Rep. Ocasio-Cortez ‘Cheap Seats’ Tweet Reminiscent of Racist ‘Sit At The Back Of The Bus’?

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democratic Socialist-NY) tweeted the following:

Everyone Who's Never Read A History Book Shocked As Socialist Turns Into Authoritarian At First Whiff Of Power

This tweet is reminiscent of a time when blacks were required to sit at the back of the bus, the cheap seats. This tweet is divisive and hurtful to those who remember Democrats preventing Ruby Nell Bridges Hall a black girl from attending the all white William Frantz Elementary School in Tylertown, Mississippi in 1960, cheap seats. At the time Ross Robert Barnett (Democrat) was the Governor of Mississippi. In a South where Democrats were “in charge.”

It was Dr. Martin Luther King who began shouting from the “cheap seats” to end racial discrimination in America. To end the we versus them mentality that hurt so very many. To judge one another based upon the “content of our character, not the color of our skin.” Today we have a new color – GREEN!

The Green New Deal

Let’s address directly Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s “come up with your own ambitious, on-scale proposal” comment.

America already has a solution. It’s called American ingenuity. It’s called freedom of choice in where we live, what we eat, who is our doctor, how we travel, which house we buy and who we choose to support in our community, state and nationally. It’s called the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Those guarantees of unalienable rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness come from God, not government.

The Green New Deal is the polar opposite of “cheap seats” because if implemented in its entirety no seats in America will be cheap. They will all be very expensive to the tune of an estimated $70 trillion.

Conclusion

The so called “cheap seats” is a slap in the face of every American, not just those who fought for their rightful seat on a public bus or in a public school. It is Marxism on steroids. It is totalitarian in scope. It allows the federal government to regulate, and thereby control, every aspect of our lives including what seats we sit in.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is now driving the Democratic party’s agenda. She and her Justice Democrat allies are determined to silence any Democrat who disagrees with them.

Ocasio-Cortez even has a black list of any Democrat who votes with the Republicans.

The 2020 elections will be between the ideology of Karl Marx verses the U.S. Constitution. President Trump will be running against Karl Marx in Democratic Party drag.

RELATED ARTICLE: AOC’s List Sees Her Chasing Down Something That Doesn’t Exist: “Moderate” Democrats

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Free-Photos on Pixabay.

The Truth About Immigration Can Unite All Americans

America has become dangerously polarized and immigration has become one of the most divisive issues.

In this climate of strident and aggressive confrontations, Americans are reluctant to engage in an open discussion. They have been intimidated by the radical left.

Who could ever forget Congresswoman Maxine Waters exhorting her followers to confront members of the Trump administration in public, or New York’s Governor Cuomo vilifying ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents, calling them thugs, inciting attacks on ICE agents.

Providing the truth about immigration would unite all Americans irrespective of their political orientations, in the understanding that border security and fair but effective immigration law enforcement are vital for national security, public safety, the livelihoods and wages of American workers, and a host of other issues.

The acrimonious arguments about immigration are not based on facts but on a fiction created by globalists whose tactics and use of deceptive language come directly from George Orwell’s “1984,” blurring the distinction between illegal aliens and lawful immigrants. This is damaging and insulting to lawful immigrants.

To provide a bit of clarity, the difference between an illegal alien and a lawful immigrant is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.

We often refer to America as a “nation of immigrants” and, in point of fact, last year the United States, even under the Trump administration that has been falsely accused of being “anti-immigrant,” admitted more than one million lawful immigrants — that is more than the rest of the world combined.

President Jimmy Carter cynically mandated that INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) employees substitute the bogus term “Undocumented Immigrants” for the term “Illegal Aliens.”

The term “Alien” is not a pejorative. It is a legal term that simply means, “Any person, not a citizen or national of the United States.”

Over time Carter’s deceptive language profoundly skewed public perceptions about immigration law enforcement.

I addressed these tactics “sleight of tongue” in my article, “Language Wars: The Road to Tyranny Is Paved with Language Censorship.”

The immigration system has become a highly efficient delivery system that delivers an unlimited supply of cheap and exploitable labor, an unlimited supply of foreign tourists, a nearly unlimited supply of foreign students, and a limitless supply of clients for immigration lawyers.

Consider that a massive amnesty program would not get the illegal aliens “out of the shadows” but into the waiting rooms of immigration law firms across America.

This why both the Democrats and the Republicans claim that since we cannot arrest and deport 11 million illegal aliens, ostensibly, the best “solution” is to provide them with lawful status.

This is a “bait and switch” tactic that takes immigration law enforcement off the table as a means of countering massive levels of immigration law violations, replacing it with a debate about whether to place these heretofore illegal aliens on pathways to citizenship or “only” provide illegal aliens with lawful status, permission to work, and the right to bring their families to the United States.

The Democrats have created Sanctuary Cities and called for dismantling of ICE. However, neither party has ever proposed hiring more ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents to address the immigration crisis. Currently there are about 6,000 ICE agents for the entire United States of America and more than half of ICE’s resources are focused on customs law enforcement and other law violations that have nothing to do with immigration.

Contrast that ridiculous number with the 45,000 employees of the TSA and the NYPD’s more than 37,000 police officers to protect New York City.

Mandatory E-Verify has been proposed but never approved. However, even with mandatory E-Verify, without ICE agents to conduct field investigation, unscrupulous employers could simply successfully hire their illegal workforce “off the books.”

As Americans we all share common goals. We must emphasize those common goals in discussions with our fellow Americans to combat the “divide and conquer” strategies of the globalists of both parties.

All Americans, irrespective of superficial factors such as race, religion, or ethnicity, want our military to keep our enemies as far from our shores as possible, our police to keep our communities safe, and our schools to effectively educate our children so that any child willing to study hard, work hard, and benefit from a bit of luck can write the next success story.

Many decent and compassionate Americans have been conned into believing that those who support secure borders and effective but fair immigration law enforcement are bigots, xenophobes, and racists when nothing could be further from the truth.

Our fellow Americans are not our adversaries but our allies, if we can win them over. The truth, the facts, laws, commonsense, and morality are all on our side.

Effective but fair immigration law enforcement is essential for all of those goals noted above.

Let the fact-based discussions begin!

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images originally appeared on NewsMax. It is republished with permission. The featured image is by Capri23auto on Pixabay.

WARNING: CBD is everywhere, but scientists still don’t know much about it

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of roughly 100 chemicals contained in marijuana called cannabinoids, meaning they are unique to the cannabis plant (which contains several hundred more chemicals in addition to cannabinoids). Unlike THC, the psychoactive marijuana component primarily responsible for producing the “high,” CBD is not psychoactive.

Manufacturers tout CBD as a magic bullet that cures or relieves symptoms of a multitude of diseases and conditions and as a “wellness” product that improves health. Hundreds of CBD products — oils, salves, sprays, tinctures, even gummies – are available. But little science supports CBD’s medical claims.

“It is a kind of a new snake oil in the sense that there are a lot of claims and not so much evidence,” says Dustin Lee, an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University. He is planning a clinical trial to see if CBD can help smokers quit.

Last summer. the FDA approved Epidiolex, the only form of pharmaceutical CBD that has met FDA standards of safety and efficacy, to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. Because CBD is a drug, it cannot be sold in food or drinks, and several states and cities have ordered restaurants to stop adding it to “lattes, smoothies, muffins, and other foods.”

That hasn’t stopped producers from selling CBD gummies, lollipops, and peanut butter, however. Google “CBD,” click on “Images,” and scroll sideways to “edibles” to see the wide array of commercial food products available.

Dr. Yasmin Hurd, who directs the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai and is professor at the Icahn School of Medicine, has studied CBD extensively. She says there is potential for CBD to reduce heroin cravings in those recovering from addiction. But “let’s do the research,” she says. “It’s crazy that this substance is being consumed by everybody, yet we still don’t know the mechanism of action.”

Dr. Lee adds that procuring high quality, uncontaminated CBD for research remains a daunting task. “It might be available at the local 7-11 in Pennsylvania, but any product you get on the market is not federally regulated by the FDA, so the purity and safety and quality are questionable.”

