Monday, February 29, 2016

TRUMP Yesterday and TRUMP Today


Meet Donald J. Trump - Winner of the Nevada Primary
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The Obama climate change legacy

Determined by the next president and written by Marita Noon at Energy Makes America Great, Inc.

After months of debate and public comments, President Obama’s controversial Clean Power Plan (CPP) was issued in August 2015 and published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015. But that is hardly the end of the story. Instead the saga is just beginning—with the ending to be written sometime in 2017 and the outcome highly dependent on who resides in the White House.

The CPP is the newest set of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that the Atlantic states: “anchors the Obama administration’s climate-change policy. It seeks to guide local utilities away from coal-fired electricity generation, and toward renewable energy and natural gas”—with a goal of reducing CO2 emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

States are required to submit implementations plans by September 6, 2016 with emission reductions scheduled to begin on January 1, 2022.

Immediately following the rule’s publication, a coalition of 24 states and a coal mining company, led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), filed a lawsuit to challenge the CPP. Morrisey called it: “flatly illegal and one of the most aggressive executive branch power grabs we’ve seen in a long time.”

The Hill reports: “They are asking the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn the rule. They also want the court to immediately stop its implementation while it works its way through the courts.”

Differing from the Cincinnati-based Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that in October issued a stay for the Waters of the U.S. rule, on January 21, 2016, the federal court refused to put a hold on the CPP while the litigation proceeds. It did, however, agree to expedite the case with oral arguments beginning on June 2.

Days later, January 26, in an unusual move, the petitioners—which now include 29 states (Nevada is the latest to oppose CPP, to protect “Nevada’s vital tourism industry.” On February 24, Attorney General Laxalt filed a brief to highlight the federal agency’s overreach and disregard for the rule of law associated with CPP.) and a large group of utility companies and energy industry trade groups—turned to the Supreme Court (SCOTUS).

Morrisey acknowledged: “While we know a stay request to the Supreme Court isn’t typical at this stage of the proceedings, we must pursue this option to mitigate further damage from this rule.” Knowing that SCOTUS has never before engaged in a case before a federal court even heard the initial arguments, CPP supporters, like Sierra Club Chief Climate Counsel Joanne Spalding, apparently felt confident, calling the appeal: “another ‘Hail Mary’ challenge to the Clean Power Plan.”

Citing SCOTUS’ 2015 ruling that reversed the Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule, petitioners argued that the damage from MATS had already been done by the time the decision came down. In a Client Alert, international law firm Milbank—which works in the energy space—said: “The EPA itself acknowledged that the ruling had virtually no impact, as states had already largely complied with the regulation by the time the Court’s order was issued.”

Despite the historic nature of the request, on February 9, in a 5 to 4 majority, SCOTUS granted an emergency stay of CPP. Milbank states: “The issuance of stay signaled that five of the Supreme Court justices had significant reservations about the EPA’s attempt to regulate emissions from power plants in the way the CPP is currently designed.

To grant the stay, the Supreme Court must have found that there was a ‘fair prospect’ that a majority of the Court would vote to reverse a judgment if the D.C. Circuit were to uphold the CPP.” Morrisey agrees: “the decision reinforces confidence in the broader challenge as the Supreme Court found the coalition’s arguments strong enough to stop the EPA even before the lawsuit concludes.”

The victory means the EPA is prohibited from implementing or enforcing the CPP until the D.C. Circuit issues a decision on the challenge—which is expected as early as this fall. FuelFix reports: “The conventional wisdom is the three-member court panel will rule favorably for the White House.”

As 18 states opposed the application for the stay, whatever decision the lower court reaches, most experts agree SCOTUS will eventually hear the case—likely in 2017.

CPP opponents saw the stay as a sign SCOTUS might strike down the rule. Seth Jaffe, a former president of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, according to the Atlantic, sees it as an “ominous sign for the regulations.” Jaffe said: “One has to conclude that five justices have decided that the rule must go.”

Confidence ebbed, however, with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia—just four days after the court’s unprecedented stay order. As a conservative voice on the court, Scalia had a history of limiting government regulation and was a scathing critic of EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Depending on who fills the empty seat, and when, the court’s decision could go one way or the other.

Regardless, the EPA is continuing to move forward and is encouraging states to take voluntary steps toward compliance and is supporting those who do.

States have reacted differently to the stay. Many states, such as Massachusetts, Arizona, and Virginia are moving ahead with their plans. Some are already well into their CPP compliance plans, with California expected to submit its plan ahead of schedule. Ohio Public Utility Commissioner Asim Haque, reports that they were “already close to completion,” but the commission has put analysis on hold for now.

Texas, whose Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) shared the lead with Morrisey on requesting the stay, is in a holding pattern. Toby Baker, a commissioner on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, according to FuelFix, said: “I’ve watched states get in front of their skis on federal regulations, and then the regulations come out and they don’t match. I do feel like the [clean power plan] will change from what it is right now.”

Following the SCOTUS decision, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies from doing any work to prepare for the CPP until the stay expires. Citing “undue burden” on state ratepayers and manufacturers, he argued that the rule could have a “devastating impact.”

