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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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So-called conservative media enters through the wide gate



In the article I wrote a few days ago entitled Fundamental Transformation of the USA: Donald Trump Edition, I shared how Trump has succeeded in replacing conservative values with the so-called values of the life-long New York liberal and how Republicans have been willing accomplices.

The consequences of this reality have been manifested in many ways. From the reality TV White House to losing numerous special elections at the federal and state levels to Democrats, Trump and the GOP have all but guaranteed that a Blue tsunami in November will wipe them out.

Though they do so for entirely selfish reasons, there are those in the Republican party who are abandoning all things Trump in an effort to distance themselves from his poisonous brand of nationalist/populist style of politics. Unfortunately, for these and others in the GOP, the selective nature of their criticism of Trump likely comes too late to save them.

Equally tragic in this comedy of errors—apologies to William Shakespeare—has been how formerly conservative voices in the world of media and political punditry have sold their souls to Faustian Trump. Just as the party of Reagan has done, media conservatives in-name-only like Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh, to name a few, have allowed conservatism to be rebranded with a giant Trumplican T.

Trumplicanism has been a boon of sorts for those who Daniel Horowitz refers to as “clickservative” media outlets more concerned with online traffic than they are with only the truth, as we see with two members of Trump Pravda, Breitbart and FOX News.

Politico is reporting that Breitbart’s readership is in free fall now that Trump mouthpiece Steve Bannon is no longer in charge. Meanwhile, FOX News, complete with a line-up of former conservatives, is growing now that it has become all Trump all the time.

While there are those who point to Trump Pravda to validate their decision to become a Stepford Trumplican, I point to it as proof that Matthew 17:3 is true when it says, “Enter by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”

There are some promising signs that there are a still a few people willing to live their convictions. Earlier this week, FOX News contributor Ralph Peters resigned because he felt the network had become a “propaganda machine” for “a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.” While he is only one voice, Peters validates the sad reality of how conservatism has no place within the Republican party in the age of Trump.

Personally, refusing to become a member of the Trump echo chamber—which means I choose truth over Trump—has cost me financially and in other ways. But as the Strident Conservative, I refuse to compromise conservatism for clicks, so I will go through the narrow gate. I hope you will too!

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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Guns and Crime

My city is conducting covert taxation by shaking us down. I bet yours is too!



Most of us remember the Disney cartoon movie when we were kids, Robin Hood. Various animals played the characters. The movie opens with the Sheriff of Nottingham bullying the poor into giving him what little money they have as “taxes.” He even took from the old and infirm. This was done to show that he clearly was a bad guy. We wouldn’t imagine that this would happen with our modern police today, right?


As I wrote about a couple of months ago when illustrating how judicial tyranny could affect all of us, whether it be in big ways or small ways, back on November 10th I received a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. I was not driving too fast, swerving, texting while driving, or anything else that could possibly endanger any other person. I was simply going home for lunch from work. It’s a 3 minute drive. This cop was hiding under the overpass and decided to pull me over, because in a large city that is a conduit for drug and human trafficking, this is where the San Antonio Police Department’s resources are best spent, apparently.

Now, a little background. The SAPD’s Chief, William McManus, is currently under investigation for having let more than a dozen people being trafficked go without so much as identifying them. The driver of the truck carrying them was arrested and charged, but his human cargo was just released into the winds. This is the man running the department that decided that my not wearing a seatbelt was worthy of a day’s pay in a tax.

Of course, that was just an excuse. Now, I’m not saying people shouldn’t wear their seatbelts. I in fact DO wear my seatbelt 99.9% of the time. I didn’t have it on at this particular moment because I’d taken it off to reach down for some water. I suffer from migraine headaches and had a bad one on this particular day. I was on my way home for my lunch hour just to get a few minutes of peace and quiet. This police officer decided to ruin my day and didn’t even bother to ask the circumstances.

Now, without a doubt, many of you reading are saying “well, you should have worn your seatbelt!” Fine. But how many of you saying that are fine with motorcyclist riding without helmets. Or bicycles without helmets. Or having an abortion? Yes, I went there. After all, it’s MY BODY isn’t it? I should be able to decide what I want to do with MY BODY, shouldn’t I? I promise you the government lawyers I had to deal with felt that way. And yet, they had no problem telling me what to do with MY BODY when it came to wearing a seatbelt.

I could have paid the ticket and moved on with my life. And if I’d been speeding, or if I’d had my KIDS in the truck without seatbelts I would have (would never have happened) I would have paid the ticket and moved on. But this felt too much like the Sheriff of Nottingham shaking me down for money. I showed up for court and asked for a jury trial. The government lawyer sneered arrogantly at me. I was undeterred. I was assigned a court date nearly 2 MONTHS later. I showed up for that date only to have the prosecutor ask for a continuance because the police officer was “in training.”

