By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Will the President disappoint? Equities advanced on the premise of tax reform, the details that may be released today. As noted many times, the averages have been buoyed by great expectations of a Trump presidency that lowers regulations, simplifies the tax code, increases infrastructure spending and reduces the size of government.

Commenting on the above, increased infrastructure spending has bipartisan support. What about reducing the size of government?

Yesterday, the President announced his dictum that government agencies reduce their budget, but not in the Washington sense. For most organizations a 10% reduction in spending is a 10% reduction in spending. In Washington a 10% spending cut is historically a 10% reduction in the rate of growth. In other words, it is largely ceremonial.

The President’s spending cut is radical for Washington. He has proposed an actual reduction in spending, not a reduction in the the rate of a spending increase.

How will the bureaucracy respond? Probably disdainfully.

As stated above, many are expecting Trump today to announce his tax reform plans.

I have commented many times that globalism is on death’s bed. Yesterday it received another direct hit as Scotland stated it will vote to leave the United Kingdom. A similar referendum failed in September 2014. I will argue if this plebiscite is passed and if Le Penn is victorious in France, both of which is a distinct possibility, globalism has died a traumatic and swift death. Wow! Talk about the unexpected occurring.

If this does occur, the investing landscape has radically changed where yesterday’s rules no longer apply. Economic nationalism will dictate sovereign’s policies.

This implosion of an economic order coupled with perhaps the ending of a 30-year bull market for sovereign debt has and will continue to create uncertainty. How will such uncertainty be manifested in the markets?

Historically negatively, but again expect the unexpected where growth may exceed forecasts.

There is little to write about on yesterday’s market activity. Equities were flat, treasuries fell, the dollar erased losses as the odds of an interest rate next month rose past 50% and oil advanced to the highest level since July 2015.

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was up 0.03%, Paris down 0.05% and Frankfurt down 0.19%. China was up 0.40%, Japan was up 0.06% and Hang Sang was down 0.77%.

The Dow should open quietly lower. The 10-year is unchanged at a 2.36% yield.



By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities
From: 2/6/17

Was President Trump’s Executive Order to roll back Dodd Frank the final catalyst to spur 4% growth? As widely discussed, the economy has failed to grow by 3% per annum for a record 11 consecutive years, vastly impacting the nation’s net worth and income.

I have commented many times that sentiment survey after sentiment survey has indicated that the long arm of government was the greatest threat/hindrance to economic activity. Until two years ago, the greatest fear was economic.

I have also remarked a gazillion times that capital formation is the lifeblood of capitalism and without such growth would be anemic, further stating until monetary velocity accelerates, an acceleration that is/was close to impossible because of intense regulatory burdens, growth would remain lackluster.

There are about $2 trillion in excess bank reserves versus the historical norm of $1 billion. Referencing a dated Chicago Fed report, if monetary velocity accelerated to 50% of its norm, growth would be over 6% and inflation over 10%.

Has Donald Trump released the proverbial “animal spirits,” which could be a distinct possibility given recent sentiment surveys? Will these “animal spirits” be fed by the roll back of Dodd Frank that increases monetary velocity and economic activity (as well as liquidity in the markets)?

I will answer yes. Such a possibility will have a greater impact than Main Street versus Wall Street.

Speaking of which, January’s labor report surprised us on the upside as both non-farm and private sector jobs handsomely exceeded estimates. The all-important labor participation rate rose from 62.7% to 62.9%.

Is this a harbinger of things to come? As noted many times from 1996-2007, 90% of jobs created were from small business, defined as companies with fewer than 400 employees.

This is the economic group President Trump is championing and will be a direct beneficiary via the roll back of Dodd Frank which in turn will permit an increase in monetary velocity and capital formation that enables greater economic growth and job creation.

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was down 0.02%, Paris down 0.50% and Frankfurt down 0.72%. China was up 0.54%, Japan up 0.31% and Hang Sang down 0.95%.

The Dow should open quietly lower, assessing the changed socioeconomic and geopolitical landscape. The 10-year is up 12/32 to yield 2.43%.


Hillary Clinton vs. the Second Amendment

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Hat Tip: The New Americana

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton just outright refused to say during an interview yesterday that owning a gun was a constitutionally protected right. I’m not surprised in the least, but she is certainly getting more and more brazen about it.

George Stephanopoulos asked her point blank concerning the issue: “Do you believe that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right, that it’s not linked to service in a militia?” She gave a very weaselly answer: “I think that for most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice [Antonin] Scalia, and there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right, as we do with every amendment, to impose reasonable regulations,” Clinton responded. That is a flat out lie. The federal government does not have a right period in regards to constitutional amendments to impose regulations. That has never been true. The rights are granted to the people, not the government. Not only did she sidestep the question, she gave an even worse answer here. She is basing an outrageous answer on the fact that the federal government has gotten away with overreach forever and since they have, she feels that it is now the ‘right’ of the government to keep doing so. No… it is not. The government is granted certain powers that the people giveth and the people can taketh from them.

