Why is there a news blackout on the fact that the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter had converted to Islam and taken the Islamic name Aashiq Hammad?

The news reports all indicate that he went to the airport and shot as many people as possible because he was mentally ill and the implications are that he had post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the US Army in Iraq.

He may or may not be mentally ill, but the fact that he had converted to Islam and had links to radical Islam make this a lot more like the other terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals and less like someone who simply had mental problems.

Why can’t the mainstream media simply report the facts and let the American people make up their own minds?

Hopefully, after Jan. 20, when we have a new president, federal law enforcement officials will be ordered to go out and tell the truth. If it is a terrorist attack then say it is a terrorist attack.


It’s not over until the fat lady sings, or in this case until the orange faced man raises his right hand, but President Barack Hussein Obama gave his formal goodbye speech as president Tuesday night in Chicago.

Obama certainly wasn’t as relaxed as he was when he was here in Greensboro last year campaigning for Hillary Clinton, but there was no doubt it was a bitter sweet occasion, and for Obama more bitter than sweet.

Obama is not simply leaving office, he is leaving office to someone who has vowed to undo much of what he has done.

But I thought this was one of his better speeches. Then again, I have never thought that Obama was a particularly good speaker. I don’t like the cadence that he gets into where he reads from one teleprompter for four seconds and then the other for four seconds, or whatever the interval is, switching back and forth like he is watching an ultra-slow-motion tennis match.

Although this speech was about his presidency, he did a good job of not making it entirely about himself. He used the term, “We, the people” several times, which is the rallying cry of conservative Republicans and no doubt was used for some purpose, but that purpose escapes me.

He talked a lot about the need for compromise in politics, something that he was unable to do in his dealings with Republicans in Congress, much to his own discredit.

Obama was given a huge opportunity to bring about the kind of change he wanted in this country and failed largely because he wouldn’t compromise and was too egotistical to see that political power is fleeting. He was elected with a veto-proof majority in the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate but, because of his own radical push to pass Obamacare. He lost that Senate majority after only nine months, when Massachusetts elected a Republican senator to replace Ted Kennedy who died in office. Imagine how concerned the people of Massachusetts must have been that they elected a Republican to stop Obama.

But imagine how much more damage he could have done if he had only kept that majority in the Senate for two years. It seems to have never occurred to Obama that the reason the American people elected Republican majorities to both Houses of Congress was to stop him as best they could.


As a journalist it was great fun to watch Donald Trump’s first press conference as president-elect on Wednesday. Trump, as president-elect, treats the press with the same healthy skepticism that he did during the campaign. And just like he did during the campaign, he answered most of the questions he was asked, and he answered them in a succinct fashion, or succinct for a politician.

One of the strategies Obama employed all during his presidency was to talk as long as possible when answering a question. Obama went on and on. The only time I know of that he was stopped was by a local news reporter who was interviewing him who realized his time was running out and he hadn’t asked his big question. Obama chided him for interrupting the president.

Trump takes questions, answers them and then takes more.

It was unfortunate that so many of the questions were about the fake news report of Trump’s behavior in Russia. Someone is now claiming credit for creating the story and putting it out there.

Trump was rightly critical of the intelligence community for leaking information to the press. It is important to remember that the intelligence community is still working for Obama. I very much doubt if those kinds of leaks will take place once they are working for Trump. Someone may leak something once, but Trump is not the kind of man to put up with that kind of behavior and it’s doubtful if anyone is ever given the chance to leak something a second time.


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said that Dr. Ben Carson is “unqualified” to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Since Pelosi is white and Carson black, according to the rules established by the politically correct liberals, that makes Pelosi a racist because the only reason she could possibly think that Carson was unqualified is his race.

Not a single newspaper in this country is going to call Pelosi a racist for saying that Carson is unqualified because the rules are different for what Democrats can say and what Republicans can say.

For eight years anyone who criticized Obama was called a racist. It wasn’t possible that any Republican could disagree with Obama’s policies or methods of reaching his political goals. No, if you didn’t support Obama it had to be because he is black and you are a racist.

But because Pelosi is a Democrat, the mainstream media know that her heart is pure and if she says that Carson is unqualified it is because she really believes he is unqualified.

Pelosi might want to sit down and have a conversation with Carson before she calls him unqualified. Anyone who does learns pretty quickly just how brilliant and perceptive the man is.

