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Friday, July 31, 2015

Bernie Sanders says no to open borders.

This video illustrates the the perils Washington establishment pundits face when they assume, as Ezra Klein does, that every savvy lefty politician agrees with their views. Here he lobs a rainbow pitch expecting Bernie Sanders to take it to the bleachers but instead Sanders slap back in his face. The video also illustrates the left's commitment to inflicting crippling economic pain on average Americans in the name of fighting global poverty or global warming or global whatever. In Klein's view no burden is too great for his neighbors to bear. They should bear any burden; pay any price so the over privileged Washington elite can feel good about themselves. So poor Ezra, who carries the guilt of white America on his slender shoulders, figures that sacrificing his next-door-neighbor's prosperity for the sake of mitigating global poverty by an infinitesimal degree is a great bargain and foolishly invites Sanders to agree with him.

Klein: You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing … 
Sanders: Open borders? No, that's a Koch brothers proposal.
Klein: Really?
I'm not so sure the Koch brothers thought that up but to Democrats and socialists who vote with the Democrats the Koch brothers are the root of all evil.
Sanders: Of course. That's a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States …
Klein: But ... it would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn't it?
Then the old socialist, Sanders, lets it be known he is an American first.
Sanders: It would make everybody in America poorer — you're doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don't think there's any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don't believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.
No. It's not the right wing that advocates for open borders it's Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. One would ruin the country to maintain political power and the other because he evidently has not yet made enough money. In spite of his political dementia Sanders is an inveterate populist. If Sanders wants root out corruption he should follow the money. The mutual love between Washington and Silicon Valley is downright scary.
Sanders: You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you're a white high school graduate, it's 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?
I think from a moral responsibility we've got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don't do that by making people in this country even poorer.
Klein: Then what are the responsibilities that we have? Someone who is poor by US standards is quite well off by, say, Malaysian standards, so if the calculation goes so easily to the benefit of the person in the US, how do we think about that responsibility? We have a nation-state structure. I agree on that. But philosophically, the question is how do you weight it? How do you think about what the foreign aid budget should be? How do you think about poverty abroad?
Sanders: I do weigh it. As a United States senator in Vermont, my first obligation is to make certain kids in my state and kids all over this country have the ability to go to college, which is why I am supporting tuition-free public colleges and universities. I believe we should create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and ask the wealthiest people in this country to start paying their fair share of taxes. I believe we should raise the minimum wage to at least 15 bucks an hour so people in this county are not living in poverty. I think we end the disgrace of some 20 percent of our kids living in poverty in America. Now, how do you do that?
What you do is understand there's been a huge redistribution of wealth in the last 30 years from the middle class to the top tenth of 1 percent. The other thing that you understand globally is a horrendous imbalance in terms of wealth in the world. As I mentioned earlier, the top 1 percent will own more than the bottom 99 percent in a year or so. That's absurd. That takes you to programs like the IMF and so forth and so on.
But I think what we need to be doing as a global economy is making sure that people in poor countries have decent-paying jobs, have education, have health care, have nutrition for their people. That is a moral responsibility, but you don't do that, as some would suggest, by lowering the standard of American workers, which has already gone down very significantly.
Then why did he vote for the gang of 8 bill? I never thought men such as Eugene Debs, Bob La Follette or Bernie Sanders were bad people but I certainly think there were and are terribly wrong. The notion that government should run the economy assumes that people in government have the competence to do so. In a market economy decisions are made by millions of bright, half-bright, and stupid people not a few hundred thousand unimaginative bureaucrats. Bernie Sanders may be wrong headed but he is not stupid. Klein, on the other hand...

The difference between a socialist and a Democrat?

Even vivacious and cerebral Debbie Wasserman Schultz has trouble explaining the difference between a socialist and a Democrat.

Oh happy day! IRS Commissioner John Koskinen could be held in contempt of court.

I was wondering how long it would take District Judge Emmet Sullivan to lose patients with the IRS. On July 1, Judge Sullivan ordered the IRS to begin turning over, on a weekly basis, to Judicial Watch the 1800 Lois Lerner emails it has recovered. The first deadline came and went while the IRS stonewalled. Judicial Watch reports that after Sullivan's ruling it was approached by the IRS lawyers who suggested a different schedule for releasing the emails. Judicial Watch agreed but stipulated that the IRS had to advise the court of that change which the IRS did not do.
Sullivan ordered a status hearing Wednesday after Judicial Watch complained his earlier orders were not being followed by the Justice Department, which is defending the IRS and he was not happy. After the hearing he issued something called a minute order which reads in part;  Officers of the Court who fail to comply with Court orders will be held in contempt.  Also, in the event of non-compliance with future Court orders, the Commissioner of the IRS and others shall be directed to show cause as to why they should not be held in contempt of Court. 
He would actually lock up honest John Koskinen? Probably yes. Appointing Judge Sullivan to the federal bench was one of the few things Bill Clinton got right. He is not bashful about exercising judicial power. He ordered the Bush White House to preserve all emails during the Valerie Plame-Scooter Libby dust up and he set aside the conviction of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the DOJ prosecutors. Koskinen may want to cultivate a modicum of humility if he has to appear before him.
This is not the only case where the Obama administration could see one of its minions doing time. Judge Andrew S. Hanen has accused the Homeland Security Department of a marked lack of enthusiasm when it come to complying with his orders. After Hansen blocked Obama's executive amnesty DHS issued more than 500 temporary amnesty documents anyway. On August 19, Secretary Jeh Johnson and four other top immigration enforcement officials must appear in a Brownsville, Texas, courtroom to explain why they should not be held in contempt of court.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jeb Bush Funneled $50 Million to Planned Parenthood

I'm sure in the upcoming Republican debate someone will raise the subject of Jeb Bush's cozy relationship with Planned Parenthood and I doubt if being able to say “It’s Pro-Choice or No Choice” in Spanish is going to get him off the hook. Seriously is the man in the right party? He is pro amnesty, pro Common Core, and now we find more pro choice than he has let on. As a director at the Bloomberg Foundation he funneled $50 million to Planned Parenthood and other "reproductive health" organizations. From the pro life website Life Site:
Until the eve of his presidential campaign, Jeb Bush was director of a philanthropy that gave tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood and financed its advocacy of "unrestricted access to abortion" around the world. The charity also approved money to global abortion providers while he sat on its board.
In 2010, Jeb was named one of the founding directors of the Bloomberg Family Foundation, established as a tax-exempt foundation to advance the vision of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He resigned from the board at the end of 2014 to prepare his presidential campaign.
While a Bush spokesman has responded to concerns by saying that Bush would not have voted on every initiative of the foundation, a pro-life leader told LifeSiteNews it "stretches credibility" that Bush was unaware of the foundation's pro-abortion work, given the centrality of such work to the foundation's mission, and its scope.
Just yesterday18 House Republicans told the leadership that they cannot and will not support any funding resolution that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood which means a possible government shutdown and today we find that the man who would be president doled out $50 million to the same corrupt, baby killing, fetal tissue trafficking, cabal. Maybe he should run as a Democrat. He certainly has the moral qualifications.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Shocker! Trump leads Bush in Florida

This poll coming out of Florida must have shaken the Republican establishment like a sonic boom. Jeb Bush trails Donald Trump by 6 points; 20% to 26.1%. Jeb Bush is losing in his home state and fellow Floridian Marco Rubio is in fourth place behind Scott Walker. The poll breaks down thus:

Donald Trump 26.1
Jeb Bush 20
Scott Walker 12.2
Marco Rubio 9.7
Ben Carson 4.5
Ted Cruz 4.2
John Kasich 4.1
Rand Paul 3.3
Not sure / Someone else 15.9

