Things That Began Well Don’t Always End Well

This is my eulogy for Fox News. I remember Fox News Sunday when Tony Snow was hosting it. It was balanced and informative. That has changed in recent years. I enjoy Tucker Carlson. I understand we may not agree on everything, but he is fair, logical, and informative. I used to enjoy Hannity and Colmes when they debated both sides of an issue. I guess the fairness and balance of Fox News will be a distant memory.

The Los Angeles Times posted an article yesterday about some changes to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox as it prepares for a merger with Walt Disney Company. 21st Century Fox created a new company, Fox Corp., made up of Fox News Channel and Fox broadcast network.

Yesterday The Washington Post reported that Paul Ryan will be a board member for Fox Corp., the new parent company of Fox News.

The Washington Post reports:

Last week, Ryan reportedly told a crowd during a lecture in Vero Beach, Fla., that the Democrat who defines the race as one about Trump and Trump’s personality could beat him. But he quickly backtracked on Twitter to clarify that he believes Trump deserves to win.

“To be clear, GOP wins elections when they’re about ideas not when they’re personality contests like Dems & media want. We’re clearly better off because of @RealDonaldTrump,” Ryan tweeted. “His record of accomplishment is why he’ll win re-election especially when compared to Dems’ leftward lurch.”

Ryan will serve on the seven-member board along with Murdoch, Fox’s founder, and his son, Lachlan Murdoch, Fox’s chairman and chief executive.

I believe the choices currently being made will be the end of Fox News as the most-watched news network in America.

It’s Hard To Figure Out Who To Believe

The mainstream media lies. We could debate whether they lie or are simply misinformed, but the fact remains that they do not do a good job of informing the public on current events. Today Fox News posted an article that illustrates the problem with discerning the truth.

The article reports:

The Washington Post was among many news organizations to denounce President Trump’s claim of tape being used to silence women during illegal border crossings — but a subsequent New York Times article revealed the president wasn’t making things up after all.

Back on Jan. 25, the Post published an update to a piece headlined, “Trump again mentioned taped-up women at the border. Experts don’t know what he is talking about.” It claimed the president’s “new favorite anecdote” was about tape covering the mouths of migrant women.

Post reporter Katie Mettler wrote that Trump, in pushing for a border wall, was claiming “without evidence that traffickers tie up and silence women with tape” before illegally crossing the border. The Post called Trump’s claims “salacious and graphic,” even providing a timeline of Trump’s taped-women rhetoric.

“Yet human-trafficking experts and advocates for immigrant women have said they are perplexed by this increasingly repeated story in Trump’s repertoire — and are at a loss for where he got his information. It was not from them, they say; in fact, they have no idea what he is talking about,” Mettler wrote.

Not so fast. Last week, The New York Times published a piece headlined, “Yes, there was duct tape: The harrowing journeys of migrants across the border.” The piece – part of a limited-run series on border crossing – reveals that tape is used during border crossings.

The Times report said that women are “tied up” and “bound,” featuring first-hand accounts from several women who experienced the brutality themselves.

“For weeks, President Trump has been criticized for exaggerating the brutality experienced by migrant women on the border as he makes his case for a wall,” the Times wrote. “But there is some truth to the president’s descriptions of the threat of sexual assault and of women who have been duct-taped and bound.”

Building a border wall will not put an end to all of the evil that is happening at the border. However, we do need to acknowledge that there is a lot of evil happening at the border. The situation at our border is a national emergency with caravans of people breaking into our country. It is time Congress stopped ignoring the safety of Americans and of those in the caravans and got behind President Trump to build the wall.

Most People Got Bigger Tax Refunds This Year Than Last Year

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about this year’s tax refunds. The article was in response to a Washington Post article claiming that people were getting lower tax refunds this year than last year.

The article at Hot Air pointed out a number of things that might result in getting a smaller tax refund:

But since we have to play this game, let’s figure out why your refund is smaller. Did you get a raise or a significant bonus last year? Did you perhaps start a new job that pays more? Were there any other major changes in your financial situation? Tax filing company Intuit has a list of possible explanations you could look for. They include things such as your filing status changing, the selling of assets or the possibility that you were hit with a penalty.

There will be a small number of people who lost out on part of their SALT (state and local tax) deductions, but that should really only have a significant impact on people in high-tax states like New York who are earning well into six figures. As for everyone else, if your income went up, did you adjust your withholdings accordingly? If not, perhaps you need to have a chat with an accountant.

The article also reminds us that a tax refund is a refund of the money that you gave to the government during the year. You allowed them to have that money interest free until you filed your tax return and they were obligated to give the money back to you. Ideally, your tax refund should be small–that means that you correctly calculated the amount of money you actually owed the government. The question is not how big your tax refund is–the question is how much money you actually paid in taxes. The size of your tax refund is simply a reflection of how much money the government took from you during the year.

Who Is James Wolfe?

Who is James Wolfe, and why does it matter? On Thursday, American Greatness posted an article about James Wolfe, a former staff employee of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).

The article reports:

Late Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Wolfe to two months in jail for one count of lying to the FBI; the prosecution had asked for 24 months. After a tearful apology to the judge, Wolfe essentially escaped with a slap on the wrist. Outrageous.

