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SERGEANT YORK AND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT


By John F. Di Leo –

Reflections on Enemies, Warriors, and Duty…

As I write these words, hundreds of Republican, libertarian, and independent politicians, civil servants, and think tank analysts on Capitol Hill are working to finally overturn the monstrous law called the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. And just as many Democrats are working just as feverishly to thwart the effort.

Now, before we get into the details, we should first begin by considering a crucial issue: Obamacare is a misnomer: it’s not REALLY Obama’s program.

Barack Obama didn’t write the bill (in all his years as a legislator, he’s never written a major bill). Barack Obama just did the necessary lying to sell it, and then he signed it once it was passed. It is a product of the Democrat Congressional caucus and the socialist think tank arena, written and created by the Democrat party as a whole.

We must mention this because there is a very serious risk that, once it’s repealed, people will forget that Barack Obama’s entire corrupt party deserves the blame for it, forever, and people will instead associate it only with Barack Obama.

And that would be very dangerous to the republic, because the left will raise the idea again, in a decade or two, and then they will claim that the flaw was only in how one man implemented it.

So we must always remember that the flaw of the ACA is at the heart of the concept itself, not in how it was implemented, or after whom it was named.

The ACA represents the modern Democratic approach to government better than most issues, and it has brought them all into public view:

The belief that liberal philosophy outranks the morals and interests of private citizens…
The belief that the public sector is inherently superior to the private sector, despite all evidence…
The belief that outright lying in support of a hated program is not only acceptable, but heroic…
The belief that when millions of individuals suffer, and when millions of companies shrink, flee or collapse, it MUST be because they deserved to.
Only modern Democrat politicians, bureaucrats and analysts – utterly divorced from the real world due to a lifetime in politics – think like that!

World War I and the German Guns

Do you remember the story of Sergeant Alvin York, the subject of a great 1941 movie starring Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan?

During the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in World War I, Alvin York’s squad identified a range of German machine gun nests firing at the American line, so he almost singlehandedly took them out… shooting them with his rifle, then with his pistol, then taking 130 German prisoners.

Alvin York led the team that saved hundreds of American lives that day, and enabled our offensive to move forward in that area, by shutting down those machine gun nests. His heroism won him the Distinguished Service Cross, later upgraded to a Medal of Honor.

These machine gun nests were trained on our troops, stopping our movement forward, taking American lives. They were the very definition of an anti-American, enemy installation.

In a modern analogy, the ACA is also an anti-American enemy installation. The ACA has been a veritable range of machine gun nests with unlimited ammunition, constantly firing on the American people now for almost seven years straight.

Lest you think this is too extreme an analogy, please consider the full effects of the ACA since its unconstitutional “passage” in March, 2010.

Instead of the normal economic boom that follows severe recessions, the American economy has been flat for seven years. Barack Obama is the only president to end two terms without EVER having served during a quarter with even three percent economic growth.

After the 2007-2008 recession that started with the Democrat takeover of the House in 2006, the nation quickly hit bottom and then never came back. All honest analysts will confirm that the primary cause of this stagnation has been this ghastly healthcare nationalization.

This oppressive healthcare mandate – and its resulting state and federal programs and bureaucracies – are a range of machine gun nests, which have been killing jobs, killing businesses, killing new business start-ups, killing doctors’ offices and insurance companies and medical clinics, for seven years now.

The ACA has turned full time employees into part timers, forced manufacturers to move offshore, denied coverage to individuals by operating death panels, rendered manufacturers unable to compete with foreign sources, or simply bankrupted people by doubling, trebling, quadrupling their insurance costs – for seven painful years.

The very day it was passed and signed, companies started adjusting their operations, moving production lines, giving up expansion plans, slowing or stopping hiring, looking overseas for less painful options.

And the day it is fully repealed – the day when the mandate is removed, and insurance costs can go back to normal – those businesses and entrepreneurs will again be free to operate in the United States.

The Republican Party is today’s Sergeant York. The Republican majorities in the House and Senate voted this week to repeal the ACA… to finally take out that machine gun nest and free our economy from its horror.

Resistance from Within

Now… we must turn a bit from the actual history and imagine an alternative spin on our analogy for a moment.

When Sergeant York was a sniper – on our side – taking aim and working to take out those German machine gun nests… what if some of his fellow American soldiers had tried to knock his rifle out of his hands, and to steal his pistol from its holster during the action?

This didn’t happen, of course… but what if it did?

What if some of his fellow Americans had tried to thwart his efforts to protect the American line from those enemy guns?

