A family is suing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for $9 million after two senior employees stole their pet Chihuahua Maya off their porch and had the dog killed.
The family captured video on their home surveillance system of two PETA employees, Victoria Carey and Jennifer Woods chasing Maya down, taking her off the family’s porch and shoving the dog into a white van. PETA admitted four months later it euthanized Maya later that day.
Victoria Carey was a contract worker for PETA and had been the organization’s human resources director. Jennifer Woods is PETA’s senior communications administrator. Carey’s contract with PETA has been terminatied, but Woods remains employed.
State law requires that animals be held for five days before they are euthanized to allow people to recover their animals in situations like this. An investigation by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services founded PETA violated the law and imposed the largest fine it could, $500.
The family says the two PETA workers apologized by giving the family a fruit basket.
PETA euthanized 2,454 of the 3,369 cats, dogs and other animals it took in in 2014. Only 23 dogs and 16 cats taken in by PETA were adopted. A PETA press release claims the organization offered “free euthanasia services for 2,454 dogs, cats, and other animals in just one area of the United States.”
A statement by PETA to a local news channel on Maya’s death claims the incident “was extremely upsetting, therefore, to discover that in the course of doing something helpful and good, something bad had happened.”
The Obama administration released thousands of illegal immigrant children to sponsors with criminal records, including arrests on charges of child molestation, human trafficking and homicide, a top senator charged Tuesday.
If true, it would be a stunning black mark on President Obama’s immigration record, according to analysts, who said the first job of the government was to protect the children from dangerous situations – and it apparently failed.
At least 3,400 children were placed in homes where sponsors had criminal records, said Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, citing information from a whistleblower.
“Allegedly, proper screening is not taking place and children are paying the price,” the Iowa Republican said in a letter demanding answers about the procedural breakdown from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
HHS didn’t deny the numbers but said it does try to prohibit those with “serious” criminal records from sponsoring children and does conduct some level of background checks on all sponsors.
The accusations were made just as the Border Patrol confirmed another surge of illegal immigrant children along the southwestern border, with nearly 5,000 unaccompanied minors and 6,000 more women and children traveling together streaming across in October.
Those are huge increases over last October, when 2,500 unaccompanied children and fewer than 2,200 family members traveling together were caught at the border.
Customs and Border Protection officials said they were “closely monitoring this situation” and blamed smugglers for enticing would-be migrants to make the perilous journey by promising they can earn “permisos,” or free passes, once they reach the U.S. The permisos are the court appearance documents that the Border Patrol issues before releasing them into the interior of the U.S., where they can easily disappear.
In the case of unaccompanied children, the Border Patrol turns them over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of HHS. That office then houses the children in dormitories until sponsors can be found for them.
But the pressure to handle tens of thousands of children at a time overwhelmed the office last year. As a result, the office handed over children to sponsors who were not properly vetted, according to Mr. Grassley and other analysts.
“They were so overwhelmed with cases they were more interested in processing them quickly than in making sure it was done safely,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “They seemed to be operating under this delusion these were harmless kids being reclaimed by well-meaning relatives and there was nothing to worry about. And that is truly delusional.”
She said conducting background checks has become routine even for youth sports coaches and library volunteers and it’s stunning that the Obama administration doesn’t require that for someone who is taking full custody of a child.
HHS spokeswoman Andrea Helling said the department does try to vet the people it allows to sponsor children.
“It is not the practice of the Office of Refugee Resettlement to place unaccompanied children with sponsors who have serious criminal convictions. The safety of the children is our primary concern, and any allegation of even potential harm is taken seriously and will be investigated,” she said.
Under the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law, children caught crossing the border illegally without parents are deemed “unaccompanied alien children,” or UACs. They are supposed to be processed quickly by the Border Patrol and then turned over to HHS, which puts them in juvenile homes until they can be reconnected with relatives or placed in foster families.
That often meant placing them with relatives who themselves were in the U.S. illegally.
HHS, faced with nearly 10,000 children a month at the peak last summer, cut corners, including no longer requiring that all sponsors go through fingerprint checks. Fingerprints are required if a sponsor is not a parent or legal guardian, and in cases in which a child is considered particularly vulnerable.
HHS does conduct a background check that includes running a sponsor’s name through criminal databases, and they listen to see whether a sponsor “self-reports” a criminal history during the vetting process.
As of August, HHS also now conducts follow-up visits 30 days after a child is released to a sponsor. In May, HHS began accepting calls to its hotline for children or their sponsors to report on disruptions, including conflicts that could endanger the safety of a child.
Immigrant rights advocates involved in monitoring the children’s cases could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
But last year, at the height of the surge, one nonprofit estimated that as many as 10 percent of the children were sent to live in unacceptable or dangerous conditions.
Mr. Grassley said Tuesday that the whistleblower, whom he did not identify, raised his concerns with the Obama administration in August, yet the children identified as having been put in jeopardy have not been removed from those homes.