One day I had the privilege of hearing Carson talk to middle school students, then elementary school students and finally at a fund raising event. It seemed to me that he hit every audience at its level, which I found amazing. Talking to elementary school students about something as technical and complicated as brain surgery is enormously difficult, but he seemed to do it with ease.

Carson is an incredibly impressive individual and if he has decided that he wants to be secretary of HUD, there is no way that when he is sworn into office he will be unqualified. My guess is he will know more about HUD programs than a lot of the senior staff members who have been there for years.


People, including Rhino Times County Editor Scott Yost, judging from his column last week, are worried about President Trump pressing the button and starting a nuclear war. In my opinion, he is one of the least likely presidents we have had in decades to start a nuclear war. The most likely in my lifetime was Jimmy Carter, and I think the second most likely is Obama.

Look at the world from Obama’s perspective. Up until the evening of Nov. 8, he thought his legacy was set. Hillary Clinton was going to take over, and since anyone who has ever read something longer than a photo caption about Hillary Clinton knows that she has never in her life had a single original thought, Obama could be assured that she would continue down the Obama political path.

Then Hillary Clinton, as an incumbent using all the power of her office, would certainly be reelected, and by the time her eight years in the White House had come to a close, the Supreme Court would be packed with such liberal justices that they wouldn’t even bother reading that tired old document the Constitution anymore, but would determine law by what they thought was best for the country.

At that point the Democrats could afford to let the Republicans have Congress because every law they didn’t like would be found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. After 16 years of having the White House controlled by Democrats and eight years of having liberal justices running the Supreme Court, the Republican Party would be irrelevant.

But Obama’s plan was thwarted by a man named Donald Trump, who didn’t follow any of the established protocols of running for president, but somehow against all odds he won. Now Obama is looking at his legacy legislation, Obamacare, being tossed out the window as soon after Jan. 20 as they can pry the window open.

There is every indication that Trump is going to solve the problems that Obama has had with Russia because Trump knows how to deal with bullies.

Trump sometime in January is going to appoint a conservative justice to the Supreme Court and the liberal justices that Obama appointed will be resigned to writing minority opinions that may make them look brilliant to their followers but that have no legal standing.

Trump is going to make up with Israel, and the United Nations resolution that Obama helped get passed will be withdrawn, or whatever they do at the UN, and then Trump will begin the process of making the UN even more irrelevant than it already is. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is a tough woman, and she isn’t going to get pushed around at the UN.

Things like the massive increase in the number of Americans on food stamps is going to be undone. Trump has already proven that he actually can put Americans back to work and bring American manufacturing back to America.

In short, Obama is looking at his legacy going away, much of it in 2017, and rather than being the man who brought about a new America, he is going to be a sad footnote in American history, much like Carter is now. But I doubt if Obama knows how to hold a hammer much less build a house.

If Trump actually brings the economy back, something that Obama kept saying he had done but didn’t, it proves that Obama’s economic policies were as bad as the Republicans say they were.

Considering the post-Obama world that Obama sees is becoming a reality, why shouldn’t he start a big war? Obama doesn’t appear to have a lot of love for his country and seems to hate the military. Why not leave Trump with a huge mess that he will have to clean up that will distract him from dismantling Obama’s policies?

If you are one of those people who think that Obama is a good man who has the best interest of America at heart, that scenario seems unlikely. However, if you are one of those who think that Obama is a dangerous narcissist who only sees the world as for Obama or against Obama, then it is not so farfetched.

The reason I think that Carter was the most likely president to start a nuclear war is because a nuclear war would most likely only be started as an act of desperation. In Carter’s case, if he had been reelected, he was already backed into a corner by a bunch of student terrorists in Iran. What in the world was he going to do if someone with real power threatened the US?


Why is the unemployment rate even news? It’s hard to imagine a more manipulated figure. Six months after the mainstream media have either cheered or decried the figures, they are revised, and then may be revised again at the end of the next quarter.

But the figure is virtually meaningless anyway. It is based on people looking for work. So if you can’t find a suitable job for six months and stop looking, you aren’t counted anymore. If you are the former CEO of the Fortune 500 company and take a job as barista at Starbucks, you are off the list.

It is also based on estimates, not real figures.

I would say that the news media should ignore it, but with Trump in the White House I think the unemployment figures are going to start looking great, as silly as they are. So in a couple of months I may be all for them.


Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said Homeland Security is going to take over security for the election system. Hopefully, when he leaves office in January, this will be one of the first stupid decisions that the new secretary of Homeland Security dismisses.

