Make It Legal Florida (MILF), the well-funded political action committee sponsoring a prospective November 2020 constitutional amendment seeking to legalize recreational marijuana, will spearhead a legal challenge to a new law it claims has unconstitutionally hampered the state’s citizen initiative process.
Restrictions imposed on petition-gatherers by the Republican-led Legislature during the 2019 session that went into effect July 1 “have the intent and effect of impermissibly burdening and impinging the petition rights of plaintiff and Florida voters,” MILF’s lawsuit states. “As a result, the amended law is facially invalid, as an unconstitutional alteration of the initiative petition process.”
MILF’s 57-page class-action filed lawsuit Tuesday in Leon County Circuit Court names Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee and all 67 county elections supervisors as defendants, alleging the new restrictions “lack even a rational, reasonable, or coherent justification or relation to any purported state interest” other than to prevent issues unpopular with GOP lawmakers from being presented directly to voters.
MILF seeks more time to submit petition signatures to qualify for the November 2020 ballot. State law requires petitioners present the state’s Division of Elections (DOE) with 766,320 validated signatures by Feb. 1 to qualify.
As of mid-day Thursday, 223,897 valid petition signatures had been filed with the DOE by MILF, which did not emerge until last summer and begin its petition signing campaign until the fall.
Petitioners now say, under new state rules, they’ll need at least 1.1 million signatures to ensure 766,320 are verified before Feb. 1.
MILF’s proposed constitutional amendment would allow people 21 or older to “possess, use, purchase, display, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for personal use for any reason.”
Tampa-based MILF has received $3.8 million in campaign contributions largely from two national marijuana corporations – five-year-old Atlanta-based Surterra, which operates more than 30 medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida with similar operations in Texas, Nevada and Massachusetts totaling $50 million in 2018 revenues, and MedMen, founded in 2010 in Culver City, Calif., which operates nearly 100 retail sites in 12 states, including in Florida, with $39.8 million in revenues last year.
MadMen Southeastern Director of Government Affairs Nick Hansen chairs MILF.
MILF’s lawsuit maintains its initiative campaign also has been hamstrung by repeated administrative issues and technical problems in implementing the additional complexities imposed on the ballot process by House Bill 5, the controversial 2019 bill that essentially extended the state’s voter registration system for absentee ballots to petition-gathering.
Introduced as a raft of 11th hour amendments onto an unrelated bill and adopted in partisan votes by the House and Senate in the waning moments of the session, HB 5 requires every citizen initiative to have its own numbered, serialized petition, bars out-of-state entities from organizing ballot campaigns and prohibits signature gatherers from being paid.
MILF’s lawsuit claims that complying with HB 5 has “presented an enormous (if not insurmountable) barrier to the ability of sponsors, such as plaintiff MILF, to collect the requisite number of signatures for petitions and have them reviewed, validated and verified by the supervisors, and then reviewed and deemed sufficient by the secretary – all by the Feb, 1, 2020 deadline.
“It is thus substantially likely, if not certain, that initiative petitions will fail (i.e., they will not make the ballot for vote by electors in the 2020 general election),” MILF’s complaint continues, “despite the fact such initiatives would or could have succeeded if not doomed by the impairments caused to petition circulators’ ability to register and timely begin circulating and collecting signatures in support of petitions.”
MILF’s measure is one of two petition initiatives seeking to legalize adult marijuana use, and one of 26 overall, listed as “active” on the DOE’s website.
Sensible Florida, which launched its "Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol" petition campaign in 2016 and had only 92,566 signatures as of Thursday, has already announced it will not qualify for the 2020 ballot.
At least four measures will, however, meet the signature requirement to qualify for November’s election, including Florida For A Fair Wage’s “Fight For $15” proposal seeking to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026.
The others are a measure that would allow all registered voters to cast ballots in “open” primary elections for state Legislature, Governor and Cabinet, regardless of political party membership; a constitutional amendment stipulating “only,” rather than “any,” U.S. citizen can legally vote; and a proposal to allow individual customers choose energy providers or produce their own.
The Center Square
With the coming of the new year I send to you all.... Best Wishes for a Prosperous and Happy 2020!
