Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Politics

Cleveland Police Department Accepts Federal Standards and Mandates

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 27, 2015:

Seal of the United States Department of Justice

On Tuesday officials from Cleveland and the Department of Justice joined together in announcing the terms of the “consent decree” under which the Cleveland Police Department (CPD) will now operate. The new requirements are a long step toward turning the CPD into a branch of the federal government — a road that communists and socialists the world over have been advocating for decades.

Nearly every detail of a police officer’s life while on duty will now be scrutinized, analyzed, recorded, and reviewed according to federal standards of conduct. Officers will no longer be able to

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Another Victory in the War to Restore Gun Rights

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Tuesday, May 26, 2015: 

Seal of the District of Columbia.

In his decision to issue a temporary injunction against the District of Columbia and its police chief, Cathy Lanier, U.S. District Court Judge Frederick Scullin is closing the circle on the last resistors in the long war against guns. It should now be called “the war to restore the Second Amendment.”

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller v. the District of Columbia in 2008 that “the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to possess a firearm … for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home,” the ruling council in DC thought they’d found a way to restrict gun ownership: ban all guns everywhere in the District except inside the home.

That’s when the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) sued the District in Palmer v. District of Columbia over that ban. The District did everything in its power to put off the day of judgment with appeals, motions to dismiss, clarifications, and other legal maneuvers. After five years of stalling, delaying, and dithering, however, U.S. District Court Judge Scullin ruled last July

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Passage of the Freedom Act Assures Continuation of the Surveillance State

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 15, 2015: 

Passage of The Freedom Act in the House on Wednesday, May 13, 338-88, was for show only. The bill with real teeth that would have done something substantial about rolling back the surveillance state is collecting dust in Speaker John Boehner’s inbox.

Freedom Act 2.0 is even weaker than the one the House passed last year, which the Senate essentially ignored until it was too close to the midterms for it to vote on. It does not, as sponsor Rep. James Sensenbrenner hoped it would, end the surveillance state, nor even slow it down. It merely shifts the collection center from Utah to the phone companies. Under the bill,

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“He Who Lives in a Glass House, Shouldn’t”

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 13, 2015:

English: U.S. Congressman

George Nethercutt

 

According to his own Wikipedia page, George Nethercutt touts himself as a “conservative.” After all, in the 1994 Republican landslide that gave the Republican Party control of the House for the first time in 40 years, Nethercutt replaced Speaker of the House Tom Foley. It was close: just 4,000 votes out of more than 215,000 cast. But that was enough.

In truth that meant that Nethercutt won by 2,000 votes, as that was the number of votes to be changed to allow Foley to keep his seat. Nethercutt’s promise that he would leave after three terms likely made the difference. After all, Foley had been representing Washington for 30 years as a hard left liberal Democrat, and voters had finally had a bellyful of him.

Unfortunately Nethercutt was in Washington, DC, long enough to drink the Kool-Aid of excessive hubris and self-importance, and when it came time for him to honor his promise,

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Former Maryland Governor to Announce Presidential Bid

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 20, 2015:

Martin O'Malley, Governor of the U.S. state of...

Martin O’Malley

 

Martin O’Malley, former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor, told reporters on Tuesday that he will announce his candidacy for the Democrat Party’s presidential nomination over Memorial Day weekend.

Despite claims that he only recently had been considering the possibility of running against Hillary Clinton and liberal Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, O’Malley has been gearing up for this since August 2013. At a National Governors Association meeting in Milwaukee, he stated then that he was already laying “the framework” for a presidential run.

And so he has.

In just the last 18 months, O’Malley has appeared in 23 states, notably in Iowa (where he already has a staff of 11 in place laying that groundwork), New Hampshire, and South Carolina, each conveniently holding early primaries for 2016.

 

On paper he appears to be a formidable opponent to Clinton, with his long list of progressive achievements. As governor he signed into law a bill that makes certain illegal immigrants eligible for in-state college tuition and another legalizing same-sex “marriage” (even though he calls himself a Roman Catholic). In order to close the state’s $1.7 billion deficit in 2008-2009, rather than cut government spending, he raised income, sales, and gasoline taxes. He also implemented a traffic speed camera enforcement program to raise additional revenues. He presided over the implementation of gun control laws that make it virtually impossible for Maryland residents to obtain a concealed carry permit. He ended the state’s death penalty and raised the minimum wage to $10.10.

He earned an award from Planned Parenthood of Maryland and a 100-percent rating from the Maryland chapter of pro-abortion NARAL.

It also caught the attention of leftist publications such as Esquire magazine, which named him “The Best Young Mayor in Country” in 2002, and Time magazine, which put him into their list of America’s “Top 5 Big City Mayors.”

None of which was new news to Bill Clinton, who wrote to O’Malley while he was still Baltimore’s mayor: “I wouldn’t be surprised if you go all the way [to the White House].” In 2006, the Clintons helped him gain reelection as governor by hosting fundraisers, headlining political rallies, and connecting him with their massive network of Democrat sponsors and contributors. O’Malley won in a walk.

To return the favor, O’Malley endorsed Hillary in 2008, raising at least $500,000 for her campaign for president, defending her on cable news, and even travelling out of state to campaign for her.

O’Malley has at least two problems, however: name recognition and distinctiveness. Current polls show him in the low single digits among likely Democrat voters, while Hillary has an attractiveness rating among the same group of 84 percent. When asked what makes him different from Hillary in ways that will draw some of her supporters to his campaign, he replied:

The thing I believe presents something of value to my country, especially in these times, is my experience as an executive, and as somebody who was able to bring people together in order to get things done.

In other words, nothing whatsoever. Which can only mean that he has other purposes in mind. After all, as one of his supporters noted, O’Malley is “very much like Bill Clinton in being slow and deliberative and calculating in everything he does.”

He could be a sparring partner for Hillary in the primaries, giving her additional airtime and adding interest to a campaign that at present is vacuous. That would work, of course, only if he stayed away from her various and sundry issues, i.e., missing e-mails, Benghazi, her foundation, and her character.

Or he could be waiting for Hillary to stumble, which would put him squarely in contention against Sanders, the aging liberal war horse from Vermont.

Or he could be polishing his political skills and his name recognition for another run in 2020. He’s only 52. In 2020, Hillary will be 73, and Sanders would be 79.

Or he could be a foil in the media’s attempt to make the present campaign look like a real election rather than just a coronation.

In any event, liberal observers will likely welcome the airy, handsome, articulate, far-left political conniver to add spice and flavor to the Democrat Party’s so far lackluster campaign for the White House in 2016.

Defense Department, Bloomberg Expand War on Guns

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 18, 2015: 

In a lawsuit filed on May 6, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) complained that the Department of Defense violated the First Amendment in demanding that CAD (computer-aided design) files containing instructions to 3-D printers to print lower receivers of firearms be pre-approved. SAF is seeking a court declaration “that Defendants’ prepublication approval requirements for privately generated unclassified information, on its face … violates the First … Second … [and] Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution.” The Second Amendment Foundation is bringing the lawsuit because Cody Wilson and his company, Defense Distributed (DD),

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National Reciprocity law: the Wrong way to do the Right Thing

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 18, 2015: 

P-64 (pistol)

Member of the House of Representatives Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) has let his enthusiasm run away from his good sense. For the third time in a row he has offered a bill giving power to the federal government to force the states into granting nation-wide “reciprocity,” so that anyone with a concealed carry permit, or a resident of a “permitless” state, can carry anywhere he wants in the country without repercussions. An identical bill was presented in the Senate by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Stutzman explained why:

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Pressure Building to Pass National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Law

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 18, 2015:

Official portrait of Congressman (R-IN).

Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)

 

In February when Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) reintroduced his Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced an identical one in the Senate. Stutzman touted his bill:

Americans enjoy a natural right to self-defense preserved by the Second Amendment. This federally guaranteed liberty should not be forfeited when state lines are crossed.

Unfortunately, this fundamental right has been under attack from the anti-gun lobby on both the federal and state levels. This bill preserves the right to keep and bear arms for law-abiding citizens while respecting the roles and responsibilities of state legislatures.

