Wednesday, October 31, 2018
All Saints Day : Pray for Synagogues, Chinese Catholics, Christian Churches, President Trump, and for Lasting Peace Based on Human Freedom
NOVEMBER 1, ALL SAINTS DAY. All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows' Day, or Hallowmas, is a Christian celebration in honor of all the saints from Christian history. In Western Christianity, it is observed on November 1 by the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church, and other Protestant denominations. The Eastern Orthodox Church and associated Eastern Catholic churches observe All Saints Day on the first Sunday following Pentecost. The Christian festival of All Saints Day comes from a conviction that there is a spiritual connection between those in Heaven and on Earth. In Catholic tradition, the holiday honors all those who have passed on to the Kingdom of Heaven. It is a national holiday in numerous historically Catholic countries. In Methodist tradition, All Saints Day relates to giving God earnest gratitude for the lives and deaths of his saints, remembering those who were well-known and not. Additionally, individuals throughout Christian history are celebrated, so that "All Saints Day" annually reminds us of our connectedness as Christians. Who is a saint? You are. That is if you’re a follower of Jesus. God calls a "saint" anyone who trusts in Christ alone for salvation. Sainthood isn't given by a group of religious leaders. It's granted by God Himself to any common, salt-of-the-earth person who has faith and simply trusts Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2). All Saints Day follows right after Halloween, whose name, 'All Hallows Eve," actually points to All Saints Day, also called All Hallows Day. In the early years when the Roman Empire persecuted Christians, so many martyrs died for their faith, that the Church set aside special days to honor them. In 607, Emperor Phocas presented to the pope the beautiful Roman Pantheon temple. The pope removed the statues of Jupiter and the pagan gods and consecrated the Pantheon to "all saints" who had died from Roman persecution in the first three hundred years after Christ. Many bones were brought from other graves and placed in the re-dedicated Pantheon church. Since there were too many martyrs for each to be given a day, they were lumped together into one day. In the next century, All Saints Day was changed by Pope Gregory III to today's date -- November l. People prepared for their celebration with a night of vigil on Hallows' Eve -- Halloween (possibly because of the strong holdover influence of the Celtic Samhain festival which many Christians in Ireland, Britain Scotland and Wales had continued to observe). In the 10th century, Abbot Odela of the Cluny monastery added the next day -- November 2nd -- as "All Souls" Day" to honor not just the martyrs, but all Christians who had died. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer says that the holiday stands for “the unity of Christians of all ages, countries, and races in Christ, and the perfection of that unity in heaven." It dates the holiday back to about A.D. 610 when the Pantheon in Rome, turned into a Christian Church, was dedicated to all saints -- all the faithful. In Europe, on All Saints Day -- Toussaint in French -- people take flowers, especially chrysanthemums, to the graves of their family members in a sign of remembrance. • The world has experienced a lot of turmoil leading up to this year's All Saints Day. • • • POPE FRANCIS AND CHINA. The September 22 agreement between the Holy See and Beijing was intended to normalize the situation of China’s Catholics. The Church in China has been split between the “underground” Church, in full communion with Rome, and the state-run Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), which was not. The Chinese government appointed bishops of the CPCA. The September agreement was designed to unify those groups, by approving a formula through which Pope Francis would approve bishops nominated by Beijing. But, there has been much opposition to the Pope's decision, arguing that the agreement does not reflect the fact that in places where Communists are the ruling party, as in China, they become the persecutors of Christians. • Hong Kong's retired prelate, Cardinal Zen, returned to China from studies in Rome in 1974, and said it had become a “whole nation under slavery,” and cautioned about society forgetting how oppressive the regime was at that time. And while he concedes that the Chinese government has made significant strides in embracing human rights, “you can never have a truly good agreement with a totalitarian regime.” The current iteration of Church leadership does not properly understand the threat Communist governments pose to Catholics, says Cardinal Zen. He praised the work of Cardinal Jozef Tomko, who was the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 1985 until 2002. Tomko, who is from Slovakia, “understood communism, and he was wise,” said Zen. Under Tomko, the Vatican considered only the underground Church in China as the true Church, and that while there were “many good people” in the state-sponsored church, it was “unlawful.” After Tomko’s retirement, however, Zen said things a turn for the worse with the appointment of Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, who Zen described as “a young Italian with no foreign experience.” Sepe “began legitimizing official Chinese bishops too quickly, too easily,” he said, which created an impression that the Vatican would “automatically” approve of any Bishop appointed by the Chinese government. This continued through Cardinal Ivan Dias, the next prefect, who was a “proponent of détente” with former Soviet states. This mentality carried over into Dias’ view of China and the Chinese Church. • While the exact terms of the agreement between China and the Vatican were not released, Zen is not optimistic about the future of the underground church. While Pope Francis could still “veto” the nomination of a state-approved bishop, “how many times can he do that, really? What good is having the last word when China will have all the words before it,” he asked. He also expressed doubt that the approximately 30 bishops of the underground church will still be permitted to function as bishops if the two churches are reconciled. Since the agreement in September, two CPCA bishops were invited to attend the synod on youth. These men are “known to be close to the Chinese government,” and their attendance at the synod, says Cardinal Zen, is “an insult to the good bishops of China.” • • • ANTI-SEMITISM BLASTS ONTO THE SCENE IN PITTSBURGH. American Thinker's Monica Showalter labeled the mass murderer who opened fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue "an anti-Semite and a rabid Trump hater. Yet that hasn't stopped the left from trying to pin the massacre on Trump as they pin all calamities. Never mind Trump's kind words. Never mind the strong support of him from Israel. Never mind that his favorite daughter is an Orthodox Jew and his three grandchildren are Jewish as well." • Showalter points out that : "Just weeks ago, we watched as former President Bill Clinton and other top Democrats sat there side-by-side in the front row with open and notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan at Aretha Franklin's funeral. I remember writing at the time : 'Seriously, how'd that freak get in there, and why the heck was he seated in the front row, alongside the other so-called leaders of the black 'community,' such as the just barely past the respectable line Jesse Jackson; Al Sharpton; and America's supposed 'first black president,' Bill Clinton? Jewish Republicans have pointed out that not only has Farrakhan been prominent himself in the Democratic Party, the party itself is loaded with people closely tied to him....They include former Nation of Islam employee, Congressman Keith Ellison, who is Deputy Chair of the DNC. Ellison has tried to excuse his 2013 meeting with Farrakhan, while ignoring his more recent meeting with the NOI leader in Farrakhan’s hotel room, in 2015. At least six other Democrats are known to have embraced Farrakhan. These members of Congress -- Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Danny Davis, Andre Carson, Gregory Meeks, and Al Green -- have all, while in office, sat down with Farrakhan for personal meetings. There can be no question about how abhorrent it is for these Democrats to be connected to Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan is first and foremost a preacher of hate. He preaches about Jewish 'control' over the government and media and has claimed to have 'pulled a cover off of that Satanic Jew,' saying 'your time is up, your world is through.' And those were just the comments from last week." • The Daily Caller says : "The man poised to head the Democratic Party was a spokesman for the Nation of Islam well into his 30’s who publicly spewed anti-Semitism and later in life as a Congressional candidate knowingly accepted $50,000 in campaign contributions given and raised by Islamic radicals who openly supported Islamic terrorism and were leaders of front groups for Hamas and the Moslem Brotherhood. And once in office as a Congressman, Keith Ellison more than hinted that 9/11 was an inside job carried out to create pretext for war against Moslems -- a trope often pushed by anti-Semites who claim Israeli or 'Mossad' complicity -- by comparing 9/11 to the Reichstag Fire, the infamous 1933 arson of the German Parliament building, which the Nazis pinned on Communists and thus used to gain majority control of the government and establish Nazi Germany." • Showalter notes that Democrat leaders have smeared Jews, but says : "Now is sneakier but just as bad. We have Linda Sarsour, who still hangs around with Farrakhan like the other Democrats, but promotes a more sophisticated anti-Semitism, designed to rub out the Jewish state of Israel. According to the New York Post : "An example of how that works came last month in Durham, NC, where the city council passed a resolution banning the local police department from taking part in 'military-style training' in Israel. The measure was the result of agitation by Jewish Voice for Peace and its allies in the Black Lives Matter movement. Ostensibly the goal was to push back against a national trend of militarizing law enforcement that is supposedly linked to police shootings of African-Americans. But the real purpose was to score a victory for the BDS movement that would undermine Israel and smear American Jews....Some of these people have apologized when they were caught out, but many, such as Farrakhan, who was last seen calling Jews 'termites' have not. Others, such as Sarsour, who insists her efforts to erase the Jewish state have nothing to do with anti-Semitism, make claims to not being anti-Semitic at all. It's rubbish. We can see what's going on with these efforts to evade responsibility, and carry on with the anti-Semitism unchallenged. And the conclusion is obvious : The left has made itself a fount of anti-Semitism, with all major currents of its poison coming from its direction. Democrats have normalized it, promoted its participants and celebrated its advocates. Now they are trying to pin a hideous massacre by an unhinged monster on Trump. This won't wash." • • • PRESIDENT TRUMP SPEAKS OUT. It was the Canada Free Press's Judi McLeod who reported on Sunday : "Picture President Donald Trump making his way waist-high through a vile and treacherous Swamp, Home Office of the Deep State. Is that a tree stump up ahead, or a camouflaged crocodile lying in wait? You won’t know until what you may have mistaken for a harmless tree stump clamps its teeth into you, getting a grip good enough for the drowning finale. There are many creatures of different stripes who loiter in the Swamp, where so many booby traps lie in wait. In the past three days alone, an alleged maker of pipe bombs media-dubbed the ‘MAGA Bomber,’ owner of a white van they call the ‘TrumpMobile’ -- who purportedly loves Trump -- sent packaged pipe bombs to top Democrats, and an alleged anti-Semitic Synagogue killer, -- who purportedly hates Trump -- struck in Pittsburgh, Pa., killing 11 and wounding another 6." McLeod asks : "Has the world gone haywire overnight, or is something else afoot? There are 9 infernally long days to get through before Midterms with many in the masses out there wondering : 'What’s next?'