What Do Equal Rights Mean?

On Sunday the Independent Journal Review posted an article about Indiana‘s ‘Religious Freedom’ Act. There has been an outcry from gay and lesbian groups that say that the law will discriminate against them. I would like to point out that 21 states already have similar laws, and that the goal of the law is to protect EVERYONE’S rights.

When you open a business, you do not give up your First Amendment rights. According to the First Amendment you are guaranteed the right to practice your religion. There is also a right of association–you have the right to choose who you will do business with. Christians who hold a Biblical view on homosexuality have as much right to practice their beliefs as anyone else. The law in Indiana will protect these rights.

This is the map of the states that have passed laws similar to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA):

RFRA Existing graphic

Incidentally, the RFRA was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton–not by a Republican.

The article concludes:

In other words, not only can the Christian owners of a bakery refuse to write an inscription on the wedding cake of a gay couple, but the black owners of a T-shirt business don’t have to print the KKK’s burning crosses on shirts, and Jewish owners of a gift shop don’t have to put Nazi symbols on coffee cups.

Everyone has equal rights, or no one does.

Being Flexible Will Give North Carolina A Voice At The Republican Convention

North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest has issued to following statement:

Lt. Governor Dan Forest in Support of March 22, 2016 Presidential Primary Date

RALEIGH—Today Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest issued the following statement of support for moving the North Carolina Presidential primary election date to March 22, 2016.

“I understand the original intent of moving up our Presidential primary to the first Tuesday after South Carolina. However, circumstances have changed. If we stay where we are, our state delegation will be decimated at the National Convention. All our voting strength will be negated and smaller states will play a greater role in determining the nominee for our party.

I also understand the efforts behind those who would move our primary to March 1st, which would protect the size of our delegation at the national convention to its full voting strength. However, I believe it would be a greater benefit to the voters of North Carolina to hold our primary on March 22, 2016. Although the March 1st date would protect our delegation at the convention, it means our state would not qualify for ‘winner take all’ status. In other words, our state would be worth a fraction of its true value to the ultimate winner, because with the crowded primary field, no one candidate would win a large majority of the vote. In addition, we would be marginalized by the sheer number of states competing on that same day, which currently stands at eight states.

By setting our primary date at March 22, 2016, North Carolina would position itself as the largest ‘Winner Take All’ state at stake on that day, with only three states currently positioned to hold primaries at that time. This positioning would correspond to a narrower field of candidates, as several will have dropped out by that point. However, North Carolina would find itself as a must have state for serious candidates still in the hunt. In my opinion, the March 22nd date captures the intent of the original effort to move up our primary to make our state more relevant in selecting a future President of the United States.

If this reasoning makes sense to you, please call your state senator or representative and ask them to vote to move the primary to March 22, 2016.”

Because of the way the law is written, moving the primary to March 22nd would allow the voters of North Carolina to be properly represented at the Republican Convention. This is important.

Will Moving The Goalposts End Any Possibility Of A Deal?

Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon reported that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have bogged down over the issue of Iran’s stockpiles of enriched nuclear materials. Evidently at one point in the negotiations, Iran was willing to have those stockpiles shipped outside the country to Russia, but now Iran has changed its mind.

The article reports:

“The export of stocks of enriched uranium is not in our program, and we do not intend sending them abroad,” Abbas Araqchi, an Iranian negotiator and diplomat, was quoted as telling the country’s state-run press. “There is no question of sending the stocks abroad.”

A subsequent New York Times article claiming that discussions over the issue have hit a wall in the last day prompted the State Department to reveal that negotiations over the export of uranium have been stuck for quite some time.

“Contrary to the report in the New York Times, the issue of how Iran’s stockpile would be disposed of had not yet been decided in the negotiating room, even tentatively,” a senior State Department official told the Free Beacon on Monday. “There is no question that disposition of their stockpile is essential to ensuring the program is exclusively peaceful.”

The article also reports that the current roadblock represents a change in what Iran was willing to negotiate:

One source familiar with the talks told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration had been promising members of Congress that Iran would consent to export its uranium.

“Administration officials told lawmakers they’d get the Iranians to make a concession, then the Iranians refused to make that concession, and now the State Department is pretending they never expected anything anyway,” said the source.

“The White House briefed lawmakers and told them the Iranians were willing to ship out their stockpile,” the source said. “That was the whole justification for jacking up centrifuge numbers to 6,000. State Department spokespeople are basically gaslighting reporters by pretending otherwise.”

A second source in Europe familiar with the breakdown in discussions over the issue told the Free Beacon that Iran had previously expressed a willingness to export its uranium.

It is quite possible that Iran has concluded that President Obama is so desperate for an agreement that he will agree to anything. It is also quite possible that Iran figures that it will have enough time to complete its construction of at least one nuclear weapon before any sort of sanctions are placed on its economy. Neither option is particularly good. We need to remember that when Iran builds a nuclear weapon, peace in the Middle East will become highly unlikely. Iran without nuclear weapons has constantly taken actions to destabilize the region (and unfortunately to kill Americans in the region). We also need to remember that during these negotiations an American citizen, Pastor Saeed Abedini, has been kept in an Iranian prison because of his Christian faith. It is really unfortunate that the current leadership of America does not even have enough power to get one citizen out of a foreign prison.