St Pete Polls .org is not exactly the gold standard in polling however they have had a good run in recent elections. From the Florida Squeeze;
"We’ve previously been critical of aspects of the polling business on this site, including the work of St. Pete Polls. However, in the most recent high-profile Florida elections, the March Special Election in Congressional District 13 and the Democratic Primaries for Governor and Attorney General, St Pete Polls were almost spot on. Polling is a fluid business and methodologies and styles of pollsters often change through time.
In the David Jolly-Alex Sink Special Election St Pete polls nailed the turnout model and the result. Being a local Pinellas firm, perhaps that was an easy one for them, but two statewide Democratic Primary races would be difficult for even the most seasoned polling firms typically"

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hillary and her half billion solar panels

  It's not the rank hypocrisy that bothers me.
  You know, the whole  "I'll fly on a luxury plane that burns 347 gallons of gas an hour and costs almost $6000 to rent to get where I'm going while you all ride your bikes home" mentality.
  We're comin' after your trucks! Ride a bike, you fat rummy!
  (And we'll take your guns and your kids and your barbecue grills and your neighborhoods and whatever else we think we want until we ruin it. Then we'll retreat into our guarded enclaves...)
  So you probably guessed I'm on Hillary's case again. Oy, will I never learn to love the smartest woman in the world.
  The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, is on top of it, as usual, since American news outlets seem rather timid when it comes to covering Hillacrites, I mean, Democrats.
  So what can be more enriching to the soul than to see Ms. Cankles lecturing us all on getting more exercise, her plump aged carcass propped up in front of all those bicycles that you're supposed to ride since you can pretty much guarantee you'll never see her riding one. 
  One doesn't have to wonder if Ms. Maternal Midriff will be showing off her upper arms with gym videos from her workout area, which presumably is well stocked with wine, cheese and lots of nuts.
    Preparing the way for a fantabulous American tax to be rendered to our very special politicians who will dole it out to some of us in the cities and the rest of the world, Hillary's taken Obama's baton of an elite's nag that climate change is our greatest enemy.
  Certainly we should not think that the country that posted an image of our current POTUS committing suicide by treaty is an actual threat. Death to America!
  No, I'm not really bitter about all that hypocrisy stuff.
  It's nothing new; it's a disease the one percenters suffer, a disease that isn't catching, I understand unless you are a regular at those fantastic parties where you get to complain about how hard you work to pay the mortgages on your houses.
  What I'm bitter about is that Hillary is actually proposing that she'll magically install half a billion solar panels in American homes by the end of her first term and that somehow, that's going to make a hill of a difference.
  The "government," which isn't really, really good at making money but rather printing it, will provide the incentives to pay for these half billion solar panels and all the other Hillary promises. That and "market based incentives."
  Leftists claim her proposal is "modest."
  Notice I'm not mentioning that she flew off in that fancy fuel burning 19 person seat jet after making this proposal. 
  Apparently she's dumped the Scooby van for faster accommodations.
  Back to my bitterness.
  See, I live in Northwest Ohio where we're lucky to get 73 sunny days a year. There are a number of other reasons not to be too crazy about the idea of the government installing solar panels on my house.
  For one, they're expensive. For another, they don't last all that long. And another is that they absolutely require back up energy. Oh, and they're not very efficient or reliable.
  But the primary reason this makes me angry is that solar panels are not so good for the environment.
  Did I mention they're ugly?
  Oh, and did you know you have to get on your roof to clean them? 
  Once a year? 
  Alternatively, the government suggests you could buy them and place them on your neighbor's house or rent a high lift platform to wash them. Hey, while you're up there, you could clean the baby trees out of your eaves troughs.
  Too old to get up on the roof, you say? 
  Fraid you might fall and break your neck?
  Then by all means, the government suggests you "Hire the neighborhood, out-of-work, out-of-school, teenager to get up on the roof" who is undoubtedly unlicensed and uninsured, at least with regard to falling on your solar panels. 
  For sure, Obamacare will cover the kid's broken back and his/her/its lifetime of disability payments.
  And did I mention they're really really bad for the environment, just like Priuses?
  But that whole environment thing is just hooey, right? Even though it's believed that "producing electricity by solar panels releases more greenhouse gases than producing electricity by gas or even coal."
  Because it's feel-good imagery we're after.
  Isn't it.
  Ms. Cankles flying in her 347 gallons an hour jet to get to the next campaign stop to convince people to ride bikes rather than, um, fly.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Carly, Walker and Cruz rock out the week

  I've long admired the work and writing of Clarice Feldman, whose insight into the political machines that run our country is unsurpassed in wisdom and clarity which is probably why when I read this article I couldn't agree with her more, partly because of respect and partly because this is exactly what I've been thinking.
  Carly Fiorina has proven herself over and over to be articulate, clear thinking and administratively agile. She now stands at 7 in the polls for the FNC debate; Feldman, whom I follow on Facebook, feels Carly's presence in the primary debates is essential for many reasons, not the least of which is her skillful ability to slug Hillary Clinton right in the kisser.
  Feldman also commends Walker and Cruz for incidents with the press this week, ending with this at AT:
This week, Fiorina, Walker, and Cruz capitalized on the public’s disdain for the policies of an unpopular president and the strong desire of voters for a return to more sensible, practical policies and forthrightness. I think they like what they are hearing from candidates like these.
  Feldman cites Barone and Cost regarding the splintering factions in the Democrat party, the Cost article being a must read. (I followed Cost's meticulous and accurate analyses in the HorseRace Blog at RealPolitics during the Bush elections. He is currently a writer for The Weekly Standard.) 
  Cost feels, given the right nominee, the Republicans have a decent chance to take back the White House:
So although there is no acute crisis, Americans do not think the nation is in good shape, and because most people are skeptical of Obama’s domestic and foreign policies, they have soured on him. His approval ratings are not the lowest presidents have seen, but he has fallen under 50 percent more consistently than any of his predecessors.
Though Hillary Clinton is increasingly dominating the political spotlight, the president’s standing will affect the 2016 contest. Clinton is scurrying leftward to keep Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley from winning the progressive vote, but in so doing she risks alienating the middle of the country, which has tired of activist government. And it is quite likely that, as his former secretary of state, Clinton will be seen as Obama’s successor, thus bearing the burden of his unpopularity.
 These last few weeks have been unbearably revoltingly disgusting, considering the Planned Parenthood videos, the Iran deal and the perpetual race baiting committed by the likes of Obama, Sharpton and the the racist Democrat machine.
  The lying liar Clinton is just an extension of the Obama machine, though rumors are circulating that the Obama machine is at the root of the the two inspectors general who are calling for an investigation into Clinton's emails:
The news that two inspectors general from the Obama administration want the Justice Department to investigate her handling of classified material is a potential game changer. For many Democrats, it will serve as final proof she is ­fatally flawed. 
Her standing will further erode, turning her coronation plans into a long, hot summer. The drip, drip, drip of details will produce new polls showing a bleeding of support, which will entice other candidates into the race. Look for Vice President Joe Biden to jump in soon, and lefty Sen. Elizabeth Warren might also take the leap.
  Personally I'd like to see Hillary as the Democrat party candidate; Ann Coulter said it the other night: Democrats are just looking for an excuse to dump the old broad, but, hey, she's the next in line.
  Imagine the vitriol the Clinton machine will unleash on anyone who dares run against her. Ha. 
  Conservatives have a strong bench of solid candidates, notwithstanding the current fascination with Trump who, I admit, made me laugh the other day when he scornfully turned away an petulant accusation by a Telemundo reporter.
  Trump's a wild card, for sure, and he could play the Perot if he decides to go third party.
  Right now, our side looks pretty solid, regardless the "clown car" accusations from the party that boos God, sells baby body parts and ignores the deaths of American soldiers even while lighting the White House green for a Muslim holiday and rainbow for gay marriage, moments after a Supreme Court ruling.
  You've come a long way, baby.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ted Cruz does not take prisoners in his Senate speech.

