Trust Me, How Rarely That Pays Off in Politics
Believe me… Trust me…. Those words were uttered by candidate Trump over and over again, becoming one of the little idiosyncrasies that cartoonists and comedians grab hold of to build a caricature of a public person.
Yet just one week into the Trump presidency the entire country, supporter and foe alike, saw a conservative dynamo in action, erasing much of the Obama legacy through a flurry of executive orders and backing it all up with provocative tweets. Trump trampled on the political norms as usual, showing his foes that he cares not what American enemies think or what the news media think, leaving liberals, and RINOs reeling due to the nonstop, rapid changes in just seven short days.
While executive orders can’t do it all Trump delivered a message to Congress and the American people; America first and the swamp is going to be drained. He blocked the Obama Care penalties, stopped a dangerous policy of low income mortgages of the type that lead to the financial crash in 2008, froze all new rule making at federal agencies, and muzzled the bureaucrats until the new agency heads take over. He met with key members of the Republican Caucus to ensure his cabinet picks are approved, started the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and ordered immediate stops on immigration and visas for seven Mid Eastern countries known to harbor terrorists. Trump even threatened Chicago leaders to rein in the violence and death or he would send in the feds.
The best part of it all was watching the liberal media’s heads exploding as they raced from story to story, hardly having the time to write good hit pieces before another emergency blew them off their chairs. Trump has seized the initiative and has the media and liberals reeling backwards and off balance.
What Trump did:
ordered federal agencies to minimize the impact of Obama Care until it an be repealed to the “maximum extent permitted by law. Of course the RINOs and liberals knew he would but I showed Trump’s plan to undermine the law by relaxing enforcement and granting exemptions. The insurance companies that had been licking their lips at conscripted customers with nearly zero choices while vastly increasing the out of pocket expenses and thresholds at which the insurance would take over are no doubt in shock as the deal meant huge profits for companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield. Trump ordered the immediate suspension of any advertising for Obama Care.
Stoping Risky Mortgages by raising mortgage fees
Clinton lit the fuse of the 2008 melt down by making it nearly impossible to get turned down for a mortgage and the commission driven mortgage and real estate professionals drove risky loans through that they knew the client would never be able to pay off. The fee reductions were worth about $500 per mortgage on seven hundred thousand mortgages with sketchy credit and low incomes. That is 3.5 billion dollars a year in insurance premium cuts that were initially computed to be sufficient to cover any failed mortgages from that class of loan. It keeps the program solvent if there is a down turn while it costs a mere $41.00 per month per mortgage. If you have a mortgage, $41.00 per month isn’t going to sink your finances. This wasn’t an increase in fees; it was stopping a cut in fees that would have put FHA at a higher risk of insolvency.
Trump announced the withdrawal from the TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership, and announced the renegotiation of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement that crippled American imports into Mexico due to high tariffs while allowing Mexico to continue to ship exports into the U.S. tariff free. Congress was smart enough not to ratify TPP but those who would see America destroyed through unequal trade had high hopes. Trump floated the idea of paying for the wall through a 20% tariff on incoming Mexican products, a cheaper rate than they give American imports.
Federal hiring freeze
Trump announced an immediate freeze on federal hiring, exempting the military and national security/public safety, for the next 90 days. He announced the hiring of ten thousand new immigration officers and another five thousand new Border Patrol agents. Trump also directed his budget guru to being shrinking the federal employee roster through attrition.
Freezing federal rules
Trump ordered all agencies to freeze pending regulations until the incoming heads of agencies can review. The order froze regulations on pipelines and oil trains, prevented a bumblebee from being put on the endangered species list, and froze regulations on the energy efficiency of walk in coolers and other appliances.
Muzzling the baby killers
On Monday Trump signed an order reinstating the global gag rule, banning overseas funding to abortion groups or abortion referrals. The liberals expected this but what they didn’t expect was Trump banning six hundred million dollars in aid to U.S. based abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and struck 9.5 billion dollars from international abortion aid. The NGOs that are using that money to provide abortions now have the option of continuing to provide abortions and abortion referrals or lose their AIDS funding and other funding covering other diseases.
An investigation into illegal voters
Trump knows that between three and five million illegal aliens voted in the 2016 presidential elections. His announcement means a coming crack down on loaded voter rolls and an increase in security for the voting list including proving that you are a citizen and requiring picture ID at all voting stations nationwide.
Trumps picks for the EPA and Labor Department have long wanted to dismantle the agencies. Some of the billionaire cabinet picks had small problems, nannies with unpaid taxes or financial disclosure irregularities but the Senate has signaled that it really doesn’t care and is intending on approving all of the cabinet picks. Rubio and McCain, sore losers that they are, raged about some picks but are smart enough not to stand in the steam roller headed their way.
