Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"The Shadowy Network of Rand Paul’s Old Fundraising Machine"

For those of you trying to catch-up on the developing Ron Paul Inc scandal and how it relates to operators around Rand Paul, David Weigel put out a good backgrounder in March, here.

Today Marks 225 Years of Hamiltonianism

By Chris Rossini

A little history is in order for today, the 225th Anniversary of the U.S. Treasury.

As I detailed in Set Money Free, the Federal Reserve didn't just pop out of the skies one day in 1913. Nor was The Fed the first attempt at central banking in America. It just happened to be the one that stuck.

The first central bank, The Bank of North America, was driven through the Continental Congress by Robert Morris in 1781. It failed in 1783.

In 1787, there occurred the ever-important Coup in Philadelphia, and in 1789 the U.S. Treasury opened its doors. Tom DiLorenzo explains:
Morris did not give up on his scheme. He recruited a young Alexander Hamilton to serve more or less as his political puppet within the Washington administration. (Rothbard called Hamilton "Morris's youthful disciple.") In fact, the reason why Hamilton became Treasury secretary, despite having no reputation at all in the field of finance, was the recommendation by Morris to George Washington.

So the Coup in Philly was a success, and Morris's man was in place as U.S. Treasury Secretary. Now for the coup de gras.

Just two years later, in 1791, Hamilton would push the next attempt at central banking through Congress. It would be called The First Bank of The United States. The bank's President would be none other than Thomas Willing, former partner of Robert Morris!

The First Bank would be closed (by Thomas Jefferson). Shortly after, The Second Bank would be created, and also closed (this time by Andrew Jackson). However, the avalanche was in motion. In 1913, the financier for Empire would finally stick.

It all began (first with the Coup in Philly) followed by Alexander Hamilton, and the interests behind him.

The story (and damage) of Hamilton does not end there. Please see Tom DiLorenzo's: Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution--and What It Means for Americans Today



ISIS Claims To Have Beheaded A Second U.S. Journalist

The Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) has released a video  purportedly showing the beheaded of a second U.S. journalist who was being held hostage by the group. Steven Joel Sotloff reported for Time and Foreign Policy magazine. He has been held hostage since August 2013.

“I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing,” Sotloff says in the video.
“Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?” Two militant can be seen at his side, holding knives.

(via ThinkProgress)

Rubin Slams Rand Paul "Staff Problem"

Jennifer "Crazy Lady" Rubin appears to have figured it out:
Does Rand Paul have a staff problem?... His 2010 campaign chief Jesse Benton, his father’s former 2012 campaign director and expected 2016 campaign chief, was forced to resign from Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) campaign over controversy swirling in an Iowa bribery scandal. (Also being mentioned is another familiar face in the Paul family political operation, Dmitri Kesari.) 
Other aides have problems of their own. Longtime confidante Doug Stafford was allegedly caught on tape directing funds from a 501c(4) group to political candidates, part of a longstanding issued concerning the Right to Work organization and affiliated groups. It is hard to find someone in his inner circle who does not have a nose for trouble. (Rand Paul’s communications chief Brian Darling was forced to resign from former senator Mel Martinez’s office in 2005 after being identified as the author of an objectionable memo on the Terry Schiavo affair and denying his authorship.)
Expect many more attacks like this from Democrats, neocons and establishment Republicans, especially as the DOJ takes its next step. The establishment Republicans may be most aggressive in the attacks, as they attempt to make the developing crisis a "Rand Problem" versus a Republican problem.

-RW

Unions and Government Workers

It's no wonder that Obama snuggles up to unions. Ira Stoll on the role played by unions in the public sector:
If there’s a day of the year to notice the paradox of organized labor, Labor Day is it. The paradox is this: even as private sector unionism has declined, public sector unionism is in some ways more influential than ever.

The numbers tell the story. Among private sector employees — the ones who work for for-profit companies or non-profit organizations that are not part of the government — the percentage who belong to labor unions plummeted to a mere 7.5% last year, from 23.3% in 1977, according to UnionStats.com. By the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ more restrictive accounting, a mere 6.7% of private sector workers were in unions in 2013.

Among government workers, it’s a whole different story: 40.8% of local government workers — teachers, police, firefighters, librarians — belong to unions, according to the BLS numbers. The public sector rate drops to 35.3% (38.7% by the UnionStats.com numbers) if you include state and federal employees — postal workers, corrections officers. That’s so much higher than the private sector that it’s almost a tale of two labor movements — one, in the private sector, that is diminishing to irrelevance, and another, in the public sector, that retains substantial clout.

Public sector unions are so important that it’s impossible to tell the story of the big city and state governments without accounting for their influence. It’d be impossible to understand public education in America, for example, without knowing about the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association and the roles they play in electing local government officials and in negotiating contracts with detailed work rules and protections for teachers. Likewise, one can’t understand the California state budget without understanding the enormous power of the union that represents that state’s prison guards. The power of public sector unions also explains why retired city bus drivers and teachers have generous, guaranteed, taxpayer-funded defined-benefit pensions, while private sector workers and entrepreneurs must save for their own retirements.
Read the rest here.

