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: politics

Is Illinois Admitting that it is a “Failed State”?

This article was published by TheMcAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 16, 2017:

The Constitution guarantees every state a republican form of government. Other than that it focuses on the legitimate functions of the national or federal government. The states were invited, as most of them did, to adopt similar state constitutions, limiting state powers to providing essential services: courts, police protection and, over time, other services like power, fire protection, roads, and the like.

There are global indexes of failed states, with many of them naming Somalia as the best (worst) example: crime, corruption, short life spans, poor medical help, and wrenching poverty are the rule there. But with its admission that it can no longer pay general contractors to construct its roads, is Illinois becoming a failed state? Those contractors just received this letter from Illinois:

Dear Contractor:

At this time appropriate funding is not available after June 30, 2017. Thus, work shall cease effective June 30, 2017.

Please bring all projects to a condition that will provide a clear and safely traveled way….

On July 1, 2017, all work shall cease except for maintenance … the department will notify you when work may resume.

Right now the state has $14.5 billion in unpaid bills, an increase of nearly $4 billion just since the end of December, with no end in sight. When Republican Governor Bruce Rauner (above) took office in January 2015 he promised he would bring order out of chaos by cutting government spending, and reining in out-of-control pension benefits and excessive teacher and administrative salaries. In brief, he managed to challenge directly state House speaker Michael Madigan, who, along with Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, has sold out to the teacher unions. When Rauner proposed cutting pension plan contributions, the Supreme Court ruled that he couldn’t – that the state constitution guaranteed that the contracts were inviolable and fully enforceable. That’s when things went downhill. With no possible agreement over state spending – the state has been operating on a pay-as-you-go basis without a budget for nearly three years – unpaid bills began piling up as those contributions had to be paid first and other creditors were forced to take a back seat.

Mathematics and politics are directing Illinois’ future. The math is daunting: with $130 billion in unfunded pension liabilities (which continue to increase despite making the state making the court-required contributions), $14 billion in unpaid bills (and increasing daily), wealthy companies and individuals leaving (Illinois leads the nation in depopulation), property and sales taxes among the highest in the nation, and credit ratings that are eight full notches below the other states in the union, there’s no place to go but down from here.

The state’s inability to rein in its spending has caused a ripple effect, touching the state’s institutions of higher learning. They have been forced to raise tuition and borrow just to stay open and now the credit rating agencies have been busy downgrading their debt issues as well. On June 9, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded seven Illinois universities, with five of them now rated as junk.

As the Illinois Policy Institute noted, the budget stalemate “has led to cuts in state appropriations to Illinois universities. But the universities’ financial difficulties started [long] before the state’s budget gridlock and are largely of their own doing. Illinois colleges and universities have long overspent on bloated bureaucracies and expensive compensation and benefits, prioritizing administrators over students.”

On Wednesday, the president of one of those seven universities just downgraded – Northern Illinois University’s Doug Baker – suddenly announced that he will resign at the end of the month. This followed a bombshell state watchdog report that he and his administrators skirted state bidding requirements by improperly hiring consultants and paying them exorbitant salaries and benefits.

With the millions being poured into the state in support of a Democrat to replace Rauner in 2018, his initial support is melting away. Two-thirds of the populace supported Rauner in 2015, but as of March that support is less than forty percent.

If Rauner is replaced by a Democrat in 2018, then the combination of Democrat policies (and politics) and mathematical inevitability will turn Illinois into a failed state: unable to protect its citizens (see Chicago crime statistics), unable to build and maintain its roads, protecting one class of citizens at the expense of another, and unable to provide education for its citizens or a healthy regulatory climate for small businesses.

If Illinois isn’t a failed state, it will become one shortly. Just ask the general contractors who just received the “Dear Contractor” letter.


Sources:

Illinois Policy Institute: ILLINOIS’ UNPAID BILLS JUMP TO $14.3B

MishTalk.com: Unable to Pay Bills, Illinois Sends “Dear Contractor” Letter Telling Firms to Halt Road Work on July 1

Illinois Policy Institute: MOODY’S DOWNGRADES 7 ILLINOIS UNIVERSITIES, 5 ARE JUNK

Politico: How Illinois became America’s failed state

Heritage.org: Illinois: The Anatomy of a Failed Liberal State

Chicago Tribune: Miller: Illinois in danger of becoming a failed state

Definition of a Failed State

Chicago Tribune: Northern Illinois University president to resign after report alleges mismanagement

 

What’s Life Really Like in Venezuela?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 9, 2017:

Personal suffering under socialist and communist regimes is often buried under mounds of statistics. In Venezuela, for example, observers know that Maduro’s madness has caused its economy to shrink by a quarter since 2013, that unemployment touches one out of four, that the bolivar is essentially worthless thanks to runaway inflation, that grocery stores and supermarkets have miles of empty shelves, that dozens of protesters have been shot and killed, thousands of others have been arrested and are rotting away in filthy jails with some of them being tortured daily, and on and on.

