Does The Uniform Code of Military Justice Still In Effect?

The media is abuzz with stories about Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley and his conversations with the Chinese Communists.There are a few things that need to be emphasized about this story. In America our military is led by a civilian–the President. Our military is answerable to the President as the President is the Commander-in-Chief. In our military there is a chain of command that all members of the military are supposed to honor. In his conversations with the Chinese Communists, General Milley went outside his chain of command. That is the problem.

I have five questions about the uproar over General Milley:

1. Is it true?

2. If it is true, why did Bob Woodward not disclose it before now?

3. Is this a set up to make General Milley the fall guy for the Afghanistan debacle?

4. Does the military still honor the Uniform Code of Military Justice?

5. Is this dust-up being put out to distract us from something else?

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about what General Milley has done.

The article reports:

New reporting from The Washington Post, detailing the contents of a new book, shows General Mark Milley reassured China’s People’s Liberal Army General Li Zuocheng that he would give the communist country a heads up if President Donald Trump launched an attack in the final months of his presidency. He did so in a series of reported phone calls and reassured Li he would stand between Trump and an attack on Chinese assets. 

What would have been the reaction if someone in the Roosevelt administration had told the Germans he would warn them before the allies invaded France? On the surface, this looks an awful lot like treason.

The article quotes The Washington Post:

In a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa.

One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that unseated President Trump, and the other on Jan. 8, 2021. 

“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”

In the book’s account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack, stressing the rapport they’d established through a backchannel. “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

Believing that China could lash out if it felt at risk from an unpredictable and vengeful American president, Milley took action. The same day, he called the admiral overseeing the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the military unit responsible for Asia and the Pacific region, and recommended postponing the military exercises, according to the book. The admiral complied.

Milley also summoned senior officers to review the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, saying the president alone could give the order — but, crucially, that he, Milley, also had to be involved. Looking each in the eye, Milley asked the officers to affirm that they had understood, the authors write, in what he considered an “oath.”

The last paragraph is troubling. That’s not officially a coup, but it sure sounds like one. General Milley was putting himself in a position where the senior officers needed his approval to follow the orders of the Commander-in-Chief. That is not the way it is supposed to work. This is nuts.

Recognizing “Spin” Preparation

One of things I have recently noticed and wondered about is the recent statement from the Biden administration that all Americans who want to come home from Afghanistan will get home. That’s an interesting wording of the concept of no man left behind. On Thursday, Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall that might provide some insight into the wording of that statement.

The article reports:

“Any American who wants to come home, we will get you home.” – President Joe Biden, August 20, 2021 

That’s been the talking point from a number of Biden administration officials over the past week as the situation in Afghanistan continued to deteriorate. If you’re an American who wants to leave Afghanistan, Biden will ensure your departure. This is a lie. 

A close look at the language, combined with the official policy that the United States will be leaving the country on August 31 even as the airport in Kabul is blocked off by miles of Taliban checkpoints, gives away Biden’s strategy. 

Americans can’t safely get to the airport and the administration knows it. They’ve had their passports confiscated and destroyed by the Taliban. They’ve been beaten in their attempt to follow instructions from the U.S. government. 

When the mission to get Americans out of the country fails, Biden will blame the Americans for “not wanting to leave” or for not properly getting in touch with the State Department to file their paperwork. Keep in mind the Taliban has seized cell towers and shut off electricity in a number of areas, making it impossible to receive updated instructions from the U.S. government about how to proceed. 

For days, the State Department has told Americans to go to the airport, not to go to the airport, to go to the airport, and yet, they are already being blamed for their demise. 

“People chose not to leave. That’s their business,” Acting U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson told CBS News in an interview this week.  

The article notes:

“The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,” Biden said during a press conference on July 8.

This was a lie and Biden told it anyway while Americans stood in harm’s way.

In just a few short days, pointing fingers at stranded Americans will continue to be the cynical, despicable excuse for the administration’s decision to leave our fellow countrymen behind. It will be invoked after President Biden allowed the Taliban to overtake the country in record time, abandoning Americans behind enemy lines.

This is the money statement:

“We will continue to evacuate as many people as we can until the end of the mission,” Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said, indicating the mission is to leave on August 31, not to get Americans out.

That is not what our mission should be. Our mission should be to remove those Americans and our allies who are in danger.

The article concludes:

By August 31, Americans who can’t make it to the airport due to suicide bombings, Taliban checkpoints and Biden’s incompetence, will be abandoned. Without U.S. troops in the country to get them out, they are all but doomed.

The only hope I see in this is that there are a number of private groups working hard to get Americans and American allies out of Afghanistan. That is not the way it should be, but at least that fact might lessen the number of people who are being killed by the Taliban now or will be killed by the Taliban when we leave.

Lying With Statistics

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about the recent media hysteria about the coronavirus. The virus is serious, and we need to use common sense in dealing with it, but unwarranted hysteria is not common sense.

The article reports:

There was a COVID death spike last week. Run for your lives! Put your masks back on—and be afraid. That was the narrative the liberal media peddled last week because without Trump around no one watches anything they report. We’ve reached peak hysteria over the Delta variant, which isn’t more lethal, nor does it make you sicker. The reports from an internal CDC memo that suggests otherwise should be ignored; it was rejected by peer review.

The article reports some background information on the death spike as reported  by The New York Post:

A massive 300 percent hike in nationwide COVID-19 deaths recorded Friday by Johns Hopkins University was skewed by states dumping data – that in one case dated back as far as last spring, according to a report.

