theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer

Thursday, November 23, 2017


'Doing better than Ronald Reagan' to cut rules


WASHINGTON – Under the Obama administration, the White House, the Department of Justice and other federal agencies repeatedly circumvented Congress by using guidance memos to create de facto regulations, changing laws without going through the review process.
In less than a year, however, the Trump administration has dramatically scaled back government overreach, Merrill Matthews, a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, told WND.
“Guidance typically from the department means there is some question about how to do this, because of the way it was ambiguously written, so a federal agency would provide guidance. But the Obama administration, actually, greatly overstepped those limits in clarifying things to in essence create new law,” Matthews explained.
“The Trump administration is doing better than Ronald Reagan on reducing the flow of regulation,” he said, citing the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Obama ended his presidency with a record-shattering regulatory rulebook. The Federal Register topped off at 97,110 pages, an all-time high, with 18 regulations added for every new law .
While regulations and Federal Register pages, where agency rules and regulations are published, dropped more than one-third under President Reagan over several years, CEI notes, the Trump administration cut the number of pages in the Federal Register 32 percent in the first nine months of this year.
The Trump administration has saved $560 million by cutting  regulations, according to American Action Forum.
When Trump ran for president, he promised to slash as many as 80 percent of all federal regulations, and he is on his way to fulfilling that promise.
In a memo released Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions explained that the Department of Justice will no longer used guidance documents to amend current law, cement new regulatory requirements or create new rights or obligations beyond what is prescribed by law, as Obama’s Justice Department did.
“Simply sending a letter” to “make new rules” is unconstitutional, he noted.
“It has come to my attention that the department has in the past published guidance documents – or similar instruments of future effect by other names, such as letters to regulated entities – that effectively bind private parties without undergoing the rule-making process,” the memo states.
“Effective immediately, department components may not issue guidance documents that purport to create rights or obligations binding on persons or entities outside the executive branch (including state, local and tribal governments.) To avoid circumventing the rule-making process, department components should adhere to the following principles when issuing guidance documents.”
Sessions also said Friday that the department is ending “regulation-by-litigation.”
“The days of ‘sue and settle’ – when special interests could sue an agency, then get the agency to impose a new regulation in a settlement, often to advance an agenda – are over,” he said. “The Department of Justice is duty-bound to defend laws as they are written, regardless of whether or not the government likes the results. Our agencies must follow the law – not make it.”
A Regulatory Reform Task Force, led by Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, will also review existing DOJ documents to see if they need to be rescinded or modified.
The guidance documents and regulations Obama issued during the final months of his presidency had far-reaching implications for the coal industry, broadband customers, hunters, women seeking abortion at Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, and the firearms industry.
The school bathroom mandate was one of the most controversial guidance memos Obama issued. With the help of then-attorney general Loretta Lynch, he instructed public schools that receive federal funding to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice
Matthews pointed out the Civil Rights law of 1964 “states you cannot discriminate based upon race, creed, origin, religion and gender.”
“[What] the Obama administration did was expand that to gay people and transgender,” he said. “That was not covered under the civil rights legislation.”
He said Sessions is “scaling back guidance and restoring it to depend on what is actually legislated.”
“If Congress wants to extend these rights to transgender people, Congress has that option, but now the Justice Department isn’t going to go out and make that expansion themselves,” he said.
In February, Trump issued an order reversing Obama’s transgender policy.
Not only is the Justice Department reducing the scope of the executive branch, Matthews noted, but Trump began his presidency by rescinding onerous regulations issued by the Obama administration through executive order.
In January, Trump signed an executive order requiring that for every new federal regulation implemented, two must be rescinded.
Trump declared moments before signing the order that it “will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen.”
“There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be a normalized control where you can open your business and expand your business very easily. And that’s what our country has been all about,” he said.
“If you have a regulation you want, No. 1, we’re not gonna approve it because it’s already been approved probably in 17 different forms,” he said. “But if we do, the only way you have a chance is we have to knock out two regulations for every new regulation. So if there’s a new regulation, they have to knock out two.”
The Obama administration also used guidance memos to force businesses to provide abortion-causing drugs to their employees, David Christensen, the Family Research Council Vice President for Government Affairs, explained.
“The HHS contraception mandate is also subject to Obamacare through guidance on preventive care service to women. The actual contraception component, not actually written in the Affordable Care Act, but is Health Resources and Services Administration guidance document,” Christenson told WND.
“They didn’t have to put emergency contraceptives and sterilization drugs and devices in their guidance, but they did. Subject to that they were issuing regulations exempting religious employers. That’s an example of where a guidance document by an agency prompted whole armed-swath of lawsuits.”
Obama’s DOJ also completely disregarded Congress by reinterpreting the Wire Act, Christenson pointed out.
“The Wire Act prevented online sports gambling, but the DOJ in 2011 reinterpreted the Wire Act by executive fiat, legalizing a multi-billion-dollar industry in the United States that Congress had said was illegal,” he said.
“You look at the ramifications of what the Obama administration did across the board, both through regulations as well as these letters and agency guidance documents and it’s astonishing.”
Christenson said the Family Research Council is very pleased to see Sessions roll back that practice.
“When the executive branch goes beyond the statute, that’s a real problem with adhering with the rule of law,” he said.
“Presidents and executive agencies may not like certain laws but they are still supposed to enforce it. There are times where laws, you can change the regulation that implement the law and your change of regulation might be a legitimate interpretation of the statue. But you are not supposed to be creating law, and bypass Congress, just to meet your political lens, let alone doing it by memo.”
Earlier this year, Republicans in Congress used the Congressional Review Act, a legislative tool it used only once before, to overturn nearly half a dozen Obama-era federal regulations.
It reversed the rule Obama issued last December barring states from withholding federal family-planning funds from Planned Parenthood affiliates and other health clinics that provide abortions.
The American Action Forum calculated repealing the rules could save the economy millions of hours of paperwork, $3.7 billion in regulatory costs to the federal agencies and perhaps $35 billion in compliance costs for industry.

