Corona-Madness!

Madness is trying to find details of anything our government does. There’s nothing significant going on in the U.S. government right now, right? Nothing but the most expensive spending bill in world history!

As you know, late Wednesday evening, the Senate passed a version of the Stimulus bill that, fortunately, did NOT include very many of the government multi-billion dollar pork Christmas presents House Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats demanded to be included. If you missed those, look back on our published story on 3/25 that contained in a bullet-point format a summary of those: “CURE THE DISEASE!”

And if you’re a speed reader or someone who loves to hit yourself in the head a few dozen times because you have nothing better to do, put down the hammer and read the 888 Senate bill passed Wednesday.

https://truthnewsnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.26.20_FINAL_CARES_ACT_96_0.pdf

If you, like most of us, prefer a synopsis of something this intense and detailed, here’s a 35-page “roundup” of the hot details of the CARES Act — what the Coronavirus relief bill has been named. Feel free to download a section by section synopsis here:

https://truthnewsnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/CARES_Section_by_Section_FINAL.pdf

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Congress is good at one thing: spending taxpayer dollars — those we have or that are coming soon in the way of taxes plus the dollars we don’t have and must borrow because we’re spending them before we get them.
  • Democrats LOVE bigger and more controlling government. To that end, somewhere in every financially related bill that Dems put forth that ever gets signed into law is some “thing” or “things” devised strictly to increase the government’s size and authority through unsustainable spending.
  • Nancy Pelosi IS the most influential person in American politics today. No one else — even President Trump — can even remotely compare to her. The Senate bill awaiting House approval verifies how strong she is.
  • Americans are petrified of the unknowns of COVID-19 and are frightened at its devastation playing out now not just in the disease but in its daunting future unknown costs on Americans. And Congress brilliantly parlays those fears into trillions of dollars THEY control and spend.
  • Though many will say Senate Republicans bested Pelosi by allowing just a few of her outrageous spending demands from HER bill, quietly and with no fanfare Pelosi will come away with a victory when the House passes this bill and President Trump signs it. And every Republican — including the President — knows it.
  • The fact that Pelosi, along with every other Congressional Democrat, held this bill up for a week in the face of more people dying, millions losing jobs. At the same time, small companies close their doors and school students out of school stand hoping for a bus with their lunch proves how much disdain there is for America’s working people among Democrats. Let’s take a short pause! I need to catch my breath. Just for grins, take a listen to the “new” version of Margarittille fondly titled “Coronaville.” You’ll get a cute giggle or two. (It’s just a couple of minutes.

I thought with your pursuits of toilet paper; you might enjoy a bit of humor from someone who is “sharing the joy” with all of us!

Any Goodies — REAL Goodies in the CARES Act?

Yes, there are.

Most of us in the South are Pro-Life. I am personally unabashedly Pro-Life. I’ve never stated that here, but now you know. I feel strongly that aborting a baby is killing a human being — period. Someone mentioned to me the other day that if we could prolong the social distancing a bit and a shutdown of non-essential services for two weeks, (that include operations of abortion clinics) we could stop the killing during that two weeks of more humans than Coronavirus will kill in the entire world.

Think about that.

Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) just passed this along to me for you. This is a segment inserted in the Senate Republican CARES Act regarding tax dollars paying for abortions:

  • Planned Parenthood Exclusion from Small Business Loan Assistance: 
The bill applies the Small Business Administration’s affiliation rules to nonprofits for purposes of small business assistance (loans and forgiveness for payroll costs), but includes a provision that disqualifies Planned Parenthood– whose affiliates, taken together, have around 16,000 employees nationwide — based on the 500 employee threshold for nonprofits.
  • Hyde Amendment Protections: 
On the Supplemental Appropriations, applies FY2020 Labor HHS’s terms and conditions, including the Hyde Amendment (prohibiting funds for elective abortion and elective abortion coverage), to new supplemental discretionary health funding in Division B, including $100 billion for hospitals and other health care providers determined by the HHS Secretary that provide diagnoses, testing or care for COVID-19.
  • Supplemental Awards for Health Centers:
 Applies the Hyde Amendment by cross-reference to a $1.32 billion plus-up in mandatory funding for health centers.
  • Community Health Center Fund: 
Applies the Hyde Amendment by cross-reference to the extension of mandatory funding for community health centers, the National Health Service Corps, and Graduate Teaching Health Centers
  • Coronavirus Relief Fund: 
Applies the Hyde Amendment by cross-reference to the new $150 billion in mandatory funding for the coronavirus relief fund for states.

In other words, the Democrat House plan included methods to sidetrack the Hyde Amendment through the funding of abortions, not directly to Planned Parenthood, but to several of their affiliates. Senate Republicans made sure Democrat language proposed by Pelosi did NOT make it into the CARE Act. (How many babies will that save?)

The ‘Bad’ Stuff

(Just a note here: the writers of the bill have included a “qualifying” phrase in their spending lingo to expressly point to coronavirus as the “sole” reason for the spending:  “…to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, for necessary expenses related to providing support for and access to…..”  Make what you will with that phrase. To me, it means “This is what we’re spending in this department in addition to what we are already spending. This amount is only for coronavirus.”

While none of the following are technically “pork,” it is safe to say, “I think this is crazy and superfluous spending on the part of our government!”

Dept. of Agriculture

  • $258,000,000 for broadband services in rural areas
  • $32,615,098,000 for “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” for Child Nutrition
  • $100,000,000 for administrative expenses and $50,000,000 for additional food costs for Food Distribution on Indian Reservations

Dept. of Commerce

  • $2,000,000,000 for “Economic Development Assistance Programs” to be used “for necessary expenses related to responding to economic injury as a result of coronavirus.”

Dept. of Justice

  • $100,000,000 for nat’l criminal justice operations;
  • $500,000,000 for state and local criminal justice operations;
  • $100,000,000 for juvenile criminal justice operations

National Science Foundation

  • $100,000,000 for “Research related activities,” $2,000,000 for “Agency operations and Award Management.”

Legal Services Corporation

  • $100,000,000 to “carry out the purposes of the Legal Services Corporation.”

Dept. of Defense

  • $3,805,500,000 for “research, development, test and evaluation.”

Dept. of the Treasury

  • $6,000,000 for increased salaries for Courts of Appeals
  • $500,000 for increased salaries for Supreme Court
  • $11,000,000 for “Emergency Planning and Security Costs in D.C.”
  • $4,000,000,000 for “Election Assistance Commission to states for contingency planning, preparation, and resilience of elections.”
  • $200,000,000 for “Salaries and Expenses” — basically pay raises — for the FCC
  • $3,000,000,000 for the “Technology and Modernization Fund of the General Services Administration (GSA)
  • $12,100,000 for salary increases for the Office of Personnel Management
  • $100,000,000,000 for SBA Business Stabilization Loan Programs
  • $100,000,000,000 for the “Relief of Small Businesses Act.”
  • $100,000,000,000 for “Small Business Act” for “economic recovery grants.
  • $25,739,000,000 for “Disaster Loans Program Account”
  • $16,800,000,000 for the cost of “loan debt relief.”
  • $805,000,000 for “Salaries and Expenses” for the “Small Businesses Act.”
  • $20,000,000,000 for US Postal Service for “an emergency requirement under the Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.”
  • $2,000,000,000 for the “Disaster Relief Fund”

Repeat Disclaimer: all of this funding is “in addition to” other budgeted monies already in use by each of these departments.

Summary

The two big Pelosi pork projects that did not get negotiated out of the bill are the John F. Theater and a Union funding provision. The original Pelosi funding clause in the House bill was for $35,000,000. In the Senate version, it was cut to $25,000,000. Yes, I agree: $25,000,000 for a theater is atrocious. Just think of the full scholarships this could fund for underprivileged children. 250 American students could enter great colleges with fully-funded $100,000 scholarships with that JFK money!

The second is a Pelosi “favor called-in” by labor unions. The CARES Act is full of loans and grants for businesses. The applicable provision is to prevent any company that under the CARES Act receives either federal grants or loans, cannot deter Unions from approaching their employees regarding unionizing those companies.

Yes, these both are dumb. And, yes, they will cost Americans far more than just their face value. But this is how the U.S. government operates. It’s full of attorneys who draft laws. And they do that for the most part to favor someone in every law.

Most in Congress reconcile this nasty and tasteless task as merely “giving up whatever it takes to get whatever I need or want.” Quid pro quo.

Are we done yet? Short of a grandstand play on the House floor today, we’re done. I am confident the President will sign the CARES Act into law on either Saturday or Sunday.

Meanwhile: COVID-19 relentlessly attacks Americans with a vengeance. What are we going to do? How long will it last? How many will die? We’ll waltz back into that fray on Saturday.

Know one thing: Coronavirus is NOT through yet!

Play

CURE THIS DISEASE!

In the furor of the last five days regarding the necessity to stabilize the U.S. economy that is in freefall, almost lost is the absolute necessity to make haste to find the cure for COVID-19. Yes, doctors are treating ill patients in dramatic numbers that are now seeming to double daily. Those certainly are the priorities of our amazing American hospitals, clinics, and specialists. I do not diminish treatment necessity at all. But while doing so, we need to take dramatic steps in preventions and to get those in place, functional, operating, and monitored ASAP.

Our “social distancing” in most cases, is working well. Multiple states have issued orders that have closed all businesses but those which are essential. That has put tens of millions of American workers on the sidelines. That horror has been consuming almost all the oxygen in the atmosphere. But we cannot ignore our requirement to find a cure.

And there may already be one. Watch and listen to this message from Dr. Vladimir Zelenko of New York:

At a Fox News “virtual town hall” Tuesday in the Rose Garden, Vice President Mike Pence was asked by Dr. Mehmet Oz, the popular TV doctor, how the distribution of the hydroxychloroquine treatment can be accelerated. Pence said, “there is no barrier,” explaining the FDA already has approved “off-label” use, meaning the drug used to treat malaria also can be prescribed to treat COVID-19. The vice president said the administration is working with Bayer on increasing the supply of the drug as clinical trials are being conducted.

“Doctors can prescribe that medication, which, as you know, is a perfectly legal malaria medication,” Pence said.

Oz asked Pence if he would allow himself to be treated with hydroxychloroquine if he were infected with the coronavirus. “I would follow the advice of my physician, and I would recommend everyone do that,” the vice president replied.

Oz has called chloroquine “the biggest game-changer of all,” with the potential of preventing the U.S. from “becoming Italy.”

Chloroquine

President Trump announced Monday that clinical trials for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine would begin in New York on Tuesday. He said 10,000 units of chloroquine would be distributed in the state. Studies in China, Australia, and France have found the combination of chloroquine and azithromycin treated the coronavirus within six days with a 100% success rate.

In an interview, Dr. Peter Costantino, the chairman of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, was asked to comment on Dr. Zelenko’s reported results. “I’m very, very optimistic about this,” he said. “This is not a controlled study, but the number of patients represented by Dr. Zelenko is very significant.”

Costantino noted there were no hospitalizations, intubations, or deaths among Zelenko’s 350 patients. As many as 40 admissions would have been expected, he said, along with possibly two or three deaths.

