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.