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

Bell City: Lessons in Looting

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Eight former or current Bell, California, officials were arrested on Tuesday for looting the city for themselves and their friends, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley. “We are alleging they used the tax dollars from the hard-working citizens of Bell as their own piggy bank, which they looted at will,” noted Cooley at a news conference. “It’s corruption on steroids.”

The arrests followed charges filed by California’s Attorney General Jerry Brown last week in a civil complaint against the same individuals, accusing them of “wasting public funds, negligence, fraud, conflict of interest and breach of fiduciary duty.”

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GM Caught in a Lie, Still Owes U.S. Billions

The New GM (Government Motors) Proudly Introdu...

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Daniel Akerson, the new CEO of General Motors, said last week that the rate of payback of U.S. government bailout monies “will be determined by GM’s performance over the next several years. It would be ‘unrealistic’ to pay the government back all at once.”

He added, “We want the government out. Period. We don’t want to be known as Government Motors…It’s a goal of this company to return that (federal money). [However] I don’t think that’s going to be [done] in one fell swoop. I think that’s unrealistic.”

This was a much different message from that delivered by his predecessor, GM CEO Ed Whitacre, back in March when he announced in a series of TV ads:

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Who is Mike Pence?

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In an early straw poll, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) was the choice for presidential nominee in 2012 over such conservative luminaries as Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney. Capturing 24 percent of those voting at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit this past weekend in Washington, DC, Pence relegated even Senator Jim DeMint to a barely visible 5 percent.

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Reid’s Lame Duck Session: Just Mopping Up?

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Last Tuesday, September 7, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he intended to focus the current lame duck session on “mopping up” leftovers from the previous session, these included a national renewable energy policy, a small business jobs bill, and another stimulus bill. Reid said, “We are still going to be in Congress, working, after the election…There are things that we have to do. There is a lot of mopping up to do.” Reid failed to mention one small item that his lame duck session is determined to ignore altogether: the Bush “tax cuts” which are set to expire without Congressional action by the end of the year.

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The Impeachment of Judge Porteous

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The impeachment of Judge G. Thomas Porteous of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana appeared initially to be an “open and shut” case of bad behavior, with the House of Representatives voting unanimously on four articles of impeachment.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Task Force on Judicial Impeachmentseemed to think so: “Our investigation found that Judge Porteous participated in a pattern of corrupt conduct for years. Litigants have the right to expect a judge hearing their case will be fair and impartial, and avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Regrettably, no one can have that expectation in Judge Porteous’ courtroom.”

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Meet Austan Goolsbee, Obama’s New Top Economic Adviser

Official portrait of CEA member Austan Goolsbee.

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Few were surprised when President Obama replaced Christina Romer, chair of his Council of Economic Advisers, with another statist economist, Austan Goolsbee. Goolsbee is the architect of Obama’s failed economic policies and programs, having served as the executive director of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board from the beginning.

A bright student at Yale where he enjoyed membership in the exclusive and elitist Skull and Bones secret society, Goolsbee went on to get his PhD from MIT, and then immediately became a professor at the University of Chicago. With stints at the American Bar Association and the National Bureau of Economic Research, he was named to Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers in March, 2009.

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Obama Needs Your 401(k) to Balance His Budget

Jim McDermott

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The Obama administration is “taking the first steps to confiscate retirement dollars,” according to Dr. Jerome Corsi who predicts that the end result will be retirees with 401(k) plans holding near-worthless government debt “that will be paid off in a devalued currency worth…pennies on the dollar.”

The move to confiscate those retirement dollars for government purposes was best illustrated by Christina Kirchner, President of Argentina, in 2008 when she announced plans to seize her citizens’ private pension funds.

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SEC Charges NJ With Cooking the Books

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Notable in the statement from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week that it was charging the State of New Jersey with securities fraud was the lack of fines, punishment, or names of the guilty. The fraud began in 2001 and wasn’t uncovered until the New York Times exposed it in April of 2007.

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Congressional Ethics an Oxymoron?

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USA Today seems surprised at the number of ethics cases making headlines recently, referring to the trials being faced by Representatives Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), noting that the number of such cases “has jumped dramatically in the past year.” In the first six months of 2010, “an independent congressional watchdog began 44 ethics investigations,” while the Office of Congressional Ethics has recommended that the House ethics committee “take action against 13 lawmakers.”

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Behind Friday’s Jobs Report: The Real Numbers

Confusing numbers

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Buried in Friday’s employment report from the Department of Labor Statistics were two key numbers that reflected the slowdown in the economy so long denied by the administration: “private sector employment edged up over the month (+71,000). Thus far this year, [such] employment has increased by 630,000, with about two-thirds of the gain occurring in March and April.” (Emphasis added.) The other appeared in the final paragraph of that report: “The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +433,000 to +432,000, and the change for June was revised [downward] from -125,000 to -221,000.” (Emphasis added.)

Taken together, these two numbers reflect the slowing of the economy that has occurred ever since Vice President Joe Biden predicted back in April that “some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 and 500,000 jobs a month.”

