Monday, October 01, 2018

California judge punches hole in state's sanctuary law

A judge on Thursday ruled California’s sanctuary law tramples on the state’s charter cities, dealing a major blow to the state Democratic establishment’s anti-Trump policy.

California Judge James Crandall ruled in favor of Huntington Beach, which had argued it should be exempt from the law, which prohibits locales from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Judge Crandall issued his ruling after a hearing Thursday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Huntington Beach was one of a number of California jurisdictions that moved to try to thwart the state’s law, SB 54, which took effect at the beginning of this year.

California’s Democrat-led government had adopted the law as a political jab at the Trump administration, which has tried to increase deportations of illegal immigrants.

State officials say that having police cooperate in deportations scares immigrants, both legal and illegal, who then refuse to cooperate with authorities on other matters.

Judge Crandall didn’t buy that, instead siding with local officials who said they valued cooperation with federal immigration authorities, The L.A. Times reported.

The ruling applies to more than 100 charter cities in California.



Report Finds $3.1 Trillion in Savings for Taxpayers

Taxpayers could save over $3 trillion by eliminating wasteful and inefficient programs and unfair subsidies, according to a new report from a watchdog group.

Citizens Against Government Waste released its annual Prime Cuts report Wednesday, recommending 600 ways to reduce spending with savings of $429.8 billion the first year and $3.1 trillion over five years.

"Even in the ‘Drain the Swamp' era, the national debt of the United States first exceeded $21 trillion in 2018 and is poised to rise substantially in the coming years," the report begins. "To help chart a path out of this calamitous hole, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is releasing Prime Cuts 2018, a comprehensive account of options the federal government possesses to cut into the ballooning debt."

The group said cutting Medicare improper payments just in half could save $18.1 billion. Other recommendations include ending subsidies for Amtrak to save taxpayers nearly $10 billion over five years, and ending sugar, dairy, and peanut subsidies.

"As the U.S. budget hurdles toward trillion-dollar deficits and with the national debt exceeding $21 trillion, Prime Cuts 2018 is needed now, more than ever," said Tom Schatz, the president of CAGW. "The only way to put our country on a path toward fiscal sanity is for leaders to make bold decisions to reduce waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement; and Prime Cuts 2018 is an invaluable resource for them to achieve that objective."

Many items are in line with recommendations for spending cuts made by the Trump administration, such as eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Cutting the arts agencies would save taxpayers $1.8 billion over five years, the group said.

Numerous recommendations relate to redundant agencies and outdated federal programs that have lingered for decades beyond their initial purpose. Ending New Deal era programs, such as privatizing parts of the Tennessee Valley Authority, could save up to $1.1 billion over five years.

The group proposes eliminating Community Development Block Grants, which would save $15 billion over five years, arguing the program is unaccountable and inefficient. The program, intended for job creation and infrastructure in urban areas, does not "take a community's average income into account."

"As a result, several very wealthy cities with robust tax bases, such as Greenwich, Connecticut, have received CDBG dollars," the report said.

"Buffalo, New York, has received more than $500 million in CDBGs over the last 30 years, with little to show for it, and Los Angeles handed out $24 million to a dairy that went bust 18 months later," the report added.

Suspending federal land purchases would save taxpayers $466 million the first year and $2.3 billion over five years. CAGW argues the government owns more federal land than it can handle.

"The federal government currently owns roughly one-third of all U.S. land, including more than 80 percent of Alaska and Nevada and more than half of Idaho, Oregon, and Utah," the report said.

The group cited a Congressional Research Service report released this summer finding the National Park Service has $11.6 billion worth of necessary repairs and infrastructure work on federal land waiting to be completed.



The Leftist obsession with race -- again

“They know the optics of 11 white men questioning Dr. Ford … will be so harmful and so damaging to the GOP.” — Areva Martin, CNN legal analyst

“They understand that you have all of these white men who would be questioning this woman … the optics of it would look terrible.” — Gloria Borger, CNN chief political analyst

“Women across this nation should be outraged at what these white men senators are doing to this woman.” — Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif.

