What Results Look Like

During the final weeks of the mid-term election campaign, you will hear Democrats say, “The tax cuts were only for the rich–they didn’t help anyone else.” A misinformed friend of mine posted that on Facebook recently. So let’s look at the facts.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about the impact of the Trump Tax Cuts on average Americans.

The article quotes a Business Insider article that reports the following:

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance announced that it will make investments around $150 million to boost mainly its in-store wages in fiscal 2019 in the light of favorable tax reforms.
  • Walgreens CFO said Thursday that the increase in store wages was “in light of the favorable tax reforms in the US.”

…The pharmacy-chain owner Walgreens Boots Alliance announced Thursday that it will make investments of about $150 million to boost mainly its in-store wages in fiscal 2019 in wake of  President Donald Trump’s tax reforms.

The announcement marks a 50% increase in company’s investment towards wages which was announced in March. At the time, Walgreens said it would invest around $100 million per annum to increase wages beginning later this calendar year.

“We will be making select incremental investments of around $150 million in fiscal 2019, mainly in store wages, but also to fuel our new community health care initiatives, and you can view these in light of the favorable tax reforms in the US,” Walgreens CFO James Kehoe said Thursday, on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call. 

The article at Business Insider explains how the tax cuts have impacted the average worker:

In December 2017,  the Trump administration slashed the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and allowed a one-time repatriation of overseas cash. The bill also allows companies to bring overseas profits back home to invest in domestic projects or repurchase of shares.

Kehoe said the investments will result in a headwind of approximately $0.12 a share, or two percentage points of earnings-per-share growth for the coming fiscal year. 

US retailers are scrambling to keep workers as they look for opportunities with higher pay and attractive benefits. The US unemployment rate fell to a 48-year low of 3.7% in September. According to the Bureau of Labour statistics, there were 757,000 retail-job openings across the United States in July, which is about 100,000 more than a year ago.

The surge in the number of retail jobs has allowed workers the opportunity to move around within the industry. As a result, companies are raising wages to try and retain workers. Earlier this month, Amazon hiked its minimum wage to $15 per hour, effective November 1. That followed wage hikes from places like Target and Costco

That is significant.

The Conservative Treehouse concludes:

Back in January 2017 Deutsche Bank began thinking about it, applying new models, trying to conceptualize and quantify MAGAnomics, and trying to walk out the potential ramifications.  They began talking about Trump doubling the U.S. GDP growth rate when all U.S. investment groups couldn’t yet fathom the possibility.

It’s like waking up on Christmas morning every day to see the pontificating Fed struggling to quantify analysis of their surrounding reality based on flawed assumptions. They simply have no understanding of what happens within the new dimension.

Monetary policy, Fed control over the economy, is disconnected and will stay that way for approximately another 12-14 months, until Main Street regains full operational strength –and– economic parity is achieved.

As we have continued to share, CTH believes the paycheck-to-paycheck working middle-class are going to see a considerable rise in wages and standard of living.  How high can wages rise?… that depends on the pressure; and right now the pressure is massive.  I’m not going to dismiss the possibility we could see double digit increases in year-over-year wage growth in multiple economic sectors in several regions of the U.S.

Remember, as wages and benefits increase – millions of people are coming back into the labor market to take advantage of the income opportunities.  The statistics on the invisible workforce varies, but there are millions of people taking on new jobs in this economy and the participation rate is growing.

Winnamins.  We’ll need lots of them…

Wow.

 

Pastor Brunson Is Free

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Pastor Andrew Brunson was released yesterday after a Turkish court convicted him of aiding terrorism but sentenced him only to time served. He was flown out of Turkey to Germany last night.

The picture below is from The Gateway Pundit:

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

Ambassador Grenell offered Pastor Brunson an American flag.
Brunson immediately took the flag and kissed it.

The Washington Post also reported:

U.S. officials said Thursday that the two governments had negotiated an agreement that would see Brunson released in exchange for the lifting of U.S. sanctions on two senior Turkish cabinet ministers — penalties imposed to gain leverage in the Brunson case. The deal was reached on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly last month, the officials said.

In recent months, the Trump administration had made the pastor’s release a priority. Vice President Pence took a particular interest, helping mobilize Trump’s evangelical political base in support of the cause.

Brunson’s release also came as Turkey was investigating the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who Turkish investigators believe was killed after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week. Turkey has briefed U.S. officials on the investigation and is seeking the Trump administration’s support in pressing Saudi Arabia to provide information about Khashoggi’s fate. At the same time, Turkey is trying to avoid a total rupture in relations with the Saudis, analysts said.

