Trump Slashes Useless Agencies

Yowser! It appears there will be lots and lots of government sand crabs looking for work soon. Take a gander at some of these agencies we have been supporting with our tax dollars; it took someone with some guts to say goodbye to them. NPR and PBS have always been left-wing broadcasting entities anyway. Let the listeners fund them or die. Once again, the “Invisible Hand” will decide.

Trump Budget Eliminates Federal Funding for 19 Agencies

In addition to reducing spending from several large government entities such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department, President Donald Trump’s proposed first budget calls to eliminate federal funding for 19 federal agencies, for a total of $3 billion in cuts.

Some of the agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, are relatively well-known, while others benefit foreign countries and are, in many cases, holdovers from former presidencies.

“Consistent with the President’s approach to move the nation toward fiscal responsibility, the budget eliminates and reduces hundreds of programs and focuses funding to redefine the proper role of the federal government,” a blueprint copy of Trump’s “America First” budget says. 

The agencies to lose their federal funding include: the African Development Foundation; the Appalachian Regional Commission; the Chemical Safety Board; the Corporation for  National and Community Service; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the Delta Regional Authority; the Denali Commission; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the Inter-American Foundation; the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; the Legal Services Corporation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation; the Northern Border Regional Commission; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; the United States Institute of Peace; the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness; and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

According to a breakdown compiled by Business Insider:

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Current budget, $445 million. CPB benefits mainly local public news stations, which receive 90 percent of the agency’s budget. National entities such as NPR and PBS also get small parts of their budgets through CPB.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service: Current budget, $1.1 billion. Cuts funding for AmeriCorps, the Clinton Administration’s program that places more than 80,000 people yearly in service projects, including the City Year program that provides volunteers for schools.
  • National Endowment for the Arts: Current budget, $148 million. Launched by President Lyndon B. Johnson and supports and promotes U.S. artists. Has been a subject of controversy for years after funding went to photographers like Andres Serrano, the person who displayed a photograph depicting a crucifix submerged in urine.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities: Current budget, $149 million. Provides grants for universities, libraries and more to strengthen studies in humanities and culture. Established by Johnson through the Arts and Humanities Act in 1965.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission: Current budget, $146 million. Partners with federal, state, and local governments to develop the economy of the Appalachian region, including 13 states reliant on the coal industry.
  • Delta Regional Authority: Current budget: $15 million. Economic-development agency serves eight-state Delta region, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
  • Denali Commission: Most recent budget, $14 million in 2015. Focuses on Alaska and at one point had a budget of $150 million. Formed in 1998 by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, to build power plants and roads, and also offers job training.
  • Northern Border Regional Commission: Current budget, $5 million. Works with distressed counties in Northeast border states including New York, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Established through 2008 Farm Bill.
  • U.S. Trade and Development Agency: Current budget, $80.7 million. Promotes U.S. exports, assists with overseas infrastructures. Links businesses with opportunities for foreign exports and supports efforts to mitigate climate change.
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Most recent budget, $83.5 million in 2016. Works with private companies to develop financial infrastructure in foreign countries. Uses private capital and works with the private sector.
  • African Development Foundation: Current budget, $28.2 million. Supports and invests in African-owned businesses to help improve economies in 20 poverty-stricken African countries.
  • Inter-American Foundation: Current budget, $22.2 million. Focuses on developing non- government and grassroots organizations in the Caribbean and Latin America regions. Has awarded nearly 5,000 grants, totaling more than $600 million since 1972.
  • Legal Services Corp.: Current budget, $502 million. Funds civil legal aid for low-income recipients in the United States, helping deal with legal issues including family law, domestic violence and family law, housing and foreclosures, and veterans affairs.
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp.: Current budget, $140 million. Also known as NeighborWorks America and housed in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the agency helps urban, suburban, and rural areas’ community development organizations.
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services: Current budget, $230 million. Launched by the Clinton Administration and funds 35,000 local museums and 123,000 libraries across the country.
  • United States Institute of Peace: Most recent budget, 2011, $39.5 million. Established in 1984 by Congress under President Ronald Reagan with goal of preventing and mitigation overseas conflicts.
  • United States Interagency Council on Homelessness: Current budget, $5.4 million. Works to coordinate national solutions toward ending homelessness.
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: Current budget, $10.4 million. Founded through the Smithsonian Act of 1950, the center functions as a government-sponsored foreign-policy academic think tank.
  • Chemical Safety Board: Current budget, $11 million. The independent federal investigates industrial chemical accidents, and was established as part of the 1990 Clean Air Act.