She added, “So I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.” Not the way she means it and not mandated by the government. Common sense measures are those such as: don’t point the gun at things you don’t mean to shoot; keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot; be absolutely sure of your target and what’s behind it… and then there is Rule #1… all guns are always loaded.

Clinton’s lapdog Stephanopoulos wasn’t done though: “But that’s not what I asked,” Stephanopoulos interjected. “I said, do you believe that their conclusion that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right?” She didn’t answer once again, but notice the use of ‘if’: “If it is a constitutional right, then it, like every other constitutional right, is subject to reasonable regulations, and what people have done with that decision is to take it as far as they possibly can and reject what has been our history from the very beginning of the republic, where some of the earliest laws that were passed were about firearms.” It is a constitutional right and it is not automatically subject to regulations. It does not say that in the Constitution. The Constitution restrains the government, it does not give them carte blanche to control our rights. Per the Constitution, the government is supposed to keep its damned hands to itself. Constitutionalists interpret the Second Amendment the way it was written and intended… not redefined to fit the agendas of politicians and the federal government. That’s called tyranny.


Hillary Clinton did suggest that gun owners do have a right, but then she claimed “the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regulatory, responsible actions to protect everyone else.” Again, no… they do not. There is no constitutional provision that says that. Clinton simply wants to do away with the Second Amendment altogether, or at the very least, redefine it progressively, so she can disarm America. It’s just that simple.

The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Hillary’s deflections aside, she chooses not to interpret the meaning of this amendment in the spirit it was meant because it does not fit her political views.

Here’s the full exchange between Clinton and Stephanopoulos:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about the Second Amendment. As you know, Donald Trump has also been out on the stump talking about the Second Amendment and saying you want to abolish the Second Amendment. I know you reject that. But I want to ask you a specific question: Do you believe that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right – that it’s not linked to service in a militia?

CLINTON: I think that for most of our history there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice (Antonin) Scalia. And there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right – as we do with every amendment – to impose reasonable regulations. So I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment. And, in fact, what I have proposed is supported by 90 percent of the American people and more than 75 percent of responsible gun owners. So that is exactly what I think is constitutionally permissible and, once again, you have Donald Trump just making outright fabrications, accusing me of something that is absolutely untrue. But I’m going to continue to speak out for comprehensive background checks; closing the gun show loophole; closing the online loophole; closing the so-called Charleston loophole; reversing the bill that Sen. (Bernie) Sanders voted for and I voted against, giving immunity from liability to gun makers and sellers. I think all of that can and should be done, and it is, in my view, consistent with the Constitution.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, and the Heller decision also says there can be some restrictions. But that’s not what I asked. I said, do you believe their conclusion that the right to bear arms is a constitutional right?

CLINTON: If it is a constitutional right, then it – like every other constitutional right – is subject to reasonable regulations. And what people have done with that decision is to take it as far as they possible can and reject what has been our history from the very beginning of the republic, where some of the earliest laws that were passed were about firearms. So I think it’s important to recognize that reasonable people can say, as I do, responsible gun owners have a right. I have no objection to that. But the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regulatory, responsible actions to protect everyone else.

Clinton also defended the idea of a gun tax, but stopped short of endorsing a proposal she first embraced in 1993. Stephanopoulos pressed her on the issue and she demure yet again: “I’m not going to commit to any specific proposal,” she deferred. “That was in the context of health care. When you have mass shootings, you not only have the terrible deaths, you have people who are injured.” Clinton claims the issue came up during a weekend meeting with survivors of the December 2015 terrorist massacre in San Bernardino, CA. “What they talked to me about was, where do they get the financial support to deal with both the physical and the emotional trauma?” she said. “There are real costs that people incur because of the terrible gun violence epidemic. And we have to deal with it. And I’m going to be looking for ways to deal with it.” “I’m not committed to anything other than what I’ve said in this campaign,” she added, “but I do want people to ask themselves, can’t we do better than to have 33,000 people killed every year by guns and many thousands more injured? And I think we can.” Translation… yes, she is all for a gun tax. A massive and crippling one – 25% to be specific.

Via Twitchy:

Hillary’s stance on guns has never changed. She has always been against them.

From Americans for Tax Reform:

In passionate Senate testimony on Sept. 30, 1993, Clinton endorsed a new national 25 percent retail sales tax on guns. Americans for Tax Reform has released footage of Clinton’s visceral facial expressions which shows her nodding fiercely as she endorses the gun tax and as gun owners and dealers are described as “purveyors of violence.”

