Monday, August 31, 2015

The invaders: A parable

Undocumented and unafraid by Lloyd Marcus, an un-hyphenated U.S. patriot

Pulling into our driveway after a relaxing month-long cruise, my wife Mary yelled, "What the...?" Mexican flags, old cars, discarded beer cans, and trash were all over our property.

I recruited my Spanish-speaking neighbor. He yelled over the blaring Mexican music expressing my outrage to the group's leader. The leader told me to go "f" myself. He said they have a right to a better life.

The invaders had an insane tangle of extension cords plugged into my electrical outlets. Sinking into the mud of my once beautiful lawn, I called the police. Sheriff Bob showed up to inform me that the mayor had decreed ours a sanctuary community. He also conveyed the mayor's zero tolerance for my hateful, racist attitude.

Code enforcement cited me for various violations. I was ordered to clean up my property, add bathroom facilities, and upgrade my electrical power to accommodate the daily influx of new residents.

Mary yelled from our bedroom, "Oh, my gosh!" Her jewelry, including her 30th wedding anniversary diamond earrings, was gone.

A neighbor updated me on our community's crisis. Beloved elderly Mr. Ben had been beaten and murdered, eight students were raped, numerous neighbors were assaulted, and several homes were burglarized. Remarkably, not a word of the crime wave had been mentioned in our newspaper. Clearly, the mayor was behind the media blackout.

As a matter of fact, Community Times reporters flooded us with articles praising the invaders and our loving mayor for welcoming these saintly souls seeking a better life. I and fellow neighbors who opposed the invasion and complained about the cost were branded haters, selfish, and racists. The mayor made us owners responsible for providing food, health care, and education for the invaders occupying our properties.

Widowed Miss Shirley, the community gossip, gave Mary the scoop. She reported to Mary that many of the invaders worked for wealthy contributors to the mayor's re-election campaign. The invaders were paid peanuts to work as domestics, janitors, laborers, and maintainers of properties.

My feisty Irish wife said, "One thing is for sure: the mayor and his rich pals don't have to worry about their estates being invaded. Their homes are protected behind 12-foot fences armed with barbed wire, electric fences, and cameras. Meanwhile, we're forced to be their invaders' welcome wagon!"

Folks, the above tale is fiction, a parable I wrote years ago illustrating illegal immigration. I was stunned that so many readers thought my outrageous tale was true. It's a sad commentary on the insanity we have come to expect from government. Illegal aliens

Both political parties have a vested interest in supporting the invasion. Big business gets cheap labor. Democrats have blacks on the path to aborting themselves into extinction, so illegals offer Democrats a fresh crop of future voters – an underclass unskilled, uneducated, and dependent on government.

Insidiously, both parties and the mainstream media prey upon the goodness of the American people. Anyone opposing the invasion is branded racist, heartless, and mean.

GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush calls embracing illegal aliens an "act of love." Rush Limbaugh says this is not immigration. We are being invaded.

For several years, I was honored to sing my original, "Celebrate America," at U.S. naturalization ceremonies in Maryland. I took pride in knowing that my song was the first thousands heard as new Americans after swearing their oaths of allegiance. Every ceremony was electric, the hall radiating with emotion and excitement, tears flowing down countless faces. Unbelievably, Obama decreed that new applicants will no longer be required to pledge their allegiance.

Here is a moving, memorable scene. Family members raised the gentleman, in his 80s or 90s, from his wheelchair to his feet. A grandchild held up his right hand. His entire family was tearful as he recited the oath. Folks, these people truly wanted to be Americans. They studied, passed the test, and were anxious to assimilate and contribute. After reciting their oaths and hearing the emcee say, "Congratulations," the hall always erupted in applause and cheers of elation.

Obama refuses to enforce federal immigration law. Ordered to break the law, border security allows everyone to enter, including gang members, rapists, and murderers.

Obama is endangering and devastating American families, with loved ones raped and murdered by invaders. Then Obama showers the invaders with welfare and government checks. Yes, government checks.

Under-reported (hidden) is the epidemic of strange diseases infecting our kids because Obama forced public schools to take in invaders' children.

Obama rolling out the red carpet for invaders is a huge slap in the face to legal new American citizens and those respecting our laws following the legal immigration process.

As with practically every Obama policy, his amnesty for illegals is another self-serving, evil, anti-American agenda item disguised as love. Thank God a few GOP presidential contenders have the backbone to firmly say, "No!

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Chairman, The Conservative Campaign Committee

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rick Perry says, "Get Off Your Ass"

From the art studios of Dan Youra at

(click the arrow on the upper right side to activate the animation)

Dan Youra is one of the outstanding conservative cartoonists in the trade today who follows in the footsteps of the great political cartoon masters, whose quotes inspire a new generation of followers.
"Outside of basic intelligence, there is nothing more important to a good political cartoonist than ill will." ~ Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist.
"Too many of today's artists regard editorial cartooning as a trade instead of a profession. They try not to be too offensive. The hell with that. We need more stirrer-uppers." ~ Bill Mauldin.
Youra was one of the first recipients of a Fulbright Scholarship and worked in Latin America. He served as an editor of Current Thought on Peace and War at the United Nations in New York.

"As long as there are politicians who continue to try and fool the voters, there is no chance of ever running out of material to work with because they create it themselves and about themselves," says Dan Youra.

Dan is the small business owner and operator of the Youra Studios located in the State of Washington.

Visit the Youra Studios at


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Has Trump gone over the line?

