How Obamacare blew up the student loan crisis

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/how-obamacare-blew-up-the-student-loan-crisis

How Obamacare blew up the student loan crisis

July 2, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to cancel student loan debt for 95% of debtors. Fellow 2020 hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to cancel all of it. What they and every other statist and socialist eager to default on trillions owed to taxpayers forget that President Barack Obama nationalizing student loans brought us to this catastrophe in the first place.

Lost in the kerfuffle and fuming of the Affordable Care Act’s passage in 2010 was the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, signed into law just seven days after Obamacare. Half of the act consisted of small and otherwise innocuous amendments to the ill-fated Affordable Care Act, but the other half, Title II, radically overhauled the country’s student loan industry, replacing federally backed bank loans with direct government lending.

The private student loan industry was already dysfunctional and never truly private. The largest private student loan lender, Sallie Mae, originated as a government-sponsored lender, and the government-subsidized market only emerged out of a small but much older federal student loan market. But Title II replaced a mess with a nightmare.

Universities took advantage of the new, easier loan requirements to raise tuition rates still further. From 1995 to 2012, the average tuition at a 4-year private college had risen by 30%. In the following four years alone, it spiked by another than 12%. Researchers at the New York Federal Reserve Bank famously found in 2015 that the pass-through effect of subsidized federal student loans on tuition raised rates by 60 cents for every dollar of loans spent. Although lefty politicians love to hate on fraudulent for-profit schools and blame them for the problem, only 9% of all college students in the country attend for-profit institutions. More to the point, nonprofits still act like for-profits anyway.

For decades, student loan debt had remained in the low hundreds of billions, but during Obama’s presidency, it exploded from $150 billion to more than $1 trillion, the overwhelming majority of which is owed to the government. As student loan debt continues to spiral upward, the federal government’s revenue streams for the programs are becoming more tenuous than ever. For instance, the Department of Education has found that income-driven repayment plans, which allow lower-income borrowers to dodge payments and receive complete debt forgiveness 25 years after the loan initiation, increased by 625% alone.

Now Sanders and Warren want to erase the whole thing with a magic wand and nationalize the colleges’ tuition-hiking scam.

On a moral level, canceling student debt more or less translates to defrauding taxpayers. On a practical level, it defeats whatever incentive structure we’ve attempted to build into the loan process. Whereas home loans are secured by houses as collateral, debtors can’t exactly take your brain away when you default. To send a message both to students and colleges that loans constitute free cash will then only exacerbate the tuition crisis we face.

The federal government set the stage for this problem, exacerbated it by subsidizing and regulating private student loans, and finally sent it into a trillion dollar tailspin by nationalizing the whole mess. If the past serves as any lesson, the government’s best bet is to get out of this imploding industry entirely and refocus on forcing colleges to get some skin in the game.

August 15, 2019. Tags: , , , , . Barack Obama. 2 comments.

Bodyguard for CNN’s April Ryan attacks journalist covering her event

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1vnTuVxwV4

August 15, 2019. Tags: , , , . Media bias. Leave a comment.

Trump gives early release to violent criminals and sex offenders

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dozens-of-violent-criminals-have-been-released-under-first-step-act-data-shows

Violent criminals and sex offenders released early due to ‘First Step Act’ legislation

July 23, 2019

More than a hundred violent criminals and sex offenders have been released under the First Step Act, President Trump’s signature bipartisan criminal justice reform package, according to data from an administration official provided to Fox News on Monday.

The data, first obtained exclusively by “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” seemingly contradicted promises from lawmakers and the White House that the legislation would largely affect only prisoners sentenced for minor drug-related offenses. Of 2,243 inmates released under the First Step Act, only 960 were incarcerated for drug-related offenses.

On the other hand, 496 were in prison for weapons/explosives-related crimes, 239 for sex offenses, 178 for fraud/bribery/extortion, 118 for burglary/larceny and 106 for robbery, according to the data.

Another 59 were imprisoned over homicide/aggravated assault, 46 for immigration-related offenses, nine for counterfeiting/embezzlement and two for national security reasons.

In all, 2,023 of the inmates were male, while only 211 inmates were female. 1,017 of the 2,243 inmates are black, while 1,129 are white, 62 American Indian and 35 Asian/Pacific Islander.

The Justice Department announced last Friday that 3,100 federal inmates were being released as part of the First Step Act, which has been heralded by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., as a start to righting a “broken” criminal justice system that has “disproportionately harmed communities of color.”

Nevertheless, on Tuesday, special assistant to the president Ja’Ron Smith told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that many of the violent inmates would shortly have been released regardless of the First Step Act.

WHAT ARE THE PROVISIONS OF THE FIRST STEP ACT?

Several hundred of the 3,100 released inmates were transferred into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody or state prisons, which accounts for the discrepancy from the 2,243 figure provided by the administration official.

Speaking on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Louisiana Republican John Sen. Kennedy, who was one of a handful of lawmakers to oppose the bill, said the numbers were predictable.

“Good intentions sometimes have nothing to do with actual consequences,” Kennedy told Carlson. “We were told that this would only allow low-level, nonviolent criminals to go free. I didn’t believe it, and I didn’t believe it because I read the bill. And now we find out that in the first traunch of prisoners let free, 500 committed weapons or explosive crimes, 250 committed sex crimes, I think there were 60 or 70 that were guilty of homicide or aggravated assault. And those are not low-level, nonviolent criminals.”

Kennedy went on to describe the leadup to the bill as a “complete lie.” He said he had offered an amendment that would have required victims to be notified about inmates’ release, but that it was vetoed.

“To me, this is pretty simple,” Kennedy said. “I believe in the Kantean definition of justice. C.S. Lewis talked about it. Saint Augustine talked about it. Justice exists when people get what they deserve. Justice is not necessarily deterrence, or rehabilitation, though that can be a byproduct.”

Kennedy added: “And I don’t know why it is, Tucker — if I make it to heaven, I’m going to ask — but there are some people in this world, they’re not mixed up, they’re not confused, they’re not sick, it’s not a question that their mama or daddy didn’t love them enough.

“They’re just bad. And when they commit criminal acts, justice required they be punished.”

At the State of the Union address earlier this year, Trump touted the First Step Act as a major breakthrough focusing on nonviolent offenders.

“This legislation reformed sentencing laws that have wrongly and disproportionately harmed the African-American community,” Trump said. “The First Step Act gives nonviolent offenders the chance to reenter society as productive, law-abiding citizens. Now, states across the country are following our lead. America is a nation that believes in redemption.”

Last week, the DOJ published new standards to identify other inmates who may be eligible for “good time” releases under the law.

“Starting today at prisons around the country, nearly 3,100 inmates are being released from BOP (Bureau of Prisons) custody due to the increase in good-conduct time applied to reduce their sentences under the First Step Act,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen told reporters.

The move marked the largest group to be freed so far under a clause in the First Step Act that reduces more sentences due to “earned good time.”

In addition to reuniting with their families, the formerly incarcerated citizens could obtain employment opportunities announced by Trump last month at the White House as part of the “Second Chance” hiring program.

The department said last week it would move $75 million in existing resources to fund the bill in the 2019 fiscal year, and launch a new “risk and needs assessment system designed to assess inmates’ risks of recidivism and to identify their individualized needs to reduce their risks of re-offending.”

Meanwhile, the bill’s retroactive application of the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act has so far resulted in 1,691 sentence reductions, the department said in a press release. The 2010 Act reduced the difference between sentences for crack cocaine and powder cocaine possession at the federal level, in a bid to reduce the racial disparity in resulting incarcerations.

Other provisions in the First Step Act ease mandatory minimum sentences under federal law. For example, the legislation reduces the “stacking” of drug offenses to drive up sentences, and prescribes 25-year terms, rather than life terms, for many “third strike” crimes.

August 12, 2019. Tags: , , , . Donald Trump, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders said it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food. Meanwhile, in the real world, this is what it’s actually like to wait in line for food in Venezuela.

Bernie Sanders said that it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

These are his exact words:

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, cause people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

You can see him saying it in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJBjjP8WSbc

Meanwhile, in the real world, this is what it’s actually like to wait in line for food:

(more…)

August 8, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism, Economics, Social justice warriors, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

Baltimore black kids escape to Trump country

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/08/baltimore_black_kids_escape_to_trump_country.html

Baltimore black kids escape to Trump country

By Lloyd Marcus

August 3, 2019

A year and a half ago, my wife Mary and I moved closer to our parents.  We relocated from Florida to what I nicknamed “Trump Country USA,” a tiny town in West Virginia.  I’ve seen MAGA cap–wearers and a few lawns with old Trump signs.

