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Secrecy Surrounding Senate Health Bill Raises Alarms in Both Parties

WASHINGTON — As they draft legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republican leaders are aiming to transform large sections of the American health care system without a single hearing on their bill and without a formal, open drafting session.

That has created an air of distrust and concern — on and off Capitol Hill, with Democrats but also with Republicans.

“I’ve said from Day 1, and I’ll say it again,” said Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee. “The process is better if you do it in public, and that people get buy-in along the way and understand what’s going on. Obviously, that’s not the route that is being taken.”

The secrecy surrounding the Senate measure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is remarkable — at least for a health care measure this consequential.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton empowered the first lady, Hillary Clinton, to assemble health care legislation in private, with input from a group of more than 500 experts. That approach won scathing reviews from Republican lawmakers and others shut out of the deliberations. But it took place at the White House, not in Congress. Once the Clintons’ health plan reached Capitol Hill, it died in the public spotlight.

Republican leaders this week defended their actions.

“Look, we’ve been dealing with this issue for seven years,” said the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “It’s not a new thing.”

Mr. McConnell said there had been “gazillions of hearings on this subject” over the years — a less-than-precise tabulation that offered little comfort to Democrats who want hearings held now, in this particular year, on the contents of this particular bill.

In the summer of 2009, when Democratic members of Congress were defending their effort to remake the nation’s health care system, they were taunted by crowds chanting, “Read the bill, read the bill.”

Now Democrats say they would love to read the Republicans’ repeal bill, but cannot do so because Republicans have not exposed their handiwork to public inspection.

“They’re ashamed of the bill,” the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said. “If they liked the bill, they’d have brass bands marching down the middle of small-town America saying what a great bill it is. But they know it isn’t.”

The Senate’s decisions could have huge implications: Health care represents about one-sixth of the American economy, and about 20 million people have gained insurance under the 2010 health law, President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

In theory, the bill-writing process is open to any of the 52 Republican senators, but few seem to have a clear, coherent picture of what will be in the legislation.

Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, offered a hint of the same frustration felt by Democrats seeking more information about the bill.

“I come from a manufacturing background,” Mr. Johnson said. “I’ve solved a lot of problems. It starts with information. Seems like around here, the last step is getting information, which doesn’t seem to be necessarily the most effective process.”

At a Senate hearing on Thursday, Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services, said that he also had not seen the Senate bill.

Senate Republican leaders say the bill is still a work in progress, and they have not said exactly how it will differ from the one approved last month in the House. President Trump raised the stakes when he told senators this week that the House version was “mean.”

The Senate bill is likely to phase out the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaidexpansion more slowly than the House version. It is also expected to include larger tax credits to help older Americans buy health insurance.

The legislation will be considered in the Senate under an expedited procedure that precludes a Democratic filibuster and allows passage by a simple majority. But, Republicans say, Democrats will still be able to offer numerous amendments once the bill is on the Senate floor.

It is not unusual for lawmakers to draft major legislation in private, but they usually refine, debate and amend it in open committee sessions. The House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act did not receive a hearing, where outside experts could have testified. But lawmakers dissected its contents and were able to propose changes at three stages: in the Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Budget Committees.

Senate Republican leaders evidently think their back-room approach gives them the best chance to devise a health care bill that can squeak through the Senate, given their narrow majority and the policy differences in their conference.

However Republicans feel about their coming bill — and they are far more comfortable criticizing the Affordable Care Act than talking up the virtues of their still-incomplete replacement — the process playing out in the Senate is quite different from the way Democrats went about passing the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate health committee approved its version in July 2009 after considering hundreds of amendments over 13 days. The Senate Finance Committee cleared its version in October 2009, after more than a year of hearings, round-table discussions and other spadework. A group of Democrats and Republicans from the Finance Committee had met for months behind closed doors, trying — but ultimately failing — to draft bipartisan legislation.

The full Senate passed the Affordable Care Act on Dec. 24, 2009, on the 25th consecutive day of floor debate.

While much of the Affordable Care Act was written in the open, some important provisions were hashed out in private, just before the Senate vote, by Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was then the majority leader.

Republicans complained bitterly at the time, and Democrats threw those complaints back at them this week.

“This massive piece of legislation that seeks to restructure one-sixth of our economy is being written behind closed doors, without input from anyone, in an effort to jam it past not only the Senate but the American people,” Mr. McConnell said in December 2009, using words that could be spoken by any Democrat today.

The repeal efforts this year have moved much faster, though not as quickly as Mr. Trump or Republican leaders might have hoped.

In March, days before House Republicans released their repeal bill, Democrats and an exasperated Senate Republican hunted around the Capitol for the elusive legislation. The senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, brought with him a copy machine, just in case he found his prize.

Asked this week about the Senate bill, Mr. Paul replied, “Have you seen it?”

Mr. Paul said he had no plans to bring out the copy machine again, but he suggested that the Senate’s current course left something to be desired. “My preference would be a more open process in committees,” he said, “with hearings and people on both sides.”

In February, the Senate health committee held a hearing on stabilizing the individual insurance market. But since the House passed its repeal bill and the focus shifted to the other side of the Capitol, Senate Republicans have done their work out of public view.

Their efforts drew unwanted attention early last month because of the composition of the working group they assembled to chart a path on health care: It consisted entirely of men.

Since then, Republican senators have shared bits and pieces of the ideas being mulled in their private lunches and meetings.

Asked his level of comfort with the process, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, cut off a reporter before he could finish his sentence. “None,” he said.

“We’ve got a divided caucus,” Mr. McCain said. “I listen avidly at lunch as we go over the same arguments over and over and over again.”

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Comey Bluntly Raises Possibility of Trump Obstruction and Condemns His ‘Lies’

WASHINGTON — James B. Comey, the recently fired F.B.I. director, said Thursday in an extraordinary Senate hearing that he believed President Trump had tried to derail an investigation into his national security adviser, and accused the president of lying and defaming him and the F.B.I.

Mr. Comey, no longer constrained by the formalities of a government job, offered a blunt, plain-spoken assessment of a president whose conversations unnerved him from the day they met, weeks before Mr. Trump took office.

The James Comey who emerged during the hearing was by turns humble, folksy and matter-of-fact, but at the same time, he proved that underneath was a shrewd politician not afraid to play the Washington game by leaking information on his own.

In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, he provided an unflattering back story to his abrupt dismissal and raised the question of whether Mr. Trump had tried to obstruct justice.

Answering that falls to the Justice Department special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Comey said he had given all of his memos about his interactions with the president to Mr. Mueller, who he believed would look into the possibility of obstruction. It was the first public suggestion that prosecutors would investigate the president.

“That’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there and whether that’s an offense,” Mr. Comey said.

Firing Mr. Comey ignited an unexpected political fire for the president, and Mr. Comey acknowledged helping fan the flames. He said he had encouraged a friend to give The New York Times details from one of his memos, a move he hoped would lead to the appointment of a special counsel. It did.

Before firing Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump was dogged by the F.B.I. inquiry into his campaign’s ties to Russia. But he was never personally under investigation.

Now, he faces the prospect of an obstruction investigation, inquiries by emboldened congressional officials and questions from both parties about whether he tried inappropriately to end the F.B.I. inquiry into Michael T. Flynn, his former national security adviser.

Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, flatly denied any obstruction. “The president never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone,” he said.

But Mr. Kasowitz’s involvement was itself a reflection of how Mr. Comey’s firing had deepened the president’s political and legal difficulties. Mr. Trump hired him recently to help contain the fallout.

The Senate hearing did not help that effort. It was the most highly anticipated and crowded congressional event in recent memory.

Over a long career, Mr. Comey has excelled at telling his story while tiptoeing around Washington’s bureaucratic minefields. He has been so at ease before Congress that some staff members have jokingly called him “Senator Comey.” But this time, he offered more frank, emotional introspection than he had before.

He set that tone from the beginning, opening with a goodbye to his former employees, to whom he was unable to personally bid farewell. And he said Mr. Trump had lied — a word that is often soft-pedaled in Washington — when he justified the firing by saying Mr. Comey had lost the confidence of an F.B.I. in disarray. “Those were lies, plain and simple,” Mr. Comey said.

He said the president had defamed him, an apparent reference to Mr. Trump’s calling him a “nut job” in a private meeting with Russian diplomats.

And when Republicans asked why he had not told the president he was out of line for asking Mr. Comey to “see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Comey said perhaps he should have.

Senators Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Richard Burr, chairman of the committee, listening to Mr. Comey’s testimony. CreditAl Drago/The New York Times

“I don’t want to sound like I’m Captain Courageous,” he replied. “I don’t know whether, even if I had the presence of mind, I would have said to the president, ‘Sir, that’s wrong.’”

But he said he had no doubt about Mr. Trump’s intentions. “I took it as a direction,” he said. If the president had his way, Mr. Comey said, “we would have dropped an open criminal investigation.”

Mr. Comey’s testimony forced Mr. Trump’s supporters into the uncomfortable position of drawing a distinction between suggesting that the F.B.I. close an investigation into a friend and outright ordering it.

“Knowing my father for 39 years when he ‘orders or tells’ you to do something there is no ambiguity, you will know exactly what he means,” the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter during the hearing.

Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, is investigating Mr. Flynn along with the broad question of whether the Trump campaign helped Russian operatives meddle in the presidential election.

Mr. Comey placed the origins of the special counsel investigation squarely on Mr. Trump’s Twitter account, a frequent source of conflict for the president. Two days after Mr. Comey was ousted, The Times reported that Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Comey to pledge loyalty to him. The president then tweeted that Mr. Comey had “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’” of their meetings.

That tweet inspired Mr. Comey to allow a friend to read portions of his memo to The Times. A day after The Times revealed the contents of that memo, which described the conversation about Mr. Flynn, the Justice Department appointed Mr. Mueller to take over the investigation.

The White House has not commented on whether recordings exist. But Mr. Comey repeatedly baited Mr. Trump to produce them if they did. “Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” he said at the hearing. “The president surely knows if there are tapes. If there are, my feelings aren’t hurt. Release the tapes.”

Mr. Trump has offered changing reasons for firing Mr. Comey. The White House originally cited Mr. Comey’s handling of last year’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, saying Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, had recommended he be dismissed. But Mr. Trump quickly undercut that argument, telling NBC News that he had been thinking about the Russia investigation when he fired Mr. Comey.

Asked why he was fired, Mr. Comey replied: “I take the president at his word — that I was fired because of the Russia investigation. Something about the way I was conducting it, the president felt, created pressure on him that he wanted to relieve.”

Mr. Comey questioned why Mr. Sessions had been involved in the discussions about his firing, given that Mr. Sessions had recused himselffrom the Russia case after his undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States were revealed. “If, as the president said, I was fired because of the Russia investigation, why was the attorney general involved in that chain?” Mr. Comey asked. “I don’t know.”

The Justice Department said Thursday that Mr. Sessions had been involved because the firing was related to concerns about Mr. Comey’s leadership and had nothing to do with any inquiry.

Mr. Comey also described his disappointment when the president asked that they be left alone after a meeting in the Oval Office with national security officials. Mr. Sessions stayed behind at first, but then left. “My sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn’t be leaving, which is why he was lingering,” Mr. Comey said. He testified that he later told Mr. Sessions to never again leave him alone with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Kasowitz said Mr. Trump had never sought a loyalty pledge, as Mr. Comey told the Senate. And he portrayed Mr. Comey as part of a stealth campaign to undermine Mr. Trump. “It is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications,” he said. “Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.”

Mr. Comey’s memo was not classified, and the White House did not assert executive privilege over his conversations with Mr. Trump.

Though Mr. Comey told Mr. Trump three times that he was not under investigation, he said others at the F.B.I. had argued against offering that assurance. Because the F.B.I. was investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, one official argued, Mr. Trump’s activity would necessarily be scrutinized. Nevertheless, Mr. Comey said, “I thought it was fair to say what was literally true: There is not a counterintelligence investigation of Mr. Trump.”

But Mr. Comey said he had distrusted Mr. Trump from the first time they met, at Trump Tower before Inauguration Day. Mr. Comey ended the day in an F.B.I. vehicle, taking detailed notes about his conversations. “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting,” he said, “and so I thought it really important to document.”

Then, in February, when Mr. Trump cleared the Oval Office to talk about Mr. Flynn, Mr. Comey described an ominous feeling. “My impression was, something big is about to happen,” he said. “I need to remember every single word that is spoken.”

Neo-Nazi Blogger Raises Staggering Sum After Launching Harassment Campaign Against Jewish Woman

More than $150,000 has been raised to cover the legal costs of the internet’s most infamous neo-Nazi blogger, currently being sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center for instigating a “harassment campaign” against a Jewish woman.

The money was contributed by supporters of Andrew Anglin, the man behind the Daily Stormer, a site dedicated to all things white power. Donors made their contributions via a right-wing crowdfunding platform called WeSearchr, which is sort of like a pro-hate-speech version of GoFundMe or Kickstarter.

According to the SPLC, Anglin encouraged readers to harass Tanya Gersh, a real estate agent in Whitefish, Montana. In a post on the Daily Stormer site, Anglin reportedly accused Gersh of trying to extort money from Sherry Spencer, who is the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer. The headline of the blog post, “Jews Targeting Richard Spencer’s Mother for Harassment and Extortion – TAKE ACTION!” was reportedly followed by a message from Anglin reading, “Let’s Hit Em Up. Are y’all ready for an old fashioned Troll Storm? Because AYO—it’s time, fam.”

Buzzfeed details some of the vitriol directed at Gersh in more than 700 individual attacks that followed. According to court papers, the abusive messages included emails stating, “Merry Christmas, you Christ killing Jew” and another that included the words “Death to Tanya” 100 times. “You should have died in the Holocaust with the rest of your people” a caller to Gersh’s home told her. A tweet directed at her 12-year-old son included a picture of an oven alongside the message, “psst kid, there’s a free Xbox One inside the oven.”

Aside from the court battle that awaits, the SPLC faces an additional challenge with its lawsuit: actually finding Anglin. The organization describes Anglin as currently being “in hiding,” making it impossible to serve him with court papers. SPLC president Richard Cohen told Buzzfeed that a process server has been dispatched “multiple times to multiple locations” to find Anglin, but hasn’t yet come across him.

“In at least one place in Ohio [our process server] heard voices inside,” Cohen told Buzzfeed, “but when he knocked nobody came to the door.”

A post on the Daily Stormer site links to the WeSearchr fundraising campaign. The headline on the entry reads, “SPLC is Suing Anglin! Donate Now to Stop These Kikes.”

WeSearchr is brought to you by Chuck C. Johnson, a right-wing blogger who Jezebel notes has previously “claimed that both President Obama and Emmanuel Macron are gay,” wrongly identified the woman he thought was ‘Jackie’ of the UVA scandal, and has demonstrated what Forbes called an overall “disregard for facts.” Johnson is perhaps best known for getting banned from Twitter for collecting funds to “take out” Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson.

In January, Forbes reported that Johnson was helping Donald Trump’s transition team “recommend, vet and give something of a seal of approval to potential [cabinet] nominees.”

Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.

Britain Raises Threat Level to ‘Critical,’ Says ‘Further Attack May Be Imminent’

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/manchester-concert-explosion/britain-raises-threat-level-critical-says-further-attack-may-be-n763811

 

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tuesday that the terror threat in the country had been raised to “critical” — the highest possible level — one day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that killed at least 22.

May said that meant another attack “may be imminent.”

Speaking Tuesday night from Downing Street in a televised statement, May said that while investigations were ongoing into whether suicide bomber Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old British citizen, had acted alone, “the work undertaken throughout the day has revealed that it is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.”

May said the country’s joint terrorism analysis center, which sets the threat level based on available intelligence, had been keeping the situation “under constant review.”

“It has now have concluded on the basis of today’s investigation that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical,” she said. “This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent.”

Sam Petulla / NBC News

The move marks the first time the country’s threat level has been this high in a decade. It was last declared critical from June 30 to July 4 of 2007, according to the United Kingdom’s Security Service.

May said that Tuesday’s change in the threat level meant additional resources would be available to police working “to keep us all safe.”

Image: Deadly Blast Kills 22 at Manchester Arena Pop Concert
Police forensic officers leave the Manchester Arena as they investigate the scene of an explosion in Manchester, England on May 23, 2017. Dave Thompson / Getty Images

She announced that the country’s Operation Temperer, an emergency plan that allows military personnel to support the police’s armed forces, was “now in full force.” Previous reports out of Britain have said that the secretive “Temperer” plan could unleash up to 5,000 troops on the streets of England.

May said that “armed police officers responsible for duties such as guarding key sights, will be replaced by members of the armed forces, which will allow the police to significantly increase the number of armed officers on patrol in key locations.”

Those military personnel may be deployed at certain events, May said, “such as concerts and sports matches” to help police keep the public safe.

The prime minister said Tuesday that the death toll from the attack stood at 22 and “59 people remain injured — and many of them have life-threatening conditions.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement late Tuesday that he wanted “to reassure all Londoners and visitors that we are doing everything possible to protect our city” in light of the increased terror level.

“Our emergency services prepare day in, day out for these situations,” he said in the statement. “Our plans are well rehearsed and well prepared. I would urge all Londoners and visitors to remain calm and vigilant, and to report anything suspicious to the police.”

Khan added that additional police officers and some military personnel would be present in London’s streets over the coming days.

May asked the public to be vigilant, but stressed that the nation stood “defiant” in the face of terrorism.

“While we mourn the victims of last night’s appalling attack, we stand defiant,” she said. “The spirit of Manchester and the spirit of Britain is far mightier than the sick plots of depraved terrorists.”

IRANIAN-BACKED MILITIA OFFENSIVE RAISES TENSIONS NEAR TURKISH BORDER OF IRAQ

 

An Iranian-backed Shia militia offensive in Iraq has cut off ISIS supply lines west of Mosul but risks exacerbating tensions with Kurds in nearby Sinjar who say the operation breaches an agreement over who would liberate the area.

The developments have made local Iraqis wary of creeping Iranian influence and Turkish intervention in an area already plagued by infighting and a combustible mix of ethnic and religious groups. A regional Kurdish commander accused Tehran of wanting to “open a corridor” through Iraq to Syria.

 

The fighting may also complicate American goals of seeking a smooth finish to the operation in Mosul without the controversy of any Kurdish-Shia fighting or Turkish problems, especially with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visiting Washington this week. Sinjar is increasingly a hinge that connects several conflicts in northern Iraq and the Yazidis who were victims of ISIS are once again victims of the regional politics.

The offensive in Iraq is the most important yet launched by the Iranian-backed Shia militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), since November, when they crossed 50 km. of desert to cut off Mosul and surround the Turkmen town of Tal Afar.

The militias aim to capture Qairawan and al-Ba’aj, two Iraqi towns held by ISIS that border Sinjar, which was liberated by Kurdish Peshmerga in November 2015.

Local news sources said the offensive has been dubbed named “Muhammad Rassol Allah 2”, and it is designed to cut off ISIS supply lines that run across the Syrian border. Since skirmishes began on Saturday the Shia militias have captured more than a dozen villages from ISIS and are within 40 km. of the Syrian border.

The fighting has a wider context. Iraqi security forces, backed by the US-led coalition, are close to conquering the last pockets of ISIS in Mosul. The PMU wants to strike Westward to bring attention to their role in the war effort. In January a PMU spokesman named Ahmed Assadi told CNN that “we’ve received information that [ISIS leader] Abu Baqr Baghdadi is hiding between the towns of al-Baaj and al-Qairawan, near the Iraqi-Syrian border.” PMU leader Abu Mahdi Muhandis was quoted by Rudaw, a local Kurdish channel, on Sunday that within 48 or 72 hours his forces would take Qairawan.

However the Shia offensive has raised eyebrows in the Kurdistan Regional Government. Peshmerga commander Sarbast Lazgin told reporters he was concerned that the PMU was advancing on former Yazidi villages near Sinjar.

“[President Masoud] Barani is aware of violations made by Hashd al-Shaabi [PMU] and informed us that Hashd should not be allowed in there,” tweeted Baxtiyar Goran, a reporter for Kurdistan24. “Any advance of Hashd al-Shaabi in Ezidi areas is a violation of Kurdistan-Iraq agreement and is not acceptable,” the Peshmerga commander said.

The Yazidi villages between Qairawan and Sinjar were the site of many ISIS atrocities in 2014. A woman from Tal Qasab told The Daily Beast that she was captured by ISIS and witnessed mass killings by ISIS. “I saw so many corpses on the road, it was terrible. I remember one of the saddest moments there, during those terrible months, was this little girl, twelve years old. They raped her with no mercy.” Now the PMU is on the verge of taking many of these villages, including Tel Banat, Kocho and others, including the site of suspected mass graves ISIS left behind.

A local Yazidi leader said that behind the PMU offensive they fear Iranian influence. The Peshmerga in Sinjar, who initially hoped to liberate the Yazidi villages, have been distracted over the last year by internal Kurdish clashes on Sinjar between the Kurdistan Workers Party and KRG Peshmerga. In late April Turkey bombed PKK forces on Sinjar and killed five Peshmerga in error. The local politician in Sinjar says that the current advance by the Iranian-backed PMU and the presence of the PKK “will give the Turkish government pretext to intervene under the pretext of the existence of PKK and occupy the region and the biggest loser of these international and regional situations are the Yazidi.”

The PMU offensive increasingly stokes fears of a “Shia crescent” or Iranian-backed plan to increase control in northern Iraq. From the PMU’s perspective they are only intent on killing ISIS and cutting of the route to Syria. But Turkey sees PKK flags in Sinjar and threats to Turkmen in Tal Afar and wants to intervene.

Trump raises stakes on government shutdown, demands border wall funds in spending bill

The White House said Thursday that it wants to see money for President Trump’s border wall included in the spending bill Congress must pass next week — a demand Democrats said sours negotiations and makes a government shutdown more likely.

The demands mark a reversal for the administration, which had been saying it found enough money to build prototypes this year and wouldn’t need a major infusion of cash until next year.

But White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday that the wall and the money for more immigration agents are priorities.

“We know there are a lot of people on the Hill, especially in the Democratic Party, who don’t like the wall, but they lost the election. And the president should, I think, at least have the opportunity to fund one of his highest priorities in the first funding bill under his administration,” Mr. Mulvaney said.

The White House issued its demand just days after Democrats insisted that the spending bill include billions of dollars to prop up Obamacare. Democratic aides signaled that they wouldn’t accept a bill without the cost-sharing payments intended to keep insurers invested in the health care law.

With Mr. Mulvaney’s demand, both sides now appear to be entrenching.

Fed Raises Interest Rates for Third Time Since Financial Crisis

The Federal Reserve, which raised its benchmark rate on Wednesday for the second time in three months, this time to a range between 0.75 percent and 1 percent, is finally moving toward the end of its nine-year-old economic stimulus campaign, which began in the depths of the financial crisis.

But Janet L. Yellen, the Fed’s chairwoman, said at a news conference after the decision was announced that the Fed did not share the optimism of stock market investors and some business executives that economic growth is gaining speed. It still plans to move slowly because the economy continues to grow slowly. She suggested that the Fed would have plenty of time to adjust its plans should President Trump and Congress cut taxes or spend massively on infrastructure.

Her announcement was full of confidence. But it certainly was not ebullient. “The data have not notably strengthened,” Ms. Yellen told reporters. “We haven’t changed the outlook. We think we’re moving on the same course we’ve been on.”

The Fed said that the United States economy continued to chug along, expanding at a “moderate pace.” Employers are hiring, consumers are spending and businesses — the laggards in recent months — are starting to plow a little more money into their operations, too.

The Fed’s sobriety did not appear to make much of an impression on investors. The stock market’s heady march that began after Mr. Trump’s election continued apace. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose 0.84 percent to close at 2,385.26 Wednesday, moving up sharply after the announcement. Some said the Fed was still a long way from doing anything that might hurt.

“The first four to eight rate hikes are the low-hanging fruit,” said Deron McCoy, the chief investment officer at SEIA, a Los Angeles firm. “The real test will be whether the economy can withstand positive real rates. And that still seems to be a 2019 topic.”

Some analysts said the Fed will want to see an impact from its actions. “Policy makers hike rates to tighten financial conditions,” said Ellen Zentner, the chief United States economist at Morgan Stanley. “If this easing of financial conditions on the back of today’s hike are sustained, that would tell policy makers they need to do more.”

Ms. Zentner said she expected the Fed to raise rates again at its June meeting. The Fed’s policy-making committee next meets on May 2 and 3.

She noted that the Fed’s longer-term outlook is less clear. Ms. Yellen’s term as Fed chairwoman ends in February, and Mr. Trump could then replace her.

The Fed, charged with maximizing employment and moderating inflation, is close to achieving both goals. The unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in February, consistent with the normal churn of people moving among jobs. And after several years of concern that prices were not rising fast enough, inflation is reviving. The Fed’s preferred measure rose 1.9 percent over the 12 months ending in January, close to its 2 percent annual target.

“The basis for today’s decision is simply our assessment of the progress of the economy,” Ms. Yellen said at the postmeeting news conference. “And it’s been doing nicely.”

