The Russians Did It!

Guest blog by Kelly Phyllis:

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The Falcons lost the Superbowl. It’s the Russians’ fault! Heather Morris got kicked off of Dancing With The Stars even though she got a perfect score. The Russians are responsible! La La Land didn’t win the Oscar.  The Russians interfered! Hillary lost the election. Damn those Russians!

What do all of the above statements have in common? They are all totally absurd.  As is the claim that Russia interfered in the November 2016 Presidential Election.  The evidence just isn’t there.  While the left-wing media pounds the narrative that the Russians colluded with Trump and interfered in our election into the minds of their uninformed viewers, the right-wing media complains about the Dems and Liberals harping on their conspiracy theories and thwarting President Trump’s agenda in every way. But no one addresses the most obvious arguments against the theory that the Russian’s interfered in our election.

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There is no evidence to support the theory that Russia interfered in the Presidential Election in any way other than influencing voters through their alleged hacking of the DNC’s emails and their subsequent posting on Wikileaks.  They did not tamper with any voting machines.  They did not assist in voter fraud (the Dems have that covered).  They did not somehow alter paper ballots.  They did not somehow alter the vote counts in any state.

Let’s suppose for a moment that they were indeed responsible for hacking the DNC emails and sharing that information with the world. So what? Isn’t disseminating information, whether it is through Wikileaks or the media, considered to be an influence on the election? And what about the fact that there would be absolutely no ability to sway the election in Trump’s favor if there was no incriminating information found in the emails that were hacked.  They could hack the DNC’s emails all day long.  If there is no information in those emails damning to the candidate, then it is a moot point. No influence.  However, there was damning information contained in those emails. Proof of the Dems colluding against Bernie Sanders. Proof that the DNC thought the voting public was just plain stupid.  Proof that the DNC used less than honorable tactics to support and promote their candidate. Proof that Hillary Clinton is a lying, devious, untrustworthy individual who doesn’t believe there should be any consequences to her actions.  The Dems and Hillary Clinton have not, even once, defended or denied the information contained in those emails. But no one ever mentions that! Frustration is thy name!

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Oh wait, that was Obama and all his lefty friends.

The media did everything they could to tarnish Trump’s reputation and character before the election. The tape of him making derogatory remarks about women.  The fact that he wouldn’t release his taxes which, of course, meant he had something nefarious to hide.  Claims that he was a bigot, anti-Semite, and racist.  Fake news. Clearly the media worked overtime to influence the election.  Why is there no investigation into the media’s interference in the election? I’m sure that would be a much more fruitful search and a better use of my tax dollars rather than to continue to investigate Russia’s interference in the election in the hopes that some shred of evidence in favor of that theory is eventually found. Is that how our investigative agencies work now?  They investigate and investigate until they find evidence to support the conclusion they already came to long before the investigation even began? It is simply ridiculous.

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Instead of protecting the safety and promoting the interests of their constituents, members of Congress continue to beat the dead horse of the “Russia/Trump conspiracy”, which is entirely a figment of their imaginations. In my mind, these yahoos are the true villains in this tale. Not Russia.

 

Nationalism Does NOT Equal Xenophobism

There seems to be this misconception out there that those that voted for Trump and, subsequently nationalism, are nothing but xenophobic racists and bigots. Perhaps the people who believe that should pick up a dictionary because nationalism does not equate to xenophobia.  36674c3197c0ac4db2e16a11001244a9

Xenophobia is the fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange.  Sort of like how I feel about Miley Cyrus. It – xenophobia, not Miley Cyrus – can manifest itself in many ways including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of an outside group’s activities, aggression, and a desire to eliminate an outside group’s presence. Xenophobia is a political term used to describe those that are opposed to foreign cultures.

I am not, in any way, opposed to foreign cultures. The United States is a beautiful melting pot filled with a variety of different people and cultures. That’s as American as apple pie.  What I do have a problem with is people who think America should not be defined by apple pie, but rather, multiple desserts.  Have I lost you in the dessert metaphor? Basically, I have an issue with foreigners emigrating to this country and trying to change our country to their country.  In my opinion, those people can get back on their Mayflower and head right back out to sea.

