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: History

Government’s Coronavirus Stimulus Program Will Massively Increase National Debt

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 8, 2020: 

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the federal government would run a deficit this fiscal year of more than $1 trillion, or about five percent of the country’s gross domestic output of goods and services.

William Foster, the lead U.S. analyst at Moody’s, the credit rating agency, says the deficit, thanks to the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, will instead likely approach 10 percent of GDP, while Fitch Ratings is predicting it will be closer to 13 percent. Either way, they both predict that the deficit this year will exceed the previous post-World War II record for the deficit, set in 2009, when it was 9.8 percent of GDP.

The CARES Act is injecting an expected $2 trillion of new money into the economy in order “to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic,” according to the act’s complete title. Other credit facilities, by loosening credit requirements, are expected to add up to another $4 trillion, with talks currently underway for CARES 2.0 to add even more new money to the economy.

None of this was taken into account by Truth in Lending, the non-partisan think tank that promotes “transparent government financial information,” when it published its latest report on the nation’s current financial condition on April 7. Instead of repeating the canard that the national debt is only around $23 trillion, it reported that the federal government actually owes more than $113 trillion when “off-budget” items such as Social Security and Medicare are added back in.

For this, the think tank gave the federal government a financial grade of “F.”

David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1981-1985, called the move to flood the economy with new money the “greatest folly”:

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Holy Week or Pearl Harbor Week?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 6, 2020: 

The timing could not be more propitious. Bookended by Palm Sunday yesterday and Easter Sunday next Sunday, believers are celebrating the “death of death” with the resurrection of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Surgeon General of the United States, on the other hand, is calling the week ahead our “Pearl Harbor” week, or our “9/11” week, in remembrance of the surprise attacks on our country by its enemies.

He expects that the coming peak in coronavirus deaths, expected either this week or next, to be “the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives.” He told Fox News on Sunday:

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Just how bad is the U.S. Economy? The Waffle House Index just Flashed RED

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 1, 2020: 

Waffle House restaurants almost never close. As one customer wrote: “I swear I’ve eaten at a Waffle House where a tree came in the front window and good chunks of the roof came off in bad weather, and they just kept right on serving like it was a Tuesday.”

The chain just announced that it has closed nearly 400 of its more than 2,100 restaurants.

FEMA considers the Waffle House as an indicator of the health of the overall economy. It uses what it calls its Waffle House indicator: Green, when the restaurants are open and serving a complete menu; Yellow, when they are operating on reserve or emergency power and offering a limited menu; and Red, when they are closed.

The closure of its restaurants reflects the news from the St. Louis Fed. Its President Jim Bullard just announced: “The unemployment rate … is going to be somewhere between 10 percent and … 42 percent.” The lower number is the most optimistic projection of present trends while the higher number is the most pessimistic. They reflect a minimum of 27 million jobs lost during the shutdown and 67 million at the worst.

Neal Boss, the director of public relations for Waffle House, tried to put those numbers into human terms: “To see something of this magnitude and [to] try to explain it in terms of human cost … we see how it physically affects people through the infection … there’s the human cost of the very individuals who have been disproportionately affected.”

He added:

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“Waffle House Index” Flashes Red as Unemployment Numbers Jump

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 31, 2020: 

The “Waffle House Index” flashed red last week as the impact of the coronavirus shutdown really began to bite. The Waffle House restaurant chain is a cultural icon with 2,100 locations, mostly in the South. It is also a leading indicator of the health of the economy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses the health of the chain as an indicator for the health of the economy as a whole.

As Craig Fugate, the former head of FEMA, expressed it this way: “If you get there and the Waffle House is closed? That’s really bad.”

The Index has three levels: Green (the restaurants are open, full, and operating with a complete menu); Yellow (they are operating on emergency power, serving only a partial menu); and Red (they are closed).

The chain has closed nearly 400 of its 2,100 restaurants, reflecting what St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard just announced:

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Former Senator Tom Coburn Passed Away March 28

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 30, 2020: 

On March 28, the day after President Trump signed the CARES Act into law, former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) passed away. Had he lived, and had his health allowed, he would certainly have voted against it. His annual “Wastebook” was eagerly awaited by fiscal conservatives, and largely ignored by everyone else in the Senate.

