Special Olympics DOE funding – Political grandstanding targets DeVos

The reporting on this subject is absolutely horrendous. One article headline reads ‘I still can’t understand why you would go after disabled children!’

Politicians love to grandstand. In the age of Trump, quite a few elected officials have gone off the deep end with their soundbites and statements. Betsy DeVos, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education is a favorite target of the left. It’s not unusual to see comments on websites and social media calling her an evil witch, heartless and sub-human. Some flatly state she should be in prison.

But this post is not about DeVos. It’s about the absurd claims made by statist Democrats who blow things totally out of proportion with outrageous soundbites, and the media who are complicit through their total lack of intellectual honesty.

First, let me start with a disclaimer. I think the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) should be shuttered tomorrow*. Totally close it down. I realize that will not happen, but am willing to ensure the process gets started by eliminating special earmarks to start. That is what the proposed budget does. Many of the earmark cuts – 29 programs totaling $6.7 billion – are for programs that show little or no evidence of meeting objectives, or programs more appropriately supported through local, state and private funds.

If you look at the proposed budget, you can get into the details. You’ll note no news sites – at least that I could find – provided a link to the proposal. Specifically referring to the Special Olympics program grant award, the proposal states…

Such activities are better supported with other Federal, State, local, or private funds.

I agree, but how much money are we talking about here? What does the $17.6 million cut actually represent? For that, you’ll need to do a bit of research. (By the way, a note to Rolling Stone … no, it’s not 10 percent of the organization’s budget, you purposefully ignored all of the state organizations so you’re WAY too high.)

Let’s ask why most of the news articles about DeVos, the DOE and the Special Olympics dive into what percentage of funding the DOE provided to the organization in the past. Few – and certainly not one politician who “grilled” or “blasted” DeVos – asked about it. I started the research the media should be doing to inform the public. I did not determine the percentage since it would take too much time to collect the data.

From what I can gather this morning, Special Olympics in the USA is made up of at least 50 individual 501(c)3 non-profits, plus the home organization based in DC. Some states have multiple organizations filing returns independently. Our donations to this great organization are tax deductible. Contributing our time is the fun and rewarding part.

On the revenue side in 2017, the main organization took in $116 million, while providing $28 million in grants and assistance to what I assume would be the state organizations. Salaries and benefits at the main organization in 2017 totaled $23 million. The Special Olympics national organization earned $5.7 million in investment income, not included in the $116 million. This is from their Form 990, Returns of Organization Exempt from Income Tax for 2017.

I took a look at the publicly disclosed Form 990 for just eight state Special Olympic organizations. Line 8 on the form lists contributions and grants received. The numbers do not represent the total revenue, as they do not include program service revenue, investment income, or “other” income. These were the most recent 990s I could find for each of the states listed, some were 2016, some were 2017.

  • Connecticut – $5.1 million
  • Arizona – $5.2 million
  • Massachusetts – $5.3 million
  • Rhode Island – $1.6 million
  • New York – $6.8 million
  • California – $8.6 million
  • Texas – $6.7 million
  • Florida – $9.6 million

So the total for contributions and grants just for the eight states I researched is about $50 million. Do you think my information is important for this story? Does it provide additional insight? Did you learn something?

Politicians don’t care about insight, and have no interest in getting the full story to you. They would much rather have you only receive the information and soundbites they want you to hear. They grandstand knowing the media will support their narrative. It’s journalistic malpractice.

It’s better to get lines like “I still can’t understand why you would go after disabled children in your budget,” [Barbara] Lee [D-Calif.] said Tuesday. She continued, “You zero that out. It’s appalling.”

What makes it worse is the interviews with Special Olympians who think this means the end of the program…

One WaPost article headline?

‘I’m praying for the Special Olympics’: A special-needs athlete responds to Betsy DeVos

The author continued with sentences like this…

But on Tuesday, his athletic fate suddenly seemed to slip further from his control.

And here is a Twitter comment from a representative implying the end, by using the phrase “seeing their support taken away.”

In @BetsyDeVosED’s budget, there are major cuts to programs like the Special Olympics. Sec. DeVos didn’t know the number of kids who would be hurt by that cut, so I made sure she now knows that 272,000 kids are seeing their support taken away.

Plus you’ve got the Washington Post’s Twitter feed stating…

Five Trump trips to Mar-a-Lago would cover Betsy Devos’s proposed Special Olympics cuts

Is that even news? That’s a political hit and nothing more. Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post, is worth well more than $100 billion. Just one of Bezo’s New Glenn rockets costs $2.5 billion.

Why not tweet…

Just one of Bezo’s rockets could cover the proposed US DOE Special Olympics cuts for 125 years

This entire spectacle is just that. Do your research. Don’t trust what politicians say and remember most of the media is part of – if not absolutely running – the establishment left.