From the art studios of A.F. (Tony) Branco at Comically

Get a Daily Dose of Humor and Reality from A.F. (Tony) Branco


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Trump: 21st century Herbert Hoover

Donald Trump ~ The 21st Century Protectionist Herbert Hoover by Stephen Moore and Lawrence (Larry) Kudlow

Here's a historical fact that Donald Trump, and many voters attracted to him, may not know: The last American president who was a trade protectionist was Republican Herbert Hoover. Obviously that economic strategy didn't turn out so well — either for the nation or the GOP.

Does Trump aspire to be a 21st century Hoover with a modernized platform of the 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariff that helped send the U.S. and world economy into a decade-long depression and a collapse of the banking system?

We can't help wondering whether the panic in world financial markets is in part a result of the Trump assault on free trade.

Trump is also now running full throttle on an anti-immigration platform that could hurt growth as well and alienate Republicans from ethnic voters that the GOP needs if it is going to win in 2016.

We call this the Trump Fortress America platform. He clearly sees international trade and immigration as a negative sum game for American workers.

He recently announced that as president he would prohibit American companies like Ford from building plants in Mexico. He moans pessimistically that "China is eating our lunch" and is "sucking the blood out of the U.S.?"

But strategic tax cuts and regulatory relief after the anti-business rule-making assault by Obama, not trade and immigration barriers, are the solution to America's competitiveness deficit.

A draft of Trump's 14-point economic manifesto promises that, as president, he would "modify or cancel any business, or trade agreement that hinders American business development, or is shown to create an unfair trading relationship with a foreign entity."

His immigration stance would not just deport illegal immigrants, but even lock the golden doors to those who come lawfully for opportunity, freedom and jobs. This could hardly be further from the Reaganite vision of America as a "shining city on a hill."

"Decades of disastrous trade deals and immigration policies have destroyed our middle class," Trump writes in his latest policy manifesto. This "influx of foreign workers," he continues, "holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans — including immigrants themselves and their children — to earn a middle-class wage."

There's some evidence that competition for jobs in very low-skilled occupations holds down wages, but for the most part immigrants fill niches in the labor market that natives can't or won't fill. They add to the overall productivity of the labor force while starting new businesses, and thus are net creators of jobs.

Tech CEOs will tell you there might not be a Silicon Valley were it not for foreign talent and brainpower.

In the 1980s and '90s the United States admitted nearly 20 million new legal immigrants — one of the largest waves of newcomers in our nation's history. Over that time period, the U.S. created nearly 40 million new jobs, the unemployment rate plunged by half, and the middle class saw living standards rise by almost one-third (from 1983-2005).

When Washington gets the macroeconomic policies right — on taxes, trade, regulation and the dollar — economic opportunity flourishes.

Free trade is also one of these prosperity building blocks, and Trump's call for tariffs as high as 35% are worrisome in the extreme. We want Americans and workers all over the world to have access to the best-quality products at the lowest possible price. This is the centuries-long economic law of comparative advantage first taught to us by David Ricardo.

Take the Ford plant in Mexico. If it's more profitable for Ford to produce trucks in Mexico, fine. As the supply of Mexican trucks goes up, this creates higher income for all Mexicans who then go out and spend the new money, not just at home, but in purchasing U.S. goods and services available on the market. And the purchase of American goods and services builds up the U.S. economy. It's win-win.

Trump is correct that there are unfair trading practices around the world. We know, for example, that China pirates U.S. technologies and patents. They counterfeit our goods.

But slapping Trump's punitive tariff on imported Chinese goods will hurt America at least as much as it does Beijing. The same is true for rolling back the Reaganite NAFTA — a great success. Mexico is now our second-largest export market. China is No. 3.

China is our No. 1 import market, with Canada second and Mexico third. Those three countries together lead our total trade. Do we really want to pick an economic war with them?

Because the U.S is the hub of the global trading system, a lurch toward protectionism in America would give other nations an easy excuse to erect higher trade barriers and the domino effect could shut down the global trading system. No wonder financial markets are so jittery.

Trump's idea of a 35% tariff on imported goods would be the biggest tax increase on U.S. consumers in modern times. This won't help the poor. Wal-Mart has been one of the greatest anti-poverty programs in world history, and it has achieved the "everyday low prices" that greatly benefit the poor and middle class in part through low-cost imports.

But trade is also surprisingly vital to American jobs. A Heritage Foundation study finds that "international trade has boosted annual U.S. income by at least 10 percentage points of GDP relative to what it would have been without global trade, which translates into an aggregate gain of at least $1.7 trillion in 2013, or an average gain of more than $13,600 per U.S. household per year."

Free trade is also the greatest antidote to world poverty and deprivation in world history. Over the past three decades, according to the World Bank and other sources, the spread of free trade has lowered abject, dollar-a-day poverty by nearly 1 billion people.

Hundreds of millions have moved into the middle class primarily in China, India and elsewhere in Asia, in parts of Latin America and in sub-Saharan Africa — a phenomenal achievement, underscoring the benefits of free trade and open markets.

To his credit, Trump accurately recites many of the terrible problems afflicting the American economy:

"Today, nearly 40% of black teenagers are unemployed. Nearly 30% of Hispanic teenagers are unemployed. For black Americans without high school diplomas, the bottom has fallen out: more than 70% were employed in 1960, compared to less than 40% in 2000. Across the economy, the percentage of adults in the labor force has collapsed to a level not experienced in generations."

But the American problems that Trump complains about — stagnant growth and wages and slow job growth — can be found principally in Washington, D.C., not Beijing or Mexico City.