A recent study of CBD products ordered online found that nearly 70 percent were inaccurately labeled and contained either higher or lower amounts of CBD than indicated on the label.

Says Dr. Hurd, “People are making it out to be a nirvana kind of drug, and that’s a problem. One compound cannot cure everything.”

Read the New York Times article here.

Limited access marijuana laws for medical use

Here is a table compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Network for Public Health Law that lists the states that have legalized limited access to CBD oils and the amounts of THC they permit them to contain.

CBD can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp. Hemp is the marijuana plant but contains only a minute amount of THC (0.3% — three-tenths of one percent). Any amount of THC over 0.3% is marijuana.

Access Table here.

EDITORS NOTE: The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Visit National Families in Action’s website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation. Subscribe to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter. The featured images is courtesy of Marijuana Break.

The Income Tax: Still the Root of All Evil

February 25 is a momentous day in American history. It is the day in 1913 the 16th Amendment took effect.

February 25 is a momentous day in American history. It is the day in 1913 the 16th Amendment, authorizing a federal income tax, took effect with the certification of Secretary of State Philander C. Knox.

Because of the crucial effects the income tax has had on America, one would hope that there would be some serious discussion of it in the media. But that hope is routinely disappointed.

But serious consideration of the effects of the income tax has occurred. For example, in his 1954 book, The Income Tax: Root of All Evil, Frank Chodorov showed how the abrogation of citizens’ property rights by the income tax leads to the expansion of government far beyond reason and corrupts Americans and America’s experiment in liberty in the process. And because Chodorov’s analysis brings us back to first principles, it is worth remembering his understanding of the Constitutional revolution it caused.

“A government is as strong as its income. Contrariwise, the independence of the people is in direct proportion to the amount of their wealth they can enjoy. We cannot restore traditional American freedom unless we limit the government’s power to tax.”

“Trace this wholesale infringement of our rights to the power acquired by the federal government in 1913 to tax our incomes—the Sixteenth Amendment…where the doctrine of natural rights has been all but abrogated in fact, if not in theory.”

“Getting something-for-nothing from government… this trade is often made, and… government is able to enter into it because of its income-tax revenues.”

“The government says to the citizen: ‘Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself is for us to decide.'”

“The right of decision as to the disposition of your property rests in the government by virtue of the Sixteenth Amendment…it gives the government a prior lien on all the property produced by its subjects.”

“When the Sixteenth Amendment became part of the Constitution, the American political order, which rested on the axiom of inalienable rights, underwent a major operation.”

“The Constitution of 1789 barred the income tax. The Founding Fathers could not have put it in, even if they had a mind to, and there is no evidence that they had… They had come by freedom the hard way and they meant to hold on to it.”

“A people who remonstrated so vigorously over a measly tea tax could hardly have understood the idea of letting their pockets be picked. The suggestion would have sounded preposterous.”

“In the important matter of taxation, the Constitution quite definitely granted the new government very limited powers: import tariffs and excise taxes… As a consequence, it was a weak government, in the sense that it could not become bothersome; and the freedom of the people made them strong, so that wealth multiplied and the country flourished.”

“On the whole, previous to the Civil War the government of the United States confined itself to the business for which it was created, that of protecting people in the enjoyment of their God-given rights. It should not be forgotten that the Founding Fathers, agreeing with John Locke… thought of government principally as an instrument for safeguarding private property; and that was considered the prime business of the United States government until 1860. The dictum that “all men are created free and equal” held in the matter of taxes… No one, and no group, could be singled out by the government for special spoliation.”

“[The Sixteenth Amendment] was a revolution… every activity of government turned Santa Claus by the income tax.”

“Thus, the immunities of property, body and mind have been undermined by the Sixteenth Amendment. The freedoms won by Americans in 1776 were lost in the revolution of 1913.”

“The Sixteenth Amendment changed our country economically, politically, and morally… the Sixteenth Amendment has widened the area of government power, and as a consequence has reduced the area of liberty.”

“The Internal Revenue Bureau quite sensibly takes the view that every one of us is a potential lawbreaker, as far as the income-tax law is concerned… It has a war against society on its hands, and to win that war it must make use of the artifices of war, such as espionage, deception, and force… If this setting produces corruption, we must look to the law, not to the human beings involved, for cause.”

“Corruption… is simply the inevitable consequence incident to the operation of an immoral law. Of far greater concern is the use of income taxation to undermine the principles of republican government and to make a mockery of our tradition of freedom.”

“The income tax, by transferring the property of earners to the State, has disintegrated the moral fiber of Americans to such a degree that they do not even recognize the fact.”

“The income tax, by attacking the dignity of the individual at the very base, has led to the practice of perjury, fraud, deception, and bribery.”

“With the advent of income taxation, socialism was unavoidable…The more power the government exercises the less freedom will the people enjoy.”

“From the very beginning of the Union it has been customary for Congressmen to try to wangle out of the federal government some special privilege for their more influential supporters, or some appropriation of federal funds for spending in their states… However, before 1913…[but] The manna that fell from Washington was hardly enough to buy up the independence of the states or the votes of their citizens. No candidate for Congress could offer his constituents gifts paid for by the citizens of other states.”

“The ink was hardly dry on the Sixteenth Amendment before the heretofore picayune federal patronage began to blossom… The laws multiplied and the appropriations grew bigger… buying votes with political favors.”

“However, this weakness of democracy is only as dangerous as the amount of the citizens’ wealth the government has at its disposal. Before 1913 the American government was comparatively poor and political jobbery was correspondingly limited in scope. When the government acquired this power of confiscating the national wealth, the corruption was limited only by the amount that expediency would permit it to confiscate.”

“This centralization of power, which the Founding Fathers feared and sought to prevent by constitutional safeguards, is made possible only by income taxation… the atomic bomb that has virtually destroyed the Union.”

“Somehow, a Mississippian sees no immorality in forcing a Pennsylvanian to support his local economy…[but] the immediate beneficiary of federal grants to local projects is the politician who solicits it, and the ultimate beneficiary is the federal bureaucracy. Everybody else pays.”

“The American Revolution was unique in history… because it made possible the establishment of a government based on a new and untried principle, namely, that the government has no power except what the governed have granted it. That was a shift in power that had never occurred before.”

“A new American revolution was initiated in 1913, when the government was invested with the power to confiscate private property… that this power over the economy of the country put into the hands of the American government a means of liquidating the sovereignty of the citizenry.”

“As a result of income taxation, we now have a government with far more power than George III ever exercised… an inevitable consequence of income taxation. The citizen is sovereign only when he can retain and enjoy the fruits of his labor. If the government has first claim on his property he must learn to genuflect before it. When the right of property is abrogated, all the other rights of the individual are undermined, and to speak of the sovereign citizen who has no absolute right of property is to talk nonsense. It is like saying that the slave is free because he is allowed to do anything he wants to do except to own what he produces.”

Those who want others’ money for their purposes meet such complaints with the argument that “taxes are the price we pay for civilized society.” But as Frank Chodorov knew, Oliver Wendell Holmes said that over a century ago, before the income tax could dramatically increase citizens’ burdens, and give us less civilization in exchange.

Certainly, no tax on incomes got into the Constitution. That was unthinkable. A people that had but recently kicked over the traces because of taxes far less onerous would hardly have countenanced an income tax. They knew their freedom.

The general welfare is not improved by the increasing load of taxation. On the contrary, the upward climb of civilization is retarded in exact proportion to the levies.

COLUMN BY

Gary M. Galles

Gary M. Galles

Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. His recent books include Faulty Premises, Faulty Policies (2014) and Apostle of Peace (2013). He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column with images is republished with permission.

Behold, A Green Horse

“Behold, a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.”Revelation 6:8

The original New Deal (1933-’36) was a series of programs, public works projects, financial reforms and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, designed to rescue the U.S. from the Great Depression.  The artfully-name Green New Deal, proposed by Democrat-socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), is a series of drastic changes designed to divert the US from the path of improvement and greatness set by President Donald J. Trump, and propagate Obama’s disastrous and divisive policies.  

