Thursday, December 31, 2015

Education - America's bottomless pit

From the files of Michael Shannon at and The Whole Shebang (mostly)

The Washington Post ran a story this week that asked: “Does this 81-year-old hold the key to teaching kids how to understand math?”

Treating her as if she was some valuable relic washed ashore from Atlantis, the reporter explains Mary Johnson has been “teaching math in the District [since] the 1960s as if little time has passed.”
Which is a good thing; because Johnson spends her retirement years trying to undo the mathematical illiteracy imposed DC children by educrats.

She does it by cheerfully violating all the modern rules of “pedagogy” promulgated by the witch doctors of education.

"Pedagogy," by the way is a pretentious term used by the second–rate minds that run education schools. It really means "teaching," but if the "experts" used clear language the taxpayer might realize the extent of the scam that comprises government education today.

Anyway Mrs. Johnson is a great American.

You can read how she puts the ed borg in it's place by reading the rest of my Newsmax column

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience.

He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor and available on" Click here Read more of Michael Shannon's reports

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What difference does another year make?

From the art studios of A.F. (Tony) Branco at Comically

Grab Your Morning Coffee and Enjoy Branco Online

"Move over Rembrandt, Picasso, Stan Lee, here comes Branco. Okay, I'm hyperventilating. Tony combines beautiful drawings with biting politically incorrect wit and laugh out loud humor." - Larry Elder - TV and Radio personality at at Fox News and KRLM AM 870

Lighten things up! Political discussions and debates don't always have to be deep and long-winded arguments with points and counter points. Sometimes we just need to take a step back from it all and have a good laugh.

With so many discouraging things happening in our country lately, that's the only thing we can do to keep from crying. Conservative artist Antonio Branco is a master at encapsulating deep and complex issues in a simple comic.

Antonio isn't afraid to say what he thinks.


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We will kill all Islamic jihadi cockroaches

From the files of Colonel Allen B. West - Our next commander in chief better have the cojones  to say this to Islamic jihadis

You Can Run But You Will Only Die Tired - Hell Is Coming To Claim You

The Obama administration is now crowing about killing ten mid-level ISIS leaders. This is nothing more than a reaction to recent polls expressing Americans’ lack of confidence and trust in Obama’s dealing with Islamic terrorism.

There is anxiety and a sense of abject failure with President Obama’s handling of the global Islamic jihadist movement — and it is warranted. And ten guys, or the “retaking” of Ramadi — something that should have never happened — will not dissuade this sentiment.

All you have to do is look beyond the Middle East and see how it’s all falling apart. Just a week ago we lost six brave American Airmen in Bagram, Afghanistan. The combat theater commander, General Campbell, declared ISIS as being “operationally emergent” in Afghanistan.

All this has occurred in the combat theater of operations that isn’t supposed to be a combat zone, as unilaterally declared by Barack Obama — hence the anxiety. And there is further proof that Obama has failed.

As reported by the Military Times, “Afghan police are refusing to return to the streets of a volatile southern district under Taliban attack, claiming that promised government help has not yet arrived, an Afghan official said Tuesday.

According to Karim Atal, the director of the Helmand provincial council, security forces are for now staying inside their base in Sangin district, where government forces have been fighting a Taliban takeover attempt for weeks.

Sangin is a major poppy-growing district in Helmand — the heartland of the Taliban — that produces most of the world’s opium, the cash crop that funds the insurgency.

In comments to The Associated Press, Atal also dismissed reports that a military clearing operation had begun in the district. Taliban attempts to overrun Sangin peaked last week when fighters besieged the base, cutting off supply lines for troops, ammunition and food.

Days later, acting Defense Minister Masoom Stanekzai said reinforcements of special forces and commandoes had been deployed. A series of U.S. airstrikes followed and a small contingent of British troops were deployed as advisers for the over-stretched Afghan forces, which eventually helped break the siege.”

We recently reported on the Taliban attack against Kandahar AB, a place I know very well, and prior to that, there was the major assault in northern Afghanistan where U.S. Special Operators and airstrikes had to engage.

So we’re all focused on Ramadi, because that’s what the media wants to cheerlead for Obama, but we hear little about Helmand Province and the Sangin River valley. It’s not that the enemy is stlll on the battlefield, the fact is they still command specified areas of the battlefield. They still maintain sanctuaries.

Ladies and gents, we still have some 380 days to go with President Barack Obama as commander in chief, sorry, I just have trouble typing that. The enemy knows the truth and realizes Obama is paralyzed by campaign promises and ideology.

Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if those five senior Taliban leaders were handling command and control operations from Qatar — if they haven’t somehow slipped back into Afghanistan. The global Islamic jihad grows and it’s not just expanding, it’s infiltrating, and that’s what the recent polling reflects.

The death of ten-mid level jihadi leaders, while nice, is not a strategic victory. Heck, it’s not even a tactical achievement. There are hundreds of thousands globally and we need a doggone big can of Raid for these cockroaches.

It’s up to us, the loyal patriots of America to elect new leadership that will send a message to the jihadists — you can run, but you will only die tired.

And I mean you WILL die…… (Click Here - There's More)

The Dirt Bag liberals want your refrigerator

From the art studios of Dan Youra at

(Click the Arrow on the Top Right Side)

Dan Youra is one of the outstanding conservative cartoonists in the trade today who follows in the footsteps of the great political cartoon masters, whose quotes inspire a new generation of followers.
"Outside of basic intelligence, there is nothing more important to a good political cartoonist than ill will." ~ Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist.
"Too many of today's artists regard editorial cartooning as a trade instead of a profession. They try not to be too offensive. The hell with that. We need more stirrer-uppers." ~ Bill Mauldin.
Youra was one of the first recipients of a Fulbright Scholarship and worked in Latin America. He served as an editor of Current Thought on Peace and War at the United Nations in New York.

