Your Tax Dollars At Work

On Thursday, The Daily Wire posted an article about the amount of taxpayer money that goes to federal employees that actually work for the unions that represent federal employees rather than the government but are paid by the federal government.

The article reports:

The federal government pays more than $100 million a year to employees who aren’t doing their actual government jobs, but rather working for unions representing government employees against management — with taxpayers essentially funding both sides of the bargaining table. 

For decades, the government has tracked and reported those figures, but the Biden administration has removed the reports.

Under the policy known as “official time,” hundreds of nominal government employees haven’t done anything but full-time union work in years, yet remain on the federal payroll. Not only is the policy expensive to taxpayers, but it also props up the power of unions by subsidizing their activities, giving them resources even if employees don’t support them enough to pay dues. Those unions fight against the firing of employees accused of misconduct, and advocate for policies that sometimes pit the interests of employees over the interests of taxpayers, such as resisting a return to in-person work.

The Office of Personnel Management has historically kept track of and published how the program is being used, including during the Obama administration. But the data has not been updated since 2019 — when the government shelled out for 2.6 million hours, or nearly 300 years’ worth, of employee time that was actually spent on union business.

The Biden administration has even been secretive about its secrecy. In December, The Daily Wire asked OPM why the page listing the reports was missing, along with all historical reports except 2019, which can only be located via the search function. A spokesperson said, “Previous reports on official time are not currently available because OPM is reorganizing our website to improve navigation and customer experience.”

The article concludes:

In 2014, the Washington Examiner found more than 500 employees who did no or almost no work for their actual government jobs, despite drawing a full-time salary from taxpayers, because of official time. That includes 271 employees on full-time union release with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and 201 from the IRS.

Then-Sen. Tom Coburn said “I just don’t think the federal taxpayers ought to be paying for that… That’s what union dues are for. What’s irksome to me is that we are paying someone to be a pharmacist or a nurse, but they’re not doing that. They’re doing union work.”

Washington is due for a really good cleaning out!

Misled Again

On Tuesday, Hot Air posted an article about the continued funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Evidently things are not what they seem.

The article reports:

The Biden administration is continuing to build a disappointing track record of weak responses to foreign affairs crises and deceptive promotion of its own efforts at home. The latest example comes on the heels of the explosive revelations that at least a dozen members of the United Nations’ Palestinian relief agency, the UNRWA, took part in the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7. In response, the White House claimed that they had reinstituted a freeze on funding for the UNRWA that had already been in place under Trump but was lifted by Joe Biden. That seemed like a step in the right direction at the time, but now we’ve learned that a very important detail was left out of the announcement. As Guy Benson reports at Townhall, the “freeze” in funding only applies to new, additional funding requests. Previously approved funds will continue to flow to them as usual.

  • That really does not solve the problem. We have all seen the pictures of Hamas hijacking the aid trucks that come into Gaza and stealing the supplies. How much of what we send actually goes to people in need rather than terrorists?

The article concludes:

Guy Benson correctly points out that this sleight of hand from Biden’s team is part of a larger pattern. You will recall that when Biden grudgingly agreed to add the Houthis back to the list of designated terror groups, he did assign them a designation, but it was a toothless classification compared to the position they occupied on the Foreign Terror Organization (FTO) watchlist under Donald Trump. That’s basically what he’s doing with the UNRWA. He’s giving someone a slap on the wrist when what they really need is a punch in the nose.

Joe Biden’s incompetent policies both at home and abroad aren’t simply embarrassing on the world stage, though that’s clearly true also. They are dangerous. They pose a threat to our own troops as we recently saw yet again and they put our allies at risk. He seems unwilling to do anything of substance that could be seen as too contrary to the wishes of Iran. You really have to ask yourself why.

Does the Biden administration support America?

Beware of Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing


I am on Facebook. There is also a Right Wing Granny group on Facebook (that anyone can join) where I place articles that I may later write up for the blog. Recently there has been a group on Facebook claiming to be mainstream Republicans (they are actually never-Trumpers) posting things saying that the Democrats want President Trump as the candidate because they know Joe Biden can beat him. They have also recently posted that if President Trump is the nominee, the Republicans will lose their majority in the House and will lose Senators. They have the freedom to post whatever they want, but let’s look at this more closely.

First of all, when you see a post similar to the ones mentioned above, find out who is funding the group. There are a lot of uni-party groups claiming to be Republican that are being funded by groups that we know do not want Republican success—or at least the success of Republicans who are not part of the uni-party.

