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

Tag Archives: legislation

Minimum Wage Increases in 2018 Putting People Out of Work

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 3, 2018: 

According to Mic, the left-wing internet and media company that caters to millennials, Seattle “is quickly becoming one of the most interesting cities in the country for political observers.” The city boasts having an avowed socialist on its city council and proved his influence through its $4.8 billion budget in 2014 that is “loaded with a number of initiatives that illustrate how Seattle is making strides toward becoming a testing ground for boldly progressive policies.”

That salute to Seattle’s progressivism was published in 2014, and little has changed in the city council’s ideology. It now boasts a minimum wage of $15.45 an hour, with predictable effects: total wages paid to lower-income people has gone down, not up. A study just released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) explained:

Keep Reading…

Final Tax Reform Bill: The Goods Outweigh the Bads

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 19, 2017:

With victory over tax reform clearly in sight, President Trump on Sunday tweeted, “As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive TAX CUT for the everyday working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country. Now, we are just days away.” From the White House came more details:

Keep Reading…

Sen. Paul Votes No on GOP Budget Resolution, Supports Tax Cuts “for All”

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY).

Official portrait of United States Senator Rand Paul

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 20, 2017:

Senator Rand Paul’s vote against the GOP-backed budget resolution, which maintains the big-spending status quo, indicates that the senator is willing to go against his party’s leadership, even if it means he is the only Republican senator doing so.

President Trump tweeted early Friday morning, in celebration of the previous day’s Senate vote to pass the GOP’s budget resolution:

The Budget passed late last night, 51 to 49. We got ZERO Democrat votes with only Rand Paul (he will vote for Tax Cuts) voting against…..

And:

Keep Reading…

Las Vegas Shooter Also Kills Two Pending Pro-gun Bills

English: Official photo cropped of United Stat...

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

his article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 4, 2017: 

When House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was asked on Tuesday about the status of the “suppressor” legislation (Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act), which had passed a House committee last month and was headed for a vote on the floor, Ryan was disingenuous: “That bill is not scheduled now. I don’t know when it’s going to be scheduled.” Ryan’s response was disingenuous because, as speaker of the house, he is the one responsible for scheduling such votes.

RINO Representative Chris Collins (a Republican from New York with a Freedom Index rating of just 53 out of 100), agreed: “I think it is safe to say in our Republican conference, you are not going to see those bills [the ‘suppressor’ bill or the national reciprocity bill] moving forward.”

When pressed, the president himself said that that conversation will be delayed for the time being: “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.” Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, made the point even clearer:

Keep Reading…

Washington, D.C. Asks Full Appeals Court to Review a Pro-gun Ruling

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 28, 2017:

English: The Supreme Court of the United State...

The Supreme Court of the United States. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.’s Attorney General Karl Racine filed a petition on Thursday with the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia, asking the court to rehear a decision that a three-judge panel of that court issued in July. That decision, 2-1, issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the district from enforcing its “good reason” requirement to obtain a concealed carry permit.

At issue is the requirement that citizens applying for a permit have a “good reason” for it that goes beyond just wanting a firearm for self-defense. It even obviates claims that a permit is needed because someone lives in a dangerous neighborhood.

Writing for the majority in that panel’s decision, Judge Thomas Griffith said:

Keep Reading…

Supreme Court Again Refuses to Settle Second Amendment Issue

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 27, 2017:  

English: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justic...

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member on the court.

By refusing to consider Peruta v. San Diego on appeal on Monday, the Supreme Court once again sidestepped an opportunity to clarify the Second Amendment issue of carrying a firearm outside the home. That issue has remained open since the court’s decisions in Heller and McDonald, dating back to 2008 and 2010, respectively. Those cases didn’t clarify whether the right guaranteed in the Second Amendment extends to public places, and anti-gun states such as California have rushed in with state laws that virtually prohibit the exercise of rights guaranteed by that amendment.

That was the problem faced by Edward Peruta back in 2009.

Keep Reading…

Aetna Next to Leave Connecticut for Better Business Climate

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 6, 2017: 

Aetna Insurance Company and Aetna National Ban...