* We already have Departments of Education at the school, local, regional and state levels. This is why – in my opinion – the entire department is redundant. I wrote about shuttering of the federal DOE back in January 2012 and December 2011. Read those posts for additional insight.

Trump budget increases Medicare funding $4 trillion in next decade

After seeing dozens of news reports about “devastating cuts” to Medicaid, you might think the Trump budget reduces the amount of spending on Medicaid. In reality, the proposed spending for Medicaid would increase by $4.7 trillion during the next decade.

Welcome to the world of baseline budgeting. Forecasters assume spending will go up in future years, and if a new budget still spends more – but less than what was planned previously – the media gets to use the “cut” word and liberal politicians get to claim “this budget will kill people.”

I have a huge problem with the way the media deals with this. But it really should be expected, since most are in total support of the liberal agenda – and the goal to destroy the Trump administration. You’ll have to ask them why they refuse to take just a few moments to provide the real information, instead of dishing out not even half the story.

Let’s say you take over leadership of a large sports apparel marketing department. Your budget this year is $1 million, and your predecessor’s budget assumed a $100,000 increase in spending every year for the next 10 years. Eventually, the budget would be $2 million per year.

You’ve been hired to run the department more efficiently, while still providing a quality product and good service. You work with your team and come up with a budget that increases $50,000 each year for the next 10 years. Your budget will be $1.5 million per year 10 years from now.

After you release your budget plans and inform the media, the financial reporters announce you’re cutting the marketing budget to the tune of $500,000 over the next decade. How absolutely absurd is that?

That’s exactly what the mainstream media does. And the liberal politicians love it. They absolutely love to cry wolf, claiming the Republicans and the Trump administration have no problem with kids and adults dying with “no access” to health care. Right from the playbook.

ABC News is the only mainstream media outlet to attempt to explain this. That said, they still used the term “artfully evasive” when referring to Budget Director Mick Mulvaney’s real-world, easy-to-understand explanation. But still, right there in the story, they admit…

So, yes, Medicaid spending would increase by $4.7 trillion over a decade.

I guess they figured they had to explain things in a “AP Fact Check” article.

Below, is Mulvaney’s tutorial during a press conference earlier this week.

Wondering how bad it is? Just take a look at media headlines concerning Trump’s budget. Keep in mind, the proposed budget* does not cut funding dollars much at all, if anything. The federal government spends more and more every year.

The above are just a few of the examples. In my world, if you spend more money next year than you did this year, you’re increasing your budget. Sure, many will claim it’s “more complicated” implying you’re too stupid to understand. Many will state it’s important to look at budget numbers as a percentage of GDP. Many will state it’s important to consider inflation. Fine, do that if you wish, but stop claiming there are cuts. Be honest, and say the budget reduces the previous administration’s rate of growth. We’re spending more than previous years, just not as much as proposed previously.

Don’t let the media and Washington insiders brainwash you with claims of “devastating cuts” to any program when the federal government’s budget for those programs continues to grow.

* The Trump Administration did remove the budget [PDF format] from the White House website. Do you blame them? In the document they clearly show increases in spending, but the media ignores the facts. I don’t blame them for pulling it, why bother even publishing it if the media will lie about it?

CNN to DNC: Hey, we need questions for GOP candidate interviews

I don’t think my headline is stretching it all that much at all. Especially since the DNC’s Donna Brazile was fired by CNN for getting caught forwarding debate questions to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

On April 28, 2016, Lauren Dillon, the research director for the DNC, sent an email out to colleagues.

Subject: Cruz on CNN

CNN is looking for questions.

Please send some topical/interesting ones.

Maybe a couple on Fiorina.

Someone please take point and send them all together by 3pm.

Thank you!

So it’s clear someone from CNN contacted Dillon looking for questions to ask GOP candidates. I guess CNN staff do not have enough time or talent to do their own research and come up with questions. Does this prove collusion between the media and the DNC? Well how about another email sent by Dillon?

On April 25, 2016, Dillon sent another email out to DNC staff reminding them of her request the previous day.

Subject: Re: Trump Questions for CNN

Reminder

Kelly please take lead.

Folks, send your questions and any necessary backup to Kelly.

On Apr 24, 2016, at 10:24 PM, Dillon, Lauren <DillonL@dnc.org<mailto:DillonL@dnc.org>> wrote:

Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed.

Please send me thoughts by 10:30 AM tomorrow.

Thanks!

When Dillon asks people to send her “thoughts,” she’s using her role as the DNC researcher-in-chief (leader of opposition research) to collect questions for Blitzer at CNN to use during his interview. Again, Blitzer can not seem to come up with his own questions, so he goes to the DNC for help.

