Baltimore Riots And Radical Islam – A Remarkable Resemblance

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I have watched the proceedings in Baltimore, Maryland with some interest, but I have been silent about what I have thought about what has transpired.  Suffice it to say, I think they speak poorly about the state of affairs in America. Take away all the whitewash and we are a country that is seriously divided. This division is due, in large part, to a President who has built his legacy on dividing we the people. Years from now, when Obama and his administration is written about in the history books, the only way it will be favorable is if the liberal left is still engaged in writing their own version of history, instead of the truth. But, I digress. I wish not to talk about Obama’s legacy, but something else that struck me as remarkable about the riots in Baltimore.

One of the topics I have written about extensively on Political Realities is Islam. Specifically, the radical version that uses violence to further the ideology that refuses to coexist with any other. I have caught more than my fair share of flak over my refusal to call Islam anything other than what it is; an ideology that thrives on the aforementioned violence and terror. It is ingrained in its teachings, no matter what its supporters would like us to believe. I will never believe otherwise.

There is one thing that has always stuck out to me about radical Islam. The people who are followers of this nonsense have a strange way of showing their displeasure with those who would dare to disagree with them. They seem to believe that it is perfectly acceptable to blow disbelievers to kingdom come and back. That belief lets me know that Islam is not the religion of peace its supporters like to declare it is. If that isn’t enough idiocy for you, think on this. Some followers of Islam believe it is perfectly logical to blow themselves up, as long as they can take a few infidels with them. One of their favorite methods of operation is the suicide bomb. Does that make a lot of sense or what? That’s like saying I hate you because you believe a different way than I do, so I’ll just blow both of us up to prove my point. Where’s the logic or common sense in that? Both are sadly lacking in a religion that encourages parents to allow their children to become suicide bombers.

Now, before you think I’ve gone off the deep end and forgotten all about the riots in Baltimore, let’s look at what has transpired in the last few weeks. I’m not even going to discuss Freddie Gray and what happened to him. That still has to be sorted out by further investigation and possible court proceedings. Instead, I want to highlight what the protesters have done with their actions. Because of their dislike of what happened to Freddie Gray and the perception that the police was at fault, well before the investigation was close to being finished, the protesters have burned their own neighborhoods. They have torched houses and cars. They have looted merchandise from stores, which is just a fancy word for stealing, and have burned the stores. These are businesses that were providing valuable goods and services to the community. The thanks they received was fire and brimstone from the heat of the hate that was on display.

Tell me again where the logic is in these actions. How does it even come close to being common sense to burn down your own neighborhood because you are upset over the death of someone you didn’t even know? We have a saying around here that describes this lunacy to a tee. These people are cutting off their nose to spite their face. Tell me how that is different from many of the actions taken by those who subscribe to Islam. Try to deny the remarkable resemblance between the Baltimore riots and radical Islam.

Come to think of it, the resemblance exists between more than just the Baltimore riots and radical Islam. Remember what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was shot and killed after attacking Darren Wilson? The riots in Baltimore were just and extension of that. In fact, many of the actions of the radical left bear a striking resemblance to Islam. Those who are in positions of prominence on the left, ie. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the list goes on and on, are openly advocating for many of the actions taken by the foot soldiers who have recently burned Ferguson and Baltimore. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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Who Here Loves The TSA? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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Anyone hear about the TSA agent a few weeks ago who was caught purposefully feeling up passengers in Denver who he thought were attractive. Ah Denver. But who’s really surprised by this? I know I’m not. In fact, I think next to the IRS, I’d have to say the next most hated government agency is probably the TSA. Both sides of the aisle hate them for various and differing reasons. The right hate them because the right hates big centralized bureaucratic government overreach. Many more libertarian-minded individuals even think that the TSA searches that are conducted at airports across the country are downright unconstitutional. Even many on the left hate them because even they have grown tired of having to throw away all their shampoo and their Starbuck’s coffee at the airport checkpoints, of course right before getting their privates felt up.

You’d think this agency, with popular opinion so set against them as it is, would be the one government agency, if any, that could be shrunk, or abolished, or reformed somehow! But nope. It just keeps trucking on. Accountable to none. Living by its own rules. It just goes to show you that Reagan was right when he said, “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” Wise words from a wise man.

However, it might be good for us to keep in mind that such a statement as Reagan’s infamous is a general rule of thumb, not an absolute. There might just be a way to undo the TSA’s overreach, both literally and figuratively, that most people don’t know about. Its called the Screening Partnership Program.

Unbeknownst to most travelers, San Francisco International and Kansas City International arealready participants of the program, which allows airports to use private contractors as their airport screeners rather than TSA agents. In fact, over 20 airports nationwide are, though most of them extremely small airports. How does it work? Its basically a program that allows airports to opt out of the TSA upon the formal request of the airport director. Pretty sweet huh? Thing is, applicants have to apply to the TSA, which doesn’t want them to opt out, and beside that, it seems very few people even know this program exists.

What most people don’t know is the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA), the act after 9/11 that created the TSA, also mandated this little-known pilot program whereby up to five airports would use private contractors rather than TSA agents in running their airport checkpoints, though they would still be governed by the same security measures and screening technology. In 2004 this pilot program was officially adopted as the Screening Partnership Program.

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Surprised that you may have never heard about this? Don’t be too surprised. Again, I don’t think that the people of from and by the government are advertising this program, nor the current administration, nor most of the media. As far as conservative media is concerned, perhaps of late they have been more occupied with bigger fish, but somehow, this program has been flying below the radar on all fronts.

Its a program that of late started picking up steam so much so that in 2011 TSA administrator John Pistole informed congress suddenly that no more applications would be considered for the time being, with little explanation as to why, since of course its a program that effectively shrinks the agency he is overseeing..which he doesn’t want. In response to that declaration, congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 which mandated that all SPP applications submitted to the TSA must be approved so long as privatizing airport security meant that 1) security wasn’t lessened, and 2) it didn’t cost more money than than was currently being spent.

Over 20 airports across the country are using private contractors as a result of this little-known program, though the vast majority of airports still have TSA screeners. But just imagine how much and how quickly that number could grow if more people knew about the program and we got an administration in the White House that appointed a director to the TSA who was an advocate of the program. Such a scenario may well be the beginning of the end for TSA. I for one won’t lose any sleep over that.

This program is not about abolishing the TSA, though many people wouldn’t mind that I’m sure. They would still administer security procedures and equipment. Its about airport screeners. Their job can and should be done by the private sector. We all know that. That’s what this program accomplishes once and for all. Expanding the participants of this program would be a huge leap in the right direction in wresting control away from the federal government in these regards, and leaving a shell of a bureaucracy left, much more controllable by We The People.

Privatized screeners would mean more efficient, locally controlled airport officers that perform a government mandate, but are not themselves agents of the government, whose salary and pensions we have to pay, and can’t afford to pay come to think of it. I for one won’t lose any sleep over not having some unionized federal screener screening my luggage who is barely answerable to anyone because of the union he/she belongs to (not a good combination when it comes to our nations security), but maybe that’s just me. In turn it would not only lessen the burden on the taxpayers of this country, but arguably make security not only more streamlined, but more…secure.

Again, its called the Screening Partnership Program. Spread the word about this program, and lets all OPT OUT of the TSA once and for all!

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Happy [Belated] Birthday, Ronnie!!

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Happy Reagan’s Birthday!!!

Reagan’s Birthday was a few days ago and I thought it appropriate to repost this awesome photo (shown below) of our Greatest President. This iconic photo comes to us by way of one of our best contributors, L. D. Jackson who sent it to us via a guest post on his site.

The greatest president of my lifetime remains the gold standard by which all other presidents are measured!

From a 2010 post of my three favorite Reagan photographs, all of which I took myself, this one is my absolute favorite:

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President Reagan in Perrysburg Ohio aboard “Car One” the Ferdinand Magellan, October 12, 1984. Photograph by Mike’s America

 

 


Happy 104th Birthday!

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Sequester? That’s Old News: President Obama Wants To INCREASE Spending

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It’s all I can do to keep from stepping out of my door and shouting to the top of my lungs, WE TOLD YOU SO! The next liberal who tries to tell me President Obama has cut spending, etc., I will find it hard pressed to keep from calling a liar. Anyone with one eye can look and see he has done no such thing. The only time he has cut spending has been in the area of defense. He suggested the sequester spending cuts and then threw a temper tantrum when the Republicans took him up on his idea. He has complained of how services were going to be cut and Americans affected, when in reality, spending was never cut. The only thing that went down was the rate of increase in government spending. Now, President Obama wants an end to the sequester and will be asking for a 6.8% increase in spending. Oh, joy!