Mark Levin Lands FOX News Show

Mark Levin has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for president (LevinTV)

 Cheryl K. Chumley

Mark Levin, conservative radio host and noted author, has just announced a gig with Fox News for Sunday evenings.
It’s called “Life, Liberty & Levin.”
It’ll be about — what else? — politics and culture and all things current events.
“One of the most powerful conservative radio hosts, Mark Levin, is getting a weekend show on Fox News,’ tweeted Yashar Ali of New York Magazine fame, Mediaite noted. “Levin is not a household name like Hannity, but he wields enormous influence. Trump’s tweets about Obama wiretapping him were based on a conspiracy theory that Levinintroduced.”
Levin’s show follows fellow conservative radio star-turned-Fox Newser Laura Ingraham, who just kicked off “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox in late October. Sunday evenings just got a whole lot more interesting for news hounds, at least.


Happy Thanksgiving!

"In this spirit, Thanksgiving has become a day when Americans extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Long before there was a government welfare program, this spirit of voluntary giving was ingrained in the American character. Americans have always understood that, truly, one must give in order to receive. This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks."

Ronald Reagan 1981

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sebelius: Clinton White House Doubled Down on 'ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR'

It's Fair to Criticize Hillary Clinton
Kathleen Sebelius testifies as HHS Secretary before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2013.

