02/17/17

The Denise Simon Experience – 02/16/17

The Denise Simon Experience

Hosted by DENISE SIMON, the Senior Research / Intelligence Analyst for Foreign and Domestic Policy for numerous flag officers and intelligence organizations.

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02/17/17

Compact for America’s Scheme for Pre-ratification of a Massive New Taxes Amendment

By: Publius Huldah

Do you remember the public discussions which went on for years about the proposed equal rights amendment to our federal Constitution?  That’s how it’s supposed to be before an amendment is ratified:  The People get an opportunity to hear the arguments, discuss it among themselves and their state legislators, and reject amendments which are bad.

What if someone found a way to circumvent this pesky public discussion, and get an amendment ratified before The People found about it?  And even before the state legislators who ratified it found out what they had done?  And what if this amendment delegated massive new taxing powers to Congress?

Such a scheme has been developed by Compact for America (CFA). They present their already prepared compact legislation to state legislators as a “balanced budget amendment”; and urge them to get it passed by their state legislature.

The provisions which authorize Congress to impose the new taxes, and which provide for pre-ratification of the new taxes amendment, are buried in some 15 pages of single-spaced excruciatingly convoluted and boring writing.  Rare is the legislator who has the time to wade through the verbiage and figure out what it says. 1

Once three fourths of the States have passed CFA’s compact legislation, the new taxes amendment is thereby ratified.

So that’s how an amendment to our Constitution which delegates massive new taxing powers to Congress can be ratified before The People know what has been done to them; and before the state legislators who did it find out what they have done to the American People.

The scheme has already been passed by state legislators in Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi, and North Dakota; has been filed in Missouri as SB 13; and is now pending in Arizona (HB 2226), where it passed the House on February 9, 2017, 2 and is now before the Senate.

Let’s look at the particulars of the compact legislation.

I
HB 2226 does nothing to control federal spending or “balance the budget”

Section 1 of the Compact [page 2, line 16 of the pdf edition] allows Congress to spend as much as they take from us in taxes or add to the national debt!  But that’s what Congress has been doing!

Sections 2 & 3 [page 2, lines 20-37] permit Congress to raise the debt whenever 26 States agree.

Section 4 [page 2, lines 38 et seq.] is a joke:  Who believes Congress will impeach a President for refusing to “impound” an appropriation made by Congress?

II
CFA’s BBA is an actually a grant of MASSIVE new taxing powers to Congress.

The true purpose of the compact legislation is hidden behind promises such as, “cutting federal spending”, “balancing the budget”, and “scaring Congress”.  The true purpose of the Compact is to delegate to Congress MASSIVE NEW TAXING POWERS.  Specifically, it authorizes Congress to impose a national sales tax and a national value added tax (VAT).

This is where the grant to Congress of the new taxing powers is set forth:

  • Section 5 [page 3, lines 4-6] permits Congress, by a 2/3 vote of each House, to impose a new or increased “general revenue tax”.

 

  • Section 6 [page 3, lines 24-26] defines “general revenue tax” as “any income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax levied by the government of the United States…”

There it is!  All Congress needs to impose a national sales tax and/or a national VAT tax (in addition to the income tax) is a 2/3 vote in each House!

Section 5 also permits Congress, by a simple majority of each House, to impose a “new end user sales tax” which would replace the federal income tax.  But nothing requires Congress to impose a “new end user sales tax” to replace the income tax.

It will be up to Congress to decide whether to impose a new national sales tax and/or VAT tax on top of the existing income tax (if they get 2/3 vote of each House); or whether to impose a new end user sales tax to replace the income tax (if they get only a simple majority in each House).

So! CFA’s version of a BBA is not about “balancing the budget”, or “scaring Congress”, or “reducing federal spending”.  It’s about giving the federal government massive new taxing powers!

A value-added tax is a “turbo-charged national sales tax on goods and services that is applied at each stage of production, not merely on retail transactions” and raises a “gusher of revenue for spendthrift governments worldwide.”

III
When State Legislatures pass compact legislation such as HB 2226, they are actually pre-ratifying the new Amendment to the US Constitution which grants these massive new taxing powers to Congress.

