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Trump vs. Jeff Bezos and Amazon: It’s not business, it’s personal

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Over the weekend, Donald Trump launched another round of attacks against e-commerce provider Amazon.com—something he’s been doing since the GOP primaries—and it reminded me of a quote from The Godfather.

In a scene where the “family” is considering how to retaliate against a rival gang and a corrupt cop following their attempt to assassinate Don Vito Corleone, Michael Corleone volunteers to kill their enemies. Despite his reluctance to get involved in the family business, and after his brother Sonny questions his motivations, Michael assures him:

Unlike Michael Corleone, however, when Donald Trump goes after his enemies, it’s always personal.

Amazon has been on Trump’s enemies list because CEO Jeff Bezos is also the owner of one of Trump’s so-called fake news sites, the Washington Post. During the campaign, Trump accused “the owners of Amazon” of using the Post as a political tool to lobby politicians to go easy on the internet giant. The accusation followed a decision by the Trump campaign to revoke the press credentials of the Washington Post after some unfavorable coverage. With credentials revoked, the paper was prohibited from covering Trump’s campaign.

In reality, losses by the USPS have to do with declines in mail delivery services along with excessive pension and insurance costs. And as far as taxes go, Amazon collects them in those states where it’s required. For the record, Amazon’s parcel delivery agreement has been profitable for the USPS.

One more thing. More than likely, Trump is throwing taxes into the mix as another way to advance his plans for an internet sales tax.

Ironically, Trump’s accusation that Bezos is using the Washington Post to benefit Amazon is much like the Emoluments Clause lawsuit Trump is facing. A federal judge recently ruled that the suit filed by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia accusing Trump of using the presidency to personally and financially benefit from the official business being done at this Washington DC hotel can go forward.

Where the Emoluments Clause lawsuit will end up is anyone’s guess, but based on Trump’s track record everybody involved in the case should be on the lookout because, in Donald Trump’s version of The Godfather, it’s not business, it’s personal.


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 RedState.com. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

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Politics

More on Neil Gorsuch and judicial tyranny

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Following the Supreme Court decision earlier this week where Neil Gorsuch sided with the four progressive justices on the court to overturn a law that allowed for the deportation of immigrants convicted of violent crimes, I wrote an article about how this decision confirmed the warning given by James Madison about tyrannical government.

Since Gorsuch was appointed by Donald Trump and conservatives considered the justice to be a type of Anakin Skywalker as the chosen one born to bring balance back to the government, I took a lot of heat for daring to mention tyranny and Gorsuch in the same breath.

If I had called Gorsuch a tyrant, my readers and listeners would have had a point, but that’s not what I did.

As I stated in the article, the threat of tyranny comes not from a single Supreme Court decision, it comes from the reality that political parties have turned judicial appointments into a party platform, essentially eliminating the walls that separate the three branches of government. Such accumulation of all powers in the same hands is the exact definition of tyranny according to Madison.

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

The federal courts continue to confirm this threat to liberty. Earlier this week, a three-judge panel on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a law in Ohio that denied funding to Planned Parenthood who already gets hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers thanks to Trump and the GOP. The ruling also upheld a decision from a lower court that ruled that the ban violated due process and was, therefore, unconstitutional.

This wasn’t a decision by a court loaded by Obama appointees. Two of the three judges were appointed by Daddy Bush and Son, while the third was picked by Bill Clinton. The lower court judge was also appointed by George W. Bush.

Do you see what happens when we allow judicial appointments to be motivated by politics?

In the judicial tyranny article I mentioned above, I posted a tweet from Donald Trump where he claimed that only Republicans can “hold the Supreme Court.”

The recent decisions by the Supreme Court and the Sixth Circuit is proof that Trump and the GOP are wrong. We will never rid ourselves of tyrannical government by continuing to support its tyrannical behavior. Political parties interested only in their self-preservation won’t stop it. “Appointing better judges” won’t stop it.

Only we the people can stop it using tools such as Convention of States and Daniel Horowitz’s Citizens’ Task Forces. To learn more about how the courts are destroying America, I also recommend Daniel’s book, Stolen Sovereignty: How to Stop Unelected Judges from Transforming America.