....a plethora of hate-spewers in the Entertainment industry keep openly wishing him dead; ‘comedians’ have sent pictures of his severed head viral; witches and wizards continue to cast hexes on him, and at the same time news of the so-called MAGA Bomber struck, the New York Times was slammed by the Secret Service for its fictional Trump assassination story, condemning it as 'outrageous' and an 'insult.'....We’ve all seen the endurance characteristics of salacious 'fantasies' like the one written by former British spy Christopher Steele, which even though roundly debunked, is still out there today as the basis of Robert Mueller III’s special counsel investigation into fantasy Russian collusion. Given the growing hostility that surrounds us, this is certainly a suspicious time for what Media Research Center analyst Clay Waters labels 'a Trump assassination fantasy.' " BUT, President Trump continues on his path to Make America Great Again. McLeod says : "It takes real COURAGE for Trump to appear at airport hangars and other public venues for his rallies, where the risk of being targeted runs high. But not a single media outlet is talking about Trump’s remarkable courage, only about how reviled he is by those claiming he’s a 'racist’, 'misogynist', etc. It is courageous for Trump to declare 'We trust in God,' 'We protect the freedom of worship,' 'We believe in the power of prayer' at his latest rally in Murphysboro, IL. at a time when the foes he faces have driven The Almighty out of the Public Square, push the wholesale slaughter of babies through abortion, rob children of their God-Given birthright of gender and who fail to provide safety in school washrooms." You can listen to President Trump's "God...freedom of worship...power of prayer" remarks at the 2:14:20 mark of < https://youtu.be/FX7zgO6FQaI >. • McLeod distills the current situation goign into the mid-term elections : "The Democrats, led by 'Resistance' leader Barack Obama and egged on by the Deep State plants he left behind, are trying to claw back control, while patriots, led by a courageous President Donald Trump, are fighting to get their country back." • And, on this All Saints Day, we can join Judi McLeod in her call : "People of America, and fans of America in the seriously threatened West, pray for President Trump. Pray not just for his safety but for his survival. Ladies and gentlemen of America, Nov. 6 is only days away and your country is calling you!" • • • PRESIDENT TRUMP VOWS TO DEFEND JEWS. Thomas Lifson wrote on Sunday for American Thinker : "I was stunned yesterday watching live coverage of President Trump’s campaign rally in Murphrysboro, Illinois. He said something that may be the strongest statement ever delivered by an American president about the Jewish people. Trump’s enemies expected him to offer some sort of boilerplate denunciation of anti-Semitism, owing to the awful slaughter in Pittsburgh. I am sure many were preparing to dismiss whatever he said, and no doubt some already have (I haven’t bothered looking because they are so predictable). But he said something that electrified me, going far beyond any ritual condemnation to make what struck me as a declaration that the United States is the guarantor of the survival of the Jewish people : "The Jews have endured terrible persecution, and you know that we've all read it: We've studied it. They've gone through a lot and those seeking their destruction...we will seek their destruction." You can watch President Trump's declaration on video at < https://youtu.be/7riALAeGzlw >. • • • DEAR READERS, Lifson says every Jewish Democrat should watch this moment, and "ponder whether the party of Keith Ellison really deserves support. This was no mere boilerplate, it was outright love and a desire to protect....This is a message to not only neo-Nazis, it applies to the Middle East. It is a promise to destroy those who seek to destroy Judaism, and by implication, Israel. Destruction is not mere condemnation, and goes far beyond punishment. It is biblical in scope. History, ancient and modern, is littered with nations an empires that tried to destroy the Jews and which themselves passed from existence, from Egypt and Babylon to Hitler’s Germany. Trump has just promised to add America's might to the continuation of this pattern, almost as God's willing instrument in protecting His Chosen People. This is not a small thing, in my book." • Following the massacre of 11 Jews, and only Jews, at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the local chapter of Bend the Arc, "the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on Progressive social change in the US," published an open letter telling President Trump that he is not welcome in the city. The reason, said the letter, is because "for the past three years your [Trump] words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement." Here we have the Progressive socialist-marxist Left -- represented by a small faction of the Jewish community -- saying the synagogue killer wasn't an anti-Semite, but rather a white racist who was supposedly empowered by Trump's supposed politics of hate against 'people of color, Moslems, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.' Bend the Arc, which seized the opportunity to attack the President, ended up dividing the Pittsburgh Jewish community. The anti-Trump sentiment shared by most American Jews is apparently more powerful than the need for unity. When the same dividing line appeared in Israeli media reactions to the massacre, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to put a stop to it, tweeting : "Jews were killed in a synagogue. They were killed because they are Jews. The location was chosen because it is a synagogue. We must never forget that. We are one." And, at a memorial vigil for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party, said : “today, we stand in the shadow of death. In the shadow of evil. In the shadow of a cowardly, terror attack on Jews who were in a synagogue to pray. The deadliest antisemitic attack in the history of the United States.” • Netanyahu and Bennett were clearly trying to mend what may turn out to be an unrepairable split in the Jewish world, according to the journal Israel Today. But, states Israel Today : "As in America, Israeli politicians and journalists from the left followed the example of Bend the Arc. The head of the far-left Meretz party, Tamar Zandberg, tweeted : 'Horrifying massacre in Pittsburgh. Strength to the Jewish community. A terrible result of violent hate toward minorities, immigrants and Jews.'....Chemi Shalev, an extreme-left Ha'aretz journalist, went so far as to say that 'unfortunately, their [Israeli government representatives] message of sympathy is being undermined by the shameful effort by Israel’s top diplomats in the US to absolve Donald Trump of any responsibility for fomenting an atmosphere of right-wing hate and, even more outrageously, to implicate antisemitism on the left instead.' This kind of argument prompted political commentator Gadi Taub to tweet what many Israelis think about this attack on Trump and Netanyahu in the name of 11 dead Jews : 'I had to rub my eyes to believe that people are actually arguing that the most friendly administration to Israel since Truman, headed by a President whose daughter converted to Judaism and her husband is his [Trump's] close advisor, that this administration proliferates antisemitism. Wow. Wake me up when the discussion shifts back from the parallel universe.' " • BUT, when all the divisions in the Jewish world are reported and pushed by the Progressive propagandist media as "evidence" that all of Jewry supports the fiction that Trump is anti-Semitic, one thing remains -- the Israeli and the American flags are screened interlocked and moving together in a breeze on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City in solidarity with the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. • As for the Catholic Church and Christendom, The Catholic Thing published an article by Father Thomas G. Weinandy on Wednesday that reveals the same schism in the Catholic-Christian world that the media is reporting in the Jewish world. Father Weinandy writes : "A year ago tomorrow I made public a letter that I wrote to Pope Francis expressing my deep concern about the 'chronic confusion' in the Church and the way that his 'seemingly intentional lack of clarity risks sinning against the Holy Spirit.' The Body of Christ presently suffers more than it did then -- and I fear the suffering will become even more intense. Moreover, in the midst of what has been exposed, many commentaries and analyses have been published in newspapers, journals, the Internet, and in blogs, some better than others, but all decrying the present ecclesial situation and often offering ways forward. For me, what is presently most troubling is the vague, uncertain and often seemingly nonchalant ecclesial response to the evil, not only to the grievous sexual misconduct among the clergy and bishops, but also to the scandalous undermining of the doctrinal and moral teaching of Scripture and the Church’s magisterial tradition. Likewise, there appears to be little awareness of or concern for the suffering that this mentality has inflicted upon the Church, especially upon the laity. Significantly and sadly, even if those in authority were to make adequate responses to the evil at hand from this point on, it would not be sufficient to rebuild the trust that has been broken by their past words and actions....Yes, many in high ecclesial positions are good and forthright men, but they are not the ones who are presently being listened to, or making the decisions, or setting the ecclesial tone. I am, nonetheless, hopeful. I am hopeful because I know that many are praying and even fasting for the renewal of faith within the Church. Moreover, I am convinced more now than a year ago, that by exposing all of the evil, the Lord Jesus is in the process of purifying his body, the Church. The present sin within the Church is often terrifying and disheartening to see. It is good for us to keep in mind, however, that the fire of the Holy Spirit may burn, but its burning is unto holiness -- and that is wondrous to behold." • We cannot sit on the sidelines. Every person in the world is being called on to defend freedom -- of religion, of faith, of prayer, of culture, of history. Ronald Reagan said in 1964 in a speech titled A Time for Choosing : "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so." • President Trump said it differently, in Poland in 2017 : "Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger -- one firmly within our control. This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles : the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people. The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies....This great community of nations has something else in common: In every one of them, it is the people, not the powerful, who have always formed the foundation of freedom and the cornerstone of our defense. The people have been that foundation here in Poland -- as they were right here in Warsaw -- and they were the foundation from the very, very beginning in America. Our citizens did not win freedom together, did not survive horrors together, did not face down evil together, only to lose our freedom to a lack of pride and confidence in our values. We did not and we will not. We will never back down....Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield -- it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls....Our freedom, our civilization, and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory. And today as ever, Poland is in our heart, and its people are in that fight. Just as Poland could not be broken, I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph." • Along with the saints you are praying for on this All Saints Day 2018, pray for President Trump, for Jews and synagogues everywhere, for all Christian churches, and for the true peace that can only return when we have put "We the People" back in full charge of ourselves and our governments. As President Reagan told us : "As long as a love of liberty is emblazoned on our hearts, Jefferson lives."
