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

Trump Gives “Never, Ever” Speech to NRA National Convention

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 28, 2017:

In less than 30 minutes, President Donald Trump hit all the hot buttons, feeding red meat to thousands attending the National Rifle Association’s national convention in Atlanta on Friday.

Trump, the first sitting president to address the NRA convention since President Ronald Reagan in 1983, began by voicing his appreciation to the NRA and its membership for its and their early and generous support of his presidential campaign. The NRA first endorsed Trump for president in March 2016 and subsequently pumped $30 million into his campaign, running four times as many ads in his support than it did for Mitt Romney in 2012.

He reminded his raucous supportive audience of how the national media tried to suppress voter turnout in 2016 by repeatedly stating that

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Supreme Court’s Non-decision Expands Passenger Ridesharing Freedom

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 27, 2017: 

By declining to hear an appeal, the Supreme Court on Monday essentially declared that rules protecting the taxi cartel in Chicago were null and void, thus expanding passenger freedom. As an attorney with the Institute for Justice (IJ), which represented Chicago Uber driver Dan Burgess, explained: “Today’s decision makes clear what [IJ] has said for years. The Constitution does not require [city] governments to stick with outdated protectionist regulations in the face of technological innovation.”

When Uber and other ride-sharing companies entered the Chicago market several years ago, they soon became a thorn in the side of the taxi cartel that had operated under protectionist rules dating back to 1937. Those rules

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Former Heritage Economist Stephen Moore Refutes CBO’s Doom & Gloom

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 26, 2017:

Stephen Moore by David Shankbone, New York City

Stephen Moore

The Heritage Foundation’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow Stephen Moore, now a CNN economics commentator, thinks the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is far too pessimistic. Instead, he believes that most of the nation’s fiscal problems can be solved just by prodding the economy.

The CBO report, “The 2017 Long-Term Budget Outlook,” assumed that little would change politically over the next 10 to 30 years, despite promises from President Trump that his policies would “make America great again.” It projected that the Baby Boomers would exhaust the resources of Medicare and Social Security, and then those costs would be shifted directly to the Department of the Treasury.

If nothing changes, said the CBO, the percentage of the national debt held by the public (pension plans, mutual funds, foreign governments, and wealthy individuals) would double over the next 30 years, which would “pose substantial risks for the nation.”

The problem is exacerbated, said the CBO, not only by an aging population demanding that the government keeps its promises to them, but also

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Trump Floats Trial Balloon on Tax Reform; Wants Feedback

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 26, 2017:

Initially referred to as a statement of general principles, the one-page summary of the Trump administration’s tax reform plan looked more like a trial balloon. Said the White House, the administration “will hold listening sessions with stakeholders to receive their input … [in order to] develop the details of a plan that … can pass both chambers.”

Reiterating Trump’s goals of growing the economy, creating millions of jobs, simplifying the tax code, and providing tax relief to middle-income families, the trial balloon as summarized would

lower the corporate tax rate from 39.6 percent to 15 percent, including Subchapter S or “pass-through” corporations;

 

reduce the number of individual income tax brackets from seven to three: 10%, 25% and 35%, depending on income;

 

double the standard deduction, currently at $6,300 for individuals and $12,600 for married couples filing jointly;

 

expand tax relief to families with child and dependent care expenses;

 

eliminate various tax breaks that apply mainly to the wealthiest taxpayers;

 

keep mortgage interest and charitable deductions while eliminating deductions for state income taxes paid;

 

repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT);

 

repeal the 3.8% ObamaCare tax that hits small businesses and investment income;

 

allow a one-time “tax holiday” for international corporations holding trillions overseas; and

 

eliminate tax breaks for special interests.

Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called it “the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country,” while his Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn said the plan represented a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to do something really big.”

What’s really big is the potential deficits Trump’s plan could cause, with at least one critic estimating that it would result in $6 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years.

The underlying goal of the administration being pushed by Trump is that by cutting these tax rates the economy would awake from its slumber and start generating three percent annual rates of growth of the nation’s GDP. Although the Laffer Curve was not mentioned by Mnuchin or economist Stephen Moore (in his recent critique of the government’s economic outlook), it’s the same principle: lower tax rates to result in higher economic growth which will (in theory) result in higher taxes collected by the government.

The increase in the standard deduction is also designed to allow an estimated 27 million Americans who file a long form listing their mortgage interest and charitable deductions to use a “big postcard” instead. This “simplification” of the tax code has long been a stated goal of Trump as candidate and his administration after he was inaugurated in January.