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Ryan’s Roadmap II

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15:  Chairman Paul R...

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The first time Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) offered his “Roadmap for America’s Future” to the House of Representatives, it failed by 137-293, with 38 Republicans voting against, including Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). With his own district safe in the fall elections, Ryan has been spending his time generating support for Roadmap II with presentations to conservative think tanks and coffee klatches.

And he seems to be gaining some traction along with a lot of fresh attention.

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Temporary Unemployment Benefits—Permanent Welfare?

Horse And Handler Statue,  Department Of Labor

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The White House on July 21 extolled the extension of unemployment insurance by the Senate, claiming it was “not only the decent thing to do but one of the most effective ways to boost our economy.” President Obama signed the extension into law immediately, saying that this was “desperately needed assistance to two and a half million Americans who lost their jobs in the recession…Americans who…will finally get the support they need to get back on their feet during these tough economic times.”

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TARP Criticism Misses the Point

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When TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky criticized the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) as being ineffective, he blamed the Treasury Department for not setting clearer goals for that part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Only 390,000 homeowners “have seen their mortgage terms permanently modified since the $50 billion program was announced in March 2009. That is a small fraction of the three to four million borrowers who were supposed to receive assistance under the program.”

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Social Security Benefits Only for Needy?

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One way to fix Social Security would be to limit payments only to those who need them, according to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH). In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, he added that increasing the retirement age to 70 for those age 50 and younger would also be necessary.

“We need to look at the American people and explain to them that we’re broke,” Boehner said. “If you have substantial non-Social Security income while you’re retired, why are we paying you at a time when we’re broke? We just need to be honest with people.”

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Loophole Backfires, Blows Up DISCLOSE Act

National Rifle Association

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In their attempt to mitigate negative election-year fallout from the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favor of rights of free speech for everyone in Citizens United, Democrats Senator Charles Schumer (New York) and Representative Chris Van Hollen (Maryland) proposed legislation entitled “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections,” or DISCLOSE.

Schumer was very clear that DISCLOSE was carefully crafted to “embarrass companies [inclined to get involved in the fall elections] out of exercising those rights,” according to Kim Strassel in the Wall Street Journal. “The bill will make companies ‘think twice’, [Schumer] rejoiced. ‘The deterrent effect should not be underestimated.’”

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Sharron Angle vs. Harry Reid and the GOP

Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader

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Sharron Angle is going to have to learn how to fight with both hands in Nevada’s general election battle against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as Manu Raju explains in two articles appearing at Politico.com here and here. With her left hand she will be busy fending off attack ads from the Reid camp for her “extremism,” and with her right hand soothing sitting Senators with whom she might well be working after the election.

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Robin Hood: The Movie, the Critics, and the Tea Party

Robin Hood - Russell Crowe

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Moviegoers worldwide have enthusiastically rewarded Robin Hood since its opening in May with gross ticket sales of more than a quarter of a billion dollars, and the film is well in the black for Universal Pictures and its producer Ridley Scott. Predictably, liberal reviewers have taken significant verbal umbrage at the underlying theme of the film: lower taxes and less government.

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Is the Census Bureau Double Counting Jobs? [VIDEO]

Seal of the United States Census Bureau. The b...

When John Crudele quoted numerous Census Bureau workers about being hired, fired, and then rehired repeatedly, he called them “horror stories.” James O’Keefe, notorious and fearless investigative reporter, calls it part of a trend: “These days, Americans know that people in backrooms are taking advantage of their power. And they’re fed up with it.”

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Biden Predicts Job Growth—but Where’s the Evidence?

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Vice President Joe Biden predicted job growth of 250,000 to 500,000 jobs a month in the next two months, according to CNBC on Monday. Biden was speaking at a political fundraiser in Pittsburgh, where he said, “We caught a lot of bad breaks on the way down. We’re going to catch a few good breaks because of good planning on the way up…All in all, we’re going to be creating somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs next month.”  Even though some have cautioned Biden about his excessive and premature enthusiasm, Biden continued:  “I’m here to tell you some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”

However, the evidence and logic backing up Biden’s prediction are clearly lacking.

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Rush Limbaugh as GOP Kingmaker?

Rush Limbaugh

Cover of Rush Limbaugh

Zev Chafetswriting an op-ed for the New York Times, concluded that radio show host Rush Limbaugh “is the brains and the spirit behind [the conservative] resurgence.”

The writer claimed that “when the Tea Party movement emerged, Mr. Limbaugh welcomed it”:

The movement’s causes—fighting against health care reform, reducing the size and cost of government, opposing the Democrat’s putative desire to remake America in the image of European social democracies—were straight Limbaughism. A very high proportion of Tea Partiers listen to Mr. Limbaugh. Sarah Palin’s biggest current applause line—“Republicans are not just the party of no, but the party of hell no”—came courtesy of Mr. Limbaugh. Glenn Beck…calls Mr. Limbaugh his hero.

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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.