Start with substantially cutting or even eliminating the corporate tax. Then stop the double tax on multinational profits by moving to a territorial system, like everyone else in the world. Also, shift to full cash expensing for new investment in plants, equipment and building structures.

Then reform the personal tax code by lowering the rates, getting rid of corporate cronyist deductions, simplify the whole system and rip out tens of thousands of regulatory pages from the IRS code. We prefer a flat tax structure.

We have seen firsthand companies from Medtronics to Burger King flee the U.S. for lower tax nations because our tax rates are 10 and even 20 percentage points higher than nations like China, Canada and Ireland.

This is like imposing a tariff on our own goods and services. The real victims, according to a study by the American Enterprise Institute, are American workers who earn lower wages and find fewer jobs.

Next, a pro-America energy policy that expands the North American shale oil and gas revolution, ends the war on coal states, builds pipelines, drills on federal lands and allows the export of our vast oil and gas sources — in other words, the precise opposite of the Obama energy strategy — will create millions of new jobs.

Then tackle America's massive regulatory burden, which under Republicans and Democrats has expanded exponentially — ObamaCare, Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, EPA and the National Labor Relations Board — the incredible maze of licenses and regulatory codes that pose a huge barrier to small new-business startups.

Finally, a strong and stable dollar policy that ensures that the value of tomorrow's greenback will be the same as today. In the 1970s and 2000s, the collapse of the dollar led directly to the collapse of the economy. Right now, the unstable dollar is a huge deterrent of future investment from abroad or at home.

Ideally, Fed monetary policy should aim at a commodity price rule bolstered by forward-looking inflation-sensitive market prices.

Trump says his goal is a pro-business policy that rewards companies that "invest in America, return to America, or stay and thrive in America." Let us add, "create in America." The good news is that the draft 14-plank economic plan that we have seen from Mr. Trump contains variations on most of these ideas. They worked. Growth exploded.

That happened under Republican Reagan and Democrat Clinton. And both were free traders who favored legal immigration.

Moore and Kudlow are co-founders with Arthur Laffer and Steve Forbes of The Committee to Unleash Prosperity

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Donald Trump: Eminent-domain abuser

By Jeff Jacoby at The Boston Globe

Meet Donald Trump
Supporters of Donald Trump relish the prospect of a president who knows how to "get things done," and won't bore them with details or principles. They like hearing Trump tout the stop-at-nothing aggressiveness of his business dealings, as in this description, in a CNN interview, of how he acquired the Doral golf resort in Miami:

"I didn't sit down and say 'let's do a 14-point plan.' I went in and got it. I took it away from so many people."

Trump boasted of his prowess at a rally in Michigan on Aug. 11. "You have to be able to do certain things" if you want to be successful, he crowed. I "beat the hell out of people.... I know how to get things."

Republican voters might wish to ponder what Trump doesn't say — that the people he has been willing to "beat the hell out of" in order to get what he craves include small property owners and mom-and-pop businesses. And that one of his tactics for going after other people's land is to get the government to do it through eminent domain. Trump has sought to build some of his gaudiest developments on the modest holdings of private citizens who didn't want to relinquish their property.

The Cato Institute's David Boaz recently recalled the story of Vera Coking, an elderly widow who had lived in Atlantic City for more than three decades. Coking owned a three-story boarding house near the ocean, in which she had raised her kids and where she looked forward to spending her golden years.

But with the arrival of legalized gambling and casinos, Coking's land drew the interest of developers. In the 1980s, she turned down a $1 million offer from one builder, who accepted her refusal and proceeded to build around the house. When that project ran out of money, it was acquired by Trump, who was determined to get Coking's house by any means necessary.

Those means didn't include offering Coking better terms. Instead Trump turned to a New Jersey government agency — the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority — which condemned the widow's home, agreed to acquire it on Trump's behalf for $251,000, and ordered Coking to move out within 90 days. Under the Constitution, governments may take private property only for "public use." Trump wished to use the Coking land as a waiting area for limousines at the Trump Plaza Hotel.

Donald Trump convinced a New Jersey state
agency to seize the home of Vera Coking
via eminent domain. He wanted her
property to construct a limousine
parking lot for his casino.
Coking went to court, along with the owners of two other small parcels on the same block. Their case was taken up, pro bono, by the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based legal group that defends private-property rights. After years of litigation, Coking was eventually allowed to keep her home. But Trump was unabashed in rationalizing the right of billionaire developers to deploy eminent domain as a weapon to confiscate land from unwilling sellers.

"Do you want to live in a city where you can't build roads or highways or have access to hospitals?" he demanded in an interview with ABC's John Stossel. "Condemnation is a necessary evil."

When Stossel raised the obvious objection — "We're not talking about a hospital. This is [about] a building a rich guy finds ugly" — Trump resorted to insults. "You're talking about ... a little group of terrible, terrible tenements; just terrible stuff, tenement housing."

Trump lost that round. But seven years later the Supreme Court issued its notorious Kelo decision, upholding precisely the kind of state-assisted thievery he had attempted against Vera Coking. Trump gloated: "I happen to agree with it 100 percent."

He agrees, that is, that government exists to help avaricious moguls prey on poorer citizens. "I know how to get things," Trump says. And good luck to any widows who get in his way.

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The Divide

From the files of Mary Jane Popp at KAHI 950 Radio in Sacramento, CA

Meet Mary Jane Popp and Perry King

It will reach into the hearts of many of us who have had regrets in our lives, and who wish they could make up for it. The movie is called “The Divide” and is being shot in Cool, California. “The Divide” is the dream of veteran actor Perry King.

