Mark Caserta: Liberals in denial over Trump’s wins for America

30 Mar

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Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

3.30.2018

 

state of trump

The Trump presidency is benefiting America in many ways. Among them is exposing liberals for whom they really are – partisan extremists who apparently despise Donald Trump more than they love their own country.

I was certainly not a fan of President Obama, but when he did something good for our nation, albeit seldom, I supported him. Sadly, liberals are choosing to selfishly relinquish our nation’s prosperity rather than support President Trump.

For nearly a year and a half, liberals have done everything from propagating fake Russian collusion to interviewing hookers and adult film stars to discredit this president.

I can’t help but shake my head when I see the mainstream media, as well as local columnists, focusing on Trump’s “womanizing,” his “associations” or his time spent on the golf course as examples of how he isn’t “fit” or “qualified” to be president of the United States.

Where were these liberal cynics during the “porno-presidency” of Bill Clinton, during which no less than eight women accused “slick Willy” of everything from sexual misconduct to rape during his controversial political career? Yet, he’s become iconic to liberal Democrats!

Where were the progressive dissenters during the “socialist presidency” of Barack Obama when questions arose regarding his association with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn, unrepentant terrorists with the Weather Underground, an organization responsible for bombings, killings, violent protests and other anti-American activities during the 1960s and 1970s?

And if playing golf is a detriment, please! President Obama was on the fairways soon after tragedies such as the brutal beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State.

Don’t insult the intelligence of the American people with your double-standard assault against our president. It’s clear your wrath is birthed from your realization Donald Trump is rapidly eradicating the progress liberals enjoyed during the Obama presidency.

And conservatives, “let not your hearts be troubled” as the mainstream media attempt to persuade Americans the Trump administration is in chaos. These are the same left-wing prognosticators who assured you Hillary would win in a landslide.

So, while liberals languish in progressive denial, let’s delight in some of Trump’s accomplishments, shall we?

President Trump gave Americans a huge tax cut by passing GOP tax-reform reducing individual rates as well as corporate rates. Apple Inc. will reportedly bring hundreds of billions of overseas dollars back to the U.S. and pay about $38 billion in taxes, while investing billions on domestic jobs, manufacturing and data centers in coming years, per Fortune.

Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court to succeed the late Antonin Scalia was a tremendous win for Americans. This preserved the court’s narrow conservative majority and paved the way to improve that majority moving forward.

Cutting massive government regulation for businesses has truly been a signature win for President Trump, prompting a resurgence in the energy industry. The president also expanded oil drilling in the Arctic and Gulf of Mexico and approved the Keystone XL pipeline rejected by his predecessor.

President Trump empowered our military commanders to effectively deal with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, rendering them virtually powerless in the region, saving countless lives.

And as our nation’s GDP continues to climb, our economy is surging and jobs are rapidly returning for all demographics.

President Trump may act a little unorthodox at times, but that’s OK. It’s refreshing to have a president unconcerned about being politically correct.

So, despite liberals attempting to distract Americans from his accomplishments, President Trump is proving he loves his country much more than playing politics with feckless swamp dwellers.

Stop taking your hatred of Trump, out on your country!

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger and a Cabell County resident.

 

Mark Caserta: Each of us has a role in defending our republic

24 Mar

me

Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

Mar 23, 2018

america

 

 

Following the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a citizen, “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” It is said, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

So, how have we done, as citizens, to “keep” our republic? Have we guarded it in a manner befitting our forefathers’ vision?

At the Battle of Gettysburg, 50,000 brave men died in three days. Shortly afterward, President Abraham Lincoln consecrated the ground in a speech famously known as The Gettysburg Address. Lincoln’s remarks, while short, were meant to resonate forever in the hearts of men and women across this great land.

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

But has the flame in Lincoln’s oratory dimmed over time? Nearly 150 years later, are our hearts resolved “that these dead shall not have died in vain,” and this nation under God shall be swaddled in the freedoms provided by their sacrifice?

Frankly, the number of people in our country who aren’t engaged with its governing is troubling. Many with whom I’ve spoken simply say it doesn’t interest them.

But our elected officials were hired to frame, within the Constitution, the very environment in which we live and raise our families! Not only should you be interested, you should be helping facilitate their representation!

