Pursuing Benefits from Programs to Which You Have Contributed

Pursuing Benefits from Programs to Which You Have Contributed

People who work must contribute to social entitlement programs through taxes. By law, you must pay your fair share into these programs either by deducting the taxes yourself or by having them withheld from your paychecks.

You may think nothing of your contributions until you must draw on those benefits yourself. At that point, you may realize that making a claim for money that you paid in can be extremely difficult and emotionally wrenching. When you want to pursue social program payments, entitlements through the state or federal government, and supplemental security income Vancouver plaintiffs like you could make the process easier by retaining legal help first.

Gathering Evidence

Judges and mediators in court almost appear to have a duty to turn down first-time applicants who petition for these benefits. The denials may be unfair to many people. However, they may be necessary to curb fraud and theft from the program.

When you want to prove that you are genuinely disabled and cannot work, you may need to go beyond representing yourself before the judge and instead allow a lawyer who specializes in disability and Social Security law to help you. Your lawyer can gather evidence to bolster your claim and show that you are not attempting to defraud the system but rather legitimately need the income to support yourself.

The evidence that the lawyer gathers can be anything from medical records to subpoenaed testimony from doctors and nurses who can attest to your illness or injury. When the judge sees the proof backing up your application for benefits, he or she may decide in your favor faster.

Representation before the Judge

Explaining your disability to a judge can be a nerve wracking experience. You may not be able to explain in detail what is wrong with you or why you cannot go back to work to earn an income. You may even be embarrassed about your health and not want to divulge it in crude details.

Your lawyer can represent you during the court appearance and explain to the judge the extent of your medical injury or illness. Your lawyer can put it in terms that are legally appropriate and convincing so that the judge can render a fair decision and award you the benefits that you deserve. You may even be entitled to a settlement of back disability payments.

Toast, on the floor Buttered side down

If he was a Democrat, he’d be celebrated!

PA Congressman Tim Murphy Resigns Amid Controversial Abortion-Related Comments

By Adam Pribila | October 5, 2017 | 4:44 PM EDT

Toast, on the floor, buttered side down.

Toast, on the floor, buttered side down.

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), who recently announced that he would not seek re-election in 2018, announced on Thursday that he would resign from his post in the House of Representatives, effective October 21.

A statement released by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) broke the news:

Murphy found himself embroiled in a scandal as of recent involving his personal life. As the revelation of his having an extramarital affair came to light, it was also revealed that Murphy made untoward comments about the woman in question and an abortion, according to Politico.

The woman, a forensic psychologist named Shannon Edwards, approached Murphy during a pregnancy scare, to which he responded that he felt she should terminate the pregnancy, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Unfortunately, hypocrisy is not limited to the Democratic Party.

Dr Murphy, who lives in the Pittsburgh region, has been winning his elections with totals normally in the mid-60% range. Once his hypocrisy was reported, he decided not to seek re-election, probably because he knew he’d lose. Now, it seems that he has decided to call it quits early. That’s a good decision. Perhaps we can get a more honorable Republican to fill the seat he is vacating.

Our second worst President spouts more bovine feces

I have previously apologized for my vote for Jimmy Carter in 1976, but it has become clear that I need to do so again!

Jimmy Carter: What I’ve learned from North Korea’s leaders

By Jimmy Carter | October 4, 2017 | 7:45 PM EDT

As the world knows, we face the strong possibility of another Korean war, with potentially devastating consequences to the Korean Peninsula, Japan, our outlying territories in the Pacific and perhaps the mainland of the United States. This is the most serious existing threat to world peace, and it is imperative that Pyongyang and Washington find some way to ease the escalating tension and reach a lasting, peaceful agreement.

Over more than 20 years, I have spent many hours in discussions with top North Korean officials and private citizens during visits to Pyongyang and to the countryside. I found Kim Il Sung (their “Great Leader”), Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and other leaders to be both completely rational and dedicated to the preservation of their regime.

What the officials have always demanded is direct talks with the United States, leading to a permanent peace treaty to replace the still-prevailing 1953 cease-fire that has failed to end the Korean conflict. They want an end to sanctions, a guarantee that there will be no military attack on a peaceful North Korea, and eventual normal relations between their country and the international community.

