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

Socialist Upstart Ocasio-Cortez Ends Career of Longtime Congressman in Big Upset

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 28, 2018:  

Liberal Time magazine called the surprising victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over 10-term Democrat Joe Crowley in Tuesday’s primary in New York City “the biggest upset of the 2018 elections so far.” The New York Times described Crowley’s loss as “a shocking primary defeat … the most significant loss for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade” while the liberal UK Guardian called Ocasio-Cortez’s victory “one of the biggest upsets in recent American political history.”

Crowley had everything going for him: $3 million in campaign funds versus just $300,000 for his upstart challenger; a voting record over his time in the House that earned him a Freedom Index rating of just 21 out of 100; a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, and a 0% rating from the National Right to Life Committee; a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood; an ardent supporter of ObamaCare; and a harsh critic of President Trump’s call to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

None of this mattered. He looked conservative compared to the credentials loudly and proudly proclaimed by his opponent in the primary: a member of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and a track record that proved it. A graduate of Boston University in 2011 (she is just 28) where she majored in economics and international relations, she interned for Senator Ted Kennedy and served as a community organizer for Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential campaign.

Her platform was other-worldly: Medicare for all, a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college, and abolition of ICE — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In addition she made clear her contempt for the Second Amendment by promising to push for more gun control, and supporting the ending of the privatization of prisons.

She even interrupted her campaign the weekend before the primary to join protests at an ICE detention center in Texas.

She played to the illegals living in the 14th District:

Keep reading…

Latest CBO Report: Government Debt to Double by 2048

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 27, 2018: 

The “2018 Long Term Budget Outlook” released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) earlier this week said that if current conditions hold (same tax policy, no recession, etc.) in the next 10 years, the national debt will equal the national output of goods and services. In 30 years, the national debt will be 50 percent larger than the country’s economic output and double what it is now relative to the GDP:

Keep reading…

The War On Trump: From Confrontation to Harassment to … Violence?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 26, 2018:

After The New American reported on the harassment of White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, on Friday night, her father told talk show host Laura Ingraham what happened next:

Keep reading…

Maxine Waters Urges People to Confront, Harass Trump Officials

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 25, 2018: 

Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) had a busy day on Saturday. Appearing on CNBC, she urged viewers to harass and publicly confront every member of the Trump administration wherever they might be found:

I have no sympathy for these people that are in this administration who know it’s wrong for what they’re doing on so many fronts. They tend to not want to confront this president or even leave, but they know what they’re doing is wrong.

 

I want to tell you, these members of his cabinet who remain and try to defend him, they won’t be able to go to a restaurant, they won’t be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store. The people are going to turn on them. They’re going to protest. They’re absolutely going to harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the president, ‘No, I can’t hang with you.’ This is wrong. This is unconscionable. We can’t keep doing this to children.

She reiterated her threat to impeach the president:

Keep reading…

Economic Ignorance Driving California Rents Ever Higher

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 21, 2018: 

The Sacramento Bee has performed an excellent public service not only by asking why rents are rising so fast in California, but by publishing many of the answers it received in response. Some of them are nearly staggering in their lack of understanding of basic fundamental economic law. For example, Angie Wei, Chief of Staff of California Labor Federation, told the Bee:

Allow local governments to adopt rent control policies. Incentivize home ownership, not investors. Increase housing production. Create good jobs near housing.

Rent control is the very last thing to use to “increase housing production.” Why would a builder, already faced with massive overregulation by California’s various codes, build something that politicians guarantee would not be profitable for him? History is replete with examples where rent controls have stopped all new residential building, but apparently Wei is free from the burden of any such knowledge.

In addition, if somehow home ownership could be “incentivized” beyond where it is currently, this would accelerate rent increases, not reduce them.

Wei is not alone. Daniel Zingale, Senior Vice President of The California Endowment, had his lengthy, abysmally ignorant answer published by the Bee:

Keep reading…

Increasing Rents Driving Middle Class Out of Silicon Valley

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 21, 2018: 

An article appearing in the liberal U.K. Guardian told half the story: Increases in rents in apartments close to the Facebook facilities in Silicon Valley are driving the renters out. Sandra Zamora, a 29-year-old preschool teacher and restaurant worker, told her half of that story to Guardian reporter Sam Levin: “Facebook is taking everything we have … and giving us what? Nothing. Just pain in our lives. Facebook is just ruining the community.”

