This Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the Clinton Foundation. The editorial deals with the drop in donations to the Foundation after Hillary Clinton lost her bid for the Presidency.

The editorial reports:

Controversy over the foundation erupted after Peter Schweizer’s 2015 book — “Clinton Cash” — suggested that the foundation served as a way for donors to curry favor with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

And, indeed, the multitude of connections that slowly turned out became hard to dismiss as coincidental. There was the fact that 85 of the 154 private interests who’d met with Clinton during her tenure at state were Clinton Foundation donors.

Emails turned up showing how the foundation intervened to arrange a meeting between Clinton and the Crown Prince of Bahrain, a country that had been a major foundation donor. A Chicago commodities trader who donated $100,000 to the foundation got a top job on a State Department arms control panel, despite having no experience in the area. On and on it went.

The editorial concludes:

But the most glaring indictment of the Clinton Foundation came from what happened last year, after Hillary Clinton lost the election — and effectively ended her political career.

First, the Clinton’s almost immediately shuttered the Clinton Global Initiative and laid off 22 employees.

Now, fresh financial documents show that contributions and grants to the Clinton Foundation plunged since Hillary lost her election bid. They dropped from $216 million in 2016 to just $26.5 million in 2017 — a stunning 88% fall. Throughout Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, the foundation pulled in an average of $254 million a year. (See chart below for a timeline.)

If the Clinton Foundation was as good as defenders claimed, why did all its big-time donors suddenly lose interest? The only reasonable explanation is that donors weren’t interested in what the foundation supposedly did for humanity. They were interested in the political favors they knew their money would buy.

In April 2015, The New York Post reported:

The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.

The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.

On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fundraising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons is on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the foundation.

In all, the group reported $84.6 million in “functional expenses” on its 2013 tax return and had more than $64 million left over — money the organization has said represents pledges rather than actual cash on hand.

Some of the tens of millions in administrative costs finance more than 2,000 employees, including aid workers and health professionals around the world.

But that’s still far below the 75 percent rate of spending that nonprofit experts say a good charity should spend on its mission.

At one time there was an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. I have no idea whether or not it is ongoing. However, just looking at the amount of money spent on overhead and the rapid drop in donations when Hillary was not elected President, I think there are some obvious conclusions that anyone paying attention can draw about the Foundation.

Underneath The Borking

What is being done to Judge Kavanaugh is a borking. It’s an eleventh-hour attempt to make sure he never sits on the Supreme Court. It is based on a thirty-some-year-old charge that cannot be substantiated or disproved. On an interesting side note, a classmate at one point posted on Facebook that the incident happened and was the talk of the school for days. Unfortunately, the incident evidently happened in the summer when school was not in session. One thing everyone needs to consider is whether or not they want to live in a country where when you are up for a promotion a person can come out of the woodwork and deny you that promotion based on an unsubstantiated claim that you did something inappropriate in high school. The other thing to consider is patterns. Is there a pattern of abuse in Judge Kavanaugh’s life? Is the pattern there that was there with Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and some other public figures? If there is a pattern, this charge needs to be examined more closely. If not, it is time to move on and understand that the charge can be neither proven or disproven and therefore must be dismissed.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an editorial about the circus this nomination process has become.

The editorial states:

It didn’t have to be this way.

Feinstein didn’t have to leak the anonymous accusation to the press, contrary to Ford’s wishes. Or she could have urged Ford to go public early, giving both parties enough time to be heard.

Even now, Feinstein and her colleagues could back a committee hearing, without which Kavan­augh has no realistic opportunity for mounting a defense. Kavan­augh is a judge and a political operator. But he ‘s also a father and husband.

But no. Senate Dems have settled on the ugliest means available, even by the standards of the body that added the verb “Borking” to our political vocabulary. The question is: Why have Republican high-court nominations brought out the worst from the left, going back to the Ronald Reagan era?

The short answer is that liberals fear their major cultural victories of the past half-century are democratically illegitimate. Not a single one was won at the ballot box, going back to the Supreme Court’s 1965 Griswold decision, which recognized a constitutional right to contraceptives. From abortion to gay marriage, plus a host of less titillating issues, modern liberalism has lived by the Court. And liberals fear their cause will die by the Court.

