~ Featuring ~
Social Security, Medicaid 
Rapidly Nearing Collapse 
by Louis DeBroux
Unleash the Potential of Federal Lands
by Daniel Di Martino
{ } ~ Over 1,900 local governments received $553 million from the Department of Interior this year to compensate them for lost tax revenue for federal lands... that cannot be developed in their territory. These payments are the consequence of more than 640 million acres of land or 28 percent of the U.S. territory owned by the federal government. The costs of federal ownership are not only payments to local governments, but environmental damage due to mismanagement and deferred maintenance, and the lost economic activity that cannot occur in 28 percent of the country. Of all federal land, 27.4 million acres are National Parks, while approximately 600 million acres are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. These government agencies allow grazing and other economic activities on federal lands in exchange for fees. However, since fees are not enough for the expenses of these agencies, the federal government spends several billion dollars per year to cover the difference...
Ethiopia-Eritrea: A New Hope for Peace
by Ahmed Charai
{ } ~ The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a declaration on July 9, ending a state of war between the two countries... It was a major step toward resolving one of post-colonial Africa's bloodiest and most protracted conflicts. The U.N. Security Council said the peace declaration signed by Ethiopia and Eritrea after 20 years as enemies "represents a historic and significant development with far-reaching positive consequences for the Horn of Africa and beyond." The council commended Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki for signing the agreement and welcomed their commitment "to resume diplomatic ties and open a new chapter of cooperation and partnership." A statement by the governing party of Ethiopia, the second-most populous country in Africa,  said it would "fully accept and implement" the agreement with Eritrea, a former province of Ethiopia, which was signed but never honored...
Why Do Palestinian Leaders Oppose Helping Their People?
by Bassam Tawil
{ } ~ For years, Palestinian leaders have been complaining that the Gaza Strip was "on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe."... Time and again, they have warned that unless the world helps the Palestinians living there, the Gaza Strip will "erupt like a volcano." Israel and the US are now offering to help improve the living conditions of the Palestinians living under Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip. But guess who is fiercely opposed to any attempt to resolve the "humanitarian and economic crisis" in the coastal enclave, home to some two million Palestinians? Answer: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his ruling Fatah faction. In the past few weeks, both Israel and the US administration have come up with different ideas to help the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. US envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, who recently visited the Middle East, are said to have presented initiatives that included providing necessities such as electricity, desalinating drinking water, employment opportunities and reviving the industrial zone in the Gaza Strip...
Justice Dept pulls virtual trigger for online 3D guns
{ } ~ In its settlement of a free speech lawsuit, the federal government has agreed to acknowledge that popular semi-automatic sporting rifles such as the AR-15 are not inherently military weapons... “Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby,” explained Alan M. Gottlieb, the founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. Gun-control activists frequently argue that military weapons are not appropriate for consumer use. But then they define consumer products such as the AR-15 to be a “military” weapon. The new admission by the government could affect many proposed bans across the nation...
liar-nObama-Nominated Judge 
Orders Return to Catch and Release Policy
by Shawn

{ } ~ liar-Obama-nominated Judge Dolly Gee dealt a blow to both the Trump administration and the rule of law on Monday with a ruling that orders a return to the failed... unethical, illegal catch-and-release policies that have allowed illegal immigration to get to the unmanageable state it is in today. Gee ruled that when an illegal immigrant crosses into the U.S. with a minor child, they must be processed and immediately released to await their court date. In practice, this means that very few of these migrants will ever be seen by immigration officials again. They will descend into the shadows and wait until we once again have a legislature and/or president who deems them fit for amnesty. Gee’s ruling comes about as a result of a case in which the Department of Justice asked the court for a revision to the 1997 Flores decision, in which the court ruled that child migrants could not be detained for more than 20 days. In order to get around the family separation crisis that led to so many terrible headlines, the Trump administration wanted to revise that ruling so that children and adults could be kept in detention together, solving two problems at once. In her decision on Monday, however, Gee stomped on any possibility of a compromise. The only solution thus left on the table is a return to catch-and-release; in other words, the abdication of American immigration law... .

Social Security, Medicaid Rapidly Nearing Collapse 

by Louis DeBroux:  For years, fiscal conservatives have warned of the ticking time bombs that are America’s entitlement programs and were rewarded with mockery and contempt, dismissed as “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Unfortunately, as readers of Aesop’s fables recall, in the end the wolf actually existed, and it devoured the sheep.