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
HALLOWEEN. Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long-legged Beasties and Things That Go Bump in the Night. Well -- that seems to be a perfect introduction to the current Federal Reserve Board. It certainly is Going Bump in the Night. • • • POWELL HAPPY RAISING RATES. That's what President Trump said last week, and every wannabe expert in central bank finance came out of the chutes at him. Money and Markets wrote last week : "President Donald Trump, like most presidents before him, is no fan of the Federal Reserve and its raising of interest rates. The only difference between Trump and past presidents is he lets his criticisms fly while they kept their issues out of the headlines, for the most part, because the Fed is supposed to operate free of political influence. Much has been made about Trump’s Fed bashing, and he turned it up on a notch Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal, saying Fed Chair Jerome Powell -- who Trump himself appointed -- is threatening US economic growth and that Powell 'almost looks like he’s happy raising interest rates.' " • The Wall Street Journal quoted the President : “ 'Every time we do something great, he raises the interest rates.' The WSJ said the President declined to elaborate, and a spokeswoman for the Fed declined to comment. Mr. Trump said it was 'too early to say, but maybe' he regrets nominating Mr. Powell." • The FACT is that the Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate three times this year and all signs point to another hike in December, as well as three more next year. Fed Chairman Powell has said the Fed will raise rates to a so-called “neutral level” that won’t hinder economic growth while also keeping inflation in check. BUT, Money and MArkets wrote : "The President’s caustic comments about Mr. Powell came as Mr. Trump repeatedly described the economy in personal terms. He referred to economic gains during his time in office as 'my numbers,' saying, 'I have a hot economy going.' He described his push for growth as a competition with former President Obama’s record, saying that increases under his Democratic predecessor were skewed because of low-interest rates. Trump also touched on the ongoing trade war and tariffs disputes, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked him to fix as soon as possible before they endanger the economy further. But when asked what he thinks is the biggest threat to the economy his answer was, of course, 'the Fed. To me the Fed is the biggest risk, because I think interest rates are being raised too quickly...' Asked why he thought Mr. Powell was raising rates, Mr. Trump paused, then said, 'He was supposed to be a low-interest-rate guy. It’s turned out that he’s not.' Trump did not say whether he was considering the removal of Powell yet -- if he even has the legal authority to do so. 'I don’t know...I’m just saying this : I’m very unhappy with the Fed because Obama had zero interest rates.' ” • The Fed ultimately answers to Congress, not the President, and the leaders on Capitol Hill have been giving Powell high marks. Represnetative Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said in an interview last week : "I am generally impressed with Chairman Powell’s leadership.” Hensarling said the Fed’s current interest-rate “trajectory seems to be headed in a good direction.” • When President Trump complained that the Fed had "gone crazy" by tightening its monetary policy, his statement prompted International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and others to come forward in defense of Powell and the Federal Reserve's decision-making. Lagarde said : "I would not associate Jay Powell with craziness. No, no, he comes across, and members of his board, as extremely serious, solid and certainly keen to base their decisions on actual information, and decide to communicate that properly." The inference in Lagarde's remark is that President Trump is not acting on "actual information" or communicating it "properly." YET, it is President Trump who has jump-started the US economy nwhich is the only economy in the world operating on a growth path right now. The IMF under Lagarde has not even been able get Europe up and running away from its counter-productive "austerity" battles with Greece, and now Italy. • Powell has said neither he nor other Fed officials are letting Trump's frequent complaints affect them : "My focus is essentially on controlling the uncontrollable. We control what do," Powell said in a question-and-answer session with anti- Trump Judy Woodruff of PBS this month. As the central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve's mission is to set interest rates with the twin goals of maximizing employment and fighting inflation. The Fed is traditionally granted independence from presidential influence so that it can fulfill that so-called "dual mandate" without political interference. That said, President Trump is correct when he points out that the Fed has raised interest rates three times this year as the US economy has heated up, and it is widely expected to hike again in December. President Trump told the WSJ last Tuesday : "How the hell do you compete with that? And Obama -- remember this, it's very important -- Obama had zero interest." • • • IS THE FEDERAL RESERVE POLITICAL??? AGAIN, the President has a point. While Obama took office after the Great Recession began in December 2007 and the Federal Reserve at that time put historically low interest rates in place, and took other measures besides, in an effort to inject money into the faltering economy -- the truth is that later on in the Obama presidency, economists began asking when the Federal Reserve was going to stop using Quantitative Easing and begin cutting back from its multi-trillion dollar gift of "cheap money" to banks by providing them with funds at zero interest rates. That QE policy endured for the entire Obama presidency and added trillions of dollars to the US debt while keeping the US Dollar at low foreign exchange levels, allowing Obama to borrow funds from foreign entities, China especially, and pay back the interest on those huge loans with cheap Dollars. So, the Fed gave Obama a pass, and Trump is right to ask why he is being treated so harshly in what has to be called the very early stages of his effort to rebuild the US economy. • CNBC published an article on October 18 that argued that the Fed will ultimately push the US into recession, if it follows through on its stated intent to raise rates 3.5% by 2020. President Trump has described the Fed's possible interest rate path as the biggest threat to the US recovery. Rabobank says the Fed could over-hike and push the US into recession. • CNBC noted that the summary of the September 25-26 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) session pointed to a continued willingness by the US central bank to gradually increase interest rates. CNBC wrote : "The Fed's indication that it will continue raising rates comes in the face of ongoing criticism from President Donald Trump. Earlier this month, Trump said the Fed is going "loco," openly criticized Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, and asserted that higher rates are the single biggest threat to the economic recovery." • Lyn Graham-Taylor, senior fixed income strategist at Rabobank, told CNBC's Street Signs on Thursday that Trump may have a point : "We think the Fed will ultimately push the US into recession by following this path," the analyst said. The federal funds rate, which helps to dictate borrowing costs across the US economy, was raised to operate between 2 and 2.25% on September 26. Policymakers see one more rate hike this year, 3 more increases in 2019 and 1 more in 2020. Graham-Taylor said he expects a US recession within the "next couple of years" and that researchers at his bank were taking cues from a flattening of the yield curve. • CNBC explained : "A flat yield curve occurs when the yield (return) on longer dated debt reduces to levels nearer that of shorter-dated bonds. It can be indicative of a lack of confidence in the medium to long-term of an economy. In recent weeks, the yield curve has actually steepened but Graham-Taylor said, in this instance that was related to uncertainty, rather than investor confidence in the future. The analyst said the Fed would probably 'overhike' with just two more rate rises and that would be enough to trigger an economic downturn. • • • TIGHT MONEY AND INFLATION. The Fed is not only treating President Trump much more harshly than it treated Obama, the Fed is also pushing the US toward recession. The problem many economists see is that the Fed is pursuing an 'imaginary' inflation that is non-existent. The real problem is deflation. Japan has suffered in its grip for three decades, and President Trump is pumping the US economy to prevent such a deflationary stagflation spiral of low growth and collapsing prices. • American Thinker's James Soriano wrote on Saturday : "Policymakers at the Federal Reserve are expected to raise short-term interest rates again in December, which would be the seventh such increase since President Trump took office, and they may ratchet them higher three more times in 2019. The number of critics of the Fed’s tightening are few, but one of them is President Trump himself, who has chastised Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, his own appointee, for the fast pace of interest rate increases. Speaking about the Fed chairman, Trump told the Wall Street Journal on October 23 that “it almost looks like he’s happy raising interest rates.” The image is one of a 19th century banker twirling his mustache as he snaps his lash over the heads of cowering debtors. The President is right to be concerned. Excessive Fed hawkishness right now is a serious danger to the economy. Over the past year the move toward higher interest rates has been justified on grounds that a robust economy gives the Fed a window for returning short-term interest rates to a 'normal' range, after a decade of keeping them near zero because of the 2007-08 Financial Crisis. Getting back to normal may be a laudable policy goal, if, as economists say, all other things being equal." But, says Soriano, all other things are not equal : "The Trump tax cut changed the macro-economic context. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced the corporate tax rate to 22% from 35%. This is an important change because the lower tax rate encourages the creation of new productive capacity, which in turn increases the demand for dollars to fund it. The Fed should accommodate this demand by injecting liquidity into the system. Instead it is doing the opposite. Raising short-term interest rates has the effect of stifling the demand for dollars." Soriano sees several features on the political and economic scene beginning to emerge from all this : (1) The Federal Reserve is staking out a position where it has veto power over tax policy. Now the Fed governors may not have that intention, and they may say their decision-making is guided by the public good; nonetheless raising interest rates at the present time has the net effect of depriving the Trump tax cut of traction. The Fed has the upper hand here because higher interest rates are more powerful than lower tax rates. That’s because lower tax rates are merely permissive on expansion -- they can only create an enabling -- whereas higher interest rates are compulsive on contraction -- they stop the activity of marginal producers who could be in business if borrowing costs were lower. In short, if the Fed continues on its present course, it can trump Trump. (2) Monetary nullification of the Trump tax cuts will demoralize the public, which will become more wary of future efforts to lower taxes. The Administration has promised that the 2017 tax cut will get the economy out of its long-term slow-growth rut [i.e., stagflation]. If the economy has insufficient liquidity to fuel expansion, it could easily revert back into a pattern of slow growth. The Left will then complain that the tax cuts benefited only the rich and that cutting taxes is the root cause of the federal deficit. 