You will recognize him for so many Hollywood movies like “The Lords of Flatbush” and “Slaughterhouse Five” bur perhaps the most recognizable name would Detective Allen Cody from the iconic 1980’s TV series “Riptide” and the made for TV movie “The Cowboy and the Movie Star” in 1998.

It was after “Cowboy” that Perry decided he wanted to BE his character. That’s when he purchased a 500 acre cattle ranch in the Sierra Nevada, The King Ranch.

He splits his time between the craziness of La La Land and the serenity of Northern California. But he had a dream, a dream to film a western on his own land. Now his dream has become a reality as he is shooting “The Divide” in the heart of Gold Country known as “The Divide” and so the movie is called “The Divide.”

The movie script was actually written to fit his ranch life. He and Janet Brown made it come together. I got to visit with Perry on the set of his production, and he told me that a successful movie must make a promise. He told me that the script should make you get involved with the story, and take away something that resonates in each of us.

In The Divide” there are three separate people who need help and redemption, each crushed by the weight of life. Sam Kincaid, Perry’s character, is in great pain. He is estranged from his daughter, his wife is dead, so what is left. I can’t tell you the ending, because you have to see the story itself. I can tell you it will relate to all of us who have had loss and find a resolution.

Perry is also directing this movie, and I asked him if he doesn’t get a bit schizophrenic acting and directing simultaneously. He laughingly said “it’s like riding a horse and leading a horse at the same time. But he loves cowboys and westerns and added that westerns were created here in the U.S. It’s a form of black and white…good versus bad. It has a purity of nature. He is less than pleased with so much, as he put it, “empty cartoon violence.” It might make money for the studios, but it has no redeeming value.

I also have to add that I have never met an actor like Perry King. He has character and is so willing to share his talents with others. That was verified by Bryan Kaplan who also stars in the movie, and so many others. It’s nice to know they still exist with all the nonsense we hear about in Hollywood these days. The movie shoot will be completed by the end of September.

 Perry’s intent is to premier “The Divide” at the State Theatre in Auburn sometime next year. Guess what? That’s where I broadcast from AM-950 KAHI, the noon news and POPPOFF Radio Show.

By the way, Perry will be joining me on POPPOFF after the filming is done. I really look forward to that promise. After decades, Perry Kings dream is coming true day by day! All the success Perry! It’s much deserved!

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Interpreting the Trump craze

By JB Williams at News with Views

Since the first GOP presidential debates, there is no denying that business mogul Donald Trump has rocketed to early frontrunner status in the 2016 GOP race for the White House. Properly interpreting the message behind his early success is an interesting endeavor…

Before Trump entered the fray, there was another even clearer frontrunner, who also was not officially in the race at the time.

In a field of prospective candidates back in February, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the landslide leader of the field with a whopping 47% of the conservative vote, his closest rivals being Ted Cruz at 13.5% and Rand Paul at 13%. Jeb Bush was back in the field at around 5%. It looked like Walker was a shoo-in for the GOP nomination, with Trump at only 1% back then.

So, what is it about Trump that has turned the GOP race on its head?

In short, Trump is viewed as the irreverent straight-talking anti-establishment non-politician candidate… Known for his heavy browed sharp tongued quips, short temper and “your fired” attitude, he has captured the imagination of the great unwashed and excessively frustrated American “right” who have given up on the “kinder-gentler” Republican turncoats of the past and opted for someone they think may actually do something that matters…

Simply stated, Trump is willing to talk about issues no other candidate is willing to talk about, and take positions that represent a vast majority of Americans that have been labeled “politically incorrect” by the RINO class of Republicans that have infected the GOP for far too long.

The people want real change… pro-American change, not Global Community Organizing intended to make America just another 3rd world member of the global commune. They want someone who says they will “Make America Great Again” and they think that person is Donald Trump.

Whether or not Trump is that person, only time will tell and in the meanwhile, people are so hungry for a real American to lead America, that they are willing to try anything at this point.

As a result, the GOP field now looks like this today - More at News with Views

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

We can build the 'Great Wall of Trump'

From the art studios of Dan Youra at

Catch Dan Youra on a Daily Basis at

Dan Youra is one of the outstanding conservative cartoonists in the trade today who follows in the footsteps of the great political cartoon masters, whose quotes inspire a new generation of followers.
"Outside of basic intelligence, there is nothing more important to a good political cartoonist than ill will." ~ Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist.
"Too many of today's artists regard editorial cartooning as a trade instead of a profession. They try not to be too offensive. The hell with that. We need more stirrer-uppers." ~ Bill Mauldin.
Youra was one of the first recipients of a Fulbright Scholarship and worked in Latin America. He served as an editor of Current Thought on Peace and War at the United Nations in New York.

"As long as there are politicians who continue to try and fool the voters, there is no chance of ever running out of material to work with because they create it themselves and about themselves," says Dan Youra.

Dan is the small business owner and operator of the Youra Studios located in the State of Washington.

Visit the Youra Studios at


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Uncle Joe - Just Do It

From the art studios of A.F. (Tony) Branco at Comically

Get a Daily Dose of Humor and Reality from A.F. (Tony) Branco


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Obama says "Run Joe Run'

Vice President Joe Biden received President Barack Obama's "blessing" to make a 2016 bid for the White House, according to a senior Democrat.

But that's if Biden chooses to run -- the decision is his. While he doesn't need the President's permission, of course, a potential presidential candidacy was among the topics of their lunch Monday at the White House. The President made clear he would not stand in his way or counsel him against a run, the senior Democrat said.