President Trump’s focus on energy has been removing the Obama era’s burdensome energy regulations so that we are now experiencing an unprecedented boom in domestic oil production and energy independence.  We are exporting more oil than importing for the first time in 75 years.   Trump has been so successful, in fact, that Obama has tried to assume the credit in the hope of salvaging his eight years of failure.  The unscientific, childish Ocasio-Cortez endorses the climate change hoax, blaming every winter storm and summer hot spell on corporate America and on cattle with normal gastrointestinal activity.  As clearly clarified by Paul Driessen on cfact, “AOC wants to lead the world in economic suicide, environmental degradation, plummeting living standards, shorter life spans and societal upheaval.“

Her desire to raze, rebuild, and refurbish every building with, allegedly, non-polluting solar or wind-power equipment, would create an insurmountable debt.  Considering the revelation that she is supported by anti-American, globalist and Nazi-sympathizer, George Soros, it may be that she hopes to erase all remnants of our national history, a common aspiration for every tyrannical regime that has not the ability to improve on what others have achieved.  Alexandra has described herself in divisive intersectional terms, as a Puerto Rican descendant of African slaves, Indigenous people, and Spanish colonizers.  She does not call herself an American and seems to have no affinity for the welfare of our country and our fellow-Americans.

It is not uncommon for a conquering power to burn (or replace) books and destroy historic sites and monuments, and to erase their essential cultural knowledge and evidence of existence.  Today we have leftist instructors who have stopped teaching America’s history and Antifa groups and students tearing down our memorial statues, recalling the disposal of artifacts under the Temple Mount, the ruination of the Buddhas of Bamyan, and the damage done to Christopher Columbus images. Every edifice has an architectural style and history that, serving as a memorial to the earlier generations and an inspiration to succeeding ones, we have the duty to protect.  But under the ruse of energy replacement, O-C would demolish all and replace with communist-style, regulated, mean living quarters – if, indeed, she would rebuild anything at all. 

Her plan could well be more sinister. 

Her program calls for the complete cessation of all methods of transportation that rely on fossil fuels, leaving many millions of people jobless in manufacture, warehousing, sales, and product shipments, thereby returning us to the backwardness of previous centuries.  Without air travel, international business becomes virtually impossible.  Without shipping, we could not manufacture or trade with the world.  Without trucks, we would have few internal shipments, including food stuffs.  Without cars, our ability to travel within our own country would come to a standstill, save bicycles, among the most vulnerable in road accidents in China.  O-C proposes a high-speed rail, such as the disastrous Fast Train project in California, where the cost overruns are becoming world-record setting – hair-brained or intentionally meant for financial collapse.

Following O-C’s destruction of cattle, junior Senator Cory Booker (D) would impose his vegan food choices on the rest of the country.  Therefore, in addition to losing cows (beef, milk and all dairy products, and foods that require those ingredients), he opposes chicken and eggs with a misplaced sense of morality, since he clearly does not consider the health and welfare of his fellow citizens.  Neither is he concerned about the inevitable burgeoning prices for other foods that must replace what had been our necessities.  

With O-C’s destruction of the transportation, beef and dairy industries, and Booker’s destruction of the poultry industry, and the various feeds grown for their animals, the number of unemployed would reach an insuperable level.  The burden of feeding the populace would fall on low-wage, labor-intensive grain, vegetable and fruit growers, and be subject to the variations of climate and weather. 

Despite our current all-time low employment achieved under Trump, the better educated, highly skilled might not be employable if O-C’s madness were implemented.  She assures that everyone would be an employee of the government, as pharaoh’s monarchy employed its slave labor.   O-C’s proposed 70- to 90-percent tax rate might also be reasoned as the citizens’ paying themselves.  Our country would become a Welfare State.  

Elizabeth Harrington, in The Washington Free Beacon, assures us that each federal (or monarchial) job comes with:

  • a salary (befitting what lifestyle?)
  • paid vacation (to go where and how?)
  • retirement benefits (at what age, amount, and nature and extent of services?)
  • adequate housing for all (surely not the equal of the elites’ mansions), and
  • access to nature (the land overrun with wild fruit, weeds and garbage, now a food source in Venezuela, and queueing up to obtain necessities with the hope that there will be enough for those strong enough to endure the wait.  Bernie Sanders thinks bread lines are a good thing.)
  • healthy food (barely adequate or generous?  Without the master’s obligation to feed the worker, we would be heading toward the starvation of Stalin’s peasants, or Hitler’s untermenschen, or Pol Pot’s agrarian workforce.)

Again displaying her intersectionality biases, in case life is not Utopian, her plan calls for “reparations for all but white men.”

A review of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) indicates that Russians rate their housing at 4.8, compared to the US at 8.7; their income at 0.9, compared to the US at 10.0; and their life satisfaction at 4.2, compared to the US at 7.8.  I cannot help but wonder, with some trepidation, where O-C’s Green New Deal would place us.

Roosevelt’s Works Projects Administration (WPA) employed millions of unskilled people for construction of public buildings and roads – a storm of great activity and inventiveness.  By grim contrast, O-C’s administration would engage low and unskilled laborers to systematically raze our architectural achievements – edifices designed with the charm of Baroque, Colonial, Neoclassical styles, and more – and replace them with a depressing energy-efficient sameness in every town and city.  The streets would have to be an unimaginable grid of steel tracks to support the massive public transportation system, and a blight of charging stations everywhere for State-approved electric vehicles.

As a set design of the bleakest futuristic Science Fiction films spring to mind, we are being herded to the ever-closer socialist dream of a controlled society, where individual choice is disallowed by the State, and our lives lead unwaveringly to a predetermined destination. 

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by christels on Pixabay.

Trump Draining the Economic Swamp

If you go back in time and look at the footage of citizen Trump, you will find that Donald Trump has been on point from day one. From the Oprah interview to the NY supreme court as an expert witness during the S&L crisis and everything in between. As stated by Q, America needed to be resurrected. Our Constitutional Republic needed to be restored. Back in 2014, the plan was set and the rest is history. Trump has come aboard to restore the power to the people as intended by our founding documents. And so, along with many other areas being addressed, draining the economic swamp has now begun.

The global financial reset is underway, albeit mostly behind the scenes. The market meltdown may now have been delayed ensuring a Trump victory in 2020 as Trump now is controlling the Fed. Dangers and opportunities through this reset are evident and I will post on this over the months and short years ahead.

The existing controlled and rigged debt based economic and monetary model is being disassembled. You cannot MAGA without controlling your currency. Trump is now going for the jugular and he, (we), will win once again. Let the force be with you sir.

Now I get it, many say this cannot and will not happen and I for one completely disagree. We have been programmed to believe this. And I too, was in that camp, pre-Trump. Well, my friends it’s a new day dawning. The great awakening is upon us as is the light of God. We are winning and draining the economic swamp will soon be (perhaps within a couple of short years), another item to be filed here, in promises kept.

No Longer

The old model of which Trump and company has begun to seize control, will soon be taken out. No longer will there be a debt based monetary system. Sound money will be restored. No longer will the bankers fund both sides of endless manufactured wars, reaping the profits and the harvest. No longer will our constitution and bill of rights be shredded. No longer will we the people be controlled by debt, debt slaves. Face it. We are debt slaves. No longer will we be taxed on our income. No longer will a private for profit banking cartel control our currency as this is in fact a violation of our constitution. Yes, President Trump will lead us back to sound money. Gold may become the de facto currency, so watch gold (and silver) as Trump restores in due time , sound money and crushes the power of the central banks. No more digital fiat. Over the many months to come, the President will expose the Fed and the central bank debt based monetary system. Watch. You will see. This will take some years, but this too will soon come to light. Now it may be confusing along the way. There will be many mixed signals and signs day by day along the way. So stay truly informed. In order to do this you must change the channeland build an arsenal of truth news versus fake news. Americans are  starving for truth. Seek and ye shall find. This will restore your faith, hope and trust. This will help raise your tone level from apathy, anger, fear etc., to perhaps becoming an informed, empowered and engaged and active citizen. If nothing else, you will at least feel better.

In Closing

I will keep this post short and sweet as this is a subject that is rather complex as Trump takes on the Federal Reserve, IMF and the Central Banking Rothschild dynasty. I will be posting content along the way to play my part in keeping us informed. Put on your seat belts. Be prepared. And get some popcorn and enjoy the show! Visit these supportive and insightful links below. Stay the course. Trust the plan. Pray for and support our President.