'Experts aren’t sold' is a typical headline doubting the efficacy of the Trump tax cut. Those experts could be right. The corporate tax cut will not have its optimal effect if the Fed puts American businesses on a budget of stingy liquidity." (3) Traditionally, Democrats tend to be more dovish on interest rates than Republicans, who tend to be enamored of something called the 'strong dollar.' What’s missing from the current policy battle is the sound of Republican artillery laying down supporting fires for President against the Fed. If Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives in this year’s election, we may see the President making common cause with them for a looser monetary policy. This in turn may set a pattern for future Trump-Democrat collaboration on immigration reform and the southern border, with Republicans in a secondary role. (4) The nightmare scenario is Japan. The Japanese economy over the past thirty years is a case study of the long-term effects of deflationary monetary policy. It is a cautionary tale one hopes the Fed governors know well. It is not known if the shoguns who run the Bank of Japan ever looked 'happy raising interest rates,' but fair to say they take pride in having kept inflation at bay. The cost has been terrible : Japan has endured two generations of lost economy opportunity. It’s still stunning to realize that the widely watched Nikkei Stock Average is some 45% below its historic high reached in December 1989!" • For Soriano, the economic battle lines are drawn : "Today the Fed says higher and the President says lower. Both sides should sit down and work out an objective standard for setting interest rates. Ideally, the way forward would be a move toward monetary reform : the Federal Reserve should discard its short-term interest tool in favor of direct open-market operations to inject or drain liquidity into or out of the economy; commodity prices, especially gold, should guide decisions on Fed interventions; and the world should re-establish a regime of fixed exchange rates." • On Monday, Money and Markets published an article by former congressman and libertarian leader Ron Paul, who agrees with President Trump, saying : “He is right that ‘crazy’ is a good way to describe the Federal Reserve.” Paul has been a frequent critic of the Fed over the years, so his assessment comes as no surprise. Paul wrote a book, “End the Fed,” in 2009, and it debuted at No. 6 on the New York Time’s best-seller list. Ron Paul states that when central banks create money, those who first get the new money enjoy an increase in purchasing power before the new money causes a real increase in prices. Those who receive the money first are members of the banking and financial elite. By the time the new money reaches the middle class and working class, inflation has set in, so any gain in purchasing power is more than offset by the increase in inflation. Thus, central banking causes income inequality. Since its creation in 1913, Paul argues, the Fed has caused the US Dollar to lose most of its value, punishing savers and rewarding those who pile up massive debt. Paul says : "It is amazing how many economists who oppose price controls on all other goods support allowing a secretive central bank to control the price of money. Trusting the Federal Reserve to produce permanent prosperity instead of a boom-and-bust cycle is a textbook example of a popular definition of insanity being repeating the same action in hope of getting different results. The Federal Reserve System is as unworkable and doomed to failure as every other form of central planning. It is likely that the next Fed-created recession will come sooner rather than later....The only way to avoid crisis is to force Congress to end our monetary madness. The first steps are passing the Audit the Fed bill, allowing people to use alternative currencies, and exempting all transactions in precious metals and cryptocurrencies from capital gains taxes and other taxes." • WHY ARE THE MARKETS IN SUCH FLUX? Money and Markets' JT Crowe wrote on Monday : "The Dow has lost 8% of its value since its all-time high on October 3. The Nasdaq has been pushed into correction territory for the first time since February. The S&P 500 is now down on the year, wiping out hard-fought gains over the past 10 months. So why the sudden volatility, especially when the economy is still doing so well?" Crowe points out several possible answers : The 2017 mega profits caused complacency to set in, but the 2017 jump-start has come to a natural conclusion and the markets are back to their normal jumping around. The market selloff has taken on a life of its own and selling is begetting more selling, but so far we haven’t seen a capitulation moment. The Volatility Index, or fear gauge, closed at 24.16 after inching all the way up to 27.52. The measurement gained about 21% during the week with a massive jump on Wednesday. The VIX tends to fall when stocks rise, and vice versa, because it measures how much traders will pay for protective options on the S&P 500 in the coming 30 days. A reading of 25 is well above the index’s normal average of around 20 and above its average this year. Moreover, the VIX has climbed 100% so far in October alone. That means investors have been steadily paying for protection from a coming market downturn. • But, the MarketWatch list of reasons for worry all point to the fact that investors are concerned about slowing growth here and abroad and the impact of tariff clashes between the US and China, which may be exacerbating Beijing’s economic malaise. BUT, economic data shows no sign of a pending recession, and recessions are what kill bull markets. We are in a correction in a long-term bull market, driven more by uncertainty over China and trade, than rising rates. • • • ASK LARRY KUDLOW. Newsmax did just that last week. And, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow says that Wall Street is plunging because of fear Democrats will win midterms and end President Donald Trump’s “pro-growth policies.” Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic advisor, sees a much more political angle to the selloff : "I think the stock market is worried that Congress will change and will overturn these pro-growth policies," the veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan advisor said. • Larry Kudlow is right about the economic growth generated under President Trump. CNBC reported last week that the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits fell to more than a 45-year low, pointing to tightening labor market conditions. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 5,000 to 215,000 for the week ended Oct. 20, the Labor Department said on Thursday, adding that claims for South and North Carolina continued to be affected by Hurricane Florence. Claims for Florida and Georgia were impacted by Hurricane Michael. The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, was unchanged at 211,750 last week. The labor market is viewed as being near or at full employment, with the unemployment rate close to a 49-year low of 3.7%. AND, there are a record 7.14 million open jobs in the economy, suggesting a shortage of skilled workers. That was confirmed by the Federal Reserve's Beige Book published on Wednesday. According to the Fed, "employers throughout the country continued to report tight labor markets and difficulties finding qualified workers." Tightening labor market conditions and a robust economy are expected to keep the Fed on course to increase interest rates again in December. The Longer term implications of constantly rising interest rates seem to be unimportant to the Fed. • CNBC also reported last week that US durable goods orders edged up a modest 0.8% in September. The Commerce Department says demand for durable goods edged up a slight 0.8% in September, a sharp slowdown from a 4.6% jump in August. The swing was heavily influenced by the volatile aircraft category, which fell 17.5% in September after having surged 63.7% August. The recent weakness in "investment" orders has raised concerns about whether a growing trade war with China and stock market volatility were making businesses more cautious. • • • DEAR READERS, we will know soon if Larry Kudlow is right about why the markets are down and bouncing around. The mid-term elections come a week from today. We will have to wait for later in November when President Trump and Chinese President Xi will meet on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And, we may get some further explanations from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who is scheduled to testify about the Fed’s outlook for the economy before the Joint Economic Committee on December 5. Powell and his Fed colleagues have been under pressure from the White House and Wall Street over hikes in interest rates to stave off inflation, and Powell will surely be asked for some explanations. • Chasing inflation is one thing, but pushing the US into recession in order ot fight the current non-existent inflation is a lot like chasing windmills for no other reason than that it is 'always' what the Fed has done. Who cares about the future of America or the world? Not these fellows.
Monday, October 29, 2018
ONE WEEK TO THE MID-TERMS. Where do we conservatives and Republicans stand with the American electorate? There are several ways to measure and estimate where the mid-term results are headed. • • • CROWD SIZE AT CAMPAIGN EVENTS. American Thinker's Monica Showalter wrote on Sunday : "Way back when, the left and its media allies made a huge stink over President Trump's supposedly small crowd sizes during his inauguration. The story went on for days and days as the media tried to parse whether Kellyanne Conway was really lying or not in saying that the crowd was big. The photos were examined in microscopic detail, while inconvenient facts, such as when the pictures were taken, were skimmed over. The press particularly liked to compare Trump's inaugural crowd size to President Obama's inaugural crowd size as a means of making themselves feel better about losing the election....Well, now the press hacks are at it again from the other end, exaggerating the sizes of the crowds President Obama is drawing in today, which don't hold a candle to the sizes of crowds President Trump is now drawing, given his tax cuts and other presidential successes. Gateway Pundit has a gleeful summary : 'Hah-Hah! Former President Obama was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Friday and he couldn’t fill a high school gymnasium. But this didn’t stop a far left Daily Beast hack from claiming the line was a mile long to get into the event! Never trust the liberal media. Never! The Daily Beast does it again -- their National Security writer, Erin Banco, claimed that the line to see former President Barack Obama in Milwaukee today was a mile long...' • Showalter says : "Trump and other Republicans really are pulling in the arena-sized crowds in a way the Democrats are not. Joe Biden, remember, couldn't even fill a union hall last week. But among Republicans, there were the big Beto rallies in Texas and the even bigger Ted Cruz rallies in Texas. There were the huge crowds Trump drew throughout his trips to the Midwest and in North Carolina. RealClearPolitics wondered if the arena dynamics were actually changing the dynamics of the midterms. But then we have the sorry little mainstream press, some of its sorrier elements trying to claim Obama is filling a stadium, too, as Gateway Pundit pointed out. This, if nothing else, may signal that the blue wave is not coming this time. Sorry pals, you're not popular." • Fox News reported last week that attendance at President Trump's Nevada rally quadrupled the Obama event total at University of Las Vegas arena. Fox said : "The Elko Daily Free Press reported that Trump spoke to roughly 8,500 supporters at a regional airport in the northeastern Nevada mining town." Two days later, former President Obama took credit for the nation's soaring economy and bashed President Trump before a crowd of only 2,000, ABC News reported. The venue, the Cox Pavilion at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, seats between 2,154 and 3,286 people, depending on its configuration. And, online media reported that the Obama advance party put up a partition behind the audience area to hide the fact that Obama didn't fill the venue. • Meanwhile, the Trump campaign announced that it had received more than 100,000 requests for tickets for its packed rally in Houston last Monday night in support of incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who is now polling several points ahead of rival Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke. That rally initially was slated for the 10,000-capacity NRG Arena, before the campaign moved it to the much larger Toyota Center in Houston, which can seat nearly 20,000. Thousands tailgated before the event on Monday night in a gameday-style atmosphere in the city, which leans Democratic in a deeply red state. • The Trump Houston rally actually tallied 77,000 against Obama's 2,100 at UNLV. That tells us why the Democrats avoid talking about crowd size as they use screens to try to make their rally attendance seem larger. • • • FRANTIC RHETORIC TO COVER THE COMING LOSSES. But, it was surely Obama's UNLV remarks about the Trump economic miracle that stunned the media : "When you hear all this talk about economic miracles, remember who started it. I hope people realize there's a pattern that every time [Republicans] run things into the ground and we've got to clean it up." • Can we ever believe Barack Obama about anything?? The short answer is 'NO.' He drove the American economy into a stagflation of low to zero growth, disappearance of jobs, and strangulation of business through socialist-inspired regulations and high taxes. President Trump has turned that Obama disaster around, and to hear the former President blatantly lie about it is stunning, even coming from the master of leading through lies. • Not satisfied with his Las Vegas lies, former President Obama continued his frontal attack on President Trump in Milwaukee last Friday. In what was surely the most vicious attack by a former President on a sitting President in the modern era, Obama called Trump a liar : "Who are we? What kind of politics do we want to see? What kind of accountability do we expect from of our elected officials?” Obama asked. “What we have not seen before -- in our recent public life, at least -- is politicians just blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly lying. Making stuff up!” he exclaimed. “Calling up down! Calling black white! The President said he’d pass a middle-class tax cut before the next election," Obama later noted. “Congress isn’t even in session! He just makes it up!” [Actually, Trump said the 10% cut would be “put in next year.”]....“He says, ‘I’m going to protect your pre-existing conditions,’ while his Justice Department is in court right now trying to strike down those protections,” Obama continued, trying his hand at a Trump impression. "That is not spin,” he said. “That’s not exaggeration. That’s not trying to put a positive glow on things. That’s lying!” RIGHT, OBAMA. We all know about healthcare lies -- “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.