Drain the Swamp by John Stossel

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Drain the Swamp!
by John Stossel

President-elect Trump says he’s uniquely qualified to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. He can do it, he said at one debate, because as a businessman, he understands American cronyism. “With Hillary Clinton, I said, ‘Be at my wedding,’ and she came to my wedding. You know why? She had no choice because I gave.”

He said that’s why he gives money to politicians from both parties. “When they call, I give. And when I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me!”

That’s crony capitalism. Ideally, laws are applied equally; no one gets a special break because he gives money. But today’s complex government allows the politically connected to corrupt … most everything.

Even parts of the government swamp designed to protect consumers, like Dodd-Frank banking rules, get corrupted. Banks watch little changes in rules far more closely than you ever will. Then they exploit them. Bank lobbyists make money off complex laws like Dodd-Frank. They fight tooth and nail to keep them, not abolish them.

Congress recently almost got rid of one obvious example of crony capitalism, the Export-Import Bank. To encourage exports of American products, bureaucrats give loans to Boeing and other big companies.

Some principled Republicans tried to eliminate this corporate welfare, but Ex-Im loans were voted back in during the final hours of budget negotiations.

Government programs almost never die.

Businesses in cozy relationships with government don’t die either. Jeff Deist, president of the free-market Mises Institute, says when the housing bubble burst, banks should have been allowed to fail and put through “the bankruptcy and liquidation process.”

CARTOONS | JERRY HOLBERT
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Investors would have lost big, but that’s OK, says Deist. “That’s the difference between free-market capitalism and state capitalism. With state capitalism, there are upsides for the parties involved — but no downsides.”

In the swamp, no one but taxpayers pays for their mistakes.

Politicians routinely promise to change this culture, but once they get to D.C., they lose interest, says Trump.

“They go to Washington, something happens – they become weak. … I promise this is not going to happen to me.”

I want to believe him. But even if he were an utterly principled man — and I await evidence of that — it’s tough to constantly say “no” to people.

When you’re in Congress, people ask you for money all day. “I need a grant for my charity — we do so much good!” “My business needs a subsidy/protective tariff — we employ so many people — in your state!” So it goes, week after week.

Few people bother to go to Washington to ask for spending cuts. Even though America is heading toward bankruptcy, 90 percent of congressional testimony comes from people who want more stuff.

Politicians’ cronies get more stuff. Solyndra got half a billion dollars from President Obama. The company went bankrupt, which shouldn’t be a surprise. Government has no way of knowing which ideas will succeed.

But it’s well worth it for companies to invest in lobbyists and fixers who dive into the swamp to extract subsidies.

For taxpayers? Not so much. While the benefits to lobbyists are concentrated, taxpayer costs are diffuse. Solyndra cost each of us a couple bucks. Will you go to Washington to pester your congressman about that? Probably not.

I want to believe Trump when he says he’ll “drain the swamp.” But it’s easier to believe Thomas Jefferson who, with greater eloquence, said, “It’s the natural progress of things for government to gain ground, and liberty to yield.”

Draining the swamp would mean not just taking freebies away from corporations — or needy citizens — but eliminating complex handouts like Obamacare. Candidate Trump said he would repeal Obamacare. Will he? He’s already backed off of that promise, saying he likes two parts of the law — the most expensive parts.

Every word in the register of federal regulations and laws has a special friend, a lobbyist (or 20) who will defend it, fight hard to make sure everything stays the same.

Good luck draining that swamp, President Trump. I hope you’ll succeed, if that’s really your goal.

But I won’t count on it.

originally posted November 30, 2016
http://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2016/11/30/drain-the-swamp-n2252366

How Can We Trust Them with More Money$$ — Vote No SQ 779

 

how-can-we-trust-them-with-more-money-voteno779How Can We Trust Them with More Money$$

  #VOTENOSQ779

Finding Gems & Sharing Them — How Can We Trust Them with More Money$$

For more info on State Questions on the General Election 2016 ballot here >>>

Let’s Make Our State Sales Tax Rate the Highest in the Land…

conservatives-on-779

Let’s Make Our State Sales Tax Rate the Highest in the Land…

said no conservative state ever!  #VOTENOSQ779

OKGRASSROOTS — Let’s Make Our State Sales Tax Rate the Highest in the Land!