Astounding! I have admired Ted Cruz since he was solicitor general of Texas when I first began to follow his career but never so much as yesterday. John McCain and Lindsey Graham delight in sticking their fingers in the eyes of conservatives and then boasting about their "maverick" credentials. They seem to think it's courageous to make common cause with the Democratic leadership to keep the money and power flowing to Washington but let us separate the steers from the bulls. I have never heard any Senator of either party flat out call his party leader a liar but Ted Cruz did exactly that. This guy is positively fearless! He does not stop with McConnell but makes it clear that his own party is part of the corruption and slave to big donors and lobbyists. He speaks of waitresses and coal miners who don't have lobbyists to do their bidding. He tells how Republican leadership has worked with Harry Reid to keep their precious Obamacare exemption in place. He spills gallons of Republican blood all over the floor. He make the compelling point that the Senate's behavior is no different under McConnell than it would have been under Harry Reid. We have heard many echo the Senator's complaints on the campaign trail but never the Senate floor.
One senses that he is indeed angry. He is speaking from his gut and not to the gallery. I think I have found my presidential candidate.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Iranian "deal" explains Obama mindset

  How to explain the disastrous Iran "deal" which seems to only be a "deal" for Iran?
  In all regards, the Obama administration has bowed and deferred to the Iranians, who still crow "Death to America," and "We will trample on America" even while snickering as they sign the "deal."
  (A point of clarification to the Obama administration: a "deal" is "an agreement entered into by two or more parties for their mutual benefit, especially in a business or political context.")
  The US and indeed the world gets NOTHING from this "deal" except more terror; instead we give US taxpayer DOLLARS to this rogue state with no deadlines, no way to tell what they are doing with their nukes, no way to even know where the nuclear material is stored.
  In fact, the "deal" specifically excludes the US from participating in the checks and specifically allows Iran to not indicate where 
  The absurd Obama went on the Daily Show to justify it and build support among the uninformed, his favorite audience. 
  Meanwhile the toothless Republicans sit by and do nothing except flail with their little t rex arms.
  A close relative explained to me why he thought the "world" should have nuclear bombs, not just the US. 
  He sneered when he said it, laughing derisively that America had no right to hog all the nukes. Consequence was immaterial. Who are we, he complained, and how was it equitable that we have so much power?
  Since then, I have had similar conversations with other Leftists who believe that--in all fairness--America needs to be taken down at least a notch and distribution of power through nukes is the way to do it.
  And why not, according to the delusional Left? 
  They're the ones who think paying hamburger flippers $15 an hour will raise standards of living when the opposite is actually true? 
  They're the ones who believe the government should raise the capital gains tax out of fairness, even though it brings in less money
  They're the ones who think aborting human life is a woman's "right," even while begging on television in teary ads that homeless dogs and cats deserve the right to life. Indeed, selling baby body parts is good for science.
  After all, Leftists boo people who believe all lives matter.
  They're the ones who booed God.
  So why not give nukes to people screaming, "Death to America"?
  It makes perfect Leftist sense.

Does the Quinnipiac poll foretell another wave election?

Click to enlarge

The latest Quinnipiac poll released today paints a dire future for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. As you can see from the graphic Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden all lose when matched against Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, or Scott Walker in the states of Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia. The margin of error in all three state polls is +/- 2.8 so one can impute a degree of certitude in the wider margins. Bear in mind that Obama carried all three of these states in 2012 and then something happened. In 2014 Cory Gardener retired incumbent Mark Udall in Colorado, in Iowa State Senator Joni Ernst defeated the favorite, Rep. Bruce Braley to capture the seat held by Tom Harkin since 1984 and in Virginia a former GOP state chair, Ed Gillespie who had never run for elective office came within an eyelash of beating Mark Warner. If we see such lopsided results in the future polling of battleground states it may portend the third wave election in six years.
Another point of interest, the Hispanic vote, seems not to be that interesting after all. Colorado was one of four states in which the Hispanic vote was crucial to Obama's 2012 election ( Florida, Nevada, and New Mexico were the other 3 ) yet Scott Walker who has staked out a relatively strong "secure the border" position trounces Dame Hillary by 9 points which is better than Jeb Bush who only bests her by 5.
Missing from the poll was Donald Trump apparently because Quinnipiac does not view him as a competitive candidate. "The worst favorability ratings for any Democrat or Republican in the presidential field belong to Trump: 31 - 58 percent in Colorado, 32 - 57 percent in Iowa and 32 - 61 percent in Virginia." Trump can console himself with the fact that Colorado voters view him more favorably than Chris Christie whose favorability rating is underwater 22 - 52 percent.
The media in general tend to view Hillary's dismal numbers as a function of the loss of trust by the voters. She indeed is viewed as someone not to be trusted. In Colorado 62% of the voters do not trust her as compared to 34% who do. In Iowa the numbers are 59% to 33%, and in Virginia it's 55% to 39%. Funny how that works. She avoids the press as if she has something to hide and all of a sudden the voters think she has something to hide but it's deeper than that. First, she is an abysmal candidate who has been on the national stage too long. She is past her "sell by" date. Second she is paying the price for Obama's excesses. The public is not happy with the present state of affairs. It is concerned about border security, It was not pleased to see Congress pass the TPP, it does not trust Iran and it is tired of the racial strife that has been orchestrated by the radical left and the White House. Obamacare did not live up to its billing and household incomes are flat juxtapose a roaring stock market. Other polling has shown substantial majorities favoring further investigations of Benghazi and the IRS. The Democratic Party has run out of credibility but it's worse than that. The generation that has run Washington for the last 3 decades has overstayed its welcome. It's destined for the scrap yard. If the next round of polling in battleground states repeats today's expect to see plenty of fresh faces inside the Beltway in 2017.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It's tme to tell the RNC how you feel

To keep current as a blogger I am on the mailing list of a number of political organizations, both major parties, and a small army of elected officials. As one might expect I am continuely beset with requests for campaign donations which I generally ignore. Finally, today I thought I really owed it to myself to tell the Rince Pribus and the RNC exactly how I felt. You may want to go through you inbox and do the same.
Please save your correspondence for those who care. I will not be voting Republican in the future as they have proven to be just as duplicitous as the Democrats. Midway through the election they have yet to keep a single campaign promise. I did not donate to and vote for Republican candidates for the purpose of passing TPP, a treaty so secret that only Congress and the lobbyists who seem to write the legislation are privy to. You want to be bipartisan? Go to Barack Obama and the DNC for donations as you have put their interests ahead of those who have put you where you are.
Congress has it in its power to balance the budget yet has refused to do so. Americans are shot to death by foreign nationals in their hometowns abortion advocates traffic in fetal body parts on television and all the public hears is inane prattle about the need to reach across the aisle to keep the money flowing. In spite of promises not to raise taxes Congress toys with the idea of a one time tax on foreign profits to fund the precious highway trust fund while the Senate contemplates taking money from the Social Security trust fund to build more bike paths and squirrel tunnels and to fund mass transit in 6 of the wealthiest SMSA's in the country.
Regretfully I must tell you to go to hell. Enough is enough and you have reached the limit. Again, go straight to hell.
Try it once. It will make you feel better.

Senate Republicans intend to rob Social Security to fund highway spending bill.

There is not much in Republican leadership to admire these days as it searches ways to fund the highway transportation bill. It dare not raise gasoline taxes and if the fund is not shored up in the next week or so it may no longer fund highway building and repairs. The House plan pushed by faux Tea Party Rep. Paul Ryan would levy a one time tax on  unrepatriated corporate earnings thereby setting a dangerous precedent that could force American corporations to register in countries with a saner corporate tax code. The U.S. is one of the few industrialized countries that even taxes foreign earnings. Bear in mind how many Republicans have pledged to cut the federal budget without raising taxes.
As bad as the House bill maybe it is infinitely better than the Senate version. The Senate bill would sell off 101 billion barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We no longer need petroleum reserves? Is it because of the nuclear arms bargain Obama made with Iran or are we just overstocked? That would raise $9 billion if the federal government sells the oil between 2018 and 2025 but only if it can get $89.10 per barrel. That's an iffy proposition but not the chief cause of my vexation..
There is very little reporting on another source of funds. The low life Republican who we voted for are looking toward Social Security as another source of funding. The Hill calls it a "tweak" to Social Security. How benign! raid one trust fund to shore up another trust fund. And who pays for it? The segment of the driving public that drives the least. Under the propose legislation a fugitive from justice would lose Social Security benefits. This is an update to the CUFF act that was recently gutted in Martinez v. Astrue and Clark v. Astrue with one prime difference. Under that law the money recouped from so called fugitive remained in the Social Security trust fund, not spent to build bridges to nowhere.
By law, the revenues received by the Social Security Trust Funds are reserved exclusively for the purpose of paying benefits to the American people and covering associated administrative costs. Americans understand this arrangement and overwhelmingly support it as a vital element of the program’s status as an earned right benefit. Personally I would rather see a felon spending his SS check on hookers and drugs than see one more damned bike path.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Will Rick Perry and John Kasich make the first debate?

