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

Media Tout British Medical Journal Study’s Anti-gun Conclusions, While Ignoring Study’s Limitations

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, March 10, 2019: 

When the British Medical Journal (BMJ) released the results of its study of gun violence on March 6, its conclusions matched the media’s anti-gun narrative. Immediately, members of the media breathlessly reported them without noting the study’s limitations. From The Hill: “States with stricter gun control regulations have fewer mass shootings: study.” From Yahoo: “State by state, more gun ownership equals more mass shootings, study shows.” From Vox: “Study: where gun laws are weaker, there are more mass shootings.”

To his credit German Lopez, in his 10-page analysis of the BMJ report for Vox, did mention that the study’s conclusions were tentative and that more work needed to be done to confirm them. Deep into his article, on page five, Lopez wrote:

Keep reading…

Second Amendment Sanctuary County Movement Gaining Momentum

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 6, 2019:

As Democrats celebrate taking over several states in the 2018 mid-term elections, there is a movement to restrict their egregious planned infringement of precious rights. It’s called the “sanctuary county” movement, the “Second Amendment Sanctuary” movement, or the “Second Amendment Preservation” movement, and it’s based on the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

And the political subdivision closest to “the people” is the county. There are 3,000 counties in the United States, and most of them elect their chief law-enforcement officer, the county sheriff. Reuters reported on Monday that “a rapidly growing number of counties in [five] states are declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, refusing to enforce gun-control laws that they consider to be infringements on the U.S. Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

Those states, so far, are Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Voters in Washington State

Keep reading…

China’s Super Rich Exiting as Economy Fades

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 5, 2019:

A popular online meme perfectly expresses where China’s economy is headed: “The year 2019 may be the worst year in this decade, but it will be the best year in the next decade.”

China’s economy is decelerating so rapidly that the super-rich are getting out while the getting is good. One of them is Chen Tianyong, a real estate developer in Shanghai, who posted this on the Internet: “China’s economy is like a giant ship heading to the precipice. Without fundamental changes, it’s inevitable that the ship will be wrecked and the passengers will die. My friends, if you can leave, please make arrangements as early as possible.”

As the New York Times noted,

Keep reading…

Physician PACs Favor Pro-Second Amendment Candidates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 4, 2019: 

A surprising study released late February concluded that when physicians and other healthcare professionals contribute their own funds to political action committees, those committees, in turn, reflect pro-Second Amendment viewpoints.

The study, completed by Jeremiah Schuur, M.D., and published at the JAMA Network Open — “open access medical research and commentary” — supported by the American Medical Association, compared political contributions during the 2016 election cycle (from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016) to various House and Senate candidates running for office.

Schuur was surprised at the outcome:

Keep reading…

Former Fed Chair Yellen Doesn’t Appreciate Trump’s Criticism of the Nation’s Central Bank

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 26, 2019:

Janet Yellen, likely still miffed at being passed over by President Trump in favor of Jerome Powell as head of the Federal Reserve last February, had a chance to vent about the president’s ignorance on Monday. In a radio interview on Marketplace with host Kai Ryssdal, she said, “President Trump’s comments about Chair Powell and about the Fed do concern me, because if that [criticism] becomes concerted, I think it … could undermine confidence in the Fed. I think that would be a bad thing.”

Ryssdal asked: “Do you think the president has a grasp of macroeconomic policy?”

Yellen: “No, I do not.”

Ryssdal: “Tell me more.”

Keep reading…

Hidden Group Blackmails Big Energy to Go Green

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 25, 2019: 

Recent announcements by major oil, gas, and coal-producing conglomerates that they are now kowtowing in conformity to the Paris Accord have focused the spotlight on the low-profile investor activist group that forced their hands: Climate Action 100+ (CA100+). Launched in 2017, the group boasts “more than 300 investors with over $32 trillion in assets under management” that seek “to ensure that the world’s largest corporate greenhouse emitters take necessary action on climate change.”

Among those investors angling to make the world green by threatening to withhold investment capital include the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), which has $360 billion in assets; Allianz SE (a German investment management company headquartered in Munich), which controls $2.2 trillion; and HSBC Holdings (headquartered in London), with $470 billion under management.

An early success resulting from “negotiations” with top management was Royal Dutch Shell, which agreed to, as Cyril Widdershoven wrote for Oil Price, “officially change its strategy, investing more in renewable energy and energy storage” than they had originally planned. Said Widdershoven:

Keep reading…

Maduro Closes the Door to Aid; His Military Kill Eight, Wound Hundreds

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 25, 2019: 

The New American magazine said on Friday that Venezuela’s Marxist dictator Nicolás Maduro had two options and only two to resolve the crisis on his borders with Colombia and Brazil: let the 600 tons of aid provided by the United States, NGOs, and other countries (foodstuffs, medicines, and personal hygiene items) into his country and appear the humanitarian; or order his military to block entry of the aid, with force if necessary, and confirm that he’s a communist thug seeking only his own survival.