Wolfe, 58, was a key player in the leaking strategy employed by anti-Trump bureaucrats to seed bogus Trump-Russia collusion stories in the news media during the administration’s early months. Entrusted with safekeeping the committee’s most secret documents, Wolfe was caught passing off the information to four reporters. One of the journalists, Ali Watkins, was at least 30 years his junior; their three-year affair began when she was a college intern working for a Washington, D.C. news organization.

The first lesson here is don’t let your daughters be interns in Washington–there are a lot of older men walking around with evil intentions. The second lesson is more serious. James Wolfe was leaking classified information to newspapers with the intention of discrediting the Trump administration. He then lied about his actions when caught. He is looking at two months in jail. General Flynn has agreed to a plea of lying to investigators. He has lost his house, been financially ruined, etc. I realize that there is probably much more to that case than the public is aware of, but it seems to me that General Flynn’s actual crime was agreeing to be part of the Trump administration. His treatment by those in the ‘deep state’ was meant to send a message to anyone who was willing to be part of the Trump administration. The Mafia has been known to use similar tactics.

The article continues:

When confronted by the FBI about the affair and the disclosure of classified information to the other reporters, Wolfe repeatedly lied both during a personal interview and on a questionnaire. The investigation into Wolfe’s activities was so critical and risky that “the FBI’s executive leadership took the extraordinary step of limiting its notification to two individuals—the Chair and Vice Chair of the [committee]. Had this delicate balance not been achieved, this situation could easily have resulted in the possible disruption of information flow—an untenable degradation of national security oversight.”

Sounds a little bit more consequential than a phone conversation about Russian sanctions, right?

But here is the real injustice: While it was clear by both the original indictment and the sentencing memo that Wolfe was responsible for disclosing details about the FISA warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, he was not charged with that crime—a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The investigation into Wolfe began after the Washington Post published an explosive story in April 2017 confirming that the FBI had obtained a FISA order right before the election to spy on Page.

“There was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia,” the Post reported. “This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump associate was in touch with Russian agents. Such contacts are now at the center of an investigation into whether the campaign coordinated with the Russian government to swing the election in Trump’s favor.” The information was given to the reporters “on the condition of anonymity because [the sources] were not authorized to discuss details of a counterintelligence probe.”

James Wolfe belongs in prison for much longer than two months. Until we have equal justice under the law, we will not have our republic. The press is supposed to be holding elected officials and other bureaucrats accountable–not putting their thumb on the scales of justice.

The Sorry State Of Freedom On Our College Campuses

A friend sent me a link to a Washington Post article posted on October 9. The headline in the article is, “A second Michigan instructor withheld a recommendation letter from student headed to Israel.”

The disturbing part is the reason given:

The article continues:

Her email echoed the one that arrived last month in the inbox of Abigail Ingber, another junior at the University of Michigan. 

“I am very sorry, but I only scanned your first email a couple weeks ago and missed out on a key detail,” John Cheney-Lippold, a cultural studies professor, wrote to Ingber in early September, upon realizing that the reference was for a program at Tel Aviv University. “As you may know, many university departments have pledged an academic boycott against Israel in support of Palestinians living in Palestine. This boycott includes writing letters of recommendation for students planning to study there.”

The concept that Israel includes Palestinian land is simply not true. As Walid Shoebat has stated, “One day during the 1960s I went to bed a Jordanian Muslim, and when I woke up the next morning, I was informed that I was now a Palestinian Muslim, and that I was no longer a Jordanian Muslim.” Jordan was established to be the Palestinian state. The Palestinians were kicked out of Jordan after they attempted to overthrow its government. The Arab countries have kept them as refugees for generations in order to gin up anger against Israel with the hopes of driving the Jews into the sea. It is unbelievable that our college professors are encouraging this sort of behavior. It’s a shame our college teachers don’t know history. In actuality, the land occupied by Jordan was initially given to Israel.

The article concludes:

Michael Zakim, a cultural historian at Tel Aviv University, argued that the boycott would end up undermining “the Palestinian struggle” by unwittingly supporting forces “determined to delegitimize the humanism and internationalism that predominates on Israeli university campuses.” He labeled as “inanity” some of the means taken to “discredit Israeli academic culture,” such as the refusal to serve as an external reader on a dissertation.

Feisal G. Mohamed, then of the University of Illinois and now at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, responded, saying the boycott didn’t compel each of the actions decried by Zakim. Still, he reasoned, “any and all available means must be used to end an occupation.”

At Michigan, the board of regents declined last year to form a committee to investigate divesting the university’s endowment from companies doing business with Israel, after the student government passed a resolution supporting such a move.

But refusing to throw its weight behind BDS isn’t enough, Secker (Jake Secker) warned. If the university doesn’t take further action to insulate its students from the political actions of their professors, he said, it could have a crisis on its hands.

“This is an epidemic that’s starting to begin,” he said. “Especially being someone who has an Israeli background, I took it personally. It really disturbed me.”

Any university discriminating against students who want to study in Israel should lose all federal and state funding. BDS is not an acceptable policy, and the government should not be funding it.

There Seems To Be A Lack Of Ethics Among Some Of Our Senators

This post is not directly related to the Senate hearings yesterday, but it may be an indication of the ethics of the people involved.

The Washington Post posted an article yesterday about something that happened to the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee as the hearings were going on.