Pete Jones

As a wave of stories unfold about sexual harassment and assault by men in power, a senior Democratic leader says her party should reflect on how it handled such charges when they were leveled against former President Bill Clinton.
"Not only did people look the other way, but they went after the women who came forward and accused him," says Kathleen Sebelius, the former secretary of Health and Human Services and Kansas governor. "And so it doubled down on not only bad behavior but abusive behavior. And then people attacked the victims."
Sebelius extended her criticism to Hillary Clinton, and the Clinton White House for what she called a strategy of dismissing and besmirching the women who stepped forward—a pattern she said is being repeated today by alleged perpetrators of sexual assault—saying that the criticism of the former first lady and Secretary of State was "absolutely" fair. Sebelius noted that the Clinton Administration's response was being imitated, adding that "you can watch that same pattern repeat, It needs to end. It needs to be over."
The comments came during a conversation with David Axelrod on the latest episode of "The Axe Files," a podcast produced by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.
While Sebelius was critical of both Clintons, she questioned whether the impeachment pursued by Republicans in Congress was the appropriate vehicle for addressing his transgressions.
Sebelius also refused to take a position on whether Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat, should step down in response to allegations of groping. She drew a distinction between Franken's reaction and those of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and several others, who have denied accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
"Franken has done something different than some of the other males involved," she said. "He first of all admitted behavior and apologized but immediately asked for an ethics investigation on himself." The others, she said, "have followed a very different path and it's a path that looks a lot more like what Bill Clinton did."
Sebelius acknowledged that the Senate Ethics Committee has a checkered history of policing such charges, but suggested that the intense focus on this issue will make it more difficult for the panel to ignore the behavior Franken had acknowledged or to bury its review in secrecy. "I don't think you can do that. And I think that Franken is likely to do some real soul searching in the meantime."
Recalling her own experiences in and around Kansas government decades ago, Sebelius, a former lobbyist and legislator, said she was saddened that the abusive behavior toward women she saw then is still pervasive today.
"It breaks my heart is to know that here we are 40 years later, and very much the same atmosphere prevails," she said. "And it's about power, it's never been about sex. It's all about power. And men who have power over women use that power and all kinds of ways."
Sebelius said that while she "had certainly my share of a variety of horrific situations, bosses," and people, that she was "protected, in that I didn't ever desperately need this job. I could walk out at any minute. I could walk away at any minute."
Calling for more attention on women who weren't in her comparatively privileged position, Sebelius said "there are so many women who can't do that; who need to feed their families; who need to be quiet because they are desperate for the work that they have and that, that needs to be blown up."
She also called on men to be part of the solution, urging them to "call out" other men for problematic behavior towards women. "I mean it's the same thing as having racial slurs joked about in a locker room," she said. "It's the same thing. You know people need to be called out and said that's not acceptable. We're not going to do that anymore. It's over."

Uranium One NOOSE is Tightening

Image result for uranium one

Thomas Lifson

Now that the FBI's informant on the Uranium One deal has been outed and the nondisclosure agreement formerly muzzling him abrogated, it is possible to see the outlines of the devastating case to be made against not just Hillary Clinton, but the entire Obama administration. Two intrepid reporters, John Solomon of The Hill and Sara Carter of Circa News and Sinclair Broadcasting, are gaining access to some of the reported 50,000 documents in the possession of William Campbell, the whistleblower who went to the FBI with the scary details of what appeared to him to be an illegal attempt by Russian entities to take over the world uranium market, including even the uranium resources in our ground.

Reporting in The Hill, Solomon calls our attention to what could be a key to understanding the magnitude of the scandal:

Campbell, who was paid $50,000 a month to consult for the firm, was solicited by Rosatom colleagues to help overcome political opposition to the Uranium One purchase while collecting FBI evidence that the sale was part of a larger effort by Moscow to make the U.S. more dependent on Russian uranium, contemporaneous emails and memos show.

"The attached article is of interest as I believe it highlights the ongoing resolve in Russia to gradually and systematically acquire and control global energy resources," Rod Fisk, an American contractor working for the Russians, wrote in a June 24, 2010 email to Campbell.