In recent years President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been taking steps to move Turkey toward a Muslim caliphate (with dreams of reestablishing a caliphate that encompasses much of the Middle East with Erdogan as the caliph). Turkey has also moved closer to Russia during that time and away from its previous friendly relationship with Israel. There are currently some real questions about whether or not Turkey should remain a member of NATO.

Good Economic News

CNS News is reporting today that not only is the economy booming, the federal government has cut 16,000 jobs during the Trump administration–1,000 in September alone. This is wonderful news when you consider that every dollar spent by the federal government is a dollar taken out of the private sector. How many dollars does the lower federal payroll put back into the private sector?

Unfortunately state and local governments have not cut their employment numbers. The article reports:

Since President Donald Trump took office, federal employment has declined by 16,000.

In December 2016, the month before Trump’s inauguration, there were 2,810,000 people employed by the federal government, according to the BLS data. By August 2018, that had declined by 15,000 to 2,795,000. In September, it declined another 1,000 to 2,794,000.

At the same time, overall government employment (including those employed by state and local governments) increased 13,000 in September and has climbed by 100,000 since December 2016.

In December, 2016, there were 22,306,000 people employed in state, local and federal government combined. By August 2018, that had climbed to 22,393,000. In September, it jumped again to 22,406,000.

It’s time to cut all government employment and get people back to work in the private sector. I realize that we need a certain number of people to run all levels of government, but I am totally convinced that the number of people could be greatly decreased without harm to government services at all levels.

Walking Away From A Brutal Practice

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

The article reports:

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

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

Thee article includes the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Economic Problem With Green Energy

Townhall posted an article today about the impact of green energy on the middle and lower class.

The article reports:

Liberals love to talk about helping the poor and the middle class, and they are obsessed with reducing income inequality. So why is it that across the country they are pushing one of the most regressive taxes in modern times?

I am talking about the fad “green” initiative in states such as California, Arizona and New Jersey that require local utilities to buy expensive renewable energy. These renewable energy standards require that utilities to buy expensive wind and solar power. They then pass these costs onto the poor and working class who get stuck paying the tab.

In Sacramento, California, the legislature is speeding ahead with one of the most absurd proposals of modern times by mandating 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. This would mean no coal, no natural gas and no nuclear power.

Meanwhile in Arizona, voters will decide on a ballot initiative funded by billionaire Tom Steyer that would increase renewable mandates to 50 percent over the next decade or so.

The article concludes:

Low-income households spend at least four to five times more out of their incomes in energy costs than do millionaires. For a family with an income of $40,000 or $50,000, an extra $500 a year in costs means less money for school supplies, day care, a family vacation or health insurance.

All of this is so unnecessary. If wind and solar are truly the energy sources of the future — with reliability and low costs — let the market determine that. Why do they need mandates and billions of dollars of federal subsidies to make them work? This is an experiment of imposing high costs on American small businesses, farms and families to pay off wealthy green energy investors. Could anything be more illiberal than this?

One of the benefits of the economic growth the Trump administration has created is the resurgence of the middle class–it is growing instead of shrinking (as it did under President Obama). The middle class is the strength of our republic–it is the only bulwark we have against the misguided proponents of socialism. When the middle class realizes the impact socialism will have on them, they oppose it. Unfortunately the students in our high schools and colleges are not getting that message. Using green energy as an excuse to increase the poverty levels is not a good idea. It is not a surprise that the people proposing the increase of green energy are the people least likely to be impacted by it.

When You Wish You Could Eat Your Words

In June 2016, then President Obama made the following comment about then candidate Donald Trump:

“When somebody says like the person you just mentioned who I’m not going to advertise for, that he’s going to bring all these jobs back. Well how exectly are you going to do that? What are you going to do? There’s uh-uh no answer to it. He just says. “I’m going to negotiate a better deal.” Well how? How exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.

President Obama stated many times that the manufacturing jobs lost to Americans weren’t coming back. He is now faced with the problem that the policies of the Trump administration have brought many of those jobs back. He is also trying to take credit for the economic growth under President Trump. I am not sure how many people are willing to believe that. However, there is something that does need to be mentioned here.