The whistleblower saw information on just a subset of 29,000 children, and 12 percent of them were placed in homes where sponsors had records. Extrapolating across the nearly 110,000 unaccompanied children caught at the border over the past two years, that could mean nearly 13,000 children may have been placed in dangerous situations.
Just when you think Obama’s Iran deal couldn’t get any worse, his own State Dept. reveals that Iran didn’t sign the deal nor is it ‘legally binding’. It’s just a set of ‘political commitments’ or something:
NRO – President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not “legally binding,” his administration acknowledged in a letter to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) obtained by National Review.
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter. Frifield wrote the letter in response to a letter Pompeo sent Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he observed that the deal the president had submitted to Congress was unsigned and wondered if the administration had given lawmakers the final agreement.
Frifield’s response emphasizes that Congress did receive the final version of the deal. But by characterizing the JCPOA as a set of “political commitments” rather than a more formal agreement, it is sure to heighten congressional concerns that Iran might violate the deal’s terms.
“The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose – and ramp up – our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments,” Frifield wrote to Pompeo.
Of course we couldn’t trust Iran in the first place, but for Obama, who touted this deal as the only way to keep Iran from getting nukes, to not even get their signatures attesting to their ‘commitment’ to this so-called deal seems ludicrous. And for his State Department to then say it’s not legally binding? Just what assurances did Obama think he was getting from the Iranians to even make the guarantees he made and his numerous statements defending this deal?
Here’s the letter obtained by the NRO:
A British television network went undercover for a year among female supporters of the Islamic State group in London and reportedly found British mothers preaching that Allah will destroy Western militaries, that the “man-made” laws of Britain are to be rejected and that Muslims must travel to Syria to join the jihadist group.
In the program, “ISIS: The British Women Supporters Unveiled,” Britain’s Channel 4 reported that its investigation spanned the past year until about four weeks before the Paris attacks, which killed 129 people.
The undercover reporter, dressed in full Islamic garb, including covering her face, penetrated the closely guarded group by first setting up fake social media accounts that she used to communicate with three leading female Islamic State supporters in the U.K. who go by the names Umm Usmaan, Umm Saalihah, and Umm L, whom Channel 4 said it could not name for legal reasons.
The reporter, who presented herself as a woman named “Aisha,” said she is a Muslim who grew up in London and was willing to undertake personal risk in order to discover what has motivated an estimated 700 British Muslims to travel to Syria to fight for the jihadist group – among them 100 girls.
“Aisha” attended secret lectures in London, during which women preached the evils of the U.K. and democracy and described Jews as “filthy,” often with teenage and younger girls present.
The women pushed the notion that man-made laws are not to be followed, only the laws of Islam; therefore, democracy should be rejected.
“We do not submit to the law of any country, any nation,” said one of the women.
One of the women tweeted against wearing the traditional poppy on one’s lapel in honor of servicemen killed in war, describing a person who wears the red flower as an “apostate.”
Accusing Israel of killing Muslim children, the radical female activist Umm L said, “The amount of Muslim children – I won’t even use the word ‘Palestinian’ – Muslim children that are in custody of those filthy Jews.”
On the videos, Umm Usmaan frequently quoted Islamic religious texts to encourage people to travel to Syria, while Umm Saalihah told Muslims online to go work for the caliphate, the documentary reported.
Repeatedly, the British women attacked Britain for allegedly waging a war against them.
“Allah, one by one, he will destroy them,” one female preacher said regarding coalition fighters targeting jihadists.
Those launching air strikes on the Islamic State group in Syria were described as “cowards” and engaged in “killing innocent people.”
“Aisha” the undercover reporter saw online messages encouraging girls to travel to Syria.
“Start saving for a plane ticket and don’t tell anyone,” social media activists told the impressionable young Muslim women.
The documentary can be viewed at Channel 4.
Anyone at all familiar with Thomas Jefferson is well aware of our third president’s vital influence on the crafting of the American Constitution. While Jefferson is primarily known as the chief author of the Declaration of Independence and James Madison is primarily known as the early architect of what would become our Constitution and the prime mover behind the Bill of Rights, the two men were close friends, lived not very far apart in Virginia, and kept regular correspondence.
Jefferson and Madison were of like political minds, and during the Constitutional Convention, while Jefferson was across an ocean as U.S. Minister to France, the two men enjoyed an intense and productive correspondence about what the U.S. Constitution should look like.
My media hero of the week (more on this below), USA Today editor David Mastio, accurately sums up the rest of the story:
After the Constitution Convention was over, Jefferson had this other idea called a “Bill of Rights,” which you might have heard is a part of the Constitution. Jefferson sorta played a key role in all that First Amendment, Second Amendment stuff. If you don’t believe me, go ask the American Civil Liberties Union, which is big on rights like free speech and freedom of religion.
Saith the ACLU: “The American Bill of Rights, inspired by Jefferson and drafted by James Madison, was adopted, and in 1791 the Constitution’s first 10 amendments became the law of the land.”
The ACLU even quotes Jefferson’s argument: “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”
To get the basics of Jefferson’s role in the creation of the Bill of Rights, which are, as I mentioned, a pretty important part of the Constitution, all you have to do is read the Spark Notes version. Or you can get it in easy Q&A format from the U.S. Archives.
Not to take anything away from Mr. Mastio, who did a righteous thing defending Ben Carson, but none of this is a secret, or hidden history. It’s not even deep-dive history. Anyone who has picked up a biography of Jefferson or Madison is well aware of this.
Apparently, the following news outlets – CNN, Politico, and the Washington Post – have not picked up that biography, or they are intentionally smearing Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson… again.
During a Monday appearance on C-Span, Carson said, quite correctly, that he admired Jefferson primarily for his role in helping to craft the Constitution:
But I’m particularly impressed with Thomas Jefferson, who seemed to have very deep insight into the way that people would react and tried to craft our Constitution in a way that it would control people’s national tendencies and control the natural growth of the government.
The reaction from the DC Media on Twitter was not just instantaneously ignorant, it was fantastically ignorant. Within moments my Twitter stream was buried in smug reporters laughing and dehumanizing the black apostate conservative who doesn’t – har, har – know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Except, as Mr. Mastio points out, they are all wrong.
One-hundred percent wrong.
Rather than crack open a book or use that Google-thingy right in front of them, Politico, The Washington Post, and CNN actually went so far as to publish stories claiming Carson got it wrong.
Worse still, but to no one’s surprise, all three outlets have refused to properly correct their provable errors.
Politico’s Nolan McCaskill:
Carson says, wrongly, that Thomas Jefferson crafted the Constitution…
The problem: Jefferson crafted the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. In fact, Carson noted Jefferson’s absence in his book, “A More Perfect Union,” writing that he was “missing in action” during the birth of the Constitution as he served abroad as ambassador to France.
I’ve reached out to McCaskill to ask if he is going to correct his post. As of now, he has not responded. This is the same Politico that admitted to lying (only after being caught) about Carson’s West Point story.
CNN’s Gregory Krieg:
Carson flubs Thomas Jefferson’s role in the Constitution…
But as the Washington Post noted Monday morning, Jefferson was a no-show at the Constitutional Convention and was instead an ocean away in Paris as Minister to France, while his North American-based colleagues were crafting the foundational document.
I’ve reached out to Krieg to ask if he intends to correct his story. As of now, he has not yet responded. This is the same CNN that published racially-motivated serial lies about key elements in Carson’s biography.
Via Twitter, Mastio tells me CNN did update the piece. Nevertheless, the incorrect headline remains.
Washington Post’s Fred Barbash:
Ben Carson, author of book about the Constitution, incorrectly states that Thomas Jefferson crafted it…
That did not stop Carson from praising Jefferson in a C-Span interview Sunday as one of the most impressive of the Founding Fathers because he “tried to craft our Constitution in a way that it would control peoples’ natural tendencies and control the natural growth of the government.”
I’ve reached out to Barbask to ask if he intends to correct his story. As of now, he has not responded. This is the same Washington Post that lied about Carson comparing Syrian refugees to rabid dogs.
When the entire media has risen up and proclaimed that This Is The Narrative, it cannot be easy for one of their own to say, “Actually, uhm, you’re 100% wrong.” The USA Today’s David Mastio deserves enormous credit for publishing the truth and doing so using the mockery deserved.
A man, who just two years ago was the poster boy for the far-Left media’s attacks against the U.S. government’s no-fly list for “unfairly” targeting Muslims, finds himself and several family members sitting in a Turkish prison – arrested earlier this month near the Turkey-Syria border as members of an ISIS cell.
It’s a long way from 2013 when Saadiq Long’s cause was being championed by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Glenn Greenwald, and Mother Jones, and was being represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) terror front.
His story got considerable media attention when his CAIR media representatives here pushed the story that Long wanted to return to his native Oklahoma from his current home in Qatar to visit his ailing mother but couldn’t because he was on the TSA’s no-fly list. They said his case represented institutional “Islamophobia.”
Long’s cause got international attention when Glenn Greenwald published an article at The Guardian saying that Long was “effectively exiled from his own country.” Kevin Drum of Mother Jones branded it the “Kafkaesque World of the No-Fly List.” CAIR has 22 article entries related to Long’s case on its website.
After several months of wrangling between his CAIR attorneys and the Department of Homeland Security, Long was temporarily removed from the no-fly list and allowed to return to Oklahoma.
Once home, however, he was still subject to FBI surveillance according to claims he made during a press conference with his CAIR handlers.
After an incident with local police and the FBI, Long was apparently placed back on the no-fly list, preventing his return to Qatar.
That prompted even more outrage from the far-Left media and garnered him an appearance with his CAIR handler on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show:
1:27 PM – 15 Feb 2013
US Air Force veteran, finally allowed to fly into US, is now banned from flying back home | Glenn…
Glenn Greenwald: Secret, unaccountable no-fly lists are one of many weapons the US government uses to extra-judicially punish American Muslims
U.S. and Turkish officials confirmed Long’s arrest to PJ Media, saying that he was arrested along with eight others operating along the Turkish-Syrian border. So far, no U.S. media outlet has reported on his arrest.