The university, which has been a trusted source of coronavirus information since the start of the pandemic, reported that US deaths surged from 321 on Thursday to 891 on Friday, as the Delta variant quickly spreads throughout much of the country.

Florida was responsible for a huge chunk of the increase, with 409 of Friday’s death toll coming from that state, according to The Daily Mail. However, Florida only releases weekly data on Friday, making the day-to-day totals reported by the university unclear and overblown, the outlet said.

Figures released by Delaware also added to the surging daily increase, as that state announced 130 new deaths Friday, the tabloid reported. The dramatic figure was misleading because those deaths actually occurred between mid-May 2020 and late last month, and were added after The First State reviewed death certificates, according to the article.

Data from Michigan, which only releases statistics biweekly, also reportedly added to the distorted total.

The true day-to-day increase of nationwide COVID-19 deaths was actually only 2.5 percent, according to the outlet.

Somehow I don’t expect the mainstream media fact-checkers to bother to fact-check the original claim of a 300 percent increase in deaths. Any increase in deaths is not a good thing, but being truthful would help. All of us need to learn to be our own fact-checkers.

Fear Is A Powerful Tool That Government Bureaucracies Use Well

On Tuesday, Townhall posted an article about the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. At this point there have been a lot of mixed messages and a lot of confusion about the seriousness of the virus and how the treat it effectively. Actually, the information on how to treat the virus effectively has been pretty much left out of any news you hear about the virus.

The article reports:

Well, take a break from being mad and read what Johns Hopkins doctor Dr. Marty Makary wrote about new studies about natural immunity which is ignored by Fauci and company. He also rehashed an old Fauci statistic that shreds the current push for new mask protocols and possible lockdowns (via WSJ) [emphasis mine]

The news about the U.S. Covid pandemic is even better than you’ve heard. Some 80% to 85% of American adults are immune to the virus: More than 64% have received at least one vaccine dose and, of those who haven’t, roughly half have natural immunity from prior infection. There’s ample scientific evidence that natural immunity is effective and durable, and public-health leaders should pay it heed.

Only around 10% of Americans have had confirmed positive Covid tests, but four to six times as many have likely had the infection. A February study in Nature used antibody screenings in late summer 2020 to estimate there had been seven times as many actual cases as confirmed cases. A similar study, by the University of Albany and New York State Department of Health, revealed that by the end of March 2020—the first month of New York’s pandemic—23% of the city’s population had antibodies. That share necessarily increased as the pandemic spread.

[…]

Natural immunity is durable. Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis reported last month that 11 months after a mild infection immune cells were still capable of producing protective antibodies. The authors concluded that prior Covid infection induces a “robust” and “long-lived humoral immune response,” leading some scientists to suggest that natural immunity is probably lifelong. Because infection began months earlier than vaccination, we have more follow-up data on the duration of natural immunity than on vaccinated immunity.

[…]

Skeptics of natural immunity point to Manaus, capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, where reports in January suggested a wave of re-infections despite herd immunity. But the initial estimate of those infected was incorrect because it was based on antibody testing among those who donated convalescent plasma—an unrepresentative subgroup of the population. A follow-up study debunked the re-infection hypothesis and found only three confirmed re-infections in the entire state, whose population exceeds four million. Other studies have confirmed that re-infections are rare and usually asymptomatic or mild.

Some health officials warn of possible variants resistant to natural immunity. But none of the hundreds of variants observed so far have evaded either natural or vaccinated immunity with the three vaccines authorized in the U.S.

Should the previously infected be vaccinated? My clinical advice to healthy patients with natural immunity is that one shot is sufficient, and maybe not even necessary, although it could increase the long-term durability of immunity. A University of Pennsylvania study of people previously infected with Covid found that a single vaccine dose triggered a strong immune response, with no increase in that response after a second dose. A separate study from New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine concluded that “the antibody response to the first vaccine dose in individuals with pre-existing immunity is equal to or even exceeds the titers found in naïve”—never-infected—“individuals after the second dose.”

[…]

Dr. Fauci said last Aug. 13 that when you have fewer than 10 cases per 100,000, “you should be able to open up safely and clearly.” The U.S. reached that point in mid-May. It’s time to stop the fear mongering and level with the public about the incredible capabilities of both modern medical research and the human body’s immune system.

When was the last time you heard anyone who was pressuring people to get vaccinated talk about the natural immunity that comes from having recovered from the disease? When was the last time you heard anyone who was pressuring people to get vaccinated talk about the inexpensive treatments for the coronavirus? It’s time to have those discussions.

Only Granting Asylum To Future Democrat Voters

Yesterday Townhall posted an article highlighting the double standard in refusing asylum to Cuban refugees.

The article reports:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was highly critical of President Joe Biden’s immigration policies over the weekend while in Texas, asserting that the administration has a “double standard” on allowing Cuban migrants into the country.

“They have a hundred-times stronger case for political persecution leaving a communist dictatorship than the other migrants who are coming across the border who are basically coming across the border because they want more economic opportunity,” DeSantis told host Jesse Watters Saturday on Fox News’ “Watters World.”

“It’s a double standard, but honest, it’s something we expected because I do think a lot of their border policies are very political in nature in its intent,” he continued.