President Obama said that manufacturing jobs were not coming back to America. In a sense that was a true statement–if Hillary Clinton had become President, manufacturing jobs were not coming back to America. So what would a President Hillary Clinton have done differently that would have prevented those jobs from coming back to America? Let’s look at the things that determine where a corporation manufactures its product–a low cost of doing business–things like the cost of energy, taxes, wages, etc., economic stability–the idea that taxes will not substantially increase the year after relocation (another reason to make the tax cuts permanent as soon as possible), reasonable business regulations, a dependable, conscientious workforce, and infrastructure that provides a reliable way to move a product. Hillary Clinton would not have cut taxes, cut regulation or increased energy production to bring the price down. Hillary Clinton’s economic policies would not have attracted businesses to America.

The economic growth we are seeing is the result of policy changes made since President Trump took office. In November, Americans have to make a choice. Do they want our current economic growth to continue or do they want to go back to President Obama’s economy? A vote for a Republican is a vote for the Trump economy, a vote for a Democrat is a vote for the Obama economy. We have a choice.

First They Came For…

As we approach the mid-term election, there are a number of things to consider. One of the things to look at is the Right-Direction or Wrong Track poll done by Rasmussen. Right now 43 percent of Americans think we are headed in the right direction; 52 percent think we are headed in the wrong direction. In contrast, on October 30, 2016, 30 percent of Americans thought we were headed in the right direction, and 63 percent thought we were headed in the wrong direction. In early January 2016, 28 percent of Americans thought we were headed in the right direction, and 67 percent thought we were headed in the wrong direction. So where am I going with this? As Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy, stupid!” Hopefully most Americans understand that if the Democrats are able to take control of Congress this year, the economic progress made by the Trump administration will end. Impeachment proceedings against President Trump will begin (it won’t matter whether or not there are any valid charges, the trial will begin). Any investigations into Uranium One, spying on political opponents, or politicizing the justice system will also end. That will mean the institution of a two-tiered justice system in America. If you are connected to the right people, you can pretty much get away with anything. That is what a Democrat victory in the mid-terms will bring us. The Democrats fear that the public will begin to realize this and will attempt to shut down conservative news.

I say all that to predict the actions of the political left in the coming two months. The American Thinker posted an article today spotlighting a situation that should concern all of us. It is about the censorship of Alex Jones. I need to say up front that I am not a huge fan of Alex Jones, but whether you like him or not is not the point. The fact that he can be banned from certain areas of the Internet because of his views should give us all pause. As we approach the mid-term elections, I expect to see more of this. A lot of it is already happening. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It reminds us of some of the abuses by the media that we have seen in recent years. The Internet has ended the liberal monopoly of the media– it was wounded with the advent of popular talk shows, but the Internet allows everyone to do their own research. Expect to have to look a little harder for your favorite conservative news source in the next few months. I believe PragerU is back on Facebook, but I am not sure for how long. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

When Common Sense Meets Health Insurance

On August 14th, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the impact that the removing of regulations by the Trump administration has had.

The article reports:

As the Competitive Enterprise Institute noted earlier this year in its “Ten Thousand Commandments” annual report, federal regulations cost a lot more than their stated dollar amount. As of last year, regulation and federal intervention in the economy cost Americans an estimated $1.9 trillion. And that’s one of the lowball estimates out there.

How much is that? It’s the equivalent of a $15,000-per-household tax levied each year in perpetuity. That’s more than the average family spends on food, clothing or transportation. Only housing takes more of the family budget.

If regulation were a nation, and let’s be thankful it’s not, it would be the eighth-largest economy in the world. Regulation even exceeds the IRS’ total take in corporate and individual income tax. That’s how big it is.

Last year, Trump began cutting rules in earnest as soon as he entered office. He slashed the total number of pages in the Federal Register, the government’s regulatory bible, from 95,894 in 2016 to 61,308 pages in 2017. That’s a decline of 36% and the lowest since 1993. This year it will go even lower.

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about how removing some regulations has impacted ObamaCare.

The editorial reports:

The leftist Center for American Progress claimed that premiums for ObamaCare’s “benchmark plan” would rocket up 25% next year, due almost entirely to the individual mandate repeal and Trump’s decision to expand access to far less expensive “short term” insurance plans that don’t have to comply with ObamaCare regulations and mandates.

Rates in Pennsylvania, it said, would jump 27%. They were going to climb 28% in Wisconsin. And 29% in Arizona and Nebraska.

All those dire predictions scored widespread news coverage.

But then insurance companies started announcing modest rate requests for 2019, and suddenly ObamaCare was no longer a story.

ObamaCare premiums will rise a mere 0.7% in Pennsylvania, according to the state’s insurance commissioner. They will climb by just 1% in Nebraska. In Wisconsin, they’re expected to drop by 3.5%, and drop by more than 5% in Arizona.