"As long as there are politicians who continue to try and fool the voters, there is no chance of ever running out of material to work with because they create it themselves and about themselves," says Dan Youra.

Dan is the small business owner and operator of the Youra Studios located in the State of Washington.

Visit the Youra Studios at


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Hillary scared the livin' POOP out of me

Hillary the 'Organ Grinder' Grinds Up the Big Apple By Jeannie DeAngelis at The American Thinker

After the Washington Post published a political cartoon featuring Ted Cruz and his daughters Caroline, 7, and Catherine, 4, Hillary, the organ grinder, took her "dancing monkey" family for a walk in the Big Apple.

Hillary pounded the pavement with Bill; pro-choice daughter Chelsea, toting a female zygote who, thus far, has successfully survived the first trimester; and cherubic granddaughter Charlotte, who also outlasted the womb and is now a little over a year old.

In addition to the obvious stars of the show, the group dragged along hedge fund/investment banker son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky.

Trying desperately not to call attention to herself, Hillary, while holding onto the baby stroller like a walker, promenaded about, wearing a brightly colored Kashmir Company embroidered jacket she bought in Afghanistan in 2003. The colors on the jacket were so intricate that it actually stirred up images of the carpet fibers found on Clinton friend and associate Vince Foster's corpse when his body was found dumped in Fort Marcy Park.

Referred to in the press as a "festive walk," in addition to perusing a bookstore and eating ice cream, the ex-president and his presidential-hopeful wife, the former carpetbagger senator from the State of New York, smiled and waved to admirers.

Unlike 8 million sitting ducks who inhabit a city notorious for strict gun laws, the woman who called gun rights advocates "terrorists" was safely surrounded on all sides by heavily armed security on hand to protect the organ grinder and her quartet of monkeys from being shot at again by Bosnian snipers.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post published and retracted the holiday-themed caricature drawn by editorial cartoonist and Planned Parenthood Award winner Ann Telnaes. Ann's Christmas cartoon featured Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), dressed like Santa, as an organ grinder, and his two daughters dressed as dancing monkeys.

Prior to the Washington Post pulling the cartoon, Telnaes justified mocking Ted Cruz's small daughters in the following way:

But when a politician uses his children as political props, as Ted Cruz recently did in his Christmas parody video in which his eldest daughter read (with her father's dramatic flourish) a passage of an edited Christmas classic, then I figure they are fair game.

The Cruz ad referenced hot-button issues like failed Obamacare, Lois Lerner, and the IRS scandal, as well as a missing server belonging to a certain grandma prancing around New York with a pretentious smile on her face.

That's why; the liberal syndicated cartoonist was probably motivated more out of anger about the message in the spot-on parody than by the two little girls reading funny political Christmas stories with their dad.

Anyway, if the subject matter is really what the satirist is looking for, instead of drawing pictures of the children of Hispanic politicians as the dancing monkeys of a Mexican organ grinder, how about a cartoon depicting an ISIS sympathizer/San Bernardino jihadi bride named Tashfeen Malik?

Remember Tashfeen? She's the K-1 fiancée visa chick who slipped by DHS. Then, prior to her and her husband blowing away 14 people at a Christmas buffet, much like a desperate politician using a granddaughter to impress the Baby Boomer set, Tashfeen hid her radicalism from her neighbors by carrying her six-month-old daughter around.

Then again, maybe the woman who calls herself a "pushy Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist" is only looking to portray the family as props and children that like to mimic Mom and Dad. If that's the case, then Chelsea, Bill, Marc, little Charlotte, and the "clump of cells" due to be born this summer, if all goes well, are "fair game."

For starters, Ann should definitely take note of Mrs. Mezvinsky.

This is a lady who is an expert at imitating her mother.

Take, for instance, Chelsea, like Hillary, pretending to see a long lost friend in every gathering. Not only that, but before impersonating Mom's fake smile, and pointing excitedly to a person in the crowd who doesn't exist, Chelsea always claps along to the song that Hillary struts around in time to.

Granted, unlike Caroline Cruz's father, Hillary Clinton does not speak with the "dramatic flourish" that is signature Ted. However, Mrs. Clinton does speak with a delayed didactic tone that Chelsea seems to have picked up on and employed while doing things like getting paid $600,000 a year to work as a fake entry-level "special correspondent" at NBC.

Ann did creatively dress Cruz up in a Santa outfit. So why not do a whole series on the grandma in the Afghani coat of many colors under which, if she wanted to, Hillary could hide her Benghazi incompetence, her squeaky-clean server, and all those missing emails?

Then there's Bill; he's the grandpa who, when not on Orgy Island with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, or in Chappaqua with the alleged "Energizer Bunny," protectively steers his granddaughter's stroller and pretends to enjoy wandering around Manhattan with the woman to whom he is unfaithful.

Ann could also sketch a caricature of straggler-in-law Marc, who, along with Bill, took his rightful place following behind the world's most famous female organ grinder who, if she stands by her philosophy, should encourage her daughter to hand over baby Charlotte and her baby sister to be raised by the "village."

With that in mind, Ann Telnaes should be all over the flimflam Clinton family tour, which made the Cruz Christmas ad seem like cold, hard authenticity.

But if none of those ideas ring true, surely Ann Telnaes can come up with at least one cartoon featuring Hillary grinding the organ, while Bill the organ grinder dances on a leash.

