Sunday, April 23, 2017

Uninformed! Buck is Correct - God Help Us! These Snowflakes Will Not Melt.

In a few days the mass media will  judge Trump's 100 days. This phrase was begun by FDR and continued by the mass media as a contrived guide to demonstrate how presidents should be judged notwithstanding the fact they have over 3 plus years remaining in office. The 100 day measurement has been continued to create buzz, sell papers and ads and, of course, we should expect Trump  to be hammered for having the worst 100 days of any president in history.

In fact, based on objective truth, Trump has accomplished a good bit, has proven to be up to the job, his cabinet selections range from good to excellent but his staff operations leave something to be desired.  Even they should improve over time and if not heads will roll.  The mass media will continue castigating  him and David Gergen already has but you never hear from him much anymore because he has been relegated to the commentator dust bin.

Trump faces threats from N Korea's unstable "fat boy," Putin's need to bed down with protecting Assad and Iran's continued bellicosity.  Domestically "el presidente" is confronted by the opposition party that cannot wait for 2018, in the hope they can resume power and bring impeachment charges based on Trump's real estate empire possibly having flourished. Meanwhile, his own party struggles to knit itself back together so they can remain competitive when it comes to governing and staying in office.

Soon his wife will make The White House her permanent residence and that will provide the gossip mavens something else to talk about and nit pick because we all know MSNBC has informed us they do not get along.

This coming week we will learn whether the educational bastion of free speech will protect  conservative, Ann Coulter, who was invited to speak then dis-invited.  The fascists, who are opposed to free speech and contrary views, have threatened to be disruptive and the mayor of Berkley may order his police department to stand down again because he too is opposed to allowing free speech to pollute his sanctuary city's pristine liberal air.

Finally, Trump has revealed his reform tax legislation and  it has evoked  a hue and cry among the far left led by her majesty Ms.Pelosi, because they claim it is welfare for the rich and add to our crushing debt (Where were they when Obama doubled our debt?)  No doubt Senator Warren will remount her pony , hatchet in hand, and seek to scalp Trump for his racist views as Rep.Waters thinks of other ways to embellish her status as America's premier ding bat. [Furthermore, what would our founding fathers think about our republic turning into a haven for snow flakes and a safe place for cry babies?] 

While all this insanity is gripping America, N Korea, Iran along with Russia, ISIS and other radical Islamist terrorists continuing their threatening ways and be-headings because that is what "unemployed radical Islamist terrorists" do for a living.

Trump has reconstituted The Supreme Court so we should expect the Constitution will be upheld and at the very least read and debated.   He has resorted to undoing the damage Obama purposely did by using Executive Orders to circumvent Congress and the constitution.  He is actively reducing Obama's insane rules and regulations, and improving VA care and veteran opportunities to receive timely medical responses.He sent a clear message to N Korea that we will not tolerate their ability to attack America by a nuclear strike.  In doing so, he has enlisted China's help and also sent another message the day of Obama Feckless Foreign Policies has ended.

Trump and his staff failed to reform Obamacare because he listened to Speaker Ryan and that failure is in the process of being addressed.

He has met with some of our closest allies and sent them an unmistakable message; America is willing to resume its role of leading and he has restored our previously close relationship with Israel.

There are some who point to the fact Trump has veered away from some of his campaign rhetoric. I submit campaigning is one thing, being president another. Presidents have access to intelligence that is unique and singular.  Consequently, if a president changes his view based on this intelligence I applaud.

Trump inherited "a mess," lacks mass media support, came into office with no natural political constituency because while a public citizen voted for candidates from both parties and presides over a party split among its own ranks. The opposition party has done everything they can to slow walk his nominees and oppose everything he seeks to do in carrying out his commitments to voters who elected him. Many from the far left actually maintain Trump is a Russian spy or, at the very least, capable of being manipulated by Putin who brought about his election.

Consequently, considering the assorted issues that have been thrown at Trump, as noted above, I believe he is proving a fast learner, an indefatigable worker and is trying hard to reverse the disastrous 8 year course set by Obama. 

