Friday, July 22, 2016
Our prayers are with Munich and the German people. ~~~~~ Saturday Politics. "America is a nation of believers, dreamers, and strivers that is being led by a group of censors, critics, and cynics" -- Donald Trump's portrait of America in his GOP presidential nominee acceptance speech Thursday. He promised to "restore law and order" and make the US safe from crime and from international terrorism invading America through open borders and the unvetted admission of Syrian and other refugees. Trump combined stating his agenda with denouncing eight years of Democrat leadership, saying : "We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore. So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully crafted lies and the media myths, the Democrats are holding their convention next week. Go there." Trump's speech was full of quotable phrases. One of the best : "History is watching us now. We don't have much time. But history is watching. It's waiting to see if we will rise to the occasion and if we will show the whole world that America is still free, independent and strong." ~~~~~ Trump must have surprised even his supporters by thanking evangelical Christians, saying : "The support they've given me, and I'm not sure I totally deserve it, has been so amazing and was such a big reason for me being here tonight." But, remembering his earlier promises to bring Christmas celebration back to America, his thank-you fit in perfectly. ~~~~~ "Millions of Democrats will join our movement because we are going to fix the system so it works for all Americans....The irresponsible rhetoric of our President, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone....When I am President, I will work to ensure that all our kids are treated equally, and protected equally." Trump also said he will fight for the "forgotten men and women of our country. People who work hard but no longer have a voice. I AM YOUR VOICE !" ~~~~~ Trump hit Obama and Clinton for the mess they've made of America : "We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order. America is far less safe -- and the world is far less stable -- than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy. I am certain it is a decision he truly regrets. Her bad instincts and her bad judgment -- something pointed out by Bernie Sanders -- are what caused the disasters unfolding today. In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a really big, big reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was under control. After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the entire world. Libya is in ruins, and our ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Moslem Brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West. The legacy of Hillary Clinton is "death, destruction, terrorism and weakness." ~~~~~ Dear readers, the Iran deal is the perfect example of Obama/Clinton incompetence and betrayal of America. Reuters reported Monday that Russia has delivered the missile part of its S-300 surface-to-air defense system to Iran, quoting the Iranian Tasnim news agency as saying delivery of all parts of the system to Teheran will be completed by the end of 2016. Tasnim, close to the Revolutionary Guards, said : "The first shipment of missiles of S-300 missile system...shows Iran's determination to equip its air defense circle with this system." The Russia-Iran S-300 missile deal worries Israel, which Iran says it aims to destroy. President Putin lifted a self-imposed S-300 supply ban in April 2015, when an interim agreement paved the way for the full nuclear deal. ~~~ Trust Trump. He is right.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
On Wednesday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Republican Vice President nominee, gave the 2016 GOP National Convention a taste of the Donald Trump presidency. "The change will be hu-uu-uge," Pence said, mimicking Bernie Sanders. “Indiana is a state that works because conservative principles work every time you put them into practice,” he told delegates chanting, “We like Mike!” ~~~~~ Pence brought the GOP delegates to their feet after the outrage caused by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose eloquent speech was well received until it became obvious he was not going to endorse or recommend voting for Trump, the man they had, a day earlier, overwhelmingly chosen as their nominee. The furious delegates booed Cruz as he told them to vote their conscience in November, instead of naming Trump. “We want Trump,” they chanted, “Say his name!” ~~~~~ Pence had perfunctorily endorsed Cruz before Indiana’s May primary. But, Trump’s big win there ended the Cruz campaign. Calling for party unity, Pence told the delegates and TV audience that it has come down to two names on the ballot : "So let's resolve here and now that Hillary Clinton will never become President." ~~~~~ Pence was introduced by House Speaker Paul Ryan, the 2012 vice presidential candidate : "This man is a Reagan conservative....Pro-growth. Pro-life...pro-strong defense. There is no doubt in my mind he will bring real change to Washington." Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a VP finalist, spoke before Pence. Gingrich, a rare modern politician who is simultaneously maverick and insider, said : "Trump has a great running mate in Mike Pence. They will put our safety first, and they will defend America first." ~~~~~ Ohio Governor John Kasich and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are the only other losing 2016 GOP presidential candidates who joined Cruz in refusing to endorse Trump. Kasich and Bush stayed away from the convention. But, Cruz accepted Trump's invitation to be a speaker, and his refusal to endorse Trump was seen by the delegates as a betrayal of the GOP and its principles and a betrayal of their trust. Governor Chris Christie : "Awful, selfish speech...showed himself tonight to not be a man of his word." Michael Reagan : "Cruz is worse than Kasich by not endorsing Trump..." Representative Peter King : "Ted Cruz is a 'disgrace'....He's a total fraud." CNN's Dana Bash reported immediately after Cruz's speech that "a state party chairman was yelling at Ted Cruz so angrily that they had to be restrained.....Some people on donor suite level so angry at Ted Cruz they called him disgrace to his face…" ~~~~~ Newsmax reports that when Ted Cruz met with the Texas delegation on Thursday morning, he was again booed after "one of the delegates...demanded to know why Cruz pledged to support the eventual nominee, but now refuses to do so. 'If you're not a man of your word, what are you, then?' she demanded to know, telling him that she turned her back to him when he walked onto the convention stage, 'because you lied to me. And don't take my vote for granted because you lied to me. I came to this convention as a Cruz delegate and I'm leaving supporting Donald Trump as the party nominee.'" ~~~~~ Dear readers, Larry Kudlow, conservative GOP financial and political analyst who was in the convention hall when Cruz spoke, wrote on Thursday : "Cruz tried to pass it off as just the New York delegation....that is wrong. The whole hall was in an uproar. You couldn't even hear the last [part] of Cruz's speech because the booing had reached such a crescendo!.... Mike Pence single-handedly pulled that convention back together...with an optimistic message. He gave great support to Donald Trump....He basically snatched victory from the jaws of defeat....Ted Cruz will never politically recover from this." ~~~ Ted Cruz -- a Prodigal Son, whose exceptional talents are imprisoned in an exceptionally pride-filled soul. Will he find the humility to repent and ask us to forgive him? Will we be merciful? Shakespeare said : "in the course of justice none of us should see salvation." Come home, Ted.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
On Monday evening, Melania Trump made her first "political wife" speech. It was her first public speech of any kind -- in front of a packed convention center GOP audience, a worldwide TV audience of 35 million, and media standing rows deep around her. She spoke in English -- her mother tongue is Slovenian. She learned German and Slovakian early in life, and French later. English is her fourth language and she handled it perfectly in her maiden effort on Monday. ~~~~~ BUT -- Horror of Horrors -- one paragraph of her speech, inserted by the speechwriter, was used by Michelle Obama in 2008. The words were about working hard to succeed and helping children -- words every American politician and spouse has used for the past 50 years. ~~~~~ But that was irrelevant. Those ordinary -- even trite -- words bruised the tender souls of the mainstream media and Democrat commentators. Their sense of morality -- their high ethical standards -- were deeply offended. ~~~~~ Dear readers, I have only three questions. Where is the moral outrage of the mainstream media and Democrat commentators at Barack Obama's racist attacks on white police? Where is the moral outrage of the mainstream media and Democrat commentators at the lies...lies...lies of Hillary Clinton about Benghazi, even heartlessly lying to the mothers of diplomats killed because Hillary refused to protect them. And, where is the moral outrage of the mainstream media and Democrat commentators at the lies...lies...lies of Hillary Clinton to the State Department she headed, to the President she served, to the American people she wants to lead, and to the FBI charged with upholding the law about her treacherous use of a private unsecured email server system that threatened US security. Rudy Giuliani said Monday night about the mainstream media : "I am sick and tired of the defamation of Donald Trump by the media and the Clinton campaign. I am sick and tired of it. This is a good man! And America should be sick and tired of their vicious, nasty campaign." AMEN. Media morality? Media high ethical standards? A bad joke.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