Unless, that is, they block conservative encroachments into the judiciary by all means necessary. Hence, Borking and Clarence Thomas-ing. And hence, too, the naked slandering of Mitt Romney in the course of the 2012 presidential campaign, to forestall his shifting the Court to the right.

I wish I could say that the way out of this impasse is for the right to double down on the gentle conservatism represented by Romney, the Bush dynasty, and the late John McCain. Perhaps that is the right course in the long term. But for now, it is imperative for the health of American democracy to resist the liberal ruthlessness that is on display in the halls of the Senate.

The verb “to Kavanaugh” must not be permitted to enter our lexicon, lest the step to unfreedom become irrevocable.

This is where we are. The only way out is to confirm Judge Kavanaugh so that this does not happen again. The last-minute sex accusation did not work on Clarence Thomas and it should not work on Brett Kavanaugh. Maybe after two strike outs, the Democrats will stop using this technique.

My Rant For The Day

The New York Post posted an article today about a speech made by Andrew Cuomo at a bill-signing ceremony today.

The article reports:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo stunned the audience at a bill-signing ceremony Wednesday by saying America “was never that great” as he mocked President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“We’re not going to make America great again,” Cuomo said while signing a bill dealing with human trafficking.

“It was never that great. We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.”

…“We will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women … is gone. And every woman’s full potential is realized and unleashed, and every woman is making her full contribution … we have not yet fully liberated the women in this country, and we will, and New York will lead the way.”

I beg to differ. Let’s use Mario Cuomo as an example. His parents owned a store in South Jamaica, Queens, in New York City. He graduated from St. John’s University and St. John’s University School of Law, later becoming Governor of New York. A son of Italian immigrants who became governor of one of the largest states in our nation. I think that’s pretty great. Andrew was also able to get a good education and follow in his father’s footsteps. Whether or not you agree with his politics, Mario Cuomo is an example of a child of immigrants who was able to get an education and prosper. That is what makes America great. Andrew Cuomo needs to look at his own family history before he claims that America is not great. There are very few countries where what his family accomplished would be possible.

Our Justice System Is Skewed

The New York Post posted an article today about the trial of the suspects who were running the compound in New Mexico where neglected children were found. I posted an article detailing the discovery of the compound on August 9 (story here).

This is today’s update on the story:

A New Mexico judge granted bail Monday to five suspects — one the son of a controversial Brooklyn imam — who were accused of keeping kids in a filthy, heavily fortified compound.

Three women and two men, ages 35 to 40, will wear ankle monitors and be under house arrest if they can post $20,000 bond each, the judge ruled in Taos.

Deputy District Attorney Timothy Hasson told the court that the suspects were up to no good, saying, “This was not a camping trip and this was not a simple homestead of the kind that many people do in New Mexico.”

One of the suspects, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, is the son of Brooklyn cleric Siraj Wahhaj, who has been linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

We let these people out on bail and we put Paul Manafort in solitary confinement because of tax evasion??? I think we have a problem in our justice system.

Saving Money For Americans

On August 2, The Political Insider posted an article about the cost of a border wall to control immigration on our southern border. The article noted that the cost of the border wall would be approximately $18 billion. That’s a lot of money, but the article points out how much illegal immigration costs the American taxpayer.

In March 2018, The New York Post reported:

If a wall stopped just 200,000 of those future crossings, Camarota says, it would pay for itself in fiscal savings from welfare, public education, refundable tax credits and other benefits currently given to low-income, illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

If a wall stopped 50 percent of those expected crossings, he says, it would save American taxpayers a whopping $64 billion — almost four times the wall’s cost — to say nothing of the additional billions in federal savings from reduced federal drug interdiction and border-security enforcement.

Camarota explains that illegal border-crossers from Mexico and Central America — who account for more than 75 percent of the illegal immigrant population in the US — are overwhelmingly poor, uneducated and lack English language and other skills. In fact, the average Latino illegal immigrant has less than a 10th-grade education. That means if they work, they tend to make low wages; and as a result pay relatively little in taxes while using public services. And if they have children while in the US, they more often than not receive welfare benefits on behalf of those US-born children, who have the same welfare eligibility as any other citizen.

