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

Ninth Circuit Could Lose Its Liberal Lustre Under Trump

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 21, 2019: 

President Donald Trump has the opportunity to turn the Ninth Circuit from blue to red before the end of his first term. In October, after months of fruitless negotiating with California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, the president finally gave up and nominated three conservative judges from the Federalist Society to fill three of the six vacancies on the court.

Not only is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals the largest in the country, covering nine states including Hawaii and Alaska, it is arguably the most liberal in its rulings. More than 80 percent of them, when reviewed by the Supreme Court, are reversed. Of its 29 judgeships, 16 were nominated by Democrat presidents, while only seven by Republicans.

But Trump has already filled two open slots,

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Bankers to Take Massive Haircut in Proposed Puerto Rican Bankruptcy Settlement

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 21, 2019:  

The judge sorting out the Puerto Rican bankruptcy got it right. Said Judge Laura Taylor Swain (appointed to the position by Chief Justice John Roberts back in 2017): “There is no decision that can perfectly reconcile all concerns.”

That’s an understatement. The primary revenue source to pay interest on Puerto Rico’s $74 billion in debt is the island’s sales tax. There are barely three million citizens living on the island, and almost 85 percent of them live in poverty. So the sales tax revenue stream comes primarily from tourists [Correction: most of the sales tax – 11.5 percent! – is borne by the locals]. It turns out that that revenue stream has been overcommitted, some of it illegally, in order to support the government’s profligate spending.

All Swain has to do is

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Investors Holding Puerto Rican Bonds Are About to Learn Important Lessons

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 21, 2019:

Bond investors trusting big dog Wall Street bankers like Goldman Sachs are about to learn (or relearn) at least two very important lessons: 1) don’t trust them; and 2) don’t assume the U.S. government will bail you out if things go south.

Like they are in Puerto Rico.

The island’s debt crisis dates back to 1973 when

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Opening Salvo Calling for Trump’s Impeachment Launched by The Atlantic

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 18, 2019:  

The Atlantic magazine launched the first official establishment impeachment broadside against the president on Thursday. Authored by the magazine’s political editor Yoni Appelbaum, the article charged that the president “has mounted a concerted challenge to the separation of powers, to the rule of law, and to the civil liberties enshrined in our founding documents. He has purposefully inflamed America’s divisions. He has set himself against the American idea, the principle that all of us — of every race, gender, and creed — are created equal.”

One might question Appelbaum’s understanding of those “founding documents,” but at least his magazine is consistent: It hates Donald Trump and wants him removed or so damaged politically that he cannot complete more of his agenda.

Back in 2016 the magazine, for only the third time in its 162-year history, endorsed a candidate (Hillary Clinton) for president. But it wasn’t an endorsement of Clinton so much as a repudiation of Trump:

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Maurice Strong’s History is the Kiss of Death in Proposed Takeover of a US Utility by a Canadian “Green Energy” Company

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 14, 2019:  

When the political activist group “Avista Customer Group” was explaining to its readers why it opposed the takeover of Avista Corporation, the largest energy supplier in the Pacific Northwest, by Hydro One, a Canadian utility, it included the following reason:

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Birchers, Activists Stop Canadian Takeover of U.S. Energy Company

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 14, 2019:  

In December, Washington State’s Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) denied approval of the proposed takeover of the Pacific Northwest’s largest energy company by a Toronto-based electric utility. It declared that Ontario’s Hydro One couldn’t be trusted to keep Avista’s customers from becoming political pawns in the climate-change game if the $6 billion merger were allowed to take place: “In the final analysis the Commission determines that the evidence demonstrates that Hydro One lacks sufficient independence from … its largest shareholder, the Province of Canada, to be a reasonable and appropriate merger partner for Avista.”

The back story is far more complex, but

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How Long Will Venezuela’s Maduro Stay in Power?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 11, 2019: 

Now that the Marxist president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has inaugurated himself for a second six-year term, questions are being raised about how he managed to accomplish this while others are asking just how long he is likely to remain in power.

The New York Times asked “So How Did Maduro Secure a Second Term?” on Thursday and then answered its own question: through terror, violence, and military oppression. He long ago destroyed whatever was left of a free market economy through price controls, rationing, and currency destruction. Now he is focused on using all the tools at his disposal to remain in power.

That includes arrests and torture of suspected dissidents even in the military, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW):

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Rosenstein’s Reasons for Leaving Are Plausible but Incomplete

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 9, 2019: 

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that, based on information from a “person familiar with his thinking,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will shortly depart the Department of Justice, where he has served since 2017.

The Journal listed five reasons for his departure, each of them plausible, but leaving unreported a long list of real reasons.

First, said the Journal,

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Jon Caldera’s Noisy Defiance of Boulder’s Gun Ban is Costing Him

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 7, 2019: 

When the Boulder City Council unanimously passed a law banning possession of “assault” rifles, large magazines, and “bump stocks” last May, they likely knew it wouldn’t go down well with the pro-gun crowd. What they didn’t know was that they would be setting off a firestorm by pushing around the wrong guy: Jon Caldera.

As this writer noted here last month, Caldera, a popular radio show host and head of Denver’s Independence Institute, told the Boulder pols to take a hike:

My hometown of Boulder is about to define me as a criminal if I do not disarm or move.

 

Let this column [which appeared in the Denver Post] serve as public notice: I will not comply….

 

Let it be known, like those who refused to go to the back of the bus, I will not surrender or destroy my guns, nor will I place my name on the government watch list.

Since then a lot of water has passed under the bridge.

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Left Ramps Up Attacks on Lead Plaintiff in Lawsuit Against Boulder Gun Law

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 7, 2019:  

The day after Boulder enacted its anti-gun law in May banning “assault” rifles, large-capacity magazines and “bump stocks,” Jon Caldera joined with the Boulder (Colorado) Rifle Club, a member of the University of Colorado Shooting Team, and others to file suit against it.

The suit claimed the law violated numerous federal, state, and local laws, and for that Caldera and his school-age daughter are taking heat. Caldera said his daughter has been bullied at her school, “[You know,] the one with posters celebrating tolerance and diversity all over its walls.” Both teachers and students have “ganged up on her,” telling her that “her father is a murderer.”

Added Caldera:

I have a fifteen-year old daughter who’s already been bullied about this at school. She’s been yelled at; she’s been called a murderer.

 

My son has Down syndrome so he doesn’t understand this, but my daughter doesn’t want me to go to jail.

 

I’m concerned about the people I love being taunted because we’re a political minority.

The suit’s language was clear as well as combative:

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Fed Head Powell Admits He Has Accomplished His Purpose: Stopping Trump

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 4, 2019: 

If you stop Trump’s economy, you stop Trump. This is more and more clearly the policy of the Federal Reserve under its temporary head, Jerome Powell. Temporary because the Fed, now more than 100 years old, is the bastard child of the international banking establishment and its authority is granted only temporarily to its chairman.

The Fed’s job is to slow the Trump economy to the point where it becomes a liability for his reelection campaign in 2020 instead of an asset. How do we know this? In Powell’s Q and A following the announcement that the central bank was raising interest rates by another 25 basis points on December 19, he was asked a question about the “runoff” of bonds that it has been engaging in for months now, sucking capital out of the financial markets. Asked Heather Long of the Washington Post: “I’m wondering if the Fed has had any discussion of altering the course of the balance sheet normalization and if you could give us any thoughts on what might lead the FOMC to alter that balance sheet normalization in 2019?”

Responded Powell:

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Following Great Jobs Report, Fed Chair Says He’ll Be “Patient” Before Raising Rates Further

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 4, 2018: 

The jobs report issued by the Department of Labor on Friday was unequivocally positive. Every sector of the economy, save one, saw robust gains in employment, with 312,000 new jobs created in December beating forecasters’ predictions by 30,000 jobs. In addition, the DOL revised October’s and November’s numbers upward by 58,000 jobs. Even the rise in the unemployment rate from a record low of 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent was explained by the number of new people entering the job market.

