SAY NO TO CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTIONS
by Burt Prelutsky
If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. burtprelutsky@icloud.com


Ever since I first heard Mark Levin calling for a Constitutional Convention, I thought it was one of the stupidest ideas that had come down the pike in years. It’s not that I had anything against a balanced budget. Actually, I’m all for it, but the notion that a Convention could pull off something that is far beyond the capacity of the U.S. Congress should be apparent to anyone who has considered it for more than two seconds.

After all, those who’d congregate at such a gathering would have to represent all 50 states. Passage of anything, including the minutes of the meeting, would require that three-quarters of the states, meaning 38, would have to agree, should be enough to convince even a child of the futility of the enterprise.

Keep in mind that unless Democrats played a representative role in the convention, it would carry no more weight than the decisions my friends and I arrive at during our occasional lunches at our favorite bar-be-cue joint.

When even as lousy a candidate like liar-Hillary Clinton can carry 19 states, what are the chances that 38 will agree to balance the budget or even whether to order red or white wine at dinner? Perhaps, some people took Barack liar-nObama seriously when he announced there were 57 states!

But it’s not just conservatives who believe in the magical powers of a Constitutional Convention to push their agenda. According to an article by Christian Gomez that appeared in the December issue of The New American, leftists are also looking to rewrite the Constitution in order to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case and to radically revise the wording of the Second Amendment.

The Nation, a decades-old magazine known for its far left-wing editorial policy, has already begun running articles bearing titles such as “The U.S. Constitution Is Over Two Centuries Old and Showing Its Age.”

The only good news when it comes to the proposed Convention is that the crazies on the Left are even less likely to garner 38 votes than the naïve fools on the Right.

* It occurs to me that Harvey Weinstein must be an even better negotiator than Donald Trump. After all, when Satan barters for someone’s eternal soul, his standard offer, we’re told, is limited to seven years. But, Harvey somehow managed to carve out a deal that lasted for well over 30 years.

I can only assume that Satan saw Weinstein as a loss-leader, as it were, as a way to bait the likes of Matt Lauer, Al Franken, Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose, Roger Ailes, Kevin Spacey, Eric Bolling, Bill Cosby, Louis C.K. and liar-Bill Clinton, into signing on the dotted line.

* When I was young, I always thought it was silly when a school nurse would ask me how I thought my hearing or vision stacked up. Assuming I wasn’t constantly asking people to repeat themselves or bumping into walls, how could I tell? After all, I didn’t know how well other people saw or heard. I suppose if I had been colorblind and kept hearing people describing things as blue or red, I might have had a suspicion I was missing something.

It’s similar to the quirks in our brains. For instance, I have a difficult time grasping science and mechanics. On the other hand, I am rarely stumped or even slowed down by riddles.

Recently, while reading “The Steel Kiss,” a novel by Jeffrey Deaver, one of the characters is presented with a couple of riddles. In the first he is asked how it can be that two sons and two fathers go fishing, that each catches a fish, and yet, without first eating one of the fish, they return home with only three fish between them.

In the second, he is asked what one thing a person will find at both the beginning of eternity and at the end of time and space.

As with sight and sound, I don’t know how to measure others’ ability to solve riddles. I knew the answers to both immediately, but, unlike learned skills such as repairing a car’s engine or fixing a leaky pipe, which I don’t possess, I can’t take any credit for it. It just happens to be the way my mind operates. I will provide the answers to the riddles at the end of this article.

* One of the small mysteries of life I haven’t solved is why some women and many of the more effeminate homosexual men insist on clapping with their hands held vertically, with their fingers pointing skyward.

Is it something that comes naturally to them or is it a learned affectation, and, if the latter, what message is it meant to convey to those of us who clap normally?

* It warmed the cockles of my heart to see the New Year’s Eve revelers in Times Square freezing their own precious cockles. That’s because Manhattan could be regarded as the epicenter of the global warming hoax. If you were counting the true believers who subscribe to scum-Al Gore’s favorite fantasy, you would probably find more of them per-square mile there than anywhere else on earth. And if you tossed in the NY Times, it wouldn’t even be a contest.

Speaking of the new year, it’s shaping up to be a good one now that Donald Trump is on the pitcher's mound, and Barack liar-nObama is relegated to booing from the bleachers.

While we’re on the subject of the worst ex-president in American history, why is it that so many of the same people who are convinced that Russia attempted to interfere in America’s democratic process in 2016, were so strangely silent when it came to liar-nObama’s sending his operatives to Israel in 2015 in a failed attempt to help Isaac Herzog defeat Benjamin Netanyahu?

* Speaking of hypocrites, some writers can give politicians, even liberal ones, a run for their money when it comes to hypocrisy.

When I was young and impressionable, two of my favorite writers were William Saroyan and J.D. Salinger. They both struck me as honest, warm-spirited and approachable.

However, when in my 20s, I met Saroyan in the editorial office of a New York-based magazine for which we both had assignments, I, admittedly a fan, asked if I could interview him at his Fresno home when we both returned to California. He told me I would have to submit my questions in writing. I explained that the way I worked was to prepare a few basic questions and then to engage my subject in conversation, and see what developed. He refused to budge, as did I. So, no interview.