Trump's pathetic attack on the heroism of Sen. John McCain will damage his standing in the polls as it well should but it's doubtful that his polling numbers will be too low to preclude him from the first primary debate sponsored by Fox News. Fox has yet to disclose the fine points of the rules. For instance, will all national polls be used to measure the candidates or will some be excluded.? Will the averages be rounded?
In all probability Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki will be watching the debate on TV. Chris Christie and Rick Santorum would make the debate if the decision were made today but just a slight fluctuation in the remaining polls could see Rick Perry and or John Kasich move either or both of them into the home viewing audience. The Real Clear Politics average of polls looks very competitive.
1 Jeb Bush 15.4%
2 Donald Trump 14.2%
3 Scott Walker 9.0%
4 Rand Paul 6.8%
5 Ben Carson 6.6%
6 Marco Rubio 6.4%
7 Mike Huckabee 5.8%
8 Ted Cruz 5.2%
9 Chris Christie 2,6%
10 Rick Santorum 2.2%
11 Rick Perry 2.0%
12 John Kasich 1.6%
13 Bobby Jindal 1.4%
14 Carly Fiorina 1.4%
15 Lindsey Graham 0.4%
16 George Pataki 0.4%

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Rep. Justin Amash kills a bill simply by asking for a recorded vote.

Hats off to Rep. Justin Amash! When the trouble making Congressman from Grand Rapids asked for a recorded vote on a measure that would funnel money to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Breast Cancer Research Foundation House leadership folded and pulled the bill. Under the scheme a commemorative coin supporting breast cancer awareness would be minted and the proceeds funneled to Susan G. Inc. Conservative objected to the bill because of the foundation's support for the baby parts dealer Planned Parenthood.

Donald Trump leads in Suffolk University / USA Today poll

Donald Trump has surged to his first lead in a national poll. The Suffolk University / USA Today poll has Trump leading the field with 17% followed by Jeb Bush at 14% and Scott Walker at 8%. This may be the high water mark for his campaign. While 23% of respondents expressed a favorable opinion of him 61% felt the opposite. When asked the question "Do Trump’s comments make you more likely to vote for him, less likely, or no difference?" 15% replied more likely while 48% said less likely. The top 10 candidates are;

Donald Trump 17%
Jeb Bush 14%
Scott Walker 8%
Ted Cruz 65
Marco Rubio 5%
Ben Carson 4%
Mike Huckabee 4%
Rand Paul 4%
Chris Christie 3%
Rick Perry 1%

Planned Parenthood admits to trafficking in fetal tissue

Now the reason behind Planned Parenthood's opposition to a ban on abortions after 20 weeks becomes apparent. The organs would not be large enough to sell.  Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, tells actors posing as fetal tissue buyers that Planned Parenthood sells “specimens” for $30 to $100, indicating illegal partial-birth abortions are the preferred. She says this over dinner! Yech! This cavalier attitude toward human life is so repellent that it brings to mind horror stories from the Third Reich and Josef Mengele. Whatever happened to the promise to defund Planned Parenthood now that the Republicans control both house of Congress?

Update: Rick Perry responded to the above video.

“The video showing a Planned Parenthood employee selling the body parts of aborted children is a disturbing reminder of the organization’s penchant for profiting off the tragedy of a destroyed human life. It is because of stories like this that I signed legislation defunding Planned Parenthood in the state of Texas – to protect human life and the health and safety of Texans.”

Video: Watch Trey Gowdy flay DHS Sec. Johnson

There is little one can add to Rep. Gowdy questions and remarks. Just sit back and watch him shred Sec. Johnson.

A liar makes a deal with liars

  Well, the deal is done and being widely ridiculed around the world.
  Again we wonder: is it possible Barack Hussein Obama has no idea he's been played? rolled? Is thought a fool around the world?
  The problems?
  We get nothing out of this deal. 
  Four American prisoners are being held in Iran. Will they be released? No. Why would Barack Hussein Obama care about American prisoners?
  Who benefits from this deal?
  Certainly not the US or Israel.
  Ironically the other entities who do not benefit from this deal are the Arab nations who collectively fear what the hate America Iranian leaders have in store for the entire area.
  Before this "deal" was made, the NY Post ran an article by Amir Tahiri entitled "Forget the Palestinians: Arab states have too much else to worry about!" FTA:
The idea that it is now Iran and not Israel that poses an existential threat to Arabs receives almost daily confirmation with outlandish statements by Khomeinist leaders in Tehran. “Iran is trying to create a Persian Crescent as the core of its empire,” claims Lebanese Interior Minister Nihad Manshouq. “That now represents the principal threat faced by Arabs.”
“Today, it is Iran and not Israel the Arabs ought to worry about,” says Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Afghan Hizb Islami (Islamic Party) who was sheltered, financed and armed by Tehran for decades.
  This article is a must read to understand what is happening in the Arab states, where Arabs who live in Gaza are reassured that Israel will protect them. Also from the same article:
One reason was cited the other evening by a Jordanian businessman, Abu Furas, at a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in London. “Today, no Arab feels safe in his country,” he said. “Ironically, the sole exceptions are Palestinians in the West Bank because they know Israel will defend them if ISIS attacks. Even in Gaza, most people secretly believe that Israel is their ultimate protection against ISIS fighters trying to strike roots in the Sinai.”
  Most curious was Obama's 7:00 a.m. announcement, which is not exactly prime time even on the East Coast. 
  Why would he parade out in front of the cameras when much of America is still sleeping as if this "deal"--written and signed by liars of all stripes, to claim affinity with John F. Kennedy and proclaim this "historic" agreement will change the world in a positive way?
  The only rational reason I can see is that he's more interested in impressing Europe and the Arab states than his own country, whom he scolded against denying his "deal."
  Yet one has to wonder, as VD Hanson writes,  "Is the world becoming fed up" with Obama's dangerous antics?
 Is childless Europe realizing they are committing slow suicide by paying cradle to grave benefits for the millions and millions of non-contributive immigrants who procreate with abandon? Or perhaps with purpose?
  We all knew Obama would reach some kind of "deal"  because he is a liar who changes the rules based on whatever benefits himself and his elite ilk.
  Time after time, Obama has shown himself the fool on the world stage: revealing his end game, declaring what he will and will not do, drawing "red lines" and then ignoring them when they are crossed. To fantasize that Islamist murderers respect or fear him in the least is dangerously helpless.
  Already arguments about what was actually agreed upon have surfaced. Knowing the players in this game, undoubtedly it will be difficult to discern the truth.
  Lying is nothing new for any of those lying liars who lie.
  God help us. 
UPDATE: Annnddd, here come more lies, from National Review:
Here’s Represenative Don Beyer, Democrat of Virginia, telling MSNBC why he’ll vote for the Iran deal: “Thanks to the Obama administration’s negotiations, Iran’s nuclear program will be under lock, key and camera 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The eyes of the international community are on every centrifuge, every ounce of uranium, in all of Iran’s nuclear facilities.” 
Completely false: “UN inspectors can demand access to nuclear facilities on Iran military sites, but they aren’t immediate or even guaranteed. Any inspections at those sites would need to be approved by a joint commission composed of one member from each of the negotiating parties. The process for approving those inspections could take as many as 24 days.”

