Alt-left calls conservatives white nationalists
It’s an old trick of the left to accuse conservatives of being racist, and to play the race card, or even an entire pack of race cards. This used to be more civil years ago, such as on the ill-fated talk show called “Showdown” where the liberal co-host, New York Daily News columnist Richard G. Carter would accuse co-host Morton Downey Jr. of “racialism” for his politically incorrect comments about the left’s racism. Now it’s advanced to another level, conservatives don’t just show their “racialism” or are merely racist anymore. Now the alt-left has resorted to just calling them white nationalists. When the lies and smears go too over the top, even the majority of liberals won’t believe them.
The latest is a spectacle of smear I read today, linked from Real Clear Politics. This was a CNN Opinion article by Ruth Ben-Ghiat titled “Why Steve Bannon’s white nationalism should scare America.” Note the lack of a question mark at the end of that title, or the use of a word like alleged white nationalism, etc. It is stated as fact, as if it’s well known or easily proven, that Steve Bannon espouses white nationalism. Seeing that well-written clickbait title, I had to read it. But I realized before reading it, given the title states as fact that Steve Bannon espouses white nationalism, I would have to look for any evidence in the article for the allegation of white nationalism against Bannon.
There was no evidence whatsoever. Not a shred. Not one iota to use Barack Obama’s favorite word. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Ben-Ghiat made claim of expertise in knowing what white nationalism is, and make a claim that Bannon has been practicing it in his role with Breitbart News. She wrote, “As a historian of fascism, I can tell you that Breitbart has been serving up a textbook-worthy campaign of racist indoctrination. Don’t buy into it further.” As a historian of the alt-left, I can say the likes of Ben-Ghiat have played the race card for ages. She would have more credibility telling us she stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
Other than claim of expertise in fascism and translating that to knowledge of racism, Ben-Ghiat simply called him a white nationalist several times in the article without providing any real proof of it. She also cited, as if it hold any credibility anymore, the alt-left Southern Poverty Law Center, which has created an entire industry, and owns a multi-million corporate headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama to show for it, of trying to brand mainstream conservatives as racists, alt-right, and white nationalists. Basically, they make millions doing what Ben-Ghiat does for far less writing for CNN Opinion.
Anyone who doesn’t toe the politically correct view of the alt-left is not only just a racist, but a white nationalist. Everyone put in the “basket of deplorables” by Hillary Clinton is included. That probably includes you too. The alt-left never has to prove any of these allegations, just merely stating them is enough. This needs to be understood, and in the coming weeks and months when we repeatedly hear the empty and unproven claims of racism and white nationalism in the Trump administration, we’ll know the alt-left, and it’s allies in the liberal media, are up to their old tricks. And you should know it too.
Electoral map shows Hillary leading in the presidential race
North Carolina alone illustrates the challenge for the Trump campaign, a state that Barack Obama won in 2008 and Mitt Romney barely won in 2012, it’s a must win to get elected this year. The latest CBS News/YouGov poll in the state shows Hillary Clinton leading by two percent, 44 to 42 percent, over The Donald. The newest PPP survey of North Carolina has Trump leading 48 to 46 percent. Trump should have an edge in North Carolina, but right now it is a toss-up.
The neighboring state of Virginia is more solidly leaning in favor of Clinton, who has a 4 percent lead in the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of polls. Virginia voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012 and looks likely to be in the Clinton column this year.
The state of Florida, which was won by Obama in the last two elections, also looks favorable for Hillary, who leads by 3.4 percent in the RCP average and 8 percent in the latest Quinnipiac poll. Four of the five polls of Florida, in the RCP average, show Clinton leading by three percent or more. It is clear, if the election were held today, Florida would be voting for the Democrat nominee for president.
Pennsylvania is truly a toss-up state right now, and that may be good news for Trump, since the state has been won by the Democrats in the last three elections. While Clinton leads by just a half point in the RCP average, Pennsylvania is a state where Trump can win many traditionally Democrat-learning swing voters and win the state in November. If Trump can hold some of the close states that usually lean Republican, such as North Carolina and Indiana, and win some of the “light blue” states like Pennsylvania, he has a chance at beating Hillary in the Electoral College.
New Hampshire has been very closed, and based largely on turnout in the last several elections, but Hillary is holding a rather large 6.5 percent lead in the RCP average. While New Hampshire casts only four electoral votes, those four votes were key for George W. Bush reaching 270 electoral votes in 2000. Odds are, the candidate that wins New Hampshire will win the election, and right now it’s not looking good for Trump in New Hampshire.