Because the SCOTUS stay halts enforcement of the CPP until the court challenge concludes, and delays the EPA’s deadlines, Morrisey and Paxton, in a February 12 letter to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, encouraged them to “put their pencils down.”

They point out: states “have no legal obligation to continue with spending taxpayer funds on compliance efforts for a suspended and likely unlawful Power Plan. …Any taxpayer dollars spent during the judicial review process are unnecessary and likely to be entirely wasted.”

Pennsylvania Coal Alliance CEO John Pippy, a leading advocate for the coal industry in his state, argues that there are “serious concerns regarding the resources that will be wasted attempting to develop a compliance plan, at the expense of the taxpayers, for a rule that may be significantly altered or thrown out by the Federal Courts.”

With the court challenge coming up in a few months, last week, February 23, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate EPW Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK), 34 Senators and 171 Representatives filed an amicus brief urging the Circuit Court to “block the EPA’s attempts to transform the nation’s electricity sector.”

As the press release states, the lawmakers believe the rule “goes well beyond the clear statutory directive.” It points out: “States will face unprecedented new regulatory burdens, electricity ratepayers will be subject to billions of dollars in compliance costs, and American workers and their families will experience the hardship of job losses due to power plant shutdowns, higher electricity prices, and overall diminishment of the nation’s global economic competitiveness.”

Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND) says he joined his colleagues in filing the brief because “The EPA’s actions are clearly illegal and violate the expressed intent of Congress.” He sees that his state has been singled out.

The initial proposed rule required South Dakota to reduce emissions by 11 percent, but the final rule required a “detrimental 45 percent.” Cramer concludes: “North Dakota’s electricity producers provide some of the most affordable electricity and maintain some of the cleanest air, but this Admiration’s focus on implementing a radical environmental agenda threatens our economic future.”

Now, we wait for the CPP to make its way through the courts—first the D.C. Circuit Court and then, in 2017, the Supreme Court. But, since the CPP is on hold until at least 2017, its future will really be decided by the next president.

Milbank states: “the next administration could seek to alter, cease or continue efforts to implement the existing CPP. Should a Republican reach the Oval Office, this could result in a permanent halt of the EPA’s implementation of the plan altogether, or a significant departure from current emission reduction targets.

Yet, should a Democrat be elected, the new administration could push forward with the CPP while exploring additional provisions of the Clean Air Act.”

Of course, as things stand now, the next president will be appointing Justice Scalia’s replacement. “If a Republican wins the White House, the Atlantic observes, “their nominee would almost certainly join the Supreme Court’s conservative wing.

That justice would be unlikely to vote to support the Clean Power Plan—but it wouldn’t matter, because no remaining Republican supports Obama’s climate policies, anyway, so they’d likely be reversed administratively.”

With a Republican president, there’ll be other changes that could impact the CPP. The EPA, should it not be eliminated, will have a new Administrator. Gina McCarthy will no longer be in charge and influencing policy. If the CPP were actually argued before the court, it would be under the guidance of new leadership and could be presented in a very different way.

Since the CPP will not be argued in the Supreme Court until 2017, when the next president will be in office, it really is the winner on November 8, 2016, who determines the legal battle of the CPP—which will either embrace or eradicate Obama’s climate change policies and the Paris Agreement.

Considering the CPP will, as Morrisey pleads, cause “even more destruction of untold number of jobs, skyrocketing electricity bills and the weakening of the nation’s electric grid,” the stakes couldn’t be higher.
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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 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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Economic Literacy 101 - The Free Stuff

Do millennials really want the Big Government socialist policies Bernie and Hillary advocate? by Paul Driessen at CFACT.org

Meet Paul Driessen
America’s 18- to 34-year-old “millennials” have been tutored in group-think schools that extol socialism. Now they lionize liberal politicians whose class-warfare prescriptions include taxing away all but maybe 1% of the nation’s 0.0001% billionaires’ wealth, then going after Wall Street, Big Business, millionaires and upper middle classes – and giving the “revenue” to those who “need” or “deserve” it more.

The entire process revolves around three central questions. Which ruling class elites get to determine who loses, who wins, by how much? Who grants them the power to do so, and holds them accountable? And what happens when the inevitable discontent over their autocratic decisions boils over?

Interestingly, many of the same generation have flocked to see films that glorify individual liberty and defiance of centralized government control. In The Hunger Games, a few small gestures of disobedience grew into a revolution against Capital elites who lived well and ruled imperiously, while subjugated masses in the Districts starved in poverty and sent their children to die in televised “hunting games.”

In Divergent, a Faction system preserves a society that primarily benefits the ruling Erudites by stifling individuality. The heroes and heroines refuse to confine their lives and ambitions to only one of the other four factions in which they were placed at age sixteen. Again, the ruling class lives far better than the ruled masses. (Ponder the politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists in counties around Washington, DC.)

Are so many millennials really willing to let ruling classes confiscate wealth, impose penalties, determine appropriate welfare payments, and dole out favors? Has their “education” made them incapable of understanding the blessings of liberty, free enterprise capitalism, reliable and affordable fossil fuel energy, and entrepreneurial opportunities? Have instructors so brilliantly presented socialism through rose-colored glasses that young voters are blissfully unaware of its abject failures and horrid excesses?