Notwithstanding the aforementioned, until Trump rids government of Obama holdovers and has his own team pulling the wagon he will continue having recurring smooth transition issues.

If I have overstated the world and domestic scene please forgive me because I do not read the New York Times and/or listen to the mass media and MSNBC and Bill Maher and therefore, remain utterly uninformed.


A review of Rep. Ken Buck's (R): "Drain The Swamp."

Buck's short book's message is a familiar one and is as if I wrote it myself.  However, being a current member of Congress he is able to provide insights, facts I could never be aware of and/or know.

If only half of what he writes is so, our nation is in deep trouble and maybe irretrievably so.

Buck urges citizens to undertake three critical endeavors:

a) Get involved with Article V in your respective state.

Article V of our Constitution provides that 2/3rds of both Houses of Congress have  the power to propose amendments and/or 2/3rds of state legislation's can vote to call for a Convention for the purpose of proposing amendments.

b) Choose public servants of good character.

c) Hold them accountable and vote them out if they do not perform in accordance with their obligation to do right by the country.

Buck's thesis is, that for a variety of enumerated reasons, Congress and too many Representatives no longer serve the nation's interests but are absorbed in getting re-elected and are more engaged in working for their own narrow interests.

He gives examples of the money those who seek committee chairmanships or member positions are obligated to  raise and give to the RNC. Committees are rated from A to C and Chairs for an A Committees must pledge to raise over 2 million and members $750,000 every two years.  He cited instances where punishment has been meted out against those who either did not raise these funds and/or voted against party leadership.  Punishment extends to cancelled congressional trips to funding opponents of their re-election.  Former House Speaker Boehner, Buck claims,  was particularly aggressive  in seeking retribution even contriving with Democrats over his fellow Republicans to pass legislation he favored because of his desire/need to raise funds from a variety of donors in pay to play endeavors.

Buck is a member of the Freedom Caucus whose espoused aim is to get leverage for common sense solutions and supporting conservative principles. Boehner's demise was directly related to a battle over the re-authorization of The Export-Import Bank, which Buck and his fellow conservatives concluded was a slush fund for corporate welfare which largely favored Boeing. (I have been opposed to this bank for years and recently many of those who run it were alleged to be engaged in corrupt, immoral, unethical and downright illegal and fraudulent acts/scandals etc.)

Buck alleges Congress engages in passing "swamp budgets" that purposely deceive the public. Budget goals are aspirational and offer guidelines rather than hard caps on spending. To make matters even worse he claims over $310 billion spent in 2016, was unauthorized because Sunshine Legislation is seldom and/or no longer enforced.

Congress now allows agencies to impose fees, collect penalties etc. and retain the funds in addition to their authorized budgets. Recently agencies collected $516 billion in such fees etc, while Congress was running a deficit of $439 billion. Congress has allowed Article 1, Section 7 to be pierced and thus their own authority over agencies has been abandoned and/or vastly weakened.

This has led to funding/enabling private parties and fancy Las Vegas type junkets we have recently learned about.

Buck cites instance after instance where government solutions have proven disastrous, costly and where professed solutions became disasters.  He discussed how this has happened in the field of transportation, education and energy independence. "Not only does the federal government waste money, it often delays and obstructs necessary local projects."

He urges President Trump to rely less on executive orders, recognize the limits of presidential power, rein in the administrative state and acknowledge that our founders recognized and feared the dangers of big government that was not subservient. Buck gives his rationale why we need a balanced budget amendment and pointed out we were heading for bankruptcy if we continue unbridled spending. He discussed the role of inspector generals and how ineffective they are because they lack power and are mostly beholden to the agencies and departments they are empowered to investigate.

Buck's book is disheartening because it confirms what I have come to believe and always feared.  We are no longer in control of our government.  It's growth is amoebic, its effect is mostly negative and its cost is beyond continuance. Government and politicians no longer serve the purpose our founders intended.  Government smothers he goal that we were created to be a nation based on a federation of states.

Buck's is a lonely voice that needs to be heard but, being the cynic I am, I doubt he will be because he does not seek but rather wishes to divest Congress, the Presidency and government of the power grab they have been engaged in for decades.