So what is the difference between the Cubans and the caravans making their way through Mexico? The Cubans are fleeing communism. They understand the dangers of both communism and socialism. The caravans are being financed. Many of the people in them are coming to America to become part of the welfare state. Historically, Cuban immigrants in southern Florida have prospered. They have set up businesses and accessed the ‘American dream.’ Historically South American and Mexican refugees have taken low income jobs and put downward pressure on the wages of lower-income Americans. Which group of people has benefited America more? I am not saying that we should close the door on South American and Mexican migration, but we need to put standards on immigration so that the American safety net is not overwhelmed. It is a reasonable guess that those funding the caravans are hoping for a Cloward-Piven moment in America. For whatever reason, there are a lot of very rich and powerful people who want to end American sovereignty and convert America to a socialist country. The American electorate is an obstacle to their plans, so they are planning to change the American electorate.

Things That Make Democrats Very Nervous

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about Tuesday’s special election in Georgia.

The article reports:

Georgia Republicans got a big win over Democrats in a special election for a state House seat on Tuesday night. Republican Devan Seabaugh defeated Democrat Priscilla Smith in the election for House District 34 with 63 percent of the vote.

Former Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), who recently launched a nonprofit organization aimed at registering and reaching voters, Greater Georgia, celebrated the GOP’s win. Loeffler’s group played a major role in turning out Republican votes.

The article concludes:

While Republicans saw major turnout and success, failed 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and her organization, Fair Fight, were handed a loss on Tuesday night.

The 63 percent of the vote is consistent with the 2016 election in that district, when Republican Bert Reeves defeated Democrat Justin Holsomback with a percentage of 63.71 percent to 36.29 percent.

As much as 63 percent is a great percentage, it seems to me that the election simply prevented Stacey Abrams and her organizers from gaining ground.

The Biden Administration’s Policies Could Be Very Expensive For Taxpayers

Townhall is reporting today that a Canadian company is suing the Biden administration over the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The article reports:

Weeks after TC Energy officially terminated the Keystone XL pipeline because President Biden revoked a key permit, the company announced it is seeking billion in damages from the U.S. government.

On Friday, the company behind the project filed a Notice of Intent with the State Department, Office of the Legal Adviser, “to initiate a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to recover economic damages resulting from the revocation of the Keystone XL Project’s Presidential Permit.”

TC Energy is seeking over $15 billion due to the U.S. government’s “breach of its NAFTA obligations.”

In pulling the order, Biden said that “leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”

The article concludes:

“Since his first day in office, President Biden has made it his mission to undo all the progress of the previous administration, with complete disregard for the Constitutional limits on his power,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “His decision to revoke the pipeline permit is not only unlawful but will also devastate the livelihoods of thousands of workers, their families, and their communities.”

There are also 21 states suing the Biden administration for the cancellation. Unfortunately, if these lawsuits are successful, American taxpayers will be paying the bill.

Elections Matter In Economics

Townhall posted an article today about the economic recovery in America after the coronavirus.

The article reports:

The U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate rose to 5.9 percent according to the latest data released Friday morning from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Among the industries with the most notable growth — as more states lift restrictions put in place due to the Wuhan coronavirus — were leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and professional and business services.

The article notes the impact of the increased unemployment benefits:

The stronger-than-expected job growth is due in part to states that have ended expanded or extended federal unemployment benefits that often incentivized citizens to stay out of the workforce. As the Wall Street Journal noted recently, the number of Americans taking unemployment benefits is “falling at a faster rate in Missouri and 21 other states canceling enhanced and extended payments this month, suggesting that ending the aid could push more people to take jobs.”

As June’s employment data demonstrates, ending the extended benefits did push more people to enter the workforce because, for some, it was no longer more financially beneficial to avoid returning to work. 

The article concludes:

These states, unsurprisingly, are almost all led by Republicans. Even Politico noted that, when it comes to the 15 states that have already returned to pre-Wuhan coronavirus economic activity, “12 are led by Republican governors.” On the flip side, “the 10 states reporting the lowest levels of activity since January 2020, seven — including New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois — are run by Democratic governors.”

The data from these states, along with today’s jobs report for June, suggest conservative leadership and policies are a significant predictor of a strong economic recovery.

The Republican National Committee recently heralded the economic growth in GOP-led states based on Labor Department data that found 18 of the top 20 states for jobs recovered since COVID hit have Republican-controlled legislatures, as do 17 of the 20 states with the lowest unemployment. 

The workforce participation rate is unchanged from May–it is holding at 61.6 percent.

About That Mask Thing

On Tuesday, Townhall posted an article about the use of facemasks on children, a practice that has been common during the coronavirus epidemic.

The article reports:

We’ve been told for well over a year that widespread forced public masking should be implemented because, even if only moderately to slightly to negligibly effective at curbing the spread of COVID-19, there are ZERO drawbacks. 

“What’s the harm?” they ask.

“It’s only a minor inconvenience,” they bleat.

“If it saves ONE LIFE, it’s worth it!” they implore.

Meanwhile, we on Team Reality have not only continued to point to real-world data that shows masking to be entirely ineffective, we’ve also maintained that forced public masking, especially long-term, has negative societal and even health ramifications that the powers-that-be are all-too-happy to ignore in subservience to their newfound face mask god. 

…Well, one group of Florida parents sent a batch of masks worn by their children to a lab to find out. And yeah, you’ll probably need to make sure you aren’t eating dinner anytime soon before you digest THESE results.

They reported the results of their efforts in the form of a press release:

Gainesville, FL (June 16, 2021) – A group of parents in Gainesville, FL, concerned about potential harms from masks, submitted six face masks to a lab for analysis. The resulting report found that five masks were contaminated with bacteria, parasites, and fungi, including three with dangerous pathogenic and pneumonia-causing bacteria. No viruses were detected on the masks, although the test is capable of detecting viruses.