This time of year we look back at the months that have passed and reflect, ponder and resolve to improve ourselves.
As life goes on, certain things happen that shape our lives, our perspectives and help mold our futures. Recently, my best friend was diagnosed with Cancer, there was history in the family so it wasn't a complete surprise but knocked the wind right out of me. Another good friend had a brain aneurism burst, needed emergency surgery and spent Christmas and New Years in ICU and is scheduled to be released soon.
A few months ago a friend died while on a Sunday ride on his Harley, he was hit from behind at a traffic light. Last month, some friends were involved in a multi-bike accident, while riding in a group something went wrong with the lead rider and he went down, I only got third hand information so it is hard to say what actually happened, but 5 motorcycles were involved and one man lost his life with others dealing with multiple operations and some still in ICU. Makes one wonder if riding is still a good idea.
Then the other day............ a good friend came down with an illness and became deathly ill. It crept in slowly over a week's time, we finally took him to ER on Christmas Eve. We still are not sure what it was, tests were done and speculations were made........... leaving only more questions than actually offering answers...some CDC epidemic? Some strain of the flu that had mutated? Who knows? The doctors sure didn't......... after a few days, it appeared to many, especially himself, that he was not going to make it.
I'll never forget being in his hospital room the other day when he took my hand in his and told me "Please take care of my wife" I told him NO...he wasn't done here yet and he needed to be strong and lick this thing whatever it was. He was weak, he looked drained and defeated........In my heart I wondered if I was lying to my friend but I was hopeful that he would pull through, sometimes a true friend lies to you to give you strength to push through such obstacles! But he was too weak to be hopeful and believed he would soon die.
As fate would have it...... it was not his time yet! He is not completely out of the woods but is doing much better and looks like he will be okay!
And now, a few days ago, on the next to last day of 2019 another friend, Benito "Benny" Mata died from a heart attack at a very young age of 45...He turned 44 last September and had just started on his 45th year!
He was a good man, a hard worker and good friend to many.... he always had a smile on his face, and would literally give you the shirt of his back.......he will be missed. As soon as I have any information about any celebration of life I will post it to our Facebook page.
You may wonder why I am sharing all this with you? It is because I have decided that life is too short and I am working too much! I need to take some more time, do some traveling and smell a whole bunch more roses before it's too late!
My labor of love that is the Sun Bay Paper has been an incredible ride..... But with all this in mind..... I have decided to sell the Newspaper! Previous owner Trent Townsend spent a small fortune establishing this paper, I will be selling it pennies on the dollar.
On another note: I could really use an advertising sales person to help bring in more revenues, so if you are a people person and have the gift of gab, please give me a call. I'm offering 30% commission.
This paper would be perfect for a couple who have a passion for sharing conservative values and believe that the main stream media is way too biased. I will be happy to train you in all the software I use and will be available for a smooth transition.
I have about 20 new paper boxes ready for placement in an expansion plan I was going to implement but will leave that for the future owners.
Over the next few months, I will entertain offers to purchase the paper, if you are interested, I have listed it with a Broker and I am offering some owner financing, his name is Don and you can reach him at 239-216-7062.
I got a kick out of a letter to the editor I saw about my last column. It was from another bitter liberal -- Is there any other kind? -- who complained that I'm a liar. The writer argued that President Donald Trump's economy is not so great and said it's actually worse than the economy under former Presidents Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter.
This just shows that the more liberals say, the better Trump looks to voters.
The November jobs report came out Friday. Set aside the fact that Trump has produced one of the greatest stock markets in history; that gross domestic product is far above its pace during the administrations of Obama or Carter, who both produced disastrous economies that nearly destroyed the middle class; that 3.5% unemployment is the lowest in 50 years; that the highest number of Americans are working in history; and that black and Latino unemployment are the lowest in history.
The latest jobs report is better news than all of that.
There were 266,000 jobs created in November. That's 79,000 jobs more than economists expected ... in a month. The number of jobs was also revised upward by 41,000 for the two preceding months.
Manufacturing jobs soared by 54,000 in November, the biggest monthly gain since 1998.
Wages were up 3.1%. That's the 16th month in a row wages are up 3% or higher. Ask any worker if a bigger paycheck for 16 months in a row matters. I dare you.