The article reports:

Several Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee had their home addresses and phone numbers released to the public on their Wikipedia pages during Thursday’s hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The victims included Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

According to Caleb Hull, editor of the Independent Journal Review, the wife of Mr. Hatch “has been receiving calls nonstop ON HER BIRTHDAY and their home address was made public.”

The article explains what happened:

CongressEdits, a bot account that for four years automatically retweets edits to Wikipedia made anonymously from IP addresses associated with the U.S. Congress, said the information was also posted on Mr. Lee and Mr. Graham “from US House of Representatives.”

The article auto-posted screen shots supporting the edits being made and noting the inclusion of private information, a practice known as “doxxing.”

The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday:

The private information on the Republican Senators is coming from a computer from the House of Representatives!

Congress reporter for Politico Burgess Everett tweeted: “Someone is doxxing GOP senators on a computer from the House of Representatives, began shortly after the Graham speech. I’m not going to retweet the account where this is posted.”

The person who leaked this information needs to go to jail. He has put members of Congress at risk.

This is a new low in American politics, and one has to wonder what it is about. What is the threat that confirming Judge Kavanaugh represeents? Why are the Democrats willing to go to such lengths to block him?

I suspect that if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, we will know the answers to those questions fairly quickly. We have watched the Advise and Consent process turned on its head. A strategy that failed with Anita Hill was retried. Hopefully it will fail again. The politics of personal destruction should not be a part of the confirmation process–particularly when an allegation is not able to be proved. If you are going to make a charge that has the potential of ruining a man’s career, come with evidence.

The Economic Impact Of Tax Cuts

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

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

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

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

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

The New York Post reports:

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

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

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

The article concludes:

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

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

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

Arriving Soon

Yesterday The Washington Post posted a story about a caravan of more than 1,000 Central Americans, primarily from Honduras, trekking up through Mexico to the U.S. border on a nearly month-long trip that began March 25. These migrants are looking to seek asylum from criminal elements back home or slip into the United States undetected.

The article explains why they are traveling in a group:

Marching in a large group is expected to blunt the efforts of criminal gangs and cartels known to isolate and later rob immigrants, many of whom bring large sums of money to make the long journey north through Mexico. The caravan organizers, Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, appeared to have concluded that it is safer for these people to travel together.

The article cites President Trump’s claim that Mexico is doing nothing to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and offers the following reply:

Mexico is doing something — with the help of the United States. Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid flow to Mexico every year, including funds for strengthening its border with Guatemala, where migrants generally cross.

One wonders how those funds are actually being spent.

On March 30 (updated March 31), Buzzfeed reported:

For five days now hundreds of Central Americans — children, women, and men, most of them from Honduras — have boldly crossed immigration checkpoints, military bases, and police in a desperate, sometimes chaotic march toward the United States. Despite their being in Mexico without authorization, no one has made any effort to stop them.

Organized by a group of volunteers called Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, the caravan is intended to help migrants safely reach the United States, bypassing not only authorities who would seek to deport them, but gangs and cartels who are known to assault vulnerable migrants.

Organizers like Rodrigo Abeja hope that the sheer size of the crowd will give immigration authorities and criminals pause before trying to stop them.

“If we all protect each other we’ll get through this together,” Abeja yelled through a loudspeaker on the morning they left Tapachula, on Mexico’s border with Guatemala, for the nearly monthlong trek.

When they get to the US, they hope American authorities will grant them asylum or, for some, be absent when they attempt to cross the border illegally. More likely is that it will set up an enormous challenge to the Trump administration’s immigration policies and its ability to deal with an organized group of migrants numbering in the hundreds.

If America is such a horrible country (as stated by college professors at our top colleges every day) why are so many people trying to come here? Also, what can these people do to improve conditions in their own countries? We cannot take in the entire world and continue to support our own population.

The Issue Or The Solution?

One of the problems with Washington is that if there is a problem, the political types will always try to figure out if solving it is the answer or if playing up the issue and the fact that it is not solved will gain votes. That is one of many reasons it is so hard to get things done. It is a shame that our politicians have forgotten that they are supposed to work for the voters and that they were sent to Washington to accomplish things. There are a few aspects of illegal immigration that make it very difficult to solve. The Democrats want the issue and the future voters. The Republican corporate types want cheap labor. There is also a school of thought that leaving the issue of the ‘dreamers’ unsolved will bring out Democratic voters–another reason Democrats would rather have the problem than the solution. Meanwhile, no one in Washington is looking at the negative impact of illegal workers on the salaries of Americans with low skills.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today about the failure of Congress to pass a bill to help the ‘dreamers.’ He pointed out some of the last minute things that were added to one ‘compromise’ bill.

The article quotes a Washington Post article:

[A]s the “war room” of administration lawyers and policy experts examined the 64-page text on Wednesday, it was a handwritten note on the final page that set off the loudest alarm bells. That section dealt with setting in law DHS’s priorities for enforcement. Under the proposal, the agency would focus its powers on immigrants with felonies or multiple misdemeanors, who were national security threats and who had arrived in the country after a certain date.

Scribbled in the margins was a date: June 30, 2018 [Note: an end of January date in the typed text was crossed out].

The administration team was dumbstruck: In addition to making it harder for DHS to deport all of those already here illegally, lawmakers were opening the door to a surge of new unauthorized immigrants by setting an effective “amnesty” date four months in the future.