Zamora and others living in the Menlo Park apartment complex (about a mile from Facebook’s headquarters) just received notices from the complex’s new owners that their rents would soon rise from $1,100 a month to $1,900 a month, and they would have 90 days either to sign a new lease, or move out.

Levin milked the story:

Keep reading…

Will Americans vote Their Pocketbooks this November?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 20, 2018: 

James Carville, Bill Clinton’s campaign advisor for the 1992 presidential campaign, gave Clinton good advice: he should remind his audiences every chance he got that his campaign should focus on three themes:

Change versus more of the same,

It’s the economy, stupid, and

Don’t forget health care.

The one that continues to resonate through the years is Number 2. And it’s very likely to extend the Republicans’ advantage in both houses of Congress come November.

Pocketbook issues certainly influenced the 2016 presidential election, especially among young voters between 18 and 26.

Keep reading…

Americans’ Satisfaction Highest in 12 Years, Says Gallup

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 19, 2018: 

When more than 1,500 American citizens were asked how they felt about the direction of the country during the first two weeks in June, Gallup noted on Monday that 38 percent of them said they “are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States today.” This is the highest percentage recorded since September 2005.

Notable was that satisfaction among people surveyed by Gallup was just 22 percent going into the November 2016 elections. In addition, the satisfaction rate measured by Gallup has now topped 35 percent three times this year, “a level reached only three times in the previous 12 years,” according to the pollster.

Also notable was that the gains were among Republicans. In the previous survey conducted in April, only 29 percent of whom were satisfied, and among independents, only 25 percent of whom were satisfied with the country’s direction. Democrats, on the other hand, were steadfastly, determinedly negative in their assessment, with just 13 percent expressing satisfaction with the country’s direction in both polls.

Gallup surmised that its satisfaction index was so high because “the United States continues to enjoy a nine-year-long economic expansion.”

The positive news about the economy continues to pile up. Job creation continues to exceed forecasters’ predictions, unemployment is at record lows, manufacturing and construction industries continue to flourish (with housing starts jumping to near an 11-year high as reported by Reuters on Tuesday, the latest ISM (Institute for Supply Management) manufacturing index exceeding Wall Street estimates, and construction spending showing a monthly gain of 1.8 percent (one full percentage point higher than expectations).

The future looks brighter as well, with the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow tracker estimating that GDP growth in the second quarter (ending June 30) coming in close to five percent on an annualized basis.

That satisfaction level reported by Gallup was confirmed by Rasmussen Reports on Monday, noting that in its own poll that 43 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction, up from 36 percent a year ago.

All of which is being reflected in Trump’s own numbers. In a separate poll released on Monday by Gallup, the president is “earning his highest approval rating since shortly after he took office.” His approval rating hit 45 percent, matching the president’s highest rating touched nine days after his inauguration. Gallup’s results were also confirmed by Rasmussen Reports, which reported on Monday that 48 percent of likely U.S. voters approve of his performance.

Taken together this bodes well for Republicans in the upcoming November midterm elections. As James Carville, Bill Clinton’s campaign advisor in 1992, reminded the Democrat candidate to tell his audiences: “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Deerfield, Illinois, Proposed Ban on “Assault Weapons” Blocked by Court

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 14, 2018: 

As The New American accurately predicted in its coverage, the ban on so-called “assault weapons” passed unanimously by the Deerfield, Illinois Village Board of Trustees in early April was tossed by a court before the ban could be implemented on June 13.

It was thrown out with 24 hours to spare, by Lake County Circuit Court Judge Luis Berrones, on Tuesday. The ban clearly violated a state law of Illinois that declares that “the regulation of the possession or ownership of assault weapons are exclusive powers and functions of this State. Any ordinance or regulation, or portion of that ordinance or regulation, that purports to regulate the possession or ownership of assault weapons in a manner that is inconsistent with this Act, shall be invalid.”

