The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Monday, December 24, 2018

Your student debt balance can double or triple: How to prevent that

How much people borrow to attend college can become just a small share of what they wind up owing.

Currently, fewer than a quarter of student loan borrowers are repaying their principal, or the amount they originally took out,according to recent remarks made by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a conference on financial aid.

That's because their monthly payments are just going to the interest accumulating on their debt or they're not paying anything right now.

In the meantime, their debt is likely growing.

For example, law school graduate Rick Tallini borrowed around $55,000 in the 1990s. He's since struggled to find employment and pay the bills, and today his student loan balance has ballooned to well over $300,000.


Threats fly as teen Trump supporters confronted over MAGA caps in airport: ‘Take off your racist hats!’

“You’re wearing a racist hat!”

Teens were leaving the Turning Point USA conference in South Florida when they were heckled in the airport by a man triggered after seeing their red Donald Trump MAGA hats.

Group founder Charlie Kirk tweeted shaky video of the incident.

“You’re wearing a racist hat!” a man announced to fellow fliers, apparently trying to get others to gang up on them.

“Take off the racist hats!” he demanded, as one of the students replied, “Merry Christmas, sir.”

“Take off your racist hats!” he ordered again.

“Love the hats,” a passerby remarked.

“I’m not going to take it off,” a student replied as the video ends.

Kirk only identified them as “high school leaders.” He didn’t ID the airport where the incident took place.

Earlier this year, two teens were sitting in a San Antonio Whataburger when a man walked up, ripped the hat off his head and threw a drink in his face.


Chief Justice Roberts stays court order in mystery grand jury probe

The Supreme Court appears to have intervened in the operations of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations for the first time. But we know precious little about what really is going on, beyond the mechanics of an order issued Sunday afternoon by the Chief Justice of the United States.

That order was reproduced in a tweet yesterday showing the relevant text:

Saudi student wanted for murder of Oregon teen fled US in private jet helped by Saudi consulate

Officials say they are doing everything they can to get a Saudi Arabian murder suspect back to the United States after he fled on board a private jet with the help of his country's consulate.

Investigators believe Abdulrahman Semeer Noorah used an illicit passport to flee the country having cut off his police-issued ankle tracker as he skipped his $1million bail.

Noorah has denied the manslaughter of 15-year-old Fallon Smart who was hit by his gold Lexus when he illegally swerved around stopped traffic letting the teenager cross the road in Portland, Oregon in August 2016.

The Portland Community College man went missing June 10, 2017 – just two weeks before he was due to stand trial - and the Saudi government confirmed to US Marshals this July that Noorah had returned to Saudi Arabia seven days after he went missing.


LOL: CNN 'Investigation' Uncovers What We Already Knew: Criminals Break Gun Laws

CNN decided to "investigate" the number of people who lie on the 4473 forms, which are used when someone purchases a firearm. It asks basic questions like your name, address, date of birth and if you've committed a number of criminal violations. When you fill it out you check a simple "yes" or "no" on each question. Lying on 4473 is a felony that can result in a hefty fine and up to 10 years in prison.

What's silly is it took an "investigation" for CNN to realize a fact that gun rights advocates have been saying for years: criminals lie. And the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) very rarely prosecutes those who are caught lying on the form.

Here's what their "investigation" found:


Julian Castro admits he'd pull troops out of Syria after blasting 'erratic' Trump

Former San Antonio mayor seen as likely 2020 Democratic presidential candidate

After blasting President Trump for his “erratic” decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro admitted Sunday that he would have done the same thing.

The difference is that he would have handled it differently, said Mr. Castro, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential contender.

“I think that many folks recognize that it was time for us to pull out of Syria; however, here’s the thing,” said Mr. Castro on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Once you’re there, you have to make sure that you have a plan for your operations there and also for your withdrawal.”

Mr. Trump came under fire for announcing last week that he would pull U.S. troops from Syria, spurring the resignations of both Defense Secretary James Mattis and presidential special envoy for ISIS Brett McGurk.

Mr. Castro, who served as Housing and Urban Development Secretary under President Barack Obama, said he would announced Jan. 12 on whether he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination.


Iowa judge tosses charges after prosecutor shows up drunk

A fed-up judge in Iowa tossed charges against a man who confessed to sexually assaulting a minor — because the prosecutor in the case showed up to court drunk.

Clarke County attorney Michelle Rivera was nabbed on Oct. 18 for her tipsy appearance in an Osceola courtroom — just moments before the defendant was about to plead guilty and be sentenced in the case.

As a result, Rivera missed a crucial legal deadline requiring the man to be tried within one year of his arraignment.

The lush of a lawyer was arrested for the second time last week after allegedly driving to the courthouse drunk, WHO TV reported. She was also charged with child endangerment for driving her daughter to daycare minutes before someone called 911 about her erratic driving.


America Is Not the Fifth Most Dangerous Country for Journalists, You Idiots

This blog is the spiritual successor to my previous similarly titled blog post that debunked a widely-reported study claiming America was one of the top ten most dangerous countries for women. As I pointed out at the time, the report heavily weighted the subjective judgements of "experts." The result is that a bunch of Westerners polled at the height of the #MeToo failed to look beyond their bubble and declared the U.S. the third-worst country in the world for "sexual violence." Seriously.

Now we have another drastic finding being picked up and spread by the media.

These stories are based on a report put out by Reporters Without Borders, a group that does a lot of good calling attention to threats to journalism worldwide. Unlike the violence against women report, it actually relies on things like numbers and data. So there's that.

What the report actually found was, yes, the U.S. had the fifth-most journalists killed in the line of duty in 2018, tied with India and behind Afghanistan, Syria, Mexico, and Yemen. But it's mathematically illiterate to take that datapoint and claiming it proves more abstractly America is the fifth "most dangerous country for journalists," behind countries such as Russia and North Korea.

First, it makes little sense to use the raw number of deaths in country-by-country comparisons, rather than the rate of journalists killed. The U.S is the third-most-populous country in the world. Even if the rate of journalist deaths remained consistent across all countries, the U.S. would rank in the top five of total deaths. It might sound bad to hear the U.S. had six times as many journalists killed this year as Slovakia, but when the U.S. has around sixty times the population, Slovakia is actually ten times more dangerous.

Second (and I don't want to come across as glib here, because even one death is a tragedy), the grand total of journalists killed in the U.S. this year was six. The global total was sixty-three. The death of a journalist is a very, very rare event, rare enough that even a small number of unlikely incidents is enough to catapult a nation into the ranks of the "most dangerous."


Trump slams top US envoy's resignation over president's

Donald Trump has taken a swipe at critics of his decision to withdraw US troops from Syria by saying if anyone else brought soldiers home they would be branded a 'hero'.

In a series of fiery tweets tonight, POTUS also dismissed the top US envoy in the fight against ISIS as an 'Obama appointee' who he claimed he did not know.

Earlier today Brett McGurk announced that he is resigning in the wake of Trump's decision to pull troops out of Syria and just days after Secretary of Defense James Mattis stepped down.

McGurk was to leave the role in February but moved up his departure date by two months to December 31 after very publicly stating that the move to pull American forces at this time could result in a 'possibly catastrophic outcome'.


More Good News! Obama Appointee and Adviser behind Iraq Disaster and ISIS Nightmare Resigns (Two Months Early) Over Mean Trump!

Media outrage hit another 10 out of 10 on the outrage scale today when Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, abruptly resigned.

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) United States Marine Corps (USMC) General John Allen (C) and Deputy Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk (L) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington September 16, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Now here’s the rest of the story…

McGurk was a long-time Obama adviser on Iraq which turned out to be an historic failure and complete global disaster. The Middle East and Europe are still suffering following that foreign policy nightmare.
Obama appointed him to his ISIS ambassador after the Islamic State took over most of Syria and Iraq.

Two Detroit women arrested after trying to steal from Target while store hosted 'Shop with a Cop'

Two Detroit women were caught trying to steal almost $2,000 of goods from a Target while the store was hosting a fundraising event for area police to help disadvantaged children pick out Christmas presents.

Keiana Wilson, 40, and 18-year-old Dana Johnson were apprehended late on Wednesday night while the store was packed with officers and children for a 'Shop with a Cop' event.

'I couldn't believe it,' Bloomfield Township Police Sgt. Dan Brown explained to theDetroit Free Press.


Mike Pompeo’s State Department mocks US anti-ISIS envoy over resignation: ‘Good job, Brett’

The State Department has lashed out at Brett McGurk, who resigned in protest at President Trump's Syria pull-out, accusing him of failing in his role as top U.S. diplomat for the coalition to defeat the Islamic State and lying about the timing of and reasons for his departure.

A senior State Department official derided McGurk, who was appointed by President Obama and has been in place since 2015, as ineffective. “The conflict in Syria has been ongoing for six years,” the senior State Department official said sarcastically. "Good job, Brett.”

Another source close to the circumstances surrounding McGurk’s resignation bitterly accused him of twisting the truth to increase the amount he could earn in speaking fees despite being treated “graciously” by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


'Bushies' creep into Trump's administration

Trump is suspicious of people who have worked for the Bush family, but has little choice but to keep hiring them — to the anger of some hard-core supporters.

President Donald Trump uses the term “Bushie” as shorthand for anyone he considers too establishment, thinks too conventionally, or is just, in the president’s mind, a pain.

But a strange thing has been happening within his administration lately. Bush administration alums now run huge swaths of Trump’s government. They’re at high levels of his departments of Homeland Security, Labor, State, Health and Human Services, and Treasury. At the White House, they staff his legal and domestic policy offices.


The Anatomy Of A Government Shutdown

Thomas Sowell used to ask his students to imagine a government bureaucracy that had two functions. One function was to provide medicine to sick children, and the other function was to construct statues of Benedict Arnold. He would then ask his students that if the bureaucracy suffered budget cuts, which function would the bureau stop funding?

The intuitive answer to those of us who are not bureaucrats is to cut the funding to Benedict Arnold statues, of course. One might even ask why we are funding statues in honor of a traitor to begin with? But, Sowell would tell his students, the bureaucracy would actually be more inclined to cut funding to the medicine to sick children.

Bureaucrats and politicians, like anybody else, are self-interested individuals, and their interests are to enjoy a bureaucracy with as large a tax-payer-funded budget as possible. When they are faced with budget cuts, it makes no sense to cut funding from programs that the vast majority of taxpayers wouldn’t care to fund in the first place. There would be no outcry. But by cutting funds in an area that creates real pain for certain people within the population — say, sick children or members of the military — the public will predictably erupt with outrage, demanding that the original budget be reinstated (or even increased!) so people don’t suffer.

With President Trump’s demands for tax-payer funds allocated to his border wall, his reaction was to threaten a government shutdown. This tactic seems to be an increasingly popular tactic for politicians who want support for ever-increasing budgets and higher taxes. The last so-called “shut down” only took place five years ago under Barack Obama, and it seems many people have already forgotten the political theater that accompanied it. “Shutting down” the government apparently meant paying government employees to set up traffic cones around monuments and abstaining from making Twitter updates, among other things.


Three Arkansas Shopkeepers Plead Guilty to $400,000 Food Stamp Fraud

Three Arkansas shopkeepers pleaded guilty Wednesday to carrying out a $400,000 food stamp fraud scheme where they used food stamps to purchase items that they would resell in their stores.

Raja Khani Zaman and his two sons, Haroon “Harry” Zaman and Ahmed Zaman, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to traffic in food stamp benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Raja and Harry Zaman pleaded guilty to additional charges, including filing a false tax return and money laundering conspiracy, court documents stated.


Deputies Get Shots Fired Call, Find Invasion Suspect Dead in Yard

Davidson County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of shots fired Thursday night and arrived to find a home invasion suspect dead in the yard.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the body of 21-year-old Silvestre Begley was discovered about 9;30 pm. He was lying in a yard in the 100 block of Upton Street.

Fox 8 reports that Begley had been shot once. The homeowner told deputies that he shot because Begley was allegedly “armed and tried to get into the home.”


Wells Fargo Laid Off Americans, Outsourced Their Jobs

Wells Fargo, the world’s third-largest United States bank, may have outsourced hundreds of Americans’ jobs to foreign countries after laying off U.S. workers this year.

Analysis conducted by the Charlotte Observer‘s Deon Roberts reveals how the multinational bank laid off hundreds of American workers while sending their jobs overseas.

Last year, Breitbart News reported that about 650 American workers with Wells Fargo were laid off from their jobs in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington. At the same time, Americans were being laid off, the multinational bank announced it would hire an additional 7,000 workers in the Philippines to add to its 4,000-strong workforce in the country.


The ridiculous Santa Claus myth should be replaced by the amazing true story of St. Nicholas

It's that time of year when the world falls in love, and every parent takes their child to the local mall to see Santa Claus, the most ridiculous myth ever inflicted on a child's psyche. Instead of telling your child a lie about Santa for the first ten years of their life, which you will ultimately and quite suddenly have to renege, why not tell your child the real story of Saint Nicholas, which is far more powerful and actually the truth?

I know what you're thinking: I'm a monster. I actually told all of my children from a very young age Santa was not real and their friends and family purchase gifts for them for Christmas. The world did not end.

Not only that, but their father and I told them the myth of Santa Claus was based on a real person who is far more inspiring than a fat guy in a red suit.


Rand Paul: ‘Armchair Generals Want to Keep Us At War Forever’

Trump doing the right thing by pulling troops out of Syria, he says

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Sunday praised President Donald Trump for doing “exactly what he promised” by withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria — and derided the “armchair generals” in Washington who “want to keep us at war forever.”

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Paul said he’s “very proud” of Trump’s determination to get troops out of the Middle East.

“This is exactly what he promised … I think people believe that we’ve been at war too long and too many places and that we do need to turn attention to problems we have at home,” he said.

In a separate interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Paul also lauded the drawdown in Afghanistan — saying savings from that could be the source of wall funding that’s stymied Congress, and triggered a partial government shutdown.

Read more

Lebron James Needs to Talk Less Because He's Dumb

LSU footballers released without charge claiming shooting dead of man, 18, was in 'self-defense'

Two Louisiana State University football players were released without charges after claiming the shooting dead of a man on Saturday afternoon was in 'self-defense' during an attempted robbery.

Kobe Johnson, 18, was gunned down on the 2900 block of 68th Avenue near Village Street in the Scotlandville neighborhood.

The man was found in the back of a white Chevrolet pickup truck after multiple gunshot wounds.

Freshman Jared Small and sophomore Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 19, reported the shooting according to WBRZ.


How arrest of Chinese ‘princess’ exposes regime’s world domination plot

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Vancouver on Dec. 6 led to immediate blow-back.

Furious Chinese Communists have begun arresting innocent Canadians in retaliation. So far, three of these “revenge hostages” have been taken and are being held in secret jails on vague charges. Beijing hints that the hostage count may grow if Meng is not freed and fast.

Even for a thuggish regime like China’s, this kind of action is almost unprecedented.

