Big government

President Trump Donates 4Q Salary to Department of Transportation

President Donald Trump donated his fourth-quarter 2017 paycheck to the Department of Transportation, demonstrating his commitment to public infrastructure. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders presented the $100,000 check to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao at the daily press briefing on Tuesday. Chao said that Donald Trump’s quarterly salary would go to the department’s INFRA (Infrastructure For Rebuilding America) Grant Programs. “Infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, and it’s key to keeping our country competitive,” she said. Chao and two transportation officials posed for a picture with the check. Trump donated his quarterly salary to different institutions within the federal government, keeping his campaign promise to serve as president without a paycheck. Previously he donated his paycheck to Department of Education, the National Park Service, and the Department of Health and Human Services combat to help fight the opioid epidemic.

Excellent!!   🙂

Feds Collect Record Taxes in First Month Under Tax Cut; Run Surplus in January

The federal government this January ran a surplus while collecting record total tax revenues for that month of the year, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today. January was the first month under the new tax law that President Donald Trump signed in December. During January, the Treasury collected approximately $361,038,000,000 in total tax revenues and spent a total of approximately $311,802,000,000 to run a surplus of approximately $49,236,000,000. Despite the monthly surplus of $49,236,000,000, the federal government is still running a deficit of approximately $175,718,000,000 for fiscal year 2018. That is because the government entered the month with a deficit of approximately $224,955,000,000. The $361,038,000,000 in total taxes the Treasury collected this January was $11,747,870,000 more than the $349,290,130,000 that the Treasury collected in January of last year (in December 2017 dollars, adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator). The Treasury not only collected record taxes in the month of January itself, but has now collected record tax revenues for the first four months of a fiscal year (October through January). So far in fiscal 2018, the federal government has collected a record $1,130,550,000,000 in total taxes. However, despite the record tax collections so far this fiscal year, and despite the one-month surplus in January, the federal government is still running a cumulative deficit in this fiscal year of $175,718,000,000. That is because while the Treasury was collecting its record $1,130,550,000,000 in taxes from October through January, it was spending $1,306,268,000,000. The levels of federal taxes and federal spending fluctuate from month to month, and it is not unusual—but not always the case—for the federal government to run a surplus in January. Over the last twenty fiscal years, going back to 1999, the federal government has run surpluses in the month of January 13 times and deficits 7 times.

Judge rules California can’t force Christian baker to make same-sex wedding cakes

A California judge refused this week to order a baker to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, ruling that to do otherwise would be to trample on the baker’s free speech rights. Superior Court Judge David R. Lampe said in his Monday ruling that wedding cakes run to the core of the First Amendment. “It is an artistic expression by the person making it that is to be used traditionally as a centerpiece in the celebration of a marriage. There could not be a greater form of expressive conduct,” the judge wrote. His decision contrasts with a ruling out of Colorado, where a court ruled that a baker could not refuse to bake for a same-sex couple, arguing the state’s public accommodation law trumped that baker’s First Amendment claims. That case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. David Mullins and Charlie Craig filed a complaint after Colorado baker Jack Phillips told them he wouldn’t create a custom cake for a party celebrating their union in 2012, because it violated his Christian faith. After feeling rejected, the couple filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Commission. As a result of the ruling, Mr. Phillips has not been making wedding cakes at all in order to appease the court’s order and not violate his faith, which has cost him a large portion of his profits. His case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

And, we hope he is successful at the Supreme Court.  Kudos to Judge Lampe in California for his excellent decision!  Freedom of speech and expression go BOTH ways, and these bakers have every right to bake what they want for whom they want (or don’t want) without some fascist governmental body (as in the case of Colorado) telling them to support activities or individuals they don’t want to.  It’s beyond ridiculous…and a clear violation of Constitution.