Clinton’s gun tax endorsement came in response to a question from then-Senator Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), who lamented the “accessibility that guns have in the country today.” He said to Hillary:

There are 276,000 gun dealers in America. There are more gun dealers in America than there are gas stations. That, to me, is a remarkable number and I think it is directly related to the accessibility that guns have in the country today. And if we simply put a 25 percent sales tax on the sale of a gun and raise the dealer’s fees from $30-$75 to $2,500, we would raise $600 million. That would be a tax directly on the purveyors of violence in terms of the sales of the means of violence.

Clinton gave her strong endorsement of the tax, saying, “I am all for that.” She concluded by saying, “I am speaking personally, but I feel very strongly about that.”

Hillary Clinton is one of the most anti-constitutional politicians that has ever disgraced America. Her own words and actions prove it. You should probably listen to more of what she doesn’t say, than what she does say and pay attention to how she nuances her answers. Words matter… the Constitution matters more. The Founding Fathers would have despised Hillary Clinton and would have considered her an enemy of the Republic.


Ernest Moniz, Iran and the Imprimatur of Science

By: Benjamin Weingarten

Ernest Moniz

Ernest Moniz

Watching the Obama administration trot out Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on the Sunday shows and in testimony to Congress following the consummation of what I believe will be a nuclear weapon-ensuring deal for not only the world’s leading state sponsor of jihad in Iran, but their Sunni counterparts, it should have been clear to all what a charade it was.

Moniz — an MIT physicist turned Obama administration shill — was there to provide the imprimatur of unimpeachable Science™ to the transparently deceptive deal. And who can fight with science, especially of the kind that is already settled?

In this light, I am reminded of a quote from an expert in financial markets and economic history, Jim Grant, he of the legendary Wall Street newsletter Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.

During an address delivered on June 2, 2015 to the Manhattan Institute in connection with his winning of the Hayek Prize, Grant stated:

In the 1960s, John Cowperthwaite, British governor of Hong Kong, refused to allow the collection of economic statistics lest the bureaucrats misappropriate that information in the service of governmental macroeconomic manipulation (the very word “statistics” derives from “the state”).

Such an act would be heresy today in a world in which the state, governing according to scientific principles, is the church for our progressive elites.

Cowperthwaite knew that politicians would conflate science and public policy to justify their agendas and grow their power.

For it is science that legitimates the Iran deal.

It is science that legitimates the disruption of human activity, and with it trillions of dollars in wealth through global climate regulation.

Indeed, it is science that legitimates any number of government intrusions into our daily lives.

Science ought to be celebrated. But politicians can manipulate it towards destructive ends.

Winston Churchill saw this early on when he expressed fears about the power of mass weaponry. Of course it is not the weapons that are the problem in and of themselves, but the prospect of evil people obtaining them and using them towards genocidal ends that ought to keep us awake at night.

Today America is aiding, abetting and enabling just these types of people.

In fact, as an aside, Ernest Moniz, again our Secretary of Energy, when asked about government findings on another mass weapon, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) during Congressional testimony — the use of which Iran has endorsed and for which we have yet to harden our grid — effectively pleaded ignorance.

Ernest Moniz is a fitting living embodiment of the fusion of science and state.


Obama’s Diversity Police State and Government Mandated Racism

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


Getty Images

Obama has brought racism to a whole new level in our government. It’s breathtaking in scope and breadth. He is solidifying his legacy before leaving office with the unprecedented gathering of information on all of us and how we live to be used in racial databases. Not only does the government already have such databases on police departments, they have created monster ones for almost every area of our lives to be used to forward “racial and economic justice” as we have never seen before as a nation. Enforced diversity is racism. Obama is already using the databases against institutions to penalize them and it will get much worse.

In fact, I wouldn’t put it past Obama to have other databases floating around out there having to do with demographics on gun ownership, religion and political affiliations. But what has just come to light as fact is that he’s got people tallying everything to do with race and mining data on American’s health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods and how children are disciplined in public schools. All of this is to show how ‘hateful’ and ‘racist’ we are as a nation. It creates racism out of thin air and shows it where it never existed. It takes all responsibility from those of color and places it on institutions. It blames repression on an evil white national structure. It’s meant to show how discriminated against minorities are in comparison to whites in every sector of American society.

Not only will this discriminate against whites, it will be a bonanza for attorneys who will make billions off of petty law suits using these skewed statistics as testimony against individuals and businesses in court. As the New York Post points out, these databases will be weaponized against banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.

The data collected will be posted online or hidden away as ammo against those perceived to be in violation of the rules and definitions of The Ministry of Truth. The information and data will never stop being collected. It will be passed onto fellow travelers and will become its own division of the federal government. It will even be used for intelligence purposes against the American people by a brand-spanking new form of the Stasi. “Racial disparities” and “segregation” will be seen everywhere and those who run afoul of the new guidelines will be punished legally and financially.