Trump/Haley Drain the UN Swamp

UN official resigns over nixed anti-Israel report after pressure from Haley

 

A U.N. official resigned Friday after her commission came under fire from U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley for releasing a report, authored by an anti-Israel scholar, which called Israel an “apartheid state” – a report Haley demanded withdrawn and that has since been removed from the commission’s website.

 

Rima Khalaf, who was Executive Director of the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, said in a press conference she had resigned after U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres demanded she retract the controversial report.

“It was expected, naturally, that Israel and its allies would exercise immense pressure on the U.N. secretary general to distance himself from the report and to ask for it to be withdrawn,” she said, referring to fierce objections from Israeli and U.S. officials.

By Friday afternoon, the report had nevertheless been removed from the commission’s website. The report said Israel’s policies in regards to Palestine today meet the definition of “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination” by one racial group over another.

“Aware of the seriousness of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law,” the report said.

Particularly egregious for U.S. and Israeli officials was the decision to get controversial scholar Richard Falk to author the report.

Falk, a former U.N. special rapporteur to the Palestinian territories, is known for outlandish criticisms of both America and Israel, particularly on matters of Islamist terrorism. After the 2013 Boston Bombings, Falk remarked: “The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world.”

Falk repeatedly has questioned what he calls “the official version of 9/11.” In 2013, he told a radio show host about “gaps” in the standard 9/11 narrative.

“That [the report] was drafted by Richard Falk, a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is equally unsurprising,” Haley said in a statement Wednesday, in which she also called on Guterres to withdraw the report.

Guterres initially only distanced himself from the report, and said via a spokesman that it was published without prior consultation with U.N. headquarters. On Friday, his spokesman said that Guterres had demanded the report scrapped because of the lack of consultation.

“This is not about content, this is about process,” spokesman Stephane Dujarrac told reporters. “The Secretary-General cannot accept that an under secretary-general or any other senior U.N. official that reports to him would authorize the publication under the U.N. name under the U.N. logo without consulting the competent departments and even himself.”

Haley, who had blasted the report as “anti-Israel propaganda,” released a statement after Khalaf’s resignation, praising Guterres’ decision.

“When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the UN, it is appropriate that the person resign. UN agencies must do a better job of eliminating false and biased work, and I applaud the Secretary-General’s decision to distance his good office from it,” she said.

Among the report’s recommendations was a call to “broaden support for boycott, divestment and sanctions initiatives among civil society actors.” It also called for the secretary-general to recommend to the General Assembly and Security Council that a “global conference” be convened to determine what action should be taken by the U.N.

The controversy over the reports comes as the Trump administration has been taking a tougher line against the international body. The Trump administration is already considering pulling back support for and participation in various U.N. programs, in part due to its perceived anti-Israel stance.

In an interview with “America’s Newsroom” Friday, Haley reiterated that the administration intends to take a hard stance with the U.N.

“The U.N. has been Israel-bashing for decades and what we are trying to do is make sure they understand that there’s a new administration in town and we’re not going to put up with it,” she said.

Israeli diplomat Eitan Weiss praised Haley and said the removal of the report was a sign that, “the winds of change are blowing in the [corridors] of the U.N.”

 

Starbucks Follow-up

Remember a few weeks ago I posted an article about how Starbucks CEO shot his arrogant mouth off in protest to President Trump by pledging to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years. Well, here’s the proof of what happens to CEO’s who make political statements thinking they are immune to the market.