The Russian plot to "control global energy resources" was reported by Campbell to the FBI a year prior to approval of the acquisition. There is every reason to expect – and the proof would be available to congressional investigators or (cough) a special counsel or U.S. attorney – that this information was passed up the chain to A.G. Eric Holder and even President Obama. Yet CFIUS – the group of agency heads that must approve such transactions on which Holder and Hillary sat – went ahead and approved this sale that the U.S. knew was part of a Russian plot to control the world uranium and energy markets.

Justice Department officials confirmed the emails and documents gathered by Campbell, saying they were in the possession of the FBI, the department's national security division, and its criminal division at various times over the last decade. They added that Campbell's work was valuable enough that the FBI paid him nearly $200,000, mostly for reimbursements over six years, but that the money also included a check for more than $51,000 in compensation after the final convictions were secured.

The information he gathered on Uranium One was more significant to the counterintelligence aspect of the case that started in 2008 than the eventual criminal prosecutions that began in 2013, they added.

Solomon and Carter were interviewed last night on Hannity, along with Sullivan's lawyer, Victoria Toensing, and under questioning, they let us know that the money trail from Russia all the way to American political figures via cutouts will be exposed by documented evidence.

Now, contemplate the magnitude of a scandal that could demonstrate foreign money leading to the approval of a sale that harms national security and aids a hostile power (about whose danger the Democrats have been hyperventilating for the past year). Here is a poor-quality bootleg video of the segment, which may or may not last on YouTube. If a better copy becomes available, we will post that.

But only if the Sessions Justice Department is willing to press the case, or is forced to approve a special counsel:

The memos, reviewed by The Hill, conflict with statements made by Justice Department officials in recent days that informant William Campbell's prior work won't shed much light on the U.S. government's controversial decision in 2010 to approve Russia's purchase of the Uranium One mining company and its substantial U.S. assets.

Campbell documented for his FBI handlers the first illegal activity by Russians nuclear industry officials in fall 2009, nearly a entire year before the Russian state-owned Rosatom nuclear firm won Obama administration approval for the Uranium One deal, the memos show.

This official reticence, whatever its origin, will be overcome as Sullivan's cache of 50,000 documents leaks out bit by bit. Attorney Toensing knows exactly what she is doing here and how outside pressure can affect the grinding of the gears of justice.


America on Fire, as LOVE for GOD Cools

Volunteers tie the wooden cross that was carried through the streets of Etna, Pa., a Pittsburgh suburb, to the larger cross in the cemetery where their annual "Drama of The Cross," service was done on Good Friday, Friday, April 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) ** FILE **

 Cheryl K. Chumley

America was built on Judeo-Christian principles, steered into existence by Founding Fathers who believed — yes, even the less religious ones — that this republic could not survive absent a moral, virtuous people.
My, how wise the founders.
That was then.
This is now: Roy Moore. Al Franken. Staffers on Capitol Hill. Oklahoma’s Republican former state Sen. Ralph Shortey. Florida’s Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel. The list goes on. And it reaches into other avenues of American life as well, from Hollywood’s high-powered to the sports’ world’s best-known to the media field’s most notable.
What is it? Sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual-tied scandals in all their varying forms, both alleged and confirmed, suspected and admitted, prosecuted and pending.
The daily inundations are getting tough to stomach, yes? And that’s leaving many to question, what’s going on here — how did America get here?
Well, the answer’s not tough to figure. Fact is, we as a nation have moved away from God.
We’ve turned aside His biblical teachings, mocked His value-based guidance, sneered His warnings and despised His commandments — and then, facing the consequences of the blinders we put on our eyes, wondered why our culture is rotten, our politics, defiled.
Well, news flash: God won’t be mocked.
If we tolerate and even support, say, our teens having sex as recreation, then it’s no small surprise the consequence for this ungodliness is a political world filled with leaders who think nothing of having sex as recreation.
If we embrace, say, movies and television shows that paint adultery in glowing, fun-filled lights, then it’s not really a shocker when the consequence for this unbiblical culture leads to — once again — a political world filled with leaders who think nothing of using sex for their own selfish designs.
If we set as the standard for femininity the near-naked woman, and put as the example of masculinity the skirt-chasing guy, then it’s hardly unexpected that male-female relations would seem frequently to stray outside the biblical box of what’s appropriate.
If we accept that men and women are little more than flesh and blood, and deny the spirit, and that humankind’s highest calling is to do what feels good at the moment, then it’s not really astonishing when society devolves into a cesspool of depravity.
See where this is going? The culture influences the politics — the politics, the culture — and so on and so on.
But there’s a flip side of this equation, and it goes like this: Children who are raised with morals and values based on godly principles will then become the moral and virtuous leaders of the next generation.
They won’t be so prone to, say, chase little girls for sex, or have affairs while in political office, because their morals and values — the ones based on biblical teachings in their youth — won’t allow them to cross those lines. They’ll be constrained in their actions by the moral compasses instilled in their youth.
And this is good for the nation at-large.
As the individual obeys God, so God blesses the individual.
As the nation obeys God, so God blesses the nation.
If we want a nation with fewer instances of sexual harassment, sexual assaults, sexual-tied scandals in general, then we need to turn back, as individuals and as a nation, to God.

He is, after all, the one who determines right and wrong — the one who defines moral and immoral — the one who can give discernment to determine right versus wrong and good versus evil, both in ourselves and in others. It seems only common sense, then, that He would be the one who could properly teach us in the ways we should go.

The Liberal RUSE of Feminism

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a gathering in Little Rock, Ark., on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, marking 25 years since his election. He and his wife Hillary Clinton appeared before about 2,600 people at the event in the Statehouse Convention Center. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)

Tammy Bruce

Charlie Rose, formerly of PBS and CBS. Glenn Thrush of The New York Times. The collapse of the liberal establishment Masters of the Universe continues. Yet for some reason, the Democratic and liberal establishment think now is the time to condemn … Bill Clinton.
During this 25th anniversary of the year Mr. Clinton was elected to the presidency, various Democratic women leaders and pundits have declared him a very bad man and say he should have resigned after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Kirsten Gillibrand, the senator from New York, told The New York Times exactly that, noting, “Things have changed today, and I think under those circumstances there should be a very different reaction.”
Strange. With the exception of the Democratic Party establishment, liberal activists and the Clinton mafia, everyone else understood, at the actual time, that Mr. Clinton was unfit and a predator. The only thing that has changed for liberals is being caught as enablers and hypocrites.
None of these people now complaining about Mr. Clinton have had any sort of epiphany. They just realize their defense of sexual assault in the 1990s makes it impossible for them to continue the fraud of casting conservatives as the enemies of women.
Coming out over two decades after the damage is done is called being too late. It’s also a pathetic attempt to reclaim their supposed moral authority on women’s issues that the liberal establishment has claimed for generations.
What they’re doing now is worse than a simple fib. Just like producer Harvey Weinstein, the Democrats have lied about being champions for women specifically to draw them into an environment within which to use and abuse them.
Their claims of feminism and propagators of heroic liberal policies have been a ruse, a trick, to entice women to their side, and then used as the weapon to keep them silent when assaulted.
After all, it’s one thing to worry about getting fired if you complain about someone. Add in the existential threat of harming a man who “does so much for the movement.” Or makes a difference for liberal causes. Or gives so much money to make sure liberals get elected. Or funds all the important issues.
Also required in this fraud is defining conservatives, and those who do not pay allegiance to the liberal narrative, as the actual enemy of women. It’s been quite a trick for liberal predators in media and politics to cast everyone except themselves as enslavers and abusers of the female sex, but that’s exactly what they did.
Now, their fraud and gaslighting is over.
Every day there is a new report of sexual assault. In the Charlie Rose case, eight women have come forward saying the liberal and feminist and (now fired from both) “CBS This Morning” anchor and host of PBS’ “Charlie Rose” show either groped them, walked out naked in front of them or harassed them with lewd phone calls.
Male feminist and defender of women and liberalism, Glenn Thrush, formerly of Politico and now a star New York Times White House correspondent, has been suspended after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
Now two women are accusing Sen. Al Franken of sexual misconduct. We are also told Congress has paid out over $15 million in taxpayer dollars, termed “shush money” by social media, to victims of sexual harassment and perhaps assault in that august institution.
Is this an exclusively liberal problem? Of course not. But people have begun to notice that liberals are tending to be the majority of the purveyors.
This could be why Ms. Gillibrand, after saying Mr. Clinton should have resigned after the Lewinsky allegations, refused to answer her MSNBC interlocutor when asked if Mr. Franken should resign from the Senate when facing photographic evidence of assault on a sleeping woman.
And why not? Perhaps Democrats fear the precedent that a resignation would set for sexual misconduct once we find out what exactly has been happening in Congress requiring $15 million in payouts to victims.
Heck, until we get the details, we could imagine the Democrats in the Senate losing half their seats to resignations. The GOP would lose some seats as well, no doubt, but not as many. And good riddance to all of them.
The other irony in this entire trash heap is the effort to virtue signal about Mr. Clinton by throwing him under the bus. It reveals the Democrats have known all along about how awful Billy Jeff treated women, and they simply didn’t care at the time. Now liberals and Democrats are reaping the message of that era. Those who complained about Mr. Clinton’s treatment of women were accused by his supporters of “sexual McCarthyism.” Women in his Cabinet came out and defended him. First lady Hillary Clinton led a team to disparage and destroy his accusers.