How does a Cabinet secretary get the authority to take over the election system of the entire country? Isn’t this an issue of such national importance that it should be voted on by Congress? Can Johnson just declare anything that pops into his head as critical infrastructure and then take it over?

Evidently under President Obama the answer to that question is yes.

The truth is that the last thing this country needs is for a corrupt and inefficient organization like Homeland Security messing around in elections.

One of the major aspects of elections in the US that keeps them fair and honest is the local control. With 185,000 precincts and 9,000 different jurisdictions, it’s devilishly hard to manipulate. Which is not to say that there are not dishonest elections in the US because we all know that there are. But the overwhelming majority of elections are honest and fair. But to mess with elections now, someone would have to deal with 9,000 jurisdictions. If the federal government takes over that goes from 9,000 to one.

Johnson is the head of an organization that, when tested, had a 90 percent failure rate in keeping weapons and explosives off airplanes.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is in charge of airport security, doesn’t really accomplish anything other than make travel far more inefficient, wasting the time of everyone who travels by plane and giving the American public a false sense of security about air travel.

Really, a 90 percent failure rate is something that is unheard of, even in government. Imagine if the post office had a 90 percent failure rate, or 90 percent of Navy ships sank when they were put in the water or 90 percent of the bombs dropped by the Air Force didn’t explode. Would anyone in the private sector keep their job if they had a 90 percent failure rate? Even the mainstream media, which have a high rate of inaccuracy, get far more than 10 percent of the facts correct hour after hour, day after day.

Trump, if he is at all what he claims to be, will have this entire department demolished and rebuilt from the ground up. There can be no renovation; it has to be destroyed and replaced with something brand new.

In fact, the best thing Trump could do would be to abolish the entire Department of Homeland Security. The nation did well without any such department for over 200 years. It was one of the worst ideas that President George W. Bush ever had.

Let airports control their own security, put the Coast Guard back in the defense department and Border Patrol – which may be the only organization that rivals the inefficiency of the TSA – back with the Labor Department.

The once vaunted Secret Service has become a bad joke under the direction of Homeland Security, with repeated scandals of agents having parties that involved prostitutes and consuming massive amounts of alcohol. The Secret Service under Homeland Security was not even able to keep a man with a knife from jumping over the White House fence and entering the White House.

What has this department ever accomplished that would make anyone think that it could take over elections in the US and accomplish anything other than to make a huge mess of them?

What if under Homeland Security 90 percent of the votes go uncounted?

Where are the successes of this department? It doesn’t keep weapons off planes. It doesn’t keep our borders secure and it doesn’t even keep the White House secure.

Ideas born in haste and fear are rarely good ones. Homeland Security has been given more than enough time to prove whether it is an idea that works, and it has failed miserably.


It’s sad but funny – the leftwing mainstream media are joining the Democrats to raise a stink about the people Trump is appointing to Cabinet and White House positions. The complaint, when boiled down to its essence, is that Trump is appointing people who are successful in their chosen fields. A good number of them are billionaires. So one must assume that the left believes that only people who have been unsuccessful in their chosen professions or who are lifelong government bureaucrats should be appointed to White House jobs. What a truly bizarre argument.

It’s the same argument they use against Trump and conflict of interest. It isn’t enough for him to back away from the business he owns and let others run it.

The mainstream media found nothing wrong with Hillary Clinton as secretary of state doing favors for businesses and countries that paid her husband exorbitant amounts to speak and made donations of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. The proof that there was influence peddling involved will be the speaking fees that Bill Clinton collects now that his wife is not secretary of state and most likely will never be president.

The mainstream media are also ignoring that Trump and his billionaire appointees, including his son-in-law, are probably giving up millions, hundreds of millions or maybe billions of dollars by walking away from their businesses and taking government jobs that won’t pay them more than a tiny fraction of what they have been making running their own companies. His son-in-law Jared Kushner is taking no salary.

Assuming that they got where they are because they happen to be really good at what they do and not on sheer luck, it seems a given that their companies run by others won’t be as successful as they were. They also will no longer be paid to be the head of companies worth billions of dollars, but will make what to them is a paltry government salary of less than $200,000 a year.

Someone should be thanking these folks for being willing to take a huge pay cut in order to serve their country. Obama by comparison more than doubled his salary when he was elected president and started making $400,000 a year – by far the highest salary he has ever received.


Hillary Clinton supporters say that now that she is not going to be president, she is going to concentrate on the rights of women and children as she has always done. I keep looking for what Hillary Clinton has done for women and children other than be a paid speaker at conferences and receive awards for her lifelong commitment. I can’t find much.