The analysis detected the following 11 alarmingly dangerous pathogens on the masks:

• Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia)

• Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis)

• Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis, sepsis)

• Acanthamoeba polyphaga (keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis)

• Acinetobacter baumanni (pneumonia, blood stream infections, meningitis, UTIs— resistant to antibiotics)

• Escherichia coli (food poisoning)

• Borrelia burgdorferi (causes Lyme disease)

• Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria)

• Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires’ disease)

• Staphylococcus pyogenes serotype M3 (severe infections—high morbidity rates)

• Staphylococcus aureus (meningitis, sepsis)

Half of the masks were contaminated with one or more strains of pneumonia-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with one or more strains of meningitis-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. In addition, less dangerous pathogens were identified, including pathogens that can cause fever, ulcers, acne, yeast infections, strep throat, periodontal disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more.

The face masks studied were new or freshly-laundered before wearing and had been worn for 5 to 8 hours, most during in-person schooling by children aged 6 through 11. One was worn by an adult. A t-shirt worn by one of the children at school and unworn masks were tested as controls. No pathogens were found on the controls. Proteins found on the t-shirt, for example, are not pathogenic to humans and are commonly found in hair, skin, and soil.

The article included the following graph:

I have no idea how to handle this information if you have a child in a school that requires them to wear an mask all day, but the data is frightening. What happens to a child with a weak immune system that is forced to wear a mask all day?

This Would Be Funny If It Were Not Tragic

Townhall is reporting today that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has asked the United Nations not to give the $75 million in aid America is giving them for aid in the Gaza Strip to Hamas. Where does he think the money to build the terror tunnels into Israel came from? Some of it came from Iran, but much of it came from international humanitarian aid that was never used to help the people of Gaza.

The article reports:

“There’s a recognition we need to continue to discuss and have conversations with our key partners in the region, who played an instrumental role in getting to the point we reached last Thursday, and also to discuss the path forward on rebuilding Gaza,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently said. “And as you noted, Mike, we know that won’t be easy, in part because we want to prevent funding from going to Hamas.”

While the West lines up to write “relief” checks, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is boasting about endless support from Iran.

“We have our own funds. We have our own income. We don’t need to take any of the money from the fundings that come for reconstruction. In this case I’d also like to say we need to thank the Islamic Republic of Iran which also has not stopped at any point of assisting Hamas and other Palestinian factions with money and arms, with experience and support,” Sinwar said during a press conference this week in Gaza. “They were with us. Really although they weren’t present in person, they were with us. Through that capability that they gave us, we were able to hit the enemy and terrorize the enemy.”

Is Secretary of State Blinken really naive enough to think that the humanitarian aid will actually be used for humanitarian purposes?

When You Want To Change The Political Climate But You Don’t Want To Move

On Wednesday The Epoch Times posted an article about a recent vote in several counties in Oregon.

The article reports:

Several counties in Oregon on May 18 voted to consider joining the state of Idaho, which is part of a long-shot movement to break away from the state that has long been dominated by politicians in Portland.

Voters in Malheur, Sherman, Grant, Baker, and Lake counties approved various measures that require county officials to take steps to look into moving the Idaho border west to incorporate the counties.

The grassroots group Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho is aiming to have the eastern counties—which are mostly rural—join Idaho because they believe they would be better off with Idaho’s more conservative political leadership.

“This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon,” lead petitioner Mike McCarter said in a statement to local media outlets on May 18. “If Oregon really believes in liberal values such as self-determination, the Legislature won’t hold our counties captive against our will. If we’re allowed to vote for which government officials we want, we should be allowed to vote for which government we want as well.”

McCarter told the Oregonian last year that the bid to join Idaho is more of a “lifestyle/values judgment” that separates rural and urban residents.

The timing of this is very interesting. On Wednesday, Townhall posted an article about some of the items contained in President Biden’s infrastructure bill.

Townhall reports:

If you saved your money and bought a house in the suburbs, your investment and lifestyle are under attack. President Joe Biden is pushing to end single-family zoning. The biggest item in Biden’s infrastructure bill, now being negotiated with Congress, is $213 billion he claims will to increase affordable housing. Biden wants to put the federal government in charge of zoning and distribute apartment buildings throughout single-family home neighborhoods.

That $213 billion is nearly twice the spending on roads and bridges. It will change towns everywhere and torpedo the American dream of a house with a patch of lawn.

Biden’s plan should be called “hypocrisy housing.” Its backers are hypocrites. Biden himself owns a four-acre lakefront home in upscale Greenville, Delaware, where there is absolutely no public housing, affordable housing or rentals that accept housing vouchers. And don’t expect any to be built next door to the Bidens.

Democrats realize that people who live in the suburbs do not vote for them, so they are planning to dilute the suburban vote by moving people from the city, with the mindset of city residents, there. This would dramatically change America.

The article at The Epoch Times concludes:

Throughout the history of the United States, changing state lines has been a rare occurrence—all taking place before the 20th century. In 1792, Kentucky was created from Virginia’s territory, Maine was created from Massachusetts in 1820, and West Virginia in 1863 was admitted into the United States when Union states and counties separated themselves from the Confederate ones during the Civil War.

Voters in Oregon’s Harney and Douglas counties will hold a vote on similar measures in upcoming elections.

McCarter told media outlets that Idaho state Reps. Barbara Ehardt and Judy Boyle, both Republicans, are planning to introduce a bill about a possible relocation of the Idaho–Oregon border in January 2022.

I wonder if we will see more of this in the future.

 

Fudging The Numbers (As Usual)

Townhall posted an article today about President Biden’s plan to pay for his massive spending programs. He plans to close the gap between what taxpayers legally owe and what the IRS actually takes in.

