Sunday, October 15, 2017

“IF It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is”!

“Greed is good”, as Gordon Gekko exclaimed in the 1987 movie “Wall Street”. It looks like quite a few people agreed with that statement as the revelations about the “Ponzi” scheme run by Bernard Madoff had been unfolding a few years ago, and it caught quite a few South Floridians and others in it’s web of deceit.

A “Ponzi” scheme is a swindle in which a quick return on an initial investment is paid out of funds from new investors, which lures the victim or victims into bigger risks, and eventually results in a financial bust and the loss of most all the money invested. Eventually, the scheme runs out of new investors and the scheme goes bust.

As despicable as Bernard Madoff was in his operation of his financial “Ponzi” scheme, the people who got caught up in his web of deceit, couldn’t control the greed “ gene”, that is residing in all of us, and it came about to bite these people in the butt, big time.

The “victims” of this scam were not illiterate school dropouts, who were taken advantage of by a smooth talking charlatan (which he was), but were some of the wealthiest “machers” here and around the country, and in foreign countries as well. Fred Wilpon, owner of the N.Y. Mets, Steven Spielberg, famed Hollywood producer, Mort Zuckerman, owner of the N.Y. Daily News and U.S. News and World report, and the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), were some of the famous people taken for a ride on the Madoff scam machine. It is estimated that up to $50 billion had been lost by these and other investors. The final total will probably never be known. Bernie Madoff will be spending the rest of his life in prison for his crime.

Some people were looking for that proverbial, “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow, and believed that Bernie Madoff was some sort of a “financial genius” who could produce financial profits more than double the prevailing rate of what banks and other financial institutions were giving their depositors and clients. Greed blinded these people when they should have known that this guy was just another “snake oil” salesman selling a bogus product.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for even one person’s greed”. Getting annual returns of between 12% and 15% was not normal in the realm of today’s business and financial investing – it should have raised a “red flag” if anyone wanted to know how this “ financial guru” knew something nobody else knew? In other words, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”, should have been the catchword, heeded by all the dupes who entrusted this guy with their life savings and their philanthropic trusts.

I don’t wish hardships on anyone, as “ there, but for the grace of God, go I”, but when the greed “ gene” takes over one's mind, it’s very difficult to act rationally when the dollar signs cover your eyes and warp your good judgment. This won’t be the last time somebody will attempt to “screw” his friends and friends of friends in order to live the “good life” on the backs of his naïve victims, but it should be a wake up call, to all investors, to be vigilant in the future for the enticing deals that sounds “too good to be true”, because as we’ve seen in this case, “they probably are”.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

The "Anti-Hate" Group That Is a Hate Group!

The Southern Poverty Law Center bills itself as an “anti-hate” group. But in reality, this group’s sweet-sounding name disguises a nefarious purpose that threatens free thought and speech. In this week’s video, American journalist and researcher Karl Zinsmeister from PragerU explains. He reveals how the masterminds behind the Southern Poverty Law Center, contrary to their stated goal of reducing hate, are actually fueling it.
Did you know PragerU is a 501(c)3 non-profit?

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

MORT’s meanderings

What part of GONE FOREVER don’t you understand?
Let me ask those of you who take a knee when our National Anthem is being played . . . those of you who hate President Trump for being a different kind of President, one who keeps his promises; one who puts this nation first; one who has in a just a few short months, effectively become the leader of the Free World by demonstrating his extraordinary skills at dealing head-on with even the most long-standing, complex, vexing problems and obstinate people, both foreign and domestic.  

While other recent Presidents have made much noise about inheriting difficult situations, President Donald Trump assumed the Presidency that immediately followed the most disastrous eight years of Obama, who did his best to destroy all that has made the USA the exceptional nation it is.  If anyone can legitimately claim to have inherited the greatest possible mess, it is President Trump.  And, he faces the most unAmerican media, the most demonic Democrat leadership in the Congress and an entire generation of Millenials who are bent on destruction of the status quo for no intelligent reason except, they are so totally clueless that they think Bernie Sanders makes sense.