“ • "Of course," said Western Journal Conservative Tribune : "that’s not the most egregious takeaway from the speech. Nor is it the fact that Obama is accusing the President of 'blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly lying' with his long record of doing just that in office. Rather, it’s the fact that Obama’s remarks came on the same day that the media went after Trump, implying that his 'incivility' caused suspected explosive devices to be sent to Democrats and related figures. I’m one of those individuals who has a hard time believing, unless there’s an actual exhortation to incivility (see: Waters, Maxine), that a 1:1 relationship between a politician’s words and uncivil acts exists. However, if the media is going to posit that, there has to be some level of consistency. Insisting that Trump deserves some blame for the mail bombs and then -- on the selfsame day -- calling Obama’s speech merely 'fiery' is an abdication of journalistic responsibility....these outlets actually believe Trump is perpetuating an unspeakable awfulness by noting that the press is biased against Republicans. The implication that the press is responsible for any violence is just as specious as the implication that Trump is, mind you. However, denying the bias at this point simply won’t fly -- particularly when Obama gets a pass." When Western Journal asked its readers to answer the question "Do you think Obama's remarks crossed the line?" the online poll came back at YES 98% (1565 Votes) and NO 2% (24 Votes). Sure, they were Trump supporters voting , but it does give us an idea of just how strong Trump's support is, and how much those Trump supporters dislike Obama and the Democrats. • • • POLLS AS AN INDICATOR OF MID-TERM RESULTS. American Thinker"s Thomas Lifson wrote on Monday : "We've been hearing about the inevitable 'blue wave' handing control of the House of Representatives to Democrats since before President Trump was inaugurated. Maxine Waters, for one, gained the sobriquet 'Auntie Maxine' for offering the political equivalent of bedtime stories promising impeachment on the come, once voters corrected the obvious error they committed by electing Trump. History, after all, dictates that the President's party loses support, and the GOP's margin in the House is smaller than the historic average. Polls continue to predict a blue wave, albeit one that might be too small for surfers. But polls depend on constructing a model of the expected turnout and then finding respondents to match the model : a certain percentage of Republicans, independents, and Democrats. If the pollsters fail to accurately predict which kinds of voters will be motivated in an off- year election, their polls are useless." BUT, as Lifson says : "That hasn't stopped them from offering their own versions of the odds favoring the Democrats to take over the lower chamber. Nate Silver, who remains the media's favorite polling guru despite offering odds well north of 90% favoring a Hillary Clinton win in 2016, puts the odds of a Democrat Speaker of the House next year at nearly the same level of certainty : 85%." So, Lifson decided to try another sort of poll -- bettors and oddsmakers -- because : "The pollsters may be right this time, unlike 2016. Maybe they have reflected on their errors and honestly appraised what they missed last time with an appropriate level of self-criticism. If that is your impression of what the journalistic community (which employs the pollsters whose results are made public) has done, then you should have more confidence in the pollsters. But people who put their money on the line in making predictions question the pollsters. William Cummings, writing in USA Today, writes : 'The odds on MyBookie favor Republicans maintaining hold of their majority, even as political forecaster Nate Silver says there is an 84.9% chance of a Democratic victory. As of Sunday, the odds of the GOP keeping the House are at -140. That means you would need to bet $140 on the Republicans to win $100 if they stay in the majority. The Democrats are at +110, meaning a $100 bet would win you $110 if the Democrats manage to wrest control of the House. The site also has the Republicans favored to hold the White House in the 2020 presidential election. The GOP is at -170 in that race, compared to +130 for the Democrats. Nothing is certain, and the people wagering on the election don't necessarily have the best data. What they do have is an interest in winning....maybe the bettors have a better sense of what's ahead. Whom are you going to trust? The guys who got it wrong last time or the people who put their money where their mouths are?" • Another polling problem is showing up in the Florida governor race. American Thinker's Monica Showalter reported on Monday that Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, "while initially coming off as a nice guy and a possible historic first as a black governor," has some problems getting to that governor's chair. He's revealed himself to be a "big-city, Chicago-style politician, complete with big-city-style mayoral corruption. And, well, that, along with a nervous recognition of his socialist agenda, actually seems to be sinking him." Showalter reports that a Florida Politics blog states : "A new poll of the Florida gubernatorial race finds former congressman Ron DeSantis with a slim lead over Democratic rival Andrew Gillum. The internal poll, conducted by 1892 and obtained by Florida Politics, shows DeSantis with a 1-point lead over Gillum, 47-46%, with third-party candidates siphoning off 2% and 6% still undecided. Internals are always the most interesting of polls, because they are the ones the candidates themselves commission to find out how they're doing but don't release to the public. They're the least likely to be push polls designed to influence the public." As we know, public polls tend to "overcount Democrats" and get the cell phone-only users all messed up. Some are actually biased as well. Showalter says : "Florida Politics notes that Trump has a high above-water approval rating in Florida, so it's strange that Gillum should be so far ahead. The other thing it notes is that Gillum is ahead in all voter make-up races, except if the voter make-up matches 2014 (which is exactly what many political analysts are forecasting this year's midterms are). Much of this is pre-scandal reporting anyway. What's likely to be going on is that the former Tallahassee mayor's acceptance of free cruises and takings of free pricey and hard-to-get theater tickets, as well as now going along with illicitly paid for campaign events, which is the latest news story, aren't helping him. Why he wasn't busted for these things, after all the FBI effort to show for it, is a mystery. But it ends Gillum's momentum as a fresh face and a new look for Florida politics, given the seediness of it all. If Gillum's acts were too small to bust individually, what voters are seeing now is a pattern of small dishonesties, which brings the realization that if the guy can be bought on these many small things, what else will he be buyable on with greater powers as governor? His reaction hasn't helped, either, pulling out the race card for every instance where he was questioned about his ethics and character. It looks as though the corruption allegations are taking him down and will continue to push his momentum downward. If so, Florida will dodge a bullet, given his big socialist plans for the state. This would be a good thing for a state that includes so many refugees from socialism." • Senate polls are looking good for the GOP, too. Rick Moran of American Thinker, reports : "The CBS Battleground Poll of three key Senate races shows Republicans leading in two contests while the Democrat leads in another. Polls from Arizona, Florida, and Indiana all show tight races. But in Indiana and Florida, Democratic incumbents are in trouble, as GOP enthusiasm and a roaring economy could make election day a nightmare for Senators Joe Donnelly and Bill Nelson." Here's the Daily Caller's take : "It's anyone's game in three key Senate races, where the outcomes could decide which party controls the upper chamber of Congress, according to a CBS/YouGov poll released Sunday. Republican challenger Mike Braun leads Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly, 46% to 43%. In Arizona, GOP Representative Martha McSally trails Democratic Representative Kyrsten Sinema, 44% to 47%. In Florida, Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is tied with Republican Governor Rick Scott, with both candidates polling at 46%. The surveys were conducted between Oct. 23-26 among likely voters, with all three being within the margin of error. The latest survey comes as welcome news for Braun, a former Republican state lawmaker who had previously trailed Donnelly in most of the recent polls out of Indiana. Donnelly led in three separate surveys earlier in October. However, Braun has since closed the gap and surpassed the Democratic senator, leading in the latest two polls." Rick Moran thinks the 76-year-old Florida Senator, Bill Nelson, may have reached the end of the road : "While Scott hasn't run the best campaign, he receives high marks from voters for his handling of the recent hurricane and scores well on the economy. Nelson has been trying to talk up health care, but it hasn't generated the kind of enthusiasm seen on the Republican side. Braun has been scoring points against Donnelly for the incumbent's hypocrisy on outsourcing and a backlash against the Kavanaugh nomination fight. The Republican is also benefiting from Trump's popularity in the state. In Arizona, Democrat Sinema has been exposed as a radical : "McSally, an Arizona GOP congresswoman, had trailed Sinema by as much as double digits over the summer. However, recent revelations into Sinema's past has made the race much more competitive. The RealClearPolitics average of recent polls shows McSally barely ahead by 0.7%. This is a competitive race despite the revelations about Sinema's antiwar past. Health care is a big issue in the state, and most observers believe that this is one race that may not be decided on election day." • And, if we look at our head honcho Trump -- as Obama hits the campaign trail for Democrat candidates, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday showed that President Trump’s approval ratings have increased to their highest point yet: 47%, with 49% disapproving. The number is higher than President Barack Obama's 45% approval rating at the same time in his first term, October 2010. • • • WHAT'S IN THE NEWS INFLUENCES ELECTIONS. In that regard, the TeaParty.org site has doubled down on the 'fakeness" and/or unanswered mysteries surrounding the mail bomb aftermath. Cesar Sayoc's arrst has in no way resolved anything. The FBI has not explained -- how a loner in Florida managed to get ALL of his "mailed" packages to arrive on the same day; how the bomber’s packages slipped through the mail with zero postmarks or cancelled stamps and not enough postage; how the Soros bomb was hand delivered; why the Post Office allowed these packages to continue to be sent through after the first 8 were discovered 3 days ago; OR why the bombs were not detected by the postal service? there is also the question about where a man living out of his van got the money or equipment to do this; or how he paid for the custom-designed full window decals. One commenter wrote on Twitter : "It’s the same folks that brought us the Benghazi video, Collusion, and Brett Kavanaugh rape allegations." Another twitter commenter said : "But it must be real because FBI Director Wray said these bombs were not fake -- And WE ALL KNOW the FBI NEVER LIES!" • • • THE SOUTHERN BORDER IS A PHOTO-OP FOR THE GOP. Fox News reported late last Thursday afternoon that : "Hundreds of US troops are set to make their way to the southern border to help Homeland Security and the National Guard as a caravan with thousands of migrants pushes north with the goal of crossing into America, a US official confirmed to Fox News on Thursday. The official said roughly 800 soldiers will be sent to the area to offer 'logistical support,' including providing tents and vehicles. It’s not immediately clear which units are being tasked with the mission as details are still being finalized. Defense Secretary James Mattis could sign the deployment orders as soon as today. There are currently 2,100 National Guard troops on the southern border assisting Homeland Security. President Trump tweeted Thursday morning that 'I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency. They will be stopped!' The migrant caravan as of Thursday is still in southern Mexico, more than 1,000 miles away from the nearest entry point into the US." • Fox News UPDATED that report on Monday -- "Roughly 5,000 US troops will be deploying to the southern border in response to the migrant caravan pushing north through Mexico, a US official confirmed to Fox News. Some of the troops will be deploying as early as Tuesday. The reinforcements headed to the US-Mexico border are [active duty] support troops -- not combat troops -- and will include engineers, as well as aviation and medical personnel. The troop deployment, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, had been expected after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis approved the request last week. But the number of troops is far higher than initial estimates." • Meanwhile, according to Fox News, President Trump has called for the caravan to turn back. The President tweeted Monday : “Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!” Fox News has also learned that military police will be among those headed to the border, though they will not be acting in a law enforcement role -- but rather in a “force protection” mission, guarding any US military personnel supporting the Border Patrol, according to another official. Because they would not be performing law enforcement duties they would not be in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the federal government from using the armed forces in a domestic police role. Fox News says that with 5,000 additional troops headed south, "there will be roughly the same number of American forces positioned along the southern border as there are deployed to Iraq and Syria combined." While troops are being deployed, White House officials are continuing to discuss possible executive or regulatory action to prevent people in the caravan from coming across the border, including only allow asylum claims to be made at a port of entry or border crossing, so that anyone who tried to make an asylum claim by crossing the border illegally would be deemed inadmissible, and their claim would be denied. • Liberty Headlines talked about the real threat of terrorists lurking in the caravan. The article was titled "Homeland Security Experts Say Caravan Terrorism Concern Is Real." President Trump sparked a firestorm of controversy a week ago when he tweeted about the potential national security threat from terrorists, but Liberty Headlines wrote : "Much of the news media immediately accused Trump of fearmongering, but the Center for Immigration Studies, a pro-legal immigration research group, has begun compiling data points to back-up the terror claim. And there’s plenty to choose from. First, Univision reporter Francisco Santa Anna said on Friday that he saw people from Bangladesh traveling with the crowd when it crossed from Guatemala into Mexico. 