Thank God! A bold new contract to end micro-aggressions.

In theory unions exist for the benefit of the membership. It is the union's obligation to negotiate wages and working conditions. The union's ability to raise wages is often constrained by the economic environment in which it operates. In other words it can't get blood out of a turnip but just because a union cannot raise wages it does not mean that there are no intangible benefits to union membership. For instance, who if not your pugnatious shop steward, is going to protect you from micro-aggressions? Yeah, that's something not even John L. Lewis ever thought of, that and lactation facilities and access to all gender restrooms.
The UAW is quite proud of its new contract with the University of Washington covering graduate student assistants. Probably the UAW is grateful when it can sign a contract with anyone these days after bringing the automotive industry to its knees, and decimating its membership in the process but it's not dwelling on the past. The future belongs to the bold! It's not the earth the meek inherit, it's the dirt. The new contract contains some strong language.
Micro-Aggressions:​​The University agreed to a definition of micro-aggressions (“everyday exchanges –including words and actions – that denigrate or exclude individuals based on their membership in a group or class”) and that such workplace behavior is grievable under the contract. Moreover the University agreed to meet three (3) times per year to discuss the joint goal of eliminating micro-aggressions and developing trainings for ASEs, faculty, and departments

UW shall provide reasonable break time and facilities for expressing breast milk, and adequate, clean, private, space for storing a pump and insulated container. The University also agreed to create a webpage listing lactation stations of which UW is aware and to which additions can be made.

​UW shall provide adequate access to all-gender bathrooms (including reasonable accommodation for travel time), and has committed to converting or constructing 26 all-gender bathrooms by the end of Summer 2015.
One might quibble that the subject of fainting couches is completely ignored in the language as are safe rooms where the aggrieved can seek sanctuary from the many travails of campus life.
So much for the intangible benefits; let's talk money. How's $11 per hour sound?
As part of our ongoing campaign to push for full implementation of the City of Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance for all student workers we’ve marked another significant victory. In addition to winning $11.00 for all student hourlies beginning April 1, 2015, we’ve also gotten the University to commit to a new minimum for at least one additional year, as follows:
2014/15 academic year: The University has committed to increase the minimum rate for all hourly ASEs (regardless of work location) to at least $11.00 per hour beginning on April 1, 2015, and in addition to increase all hourly rates by 2% on July 1, 2015.
They get nothing! The minimum wage in Seattle is $15 and after 16 years of schooling they make $11.  One wonder how the university and UAW negotiators could keep a straight face long enough to ink this contract.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The relative unimportance of the all important Hispanic vote

Okay let's hear it now. In unison. Donald Trump is doing irreparable damage to the Republican brand. The Republicans will never carry the all important Latino vote and the Republican Party will never win another national election.. Wrong. Thank God for Trump. While most of us would be queasy seeing the Donald at the top of the ticket let alone as president he is successfully challenging a widely article of faith in the national media and the Republican establishment namely that securing the border is not something Republicans can do. The things that the Jeb Bush Republicans cannot do would be enough to fill a small book and chapter one of that book should be "Turn Out the Party's Base". I for one, will not vote in an election where the choices are Bush / Clinton and I am not alone in that conviction. Governor Rick Perry has demonstrated his willingness to secure the border by sending national guard troops to the border and his successor Governor Greg Abbott carried 44% of the Latino vote in Texas. Perry's position that immigration reform is a political impossibility until the border is secured is plausible at least to me.
No, neither Rick Perry nor Donald Trump could carry the Latino vote in California nor could Ronald Reagan even if he where to be resurrected for that sole purpose but they would not lose the white vote by pandering to the left. Whoever the Republicans nominate seems destined to carry Texas and Florida while losing in California, New York and Illinois. I'll explore the "blue wall" myth in another post but suffice it to say the importance of the Hispanic vote is deliberately over blown by the pollsters hired by pro amnesty Republicans.
Sample this insight from Roll Call
Nearly a dozen Republican pollsters gathered Wednesday morning for a long-scheduled event to deliver survey results funded by a lobbying effort for the House to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul — but they were forced to reconcile their findings with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat Tuesday night.
And what message did the pollsters have for shocked Republicans who were reeling from Cantor's loss?
In fact, by a 70 percent to 21 percent margin, Republican voters would support a candidate in favor of the immigration plan over a candidate who opposed it.
Speaking of cognitive dissonance! This was the morning after a lowly econ professor from Randolph-Macon College had humbled the exalted Eric Cantor in the upset of the decade running on an anti amnesty platform. Dave Brat raised $207,000 to Eric Cantor's $5.4 million. He got no help from the quickly vanishing and squishy on amnesty, Tea Party Express and Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots was too busy doing God's work elsewhere to lend Brat a hand but against all odds Brat and the Richmond Tea Party won. What did the Republican pollsters think of that?
“I’m not being entirely dismissive of it in the Cantor case, I would just suggest to you that it’s probably too pat an answer to say that immigration played a big role in it,” Lerner said. “Our data here does suggest that Republican candidates who support the immigration reform issue properly have relatively little to fear in Republican primaries.”
That must of made Cantor feel better.
There is some inferential evidence to suggest that only freshly naturalized immigrants are reliable Democratic voters. The longer Hispanics are in the country the less identity politics matter. Although immigration was not a factor in the race Wendy Davis, the lady with the pink sneakers, lost 4 predominately Mexican counties in the Texas Democratic primary to Renaldo Madrigal who spent $0 to her $26,000. All Madrigal did was to make pro life speeches in each of the counties he won. The Hispanic vote is not as predictable as the pollsters believe and exactly how upset second generation Mexicans are with Trump is not known but it should be obvious to even Jeb Bush that white voters are excited and extremely motivated.

How long will the Republican Party's infatuation with a man who has zero political accomplishments and relies solely on bluster last? Who knows? In Chris Christie's case it lasted longer than four years but that was without opposition. The candidates with the most to lose are Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio both of whom are more or less committed to some measure of amnesty packaged as reasonable and compassionate acceptance. It would be my guess that only one of them survives the Florida primary which is early in the primary season. By that time some of Trump's evolving positions on abortion, the many lawsuits his companies have been involved in, and his three marriages will make the base less accepting of his eccentricity. Ted Cruz and Rick Perry have consistently held strong anti amnesty positions without the bombastic rhetoric. Scott Walker's position seems to have changed to conform to the reality of running in some very red states.
There are a host of other issues from Obamacare to ISIS from Common Core to tax reform that do not lend themselves to single line solutions and the debates will winnow out the light weights pretty quickly. Republican voter have not been waiting breathlessly for Rick Santorum or John Kasich. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are quality people but like Trump, amateurs. No one knows what issue will be foremost on the voters' minds when the actual elections begin. In the meantime just relax and enjoy the greatest show since Sarah Palin's speech at the 2008 Republican convention and let Jeb Bush and the pollsters and pundits worry about the party's brand.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Shocker! Younger voters propel Trump to first place in North Carolina poll.

The new PPP poll showing Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential candidates, if accurate, should give those who think they know politics pause. Yes, the race is young and polls are not predictive at this point but aside from Trump's first place position in the poll some of the other data are astounding. Who would have thought Trump's positive favorability rating would match Ben Carson's? Both candidates have a 55% favorable rating but Carson edges out Trump. While the Donald's unfavorable rating is 32% only 10% of the sample have an unfavorable opinion of Carson. It's worth noting that Trump's 55% is double Chris Christie's 27%. Mike Huckabee enjoys the highest favorability at 65%
I find this fact stunning. Which candidate runs best among younger voters (18-45)? Donald Trump and by more than a just nose. In this demographic 65% view Trump favorably and 26% view him unfavorably.
Here are the top 10 candidates.