If the absolute, worst-case should occur, meaning that the moronic masses should overwhelm the Trump Presidency and Administration - -
          what part of GONE FOREVER don’t you understand?

                                                                        MORT KUFF     © 9-21-2017

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Is Raising the Minimum Wage Good or Bad for the Economy?

There has been an organized effort on the part of unions and the liberals (a/k/a Democrats and Progressives), to raise the minimum wage nationally to $15.00 per hour. Is that proposal good economic policy or is it a disaster for the working poor who are now working for the minimum wage?

The intentions of raising the pay for workers is admirable, but the negative economic consequences of instituting a $15.00 minimum wage, by government mandate, is apparent for anyone who has any kind of rational economic sense.

Instead of boosting the supposed working poor (e.g. teens, immigrants, the unskilled and seniors working to supplement their retirement), the boost has actually eliminated jobs and has locked many of the unskilled workers out of the job market. Basic economics predicts that by increasing the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour, it will never work, and it actually hurts the unskilled workers for which the increase was intended to improve their economic condition.

Arbitrarily mandating pay levels in excess of the value of the work performed, actually locks out many in the work force and denies them the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience that they need to qualify for more skilled, higher paying jobs. It has been determined, in the real world, that a person doesn't get paid for the time he/she works, they get paid for the value they bring to the time they work.

Well, what has happened in some of the cities where the minimum wage was arbitrarily raised (or will be raised to $15.00 incrementally). The cities of Seattle and San Francisco have raised their minimum wage, so what has been their experience? In the City of San Francisco, the minimum wage increase has led to a rash of restaurant closings due to the increased labor costs mandated upon the owners of these restaurants by the city. It seems that many of the legislators in California are blinded to the facts by their liberal ideology by not recognizing the negative “benefits” of raising the minimum wage. In fact, House Democrat Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, from the San Francisco area, has stated that if the Democrats retake the House of Representatives in 2018, they will raise the federal minimum wage rate to $15.00 per hour in the first 100 days.

In Seattle, it's the same story. A study by the University of Washington has shown that increasing the minimum wage has hurt low wage Seattle workers. Workers are taking home $125.00 less per month due to cutbacks in hours totaling up to 3.5 million hours per calendar quarter, and in addition, many small businesses have shut their doors and have gone out of business leaving many workers unemployed.

How will employers try to meet the increased costs of payroll on their businesses? Adding “unproductive” costs on them forces them to look at other options in order to survive and remain financially efficient. Those options have included, raising prices (a real negative in many cases), closing their doors and going out of business (another negative), using robots, installing self-service kiosks, cutting back employee hours, or actually laying off workers. Most of those options are not good for the working poor or for our economy in general.

In conclusion, the proverb, “The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions”, seems to apply to the advocates and proponents of raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. The “workers” who are protesting various businesses to have that business pay the $15.00, in most cases, are protesting for their own unemployment. Remember, to these protesters, isn't it better to be employed, at say $8.00 per hour, than be unemployed at $15.00 per hour? For that is the consequences of this liberal “feel good” proposal to raise the minimum wage. It's time to cut our losses and realize that the only effective way to raise wages and create upward mobility, instead of government mandates, is through increased demand, by a vibrant, growing economy. The Pres. Trump tax plan is one way of achieving that positive result.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Make lemonade when handed lemons

I am about to walk through a bed of hot cinders to approach a very
controversial subject ignited with well meaning, miss informed do-
gooders, who think giving the knee to our flag and national anthem
when it is played is a form of protest to champion the plight they
claim is injustice to our under class minority citizens in a just cause;
but it has lost its true meaning and gotten out of control, and in truth
they are giving the finger to my beloved country.

If these over paid complainers are serious about their concerns for
the downtrodden, they should kneel in prayer for the restoration of
family structure, where 67% of black households lack the presence
of a father caused by hit and run macho conquests and domestic
violence, that can also be attributed among some of the protestors.
Much of the present discourse began with "don't shoot, hands up,"
induced from a lie, provoked by a bully (Michael Brown) in Ferguson,
Mo. who defied violently an arrest order from a police officer. So was
born the phrase, "Black lives matter," that has become an organized
mob to disrupt anything or anyone who disagrees with their agenda of
black supremacy.