Ohio, considered by most a swing state, should be a toss-up right now. But it leans in favor of Hillary by 2.7 percent in the RCP average, which includes a CBS News/YouGov survey showing Clinton leading by five percent, and the last Quinnipiac poll showing them tied at 40 percent each. Ohio is a state that Trump should be able to win, and needs to win, in order to become president. But if attacks ads from Priorities USA against Trump as anywhere near as effective as they were again Mitt Romney in 2012, where they clearly helped Obama in Ohio, Hillary Clinton will win both Ohio and the presidency this coming November.
Michigan is one of the states the Trump campaign supposedly will put into play, despite it having been a “blue” state in most recent elections. But the polling data says otherwise, where the last four polls listed by RCP shows Hillary Clinton leading by an average of more than 10 percent in those four surveys. Michigan is clearly going to be in the Clinton column in November.
Iowa has been close in the last few presidential elections, and this year should be no different. Lacking recent polling data for the state, it only seems reasonable at this point to consider the state a toss-up. The last survey listed by RCP, a PPP poll, show Trump and Clinton tied at 42 percent in Iowa.
While many consider Colorado as becoming a “blue” state, and it has voted Democrat in recent presidential elections, a recent CBS News/YouGov poll show it a toss-up, with Clinton leading by one percent, 40 to 39 percent over Donald Trump. Colorado could be a key pickup for Trump if he can win the state, as it could off-season losing another state elsewhere.
Arizona is closer than it should be, and like North Carolina, illustrates the weakness of the Trump campaign right now. That could change, but the Trump campaign will need to do the changing. Clinton holds a one percent lead in the RCP average for Arizona. That average includes one poll where Trump leads by four percent, one that has Hillary leading by seven percent, and a third older poll showing them tied. Arizona is a must win state for Trump, and if Hillary somehow wins it, it becomes almost impossible for Trump to win this election. The mere notion that Arizona is a toss-up, which it is, shows that Trump has some real challenges in winning this election.
As the map shows, the toss-up states are worth 61 electoral votes, and that includes Arizona and North Carolina (26 electoral votes) that Mitt Romney won in 2012. The fact that any states won by Mitt Romney are in play in this election at this time, shows serious weakness electorally for Donald Trump. The remaining 35 electoral votes (Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Colorado) of the states that are toss-ups were won Obama in the last two elections.
But the real challenge for Trump is the 297 electoral votes in the states that are leaning in favor of Hillary Clinton right now. Even if Trump won all those toss-up states, and holds on to the 180 electoral votes of the states that lean toward him now, he would only win 241 electoral votes, falling short of the needed 270. Trump would have to, at minimum, also win New Hampshire and Florida (33 electoral votes) to have a shot at reaching 270.
The Donald is going to have to spent a lot of time and resources in Florida and New Hampshire while holding on to many of the other close states where Hillary Clinton has a chance. It’s an uphill climb for Trump, but the electoral map looks much better for Clinton right now. But, we have nothing but time between now and November, and a lot can still change.
Phil Roe votes consistently in favor of Big Government
Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN), who represents the first district of Tennessee, claims to be all about people and not politics. Cong. Roe claims to be conservative, including fiscally conservative. But his voting record in Congress proves otherwise. As Congress and our current president have stomped on the accelerator taking us rapidly closer to $20 trillion in national debt, Cong. Roe has been part of the problem, voting for federal spending out of control.
We the people elected a Republican majority to Congress in 2010, and expanded that majority in the 2014 mid-term elections. But despite that, the Congress passed the Ryan-Murray budget, co-sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), with 169 Republican votes and 163 Democrat votes in 2013. Roe was one of the Republicans voting in favor of the Ryan-Murray budget, which passed by a 332-94 vote.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) called the budget a “terrible plan” and said “it makes promises to the American people that are false. Today the Democrats realized they were right all along, that we would never hold the line on the sequester.” Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) were among the Republicans that voted against the plan, while Roe voted in favor of it.
One terrible provision of the Ryan-Murray budget involved cutting the cost of living adjustments for our retired military veterans, cutting their monthly retirement checks. This reduction in what is owed to the very people who risked so much in service to us, and protecting our country, is entirely unacceptable. And Phil Roe, who talks a good game about standing up for veterans, voted in favor of this cut in their retirement benefits. Phil Roe should be ashamed of having cast this vote. It is one thing for liberal Democrats, who loathe the military as Bill Clinton wrote in the late 1960s to cast this vote, but quite another for one who claims to be a Republican and support our veterans.