CNBC called it "a blowout jobs report" and said, "You can't contradict that these are the best numbers of our lives." CNN said, "A couple of generations of people have not seen this kind of unemployment rate continue to be that low." Fox Business reported, "This is one of the best reports. ... What a way to end the decade, on this report. It's outstanding."
So, I ask all my readers: Who is the delusional one?
I don't need to wait for an answer. Just look at the latest Rasmussen presidential approval poll. It was already a robust 49% for Trump before the latest impeachment hearing on Wednesday. That's when Democrats trotted out a bunch of America-hating, capitalism-hating, Ivy League law school professors to testify in front of the nation.
Smart move. This group even makes Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren seem likable.
The very next day, Trump's approval soared to 52% -- just a smidge below the highest of his presidency. Those law professors made quite an impression. I'm surprised Democrats didn't trot out used car salesmen and dentists.
On Friday, Trump's approval was 51% -- significantly above where Obama was on the same day of his presidency -- even though Trump has faced overwhelmingly negative news coverage.
Among white voters, Trump's approval is positive, 53% to 46%. Among male voters, it's positive, 59% to 40%. And, most shocking, Trump's approval rating is 31% among black voters.
It's clear what voters think about President Trump and the economy. It's clear who they believe and who they think is lying. But please keep the angry, delusional liberal letters to the editor coming. You're making my job so much easier.
I'm honored to report I received an invitation from President Trump to visit the White House next week. I'll be sure to tell him congratulations and thank you from all my fans who have good jobs, higher wages and far higher retirement accounts thanks to his policies.
All I can say is the Trump economic miracle is the best revenge.
Wayne Allyn Root
Here is a chilling case of sanctuary chickens coming home to roost.
Upon being convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping, home invasion and the brutal murders of two doctors on Tuesday, African criminal Bampumim Teixeira taunted the Massachusetts prosecutor who won the case and vowed to rape his wife. "You better hope I don't get out of jail," Teixeira threatened as he was dragged away in handcuffs by a quartet of court security officers. The killer appeared to greatly enjoy the media spectacle while striking fear into the hearts of innocents. He will be sentenced on Friday.
I am outraged on behalf of the victims' families and pray for the prosecutor's loved ones. But let's be clear: This homicidal beast is a beneficiary of liberal Bay State policies that coddle foreign evildoers and give them cover to wreak havoc in our homeland. The architects of open borders Boston have blood on their hands.
Teixeira was a repeat offender well-known to law enforcement and government officials before he snuck into the South Boston condo of Richard Field and Lina Bolano in 2017, bound and gagged them, slit their throats and stabbed them to death. A homeless vagrant from Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, Teixeira had been convicted of two bank robberies and was released from prison just weeks before the massacre at Field and Bolano's condo. This thieving bum's lawyer secured a deal with the Suffolk County district attorney's office to sentence him to 364 days for the second heist and downgraded the second felony crime to larceny.
Why one day shy of a year? Why the reclassification of a felony to a misdemeanor?
The soft-on-alien-crime agreement allowed him to escape deportation, which any green card holder would normally face for committing crimes of moral turpitude or crimes that result in sentences of 365 days or more. Ultimately, he served only 9 months behind bars. This evilness is part of a nationwide move by far-left Democratic prosecutors, many subsidized and supported by open borders billionaire George Soros, to minimize "collateral immigration consequences of criminal convictions" and help immigrants evade "disproportionate collateral consequences, such as deportation. All in the name of "public safety" and celebrating diversity, of course.
For those outside of New England, let me tell you about the infamous public enemy, Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins. In March, she ordered her employees to monitor and snitch on federal ICE officers hanging around any courthouse while trying to do their jobs. She is overseeing a radical "restorative justice" agenda to decrease arrests, detentions and prosecutions for both citizens and noncitizens. Our office, she announced, "will begin to factor into all charging and sentencing decisions the potential of immigration consequences."
Let me translate that for you: If foreign adults commit crimes that would separate them from their families and lead to imprisonment and deportation, DA Rollins will drop charges or shorten sentences in the name of social justice -- the law-abiding victims of these criminal immigrants be damned.