I have emailed Long’s CAIR handler, Adam Soltani, asking for comment. An email to his attorney Gadeir Abbas was returned as undeliverable.
This morning, leftist propaganda rags and conservative news blogs alike pounced on a story about Donald Trump’s ‘Plan For A Muslim Database‘ in America. I won’t even bother going into the specifics of the issue here, since several right-wing talk radio hosts have already completely dismantled the story. In essence, it was a load of shit, and anyone who believed the Jurassic media’s “reporting” on the matter, without bothering to independently confirm that it was actually true before jumping on the anti-Trump bandwagon, is a waste of fucking space.
Look, I get that there are a lot of people out there who don’t like Donald Trump. The guy isn’t at the top of my candidates’ list either, but that doesn’t excuse anyone from spreading provably false rumors about the man. Hell, it’s not like there aren’t plenty of legitimate reasons to disapprove of The Donald. I’ve named several of them myself in previous articles, yet I’ve also attempted to impress upon my readers that as bad as Trump may be in certain respects, he’s the next Ronald Reagan when compared to ANY Democrat candidate you could name, and if given the choice between siding with him or throwing in with the likes of ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times or The Washington Post, the contest is over before it begins. I’ll stand by Trump every single day and twice on Sundays.
Need I remind you that this same sort of phony, left-wing journalism reared its ugly head just two weeks ago? At that time it was Ben Carson who was targeted with accusations that he lied about being offered a scholarship to West Point during his ROTC days, and many in the so-called conservative press regurgitated the words of the Democrat-controlled MSM without hesitation. Of course, it didn’t take long for people who don’t have their heads crammed firmly up their own asses to destroy the credibility of the leftist pricks who’d made the story up out of whole cloth.
Before long they’ll be going after some other top-tier GOP candidate like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, and certain right-leaning news outlets with political axes to grind will copy and paste these leftists’ headlines onto their websites, thus affording the swine a legitimacy they’ve never earned while effectively undermining the entire Republican primary field in the process. Apparently, several of my fellow conservative bloggers have forgotten the age-old adage: when you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.
Suffice it to say that for every leftist-inspired, journalistic hit-job you embrace, you take one step closer to becoming one of the very neo-socialist media whores you claim to hate. Take it from someone who has made similar mistakes in the past and has lived to regret them, that road ends in shame. Yes, I too have re-posted articles on this very blog that turned out to be totally unfounded, for the simple reason that I WANTED TO BELIEVE THEY WERE TRUE. Granted, those few stories originated from hacks on the right side of the blogosphere, but that fact doesn’t make my actions any more righteous or admirable. I bought into the bullshit because I thought it served my political interests, but I was dead wrong!
Spreading false information in the name of an agenda is beneath me, just as it is beneath anyone out there who calls himself a conservative. It’s the truth we should be concerned with above all else, because if we can’t at least hold the high ground in that respect, how exactly are we any better than Hillary Clinton?
By Edward L. Daley
How We Got Here: Washington Politicians Let China Off The Hook
In January 2000, President Bill Clinton boldly promised China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization (WTO) “is a good deal for America. Our products will gain better access to China’s market, and every sector from agriculture, to telecommunications, to automobiles. But China gains no new market access to the United States.” None of what President Clinton promised came true. Since China joined the WTO, Americans have witnessed the closure of more than 50,000 factories and the loss of tens of millions of jobs. It was not a good deal for America then and it’s a bad deal now. It is a typical example of how politicians in Washington have failed our country.
The most important component of our China policy is leadership and strength at the negotiating table. We have been too afraid to protect and advance American interests and to challenge China to live up to its obligations. We need smart negotiators who will serve the interests of American workers – not Wall Street insiders that want to move U.S. manufacturing and investment offshore.
The Goal Of The Trump Plan: Fighting For American Businesses And Workers
America has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America, it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America fully opened its markets to China but China has not reciprocated. Its Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor.
If you give American workers a level playing field, they will win. At its heart, this plan is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China. The results will be huge for American businesses and workers. Jobs and factories will stop moving offshore and instead stay here at home. The economy will boom. The steps outlined in this plan will make that a reality.
When Donald J. Trump is president, China will be on notice that America is back in the global leadership business and that their days of currency manipulation and cheating are over. We will cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete.
The Trump Plan Will Achieve The Following Goals:
1.) Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.
2.) Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.
3.) Reclaim millions of American jobs and reviving American manufacturing by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. No more sweatshops or pollution havens stealing jobs from American workers.
4.) Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.
Details of Donald J. Trump’s US China Trade Plan:
Declare China A Currency Manipulator
We need a president who will not succumb to the financial blackmail of a Communist dictatorship. President Obama’s Treasury Department has repeatedly refused to brand China a currency manipulator – a move that would force China to stop these unfair practices or face tough countervailing duties that level the playing field.