“No one who has worked on immigration issues in the administration or on the Hill was aware of any legislation that had ever been proposed and scheduled to receive a vote on the floor of the Senate that created an amnesty program effectively for those who arrive in the future,” said a DHS official who helped lead the review. “That would clearly and unequivocally encourage a massive wave of illegal immigration and visa overstays.”

(Emphasis added by Paul Mirengoff)

What this bill would do would be to extend amnesty to anyone who arrived before June 30. Does anyone believe that setting that date would not encourage a flood of illegal immigrants wanting to arrive before the deadline. There is no way anyone who read the bill all the way through and understood its consequences could support it.

The article at Power Line concludes:

Perhaps some wanted to maximize the amnesty, while others were too lazy to read to the end of bill or too clueless to grasp the consequences of what they read.

From the Democrats’ perspective, was the prospective amnesty something they thought they could sneak through or was it a poison pill? Some have speculated that Democrats don’t want any deal that includes a wall and would like (or be okay with) a political landscape in which the Dreamers are still in limbo.

Perhaps Democrats saw inclusion of the handwritten note as a win-win. Either they get all those new illegal immigrants ensconced here or they blame the administration for doing nothing for Dreamers.

Today’s Post story looks like implementation of the second option.

When you hear the Democrats complain that President Trump refused to help the ‘dreamers,’ remember that it was the Democrats who made sure the bill would not be passed. It is obvious that the issue is of more value to the Democratic party than a solution.

How Fake News Works

Breitbart posted an article today that is a stunning example of how fake news works. Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel posted the following on Twitter to support his claim that the Trump rally in Pensacola was poorly attended:

What Mr. Weigel failed to mention was that the picture was taken before the Trump rally began.

President Trump called him out on his dishonesty with a Tweet:

I doubt the mainstream media made the correction (although Mr. Weigel’s tweet was deleted). This is the reason the President tweets–to get the truth out when the mainstream media lies.

The article at Breitbart concludes:

But how do Weigel’s elite colleagues respond? No reprimands. No embarrassment. No reaction that indicates in any way that they are concerned with holding on to whatever residual integrity might remain in their discredited institution. Instead, they all make excuses for the inexcusable and attack the president as though he does not have his own free speech rights, as though the elite media is exempt from criticism.

If you wanted to destroy the media by planting confederates in newsrooms all around the country, over this last week, none of your saboteurs could have been anywhere near as effective as the self-destructive Weigel, Maggie Haberman, Brian Ross, Alisyn Camerota; and everyone at CNN, the Washington Post, Reuters, and PolitiFact.

Gentlemen, This Is A Football

Legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi was known for beginning the first team meeting of the preseason by stating, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” The Green Bay Packers were the team to beat in the 1960’s, winning the first two Super Bowls. Vince Lombardi was their coach during this time. Many of the players at those initial team meetings had already won Super Bowls. So what is the point of the statement, “Gentlemen, this is a football?” Simple, there comes a time (quite often) when you simply have to get back to basics.

The news story of the day is the resignation of General Flynn. The bottom line on the story is that the General was not totally truthful in his statements to Vice-President Pence about his contacts with Russia. The contacts with Russia may not actually be a serious problem, but if you want to be part of an administration, it’s not a good idea to lie to those in charge. However, there is much more to the story.

Those of us who want more honesty in government may not be too upset by this resignation. General Flynn is a good man who made a mistake. Unfortunately that mistake cost him his job.

Yesterday, Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the kerfuffle that reminds us of some of the elements surrounding the story.

These are some of the observations in the article:

Thus, I agree with David Goldman that even if reports of the conversation are true, Trump need not remove Flynn over it. (Goldman, by the way, sees the attack on Flynn as part of a CIA vendetta against the retired general).

Misleading Mike Pence, if that’s what Flynn did, is another matter. Obviously, the president and the vice president should be able to count on the national security adviser for honest reports about his conversations with foreign ambassadors (and about all other matters). If Flynn was not honest, that’s a problem.

…ONE MORE THING: It’s clear from the Post’s (Washington Post) report that Sally Yates and the others discovered that the Russians conceivably could blackmail Flynn by listening to a recording of the Russian ambassador’s phone call with Flynn. That’s how they learned Russia could show Flynn might have misled Pence about what was said during the call.

Thus, the Post has reported that the U.S. is tapping the Russian ambassador’s phone. Now, maybe the Russians already know, or assume, this. On the other hand, it may be that the Post has harmed U.S. intelligence gathering capability by running its breathless “blackmail” story.

One final thought. Remember that those of us who want President Trump to drain the swamp are not playing on a level playing field. The political left and their allies in the press are working very hard to undermine President Trump. You could probably also include many career government workers in that category. So what is going on here is not simply the resignation of someone who was less than truthful in his dealings with his boss. The political left will celebrate this as a victory because they caused the removal of General Flynn. We need to be very careful that this does not become a pattern. Also, anyone in the Trump Administration needs to realize that they have to be one hundred percent above board in their actions or the press will destroy them. This is not the Obama Administration where obvious violations of civil rights laws and other laws was overlooked by the press. Under a Republican Administration, the press will suddenly rediscover its role as watchdog.

The Truth About The New Secretary Of State

If you believe the mainstream media, you might be convinced that not only did the Russians win the Cold War, they are taking over America. Relax. It’s just the media and the Democrats trying to tell you that the world is going to end because Donald Trump was elected President.

