Protecting Voter Fraud

The Daily Signal posted an article today about the President’s election commission that is investigating voter fraud.

The article reports:

Many of the states refusing to cooperate with President Donald Trump’s election commission aren’t in compliance with federal law on maintaining voter registration lists, according to government watchdog groups.

So far, 18 states and the District of Columbia have declined or are still considering whether to provide election data to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, established in May to examine and prevent voter fraud, among other concerns.

The commission requested voter registration data from every state and the District and 14 states include counties where registered voters outnumbered eligible voters based on Census Bureau data, according to findings from Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group.

The 1993 ‘motor voter law‘ requires states to purge their voter rolls of ineligible voters periodically.

The article explains:

Kentucky, a decisively red state in previous elections, had the most counties where registered voters outnumber eligible voters. California, a strongly blue state, also had significant problems, according to findings from Judicial Watch and the Public Interest Legal Foundation, both conservative watchdog groups.

Other states that outright refuse to cooperate with the commission are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.

The states of Arizona, Illinois, and Indiana are still undecided.

“Overall, in most of the states not providing information to the commission, there are a significant number of counties with problems,” Robert Popper, senior attorney for Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project, told The Daily Signal.

Common sense tells us that if registered voters outnumber eligible voters in a county, there is a problem. Every fraudulent vote cast in an elections voids the vote of a legitimate voter. That is the true definition of voter suppression and needs to be stopped.

It Doesn’t Have To Be Real To Make The News

Yesterday Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner about the Trump dossier that received so much attention during the 2016 Presidential campaign. The article notes that the FBI has not verified the dossier.

The article reports:

FBI and Justice Department officials have told congressional investigators in recent days that they have not been able to verify or corroborate the substantive allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign outlined in the Trump dossier.

The FBI received the first installment of the dossier in July 2016. It received later installments as they were written at the height of the presidential campaign, which means the bureau has had more than a year to investigate the allegations in the document. The dossier was financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

An August 24, 2017 subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee to the FBI and Justice Department asked for information on the bureau’s efforts to validate the dossier. Specifically, the subpoena demanded “any documents, if they exist, that memorialize DOJ and/or FBI efforts to corroborate, validate, or evaluate information provided by Mr. Steele and/or sub-sources and/or contained in the ‘Trump Dossier.'”

It sounds as if Congress wants the dossier proven or disproven, but the FBI and the Justice Department are dragging their feet.

The article reminds us that some parts of the dossier have already been shown to be untrue:

Some Republicans point out that at least one group of assertions, the ones concerning Michael Cohen, have been convincingly debunked. (Cohen has produced proof that he was not in the Czech Republic, or even in Europe, when the purported meeting took place.) The dossier attributed the Cohen story to a “Kremlin insider” who was “speaking in confidence to a longstanding compatriot friend.” Investigators want to know if that insider-compatriot line of sourcing provided other, equally unreliable information in the dossier.

The article concludes:

That’s fine, as far as it goes — after all, investigators unanimously agree that Russia tried to influence the election — but what about the Trump campaign? What about all those specific allegations of coordination between Team Trump and the Russians? Those were the most explosive parts of the dossier. And they remain unverified.

The bigger question is whether or not the dossier was used as a justification to put the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team under electronic surveillance. If that was done without verifying the information in the dossier, the people who signed off on the surveillance should at the very least be fired.

Destroying Your Own Credibility

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that Black Lives Matter is experiencing a backlash after shutting down an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) free speech event at the College of William and Mary last week.

The article reports:

Claire Gastañaga, the shouted-down executive director of the Virginia ACLU, said “a public college like William and Mary has an obligation to protect the freedom of the speaker to speak,” and college president Taylor Reveley wrote the action prevented “hard questions” and a “debate where the strength of ideas” prevails.

What has college become?

The article concludes:

The disruption of the ACLU event in Virginia follows the February cancellation of a speech by then-Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California at Berkeley after violence and property damage by his opponents and the shouting down in March of political scientist Charles Murray at Middlebury College — each incident attracting significant national debate, with older left-wing scholars such as Noam Chomsky and some members of Berkeley’s pioneering 1960s Free Speech Movement arguing it’s wrong to censor others.