Huffington Post – President Barack Obama will propose a budget on Monday that calls for an estimated 6.8 percent increase in discretionary spending — an approach diametrically different from the last time Democrats sustained major midterm election losses.

The spending proposal will almost assuredly get strong pushback from Republicans in Congress, who now control both the House and the Senate and wield even more power than they did four years ago. For that reason alone, the budget is another sign of a president feeling unhindered in his final years of office and eager to take advantage of an improving economy.

Details of the budget have been guarded closely by administration and Capitol Hill officials. But sources on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue said Obama will propose increasing discretionary spending by about $70 billion (several sources cautioned the proposed increase likely will be slightly less). The money would be divided equally between defense and non-defense accounts.

Senior White House adviser John Podesta has been briefing lawmakers on budget specifics, according to a top Democrat on Capital Hill. A bigger reveal is expected on Thursday, when Obama delivers remarks to the House Democratic Caucus in Philadelphia.

“The President will propose to end the across-the-board sequester cuts that threaten our economy and our military,” a White House official said. “The President’s budget will fully reverse those cuts for domestic priorities, and match those investments dollar-for-dollar with the resources our troops need to keep America safe.”

I’ll be the first to admit that some Republicans have sought to curtail the spending cuts contained in the sequester. They felt those cuts could have been made in a smarter fashion and they were probably correct. However, what President Obama is proposing is a full-blown increase in spending, to the tune of $70 billion. Yes, I know that is small potatoes, given the many trillions of dollars we are in debt, but come on! We have to start cutting spending somewhere and increasing spending by $70 billion doesn’t even come close to fitting that description. In an op-ed piece in the Huffington Post, President Obama calls it and end to “mindless austerity”. If that wasn’t so ridiculous, it would almost be funny.

Will big government progressives, be they Democrat or Republican, ever learn that we can not spend our way to prosperity in America? I am beginning to seriously doubt the answer to that question will ever be anything but a resounding no.

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GOP Runs Scared, Pulls Bill Banning 20 Week Abortion

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Abortion Kills

If there is one thing I have run out of, it is patience with the GOP. This started after the abysmal showing in the Presidential election of 2012. Since that time, we have seen a continual slide towards the acceptance of amnesty for illegal immigrants. That, along with other pandering, was aimed at Hispanic voters. The GOP seemed set on the idea that 2012 was lost because of alienation of Hispanics. Never mind that so many conservatives stayed home because they didn’t want to vote for Mitt Romney. This shows a complete lack of conviction on the part of the GOP leadership and a lack of nerve to follow whatever convictions they may happen to have. That lack of conviction has again been placed on display for everyone to see.

For two years, certain members of the GOP have been working on a bill that would criminalize virtually every abortion performed after 20 weeks, with some exceptions for rape or incest. It appeared to be headed towards certain passage in the House of Representatives, until last week. That’s when grumblings started to surface. Some members of the GOP were afraid passing the bill would alienate women voters.

Fox News – The failed bill, which reflected the idea that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, would have criminalized virtually all abortions for pregnancies of 20 weeks or longer. It would offer some exceptions, including for victims of rape that have already been reported to authorities.

But some Republicans, including female members of Congress, objected to that requirement, saying that many women feel too distressed to report rapes and should not be penalized. A 2013 Justice Department report calculated that just 35 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to police.

The issue becomes, we’re questioning the woman’s word,” Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., said earlier Wednesday. “We have to be compassionate to women when they’re in a crisis situation.”

There were also objections to the bill’s exemption for minors who are victims of incest and have reported the incident.

“So the exception would apply to a 16-year-old but not a 19-year-old?” said Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pa. “I mean, incest is incest.”

There was concern that the bill would have looked bad for the Republican Party as it struggles to court female voters in the 2016 presidential and congressional elections, and primary and general election candidates could have turned the vote around on the Republicans. The GOP also wants to demonstrate that it can focus on issues that matter to voters and not get bogged down in gridlock.

Abortions performed after 20 weeks are considered to be late-term abortions. The unborn infant is able to feel pain and can react to stimuli from outside the womb. Even the most hardened of hearts should be able to see what a travesty abortion really is, especially after 20 weeks. It’s not about a woman’s choice to kill her unborn child, but rather about giving that child the opportunity to be born and live its life. It is about protecting the lives of our most vulnerable of God’s creation. Instead of doing that, the GOP is running scared of how it may affect the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election. To that, I would like an answer to this question. What good is winning the White House if our party is unwilling to take a stand and prevent as many murders of unborn children as possible?

I understand that this bill had little chance of becoming law, due to a sure veto by President Obama. He will certainly refuse to sign any legislation that contains anything that remotely resembles a restriction on abortion. But, iss something like this not worth taking a stand for? If not, then when do we stop backtracking on everything we believe in and start taking that stand? Do we need to allow abortion all the way until the pregnancy is full term, lest we alienate women voters? Please understand, I am not against women’s rights. I am not against them obtaining health care or any other service they need. This is not about that, or their right to privacy. It is about protecting as many unborn children as possible.

David Harsanyi points out that the placing limits on abortion has a broad support across a variety of different polls. And he isn’t not nearly as tactful as I am about pointing out how the GOP has failed by pulling the bill.

Human Events – Evidently, Republicans don’t feel competent enough to make a case against infanticide. Why else would the GOP pull its 20-week abortion limit bill?

Here’s a short list of things that are less popular than banning late-term abortions: “Acting” on climate change. “Free” community college. Taxing the wealthy. Building the Keystone XL pipeline. President Barack Obama. Future President Hillary Clinton. Every Republican who’s thinking about running for president.

A new Marist poll finds that 84 percent of Americans favor some level of further restrictions on abortion. And regardless of their feelings about the legality of the procedure, 60 percent believe it to be “morally wrong.” If you aren’t keen on that poll — it was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, after all — you can take your pick of others.

A Quinnipiac poll found that 60 percent of women support limiting abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. A CBS News poll found that 60 percent of Americans think abortion “should not be permitted” or available only under “stricter limits.” A CNN poll found that 58 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal only in a “few circumstances” or “always illegal.”

Yet the GOP caves on a bill that would prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks and promises instead to pass another worthless ban on taxpayer-funded abortions — which we all know can be ignored by hiring an accountant.

Polls change. Polls don’t make you right. I know. But this week marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. And while the media continue to treat every Obama non-starter and crowd-pleaser as a genuine policy idea, the 20-week abortion ban was predictably framed as another divisive play by zealous conservatives. Controversial. Republican leaders helpfully confirmed this perception by abandoning the only bill their party has come up with in years that has been widely supported.

David Harsanyi is right. Polls do not necessarily may a position right or wrong, but it is clear how much support placing limits on abortion has in America. You should read the rest of his post on Human Events. It is worth taking your time to read and he is very frank about his disappointment at what has happened.

Of course, the media was already loading their guns for when the bill was passed by the GOP. They were ready and willing to paint anyone who voted for this bill as a hater of women and any other inaccurate term they could coin. It is possible this played a role in decision by the GOP to pull the bill from consideration. It is worth noting that the Democrats tried to do this with the 2014 election. They tried every tactic in the book to describe the GOP as haters of women. As you can see from the result, that didn’t work out so well for them.

What amazes me is how turncoat some Republicans have been on this issue. Again, from Human Events.

A big part of that attack was focused on abortion. It stopped working. So someone needs to inform House Republicans of this. Because the most mystifying aspect of the GOP’s retreat on the 20-week ban is that the 20-week ban is not new. Most of these same Republicans voted on the same legislation before the midterm elections, including some of the same representatives who reportedly withdrew their support for the bill. Nearly every GOP candidate running in the midterms publicly backed the idea, even in high-profile races in which Democrats made abortion the central issue of their campaign.

Why support the bill during the election, or at least the idea of the bill, and then, after you have won your election, turn your back on it? It just makes no sense to me, especially when it is clear that most Americans support the measure. The only answer I can come up with is the same one put forth by David Harsanyi.

This is about politics. Tragically incompetent politics. Even though a veto was imminent, you have to wonder: If the party representing the pro-life position, a party with a sizable majority, can’t pull together a vote on an issue as unambiguous and risk-free as this one, what are the chances of it coming to a consensus and offering compelling arguments on issues such as health care and tax reform? Very little, I imagine.

How true that paragraph is. President Obama is well known for his stance on abortion. He wants women to have 24-7 access to abortion, all the way to the end of the pregnancy. No restrictions, lest we infringe upon their right to choose. If the GOP is unable to articulate an argument against such freely available abortion and for placing limits on this barbaric practice, especially when so many Americans want that to happen, then I have to wonder what good are they actually doing in Washington.