So who is Rex Tillerson and what will he represent as Secretary of State? He is the CEO of ExxonMobil. Rex Tillerson joined Exxon Company, U.S.A. in 1975 as a production engineer. He has a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. So he has worked for the same company for forty-one years. That says good things about him and about ExxonMobil.

The Washington Times posted an article about Rex Tillerson today.

The article reports:

“Rex Tillerson’s Russia problem,” The Washington Post wrote in headline above the fold on Tuesday.

“Trump’s credibility problem on Russia,” NBC wrote, warning: “Tillerson has ties to Russia and Putin, including being awarded Russia’s ‘Order of the Friendship’ honor in 2013 and opposing the U.S.-led sanctions against Russia for its intervention in Crimea. And already, GOP senators are expressing concern about Tillerson’s Russia ties.”

Would Condoleezza Rice, James Baker, Bob Gates and Dick Cheney — who all have endorsed Mr. Tillerson’s nomination — be in favor of handing over Eastern Europe to the Russians? Would they all support a candidate for secretary of state who they believed to be a puppet of Mr. Putin’s?

In a Facebook post Tuesday morning, Ms. Rice wrote: “Rex Tillerson is an excellent choice for Secretary of State. He will bring to the post remarkable and broad international experience; a deep understanding of the global economy; and a belief in America’s special role in the world.

“I know Rex as a successful business man and a patriot. He will represent the interests and the values of the United States with resolve and commitment. And he will lead the exceptional men and women of the State Department with respect and dedication. I look forward to supporting Rex through the confirmation process and then welcoming him to the family of Secretaries of State,” she said.

I am beginning to think that all American patriots should simply tune out the mainstream media for the next four years. I suspect that 99 percent of what they report is going to be ‘fake news.’

We have just experienced eight years where the Gross Domestic Product did not increase by more than 3 percent in any year. That is historically bad. We have watched the labor participation rate sink to its lowest level since the 1970’s. That is also historically bad. America elected a successful businessman who wants to turn the American economy around, lead us to energy independence, and drain the swamp that is Washington. Needless to say, those who profit from the swamp in Washington are going to make his job difficult–Donald Trump’s success is a serious threat to their survival. Expect a lot of pushback on anything Donald Trump does, and expect all Americans to have to fight those establishment politicians who want him to fail. Get ready to call or write your Congressman if he is part of the problem. If you want America to come out of the slump it has been in for the past eight years, you are going to have to make your voice heard.

Why Are We Negotiating?

Today’s Washington Post posted an article about Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian.

The article reports:

An Iranian court on Monday held a third hearing for a Washington Post journalist facing charges that include espionage in a trial that has drawn sharp criticism from press freedom groups and the State Department.

The attorney for Jason Rezaian, The Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, said the “remaining charges” were reviewed during the closed-door session in the Revolutionary Court.

But the lawyer, Leila Ahsan, could give no further details about the session. She is barred from publicly discussing the proceedings against Rezaian, who has been detained nearly a year.

Jason Rezaian held dual citizenship in Iran and the United States. He worked in Iran as a journalist.

The article further reports:

The Revolutionary Court held two sessions in Rezaian’s trial in May and June. The charges against him include espionage and distributing propaganda against the Islamic republic.

Rezaian, his Iranian wife and two photojournalists were detained July 22, 2014, in Tehran. His wife, Yeganeh Salehi, a correspondent for the National newspaper in Abu Dhabi, was later released on bail. A photojournalist also faces charges related to the case.

The claims against Rezaian, 39, appear to include a visit he made to a U.S. consulate seeking a visa for his wife and a letter he wrote seeking a job in the Obama administration in 2008 — material that was apparently taken from his confiscated laptop.

Jason Rezaian is not the only American citizen the Iranians currently have in prison. I truly believe that we should suspend all negotiations with Iran and leave the economic sanctions in place until these political and religious prisoners are released and sent back to America. I really don’t understand why we are continuing to negotiate with a country that puts American citizens in prison.

A City Recognizes Freedom Of Religion

On Sunday I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who run the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.

I quoted a Daily Signal article which reported:

Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.

The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.

On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

It seemed to me that the ruling did not respect the Knapps right to practice their religious beliefs freely. Evidently the town in Idaho had second thoughts on the decision and has changed its mind.

The Washington Post is reporting today:

The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, said a for-profit wedding chapel owned by two ministers doesn’t have to perform same-sex marriages….

[City Attorney Michael] Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.

“After we’ve looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation,” Gridley explained.

One has to wonder who the city attorneys talked to before they decided that the ministers were not breaking any laws.

The article concludes:

As I’ve argued before, I think more than just religious freedom is at stake here — the Free Speech Clause protects the right not to participate in verbal ceremonies, whether religious or otherwise, and whether they are pledges of allegiance (even ones without “under God”) or the conducting of wedding vows (even ones that are secular). A secular freelance writer, for instance, has a Free Speech Clause right to refuse to write news releases for religious groups that he disapproves of (even if he generally takes commissions from the public), or articles praising ceremonies that he disapproves of. Likewise, a wedding officiant has a Free Speech Clause right to refuse to lead wedding ceremonies that he disapproves of. But at least I’m glad that, in this instance, the city has agreed that the ordinance doesn’t apply.