The William and Mary Black Lives Matter chapter did not respond to a request for comment, but remained defiant in the face of growing condemnation Friday, posting a message to Facebook: “The right to free speech is a fundamental human right. However, speech that condones, supports or otherwise fails to explicitly condemn injustice must be directly confronted.”

We need to go back to teaching American history and the U.S. Constitution in our schools. There is nothing wrong with confronting speech, but there is a difference between confronting speech and not allowing someone to speak.

Unintended Consequences Of A Coming Investigation

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about one of the unintended consequences of the formation of a commission to study voter fraud. This would be funny if it were not so consequential.

The article reports:

Several county clerks in Colorado said they’ve seen hundreds of people withdraw their voter registrations following the state’s announcement that it would comply with President Trump’s voter fraud commission.

In Denver, a spokesperson for the Denver Elections Division said 180 people have withdrawn their registrations in the county since Monday, according to a Denver Channel report.

In Arapahoe County, which contains the city of Aurora, at least 160 people have withdrawn their registrations since July 1.

The counties normally see fewer than 10 withdrawn registrations in similar time frames.

There is nothing I can add.

Is There Anyone In Washington Who Is Not Part Of The Swamp?

It just seems as if every agency in our government has been infused with political operatives. We were supposed to be protected from that by the Hatch Act, but somehow it hasn’t worked that way. Washington has become a sea of people with subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) political alliances that have nothing to do with the good of the country.

The Federalist Papers posted an article yesterday about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. It is my personal opinion that this investigation will continue until the political left finds someone they can accuse of something. Since they have been throwing accusations around for six months and have found nothing, this may take a while. It may cost us a lot of money to go after some person who did something so horrible as to forget a phone call he made a year ago.

The article states:

As the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election continues, we see yet another potential issue; this time, it appears that the investigators, the acting FBI director at that, may have personal conflicts of interest that could taint the integrity of the investigation.

The story was revealed by Sara Carter and John Solomon of Circa. They revealed that Senator Chuck Grassley is demanding the DOJ Inspector General investigate the acting FBI director for potential conflict of interest violations.

The article goes on to explain that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel is investigating FBI Director Andrew McCabe for violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits certain federal employees, including the FBI, from engaging in political campaign activity. The news source Circa revealed that McCabe was engaging in political campaigning for his wife in a Virginia state senate race.

The latest problem with Director McCabe is his involvement in an FBI matter involving General Flynn.

The article at The Federalist Papers reports:

The Chairman (Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley) is also asking the Inspector General to investigate the ongoing sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by former FBI Special Agent Robyn Gritz, which named McCabe and other FBI officials, who she accused of impeding her work within the bureau.

Gritz’s complaint was supported by then former Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn, who went on to become President Trump’s National Security Advisor, was subsequently fired after highly classified information regarding a conversation he had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyac was leaked to the media.

There is definitely a question as to whether Director McCabe has a conflict of interest regarding the Russian investigation.

The article at The Federalist Papers concludes:

The question now, is does the acting FBI director need to recuse himself from presiding over the Russia investigation because of the plausible conflict of interest? Not to mention the fact that McCabe is under investigation for a potential violation of the Hatch Act, it seems that something is very amiss in the acting FBI director’s discretion, going all the way back to 2015 (that is, what we have on record at least).

Is there any untainted, apolitical person we can put in charge of the FBI?

It Will Be Interesting To See If The Truth Ever Comes Out

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that a new twist has been added to the lawsuit some Bernie Sanders supporters are bringing against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) because of the rigged primary election.

The article reports:

A court document filed this week with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by their attorneys said that they received a call for information about the case from the office of Wasserman Schultz, a Democratic congresswoman from Florida, and claimed that it sounded like the caller used a voice changer.

According to attorney Elizabeth Lee Beck: “At 4:54 p.m. today [June 1], an individual called our law office from ‘305-936-5724.'” That number is the contact phone number for Wasserman Schultz’s Aventura office in Florida.

“My secretary stated that it sounded like the caller was using a voice changer, because the voice sounded robotic and genderless — along the lines of the voice changers used when television show interviews are kept anonymous,” Beck continued. “The caller concluded with ‘Okey dokey,’ after my secretary gave the caller public information about the case. After the call ended, a simple Google search of the phone number ‘305-936-5724’ shows that it is the phone number for Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz‘ Aventura office … What just occurred is highly irregular and we will be filing the instant e-mail with the court forthwith.”