Racism continues to exist, because the accusers and their liberal
minions are feeding and keeping it alive, using the people they profess
to help for their own warped benefit for power and financial gains.
There is no denying the black mark of slavery tarnished the, "shining
city upon a hill" in our history.

The human flesh was supplied to our shores by their own people. If
there is a plus to be had for hardship and indignity to this inhumane
episode, it is that their progeny eventually, on their own volition, had
the opportunity to rise above victimization and achieve the American
dream they wouldn't have had in their ancestral land.

These kneelers will do well to see they are profiting big time from the
road that brought them here.

Many have taken the opportunity to contribute and integrated into a
productive society, where others have chosen to remain dependent
on government subsidies and play the system.

When I listen to the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, I have to check the bottom of my
shoes to make sure where it's coming from.

Conservative column from George Giftos


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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Whatever Happened to.......?

  • common courtesy,  like people holding the door open for another person and that person then saying THANK YOU for your effort?
  • free and open discussion of political topics in our schools and colleges without the interference of hecklers and people threatening violence? (ex: Antifa and Black Lives Matter)

    • our elected representatives showing up for work on a regular basis and doing their job as an elected official and then passing meaningful legislation for the benefit of the citizens they represent?
    • professional athletes playing the sport they excel in while keeping their political and social views to themselves, not at their workplace?
    • newspapers and some cable T.V. Stations giving us the unvarnished “truthful” news (not “fake news”) instead of being overly partisan for one political party over another?
    • law and justice as applied to people in high places who seem to be getting away with crimes, while the poor “schlumps” like us get “nailed” for the very same crimes? (ex: Hillary Clinton and her illegal server).
    • the presumption of innocence when someone is accused of a crime in a “he said – she said” situation, unless or until found guilty in a court of law, as a false accusation can ruin a person's life forever?
    • honoring your father, mother and family by a person being honest and trustworthy in his dealings with others.
    • people being able to practice their religious beliefs without being called vile names, chastised, or threatened by the government and people who abhor religion (ex: gay marriage, co-ed bathrooms, abortion etc.)?

    • a person being judged on the content of his/her character instead of the color of his/her skin, ethnic background, religious affiliation, or country of origin?
    • to the idea that you should stand for the playing of the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance out of respect for your country and the people who fought and died for it?
    • the music of today that has no melody, no understandable lyrics, that denigrate women, and cannot be danced to like the music of yesteryear?
    • being able to laugh at an ethnic or racial joke without being labeled a bigot or a racist, even though the person who the joke referred to thought it was funny and not “politically incorrect”?
    • the time when people's achievements were considered to be an inspiration rather than a grievance?
    • the idea that if you worked hard and obeyed the rules and you made a lot of money, it was not subject to the greed of others or the government by taking it from you and giving it to someone else who didn't work as hard as you?

Can anybody figure out what happened?  If you can, please let us know by making a comment on what you just read.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

MORT’s meaderings

CNN & MSNBC Reporters and Talking Heads
with Attention Deficit Disorder:
We get ityou don’t like Trump.  Noted. Understood.  Got it. Got it!

Why is that?  Is it because he can be obnoxious but continues to win?

Is it because so many working-class people you hate, voted for him?

Is it because he has your number and he calls you out when you lie?

Is it because you can’t stand the sight or the sound of the man?

Is it because Melania’s style eclipses memories of MooseshellObama?

Is it because you despise Trump and despite all you have done and are still doing to trash his every move, he continues to keep each and every one of the campaign promises he made?  

Is it because you are so blinded by hatred for this exceptional nation, its  warts-and-all history – and the Constitution of the United States?

Is it because you have feelings of inadequacy after 8 years of Obama spewing hate, divisiveness, lies and anti-American demonization?

Is that why your heads are twisted-on with left-handed threads? You are all such sad sacks.  Have you considered other lines of work?  Hmmmm?
                                              MORT KUFF    © 9-3-2017

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Observations From the Poop Deck

I just returned from a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean for 7 days.  Here are my observations from the “Poop Deck”.

  • It seems that 70% of the passengers on the ship were overweight with some bordering on the semi-obese and the obese.
  • How some of these “proportionately challenged” passengers were able to navigate around the ship and in the “midget-sized” (a politically incorrect description) bathroom was beyond my comprehension.  It looked like the shower stall was modeled after Olive Oyl, so getting in and out of it by these bloated passengers was an almost impossible task.
  • Some of these over sized passengers were even lounging around in bathing suits on the sun deck.  It reminded me of someone trying to put 10 lbs. of potatoes in a 5 lb. bag.  It was a sight to behold.
  • Of course, the various restaurants around the ship were frequented by these huge “patrons of the culinary arts” with platefuls of mostly food with a high carbohydrate content.
  • In addition to the plus sized group were the passengers with mobility problems.  On some occasions it looked like a form of that old carnival attraction called “Bumper Cars” only this time it was between the passengers using walkers and wheelchairs.  It was quite a sight to see.
  • And then there were the passengers who thought they could break the ships “Casino Games”, not realizing that the slot machines were rigged to limit any enormous payouts, and that the “21” table was there to relieve the naive passengers of any money left over after playing the slots.  The odds of winning on cruise ships is like winning the lottery.
  • A major change has taken place on most all the cruise ships in regards to the “dress up nights”.  For many years, it was the practice for both the men and women to dress up in tuxedos and evening dresses on a couple of nights in order to add class to the atmosphere aboard the ship. NO MORE.  Now they have “smart casual” and “smart chic” nights.  To some it meant wearing pressed jeans with no holes in the pant legs.
  • I also noticed that the food portions were less than what was offered years ago.  On the night of the standard “lobster dinner” you had to order a double portion in order to get more than one bite of the lobster tail that was presented. In a way, less food on a cruise ship might be considered a healthy way to eat with less calories.
  • The entertainment provided was excellent as usual.  The energetic singers and dancers (mostly guys and gals in their early twenties) were very talented and they put on a great show which most of the passengers enjoyed immensely.  The production numbers were professionally done and rivaled the Broadway shows which cost a fortune to attend.
  • Finally, the ports-of-call were geared to the females being able to drag their less than enthusiastic husbands and traveling partners to visit the various jewelry and watch stores that proliferated in these port towns.  Most stores had chairs available for the “bored” men to sit down and relax as the women-folk went about charging up a storm on the credit card.
  • As usual, the cruise experience was both a relaxing and hectic adventure for all who were aboard, and it was a good feeling to be going back home to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the old abode.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann  

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Monument to Hillary

I have the distinguished honor of being a member of the Committee to raise $50,000,000 for a monument to Hillary R. Clinton.

We originally wanted to put her on Mt. Rushmore until we discovered there was not enough room for her two faces.

We then decided to erect a statue of Hillary in the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame. We were in a quandary as to where the statue should be placed. It was not proper to place it beside the statue of George Washington, who never told a lie, nor beside Barack Obama, who never told the truth, because frankly, Hillary never could tell the difference.

We finally decided to place it beside Christopher Columbus, the greatest Democrat of them all. He left not knowing where he was going, and when he got there he did not know where he was. He returned not knowing where he had been, and did it all on someone else's money.

Jim Pirretti
Chandler, AZ

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

There's No Such Thing as a “Free Lunch"

That expression has been regularly used over the years to convey the idea that anything that is offered as “free” really isn't free, but is a hidden cost and a possible burden to others.

