Why Are Trump’s Justice Department Appointees Protecting the IRS?

Various media sources have reported that federal District Court Judge Reggie Walton has ordered the IRS to finally respond to various legal requests for information and documents made by the conservative tea party organizations that sued the agency.

But the question that no one is asking is why that order was even necessary, and why the Justice Department, which is now supposedly under the control and authority of the new administration, hasn’t reversed its obstinate, inflexible, and stubborn defense of the IRS.

It was over four years ago that the inspector general for tax administration at the Treasury Department released a report detailing that the IRS had targeted conservative nonprofit organizations seeking tax-exempt status, and that then-IRS employee Lois Lerner admitted what had been happening at an American Bar Association meeting in Washington.

The inspector general report found that officials were delaying the processing of applications and requesting voluminous, unnecessary, and irrelevant information, due to the perceived opposition of the nonprofits to liberal policies being promulgated by President Barack Obama and their association with the tea party movement.

The IRS targeting also included, according to an internal memo, any organization “involved in limiting/expanding government [and] educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

Apparently, the IRS considered educating Americans about their constitutional rights something that should be impeded.

Dozens of organizations, including Linchpins of Liberty and tea party groups as geographically dispersed as the Honolulu Tea Party and the Myrtle Beach Tea Party, filed a federal lawsuit in May 2013 in the District of Columbia.

Ever since then, the Tax Division of the Justice Department, which is currently headed by acting Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert, has put up a mulish fight defending the IRS, including doing everything it can to prevent the IRS from having to provide any of the information and documentation that the plaintiffs are seeking about the targeting.

On Aug. 15, Walton held a hearing on the discovery battle that the Justice Department has been waging. At the hearing, according to The Washington Times and Fox News, Walton told the Justice Department that it was time for the IRS to finally fully disclose what happened internally at the agency, to “lay it on the line” and “put it out there.”

The Justice Department’s lawyer, Laura Conner, told Walton that the IRS should not be forced to “respond to far-reaching inquiries.” But Walton asked, “Why hide the ball? If there’s nothing there, there’s nothing there.”

On Aug. 17, Walton issued a written order telling the government to do an extensive search of IRS records relevant to the organizations that were targeted from May 2009, the earliest that any of the organizations had an application for tax-exempt status pending, to March 2015, the date of a subsequent Treasury Department inspector general report.

Most importantly, Walton ordered the IRS to answer a series of questions. These include the following:

1. Why was tax-exempt status delayed for each of the nonprofits in this lawsuit?

2. Who were the IRS employees involved in the decisions that resulted in the delays in granting tax-exempt status?

3. What specific actions has the IRS taken to remedy the discrimination the organizations experienced?

All of this is well and good since it means that the IRS—after four years of delays—is going to finally have to tell us who (in addition to Lerner) planned, organized, and participated in the abuse of the government’s tax power to target Americans for their participation in the political process, their opposition to Obama and liberal policies, and their support for the Constitution and the rule of law.

Walton’s order is a significant victory for the plaintiffs in this lawsuit. But why were this hearing and this order even necessary in the first place?

As soon as President Donald Trump was inaugurated and the first members of the Trump transition team landed at the Justice Department, one of the first steps they should have taken was to order the Tax Division to stop its deliberate litigation strategy of fighting all attempts to ferret out what exactly happened at the IRS, and who was responsible for it.

Instead, the Justice Department has continued to obstruct discovery in this lawsuit that has been going on for four long years, resulting in Walton’s Aug. 17 order against the IRS and the Justice Department.

Even worse is the fact that during the Obama administration, the Justice Department filed a motion for summary judgment asking Walton to entirely dismiss this lawsuit.

This position should have been reversed the moment the Trump administration came into office. Instead, on Feb. 2, two weeks after the president was inaugurated, Hubbert filed another pleading in support of its motion for summary judgment, arguing once again that the IRS should not have to produce any information or documents and that the tea party groups’ lawsuit should be thrown out.

What are the political appointees at the Justice Department doing? Why are they continuing to protect the IRS? Why are they trying to stop the efforts to find out who at the IRS was responsible for this abusive behavior?

And while we are on the subject of the IRS scandal, why haven’t Trump’s political appointees at the Justice Department reversed the refusal of Ronald Machen, former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, (who was an Obama appointee) to enforce the contempt citation issued by the House of Representatives against Lerner for her refusal to cooperate with the congressional committee investigating this abusive conduct?

As I have previously explained, Machen’s attempted justification of that refusal was legally wrong. His claim that Lerner had not waived her Fifth Amendment right was factually incorrect and contrary to the direct case law prevailing in the District of Columbia.

Lerner’s contempt citation can and should be presented to a federal grand jury as required under 2 U.S.C. §194, which states that it is the “duty” of the U.S. attorney “to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action.”

Machen refused to carry out that duty and so far, unfortunately, the new management at the Justice Department has also failed to carry out that duty, as well at its responsibility to hold the IRS responsible for its dangerous misbehavior. (For more from the author of “Why Are Trump’s Justice Department Appointees Protecting the IRS?” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Wake Up: The Trump Revolution Is Over

In late August 2009, there was not a single office of a single agency within a single department of the Obama administration that was not inexorably committed to the former president’s transformational agenda. Fast-forward eight years, and there is almost no agency within the Trump administration that is committed to the principles of the supposed Trump agenda or at least the underlying expectation motivating those who cast their ballots for the Donald.

With the firing of Steve Bannon, there is now not a single potent force countering the Obama deep state and Trump’s liberal “shallow state” of appointees. The Trump revolution has been eclipsed. And unlike the solar eclipse, the duration of the “totality” will not be limited to a few minutes; it appears to be terminal. Personnel is policy.

Steve Bannon was a controversial figure even among many conservatives. However, while he was not a traditional conservative, he did recognize the need to engage in mortal combat against the corrosive mentality of the political elites. He was the only bulwark against the liberal appointees who guided Trump leftward and contradicted all of his campaign promises. With Bannon out of the administration, the last anti-establishment voice will be gone. Prepare for the complete takeover of the West Wing engineered by Jared Kushner and the other New York Democrats. With congressional Republicans and the broader party structure already completely divorced from conservatism, the death of the Trump administration should serve as the final nail in the coffin for those who believed the GOP could ever serve as a vehicle for positive change.

Some of us predicted this outcome a long time ago. We knew that, although Trump’s rhetoric tapped into the deep disquiet of those who felt betrayed by the conventional party leaders, his lack of principles, character flaws, and personal connections to leftists would turn his administration into the very essence of what voters rejected when they pulled the lever for the unconventional candidate. I take no pride in being proven right about Trump. The important thing at this point is for everyone to recognize the reality of this administration and unite to form a new movement, one that is built upon principle and guided by those who will place those principles first.

From time to time, Trump will continue to tantalize us with his tweets, rhetoric, and campaign-style rallies, channeling our indictments of the political class or professing some of our deeply held beliefs. But given the personnel in his administration, the policy outcomes will almost never match his rhetoric in any meaningful way. His administration has become part of the muck in the swamp.

Conservatives now stand at a crossroads. We can expend all our resources and political capital on playing defense and defending every scandal, fake scandal, and rhetorical dust-up in this administration because we hate the media and the Democrats. We can take solace in “but Gorsuch,” “but Hillary,” and “at least we’re fighting the media,” or we can take our destiny into our own hands and declare independence from all of this nonsense, standing on our own principles. It’s time to start a new movement and a new party, built upon fresh ideas on federalism, the role of the courts, health care reform, a balanced foreign policy placing America’s interests first, a stable civil society, and protecting our national sovereignty.

At some point, those who saddled us with Trump in the presidential primary need to understand that this is not just about the company the president keeps. It’s about the man himself. Everything is personal with him. This has nothing to do with a revolution, certainly not an American-style revolution. This is why he has no problem hiring and maintaining swamp creatures. And according to Axios, these liberal figures plan on staying long-term because they know they will control the policy outcomes.

To be clear, I maintain the same position I’ve espoused for two years — that Trump is not the problem; it’s just that he won’t be the solution. And in spectacular fashion, overshadowing the absurdity depicted in Animal Farm, his revolution has morphed into the very swamp it claimed to be draining.

But unlike Republican opponents of Trump, many of us recognize that while the Trump administration is irreparably broken, the broader party long ago became irremediably broken as well. We are not one election of Marco Rubio or Ben Sasse away from healing the party. This party will never work for us.

Some might think that following the Obamacare betrayal, there will be a revolution during next year’s primaries. Not so. Aside from Judge Roy Moore, every conservative candidate has failed to win, and they will continue to fail because the establishment candidates use their superior fire power to lie and run on our issues. Just last week, a de facto Democrat won a conservative Utah district because the state has essentially nullified its convention system. I’ve explained before why using the Utah convention model is the only way to win enough seats to transform the party from within. Yet now, even Utah gutted its convention system and allowed a liberal to overturn the results of a convention with a primary.

Primaries are all about money and name ID, which is why our founders didn’t trust direct democracy and preferred representative republicanism embodied in a convention. That was the system that persisted in party primaries until Teddy Roosevelt and the progressives changed it. It’s no coincidence that in 2016, Ted Cruz won all the conventions and Trump won most of the primaries. Name ID is everything.

We are stuck with this failed system that ensures the Republican Party is irreparable. When Trump says things we agree with, by all means go and defend him. But just understand that it’s extremely unlikely his administration will actually follow through with those policies, and even if he tries, he’ll be thwarted by an even more perfidious party leadership.

This is why we must abandon this dumpster fire and chart a path to a new party. There is no silver bullet. This will take a huge amount of hard work. Between growing the Federalist Party, going forward with the Convention of States, and electing people on the Republican line who will have zero allegiance to the party, we can prepare for an opportune moment to break out onto the political scene when it presents itself.