Mayor Harriet Rosenthal also predicted the outcome. The ban was intended, she said, to “increase the public’s sense of safety” following another mass shooting, notwithstanding “potential objections … or the enforceability of such a ban.” In other words, the ban was “feel good” legislation that had nothing to do with reducing gun violence in Deerfield (a small, low-crime community 25 miles north of Chicago) but merely to make a statement.

Said The New American at the time:

The chances that this nascent law is stillborn are between excellent and certain. The National Rifle Association (NRA) announced on Wednesday it would be financially and logistically supporting an Illinois-based pro-gun group, Guns Save Life, in its lawsuit to stop the law from going into effect.

 

The next day the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) announced it had already filed a lawsuit in the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Lake County along with the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA).

SAF’s Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb explained:

We moved swiftly to challenge this gun ban because it flies in the face of state law. While the village is trying to disguise this as an amendment to an existing ordinance, it is, in fact, a new law that entirely bans possession of legally-owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense.

 

The new ordinance also provides for confiscation and destruction of such firearms and their original capacity magazines. What is particularly outrageous about this new law is that it levies fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refuses to turn in their gun and magazines or move them out of the village by the time the ordinance takes effect in June. This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that “nobody is coming to take your guns.”

The New American coverage in April ended: “The courts will likely — hopefully — toss the ordinance into the trash bin of history well before it becomes law on June 13.”

It was tossed, with 24 hours to spare.

No More “What Ifs” for Deerfield, Illinois as its Proposed Ban on all “Assault Weapons” was Blocked by Court Order on Tuesday

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 15, 2018: 

Back in April, this writer explored in this space the consequences facing residents of the little town of Deerfield, Illinois if its ban on all so-called “assault weapons” had been upheld by the court. Happily, just the day before the ban was to be implemented, Lake County Circuit Judge Luis Berrones blocked it.

The ban clearly violated Illinois’ state law that declares that “the regulation of the possession or ownership of assault weapons are exclusive powers and functions of this State. Any ordinance or regulation, or portion of that ordinance or regulation, that purports to regulate the possession or ownership of assault weapons in a manner that is inconsistent with this Act, shall be invalid.”

Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal predicted the outcome.

Keep reading…

Revenues Grow but Spending Grows Faster — and Deficit Explodes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 13, 2018: 

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has never bought the line that Trump’s tax cuts would pay for themselves. Instead, it has projected that tax revenues over the next 10 years will fall $1.5 trillion short of government spending over that period.

The report from the U.S. Department of the Treasury on Tuesday confirmed the CBO’s conclusion: For May, increases in tax revenues flowing from individual taxpayers were more than offset by decreases in corporate tax revenues, resulting in a budget deficit for the month of nearly $150 billion, two-thirds higher than May a year ago. For the fiscal year (starting last October) through May, tax revenues of $217 billion were overwhelmed by government spending of $363 billion, creating a fiscal-year-to-date deficit of $146 billion. On an annualized basis, total deficits for the fiscal year, which ends in September, will be awfully close to the CBO’s initial projection of $804 billion.

And that’s just the beginning.

Keep reading…

Western Conservative Summit Draws Attacks From Far-left Groups

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 11, 2018:  

A few thousand conservatives from around the country descended on Denver, Colorado over the weekend to hear numerous prominent conservative speakers and politicians at the annual Western Conservative Summit (WCS) — touted as “the largest gathering of conservatives outside Washington, D.C.” — to attend workshops, and generally to enjoy friendly company of those with similar ideologies.

The event also drew scurrilous and borderline libelous attacks from such far-left groups as The Young Turks (TYT) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

In the past, the WCS has used themes such as “Freedom’s New Day” in 2013, “American at its Best” in 2014, and “Your Story: Freedom Alive” in 2015. This year the theme was “Fortifying Freedom,” an obvious reference to the new administration that is working to expand freedoms through regulatory rollbacks and tax cuts through tax reform.