On Saturday Maduro chose Door No. 2. He said

Keep reading…

CBO: National Debt to Nearly Double by 2029

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 21, 2019: 

The national debt clock just clicked over $20 trillion. But according to the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), wait ‘til 2029! That clock will be approaching $36 trillion. And that’s under the assumption that laws now in place stay in place. Add in the Green New Deal and the clock will have to add another digit: $100 trillion.

But not to worry. The new math — Modern Monetary Theory — will take care of everything.

Behind the headlines, the CBO adds details, clarifying who has loaned the $20 trillion to the federal government. Seventy-three percent has been loaned by

Keep reading…

“Modern Monetary Theory” Will Pay for AOC’s Green New Deal

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 18, 2019: 

Stephanie Kelton, professor of public policy and economics at Stony Brook University, served as an advisor to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. She gave similar advice to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as she was preparing to be sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives: You can have it all!

Writing in the Huffington Post last November, Kelton said:

We have the outline of a plan. We need a mass mobilization of people and resources, something not unlike the U.S. involvement in World War II or the Apollo moon missions — but even bigger. We must transform our energy system, transportation, housing, agriculture and more.

 

What we don’t (yet) have is the final, vital ingredient — a critical mass of politicians prepared to unleash the enormous power of the public purse to save the planet.

To Kelton’s way of thinking, the only thing standing in the way of spending billions the government doesn’t have to solve problems many think don’t exist, is to change just how we think about the federal budget: “To save the planet and fix historical inequities … we must change the way we approach the federal budget. We must give up our obsession with trying to ‘pay for’ everything with new revenue or spending cuts.”

It starts with discarding that old canard about how inflation

Keep reading…

China Holds “Debt Renegotiation” Talks With Maduro’s Opponent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 13, 2019:  

Publicly, Russia and China continue to support Venezuela’s embattled Marxist leader, Nicolás Maduro. But privately they are moving to cut their losses as his exit appears more likely and more imminent.

Right after President Trump announced White House support for Maduro’s opponent, Juan Guaidó, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Maduro to express his support. At the same time, Putin said that Trump’s “destructive external interference is a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law.”

A few days,

Keep reading…

3D Gun Software Developer Sues New Jersey’s AG Over His Attack on Its First Amendment Rights

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 8, 2019:

Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed (which provides firearm-related software for 3D printers), was delighted when the Department of Justice relented last July in its attempt to shut him and his company down. Without fanfare the DOJ not only settled with Cody and his company, it agreed to pay a large part of his legal fees as well.

Cody celebrated and then put his people back to work on developing more software for firearms enthusiasts, saying: “I have developers for anything and everything, some of the best talent in the world.… It’s all ready to go. I have interested stakeholders [and] a large network [of supporters who] care about what I do.”

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal did not share in Cody’s victory. Instead he launched an attack on Wilson, his company, and the website that hosted his software. He frequently threatened Wilson publicly, declaring he would “come and get” him, and would “stop him” from exercising his newly resurrected First Amendment rights to freedom of speech over the Internet.

Grewal upped the ante on February 2 by sending this letter to Wilson’s company’s webhost Cloudfare:

Keep reading…

Cuomo the Politician Blames Trump for His State’s Financial Troubles

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 6, 2019: 

One skill Governor Andrew Cuomo has perfected is that of projection: placing the blame for his troubles onto his enemy. He did that on Monday when explaining that his state’s revenue shortfall of $2.8 billion was due to Trump’s tax reform:

There is no doubt that the budget we put forward [$175 billion for fiscal year 2019-20] is not supported by the revenues. It’s as serious as a heart attack….

 

SALT [which capped deductions for state income and local property taxes for the wealthy in Trump’s tax reform act] was an economic civil war. It literally restructured the economy to help red [Republican] states at the cost of blue [Democrat] states.

 

That’s exactly what it did. It was a diabolical, political maneuver.

Naturally New York State’s onerous taxes had nothing to do with it. Cuomo even said that what he did in extending the temporary “millionaires’ tax” following the financial crisis a decade ago was “the right thing” to do.

In other words Cuomo

Keep reading…

New York Governor Cuomo Blames Exodus of Wealthy on Trump

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 5, 2019: 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blamed his state’s revenue shortfall of $2.8 billion on Donald Trump during a press conference on Monday, stating,

There is no doubt that the budget we put forward [$175 billion for fiscal year 2019-20] is not supported by the revenues. It’s as serious as a heart attack….