But there is more. This one week in April was pretty busy for the opposition research team at the DNC. Eric Walker, the deputy communications director at the DNC, had a research request for his staff. Lauren Dillon was also looped in. On April 21, 2016, Walker sent to the following email.

Subject: research request: top 10 worst Trump quotes?

Milbank doing a Passover-themed 10 plagues of Trump.

Off top of my head, I’m thinking:

  • Punish women
  • Mexicans as rapists
  • Ban Muslims
  • Shoot someone in middle of 5th ave
  • Rough up BLM protestor
  • Anchor baby
  • Do a lot worse than waterboarding
  • Blood coming out of her wherever
  • Spill beans on ted’s wife
  • Talked about penis on stage at debate

Any other big things I’m missing? And can you pull bullets for these?

Thank you!!

The “Milbank” Walker is referring to is Dana Milbank, and opinion writer for The Washington Post. Less than 24 hours after Walker’s email, Milbank’s article is posted at the Post’s website… The Ten Plagues of Trump.

I would never suggest there is no collusion between the GOP and conservative journalists and opinion writers. In my opinion, this is why we need an extreme shake-up to the governing elite in this country. The establishment political class are all buddy-buddy with the Fourth Estate – The Press – who should be more involved with investigative journalism, coming up with their own damn questions, and reporting truth instead of trying to “make news.”

You’ll note we’re not seeing the original requests from CNN or The Post to the DNC. Back channels. You have the “work” email and then you have the somewhat cryptic free email accounts used by everyone in this great swamp. The stuff nobody wants to reveal is hidden in GMail and Yahoo account discussions. We’ve seen that proven thousands of times in the Podesta GMail leaks.

 

 

 

Clinton has wanted to hide communications for years

If you think Secretary Clinton’s kerfuffle with emails started when she became Secretary of State in 2008, you’d be incorrect. Prior to her US Senate run in the late 1990s – just as her husband President Clinton was winding down his final term in office – Clinton expressed terror at the thought of her email communications being exposed through freedom of information requests.

In this clip from an ABC News 20/20 segment on Clinton bundler and felon Peter Paul, home video catches Clinton mid-discussion concerning email communications.

Clinton stated…

As much as I’ve been investigated and all that, why would I … why would I want to do email? Can you imagine?

In an interview with Andrea Mitchell from NBC News, Clinton claimed they “didn’t really stop and think what kind of email system will there be.” She was lying, and the video from the Peter Paul fundraising event pretty much confirms she was concerned about hiding communications from view more than 16 years ago.

Clinton's New Email Excuse: She "Wasn't Thinking A Lot About It"

Wow! Now Hillary Clinton says she wasn't really thinking when she decided to use a private email server as Secretary of State. See More here: https://goo.gl/2XESM5

Posted by America Rising PAC on Friday, September 4, 2015

Of course, many millennials who were not politically aware – and many of us older – have mostly forgotten all of the crap that was happening as Bill Clinton was leaving office and Hillary Clinton was getting geared up for her Senate campaign. Here is the full 20/20 report. I would not doubt it if ABC News block the video, but if they do, I challenge them to put the full report online with commercials instead of hiding it.

 

Stop visiting conspiracy websites

As a follow up to my You’re getting your news wrong piece a couple of weeks ago, let’s now review the “conservative” and “libertarian” conspiracy websites you should simply avoid. You’ll have to excuse my language in this post.

Similar to fake news websites, conspiracy websites make their living off click-bait headlines that are totally over-the-top. Here is a perfect example from Gateway Pundit, Infowars, and many others last week. The headline? Warning – “Day of Rage” scheduled by BLM for this Friday in multiple cities.

Bull shit. Total and complete BS. But you fell for it didn’t you?

Once you click through to one of the dozens of websites who pushed this garbage, you’ll get a listing all of the cities, locations and times for the “Day of Rage” supposedly “organized” by anonymous BLM, and funded by George Soros. (I added the last part, you know … his name shows up everywhere so why not?)

So know let’s get this straight.

  1. Someone anonymously creates a fictitious story and posts it online,
  2. Websites you think to be credible pick them up and drive traffic to their site so they can get hits and get paid, and…
  3. Because of all of the social media sharing, some credible news outlets pick it up, and…
  4. Because of the social media and news outlets picking it up, cops get called in for overtime, and…
  5. Nothing happens.

That’s right … nothing happens. But they got you all spun-up didn’t they? They got you to share the posts via social media didn’t they? You copied and posted it to Internet forums didn’t you?

So how does Gateway Pundit – who used to be pretty reliable – cover for passing along a totally fabricated story? Over the weekend they claimed protests “failed miserably.” Failed? Heck, they never were to happen in the first place. But you’re following along with the BS right?

You’re embarrassing yourself.

Note: I was in Times Square Friday night. Nothing more than the normal fruits and nuts, plus a few Turkish flags were seen.