Are millennials perhaps a little schizophrenic – loving liberty in theory and celluloid, but content to live reality in the Districts, among the Amity and Abnegation Factions, enjoying the bread and circuses (welfare payments and show trials for humbled banker and corporate bigwigs) bestowed upon them? Or perhaps they assume they will be among the Capital’s Erudite and Candor classes, governing the rest of America, in the name of justice, fairness, diversity and equality?

They seem to view free or low-cost college tuition, child care, healthcare, food and housing – along with $15-per-hour “living wages” for entry-level jobs … six-figure incomes after college … and “safe zones” – as “basic constitutional rights.” But when they “feel the Bern,” have they pondered how this system must necessarily work in the Real World, where they will feel the actual burn?

As the late Southern Baptist pastor and author Adrian Pierce Rogers succinctly explained, the hard reality is that “government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn’t first take from somebody else. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving.”

That is precisely what Senator Sanders’ wealth taxation and redistribution scheme proposes to do. The problem, as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher astutely observed, “is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Even in the wealthy United States, “eventually” would come quickly, because socialism destroys the incentive to work, innovate, invest, take risks and create new wealth.

Ultimately, nations are left with a large and growing population of have-nots who demand more – when there is no “more” to be had. That is what Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela and other socialist, populist, egalitarian paradises have been discovering.

They used to provide all kinds of free stuff. Today they are basket cases – struggling with anemic growth, recession, bankruptcy and government “junk” bonds that no sane investor wants.

Today, 59% of young Greeks are unemployed. Youth unemployment is 56% in Spain, 42% in Italy, 38% in Portugal. In Brazil, electricity rates soared 51% last year, food prices rose 15% and overall inflation stood at 11% – a vast improvement over its 5000% annual inflation rate (!) in the early 1990s but still awful. In all of Latin America, only Argentina at 27% and Venezuela at 200% had worse inflation.

American students are immersed in “sustainability” studies and projects, mostly based on still persistent notions that we are running out of essential resources and destroying Planet Earth. Those ideas are the foundation of policies and regulations that perpetuate what really is unsustainable: unemployment, government spending, anti-growth policies, and the anger and unrest they cause.

It may be, as Winston Churchill once observed, that “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of its blessings.” However, he continued, “the inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery and scarcity.” Unfortunately, simple, basic truths like this are rarely taught in our schools.

Students today want equality of outcomes, rather than of opportunities that yield positive outcomes and potentially rich rewards by dint of hard work. If millennials applied their socialist principle to grades – with all scores on exams and projects averaged out among the smart and less talented, the hard-working and deadbeat – shiftless classmates would be happy to coast along, once ambitious scholars would exert far less effort, and all would soon flounder in a sea of F’s.

Similarly, socialist policies stifle the innovation, economic growth and job creation that young people need if they are to get beyond minimum-wage service jobs, and out of their parents’ basements.

Free tuition? City University of New York had that for awhile, until 1976, when it ran out of money and the city nearly went bankrupt. Even Sanders admits his plan would cost yet another $750 billion over ten years. But perhaps it would work if half of the administrative positions were eliminated, faculty salaries got a 25 or 35% trimming, and sabbaticals came just once a decade.

Surely the “progressives” who rule our campuses – and try to ban and silence contrarian speakers like Ben Shapiro – would support this to ensure “free stuff.” Surely, the next Erudite and Candor egalitarians in The Capital would be content with salaries that are no higher than those of the masses they govern.

Bottom line, the bills must eventually be paid. Millennials may get free stuff today. But they and their children and grandchildren will pay for their freebies many times over, through higher taxes, increasing control over their lives, higher inflation, fewer jobs at reduced salaries, and lower living standards.

As to accountability, government excels at fining and jailing citizens and businessmen for violating any of the thousands of regulations that carry criminal sanctions, even if the “perpetrator” did not intend to violate the rule or had no clue that such a rule could possibly exist. But the ruling elites apply very different standards when the incompetent or criminal actions of their own agents are involved.

Thus a rancher is prosecuted for “terrorism” for accidentally burning 139 acres of national forests, but government officials get off scot-free when they torch 160,000 acres mere miles away. Citizens go to prison for inadvertently “impacting” wetlands, but EPA bureaucrats receive get a pass cards when they deliberately open an abandoned mine and unleash 3,000,000 gallons of toxic sludge.

IRS directors simply “take the Fifth” after targeting conservatives and destroying records, and an OPM director resigns rather than testify about how her screw-ups let hackers get personnel records – while private citizens are hounded and threatened until they cave in or run out of money to defend themselves.

The more government control and socialist wealth redistribution we get, the worse these abuses become. Will the socialist voters demand accountability? Or do they simply not care when ruling elites and their cronies violate laws and abuse their public trust, to advance agendas or enrich and protect themselves?

All these questions would generate very interesting discussions with socialist candidates and voters.
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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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The President must follow the law

From the Trey Gowdy Select Committee on Benghazi

Meet Congressman Trey Gowdy
The Obama Administration presented Congress with a plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and relocate the detainees to the United States.