The overall increase this year will be just over 5%, on average, according to ACASignups.net, which is aggressively supportive of ObamaCare.

If that holds true, it will be the lowest increase in premiums since ObamaCare started.

According to data from the Health and Human Services department, premiums in the individual market jumped 25% in 2014, ObamaCare’s first year. They climbed 14% in 2015 and 8% in 2016. In 2017, premiums shot up by 23%. And then another 37% in 2018.

Keep in mind that except for the 2018 rate increase, all those prior hikes were announced when Barack Obama was in the White House and everyone expected Hillary Clinton to become the next president.

Government regulations affect all of us. Most of them simply need to go away.

Good News For American Families

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about changes made to the current federal regulations regarding healthcare insurance.

The article reports:

Last Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced a finalized rule granting consumers greater access to affordable health insurance policies. Under the new rule, people will be allowed to purchase short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans for periods as long as 12 months. Currently, the maximum period allowed is only three months. Plans can be renewed after the 12-month period, but they cannot extend beyond 36 months.

Short-term health insurance plans are significantly cheaper than most Obamacare plans because they don’t include many of the costly essential health benefits mandated under federal law and because they are sold for a limited duration. These plans do not provide comprehensive coverage, but they are an excellent option for people who are relatively healthy but can’t afford to pay for an outrageously priced Obamacare plan.

This means that a family whose insured member is changing jobs or between jobs can get coverage at a reasonable price. The plans cannot extend for more than three years, but hopefully Congress will find its backbone and totally repeal ObamaCare by then.

The article further states that although premiums under ObamaCare have risen drastically, that is not the entire problem:

Premiums are not the most important cost to consider, however, because some people who purchase health plans through an Obamacare exchange receive large subsidies to help offset their plan’s high premiums. A much more important factor is the high cost of deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. The average family enrolled in a Silver Plan will pay a maximum of $13,725 for out-of-pocket expenses, with Silver Plan deductibles increasing by 13 percent in just the past year alone.

Working families can’t afford to pay more than $13,000 to cover out-of-pocket expenses. In fact, health insurance this expensive is virtually useless.

The high costs associated with an Obamacare plan are a big reason why the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicts about 600,000 Americans will sign up for a new short-term health insurance plan next year. By 2022, CMS expects 1.6 million to be enrolled in a short-term plan.

The article concludes:

The healthcare system is failing, and has been for decades. Despite the promises made by former President Barack Obama and the congressional Democrats who passed Obamacare into law, the legislation has only made things worse. Congress needs to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. But since that has yet to occur, the Trump administration is doing everything it can to help young people and working families gain affordable coverage. It’s great to finally have a presidential administration that’s truly committed to reducing health insurance costs rather than appeasing far-left activists in the Democratic Party.

True.

Common Sense In The Automotive Industry

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about the Trump administration’s decision regarding CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards. The administration is freezing current gas mileage requirements rather than instituting the drastic standards put in place just before President Obama left office. Regulators required that automakers achieve an average 54.5 mpg by 2025, but they relaxed that target to between 50.8 mpg and 52.6 mpg last year. The argument against the draconian standards was that they would increase the price of a car by almost $2000 and create unemployment in the auto industry. The harsh standards would also make our roads less safe.

The Washington Times reports:

A draft of a regulation prepared this summer would freeze an Obama-era program that was intended to improve fuel efficiency and cut pollution.

In excerpts obtained by The Associated Press, the administration argues that heavier vehicles are safer than lighter ones and that people would drive more — and be exposed to increased risk — if their cars get better mileage.

Until we can come up with a material to make cars that is light, strong, and inexpensive, heavier vehicles are safer. American roads have many semi-trailers and trucks on them. A lightweight vehicle does not have a chance of survival in a crash with a heavier vehicle. Fuel economy is a good thing, but the safety of Americans is also very important.

Taking Advantage Of Those Who Can Least Afford It

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Trump administration agrees:

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

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

The article continues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

It’s Good To Know What You Are Protesting Before You Protest

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about a protest in West Oakland, California. The protest occurred last year, but the video has resurfaced this year because of the Democrat’s idea to abolish ICE. The protesters were protesting an ICE raid in their neighborhood.

The article reports:

Assuming the agents were arresting illegal immigrants, people began protesting outside of the house.