Summary

Isn’t it sad that as this that is a logical and working treatment to stop coronavirus has been all but lost in the noise of politicizing for power and money this pandemic? Americans should be outraged at how many in Washington have been playing a game with coronavirus. While playing with the disease, they have put the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans at risk.

Pelosi’s bill offers a minuscule amount of taxpayer funding for curing this disease while filling the coffers and pockets of political party backers and federal workers that do nothing but cause the national debt to skyrocket: $2 Trillion!

I’ve been asked dozens of times the last week, “Is there anything we as American voters can do to shut down this lunacy in Congress? Can we stop this senseless wasteful spending?”

What have we at TruthNewsNetwork been harping on for five years now regarding American government: wasteful spending, political fraud, nepotism, and corruption — all for the quest for unilateral political POWER.

For those of you who have been skeptical, take a stroll to the corner of the two busiest streets in your town or city today. Look down both roads and notice NOBODY’S HOME!

We are close — so VERY close — to losing the greatest nation on Earth.

Wake Up America!

Pelosi Blackmail: The “Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act”

It is impossible that Pelosi, along with workers from her office were able to put the “Take REsponsibility for Workers and Family Act” together in just a few days. Pelosi knows that a “major” COVID-19 stimulus bill was in the offing, has been planning for the opportunity to jump into the fray at the last moment, and hold Americans hostage to a pork-ulus bill that is bulging with Democrat goodies. And that’s just what she has done, knowing that time is now on her side and that Republicans have very little power regarding whether or not to approve her bill.

I watched throughout the day on Tuesday as Democrat after Democrat found a television camera in front of which they to a person stated the Pelosi bill has NOTHING in it but measures to stop the coronavirus, funding emergency measures necessary to stop the virus spread while treating those already infected, assisting with measures to prevent further spreading, and economic stimulus measures for the American people. Each of those Democrats not only lied, but they in doing so are also trying to hijack the American financial system while piling up goodies that Democrats can use like Mardi Gras beads coming from a float in New Orleans. Every Mardi Gras, “Give me something, Mister!” is the common phrase for Louisianians to illustrate the pandemonium of Mardi Gras parades. It’s appropriate to say that “Give me something, Ms. Pelosi!” is the relevant cry being answered by the House Speaker with this package.

Her bill is 1400+ pages in length. It is packed full of pork. Because it is so long, she is confident there is not enough time for Republicans to read and digest its measures, determine which of the measures included are legitimate and which are partisan fodder for her party and their financial supporters. She’s done pretty well with that process in her House Speaker career. Who can forget how she rammed down the throats of Americans another bill about the same length a few years ago. When asked what was in that bill, she famously answered, “We don’t know what’s in the bill. We have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in the bill.” That bill was Obamacare.

We’ve done the dirty work for you. Here in bullet point, we have identified almost every one of the items included in the bill. As you digest these, remember when asked yesterday was there a bunch of pork in the bill, this was her response:

“Every measure in the House Coronavirus bill is to support the necessary medical needs to stop the virus while shoring up the American economy for workers. We MUST assist American workers in keeping going without finding themselves in dire financial circumstances and without fear of the virus.”

Keep that in mind — you will not believe what you are about to see.

  • $100,000,000 to NASA
  • $20,000,000,000 to the US Postal Service to payoff their debt
  • $300,000,000 to the Endowment for the Arts
  • $300,000,000 for the Endowment for the Humanities (I’ve never heard of it)
  • $15,000,000 for Veterans Employment Training
  • $435,000,000 for mental health support
  • $30,000,000,000 for the Department of Education stabilization fund
  • $200,000,000 to Safe Schools Emergency Response to Violence Program
  • $300,000,000 to Public Broadcasting / NPR
  • $500,000,000 to Museums and Libraries
  • $720,000,000 to Social Security Admin, of which ONLY $200,000,000 goes to recipients. The balance is for “Administrative Costs” — $520,000,000.
  • $25,000,000 for Cleaning supplies for the Capitol Building (I know it’s unbelievable. You can find it on page 136)
  • $7,500,000 to the Smithsonian for additional salaries
  • $35,000,000 to the JFK Center for Performing Arts
  • $25,000,000 for salary increases  for the House of Representatives
  • $3,000,000,000 to upgrade to the IT department at the Veterans Administration
  • $315,000,000 for State Department Diplomatic Programs
  • $95,000,000 for the Agency of International Development
  • $300,000,000 for International Disaster Assistance
  • $300,000,000 for Migrant and Refugee Assistance (pg 147)
  • $90,000,000 for the Peace Corp (pg 148)
  • $13,000,000 to Howard University (pg 121)
  • 9,000,000 Miscellaneous Senate Expenses (pg 134)
  • $100,000,000 to Essential Air carriers (pg 162)
  • $40,000,000,000 goes to the “Take Responsibility to Workers and Families Act.” (Pg 164)
  • $1,000,000,000 Airlines Recycle and Save Program (pg 163)
  • $25,000,000 to the FAA for administrative costs (pg 165)
  • $492,000,000 to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) (pg 167)
  • $526,000,000 Grants to Amtrak to remain available if needed through 2021 (pg 168)
  • $25,000,000,000 for Transit Infrastructure (pg 169)
  • $3,000,000 Maritime Administration (pg 172)
  • $5,000,000 Salaries and Expenses for the Office of the Inspector General (pg 172)
  • A clause that ratifies there is No voter ID necessary to get a ballot to vote. It also establishes and makes legal the anonymous “ballot harvesting” process (pg 650)
  • $2,500,000 for Public and Indian Housing (pg 175)
  • $5,000,000 for Community Planning and Development (pg 175)
  • $2,500,000 for the Office of Housing
  • $1,500,000,000 for the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Office of Public and Indian Housing, $billion of which can be used as “additional administrative and other expenses.” (pg 176)
  • $720,000,000 to the public housing fund (pg 177)
  • $100,000,000 for Community Block Grants for Native Americans (pg 183)
  • $250,000,000 for Housing Block Grants for Tribes (pg 182)
  • $130,000,000 for AIDS Housing (pg 185) $20,000,000 of which goes to “one-time grantees”  (pg 186)
  • $15,000,000,000 for the Community Development Fund (pg 188)
  • $5,000,000,000 in Homeless Assistance (pg 193)
  • $100,000,000,000 for Rental Assistance (pg 198)
  • An additional $7,000,000 to enforce the Fair Housing Act (pg 203)
  • $227,000,000 for grants to States for “youth activities” (pg 80)
  • $261,000,000 for grants to States for dislocated worker employment and training activities, including supportive services and needs-related payments (pg 80)
  • $10,000,000 for the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker program
  • $100,000,000 for ‘‘Job Corps.’’
  • $15,000,000 for ‘‘Program Administration’’
  • $6,500,000, to the ‘‘Federal Wage and Hour Division.’’
  • $30,000,000, to OSHA
  • $10,000,000 for Susan Harwood training grants
  • $1,300,000,000, for ‘‘Primary Health Care’’
  • $75,000,000, for ‘‘Student Aid Administration’’
  • $9,500,000,000, for ‘‘Higher Education’’

NOTE:

  • In this bill, Paid Family Leave for Sickness is two paid work weeks (pg 213). “Emergency Family Leave,” and now applies to all employers, not just for companies with over 500 employees (pg 208)
  • Guarantees paid leave to employees who have an in-law who gets sick (pg 209)
  • Opens up leave for some you are in a “committed relationships with” (pg 212)
  • $1,000,000,000 for more Obamaphones!

Odds and Ends…

  • $9,000,000,000 is allocated to colleges and universities
  • $100,000,000 to juvenile justice programs
  • It suspends various aspects of the enforcement of immigration laws
  • Hidden in these provisions is hundreds of billions of dollars in Green New Deal subsidies. Also hidden is the “ACCESS” Act that imposes requirements for states to allow early voting, voting by mail, and requires the mailing of absentee ballots to everyone.

NOTE TWO:

In this bill, only $10 billion is set aside for infrastructure for fighting infectious diseases (pg 191), AND…

Hidden on page 174 the Secretary of the Treasury has only seven days from the date this bill is signed into law to allocate the funds & notify Congress

Summary

Plain and simple: I’m nauseated. I have never in my lifetime seen a more corrupt, dishonest, and massive display of evil in any branch of the U.S. government than this. And as deep as what we outlined for you, the underlying truth in each is eviler than its bullet point!

I was asked on Tuesday, “Why is Speaker Pelosi taking this action?” I have thought through this again and again, and I resolve the question in only one answer I can puzzle to: She wants to crash the U.S. economy and the lives of 300+ million Americans.

But why would she do that?

Could it be that she is so driven to and so set on destroying this presidency that she would take the entire nation down with President Trump?

Before you respond with, “No Way! — think it through. Remember this, HBO host Bill Marr has one more than one occasion stated he’d be fine if that happened just to rid the nation of Donald Trump.

Now: are you nauseated, too?

Senate Dems. DESTROY American Lives: INSANITY!

The situation IS that desperate; it IS that critical — at least for most Americans. I cannot think of a better way to say it than this: Senate Democrats don’t give a rip about average Americans, small business owners, employees of mega-corporations OR small businesses.

“That’s pretty dramatic, Dan.” You bet it is. I have watched the Senate live during the day today as the debate has gone on and on and on. Let me catch you up to how we got to where we are:

  • Both parties agree we are in a crisis — a “Corona Crisis.” But the agreements stop there.
  • House members took a week off last week and left D.C. Senators stayed in D.C. and negotiated all last week, much of which was bi-partisan. Late Saturday night, it appeared a reasonable bi-partisan agreement was reached.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi returned to D.C. and Sunday morning blew-up any deal the Senate had agreed to during the week. She notified America, the House is going to draft its OWN bill. Hopefully, it will include much of what the Senate included in their bill.

Let me give you a summary of the contents of the Senate bipartisan bill that has been riddled in two Senate votes solely to take-up the bill and debate it! Can you believe that? Democrats will NOT even agree to put it up for debate! The Senate bill includes the following:

  1. An immediate $1200 to every American adult plus $500 for each child;
  2. A massive federal deposit of cash to assist employers with unemployment benefits;
  • A program of $300 billion for small businesses of billions of dollars that would be to keep their employees on the job during this pandemic and not layoff those employees. Those funds are initially a federally-backed loan. If they keep those employees through the pandemic, that loan is turned into a grant with no repayment required.
  • A program of $500 billion for major corporations, $50 billion of it is for the airline industry. Those funds, too, are federally backed loans that WILL be repaid.

There are other provisions in the bill, none of which are “pork” project funding. Every part of the bill deals specifically with the issues tied directly to the Coronavirus pandemic problems that are directly impacting Americans economically as a result of the virus.