Last August, the Administration announced it was assessing the Navy Brig in Charleston, South Carolina, as a possible facility where these terrorists could be held long term. For months, the South Carolina delegation, led by my friend Senator Tim Scott, has been fighting this action.

Relocating some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists to U.S. soil is not only reckless but against the law. Time and time again, Congress has spoken clearly on this issue by passing, with bipartisan, veto-proof majorities, legislation barring the transfer of detainees to U.S. soil.

In fact, last November the President signed into law the most recent National Defense Authorization Act, which included such language. Additionally, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter have confirmed the law “currently does not allow” Guantanamo Bay detainee transfers to the United States.

Rather than striving to fulfill campaign promises, President Obama must put our national security first, follow the law, and halt all plans to transfer Gitmo detainees to the United States.

On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee passed with my support H.R. 3892, the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015. This bill asks the State Department to formally recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization that threatens the United States, or indicate which criteria have not been met to warrant such a designation.

Once the State Department bestows this designation, it will decrease the ability of Muslim Brotherhood members to infiltrate our country. This bill is one of many steps Congress is taking to close gaps in our national security and fight global terrorism.

The Select Committee on Benghazi continues to break an immense amount of new ground as we compile the most comprehensive accounting of what happened before, during and after the terrorist attacks in Benghazi.

As we approach our 80th witness interview and work to complete our report and recommendations before this summer, it is time for the administration to turn over records this committee requested nearly one year ago.

The American people and the families of the victims deserve the truth.
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All bathrooms are transgender say democrats

From the files of A.F. (Tony) Branco at Comically Incorrect.com

Grab Your Morning Coffee and Check Out Branco Online

Okay, I’m hyperventilating. Tony combines beautiful drawings with biting politically incorrect wit and laugh out loud humor.” – Larry Elder – TV and Radio personality at at Fox News and KRLM AM 870

Lighten things up! Political discussions and debates don’t always have to be deep and long-winded arguments with points and counter points. Sometimes we just need to take a step back from it all and have a good laugh. With so many discouraging things happening in our country lately, that’s the only thing we can do to keep from crying.

Conservative artist Antonio Branco is a master at encapsulating deep and complex issues in a simple comic.

He has written his first book in a series and takes on a wide array of issues, from food stamps to global warming to foreign policy, Antonio isn’t afraid to say what he thinks.
Presented in a coffee table book style, this is the perfect conversation starter with friends and family that pick it up and start glancing through it’s pages.

Who knows, that liberal aunt of yours just might come over to the right side because of this book!

This 80 pages, hardcover comic measures 8″ x 10".


Read more from A.F. (Tony) Branco at this link.
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You can count on Shelby's support for veterans



Senator Richard Shelby, candidate for the United States Senate, released an ad featuring Linda Smelly, a business owner from Tuscaloosa, on Shelby’s support for our veterans and his efforts to get to the bottom of the VA scandal.

Senator Shelby has been a vocal advocate of correcting the systemic problems at the VA, and he requested the Department of Justice and the FBI conduct an investigation.
“The American Dream would not be possible without the courageous men and women of our Armed Forces,” said Senator Shelby. “Unfortunately, the VA has failed to properly care for those who have selflessly sacrificed to protect us. 
The mismanagement of the VA is completely unacceptable, and I will continue to fight to hold the VA accountable in order to provide the care that our veterans deserve.” 

To find out more about Richard Shelby, Click Here
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You can't handle the truth

From the office of Mississippi Congressman Steven Palazzo


Today marks the 25th anniversary of the end of the Persian Gulf War. On this day 25 years ago I was on the Saudi Kuwait border with the Marines 3rd Force Recon Company. Just four days earlier the U.S. led a coalition of 34 countries in a massive ground offensive into Kuwait.

Meet Congressman Steven Palazzo
I've always been proud to serve and defend our country, but I never thought I would have to defend it against our very own Commander in Chief. 25 years after fighting and winning a war in the Middle East, I’m co-sponsoring legislation to prevent our president from closing Gitmo and bringing terrorists into our country.

I not only find his decision completely outrageous as an American citizen and as a Congressman, but as a Marine veteran who fought for this country.

I joined Tony Perkins on American Family Radio this week in a discussion about the plan the president put forth. What it comes down to is simple; the president doesn’t have the legal authority to close Gitmo.

If he tried to act on his plan he would be in direct violation of the law. Furthermore, as a member of the Appropriations Committee I can assure you we are not going to fund the closing of Guantanamo Bay.

Congratulations PSU 308

I’d like to congratulate the United States Coast Guard Reserve Port Security Unit (PSU) 308, based in Hancock County, on being selected as the winner of the 2015 Reserve Family Readiness Award. Each year, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs recognizes the top unit from each of the Armed Forces Reserve Components that have demonstrated outstanding family readiness while upholding mission success.

While deployed overseas from November 2014 through October 2015 to U.S. Southern Command Guantanamo Bay, PSU 308 created several support programs to strengthen the connection between deployed members, their families and their communities.

It’s important to remember that the family members of our servicemen and women make great sacrifices as well. I am extremely proud of the hard work PSU 308 put forth to emphasize the significance of Family Readiness.