Ever since the “New Deal”, during FDR's administrations, politicians have been promising people something for nothing in hopes that those people will respond favorably in the future and vote for those politicians doling out the “free” largesse from the public treasury. Well, today the “chickens are coming home to roost” (a phrase made popular by Obama's former pastor/mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright). Many states are facing bankruptcy due to the fact that their “generous” fiscal policies, granted to favored groups and unions over the years, are coming back to bite them in the butt, big time. Many state pension funds are woefully underfunded, government salaries have been grossly inflated, and work rules shamefully relaxed, under intimidating union pressure. These past labor policies have now prevented many states from prospering, and as a result, have brought them to a “financial Armageddon” which is now being played out in the states of Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, California, New York etc.

Most rational people are not against government workers getting a public funded pension and benefits, but feel that these government workers should have to contribute towards these “Cadillac” pensions and health care programs and not leave the burden to be carried on the backs of the taxpayers by raising their taxes to pay for these fringe benefits alone. Over the years, due to pressure from the union bosses, during collective bargaining negotiations, the politicians have “sweetened” the “pot” to make public pensions and health care impossible to sustain by the taxpaying public.

How can you justify that 80% of the retirees in the NYC Fire Department retire on “disability pensions” collecting almost 100% of their salary, tax-free? How can you justify that a NYC bus driver, sanitation worker, transit authority employee, train conductor etc., can almost double his/her “lawful” pension by using “overtime pay” during their last couple of years of service as a pension enhancer to jack up their annual retirement pay to be used in the determination of their pension? Unused sick days and unused vacation time have also been used to jack up a potential retirees final salary, giving them a much higher pension than they would have earned by using their regular salary only.

Most private employees do not get what the public employees (government workers) get and feel that the salary enhancing ploys are not fair or justifiable in today's dire economic environment. They believe that everyone should be contributing something toward their own retirement fringe benefits.

The governor's, of many of our states, have to balance their budgets and must rein in these overly generous “freebies”. That must be their priority in trying to bring financial sanity back to the public workplace. The demonstrations in both Illinois and Ohio are a pitiful display of self-serving boorish behavior on the part of these well-paid government union workers, who want to keep the status quo by opposing any changes whatsoever, even in the face of a state going off the “financial cliff”.

Yes Virginia, there is no such thing as a “free lunch” and the sooner we realize that the better off we will be.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

The LEFT, the RIGHT and the FAR OUT

The Far Out are phony demonstrators known as Antifa, Occupy Wall Street, Black
Lives Matter and other idiotic but dangerous mobs, who have been given life and
headlines by fake news media.

This past week we witnessed the best that America has to offer, in Texas and
Louisiana, coming from every corner of the country, to assist those in distress and
dire need.

Unfortunately, it will be just a matter of time for the worse in America to appear again,
when the Far Out flex their muscles in another phony grievance, blemishing the good
Godly people gave for their fellow man, abetted in support by ungodly fake media
news sources and some on the Left with the Democratic label.

The President and members of his administration's commendable approach toward
the devastation created by Hurricane Harvey has the editorial boards from fake news
sources grinding their teeth and busy exploring ways to come up with a viable,
nonfactual creative story, to blame the storm on President Trump,knowing what ever
he does can easily be twisted to dupe the naïve public; but so far all they came up
with was a critique on First Lady, Melania's shoes.

Stay tuned for more creativity by the Gray Lady, Washington Post and CNN.

Conservative column from George Giftos

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Trickle Up Poverty

When Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1980, his opponents scoffed at his proposal to lower taxes, calling the possible results as “Trickle Down Economics” (a/k/a Reaganomics). They said it was a worthless economic policy. Was it?

In theory, TDE is an economic system where there is no significant barrier to accumulation of wealth by individuals. If the rich do well, as the theory goes, benefits will “trickle down” to the rest of the people. Lower taxes on high income earners or capital gains will benefit not only the rich but everybody on the lower income rungs, is how that theory is supposed to work. Reagan's critics had to “eat crow” as the economy boomed after the Reagan tax cuts kicked in. The resulting prosperity lasted more than 25 years. Yes, the rich got richer, but so did the poor and middle-class, “a rising tide lifted all boats”, as Jack Kennedy once opined. The economy was booming during the late 80's and 90's as a result of Reagan's “Trickle Down Economics”.