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I am not a xenophobe. I am a nationalist. What does that mean? Nationalism means having a national identity, loyalty and devotion to a nation, advocacy of political independence for a particular country, the desire for national advancement, the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one’s own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.

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As a nationalist I believe that any true nation must have clearly delineated and protected borders, otherwise it isn’t really a nation.  I want my nation – the United States of America – to be powerful, with plenty of military reach, but mostly to protect American national interests.  My focus is on me and mine – the lives and livelihoods of American citizens.  I care about my national heritage, which includes the Constitution filled with the wisdom and lessons learned by the Founding Fathers so that history – a bloated and self-serving government – would not repeat itself.

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I’m very clear about who I am and what I stand for. Can the globalists say the same? Do they actually understand that globalism isn’t some kumbaya hippie love-fest? What so many people did not understand about the 2016 Presidential Election was that it wasn’t Trump vs. Hillary.  It was Nationalists vs. Globalists.

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Let’s take a look at what the globalism really is. Globalists don’t care about borders and believe the nation-state is obsolete.  They favor a world with information, money, goods and people traversing the globe based on the theory that this will foster ever greater global commerce, to the benefit of all peoples of all nations. I hate to break it to these folks, but all the countries that joined the European Union (EU) put this theory to the test. It didn’t work. Hence, Brexit and the public’s cry for referendums in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Finland, and Hungary so that, they too, can get the hell outta dodge.  Clearly more and more people are standing up and declaring the globalist trend a false utopia. Do the globalists really know that the EU is ruled almost entirely by unelected individuals? Who are these people and who gave them the right to make decisions for everyone else? And do the globalist hippies understand that, in their perfect universe, “the man” will control every aspect of their lives through a one-world government?

A one-world government is a terrible idea! Ever heard of the saying, “different strokes for different folks”?  Do we really want a world government whose motto is “same strokes for all folks”?  Bye, bye originality. Nationalists understand that a decentralized government is better and that people everywhere are best served at the local level where those making the decisions have some idea of what the “strokes” for those folks actually are.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ll take my nationalism and individuality over globalism any day. I’m an American  – not a xenophobe – and I will say it loud and proud and never apologize for it.  And this last election is proof that I am not alone.

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Oh, Get Over It Already!

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Oh my, your “virgin ears” were tainted by Trump’s rough “locker room talk”.  Give me a break! I am so sick and tired of main stream media and Hillary supporters whining about how Trump is a racist, misogynist, tax evader, and whatever else they throw at him, without the same standards of measurement being applied to everyone else.

A common refrain is that Trump doesn’t want Muslims or immigrants here and is a racist because of it.  Well first, Trump dissenters are leaving out any Trump statements that don’t fit into their biased narrative.  Trump doesn’t want Muslim refugees that cannot be properly vetted to come into this country.  And he is against illegal immigration.  And I am of the same opinion.  And you should be too.  Perhaps if I break it down to a more personal level, the point Trump is trying to make will be heard as it should be.  So we are going to send 3 inadequately vetted refugees to come live with you…in your house.  And you are going to pay for their healthcare and welfare…out of your pocket.  Does that work for you?

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Another sound bite that Hillary and her followers have beaten into the ground is that Trump does not pay his fair share of taxes.  Guess what?  If I could figure out a way to do it, I wouldn’t pay my fair share either!  Because it’s my money and the government has proven they excel at nothing but wasting it.  So let’s break this one down to a personal level as well.  Next year, when you are filing your 2016 taxes, don’t take any deductions, even if you are entitled to them.  Kids? Mortgage? Earned Income Tax Credit?  Nope, nope and nope.  Because if you do take your legally allowable deductions, as Donald Trump did, then according to your reasoning, you aren’t paying your fair share.  Smart doesn’t necessarily equate to crooked, except in Hillary’s case.

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Lastly, let’s address the elephant in the room – the horrible things that Donald Trump said about women and the other bad things he has said or done in his life that will, without a doubt, be dredged up and spewed all over the media by the end of this election.  I am a smart, independent, woman and I can say, without a doubt, that I do not give a rat’s ass about any of that.  Why? I’ll give you several reasons.

First, there is no foul rhetoric in existence that could be worse than the actions of Hillary Clinton.  Second, if we judged our presidents by character rather than skill, we’d have a hard time finding candidates.  After all, JFK, the Nation’s darling, was a womanizing adulterer.  The only difference between him and Trump is that JFK spent his life being groomed to be a politician and was able to hide his indiscretions and womanizing philosophies more effectively.  Trump, who never envisioned a life of public service, was not so discrete.  Finally, this isn’t a popularity contest.  I don’t want Mr. or Miss Congeniality as President of the United States.  I want Most Likely To Succeed (and doing so, without breaking the law).  Sorry, Mrs. Clinton, but I guess you’re disqualified. Prior to running for office, Trump’s goal was to provide for his family and his shareholders.  In this he succeeded, and he shouldn’t have to justify that.  Clinton’s (public face) goal, over 30 years in politics, has been to serve the public.  In this, she failed…spectacularly.

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So, yes, I am a woman supporting Donald Trump.  I don’t care if he cheated on every girlfriend/wife he ever had, spewed filthy innuendos in front of nuns, or stole candy from babies.  He can and will get the job done.  Clinton will not.  And she’ll lie about everything under the sun while trying to meet her true (private face) goal – open borders and the end of the United States of America as we know it.

 

Obama’s Presidency: The True Hollywood Story (Part 4)

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If you read Part 1 of this multi-part post, then you know that I have been focusing my commentary on the following hot-topic issues of the 2016 election:
  • Crime (covered in Part 1)
  • The Economy, specifically jobs and unemployment (Part 3)
  • Debt and spending
  • Health insurance
  • Immigration (Part 2)
  • National Security
So far, I’ve reviewed Obama’s presidency records on crime, immigration, and the economy.  This post focuses on Health Insurance and, more specifically, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) better known as Obamacare.

Health Insurance

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Factcheck.org says that, as of January 2016, there were 15 million fewer people who lack health insurance since Obama took office.  This data is taken from the National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first questions that come to my mind when I look at that statistic are: “What is the quality of that health insurance” and “At what cost?”
It has been 6 years since the inception of Obamacare.  Six years since President Obama said, “Every single good idea to bend the cost curve and start actually reducing health care costs [is] in this bill.”  The bill is over 900 pages long.  Perhaps they are having trouble finding those good ideas in the mountains of paper, because health care costs have increased substantially since ACA took effect and will continue to increase.
Despite countless adjustments to the Act through the years, Obamacare has continued to perform poorly in a number of vital areas, such as:
  • Increased costs for individuals, families, and businesses;
  • Resumption of excessive health care spending and middle-class taxation; and
  • A long series of managerial failures or unanticipated consequences.
And this doesn’t bode well considering the ACA was unpopular from the get-go.
Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that total per capita health insurance spending will rise from $7,786 in 2016 to $11,681 in 2024.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that job-based premiums could increase by almost 60% between now and 2025.
Obamacare advocates will probably say, “Sure premiums have increased, but more people are insured.  And that’s the important thing.” The problem is that having insurance (the cost of the monthly premiums) isn’t the same as using insurance (the cost of deductibles). And deductibles have been increasing as well.  According to an article in the National Review, on average the outlay of deductibles now runs well into the thousands of dollars annually, severely limiting access to insurance patients can’t afford to use.  A report by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce calculated average deductibles in the 50 states.  Increases in deductibles are large, widespread and represent hundreds of dollars more that families will have to pay to simply access their health insurance coverage this year.
In total, 41 states saw average deductibles increase, with 17 states – representing 45 percent of the total exchange enrollment – seeing double-digit spikes.  The largest increases were in Mississippi (39%), Washington (31%), South Carolina (26%), Louisiana (24%), Florida (23%), Michigan and Vermont (22%), Arizona (21%), and North Carolina and Rhode Island (20%).  Only two states (New Mexico and Oklahoma) had double-digit declines.
Paying $3,000 or $5,600 (the average deductibles for the 2 most popular plans) before their insurance kicks in simply isn’t an option for most families. According to Heritage.org, today’s “typical” family already spends about 35% of their income for healthcare.
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What’s that? Oh, it’s another Obamacare defender saying, “Well costs wouldn’t be so high if it weren’t for those greedy insurance companies that are already rolling in dough.” Sorry, but you’ll have to find another scapegoat.  Many insurance companies are hemorrhaging cash on the exchanges.  The largest U.S. health insurance provider, UnitedHealth, recently announced losses of nearly $1 billion in 2015 and 2016 on plans sold via exchanges.  Other insurers, such as Aetna, have also lost significant sums.  To stop the financial losses, insurers are either pulling out of the exchanges completely (leaving consumers with few insurance options) or requesting bigger premium increases.  The largest insurer in Texas wants to raise its rates on individual policies by an average of nearly 60%. North Carolina’s largest insurer said it will seek an average increase of almost 20%.
That’s to account for lower-than-hoped enrollment, sicker-than-expected customers and problems with the government’s financial backstop for insurance markets.
While millions of customers will be shielded from these price hikes through government subsidies (but remember these are just the premiums, not the deductibles), many consumers aren’t eligible for the income-based subsidies and get no such protection.  This includes business owners, self-employed people, and early retirees.  Under the law, most Americans are required to have health insurance or risk being fined.
Obamacare has allowed for major Medicaid expansion, which many of its defenders applaud.  However, only half of the Medicare accountable care organization (ACOs) have yielded savings.  And literature shows that Medicaid’s performance in care delivery is substandard.  Not only that, but the program is also under congressional scrutiny for the wrongful transmission of an estimated $750 million in taxpayer subsidies to illegal aliens!

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I could spend a great deal more time highlighting all the failings of Obamacare and its ripples effects. I haven’t even touched on the costs to the American taxpayer, which I’ll save for my post on Debt and Spending. But the bottom line is that this wonderful piece of legislation (insert sarcasm here) has:

  • Generated big and surprising out-of-pocket costs;
  • Caused insurance costs to continue rising, burdening businesses and families;
  • Reduced insurance competition (if you are new to economics, please note that competition actually drives costs down);
  • Had a negative impact on job growth;
  • Caused the overall cost curve to bend upward;
  • Imposed major tax increases on America’s middle class, and;
  • Threatened seniors’ future access to healthcare due to Medicare payment cuts.

The over 900-page long Affordable Care Act has regulations, instructions, and standards for pretty much every aspect of health care in the United States. The result is that virtually every major decision in the health care sector of the American economy is either made or constrained, directly or indirectly, by federal officials. Hello, Socialism!

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So to answer my initial questions, the quality of healthcare leaves something to be desired, which I can personally attest to, and the cost of the 15 million fewer people without health insurance is pretty darn high.  Especially since most Obamacare advocates focus on the 15 million number and conveniently leave out the fact that 10.8% of Americans are still living without health insurance (Gallup Poll) – a mere 4.8% drop from 2008 and two years before Obamacare was passed.  The majority of those uninsured are minorities, young adults and low-income Americans.  Additionally, 15.5% of respondents to the poll said that they had lacked the ability to pay for their health insurance (those pesky deductibles!) or necessary medications at some point in 2016.  And of those Americans with insurance, the number who say they are satisfied with the quality of their health care has dropped. 

Trump says that Obamacare is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever.  Hillary says we can still fix it.  Hey Hillary, you can’t fix what never worked to begin with.  Once again, my vote goes to Trump.  