Our tiny town emits Christian traditional American values.  We enjoy the annual Christmas and July 4th parades.  Only a handful of blacks, which includes me, live here.

A few days after we moved into our home, our neighbor Meg welcomed us with a homemade apple pie.  Meg recently called and asked us to help with the “Friends of the Library” picnic for the kids.  The last thing I wanted to do was to spend a day with screaming kids.  Yet Mary and I knew God was setting us up to be a blessing.

The picnic was a blast.  Mary and I helped serve food, play games, and clean up afterward.  Our town’s volunteer fire department truck sprayed the kids with water.  They loved it.

I learned that the Friends of the Library summer reading program is solely funded by community fundraising events.  Two days a week, kids of all ages are read books and read books at the town library.  The theme this year was “Space” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the U.S. landing on the moon.  The kids were even treated to a road trip to a space museum.  I thought, “Wow, this town is a living breathing Norman Rockwell painting.”

At the picnic, I met an extremely bright, articulate 15-year-old black kid and his three younger siblings.  Mary read in the local newspaper that he is the best runner in the county, receiving offers and scholarships.

His grandmother is white.  She moved him and his three siblings from the Baltimore projects to live with her because their parents are drug addicts.  She laid down the law to her grandson that his Baltimore thug attitude would not be tolerated in her home.  Grandma’s tough love parenting worked.

If you watched the Democratic presidential debates, you could conclude that everyone and everything in America is racist.  In my tiny town of Trump voters, everyone appears to embrace and support the four black kids who escaped the hood of Baltimore.

Folks, I have high hopes for this kid, the runner.  I see greatness in him.  He has a calm spirit.  He is academically solid and trains hard, running several miles every day.  I gave him fatherly advice to stay focused on his dreams.  He replied, “Yes sir.”

It is amazing what a child can achieve once he is distanced from the destructive atmosphere of a Democrat-controlled city.  Despicably, Democrats and fake news media relentlessly seek to fill black youths with victim mindsets — hate for their country and hate for Trump voters.

I trust that God will give me more opportunities to mentor my young runner.  Prayerfully, I will open his eyes to the truth that he is blessed to be an American and that America is the greatest land of opportunity on the planet for all who choose to go for their dreams.  I look forward to seeing my runner on team USA in the Olympics.  That will be awesome!

August 3, 2019. Tags: , . Politics. 1 comment.

Here’s a bunch of horror stories from the Canadian health care system that Bernie Sanders wants the U.S. to copy

Bernie Sanders recently said the following regarding his health care plan:

“The system is going to work similarly to what exists in Canada, and what we are going to see is an expansion of Medicare where almost all doctors are now in Medicare to cover every man, woman, and child in this country.”

Since Sanders want the U.S. to copy the Canadian system of health care, here are some examples of what he is talking about:

When Robert Bourassa, the premier of Quebec, Canada, needed cancer treatment, he came to the United States and paid for his health care with his own money.

And when Canadian Liberal MP Belinda Stronach needed cancer treatment, she also came to the United States and paid for her health care with her own money.

And when Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams needed heart surgery, he, too, came to the United States and paid for his health care with his own money.

If Sanders gets his way, and the U.S. adopts Canadian style health care, where will Canadian politicians go when they get sick?

And that’s not all.

Here are some horror stories about Canadian health care as reported in the New York Times:

Canada’s Private Clinics Surge as Public System Falters

The Cambie Surgery Center, Canada’s most prominent private hospital, may be considered a rogue enterprise.

Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years before receiving treatment.

Dr. Day, 59, says. “This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years.”

Canada remains the only industrialized country that outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services.

Canada has a national doctor shortage already, with 1.4 million people in the province of Ontario alone without the services of a family doctor.

The median wait time between a referral by a family doctor and an appointment with a specialist has increased to 8.3 weeks… Meanwhile the median wait between an appointment with a specialist and treatment has increased to 9.4 weeks

Average wait times between referral by a family doctor and treatment range from 5.5 weeks for oncology to 40 weeks for orthopedic surgery

And Sanders is proud of this?

And there’s still more. This is from the Toronto Sun:

Wait times for knee- and hip-replacement surgery at Southwestern Ontario hospitals are among the longest in the province

People who go under the knife to get their knees replaced in Strathroy have waited an average of 671 days for surgery

Stratford is running the second-highest wait in the province for those needing a hip replacement: the average wait there was 364 days.

In London, the region’s largest medical centre, patients waited an average of 307 days to replace a knee and 299 days to replace a hip

Caption from above photo: Judy Congdon shows how difficult standing is with her bad left hip. Congdon will wait two years for a hip replacement in London, Ont.

Londoner Judy Congdon waited more than a year to have her right knee replaced when her Strathroy surgeon told her he’d have to replace her left hip next. Told last year to expect surgery in September 2017, her date in the operating room was cancelled, and the surgery delayed a second year

I really don’t understand why Sanders thinks this is a good role model for the U.S.

And there’s still even more.

KOMO TV, a Seattle, Washington affiliate of ABC News, reported:

Some Canadian mothers forced to give birth in U.S.

SEATTLE – A problem in Canada’s hospitals is sending scores of pregnant women south of the border to have their babies.

Carri Ash of Chilliwack, B.C. was sent to the U.S. to have her baby after her water broke on Sunday, ten weeks ahead of schedule.

“And they came in and said ‘you’re going to Seattle,'” she said.

Ash’s hospital couldn’t handle the high-risk pregnancy. Doctors searched for another hospital bed, but even hospitals in Vancouver, B.C. didn’t have a neo-natal bed.

“So two provinces didn’t have enough room, so I have to go to another country,” said Ash.

Ash was sent to Swedish Medical Center where, nurses told KOMO 4 News, five Canadian women have come to have their babies in the past six weeks. Some were even airlifted at up to $5,000 per flight.

And a woman from Calgary, one of the wealthiest cities in Canada, had to travel to Montana to give birth to her identical quadruplets.

“We always regret when we have to transfer a baby or mother to another jurisdiction for care,” said Canada’s Health Minister George Abbott.

Aidan Nassey was born premature in Canada and developed breathing problems before his mother could even hold him.

“It was terrifying. And he was taken away and that was it,” said Courtney Nassey, his mother.

There wasn’t a hospital in western Canada that could take in Aidan, and a helicopter had to rush them to Seattle.

Vicki Irvine crossed the border to see her daughter, Carri Ash, give birth.

“You can’t even have a baby near home. It’s horrible,” she said.

Irvine and Ash are questioning Canada’s priorities when it comes to health care spending.

“I think it’s ridiculous that we can have the Olympics but not enough beds so I can have a baby,” said Ash.

The family says there is one benefit to their neo-natal nightmare — the newborn will have dual citizenship and, so far, they like what they see on this side of the border.

If Sanders’s health care plan gets adopted, where will those Canadian women go to give birth in the future?

The above article mentions a Canadian woman who had to go to the U.S. to give birth to quadruplets. Here is more info on her situation from canada.com

A rare set of identical quadruplets, born this week to a Calgary woman at a Montana hospital, are in good health and two of them were strong enough to be transported back here Thursday.

The naturally conceived baby girls — Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia — were delivered by caesarean section Sunday in Great Falls, their weights ranging between two pounds, six ounces and two pounds, 15 ounces.

Their mother, Calgarian Karen Jepp, was transferred to Benefis Hospital in Montana last week when she began showing signs of going into labour, and no Canadian hospital had enough neonatal intensive-care beds for all four babies.

There was no room at any other Canadian neonatal intensive care unit, forcing CHR officials to look south of the border.

Let’s take a look at some population statistics to put that into perspective.

Canada has a population of 37 million people.

And yet according to the last paragraph in that article, there was not a single hospital in all of Canada that could accommodate that woman giving birth to four babies at the same time.

Meanwhile, Great Falls, Montana, which is right across the Canadian border, only has 59,000 people, and yet somehow, it was able to accommodate this same woman when she gave birth to four babies at once.

So a relatively small U.S. city is able to provide health care that cannot be obtained anywhere within the entire country of Canada.