Aetna Insurance Company and Aetna National Bank, Hartford, Conn, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views

Aetna, the $50 billion health insurer that has had its headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut, since 1853, confirmed rumors last week that it was looking to move out of state. The company said, “We are in negotiations with several states regarding a headquarters relocation, with the goal of broadening our access to innovation and the talent that will fill knowledge-economy type positions … and hope to have a final resolution by early summer.”

Hartford’s Mayor Luke Bronin expressed his disappointment:

Keep Reading…

Hartford, Connecticut’s Troubles Mounting; Looking to Invoke Bankruptcy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 6, 2017:  

The Connecticut State Capitol in downtown Hartford

The Connecticut State Capitol in downtown Hartford

Joseph De Avila, writing in the Wall Street Journal following Aetna’s announcement of its imminent departure from Hartford for more business-friendly climes, used the “B” word: “Hartford, Connecticut’s capital city and hub of the state’s insurance industry, is edging closer to a small club of American municipalities: those that have sought bankruptcy protection.”

As a hanging tends to focus the mind, so is Aetna’s departure focusing more and more attention on Hartford’s financial problems and, to a greater extent, those of the state of Connecticut itself. After being headquartered in Hartford since before the Civil War, Aetna said

Keep Reading…

John Lott: Half of All U.S. Murders Happen in Just Two Percent of Counties

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 4, 2017: 

Cover of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understa...

In 2014, the latest year for which sufficient data is available, half of all murders in the United States took place in just 63 U.S. counties — two percent of the 3,144 counties in the country. Two-thirds of all murders that year happened in 157 counties — five percent. On the other hand, according to John Lott, the author of the study by his Crime Prevention Research Center, more than half had no murders at all.

This disproportionality has skewed the statistics. Anti-gun politicians often use the United States’ overall violent crime rate as an excuse to impose more gun laws on the populace. But when the worst five percent of U.S. counties are removed from the equation, the nation’s overall murder rate of 4.4 per 100,000 people drops to 2.56.

Lott noted further in his study that

Keep Reading…

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:

Keep Reading…

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:

Keep Reading…

The Clock is Running Out on Trump’s Use of the CRA

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 7, 2017:

English: blue scissors Español: tijeras azules

The beauty of the CRA, the Congressional Review Act, is that it provides a process by which an incoming administration can look back at the previous administration’s rules and regulations and repeal, neuter, or abandon those it doesn’t like. In addition, once a rule has been repealed, the CRA prohibits it from growing back again. Call it “Roundup” 2.0 for political weeds and unwanted grasses.

What’s remarkable is that, since its enactment in 1996 as part of the Republicans’ Contract with America, it has only been used once: by George W. Bush. Congress passed five CRA resolutions under Obama but he vetoed them all. For him, no government was too big nor any regulation too outrageous.

When Marc Short, Trump’s Director of Legislative Affairs, was given the mike at the White House press conference on Wednesday, he spoke at length about the president’s aggressive use of the CRA to turn back a few of the many hundreds of burdens applied to businesses by the previous administration. Before taking questions Short said:

Keep Reading…

Trump Uses CRA to Roll Back Obama Rules

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 6, 2017:

President Donald Trump will be signing legislation to overturn a rule that the previous administration put in place prohibiting states from blocking federal grant money to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. The announcement was made during Wednesday morning’s press conference and will affect some $300 million of federal money this year.

The president has already signed legislation repealing or neutering 11 such rules left over from the Obama administration, with two more pending and a couple more working their way through Congress. There’s a time clock running: the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows a 60-day “lookback” on the previous administration’s rules, runs out on April 28.

The leftist DailyKos celebrated the collapse of RyanCare but warned its progressive audience that these small victories using the CRA are mounting up:

Keep Reading…

Second Amendment Victories Continue to Pile Up

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 3, 2017:

The restoration of Second Amendment-protected rights in the states is happening so quickly that it’s hard to keep up. On Friday, the Georgia legislature sent a bill to Governor Nathan Deal that would allow concealed handguns on public college campuses, with some exceptions built in to appease Deal, who vetoed a similar but stronger measure last year. Jerry Henry, executive director of GeorgiaCarry.org, a pro-gun rights group, was realistic: “It’s not the bill that we wanted but it’s the bill we got. It gives [us] a foot in the door.” If Deal signs the bill, Georgia would become the 11th state with this kind of campus-carry law.