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Democrats Want To Know Who Will Profit From Keystone Pipeline

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The worst kept secret in America is that the Democrats do not want the Keystone Pipeline to go forward. The reasons they use as an excuse for their resistance to Keystone escape anyone with a modicum of common sense. They publicly worry about the possibility of a spill from the pipeline causing an environmental disaster. The statistics I was able to find suggest that there are somewhere around 2.5 million miles of pipeline throughout the United States. Not all of these transport crude oil, with some carrying natural gas and other types of fuel. Do accidents happen? Most certainly they do. Does that mean we should not build the Keystone Pipeline to take advantage of the tar sands oil in Canada? Most certainly not. To make that leap of logic, one would also have to stop building cars because people have accidents in them. The list of examples that apply could go on for quite a few paragraphs, but I think you get the idea.

But, with the Democrats desperate to stop Keystone, they are using every excuse they can manufacture to put on the brakes. With the Republicans in charge in Congress making it known they will pass a bill approving the final construction of Keystone to go forward, they are getting even more desperate. Even though President Obama is sure to veto the bill, his friends in Congress want to keep him from having to make that very public choice. Therefore, they have been offering amendments to the Senate bill that will approve Keystone. I found two of those amendments to be unusual, but not so much surprising.

Fox News – Among the Democratic amendments killed by the Senate was a proposal to put an 8 cent fee on every barrel of oil which would move through the pipeline and also require financial disclosure of those who benefit from the tar sands project in Canada.

Okay, so the Republicans in the Senate were able to kill the amendments. That’s a good thing. But it begs the questions to be asked. Why single Keystone out to tax the oil that passes through it? Yes, I know they call it a fee, but that’s just a tax in disguise. Just to give you an idea of the revenue that would raise, every 1 million barrels would $80,000. You can see that would grow exponentially as more oil flowed from Canada.

To the other amendment that was killed, which is what prompted me to write this post, why is it so important for the Democrats to know who will profit from the tar sands oil being pumped south to Texas? I thought that’s how this country is supposed to work. If you see a particular product or service that you are interested in furthering, and you have the money to back that particular venture, then you are free to invest to your heart’s content. To the liberals in America who seem to miss the point, making a profit is the point of the entire process. Making said profit is not an evil deed.

Are the Democrats so worried that someone will make a dollar besides their liberal friends in the alternative or green energy sectors? Or do they just have a particular dislike of all things related to the oil and gas? They clearly embrace the jobs that are supposedly being created in the green energy fields. In contrast, they shy away from the jobs that the Keystone Pipeline will create. It appears to me their priorities are fairly clear.

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How Obama Will Pay For His Plan For Free Community College

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Obama's Tax PlanWell, this didn’t take long and certainly comes as no surprise. That is especially true if you have paid attention to how President Obama has conducted business during the first six years of his administration. He has acted like a typical liberal. When it doubt, always raise taxes. Never cut spending, never cut waste, always, always raise taxes. And that is exactly what he is planning to attempt in the last two years of his presidency. Do you remember his proposal for free community college for anyone who is willing to work for it? He actually described it as a right. Well, we now know how he plans to pay for the free part. Yep, you guessed it. He wants to raise taxes.

Fox News – President Obama plans to call for billions in tax increases on top earners – including a hike in investment tax rates — in order to fund new tax credits and other measures the White House claims will help the middle class.

The president’s proposals, which also include eliminating a tax break on inheritances, are likely to be cheered by the Democratic Party’s liberal base when they are announced Tuesday night in his State of the Union address. However, the tax increases are all but certain to be non-starters with the new Republican majority on Capitol Hill.

The president’s address — his first to a Republican-led Congress — will call for $320 billion in tax increases over 10 years. Aside from funding new tax credits including a tax credit for working families and expanding the child care tax credit, the White House says that money would go to funding measures to make college more affordable and accessible, including the president’s recently announced plan to make community college free for many students.

The centerpiece of the president’s tax proposal is an increase in the capital gains and dividends rate on couples making more than $500,000 per year to 28 percent, the same level as under President Ronald Reagan. The top capital gains rate has already been raised from 15 percent to 23.8 percent during Obama’s presidency.

As I said in my opening paragraph, we should not be surprised to see this new proposal to raise taxes even more than they already are. Whenever liberals want something new, they always want to pay for it by raising taxes on the “top earners” in America. I am sick of hearing that nonsense.

I believe the simple theme of common sense escapes most, if not all liberals, President Obama among them. They simply can not grasp the concept of the domino effect they start in motion by raising taxes on the people who make the most money in America. Many of these people have worked hard all their lives to accumulate the wealth they have. Raising taxes on their income punishes them for that hard work.

These people then invest the money they have made, thereby helping other businesses grow and prosper. If they have chosen the right investments, they get a return on that investment, ie. a profit. That profit is then taxed and at a higher rate than the original taxes on the investment. Their ability to choose the right investment is thereby punished.

The people in the group classified as the “top earners” then go the way of all human beings and pass from this earth. In their will, they have stipulated how they want their savings to be distributed. Some of them give most of it to charity, but some decide to leave it to their children, to be spent as wisely as possible. The money and property in their estate is then taxed again, which is known as the death tax.

So, the “top earners” in America are taxed until kingdom comes and then some, literally. At every point in their lives, their hard work and ability to save and prosper is punished by taxing them to death and after. And you can be sure he will portray this as a way to help the middle class. He will propose to cut taxes on the middle class and pay for those tax cuts by taxing the rich. He just doesn’t grasp the fact that raising taxes on the rich will, in effect, raise taxes on everyone else. Or maybe he does grasp that fact, but is just intent on selling this as a boon to the middle class and hopes enough Americans fail to catch his drift. Unfortunately, he may have already won that particular war of words.

Here are some of the ways President Obama says he wants to use the money the tax increases will raise.

  • A credit of up to $500 for families in which both spouses work. The administration says 24 million couples would benefit from the proposal, which would apply to families with annual income up to $210,000.
  • Expanding the child care tax credit to up to $3,000 per child under age 5. The administration says the proposal would help more than 5 million families with the cost of child care.
  • Overhauling the education tax system by consolidating six provisions into two, a move that could cut taxes for 8.5 million families.

That all sounds wonderful, if you are of the opinion that money should be taken from one group of Americans, ie. the “top earners”, and given to another group of Americans. When you boil it all down to the basics, however, it is nothing more than class warfare, ie. taking from the rich and giving to the poor or middle class. That is not a concept on which America was founded, but it is a concept that is most certainly in effect in modern America. That is a sad commentary on how far down this path we have gone.

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Government Accountability Or The Lack Thereof

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Government AccountabilityAm I the only one around here that bemoans the lack of accountability in our government? That is a rhetorical question because I know it’s not true. Most of the readers on Political Realities cringe at the very thought of how our government operates. As if it is a living entity, the government does what it wants, when it wants, and to whomever it pleases. The motto used by the United States Postal Service, albeit unofficially, suits our government perfectly. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stops the government bureaucracy from achieving its goals. Never mind that most of those goals have nothing to do with the needs or wants of the American taxpayer who, incidentally, pays the salaries of the government employees charged with “managing” the government.

We witnessed a fine case in point of this in October 2013. The Republicans were trying to negotiate with President Obama over the funding of portions of the government. Because Obama had decided the only agreement he was interested in was getting everything he wanted or nothing at all, the government shut down for a couple of weeks. I know that’s not the story you like read in the newspaper or saw on the mainstream media, but those are the facts. The blame was laid, incorrectly so, at the feet of the Republicans in Congress. It should have rested squarely on the shoulders of the narcissist living in the White House. But, I digress from my point.

As the government shutdown proceeded, one thing became clear. Things were affected by the shutdown that should not have been. National monuments that normally required little or no supervision were suddenly barricaded and guarded. All because the government was shut down? And we were expected to believe that nonsense, as if it were gospel. This is a prime example of the lack of accountability that our government exhibits. Because the Obama administration deemed it politically necessary, the government shutdown affected areas of our government than had nothing to do with the squabble being perpetrated by the White House. Again, you probably didn’t hear this on the mainstream media, but it is the truth, nonetheless.

Now to the main example I want to highlight. Tax season is nearly upon us and the wonderful government agency that we all love to hate, the main enforcement body of ObamaCare, the IRS, is once again in the news. They are already warning the American taxpayer to expect shoddy service this year. As if their service was anything more than substandard already.

Fox News – But the Internal Revenue Service now says that taxpayers had better get used to shabby service from the tax collection agency. And the IRS is hardly an agency known for warm and friendly service to begin with.

Complaining about belt tightening budget cuts, this week IRS Commissioner John Koskinen lectured: “People who file paper tax returns could wait an extra week—or possibly longer—to see their refund.  Taxpayers with errors or questions on their returns that require additional manual review will also face delays.” It says it will cut enforcement efforts to root out identity theft.