Our freedoms are envied around the world, and there are entities, both foreign and domestic, that would render them void or transform them into something unrecognizable. And I submit, we’ve entrusted those freedoms to our elected representatives and they should be held accountable for protecting them.

A classic film directed by Frank Capra nearly eight decades ago always reminds me of the vulnerability of freedom within our own government.

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is the story of Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart), leader of the Boy Rangers, who is appointed by the governor of his state to the Senate, where he is teamed with his state’s senator and childhood hero, Sen. Joseph Paine.

As with many “junior” politicians who have “visions of grandeur” for their constituents, Sen. Smith discovers the multiple deficiencies of politics, including his hero, Paine. He falls prey to the “so-called” political machine, which after failing to corrupt him, attempts to destroy him with a “fake news” scandal.

But, Smith, with some coaching from a savvy political assistant, learns just enough of the Senate’s parliamentary procedure to filibuster the chamber until his message of truth emerged.

Where are the Jefferson Smiths today? Is it possible they’ve become so mired in the swamp they can’t or won’t be heard above the fray?

If so, it’s because we’ve permitted it.

We witnessed in the 2016 presidential election how engaged voters can bring the political machine to a grinding halt. Subsequently, we’re witnessing government being returned to the people in an unprecedented timeline. Together, we helped return our nation on the path to greatness.

Our representatives weren’t hired to do our thinking. America is only as strong as your knowledge and engagement.

Your voice is crucial. Your vote is non-negotiable. Your duty is clear.

You are “We the People,” defender of the Republic. Will you help keep it?

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

 

The Washington Free Beacon: Congress Gives Itself a Bonus in Omnibus

22 Mar

congress

Senate increases budget by $48 million, salaries by $12 million

BY: Elizabeth Harrington
March 22, 2018 4:15 pm

The House and Senate increased their own budgets in the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package.

The Senate increased its total salaries of officers and employees by $12.6 million in the 2,232-page bill that lawmakers had fewer than 48 hours to read and vote on. The bill avoids a government shutdown that would take place at midnight on Friday.

Aside from giving their own institutions a bonus, the omnibus also gives away millions to prevent “elderly falls,” promote breastfeeding, and fight “excessive alcohol use.”

The legislation increases the Senate budget to $919.9 million, up $48.8 million from fiscal year 2017, according to the congressional summary of the bill.

“The increase provides funding necessary for critical modernization and upgrades of the Senate financial management system and investments in IT security,” the summary states.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives increased its budget to $1.2 billion, which is $10.9 million above 2017 levels.

Salaries of staffers in the Senate are also set for an increase. Division I of the legislation breaks down the total salaries of officers and employees, which are being raised from $182 million in 2017 to $194.8 million in the final bill, an increase of $12.58 million.

The Senate also increased its expense account, as expense allowances are going from $177,000 to $192,000, an increase of $15,000.

The House, however, kept its budget for salaries the same at $22.3 million and lowered expenses by $4.4 million.

Committee offices got an increase of $22.9 million in salaries, from $181.5 million in 2017 to $204.4 million in the final bill.

The omnibus also boosts funding for health research, including a $3 billion increase to the ever-growing budget of the National Institutes of Health.

Health care spending in the omnibus includes $4 million to combat “excessive alcohol use” through a CDC prevention and health promotion program.

Another $15 million goes to study “high obesity counties” and an increase of $5 million for the CDC program that seeks to “address obesity in counties” by leveraging “the community extension services provided by land grant universities who are mandated to translate science into practical action and promote healthy lifestyles.”

The bill also spends $2.05 million to prevent “elderly falls” and $8 million in the form of “breastfeeding grants.”

The legislation also mandates the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to improve “wine label accuracy.”

The House passed the spending package Friday, and the Senate is expected to follow.