Georgia legislators also sent to Deal’s desk a bill that

Keep Reading…

New Hampshire the 12th State to Allow Constitutional Carry

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 23, 2017:

OpenCarry.org open carry gun laws

OpenCarry.org open carry gun laws

Residents of New Hampshire are enjoying a long-awaited expansion of their Second Amendment rights with the signing into law on Wednesday of a bill allowing them to carry a firearm without first obtaining government permission. The third time “is a charm,” it is said, and this bill passed on the third attempt. The previous two attempts passed both state houses but were vetoed by previous Democrat governors.

Said Republican Governor Chris Sununu:

Keep Reading…

Union Influence Fades as Right-to-work Gains Momentum

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 21, 2017:  

English: Economic regions of California, as de...

When Rebecca Friedrichs, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the California Teachers Association, learned in June that the Supreme Court denied her petition to rehear her complaint over the union extracting dues from her paycheck without her consent, she declared:

My heart is broken for America’s children and families, as their teachers will continue to be forced to fund policies and highly political collective bargaining processes which place the desires of adults above the rights and needs of children.… I’m optimistic [that] we can continue … to restore First Amendment rights to teachers and other public sector workers. Our kids are worth the fight!

Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, the public-interest law firm representing Friedrichs, agreed:

Keep Reading…

Study: $15 Minimum Wage Would Force McDonald’s to Increase Prices 38 Percent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 20, 2017:

English: The official logo.

James Sherk, a Hillsdale graduate and now the Bradley Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, found that if a $15 minimum wage is enforced across the country, fast food prices will jump far more than initially thought. A 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, currently priced at $4.49, would jump to $6.20. A Starbucks Grande Mocha Frappuccino would increase from $4.56 to $6.29, while a 6-inch turkey sub at Subway would cost $5.87, up from $4.25. A Whopper Meal from Burger King would jump to $8.96 from $6.49.

A CrunchWrap Supreme, Crunchy Taco and large drink from Taco Bell would cost $8.27, up from $5.99; a Wendy’s Son of Baconator Combo, currently $6.69 would cost $9.23; a Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich Combo, priced at  $5.95, would cost $8.21; and a Pizza Hut Medium Hand-Tossed Cheese Pizza, on today’ menu at $11.95, would jump to $16.55.

That’s a 38-percent increase, far higher than many old-school economists have concluded, and it puts the lie to union claims that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would result in a transfer of wealth from rich business owners to low-paid workers. Sherk’s analysis concludes that there would be a transfer, but it wouldn’t be from the business owners: It would be from their customers.

First, those owners with a McDonald’s franchise aren’t rich and they’re not likely to become rich. Ed Rensi, who worked for McDonald’s for 30 years, ending up as the company’s CEO in 1991 and retiring in 2007, told Forbes:

Keep Reading…

The Broken Promise of Minimum wage laws

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 20, 2017:

The promise is that by requiring businesses to pay their employees $15 an hour, the net result is that everyone will live better. The low-paid people will have more money to spend, the upward “ripple” effect on other higher-paid people in the organization will also have more money to spend, the economy will grow, there will be more jobs hiring people who will then have more money to spend, and so on into the woodwork.

This was the claim by that “poverty” expert, former Senator Teddy Kennedy whose family’s wealth extended backwards for generations, who said that

Keep Reading…

Congress Plans to Repeal Obama Rules Through Congressional Review Act

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 26, 2017:

To facilitated mining of a coal seam in Gillet...

To facilitate mining of a coal seam in Gillette, Wyoming, blasting was used to loosen the coal after the overburden was removed. Approximately half a million tons of coal in a seam 80 feet thick was loosened by this single blast.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy explained in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday just how Congress is planning to roll back numerous egregious and harmful rules promulgated by the Obama administration: the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA was included in the “Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996” and allows Congress to review, and to cancel by majority rule, new federal regulations issued by federal agencies. There’s a window of 60 “legislative” days to disapprove, which explains some of the Trump administration’s haste in pushing to repeal them. Once passed by both houses, repeals then become effective with President Donald Trump’s signature.