Another IRS official went even further, suggesting wait times of at least half an hour to get through on the 1-800 help line. She warned that people who call in might want to bring some knitting, and that by the time you get through to a live human being, “you might be able to knit a sock.” And they call this a “help” line!

There’s not much taxpayers can do about this because after all, the IRS is a government monopoly. You can’t file your tax return or have it processed by anyone else.  Though it is interesting that the president of H&R Block, one of the nation’s largest tax preparation firms, said on Fox News on Wednesday that “this is a story that will obviously help our business.”

Congress needs to hold the IRS accountable and demand the firing of Mr. Kostiken because he has he admitted openly he can’t do his job. The IRS is nearly an $11 billion a year agency with some 100,000 employees.  Congress wants to cut its budget by less than 4 percent and the agency says it can’t function. During the recession many businesses took cuts of 30 and 40 percent and they did it by becoming more efficient and cutting waste.

Meanwhile the IRS has spent millions of dollars on conferences at exotic resorts for its employees with some suites costing $3,000 a night. And Mr. Koskinen says he can’t find places to cut.

Just in case you didn’t do the numbers yourself, here they are. The IRS operated on a budget of around $11 billion last year. Congress is wanting to cut that budget by 4%, which comes to $440 million. And they are trying to tell their employers, the American taxpayers, that they simply can not continue to operate on such a tight budget? Who are they trying to kid? Everyone knows what the response is if any American taxpayer gets in trouble with the most loveable of all government agencies. Fines, wage garnishments, penalties all ensue until the tax bill is paid or someone is in jail. Tax evasion is simply not tolerated and the IRS gets to decide what the definition of tax evasion is. The circumstances simply do not matter to them.

The actions of the IRS highlight just how little accountability exists in our government. They believe they are above the law. They do not care about the taxpayers in this country, expect to make sure those taxpayers are in complete compliance with the most complicated tax code in the world. That is where their power stems from and why the business of filing taxes is so lucrative. The average taxpayer has to have help to make sure they aren’t about to have a visit from the IRS.

At this point, I have no idea who the next President of the United States will be. I am hopeful we will be able to keep Hillary Clinton from moving back into the White House. I am also hopeful that the next President will be conservative to their very core. If that is the case, I hope they are a strong enough leader to follow through with bringing accountability back to our government. Until that happens, is it any wonder that so many Americans have lost faith in our government and the process by which our leaders are chosen?

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Time To Call Out Islam For The Evil It Is

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Some of the biggest debates we have engaged in on Political Realities have been around a handful of issues. Gun control is a sure way to get the hackles raised up on many conservatives. (You can count me in that group.) Mention homosexuality in anything that resembles a disparaging manner and the fur starts to fly. Dare to call Islam out for the evil it really is and the woodwork starts crawling with people who try to tell us how wrong we are. They do their best to explain how we are misreading the Koran, how true Islam has nothing to do with the violence taking place in the world today.

islamic-violence
Islam – The religion of peace…

Try telling that to the 12 people who are dead in France. Two radical Muslims decided it was their destiny to defend the honor of their perverted prophet by killing those who dared draw cartoons that showed that prophet in a less than glowing light. That attack has Europe in an uproar, as the masses are finally realizing the danger they are in. Look at Islam in the wrong way and you risk being killed. That’s a simplistic way of describing it, but it really is that simple. It’s too bad that the leaders of the various countries in Europe have ignored the danger, to the point of letting Islam take over entire segments of some of their cities.

For decades, America has been on a path of removing Christianity from all parts of public life. No references are allowed in most public school systems. The Ten Commandments can not be displayed. Christian prayers are not allowed, even on a voluntary basis, lest an atheist be offended. Christian values are discouraged, with many Americans believing business owners are required to leave those values at home. Business owners are threatened with discrimination lawsuits because they refuse to conduct their business in a manner that would go against their religious beliefs. Over and over, Christians are told we have to sit down and shut up.

On the other hand, Islam seems to be growing in its influence. Certainly, the current administration wants nothing to do with telling the truth about the religion of peace. Journalists are discouraged from writing stories that show Islam in a negative way. In spite of the violence associated with Islam, President Obama has went out of his way to make sure the entire world knows America is not at war with Islam. It’s not a clash of civilizations, or so he says. If we are to believe his rhetoric, Islam played a major role in the founding of America.

News flash to President Bozo! It is time to stand our ground and call Islam what it really is. No matter how hard Obama and the slew of hacks that make up his administration try to convince us that we have it all wrong about Islam, the truth is something else entirely. Islam caused the horrific tragedy that was 9/11. Islam caused the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. India suffered the wrath of Islam in 2008 when Muslim extremists attacked its financial district in Mumbai. The shooter at Fort Hood was a Muslim who shouted Allahu Akbar” while he was killing 13 innocent victims. The Christian Crusades came about as a way to defeat the invading Muslims. Must I continue on? All across the globe, Islamic violence is everywhere.

I suppose no religion is perfect. Each has always had its radical elements, even Christianity. Arguing that as a way to absolve Islam of the violence it has perpetrated around the world is nothing more than a straw man argument. Jesus did not teach his followers to kill those who did not convert to Christianity. As far a I can tell, no other religion does that, except for Islam. If that doesn’t raise a red flag to us all, then we are truly blind.

It is time to call out Islam for the evil it really is. It is a religion that seeks to take over the entire world. The Koran calls for that to happen and for its followers to kill those who do not submit. Yeah, that really sounds like a religion of peace to me.

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2016 Republican Campaign For President

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2016 Republican Contenders

Just for the record, I really despise how early the campaign for the Republican nomination for President is already heating up. It should be rebranded as the campaign of 2014-2016. Even before the new Congress was sworn in, the hopefuls were rattling their swords. It’s no secret that Jeb Bush is going to run. Oh, I know he hasn’t officially announced, but anyone who thinks he will not be in the race is fooling themselves. Mike Huckabee has resigned his show on Fox, signaling that he is also thinking about running. The Huckabee hopefuls, of which I may be one, are excited about the possibility of a Huckabee campaign. At the very least the debates will be more entertaining. I am also intrigued by the idea of a Huckabee presidency. I know he isn’t considered a true conservative by many, but I’m not convinced that’s the case.

Enter Mitt Romney. Just when we thought 2012 was the last year the former Governor of Massachusetts would be reaching for the White House, it turns out that his hopes for living at that esteemed address are not quite dashed. Let me be clear about something. I think Romney would probably make a fair President, albeit a pragmatic one. The trouble that he has always had is his campaigning skills. They are almost nonexistent and I see no indication that anything has changed. Unless he has a secret weapon of some kind, the media will likely bury him, just as they did in 2012.

Then we have people like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, etc. No offense intended, but those three often sound like a trio of Bantam roosters, going back and forth. And many people aren’t really giving serious consideration to someone like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. He has proved to be a fine Governor, in spite of the flak he has caught from his opponents in the Democratic Party. I wouldn’t mind seeing him give it a shot. At the very least, he would give the Democrats fits with his record of making things work in Wisconsin.

There is also Rick Perry, Dr. Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, and a host of other candidates who are possibly, maybe, or just might be announcing their contention for the 2016 Republican nomination for President. The list just keeps growing and growing. Who knows, I’m thinking of running myself. Does anyone want to throw their hat in the ring as my Vice-President?

I know this is a serious time. The last thing we need is for the next President of the United States to be named Hillary Clinton. That thought troubles me almost as much as does the very real threats we have faced during the Obama presidency. That being said, I almost hate to see this campaign approaching. The squabbling between the different factions of the Republican Party is already getting weary on my ears. Is it just me, or is the oxygen already being sucked out of the air by the preview of the campaign? Just imagine how it’s going to feel after the many months of debates and campaigning that will precede the nomination being awarded to one lucky candidate.

Good grief, I can hardly wait until it’s over already.

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Obama Proposes Free Community College, Says It Is A Right

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Free Community College

First, we had the classification of health care as a right. How many times have we heard that broken mantra from the left, saying it should be guaranteed? Too many to count. To make sure that right was guaranteed, President Obama and his friends on the left shoved ObamaCare down our throats. It was something that most Americans neither wanted or needed, but we have it, regardless. To describe how it is “working”, or not, would take several thousand words. Isn’t that just grand? A new government program that guarantees all Americans receive health care. Or so we are told and never mind the higher costs involved for everyone who pays taxes and works for a living.

If that isn’t enough of a slap in the face, did you realize there is a new “right” in the process of being manufactured? As many of you will know by now, President Obama has announced a new federal program that will be designed to provide two years of free community college to anyone who is willing to work for it. Working for it is being described as anyone who has a 2.5 GPA and making steady progress towards a degree. Here is how President Obama described it in his remarks.