 

SALT [which capped deductions for state income and local property taxes for the wealthy in Trump’s tax reform act] was an economic civil war. It literally restructured the economy to help red [Republican] states at the cost of blue [Democrat] states.

 

That’s exactly what it did. It was a diabolical, political maneuver.

Cuomo could have accepted the blame for the state’s ongoing exodus (out-migration) of wealthy individuals by pinning the blame where it belonged: on his state’s increasingly unfavorable environment for them thanks to its high taxes. Instead, he said he did the right thing by extending the temporary “millionaires’ tax” levied following the financial crisis a decade ago, and signing into law a bill raising sales tax rates to 8.82 percent.

In other words,

Keep reading…

Most of America’s Largest Cities Can’t Pay Their Bills, Says Truth in Accounting

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 1, 2019: 

The latest report from Truth in Accounting (TIA), a non-profit that peers behind the financial reports issued by the states and 75 of the largest cities in America, reveals that 63 of those cities don’t have enough money to pay their bills. Even if they liquidated every asset on their balance sheets, taxpayers in those cities would still have to ante up the difference. In some cases, those differences are into six and seven figures.

TIA then rates those cities on the basis of just how much taxpayers would owe if they tried to pay all of their bills. Out of the 75 cities reviewed, only 12 have enough on hand to pay all their bills.

There’s an interactive graph available to show the details, if one dares to know, behind TIA’s conclusions.

TIA also grades each city from A to F depending upon that “taxpayer burden.” There are no “A”s. There are only 12 “B”s. The rest are rated C to F.

TIA staffers really had to dig behind the public numbers in order to determine just how bad some of the financial conditions are. From the report:

At the end of the FY 2017, 63 cities did not have enough money to pay all of their bills. This means that to balance the budget, elected officials have not included the true costs of the government in their budget calculations and have pushed costs onto future taxpayers.

Two cities, Newark and Jersey City, were so far out of compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the reporting of their financial conditions that TIA was forced to add two other cities in their place to complete their study.

Added TIA:

Cities in general do not have enough money to pay their bills. Based on our analysis, the total unfunded debt among the 75 most populous cities amounts to nearly $330 billion. Most of this debt comes from unfunded retiree benefit promises, such as pension and retiree healthcare debt.

 

This year, pension debt accounts for $189.1 billion, and other post-employment benefits — mainly retiree healthcare liabilities — totaled $139.2 billion.

Many of the cities hide the reality from the public in order to make their financials look better:

One of the ways the cities help make their budgets look balanced is by shortchanging public pension funds….

 

Some elected officials have used portions of the money that is owed to pension funds to keep taxes low and pay for politically popular programs.… Instead of funding promised benefits now, they have been charged to future taxpayers.

 

Shifting the payment of employee benefits to future taxpayers allows the budget to appear balanced, while municipal debt is increasing.

TIA refers to those 12 cities with enough money to pay their bills as “Sunshine Cities” which, surprisingly, include two in California: Irvine and Fresno. On a per-taxpayer basis, Irvine has $4,400 surplus per taxpayer, while Fresno has a $2,500 surplus.

Not surprisingly, however, is that among the “Sinkhole Cities” where the taxpayer burden is overwhelming is California’s San Francisco, where that burden is $22,600.

TIA includes commentary on three of the worst “Sinkhole Cities”: San Francisco, Chicago, and, bringing up the rear, New York City.

San Francisco:

 

San Francisco remains one of the Bottom 5 Sinkhole Cities with a Taxpayer Burden of $22,600. However, this burden decreased by $4,900 compared to the previous year as unfunded pension debt declined by $592 million thanks to income earned on pension plan assets.

Chicago:

 

Chicago’s finances seemingly improved, but the city continues to have the second worst financial condition among the 75 most populous U.S. cities. A recent law that requires Chicago to increase its contributions to municipal pension plans led actuaries to raise the percentage rate used to determine the current value of promised benefits, which reduced the unfunded pension debt calculation by $7.8 billion.

Note: This is called “cooking the books,” a non-accounting term for fraudulent manipulation of numbers on paper to make things look better than they are.

New York City ranks dead last:

New York City again ranks last for fiscal health because of its massive and growing debts. The city’s finances continue to deteriorate as the amount of unfunded retiree health care promises balloons. NYC has set aside only $4.7 billion to fund the $100.6 billion of promised retiree health care benefits.

There are budgetary shenanigans even in Wyoming, which TIA rates as an “A” for the prudent handling of its finances. On the surface it shows a taxpayer “surplus” of $19,600, but in a footnote TIA writes, “The state is still hiding $564.3 million of its retiree health care debt. A new accounting standard will be implemented in the 2018 fiscal year which will require states to report this debt on the balance sheet.”

Caution is advised for those wanting to use TIA’s interactive map to learn how their city fares under TIA’s accounting microscope. Caution is also advised when considering Cory Booker’s announcement of his run for the presidency on Friday. He is the former mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Then again, if he wins, he’ll certainly feel right at home with how the federal government runs its own books.

Messages From Maduro’s Military Posturing

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 30, 2019:

The hosting of a parade of Russian military hardware in Caracas on Sunday by Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro delivered at least three messages: 1) I am in charge here; 2) With the help of my Russian, Chinese, and Cuban friends, that is; and 3) No tyranny remains in power very long unless it is maintained by force or the threat of force.

The show was enhanced with tank rounds being fired into a nearby hillside and by Maduro exclaiming, “Nobody respects the weak, cowards [or] traitors. In this world what’s respected is the brave, the courageous [and] power.” It was further enhanced with video of soldiers kneeling before the dictator and Maduro bellowing “Are you coup plotters?” and their response: “No!”

These messages were delivered after the defection of Colonel Jose Luis Silva, Maduro’s Washington attaché for the last five years. He told Reuters on Saturday that “the top brass of the military and the executive branch are holding the armed forces hostage. There are many, many, who are unhappy.”

And then he addressed them directly:

Enough! Leave aside the illegal control of our territory and the executive power. The leaders have become millionaires on the backs of the people. Captains, commanders: think about everyone who suffers. Don’t forget that your wives also can’t find milk for your children. Don’t forget that your mothers and fathers also can’t find pills for their [high blood] pressure.

 

Enough already! Let’s recognize the man who, under the law, is the true president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido.

The pressure on Maduro to step down continues to mount despite his claims that he has the unflinching and complete support of his military. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed a special session of the United Nations Security Council on Saturday where he described Maduro as part of an “illegitimate mafia state” and asking the members to join the United States in recognizing Guaido as the country’s only legitimate interim president. Pompeo minced no words: “Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”

Pompeo denounced both China and Russia by name, accusing them of “propping up a failed regime in the hopes of recovering billions of dollars in ill-considered investments and assistance made over the years.”

President Trump’s recognition of Guaido has already been supported by many Latin American countries, including Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina. Following Pompeo’s demand, Britain, France, and Germany got in line as well.

Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, pushed back: [The] U.S. has now stated that all options are on the table which is … dangerous. If it evolves into something more military, that is even more regretful. We think it should be avoided at any cost.”

European Union members met Saturday to discuss the crisis after which they issued a statement that called for “the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections.” The statement hinted that the EU could recognize Guaido if Maduro didn’t announce new elections promptly.

Guaido celebrated the developments, telling a rally in Caracas on Sunday, “We have the EU support. They took a firm step toward our fight for democracy.”

Students of history noted his use of the word “democracy” as a goal to be achieved rather than a danger to be avoided. Those same students wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Guaido has a long history of supporting the socialist impulse. He is a member of Venezuela’s Popular Will party, which is a full member of the Socialist International. That gaggle of left-wing political parties has as its goal the establishment of democratic socialism around the world.

Not surprisingly Guaido, in preparing to take Maduro’s place, is proposing to grant amnesty to Maduro as part of his transition to the presidency. This was noted by Rafael Valera, the communications director of the Venezuelan campaign group Rumbo Libertad:

Guaido is a member of the Socialist International.… Guaido’s Popular Will party has also supported dialogue with Maduro in the past and has called the Venezuelan population to participate in the rigged elections.

 

They are also proposing that dangerous Chavistas be part of the transition, continuing their systematic impunity. They want to pardon mercenaries, criminals, and prominent Chavistas like [former minister] Miguel Rodríguez Torres, [former state oil company head] Rafael Ramírez or [former prosecutor general] Luisa Ortega Díaz.

 

Guaidó’s party can tell us, by its background, that it doesn’t want to really tear the Communist system down but to give more life to it.

That’s the final lesson that Maduro’s posturing in Caracas on Sunday teaches: Socialism not only destroys the price system that allows a free market to operate, thus making way for government controls; it also destroys the culture of independence and morality that grows out of a free market. Guaido’s ascension to Venezuela’s presidency raises the question: How will a new suit occupying that office be any better than the old?

Ninth Circuit Could Lose Its Liberal Lustre Under Trump

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

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

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

But Trump has already filled two open slots,

Keep reading…

Bankers to Take Massive Haircut in Proposed Puerto Rican Bankruptcy Settlement

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

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

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

All Swain has to do is

Keep reading…

Investors Holding Puerto Rican Bonds Are About to Learn Important Lessons

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

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

Like they are in Puerto Rico.

The island’s debt crisis dates back to 1973 when

Keep reading…

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

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

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

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

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

Keep reading…

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

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

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

Keep reading…

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