Their accomplishments will not only affect unit members and enhance mission readiness during future deployments but will also greatly impact the lives of the family members that remain behind.
Your comments are always welcome and you can contact Congressman Palazzo on facebook, twitter or by visiting his website.
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Two percent growth is a loser

Two-Percent Growth Is a Loser for the Angry Middle Class But Where’s the GOP Solution? by Lawrence (Larry) Kudlow at the Kudlow Report

The good news is that the economy is growing at 2 percent and that there’s no recession in sight (barring a complete collapse of profits).

The bad news is that the economy is growing at 2 percent. It’s been doing so for nearly 15 years under Democratic and Republican administrations.

Coming off a deep recession, real GDP growth is averaging no better than 2 percent. After 25 quarters of so-called recovery under Obama, it has increased a total of only 14.3 percent.

Compare this to earlier periods. After the JFK tax cuts of the early 1960s, the economy grew in total by roughly 40 percent.

After the Reagan tax cuts of the 1980s, the economy grew by a total of 34 percent.

And here’s the killer: Real middle-class wages are still flat-lining. These folks get nothing out of 2 percent growth.

As I feared, subpar economic growth never really came up in the Republican debate in Houston. Rather than growth, we got more cat fights. It’s time to get serious.

In a recent essay, John H. Cochrane, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, wrote that “sclerotic growth is the overriding economic issue of our time.” He has numbers to back this up.

From 1950 to 2000, the U.S. economy grew at an average rate of 3.5 percent. That generated a massive gain in real GDP per person from $16,000 to over $50,000. A huge win for the middle class.

But as Cochrane noted, if the whole post-WWII period had grown at 2 percent, income per person would have increased from $16,000 to only $23,000 -- about half of what actually happened at 3.5 percent growth.

There is a big difference between 2 and 3.5 percent growth. It’s not abstract or theoretical. Essentially, the middle class has not gotten a raise in 15 years. In fact, a new report from Sentier Research finds that median household income of $56,700 (adjusted for inflation) at the end of 2015 is almost exactly where it was at the end of 2000.

Not surprisingly, the middle class is cranky and angry. And they are voting for change. Significant change. As in throw-the-bums-out change. That includes presidents, members of Congress, big-company crony capitalists, and corporate welfarists.

The middle class is saying the system is rigged against them, and they want to change who’s running the system.

Much of this gets to the root of the inequality debate. Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders want to raise taxes on the rich, saying it will solve inequality. It won’t. All that will do is significantly reduce incentives to work, save, and invest.

But I say inequality is not the problem. The problem is a lack of growth. Middle-class people who haven’t seen a raise in all these years don’t want to punish success, and they’re not jealous of those who have done well. They just want their piece of the pie.

And while the pie itself has stopped growing, the individual slices have gotten smaller.

Can you blame their anger and desire for radical political change? Nope.

Coming out of the caucuses and primaries so far, the economy has been the number-one issue. There’s a message there. And the GOP has to address the issue of growth versus inequality. So far they haven’t done it.

With the GDP report for the fourth quarter ended in December, we know that the inflation-adjusted economy is growing at 1.9 percent over the last year. Business fixed investment -- the category that produces good-paying jobs -- is growing at 1.6 percent. Low gasoline prices have helped consumer spending rise by 2.6 percent, but even that’s not a wildly optimistic number. The inflation rate, meanwhile, is a measly 1.1 percent.

All this tells me nothing has really changed. But we can change this fast.

Research has shown that middle-income wage earners would benefit most from a large reduction in corporate tax rates. The corporate tax is not a rich-man’s tax. Corporations don’t even pay it. They just pass the tax on in terms of lower wages and benefits, higher consumer prices, and less stockholder value.

So as I’ve written a million times: Slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent for large C-corps and small S-corps, go to immediate tax deductions for new investment, and make it easy for firms to repatriate their overseas earnings.

This would be the single-most stimulative program for reigniting economic growth. Principally, it’s a middle-class tax cut. If you combine that with regulatory rollbacks and a stable dollar, within less than a year the U.S. economy can break out of its doldrums.

To all the GOP candidates: Please send this message. To my Democratic friends: Why not revive the legacy of the JFK tax cuts? It would be a whole lot better than punishing success.
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Dump fast food addiction (part 2)



I’m BAAAAACK with more tips on how ditch your fast food lifestyle with Wellness expert Dr. David Magnano. It’s all for getting rid of those aches, pains, and degenerative diseases. At least that’s what he told me on my POPPOFF Radio Show at KAHI Radio. He had seven tips that can get us going. Here are the ones we covered in Part One.

1) EAT ONLY WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY 

2) DON’T MIX FOODS AND EAT FOODS IN THE PROPER ORDER 

3) DON’T EAT WHEN YOU ARE FEELING STRESSED, ILL, OR INJURED.

Okay. Now let’s get to the other four so we can get you going on your way to dumping those fast food cravings and give you better health. So here they are.