“There has been some discussion of the GOP senators who happened to all be … white men.” — Jim Sciutto, CNN correspondent

“What troubles me is now there are … they’re all white men.” — Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, on CNN

“You’re seeing on display a metaphor for what this party is, which is basically ignorant white men.” — “Morning Joe” contributor Donny Deutsch

“All these white men … stumbling all over themselves asking her, you know, aggressive and obnoxious questions.” — Asha Rangappa, CNN analyst

“What are those — that collection of old white men going to do?” — Cynthia Alksne, MSNBC contributor

“If she testifies in front of the Judiciary Committee, where 11 members are white men …” — Susan Del Percio, Republican political strategist, on MSNBC

“Once again, it will be all white men on the Republican side of the Judiciary Committee.” — CNN anchor Poppy Harlow

“The optics for Republicans are going to be really tricky … You’ve got all white men on the Republican side here …” — Julie Pace, Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press, on CNN

“The Republicans, it happens to be 11 white men still on that side.” — CNN host John Berman

“The Republicans, it is 11 white men, talk to me about how you think the tone inside this hearing on Monday will be perceived?” — Berman, a few minutes later

“On the Republican side, all 11 are white men.” — Berman, again, same show, several minutes later

“What hasn’t changed is the number of white men questioning, certainly, on the Republican side.” — Dana Bash, CNN chief political correspondent

“The Republican side on the Senate Judiciary Committee is all white men …” — Irin Carmon, senior correspondent for New York Magazine, on MSNBC

“Only this crowd of clueless old white guys …” — The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin on Twitter



President Trump needs to use his veto sooner or later to get the wall built

On March 23, when President Donald Trump signed the H.R. 1625 omnibus spending bill, he vowed, “I say to Congress: I will never sign another bill like this again.  I’m not going to do it again.”

Well, here we go again. Six months later and the end of the fiscal year is rapidly approaching. Energy, Miltary Construction and Legislative Affairs has already passed and been signed into law. Next up is Defense and Health and Human Services bill, which will also include funding for all other departments and agencies until Dec. 7. Another so-called cromnibus — omnibus plus a continuing resolution.

Speaking at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the United Nations, President Trump said he would be signing the bill: “We’ll keep the government open. We’re going to keep the government open.”

The President should reconsider that position. The bill is a stopgap designed to get Congress past the midterm elections, which suits their priority to avoid any controversial votes prior to November.

There’s only one problem, besides funding the military for the full year, the legislation does not fund key Trump administration priorities including fully funding the southern border wall. Department of Homeland Security funding is being pushed off until December now, with no guarantees that it will include the wall.

Instead, Congress has jerked the President and his supporters around for almost two years now.

On Jan. 26, 2017,  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Philadelphia, and explained emphatically that “We are moving ahead” with the wall with a specific price tag of “$12 to $15 billion,” adding, “We intend to address the wall issue ourselves.”

A day later, House Speaker Paul Ryan told the American people that, “This is something, [the wall], we want to get on right away. And so we do believe this is urgent. We believe this is one of the most important promises the President made running for office. It’s a promise he’s going to keep and it’s a promise we’re going to help him keep.”

Ryan added, “We anticipate a supplemental coming from the administration on defense and the border” and “I’m hoping in the first quarter we can get this done. But again, it’s getting [Mick Mulvaney confirmed as Office of Management and Budget Director and] up and running so they can send us the supplemental.”

Mulvaney was confirmed on Feb. 16, 2017 and the supplemental request was proposed on March 14 by Mulvaney and then formally put in on March 16 by President Trump to Speaker Ryan. Trump kept his side of the bargain. But somehow, by March 30, Ryan had changed his tune, telling CBS News, “The big chunk of money for the wall really is… next fiscal year’s appropriations because they literally can’t start construction even this quickly.”

But then the wall was not funded in the fiscal year 2018 spending bill either. All they got was the President’s $1.6 billion supplemental “down payment” he had asked for last year.

No where can the “$12 to $15 billion” McConnell promised for the wall be found.