Accordingly, this year’s summit, organized by the Centennial Institute and Colorado Christian University, was addressed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, EPA director Scott Pruitt, former Attorney General Edwin Meese, and a number of current legislators including Republican House members Ken Buck from Colorado and North Carolina’s Mark Meadows, chairman of the House’s Freedom Caucus. Diamond and Silk, the live-stream video bloggers and social-media personalities, lit up the audience, according to those in attendance, in their lively support of Donald Trump’s presidency.

According to Blair Miller, a reporter tasked by Denver’s Channel 7 News to attend the conference, Attorney General Sessions delighted the crowd by reminding them that “elections have consequences,” directing his ire at the MS-13 gang, supporting religious freedom, and pleasing his audience by affirming that, in the Trump administration, they will not be called “deplorables or bitter clingers anymore.”

Sessions also referred to the move he announced on Thursday that he wouldn’t defend the constitutionality of ObamaCare in a suit being brought by several states: “It’s a rare step,” he declared, “but one I felt was necessary when it comes to this law — a monumental law of historical government proportions that moved the entire healthcare system and the entire economy in America.”

He touted several victories and promised to keep up the pressure, stating, “In the Trump era, we’ve already seen a historic string of victories for conservatives and the American people. We are going to keep up this pace. We are not slowing down. We are determined to keep winning, and winning, and winning!”

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt also touted various environmental rollbacks of rules that he said were too restrictive, and pushed “federalism” — cooperation between states and the federal government — as a way to resolve environmental issues: “We must as an agency embody that partnership, that federalism concept, to make sure we advance these principles. So we have given a rebirth to the rule of law, a rebirth to process, and we’ve renewed our focus…. We’re going to engage in true federalism and partnering together to improve air quality and water quality. A one-size-fits-all strategy with respect to these issues does not work.”

The summit drew the attention of the SPLC, which noted that the lineup of speakers and workshop leaders would be “rhetorical hardliners and members of the new generation of far-right social media propagandists.” In particular, the SPLC singled out Sessions: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions, well known for his anti-immigrant positions and policies as well as ties to anti-LGBT hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (which is also well-represented at this year’s WCS), is the scheduled headliner — assuming he still has a job at the end of a week where President Trump has attacked him once again on Twitter.”

It attacked Turning Point USA, the conservative student group founded in 2012 by Charlie Kirk, whose mission is to “educate students about true free market values,” by attempting to link the group to racists:

The new generation of hard-right social media conservatives will be well-represented alongside the old guard. At least three representatives of Turning Point USA, the nationwide conservative college organization which regularly flirts with the racist alt-right, are listed as scheduled speakers at WCS, including its founder, Charlie Kirk, and communications director Candace Owens, in the news recently for being Kanye West’s far-right red-pill supplier.

The SPLC is notorious for promoting the idea that the United States is racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic. Accordingly, it tracks groups that appear to be guilty of such sins, in its own opinion, on its list of “hate groups.” It qualifies for 27 pages of tightly-drawn commentary at DiscoverTheNetworks.com, which notes:

Many of the organizations targeted by SPLC are not “hate” groups in any legitimate sense of the word. Rather, they are thoughtful, articulate conveyors of conservative values and principles that are anathema to SPLC, and their inclusion in SPLC’s list of “hate groups” constitutes an egregious libel that is based on nothing more than SPLC’s intolerance for ideas with which it does not agree.

 

SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok actually acknowledged this himself when he stated that his organization’s blacklists have “nothing to do with criminality or violence or any kind of guess we’re making about ‘this group could be dangerous.’ It’s strictly ideological.”

 

By conflating actual hate groups on the one hand, with respectable conservative organizations on the other — and thereby giving the impression that conservative values are somehow inherently hateful, racist, or otherwise repugnant — SPLC seeks to shut down debate, shut down free speech, and delegitimize conservatives as odious monsters whose viewpoints do not even merit a fair hearing.

But SPLC’s spite paled in comparison to the screed published by The Young Turks, which from the very first paragraph of its attack was a lie: “At least two Trump administration cabinet members will be speaking on Friday at a conservative summit cosponsored by the John Birch Society, the notorious right-wing group that became one of the leading organized forces in modern American history advocating for systemic racism.”