Once in a while, however, the truth bubbles to the surface, sometimes in out-of-the-way places. 

Keep Reading…

Venezuela’s Bonds Selling at Massive Discounts for Fear of Default

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 8, 2017:

When it was learned that Goldman Sachs had purchased $2.8 billion of Venezuela’s bonds for just $865 million — a 69-percent discount — the firm received criticism from opponents of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro (shown). The critics claimed that by buying them, even at such a fire sale price, Goldman allowed Maduro to pay some critical bills that kept his corrupt Marxist regime afloat for a little while longer.

Now comes word that Maduro has resorted to desperation financing — what the Wall Street Journal calls “unorthodox” — by issuing bonds to one of its state-owned banks, which then

Keep Reading…

Trump Seeks to Fill FBI Director Slot Quickly

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 22, 2017:

Joe Lieberman, official photo.

Joe Lieberman,

If it’s true that President Donald Trump, once the host of “The Apprentice,” knew what he was looking for in the game show, then it’s highly likely he had a profile of the perfect candidate for his FBI Director drawn up in detail well in advance.

The profile for the position of FBI Director would no doubt include many of the following traits. The new director would have to be:

Keep Reading…

Trump Didn’t Cause Stock Market Decline

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 18, 2017:  

According to nearly every major news outlet, Wednesday’s 372-point decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average was Trump’s fault. CNN Money said “Trump drama rattles market” while CNBC blamed the selloff “on Trump fears.” NPR said the decline was because “Trump remains embroiled in controversy” with CBC News saying it was due to “uncertainty around Trump.”

Precious few deviated from their mission to blame everything on Trump to look at the real reason behind Wednesday’s modest selloff:

Keep Reading…

Pro-life Agenda Boosted With Charmaine Yoest in HHS

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 10, 2017:

Students for Life of America

The Daily Signal, the Heritage Foundation’s daily Web-based newsletter, took a close look Tuesday at President Trump’s recent appointment of Charmaine Yoest as top communicator at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Daily Signal‘s writer, Rachel del Guidice, liked what she found: Yoest is one more example of the paradigm shift taking place in the Trump administration regarding the value of human life from the moment of conception.

Del Guidice interviewed Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, who told her that “we are going to see a radical transformation occur within HHS. I fully expect us [as a society] to talk about … the consequences of abortion on women.”

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, was equally encouraged:

Keep Reading…

Venezuela’s Marxist Dictator Would Likely Support an Article V Convention Here

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 10, 2017:

Article V supporters of a constitutional convention to rewrite the United States Constitution should pay careful attention to what Venezuela’s Marxist President Nicolas Maduro is proposing, and why. As his country descends from violence into chaos he is making his final move: proposing a rewrite of the country’s constitution put in place in 1999 under the country’s previous leader, Hugo Chavez. Chavez said it would last for “centuries.” If Maduro is successful, it will have lasted less than 20 years.

Maduro has proposed a “special assembly” made up of his own supporters to craft the new constitution. It would ban political parties and free elections. It would legitimize all of his previous unconstitutional acts and essentially make him a dictator for life.

There is some political pushback

Keep Reading…

Will Johnson Amendment Repeal Put Politics in the Pulpit?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 8, 2017: 

Live video feed of Zig Ziglar speaking at the ...

Zig Ziglar

According to the Wall Street Journal, repeal of the Johnson Amendment isn’t likely to have much impact on preaching from the pulpit, and it could instead cause problems. Writer Ian Lovett wrote that lifting the ban “could cause problems for houses of worship … creating fault lines in their congregations and could drive people away.”

Lovett quoted from one nondenominational “Cooperative Baptist Church” pastor who called repeal “dangerous.” Daniel Glaze, senior pastor at Richmond, Virginia’s River Road Church, told Lovett:

Keep Reading…

Zig Ziglar’s Fleas and the Johnson Amendment

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 8, 2017:

By the time of his passing in 2012, Zig Ziglar had motivated millions and written more than a dozen self-help books. His best-known were his first, See You at the Top, written in 1975, and his last, Born to Win: Find Your Success Code, published just months before he died.

But he called himself, first and foremost, America’s “flea trainer.” This was from one of his favorite stories told in his signature talk “Biscuits, Fleas, and Pump Handles.” Apparently, when placed in an open jar, fleas tend to want to escape to freedom, and jump right out. But if a lid were placed on the jar, the fleas would soon learn that their attempts to escape were fruitless to the point where the lid could be removed and they would only jump to where the lid once was. The obstacle to their freedom had been removed but the fleas behaved as it if were still in place.

Robert Jeffress (shown) has never been a flea.