America's Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the spirited soul of the opening evening of the Republican Convention Monday. Giuliani's remarks gave rousing focus to the evening's theme -- Make America Safe Again : "In the last seven months, there have been five major islamic extremist terrorist attacks on us and our allies. We must not be afraid to define our enemy. It is islamic extremist terrorism. For the purposes of the media -- I did not say all of Islam. I did not say most of Islam. I said islamic extremist terrorism. You know who you are. And we're coming to get you....Donald Trump has said the first step in defeating our enemies is to identify them properly and see the connections between them, so we can find them and catch them. To defeat islamic extremist terrorism, we must put them on defense. If they are at war against us -- which they have declared -- we must commit ourselves to unconditional victory against them." ~~~~~ A regular CNN commentator said after Giuliani's speech that it was "too bad" it was scheduled for prime time because it might "frighten" people. Let me give you the day's news from Europe. It is far more frightening than anything Rudy Giuliani said. ~~~~~ On Tuesday, as Nice was moving the memorial flowers and cards away from the site of the horrific islamic jihadist attack that killed 84 and maimed 28 French people and tourists celebrating Bastille Day, another attack occurred in the south of France. A 46-year-old woman and her three daughters -- aged 14, 12 and 8 -- were stabbed while holidaying near Laragne in the Hautes-Alpes in southern France. Police report the eight-year-old was airlifted to hospital in nearby Grenoble with a punctured lung, but is no longer in critical condition. The mother and her three daughters were eating breakfast when they were stabbed by a man, aged 37, born in Morocco, who reportedly thought they were 'too lightly dressed.' He was also on holiday in the same hotel with his pregnant wife and two small children. The man is in custody under suspicion of attempted murder. No jihadist connection has as yet been made. ~~~~~ On Tuesday, the French learned more about the Nice islamic terrorist killer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, whose act has been claimed by ISIS. He researched the Orlando gay club massacre before carrying out his truck attack. Two days before the attack, he posed with a friend, grinning for photos inside and outside the 19-ton white truck. In one photo, he holds his middle finger up inside the cab. In the other, he smiles, standing next to the truck. French TV channel TF1 said the photos were taken on July 12 and 13 - just before he went on his July 14 rampage. The respected TF1 said the man in the photos with Bouhlel is one of the six people arrested following the attack. Bouhlel is believed also to have sent selfies on the Promenade des Anglais to relatives in Tunisia. ~~~~~ And on Monday, a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker attacked people with an axe and knife on a train near Wurzburg in southern Germany. Four are in critical condition. The attacker, killed by police, was living with a host family under Chancellor Merkel's refugee program. ISIS claimed responsibity. An ISIS flag was found in his bedroom. ~~~~~ Dear readers, Patrick Calvar, head of France's homeland security, the DGSI (Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure), has warned of the risk of civil war. On July 12, he told a commission of members of the National Assembly in charge of a survey about the terrorist attacks of 2016 : "We are on the verge of a civil war." In May, he delivered a similar message to a commission in charge of national defense : "Europe is in danger. Extremism is on the rise everywhere, and we are now turning our attention to some far-right movements who are preparing a confrontation." ~~~ It is time to heed Trump's words to identify, find and catch islamic jihadist terrorists in the US, some admitted under the Obama-Clinton refugee open-door policy. Merkel's open door has let into the EU a million unvetted 'refugees.' Trump, now the nominee, will not make that mistake.
Monday, July 18, 2016
As the Republican National Convention gets underway in Cleveland, preparing to name Donald Trump the Republican presidential nominee, it's a good time to consider the world he will inherit if he is elected the 45th US President in November. The GOP Convention is a microcosm of the world today. ~~~~~ Political Correctness reigns in the West. From the Charlie Hebdo attack to Thursday's jihadist slaughter in Nice, French President Hollande has, like Obama, called the killers "terrorists" -- and his polls are at 12-15%. Trump from the start has been attacked for his direct talk about America's immigration problems. President Obama, Hillary Clinton and other Democrat politicians, who attack Trump's directness, somehow think that not talking about immigration will solve the problem -- a lot like Obama's refusing to say "islamic jihad" in the hope that silence will make the phenomenon disappear. ~~~~~ Political parties are being pushed to face the world as it is now. Most Republicans have resolved their initial concerns about Trump and those who remain outside the new GOP tent will find themselves sidelined in this critically important presidential race. Their absence -- especially that of the Bush family and Mitt Romney -- speaks volumes about their false pride concerning petty personal slights that has reduced their support of Republican principles to zero and plays into the hands of a progressive-marxist gang led by Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. ~~~~~ Citizens in every western country want their leaders to face down groups that threaten their way of life. French Prime Minister Valls was booed Monday at a Nice memorial service. Trump rallies have been disrupted by leftist Soros-backed protests, often ending in violence. Protests are threatened in Cleveland. They will carry signs about Black Lives Matter -- but Trump and the GOP are on the right side of this issue. All lives matter, especially the lives of police officers who were shot dead in Dallas and Baton Rouge. There has been such a deterioration in race relations and respect for police under Obama that most Americans are disgusted with his posturing advice to "temper our words and open our hearts," instead of acting to prevent the killing of policemen. While there may be Democrat political uses of rioting or other disorder during the GOP convention and while it could harm Trump by reinforcing the Progressive smear of him as a divisive figure, it also could backfire -- showing Hillary, the Democrat Party and the Left as out-of-step and unable to control their dangerous street-protester messengers. Tobe Berkovitz, a Boston University professor in political communications, told TheHill : "Trump will absolutely use them [Cleveland protests] as a foil and to reinforce his message that you’ve got a lot of bad actors out there, and this is just more proof that the country you love is not respected by everyone. My best guess is that any protests will play into Trump’s hands.” ~~~~~ Political leaders are changing. Obama is now in the past, as is the UK's David Cameron who misjudged the deep resentment of the British for a "faraway" government telling them what's best for them. Ronald Reagan understood. Cameron didn't. And in the next year, French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel will face equally resentful electorates. Donald Trump 'got it' from the beginning. So did Senator Ted Cruz, who will give one of the most important Convention speeches, on Republican principles. Cruz and Trump apparently agreed that Cruz should emphasize America's need to change direction. Cruz says : "I’m going to urge Americans to get back to the Constitution to change the path we’re on: eight failed years of the Obama-Clinton economy; eight failed years of a presidency disregarding the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Eight failed years of a commander-in-chief not protecting Americans and keeping us safe from radical Islamic terrorism. It's time for that to end." ~~~~~ Dear readers, the Trump Convention may be unusual -- but it will be full of GOP principles.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