Yesterday

Democrats flatly refused to allow the bill to the floor after denying it on Sunday as well. All-day long, Democrats took turns to scream and holler about how unfair, unrealistic, and unacceptable is the GOP bill. They continuously cry, calling the corporate dollars “a slush fund.” They demand there is no accountability for the spending of the dollars from the corporate dollars they call “a slush fund.” Here’s the foundation for Democrat concern:

In the previous bailout of corporations, billions of taxpayer dollars went to corporations that used the funds primarily to buy back company stock and fatten the pockets of crucial executives — some in the tens of millions. But Democrats have been assured this will NOT happen under the GOP bill. How? Democrats have been told, and the press has detailed this for all to see: NO corporate stock buybacks; no executive at a company receiving money may make more than $425,000 in total annual compensation for two years, retroactive to March 1.

Why then would Democrats continue to cry against corporate support? After all, who work at corporations? Hundreds of thousands and even millions of American workers. Who invests in corporations that are seeing their values plunge and profits melt away? Those same employees through pension funds, retirement programs, 401K retirement savings programs, etc. Without assistance for their employers, they will have no jobs and NO retirement income for them in the future — not mentioning THE EMPLOYEES WILL BE UNEMPLOYED!

Before we make you go starking raving crazy with the details of what Democrats want to be added to the bill before they will approve it, Senator John Kennedy (D-LA) on the Senate floor put it better than I ever could. Buckle in: his speech will put you in orbit!

It’s Not Fair! Democrats Need More in the Bill

Do you have any idea of what Pelosi and other Democrats want to be put in the Coronavirus bill before they will lend their support? Details of their demands are scant at this time (they are purposefully hiding them), but here is what we have been able to verify so far today. You’re going to love this!

  • They demand $500 million for the National Endowment for the Arts;
  • They demand $500 million for the Solar Energy Industry;
  • They demand guarantees for the payment of ALL labor union pensions, which are estimated to be several TRILLION dollars short of being fully-funded;
  • Democrat representation on corporate boards who receive funds along with mandated “diversity” on corporate boards;
  • Requiring early voting along with same-day voter registration;
  • Requiring collective bargaining and election reform.

There are more demands that are steadily being leaked. But let me ask you this question that is the only question that matters: which of these Pelosi demands has anything to do with Coronavirus treatment and prevention and assisting Americans, American small businesses, and corporations in ways to keep them economically capable of surviving until the pandemic is resolved?

Summary

For three hours Monday afternoon, every Senate Democrat vacated the Senate chamber. Of course, their excuse is to isolate themselves from potential exposure to COVID-19. That sounds like nothing but a great excuse. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans remained in session, one by one gave floor speeches detailing the facts of the proposed GOP Coronavirus bill and little by little exposed to the nation what Democrats are doing and why. More and more of the pork they wish to be included in the hoped-for law that is supposed to give Americans immediate economic relief and also their employers have been exposed. Folks, if there ever was a minuscule desire to offer the American public real relief during this disaster, these Democrats indeed lost that desire somewhere along the way.

What many Americans are doing is trying to find some reasonable answer to the question, “What do Senate Democrats hope to accomplish with their antics on Capitol Hill?” As of this moment, I don’t think there’s a reasonable answer that can be given.

I just spoke to one member of the House who is as angry as I at the delay tactics Americans are watching play out on C-SPAN. It’s as if Democrats don’t care about the lousy light their actions shine on their party. Yes, the voters from their states who are looking-in have recoiled at the incompetence their Democratic Senators are showing to the world. Maybe Dems forget that their inaction means millions of THEIR party members have nothing to do but sit at home and are watching their antics exposed. I cannot believe that knowing that, Senators would continue to stall while trying to protect some semblance of honesty, decency, and the dignity Americans expect from U.S. Senators. All of that, they may have once had has been flushed and is long gone.

But that’s not the critical issue here: Americans are dying from COVID-19. Millions of others will not go to work today that could have if Democrats had joined Senate Republicans to get the relief package completed and sent to the President to sign. Wealthy Democrat members of Congress probably don’t relate to working Americans who fight for weekly paychecks. Democrat House members are acting the same.

Two things matter today: First, give Americans economic relief: their employers, their companies, and them individually. Get the $1200 per adult and $500 per child paid immediately. Secondly, fully fund quickly every medical issue pending sufficient to protect medical providers, patients, emergency medical workers, and public servants who are putting their lives in danger to save us.

The devil in all this — as hard as it is to say — is NOT Democrats in the Senate. The devil always has been and still is COVID-19. We need to continue to support the President and his team and other medical professionals who are working 24/7 to find medical relief for us all from Coronavirus. At the same time, give Americans the economic relief necessary to make it through the pandemic.

Here’s a novel thought: why don’t the members of Congress just use our tax dollars for us for a change!

Play

Stock Market: Congress’ Illegal Piggy Bank

For decades, members of Congress have taken advantage of financial details garnered from pending legislation or from those who are directly involved in specific business negotiations with Congress. It has been prevalent through the years for members to enrich themselves with suspect stock market transactions that could only have happened by their access to and then using that info.

Who would have thought that Coronavirus would have opened a door for our federal employees — members of the House and Senate — to take advantage of a pandemic that has 330 million Americans hiding under desktops in fear for their lives? But that is happening today. (Details of these just ahead)

Remember the words of President Obama’s Chief of Staff and later Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel:

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

That’s precisely what current members of Congress have been secretly doing. But it has happened often in the past but mostly just to make a lot of money by playing the Congressional Monopoly game!

“Let’s Make A Deal”

What’s happening now is NOT new. It’s been going on for decades. Before we tell you the latest, let’s look back a few years.

Then Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary, when just a nominee was under siege — the harsh lights of a Senate hearing upon him. News reports showed he had bought shares in a tiny biotechnology company while sitting on committees that could influence the firm’s prospects. A colleague, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), had tipped him off to the investment.

Rep. Doug Lamborn, Republican of Colorado, bought shares of the same tiny Australian company, Innate Immunotherapeutics. Within two days, three more members also bought in — Republicans Billy Long of Missouri, Mike Conaway of Texas, and John Culberson of Texas. Conaway added more shares the following week.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the Rhode Island Democrat who sits on the Senate HELP Committee, which oversees health care, is a substantial investor in pharmaceutical stocks. As lawmakers closed in on a bipartisan deal over a significant medical research bill called the 21st Century Cures Act, Whitehouse bought shares in the pharmaceutical firms McKesson, Gilead, and Abbott Labs ten days before the bill was made public. Whitehouse and his wife bought additional stock in Gilead and Amgen two days before the House voted on the bill. The day President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, Whitehouse started a series of three sales of shares in those companies.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, was a guest speaker at Prescient Edge, a small research and technology firm with Defense Department contracts, in January of 2016. When the company raised private capital later that year, Kinzinger bought in to the tune of $20,002. Kinzinger was a member of theHouse Foreign Affairs Committee, which oversees issues affecting Prescient Edge.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Republican of Tennessee, served on the health care appropriations panel. As then-Vice President Joe Biden was pressing lawmakers to approve funding for his “Cancer Moonshot” proposal in the summer of 2016, a Fleischmann family account invested in two companies, Juno Therapeutics, and Celgene, which were developing new cancer drugs. One of the investments was made a week before the Obama administration announced new measures that would speed up approval for cancer therapies.

384 House members and senators who served in the 114th Congress made no stock trades over two years. Meanwhile, the lawmakers who are active in stock trading conducted a total of more than 21,300 trades during the same two years, but a small group of very wealthy lawmakers accounted for a significant share of those trades.

Texas Republican Rep. Mike McCaul reported approximately 7,300 stock transactions in an array of industries over the two years. Oregon Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader made a substantial number of trades in companies that have an interest in the committee’s health and energy work. Schrader made close to 700 stock trades over two years.

Instances of insider trading by members of Congress are not difficult to find. For example, in 2008, then-Congressman Spencer Bachus shorted the U.S. stock market one day after attending a confidential meeting with Henry (“Hank”) Paulson and Ben Bernanke, who at that time were the secretary of the Treasury and chairman of the Federal Reserve, respectively. At this meeting, which took place on Sept. 18, Bachus and other members of Congress were given material nonpublic information about the extent of the risks that were facing the financial system at that time.

John Boehner and Dick Durbin, both Senators at the time, also attended that closed-door meeting. Both of them placed orders selling shares in mutual funds the following day.

These are just a pittance of examples of those who have been found involved in unscrupulous stock dealings in the past. Discovering these transactions (which are publicly reported if one cares to dig to find them) show there is a strong propensity for many lawmakers to take advantage of “insider information” obtained by just being a member of Congress.

House and Senate members who are active traders insist their buying and selling is a normal part of managing their finances, as with any American who wants to save for retirement or put their kids through school. But their colleagues don’t seem to agree. The clear majority of lawmakers avoid potential conflicts of interest by buying mutual funds, putting their portfolios in blind trusts or simply staying out of the stock market. Wouldn’t that be the wise and ethical approach for those who have access to information that could possibly be used for self enrichment?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), when just a Representative back in 2012, was slapped on the wrist by Congress for participating in several obvious personal enrichment transactions committed by her husband Paul Pelosi. Both the Senate and the House passed a bill —The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or “STOCK Act.” The measure made it illegal for members of Congress to engage in insider trading. The act was passed in April 2012, during the presidency of Barack Obama.

The STOCK Act was fondly termed the “Pelosi Rule” by Republican members of Congress. Americans were happy that it appeared that a stop had been crafted for greedy public servants who seemed to always leave Congress as multi-millionaires when being just average economic Americans when entering Congress.

But, WAIT!

  • The STOCK Act outlawed insider trading by members of Congress.
  • The law was passed in April 2012 with strong bipartisan support.
  • In April 2013, key provisions of the law were weakened, reducing the safeguards against insider trading.

Does any of that surprise you?

“I’m deeply concerned,” said Minnesota Democratic Rep. Tim Walz, an early supporter of the Stock Act who does not himself trade stocks. “If you buy stock and then do something that changes that stock, you’ve got to know what’s going on.”

Trouble on  the Hill: “Busted!”

What’s happening in Washington right now? We got through the Mueller Investigation, the impeachment trial of President Trump, and we’re eight months away from a presidential and Congressional election. What could possibly go wrong now? Coronavirus! 

Do you remember the statement above of Rahm Emanuel?

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Coronavirus is certainly a horror for every American. But several in Congress in the shadow of the current pandemic found a way to make a few quick bucks. If you haven’t heard, it’s because you’ve been asleep or are fasting news coverage.

Four senators dumped millions of dollars worth of stock while Capitol Hill was being briefed on the threat of coronavirus but before the markets tanked as infections soared, disclosure records have revealed.

Republicans Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler and James Inhofe and Democrat Dianne Feinstein collectively offloaded up to $11 million in stock between late January and early February, according to disclosure records.

Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee that was directly briefed on coronavirus, sold up to $1.7 million in stock including in hotels, according to reporting from ProPublica. To put Burr’s actions in context, his last financial disclosure form filed with the Senate showed his total net worth at $1 million. Yet, ProPublica reported he sold $1.7 million. Why and how could the Senator sell stock he reportedly did not own? Did he come into stock ownership to that level between the time of his disclosure statement and the coronavirus attacking the stock market? 

Burr’s spokeswoman said in a statement to DailyMail.com that Burr filed his financial disclosure form several weeks before the markets showed ‘volatility.’

Feinstein, a member of the same committee, sold up to $6 million in stock including in a biotech firm.