Either way, when the cigar smoke clears, imperious Hillary, wearing sunglasses, wrapped in a multi-colored Mao-collared coat, dragging political props on a stage-managed march through Manhattan provided more subject matter for a political cartoon than two sweet little girls ever could.

Visit Jeannie's Blog at or catch her on Facebook

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Trump: Ringside Politics' Champion of the Year

From the files of Jeff Crouere at Ringsisde Politics on WLAE-TV 32 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Meet Jeff Crouere at Rigside Politics
For many years, we have bestowed a Ringside Politics Turkey of the Year Award to a worthy celebrity or politician. This designation is anything but flattering, so last year we decided to start a positive award category by recognizing an annual Champion of the Year.

The 2014 recipient was quite deserving, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Ever since he burst upon the national stage, Cruz has stood up for conservative values in the midst of withering criticism. He has run a very efficient and effective presidential campaign and is now unquestionably in second place in the national polls of Republican Party voters.

The frontrunner in the national polls is also the winner of the 2015 Ringside Politics Champion of the Year Award, Donald Trump. Even though the past year has been a crazy one in American politics, it has been dominated by one person, Donald Trump, who stole the spotlight from President Barack Obama.

Ever since he entered the presidential race in June, Trump has captured the media headlines. All of the other candidates have responded to his statements and his positions on the issues.

The public has responded very favorably to Trump’s politically incorrect message. While other politicians apologize on a regular basis for making controversial statements, Trump does the opposite, he doubles down.

Whether the issue is illegal aliens, the border wall, relations with Mexico, trade with China, Muslim immigration, or Hillary Clinton, Trump refuses to play the normal political games and let the media dictate the conversation.

His rallies generate massive crowds and enthusiasm. Unlike other candidates, Trump is not scripted and actually takes questions from the audience and the media. He will go on all of the national political shows, avoiding none of them, as opposed to Hillary Clinton who only appears on friendly programs.

In one respect, he has won all five of the presidential debates, because his presence has attracted massive viewership. The ratings for the GOP debates have been spectacular due to one person, Donald Trump. On the other side, the Democrat presidential candidates drew only 8 million viewers to their last debate on ABC, which is a paltry one-third of the audience that watched of the first Republican debate on Fox News.

All of the attention is due to the fact that Americans have never seen a presidential candidate like Donald Trump. He is a lifelong businessman who has been extremely successful building a real estate empire worth $10 billion. He has also valuable experience in the media by hosting a successful reality TV show, The Apprentice. What distinguishes Trump from the other candidates is not only his business background, but also his track record of accomplishment in the private sector, which is quite a contrast to most of his opponents, who are career politicians.

As a shrewd capitalist, Trump has run a very unorthodox and streamlined campaign, spending very little money. Since he generates such massive media attention, Trump does not need to traditional advertising to bolster name recognition. Nonetheless, he will start to advertise in the next month and spend some of his fortune to bolster his frontrunner status.

While most politicians have to spend precious time and energy raising funds, Trump can finance his entire campaign with little impact on his net worth. This gives Trump as major advantage over his opponents. Unlike other candidates who will be beholden to big donors, Trump is the ultimate independent candidate, beholden to no one except the voters who will determine whether he wins the presidential election or not.

A candidate that is not tied to special interests is a major threat to the Republican Party establishment, which is the reason GOP bigwigs have tried to thwart his campaign. These Republican Party insiders and powerbrokers have selected every Republican presidential nominee since Ronald Reagan, but they have no control over Trump.

It is very refreshing to see the elitists inside the Republican Party have such anxiety over the Trump campaign. Hopefully, he will continue to cause them heartburn and his message of making America great again will continue to find strong support among Republican voters.

Even if he does not win, he has provided a tremendous service to the political system by challenging the corrupt alliance of special interests, party leaders, political consultants and the national news media. Trump has gone around, above and through the forces arrayed against him and connected with the one group often forgotten by these Beltway snobs, the American people.

For all of these reasons and more, we are proud to present the 2015 Ringside Politics Champion of the Year Award to Donald Trump.

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 10:00 p.m. Sunday on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. 

For more information, visit Jeff's web site at or email him at

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2015 was an awful year? Look again

By Jeff Jacoby at The Boston Globe

Yes, bad things happened in 2015. Yet it was still "the best year in history for the 
average human being to be alive." And 2016 will likely be better still.

Of course 2015 was a miserable year; all years are miserable. It was a year of rampage killings and police brutality, of natural disasters and government corruption. There were ghastly terror attacks and devastating civil wars, floods of refugees and acts of unspeakable cruelty.

Airliners were blown out of the sky. Priceless antiquities were destroyed. Politics seethed with incivility. Too many innocents died young, too many officials lied, too many victims suffered.

You don't have to look far for proof that this has been an annus horribilis, and that things are getting worse. You never do. The conviction of decline routinely grips human beings, even human beings living in an age of progress and safety. 

The Associated Press once published a news analysis under the headline: "Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control." The world was going "haywire," the AP observed; people were understandably discouraged by "the onslaught of dispiriting things." As it happens, that article ran in 2008. But an update with the same headline could just as readily be published this year, or any year.

Yet in reality, 2015 was in many ways an annus mirabilis — a year of wonders and blessings. Sample some of the evidence. 