I posted earlier what happened to Target during the first quarter after announcing that any one can use any bathroom they choose based what gender they identify with – Really? Well the”Invisible Hand” once again stepped in and their 4th quarter results were 4.3% below same quarter 2015. Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target spun the decrease this way, “Our fourth quarter results reflect the impact of rapidly-changing consumer behavior, which drove very strong digital growth but unexpected softness in our stores,” Yeah right. Your customers don’t enjoy having to use one of your multi-gender restrooms, ya think?

But then I digress, back to Starbucks.  One of my investor pubs reported, “Starbucks shares are trading lower, extending the week’s declines as investors continue to battle with the company’s efforts to fix through-put issues and capitalize on mobile order & pay demand. LOL. Now that is what most of us would call “spin.” What about the refugees you are hiring rove Americans, think that may have impacted your same store sales? The financial pub did find in their hearts to mention, “…….slowing sales momentum for Starbucks in the current fiscal second quarter as brand sentiment had seen some volatility following the company’s announcement to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years” Yep, the “Invisible Hand” again. Consumers rule, companies exit and prosper at the pleasure of us! Remember that folks. Oh, how I love to watch capitalism at work.

Fifty-nine Years Ago Today

Teddy Wood (now deceased) and I boarded a train at around 0900 headed south. That day is permanently etched in my brain housing group, never to be forgotten. Here’s a sneak peak at my book as to what happened as the day moved on.

Chapter Two (Excerpt)

I had been entrusted with a large, sealed manila envelope. I was to deliver it to someone in charge when we arrived at our destination. He informed the group that I was in charge—my first responsibility as a future Marine.

I don’t remember much about the train ride except that we were assigned to a specific car where we were told to remain for the entire trip. I recall that some of the boys brought along a considerable amount of beer smuggled in their baggage. They shared with some of the others, but I was much too nervous to do any drinking. I remember one of the bigger boys boasting as to how he was going to breeze through this training—he wasn’t about to take any guff from the drill sergeants.

With each stop along the way, our car became more crowded with more boys on their way to this infamous place with an exotic-sounding name—Parris Island.

Most of us were asleep when the conductor shouted out that this was our stop—Beaufort, South Carolina. I stepped off the train with a cigarette in my mouth. The next thing I knew it flew off somewhere into space with what I thought were a few of my teeth. This cantankerous Marine fellow, wearing a hat I’d last seen on a bear with a shovel in his paw on National Forest Service posters, was screaming for us to do something. I had no idea then how symbolic that hat was nor that I myself would someday wear it.

Everyone was running in circles, bumping into each other, falling down. The greeting Marine was screaming, “MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!” which we were certainly doing, but had no idea where to. I heard someone crying out for his mother. Another boy was screaming for help—surprisingly, it was the one who bragged about not taking any guff from the drill sergeants.

It was unbelievable. Absolute chaos ensued. Finally, after several minutes of the Marine shouting at us, he pointed to a building. We all ran towards it, jamming the doorway, attempting to get through it and out of the way of the wrath we had encountered.

Inside the building were steel beds stacked two high and bright lights in the ceiling, shades hanging over them. We were told to get in a rack. What the hell is a rack? we wondered. I didn’t recognize anything that might be a rack, so it was sheer chaos again as we all tried to figure out what exactly it was this fellow was directing us to get into.

Finally, someone jumped onto one of the steel beds whereupon we all followed suit; some beds even had two boys squeezed together. The Marine yelled, “FREEZE!” There was total silence except for the springs of the steel beds squeaking slightly as we all lay very still. He turned out the lights, and slowly paced up and down the center of the room while telling us we were shit, slimy civilian shit. We were in for one hell of a time when morning came, he warned, so we’d best get some sleep since it would be the last time we’d sleep for the next four months.

Welcome to boot camp!