The article reports:

Commissioner Rettig’s testimony appeared to provide groundbreaking new information that the tax gap has reached $1 trillion, with major media outlets like the New York Times taking this statement as gospel — even though it’s nearly three times what had been previously estimated by the IRS. Rettig’s statements were soon followed by a plan from Biden to raise $780 billion over the next decade by spending $80 billion on increased enforcement.

But the context of Rettig’s statements show that it was not a new agency estimate. Rettig was asked by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to state his “personal opinion” on the size of the tax gap, and responded by saying that “it would not be outlandish to believe” that the tax gap “could approach or possibly even exceed $1 trillion.” Note also that the IRS Commissioner made this statement while trying to secure increased agency funding.

While this statement may be interesting, to portray it as equivalent to an official IRS estimate is absurd. Less than two years ago, the IRS estimated that, after factoring in enforcement and late payments, the net tax gap was $381 billion. Clearly the gap hasn’t more than doubled in just over 18 months.

The article notes that increased funding of the Internal Revenue Service would bring in some additional revenue, but nowhere near what is needed:

The government’s official budgetary scorekeeper, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), does believe that some additional revenue could be raised by increasing tax enforcement spending. But the CBO estimates that increasing IRS funding by $40 billion would increase collections by just $103 billion over ten years. Based on that, the Administration’s claim that it could raise $700 billion on net is ludicrous.

The article concludes:

All of this means that closing the tax gap is not as simple as grabbing revenue the IRS thus far simply has not bothered to collect. It would cost money and would end up targeting a broad swath of taxpayers, not just the wealthiest. That means auditors combing through the lives of thousands of Americans, many of whom would be lower income. And it would probably yield far less than Americans are being led to believe.

Biden’s promises of easy revenue from tax cheats are overblown at best. While enforcing owed tax payments isn’t inherently bad, throwing more money at the problem than the IRS would know what to do with is impulsive and wasteful.

Has anyone considered that the way to cut the deficit might be to examine the budget for wasteful spending (and end earmarks again)?

Cherry Picking The Facts To Get The Results You Want

For whatever reason, the government wants everyone to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Despite numbers that show many Americans have natural immunity to the coronavirus because they have already had it (I am one of those Americans. I had the virus in early November. As of two weeks ago, I still had the antibodies. If I test negative for the antibodies in the future, I might consider the vaccine, but for now, I won’t.), the government is pushing the vaccine.

Yesterday Townhall posted an article on some of the twisted logic being used to coerce Americans into getting the vaccine.

The article notes:

There are no more experts. They know nothing. So, don’t listen to them. Okay, maybe that’s not actually fair—but the real experts are being ignored by the liberal media for a simple reason: they want the COVID panic to continue. They want more deaths to occur. They want a spike. They want to keep the nation locked down. It’s partially out of spite. Blue states are still under Nazi-esque lockdown rules—and their cases are still bad. Not like last year, but Michigan is seeing a massive spike, whereas Texas who nixed their mask mandate over five weeks ago and reopened fully has seen no spikes—none. Florida has also been a state that has managed its COVID crisis better than the media gave it credit for, painting Gov. Ron DeSantis as the grim reaper. It turns out the entire media establishment ate it on that one—no shock. The good news is that even though Democratic states cannot manage COVID, there is no fourth wave. A spike in one state—Michigan, does not make a wave no matter what the CDC says. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he doesn’t think there’s going to be a fourth wave. And alas, here is the circus. The CDC saying there’s “impending doom,” which was voiced around spring break to Fauci saying, ‘nah, that ain’t happening.’  The messaging on COVID protocols has been a mess; the ones with vaccines has been even worse. An MIT study pretty much gutted or cast immense doubt on the effectiveness and purpose of air filtration systems, indoor capacity caps, and even mask wearing. Folks think they’re protected wearing a mask. Nope. It’s an airborne virus. If you’re inside with someone exposed, that mask isn’t doing much, whether it be six or sixty feet apart. It’s all a mess, and now we have this garbage about not reaching herd immunity (via NYT):

The New York Times reported:

Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives.

Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.

Instead, they are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers.

How much smaller is uncertain and depends in part on how much of the nation, and the world, becomes vaccinated and how the coronavirus evolves. It is already clear, however, that the virus is changing too quickly, new variants are spreading too easily and vaccination is proceeding too slowly for herd immunity to be within reach anytime soon.

Again, there is no allowance for natural immunity in this conclusion. It is estimated that at least one-third of Americans have had the coronavirus and are immune to it. When you add that to the forty-five percent who have been vaccinated you get approximately seventy-eight percent. That is herd immunity. Just a note, herd immunity does not mean that we eliminate the virus completely–it simply means that we eliminate the epidemic. That is a distinction that I don’t think is being currently made. We could lock ourselves in our houses forever, and there might still be a virus bug waiting for us somewhere when we ventured outside. Living in a bubble is not practical. We need to follow the example of Florida–protect the vulnerable, vaccinate the vulnerable who choose to be vaccinated, and let those less vulnerable go on with their lives. Unfortunately (as we are currently seeing), government does not like to give up control under any circumstances.

How To Tax The Middle Class Secretly

On Tuesday Townhall posted an article that explains where some of the money will come from to pay for President Biden’s expansive spending plans. I believe that the most recent claim is that your taxes will not increase if your income is less than $200,000 a year. Supposedly the bulk of the tax revenue will come from corporations. First of all, corporations don’t pay taxes–their customers do in the form of higher prices and their workers do in the form of lower wages. We can expect both of those things to occur. But the expansive programs will need more than corporations and earners making over $200,000 a year. That will come in the form of stealth taxes on the middle class (the people who actually do shoulder a lot of the tax burden).