For more info on State Questions on the General Election 2016 ballot here >>>

Some Thoughts on Oklahoma State Questions on the General Election Ballot 2016

Blockquotes are from the actual ballot wording here:
washington-county-general-election-ballot-2016 (pdf format – downloadable)

On each measure you will have an opportunity to vote either:

FOR THE PROPOSAL – YES

AGAINST THE PROPOSAL – NO

STATE QUESTION NO. 776 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 367
This measure adds a new section to the Oklahoma Constitution, Section 9A of Article
2. The new Section deals with the death penalty. The Section establishes State constitutional mandates relating to the death penalty and methods of execution. Under these constitutional requirements:
• The Legislature is expressly empowered to designate any method of execution not prohibited by the United States Constitution.
• Death sentences shall not be reduced because a method of execution is ruled to be invalid.
• When an execution method is declared invalid, the death penalty imposed shall remain in force until it can be carried out using any valid execution method, and
• The imposition of a death penalty under Oklahoma law-as distinguished from a method of execution-shall not be deemed to be or constitute the infliction of cruel or unusual punishment under Oklahoma’s Constitution, nor to contravene any provision of the Oklahoma Constitution.

My thoughts:  This amendment sounds reasonable to me.  I support the death penalty in general as a crime deterrent and appropriate to some crimes.  I plan to vote YES.

See more from Batesline here.

STATE QUESTION NO. 777 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 368

This measure adds Section 38 to Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution. The new Section creates state constitutional rights. It creates the following guaranteed rights to engage in farming and ranching:

• The right to make use of agricultural technology,
• The right to make use of livestock procedures, and

• The right to make use of ranching practices. These constitutional rights receive extra protection under this measure that not all constitutional rights receive. This extra protection is a limit on lawmakers’ ability to interfere with the exercise of these rights. Under this extra protection, no law can interfere with these rights, unless the law is justified by a compelling state interest-a clearly identified state interest of the highest order. Additionally, the law must be necessary to serve that compelling state interest. The measure-and the protections identified above-do not apply to and do not impact state laws related to:

• Trespass,
• Eminent domain,
• Dominance of mineral interests,
• Easements,
• Right of way or other property rights, and
• Any state statutes and political subdivision ordinances enacted before December 31, 2014.

no-on-777 My thoughts:  I am a clear NO on this one because of the ‘compelling state interest line’.  I call these weasel words.  They basically undo all the good language above and say we the state can do whatever we want when we have a ‘compelling interest’.  Given the state’s track record for undermining rights – this is NOT acceptable to me.

This from one of our brightest and best who just happens to be a rancher in the Panhandle – Kenny Bob Tapp:  I understand the concerns pro 777 folks have with the infamous HSUS [Humane Society of the United States].  Our concerns maybe should be with a group that has had a very detrimental affect to Life and Liberty in Oklahoma, The Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce.  If you look at the authors and sponsors of 777, the majority of them are State Chamber backed candidates.  For almost 10 years of my citizen grassroot involvement in promoting 2nd Amendment legislation, abolish abortion, legislation, free market efforts and opposing insurance exchange efforts (Obamacare) in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Chamber and their controlled legislators have been at the forefront of stopping or opposing all these efforts, plus some.  My point is while we haven’t had any negative effects by the infamous HSUS in Oklahoma who opposes 777, Life and our freedoms have taken a huge hit by the infamous State Chamber who apparently is the huge reason we have 777 on the ballot in Oklahoma

Dax Ewbank has this observation (and I agree): This is why I will be voting NO on SQ777. The entire premise of it is based on the idea that government creates rights. That is not a school of thought that lends toward freedom nor one that we should be using as a premise for government.

My well researched friend Andrea Hutchison on her reason to vote NO on 777: There are several reasons 1. Farm Bureau and OCA’s stance on the repeal of the Country of Origin Labeling both groups promoted this action which has destroyed thousands cattle producers. 2. Their stance on The Transpacific Partnership – they both promote this action that will destroy US sovereignty TPP is not about global trade it is about global control aka Globalism. These two organizations have taken the path of globalism. I have worked with both groups in attempts to stop the sustainable model from advancing. Both have advanced it further and support it openly. I wrote a resolution to address this which passed and is now Oklahoma Farm Bureau policy. However in July Oklahoma Farm Bureau leadership praised the Global Food Security Act and Food Initiative which will demand sustainability ( this term is a tool to destroy US producers it is a Trojan Horse for Regulations. Both of these groups are advancing globalism. I want Americanism. They are getting marching orders from higher up. Our OCA was on Fox News urging a yes vote , on that clip was an individual who was tied to the dismissal of HSUS intrusion onto producers properties via a verification program. That was a huge red flag … They are advancing globalism by these very actions. There is too much confusion in it and too much vague language in it. We are fighting an ideology and that is top down centralized control – one world government and “sustainability” is the weapon being used to destroy us —from within— we can’t amend our constitution to fight an ideology.

Video with John Michener of OCPAC on SQ 777

Video from Oklahoma Stewardship Council

“Don’t let corporate interests harm our family farms, land, and animals.”

“We’re a grassroots campaign of family farmers, community leaders, and concerned citizens opposing State Question 777. SQ 777 wasn’t proposed by farmers or ranchers — it’s designed to give free reign to corporate interests and Big Ag.”