Loeffler dumped up to $3.1million in investments starting on the day the Senate Health Committee, which she sits on, was briefed by the CDC. Meanwhile, James Inhofe sold up to $400,000 in stock, including real estate.

Loeffler and Feinstein have defended themselves, saying their stocks are invested in trusts and portfolios that they have no personal control over. Inhofe has not commented.

Summary

Numerous times you have witnessed TruthNewsNetwork asking a question in stories and podcasts, “What’s Going On?” We’re asking it again.

It is obvious that politicos in Congress have bountiful opportunities for self-enrichment once seated in the House or Senate. It cannot be happenstance that so many enter Congress with modest net worth only to leave their post years later worth millions. That is NOT normal and is obviously based on enrichment opportunities not available to the general public. And they are OUR employees.

That “Pelosi Rule” that was passed and signed into law by President Obama was little more than a straw gift given to Americans to show “We in Congress are going to police ourselves and make sure NO ONE cheats regarding stock trading.”

They lied.

In YOUR world, do you know of any other public entity (like Congress) in which workers can cheat, take advantage unethically and illegally to make money and there’s no accountability to anyone for those actions? In many respects, it reminds me of that old saying, “That’s kinda’ like the prisoners, not the guards, guarding the prisoners.” Self-policing seldom works, especially when it comes to someone else’s money.

What is most objectionable to me about this has not changed since I first discovered it. These 535 elected officials took an oath of office to serve us — all of us. They’re paid well — far better than are average Americans. Doors they certainly would never know of open to them as they meet and interact with those in business while in office. That’s normal. But there’s NO honest explanation for the actions you are hearing about from these today.

In the REAL world, here’s how this would be structured:

  1. Before taking the oath of office, each member of Congress would be required to either divest 100% of their personal holding other than a retirement plan already in place and then to place ALL of their personal and business assets remaining in valid Blind Trusts in which they nor their spouses or children have any knowledge of or control of any kind.
  2. No member of Congress would be allowed to receive any compensation of any kind — other than their published Congressionally controlled income and expenses while serving their term in office — PERIOD.
  3. NO lobbying of members of Congress or any person serving in the White House or a cabinet position can participate in any type of lobbying as defined in existing U.S. law. Under NO circumstances can any member of Congress receive any kind of compensation from lobbyists. That includes payment of any kind — direct, indirect, or even in-kind. That prohibition applies to the immediate family members of those in Congress.
  4. Finally, and most importantly, any member of Congress found to have violated any of these will immediately be removed from their office in Congress. Further, the Department of Justice will immediately file charges for felony violations against those former members of Congress AND any person or persons who participated in facilitating this illegal process.

Does that sound somewhat radical? What is the role of serving in Congress? TO REPRESENT US…PERIOD. No longer should Americans feel that “serving in Congress” is really “serving.” Being in Congress really means “obtaining unscrupulous if not illegal opportunities to personally enrich oneself, trying to gain as much wealth as possible by walking as close as possible to the ‘felony line’ without stepping across it.”

Here’s a challenge: ask your members of Congress from your district and state if they would support a law that prohibits “extra” compensation based on the points above? Most will say, “I’d have to see the bill before I could commit to support it.” When they say that, ask them this, “Would you create such a bill and promote it in Congress?”

I guarantee the answer will be a resounding “No” with a plethora of excuses.

Sad, isn’t it. Sad mostly that so many take advantage of it and us. But it’s saddest that so many do it at all and think nothing of doing so.

That says a lot about them. Who in God’s name have we put in charge of creating the laws of our nation?

Play

Blame But No Answers

Every human in history has been born with a natural need for someone to lead them as they grow and mature. For children, leadership initially comes from parents, then teachers, then professors, then employers. Along the way, slip in wise friends, pastors, mentors, and even sometimes politicians. But human nature begs for leadership. But that in no way means that everyone has the ability to lead others. And many conflate the two: being led and leading. The differences are vast.

As all know, TruthNewsNetwork is a political entity engaged through the written and audio words to inspire others to think. We’re not here to lead or to be led. What we do is pass along tidbits of life issues that change every day that impact Americans’ lives in different ways. We NEVER tell our partners what or how to think. That would defeat our purposes and even our name!

Just as there are traits that make one a good follower — things like loyalty, honesty, a willingness to listen and learn, and honor — there are traits that are specific to, and required of, leaders.

What is “Leadership?”

Leadership is the art of motivating an individual or a group of people to act toward achieving a common goal or objective. That definition applies to leadership in every area of our lives. A leader understands that and works to personally grasp each element of that definition and make it their own. Then that leader must present the leadership concept to those who will be led, explain the responsibilities of both a leader and a person that is lead, and then implement those things personally while leading followers in adopting and learning themselves.

That seems simple enough, right? To many, it is. But to far too many, it is not.

There’s a high price to pay by one who chooses leadership. The essential element of the cost of leadership is dropping personal preferences and picking up whatever is best for those who are led — in every instance, in every circumstance, without fail. That alone will make or break a leader.

Today in U.S. politics, we have numerous people who govern at local, state, and federal levels who are elected or appointed leaders. Americans typically assume that each of those leaders is qualified to lead in the position they hold, willing to pay the prices that leaders must pay, and then led those who follow that leader. But we all know that seldom happens. Sadly, many leaders accept that role without the perspectives of leadership that are mandatory to succeed in leading others. Just because an American businessman holds a personal net worth in the billions does not necessarily qualify that person to be a leader. Look at former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mr. Bloomberg felt his massive success in business proved his leadership skills for politics. The two seldom interface. Quite honestly, Donald Trump is a business success-to-leadership enigma.

Most self-made wealthy people are not good leaders AFTER becoming wealthy. Many become wealthy by being good leaders.

We have a plethora of politicians from whom we today can receive accurate leadership guidance. Unfortunately, most on today’s national political stage are those that teach us how NOT to lead. We could, in many cases, take their leadership decisions and flip them 180 degrees, and they would serve to lead much more effectively.

Leaders, as they age in their positions of leadership over time, become complacent and sometimes even lazy. Their complacency gives them permission to relax and take it easy. After all, they got to where they are by being good leaders. They have this leadership thing figured out. There’s no need to keep pushing, to learn more, to allow themselves to be consumed by serving those they lead, and teaching them the tenets of becoming good leaders. So they simply take it easy.

But you can bet, anytime a crisis or some major issue arises, they will quickly jump to their feet and begin passing out mandates for their followers to enact to fix the mess. But they seldom lead by example. It’s “do as I say,” not “do as I do.”

Their leadership begins to die a slow death. Their followers start to soften and relax and “take it easy,” just like they were taught.

Leadership Today

Despite what we have been told, our President is brilliant. He’s intelligent; he has a quick wit. He never meets a stranger. He never turns away from a problem or issue. And he always fights.

But he’s compassionate. Those with whom he interacts to a person speak of how communicative he is, how friendly and courteous he is in one-on-one meetings, and how he effortlessly slips into the process of problem-solving every time one pops up. He defers to those with whom he has surrounded himself. And he allows them to act out their roles regarding tasks at hand. He always holds them accountable, but seldom in an abrasive or crass manner.

He’s a good leader.

Now before my liberal friends throw rocks at their computer screens for what I just stated, let me draw some stark comparisons.

“Other” Leadership Today

In America, we are in a “stage” of possible crisis: COVID-19, or “coronavirus.” It could become a national disaster. It might become another virus with which we find ways to live — like the flu. But no one yet knows the specifics of its ultimate results and, therefore, just how dangerous it may become. But Mr. Trump has been so far doing what he does rather well: Leading.

His detractors come from the woodwork to attack him.

  • “He didn’t start soon enough;”
  • “He didn’t ask for enough money;”
  • “He didn’t rely on experts;”
  • “He cannot lead in crisis mode;”
  • “No one trusts him,” etc.

Those are words we hear from many of our “leaders” in government today.

How about let’s be specific:

On February 25:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, speaking from the Senate floor, said the administration’s handling of the virus has been marked by “towering and dangerous incompetence.”

“Here in the United States, the Trump administration has been caught flat-footed. The administration has no plan to deal with the coronavirus, no plan and seemingly no urgency to develop one,” Schumer said.

Schumer’s comments came after the administration provided a closed-door briefing on the virus to all senators on that Tuesday morning.

On February 26:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “What he’s (Trump’s) doing is late, too late, anemic,” she added. “Hopefully, we can make up for the loss of time but we have to have professionals in place, resources that are adequate and not use scare tactics about people coming back to our country.”

The administration’s request proposes spending unused funds earmarked to fight Ebola, with officials seeking $1.25 billion in new money for vaccine development and purchasing protective equipment. Asked for her thoughts on President Donald Trump’s comments about the coronavirus, Pelosi replied tersely: “I don’t think the President knows what he’s talking about. Once again.”

On March 9:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted President Donald Trump’s handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and said she believes the financial market disruption on Monday is directly related to a “lack of confidence” in the White House.

“Well it is very sad, but I believe, what we know about the Dow is that they want certainty, they want to have confidence that there is a plan,” Pelosi told reporters.

“I think that what is happening there is a reflection of lack of confidence, and so we would hope that what is coming out of the White House will be more consistent with what the health advisers are putting forth,” Pelosi said.

“We would hope that rather than name-calling, (Trump) would be again joining with his health care professionals who are advising him and the rest of us in a well-coordinated government agenda,” she said.

On March 9:

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill said Monday that they could unveil their proposal for a second round of economic relief surrounding the coronavirus outbreak as early as this week. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) are floating a series of legislative reforms designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus and provide economic relief to those most directly affected.

The package comes as an alternative to President Trump’s favored economic proposal, which features an across-the-board payroll tax cut for America’s workers. While the Democrats’ legislation is not yet drafted, Pelosi and Schumer huddled Monday night with the various committee leaders working on it in an effort to tie up loose ends. And Pelosi said the legislation could be drafted — and maybe even receive a vote on the House floor — by the end of the week.

“We are putting it together; it’s not like we just woke up this morning and started thinking about this,” Pelosi said.

“I don’t know that we can be ready this week but we can introduce this week. We can introduce [it] and we may be ready [to vote on it], depending on CBO, depending on [legislative] counsel and how quickly they can [estimate the cost],” she said, referring to the Congressional Budget Office.

On March 10:

In an interview with MSNBC’s host Lawrence O’Donnell, former Vice President and current presidential candidate Joe Biden was focusing on the coronavirus to attack President Trump. Asked if he thinks the stock market rout on Monday, which led to a temporary trading halt, is “a reaction to the markets realizing the president simply does not tell them or the world or this country the truth about this situation,” Biden responded, “I believe that’s the case.”

“Now, it doesn’t mean the market wouldn’t still go down, but it wouldn’t collapse, I don’t think. Now, who can say? But I think there’s no confidence in the president in anything he says or does,” Biden said.

During the interview, Biden said that the incumbent president has “no competence” in handling the coronavirus. “Unfortunately, the president has very—no competence in how to handle this crisis,” Biden said.