• Twelve months ago, West Africa was being racked by the worst epidemic of Ebola disease in recorded history. More than 11,000 people, many of them health workers, were dying of a viral sickness for which no vaccine existed. Today, amazingly, the number of confirmed Ebola cases in West Africa can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and researchers in August reported finding a vaccine that appears to be 100 percent effective in preventing the disease. 
• Girls and women in some of the world's hellholes continue to be all too cruelly victimized. On the other hand, female literacy around the planet reached new heights in 2015. As recently as the 1970s, only 40 percent of females age 15 and older could read and write. Just four decades later, according to UNESCO, global female literacy has passed 93 percent.
• In the United States, mass shootings and terrorist assaults took a grim toll this year and drew intense media coverage. But the FBI's newest report on crime in America (compiling data through 2014) shows that violent crime was down, not up. There were fewer homicides and robberies than there had been a year earlier — and far fewer than five and 10 years earlier. 
• Thugs with weapons wrought undisputed horrors in places like Syria and Libya, yet there were democratic elections and peaceful transfers of power too — in countries ranging from Nigeria to Argentina to Myanmar to Burkina Faso. And Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet received the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for proving that democracy and pluralism could be nurtured even in the Arab world's stony soil. 
Pointing to these and other pieces of decidedly good news, economist Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, describes 2015 as "the best year in history for the average human being to be alive." 

As 2016 approaches, he writes, humankind is "better-educated, better-fed, healthier, freer, and more tolerant" than ever before.

Hard to believe? That's understandable. People are generally more dubious about good news and positive trends. Our species tends to be hardwired for pessimism — a tendency reinforced by the media, which devote far more attention to violence and tragedy than to safety and success. 

Beheadings dominate news coverage for weeks on end; spectacular medical advances are a one- or two-day story at best.

Men and women have always tended to romanticize the way things were when they were young.

"The humor of blaming the present and admiring the past," the Scottish philosopher David Hume remarked in 1777, "is strongly rooted in human nature." It's an instinct worth resisting. Not because the world is never a messy, scary, tear-filled place, but because it is less so now than it used to be. 

These really are the good old days. Next year will be even better.


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Liberals Won't Acknowledge Ferguson Effect

From the files of Dan Bongino at The Conservative Review

Cops Turn Their Backs on New York City Mayor

You can add another bullet point to Barack Obama's lengthy resume of destruction: exploding murder rates in struggling inner-cities. As the toll of damage and destruction from the far-left agenda continues to add up, the chaos and pain this President and his far-left allies have caused is becoming hard to blind your eyes to.

The damage this man's agenda has done is going to take years to recover from. Whoever you decide to support in the GOP presidential selection process, you had better pick someone with the guts to quickly turn this ship around. I know I will.

I was reading an editorial in the Wall Street Journal this weekend by Heather Mac Donald regarding the "Ferguson effect" (which describes the tendency of many of our inner-city police officers to take a less aggressive approach to crime fighting after the police backlash following Michael Brown incident).

In reading the op-ed, I thought to myself, "how many more are going to have to suffer before the far-left suffers the same backlash they incited against America's police officers?" I still maintain many of my law enforcement contacts and can state with near certainty that the Ferguson effect is authentic. Murder rates are up by double digits in some of America's cities and, according to some of my law enforcement sources, it is attributable to the passive approach to street crime post-Ferguson.

The police officers are still doing their jobs and responding to calls for assistance. In many cases, however, they are watching suspicious activities that, pre-Ferguson, may have led to a reasonable-suspicion stop and some questioning, and instead moving on to avoid allegations of abuse of power or force. Many of these suspicious people are then going on to commit violent crimes and, in some cases, take lives.

Yet, the destructive far-left, married to its "free markets and capitalism are the enemy, they are exploitative, they cause poverty, and poverty causes crime" tripe refuses to acknowledge the Ferguson effect.

These far-left purveyors of chaos are desperate to make the Ferguson effect go away because they simply cannot (logically) explain how trillions of dollars in generational, government-centric, anti-poverty programs, and a massive increase in government spending under Barack Obama, have led to double digit increases in the murder rate in many of America's inner-cities. They can't explain it because they don't care to.

These people survive politically and ideologically because their mother's milk is manipulation and misdirection. Murder rates rise, and they blame it on income inequality. Income inequality gets worse under the far-left policies of Barack Obama, and they blame it on corporate greed and "the rich." The rich get richer, and corporations hold onto record amounts of cash under Barack Obama's far-left economic agenda, yet the left blames it on a lack of regulation.

Even with government regulations increasing a record pace and American companies leaving the country, they blame free-markets for "greed," and accuse them of being "unpatriotic."

Liberals have a gift for circular reasoning don't they?

For the rest of the story, click here.

Dan Bongino is the bestselling author of the book Life Inside the Bubble and is a Contributing Editor at Conservative Review. He was the 2012 and 2014 Republican nominee for the United States Senate and 6th congressional district in Maryland. He served for over a decade as a special agent in the United States Secret Service, and currently owns a security consulting business. 

You can follow Dan Bongino on his website, at Facebook or on Twitter.


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Democrats: The Party of Corruption

From the files of Judson Phillips at The Tea Party Nation

Click Here to Visit the Tea Party Nation

The Democrats strike again. Under the Obama Regime, veterans’ care in America has become appallingly bad. The VA is a centrally planned bureaucracy that cannot deliver services. Veterans die while waiting for medical help from the VA.

So what do members of the Obama Regime do while vets are dying?

They try to enrich themselves. And when they are caught, do you think anything happens to them?

From the Daily Caller:
Despite a criminal referral from the Department of Veterans Affairs office of the inspector general, the federal government has declined to prosecute two executives for fraudulently obtaining relocation expenses.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said Thursday that it would not be pursuing any action against executives Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves, instead opting to refer the matter back to the VA for any administrative action deemed appropriate, The Associated Press reports.