Neighbor Hadar Cohen woke up to her roommate crying, saying she didn’t know what to do. The two of them and other housemates went outside to find agents on their street. Cohen, who was holding a “No person is illegal” sign, said that agents weren’t telling the neighbors what was going on.

This is what the protesters did not know:

The raid was part of an ongoing criminal investigation of a child sex trafficking in Oakland. Investigators were executing a federal search warrant, a fact which the Oakland Police Department later confirmed.

Agents were seen taking two individuals to their cars; both had blankets covering their faces to conceal their identities.

Protestors wrote in chalk on the ground “We love our neighbors” and “Oakland PD is a disgrace,” as the agents and police officers busted up the child prostitution ring.

So the protesters were supporting the rights of child sex traffickers rather than the rights of the law enforcement agencies trying to protect the children in the area. How loony have protests become? If these protesters had known the truth, would it have mattered? Would the protests be different if any of their children had been taken by these people?

The ‘resistance’ has totally lost its way. It has been so blinded by hatred of a person that it cannot see. One of the accomplishments of the Trump administration is the ongoing battle against child pornography and human trafficking. This raid was one example of that battle, and protesters who had no idea what was going on made fools of themselves.

I Robbed A Bank, But That Was Okay Since It Helped Them Improve Their Security Measures

The Media Research Center posted a startling article yesterday about a media outlet in America and their attitude toward truth.

The article reports:

ABC openly admitted Sunday to having published “fake news” – their words, not mine – about the Trump administration “losing” 1,500 migrant children, a debunked story that quickly caught fire and spawned countless hashtag campaigns and anti-ICE protests across the country. (Here’s MSNBC’s Chris Hayes boo-hooing over the whole nonsensical thing about a month ago.)

Now, well after the myth has been permanently ensconced as fact in the brains of millions of rapid anti-Trumpers nationwide, ABC’s admitting the entire thing was false – but, in a stunning feat of mental gymnastics, they claim the bogus story ended up being a good thing.

In an article actually entitled, “A fake news story helps expose a real crisis,” author Lauren Pearle admits the Trump administration was unfairly accused of having “lost” 1,500 kids who’d crossed the southwest U.S. border illegally – a claim I’d disputed in a video roughly four weeks ago, only to be accused of Nazism by radical progressives.

But by ABC’s own admission (and as I’d pointed out), the administration didn’t “lose” anyone; they’d simply placed these kids with sponsors, usually a family member, who didn’t respond when the government tried to check up on the child.

Wow. So it’s okay to report news that is false as long as you believe it serves a higher purpose. Does that mean it’s okay for your child to tell you a lie if that serves a higher purpose? Is it okay for your government to lie to you if that serves a higher purpose? Whatever happened to the concept of integrity.

The article explains what actually happened at the border:

Pearle doesn’t point out, of course, that the Obama administration also had a policy of temporarily separating families at the border (a fact MSNBC finally and begrudgingly admitted after weeks of slamming Trump), albeit to a lesser extent given the administration’s policy of simply releasing illegal aliens into the country without so much as a slap on the wrist. In fact, the policy of family separation was first launched after the Obama administration was sued for holding migrant children in detention facilities with their parents for extended periods of time – a court case that ended when the Ninth Circuit ruled these kids couldn’t be held for more than 20 days.

When the Trump administration reversed the previous policy of simply letting illegal alien families go free, that Obama-era court decision resulted in temporary family separations.

Is it okay to lie because you have an agenda to push and then claim it was done for higher purposes? Evidently the mainstream media thinks so.

Irony At Its Best

There have been a lot of accusations against President Trump for his attitudes about women. There have been charges of sexism, mysogyny, etc. Some of those things may or may not be true, but there are certain facts that indicate President Trump has been more fair to women than his accusers. In 1980 Donald Trump hired Barbara Res as the construction executive on Trump Tower. She was the first woman assigned to oversee a major New York City construction site. Currently there are many women in high-level positions in the Trump administration. He may or may not be a cad, but he is someone who believes in equal opportunities for women.

On Saturday, Townhall posted an article about a recent Inspector General’s Report on gender equality in various federal agencies. The article deals with the report on the Department of Justice. The report covers the period during fiscal years 2011 through 2016. The government’s fiscal year ends on September 30, so the report generally focuses on the Obama administration.

The article lists a number of findings from the review:

• A significant amount of women, especially criminal investigators, had experienced gender discrimination. 33 percent of female ATF agents, 41 percent of female DEA agents, 43 percent of female FBI agents and 51 percent of female U.S. Marshals said they experienced gender discrimination in the last five years.