The magic of these databases is in the skewing of the “analysis” of the data, combined with a shiny new concept, that if you can plausibly “discover” a “pattern” in the data, you can “plausibly” assert that there must exist the intention to create that pattern. And, of course, you can assign any motive you want to that, and the preferred motive du jour is racism. Doesn’t matter whether that’s true, only matters that dot-gov can allege it is. The real cause is, of course, irrelevant. Have a ghetto full of thugs, resulting from bureaucratic meddling and condition-free handouts? Find that a high percentage of the free-ride yo-yos do a lot of misbehaving and wind up in jail? No problem: just “discover a pattern” of disproportionately high incarceration of the thug demographic, assert RACISM! and punish the non-thug population.

Housing Database

One of the most ridiculously titled databases I have ever heard of is the prized invention of HUD – the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing database which was debuted this month with the intent of racially balancing the nation (I kid you not) by zip code. Every neighborhood from coast to coast will be mapped according to four racial groups: white, Asian, black and Hispanic. The “geospatial data” will be published pinpointing racial imbalances. Data is subjective by the way… it is malleable and can pretty much mean whatever you want it to for whatever purpose you intend it for. And guess what? If you live in an area that is more than half white, you are going to get classified and ordered to rectify it or have your funding pulled. That’s called racial extortion.

Cities and towns who take money from the government are about to be told whether they are overly segregated or not. If the government decides they are, then they will be strong armed into constructing more subsidized housing in the midst of established neighborhoods. Neighborhoods that people chose to live in for varying reasons. They hold mortgages there and as the government drives property values down, these people will find themselves trapped and unable to sell their homes. Crime will rise exponentially and as Obama strips more and more Americans of their guns, the murder and death rates will rocket as well. Poverty and chaos will start to be the norm and America will begin devolving into a third world nation. This directly violates freedom of assembly by the way, which by definition is the right to hold public meetings and form associations without interference by the government. The association of those you choose to be your neighbors will be forever constrained by what Obama is doing. Inner-city minorities will be moved into predominantly white areas courtesy of HUD’s maps. The only places exempt from this demographic reconfiguration will be places like, oh… Galt’s Gulch.

Going Galt

All aspects of towns and cities will come under review by HUD using these databases. Transportation sites, schools, parks and even supermarkets will be dictated to on the basis of proximity to minorities. If the agency’s social engineers rule the distance between blacks and these suburban “amenities” is too far, municipalities must find ways to close the gap or forfeit federal grant money and face possible lawsuits for housing discrimination. These same towns and cities will now allow civil rights activists to have access to these databases and maps and they will be part of city planning to re-engineer neighborhoods under new community outreach requirements.

By now it has probably not escaped your notice that this demographic manipulation will have the same electoral impact as gerrymandering, but using the clever device of salting regions with enough demographic mass to tip the scales instead of redrawing the voting district lines. The eventual objective is that it won’t matter where you live, your vote will have been severely diluted. And to see how that’s mechanically implemented, let’s have a look at mortgages.

Mortgage Database

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is headed by Mel Watt, who has had solid Socialist/Progressive/Marxist ties throughout his political career. Watt was the Congressional Black Caucus leader as well. So, I’m not surprised at all that he’s heading the construction of a database for racially balancing home loans. The National Mortgage Database Project will compile 16 years of lending data, broken down by race and will be organized with everything from individual credit scores to employment records.

In this data dump, all lines of credit will be included for an individual. Student loans, credit cards, loans, mortgages… anything reported to a credit bureau will find its way into the database. When this is done, it will make the IRS databanks look amateurish in scope. The database will include other items of personal interest such as what assets you hold, what debts you have paid and haven’t and that payment history, whether you have ever had a bankruptcy or default, your interest rates and even how big your home is. This info will be shared with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They are notorious for going after lenders who are not seen as lending easily enough to minorities. No real justification is given for all of this other than it is for research purposes and policy making. CFPB Director Richard Cordray explained in a recent talk to the radical California-based Greenlining Institute: “We will be better able to identify possible discriminatory lending patterns.” In America these days, everyone and everything is racist and open to attack by the Marxists.

Credit Database

Next comes a database that will track credit card transactions. Up to 900 million accounts will be snagged, designated and sorted by race. That’s about 85% of the credit card market and is intended to show discrimination on interest rates, charge-offs and collections. I bet it will also track and eventually determine who gets what credit lines, etc. Preferential treatment will be given to minorities almost certainly.

You might find yourself applying for a loan, a card, or some other line of credit, and be turned down for being too white.

Employment Database

A rule was also just issued that now requires all regulated banks to report on the hiring of minorities to the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. That name just makes me cringe. It will collect reams of employment data, broken down by race, to police diversity on Wall Street as part of yet another attempt to scream racism and ensure preference towards minorities.