So who is Meng Wanzhou?

Currently under house arrest and awaiting extradition to the US, she will face charges that her company violated US sanctions by doing business with Iran and committed bank fraud by disguising the payments it received in return.

But to say that she is the CFO of Huawei doesn’t begin to explain her importance — or China’s reaction.

More here

Charlie Kirk: Leftists Want to Destroy Western Civilization

Charlie Kirk told Breitbart News on Friday that Leftists want the complete and fundamental destruction of Western civilization, and that he hopes the Republican Party has learned that it needs to keep fighting in order to win.

“I hope [the Republican Party] is now a Party that fights,” said Kirk to Breitbart News, at his 4th annual Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida, “I hope we become a Party that understands when we fight, we win.”

“Make no mistake that the number one lesson we can learn from the Trump presidency is that republicans are allowed to fight — in fact, we have to — and when we do fight, we’re going to win.”

Kirk mentioned the Kavanaugh hearings as the most recent example of what it means to fight for and preserve the nation’s principles.

“The Left’s number one weapon against us is the mob,” continued Kirk, “They love using it, whether it be the boycotts — social media — trying to storm us out of college campuses — trying to come and find us in the streets.”

“They are a mob, and they like to use the mob to silence us.”

Kirk, who recently returned from a trip to London, said that his organization, Turning Point USA, can be expected to expand to new countries soon.

More here

Scott Adams: Democrats forced Trump to pull out the 'set your hair on fire' list

Scott Adams, the author and comic-strip creator who predicted President Trump’s electoral success, says legal threats by Democrats have forced him into a high-risk, high-reward frame of mind.

The man behind “Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter” says a willingness to shut down the government and other decisions by Mr. Trump can be traced back to vows of “unlimited legal pain” by politicians and pundits.

Mr. Adams told his nearly 300,000 Twitter followers on Friday that the commander in chief is behaving in a completely rational way for a man facing endless legal proceedings by House Democrats.

“They have forced the president to do bigger things that he would have otherwise been inclined to do,” he said. “[Democrats] have already said we’re going to unleash unlimited legal pain. What would you do if you were in that job? If you put me in the presidency, I would put away my list of ordinary tasks. I would say to myself, ‘here are all the ordinary boring things I was planning to do. Okay, there’s my ordinary list. Now let me take out the list of things that will set your hair on fire. Let me take out the list of things that nobody would even dare to do. Boom, b—. That’s what I’m going to do.”


Jesus doesn't fit your political narrative

Since the migrant crisis in Europe began in 2015, it has become a common occurrence to see religious figures and publications combine incorrect theology with the political narrative of the day. For example, Pope Francis recently tweeted this:

"Jesus knows well the pain of not being welcomed. May our hearts not be closed as were the houses in Bethlehem. "

Others have said similar things in recent months.

Whether evangelical or Catholic, many denominations try to encourage Americans to be friendlier toward migrants or refugees by insinuating that they should be like Jesus — and after all, Jesus himself was a refugee. This is entirely false and not only that, but this bizarre focus on Jesus as a “refugee” misses the entire point of the Gospel.

First, the concept that Jesus might have been a refugee comes from the fact that He was born in a stable after His parents, Joseph and Mary, could not find any room in the inn, following a lengthy journey from Nazareth, via donkey, to Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph were not going to Bethlehem because they had no home, nor did Joseph lack relatives in Bethlehem. The reason he went, and that there was no place to stay, is because the Caesar was a greedy, demanding ruler who demanded everyone return to their hometowns to participate in the census: “All went to be registered, each to his own town” (Luke 2:3).


‘Totally effective while at the same time beautiful!’

In the midst of a contentious fight with Democrats over a possible partial government shutdown and funding for border security, President Trump on Friday tweeted an image of the proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“A design of our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective while at the same time beautiful!” the president wrote in a caption for an image of what appeared to be a tall steel picket-designed fence.

“It will be beautiful and, at the same time, give our Country the security that our citizens deserve,” he continued. “It will go up fast and save us BILLIONS of dollars a month once completed!”

What will it take for border wall critics to realize we need to build the wall?


Awakening: Caravan organizer blasted by migrants over risky journey

Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group of activists escorting the migrant caravan of thousands of Central Americans traveling to the U.S., is being blamed by many — including the migrants themselves — for encouraging such a risky trek.

The group, which is comprised of about 40 U.S. and Mexican activists, gave the caravan an option in October. The migrants were asked whether they wanted to continue to the U.S. southern border or stop in Mexico, where the government offered to let them stay.

Pueblo Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, warned the migrants the offer might be too good to be true and called on a voice vote — to which the crowd yelled to keep moving toward the U.S.

Since then, former allies and some migrants have said the group downplayed the risks involved, particularly for those with families and small children.

The organizers also were accused of misleading caravan migrants about how long they would have to wait on the Mexican side of the border to apply for asylum.

Irineo Mujica, a leader among the caravan organizers, rejected the criticism..


Maness: Why The Swamp Is Wrong and President Trump Is Right on Syria

Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, I have been directly involved in advising the country’s top National Security Team in planning and executing the United States and Allied Powers response to the attacks.