I believe that the freedom to practice religion is under attack in America. The Bible is very clear on the subject of homosexuality, and those Christians who believe in the Bible should be free to practice their religion. If the state chooses to marry homosexuals, that is a civil matter. If the state orders Christian pastors to perform gay weddings, the state is then infringing on the rights of Christians.That is the problem with the homosexual agenda–it discriminates against people who have a Christian worldview.

Sometimes Facts Are Simply Inconvenient

Yesterday the Washington Post published the following chart:

Obamatons

The graph was also posted at Power Line by Scott Johnson. So what is the value of this graph?

The article at Power Line reports:

On two occasions this campaign season, against all the odds, President Obama has said something useful and, even more improbably, something true. On those occasions he advertised the fact that the Democratic Senate candidates running for election or reelection in states such as Colorado, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Alaska, North Carolina, and Arkansas are in the bag for him. When their vote is needed, Obama can count on it, and when they tell the voters of their states they wake up every day thinking how best they can protect their interests, as Jeanne Shaheen did last night in her debate with Scott Brown, they are playing the voters for chumps. 

The article at Power Line also includes the following footnote:

FOOTNOTE: The layers of fact checkers and editors at the Post apparently failed to observe that the Colorado Senator’s first name is Mark, not Tom (who is Mark’s first cousin and the Senator from New Mexico). Tom Udall is not to be confused with Mark Udall. Tom Udall only votes with Obama 94 percent of the time.

The current Democrat party does not allow for voting independence on the part of its elected officials–they are required to follow the party line. If we want a Congress that represents the people it is supposed to represent, we need to change our voting habits.

Found In The Style Section Of The Washington Post

Normally the ‘Style’ section of the newspaper is not a place where you expect to find anything that is actually important news, but yesterday the Washington Post placed a very interesting article there. This is NOT an unimportant article.

The article reports:

White House journalists are creating an alternative system for distributing their media “pool” reports in response to the Obama administration’s involvement in approving and disapproving certain content in official reports.

A small group of reporters initiated an online forum this month in which they shared “pool” information among themselves, without White House involvement. The forum was set up by the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA), which negotiates with the White House’s press staff over access for journalists.

So what is this about?

The article explains:

Reporters have complained that the Obama White House exploits its role as distributor to demand changes in pool reports and that the press office has delayed or refused to distribute some reports until they are amended to officials’ satisfaction.

 But now, some journalists are sharing their White House reporting using Google Groups — the digital service that allows registered users to receive and send information within a closed circle. In an early test of the supplemental system, journalists shared pool information about President Obama’s trip to Chicago this month. The system has been used for “advisories,” such as where the pool is assembling, when another pool report will be issued or whether a correction is in the works.
To put this simply–the White House has been controlling the news about the President. Reporters have decided that they want to make their own decisions about how and what they report.
The timing on this is very interesting. We are weeks away from a pivotal election–I don’t know if we can expect a Republican ‘wave’ election, but I expect the Republicans to do well in the mid-terms. President Obama’s approval ratings are low, and people will begin to question the accuracy of the media (as many already do) if they keep reporting on the President through rose-colored glasses.
America is a Representative Republic. Our country relies on an informed electorate to preserve our Constitution and our freedom. It is the responsibility of the press to inform that electorate in an objective way. In recent years the press has forgotten how to do that. Maybe this current rebellion against White House control of the White House press corps is the beginning of positive change.

The Nobel Peace Prize Gets One Right

The Nobel Peace Prize committee has made some interesting choices in the past. Generally speaking, they have often considered politics rather than substance. This year, however, I think they have gotten it right.

The Washington Post posted a story today about the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi.

The article reports:

Malala Yousafzai, who at 17 became the youngest Nobel laureate, won the prize exactly two years and one day after she was nearly killed by a bullet to the head during a Taliban assassination attempt in her native Swat Valley. She was targeted for her outspoken advocacy of female education — a cause she has championed relentlessly ever since, in spite of further threats.

Speaking from the British city of Birmingham on Friday, she reveled in the committee’s decision to share her prize with an Indian, 60-year-old Kailash Satyarthi, who has spent decades crusading against child slavery.

Congratulations to both of these brave women for the causes each one supports.

Looking Past The Obvious In The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)Scandal

It has become an accepted fact that under Lois Lerner the IRS targeted conservative groups. However, if you look at the IRS BOLO (be on the lookout order) relating to the targeting, there is another group of organizations that is targeted.

According to an article in yesterday’s Washington Post:

According to the inspector general’s report (pp. 30 & 38), this particular IRS targeting commenced on Jan. 25, 2012 — the beginning of the election year for President Obama’s second campaign. On that date: “the BOLO [‘be on the lookout’] criteria were again updated.” The revised criteria included “political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

The article points out that the BOLO is not “viewpoint-neutral.” It does not target groups obfuscating or denigrating the Constitution–only those educating Americans on what the Constitution says. Learning about the Constitution is seen as a danger to America. Wow! We’ve come a long way from our Founding Fathers, who believed that educating future generations on the Constitution was one of the things necessary to preserve our Republic.

The article further reports:

This is a new low for American government — targeting those who would teach others about its founding document. Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon went to great lengths to try to conceal the facts of his constitutional violations, but it never occurred to him to conceal the meaning of the Constitution itself, by targeting its teachers. Politicians have always been tempted to try to censor their political adversaries; but none has been so bold as to try to suppress constitutional education directly. Presidents have always sought to push against the constitutional limits of their power; but never have they targeted those who merely teach about such limits. In short, never before has the federal government singled out for special scrutiny those who would teach their fellow citizens about our magnificent Constitution. This is the new innovation of Obama’s IRS.