I want to address the claim that if President Trump is the nominee, the Republicans will lose their majority in the House and will lose seats in the Senate. Frankly, if the Republicans in Congress don’t start acting like Republicans, they deserve to lose both the House and the Senate. Whatever happened to closing the southern border? Can’t they find any Democrats who are willing to work with them on closing the southern border? What about cutting spending? What about sending money we don’t have overseas and refusing to audit how that money is being spent? Can’t the Republicans at least make these things an issue every day? Shut down the government if you have to—there are worse things. I believe that the dumbest thing America ever did was air condition government buildings in Washington—if we had not done that, the politicians would have gone home during the summer! That would have been good for the country.

At any rate, don’t believe the trolls on Facebook. Anyone can form an organization and claim to be something they are not. If the Republicans don’t start acting like Republicans, none of them deserve our vote.

A Question That Needs To Be Asked

On Monday, The New York Post posted the following headline:

How many aid groups knew Hamas was hiding in a hospital and lied about it?

The article reports:

Hamas used Gaza City’s al-Shifa Hospital as a base of terror operations. That’s the obvious conclusion following Sunday’s discovery of a large terror tunnel under the hospital along with videos of Hamas bringing Israeli hostages inside.

Now comes an important question for Congress: Which US-funded international organizations knew the truth about al-Shifa and helped Hamas conceal its war crimes?

The Israel Defense Forces this weekend discovered a tunnel beneath al-Shifa Hospital that extends 10 meters down and 55 meters across — leading to what might be a booby-trapped door. Special units that specialize in handling explosives have been summoned to break through to the next section.

Meanwhile, Israel also released security footage showing two hostages brought through al-Shifa by Hamas terrorists following the Oct. 7 massacre as hospital workers looked on — suggesting a widespread conspiracy to conceal both the presence of hostages at al-Shifa and Hamas’ terror infrastructure within the compound.

The article notes:

Within days of the Hamas massacre, Fabrizio Carboni, the Middle East regional director for the International Committee of the Red Cross, began spreading Hamas disinformation — telling international media that Gaza “hospitals risk turning into morgues.”

When Carboni said this, he may have already known that hospitals in Gaza were used as terror bases and hostages were being stashed under those hospitals.

…In its 2022 annual report, the ICRC says it received $689 million from the United States last year — roughly one-third of contributions received from all countries combined. That’s a lot of taxpayer money sent to an organization that may have betrayed its most fundamental duty to uphold the Geneva Conventions by covering up Hamas war crimes and abandoning Israeli hostages.

The article concludes:

The ICRC and WHO have strong lobbies in Washington that will fight to protect their flow of taxpayer money. If, as expected, the State Department does nothing to hold these groups accountable, Congress — which holds their purse strings — should intervene. The first step: Investigate. The next: Put a pause on US funding until leadership changes and reforms guarantee that complicity in terrorist war crimes will never happen again.

How much American taxpayer money paid for Hamas headquarters?

About That Corruption Thing In Ukraine…

On Tuesday, Breitbart reported the following:

A top advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has reportedly admitted that corruption is so rampant in the wartorn former Soviet state that officials are “stealing like there’s no tomorrow”.

Speaking anonymously to Time magazine, what is alleged to be a top presidential advisor to Zelensky said that the Ukrainian government’s efforts to stamp out corruption have proved fruitless, given that they were implemented too late to have any impact, including the firing of Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov.

“People are stealing like there’s no tomorrow,” the top advisor is said to have told the publication, saying that officials do not “feel any fear” of engaging in corruption because the firing of Reznikov and others took over six months after Zelenksy was warned that the Defence Ministry was drowning in graft.

Another advisor is reported to have told the magazine that by the time Zelesnky acted “it was too late” and that the corruption scandal had not only become known in Western capitals but also among soldiers on the frontline, where troops reportedly began making lewd jokes about “Reznikov’s eggs” — a reference to the accusation that the Defence Ministry had vastly overpaid for basic items such as eggs and coats for soldiers.

The article concludes:

For his part, in an interview with Time, President Zelensky has claimed that battling corruption is one of his chief aims but asserted that the issue is being weaponised to cut off funding.

“It’s not right for them to cover up their failure to help Ukraine by tossing out these accusations,” he said.

A top official told the magazine that Zelensky has begun to feel betrayed by his backers in the West for merely providing enough assistance to survive rather than sufficient weaponry to win the war against Russia.

However, another said that Zelensy “deludes himself,” adding: “We’re out of options. We’re not winning. But try telling him that.”

The publication went on to claim that officials in Kyiv are beginning to believe that due to heavy casualties over the past year and a half, there may no longer be enough soldiers left to win the war.

Even if the United States were to supply all the weaponry needed, one aide said: “We don’t have the men to use them.”

This is not a winnable war. All we are doing is funding corruption. It’s time for the peace negotiations that the Biden administration blocked at the beginning of the war.

Actions Have Consequences

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported:

The Democrat-controlled Seattle City Council voted late on Monday to advance a highly controversial plan to defund the Seattle Police Department as violent crime and far-left riots have rocked the city in recent months.

The Seattle City Council voted to remove approximately $3 million from the Seattle Police Department’s budget…

…“The committee voted to move the bulk of its proposal forward during its 10 a.m. session, before giving its final approval Monday evening by a 7-1 margin,” MyNorthWest reported. “Councilmember Kshama Sawant was the lone “no” vote, while Debora Juarez — who was not present at Monday’s meetings — abstained. Sawant’s vote against the package was based around her belief that it didn’t go far enough in its reductions to SPD’s funding.”

Fox News reported at the start of the month that Seattle was one of several Democrat-controlled cities that had seen a recent spike in “shootings and murders.”

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported:

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best will be resigning on Wednesday morning, following the city council voting to defund the police amid massive unrest.

The news of Best’s resignation came one day after dozens of businesses were looted once again.

…Q13 reports, “the council on Monday approved proposals that would reduce the police department by up to 100 officers through layoffs and attrition. Chief Best was vocal in her oppostion to the cuts, which came after councilmembers pledged to redirect money from SPD to community programs amid calls from protesters in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.”

The budget cut will slash nearly $4 million from the department’s annual budget — and the councilmembers promised to cut even more in 2021. The 7-1 vote faced objections from the city’s police chief, mayor and the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild.

It does not take a genius to predict that businesses and property owners will be leaving Seattle in the near future. Community programs have value, but unless you have some semblance of law and order in a city, people don’t want to live or operate businesses there.

Who Is Paying Our Colleges?

On Friday, The National Review posted an article titled, “U.S. Colleges Have Accepted $6 Billion in Undisclosed Donations from Foreign Governments, DOE Probe Finds.” Great. No wonder we are sending children to college respecting America and getting them backl home hating America.

The article reports:

The Department of Education has discovered at least $6 billion in unreported donations to American universities from adversarial foreign nations, Townhall reported on Friday.

The DoE revealed its updates in a May 19 letter to Congress and a subsequent briefing to several ranking House Republicans who are conducting an investigation into the foreign funding of U.S. educational institutions.

The investigation was spurred by increasing reports of Chinese funding at U.S. educational institutions, including the prevalence of Confucius institutes on U.S. campuses. Confucius institutes are Chinese-government funded centers which ostensibly promote Chinese language and culture, but which U.S. agencies have warned spread propaganda for China’s government.

“Some [Institutions of Higher Education] leaders are starting to acknowledge the threat of foreign academic espionage and have been working with federal law enforcement to address gaps in reporting and transparency,” the letter from the DoE’s Office of the General Counsel reads. “However, the evidence suggests massive investments of foreign money have bred dependency and distorted the decision-making, mission, and values of too many institutions.”

The letter also states, “Certain institutions have yet to produce requested emails, metadata, and other information regarding business relationships with, and faculty funding from, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Russian foreign sources.”

The DoE had already announced its own investigation into foreign funding of U.S. universities in February. Besides China, officials are looking into funding from Qatar, Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

America is a unique experiment. We have survived past the normal 200 years that a democracy can exist without self-destructing. The main reason for that is that we are a representative republic–not a democracy. But we need to remember that our freedom is always one generation away from being lost. If we continue to mis-educate our children from kindergarten through college, we will lose our freedom. We definitely need to remove foreign money from all of our education–from kindergarten through college. America is quite capable of teaching its own children and educating them on the value of their freedom and the great gift this country is.

 

If You Are Going To Investigate Something…

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today with the following headline, “STUNNING: Pelosi Blocks Investigation of China and Origins of Wuhan Virus — Puts All Resources into Another Hoax Investigation of Donald Trump.” Wow. Who cares about investigating the virus that killed thousands of Americans–let’s just get Trump.

The article reports:

Nancy Pelosi is not interested with finding the origins of the Wuhan virus that is decimating the US economy and has killed 60,000 elderly and sickly Americans.
Instead, Pelosi wants to spend her resources on another hoax investigation of President Donald Trump.

The article includes a quote from Breitbart:

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) told Breitbart News this weekend that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would rather investigate President Donald Trump again than focus on the actual origins of the Chinese coronavirus and U.S. tax dollars that went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology from which intelligence officials increasingly believe the virus leaked.

Appearing on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, Reschenthaler discussed his efforts to investigate tax dollars that flowed through a New York firm to the Wuhan lab. He said that Pelosi and House Democrats are not interested in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable and, instead, want to focus their oversight efforts on politically harming President Trump again just like they tried and failed with the partisan impeachment last year and earlier this year.