I’ve trained troops to deploy, supervised and conducted intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations and deployed myself in the first Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom as a commander.

My support for President Trump’s decisions to bring American forces out of Syria now and soon Afghanistan is informed not only by my experiences since 9/11, but also four decades of military and civilian experience planning and executing national security policy. I have studied national security matters under retired US Marine Lt General Mick Trainor at Harvard, and many other great thinkers at the U.S. College of Naval Warfare.

As you can see from my background, I’m no pacifist, but I’ve also seen the horrors of war firsthand and understand that military force should always be a final resort and that it is the duty of the Commander in Chief to bring our troops home as soon as the stated mission is complete.

Unlike the bipartisan foreign policy swamp, which has been consistently proven wrong about nearly every major military decision of the last decade, President Trump has overseen a clear, steady and realist foreign policy, focused on putting America First. From re-building America’s military, destroying ISIS, ending the Iran deal, de-escalating tensions with North Korea, he has consistently proven the naysayers in the foreign policy swamp wrong.


All I want for Christmas is for politicians to care about America

The towering arrogance on display last week from the global interventionists in both parties in Washington over President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the Syrian civil war was enough to choke a full-sized draft mule.

It was also a sterling reminder of why Mr. Trump got elected in the first place.

Remember when these same American globetrotters were ginning up hysteria during the 2016 Republican nomination — and later the general election — that Mr. Trump would launch a thousand wars with friends and foe alike if he ever got elected?

Oh wait. No, that isn’t Mr. Trump. That is the favored move by both Democrats and Republicans who have kept the war fires burning now for 17 years.

“We came, we saw, he died,” boasted America’s eternal next president, Hillary Rodham Clinton, after killing Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and kicking the virulent hornets nest in that country that wound up needlessly killing Americans.

Yeah, it’s Mr. Trump who is the warmonger...


Austria to Automatically Reject Smuggled Migrants

Austria has announced plans to automatically block asylum for migrants who arrive with the help of smugglers, with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stressing the importance of “smashing the business model of human traffickers”.

Asylum policy in Austria “must head in this direction” in order to make the system fairer, stated interior minister Herbert Kickl this week, telling Kronen Zeitung that the “existing system” in which migrants who pay criminal smuggling gangs have a significant advantage in reaching Europe “is the most unjust and inhumane one possible”.

Appearing on Austrian public broadcaster ORF to speak on the issue of third world migrants taking boats to Europe, Chancellor Kurz struck a similar tone, telling the channel’s Report program: “It is not the poorest who flee, but the ones who can afford to pay [people-smugglers].”


What "Winning" In Afghanistan Really Looks Like

"By the end of next yeaA quick check of my calendar shows that it's December 22, 2018. Almost five years have passed since Obama declared the war would be over.

A quick check of my calendar shows that it's December 22, 2018. Almost five years have passed since Obama declared the war would be over.
Tired of Being Policeman

In response to Trump announcing the US would pull troops out of Syria and cut back troops in Afghanistan, defense secretary James Mattis resigned. Good Riddance.

The warmongers, including many on the left were shocked. In a nauseating article, left-wing VOX called Mattis the last “adult” in the Trump administration.
Perpetual War

These McCain-like warmongers, left and right, will keep us there us there forever.

I say, Thank You, President Trump! Troop Reduction in Afghanistan, Pulling Out of Syria

Staying is absurd. We did not win in 18 years and we won't win in another 18 years.


State Auditor Again Criticizes Medicaid Eligibility Verification

The Louisiana Legislative Auditor says five of 60 Medicaid recipients it studied, or eight percent, did not qualify for the program. Auditors say the results suggest the state has been making payments on behalf of thousands of Medicaid participants who should have been ruled ineligible.

The report, released Monday, is the auditor’s second review of the Louisiana Department of Health’s eligibility verification process following the expansion of Medicaid under Gov. John Bel Edwards. As with the first report, LDH largely agreed with the auditor’s findings and recommendations and said a new eligibility-verification system will address the problems.

Auditors reviewed a sample of 60 adults who participated in the expanded Medicaid program between July 2017 and February 2018. For all 60 recipients, auditors found, LDH did not utilize federal or state tax data to verify recipients’ tax filer status and household size or to verify certain types of income, such as self-employment or out-of-state income.


Girl Scouts: Your Daughter ‘Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug’ at Christmas

The Girl Scouts says parents could be giving their daughters the “wrong idea about consent and physical affection” during the holidays when they encourage hugging family members.

As families gather for the holidays, gender stereotypes are often reinforced. Don’t fall for it.

— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) December 21, 2018

The organization is cautioning parents that suggesting to a child that she give a thank-you hug to a relative for a gift may plant the seed that she owes sexual favors later on in her life when someone takes her to dinner.

More here

Victory or Death–A Desperate Plan that Changed the Course of the Revolution

This Christmas marks the 242nd anniversary of a battle that changed the course of history.

You think America has problems in 2018? Try living as a Patriot during the winter of 1776. Washington’s army had lost one battle after another. The economy had tanked. And the paper money the United States printed seemed worthless. Americans were abandoning the cause in droves.