Wednesday’s announcement is just the opening salvo in what promises to be a long war before anything reaches Trump’s desk. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling it a gift for the already-wealthy Americans who don’t need any more tax breaks. And Mnuchin referred to the Senate strategy of “reconciliation” that is likely to be needed to pass the Senate without Democrat votes. He noted that he hoped that the bill that finally passes Congress and is signed into law by the president will be permanent, but “if we have them for [just] 10 years, that’s better than nothing.”

Reconciliation would allow Republicans to pass it without a single Democrat vote, but would also cause the plan to expire in 10 years if it generates deficits. This is what happened to the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush. When the projected revenue growth didn’t meet expectations, his tax cuts for the most part were automatically ended.

The obstacles are substantial, including determined if futile resistance from Democrats and complaints from the energy industry which might see its depletion allowance deductions cut or removed in Trump’s final bill. Those details will be revealed in June and could also negatively impact heavily-indebted public utilities and cable companies that might see some loss of their interest deductions.

On the other hand, winners could include companies that are currently most negatively impacted by high corporate rates in force, including engineering and construction companies, food wholesalers, publishers, and retailers.

The old proverb applies as Trump’s trial balloon gets translated into specific language in the tax reform bill in June: “There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip.” A newer one is this from Isaac Boltansky, an analyst at Compass Point Research and Trading, who has been following these events closely:

The sugar high of tax cut headlines could turn into a nagging headache once stakeholders return to the painstaking consideration of process and pay-fors.

The Arguments Favoring National Reciprocity are Persuasive; They Just Aren’t Constitutional

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 26, 2017:

English: Current Status of Shall Issue Laws in...

Current Status of Shall Issue Laws in America

When House member Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) introduced his bill, the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017,” on the first day of the 155th Congress, he explained:

Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits.

 

As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to get this legislation across the finish line.

His efforts appear to be succeeding. As of this writing, he has 188 co-sponsors for the bill out of 435 members of the House. It will only take 218 of them to pass his bill.

Chris Cox, the head of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRAILA), summed up the case for national reciprocity while simultaneously chiding those pushing back against it:

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National Concealed-carry Reciprocity Gains Momentum and Opposition

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 25, 2017:

When House member Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) introduced his “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017” on the first day of the 115th Congress, he said “it will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits.”

He added, “As a member of President-elect Donald Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to get this legislation across the finish line.”

His efforts appear to be bearing fruit. As of this writing, 188 members of the House have already co-sponsored his bill. And last week the Texas House and the Alabama Senate passed permitless carry — also known as constitutional carry — measures that would eliminate the requirement to obtain a permit in order to carry lawfully in those states.

Chris Cox, the head of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRAILA), summed up the case for national reciprocity while simultaneously chiding those pushing back against it:

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Judicial Watch: Soros Using U.S. Funds to Help Overthrow Macedonian Government

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 21, 2017:

Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky

As part of its investigation into just how American taxpayer monies are being used by George Soros’ groups to infiltrate Macedonia’s conservative government, Judicial Watch on Wednesday filed suit against the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Judicial Watch, a conservative non-partisan government watchdog group, said in its suit that USAID, working with radical elements inside the DOS (left over from the Obama administration), have disbursed $5 million to

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An Inside Look at Venezuela’s Collapse

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 21, 2017: 

Português: Brasília - O chanceler da Venezuela...

Marxist Nicolas Maduro

Andres Malave grew up in Caracas until Chavez took over. Then he and his family were able to escape – barely – to the US. Wrote Malave, “It was a hard choice, but in hindsight, we were the lucky ones.”

Now he laments the blind eye many Americans turn towards the rioting, the deaths, the crime, the economic devastation, and the ravages of inflation that Venezuela is suffering:

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GM Ceases Operations in Venezuela Following Government Seizure of its Plant

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 20, 2017:  

English: Logo of General Motors Corporation. S...

Following the government’s confiscation of its parts plant, General Motors announced on Wednesday it was ceasing all operations in Venezuela. The company said the seizure was illegal and that it would seek legal remedies.

The announcement puts 2,700 workers making replacement parts in the plant out of work, with small comfort coming from GM, which said it would make “separation payments” to those employees.

But what then? Another 3,900 people will likely find their jobs in jeopardy as the 79 car dealers that employ them will also shortly disappear in the aftermath of GM’s decision.