Donald Trump 16%
Jeb Bush 12%
Scott Walker 12%
Mike Huckabee 11%
Ben Carson 9%
Marco Rubio 9%
Rand Paul 7%
Ted Cruz 6%
Chris Christie 5%
Carly Fiorina 4%

And their favorable / unfavorable ratings

Favorable Unfavorable
Donald Trump 55% 32%
Jeb Bush 43% 35%
Scott Walker 51% 14%
Mike Huckabee 65% 19%
Ben Carson 55% 10%
Marco Rubio 57% 16%
Rand Paul 49% 22%
Ted Cruz 53% 17%
Chris Christie 27% 41%
Carly Fiorina 33% 17%

Blessed are they that avoid being offended

  I have a confession.
  I"ve been addicted to politics much of my adult life, ever since my father kept asking me what I thought about this or that; he got me hooked on Rush and often said, "Hey, what'd ya think about what Rush said today?"
  Consequently every day even at work, I'd listen on my lunch hour or sneak a few minutes just to hear what was going on in the world.
  As a member of a literary academia, I'm probably somewhat of an anomaly, I realize. Walking in the hallowed halls of the Ivory Tower, a conservative has an awareness that he or she is out of place with the privileged aggrieved who play their tiny violin melodies about various hate causes to a gullible and uninformed captive audience.
  After years of watching the absurdity that is Ivory Tower humanities, I've been disturbed to see the lunacy creeping out toward the general public. 
  A conservative can only say certain things in the Ivory Tower; now, in the United States in general, if you say certain things a gibbering screech mob will descend on you, condemning and destroying your life until they move on to the next unsuspecting victim. It may only be a day or two, but they won't stop until you've been ruined.
  It is little consolation that the monster is turning on itself, devouring even leftists and unsuspecting non-politicals. Even Jerry Seinfeld won't play university campuses anymore.
  But to the root of my confession.
  I believe we will survive the monstrous presidency of Barack Hussein Obama. Surely we have survived divisiveness and utter incompetence in the past.
  What I grieve is the loss of American sovereignty in so many areas, not just overseas. It is true our allies don't trust us and our enemies don't fear us, as the Rubio ad running in Ohio declares.
  But at this juncture, it appears that obsessive selfies, idiot shows about being naked and gossip about the Kardashians are now the stuff of American life, even while children commit murder, the black family deteriorates more rapidly than other races, most Americans receive government money and the Obamas blow billions flying to luxurious vacations even while baldly and daily lying to the public. 
  Still you, the American public, scream in adoration at the feet of the modern day Neros.
  This is what's disturbing.
  Where is my America, the one that fought for personal independence, that realized bills must be paid, that you can't leave the refrigerator door open thinking you'll cool your house?
  I can't listen to Rush anymore, at least for now. I think he's depressed and this surfaces in his voice.
  I can't watch the news as avidly because there's nothing to be done that any of the political elite will actually hear. They don't care what we think. They want their power. They want their stuff
  What can I do about the fact that we're facing an enormous threat from ISIS and various Islamic hate groups even while Obama cuts our military and negotiates for Iran to get the bomb?
  What can I do about nonresponsive government entities? About fools who refuse to see the truth that is closing in around them?
  Well, I guess I can continue to speak out, however wearily.
  Even when Dad was in the hospital, he'd be sure the nurses knew what he thought about politics. It was lifeblood for him.
  And so it is for those of us who love this country with all its flaws.
  It's still the best in the world.
  But it's the people who make up this country who make it what it is.
  Grow up, America. Grow up.
  Blessed are they that avoid being offended.

GOP donor would ban Trump from debates

Whose party is it? Since when do big donors think they have the right to decide who shall and who shall not have the right to run in the presidential primary? Foster Friess, a Wyoming-based investor is so worried that the Republican candidates will repel voters if they speak above a whisper that he fired off a missive to all 16 announced GOP candidates calling on them to be more civil in their discourse. In the letter he mentioned that he had the backing of Sheldon Adelson and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts.
"Would you join the effort to inspire a more civil way of making their points?" he wrote. "If they drift off the 'civility reservation,' let's all immediately communicate that to them."
Civility reservation? Maybe we should have trigger warnings and safe rooms equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets, a video of frolicking puppies and when debating in the West the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir. There was a time when adult language meant something other than profanity. It was the way adult spoke to one another, sometimes it was blunt, sometimes crass and sometimes malicious but it's the way adults have spoken  long before recorded history. Now even the Republican Party is falling for the PC movement.
It gets worse. California vintner and Republican mega donor John Jordan thinks by virtue of his money he should decide who shall and who shall not be in the presidential debates. He doesn't approve of Donald Trump's exaggerated but not entirely inaccurate estimation of Mexican illegals.
"Someone in the party ought to start some sort of petition saying, 'If Trump's going to be on the stage, I'm not going to be on there with him,'" Jordan told the AP on Monday. "I'm toying with the idea of it."
"It's something I feel strongly about as somebody who not only cares about the Republican Party, but also Latinos," Jordan said.
He cares about the Republican Party? Or does he think he owns the Republican Party. What about the people who support Trump? Where will Jordan's party be when they sit home on election day convinced that the Grand Old Party has been hijacked by millionaires who care deeply for people who will work cheap? Jordan's fondness for politics doesn't bleed over into an infatuation with politicians.
"I don't care. In fact, I try to avoid—I go out of my way to avoid meeting candidates and politicians." Why? "All too often, these people are so disappointing that it's depressing. Most of these people you meet, they're unemployable.… It's just easier not to know."
Unemployable? This coming from a man who inherited his wealth and vineyard from his parents.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Rep. Thomas Massie - A Modern Day Ben Franklin

The Tea Party has produced some remarkable leaders but few are as remarkable as Rep. Thomas Massie from Kentucky's 4th congressional district. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from MIT. He and his wife who he has known since grade school started a company, SensAble Devices Inc, which later became SensAble Technologies which at one time held 30 patents, employed 70 people, and raised $32 million from venture capitalists. Crunchbase describes the company;
SensAble Technologies, Inc. offers force-feedback haptic devices and touch-enabled 3D modeling software solutions. Its products include FreeForm Modeling Systems, which are 3D touch-enabled systems for medical and dental modeling, product design, digital content creation, and fine arts; and The SensAble Dental Lab System, a digital system for scanning, 3D modeling and design, and 3D fabrication.
He began tinkering with haptic devices at MIT where he won the 1995 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize which came with a $30,000 prize. From MIT's web site:
The PHANTOM—Massie's most notable invention—is a haptic computer interface that enables users to "feel" physical objects in cyberspace. By inserting their fingers into swiveling thimbles that connect to mechanical arms, users are able to sense the shape, size and consistency of objects on a computer screen. The PHANTOM allows designers and engineers to create and interact with objects in 3-D without actually building them. It can even train doctors to perform surgery on "virtual patients." Massie collaborated with MIT Professor Kenneth Salisbury at the Artificial Intelligence Lab to develop and build the prototype.

Sound like something you might do? In any event Massie eventually sold his business and returned to his native Lewis County. He personally designed and built this timber frame, off the grid, solar powered home. He says conservatives should hate the subsidies but love the solar panels. Better yet, he wrote a blog while doing it.

He was elected Judge Executive of Lewis County in 2010 and began campaigning for Rand Paul who was running for the Senate. In December of 2011 Republican Geoff Davis resigned from Congress citing "family health problems". Massie won the special election with endorsements from Rand Paul, Ron Paul, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, Gun Owners of America, and Young Americans for Liberty. Recently he and Rep. Justin Amash stayed in Washington while the rest of Congress was on vacation to prevent any attempt to re extend the Patriot Act through parliamentary subterfuge.