During the Fall of 1776, the British issued an amnesty proclamation that offered pardon and protection to rebels who signed an oath of loyalty to the king within sixty days. Thousands of Americans, including several members of Congress, clamored to sign the oath. One disgusted American Patriot recalled, “To the disgrace of the country and human nature, great numbers flocked to confess their political sins to the representative of Majesty, and to obtain pardon. It was observed, that these consisted of the very rich and the very poor, while the middling class held their constancy.” Making matters worse, the enlistments for the Continental Army expired in December and January 1, 1777. Washington knew he needed to make a bold attack or the United States might fail.

I told the story of this desperate time in American history in my best-selling book Washington’s Immortals: The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution. It chronicles the efforts of the elite troops of Maryland.

More here

LA Doubled Homeless Budget, Doubled Homeless Crime

It wasn’t all that long ago that the nation watched transfixed in horror as fires tore apart California, destroying homes and claiming lives. In all the debates about global warming and forestry management, one singular cause of the fire was left unaddressed.

Global warming wasn’t starting the fires. People were.

Last December, the 422-acre Skirball Fire that forced the evacuation of 700 homes and took 10 days to put out was started by illegal cooking in a homeless encampment. The Leo Baeck Temple in Bel-Air, which celebrates "social justice", even sued Los Angeles (both city and county) over fire damage for ignoring multiple complaints about the homeless encampment and the fire hazard that it posed.

This November, the Los Angeles Zoo had to evacuate its animals over a fire in yet another homeless encampment. That fire not only endangered lives, but diverted resources from fighting the much more serious fires in Ventura County.

But instead of shutting down the encampments, Mayor Garcetti, who has done more to legalize and subsidize homelessness in Los Angeles than any of his predecessors, sent "outreach workers" from the expanding behemoth of the LA Homeless Services Agency to ask them to please move.


Liberals Call for Ban on Gift-Wrapping Paper?

Wrapping Christmas gifts is wasteful in terms of money and the environment, which are the reasons liberals are saying "it's time to do away with wrapping paper, once and for all," HuffPost's Kate Bratskeir writes.

"We're still throwing away our money on wrapping paper ― especially around the holidays," she wrote.

"It's time to do away with wrapping paper, once and for all, and here's why: Most wrapping paper is not recycled (and much of it can't be), so it ends up in landfills."

She cites a Sundale Research report that revealed the U.S. spent $12.7 billion on gift wrap – paper, tissue, gift bags, bows, etc. – in 2017

"What a waste," she wrote. "This is stuff designed to be torn into shreds and tossed away in less than 60 seconds."

Much of it ends up in landfills, even if it is recyclable, because of tape, ink, or glitter, according to Going Zero Waste's Kathryn Kellogg and Litterless' Celia Ristow.

More here

We The People Will Fund The Wall

• Rep Andy Harris Introduced the Border Wall Bonds Act of 2018, if passed with the Gov Funding bill it will allow us to donate towards the wall.
this Act funds only for the construction of the wall, nothing else. 

Like a majority of those American citizens who voted to elect President Donald J Trump, we voted for him to Make America Great Again. President Trump’s main campaign promise was to BUILD THE WALL. And as he’s followed through on just about every promise so far, this wall project needs to be completed still.

As a veteran who has given so much, 3 limbs, I feel deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today. Too many Americans have been murdered by illegal aliens and too many illegals are taking advantage of the United States taxpayers with no means of ever contributing to our society.

I have grandparents who immigrated to America legally, they did it the correct way and it's time we uphold our laws, and get this wall BUILT!It’s up to Americans to help out and pitch in to get this project rolling.

“If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge $80, we can build the wall.” That equates to roughly 5Billion Dollars, even if we get half, that's half the wall. We can do this.


Judicial Watch Gives Testimony on Capitol Hill about Clinton Foundation

When I was asked by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Operations to testify this week about the Clinton Foundation, I knew the challenge would be organizing the vast trove of information we have accumulated through court action over the past several years.

That evidence, I told the committee, warrants a serious investigation of the Clinton Foundation. Moreover, there is evidence that the Obama Justice Department suppressed an investigation of the Foundation.

In my testimony, I said that we were suspicious from the very beginning of Hillary Clinton’s term at the State Department if she and Bill could keep Foundation and government business separate. By 2014, it was evident that we were right, and we issued a report with the Washington Examiner:

A joint investigation by the Washington Examiner and the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch found that former President Clinton gave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton‘s tenure as secretary of state…

State Department officials charged with reviewing Bill Clinton’s proposed speeches did not object to a single one.
Some of the speeches were delivered in global hotspots and were paid for by entities with business or policy interests in the U.S.


Worcester’s OPEB Liability Staggering; Mitrecic Advocates For Payment Plan

SNOW HILL – Concerns regarding retiree health care costs dominated a review of Worcester County’s latest audit this week.

During a presentation of the Worcester County Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ending June 30, 2018, the Worcester County Commissioners focused on rising OPEB (other post-employment benefits) costs. The county’s OPEB liability, between county employees and school system employees, is roughly $350 million.