Obama’s Presidency: The True Hollywood Story (Part 3)

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This is Part 3 in a multi-part blog series devoted to analyzing Obama’s presidency as a whole.  Part 1 took a close look at Crime under the Obama administration.  Part 2 is a discussion on Immigration.  Part 3 is all about the Economy.

The Economy

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The economy is such a difficult area to truly analyze.  There are vast amounts of data on the subject. There is so much that it makes filtering out the unnecessary to get to the simple bottom line daunting at best.  Add to that the fact that the government, under any president, always wants to make itself look good and you are truly fighting an uphill battle.
According Factcheck.org (Obama’s Numbers (January 2016 Update) and the Obama administration, the economy has shown marked improvement since Obama took office in 2009.
  • The unemployment rate is at 5%, which is 2.8% less than when he took office.
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those who have been looking for work 27 weeks or longer) has dropped by 614,000.
  • The labor force participation rate (the portion of the population that is either employed or currently looking for work) is 3.1% lower than when Obama took office; however, that decline is not really Obama’s fault since so many baby boomers reached retirement age during Obama’s presidency.
  • The number of non-farm jobs have increased by over 9 million since Obama took office.
So why is food stamp participation at an all-time high ( USDA statistics), despite the Obama administration’s labor statistics showing unemployment at an 8-year low?
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Even good ol’ Bernie (Sanders) doesn’t buy what the President is selling.  In a speech to a campaign rally crowd in Portland, Maine, he said:
…real unemployment, if you include those people who have given up looking for work and the millions of others who are working part-time 20, 25 hours a week when they want to work full-time, when you put all of that together, real unemployment is 10.5 percent (Washington Times).
I never thought I would say this, but Bernie is right.
A Bloomberg article attributes the rise in food stamp program (formerly known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)] participation, to an uneven economy and the large number of Americans who have simply dropped out of the labor force completely.
The uneven recovery has swelled the ranks of long-term unemployed and reduced the number of people working or looking for work, further boosting demand. Even for those with jobs, pay may be lower than in the past: In real dollars, SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] recipients in 2014 had net incomes of $335 a month, the lowest since at least 1989.
In fact, the labor force participation rate has dropped to 62.8% (near a 38-year low) under Obama.  When he took office in 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65.7%.  The recession inherited by the Obama administration officially ended in June 2009, but the labor force participation rate has continued to drop during Obama’s two terms.  And no, that is not due to baby boomers retiring, since most statistics outside of the government-run Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are calculated using the number of people ages 16-65 to calculate the labor participation rate.
The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons (also known as involuntary part-time workers) increased to 6.4 million in May 2016.  These people want to work full-time, but are forced into working part-time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.  However, the Obama administration considers these people to be “employed” and therefore is able to reduce the unemployment rate and the long-term unemployed percentage.
And black Americans, who looked at Obama as a beacon of hope, have suffered the most.  Liberal black broadcaster, Travis Smiley, said,
Sadly – and it pains me to say this – over the last decade, black folk, in the era of Obama, have lost ground in every major economic category.
 During Obama’s presidency, the percentage of black Americans struggling below the poverty line has advanced, and the number of black food stamp participants has increased by 58.2%.
And, if you don’t have a college degree the outlook is even worse.  For high school graduates, the unemployment rate is 17.8%.  Add in those who are underemployed, either because they would like a full-time job but can only find part-time work, or they are so discouraged that they’ve given up actively searching, and the share jumps to more than 33 percent.
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Setting aside the issue of unemployment, let’s look at the economy from a more macro view.  Here again, the Obama administration misleads the American public.  In it’s article Obama Oversells U.S. Economy, written just 6 months after its article on Obama’s Numbers, Factcheck.org shows how dishonest Obama is with the American public.