Buck, one might analogize, is today's Paul Revere but his message is different.  The British are not coming, the enemy is already here.  It is our government bureaucrats, the politicians we elect, our two parties and , yes, even the Supreme Court which legislates. The desire for power and the benefits derived trumps character and placing the nation's interests first.

God Help Us!  (See 2 below.)

Those ‘Snowflakes’ Have Chilling Effects Even Beyond the Campus

Academic intolerance is the product of ideological aggression, not a psychological disorder.

By Heather Mac Donald

Student thuggery against non-leftist viewpoints is in the news again. Agitators at Claremont McKenna College, Middlebury College, and the University of California’s Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses have used threats, brute force and sometimes criminal violence over the past two months in efforts to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray, Ann Coulter and me from speaking. As commencement season approaches, expect “traumatized” students to try to dis-invite any remotely conservative speaker, an effort already under way at Notre Dame with regard to Vice President Mike Pence.

This soft totalitarianism is routinely misdiagnosed as primarily a psychological disorder. Young “snowflakes,” the thinking goes, have been overprotected by helicopter parents, and now are unprepared for the trivial conflicts of ordinary life.

“The Coddling of the American Mind,” a 2015 article in the Atlantic, was the most influential treatment of the psychological explanation. The movement to penalize certain ideas is “largely about emotional well-being,” argued Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and Jonathan Haidt of New York University. The authors took activists’ claims of psychological injury at face value and proposed that freshmen orientations teach students cognitive behavioral therapy so as to preserve their mental health in the face of differing opinions.

But if risk-averse child-rearing is the source of the problem, why aren’t heterosexual white male students demanding “safe spaces”? They had the same kind of parents as the outraged young women who claim to be under lethal assault from the patriarchy. And they are the targets of a pervasive discourse that portrays them as the root of all evil. Unlike any other group on a college campus, they are stigmatized with impunity, blamed for everything from “rape culture” to racial oppression.

Campus intolerance is at root not a psychological phenomenon but an ideological one. At its center is a worldview that sees Western culture as endemically racist and sexist. The overriding goal of the educational establishment is to teach young people within the ever-growing list of official victim classifications to view themselves as existentially oppressed. One outcome of that teaching is the forceful silencing of contrarian speech.

At UC Berkeley, the Division of Equity and Inclusion has hung banners throughout campus reminding students of their place within the ruthlessly competitive hierarchy of victim hood. One depicts a black woman and a Hispanic man urging fellow students to “create an environment where people other than yourself can exist.” That’s not meant as hyperbole. Students have been led to believe they are at personal risk from circumambient bigotry. After the February riots at Berkeley against Mr. Yiannopoulos, a columnist in the student newspaper justified his participation in the anarchy: “I can only fight tooth and nail for the right to exist.” Another opined that physical attacks against supporters of Mr. Yiannopoulos and President Trump were “not acts of violence. They were acts of self-defense.”

Such maudlin pleas for self-preservation are typical. An editorial in the Wellesley College student newspaper last week defended “shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others.”

Offending “rhetoric” frequently includes the greatest works of Western civilization. In November 2015, a Columbia sophomore announced on Facebook that his “health and life” were threatened by a Core Curriculum course taught by a white professor. The comment thread exploded with sympathetic rage: “The majority of why?te [sic] students taking [Contemporary Civilization] and on this campus never have to be consistently aware of their identities as white ppl while sitting in CC reading racist, patriarchal texts taught by white professors who most likely are unaware of the various forms of impact that CC texts have on people of color.”
Another sophomore fulminated: “Many of these texts INSPIRED THE RACISM THAT I’M FORCED TO LIVE WITH DAILY, and to expect, or even suggest, that that doesn’t matter, is [obscenity] belittling, insulting, and WAY OUT OF [obscenity] LINE.” Those “racist” texts include works by Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Rousseau and Mill.

Many observers dismiss such ignorant tantrums as a phase that will end once the “snowflakes” encounter the real world. But the graduates of the academic victimology complex are remaking the world in their image. The assumption of inevitable discrimination against women and minorities plagues every nonacademic institution today, resulting in hiring and promotion based on sex and race at the expense of merit.