Alex Kotch, the writer for TYT, needs to check his facts. The John Birch Society, and its sister organization, the Law Enforcement Charitable Foundation (LECF), Inc., had two tables in the exhibit hall. But other than that it was far from “cosponsoring” the Denver event. As for the scurrilous lie about the society “advocating for systemic racism”, Kotch may have crossed the line that separates uninformed opinion from libel.

Kotch went on to say: “In addition to the John Birch Society, a notable sponsor is the far-right campus activist group Turning Point USA, led by Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens, both of whom are speaking at the conference. The organization has a history of hiring racist, upper-level employees.”

None of these left-wing rants seemed to impress the audience which was, according to observers, generous in its applause and attentive in the workshops. For the John Birch Society, its table was visited by dozens of attendees with at least eight of them getting involved in the freedom fight by joining the society.

And the LECF table, manned by former law-enforcement official Jim Fitzgerald, also enjoyed significant attention. Once observers learned of the foundation’s purposes — offering charitable support for families of police officers killed in the line of duty and grants to law-enforcement agencies for protective equipment and other material — many of them asked to be informed of the charity’s activities with several offering significant financial contributions to its cause.

The summit in Denver drew thousands, while the attacks from such groups as The Young Turks and the SPLC merely prove that the conference must be doing something right in the freedom fight.

SPLC Venomously Attacks Western Conservative Summit, Revealing its Hateful Bias

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 11, 2018:  

In a decision that revealed not only its hateful bias but its evil intentions, the “Hatewatch Staff” at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) attacked the speakers scheduled to address the Western Conservative Summit this past weekend in Denver, Colorado. They called them “rhetorical hardliners” including “a new generation of far-right social media propagandists.”

It didn’t pull any punches:

Keep reading…

Has Hickenlooper Been Anointed by the Elites?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 7, 2018.  It was written by one my colleagues, Steve Byas.  

With speculation building as to which Democrats might challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, those who follow this political game closely have noted the rise of Colorado Governor John Wright Hickenlooper. In 2005, while he was mayor of Denver, Time magazine tapped him as one of the top five big-city mayors in the United States. Then, in November 2012, Esquire magazine listed him as one of the “Americans of the Year 2012.” He even made cameo appearances in a Kurt Vonnegut novel (Earthquake), and the 2010 movie Casino Jack.

All of that would be pretty heady stuff for your average big-city mayor or even a state governor, but you know you are really “big time” when you get an invitation to attend the super-secretive Bilderberg Group, which held its annual meeting in Turin, Italy, this year. The group was formed in 1954, and some of the biggest movers and shakers in world politics meet to discuss and shape issues of interest to globalist-minded attendees.

That Hickenlooper was one of this year’s 131 elitists in attendance is significant. Bill Clinton, when still a fairly obscure governor of a small state of Arkansas, was in attendance at a Bilderberg meeting in 1991, and the next year he was elected president of the United States, defeating another former attendee, George Herbert Walker Bush. In 1964 and again in 1966, Congressman Gerald Ford was at a Bilderberg meeting.

So, Hickenlooper is someone to watch, for sure.

Hickenlooper is a Democrat from a Republican family. His grandfather, Smith Hickenlooper, was a federal judge, appointed by Republican President Warren Harding in 1923, and President Calvin Coolidge, another Republican, nominated him for a seat on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

With this background, John Hickenlooper enjoyed some Republican support as a Democrat politician (many Republicans are like the girl who believes some smooth-talking suitor despite evidence that she should not). After starting a beer company, Hickenlooper stuck his toe into municipal politics (which are generally non-partisan) and won election as mayor of Denver.

As with so many successful politicians, he got a lucky break when he ran for governor in 2010, which was generally a good Republican year nationally. In early September of 2010, his Republican opponent, Dan Maes, imploded. The Denver Post disputed his claim that he had been an undercover agent for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and several accusations were leveled at him. When former Republican Senator Hank Brown withdrew his endorsement of Maes, the Post called on Maes to leave the race, and the Republican Party dropped all financial support. When it appeared that Maes was going to be beaten by a very large margin, former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo entered the race on the Constitution Party ticket.