Beck also included a screen shot of the caller ID information.

Wow. Of course the lawyers representing the DNC say the office was under repair and there was no one there that could have made the call.

The article concludes:

Because the incident is related to congressional phone lines it was reported to Capitol Police, the document added.

Stay tuned. This illustrates the mixed blessing of caller ID!

Common Sense Shows Up

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about a ruling by U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

The article reports:

A Texas judge has temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s new requirements for transgender care, granting a preliminary injunction Saturday to several states and religious health organizations suing over the rules.

The rule, which was slated to go into effect Jan. 1, says that doctors can’t refuse to provide medically necessary health services within their scope of practice because of a patient’s gender identity. It doesn’t explicitly require doctors to perform gender transition services, but it says providers can’t refuse services they already provide based on discrimination.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas temporarily blocked the requirements at the request of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arizona and Mississippi along with the Franciscan Alliance and several other religiously affiliated organizations.

Judge Reed O’Connor wrote that the rule contradicts existing law and “likely violates” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Becket Fund, which is representing the states and organizations, said the decision ensures doctors won’t be required to act against their best medical judgement or violate their religious beliefs.

Transgender rights seem to be the new cause of the political left. According to the statistics I could find, the LGBT community makes up between 3 to 4 percent of the American population, and the transgender community makes up a small percentage of that 3 to 4 percent. I really don’t care what anyone does in their spare time or in their bedroom–that is way above my pay grade to judge. However, when their practices begin to infringe on my rights as a religious person, I have a right to defend those rights. Again, I don’t care if you get married–just don’t ask a person who believes in the Biblical definition of marriage to marry you. Don’t ask a baker who holds a Biblical definition of marriage to bake you a cake. Ask someone who is comfortable with being involved in some way with your wedding. (No, I don’t think the Rockettes should be required to perform at Trump’s Inauguration either). You are entitled to your freedom as long as it does not interfere with my freedom. As far as the battle over restrooms is concerned, to me it is very simple–there are non-LGBT people out there who will take advantage of a law allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of the sex they are becoming by using the bathroom that does not correspond with their obvious sexual characteristics. The problem is not the transgender community–it is the disturbed people outside of that community who will take advantage of the law if it changes. In places where the law has changed, there have already been arrests. I don’t want a man in the ladies’ room when I (or my daughters or granddaughters) are in there. If he feels like a woman, he is still not welcome if he is a man.

Again, I don’t need to know or care what anyone else does in their bedroom, but I do need to care when someone tries to infringe on my right to practice my religion.

 

Ending Government Over Regulation

On Wednesday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the Freedom Caucus’ list of regulations that can be repealed quickly in the Trump Administration.

The article reports:

The incoming chair of the House Freedom Caucus has given President-elect Trump a list of 232 rules and regulations he can repeal on his first day in office.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said on CNN the group of conservative lawmakers came up with a 21-page report to give to Trump that shows their least favorite rules and regulations handed down by the Obama administration. He said it’s an important way to restore balance between the executive and legislative branches.

“The list continues to grow, but we felt like it was important to put together a real working document where they can look at that and make executive branch decisions,” Meadows said.

Meadows said all the regulations listed in the report do not have a possible legislative fix and can’t be repealed under the Congressional Review Act. Republicans in Congress will be working to identify which rules and regulations they need to act on legislatively to repeal.

Because President Obama passed so many regulations through Executive Orders, these regulations can be repealed through Executive Order.

The National Association of Manufacturer’s website includes the following chart showing the cost of federal regulations:

Keep in mind that consumers pay those costs–the company passes them on in the form of higher prices. Repealing unnecessary federal regulations puts more money in the pockets of all Americans.,

The Price Of A Porous Border

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the cost of young people illegally entering America every day.

The article quotes Center for Immigration Studies Policy Director Jessica Vaughan:

“An average of 255 illegal alien youths were taken into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) every day this month, according to the latest figures the agency provided to Congress. This is the largest number of illegal alien children ever in the care of the federal government. To pay for it, the agency says it will need an additional one or two billion dollars for the next year – above and beyond the $1.2 billion spent in 2016 and proposed for 2017 – depending on how many more arrive. For now, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where ORR resides, is diverting $167 million from other programs to cover the cost of services for these new illegal arrivals through December 9, when the current continuing resolution expires.”