 

Those who stated these things are the Speaker of the House, Minority Leader in the Senate, the most recent “past” Vice President who is currently running to be the President. These are three who are arguably among the top most powerful and influential Americans in the leadership of a country with 330 million citizens.

Does anything you read or heard from them above demonstrate what one would think should be coming from the mouth of an American political leader?

Let’s bullet point what they told “we” Americans who they lead:

  • We have a problem: COVID-19 or coronavirus;
  • President Trump’s leadership is marked by “towering and dangerous incompetence;”
  • Regarding the President: “I don’t think the President knows what he’s talking about. Once again;”
  • “We would hope that rather than name-calling, (Trump) would be again joining with his health care professionals who are advising him and the rest of us in a well-coordinated government agenda;”
  • …the incumbent president has “no competence” in handling the coronavirus. “Unfortunately, the president has very—no competence in how to handle this crisis.”

Summary

Those are the top American leaders after President Trump.

I will not detail the numerous things that under Mr. Trump’s guidance, his “Coronavirus Team” has put in place. His team, under the guidance of Vice President Pence, includes the most revered and respected officials on Earth in the field of infectious diseases, bacterial research, healthcare organization, etc. in executing vast and specific tactics to simultaneously treat those infected with the virus, identify its sources, minimize any community transferring to others, and finding a vaccine — which has been found and already approved for testing! In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control — the agency that the leaders quoted above blasting the President for not listening to — have DAILY on television detailed the President’s support and allowance for the implementation of all the things that team has recommended to take care of the spread of this deadly virus to minimize health costs.

Then regarding the stock market ravaging on Monday of this week: does anyone think the President had anything to do with that? Not any reasonable person!

It happened based on two factors — and neither is named “Donald Trump.” The first is the understandable uncertainty of the economic impact COVID-19 will have on the thousands of companies working daily in the U.S. There are far too many unknowns at this moment to simply forget about the virus and “truck-on!” So what happens in this and all stock market sell-offs are companies sell stocks to put the cash from those sales into their reserves until the virus’s impact becomes known.

The second factor: an oil war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. This war between those two countries is probably the biggest factor. The Saudis want Russia to reduce the amount of oil they produce to join the Saudis in doing the same.

Here’s the REAL summary of today’s story regarding leadership: Pelosi, Schumer, Biden, and Sanders, for that matter, are NOT leaders. How can I say that? Leaders, when facing problems, address the issues head-on. But they never stop there. They immediately identify the details of the problem, call on experts to find or craft a fix, allocate whatever resources are necessary for the fix, then let the experts implement the fix. That’s what good leaders do.

Have you seen any of that from these or other Democrats in leadership? Nope. No Americans have. Have Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, Biden, or any other Democrat in Washington stepped forward with details of what President Trump should be doing — in exact detail — instead of his current course of action?

But someone is leading the war on COVID-19: President Donald Trump. And by any educated and reasonable measure, He’s winning the war. And all Americans are the beneficiaries.

You know what? Mr. Trump will undoubtedly share — as he in the very beginning tried to do with China but was turned away — all of our successes with every other country.

Why would he do that?

That’s what a Leader does.

Play

Your Retirement Income is Toast!

I’m a guy past retirement age. I paid into various retirement programs and accounts for 50+ years. Yet here I sit today feeling shortchanged for many reasons. And though I have diligently participated in these programs, they’re NOT what they were promised to be.

What about you? To be honest, unless you made cash deposits into a direct savings instrument of some kind for a long time, you’ve had no real guarantee your investments have been managed properly with realistic ability to grow and certainly no guarantee of its “today” status. There are no guarantees that the retirement program which holds your retirement dollars will pay you what you were told you would receive when you started.

I’m not a federal government conspiracy guy, but what I for years suspected has been revealed as truth: in the U.S., the only workers whose retirement benefits are fully guaranteed to perform at the levels promised years ago are federal employees. For many others, it’s almost like rolling the dice. The engine of guaranteed payouts at promised levels for those federal employees is YOU AND ME: American taxpayers pay through our tax dollars for any shortages in federal employee pensions.

I have a good friend who was a lifetime top-level corporate manager for an American automaker who was promised amazing retirement benefits. He participated in employee matching programs and stock benefits for 50 years or so. Then came the financial crisis in the auto industry. President Obama intervened to prevent that automaker from shutting down.

On his authority, the President began all those things necessary to restructure that company to a financial status that could be sustained. There are only two ways to a bottom line: Revenues and Expenses. Revenues can be increased and Expenses can be reduced. The federal government stepped in to do the only possible “fix” in this case: cut expenses.

A key component of expenses in a large manufacturing company is personnel costs. The “new” management — the Obama White House — slashed expenses financially company-wide. A key focus was on personnel expenses. In that process, the UAW, on behalf of its union members, stepped in and “forced” the federal government to protect retirement benefits for the company’s UAW members’ pensions, but NOT the retirement benefits of the company’s managers. Management members were NOT UAW members. My friend was forced to settle for pennies on the dollar of his retirement benefits.

Who inevitably cost those thousands of company managers who had paid millions into pensions that with one swift motion lost more than half? The federal government.

There are many ways similar travesties regarding retirement dollars of Americans are impacted by wrongdoing. Not surprisingly, the U.S. government almost always fits into the picture. There are 22 million Americans employed by federal, state, and local governments. Because of that, one would think the federal government would be all about taking care of the retirement for its workers.

And with the “Big One” — Social Security — one would think the government makes federally backed pensions and Social Security “Financial Project #1.”

It’s not looking that way. Let’s take a look.

Robbing Union Pensions

Do you have a union or government pension? Were you told your retirement funds in that pension are guaranteed by the government and that your pension fund will be there for you forever? It ain’t true.

A recent story published by FOX News tells the tale:

The pension collapse is coming. Current retirees may find their pension check is cut by 10 percent or 50 percent. “We just don’t have enough money, and the amount of money that we have to put into this is just mountainous,” says Malanga, of City Journal.

Neither party wants to make the tough choices involved. “Both Democrats and Republicans have incentives to short the pension fund,” says Joe DiSalvo, Malanga’s fellow journalist. “For Democrats, if we can not put as much in, we can free up more money for greater public spending on public programs that we think are good. If we’re Republicans, we probably want to cut taxes.”

“Ten years from now, they’re gonna have a problem,” says Malanga. “But 10 years from now somebody else is in office!”

Some pension plans are promises that should never have been made, but few politicians will say that. At most, they talk about making small changes to “keep our promises.” Small changes won’t be enough. Detroit and several California cities already ran out of money and declared bankruptcy. “At some point, your debts are so great that you can’t afford to provide basic services to people,” says Malanga. “Police force, fire protection — all will be on the chopping block,” added DiSalvo.

Instead of making cuts now to avoid crisis later, some politicians increase retirement benefits. New Jersey passed 13 separate benefit enhancements between 1999 and 2003. I assume politicians make these unsustainable promises because powerful municipal unions demand them.

“Public employee unions regularly lobby and seek to elect politicians who offer them better compensation packages. They’ve been intimately involved in the whole system from the beginning,” says DiSalvo.

But Steven Kreisberg of AFSCME, the biggest government workers’ union, tells me that unions didn’t create this problem. “There’s plenty of money with which to pay our people.” What about the $5 trillion in unfunded liabilities? That’s “a figure that’s used by some anti-pension zealots,” replied Kreisberg. “It’s fake news.” But it’s the number (actually, now $6 trillion) you get if you use accounting standards that the federal government demands from private pension plans.

Unions fight to keep every penny that politicians promised. But Detroit’s bankruptcy changed the rules on that. “The federal bankruptcy judge created a precedent that said pensions could actually be cut,” says DiSalvo. “That was a shock to the unions. It called into question these strong legal protections that public pensions have so long enjoyed. They can’t just sit back and say, well, we’re going to get paid no matter what.”

Some politicians hoped that a rising stock market would fund their promises. Many assumed their investments would grow by more than 7 percent per year. Do you make that much on your savings? I don’t. Seven percent seems like wishful thinking. Malanga says it was “more than wishful thinking. It borders on criminality, frankly. If after nine years of a bull market we haven’t begun to fix this, when are we gonna fix it?”

Malanga and DiSalvo argue that the only honest way to fix it is to reduce benefit levels and switch to individual retirement accounts like private sector 401(k)s. That way, instead of a promise backed by nothing more than political hot air, there’s an actual account with money in it, and people can track how well their retirement investments do. The politicians and union bosses, by contrast, would like to ignore the problem — until one day, no matter what promises they’ve made, they simply won’t be able to keep them.

Is Social Security Going to Be Around When I retire?

Have you ever heard that “Social Security would be doing just fine if the thieving politicians hadn’t stolen all the money from the Trust Fund that we paid in to earn our benefit checks.” Or “Social Security is broke.”

The Social Security Administration does invest its surpluses. Those surpluses are the revenues from FICA taxes, taxes on Social Security benefits, and interest credited to the Social Security Trust fund, (yes there IS one) less benefits paid out, into government bonds. And if you or I, or a pension fund, happened to exist in government bonds, we wouldn’t consider that investment to be “fake,” or the money to have been “stolen” from us. It’s real money, and we’d have a real right to that money. In the same way, the Trust Fund will redeem its bonds when it begins to run out of cash to pay benefits.

But there’s more to the story.

The trust fund is not a matter of “us” saving for “our retirement.”  There was a real element of building up surpluses during the early years of the program, though not to the degree that would make it an advance-funded program, rather than only partially-so.  The Trust Fund was virtually depleted in 1983, and the system would have been unable to pay full benefits but for FICA contribution increases beginning in 1977 and accelerated in a 1983 bipartisan reform bill, which also raised the retirement age to 67 and otherwise stabilized the system’s finances.   The funds which have built up since then are the excess of revenues over payouts following the tax hike. That’s not how you would see it in a pension fund or an IRA. Its function is really just, in principle, “to smooth out spending over time.” (When has the federal government “smoothed out” spending over time!)

Americans in large view Social Security from a simple perspective:  Having paid taxes during our working lifetime, we have a moral right to our Social Security benefits, or to a retirement free of financial worry. And this is not the case. Why? The federal government.

In George W. Bush’s second term, his featured legislative promise to retirees was to overhaul Social Security for their benefit. I attended a meeting he held in which he detailed a private/government Social Security plan in which Americans at younger ages could choose a Social Security plan linked to a private retirement plan. Some payroll deductions for retirement would go to Social Security. Some deductions would go into an individual retirement plan. Percentages of contributions would vary based on ages. The older one got, the Social Security plan investment would be reduced. The President’s idea failed miserably. Americans simply refused to trust the government to effectively manage all of their retirement funds. The issue put many older Americans in a place of uncertainty about their financial futures as they approached retirement age. And there was (and still is) the uncertainty of there really being a “real” Social Security Trust Fund created and managed to ONLY receive and payout seniors’ Social Security Benefits.

The bottom line is that whether the Trust Fund is “real” or just fiction on paper, in the end, it doesn’t matter. Whether the Trust Fund uses its assets to pay retirees, and the federal government has to borrow to pay back that debt, or whether the government has to pay those benefits directly, it’s still the case that money has to be found — and the amount of money which will have to be found, for retirement benefits, Medicare, and other expenses, is forecast to grow dramatically.