Economists estimate the Chinese yuan is undervalued by anywhere from 15% to 40%. This grossly undervalued yuan gives Chinese exporters a huge advantage while imposing the equivalent of a heavy tariff on U.S. exports to China. Such currency manipulation, in concert with China’s other unfair practices, has resulted in chronic U.S. trade deficits, a severe weakening of the U.S. manufacturing base and the loss of tens of millions of American jobs.
In a system of truly free trade and floating exchange rates like a Trump administration would support, America’s massive trade deficit with China would not persist. On day one of the Trump administration the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China as a currency manipulator. This will begin a process that imposes appropriate countervailing duties on artificially cheap Chinese products, defends U.S. manufacturers and workers, and revitalizes job growth in America. We must stand up to China’s blackmail and reject corporate America’s manipulation of our politicians. The U.S. Treasury’s designation of China as a currency manipulator will force China to the negotiating table and open the door to a fair – and far better – trading relationship.
End China’s Intellectual Property Violations
China’s ongoing theft of intellectual property may be the greatest transfer of wealth in history. This theft costs the U.S. over $300 billion and millions of jobs each year. China’s government ignores this rampant cybercrime and, in other cases, actively encourages or even sponsors it – without any real consequences. China’s cyber lawlessness threatens our prosperity, privacy and national security. We will enforce stronger protections against Chinese hackers and counterfeit goods and our responses to Chinese theft will be swift, robust, and unequivocal.
The Chinese government also forces American companies like Boeing, GE, and Intel to transfer proprietary technologies to Chinese competitors as a condition of entry into the Chinese market. Such de facto intellectual property theft represents a brazen violation of WTO and international rules. China’s forced technology transfer policy is absolutely ridiculous. Going forward, we will adopt a zero tolerance policy on intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. If China wants to trade with America, they must agree to stop stealing and to play by the rules.
Eliminate China’s Illegal Export Subsidies And Other Unfair Advantages
Chinese manufacturers and other exporters receive numerous illegal export subsidies from the Chinese government. These include – in direct contradiction to WTO rules – free or nearly free rent, utilities, raw materials, and many other services. China’s state-run banks routinely extend loans these enterprises at below market rates or without the expectation they will be repaid. China even offers them illegal tax breaks or rebates as well as cash bonuses to stimulate exports.
China’s illegal export subsidies intentionally distorts international trade and damages other countries’ exports by giving Chinese companies an unfair advantage. From textile and steel mills in the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast’s shrimp and fish industries to the Midwest manufacturing belt and California’s agribusiness, China’s disregard for WTO rules hurt every corner of America.
The U.S. Trade Representative recently filed yet another complaint with the WTO accusing China of cheating on our trade agreements by subsidizing its exports. The Trump administration will not wait for an international body to tell us what we already know. To gain negotiating leverage, we will pursue the WTO case and aggressively highlight and expose these subsidies.
China’s woeful lack of reasonable environmental and labor standards represent yet another form of unacceptable export subsidy. How can American manufacturers, who must meet very high standards, possibly compete with Chinese companies that care nothing about their workers or the environment? We will challenge China to join the 21 st Century when it comes to such standards.
The Trump Plan Will Strengthen Our Negotiating Position
As the world’s most important economy and consumer of goods, America must always negotiate trade agreements from strength. Branding China as a currency manipulator and exposing their unfair trade practices is not enough. In order to further strengthen our negotiating leverage, the Trump plan will:
1.) Lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to unleash American ingenuity here at home and make us more globally competitive. This tax cut puts our rate 10 percentage points below China and 20 points below our current burdensome rate that pushes companies and jobs offshore.
2.) Attack our debt and deficit by vigorously eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal government, ending redundant government programs, and growing the economy to increase tax revenues. Closing the deficit and reducing our debt will mean China cannot blackmail us with our own Treasury bonds.
3.) Strengthen the U.S. military and deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas. These actions will discourage Chinese adventurism that imperils American interests in Asia and shows our strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China. A strong military presence will be a clear signal to China and other nations in Asia and around the world that America is back in the global leadership business.
Mary Mayhew, commissioner of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, knows her politics aren’t always popular.
“I can’t stress enough what an attack campaign it has been from the media for four and a half years,” Mayhew said Thursday at an anti-poverty forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Heritage Foundation.
Then there are the more personalized critiques: “There is a poet, or he calls himself a poet, and he sends me poems all the time,” she added. “They are not nice poems.”
Mayhew claims that detractors – who mostly take issue with welfare reforms enacted by Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, since his election in 2011 – have gone so far as to call her “Commissioner Evil,” and her and LePage’s policies a “War on the Poor.”
The irony, according to Mayhew, lies in the fact that her and LePage’s efforts actually aim to empower Maine’s poorest citizens. She says a third of the state is on welfare.
“The welfare hurricane doesn’t just destroy one family; it destroys generations of them,” Tarren Bragdon, president and CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, said at the event Thursday. “This work is about giving children a better chance for a future.”