• All staff perceive that personnel decisions are based more on personal relationships than on merit. Criminal investigators especially felt this to be true.

• One-quarter of female Criminal Investigator survey respondents believed that men were favored for career enhancing opportunities, such as detail assignments, special assignments, and training opportunities.

• Female focus group participants and interviewees, especially those at headquarters and the Washington, D.C. sites said that they believed they had to work harder than men to be recognized by supervisors in their performance evaluation or to receive a performance bonus.

• Both men and women said female Criminal Investigators often delayed having children or did not have children at all because having children could have affected both their promotion potential and the type of unit to which they would be assigned.

• Across the board, all employees didn’t trust the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) process. Many who felt they were discriminated against would not report it out of fear of it negatively impacting their career.

In 2014 McClatchy posted the following:

President Barack Obama calls it “wrong” and an “embarrassment” that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, saying women deserve equal pay for equal work.

“At a time when women make up about half of the workforce, but still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns – we’ve got to finish the job and give women the tools they need to fight for equal pay,” Obama said Wednesday in Maryland…

…But a McClatchy review of White House salaries shows that when the same calculations that produced the 77 cents is applied to the White House, the average female pay at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is less than the average male pay. When counted the same way that produced the 77-cent figure, the analysis found, women overall at the White House make 91 cents for every dollar men make. That’s an average salary of $84,082 for men and $76,516 for women.

After all these words, my point is simple–the American public has been sold a bunch of garbage about President Obama and President Trump. President Obama has been praised as a supporter of women while paying them less than men, and President Trump as been accused of not treating women well while allowing them equal job opportunities. Actually the only thing this is actually related to is the stand on abortion taken by each man. In the liberal world, a man who supports unlimited abortion is given pretty much free rein (Bill Clinton should have been the poster child for the ‘me too’ movement, but he wasn’t because he supported abortion). President Trump has shown that he values the lives of the unborn and therefore must be demonized by the media. Once you understand that reasoning, you can understand why the media ignores so much of the hypocrisy of the political left.

What A Difference A President Makes

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about recent events in Iran. The editorial highlights the difference between the way the Obama administration handled protests and the Trump administration is handling protestors.

The editorial states:

In recent days, headlines such as “In Iran, revolution is starting in the bazaar,” “Clashes Continue in Iran for Third Day After Grand Bazaar Merchant Protest,” and “Tehran’s Grand Bazaar Shut Down As Economic Protests Spread,” have run in global media, with little apparent notice.

It’s a big deal. A very big deal.

The 39-year-old dictatorship of the Mullahs in Tehran may be on the verge of dissolving, as Trump imposes new, stiff sanctions on Iran’s economy and Iran’s currency, the rial, plunges sharply, prices soar and the economy collapses. Average Iranians are losing faith in the government and taking to the streets.

In dealing with Iran, it is important to remember the demographics of the country. A large segment of their population was killed during the Iran/Iraq War between 1980 and 1988. The current profile of the Iranian population is 24.1 percent under the age of 15, 70.1 percent between 15 and 64 years old, and 5 percent of the population 65+. That means that the twenty year olds who participated in the Iranian revolution now comprise 5 percent of the population.

According to unc.edu:

A scholarly article based on the records of the Veteran and Martyrs Affairs Foundation, a government agency, recently counted 183,623 Iranian deaths as a result of the war.

To put that into perspective, Iran had a population of 80.9 million people in 2017.

The majority of the population has grown up in a very restrictive culture and  does not necessarily supported the rule of the mullahs. The current economic struggles have only exacerbated the discontent of the majority of young Iranians.

The editorial states:

Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, its central meeting place and business center, has been filled with tens of thousands of angry protesters nearly every day. Yet, the media are paying little attention. Neither are average citizens in the West. But it bears close watching.

Some chant anti-government slogans, including “The enemy is here. They (the regime) lie that it is the U.S.” Not lost on average Iranians is the fact that, as Najmeh Bozorgmehr writes in the Financial Times, “The bazaar played a crucial role in the 1979 Islamic revolution when traders joined forces with the clergy to overthrow Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.”

Is history repeating itself?

If so, this will remake the entire Mideast. Without the fundamentalists in power, Iran will almost certainly begin modernizing both its economy and its culture. Moreover, the nuclear weapons program that is at the heart of western discontent with Iran could be dismantled.

Last time, the U.S. sat and watched, not giving its ally, the Shah, any support. This time is different.