So, what are the other programs? A total of $167 million will be coming from other federal programs. This includes $14 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration, including $4.5 million from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and $2 million from the Maternal and Child Health program. I have a question. If (according to the Democrats in Congress) it is impossible to cut the federal budget, how can you cut these programs? Are you denying Americans what they need to accommodate people who entered the country illegally? Wouldn’t it be cheaper simply to send the youths home?

Let’s hope that the new Congress follows its obligation to approve a budget and stick to it. This is ridiculous.

Necessary Changes In The Trump Transition Team

On Tuesday The Washington Examiner posted an article about changes to the Trump Transition team. Chris Christie has been replaced by Vice-President elect Mike Pence, and other changes have been announced.

The article reports:

President-elect Trump’s White House transition team has vowed to go lobbyist-free, after coming under criticism for staffing up on lobbyists despite campaign promises to fight the influence of special interests in Washington.

Vice President-elect Pence and the White House transition have signaled plans to clear out any lobbyists serving in official roles as they begin the 10-week transition process until Trump’s inaugration on Jan. 20, according to a report from Fox News.

Draining the swamp is not going to be easy–there are a lot of people who have a vested interest in maintaining the swamp–it has made them very wealthy.

If This Is Not Illegal, It Should Be

Anyone who follows the news closely (assuming they don’t depend on the mainstream media as their news source) is aware that the Clinton Foundation is a personal cash cow for the Clinton family. A number of sources that have investigated the Foundation have observed that between 8 and 10 cents of every dollar goes to help whatever cause is being helped. The other 90 to 92 cents goes to ‘overhead.’ It would be very interesting to see a dollar by dollar breakdown of that ‘overhead.’ Meanwhile, the concept of ‘pay for play’ keeps rearing its ugly head.

The Washington Examiner posted a story today about communication between the Clinton Foundation and the U.S. State Department during the time that Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

The article reports:

Call logs from the office of Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, show Mills had frequent contact with top executives at the Clinton Foundation.

The logs, which were obtained by Citizens United through the Freedom of Information Act, indicate the foundation’s chief operating officer, Laura Graham, called Mills often to discuss State Department business.

For example, Graham called Mills in February of 2012 to deliver a message relevant to the chief of staff’s upcoming meeting with an unidentified prime minister. The previous month, she had contacted Mills regarding “sensitive” issues that included Haiti relief.

Mills was also in contact with Stephanie Streett, executive director of the Clinton Foundation, the records show.

That’s just a little too cozy for me. It makes me wonder exactly who was influencing American foreign policy.

 

 

 

I Have No Idea What To Believe

I am not thrilled about my election choices in November. Donald Trump has foot in mouth disease and Hillary Clinton is as corrupt as they come. Great choice. However, there are some things to consider. The fact that the Democrats, the Republican establishment and the media oppose Trump probably indicates that he is the right man for the job. Donald Trump has also shown an ability to surround himself with very capable people.  Hillary Clinton is frightening because of the Supreme Court judges she would appoint, her stand on abortion, her stand on religious freedom, her healthcare policies, and her views on the Second Amendment. If Hillary is elected, tax dollars will routinely be used to fund abortion mills–something currently banned by the Hyde Amendment.

The reports by the major media show that the polls show that Hillary Clinton will win in November by a landslide. That seems rather odd because of the difference in attendance at Hillary Clinton events and Donald Trump events. Hillary can’t fill a small venue and Donald is overflowing in huge stadiums. So why isn’t that reflected in the polls? I don’t know.

Meanwhile, The Washington Examiner posted a story yesterday showing a poll with a different result.

The story reports:

Republican Donald Trump should win the presidency by a slim margin according to a model that has accurately predicted the popular vote since 1988.

Using several standards to make his prediction, Alan Abramowitz‘s “Time for Change” model done for the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics “Crystal Ball” shows Trump winning 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent for Hillary Clinton.

He added that the model shows a 66 percent chance of a Trump victory.

“Based on a predicted vote share of 48.6 percent for the incumbent party, these results indicate that Trump should be a clear but not overwhelming favorite to defeat Clinton: There should be about a 66 percent chance of a Republican victory,” Abramowitz added.

Later in the article, Abramowitz states that Hillary Clinton will win in November because Donald Trump’s unfavorable ratings are so high. It must be nice to be able to write a story that takes both sides of an issue.