I don’t know how long I slept or if I even slept at all, but suddenly the lights came on and a loud banging sound awoke everyone as a Marine was screaming at us to get in front of our racks. The large metal trash can he’d thrown was still rolling around the floor as we scrambled from our supremely uncomfortable beds—now to be known as ‘racks’. We were then herded outside onto a greyhound-type bus. I had no idea what time it was except that it was pitch black and cold.

As I was boarding the bus, I remembered the manila envelope, which I had absent-mindedly left lying on my rack. I was to have surrendered it to the appropriate person upon arrival—my first responsibility as a Marine and I’d blown it. I really did not want to approach the Marine in charge, but I had no choice since I had to retrieve that envelope. I reluctantly approached him to tell him that I “needed to go back into the building to ….” I never finished the sentence. He was screaming and spitting saliva in my face. I had no idea what he was saying, but I sure wasn’t going to ask him to repeat it. He shoved me towards the building. I ran in, found the envelope, and scrammed back outside. By the time I returned to the bus, I was the last one to board thereby forcing me to sit up front next to the ill-tempered, Smokey Bear hatted Marine. I developed goose bumps as I took my seat, so close to this fearsome devil that I was expecting him to chew my head off just for kicks.

I distinctly remember the bus passing through a gate and seeing the Marine sentry smiling as we drove past. It was a long ride from the gate through swamps on both sides of the road. I could see nothing out the window—no lights—nothing that gave a hint of civilization.

We finally came to some buildings whereupon we were herded off the bus into a classroom filled with school chairs, the types that have a small desk attached to them. There were several other Marines waiting there for us.

After much shouting for us to find a seat and sit our slimy asses in it, they had us fill out a post card addressed to our parents. We were told to write them that we had arrived safe and would write again later. Then they hurried us into another part of the building where we went through a line with a metal tray held out in front of us while someone piled food onto it. We ate in total silence. When we finished—mind you, this was not as leisurely a breakfast as we had been accustomed to at home—we were herded back into the classroom.

The sun was just rising on our first morning as recruits—literally as well as symbolically.

 

PS. From this day on my life changed forever!

 

Deployed US Navy Has A Pregnancy Problem,

And It’s Getting Worse!
Come on folks, it doesn’t take a genius to have foreseen this problem, you need not even have served. Anybody should be able to understand the problem here. We can thank the idiots pictured here for this disaster. Navy ships at sea MUST be combat ready at all times, capable of going to battle stations at a moments notice, they are essentially in harm’s way once they leave port. You ask why is the defense budget so high, yet we are lacking spare parts, ammunition, and flyable ready air craft? Wake up Americans, as much as I hate to say it that also includes Democrats like Pelosi, et al. This, along with all the many other social experiments imposed by these folks need to be stopped if we are going to be able to cut taxes and institute President Trumps promises. I really dislike picking on our Navy, but they are the ones that are always in harm’s way and they are being degraded by these idiotic policies.
     
Richard Pollock
Reporter
9:28 PM 03/01/2017
 
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A record 16 out of 100 Navy women are reassigned from ships to shore duty due to pregnancy, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.
 
That number is up 2 percent from 2015, representing hundreds more who have to cut their deployments short, taxing both their unit’s manpower, military budgets and combat readiness.  Further, such increases cast a shadow over the lofty gender integration goals set by former President Barack Obama.
 
Overall, women unexpectedly leave their stations on Navy ships as much as 50% more frequently to return to land duty, according to documents obtained from the Navy.  The statistics were compiled by the Navy Personnel Command at the request of TheDCNF, covering the period from January 2015 to September 2016.
 
The evacuation of pregnant women is costly for the Navy.  Jude Eden, a nationally known author about women in the military who served in 2004 as a Marine deployed to Iraq said a single transfer can cost the Navy up to $30,000 for each woman trained for a specific task, then evacuated from an active duty ship and sent to land.  That figure translates into $115 million in expenses for 2016 alone.
 