According to the Brookings Institute, due to the aging of the American population, federal spending on the elderly is forecast to grow from the current level of just over 20% of GDP, up to 29.4% in 2046 — and that’s not 29.4% of government spending, but 29.4% of our total economic output.  And this isn’t just a temporary “hump” due to the Baby Boom.

I wish we had a rosy answer to what should be done to protect those currently receiving Social Security retirement benefits and those who certainly will get there. The one federal government promise seniors hold onto is the promise that “if you pay a small amount every month into your Social Security account, your employer will match that dollar for dollar. Then when you retire, you will be paid by the government monthly the benefits owed to you until your life ends.”

I don’t feel there have been any instances of government illegality regarding Social Security. But there certainly have been scads of incorrect and purposely misrepresented Social Security presentations by those in Congress for decades. Many have for political campaigning purposes actually used the uncertainty in Social Security’s funding future against opponents. Who will ever forget the Democrat Party ad during the 2012 presidential race between President Obama and Mitt Romney? In the ad, a man who looked like Romney’s vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, was pushing a wheelchair with an elderly woman sitting in it over a cliff. Its purpose was to portray an image of a Romney presidential administration taking actions in Social Security that would kill grandma. They, with that ad, were using the fears of elderly people to score political points not FOR President Obama, but against Mitt Romney. And the message in that ad was untruthful. In effect, they USED Social Security to score political election points from petrified Social Security elders.

One can easily say they’re doing that along with NOT doing anything to repair the problems with the system IS at least morally wrong. After all, for 50 years I’ve paid them that percentage of my wages each payday, my employer has matched that amount each payday, and the government has control of its investment and its growth. In the private sector, there are many today sitting in jail who have misrepresented investment savings plans to entice Americans to invest. The investments were unwise or illegal or both, and that investment specialist ends up with a pot full of money but the investor little or none. Just remember “Bernie Madoff” cost many seniors collectively $64 billion.

Summary

There’s no magic “fix.” Social Security is what it is. Honestly, it’s an iffy retirement plan. Just like in any investment situation, in Social Security, there’s no magic or guarantee.

As we’ve seen again and again, even in pensions, there are far too many unknowns and too few certainties for those who are invested to be confident of the results that have been represented to them. You saw the section above that details the amounts of dollars in pensions that are today unfunded. What happens if and when they fail and those pensions that are backed by the U.S. government declare bankruptcy. We’ve been told the federal government underwrites those so U.S. taxpayers will take the hit. What if there’s a massive financial disaster for the nation and the government CANNOT pick up the tab for those pension retirement losses?

There’s no warm and fuzzy ending here. Why? I don’t have one. The federal government doesn’t have one. Your bank doesn’t have one. Nobody has a guaranteed warm and fuzzy answer for the question, “What will happen if my pension or Social Security cannot pay my retirement benefits, and the government cannot pick up the tab?”

I know: I’ve hit you with a downer right before the weekend! I don’t mean to bring you down, but sometimes bad things happen to good people. In investing, there are far too many unknowns that play into anticipated results that will not occur for 30-50 years. And no one can tell the future.

What do I suggest? Setup and be faithful to a retirement plan! What type of program, which plan, and how much to invest under what conditions are things you will have to tackle yourselves. But do it!

The other thing: speak to your lawmakers about Social Security: it’s the “Big Kahuna.” Why do I encourage that? 98% of you are paying into Social Security today and will be until you’re 60+. Why not fight to make sure YOUR investment is taken care of and that its results — good results — will be there when you need them.

On that note, grab a cup of coffee and get back to worrying about coronavirus and the stock market plummeting of yesterday. You need something positive to ponder!

Play

Ground Zero: “King Kongoramus Virus”

Coronavirus or King Kongoramus Virus. It’s already been called many things. But what it will be called “if” it morphs into the biological epidemic many think it will become, will have many other names.

Do you think there might be some way to understand a little bit more about coronavirus and what we might be facing? Depending on to whom you listen, it might be equivalent to a bad cold or it might be the trigger to a pandemic. Getting an understanding of this is critical.

February 15, 2020, we published a story about the coronavirus and its purported origins. There are dozens of conspiracy theories in circulation about an alleged biological weapons purpose for its creation. Other stories claim it originated in bats, fish, or in a lab in Canada. Another origin story states it originated in lab animals in Wuhan, China.

We don’t know the truth of its origins. Probably the Chinese government is the only entity that knows that for certain. Biological scientists and immunologists are hard at the task of getting it taken care of.

Meanwhile, literally every country on Earth is taking emergency actions to protect their countries and its citizens against the coronavirus. And that includes the United States.

And, of course, Democrats have hopped on the coronavirus as the latest tool with which they can attack Donald Trump.

House Speaker Pelosi is not alone in placing the blame for coronavirus at President Trump’s feet.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). During a floor speech, Schumer accused the Trump administration of “towering and dangerous incompetence” in its approach to addressing the virus.

“Here in the United States, the Trump administration has been caught flat-footed. The administration has no plan to deal with the coronavirus, no plan, and seemingly no urgency to develop one,” Schumer said.

Experts in Emergency Preparedness under President Trump

U.S. Northern Command is executing plans to prepare for a potential pandemic of the novel coronavirus, now called COVID19, according to Navy and Marine Corps service-wide messages issued this week. An executive order issued by the Joint Staff and approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper this month directed Northern Command and geographic combatant commanders to initiate pandemic plans, which include ordering commanders to prepare for widespread outbreaks and confining service members with a history of travel to China.

The Navy and Marine Corps messages, issued Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, reference an executive order directing U.S. Northern Command to implement the Department of Defense Global Campaign plan for Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Diseases 3551-13. The document serves as the Pentagon’s blueprint for planning and preparing for the widespread dispersion of influenza and previously unknown diseases.

U.S. Northern Command said Wednesday it was directed the Joint Staff February 1 to commence “prudent planning” in their assigned role synchronizing the department’s plans for pandemic flu and disease.

Are there Any Truths About the Virus?

Sure there are. In spite of Democrats using it to pelt the President with another nerf ball to try to make him look bad, his administration has been on the job for some time. It appears there is actually a vaccine on its way. An experimental coronavirus vaccine IS on its way according to top health officials. Massachusetts-based biotech firm Moderna said Monday that it created its first batch of mRNA-1273 to treat humans for the virus, and released it to officials at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

“I want to thank the entire Moderna team for their extraordinary effort in responding to this global health emergency with record speed,” Juan Andres, the company’s chief technical operations and quality officer, said in a statement. “The collaboration with NIAID and with CEPI has allowed us to deliver a clinical batch in 42 days from sequence identification.”

The vaccine will not be immediately available to patients in the general public. The vaccine must be tested and the results of those tests need to be compared before it is released. How long that could take is not clear.

The U.S. Coronavirus Case Status

So far, there have been 60 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. in total. That figure includes individuals who have been repatriated to the United States. 15 people were in the initial set of cases, three more came from evacuation flights, and 42 from the Diamond Princess ship that was quarantined by Japanese health authorities earlier this month.

In a White House press conference on Wednesday, the president announced he was putting Vice President Mike Pence “in charge” of coronavirus prevention efforts, effective immediately. The White House had reportedly considered naming a virus czar to be the point person on the disease.

“Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low,” Trump said. “We’re ready to adapt, and we’re ready to do whatever we have to.”

The president revealed that of the “15” Americans confirmed to have the virus, eight have “returned to their homes to stay in their homes until fully recovered, one is in the hospital, and five have fully recovered; and one is, uh, we think in pretty good shape and is in between hospital and going home.” Trump later said the person was “pretty sick and hopefully will recover.”

Perspective of Numbers

Origin facts of coronavirus are sketchy at best: who should be believed. But the sheer volume of cases in China and the extent to which the Chinese government has gone to lockdown their people to prevent as much spreading as possible has created a very scary environment. The unknown along with how demonstrative the Chinese have treated the virus has fed the fear of a possible pandemic.

President Trump in his White House briefing was pilloried by reporters regarding the reported lack of immediate reaction on the part of his Administration to stem those fears. Reporters in the room had obviously taken their cues from the media talking heads who on Day One of this situation pushed the throttle to the floor in their one concept of the disease and its circumstances. What Americans have heard for several weeks from the media is “We’re all going to die!” I know, that’s a stretch. But their reports are not far from that.

Watching the dozen or so disease experts from the CDC and hearing them address concerns from the White House podium should have made reporters in the room a bit more relieved. Not so. In fact, it seemed like many were angry that no doctor came to the podium and screamed, “Hide in your basement and don’t come out for months!” Those reporters were doing what was expected for them to do: find a juicy story. There’s NOT a juicy coronavirus story — at least not yet.

The President made it clear that he and those in his administration know the coronavirus could escalate to epic levels. He also stated that, according to ALL the experts, it might not escalate at all. The President has been derided by members of the media claiming that he has not taken the coronavirus seriously. Seeing and hearing what Speaker Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren blamed the President for demonstrates what I feel is their primary goal: denigrate President Trump. Mr. Trump put it in perspective for all, specifically for a “today” understanding: from 25,000 to 69,000 Americans die each year from the flu. And that occurs even with a flu shot being made to all Americans for years. We have 60 confirmed cases in the U.S. It’s easy to do the math.

Mr. Trump was careful to state that the flu numbers are not a fair case to case comparison of those with coronavirus because of the differences in timing. “It just might spread exponentially,” he said, “But it might not. In either case, we are prepared as we possibly can be and have the best doctors and scientists in the world working on it daily.” The President pointed out that doctors from China, Italy, and other impacted countries are daily reaching out to U.S. specialists seeking help and advice on handling coronavirus cases in their countries.

Sen. Schumer’s slap at Mr. Trump for requesting only $2.5 billion dollars in funding to address the coronavirus situation was an indication that the Administration was caught “flat-footed” and are certainly not concerned or prepared to handle it.” President Trump responded to Sen. Schumer by stating that he doesn’t know of any other time Democrat Congressional leadership has offered more money than was requested. “If they give it to us, we’ll use it or keep what we don’t need for later,” President Trump replied.

Regarding Speaker Pelosi’s slap you saw or heard above, President Trump replied to the reporter who asked the question, “She’s incompetent. All she can think of is attacking me,” the President said. “This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is an American issue that we should all work together to solve.”

Summary

It certainly comes as no surprise that Democrat leadership is so desperate for any advantage they perceive will give them even a slight edge on the President they jump on it. I wonder if Pelosi and Schumer are even capable of seeing how ignorant their anti-Trump antics appear to the majority of Americans?

Think about Schumer’s attack. “We’re going to allocate $8.5 billion to get the job done right. Trump doesn’t care and he certainly has no knowledge of how to handle this.” First, they haven’t allocated a nickel yet! They’ve not even presented a bill in either House to do so. Most Americans don’t know that and Pelosi and Schumer know that. All those statements were about was blasting President Trump. And they certainly don’t need the truth to do that.