Tancredo garnered 36 percent of the vote, but Maes managed only 11 percent. Hickenlooper won a bare majority of the vote, at 51 percent.

When Hickenlooper won reelection in 2014, he fell below 50 percent of the vote, but the opposition was split again, with Bob Beauprez, the Republican, taking 46 percent.

Politico has compared Hickenlooper’s “centrist” image to that of Bill Clinton, who won in 1992 promising a “third way.” But this moderate image does not square with his record.

For example, while Hickenlooper once had what was described as a “cordial relationship” with the National Rifle Association, he has signed some of the strictest gun-control measures of any state. In 2013, Governor Hickenlooper signed a bill to limit the capacity of magazines bought, sold, or transferred within Colorado to 15 rounds. Another bill required background checks for any firearm transfer within the state, and yet another bill placed a tax on firearm transfers. He is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is co-chaired by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a strong opponent of gun rights. The recent wave of anti-gun rights activism should fit in nicely for a Hickenlooper presidential effort.

Hickenlooper is also an opponent of the death penalty. In 2013, he granted an indefinite stay of execution for a man who was convicted of the 1993 murder of four employees of a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. He ignored pleas from family members of the victim, saying, “It is a legitimate question whether we as a state should be taking lives.”

As a mayor and a governor, Hickenlooper has not had to take stands on foreign policy issues such as trade and aid, but it is a safe bet that the Bilderberg Group provided him with an “education” into the globalist perspective during the meeting in Italy.

Robust Jobs Report Erases Concerns About a Slowdown

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 1, 2018: 

Any concerns about a nascent slowdown in the American economy were firmly erased by Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Beating forecasters’ predictions of 200,000 new jobs being added to the booming economy in May, the real number according to the BLS was a heartening 223,000. The agency also reported that the unemployment rate, as a result, dropped further, to 3.8 percent — a level not seen in decades.

Commentators were ebullient. Nelson Schwartz, writing in the New York Times, said, “The American economy roared into overdrive last month … underscor[ing] other recent signs of strength, like robust personal income and spending data reported earlier this week.”

Thomas Simons, senior money market economist at investment firm Jeffries LLC, said there were “no holes to poke here [in the report].… These numbers are phenomenal.” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics, echoed the sentiments expressed by this writer on Thursday:

Keep reading…

GoFundMe Campaigns for School Shootings Show America’s Generosity, Goodness

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, May 29, 2018:

Science teacher Jason Seaman thought nothing of the request by one of his junior high students to leave his classroom briefly last Friday morning. Seaman, who teaches science at Noblesville West Middle School near Indianapolis, also serves as a football coach at the 1,300-student school.

When the student (whose name hasn’t yet been released) returned with two handguns and starting shooting at his students, Seaman immediately ran toward him, knocking the guns away and tackling him. The shooter had time to wound seriously one of his students, Ella Whistler, but was prevented from inflicting any further casualties by the quick thinking and action of Seaman.

For his trouble, Seaman suffered three gunshot wounds: in the stomach, hip, and arm. Both Seaman and Whistler were taken to local hospitals, where emergency surgery was performed on both of them.

It wasn’t until Monday morning that Seaman had recovered enough to be able to issue a statement, in which he said:

Keep reading…

Indiana Senate Democrats Missed a Great Opportunity to Appear Human

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 30, 2018: 

Following the shooting at Noblesville Middle School on Friday, Indiana Democrats issued a statement of condolences, according to CBS News, and then pushed for more gun controls.

So focused were they on their anti-gun agenda that they missed a great opportunity to appear human: expressing concern for the students, for the coach who was shot for his trouble in stopping the shooter, for the student who was nearly killed by the shooter, for the support the community 20 miles outside Indianapolis continues to give to the wounded coach and his student.

But, no. Instead they focused their attention on those who had nothing to do with the shooting: law-abiding Indiana gun owners.