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy posted the following graph on April 11, 2019. As you know, that was after the Trump tax cuts went into effect:

So how will the Biden administration get more tax revenue from average Americans?

The article quotes an op-ed for InsideSources written by Kelly Johnston:

You will be told that the tax plan only taxes the wealthy. Untrue. Corporations do not ultimately pay taxes – they collect them. Their “promise” won’t include intergenerational transfers of property and assets, like houses, family businesses, family farms, and stock.

Meet stepped-up basis. Here’s how that works. Say you’re a 60-year-old almost-retiree whose 90-year-old parent just passed away. You are bequeathed their Florida home acquired in 1980 for $100,000. Its value is now $500,000. Hopefully, it won’t be complicated by a reverse mortgage or isn’t burdened by other forms of leveraged debt. You sell it for $500,000. Thanks to “stepped-up basis,” you should owe no federal capital gains tax on the sale.

But what happens if all this happens after Democrats eliminate this so-called “loophole?” You’ll owe capital gains taxes on the gain in value since the property was purchased 41 years ago, most of which is probably inflation. That’s a likely 20 percent tax hit on the “gain” of $400,000 – some $80,000 to Uncle Sam. For people with incomes over $1 million, Biden may raise Capital Gains taxes to match the highest personal income tax rate of 39.5 percent.

The Biden plan may exempt the first $1 million of “unrealized” gains, but that’s a shallow threshold for many family businesses and farms. And it is not just homes or beach property. It includes stocks and family businesses.

Being allowed to keep your or your family’s own money is now a “tax loophole.”

…Whose money do the Democrats think we’re talking about? They seem to think all money is the government’s, and they’re letting you keep some of it. They clearly believe that they can spend it better than you. It doesn’t take long before that extends into other private property. Your pensions and IRAs may be next.

According to the Democrats, it’s never really YOUR money–it’s theirs to spend.

Safety For Me, But Not For Thee

As Democrats call for a defunding of the police, they seem very willing to call on the police to insure their own safety. Breitbart is reporting today that Representative Maxine Waters requested a police escort to attend the riots in Minneapolis over the weekend where she encouraged more rioting. First of all, Minneapolis is a long way from her district. Why was she there? Secondly, exactly what did her presence there do to calm things and bring peace to that troubled city? Thirdly, was she acting as part of the problem or part of the solution?

The article reports:

Townhall obtained and published the document on Monday appearing to show the request with Waters’ name listed as the primary protectee and “Police escort In & Out” listed underneath special requests.

“Waters flew from Dulles International Airport to Minnesota-St. Paul International Airport on Saturday, April 17, just days ahead of a verdict in the George Floyd, Officer Derek Chauvin trial,” the report said.

Video footage showed Waters surrounded by protesters and reporters outside the police station in Brooklyn Center where she told citizens to hit the streets unless Chauvin was convicted for murder.

“We’re looking for a guilty verdict,” she said. “And we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd, if nothing does not happen, then we know that we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice.”

However, Waters claimed Monday she is “nonviolent” in response to criticism after her call to protesters to “get more confrontational” if Chauvin is cleared in Floyd’s death, Breitbart News reported.

Was she in the courtroom? Has she reviewed all of the evidence? Why in the world was she there?

Editing The News To Promote The Narrative

There are two very dangerous narratives making the rounds right now. The first is that policemen are racially-motivated killers and the second is that gun control will end mass shootings. Both are false, but both are parroted endlessly by the major media. Recently a video was edited to add to the narrative (and change the entire scenario of the video).

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about CBS’s airing of the video of the shooting death of Adam Toledo in Chicago. Adam Toledo was a thirteen-year-old young man shot by a policeman at 2 am. The entire video of the shooting shows Adam Toledo with a gun as the policeman is pursuing him. Somehow CBS edited out the frame of the video that shows the gun when they aired the video on television.

The article reports:

It’s horrible to watch, but Toledo was armed. It’s clear in the footage, but if you were to watch CBS News’ clip—that frame is omitted. It would seem the hatchet crew at the network went to work to construct yet another false narrative. They went after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over a non-existent pay-to-play scheme involving Publix, the state’s largest grocery chain who contributed to his campaign, and a vaccine distribution deal. We’ve seen the full exchange between DeSantis and the reporter who tried to lob this grenade. It blew up in CBS’ face, but they’ve doubled down because they’re all terrible people. This instance is no different…

The article concludes:

Now is not the time to be playing games or trying to manufacture fake ‘woke’ narratives about policing. I know you good people already know this, but for some—like those in the liberal media—never let a crisis go to waste, even if it means fomenting a situation where a whole city is set ablaze over a lie.

It truly is time to back up and look at the big picture–a thirteen-year-old gang member is out with another gang member at 2am on a school night. I don’t know the child’s home situation, but it is probably a safe bet he does not come from an intact two-parent family. What is his school like? What sort of education is he getting? Why did he feel the need to be part of a gang? Are those the issues we need to begin to address rather than vilifying a policeman for shooting an armed suspect fleeing arrest? The death of Adam Toledo is tragic, but more tragic is the fact that the root causes behind that death are not being looked at and corrected.

Fighting With Facts

I will admit that in doing research for this blog, I read a lot of news. However, I don’t think I am any smarter than the average America. I may be better informed, but that is a choice I made. Anyone can make that choice. I believe that one of the major problems in America right now is that people are believing what they are told and not doing their own research. That was recently illustrated in a post at Townhall by Larry Elder.