Heritage Action, The Club for Growth, and FreedomWorks all opposed the terrible Ryan-Murray budget plan because it fails to cut spending where it needs to be cut, fails to balance the budget, and it fails to enact key reforms needed to reduce government to proper Constitutional levels and balance the budget. Ryan-Murray is a liberal big government at its worst, and Phil Roe voted for it.
After the so-called government shutdown charade in 2014, in which very little of the government was shut down, Phil Roe voted in favor of the gigantic omnibus spending bill that Congress passed after that episode. This was one of many such continuing resolutions, that fully funded big government and Obamacare, that Roe voted for, in direction opposition to the interests of his constituents and the country at large, but in favor of the special interests and K Street lobbyist he dutifully serves in Congress.
Roe voted in favor of reauthorizing BrandUSA in 2014, which is nothing more than a tourism slush fund that uses federal taxing authority to finance profits. Additionally, he voted in favor of T-HUD appropriations in 2012, increasing funds for Amtrak, the Essential Air Service, community development block grants, and other wasteful spending. Roe also voted in favor of the 2011 debt ceiling deal, which increased the debt by $2.4 trillion – the largest increase in American history that undermined GOP unity behind a balanced budget.
It is no coincidence that Roe has a 60 percent liberty score, as compiled by Conservative Review, based on his voting record in Congress. He consistently votes for the big government agenda with Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Paul Ryan. Phil Roe is a big government Republican through and through that votes in favor of big government spending, on behalf of the special interests and his lobbyist friends on K Street just about every time. He represents them, not the voters of his district, contrary to his “people, not politics” political slogan. Roe is all about politics, the politics of serving the Washington DC political establishment, not the voters who sent him to Washington. It’s time for voters to embrace change and send someone else to Congress in Washington. If we don’t change who we elect to public office, we can’t expect anything to change.
Phil Roe Supports Bill That Enables Medicare Fraud
Waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare is rampant, quite regularly hospitals and healthcare providers routinely overcharge the largest federal healthcare program for services provided for patients. The Recovery Audit Contracts (RAC) program has proven to be extremely effective in identifying and rooting out Medicare fraud, but that doesn’t sit well with the hospital industry, that sees the aggressive rooting out of fraud as cutting into their profit margins. As special interest groups do, they turn bought-and-paid-for politicians in Washington D.C. to give them what they want. In this instance, the American Hospital Association, and other representatives of the major corporate hospital groups, want the RAC program gutted.
Politicians like Reps. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Phil Roe (R-TN), along with more than 100 others members of the House and the Senate, are there to dutifully serve the hospital interests, in gutting the RAC program, against the interest of their constituents back home in their districts. Rep. Graves has sponsored, and Rep. Roe and others co-sponsored, the “Medicare Audit Improvement Act,” which is H.R. 2156 in it’s 2015 form, and H.R. 1250 in its 2013 form. Simply put, this bill would gut the RAC program by severely limiting what percentage of billing could be reviewed by RACs, and placing other limits and restrictions on the program. In short, the bill would enable billions in Medicare fraud, and putting more money into hospitals over-charging Medicare for services provided.
By reviewing just a small fraction of Medicare billing, the RAC program had rooted out $8.9 billion in fraud in just one year, and could easily find an estimated $50 billion Medicare fraud if the program was expanded. Not only did Phil Roe not stand up for taxpayers, and his own constituents by advocating the full expansion of the RAC program, he has stood for shutting it down by sponsoring H.R. 1250 in 2013, the earlier version of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Graves, that would all but eliminate the RAC program.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) has spent $33.8 million in the last couple years in lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill against the RAC program. Additionally, the AHA and other groups representing hospital owning corporations have donated more than $4.1 million to politicians, in an effort to buy their votes for legislation like the Medicare fraud-enabling so-called Medicare Audit Improvement Act. The corrupt politicians receiving this money are the likes of Sam Graves and Phil Roe, who support the legislation to gut the RAC program that is so effective at countering Medicare fraud.
The identifying of who supports this legislation says as much about the cronyism and corruption involved as does those who oppose it. Grass-roots taxpayer advocacy groups like the National Taxpayer Union and Citizens Against Government Waste strongly oppose Rep. Graves’ bill because it’s very much in the interests of taxpayers to strengthen the Medicare program and save taxpayer dollars by rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse. Both organizations have urged Congress to defeat Rep. Graves’ bill. The RAC program could save taxpayers anywhere from $50 to $90 billion in Medicare fraud if fully implemented.