I know. We can’t imagine such a thing. Their colleagues were being killed; they themselves were being shot at… of course, they were overjoyed to support Sergeant York’s efforts.

But if it happened… if these fellow American soldiers had tried to thwart Sergeant York’s heroism… What names would come to mind, to describe such obstructionists?

Traitors. Killers. Moles. Turncoats.

Yes, those are the names.

And as the Republicans work around the clock to save Americans from ACA… that is EXACTLY what Democrat politicians, bureaucrats, and the talking heads on television are trying to do.

Rather than acknowledging their failure, rather than admitting to the unprecedented destruction of human lives that the ACA has caused… Democrat politicians want that machine gun nest to remain in place, because they are more interested in their policies, their love of big government, their love of regulatory control, their ongoing effort to lower everyone in America to the lowest common denominator.

Yes, even if that means continuing to destroy American jobs and American lives forever.

…because the expansion of government and the reduction of personal freedom and prosperity are exactly what today’s Democratic Party exists to do.

Thank Heaven, real Americans outnumber the Democrats enough in Washington today, so we can do our job without their being able to thwart us this time.

We must never forget these experiences, and these images.

And we must never allow our government to erect such a chain of machine gun nests again.

OBAMA TURNING INTO A EVIL MAN QUIETLY HIRING NEW OFA STAFF TO FIGHT TRUMP


Welcome to the Obamabunker. While the party continues at the White House, the community-organizer-in-chief is quietly preparing for war.

Back in November, I wrote that Obama was plotting to use OFA to set the agenda.

In his post-election conference call with his OFA troops, Obama told them, “I’m giving you like a week and a half to get over it”. Then it would be time to “move forward not only to protect what we’ve accomplished, but also to see this as an opportunity”.

Obama is not a conventional politician. He’s an organizer and a campaigner at the vanguard of a radical movement that seeks to control traditional institutions, but doesn’t feel bound by them. Unlike Bill Clinton, his plans don’t begin and end with the White House. As an organizer, Obama is equipped to build bases of power outside traditional institutions. And that is exactly what he is doing.

“The network that you represent, you’re perfectly poised to do that,” Obama told his OFAers. “In other words, now is the time for some organizing.”

While the leftist rioters in the streets are garnering the most attention, the real threat comes from the network of staffers dubbed Obama Anonymous which are beginning to organize and coordinate. OFA is Obama’s equivalent of the Clinton Foundation. The Clintons built Clintonworld around staffers, but its goal was harvesting money. Obama Inc. is being built around organizing and activism. Like Clintonworld, it will be a network encompassing a variety of political and non-profit institutions. Unlike them, it will be much less focused on directing money to its bosses in preparation for an election. Instead it will function like a traditional leftist movement, merging influence operations with crowdsourced mobilization.

OFA will be far more dangerous in the wild than the Clinton Foundation ever was. The Clintons hoped to ride back to power on a giant wave of money. Obama is taking a much more radical course.

Now we are quietly hearing of a hiring boom at OFA.

Already, former aides are revamping Organizing for Action, the group formed out of his old campaign structure. No longer about backing up Obama’s agenda in the White House, it will be a nexus for training activists and candidate recruitment, reshaped both by Trump’s win and some of the factors that contributed to Hillary Clinton’s loss.

Though OFA has been mostly quiet over the last two months and made no formal announcements, its Chicago headquarters has been filling up with new hires, including several old campaign aides, who are planning to focus on the mechanics of campaigns, from running Obama-style persuasion programs, integrating data and running paid canvassing operations. Though the first goal is designing the program for what they’ll aim to make hundreds of workshops nationwide, there’s already talk moving toward endorsing candidates.

Obviously. OFA will displace CAP and become the core of the Dems. All of this will be built around the cult of personality of O.

The parts of Obama’s post-presidency that will touch on politics fall into four main categories, according to people familiar with the plans: the retooled OFA, a non-partisan training center for grassroots organizing that will be part of his Chicago-based foundation, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee run by his former attorney general Eric Holder, and his personal capacity as a former president in endorsing, campaigning and fundraising for other candidates.

They’ll all be integrated. And, despite the claims, they’ll all be partisan.

In addition to hiring of former White House political director David Simas as the CEO of the Foundation, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, one of Obama’s closest aides, is expected to stay associated with the former president’s office for at least a stretch.

Of course he will. Rhodes is Obama’s Iago.

Michael Blake, who worked on Obama’s 2008 campaign and in the White House before winning an Assembly seat in the Bronx, said he’s been part of quite a few of those conversations himself, and that was part of what convinced him to make his current run for vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Ignore the spin. Just like Clintonworld, Obama Inc. needs to take over the DNC in order to be able to set the agenda.