4) CHEW 22 TIMES—INCLUDING PROTEIN DRINKS. Many people gulp down those big protein drinks thinking it’s a good thing to do, but the reality is, it’s like swallowing steak whole. You have to chew protein, or the signals to the brain won’t be there. If you don’t chew along the way, you’re shocking the system. Got to be honest. This one kind of floored me. How the heck do you chew ice cream?

5) DON’T EAT OVERLY-COOKED AND OVERLY-PROCESSED FOODS. Because we don’t know what’s added to the food we buy, when we take it home, we tend to over process it because we’re afraid we’ll get sick if we eat something raw. Meat should never be heated in excess of 118 degrees, as the enzymes in that protein are destroyed when they are heated. This one makes me kind of nervous.

6) GIVE YOUR FOOD A BACKGROUND CHECK. Learn how to be a food detective and know the history of what you are putting in your mouth. Where did those apples come from? Have they been colored or sprayed with glazes and preservatives? The more fresh, locally grown meat and produce you consume, the fewer chemical additives you are likely to encounter. Start your own small garden. Make sure whatever you are consuming is the finest you can purchase or grow.

7) USE PSICES AND NATURAL DIGESTIVE AIDS TO HELP BREAK DOWN WHAT YOU EAT. Certain cultures add ginger to their food, which is super for digestion. Others add hot peppers, a stimulant to the digestive tract which helps secret more hydrochloric acid. There are cultures that use a lot of turmeric which is good for digestion. There are other aperitifs that get the digestive enzymes flowing. Some people add pineapple to their meat dishes to help break it down and you can always use formulated enzyme supplements like AbsobAid.

There you have what the good Doc thinks will help wean us off those delightful fast foods that beckon us on with their titillating tastes. Perhaps they will wear off if we do the Docs way.

If you need to know more about Dr. David Magnano, you can go to www.naturessources.com. I have to be honest with you. I might sneak a Big Mac once in a while. Hey, you only live once! Stay well!

From the files of Mary Jane Popp at KAHI Radio in Sacramento, California
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Disgrace of the New York Times

From the files of Jeff Crouere on Ringside Politics at WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station in New Orleans

Meet Jeff Crouere
On Wednesday, Ross Douthat, a columnist for the New York Times, set a new low for his liberal publication. As a supposed joke, Douthat tweeted that the best way to stop Donald Trump was to attempt to assassinate him.

He said, “Good news, I’ve figured out how the Trump campaign ends,” and included a link to a scene from the 1983 movie, “The Dead Zone,” which featured an attempted assassination attempt on a deranged political candidate who had visions of running for President.

Douthat claims to be a conservative, but he must be suffering from the same Trump derangement syndrome that afflicted the publication National Review.

This formerly consequential magazine devoted an entire edition to blasting Donald Trump and included articles from the likes of talk show host Glenn Beck, who has become so crazed that he participated in a hunger strike to support Senator Ted Cruz and actually compared Trump supporters to Nazis.

This ridiculous behavior among conservatives is embarrassing and somewhat unusual from the supposedly serious National Review. In contrast, it can be expected from someone as emotionally unhinged as Glenn Beck, who often breaks down on his program and starts crying.
Unlike the conservative media, the New York Times is considered by many to be the citadel of American journalism. In reality, it is a hard left publication that is losing influence on a daily basis. Clearly, the New York Times and the rest of the old guard mainstream news media treats threats against conservatives and Republicans much differently from threats made against liberals.

If Douthat had made such a threat against President Obama, he would have been arrested and faced charges. If Douthat had made the threat against Hillary Clinton, he would have been immediately fired and been the subject of nationwide ridicule.

However, since the victim of this reprehensible attack was Donald Trump, the New York Times did absolutely nothing. In fact, it seems that Douthat was not even reprimanded by the “newspaper of record.”

Of course, Americans have the First Amendment and we thankfully have a free press and cherished rights such as free speech. However, news organizations should also have standards and advocating violence against the leading Republican Party presidential candidate should be unacceptable behavior that is never tolerated.

After the initial tweet caused an intensely negative reaction from Trump supporters, Douthat apologized and removed the offensive comment. Nevertheless, the damage had already been done. Trump is a high profile individual with universal name recognition. He is clearly the most controversial presidential candidate in decades.

Fortunately, he has Secret Service protection since he reportedly faces death threats on a regular basis. According to his former aide, Roger Stone, Trump wears a bullet proof vest for protection.

This tweet may give lunatics the encouragement to attempt to harm Trump, who is holding large rallies across the country. No other candidate attracts such crowds, so thanks to a lowlife columnist’s assassination joke, the already difficult job of the Secret Service has been made more difficult.

Since his presidential campaign began in June, Trump has dealt with public threats against his life a number of times. In October, a notorious Mexican drug lord, El Chapo, reportedly put a $100 million bounty on Trump’s head. In December, when Trump called for a halt on Muslim immigration into this country, the Internet exploded with death threats against him.

Of course, it is not unusual for drug lords and terrorists to target U.S. presidential candidates, but it is unprecedented for a New York Times columnist to join the fray.

If this liberal newspaper, which has seen a significant decline in readership in recent years, had any credibility left, Douthat, a supposed foreign policy expert who supports Senator Marco Rubio and Governor John Kasich for President, would be looking for a job today.
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Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 10:00 p.m. Sunday on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. 

For more information, visit Jeff's web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com or email him at jeff@ringsidepolitics.com.
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What if the supreme court had term limits?

If the Supreme Court had term limits, confirmations wouldn't be so bloody by Jeff Jacoby at The Boston Globe


The framers of the US Constitution were a brilliant bunch, but even they blundered now and then. One of their blunders was life tenure for Supreme Court justices, a constitutional flaw for which Americans are paying a price to this day.

The political mud fight that erupted within hours of Antonin Scalia's death was as predictable as it was disgraceful. When President Obama announced his intention to nominate a new justice promptly, Senate Republicans indignantly howled that an election-year confirmation was out of the question, and that any nomination should wait until voters could choose a new president.

Senate Democrats howled just as indignantly that Scalia's seat must not be left vacant, and that it would be scandalous for the Senate not to hold hearings and a vote on the president's nominee.

That each side had made the opposite argument when the political lineup was reversed — Republican president, Democratic Senate — inhibited the latest round of self-righteous posturing not in the least. Procedural consistency is the last thing Washington cares about when there is a vacancy on the high court. All that matters are the political stakes.

And when it comes to a seat on the Supreme Court, those stakes — thanks in large measure to life tenure — are enormous.

In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton famously described the judiciary as the "least dangerous" branch of government. Since the Constitution invested the courts with neither power of the purse nor control of the military, he argued, the judiciary would always have less influence than the two political branches.

It was to counteract this inherent weakness that the Framers endowed federal judges with life tenure. Permanent appointments, the thinking went, would ensure independent judges, not cowed by partisan attacks or by public reaction to their decisions.

But the Framers' basic assumption was wrong. The Supreme Court isn't weak. The justices may not appropriate funds or command armies, but very early on they assumed the authority to say definitively what the Constitution requires and forbids.
The Supreme Court has become the most dangerous branch, with the ability to shape national policy and priorities on almost any issue it takes up. And these days there is virtually no topic, however controversial — Obamacare, same-sex marriage, lethal injections, campaign finance, racial preferences — that doesn't end up in court.

Life tenure proved vastly more potent than Hamilton and his colleagues could have imagined, and not only because the Supreme Court involves itself in so many more areas of American life than it used to. Justices also live longer. When the Constitution was written, the life expectancy of the average American was less than half of what it is today.

"Today the average justice who is appointed to the court in his early 50s can expect to sit on the court for nearly three decades," legal scholars Steven Calabresi and James Lindgren wrote in a 2006 law review article. Modern justices "enjoy a potential tenure that is 50 percent longer than that of their typical 18th- and 19th-century predecessors."

No wonder judicial confirmation battles have grown so savage. Whoever ends up taking Scalia's seat on the court will end up with more political clout than any of the senators voting on his or her nomination — and is likely to be wielding that clout after most of those senators have retired. Of course the parties go to Defcon 1 when a rare and unpredictable Supreme Court vacancy appears. The consequences are huge, and it may be another 30 years before the seat comes vacant again.

It doesn't have to be like this. A remedy is available. All we have to do is fix the Framers' blunder: Scrap life tenure, and switch to term limits for Supreme Court justices.

As life expectancy has risen, so has the age of the average Supreme Court justice. No longer
is it unusual for justices — unelected and unaccountable — to stay on the court for 30 years.

Judicial nominations will always involve political give-and-take. This one reform, however, would drain away the partisan ferocity that now makes the confirmation process so excruciating. The idea is far from new. Thomas Jefferson, originally a supporter of lifetime appointments for judges, came to regard them as dangerous and undemocratic.

More recently, scholars and analysts across the ideological spectrum have endorsed term limits for the Supreme Court. One appealing proposal would switch to a system of staggered 18-year terms, with a new justice being appointed in the first and third year of every presidential quadrennium. That would transform Supreme Court vacancies from rare flukes to regular events.

Every president would have the opportunity to name at least two jurists to the highest court in the land. The political composition of the court would reflect the political orientation of the White House and the Senate more faithfully than it does now. When everyone knows that the next SCOTUS vacancy is never more than two years away, Supreme Court confirmations will no longer resemble Armageddon.

It isn't easy to amend the Constitution, and any changeover to term limits would require careful transition rules. But there is reason to think the American public might welcome this means of de-escalating the nastiness of Supreme Court confirmations.

When a Reuters poll last summer asked respondents whether they favor replacing the justices' lifetime appointments with fixed terms, a bipartisan majority — 66 percent — opted for term limits. Only 17 percent supported life tenure. A 2012 CBS News poll reached a similar finding: 60 percent of American voters oppose lifetime appointments.

Life tenure for Supreme Court justices was one of the Framers' screw-ups. A rethink is long overdue. In a government of the people, no one should be entrusted with power for life. Especially when that power is immense, and lifespans are longer than ever.
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Alabama Senator Sessions endorses Trump

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions became the first sitting senator to endorse Donald Trump, declaring his support for the Republican front-runner during a rally at a football stadium packed with 30,000 people in Madison, Alabama.

The endorsement from the Alabama Republican known for his opposition to illegal immigration will solidify Trump's attempts to position himself as the Republican presidential candidate with the toughest stance on the issue.

The endorsement comes two days before the crucial Super Tuesday primary when Alabama and a dozen other states, mostly in the South, vote.
"At this time in American history we need to make America great again," Sessions told the raucous crowd as he donned one of Trump's signature caps emblazoned with that campaign slogan. "I am pleased to endorse Donald Trump for president of the United States."

"A movement is afoot that must not fade away," Sessions added.

Cuing up Sessions' endorsement on stage Sundays, Trump referred to the Alabama Senator as "really the expert as far as I'm concerned on borders."

"We want strong borders. We want the wall," Trump said.

Sessions' endorsement has been months in the making. Speculation of a potential endorsement has swirled since Sessions appeared with Trump at his massive rally in Mobile, Alabama last summer and donned a "Make America Great Again" cap.

Senator Sessions always welcomes your comments at his office or online

Portions of this article came from Fair Use News
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Friday, February 26, 2016

NRA endorses Alabama's Martha Roby

Meet Congresswoman Roby
The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund has endorsed Martha Roby in her Alabama reelection campaign.

"Your priority is always to put Alabama first, and you have done that by standing on the side of freedom and defending the Second Amendment.

Based on your consistent and proven voting record on Second Amendment issues in the U.S. House of Representatives, you have earned an "A" rating from the NRA-PVF for this primary election," said the endorsement from NRA-PVF Chairman Chris Cox.

Martha Roby is an NRA member and lifetime gun owner, so this is an exciting endorsement to announce in the final week before the March 1 election. You can read more about where Martha stands on important issues here.

To find out more about Congresswoman Roby, click here
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And the fix is in

From the files of A.F. (Tony) Branco at Comically Incorrect.com

Grab That Morning Coffee and Check Out Branco Online

Okay, I’m hyperventilating. Tony combines beautiful drawings with biting politically incorrect wit and laugh out loud humor.” – Larry Elder – TV and Radio personality at at Fox News and KRLM AM 870

Lighten things up! Political discussions and debates don’t always have to be deep and long-winded arguments with points and counter points. Sometimes we just need to take a step back from it all and have a good laugh. With so many discouraging things happening in our country lately, that’s the only thing we can do to keep from crying.

Conservative artist Antonio Branco is a master at encapsulating deep and complex issues in a simple comic.

He has written his first book in a series and takes on a wide array of issues, from food stamps to global warming to foreign policy, Antonio isn’t afraid to say what he thinks.
Presented in a coffee table book style, this is the perfect conversation starter with friends and family that pick it up and start glancing through it’s pages.

Who knows, that liberal aunt of yours just might come over to the right side because of this book!

This 80 pages, hardcover comic measures 8″ x 10".


Read more from A.F. (Tony) Branco at this link.
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Senator Shelby on Guantanamo

Shelby Reacts to President Obama’s Plan to Close Guantanamo


Alabama Senator Richard Shelby released the following statement on President Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay prison:

“Since taking office in 2009, President Obama has vowed to act on his campaign promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. I believe that closing Guantanamo and moving radical terrorists onto U.S. soil is imprudent and reckless, especially when the President failed to detail any specifics to his so-called plan.

“The prisoners housed at Guantanamo pose a serious threat to our national security, and their release or transfer should not be centered on President Obama’s desire to score political points. Current law prohibits the terrorists held at Guantanamo from being transferred onto U.S. soil. I will fight against this dangerous and misguided decision by the Administration to blatantly disregard the law.”

Background 
Senator Shelby included two provisions in the fiscal year 2016 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill related to Guantanamo Bay:

  • Section 527 prevents the Administration from transferring detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to U.S. soil.
  • Section 528 prevents the Administration from constructing, acquiring or modifying any facility in the U.S. to house detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.

Senator Shelby always welcomes your comments. Contact him at this link.

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No Supreme Court nominee say Conservatives

Posted ay the files of Colonel Allen B. West

Meet Colonel Allen B. West
Conservatives are bluntly warning the Senate against holding Supreme Court nomination hearings, saying it would be “tone deaf” and enflame already angry voters.

According to The Hill, conservatives say blocking President Barack Obama’s high court pick is worth the risk even if Democrats retaliate and bring the Senate’s work to a halt.

“I would rank having a conservative justice as more important than having the majority in the Senate,” David Bozell, president of For America, a conservative advocacy group, tells The Hill.

“God knows this Republican majority in the Senate hasn’t done much anyway for conservatism, period. If you look at some of the conservative movement’s successes, it’s in large part due to the court doing some decent things and making some good decisions.”

Mike Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, agrees, saying “the issues that are of great concern to the conservative movement have all been decided by the Supreme Court,” including Second Amendment rights, marriage and abortion.

“People who argue that the Republicans should play footsy with President Obama and the Democrats on this Supreme Court opening are the same types of people who are simply tone deaf to the political moment we’re experiencing,” the American Conservative Union’s chairman, Matt Schlapp, tells The Hill.

“The Senate should be more important to hold onto, but unfortunately with runaway interventionist court, the Supreme Court” might be more important, he said.

Click here to read the rest of the article
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