 

More California Cities Seek to Defy ‘Sanctuary State’ as Revolt Spreads

21 Mar

sanct

Bill Wechter / AFP / Getty

by JOEL B. POLLAK

21 Mar 2018

More California cities may consider defying the state’s “sanctuary state” laws, after the city council of Los Alamitos passed an ordinance defying the state’s controversial new legislation preventing cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

Leaders of Los Alamitos, in Orange County, passed the ordinance 4-1 and instructed the city attorney to file an amicus brief in the ongoing Department of Justice lawsuit against the State of California. The lawsuit challenges the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (HB 450), the Inspection and Review of Facilities Housing Federal Detainees law (AB 103); and the California Values Act (SB 54).

The Orange County Register reports that other cities — and even Orange County itself — are now thinking of following suit (original links):

The County of Orange and several cities in Southern California soon might join Los Alamitos in its bid to opt out of a controversial state law that limits cooperation with federal immigration officials.

Officials with the county as well as leaders in Aliso Viejo and Buena Park said Tuesday they plan to push for various versions of the anti-sanctuary ordinance approved in Los Alamitos late Monday by a 4-1 vote of that city council.

Immigration advocates said Los Alamitos and cities and counties that follow its opt-out ordinance will be violating state law and at risk of litigation.

But Los Alamitos’ anti-sanctuary push also received wide attention in conservative media, and gained support from those who don’t agree with California’s protective stance on all immigrants, regardless of legal status.

Orange County is a key battleground in 2018, both at the state and federal levels. Democrats are hoping to pick up several U.S. House seats in the county, which voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 — the first time in decades that the traditionally conservative county had backed a Democrat.

But Republicans are backing a recall of State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) for voting to raise the gas tax. A ballot initiative to repeal the gas tax hike could also bring Republicans out to vote. And the immigration issue is likely to fuel turnout even more.

Proponents of the Los Alamitos legislation argued that the state was forcing local officials to defy their oath to the Constitution, and that the new ordinance was faithful to the rule of law.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Read More Stories About:

Big GovernmentBreitbart CaliforniaImmigrationConstitutionIllegal AliensLos AlamitosOrange CountySanctuary State

 

Mark Caserta: Sanctuary cities are not above the law

16 Mar

me

Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

Mark 16, 2018

 

sanctuary pic

March 16, 2018

 

Illegal immigration is one of the most politically charged topics of our time, and rightfully so. Dealing with it is one of the promises that helped Donald Trump win the presidency. So true to form, President Trump is honoring his commitment to the American people.

Last week, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions announced he was suing California over “sanctuary” laws for illegal immigrants. While the definition is vague, sanctuary cities place themselves above the law by imposing local or state laws prohibiting city employees, funds or resources from assisting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in enforcing federal immigration law.

Understand, Sessions isn’t asking California to “enforce” any immigration law – simply to get out of the way and allow ICE to do its job!

This reckless disregard for federal law endangers the lives of U.S. citizens, as well as the lives of law enforcement working to protect Americans. Two weeks ago, Oakland, California, Mayor Libby Schaaf audaciously notified residents of an imminent raid by ICE, preparing criminals in advance.

This should be outrageous to any sensible human being, but understand these are liberals, and the term “sensible” doesn’t apply to liberals from a conservative perspective.

In fact, in stark comparison, look at what the ultra-liberal Obama administration did in 2010, when they sued Arizona over the state’s efforts to “enforce” federal law by cracking down on illegal immigrants. The Arizona law, signed by then Gov. Jan Brewer, gave police the power to question anyone who they had a “reasonable suspicion” was an illegal immigrant. While the U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of the law (5-3), it let stand a provision allowing police to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws.

So, why are we at risk by not enforcing border security?

The U.S. Department of Justice documents “that in 2014, 19 percent, or over 12,000 criminal cases filed by prosecutors in the U.S., were for violent crimes, and over 22 percent, or 13,300 cases were for drug related felonies.” The same year, the U.S. Sentencing Commission reported that “75 percent of all criminal defendants who were convicted and sentenced for federal drug offenses” and “one-third of all federal prison sentences” involved illegal immigrants, as reported in a 2017 column by Roy Martinelli, a columnist for “The Hill.”

This liberal fight for open borders isn’t about civil rights or compassion. It’s about progressive Democrats building a dependable voter base. And frankly, “damned” be the rights of U.S. citizens and our nation’s sovereignty. Liberal Democrats seem more passionate about protecting the rights of illegal immigrants in the U.S. than they do for protecting lawful U.S. citizens.

