Here are a few news briefs you may find interesting.
A DEMOCRAT HAS GOOD ADVICE for his fellow party members, who are set on obstructing President Trump’s agenda. He’s Ted Van Dyk, who has been active in Democrat politics for 40 years, and put his thoughts into an op-ed, “Fellow Democrats, Your Effort to Destroy the President Is Abnormal,” in the Feb. 24, Wall Street Journal. “It’s time to move from 24-hour rage to serious consideration of the president’s policy proposals and, where appropriate, offering alternatives,” wrote Van Dyk, “He deserves the same chance to govern that his predecessors were afforded. The manufactured rage in the media and political opposition is taking us to even angrier polarization in the country …”
WERE YOU AWARE that the United Nations currently has no obligation to provide its funders with detailed annual reports on the use of their funds based on global accounting standards and supervised by a third-party auditor? Last year, we taxpayers forked over $9.2 billion to the UN … $659 million to cover 22 percent of the UN’s annual operating budget, $2.9 billion toward peacekeeping (they’re doing a fine job of that, aren’t they?), and a “voluntary” contribution of $5.9 billion (that includes money going into the “black hole of climate change” under the Paris Agreement). Former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Pressor suggests that Nikki Haley, our new ambassador to the UN, push for budget monitoring to be sure our money is well spent. “The message should be clear: the UN must reform or the U.S. could cut its funding,” Pressor recommends, as he reminds readers of the UN’s frequent attacks on American values and allies.
NEW DNC CHAIR CLAIMS PARTY IS NOW UNITED – Are you kidding me? Tom Perez, the winner, was backed by the Dem establishment, including former President Obama, former Vice President Biden, and former Attorney General Eric Holder. With his first motion to members, he asked approval of naming his losing opponent, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), as deputy chair. AYE! The Dems are now united. Not so fast. Ellison was backed by Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer. And the Dems talk about chaos and disarray in the White House.
WHILE PEREZ WAS THANKING UNIONS for their support, I note that just 10.7 percent of workers are in a union today, down from 20.1 percent in 1983. President Trump did well among union voters in 2016, and invited building and trades union representatives to the White House in his first week in office.
THE AVERAGE TAX REFUND IN 2016 WAS $2,860 – That tells me there a lot of people who don’t seem to recognize that they are giving the government an interest-free loan by not correcting withholding numbers.
SUBSTANCE OVER STYLE – While the media continues to talk about the Russian influence on the election and ICE splitting up families, Michael Barone, a longtime political observer, noted in the Washington Examiner how they are overlooking the substance in President Trump’s actions during his first five weeks in office. Foremost, he wrote of the “passel of Obama administration executive orders issued on the falsifiable and falsified assumption that Democrats would hold the White House indefinitely.” He wrote of the president’s go-ahead of the Dakota and Keystone XL pipelines, freezing federal hiring, cutting regulations, and his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
On Trump’s cabinet appointments, Barone writes, “These are not the kinds of people you appoint to the highest positions if you aspire to impose authoritarian rule over a free people.
Regarding the president’s on-going feud with the media and their cry of free speech restrictions, Barone reminds of the Obama administration’s subpoena of New York Times reporter James Risen and the naming of Fox New Channel’s James Rosen as an unindicted co-conspirator, and its prosecution of more leakers under the Espionage Act of 1917 than all previous administrations combined.
While you may not appreciate the president’s style, “there’s significant substance there.”
IT WAS DISAPPOINTING to see Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday laughing it up with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe as he sought to learn if the governor had any plan to run for president in 2020, yet there was no inquiry of the Justice Department’s investigation of McAuliffe’s acceptance of $120,000 from a Chinese businessman.