Colorado Lawmakers Considering Proposal to Allow ‘Legal Drug Injection Site’ in Denver

Colorado lawmakers are considering a proposal to allow a legal drug injection site in Denver for heroin users. Under the proposed bill, the site would allow illegal drug users to shoot up under medical supervision without fear of being prosecuted, KDVR reported. The idea behind the bill, according to some lawmakers, is that a medically-trained supervisor can provide life-saving medical interventions if a drug user overdoses. State lawmakers got the idea for the legal injection site after touring a similar site in Vancouver, British Columbia. “One site we visited had over 4 million visits over the past years,” said state Rep. Leslie Heron (D-Denver). “And they have reported zero overdose deaths, zero.” But the bill’s sponsors told the Denver Post that their legislative efforts could die in committee, as many opponents of the bill expressed concerns about whether the state should be endorsing illegal activity. “Initially, the trepidation I have is over creating enclaves of illegal activity and calling it legal,” said Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Cañon City), one of the opponents of the bill. Other cities have proposed plans to create “legal injection sites” or “safe injection sites” for illegal drug users. In January 2017, Seattle approved the first “safe injection site” in the U.S. for illegal drug users.

Let’s hope this stunningly stupid idea does die in committee..

Opinion: Trump is right — He and his campaign were victims of a political attack by the Justice Department and FBI

Whatever the media and Democratic detractors say, the memo released by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee Friday that revealed how the FBI and Justice Departments abused their powers to spy on the Trump presidential campaign is breathtaking. This kind of thing should not happen in America. Average Americans have not heard the last of this. They were betrayed. In sum, President Trump was right. As he said in tweet Saturday morning: “This memo totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on.” It turns out the much-maligned chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is one of the most daring whistleblowers in modern American history. Nunes was right to be distressed at what he discovered. All Americans should be. Why Democrats on the Intelligence Committee do not share this distress is beyond understanding, except because of shortsighted maneuvering for political advantage. The memo by Republicans on the committee summarizes raw intelligence confirming that formerly steady and professional staff of the Justice Department and FBI were motivated to act against candidate Trump by personal antipathy toward him, media-stoked fear of him, and perhaps personal loyalties to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. As a result, they traded their integrity for betrayal of democratic principles and our Constitution. Ironically, I have interacted with some of these professionals during the past two decades, and never perceived them as political. But something overcame them, grabbed them and turned them into something else during the 2016 election campaign. They devolved into political animals. The four-page memo confirms that Justice Department and FBI leadership were directly and personally intertwined with a company hired by the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee to conduct opposition research on Trump. The research produced a series of false allegations tying Trump and his campaign to Russia. The allegations were compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and have collectively become known as the Steele dossier. Though unsubstantiated, Steele’s allegations were hard to counter, because it is always hard to prove a negative. Steele was clearly politically motivated. As the Republican memo released Friday states: “Steele admitted to (Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce) Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.’” Steele’s false claims were attached to a sworn affidavit, presented as “fact” to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which then authorized unprecedented electronic surveillance – that is, overt and invasive open-ended spying on a private citizen, Carter Page – ostensibly due to his ties to the Trump campaign. The sweater was unraveled by that thread; through one false assertion, others could be made, and a narrative could be pushed to the media with vigor. An anti-Trump cabal grew within Justice Department and FBI, animated by the cry to save America from itself by preventing Donald Trump from being elected president. Perhaps the innumerable “unmasking” events tie also to this. The power of the federal government is enormous, can smash a private citizen and could crush most political campaigns. Amazingly, Trump and the American preference for him survived. That is remarkable and sobering. Like the Sept.11, 2001 terrorist attacks and even more than the Watergate scandal, Friday’s revelations should shake us. They change our assessment of the ostensibly non-political Justice Department and FBI, giving us pause. We are living in a time when senior Justice Department and FBI officials felt justified, for political reasons, to deceive the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and all Americans. The court grants surveillance warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which authorizes surveillance of individuals believed to be agents of foreign powers. The House Intelligence Committee memo shows that federal officials appear to have violated the public trust and their oaths of office, subverting laws for political outcomes. This should never happen.

Agreed!!  This excellent analysis was written by former Assistant Secretary of State, litigator, and naval intelligence officer Robert Charles.  For more, click on the text above.