Pipelines get a green light
The Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline are ordered to be expedited as Trump labeled the radical environmentalists as out of control
Muzzling the bureaucrats
Trump ordered all federal agencies to shut down their media outreach until the new agency heads are installed. That includes social media postings and scientific documents. Most presidents do this actually. Reports have stated that the official White House website dropped its Spanish language version immediately after the Trump team took over.
On Wednesday Trump signed executive orders starting the border wall and stripping federal funds away from sanctuary cities that defy U.S. immigration law. He terminated the catch and release program, incarcerating invading illegal aliens until their cases are dealt with and they are deported. This includes and children that show up, as it should. Refugees from seven countries were singled out with immediate visa cancellations and the immediate cessation of processing new visas or asylum requests. Trump ordered DHS to provide a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal aliens and put illegal aliens on the same footing terrorists as a significant threat to national security and public safety. Trump also created a new department responsible for studying the effect of criminal aliens and providing services to their crime victims.
Trump put a smile on the faces of conservatives and liberty lovers all over the nation while the millennials and liberals wrung their hands in fear. Trump made many Americans proud again after eight long years of insanity and our own fear that the U.S. was being pushed to the brink of disaster. Economic signs show that we are indeed there already but if anyone can pull us back from the brink by ramming through the needed policies and correcting the insane trade deals that have ravaged our manufacturing base, gutted our retail tax base, and eviscerated the middle class it is Trump.
Monday should bring the release of the investigative report on Rep. Dan Kirby and a caucus expulsion will likely occur shortly after. It might take opening day to expel Kirby from the House proper as they aren’t in session but it is a foregone conclusion.
Speaker Charles McCall is especially embarrassed as Dan Kirby was one of his higher ranking lieutenants. But while Kirby isn’t the only legislator that has been carrying on like this, Kirby is going to be the poster boy for the shame and embarrassment heaped upon the House of Representatives and the unfortunate women that are unlucky enough to work there.
Kirby testified for three and a half hours on Friday, facing the text messages from the second accuser which appeared to have been a consensual relationship, but one that also violated supervisor/employee guidelines and House rules.
The involvement of former Rep. Randy Grau was kept hushed up, with nary a mention of Grau’s alleged involvement with the Bishop woman or his alleged coaching that enabled her to negotiate a fat settlement from House coffers. Committee Chairman Josh Cockcroft and member Elise Hall were in the same incoming class as Grau so both ensured that Grau’s alleged involvement was suppressed or at least minimized. On Grau’s part, he never refuted the Lost Ogle report last year or our charges this year
The second woman isn’t likely to get a payout of the magnitude that the Bishop woman received as the text messages she sent are said to have painted her as a willing participant in the debauchery. The word is that Bishop wouldn’t have received her payout if it wasn’t for the Hickman leadership team already knowing about the second scandal. Had Kirby dallied with only one subordinate he would have been left to face a Bishop lawsuit on a personal level. However two accusers would have sunk any claims that the Hickman leadership team was unaware of sexual harassment going on unchecked, opening them up to liability under the EEOC regulations.
Word is that Speaker Charles McCall has put out the word for the Representatives to wrap up any lingering relationships they might have prior to the legislative session. We will see if that actually happens as there are a half dozen credible rumors floating around and have been for months.
THE TOBACCO SETTLEMENT
IS IT BEING USED APPROPRIATLY
Since 2001 the citizens of Oklahoma have lived under a voter approved Tobacco Settlement Endowment Fund that has proven itself to be cumbersome and untrustworthy. They have failed to keep up with the advances in smoking cessation and have failed to maintain the growth of their agency. They’ve outraged the citizens of the state by offering exorbitant salaries to top executives that even the Governor had to deny. It’s leadership and board is stuffed with political cronies that are out to put their mark in the History books. They have placed people on the board that have helped them politically and have intentionally snubbed the voice of the Common Citizen. It is well past time that this agency and the way it is ran receives an overhaul.
The next article of interest we found was this Free Market Friday: Government is force – The Journal Record
. This is another link we urge you to open and read. This will show you that the funds from the tobacco settlement agreement are not being used to help people stop their addiction to tobacco only. It’s also being used to fight obesity and sugary drinks. We must ask, What do they have to do with the stop smoking campaign? From what we can tell nothing. It’s acting like a slush fund for the Department of Health.
The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust - Wikipedia
. This is well worth your time in opening the link and reading. As a Tobacco Settlement Trust we cannot figure out how this would relate to obesity. It would appear to us that obesity would fall under the Department of Health purview not a Tabacco Settlement Endowment Trust. This makes us suspect that there is a real possibility that the Department of Health’s budget dollar is being stretched a little further with the aid of funds supposedly set aside to help Oklahoman’s to stop smoking. Both are worthy causes; however when one goes by Tabacco Settlement Endowment Fund and fails to use the latest in medically approved treatment for smoking cessation the smokers are getting short changed.
Not all of the information about this rouge agency is bad. In fact this article History | Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust
The overall settlement between the Tobacco industry and forty six states was settled in 1998. Oklahoma was the first state to Constitutionally protect its settlement funds in 2000.
The next article of interest we found was this Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust |
. Once again this is taken from their web site. We actually found this to be amusing. Most people who haven’t forgotten how to critically think on a subject are well aware that research scientist funded by either a state entity or an individual company is going to produce the results that their employer wants. These people at TSET are thinking they can fool the public with their words and not support it with any documentation. That doesn’t work in today’s society.
Now before we go any further in the TSET pages themselves, we felt we needed to bring this to your attention Don't touch Oklahoma's Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund
. As we don’t have an attorney on staff we aren’t even sure that their funds can be touched. We do know that using the Tobacco Funding for purposes unrelated to smoking cessation is outside the purview of their mandate. We also feel that the Health and Human Services Committees of both Chambers should take into consideration the program assistance they receive from TSET and reduce the budget for the Health Department appropriately.
The next part of their site we question is the Incentive Grants listed here Incentive Grants | Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust
. We question why they are involved in programs to promote healthy eating and physical activity. Promoting a tobacco free lifestyle is the last thing on their list here. Are these people trying to assume the duties of the health department?
The next item on their site we found was this Healthy Communities Incentive Grants | Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust
. Although there are good intentions involved, this is nothing more than bribery from TSET to the various communities to get those communities to place more and more public areas off limits to the use of tobacco. This is not helping the smoker to stop smoking. It’s just limiting where they can smoke. To think the people who came up with this idea and approved it are making over $120,000.00 a year is an indication that they aren’t hiring the brightest of people at the TSET Agency.
The next article from their site we found was this Oklahoma TSET Phase I Program
. Here we have TSET funding research and phase 1 studies on an experimental drug when they haven’t even funded the full range of smoking cessation drugs on the market today. We admit that they do fund patches, lozenges and gum. What they don’t fund is a product that requires a Doctor’s prescription called Chantix or even Wellbutrin. The people doing the study know they are working for the state and will most likely give TSET the results they want even if they are less effective than current medications on the market.
The next item from their site we found was this TSET - Boathouse District
. This is really nothing more than a brag sheet about the number of schools they have visited and their partnership with the OKC Boathouse District.
The next interesting item from their site we found was this TSET | Oklahoma Bioscience Association
. This page actually is trying to convince people that the money they spend on research will bring in money for additional research from around the nation. It’s a promising idea, but they don’t offer any documentation or evidence of any sorts to support such a claim. If they are going to make such public claims they should document the proof.
The next article of interest we found was this ‘Vape’ activists seek 'less insane’ e-cigarette law - Watchdog.org
. We urge you to open this link and read the story for yourself. What we are seeing is TSET offering “Grants” we prefer to call them by what they truly are bribes to local officials to close the loophole and shut down the ability of people to vape on city property. When asked for a Freedom of Information Request on the statistics to justify the treatment and proof of the danger six months ago, we never heard back from them. That would make it a bunch of hot air in our books.
The next article of interest we found was this UPDATE: E-cigarette users fuming over ban on Ada city property | KFOR.com
. Now this report highlights Ada, but it also mentions Maude, Tecumseh and Shawnee. These communities have all instituted Vaping bans. These bans are in place for pure simple greed. Ada City Councilman Bryan Morris says “Ada could receive grant money for including e-cigarettes in an outdoor tobacco ban they approved October 21st.”
This smacks of bribery from an agency in state government.
The next article we found was this Few dare call it bribery: OK grants, e-cigs, and another brick in the wall - Watchdog.org
. This is an article that should be read by every single politician in the state of Oklahoma. We urge you to open the link and read the article from one of the finest journalist in the state. We are proud to say that we stand among those who call this bribery. It looks like the Governor and the Health Department have even fallen for the load of manure that TSET is spreading. TSET is in desperate need of adult supervision.
The next article of interest we found was this Smoking Rates in Oklahoma Decline to an All-Time Low - Oklahoma State Department of Health
. This again is information we requested information on through the Freedom of Information Act six months ago and never heard a word back from them. We have no idea if the numbers they quote are real or fake. We can say that with all the money that TSET has available to them they are doing a very poor job at getting people to stop smoking. Real or fake these numbers attest to that.
All of this information that we have been denied access to has led to this https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/EcigEO_ExecutiveOrder2013-43.pdf
. This is the Executive Order signed by Governor Fallin that eliminated the use of e-cigarettes on state property. Now this E.O. claims the Health Department indicated that there were toxins and unknown chemicals. This is a little pre-mature. With TSET running their own studies and the Health Department refusing to supply any information on any studies they have completed to date, the most prudent course of action would have been to wait for those test to be completed before taking such action.
The next article of interest we found was this State Tobacco Settlement Funds Not Spent ‘Up Front’ | Oklahoma Watch
. We thank the reporters at Oklahoma Watch for the research they did on this. Although we feel the TSET program is currently being abused by the people in charge and currently fail to use all current treatments available, when first established, Oklahoma did it right. We have the voters of the state to thank for that. We also believe it’s time for some stronger oversight of TSET. They are beginning to run amuck with their assumed powers.
The next article of interest we found was this OAG Press Release: State Receives Almost $90 Million in Tobacco Funds
. This is a News Release from the Office of the Attorney General from 2009. Our AG at that time was Drew Edmondson. This indicated that the state of Oklahoma had received $89,825,336.54 from the trustees of the tobacco settlement fund. It also indicates that only $67 million of that amount went to the TSET account which gave them a balance of $384 million dollars. Oklahoma’s total share of the settlement is estimated to be $2.03 billion dollars over 25 years. That raises a question. What are we going to do with TSET once the money runs out? Remember there are no current state funds being provided to this program. Those funds will run out in less than 10 years. Here’s an idea. Instead of bribing towns to ban e-cigarettes let’s expand the list of medications available. Add the current medications known to work like Chantix and Wellbutrin. We know, that’s too easy for you bureaucrats to understand.
In closing we would recommend that the Oklahoma State Auditor conduct a complete audit of the TSET program. We additionally ask the Governor to direct the Department of Health and TSET to make all research material available on line. We further ask the Governor to withdraw her Executive Order concerning the use of e-cigarettes on state property until such time as the Department of Health and TSET can prove that the vapor actually contains toxic substances. We further ask that the Governor declare the bribery of city officials to declare e-cigarettes banned on city property as an incentive for added financial reward outside their purview and a waste of tax payers money. We would further ask that TSET fully explain on their web site and on the major news networks and newspapers in the state of Oklahoma why and what Obesity has to do with the tobacco settlement.
DID THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE END WITH THE RESIGNATIONOF THE REPRESENTATIVE INVOLVED. NOT BY A LONG SHOT.
*Editors note: This story is a bit dated as it was written a month ago and updated for the second accusations against Kirby. However it serves as a great recap to remind everyone of the basics of the scandal so we are publishing it.
Well folks our legislature has managed to make Oklahoma the laughing stock of the nation again. If you were to believe the story being told, the offending legislator knew nothing of the settlement. We find that hard to swallow. Not only is that hard to believe, but a now out of office term limited individual is claiming responsibility for the cover-up. It gets worse from this point. Not only did they cover it up, but they used tax payers dollars to do so. Considering the way the government just blows through money these days we feel confident that they didn’t think a mere forty-four thousand five hundred dollars ($44,500.00) would be missed. Well it was. We feel confident in saying there isn’t a school district out there that wouldn’t have enjoyed that money so they could hire an additional teacher.
The next article of interest we found was this Dan Kirby - Ballotpedia
. This article shows the election results for his entire political career as well as his committee appointments during his career. It also contains some contributor information. No names are listed but it does show you the amount received by his campaign.
Now what brought our attention to this problem was this article Inman Questions Kirby Settlement Payments | The McCarville Report
. This report raises a very valid question. We know the amount paid to the plaintiff and her attorney to settle this, but what hasn’t been made available is the amount paid to the House’s outside legal counsel was paid. We would urge you to open the link and read the article yourself. There are several other questions raised that are all very valid.
Now we know that certain groups in this state want to move the political stance more to the left than it currently is. Fortunately there are good people out there who call foul when they see it. The House Democrat Leader made such a call. You can see it here House Democratic leaders ask incoming Republican Speaker of the House Charles McCall to answer questions about the Kirby sexua
. He actually is correct in bringing this to light. Why should Oklahoma Tax Payer money be spent to protect and payoff the people that some over sexed House member gets himself into hot water for? We shouldn’t. These settlement agreements should have been financed from Mr. Kirby’s own pocket not the state coffers.