An inspector general report found that Rubens and Graves obtained over $400,000 in relocation expenses, which they received after pushing subordinates out of positions, so that the two could then fill them, reduce their job responsibilities, collect bonus money and receive the same executive-level salaries.
At a House Veterans’ Affairs hearing on the matter, both Rubens and Graves pled the Fifth Amendment and declined to answer any questions from Chairman GOP Rep. Jeff Miller.
The good news is, we are close enough to a Republican administration that the statute of limitations should not have run by the time we get a real American in the White House.

The first act for a new Attorney General should be to indict these two.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

GOP energy report card for 2015

From the files of Marita Noon at Energy Makes America Great, Inc.

Meet Marita Noon
Last year, when Republicans gained a decisive edge in both houses of Congress, I made predictions as to the six energy-policy changes we could expect—as the two parties have very different views on energy issues. I closed that column with these words: “It is going to be an interesting two years.

If the Republican policies turn the economy around—offering a sharp contrast to the stagnation of the past six years, they will pave the way for victory in 2016.”

We are now halfway through the “two years” in which I expected the changes to take place. Here’s where American energy policy now stands.

Keystone Pipeline - B grade

As predicted, the GOP got right to work backing the Keystone pipeline. The House had already passed several bills aimed at getting the project built, but with a Republican Majority Leader in control in the Senate, Harry Reid (D-NV) could no longer prevent a vote. With strong bipartisan support, on February 11 Congress passed the bill approving construction.

Though many Democrats—often from states with strong Union membership—crossed the aisle and voted with the Republicans, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act fell a handful of votes short of making it veto-proof. As expected, two weeks later, President Obama vetoed the bill.

Having communicated with TransCanada representatives, the company behind the Keystone construction, and Union officials—and having oft addressed its benefits—I was optimistic that some late night arm twisting would bring the needed Democrats on board, but on March 4, the vote to override the veto failed.

While the bill ultimately failed, my projection was accurate: understanding the impact the Keystone pipeline would have had on job creation and energy security, Republicans made the Keystone pipeline a high priority. (Note: Obama’s claim that “The Keystone pipeline is for oil that bypasses the United States” qualified for the Washington Post’s list of “The biggest Pinocchios of 2015.” But, try discussing the pipeline with an opponent and you’ll repeatedly hear that claim.)

Oil Exports - A grade

Throughout the year, talk of lifting the decades-old oil export ban gained momentum. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced H.R. 702, a bill to adapt to changing crude oil market conditions, in February. On September 17, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to send the legislation to the full House for final passage—which took place on October 9.

As with Keystone, the bill had bipartisan support, though many Democrats opposed it. Comments made in the House chambers before the vote reflected the partisan divide on energy issues. Opposing the bill, Democrats grandstanded saying it would put more money in the pockets of big oil. In contrast, Republicans understand that successful businesses hire people.

With the current low-priced oil environment, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in the oil industry. Lifting the ban helps by providing new markets for U.S. oil and eliminating the discount American producers have had to accept for their product.

Should the bill make it to Obama’s desk, the White House, as always, threatened a veto.

Despite passing another committee vote in early October, the Senate didn’t take up the bill. Lifting the ban, however, was included in the omnibus-spending package that Obama quickly signed on December 18.

With the ban now officially overturned, the spread between the global benchmark price, known as Brent, and the U.S. benchmark, known as WTI (for West Texas Intermediate), has virtually disappeared. Within a matter of days, the first shipment of U.S. crude will be heading overseas—to Switzerland.

Climate Change - B Grade

Last year, I wrote: “The Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Chairmanship will change from one of the biggest supporters of Obama’s climate change agenda (Senator Barbara Boxer [D-CA]) to the biggest opponent of his policies (Senator Jim Inhofe [R-OK]).” With that change, we’ve heard a different tune coming from The Hill.

Days before the U.N. conference on climate change took place in Paris, the Senate held a hearing and passed resolutions designed to let the world know that Obama did not have the support of the U.S. Senate—which would be needed for any legally binding treaty. While Obama would surely veto any such legislation, the New York Times reported: “proponents believe their defiance will have diplomatic repercussions.”

In a statement following the vote, Senator Inhofe said: “The message could not be more clear that Republicans and Democrats in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House do not support the president’s climate agenda and the international community should take note.”

The plan was successful; the “international community” took note. It is believed that the Republican drumbeat, prompted the European Union to back off of its insistence that any carbon goals in the final agreement need to be legally binding. The agreement that was ultimately reached in Paris is, according to the New York Times, “essentially voluntary.”

Polls taken just days before the Paris conference indicate that only 3 percent of Americans believe that climate change is the most important issue facing the country and that a wide majority of voters “oppose the government investigating and prosecuting scientists and others including major corporations who question global warming.”

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—C grade

The EPA didn’t get defunded in the December 18 spending bill, as many had hoped, but it didn’t get a budget increase while many other departments did. It is considered a “loser.” Funding levels for the EPA in 2016 are at a level lower than 2010, but on par with 2015.

The agency has received several smack downs in 2015 from federal courts—including putting its onerous Waters of the U.S. Rule on hold. Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the focus of the Senate’s resolutions, is facing numerous lawsuits, including one of the newest from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and may also be awarded a stay. This is surely an issue to watch in 2016.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA)—D grade

One of the big concerns for anyone in the West who earns a living from the land—ranching, farming, mining and mineral extraction, or who benefits from the results (food, fuel, and fiber)—has been the potential listing of the greater sage grouse as an endangered species.