The Vice President's office downplayed the speculation about Biden's political future.

"Sources continue to speculate about something they know nothing about," Biden spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said. "This lunch was a private meeting between two people -- the President and the Vice President."

The Vice President was expected to huddle at his home Monday night with Anita Dunn and Bob Bauer, the husband-and-wife team who have been at Obama's side for much of the last decade, two people familiar with the meeting told CNN. Steve Ricchetti, the Vice President's chief of staff, was also expected to attend.

"As a general rule, we are not going to confirm the Vice President's private meetings or provide a readout of them," an aide to the Vice President told CNN on Monday.

Dunn, a former White House communications director, and Bauer, a longtime lawyer to Obama, were among those invited to a meeting at the Naval Observatory in Washington. Ted Kaufman, a loyal Biden confidant who briefly occupied his Senate seat from Delaware, was also among those gathering to discuss how Biden could run, if he decides to do so.

Biden is leaning toward running, several people involved in discussions told CNN, but they stress that he has not yet firmly made up his mind.

The meeting on Monday night, along with his private session on Saturday with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, underscores the length he is going to explore a run.

While many top Democrats have already signed onto Hillary Clinton's candidacy, several former Obama advisers tell CNN they would work for Biden if he jumps into the race.

Dunn and Bauer would be a high-profile addition to any potential campaign, and could send a signal to other Democrats that they should join Biden's effort. It is not known if they would ultimately work for Biden if he does enter the race.

Bauer is one of the top Democratic election lawyers in Washington, who helped guide Obama's presidential campaign eight years ago. Dunn, a veteran of presidential campaigns, served as a communications director during Obama's first term. She was also an adviser to former Sen. Tom Daschle.

Key Democratic fundraisers have been invited to a meeting with Biden after Labor Day, a source close to Biden confirmed to CNN.

The Bauer-Dunn meeting is part of what CNN learned Monday will be an expanding schedule of Biden consultations with key Democrats, including state and national leaders, strategists and, significantly, Democratic donors and fundraisers.

Some of these conversations are being scheduled as political conversations and consultations. But Biden confidantes also noted he has several social events scheduled at the Vice President's residence over the next few weeks, and that an array of high-profile Democrats including Obama-Biden campaign fundraisers are among those on the invitation lists.

A Biden confidant who describes the Vice President as "more comfortable" with the idea of running said the sessions are among "several logical and necessary steps" the Vice President and his inner circle would be taking over the next several weeks.

Appeared on CNN

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Oil's down - gasoline isn't - What's up?

From the files of Marita Noon at Energy Makes America Great, Inc.

A little more than a year ago, oil prices were above $100 a barrel. The national average for gasoline was in the $3.50 range. In late spring, oil was $60ish and the national average for gas was around $2.70.

The price of a barrel of oil has plunged to $40 and below—yet, prices at the pump are just slightly less than they were when oil was almost double what it is today.

Oil and gasoline prices usually travel up or down in sync. But a few weeks ago the trend lines crossed and oil continued the sharp decline while gasoline has stayed steady—even increasing.

Oil’s down, gasoline isn’t. Consumers are wondering: “What’s up?”

Even Congress is grilling refiners over the disparity.

While, like most markets, the answer is complicated, there are some simple responses that even Congress should be able to understand. The short explanation is “refineries”—but there’s more to that and some other components, too.

Within the U.S. exists approximately 20 percent of the world’s refining capacity. Fuel News explains that “on a perfect day,” these domestic facilities could process more than 18 million barrels of crude oil. But due, in large part, to an anti-fossil fuel attitude, it is virtually impossible to get a new refinery permitted in America.

Most refineries today are old—the newest major one was completed in 1977. Most are at least 40 years old and some are more than 100. Despite signs of aging, refining capacity has continued to grow. Instead of producing at 70 percent capacity, as they were as little as a decade ago, most now run at 90 percent. They’ve become Rube Goldberg contraptions that have been modified, added on to, and upgraded. The system is strained.

To keep operating, these mature refineries need regular maintenance—usually done on the shoulders of the busy driving seasons and when systems need to be reconfigured for the different winter and summer blends. Even then, things break. Sometimes a quick repair can keep it up and running until the scheduled maintenance—known as “turnaround.” Sometimes, not. Fixing the equipment failures on the aging facilities can take weeks.

This year, several unexpected maintenance issues happened in the spring. Other refineries worked overtime to make up the shortage. That, plus low crude prices, means that many refiners didn’t shutdown for the usual spring turnaround. Fuel News notes, potential profit encouraged refiners to “get while the getting’s good.”

This pedal-to-the-metal approach is catching up with the sagging systems. On August 8, BP’s Whiting, IN, refinery, the largest supplier of gasoline in the Midwest, faced an unplanned shutdown due to a leak and possible fire hazard in its Pipestill 12 distillation unit—which processes about 40 percent of its 413,000 barrel per day capacity.

The closure of the largest of Whiting’s three units caused an immediate jump in gasoline prices in the Midwest. Stockpiles were drawn down to fill demand during summer’s peak driving season. Gasoline has been moved—via pipeline, truck, and train—from other parts of the country to balance out supply. So, while the biggest price increase was in states like Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois, prices raised nationwide beginning on August 11.

Meanwhile, because the Whiting plant wasn’t sucking up crude oil, its supplies grew and drove crude prices down further—hitting a six-year low. The Financial Times reports: “An outage at Whiting’s main crude distillation unit could add almost 1m [million] barrels to Cushing [The OK oil trading and storage center] every four days as long as it is out.”