This is by far one of the best articles we found on the subject House Democratic leaders ask incoming Republican Speaker of the House Charles McCall to answer questions about the Kirby sexua
. This article asks twenty-one questions that we need to know about the complaint. We do know that the plaintiff did go to Human Resources with her complaint and asked for a re-assignment. She was not given the transfer. We also know that the state government has illegally payed to settle this case with tax dollars. Maybe if we could get someone up in the State House to familiarize themselves with the State Constitution we wouldn’t have this problem.
One would think that with a liberal media out there that instead of doing business behind closed doors, they would make them transparent. We know that our lawmakers weren’t trying to keep things from the Citizens they are supposed to work for, but the news made it to the national papers as you can see here
Included in this story is a statement from the Attorney’s for the Oklahoma House. They are claiming again that Mr. Kirby had nothing to do with this settlement. We ask that if they are so good at their job, then how they allowed the former Speaker and anyone else involved in this decision make the payout. That only makes the firm culpable for conspiracy to defraud the state.
The next article we found was this OK Rep. Accused Of Using State Funds To Settle Harassment Claim - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports -. Once again this demonstrates the repeated assumption that Mr. Kirby knew nothing about the payoff of the victim and her attorney for their silence. This reeks of cover-up. What exactly is it they are hiding? We are entitled to know. After all it was our tax dollars they spent.
The next article we found seemed appropriate for this article An example of why pursuit of government transparency matters | News OK
. We urge you to open this link and read the article for yourself. This is the best article we’ve seen to date for the passing of anti-corruption laws in the state of Oklahoma. This article points out that most of the legislators didn’t even know about the complaint or the settlement. That would qualify this payout as misappropriation of government funds. That may be why they appear so adamant about claiming Mr. Kirby knew nothing about this. How many more times has this happened and they just never got caught?
Then on Wednesday we got this in our news feed Report. Kirby Rescinds Resignation | The McCarville Report
. Here’s a man who claims to know nothing about a settlement made on his behalf to silence a sexual harassment complaint who wants to sponge out of the coffers of the state again. There is no mention of paying the state of Oklahoma back for the funds it took to pay off his crime either.
To verify the first report we found this Oklahoma representative accused of sexual harassment rescinds resignation | KFOR.com
. What are we running up there a gentleman’s club? This cannot be allowed to stand. If this man who claims to be a Representative of the people is allowed to take his seat in the next legislature, than we will know why Oklahoma is rated the most corrupt state in the union. Mr. Kirby doesn’t bring any more shame to this state than you already have.
That was not to be. The next article of interest we found was this http://www.soonerpolitics.org/editorial/kirby-investigation-widens-2nd-accuser-emerges
. This is a second report of another employee that had the same problem with Mr. Kirby. She also went to the Human Services Department and was moved. This report does raise a few questions. We find it strange that both of the young ladies involved happen to have the same attorney. We find it rather disturbing that both of these young ladies went to what amounted to the Personnel Department and received such different results. This reeks of cronyism in the department. It is the opinion of this staff that the ethics committee of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives is incapable of giving this subject a fair and impartial investigation. We feel that the investigation of this matter should be turned over to the OSBI and the Oklahoma State Attorney General.
If he is allowed to sit in the Chamber of the House, he should be stripped of all assignments to all committees and any pay he would be scheduled to receive should be forfeited until such time as the funds utilized to pay off his pending law suit are repaid.
We are left with little choice but to ask the Attorney General’s office to investigate this criminal act that comes close to violating the RICO Act. We also ask that the Oklahoma State Auditor audit the books of the House of Representatives and the Senate to see if any other such improprieties have occurred. We demand that the funds used to settle this case be repaid in full by Mr. Kirby, Mr. Hickman and any other people involved in the theft of the people’s funds.
We are sadly disappointed by the silence of the Minority Leader of the House and his silence over the revelation of the second complaint. We can’t help but wonder why? Could it be because there is a member of his party that has recently come under scrutiny, or is it because he feels that the Speaker of the House has taken the appropriate action. We would like to know.
The next article of interest we found was this http://www.soonerpolitics.org/editorial/kirby-suspended-from-chairmanship-of-commerce-committee
. This is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. We understand that the investigation is ongoing. We also understand that certain actions cannot be taken without the approval of the full House while it is in Session. We trust that action will be swift and immediate. This man has no business sitting in any committee or even voting on any proposed law that would affect the lives of the citizens of Oklahoma. Unless an independent investigation proves this man innocent, he is morally bankrupt and has proven to be an example of what is wrong with politics and politicians in America today. He should resign and allow someone more ethical to set an example take his seat.