By choosing the social conservative and former House member Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate -- calling him the key to unifying the Republican Party after a tumultuous primary season -- Donald Trump took his first big presidential step. Pence brings executive management experience as governor. He was a House member widely admired by his GOP peers, who knows how Congress works and still has real friends there. He is a midwesterner who understands the problems of unemployment and lack of industry in the "Rust Belt." His deeply felt Christian faith will reassure the solidly Christian GOP core voters that Trump will not abandon them after January 20th. ~~~~~ Homerun, Donald Trump, who has now put the future of the Republican Party front and center. But, more than anything else, Trump's choice of Pence for VP proves that he is savvy about what he personally brings and does not bring to the GOP presidential campaign. There is little doubt that Trump would have preferred Chris Christie or Newt Gingrich -- both bigger than life political animals who would have matched Trump's own campaign style. But he picked Pence : "One of the biggest reasons I've chosen Mike, one of the reasons is party unity, I have to be honest," Trump said before introducing Pence at the Hilton Midtown in New York. Trump called Pence his first choice and praised his governorship in Indiana : "He fights for the people, and he's going to fight for you. He's a solid, solid person. He's really got the skills of a highly talented executive, leading the state of Indiana to jobs, growth and opportunity despite the obstacles in his state's way ... by the way of the Obama administration." And, then Trump offered the key words about his new running mate : "Mike Pence is a man of honor, character and honesty." ~~~~~ Hillary amd Company are already trying to belittle Mike Pence. Elizabeth Warren called Trump and Pence “two small, insecure, weak men.” She said Pence “is famous for trying to control women’s bodies,” and that the two Republicans’ “sexism” is “in line with the party platform.” Warren's description actually better fits Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama and the Democrat Party, who long ago abandoned any attempt at morality by rushing headlong into supporting unfettered abortion at any stage of pregnancy, thereby selling the idea that unprotected sexual relations are okay -- AIDS and pregnancy be damned. ~~~~~ Dear readers, her lack of moral principles is catching up with Hillary in political polls, as we saw in Friday's blog. And, when Hillary Clinton had a private meeting in Washington Thursday with Senate Democrats, they raised concerns over a recent poll showing Donald Trump leading or tied in several battleground states. One Democrat Senator who attended the meeting told TheHill that some Senators : "...were freaked out, they were looking down at the polls on Real Clear Politics [on their mobile phones] and asking why it was so close." Mrs. Clinton's response was just about as truthful as "Crooked Hillary" can be. She said "there are other issues. People are unhappy and they don’t trust institutions." ~~~ Yes, Hillary, people ARE unhappy. But, it is not the institutions that are at fault. It is you and President Obama and the entire eight years of Democrat lies, destructive foreign policy, unconstitutional government, attacks on police, unraveling of American race relations, rejection of free speech for Christians, attempts to erase the Second Amendment, and massive cover-ups. The last, best poll will come on November 8, when you are finally kicked out of public life once and for all. Donald Trump and Mike Pence are serious candidates who love America and care about Americans. Where is the candidate "of honor, character and honesty" in the Democrat Party? There is none. And you, Mrs. Clinton -- you are an “extremely careless” and dangerous fraud.
Friday, July 15, 2016
Saturday Politics is on hold this week as we express our deepest sympathy to the families and loved ones of the 84 people killed in Nice last night. The jihadist terrorist struck on The 14th of July, France's Independence Day, and we express our solidarity with France and the French people. May we all find comfort in the words of Psalm 121. You can read it below in English and French. ~~~~~ Psalm 121 (King James Version). 1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. 6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. ~~~~~~~~~~ Psaumes 121 (Louis Segond French Version of the Bible). 1 Cantique des degrés. Je lève mes yeux vers les montagnes... D'où me viendra le secours? 2 Le secours me vient de l'Éternel, Qui a fait les cieux et la terre. 3 Il ne permettra point que ton pied chancelle; Celui qui te garde ne sommeillera point. 4 Voici, il ne sommeille ni ne dort, Celui qui garde Israël. 5 L'Éternel est celui qui te garde, L'Éternel est ton ombre à ta main droite. 6 Pendant le jour le soleil ne te frappera point, Ni la lune pendant la nuit. 7 L'Éternel te gardera de tout mal, Il gardera ton âme; 8 L'Éternel gardera ton départ et ton arrivée, Dès maintenant et à jamais.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Hillary Clinton must feel the hot breath of her email/FBI lies pursuing her. She and Donald Trump are now in a dead heat just before their presidential nominating conventions -- tied at 40% in the national CBS News/New York Times poll just released, with Clinton down 3% and Trump up 3% from June. Most Trump and Clinton supporters say they've made up their minds -- 88% of Clinton's and 90% of Trump's. The CBS/NYT poll of registered voters was taken after Clinton avoided charges over her use of a private email server while Secretary of State, although she was severely criticized by FBI director James Comey. Most voters polled say Clinton did something wrong when she used a personal email server, including 46% who said it was illegal -- most Republicans and half of independents -- while few Democrats think she broke the law. When asked about honesty, 67% said Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, up 5% since June. Only 28% see her as honest. Trump doesn't do much better -- 62% don't think he's honest. ~~~~~ In the latest Quinnipiac University state polls, Hillary has lost her lead in Florida, where Trump now leads her 42% to 39%. Trump also has a narrow lead in the swing state of Pennsylvania (43-41%) while tying her in Ohio at 41%, according to the poll released Wednesday. The assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said : "While there is no definite link between Clinton's drop in Florida and the US Justice Department decision not to prosecute her for her handling of e-mails, she has lost ground to Trump on questions which measure moral standards and honesty." Trump's lead over Clinton in each of the states increases when third-party candidates are included : in Florida, 41% to 36%; in Ohio, 37% to 36%; and in Pennsylvania, 40% to 34%. ~~~~~ Her illegal email scheme continues to produce more Hillary Clinton scandal. Representative Darrell Issa told Newsmax that Attorney General Loretta Lynch "went out of her way to tell half-truths and outright refer us to things that made no sense" during her testimony last week to the House Judiciary Committee about her decision not to bring criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her email scheme : "She misled people in her answers many, many times. In some cases, she misled so much that the American people need to understand. For example, I asked her very specifically, 'Were there political appointees in this process that led to no charges to Hillary Clinton?' She kept repeating about how these were career lawyers and dedicated public servants." Issa said : "What she wasn't answering was, 'Yes, there were people who were politically appointed.' They served in that particular role at hers and the President's pleasure....she misled the American people." ~~~~~ The New York Post reported that FBI agents who worked on the Clinton email investigation reportedly had to sign an unusual non-disclosure form banning them from talking about the case unless they were called to testify. In other words, they were gagged. Unnamed sources told the NYPost they'd never heard of the special form -- a "case briefing acknowledgment" -- being used before. A retired FBI chief told the NYPost : "This is very, very unusual. I've never signed one, never circulated one to be signed." An FBI agent said : "I have never heard of such a form. Sounds strange." The NYPost also reported that some FBI agents disagree with Director Comey's decision not to recommend charges against Clinton. One source told the NYPost : "FBI agents believe there was an inside deal put in place after the Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton tarmac meeting" just hours before the release of the House Benghazi report. A Justice Department source told the NYPost he was "furious" with Comey. ~~~~~ And, dear readers, Lynch told Congress she has no opinion about Clinton violating the Federal Records Act, although the State Department inspector general found that her decision not to use an official email address "is not an appropriate method" of preserving emails under the Act. Obama, Lynch, Comey, Bill, Hillary -- all scroundrels.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