“A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households is received on behalf of their US-born children,” Camarota said. “This is especially true of households headed by illegal immigrants.”

Therefore, illegal border-crossers create an average fiscal burden of more than $72,000 during their lifetimes, Camarota says. Including costs for their US-born children, the fiscal drain jumps to more than $94,000.

So why is Congress blocking the wall? The Democrats are blocking it because they want to change the demographic of the American voter–they feel that flooding the country with people who do not understand the American Constitution will result in Democratic election victories. The Republicans are blocking it because their corporate donors see illegal immigration as a source of cheap labor. It should be noted that the ongoing source of cheap labor keeps all American wages down. That is why many unions are rethinking their support of the Democrat party. Meanwhile, the loser in this discussion is the American taxpayer. There are Republicans who are not owned by corporate donors. These Republicans have voted repeatedly to fund the wall. They have been blocked by fellow congressmen. It is time to review the votes of your congressman. If you want America to be a country with sound immigration policies, don’t vote for a congressman who is not willing to acknowledge that America needs to have secure borders.

Closure For Some American Families

Yesterday The New York Post reported that North Korea has returned 55 cases of remains of American soldiers who have been missing since the Korean War.

The article reports:

Also on the plane were technical experts from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

“It is a solemn obligation of the United States Government to ensure that the remains are handled with dignity and properly accounted for so their families receive them in an honorable manner,” the statement read.

The agreement to return the remains were made during a historic summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore last month.

The White House said the move was the first step in achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The Korean War ended in 1954. For those still running around with their hair on fire because they hate President Trump, why couldn’t this have been done years ago? Can we please give the President credit for taking care of things that other Presidents either could not do or were not interested in doing.

The Right To Try Bill

Yesterday President Trump signed a “Right to Try” bill. The bill had been introduced in the Senate on January 24, 2017. It passed the Senate in August of 2017, The bill passed the House of Representatives in May 2018.  This is the link to view the text of the bill.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article on the bill.

The New York Post reported:

President Trump signed a bill on Wednesday that will let terminally ill people use experimental drugs, citing the meds’ ability to save “tremendous numbers of lives.”

…The measure gives terminally ill patients the ability to seek drug treatments that​ haven’t been fully approved by the FDA.

More than 1 million Americans die from a terminal illness each year, the White House said.

During the ceremony, Trump also said that in two weeks, major drug companies will announce “voluntary drops in prices.”

Hopefully this bill will be helpful to medical research and will keep all of us healthier for longer.

The Economic Impact Of Tax Cuts

First of all, let’s take a short walk down memory lane to a Washington Post article from November 20, 2017.

The article explains how the Democrats plan to use the tax cut plan in the 2018 mid-term elections:

The goal of the ads will be to hit two messages. The first is that the GOP changes to the tax code themselves would be enormously regressive, showering most of their benefits on the wealthy while giving crumbs to working- and middle-class Americans or even raising their taxes. The second is that these tax cuts would necessitate big cuts to the safety net later — the ad references $25 billion in Medicare cuts that could be triggered by the GOP plan’s deficit busting — further compounding the GOP agenda’s regressiveness down the line.

Geoff Garin, a pollster for the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, tells me that his polling shows that this combination alienates working-class whites, particularly Obama-Trump voters. “They are fundamentally populist in their economic views, and they find big breaks to corporations and the wealthy especially heinous when the flip side of that means cutting Medicare and Medicaid,” Garin said.

That was the original plan. Now lets look at an article posted yesterday in The New York Post about the results of the tax cut plan.

The New York Post reports:

We are already starting to see a fiscal dividend from Trump’s pro-business tax, energy and regulatory policies. The Congressional Budget Office reports that tax revenues in April — which is by far the biggest month of the year for tax collections because of the April 15 filing deadline — totaled $515 billion. That was good for a robust 13 percent rise in receipts over last year. ‎

…But there’s another lesson, and it’s about how wrong the bean counters were in Congress who said this tax bill would “cost” the Treasury $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion in most revenues over the next decade. If the higher growth rate Trump has already accomplished remains in place, then the impact will be well over $3 trillion of more revenue and thus lower debt levels over the decade.