The bottom line is simple. Our republic is on the line. Everyone needs to get out and vote. I really don’t want to explain to my grandchildren how we got a Supreme Court that doesn’t support individual freedom.

What Does This Mean For America’s Future?

The Washington Examiner reported today that the rate of homeownership in America has declined steadily since 2006.

The article includes the following graph:

HomeownershipThe article explains:

The only age group that saw a rising homeownership rate over the past year was 35-44-year-olds, with younger and older people turning more to renting.

So let’s take a look at this from a broader perspective. Part of the decline is due to the housing bubble. However, we need to look at the impact of homeownership on our society and how the decline in homeownership will impact us in the future.

Homeowners are invested in their houses and in their neighborhoods. Generally speaking they take pride in both and will endeavor to keep both their homes and neighborhoods clean and crime-free. Under most circumstances, a home will increase in value, providing a basic investment for people who may not be able to invest in other assets. The increase in renters means an increase in landlords, people who own the rental property. It seems to me that the increase in landlords and renters is an indication that the middle class is being squeezed out economically. I understand that in many parts of the country housing is extremely expensive, but there are also areas of the country where jobs are available and housing is reasonably priced. I fear that the decrease in homeownership represents a moving away from the idea of owning something, taking care of something, and having an asset in the future. It may be a reflection of our instant gratification society rather than an economic indicator. It also may be a reflection of the American culture versus the culture of the large number of immigrants currently coming to America from different countries. Private property rights are one of the backbones of our freedoms–other countries may not have those rights. In order to keep our middle class strong economically and help keep our neighborhoods crime-free, we need to encourage all Americans, whether they were born here or just arrived from another country, to own homes and take care of them.

What Hillary Clinton And Tim Kaine Will Mean For American Jobs

The Washington Examiner posted an article about the immigration policies of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

The article reports:

Sen. Tim Kaine, who told Telemundo in Spanish that he and Hillary Clinton would push legalize 12 million illegals in their first 100 days in the White House, is also a proponent of bringing up to 1.8 million more foreign workers sought by U.S. outsourcing companies.

Kaine, who on Wednesday is expected to win the nomination as the Democratic vice presidential candidate here, was one of several co-sponsors of S. 169, the so-called I-Squared Act, that would have boosted visas for high-tech workers from 65,000 to 300,000 a year.

Because the H-1B employment visas last six years, that bill and a similar one currently under consideration in the Senate could bring in 1.8 million new workers.

The visas have become controversial because many big firms who apply for the visas are replacing higher-wage American workers with cheaper foreign help.

There is a rule that states that American companies cannot replace American workers with cheaper foreign workers, but that rule exempts jobs where the employee is paid $60,000 per year or more. Obviously, jobs in information technology routinely pay more than that, so American workers can easily be replaced.

The article concludes:

Kaine cheered immigration reform as a plan to help companies like those in high-tech rich Northern Virginia find workers. In a 2013 trip to Oracle, he said, “Immigration is fundamentally a talent issue. How do we attract and train the most talented people in the world to come to Virginia and help grow our economy?” He added: “I am encouraged by the bipartisan proposal laid out by a group of senators that recognizes the need for a comprehensive solution to an immigration system that hasn’t been seriously reformed in more than 25 years.”

We do need immigration reform. We need to make it easier and cheaper for skilled workers to come to America. We also need to make it illegal for new immigrants to immediately go on welfare and food stamps program. We need to encourage people to assimilate and become part of America and the American dream. I am not convinced we are doing that right now.

At Least Some Of The Internal Revenue Service Is Being Held Accountable

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that three IRS workers are facing prison time for defrauding the government. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration detailed the charges today.

The article reports:

Paul G. Hurley, who worked in Seattle, was found guilty of taking bribes from a part owner of a chain of recreational marijuana shops.

“Hurley seemed sympathetic to the taxpayer regarding the [Internal Revenue Code’s] prohibition against deductions and credits for businesses in the marijuana industry and talked about being unhappy at the IRS,” the watchdog said.

Hurley bragged about saving the business owner $1 million, and said he was living “paycheck to paycheck.”

“Initially, Hurley wanted the taxpayer to pay off his student loans in small amounts over time, but when the taxpayer declined, Hurley said he wanted cash,” the watchdog said. “Hurley and the taxpayer scheduled a time to meet several days later. Hurley told the taxpayer not to tell anyone, not even his business partner.”

Hurley took a $5,000 payment, and then a $15,000 payment from the business owner. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison, plus three years of probation.

Creshika Wise pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft back in May.

Wise was an IRS revenue agent in Atlanta, and developed a scheme to ensure that all or part of a $758,846 payment due to the IRS would go to herself.

Kimberley Brown-English was found guilty of six counts of preparing and filing false tax returns.

She was an IRS worker based in California, and in 2011 and 2012, she filed income tax returns “in which she falsely claimed two dependents, a parent and a nephew.”

“Neither of the individuals claimed as dependents had a familial relationship with Brown-English,” TIGTA said.

The IRS is one of the most powerful federal agencies in the country. They have amassed too much power and have become politicized. It is truly time for them to go.

This Might Be Part Of The Problem

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about a statement made by Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC‘s “Morning Joe.”

Senator McCaskill stated, “Part of the problem is that our framers were a little maniacal in that if you look at other democracies around the world, when one party wins the congressional branch, they take the executive branch. Not in our country.”

The Senator might want to take a look at the statement of James Madison in Federalist Papers, No. 47, p. 301. He states, “The accumulation of all power, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tryanny.” The separation of powers did not mean that the branches always had to work together, the separation was to provide checks and balances on each branch from the other branches. It wasn’t maniacal–it was brilliant in its understanding of human nature.

The article further reports:

The senator, who has endorsed fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton for president, said that if “Donald Trump would bother to read the Constitution he would understand that that means there is a special obligation to try to unite.”

“Hey listen, I think the Founding Fathers were geniuses. And that’s why I’m somebody who likes to preach the gospel of compromise. That’s what they wanted. They wanted us to compromise.”

They didn’t want us to compromise–they wanted us to follow the Constitution and limit the power of government. We have not done a very good job of either!

Doesn’t This Make You Feel Safe?

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that Brazil is looking for a former Guantanamo detainee who entered Brazil and then dropped from sight.

The article reports:

Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who was released in Uruguay in December 2014 after twelve years spent in detention, has vanished after purportedly entering Brazil. Uruguayan authorities claim he was authorized to visit the country as a refugee, but Brazil has no record of his arrival.

According to a report by the Argentinian publication “Infobae,” Avianca Airlines issued an internal alert notifying its employees that the 44-year-old Syrian may be using a passport under a fake name. The airline has refused to provide further comment.

Dhiab was arrested by Pakistani police in 2002 before being sent to Gitmo, but never charged with a crime. He spent seven years protesting his detention with a hunger strike, suffering health problems as a result. He was finally cleared for release in 2009, a move that received great fanfare from civil liberty advocates.

My first thought upon reading this was concern for the Summer Olympics in August, but the article cites another concern:

His disappearance is of particular concern this week, as terrorist attacks around the globe ramp up as the month of Ramadan winds down. It is anticipated that adherents of the Islamic State will view July 6 as perhaps the most valued day of the year for perpetrating acts of terror.

This is an example of why Guantanamo prison needs to stay open and the terrorists there need to stay there. Rehabilitating a terrorist is nearly impossible. Their indoctrination begins at birth and asking them to disavow everything they have ever been taught is not realistic. The book The Blood of Lambs by Kamal Saleem provides a lot of insight as to how a terrorist is taught and trained. I strongly recommend reading it. Meanwhile, we need to keep terrorists in Guantanamo.

I Guess Representative Joe Wilson Was Right

The Washington Examiner reported today that California will ask for a waiver to cover illegal aliens under ObamaCare.

A Politico article posted last July explains how this works:

The California bill wouldn’t immediately open the state’s exchange to undocumented immigrants, who are primarily Latino. Instead, it would direct California to seek permission from the federal Department of Health and Human Services through an Obamacare waiver program that allows states to shape their own health care reforms.

However, the administration hasn’t spelled out the guidelines for the “state innovation waivers” program, which doesn’t start until 2017, and it’s unclear whether the White House would rethink its Obamacare coverage ban for undocumented immigrants. An HHS spokesperson said the department hasn’t discussed the California proposal with state officials and declined to comment on the bill.

Note that the waiver program was already built into the law. The Republicans in Congress have believed from the beginning of ObamaCare that the Democrat’s plan was to cover illegal aliens.