Obama intends to run the Democratic party. And as much of the country as he can.

SENIOR IRAN OFFICIALS CONFIRM PAYMENTS IN EXCESS OF $10 BILLION BY THE OBAMA ADMIN.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman who disclosed the Obama administration’s payments of more than $10 Billion to Iran says that this figure just ‘scratches the surface’ of the amount given.

The Washington Free Beacon reports – The Obama administration has paid Iran more than $10 billion in gold, cash, and other assets since 2013, according to Iranian officials, who disclosed that the White House has been intentionally deflating the total amount paid to the Islamic Republic.

Senior Iranian officials late last week confirmed reports that the total amount of money paid to Iran over the past four years is in excess of $10 billion, a figure that runs counter to official estimates provided by the White House.

The latest disclosure by Iran, which comports with previous claims about the Obama administration obfuscating details about its cash transfers to Iran—including a $1.7 billion cash payment included in a ransom to free Americans—sheds further light on the White House’s back room dealings to bolster Iran’s economy and preserve the Iran nuclear agreement.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi confirmed last week a recent report in the Wall Street Journal detailing some $10 billion in cash and assets provided to Iran since 2013, when the administration was engaging in sensitive diplomacy with Tehran aimed at securing the nuclear deal.

HARD TIMES FOR RETAIL STORES IS OBAMA’S FAULT, NOT AMAZON’S


HARD TIMES FOR RETAIL STORES IS OBAMA’S FAULT, NOT AMAZON’S

Obama shopping
President Barack Obama shops in 2014 at The Gap \ The Obama Diary photo

By John F. Di Leo –

Reflections on the future of retail…

As the new year began, right in the midst of outgoing Resident Barack Obama’s ever-more-urgent pleas for a “legacy,” two announcements hit the news: the family of Sears and K-Mart will close yet another 109 K-Marts and another 41 Sears’ stores in 2017, and Macy’s will close another 68 of theirs.

It was to be expected, of course. The analysts say that these stores are of an old breed that hasn’t kept up; they still use brick and mortar, unlike the darlings of the new age of retail, Amazon and Etsy et al, which don’t have the pesky challenges of rent, cashiers, décor and inventory to cover. And there is some truth to that.

But amidst all these depressing numbers – 220 store closings, 20,000 job cuts, all these fresh mall vacancies, etc. – such analysts forget some other key numbers.

Despite their huge losses – both in the tens of millions of dollars per year – each of these giants still does tens of billions of dollars in sales every single year.

Clearly, brick and mortar stores DO still fill a need – or at least a serious desire – on the part of the shopping public. It’s just more and more of a challenge to make enough sales to turn a profit, in today’s economy.

This is not to say that the concerns aren’t real. If you can’t make a profit, you have to close. But these tens of billions in sales prove that the dismissive claim of the analysts that “the days of brick and mortar are over” is, in fact, nothing short of a lie.

To use a well-worn cliché: the buggy whip industry didn’t die out because buggy whip manufacturing was in bit a more challenging environment. It died out because nobody had a use for buggy whips anymore. That’s simply not the case with traditional retail. People still spend billions every year as willing customers of brick and mortar stores, it’s just not quite enough to push those stores past the finish line.

So, rather than giving up on an industry that takes in hundreds of billions a dollar a year in willing purchases and employs millions of people – often providing people with their critical first job – perhaps we should analyze instead just what the challenges are that make it possible for these stores to take in tens of billions of dollars but still lose out on the bottom line.

Labor

In any business analysis, we must look at the labor costs first. Has anything happened to make its workforce more expensive in recent years? Oh yes indeed. The cost of labor is up. More and more cities, and even states, are raising their minimum wage (nineteen states raised theirs, on January 1, 2017). This minimum wage increase works as an elevator, a rising floor that raises every employee group’s wage, not just the subset of entry-level employees.

But even more importantly, we have seen tax-and-benefit costs climb, as businesses must pay more for health insurance, 401-K matching and management fees, and other benefits for their employees. Obamacare, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and countless other federal regulations have increased the costs of every business sector; retail hasn’t missed out on these new pains. Has this issue alone made it impossible to hire? No, not in most cases. But it makes a difference.

Rent and Utilities

The next zone to address is the cost of providing that brick-and-mortar environment itself. Department stores are huge, taking up square footage in rental space and using up energy for lighting, air conditioning and heat.

