Congressional Accountability Act makes members of Congress unaccountable

Isn’t it nice to know your tax dollars have been used to payoff employees of Congress who have been subjected to civil rights, labor, and workplace safety and health law violations — presumably including sexual harassment.

Under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 congressional staffers are covered by those and their employers are no longer exempt. But in most cases the employee pays the penalties for violations, but not members of Congress.

According to the Office of Compliance, taxpayers from fiscal year 1997 through 2017 have shelled out $17.25 million dollars to cover the legal awards and settlements with congressional staffers.

Specifics about the reasons for claims, the person complaining and the person complained about are conveniently not reported. Therefore, there is no accountability — ironically enough given the name of the aforementioned act — nor means for voters to address how their money is spent.

According to Politico, California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier is pushing for legislation to make members of Congress personally liable for any harassment settlements. Why not any other violation of the law?

“Make no mistake that the fault of the current complaint process lies within Congress, which authored and passed this deeply flawed legislation that established the Office of Compliance and its burdensome complaint process,” Speier was quoted as saying. “It is our responsibility to fix this law and do better for our employees.”

Rep. Jackie Speier (Politco pix)

Editorial: Trump tells it like it is at the U.N.

Trump at United Nations (AP pix)

The New York Times editorial called the speech bellicose and said it had a dark tone and focus. It compared the speech unfavorably to one by a more humble President Obama in 2009 when many of the same problems existed — without a hint of recognition that Obama had failed to resolve any of those problems.

The Los Angeles Times editorial said the message was undermined by bombast, boastfulness, illogic and was needlessly offensive. “It was a bizarrely bellicose message for an American president to send to an audience of world leaders,” the paper opined.

So President Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly was obviously a rousing success.

“As president of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first,” Trump told the assembly, which, despite the negative reviews of the liberal press, reacted with applause.

Yes, he pulled no punches when he talked about the regimes in North Korean, Iran and Venezuela, and he did not let Russia and China escape criticism.

“We must protect our nations, their interests, and their futures,” Trump declared. “We must reject threats to sovereignty, from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow. And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together and confront together those who threaten us with chaos, turmoil, and terror.”

He pointed out that North Korea has shown contempt for other nations and its own people by starving, imprisoning, torturing and killing them.

“If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life,” he said of the ruthless dictator he dubbed the “Rocket Man,” who is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.

Trump called the Iranian nuclear deal brokered by Obama the worst, most one-sided deal ever entered into by the United States.

As for Venezuela, Trump singled out the root cause of its economic collapse under the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro.

“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented,” the president said to a round of applause, despite the fact the L.A. Times called this a gratuitous insult and a simplistic denunciation of socialism likely to offend many countries. “From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems.”

He also warned the U.N. members that the United States is fully aware that it bears a disproportionate burden, noting there are 193 countries in the U.N., but the U.S. pays 22 percent of the entire budget.

Trump concluded his tell-it-like-it-is speech with a stirring call to action, “So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world: We will fight together, sacrifice together, and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity, and for the almighty God who made us all.”

The liberal media is going to criticize Trump no matter what he says, and he too often deserves criticism for popping off. Perhaps he should give more speeches like this one and send fewer Tweets.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

Rosen said to be planning to run against Heller

Jacky Rosen (AP pix via Politico)

Half the search engine alerts about Nevada this morning seemed to contain a link to some story about first-term Democratic Congresswoman Jacky Rosen of Las Vegas, who has a year and a half to go in her first term, planning to soon announce a bid to unseat Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

Politico first broke the news at 7:44 p.m. Monday, followed a couple of hours later by The Nevada Independent and a half dozen others, except the Las Vegas newspaper. Most cited unnamed sources, though a couple led with the National Republican Congressional Committee reacting to the news.

Politico reported that a poll released Monday showed Heller getting just 39 percent of the vote while a generic Democrat polled 46 percent among Nevada voters.

“Heller is widely considered the most vulnerable Republican up for re-election in 2018 and is the only GOP senator this cycle who represents a state won by Hillary Clinton in 2016,” Politico reported.

NVIndy reported:

The first-term congresswoman has spoken with former Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and his successor, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, about getting into the race and is the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s top choice to run against the senior senator, the source said. Heller is considered the most vulnerable Republican up for reelection in 2018 and is the Democrats’ best pickup opportunity in the midterm.