GM joins an ever-growing list of companies that can’t operate in the socialist paradise run by Marxist dictator Nicolás Maduro, including

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Churches Oppose Repeal of the Johnson Amendment

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 20, 2017: 

Wilshire Christian Church

Part of a letter sent to top members of Congress earlier this month and signed onto by 99 churches says: “The charitable sector, particularly houses of worship, should not become another cog in a political machine or another loophole in campaign finance laws.”

Pushback to President Donald Trump’s promises to repeal the Johnson Amendment was expected from the American Humanist Association and American Atheists, and he got it. But from Baptists?

Trump said at a campaign event in Virginia in October, “I think [the Johnson Amendment is] very unfair, and one of the things I will do very early in my administration is to get rid of [it] so that our great pastors and ministers, rabbis … and priests and everybody can go and tell and participate in the [political] process.”

This became part of the Republican Party’s platform:

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New York Times’ “Elitist” View Revealed Again

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 19, 2017:

South Carolina State House

South Carolina State House

In its opinion offered by the paper’s editorial board, the New York Times’ insertion last week into the debate going on in South Carolina over constitutional carry just might backfire. Citizens there might not like the Times’ efforts to characterize them as hillbillies, rednecks, and in the pocket of the National Rifle Association. The Times chose to quote a state representative who opposes the bill: “All it does is it makes these good ol’ boys who like to have guns strapped to their hips not conceal them.”

It had harsh descriptors for those favoring the right of South Carolinians to carry a sidearm – openly or concealed – calling those legislators favoring it “tone-deaf” and the bill itself “dangerous” and “laissez-faire.”

The bill passed the state House a week earlier, 64-46, and is headed for the state Senate for its consideration. The governor, Henry McMaster, is ready to sign it into law if it reaches his desk.

It may be that the Times knows that it is fighting a losing battle as momentum to regain full and proper rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment continues across the land. At the moment,

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Bill O’Reilly to Leave Fox News

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 19, 2017: 

It’s Bill O’Reilly’s history of sexual harassment, and not his false conservativism, that will end his career as host of his The O’Reilly Factor, according to two stories in the Wall Street Journal. Joe Flint, writing for the Journal, said the “final resolution on the fate of Mr. O’Reilly … could come as early as the next several days.”

That resolution could come even sooner

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New York Times Rails Against South Carolina’s Bill for Constitutional Carry

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 18, 2017:

English: Official photo of SC Attorney General...

Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina

Implying that all South Carolinians are rednecks interested only in carrying sidearms recklessly, the New York Times’ unwelcome but predictable insertion into the debate currently taking place in South Carolina’s state senate might impact its outcome.

Two weeks ago the state House passed H3930, a bill that would grant all citizens the freedom to carry a firearm — concealed or open — without first having to obtain governmental permission to do so. The vote was 64-46, and the measure moved to the Senate for consideration.

If the bill passes, South Carolina’s Governor Henry McMaster has said he would sign it into law. That would make it the 15th state to have some form of “constitutional carry,” as the momentum toward gaining full Second Amendment rights continues across the land.

A spokesman for the governor said,

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Trump Administration Tips Its Hand, Oks Third Greek Bailout

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 17, 2017:

It took EURACTIV, the online source that focuses on European policymaking, to report that the Trump administration has signaled that, previous protestations to the contrary, it won’t object to a third Greek bailout. The anonymous Trump administration tipster told its reporters: “We’re looking for the Europeans to help Greece to resolve its economic problems by the Fund [the International Monetary Fund], despite the criticism of many Republicans regarding the two previous bailout programs in 2010 and 2012.”

This anonymous tip kicks to the curb protestations voiced by Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin in February that

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Do Trump’s Flip Flops Reflect Lack of Constitutional Understanding?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 14, 2017:

Pebble massage sandals from Dalian, China.

Flip flops

The mainstream media have rejoiced because they perceive that President Donald Trump has abandoned policies and changed long-held positions that they have considered anathema. Politico said the president has “demonstrated an incredible willingness to bend his past positions, or abandon them entirely. Sometimes he offers an explanation; sometimes not.” CNN called them “stunning U-turns on key issues” reflecting “extraordinary political shape-shifting.”

The “key issues” are Syria, Janet Yellen of the Federal Reserve, NAFTA, NATO, his hiring freeze, China’s currency manipulation, and the Export-Import Bank.