To illustrate that point, Mayhew told a story of one of her first days on the job as DHHS commissioner, spent touring a substance abuse treatment facility for adolescents:
I was taken aback by one of the youth who came up to me – it was actually several youth, who were just completely focused on whether I could help them get disability. These were 15-year-old, 16-year-old young men clearly battling addiction, but they had decided that the answer for them was to pursue disability. And, frankly, as we all look at that pathway, that truly is committing individuals to a lifetime of poverty.
Since LePage assumed the governorship, Maine has reduced enrollment in the state’s food stamp program by over 58,000; currently, according to Mayhew, there are 197,000 people on food stamps, down from a high of 255,663 in February 2012.
Mayhew says the decline is due to eliminating the waiver of the work requirement previously attached to food stamps, as also witnessed in Kansas. Under the new legislation, recipients would need to work 20 hours per week, volunteer for about an hour a day, or attend a class to receive food stamps past three months.
LePage and Mayhew have also rolled back Medicaid eligibility through a series of battles Mayhew called “fierce.”
With a population of roughly 1.3 million, Maine had 357,000 individuals receiving Medicaid benefits when LePage took office. Today, 287,000 people are on Medicaid, according to Mayhew.
“What we have done truly has taken the arguments to the public to underscore what has been lost as that program grew out of control, never mind that the resources that had to be devoted to Medicaid were being taken away from education, infrastructure, and reduced tax burden on the state of Maine,” Mayhew said.
In August, Maine DHHS announced they planned to redirect $3.24 million in welfare savings to fund home care services for elderly citizens as well as the Meals on Wheels program.
Lastly, Mayhew touched upon Maine’s efforts to retool the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card programs, stating that Maine had over 15,000 open TANF cases when LePage took office. That number is down to less than 5,000.
LePage’s and Mayhew’s policies, as Mayhew herself highlighted, have not been without controversy.
Earlier this week, amid an ongoing dispute over EBT cards being used to wire money abroad, critics accused the LePage administration of using last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris to justify reforms.
“This proposal is really an example of fear-mongering at its worst,” Robyn Merrill, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners, told MPBN News.
But Mayhew does not plan to back down – especially if it means reducing her own influence long-term, and shifting that responsibility to local non-profits.
“I can’t underscore enough that part of the issue is government is too big, my agency is too large, and people are trying to preserve their jobs,” she said.
“We have got to reduce the size and scope of these agencies if we are going to have communities really take on the responsibility of supporting these families and these individuals on those pathways [to independence].”
While the courts have blocked President Obama’s sweeping executive amnesty programs, other aspects of Obama’s immigration edicts have served to shield more than 80 percent of the illegal immigrant population from deportation, the Washington Times reports.
According to reporting by Stephan Dinan, the implementation of other executive actions on immigration announced exactly a year ago Friday – specifically the administration’s changes to “priorities” for enforcement – has essentially served to order “agents not to bother deporting nearly all illegal immigrants.”
The changes saw the Department of Homeland Security revamp the immigrants it prioritizes for enforcement to include mainly just serious criminal aliens, gang members, national security threats and recent border crossers. As Dinan reports:
The changes are already having a major effect. Deportations, which peaked at nearly 410,000 in fiscal year 2012, dropped to about 230,000 in fiscal year 2015, which ended Sept. 30. But Mr. Johnson said more of those being deported are the serious criminals and safety threats he wants his agents to worry about.
Indeed, if agents adhere strictly to his priorities, some 9.6 million of the estimated 11.5 million illegal immigrants in the country have no real danger of being deported, according to an estimate this year by the Migration Policy Institute.
Dinan notes that the changes to enforcement priorities were not the only actions that have made life easier for immigrants in the U.S. and those seeking admission.
The actions – often mislabeled by the press as executive orders – also included changes to the legal immigration system, such as making it easier for spouses of guest workers to also find jobs; allowing foreigners who study science and technology at U.S. universities to remain and work in the country longer; pushing legal immigrants to apply for citizenship; and waiving the penalty on illegal immigrant spouses or children of legal permanent residents so they no longer have to go to their home countries to await legal status.
As I argued in Faithless Execution, the principal constitutional duty of the chief executive is to execute the laws faithfully. President Obama, by contrast, sees his principal task as imposing his post-American “progressive” preferences, regardless of what the laws mandate.
In his latest harangue against Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and other Americans opposed to his insistence on continuing to import thousands of Muslim refugees from Syria and other parts of the jihad-ravaged Middle East, Obama declaimed:
When I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted… that’s shameful… That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.
Really? Under federal law, the executive branch is expressly required to take religion into account in determining who is granted asylum. Under the provision governing asylum (section 1158 of Title 8, U.S. Code), an alien applying for admission
must establish that… religion [among other things]… was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant.