5 Feminist Myths That Will Not Die

By Christina Hoff Sommers

If we're genuinely committed to improving the circumstances of women, we need to get the facts straight

Much of what we hear about the plight of American women is false. Some faux facts have been repeated so often they are almost beyond the reach of critical analysis. Though they are baseless, these canards have become the foundation of Congressional debates, the inspiration for new legislation and the focus of college programs. Here are five of the most popular myths that should be rejected by all who are genuinely committed to improving the circumstances of women:

MYTH 1: Women are half the world’s population, working two-thirds of the world’s working hours, receiving 10% of the world’s income, owning less than 1% of the world’s property.

FACTS: This injustice confection is routinely quoted by advocacy groups, the World Bank, Oxfam and the United Nations. It is sheer fabrication. More than 15 years ago, Sussex University experts on gender and development Sally Baden and Anne Marie Goetz, repudiated the claim: “The figure was made up by someone working at the UN because it seemed to her to represent the scale of gender-based inequality at the time.” But there is no evidence that it was ever accurate, and it certainly is not today.

Precise figures do not exist, but no serious economist believes women earn only 10% of the world’s income or own only 1% of property.

Read the rest here.

NYC Voters Were Not Big Fans of Abraham Lincoln

So says Bill Morgan in NYT:
New York may have been the largest city in the Union during the Civil War, but most of its inhabitants were strongly opposed to the conflict – if not downright hostile to the Union’s war aims. During the secession crisis of 1861, the pro-Confederate mayor Fernando Wood even proposed seceding from the Union and establishing itself as an independent city-state, neither for nor against the North or the South.

The antiwar sentiment was mostly commercial in motive: Most people in the city felt that conducting a war against the Southern states would prove to be bad for business. Southerners owed tens of millions of dollars to New York banks, New York shipowners provided Southern cotton producers with the means to get their products to markets and poor New Yorkers believed that the abolition of slavery would flood the city with cheap black labor, putting newly arrived immigrants out of work.

These feelings only grew during the war, and came to a head during the 1864 presidential race. Indeed, few people today realize that Abraham Lincoln was not the popular choice of the people of New York City in either of his presidential runs. He not only failed to carry the city in either election, but in fact lost by landslides. It was only due to his strong Republican support from upstate New York voters that Lincoln managed to carry the state’s 33 electoral votes.

New Tom Woods Book

A new Tom Woods book is scheduled to be released in 4 weeks, Real Dissent: A Libertarian Sets Fire to the Index Card of Allowable Opinion.

Here are the book's ten parts (each of which contains multiple chapters):

Part I: War and Propaganda
Part II: Capitalism and Anti-Capitalism
Part III: Libertarianism Attacked, and My Replies
Part IV: Ron Paul and Forbidden Truths
Part V: End the Fed
Part VI: History and Liberty
Part VII: When Libertarians Go Wrong [on people who don't quite get their own philosophy]
Part VIII: Books You May Have Missed
Part IX: Talking Liberty: Selected Tom Woods Show Interviews
Part X: Back to Basics
Afterword: How I Evaded the Gatekeepers of Approved Opinion

The Kindle edition of the book is already available for pre-order for only $3.99 here.

Mrs. Ron Paul: They are going after my son!

EPJ has learned that Carol Paul, the wife of Ron Paul, has been telling close associates that the developing Ron Paul Inc. scandal is about going after Rand, and to a significant degree she is correct.

I would say that many of the early players in the developing scandal just wanted to clean out what they viewed as bad, incompetent political operators, around both Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann. As far as the Ron Paul actors, they were for removing  Ron Paul Inc. operatives who were not interested in maintaining a consistent libertarian posture on issues, especially when it came to foreign policy.

However, since the initial investigation has caught the eye of the Department of Justice in a big way, this is going way beyond Kent Sorenson, Dmitri Kesari and Jesse Benton.

This is about going after the entire Republican Party, with Mitch McConnell and Rand as the main targets, or at least their campaign operations as big targets.

As I have pointed out, the DOJ lawyers involved with this case were involved in the Justice Department takedown of Jack Abramhoff. In other words, these lawyers aren't in this to get low level players.

The speculation as to where this scandal goes consists of two threads, both of which go through Rand, but the ultimate target being the Republican mainstream.

The first thread centers around the National Right to Work Committee. It appears that investigators are focusing on activities in a number of states where NRWC may have broken campaign laws. This includes Iowa and Montana, where we know grand jury investigations are on going or have taken place. It also includes Kentucky and Indiana, at a minimum. And there is an apparent investigation with regard to an unusual payment made by a Colorado oil fracker, to the tune of $500,000.

Rand's problem is that Dmitri Kesari, who is at the epicenter of the under-the-table payoffs to Kent Sorenson, appears to have been involved with NRWC activities that "helped" Rand in his 2010 Senate election camapign but that may have been illegal.

If indictments come down from this direction, it will be bloody for Rand. The degree of damage is not yet certain, but there is a list of top Rand campaign staffers that may be involved. It appears that the government has subpoenaed the emails of most of these staffers.