What has happened to these costs in recent years? Mall space has often gone up in price as property taxes have climbed; the mall management company must pass on these costs to their tenants. Cities, counties and states often view commercial property as a gold mine, a taxable entity that cannot vote them out of office, so they rob these businesses blind at tax time, creating an ever-growing cost that is passed on to the store in increased rents.

And what of lighting, A/C and heat? Remember how cheap those incandescent bulbs in your desk lamp used to be… Versus what the now-mandated CFL or LED versions cost? If you have dozens of these bulbs in your home, your local department store has hundreds, or even thousands. These costs have skyrocketed, courtesy of the Pelosi Congress that irresponsibly declared so many kinds of cost-efficient bulbs illegal. And what of the energy that heats, cools, and lights these stores? The Obama administration’s concurrent wars on coal, nuclear, gas and oil power, combined with their laughable green energy favoritism, have caused your local mall’s heating, cooling and electric bills to skyrocket as well. Does this explain the whole difference? No, not in most cases. But it’s made for a more challenging environment than it needed to be.

Crime and Security

If you’ve served in the military during wartime, you have probably spent time in a war zone (and if so, the rest of us can never thank you enough for your service). The rest of us, however, particularly at home on US soil, do not expect to encounter such dangers.

More and more American shopping areas, however, have become dangerous. While terrorism threats are a rare and special risk, relatively and hopefully controllable with rational federal policy, the more general crime risks of our cities and malls have been growing steadily for generations. Malls and localities must spend more on security measures and personnel, and even with such spending, shoppers know which retail establishments are no longer safe, and wisely avoid them.

This first affects the evening traffic, and then, before you know it, the stores empty in the daytime too, as miscreants eventually use the shopping center as a regular hangout. How many downtowns have deteriorated, how many whole malls have emptied, first of shoppers and then of stores, because uncontrollable thugs have driven away their clientele?

No matter how much a shopper may like to shop, the risk of a car being burglarized, a purse being snatched, or actual physical assault will drive any sane shopper away. Many hundreds of malls, small and large, enclosed and outdoor, have closed or severely shrunk in recent years, and one can pinpoint the commencement of the rapid decline to the sightings of gang activity, the increase in burglaries, and most visibly of all, a new threat: the marauding gangs known as “flash mobs” that suddenly take over a store, ransack it, and escape before security can react.

A Common Thread

No matter how popular the products may be on store shelves, no matter how aggressively individual stores or whole malls or chambers of commerce may advertise, these issues – taken together – can be insurmountable challenges. Stores can find a way to be cost-effective, through purchasing in scale, advertising for volume sales, and offering products different enough and desirable enough to maintain a market, if there are shoppers walking in the door.

But if their every effort at cost-efficiency and marketing is met by another external challenge – criminals pouring in, utility costs skyrocketing, taxes climbing, and labor costs rising – then we cannot expect them to succeed.

It’s not that retail is dying, as we are always told… it’s that retail is being assaulted, from the outside.

The common thread is government. Government has made these utility costs rise, as government has shuttered coal mines and power plants, denied permits for drilling and pipelines, raised taxes to fund unproductive windmills, idiotic solar panels, and even algae farms. Government has unnecessarily made healthcare more expensive as a benefit, caused unemployment and workmen’s comp rates to rise, and released hundreds of thousands of criminals into the neighborhoods, through ridiculously short sentences, technicality acquittals, and even outright prison-emptying binges by left-wing judges.

The source of the challenges to retail, on almost every front, is our government. As government has raised up these roadblocks, only government can take them down.

This is not to say that, without these roadblocks, everyone would stop shopping online and suddenly return to the stores. But they don’t need to. Plenty of people already shop in our brick and mortar stores; plenty of money is already spent in them. We need to move the needle a few degrees, that’s all, to save this sector.

As just one example, Sears reported that the 150 stores they are closing reported sales of $1.2 billion last year, and a $60 million loss. As bad as that sounds, it’s only a five percent loss. Bring back the customers who are scared away by crime, lower the taxes and utility costs by electing rational people to public office who don’t view the retail sector as a money tree to shake until it dies, and these numbers could easily be flipped from a five percent loss to a five percent profit.

The stores have been doing all they can, for years, to fix their problem. It’s time for government to stand up and admit its culpability, and to stop making everything worse for them.

The Major Obstacle

But all of the above won’t help if the primary obstacle to retail sales is left unaddressed, and it should be the most obvious of all: Disposable income is down in America. Down. Way down.

We have all seen reports that average wages in America have been generally flat for over fifteen years. Annual wage growth outside of cost-of-living increases virtually stopped late in the Clinton administration, and never returned after the 2000 recession. Even though the economy grew moderately during the majority of the GW Bush administration, wages never recovered, and the recession that began with Nancy Pelosi’s takeover of the House in the 2006 election just cemented the crisis.