And this is where the scam becomes obvious. I argued to the judge that this shouldn’t be allowed, that the police department and the prosecutor’s office could have coordinated and informed me this was going to happen so I didn’t have to take a day off work. I was told “that’s not how it works.” So the trial was reset for 5 March.

A few weeks later I got a notification in the mail that the trial date had been reset AGAIN for 19 March. Wait, huh? I thought that’s not how it worked?

I did some research and looked at the San Antonio City Budget. The last one available was from 2016. It showed the city planned to make approximately $12.2M in fines and forfeitures, meaning they were COUNTING on citizens being fined to make the city work. Well, they only collected about $10.7M, which is a shortfall of $1.5M. They couldn’t let that happen again. So they’ve got cops out there shaking down honest citizens for money. Why go that route? Because as most people I know admitted to me, they would have just paid it and moved on. That’s what the city of San Antonio is counting on. They have a money-making factory that they COUNT on to make the city work. They can’t raise taxes because they’d get voted out of office, so they come up with this covert form of taxation, knowing most people will just pay it and move on.

My 19 March court date arrived and the charges were dropped because “the officer didn’t remember enough about the incident.” Well, maybe if he wasn’t out giving so many bogus tickets he’d remember more of the ones that matter. Several other tickets from the same officer were also dropped. The city didn’t want to spend the money on my constitutional right of a trial. They count on most people just paying and moving on. The certainly didn’t want me making my case to a jury and nullifying their money-making scheme.

The upshot.

Well, sad for them they didn’t know who they were dealing with, and I don’t mean ME, I mean YOU, dear readers. I urge you to look into this in your own communities. Most police officers are great people who work hard to protect them. But if some are being used to shake you down for money so that liberal mayors and city councils (like the ones here in San Antonio) can spend more money paying their campaign donors back, maybe something needs to be done.

I know this seems like a small thing. It was pointed out to me “it’s worse most places in the world.” Well sure it is, but you can’t wait for things to get that bad before we do something about it. You have to stop this kind of police state in it’s tracks and do it while we still have the power to do so. Look to your local communities and see how they are collecting their money and then spending it. Hold your local leaders accountable. It’s not just Congress that shakes you down for money. And you can’t count on the national or even local media to report on this. They LIKE big government, which this supports. Make it happen, Patriots. I have faith in you.

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The Money Pit: California’s not-so-high-speed rail



Have you heard this story, a couple finds a million dollar distress sale mansion on the market for a mere $200,000? Some upgrades are needed, but overall it’s a bargain. What ensues is comedic brilliance as the owners find out the house is barely standing. They pour more and more money into the house in the classic Tom Hank’s comedy “The Money Pit.”

Just like this movie, the California High-Speed Rail has become our Money Pit, but unlike the movie, this is no laughing matter.

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 1A, a $9.95 billion bond to partially fund an 800-mile high-speed electric train traveling up to 220 mph. The goal would be that the state would fund a third, one-third by the federal government, and the last third via private investment. Total cost was estimated at $35 billion.

What has transpired since 2008? No more federal funding and no private funding. From 800-miles we went to 520 miles, as a cost savings measure. From 220 mph we are at 110 mph in large sections of the rail, to save money of course, and a possible completion date of 2020, is now estimated to be completed by 2033.

With all these cost-saving measures you would assume the cost would come down. Unfortunately, for California taxpayers, this money pit keeps getting worse.

The price tag for all these cost-saving measures brought to you by the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the California Legislature is currently estimated at $77.3 billion. But wait you want more savings and fiscal responsibility, too bad, because this $77.3 billion estimate may ultimately cost California taxpayers $98.1 billion. My prediction is it will be even higher.

At this point, it might be cheaper and faster to build a Death Star instead. Not to mention more useful.

This is not what the voters were promised. We did not approve a not-so-high-speed train with a price tag most likely ten times the initial projected cost to California taxpayers.

This boondoggle of a money pit must be stopped. Those billions can be used to help repair our roads, highways, bridges, dams, water reservoirs, and critical infrastructure.

If elected to be California’s next State Controller and Chief Financial Officer, I will look at all legal means to cut funding to this project. In my opinion, if we bought one thing and are getting something else, then the authorization to fund this project has not been authorized by the people, and thus the Controller may have the legal authority to stop payment until the project complies with Proposition 1A.

I hope, I won’t have to do this, and the Legislature does its job and kills this project. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We made a promise to taxpayers to be good stewards of their trust and money. Let’s restore that trust and do the right thing, and let’s put an end to this money pit.

Konstantinos Roditis is a candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.

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