Bernie Sanders blames "the greed of large financial institutions” for Puerto Rican debt crisis

Senator Bernie Sanders has discovered the source of debt ridden Puerto Rico's woes. It's Wall Street of course. Quoting from The Hill, "But Sanders said Puerto Rico is in a situation where it cannot pay all its debts due to “the policies of austerity and the greed of large financial institutions.”
To be sure there are some very greedy financial institutions on Wall Street. Just today MF Global settled a lawsuit for $64.5 million after its founder, Jon Corzine, former Democratic senator from and governor of New Jersey looted his customers' accounts to pay off some risky bets he had made. It's funny we never heard about his greed and ethical challenges when he was in public office. Under a honest government Corzine would be wearing an orange jump suit but instead Obama and company appear to have saved the suit for New Jersey Bob Menendez who is at odds with the administration on Cuba and Iran.
Turning to the other cause of Puerto Rico's dismal plight the alleged "austerity". WTF! Say what you want about Puerto Rican politicians but don't dare call the austere. You may call them bumbling, corrupt or just down right stupid but not never austere. The island territory is on the hook for $74 billion of that $8.6 billion is owed by PREPA, the publicly owned electric utility. Here's the deal. You have an absolute monopoly on electric power. It' both legally and technically impossible for anyone to compete against you and you lose 9 billion bucks. How do you say stupid in Spanish?
It's always the same rhetoric. It's never the debtor's fault whether the debtor be Greece, Puerto Rico, Detroit or New York City. In 1975 New York survived a near death experience. Its lawyers were in court with the bankruptcy paper in hand hoping that a bailout would come. It did come and it was from the municipal unions who bought the "Big MAC Bonds" but the last holdout, the last person to consent, was Albert Shanker of the teachers union. Shanker had editorialized and inveighed against the "flint hearted bankers" right up until the city suggested he put up his own money.
These morality plays always have an unlikely character in the cast and the most unlikely in this cast may be Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. Yes, that Stefanik. The one from New York, the youngest person ever elected to Congress and new best friend of John Boehner. Stefanik has raised $17,535 from Puerto Rico which is better than its non voting delegate Pedro Pierluisi did. It accounted for about 11% of her total fund raising effort. Her district is 3.1% Latino. So how does she explain the connection?
“Congresswoman Stefanik accepted an invitation from supporters from her previous campaign to do a fundraiser earlier this year which she was grateful for,” her spokesman Tom Flanagan, said. “She is supportive of outreach to all kinds of diverse communities for engagement in the political process.”
You don't say.

Trey Gowdy declines to condemn Donald Trump

Fewer people command more respect among Tea Party activists than Congressman Trey Gowdy so when he declines to criticize Donald Trump it bites. When asked about Trump's comments Gowdy replied:
“I don’t know if you saw what happened to San Francisco over the weekend, but someone who has been evicted from the country multiple times came back in and killed a totally innocent person who was simply walking. So anyone who thinks that the border is not porous, anyone who thinks the internal security is adequate, anyone frankly who wants to advocate for sanctuary cities — I get that that has a benign sounding name to it — but the sanctuary … should be for (the) law abiding, not the folks who aren’t following the law,” Gowdy added, according to Breitbart.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Which states has have the best schools? Be surprised!

If you are poor and worry that your child will not graduate from high school then stay the hell out of the blue states. New Jersey and purple Kentucky may be exceptions to the rule but the District of Columbia, where the federal government presumably has the most influence, is last or near last in every index. It cannot even graduate Asians at an acceptable level. Last week Rick Perry gave a speech which may have been the best speech given by anyone in this early campaign season. Like any Texan he was boastful and especially so as he recited the racial progress Texas has made.
A half-century ago, Republicans and Democrats came together to finally enshrine in law the principle that all of us – regardless of race, color, or national origin – are created equal.
Shedrick Willis was a slave who, before the Civil War, had been bought and sold on the steps of the McLennan County Courthouse – the very place where Jesse Washington would later be dragged to his death.
When I was governor of Texas, I had the proud distinction of appointing Willis’ great-great-great-grandson, Wallace Jefferson, to be the first African-American on the Supreme Court of Texas. In 2004, I appointed Wallace to be the Supreme Court’s first black Chief Justice.
He was not finished. He went on to boast of the educational opportunities for blacks in Texas.
Texas’ high school graduation rate went from 27th in the country in 2002, to 2nd highest in the country in 2013. Our most recent graduation rate for African-Americans was number one in the nation: 13 points higher than the national average.
Whoa Governor! We fact check here. And fact check I did. does a wonderful job of tracking high school graduation rates by states and by race and the governor was speaking the truth. Nationwide, black students graduated at a rate of 69 percent; Hispanics graduated at 73 percent; whites graduated at a rate of 86 percent. The top ranked states for all student were Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Vermont, and Tennessee. Read from the bottom up it's the District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon, Georgia, and New Mexico.
For black student graduation rates Texas leads followed by Montana, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Maryland. From the bottom it's Nevada (with a shameful low of 48%), Minnesota, Oregon, District of Columbia and Michigan. Asians do best in New Jersey graduating at a 95% rate while in Nevada, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia only 74% graduate high school. If you can't teach Asians what the hell can you do?
On another page Governing reviews the graduation rates among low income students. The national rate was 73.3%. The highest ranking states were Kentucky, Texas, Indiana, Nebraska, and Tennessee. From the bottom up it was District of Columbia (58.9%), Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, and Georgia.

Sanders and Trump are leading the anti establishment rebellion

They're all victims now. For years the media has been force feeding the public stories of rape and human trafficking on the southern border as an unsettling fact of life. Human trafficking in Mexico even has its own Wikipedia entry. The problem is addressed countless times by the Dept of Homeland Security as for example here.
For more than 7 years, from 2003 through 2010, three brothers operated a sex trafficking ring in which they lured young Mexican women – some only 14 years old – and forced them to work in the sex trade in Mexico, New York and other areas within the United States. The victims were required to turn over all of their earnings and threatened with violence against their families.
The Fordam Law Review produced a scholarly paper on the subject. David Kyle and Rey Kosloski devote an entire Chapter to it in there Global Human Smuggling which one can read for free on Google books and yet when Donald Trump mentions Mexico is allowing drug dealer and pimps to enter our country he is pilloried not only by the press but also by members of his own party. Jeb Bush was personally offended. OMG!
Trump is smarter than we thought. He has articulated a very real problem in the worst possible way. He could clean up the controversy by saying that he did not mean all Mexican illegals were pimps and drug dealers and he probably will after the controversy has run its course but for now it's Get Off My Lawn defiance as his numbers grow in the polls. George Wallace exhorted the voters to "send them a message". Trump's words are more bombastic but the message is the same. And to whom is the message addressed? The Republican establishment. The Republican base is in the beginning of a full revolt and for the time being Trump is its leader just as the Democratic base is flipping off the Democratic establishment and Hillary Clinton by flocking to Bernie Sanders. The country hasn't seen this much bipartisan revulsion of the Washington establishment since the Whiskey Rebellion.

The easiest way for the Republicans to lose in 2016 is to run Jeb Bush. The easiest way for the Democrats to lose is to run Hillary Clinton.

The present state of politics reminds me of 1992 when Pat Buchanan revolted against H. W. Bush and the Washington establishment. At the time I was a disaffected Democrat, between construction jobs, and in a moment of outrage dialed a phone number mentioned on some talk radio show only to be honored with the responsibility of collecting the 500 signatures in my congressional district to get Pat Buchanan on the Indiana ballot. It wasn't stated that forthrightly. I would get assistance from so and so in Bloomington and so and so in Washington, IN and just be part of the team but my wife and I probably collected 350 of the 500 necessary signatures. I mention this only because while I was collecting those signatures I would ask people for their second choice not for the Republican nomination but for the presidency. Far and away former Governor Jerry Moonbeam Brown was the second choice and I was polling mostly angry Republicans! Granted Jerry Brown may be the best retail politician of our lifetimes but in 1992 he was seen as an iconoclastic New Age prophet of sorts and he could be brutal in his criticism of fellow Democrats and the Washington establishment in general.
I would guess that Marco Rubio maybe the secret second choice of plenty of anti Hillary Democrats but there is real danger for the Republicans with him. Yes, he would run well among Democrats but he is anathema to many Republicans. It goes beyond his "gang of 8" misadventure which he would like to forget. He was happy to co-sponsor with Kirsten Gillibrand the The Campus Accountability & Safety Act and was on the wrong side of the Protect IP act until he caved after the Internet blackout. Although elected with Tea Party support he has quickly become the consummate Washington insider. The fact that both he and Chris Christie were guests at Mitt Romney's Fourth of July sleep over indicates where his money will be coming from and it ain't the base.
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are more of a symptom than a solution for what ails their respective parties. The Republicans need Donald Trump at the top of their ticket like Syria needs ISIS but he has an important role to play. If he can save the party from Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio he at the very least deserves to have John Kasich as a permanent guest on The Apprentice.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

I don't like Trump but I love his work.