Breitbart reports:

“We should have an investigative body looking at these grants, but Nancy Pelosi is not going to do that,” Reschenthaler said. “So you have myself and House Republicans. I can tell you I’m going to continue to look into these grants. I’m going to continue to look into the Department of Homeland Security as well to see what grants are going from there to China. I’m also looking at defunding the World Health Organization and we can talk about that as well. But the bottom line of the Democrats’ behavior is this: They hate this president so badly that they would rather side with the Chinese Communist Party than defend Americans and defend our spending and spend wisely and just be honest. That is their hatred for President Trump and disdain for President Trump’s supporters.”

The Breitbart article also lists a number of grants from American sources that flowed to the Wuhan laboratory.

Just for the record, I do not believe that the virus was leaked intentionally. I believe it was leaked due to sloppy laboratory practices. When the Chinese realized how devastating the virus would be, they chose to share the devastation they were about to suffer with the world. I honestly believe that China remained silent because they did not want their country to be the only country in the world to be devastated by the virus.

How The Media Game Is Played

Townhall posted an article today which illustrates how some media outlets skew their reporting in order to advance a political agenda.

The article notes a change in a CNN headline about the Democrats’ blocking of a bill to add more funding for paycheck protection for small businesses.

The article includes the following tweet:

The article notes:

Democrats in the Senate blocked Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s effort to legislate more funding to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which gives small businesses the opportunity to take out forgivable loans during COVID-19. 

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) ultimately torpedoed Leader McConnell’s effort by objecting to a vote by unanimous consent, calling the effort to deliver more relief to America’s small businesses a “political stunt.” A bipartisan program, PPP alleviates the economic hardship facing small businesses while the economy is virtually shut down. 

The article concludes:

This misrepresentation is not only inaccurate, but also dangerous for Americans seeking information. The American people deserve to know which lawmakers put aside ideology in order to alleviate economic distress, and which party chose partisanship over relief for small businesses during a global health pandemic. Despite CNN’s virtue signaling in defense of Democrats, the delay of additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program is at the hands of Senate Democrats, and Americans will suffer because of their delay.

I have very mixed emotions about the amount of money we are spending. The only silver lining here is that at least the money is aimed at businesses who need it–not destined to be lost in corporate kickbacks to Congress or subsides to companies that are not able to stand on their own such as Solyndra.

 

This Is How Media Spin Works

This is a screenshot from The Gateway Pundit illustrating how The New York Times changed its headline to fit the political narrative:

This is how you spin a crisis. I would like to remind everyone that Congress is not losing their income during this crisis. In fact, a number of Congressmen have profited in the crisis. Other than to be re-elected or because they actually care about the fate of average Americans, they have no incentive to pass a relief package. November is a long way away in terms of remembering, but we need to remember the actions of Congress during this crisis when we vote in November. Anyone who held up the package that would provide relief for American workers needs to lose their election bid. Blocking the bill has nothing to do with worker protections–it has to do with funding Planned Parenthood, a major donor to Democrat campaigns. The Democrats are rewarding their campaign donor rather than helping the American people.

I Wondered When I Heard This

Last night Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was interviewed by Bret Baier on Special Report. During the interview, Representative Ocasio-Cortez accused Republicans of loading up the relief package for the coronavirus with anti-abortion restrictions. Bret Baier did not challenger her statement, and I wondered what was actually going on. The statement on its face makes no sense–the Republicans want to get an economic package through Congress as soon as possible. Why would the Republicans add things to a bill that would make it difficult to pass? Well, I now have the answer–they didn’t. Representative Ocasio-Cortez was lying and Bret Baier chose not to challenger her statement.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article that explains what Representative Ocasio-Cortez was talking about.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought to include a potential way to guarantee federal funding for abortion into the coronavirus economic stimulus plan, according to multiple senior White House officials.

Speaking to the Daily Caller, those officials alleged that while negotiating the stimulus with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Pelosi tried to lobby for “several” provisions that stalled bipartisan commitment to the effort. One was a mandate for up to $1 billion to reimburse laboratory claims, which White House officials say would set a precedent of health spending without protections outlined in the Hyde Amendment.

The Hyde Amendment blocks clinics that perform abortions from receiving federal funding, and Democrats have pushed the Trump administration to end it since he was elected in 2016.

“A new mandatory funding stream that does not have Hyde protections would be unprecedented,” one White House official explained. “Under the guise of protecting people, Speaker Pelosi is working to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent covering abortion — which is not only backwards, but goes against historical norms.”

A second White House official referred to the provision as a “slush fund” and yet another questioned “what the Hyde Amendment and abortion have to do with protecting Americans from coronavirus?”

I wonder how many Americans were mislead when Bret Baier did not challenge the statement by Representative Ocasio-Cortez. This is an example of the reason Americans have to question everything they hear–even if it comes from a generally accurate source.

This Needs To Happen

Yesterday American Greatness posted an article about President Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget proposal.

The article reports:

In the proposal, “Trump will seek to make a 21 percent cut in foreign aid which seeks $44.1 billion in the upcoming fiscal year compared with $55.7 billion enacted in fiscal year 2020,” an administration official said. Aid to Ukraine would remain at its 2020 levels under the new proposal.

The White House wants to boost funding for the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to $700 million compared to $150 million the previous year, said Russell Vought, the acting head of the Office of Management and Budget.

…The DFC was formed in large part to counter China’s growing economic influence. It serves as a development bank that partners with the private sector to provide loans in developing countries. It also serves as an alternative financing option to what the United States sees as predatory practices from China.

U.S. officials want to counter the soft power China has wielded with such loans and help countries avoid what they consider Beijing’s “debt trap” diplomacy in which countries give up control of ports, roadways, or other major assets when they fund infrastructure projects with Chinese loans that they cannot pay back.

Obviously, based on the recent behavior of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, the proposed budget will be dead on arrival. However, there is something else in play here. Who is impacted by a cut in foreign aid? I have stated before that an investigative reporter with good contacts needs to look at the corporations involved in the construction projects paid for by foreign aid to see if family members of Congressmen are involved in those corporations. It is quite possible that a cut in foreign aid could directly impact the income of the extended families of our Congressmen. Peter Schweizer has done some of this investigation and written the book Profiles in Corruption. More investigations are needed.

If there is a serious discussion of cuts to foreign aid when the budget proposal is brought up in the House of Representatives, pay attention to which Representatives strongly oppose the cuts to foreign aid. That could be very telling,

It’s Always A Good Idea To Follow The Money

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about the money that funded the March for Our Lives. The March for Our Lives took place on March 24, 2018, in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018. Isn’t it amazing how people managed to organize and put all that together in about five weeks?

The article reports that according to The Washington Free Beacon:

The March For Our Lives Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization launched in the aftermath of the deadly 2018 shootings at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is bankrolled almost entirely by large donations in excess of $100,000. The group reported $17,879,150 in contributions and grants over the course of 2018, its first year of operations. Ninety-five percent of those contributions came from 36 donations between $100,000 and $3,504,717—a grand total of $16,922,331.

The group’s 990 tax form shows another 38 donations totaling between $5,000 and $100,000, which together accounted for an additional $876,114 of revenue. The remainder, just 0.5 percent of total receipts, came from those giving less than $5,000.

The group isn’t required to release the names of its donors but the Free Beacon notes that Marc Benioff and Eli Broad each donated a million dollars. Influence Watch has a list of some of the other big-name donors including Steven Spielberg and his wife who gave a combined million dollars:

A number of celebrities gave financial support to the organization: George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, and Kate Capshaw each donated $500,000 for the event. The clothing company Gucci donated $500,000 to the movement. Actress Sara Ramirez notably donated $20,000 to the GoFundMe page. Professional basketball player Dwayne Wade also donated $200,000 to the organization.

All of that doesn’t include the largest contribution by far which came from CNN in the form of an endless stream of air time and online promotion for the Parkland kids, culminating in that awful special in which the Parkland kids and Sheriff Scott Israel were pitted against Dana Loesch and Marco Rubio.

The WFB story also includes a rundown of what the money was spent on. The largest chunk (nearly $8 million) went to funding the March itself. Another $4 million went to a 24-state tour to register young voters.

It is somewhat amazing to me that many Hollywood celebrities who are guarded by men with guns are perfectly willing to support taking guns away from ordinary citizens who are not guarded by men with guns.

Following The Money

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article about the funding of National Public Radio (“NPR”). NPR has been often criticized for having a liberal bias.

The article cites one example of bias:

Recently, NPR was one of a string of media outlets that published stories hyping United Nations data that showed 100,000 migrant children being held in detention centers. One problem though: the stories were deleted after the data was revealed to have been from 2015, during former President Barack Obama’s (D) presidency. In September, NPR was also one of two taxpayer-funded outlets (the other being PBS), that interviewed Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and failed to question his false “parody” of President Donald Trump’s July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The article includes the following chart:

Just for the record, the Foundation to Promote Open Society is a George Soros organization.

Most American media leans left, so this is not a surprise, but there are many listeners to NPR who believe they are getting unbiased news while they are actually getting misinformation. A strong republic depends on honest news sources. At present, we have very few of those.