White House – So today I’m announcing an ambitious new plan to bring down the cost of community college tuition in America.  I want to bring it down to zero.  We’re going to — I want to make it free.   I want to make it free.  Community colleges should be free for those willing to work for it — because in America, a quality education cannot be a privilege that is reserved for a few.  I think it’s a right for everybody who’s willing to work for it.

First of all, how many more “rights” will be manufactured before we realize we simply can not afford them all? It is ludicrous, both on the surface and when that surface layer is peeled away. One glaring question begs to be answered. Who is going to pay for these free years of community college? Obama wants the federal government to pay for 75%, with states picking up the tab for the other 25%. If you can’t translate that on your own, that means the American taxpayer will be paying the bill, if America isn’t fully bankrupt by the time the bill comes due. Do we not have the responsibility of realizing we can not continue spending money, hand over fist, just because we think these “rights” have to be fulfilled? When will enough be enough?

I have spent much of the morning reading about the new proposal, both news articles and the comments made on those articles. The first argument liberals are using is that it is a Republican idea, so why are we opposing it when President Obama decides to endorse it. They are basing this off the fact that the state of Tennessee has their own program that covers this. Here are the details.

Fox News – Last year, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law a scholarship program that provides free community and technical college tuition for two years to the state’s high school graduates. About 58,000 of the state’s roughly 62,000 seniors have applied to participate this fall.

The similarities between the Tennessee Promise program and Obama’s plan end here. Tennessee is paying for their program with funds from the state lottery. The funding for the new federal plan has not been announced, with the Obama camp saying more details will be included in their upcoming budget. And just because it works in Tennessee, doesn’t mean it needs to be applied by the federal government, across the board to all 50 states. So, as a way of preempting the argument that we are against the program because Obama is for it, that doesn’t hold water with me. The federal government is already involved far too much in education in America. The last thing we need is another federal mandate that allows them to dig their claws in even deeper.

All the while, government spending continues to grow…

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Department Of Health And Human Services Flies First Class

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If you have read Political Realities for any length of time, you will know how much I despise the way the federal government spends our money. A more apt description would be how they waste our money, but who am I to quibble? I suppose that’s why I was always a fan of Dr. Tom Coburn. He held nothing back in showing just how good the federal government was at spending money on things unnecessary, or even remotely so. To list even a handful of the available examples would require much more time and space than any of us have, but there is one example that deserves to be highlighted.

You remember the Department of Health and Human Services? That’s the agency that is tasked with shoving ObamaCare down our throats. It seems the people who work there are quite proud of themselves and feel they are important enough to fly first class. Literally!

The Washington Examiner – Helping America’s poor, aged and sick is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ reason for being, but hundreds of its top officials are traveling in style and luxury at taxpayer expense.

Records obtained by the Washington Examiner under the Freedom of Information Act show that HHS executives spent $31 million taking 7,000 first class and business class flights between 2009 and 2013, including 253 trips for which a one-way ticket cost more than $15,000.

Half the records listed the price of a coach ticket for comparison. For that portion alone, the upgrade boosted the cost by almost $14 million, from $4.9 million to $18.5 million.

Federal employees are allowed to fly business or first class if the flight is longer than 14 hours, but only 1,400 of the 7,000 flights met that description.

For the vast majority of the flights — 5,100 — the government executives upgraded because they claimed they had a medical disability that necessitated it.

Others cited “exceptional security circumstances,” that no coach tickets were available, that a non-federal source was footing the bill, that first or business class was “required because of agency mission.”

Then-Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took 14 first- or business-class trips totaling $56,000, including flights to and within India and from Paris to Vietnam.

Forgive me if this is a completely uncalled for connection, but it appears to me the Department of Health and Human Services is drawing on the example being set by their boss, one President Obama. Do they all think the American taxpayer exists only to work to fund their junkets all over the world? It’s one thing for someone to fly first class when they or the company they are working for are paying the bill, but when the federal government is already so deep in the hole that they can’t see up for looking down, why do these people insist on digging the hole ever deeper? And don’t even try to explain to me how the amount of money they are spending is but a drop in the bucket to the debt we are in. That’s not even close to being the point.

All this week, we have watched as the new Congress was sworn into office. We then watched as the Republicans leaders proceeded to do as they pleased, in spite of it being clear that the voters who put them into office wanted new leadership in Congress. As it is with the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as other departments of the overgrown monstrosity we call the federal government, they all think they know best. Never mind the wishes of the people. Never mind that the people want the out of control spending to stop and the redefining of normal to cease and desist.

How much longer are we supposed to sit by and just accept this stupidity as the norm?

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Bill Whittle – Terrorist Nation

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It has been almost a month since I last wrote on Political Realities. This hiatus has not been because I haven’t been paying attention to what has been happening in the world. It is also not indicative of a lack of concern I feel for what I see going on. I simply have been busy taking care of other priorities, some of which have been neglected during the five plus years I have written this blog. That being said, some things can not be ignored. It is fitting that this next post is about the terror that seems to be inherent in all things Islam. That terror can not be ignored.

As I was browsing through some of the blogs I still read almost every day, I found this video from Bill Whittle at America’s Watchtower. He begins by telling the story of how he, as a 13-year-old boy, first heard of the Palestine Nation. It was at the Munich Olympic Games, where Palestinian terrorists slaughtered eleven Jewish athletes and one German police officer. It continues by showing, in stark detail, how the Palestinians have sought to demonize the Jews for many years.

If that isn’t enough evidence for you, please turn your attention to the slaughter that took place in Paris, France earlier this week. If you haven’t noticed, it was not Jews who took it upon themselves to end the lives of people who drew cartoons for a living. That distinction falls to Muslims, who seem to believe the only way to respond to something they dislike is with violence.

Bill Whittle aptly calls the Palestinians a terrorist nation. I would go a step further and wonder if the entire Muslim world doesn’t deserve that classification.

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Defense Authorization Bill – A Lesson In What Is Wrong With Congress

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Defense Authorization Bill

The Defense Authorization Bill is a well known piece of legislation. It is classified as a must-pass bill mainly because it is reputed that our national defense will go south in a hand basket, were it not to pass. I’ll leave that particular debate for another day, but there are a handful of reasons why this year’s bill should not have passed as it stood. Simply put, amendments dealing with issues that have nothing to do with our national defense were added by legislators who were supposed to be doing what is best for their country. After reading the list of those amendments, I suspect they were doing anything but that.

First of all, the Defense Authorization Bill has already passed. It did so with a great show of bipartisan support, 85-14. It is being lauded as being a great piece of legislation. Here are a few of the issues it deals with.

Fox News – The bill would authorize the training and equipping of moderate Syrian rebels for two years, and it would provide $5 billion for the fight against Islamic extremists.

The bill would provide core funding of $521.3 billion for the military, including about $8 billion in additional authority, and $63.7 billion for overseas operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite Obama’s objections, the measure maintains the prohibition on transferring terror suspects from the federal prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States.

The bill would prohibit the retirement of the A-10 Warthog, the close-air support plane often described as ugly but invaluable.

The Pentagon sought cuts in military benefits. Lawmakers compromised by agreeing to make service members pay $3 more for co-pays on prescription drugs and trimming the growth of the off-base housing allowance by 1 percent instead of the Pentagon’s deeper 5 percent recommendation.

The legislation would change the military justice system to deal with sexual assault cases, including scrapping the nearly century-old practice of using a “good soldier defense” to raise doubts that a crime has been committed.

The measure would give accusers a greater say in whether their cases are litigated in the military or civilian system and would establish a confidential process to allow victims to challenge their separation or discharge from the military.

Arguments could be made in defense of every one of the issues I just quoted from Fox News. All of them probably have their proper place in the defense of our country. However, there are other issues being dealt with in the legislation that are not related, not even remotely so. Here are a few for your consideration, taken from The Daily Caller.

National Women’s History Museum

The proposed National Women’s History Museum will be included in the upcoming defense bill, according to a top Republican staffer. The House authorized the new museum, which will be afforded a place on the National Mall, earlier this year; the Senate has yet to vote on it. The museum’s CEO, Joan Wages, promised in an op-ed last month that the museum will be privately funded.

National Parks & Studies

National parks may be the most well-known pieces of federally-owned land, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. U.S. land totals about 2.27 billion acres — as of 2012, the federal government owned 28 percent of it. National parks alone take up 84 million acres across all 50 states and U.S. territories.

It’s hardly popular to increase the feds’ share of American land, so into the NDAA it goes. According to congressional sources, the new bill will include provisions authorizing four new national parks and seven national park studies, which typically result in new national parks of their own.

