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

CBO’s Funny Math

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 22, 2014:

National debt clock

National debt clock

The Congressional Budget Office’s August update to the federal budget and outlook for the next 10 years released last week was so filled with questionable assumptions as to make their conclusions completely unrealistic. As expected, the mainstream media focused only on the parts of the report that fed and supported their worldview. For instance, the CBO said that revenues were expected to increase by about 8% over last year to a world record $3 trillion, thanks to increases in individual income taxes, payroll taxes, and corporate income taxes.

This was understood by the White House and establishment economists to

Keep reading…

What’s Behind the Attack on Fracking?

The following is the text of a talk I made in September to some oil industry people in Nashville:

In the opening sequence of the movie Gasland, Josh Fox, the film’s producer, said:

One day I got a letter in the mail. It was from a natural gas company. The letter told me that my land was on top of a formation that was called the Marcellus Shale which stretched across Pennsylvania… New York… Ohio… and West Virginia… and that the Marcellus Shale was the “Saudi Arabia” of natural gas.

I could lease my land to this company and I would receive a signing bonus of $4750 an acre. Having 19.5 acres, that was nearly $100,000… Right there in my hand. Could it be that easy?

No, it couldn’t.

Keep reading…

Relying on a Pizza Ad to End Scott Walker’s Governorship in Wisconsin

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 20, 2014:

On September 18, 2014, a new TV campaign ad supporting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s reelection bid showed the governor smiling into the camera and saying, “Thanks to our reforms, the average family will have an extra $322 to spend. What are you going to do with your savings?” A number of regular folks then answered: gas up the car, put on new tires, and buy things such as clothes, school supplies, and diapers.

PolitiFact.com looked into Walker’s claims and concluded that he was basically right: The income tax and property tax reductions that he had engineered during his first term would save the average family in Wisconsin somewhere between $330 and $350 a year. Said PolitiFact: “Either way, the figures support [Walker’s] ad’s claim of $322.”

Mary Burke, a member of Madison’s school board and Wisconsin’s former secretary of commerce from 2005 through 2007, decided not to try to refute Walker’s claim but instead to belittle it.

Keep reading…

Safety Records Show Pipelines Best Method for Transporting Oil

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 20, 2014:

The combination of the Obama administration’s intransigence in approving the Keystone XL pipeline and the exponential explosion in the production of crude oil, especially from the Bakken formation in North Dakota, has put increasing pressure on alternative modes of transportation to get that crude to refineries and customers. But with the increasing use of alternative modes such as barges, rail cars, and over-the-road tanker trucks has come a growing concern about safety.

A series of rail accidents over the last several years has caught the attention of the Department of Transportation, and CNBC has tried its best to question the viability of oil transport safety. Since 2008, at least 10 incidents involving freight trains hauling crude across North America have spilled almost

Keep reading…

The Keystone Pipeline Delay: Killing People; Saving the Environment

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 20, 2014:

Some contend that the Keystone pipeline delay is having consequences that were intended from the beginning. Others contend that those urging the president to delay approval of Keystone weren’t smart enough to anticipate the negative consequences that delay is having.

But there they are, nevertheless. In an ironic coincidence, the Manhattan Institute published its report claiming that pipelines are far safer for the transportation of oil and gas than railroads in June 2013, the same month of the tragic

Keep reading…

National Debt to be $27 Trillion in 10 Years, Says the CBO

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 16, 2014: 

English:

There was something for everyone in the release last week by the Congressional Budget Office of its August update and outlook. The federal government’s revenues are expected to top $3 trillion this year for the first time in history, thanks to individual income taxes rising by six percent, payroll taxes by eight percent, and corporate income taxes by 15 percent. Those infatuated with big government are celebrating the event as a reflection of an improving economy resuscitated by government spending and stimulus programs. Small government advocates, on the other hand,

Keep reading…

Canadian Workaround to Make Keystone Pipeline Irrelevant

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 14, 2014:

Within days of President Obama’s surprise phone call on November 10, 2011 to Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper telling him that he was going to put approval of the Keystone XL pipeline on interminable hold, Frank McKenna, the former Canadian ambassador to the United States, said: “The best way to get Keystone XL built is to make it irrelevant.”