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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Attempt to make tax cuts permanent just more politics of distraction by GOP

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When Trump and the GOP passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the bill only provided temporary tax relief for individuals—they expire or “sunset” in 2025 in compliance with Senate rules—while making the corporate tax cuts permanent.

Putting Senate rules aside for a moment, the GOP intentionally structured their so-called tax-reform bill as they did to provide political cover for their otherwise unproductive job performance. Republicans were able to claim they kept at least one promise while using the Senate rules as a crutch to pass temporary tax relief for individuals with a promise to vote later on making it permanent.

According to GOP leadership, under Senate rules the tax cuts couldn’t be made permanent in the original bill because it added so much to the deficit that it would require sixty votes to avoid a filibuster—a fact that would still apply on any future votes to make the cuts permanent.

Why would the GOP promise to vote on making tax cuts permanent when getting sixty votes is still out of the question? As I said above, they need political cover.

Knowing they face an uphill slog as November approaches, Trump, McConnell, and Ryan planned to use a second vote to make individual tax cuts permanent not because it’s the right thing for taxpayers but because it allows them to use the politics of distraction to camouflage their ineptitude and hopefully avoid the Blue Tsunami.

By holding this vote, the GOP hopes to get Democrats on record as opposing the tax cuts, making it possible for Republicans to use that as a campaign issue in some of the tighter races. This is probably what motivated Sen. Ted Cruz to introduce a plan to make the cuts permanent. Cruz’s re-election race against Democrat Beto O’Rourke is essentially tied and within the margin of error, so he needs a distraction to avoid defeat.

Interestingly, many within the GOP are now having second thoughts about another vote on tax cuts because they are taking heat for recent projections that show how their tax cuts and budget treachery will add trillions of dollars to the deficit.

But don’t be fooled. This is simply another round of the GOP’s politics of distraction. By suddenly appearing like the deficit is now an issue, Trump and Company are hoping that their faux outrage will appease conservatives concerned about out-of-control spending. We witnessed an example of this strategy recently in the failed attempt by the House to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Regardless of what the GOP decides on the tax cuts issue, know this . . . they’ll do only what’s best for party preservation, not what’s best for America.


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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Politics

The Founding Fathers warned us about Neil Gorsuch and judicial tyranny

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When Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created when Antonin Scalia passed away, he told America that the nomination was the fulfillment of his campaign promise to nominate “the very best judge in the country”—a judge who “respects our laws and is a representative of our Constitution.”

In an article I wrote at the time, I shared how the former Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals judge enjoyed the support of many on the right as well as the left, and how he was considered the second coming of Scalia.

I also expressed my personal concerns about how Gorsuch might actually be more in the mold of the Justice he once worked for, Anthony Kennedy, a person Gorsuch credits as a major influence in his understanding of the law. From abortion to the Second Amendment, there were too many gray areas in Gorsuch’s past for me to trust that he would help return the court to its proper role under the Constitution.

Yesterday, those concerns were somewhat validated when Gorsuch sided with the four progressive justices on the court and overturned a law that allowed for the deportation of immigrants convicted of violent crimes.

While there are some who support Gorsuch’s decision as the epitome of Scalia-inspired justice, Daniel Horowitz of Conservative Review not only disagrees, but in a podcast we featured last October, he warned that Gorsuch would rule this way based on his history with immigration issues.

When we witness Gorsuch made this ruling consistent with his judicial history, shouldn’t we also be concerned on issues like abortion, religious freedom, and the Second Amendment based on that same history?

The un-answerability of this question is further evidence of how the Constitutional design for the courts envisioned by the Founding Fathers no longer exists. Instead of justice, we get judicial activism based on aggressive interpretations of the law from judges who believe in an “organic Constitution” that evolves and changes over time.

When Trump recently tweeted about how we need more Republicans to “hold the Supreme Court,” he confirmed the words of James Madison when he warned about tyrannical government:

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

The salvation of America doesn’t rest with the courts or any political party. It rests with the people, and we must fight for our rights or risk losing them forever. Some of the projects I endorse for the fight are Convention of States and Daniel Horowitz’s Citizens’ Task Forces. Check ‘em out!


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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