Q Plan to Save the World

Q We are the Plan

Q From Dark to Light

Video: Global Reset I

Video: Global Reset II

Global Financial Reset

Weekly Address: Draining the Economic Swamp

EDITORS NOTE: This John Michael Chambers column with images is republished with permission.

“Restaurant Recession” Hits NYC Following $15 Minimum Wage

This will be a rough year for full-service NYC restaurants as they try to navigate a future with significant economic headwinds and significantly higher labor costs from the city’s $15 an hour minimum wage.

An article in the New York Eater (“Restaurateurs Are Scrambling to Cut Service and Raise Prices After Minimum Wage Hike“) highlights some of the suffering New York City’s full-service restaurants are experiencing following the December 31, 2018 hike in the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, which is 15.4% higher than the $13 minimum wage a year earlier and 36.4% higher than the $11 an hour two years ago. For example, Rosa Mexicana operates four restaurants in Manhattan and estimates the $15 mandated wage will increase their labor costs by $600,000 this year. Here’s a slice:

Now, across the city, restaurant owners and operators are reworking their budgets and operations to come up with those extra funds. Some restaurants, like Rosa Mexicano, are changing scheduling. Other restaurateurs are cutting hours and staffers, raising menu prices, and otherwise nixing costs wherever they can.

And though the new regulations are intended to benefit employees, some restaurateurs and staffers say that take home pay ends up being less due to fewer hours — or that employees face more work because there are fewer staffers per shift. “The bottom line is, we have to reduce the number of hours we spend,” says Chris Westcott, Rosa Mexicano’s president and CEO. “And unfortunately that means that, in many cases, employees are earning less even though they’re making more.”

In a survey conducted by New York City Hospitality Alliance late last year, about 75% of the more than 300 respondents operating full-service restaurants reported they’ll reduce employee hours this year because of the new wage increases, while 47% said they’ll eliminate jobs in 2019.

Note also that the survey also reported that “76.50% of respondents report reducing employee hours and 36.30% eliminated jobs in 2018 in response to mandated wage increases.” Those staff reductions are showing up in the NYC full-service restaurant employee series from the BLS, see chart above. December 2018 restaurant jobs were down by almost 3,000 (and by 1.64%) from the previous December, and the 2.5% annual decline in March 2018 was the worst annual decline since the sharp collapse in restaurant jobs following 9/11 in 2001.

As the chart shows, it usually takes an economic recession to cause year-over-year job losses at NYC’s full-service restaurants, so it’s likely that this is a “restaurant recession” tied to the annual series of minimum wage hikes that brought the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour at the end of last year. And the NYC restaurant recession is happening even as the national economy hums along in the 117th month of the second-longest economic expansion in history and just short of the 120-month record expansion from March 1991 to March 2001.

Here’s more of the article:

“There’s a lot of concern and anxiety happening within the city’s restaurant industry,” says Andrew Rigie, executive director of the restaurant advocacy group. Most restaurant owners want to pay employees more, he says, but are challenged by “the financial realities of running a restaurant in New York City.” Merelyn Bucio, a server at a restaurant in Soho that she declined to name, says her hours were cut and her workload increased when wage rates rose. Server assistants and bussers now work fewer shifts, so she and other servers take on side work like polishing silverware and glasses. “We have large sections, and there are large groups, so it’s more difficult,” she says. “You need your server assistant in order to give guests a better experience.”

At Lalito, a small restaurant in Chinatown, they used to roster two servers on the floor, but post wage increases, there’s only one, who is armed with a handheld POS (point of sale) system, according to co-owner Mateusz Lilpop. Having fewer people working was the only way for him to reduce costs, he says. Since the hike, labor costs at Lalito have risen about 10 percent — from 30 to 35 percent to 40 to 45 percent of sales, he says.

These changes get passed onto the diner, some restaurateurs argue. Service can suffer due to fewer people on the floor, or more and more restaurateurs will explore the fast-casual format over full-service ones. Some restaurants are also raising prices for customers. According to the NYC Hospitality Alliance’s survey, close to 90 percent of respondents expect to raise menu prices this year. Lalito’s menu prices have increased by 10 to 15 percent. Lilpop says, and it’s not just the cost of paying his staff driving prices up — it’s a ripple effect from New York-based food purveyors’ own labor cost increases.

“If you have a farmer that has employees that are picking fruit, he has to increase his labor costs, which means he has to increase his fruit prices,” Lilpop says. “I have to buy that fruit from him at a higher rate, and it goes down the chain.”

A few economic lessons here.

  1. A reduction in restaurant staffing that results in a decline in customer service (e.g., longer wait times, less attentive wait staff, etc.) is equivalent to a price increase for customers.
  2. The increases in the city minimum wage to $15 an hour, in addition to directly increasing labor costs for restaurants, also affects the labor costs of companies that supply food, liquor, restaurant supplies, menus, etc. and causes a ripple effect of indirect higher operational costs throughout the entire restaurant supply chain as described above.
  3. Even for workers who keep their jobs, a higher minimum wage per hour doesn’t necessarily translate into higher weekly earnings, if the reduction in hours is greater than the increase in hourly wages. For example, 40 hours per week at $13 an hour generates higher weekly pre-tax earnings ($520) than 33 hours per week at the higher $15 an hour ($495).

Prediction: This will be a rough year for full-service NYC restaurants as they try to navigate a future with significant economic headwinds and significantly higher labor costs from the city’s $15 an hour minimum wage.

This article was reprinted from the American Enterprise Institute.

COLUMN BY

Mark J. Perry

Mark J. Perry

Mark J. Perry is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column with images is republished with permission. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Obama EPA Regulations Blamed for Closure of 100-Year-Old Coal Plant

A coal-fired power plan that’s operated for more than 100 years is shutting down, and its owners say Obama-era regulations are to blame.

Alabama Power’s Plant Gorgas will officially close in April. It’s only the latest coal industry casualty, driven by Environmental Protection Agency regulations and market forces.

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“We recognize that Plant Gorgas and the men and women who have operated it have brought great value to Alabama Power, our customers and the local community,” Jim Heilbron, Alabama Power’s senior vice president, said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“We are also concerned that more regulations are on the horizon that could require additional, costly expenditures at the plant,” Heilbron said.

Heilbron said federal regulations for handling coal ash and wastewater made it too costly to continue operating Plant Gorgas. Those regulations were put in place under the Obama administration.

Coal plant retirements spiked during former President Barack Obama’s time in office as his administration put in place costly regulations amid a boom in natural gas production. Low natural gas prices have persisted, putting more pressure on coal plants facing high compliance costs.

Obama-era regulations for wastewater, for example, were estimated to cost coal operators $2.5 billion a year, though utilities said EPA vastly underestimated compliance costs.

The Trump administration put the wastewater rule under review in 2017, but nothing seems to have happened since. Trump’s EPA put the rule under review in response to a petition from utilities.

Alabama Power estimates it would cost $300 million to comply with federal environmental regulations and keep its three remaining coal-fired generators running. Plant Gorgas has been in operation since 1917.

The company said closing down Plant Gorgas would not impact reliability, and that federal regulations are forcing them to take a hard look at their power portfolio.

“Alabama Power is focused on providing our customers reliable, affordable electricity while protecting the environment we all share,” Heilbron said.

The effects of Plant Gorgas’ closure will likely ripple upstream to its suppliers. More than half of U.S. coal mines have closed since 2008 as coal plants close their doors and suppress demand.

COLUMN BY

Mike Bastasch

Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @MikeBastasch.

RELATED ARTICLE: Mueller’s ‘Foreign Agent’ Prosecutions May Lead to Probes of Green Groups

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Barr and Mueller Eradicating Our Fourth Amendment Rights

“No system of mass surveillance has existed in any society that we know of to this point that has not been abused.” – Edward Snowden

“Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed.” – Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo

“Entire populations, rather than just individuals, now live under constant surveillance. It’s no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing. It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love.” – Edward Snowden

The last thing we need is another swamp creature, but it appears that is what we’re getting with our new Attorney General (AG).  Bill Barr is a DC insider who praised Comey, Rosenstein and Mueller during his confirmation hearings — how is President Trump going to drain the swamp if Mueller’s best friend is running the DOJ?  Barr and Mueller worked together when Barr was Bush’s attorney general from 1991 to 1993 and Mueller oversaw the department’s criminal division.