Please note:  If Arizona passes HB 2226, Arizona IS RIGHT THEN AND THERE RATIFYING THE AMENDMENT.  I’ll show you:

HB 2226 says in Article IV, Section 7 (e) of the Compact [page 6, line 43, et seq.]:

When any Article of this Compact prospectively ratifying the Balanced Budget Amendment is effective in any Member State, notice of the same shall be given together with a statement declaring such ratification and further requesting cooperation in ensuring that the official record confirms and reflects the effective corresponding amendment to the Constitution of the United States…”  [boldface mine]

Article IX, Section 1, of the Compact [page 11, line 41 et seq.] says:

Each Member State, by and through its respective Legislature [passage of HB 2226], hereby adopts and ratifies the Balanced Budget Amendment.”

There it is:  If Arizona passes HB 2226, Arizona is thereby ratifying an amendment to the US Constitution which delegates massive new taxing powers to Congress.

When 38 States have passed legislation like HB 2226 – and when Congress approves it, 3 our Constitution is thereby AMENDED and Congress now has constitutional authority to impose a new national sales tax and a national VAT tax – even while keeping and increasing the income tax.

The provisions of the compact which deal with a convention – Articles V through VIII – are a smokescreen which obscures from state legislators the fact that when they pass legislation like HB 2226, they are pre-ratifying the amendment to our federal Constitution.

The convention is a formality – a free trip at taxpayers’ expense.

IV
What’s the Solution?

Don’t feed the beast by giving it massive new taxing powers.  The solution is to downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers.

Our Constitution already limits federal spending to the enumerated powers – learn what those powers are, and enforce the Constitution we already have.  

And use your heads!  You who foolishly believe that a BBA [whether CFA’s version or another version] will force Congress to reduce spending, know this:  a BBA is a mandate for Congress to increase taxes, among other horrors. 4

Endnotes:

[1] Legislators don’t have time to read the bills they vote on. That’s why they have bill summaries. The Compact legislation filed in Arizona has two bill summaries: HERE and HERE.  Can you find where Arizona Legislators are informed they are pre-ratifying a new taxes amendment to the US Constitution if they pass the compact legislation?

2 Click on this link: see the sponsors and the votes.  Do they know what they have done?

3 Pursuant to Article I, §10, last clause, US Constitution, CFA’s Compact is not effective unless Congress approves it.  Will Congress approve a Compact Amendment which delegates massive new taxing powers to them?

4 The Arizona House also passed on Feb 9, 2017, HCR 2013 an application for an Article V convention which purports to be limited to proposing a “balanced budget” amendment (BBA).  Do the sponsors and those who voted for it not know that a BBA does the opposite of what they have been told – that it removes the enumerated powers limitation on federal spending and creates a completely new constitutional authority to spend on whatever the feds want?   See THIS short article.

People of Arizona!  Get with your State Senators and put a stop to these reckless applications for an Article V convention.  And to show that there is no limit to the damage a legislative body can do on one day, your Representatives also passed HCR 2010, the COS application for an Article V convention. The real agenda of the movers and shakers is to put our existing Constitution on the executioner’s block – and you won’t like the new Constitution.

02/17/17

The Trump Presidency: Four Weeks Down, 412 to Go?

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

The media think they’ve found their Watergate, and it only took them three weeks to get there. The truth may be something altogether different. With retired General Mike Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama, and former National Security Advisor under President Donald Trump, now gone from the administration, many questions remain. The media have seized on, “What did Trump know and when did he know it?” It has a nice Watergate ring to it. Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal doesn’t think that we’re quite to that point.

But because the media have maxed out their outrage meter on everything from Dr. Ben Carson’s qualifications to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, to the size of the inauguration day crowd, to Kellyanne Conway’s careless but lighthearted remark about plugging Ivanka Trump’s line of merchandise, the questions on the Flynn matter could potentially disappear in the same blizzard of daily outrage. Or, these questions could grow like a cancer on the Trump presidency, in the midst of congressional hearings and a media obsessed with bringing Trump down.

After all, the media spent eight years pretending the Obama administration was scandal free, that Obama never lied to them, that he always acted in a Constitutional manner. We have documented many of his scandals, and the fact that the Supreme Court unanimously overruled his Justice Department a record 44 times. Overall, Obama had the worst record by far of any president of the last half century when it comes to the number of cases lost at the Supreme Court level. Yet when the Trump administration loses one appeal at the Circuit Court level, it is treated as proof that Trump is shredding the Constitution.

The media also acted as though Hillary Clinton’s actions did not rise to the level of scandal, including her use of an unsecured server to traffic in classified material for four years as secretary of state; her pay for play financial dealings benefiting her family fortune, often, ironically enough, benefiting Russia; and of course Benghazi.