Obama: “America’s economy is not just better than it was eight years ago — it is the strongest, most durable economy in the world.”
Truth: China’s economy grew by an estimated 6.9 percent in 2015 — more than double the U.S. rate.
Obama: “We’ve seen the first sustained manufacturing growth since the 1990s.”
Truth: Manufacturing employment has declined by 35,000 in 2016, and it’s still down 2.2 percent from when Obama took office.
During Obama’s two terms annualized Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth nearly stalled in the first quarter of 2013 at a meager 0.5%.  This is down from 1.4% growth in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Obama is the only U.S. chief executive in history not to preside over even a single year with 3 percent GDP growth, as the Institute for Policy Innovation’s Tom Giovanetti observes: ‘From 1790 to 2000, U.S. real GDP growth averaged 3.79 percent,’ entrepreneur Louis Woodhill explained at RealClearMarkets. He expects final figures to show that ‘2015 will have been the tenth year in a row that real GDP growth came in at under 3.0 percent.’ (National Review)

However, in Obama’s last State of the Union address, he said, “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is declining is peddling fiction.” Perhaps he is spending so much time on the golf course, he has become completely out of touch with reality.  Or he knows that a lot of Americans will just take what he spoon feeds them as gospel so he just keeps shoveling crap down their throats.  Unless you’ve been living in a Colorado pot dispensary, no one is that out of touch with reality.  So that means Obama knowingly lies and spins tales confident that the liberal media and Joe Q. Public won’t do the research and uncover the truth.

Despite the rosy picture of prosperity painted by our President, the economy is worse off than it was in 2008 when he took office.  And instead of Obama 2.0 (aka Hillary Clinton) attacking Obama’s record and promising to do better, she instead thrust blame solely on the shoulders of the Bush (George W.) administration.
Because of the terrible economic policies of the Bush administration, President Obama was left with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and people fell back into poverty because they lost jobs, they lost homes, they lost opportunities, and hope. (Politifact)
My assessment? The economy wasn’t great when Obama took office in 2008, but he has done nothing but add gasoline to the fire, making it much worse. And anyone who refuses to admit that doesn’t deserve to be president.  Hillary does not get my vote. 

Obama’s Presidency: The True Hollywood Story (Part 2)

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If you haven’t read Part 1 of my multi-part post, I encourage you to do so.  But, this can also be read as a stand-alone piece.

A few days ago I put the following post on Facebook:

I am not a racist, bigot, agent for hate or whatever else the media has called Trump and his supporters. I am a patriot and I believe that our country – which has been steadily going into the crapper since Obama became President – will never recover from the damage done if Clinton becomes his successor. This is the most important election of my lifetime and I stand with Trump.

One of my Facebook friends disagreed with this statement and sent me a link to some statistical information about Obama’s Presidency (Factcheck.org),which she urged  me to take a look at.  I reviewed the information and did a little research of my own. I wanted to  get the real story on Obama’s presidency while to trying to find out if my comments on Obama actually held muster.  I’ve broken down my research and conclusions into a multi-part blog post.  This post focuses on the topic of Immigration.

While the Factcheck.org article does not specifically mention immigration, I felt it was important to address it.  First, because it IS such an important and hot-button topic during this election; and second, because it directly affects crime, national security, and the economy.

While there are many facets to the topic of immigration, for the purposes of the upcoming election, it can essentially be broken down into main issues: border security at the Mexican border and refugees from the Middle East.

Living in Arizona, I am probably more aware than most of the immensity of the illegal immigration problem.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportations are currently on pace to be the lowest since 2006, according to the latest ICE statistics. The number of deportations of criminal aliens is down more than 60% since 2011.  This is in large part due to the Obama administration’s declaration that local law enforcement agencies would have the choice whether to accept or refuse ICE detainers, or immigration holds, which, in turn, has led to the development of sanctuary cities.  In 2016, the number of aliens that have been ordered removed but who have not yet departed grew by more than 25,000 since the end of FY2015 and now stands at roughly 1 million.  Of those 1 million, approximately 200,000 are convicted criminals, and increase of 3,700 since last year.

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Aside from the obvious the effect on crime statistics, the illegal population has an effect on the economy as well.  I’ll talk more about that in the next part of this blog series (Part 3) focused on the economy.