Here is what happened at about 9am last Friday morning in Noblesville:

Keep reading…

U.S. Citizen Joshua Holt Released by Venezuela, Welcomed Back by Trump

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 28, 2018:  

When Utahn Joshua Holt met with President Donald Trump at the White House late Saturday night, he said he was “overwhelmed with gratitude” over his release on Friday from two years in a filthy Venezuelan prison. Accompanying Holt to the White House were his parents Jason and Laurie Holt, his Venezuelan wife Thamara, and her daughter Marian.

Two years ago Holt, who is a member of the LDS church, flew to Venezuela to marry his Mormon sweetheart, whom he met over the Internet while trying to improve his Spanish. Within hours of his wedding, the thuggish regime of Marxist dictator Nicolas Maduro arrested both of them on phony illegal weapons charges and put them into a detention center known as El Helicoide. There they stayed without being allowed even a preliminary hearing. And there they were likely to stay without outside help.

That help came from an unlikely and largely unknown source:

Keep reading…

Senator Elizabeth Warren Pledges to Take “No NRA Money,” Despite Never Having Received Any

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 25, 2018:  

In her reelection campaign video posted last week at NowThisNews, far-left anti-gun Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (aka “Pocahontas,” with a Freedom Index Rating of just 13 out of 100) promised not to take any money from the National Rifle Association (NRA), declaring:

Keep reading…

The Sausage-Making Behind the Dodd-Frank Bill Trump Just Signed

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 25, 2018: 

It is said that politics is the art of compromise. An uglier but perhaps more accurate assessment is that politics is the art of sausage making: no one wants to know how sausages are made, nor laws.

To their credit, two researchers for the Wall Street Journal, Ryan Tracy and Andrew Ackerman, have exposed the sausage-making behind passage of the Dodd-Frank deregulation bill by the Senate earlier this month. Through the efforts of Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the bill passed the Senate 67-31 and headed for the House. It was passed by the House on Tuesday, 258-159, but that gets ahead of the story.

Here is what they learned, expressed in their own words, and repeated here through liberal extractions from their Journal article for our purposes:

The story of how the legislation came together, based on interviews with current and former officials, demonstrates how policy makers scaled back their priorities to maintain support for a compromise.

Comment here: notice please that it’s political considerations, not the Constitution and its limitations, that set the table for the compromise.

To continue:

A senior White House official said the administration wanted to help smaller lenders and “recognized that this was about as much as we could get.” The bill is one part of the administration’s agenda to roll back Dodd-Frank rules, the official said.

 

The bill reflects the outline agreed to by Messrs. Crapo and Cohn. It would raise to $250 billion from $50 billion the threshold at which big banks automatically face strict stress tests and other rules. It would also make community banks eligible for relief from mortgage-underwriting standards.

Comment here: notice that the big banks enjoy a sizeable “carve-out” from the onerous Dodd-Frank rules, but that is given up in exchange for the lessening of rules on local “community” banks, i.e., small banks and local credit unions in their mortgage lending practices. Also note that Mike Crapo is a relatively conservative senator (his Freedom Index rating is 69 out of 100) who is head of the Senate Banking Committee, while Gary Cohn who served briefly as Trump’s chief economic advisor was formerly the president and CEO of Goldman Sachs.

Back to the Journal:

Mr. Crapo, who declined to comment, became Senate Banking Committee chairman in 2017. A conservative known for his “no drama” demeanor, he told Mr. Cohn that he believed he could enact significant Dodd-Frank changes.

 

The senator discussed with the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive the outlines of legislation rolling back rules on smaller to medium-sized banks. Both agreed such legislation would be worth doing, even though the strategy would leave behind other GOP priorities.

 

They didn’t, for instance, try to reorganize the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a move backed by Republicans but opposed by Democrats.

Just a word on the CFPB: it’s the brainchild of far-left liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren, who designed the agency to be completely independent of Congress, with its own funding provided by its landlord, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. See Sources below for two articles on that agency inside the Fed’s offices.

Back to the Journal:

Mr. Crapo, in the previous Congress, had reached broad agreement on such a package with four moderate Democrats: Sens. Joe Donnelly (D., Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.), Jon Tester (D., Mont.), and Mark Warner (D., Va.). He wagered he could win their support again, and that they would bring additional members of the Democratic caucus to secure the requisite 60 of 100 Senate votes.