What’s nearly approved is the plan to send the crude oil that’s pouring out of the Bakken formation at the Keystone Hardisty terminal in Alberta coursing through an underused natural gas pipeline stretching from Hardisty to Québec. From there it’s a relatively short hop to New Brunswick’s Irving oil refinery, where the refined product will easily and efficiently find its way to thirsty countries such as India. The beauty is that, as investigative journalists writing in the Montréal Gazette last week expressed it:

Keep reading…

Senate Republican Dreaming after November

This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 13, 2014:

English: Official photo cropped of United Stat...

Possible Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in 114th Congress?

Some Republicans are beginning to lick their chops in anticipation of a takeover of the Senate in November. New Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already promised to rein in Obamacare, pass a real budget, and hold hearings on the EPA’s onerous greenhouse gas regulations – which would resonate positively with his coal-fired constituents in Kentucky.

The Republican Wish List also includes

Keep reading…

Koch Brothers Learn from 2012, Restructure for 2014 and Beyond

Americans for Prosperity

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 8, 2014:

Sensing an opportunity to turn the liberal tide in 2012, free-market advocates Charles and David Koch established the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce. They successfully recruited about 200 members, each of whom paid a minimum annual membership fee of $100,000 and raised more than $250 million in the process. When added to other funds that the Koch Brothers were able to raise in their effort to influence the electorate in 2012, the total came to more than $400 million.

Despite that enormous sum,

Keep reading…

Sissel Lawsuit Threatens ObamaCare

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 8, 2014: 

After losing an appeal before a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals in Sissel v. US Department of Health and Human Services, the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed a petition for a full rehearing — called “en banc” — on Monday. Sissel claims that the Origination Clause — Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution — was violated at the very birth of ObamaCare (also called ACA, the Affordable Care Act), and since the Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sibelius that the ObamaCare fines are not penalties but taxes, ObamaCare itself must be ruled unconstitutional.

Nearly 100 lawsuits challenging ObamaCare have been filed since it was passed back in March 2010, but only five now present serious threats to its legal existence, the Sissel case being the one with the most teeth. It was originally brought by

Keep reading…

Koch Brothers and Friends Pouring Millions Into Midterms

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 7, 2014: 

Americans for Prosperity

Americans for Prosperity, one of the Koch Brothers’ key operating units, in its efforts to bring its conservative influence into national politics, is expected to spend more than $125 million in the 2014 elections.

After getting thrashed in the 2012 elections, when the brothers and their friends spent nearly $400 million with little to show for it, they have adopted much of the Left’s political organizing strategy and database management strategies. They’re determined not to make the same mistake twice.

In January, the Koch Brothers were able to raise nearly

Keep reading…

Stockton Bankruptcy Judge Hammers CalPERS

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 3, 2014:

English: CalPERS headquarters at Lincoln Plaza...

CalPERS headquarters at Lincoln Plaza in Sacramento

All Franklin Templeton Investments wanted was a fair shake. All CalPERS wanted is what it already has: exemption from bankruptcy laws. As attorneys for CalPERS – the California Public Employees Retirement System – tried to defend the country’s largest pension plan from contentions that it was getting off scot-free in the Stockton bankruptcy reorganization plan while other creditors were getting hammered, they sounded rather silly.

They claimed that a combination of state laws and statutes dating back into history protected the $300 billion that CalPERS manages from sharing the pain with other creditors in bankruptcy proceedings. They referred to something called

Keep reading…

California Retirement System Loses Big in Stockton Bankruptcy Ruling

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 2, 2014:

On Tuesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein surprised nearly everyone with his ruling that Stockton could cancel its contract with the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) as part of its plan for reorganization after filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy two years ago. CalPERS immediately issued a statement claiming that Klein’s decision was not legally binding:

This ruling is not legally binding on any of the parties in the Stockton case or as precedent in any other bankruptcy proceeding and is unnecessary to the decision on confirmation of the city of Stockton’s plan of [reorganization].