And Sanders wants the U.S. to copy Canada’s system?

In January 2008, the Globe and Mail reported:

More than 150 critically ill Canadians – many with life-threatening cerebral hemorrhages – have been rushed to the United States since the spring of 2006 because they could not obtain intensive-care beds here.

Before patients with bleeding in or outside the brain have been whisked through U.S. operating-room doors, some have languished for as long as eight hours in Canadian emergency wards while health-care workers scrambled to locate care.

If the U.S. adopts Sanders’s plan, where will Canadians such as those go when they need that type of health care?

Below is a video of John Stossel’s TV special “Sick in America.” In the video, he talks about some of the problems in U.S. health care. But then he goes on to show why the U.S. should not switch to the Canadian system. Here are some examples:

19:41 A Toronto man who had a hearth attack waits and waits in an emergency room because there are not enough ICU beds to give him the treatment that he needs.

20:15 A young girl who has seizures does not have a regular pediatrician, and cannot get a bed at a hospital.

20:23 “More than a million Canadians say they can’t find a regular family doctor. Some towns, like this one, hold a lottery. Once a week, the town clerk gets this box out of the closet. Inside are the names of everyone in town who wants a family doctor. She pulls out one slip, and then calls the lucky winner.”

Stossel then goes on to explain that in order to avoid such long waiting times, some patients have gone to private clinics where they spend their own money on health care, which is illegal in Canada. Even though it’s illegal, it’s actually quite common.

21:36 A businessman makes money by helping Canadians travel to the U.S. to get the health care that they can’t get in Canada. One such example was a woman who had a blocked artery that prevented her from being able to digest her food. She was starving to death. She’d lost 50 pounds. Then she hired the businessman to help her, and she traveled to Washington state and got the health care that she needed. The American doctor said that she would have died within a few weeks if she hadn’t gotten treatment. However, the Canadian government considered her care to be “elective.”

22:11 Stossel shows that at veterinary clinics in Canada, which are privately run and privately funded, animals can get medical treatment immediately, without having to wait. All of the latest high tech equipment is available and ready.

Here’s the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Liz2tXypFAY

So the next time that Sanders or anyone else tells you how supposedly wonderful the Canadian health care system is, and that the U.S. should copy it, you can show them these examples.

July 24, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Health care. 1 comment.

Salon forced to close after refusing to wax transgender woman’s male genitalia

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/salon-forced-to-close-after-refusing-to-wax-transgender-females-male-genitalia

Salon forced to close after refusing to wax transgender woman’s male genitalia

July 22, 2019

A Canadian small business owner was forced to close her home-based beauty salon after refusing to provide a Brazilian wax for a transgender woman’s male genitalia.

Marcia Da Silva received a response about the opening of her new salon from Jessica Yaniv, a transgender activist, after previously only have provided services to family and friends. They initially agreed to an appointment via text message and Yaniv claimed that Da Silva canceled the session after she sent her a photo and identified as a transgender woman.

Yaniv filed over a dozen complaints with a British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, claiming she was discriminated against. “You cannot choose who your clientele is going to be,” Yaniv said while speaking in front of the Tribunal. The LGBT activist has demanded monetary compensation and condemned Da Silva’s decision not to wax her genitalia as neo-Nazism.

“This is about businesses and individuals using their religion and culture to refuse service to protected groups because -they- don’t agree with it,” Yaniv said in a tweet.

This is not about waxing. This is about businesses and individuals using their religion and culture to refuse service to protected groups because -they- don’t agree with it or the person and use that to illegally discriminate contrary to the BC Human Rights Code and the CHRC.

— Jessica Yaniv (@trustednerd) July 18, 2019

Da Silva said her refusal to wax Yaniv’s genitalia was because of safety concerns raised by her husband, alleged harassment on Yaniv’s part, and discomfort carrying out a Brazilian wax on male genitalia.

Jay Cameron, a lawyer with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, is representing Da Silva at the Tribunal.

“Some of my clients have been very significantly affected on a personal level. [Another client also] closed her business, she has been depressed, anxious, sleepless, and that has gone on for a period of many many months,” said Cameron.

“It is a very serious thing to launch a human rights complaint against a person. My clients are people. They have a right to make a living and this has interfered with their livelihood, but also you have the stigma of being associated with this hanging over you.”

Yaniv has said on Twitter that she will “never give up fighting for human rights equality”.

One proud lesbian. I’ll never give up fighting for human rights equality.

July 22, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . LGBT. Leave a comment.

Hypocrites who voted for Obama falsely blame Trump for the high cost of Obamacare

The Los Angeles Times recently published this article, which is called, “Rising health insurance deductibles fuel middle-class anger and resentment.”

The article cites numerous examples of middle class people who are having trouble paying their health care bills, despite the fact that they have the Obamacare mandated health insurance that became law in 2010.

The article states:

“Half of Democrats struggling with the costs of their job-based health coverage blame the Trump administration for the cost pressures.”

This belief is completely irrational. The health insurance that these Obama voters are complaining about is based on Obamacare, which was passed in 2010.

For these Obama voters to blame Trump for the high cost of Obamacare does not make any sense.

And for those of you who have never seen it, or haven’t seen it in a long time, I’d like to draw your attention to this previous blog post of mine, which is called, “Here are 341 reasons why Democrats and unions that support Obamacare want exemptions for themselves.”

Republicans and Libertarians have been consistently opposed to Obamacare – both before and after it was passed.

Democrats, on the other hand, loved Obamacare before it was passed. But now that it’s actually taking effect in the real world, many of them are now against it.

Perhaps these Democrats should have paid attention to the specifics of Obamacare before it was passed, instead of being blindly obedient to it.

July 20, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Health care. Leave a comment.

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders says it’s “not acceptable” that some of his employees have complained about getting paid less than $15 an hour

Bernie Sanders has repeatedly said that he wants the minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour.

However, he pays some of his own employees only $13 an hour.

And he said it’s “not acceptable” that some of his employees have complained about this.

These are Sanders’s exact words:

“It does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media. That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it’s improper.”

This makes Sanders a hypocrite in two ways.

First of all, he doesn’t pay his own workers the $15 minimum wage that he wants all other employers to pay.

And secondly, he’s against his own employees complaining about their pay, even though he has always supported free speech for everyone else’s employees who complain about their pay.

Of course this is also the same Bernie Sanders who repeatedly criticized “millionaires and billionaires,” but then hypocritically defended his own membership in that very same group after the media reported that he was one of them.

July 20, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Economics. Leave a comment.

Miss World America revokes title from Miss Michigan winner Kathy Zhu, who truthfully tweeted that most black murder victims in the U.S. are killed by other blacks

According to this article from CBS News, 93% of black murder victims in the U.S. are killed by other blacks.

A University of Michigan student named Kathy Zhu was recently crowned Miss Michigan. This would make her a contestant in the Miss World America competition.

However, the Miss World America competition revoked Zhu’s victory after it was revealed that she had made a tweet where she had accurately and truthfully said that most black murder victims in the U.S. are killed by other blacks.

According to this article from the Detroit Free Press, these are the exact words from Zhu’s tweet:

“Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community before blaming others.”

According to this article from USA Today, the people who run the Miss World America competition claimed that Zhu’s tweet was

“offensive, insensitive and inappropriate”

Please note that they did not say that her tweet was false.

I’m no legal expert, but it seems to me that that statement from the Miss World America competition could justify a defamation lawsuit by Zhu.

And I also think she could sue them for revoking her title.

But whether or not any lawsuits are filed, this incident shows just how far political correctness has come.

Social justice warriors don’t get mad at people for telling lies. Instead, they get mad at people for telling the truth.

July 19, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Political correctness, Racism, Social justice warriors. 1 comment.

Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refuse to answer reporter’s questions regarding whether or not they condemn the recent Antifa terrorist attack on an ICE facility in Tacoma, Washington

The Rebel reporter Keean Bexte repeatedly asked Ilhan Omar whether or not she condemned the recent Antifa terrorist attack on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Tacoma, Washington.

Omar repeatedly refused to answer Bexte’s questions.

These are the questions that Bexte asked Omar, and which Omar refused to answer:

“Will you condemn the Antifa attack in Washington over the weekend?”

“It’s easy to condemn terrorism. Will you condemn it?”

“Antifa firebombed a facility in Tacoma over the weekend – it’s an ICE facility – will you condemn them for that?”

