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Good news: Dems admit ethanol mandate failed – Bad news: Trump promised to save it



During the 2016 GOP presidential primaries, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took a political gamble leading up to the Iowa caucus when he called for major changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, including a call to end ethanol subsidies. Meanwhile, Donald Trump praised ethanol and called for raising the standard in an attempt to curry enough political favor in the Big Corn state to beat Cruz. Despite the reality that most of the corn used in ethanol production came from Iowa, Cruz beat Trump.

Created as a means to combat so-called climate change, the RFS required that ever-increasing amounts of ethanol be blended into gasoline. And despite documented evidence of ethanol’s damage to consumers and the environment, the RFS became little more than another taxpayer-subsidized, crony-capitalist, corporate-welfare program where the federal government picks the winners (Big Corn) and the losers (everyone else).

In a sort of good news/bad news announcement last week, key Democrats behind the biofuel push contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 announced that they had “made a mistake” with the ethanol mandate, and they introduced new legislation to fix it.

“The law hasn’t worked out as we intended,” said former California Congressman and Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Henry Waxman. Following a joint call with reporters, Waxman joined current members of Congress, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Sen Tom Udall (D-NM), to introduce legislation that will phase out corn-based ethanol. Speaking for the group, Welch said:

“We’ve now had more than a decade of experience with it, and it had the best of intentions. But it has turned out to be a well-intended flop.

“It actually doesn’t cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, it expands them. It’s had a significant impact on overplanting in fragile areas of the corn belt. It has had significant impacts on small engines. And it’s also had a significant impact on feed prices … and there is a lot of evidence it has increased the cost of food.”

So, that’s the good news. The bad news is that Trump promised to protect corn-based ethanol and he, along with a host of ethanol-loving Republicans from red state producers of corn, wants the RFS to stay.

It was just a few months ago that Trump caved to Big Corn when he overruled an effort by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to make major modifications to the RFS following heavy resistance from a gang of Midwestern Senators led by Chuck Grassley. And with his reelection campaign officially launched, Trump will be in campaign mode for the rest of his first term as he prepares for Iowa in 2020.

Trump promised in 2016 to protect ethanol mandates, a promise that he’s already bragged about keeping. And even though he’s demonstrated a propensity to break his promises when politically convenient, it’s very likely that Trump will continue to keep his ethanol promise to Iowa.

Not because it’s good for America, but because it’s good for his campaign.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that's politically-incorrect and always "right." His articles can also be found on His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

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  1. Matthew Frihart

    March 12, 2018 at 9:44 am

    I gotta say on this one, trump is wrong. Hopefully he’ll get more info and come around.

  2. Dogood

    March 12, 2018 at 10:12 am

    This is one promise I hope Trump doesn’t keep, but I’m afraid he will. Yet he’s deregulating as much as he can via executive actions.

  3. Larry Folds

    March 12, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Trump is only a little better than a democrat president. He has totally blown up the gun rights people in favor of gun control, not common sense control, just plain gun control. He has signaled the anti-gun lobby to go after the NRA and us, the gun owners. He told Feinstein to put her dream list of guns to ban and Marco Rubio is helping her. Cornyn is showing his anti-gun colors by depriving 18-21 year olds of their rights, may as well take their voting rights away if we can’t trust them to carry a gun even to go hunting. Roberts of KS is showing his anti-gun colors and on and on it goes all because Trump call them the cover to do it. FL and IL has already banned whole groups from purchasing weapons to defend themselves. Trump is a traitor and I will not support him in the future. Yeah, he made nice with the NRA but his dog whistle has already blown and now he tries to distance himself so he can have his cake and eat it too.

  4. Steve in Missouri

    March 12, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    The corn or grain alcohol mandate not likely to be overcome. Going by these enormous ethanol factories in corn growing areas on roads and highways, they are enormous buildings and grain storage bins on the plains. I had gone by them in Kansas, but they are all over in the corn growing areas, they have turned farm communities into factory, industrial centers. I’m sure it will be enormously difficult to change now that it’s been instituted on a widespread scale.
    Definitely politics, and electoral college politics are involved. Thousands, if not millions of jobs are involved.
    International fuel alcohol programs are widespread as well. I think Brazil has an enormous sugar cane industry, nearly 600 million tons of sugar cane, much of it converted to ethanol to supply vehicle fuel, while biomass is used to produce electricity.
    Even with that, due to sugar being produced from the sugar cane and being more cost effective than alcohol, Brazil has at times imported ethanol for vehicle fuel from the US.

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RNC fundraiser uses recycled Trump survey promoting recycled broken promises



As Republicans face the daunting task of trying to avoid a political blood-bath in November, and as Donald Trump puts his 2020 re-election campaign in gear, the Republican National Committee sent out their official “Trump Agenda Survey.” I know it’s official because it said so in big, bold, red letters at the top.