Moreover, to qualify for asylum in the United States, the applicant must be a “refugee” as defined by federal law. That definition (set forth in Section 1101(a)(42)(A) of Title , U.S. Code) also requires the executive branch to take account of the alien’s religion:
The term “refugee” means (A) any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality… and who is unable or unwilling to return to… that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of… religion [among other things]… [.]
The law requires a “religious test.” And the reason for that is obvious. Asylum law is not a reflection of the incumbent president’s personal (and rather eccentric) sense of compassion. Asylum is a discretionary national act of compassion that is directed, by law not whim, to address persecution.
There is no right to emigrate to the United States. And the fact that one comes from a country or territory ravaged by war does not, by itself, make one an asylum candidate. War, regrettably, is a staple of the human condition. Civil wars are generally about power. That often makes them violent and, for many, tragic; but it does not necessarily make them wars in which one side is persecuting the other side.
In the case of this war, the Islamic State is undeniably persecuting Christians. It is doing so, moreover, as a matter of doctrine. Even those Christians the Islamic State does not kill, it otherwise persecutes as called for by its construction of sharia (observe, for example, the ongoing rape jihad and sexual slavery).’
To the contrary, the Islamic State seeks to rule Muslims, not kill or persecute them. Obama prefers not to dwell on the distinction between the jihadist treatment of Muslims, on the one hand, and of Christians, Jews and other religions, on the other hand, because he – like much of Washington – inhabits a world in which jihadists are not Islamic and, therefore, have no common ground with other Muslims… notwithstanding that jihadists emerge whenever and wherever a population of sharia-adherent Muslims reaches critical mass. But this is sheer fantasy. While there is no question that ISIS will kill and persecute Muslims whom it regards as apostates for refusing to adhere to its construction of Islam, it is abject idiocy to suggest that Muslims are facing the same ubiquity and intensity of persecution as Christians.
And it is downright dishonest to claim that taking such religious distinctions into account is “not American,” let alone “shameful.” How can something American law requires be “not American”? And how can a national expression of compassion expressly aimed at alleviating persecution be “shameful”?
There are Muslim terrorists all over the world committing atrocities towards those they hate, whether it be Jews, Christians, other religious minorities, or even other Muslims with whom they disagree. And they are doing it in the name of the Allah and the Prophet Muhammad, using the Qu’ran to justify their evil acts.
We’re not just talking about ISIS. Nor Al-Qaeda. Just look in Israel where Muslims are coming out of the woodwork to stab Jews to death.
But somehow these terrorists who call themselves Muslims, who profess belief in Allah and the Prophet Muhammad and who say they are adherents to Islam, are actually NOT Muslims according to Hillary Clinton.
Since when is Hillary Clinton a foremost expert on Islam? Because her good friend is Huma Abedin and believes all Muslims are like her?
The ISIS caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, has a DOCTORATE in Islamic studies. Yet Hillary claims he’s not a Muslim? He’s not Islamic?
Just another reason this lying criminal and Muslim propagandist should never win the presidency.
In what appears to be a first for a serious presidential contender, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is going after five comedians who made fun of the former Secretary of State in standup skits at a popular Hollywood comedy club.
A video of the short performance, which is less than three minutes, is posted on the website of the renowned club, Laugh Factory, and the Clinton campaign has tried to censor it. Besides demanding that the video be taken down, the Clinton campaign has demanded the personal contact information of the performers that appear in the recording. This is no laughing matter for club owner Jamie Masada, a comedy guru who opened Laugh Factory more than three decades ago and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many famous comics. “They threatened me,” Masada told Judicial Watch. “I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video.”
Practically all of the country’s most acclaimed comedians have performed at the Laugh Factory and undoubtedly they have offended politicians and other well-known personalities with their standup routines. Tim Allen, Jay Leno, Roseanne Bar, Drew Carey, George Carlin, Jim Carrey, Martin Lawrence, Jerry Seinfeld and George Lopez are among the big names that have headlined at the Laugh Factory. The First Amendment right to free speech is a crucial component of the operation, though Masada drew the line a few years ago banning performers – including African Americans – from using the “n-word” in their acts.
The five short performances that Clinton wants eliminated include some profanity and portions could be considered crass, but some of the lines are funny and that’s what the Laugh Factory is all about. The video features the individual acts of five comedians, four men and a woman. The skits make fun of Clinton’s wardrobe, her age, sexual orientation, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the former First Lady’s relationship with her famous husband. The Laugh Factory has appropriately titled it “Hillary vs. The First Amendment.”
Masada told Judicial Watch that, as soon as the video got posted on the Laugh Factory website, he received a phone call from a “prominent” person inside Clinton’s campaign. “He said the video was disgusting and asked who put me up to this,” Masada said. The Clinton staffer, who Masada did not want to identify, also demanded to know the names and phone numbers of the comedians that appear in the video. Masada refused and hung up. He insists that the comedy stage is a sanctuary for freedom of speech no matter who is offended. “Just last night we had (Emmy-award winner) Dana Carvey doing Donald Trump and it was hilarious,” Masada said.