North Carolina Parents And Grandparents Continue To Fight Common Core

Breitbart.com posted an article yesterday about a grassroots group in North Carolina called the North Carolina Academic Freedom Alliance. The group was formed to fight Common Core standards in North Carolina and to suggest the North Carolina Plan as an alternative to the government and big business controlled standards of Common Core.

The article reports:

According to team leader Jerry Egolf of the North Carolina Academic Freedom Alliance, the North Carolina Plan is a set of academic standards that were “chosen from the very best alternatives to Common Core, exceeding those standards by significant measures and having been proven by testing results.”

Egolf informed Breitbart News that he and math standards lead Kathy Young and English Language Arts (ELA) lead Linda Harper developed the Plan over the past five years to meet “critical thinking standards.”

Their research involved reviewing some 3,000 pages of standards to find the “best of the best.” The final product consists of a remodeling of the Minnesota math standards and the 2001 Massachusetts ELA standards.

The article further reports:

“Best of all, the North Carolina Plan is a grassroots development effort that comes at no cost to the schools of our state,” Egolf said. “Other grassroots organizations are welcome to examine our Plan and see if it might fit their needs.”

Egolf admits the North Carolina Plan will need the help of the General Assembly, and notes the opposition “has a lot of money to throw at stopping us.”

The Plan, however, debuted on March 7 at a forum sponsored by the North Carolina Academic Freedom Alliance in New Bern. The event, titled “An Educational Forum for the Replacement of Common Core,” was attended by Freedom Works, Americans for Prosperity, and the John Locke Foundation.

The North Carolina Plan would be the best option for education in North Carolina. The problems with Common Core are too numerous to list here, but they include intrusive information gathering on students and their families, extensive testing that stresses out our children and does not accomplish anything, and material that is not age appropriate for the children. The North Carolina Plan does not have any of these problems and will encourage students to practice critical thinking after they graduate from school, making them more informed and more productive citizens.

An Insider Speaks About The Iranian Negotiations

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article yesterday about the Iranian nuclear negotiations. Basically, the article says that the talks are going forward and there will be some sort of accord before April Fool’s Day (it would be more appropriate for the agreement to arrive on April Fool’s Day).

The article has a few interesting observations:

So far as we can tell, the Obama administration has capitulated to every significant demand made by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Negotiations that were premised on the objective of foreclosing Iran’s path to nuclear weapons will produce an agreement that finances and facilitates them. As Winston Churchill said of the Munich Agreement, “we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road.”

Unlike the British in 1938, however, most of us have our eyes open. We are not fooled by Hassan Rouhani or the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We do not share the vision of the Supreme Leader of the United States

One surprise in the negotiations was the defection of Amir Hossein Mottaghi, a close media aide to Iranian President Rouahani. He traveled to Switzerland to cover the nuclear talks and is now seeking political asylum there.

The article article reports:

Mottaghi appeared on an Iranian opposition television channel based in London. In his television interview, Mottaghi nicely summed up the negotiations: “The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

Sometimes truth comes from very unusual places.

The Congressional Oath Of Office

According to about.com the current Congressional Oath of Office reads as follows:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

On Friday, The Blaze reported that several Democrats in Congress have created a pamphlet that encourages illegal aliens to carry a ‘do not deport me card.’

This is the card:

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 2.04.14 PM

I don’t care what card they carry, they are illegal. I am the first to admit that this needs to be sorted out–illegal aliens need to be given a way to stay in America if they have been here forever or have children born here. HOWEVER, if an illegal alien is given the right to stay, he or she should be denied any federal or state benefits (social security, welfare, etc.) and should permanently be denied the right to vote. Frankly, I think if a law was passed that anyone who came here illegally would be permanently denied the right to vote, our southern border would soon be secured.

With all due respect, I believe that Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and the other Democrats who created this pamphlet have violated their Oath of Office.

On Friday, CNS News reported the following:

Unaccompanied children crossing the southern border into the United States still number in the thousands, probably the tens of thousands, even though the percentages are lower, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress on Thursday.

This is not a good situation for anyone. These children are easy prey to human traffickers or other law breakers. There is no guarantee that these children will make here safely when they leave their home countries, and often there is no one to take care of them when they arrive in America. America cannot successfully take good care of these children. Also, what happens to these children when they grow up? Do they live in the shadows or become hard working citizens? Why is Mexico letting these children into their country and through their northern border when coming into Mexico as an illegal alien usually has serious negative consequences?

My bottom line is simple. Congressmen who do not secure our borders are not fulfilling their Oath of Office. They need to find another line of work.


Harry Reid Is Retiring

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about Senator Harry Reid‘s announcement that he is retiring. The article lists some of the highlights of Senator Reid’s career.

The article states:

With his signature ruthless political style, Reid was also instrumental in winning a Senate majority for Democrats in 2006, steering his party through a changing campaign finance landscape, and helping Senate Democrats weather the 2010 Republican wave.