It’s also a recycled edition of the same survey the RNC sent out last year.

In a cover letter from RNC Chairwoman and niece of Utah carpetbagger Mitt Romney, Ronna McDaniel assured me that Trump has been working hard to “put our nation back on a winning path,” but he needed my help to beat the “DC establishment” and the “unfair treatment” he is receiving from the “biased, lying media.” According to McDaniel, turning our country around after 8 years of Obama isn’t easy.

Is it just me, or did Obama use a similar excuse when he blamed his failures on George W. Bush?

McDaniel then assured me that her #1 priority as RNC Chair was ensuring that the Trump White House and the GOP majorities in the House and Senate kept in touch with people like me—a goal that apparently requires that I send the RNC a nice “skin in the game” donation along with my completed survey.

The survey itself was quite interesting when you consider that, according to Donald Trump, he has accomplished more than any president in history. Why was it interesting? Well . . . let’s just say that if you liked the GOP’s 2016 campaign rhetoric and lies, you’ll love the issues addressed in the Trump agenda survey because THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME!

In the survey, McDaniel wants me to let her know if I want Trump and Republicans in Congress to fight for:

  • Reform the federal income tax system and reduce corporate tax rates
  • Build a border wall and strengthen border security to stop illegal immigration
  • Reverse President Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders
  • Cut job-killing regulations to get the economy growing
  • Confirm federal judges who pledge to follow the original intent of the Constitution
  • Withhold federal funding from “Sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities
  • Re-equip and rebuild our military
  • Repeal and replace Obamacare
  • Encourage domestic exploration and production of energy sources
  • Re-negotiate trade deals to put American jobs and interests first

Like I said before, it’s recycled. Not a single, solitary new idea from the party that is supposedly winning so much that we can’t take it anymore.

Interestingly enough, while the survey offered nothing but the same old recycled promises, some of the GOP’s previously broken promises were noticeably missing, such as: defunding Planned Parenthood, ending DACA, and working to reduce the size and cost of government.

It wasn’t her intention, but McDaniel’s plea for feedback and funds confirms what conservatives have known all along—the GOP has been hijacked by Republicrats and Trumplicans who have no agenda other than their political self-preservation. And in classic “party over principle” fashion, the RNC is recycling the broken promises that got these lying liars elected in the first place.

Despite the P.S. McDaniel included at the end of her letter, Trump and the GOP are doing very little “to Make America Great Again!” They are, however, doing plenty to show why it’s time for conservatives to sever ties with the GOP and build a new party.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Culture and Religion

An open letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander, US Senate on the nomination of Chai Feldblum



The Honorable Lamar Alexander

Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee

United States Senate

CC United States Senators

March 17, 2018


Dear Senator Alexander,

It has come to my attention that President Trump has re-nominated Chai Feldblum to her position as commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This news has brought me grave concern.

On behalf of the American people, it is up to you and the rest of the Senate to remedy this unfortunate situation.

As you are aware, the EEOC deals with cases of workplace discrimination; having the power to enforce federal laws, investigate discrimination complaints, regulate and pursue legal charges against private businesses, and influence public opinion. It is imperative that any federal agency entrusted with such powers be steered by the conscientious counsel of unbiased leadership.

A former college basketball coach once said, “Offense is not equal opportunity.” However, since her appointment by former President Obama in 2010, Ms. Feldblum has exploited her position at the EEOC to offensively further her own fanatical advocacy goals at the expense of religiously-oriented American citizens, the Bill of Rights be damned.

Religious liberty, inviolable and protected from governmental infringement by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, is richly ingrained in our country’s values, having been secured by the blood of our ancestors. In fact, religious liberty, often referred to by the Founders as freedom of conscience, was considered by early Americans to be so precious that, even in the midst of America’s fight for independence, conscience objections were considered sacrosanct.

Consider the words of America’s first President, George Washington, in a letter to Benedict Arnold during America’s Revolutionary War:

“While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the conscience of others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to Him only in this case are they answerable.”

For Chai Feldblum, however, religious freedom must be subjugated with the full force of the government’s ugly fist.

She is, in a word, tyrannical.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines tyranny as “a rigorous [strict] condition imposed by some outside agency or force,” as imposed by a tyrant.

A tyrant is defined as “one resembling an oppressive ruler in the harsh use of authority or power.”