 

STATE QUESTION NO. 779 INITIATIVE PETITION NO. 403

This measure adds a new Article to the Oklahoma Constitution. The article creates a limited purpose fund to increase funding for public education. It increases State sales and use taxes by one cent per dollar to provide revenue for the fund. The revenue to be used for public education shall be allocated: 69.50% for common school districts, 19.25% for the institutions under the authority of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 3.25% for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, and 8% for the State Department of Education. It requires teacher salary increases funded by this measure raise teacher salaries by at least $5,000 over the salaries paid in the year prior to adoption of this measure. It requires an annual audit of school districts’ use of monies. It prohibits school districts’ use of these funds for increasing superintendents’ salaries or adding superintendent positions. It requires that monies from the fund not supplant or replace other educational funding. If the Oklahoma Board of Equalization determines funding has been replaced, the Legislature may not make any appropriations until the amount of replaced funding is returned to the fund. The article takes effect on July 1 after its passage.

My thoughts:  I am a clear NO and continue to ask when we will get spending under control.  This is more tax and spend – enough already!

Richard Harris on SQ 779: The Cloward-Piven Plan

STATE QUESTION NO. 780 INITIATIVE PETITION NO. 404

This measure amends existing Oklahoma laws and would change the classification of certain drug possession and property crimes from felony to misdemeanor. It would make possession of a limited quantity of drugs a misdemeanor. The amendment also changes the classification of certain drug possession crimes which are currently considered felonies and cases where the defendant has a prior drug possession conviction. The proposed amendment would reclassify these drug possession cases as misdemeanors. The amendment would increase the threshold dollar amount used for determining whether certain property crimes are considered a felony or misdemeanor. Currently, the threshold is $500. The amendment would increase the amount to $1000. Property crimes covered by this change include; false declaration of a pawn ticket, embezzlement, larceny, grand larceny, theft, receiving or concealing stolen property, taking domesticated fish or game, fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, or issuing bogus checks. This measure would become effective July 1, 2017.

My thoughts: I am a clear YES on this one.  No fan of the current drug laws at all.  This one just doesn’t go far enough in that regard.  

STATE QUESTION NO. 781 INITIATIVE PETITION NO. 405

This measure creates the County Community Safety Investment Fund, only if voters approve State Question 780, the Oklahoma Smart Justice Reform Act. This measure would create a fund, consisting of any calculated savings or averted costs that accrued to the State from the implementation of the Oklahoma Smart Justice Reform Act in reclassifying certain property crimes and drug possession as misdemeanors. The measure requires the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to use either actual data or its best estimate to determine how much money was saved on a yearly basis. The amount determined to be saved must be deposited into the Fund and distributed to counties in proportion to their population to provide community rehabilitative programs, such as mental health and substance abuse services. This measure will not become effective if State Question 780, the Oklahoma Smart Justice Reform Act, is not approved by the people. The measure will become effective on July 1 immediately following its passage.cobwebs-quote

My thoughts:  I am a probable NO on this one.  Save the money and do not redirect it elsewhere.

Richard Harris on STATE QUESTION 781: PUTTING CRIMINALS BACK ON THE STREETS

 

 

 

STATE QUESTION NO. 790 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 369

This measure would remove Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution, which prohibits the government from using public money or property for the direct or indirect benefit of any religion or religious institution. Article 2, Section 5 has been interpreted by the Oklahoma courts as requiring the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the grounds of the State Capitol. If this measure repealing Article 2, Section 5 is passed, the government would still be required to comply with the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, which is a similar constitutional provision that prevents the government from endorsing a religion or becoming overly involved with religion.

My thoughts:  I am a clear YES on this one.  I love that it removes language that has been used to cause problems regarding the Ten Commandments monument. 

 

STATE QUESTION NO. 792 LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 370

This measure repeals Article 28 of the Oklahoma Constitution and restructures the laws governing alcoholic beverages through a new Article 28A and other laws the Legislature will create if the measure passes. The new Article 28A provides that with exceptions, a person or company can have an ownership interest in only one area of the alcoholic beverage business-manufacturing, wholesaling, or retailing. Some restrictions apply to the sales of manufacturers, brewers, winemakers, and wholesalers. Subject to limitations, the Legislature may authorize direct shipments to consumers of wine. Retail locations like grocery stores may sell wine and beer. Liquor stores may sell products other than alcoholic beverages in limited amounts. The Legislature must create licenses for retail locations, liquor stores, and places serving alcoholic beverages and may create other licenses. Certain licensees must meet residency requirements. Felons cannot be licensees. The Legislature must designate days and hours when alcoholic beverages may be sold and may impose taxes on sales. Municipalities may levy an occupation tax. If authorized, a state lodge may sell individual alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption but no other state involvement in the alcoholic beverage business is allowed. With one exception, the measure will take effect October 1, 2018.