Syria tops the list currently as the president,

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Trump’s Hiring Freeze Moves From Hatchet to Scalpel

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 12, 2017:

English: Logo of the US Environmental Protecti...

When Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), announced on Tuesday the lifting of the president’s hiring freeze effective Wednesday, he used medical terminology: “What we’re doing is replacing the across-the-board hiring freeze [the hatchet] and replacing it with a smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan [the scalpel].”

In his first full day in office, newly inaugurated President Trump announced a 90-day hiring freeze that applied to all executive branch agencies, to be followed by a plan from each of those agencies as to how they will be reformed to run more efficiently. Since his OMB director wasn’t confirmed until nearly a month later, that “reform recommendation” timeline has been pushed back to June for initial drafts and September for final recommendations.

The new timeline also fits with President Trump’s budget recommendations that include

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Illegal Immigration Down by Two-Thirds, Thanks to Tough Talk, Action

This article was published by TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 12, 2017:  

Logo of the United States Border Patrol.

The latest report from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency shows the impact of words and actions on illegals seeking access to free benefits available to them just by crossing the nation’s southwest border. The number of individuals caught crossing that border in March — 16,600 — was a 30 percent decrease from February and a 64 percent decrease from the same month a year ago.

President Donald Trump’s campaign promises to build the “big, beautiful wall” as one of many efforts to stem illegal immigration flooding into the country from Mexico turned into actions when he began signing executive orders to start the process.

His attorney general, Jeff Sessions, expanded on Trump’s determination to stem the flow on Tuesday during a speech he made at Nogales, Arizona. He issued a memorandum to federal attorneys to ramp up their efforts to prosecute illegals, including those who harbor or assist them, with special priority given to those with criminal records and those who were previously deported. Sessions also instructed the Justice Department to pursue charges even for relatively minor infractions such as identity fraud, document theft, or forgery as well as fraudulent marriages arranged to obtain legal immigration status.

Sessions stated:

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Trump Picks Neocon to Head Council of Economic Advisors

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 10, 2017:

President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he would nominate Kevin Hassett as chairman of his Council of Economic Advisors. Immediately, Glenn Hubbard, a neocon serving as a visiting scholar at the “conservative” American Enterprise Institute (AEI), piped up to laud Hassett’s nomination and Trump’s wisdom in selecting him for the position: “He’s not just a standard-issue really good economist, [Hassett is] someone who knows how policy works. The tax changes being considered are really aimed at boosting investment, so I think Kevin is exactly the right person.”

He’s the right person if Trump wants someone whose resumé includes stints at the

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Trump Stumbles Again: Appoints Interventionist to head his Council of Economic Advisors

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 10, 2017:

Cover of "DOW 36,000 : The New Strategy f...

One way to test a hypothesis is to apply it to the real world. Two renowned, highly-regarded, and elite-college trained economists did just that. In 1999 James Glassman, the founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute (Harvard-trained with a BA in government), and Kevin Hassett, BA in Economics from Swarthmore and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, wrote Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market. So sure were they about their prediction they went on the road to promote it, claiming that “stocks are now in the midst of a one-time-only rise to much higher ground – to the neighborhood of 36,000 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.”

On December 31, 1999 the Dow stood at 11,497. A little over three years later the Dow closed (on March 6, 2003) at 7,673, a drop of 3,823 points, costing those who bought the book and took their advice one-third of their investment.

But both persisted,

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Judge Nixes Sessions’ Request to Delay Baltimore PD Consent Decree Hearing

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 7, 2017:

As expected (and predicted in an earlier article in The New American), U.S. District Court Judge James Bredar denied on Wednesday the request by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to delay a public hearing over the Baltimore Police Department’s consent decree. The decree was hammered out by the previous administration and is nearing the final stage of its implementation.

The judge said that pushing back the hearing to allow Sessions’ Department of Justice, now operating under new guidelines, to review the decree would be ”inconvenient.” The request to cancel the hearing “at the 11th hour would be to unduly burden and inconvenience the court, the other parties, and most importantly, the public,” said Bredar, adding, “The primary purpose of this hearing is to hear from the public. It would be especially inappropriate to grant this late request for a delay when it would be the public who were most adversely affected by a postponement.”

The “public,” made up of dozens of organizations and individuals, has already submitted nearly 200 pages of comments on the proposed consent decree, with nearly all of them (also not surprisingly) supportive of it. This reflects the long successful history of the Hegelian Dialectic

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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.