If, by the next solar eclipse in 2024, we are still debating Republicans and Democrats, we will long since have crossed the point of return, at which there’s nothing left over which to fight. (For more from the author of “Wake Up: The Trump Revolution Is Over” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Charlottesville and Boston Prove America Doesn’t Need Barbarians to Crash Its Gates; They’re Already Inside

As America once again picks up the rubble from one of its regularly scheduled race riots, the hatred and anger felt by the participants is spreading throughout the country. Black/White Left/Right division is now at one of the highest levels in recent years, again drawing Presidential commentary and endless coverage in the mainstream corporate press.

Social media is on fire with every inflammatory opinion one can imagine. All social ills are being placed on the shoulders of whites, blacks, Democrats, Republicans, and people long dead. Today, lines are being drawn between racial groups, political identities, and genders; and the average person doesn’t have a say in the matter, those lines are being drawn for them. At times, they are drawn by the media, other times by radical fanatics in the street hurling insults, fists, and feces at anyone who dares disagree or even dares not to agree with them. They are also drawn by the average American themselves, glued to their television screens and subjected to the “other” dealing verbal abuse and violence on the “us.”

Everyone is either denouncing white supremacy, white racism, and Nazis; or they are bashing Commies, blacks, and anyone on the left. Everyone is joining their “team” and preparing for battle, as if some racial or ideological coup will result in the betterment of their situation. Keyboard commandos are typing away that if the “us” can rid ourselves of the “other” we will somehow reach a new utopia. Fanatical ideologues from both the left and the right are in the streets preaching the same message.

Donald Trump has a role to play in this but it’s not what you think. Trump, whatever he may be, has been linked with white supremacy, white nationalism, and general racism when nothing in his campaign or his presidency has ever suggested that this is the case … The “left” in America immediately linked Trump with the Unite the Right Activists and demanded that he condemn only the right wing troublemakers. Trump, to his credit, denounced racism, hatred, and violence on both sides. For the “left,” however, that was not enough. Nothing is ever enough. Trump had to call out only whites and right wingers or he is a Nazi.

As a result of political pressure – itself a result of insanity and culture creation – Trump finally condemned the white protest groups and only the white protest groups, announcing a violation of the First and probably the Fourth Amendment should his new policy be taken to its logical conclusion. But that was not enough for the “left” because, like flag worship and worship of military “service” on the right, nothing is ever enough. But it might be enough to initiate an impeachment proceeding at some point in the future if he goes ahead with plans to target participants. Once again, it looks like Trump has been routed by the Deep State. Expect more foreign policy aggression and more domestic oppression in the very near future as the Deep State grabs the wheel and helps Trump keep it between the lines.

There are a number of questionable aspects to this event that should make people take a step back and think hard about what is happening here. The police, despite the violence and despite expecting the violence, stood down and let it continue. The car crasher narrative is full of fishy details such as his actual connection to white nationalist groups and a personal history that might raise red flags. Many white nationalist activists were not only from out of state but of questionable loyalties (from the point of view of the group itself) and Antifa had a very well-coordinated presence. Both sides were stacked with bodies from outside of Charlottesville.

And then came Boston. Once seen as the city where the concept that would be considered free speech was birthed, it may now be the city in which free speech comes to die. After all, it was recently the scene of 40,000 protesters who came to march against the concept of free speech itself, claiming free speech is just a cover for “Nazism.”

Ironically, most of the participants in the counter-rally in Boston were just typical Democrats and “leftists” who put about as much effort into research as one does choosing a breakfast cereal from the cabinet. Reading emotional headlines on Facebook about the Free Speech Rally which was really a gathering of scary “fascists,” “Nazis,” and “White Supremacists,” these individuals rushed out to save the world from non-violent demonstration and expression. Of course, the event was not a white supremacist rally; it was a rally to re-affirm the concept of free speech. It had individuals from every walk of life, race, gender, and political ideology. Black Lives Matter was invited to speak, but BLM refused to do so. Instead, BLM joined Antifa and other violent groups to attack the participants and engage in violence to make sure that free speech, not racist ideologies, is put back in the closet. No doubt most of the participants in the counter-protest thought they were fighting Nazis and the KKK. Antifa and BLM, however, were there to fight free speech.

It’s also ironic that so many radicalized leftists are now arguing that “free speech is just a cover for Nazism” and warn against the dangers of becoming a “free speech fetishist.” If this doesn’t solidify a person’s position as an enemy of free people, I don’t know what will.

There’s nothing like seeing a young lesbian being labeled a bigot and symbol of “Nazi hate.” There’s nothing like seeing a self-described “radical feminist” from the ’60s being shouted down as a “Nazi” by a man proclaiming to be fighting for “women’s rights.” Watching the live stream, I saw this very “radical feminist from the ’60s” trying to reason with unreasonable people, pointing out that, without free speech, she would never have been able to speak out for her cause decades ago. She was immediately decried as a fascist by the very group of people who are trying to eliminate her right to free speech. Is this not a hallmark of fascism? This level of cognitive dissonance is scarcely conceivable.