There are plenty of targets, but McCarthy focused on just three: the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule impacting the coal-mining industry, new methane gas regulations that would cost up to $1 billion and force many small energy developers out of business, and the Social Security Administration’s new rule that states that if a S.S. recipient needs a third party to manage his finances, he will be added to the gun background check list.

The CRA shouldn’t be necessary. If Congress hadn’t unconstitutionally allowed power it alone possesses under the Constitution to make laws to pass over to the executive branch’s various and sundry regulatory agencies, the problems with the Obama administration’s overreach wouldn’t exist in the first place. Those agencies have grown into Leviathan, issuing rules, regulations, and mandates far beyond those imagined by Congress. Now Congress is in the backward position of having to limit the regulations pouring out of that unconstitutional “fourth branch” of government. The child is now threatening its parent.

Parsing the language of the Interior Department’s rules on its expanded regulation of coal miners proves the point:

Under [the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977], the regulatory authority may not approve a permit application [from a coal mining company] unless the application demonstrates, and the regulatory authority finds, that the proposed operation would not result in material damage to the hydrologic balance [i.e., streams and rivers] outside the permit area.

How does a coal mining company, in its application, “prove” a negative? How does it satisfy a bureaucratic unelected unaccountable and invisible agency that it will cause no harm, or at least not enough harm to avoid trespassing on that agency’s environmental sensitivities? What assurance does a coal mining company have that said agency won’t change the rules arbitrarily and capriciously in the future? Would not such future uncertainty tend to dampen said coal company’s interest in developing its reserves?

Similar charges could be levied against the federal agency issuing its rules on methane emissions, but the best example of egregious overreach is the Social Security Administration’s new rule that allows it to “deem” who shall have his or her name entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) based on whether or not they receive third-party assistance in managing their finances. Here’s what the SSA says it will do:

We will identify, on a prospective [in the absence of evidence of any proclivity towards criminal activity] basis, individuals who receive Disability Insurance benefits … or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments … who meet certain criteria, including … a finding that the individual’s mental impairment meets or medically equals [various] requirements.

And just how, pray tell, would such “identification” take place? The SSA responds:

If we have information that the beneficiary has a mental or physical impairment that prevents him or her from managing or directing the management of benefits, we will develop the issue of capability.

And just how is that “issue of capability” to be determined? Again, the SSA provides the guidelines its bureaucrats should follow in making that determination:

Does the individual have difficulty answering questions, getting the evidence or information necessary to pursue the claim, or understanding explanations and reporting instructions?

 

If so, do you think this difficulty indicates [that] the beneficiary cannot manage or direct the management of [his or her] funds?

If the answer, by this nameless, faceless unaccountable bureaucrat, is yes, his or her name is entered into the NICS.

The agency then condescends to tell the soul who just had his Second and Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution obliterated that they have just done so, and that if he cares to contest this arbitrary and capricious decision by said unnamed bureaucrat, he is free to hire an attorney and seek redress. Guilty until proven innocent.

Where is due process? Where is the beneficiary allowed to defend himself or explain himself or offer an explanation? What happens to the right to face his accuser in a court of law?

When Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislation Action (NRAILA), learned of McCarthy’s plan of attack to repeal this particular rule, he was delighted:

Congress’ decision to review the Obama administration’s back-door gun grab is a significant step forward in restoring the fundamental Constitutional rights of many law-abiding gun owners.

 

The NRA has been fighting this unconstitutional government overreach since it was first discussed, and we look forward to swift congressional action to overturn it.

Those in the energy industry will likely be equally ebullient once Congress has righted the wrongs imposed by federal agencies on its businesses. Representative Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the House Energy Committee, told Reuters that using the CRA will not only wipe out entire regulations but forbid them from writing new versions in their place.

In effect Congress’ use of the CRA will be equivalent to hacking off some of the branches of the Fourth Branch’s tree, but leaves the trunk and the root intact. It’s a start, but only a start.

On Iran Deal’s First Anniversary, Obama Warns Trump Not to Undo It

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 16, 2017:

In a thinly veiled warning to incoming president Donald Trump, President Barack Obama celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Iranian nuclear deal on Monday by warning Trump that undoing the agreement — formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — would result in much worse consequences:

Keep Reading…

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