In 2006, shortly after Reid became leader, Democrats wrested back the Senate majority from Republicans, netting a six-seat gain — in no small part due to Reid’s influence on the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and his work with its chairman, Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is expected to succeed Reid as the Democratic leader.

Harry Reid, unfortunately, was a Democrat before he was an American. He did some serious damage to the Senate in recent years–refusing to allow any controversial legislature to reach the floor so that Democrats would not have to vote on anything that might negatively impact their reelections. He also simple removed the filibuster for confirmation of some judges–allowing some very controversial nominations to go through the Senate.

When the history is written after a few years, I don’t think history will be kind to Senator Reid. He did his party’s bidding and aided President Obama whenever possible, but I don’t believe that he acted for the good of America. I wish him the best in his retirement, but I am glad to see him go. I don’t think Senator Schumer will be much of an improvement. What we need are leaders who put their country first and their party second. I am not sure we have very many of those.

The International Repercussions Of Allowing Iran To Go Nuclear

This post is based on two articles–one from the Washington Free Beacon and one from Power Line Blog. Because we live in a world where communication is almost instant and alliances have formed on various issues, anything America does is going to have some impact on those alliances. America does not exist in a vacuum, and decisions made by our leaders impact our relationships with other countries. Such is the case with the current deal between America and Iran regarding Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Our current administration may not believe the threat of a nuclear Iran. They may feel that Iran does not have the desire or the technology to damage America even if it does go nuclear. The constant shouts of “Death to America” by Iranian leaders might contradict that idea, but it seems to be the current idea. However, other countries in the Middle East and Europe do not necessarily share America’s lack of concern.

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about France’s concern for the pending agreement between America and Iran.

The article reports:

Efforts by the Obama administration to stem criticism of its diplomacy with Iran have included threats to nations involved in the talks, including U.S. allies, according to Western sources familiar with White House efforts to quell fears it will permit Iran to retain aspects of its nuclear weapons program.

A series of conversations between top American and French officials, including between President Obama and French President Francois Hollande, have seen Americans engage in behavior described as bullying by sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

The disagreement over France’s cautious position in regard to Iran threatens to erode U.S. relations with Paris, sources said.

Tension between Washington and Paris comes amid frustration by other U.S. allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. The White House responded to this criticism by engaging in public campaigns analysts worry will endanger American interests.

The Power Line Blog article, posted yesterday, reports:

Iran is demanding that Saudi Arabia immediately halt airstrikes in Yemen. According to WFB reporter Adam Kredo, “the issue could complicate the talks, as the United States attempts to balance its regional alliance with Iran in Iraq against competing interests with traditional allies in Saudi Arabia.”

The Saudi bombing in Yemen is intended to prevent forces aligned with Iran from bringing down what’s left of an American-backed government. But who can doubt that, for Obama, getting a deal, almost any deal, with Iran trumps backing U.S. interests in Yemen?

If the Saudis stick to their guns in Yemen, and the Iranians insist that Yemen is a deal-breaker, the deal could fall through. Alternatively, the U.S. could simply make more concessions to the mullahs as compensation for the dastardly action taken by the Saudis to support an American-backed government in a terrorist-infected state.

President Obama has his roots in community organizing–not diplomacy. He has done serious damage to America’s image around the world. He is bullying our friends and pampering our enemies. He has not supported freedom (for example, the green revolution in Iran). While he was willing to risk American soldiers’ lives to free a soldier charged with desertion, he has not been willing to put pressure on Iran to release an American pastor who is in prison there. Saeed Abedini has been in prison in Iran (for being a Christian) since 2012. The Pastor is an American citizen. Why is President Obama negotiating with Iran while this America is in jail? Our allies are correct to question this treaty.

Defying A Subpoena Usually Results In Jail Time

Yesterday an article at the National Review revealed that Hillary Clinton had wiped her private email server clean. Depending on how well she did this, it is possible that some good computer geeks could manage to recover the contents. However, there is a serious question as to whether those investigating the lack of proper archiving of State Department records during Mrs.Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State will ever get their hands on that server. This is very reminiscent of the Internal Revenue Scandal where Lois Lerner’s computers crashed (and all related computers crashed at the same time) and her emails were lost (only to be rediscovered years later–after there was time to sort through them). Does anyone remember the Rose Law Firm records?
The article at the National Review reports:

“After seeking and receiving a two week extension from the Committee, Secretary Clinton failed to provide a single new document to the subpoena issued by the Committee and refused to provide her private server to the Inspector General for the State Department or any other independent arbiter for analysis,” Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), the chairman of the select committee investigating the attacks, announced Friday evening.

“We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server,” he continued. “While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.”

All of this information has come out as a result of the House of Representatives’ investigation of the attack on Benghazi.

The troubling thing here, other than the total disregard for the law, is the fact that evidently Mrs. Clinton was not the only person using her private email server. Huma Abedin was also using the server. Ms. Abedin (married to former New York Representative Anthony Weiner) was evidently corresponding by email to Nagla Mahmoud, wife of ousted Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi, from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2013. Judicial Watch has made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request for those emails ( (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00321)). (See rightwinggranny).

All of this may be totally innocent, but we will probably never know. I am not optimistic that America will ever have the archives from Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State. If she becomes President, will we have archives of her term in the White House?

This Does Nothing To Make The World Safer

President Obama’s dislike for Prime Minister Netanyahu is no secret, but some of the actions taken by the Obama Administration toward Israel are petty and dangerous to the world.

Yesterday IsraelNationalNews reported the following:

In a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel’s nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth.

America is supposed to be an ally of Israel. This is not something you do to a friend.

The article concludes:

Aside from nuclear capabilities, the report revealed Israel at the time had “a totally integrated effort in systems development throughout the nation,” with electronic combat all in one “integrated system, not separated systems for the Army, Navy and Air Force.” It even acknowledged that in some cases, Israeli military technology “is more advanced than in the U.S.”

Declassifying the report comes at a sensitive timing as noted above, and given that the process to have it published was started three years ago, that timing is seen as having been the choice of the American government.

US journalist Grant Smith petitioned to have the report published based on the Freedom of Information Act. Initially the Pentagon took its time answering, leading Smith to sue, and a District Court judge to order the Pentagon to respond to the request.

Smith, who heads the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy, reportedly said he thinks this is the first time the US government has officially confirmed that Israel is a nuclear power, a status that Israel has long been widely known to have despite being undeclared.

Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It is the only place where women have equal rights with men. It is one of the few places where all religions are free to practice their faith. It is the country in the Middle East most closely aligned with America in terms of values and form of government. Israel is an ally America needs, not the other way around. If President Obama continues down the road he is currently on, Israel will form alliances with other Middle Eastern countries and America will be shut out of the region. President Obama is building an alliance with Iran as the other countries in the area are feeling seriously threatened by Iran’s nuclear program. Diplomatically this will be a disaster for America.

What Does This Accomplish?

Yesterday Israel Today posted a story about Swiss aid that will be sent to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Hamas remains on the terrorist list of the European Union of which Switzerland is not a member.

The article reports:

Switzerland has put together a generous financial package to prop up the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip after billions in promised foreign donations following last summer’s Gaza war failed to materialize.

That according to Palestinian officials who spoke to Israel’s NRG news portal, which reported that as part of the deal, the Swiss government would pay the salaries of thousands of Hamas members – many of whom are known terrorists – thereby propping up Hamas rule.

We saw last summer what Hamas does with foreign aid–weapons, tunnels into Israel, planned terror attacks, etc. What is to be gained by sending them more money? We have all seen pictures of children in the Gaza Strip being trained to hate and kill Jews. We have all seen pictures of civilians used as human shields after Hamas attacks Israel. Hamas is not a group that should be receiving money from anyone.

We need to remember that much of the Arab world (Hamas included) does not want a two-state solution–they want a one-state solution where Israel does not exist and all of the Jews are dead. Until someone is in charge of the ‘Palestinians‘ who is willing to accept the existence of Israel, there will be no peace in that region. Even then, it would have to be a leader that people would be willing to follow–to put aside their hatred and be willing to co-exist in peace. That would be wonderful, but I am not sure it is possible.

Meanwhile, funding Hamas will only lead to more war.

Unfortunately, Government Money Usually Has Strings Attached

Somewhere along the line, many people in America have gotten the idea that government money is ‘free money.’ It has not occurred to many Americans that the government has no money except money it takes from people who earned it. It also has not occurred to many Americans that government money usually has strings attached–taking government money generally gives the government permission to get involved in whatever you are doing with the money. This is true at all levels of government–from local to federal.

A recent example of this appeared in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. The headline states, “New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Is Investigating Cooper Union.” Under that headline, the article states, “Probe focuses on financial decisions that led to school’s move to charge tuition.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I need to mention that one of my daughters graduated from Cooper Union with a degree in electrical engineering, so this article is very interesting to me. When she attended the school, it was tuition-free and she did get some help with her New York City living expenses.

So what did Cooper Union do that gives the State of New York the right to examine their decision to charge tuition? There are two actions that implicitly grant that right to the State of New York. The school owns the land in New York City that the Chrysler Building sits on.

The article explains:

As part of a long-running agreement between the school and the state, the school doesn’t pay property taxes on the Chrysler land and an amount equivalent to the Chrysler building’s property taxes are paid to Cooper Union rather than the city.

The agreement is partly due to the school’s status as a nonprofit and what its officials have argued is a force for social good.

Evidently these two conditions supposedly allow the State of New York to investigate the finances of a private college.

I think the telling paragraph in the article is:

Cooper Union’s financial portfolio is heavily invested in real-estate assets, public financial statements show. As it faced financial difficulties, the school declined to sell its land under the Chrysler building.

If Cooper Union sells that land, the property taxes from that land would be paid to New York City and not to Cooper Union. New York City is facing severe financial problems because of constant overspending and overtaxing–businesses and people are moving out of the city because they cannot afford to live there. I hope that this investigation does not force Cooper Union into selling the land under the Chrysler building–that is a permanent fix to a temporary problem. They are better off charging tuition until they get their books balanced. The State of New York really has no reason to investigate this other than to go after the land the has allowed the school to continue to operate. This is another example of government money with strings attached that are the size of the cables that hold up the Throgs Neck Bridge.

What Happens When Government Departments Have No Inspectors General

According to the government website ignet.gov:

The concept of a statutory Inspector General (IG) was broadly introduced to the civilian side of the Federal government by the Inspector General Act of 1978 (IG Act ) . The original Inspectors General (IGs) were established in 12 Federal agencies. The concept has proved so successful that today, there are 72 statutory IGs across the Federal government .

Statutory IGs are structurally unique within the Federal government. The stated purpose of the IG Act is to create independent and objective units within each agency whose duty it is to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the programs and operations of that agency.  To this end, each IG is responsible for conducting audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations of its agency, and providing leadership and coordination and recommending policies for, and to conduct, supervise, or coordinate other activities for the purpose of promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness and preventing and detecting fraud and abuse in those programs and operations. Importantly, each IG is also to keep the agency head and the Congress “fully and currently informed” about problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of agency programs and operations. The IG Act contains a variety of statutory guarantees of Office of Inspector General (OIG ) independence, designed to ensure the objectivity of OIG work and to safeguard against efforts to compromise that objectivity or hinder OIG operations. It is these guarantees of independence that make statutory IGs unique.

Now that you have read the above, there is a thought that might cross your mind, “Why didn’t the IG alert Congress to the fact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was using a private computer server and not properly archiving emails as government records?”

Bloomberg.com posted an article yesterday that provides an explanation.

The article reports:

For five years, including all of Clinton’s time as secretary, the State Department’s Office of Inspector General never had a confirmed inspector. Instead, it was lead by acting inspector Harold W. Geisel, a former ambassador who was accused of being too cozy to agency leadership by transparency groups like the Project on Government Oversight. Throughout the first half of President Obama’s first term, the absence of a State Department Inspector General while internal scandals and Benghazi rocked the department drew bipartisan criticism. 

“For no one to raise concerns, it’s almost impossible to believe,” said Danielle Brian, the executive director for POGO (Project on Government Oversight). 

The article explains that POGO has highlighted the frequency of vacancies in the Inspectors General offices. The fact that the State Department had no IG during Hillary Clinton’s term is what allowed the use of a private computer service and the lack of proper archiving of records.

The article at Bloomberg concludes:

By September 2013, several months after Clinton left State, the department finally had a permanent inspector, and the department recently released a report documenting how few e-mails the State Department has saved for government records. But the long-time gap, as well as the ones at other agencies, raise questions about what other problems aren’t being investigated.

“If there was any confidence that those were robust office then people within the agency or others would have turned to them,” Brian said. “I have to believe that at some point we’ll find out that there were people who were saying ‘Why am I getting this weird email from what should obviously be state.gov?’”

Just another brick in the wall.

Let’s Give Away More Of Taxpayers’ Money

Sometimes you wonder if Congress were spending their own money, would they be a little more careful with it?

On Saturday, The DC Clothesline reported that the Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee voted unanimously to allow illegal immigrants to receive Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and child credit. Note the words “illegal immigrants.”

The article reports:

Sen. Jeff Sessions proposed an amendment, which would prevent illegal aliens from receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)  and child credit.

…In the last year with complete records, 2010, the amount of fraudulent payments hit 4.2 billion dollars and all tax credits combined cost about 7.6 billion last year.

Democrats who voted against the amendment were:  Bernie Sanders, Debbie Stabenow,  Sens. Patty Murray, Ron Wyden, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Mark Warner, Tammy Baldwin, Tim Kaine and Angus King.

…Debbie Stabenow, who is one of many democratic women with IQs in single digits said she doesn’t believe illegal aliens are collecting federal benefits even though the idea came from the Treasury Inspector General who stated unequivocally that illegals are collecting benefits was right in front of her.

The amendment failed with unanimous support of the republicans on the committee.

Why don’t we either return illegal aliens to their home countries or take steps to prevent them from taking money out of the pockets of Americans. I don’t mind giving someone a hand-up when needed, but we have reached the point where illegal aliens are committing fraud to take money from Americans. That has got to stop.

Common Sense Takes A Vacation

Sometimes I think common sense has been on an extended vacation. Today Ted Cruz announced today that he would be seeking the nomination for President of the United States. I have not yet decided whom I will support, so please don’t draw any wild conclusions. However, the discussion that has followed has been comical.

Donald Trump has stated that Ted Cruz is not eligible because he is not an American citizen. I beg to differ.

GlennBeck.com posted the following today:

Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His father, a popular figure in conservative circles, is a Cuban-born immigrant to the United States and his mother is a U.S. citizen.
“One of his parents is American. That’s all it takes. For the love of heaven, if illegal aliens can come to the America and give birth, and that birth child is a citizen, then so is Ted Cruz, for the love of heaven. Stop it!” Pat said.
The Immigration and Nationality Act states that a person is a citizen by birth if they are born to a parent with U.S. citizenship…

Let’s all relax and take a deep breath. There is a whole lot more known about Ted Cruz’s life than is known about the man who currently occupies the White House. There is no question as to where Ted Cruz was born, who his parents are, and the citizenship of one of those parents. Please return whatever you were doing. Even better, start to learn where all of the candidates stand on various issues. Let’s make a better choice this time.