In another example of cognitive dissonance, the radicals of the “revolutionary left” claim that “free speech” is cover for Nazism and, since Nazism killed 6-14 million people, free speech should not be allowed in their case. However, following that logic, shouldn’t we prioritize banning the free speech of Antifa and BLM? After all, Communism killed at least 150 million people in two countries alone. Wouldn’t Communism then be the greater danger?

Obviously, free speech is free speech. So long as speech doesn’t become an overt act of violence (saying we should do something is different from actually doing it) or restriction of rights, etc., it must be allowed and protected. This is the case for BLM, Communists, flag burners and, yes, even Nazis. Freedom of Speech is the most basic human and civil right. It is the last line of defense for anyone with a grievance and for any oppressed minority. It must be protected and defended at all costs.

What is clear, though, is that Love did not Trump Hate in Boston. Hate and Fascism Trumped Freedom and Free Speech . . .

So congratulations to all the protesters who flooded the streets to protest free speech and have the most basic of human rights dismantled. You have made yourself the enemy of free people and of oppressed minorities everywhere.

Make no mistake, the events in Charlottesville and Boston are only the beginning of what is coming to America. This is not the result of two opposing sides at the grassroots; it is the Hegelian dialectic playing out once again, and the American people, true to form, are falling for it. Out of this problem, we have already seen the reaction and, soon, we will see a solution. Of course, that solution will come from the top down. I, personally, am convinced that these marches, rallies, and events have been carefully constructed to achieve an ultimate goal. The overwhelming majority of white supremacist groups have long been infiltrated and controlled by agents of the federal government, and there is scarcely a leftist group that can survive longer than two weeks without a paycheck from George Soros.

America is falling apart at the seams. It may soon become an unlivable country. As its empire continues to spread across the world and as the once most powerful economy on the face of the earth continues to hemorrhage jobs, the junk heap of infrastructure that was once the envy of the world is now the scene of skirmishes between increasingly radicalized people, hyped up on political and racial ideology, gender issues, sexuality, and religion. Unlike Rome, America won’t need Barbarians to crash its gates. They’re already inside.

The country that baptized itself in blood from the very beginning and has created entire generations of bloodthirsty citizens will then see the chickens of war and collapse come home to roost. (For more from the author of “Charlottesville and Boston Prove America Doesn’t Need Barbarians to Crash Its Gates; They’re Already Inside” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Before We Start Tearing Down Statues of Washington and Jefferson…

President Donald Trump questioned earlier this week where the tearing down of statues will end, wondering if George Washington and Thomas Jefferson will be next, given that they were slaveholders.

Many commentators have rightly pointed out following Trump’s comments that there is a major distinction to be made between Confederate war heroes like Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, who despite their personal virtues fought to tear the country apart, and Washington and Jefferson, who despite owning slaves played central roles in establishing the nation that has been the greatest experiment in liberty in world history.

Nonetheless Trump’s question does not seem so far-fetched in this age of political correctness. Rev. Al Sharpton called for the federal defunding of the Jefferson Memorial on Wednesday, saying it is an “insult to my family.”

A prominent Chicago pastor wants Washington’s statue removed from a city park named after the nation’s first president:

“When I see that, I see a person who fought for the liberties, and I see people that fought for the justice and freedom of white America, because at that moment, we were still chattel slavery, and was three-fifths of humans,” said Bishop James Dukes.

Before we start tearing down statues of Washington and Jefferson and others of the founding era, a brief review of the facts is in order.

First, it should be noted that many of the Founders recognized the evil of slavery and took steps to halt its growth and end it in the United States.

Slavery had existed in America since 1619 (about a century and a half before the founding of the nation in 1776), when it was introduced in the Virginia colony. However, with the onset of the Revolutionary War, several states took steps to abolish slavery. By the early 19th century all the states north of the Mason-Dixon Line had at least taken measures to begin abolishing slavery within their borders, though the process was gradual. By 1830, there were more than 120,000 free blacks in the north.

In 1787, the same year the Constitution was written, the Continental Congress adopted the Northwest Ordinance, which established the laws governing the territorial land encompassing the future states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. The ordinance specifically forbade the introduction of slavery in those lands.

Three years earlier, a similar provision failed to pass in the Ordinance of 1784 by one vote, due to one delegate being absent because of illness. That ordinance was the law governing all territorial lands (north and south), before passage of the Northwest Ordinance superseded it in the northern portion.

Jefferson, who had penned the provision making slavery illegal in the Ordinance of 1784, lamented, “Thus we see the fate of millions unborn hanging on the tongue of one man, and Heaven was silent in that awful moment! But it is to be hoped it will not always be silent, and that friends to the rights of human nature will prevail.”