The final target is not Rand  but he is right smack in the middle of the road that the DOJ bulldozer is heading down, and there is no incentive for DOJ to just go around Rand. The ultimate target appears to be the NRWC and related organizationa. If DOJ can show numerous illegal activities on the part of NRWC via involvement in election campaigns, then the the Obama administration can justify the recent aggressive IRS activities against conservative political groups. "Hey, look at the illegal activities they were up to. We were justified in looking at them closely." Thus, a political problem is muted for the Democrats and is flipped on to the Republicans.

The second thread of speculation centers around what kind of deal was cut between Rand and McConnell, which ultimately resulted in Rand endorsing McConnell over the Tea Paty candidate Matt Bevin.

The speculation includes the idea that part of the deal included McConnell agreeing to help out Rand in the Kentucky legislature to get a bill passed that would allow Rand to run simultaneously for both his Kentucky US senate seat and the presidency at the same time, something that is not allowed by Kentucky law at present.

This comes back around to Dmitri Kesari, who was working the Kentucky legislature at the time the bill first came up  for a vote (It failed to pass by just a few votes.). At that same time Kesari was working the Kentucky legislature, curiously, McConnell was making payments to Kesari into one of Kesari's infamous shell companies. Those, who know Kesari, wonder just exactly what he did for the money and suggest that this is probably proving a fruitful direction for government investigators.

Time will tell, how all this plays out.. Rand is very unlikely to be directly linked, but Mrs. Paul is correct, it is about going after Rand...and beyond.

-RW 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Obama Calls for Minimum Wage Hike

Yes, lets keep the low productivity urban primitives from ever experiencing what it is like to have a job and get a weekly pay check. Let's raise the minimum wage so high that there is no chance that they are ever legally hired by anyone.

President Obama earlier today renewed his call to raise the federal minimum wage. It is not an accident that he did so while addressing a crowd of about 6,000 people gathered in Milwaukee at a festival hosted by the local A.F.L.-C.I.O..

The most significant beneficiaries of high minimum wages are unions, since the high minimum wage prevents competition from those willing to work for less.

Once again we see that Obama is nothing but a black man's Mussolini. He is not about helping "the people," he is about helping the crones.

-RW

California Bill Would Require All College Sexual Encounters to Be Approved by College Administration or the State

I am not making this up. From California Senate Bill 967:
This bill would require the governing boards of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions, in order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, to adopt policies concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking that include certain elements, including an affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by a complainant...
 An affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity. “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.
In other words, before sex could occur, a form something along the lines of this would have to be filled out perhaps multiple times during an encounter.

Tom Woods Comments on the Developing Ron Paul Inc. Scandal



NEW Anti-Mitch McConnell Commercial: Your Bribery Scandal Stinks

You just knew this stuff was going to happen.

Burgers and BMWs Highlight Rise of North Korea’s Private Economy

By Simon Mundy

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0aec028e-3184-11e4-b2fd-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3C5uySR58

At the fast food bar in Pyongyang’s Munsu Water Park, a hamburger sells for 10,000 North Korean won – nominally equivalent to $76, three to five times a typical worker’s monthly wage.

On an adjacent balcony, Ryang Gwang Jin sits in bathing shorts drinking beer with a friend, overlooking the swimming pool that opened last year as one of the North Korean regime’s most vaunted recent achievements.

Mr Ryang, who says he is an intercity truck driver, paid Won20,000 for his entry ticket – but the 39-year-old seems unperturbed by the apparently extortionate price, as do the many boisterous families playing in the pool below.

On a five-day visit by the Financial Times to one of the world’s most repressive regimes it was impossible to confirm how many of the hundreds of visitors had paid the full admission charge. But the lofty published prices at the Munsu park show the extent to which the rules of North Korea’s private economy have pervaded many areas of life in the country.

Informal markets took off after a severe famine in the 1990s, and have supplanted the state as the main source of livelihood for two-thirds of people, estimates Andrei Lankov, an expert on North Korea at Seoul’s Kookmin University.

Prices in these markets far exceed what would be expected based on official monthly salaries of a few thousand won a month. Now state amenities appear to be following suit. The Munsu entry fee might be a fortune at the official exchange rate of Won132 to the dollar but that figure is meaningless in the country’s black market, where a rate of about Won 8,000 applies.

An Economist Walks Into a Bar

The US Government is Getting Increasingly Assertive Against Corporate America


Europe Fantastic Bond Bubble: How The Central Banks Have Unleashed Monumental Speculation

By David Stockman

Capitalism gets into deep trouble when the price of financial assets becomes completely disconnected from economic reality and common sense. What ensues is rampant speculation in which financial gamblers careen from one hot money play to the next, leaving the financial system distorted and

The Fed Is All Up In Your Grill (Labor Day Food Inflation)

By Chris Rossini

CNNMoney has the rundown:

Hamburgers +10.3%
Cheese +7.1%
Steaks +9%
Pork Chops +10.4%
Hot Dogs +6.9%
Chicken +3%

Tell 'em it's 2%



Anti-Obamacare Practice Booms