As envy took hold among a certain section of the population, mainly by liberal Democrats, they thought that by lowering taxes it would decrease government revenue, but during Reagan's two terms, government revenue practically doubled as a result. The clamor for higher tax rates resonated across the national scene, pushed by the Democrats. They claimed it was unfair that rich people got richer and as a result they felt that some of those extra riches should be confiscated by the government by raising taxes on the wealthy. For the last 20 years, drip by drip and little by little, the Democrats have pushed for successful people to pay more taxes into the federal treasury to help fund the money losing social programs instituted by the liberal politicians looking to shore their low-information and poor people voting base. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the Democrat presidential candidates in 2016, both championed the Marxist/Socialist economic philosophy, as part of their campaign proposals which included “income redistribution”, which is one of the planks of socialist theory (take from the rich to give to the poor – the Robin Hood syndrome).

During the period of when Reagan's tax cuts kicked in (1983 to 2007), America's net worth climbed from $25 trillion to $57 trillion. In fact, more wealth was created in the U.S. during those 25 years than in the previous 200 years. This period was called by many economists “the greatest period of wealth creation in the history of the planet”. Besides cutting taxes, Reagan lifted price controls on oil and natural gas, cut regulations, took on the unions, and advocated for free trade. All this booming economy came to an abrupt halt in 2008, mainly as a consequence of wrongful public policy (the housing mortgage meltdown), which was promoted by the Democrats to give mortgages to not creditworthy poor people (potential Democrat voters) which resulted in massive credit defaults and a nasty recession.

The old adage of “people who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it” (this was a George Santayana quote) is something the Democrats haven't learned, as they want to punish success through taxing and regulating the producers over and above what is fair and equitable. In economics, there comes a “point of diminishing returns” which generally comes about when you take the incentive away from businesses and entrepreneurs by over taxing and over regulating them. After all, the top 10% of income earners now pay 70% of all income taxes, and they are vilified by the liberal left as not paying their “fair share”. Compare that “fairness” with the fact that 47% of income earners pay no federal income tax ( is that fair?). For example, a few years back the government, in their abject stupidity, instituted a “luxury tax” on products that wealthy people normally bought such as yachts, expensive cars etc. that cost $30,000 or more. The result of this action caused the wealthy people to curtail or stop their purchase of these luxury goods, thereby putting some of the producing companies of these luxury products out of business and the resulting layoff of thousands of workers, who were not wealthy. This oppressive tax was finally repealed after a short period of time. Was that a lesson to be learned by the Democrats, apparently not?

The policies put forth by the Democrats today is tantamount to reversing the theory of “Trickle Down Economics” which worked so well for so many years, and now they want to change it to “Trickle Up Poverty” as that will be the result if the tax and spend Democrats ever get back control of the government in future elections.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

MORT’s meanderings

What’s Fair is Fair.
Oh, the outrage about President Trump’s pardon of Sheriff Arpaio.  
We didn’t hear that much outrage when Clinton pardoned his corrupt fellow-Democrats.  No such outrage when Obama set free dozens of the worst, vicious, violent Islamo-terrorists kept at Gitmo.  The ploy of sending them to Yemen was as phony and hypocritical as can be.  But, Pres. Trump pardoning Sheriff Arpaio from his ludicrous sentence for the vicious, violent crime of catching illegal aliens?  That takes the cake.
How about this?  How about indicting Obama; and the hundreds of Islamist agents he placed in positions of influence in our Federal Government during his 8 years as President; his two utterly racist & corrupt Attorneys General; Bill & Hillary Clinton and their ‘Foundation’; Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Nunzi Pelosi and the entire bunch of corrupt Democrats in the Congress?  Indict them, try them in Court, find them guilty which they are and then, throw them in jail for as long as the law allows. Keep them there with no special privileges.
And then, when the next Democrat President is elected, let him pardon each of these immoral, criminal reprobates as he sees fit.  Make sense?

Hey, I’ve got plenty of good solutions – just ask me

                                                                                  MORT KUFF     © 8-28-2017.

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