However, an initial victory against slavery’s unmitigated growth had been achieved by limiting it to the Southern states.

Other victories happened at the Constitutional Convention itself, where George Washington presided.

The so-called three-fifths clause in the Constitution, dictating that the slave population would be counted as three-fifths of the non-slave population, was a compromise reached with the northern delegates to the constitutional convention who opposed slavery. It meant slave states would have less representation in the House of Representatives than a strict population count would have mandated, and thereby less power to strengthen and perpetuate slavery.

Another limit to the growth of slavery found in the Constitution gave Congress the power to end the importation of slaves in 1808 (approximately twenty years from the date the constitutional government took effect). Congress did so that year, and President Jefferson signed the bill into law.

George Washington, though a prominent member of the plantation society, grew to detest the institution of slavery.

During the Revolutionary War, black men, both free and slave, fought in the Continental Army, and Washington saw the inconsistency of these men fighting for liberty yet being held in bondage.

In response to a letter from one of his commanders, the Marquis de Lafayette, who in 1786, after the war, asked why the slaves could not be freed, Washington responded, “Would to God a like spirit (to liberate the slaves) would diffuse itself generally into the minds of the people of this country; but I despair seeing it.”

Washington noted that bills had been introduced in the Virginia legislature but could scarcely get a reading. He believed that if all the slaves were set free at once, a chaotic situation would ensue, leading to “much inconvenience and mischief” (probably referring to homelessness, poverty and crime due to the newly-released slaves’ dire circumstances); instead, he believed that a gradualist plan would best allow the former slaves to assimilate into society.

That same year, Washington also wrote New Jersey legislator Robert Morris, stating, “There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it; but there is only one effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that by legislative authority; and this as far as my suffrage is concerned will never be wanting.”

In his will, Washington freed his slaves, and he included provisions to pay for those who wanted to learn a trade.

Jefferson took multiple very public stands against slavery, including introducing several bills in the Virginia legislature to abolish it.

Each bill met stiff opposition, as Washington alluded to in his correspondence above, never even reaching the floor for a vote. After repeated attempts and much public maligning of the institution, Jefferson decided the time for the freeing of the slaves had not yet come.

Jefferson wrote passionately about the evils of the slave trade in the Declaration of Independence, identifying it as “cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty.” But that language was struck when the document came before the full Continental Congress, so as not to offend the body’s slave-holding members.

In Jefferson’s only book — Notes on the State of Virginia — published the same year the Constitutional Convention met, the Virginian wrote that the practice of slavery corrupts society and clearly contradicts God’s will.

“The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other,” he wrote. “Our children see this, and learn to imitate it, for man is an imitative animal.”

Looking to the future, Jefferson observed that unless the government acted to right this wrong, another armed revolution might occur at God’s instigation.

In that event, “(t)he Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest. God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever. …”

Jefferson’s words, which are etched in the walls of a memorial next to his statue on the Washington Mall, proved prophetic.

The Civil War erupted less than 40 years after Jefferson’s death in 1826, and ultimately decided the issue of slavery once and for all. More than 600,000 Americans sacrificed their lives in the nation’s most costly war.

While localities have every right to debate and decide, lawfully and peaceably, whether Confederate monuments in the public square are appropriate, the central role Washington and Jefferson played in establishing this country as “the land of the free” is beyond dispute.

We can and should continue to take pride in them as Americans.

Portions of this article are excerpted from my book We Hold These Truths. (For more from the author of “Before We Start Tearing Down Statues of Washington and Jefferson…” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Is Google Working With Liberal Groups to Snuff out Conservative Websites?

Google revealed in a blog post that it is now using machine learning to document “hate crimes and events” in America. They’ve partnered with liberal groups like ProPublica, BuzzFeed News, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to make information about “hate events” easily accessible to journalists. And now, there are troubling signs that this tool could be used to ferret out writers and websites that run afoul of the progressive orthodoxy.

In the announcement, Simon Rogers, data editor of Google News Labs, wrote:

Now, with ProPublica, we are launching a new machine learning tool to help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting.

The Documenting Hate News Index — built by the Google News Lab, data visualization studio Pitch Interactive and ProPublica — takes a raw feed of Google News articles from the past six months and uses the Google Cloud Natural Language API to create a visual tool to help reporters find news happening across the country. It’s a constantly-updating snapshot of data from this year, one which is valuable as a starting point to reporting on this area of news.

The Documenting Hate project launched in response to the lack of national data on hate crimes. While the FBI is required by law to collect data about hate crimes, the data is incomplete because local jurisdictions aren’t required to report incidents up to the federal government.

(Read more from “Is Google Working With Liberal Groups to Snuff out Conservative Websites?” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Can You Feel It? America Thrust Into Spiritual Darkness

What happened in Charlottesville last week was disgusting. Our hearts grieved as we watched folks marching in our streets who actually believe their race is better than others’. No one should have anything to do with that filth from Satan’s floor.

So this rally that took place ran against every grain of our being . . .

And since then, all the lawless insanity that has followed – including the media’s huge power grab to lump men and women of faith in with these supremacist nut jobs – is grieving, too.

Hearing Antifa (the hard left fringe group fomenting much of the violence) call for an escalation in tactics to stop Republicans or right-wingers from assembling or voicing their opinions is crazy. Antifa activists even labeled right-leaning speech violence, and now say they have a right to use self-defense or physical violence in return.

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter if it’s the “alt-right” (white supremacists) or hard-left (Antifa), any American with a soul abhors these groups. But what these groups – and the ongoing conflict we’re watching daily now – reveal to us is that we as a nation have entered a period of spiritual darkness, a darkness that can be felt. (Read more from “Can You Feel It? America Thrust Into Spiritual Darkness” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Google Insiders Warn ‘Outright Censorship’ of the Internet Is Google’s Top Priority… and Everyone Has Been Intimidated Into Silence

If the right to bear arms is the most important right outlined in the United States Constitution, then the freedom of speech is a close second. The Founding Fathers understood better than anyone that those who are in positions of power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree, and that tyranny will come to America unless those with authority are restrained. One way we restrain these authoritarian figures (namely the politicians in Washington DC) is by practicing our First Amendment rights to speak about, praise or criticize the direction in which the country is going. The freedom of speech allows us to hold politicians accountable, elect leaders that will govern in our best interests, and expel those who don’t. Without the ability to speak freely and openly, none of this is possible.

Currently, and sadly, the freedom of speech is under attack in America. The mainstream media, Hollywood and leftists on college campuses across the country have been the main culprits of the assault on free speech, however recently it has also been undermined on the Internet. More and more frequently, stories are emerging of conservative voices being suppressed or even silenced by various social media websites, search engines, and even Google.

Recently, a Google employee who goes by the alias “Hal” spoke to Breitbart News about the political bias that allegedly runs rampant throughout the company. Hal’s interview with Breitbart is the first in a series entitled “Rebels of Google,” which will be published in full within the next few days.

In the interview, Hal, who understandably chose to use a fake name out of fear of losing his job, spoke about the ongoing effort within Google to suppress certain content that the company doesn’t want the public to have easy access to.

“Many people now fear that Google, Facebook and other companies are moving to control and censor their content. Are these fears justified?” asked Breitbart reported Allum Bokhari. “That is absolutely what Google is trying to do,” Hal replied. “The pro-censorship voices are very loud, and they have the management’s ear. The anti-censorship people are afraid of retaliation, and people are afraid to openly support them because everyone in their management chain is constantly signaling their allegiance to far-left ideology. Our leadership (Sundar in particular) is weak, so he capitulates to the meanest bullies on the block.”

The news is particularly damning to conservatives, who in recent years have been working to establish a stronghold on the Internet considering the fact that all other outlets, from the mainstream media to Hollywood, are run by leftists. A prominent example of this is Mark Levin’s LevinTV, which is an Internet-based conservative program launched last year that puts out new episodes every weeknight. If Google is actively working to censor ideas and information that do not align with the progressive ideology, conservative voices on the Internet could be in serious trouble. Related: Google and Facebook algorithms create a whole new kind of censorship, warns News Corp CEO.)

Another area of the Internet where widespread censorship is occurring is on the Google-owned video sharing website, YouTube. Just days ago, YouTube revealed on their official blog that they would be taking action to censor what they consider to be “hate speech” and “violent extremism.” YouTube also plans on launching a “trusted flagger” program, which will help the video sharing website identify videos that contain hate speech and extremism. Unsurprisingly, one of the organizations tasked with identifying which videos are to be censored is the left wing No Hate Speech Movement, as well as the Anti-Defamation League.

With liberal censorship running rampant in the mainstream media, in Hollywood, on college campuses and across the Internet, our country needs pro-First Amendment voices now more than ever. Once the freedom of speech is gone, it is only a matter of time before an all-powerful authoritarian state is established and individual liberty in America ceases to exist. (For more from the author of “Google Insiders Warn ‘Outright Censorship’ of the Internet Is Google’s Top Priority… and Everyone Has Been Intimidated Into Silence” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Ben Shapiro Exposes the Media Agenda to Make You Scared of Trump

Filling in on “The Mark Levin Show” Thursday, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro exposed how the mainstream media is attempting to scare the American people in order to discredit President Trump with voters.

Shapiro played a clip of MSNBC’s Brian Williams admitting, “Our job tonight actually is to scare people to death.” The media agenda is to make people panic, to make people think President Trump cannot rationally handle nuclear weapons and the North Korean situation, Shapiro explained.

Listen:

“They’re trying to make it seem like the real villain in this entire scenario is President Trump,” Shapiro said.

Why? Because they hate the president … and that is all they care about. (For more from the author of “Ben Shapiro Exposes the Media Agenda to Make You Scared of Trump” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Insurance Cartel Making RECORD Profit. WHY More Illegal Bailouts?