The Wheels Of Justice Sometimes Turn Very Slowly

Yesterday The Washington Post reported the following:

The FBI on Wednesday arrested two former senior officials who served in administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, leading the chair of the House committee that oversees Puerto Rico to call for the governor to step down.

The arrests also spurred concerns on Capitol Hill about the billions of dollars in aid that Congress has approved for the island.

The federal indictment says the former officials illegally directed federal funding to politically-connected contractors. The arrests come about a month after Congress approved a controversial disaster aid bill that earmarked additional funding for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017, which were tied up in part because President Trump called Puerto Rico’s officials “incompetent or corrupt.”

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the Natural Resource Committee that oversees Puerto Rico, called on Rosselló to resign amid the ongoing federal investigation.

The article concludes:

The arrests come as senior White House officials are searching for new ways to limit the amount of federal aid going to help Puerto Rico, and the island’s allies fear the arrests will give Trump greater justification for curtailing additional aid to the island.

“The governor of Puerto Rico and his administration have now given President Trump the ammunition he needed,” said San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz, a political opponent of the governor.

I really think we need to make sure that any additional aid given to Puerto Rico will be properly administered and distributed. It appears that they have a corruption problem, and there is no way of knowing whether or not it has been solved. Unfortunately, it will be the people who need to help the most who will suffer the most because of the corruption.

Progress?

Yesterday Hot Air reported that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has agreed to pass the Senate border funding bill after the House bill was defeated in the Senate. The bill has now passed the House by a vote of 305-102. Some Democrats want to be re-elected in 2020.

The article reports:

“Behind the scenes,” noted CNN, “moderates were encouraging members of the Blue Dog and Problem Solvers caucuses to vote against a procedural vote that governed floor debate and force Pelosi to pass the bipartisan Senate bill, as the White House and Hill Republicans have been demanding.” Per Politico, 18 centrist Dems were prepared to tank her revised bill on the floor if she didn’t hurry up and pass the Senate bill instead. The reason Democrats hold the House majority right now is because a bunch of centrists knocked off a bunch of Republican incumbents last year in purple districts. Those centrists are frightened of perceptions back home that Democrats don’t want to do much of anything to ease the crisis at the border except complain about how immigrants are being treated, and they know how potent Trump’s messaging on this topic can be. In the end, if Pelosi wants to keep her majority, those members need to be protected even if it makes AOC cry. So Pelosi made a hard choice: Hand the centrists a win, even at the price of being steamrolled by Mitch McConnell, even knowing how lefties will caterwaul, and get immigration off the table for now.

That choice was made slightly easier for her by the fact that McConnell’s Senate bill wasn’t a party-line matter.

The Senate border bill passed the Senate by a vote of 84-8. It has bipartisan support.

According to UPI:

The Senate passed the bill Wednesday, setting aside nearly $3 billion in humanitarian aid and increasing security measures at the border. The Democratic-controlled House passed its version of the bill earlier this week with a stronger focus on protecting migrant children.

At some point we need to understand that the more liberal Democrats are not interested in increasing security  measures at the border.

President Trump’s Saturday Speech

I watched the President’s speech on Saturday afternoon. I have a few observations. As the President pointed out, the proposals he is offering to the Democrats are things that they have voted for in the past (as is the fence, actually). He is also asking the Senate to introduce a bill on Monday based on his proposals. This is smart–the bill has a reasonable chance of passing in the Senate. If the bill passes in the Senate and fails in the House of Representatives, then the Democrats can be blamed for the shutdown, which is definitely lingering on. It also puts the Democrats in the position of keeping the government shut down by voting against things they have voted for in the past. That is not a good optic for them. Introducing the bill in the Senate first is a win-win for President Trump. There may be information that some Democrats in the House will support the President’s compromise. I don’t know that, but I wonder because of the speech today.

Mitch McConnell posted a press release following the President’s speech that included the following:

“I commend the President for his leadership in proposing this bold solution to reopen the government, secure the border, and take bipartisan steps toward addressing current immigration issues.

“Compromise in divided government means that everyone can’t get everything they want every time. The President’s proposal reflects that. It strikes a fair compromise by incorporating priorities from both sides of the aisle.

“This bill takes a bipartisan approach to re-opening the closed portions of the federal government. It pairs the border security investment that our nation needs with additional immigration measures that both Democrat and Republican members of Congress believe are necessary. Unlike the bills that have come from the House over the past few weeks, this proposal could actually resolve this impasse. It has the full support of the President and could be signed into law to quickly reopen the government.

“Everyone has made their point—now it’s time to make a law. I intend to move to this legislation this week. With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well. The situation for furloughed employees isn’t getting any brighter and the crisis at the border isn’t improved by show votes. But the President’s plan is a path toward addressing both issues quickly.”