Therefore, I wasn’t surprised to read that when his ex-wife, Carol, who went on to marry Walter Matthau, was asked to sum up her former husband, reported: “Bill loved humanity, but he hated people.”

In the case of Salinger, he had the protagonist in his most famous work, “The Catcher in the Rye,” Holden Caulfield famously say: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.”

What a big phony, as young Caulfield would say. Not only did Salinger make sure that none of his legion of fans could call him, he became a recluse on his New England acreage and lived out the remainder of his life giving a world-class imitation of a hermit, not only making himself unavailable to fans and journalists, but threatening to sue anyone who wished to write about him or publish his letters.

Saroyan, Salinger and most of our politicians, aren’t the only people employing false fronts. From personal experience, I’ve found that some of the biggest frauds are to be found among the ranks of conservative talk show hosts, including a few who wear their religion on their sleeve.

* Although I don’t believe I’m a hypocrite, I do make occasional mistakes. Recently, I made one that was a real pip. In an article that included reasons I would probably choose some form of Christianity if I were to adopt a religion at this late date, I wrote that one of the reasons I admired Christians was that they “took to arms to protect those who were out to exterminate the world’s Jews 70-odd years ago.” It was obviously intended to read: “…took to arms to protect the world’s Jews from those who were out to exterminate them…”

I can only blame my failing eyesight and the tiny font on my new computer.

** Answers to the riddles. (1) The fishing party included a grandfather, his son and his grandson. In other words, two fathers, two sons, but only three people. (2) It is the letter “e,” which appears at the beginning of “eternity” and at the end of both “time” and “space.”

If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. burtprelutsky@icloud.com

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The man does not know what the hell he is talking about. Artical 5 Of The Constitution is Convention Of States. Founded by the Founding Fathers Of America.

Hank

I suggest you contact Burt and express your thoughts to him

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LIGHTER SIDE

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

ALERT ALERT

FBI Text Should Alarm Every American

Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the reported FBI lovebirds, are the poster children for the next “Don’t Text and Investigate” public service ads airing soon at an FBI office near you.

Their extraordinary texting affair on their government phones has given the FBI a black eye, laying bare a raw political bias brought into the workplace that agents are supposed to check at the door when they strap on their guns and badges.

It is no longer in dispute that they held animus for Donald Trump, who was a subject of their Russia probe, or that they openly discussed using the powers of their office to “stop” Trumpfrom becoming president. The only question is whether any official acts they took in the Russia collusion probe were driven by those sentiments.

The Justice Department’s inspector general is endeavoring to answer that question.

For any American who wants an answer sooner, there are just five words, among the thousands of suggestive texts Page and Strzok exchanged, that you should read.

That passage was transmitted on May 19, 2017. “There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.

The date of the text long has intrigued investigators: It is two days after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump and the Russia campaign.

Since the text was turned over to Congress, investigators wondered whether it referred to the evidence against the Trump campaign.

This month, they finally got the chance to ask. Strzok declined to say — but Page, during a closed-door interview with lawmakers, confirmed in the most pained and contorted way that the message in fact referred to the quality of the Russia case, according to multiple eyewitnesses.

The admission is deeply consequential. It means Rosenstein unleashed the most awesome powers of a special counsel to investigate an allegation that the key FBI officials, driving the investigation for 10 months beforehand, did not think was “there.”

By the time of the text and Mueller’s appointment, the FBI’s best counterintelligence agents had had plenty of time to dig. They knowingly used a dossier funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign — which contained uncorroborated allegations — to persuade the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to issue a warrant to monitor Trump campaign adviser Carter Page (no relation to Lisa Page).

They sat on Carter Page’s phones and emails for nearly six months without getting evidence that would warrant prosecuting him. The evidence they had gathered was deemed so weak that their boss, then-FBI Director James Comey, was forced to admit to Congress after being fired by Trump that the core allegation remained substantially uncorroborated.

In other words, they had a big nothing burger. And, based on that empty-calorie dish, Rosenstein authorized the buffet menu of a special prosecutor that has cost America millions of dollars and months of political strife.

The work product Strzok created to justify the collusion probe now has been shown to be inferior: A Clinton-hired contractor produced multiple documents accusing Trump of wrongdoing during the election; each was routed to the FBI through a different source or was used to seed news articles with similar allegations that further built an uncorroborated public narrative of Trump-Russia collusion. Most troubling, the FBI relied on at least one of those news stories to justify the FISA warrant against Carter Page.

That sort of multifaceted allegation machine, which can be traced back to a single source, is known in spy craft as “circular intelligence reporting,” and it’s the sort of bad product that professional spooks are trained to spot and reject.

But Team Strzok kept pushing it through the system, causing a major escalation of a probe for which, by his own words, he knew had “no big there there.”