The medical insurance industry subsists on more government favors than any other industry. Between the requirement to purchase insurance, the requirement that companies offer the insurance industry’s product, and the $275 billion tax exemption to offer their product (four times the size of mortgage interest deductions!), the insurance cartel is essentially a government-sponsored entity or public utility. It has done nothing for society, but has destroyed the patient-doctor relationship, prevented medical innovation, and raised costs astronomically.

Now that same medical insurance industry is asking for a bailout.

The answer must be a resounding “No!”

Last week, the top six health insurance companies (UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and Centene) reported $6 billion in combined adjusted profits for the second quarter of this year. According to CNBC, that’s up “29 percent from the same quarter a year ago — far outpacing the overall S&P 500 health care sector’s growth of 8.5 percent for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.”

As an unapologetic capitalist, I have no problem with the earning of record profits built off of free markets, innovation, and competition. Nobody begrudges the success of Apple and Amazon. But in medical insurance, prices are at a record high and the quality of the actual care is in the toilet — all thanks to venture socialism, not free markets. To quote Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren, “You didn’t build that.”

What is the source of their profit? You got it: taxpayers and public debt!

“The core business, which is providing coverage to large and mid-sized employers… and the established government programs, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care, have all done well.”

Many people forget that most of Medicare and Medicaid are not purely “public.” These programs are managed by “private” companies that line their pockets with unconstitutional government interventions and then use their rent-seeking status in the market to demand more subsidies lest they threaten higher prices. As CNBC explains:

Aetna now derives more than half of its revenue from government plans, and after abandoning its merger deal with Humana, the insurer is focused on growing its Medicare Advantage market share on its own in 2018 and 2019.

“The general trend is growing the portion of health care claims that are directly or indirectly paid by the federal government,” said health care ratings analyst Deep Banerjee, a director at S&P Global Ratings.

This is the literal meaning of venture socialism, when private companies earn their entire market share based on government capital, leaving the consumer in the lurch. They no longer need to compete for consumer satisfaction when government is the true consumer.

And let’s not forget the ill-conceived concept of employer-sponsored medical insurance, driven by $275 billion tax pork. Yes, $275 billion worth of lost wages — doing nothing but lining the pockets of the insurance cartel.

Imagine what would happen if the government mandated that everyone not only own a firearm, but purchase a specific type of firearm produced only by a few companies. Then employers would be required to purchase them for employees, and they’d get a collective $275 billion tax cut for doing so. In addition, the entire personal security for all the elderly and poor would be managed by those companies and their services, through $1.6 trillion in combined federal and state spending! They’d be pretty darn wealthy and have all the power in the world to lobby for endless subsidies. That, in a nutshell, is the exact situation in our critically ill health care system.

In addition, these same companies had the nerve to lobby for the insolvent Obamacare regulations and vociferously blocked any effort to repeal them. They are willing to go along with the regulations because 1) They keep new competitors from entering the market; 2) They have a vested interest in keeping the price of health care and insurance high; 3) They have a guaranteed flow of government subsidies to some consumers, states, and insurers to sugar-coat their price inflation; and 4) Unlike any other industry, they get to engage in price fixing — all enabled and sponsored by government tilting the playing field away from direct primary care and toward the insurance cartel.

In many respects, our system of venture socialism is worse than single-payer, because it combines socialism with the greed of capitalism. However, unlike capitalism, in venture socialism, government shields the private entities from market forces. It guarantees them an endless flow of public funds, consumer mandates, and regulatory favors (no anti-trust laws, but onerous coverage burdens to keep out new competitors) to remove any need to innovate and compete. Health care ratings analyst Deep Banerjee, as reported by CNBC, put it best:

“Even with a single payer in a public-private partnership, insurance companies are very involved in managing the costs, and actually running the program for the state or the federal government.”

The government has essentially handed the entire medical care field to the insurance and Big Health Care administration cartels. They would have never amassed their monopoly without government favors at every turn.

That is why the worst thing we can do is give into their tantrums and offer them more cost-sharing subsidies. We must move in the opposite direction entirely: Cut out insurance altogether from any special government favors and make insurance companies compete in the market like any other industry.

Even without fully or partially repealing Obamacare, there are a number of ways we can repair health care in this country and sever the stranglehold of the government-sponsored cartel on our health. We must place direct primary care and alternatives to insurance on an equal playing field. President Trump should explore the following reforms and put the insurance cartel on notice that he will no longer treat them as wards of the state:

Allow health-sharing associations to prosper and compete with insurance as a fully viable alternative. This model has proven extremely successful with health-sharing ministries. All we need to do is expand Section 5000A(d) of the ACA and exempt all new associations and non-religious sharing associations from the individual mandate penalty. Additionally, they should be afforded equal tax treatment through HSAs and the employer tax exclusion. This must be a centerpiece of any tax reform proposal. Watch the insurance cartel be forced to compete or die. (For more details, listen to podcast 130.)