School Database

This one just burns me. The mandatory Civil Rights Data Collection project is dictating that the Education Department gather information on student suspensions and expulsions by race, from every public school district in the country. Districts that show disparities in discipline will be targeted for reform. In other words, if they don’t conform, their funding and licensing will be yanked. Punishment for not obeying will become the norm especially in the schools. It’s already occurring in the schools with disastrous and violent results. As I have said many, many times… get your kids out of the public school system no matter what it takes and do it now.

The edu-Nazis are demanding to know how many blacks versus whites are enrolled in gifted-and-talented and advanced placement classes. Because, you know, it just isn’t fair. If these classes are shown to not have enough blacks and Latinos, they will be investigated and perhaps sued by the government. The only people doing well off all this nonsense are the lawyers who will sue from both sides of the fence and collect money all around. Racism is profitable after all. And racism will be claimed and proven regardless of whether it exists or not. Numbers are funny like that, they can say whatever you need them to.

Social Security

Stay with me here, it looks like I’m mixing topics, but I’m really not. Social Security is a huge database. One that touches every person in the US. Obama is now instituting a new gun ban that will affect everyone connected to Social Security. This is obscene, unethical and unconstitutional in the extreme. This is definitely one of the most evil and despicable moves I have seen to date. Basically, it comes down to this, either you can have your Social Security, which you have paid into your whole life, or you can have your guns. The day after a massacre in Chattanooga, Tennessee is committed by a radical Islamist, where four Marines and a Navy officer are gunned down, Obama made this move. The timing is not a coincidence. This will effect 4.2 million Americans. If they deem you of “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease,” they will come after your weapons. And this is an issue that the NRA bought into years ago and I warned about. Allowing a carve out for mental illness has allowed the eradication of our Constitutional rights. Those are very, very vague definitions and will be used as fodder against us, trust me. The ban also covers anyone who has their finances handled by other members of their family if they are on Social Security. Have you had enough yet? Because, I know I have.

Obama is going after the largest segment of the population – retiring baby boomers. He’s using a tactic that was used by Hitler in Nazi Germany and by communists in the Soviet Union. It’s the use of psychiatry as a soft enforcement arm of the federal government. The Nazis began a huge propaganda campaign against mentally and physically disabled Germans. They did not fit into the Nazi stereotype of the pure Aryan, that is physically fit with an obedient mind to serve the Reich. In addition, they were viewed as a burden on society, as they were unable to work and drained resources from the state. Sound familiar? Now, Obama is making similar moves against the retired and elderly. You can either starve or be a casualty of crime in Obama’s new and improved regime. Either way, the feds win. Either you die off saving them money and resources or you are disarmed and stand a good chance of being eliminated by criminals sanctioned by the State. This is massive extortion against Americans, attempting to force them into relinquishing their Second Amendment rights and into giving up their guns. To this I say,“Aw, nuts!” Social Security is being used as one more database to ensure that everyone is equally helpless and the funds therein, that you and I have paid for, will be meted out depending on compliance and perceived need.

Never in the history of the United States have these types of intrusive databases existed. I would not be surprised if these are being housed in those NSA facilities in Utah. This much data is just staggering. Obama has instituted a diversity police state, complete with race cops and a legion of civil rights lawyers. He has mandated racism from the White House. Anything touched by federal funding will come under the sway of what amounts to a race mafia. The data will be used to justify reparations and wealth redistribution as we have never seen before. It will also be used to keep Marxists in office indefinitely. These databases will be used to crush our Constitutional rights in every way imaginable. Data is power – the power to rule ruthlessly.

“America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.”

– Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution


New York Times Still Deceiving About Obamacare

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The New York Times is at it again. In a front page story in Tuesday’s print edition, the Times is dishonestly pushing an argument that they hope will result in a favorable Supreme Court decision for President Obama’s so called Affordable Care Act. The mantra repeated over and over again is this: those four words in the Obamacare law—“established by the state”—were actually an accident, a drafting error. And those words, according to the Times and all of the sources they chose to comment on it for the article, are being misinterpreted by some who want to, shall we say, “degrade and defeat” the law.

The plain language of the law is that subsidies were only meant for those who purchase their plans through exchanges set up by the individual states. But that’s not what the Times and their sources want you to believe. Even if the Times were to admit that is the plain meaning based on the language in the law, their argument is that it still wasn’t the intent of the lawmakers and staffers who composed and approved of the legislation.

So now comes the Times, a month before the Supreme Court is planning to announce its decision, with a front-page article that is dishonest on many levels. If you are doing a news story, as opposed to a not-so-carefully disguised editorial, you would seek opposing points of view. In reading this article, you find that there is not one person among those interviewed who even knew that there was an issue regarding subsidies as they related to state exchanges versus the federal exchange.