During William Barr’s confirmation hearings, Senator Lindsey Graham asked the nominee several questions.  Barr said he didn’t think Robert Mueller was on a witch hunt, and thought he’d be fair to the country as a whole.  He also said he had no reason to stop Mueller’s investigation or terminate it for cause.  Barr told Senator Graham that he was committed to allowing Robert Mueller to finish his job, and that he has a very high opinion of Deputy AG (DAG) Rod Rosenstein.  Link

Barr has now asked Rod Rosenstein to stay on for a while, and he has said he would.  How special.  Fired former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and two other people who have testified to Congress, claim Mr. Rosenstein repeatedly offered to wear a wire when meeting with Mr. Trump.  McCabe also stated that he and other officials, including DAG Rosenstein, did headcounts of which cabinet officials might vote to declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” under the 25th Amendment.  Rosenstein never actually denied McCabe’s claims.

The very suspicion of impropriety should be reason for Rosenstein’s termination. 

Barr and Second Amendment

William Barr served as the 77th United States Attorney General from 1991 to 1993 during the first Bush administration.  He is also a past employee of the CIA. The Bushes represent the establishment globalists in their party and rather than vote for their party’s nominee in 2016, they voted for Hillary Clinton. 

As I stated in a previous article, William Barr exhibited anti-Second Amendment policies in his 1991 confirmation hearings.  Both Gun Owners of America and Dr. John Lott, President of the Crime Research Prevention Center, shared similar sentiments of worry with Barr’s past confirmation statements.

Video here: 

Asset Forfeiture

It is also disturbing that Barr has been a big fan of taking people’s property through civil asset forfeiture without a conviction. Many poor people in our country have cash taken from them and then the government says, “Prove to us where you got the cash and then you can get it back,” the burden is on the individual. Civil Asset Forfeiture is a terrible thing and William Barr is a big fan.

Government Theft of Promis Software

In October 1991, Barr appointed then retired Democratic Chicago judge Nicholas Bua as special counsel in the Inslaw scandal. Few people understand the full ramifications of Promis software, and the undetectable spying apparatus placed in foreign computers. In 1989, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks, D-TX, launched a three-year investigation into the Inslaw affair. In the resulting report, the Committee suggested that among others, Edwin Meese, while presidential counselor and later as attorney general, and Democrat D. Lowell Jensen a former assistant and deputy attorney general and former US district judge in San Francisco, conspired to steal PROMIS software from Bill Hamilton’s company, Inslaw.

Bua’s 1993 report found the DOJ of no wrong doing in the matter, despite a 12-year lawsuit by Inslaw, regarding the government theft of their software.  One journalist, Danny Casolaro, died as he attempted to tell the story and boxes of documents relating to the case were destroyed, stolen, or conveniently “lost” by the DOJ. Software piracy, conspiracy, cover-up, stonewalling, covert action…just another decade at the corrupt DOJ.

Ruby Ridge

Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for AG nominee William Barr focused heavily on Barr’s views on Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But nobody asked about Barr’s legal crusade for blanket immunity for federal agents who killed American citizens.

Barr was responsible for both the U.S. Marshals Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, two federal agencies whose misconduct at Ruby Ridge “helped to weaken the bond of trust that must exist between ordinary Americans and our law enforcement agencies,” according to a 1995 Senate Judiciary Committee report.

The family had come under federal siege because of Randy’s refusal to become an informant within the Aryan Nation white supremacist group. Randy had been manipulated by an ATF undercover operative named Kenneth Fadeley into selling a shotgun with a sawed-off barrel. Eight months after that transaction, two of Fadeley’s comrades in that detestable organization demanded that Randy become an informant, threatening his home and family if he didn’t cooperate.  Ruby Ridge was considered a kill zone.

In a questionnaire by the Judicial Committee, Barr was asked to disclose his past work including pro bono activities “serving the disadvantaged.” The “disadvantaged” that Barr spent the most time helping was FBI agent Lon Horiuchi who slayed an Idaho mother holding her baby in 1992.  Barr spent two weeks organizing former Attorneys General and others to support “an FBI sniper in defending against criminal charges in connection with the Ruby Ridge incident.” Barr also “assisted in framing legal arguments advanced… in the district court and the subsequent appeal to the Ninth Circuit,” he told the committee.

U.S. marshals trespassed on Weaver’s land and killed his 14-year-old son, Sammy, and his dog. The following day, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi killed his wife, Vicki, as she was standing in the cabin doorway holding her 10-month-old baby. Horiuchi had previously shot Randy Weaver in the back after he stepped out of the cabin to collect the body of his son. The suspects were never given a warning or a chance to surrender and had taken no action against FBI agents. Weaver survived.

In August of 1995, the Justice Department paid $3.1 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit from the Weaver family.  In 1998, they paid Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt $4.5 million for a 26-year false imprisonment and false testimony against him by an FBI informant.

Government Surveillance

The fourth amendment originally enforced the idea that each man’s home is his castle, secure from unreasonable search and seizure by the government.  The Patriot Act was the destruction of American citizen privacy.  Both Mueller and Barr are big brothers who love the “all-seeing eye.”

While serving as attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush in 1992, Barr directed the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to collect bulk phone data on millions of people, most of whom weren’t even suspected of a crime. This program laid the groundwork for the National Security Agency’s phone record collection authorized by the Patriot Act a decade later, a misnomer if there ever was one. Barr continued to be a cheerleader for warrantless surveillance even after the PATRIOT Act’s passage. During congressional testimony in 2003, he called the bill a “major step forward.”

He went on to say that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law that authorizes foreign surveillance and has been abused to surveil, “remains too restrictive” because it “still requires that the government establish probable cause that an individual is either a ‘foreign power’ or an ‘agent of a foreign power.’” In other words, Barr objects to the idea that the government should need a warrant before it can spy on citizens.  Link

Surveillance and the Patriot Act

The Patriot Act permits FBI agents to write their own search warrants for business records, and it has been used to induce the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to issue warrants on a made-up basis to read emails and listen to telephone calls in real time. The members of Congress who voted for it were largely unaware of the liberties they were sacrificing.  None of them ever read it.

Both the Patriot Act and the USA Freedom Act unconstitutionally do away with the probable cause requirement for warrants. Those two laws permit the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to issue warrants based on the standard of “governmental needs” rather than probable cause. This is a profoundly unconstitutional standard, and one that has resulted in spying on all people all the time.

The Patriot Act vastly expanded the surveillance potential of the FBI, the CIA and the NSA among other intelligence agencies.  The US government contracted with Acxiom, Lockheed, Booz Allen Hamilton and many others to build new mass surveillance programs.  One program was called Total Information Awareness (TIA), which was an operation where the FBI and other agencies would build profiles, like Acxiom’s, on millions of law-abiding Americans.  Link

Mr. Barr strongly supports the Patriot Act which violates every American’s fourth amendment right to privacy.  The Constitution provides us with more protection and safety than the surveillance state ever will.

An NSA Whistle-Blower tells all in this video to filmmaker Laura Poitras.  She profiled William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.

Following the June 2013 leak of documents detailing the NSA practice of collecting telephone metadata on millions of Americans’ telephone calls, former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper was accused of perjury for telling a congressional committee hearing that the NSA does not collect any type of data on millions of Americans.  He escaped prosecution because the five-year Statute of Limitations ran out.

Birds of a Feather

Barr and Mueller are birds of a feather.  Mueller has claimed one case to validate spying on all of America.  It was a Supreme Court case and the tracing of a single phone call to a single robber.  Thus, the Supreme Court held that phone metadata is not protected by the fourth amendment.  Mueller has repeatedly used this.  The case is Smith v. Maryland, which held that people did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the numbers they call, because they willingly give up those numbers to the company to connect their call.