Wikipedia reminds us of an event that underlined that point:

On September 9, 2009, Wilson shouted at President Barack Obama while Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to outline his proposal for reforming health care.[35] During his address, Obama said: “There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”[36] In a breach of decorum,[37] Wilson pointed at Obama and shouted, “You lie!” twice.[38][39][40][41] Wilson attracted national and international attention for the incident.[42][43] He said afterwards that his outburst reflected his view that the bill would provide government-subsidized benefits to illegal immigrants.[44]

Then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel immediately approached senior Republican lawmakers and asked them to identify the heckler and urge him to apologize immediately.[45] Members of Congress from both parties condemned the outburst. “Totally disrespectful”, said Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) of Wilson’s utterance. “No place for it in that setting or any other and he should apologize immediately.”[46][47] Wilson said later in a statement:

This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.[48]

Obama later accepted Wilson’s apology. “I’m a big believer that we all make mistakes”, he said. “He apologized quickly and without equivocation and I’m appreciative of that.”[49]

What Joe Wilson did was a total breach of decorum, but he was the only one in the room telling the truth to the American people. It is obvious that the President was lying and the Congressman was telling the truth.

 

Where Are We Going As A Country?

On Sunday, Glenn Reynolds posted an article in USA Today entitled, “When leaders cheat, followers…follow.” That is not good news considering the current state of affairs in America.

The article reminds us:

I wonder more when I read things like this report from the Washington Examiner: “The CIA’s inspector general is claiming it inadvertently destroyed its only copy of a classified, three-volume Senate report on torture, prompting a leading senator to ask for reassurance that it was in fact ‘an accident.’”

Here’s a hint: It very likely wasn’t.

…Then there’s Hillary’s email scandal, in which emails kept on a private unsecure server — presumably to avoid Freedom of Information Act disclosures — were deleted. Now emails from Hillary’s IT guy, who is believed to have set up the server, have gone poof.

“Destroy the evidence, and you’ve got it made,” said an old frozen dinner commercial. But now that appears to be the motto of the United States government.

So this leads to the question:

So why do the rest of us bother to obey the law? And, yes, that’s an increasingly serious question.

The article describes America as currently a high-trust society. Glenn Reynolds defines that as a place where people extend trust to strangers and follow rules for the most part even when nobody is watching. He defines a low-trust society as a place where trust seldom extends beyond close family, and everybody cheats if they can get away with it.

The article concludes:

High-trust societies are much nicer places to live than low-trust ones. But a fish rots from the head and the head of our society is looking pretty rotten. As Lira (Gonzalo Lira, an American novelist and filmmaker) says, “I’m like Wayne Gretsky: I don’t concern myself with where the puck has been — I look for where the puck is going to be.” Where will our society be in a decade if these trends continue? And what can we do to ensure that they don’t?

If the coming Presidential election is won by a Republican, will the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, the email scandal, the Clinton Foundation, etc. be investigated? I don’t know, but an honest investigation might restore some of the trust in our government.

Quote Of The Week

It’s only Monday, and I already have the quote of the week from The Washington Examiner:

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on Monday compared the length of time veterans wait to receive health care at the VA to the length of time people wait for rides at Disneyland, and said his agency shouldn’t use wait times as a measure of success because Disney doesn’t either.

“When you got to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?” McDonald said Monday during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. “And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted out the appropriate response:

“This is not make-believe, Mr. Secretary. Veterans have died waiting in those lines.”

 

 

Prepare For The Pre-Election Spin

The Washington Examiner today is reporting on a new Washington Post poll taken on the Presidential race. Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by two percentage points (within the margin of error) in the poll,  but don’t look for that number early in the story.

The article at The Washington Examiner reports:

It’s not the headline, and it takes 219 words to get there, but a new Washington Post poll on the presidential race reveals that Republican Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton among registered voters 46 percent to 44 percent.

Inside the Post’s story about the poll is this paragraph:

“At this point, the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat among registered voters, with Trump favored by 46 percent and Clinton favored by 44 percent. That represents an 11-point shift toward the presumptive Republican nominee since March. Among all adults, Clinton holds a six-point lead (48 percent to 42 percent), down from 18 points in March.”