You can see it in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjwnRmtSNEY

Bexte also repeatedly asked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez if she condemned the attack.

And just like Omar, Ocasio-Cortez repeatedly refused to answer Bexte’s questions.

These are the questions that Bexte asked Ocasio-Cortez, and which Ocasio-Cortez refused to answer:

“Will you condemn Antifa for the attack in Washington?”

“It’s easy to condemn a terrorist attack. Will you be condemning Antifa?”

“They firebombed an American facility. Will you condemn them?”

“Will you be condemning them?”

You can see it in this video. Skip to 2:02

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY7yVKHfauI

July 18, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Antifa, Ilhan Omar. Leave a comment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez falsely accuses border patrol agents of forcing illegal immigrants to drink from the toilet

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said that border patrol agents were forcing illegal immigrants to drink form the toilet. These are her exact words:

“There’s abuse in these facilities. There’s abuse. This was them on their best behavior, and they put them in a room with no running water, and these women were being told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet – they were drinking water out of the toilet. And that was them knowing that a congressional visit was coming. This is CBP on their best behavior, telling people to drink out of the toilet.”

You can hear her saying these words in this video: (skip to 0:20)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay8OkAYW0EY

Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted the following: (original, archive)

“Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets.”

However, in the real world, no one was drinking from the toilet. Instead, the facilities had the standard plumbing systems which are commonly found in prisons, where there is a sink above the toilet. The sinks provide clean, safe drinking water.

Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, a Hispanic pastor who had advised Presidents Trump, Obama, and George W. Bush on immigration reform, said:

“I read the reports, saw the news clips. I just wanted to see what was actually happening in order to better enable our efforts to find a fair and a just solution to our broken immigration system…”

“To my surprise, I saw something drastically different from the stories I’ve been hearing in our national discourse. Even as a veteran of immigration advocacy in the U.S., I was shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border…”

“We found no soiled diapers, no deplorable conditions and no lack of basic necessities…”

July 2, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Immigration. 1 comment.

Obama Built The ‘Cages’ for Illegals, Not Trump, Says Obama ICE Chief

https://pjmedia.com/trending/obama-built-the-cages-for-illegals-not-trump-says-obama-ice-chief/

Obama Built The ‘Cages’ for Illegals, Not Trump, Says Obama ICE Chief

June 27, 2019

It was only a few months ago that Democrats were dismissing the crisis at the border as manufactured by Trump, and now they’re comparing migrant detention centers to concentration camps and blaming Trump for “putting kids in cages.”

But for those still trying to blame President Trump, Barack Obama’s former ICE chief, Thomas Homan, has a reality check for them. Speaking at a conference hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, Homan explained that the “cages” Democrats are blaming on Trump were the product of the Obama administration:

“I’ve been to that facility, where they talk about cages. That facility was built under President Obama under (Homeland Security) Secretary Jeh Johnson. I was there because I was there when it was built,” said Thomas Homan, who was Obama’s executive associate director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for nearly four years. 

At an immigration conference today, Homan, under consideration for a new position of “border czar” in the Trump administration, grew visibly angry answering a question about “cages” often cited by Democratic critics of the president.

Homan, who ran Obama’s successful deportation operation, ripped Democrats who question Trump immigration officials on the Obama-era idea.

He cited one Democratic chairman who asked a Trump official, “You still keeping kids in cages?”

Homan, at the conference hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, said, “I would answer the question, ‘The kids are being housed  in the same facility built under the Obama administration.’ If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.”

Homan explained that the fencing that separates kids from adults is done for safety reasons. “It’s chain link dividers that keep children separate from unrelated adults. It’s about protecting children,” he said. He also added it’s only temporary accommodations until they are moved elsewhere by the Department of Health and Human Services. According to a Google News search, only conservative media seems to be talking about Homan’s comments. Gee, I wonder why.

July 2, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Immigration. Leave a comment.

Video evidence shows that recycling hurts the environment, and landfills help the environment

Below are two videos.

The first video shows that much of the recycled garbage from rich countries (the U.K. in this case) gets sent to poor countries, where it just sits there on the ground without any covering or protection, getting blown around, and often ending up in rivers and ultimately the ocean.

The second video shows a landfill in a rich country (New York in this case). The landfill is well sealed and covered, and is now a park with grass, trees, plants, and animals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRQLilXLAIU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zcMfDbxmgU

Recycling is a scam. It makes people feel good, but it actually hurts the environment instead of helping it. The environment would be a lot better off if we stopped recycling, and put our garbage into landfills. The proof is in the videos.

July 2, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

New documents revisit questions about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage history

http://www.startribune.com/new-documents-revisit-questions-about-rep-ilhan-omar-s-marriage/511681362/

New documents revisit questions about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage history

Although she has legally corrected the discrepancy, she has declined to say anything about how or why it happened.

June 22, 2019

New investigative documents released by a state agency have given fresh life to lingering questions about the marital history of Rep. Ilhan Omar and whether she once married a man — possibly her own brother — to skirt immigration laws.

Omar has denied the allegations in the past, dismissing them as “baseless rumors” first raised in an online Somali politics forum and championed by conservative bloggers during her 2016 campaign for the Minnesota House. But she said little then or since about Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, the former husband who swept into her life in 2009 before a 2011 separation.

The questions surfaced again this month in a state probe of campaign finance violations showing that Omar filed federal taxes in 2014 and 2015 with her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi, while she was still legally married to but separated from Elmi.

Although she has legally corrected the discrepancy, she has declined to say anything about how or why it happened.

The new documents also detail the Omar campaign’s efforts to keep the story of her marriage to Elmi out of the press, arguing that detailed coverage would legitimize the accusations and invade her privacy.

Since the recent findings of the campaign finance board that discovered Omar had improperly used campaign money to pay a lawyer to fix her tax filings, the Star Tribune searched public records — including available databases, the marriage and divorce filing, business licenses, university records and other documents — and could find little publicly available information about Elmi. The search of records could neither conclusively confirm nor rebut the allegation that he is Omar’s sibling.

Sent a list of questions and a request to talk to her siblings and father, Omar declined to do so. Hirsi did not reply to multiple calls, texts and e-mails. Social media posts indicate Elmi is in Africa. He did not respond to multiple e-mails.

Omar’s reticence is consistent with near total silence she has maintained for three years amid questions raised through public records picked over by conservative opinion journalists intent on proving that she committed immigration fraud. Those attacks, she once tweeted, are the provenance of “fake journalists on bigoted blogs.”

Omar spokesman Jeremy Slevin issued a statement Friday asserting that the questions about her personal life are illegitimate:

“Since before she was elected to office, Ilhan has been the subject of conspiracy theories and false accusations about her personal life. Emboldened by a president who openly treats immigrants, refugees and Muslims as invaders, these attacks often stem from the presumption that Ilhan — like others who share those identities — is somehow illegitimate or not fully American.

“Ilhan has shared more than most public officials ever do about the details of her personal life — even when it is personally painful,” he continued. “Whether by colluding with right-wing outlets to go after Muslim elected officials or hounding family members, legitimate media outlets have a responsibility not to fan the flames of hate. Continuing to do so is not only demeaning to Ilhan, but to her entire family.”

The questions have nevertheless persisted as a political threat over the years while the former war refugee from Somalia made history being elected to the Minnesota House and then winning a seat in Congress.

Her ascent as the nation’s first Somali-American lawmaker has won her global praise and given her an international platform to champion human rights, criticize Israel, and challenge the Trump administration’s immigration policies — positions that have drawn further ire and scrutiny from conservative critics.

Omar’s widely condemned statements about the influence of Israel and Jewish money in American politics have only upped the stakes for her critics, who are also often passionate defenders of the Israeli government.

Throughout it all, Omar’s public persona has been informed by her biography as a refugee overcoming racial and cultural barriers. Yet she has insisted on silence on some key details.

“It’s really strange, right, to prove a negative,” she told the Star Tribune in an interview in October, before she was elected to Congress. As for Elmi, she said, “If someone was asking me, do I have a brother by that name, I don’t. If someone was asking … are there court documents that are false … there is no truth to that.”

Beyond denying the provocative allegation that Elmi is her brother, Omar has shed little light on her married life, which began in 2002, when she wed Hirsi in their Muslim faith tradition.