The Economy In Pictures

Economics is always better explained in pictures than words. Zerohedge.com recently posted 10 Charts which show the true condition of the American economy. I am not going to post all of them, but there are a few that really tell the story.

Total debt of Americans

Presentation Credit Market Instruments

The Home Ownership Rate

Presentation Homeownership Rate

The Inactivity Rate For Men In Their Prime Working Years

Presentation Inactivity Rate

Real Median Household Income

Presentation Real Median Household Income

We definitely need a change in President Obama’s economic strategy.

How The Government’s Actions Impact Ordinary Americans

On Saturday The American Thinker posted an article about how illegal immigration impacts ordinary Americans. Every American who says, “I don’t pay attention to politics” needs to hear this story.

The story reports:

The other day I received a letter from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) instructing me to renew my driver’s license in person. The letter stated I was required to take a vision test and a new photo. The letter also provided me with a phone number to schedule an appointment. 

When I called the number, the representative told me that the next available appointment to visit my local DMV was 8 weeks later, well beyond the expiration date of my driver’s license. The representative explained it was due to undocumented immigrants, what we used to call illegal aliens, now being able to obtain driver licenses, and that my best bet was to simply go to my local DMV office and see if I could receive a same-day appointment. Thank you Governor Moonbeam Jerry Brown.

You can follow the link above to read the rest of the story, but just the beginning makes a very valid point. When you add 5 million or so brand new people to America, you overload the existing systems. How will the 5 million or so people granted amnesty impact your local Division of Motor Vehicles, hospitals, traffic, public housing, schools, local charities, public transportation, public services, and unemployment? Aside from the fact that President Obama’s executive action is unconstitutional, and aside from the fact that executive amnesty will eventually cost us $7.2 billion per year (rightwinggranny.com), can America absorb this number of new people and still provide jobs and opportunities for those who are legally citizens?

The Baggage Increases

Hillary Clinton seems to be the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2016, but things keep turning up. Yesterday Hot Air posted a story about the Clinton Foundation‘s adventures in Haiti. It’s a rather complicated story (complete with videos), so I can understand why the major media has not paid a lot of attention to it. A soundbite will simply not tell the story. It is a typical Clinton scandal, involving money and influence–the Clintons make money and questionable people (or countries) gain influence.

Please follow the link above to read the entire story.

Here is the conclusion:

So to sum up, the foundation rifles money from the nefarious human rights violating Algerian regime through donations that were in breach of Hillary’s agreement with the Obama administration when she joined it, kept them secret while being lobbied more heavily than before on the human rights concerns at State, and when caught about the appearance of impropriety with the donations, pointed to the good work done in Haiti. Naturally, the ones protesting the loudest are the Haitians, who think the Clintons have used the island nation as their own personal front company to funnel money. One of the few natural resources the island apparently has is gold in them thar hills. One company gets the permit, and of the seven billion people who populate Earth who could possibly be chosen to join the advisory board, it’s Tony Rodham, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s brother, and all apparently without Hillary Clinton’s knowledge. With the ability to beat the odds like this, you’d think Hillary would skip the presidential aspirations altogether and try and make some real money. I mean, she could totally make a killing betting on cattle futures or something.

Sure glad we can trust her. If she can run this shell game in Haiti for five years, she can totally decide which emails are public and which ones are private, right?

This really isn’t anything new.

This Needs To Be Done In Every State

The Daily Caller posted an article today about a law passed by the New Mexico state legislature. The law will abolish civil asset forfeiture. The bill now goes to the desk of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

The article reports:

Civil asset forfeiture is a practice where police can take and keep your property without convicting or even charging you of a crime. Then, you must go through the arduous and often unsuccessful process to get your property–whether it’s a vehicle, cash or your home–back from the police.

New Mexico police must now convict you of a crime and prove your property was used in the crime before you forfeit it to the authorities. Also, the money gained from the property will now go to the state’s general fund instead of police budgets, so that police do not have incentives to take from citizens.

Civil asset forfeiture is one of the issues in the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as U.S. Attorney General (rightwinggranny.com). While in charge of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York she brought in more than $113 million in civil actions between 2011 and 2013.

The article concludes:

The implementation of this bill would send a message to other states that this widespread practice can be abolished despite the lobbying of law enforcement and prosecutors.

Continuous media reports of extreme abuses by police in civil asset forfeiture have helped draw national bipartisan scrutiny that has been building in recent months. (RELATED: The 7 Most Egregious Examples Of Civil Asset Forfeiture)

This practice is unconstitutional and needs to end.

Using The Government To Punish Those Who Don’t Agree With You

One of the side effects of having a petulant person in the White House is that anytime someone contradicts the wishes of the White House there is retribution of some sort. This has now extended to the matter of Climate Change.

On Thursday, The Weather Channel posted an article entitled, “FEMA Won’t Help States That Don’t Plan For Climate Change.” Thank about that for a moment. The federal government should be willing to help all states in case of emergency. Climate Change is not settled science, and no natural catastrophe has ever been linked to climate change. In fact, as climate change believers howl about increased damage from hurricanes, the amount of hurricanes since 2005 have gone down significantly. Also, the true numbers (rightwinggranny.com) show that the earth has not warmed for more than a decade.