The website also said she has the backing of the Culinary union, which has a strong voter turnout organization. In the 2016 presidential election Hillary Clinton outpolled Donald Trump by 2 points, largely due to the unions getting members to the polls.

CNN quoted an NRSC spokesman as saying, “With today’s news, Jacky Rosen confirmed to Nevadans the only reason she’s in elected office is to serve her own ambitions. Rosen’s radical liberal stances might please her puppet-master Harry Reid, but they will leave Nevadans worse off.”

Election season is never ending.

Trump has a strange way of unifying the party

How to win friends and influence people. Donald Trump is no Dale Carnegie.

During a meeting of GOP donors during the Republican Convention this week in Cleveland he was caught on tape boasting to the donors that if he had run as an independent he could have beaten the GOP nominee. He did not say he would’ve won the presidency, but would’ve outpolled the GOP.

“I was the only one who wasn’t going to sign the pledge, and [RNC Chairman] Reince [Priebus] is going crazy because he thought I was going to run independent, and if I ran independent I promise you the Republicans would have had zero chance, OK?” he was quoted as saying by Politico, which added that this prompted laughter from the audience. “The independents would beat the Republicans!”

So, that’s how you unify the party and win supporters?

Reminds me of a line from a Kris Kristofferson song:

He’s a walkin’ contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction
Takin’ every wrong direction on his lonely way back home.

How the presidential nomination race is shaping up

Since the folks at the morning paper can’t find a graphic with both hands, here is how the presidential nominating race is shaping up, according to Politico:


Donald Trump has 954 delegates, while everyone else has 959.

The polls at Real Clear Politics project the possible head-to-head November races:



Does Trump have GOP nomination sewn up?

NY Times graphic

NY Times graphic

It’s all over but the crying, right?

Donald Trump snatched up at least 89 of the 95 Republican delegates up for grabs in his home state of New York Tuesday, though John Kasich did manage to stick a finger in his eye by winning the three delegates from Trump’s home borough, Manhattan.

Ted Cruz got blanked and faces bleak chances in other New England vicinity states next week — Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. In fact, Cruz is mathematically now eliminated from any chance of winning the nomination on the first ballot.

Delegate total graphic from R-J today.

Meanwhile, Trump has far more delegates than anyone else and is only 392 from the majority needed to win on the first ballot. But he does not have a majority of the delegates awarded so far. Uncommitted delegates and delegates committed to other candidates total 950, compared to Trump’s 845.

And while Trump continues to whine about the rigged delegate procedures that allow Cruz to take all the delegates in places like Wyoming and Colorado by actually, you know, showing up, it should be noted that the winner-take-all rules are benefiting Trump. In New York he gets 60 percent of the vote but at least 94 percent of the delegates. One person, one vote?

And if Trump doesn’t get to 1,237 by the convention, don’t forget how it turned out in the second Republican National Convention in 1860.

Ramirez cartoon






Trump picked up only 18 more delegates than Cruz on Tuesday

In case you are trying to figure out where the presidential nominating process stands after Tuesday’s voting in neighboring Arizona, Utah and Idaho, you’ll have to look elsewhere than the morning paper which states, “GOP results in Utah and Democratic results in Idaho were not available late Tuesday,” though both were available before midnight.

Both Republicans and Democrats voted in Arizona and Utah, but only Democrats in Idaho.

When the dust cleared, Donald Trump picked up 18 more delegates than Ted Cruz, but Bernie Sanders picked up 16 more delegates than Hillary Clinton.

Here is a New York Times graphic:


New York Times election graphic at

Politico has actual vote counts on its website. In total, Trump picked up 272,000 votes to Cruz’s 250,000. Even though she lost ground in delegates, Clinton got 253,000 votes to Sanders’ 180,000.

According to Politico, Marco Rubio still has 166 delegates, meaning Trump has 739 delegates (yes, that is different from NYT), while all other candidate and uncommitted delegates add up to 798. There are 955 delegates up for grab in upcoming voting. To win the nomination outright requires 1,237 delegates.

The next GOP contest is in Wisconsin on April 5. Its 42 delegates are winner-take-all.