The Star Tribune has sought to authenticate some of the most egregious allegations, using public records and available social media posts, which make up the bulk of the case against her.

Some of the original social media accounts linking Elmi to Omar after their split in 2011 appear to have been removed, and documents verifying the family relationships of refugees from war-torn countries with limited government record-keeping are notoriously hard to obtain, even by U.S. immigration authorities.

Omar declined to make her tax and immigration records available for this report.

What is known is that Omar, at the age of 19, sought a legal marriage license with Hirsi in Minnesota. Though they had three children together, they would not legally marry until January, 2018, after she had been in the Minnesota Legislature for a year and had dissolved the marriage in 2017 with Elmi.

After reaching what Omar called “an impasse in our life together,” she and Hirsi split for a period in 2008. They had two children at the time.

In February 2009, public records show that Omar legally married Elmi, who she has identified as a “British citizen.”

The relationship was brief. Omar said it ended in 2011, when she reconciled with Hirsi.

She gave birth to their third child the following June. She identified Hirsi as the father.

While Omar said she and Elmi had divorced in 2011 “in our faith tradition,” they would not legally divorce until December, 2017 — a month before she got legally married to Hirsi.

Imam Makram El-Amin of Masjid An-Nur in Minneapolis said an Islamic marriage must include the officiant and at least two witnesses, preferably one from each side of the family, to be a valid union. El-Amin, who did not perform Omar’s marriages, said he has credentials to sign a marriage certificate. But just like any wedding at a church or synagogue, it’s not legal in the state of Minnesota until processed by the county.

Similarly, an Islamic divorce requires two witnesses, ideally the same two who witnessed the marriage, plus a three-month waiting period, El-Amin said. The marriage can be then dissolved in the faith, although the divorce would require a Minnesota court to earn civil legal standing.

In her 2017 divorce, Omar attested that she had no contact with Elmi after their 2011 separation. Conservative activists say photos and other social media posted by Omar and Elmi on Instagram and Facebook suggest Omar may not be telling the truth. The Star Tribune has been unable to independently obtain the original posts, although images purporting to be screen grabs continue to populate right-leaning media sites such as Power Line Blog, PJ Media and Alpha News. They remain in public view.

One image featured on AlphaNewsMN depicts an Instagram photo purportedly posted by Elmi on June 12, 2012, the day after Omar gave birth to her third child. It shows a close-up picture of Elmi holding a newborn child the website says is Omar’s, based on accompanying text that ostensibly refers to the baby girl as “nieces.”

That and other Instagram photos have since been removed.

In her divorce, Omar said she had tried unsuccessfully to reach Elmi to respond to her court filings, including through social media. She also said that she did not know any other friends of family members who could contact him.

Omar and Elmi used a Columbia Heights address on the marriage application. Three months later, Hirsi used the same address to obtain a business license for his One-on-One Cafe Lounge, public records show.

Omar declined to offer an account of their living arrangement at that time.

Siblings who petition for a U.S. visa for a noncitizen sibling have typically had to wait more than a dozen years to obtain the document, according to the U.S. State Department. Applications for a spouse carry a minimal waiting period, but Minnetonka-based immigration lawyer Steven Thal said examples of siblings fraudulently marrying to gain immigration benefits are nearly unheard of compared to cases of strangers marrying to get green cards.

“It is so rare that you would think that it would be more easily uncovered,” Thal said.

Omar’s relatives could also clear the air, but they have remained silent about her marriage to Elmi. She declined to make her family available for this story.

In 2016, her campaign provided the names of six siblings, but only their first names, citing their need for privacy. Elmi was not among them.

In October 2018, Omar showed a Star Tribune reporter cellphone photos of family immigration papers but would not share the actual documents.

Omar’s sister Sahra Noor was a high-profile executive of the Twin Cities health care nonprofit People’s Center Clinics & Services until 2018. She declined interview requests in 2016. She currently runs her own health care consultancy in Kenya. An e-mail to her was not returned and efforts to call her there were unsuccessful.

Over the years Elmi, who attended high school in St. Paul, has had occasional contact over the internet with other friends and acquaintances, including retired DFL activist and Minneapolis city worker Barb Lickness, who lived in the same downtown Minneapolis apartment building with Elmi around 2012, before he moved to London.

She described him as “friendly in a soft way,” and a neighbor who participated enthusiastically in the building’s social scene. She recalls that he was tall, dapper, and spoke with a pronounced British accent, indicative of a foreign upbringing. He never mentioned being married, Lickness said.

Lickness confirmed Elmi’s identity in an Instagram photo purportedly posted by Omar showing the two of them and three others posing in London in 2015. The photo is featured on several conservative media websites, but could not be verified by the Star Tribune.

What’s clear from the recently released documents of the campaign finance board is that the young upstart’s campaign was unprepared for any potential blowback from the questions surrounding Omar’s marriage to Elmi, first reported in 2016 on Somalispot.com, an online public affairs forum.

Omar created a “crisis committee” comprising a few DFL veteran operatives to try to respond. Their priority was preparing a dossier on their own candidate — a fairly typical task usually completed before a campaign, not after a primary victory.

“There was a lot of frustration that any of these things were not disclosed to any of the campaign staff when I decided to run for office. And so I think everybody who was doing this wanted to put a research file together that had the benefit of making sure that there weren’t any other dark things in my closet that I might not have told them about,” Omar said during a December deposition before the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

The board would eventually fine her $500 and require her to use her own money to pay lawyers who did personal tax work.

During the deposition, Omar suggested she is disconnected from details — unaware, for instance, that she violated tax law by filing a married-jointly return with the wrong husband.

Asked if she amended her tax filings, she replied, “I don’t think so.”

The board’s staff asked again. Omar replied, “I don’t recall doing any.”

Asked about using campaign money to take political trips, Omar said they were always approved by the Minnesota House, but then placed responsibility on her staff: “They always gave me an opinion that said, sure, this looks fine. Or at least that was my understanding that that’s what my staff was doing before they would commit me to doing anything.”

Carla Kjellberg, an attorney and political adviser during the crisis period, paints a different picture of Omar’s engagement level with details: “I did nothing, I want to make that clear, without Representative Omar’s authority. And she was in these meetings where those things were decided upon and I was directed to do that,” Kjellberg said during her own deposition.

Kjellberg declined to comment.

Campaign e-mails disclosed by the campaign finance board also show a concerted effort to quash the Elmi story. An August 2016 internal e-mail written by campaign spokesman Ben Goldfarb, a veteran DFL operative, suggested reaching out to political newsletter writer Blois Olson “and shut it down with him as we do with the Strib.”

The Star Tribune wrote about the controversy the next day under the headline, “Marriage discrepancy clouds Ilhan Omar’s historic primary victory.”

Omar expressed frustration over the controversy again last October, telling the Star Tribune in an interview that like many refugees without birth certificates, “anybody can accuse me of whatever they want and I don’t have a way to defend myself.”

Rep. Mohamud Noor, DFL-Minneapolis, lost to Omar in the primary before replacing her at the Legislature when she went to Congress. He compared the attacks on Omar to claims that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

Because he took over Omar’s state legislative office phone number, Noor’s voice mail was getting filled with hateful, racist messages until Google removed the number when people conducted Google searches for Omar.

In the end, Noor said, Omar will be judged by what she does for her district.

“Initially there were missteps, and so much focus on her rather than on what she was doing,” Noor said. “She’s made some tremendous efforts to reconnect and re-engage and focus on the district.”

June 23, 2019. Tags: , . Ilhan Omar, Politics. 1 comment.

Rep. Omar Filed Joint Tax Returns Before She Married Husband

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/06/11/us/ap-us-congress-omar-tax-returns.html

Rep. Omar Filed Joint Tax Returns Before She Married Husband

June 11, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota campaign finance officials said last week that U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar misused campaign funds in violation of state rules. They also revealed that she had filed joint tax returns with her husband years before they were legally married and at a time when she was married to another man.

The revelation put the freshman representative under more scrutiny from critics who have taken issue with her marital past. One tax expert says if the issue has been corrected she’s unlikely to face any criminal consequences.

Some questions and answers about the tax issue:

Q: What did Omar do wrong?

A: The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board said Thursday that Omar and her husband, Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi, filed joint tax returns for 2014 and 2015 — before they were actually married and while Omar was legally wed to another man. While some states allow for joint filing for “common law” marriages, Minnesota does not, and filing joint tax returns with someone who is not your legal spouse is against both federal and state law.

Q: How did this become public?

A: Last year, a Republican state representative accused Omar of misusing campaign funds, alleging among other things that she used $2,250 in campaign money to pay a lawyer for her divorce proceedings. The campaign finance board investigated and found she didn’t use the funds to pay for a divorce lawyer as alleged, but other irregularities were found. The board’s final report said “there was an issue with her tax returns that needed to be corrected” and that some campaign funds went to an accounting firm.

State officials ruled last week that Omar must repay her campaign committee nearly $3,500, including $1,500 for payments made to the accounting firm for services related to joint tax returns for 2014 and 2015. Omar must also pay a $500 penalty to the state.

Q: What has Omar said about this?

A: Very little. In response to questions from The Associated Press, her campaign sent an emailed statement saying, “All of Rep. Omar’s tax filings are fully compliant with all applicable tax law.” The campaign did not make Omar available for an interview or answer specific questions from the AP. In response to the overall campaign finance investigation, she said in a statement last week that she will comply with the state board findings calling for her to repay money and pay a penalty.

Q: Hasn’t Omar faced criticism on other issues?

A: During her brief time in Congress, Omar has been outspoken on issues such as U.S. policy toward Israel and the Middle East. As one of the first two Muslim women in Congress she has faced heightened scrutiny and has been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks. In response to some of her comments, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning hate speech against all groups. She has denied her comments were anti-Semitic and says she has come under political attack because she is a Muslim and woman of color.

She has also been dogged by conservatives who have raised questions about her past. She came to the United States as a refugee from war-torn Somalia. In 2016, as Omar was running for a seat in the Minnesota House, conservative bloggers alleged she was married to two men at the same time. Marriage records show that’s not the case. Conservatives also alleged that one of those men, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, was her brother — allegations that Omar called “disgusting lies.”

According to marriage records, Omar applied for a license in 2002 to marry her current husband, Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi, who Omar says went by Ahmed Abdisalan Aden at the time. A marriage certificate wasn’t issued and Omar has said they didn’t pursue a civil marriage but instead married in their Muslim faith tradition. Omar and Hirsi had two children, but ended their relationship in 2008.

Omar then married Elmi, whom she said is a British citizen, in 2009, according to a marriage certificate. Omar said that relationship ended in 2011 and the two divorced in their faith tradition, but Omar didn’t take legal action to divorce him until 2017. Divorce records say Omar and Hirsi reunited and had a third child together in June 2012. Omar legally married Hirsi in early 2018, a month after her divorce from Elmi was finalized.

Q: Did Omar gain something by filing jointly?

A: It’s hard to say. In most situations, filing jointly may reduce taxes for married couples. But Eric Johnson, an attorney who practices tax law in St. Paul, Minnesota, said that’s not always the case and filing jointly might actually increase a tax bill for some.

Omar has so far kept her tax returns private. While she has called for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, her campaign did not acknowledge the AP’s request to release hers. Her campaign also did not answer a question about whether there might be issues with other tax returns prior to Omar’s marriage to Hirsi in 2018.

Q: Is Omar now in trouble with the IRS?

A: That’s not clear. The IRS says federal privacy law prohibits it from commenting.

Jeff Sigurdson, executive director of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, said that while the board has authority to refer matters to a county attorney if it discovers an issue, there were no referrals made in this case. Sigurdson said the board did not look into the legality of the joint tax returns, but only “whether it was appropriate to use committee funds to get a copy of them.” Sigurdson said the board never saw the returns in question.

Johnson, the tax attorney, said if taxpayers incorrectly file tax returns as “married filing jointly” where there is no legal marriage, it is typically not a criminal matter unless taxpayers have a strong intent to cheat on their taxes, or unless they directly provide false factual information.

“If the IRS discovers the error, they send the resulting tax bill to the taxpayers,” Johnson said. “If the taxpayers discover the error … amend their returns and pay the tax, there is typically no further consequence.”

Q: Will the public ever know what happened?

A: Probably not, unless Omar decides to talk about it. Taxpayer information is protected under federal law. Johnson said the IRS can’t disclose the status of anyone’s tax issues or directly release information about Omar’s tax situation.

June 11, 2019. Tags: , . Ilhan Omar, Politics. Leave a comment.

AOC and Bernie Sanders Don’t Understand Math

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajDfQ-hd3pQ

https://medium.com/@SenSanders/senator-bernie-sanders-and-representative-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-s-plan-to-stop-big-banks-and-1817c205587b

Senator Bernie Sanders’ and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Plan to Stop Big Banks and Payday Lenders from Ripping Off Americans

By Bernie Sanders

May 9, 2019

If you get a credit card from a store like Macy’s, Kohl’s, or Lowe’s, interest rates are even higher. Stores like these are charging customers an average interest rate of more than 27 percent. And many of the stores rely on these high-interest-rate cards for more than a third of their revenue. Incredibly, Macy’s earned almost 40 percent of its revenue from these cards and Kohl’s recently made 35 percent of its total profit from high-interest-rate cards.

What this means is that if you buy a $500 refrigerator from Lowe’s or Home Depot on one of their credit cards, you will likely owe an additional $136 in interest.

June 9, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Economics, Politics. Leave a comment.

Black Brooklynites Attack Hasidic Jews, De Blasio Blames Trump And ‘White Supremacy’

https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/13/blacks-attack-hasidim-brooklyn-deblasio-blames-trump-white-supremacy/

Black Brooklynites Attack Hasidic Jews, De Blasio Blames Trump And ‘White Supremacy’

May 13, 2019

In a recent spate of hate crime attacks on Hasidic Jews in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, virtually all the perpetrators have been African-American, according to local activists, elected officials, and victims.

Yet at a recent news briefing reporting an 82 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the city, when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked about the attacks, he connected the attacks to national trends, blaming “white supremacy” and “nativism.”

“It’s really clear that forces of white supremacy have been unleashed,” de Blasio said in a press conference earlier this month. “A lot of folks used to be told it was unacceptable to be anti-Semitic, it was unacceptable to be racist and now they’re getting more permission. We’ve got make it very clear it’s unacceptable in our society. And the best way we do that here is by finding the perpetrators and prosecuting them and ensuring that they feel the consequences of their acts.”

Yet there is no evidence any of the perpetrators in Brooklyn (“here”) were nativists or white supremacists. In most of the attacks caught on video, it is clear the perpetrators are black.

For example, in a prominent case late last year, a black teenager was arrested after being caught on tape furiously beating a Hasidic man with a wooden stick.

Then, in late January, three men were caught on video shoving a Hasidic man violently to the ground, punching him and leaving cuts and bruises. Three African-American men — Nazar Walters, Teshon Bannister, and Joshua Peters — were arrested for the attack and face hate-crime charges. The three are also suspects in another attack the same night.

And last month, a Hasidic man who said hello to an African-American man smoking a cigar says the man cursed, punched, and choked him, saying he hates Jews and blames them for his economic problems. The attack was caught on security video.

Crown Heights residents confirm those and many similar videos are representative of the spate of violence.

For example, District Leader Geoffrey Davis, an elected official in New York’s 43rd assembly district, said the attacks are due to black racism against Jews. Davis, who is African-American, called the violence “a misplaced anger by black people who have a tendency of lashing out at Jewish people under the assumption that they are creating havoc in our community — which they are not.”

Crown Heights has been the site of ongoing tensions since a three-day race riot in 1991 in which black youth attacked Jews on the street, killing one rabbinical student, although Davis said he does not see a direct connection between those riots and today’s violence.

Nonetheless, one Hasidic hate-crime victim said all three of his attackers were African-American. Mendy, a Crown Heights resident who asked that his last name not be used, described walking down the street late at night when a black man punched him in the face “quite hard” and ran off with two other men.

He said in his opinion “the vast majority” of the recent attackers have been African-American: “it’s completely one-sided. People in the Jewish community aren’t walking down the street attacking others. We’re not interested in fighting with our neighbors.”

The racial makeup of the perpetrators of the hate crimes does not appear in question. For example, City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who represents part of Brooklyn, confirmed that most of the Crown Heights attacks were by African-Americans, and community activist Rabbi Yaacov Behrman, director of Operation Survival, said that of at least two dozen cases of anti-Hasidic attacks he’s aware of in the last year, all but two were by blacks. (The other two were by people of indeterminate race.) Behrman complained that the media blames the spike in hate crimes “on the far right” whereas locally people understand the attacks in the local context.