Making matters worse, another Midwest refinery, Marathon’s Robinson, IL, 212,000 barrels per day facility is down for repairs that are expected to take two months.

Others smaller outages include Philadelphia Energy Solutions and the Coffeyville Resources’ refinery in Kansas. BloombergBusiness states: “As many as seven other Midwest refineries could shut units for extended time this fall.” Though, other reports indicate that some of the planned maintenance may be put off due to profit margins that are at a seven-year high.

Adding to the price increases due to refinery issues, are two other factors—both having to do with the calendar.

First, we are almost to Labor Day, which is considered the end of the summer driving season. It is when families make that one last trip to the lake or to visit grandma—which always causes a jump in demand that tightens supplies. This year, with two big refineries down, the usual spike could well be exacerbated.

The other is hurricane season. While we are just past its peak, we’ve only had one hurricane so far: Hurricane Danny—which last week was barreling toward the Northern Caribbean islands, with potential to hit the refinery-rich Gulf Coast. On Friday August 21, it moved from Tropical Storm Danny to Category 3 Hurricane status. It has since weakened, but its presence caused risk and supply concerns.

High summer-driving demands and unscheduled refinery repairs have combined to reduce supply of gasoline, and raise the price, thus the need for crude oil—especially in the Midwest—is down. Crude oil inventories at the Cushing hub continue to increase and add to the current oversupply and slide in oil prices.

While there’s some other contributing factors, the current mix of supply and demand explains: “what’s up?” The lack of new refineries punishes the whole system. Gasoline prices are up—hurting consumers. Crude prices are down—hurting producers.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy.

Marita also hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy ~ which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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Climate Crisis Incorporated

$1.5 trillion and Larry Bell book explain how profiteers of climate doom keep the money flowing by Paul Driessen at

No warming in 18 years, no category 3-5 hurricane hitting the USA in ten years, seas rising at barely six inches a century: computer models and hysteria are consistently contradicted by Real World experiences.

So how do White House, EPA, UN, EU, Big Green, Big Wind, liberal media, and even Google, GE and Defense Department officials justify their fixation on climate change as the greatest crisis facing humanity?

How do they excuse saying government must control our energy system, our economy and nearly every aspect of our lives – deciding which jobs will be protected and which ones destroyed, even who will live and who will die – in the name of saving the planet? What drives their intense ideology?

The answer is simple. The Climate Crisis and Renewable Energy Industry has become a $1.5-trillion-a-year business! That’s equal to the annual economic activity generated by the entire US nonprofit sector, or all savings over the past ten years from consumers switching to generic drugs. By comparison, annual revenues for much-vilified Koch Industries are about $115 billion, for ExxonMobil around $365 billion.

According to a 200-page analysis by the Climate Change Business Journal, this Climate Industrial Complex can be divided into nine segments: low carbon and renewable power; carbon capture and storage; energy storage, like batteries; energy efficiency; green buildings; transportation; carbon trading; climate change adaptation; and consulting and research.

Consulting is a $27-billion-per-year industry that handles “reputation management” for companies and tries to link weather events, food shortages and other problems to climate change. Research includes engineering R and D and climate studies.

The $1.5-trillion price tag appears to exclude most of the Big Green environmentalism industry, a $13.4-billion-per-year business in the USA alone. The MacArthur Foundation just gave another $50 million to global warming alarmist groups.

Ex-NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chesapeake Energy gave the Sierra Club $105 million to wage war on coal (shortly before the Club began waging war on natural gas and Chesapeake Energy, in what some see as poetic justice). Warren Buffett, numerous “progressive” foundations, Vladimir Putin cronies and countless companies also give endless millions to Big Green.

Our hard-earned tax dollars are likewise only partially included in the CCBJ tally. As professor, author and columnist Larry Bell notes in his new book, Scared Witless: Prophets and profits of climate doom, the U.S. government spent over $185 billion between 2003 and 2010 on climate change items – and this wild spending spree has gotten even worse in the ensuing Obama years.

We are paying for questionable to fraudulent global warming studies, climate-related technology research, loans and tax breaks for Solyndra and other companies that go bankrupt, “climate adaptation” foreign aid to poor countries, and much more.

Also not included: the salaries and pensions of thousands of EPA, NOAA, Interior, Energy and other federal bureaucrats who devote endless hours to devising and imposing regulations for Clean Power Plans, drilling and coal mining bans, renewable energy installations, and countless Climate Crisis, Inc. handouts.

A significant part of the $1.9 trillion per year that American businesses and families pay to comply with mountains of federal regulations is also based on climate chaos claims.

Add in the state and local equivalents of these federal programs, bureaucrats, regulations and restrictions, and we’re talking serious money. There are also consumer costs, including the far higher electricity prices families and businesses must pay, especially in states that want to prove their climate credentials.

The impacts on companies and jobs outside the Climate Crisis Industry are enormous, and growing. For every job created in the climate and renewable sectors, two to four jobs are eliminated in other parts of the economy, studies in Spain, Scotland and other countries have found. The effects on people’s health and welfare, and on overall environmental quality, are likewise huge and widespread.

But all these adverse effects are studiously ignored by Climate Crisis profiteers – and by the false prophets of planetary doom who manipulate data, exaggerate and fabricate looming catastrophes, and create the pseudo-scientific basis for regulating carbon-based energy and industries into oblivion. Meanwhile, the regulators blatantly ignore laws that might penalize their favored constituencies.