Keep Reading…

Supreme Court Blows Up Big Taxi

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 28, 2017:

Orange Colour Taxis.

Big Taxi just had a Belshazzar moment. In Chapter 5 of Daniel, Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, was hosting a feast and drinking from holy vessels that had been looted from Israel’s first temple. The hand of God appeared, writing on the wall. Daniel is called and reads it: “God has numbered your days.”

When the Supreme Court declined on Monday to consider an appeal from Big Taxi in Chicago, the handwriting was on the wall: your days are numbered.

Its days were numbered when

Keep Reading…

The End for Venezuela Marxist Dictator Nicolas Maduro?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 24, 2017: 

Português: Brasília - O chanceler da Venezuela...

Nicolas Maduro

The last time Venezuelans attempted to free themselves from the communist yoke in 2014, the effort failed. The deaths of dozens and the arrests of hundreds failed to budge the dictator who took over from Hugo Chavez at his death in March 2013: Nicolas Maduro. According to the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, there were 9,286 protests in 2014, resulting in little change. Food rationing continued, shortages mounted, inflation accelerated along with unemployment, and large swaths of civilians were reduced to subsisting on two meals a day.

Last week’s protests involving hundreds of thousands of citizens in Caracas have resulted in more than

Keep Reading…

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:

Keep Reading…

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,

Keep Reading…

Is Trump Pulling a Pruitt – Putting an Anti-Ex-Im Exec in Charge of the Bank?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 17, 2017:

English: Export-Import Bank of the United Stat...

Many were surprised when President Trump named the EPA’s fiercest enemy – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt – to head up the agency. For years Pruitt has raged against the agency for overstepping its bounds and writing rules, mandates, and regulations that negatively impacted the fossil fuel industry. He sued the agency more than a dozen times in the last eight years.

What was Trump thinking?

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…

Thomas Perez and Keith Ellison: Two Left-Wing Peas in a Pod

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 27, 2017:

It was a near thing: hard-left Muslim Keith Ellison had everything going for him: timing, momentum, and endorsements. He should have won in a walk, and he almost did.

The chairmanship for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was up for grabs in Atlanta on Saturday, and, for the first time in recent memory, it took two ballots to determine a winner. It was Perez over Ellison: 235-200.

Hard-left groups were incensed. This was the second time they had been shut out by the insiders, the first when Hillary allegedly sabotaged Bernie’s campaign for the presidency in the Democrat primary. Said Jim Dean, head of Howard Dean’s Democracy for America:

Keep Reading…

The Restoration of Liberty Begins with Budget Cuts

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 27, 2017:

English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...

For proof, look what’s happened to the IRS. A combination of pique and outrage has caused Congress to cut the agency’s budget each year since 2010, except for a slight uptick last year. As a consequence, it now employs fewer than 80,000 people, down from 94,722 in 2010, with its enforcement arm suffering the most, losing 30 percent of its field agents.

The consequence was predictable.

Keep Reading…

Was the Circuit Court Judge in the Travel Ban Lawsuit “Shopped?”

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 6, 2017:

James Robart, Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, may have been pre-selected to rule in lawsuits brought by the state of Washington (later joined by Minnesota) against Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban.” Adam Winkler, a Constitutional scholar at UCLA, explained the concept: “The idea is that you pick a judge that’s friendly, go to court, and stop a big government program before there’s been a trial, or before the judge even has an evidentiary record.”

Consider the evidence.

Keep Reading…

Trump Should Have Fired Sally Yates Sooner

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 1, 2017:

The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Bu...

The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C., headquarters of the United States Department of Justice.

The first sign of trouble at the Department of Justice occurred at about 9 am on Monday when acting Attorney General Sally Yates ordered her staff not to defend Trump’s immigration order. In an email to her staff, Yates opined:

At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities of the Department of Justice, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.

She also took exception to the Trump administration’s claim that her own department’s Office of Legal Counsel had adequately cleared the order beforehand, ruling that his order was “lawful on its face”:

[That ruling] does not address whether any policy choice embodied in an executive order is wise or just….

I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.

And then, sealing her fate, Yates concluded:

Keep Reading…

Trump Showed His Hand to Mexican President Nieto, via Twitter

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 30, 2017:

Poker Rule No. 65 is “Don’t Show Your Hand:”

The problem with showing cards when you have them is that people then assume that the next time you don’t show them you don’t have them. And when you want them to think you have them the next time you feel obligated to show your hand again. If you start showing people your cards all the time, they are going to figure out the way you play long before you figure out the way they play.

If one player is Donald Trump, you don’t allow the media to see your hand either, especially since they will do everything in their power to expose his hand, disrupt the game and make Trump look like a fool.

The flurry of tweets last week taught Trump that lesson.

Following issuance of his executive order to start building the wall along the US’ southern border, Trump tweeted:

Keep Reading…

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