Opening the government without fully funding the wall would be a mistake. Congress has proven in the past that they do not always get things done if the pressure is taken away. I can guarantee that if the government is opened before an agreement is reached, the wall will never be built and our border will remain unsecured.

An Anonymous Article

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an anonymous article written by someone they know to be a senior official in the Trump administration. I am posting the full text of the article because I believe all of it is very important. I have no additional comments.

As one of the senior officials working without a paycheck, a few words of advice for the president’s next move at shuttered government agencies: lock the doors, sell the furniture, and cut them down.

Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form.

The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.

On an average day, roughly 15 percent of the employees around me are exceptional patriots serving their country. I wish I could give competitive salaries to them and no one else. But 80 percent feel no pressure to produce results. If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.

Why would they? We can’t fire them. They avoid attention, plan their weekend, schedule vacation, their second job, their next position — some do this in the same position for more than a decade.

They do nothing that warrants punishment and nothing of external value. That is their workday: errands for the sake of errands — administering, refining, following and collaborating on process. “Process is your friend” is what delusional civil servants tell themselves. Even senior officials must gain approval from every rank across their department, other agencies and work units for basic administrative chores.

Process is what we serve, process keeps us safe, process is our core value. It takes a lot of people to maintain the process. Process provides jobs. In fact, there are process experts and certified process managers who protect the process. Then there are the 5 percent with moxie (career managers). At any given time they can change, clarify or add to the process — even to distort or block policy counsel for the president.

Saboteurs peddling opinion as research, tasking their staff on pet projects or pitching wasteful grants to their friends. Most of my career colleagues actively work against the president’s agenda. This means I typically spend about 15 percent of my time on the president’s agenda and 85 percent of my time trying to stop sabotage, and we have no power to get rid of them. Until the shutdown.

Due to the lack of funding, many federal agencies are now operating more effectively from the top down on a fraction of their workforce, with only select essential personnel serving national security tasks. One might think this is how government should function, but bureaucracies operate from the bottom up — a collective of self-generated ideas. Ideas become initiatives, formalize into offices, they seek funds from Congress and become bureaus or sub-agencies, and maybe one day grow to be their own independent agency, like ours. The nature of a big administrative bureaucracy is to grow to serve itself. I watch it and fight it daily.

When the agency is full, employees held liable for poor performance respond with threats, lawsuits, complaints and process in at least a dozen offices, taking years of mounting paperwork with no fear of accountability, extending their careers, while no real work is done. Do we succumb to such extortion? Yes. We pay them settlements, we waive bad reviews, and we promote them.

Many government agencies have adopted the position that more complaints are good because it shows inclusion in, you guessed it, the process. When complaints come, it is cheaper to pay them off than to hold public servants accountable. The result: People accused of serious offenses are not charged, and self-proclaimed victims are paid by you, the American taxpayer.

The message to federal supervisors is clear. Maintain the status quo, or face allegations. Many federal employees truly believe that doing tasks more efficiently and cutting out waste, by closing troubled programs instead of expanding them, “is morally wrong,” as one cried to me.

I get it. These are their pets. It is tough to put them down and let go, and many resist. This phenomenon was best summed up by a colleague who said, “The goal in government is to do nothing. If you try to get things done, that’s when you will run into trouble.”

But President Trump can end this abuse. Senior officials can reprioritize during an extended shutdown, focus on valuable results and weed out the saboteurs. We do not want most employees to return, because we are working better without them. Sure, we empathize with families making tough financial decisions, like mine, and just like private citizens who have to find other work and bring competitive value every day, while paying more than a third of their salary in federal taxes.

President Trump has created more jobs in the private sector than the furloughed federal workforce. Now that we are shut down, not only are we identifying and eliminating much of the sabotage and waste, but we are finally working on the president’s agenda.

President Trump does not need Congress to address the border emergency, and yes, it is an emergency. Billions upon billions of hard-earned tax dollars are still being dumped into foreign aid programs every year that do nothing for America’s interest or national security. The president does not need congressional funding to deconstruct abusive agencies who work against his agenda. This is a chance to effect real change, and his leverage grows stronger every day the shutdown lasts.

The president should add to his demands, including a vote on all of his political nominees in the Senate. Send the career appointees back. Many are in the 5 percent of saboteurs and resistance leaders.

A word of caution: To be a victory, this shutdown must be different than those of the past and should achieve lasting disruption with two major changes, or it will hurt the president.