And so, because the Supreme Court approved the collection of one robber’s phone records in 1979, Mueller insists it meant it was reasonable for FBI and NSA to collect and aggregate the phone records for every American today and forever. Link

Mueller implicitly argues that the perpetual and ubiquitous data collection of the digital and telephonic communications of law-abiding Americans is constitutional.  For thorough documentation of same, see Louisiana State Senator John Milkovich’s book, Robert Mueller, Errand Boy for the New World Order.

Conclusion

Rand Paul opposed the confirmation of William Barr.  He said, He’s been the chief advocate for warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens. I think that the Fourth Amendment should protect your phone calls and your bank information. People shouldn’t be allowed to look at it without a warrant.”  Perhaps this one Senator knows an inside player when he sees one.

Surely, we’ve all heard foolish folks say, “Well, I have nothing to hide, I’m not a terrorist.”  Edward Snowden said, “Arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”

Americans do not understand freedom or the Fourth Amendment of our unalienable Bill of Rights.  The Jews of Europe had nothing to hide either, but it didn’t stop the Gestapo, and neither did it stop the East German Stasi.  The NSA’s algorithms and extensive databases make it far more effective than the Stasi ever dreamed of being.

S139 reauthorizes the FISA for six years through 2023 which governs electronic surveillance of foreign terrorism suspects.  The Senate passed it on January 18, 2018 by a vote of 65 to 34.  Although put in place to gather intel on foreign targets, it has been used to spy on U.S. citizens.  The bill provides provisions to protect the privacy of American citizens, but given the track record of intel agencies, it is unlikely they will follow these rules.  Will our new AG make sure they do?

Attorney Joe DiGenova believes William Barr is going to be the catalyst who will clean out the filth from the DOJ.  I hope he is right, and I am wrong. P.S.  Remember during the Trump campaign how NewsWithViews articles had virus warnings appear when you opened them?  There was never a virus, it was an attempt by google to keep people from reading truth.  Now, Google has removed their ads from NewsWithViews because they don’t like the content of the articles.  Those ads help to pay for the cost of running the website.  They know that, and that’s why they’ve pulled their ads.  We need your help now more than ever.  Please tell your friends to sign up to receive the daily emails, and remember NewsWithViews when you pay your monthly bills. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Rod Rosenstein Out, William Barr In: Time To Investigate Deep State Plot Against Trump

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is from Pixabay.

Florida’s Universal Education Choice Moment

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that the state legislature intends to establish Equal Opportunity Scholarships designed to end the current waiting list on the tax credit scholarship program—a move the Republican chief executive supports.

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship—which provides scholarships to eligible children to attend a private school of choice, and which is financed through corporate donations—currently has a waitlist of an estimated 13,000 families.

As the Tampa Bay Times reported, DeSantis would like those waiting students to have an immediate school choice option.

“If the taxpayer is paying for education, it’s public education,” regardless of where the student attends, DeSantis said.

He also said:

We have parents who are lining up for a tax credit scholarship. They would not do that if the program was not succeeding. … The question for us now is, should we be satisfied there is a growing waitlist, or should we build off the successes?

He is indeed correct to want to build off the success of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and end the waitlist. And the announcement follows on the heels of DeSantis’ promise earlier this month to eliminate the waitlist on the state’s education savings account program, which provides those accounts to students with special needs to get a customized education.

DeSantis’ remarks underscore the need to safeguard education choice for those hoping to exercise it; namely, students on the waitlist across the Sunshine State.

Now Florida should take the next step, and make education choice universally available to every student in the state.

Florida policymakers—along with DeSantis and his newly appointed education commissioner, Richard Corcoran (another staunch supporter of school choice)—should establish universal education savings accounts available to all students in the state.

As the Fordham Institute’s Robert Pondiscio explained, Republicans control the governor’s office, the state Senate, and the state House—a “trifecta” bolstered by DeSantis’ appointment of three conservatives to the Florida Supreme Court, shifting the balance on the court from a liberal majority to a conservative-leaning court.

Although Pondiscio notes that some are wary of expanding choice too quickly, “[a]lmost without exception, every state official and school choice advocate I recently met in Florida believes the state will be the first to have ‘universal’ education savings accounts, opening private-school choice options to all who seek them,” he noted.

As Jason Bedrick of EdChoice and I recently explained, Florida’s tax credit scholarship program is benefiting some of the most disadvantaged students in the state, with participating families’ average household income being just 8.2 percent above the federal poverty line (at $25,362).

Participating students scored lower on standardized exams prior to entry into the program than their peers, yet performed up to the national average (and exceeded their demographic peers) after using a scholarship.

Moreover, on Feb. 4, the Urban Institute released an evaluation finding that tax credit scholarship students are more likely to go to college and graduate.

Those are likely a few of the reasons parents are highly satisfied with the school choice option. Ninety-two percent of parents are satisfied with the program, including 89 percent who reported being highly satisfied.

Notably, as we found in this study—currently, the largest survey ever conducted of school choice program participants—parents are seeking out things the public school system cannot or will not provide:

Parents place a high value on their child’s character development. When asked to list the top three factors that influenced their decision to have their child attend their chosen school, the only factors to be selected by a majority of scholarship parents were religious environment/instruction (66 percent) and morals/character/values instruction (52 percent).

These two highly influential factors were followed by a safe environment (36 percent), academic reputation (34 percent), and small classes (31 percent).

The least important factor was standardized test scores, which only 4 percent of parents listed as one of their top three factors.

Parents in Florida want expanded education choice options. There are high levels of satisfaction among families in the current programs, high demand for more options (as evidenced by the waitlist), and the opportunity to go bold.

More than 100,000 children currently attend a school of their choice, thanks to the tax credit scholarship program, and 13,000 remain on the waitlist.

If implemented, Equal Opportunity Scholarships would give immediate school choice access to those students.

Florida should also seize this critical moment in time, as Pondiscio explains, to go bold on school choice:

Now the political stars have aligned to allow Florida Republicans—if they choose—to push the school choice agenda even further.

With the election of Gov. Ron DeSantis, a victory credited by The Wall Street Journal to African-American ‘school choice moms’ voting to protect tax credit scholarships and charter schools, choice proponents are champing at the bit to push school choice into the middle class, even making Florida the first state in the nation with universal choice.

Florida should do just that, providing education savings accounts to every child in the Sunshine State. Such a move would maintain Florida’s status as a leader in education choice, and improve educational opportunity to all families.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Lindsey Burke

Lindsey Burke

Lindsey M. Burke researches and writes on federal and state education issues as the Will Skillman fellow in education policy at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research. Twitter: @lindseymburke.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

The Left Wants to Transform Our Election System. It’s a Recipe for 1-Party Rule.

Democrats intend to save “democracy” by putting themselves in charge of elections.

As absurd as that sounds, it really is a part of the inappropriately named “For the People Act of 2019,” or H.R. 1, moving through the House of Representatives.

The Heritage Foundation created a list of the law’s provisions, which you can read here. The Conservative Action Project also provided this quick rundown of the bill:

• Forces states to implement mandatory voter registration, removing civic participation as a voluntary choice, and increasing chances for error.

• Mandates that states allow all felons to vote.

• Forces states to extend periods of early voting, which has shown to have no effect on turnout.

• Mandates same-day voter registration, which encourages voter fraud.

• Limits the ability of states to cooperate to see who is registered in multiple states at the same time.

• Prohibits election observers from cooperating with election officials to file formal challenges to suspicious voter registrations.

• Criminalizes protected political speech by making it a crime to ‘discourage’ someone from voting.

• Bars states from making their own laws about voting by mail.

• Prohibits chief election officials in each state from participating in federal election campaigns.

• Mandates free mailing of absentee ballots.

• Mandates that states adopt new redistricting commissions.

The bill is more or less a grab bag of progressive priorities, much like the Green New Deal.

Like the misguided movement to abolish the Electoral College, H.R. 1, in the name of democracy, takes a blow torch to the concepts federalism and self-government enshrined in our Constitution.

As the above summary makes clear, H.R. 1 has numerous provisions that would undermine free speech rights, upend the way America conducts elections, encourage voter fraud, and turn election oversight into little more than a partisan weapon to bludgeon foes.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who seems to have positioned herself at the forefront of every piece of radical legislation coming out of the House, dismissed the idea that H.R. 1 is a “power grab” by Democrats.