My thoughts:  I am a clear YES on this one.  It eliminates some of our really bad laws over-regulating and killing competition in the state of Oklahoma.  It doesn’t go far enough, but it is a step in the right direction in my opinion

Coalition for Yeson792 (for more info)

 

Some pros and cons on each question via OklahomaWatch here (with a downloadable pdf guide also available)

 

I will be adding additional reference links on state questions for a few days — so please check back if this is of interest to you!  Next up some thoughts on judicial retentions…

 

Finding Gems & Sharing Them – Some Thoughts on Oklahoma State Questions on the General Election Ballot 2016

The Revolutions Were by Gary North

[Editor’s note:  Many of you know Gary North and his publication “The Remnant Review.”  This piece is both a history lesson and an economics lesson all rolled into one by Gary North. It will help if you have read Codevilla’s work on the Ruling Class.  Enjoy!/sc]

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The Revolutions Were

Gary North – October 01, 2016

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Remnant Review

“There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom.” — Garet Garrett, The Revolution Was (1938)

There have been a number of revolutions in American history. It began with the American Revolution, which was armed resistance against lawful government. Then came the revolution that was disguised as an act of Republicanism: the Constitutional Convention of 1787. That was a coup d’état. The next major revolution was the Civil War. The south rebelled against lawful authority, and lawful authority wiped out antebellum culture. Then came the Spanish-American war, which launched the American Empire. It was ratified by the ascendancy of Teddy Roosevelt to the White House. Next, there was the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, which took us into World War I. Next, there was the New Deal. Next, there was World War II. Finally, there was Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

I think is legitimate to regard all of these famous events as revolutions. Only the American Revolution was a true revolution. The others were revolutions in the way that Garrett described them: revolutions within the form.

There are those who have never ceased to say very earnestly, “Something is going to happen to the American form of government if we don’t watch out.” These were the innocent disarmers. Their trust was in words. They had forgotten their Aristotle. More than 2,000 years ago he wrote of what can happen within the form, when “one thing takes the place of another, so that the ancient laws will remain, while the power will be in the hands of those who have brought about revolution in the state.”

Revolutions do not occur overnight. They build up over a long period of time, and they take place very rapidly. This phenomenon applies to many areas of life. The old story that Hemingway wrote about the man who described his bankruptcy went as follows: it went slowly, and then very fast.

With this in mind, I’m going to comment on an article written by an old friend of mine, Angelo Codevilla. I worked with him when I was in Washington in the mid-1970s. He wrote an article for Remnant Reviewin 1979: “The Danger Is Defeat, Not Destruction,” which was sent out as written by Professor X. I pulled the copyright. It was reprinted around the country. I estimate that at least 500,000 of them were sent out.

I regarded him at the time as the smartest theorist in the conservative movement. I have not changed my opinion over the last 40 years.

He has written a remarkable article, “After the Republic.”

Continue Reading (via Specific Answers on Gary North’s website)

Finding Gems & Sharing Them – The Revolutions Were

Related article via Grassroots in Nebraska – In Support of Un-Common Sense

America’s Ruling Class – And the Perils o Revolution via The America Spectator

The Truth Shall Set you Free…The School Board, School Bond & City Council – Joel Rabin speaks out!

Featured Image -- 5489For your prayerful consideration because a friend told me (and I agree) that it is worse than you think. First the current school board has not done a good job of setting priorities, second there is a faulty growth assumption built into their numbers, and third we all need to learn to live within our means! Vote No on August 23rd and let’s save our community from bonded indebtedness that we cannot afford.

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This is the 7th “weekly” 30-second CableOne Ad for my [Joel Rabin’s] Ward 4 City Council candidacy (in HD) entitled, “The Truth Shall Set You Free . . . The School Board, School Bond & City Council”. It comes directly from my Public Comment to the Bartlesville City Council on Monday, August 1st. It starts August 15th, and will be shown through August 23rd (the day of the School Bond vote), on seven key CableOne TV channels . . . A&E, Discovery, ESPN, HGTV, TBS, Fox News, and the Food Channel.

My redirection to an all-out “VOTE NO” campaign against the August 23rd School Bond vote came on the heels of our local media’s reporting . . . and the School Board’s admitting . . . that the half of the School District’s bus fleet is “Outdated and Unsafe”. That did it for me personally, in terms of the School Board “going over the top”.

See the rest of Joel Rabin’s comments here:

Finding Gems & Sharing Them – The Truth Shall Set You Free via Joel Rabin

Game Show Host Chuck Woolery Solves the Budget Problem

Chuck Woolery Fireside ChatGame show legend Chuck Woolery discusses his thoughts on how to cut government spending. (phew, the squirrels made the cut!)

from November 10, 2011
3,483,073 views at time of posting / 3.22 mins

h/t Ada Coddington for the find

 

Finding Gems & Sharing Them – Game Show Host Chuck Woolery Solves the Budget Problem

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