Putting people back to work is the best way to balance the budget. Period.

The article concludes:

No one thought that Trump could ramp up the growth rate to 3 percent or that his policies would boost federal revenues. But he is doing just that — which is why all that the Democrats and the media want to talk about these days is Russia and Stormy Daniels.

I want to go back to the original Democrat statements about the damage the tax cuts would do to the economy. Did they really believe that or do they simply want more of our money under their control? Either way, it doesn’t say good things about them–either they don’t understand economics (see the Laffer Curve) or they lied. Obviously they have to continue lying if they want to use the tax cuts as part of their mid-term election campaign–they have already stated that they want to rescind many of the tax breaks that have resulted in the recent economic growth.

If you are inclined to vote on pocketbook issues, the only choice in November is to vote for Republican candidates for Congress.

The Irony Of This Is Wonderful

Paid protesters have been a mainstay of the Democratic party for a long time. I encountered them years ago when I worked on a campaign for a Republican running for the U.S. House of Representatives. In Massachusetts, they were generally union workers who were commanded to show up at a certain place and given picket signs. In many cases they were told to create an incident that would make the evening news. In other places, newspaper ads recruit protesters.  However, it seems as if some of the chickens have come home to roost.

The New York Post reported yesterday that thousands of protesters have shown up outside Sen. Chuck Schumer’s luxury Brooklyn apartment building. The signs the protesters are carrying as they protest one of their own are as crude as the ones they use to protest Republicans.

The article reports:

As they marched, the anti-Trump demonstrators waved signs saying “Resist Trump” and “Show Some Spine Schumer” — while also chanting things like “Stay strong, Chuck” and “Shut it down, shut it down, New York is an immigrant town.”

The group is ultimately up in arms over what they refer to as Schumer’s “centrist” beliefs and willingness to play ball with the president.

While Schumer did say Monday that he would oppose at least eight of Trump’s cabinet nominees, he has already voted “yes” on three of his picks: Gen. James Mattis for the Department of Defense, Gen. John Kelly for the Department of Homeland Security and Mike Pompeo for the CIA.

“He’s talking the talk on social media, but is he walking the walk?” said Cambra Moniz-Edwards, 35, of Brooklyn. “What the f–k, Chuck?!”

Phoebe Damrosch, 38, of Brooklyn, cited Schumer’s headline-grabbing tears during a recent news conference on Trump’s immigration ban as she voiced her concern Tuesday night.

“His tears know what’s right,” the mother of three said, while carrying a sign with a pack of Kleenex tissues attached that said: “It takes a real man to cry and lead.”

I firmly believe that in the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President, the liberals are becoming a parody of themselves. Senator Schumer is the last person they should be protesting. Get out the popcorn–there is going to be a show that may last for a while.

Getting Old In American Just Got Worse

Generally speaking, American senior citizens get reasonable medical care. Medicare takes care of joint replacements, cataracts, and other senior-related ailments. However, that is about to change.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article discussing changes President Obama is about to make to Medicare. The changes President Obama is suggesting will impact the quality of life that American senior citizens now enjoy.

The article reports:

The president’s Medicare reforms make it harder for seniors to get joint replacements. His new payment rules shortchange doctors, discouraging them from accepting Medicare in the first place. New ER rules clobber seniors with bills for “observation care.” Under ObamaCare, hospitals get bonuses for spending less per senior, despite having higher death rates and infection rates.

Expect the Medicare Trustees’ annual report, due out Wednesday, to ignore these problems.

…The new rules also make seeing Medicare patients a money loser. Annual fee increases for doctors are capped at a fraction of one percent — even though rents and other costs go up every year.

No wonder nine out of 10 solo practitioners admit they’ll avoid Medicare patients — right when 10,000 new baby boomers are joining each day.