First, the Times posed the questions: “Who wrote [those four words], and why? Were they really intended, as the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell claim, to make the tax subsidies in the law available only in states that established their own health insurance marketplaces, and not in the three dozen states with federal exchanges?”

Then it states: “The answer, from interviews with more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans involved in writing the law, is that the words were a product of shifting politics and a sloppy merging of different versions. Some described the words as ‘inadvertent,’ ‘inartful’ or ‘a drafting error.’ But none supported the contention of the plaintiffs, who are from Virginia.”

If this were a real news story, and not a front-page editorial disguised as a news article, these reporters would have sought out the opinion of people who disagree with those “more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans involved in writing the law.”

I cited the evidence in a column last March when the King v. Burwell case was being argued, and the same narrative was being pushed at that time by the Times and other liberal news organizations. I linked to a National Public Radio (NPR) article that had actually practiced journalism by talking to one of the plaintiff’s lawyers in this case; he pointed out that regarding this supposed drafting error, “those words are in the bill 11 times.”

I also cited an article published in Politico, two months before the bill passed in 2010, that cited then-Senator Ben Nelson’s opposition to a federal exchange: “Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Monday that he would oppose any health care reform bill with a national insurance exchange, which he described as a dealbreaker.” If that isn’t clear enough, Politico added this: “Nelson could have deprived House Democrats from securing what they have increasingly viewed as a must-have—a national exchange rather than a series of state exchanges.”

My column cited an American Spectator piece that details Nelson’s position on this issue. And then there’s Jonathan Gruber. As I wrote at the time: “And don’t forget Jonathan Gruber. He was one of the architects of Obamacare, and a close adviser to President Obama. He received millions of taxpayer dollars, from various states and the federal government. Gruber is the person who said that passing Obamacare depended ‘on the stupidity of the American voter,’ and that it was ‘written in a tortured way’ in order to deceive the voters about all the taxes they would have to pay. Regarding the subsidies being paid only to state exchanges, Gruber said that was ‘to squeeze the states to do it [to set up exchanges].’”

So there you have it. After reading what Gruber said, what Politico wrote months before the bill became law, how NPR reported it, and what Sen. Nelson told Greta Van Susteren, it becomes clear that the Times is editorializing, and not reporting, in a front-page story intended to influence a Supreme Court decision.

I suppose it’s possible to read the Times article, and read the evidence cited in my article, and conclude that the Times is telling the truth, and respecting its readers’ ability to hear two sides of this story and decide for themselves. On the other hand, maybe not.


The Founders Didn’t Fail—We Are Failing The Founders

By: Benjamin Weingarten
The Federalist

Conservatives are understandably depressed in the wake of Speaker Boehner and the Republican-controlled Congress’ predictable caving on executive amnesty.

Let me stop right there by emphasizing that I only said conservatives. Were our republic healthy, every single American would be depressed that President Obama’s amnesty—which on dozens of occasions he said he did not have the authority to enforce—will continue apace to the benefit of lawbreakers at the expense of American citizens.

Americans would be further demoralized at the notion that our president politicized the sovereignty of our nation represented by failing to protect its borders, all in a transparent attempt to win a permanent Democratic majority—which the shortsighted Republican establishment seem perfectly fine with, since they want immigration and the idea of “those racist Republicans” to become non-issues.

Some are lamenting the cowardice of our representatives, and to that I quote a former NFL Coach: “They are who we thought they were!

I have even seen one article arguing that the Constitution itself has failed. But the Constitution and our Founders did not fail. Human nature has not changed between 1787 and 2015. There were undoubtedly plenty of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century booze-swilling, cigar-smoking iterations of John Boehner lumbering around Capitol Hill.

What has changed is the size and scope of government, the number and composition of people who are voting, and the public’s general indifference to and acceptance of the greed, graft, lying, and all matter of corruption that have become commonplace in public life. There is also a heck of a lot more bread and circuses to keep us fat, happy, and distracted from what our supposed leaders are doing.

Government Is Too Big to Control

Entitlement reform is not going to capture the imagination of the American people like a llama chase or the color of a dress. And it bears noting that many of the Founders themselves were involved in sordid activities, and even willing to accept a king.

But that king’s powers would have looked downright puny compared to those President Obama wields today; and what corrupt politicians did way back when feels less offensive than the systemic abuse and political malpractice on display now, in part because the nation our founders—exceptional citizen legislators—entrusted us with was substantially smaller and less intrusive.

Today, when you have hundreds of agencies and millions of pages of laws, when the federal government is among the largest employers in the world, hyper-regulating almost every aspect of our society, creating arcane and byzantine rules designed to reward one set of constituents or another over and above the American people, not to mention the rule makers, rule interpreters and compliance officers themselves—this naturally creates not only an unwieldy and unaccountable federal government, but one that will invite and reward people willing to pull the kinds of shenanigans we see today.