America's welfare system is a serious cost burden at federal and state levels. It discourages recipients from becoming self-sufficient. It is also a magnet for poor immigrants with little education or skills needed to compete in the US job market. Are there solutions? ~~~~~ The first thing America can do is use its current immigration laws, which say that persons likely to become a "public charge," -- dependent on public assistance -- are ineligible for an immigrant visa. Refugees, asylum seekers, and amnestied illegal aliens are exempt from the "public charge" requirements because Congress long ago decided that America will serve as the sponsors for these immigrants and pay for their support. All other immigrants must pass a public charge test and have a US sponsor willing to pledge their income to support them. Before a potential immigrant receives an immigration visa, American consular officers are supposed to evaluate whether he or she is likely to become a public charge, and, if so, to deny the visa. The Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 set the new standard for evaluation : the sponsor of the applicant must have an annual income of at least 125% of the federally designated poverty level, but the problem with this is that the sponsor's income level, only 25% higher than the poverty level, is so low that it does not prevent immigrants from needing welfare -- it almost guarantees it. While immigrants who receive welfare can be deported for violating their admission conditions -- that is if they become a "public charge" -- this provision is rarely enforced. Only twelve people have been deported under this provision since 1980. If America and Congress are serious about reducing poverty in the US, immigration laws must be revised and returned to the realistic practice of excluding aliens who are likely to become public charges and of deporting those who do. In addition, halting the surge of illegal immigrants would not only make US borders mean something, it would reduce welfare costs. ~~~~~ Maine and several other states are now tying welfare access to programs to get recipients off welfare. When the food stamp program was introduced nationally in the 1970s, just one in 50 Americans participated. Today, the Congressional Budget Office says one in seven Americans receives food stamps, at a total cost of more than $6 billion per month. Maine recently decided to take action to help move people off welfare into self-sustaining jobs. Maine's Republican Governor Paul LePage and Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew saw the need to change welfare policies that trap citizens in long-term government-dependent poverty into policies that reduce welfare dependency and reward work. When LePage took office in 2011, one in three people living in Maine was receiving some sort of welfare. So, in October 2014, Maine started requiring some 16,000 able-bodied childless adults to work, train, or volunteer at least part-time in order to continue receiving food stamps. Those who refused would be taken off Maine’s welfare rolls after three months. These reforms allowed Maine to quickly move thousands of adults off government dependency. By January 2015, the number of able-bodied adults on food stamps had dropped to 4,500 and has continued to decline. Maine ranked first in the nation in 2014 for its decline in food-stamp dependency, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Today, only 1,500 able-bodied childless adults rely on food stamps in Maine -- a huge improvement. ~~~~~ Dear readers, the last major effort to apply work requirements to welfare receipt was President Reagan's experimental programs to break the federal government grip on welfare and return control to the states, where it had been before President Johnson's federal Great Society programs. House Speaker Paul Ryan has ready a draft welfare reform bill similar in spirit to the Reagan initiatives. With a Republican Congress and President, 2017 can be the year when America finally begins to win the war on poverty.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Immigrants are an additional burden on welfare costs. A 2015 US Census Bureau Survey of Income and Program Participation found that welfare participation, as of 2012, was at 51% for legal and illegal immigrants -- well above the 30% for native-born Americans. A Center for Immigration Studies analysis of the Census Bureau survey shows that Washington has done little to curb access to Medicaid, cash, food, and housing programs. Steven Camarota, CIS director of research and report author, said : "If immigration is supposed to benefit the country, then immigrant welfare use should be much lower than native use. However, two decades after welfare reform tried to curtail immigrant welfare use, immigrant households are using most programs at higher rates than natives. The low-skill level of many immigrants means that although most work, many also access welfare programs. If we continue to allow large numbers of less-educated immigrants to settle in the country, then immigrant welfare use will remain high." Welfare programs are meant to help poor Americans, but there are several ways that immigrants -- legal and illegal -- can access welfare, according to the report : "Limits only apply to some programs; most legal immigrants have been in the country long enough to qualify for welfare; the restrictions often do not apply to children; states often provide welfare to new immigrants on their own; naturalizing makes immigrants eligible for all programs; and, most important, immigrants (including illegal immigrants) can receive benefits on behalf of their US-born children [sometimes anchor babies], who are awarded US citizenship at birth." ~~~~~ The CIS report found that most of the households surveyed are headed by a legal immigrant and that Medicaid is the top program used by immigrants. But, CIS also found "if that program [Medicaid] is excluded, it is still the case that 44% of immigrant households use one or more welfare programs compared to 26% of native households — a 19% difference." CIS listed these key findings : (1). Welfare use is high for both new arrivals and long-time residents -- 48% of households headed by immigrants who have been in the country for more than two decades access welfare. (2). No single program explains immigrants' higher overall welfare use. For example, not counting subsidized school lunch, welfare use is still 46% for immigrants and 28% for natives. (3). Immigrant households have much higher use of food programs (40% vs. 22% for natives) and Medicaid (42% vs. 23%). Immigrant use of cash programs is somewhat higher than natives (12% vs. 10%), and immigrant use of housing programs is similar to natives. (4). Welfare use varies among immigrant groups. Households with the highest overall welfare use are headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico (73%), the Caribbean (51%), and Africa (48%). Those from East Asia (32%), Europe (26%), and South Asia (17%) have the lowest welfare use. ~~~~~ The CIS report concluded : “Bottom line, what this tells us is either we select immigrants who are unlikely to access welfare or we accept the costs. Trying to keep immigrants off welfare once they’re here is like locking the barn door once the horse is out " ~~~~~ Dear readers, this finding echoes Senator Marco Rubio's effort to change US immigration policy to focus on economic goals, so that immigrants have the more-sophisticated skills needed in 21st century America. The Federation for Immigration Reform notes : "America’s bountiful welfare system is a major magnet for unskilled foreigners to come here." The Rubio approach agrees with CIS : “The greater consumption of welfare dollars by immigrants can be explained in large part by their lower level of education and larger number of children compared to natives....24% of immigrant households are headed by a high school dropout, compared to just 8% of native households. In addition, 13% of immigrant households have three or more children vs. just 6% of native households.” There are solutions to America's welfare problem. Tomorrow.