She had to make an almost immediate correction after that tweet, as the legislation has not yet passed the House. Even if it did, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said it wouldn’t pass in the Senate, where Republicans hold a majority.

Ocasio-Cortez has a penchant for missteps, but she’s a good barometer for where the progressive base in America is.

In this bill, the left has shown it is willing to make a “naked attempt to change the rules of American politics to benefit one party,” as McConnell noted. But beyond that, H.R. 1 is most concerning for the devastating effect it would have on our federal republic.

National Review’s David French summed it up perfectly:

At its essence, the bill federalizes control over elections to an unprecedented scale, expands government power over political speech, mandates increased disclosures of private citizens’ personal information (down to name and address), places conditions on citizen contact with legislators that inhibits citizens’ freedom of expression, and then places enforcement of most of these measures in the hands of a revamped Federal Election Commission that is far more responsive to presidential influence.

Certainly, the effort to get around the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision through a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics is misguided and an assault on free speech. It is at odds with our right to free speech and, in the end, would mostly benefit insiders and incumbents who know how to play the Washington game of navigating arcane campaign finance laws.

Further, it would require donors to disclose their own private information in the name of “transparency.”

This is how democracy descends into mob rule. It’s why the Founders erected barriers to guard against a tyrannical majority. Given the way progressives brazenly attack and shame dissenters on college campuses—and increasingly in public life—it is all the more urgent that individual privacy rights be protected. Privacy is a cornerstone of liberty.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of H.R. 1 is what it would do to American election laws and how it would not just undermine, but bulldoze any semblance of federalism left in our political system.

H.R. 1 would stop state legislatures from drawing up their own congressional districts and would mandate independent commissions in their place.

As I’ve written in the past, getting rid of legislative redistricting, sometimes known as “gerrymandering,” is a “cure” worse than the disease. Redistricting will always be partisan, no matter who does it. Laws to prevent this would simply drive partisan redistricting underground, where it would be done in secret by an unelected, uncountable commission rather than openly by a legislature.

Again, even if this were good policy, it assumes that the federal government has the right to dictate how states run their elections. It would take away the right of the citizens of a state to make their own choices on these issues.

H.R. 1 contains other violations of federalism—and the Constitution—including mandates to restore voting rights to felons as soon as they are released from prison and stop states from finding and removing ineligible voters.

And it gets worse.

After nationalizing American election laws, H.R. 1 would put them all under the watchful eye of a “revamped” Federal Election Commission. This is perhaps the most brazenly partisan element of the bill.

The Federal Election Commission currently allows six members (though it currently only has four), with a requirement that four members sign on to any decision in order for it to pass. It has an even number of Republican and Democratic appointees—thus, it takes both parties to agree to prosecute a violation of federal law. This prevents the party in control of the White House from enforcing the law in a partisan fashion.

H.R. 1 would change that by making the commission a five-person body comprised of the president’s appointees, with the president’s party able to appoint three of the five. This would make the commission into a partisan body beholden to the president. 

Proponents say this would end the current “deadlock,” but in reality it would turn the commission into a partisan tool to be used by the president. It would be an egregious concentration of power, especially given the way the rest of the bill would nationalize American elections.

While the Framers weren’t unanimous about how much power states should have relative to the federal government, none would have thought it a good idea to give near-tyrannical power to an unelected body of five people, which is what H.R. 1 would essentially do.

The “For the People Act” really is little more than a progressive power grab intended to manipulate election rules to favor liberals, and it is an anti-democratic bill that would upend America’s electoral system.

As with the Green New Deal, it is a vehicle for introducing ideas that would fundamentally transform our republic into something we would not recognize at all.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor and commentary writer for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast.Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: @JarrettStepman

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash.

The Future is Now: Bitcoin Acceptance is Growing

Over the last couple of years, many folks have been lured to the cryptocurrency space expecting to hold or trade their way to riches. Despite the 2018 downtrend in markets, those who bought in pre-summer 2017 are likely still looking at some healthy profits.

Bitcoin wasn’t just created for speculation though. The clue is in the name – digital currency. That said, the process of turning some of your gains into usable money can be arduous. You first must bring your funds out of cold storage, get them to a Bitcoin exchange that allows fiat withdrawals, register your bank details, and wait for the withdrawal. It’s all a bit convoluted. Fortunately, you often don’t have to worry about any of that (or the harsh withdrawal and exchange fees that usually accompany it).

Just about any purchase you could possibly make can already be completed entirely using Bitcoin. From web services to outdoor gear, online entertainment to real estate, the future is already here. Hell, you can even buy that famous cup of coffee that many Bitcoin protesters are always banging on about. Let’s look at some of the options in more detail.

Online Purchases

There are loads of ways to spend your Bitcoin in a strictly online capacity. Any firm that supports credit or debit card transactions can technically accept the digital currency. It’s actually a lot simpler than making a legacy systems payment too. Just scan a QR code or copy a string of digits into your wallet and hit send. You don’t have to worry about personal data being stolen by hackers from the site either!

Here are some of the main online retailers accepting Bitcoin as a payment for goods and services:

  • Overstock.com – this online retailer sells mostly homewares, along with toys, sporting goods, jewellery, clothes, and gadgets. Their prices are pretty good too!
  • Shopify stores – merchants operating their own stores on e-commerce platform Shopify can opt to accept Bitcoin if they choose so. You’ll find an eclectic bunch of goods offered for the virtual currency there.
  • Subscription services – some massive names accept Bitcoin to pay for the subscriptions they offer. These include Microsoft, 4Chan, Reddit, Bloomberg, WordPress.com, NameCheap, and Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Travel services – when booking your next flight or hotel, check out some of these options to spend your Bitcoin in getting you from A to B. You can even get somewhere to rest up when you arrive: Expedia, airBaltic, AirTreks, and CheapAir.com. If you really want to splash the cash on the most exotic trip possible, head over to Virgin Galactic and check out their Bitcoin offerings.

Real-World Purchases

Real-world purchases with Bitcoin are a little trickier than their online counterparts, for now. That’s because when you want to have a quick bite to eat or even to pay for a home in person, you’re limited by your geographical location. Since many retailers haven’t begun to accept Bitcoin yet, finding one might be more trouble than it’s worth!

  • Real-estate – if you did really well from Bitcoin’s meteoric rise over the last five years, you could buy property with the virtual currency. All budgets are catered for too. There was the famous example of the massive Moscow mansion selling for Bitcoin. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, a man from Grimsby, UK, offered to sell his modest, terrace house for crypto last year. The US has also joined the trend, and if you are looking to buy a lake house in the state of Minnesota, you can pay for it with Bitcoin at some real estate agencies.
  • Bars, restaurants, and coffee shops – this one is a little bit location-dependent. However, if you live or are visiting one of the destinations on the growing list of Bitcoin-friendly cities, you’ll have loads of options to spend your gains. Berlin, Reykjavik, and Ljubljana are amongst the top spots for live Bitcoin purchases. The likes of KFC Canada have even had cryptocurrency promotions in the past. However, these were for a limited period only.
  • Entertainment – if you’re out in Vegas at a loose end, you can even pay for a spot of late-night activities using Bitcoin in the flesh. A strip club in Las Vegas has seen the advantages of a pseudonymous payment system early, and some of their exotic dancers come adorned with QR codes, so you can tip them directly using Bitcoin.
  • Charity – the Twin Cities, which are Minneapolis and Saint Paul, have long embraced cryptocurrencies with Bitcoin ATMs popping up regularly across the area. But, it’s not the only space the community is seeking to disrupt. Recently, Minnesota’s charity organizations have started accepting Bitcoin donations. The relevant authorities believe this will not only contribute to the public good, but also help boost mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. 

Mixing the Virtual and the Physical

Finally, if the store you wanted to shop at doesn’t directly accept Bitcoin, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it. Several gift card services have sprung up in the last couple of years. You pay for the card in Bitcoin (or another supported cryptocurrency) and you receive the voucher to your email. You can then use the code from the card online or print the voucher off and take it down to the store to do your shopping in an old-school style.