Please don’t tell the students at University of Missouri and Yale and all the other throbbing pustules of academia to stop their insanity. Instead, encourage and provoke them to turn the turmoil up to 11, a number most of these students can’t count to without taking off their Nikes. No, we want the campuses to echo with the whiny cries of the Children of the Safe Space Revolution.
And we will sit back and point and laugh as the weak-willed, spineless liberal losers of academia abase themselves before their whimpering student bodies. This is just great. As Napoleon observed, never interrupt your enemy while he’s making a mistake. Now, mentioning Napoleon probably a microaggression because, in the unlikely event that the gender studies and Marxist interpretive dance majors of Yale and Missouri recognize the name, he’s a cis-het dead white male – and he was not actually differently abled despite being vertically challenged. Still, his advice has merit – just pretend for a moment that he is trans woman-identifying being of color of some sort.
Our enemies are tearing themselves apart. Let’s let them, because every time a social justice warrior humiliates other liberals, a conservative gets his wings. See, this has all happened before. For those unfamiliar with that thing called history – I’m talking to you, college students – there was this guy named S.I. Hiyakawa who was head of San Francisco State University back in the 1960s. When a bunch of hippie punks decided to make demands, he stood up to them. He became a hero to normal people, and the voters of California – back before they went insane – elected him senator. In other words, all this idiocy about safe spaces and healing circles and “I am an oppressed special snowflake of love” provides us not only nearly endless amusement, but an opportunity to swoop in after the left has pummeled itself into mush.
This is an opportunity to get back on the side of the American people and do their will by striking back at these leftist twits. Along with the rising crime rate – even as President Faily McWorsethancarter has decided it’s time to free thousands of felons because justice or something – student idiocy provides enterprising conservatives a chance to appeal to the Silent Majority just like Richard Nixon did. For you college students out there, you’ll need to Google his Wikipedia page, but suffice it to say, he won.
So let’s make sure Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democrats have to own this pouty passion play. You know there’s no way Hillary can stand up and say what I would: “Hey you little cretins, you’ve got ‘til I count to three to get off my quad or I unleash these state troopers to get all pepper spray and nightstick up on your delicate little booties. Three.”
No, she has to kiss their collective healing circles. And we should make her do it publicly, because there’s nothing normal voters love more than seeing people giving in to petulant sophomores with an attitude. We should force her to take a stand, to decide whether she’s on the side of the little college punks, or on the side of Americans. Gee, where do you think she’ll come down? Not with the normals, that’s for sure.
But even as we get a short term political benefit we also have a long term cultural opportunity. An Overton Window is opening to defenestrate academia as it is currently constituted. Right now, as people like Glenn Reynolds and yours truly have written, colleges are pricing themselves out of the market and are increasingly vulnerable to new technology that can deliver an education without all the nonsense. Conservatives can now make an even stronger case that we need to stop subsidizing these government-funded petri dishes of social pathologies and pinko bioweapons. The clown shows at Yale and UofM are a perfect, graphic demonstration of why we should slash their budgets, pare their loathsome, Dem-voting administrations to the bone, and force academia to change – and it goes without saying that the change will be into something other than the lefty conformity factories they are today.
It’s beautiful how this conflict divides the liberals between the establishment and the students, and how it further subdivides two of their main establishment constituencies, academics and mainstream media journalists. For too long, both of these groups of hapless losers have been able to pretend to support free speech. Well, suckers, now it’s getting real. The little monsters you spawned don’t much like free-speech, and they want you to shut up too, not just us conservatives. Being academics and journalists, and therefore presumptively without spines, most of you guys will submit. A few of you won’t, and it will weaken your coalition when some number of your members walk away because they just can’t swallow your catering to these Junior Red Guards.
Conservatives should be loving this fight. We’re sitting on the sidelines and watching our enemies beat each other to a fussy pulp. This is a classic wedge issue because it splits our enemy apart like Abe Lincoln split rails. Yeah, there’s another dead white cis-het male reference you Mizzou morons won’t get.
Oh, and what if you little goofs dare strut off campus thinking that we’re like the professorial puffballs who’ll fold in the face of any intersectional anarcho-feminist who starts bawling about feeling unsafe because someone expressed an idea he/she/it doesn’t like? Well, stampy foot may work with your local Assistant Dean for Diversity and Petty Fascism, but it doesn’t play with us. The Iraqis didn’t stop me from exercising my First Amendment rights, nor the Balkans baddies, nor the scumbag rioters in Los Angeles, so you sure as hell aren’t going to without a fight. If you think you get a vote about what we normal Americans can and can’t say, you best be ready to try and make that happen with more firepower than a vicious Tumblr, because when it comes to the Bill of Rights we’re playing for keeps.
So, fellow freedom lovers, grab a bag of popcorn and a tumbler of scotch, because this is only going to get better and better. And you matriculating Marxist morons, pay no mind to us conservatives or to our laughter. Just keep very publicly making your strategic mistakes in your widdle campus safe spaces, and we will keep letting you – for now.