The CARES Act had everything in it that Coburn opposed. As Kimberly Strassel wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “The bill throws $25 billion more at food stamps and child nutrition; $12 billion at housing; $3.5 billion to states for child care; $32 billion at education; $900 million at low-income heating assistance; $50 million at legal services for the poor and so on. This is a massive expansion of the welfare state, seemingly with no regard to the actual length of this crisis.”

She added:

There’s also the money appropriators threw at government for no purpose other than the throwing. Every outpost gets dollars, most for nothing more than the general command “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” NASA gets $60 million. Has the virus infected the sun’s corona? The National Archives gets $8 million. Will it put the virus on display? Many departments get cash for research, regardless of their relevance to today’s medical crisis. Perhaps the Energy Department will use its additional $99 million in “science” to gauge how the virus responds in a nuclear reactor.

Without knowing it, Strassel provided a perfect epitaph for the Senator from Oklahoma back in 2015, writing, “The pity is that history rarely hands out awards to those who stop bad things. Tom Coburn blocked more ideas and lousy legislation in Congress than most Americans will ever know.”

He used a tool called a “hold” to block offensive legislation and managed to offend members on both sides of the aisle. Democrats called him “Dr. No,” intending it as a pejorative. Instead it became an honorary title, memorializing a member, first of the House and then the Senate, who promised to uphold and defend the Constitution and to serve no more than three consecutive terms, and who kept his promises.

He compiled a Constitutional voting record that is nearly unmatched today:

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Biden Now Claims He Was an Ivy League Professor

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 26, 2020: 

During an online campaign event on Wednesday, Democrat presidential frontrunner Joe Biden took questions from members of the audience. To ingratiate himself with the students present, he said, “When I left the United States Senate, I became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. And I’ve spent a lot of time … on campus with college students.”

The facts are different. He left the Senate in 2009. It wasn’t until 2017 that the university granted him the honorary title of Benjamin Franklin presidential practice professor. He was never expected to teach. And he never did. On occasion he would appear on campus at a rally or a ticketed event.

This is the most recent example of the lies that Biden has used repeatedly to build his self-importance, self-image, and credibility among people who don’t know better.

Examples abound:

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March Car Sales Down 36 Percent; Prepare for the worst

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 25, 2020: 

There is simply no way to sugar-coat the numbers coming this week and next: They will be awful, ugly, frightening, “unprecedented,” “unparalleled,” and historical.

The early warning shot was the unemployment report last week that showed claims jumping by 50,000 over the previous month. Estimates are that March’s unemployment numbers will exceed two million.

Wednesday’s report from Edmunds showed that car sales dropped by a sickening 36 percent in March, compared to February.

The Federal Reserve estimates that

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How Will the U.S. Look After the Virus Is Contained?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 23, 2020: 

If one reads and believes the media, the impact of the shutdown of the economy to fight the COVID-19/coronavirus is going to be severe and long-lasting. Some are suggesting that America will be unrecognizable after the virus has been contained.

For example, Goldman Sachs, the international banking behemoth, said Friday that it was revising downward its best estimate of the impact the COVID-19/coronavirus shutdown was likely to have on the U.S. economy: from a negative five percent in the second quarter (April-May-June) to a breathtaking 24 percent decline. This would be the largest contraction the economy has seen since the first quarter of 1958 when the GDP declined by 10 percent.

The investment banking firm also estimated that filings for unemployment insurance benefits would soar to a record 2.25 million this week, more than triple the prior record of 695,000 claims in 1982. This would push the unemployment rate from the middle three-percent range to nine percent, or even higher. That would reflect more than 10 million people being forced to file for benefits after being laid off.

Goldman’s economists wrote: “Why such an extreme forecast … in Q2? The sudden stop in U.S. economic activity in response to the virus is unprecedented, and the early data points over the last week strengthen our confidence that a dramatic slowdown is indeed already underway.”

Some commentators are predicting a recession, usually considered to be two back-to-back quarters of negative growth (shrinking). But the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the private non-profit research organization tasked with determining when recessions begin and end, defines a recession differently:

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Goldman Sachs Predicts 24% GDP Drop; It’s Not All Bad News

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, March 22, 2020:

Goldman Sachs, the international banking behemoth, said Friday that it was revising downward its best estimate of the impact the COVID-19/coronavirus shutdown was likely to have on the U.S. economy: from a negative five percent in the second quarter (April-May-June) to a breathtaking 24-percent decline. This would be the largest contraction the economy has seen since the first quarter of 1958, when the GDP declined by 10 percent.

The investment banking firm also estimated that filings for unemployment insurance benefits would soar to a record 2.25 million this week, more than triple the prior record of 695,000 claims in 1982. This would push the unemployment rate from the middle three-percent range to nine percent, or even higher. That would reflect more than 10 million people being forced to file for benefits after being laid off.

Goldman’s economists wrote: “Why such an extreme forecast … in Q2? The sudden stop in U.S. economic activity in response to the virus is unprecedented, and the early data points over the last week strengthen our confidence that a dramatic slowdown is indeed already underway.”

Some commentators are predicting a recession, usually considered to be two back-to-back quarters of negative growth (shrinking). But the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the private non-profit research organization tasked with determining when recessions begin and end, defines a recession differently:

A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.

 

A recession begins just after the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends as the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion. Expansion is the normal state of the economy; most recessions are brief and they have been rare in recent decades.

Accordingly, the shutdown, if it is short, isn’t likely to result in a full-blown recession. Instead history is likely to record not only that it was short in duration but that the economy’s reaction to it was overblown.

And its end is likely to have many remarkable ameliorative and positive effects, some of which are already occurring.

Consider, for example,

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Will Wall Street Repeat the History of 1929, 1987, or 2007-2008?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 20, 2020:  

When investors receive their brokerage statements at the end of the month, and workers see their 401(k) plan and IRA balances, they’d better be sitting down. For those who thought they’d put away $10,000, their balances are now $6,600. For those who had $25,000 socked away, they now have $16,500. For those with $50,000, their balance is now $33,000. For those who thought they had $100,000 parked safely away, they now have just $66,000.

After recovering from the shock, those investors and plan holders are going to be asking: How much worse is it likely to get? How long before my accounts start to grow again? Will we ever see new highs again?

Analysts are prone to look out the rear view mirror when trying to answer such questions. Will Wall Street do a repeat of the period that followed the Roaring Twenties?

The great bull market run during the Roaring Twenties pushed the Dow to an all-time high on September 3, 1929. When investor Roger Babson warned two days later that, “Sooner or later a crash is coming, and it may be terrific,” the market lost three percent.

Two weeks later British investor Clarence Hatry and several of his associates were jailed for fraud and forgery, which unnerved American investors.

On October 24 the market lost 11 percent of its value, earning that date the title of “Black Thursday.” Over the weekend many investors decided it was time to take some profits. The selling on Monday, October 29, pushed the Dow down nearly 13 percent, giving that date the title of “Black Monday.”

The next day there was so much selling (partly due to margin calls on investors who had borrowed money to buy stocks) that for some stocks there were simply no buyers at all, and the Dow dropped another 12 percent, a decline of 25 percent in two days.

The market briefly stabilized, then began a long, slow, agonizing descent that ended in July 1932 with the Dow losing 89 percent of its value in less than three years.

Or will Wall Street follow the 1987 model?

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In One Month, Wall Street Has Taken Back All of Trump’s Gains

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 19, 2020: 

On January 19, 2017, the day before President Trump was inaugurated, the Dow closed at $19,804. On February 12, 2020 the Dow closed at $29,551. One month later, on March 18, the Dow closed at $19,500.

In two weeks, millions of Americans will be receiving statements showing the balances remaining in their 401(k)s and their IRAs. Others will be opening their brokerage account statements.

Those not paying attention are in for a shock. Those who have been paying attention are also in for a shock. For those who thought they’d put away $10,000, their balances are now $6,600. For those who had $25,000 socked away, they now have $16,500. For those with $50,000, their balance is now $33,000. For those who thought they had $100,000 parked safely away, they now have just $66,000.

After recovering from the shock,

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Will April Showers Bring May Flowers, and an End to the Coronavirus?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 18, 2020: 

Following a telephone conversation with China’s President Xi Jinping on February 7, Donald Trump tweeted: “He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days. Nothing is easy, but he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”

Evidence is mounting that President Trump is right, that with warmer temps and higher humidity, the COVID 19/coronavirus will fade into an historical footnote.

Trump was likely referring indirectly to a study published by S&P Global Ratings just three days earlier, which posited both a “worst-case” and a “best-case” scenario for the virus. In the worst case, the spread of the virus is expected to stop in late May. In its best case, the ratings agency expected the outbreak to end in March.

The agency also expected various governments — federal, state, and local — to intervene massively, offering subsidies and tax cuts to cushion the impact of those mandates on economic activity along with strictures on personal freedoms.

Analysts at Jeffries Group, a financial and investment advisory service, published an encouraging graph based on their study of the impact of weather on other coronavirus cases in both temperate (i.e., middle latitudes) and tropical and subtropical climates. They stated that the result — that other coronaviruses thrive in temperate zones but die in warmer climates — “is consistent with the fact that the high temperature and high humidity significantly reduce the transmission of influenza. It indicates that the arrival of summer and [the] rainy season in the northern hemisphere can effectively reduce the transmission of the COVID-19” virus.

Even skeptics such as Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology at Harvard, admitted that “we may expect modest declines in the contagiousness of the [virus] in warmer, wetter weather.” And those declines may be hastened by “intense public health interventions … [such as] isolating cases, quarantining their contacts, [and recommending or mandating] a measure of “social distancing.”

Wrote Lipsitch:

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Trump to Top Off the Tank by Replenishing Oil Reserves While Prices Are Low

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, March 15, 2020: 

During his press conference in the Rose Garden on Friday President Donald Trump promised to fill the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, “right up to the top, saving the American taxpayer billions and billions of dollars, helping our oil industry, [and furthering] that wonderful goal — which we’ve achieved, which nobody thought was possible — of energy independence.”

The SPR is the world’s largest reserve of crude oil, with a capacity of more than 700 million barrels stored in salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. It was created back when the United States was vulnerable to foreign interference, which vulnerability was exposed during the 1973-1974 oil embargo.

It currently holds about 635 million barrels, and the president’s order to “top it off” will take some 430,000 barrels every day off the world oil markets for the next six months.

Oil prices have been pummeled thanks not only to the perceived threat that the COVID 19/coronavirus will cut worldwide demand but

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A District Judge from Wisconsin Unwittingly Exposes the Threat to our Republic

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 13, 2020:

A liberal judge, Lynn S. Adelman (no relative of this writer), District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, has unwittingly served the cause of freedom by exposing the courts’ threat to it over the years.

In his “The Roberts Court’s Assault on Democracy,” Adelman reveals what happens when one is subjected to the kind of thinking and teaching that passes for education in law schools like Princeton and Columbia. His article is due to be published by the Harvard Law & Policy Review and has already received plaudits from the usual sources: the Washington PostSlate, and the American Bar Association.

He exposes his intellectual addiction to the fiction that the founders intended to construct a democracy by complaining that the Roberts Court is doing what it can to restore originalism.

He begins with a frontal attack on the character of Supreme Court Justice John Roberts:

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Wisconsin District Judge Attacks Supreme Court’s Restoration of Originalism

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 12, 2020: 

Most of the criticism leveled against U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Lynn S. Adelman’s article — “The Roberts Court’s Assault on Democracy” — focused on the judge’s support of positions that Socialist Bernie Sanders would embrace: free health insurance for everyone, voting rights for everyone including illegals, prohibiting corporations from supporting political positions financially, taking political redistricting away from local jurisdictions, and so forth.

But a closer look at his 35-page article to be published shortly by the Harvard Law & Policy Review reveals a basic misunderstanding of the political structure that the Founders attempted to create through the U.S. Constitution.

Adelman (no relation to this writer) opens with a bald attack on the character of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts:

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Missouri House Committee Passes “Second Amendment Preservation Act”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 11, 2020: 

On Monday the Missouri House General Laws Committee approved House Bill 1637 — the “Second Amendment Preservation Act” — and referred it to the full house with a “do pass” recommendation. The bill has more than 80 sponsors, enough to pass the bill.

The bill, if it became law in Missouri, would prohibit any person, including any public officer or employee of the state, from enforcing any past, present, or future federal “acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules or regulations” that infringe on the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms.

The bill defines “infringement” as taxes and fees on firearms, accessories, or ammunition; registration or other schemes devised to track the ownership of firearms; any act that forbids the possession, use, or transfer of a firearm or its accessories or ammunition; or any act that orders the confiscation of firearms or its accessories or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.

That would include President Trump’s “bump stock” ban and any federally mandated “red flag” laws. It also pertains to any federal agents who try to enforce those laws in Missouri.

The knee-jerk reaction from the Michael Bloomberg-funded anti-gun group Moms Demand Action was predictable, and wrong:

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Could the COVID19/Coronavirus End the Communists’ Control of China?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 6, 2020: 

The spark could be the “white hot” outrage that followed the death of the whistleblower from Luhan, China who tried to warn people of the virus. On December 30, Dr. Li Wenliang, a local ophthalmologist, typed his warning into a chat group of his former medical school classmates: “A new coronavirus infection has been confirmed and its type is being identified. Inform all family and relatives to be on guard.”

On February 7, he died after catching the virus from a patient he was treating.

By noon, the hashtag “#LiWenliangHasPassedAway” was the number one trending topic on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo, with 10 billion mentions. Weibo users flooded Wi’s webpage, leaving more than 150,000 comments, many of them critical of local authorities who had punished Li for “spreading rumors.”

China expert Gordon Chang, in an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., said

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Trump Renominates John Ratcliffe for Director of National Intelligence

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 2, 2020: 

On Friday, President Trump decided to renominate Representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) for the office of director of national intelligence, tweeting:

I am pleased to announce the nomination of Congressman John Ratcliffe to be Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Would have completed the process earlier, but John wanted to wait until after the IG Report was finished. John is an outstanding man of great talent!

The president agreed to withdraw his nomination of Ratcliffe last summer partly because of charges levied against Ratcliffe at the time, including that he embellished his legal resume and that he lacked sufficient experience to take on the top intelligence job in the federal government.

The potential firestorm gave the president a way to allow Ratcliffe to decline gracefully. President Trump said at the time, “I could see that the press was treating him, I thought, very unfairly. I asked him, ‘Do you want to go through this for two or three months, or would you want me to maybe do something else?’” Ratcliffe agreed to decline, and Trump tweeted:

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National Debt Is $122 Trillion, Not $23 Trillion, Says Non-profit Group

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 25, 2020:  

When Epoch Times’ Mark Tapscott checked the U.S. Treasury’s “Debt to the Penny” website on Monday, he reported that the U.S. national debt just ticked over to $23.3 trillion. That’s four times what it was 20 years ago.

Tapscott then checked in with the Chicago-based nonprofit advocacy group Truth in Accounting (TIA) to get a more accurate reading. Said Bill Bergman, the group’s director of research, the Treasury misses the real national debt by $100 trillion, explaining that “the U.S. Treasury does not include the unfunded obligations for Social Security and Medicare.”

That’s because those obligations can only be counted when they become liabilities. And because Congress can change the law at any time, said Bergman, the Treasury gets to hide the real numbers. Said Bergman, “The reasoning has been that the government controls the law, and can change it any time.”

An actuary from Social Security spelled out the deception at a public hearing in 2007:

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In 1992 James Carville told Bill Clinton, “It’s the Economy, Stupid!” It still is.

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 24, 2020: 

James Carville posted the following sign on the wall of Bill Clinton’s campaign headquarters when he was vying to oust George H. W. Bush from the Oval Office in 1992: “Change vs. more of the same”; “Don’t forget health care”; and the one that still resonates today, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Two polls released late last week prove the point.

On Thursday, Gallup released the results of its latest polls showing that the president’s approval rating jumped five percentage points since early January. This was driven not only by higher approval by Republicans, but, more importantly, by independents who gave him their highest approval rate since Gallup has been asking them.

These results go along with Gallup’s noting that the level of national satisfaction is the highest the pollster has seen since February 2005, 15 years ago. More than three out of five of those polled not only rate current economic conditions as either good or excellent, but that they expect the economy to continue to get even better.

The pollster also noted an increase in the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as Republicans, while the percentage of those calling themselves independents declined.

This is, according to Gallup, translating into greatly improved chances that the president will be reelected in November:

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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.
Copyright © 2020 Bob Adelmann