The article at The Weather Channel reports:

States publish reports every five years or so detailing their vulnerability to natural disasters, such as floods, storms and wildfires, and how they plan to protect themselves and recover after them. Such plans are needed in order to qualify for a share of nearly $1 billion in Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants provided every year by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But those plans rarely consider climate change impacts in detail — an omission that could see states become ineligible for the grants after new guidelines take effect early next year. Under FEMA’s updated guidelines, published last week, state disaster plans will only be approved if they adequately describe how the likelihood and intensity of natural hazards could be affected by growing levels of greenhouse gas pollution.

“The risk assessment must provide a summary of the probability of future hazard events,” the new guidelines state. “Probability must include considerations of changing future conditions, including the effects of long-term changes in weather patterns and climate.”

This is more of the government attempting to control the debate. Why does the government support global warming? If the earth is warming at a catastrophic rate, the government will have to take action (thus gaining more control over its citizens). It is interesting that study grants are more like to be given to groups that support global warming than groups that do not.

From a comment left at wattsupwiththat:

Sir Harry Flashman says;

If you can tell me where to line up for my AGW money I’d really appreciate cause I could use a few extra bucks right now.

Well you could try applying for a grant from The Rockefeller Brothers Fund:

From 2003 to present;

Bill McKibben’s;
Step it Up ($200,000)
1Sky.org ($2,100,000)
350.org ($875,000)

Total RBF grants to Mckibben = $3,175,000

Al Gore’s – Alliance for Climate Protection = $250,000
David Suzuki Foundation = $185,000

The Sierra Club = $1,665,000
Friends of the Earth = $777,500
Friends of the Earth International = $290,000
The Pacific Institute (President; Peter Gleick) = $670,000
Greenpeace Fund = $550,000
Center for Climate Strategies = $5,171,600
The Union of Concerned Scientists = $75,000
Media Matters for America = $375,000
Environmental Defense Fund = $550,000
Natural Resources Defense Council = $1,660,000
National Wildlife Federation = $1,025,000

Sceptic ‘think tanks’;
The Heartland Institute
The Cato Institute
The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)
Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)

= $0.00

That pretty much tells the story.

What Happens When Reporters Do Their Job

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the donations that were made to the Clinton Foundation in 2014.

The article reports:

Of 38 donors listed on the foundation’s website who were contacted by the Washington Examiner,18 declined to answer at all, and the other 18 either responded suspiciously or stuck to generalities and refused to address follow-up questions.

The importance of who gave to the foundation and why was highlighted this week when CBS News revealed that one donor in 2013 was Rilin Enterprises. Rilin is headed by Wang Wienlang, a Chinese businessman who was invited to join the National Peoples’ Congress as a delegate in the same year as he made the donation.

Rilin is close to China’s national security and intelligence agencies. Besides the $2 million given to the Clintons’ foundation, Rilin also spent at least another $1.4 million in 2012 lobbying Congress and the U.S. State Department, of which Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

…Another donor willing to discuss its contribution was the Norwegian Climate Foundation, which responded with a statement saying “our purpose is to make new contacts (or allies) that could be useful in our work against global warming. Therefore, we have for some years now participated in the annual meeting in New York.”

But the statement added a warning that “we have also wanted to influence the agenda of the Clinton Global Initiative events to make them get more actively involved in climate change issues. That is why we are not sure if we want to continue being a member next year. The board will make that decision in June.”

Money in politics is nothing new. However, foreign money influencing American politics is neither welcome nor acceptable. The relationship between the Clintons and foreign money has been questionable since the 1990’s. The last thing we need in the White House in 2016 is someone who can be swayed by foreign money.

Is This Legal?

Yesterday The Hill reported that the Obama Administration has stated that some details of the nuclear deal with Iran will not be made public.

The article reports:

“I don’t know at this stage, because we don’t know exactly what form any agreement would take, whether certain pieces would be — would remain classified and be subject to classified review, what parts would be public. I can’t tell you at this stage,” he said, in response to questioning from Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.).

Blinken’s comments came the same day that administration officials said the emerging nuclear deal would likely allow Iran to have up to 6,000 nuclear centrifuges for at least 10 years. The deal would also lift sanctions on the country.

International negotiators are racing to finish the outlines of a deal before their self-imposed deadline in late March, with Secretary of State John Kerry taking a lead role in the talks.

I am not even sure if this is legal. The Obama Administration has also stated that the deal with Iran will not require approval from Congress. This does not sound like the way our government is supposed to work. I hope Congress will stand up to this power grab by the Obama Administration. Congress is the only one who can lift the sanctions on Iran, but at this point I am not sure that President Obama will respect that fact.

The United Nations Needs To Be Kicked Out Of America

Yesterday Fox News posted an article reporting that, according to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the top violator of women’s rights around the world is Israel. Wow. Israel won the ‘honor’ because of its supposed suppression of Palestinian women‘s rights. This is the most absurd thing I have heard in a long time. Were the Palestinians violating women’s rights when they used women as human shields? Is Saudi Arabia violating women’s rights by refusing to let them drive?