The anarchy-promoting DA grudgingly admitted to Boston talk show legend Howie Carr earlier this year that the Teixeira case was a "horrific situation." She said she would have "no problem" deporting convicted criminal immigrants, but only after they "shoot or rape or kill somebody." In other words: Always look the other way at immigration crimes until it's too late to save the lives of innocent people sacrificed at the altar of open borders.
As the people of Boston face a crucial vote by their city council this week on whether to make their sanctuary policies even more radical and welcoming for the world's homeless, jobless, drug dealers and gangbangers, I have questions:
Why shouldn't foreign law-breakers face "immigration consequences" for every single civil and criminal law they violate?
Why are Soros-bots across the country elevating the rights of criminal immigrants above law-abiding citizens?
Why aren't more Americans rising in revolt against open borders-sponsored politicians and prosecutors turning our neighborhoods into safe spaces for foreign outlaws?
Over the past three months, thousands have joined me at rallies to Stand with ICE and defend American First in so-called sanctuary cities from Boston to Aurora to Portland to Montgomery County, Maryland? What about the rest of you? What's your excuse?
These “Democrat” Congressman, the leaders who want a socialist government, have ignored our Rule of Law to an extreme that shows the voting public what Socialism is all about! The Democrat Party wants to do away with your Constitution and then Rule by Majority, democrat/socialism. There is no Equal Rights Amendment (14th) in the new Socialist Democracy that you are observing Congressman Schiff and Pelosi exhibit. There is no Due Process (6th Amendment). The Socialist Left sets the Rule of Law!
So why hasn’t the President’s staff of Attorneys gone to a “friendly” Federal District and obtained an Injunction against the illegal, Congressional Impeachment Proceedings… like the left does with the 9th Circus when the President puts forth executive orders on Immigration or anything else?
That is just one of the many reasons why the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States, President Trump, is refusing to allow any of his staff to participate in an illegal impeachment process! There are many more reasons, like Article 2 in the Constitution…but wait we have no Constitution anymore…MAJORITY Rules…sorry…I forgot…but I though they hadn’t picked their left wing, red, commie, pinko candidate for President… hope-fools, like Warren, or Booker or Biden or Sanders or any one…take your pick, but unless you pick Trump…be careful of what you wish for, for Christmas, it will backfire!
The President is also the CEO of the Country and establishes and carries out his foreign Policy.
President Trump NEVER asked Ukraine to create dirt on an opponent, he needs NO dirt to beat a “dirt bag” like Biden. Biden carries his dirt with him and puts it on video for all to see! Dirt gathering is exactly what Hillary did with Russia, resulting in the Trump Dossier, another, Democrat, Fiction, Fabrication of Unverified, nonsense that resulted in a DEMOCRAT lead Special Counsel, Mueller.
What we now have is this…in their careless rush to impeach they have committed numerous ,serious Felony crimes…Treason, Conspiracy to Overthrow a Duly Elected Official, Espionage, and many more, by the Speaker of the House, Congressmen Schiff, Swallow, and Nadler. They are trying to overthrow this government and a duly elected President!
AND WHAT ABOUT BIDEN…WHEN IS HE SCHEDULED FOR GRAND JURY…WHERE’S THE SEARCH WARRANTS FOR THEIR HOMES…OFFICES…BANK ACCOUNTS?
J. Gary Dilaura
Conflicting alternative realities – that’s the only way to describe the Trump impeachment saga. This article is my layman’s interpretation of some things that confuse us all.
The first round of secret, then public hearings, in the House Intelligence Committee resulted in mostly hearsay evidence, interpretation and supposition by witnesses. Gordon Sondland’s first testimony described a President who withheld military aid, subject to Ukraine’s announcement of a corruption investigation. Eventually, Sondland testified that he talked to Trump who, when asked directly, stated “I want nothing……no quid-pro-quo.” By his own admission, Sondland’s earlier testimony regarding Trump requiring “quid-pro-quo” for military aid was mere presumption. Other witnesses, many of whom could trace their information and opinions back to Sondland, appear to be mostly hearsay witnesses expressing interpretations and suppositions.