The article reports:

A couple of years ago, I gave a speech before a conservative, predominantly white audience. I couldn’t help but notice a tall, heavyset Black man, arms folded, standing in the back. From time to time, I would look at him, only to see him frown and shake his head, I assumed disapprovingly, when I made what I considered important points.

After the speech, he came up to me. “I am angry,” he said. “Not at you — at myself. I thought I was well informed. I read the news. I watch the news. I now see I’ve been manipulated by the party that I voted for all my life.”

The article lists the things that the man learned from Larry Elder’s speech:

He said he had no idea that (according to a 2004 Thomas B. Fordham Institute study) 44% of Philadelphia public school teachers send their own school-age kids to private school. Yet the Democratic Party adamantly opposes school vouchers, which would give K-12 children of urban parents a chance at a better school.

He did not know that Democrats, including President Barack Obama, tried to end the Washington, D.C., Opportunity Scholarship Program. It is a lottery that allows fortunate parents to opt out of their local public school for a better private school. The program is so popular that there are far more parents who want to participate than there are seats. “What’s more important, ” he asked me, “than making sure are kids are well educated?”

He did not know that, in 1965, 25% of Black kids were born outside of wedlock, versus 70% today, a phenomenon that cannot be attributed to slavery and Jim Crow. He did not know that Barack Obama once said, “Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”

…He did not know that, according to Harvard economist George Borjas, illegal immigration creates winners and losers. But the big losers are low- and unskilled American workers of color who compete against low- and unskilled illegal immigrant workers — who place downward pressure on the wages of the native-born.

The man did not know that, according to The Washington Post, in recent years, more unarmed whites have been killed by the police than unarmed Blacks. He was unaware of studies, including one by a Black Harvard economist, that found the police more hesitant, more reluctant, to pull the trigger on a Black suspect than on a white suspect. He did not know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, police killings of Blacks declined almost 80% from the late ’60s through the 2010s, while police killings of whites have flatlined.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. We need to remember that bias in reporting is not only reflected in the way things are reported, it is also reflected by the things relevant to a story that are not mentioned.

Beware Of Executive Orders That Sound Good

Most Americans want everyone who is entitled to vote to be able to vote and have their vote counted. They also want to make sure that illegal votes are not counted. Somehow the rhetoric surrounding voting rights has overlooked the idea of registering and counting only legal votes. This is not overtly stated, but when you look closely, you find very little interest in maintaining accurate voting laws and making sure voters are who they say they are.

Townhall posted an article today about an Executive Order by President Biden.

The article reports:

President Joe Biden on Sunday signed an executive order aimed at expanding voting rights. It’s the Biden administration’s latest move to expand voting rights as they push the Senate to pass H.R. 1, the House Democrats’ bill to radically transform America’s election system, including prohibiting voter ID laws and mandating taxpayers fund political campaigns.

“It is the policy of my Administration to promote and defend the right to vote for all Americans who are legally entitled to participate in elections,” the executive order stated. “It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to expand access to, and education about, voter registration and election information, and to combat misinformation, in order to enable all eligible Americans to participate in our democracy.”

Article 1 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.

Why are the Democrats in Congress trying to take this right away from the states?

Why is voter ID considered restrictive? You need an ID to do almost anything in America–receive medical treatment, open a bank account, board an airplane, buy liquor, take out a loan, etc.. Why not be required to show an ID to prove you are an eligible voter and that you are who you say you are?

President Biden Needs To Watch His Words

President Biden, who ran on a promise to re-unite the country has not been doing a very good job of keeping that promise. Some of the remarks he has recently made are totally unacceptable. Townhall posted an article on March 4th about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s response to some recent remarks by President Biden.

The article reports:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has been taking heat from Democrats and progressives after he announced the state will be completely reopening and the mask mandate will be lifted. His actions have caused such a stir that it prompted criticism from President Joe Biden.

Biden, referring to both Texas and Mississippi, said lifting the COVID-19 lockdowns was “neanderthal thinking” and a “big mistake.”

Abbott was asked to respond to Biden’s comments during his interview on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday.

“Two things, Brian, first, obviously it is not the type of thing that a president should be saying, but second, he kind of said it on the worst day he could have. Because the same day he said that, in Texas, the Biden administration was releasing illegal immigrants into our communities who had COVID,” Abbott said.

“The Biden administration was spreading COVID in south Texas yesterday because of their lack of constraint of testing and quarantining, people come across the border illegally. The Biden administration was exposing Texas to COVID,” Abbott continued. “That is a neanderthal type approach dealing with the COVID situation.”

Americans are required to quarantine, wear masks, social distance, etc., while illegal aliens are allowed to freely roam about the country??!! There is something seriously wrong with that picture.

 

Lying About The Numbers

Townhall posted an article today about the number of people who are in America illegally. The mainstream media frequently states that there are 11 million people in America illegally. That is the number being used when amnesty for everyone here illegally is discussed. But it is interesting to consider that 11 million was the number given during the 1990’s when the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX) held her commission on immigration reform back. Are we to assume that the number has not increased since then? Somehow I doubt that.

In January, Breitbart reported the following:

Roughly 14.5 million illegal aliens live across the United States, costing American taxpayers about $134 billion every year, a new study reveals.

An annual study released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) finds that the illegal alien population in the U.S. has grown by at least 200,000 since 2019 and has cost taxpayers an additional $2 billion since last year.