 
“This is an avoidable cost and expense, leaving a gap for other people to pick up the work slack,” Eden said.
 
“A pregnancy takes you out of action for about two years. And there’s no replacement,’ said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a nonpartisan public policy organization. “So everybody else has to work all that harder,” adding that on small ships and on submarines, “you really have a potential crew disaster.”
 
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen told TheDCNF the Navy tries to plan for the unplanned.
 
“Just as we deal with other unplanned manning losses due to injury or other hardships, we work to ensure that pregnant service members are taken care of and that commands are equipped to fulfill their missions when an unexpected loss occurs,” he said.
 
In January 2015, 3,335 women were pregnant aboard military vessels, representing about 14 percent of the 23,735 women then serving such duty, according to the data.
 
But by August 2016 that number reached nearly 16 percent, an all-time high. The Navy reported 3,840 of the 24,259 women sailors who were aboard Navy ships were pregnant.
 
The Obama administration understated the pregnancy problem throughout its eight years and even suppressed some data about the impact of its “gender-neutral” policies on the Navy.
 
For decades, for instance, the Navy published results from exhaustive surveys of 25,000 men and women in a document called the “Navy Pregnancy and Parenthood Survey.”
 
The reports once were 75 to 100 pages long and disclosed attitudes among men and women and their behavior.  However, the Obama administration published only brief two to three-page summaries from 2012 onward.
 
A civilian attached to the Navy Personnel, Research, Studies and Technology group, which researched and published the surveys, told TheDCNF full reports were completed regularly even though it’s detailed findings were not released to the public. The individual requested anonymity.
 
“The military has been tight lipped over the years about these numbers.  They don’t like to publicize them,” Eden told TheDCNF.
 
The Navy has been dogged for years by lingering claims that some women get pregnant simply to avoid deployment.
 
“We all know that happens. Women do it to avoid deployment,” Eden told TheDCNF.
 
There do seem to be coincidences,” said Donnelly. “There is a lot of anecdotal evidence.”
 
“This information is considered so sensitive. You just don’t talk about it. And you don’t ask. It’s just something that everybody knows occurs. Don’t ask, don’t tell,” Donnelly said. She served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and on the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces.
 
The sudden departure of pregnant women aboard military vessels severely hurts military readiness and morale for those left behind and who must pick up the slack. The expecting sailors must be transferred from a ship after the 20th week of pregnancy.
 
The Navy officially considered pregnancy incompatible with military service and women who became pregnant were automatically discharged, according to The Alliance for National Defense.
 
However, with the introduction of the all-volunteer military, the Navy provided many lucrative incentives to men and women — including free housing, medical care, recreation and educational opportunities.
 
But women got additional benefits, including free prenatal care, daycare, counseling, and special education for toddlers and children with disabilities or for other “special needs.”
 
“Since benefits offered to recruits who are women are so very generous, it almost becomes an incentive,” said Donnelly.  “One feminist advocate many years ago referred to the military as a ‘Mecca for single moms.’”
 
“I think there are so many carrots.  The military has become a modern-day jobs program,” Eden said.
 
Obama during his eight years in office sought to increase dramatically the number of women on ships.
 
In May 2015, Admiral Michelle Howard announced a quota of 25% women on all ships. “We’re going back and looking at the ships — all of them — and what percentage of women are on the ships. Over time, we’ll modernize them to make sure we get to about 25 percent on each ship,” she said.
 
Former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in September 2015 pushed the new policy, stating that the Navy SEALs and all other combat jobs in the Navy should be open to women, with no exemptions as part of the Pentagon’s new “gender-neutral” employment policy.
 
Eden believes the policy of increasing women on ships results in failure. “It’s bad policy when you think of ships that have to be battle-ready and then have to transfer women off for pregnancy — something that has to do with controlled behavior or voluntary behavior,” she said.
 

It is unclear how President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will handle women in the military.  He has been a skeptic, but also said during his confirmation hearing he would support a combat role for women.