The first thing we need out of this is better security, particularly at the southern border. Our founders envisioned a free market night watchman state, not the bungled bloated bureaucracy our government has become. But we have to keep the uniformed officers paid, which is an emergency. Ideally, continue a resolution to pay the essential employees only, if they are truly working on national security. Furloughed employees should find other work, never return and not be paid.

Secondly, we need savings for taxpayers. If this fight is merely rhetorical bickering with Nancy Pelosi, we all lose, especially the president. But if it proves that government is better when smaller, focusing only on essential functions that serve Americans, then President Trump will achieve something great that Reagan was only bold enough to dream.

The president’s instincts are right. Most Americans will not miss non-essential government functions. A referendum to end government plunder must happen. Wasteful government agencies are fighting for relevance but they will lose. Now is the time to deliver historic change by cutting them down forever.

The author is a senior official in the Trump administration.

The Look Of Desperation

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Robert Mueller is investigating ‘billionaires with ties to Russia’ who attended Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities. Good grief. We have large donations from Russia to the Clinton Foundation followed by a transfer of a large portion of America’s uranium resources, and Robert Mueller is investigating businessmen who attended the inauguration parties? This totally smacks of desperation!

The article quotes ABC News:

The presence of people with Kremlin ties in Washington for Trump’s inaugural celebration was first reported by The Washington Post. But the guest lists obtained by ABC News offer a new glimpse at the level of access granted to several well-connected oligarchs.

Several donated enough to the Presidential Inaugural Committee to qualify for tickets to a “Candlelight Dinner” in Washington’s Union Station on the eve of the inauguration, a perk for $1 million contributors, the list of attendees show. Guests were treated to a preview performance by singer Jackie Evancho, a one-time runner-up on “America’s Got Talent,” who would go on to sing at the inauguration the following day.

…The Trump inauguration brought in more than $107 million, double the amount of President Obama, to finance a week of festivities that was filled with far fewer events than past inaugurations – only three Presidential balls. In May, ABC News reported that the Special Counsel had questioned several witnesses about millions of dollars in donations from donors with connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Donating to the inauguration is not unusual. Has anyone looked at donations to the Clinton Foundation during the time that Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State? This investigation is clutching at straws hoping that the American people are unaware of what is normal practice in Washington. It would make more sense to evaluate the funding of inaugurations than to try to accuse President Trump of something based on donations from Americans (which are perfectly legal, regardless of who those Americans do business with).

Pork In The North Carolina Budget

Washington isn’t the only place where lawmakers love to spend money that isn’t theirs. The North Carolina legislature is currently working on its state budget for FY 2018-19. On Monday, Civitas posted an article about the current budget proposal.

The article reports:

The state budget for FY 2018-19 contains nearly 170 line items totaling $30 million that are highly inappropriate or outright pork.

Appropriations directing funding to local pet projects include items such as walking trails, playgrounds, county fairs and highway signs. Moreover, dozens of nonprofit organizations receive direct appropriations in the budget. Make no mistake, these nonprofits perform admirable work. However, it is highly inappropriate – and unfair favoritism – to single out nonprofits for specific appropriations of state tax dollars, instead of having them go through the appropriate grant process.

There is little doubt that a large percentage, if not all, of these earmarks represent legislators trying to “bring home the bacon” to their districts in an election year. State taxpayers should not be forced to finance explicitly local projects.

Note that the items identified in this article include only adjustments made to the second year of the biennial budget passed last year. There no doubt are many more such earmarks that will be doled out this year that were previously included in last year’s budget.

Legislative leaders have rightly been criticized for the closed-door, non-transparent process used in crafting the budget. It is plausible to believe that these 166 line items were the result of political horse-trading behind closed doors, which left virtually no time for objections from legislators before the House and Senate voted.

Such a significant number of earmarks, while not adding up to a major percentage of the budget in dollar terms, raises legitimate concerns about political patronage in which representatives direct state funds to local projects in exchange for political support.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It includes a specific list of the earmarks in question.

The Children Are Misbehaving Again

John Hinderaker posted a article at Power Line yesterday about the Democrats latest antics in the Senate.

The article explains:

In a shocking move, Senate Democrats today filibustered all funding for the Department of Homeland Security. They refused to allow the DHS funding bill, which has already passed the House, to be brought up for a vote. This means that funding for DHS, including its many vital national security functions, will soon run out.

Why would Democrats vote unanimously to shut down DHS? Because the funding bill excludes the implementation of President Obama’s patently illegal and unconstitutional subversion of the nation’s immigration laws. The Democrats’ position is: either you go approve of and pay for the president’s illegal acts, or we will shut DHS down.

The Republicans need to develop some backbone and deal with this. I am sure (I hope) there are some Democrats who put national security over politics. Essentially the Democrats have shut down one part of the government.