This is going to be an interesting election. Leading in a poll of people who don’t vote really isn’t worth much. The challenge for the Democrats will be getting voters to register and vote. Many Republicans are angry enough at Washington to come out and vote for anyone. Democrats can’t really blame the Republicans for the mess we are in now–Obama has been President for eight years and Hillary Clinton looks like more of the same.

We Cannot Support The World Indefinitely

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about welfare payments that go to illegal immigrants.

The article includes the following chart:

IllegalWelfareI don’t want anyone to go hungry or be homeless, but why are we taking money away from Americans who have worked for it and giving it to people who are here illegally? It is time to reevaluate how we are spending tax money.

The article states:

The total cost is over $103 billion in welfare benefits to households headed by immigrants. A majority, 51 percent, of immigrant households receive some type of welfare compared to 30 percent of native households, said the analysis of Census data.

The article concludes:

— The greater consumption of welfare dollars by immigrants can be explained in large part by their lower level of education and larger number of children compared to natives. Over 24 percent of immigrant households are headed by a high school dropout, compared to just 8 percent of native households. In addition, 13 percent of immigrant households have three or more children, vs. just 6 percent of native households.

We need to take a serious look at our immigration policies. We also need to take a good look at efforts we are making to educate the people who are already here–legally or illegally. We can’t send everyone back home, but we can secure the border and make an effort to help those people here–legally and illegally, immigrant or natural citizen–get off of our welfare rolls. We can no longer afford to have an entire segment of our population depending on hard-working taxpayers for their support–it is time everyone finds a way to contribute to our economy–not just take from it.

We Need A New State Department

Anyone can make a mistake, but some people take it to a whole new level. On March 2nd, The Washington Examiner reported that the State Department had set up a hotline to take calls about cease-fire violations in Syria. That in itself is not a bad idea. However, they used volunteers with limited abilities in Arabic languages.

The article reports:

“In order to help monitor the cessation of hostilities in Syria, we did set up an information hotline that was staffed 24/7, where violations could be reported I think via a number of different apps,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday.

“There were some language issues among some of the volunteers,” he added. “And granted, these again are State Department employees who are doing this in addition to their usual jobs.”

“We are aware that there were some language issues, as you note, and we’re working to correct those, obviously, because it’s important that we have Arabic speakers who are able to field incoming calls,” Toner said.

Toner was asked whether proficiency in Arabic was a requirement for volunteering to work the hotline.

“It was, just but, you know, given the time limits on setting this up, probably some of the language skills weren’t properly vetted,” he said.

“Agreed, we should have people … agree,” Toner said when pressed further. “So, we’re working to address that.”

Shouldn’t the State Department have a good idea which of its employees are fluent in Arabic? If the language issue was a concern, could they have borrowed people from other government agencies who were fluent in Arabic? This sounds like a total lack of common sense.

One Suggestion For A Budget Cut

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the taxpayer-funded Office of the Former Speaker is paying two aides to former Speaker John Boehner more than $10,000 a month.

The article reports:

Boehner stepped down at the end of October. Rep. Paul Ryan was elected to replace him. Boehner’s office opened in November.

The Office of the Former Speaker is an official office that provides space and staff to former House speakers for some five years. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert ran up a $1.9 million bill, according to reports.

Might I suggest that we abolish the concept of Office of the Former Speaker and any funding that goes with it. I see no reason for extra staff once the Speaker leaves office. This is the culture in Washington that we need to end.

Thank God For The Freedom Of Information Act

The government’s Freedom of Information Act website describes the act as follows:

What is FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.

I suspect there are more than a few politicians that really despise this law.

The Washington Examiner reported today that a federal judge has ordered the State Department to release 700 new pages of records from Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State. In November of last year, Jason Leopold of Vice News had filed a FOIA request for virtually all written records from Hillary Clinton and her staff. This was long before we knew anything about her private server.

The article reports:

That FOIA case eventually prompted the court’s high-profile decision to force the State Department to publish all of Clinton’s emails in batches at the end of every month.

Now, the agency could be compelled to prepare thousands of additional documents for release in order to satisfy other aspects of Leopold’s FOIA request, which was narrowed after he and his attorney, Ryan James, sued the State Department.

Remember, Hillary Clinton deleted all of her emails that she deemed personal. This FOIA request may shed some light on how many of those deleted emails were actually personal. Stay tuned. This does not seem to be going away.