The following services are more than happy to sell you a gift card in exchange for some Bitcoin: GiftOff, eGifter, and Gyft. These vendors offer gift cards for some massive companies including but certainly not limited to:

  • Decathlon
  • Tesco
  • Pizza Express
  • Nike
  • Amazon
  • Adidas
  • Domino’s
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Macy’s

It’s even possible to use a peer-to-peer marketplace and sell your Bitcoin to someone directly in exchange for a gift voucher. You’ll be amazed at the price increase you can charge too. We’ve seen a trader offering Bitmain vouchers in exchange for Bitcoin with a 75% markup!

The list of places you can spend your Bitcoin continues to grow each week. With options to suit just about every taste, it can be quite difficult not to abandon your strategy and just blow a hefty chunk on a two-man kayak canoe, those Nike sneakers you’ve been pining after, or even a luxury apartment.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Pixabay.

Don’t Believe the Fake News. Tax Cuts for Everyday Americans Are Real.

The left-leaning media would have you believe that the 2017 tax cuts were nothing of the sort. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., recently tweeted that average refunds are down, calling the president’s tax cut a “middle-class tax hike.”

This is simply the latest episode in a long-running campaign to demagogue tax cuts that let the vast majority of Americans keep more of their hard-earned money.

Some of the biggest cuts are actually being enjoyed by the lowest-income Americans. A typical family of four got a $2,917 tax cut this year.

So what’s the complaint about?

In an early sample of tax returns, the IRS has reported that average refunds are down $170 from last year and that they hadn’t changed much from 2017, the year before.

But this is not relevant, for two reasons.

First, the sample of tax returns cited by the IRS is very small, and some analysts expect refunds will actually go up this year.

But second, and more importantly, tax refunds have nothing to do with the size of anyone’s tax cut. A refund is what you get back if you’ve paid too much in taxes throughout the year. Your tax cut is the drop in total taxes you owed to Uncle Sam last year. The two are not connected.

Employers across the country already gave us our tax cuts by withholding less money from our paychecks every pay period. Americans saw a bump to their paychecks in February 2018.

Of course, withholding is never perfectly accurate, so your refund or tax payment at the end of the year is simply a last-minute adjustment. But that refund does not cancel out the overall bump in take-home pay due to the tax cut.

Do you remember when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the tax cuts “monumental, brazen theft,” or when former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers predicted the tax cuts would kill 10,000 people every year? This most recent round of hysteria is just more of the same.

Last year, The Heritage Foundation calculated what Americans across the country can expect from the tax cuts. The average household can expect about $26,000 more in take-home pay over the next 10 years thanks to the tax reform.

Americans benefit twice from the tax cuts—first, by paying less in taxes, and a second time from higher wages generated by a faster-growing economy.

At the end of 2018, workers saw some of the largest wage gains in over 10 years, and unemployment rates remain historically low. Over the next 10 years, because of a larger economy, the typical American will benefit from over $26,000 more in take-home pay, or $44,697 for a family of four.

The average American household can expect to pay about $1,400 less in taxes in 2018. But depending on where you live and how many kids you have, the numbers can look different.

In communities that had high tax bills last year, such as Palo Alto, California’s district (CA-18) represented in the House by Anna Eshoo, or one of New York City’s Manhattan districts (NY-12) represented by Carolyn Maloney, the average tax cut could be as much as $3,000.

Lower-income communities, such as areas near Phoenix, Arizona (AZ-7), represented in the House by Ruben Gallego, as well as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA-2), will see much larger cuts in their tax bills. In these communities, tax reform brought an average income tax cut of 18 percent or more.

And the tax cuts are especially good news for parents. A married couple filing jointly with two children will see their tax bills fall by $2,917.

In the coming years, the tax cuts will continue to raise wages, increase investment, and expand economic opportunities. They will also continue through 2025. 

Don’t let the misinformation about refunds throw you off. Middle-class and lower-income Americans are the biggest beneficiaries from the tax cuts.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Adam Michel

Adam Michel

Adam Michel focuses on tax policy and the federal budget as a policy analyst in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: @adamnmichel.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Florida Facing A Complete Assault Weapon Ban In 2020

Florida, the state with some of the strongest Second Amendment protections in the country, may be facing the reality of voters putting a full-on assault weapons ban into the Florida Constitution — bypassing a Republican-controlled Legislature that has resisted any such moves even after last year’s Parkland school massacre.

Gail Schwartz, the aunt of one of the students killed a year ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, held a press conference Monday to announce a petition drive she is spearheading to put a constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot in 2020 that would ban “assault weapons.” Her group is forthrightly named Ban Assault Weapons Now.

The language of the proposed amendment defines an assault weapon as “semi-automatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device.” Such a broad ban could presumably capture everything down to a revolver, as it has an “ammunition-feeding device.”

“Try explaining to your children that they’re never going to see their cousin again,” Schwartz said, hitting the emotional buttons that are essential to restricting Second Amendment rights. “That’s not a conversation that anyone should ever have to make.”

Schwartz said that she believes her nephew — 14-year-old Alex Schachter — might be alive today if Nikolas Cruz did not have access to such a deadly weapon. Cruz killed 17 students and teachers at Parkland as an on-campus Broward County deputy hid outside. Schachter was one of the very first victims of Cruz, so it seems unlikely his life would have been spared if Cruz only had access to non-semi-automatic weapons.

Each mass shooting is used to evoke the necessity of getting guns out of the hands of Americans. A ban on what the media frequently calls “military-style” semi-automatic rifles — which basically means scary looking guns, regardless of relative lethality — has been a goal of gun control advocates nationally since a temporary federal ban expired in 2004.

In Florida, the push has been particularly fierce since the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were killed in 2016. But school shootings elicit the most emotional response for obvious reasons.

So Florida Democrats have been pushing hard for an assault weapons ban. But they are a minority in the Republican-controlled Legislature and their efforts go nowhere.

Last year Democrats tried to attach an assault weapons ban to the larger school safety bill that was ultimately passed in response to the Parkland shooting, which included armed security on school campuses. But the amendment failed, gaining only two Republican votes.

In fact, Florida Republicans annually consider the opposite direction, proposing bills to allow conceal-carry permit holders to carry on college campuses.

However, a direct-to-voters constitutional amendment bypasses the Legislature. Florida now has a 60 percent threshold for amendments to make it into the state constitution. But last November, all but one proposed amendment met that, and that one had 58 percent. Given the media coverage and the number of mass shootings in the state, it would be foolish to think that such an amendment could not pass.

“I think there is a better chance of getting a citizens initiative on the ballot than getting the current Legislature to seriously entertain an assault weapons ban,” said Florida League of Women Voters President Patricia Brigham. Naturally, the “nonpartisan” League supports the ban.

She is right.

Possibly the larger hurdle is actually getting the proposed amendment on the ballot. That means gathering 766,200 legal signatures, which requires spending several million dollars to paid signature-gathering organizations.

The assault weapons ban campaign collected $439,888 as of the last filing date on Dec. 31. It will take a lot more and the question politically is whether Democrat organizations actually want to ban assault weapons, or whether they prefer to run on the issue of assault weapons so they can keep forcing Republicans to defend assault weapons used in mass shootings.

Polling on the issue in Florida is heavily dependent on the length of time between mass shootings. Right after the Parkland shooting, a Florida Atlantic University poll found that nearly 70 percent of Floridians support an assault weapons ban. But the same poll six months later found only 51 percent favored. How it would fare in the midst of a presidential election during heavy voter turnout is the question.

We may find out.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Revolutionary Act column is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Science is Falsifiable. Take Climate Change As An Example.

The Clear Energy Alliance produced the below video on global warming stating:

In order to know if a theory could be true, there must be a way to prove it to be false. Unfortunately, many climate change scientists, the media and activists are ignoring this cornerstone of science. In this bizarre new world, all unwelcome climate events are caused by climate change. But as legendary scientific philosopher Karl Popper noted, “A theory that explains everything, explains nothing.” Guest host Marc Morano explains.

RELATED ARTICLE: Is Global Warming Theory Scientific?

EDITORS NOTE: This video by Clear Energy Alliance is republished from their YouTube channel. The featured image is from Pixabay.