 

Democratic supporters in the Senate—17 in all—say the legislation is needed to help smaller, community banks unduly affected by post-crisis regulations. “Too big to fail had become too small to succeed,” Ms. Heitkamp said.

Comment here: Heidi Heitkamp is too clever by half. She is running for reelection as a Democrat in a state that went heavily for Trump in 2016. She is running scared and needs to placate her constituency, which is probably very tired of her according to the latest polls.

Said the writers: “Ten of them are also up for re-election in 2018, with seven representing states that Mr. Trump won in 2016.”

Crapo is a seasoned politician, and knows these Democrats are fearing for their political lives. Once again: the Constitution is of no concern here, just political survival.

Back to the Journal:

During the negotiations, Mr. Crapo rejected potentially controversial proposals such as consumer bureau changes. He narrowed others to win Democratic support: Mortgage-underwriting-standards relief would go only to banks with fewer than $10 billion in assets, for example.

 

Democrats, anxious to limit the bill’s scope, resisted some provisions related to capital markets. Lawmakers also ultimately didn’t include language giving new class-action rights to trial lawyers.

 

Meanwhile, Mr. Cohn spoke with wary Democrats, sometimes daily, reassuring them that the White House wouldn’t scuttle a limited deal.

By the end of October, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a member of Crapo’s committee, told Crapo he wouldn’t support the bill and so Crapo took him off his list.

There was a Halloween party, according to the journalists:

That evening, at Ms. Heitkamp’s Capitol Hill home, the North Dakota senator and Mr. Tester shared beers and vowed to press on. The two began the process of finding co-sponsors by dividing up names in the Democratic caucus on a napkin.

 

On Nov. 13 – two weeks later – Mr. Crapo said he had a bipartisan deal. It split moderate Democratic supporters and more-liberal opponents led by Mr. Brown and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who thought the bill went too far to help an industry posting record profits.

Warren was so opposed to anything that might damage in the slightest her illegal, unconstitutional, and totally unaccountable creation inside the Fed that she named those favoring the small modifications to the Dodd-Frank bill in a move that was politically stupid:

Ms. Warren criticized other Democratic supporters by name in a fundraising email, a move some colleagues felt crossed a line.

The journalists left their readers in limbo, concluding only that, when all the sausage-making had been completed and the votes were tallied, the bill passed the Senate 67-31 and headed over to the House.

There, there was more sausage-making. As the House was considering the Economic Growth Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act – the official title of the weak Dodd-Frank deregulation bill – House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) pressed for more drastic changes. Long opposed to the original Dodd-Frank law enacted in response to the financial collapse that triggered the Great Recession of 2007-08, Hensarling was rounding up support for additional changes to the law.

Until he got a call from the president, who said, “Jeb, I want the bill now.” In exchange for backing off, Hensarling received assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that he would bring a bill containing more Dodd-Frank deregulations to the Senate floor before the November elections.

And so, on Tuesday, by a vote of 258-159, the Dodd-Frank deregulation bill passed the House in the same form as it passed the Senate earlier, and is headed for the President’s desk. White House officials said that Trump will sign it before the Memorial Day weekend, perhaps sooner.

And that, friends, is how things are done in Washington. Sausage-making is what happens when the Constitution is ignored and political considerations rule in its place.

Trump has another “bullet point” as the November elections draw closer, large banks have more leeway, smaller banks have slightly more freedom, and the odious Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is firmly cemented into place.


Sources:

Politico: House sends major bank bill to Trump, capping years of effort

CNBC: House votes to ease bank rules, and Trump says he will sign the bill

NJTVONLINE.org: House rolls back Dodd-Frank regulations

The Wall Street Journal: How Congress Rolled Back Banking Rules in a Rare Bipartisan Deal

Background on Dodd-Frank, aka Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

The New American:  Taming the Tyranny of the Agency

The New American: Unaccountable CFPB Ruled Constitutional; Spends Millions on Office Makeovers

Mike Crapo’s Freedom Index rating: 69 out of 100

Background on Mike Crapo

Background on Gary Cohn

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