The article concludes:

Five years ago, Obama, our constitutional law professor-in-chief, presented his first, ringing Constitution Day proclamation: “To succeed, the democracy established in our Constitution requires the active participation of its citizenry. Each of us has a responsibility to learn about our Constitution and teach younger generations about its contents and history.” Quite so. Perhaps this year, Obama could explain why his IRS would target those who answered this call.

Teach your children well–your future and theirs depends on it.

Senators Opposed To Free Speech

On Monday, the Washington Post posted an article by George Will on a recent move by Senate Democrats to limit free speech.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I am not a lawyer (neither were most of our founding fathers), but that seems pretty clear to me.

The Washington Post reports:

The 48 senators proposing to give legislators speech-regulating powers describe their amendment in anodyne language, as “relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.” But what affects elections is speech, and the vast majority of contributions and expenditures are made to disseminate speech. The Democrats’ amendment says: “Congress and the states may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections,” and may “prohibit” corporations — including nonprofit issue-advocacy corporations (such as the Sierra Club, NARAL Pro-Choice America and thousands of others across the political spectrum) from spending any money “to influence elections,” which is what most of them exist to do.

Because all limits will be set by incumbent legislators, the limits deemed “reasonable” will surely serve incumbents’ interests. The lower the limits, the more valuable will be the myriad (and unregulated) advantages of officeholders.

The foxes are guarding the hen house again.

This is the list of Senators proposing this bill. The names in italics are Senators running for re-election:

Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Benjamin Cardin (Md.), Thomas Carper (Del.), Robert Casey (Pa.), Christopher Coons (Del.), Richard Durbin (Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Al Franken (Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Angus King (Maine), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Christopher Murphy (Conn.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Harry Reid (Nev.), John Rockefeller (W.Va.), Bernard Sanders (Vt.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Udall (Colo.), John Walsh (Mont.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Ron Wyden (Ore.).

This is one example of why we need term limits and Congressmen who understand the Constitution.

Evidence Of The Decline Of America

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) carried out a series of airstrikes in Tripoli, Libya. Neither country informed the United States before taking action.

The article reports:

The airstrikes appear tied to fear over the growing muscle of Islamist militias. The region’s monarchies and secular dictatorships are increasingly alarmed about Islamist gains from Libya to Syria and Iraq. And the airstrikes may signal a new willingness by some Arab states to take on a more direct military role in the region’s conflicts.

Various groups in Libya have been battling for control of the main Tripoli airport, and the strikes may have been a failed attempt to keep the strategic facility from falling to extremists.

Our intervention in Libya was a mistake. The only true justification for America’s getting involved was to protect the oil fields that supply Europe with oil. There is also some questions as to whether of not Gaddafi was planning to begin to trade oil in currency other than American dollars. If he had done that, it would have crashed the American economy. Gaddafi had turned over his weapons of mass destruction after the United States had invaded Iraq. He was a horrible dictator, but there was no assurance that he would be replaced with anything less horrible. The Obama Administration’s decision to bomb Libya as part of the ‘Arab Spring’ only strengthened the grip of the multiple terrorist groups in Libya and surrounding areas.

President Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East has been a disaster. It will take years to restore the faith in the United States that our allies once had and to undo the damage President Obama has done by supporting the enemies of democracy.

Why We Need Informed, Educated Voters

David Limbaugh posted an article today at Townhall.com about President Obama’s continuing claim that the Republicans want to impeach him. Speaker of the House John Boehner has clearly stated that he is not interested in impeaching President Obama, so what is this about? A large part of it is about fund raising for the Democrat party.

On July 28, the Washington Post reported the following:

The Democrats’ congressional campaign arm pulled in $2.1 million in online donations over the weekend — the best four-day haul of the current election cycle — largely propelled by fundraising pitches tied to speculation that House Republicans could pursue the impeachment of President Obama.

That’s part of the story. Another part of the story involves the blatant flaunting of unconstitutional actions in an attempt to goad the Republicans into impeachment. Why impeachment? Because it energizes the far left of the Democrat party base.

David Limbaugh concludes:

So he is not only ratcheting up his rhetoric to accuse Republicans of a plot to impeach him, though House Speaker John Boehner has clearly indicated that is not in the cards, but also trying to force their hand into actually impeaching him. To this end, he is planning on upping the ante by issuing a far-reaching unilateral order granting amnesty to millions.

That’s right. The leader of the Free World is trying to provoke Republicans into impeaching him or otherwise stirring a constitutional crisis.

This is stunningly unprecedented. But more and more people are wising up to his serial abuses of power and his partisan agitation.

I don’t have a great track record as a prognosticator of elections, but I am strongly sensing his party, as a direct result of his policies and lawlessness and its shameless refusal to rein him in, is going to get a titanic comeuppance in November.

America is either going to be a representative republic or a banana republic. Voters in November will make that choice.

 

Haven’t These People Read The U.S. Constitution?

Today Breitbart.com reported that Robert Barnes, a reporter for the Washington Post, has argued that the individual right to keep and bear arms was established in 2008 by the Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller, a case that was decided five to four.

First of all, The Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—

According to the Declaration of Independence, our rights are unalienable, they come from God–not from man, and government derives its power from the consent of the governed. Our rights do not come from the Supreme Court or any Justice on the Supreme Court.