The U.S. Treasury under President Trump has already begun to revoke licenses, according to the Associated Press, that let U.S.-controlled foreign companies sell commercial jet parts and oilfield gear to Iran. It also bans sale of Iran’s famous carpets, pistachios and caviar in the U.S., major exports for the financially troubled nation.

This follows Trump’s decision in May to pull out of President Obama’s so-called Iran nuclear agreement. That deal didn’t halt work on a nuclear weapon; it merely postponed an Iranian nuke by 10 years.

Despite criticism from Britain, China, Russia, Germany, France and the European Union, Trump held fast. Angry rhetoric notwithstanding, foreign banks have fallen into line, fearing sanctions from the U.S. Two-thirds of all global trade is conducted in dollars. As sanctions bite and its oil industry struggles, Iran’s mullahs are short on cash.

By these moves, Trump has empowered the people taking to the streets in Tehran and elsewhere. The last time this happened, during Iran’s 2009 “Green Revolution,” by comparison, President Obama did nothing. Indeed, within years, Obama had signed a Neville-Chamberlain-style appeasement deal Iran’s leaders. Disgracefully, it basically gave them a sure path to a nuclear bomb.

This protest is important. It could eventually change the face of the Middle East.

One Result Of A Strong Economy

On Monday, Breitbart reported that for the first time in eight years, the number of American households on food stamps has dropped below 20 million.

The article reports:

The latest data from the USDA reveals that the number of households on food stamps in February 2018 dropped to 19,992,124—the first time it fell below 20 million since September 2010, when 19,979,385 households were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The USDA notes that not only is the number of households receiving food stamps at a record low level, but the number of people enrolled in food stamps has also gone down. From January to February of this year alone, overall food stamp enrollment dropped from 40,640,170 to 40,032,131.

The downward trend in enrollment has only continued over President Trump’s first year in office, keeping on pace with the stable decline in SNAP participation since 2013.

The food stamp program is included in the Farm Bill which is currently in Congress.

The article reports:

Although the Trump administration is making it a priority to require food stamp recipients to work to receive benefits, the Senate version of the 2018 Farm Bill released Friday does not include the work requirements sought out by the Trump administration and the House Agriculture Committee.

The House’s version of the bill includes a provision that would require most adults ages 18 to 59 who enroll in food stamps to work, receive job training, or look for work under a case manager’s supervision.

It is time for the people the government is feeding to go to work. The idea that working people should pay exorbitant taxes to allow other Americans to live well without working is just ridiculous. It is time for the gravy train to end.

The War On Crimes Against Children

The Washington Times reported today that between March and May, the Justice Department arrested more than 2,3000 suspected online child sex offenders.

The article reports:

The operation was conducted by the Justice Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children task forces. All told, 195 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse and 383 children who suffered sexual abuse were identified, the Justice Department said.

…The 61 Internet Crimes Against Children task forces are comprised of more than 4,500 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. It targets suspects who produce, distribute or receive child pornography as well as those who engage in the sex trafficking of children or travel across state lines or to foreign countries to abuse children.

The Trump administration announced on March 13, 2018, that it was declaring war on human trafficking. Pornography is directly related to the crime of human trafficking. It is good to see the President following through on this announcement.

What Is The Difference Between A Leaker And A Source?

Yesterday The New York Times reported the following:

…James A. Wolfe, 57,  (a former Senate Intelligence Committee Aide) was charged with lying repeatedly to investigators about his contacts with three reporters. According to the authorities, Mr. Wolfe made false statements to the F.B.I. about providing two of them with sensitive information related to the committee’s work. He denied to investigators that he ever gave classified material to journalists, the indictment said.

The article states:

Mr. Wolfe’s case led to the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump. The seizure was disclosed in a letter to the Times reporter, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Mr. Wolfe. The seizure suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.

…Court documents describe Mr. Wolfe’s communications with four reporters — including Ms. Watkins — using encrypted messaging applications. It appeared that the F.B.I. was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser. She published an article for BuzzFeed News on April 3, 2017, about the attempted recruitment of Mr. Page in which he confirmed the contacts.

However, we are dealing with The New York Times, which is not above using very selective memory in spinning a story.

The article states:

Ms. Watkins’s personal lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall, said: “It’s always disconcerting when a journalist’s telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department — through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process. Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges.”

Poor Ms. Watkins. Let’s go back to the case of James Rosen.

The following was reported by Fox News on May 23, 2013:

Newly uncovered court documents reveal the Justice Department seized records of several Fox News phone lines as part of a leak investigation — even listing a number that, according to one source, matches the home phone number of a reporter’s parents.