Ms. Feldblum has made several deeply troubling statements that betray her tyrannical intentions, wholly at odds with America’s founding principles:

  • “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win… Sexual liberty should win in most cases. There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win because that’s the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner (emphasis mine).”
  • “I believe granting liberty to gay people advances a compelling government interest, that such an interest cannot be adequately advanced if ‘pockets of resistance’ to a societal statement of equality are permitted to flourish, and hence that a law that permits no individual exceptions based on religious beliefs will be the least restrictive means of achieving the goal of liberty for gay people (emphasis mine).”

Ms. Feldblum’s seditious statements are in dramatic contrast to what Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1774, in Emblematic Representations:

“The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy (emphasis mine)”

In addition, Ms. Feldblum’s thesis on the proper role of government is unequivocally incompatible with the words spoken by President Thomas Jefferson during his first inaugural address, 1801:

“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.”

Chai Feldblum’s offensive advocacy through the EEOC is so extreme and outside of Constitutional bounds that, in 2012, the usually divided Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously against Feldblum’s EEOC attempt to void the “Ministerial Exemption,” which allows leeway for religious organizations to carry out routine, religiously-related matters of hiring and terminating employees.

While Ms. Feldblum claims to represent the LGBTQ+ community, she speaks only for a small, yet loud portion of the demographic; one comprised almost entirely of radical LGBTQ+ activists.

In truth, Ms. Feldblum’s fanatical, extremist, ideologically-driven agenda only serves to marginalize a significant portion of sexual minorities, in addition to women and countless Americans of religious orthodoxy.

Ignoring the conservative, sexual minorities who disapprove of the forced subjugation of religious Americans, Ms. Feldblum propagates stereotypes of the various people she claims to represent, and actively encourages neighbors to go to war with neighbors.

Feldblum insists on a “zero-sum” game, where religious Americans and members of the LGBTQ+ community are incapable of living peaceably side-by-side. As the architect of former President Obama’s Transgender executive order, Feldblum further victimizes traumatized women and children, insisting they must tolerate an unsafe existence, as grown men are ushered into their locker rooms and bathrooms in the name of “progress.” Feldblum insists on subjugating religious, yet same-sex attracted business owners in the private market, drastically hindering their pursuit of happiness through economic independence. Feldblum insists that all LGBTQ+ Americans think as she does.

Ms. Feldblum is a tyrant; wholly unworthy of another five years at the helm of the EEOC.

Speaking on the sacredness of religious liberty in America, Samuel Adams stated, August 1, 1776:

“Driven from every other corner of the earth freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum.”

The responsibility, Senator Alexander, now rests with you and the Senate to protect religious liberty as vigorously and as confidently as our Founding Fathers.

If you fail to perform this duty, this great test of your legacy as one of the leaders of the free world, may the words of Samuel Adams haunt you for the remainder of your days:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”


Most sincerely,


Paige Rogers, Tennessee

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Foreign Affairs

Could Trump’s trade war lead to a real war in Korea?



When Donald Trump issued his in-name-only tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, he immediately alienated many of America’s strongest allies due to fears of a new trade war. Unfortunately, as we are seeing in Japan and South Korea, these fears are beginning to materialize.

As the South Korean government works on getting a get-out-of-tariff-jail-free card like Canada and Mexico received before the tariffs even took effect, steel producers in South Korea have decided to halt steel exports to the US, even though we are their third largest customer.

So, how is Trump responding?

In a speech to donors at a fundraiser in Missouri, Trump informed those in attendance that he is prepared to take action against South Korea over what he sees as an unfair trade relationship.

“We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them … We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”

Yep! Trump is threatening to essentially begin dismantling the US Pacific Command (est. Jan. 1941) if South Korea doesn’t cough up his extortion money.

Besides the fact that Trump could be lying about a trade deficit—he admitted to the donors that he lied to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in their trade discussions—he displayed an incredibly dangerous ignorance with his threat to withdraw US troops.

In remarks before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, addressed Trump’s threat:

“I believe [regime leader Kim Jong Un] would do a victory dance. I think he’d be a happy man if we abdicated our alliance with South Korea and Japan.”

Trump’s threat is beyond stupid, but it follows a recent announcement that he will be meeting with Kim Jong Un to discuss ways to denuclearize North Korea. Seems to me that the man who brags about being a great dealmaker just surrendered one of his biggest bargaining chips.

What motivation will the North Korean dictator have to disarm if the US abandons the region? Wouldn’t the absence of US troops be an open invitation for Kim Jong Un to invade South Korea? At the very least, it would make an already unstable situation much worse.

Abandoning our allies is familiar territory for The Donald. You may recall that Trump attempted to bully NATO for not paying their “fair share” during his first foreign trip as President less than a year ago.

Legislation has been recently introduced that will return the power to levy tariffs back to Congress. We should hope that it becomes law because not only could it stop a trade war, but in the age of Trump, it could stop a real war in places like Korea.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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