So this morning we get an email from another chap who stayed up all night, worried sick, over articles they read on Infowars and another conspiracy site called Before It’s News. No, I’m not providing you links… You see, they claim the AP admits UN troops will impose martial law right here in the US!

Really? You’re embarrassing yourself. I can’t even figure out how anyone can get through reading the full article since there are so many pop-up advertising and clicks you have to make to read the “information.”

It’s total bull shit.

The email sent to us also claims Soros, President Obama and BLM are planning to take over America, cancelling conventions to ensure Obama will have to stay in office! And the BLM leader (who is that by the way?) is living in a house given to him by Soros! And Newt Gingrich has ties to the New World Order!

Oh, my, God, people…

Back to the “Day of Rage” that never was. Virtually the same exact anonymous false rumor was posted in August 2014. It even had the same locations listed. Not as many of you fell for it that time, but we will see it again. And conspiracy sites will post it again. And many of you will get all spun-up again. And not much of anything will happen.

Times Square … during the so-called “Day of Rage” last Friday night…

times-square

You’re getting your news wrong, all wrong

Bring on the comet! I’m not certain if I’m embarrassed for my fellow man, or ticked off at the ignorance many display when they find – and then share – the “news” read in a Facebook post, Instagram meme or other “news” websites. Take a step back from the keyboard and say this out-loud any time you’re about to comment, or share a news item or meme you find on the Internet. (I apologize for the language, but it’s necessary.)

“Most of the stuff I read on the Internet is total bullshit.”

Then, if the story seems over-the-top or contains any quote from Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, President Obama, or just about anything to do with guns, say this out-loud.

“This is certainly total bullshit.”

My approach may seem extreme, but it’s the only way we’ll save ourselves from total embarrassment.

Question everything, share nothing until you’ve checked at least six times to verify the information. If you are unwilling to follow these easy steps, you’re part of the problem. You’re also proving that you are totally ignorant about the subject and showing your uninformed bias. You’re a low-information person, who form their staunch, “justified” opinions quickly and without actual thought. Congratulations. I hope you don’t ever vote.

And don’t tell me that it “sounded like something he or she would say because of what they said in the past.” You idiot, that thing you heard “in the past” was most likely total bullshit as well.

If you are unwilling to put the time into understanding just the basics of the subject at hand, don’t comment on it or share it. It’s that simple.

The latest embarrassment showed up on my Facebook feed this morning. It linked to a fake news website targeting conservatives, libertarians and Republicans that has two buttons just below each headline; “Show Facts” and “Hide Facts.” I’m not kidding. That’s right, this parody website mixed one paragraph of facts, with five paragraphs of fake Sarah Palin quotes created from the mind of a totally delusional writer who is certainly chuckling about all the readers who will think their fiction is real and will share it.

Of course, you barely notice the “show” and “hide” buttons, and that’s all part of the plan to ensure you are dumbed-downed voters.

What’s disturbing is you’re reading this stuff and forming opinions based on total fiction. Then you’re sharing it with like-minded lemons who think it’s real. And then you vote! God, save us all.

The example is in the screen shots below. I really was tempted to leave the names in place to embarrass these folks, but this time I’ll cut them a break. No, I’m not providing a link or even the name of the website. Never even saw it before this morning, but it’s certainly totally full of complete bullshit targeting conservatives and Republicans. (There are sites targeting liberals and Democrats, so don’t think this is one-way stupidity.)

Facebook Thread

Note there were one or two folks who tried to point out this is totally fake.

facebook-feed-2

Fake News Story

Are they protected from liable laws by simply adding the show facts and hide facts buttons?

fake-news

Recent grand jury leaks match original police reports in Ferguson

Multiple leaks have seemingly come from insiders directly familiar with the Darren Wilson grand jury proceedings in Missouri during the last week. The grand jury is considering if Wilson, a police officer in Ferguson, was justified in killing Michael Brown on Aug. 4.

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NY Times takes 13 days to correct lie about Bush’s Iraq war coalition

Yeah, only two weeks to fix. I read this when the story came out and forgot to write about it. I’m pretty certain some other bloggers pointed it out immediately after it was published, but just today the New York Times published their correction.

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Evil school loan lenders versus the schools with all the money

On a pretty regular basis during the last few years, we’ve seen stories concerning “outrageous” student loan rates and “unbearably-high” student loan principal amounts. The target is almost always the evil private student loan industrial complex and the employers who just won’t pay these kids enough money to pay off their loans. Should they direct their disgust elsewhere?

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WFSB skips important facts in Long Beach, Calif. shooting incident

Just watching WFSB News at about 5:40 p.m. ET and Denise D’Ascenzo was reporting on the home invasion and shooting death of a criminal intruder, a “pregnant” 28-year-old woman in Long Beach, Calif. The video report excluded important facts.

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