We now realize the legacy of the Democrats from that time for their own base is this: Liberal men can do as they please. They can abuse women, because the good policy implemented by our predators helps so many. Predators learned if you signal your feminism strongly enough, at the very least women in your realm will be silent, and they may actually defend you. Just ask Hillary and Bill.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sex, Lies & EXCUSES: Partisan MADNESS on Predators

John Podhoretz

As the sex scandals continue their relentless forward march, early efforts at a course correction are beginning to emerge. Some of these efforts are necessary and involve making distinctions — distinctions between, say, felonious assault, which should lead to prison, and really gross workplace behavior, which should lead to serious disciplinary action but should probably fall short of complete ruination.
The danger, however, is that these distinctions get drawn in such a way that they protect one set of offenders and not the other — purely on the grounds that the protected set is made up of people you like or who work for the causes you champion and the bad guys are the people you don’t and who don’t.
These are the astonishing arguments now being made on behalf of senatorial candidate Roy Moore, on the one hand, and Sen. Al Franken, on the other.
Now, these two cases require exactly the kinds of distinctions I’m talking about. Moore is credibly accused of unspeakable behavior with a 14-year-old. Franken was caught on camera being a disgusting boor and has been accused of sticking his tongue in a woman’s mouth.
Moore’s alleged conduct was felonious and morally depraved. Franken appears to have acted like a repellent creep, which is bad but misdemeanor-bad. It seems important at a moment when a national narrative is galloping along at Secretariat speed to be able to separate the two.
But this isn’t the distinction drawn by two shocking feminist enabler/defenders of Franken. The Washington Post’s Kate Harding, author of a book on “rape culture,” and New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg both acknowledge that their feminist ideologies should lead them to want Franken to be ousted from his seat.
But they both insist that the rules should be different from the very rules they would impose on everyone else in America — because, well, Franken is a Democrat and America needs to be saved from Republicans.
Harding says Franken should be saved and should then go on a listening tour of far-left Democrats and become their front man as penance for his rotten behavior.
“In a sharply divided political climate where toxic masculinity knows no party, yet is only ever acknowledged by one, we must think about how to minimize harm to women,” she writes.
“One more empty apology and resignation . . . will not make American women safer or better off. Powerful men lifting up women’s concerns and supporting progressive women candidates, however, could be a real step toward changing the culture that makes victims of so many of us.”
Or as Woody Allen, himself a notable figure in the annals of toxic masculinity, said in the movie he made celebrating an affair with a 17-year-old girl: “I’m a bigot, but for the left.”
Goldberg spends an entire column concerned about seeming like a hypocrite. She says there’s just no good choice for a poor feminist such as herself in this case. But she basically argues that to support Franken’s removal from office would be a case of Democratic “unilateral disarmament” against the anything-goes Republicans who nominated and helped elect Donald Trump.
And this is what Roy Moore’s defenders say — but in reverse. “We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat,” Trump declared today. Even if Moore’s guilty, so the thinking goes, he’s necessary for the nation’s future to deny Democrats another Senate seat. And that is necessary for the passage of the tax-reform bill.