In one glaring example, a person who merely possesses a single bald eagle feather can be fined up to $100,000 and jailed for a year. But operators of the wind turbine that killed the eagle get off scot-free. Even worse, the US Fish and Wildlife Service actively helps Big Wind hide and minimize its slaughter of millions of raptors, other birds and bats every year.

It has given industrial wind operators a five-year blanket exemption from the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Birds Treaty Act and Endangered Species Act. The FWS even proposed giving Big Wind a 30-year exemption.

Thankfully, the US District Court in San Jose, CA recently ruled that the FWS and Interior Department violated the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws, when they issued regulations granting these companies a 30-year license to kill bald and golden eagles. But the death tolls continue to climb.

Professor Bell’s perceptive, provocative, extensively researched book reviews the attempted power grab by Big Green, Big Government and Climate Crisis, Inc. In 19 short chapters, he examines the phony scientific consensus on global warming, the secretive and speculative science and computer models used to “prove” we face a cataclysm, ongoing collusion and deceit by regulators and activists, carbon tax mania, and many of the most prominent but phony climate crises: melting glaciers, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, disappearing species and declining biodiversity. His articles and essays do likewise.

Scared Witless also lays bare the real reasons for climate fanaticism, aside from lining pockets. As one prominent politician and UN or EPA bureaucrat after another has proudly and openly said, their “true ambition” is to institute “a new global order” … “ global governance” … “redistribution of the world’s resources” … an end to “hegemonic” capitalism … and “a profound transformation” of “attitudes and lifestyles,” energy systems and “the global economic development model.”

In other words, these unelected, unaccountable US, EU and UN bureaucrats want complete control over our industries; over everything we make, grow, ship, eat and do; and over every aspect of our lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties.

And they intend to “ride the global warming issue” all the way to this complete control, “even if the theory of global warming is wrong” … “even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect” … “even if the science of global warming is all phony.”

If millions of people lose their jobs in the process, if millions of retirees die from hypothermia because they cannot afford to heat their homes properly, if millions of Africans and Asians die because they are denied access to reliable, affordable carbon-based electricity – so be it. Climate Crisis, Inc. doesn’t care.

Free market principles do not apply, and free marketers need not apply. The global warming industry survives and thrives only because of secretive, fraudulent climate science; constant collusion between regulators and pressure groups; and a steady stream of government policies, regulations, preferences, subsidies and mandates – plus taxes and penalties on its competitors.

CCI gives lavishly to politicians who keep the gravy train on track, while its attack dogs respond quickly, aggressively and viciously to anyone who dares to challenge its orthodoxies, perks, power and funding.

Climate change has been “real” throughout Earth and human history – periodically significant, sometimes sudden, sometimes destructive. It is driven by the sun and other powerful, complex, interacting natural forces that we still do not fully understand … and certainly cannot control.

It has little or nothing to do with the carbon dioxide that makes plants grow faster and better, and is emitted as a result of using fossil fuels that have brought countless, wondrous improvements to our environment and human condition.

Climate Crisis, Inc. is a wealthy, nasty behemoth. But it is a house of cards. Become informed. Get involved. Fight back. And elect representatives – and a president – who also have the backbone to do so.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Dr. Ben wins the war on brains

From the art studios of Dan Youra at

(click the arrow on the upper right side to activate the animation)

Dan Youra is one of the outstanding conservative cartoonists in the trade today who follows in the footsteps of the great political cartoon masters, whose quotes inspire a new generation of followers.
"Outside of basic intelligence, there is nothing more important to a good political cartoonist than ill will." ~ Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist.
"Too many of today's artists regard editorial cartooning as a trade instead of a profession. They try not to be too offensive. The hell with that. We need more stirrer-uppers." ~ Bill Mauldin.
Youra was one of the first recipients of a Fulbright Scholarship and worked in Latin America. He served as an editor of Current Thought on Peace and War at the United Nations in New York.

"As long as there are politicians who continue to try and fool the voters, there is no chance of ever running out of material to work with because they create it themselves and about themselves," says Dan Youra.

Dan is the small business owner and operator of the Youra Studios located in the State of Washington.

Visit the Youra Studios at


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Trust is letting Iran verify their own nukes

From the art studios of A.F. (Tony) Branco at Comically

Get that Daily Dose of Humor and Reality from A.F. (Tony) Branco


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400,000 U.S. 'Anchor Babies' each year

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for an end to birthright citizenship has focused new attention on the law deemed to grant automatic citizenship to children born in the U.S. to illegal alien parents.

Children gaining birthright citizenship are pejoratively referred to as "anchor babies" because they provide an anchor in the U.S. for family members seeking to enter the country legally.

When anchor babies reach age 21, they can petition the government to grant their parents and siblings permanent resident status.

The number of babies gaining birthright citizenship has been steadily rising and is now estimated to top 300,000 and reach as high as 400,000 a year, according to John Feere of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). The Pew Hispanic Center puts the estimate at 340,000 a year.

In the most recent analysis, nearly three-quarters of all children of undocumented immigrants were U.S. citizens, and the children of illegals cost taxpayers some $52 billion a year in education expenses alone, Judicial Watch disclosed.

Nearly 4 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. have at least one child who is a citizen. And 66 percent of the immigrants who were granted permanent residency in a recent year were sponsored by family members who were American citizens.

Federal agents recent raided several sites in California that allegedly provided thousands of pregnant Chinese women the opportunity to give birth in the U.S. and thereby gain American citizenship for their children, The Fiscal Times reported.

But critics charge that providing citizenship to the children of illegal aliens was never the intent of the law.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1868, reads in part: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

The law was intended to protect the rights of native-born freed slaves in the years following the Civil War. The U.S. did not limit immigration in 1868, so there were no illegal immigrants and the granting of citizenship to illegals was therefore not an issue.