Cong. Phil Roe runs for office on the slogan, “people, not politics.” But his support for legislation gutting the RAC program is all about corrupt politics, and certainly not the interests of his constituents, the people that represents, whose primary interest in this issue saving taxpayer money on Medicare rather than lining the pockets of those who profit from owning huge hospital empires. Rep. Roe sides with his cronies in the healthcare industry that own hospitals, in direct conflicts with the interests of the people of his district. That isn’t doing his job in representing the people, that is serving cronyism and corruption.
It’s no coincidence, given how well Rep. Roe represents hospital interests, that the healthcare industry, by industries, ranks first among industries that donate large sums of money to his campaign fund. Between 2013-2014, they donated money than $85,000 to Phil Roe’s campaigns for reelection. Apparently it’s money well spent for needed favors, given that he over-rides the interests of the taxpayers in rooting out Medicare fraud by co-sponsoring the bill to gut the RAC program.
Politicians like Sam Graves and Phil Roe are best that special interest group money can buy. But the voters in their district should retire them and elect someone to represent them, and not the corrupt special interests, in Washington D.C. Voters need to change who they send to Congress, otherwise we can’t expect anything to change. Government in the nation’s Capitol is broken, and we can only fix it by ending the careers of the corrupt bought-and-paid-for politicians like Graves and Roe.
Rep. Sam Graves sponsors Medicare Fraud Enabling Bill
Legislation pending in Congress would gut effective anti-fraud efforts in the Medicare program, alleges the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, EHR Intelligence reports. The legislation “would have a chilling effect on the RAC ( Recovery Audit Contractors) program, one of the government’s few successful initiatives to identify and recover waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare,” EHR Intelligence stated.
Veteran observers of Congress know that vigilance is key. Just when appears the grassroots efforts might have nipped a terrible bill in the bud, it comes back with a vengeance.
Consumer advocates are drawing attention to a bill heavily pushed by the big hospital lobby that would enable Medicare fraud, resulting in billions of additional government dollars wasted on improper payments.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), who is rated a fairly liberal Republican by the Madison Project analysis of his voting record, would gut an audit program that has identified billions of dollars in Medicare fraud at the beck of call of hospitals that would otherwise profit from that fraud.
The legislation, the “Medicare Audit Improvement Act,” (“improvement” here does not mean finding more fraud), already has 47 co-sponsors in the House.
The bill is co-sponsored by a number moderate to liberal Republicans as well as many Democrats, Real Clear Politics reports in listing the co-sponsors. Notably, not a single member of the GOP Doctors Caucus, a group of former doctors in the House who know healthcare well, has signed on.
The legislation targets the “Recovery Audit Contractors” (RAC) program, in which the government pays auditors a commission for successfully identifying fraudulent Medicare payments. Medicare annually issues roughly $50 billion a year in fraudulent payments, according to the Mercatus Institute, which is, for example, about twice the annual Gross Domestic Product of Paraguay.
Healthcare providers are fighting back against the RAC program and support the Graves bill, Forbes magazine reports.
“(T)hey are fighting back in Congress. The Medicare Audit Improvement Act (S. 1012/H.R. 1250), which has bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, seeks to limit the powers of RAC auditors, even impose penalties upon them if they act improperly. These same auditing companies are none too happy about the bill, and claim it will cost the federal government billions if passed,” Forbes reported.
Consumer advocates remind us voters didn’t send them to Washington to enable Medicare fraud. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), is an outspoken conservative who received a cool $1000 donation from the hospital lobby eight days after he signed on as a cosponsor. In fact, a close look at the list reveals numerous lawmakers who received donations very near to the time they cosponsored the bill – as well as many members who will face competitive elections and could really use the cash. Perhaps it’s not to cynical to see that the two are related.
Those payments go to hospitals who are essentially using improper payments to pad their profits, critics of the bill say, and don’t react kindly when meddlesome auditors inform the government those payments were actually illegal.
The hospitals, in turn, have vociferously complained that they are faced with overwhelming paperwork requirements in trying to keep up with auditors’ document requests. Maybe that is worth it if it effectively finds $50 billion in Medicare fraud.