Monday, July 11, 2016
Cost is one reason welfare is America's fundamental problem. The welfare controversy -- is it a needed safety-net for the vulnerable or does it discourage people from being self-sufficient. Whatever your position, you should care about the second reason welfare is America's fundamental problem -- a rising percentage of Americans are receiving some form of welfare. ~~~~~ Yesterday, we learned that a University of California at Berkeley 2015 study found that of the $152.8 billion a year spent by states and the federal government on food stamps, health insurance, and cash assistance programs, half goes to working families who can't survive on their income. Other Americans receive welfare in the form of Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, and cash assistance programs -- the programs Berkeley studied. The report doesn’t cover the full range of US welfare, but it gives a good picture of who receives major forms of public assistance. ~~~~~ (1). In 2012, 20+% of the US population received welfare -- 52.2 million Americans -- with 15% receiving Medicaid and 13% food stamps, but just 1% getting cash. A report by the Department of Health and Human Services found that in 2011, 5.2% of the total US population was receiving more than half their total income in cash benefits, food stamps, or SSI. (2). The number of Americans receiving welfare is growing -- in 2009, 18.6% were receiving at least one means-tested benefit, rising to 21.3% in 2012. (3). The 2012 average monthly benefit was $404/month. Those receiving SSI (mostly disabled people who can’t work) averaged the most — $698/month. As of 2015, 8.3 million Americans were receiving SSI. (4). Children receive more welfare -- 39% of children received welfare benefits on average in 2012, compared to 17% of adults aged 18-64 and 12.6% of the +65 age group. Children also received larger average monthly benefits than adults aged 18-64 -- $447 vs. $393. (5). Many receive benefits for more than a year -- in 2012, 43% had been receiving benefits for 3 to 4 years, while 30% had been on welfare for a year or less. Half those receiving housing benefits had been getting them for three years or more. But, just 10% received cash for three years or more. (6). Families led by single parents were more likely to receive benefits -- 58% of families led by an unmarried mother and 37% headed by an unmarried father received benefits for at least one month during 2012, compared to 20% of families headed by a married couple. (7). Single mothers received less in monthly benefits -- an average of $337, compared to $447 for households headed by single men and $380 for married couples. But, families led by single mothers received benefits longer -- 58% for three years or more, compared to 35.2% of single father households and 34.8% of married couple households. (8). People who attend college were less likely to receive welfare -- 13% receiving welfare in 2012 had attended college for at least one year, compared to 45% who didn’t graduate from high school, who were also more likely to be long-term recipients. (9). African Americans were more likely to receive welfare -- in 2012, an average of 41.6%, compared to 36% of Hispanics of any race, 18% of Asians or Pacific Islanders, and 13% of whites who received benefits in any month. ~~~~~ Dear readers, if we consider ALL means-tested welfare, in 2012, the 109,631,000 welfare-receivers outnumbered the 103,087,000 full-time year-round US workers (including 16,606,000 government workers) by 6,544,000. Another comparison -- in 2013, the 38,332,521 people in California, 26,448,193 in Texas, 19,651,127 in New York, and 19,552,860 in Florida (a combined 103,984,701) were 5,646,299 fewer than the 109,631,000 people on welfare. In the 4th quarter of 2008, when President Obama was elected, 96,197,000 people were receiving means-tested welfare. By the 4th quarter of 2012, an additional 13,434,000 received welfare, more than the 12,882,13 people in Illinois, Obama's home state. ~~ What about immigrants and welfare? Tomorrow.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Everyone is asking, "What's wrong with America?" We will cover police stalking by Black Lives Matter another day, but it is a symptom, and President Obama calling it a First Amendment right to "Speak truth to power" that is "messy" encourages the murder of police. ~~~~~ For several reasons, THE fundamental problem in America is the explosion of social safety-net programs. Last year, 45.8 million people, 14.3% of Americans, received food stamps -- a huge 166% increase since 2000. At the same time Medicaid enrollment doubled from 34.5 million to 68.9 million, and disability claims increased 61%. ~~~~~ The problem isn’t that social programs exist. America is always ready to help those in need. The problem is the programs' crushing costs as they rapidly balloon, becoming so big that they are almost impossible to control, opening the door to fraud, which is rampant. Consider the $60 billion increase in payouts for food stamps since 2000. The most rapid part of that growth comes from 18-49 year-olds who have no children and are physically able to work. Since 2008, under President Obama, this able-bodied food stamp group has exploded from 2 million to 5 million. What started as a "temporary" necessity after the 2008 economic crisis has become an "entitlement" that the government doesn’t worry about, causing lax control against cheating. In another fraud-laden program, Obamacare, the US Government Accountability Office says the department that oversees the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) “has assumed a passive approach to identifying and preventing fraud.” Weak oversight is not lost on those who want to 'game' the system -- there are actually websites that explain how to do it. ~~~~~ The federal government already spends far more money than it collects. So, it continues to operate by creating more money out of thin air -- with a printing press of sorts. What they’re really doing is selling the debt they create to other countries in the form of notes and bonds. The federal government's runaway spending has put America $19 trillion in debt. It is not caused only by social safety-net programs, but the US national debt has risen from $10 trillion to $19 trillion under President Obama. And, instead of reducing the regulatory burden on business and lowering business taxes to make the US more competitive -- which would have helped business grow and create jobs, thus reducing the government's welfare burden -- Obama chose to spend on expanded entitlements for the jobless and poor. To no avail -- 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson announced the “War on Poverty." Under the Obama administration -- five decades, countless federal welfare programs, and $20 trillion later -- poverty levels remain largely unchanged, even according to official numbers, and dependence on government has reached unprecedented heights. The Census Bureau found the number of Americans in poverty was 45.3 million as of 2013. That's almost 6 million more people in poverty than there were in 2008, just before Obama took office -- 13.2% of Americans were in poverty in 2008, and in 2013, it was 14.5%. ~~~~~ A 2015 study by the University of California at Berkeley found that the federal government and states spent $152.8 billion a year on food stamps, health insurance, and cash assistance programs, half of it going to working families having trouble making ends meet. The Berkeley report found that American workers in many occupations depend on public assistance to supplement their income -- the working poor are employed in child care, home care, fast food and part-time college faculty jobs. But, while many recipients have jobs, unemployed Americans who don’t have much education are more likely to rely on benefits for a longer period of time. ~~~~~ Dear readers, it's true that many people receiving welfare have jobs. But there are other trends among people who receive welfare. To understand who is actually receiving public assistance in America, the US Census Bureau recently studied participation in six major welfare programs from 2009 to 2012. Tomorrow.
