A number of things crystallized this week for your Editor.
First, reading the new book Hitler's First Hundred Days by Peter Fritzsche, essentially the story of the evolution of a democracy to a fascist police state against the backdrop of economic problems, societal polarization and state-sponsored terror, and it happened in only 100 days.
Second, observing the continual efforts to limit the freedom of our citizens, like Los Angeles' lockdown until August, the $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail for violating the Lina Hidalgo led Harris County stay-at-home order/mask order sure sounds familiar.
Third, the new short film on YouTube, Out of Touch with Kevin James, about informants calling the police on two friends who shook hands during COVID-19.
To your Editor, it seems like we are living in very scary times where our freedom and liberty are at stake.
As Ronald Reagan eloquently said years ago:
Michael Flynn's Mistreatment And Us
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same."
The Constitution is there to protect everyone regardless of their popularity or the lowlife criminal they are.
Let's be clear. General Flynn was the victim of a fake case set up by Barack Obama and his team. Then the Mueller special counsel team bankrupted and threatened his family to get a guilty plea. The Justice Department investigated and determined there was no crime, as there was no collusion with the Russians. We now know that at those closed door hearings conducted by Rep. Adam Schiff (D), no one, not Clapper, Comey, Brennan or anyone else under oath talked about any evidence regarding President Trump and Russian collusion. Note this didn't stop these idiots from going on TV regularly to say there was evidence.
Let's move on to the outrageous and quite frankly, impeachable offense of Judge Emmett Sullivan, who has become a prosecutor in robes. This last week, Sullivan issued an illegal, unconstitutional order permitting amicus curiae briefs to be filed on whether the case against Flynn can be dismissed as requested by the U.S. Department of Justice and supported by Flynn's attorney. It doesn't stop there because last Wednesday, Sullivan appointed a retired Judge Gleeson to present arguments in opposition to the governments Motion to Dismiss.
These acts are clearly a violation of separation of powers and a U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit decision in U.S. vs. Fokker (2016), which is direct precedent.
The Appeals Court in Fokker made crystal clear that in the instance of leave of court to dismiss, "So understood, the 'leave of court' authority gives no power to a district court to deny a prosecutor's Rule 48(a) motion to dismiss charges based on a disagreement with the prosecution's exercise of charging authority. For instance, a court cannot deny leave of court because of a view that the defendant should stand trial notwithstanding the prosecution's desire to dismiss the charges, or a view that any remaining charges fail adequately to redress the gravity of the defendant's alleged conduct. The authority to make such determinations remains with the Executive."
The Justice Department needs to file a Writ of Mandamus seeking an appellate order to dismiss the charges. While they are at it the case should be reassigned or returned to the District Court to another judge and Sullivan removed from the judiciary due to his outrageous extra-judicial conduct.
Harris County Clerk Quits,
Is There More Than Meets The Eye?
Diane Trautman, County Clerk in Harris County, Texas, having won in 2018 at the age of 66, now "says" she is quitting because "she is 70." She knew she was going to be 70 in her term when she ran.
So what's happening here? We at TCR hear the proverbial squeeze from Democrats like Rodney Ellis and his allies, who could have been pushing questionable ballot harvesting and on the other side, Attorney General Ken Paxton and the U.S. Justice Department that TCR hears has been investigating those alleged nefarious activities. We heard Trautman had enough and walked away.
The Democratic blog Off the Kuff is often insightful reading. TCR was impressed with this clear vision as to what is wrong with the Democratic Party promoting not qualified, mediocre (at best) candidates:
Lizzie Fletcher (CD 7-TX) Ran As A "Moderate"
"...I will just say, 2022 will be its own election, with a different context and likely smaller turnout due to the lack of a Presidential race. It's certainly possible that the robust candidate we hope to pick this year 9 referring to the open County Clerk's race) will get knocked off in 2022 by someone no one has heard of today. I will just say that we are not completely powerless to prevent such an outcome - I've been talking about the need to do a better job of promoting quality candidates at the statewide level for a couple of cycles now, following recent debacles in various down ballot low-profile primaries. The same prescription holds true here, with a combination of financial support to allow a visible campaign and visible support from the elected leaders who have as much of a vested interest in having the best person possible to run elections as the rest of us do. Pick the best possible person, then support that person going forward. It's not that complicated."
Who Could Work Across The Aisle,
A Report Card
A new study by the non-partisan Lugar Center reports the Bipartisan Index for House and Senate members in conjunction with Georgetown University.