Oh, and to help restore America’s moral code in the long run. Yes, you heard that right. Basically, they say, we need an ephebophile to purify this country.
These responses reveal the poisonous extent to which nakedly political and partisan concerns are corrupting every aspect of American civic culture.
If you believe Franken is an example of toxic masculinity and that toxic masculinity is an evil that must be extirpated, there’s no intellectual or moral excuse for supporting his continued presence in American politics. Even the effort to make such an argument reveals the way in which the virus of naked partisanship has overcome you.
Similarly, if you believe America has rotted away morally, the idea you’d hand enormous political power to a morally rotted person like Roy Moore reveals your own spiritual and moral rot.
Note, please, that that isn’t happening with the showbiz and media scandals. The powers-that-be that cut Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. loose may have claimed the moral high ground, but these were actually appropriately ruthless commercial decisions about protecting their “brands” from contamination.
But there are no powers-that-be in politics, or there aren’t any longer. The party bosses are gone. Their places have been taken in part by ideologues, who now seem to exist to make the tough moral calls that just seem always to go one way — the party’s way.

SENATE Releases Tax Bill Text in ‘UNUSUALLY FAST’ March to Vote

Image result for Senate Releases Tax Bill Text in ‘Unusually Fast’ March to Vote
Sahil Kapur
The Senate released the 515-page text of its sweeping tax legislation for the first time Monday evening -- and Republican leaders plan to hold a floor vote on it within 10 days.
That short span reflects an unusually fast process in both chambers, said William Galston, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based policy group. The House passed its tax bill 14 days after releasing its text.
“‘Unusually fast’ understates how remarkable this legislative process is,” Galston said. “One reason these bills are going through so quickly is they’re primarily about tax cuts and only secondarily about tax reform.”
The last time that Congress rewrote the tax code, in 1986, “the actual legislative deliberations over the bill stretched out over months -- and it was a good thing,” he said.
More recently, when Democrats tried to overhaul health care in 2009, he said, “the Affordable Care Act was on the table for six months, or more” as then-Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus negotiated that summer with Republicans, only to come up empty-handed and proceed without them.
At least one GOP senator has complained about the pace. “I’ve got a real problem with this process,” Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said Monday on WISN radio. “I would prefer that this bill would’ve been introduced months ago.”
Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee say it’s standard practice for the panel to consider, amend and approve proposals that are written as descriptions of plans -- without full legislative text -- as it did last week with the tax measure.
Congress is on recess this week. Senate leaders say they plan to hold a floor vote after lawmakers return the week of Nov. 27. If their plans go smoothly, a vote could take place as early as Nov. 30.
If the full Senate approves the measure, lawmakers would have to reconcile differencesbetween the Senate and House bills before sending a final version to President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, an independent analysis found Tuesday that the Senate legislation would result in between $1.3 trillion and $1.5 trillion in lost revenue over 10 years -- even after considering economic growth effects. The Penn-Wharton Budget Model at the University of Pennsylvania released the finding, which counters assertions from the bill’s proponents that it would pay for its tax cuts with increased growth.