CalPERS is certainly hoping so. It manages $300 billion of funds for municipal employees across the state and has been spearheading a drive to negate a similar decision by a bankruptcy judge in the Detroit bankruptcy case. These two similar rulings could open the door

Keep reading…

Fracking Revolution: U.S. Replaces OPEC as World’s “Swing Producer”

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 1, 2014: 

 

After reviewing the numbers from America’s oil and gas patches, Per Magnus Nysveen of Rystad, an international oil consultancy in Norway, declared that the United States is now taking on the role of “swing producer” that used to be played by Saudi Arabia and other members of OPEC, the oil producers’ cartel.

Those numbers are impressive. Fracking technology has led to a 65-percent increase in U.S. crude oil output in just the last six years and, according to Wood Mackenzie,

Keep reading…

Ferguson, Missouri, Still Simmering, as Two Officers Are Fired Upon

Two apparently unrelated incidents over the weekend reveal that the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, continues to boil. At about 9:00 p.m. on Friday night, a St. Louis County police officer, doing a routine business check of the Ferguson Community Center, which was closed for the night, observed a man in the area. When the officer exited his cruiser to question him, the suspect pulled a gun and tried to shoot the officer. The officer blocked the gun with his arm and in the ensuing scuffle, the officer was shot in the arm. He was later treated and released, while the suspect successfully eluded the police and remains at large.

In a separate incident,

Keep reading…

Stock Market Gains Failing to Bail Out Pension Plans

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, September 26, 2014: 

Pension managers’ hopes that investment returns – i.e., pixie dust – would bail them out from their bad assumptions, and keep their plans solvent and fully funded so that they would be able to keep every promise made, have finally crashed on the rocks of reality. Just three months ago, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College released a study showing that the shortfall between promises and assets to pay them for 25 of the largest public defined-benefit pension plans in the country amounted to more than

Keep reading…

Mother of Two Avoids Prison Time in New Jersey Gun Case

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 26, 2014:

English: A Smith & Wesson Military & Police ha...

A Smith & Wesson Military & Police handgun chambered in .40 S&W.

Shaneen Allen, a phlebotomist from Philadelphia and single mother of two, started breathing normally again on Wednesday when Atlantic County, New Jersey, prosecutor Jim McClain decided not to prosecute her under New Jersey’s draconian Graves Act and offered her New Jersey’s Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) instead.

Allen accepted the offer as an alternative to the mandatory three-to-five years she was facing for mere possession of a firearm while traveling from Philadelphia into New Jersey last October. Pulled over for a minor traffic violation, she made the mistake of

Keep reading…

Despite Stock Market Gains, Public Pension Plans Fall Further Behind

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 25, 2014:

 

In its latest report on public pension plans, Moody’s announced on Thursday that, despite recent historic gains in the stock market, those plans’ liabilities are increasing even more quickly. Reporting on the 25 largest public defined benefit pension plans in the country, Moody’s Global Credit Research estimates that those plans are now $2 trillion short of where they need to be to pay out all the benefits promised to their beneficiaries. This has occurred despite record gains in the stock market, which,

Keep reading…

California Governor Being Challenged by Republican Upstart in November

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, September 23, 2014:

English: Photo of California Attorney General ...

California Governor Jerry Brown

In response to a challenge posed by his Republican opponent for the governorship in November, California Governor Jerry Brown said:

A lot of people forget the mess that California was in just four years ago. There were 1 million jobs that had been lost. Our budget deficit was astronomical: 27 billion. We hadn’t had a budget on time in probably 10 years.

Brown’s challenger is Republican Neel Kashkari, a practicing Hindu born of Indian parents with a background as a Bush appointee and a former executive with Goldman Sachs. While his political positions on key issues qualify him as a RINO — Republican in Name Only — he is already closing the gap on the once-invincible California governor.

Keep reading…

The Kansas Referendum on Reagan’s Tax Cut Policies

This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, September 24, 2014:

Big government liberals and high spending politicians have converged on Kansas, seeing an opportunity to discredit not only Ronald Reagan’s tax policies but to get even with the Tea Party, which took out a number of “moderate” Republicans in the state Senate over the last two election cycles.

Gov. Sam Brownback (pictured above), a supporter of less government and lower taxes, was able to ride the conservative wave that resulted in tax reform that not only increased an individual taxpayer’s standard deduction from $4,500 to $5,500 but also

Keep reading…

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