“In order to look at this, we’re going to have to look at funding mechanisms and we’re going to have to generate more income in the county so we can address this,” Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said.

Chris Hall of TGM Group told the commissioners the county’s financial statements presented fairly. He said a key change in this year’s audit had involved OPEB calculations. He said the rate of return used in calculating the school system’s OPEB liability had changed.


Schumer-Led Democrats Shut Down 25% of Government to Block Border Wall Funding

An estimated 25 percent of the federal government shutdown at midnight on Friday night because the U.S. Senate would not pass—or even vote on—a House-passed continuing resolution that would fund that part of the government and that included money to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The CR that the House passed earlier this week included $5.7 billion for the border wall—which met President Donald Trump’s request for border wall funding.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor on Friday to declare that Senate Democrats would not support border-wall funding, period.

“President Trump, you will not get your wall,” Schumer said. “Abandon your shutdown strategy. You are not getting the wall today, next week, or on January 3 when Democrats take control of the House.”

Trump countered with a video that he tweeted out on Friday in which he restated his position that the United States must have a border wall.

“Our great country must have border security,” Trump said. “It’s very dangerous out there. Drugs are pouring in, human trafficking, so many different problems, including gangs like MS-13,” said Trump. “We don’t want them in the United States. We don’t want them in our country.”

“The only thing that’s going to stop that is great border security—with a wall or a slat fence or whatever you want to call it,” Trump said. “But we need a great barrier, and if we don’t have it, it is never going to work."


[Chuck still doesn't get it. It isn't President Trump's border wall.. it's OUR border wall. --Editor]

Gosar: Tie Wall Funding to Schumer’s Infrastructure Plan

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) says the House and Senate Republicans, as well as President Trump, ought to tie $25 billion in border wall funding to Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) infrastructure plan.

In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Daily, Gosar said the GOP should hinge a massive, $29 billion New York infrastructure project — supported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Schumer — on fully funding Trump’s proposed border wall.

Gosar explained:

Senators Attack Judicial Nominee for Catholic Faith

Pro-choice Democrats from the Senate Judiciary Committee harassed U.S. District Court nominee Brian C. Buescher for his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic charitable organization, suggesting that this affiliation might disqualify him for judgeship.

As the Senate Committee reviewed the candidacy of Brian C. Buescher for the District of Nebraska, Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked whether belonging to the Knights of Columbus could prevent Mr. Buescher from hearing cases “fairly and impartially.”

The senators suggested that the Knights’ opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage could cloud the candidate’s vision and impair his judgment. The questions smelled oddly of a religious litmus test, since the positions under examination are held and taught by the Catholic Church itself and are not unique to the Knights of Columbus.

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from considering a person’s faith when assessing fitness to hold federal office. This clause is part of the original Constitution and has been a bedrock principle since the founding of the Republic.


'We need to recruit more diverse candidates': Maryland GOP chairman Dirk Haire on the future of the party

Maryland’s GOP celebrated in November as Gov. Larry Hogan won re-election — just the second time in state history a Republican governor was elected to another term.

But the party had trouble in down-ballot races, losing re-election campaigns by Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, a moderate Republican seen by many as best positioned for a gubernatorial run after Hogan’s term ends; and Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, seen as another possible successor to Hogan.

The election results mean that in 2019 Democrats will hold the top job in seven of Maryland’s eight largest jurisdictions, seven of eight congressional seats, and super-majorities in both the state Senate and the House of Delegates. Both U.S. senators, the Maryland attorney general and state comptroller are all Democrats, too.

In the wake of Hogan’s victory, the Maryland Republican Party re-elected as chairman Dirk Haire, an Anne Arundel resident and partner at the law firm Fox Rothschild. He was unopposed.

The Baltimore Sun interviewed Haire last week at the paper’s Port Covington headquarters. These questions and answers have been edited for space and clarity.

Q: In your view, what is the current state of the Republican Party in Maryland?

A: I think it’s terrific. Obviously, we re-elected a Republican governor for the first time since the 1950s and only the second time in history. We were obviously hoping to pick up more seats in the state Senate, but Maryland is the only state in the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic where the Republican Party both won the governor’s race and also picked up seats in one house of the legislature. (The GOP gained one seat in the Maryland Senate.)

Q: But there were some notable losses, too. There’s been some talk that the Republican bench was wiped out.

A: I kind of chuckle. I read a comment from some Democrat who said we were wiped out for a generation. I was a little perplexed at that. Allan Kittleman and Steve Schuh are terrific guys. I’m very disappointed they lost. But those two and Governor Hogan are all around 60 years old. We didn’t lose a generation. We lost, sadly, a couple of middle-aged white guys. What we did do ... if you look just the county elections, 42 Republican women won county races.

Q: Which county-level seats are you referring to?

A: County councils, orphans court, state’s attorney, a couple of treasurers.


Pollak: In Praise of the Principled Resignation

The media have decided that since Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned on Thursday, followed by Special Envoy Brent McGurk, over President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, the republic is in danger.