So, here we are, almost two years into the Trump administration, and Congress is about to go home with the midterms failing to fund the President’s signature legislative promise and show that finally they take the illegal immigration issue seriously.

President Trump may not wish to veto government spending now but one thing is clear, he is going to have to do it sooner or later if he wants to get the wall built. Time’s running out. And then he will need one-third of either the House or the Senate to sustain that veto — and then a real negotiation can be had.



Criminal Charges for North Carolina Woman Who Sheltered Pets During Hurricane Florence

A North Carolina woman says she just wanted local pets to have a safe place to stay as Hurricane Florence made landfall earlier this month. But now she's facing upward of a dozen criminal charges related to the medical care she freely provided to the animals.

Flood and tornado warnings were in effect last week in Wayne County, North Carolina, and the area got more than 10 inches of rainfall. Keeping 2016's deadly Hurricane Matthew in mind, Tammie Hedges realized that with residents evacuating, there would be animals in need of safe, dry shelter.

"It was brought to my attention from some individual rescuers that were going to go out again during this disaster and save some animals," Hedges tells Reason. "They just didn't have anywhere to put them."

But there was a solution. Hedges is the founder and executive director of Crazy's Claws N' Paws, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that takes in neglected or injured animals and finds them permanent homes. The volunteer-based, no-kill organization gives animals whatever they need, from medical care to microchipping.

Crazy's isn't a licensed animal shelter yet, but they're working on "renovating a shelter site," Hedges says. The building was not in a flood zone, and it's "easily accessible." In other words, the perfect place for pets to take refuge while Florence did her worst.

Hedges' organization took in a total of 27 pets—17 cats and 10 dogs. Thanks to donated food and other supplies, she made sure they were cared for. During the day, volunteers played with the dogs, walked them, and cleaned up after them. There was even a person who stayed at night "to make sure that the animals were not alone," she says.

On Monday, Hedges was at home when she got a call from Frank Sauls, the animal services manager for Wayne County. She says Sauls told he's received a call about flooding at the shelter site. There was no flooding, but Sauls asked her to come by anyway. When she arrived, Sauls asked if he could go inside to see the animals. She obliged.

Things quickly went south. "We didn't even get to the room that the animals were in and in and it was basically, 'you can hand them over voluntarily, or I'm going to get a warrant,'" Hedges says.

So what had Hedges done wrong? Hedges says Sauls threatened to charge her for administering veterinary medicine without a license. And while Hedges was taking care of the pets for free, she says Sauls told "one of the independent rescuers" that "he was looking at charging me for boarding." Finally, Sauls allegedly claimed Crazy's was operating an animal shelter without a license. "We had to keep telling him we're not open as a shelter," Hedges says. "This is an emergency disaster center for displaced animals for a natural disaster. That's all it is. It's temporary."

According to a Friday press release from the county, Hedges' crime was that she didn't have the proper license to give the animals veterinary medicine. The Wayne County District Attorney's Office has charged her with 12 counts of "misdemeanor practice/attempt veterinary medicine without a license and (1) count of solicitation of a Schedule 4 controlled substance," the press release says.

Hedges, though, says the dewormer and flea medicine she gave the animals are "over-the-counter" drugs, and thus "not illegal." Certain dewormers and flea medications can indeed be obtained over the counter, while others require a prescription. It's unclear which ones Hedges was using.

Hedges was arrested Friday, the Goldsboro News-Argus reports, and eventually released on $10,000 bond. Most of the charges, she told the paper, were a result of her administering amoxicillin, which is used to treat bacterial infections, to some of the animals. She also allegedly solicited a donation of the painkiller Tramadol.

On Tuesday, Hedges plans to meet with a lawyer, and she says she'll be "laying low" until then. But she's hoping this case will lead to changes in the government, "especially for the animals."



Has Bill got anything to fear?


Go here for a brilliant display of Leftist rage and hate.  Leftist pundit Lawrence O’Donnell is not a nice man -- and it shows when his broadcast encounters some glitches.  He keeps his cool fairly well initially but towards the end he really loses it.

It's a video from  August 29, 2017.


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


No comments: