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: LBJ

Sen. Harry Reid’s Legacy: Corrupting the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 30, 2015:

Libertarian economist and Cato scholar Donald Boudreaux has little favorable to say about politicians:

It is the rare politician, of whatever party, who reliably puts principle above personal interest. As a rule, politicians are untrustworthy, duplicitous, and cowardly; they are people who have the unusually powerful craving for power and fame; and the successful among them typically possess an unusual talent for camouflaging their craving for power and fame as a saintly calling to “serve the people.”

But what about the “successful among them,” like Nevada Democrat Senator Harry Reid who just announced last Friday that he would be retiring at the end of his present term?

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Fox News president’s email to his people about the James Rosen affair

Here is Roger Ailes’ email, if you care to look. He says some nice things that I’m certain were reassuring to his employees who are probably asking themselves whenever they send an email or make a phone call, “am I being watched?”

Let’s remember who Roger Ailes is. He is

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America Has Always Been Deeply Divided

Voting

Voting (Photo credit: League of Women Voters of California)

George Friedman, writing for Stratfor’s Geopolitical Weekly, puts the humbug into next Tuesday’s doings:

Many say that the country has never been as deeply divided. In discussing the debates last week, I noted how this year’s campaign is far from the most bitter and vitriolic. It might therefore be useful also to consider that while the electorate at the moment appears evenly and deeply divided, unlike what many say, that does not reveal deep divisions in our society…

Surprisingly, most elections over the last two hundred years have been close. Only four presidents over that span won with

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George McGovern: The Liberal Who Got Mugged

English: Senator George McGovern speaking at t...

Senator George McGovern speaking at the Richard M. Nixon Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California during his book tour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

George McGovern, known for his ultra-liberal stance on issues of his day, passed away on Sunday, October 21st, at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at age 90.

Active in promoting liberal programs almost from the first, McGovern was convinced that government could be used as an instrument to improve society, especially in providing food for the poor in America and around the world. He saw the American government and the United Nations as tools to promote sustenance for them. He helped create the United Nations’ World Food Program which distributed U.S. food “surpluses” to needy people abroad, and issued the McGovern Report, which set up nutritional guidelines for Americans.

He served as U.S. Ambassador to the UN agencies for Food and Agriculture, and was appointed the first UN Global Ambassador on World Hunger in 2001.

But he is primarily remembered for

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Please Don’t Let My Kid Grow Up To Be President!

What sane person would want a job that destroys your privacy, makes it  impossible for you to go out on the street, subjects your family to intrusive  media scrutiny, forces you to watch everything you say, and drives some people  to want to take a shot at you? Apparently someone who feels that the power that  comes with the office is worth the attendant indignities.

USAREUR, USACE close books on 10-year transfor...

(Photo credit: USACE Europe District)

Ryan Young of the Competitive Enterprise Institute made this pithy observation. Why indeed? Because they are narcissists (ie, Obama) or megalomaniacs (ie, Romney). Regardless of my characterization, each has been selected in advance to represent the Anglo-American establishment which is run primarily by the Council on Foreign Relations. To ignore or overlook this is to play the game they want us to play: that the debates mean something. They don’t.

Young makes it clear that one needs to be corrupt – to have sold out – in order to have any chance at winning the prize:

“Great men are almost always bad men,” Lord Acton famously said. “There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.” Indeed, good men rarely run for president. And when they do, they rarely win. An honest man  stands no chance against a Lyndon Johnson or a Richard Nixon. Yes, one slips  through the cracks now and then.

We could use Grover Cleveland’s restraint in  handling the economic crisis today. I have a particular fondness for Calvin Coolidge, who conspicuously lacked the pathological need for attention that  characterizes most officeholders.

It’s the process of running for office that also inflicts moral damage:

Campaigning for even minor office requires a candidate to prostrate himself  before people he’s never met, and make grand promises he may — or may not — keep. He must build himself up while tearing down his opponent through vicious  attacks. Imagine what that does to a candidate’s mind — especially one that  starts to believe his own hype.

A successful candidate often must hide his true beliefs, assuming he has any,  tailoring his message to match his constituents’ wishes.

In other words, to be successful he has to sell his soul. That’s why I don’t want my son to grow up to be President. His soul is too valuable to lose in the process.

Am I Allowed to Disagree with Chuck Norris?

Chuck Norris: Election 2012: Supreme Court Hangs in the Balance

Part of what makes America great is that every two years, we, too, cast our votes, rendering judgment on whether lawmakers have fulfilled their promises. And every four years, as in 2012, our opportunity extends to the highest office in the land.

Chuck Norris Valentine

Chuck Norris Valentine (Photo credit: Rafael Peñaloza)

I grieve that Norris is so misinformed about how the elections work in the real world. The campaigns for the White House have been controlled and manipulated by the insiders – especially the Council on Foreign Relations – for decades. The only exception was Goldwater in 1964 and you remember how the establishment moved Heaven and earth to paint him as a war monger in order to discredit him. The strategy worked, and we got Johnson.

I like the way Gary North puts it: no matter who wins in November, the CFR wins. He considers the Republicans and the Democrats to be CFR “Team A” versus CFR “Team B.” Or as my friend Jack McManus likes to say: “We have two political parties in this country, and the RepublicanDemocrats is one of them.”

Now it is true that informed citizens – informed citizens – can and do have an impact on Congress, especially the House of Representatives which members have to come back into their districts every two years to retain their seats. And we are making progress there.  The Senate? Not quite so much. The six-year terms there invite “assimilation by the Borg” as I put it. The best example is Lyndon Johnson who “went to Washington intending to do good, and wound up doing very well indeed.”

I disagree also with Norris when he thinks Romney will do better in selecting Supreme Court justices than would Obama:

The president also nominates judges for all levels of the federal bench. That is why we need to make sure we have a president whose nominees for any court — including the Supreme Court — will support the original meaning of our Constitution.

As we have seen recently, Romney has successfully ignored the Constitution vis-à-vis Obamacare and Romneycare. Why should he all of a sudden become a strict constructionist when appointing a Supreme Court justice? The real action is in the Senate which, under the Constitution, must consent to the appointment. But Norris doesn’t mention that.

Oh well, I’m sure Norris’ heart is in the right place.

Government Grows Faster Under Republicans

John C. Goodman – Which Party is the Party of Big Government?

For every net new job created, nearly four Americans gave up looking for work entirely. This is more of the same for middle class families who are suffering through the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. After 43 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent, it is clear that President Obama just hasn’t lived up to his promises and his policies haven’t worked. We aren’t better off than they were four years ago.

English: Four Presidents: President Ronald Rea...

English: Four Presidents: President Ronald Reagan with his three predecessors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Goodman reminds us of this inevitable fact: Republicans grow government faster than Democrats. It’s good to keep this in mind as we observe the electoral “silly season” where facts that are inconvenient are either twisted or ignored. What’s pushing the national government into bankruptcy is the growth of Social Security (installed under a Democrat), Medicare and Medicaid (enacted under a Democrat) and unemployment insurance (under a Democrat administration in 1932). Goodman notes that entitlement (i.e., welfare) spending reached $2.2 trillion in 2010. That’s 100% of tax revenues! But who’s to blame? The Democrats, who enacted them? Or the Republicans, who expanded them?  Says Goodman:

So who is to blame for this state of affairs? Lyndon Johnson, of course, gave us Medicare, Medicaid and the rest of the Great Society. But when Johnson left office, these programs were relatively small. The main expansion came under Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Not only that, the expansions were largely the result of executive orders!

And then to emphasize his point, Goodman quotes Nicholas Eberstadt who wrote in The Wall Street Journal:

From a purely statistical standpoint, the growth of entitlement spending over the past half-century has been distinctly greater under Republican administrations than Democratic ones. Between 1960 and 2010, the growth of entitlement spending was exponential, but in any given year, it was on the whole roughly 8% higher if the president happened to be a Republican rather than a Democrat.

This is good to keep in mind as the politicians – especially Republicans – continue to make promises they have no intention of keeping.

Medicare: The Latest Political Football

paul ryan medicare

paul ryan medicare (Photo credit: Brendan Loy)

With political ads defending and bashing various proposals about how to “fix” Medicare reaching a crescendo, fact-checkers are having a field day in sorting through who’s right and who’s wrong. The claim by Democrats that Paul Ryan’s reform bill would “end Medicare as we know it” was awarded the “lie of the year” by Politifact, while Factcheck.org named it one of the “Whoppers of 2011.” Even the liberal Washington Post gave the canard its highest—or lowest—rating of “four Pinnochios.”

Claims by Republicans that President Obama “raided” Medicare by cutting benefits and using bookkeeping entries as ways to fund ObamaCare without increasing the deficit are adding to the noise. They also claim that cuts to suppliers of medical services will ultimately result in reduced services for Medicare beneficiaries, reductions exacerbated by the unelected panel—the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)—charged with keeping costs in line through essentially dictatorial powers granted by ObamaCare.

What’s clear is that Medicare is in trouble, and has been almost from the beginning. In 1965, when Medicare was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, costs were estimated to approach $9 billion annually by the year 1990. It exceeded $65 billion that year. Last year Medicare spending touched $560 billion, and is headed toward $1 trillion in less than eight years.

Trustees are frightened about its future. Their 2012 annual report states: 

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How Harry Reid Milks the System

Betsy Woodruff: How Did Harry Reid Get Rich?

Try this thought experiment. Imagine that someone grows up in poverty, works his way through law school by holding the night shift as a Capitol Hill policeman, and spends all but two years of his career as a public servant. Now imagine that this person’s current salary—and he’s at the top of his game—is $193,400. You probably wouldn’t expect him to have millions in stocks, bonds, and real estate.

Harry Reid - Caricature

Harry Reid – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

If he’s a politician, of course you would. I remember someone saying that Lyndon Johnson went to Washington “intending to do good, and wound up doing very well indeed.” Harry Reid must have watched and learned from LBJ.

Here’s how it’s done:

In 2004, the senator made $700,000 off a land deal that was, to say the least, unorthodox. It started in 1998 when he bought a parcel of land with attorney Jay Brown, a close friend whose name has surfaced multiple times in organized-crime investigations and whom one retired FBI agent described as “always a person of interest.”

Three years after the purchase, Reid transferred his portion of the property to Patrick Lane LLC, a holding company Brown controlled. But Reid kept putting the property on his financial disclosures, and when the company sold it in 2004, he profited from the deal—a deal on land that he didn’t technically own and that had nearly tripled in value in six years.

Shinny up close to a shady character, and go along for the ride. Not close enough to be indicted, you understand, but close enough to triple your money without getting dirty. What a game!

From the article:

Here’s another example: The Los Angeles Times reported in November 2006 that when Reid became Senate majority leader he committed to making earmark reform a priority, saying he’d work to keep congressmen from using federal dollars for pet projects in their districts. It was a good idea but an odd one for the senator to espouse.

He had managed to get $18 million set aside to build a bridge across the Colorado River between Laughlin, NV, and Bullhead City, AZ, a project that wasn’t a priority for either state’s transportation agency.

His ownership of 160 acres of land nearby that stood to appreciate considerably from the project had nothing to do with the decision, according to one of his aides. The property’s value has varied since then. On his financial-disclosure forms from 2006, it was valued at $250,000 to $500,000. Open Secrets now lists it as his most valuable asset, worth $1 million to $5 million as of 2010.

It’s all about being in the right place at the right. It’s also nice if you can arrange things so that you’re in the right place at the right time.

Good job, Harry!

The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

The Amateur is more about the man—his hubris, his arrogance, his naiveté—than it is about his ideology because the author, a member of the insider Council on Foreign Relations, an influential group that promotes the diminishing of our country’s constitutional structure and the ceding of U.S. sovereignty to a transnational global government such as the United Nations, no doubt shares that ideology.

Klein is a certified member of the establishment elite, having graduated from Columbia University with two degrees and having been a foreign affairs editor at Newsweek magazine and a former editor of the New York Times Magazine. It was the latter position that allowed him the opportunity to interview nearly 200 individuals who are acquainted, some of them intimately, with the current White House occupant while protecting Klein and his book from attack by the Obama “Kool-Aid drinkers” as he calls the mindless, witless journalists and historians who have supported Obama from the beginning.

Klein takes his reader into a private, off-the-record dinner meeting at the White House early in the Obama administration, attended by nine liberal historians, each of whom supported the new President and were celebrating his victory. During that dinner the President spelled out his

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The Budget Battle: Entitlements Staying, Taxes Going Up

When Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Chairman of the House Budget Committeesummarized his tax and spend plan, he used standard Republican rhetoric in explaining it.

He claimed, “Our budget

  • Cuts government spending to protect hardworking taxpayers;
  • Put[s] an end to special-interest favoritism and corporate welfare;
  • Reverses the President’s policies that drive up gas prices…;
  • Strengthens health and retirement security…[and]
  • Reforms our broken tax code to spur job creation and economic opportunity by lowering rates, closing loopholes, and putting hardworking taxpayers ahead of special interests.”

In his introduction to the bill, he inveighed images of the Founding Fathers, who no doubt would have heartily approved of his efforts: “The Founders [designed] a Constitution of enumerated powers, giving the federal government broad authority over only those matters that must have a single national response, while sharply restricting its authority to intrude on those spheres of activity better left to the states and the people.” By using his interpretation, rather any reference directly to what the Constitution actually says, Ryan then goes on to assure his party that

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Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Trim, or Uproot?

Doug Lamborn

Image via Wikipedia

When Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) introduced a bill in the 111th Congress to defund National Public Radio (NPR), two things were working against him: the overwhelming collectivist mindset of that Congress itself, and the fact that NPR hadn’t yet embarrassed itself sufficiently to build public opinion against the agency. In light of NPR’s series of gaffes since then, as well as the more conservative tone of the new 112th Congress, Lamborn has decided to try again.

He observed:

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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