I can’t find any major legislation she sponsored and passed during her eight years in the Senate on behalf of women and children. Nor can I find any initiative during her four years as secretary of state to improve the lives of women and children in other nations, particularly those in which women are oppressed.

They say the proof is in the pudding, but I can’t find any pudding.


Obama famously said he didn’t need Congress because he had a pen and a phone. Much of what Obama did was done by “executive order.” He didn’t need Congress to issue executive orders, all he needed was a pen to sign them.

The downside of that method of governing is that if you can’t get your chosen successor elected to follow you into office – and instead the country elects someone who is philosophically opposed to almost everything you did – then all those executive orders can be cancelled just as quickly as they were issued.

Trump doesn’t need Congress to undo much of what Obama did. All he needs is a pen, and there is sufficient evidence that Trump is just as capable of signing his own name as Obama is.

So if Obama had bothered to govern like his predecessors and make compromises to get the initiatives he wanted through Congress, it would be far more difficult for Trump to undo the damage that Obama has done.


The mainstream media are really stretching to blame the Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chairman John Podesta on Trump. The reason the hacking – and nobody really knows whether it was Russian or not – worked is because Podesta, following the lead of his candidate, evidently needs to take a remedial course in computer security.

Do you think that when Podesta got an email that said it was from his bank and they had lost his Social Security number he sent it? No doubt when some Nigerian prince sent him an email saying that he had $50 million in gold in a Swiss bank account and all he needed was airfare to get to Switzerland and Podesta could have half, Podesta sent him the money in small bills in an unmarked envelope and is still waiting for his $25 million.

People get hacked all the time, but in the case of Podesta it was his own fault. It’s like driving a car with no brakes and then blaming the car that stops in front of you for the accident. Or better yet, it’s like driving a car with no brakes and then when you run into the stopped car in front of you, blaming Trump.

The other thing that Podesta should have learned, but evidently has not, is that when you send an email, that information is out there somewhere and somebody may find it and release it. The person you sent it to, the person you sent it to by mistake or someone that hacked into your computer, someone who hacked into their computer, or their old boyfriend who has access to her computer and a great desire for revenge. To think that emails are always going to remain private is naive.

Even if the Russians hacked into Podesta’s computer, it doesn’t mean that they were the only ones to get in, and it doesn’t mean that the emails released by Wikileaks are from the Russians. Wikileaks chief Julian Assange has said categorically that Wikileaks did not get the emails from the Russians or from a source that originally got them from the Russians. Certainly someone inside the Clinton organization could have become disgruntled with Hillary Clinton, Podesta or their own boss and provided the information to Wikileaks.

Look at Watergate; all the speculation about the identity of “Deep Throat,” who provided the information to The Washington Post, and in the end it turned out to be a disgruntled employee who had been passed over for director.

Having been in the news business for more than a couple of decades, I know for a fact that disgruntled employees lead to lots of scoops at every level.

Some of the evidence supposedly of Russian hacking can also be interpreted to be evidence that the Russians didn’t hack into the computers because the Russians are smart enough to cover their footprints.

This looks like the Russians hacked in and left a large signpost that says, “The Russians were here.” Maybe they did, but it seems unlikely. It’s like a jewel thief who shaved his body so there would be no chance of a hair being left behind and who wore gloves during the entire operation putting a full hand print on the window as he left the building. It could happen, but it doesn’t seem too likely.


A headline in the News & Record this week reads, “Trump must show he can stand up to the Russians.”

Not surprisingly, it is dead wrong. Russian President Vladimir Putin knows exactly what kind of man Trump is. It’s no secret. Putin and Trump have a lot in common. They are both alpha males who go out of their way to have the public see them in a dominant position.

Putin’s beef with Hillary Clinton was personal, not political. Bill Clinton, when he was president, worked on a campaign to try and get Putin’s guy ousted, which makes it kind of funny that the Clintons are now howling about Putin trying to affect the outcome of an American campaign. Perhaps one of the reason he did it, if he did, was because Bill Clinton did it first.

Putin knows that Trump is not going to let himself get pushed around the way Obama has, but he also knows that Trump is a dealmaker and he’s going to make the best deal he can for the US.

For decades the American people have been told the world is better off if America and Russia get along. Hillary Clinton had her famous “Reset” button, a sophomoric attempt to get along better with Russia.

Now the liberal mainstream media are telling Americans that if Trump can get along with Putin it is horrible. It’s hard to take them seriously.