Friday, July 8, 2016
Saturday Politics -- In Memoriam. ~~~~~ The world struggled to find adequate words for the death of Elie Wiesel. The renowned Holocaust survivor and author who fought for peace, human rights and human decency, died at his home in New York on July 2 at the age of 87, a spokesman for Israel's Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, said last Saturday. His death was confirmed in a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Elie Wiesel was sent to Auschwitz then Buchenwald during the Holocaust. He survived to tell the story of his family being sent to the Nazi concentration camps in his first book, "Night," published in 1955. The millions who have read “Night” cannot forget his account of the concentration camps where he watched his father die of starvation and where his mother and younger sister were gassed. ~~~~~ His many works spoke to and about the human spirit. Presidents invited him to the White House to discuss human rights abuses in Bosnia, Iraq and elsewhere. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, and the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a “messenger to mankind.” The Washington Post said : "when he emerged, gaunt and near death, from Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945, there was little indication that he -- or any survivor -- would have such a presence in the world. Few survivors spoke openly about the war. Those who did often felt ignored." Long before the Washington Holocaust museum or Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List,” Elie Wiesel helped the public confront the Holocaust. Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt said : "The voice of the person who can speak in the first-person singular -- ‘This is my story; I was there’ -- it will be gone when the last survivor dies. But in Elie Wiesel, we had that voice with a megaphone that wasn’t matched by anyone else.” ~~~~~ When I heard that Elie Wiesel had died, I wrote to my brother the words that I then put in my PopShot to share his having passed away : "The Survivors, the eyewitnesses, are fading into history...and soon so will we who heard their story firsthand." The truth of that double loss has taken time and meditation to sink in. ~~~~~ As I have read and reread the words written about Elie Wiesel these past days, I have turned more and more to how my own life has been touched by Jewish people. The Holocaust was rarely spoken of, and always in whispers, during my youth. My grandfather, who was Greek, told me it was too evil to put into words. In our little town near Pittsburgh, which has always had a large and vibrant Jewish community, there were three Jewish merchants. For us, they weren't "Jewish" -- in my childhood, they were the nice men who fitted us with shoes and clothes. Later, after graduate school, I taught in an inner city community college in Pittsbugh, where my best friends and colleagues were two Jewish women who shared their rich culture with me. They also taught me what the Holocaust means to the Jewish people. When one of them died after battling cancer, I sobbed at her funeral for my loss. ~~~~~ Why do these thoughts flood back now? Perhaps it's my memory of the eyes of my dear, dead, friend. They were dark -- her parents came to Pittsburgh from Russia. They were penetrating in a soft warm way that said 'I know you, but don't worry, I love you.' They were wiser than any other eyes I have ever looked into. And, they were sad, but with a sparkle that said 'don't worry because I'm also happy.' ~~~~~ Dear readers, her eyes were the eyes of Elie Wiesel. He reminded us what people -- infused with life, fairness, and devotion to God -- are, or should be. On receiving his Nobel Peace Prize, Elie Wiesel wrote of his time in Paris after Buchenwald : "He makes a few friends who, like himself, believe that the memory of evil will serve as a shield against evil; that the memory of death will serve as a shield against death." He reminded us that universal holocaust stalks mankind. He did his best to warn us and prepare us for the battle. He loved us. Like my friend, Rose, Elie Wiesel makes my heart Jewish.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
House Speaker Paul Ryan shredded FBI Director James Comey’s recommendation that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted for using a private email server to transmit classified information : "While I respect the law enforcement professionals at the FBI, this announcement defies explanation. No one should be above the law. But based upon the director's own statement, it appears damage is being done to the rule of law,” Ryan said, noting that Comey said the FBI investigation found Clinton and her State Department staff were “extremely careless” in handling sensitive, classified information but didn't ask for charges : “Declining to prosecute Secretary Clinton for recklessly mishandling and transmitting national security information will set a terrible precedent. The findings of this investigation also make clear that Secretary Clinton misled the American people when she was confronted with her criminal actions." ~~~~~ Ryan’s deputy, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, called Clinton’s email controversy “still very troubling,” raising questions about her “judgment and actions. There is no way of knowing her servers were not breached by foreign entities because the protections were not there.” ~~~~~ Former House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said : “If she were a Republican, she would have been indicted by now.” House member Roger Williams called it “a failure of our justice system. From the very beginning, this investigation was more about protecting Secretary Clinton’s reputation, than actually finding out the truth." ~~~~~ Senator David Vitter said the FBI announcement “essentially gives her a pass based on politics, pure and simple....voters are sick and tired of the Washington elite insiders living under a different set of rules." ~~~~~ Democrats were, for the most part, quiet. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi have not commented. Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat Patrick Leahy was one of the few voices in Congress to publicly defend Comey : “The FBI took its responsibilities seriously, and came to a conclusion after carefully reviewing all the evidence. I take Director Comey at his word..." Senator Dianne Feinstein, senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, praised Comey and the FBI for “a thorough and objective review." ~~~~~ One person who has not spoken is Hillary Clinton. But, two days before Comey spoke and one day after her FBI interview, Hillary simply continued to lie, telling Chuck Todd on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press : “I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.” As Donald Trump would say, when you're Crooked Hillary, lying comes naturally. ~~~~~ What Trump did say came fast and to the point, in a tweet : “the system is rigged." ~~~~~ But, TheHill awarded its tweet of the day to President George W. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer : "If Hillary were still Sec State, Pres O would have to fire her. But instead, he travels with her and seeks to promote her. Disgusting. — Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) July 5, 2016." ~~~~~ Political strategist Dick Morris was direct, telling Newsmax TV the FBI decision to not recommend criminal charges against Hillary amounted to "a corrupt bargain" so that Attorney General Loretta Lynch can keep her job if Hillary wins the presidency. Morris, who worked for the Clintons, referred to a report in the New York Times saying Clinton might extend Lynch's job. He said that this "coming after the meeting between Lynch and Bill is as close to a sales receipt on a bribe as you can imagine." ~~~~~ Dear readers, everyone is neatly arranged on the checkerboard -- except Jim Comey. While the Clinton mafia and Democrats celebrate, and Republicans try to paste together what's left of the rule of law, Comey must realize he has lied -- to himself. Comey, the one arguably honest member of the lawless Obama regime, will have many dark nights in the years ahead in which to regret that by saving Hillary from prosecution, he destroyed his own integrity, and he also may have destroyed America.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Dear readers, as you struggle to make sense out of FBI Director Comey's nonsense in recommending no charges for Hillary Clinton's "extremely careless" use of a private unsecured email server while Secretary of State, remember this. There is only one person whose analysis matters. RUDY GIULIANI. And he has nailed it. Media have reported the Tuesday remarks of Giuliani, New York City Mayor on 9/11, and a highly successful former federal prosecutor. ~~~~~ "It would be unreasonable for a prosecutor not to go forward with it and almost an abdication of duty," Giuliani told Fox News. "What was just laid out is what we would call a no-brainer in the attorney's office that Jim Comey worked at, he was one of my assistants. A reasonable prosecutor would have brought this case no doubt. I don't know how he ever, ever is going to be able to charge anybody in the CIA or the FBI who is extremely careless with top secret information, if he isn't charging Hillary Clinton." ~~~~~ Comey announced that while Hillary Clinton and her staff were "reckless" and "extremely careless" in the use of a private email server, the FBI found no basis to file criminal charges against Clinton : "Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges. They also consider the context of a person's actions and how similar situations have been handled in the past. In looking back at our investigations, into the mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts." Both the FBI and the Justice Department are headed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who has been roundly criticized for her 30-minute meeting last week with former President Bill Clinton aboard her private plane on the tarmac at Phoenix airport. ~~~~~ Giuliani pounced on Comey's finding that Clinton was "extremely careless" in using the private server : "The minute you say 'extremely careless,' you are saying 'gross negligence.' eThat is what a judge will charge a jury. The judge will charge a jury: Has the government proven that she was? What do we mean by gross negligence? We mean extremely careless. Regular carelessness is not using the proper degree of care under the circumstances. Gross negligence is being extremely careless in exercising your responsibilities of this. That's what Jim Comey found. He then just didn't come to the conclusion that it's a violation of the statute." Later on CNBC, Giuliani was adament : "Gross negligence is the first definition in Black's Law Dictionary. 