And liberals never discuss crimes committed by illegal immigrants related to procuring fraudulent Social Security numbers, obtaining false drivers licenses, using fake green cards and flooding our social welfare system on your nickel!

The radical, liberal desire for open borders spells danger for every American.

We are a nation of laws. There must be consequences for states, cities, jurisdictions and people who harbor illegal immigrants. California, hopefully, will be the first of many.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: W.Va. leads the nation in troubling statistic

9 Mar

me

Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

3.9.2018

pregnant

 

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report was released last week, and once again the Mountain State received dubious recognition.

Per the report, about 1 in 14 women who gave birth in the United States in 2016 smoked cigarettes during pregnancy. This equated to about 7.2 percent of all expectant mothers. But while the percentage of pregnant smokers varied from state to state, guess which state led the pack. West Virginia.

The prevalence of pregnant mothers smoking was highest in West Virginia, where 25.1 percent of women reportedly smoked at some point during their pregnancy.

With what we’ve learned about nicotine, this is very troubling.

Growing up, my parents didn’t know the risks involved in smoking. In fact, cigarette ads were prevalent in all forms of media until 1970, when our nation was alerted to the health risks involved with smoking cigarettes and advertising was banned.

Sadly, I watched as cigarette smoking caused my mother and father multiple health issues, eventually taking them from us, way too early in life. I still have family members and friends who struggle with tobacco products. I understand nicotine is a terribly addictive substance.

Today, per the CDC, cigarette smoking causes about 1 of every 5 deaths in the United States each year. That’s staggering. Electronic cigarettes, while generally having fewer harmful substances than cigarette smoke, are still not safe to use during pregnancy.

Here are the risks associated with smoking while pregnant, per the CDC:

n Smoking slows your baby’s growth before birth, and the child may be born too small.

n Your baby may also be born too early (premature birth). Premature babies often have health problems.

n Smoking can damage your baby’s developing lungs and brain. The damage can last through childhood and into the teens.

n Smoking doubles your risk of abnormal bleeding during pregnancy and delivery, which can put both you and your baby in danger.

n Smoking raises your baby’s risk for birth defects, including cleft lip, cleft palate or both. A cleft is an opening in your baby’s lip or in the roof of the child’s mouth (palate). He or she can have trouble eating properly and is likely to need surgery.

n Babies of moms who smoke during pregnancy, as well as babies exposed to cigarette smoke after birth, also have a higher risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

A CDC column shared a smoking mother’s experience.

Amanda smoked while she was pregnant. Her baby was born 2 months early and was kept in an incubator. “I’ll never forget her tiny little cry,” Amanda said. “It wasn’t like the cries you hear, you know, a loud, screaming, typical baby cry. It was just this soft, little cry.”

Please understand, I’m not being judgmental. I’m asking you to think twice before you light up that cigarette, anytime, but certainly when the health of your beautiful baby is at risk.

May God give you the strength and wisdom to make the right choices for your health and your child’s.

I’m believing you’ll do the right thing.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

 

Doug Smith: Checks and Balances: Part 2

4 Mar

doug 2

Doug Smith:  Free State Patriot history and social editor

3.4.2018

checks and balances

Now these founders of ours were educated men, and as such, very aware of the recent history in England of the Stuarts, Civil War, and disquiet over the rule of Kings. It must surely have occurred to them that had Charles I disarmed his subjects early on, he might have kept his throne, and, not incidentally, his head. But the outlook for the British people would have been very different, and worse.

There are 3 joined concepts that are not talked about nearly enough, to our detriment. They are authority, responsibility, and accountability.  Authority means I have the power to achieve my will. Responsibly means that the results of my actions are my property. And accountability means that I reap what I sow, for good or ill.

Now if I have authority without the other 2, I can do pretty much whatever I want, and there is nothing to stop me from abusing my power to settle grudges or take what I want. Would you care to come before the court of Judge Roy Bean? Or, for that matter, before Henry VIII. Ask Anne Boleyn about authority without accountability. It’s an easy way to lose one’s head. (Sorry, Anne.) Power without checks has led to some pretty awful behaviors.