In closing the conference, the President cautioned everyone to be careful when interfacing with others. He encouraged all to wash their hands often, stay indoors if one feels they have a cold and be wary of mingling in close-quarters with others in public places. Above all else, pay attention to updates from medical professionals as more information and treatments are made available to attack coronavirus. One doctor in the conference mentioned one such test preliminarily has shown to be effective. It will take a few more weeks of testing to verify its success. And if successful, this particular one would be available to the public almost immediately.

In the meantime, enjoy what you’re doing! Don’t work so hard. I’ve never seen a UHaul following a hearse to the cemetery!

 

Play

And You Just Thought Adam Schiff Was Evil

If you wish to hear today’s podcast, click on this link. (Our hosting company has a temporary technical glitch)

https://truthnewsnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/And-You-Thought-Adam-Schiff-was-Evil-22120-9.06-PM-1.mp3

If you’re a regular at TruthNewsNetwork, you already know our stance regarding Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA): NOT because he’s a Democrat, NOT because he’s from California, and NOT because he’s a Congressional heavyweight. Our opposition to Mr. Schiff is because of his dishonesty, mischaracterizations of the Law, his disdain for every American who disagrees with him, and his eagerness to twist the Law in continued efforts to use it to defend his political positions.

His February 21st Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times confirms our animus for Rep. Schiff. There’s no better way to illustrate our concerns than to let all read Mr. Schiff’s own words on President Trump. Here’s his letter from the LA Times:

“The impeachment trial of President Trump has ended, but the threat to our democracy continues. In the short time since the trial concluded, the president has proven that the House managers’ warning to senators that he will never change was prescient. President Trump’s actions demonstrate the need to develop and pass legislative reforms to safeguard the checks and balances of our democracy. Building new guardrails to defend against authoritarian-minded presidents must now be a top priority for Congress.

Within days of the Senate vote, Trump began to exact revenge against officials who complied with lawful subpoenas and told the truth to Congress. He had a security escort remove Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a decorated combat veteran, from the White House’s National Security Council, along with his twin brother, who served as an ethics attorney. The president’s vengeance against civil servants is disturbing enough, but it occurred alongside an even greater danger that has come into sharper focus this week: the politicization and potential weaponization of the Department of Justice. Trump insists he has the absolute right to direct the actions of the department. His efforts to obstruct investigations into his own misconduct and that of his associates — firing FBI Director James B. Comey, seeking to fire Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and much more — are well documented. And now, the president has found his Roy Cohn in Atty. Gen. William Barr, who has shown himself willing to be the president’s political fixer and do his bidding at the expense of the department’s independence.

The severity of the threat to our democracy was made plain last week in a succession of troubling actions by the Justice Department.

Last Monday, the department recommended that Roger Stone, the president’s longtime political advisor, and self-proclaimed “dirty trickster,” be sentenced according to standard federal guidelines for the serious crimes he committed. Mr. Stone was convicted last year on seven charges related to lying to Congress about his dealings with the president and WikiLeaks — the platform publishing Russian hacked emails beneficial to the Trump campaign — and witness tampering. Late that same evening, the president tweeted in outrage, calling the recommendation “a miscarriage of justice.” The next morning, at Barr’s urging, the department reversed course and recommended a more lenient sentence, using language so unusual for the DOJ that it looked like it could have been written by Stone himself.

Barr claims he had planned to intervene in the case before reading the president’s tweet, but he does not deny his personal involvement. It is exceedingly rare for attorneys general to overrule the sentencing recommendation of their career prosecutors. Doing so in a case involving the president’s own wrongdoing may be unprecedented. As a result, the career prosecutors on the case demonstrated something in short supply in the White House but abundant among public servants — moral courage. One by one, they withdrew from the case, and one resigned altogether.

By the end of the week, reports emerged that Barr had ordered the review of other “politically sensitive” criminal cases, including that of President Trump’s former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators to cover up the nature of his own interactions with the Russians. This follows yet another Barr-ordered review intended to sow doubt about intelligence community findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help then-candidate Trump, and a nearly successful effort to cover up the whistleblower complaint that ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment.

These interventions by Barr to benefit the president have profound implications for the rule of law and our democracy. With a willing attorney general and compliant congressional Republicans, Trump is attempting to utilize the instruments of justice for his political benefit, something that would give him immense power to punish and harass his political opponents and protect his friends. We cannot let that succeed. Institutions are only as strong as the people who protect them. Public servants, at personal cost, stepped forward in the impeachment inquiry and in the wake of the Stone sentencing reversal. Judges have also demonstrated a vital independence from this lawless president. Congress must also do its part through vigorous oversight, and also by enacting a new set of reforms to prevent presidential abuses akin to those passed after Watergate. Work on these is already underway. The president has continually taken advantage of the slow judicial review process to delay oversight of his administration. In response, Congress should enact legislation to expedite judicial review of congressional subpoenas, an idea House Republicans favored unanimously under President Obama.

There is also a clear need to legislate a stronger firewall between the Department of Justice and the White House, one secured by more than regulations or norms. One first step was introduced by my fellow House impeachment manager, Hakeem Jeffries, to require logging and disclosure of White House contacts with DOJ. But more will be required to prevent an unethical president from initiating or interfering in cases that involve the president’s enemies, allies or family members. Along these lines, I have introduced legislation to constrain the abuse of the pardon power. President Trump has repeatedly dangled pardons to his associates as they face federal criminal investigations. The bill would ensure that in the event, the president issues a pardon in a case related to him or his family members, the complete investigative files would be provided to Congress to ensure he could not obtain the corrupt benefit of covering up his own misconduct.

Some of these reforms may not become law while Trump remains in office, but that must not stop us from getting started. The future of our democracy depends on it.”

Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) represents California’s 28th Congressional District in the House of Representatives, where he serves as chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Analysis

Our record of many of Schiff’s historical lies to Americans and in Congressional hearings are documented. There will be no re-hashing of those previous events and our conclusions. We know you’re familiar with those and we want to honor your time in this discussion today. But his comments in this LA Times opinion letter are so outrageous and untruthful they scream for a truthful response. I’ll be brief: (Schiff’s words are in red)

  • Schiff’s accusation is that POTUS had Vindman removed from the White House and the National Security Council as vengeance for Vindman’s testimony before Schiff’s committee during impeachment. Schiff left out a couple of facts. Vindman’s supervisor had felt and previously reported that Vindman had been secretly leaking information to the press. Additionally, Vindman verbally proclaimed his disagreement with several of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy positions. Vindman was NOT removed for his  testimony. He was removed because of National Security information being passed on with no authorization. Schiff “hinted” that Vindman was fired. He was not. He was simply reassigned to his original post at the Pentagon from which he was transferred to the White House in a “temporary position.” Schiff forgot to include that information in his letter.
  • And now, the president has found his Roy Cohn in Atty. Gen. William Barr, who has shown himself willing to be the president’s political fixer and do his bidding at the expense of the department’s independence.” Schiff accused the Attorney General of being evil, devious, and willing to do the bidding of his boss, no matter if doing so violated the law. Did Schiff give an example that explained the logic of that attack on AG Barr? No. He simply explained it by adding additional unfounded allegations. By any legitimate historical basis, the sentence for Stone as recommended by those Mueller prosecutors was outlandish, excessive, unwarranted, and partisan. Remember: those prosecutors were Democrats, hated Trump, and had failed in their attempt to remove POTUS from office. They saw Stone as a way to get even. Schiff said Stone’s sentence was a “sentencing reversal” — that’s a blatant lie. Stone had NEVER been sentenced. There had been no sentencing hearing! The seven-to-nine-year sentence was merely a recommendation to the judge by those prosecutors. Such recommendations are often changed by federal judges. In fact, the judge in the case, (who was anti-Trump all the way) Amy Berman Jackson, commented that it was unusual for the Department of Justice to take the side of any defendant in a trial that their department prosecuted — especially to request easier sentencing. But she concurred that the final Stone sentence of 34-40 months was historically much more realistic and appropriate than the original seven-to-nine years. Schiff forgot to include that in his letter.
  • Schiff blasted AG Barr’s authorization for the examination of the Michael Flynn case in which Flynn was pretty much forced to plead guilty to lying to keep his son out of prison. Schiff didn’t mention that. He also failed to mention that in the Flynn case, Flynn’s attorney has petitioned the court to allow the withdrawal of his guilty plea and for a new trial. Schiff claimed that in these “interventions,” Barr was doing so “to benefit the president and have profound implications for the rule of law and our democracy.” For the life of me, I cannot understand how Barr’s actions could possibly be viewed in that light! Barr like millions of Americans feels the Mueller Investigation was tainted, and he stated that in his Congressional testimony during his Senate confirmation hearing. Facts uncovered so far confirm that. Barr cannot change anything already done in the courts. But he, as would any other Attorney General, would make certain there was equal justice under the law for all those caught up in the partisan battle by the Left to unseat President Trump. If there was no wrongdoing there, Barr will not do anything. Schiff forgot to include that information in his letter.
  • Schiff declared that Congress intends to put serious restrictions even on just the contact between the White House and the DOJ — even demanding a log recording every such contact! The audacity of Schiff’s claim — and his fellow Congressman Hakeem Jeffries for drafting legislation to do that — is mind-boggling. They in doing this, if successful, would subvert the separation of powers mandated in the Constitution. They both must feel the Department of Justice is part of the Judiciary — that third co-equal branch of government. It’s not: it’s part of the Executive branch. President Trump heads the Executive Branch and therefore has all Constitutional authority over the DOJ. Schiff nor any other member of Congress has any authority to take any actions to change that structure. Congress has no authority to tell members of the Executive or Judiciary Branches of government what to do. Schiff forgot to include that information in his letter.

That’s enough of my sentence-by-sentence “analysis” of Mr. Schiff’s letter. You can better analyze it than can I. The content of his letter as egregious as it is does not surprise me. Americans have learned this warped justice perception is the justice system in which Mr. Schiff functions.

Have you ever speculated as to the source of Adam Schiff’s alternate perception of the Rule of Law? What is the basis on which he has developed such factless political positions regarding legislation?

He represents the 28th California Congressional District. It includes West Hollywood, Burbank, parts of Pasadena, Glendale, the Verdugo Hills communities of Sunland and Tujunga, as well as parts of central Los Angeles including Hollywood, the Hollywood Hills, Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Los Feliz. As it includes Glendale and Little Armenia, it has the largest Armenian-American population of any district in the country. The district also includes two of Southern California’s more significant gay enclaves, West Hollywood and Silverlake. Knowing his district’s geographical coverage explains a bit of the acceptance of his constituents of his mostly far-left political ideals. The majority of citizens in his district embrace a left-leaning political perspective. His certainly confirms the reality of his quest for a much larger, more powerful and much more controlling federal government. Reading his comments that Congress needs to take more control of the Executive Branch of government in spite of the Constitutional separation of power reveals his hunger and quest for power.

Summary

Schiff is not alone in his power-grab agenda. Those on the far-left and many in the middle of the Democrat Party agree with Schiff. Their philosophy is simple: “Give our government the power to rule all parts of the lives of Americans. We can do better ‘for’ them than can they for themselves.” And Schiff certainly feels he is the best to put such a government together. He also feels conservative Americans are nothing more than a necessary evil. He’d prefer there to be no conservatives at all so as to not mess with the top-down government utopian vision he holds for the U.S.