The biggest problem that the retail sector faces, therefore, is the fact that their potential customers don’t have disposable income. With 95 million Americans of working age outside the workforce, with an employed population enduring fifteen-plus years of flat wages, and with such economic uncertainty that even many who do have money to spare feel compelled to save and invest in case the bottom drops out again, the American consumer simply doesn’t have the money to spend anymore.

A generation ago, a common sight in a shopping mall was to see crowds with shopping bags from multiple stores, year-round, proving that most people who went to a mall did so to actually shop.

Today, by contrast, in addition to the general emptiness we encounter even in our bigger and better malls, we see that people carry only the one thing they came to buy; there’s much less impulse buying today. Shoppers may go to buy a specific item, then have lunch in the food court or in a better mall restaurant, but the days of regular shopping excursions that the middle class could once enjoy are long gone, for a significant segment of the population.

Worse still, many of the people in our malls are not shopping at all; they use them as a comfortable indoor walking track. They show up on their lunch breaks dressed in their business attire, or at off hours in sweatsuits, and walk the perimeter of the first floor, then the perimeter of the second floor… then return to their cars, to their homes or jobs, never having set foot in a single store. Not that there’s anything wrong with exercise, of course… but this trend just contributes that much more to the lack of actual shopping going on.

In the final analysis, we find that the reasons for brick-and-mortar retail pain are varied, but they have a common thread. The government has made it harder for the stores to compete with cheaper but less satisfying online merchants, and in addition, the government has robbed their potential customers of the money to shop at either.

High corporate taxes, crippling utility costs, and a painful regulatory environment have driven America’s employers out of business or out of the country. Those that remain here have less money to pay their employees, so employees have less to spend. It’s as simple as that.

Our government has been holding down the economy for years. When we bring back growth, we will bring back disposable income for our consumers.

And when our consumers have the money to spend, they will support both online and brick-and-mortar stores, because they will want to… and because they will finally be able to again.

But Does It Matter?

At this point, we will still have detractors, people who claim that the window has shut on brick-and-mortar retail, that its time has passed and we can do without it. Let it go, they tell us.

Such analysts forget the many positives that retail provides. For example:

Seeing the Goods: Even online shoppers want to see the goods in person first, or in the case of clothes, to try them on and check the mirror. They may not buy when in the store; they may go home and buy online, often from that same store’s online presence, when they have the money, a month or two later, but the physical store will always be a critical part of the shopping experience.

A Personal Touch: While many shoppers are content to make decisions on their own, many customers want that retail salesman to explain the product and help make the right choice. And many products lend themselves to this; not every purchase is the brand-name toy or hardcover book that lends itself to the online shopping environment.

Government Revenue: It’s hard to make a case for taxes, but this is an important point: Local stores pay local taxes. The property taxes and sales taxes generated by retail shopping are critical to the revenue stream of most local government. Many a county receives a quarter or more of its income from a major shopping mall. Let that mall close, and you will see the taxes on residents and other businesses skyrocket to make up the shortfall.

Support for Other Industries: The retail center – whether an enclosed mall, a strip mall, or a traditional downtown shopping district – is a magnet, bringing potential customers together, not just for retail, but also for other businesses with symbiotic relationships. The restaurants and food court outlets, the movie theaters and comedy clubs, the auto dealers and auto repair shops, the banks and travel agencies… all these and many other businesses, not traditionally thought of as “retail”… work together to both create a draw and make the most of that draw, once accomplished. The people who come for the restaurant or theater stay to shop; the people who come to shop may do their banking and have the car serviced while there. Remove the stores, and many of these other businesses will fail from lack of business as well.

Employment: While most career counselors would agree that retail, in general, is not the best longterm career choice for any but a narrow population (short of upper management, it’s not a path to wealth), all would agree that it’s a terrific starting point for entering the workforce. Working part time at a department store – while in high school and college, or as a second job afterward while just starting in one’s real career – remains a time-honored, valuable part of anyone’s time on the ladder to success. Spending time after school and on weekends operating a cash register and dealing with the public shows a future employer that one is responsible enough for that full-time job. Remove these stores, and we remove the first step on the ladder for millions of Americans.

Retail is challenged, like it has never been before. More than that, it is threatened by those who live in a zero-sum world, and don’t acknowledge that economies can grow and challenges can be overcome. A growth economy will solve most of these problems. But we need it soon, before more malls close, before more chains fail, before more shops give up the ghost, turning that many more shopping centers into deserts.