Next came two days of hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. The first four witnesses were constitutional law professors. Keeping their foot on the republicans’ throat, democrats called three witnesses, allowing the republicans only one. These scholars didn’t agree whether there were impeachable offenses, nor whether charges were proven.
Trump’s executive privilege assertion for witnesses and documents led to democrat claims of obstruction. George Washington University Professor Johnathan Turley, no Trump supporter, clearly won the day by pointing out that the remedy is in the courts if they can’t agree on validity of executive privilege assertions. Trump already has gone to court, prompting Turley to state emphatically, “If you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power.”
Turley referred to the evidence as “presumptions…paucity of evidence…wafer thin…” and “a case for impeachment…cannot be made on this record.” He added, “If President Trump honestly believed that there was a corrupt arrangement with Hunter Biden that was not fully investigated by the Obama administration, the request for an investigation is not corrupt.”
We’ve also had a day of testimony during which Judiciary Committee members interrogated Intelligence Committee staff counsels. Nothing changed, and it deteriorated into arguing about previous testimony and process.
As I write this, Democrats have decided on limiting impeachment charges to “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.” That’s a bit less dramatic than I expected. With all the earlier focus on quid-pro-quo/bribery and obstruction of justice, those charges have been dropped. Reasons for not pursuing them must have included those pesky rules of evidence, due process, and reasonable doubt. Fair rules finally will govern the process.
Next comes drafting articles of impeachment followed by a House vote whether to impeach the President and send it to the Senate. The process in the Republican-run Senate will be considerably different than in the House. While impeachment is a unique process, the Senate will employ more traditional rules of evidence, due process and reasonable doubt. The Chief Justice will preside, and I expect more fairness for calling witnesses and interrogation. The President will finally be effectively represented by counsel.
Some of my personal takeaways: Trump arguably had the authority to ask Ukraine to investigate prior election meddling as well as Hunter Biden’s potential conflict; the opinion, “I wouldn’t put it past Trump” doesn’t constitute evidence; most of the evidence is disputed i.e. a matter of opinion; much of the “evidence” (e.g. hearsay, speculation) will probably be inadmissible; and, Trump’s faces impeachment for arguably lawful acts.
In summary, Democrats claim the evidence is uncontested, and the President should be removed from office. In contrast, the republicans say that it’s very clear, the President has done nothing wrong. I believe the evidence for impeachment is ambiguous at best, almost to the point of being exculpatory. The democrats are being defeated by rules of evidence, due process, and reasonable doubt – all good developments
Finally, the DOJ Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s procedures in the Trump investigation doesn’t help the democrats’ cause, and time will tell how much damage Special Prosecutor Dunham’s report on the Steel Dossier and FISA warrant will bring to the democrats and the “deep state.”
As I’ve been saying for several weeks, this flimsy impeachment case has deteriorated into nothing more than a “matter of opinion,” and that won’t win the day for the democrat.
Abortion is the highest expression of feminism. It's the only concern of feminists. Just ask the first lady how many feminists came to her defense after her son's name was dragged through the mud on Capitol Hill. Ask Kellyanne Conway how many stood behind her when she was insulted as a terrifying killer clown on "Saturday Night Live." Ask Juanita Broaddrick who came to her defense when she declared that the (liberal) president of the United States had raped her.
But abortion? Anyone who dares to oppose abortion is a sexist, a racist and maybe even a Christian.
You could find these attitudes in a recent article in fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar, where legendary extremist Gloria Steinem was interviewed/celebrated by British actress and model Jameela Jamil, who stars in the NBC after-death sitcom "The Good Place."
Back in May, Jamil caused a ruckus by tweeting like a typical feminist about her awesome abortion: "I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn't want ... So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel."
Work your way through that equation: Abortion is the best thing that could happen to an unborn baby.
In the glossy pages of Harper's Bazaar, Jamil was modeling and pouting in a $3,800 blazer and $300 tights under the sugary headline "Jameela Jamil Is the Feminist-in-Progress We Need Right Now." As with her showy clothes, it's all about her. She proclaimed, "People have abortions, sometimes a woman just wants her liberty, and we have to normalize that it's okay just to make that choice for yourself, because your life is as important as a newborn life that doesn't even exist yet."
Me, me, me.