'Can you imagine what they had to do to get here? They infiltrated themselves in this caravan and tried to cross with the crowd,' Santa Anna said in amazement. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens -- who patrols the Laredo, Texas area of the border -- told Fox News host Laura Ingraham this week that more than 650 Bangladeshis had been apprehended in his sector alone last year. The US State Department currently lists Bangladesh as having ISIS-affiliated terror groups. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders went on the record at a recent press conference and further confirmed the terror threat, saying that suspected terrorists had reached the southern border from Mexico in high numbers during 2017. 'These kinds of details don’t ordinarily see light of day because they’ve always been regarded as too sensitive for public consumption, and are often classified,' said Todd Bensman of the Center for Immigration Studies....SIAs -- Special Interest Aliens -- are migrants that move along well-established Latin America smuggling routes from countries of the Middle East, and also from South Asia and North Africa. DHS has for years considered SIAs as posing a higher risk of committing terrorist acts because of the presence of Islamist terrorist organizations in some 30-plus Moslem-majority home countries. Even President Obama’s DHS secretary, Jeh Johnson, warned about such dangers in 2016. Earlier in October, Liberty Headlines reported that the US State Department had begun tying illegal immigration to terrorism in its latest annual counter-terrorism report. America’s southern border is “vulnerable to terrorist transit,” the 340-page document concluded. “Many Latin American countries have porous borders, limited law enforcement capabilities, and established smuggling routes. These vulnerabilities offer opportunities to foreign terrorist groups,” the report said. Bensman weighed in at the time, in way that now appears prescient : “The report shows that smuggling routes through Latin America persist in providing the avenues for extremists, alongside benevolent migrants, to travel from nations where terrorist organizations plan and plot ways to harm the country,” Bensman said. On Wednesday, he said that as a journalist and national counter-terrorism expert that he’s quite aware of the dangers at hand : “If good for nothing else, the caravan at least made a few more Americans aware of this border threat,” he said. • • • SUMMING IT UP FOR THE MID-TERMS. American Thinker"s editor Thomas Lifson wrote on Sunday : "If you have been worried – like President Trump – that the GOP will suffer for being blamed for the violence, real and attempted, of the past week, relax. Three smart people -- two of them Lefties -- see beyond the huge media hype ever since ineffective (if not fake) bombs began arriving at the homes and offices of Trump’s enemies. The suspect in custody was so perfect, with his van covered in graphics echoing Trump themes, that many suspected a false flag operation. The mainstream media wasted no time in endlessly pounding home to idea that Trump has, if not blood on his hands, responsibility for creating a toxic atmosphere that animated one of his followers to attempt what the Unabomber (a huge fan of Al Gore) succeeded at. The second pathetic, angry loser 'suspect' who succeeded hideously well in killing his intended victims is on the record hating Trump, calling Trump 'a globalist not a nationalist' in a recent tweet. But that hasn’t stopped Lefties from trying to pin his bigotry on Trump (and the Jews who support his move of the American embassy to, Israel’s capital city), [as in Julia Loffe's tweet : "And a word to my fellow American Jews : this president makes this possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move, over there where you don't live was worth it."]." • Michael Goodwin of the New York Post explains why blaming Trump for the violence won't help Democrats : "Here are three main reasons for my doubts. First, neither suspect was a solid citizen who suddenly turned to violence because of politics....Second, the speed of events these days means no one storyline dominates for long, even in the anti-Trump-obsessed media. The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation battle looked as if it would determine the election -- until the caravan of Central American immigrants making their way toward the southern border vowed to get into the country, one way or another. The economy is the third reason for my doubts that last week will dramatically reshape the election. Most Americans in the workforce today have never seen anything like the jobs boom and the rising incomes that go with historic low unemployment." • In addition, Mad Maxine Waters has been urging harassment, and Republicans are experiencing it. The swing voters in the middle that are paying attention to the news know this very well. • AND, the caravan is not going away. • FINALLY, as James Carville famously instructed Bill Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid.” That still is true. Especially in an environment in which a huge majority of the public disbelieves the media. • Lifson notes the comments of two famous "Lefties," as he calls them : "The two smart Lefties who see the caravan as decisive are Andrew Sullivan and Michael Moore (don’t be fooled by his dopiness -- he predicted Trump’s win, and understands working class Americans better than the Democrat intellectuals and elites). Sullivan writes in New York Magazine : 'It’s the optics that are fatal. The image of that caravan, crammed with thousands of desperate brown human beings, winding its way tortuously through Central America and Mexico, headed to a showdown at the US border....Moore is more effusive, as the Daily Wire reports : 'In a series of tweets that feature aerial shots of the massive caravan, Moore once again waxed prophetical about Trump steering the national narrative to electoral victory : "So here we have a beautiful aerial shot -- just in time 4 the Midterms! And everyone falls for it. This is one of the most remote areas of the Western Hemisphere. Try finding a helicopter/drone down there to film this. You can’t. Trump’s genius is how he once again outsmarts the Dems," wrote Moore. • • • DEAR READERS, America is not the only illegal immigrant target. Over 6,000 migrants have crossed into Melilla and a second Spanish territory nearby, Ceuta, so far this year, according to UNHCR figures. Melilla and Cuenta are Spanish enclaves on the North African coastline, and if migrants get into either enclave and claim asylum treatment, they cannot be summarily deported under EU laws. More than 40,000 people have arrived on the Andalusian mainland by sea in 2018, with the majority traveling from Guinea, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Algeria, and Mali. Europeans are reacting in ways similar to those of Americans. • Mainstream parties are losing elections -- the latest was on Sunday when German Chancellor Merkel's governing coalition suffered heavy losses in a regional election, with early results showing that her center-right CDU party and the center-left SPD were each 10% down on the previous election in Hesse state that includes Germanys financial center, Frankfurt. The defeat caused Merkel to tell German media on Monday morning : "For the next federal election, I will not stand as federal chancellor nor as a candidate for the Bundestag, and...I won’t seek any further political offices. Today I made a decision which should enable the federal government to do good work in the future. I have come to these conclusions not only through deliberation but through experience." Euronews, the official EU media outlet, said : "Merkel's weakness at home may limit her capacity to lead in the European Union at a time when the bloc is dealing with Brexit, a budget crisis in Italy, and the prospect of populist parties making gains at European Parliament elections next May." • Meanwhile, NBC News' Think wrote on Monday morning about the victory of the populist Jai Bolsonaro in Brazil. The NBC article is both factually incorrect about fascism and badly tilted to the Progressive Left, but it tells us a lot about Progressive "Newspeak" and reveals, despite its agenda, that populisn -- we the people -- are winning the political battle for votes : "Brazil has elected a president far more dangerous than Trump. The election of neo-fascist presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro is raising fears that Brazil could be the latest country hit by a wave of far-right authoritarians. Bolsonaro, though, represents something scarier than Donald Trump, the politician he is most often compared to....Bolsonaro is a seven-term congressman who surged into the popular consciousness as a hardline law-and-order figure with outsider credibility because of the swirling crises that have engulfed Brazil over the past five years. His racist, misogynist, homophobic outrages are numerous and well-known....The widely discussed case for 'Bolsonarism' being a form of neo-fascism hinges not just on bigotry, violence and authoritarianism, but on the interests that have rallied to him. The nucleus of his support -- as per classic studies on fascism -- is a middle class made up of small business owners and independent professionals, plus members of the police and armed forces. Though sections of the poor have also voted for him -- mobilized by a worsening public security situation -- the rich and educated support him in much larger proportions; this has been a decisive factor in this success so far....Bolsonaro’s chief economic advisor, University of Chicago-educated Paulo Guedes, promises to privatize aggressively; the financial markets endorse this vision....Worryingly, existing levels of violent crime could justify -- and serve to mask -- bloody repression. There were over 60,000 murders in Brazil last year. Police contribute to the bloodshed, killing thousands each year. Bolsonaro promised the special forces, whose emblem and cri de guerre is a skull, that their people would be included in the government, possibly suggesting a ministerial position for a special forces commander....What unifies parties like the AfD in Germany, the Front National in France, the Sweden Democrats or the Italian Lega is that they all aim to politicize. For the past decades, Western societies have been ruled by 'post-political' forms of management. Politicians justified themselves by saying : the experts are in power, we know best. Populism is a reaction to that, that declares : we, the people have different interests from you, the elite. In contrast, Bolsonarism signifies an attempt, by the rich and powerful, to sweep away all political division and to potentially do away with a democracy that includes those they feel should be excluded. All of which is to say, Bolsonarismo stands alone when compared to its global far-right peers. And yet, if there is a unifying factor, it is that the new authoritarian right has gained prominence in the wake of the 2008 crisis. The reigning form of liberal democracy, triumphant after the Cold War, has become more difficult to sustain in turbulent times. The loss of legitimacy has not been capitalized on by the left, as one might have expected, but increasingly by the right. Traditional establishments have been complicit in this anti-democratic turn. Eager to bolster a system that many citizens support less and less, even moderate elites avail themselves of authoritarian and nationalist measures....In France, centrists fret about Marine Le Pen, but it is the great free-market liberal hope, Emmanuel Macron, who effectively maintains a draconian permanent state of emergency. The EU makes member-states vote again until they get the answer right. Obama deported more migrants and bombed at least as many countries as Trump....From China to Europe to Brazil, the link between free market capitalism and democracy may be breaking. If so, genuine democrats face a fork in the road : cling to an increasingly anti-popular neoliberal order or defend democracy, warts and all." • There we have it. Elitist "post-political" leaders are being ousted by "we the people." Calling "we the people" fascist or nazi or racist or homophobic will not save the Progressive Elites. It helps to defeat them -- because "populist" (read that, conservative) voters do not care what Progressives think about them or call them. They are interested only in taking back their countries and salvaging their democracies. And, in America, we will see a lot more of "We, the People" in the November 6 mid-term election results.