Who’s fault is the seeming demise of brick and mortar retail?

Who owns this challenge? The Left is responsible for the taxes and regulations; Barack Obama himself is responsible for the challenging economic environment we now suffer. While we cannot lay it all at his feet, he’s the one who appointed the EPA Administrators, the Labor and HHS Secretaries, and the Attorney Generals who have turbocharged the tax-and-regulation environment that made it all so much worse these past eight years.

Mr. Obama is said to be afraid of “losing his legacy,” but he needn’t worry. The thousands of shuttered storefronts littering the landscape, the 95 million people outside the workforce, the many once-successful Americans who’ve lost everything in the Obama economy, will stand for years as a living reminder of these two unnecessarily miserable terms.

There is indeed a great deal to be done, now that the adults are back in charge of the reins of government.

To paraphrase the old saying: Reports of retail’s death have been greatly exaggerated… but even so, there’s no time to lose.

Copyright 2016 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based Customs broker, international trade lecturer, writer and actor. His columns are regularly found in Illinois Review.

Obama’s Exit

Trump’s Charm of Not Being Obama

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By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR.
Updated Dec. 3, 2016 8:47 a.m. ET
984 COMMENTS
Barack Obama will retire a president personally popular with the American people yet who served them (and himself, and his party) badly.

He fretted in 2012 that he would lose the election just in time for Mitt Romney to get credit for an Obama recovery. That long-delayed recovery is finally coming in the last months of his administration—the economy finally broke 3% growth in the third quarter—and now Mr. Trump will get the credit.

He may even deserve a bit, witness the outbreak of Trumpian optimism in the stock market and small-business hiring plans.

Mr. Obama came in saying fossil fuels were running out and prices were destined to rise, and instead got the fracking revolution, whose related employment boost was arguably a factor in his re-election victories in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Yet he couldn’t stop looking this gift horse in the mouth.

Unshrewdly, in the name of satisfying his climate-change constituents, he needlessly launched a regulatory war against coal as cheap natural gas was already doing the job for him. Result: Democrats became the enemy in coal country.

He pandered to his green friends on the Keystone XL pipeline. Result: Mr. Trump is inheriting a rebound in natural gas fracking and an associated infrastructure boom that is just now heating up again in time for an incoming administration to get credit.

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Natural gas fracking (far more than Trumpian trade policy or browbeating of companies like Carrier) is the force reawakening manufacturing opportunity in the Rust Belt, timed perfectly for Mr. Trump’s arrival.

Holding back development was not the depressed gas price—that’s what attracts manufacturers—but the lack of infrastructure, specifically pipelines, to get the gas to prospective plant sites. Blame Mr. Obama and his Keystone theatrics.

A Brazilian company, Braskem, just opted to build a $500 million plastics plant in Texas, not Philadelphia—home to 85% Obama voters—for one reason only: lack of pipeline infrastructure.

Mr. Obama, notice, pays this price for climate gestures that were purely symbolic, having no impact on climate, and especially purblind given gas’s role in reducing U.S. CO2 emissions.

His climate gestures were destined not to survive his presidency in any case. All he did was shoot himself, his party and American workers in the foot.

Mr. Obama paid lip service to tax reform, the giant dividend from which will now be collected, yes, by Mr. Trump.

His Iran deal was supposed to reveal Mr. Obama as a bold, creative, unblinkered foreign-policy innovator. Yet, for better or worse, Mr. Trump is already on a path to revise America’s relations with the world in far more daring fashion.

One dividend may already be coming in, judging by Saudi Arabia’s surprise decision this week to wave the white flag in its price war against fracking. America is no longer a country that benefits from low oil prices. All the indicators are turning up: rig count, “frac sand” prices, the share prices of domestic energy pioneers like Chesapeake and Oneok.

A Rust Belt renaissance that might have recaptured for Democrats the lost love of the American worker will become a halo for Team Trump instead. Shell is going ahead with a $6 billion petrochemical plant on the site of an old zinc smelter on the Ohio River in hard-hit Appalachia.

The plant, known as Shell Appalachia, will generate 6,000 construction jobs for several years, plus 600 full-time plant jobs, plus thousands more jobs indirectly for companies that make plastics, steel pipe, sound proofing for gas compressors, pickup trucks, housing etc., etc.

A Thai company is eyeing a second giant ethylene plant nearby in eastern Ohio. Guess who will get credit for lifting the fortunes of a region presidents have been promising to help since Kennedy?

Mr. Obama was too blinded by his shibboleths, his own brand of political correctness, to let good things happen in a way that would let him take credit for them.

He failed to lean in favor of things that were working—like fracking, like corporate America’s steady effort to encourage more consumer involvement in disciplining health-care costs, which ObamaCare might have borrowed from.

Mr. Trump can still screw things up. His trade-war talk, his eagerness to meddle in plant-siting decisions, could be poisonous to a gas-fueled manufacturing boom conspicuously linked to the world.

Fully 60% of the $170 billion in planned petrochemical investments tied to fracking now in the works are funded by overseas investors. These investors come because they think of America as a lawful, trustworthy place to do business.

But Mr. Trump, our new dealmaker-in-chief, also has a pragmatic streak as big as Manhattan’s Trump Tower. He will make mistakes but here’s betting they won’t be Mr. Obama’s mistakes of smug obliviousness.

OBAMA PLANNING MASSIVE EXECUTIVE ACTIONS BEFORE LEAVING OFFICE

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Several of President Barack Obama’s federal agencies have outlined at least 98 final regulations for him to implement via executive fiat prior to the glorious day that he get’s the hell out of the White House.

According to Politico, the proposed regulations cover everything from commodities speculation, air pollution from the oil industry, coal mining, doctors’ Medicare drug payments and high-skilled immigrant workers are among the rules moving through the pipeline as Obama’s administration grasps at one last chance to cement his legacy. So are regulations tightening states’ oversight of online colleges and protecting funding for Planned Parenthood.

Trump has promised to wipe out as much of Obama’s regulatory agenda as he can, saying he will cancel “all illegal and overreaching executive orders” and eliminate “every wasteful and unnecessary regulation which kills jobs.”

Pissed off congressional leaders are warning the agencies to halt their work on so-called midnight regulations, specifically objecting to Obama’s call earlier this year for “audacious executive action.” In a letter to agency heads on Nov. 15, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and every House committee chairman cautioned them “against finalizing pending rules or regulations in the Administration’s last days.”
“Should you ignore this counsel, please be aware that we will work with our colleagues to ensure that Congress scrutinizes your actions — and, if appropriate, overturns them,” he said.

Despite the warnings, some agencies remained are going full force in their mission to over-regulate and screw America.

“As I’ve mentioned to you before, we’re running — not walking — through the finish line of President Obama’s presidency,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy wrote agency employees the day after the Donald Trump won the election.

As explained by the Foundation for Economic Education, the strategy for blocking quickly crafted regulations by the EPA and other agencies centered on passing a bill dubbed the Midnight Rules Relief Act, which would reportedly strengthen the 1996 Congressional Review Act and thus empower Congress with the authority to overturn needless executive regulations, V.Saxena at Conservative Tribune reports.

“As it is now, CRA actions can cover only one rule at a time,” the foundation wrote. “Given that more than 1,000 regulations will be CRA-eligible next Congress, this could mean a lot of votes.”

Were Congress to pass the Midnight Rules Relief Act, it could bundle its repeals together, making it exceptionally easy for Republican lawmakers to halt Obama’s lame-duck actions.

Obama is Arming Forces Against All Citizens

federal-police-of-germany

The U.S. Government has been quietly deploying unregulated agency armies against its own citizens. It is part of the ongoing invasion of our nation from within, by mass deceit and mass, uninformed consent. According to Joseph Farah of the Western Journalism Center:

In 1996 alone, at least 2,349 new federal cops were authorized to carry firearms… As a result of that record one-year surge, there are nearly 60,000 armed federal agents representing departments as diverse as the FBI, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Postal Service.

Among the others packing heat against you and me are the agents of the seemingly innocuous U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers. In fact, there is no such thing as a harmless federal agent nor agency. Just ask the surviving members of the Randy Weaver family.

Farah adds that the reason these feds are armed is that they are “in the business of seizing people’s personal property” on any pretense. It is not exactly benign behavior for a group supposedly sworn to preserve the blessings of liberty and our posterity. In this way, the federal armies among us are unregulated, doing what is unlawful under the color of law by the authority of bureaucratic agency rules. They are eating out our substance, precisely what the colonists complained of in their Declaration of Independence submitted to King George III.

Other agencies, if not actually using their guns, use the implied power of the gun to turn entire institutions and states to the federal or globalist will. These include the IRS and the Department of Justice. How bad is it? Benjamin Stein is the actor who does the “Clear Eyes” commercial on TV. He says:

Why was life so bad in Russia? I guess because people were not free. Life was fixed by quotas and government orders. You were who the government said you were, not who you could be… I wonder if some smart fellow… has ever studied the similarities between the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division recently and… the KGB. A very different approach to conflict resolution, to be sure, but certain similarities in the world view.