While it did not get listed, and the omnibus deal blocks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from putting it on the Endangered Species list, the Bureau of Land Management has enacted land use plans that that will likely have many of the same effects of listing under the Act. It is time for ESA reform.

Federal Lands - D grade

This final issue saw little action in 2015, but with the anti-fossil fuel movement’s aggressive plans to keep resources in the ground, especially on federal lands, this one is ripe for attention from the GOP-controlled Congress—led by Rep. Bob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the House Resources Committee.

Addressing the nearly one-third of the U.S. owned by the federal government, Bishop recently stated: “Whether they know it or not, every person is affected by the mammoth federal land ownership in this country.”

Bishop has created a “Federal Footprint Map” that he hopes will “play a vital educational role as Congress evaluates and responds to executive actions and debates related policy reforms.”

For 2016, Congress will need to stay on top of Obama’s rules, regulations, and executive orders aimed at burnishing his legacy on climate change. It should also rein in the EPA, reform the ESA, and work to reduce the amount of land owned by the federal government.

Let’s hope for more positive movement in 2016—including a new resident in the White House, who understands the important role energy plays in making America great.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy

Marita hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy - which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

May the best hat win

From the art studios of A.F. (Tony) Branco at Comically

Gramb You Morning Coffee and Tune In to Branco Online

"Move over Rembrandt, Picasso, Stan Lee, here comes Branco. Okay, I'm hyperventilating. Tony combines beautiful drawings with biting politically incorrect wit and laugh out loud humor." - Larry Elder - TV and Radio personality at at Fox News and KRLM AM 870

Lighten things up! Political discussions and debates don't always have to be deep and long-winded arguments with points and counter points. Sometimes we just need to take a step back from it all and have a good laugh.

With so many discouraging things happening in our country lately, that's the only thing we can do to keep from crying. Conservative artist Antonio Branco is a master at encapsulating deep and complex issues in a simple comic.

Antonio isn't afraid to say what he thinks.


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Schlonged: Is Hillary a 'Bimbo Eruption?'

Does being 'Schlonged' make Hillary a 'Bimbo Eruption?' by Jeabbie DeAngelis at The American Thinker

Every one knows that presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has been married for 40 years to former president Bill Clinton.

And although Bill and Hill are motivated by very different goals, the couple is a lot alike in their single-minded commitment to whatever it is they’re individually pursuing.

For one, Bill is legendary and thus far unrivaled for his reputation as a ravenous womanizing tomcat. But as renowned as her hubby’s appetite for extramarital undertakings may be, he is matched, and maybe even surpassed, by Hillary’s voracious hunger for political power.

When it comes to the pursuit of that power, Hillary Clinton hunts down positions of authority with the same intensity that her horndog husband exhibits when chasing skirts. Of late, the mere thought of finally grasping the golden ring called the U.S. presidency has Hillary looking more excited than Bill did when he was photographed sandwiched between two brothel workers from the Bunny Ranch at a charity event.

Likewise Bill, whose reprobate behavior makes Charlie Sheen look like Fred Rogers, has been unwavering in his carnal pursuits. So, in other words, while hubby was carving notches on his belt, Hillary was gathering unto herself constituents who prefer estrogen to veracity.

Clinton works hard to convince America that a pantsuit on a woman ensures the intestinal fortitude to go toe-to-toe with Vladimir Putin and a nuclear Iran. Yet in an effort to divert attention from her own dysfunctional marriage, and despite being publicly humiliated for 40 years by her hubby, Hillary plays the victim by accusing political adversaries of what she prefers to overlook in her own husband.

For example, during her 2000 bid for the New York’s junior senatorial seat, Hillary’s debate opponent, Republican congressman Rick Lazio, supposedly invaded her space when he approached her podium and asked the former first lady to sign a campaign finance pledge. Hillary’s staff worked overtime to portray this move as virtual assault and battery. Looking for any opportunity to turn Lazio’s advantage into a deficit, the Clinton campaign portrayed the New York legislator as a “menacing” bully who treats males different than females.

That Academy Award-worthy performance was as Machiavellian as her husband Bill’s, who, when not sharing family stories at Save the Children fundraisers, boards the Lolita Express and flies with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to Orgy Island.

Moreover, and notwithstanding making light of Slick Willy being accused of everything from indecent exposure to rape at that time, after successfully convincing voters that a man asking for her signature at a political debate was sexist -- Hillary won the election.

Those sorts of Clinton strategies are diabolical because Mrs. Clinton was, and is, well aware that Bill preys upon women, but rather than focus on her marriage, Hillary accuses other men of things she should acknowledge in her own husband.

But then again, the truth is that, especially when dealing with a “brazen genius” like Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, Mrs. Clinton could use a pantsuit leg up. That’s why being a perpetually-offended woman might be a powerful weapon in 2016.

In fact, a shrewd calculation may be the reason Hillary conveniently forgot to mention that her husband, based solely on his reputation as an adulterous fornicator, earned a starring role in an ISIS propaganda/recruitment video. Instead, the woman who habitually gets her video stories confused insisted at the last Democratic debate that anti-Muslim videos starring Donald Trump were being used in the Middle East to recruit for ISIS.

After Trump found out that Hillary accused him of being a conscription tool for the Islamic state, the Republican presidential frontrunner quickly demanded that she issue an apology. Instead of saying “what difference, at this point, does it make,” Mrs. Clinton decided that now was as good a time as any to conjure up a sexism distraction. And what better way for the wife of a notorious womanizer to change the subject than to fault another man for the very thing her misogynist hubby excels in?

So here’s what Hillary did.