Federal Wilderness 

Government-designated “wilderness” accounts for a much larger chunk of federally-owned land than national parks. Federal wilderness areas tops 106 million acres in the U.S.– about 4.5 percent of the country’s total area. The 2015 NDAA is expected to toss several thousand more acres on the top of the pile.

National Heritage Areas

These federal lands, another project of the National Park Service, are designated by Congress as sites with “natural, cultural, and historic” importance. After it’s set aside by the federal government, the land isn’t owned by NPS, but the agency provides matching funds and “advice” to the private entities. The 2015 defense authorization bill will provide 16 extensions to national heritage areas, according to congressional staffers.

Wild and Scenic Rivers 

Turns out the federal government also has a hand in keeping specially appointed rivers and “primitive,” “undeveloped” and unpolluted. As of July 2011, 203 rivers in 38 states and Puerto Rico had earned federal status, or 12,598 miles of water. The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System laments that far more rivers haven’t fallen under its control, and that Americans have built over 75,000 large dams. Not to worry — the defense funding bill will add more wild and scenic river designations, as well as studies that could end in more designations down the road.

Sealaska Land Conveyance

This bill will hands over tens of thousands of acres of land to Sealaska, an entity representing native Alaskans. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced a new version of the bill that would convey 70,000 acres in southeast Alaska under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

National Park Service Commemorative Coin 

When all else fails, who doesn’t love a commemorative coin? The House passed a billauthorizing a new National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin in April 2014 and the funding is expected to come courtesy of the NDAA. The April legislation includes $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins and half dollars to honor the NPS’s 100 years and 84 million acres.

The only word I can think of to describe what has been included in the Defense Authorization Bill is shameful. It escapes my comprehension how any Senator or Representative could possibly justify including any of these items in a bill that is designed to fund our national defense, but that is exactly what they have done. In doing so, it has pitted Oklahoma’s Senators against each other. As would be expected, Senator Tom Coburn, who is retiring at the end of the year, is pointing out the lunacy and the expense of the bill. Here is what he had to say to the Republican leadership in the Senate.

“A bill that defines the needs of our nation’s defense is hardly the proper place to trample on private property rights.”

On the other hand, Senator Jim Inhofe believes there was little choice but to pass the legislation, given his commitment to making sure our national defense is covered, as well as to providing for the men and women in the Armed Services. While I understand and appreciate that commitment, his statement about it rubs me the wrong way. He has basically said it was too late to change the bill, that it needed to pass as is. My problem with that is simple.

As it stands now, the Defense Authorization Bill was worked out in the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which he is the ranking Republican member. Carl Levin, the retiring chairman of that committee, has already put out a statement saying the bill was worked out in cooperation with the ranking members of both parties. As much as I have always respected Senator Jim Inhofe for his willingness to spit in the eyes of the liberals on the left, I’m not convinced he has done the right thing by supporting this bill. He appears to be playing the game of Congress a little too well for my taste.

There is a lot wrong with how Congress operates, but the Defense Authorization Bill, and the amendments included that had nothing to do with our national defense, is a major thorn in our flesh. Until this mechanism is changed, and amendments such as these are forced to stand on their own merit, I have great doubts that any positive change will occur, regardless of who is in the majority.

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CAIR Deserves Terrorist Designation

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If you have followed my posting about Oklahoma State Representative John Bennett, you will know he minces no words when it comes to radical Islam and its friends in America. He has been called many names, Islamaphobe among them, for his unrelenting pursuit of exposing the truth about Islam. One of the organizations that has tried to prove Bennett’s allegations false, to make him out a liar and a bigot, is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, otherwise known as CAIR. They have a lively chapter in Oklahoma and they have done their best to discredit their number one nemesis in Oklahoma, namely John Bennett. To his credit, Bennett has the facts on his side, and he has used those facts in his latest post on Facebook, showing just how big of a hypocrite CAIR really is. The truth about radical Islam, and the friends it has in CAIR, can not be denied, no matter how much some people may try.

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. John Bennett, chair of the Oklahoma Counterterrorism Caucus, said today that he would like to CAIR-OKexplain why the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is on the United Arab Emirates list of terrorist organizations.

Since its founding in 1994, CAIR employees and officials have conspired with third parties that are hostile to the interests of the United States and pled guilty to charges related to these actions.

Senior CAIR employee Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer pled guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison for participating in a network of militant jihadists centered in Northern Virginia. He admitted to aiding and abetting three persons who sought training in a terrorist camp in Pakistan for the purpose of waging jihad against American troops in Afghanistan. Royer’s illegal actions occurred while he was employed with CAIR.

CAIR Director of Community Relations Bassem Khafagi was arrested by the United States due to his ties with a terror-financing front group. Khafagi pled guilty to charges of visa and bank fraud, and agreed to be deported to Egypt. Khafagi’s illegal actions occurred while he was employed by CAIR.

On Dec. 18, 2002, Ghassan Elashi, founding board member of CAIR-Texas, a founder of the Holy Land Foundation, and a brother-in-law of Musa Abu Marzook , was arrested by the United States and charged with, among other things, making false statements on export declarations, dealing in the property of a designated terrorist organization, conspiracy and money laundering. Ghassan Elashi committed his crimes while working at CAIR, and was found guilty.

CAIR Board Member Imam Siraj Wahajq, an un-indicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing, has called for replacing the American government with an Islamic caliphate, and warned that America will crumble unless it accepts Islam.

Rabih Haddad served as a CAIR fundraiser. Haddad was co-founder of the Global Relief Foundation. The Global Relief Fund was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for financing the Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations and its assets were frozen by the federal government on Dec. 14, 2001.

Consistent with Hamas ideology, CAIR has served as a conduit for the distribution of materials and funds from foreign nationals to groups and institutions within the United States such as the Islamic Association for Palestine. The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and the Global Relief Foundation. The materials and funds are for the purpose of promoting radical Islam and Hamas ideology. They have criticized Islamic clerics and scholars who reject radical Islam and the Hamas agenda.

“Let there be no doubt that the Council on American-Islamic Relations is a terrorist supporting front organization that is partially funded by terrorists, and that CAIR wishes nothing more than the implementation of Sharia Law in America,” said Bennett, R-Sallisaw. “CAIR has proven links to and was founded by Islamic terrorists. CAIR is not in the United States to promote the civil rights of Muslims. CAIR is here to make radical Islam the dominant religion in the United States and convert our country into an Islamic theocracy.”

In 2007, the largest terrorist funding case was prosecuted in Texas, the federal government versus the enormous Islamic charity — the Holy Land Foundation. The defendants were found guilty, and in so doing exposed a network of terror-tied Islamic groups in the United States. Many well-known Muslim groups were named un-indicted co-conspirators and Muslim Brotherhood fronts, including CAIR.

It was understood that these groups would be indicted and prosecuted as well, but that changed with the election of President Barack Obama and the appointment of Attorney General Eric Holder. Not only were those prosecutions scuttled, but the Obama Administration embedded many of these Muslim Brotherhood operatives in positions of significant power in his administration.

Bennett said Mohammed Alibiary, who is an open supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia Law and a close friend and supporter of Shukri Abu Baker, who was convicted of using a charity to fund HAMAS in which Mohammed Alibiary was a contributor, was appointed in 2010 and re-appointed in 2013 by President Obama to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council with access to classified U.S. data.

“The action by the United Arab Emirates is explicit recognition of the threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its front organizations,” Bennett said.

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Obama, Democrats Take Hard Left Turn, Ignore The Will Of The American People

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President Obama

I have long since lost count of the times conservatives have been described as hard, right-wing idealogues that care only for our conservative ideology. The issue doesn’t really matter. The left always accuses us of being unwilling to bend our conservative principles. President Obama has been especially adept at this, along with outgoing Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. They are fond of describing to the world how Republicans are just the party of NO. Incidentally, they want the rest of us to forget that it was President Obama who refused to negotiate with the Republicans during last year’s government shutdown. And Harry Reid has killed how many bipartisan bills? That’s something else I’ve lost count of.

It can not be denied that the Democrats took an historic beating in the mid-term elections. They simply got walloped because the American people are tired of the direction they have taken the country since President Obama was sworn into office. One would think this would be cause for reflection on their part. One would think they would ponder what the American people really want them to do. One would be sadly mistaken. Since the mid-term beating became apparent, something else has became abundantly clear. The Democrats are determined to go their own route and ignore the will of the American people.