In 1866, Sen. Jacob Howard from Michigan indicated the intent of the amendment by stating: "Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."

Now several members of Congress are taking aim at birthright citizenship along with Donald Trump.

"I don't have any doubt that the immigration statement that Trump put out is going to help provide momentum for a number of different pieces of immigration enforcement legislation, and especially birthright citizenship," Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who has co-sponsored a bill to restrict birthright citizenship, told the Washington Examiner.

Although some argue that changing the law would require a constitutional amendment, Feere of the CIS said: "Congress could without a doubt clarify the scope of the 14th Amendment through legislation."

King's bill would confer citizenship only on children born in the U.S. who have at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or member of the U.S. military.

Said King: "I'm glad Donald Trump has set this up on the table and now the American public can have an open discussion."

Reference online site -

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Stolen Black Dreams

From Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American Patriot and Chairman of The Conservative Campaign Committee

In response to my article, “Please Tell Black Lives Matter to Shut Up and Go Away,” a sincere black activist emailed asking me with what would I replace it? I asked him to explain. The bottom line of his lengthy passionate reply is “Negroes” are still not free in America. He says America has reneged on its promise of liberty and justice for all.

I am black. I asked my beautiful white wife of 39 years a rhetorical question. “Am I an Uncle Tom? Is there something wrong with me? Because for the life of me, I do not have a clue what he is talking about. What is America suppose to do for blacks that it has not done?”

Mary replied, “You're normal. They're wrong, stuck in a mindset.”

Black unemployment, particularly under Obama, is extremely high. While many blacks have achieved their American dream, many have not. That is not white America's fault. Behavioral issues are laying waste to the black community. Over 70% fatherless households and 70% school dropouts leads to gangs, drugs, blacks murdering blacks and incarceration; all resulting in poverty.

So what is Obama's solution to fixing these problems plaguing blacks? He lets drug dealers who prey on urban youths out of jail, claiming their crime is non-violent. He has his DOJ bully police across America to back off urban thugs. Obama minion Baltimore mayor said, “Let them loot. It's only property.” Violent crime is up big-time in Chicago, New York and Baltimore.

Despite claims otherwise, America has not failed its poor. We have welfare and entitlement programs out the ying-yang; a huge chunk of America's national debt. Also, there is nothing saintly about being poor. Don't beat me up for saying that. I have been poor.

Then there is the claim that America “systematically” and “institutionally” hinders opportunities for blacks. Hogwash! A black college professor friend heads a program offering blacks free college tuition. He has trouble finding applicants. This is a guy who worked his way through college and grad school. He was stunned when students thought having to pay their cell phone bill was a legitimate excuse for not purchasing the book and materials for his course.

Back in my late twenties, Christ delivered me from my wild and crazy drug-filled life. I wanted others to experience my joy. I spoke at youth detention centers and prisons. I remember weeping with a young guy who had attempted suicide. It was shocking seeing so many bright, talented and gifted young black men in prison. The two things they had in common were negative attitudes and victim mindsets. Thank you, Democratic Party.

I fought the urge to grab them by the collar, slap them and yell, “Snap out of it! You were blessed to be born in America, the greatest land of opportunity on the planet! Stop this nonsense and go for your dreams!”

For crying out loud, people around the world are risking everything crossing shark-infested waters in cardboard boats held together with duct tape, desperate to get to America.

Like formerly fat people who continue to see an obese person in the mirror, Democrats have ingrained in blacks that they are victims of an “eternally” racist America; despite glaring evidence proving otherwise.

With sadness in his voice, a black conservative friend phoned me. “Have you heard? Another unarmed young black man was shot.” The cop was a white rookie. Regardless of the facts, the MSM is married to its cops-murder-blacks narrative. Upon investigation, I learned that the black youth was armed and pointed his gun at the police. Still, I sensed that even my conservative buddy was infected with the Left's America mistreats blacks mindset.

In hindsight, when my friend asked if had I heard about another shooting of a black youth, I should have said are you talking about the 40 shot in Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend or the 29 shot in Baltimore by fellow blacks? Oh, you must be talking about the 7 year old just shot in a drive-by. The grieving boy's mom tearfully said, “He had plans. He was going to be somebody.”

Sadly, there are a large number of black Americans whose brains are entombed in a victim mindset; impenetrable by the truth. A prime example is the disgusting comments made by a black woman during a TV interview, expressing her support of a black youth. “He didn't do no wrong. He just shot a cop.” This hateful woman is the equivalent of the KKK justifying killing blacks.

Like the deranged black woman, the MSM, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Democrats refuse to hold blacks accountable for anything. AA calls those who make it comfortable for an alcoholic to continue behaving irresponsibly, “enablers.” Not holding blacks accountable severely undermines black empowerment. Surrendering your success or failure into the hands of someone (white America) other than you weakens you.

To my sincere black activist friend, I say we replace “Black Lives Matter” with “Tough Love.” Tell blacks to stop blaming whitey, seeking more doomed-to-fail government programs and voting for Democrats. Generations of black dreams have been stolen due to Democrats addicting blacks to government dependency. While Planned Parenthood/Democrats push blacks to abort themselves into extinction, Democrats are replacing black voters with millions of unskilled, uneducated and poor illegals; taking jobs from blacks.

Today, liberals excuse irresponsible behavior, defending it with fancy intellectual sounding language.

My late mom would simply say, “Stop acting stupid.”

Stop acting stupid black America. Stop acting stupid.

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