Sunday, October 28, 2018
The Democrats Owe President Trump, Republicans, Conservatives, Congress, and America a Giant Apology
THE PROGDEMS AND THEIR PROPAGANDIST MEDIA ARE OUT OF CONTROL. The mainstream media and ProgDem slurs against President Trump in the wake of the unexplodable mail bombs is outlandish. MSNBC actually called President Trump a "terrorist sympathizer." That is a step way too far. • • • MSNBC: TRUMP IS A ‘TERRORIST SYMPATHIZER’ FOR MAIL BOMB RESPONSE. Newsbusters reported the story on Saturday. It was MSNBC politics editor Jason Johnson who said it : "MSNBC guests and hosts went into full blame mode on Friday, lashing out at Donald Trump as “terrorist sympathizer” in the wake of the arrest of alleged mail bomber Cesar Sayoc in Florida. Additionally, Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace wondered if people would be scared of criticizing the President. MSNBC politics editor Jason Johnson put the blame not just on the man who allegedly mailed the bombs, but Trump : “He has always shown a sympathy or dismissiveness towards terrorism. He is a terrorist sympathizer.” • In 2017, Newsbusters pointed out, Johnson tried to smear Steve Scalise, the victim of Bernie Sanders-supporting attempted murderer James Hodgkinson, by promoting the discredited report that Scalise “may have” spoken to “white nationalists.” So, when Jason Johnson popped up with the "terrorist sympathizer" attack on the President, it was to be expected : "It's good to see that the FBI and national security agencies continue to do their job with vigilance despite the fact that they've been bludgeoned by this President for the last year for supposed incompetence and corruption. Our lives, as much as I may have criticisms of how law enforcement operates in this country, they are still our line of defense against maniacs and terrorists out there. But I have to say, Nicolle, and this has always been a problem with this President. He has always shown a sympathy or dismissiveness towards terrorism. He is a terrorist sympathizer. I mean given the way he responded to what happened in Charlottesville, given how he responded to Khashoggi, given how he puts what happened today in context of how it affects the midterm elections, we don't have leadership in this country when it comes to domestic terrorism. This President foments it as much as he is occasionally forced to speak against it." • WHY is this moron still on the air -- even MSNBC ought to the flicker of common senser it would take to fire Jason Johnson. • • • RICIN PACKAGES WERE MAILED TO REPUBLICANS. Did anyone in the media care?? Not really. They were mailed to Republicans -- and the media thinks Republicans should be eliminated. American Thinker' editor Thomas Lifson wrote on Saturday that the media "yawned when real ricin packages were mailed to Trump and leading Republicans a mere 4 weeks ago." Lifson said that Chris Buskirk asks a key question that exposes the media’s total manipulation of the news : “Why Are Fake Bombs Sent to Democrats More Shocking Than Real Ricin Packages to Republicans?” • Lifson says : "I would wager that 98% of the public doesn’t even know that packages far more deadly than the ineffective bomb-resembling packages allegedly mailed by Cesar Sayoc were mailed to the President and his allies and staff... --contact with the skin can be deadly." The ricin was mailed to President Trump, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson. We don't remember the real mail attack on political leaders because, says Lifson, because there were no "introspective opinion pieces wondering if attacks on the President had gone too far"or suggesting that "claiming that Republican policies kill people" might be an incitement to violence. • Thomas Lifson says that : "Every Republican or conservative interviewed about Sayoc needs to raise this question. There is no answer that excuses this double standard....The target then was the President, his Secretary of Defense, a senior naval officer, and a Republican Senator. And then, wasn’t there more than an implication that Republicans have it coming? After all, Democrats routinely claim that Republicans are not just cruel but that, as Nancy Pelosi said ‘millions, hundreds of thousands will die’ if Republicans get their way. What stronger language is there than that? And if you believe it, then violence against Republicans becomes a justifiable -- perhaps even heroic -- act of self-defense." • • • IS SAYOC CAPABLE OF PLANNING THE MAIL BOMB AFFAIR. Again, it is Thomas Lifson who raises a valid point : "Miami lawyer Ronald Lowy has represented Cesar Sayoc in some of his earlier brushes with the law, and according to TheHill, currently represents his family. Lowy had a number of things to say about Sayoc that seemed to attribute his alleged crimes to his feelings about President Trump, but his most interesting comment in the interview was ignored : A lawyer for the family of Cesar Sayoc Jr., the man charged with mailing explosive devices to several prominent Democratic figures this week, said Friday that Sayoc 'found a father' in President Trump....Lowy made the comments on CNN while discussing the arrest of Sayoc, someone he said he had represented in past cases and whom he described as a 'sick individual' who seemed 'lost' and needed help. 'He was looking for anything, and he found a father in Trump,' Lowy said, noting that the man's father 'abandoned him as a child' and 'he was trying to create an identity. Lowy said that he believes Sayoc was attracted to Trump’s messaging, which included reaching out to 'outsiders' and 'people who are angry at America.' ” • Lowy was on CNN, so we expect an anti-Trump essage. Lowy half-provided it : "He added that he doesn't blame the President solely for the attempted attacks." But, another comment by Lowy didn’t make it into TheHill's story : “He never seems sophisticated enough to do something like he’s accused of. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that there were others others who helped prod or encouraged him to do this, or that the bombs in fact were so crudely made, they never could have worked. He didn’t seem to have the intellectual capacity to plan a conspiracy like this in my opinion.” You can watch the video of the CNN interview with Lowy at < https://caching.grabien.com/c/streams/0490/htcHVNVaGOPNP6flNfvYRQ/1540686715/490659.mp4?key=htcHVNVaGOPNP6flNfvYRQ >. • • • WHAT DOES SAYOC'S HOMETOWN PAPER SAY? The Miami Herald published a Friday article updated on Saturday that also quoted Sayoc's former lawyer Ronald Lowy : "Sayoc, 56, who used to live in Aventura with his mother and graduated from North Miami Beach High School, was no criminal mastermind, said Ron Lowy, a family friend who defended Sayoc in 2002 when he was charged with threatening Florida Power & Light employees over a pricey bill and in 2004 when Sayoc was charged with possessing steroids with intent to sell. Lowy described Sayoc as an unsophisticated loner who wanted to impress people but failed at everything he pursued, from strip club dancing to bodybuilding to professional fighting to the dry cleaning business. 'He wasn’t successful in anything he did,' Lowy said. 'He’s been bankrupt, gone into foreclosure. He’s 14 years old living in an adult body.' " • Lowy explained Sayoc’s claim of affiliation with the Seminole Tribe of Florida as an example of Sayoc’s desire for a sense of belonging. He said Sayoc used to drive a vehicle plastered with Seminole Tribe and Native American stickers and showed him a scrapbook filled with photos of Sayoc as an exotic dancer and aspiring pro wrestler. Lowy told the Miami Herald : "He’s half Filipino, on his father’s side, and he’s half Italian,” Lowy said. “He’s been living and creating this fantasy for a very long time. He’ll deny it’s a fantasy. But I will suggest to you it’s probably a result of emotional issues that come from his father abandoning him and returning to the Philippines when he was a child. He wanted a background. He wanted to be liked by people so he created this story. Sayoc never got the mental health treatment he needed and refused to seek help even when his family begged him to....Maybe we should have realized he’s sick. This was the first indication that violence would manifest without help. In my opinion by that point it’s too late.” • The Miami Herald says that : "Lowy hasn’t spoken to Sayoc in a decade but he still represents Sayoc’s mother and two sisters. He met the mother, Madeleine Giardiello, at a local hospital Friday, where she was recovering from surgery, he said. She’s a lifelong Democrat but her son never showed much interest in politics and had never voted until two years ago, she told Lowy. 'His family is very distraught. They feel horrible for the community,' Lowy said. 'They feel bad for the people that were hurt by his crazy message and actions. And they are sorry and sad for their son to be in this situation. They wish he had gotten the help he needed.' ” • Another Miami Herald article published on Saturday corroborates Ron Lowy's view of Sayoc : "His former boss at a Fort Lauderdale pizza restaurant said Sayoc, who worked there as a delivery driver during the graveyard shift,would openly mock her for her sexuality and proclaim his love for Adolf Hitler and ethnic cleansing. 'When he found out I was a lesbian the second day, he told me I should burn in hell and I was a deformity, that God made a mistake with me and I should go on an island with Hillary Clinton and Rachel Maddow and Ellen Degeneres and President Barack Obama and all the misfits of the world,' said Debra Gureghian, the general manager at New River Pizza & Fresh Kitchen, where Sayoc worked from January 2017 to January 2018. Gureghian, a lesbian, said she could not fire Sayoc for his racist and bigoted views. She said Sayoc appeared to have a split personality of sorts. In the same breath, the 'dependable' employee would call her a pimple on a flea and still loyally follow her every command. 'My mother used to tell me all the time, be kind to people, maybe he’s sick, maybe he’s suffering, maybe something happened to him. And that’s what I kept saying,' she said. There were days I would go in the back and cry.'....Sayoc carried around a 'beautiful' hunting knife in a suede pouch, but never got into fights with co-workers and did not seem like a threat, Gureghian said. If he had his way, though, the United States would wipe Hispanics, blacks and gays off the map. 'The Hispanics, they don’t speak any English, we got to get rid of them,' he would say. 'And we got to get rid of the blacks, all they do is steal, and the gays and lesbians are never going to have any kids, so they’re deformed, we’ve got to get rid of them.' He was all about that, Gureghian said. 'It never escalated. What you got with Cesar was what you got. I never thought he would hurt me.'....she was floored by the news that he was the prime suspect in a cross-country bomb scare. 'I can’t believe that he could pull this off,' she said. 'That blows me away. They’re saying he had a disability. This guy was very articulate. When we spoke, he was very knowledgeable. He was very articulate, very well groomed. Reliable, dependable, never had any customer complaints,' she said. 