On the contrary, it has never been stronger. The principled resignation, a staple of British politics, has been dormant in the U.S. for far too long. Its return heralds a restoration of character and credibility in American democracy.

Until the past few days, the only memorable national resignations of note happened more than twenty years ago, when President Bill Clinton signed a landmark welfare reform bill and two senior officials quit in protest.

Alaska’s Sarah Palin also famously resigned from her state’s oil and gas commission to protest her own Republican Party’s corruption. That established her as a champion of transparency and propelled her to the 2008 presidential ticket.

But there have been few resignations on matters of principle since then. The dominant pattern has been for senior officials to cling to power, even when that has meant abandoning and even opposing everything in they had once believed.

Samantha Power is the archetypal case. An academic authority on genocide, she stayed silent when the Obama administration did nothing to stop genocide in Syria. (She duly earned a promotion to UN ambassador.)


John Harbaugh to return as Ravens head coach in 2019, working on extension with team

John Harbaugh will return as coach of the Ravens in 2019, and the team is working to extend his contract, which expires after next season, the Ravens announced Friday evening.

The unexpected news came on the eve of a vital game against the Los Angeles Chargers, which could determine whether the Ravens will miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. It abruptly cut off speculation that the franchise might move on from the most successful coach in its history.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said he considered making a coaching change after last season, when the team’s playoff hopes were dashed in a New Year’s Eve loss to theCincinnati Bengals. Many took that to mean Harbaugh, 56, needed to make the playoffs this season or look for another job.

When the Ravens dropped to 4-5 going into their Week 10 bye, new reports swirled suggesting Harbaugh was in jeopardy. Since then, the Ravens have won four of five games and executed a sweeping transition in offensive philosophy with rookie Lamar Jackson at quarterback.


Trump Just Ended Hemp Prohibition Across America, Legalizing Industrial Hemp Farming Nationwide

Making America Great Again by unleashing the power of agricultural freedom and natural health

Achieving another breathtaking win for the American people while fighting against a criminal, corrupt establishment, President Donald J. Trump just legalized industrial hemp nationwide by signing the new Farm Bill into law. The hemp legalization provision was spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), further demonstrating that Republicans support hemp legalization and agricultural freedom.

After nearly 50 years of prohibition, industrial hemp will be legal to grow across America beginning January 1, 2019. It’s another huge victory that helps Make America Great Again by unleashing the power of agricultural freedom and natural health.

“This law marks the first change in the federal classification of the cannabis plant since it was initially classified as a schedule I controlled substance by Congress in 1970, and paves the way for the first federally-sanctioned commercial hemp grows since World War II,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. NORML also adds:

The hemp-specific provisions of the 2018 Act amend the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 so that hemp plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance under federal law.

“Although hemp will no longer be in the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, prospective growers will have to submit cultivation plans to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), either through the state government or the USDA itself,” reports Marijuana Moment.


The Neo-Puritan War on Christmas

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” – H. L. Mencken

“Let any man of contrary opinion open his mouth to persuade them [the Puritans], they close up their ears, his reasons they weigh not . . . . They are impermeable to argument and have their answers well drilled.” – Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, 1594

Three great tragedies fell upon the English speaking world in the 1600s: the failure of the Cavaliers to destroy Puritanism, the failure of the Irish to destroy Puritanism, and the failure of Metacom, also known as King Philip, and his allies to eradicate the Puritan presence in North America. The Catholic leaders of Maryland welcomed persecuted Puritan refugees from Virginia, only to have their guests over throw the Catholic aristocracy in a coup and repeal the Act of Toleration. There was a fleeting hope in the late seventeenth century that Puritanism in North America would implode and destroy itself from within. It seems that many second generation Puritans in Massachusetts Bay Colony did not wish to become members of the elect. To become one of the elect, a person submitted themselves to an interrogation, often days long,in an effort to convince the already recognized elect that, yes, you were one of them. The invasive process pried into every hidden aspect of one’s beliefs, actions, and character. It made the most stringent scrutinies of Carthusian monks seem a pleasant afternoon pig-picking with a bit of light gossip. Many of the children of the first generation wanted no part, and their parents were more than happy to see the ungrateful and unelect brats suffer the unending torments of Hell. Until, that is, the brats had children, making the first generation Puritans grandparents, who now worried that their unbaptized grandchildren would be damned.

That changed things, and soon one could become a partial elect via the Halfway Covenant. Supposedly, God had already ordained the Whole Hog Covenant, though I have my doubts about this. But Puritans, being pure and elect, decided to improve upon what they believed to be God’s plan. So the children of baptized, non-members of the Puritan church could be baptized, and all was well. Except it wasn’t. It seems that revising and improving upon the works and decrees of the Almighty is habit forming, and pretty soon you do not need an Almighty because you are the Almighty. And thus our Puritan became a Yankee, and though he worshiped Mammon, he never stopped being a Puritan.


Take a Look Back at President Trump's Fight to Bring 'Merry Christmas' Back to America


The Original Snowflake


Playing Reindeer Games...

Today's Liberal Attorney, Sexual Harassment...

Never mind...