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More Fake News (5 year old handcuffed – NOT)

The Baltimore Sun is one of the online news sites I read because it’s more reliable than others. Usually.
Now, they’ve published an opinion piece with a falsehood about “inhumane acts” that were supposedly the result of President Trump’s Executive Order on travel to the United States from certai countries. At less one of those stories was easily debunked with a quick news search.

The story that a 5 year old boy was handcuffed is at false, according to a news report by WUSA9, from Washington, DC:

We tracked down the actual photo to a controversy in Kentucky involving sheriff’s deputies handcuffing young students with learning disabilities, back in 2015.

Another story going around is that a 5 year old Syrian girl was hand-cuffed by Immigration, also at Dulles. 

The anything-but-right-wing Snopes has already published a denial about the little girl. (Of course, the verdict is, “Mixture,” rather than,”False.” Can’t go risk validating anything that might have resulted from the Trump EO, I guess.)

In this case, the father even said the airport officials were kind to the family.

All of which confirms that we need to do our own research and seek out”alternative” sources to confirm or deny “facts” reported in the news.

National Security Letters

​While we were distracted by whether Kellyanne Conway was “lying” about “alternative facts” and how mean Bannon and Spicer are, the FBI quietly lifted the gag order on National Security Letters issued by them during the previous Administration.

Now, I’m not a lawyer, so the following is a lay explanation.

These “Letters” are in fact, subpoenas issued by a government agency. They don’t require a judge or FISA Court review or warrant. 

Get this: the laws authorizing the NSLs are called “Patriot” and ” Privacy” Acts and the gag order provisions have been vetted by the Ninth Circuit of Appeals:

However, the government appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which vacated her ruling and sent the case back to the district court. Last month that court ruled that the gag order challenge was no longer relevant because the USA Freedom Act had successfully addressed the issue of gag orders

GoogleTwitterFacebook, and others reported the release from the gag order during the last couple of months. Yahoo, along with the others, has been fighting in court and some of the Letters have been disclosed to the targets:

Over the past several years, Google challenged 19 NSLs in court and last year won the right to tell WikiLeaks employees that their data had been requested.

I sincerely thought that all of these sorts of subpoenas were required to eventually go through approval of a FISA Court judge. Hopefully, the Trump Administration will not continue the Obama Administration’s abuse of these Letters and that Congress will correct the law.

It’s a “March for Life”

powerofone

2017 Theme March for Life

But if you want information about the (correction,  it’s Friday,  not Thursday,  repeat as necessary  ) Friday , January 27, 2017 March, you probably should search for “Anti-abortion March.”

The New York Times managed to “report” that Kellyanne Conway will speak at the 2017 National March for Life in Washington, DC on Friday , without once calling the March by its proper name. The only time the organization responsible for 44 years of the “Anti-abortion March” is named, is when giving the job title of the president of March for Life, Jeanne Mancini.

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2009 National Rally for Life

This year’s March wasn’t held on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, as it has been in the past, due to the inauguration events on Friday and, I suspect, the Women’s March on Saturday. The inauguration events didn’t prevent us from attending the 2009 March the day after Barack Obama was sworn in, but I imagine the concern about the two opposing groups clashing in front of the Supreme Court was just too much this year.

Friday  is probably not the best day for families, school groups and people who have regular jobs, but I expect it will be well attended, since we’ve been promised a “heavy administration presence.” There have been related Marches for Life all over the country all week (Idaho, San Francisco, Tulsa and Raleigh, where it was noted that both the Women’s March and the March for Life were held at the same time – but across town from one another.)

mygenerationYou might also search for “Rally for Life,” as the Texas Rally for Life will be held in Austin on Saturday, January 29.  Beginning at 12:00 – 1:00 PM, marchers will gather at 18th & N. Congress Ave. and then begin the short march to the South Steps of the Texas State Capitol.

(Edited to correct the day of the week of the March for Life in Washington,  DC.  BBN) 

Taxpayers voted Republican

Here’s the New York Times graphic description of voters by income. Clearly, voters who pay income tax were more likely to vote Republican. This explains the support for T’s down ballot from the vote for President.


 

Pay attention: it’s policy, not bias

screenshot_20161109-175849The consensus of media pundits and bloggers, as well as quite a few liberal and even Conservative op-ed authors, is that Donald J.Trump was elected President out of some misguided national populism and anger at Congress, fueled with a lot of racism, misogyny and hate. The fact that those same voters elected a Republican majority in the House and Senate  – sending virtually every eligible Republican incumbent back to DC – is glossed over.