To the percentage of the public that is actually informed as to what is going on in government, there are simply too many egregious things occurring on a daily basis, not to mention again the Siren song of bread and circuses, for anyone to keep track of it all or know where to focus one’s energies and pitchforks.

The Failure Is Our Fault

What defines an informed voter itself is of course open to interpretation, given what the majority of people are taught in our hallowed Democrat-controlled community organizing institutions, also known as schools; and given that one can read The New York Times, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Vox, and watch “The Daily Show” each day to qualify as informed by today’s standards, without knowing anything about what the other half of the country thinks and believes.

On amnesty specifically, as a lame-duck president without control of either house of Congress, Barack Obama is completely unchained, simply running roughshod over our laws. That a supposed constitutional scholar is rendering the system of checks and balances and separation of powers meaningless; that the executive branch is usurping the legislative branch, while congressmen say one thing and stand by idly doing another, is not a reflection that the Constitution or founders failed.

Rather, these travesties reflect that the American people are failing the founders.

We elected Barack Obama twice, in spite of his words, actions, and associations, which have unsurprisingly led to these disastrous six-plus years. The presidents who preceded him were not much better, though no one would have posed the question of them as Mark Steyn recently dared: “If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?”

We elected the congressmen who with rare exceptions (see Lee, Sen. Mike) continue to stand by while Rome burns, and who are derelict in their duty to defend and protect the Constitution, including against its brazen violator who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Welfare Versus Defense: Who Wins?

We have failed to persuasively enough make the case that we cannot thrive as a nation just by slowing government’s rate of growth and hiring smarter technocrats, but must literally be slashing the federal budget by 50 percent, abolishing agencies en masse, allowing Americans to opt out of the welfare state (including programs which can only pay my generation back in devalued dollars like Social Security), ensuring that we have not small deficits but massive surpluses to pay down our debt so the interest alone does not consume all the money we pay to the feds each year, and demanding a massive devolution of power back to the states and the people where it rightfully belongs.

And if our fellow Americans choose to live in socialist basket-case states, they are free to do so without reaching into your and my pockets at the point of a gun.

At root and underlying all of these issues, we have allowed the Left to control the media, academia, and the rest of America’s key cultural institutions, such that the vast majority of our fellow citizens are reflexively progressive and cannot even conceive of the types of changes I just mentioned. This is how the radical, morally and economically bankrupting leftist policies can be considered mainstream, while freedom can be considered fascistic.

This inherent progressivism narrowly underlies Republican acquiescence to the growing leviathan, and dictates the type of leaders that America broadly finds palatable, which has led us to this perilous place in our history in which all of our worst enemies are ascendant, while we are fast on the road to bankruptcy and serfdom, with our only choice between welfare and defense.

When entitlements and our armed forces are sitting side by side on the chopping block, which do you think a war-weary, economically pummeled American public is going to choose?

We Need a New Generation of Savvy Statesmen

No, the Constitution hasn’t failed, and our founders haven’t failed. We the people have failed during the hundred-year progressive march. So now we are burdened with the doubly difficult task of trying to win the long game of culture and the short game of politics.

I have much more faith in the latter over the former—that over time the chances are greater that we develop the strategy and tactics to beat an establishment incumbent class than win America’s cherished cultural institutions, which form our national soul.

Our national soul determines whether the Constitution is a piece of parchment or enshrines principles like equal rights for all and special privileges for none, that law resides above man, that men are not angels and that we must compel government’s non-angels to control themselves, and that the most important thing in America is protecting the rights of the minority, the most important of which is the individual.

And the inspiration for our national soul should reside not in our Constitution but in the Declaration of Independence that breathes life into it, a majestic document that we have ignored for far too long.

Don’t Blame Boehner—Blame Us

In any event, we the people have all the leverage in the world. The Boehners and Mitch McConnells will listen to us when the political cost of siding with the Chamber of Commerce is so great that their political lives depend on it.

Using the power of the purse as a lever to control the president, or threatening let alone bringing forth articles of impeachment are political remedies, and they are not being used not only because the Republican establishment that makes up the majority of the majority in Congress are risk-averse and often spineless, but because the majority of the American people are not demanding it.

That impeachment brings howls of racism alone shows a failure of our culture to separate the original sin of slavery from the demerits of the job done by this president, to separate identity politics from the individual.

Until and unless we devote all of our efforts to winning the long and short games with a constant, strategic, relentless full-court press, we are going to see amnesties ad nauseum, Obamacare not only not abolished but metastasizing, the federal budget and debt continue skyrocketing, comparatively small things like the Export-Import Bank chugging along and, yes, the welfare state expanding and our defenses shrinking while Islamic supremacists, Russia, China, and their proxies grow ever-bolder and more confidently bellicose.