How many others share those feelings? Sadly, it’s probably more than we can even imagine. Rep. Schiff and many other Democrats still function politically as if they have no concern for the truth nor what the majority of Americans feel.

I have argued with many who feel that Adam Schiff is evil, that he purposely misleads in most if not all of his communications with voters. I am no longer in the “disagreement mode” in that regard. I don’t know if he’s evil — I don’t know his heart. But as we were taught in the Bible, “Out of the abundance of the heart a Man speaks.” If that’s true, (and I’m certain it is true) Adam Schiff hates conservatism and conservatives. He has made a conscious decision that HIS lies are OK because it is him speaking them. He certainly feels like political expediency as he defines it is the only way Washington should run.

My belief in those things about him are based on Scripture. The following is based on my opinion:

Adam Schiff has his eyes on a larger more important role in Washington. I’m certain he thinks often about becoming U.S. Senator for California. Too, on his plate, are wishes for the office of Attorney General and someday even 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

I have news for Mr. Schiff: I have faith in the American people — far more faith than what I have in him. I’m certain that most Americans feel the same. I have no pulse of the feelings of Californians from his Congressional district or the remainder of California voters. But I think I have more of an unbiased opinion of them than does Adam: I trust that as CNN and MSNBC give him more airtime, the LA Times publishes more of his OpEd’s, and more of his committee hearings are televised, more Americans will catch on. They’ll see for themselves how narcissistic he is and how little he feels for them. He’s destined to go back to private law practice.

Wait a moment: I think he’s over-qualified to be California governor!

U.S. Senators Caught Breaking Serious Federal Law

Today we are looking directly into the face of government anarchy and the hypocrisy by the Left in the U.S. that we’ve always known but have never before seen it so blatantly thrown into the faces of the American public. Three U.S. Senators and a former Secretary of State have purposely and secretly been meeting with the Foreign Minister of the country named by the U.S. as the leading promoter of terrorism on Earth: Iran.

I thought our government is at odds with Iran. Isn’t Iran the #1 funder of terrorist activities all around the world? Are not the streets of Tehran filled with Iranians most weekends demonstrating against the U.S., stomping on and burning our flag while yelling, “Death to Americans?” Why would our government secretly send a group of U.S. Senators to negotiate with Iran’s foreign minister?

The answer: Our government DIDN’T send them! They went on their own with no conversations with our State Department or coordination with anyone else in the Trump Administration.

   Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD)

Those senators led by Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut secretly met Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Germany during the Munich Security Conference over the weekend, according to U.S.-based news outlet The Federalist. According to senior editor Mollie Hemingway, whose tweets are occasionally retweeted by PresidentTrump, the report cited a high-level source briefed by a French delegation to the event.

“Chris Murphy and other Democratic Senators held a secret meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif last week, a high-level source reports. His office is not responding to repeated requests for comment,” tweeted Hemingway.

In her report, she said, “A State Department official who spoke on background said that the State Department was not aware of any side meetings with Iranian officials in which Murphy was engaged. Such a meeting would mean Murphy had done the type of secret coordination with foreign leaders to potentially undermine the U.S. government that he accused Trump officials of doing as they prepared for Trump’s administration,” Hemingway said.

Senators Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, as well as former Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, also attended the event.

During the event on Saturday, both Murphy and Zarif publicly discussed and grilled U.S. policies on the Middle East at a two-hour-session.

The 56th Munich Security Conference took place on February 14-16. For three days, the conference was at the center of international diplomacy and welcomed world leaders from politics, academia, and civil society.

More about those Senators in a bit…

       Former Sec. of State John Kerry

Former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that he’s met with top Iranian officials in hopes of salvaging the scrapped nuclear deal — as he slammed the Trump administration for trying to further “isolate” Iran.

The one-time presidential candidate said he’s sat down with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif “three or four times” in places including Norway and Munich since leaving office.

“What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better,” Kerry explained in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt. “What do you do to try to get peace in Syria? I mean, those are the things that really are preoccupying, because those are the impediments to people, to Iran’s ability to convince people that it’s ready to embrace something different.”

Background

Constitutional experts have argued for decades about who in the U.S. government has power over foreign policy. Regarding “normal” policy matters, the President has always handled such matters. But when differences result in matters of military actions, Congress has the sole power from the War Powers Act to declare war.

Past Presidents have skirted the War Powers Act when they initiated American military intervention in foreign countries. Obama went to Libya with no Congressional approval. Just as a note: that action in Libya resulted in the deaths of four Americans at the Benghazi consulate. Obama took solo actions regarding Syria and ISIS. Bush 43 in ,the shadow of the New York twin-towers rubble, went to Congress for permission to take-on Saadam Hussein in  Iraq.

Those are not “normal” foreign policy matters. But they certainly are about foreign policy. All-out war definitely falls under the direction of Congress.

There have been historical interventions into foreign policy matters by others than the current President. Doing so is very dangerous, especially in light of the tenuous relationships that currently and for many years have existed between the U.S. and North Korea, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. One would think all those in government would be careful about any and all actions either Congress or the Administration take directly with those countries and surely would alert the other Branch in advance of such actions.

Few realize there is a U.S. federal law that prohibits such actions by those unauthorized to do so from happening: The Logan Act.

The Logan Act

The Logan Act has remained almost unchanged and unused since its passage. The act is short and reads as follows:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

The language of the act appears to encompass almost every communication between a U.S. citizen and a foreign government considered an attempt to influence negotiations between their two countries. Because the language is so broad in scope, legal scholars and judges have suggested that the Logan Act is unconstitutional. Historically, the act has been used more as a threat to those engaged in various political activities than as a weapon for prosecution. In fact, Logan Act violations have been discussed in almost every administration without any serious attempt at enforcement, and to date, there have been no convictions and only one recorded indictment.

One example of the act’s use as a threat of prosecution involved the Reverend Jesse Jackson. In 1984, Jackson took well-publicized trips to Cuba and Nicaragua and returned with several Cuban political prisoners seeking asylum in the United States. President Ronald Reagan stated that Jackson’s activities may have violated the law, but Jackson was not pursued beyond a threat.

The only Logan Act indictment occurred in 1803. It involved a Kentucky newspaper article that argued for the formation in the western United States of a separate nation allied to France. No prosecution followed.

Do you see any potential conflict with this law that seems to have stepped cross the line? 

Sen. Menendez (D-NJ)

Senators Chris Murphy, Robert Menendez, and Chris Van Hollen certainly are concerned about U.S. relations with the nation of Iran. They were each in full support of President Obama’s Nuclear Agreement with Iran to prevent Iran from, voluntarily, further pursuing nuclear weapons. But that’s not the job of a small group of American Senators.

I have huge problems with what these three Senators and John Kerry did on their own, and Kerry multiple times.

How does the U.S. historically acts to set foreign policy with countries when negotiations become serious and require formal U.S. action. We use treaties. We negotiate treaties to accomplish two things: make certain leaders in both countries are clear on the obligations of each, and to set by agreement the terms and conditions for compliance that includes actions that WILL result from any violation of the treaty.

Barack Obama was adamantly in support of Iran. He worked on that Nuclear Agreement for a long time. If it was meant to be a permanent agreement, then why did Obama not bring the agreement to the Senate to be ratified as an official treaty? I have my thoughts, but my thoughts are opinion. In this case, all that matters is that there is no treaty with Iran. If there was so much concern by those Obama Democrats about permanently preventing nuclear development by Iran, why did the Obama Administration not seek a permanent fix: a treaty?

It’s important to note that the U.S. entered the Nuclear Agreement solely by the executive action of President Obama. Congress was not part of the process. That apparently was OK with those Senators and other Democrats. But the mysterious and secret details negotiated by Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry included $150 Billion dollars released to Iran. That decision was made without Congress even knowing about it. And the last $400 million was sent to Tehran on a U.S. private jet — IN CASH!

Sen. Murphy (D-CT)

That smelled to Americans. The stench of that transaction and the subsequent discovery that the Nuclear Iran deal that was supposed to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons only slowed them down for a few years. It never was agreed that they would forever cease their nuclear military programs.

On another note regarding these Senators meeting with Iranians, Sen. Murphy is heavily involved with the lobbying group, the National Iranian American Council, a group that has ties directly to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Republican Senators Braun, Cotton, and Cruz have requested that the Department of Justice investigate the group for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The Braun, Cotton, and Cruz Senators wrote to Murphy, Van Hollen and Menendez about their meetings with Iranians calling those meetings “interactions that purport to improve understanding between American and Iranian people but in reality, seem to spread propaganda and lobby on behalf of the Iranian government.”

There is also evidence to support that Zarif founded the group himself.

Summary

I am going to cut right to the chase: it is my opinion based on my understanding from the plain language of the Logan Act that former Secretary of State John Kerry, Senators Chris Murphy, Chris Van Hollen, and Robert Menendez have committed felony acts by breaking the terms of the Logan Act:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

We Americans are NOT stupid — we can read. There is no doubt in my mind that Kerry and the Senators met in Iran with intent to influence the conduct of members of the Iran government. And they had NO authorizations to take such actions.

And Kerry has met by himself previously wit,h Zarif to apologize for President Trump. Kerry even told Zarif that (paraphrased), “He won’t be in office for too long. We’ll get this all straight and the Agreement put back in place with the next election.”

What Kerry and these Senators have done is exactly what numerous previous Americans have been convicted of, several of which are in prison today. For any American to legally be in meetings and discussions with leaders of foreign agents, they must be registered with the U.S. State Department before conducting any meetings. These four politicians did NOT register as agents. They should pay the same price for their wrongdoing as have so many other Americans.

I have always held respect for the offices held by those in government over me. In this case, I think all these Senators and Kerry by doing what they’ve done are not just guilty of that one felony offense, I feel their actions arguably are acts of treason.

Some will say, “The Constitution does not preclude Senators from taking such actions, so their doing so is not illegal.”

That’s exactly why CONGRESS passed the Logan Act! Their meeting with Zarif is criminal.

Congress — who holds the exclusive power to craft and pass laws in the U.S. — passed The Logan Act telling everyone not to collude with foreign governments about matters between the U.S. and those other countries. It seems that doing so did not just get started. Apparently one of these and two OTHER U.S. Senators also stuck their noses into Ukrainian matters back in 2018. A letter was delivered to Ukraine from Washington by Sens. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Richard Durbin of Illinois and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, expressly asking a Ukraine prosecutor if he were fully cooperating with then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged “collusion” between Russia and the Trump 2016 campaign.

Once again, we ask: “Where is the Department of Justice on this matter? Where is the FBI?”

Or is it simply that current and past members of Congress are immune to the laws THEY pass? Are they better than other Americans?

What they did is NO different than any American — ANY American — approaching a foreign government to discuss specifics of the political relationship between that country and the U.S.

Americans are tired of having to point to the obvious evidence of their being a “two-tiered” system of Justice in the United States: one that applies to members of the federal government and their minions and one that applies to everyone else.

“Equal justice under the law” Where did it go?

Play