The article states:

In fact, not only is there no possibility that the UN Commission on the Status of Women will criticize Iran, Iran is an elected member of CSW.  Sudan – whose president has been indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity – is currently a CSW Vice-Chair.

The article reminds us:

Not Saudi Arabia. Where women are physically punished if not wearing compulsory clothing, are almost entirely excluded from political life, cannot drive, cannot travel without a male relative, receive half the inheritance of their brothers, and where their testimony counts for half that of a man’s.

 Not Sudan.  Where domestic violence is not prohibited.  There is no minimum age for “consensual” sex.  The legal age of marriage for girls is ten. 88% of women under 50 have undergone female genital mutilation. And women are denied equal rights in marriage, inheritance and divorce.

 Not Iran. Where every woman who registered as a presidential candidate in the last election was disqualified.  “Adultery” is punishable by death by stoning.  Women who fight back against rapists and kill their attackers are executed. The constitution bars female judges. And women must obtain the consent of their husbands to work outside the home.

If we force the diplomats at the United Nations to pay their parking tickets, maybe they will leave. The United Nations has become a disgrace.


The Obama Administration’s War On American Energy

Any economic growth during the Obama Administration has come from American energy production. Now the Administration is trying to curtail that production.

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the Obama Administration has released the first federal rules governing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on Friday, setting new standards across the 750 million acres containing federal minerals for the drilling method that has unlocked a domestic oil and gas boom. Note that the Obama Administration has released these rules–they did not come out of Congress. That is the first problem. Who is writing laws in America? What does the U.S. Constitution have to say about this?

The article reports:

For oil and gas companies, the Interior Department rule is another kick while industry is down.

Low oil and natural gas prices — caused partly by the success of fracking, which has turned the United States into the world’s top oil and gas producer — have crimped budgets, prompting companies to lay off hundreds of workers. On top of that, the rule comes as the Interior Department is looking at regulations to reduce “venting” and “flaring” of excess natural gas produced at wells on federal lands.

“It’s more of the same. When you make things more expensive you get less of it. It’s just like taxation. It’s going to further push development off federal lands,” Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs with industry group Western Energy Alliance, told the Washington Examiner. “Whether it’s a low price environment or a high price environment, it’s still less attractive to operate on federal lands.”

We need to understand that it is necessary for America to be energy independent. We also need to understand that there are a lot of very wealthy people who do not want America to be energy independent. Many of those wealthy people make large donations to Congressmen and Senators. We need to remove the Congressmen and Senators who are blocking American energy independence from office the first time they are up for re-election. Energy independence might introduce some sanity into American foreign policy (note that I did say might).

The article concludes:

Lawmakers on either side of the issue are wasting little time to fight the proposal.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., introduced legislation Friday with 26 other Republican senators as co-sponsors that would give states, rather than the federal government, primacy over regulating fracking on federal lands within their borders.

“We have long supported a states-first approach to hydraulic fracturing, recognizing that states have a successful record of effectively regulating hydraulic fracturing with good environmental stewardship. Now, however, the Interior Department is imposing a federal regulation that duplicates what the states have been doing successfully for decades,” said bill co-sponsor Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

In the House, Democrats introduced five bills Thursday designed to restrain fracking. Environmental groups cheered the effort, dubbed the ‘Frack Pack,’ which they said would increase transparency and close loopholes such as the exemption for most fracking activity under federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Foreign Policy Driven By Petulance

CBN News is reporting today that because of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s victory in Israel’s election, President Obama may stop American opposition to the United Nation‘s imposing a two-state solution on Israel. First of all, let’s look at this logically. When Israel turned over the West Bank to the Arabs, what did they get? They got suicide bombers and rocket attacks coming from the area. When the Arabs took over the land, the first thing they did was destroy the greenhouses that would have provided employment and a source of income. The money coming into the area from foreign countries was not spent on infrastructure–it was used to buy weapons and build tunnels to attack Israel. Why in the world would anyone want to give terrorists more land?

The article at CBN reports:

The prime minister’s acceptance of two states has always been based on the Palestinians‘ recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, secure borders for Israel, and keeping Jerusalem the united capital of Israel. All three conditions were rejected by Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The administration is also hinting it may support the Palestinian Authority‘s petition to the U.N. Security Council on the unilateral establishment of a state.

“Our position in support of a two-state solution is very clear. Only a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and independent Palestine can bring lasting peace and stability to both people,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

“Of course, we will continue to pursue this goal with the new Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority,” he added.

The notion of a Palestinian state next door to Israel troubles many Israelis after all of the terrorist attacks they’ve faced in recent years from Islamic fighters.

If the United States and the United Nations do support such a deal, that could mean still more tension between the Jewish state and much of the rest of the world.

This is a total turnaround from previous American foreign policy. The Arabs do not want a two-state solution–they want to drive Israel into the sea and kill all the Jews. That is not something America should be supporting.

We need to remember that the Bible says that he who blesses Israel will be blessed and he who curses Israel will be cursed. The Obama Administration is about to put America in mortal danger.