To be sure, there is indeed a similarity in world view because it is the religio-political world view of global collectivism. Yet there is more. The “conflicts” supposedly resolved by the federal government are not genuine but are set-ups in order to consolidate federal and globalist power over individuals.

The State grand jury in Oklahoma City is now considering evidence in this regard. According to the testimony of former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) informant Carol Howe of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the government was aware of the pending attack on the Murrah Federal Building. Additional evidence points to deeper federal awareness and possibly even involvement in the bombing of its own.

Such a scenario is reminiscent of the maneuverings of Josef Stalin. He consolidated Soviet, communist, and personal tyranny by manufacturing conflicts and then brutally resolving them. There is a “velvet glove” covering similar abuses by the globalists, their U.N., and the U.S. government. After all, the feds are not communist, in name at least, but democrats. They are nevertheless revealed to be tyrants because of their official policy of bearing arms in every imaginable capacity against people who are ostensibly, again in name only, their fellow citizens.

FORMER F.B.I. AGENT RISKS HIS LIFE TO EXPOSE OBAMA’s SECRET PLOT To DESTROY AMERICA FROM WITHIN

Former FBI assistant director James Kallstrom went on Fox News to discuss the aftermath of the deadly Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris and how it relates to Obama’s dangerous plan to import thousands of Syrian refugees.
As Kallstrom explained to Megyn Kelly, he’s furious about what’s going on with the refugees that are moving throughout Europe, and he thinks it has largely been “orchestrated!” WOW!

He said Obama’s FBI is drastically underfunded, and lacks the resources to maintain the ongoing investigations of activity by Islamic radicals – that are occurring in all 50 states!

Kallstrom went on to note that we have no idea who these refugees are, and millions of Americans are right to oppose this dangerous plan.

You know the fact that these folks travel from Europe and here in the United States and get training and then they come back to the countries, to me is just crazy and preposterous. And I don’t know how we are continuing to do this thing.
When you look at pictures of them — 90 percent males between the age of 18 and 30 — it’s crazy. It’s phony. And we must end the sanctuary cities in the United States. What a farce. What a joke.

In Kallstrom’s view, this means a future attack on American soil is all-but-certain. After the attack, he believes America will ask itself:

[W]e’d say ‘why didn’t we build up this, why didn’t we build up that, why didn’t we close the border? Why did we have 50,000 people come here that we don’t have a clue who they are?’ This has to stop. If it doesn’t, it’s just a matter of time before what we’re seeing today in France happens here.

When Megyn was surprised to learn of the FBI’s lack of funding, she asked “Why?” Here is his frightening response:
This will sound very hard-hearted. We haven’t had enough people die here in the United States. I mean that’s the way it is.

This is a courageous move for this former FBI assistant director to share with America. We must listen to him, before it’s too late

Obama Admin to Push Long List of ‘Midnight’ Actions Before End of Term

Several of President Barack Obama’s federal agencies have outlined as many as 98 final regulations for him to implement via executive fiat prior to his departure from the White House in early 2017.

According to Politico, the proposed regulations cover everything from commodities speculation to air pollution, coal mining, fracking and even Planned Parenthood, whose funding the administration hopes to protect.

The regulations would also reportedly further anchor Obamacare into law, making it more cumbersome for President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Congress to abolish it when he steps into office.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has warned, however, that any “midnight regulations” rushed through in Obama’s final days would ultimately be revoked, one way or another.

“Should you ignore this counsel, please be aware that we will work with our colleagues to ensure that Congress scrutinizes your actions — and, if appropriate, overturns them – pursuant to the Congressional Review Act,” he wrote in a letter to Obama’s federal agencies, The Hill reported.

Despite the threat, some agencies still remained steadfast in their mission to over-regulate America.
“As I’ve mentioned to you before, we’re running — not walking — through the finish line of President Obama’s presidency,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy reportedly wrote to her fellow agency employees the day after Trump won the 2016 election.

As explained by the Foundation for Economic Education, the strategy for blocking quickly crafted regulations by the EPA and other agencies centered on passing a bill dubbed the Midnight Rules Relief Act, which would reportedly strengthen the 1996 Congressional Review Act and thus empower Congress with the authority to overturn needless executive regulations.

“As it is now, CRA actions can cover only one rule at a time,” the foundation wrote. “Given that more than 1,000 regulations will be CRA-eligible next Congress, this could mean a lot of votes.”

Were Congress to pass the Midnight Rules Relief Act, it could bundle its repeals together, making it exceptionally easy for Republican lawmakers to halt Obama’s lame-duck actions.

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