The unproven offense by the Trump administration is that Flynn may have told the Russians to hold off on reacting to Obama’s new sanctions imposed on them in his final month in office, as well as the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. This appears to have been a highly politicized move to bolster the case of his political appointees in the intelligence community (IC) that that Russians hacked the U.S. presidential election with the goal of tipping the scales for Trump, although their report proved nothing of the sort. Obama even claimed that he was aware of this Russian hacking at least a month before the election, but kept his mouth shut because he didn’t want to appear to be trying to overtly help Hillary get elected.

Writing for National Review, Andrew McCarthy has done an outstanding job examining the possible scenarios involving Flynn, and urging Trump to release the tape of Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador. It will eventually come out anyway. In a parting interview shortly before his resignation, Flynn insisted that he crossed no legal lines in his conversations, and urged an investigation into the leaks about him, which he called a “criminal act.”

As to the possible Logan Act violation, i.e., negotiating foreign policy with a foreign power by a private citizen not authorized by the current government, we frankly don’t know at this point. No one has ever been prosecuted under that 1798 law. But what about Obama’s overture to Iran in 2008, in which he sent Ambassador William Miller to tell the Ayatollahs not to make a deal with President George W. Bush, but to wait for his presidency, when Iran would be able to get a better deal? Where was the outrage—and the investigation—when that became known?

And what about the January 23 story in The Washington Post, pointing out that the FBI had picked up Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador? “The FBI in late December reviewed intercepts of communications between the Russian ambassador to the United States and retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn—national security adviser to then-President-elect Trump—but has not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government, U.S. officials said.” Was the FBI lying back then, still investigating, or what?

And despite a provocative title of The New York Times’ much talked about article this week, “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence,” the article states that the intelligence agencies “sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election,” but according to the officials they spoke with, “so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.”

Michelle Malkin reminds us of several Obama appointees who were forced to withdraw before moving into their appointed positions for a variety of improprieties.

I began writing about politics in 1968, covering the Democratic convention in Chicago and the demonstrations inside and outside the hall for a weekly Jewish newspaper in Texas. I spent the summer of 1972 in Miami Beach, covering both the Democrat and Republican conventions, as well as the demonstrations in the streets that extended throughout the summer. Is this déjà vu all over again?

Nixon, like Trump, was hated by the news media and the left in general. While the left had been actively protesting against Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey over Vietnam, it was nothing compared to how it was amped up after the ’68 election. In 1972, the Democrats nominated George McGovern, a liberal, anti-Vietnam War candidate, who nonetheless had been a distinguished World War II fighter pilot, and unlike Hillary Clinton, had been free of corruption and scandal. Nixon won 301 electoral votes in 1968 to defeat Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace, a Democrat turned independent who won five Southern states. Nixon, in 1972, won the Electoral College vote by a margin of 520 to 17, with McGovern winning only Massachusetts and Washington D.C.

This is Trump’s fourth week in office. If you look at the Tweets of Michael Moore, and comments from other members of the radical left, they smell blood and think this could already be the moment to try to impeach Trump. Dan Rather, the disgraced former CBS News anchor, is comparing this moment to Watergate. The New York Times’ Tom Friedman is comparing Trump’s election to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. The left may get one chance at impeaching Trump, but if they don’t succeed, he will be stronger, and most likely continue on for another 412 weeks. The Republicans have such a favorable lay of the land for 2018—there are 25 Democratic senators up for re-election and only eight Republicans—that if Trump gains his footing, and gets past all of these rookie mistakes, and isn’t dragged down by some genuine scandal, the GOP could end up with a filibuster-proof Senate, and head into 2020 with a great chance for a landslide re-election.

The left is once again overplaying their hand. They can’t help themselves. Michael Wolff seemed to agree in the pages of Newsweek: “The media believes that it speaks for Hillary Clinton’s national ballot box majority, for the millions who have now marched against Trump, for the demographically expanding left wing (although not in the right-wing states) and, as well, for obvious common sense. And the media believes that everybody believes what it believes. How could they not? It’s Donald Trump!

Obama and his operatives are reportedly pulling the strings, attempting to overwhelm the system and shut down the Trump presidency. This is unprecedented by a former president against a sitting president, and should be another area of investigation. The same political forces that swept Trump to victory in 2016 will likely come out again—perhaps in greater numbers—in spite of the riots and protests in the streets, the outrage from most of the news media, and from the likes of Madonna, Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, Bruce Springsteen, Chelsea Handler and the Obamas. Not only is Trump in good position to win re-election, but next time it could be a real electoral landslide.


Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.

02/17/17

The “Permanent State” has a Press Office

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

President Donald Trump’s controversial complaint that the intelligence community was using police-state tactics against him has been confirmed in the forced resignation of his national security adviser Michael T. Flynn. When Trump made his complaint, he was referring to leaks of potentially damaging information about him from an unverified dossier. In the Flynn case, several commentators have noted the use of surveillance techniques that are probably illegal.

A Wall Street Journal editorial wonders if “the spooks” who were listening to Flynn obeyed the law, and what legal justification they had for their eavesdropping. The paper added, “If Mr. Flynn was under U.S. intelligence surveillance, then Mr. Trump should know why, and at this point so should the American public. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation, but the Trump White House needs to know what’s going on with Mr. Flynn and U.S. spies.”

In “The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn,” Eli Lake writes about the highly controversial tactic of using “government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens” against Flynn and leaking them to the press. He added, “Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.”

In a column entitled, “Why you should fear the leaks that felled Mike Flynn,” John Podhoretz writes, “No joke, people—if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.” He said that “unelected bureaucrats with access to career-destroying materials clearly made the decision that what Flynn did or who Flynn was merited their intervention—and took their concerns to the press.”

Why was Flynn targeted? Lake writes that Flynn had “cultivated a reputation as a reformer and a fierce critic of the intelligence community leaders he once served with when he was the director the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama. Flynn was working to reform the intelligence-industrial complex, something that threatened the bureaucratic prerogatives of his rivals.” Podhoretz says Flynn “had an antagonistic relationship with America’s intelligence agencies” and was their “potential adversary.”

That Flynn wanted to reform the intelligence community is true. But the more serious concern about Flynn from the perspective of the intelligence community is that he was opposed to the Obama policy, carried out by John Brennan’s CIA, of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. He had been outspoken about this since leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Flynn’s links to Russia and the conversations he had with the Russian Ambassador are minor compared to the disasters in the Middle East that Flynn was exposing. The proxy war the Obama administration waged in the Middle East produced debacles in Egypt, Libya and Syria. In Egypt, the military rescued the country from a Muslim Brotherhood takeover engineered by Obama’s CIA. Libya is still in shambles, and Syria has been lost to the Russians and Iranians. The result in Syria alone is 500,000 dead and millions of refugees.

As documented extensively by AIM’s Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, the U.S. under Obama switched sides in the war on terror, in favor of the terrorists. There were, of course, terrorists on the other side as well. In Syria, the Russian/Iranian/Syrian axis employed terrorist tactics to drive back the U.S.-supported terrorists. That produced a humanitarian disaster that is still unfolding.

Trump has inherited this disaster, and he and Flynn were trying to do something about it. But Trump’s proposal for vetting refugees from failed states has been struck down by liberal judges, and Trump has unfortunately accepted their jurisdiction in the case.

As we explained in a previous column, in a review of Flynn’s book, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency “thinks that the administration he served, headed by Barack Obama, tried to accommodate our enemies, selling out American interests in the process.” This is the world that President Trump faces and is trying to rectify.

We said at the time that “if Flynn wants to turn things around, he will have to lead a purge of the Clinton and Obama agents in the Pentagon and other agencies who have been deliberately withholding information about the nature of the threats and how our lives are in peril from an ‘enemy alliance’ that Obama has been supporting as President of the United States.”

It now appears that Flynn, or rather Trump, didn’t move fast enough, and that these special interests from the swamp have struck first, nailing Flynn’s scalp to the wall.

The media know that the Obama administration helped to produce the humanitarian disasters in countries like Syria and Libya. They ran stories about CIA arms shipments to terrorists in the region through countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But when Flynn got into a position of power and was able to do something about exposing these dirty wars, he became the target. He became a target of surveillance and was tripped up about what he said and remembered about discussions with the Russian Ambassador.

On Capitol Hill, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), seems to be one of the few legislators concerned about the illegal leaks that drove Flynn from his job. He is even quoted as saying that the leakers “belong in jail.”

The American people have a right to know whether there is a “permanent state,” as Eli Lake says, and what role it is playing. But since the major media have been complicit in the intelligence community’s assault on Flynn, there is no reason to believe the media will want to get to the bottom of this subversion of our democratic system of government. Their hands are dirty, too.

It looks like the permanent state has a press office.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.