Responsibility alone is a pretty crappy deal as well. Ask Captain Charles McVay. The CO of the Cruiser USS Indianapolis, he was sent into the South Pacific on a top-secret mission. Denied information on Japanese Submarines in his Op Area, and refused his Destroyer escort, and having his SOS ignored, and not being reported as overdue for 4 days due to the top-secret nature of his mission, he had the misfortune to lose his ship, and hundreds of his crew to shark attacks. The safety of the Indy was his responsibility, but he was shackled. He was the only CO in WW2 to be Court Martialed for losing his ship in combat. He committed suicide in 1968.

As for accountability without the other 2, that was beautifully summed up by Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist: Oliver Twist:

Mr. Brownlow: The law assumes that your wife acts under your direction.
Mr. Bumble: If the law supposes that, then the law is a ass, a idiot! If that’s the eye of the lawthen the law is a bachelor.

Married men will smile, hoping their wives do not notice. But the point is made: if you hold me accountable for that which I cannot control, then you are a ass, a idiot.

Which brings us back to Checks and Balances.  It is the common sense and wisdom earned through conflict and suffering that inspired the founders to build a system of laws and governance in which, to the best degree they could, authority was check, and balanced with responsibility and accountability.

The system works well, when it works. It has had some appalling failures. The President has executive authority to enforce and carry out laws. If he does not do so, or if the people find that the laws, once enforced are not palatable, they can seek redress through the courts, which may rule on their Constitutionality, or through the Congress, which may repeal or enact new laws.

The repeal of Prohibition was a fine example of checks and balances correcting poorly thought out unintended consequences. Carrie Nation hated liquor, but never imagined that the pressure to enact a national prohibition would create Al Capone.

A fine example of the failures is the many laws Congress passes on the rest of us, while exempting themselves. For example, if I know my company is about to do something that will likely push its stock price up, I’m forbidden by law from acting on that knowledge for a certain period. It is called insider trading, and is considered unfair advantage, and Congress has made it illegal.

Except, of course, for Congress. A Congressman or Senator may buy up stock in a company in the morning, then vote to give them a billion-dollar government contract in the afternoon. If you or I did such a thing, we would join Michael Milken or Bernie Madoff in prison. When Harry Reid did it, he became wealthy.

And this brings me back to my premise: we need a return to understanding Civics, and the basis of our society. Everyone, not just the history buffs, need to be outraged and abuses and violations of our Constitutional laws. But we can’t if we have no idea what they are. And that is how many entrenched in the halls of power get away with it. To our detriment.

The design of the founders was that the 3 branches, co-equal, would balance total power in any one, and each would have the power to check the excesses of the other. Congress may pass laws, which the courts may strike down and unconstitutional. Congress, in turn, may redefine the area of the Courts’ concern. The President may pressure Congress for laws he desires and must enforce the laws that are passed. He may veto bills, but Congress may overturn his veto. And ultimately, we, the people, carry the awesome responsibility of the vote. If we continue scoundrels in office because they are the party of our daddy, or our union, or our buddies, we will deserve the rule of scoundrels which plagues us.

Understanding our laws and the basis of our society also pushes us toward certain norms of behavior, simply because “it just is not done”.  When I was in school, I had guns. I had a gun and could shoot it accurately by the time I was 12. I also got angry at people. Occasionally, that erupted into us rolling on the ground bashing each other’s faces. (You should have seen the other guy) It resulted in some responsibility and accountability (guard your mouth, lest at some point you inspire someone to bash it. Ah, lesson learned.) It never occurred to me, or to any of us, that the solution was to run home and get a rifle. It simply was not done. Nor did we dare to hit a girl. Certainly, not if anyone could see. It just was not done. And we knew, would not be tolerated. In our rush to tolerance, we seem to have forgotten that there are things we ought not to tolerate.

Now, like government checks and balances, norms are not perfect, and surely you can imagine exceptions. But like our government, it works better than most, and learning about it, and those norms, is a good first step toward more civil society. Eliminating the checks of the people on our elected leaders, and the checks of disapproval and shame on our fellows is a path toward chaos.

Can we fix all this? I don’t know. Can we try? Surely. Is it worth it?

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