The number of unemployed workers dropped by 300,000 over the last 12 months, while the labor participation rate jumped. Wages improved as well

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As Economy Slows, Bond Investors Say Fed Won’t Raise Rates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 3, 2019:  

A month ago, bond investors were predicting that the Fed would be raising interest rates several times in 2019. As the economy is now clearly slowing, those same investors are predicting the Fed has now done its job and won’t be raising rates in the New Year. Said the Wall Street Journal:

Fed-funds futures, which investors use to bet on the direction of Fed policy, on Wednesday showed a 91% probability that the central bank’s policy makers will finish the year [2019] with interest rates at or below their current levels.

 

That is a reversal from early November, when futures prices indicated a 90% probability that rates would end 2019 higher than they are now.

The latest report from the Institute of Supply Management merely confirmed that slowing economy, with its manufacturing survey published on Thursday coming in below forecasters’ expectations (which were below October’s).

The New American has been tracking and noting the slowing of the U.S. economy that has been established policy at the Fed for many months now. In November we noted that

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Who’s to Blame for the Decline on Wall Street?, Part II

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 28, 2018:  

Less than three weeks ago, this writer opined here [at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor] that the root cause of the selloff on Wall Street then was the deliberate intentional stalling of the economy by the Federal Reserve:

Who is the real culprit behind this volatility in stocks? The well-informed have been pointing to the actions of the Federal Reserve as the prime driver, focusing on its determination to slow the economy by raising interest rates.

 

For example, the insider bank Goldman Sachs said in late November: “The FOMC [the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee] will likely be reluctant to stop [raising interest rates] until it is confident that the unemployment rate is no longer on a downward trajectory….”

 

In other words, the Fed is determined to keep on raising interest rates until the economy is so weak that unemployment starts to increase!

If more evidence of the Fed’s deliberate intervention in the markets were needed by skeptics, last week’s volatility on Wall Street ought to suffice. Late last week,

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Tepid Government Slowdown Hasn’t Slowed Shoppers

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 26, 2018: 

Holiday shoppers apparently couldn’t care less about any government shutdown or slowdown: U.S. retailers notched one of the busiest holiday seasons in years, meeting and in some cases exceeding forecasters’ already rosy outlooks.

Total retail sales, according to Mastercard’s SpendingPulse indicator, rose 5.2 percent from November 1 through December 19 compared to last year, with five more shopping days left before Christmas. And ever-lower gas prices are adding nearly five billion dollars to families’ budgets every month, which bodes well for the economy into next year.

None of this appears to be registering with liberals writing for left-wing progressive papers such as the

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Tuesday’s Wall Street Selloff Triggered by Trump, Not the Economy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 5, 2018: 

It was President Trump’s tweets that set Wall Street’s teeth on edge on Tuesday, with the popular averages losing more than three percent by the close of business. On Monday it was the president’s assurance not only that a “truce” had been declared in the tariff war between the United States and China, but that the Chinese had 90 days to come to terms with the president, or else.

The Dow gained 300 points on Monday over the perceived good news.

And then the president appeared to backtrack slightly on Tuesday, letting a lot of air out of Wall Street’s balloon:

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90-Day Truce Called in U.S.-China Trade Dispute

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 3, 2018: 

Returning to the United States on Air Force One from Buenos Aires following a two-and-a-half-hour dinner with Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping on Saturday night, President Trump said he had squeezed out “an incredible deal” from the communist leader: “If it happens it [will go] down as one of the largest deals ever made,” he added, explaining: “What I’ll be doing is holding back on [raising] tariffs. China will be opening up. China will be getting rid of tariffs … China will be buying massive amounts of products from us.”

On the other hand,

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Nancy Pelosi’s Real Challenge Comes January 3

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 28, 2018: 

For Nancy Pelosi, getting the endorsement of Democratic leaders on Wednesday for speaker of the House in the 116th Congress was easy. However, an increasingly noisy chorus of Democratic Party youngsters have promised to make the vote before the whole House on January 3 much closer. With 233 Democrats in the House, Pelosi will have to secure 218 of them to obtain the speaker’s gavel once again.