Every Brooklyn resident interviewed for this story strongly rejected the idea that forces often linked to President Trump had anything to do with the attacks. Mendy said that the attackers “aren’t white supremacists wearing MAGA hates and shooting up black churches.”

As for de Blasio, New York Councilman Kalman Yeger, who represents a district in Brooklyn, praised the mayor for “standing up tall and forcefully against anti-Semitism” but said he did not see a causal link between the president’s rhetoric and the attacks.

Mayor de Blasio, in fact, has not delineated the connections he sees between white supremacy and black-on-Hasidic crime in Brooklyn, but his reference to “white supremacy … unleashed” and “they’re getting more permission” echoes language he’s used in the past linking President Trump to white supremacy and nativism.

June 9, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Racism, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Ilhan Omar violated campaign finance rules, investigation finds, as more questions about tax filings arise

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ilhan-omar-violated-campaign-finance-rules-investigation-finds-as-questions-about-tax-status-arise

Ilhan Omar violated campaign finance rules, investigation finds, as more questions about tax filings arise

June 7, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., repeatedly violated state rules when she used campaign funds to pay for personal out-of-state travel as well as help on her tax returns and must reimburse her former campaign committee nearly $3,500, Minnesota campaign finance officials ruled Thursday.

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board said the first-term congresswoman also must pay the state a $500 civil penalty for using campaign money to travel to Florida, where she accepted an honorarium.

“Rep. Omar must personally reimburse the Omar committee $3,469.23,” the report concludes. “This reimbursement payment is the total amount of campaign funds that were used for purposes not permitted by statute in 2016 and 2017. Rep. Omar must provide documentation within 30 days from the date of this order showing the deposit of the reimbursement into the Omar committee’s account.”

Additionally, conservative commentators pointed out that the Board’s report revealed Omar and her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi, filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015, when Omar was reportedly married to another man. Omar engaged in a civil marriage with Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009, and the couple separated in 2011 without formally petitioning for divorce until 2017.

Prior to her marriage with Elmi, Omar had reportedly wed Hirsi in the Muslim “faith tradition,” but the couple separated shortly afterwards. Omar did not officially marry Hirsi until 2018, after reconciling with him and splitting with Elmi.

Tax experts say the IRS only permits joint filings if a couple is in a state that legally recognizes the couple as married.

“Time to get federal IRS officials involved?” asked conservative blogger Michelle Malkin. “What say you all?”

“A sitting congresswoman may have filed EIGHT YEARS of fraudulent, felonious, tax returns,” added writer David Steinberg, who authored a Twitter thread flagging the issue.

‘The crisis committee had Frederick & Rosen prepare releases for Rep. Omar and Mr. Hirsi to sign in order for Frederick & Rosen to obtain Rep. Omar’s and Mr. Hirsi’s filed joint tax returns for 2014 and 2015,” the report notes. “Frederick & Rosen then reviewed the documents obtained from the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of the Omar committee. However, there is no substantive evidence in the record to show that the services benefitted the Omar committee, and the Omar committee has failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the services from Frederick & Rosen were a permitted noncampaign disbursement under Minnesota Statutes section 211B.12. Rep. Omar must reimburse the committee the $1,500 that was paid to the Kjellberg Law Firm for the services from Frederick & Rosen, Ltd.”

That reference to Omar and Hirsi’s joint filing, however, was not investigated or addressed further in the report.

June 9, 2019. Tags: , , , , . Ilhan Omar, Politics. Leave a comment.

Trump’s Tariffs Have Already Wiped Out Tax Bill Savings for Average Americans

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-tariffs-wiped-most-families-080000425.html

Trump’s Tariffs Have Already Wiped Out Tax Bill Savings for Average Americans

June 7, 2019

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump’s trade wars have already wiped out all but $100 of the average American household’s windfall from Trump’s 2017 tax law. And that’s just the beginning.

That last $100 in tax-cut gains could soon completely disappear — and then some — because of additional tariffs Trump has announced. If the president makes good on his threats to impose levies on virtually all imports from China and Mexico, those middle-earning households could pay nearly $4,000 more.

Subtract the tax cut, and the average household will effectively be paying about $3,000 more in taxes through additional levies on the products they consume.

“It’s giving with one hand and taking with the other,” said Kim Clausing, an economics professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, who has written a book promoting free trade.

Here’s how the math works. Middle earners got an average tax cut of $930, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The tariffs already in effect cost the average household about $831, according to research from the New York Federal Reserve.

China Goods

Add in the additional tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods that Trump proposed in May and that increases the cost for the average family of four to about $2,294 annually, according to research from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a coalition of business groups that oppose tariffs.

Trump has also threatened to levy tariffs on all imports from Mexico, starting with a 5% tax beginning as soon as Monday that would increase monthly to 25% by October. If the tariffs reach their highest level, that would increase costs for households by $1,700 annually, according to Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the centrist Peterson Institute for International Economics.

The full force of the Chinese and Mexican tariffs and subsequent retaliation would mean that consumers are paying an additional $3,994 because of tariffs, more than four times the $930 tax cut for middle earners that the Republican Party touts as its signature legislative achievement.

The tariffs are “clearly demolishing” the benefits of the tax cuts for both businesses and consumers, said Daniel Ikenson, who directs trade policy at the libertarian Cato Institute. “Many households and consumers have been spared so far, but the next round of tariffs will be more problematic.”

In the beginning of the trade dispute, Trump and his advisers sought to put tariffs on imports that consumers don’t directly buy, such as steel and aluminum. But as the trade feud with China has escalated, they ran out of non-consumer goods on which to put levies. The most recent round of announced tariffs includes consumer products, such as apparel, sporting goods and kitchen ware.

Trump’s most recent threat on all imports from Mexico would increase prices on cars and auto parts, televisions, phones and air conditioners, as well as produce, such as avocados, citrus and pineapples.

Only the top 5% of earners would continue to see a net tax cut of more than 1%, according to the right-leaning Tax Foundation. Tariffs would also depress wages by about 0.5% and result in the loss of nearly 610,000 full-time jobs, according to the foundation.

That creates political problems for Republicans in Congress who have continued to back Trump even as they disagreed with his trade policies. Republicans have cited the passage of the tax-cut law, low unemployment rates and wage increases as signs that Trump’s policies have buoyed the economy. But there are signs that support is beginning to fracture.

The tax cuts “vaulted America back into the most competitive economy,” said Representative Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican who led the passage of the tax cut legislation in the House. “Higher tariffs and the uncertainty that comes with trade disputes” hurt the economy, he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged the administration this week to delay imposing the tariffs until Republicans in Congress could plead their case to Trump. Most Senate Republicans have objected to Trump’s use of tariffs to force tougher border enforcement by Mexico. Lawmakers are weighing moves to block the levies.

“This is a man-made disaster, because Donald Trump is not focused in any way on advancing a well-thought-out doctrine,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a top Democrat from New York. “He seems to be carrying out at times personal vendettas, at other times political objectives and sometimes an effort to distract from the news of the day.”

Little Noticed

The effects of tariffs have yet to become noticeable to average consumers. That could soon change. The tariffs on goods from Mexico are slated to go into effect Monday, barring a last-minute deal between Mexican and U.S. negotiators. The Chinese tariffs hitting consumer goods could go into effect in the coming months.

Negotiators met for a second day Thursday to try to come to some agreement that would avert the tariffs. Mexico pushed for more time, but Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. plans to impose tariffs on Monday.

“It’s not like all of sudden prices will jump 25%, but they could increase 10% or 11%,” said Brian Yarbrough, a senior equity analyst at Edward Jones, said of tariffs of 25% or more. “At some point, price increases will choke off demand, resulting in fewer sales.”

Republicans are hoping to campaign in 2020 on the message of a strong economy buoyed by their tax reductions and deregulation, which began two years ago. But the fresh sting of tariffs risk erasing any economic goodwill those policies generated.

“For the average household it will be a net loss, no doubt,” the Peterson Institutes’s Hufbauer said. “It will be painful.”

June 7, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Economics. 2 comments.