Steinem heartily agreed and turned on the pro-lifers by calling them budding authoritarians. "It took me a while to understand that the first step in every authoritarian regime is controlling reproduction, and that means controlling us," she said. "Unless we -- men and women -- have power over our own bodies and voices, there is no such thing as democracy."
To her, pro-lifers smell like Nazis. "Every authoritarian regime that I have ever read about, including Hitler's rise to power, every regime starts with controlling reproduction and that means controlling women's bodies," she said.
In other words, there's no such thing as a holocaust of tens of millions unborn babies, because they're not counted as actual human lives and they have no human dignity. Besides, those who support life for the unborn are Nazis. George Orwell, call your office.
Jamil also told Steinem that she likes her theory that whites have "a fear that not enough white women are being born." Steinem elaborated: "The white evangelicals are supporting Trump solely on the issue of abortion. Obviously, it has nothing to do with his lifestyle. It has to do with their racism."
Our friend Katie Yoder wrote up all this nonsense on Townhall.com with a headline that accurately summarizes: "Gloria Steinhem and Jameela Jamil: There's 'No Democracy' Without Abortion." Jamil responded with Hollywood sophistication, tweeting: "I SAID WHAT I F---ING SAID and you're clueless if you think I'm going to take it back. My life *is* more important to me than an unborn fetus' one. Suck on that."
L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham
Should U.S. citizens have input into whether their neighborhoods are fundamentally and permanently transformed into United Nations refugee camps full of welfare dependents and tax burdens?
Government-funded charities that profit mightily from the federal refugee resettlement program say: “Hell, no!”
But President Donald Trump and growing numbers of informed Americans across the heartland are raising their voices to say: “Heavens, yes!”
This week, an extraordinary revolt took place in Bismarck, North Dakota, where an overflow crowd of residents braved subzero temperatures to register their opposition to allowing the Lutheran Social Services to dump any new refugees in their backyard.
Thanks to an executive order signed by Trump in September, local communities now have explicit opt-in rights to stem the lucrative tide of refugees coming largely from Third World countries and jihadist breeding grounds. Open borders legal groups are, of course, challenging the order in court. These zealots object to states and localities exercising self-determination when it comes to rejecting refugees because it would undermine “national immigration policy,” yet they promote illegal immigrant sanctuary policies in states and localities that create uncontrollable criminal anarchy.
While GOP Gov. Doug Burgum signaled his support for increased importation of refugees, Brian Bitner, chairman of the Burleigh County Commission, echoed the concerns of his constituents. “North Dakota is already the highest per capita state for refugee resettlement in terms of number of citizens, so in the absence of any sort of number, there’s no way we could know the cost to the state or the county, and I simply can’t support that,” Bitner told local media at the Bismarck protest.
Similar outbreaks of resistance have taken place in Maine, New Hampshire, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Vermont, Wyoming and Tennessee over the years. But many Americans remain alarmingly clueless about the four-decade-old, tax-funded racket lining the pockets of nine privileged, nonprofit contractors (and scores of their subcontracting partners like Bismarck’s LSS):
Church World Service
Ethiopian Community Development Council
Episcopal Migration Ministries
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
International Rescue Committee
S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
World Relief Corporation
As I report in “Open Borders Inc.,” the U.S. State Department pays each agency $2,125 per refugee for initial reception and placement; the nonprofits can take up to a 45% cut and use the rest for the initial resettlement costs. Subsidies for management costs are negotiated separately. Unknown thousands more per head are collected for post-placement services.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of refugee resettlement costs imposed on American taxpayers. In the 2016 annual report to Congress by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency reported that in the year prior, 26.7% of refugees received cash assistance from at least one federal program; 66.1% of refugees had received noncash assistance such as SNAP (food stamps). The Federation for American Immigration Reform crunched the numbers in 2018 and estimated the annual cost of refugee resettlement to U.S. taxpayers at $1.8 billion, and $8.8 billion over a five-year period. Using ORR data, FAIR estimated the cost per refugee to American taxpayers at just under $79,600 in the first five years after a refugee is resettled in the U.S. and also found that:
-In 2016, the State Department spent nearly $545 million to process and resettle refugees, including $140,389,177 on transportation costs.
-Of the $1.8 billion in resettlement costs, $867 billion was spent on welfare alone.
-$71 million will be spent to educate refugees and asylum-seekers, a majority of which will be paid by state and local governments.
Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies zeroed in on the heavy costs of resettling Middle Eastern refugees. In their first five years in the United States, he found, “each refugee from the Middle East costs taxpayers $64,370—12 times what the UN estimates it costs to care for one refugee in neighboring Middle Eastern countries. The cost of resettlement includes heavy welfare use by Middle Eastern refugees; 91 percent receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash assistance.”
In addition to food stamps and public housing, refugees collect money from Supplemental Security Income (for the elderly and disabled), welfare cash benefits from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, the federal school lunch program, and the Women, Infants and Children program.
Under the new Trump order, the resettlement agencies must obtain and submit evidence of local, county or state consent by Jan. 21, 2020 to protect their refugee cash flow. If you live in an economically depressed area, crime-ridden city or growth-clogged suburb targeted on the refugee resettlement map, now is the time to put boots on the ground to protect your community and country. As government watchdog Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch warns:
“This is not just a bureaucratic exercise! … For us it is a referendum on state’s rights and whether local citizens will have a say in whether their communities will be changed (forever!).”
America First or America Last? Speak now or kiss our sovereignty goodbye.
First, a full admission about this article: I originally sent a version of it to The Washington Post for publication, but for reasons that will become obvious as you read on, they rejected it.
Here's the backstory. Several weeks ago, I reported on the very large increase in median household incomes under Donald Trump. Based on Census Bureau monthly data, from January 2017, when President Trump entered office, through August 2019, middle-class household incomes rose from $61,000 to an all-time high of $66,000. These numbers are in 2019 dollars -- that is, they are adjusted for inflation. Trump has repeatedly cited these numbers.
The left freaked out for understandable reasons. They are especially agitated because median household incomes have risen by $5,000 under Trump, compared to $1,100 in seven years under President Barack Obama. The data also undermines the case against Trump. Elizabeth Warren likes to say in every speech, "The middle class has been left behind by Trump's policies." That's flat-out wrong.
The self-proclaimed "fact-checkers" on the left went to work to try to discredit the numbers. This includes The Washington Post, PolitiFact and others.
As an aside, we have a big problem in America when the "fact-checkers" are all playing for the liberal team. A case in point is the liberal PolitiFact, which used the screaming headline "Trump's Shaky $5,000 Boast." The Post gave Trump two Pinocchios for claiming these income gains and said "Trump Inflates His Economic Record."
A standard complaint is that these numbers are assembled by a private organization called Sentier Research. But the two Sentier statisticians who analyzed this month's Census Current Population Survey -- a gold mine of economic information -- are probably the most knowledgeable people in the country on this data.
The two of them worked in the income division of the Census Bureau for a combined 40 years. They are scrupulously nonpartisan. "We just report the data," says Sentier's Gordon Green.
The Post challenged the reliability of this data -- even though, on numerous occasions, the Post (and The New York Times) have cited Sentier's research. Apparently, Sentier is reliable when it tells the Trump-haters what they want to hear and wholly unreliable when the data supports him.
Admittedly, these monthly numbers are a first estimate of what's happening with incomes over time and up to the moment. They catch the trends over time. In the absence of this data, the latest income data is far lagged by at least a year, and so this tells us with about 90% accuracy what's going on in real time.
Next, the Post complained that the income data needs to be adjusted for inflation. Actually, all the Sentier data is inflation-adjusted.
Next, they quoted Lou Jacobson of PolitiFact, who claimed that "even taking the expected 2019 statistics into account, the increase under Trump in the official data ... should be smaller than the increase Sentier's data shows." Sorry, Lou, we already know this was a fumble in your own end zone. The latest data that's come out just last week shows the income numbers rising to $5,200, not falling.
Then, the skeptics whine that we shouldn't compare Trump's record with Obama's because Obama inherited a deep recession. That's true, of course, but incomes continued to plummet for two years after the Bush recession ended. Moreover, it was the Post that editorialized before the 2016 election that a Trump presidency risked ruining the U.S. economy and causing a "global financial calamity."
So it's more than a little hypocritical for the Post to now claim that the Trump boom they never saw coming is simply a continuation of the Obama recovery. Every fair-minded person knows that if the economy were in recession now, liberals would be shouting, "Aha! Trump's policies failed."
Here's one of my favorite ridiculous claims by the Post: In attacking Trump's "rumbling distortions" on income gains, a reporter noted that the middle class isn't doing that well because "on an inflation-adjusted basis, (American) families are earning just 2.7% more (in 2016) than they did in 1999."
But the flat family income between 1999 and 2016 is exactly what makes the Trump surge in incomes so impressive. Yes, it's true that incomes barely budged during the Bush and Obama years -- up less than $1,200. Does Trump get the blame for that lousy record, too?
If the Post and others in the liberal media really cared about middle-class families, they'd be cheering these gains for scores of millions of households. But the left hates Trump, and so they feverishly root against the economy. It's not that these aren't facts. It's that the left doesn't want the good news to be true.
This is why the Post refused to allow me to correct the record. The grand irony in all of this is these are the people who assign Trump Pinocchios. He isn't the one guilty of rambling distortions.
The production of the 2015 Broadway musical Finding Neverland may likely be remembered as one of my most memorable touring productions that has graced the stages of Fort Myers this season. But you better hurry if you're going to catch it... It is only playing at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre until November 16th.
The story line is a great lure for Peter Pan lovers everywhere and a safe show to take the kids to see. Based on David Magee's film of the same name, this musical traces how the playwright J.M. Barrie, played by Mark Bacon, came to write 'Peter Pan'.
The musical begins as Mr. J.M. Barrie is experiencing a bit of a writers merry go round. Theater owner Charles Frohman played by Kirk Lawrence, is in dire need of a hit to fill seats at the theater, but everything Barrie writes sounds much like what he's written before as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, played by Josephine Florence Cooper, is quick to point out. Sylvia, is a widowed mother of four boys who all meet Barrie at Kensington Gardens.
Barrie takes a liking to her four sons George, Peter, Jack, and Michael, played by, Canon Dobson, Caisson Dobson, Gabriel Cruz, River Reed, respectively, particularly Peter who is an aspiring writer, but following the tragic loss of his father he's more determined to act as a mature adult and be a steady support system for his hardworking mother instead of an imaginative child embracing his creative tendencies.
The adventures that the boys create, with some help from their new famous friend, serve as fodder for J.M. Barrie's play. While the creative juices are at work and he's busy trying to get the actors on board with his new play concept.
A budding relationship with Sylvia is threatened by illness, and Mr. Barrie must reconcile the world of make believe and real life......... and deal with both.
This musical has it all! It's a wonderful story about the power of imagination and belief, as well as the importance of human connection, and how it can change the lives of those you touch. It's funny, witty, serious and a tear jerker too. (we sat in the back to see the audience reaction) That's impressive for a musical! Even the set designs were impressive, the subtle movement of clouds added a comfortable realness and let's not forget Tinkerbelle!
Cast-wise, the energetic ensemble, the enormously talented kids, and even a scene-stealing dog Porthos, played by the very adorable Oscar Prather, do their very best to deliver a fun evening of entertainment for all........ under the direction of Mia Walker who recreated original director Diane Paulus' work.
Kirk Lawrence makes the most of his character's larger-than-life personality and sells the snippy remarks about children. Emmanuelle Zeesman plays the perfect 'mother in law' character, Josephine Florence Cooper, possibly the strongest soloist of the bunch, is believable as someone who has been through the wringer, but is determined to face whatever obstacle.... to do what's best for her kids. Her rendition of "All that Matters" is strong emotionally and delivers a captivating scene. Mark Bacon captures J.M. Barrie's willingness to embrace his inner child and is at his best when interacting with the boys. and had the range to convincingly play the leading man with boyish charm.
At the end of the show, the audience gave a standing ovation to the cast. (well mostly......., in truth, there were a few who did not stand)
But seriously.... We loved the show! The choreography and dance of the multiple actors on a seemingly small stage was most impressive! And the four boys were absolutely great!
Only running until 11-16 so get your tickets now! Broadway Palm Dinner Theater 239-278-4422