The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed

The article reports:

Barnes makes this point by citing UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, who notes Kennedy voted with the majority in Heller, thereby “establishing the individual gun ownership right.” But Winkler also contends that “it was Kennedy who insisted” the decision “contain language” making clear the court “was not calling into question reasonable restrictions on gun ownership.”

Winkler subsequently suggested the court’s finicky appetite toward gun cases since Heller and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) is a reflection of “concern about the way Justice Kennedy is going to go [in future cases].” 

For Barnes, like Winkler, Kennedy is key to restricting “the fundamental right the court found six years ago.

The Second Amendment (like the rest of the U.S. Constitution) was designed to protect Americans from a tyrannical government usurping power and taking over the country. At some point I hope that those who want to undo the Second Amendment realize that it protects them–it does not endanger them.

 

 

What The People Who Designed It Say About Common Core

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted a story about Common Core. It seems that despite the talk about the need for rigorous academic standards that Common Core supposedly will provide, Common Core is not really about academic standards.

The article states:

In an interview with the Washington Post that summarizes how Bill Gates pulled off the very “swift Common Core revolution,” the Microsoft founder stated, “The country as a whole has a huge problem that low-income kids get less good education than suburban kids get… and that is a huge challenge.”

Gates’s statement underscores further the notion that the Common Core standards initiative is a social engineering project that places education standards ahead of parental and family influences as the major cause of poor student performance in low-income and minority communities.

Regardless of the push by various Gates-funded organizations to boast the Common Core standards’ “rigor,” the real motivation to correct what is viewed as societal injustices was underscored even by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who said last November that it was “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is coming from “white suburban moms who – all of a sudden – their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

Anyone who has worked in public education knows that two major reasons for poor student achievement are parental involvement and culture. If a student belongs to an ethnic group where academic achievement is frowned upon, that student is not going to achieve. If the parents of a student do not value education, the student will not value education. If the peer group of the student does not value education, the student will not value education. Common Core does not either take either one of those factors into consideration.

The article further explains:

Despite the lack of validity of the Common Core standards, the Post reports that after Gene Wilhoit, director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and a former Kentucky education commissioner, and Common Core “architect” David Coleman met with Gates about funding the development of the standards, Gates’s foundation gave over $5 million to the University of North Carolina-affiliated Hunt Institute, led by former Gov. Jim Hunt (D). The Hunt Institute then coordinated more than a dozen organizations, including the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, National Council of La Raza, Achieve, Inc., the two national teachers’ unions, and the two groups that are the copyright owners of the Common Core standards – CCSSO and the National Governors Association (NGA).

Talking points about the standards were then developed by GMMB, a communications firm owned by Jim Margolis, a top Democrat strategist and veteran of both of Obama’s presidential campaigns.

Public relations firms, big corporations, and unions are not the answer to America‘s education problems. One of the differences in education in the past fifty years is the change in parental attitudes. Back in the age of dinosaurs when I was in school, if you got in trouble (or got bad grades) in school, you were also in trouble at home. Somehow in the past fifty years the equation has changed in many families–if you are in trouble at school, it’s the teacher’s fault. Teachers are afraid not to send children on to the next grade due to pressure from parents and often, pressure from school administrators.

The problem in our schools is not in the curriculum or standards–it is in requiring students to meet a standard.

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Exactly Why Is The Law There?

Yesterday the Washington Post reported that Representative John Conyers would be on the election ballot in Michigan. Representative Conyers was originally taken off the ballot by election officials because he had failed to secure enough valid petition signatures. Some of the people who collected signatures were not registered voters, something that is required by Michigan law.

The article reports:

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Leitman issued an injunction ordering Conyers back on the ballot just hours after state elections officials upheld an earlier ruling that had kept him off for failing to secure enough valid petition signatures. At issue was the question of whether a law requiring signature gatherers to be registered voters is constitutional.

Leitman said he was not issuing an opinion on that question Friday. But because the plaintiffs challenging the law “have shown a substantial likelihood of success” and “because time is of the essence,” he said he opted to order that Conyers be put back on the ballot.

Leitman’s order came the same day the Michigan secretary of state‘s office upheld a decision handed down May 13 by Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett. Garrett’s office said Conyers submitted far fewer than the 1,000 valid signatures required to appear on the ballot. Leitman’s decision puts him beyond the threshold.

There is a problem with the logic here–there is a law in place that governs the collection of signatures. If voters or state legislators are unhappy with that law, they need to change it. This is an example of a judge saying he didn’t want that law to apply, so he overruled it. Would the judge have made the same decision for another candidate? Do voting laws apply equally to all candidates? According to the U.S. Constiution and most of the state constitutions, laws are made by legislative bodies–not by judges.

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A Scandal Under The Radar

John Hinderaker at Power Line has posted a number of articles about the use of the Washington Post by the Democrat party to attack the Koch brothers about the Keystone Pipeline. Never mind that the Koch brothers have no connection to the Pipeline or that building it would not help their business, the Washington Post still reported supposed connections as fact. I haven’t written about the scandal because it is complicated and hard to detail in a concise manner. However, John Hinderaker appeared on Fox News and explained it beautifully.

The video is posted on YouTube:

This is an example of why many Americans, including myself, do not trust the mainstream media.

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