The rest of the former President’s OpEd piece is just more of the same pablum. He apparently believed the same bovine feces he’s spreading now back in 1994, when President Clinton made the mistake of sending Mr Carter to Pyongyang to negotiate on eliminating the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nascent nuclear weapons program; Mr Carter — who must’ve thought that he should still be the President — then undermined Mr Clinton’s policies by making statements contrary to official policy, giving up potential sanctions with no quid pro quo, and negotiated an agreement which the Clinton Administration reluctantly accepted. It provided food and other aid to the DPRK, including technical assistance on their supposedly peaceful nuclear power program!

And now, 23 years later, Mr Carter is, once again, telling us that the DPRK, now led by a leader he has not met, only wants peace and sweetness and light. Naifs like Mr Carter simply cannot understand that some people just don’t think the way he does.

I have visited with people who were starving. Still today, millions suffer from famine and food insecurity and seem to be completely loyal to their top leader. They are probably the most isolated people on Earth and almost unanimously believe that their greatest threat is from a preemptory military attack by the United States.

Uhhh, they get all of their information from only official sources, and not being loyal to Kim Jung-un is a quick ticket to a forced labor camp . . . or the graveyard. The insipid former President concluded with more pablum:

The next step should be for the United States to offer to send a high-level delegation to Pyongyang for peace talks or to support an international conference including North and South Korea, the United States and China, at a mutually acceptable site.

To accomplish what? To give the DPRK more aid, not less, to loosen, or eliminate sanctions rather than maintaining or tightening them, and to legitimize their nuclear weapons program? Mr Carter already conceded that the North Koreans would not give up their strategic nuclear weapons program, so there is really nothing for the more civilized nations to gain from such talks. The only thing giving them more aid can accomplish is to free up more resources for them to put into their military.

We cannot know that President Clinton would have gotten a better deal had he sent a more responsible negotiator to Pyongyang, though it seems improbable that he would have gotten a worse one.

Again, I most humbly apologize for my vote on November 2, 1976, and ask your forgiveness!
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Cross-posted on RedState.

Worst proposal ever! President trump wants to "wipe out" Puerto Rico's debt

Worst proposal ever! From CNNMoney:

Trump on Puerto Rico debt: ‘We will have to wipe that out’

by Jethro Mullen and Matt Egan | October 4, 2017: 6:35 AM ET

President Trump on Tuesday raised the prospect of wiping out hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico’s crushing debt load.

“They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street. We will have to wipe that out,” Trump told Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera in an interview in San Juan, the Puerto Rican capital.

The U.S. territory has been struggling with a financial crisis for years. And that was before Hurricane Maria slammed into the island two weeks ago, causing widespread devastation and leaving millions of people without power or water.

Puerto Rico’s huge debt burden — totaling $73 billion — forced it to file in May for the biggest U.S. municipal bankruptcy in history.

“I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs, but whoever it is, you can wave goodbye to that,” Trump said in the interview, which aired late Tuesday. “The debt was massive on the island.”

There’s more at the original, including notes that this is not a fleshed out policy by any means. But it’s important to note: only two states, California ($151,715,007,000) and New York ($137,369,089,000) have more state debt than Puerto Rico, and both have many times the island Commonwealth’s population. The island’s debt is around $12,400 per capita, a number only approached by the wholly-mismanaged states of Massachusetts ($11,100) and Connecticut ($9,862).

Let’s be clear here: if Puerto Rico’s debt is somehow cancelled, we can count on the island’s government to simply borrow more money, to keep spending more than their production justifies. And it will be the American people who are on the hook for whatever covering Puerto Rico’s debt:

Who owns Puerto Rico’s mountain of debt? You do

by Matt Egan | September 27, 2017: 2:35 PM ET

(M)ost of that money is owed to everyday investors. Less than 25% of Puerto Rican debt is held by hedge funds, according to estimates by Cate Long, founder of research firm Puerto Rico Clearinghouse.

The rest of the debt is owned by individuals and mutual funds that are held by mom-and-pop investors.

“For the most part, Main Street America owns this debt,” Long said. “It’s not as though these are vultures circling around the island.”

Investors piled into Puerto Rican bonds over the last decade, enabling the island’s unsustainable spending-spree along the way. They kept buying Puerto Rican debt even as the island fell into an 11-year recession that deepened the debt crisis. High unemployment forced hundreds of thousands of residents to flee the island, further eroding the tax base.

These risks forced Puerto Rico to pay high rates that lured bond investors searching for healthy returns in a world of historically-low interest rates. Another bonus: Puerto Rico’s debt is “triple tax-exempt.” That means owners of the bonds don’t face federal, state or local taxes on the interest they earn.

More than 850 bond mutual funds own Puerto Rican debt, according to data compiled by Morningstar. Some of the biggest holders include mutual funds run by household names like OppenheimerFunds, Franklin Templeton, Goldman Sachs (GS), BlackRock (BLK) and T. Rowe Price.

Why are these mutual funds ‘household names’? Because millions of Americans have 401(k) plans which hold mutual funds in those companies!1

Assuming that President Trump isn’t just talking without any policies in mind — not like that has ever happened before — to “wipe out” Puerto Rico’s debt means that someone will have to pay, whether it is the companies which hold the debt (meaning: a whole lot of Americans are going to see their investments dramatically downgraded) or the Treasury (meaning: the taxpayers).

Shifting Puerto Rico’s debt to people who didn’t incur it will simply mean that there is no downside to borrowing money, no obligation to repay it, and thus there will be no restraint on the dysfunctional government in Puerto Rico continuing to live beyond its means. Transferring Puerto Rico’s debt to other people is a terrible, terrible idea.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. Full disclosure: though I am invested in mutual funds, they are not bond funds, and are with none of the companies listed above.

Why do they do this s(tuff)?

From The Washington Post:

Hedge fund billionaire flew top Mnuchin aide on private jet to Palm Beach

By Damian Paletta and Tom Hamburger | October 3, 2017 | 12:36 PM

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s top aide flew on a hedge fund billionaire’s private jet to Palm Beach several months ago, people familiar with the trip said, the latest example of senior Trump administration officials using luxury air travel even though it often raises red flags with ethics officials.

Eli Miller, Mnuchin’s chief of staff, flew with Nelson Peltz, a founding partner of New York-based Trian Fund Management on the trip. Peltz is an activist shareholder who has sought a board seat at Procter & Gamble, seeking to shake up management. He has spoken glowingly about Trump’s proposal to slash tax rates on businesses and the wealthy, which is something designed in large part by senior Treasury officials.

A Treasury Department spokesman confirmed the trip but denied there were any ethical issues.

“The Treasury ethics office advised Mr. Miller that he was permitted to accept a seat on a plane from a friend with whom he has a preexisting relationship under federal ethics law,” the spokesman said.

The article continues to note the regulations for government officials accepting gifts, including travel, from private citizens. It also notes that the precise date of the trip is not known.

Perhaps the real standard ought to be: if you have to ask the ethics office if doing something is OK, you already know that it’s questionable, so just don’t do it! Mr Miller could have flown commercial, first class if he wanted, and no one would have questioned the trip. If even Ivanka Trump, under Secret Service protection as she is, can fly commercial, then the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Treasury certainly can.

One of the things that the Democrats never understood is that Mr Trump connected with many voters, who saw the Democrats as nose-in-the-air elitists. Maybe it’s time that the Republicans learn that, if they discontinue the practices which separate the public from our government, they can retain the loyalty of the working class voters, as well as saving the taxpayers money.

The “authentic” Hillary Clinton In the end, the voters knew who she really was

Unlike Patterico, I will link Politico:

The Strange Authenticity of Hillary Clinton

Read her book, and you realize she might have been the most authentic candidate out there—and maybe that was the problem.

Hillary selling booksBy Jeff Greenfield | September 20, 2017

By now, you know the news nuggets from Hillary Clinton’s new campaign memoir, What Happened. You know that she blames herself for the most shocking upset in American political history, while indicting (in varying degrees of anger and exasperation) Bernie Sanders, James Comey, the New York Times, racism, cable news, sexism and Russia as co-conspirators.

No, I’m afraid that I don’t know that “she blames herself for the most shocking upset in American political history,” don’t know that in the slightest. This clip from NBC’s Today show, a live interview on September 13, 2017, shows that denial:

In case you missed it, the relevant passage was:

Matt Lauer: Did you make enough mistakes yourself to lose the election without any of the other things you talk about?

Hillary Clinton: Well, I will say no Matt.

It’s a bit difficult to take Mr Greenfield’s commentary seriously when he tells us, in his very first paragraph, something we all know is false.

You know that she was shellshocked for weeks after Election Day, turning to friends, yoga, inspirational homilies, her family and chardonnay, to ease herself back into the world.

Shell-shocked? The woman who claimed that she was ready for the 3:00 AM phone call, the one to told us that told us she was the one leader who had what it takes to get every part of the job done, was “shell-shocked for weeks?”1

But the real headline to come out of this book — a far more engaging read than the pablum-rich account of her years as secretary of state, Hard Choices — is that she has definitively answered the question that has been asked about her for more than a quarter-century: Who is she?

All through her public life, Clinton has been hobbled by the label “inauthentic.” Her changing hairstyles, her choice of baseball teams, her circle-the-wagons approach to the press — they’ve all felt, to the public, like symptoms of the lack of a core. It’s almost as if Winston Churchill was anticipating her public persona when he proclaimed at a dinner table, “this pudding has no theme.” Her own loyal army of campaign aides seem to have been wrestling with this dilemma; the best-seller Shattered, the post-mortem of her presidential campaign, is filled with accounts of desperate attempts to find a slogan, a stump speech, a campaign ad, that could communicate the essential Hillary. And her primal fear of being distorted — a fear with some rational basis — has led her to approach every public utterance as if she was at the edge of a cliff. Longtime aide Patti Solis Doyle said last year, “You can see her think about the words coming out of her mouth, knowing she knows, ‘I have to be careful about what I say.’”

Her book suggests, though, that the person we’ve seen over the past quarter-century, and the person we watched seek the presidency twice, is the authentic Hillary. In fact, to judge by her book, she may have been the most authentic person in the race. The lengthy analysis of why voters behaved as they did, the detailed accounts of the programs she intended to pursue as president, the ways in which racism and misogyny played out in blatant and subtle forms, all paint the picture of a very smart, deeply engaged self-described “policy wonk,” who is consumed by the need to conquer problems with an army of data-driven policies, and whose instinctive resistance to visionary politics proved to be one of her biggest handicaps in her (presumably) last run.

Huh? Mr Greenfield tells us, in one paragraph, that Mrs Clinton has to be extremely careful in what she says, to provide no grist for the mill of criticism, yet in the next tells us that “she may have been the most authentic person in the race.” If she was “the most authentic person in the race,” why would “(h)er own loyal army of campaign aides” have been so perplexed in finding and communicating the “authentic Hillary?” If her loyal campaign aides, who have known her for years, if her own husband, couldn’t figure out who she was, and how to present, “the most authentic person in the race,” how are we to ever believe that she was?

Well, thanks to her book tour, we have seen the authentic Hillary Clinton. The Hillary Clinton who, for years, has been derided as never taking responsibility for failure, has spent the last several weeks blaming everyone but herself. Oh, sure, she has made the obligatory ‘I made mistakes’ statement, right before launching into blaming everyone else.

But the temperature of the book really rises on two fronts: when she recounts, with specificity unlike any political memoir I’ve read, precisely how and why she believes she was wronged, and when she revisits the ideas she had intended to offer as president.

“How and why she believes she was wronged.” Now that is the authentic Hillary Clinton, the one we see in the innumerable video clips from her book tour, where she is blaming everybody else for her loss. We were told, over and over and over again, that it was her race to lose, that Donald Trump had no path to victory, yet she still lost it.

And that is the key to understanding the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee: deeply down, she truly believed that the White House was hers, that she was owed the election victory, it was her f(ornicating) turn, damn it, and in losing the election she was not just beaten by a political neophyte, but wronged, wronged by James Comey and Matt Lauer and The New York Times and the white women who were supposed to vote with their genitals rather than their brainsthey “disrespected themselves,” don’t you know — the “basket of deplorables, and husbands and boyfriends telling their wives and girlfriends that there’s no sense wasting their votes on her, she’s going to be in jail.

Mr Greenfield was wrong. As much as Mrs Clinton and her campaign tried to hide it, Americans did know the “authentic” Hillary Clinton, and that is why she lost.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. With some irony, the next Youtube that came on my computer while getting the link for the second add was Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. That was picked due to my playlist.

Will Tom Price have to fly commercial to get back to Georgia?

From The Wall Street Journal:

Tom Price Resigns as Health and Human Services Secretary Amid Travel Uproar

Resignation comes after facing criticism over use of private jet and military flights

By Stephanie Armour and Michelle Hackman | Updated September 29, 2017 7:47 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned Friday over his extensive use of private jet and military flights, ending a rocky tenure during which the Trump administration failed in its push to get Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

President Donald Trump had no immediate comment following the resignation, but earlier on Friday he expressed his displeasure with the flights and signaled a decision was imminent.

“He’s a very fine man,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “I was disappointed because I didn’t like it cosmetically or otherwise.”

In his resignation letter, Dr. Price referenced his work on health care and said: “I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from these important objectives.”

Dr. Price told Mr. Trump he was resigning “in order for you to move forward without further disruption.”

Late Friday, the administration announced a revised travel policy that will require prior approval by the White House chief of staff for travel on noncommercial flights.

There’s more at the original, but I’ve got to wonder how Dr Price feels about having given up a very safe House seat to work for eight months in the Trump Administration. That he was replaced in the House by another Republican, Karen Handel, after the Democrats poured millions of dollars into the special election campaign left me laughing my Ossoff.

The left are, of course, gleeful that they’ve managed to bring down a Trump Administration cabinet member, but they were able to do so because even the President’s base have problems with the frequent use of private jets for this kind of travel. The working class voters who put Mr Trump in the White House are lucky if they can even fly coach, and don’t see why, absent some urgent need, an Administration official could not travel via commercial flights.

We are facing another half-trillion dollar deficit, and the President wants to cut taxes; we should not have Administration officials wasting money for things like this, and having the White House approve all travel on non-commercial flights is absolutely the right thing to do. If it’s not essential, officials should fly commercial.

But, more than that, the Administration should take advantage of 21st century technology, and eschew unnecessary travel for videoconferencing. We have previously noted that all of those flights just add to air pollution, and it can be a lot less expensive to use that technology.

As a candidate, Donald Trump often talked about “draining the swamp.” Well, part of the swamp is the penchant for Administration officials thinking that they’re just better than everyone else, and the notion that the patricians shouldn’t have to mix with the plebeians is part of that. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a billionaire, also travels by private jet, but at least it’s her own plane, and she pays for it herself. Still, that presents yet another patrician vs plebeian image, and it would be better if the Secretary used commercial flights, and had to be among the people she supposedly serves. Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter, chose to fly commercial on September 26, 2017, and even flew in coach last December, after her father had been elected, but before his inauguration. The problems she encountered in her December flight, with a leftist cretin verbally attacking her, illustrate that there can be legitimate security concerns, but the Secret Service was diligent enough to protect her during her first-class flight last Tuesday.

One of the things that the Democrats never understood is that Mr Trump connected with many voters, who saw the Democrats as nose-in-the-air elitists. With Dr Price now having ‘been resigned,’ maybe the Republicans will learn that, if they discontinue the practices which separate the public from our government, they can retain the loyalty of the working class voters, as well as saving the taxpayers money.
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Cross-posted on RedState.

The Success of Socialism: Venezuela, with world’s largest proven petroleum reserves, is about to run out of gasoline!

Advierten que Venezuela sólo tiene gasolina para un día

El secretario de profesionales y técnicos de la Federación de Trabajadores Petroleros, Iván Freites, informó que la escasez se debe a la merma en la refinación.

Venezuela, país productor de petróleo, atraviesa una nueva crisis por la falta de gasolina en las estaciones de servicio. Desde hace una semana las largas filas de vehículos forman parte de la cotidianidad, debido a la poca oferta del producto.

Hay más en el artículo referenciado.

The secretary of professionals and technicians of the Federation of Oil Workers, Ivan Freites, reported taht the country has only one day’s supply of gasoline on hand, and just 2½ days supply of diesel fuel. He also noted that ships that have to enter the refineries have been paralyzed since June due to lack of freight payments.

Parliament’s Energy and Petroleum Commission Deputy Luis Aquiles Moreno said that refineries are working at only 30% of their capacity.

Petroleum is Venezuela’s only important export, providing 95% of the country’s earned export income, but under the ‘Bolivarian socialism’ installed by the late President Hugo Chavez, and continued under his successor, Nicolás Maduro, the industry — which Mr Chavez nationalized –the country needs most is floundering.

Margaret Thatcher once said that socialists fail because they always run out of other people’s money. Petroleum brings other people’s money into Venezuela, and now, the socialists have managed to run out of their own money, to the extent that they can’t bring in enough of other people’s money!

All of the theories of socialism simply assumed that it would be self-sufficient; the theorists never took into account trade imbalances favoring some countries over others. When oil was over $100 a barrel, even Venezuela’s lower-quality “heavy sour” crude brought in enough money to paper over the inherent problems of socialism, but now that the market has settled on more reasonable prices, the trade imbalance favoring Venezuela is no longer enough to hide the problems.

Capitalism is the only economic system we have ever seen which has lifted more than a tiny minority of the people living under it above the subsistence level. And now we’ve seen that socialism, which the socialists believe would follow capitalism, brings an economy back down to where only that small minority — meaning: the men with guns — live above the subsistence level.

For most, the equality of results socialism brings is equality on poverty.

The little Weiner cries

From the New York Post:

Anthony Weiner gets hard time

By Kaja Whitehouse and Bruce Golding | September 25, 2017 | 10:45am

Anthony Weiner got a stiff dose of reality Monday as a judge slapped him with a nearly two-year sentence for sexting with a 15-year-old girl — a heinous crime that cost him both his marriage and his freedom.

Manhattan federal Judge Denise Cote rejected defense pleas to spare Weiner any time behind bars and instead ordered him to spend 21 months in a federal penitentiary, saying she needed to make an example of the high-profile pervert.

Weiner, who had faced up to ten years in prison, hung his head in shame, covered his face and cried silently into his hands.

He broke down a second time at the end of the hearing, as his lawyers tried to comfort him by patting his back. His mom, Frances, wept in the gallery, where she sat with Weiner’s dad, Morton, and his brother, Jason.

Weiner didn’t stop crying until after court officers had cleared the room.

Hard time? Oh, boo hoo hoo! He could have gotten up to ten years in the clink, and got less than two; prosecutors had asked for only 27 months. What I cannot understand is why, after having been sentenced, he was able to leave the courtroom a free man; why wasn’t he taken straight to jail?

However, I can certainly understand the lenience he was shown. After all, it was his behavior which got his laptop seized, the infamous Comey letter written, and Hillary Clinton retired to private citizen! Mrs Clinton claims she would have won without the ‘October surprise’ of the Comey letter, and while we can’t know if that really did it, I think that we all owe Mr Weiner a debt of gratitude for helping to keep Mrs Clinton out of the White House.

Why is her sexuality important?

Foreign Policy, always the poor stepsister to Foreign Affairs magazine, still enjoys a good reputation. At least, up until now:

Meet the Lesbian Goldman Sachs Economist Who Just Led Germany’s Far-Right to Victory

by Paul Hockenos | September 24, 2017

Xenophobic populism has returned to German national politics with a bang, this time in the guise of a 38-year-old lesbian investment-banking economist. Alice Weidel is the unusual figure who has come to symbolize the far-right Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) goal-line run into the Bundestag. The AfD’s astounding 13.4 percent finish makes it the first openly chauvinistic, illiberal party to capture seats in Germany’s foremost democratic institution since the early postwar years. Should the Social Democrats (SPD) enter another “grand coalition” with Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), the AfD, as the largest opposition force in the Bundestag with over 60 seats, would become Oppositionsführer, the de facto leader of the opposition.

Until now, Germany had been one of the very few countries in all of Europe that didn’t harbor such a sample in its national legislature. Though their fine print varies, the far-right Europe-wide, like the AfD, flaunts pedigrees that are anti-immigration (and anti-immigrant), eurosceptic, authoritarian, and volkish, blood-and-soil nationalist – and together, in ever greater numbers, pose a very real threat to Europe’s postwar consensus. More immediately, they now pose a threat to the parliamentary order of Germany’s Bundestag. For the size of their triumph, Merkel herself must bear much of the blame as by refusing to address immigration in the campaign, she left the field wide open for the AfD.

In part, the AfD owes its promotion into prime-time German politics to Weidel, its unlikely public face. A complete unknown in Germany until she, in tandem with Alexander Gauland, was tapped to lead the party’s national campaign. Gauland more or less fits the stereotype of the Willie Stark-style populist rabble-rouser, but its Weidel — a self-confident, dressed-for-success expatriate financial consultant who on the surface seems to be the sort of “globalist” that nationalist populists typically claim to despise — who has earned the higher public profile. It’s no accident, however, that she has remained in her party’s good graces.

All pretty standard stuff. The next several paragraphs are pretty much tributes to Miss Weidel’s education and experience. It’s not until you get to the eleventh paragraph that you see this:

A similarly baffling contradiction marks another aspect of Weidel’s biography – her common law marriage to a woman, a Swiss filmmaker boasting Sinhalese heritage, with whom she has two adopted sons who live in a village on Lake Constance in Switzerland. (Apparently they illegally hire a Syrian refugee as cleaning lady.)

The couple are legal partners, but not married, which was unlawful in Germany until this summer. Had the AfD been in the Bundestag, it would, judging by its pro-traditional-family program, have voted against it. When lawmakers passed the bill, Weidel didn’t damn it, but neither did she cheer. “As if [gay marriage] were Germany’s most pressing problem at the moment,“ said Weidel. “The grand coalition is pushing through ‘marriage for everybody’ legislation, while the mass migration [sic] that has swamped the country over the last two years considers homosexuality a crime.”

Weidel says that being lesbian doesn’t fly in the face of the AfD platform, which doesn’t dwell on sexuality but does praise conventional families. She maintains that she’s never been the object of bias in the AfD, even though the German media is flush with examples of AfD homophobia. In the regional legislature of Saxony Anhalt, the AfD’s Andreas Gehlmann interrupted a speaker condemning countries that outlaw homosexuality, by yelling: “We should do that in Germany too!” A family, Weidel responded curtly to Gehlmann and others, is “where there are children.”

There’s a lot more at the original. Why, I have to wonder, is Miss Weidel’s sexuality an issue at all? OK, so she’s a lesbian; the important part is the policies she advocates as a top spokesman for the AfD. Why does a mostly liberal magazine like Foreign Policy not just run a story mentioning her sexual orientation, when it doesn’t relate to AfD policies, but put it in big letters in the article headline? Why does the fact that she is a lesbian automatically mean that she should have made some Important Statement on the same-sex marriage bill?

You see, I don’t care with whom she sleeps; it’s really none of my business. I do care about AfD’s policies, and whether they can somehow influence politics against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s free immigration policies and domination of the Eurozone.

That, you see, is the way conservatives think. Whether we ‘approve’ of homosexuality or not, we are worried about what politicians do that impact other people’s lives, wealth, freedom and property. Personally, I do not care if two (or more) people of the same sex want to sleep together; I am concerned with the ramifications of same-sex marriage being used to force other people to act against their consciences or to exercise government power against religion.

The left are wracked with hypocrisy. We are told that what other people do in their bedrooms is nobody else’s business, something with which I agree, as long as it is consensual and minors aren’t abused. But then they turn right around and make a big deal out of telling people who sleeps with whom, and determining what their policies ought to be depending upon their bed partners.