On a bathroom break during the Democratic debate, Clinton lingered long enough in the ladies’ bathroom to make news. True to form, stream-of-consciousness Trump said Hillary’s longer-than-usual time in the commode was too “disgusting” to talk about. Clinton did not hesitate to seize the opportunity to spin Trump’s comment into an accusation of sexism.

Working it like a pro, the feminist icon's camp argues that Trump’s comment about her in the bathroom, doing God knows what “with a cloth or something,” is what is “derogatory” and “disgusting.” Meanwhile, Hillary is exempt from the standard Donald Trump is being held to, as both she and her supporters insist that her remark about Trump being ISIS’s biggest recruitment tool is neither one of those things.

Earth to the $2 billion Alzheimer’s advocate: Islam’s treatment of women is what’s “derogatory” and “disgusting.” Hence, if Donald Trump were the male chauvinist pig that the lady who couldn’t retrace her steps from the bathroom back to the debate podium says he is, ISIS would be commending Mr. Trump as a male hero, not using his face as a recruitment tool to rile up radical jihadis.

Nonetheless, it appears that going forward, Hillary Clinton will look to spin every comment into a sexism accusation.

So, with that in mind, after Trump pronounced that Hillary was “schlonged” by Obama in 2008, maybe Mrs. Clinton could explain at the next debate why she labeled the women her husband schlonged with the sexist title “bimbo eruptions.”

Visit Jeannie's Blog at or catch her on Facebook

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More foreign workers for American business

Paul Ryan's Christmas Warming: American Companies will Shut Down Without More Foreign Workers by Julia Hahn

In a morning interview with radio host Bill Bennett, Paul Ryan defended his omnibus bill’s controversial expansion in the H-2B visa program, which would allow foreign workers to fill blue-collar American jobs, by arguing that if the provision were not included, American companies would be forced to shut their doors.

Bennett pressed Ryan on the details of the H-2B visa expansion, slipped 700-pages into Ryan’s 2,009-page omnibus spending bill—asking Ryan directly, “Do you believe there are not enough Americans to fill these jobs?”

In response, Ryan described the H-2B visa expansion as “a very small, discrete provision.”

Despite the nation’s high levels of unemployment and stagnating wages, Ryan continued on to assert, without offering evidence in support of his claim, that corporations are facing a shortage of labor, which rendered the provision necessary. Ryan said:
The reason that this was passed is because there was some seasonal surge jobs that they can’t find local workers to fill, like the seafood packaging industry in Chesapeake Bay. You have seafood season, you need people to package those things, to can them. In the North, we have the summer tourism industry. What it is is there’s seasonal industries where they can’t find local people to do the jobs: kids are already in college or things like that where you have a surge in workers.
Ryan explained that the provision was passed specifically “to help small business who cannot find labor when there’s a surge in demand for their labor like seafood processing, or tourism.”

Ryan warned, “The point is these businesses would have shut down without this and that’s what we didn’t want to see happen. We didn’t want to see businesses, who are seasonal, shut down because they couldn’t get the labor. That’s why this provision was passed in July.”

The data, however, demonstrates Ryan’s claim to be unsubstantiated. As Jeff Sessions has highlighted, the Economic Policy Institute has documented how, “wages were stagnant or declining for workers in all of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014.”

Unemployment rates increased in all but one of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014, and all 15 occupations averaged very high unemployment rates… Flat and declining wages coupled with such high unemployment rates over such a long period of time suggest a loose labor market—an over-supply of workers rather than an under-supply.

Cries of so-called “labor shortages” are frequently invoked by corporations and immigration expansionist who want to see large increases in low-wage labor. As immigration attorney Ian Smith has explained, Ryan’s resurrection and expansion of the controversial provision in Marco Rubio’s Gang of Eight bill to increase guest-worker programs will disproportionately “hurt America’s most vulnerable workers” such as black workers, single women, the elderly, and first-generation immigrants.

While Ryan argues that more low-wage immigrant labor is needed to fill labor shortages, National Review’s Rich Lowry has previously declared, “The next time I hear a Republican strategist or a Republican politician say that there are jobs that Americans won’t do, that person should be shot, he should be hanged, he should be wrapped in a carpet and thrown in the Potomac River.”

Ryan’s push to expand immigration comes on top of the nation’s existing federal policy of autopilot visa dispensations. Under current policy, every day the U.S. brings in enough new immigrants to fill an overcrowded, metropolitan high school. Every week, the United States brings in enough new immigrants to fill the Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Lakers play. Every year, we add an immigrant population the size of Dallas. And every three years, the U.S. adds another entire city of Los Angeles, made up of foreign-born immigrants.

Ryan, however, seems to believe these numbers should be even bigger, even as the U.S. foreign-born population is already at an all-time high of 42.4 million.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Ryan’s using conservative talk radio platforms to make arguments for expanded immigration is that the Republican Party is now in the position of having an electorate that is almost universally opposed (92 percent according to Pew) to immigration increases, but it is led by a House Speaker who has a two-decade long historyof pushing for higher rates of immigration. This means that one segment of the electorate, perhaps most in favor of immigration reductions, now has as its leader one of the politicians most associated with pushing for expanded immigration.

This seems to pose the same kind of stress as if the Democratic Party had nominated as its leader someone who wanted to eliminate social security.