That is probably a low estimate of the number of people here illegally and the cost of having them here. To put the number of illegal aliens in perspective, the population of New York City is approximately 8 million. The population of America is approximately 328 million. What impact would granting citizenship to 11 million people who may not understand the government or the responsibilities of citizenship in America have on our country?

Townhall reports that the Tucker Carlson show on the Fox News reported the following:

The “U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021,” unveiled by Democrats earlier this month, would provide a pathway to citizenship for what many have said to be “11 million” currently illegal immigrants.

After pointing out studies from Yale and MIT suggesting the number is much higher, Carlson spent several minutes explaining how the bank Bear Stearns used bank transfers, remittances, and other data points to estimate the immigrant population “to be as high as 20 million” 16 years ago, in 2005.

“That was all 16 years ago,” Carlson said. “And now, in 2021, the party in charge is still assuring us that the number of illegal immigrants in this country has somehow declined by up to 10 million people. Could that be true?”

“How insulting is that, even to float that idea?” he continued. “Consider everything that has happened since 2006. Amnesty for the so-called dreamers, the promises of mass amnesty, the endless caravans. So the 11 million number is above all, a lie. The 11 million number is one of the more obvious lies ever told. We’re a TV show. We are not social scientists, and it took about an hour to find this out. It’s a ridiculous lie.”

I am in favor of changing our immigration laws to make it easier for people to come here legally. However, we are currently in the middle of a pandemic and the economic consequences of that pandemic. I would strongly suggest that we work to get Americans back to work and on their feet before we open the gates wide to allow more people to come to America.

 

When The Government Decides What Businesses Are Good

There are those in Congress who are supposed to represent us that believe that the government should be able to decide whether a business should be allowed to operate or not. We have seen a lot of this during the coronavirus outbreak, but unfortunately that may only be a preview of things to come.

Yesterday Townhall reported the following:

Millions of Americans are out of work due to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Thousands more are unemployed because of President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. Despite the tough times, progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) believes “now is the right time” for Congress to press forward with a $15-an-hour minimum wage, something they tied to the latest COVID relief package.

According to Khanna, Amazon and Target made a decision to raise their minimum wage to $15-an-hour across the nation. As a result, Khanna says, the companies have produced more jobs (yet he doesn’t take into account that more people are shopping online due to lockdown restrictions and the pandemic).

The Representative evidently does not see the value of every small business:

“Businesses like Amazon and McDonald’s, for example, can and perhaps should, pay more, but I’m wondering, what is your plan for smaller businesses?” CNN’s Abby Phillip asked. “How does this, in your view, affect mom and pop businesses who are just struggling to keep their doors open, keep workers on the payroll right now?”

“Well, they shouldn’t be doing it by paying people low wages,” Khanna replied. “We don’t want low-wage businesses. Most successful small businesses can pay a fair wage.”

According to the congressman, if workers were paid for their productivity, they would be making $23-an-hour.

“I love small businesses. I’m all for it but I don’t want small businesses that are underpaying employees,” he said. “It’s fair for people to make what they’re producing and I think $15 is very reasonable in this country.”

I have posted numerous articles about the job losses that will result from raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The ideas of this Representative would not only limit the access to the workplace for young people seeking jobs, it would also cause the mom and pop restaurants and small shops either to close or to cause the owners to have to work 70-hour weeks because they can’t afford to pay anyone the minimum wage.

This Congressmen has not studied economics. He also needs a serious less on being compassionate to those who are struggling to keep a small business going.

It’s Time To Return To Single-Issue Bills

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about some of the items included in the coronavirus relief bill proposed by the Democrats. The bill is 591 pages long, and needless to say, is not all relevant to coronavirus relief.

The article lists some of the items:

The 591-page document includes another round of stimulus checks. Individuals making less than $75,000 will receive a $1,400 check. Couples earning less than $150,000 will receive a combined $2,800. As an individual or couple’s income increases, their stimulus amount decreases.

Of the $1.9 trillion, $350 billion will go towards states and local governments. Unemployment benefits will provide Americans with $400 a week on top of their state-issued benefits.

Under this bill, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is replenished with $7 billion in additional funding. The Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program will also receive $15 billion.

In addition, the bill ups the child tax credit to $3,600 for children six and under. That credit drops to $3,000 for kids ages seven to 17.

There are, however, a number of questionable liberal wishlist items in the bill. If passed and signed into law, the federal minimum wage – which currently sits at $7.25-an-hour – would increase to $15-an-hour over the next five years.

…Democrats set aside $50 million for “family planning.” As of now, the Hyde Amendment is in place, which bars taxpayer funds from being used for abortion. This, however, could set the stage for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment down the road. If this bill is passed and Congress later repeals Hyde, money that was funded in this relief bill could theoretically be used for abortion.

…Although higher education has teetered because of the virus, Howard University is the only higher education facility that would be given money to recoup funds lost during the pandemic. Gallaudet University is listed in the bill, but it’s a specialized university for students who are hard of hearing.

It is important to note that Vice President Kamala Harris is an alumna of Howard University, which is an unlikely coincidence.

…Another $135 million would be allocated for the arts and humanities, likely museums that received funding during the CARES ACT.

It is time to bring back legislation that deals with one issue at a time. Some of the items in this bill will actually do damage rather than solve problems. For instance, the $15 a hour minimum wage is likely to result in the closure of any small business that was not closed by the government shutdowns. This relief bill is looking like the Obamacare bill which became law in 2010. That law cost the Democrats their majorities in Congress. If this relief bill is passed without Republican votes, the result will probably be the same.