             Several recent reports combine to paint a frightening picture for America’s economic future if corrective action is not taken swiftly.
               The first is a recent report by the Social Security Board of Trustees. It reveals that for the first time since 1982, the program must dip into its trust fund to pay benefits because the fund is now running a $200 billion annual deficit even as the number of beneficiaries (60 million and rising, with an average of 10,000 Baby Boomers a day retiring through 2029) continues to skyrocket.
               This skyrocketing increase in beneficiaries is occurring at a time when Americans are having fewer children, or none at all (a staggering 60 million children have been aborted since Roe v. Wade, equivalent to killing the entire populations of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Georgia). These are children who will never live to enter the workforce or have families.
               When FDR established Social Security, there were 42 workers for every beneficiary. Today that ratio is 3:1 and quickly approaching 2:1. There are simply not enough workers to fund the full benefits for 60-80 million retirees.
               Even worse, bankruptcy is even nearer than we thought. According to researchers from Harvard and Dartmouth, the Social Security Trustees have been using antiquated accounting methods (which they describe as “steering by sextant and dead reckoning” rather than using “global-positioning-systems”) and outdated demographic information to paint a rosier picture of Social Security’s future than is warranted. Updated projections from the Trustees report that the program will be insolvent within 16 years, but with their outdated accounting methods, insolvency is likely to occur within the next 10 years.
               Politicians talk of a Social Security “trust fund,” but as the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein notes, the trust fund is “an accounting fiction that pretends that spending doesn’t ultimately all come from the bank accounts of taxpayers.” He further notes that, with politicians borrowing from it for decades to cover general budget expenditures, the “trust fund” is nothing more than $3 trillion in IOUs, meaning the money is gone unless we raise taxes on current workers to repay the IOUs.
               This is nothing more than “generational theft.” We must either slash benefits to current retirees by 25% or more, or raise payroll taxes significantly on current workers, placing a tremendous burden on working families.
               Up through 2010, retirees received more in benefits than they paid in contributions. That year, a couple received about $20,000 less than they paid in, and that ratio is getting worse each year. That is compounded by the fact that inflation drains even more from retirement accounts. According to a new study, Social Security benefits, due to rising costs and inflation, provide 34% less purchasing power than just 18 years ago.
               Clearly, the answer is private retirement accounts, which not only accrue wealth far greater than Social Security benefits (which are now losing money for retirees), with even modest returns on investment “allow[ing] middle-income earners to retire on six-figure incomes,” but unlike Social Security, there are property rights in private accounts.
               Americans would be shocked and outraged to discover that the Supreme Court has twice ruled that there is no right to Social Security benefits, regardless of how long or how much has been paid into the system. In Helvering v. Davis (1937), the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Social Security, agreeing with Asst. AG Robert Jackson’s argument: “There is no contract created by which any person becomes entitled… [to] a claim for any particular sum of money. Not only is there no contract implied but it is expressly negatived, because it is provided in the act, section 1104, that it may be repealed, altered, or amended in any of its provisions at any time.”
               The Supreme Court further expanded that ruling in Flemming v. Nestor (1960), concurring with the government’s argument that a beneficiary acquires no property right to benefits, stating that the claim that Social Security benefits are “fully accrued property rights” is “wholly erroneous.” For those who still doubt that Congress can reduce or even eliminate benefits at any time, the Social Security Administration states it right there on its website.
               So, barring a rare display of political bravery, which President George W. Bush and Speaker Paul Ryan were politically crucified for attempting with partial privatization, Congress will kick the can down the road until the house of cards collapses. Social Security is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, legal only because it is run by the government and more despicable because government forces us to participate in the fraud.
               The situation with Social Security is bad enough, but Medicaid is even worse, projected to be insolvent in just eight years. Couple this with a $20 trillion national debt, rising federal spending and an estimated $91 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities, and the situation is dire. The time to act is now, before the wolf eats us.

~The Patriot Post

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Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich


 Judge Orders Mueller To Prove  Russia Meddled In Election 

Judge Dabney L. Friedrich

A Washington federal judge on Thursday ordered special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to clarify election meddling claims lodged against a Russian company operated by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Bloomberg.

Concord Management and Consulting, LLC. – one of three businesses indicted by Mueller in February along with 13 individuals for election meddling, surprised the special counsel in April when they actually showed up in court to fight the charges. Mueller’s team tried to delay Concord from entering the case, arguing that thee Russian company not been properly served, however Judge Dabney Friedrich denied the request – effectively telling prosecutors ‘well, they’re here.’

Concord was accused in the indictment of supporting the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian ‘troll farm’ accused of trying to influence the 2016 US election.

On Thursday, Judge Freidrich asked Mueller’s prosecutors if she should assume they aren’t accusing Concord of violating US laws applicable to election expenditures and failure to register as a foreign agent.

Concord has asked Dabney to throw out the charges – claiming that Mueller’s office fabricated a crime, and that there is no law against interfering in elections.

According to the judge’s request for clarification, the Justice Department has argued that it doesn’t have to show that Concord had a legal duty to report its expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. Rather, the allegation is that the company knowingly engaged in deceptive acts that precluded the FEC, or the Justice Department, from ascertaining whether they had broken the law. -Bloomberg

On Monday, Friedrich raised questions over whether the special counsel’s office could prove a key element of their case – saying that it was “hard to see” how allegations of Russian influence were intended to interfere with US government operations vs. simply “confusing voters,” reports

During a 90-minute hearing, Friedrich questioned prosecutor Jonathan Kravis about how the government would be able to show the Russian defendants were aware of the Justice Department and FEC’s functions and then deliberately sought to skirt them.

“You still have to show knowledge of the agencies and what they do. How do you do that?” Friedrich asked.

Kravis, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, argued that the government needed only to show that Concord Management and the other defendants were generally aware that the U.S. government “regulates and monitors” foreign participation in American politics. That awareness, Kravis said, could be inferred from the Russians’ alleged creation of fake social media accounts that appeared to be run by U.S. citizens and “computer infrastructure” intended to mask the Russian origin of the influence operation.

“That is deception that is directed at a higher level,” Kravis said. Kravis appeared in court with Michael Dreeben, a top Justice Department appellate lawyer on detail to the special counsel’s office.

Concord pleaded not guilty in May. Their attorney, Eric Dubelier – a partner at Reed Smith, has described the election meddling charges as “make believe,” arguing on Monday that Mueller’s indictment against Concord “doesn’t charge a crime.”

“There is no statute of interfering with an election. There just isn’t,” said Dubelier, who added that Mueller’s office alleged a “made-up crime to fit the facts they have.”

Dubelier added that the case against Concord Management is the first in US history “where anyone has ever been charged with defrauding the Justice Department” through their failure to register under FARA.

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