Seemingly effete academic concepts enter the mainstream at an ever-quickening pace. A December 2016 report on policing from the federal Office of Community Oriented Policing Services includes a section on “intersectionality”—the campus-spawned notion that individuals who can check off multiple victim boxes experience exponentially higher and more complex levels of life-threatening oppression than lower-status single-category victims.

Faculty and campus administrators must start defending the Enlightenment legacy of reason and civil debate. But even if dissenting thought were welcome on college campuses, the ideology of victim hood would still wreak havoc on American society and civil harmony. The silencing of speech is a massive problem, but it is a symptom of an even more profound distortion of reality.

Ms. Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “The War on Cops” (Encounter, 2016).


Congressman Says Corruption in Washington Is ‘Worse Than You Think’

Corruption on Capitol Hill is “worse than you think,” Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., insists.
“When you first get here, you think that you are in some sort of fairy-tale novel,” Buck said. “They wine and dine you and they show you just exactly what it’s like if you play the game. It’s a wonderful life.”
Things quickly change, however, if “you don’t play the game.”
“If you don’t play the game  …  it becomes a much less conformable existence here,” Buck said
Buck, who has served Colorado’s 4th Congressional District since 2015, previewed his new book, “Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse Than You Think,” published on Tuesday.  
Chapters in Buck’s book include “Why Washington is a Swamp,” “Play the Game–Or Else,” “Beating the Beltway Bullies,” and “What You Can Do To Drain the Swamp.”
Buck said his book addresses corruption present in government today that he was not prepared for after being elected to Congress in 2014.
“One of the things that I found startling when I got here is that you have to pay dues to be on a committee,” Buck said.
During the time he served on the House Judiciary Committee, Buck said he had to pay periodic dues of $200,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign committee of the House of Representatives.
Now, as a member of the House Rules Committee, Buck’s periodic dues are $450,000.
The obligation to pay dues, Buck said, forces members of Congress to hold fundraising receptions and encourages corrupt influences from special interest organizations who attend the fundraisers.
“Who comes to those receptions with checks?” Buck said. “Lobbyists, special interests that want something in return. So there is a game that goes on that you owe the party money and you are expected to vote with the chairman and you are expected to help special interests groups in Washington, D.C.”
Buck said there is also a significant amount of corruption in how Congress justifies spending for new project or programs.
“In the book, I list very specific ways that we need to change the incentives that we have in Congress,” Buck said. “I talk about … what we call ‘pay–fors.’ When we have new spending, we find ways to pay for that new spending program.”
Some of the ways Congress could pay for a new project or program are through tax increases or cuts to other programs, both of which are unlikely, Buck said.
Instead, Congress “makes up” sources of revenue.
Buck explains:
So we pass a transportation bill, and in the transportation bill we say that we’re going to sell oil in a strategic petroleum reserve to pay for that transportation bill. Now, what’s fascinating about this is that the average price that that oil was purchased at is $76. The price when we sold that oil was $48. Only in government is that considered a profit.
An issue with this system, Buck said, is that revenues from “pay–fors” have already been accounted for.
“One of the problems is that that barrel of oil that was used in the transportation bill as a ‘pay–for’ was already sold twice before,” Buck said.
This form of governing, Buck said, is irresponsible.
“If everything’s been paid for for so long, how did we get $20 trillion dollars in debt?” Buck said.  
In an effort to bring transparency to the “pay–for” phenomenon, Buck introduced a bill last Thursday that would require the Office of Management and Budget to track and report the revenue that “pay–fors” actually bring.
“One of the bills that I just recently dropped would ask the Office of Management and Budget to do an annual report to Congress so it is available to the American people on how much revenue did those ‘payfors’ generate,” Buck said.  
Buck’s goal, he said, is to educate the American people about the corruption in government so they are not as naive as Buck found himself when he started working in Congress.
“Before I got here, I knew that D.C. was broken, I didn’t know the specifics,” Buck said. “I’m hoping that by giving the American public the specifics, we actually have the record out there just … to make sure that people are aware.”   

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