As Breitbart News reported prior to Ryan’s election as House Speaker:
The fact that the political class, and punditry class, are fairly unified in pushing Ryan for Speaker demonstrates the double standard for how Republicans and Democrats are expected to choose leaders. No one has ever suggested that the Democrat conference elect leaders who oppose core progressive values—such as the ability to have abortions or protecting the benefit programs established by President Johnson’s Great Society… If the roles were reversed, and an anti-amnesty Democrat was working with Steve King to stop immigration [as Ryan has worked with Luis Gutierrez to expand immigration], there is no chance anyone in the media, the Democrat establishment, or the punditry would tell progressive activists to embrace an anti-amnesty Democrat Speaker.
In a Tuesday column, Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz highlighted the tension between the steadfast representation Democratic leaders give their progressive base as opposed to how Republican leaders seem to actively undermine the interests of their conservative base. Horowitz wrote, “Don’t you just wish the Democrats had their version of Paul Ryan leading them in the House and Senate?”

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Comically Incorrect Caption Contest

Enter to win an autographed copy of A.F. Branco’s new book “Comically Incorrect: A Collection of Politically-Incorrect Comics — Volume 1” Autographed personally to you, by A.F. Branco himself!

Click Here to Enter on Branco's Online Site and for the Official Rules

“Move over Rembrandt, Picasso, Stan Lee . . . . here comes Branco.

Okay, I’m hyperventilating. Tony combines beautiful drawings with biting politically incorrect wit and laugh out loud humor.” – Larry Elder – TV and Radio personality at at Fox News and KRLM AM 870

Lighten things up! Political discussions and debates don’t always have to be deep and long-winded arguments with points and counter points. Sometimes we just need to take a step back from it all and have a good laugh. With so many discouraging things happening in our country lately, that’s the only thing we can do to keep from crying.

Conservative artist Antonio Branco is a master at encapsulating deep and complex issues in a simple comic. In this first book in a series, he takes on a wide array of issues, from food stamps to global warming to foreign policy, Antonio isn’t afraid to say what he thinks.

Presented in a coffee table book style, this is the perfect conversation starter with friends and family that pick it up and start glancing through it’s pages.

Who knows, that liberal aunt of yours just might come over to the right side because of this book!

This 80 pages, hardcover comic measures 8″ x 10".

Read more from A.F. (Tony) Branco at this link.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Get Your FLY TRUMP Bumpersticker

Click Here and Visit I Am Trump,org

Order your "Fly Trump" bumpersticker for $4.20. Artwork by Dan Youra at "I Am Trump" Bright colors. Peel off and stick to bumper and other surfaces. Order online at

Dan Youra is one of the outstanding conservative cartoonists in the trade today who follows in the footsteps of the great political cartoon masters, whose quotes inspire a new generation of followers.
Outside of basic intelligence, there is nothing more important to a good political cartoonist than ill will." ~ Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist.
"Too many of today's artists regard editorial cartooning as a trade instead of a profession. They try not to be too offensive. The hell with that. We need more stirrer-uppers." ~ Bill Mauldin.
Youra was one of the first recipients of a Fulbright Scholarship and worked in Latin America. He served as an editor of Current Thought on Peace and War at the United Nations in New York.

"As long as there are politicians who continue to try and fool the voters, there is no chance of ever running out of material to work with because they create it themselves and about themselves," says Dan Youra.

Dan is the small business owner and operator of the Youra Studios located in the State of Washington.

View Youra's Utoons at Shop Youra Store at and view reviews of Youra artwork at


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John McCain could lose to Kelli Ward

Recent polling data shows that Kelli Ward is beating John McCain by 10%!

McCain defeated his last primary opponent, former Republican Rep. J.D. Hayworth, 56 to 32 percent in 2010. “The last time he ran in the primary he said, ‘Build the dang fence,’ and as soon as he was elected he headed up the ‘Gang of Eight’ and the efforts for amnesty. So that’s number one,” Ward told The Daily Caller.

“Number two, economic issues — he’s voted for tax hikes. He’s voted for bailouts. He voted for the biggest tax increase in our history with the fiscal cliff deal. It goes on and on.

Just last week he voted for a horrible budget deal that has over 144 pages and $500 million of new spending on every page. People are tired of it,” she said.

Ward reported raising $525,000 through Sept. 30. Her campaign still had $320,000 cash on hand at the end of September. The Ward campaign told the Arizona Republic the money was raised from 2,100 individuals, none of whom were “lobbyists or D.C. interests.”

McCain’s campaign reported raising at least $1 million in July, August and September. The Republic noted it was his third straight quarter in which he raised at least seven figures. He had $4.9 million on hand as of Sept. 30.

“He’s got a lot of money,” Ward acknowledged. “The last time he had a formidable challenge in J.D. Hayworth. However, he had $19 million left over from his presidential run, which makes me wonder why didn’t he spend that $19 million and maybe even more against Barack Obama.”

“But he hoarded that money and instead used it against a conservative. He’s got about $1 million of that left at this point to be able to use against me, but his money isn’t going to be nearly what it was before.

He has been able to use those connections and money to maintain his power and position, but people now are more informed and they are ready for change,” she added.

It is clear that John McCain has betrayed conservatives! He is an establishment politician controlled by special interests.

However, the race is still early and John McCain is very well funded. The McCain campaign has funding from lobbyists and Washington elites and they are prepared to go negative. Millions of dollars will be spent smearing Kelli Ward in the election. Will you help support Kelli Ward?

We need your help for conservative Kelli Ward to defeat John McCain? We need your help to support Kelli Ward with voter outreach and advertising.

Kelli Ward earned a perfect 100% rating from the American Conservative Union during her time in the State Senate. She has also been endorsed by the Minuteman Project and Gun Owners of America. She is a true conservative!

Recent polling data shows that Kelli Ward is beating John McCain by 10%!

Millions of dollars will be spent smearing Kelli Ward in the election. Will you help support Kelli Ward?

To find out more about Kelli's campaign, click here.


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