'Gross negligence' includes the words 'extreme carelessness.' Carelessness equals negligence. Extreme carelessness equals gross negligence, under the law. He knows that." ~~~~~ As for the question of intent that Comey said was lacking and Hillary supporters keep raising, she would be prosecuted under a statute that does not require 'intent' -- 18 USC 793 requires "gross negligence." And, Giuliani even explained 'intent' for Comey : “The way prosecutors prove intent is not [when] somebody says ‘I intend to do insider trading,’ or ‘I intend to give a bribe.’ We prove intent through circumstantial evidence. So, we have thousands and thousands of documents that she handled carelessly -- that she handled with no regard for what the rules or the laws were. Then we have 34,000 documents she destroyed. That alone is evidence of intent." Giuliani said : "circumstantial evidence...is overwhelming in this case.... destruction of the 34,000 emails...a prosecutor could have instructed a jury that deleting the emails 'infers guilty knowledge.'" ~~~~~ Dear readers, Giuliani, clearly shocked by Comey's words, pushed back on Comey's assertion that any reasonable prosecutor would not bring charges : "I don't have any doubt I can win this case in front of a jury....It is so discouraging to someone who loves the Justice Department..." At the very least, Giuliani said Clinton should "resign" as a candidate for the presidency . "She violated [the law]....This is the special exception for the Clintons."
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
FBI Director James Comey, despite his timidity, shed light Tuesday on Hillary Clinton’s private email setup, while saying the FBI would not recommend charges against her. Here are the new details : (1). 113 emails in over 50 chains were classified at the time they were sent or received by her private home server. Eight of the chains contained top secret information, the highest classification. Three of the classified emails were discovered among the thousands Hillary claimed were purely personal and deleted before she gave her servers to the FBI. A “very small number” of emails “bore markings indicating the presence of classified information,” Comey said. *This is proof that both Clinton’s campaign team and the State Department lied when they insisted none of the 2,000 emails now considered classified was deemed sensitive at the time. (2). Thousands of work emails were deleted, disproving Clinton's statement that the decision to delete half her server’s 60,000 emails was to keep her private life from becoming public : “I chose not to keep my private personal emails -- emails about planning Chelsea's wedding or my mother's funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations,” she said in a March 2015 press conference. *Another lie. FBI investigators uncovered “several thousand work-related emails that were not [among] the 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton” to the State Department, Comey said. The FBI found “traces” of those emails on machines connected to the private clintonemail.com domain, as well as “fragments” from decommissioned servers and email accounts of people who communicated with her. (3). None of the work-related emails was intentionally deleted from Clinton’s server to evade federal laws, Comey said : “We found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them. Our assessment is that, like many e-mail users, Secretary Clinton periodically deleted e-mails or e-mails were purged from the system when devices were changed.” Government systems and commercial services such as Yahoo or Gmail routinely archive old emails, but Clinton’s private setup did not archive, Comey said, adding : “It is also likely that there are other work-related emails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere." Those emails are “now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery." *Her lawyers did this after Hillary agreed with the FBI to "produce" all her emails. How can the destruction of evidence by a possible target or her lawyers in an FBI investigation be swept aside? There is no reasonable answer. **And why did Clinton’s lawyers use a search tool, not going through the emails one by one, as FBI officials did. Comey said Hillary's lawyers may have accidentally overlooked some emails that should have been sent to the government -- were they setting up Hillary's cover position that nothing was intentionally deleted, that it was merely a search took error? (4). Clinton used more than one server and multiple mobile devices. Comey stated : “Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on that personal domain.” *Hillary's public explanations are that she used a single server throughout her tenure at the State Department, and it was given to the FBI last year. In fact, Clinton changed servers, leaving a trail of out-of-order servers behind her. (5). “It is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account,” Comey said. The FBI did not find evidence of hacking, but Comey said that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Hackers targeted people she communicated with, such as longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal, and her arrangement was well-known and “readily apparent." ~~~~~ Dear readers, no charges? Tomorrow.
Monday, July 4, 2016
We know that Hillary Clinton arranged a secret email server scheme to hide her communications and operatives from the public while she was serving in a position of great public trust. And, we now also know that Hillary held dozens of secret meetings with Clinton Foundation contributors, and corporate and other interests, while she was Secretary of State -- meetings left off her official schedule, or altered afterward, likely illegally, according to a new Associated Press report. The State Department recently refused to defend Clinton, when at a daily press briefing, Department spokesman John Kirby said : "I am not in a position -- nor should I be expected to -- to speak of the scheduling habits of a previous Secretary of State. I’m not able to do that.” But, Kirby added that Secretary Kerry's calendars "are being properly preserved and maintained, and that includes who he’s meeting with.” ~~~~~ Documents obtained by the AP in a lawsuit against the Obama administration showed at least 75 meetings with longtime political backers, the Clinton Foundation or other interests that were either not included on her official calendar or whose names were not disclosed. At least 114 non-governmental officials attended these Clinton meetings and meals. AP found the secret meetings by "comparing a 1,500-page official calendar with separate planners kept by Clinton’s aides each day," after a federal court ordered State to turn them over. Only seven meetings in Clinton aide planners were replaced by substitute events on her official calendar, while over 60 events listed in Clinton aide planners were omitted entirely in her official calendar, or briefly noted or described as “private meetings” -- all without names. ~~~~~ But, thanks to the AP, we now know many of those who attended Secretary Hillary's secret meetings. For example, her State Department calendar did not name major Wall Street and business leaders who attended a private breakfast with her at the New York Stock Exchange in September 2009. But, Clinton aide planners from that day listed the names of all her guests -- CEOs of firms that lobbied the government and donated to the Clinton Foundation. The event was closed to the press and got just a brief mention in her calendar, without names. Attendees included the CEOs of PepsiCo, New York Bank of Mellon, Estee Lauder Companies Inc., Starbucks Corp., Dupont, Honeywell International Inc. and Onnicom Group, as well as the Chairmen of Blackstone Group, McGraw Hill Companies, Coach Inc., and American Tower Corp., and the Loews Corp. President. Four of these companies later donated to Clinton’s then-pet project, the US pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo. AP reports that every firm except Coach lobbied the government in 2009. Blackstone, Honeywell, Omnicom and DuPont lobbied the State Department that year. Two of them personally donated to the Clinton Foundation. All the other firms -- except American Tower and New York Bank of Mellon -- also contributed to the Clinton Foundation. ~~~~~ Clinton’s calendar also repeatedly omitted dinners and meetings with political donors, policy meetings with corporate leaders, and visits by Clinton campaign operatives, such as longtime advisor Sidney Blumenthal, consultant and former Clinton White House chief of staff Thomas “Mack” McLarty, former energy lobbyist Joseph Wilson and entertainment magnate and Clinton campaign bundler Haim Saban. ~~~~~ Dear readers, this is the latest example of Hillary's stubborn refusal to separate public service, political interests and the Clinton Foundation. Her team fell back on her usual excuse -- prior Secretaries did the same thing. But, former State officials say omitted meetings of prior Secretaries typically were for medical or other personal reasons, not illegal secret fundraising. Hillary has no sense of 'public trust' or 'honest dealing.' And, as we brace for a whitewash by the FBI and DOJ of her illegal email scheme, we may now be sure that Secretary Hillary was in the pockets of big business -- what did she promise??? Nobody knows...except possibly Bill.