We the people have much work to do if we want to keep any semblance of our republic, as Benjamin Franklin challenged us to do. And we hold the power in our hands.

But do we have the will and capability to exert it?

Ben Weingarten (@bhweingarten) is publishing manager and editor of TheBlaze Books. Ben is a graduate of Columbia University, where he majored in economics-political science and contributed to outlets including the Breitbart sites and the Ludwig von Mises Institute.


How ‘independent’ was the net neutrality decision?

By: James Simpson

EXECUTIVE INFLUENCE: The trajectory of the Federal Communications Commission’s ruling in favor of 332-page net neutrality rule calls into question the agency’s alleged “independence.”

While the Obama administration appears to have used its power once again to force the issue of net neutrality, the FCC has been rebuked in the courts twice before, and is likely to lose on this one as well.

On Feb. 26, the five FCC commissioners voted 3-2 to place the Internet under strict common-carrier rules of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. It was a party line vote, with the three Democrats voting for and two Republicans voting against. The FCC kept the 332-page regulation under wraps before the vote. As with Obamacare, they had to pass it so we could find out what is in it. Chairman Tom Wheeler even refused to testify before Congress on the rules under consideration. Even though they have now voted, they have yet to release the document to the public.

The FCC is supposedly an independent body, commissioned by Congress, but in a public announcement broadcast on YouTube, Obama essentially ordered Wheeler to impose “the strongest possible rules” on the Internet. Nothing new for this president, but Wheeler himself had been initially opposed to this idea, instead working on a “third way,” which used some authority from the Communications Act but avoided the heavy hand of Title II. However, as so many others who find themselves at odds with the administration, he abruptly changed his tune and began promoting what appeared to be the Obama plan. Following its vote by the commission, Wheeler announced, “Today is the proudest day of my public policy life.”

If the FCC was voting under orders from the administration, then it has created a potential constitutional crisis. The FCC’s role as an independent creation of Congress has been usurped and it has for all intents and purposes simply become another arm of the executive branch. Internet Consultant Scott Cleland says the regulation is also on very weak legal grounds:

As an analyst, one does not have to see the order’s final language to predict with confidence that the FCC’s case faces serious legal trouble overall, because the eight big conceptual legal problems spotlighted here are not dependent on the details of the FCC’s order. After two FCC failed court reviews in 2010 in Comcast v. FCC and 2014 in Verizon  v. FCC, and  decades of multiple Title II definitional and factual precedents completely contrary to the FCC’s current legal theory, the legal field of play is much more clear than usual or most appreciate.

Wheeler defended the FCC decision in a Feb. 26 statement:

The Open Internet Order reclassifies broadband Internet access as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act while simultaneously foregoing utility-style, burdensome regulation that would harm investment. This modernized Title II will ensure the FCC can rely on the strongest legal foundation to preserve and protect an open Internet. Allow me to emphasize that word “modernized.” We have heard endless repetition of the talking point that “Title II is old-style, 1930’s monopoly regulation.” It’s a good sound bite, but it is misleading when used to describe the modernized version of Title II in this Order.

Contacted for this article, Cleland called FCC’s legal theory “a Rube Goldberg contrivance to manufacture legal authority.” Cleland said of Wheeler’s statement:

Making a claim to modernization by using a 1934 law is Orwellian doublespeak. The problems they cite as an excuse to impose these regulations are non-existent. With over 2,000 Internet Service Providers there have been only a handful of problems—all resolved without regulation. Wheeler is mischaracterizing the issue to mask a duplicitous, premeditated strategy of control. This is a power grab, pure and simple.

So how was this decision pulled off? For starters, with lots of money. George Soros and the Ford Foundation, two of the left’s biggest money funders, tossed at least $196 million into the effort. In addition, staff from the Center for American Progress, the Free Press and others obtained key positions on the FCC and in the White House to facilitate it. The Washington Examiner characterized it as a “shadow FCC” operating out of the White House.

As explained in an earlier post, the Free Press was co-founded by Marxist Robert McChesney, who wants to see the Internet become a public utility, with the “ultimate goal” being “to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.” The former Free Press board chairman until 2011 was Tim Wu, who actually coined the phrase “network neutrality.” McChesney told the socialist magazine Monthly Review, “Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.”

So there you have it.

In pushing this power grab, the Obama administration has wrapped itself in emotional buzzwords, characterizing net neutrality as a battle for free speech, or a method to achieve an “open Internet.”  Cleland calls it “teddy bears and rainbows rhetoric.”

The Internet is the most open, most free, most innovative technological marvel of the modern age, and a rare bastion of free speech. The Obama administration is determined to smother it.

This article was written by a contributor of Watchdog Arena, Franklin Center’s network of writers, bloggers, and citizen journalists.