I don't think Donald Trump would win any popularity contests on this blog but that said I do not consider him to be a liability to the GOP. The GOP has addressed the illegal immigration issue with a great deal of trepidation to put it nicely. Frankly I'm getting a little tired of being flipped off by people who are breaking American laws by their presence in this country. I am disappointed with Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham for their votes on the Senate immigration bill and positively sickened by Jeb Bush's perpetual pandering to the open borders crowd. Why the hell we continue to vote for GOP candidates is beyond me. The Republicans have broken almost every promise they have made since WE put them in control of the House in 2010. It been, thanks folks, see you later.
Is the budget balanced? No. Is Obamacare still here? Yes, and now we are expected to accept gay marriage and danger it portends to our religious liberty and elect these sorry bastards again? I don't think so. It is well within Congress's power to defund the EPA along with its war on coal, it is within its power to defund the Dept of Education and its war on college men, and within its power to demand the appointment for a special prosecutor as a condition for funding the IRS. When we wake some morning to find a sizeable chunk of our national sovereignty has been ceded to some international trade organization we can thank Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Paul Ryan and over 250 congressmen and senators who WE put in office, representatives who are more concerned about helping Obama achieve some accomplishment for his precious legacy than preserving what few jobs Americans still hold in their native land. The fact that Trump scores relatively well in the polls is due to the disgust we harbor for conventional Republicans not to some sudden infatuation with the new guy with the great hair.
Donald Trump is not a politician. He is a man child on an ego trip with no political accomplishments but he and he alone is listening to the voters' concerns. Let me restate that. He probably doesn't listen to the voters or anyone else and presently that redounds to his advantage but he has taken up an issue that no one wants to talk about. Does he exaggerate the crime problem posed by illegals? Probably yes. Is he the only candidate in the field who exaggerates? Probably no. The trouble Trump poses to the rest of the field is that he can cite a gory example of illegal lawlessness everyday for as long as he is in the race. He has found a wedge issue and he will ride it for all it's worth and good for him.
Every candidate in the Republican field obviously thinks he or she has at least a long shot chance to win with the exceptions of Trump and Lindsey Graham. They are not running to win but rather to move the party in their favored direction. Lindsey Graham is a defense hawk and most of Trump's concerns are around American leadership and foreign policy posture. Graham sees the United States being run ragged by terrorists who Obama refuses to engage. Trump sees Obama as a bungling fool, which he is, who allows the decline of the American economy vis a vis foreign trade and immigration policy. Where they differ is Graham is a wuss and Trump is not.
But will Trump damage the Republican brand?   If he does that's the Republican Party's problem not mine and I have precious little time for politician who feel sorry for themselves. Paul Ryan, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell have done their level best to do in the brand in the eyes of the base and if Trumps displeases the Democrats, the media and the illegals that's too damn bad. Deal with it.
 Of course Trump would like to run the country but he would settle for forcing his ideas on the Republican Party and the country so he can get back to running beauty contests and coaxing an occasional coherent thought from great minds of Geraldo Rivera and Gary Busey. In the meantime he will settle for poking his finger in the eyes of every establishment Republican and good for him.
Update: Evidently I'm not alone this issue. From the Hill,
Conservative radio host Steve Deace argued Trump’s words are ringing true with conservatives who are tired of how they’ve been treated by the establishment Republican Party.

“Trump is simply saying what a lot of average Americans who could care less what people inside the 202 and 212 area code thinks to some extent,” Deace told the Hill.

“The idea of this hurting the GOP brand is laughable,” he said. “What brand?”

“They already lie to their conservative base repeatedly,” Deace said of mainstream Republicans.

“Most of the GOP’s base is looking for reasons to revolt,” he added. “The brand here isn’t just damaged – it needs an exorcism.”

Friday, July 3, 2015

German media mocks Greece

Imagine if you will, Ann Coulter as the editorial page editor of the New York Times. It has not come to that yet but the German media has had its fill of  Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his moral outrage now that he has maxed out his credit card. Greece has been trending downward since 300 B.C. and now seems poised to bottom out despite the protestations from Tsipra that Germany and the EU have not done enough for the cradle of democracy.

The image reads  “Hand over the money or I’ll shoot.” and it plays well to popular sentiment. Sixty-eight percent of 1,001 people surveyed in an ARD-DeutschlandTrend poll held the Greek government responsible, while 4 percent blamed the European Union. Both sides are to blame, according to 24 percent of those surveyed.

Organic food for thought

As of late I inadvertently cultivated an interest in what has become a religion among leftist activists, the nanny state food police. They are the crowd who know better than you what you should be eating, less sugar, no transfats, no GMO's and no grain fed beef and above all, you should eat only organically grown victuals. They see themselves as helpless victims of the all powerful agribusiness and food processing industries. They disdain consumer sovereignty, arguing that consumers, except for them and their enlightened brethren, are too dumb to know what's good for them. They also believe that they have the right to grow whatever they may please and society should lap it up regardless of the cost. The speaker in the video tells a tragic story of an organic zucchini grower who could not cover his operating expenses, let alone make a profit, proving to the speaker, that there is a fundamental flaw in the way we think about food. Failing to detect that fundamental flaw beforehand, the poor mope had to sell off part of his farm.

I was perusing a rather pedantic post at the NYT's web site when a particularly strident comment caught my eye. It was signed by somebody from Lewis Family Farms. I've known a few farmers and most had families but none of them had a web site. I reached the Essex, New York web site but later found there was also a Lewis Family Farms in Rochester, Pennsylvania that hosts weddings besides selling meat.
The New York Lewises are looking to hire a farmhand and have put forth a generous offer.
Salary and bonus to match experience, proven ability, willingness, client satisfaction and results, respectively.
Large, new, comfortable, family-friendly, WiFi-equipped on-farm residences for manager and family, for select staff with family.
Fine nearby schools.
And then the kicker. They don't want just any farmhand.
We require a resume, references, and an essay.
An essay? They want John Boy Walton? Let's face, if one is going to raise grass fed beef one would certainly need a man of letters, someone who could, maybe, write an updated version of Dissertation on Roast Pig?
So how much does this wonderful USDA certified grass fed beef cost? Never mind that it would be like eating a bony old milk cow. Well, the New York family was too busy recruiting to get their catalogue online and the Pennsylvania cousins didn't do much better but allow me to quote this advisory,
Ground meat is sold simply by the pounds of beef that you are interested in purchasing.  It costs $6.50 per pound.
All of our cuts of meat are currently sold by the 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 of an animal, or a whole animal, usually a steer.  These "sides" of beef cost $10.00 per pound, based on the packaged weight of the share.  This includes all the butchering costs.  Sometimes our butchers are able to package some or all of your ground beef into hamburger patties for a small amount more per pound.

We often have soup bones and organ meat, (heart, liver, ect) available to purchase as well.  Soup bones are $3.00 per pound, and the organ meat is $6.00 per pound.   
Ground beef is only $6.50 per pound? Yes, they have managed to eliminate those nefarious middle men who drive up the cost of everything from chicken livers to heating oil. That way they can sell a side of beef for only $10 per pound or $2000 to $2600 for half a beef and it still chews like a Holstein milk cow. How much would a half of a corn fed beef cost. Where I would buy it it's $3.19 per pound but then again there is something fundamentally wrong with the way I think about food.