Promoters such as the pro-Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America (GOA) are urging their members to press for passage:

If you have a concealed carry permit — or if you come from a freedom-loving “constitutional carry” state that doesn’t require one! — you should be able to carry anywhere in the country without fear of losing your constitutional rights [just] because of where you are.

They go further to remind their members of what happened two years ago when Shaneen Allen, a Pennsylvania resident traveling by car in New Jersey, was stopped for a minor traffic violation. Thinking that her Pennsylvania concealed carry permit was valid in New Jersey, she

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Freedom Act Passes House, 338-88; Senate Likely to Ignore it

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 14, 2015: 

On Wednesday the House overwhelmingly approved the USA Freedom Act, 338-88, putting pressure on the Senate to approve it before the offensive Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act — the one that the government says allows unlimited surveillance of Americans’ communications metadata — expires on June 1.

The government’s interpretation of that law was ruled illegal by a federal court a few days earlier, putting more pressure on senators who support the surveillance state.

The current House bill is substantially weaker than one with a similar overall purpose that the House passed in the last Congress, which never made it out of the Senate before the November midterm elections. The new bill doesn’t end snooping. It merely

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Moody’s Lowers Chicago’s Debt Rating to Junk Status

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 13, 2015: 

Moody’s cut its rating on another $4 billion of Chicago’s debt to just above junk status, for a total of $13 billion that was downgraded on Tuesday. This is approaching two times the city’s total annual revenues, and fails to take into account the $550 million payment the city must make in December to keep the police and firemen’s pension plan solvent. Nor does it take into account the $230 million penalty the city must pay for terminating previous “swap” agreements that allowed it to continue to borrow at competitive rates.

With this two-level drop, $2 billion in additional penalties may come due, according to Moody’s: “[Our] current rating actions give the counterparties of these [swap] transactions the option to immediately demand up to $2.2 billion in accelerated principal and accrued interest [payments] and associated termination fees.”

Doing the math is frightening. But Chicago’s Budget Director Alex Holt seems unconcerned: 

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Int’l Tests Show U.S. Students Poor in Math, Civics, Literacy

The recent flurry of test results on how American students are faring in school has resulted in much commentary decrying their dismal performance compared to their international peers.

The PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) study recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics compared the performance of 15-year-old students among 65 countries, including all 34 member countries of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and confirmed what was already widely known: U.S. students are nowhere near the top in math, science, or literacy. Twenty-nine educational systems turn out better students than does the United States in mathematics, while students in 22 systems were more capable in science than were U.S. students. In reading literacy 19 educational systems turned out more skilled students than the U.S. public school system.

Eighth-graders participating in the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) test given under the auspices of the Department of Education showed no significant improvement over their dismal performance recorded four years ago. Just 18 percent of them scored at or above the Proficient level in U.S. history, while 27 percent scored Proficient in geography, and 23 percent reached or exceeded that level in civics.

The latest from Pew Research — “What the Public Knows” — showed that

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New York’s Fracking Ban Hurting Upstate New Yorkers

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 11, 2015: 

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was running for reelection in 2012 he said he was concerned about the poor economy hurting residents in upstate New York, particularly those living along the state’s southern border with Pennsylvania. Residents of Broome and Bradford counties in particular could peer across the border and see residents of Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna county living better, paying less in taxes, and enjoying the economic benefits of the fracking boom.

Cuomo briefly considered lifting the state’s de facto ban on fracking in those counties as a way to give their residents a chance to enjoy some of those benefits.

But only briefly.

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Genie Out of the Bottle: Nullification Efforts are Gaining Momentum

This article first was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 11, 2015: 

Cover of "Nullification: How to Resist Fe...

Once perceived to be invincible, government bureaucrats issuing decrees and mandates from on high are being exposed for what really are: Wizards of Oz. It was Tom Woods’ book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century that let the genie out of the bottle.

All Woods did was explain how the founders intended for the states to be the last line of defense against federal overreach. It put in place the Bill of Rights which contains the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Thomas Jefferson expressed the matter slightly differently:

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China’s Economy Continues to Implode

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 8, 2015: 

English: Scatter graph of the People's Republi...

Wolf Richter is one observer of the present world economic scene who hasn’t had his mind altered by drinking the Kool-Aid ladled out in Washington and in the economics departments of so many colleges and universities. After holding a number of C-level positions (CEO, COO, etc.) in large and successful private companies, he chucked it and went to live for a while in Switzerland. He started a blog with the ghastly name of Testosterone Pit, which he thankfully changed to Wolf Street last summer.

He has been watching economic events unfold (and unravel) in China for some time, but the latest from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) so startled him two weeks ago that he thought it was either a misprint, or that the index would bounce right back from its precipitous fall.

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China Export Shipping Declines by Two-thirds

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 7, 2015: 

Two weeks ago the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which tracks shipping rates from Shanghai to the world, fell off a cliff: down a breath-taking 67 percent from a year ago. Wolf Richter thought it was a statistical fluke.

It was no fluke. In the next two weeks the SCFI for Northern Europe fell another 14 percent, an all-time low. Wrote Richter: “Something big is going on in the China-Europe trade.”

The collapse is being echoed by other indexes reflecting the breathtaking decline in China’s exports. For example

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EMP Threats Force NORAD Back Into Cheyenne Mountain

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 6, 2015:

Cover of "One Second After"

News that NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) was moving back into its previous Cheyenne Mountain underground bunker in Colorado Springs first surfaced during a news conference by NORAD Commander Admiral William Cortney on April 7.

It’s moving, said Cortney, “because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain is built. It’s EMP-hardened.” EMP, short for an electromagnetic pulse, is a burst of electromagnetic energy produced by a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere, considered capable of widespread damage.

NORAD is also moving because of real world threats by enemies of the United States who now possess the capabilities to launch a nuclear weapon from the south where NORAD is blind.

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Virginia: First Amendment Victory for Church as Officials Back Off

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, May 5, 2015:

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution

 

The congregation of Harrisonburg, Virginia’s Valley Church of Christ decided to promote its pro-life views by hanging two posters on its fence on the corner of Virginia Avenue and Acorn Drive. One poster showed a fetus cradled in a pair of hands with this quote from Mother Teresa: “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

The second one pictured a face of a baby and this quote from Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

It didn’t take long before someone took umbrage at the message, and complained to the city.

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Who Is Bernie Sanders?

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 1, 2015: 

In his remarks announcing his decision to campaign for the Democrat Party’s presidential nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (shown) fired a warning shot at those either disparaging or belittling his intentions:

People should not underestimate me. I’ve run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates…. [My] message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country.

Polls show Sanders running more than 50 points behind Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton while journalists have emphasized his inability to raise large amounts of cash for his campaign. Others have said he has little name recognition outside of Vermont, and that his stage presence lacks Hillary’s practiced homilies and faux sincerity. Even the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Sanders isn’t going to be president,” claiming that he only wants to redirect the political conversation more to the left, forcing Clinton to clarify stands about which she has been both opaque and obtuse.

Observers should know that Sanders has been

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Will the Clinton Foundation’s Deceit Finish Hillary?

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 1, 2015: 

In January 2014 Dinesh D’Souza was indicted by federal prosecutors for violating federal campaign finance laws. In September of that year he was sentenced to five years’ probation, eight months in a “community confinement center,” and was fined $30,000. He also was required to perform eight hours of community service every week and must undergo court-mandated therapy for his crime.

His crime: contributing $20,000 to campaigns in the names of some friends.

Hillary has arranged for more than 1,100 donors to contribute millions to her campaign for president.

Question: How much community service will she be required to perform?

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Clinton Foundation’s Defenses Continue to Unravel

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 30, 2015:

The growing public awareness and outrage at the seeming fraud, deceit, and obfuscation at the Clinton Foundation, where more than 1,100 donors weren’t disclosed, violating an agreement Hillary Clinton made with the White House prior to taking over as secretary of state in 2008, continues to build. At the forefront and in the public’s headlights for the moment is the case of Frank Giustra, which we commented on in a previous article: 

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.