How did Lizzie Fletcher do? She scored .22796, which put her way behind in bipartisanship comparisons with such Democratic Texas Representatives as Colin Allred, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Vicente Gonzalez and Henry Cuellar. Of the 435 members of the House, she is rated #122 in bipartisanship. Not very impressive.
If you look at her rate of support for leftist House Speaker Pelosi, it is in the high 90's percentile. She voted for the fraudulent Trump impeachment and voted last week for the $3 trillion Christmas tree bill, allegedly for COVID-19 relief ("HEROES Act"), which barely passed the House.
Let's see what Fletcher voted for in the HEROES Act. The bill was 1815 pages and released to review just 2 days before the vote. Did she read it? No committee hearings, no bipartisan involvement, so here are the crazy highlights:
- $755 million for the government for Washington, D.C. The bill would also allow the D.C. government to participate in the Federal Reserve's Municipal Liquidity (MLF) to support additional lending to the city.
- $1 million for the National Science Foundation to study the spread of coronavirus-related "disinformation."
- $10 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as well as $10 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
- Eliminates limitations on the federal deduction for the state and local taxes (SALT) and the SALT deductions, which primarily benefits wealthy citizens in largely Democrat states.
- Grants additional aid for State and local government bailouts. The bill contains $500 billion in funding for state government relief and $375 billion in aid to local governments. Senators such as Rick Scott (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have contended this will particularly aid irresponsible blue states such as California, New York, and Illinois to the detriment of fiscally responsible states such as Texas and Florida.
- $25 million for migrant and seasonal farmworkers, including emergency support services through the Department of Labor.
- $1.7 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions, $20 million for Howard University, $11 million for Gallaudet University, $11 million for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (in addition to their regular federal money).
- $15 million to maintain operations, rental assistance supportive services, and other actions to mitigate the impact on low-income people with HIV/AIDS through the Department of Housing Urban Development (HUD).
- Create a two-month special enrollment period for Obamacare. The bill also extends full premium subsidies to allow workers to maintain their health insurance coverage through COBRA.
- Allows Attorney General William Barr to make grants to states to create state-run hate crime reporting hotlines.
- Relief for up to $10,000 of up-front debt relief for all Department of Education loan borrowers.
- Authorizes up to $50 million in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "environmental justice" grants to investigate or address the disproportionate impact of coronavirus in environmental communities.
- $75 billion for housing assistance.
- Mandatory early voting for every state and mandatory mail-in ballots for every state. Note Madden, a press secretary for the House Oversight Committee Republicans, said it would "be a nightmare scenario for voter fraud."
- Allows wealthy people who make money from dividends and royalties to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is designed for lower-income Americans.
- Extends assistance designated for nonprofits to political action groups and chamber of commerce style associations. Open Markets Institute fellow Matt Stoller called it a "corporate lobbyist bailout." Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) noted that the bill has "70 appropriations in excess of a billion dollars each."
And this is just the beginning.
Lizzie Fletcher tricked the voters two years ago. It's time to replace her with a representative who works for us, not Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Wesley Hunt, West Point and Cornell University graduate, Iraqi war pilot and Houston born and raised. Hunt will represent us in Washington, D.C.
Gold Beats Conventional Investments
By Neland Nobel, Contributing Editor
Warren Buffet says gold is not an investment because it does not produce cash flow, and therefore, using the dividend discount model, it "can't be valued."
The chart below is for 5347 days. There are 20 trading days in a month or 240 days a year the market is open. So, if you figure it out, that is about 22 years. During that period gold bullion has beaten Buffet, the S&P, and the Wilshire index. And gold beat "standard" investments by more than a little. Not bad for a non-investment, huh? Who knew?
Now it could be argued I have cherry picked the period to be measured. Not really, I just am using the most data I have, but since our rolling financial crisis started around 1999, it is a good measure of relative performance when you have multiple crisis and Fed intervention. Starting around 20 years ago is legitimate for measuring. Just remember, past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
(Click for larger version)
Neland Nobel is an Arizona based free market economist and a contributing editor for TCR.
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About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his twenty-fifth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last nineteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 17 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 18th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on Houston Public Media TV 8 PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary serves on the Board of Directors of American Values, a national pro-family, pro-faith, conservative organization supporting the unity of the American people around the vision of our founding fathers and dedicated to reminding the public of the conservative principles fundamental to the survival of our nation. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.