At first blush, her opponents are making a good point:

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Trump and Xi Square Off in Buenos Aires This Weekend

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 28, 2018: 

Ever since communist China saw its opportunity in 2001 and took it, its leaders have salivated over the opportunity to become the hegemon of the world. Treated as a developing nation in the World Trade Agreement (WTO), it not only took advantage of the United States but continued to abridge the agreement’s rules. In the nearly two decades since then, China has grown, thrived, and prospered at America’s expense to the point where it is a virtual hegemon in East Asia and seeks to expand its power and influence worldwide.

President Donald Trump saw the threat years ago, and now is in a position to do something about it.

The issues being covered by the media aren’t the real issues. Trump plays along. In a telephone interview with Bob Davis of The Wall Street Journal on Monday afternoon, Trump was asked what he hoped would come out of that meeting. He answered:

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Trump-Xi Showdown in Buenos Aires Begins Friday

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 27, 2018: 

The sideshow at the G20 meeting that begins on Friday in Buenos Aires is likely to become the main event: a face-to-face meeting between President Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China. The main event, up to this point, has been the signing of the malignant NAFTA replacement called USMCA by officials from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Like boxers squaring off in the ring — touching gloves before the bout begins — Trump and Xi have made their positions abundantly clear. In a telephone interview with Bob Davis of the Wall Street Journal on Monday afternoon, Trump was asked what he hoped would come out of that meeting. He answered:

Make a fair deal. The only deal that would really be acceptable to me — other than obviously we have to do something on the theft of intellectual property, right? — but the only deal would be China has to open up their country to competition from the United States.

 

As far as other countries are concerned, that’s up to them.

 

I’m interested in the United States. They have to open up China to the United States. Otherwise, I don’t see a deal being made. And if it’s not made, we will be taking in billions and billions of dollars [from tariffs, both present and future].

Davis has been covering the nascent trade war between China and the United States for more than a year for the Journal, and he spelled out Xi’s position going into that meeting with Trump: “Chinese officials have said their priority is to convince the U.S. to suspend the planned Jan. 1 increase in tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China to 25% from 10% currently. Beijing also hopes Washington will forgo additional tariff actions against Chinese products and lift existing punitive taxes on China-made steel and aluminum.”

In previous meetings, Trump’s people have presented to ranking Chinese officials a list of 142 trade demands, some of which China has already agreed to accept. Others are negotiable, while the balance are not. As Keynesian economist and liberal commentator Anatole Kaletsky expressed it,

In fact, China has already agreed that it could meet roughly 40% of the 142 trade demands presented by the US earlier this year, and could negotiate a further 40%.

 

It is the remaining 20%, involving technology and industrial subsidies, which are non-negotiable for China. Of course, this 20% covers most of the policies that militant Sinophobes denounce, because they could enable China to challenge US technological and military hegemony by the second half of this century.

That’s why the side meeting in Buenos Aires between Trump and Xi is going to be the main event. It will address existential issues for both countries that go far beyond disputes over intellectual property theft, subsidizing critical industries such as steel and aluminum in order to weaken the United States, and China manipulating its currency to its own advantage. China has built its military and economic power on the back of the United States ever since it joined the World Trade Organization in late 2001, and has made clear its plans to become the hegemon in East Asia. As Trump explained to Davis during his telephone interview,

It all began with the World Trade Organization, a disaster. A disaster. I would actually say that was perhaps — I say NAFTA was the worst trade deal ever made. I would say only — only — challenged by the WTO. That has been — if you look at China, China’s ascension was the day that the WTO was signed. It’s a one-sided deal. They were treated as a — you know, as a growing country, as a — what would you say? How would you say that?

 

Mr. Davis: Developing country. Developing.

 

President Trump: Developing. A developing nation. And no — and it’s never come off. They still — it’s ridiculous. The World Trade Organization is absolutely unfair to the United States, and they’re going to have to change their ways. They’re going to have to change.

That’s Trump’s opening bid and, in keeping with the president’s negotiating style, will likely lead not to any sort of agreement with Xi but with an agreement to begin negotiations over an agreement. This is what Trump does best.

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann