actually be a step forward.

Is This What The Voters Wanted?

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported a statement from New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James. The statement is troubling on many levels.

The article reports:

New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James is buttressing President Trump’s claims that there is a “witch hunt” pursuing him; she told NBC News that she intends to investigate not only the president, but also his family and “anyone” in his circle who may have violated the law.

James blustered, “We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” adding, “We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.”

The article also notes:

When she campaigned for attorney general, James stated that she supported legislation allowing prosecutors to charge individuals who received a presidential pardon. Because of the double jeopardy clause, if an individual receives pardons for crimes at the federal level, they cannot be tried at the state level. James stated:

After careful deliberation, I am urging the state legislature to swiftly pass legislation which safeguards against President Trump’s attacks on the rule of law in our country. The pending legislation closes a loophole in our state law that effectively allows the president to pardon individuals for crimes committed in New York State. Given President Trump’s recent use of the presidential pardon in a case adjudicated in New York State and his claim that he can pardon himself as he pleases, it’s clear that we must act now. We can protect New Yorkers from double jeopardy prosecutions without giving away our state’s ability to deliver justice for all.

I wonder if this lady has actually read her job description.

According to the National Association of Attorneys General:

As the chief legal officer of the states, commonwealths and territories of the United States, the attorneys general serve as counselors to their legislatures and state agencies and also as the “People’s Lawyer” for all citizens. Originating in the mid-13th century in the office of England’s “King’s Attorney,” the office had become, by the American Revolution, one of advisor to the Crown and to government agencies.

While varying from one jurisdiction to the next due to statutory and constitutional mandates, typical powers of the attorneys general include the authority to issue formal opinions to state agencies; act as public advocates in areas such as child support enforcement, consumer protections, antitrust and utility regulation; propose legislation; enforce federal and state environmental laws; represent the state and state agencies before the state and federal courts; handle criminal appeals and serious statewide criminal prosecutions; institute civil suits on behalf of the state; represent the public’s interests in charitable trust and solicitations; and operate victim compensation programs.

What New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James plans to do is highly unethical. Using one’s public office to personally go after a person or family you disagree with or don’t like is a blatant abuse of power.  She deserves to be immediately censured for her statements if not impeached.

The Dangers Of Not Closely Monitoring Immigration

On Tuesday The Daily Wire posted an article about some recent information from the Department of Homeland Security.

The article reports:

The Department of Homeland Security revealed Tuesday that the threat of “fake families” declaring asylum together at the United States’ southern border is no joke; more than 150 illegal immigrant “families” have used non-familial children or adults to attempt to convince border patrol agents to allow them to remain in the country.

The Daily Caller reports that “there has been a 110 percent increase in male adults showing up at the border with children. Further, DHS separated 507 illegal immigrants between April 19 and September 30 because they fraudulently claimed they were part of a family unit.”

The thing to remember here is that there are people in various countries in South American coaching people on how to break into America. If that is a harsh word, I’m sorry–it is what is happening. I will admit that our immigration system needs serious reform, but that is no excuse for people thinking they can simply come here illegally and stay. Right now America is severely in debt. We have neglected our veterans and are not doing a good job of taking care of anyone. We cannot afford to be overrun with non-citizens who want to be taken care of.

When evaluating what is happening at our border, it might be wise to consider the Cloward-Piven strategy from the 1960’s. Cloward-Piven was a strategy to convert America to a socialist state (taken from Discover the Networks):

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue a black man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation. Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called “crisis strategy” or “Cloward-Piven Strategy,” as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands. 

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven’s early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. “Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1971 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one. 

This may well be what the caravans are actually about. If this theory is too wild for you, step back and look at the movement toward socialism in the recent election.

Reading Too Much Into Something Can Spoil It For Everyone

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about a recent controversy about “A Charles Brown Thanksgiving.” Some people who do not know the history of the Peanuts cartoon were upset about a scene in the program where Franklin, a character who is black, is sitting on one side of the table by himself in a lawn chair while the other characters sit around the table on regular chairs. The television special was declared racist on Twitter because of that scene. That declaration of racism does not hold water when the entire history of the cartoon and television specials is viewed.

The article puts the scene in context:

Of course, all of them have no idea what on earth they are talking about. Fortunately, black journalist Jeremy Helligar cleared up some of the controversy on Friday when he noted that the character Franklin had prime seating in other episodes of the “Peanuts.”

“A relevant aside: During the farewell dinner about one hour and five minutes into 1972’s ‘Snoopy Come Home,’ Franklin was seated on the same side of the table as Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Frieda — in a regular chair,” Helligar said on Medium.

The historical significance of the character Franklin cannot be understated; his creation was reportedly demanded by Charles Schulz following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. when a teacher named Harriet Glickman sent him a letter.

“When asked by the head of the cartoon’s publisher, United Feature Syndicate, if he was sure he wanted to add a black character, Glickman says Schulz replied, ‘Either you run it the way I drew it, or I quit,'” reports The Hill.

The Schulz Museum also celebrated Franklin’s 50th anniversary in July. He has never been treated like a token black character added for cheap lip-service to diversity and has always been a valued member of the “Peanuts” gang.

Watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” has been a tradition for family viewing during the Thanksgiving season. Hopefully common sense will rule in this situation, and the tradition will continue.

Is This The Most Important Thing They Have To Worry About?

The Daily Wire posted an article today about Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine. The school was named after the accomplished surgeon, and Housing and Urban Development director, Dr. Ben Carson.

The article reports:

The Detroit School Board voted Wednesday to open consideration into whether a handful of DPS schools should have their “offensive” names changed — including Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine, named for former presidential candidate, accomplished surgeon, and Housing and Urban Development director, Dr. Ben Carson.

The board will seek comment over the next several months on whether to change Carson High, which was named for Dr. Ben Carson before he became active in politics, and well before he became an ally of President Donald Trump, something the Detroit School Board apparently doesn’t appreciate.

The Detroit News reports that at least one school board member has been campaigning to have Carson stripped of the honor, and that the proposed name change has everything to do with how the Detroit School Board feels about Republicans.

A Fox News article posted in September 2017 reminds us of the accomplishments of Dr. Ben Carson.

Fox News reported:

On Sept. 6, 1987, Dr. Ben Carson completed a 22-hour pioneering operation that separated 7-month-old West German Siamese twins, who were joined at the back of the head.

Carson led a 70-person team as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and used a first-of-its-kind strategy that involved dropping the twins’ temperatures down to 68 degrees to stop their hearts and bloodflow.

Even if you ignore the above accomplishment, Ben Carson’s story is one that should be frequently shared with Detroit’s students. Ben Carson grew up in poverty with a single mother who was determined that he would succeed. She required her sons to read books and do book reports. She encouraged a strong work ethic and raised successful children.

It is foolish to rename a school because of temporary politics–the example of Ben Carson as a role model has nothing to do with his politics–the man achieved great things because he worked hard to overcome difficult beginnings. What better example to set before the children of Detroit?

The Problem With Taxes In America

Walter Williams, a professor of economics at George Mason University, posted an article at The Daily Wire today about taxes.

Professor Williams noted a few things about taxes in America:

The argument that tax cuts reduce federal revenues can be disposed of quite easily. According to the Congressional Budget Office, revenues from federal income taxes were $76 billion higher in the first half of this year than they were in the first half of 2017. The Treasury Department says it expects that federal revenues will continue to exceed last year’s for the rest of 2018. Despite record federal revenues, 2018 will see a massive deficit, perhaps topping $1 trillion. Our massive deficit is a result not of tax cuts but of profligate congressional spending that outruns rising tax revenues. Grossly false statements about tax cuts’ reducing revenue should be put to rest in the wake of federal revenue increases seen with tax cuts during the Kennedy, Reagan and Trump administrations.

A very disturbing and mostly ignored issue is how absence of skin in the game negatively impacts the political arena. It turns out that 45 percent of American households, nearly 78 million individuals, have no federal income tax obligation. That poses a serious political problem. Americans with no federal income tax obligation become natural constituencies for big-spending politicians. After all, if one doesn’t pay federal income taxes, what does he care about big spending? Also, if one doesn’t pay federal taxes, why should he be happy about a tax cut? What’s in it for him? In fact, those with no skin in the game might see tax cuts as a threat to their handout programs.  (The underline is mine.)

The above information might explain why Democrats keep getting elected despite their overtaxation and reckless spending (yes, I know the Republicans also overspend).

The article concludes:

Another part of the Trump tax cuts was with corporate income — lowering the rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. That, too, has been condemned by the left as a tax cut for the rich. But corporations do not pay taxes. Why? Corporations are legal fictions. Only people pay taxes. If a tax is levied on a corporation, it will have one or more of the following responses in order to remain in business. It will raise the price of its product, lower its dividends to shareholders and/or lay off workers. Thus, only flesh-and-blood people pay taxes. We can think of corporations as tax collectors. Politicians love our ignorance about this. They suggest that corporations, not people, will be taxed. Here’s how to see through this charade: Suppose a politician told you, as a homeowner, “I’m not going to tax you. I’m going to tax your land.” I hope you wouldn’t fall for that jive. Land doesn’t pay taxes.

Getting back to skin in the game, sometimes I wonder whether one should be allowed in the game if he doesn’t have any skin in it.

It’s time to insure that everyone has some tax burden so that they will consider that burden when they vote.

This Says A Lot About How Things Work In Washington

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported the following:

A Democratic staffer arrested last week on charges that he revealed the personal information of several Republican Senate Judiciary Committee members was not an “intern” for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), as originally reported. The 27-year-old career staffer, Jackson Cosko, was, instead, reportedly a “fellow” paid by an “outside institution” who served as a primary adviser in Lee’s Congressional office.

This wasn’t some unpaid intern–it was an advisor in a Congressional office.

The article notes:

As the Tennessee Star points out, that raises questions: “It seems clear Cosko isn’t some unlucky and overzealous intern who got caught being a naughty boy. Rather, it seems Cosko might be a Democratic operative, paid by an outside organization, planted in an unpopular congresswoman’s office possibly so he could engage in exactly the type of behavior that just got him arrested.”

Cosko was arrested last week after federal investigators discovered he was responsible for editing a Wikipedia article revealing the personal names, addresses, and phone numbers of several Republican senators, almost immediately after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) concluded a fiery speech defending then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

This is simply another example of totally unacceptable behavior by Democrat operatives. This creates a nightmare for the security details of these Senators. The Senators are considerably safer when the crazies out there don’t know where they live. How many attacks on Senators do we need before we admit the need for absolute secrecy regarding their home addresses?

Hopefully this paid operative will spend some time in jail.