It didn’t take the President long to come out with a defiant speech, telling the country he was going to work on his own, since it was clear the Republicans would not work with him after they assumed complete control of Congress in 2015. He was in no way apologetic about his actions. In Congress, elections were held to choose their leaders for the upcoming Congress. Care to guess who the Democrats chose to lead them, yet again? Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. That tells me they are not interested in changing the course they are on. And last night, President Obama doubled down on his threat to go it alone on immigration reform. He announced to the world that almost 5 million illegal immigrants no longer had to worry about deportation.

What does the President’s actions tell us? Really, nothing new. Many of us have tried to show, since before he was even elected, that the man was a pure ideologue. He believes in his liberal philosophy so strongly, he can not deviate from it. He showed that in his second inaugural address, when all he cared to talk about was climate change. Unlike William Jefferson Clinton, who cared enough about his legacy to move to the middle and work with the Republicans after 1994, Barack Hussein Obama is determined to get his way. That’s why he is forging ahead on immigration, granting deportation relief to the parents of American citizens. Is this full amnesty? Not in the legal definition, but it is a step in that direction. If Obama is allowed to force this new executive action down the throats of the American people, it is not a great leap of faith to believe he will go even further and grant them complete amnesty.

It is important to note one thing. Many who may agree with the President on his desired result on immigration disagree with his methods. Even they believe he is taking the wrong approach to correct the perceived problems with our immigration system. When some of your own party are raising red flags at your actions, would it not be safe to assume that you might be taking things a bit too far? That does not trouble President Obama, evidently. He has been stymied in his desire to help illegal immigrants for much too long. Therefore, he is acting on his own and in doing so, he is taking a hard left turn.

My hope is that the Republican-led Congress will use every means at their disposal to stop President Obama’s attempts to bypass the Constitution in its tracks. The man has been able to shed criticism because he is a black man. Every accusation of impropriety has been met with charges of racism. He accuses others of not being willing to negotiate, when he refuses to do so himself. He loves the blame game, especially when it comes to things he is guilty of. If we were in a school yard, he would be called a bully. And as far as I know, there is only one way to stop a bully. Slapping them down works wonders and it’s about time the Republicans wielded their power and slapped the man who would be king back to his rightful place of limited authority. It’s what the American people want.

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Where Was The Media When Jonathan Gruber Was Bragging About ObamaCare?

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Liberal MediaI have watched the ongoing revelations about Jonathan Gruber and his role in lying to the American people about ObamaCare with no small amount of interest. The reality of the situation is simple for me. We have known all along the liberals who shoved that monstrous piece of legislation down our throats were lying. Many of us tried to warn the country what was going down, what the legislation was intended to do, but we were shouted down. It wasn’t just the liberal politicians and policy wonks who raised their voices against our protests. The media establishment has done everything they could to make sure ObamaCare was passed and its failures hidden from sight.

In the interview Jonathan Gruber granted to PBS’ Frontline, he continually pointed out how he was just a “numbers guy”. This was the case when he helped Mitt Romney’s team set up their new health care plan in Massachusetts. He continued that mantra when he talked about his time with President Obama, before and after he became President. He is an economist and a liberal and with his proven proclivity to lie about what he is doing to the American people, just to make sure the desired result is achieved, it makes me trust economists and liberals even less than I already do.

My fellow Americans, we have been lied to from the beginning. The liberals in charge of creating ObamaCare and ramming it through Congress knew what their plans were all along. They manipulated the numbers, even bragging about it among themselves. With hardly any effort on my part, I can find several videos of Jonathan Gruber doing just that. While I can not argue with him that many American voters are less than astute in their knowledge of what goes on in their country, especially outside of their own tunnel vision, it doesn’t excuse his role in the lie that has been perpetrated.

Going back to Gruber’s interview with Frontline, let me point out the obvious. That interview was taped on June 13, 2012. By my calculations, that is 146 days before the presidential election took place on November 6, 2012. Plenty of time for the interview to be dissected by the media and the American public, but nary a word until 2014. This is just the latest evidence that shows just how culpable the media is, when it comes to Barack Obama. They said nothing about his failures, when it would have profited the American people to know of those failures. They said nothing about Jonathan Gruber’s manipulation of the legislation to make sure the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored it the way the Obama team wanted it scored.

This is not the only time the media played coverup for the Obama administration and ObamaCare.America’s Watchtower has a post about how CNBC helped lay a wet blanket over the criticism of ObamaCare. Melissa Francis, currently of Fox Business, had this to say about her time at CNBC.

“When I was at CNBC, I pointed out to my viewers that the math of Obamacare simply didn’t work. Not the politics by the way, just the basic math. And when I did that, I was silenced. I said on the air, that you couldn’t add millions of people to the system and force insurance companies to cover their preexisting conditions without raising the price on everyone else. I pointed out that it couldn’t possibly be true that if you like your plan you can keep it. That was a lie, and in fact, millions of people had their insurance canceled. As a result of what I said at CNBC, I was called into management where I was told, that I was quote, ‘disrespecting the office of the president’ by telling, what turned out to be the absolute truth” she stated.

When you look at the dates of Ms. Francis’ employment at CNBC, one thing stands out. She joined Fox Business in the second week of January 2012. That means her former employer was actively involved in covering up the truth about ObamaCare, well before the presidential election of 2012. That is another nail in the coffin holding the last vestiges of a responsible media establishment.

Even now, the mainstream media refuses to cover the video evidence of how Jonathan Gruber and the rest of the liberals involved in creating ObamaCare lied to the American people. As it was with Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, and other scandals perpetrated by the Obama administration, they act as if not even a smidgin of corruption exists. They pretend it isn’t really a legitimate news story, just dreamed up by conservatives to make their pet President look bad. Remember what I said about not trusting another liberal economist? The same applies to the liberal media. They have proven one thing, once and for all. They can not be trusted to do the right thing.

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Voter Fraud In Oklahoma: A Lesson In History

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A lot has been said about voter fraud in the past few years. We in the Republican Party insist it exists and are working to prevent it by enacting laws that require voters to show identification when casting their ballots. The Democrat Party insist voter fraud exists only in our minds and imaginations and that our efforts to enact Voter ID laws are only an attempt to keep minority voters from casting their votes. As this history lesson from Paul R. Hollrah shows that not only does voter fraud exist, but it is the prime reason why the Republican Party has had to fight so hard to gain a foothold in Oklahoma politics. Thankfully, we have more than just a foothold, but are in almost total control. A big tip of the blogger hat to Mike McCarville for first publishing this essay.

On Tuesday evening, September 10, 1963, I attended my first meeting of the Tulsa County Young Republicans. It was the first political meeting I’d ever attended, and as a result of attending that one meeting, and the things I learned there, my life was changed forever.

The guest speaker that evening was a man named Walter Hall, the Ballot Security Officer for the Oklahoma Republican State Committee. In his speech Hall described in shocking detail the widespread election fraud practiced by Oklahoma Democrats in every election. He began by saying that forty-four of Oklahoma’s seventy-seven counties had not provided a secret ballot for voters since statehood in 1907, and that local Democrats regularly used every conceivable illegal device to intimidate voters and to fraudulently control the outcome of elections.

Although state law required that one of the three election officials in every precinct must be a member of the minority party, Oklahoma Democrats systematically appointed bogus Republicans to the minority positions. Consequently, in many precincts in those forty-four counties, all of the election officials were, in fact, Democrats.

When voters entered the polls on Election Day they found three Democrats seated behind a table. After signing the entry log they were handed a paper ballot and a pencil, and since there were no facilities for marking ballots in secret, they were obliged to place their ballot on the table and to mark their ballot while the three election officials looked on. If the election officials saw a voter mark his ballot for even a single Republican candidate, a number of things could happen.In many Oklahoma counties the welfare rolls were divided up by precincts and kept on the tables in the polling places on Election Day. If a welfare recipient was so unwise as to vote for a Republican, his/her name was removed from the welfare rolls the instant the pencil marked the ballot. If the errant voter was a state or county employee, he ran the risk of being unemployed the same day. And if he was a property owner, he often found his property tax assessment doubled or tripled overnight.

In some counties the election officials were so brazen as to keep a trash can next to the ballot box, and any ballot with a Republican vote on it went directly into the trash can. The only ballots in the ballot box were straight Democratic tickets.In some counties they were a bit more subtle and used a technique that Walter Hall referred to as the “lead-under-the-thumbnail” trick. That technique involved breaking the lead from a pencil and tucking it lengthwise under a thumbnail.

When the election official took a completed ballot from a voter, and the ballot contained a vote for a Republican candidate, the official merely scraped the lead across the face of the ballot, folded the ballot in the normal fashion, and placed it in the ballot box.