Obama’s rules spell trouble for seniors with cancer. Doctors administering chemotherapy are getting a pay cut and being prodded to choose the cheapest drug, regardless of which medication is best for their patient. Dr. Debra Patt warned Congress this’ll hinder access to drugs like the immunotherapy that subdued former President Jimmy Carter’s cancer.

Another Obama rule penalizes hospitals for doing hip and knee replacements on patients likely to need rehab after surgery, causing hospitals to shun older patients with complex conditions. Grandma will have to settle for the painkiller as candidate Obama notoriously suggested.

…Clinton proposes opening Medicare to people in their 50s. That would force seniors to compete with younger patients for resources — like in Britain and Canada, where seniors are labeled “bed blockers,” and certain treatments are reserved for younger patients with more life ahead.

When ObamaCare was first enacted, there were discussions about denying care to senior citizens–we all remember Sarah Palin‘s claim that ‘death panels’ were built into ObamaCare (which actually turned out to be true). My real question in all of this is whether or not the politicians who are going along with these ‘reforms’ are going to have to live under them.

Rewriting History For A Political Purpose

I thought only Russian dictators rewrote history, but now American journalists seem to be doing it. There has been quite a kerfuffle about Donald Trump‘s remarks about Arabs celebrating 9/11. The news media is claiming that he is lying, but he keeps on coming up with their own stories that detail the celebrations. It wasn’t hundreds of thousands, but it was thousands.

The Conservative Treehouse posted a story yesterday giving a few examples of what is happening to the news media in America. They are becoming campaign workers–not news reporters. I need to say here that I am not voting for Donald Trump in the Republican primary. However, if he is the candidate, I would vote for him before I would vote for Hillary Clinton. But that is not the point.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse is reporting that The New York Post has removed articles about the Arab celebrations of 9/11 from its website. Donald Trump exaggerated, but told the truth. The New York Post and other media have attempted to alter the truth.

The story at The Conservative Treehouse includes the following:

[…]  The PC concern is that the Israelis will somehow “take advantage” of the attacks and therefore that negative stories about Palestinians are to be handled as gingerly as stories about American Arabs and Muslims.

That’s why you probably don’t know about the Palestinian Authority’s death threat against a videographer who took footage of a 4,000-person celebration on Sept. 11 – which led to the seizure of the news footage and its erasure. The fact that bin Laden’s allies on the West Bank targeted a news photographer for death for filming Palestinians dancing at the news of the death of 7,000 Americans didn’t make it anywhere near the front pages.

The news media usually make a stink when the media are threatened. Not this time.  (link)

Follow the link to The Conservative Treehouse to see screenshots of the stories that have been deleted.

How Did We Get Here And How Do We Get Away From This?

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about some of the tactics being used by the Democrat party in New York to turn out voters.

The article reports:

The New York State Democratic Committee is bullying people into voting next week with intimidating letters warning that it can easily find out which slackers fail to cast a ballot next Tuesday.

“Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is public record,” the letter says.

“We will be reviewing voting records . . . to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014.”

It ends with a line better suited to a mob movie than a major political party: “If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not.”

The letters were sent out to 1 million registered Democrats who had failed to vote in previous midterm elections.

The article further reports:

Such attempts to shame people to vote — what politicos call “social pressure” or peer pressure — has become more common place and was used by the Obama campaign in 2012, sources said.

A Yale University study in 2008 found that voter participation increased substantially after lazy voters received letters telling them their spotty voting history was a public record that would be scrutinized.

The notice includes a “vote report card” rating New Yorkers’ voting records as “excellent,” “good,” “fair” or “incomplete.”

“Many organizations monitor turnout in your neighborhood and are disappointed by the inconsistent voting of many of your neighbors,” it says.

I am totally in favor of encouraging people to vote, but I think voter intimidation is not the answer. There are a number of things we can do to encourage people to vote–we can do whatever it takes to ensure the integrity of our elections, and we can encourage people to get involved in local politics so that they become part of the process of choosing candidates–thus giving more people a voice in who the candidates are. We also need to remind those Americans who are Christians that their moral input is needed in American politics.

We need to remember the words of John Adams–“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” If the church withdraws from politics, It is not fulfilling its role in keeping America strong.