'I couldn’t fire him. I’m not the owner. I’ve had other people threaten me when I had to fire them. I found him a threat to my emotional head, the toxic-ness, but I didn’t find him a threat that I was fearful of my life.' ” • • • DID SAYOC ACT ALONE? The Miami Herald wrote on Friday that the federal authorities have widened the search for others who may have helped the South Florida mail-bomb suspect. The quick arrest of Cesar Sayoc, a homeless man living in his van on charges of sending more than a dozen mail bombs to notable Democrats around the country, may have signaled the climax of a massive federal investigation during the past week -- but it’s far from over, says the Miami Herald. "Federal agents are still searching for other possible suspects in South Florida who may have helped Cesar Sayoc, the former stripper and self-described entertainment promoter who was arrested at an auto parts store in Plantation Friday. Friday night, FBI agents questioned a person at a Broward County residence with a potential connection to Sayoc, but nothing came of the interview, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the probe. Investigators are also analyzing Sayoc’s impounded van in which he lived and allegedly built the pipe bombs because it contains a trove of valuable evidence, from explosive-device materials to credit-card receipts. They say the vehicle, covered with attacks on critics of President Donald Trump, directly links the 56-year-old Aventura man to the crime of mailing explosive devices from South Florida to the Democratic targets. Among them : former President Barack Obama, former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, actor Robert DeNiro and billionaire financier and political megadonor George Soros." • The Miami Herald says : "According to sources, Sayoc told FBI agents and other authorities during a brief interview at the bureau’s South Florida field office in Miramar that he never meant to hurt any of the intended targets -- though the FBI’s director later said the pipe bombs were not 'hoax devices.' Sayoc eventually clammed up, invoking his Miranda rights and asking to speak with a lawyer." • Federal agents, said the Miami Herald, "also scrutinized Sayoc’s voluminous social media posts, his cellphone records and his movements throughout South Florida to link him to the threats against Democratic targets. Sources told the Miami Herald that those database searches did not reveal evidence that Sayoc was influenced by any terrorist organizations, including ISIS. The notorious Middle Eastern terrorist group’s propaganda has been posted on social media of several convicted felons who attempted to carry out past bombings in South Florida." • FBI Director Christopher Wray would not say if there might be other potential suspects associated with the bomb-filled packages, citing the ongoing investigation. But the FBI director warned there could still be other suspicious envelopes en route to political targets : “Today’s arrest does not mean we’re out of the woods. There may be other packages in transit now -- other packages on the way.” • • • DEAR READERS, did Sayoc act alone? We can't answer that question now, BUT if the FBI, Sayoc's former lawyer, and one of Sayoc's former employers are right, it seems that Cesar Sayoc does not act as most adults do and perhaps does not have a sufficiently high IQ to plan and carry out such a complex mail bomb scheme alone. His alleged statement to the FBI that he didn't mean to hurt anyone supports that supposition. • Jim O'Neill of Canada Free Press says : "Less than two weeks before the vitally important mid-term elections a zealous Trump fanatic mails faux bombs to various Democratic shills for violence against Republicans -- gee what a coincidence right? I’m not buying the spoon-fed media narrative for a nano-second. The Loony-Bomber is too made-to-order, too Hollywood central casting, too polished to be believed. But no one ever accused the Left of being coy and understated -- ruthless, sly, and manipulative, yes, but coy and understated, no. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was arrested wearing an 'I Love Deplorables' t-shirt, MAGA cap, and sporting a big ol’ 'Kill a Commie for Christ' button pinned to his shirt. One wonders if there’s a Jack Ruby waiting in the wings. I’m not buying the spoon-fed media narrative for a nano-second. The whole thing stinks of a pre-planned Deep State setup. Having the government and media p—s on your leg and tell you it’s raining year after year tends to make you a tad leery when it comes to trusting them. Color me skeptical…extremely skeptical. • American Thinker's Daniel John Sobieski says : "Something still doesn’t pass the smell test. In a moment of time where merely wearing a 'MAGA' hat can get you fired, beat up, or merely harangued out of your favorite eatery, we are asked to believe that Cesar Altieri Sayoc was allowed to drive around safely in a van abundantly and meticulously adorned with pro-Trump stickers and a few depicting his personal animus toward the usual anti-Trump suspects, all of their colors vibrant, un-faded in the semitropical Florida sun. The van was never overturned or torched wherever he parked or drove it. No tires were ever slashed, no windows were ever smashed in with a baseball bat. It was never even keyed. And there it was in pristine condition, undamaged and ready for its close-up before a media avid to blame President Trump for Sayoc's actions. Why would an ardent or, as the media will say, “unhinged” Trump supporter, watching, as the rest of us have, the so-called 'blue wave' break up before it reaches shore amidst a roaring economy and widespread outrage over the treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the oncoming illegal alien caravan invasion, do something so idiotic, something that could only slow the Trump train and help Democrats blame 'both sides' and Trump’s allegedly 'toxic rhetoric.' One observer asked the obvious question : 'Why does Cesar Sayoc, the alleged 'MAGABomber,' follow mainly liberals on Twitter and have a van covered in brand new pro-President Donald Trump stickers? It's as if he isn’t a supporter and wants it pinned on the President. A noted pundit made another observation that is curious : 'Cesar Sayoc -- the alleged mail bomber -- had Trump stickers all over his vehicle. But on Twitter, he only follows 32 people -- many of whom are left-wingers like Lina Dunham, Barack Obama and Jimmy Kimmel. What gives?' Indeed, what gives? Before we haul down the false flag, it might be worth trying to answer that question. It just doesn’t make sense, but maybe Sayoc is a few fries short of a happy meal and logic does not apply. Logic will certainly not apply to Trump critics who are already blaming for Sayoc’s actions a resident of the White House one celebrity has thought of blowing up, whose severed head replica has been held up by another celebrity, whom a top Hollywood actor would like to punch in the face as another notes that it has been a long time since an actor assassinated a President. Toxic atmosphere and toxic rhetoric indeed....Let us consider who are the real inspirers of violence and where the real threat to civility and life rests. And let us answer the curious questions surrounding Cesar Altieri Sayoc." • We know that the Democrat Party is in deep trouble approaching the mid-terms -- Central American migrants about to assault the US southern border shouting their approval of Democrat immigration policies and the Democrat Party's search for "voters" legal or illegal to close the gap with President Trump's energized GOP; and, the sorry spectacle Democrats made of themselves over the Supreme Court nomination hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, with paid protesters disrupting the Senate on cue, and Senator Feinstein callously trying to destroy Judge Kavanaugh by using Fake innuendos and smears about him, followed by violent demonstrations after Kavanaugh’s confirmation that only made the Democrats look worse. Then, there were Republican Senators confronted at their offices and on elevators, protesters who broke through police cordons and beat and scratched at the Supreme Court doors, apparently trying to break in and disrupt the swearing-in ceremonies. Liberal icons such as Hillary Clinton, former attorney general Eric Holder, and Senator Cory Booker were on TV using words that seemed to encourage the incivility and disruptions. • Most Americans are sick and tired of the violence and lies and vicious attacks on President Trump and conservatives that are picked up by the ProgDem media and expanded into the disgusting "Trump sympathises with terrorists" language that we heard on MSNBC Friday. The Democrats are so far out of step with America that Senator Elizabeth Warren actually thought a miniscule percentage of Indian blood as proved by a DNA test was actually going to catapult her into a front row seat fort he 2020 presidency. • Now, we hear that the chairmen of the Democrat and Republican campaign committees are calling for a reduction in the "rhetoric." FIRST -- let's hear na apology form the Democrat Party and its congressional leadership. Let's hear that they have decided not to continue to help stonewall the requests of congressional committees for FBI/DOJ documents. Let's hear that the Democrats in Congress will step up and help enact reasonable immigration reform. Let's hear the Democrat Party condemn voting fraud and clean up their Party's voter rolls to get rid of illegals posing as citizens. Let's hear the Democrat Party say that there is no evidence of "collusion" between President Trump and Russia. Let's hear the Democrat Party announce that the Mueller special counsel joke should be shut down. Let's hear hear the Democrat Parry agree to a real examination of the corrupt and illegal actions on the Obama administration in using the FBI and DOJ for political surveillance against the GOP and its President. And, let's hear the Democrat Party announce that President Trump is the US President and they will work with him to the extent that normal party differences allow, without labeling him or his supporters as nazis, racists, white supremacists or misogynists. THEN, AND ONLY THEN, we Republicans will begin to put some -- not total but some -- trust in their words and actions. • Patricia McCarthy wrote on American Thinker : "Whoever the maker of the fake bombs turns out to be is, as Roger Simon asserted, irrelevant. It is the mainstream media that are the malefactors in our life and time. Jeff Zucker of CNN blamed Trump for the fake mail bombs, as if CNN is not hugely responsible for the vicious political climate. Anchors on CNN, like those on MSNBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and ABC, regularly lie, omit news they do not like, and strive to indoctrinate how we all think about every issue that affects us all day after day. They should be ignored because they do not report the news. They are the enemy of truth and the American way. If ever there were a sign that we should all vote and vote Republican, this ridiculous fake bomb scare is it." • The duplicity, ruthlessness, and arrogance of the Progressives and their Democrat Partry and media are real and they are killing American politics. We must not let the Democrats anywhere near the reins of power again. Vote straight Republican on November 6. Send President Trump (and We the People) vital help. State, local, or federal election, it makes no difference, VOTE REPUBLICAN.