When the ballot boxes were opened and the ballots were removed, state law required that all ballots with “extraneous” markings be classified as “mutilated” ballots and not counted in the final tally.In other counties, election officials would allow a thumbnail to grow very long over a period of months preceding an election. On the day of the election they would file a sharp edge on the thumbnail so that, when they took a ballot containing a Republican vote from a voter and prepared to fold it, they merely flicked the sharp nail through the edge of the paper. Ballots with small rips and tears were considered to be “mutilated” and were discarded along with those having extraneous markings.

I was absolutely appalled at the speaker’s endless recounting of official corruption in the state’s electoral process. It was hard for me to believe that such corrupt practices could be standard practice in the greatest democracy on Earth, in the twentieth century, but there was no reason to doubt the truth of what he said.Having been an interested observer of the Democratic Party for many years, and having learned much more about it through many friendly debates with my in-laws, I was all but convinced that the party was just another large-scale criminal conspiracy, masquerading as a political party. After hearing Walter Hall’s presentation that evening I was absolutely certain of it.

When the speaker had concluded his remarks and the meeting was adjourned, I didn’t hesitate for a moment but walked directly to the front of the room. As I approached Mr. Hall, several Young Republicans had already gathered around him and were vying for his attention.

I stood directly in front of him, and when our eyes met I held out my hand. As we shook hands I said, “Mr. Hall, my name is Paul Hollrah. I’ve just recently moved to Oklahoma, but I’d like to volunteer to form a committee to raise funds and to provide voting booths for all of those counties that don’t have them.”

He looked at me, chuckled, and said, “You don’t really think the Democrats would let you get away with that, do you? They throw us a bone now and then,” he continued, “or we find them fighting amongst themselves and we manage to get somebody elected. We’re a distinct minority in Oklahoma and I’m afraid we have to be satisfied with that.”

The people standing around the speaker nodded in agreement. “Yeah, that’s right!” they chorused.

I was very disappointed. I thought they’d be angry. As the primary victims of the fraud, I thought they’d be mad enough to do something about it, but they weren’t. They proceeded from the assumption that if they tried, they were bound to fail – and, chances are they would have.

However, on February 8, 1966, I was elected Chairman of the Tulsa County Young Republicans. It didn’t take long for me to conclude that there was one major benefit to being Chairman of the Tulsa County YR’s. As chairman of the YR’s, I had power – not a lot of power, but enough power – and I knew that if I played my cards right I’d have enough power to do something about election fraud in Oklahoma.

I had not forgotten the speech I heard at the first YR meeting I attended with Joe McGraw in September 1963.After being thoroughly rebuffed in my first bold attempt at organizing a reform movement, and after witnessing widespread fraud in the 1964 general election, I made a second attempt in early 1965 – but again to no avail.

Republicans simply didn’t believe that reform was possible in the face of Democratic opposition. For Democrats, vote fraud was a way of life. It was their bread and butter. It was the means by which they had maintained one-party control in states from Texas to Virginia for the better part of a century. And since Democrats controlled all county and state election boards, the legislatures, the major law enforcement offices, and the courts, few Republicans were willing to take them on. They had asked God for the patience to endure the things they could not change, for the will to change the things they could change, and for the wisdom to know the difference. Unfortunately, they’d put vote fraud in the category of “things they could not change.”

I was convinced that it not only could be done, it had to be done.

In mid-February, just days after my election, I created an organization called Operation: Secret Ballot. I appointed five YRs, two of whom, Johnny Cherblanc and Dave Nalley, I appointed as project coordinators. Both were active members of the Tulsa Jaycees.. I made no public announcements, there was no fanfare, I just did it. More importantly, I had a plan. I knew that very little reform could be accomplished if the effort was widely viewed as being a partisan operation. What we needed was a non-partisan front with bipartisan support.

Through John Cherblanc and Dave Nalley we convinced the Tulsa Jaycees to invite Walter Hall to be guest speaker at a future meeting. Hall spoke at the June meeting of the Tulsa Jaycees and the result was totally predictable. They were outraged at what he told them about vote fraud in Oklahoma. We had our non-partisan front.

Gene Vinyard, of the Tulsa Jaycees, was selected as project coordinator for Operation: Secret Ballot. And after a quiet conversation with one or two fair-minded, idealistic members of the Tulsa County Young Democrats…young Democrats who actually believed in honest elections and the Rule of Law…the project was launched. Operation: Secret Ballot was an organization of mostly Young Republicans, with Jaycee leadership and publicity, and enough Young Democrats to validate our claim to bipartisanship.

Working with a cabinetmaker from the Jaycees, we designed a voting booth that could be made from simple one-by-two white pine frames, covered with unbleached muslin, and assembled with offset hinges to allow easy folding and stacking for storage.

The Operation: Secret Ballot coordinating team was doing an excellent job. Gene Vinyard, Johnny Cherblanc, and the others raised more than $5,000 for the project – enough to purchase all of the materials we needed – and the Tulsa Rig and Reel Company loaned us one of their abandoned steel fabricating shops in West Tulsa for our assembly operation.

In late July we sent letters to the county election boards in all of the forty-four counties where the secret ballot didn’t exist, informing them that we’d have voting booths available for them, free of charge, by election day, November 8. All they had to do was tell us how many they needed and we’d deliver them to their county courthouse during the first week of November.

By mid-August our assembly line was operational and we started producing voting booths. Every Saturday and every Sunday, from mid-August through late October, the cavernous interior of our voting booth “factory” echoed with the sound of saws, hammers, and staplers. And as the voting booths came off the end of our assembly line they were folded, stacked, and stored along one side of the building. As the weeks passed our inventory grew and grew.

When responses started coming in from county election boards, we found a mixed reaction. Some counties didn’t respond at all, but among those who did there were both written and oral responses. For the most part, the letters we received said, “Thank you! We’ve never been able to afford voting booths in our county.” And they went on to say how many they needed and where to deliver them.

The oral responses were never direct, they were always sent to us through third parties. Basically, they were very simple messages. They said, “If you come into our county with your damned voting booths we’ll be waiting for you with shotguns and rifles and you’ll all go back to Tulsa in pine boxes!”

We had many threats on our lives, and knowing of many cases of violence by Democrats, we took them all very seriously.

In mid-October Governor Henry Bellmon commented publicly on our election reform project, and within a day or two we were contacted by the Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard. The General told us that he would make National Guard troops and trucks available to us whenever we needed them. All we had to do was tell him which counties were to receive voting booths and the number of voting booths to be delivered to each location.

During the first week of November 1966, the National Guard loaded and delivered enough voting booths to supply somewhere between eight hundred and a thousand precincts across the state. Under the glare of public scrutiny the Democrats were afraid not to use them, and on Tuesday, November 8, Oklahoma voters went to the polls and elected a new governor, State Senator Dewey Bartlett, the second Republican governor in Oklahoma history; they elected a Republican attorney general, Tulsa attorney G.T. Blankenship, the first Republican attorney general in state history; they elected Republican congressmen in two of the state’s six congressional districts; and they elected a Republican state labor commissioner.

We were all happy, of course, that our friend, Dewey Bartlett, would be occupying the governor’s chair for the next four years, but the most significant outcome of Operation: Secret Ballot was the election of G.T. Blankenship as attorney general.

Within months after taking office, Blankenship announced major criminal indictments against the most powerful and corrupt Democrat politician in the state. The evidence of official corruption was overwhelming and when a guilty verdict was returned at trial he was sentenced to eight years in the state reformatory at McAlester.

The attorney general also stunned Oklahomans when he announced an official investigation of wrongdoing among the justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The court was comprised of nine justices, all Democrats, and when the facts emerged Oklahomans learned that a majority of the justices had been taking bribes of from $15,000 to $25,000 to influence their decisions on cases before the court. With $100,000 or $150,000 to spend, a litigant could buy any decision he wanted from the state’s highest court.

In the end, several justices were successfully impeached and removed from the bench, while others resigned rather than face the public humiliation of impeachment.

A small group of determined citizens from Tulsa County gave the State of Oklahoma the biggest dose of political reform it ever had. The Tulsa Jaycees received the National Community Service Award from the U.S. Jaycees for their role in the project.

However, in Republican circles, Operation: Secret Ballot was never mentioned. As I would learn in the months and years to follow, it was typical of the recognition that the Republican Party showered on its best and brightest. In the Republican Party there was no such thing as recognition for achievement; the only message was “Get up the money, get out the vote, and get the hell out of my face.” Nothing has ever changed in that regard.

Nevertheless, it is almost certain that Henry Bellmon’s first term as governor (1963-67) and the Operation: Secret Ballot project of 1966 were, together, the two political developments in Oklahoma history that are the basis of the political renaissance that has made Oklahoma the reddest of red states.

Paul R. Hollrah is a former Sunoco governmental affairs executive. He lives in Grove.

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