The answer as to why a pro such as Strzok would take such action has become clearer, at least to congressional investigators. That clarity comes from the context of the other emails and text messages that surrounded the May 19, 2017, declaration.

It turns out that what Strzok and Lisa Page were really doing that day was debating whether they should stay with the FBI and try to rise through the ranks to the level of an assistant director (AD) or join Mueller’s special counsel team.

“Who gives a f*ck, one more AD like [redacted] or whoever?” Strzok wrote, weighing the merits of promotion, before apparently suggesting what would be a more attractive role: “An investigation leading to impeachment?”

Lisa Page apparently realized the conversation had gone too far and tried to reel it in. “We should stop having this conversation here,” she texted back, adding later it was important to examine “the different realistic outcomes of this case.”

A few minutes later Strzok texted his own handicap of the Russia evidence: “You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there’s no big there there.”

So the FBI agents who helped drive the Russia collusion narrative — as well as Rosenstein’s decision to appoint Mueller — apparently knew all along that the evidence was going to lead to “nothing” and, yet, they proceeded because they thought there was still a possibility of impeachment.

Impeachment is a political outcome. The only logical conclusion, then, that congressional investigators can make is that political bias led these agents to press an investigation forward to achieve the political outcome of impeachment, even though their professional training told them it had “no big there there.”

And that, by definition, is political bias in action.

How concerned you are by this conduct is almost certainly affected by your love or hatred for Trump. But put yourself for a second in the hot seat of an investigation by the same FBI cast of characters: You are under investigation for a crime the agents don’t think occurred, but the investigation still advances because the desired outcome is to get you fired from your job.

TEA PARTY TARGET

 Trump Poised To Take
 Control Of The Federal Reserve 

  • The Fed doesn’t stabilize markets and money — it does the opposite
  • President Trump sharply criticized the Federal Reserve this week, saying interest rate increases are hurting the economy.
  • Trump will have the opportunity to fashion the central bank in the image he would like as he has four vacancies to fill on the board of governors.
  • The result could be a more politicized Fed.

President Donald Trump has multiple reasons as to why he should take control of the Federal Reserve. He will do so both because he can and because his broader policies argue that he should do so. The president is anti-overregulating American industry. The Fed is a leader in pushing stringent regulation on the nation. By raising interest rates and stopping the growth in the money supply it stands in the way of further growth in the American economy.

First, He Can

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve is required to have seven members. It has three. Two of the current governors were put into their position by President Trump. Two more have been nominated by the president and are awaiting confirmation by the Senate. After these two are put on the Fed’s board, the president will then nominate two more to follow them. In essence, it is possible that six of the seven Board members will be put in place by Trump.

The Federal Open Market Committee has 12 members and sets the nation’s monetary policy. Seven of the 12 are the members of the Board of Governors. Five additional are Federal Reserve district bank presidents. Other than the head of the Fed bank in New York, who was nominated by the president, the other four can only take their positions as district bank presidents if the board in Washington agrees to their hiring. One of these, the Fed Bank president in Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, is already arguing for no further rate increases.

Second, Regulation

Following the passage of the Dodd Frank Act in July 2010, the Fed was given enormous power to regulate the banking industry. It moved quickly to implement a number of new rules. The Fed set up a system that would penalize banks that failed to obey its new rules. These rules included setting limits as to how big an individual bank could be; how much money the banks had to invest in fed funds and Treasurys as a percent of their assets; which loans were desirable and which were not; where the banks had to obtain their funding and many, many, more up to and including how much a bank could pay its investors in dividends.

These rules have meaningfully slowed bank investments in the economy (the Volcker Rule) and they have had a crippling effect on bank lending in the housing markets (other agencies have had an impact here also).

Thus, of all of the government agencies the Fed has been possibly the most restrictive. The president has already moved to correct these excesses by putting in place a new Fed Governor (Randal Quarles) to regulate the banking industry.

Three, Killing Economic Growth

In the second quarter of 2018, the growth in non-seasonally adjusted money supply (M2) has been zero. That’s right, the money supply did not grow at all. This is because the Fed is shrinking its balance sheet ultimately by $50 billion per month. In addition, the Fed has raised interest rates seven times since Q4 2015. Supposedly there are five more rate increases coming.

This is the tightest monetary policy since Paul Volcker headed the institution in the mid-1980s. It will be recalled his policies led to back-to-back recessions. Current Fed monetary policy is directly in conflict with the president’s economic goals.

Moreover, the Treasury is estimating it will pay $415 billion in interest on the federal debt in this fiscal year. A better estimate might be $450 billion if rates keep going up. There are a lot of bridges and tunnels and jobs that could be created with this money.

Then there is inflation. It is likely to rise if the Fed eases its policies. If that happens paying down the federal debt becomes easier. On a less desirable note, higher interest rates lower real estate values. Lower rates that stimulate inflation increase real estate values.

Bottom Line

The president can and will take control of the Fed. It may be recalled when the law was written creating the Federal Reserve the secretary of the Treasury was designated as the head of the Federal Reserve. We are going to return to that era. Like it or not the Fed is about to be politicized.

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