Federal Spending Set Record During Shutdown

Federal spending for the fourth Monday in January set a record of $16,596,000,000 for that day in January even though the federal government was shut down, according to the Daily Treasury Statement. The House of Representatives did not pass the current short-term continuing resolution to fund the government and end the latest shutdown until 6:09 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday. That was after the close of the business day in Washington, D.C., which made Monday the one federal-government business day effected by the lastest shut down. (The other two days of the shut down were a Saturday and a Sunday.) But the $16,596,000,000 that the federal government spent on Monday–when it was shut down–was more in constant inflation-adjusted dollars than the federal government has spent before on the fourth Monday in January, according to the Daily Treasury Statements (going back to 1998) that are posted on the website of the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service. The second highest federal spending on a fourth Monday in January came on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009—six days into Barack Obama’s presidency. On that Monday, the federal government spent $14,667,000,000 in constant December 2017 dollars (adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator). The third highest federal spending on a fourth Monday in January came on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, when the government spent $13,761,140,000 in constant December 2017 dollars. In 1998, the earliest year for which the Bureau of the Fiscal Service has posted Daily Treasury Statements online, the federal government spent $7,725,230,000 on the fourth Monday of January (Jan. 26, 1998) in constant December 2017 dollars. Although the federal government spent a record $16,596,000,000 on the fourth Monday in January this year—and even though the federal government was shut down that day—the federal government did not run a deficit on that day. That is because it brought in $17,117,000,000 in tax revenue. That was not a record for tax revenue for the fourth Monday in January. On Jan. 23, 2018—the fourth Monday in January of last year—the federal government brought in $17,117,000,000 in tax revenue in constant December 2017 dollars. The largest expenditure the federal government made on Monday—when it was shut down—was $3,746,000,000 in “marketplace payments,” which are subsidies for health insurance plans purchased on the Obamacare exchanges. The second largest expenditure was $1,971,000,000 for Medicare and other Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services expenses. The third largest was $1,764,000,000 spent on Department of Education programs.

State Department spending $592,500 to ‘explore gender identities of boys and men in Kenya’

The State Department announced a new $600,000 taxpayer-funded study that suggests “ideals of masculinity” in Kenya are contributing to terrorism. The department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism is seeking a nonprofit group to “explore gender identities of boys and men in Kenya.” The grant proposal states that men being “tough, heterosexual, aggressive, unemotional, and achieving” can make them vulnerable to joining Islamic extremist groups. “Gender is increasingly recognized as an essential aspect to understanding and countering violent extremism throughout the world,” the State Department said. “To date, research and interventions on gender in Kenya have predominantly focused on the role of women and girls in violent extremism. However, men and boys are disproportionately recruited by and join terrorist groups and carry out terrorist operations. In Kenya, there currently exists no CVE [countering violent extremism] programming dedicated to the role of gender of boys and men and vulnerability to violent extremism.” To remedy this, the State Department will spend up to $592,500 on the “Masculinity and Violent Extremism” study, which will be awarded to an American nonprofit or nongovernmental organization later this year. The study will “determine existing knowledge and gaps on male gender and violent extremism as well as explore gender identities of boys and men in Kenya.” The grant proposal blames Kenya’s “patriarchal” society of “tough, heterosexual” men for problems facing the developing country.

You really can’t make this stuff up, folks.  And, no..  You are NOT reading The Onion.  This is our federal government wasting your hard-earned tax dollars on politically correct, irrelevant bs like this.  We don’t give a rat’s rear-end why so many Kenyan boys and men are prone to joining Islamo-fascist terrorist organizations.  We just care if they target Americans.  If this bothers you as much as it bothers us, then please feel free to call or email your member of Congress and both of your U.S. Senators and tell them to NOT fund this wasteful project.  If some enterprising PRIVATE organization wants to do research on this subject, then they can have at it.  But, don’t waste MY tax dollars on it!  To read the rest of this nauseating article, click on the text above.  Unreal..