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Today, we Americans celebrate our independence. But, I suspect there is subdued joy in our towns and cities and countryside as we raise Old Glory to commemorate a unique event in all of human history. ~~~~~ On July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson gave us a great and holy charge : "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." ~~~~~ From those immortal words was born America, founded on the earth-shaking idea that "We, the People" are our own government. But, I dare any American to say on July 4, 2016, that he or she feels possessed of personal liberty or individual freedom. Through our excessive trust in our recent leaders, through our admirable desire to be fair and openminded, and, yes, through our laziness in not participating in our political system, we have lost both our liberty and our freedom. We have allowed a government that despises our Constitution to regulate and tax us into political and economic slavery. We have allowed those who would scrap our Constitution for leftist-socialist tenets to prevail over us. They call themselves Progressives because that makes it sound as if they are doing good things for America. They are not. We have allowed our Republic to be hijacked by those who rule because they are in part elected by non-citizens they illegally register to vote and by citizens who have sold their constitutional right to liberty for thirty pieces of entitlement silver. ~~~~~ From Jefferson's "unalienable Rights" to Washington's "Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being," to Lincoln's "whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure" to JFK's "watchmen on the walls of world freedom" to Reagan's "shining city on the hill" -- we have always been warned that our Republic is unique and "mankind's last, best hope," but that it is fragile and requires constant care and recommitment. Somehow we as citizens have forgotten both care and commitment. ~~~~~ So, dear readers, have a happy, patriotic and safe Independence Day. Happy -- if you can forget the Obama White House that hides its acts from you and Congress while lying about its intentions and blaming every conservative and Republican for its own failures. Patriotic -- if you can forget that President Obama and Hillary Clinton firmly believe that it is America's role to sidle up to the islamic jihadist ayatollahs who rule over Iran by force while spreading terror widely in the Middle East and that it is right for America to stand beside the butchery of the marxist Castro regime in Cuba. Safe -- if you can forget that Obama is trying to eliminate your right to bear arms, that he has fired over 200 generals and line officers who disagree with his complacence in the face of ISIS, and if you believe that the 11 million illegals in the US pose absolutely no physical, economic or political threat to you, your families, your communities or your Republic. So, for today -- Happy Fourth of July. For tomorrow -- get up and fight for America before she is destroyed. We must not be the generation of Americans who lost America forever. She is not only a nation, she is, above all, an idea -- the idea that men and women of character, who are educated and responsible citizens, can and should be the inheritors and guardians of "We, the People."
Friday, July 1, 2016
Saturday Politics this week is about the Supplement to the House Select Committee on Benghazi final report. In the bluntly critical Supplement, Representatives Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo, Committee Republicans, present conclusions to explain what they see as the motivations behind the inactions and misdirections by the Obama administration. Here are the Supplement's conclusions. ~~~~~ (1). The First Victim of War is Truth : The Obama administration misled the public about events in Benghazi. State Department officials, including Secretary Clinton, learned almost in real time the Benghazi attack was terrorist. With the presidential election 56 days away, rather than tell the American people the truth and increase the risk of losing an election, the administration told one story privately and a different story publicly. They publicly blamed the deaths on a video-inspired protest that they knew had never occurred. (2). Last Clear Chance : Benghazi security was grossly inadequate and Secretary Clinton failed to lead in correcting it. After Qaddafi, the US knew it couldn't count on host nation security in Libya, where militias held great power. The American people expect that when their government sends representatives into such dangerous places, they will receive adequate protection. Secretary Clinton paid special attention to Libya. She sent Ambassador Stevens there. Yet, in August 2012, she did not take the last, clear chance to protect her own State Department people in Libya. (3). Failure of Will : America did not move heaven and earth to rescue her citizens. The American people expect their government to make every effort to help those it puts in harm’s way when trouble occurs. The US military never sent assets to rescue the Americans fighting in Benghazi and never got military personnel into Libya during the attack. Contrary to Obama administration claims that it could not have landed in Benghazi in time to help, the administration never directed men or machines into Benghazi. (4). Justice Denied : The Obama administration broke its promise to bring the terrorists to justice. After the attacks, President Obama promised “justice will be done.” There is no doubt America could keep that commitment. But, four years later, only one terrorist has been captured and brought to the US to face criminal charges, and he will not receive the full measure of justice because the Obama administration chose not to seek the death penalty. The American people are owed an explanation, but President Obama has offered nothing. (5). Unanswered Questions : The Obama administration did not cooperate with the investigation by the Gowdy committee. Despite White House claims, Jordan and Pompeo saw no evidence the administration had a sincere interest in helping the committee : "There is a time for politics and a time to set politics aside. A national tragedy is one of those times when as a nation we should join together to find the truth. That did not happen here. So while the investigation uncovered new information, we nonetheless end the Committee’s investigation without many of the facts, especially those involving the President and the White House, we were chartered to obtain." ~~~~~ Dear readers, here is the final paragraph of the Supplement : "In the end, the administration’s efforts to impede the investigation succeeded, but only in part. The minority members’ and their staff’s efforts to impede the investigation succeeded also, but again only in part. And although we answered many questions, we could not do so completely. What we did find was a tragic failure of leadership—in the run up to the attack and the night of—and an administration that, so blinded by politics and its desire to win an election, disregarded a basic duty of government: Tell the people the truth. And for those reasons Benghazi is, and always will be, an American tragedy." It is an Obama indictment. Stevens, Woods, Smith, Doherty. Their deaths are the tragedy -- the reason Benghazi, like the Alamo, Pearl Harbor and 9/11 -- will live in the hearts of Americans forever.