Time Magazine Columnist’s Trump Quote Went Viral – Then He Admitted He Made It Up

https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/26/ian-bremmer-fake-trump-quote/

Time Magazine Columnist’s Trump Quote Went Viral — Then He Admitted He Made It Up

May 26, 2019

Time Magazine columnist Ian Bremmer on Sunday tweeted a quote from President Donald Trump about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that quickly went viral — but it wasn’t real.

“President Trump in Tokyo: ‘Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better President than Sleepy Joe Biden.’” Bremmer wrote on Twitter.

While Trump did praise the North Korean dictator’s insult of former Vice President Joe Biden, the president never said what Bremmer quoted him saying — because Bremmer made it up. (RELATED: 9 Times The Media Pushed Misinformation About Brett Kavanaugh)

Bremmer left the false post up for several hours before conceding he made up the quote and deleting the tweet, which he defended as “plausible.”

“This is objectively a completely ludicrous quote. And yet kinda plausible. Especially on twitter, where people automatically support whatever political position they have. That’s the point.” Bremmer wrote in a since-deleted correction.

Bremmer’s tweet went viral among Trump critics before he took it down.

“Don’t shrug your shoulders. Don’t get used to this insanity,” wrote CNN contributor Ana Navarro.

“The President of the United States praising a cruel dictator who violates human rights, threatens nuclear attacks, oppresses his people, and kills political opponents, IS NOT FREAKING NORMAL,” Navarro added.

Her tweet amplifying Bremmer’s fake quote was shared thousands of times across Twitter.

Navarro was far from alone in falling for the made up quote.

Democratic Calif. Rep. Ted Lieu also spread Bremmer’s false tweet. Lieu later wrote that he “removed the retweet” after Bremmer admitted the quote was fake.

Left-wing activist group Media Matters‘ deputy director of rapid response, Andrew Lawrence, also amplified the invented quote.

Lawrence called it “equally incredible how easily manipulated the president is and also that democrats havent [sic] figured out how to take advantage of this yet,” pointing to Bremmer’s false tweet.

Other critics of the president similarly promoted the false information.

May 27, 2019. Tags: , , , . Donald Trump, Media bias. Leave a comment.

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/17/world/americas/venezuela-economy.html

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

Butchers have stopped selling meat cuts in favor of offal, fat shavings and cow hooves, the only animal protein many of their customers can afford.

May 17, 2019

MARACAIBO, Venezuela — Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s.

The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all.

Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say.

“It’s really hard to think of a human tragedy of this scale outside civil war,” said Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. “This will be a touchstone of disastrous policies for decades to come.”

To find similar levels of economic devastation, economists at the I.M.F. pointed to countries that were ripped apart by war, like Libya earlier this decade or Lebanon in the 1970s.

But Venezuela, at one point Latin America’s wealthiest country, has not been shattered by armed conflict. Instead, economists say, the poor governance, corruption and misguided policies of President Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, have fueled runaway inflation, shuttered businesses and brought the country to its knees. And in recent months, the Trump administration has imposed stiff sanctions to try to cripple it further.
(more…)

May 20, 2019. Tags: , , , . Communism, Economics, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

Big League Politics: “CONFIRMED: Rashida Tlaib Broke State and Federal Law By Lying About Her Address To Run For Office”

https://bigleaguepolitics.com/confirmed-rashida-tlaib-broke-state-and-federal-law-by-lying-about-her-address-to-run-for-office/

CONFIRMED: Rashida Tlaib Broke State and Federal Law By Lying About Her Address To Run For Office

May 13, 2019

Democrat Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib violated state election law and also federal law by lying about her residence to run for office in Michigan. Since Big League Politics exposed her residence lie using credit score and property records and archived information, Congressman John Bumstead communicated to us through an intermediary that Tlaib broke the law.

Tlaib’s own father even said that Tlaib “lied” about her address in order to run for office, meaning that Tlaib represented a state House district that she did not live in.

Here is what the evidence, presented below, proves:

1. Rashida Tlaib registered to vote at a false address as she embarked on her first political campaign. “Registering to vote using a false address” is one of a number of crimes that fall into the voter fraud category.

2. Tlaib ran for and represented the 12th district in the Michigan House of Representatives even though she was not a resident of that district.

3. Records show that Tlaib was an “Absentee Owner” at the Detroit house she claimed to live in.

4. Tlaib moved to her official Detroit apartment address, which she reported to the FEC after the election, at the start of her 2018 campaign. Her new address was recorded for the first time one day before she announced her campaign for Congress.

Michigan law maintains that state representatives must live in the district they represent, and federal law holds that a person who lies about their address on voter registration forms can be prosecuted.
(more…)

May 15, 2019. Tags: , . Politics. 1 comment.

Philadelphia Islamic center teaches children to sing, “We will chop off their heads”

https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/05/philly-islamic-center-children-singing/

Video Of Philly Islamic Center Children Singing They Will ‘Chop Off Their Heads’ For Allah Sparks Investigation

May 5, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHXCmEWxMY4

The Muslim American Society pledged Friday to investigate a videoed incident of children at its Philadelphia Islamic center singing about conquering Jerusalem and beheading people.

The Muslim American Society (MAS) Islamic Center in Philadelphia initially posted video of the children adorned in Palestinian scarves singing in celebration of “Ummah Day” in April, but translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) revealed the threatening nature of their lyrics.

The children sang about subjecting their enemies to “eternal torture,” beheading people, and retaking the Al Aqsa Mosque and achieving martyrdom as members of Allah’s army.

The Washington, D.C.-based MAS claimed the Philadelphia center simply failed to properly vet the songs and that they would investigate the incident following public outcry on social media after Fox News reported it on May 3.

“We will defend the land of divine guidance with our bodies, and we will sacrifice our souls without hesitation,” one girl says in the video. “We will chop off their heads, and we will liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque. We will lead the army of Allah fulfilling His promise, and we will subject them to eternal torture.”

The MAS issued a statement Friday apologizing for the songs, claiming the incident was “an unintended mistake.”

“While we celebrate the coming together of different cultures and languages, not all songs were properly vetted,” the statement read, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “This was an unintended mistake and an oversight in which the center and the students are remorseful. MAS will conduct an internal investigation to ensure this does not occur again.”

The statement appears to have since been removed from both the organization’s website and its Facebook page.

“These are not isolated incidents; they are happening in major centers of the country – including in Pennsylvania,” MEMRI said in a statement to Fox News.

May 5, 2019. Tags: , , . Islamic terrorism. Leave a comment.

California lawmakers want to ban those little shampoo bottles you get in hotels

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/14/us/california-hotel-plastic-bottles/index.html

California lawmakers want to ban those little shampoo bottles you get in hotels

April 14, 2019

Those little shampoo bottles offered in hotel bathrooms, used once or twice and then usually tossed in the trash, could soon be a thing of the past in California.

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban hotels from providing guests with small plastic bottles for soap, shampoo and conditioner. The proposed law, which would go into effect in 2023, would instead encourage hotels to provide the products in bulk dispensers to reduce plastic waste.
Assembly Member Ash Kalra of San Jose co-authored the bill, known as AB 1162, which would apply to all lodging establishments. Kalra said that small plastic bottles under 12 ounces represent a sizable amount of waste and that his bill would reduce the problem.

“By not offering small bottles of personal care products, hotels, motels, and other lodging establishments can promote a more sustainable business and potentially reduce operating costs,” he said as part of an analysis on the bill. “AB 1162 will take meaningful action to curb single-use plastic consumption in the lodging industry and increase consumer awareness.”

The bill was introduced in February and is working its way through committees. Santa Cruz County passed a similar law that banned small toiletry bottles in hotels last year, CNN affiliate KSBW reported.

The legislation comes amid a growing push to phase out single-use plastics like straws and bags. Critics say these items take decades or more to decompose and end up polluting landfills and bodies of water.

California has been at the forefront of bans on single-use plastics and became the first state to ban plastic bags in 2014. New York state also moved to do the same last month.

Even before this legislation, hotels have begun to make the shift toward bulk dispensers, which they say are less wasteful and cheaper.

Marriott International announced last April that it would replace the individual soap, shampoo and conditioner bottles with bulk dispensers in its showers. The program is expected to save an average of 250 pounds of plastic per year for a 140-room hotel — about 23,000 plastic bottles, Marriott told Lodging Magazine.

“This is a win-win from a sustainability perspective, operational perspective, and financial perspective,” Denise Naguib, vice president of sustainability for Marriott, told the magazine.

April 28, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

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