The second main issue in immigration right now is Syrian refugees. Let me start by saying that the situation of the refugees is deplorable and heartbreaking.  But taking emotion out of the equation, let’s look at it from a logical perspective.  In 2015, Obama promised that 10,000 Syrians would be admitted to the United States by September 30, 2016. Recently, administration officials said that the 10,000 refugees is not a ceiling and the number can go even higher. Over 100 Syrian refugees have been admitted every day in June, according to the government’s database from the Refugee Processing Center.  To accommodate this surge, the “vetting” process, already deemed inadequate by the Director of the FBI, has been shortened from 18-24 months to just 3 months.

In an October 2015 House Homeland Security Committee meeting, Congressman Lamar Smith asked federal security and crime directors whether terrorists would use federal programs to gain access to this country in order to commit terrorist acts.

The Director of National Counterterrorism Center answered, “We have certainly seen terrorist groups talk about, think about, exactly what you are describing, Mr. Smith.  Trying to use available programs to get people not only into the United States, but into Western European countries as well.  So we know they aspire to do that.”

This occurred right before the terrorist attack in Paris, in November 2015, that killed 130 people and injured hundreds more.  ISIS claimed responsibility for this attack.  It later became known that one of the attackers had traveled to Europe on a Syrian passport along with flow of refugees.  Other countries in Europe are dealing with increased crime and additional acts of terrorism, all with a common link to ISIS and individuals coming into their countries as refugees.

Besides the obvious increased risk of terrorist attacks in the U.S. by taking in these refugees without proper vetting, there is also a huge financial cost to the U.S. Of the Middle East refugees recently coming into the country, 91% are on food stamps and 73% receive free healthcare.  Admitting 10,000 refugees presents a lifetime cost to taxpayers of $6.5 billion.
Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she will double down on Obama’s refugee policies. She has said that she would like the United States to take in 65,000 Syrian refugees! While the media has focused entirely upon Trump, calling him heartless, a racist, and a bigot, they have refused to tell the whole story.  Trump has a better solution. He has said that, rather than the United States taking in more refugees,

…he would build a safe zone for refugees, who Trump says all want to go home after the crisis is over anyway. “In Syria, take a big swatch of land, which believe me, you get for the right price, OK? You take a big swatch and you don’t destroy all of Europe.”

“What I like is build a safe zone, it’s here, build a big beautiful safe zone and you have whatever it is so people can live, and they’ll be happier,” Trump continued. “I mean they’re gonna learn German, they’re gonna learn all these different languages. It’s ridiculous.” (Trump on refugees: Create ‘safe zone’ in Syria, don’t ‘destroy all of Europe’)

In an earlier blog post of mine, Stop Calling Me a Racist!, I referenced an article in the Wall Street Journal. I’m bringing it up again, because I think it perfectly echoes Trump’s sentiments regarding refugees being happier staying in the Middle East.

…many who arrive find the country doesn’t match their often inflated expectations. They balk at modest benefits, poor job prospects, and harsh treatment at immigration offices, and voice other complaints ranging from bland food to Germans’ open attitudes about sex…

…Others cite cultural estrangement as a reason they want to go back.

Abdullah Alsoaan, a 51-year-old dentist from Deir Ezzour in eastern Syria, said he came to Germany 10 months ago with the help of the United Nations to receive treatment for complications of diabetes. Now he is waiting for a new passport to return to the 10 children he left behind in Syria. The reason: After seeing teenagers kissing in public, he said he couldn’t raise his daughters here. “The problem isn’t with the Germans or Germany, people are very nice,” said Mr. Alsoaan. “But they have their way of living their lives and we have ours.”

My conclusion? The risk and cost of not tightening our immigration policies is far too great.  Obama’s immigration legacy cannot live on in Obama 2.0 (aka Hillary Clinton).  Another vote for Trump.

Obama’s Presidency: The True Hollywood Story (Part 1)

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I recently proclaimed my support for Donald Trump on social media through a post (below) to Facebook.

