Decentralize the Gun Laws

With a Republican in the White House, the anti-gun-control lobby smells a bit of blood in the water. Now is the time, they suggest, to pass national gun-licensing reciprocity laws forcing gun-restrictive states to recognize permits issued by gun-permissive states.
Writing in The Hill, Tim Schmidt sums it up:
It is time for there to be national reciprocity for concealed carry permits, instead of the patchwork of laws governing reciprocity that vary by state. Virginia, where the [recent shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise] happened, has reciprocity for some states’ concealed carry permits, but if members would have brought their guns back and forth from D. C., they would have been breaking the law. It should never be a crime to be responsibly prepared to defend yourself in any possible situation.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N. C.) have introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which would allow legal gun owners and concealed carry permit holders nationwide to responsibly arm themselves no matter where they are.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Aug 17, 2017.

REP. ROHRABACHER SAYS ASSANGE COULD BE PARDONED FOR INFO ABOUT DNC LEAK SOURCE

California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Wednesday in an effort to obtain information about the source of a leak of Democratic officials’ emails.
Rohrabacher told The Daily Caller in an exclusive interview Thursday that Assange is hoping to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he is currently in asylum, and that during the meeting they explored ‘what might be necessary to get him out.’
The congressman told TheDC that ‘if [Assange] is going to give us a big favor, he would obviously have to be pardoned to leave the Ecuadorian embassy.’ Assange took asylum in the embassy in August 2012 after facing sexual assault charges in Sweden. The Justice Department also reportedly wants to charge Assange for helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, leak thousands of classified documents.
‘He has information that will be of dramatic importance to the United States and the people of our country as well as to our government,’ Rohrabacher said. ‘Thus if he comes up with that, you know he’s going to expect something in return. He can’t even leave the embassy to get out to Washington to talk to anybody if he doesn’t have a pardon. Obviously there is an issue there that needs to be dealt with, but we haven’t come to any conclusion yet.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on AUGUST 17, 2017.

Pelosi Demands “Reprehensible” Confederate Statues Be Removed From Capitol

As the nation’s left attempts to out-virtue-signal one another, Democratic Party leader nancy Pelosi just one-upped New York Governor Cuomo’s street-name-removal demands, by calling for all Confederate statues to be removed from The Capitol.
Pelosi Calls for Removal of Confederate Statues From Capitol
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement calling on Speaker Ryan to join Democrats in supporting legislation to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol:
“The halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy. The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation.
“The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible. If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 17, 2017.

The Costs Of Ignoring Russia

Current mutual hostility threatens an explosive confrontation
***
Improving the dangerously unstable U. S.-Russia relationship will be very difficult, but it is important for U. S. national security. Current mutual hostility threatens an explosive confrontation that could destroy American (and Russian) civilization as we know it. Short of that, Russia can do much more than it is today to damage U. S. interests and values without taking extreme risks. Accordingly, the United States should explore normalizing its interaction with Russia. Washington should do so without illusions, and from a position of strength.
Today, America and Russia are adversaries with different approaches to key international issues, different systems of government and, in many respects, different values. Each confronts domestic obstacles to efforts to establish better relations. These obstacles are particularly challenging in the United States, where Congress, the mainstream media and much of the American public view Vladimir Putin’s Russia as a vicious enemy akin to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, if not Hitler’s Germany. Unlike China, Russia has only limited economic interaction with America – and therefore few Americans see a practical positive side to contacts with Russia. President Putin has much greater latitude in shaping his country’s foreign policy, including exploring a new beginning with Washington. Yet in a period of economic difficulty before Russia’s 2018 presidential election, Putin is loath to appear weak under foreign pressure.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 16, 2017.

5 Charts To Remove The Bubble ‘Blinders’

The stock market continues to show volatile signs of a market bubble. Here’s five charts that show that a very real bubble is on the horizon.
1. Economic Bubbles and The Breadwinner Economy
Former Congressman and Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman highlights that, ‘Another month has passed in which the number of Breadwinner jobs remain below where it was when Bill Clinton was in the White House. Since then two presidents have come and gone, and now possibly a third. Yet there are still 300,000 fewer jobs in the productive center of the U. S. economy than there were in early 2001.’
Stockman levels, ‘This suggests something isn’t right, and that point is further driven home by the pancaking of the industrial economy over the last decade. Specifically, industrial production in June was still lower than at the pre-crisis peak’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 16, 2017.

CBO Blames Trump: Sees 20% Surge In 2018 Obamacare Premiums If Subsidies Removed

At the request of Nancy Pelosi, the Congressional Budget Office has just released a study intended to better understand the potential economic impacts that would result from the cancellation of taxpayer funded Obamacare subsidies (a.k.a. “cost-sharing reductions” or “CSRs”). The report is entitled “The Effects of Terminating Payments for Cost-Sharing Reductions,” and, among other things finds that cutting CSRs would cause a 20% spike in Obamacare premiums in 2018 and result in a $194 billion increase in the deficit from 2017 through 2026. Here are the highlights:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 15, 2017.

Yes Congress, Afghanistan Is Your Vietnam

Authored by Andrew Bacevich via The American Conservative,
Does any member have the courage and vision to take responsibility?
Just shy of fifty years ago on November 7, 1967, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by J. William Fulbright, Democrat of Arkansas, met in executive session to assess the progress of the ongoing Vietnam War. Secretary of State Dean Rusk was the sole witness invited to testify. Even today, the transcript of Rusk’s remarks and the subsequent exchange with committee members make for depressing reading.
Responding to questions that ranged from plaintive to hostile, Rusk gave no ground. The Johnson administration was more than willing to end the war, he insisted; the North Vietnamese government was refusing to do so. The blame lay with Hanoi. Therefore the United States had no alternative but to persist. American credibility was on the line.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 14, 2017.

US Foreign Policy And The Long Game

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Miss Puddy accompanied me to our downtown club for dinner and a talk by Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report. Mr. Cook gives an insiders view of Washington DC. His current view of the situation is that none of Trump’s agenda is going to get through congress. The fact that he has never held a public office helps him with his base but does not help him with getting his agenda through the congress. Only 9% of his appointments have been approved but only 13% of the possible appointments have been submitted. Trump’s approval rating is around 45% which is quite low for the honeymoon period when he should be getting his agenda pushed through.
If Mr. Cook is indeed correct than there is a chance nothing will really happen until after the mid term elections. Depending on how those go nothing may happen for the entire 4-year term.
One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a US president is for his domestic policy to be thwarted by congress and then he shifts focus to foreign policy where he has more latitude to implement policy unhindered. Add to that the 4th turning (from the book ‘The Fourth Turning by Strauss & Howe) and a major war could be forthcoming. The cycle is here and it appears the table is all set for major war(s) in the coming years.
Richard Mabury is delighted with this gridlock in government and sites several instances in his latest newsletter where congressmen brandished firearms in 1836; and where Senator Summner was severely beaten on the Senate floor in 1856 and the full on brawl by 30 congressmen in 1858. Maybury is delighted that the federal government is no longer working together as in most of the 20th century when explosive government growth took place. He reflects that as long as the federal government is in gridlock they will be irrelevant while the private sector can flourish and the citizens will be able to enjoy more freedom. I can only hope that he is correct.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Monday, 14 August 2017.

Russia-gate’s Fatally Flawed Logic

By pushing the Russia-gate ‘scandal’ and neutering President Trump’s ability to conduct diplomacy, Democrats and Congress have encouraged his war-making side on North Korea…
There was always a logical flaw in pushing Russia-gate as an excuse for Hillary Clinton’s defeat – besides the fact that it was based on a dubious ‘assessment’ by a small team of ‘hand-picked’ U. S. intelligence analysts. The flaw was that it poked the thin-skinned Donald Trump over one of his few inclinations toward diplomacy.
We’re now seeing the results play out in a very dangerous way in Trump’s bluster about North Korea, which was included in an aggressive economic sanctions bill – along with Russia and Iran – that Congress passed nearly unanimously, without a single Democratic no vote.
Democrats and Official Washington’s dominant neocons celebrated the bill as a vote of no-confidence in Trump’s presidencybut it only constrained him in possible peacemaking, not war-making.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 13, 2017.

Kim Jung Un – : ‘Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war’.

In Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, Mark Antony says in Act 3, Scene 1, line 273: ‘Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war’. What is truly astonishing is how the Democrats and CNN hate Trump so much they are praising Kim Jung-un and made him the hero while praising him as actually saying he is more responsible than Trump. This is really just unbelievable how partisan politics has come to this.
The agenda of the Democrats and CNN is rather startling. They are supporting North Korea – not the United States. I do not think this has ever happened in the history of this nation. Democrat Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, said that Kim Jong Un is more responsible than Trump.
‘You have this guy making bellicose threats against somebody else who has very little to lose over there. Kim Jong-un, the world always thought he was not a responsible leader well he’s acting more responsible than this guy is. And what I’m telling you is once you start seeing missile launches, you’re going to see – the time for cranking up the anti-war machine is right now. So if you don’t want to get caught, deer-in-the-headlights, start calling for diplomacy in North Korea immediately.’

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Aug 12, 2017.

Russiagate: Congress Sets Its Sights On Trump’s Longtime Secretary Rhona Graff

After almost a year of intense investigations and entertaining Congressional hearings, the most damning piece of evidence the Left has uncovered in its ‘Russigate Probe’ is an email exchange between Donald Trump Jr. and a British publicist which resulted in a meeting that basically turned out to be a hoax to promote a Russian political propaganda movie.
So, what do you do when you desire a specific outcome in an investigation but the facts just don’t support it? Well, you cast a wider net and just keep digging, of course.
Just yesterday we noted that Special Counsel Mueller is apparently going after Paul Manafort’s son-in-law (see: Mueller Goes After Manafort’s Family; Sought Cooperation From Son-In-Law Jeffrey Yohai) and today we learn that Congress is ready to go after Trump’s longtime secretary, Rhonna Graff. Here’s more from ABC:
Congressional investigators want to question President Donald Trump’s longtime personal secretary as part of their ongoing probe into a controversial meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, ABC News has learned. Rhona Graff, a senior vice president at the Trump Organization who has worked at Trump Tower for nearly 30 years, has acted as a gatekeeper to Trump. She remains a point of contact for the sprawling universe of Trump associates, politicians, reporters and others seeking Trump’s time and attention, even now that he’s in the White House.
Graff’s position in Trump’s orbit recently gained attention after Donald Trump Jr. released a June 2016 email exchange with British publicist Rob Goldstone leading up to the meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 11, 2017.

Two Charts Prove Obamacare Is Not “Stabilizing” In 2018

As the Obamacare repeal and replace effort raged on in Congress over the past six months, several Democrats and even some of the original Obamacare architects stepped forward to argue that the crippling premium increases from 2014 through 2017 were just a 1x market adjustment and that everything would miraculously ‘stabilize’ in 2018.
Well, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, that prediction isn’t playing out exactly as expected. Taking a look at 21 of the bigger healthcare markets in the United States, Kaiser found that premiums submitted so far for 2018 are increasing at an average rate of 17% YoY and ranging up to 49% in Wilmington.
Now, we understand that the term “stabilizing” is somewhat subjective but we’re not sure that rates spiking at 10.5x prevailing inflation rates, on average, would reasonably fit anyone’s definition.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 10, 2017.

Mueller Goes After Manafort’s Family; Sought Cooperation From Son-In-Law Jeffrey Yohai

Just one day after we found out that FBI agents ‘raided’ former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s Alexandria home on July 26th, we learn that Special Counsel Mueller has also been going after Manafort’s family in order gather dirt on a person they clearly view as a material witness. According to Politico’s anonymous sources (and you know what that means), Manafort’s son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, was approached earlier this summer regarding his “business deals” with Manafort.
Federal investigators sought cooperation from Paul Manafort’s son-in-law in an effort to increase pressure on President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, according to three people familiar with the probe. Investigators approached Jeffrey Yohai, who has partnered in business deals with Manafort, earlier this summer, setting off ‘real waves’ in Manafort’s orbit, one of these people said. Another of these people said investigators are trying to get ‘into Manafort’s head.’
Manafort, who is a focus of the broad federal and congressional investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, is also under investigation for his business and real estate transactions, including some that involve Yohai.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 10, 2017.

Trade War with Russia Disguised as Sanctions?

The US sanctions voted on by Congress against Russia are outrageous and an act of War that history will write as this may have been the line in the sand crossed by the USA to punish Russia for Hillary’s loss. Clearly, the new sanctions have important implications for Europe because they target any company that contributes to the development, maintenance or modernization of Russia’s energy export pipelines. This sanction reeks of politics that is really a trade war disguised as national security and pride. We have to dig deeper to see which politicians are getting paid by the American energy industry now and for the next election.
These sanctions would surely affect a controversial pipeline project between Russia and Germany known as Nord Stream 2, which is owned by Gazprom but includes financial stakes from European companies. The project aims to carry Russian natural gas under the Baltic Sea, bypassing countries like Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States. When US President Donald Trump visited Poland in July 2017, he said that the US would increase its liquefied petroleum gas supplies (LNG) to Europe, which was very enthusiastically supported by the Poles. This was obviously a statement that was a direct competition with Gazprom that would distort competition for the European energy market.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Aug 10, 2017.