There is something quite interesting about this issue. A top government official recently revealed at a congressional hearing that 51 percent of the hospitals’ appeals of the RAC audits were filed by five hospitals. So, only a small group of hospitals are asserting this is a problem, that they want to be fixed, regarding the RAC audit process.
Medicare fraud certainly is a real issues, as the Inquisitr reported last month, 243 individuals were charges with $712 million in false filings under Medicare. The Attorney General stated that this was the largest ever prosecution of health care fraud. Given the scope of the problem with Medicare fraud, it is understandable that if the RAC program is effective there will be significant opposition to legislation that might gut the program.
Is the Graves bill really a solution to a problem, or perhaps an elimination of a solution that some think is a problem? Consumer advocates and grass-roots activists will ultimately send a message to members of Congress, and it will remain to be seen if so-called Medicare Audit Improvement Act becomes laws or is defeated in Congress. Opponents of the bill clearly see it as an attempt to eliminated an effective anti-fraud program.
[Photo of Cong. Sam Graves from his official portrait via Wikipedia.]
Time to Retire John McCain
Arizona’s Senior Senator for-far-too-long, John McCain, should have been retired by the voters there six years ago. But J.D. Hayworth proved to be a flawed candidates, who ran a weak campaign in that primary, and gave McCain too many openings to portray him as unfit to serve in the office. This year is different, and Republican In Name Only faces a strong conservative challenge from a highly qualified candidate, Arizona State Senator, and conservative champion, Dr. Kelli Ward.
McCain has gone against conservative principles so many times, he should lose the right to even call himself a Republican, not to mention he should have been retired from public office long ago. He has clearly over-stayed his welcome in politics, and should have no business occupying the Arizona Senate seat once held by the Great Conservative Champion, and 1964 GOP nominee for president, Barry Goldwater.
McCain has been ultra-liberal on immigration for years, and has worked tirelessly to give amnesty to tens of millions of illegal immigrants. Contrary to the pabulum regularly offered up by liberals, immigration is not a racial issue; it’s an economic issue. It doesn’t matter what the race of illegal immigrants is, if they are here illegally, they are breaking the law, and they should not be here. The more illegal immigrants we allow into the country, the more unemployed we import. This is the worst possible policy at a time when more than 100 million able-to-work adult American citizens are unemployed because we haven’t had any meaningful recovery from the Great Recession that began in 2008.
And remember the disastrous “too big to fail” bailouts and the TARP and Porkulus spending Bills the liberals and RINOs pushed forward in Washington D.C. at the end of the George W. Bush presidency and even more so during the first term of Barack Obama? John McCain was totally for all of that. Remember the disastrous charade he pulled in October of 2008, when he suspended his all-but-assured failed presidential campaign to go to Washington D.C. to help the liberals and RINOs pass the bailouts? McCain has been on the wrong side of all the major issues in the last decade, and he’s never met a spending or Porkulus bill containing trillions if overspending that he hasn’t voted for as Senator!
McCain was one of 18 RINO senators that voted in favor of the huge government bloated federal budget proposed and supported by the Obama Administration. The budget, which raised the debt ceiling again so Washington could keep spending our children’s and grandchildren’s money out of control even more, was passed by a 64-35 vote in the U.S. Senate, which included McCain and his 17 fellow RINOs voting in favor of it. Including in those 18, were South Carolina Senator and failed presidential candidate Lindsey Graham, the best Senate Majority Leader the Democrats could have, Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, the two liberal Republicans from New England, Maine’s Susan Collins and New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte, and Alaska’s ultra-progressive liberal Republican Lisa Murkowski. Look up the ratings of these senators on Conservative Review and it is clear they vote with Democrats more often than they do Republicans on budget, taxes, and big government issues. They might as well be Democrats, given how they vote on the most important issues legislated on by the U.S. Senate. McCain himself gets a 35 percent score, and a great of “F” from the Conservative Review Liberty Score.
McCain, who was censured by the Arizona Republican Party in 2014 for being a RINO, has repeatedly smeared 2016 presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, as he did in December of last year. McCain himself was a disaster in 2008 and should never have been nominated, there was no way he could have beaten Obama in that general election. McCain had no conservative agenda to run on, and no vision. He’s a low energy RINO that should have gracefully bowed out of politics more than a generation ago.
Arizona voters can elect someone who will truly represent them, and shake up Washington, and bring a refreshing honesty and conservative principles to Washington D.C. That candidate is Dr. Kelli Ward, and Arizona voters should nominate her in the primary later this summer and retire John McCain.