The idea that Conservatives really believe in small government and equal opportunity supported by personal responsibility is rarely voiced. That we might actually vote, not only for President but consistently down ballot, in order to defend the Bill of Rights and the right to life is ignored while we are accused of xeno-, homo-, and poly-whatever-phobia. I read that I am “afraid” of other lifestyles, religions, and losing my “privilege” based on being a White Christian.

Personally, I approve of most of the Republican Platform, especially where it addresses core Conservative issues, such as low taxes and equal treatment under the law. I want a Legislature that will uphold the Constitution as it’s written and defend against the infringement of inalienable rights. I don’t want activist judges nominated or confirmed at any level of the Federal Court system, especially the Supreme Court. I hope President Trump and the Republican Congress majority will decrease the hassle factors and threats placed on the practice of medicine and business in general by an overreaching Federal bureaucracy.

And, yes, my sense of fairness hopes that our existing immigration laws will finally be enforced, as an outcome of the”equal treatment under the law.”

Instead of facile clichés fed by cherry-picked sound bites and the latest talking points from the Left, try looking at and listening to the 59 Million voters across the country who elected a Republican candidate for President, and ensured a Republican majority including all those “establishment” candidates in both the House and Senate. 

It’s the Republican platform and Conservative policy that we Conservatives voted for, not one man.

RedState vs. Pro-life

There is only one candidate on the November ballot for President this year who states that he is pro-life.  Even if Donald Trump is inconsistent – and he is, I’ll admit – the fact is that Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson are very consistent in their advocacy for legal elective abortion. Trump may have said that Planned Parenthood does good work, but Clinton campaigns with Cecile Richards.

RedState has lost all relevance as a reliable source for conservative commentary, in their zeal to defeat Donald Trump.

First, the moderators began banning commenters who simply questioned RS authors during the Primary. Now,  Discus and comments have disappeared entirely  from the site, and any public feedback  is moved to the ephemera on Facebook. 

The latest supposedly #NeverTrump move is an attack on pro-life
organizations by the editor, Leon Wolf, who once stated that he would vote for Clinton over Trump in a close race for President. 

Yes, Pro-life Bills are often weak, incremental compromises. We face the reality of needing to win at least some Dem votes and the probability of vetoes. The Press invariably paints usas evil. As Wolf pointed out – and the Supreme Court ruling on Texas’ HB2 clearly showed – the current Courts are stacked against us.

One of my friends acknowledged the weak Bills and compromises that our legislative efforts sometimes become, likening our efforts to lifeboats.  Rather than big, shiny, well-crewed ships to use to rescue the unborn, we are forced to borrow any thing that floats. Our crafts are ugly and leak, and we constantly have to worry that we will sink. This is all we have, but we go back again and again, to rescue as many as we can without each trip.

Leon Wolf just shot a few new holes in our efforts, from his safe harbor at RedState.

Lawlessness for All (A Modest Proposal)

Tell me why I should believe that  “Latinos” are a big homeogeneous blob who don’t care about anything else except immigration, including law and order?  

The news yesterday was full of “Latinos” declaring that they have turned away from voting for Donald Trump after his speech on immigration in Phoenix. 

These people on the “news channels” and social networks claimed that an entire group of people, all lumped together because of who their parents are or what language they speak, are of the same mindset, and will vote as a block to ensure that some people – dare I say “their people” –  are treated differently under the law from everyone else 

There’s no justice  in ignoring the law. On the contrary, inconsistent enforcement of the law is injustice:  it infringes on everyone’s rights. Everyone’s liberty is placed at risk by inconsistent enforcement at the whim of whoever has the biggest gun, the most votes or the latest appointees to the US Distric Attorneys offices and Federal Courts.  Whoever has power gets to decide which of us is “more equal.”

Illegal aliens have at least committed a misdemeanor for the first offense. If they’re working, they are probably using false Social Security numbers, possibly committing  identity theft –  not a victimless crime, even if you believe the reports that illegal aliens contribute more than they cost society.

So, here’s my “Modest Proposal,” with apologies to Vicar Swift.

If you think we should just let illegal aliens hide out for 10 years, then self-report (yeah, sure) , sign up for fines and an English as a Second Language class,  how about treating every equivalent infringement the same?

Let us each pick our own tort or crime, to be determined at our convenience. Give everyone a year or 10 – after the fact – to self-report, pay a fine, take a class  and go on.

Start with other cases of identity theft, then move on to Federal offenses like voter fraud, money laundering, Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse, on to failure to pay the IRS, bank fraud, embezzlement.

After all, it’s only fair.

Trump can’t run 3rd Party in Texas?

Read the Texas Secretary of State information page on Presidential candidates, here. (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/president.shtml )

I’m not a lawyer, but it appears to me that Texas election laws will prevent Trump from placing his name on the ballot as a 3rd Party candidate in 2016.

Any lawyers disagree?

Primary Nullification (Not)

The common thought is that Donald Trump has enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for President. Trump supporters claim that only an act by “elites,” overriding the “will of the People” at the National Convention could avert his nomination.

The Republican National Convention is absolutely NOT anything  like those super delegates appointed by Dem Party leaders.  Republican National Convention delegates are elected by Republican voters who have a very real opportunity to become delegates, themselves. Beginning at the Precinct,  through the State Convention or Caucus.

However, under current rules – the various State Party rules in place before the individual primaries – there’s a chance Trump will not win the first ballot.  If he doesn’t,  then he certainly won’t win the second.

In Texas, we actually require our delegates to sign a pledge. We elect delegates proportionally, with a “winner-take-most” method for candidates who received at least 20% of the votes.  Cruz, with 44% of the Primary votes,  was alotted about 2/3 of the delegates as bound to him on the first ballot. About 1/3 are pledged to vote for Trump, with Rubio getting 3 pledged to him.

Other States have different methods for electing delegates. Some are winner-take-all for the  candidate with  the most votes, while State Republican Party rules call for “unbound,”  “uncommitted,” “unpledged,” or “available  delegates. Look at the breakdown and explanations here and here.

Why should someone who got 40% of the votes expect the elected delegates representing the other 60% to vote for him against their conscience?

I hope the former candidates can come together before the Convention  to pledge their delegates to one man other than Trump. If they are able, and/or some one other than Trump becomes the Republican candidate for President,  we will see representative democracy in action, not a power play by fictional “elites.”

Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!

Primary Nullification (Cruz has delegate count)

Donald Trump didn’t win the Primary. Ted Cruz’ campaign won the majority of National Delegates. That distinction may mean the difference at the Republican Convention.

Trump won 40% of the votes in the Republican Primary, with the help of non-traditional, never-voted, and cross-over votes. The 60% of Republican Primary voters who did not vote for Trump are the ones savvy enough to understand the Caucuses and Conventions at the Precinct, County, Senate District, and State levels.o

We are the people who elected the Delegates to the National Republican Convention.

Forget that Trump has no staff, almost no paid media presence (thank the Lord we don’t have to watch that) and no campaign funds.

Ted Cruz won what may become the deciding vote: the majority of delegates to the National Convention are his supporters, even from States where Trump won.

 

Push for Primary Nullification

Delegates must vote their consciences!

(Texas is safe: our delegation must vote as bound on the first ballot, but the majority are bound to Cruz.)

Follow Trump’s Example: Support 3rd Party

Trump demands Party loyalty when it’s his campaign, but the only loyalty he’s demonstrated is his loyalty to candidates who oppose Republicans.

If you can’t donate $25,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Committee (and don’t want to donate to Anthony Weiner or Planned Parenthood’s favorite Senators Daschle, Kerry and Schumer, perhaps you could support the 3rd Party candidate as Trump did in 2009, when he gave the newly Independent candidate, Charlie Crist, $4800.

Trump Highlighted Political Donations

Look, it’s not “go along to get along” when a man donates tens of thousands to the Democratic National Committee, the (Democratic) National Leadership PAC, and the Democratic Senatorial Committee. That’s partisanship.

In fact, as it’s been reported, Republicans can expect Trump to support us about 40% of the time, Dems, 48%.

Trump - Donations chart - March 7 2016

 

 

Donating to Crist in 2009? That’s anti-Republican.

 

Max Headroom or Donald Hairroom?

Seriously, have you ever seen them together? Or Trump in sunglasses?

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Newbie Republican TRump

TRump is a very recently converted –well, mostly converted, except for big government, taxes and tariffs, government healthcare, and using government agencies to pick and choose winners and losers and courts to threaten others – Democrat.

It’s not as though he changed any donation habits more recently than the last two years. 

It’s not even as though he’s voted in a Republican primary since 1988.

He believes money and lawsuits are weapons and he is a bully.

He can not or will not give more than anecdotal evidence for any of his other conversion experiences.

He lied as recently as the steak incident – an entirely unnecessary lie, easily discovered.

He has no conservative credentials and does not pretend to apologize for it, even to God.

But he says that a simple majority is “a random number” and demands that the Republicans ignore our Convention rules and let him  make up his own.

TRump still lies, redefines words, ignores the rules and history and makes threats when he doesn’t get his way.

Newbie Republican still acts like a Dem.

Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!

March 9, 2016 Republican Delegate Count – UPDATE

Hawaii is in. Look here – or here – for updates.Further breakdown of allotments is available at the Washington Post website.  (UPDATE) The New York Times also has clear graphics (and faster) here:

NYT Delegate Tracker

NYT Delegate Tracker

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Washington Post Delegate Tracker

Delegate tally so far

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/primaries/delegate-tracker/republican/

Murphy’s Laws, War, Plans, and “Friendly Fire.”

Donald Trump @therealdonald made a comment during the February 13th #GOPDebate about making a great battle plan, etc., which reminded me of the saying, “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” Looking up the origin, I found that it’s a shortened version of the observation by Field Marshal Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, a 19th Century German.

More recently, the quote has been incorporated in “Murphy’s Laws of War” as, “No OPLAN ever survives initial contact.”

There’s at least one more Law that seemed to fit the debate last night: “The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.”

 

 

“Quixotic crusades over substantive victories”

Today, the Conservative grassroots are shouting raw emotions, masses feeding off headlines, “Shares,” and “Likes,” rather than the meat of the story.

Paul Waldman, in “Why have so many GOP governor’s fizzled out in the 2016 race?”online at “The Week,”  astutely describes the insanity that has gripped the Party formerly consisting of Conservatives, but which is now infested with destructive anti’s.

From the article,

  ”

Over the past few years, the party’s grass roots have been gripped by an anti-politics fervor that values quixotic crusades over substantive victories, and equates actually accomplishing anything through ordinary political processes with betrayal.”

He continues…

“That’s why someone like Ted Cruz, a senator who has never written a law and who, if you ask him what he has accomplished, will tell you about the times he “stood up” and failed to stop Barack Obama and his own party’s leaders from keeping the government open or not defaulting on America’s debts, can still be considered unsullied and thus potentially worthy of the nomination. And those like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, their minds uncluttered by even the remotest understanding of how government works, are the most popular of all.”

Brutal. Truth. Insanity, where failure equals stature and inexperience and ignorance are lauded as qualifications.

Can we re-use the Know Nothing name for our party?

Once upon a time, the grassroots of the Republican Party, especially Conservatives,  were researchers, well informed, and capable of reason. It was a joke among us that the real news was hidden in the penultimate paragraph of any news story. 

Yet, 14 years of Governor Rick Perry’s Conservative leadership in Texas is mocked amid comments about glasses and his performance over a few months in 2011. Governor Scott Walker won and re-won elections in a Blue State and braved for-hire Union mobs willing to break windows in the Wisconsin State Capitol, but he was simply ignored. Each were treated more seriously by crooked Dem Prosecutors than by Conservatives.

There’s no way this latest crop could have exposed the Clinton’s of the 1990’s – or will be able to do so in the last half of the 2010s.  Sticking out the month long re-count in Florida, or defending the Governor’s Mansion in Austin?

Not while dragging that couch they supposedly got off of in 2009 and Tweeting about the “Establishment.”

I’m not being flippant when I say, God help us!

Clarity: “Reporters” vs. What They Said

James Taranto’s Best of the Web Today distinguishes between the comments of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio and the “reporters” that covered them. The truth is worse than a set of “When did you stop beating your wife” questions: the reporters inserted words and assertions that weren’t voiced by the candidates.

From November 20th’s “More Hillary than Hitler:”

 

Further, the atrocious idea of “a database or system that tracks Muslims in this country” didn’t come from Trump but from either Hillyard or Yahoo! News’s Hunter Walker.

And,

ThinkProgress’s headline: “Rubio Trumps Trump: Shut Down Any Place Muslims Gather to Be ‘Inspired’—Not Just Mosques.” But Rubio didn’t say Muslims, he said radicals. ThinkProgress thereby takes the position that there is no distinction between radicals and Muslims more generally.

 

I’ve seen high praise and strong condemnation for both men, based on the falsehoods “reported” in the news – or in the headlines of articles slanted by those “reporters.” I’m not surprised at the bias from sites such as “ThinkProgress” or even “Yahoo.” However, I’m deeply disappointed in the voters and, especially, the conservative bloggers and voters who take the headlines at face value.

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