Marshal true market forces by encouraging price transparency and ending price fixing. The reason health care is so expensive is because the insurance cartel is allowed to price-fix. Given that more than half of their revenue is from government and the other half is indirectly sponsored by government, there is no reason Congress could not prohibit any insurance contracts that inhibit providers from offering self-pay discounts to patients. Under current practice, given that the Medicaid and Medicare contracts are funneled through the insurance cartel, insurers prevent providers from offering discounts to those who self-pay. It is fundamentally unfair for the government programs to hurt private citizens who want to shop around like a regular market. Ending the price fixing would naturally lead to price transparency, which is the lynchpin of reducing charges and fostering competition. (For more details, listen to podcast 135.)

Cut out the cartel entirely from Medicaid and give the money directly to poor consumers in the form of regulated HSA accounts. This way we could provide them with better quality, more choices, and less stigma — all without self-perpetuating a death spiral of eye-popping debt and price increases that destroy the market for everyone else.

By enacting these true health care reforms, much of the debate over Obamacare and the repeal of Obamacare will become moot. We only have a health care problem because the federal government has elevated the insurance cartel to a status it would never have attained on its own. The Freedom Caucus should demand real health care reform in return for any debt ceiling increase, because the government focus on lining the pockets of the insurance cartel is the biggest driver of personal and national debt. Let’s level the playing field and see if a true free market would actually sustain the insurance companies’ Solyndra-style business model. (For more from the author of “Insurance Cartel Making RECORD Profit. WHY More Illegal Bailouts?” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Obama’s Legacy: A Nuclear North Korea. Will Trump Channel Reagan?

Your dog is hungry and has decided to employ the often-used strategy to get what he wants. He’s going to bark, for hours if necessary, until you finally relent and give him a biscuit. The yapping drives you crazy, so you figure the easiest thing to do to quiet your canine friend is to continue to reward him with treats. You probably realize that from the beginning, you should simply have ignored the dog’s howls, and he would likely have given up on the tactic long ago. But you didn’t want to have to deal with him. Now, instead of having trained the dog, the dog has trained you.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is the dog, and he’s barking louder than ever. He’s relying on past precedent, knowing that over the years, America has eventually given Pyongyang the biscuit, in the form of billions of dollars in assistance.

Through the past several administrations, Republicans and Democrats alike have rewarded North Korean saber-rattling with generous sums of financial aid. And time and time again, North Korea goes back to the well, using its nuclear program as a bargaining chip to receive massive amounts of cash. Since the 1990s, the United States government has sent the North Korean regime billions of dollars in exchange for the promise of dismantling its nuclear program.

Though humanitarian in principle, this aid allows the North Korean regime to continue allocating resources toward its military — in particular, to advance its nuclear weapons program.

It started with the “North Korea deal,” which was negotiated by at least one of the same individuals who bargained over the nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Iran. In October 1994, President Bill Clinton approved a deal to send $4 billion in “energy aid” to North Korea. In return, the Stalinist regime was supposed to “dismantle its nuclear weapons development program,” the New York Times reported at the time.

What Clinton officials naively overlooked was that they were creating an incentive for North Korea to continue, not halt, its nuke program, seeing billions more in potential aid over the horizon.

In 2007, the Bush administration celebrated a “deal” that delivered millions in “economic aid” to North Korea in exchange for Pyongyang’s agreement to “dismantle all of its nuclear facilities.”

Not all were convinced that it was the right play, including Donald Trump. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton warned at the time:

“This is like Lucy and Charlie Brown and the football. How many times are we going to go through this with them?”

But the aid continued into the Obama administration.

In 2012, under President Barack Obama, White House officials again rejoiced that the North Koreans were “suspending nuclear activities.” In exchange for 240,000 metric tons of food aid, North Korea “agreed” to suspend its nuclear programs. That program was cut short, but the Obama administration continued to send aid to North Korea up until the week Donald Trump was elected president.

Now, North Korea is back at it again, rattling the saber as usual under the Millennial leader Kim Jong Un.

On Tuesday, President Trump warned Pyongyang against more threats against the U.S., saying the regime would be met with “fire and fury.” Kim then threatened to bomb the U.S. territory of Guam. It’s difficult to determine whether the threat from Kim is serious. But what history does tells us is that Kim is engaging in the time-tested, proven strategy employed by his predecessors.

Due to the 20+ years of misguided capitulation by previous administrations, President Trump has a serious inherited challenge on his hands. Pyongyang is reportedly producing missile-ready nuclear weapons. Will this induce the Trump administration to deliver to North Korea what it wants, continuing to bolster the regime? Or instead, will Trump chart his own path and embrace the time-tested principles of “peace through strength” articulated by President Ronald Reagan? (For more from the author of “Obama’s Legacy: A Nuclear North Korea. Will Trump Channel Reagan?” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.