I am not a racist, bigot, agent for hate or whatever else the media has called Trump and his supporters. I am a patriot and I believe that our country – which has been steadily going into the crapper since Obama became President – will never recover from the damage done if Clinton becomes his successor. This is the most important election of my lifetime and I stand with Trump.

I didn’t get a lot of reaction to my post, which is fine, since that wasn’t the intention.  However, I did get one response that really made me think:

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Over the last 8 years there has been a deluge of information on Obama’s presidency.  Most of “the left” still love him as much as the day they cast their first vote for him in November 2007.  “The right” takes every opportunity to say, “I told you so.”  But what is the real story? I never really paid much attention, but when I started looking I found that while you can find coverage on “pieces” of his presidency everywhere, it’s impossible to find an unbiased critique of the whole. And that is what I set out to do.
Do my comments about Obama’s presidency hold muster? 

The website referred to me by my Facebook friend is Factcheck.org – Obama’s Numbers.  It includes statistical information on crime, guns, jobs, health insurance and more throughout the Obama presidency.  The summary at the top of the page reads:

Since President Barack Obama first took office:
  • Homicides have dropped 13 percent, but gun sales have surged.
  • The economy has added more than 9 million jobs, and the jobless rate has dropped to below the historical median.
  • The number of long-term unemployed Americans has dropped by 614,000 under Obama, but it is still 761,000 higher than at the start of the Great Recession.
  • There are 15 million fewer people who lack health insurance.
  • Corporate profits are up 166 percent; real weekly wages are up 3.4 percent.
  • Wind and solar power have nearly tripled, and now account for more than 5 percent of U.S. electricity.
  • The federal debt has more than doubled — rising 116 percent — and big annual deficits have continued.
Further down the page is a more in depth discussion of each bullet point as well as links to the various sources used for the statistical data.  I’m not going to bore you with each and every statistic, so I’m focusing on the big ones.  The hot topics, if you will, of the American public:
  • Crime
  • The Economy, specifically jobs and unemployment
  • Debt and spending
  • Health insurance
  • Immigration
  • National Security

Since there is a lot of ground to cover, I’m going to break it down into several parts.  Part 1 is all about the topic of crime.

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The homicide statistics in this Factcheck.org article are pulled from the FBI’s 2014 annual Crime in the United States Report. According to this report crime has gone down during Obama’s term; however, since this report only goes through 2014, it does not capture the nationwide surge in murder since he began his high-profile criticism of state and local police forces after August 2014.  In fact, the FBI has openly admitted the 2015 crime spike, reflected in it’s 2015 Semi-Annual Report, which reads:
All of the offenses in the violent crime category [homicides, rape, assault and robbery] showed increases when data from the first six months of 2015 were compared with the data from the first six months of 2014.
The murder rate in Dallas, Texas jumped 17% in 2015 and almost 90% during the first five months of 2016, even though Obama described the city as a model for using the new police techniques he is pushing on the rest of the country.  He has steadily been working to change national policing rules by essentially bullying state and local agencies by offering to increase grants and other support or to cut them off entirely. An article on Breitbart.com says:
In fact, Obama and his deputies have aggressively rejected any criticism from police officials, including FBI director James Comey, who argue that increased political scrutiny of cops is reducing law enforcement and increasing death rates. Comey described that political and media oversight as a “chill wind.” To hide the spike, Obama has repeatedly compared 2015 crimes rates to pre-2013 rates, allowing him to say crime has dropped to near-record lows while ignoring the 2015 and 2016 spikes.

Now you might say, “but Breitbart is clearly a right-wing publication.” Well, because of the incredible media bias these days it is real hard to find any news coverage telling the truth that isn’t right-wing.  But, in this case, the FBI’s report backs up the article.

This is in no way an exhaustive review but, based on the evidence so far, my conclusion is that if a Clinton presidency continues the current policies of the Obama administration – which Hillary has already said she would – violent crime will keep rising at an alarming pace. Trump, who vows to be the “law & order” President, wins my vote when it comes to crime.   

My research continues in Part 2 on the subject of The Economy – coming very soon.