The seizure was ordered in addition to a court-approved search warrant for Fox News correspondent James Rosen’s personal emails. In the affidavit seeking that warrant, an FBI agent called Rosen a likely criminal “co-conspirator,” citing a wartime law called the Espionage Act.

Rosen was not charged, but his movements and conversations were tracked. A source close to the leak investigation confirmed to Fox News that the government obtained phone records for several numbers that match Fox News numbers out of the Washington bureau.

Further, the source confirmed to Fox News that one number listed matched the number for Rosen’s parents in Staten Island.

A journalists right to report needs to be protected, but the leaks out of the Senate Intelligence Committee are ridiculous. There have been instances of matters not taken up by the Committee because the members knew that anything said would be leaked. I am not sure where we need to draw the line on investigating leakers, but it seems as if both the Obama administration and the Trump administration have used questionable methods to try to stop leaks.

The Dangers Of The Mueller Investigation

Yesterday Mark Penn posted an article at The Hill stating that it is time to end Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The article reminds us:

At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton “matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a yearlong investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.

With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

The article states:

This process must now be stopped, preferably long before a vote in the Senate. Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again.

The tactics in this investigation are designed to make people think twice before they participate in a Republican campaign. Michael Flynn and Michael Caputo have both been essentially bankrupted because of their connection with the Trump administration and the Trump campaign. (articles here and here)

The article concludes:

The president’s lawyers need to extend their new aggressiveness from words to action, filing complaints with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility on the failure of Mueller and Rosenstein to recuse themselves and going into court to question the tactics of the special counsel, from selective prosecutions on unrelated matters, illegally seizing Government Services Administration emails, covering up the phone texts of FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and operating without a scope approved by the attorney general. (The regulations call for the attorney general to recuse himself from the investigation but appear to still leave him responsible for the scope.)

The final stopper may be the president himself, offering two hours of testimony, perhaps even televised live from the White House. The last time America became obsessed with Russian influence in America was the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. Those ended only when Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) attacked an associate of the U.S. Army counsel, Joseph Welch, and Welch famously responded: “Sir, have you no decency?” In this case, virtually every associate and family member of the president has been subject to smears conveniently leaked to the press.

Stopping Mueller isn’t about one president or one party. It’s about all presidents and all parties. It’s about cleaning out and reforming the deep state so that our intelligence operations are never used against opposing campaigns without the firmest of evidence. It’s about letting people work for campaigns and administrations without needing legal defense funds. It’s about relying on our elections to decide our differences.

In 2016 (and beyond) the leadership of the FBI and Department of Justice were much more of a danger to our Republic than the Russians were.

The Danger Within

The biggest danger to America right now is not from outside the country–it is from within. The danger comes from a well-established, well-funded, totally entrenched group of people in Washington who are afraid that President Trump will upset their apple cart and take away their goodies. What they don’t realize is the the success of President Trump is very closely related to the success of America–if President Trump is driven from office, it is quite possible that our representative republic will dissolve into chaos. At that point, no political party wins and everyone loses.

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the efforts to undermine and eventually oust President Trump by a coalition of Marxists, globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans.

The article reports:

Rich Higgins, until recently director of strategic planning at the NSC, revealed the program in a seven-page memorandum produced in May that warns of a concerted information warfare campaign by the Marxist left, Islamists, and political leaders and government officials opposed to the populist president.

“The Trump administration is suffering under withering information campaigns designed to first undermine, then delegitimize and ultimately remove the president,” Higgins states.

“This is not politics as usual but rather political warfare at an unprecedented level that is openly engaged in the direct targeting of a seated president through manipulation of the news cycle,” he said.

Higgins, an Army veteran and former Pentagon official who specialized in irregular warfare and who was dismissed last month for writing the memo, said the attacks should not be confused with normal partisan political attacks or adversarial media attention.

The former aide criticized the White House for failing to counter the activities and said the political warfare attacks threaten the Trump presidency.

I am not sure there is a way to counter these activities other than by the use of the President’s Twitter account and the basic economic success of the President’s programs. Actually, I think the opponents of the President fear his economic success more than they fear anything else. The idea that someone outside the ‘club’ can be successful is frightening to any member of the Washington establishment.

What is currently going on in Washington is the equivalent of the ‘cool’ kids in high school holding tight control over who sits at their lunch table. A kid they do not consider cool has become popular and has chosen not to join them at their table. Every smear campaign possible that might put the cool kids back in control will be attempted. That is where we are.