The Fed, which had made more inflation a central objective, said on Wednesday that it was now focused on stabilizing inflation. Ms. Yellen took the opportunity to note that inflation may now rise a bit above 2 percent, just as it has been below 2 percent the last few years. “It’s a reminder 2 percent is not a ceiling on inflation,” she said. “It’s a target.”

The Fed’s increased confidence was reflected in a new round of policy forecasts it also published Wednesday. An increased number of Fed officials are expecting to raise rates at least twice more this year. Only three of the 17 officials who submitted forecasts expect the central bank to move more slowly. There was a similar coalescing around tighter policy for the following two years, marking the first time in recent years that the Fed’s quarterly economic forecasts have shifted toward a prediction of tighter monetary policy.

This is the third time the Fed has raised rates since the financial crisis. The first hike came at the end of 2015 and the second almost exactly one year later. This time the Fed waited just three months. The benchmark rate remains below 1 percent, a very low level.

People with credit card debt are likely to see an immediate increase of about a quarter percentage point in their interest rates. The effect on longer-term loans is less direct, but the average rate on a 30-year mortgage rose by half a percentage point over the last year.

The nation’s largest borrower, the federal government, will also feel the pinch of higher rates. The Congressional Budget Office expects federal interest payments, measured as a share of the economy, to double over the next decade.

Savers are unlikely to benefit immediately. Banks tend to raise interest rates on loans more quickly than they raise rates on deposits. Last week, the average rate on a six-month certificate of deposit was 0.14 percent. Last year at this time: 0.13 percent.

The Fed’s move to raise rates puts it on course for a slow-motion collision with President Trump, who has repeatedly promised to increase economic growth through policies including cuts in taxation and regulation and more spending on infrastructure and defense.

Fed officials have emphasized that the economy is already growing at roughly its maximum sustainable pace; faster growth would therefore lead to faster increases in interest rates.

Some economists and liberal activists argue that the Fed is raising rates too quickly. Narayana Kocherlakota, an economist at the University of Rochester and a former member of the Fed’s policy-making committee, noted that strong economic growth continued to pull people into the job market while wage growth remained relatively weak. That suggests, he said, that the economy has not yet returned to full employment.

“We should be seeing faster wage growth with this level of employment growth if we were close to full employment,” Mr. Kocherlakota said on Twitter before the Fed’s decision.

Mr. Kocherlakota’s successor as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, cast the sole vote against raising rates on Wednesday.

The Fed’s assessment of economic conditions remained quite measured. The economy expanded by just 1.6 percent in 2016, and there is little sign of an acceleration during the first quarter. Fed officials continue to forecast a Goldilocks economy, with the unemployment rate remaining at 4.5 percent and inflation around 2 percent for the next three years.

Ms. Yellen played down surveys showing a sharp rise in the optimism of consumers and business executives since the presidential election, noting there is little evidence that such surveys predict spending decisions.

She said that Fed officials spoke regularly to business leaders, and that many were undoubtedly in “a much more optimistic frame of mind.” But she added that many of those executives have adopted a wait-and-see attitude — just like the Fed itself.

Steady U.S. Job Growth Sets Stage for Fed to Raise Interest Rates

A wave of hiring in February — President Trump’s first full month in office — pointed to a strong foundation for the nation’s economy, providing further evidence for the Federal Reserve that the moment to raise interest rates has come.

The Labor Department reported a gain of 235,000 jobs and healthy wage growth in a month when even the weather cooperated. It was the last major data release before Fed policy makers meet Tuesday and Wednesday, when they have signaled their intent to increase the benchmark interest rate.

“The economy is riding a wave of bullish sentiment postelection,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, a career website. “We’re seeing strong labor demand across the board and no sign of slowing right now.”

Republicans and Democrats quickly jostled for credit.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said Mr. Trump had “jump-started job creation, not only through his executive action but because of the surge in economic confidence and optimism that has been inspired since his election.”

Mr. Trump, who, as a candidate, repeatedly dismissed the official jobs reports as “phony,” reposted a comment on Twitter from the conservative website Drudge Report that said, “GREAT AGAIN: +235,000.” Mr. Spicer later quoted Mr. Trump on his faith in the report, “They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.”

The Labor Department repeated that it had not changed the way it collected and analyzed jobs data since Mr. Trump took office. “It’s business as usual,” said Megan Kindelan, director of public affairs at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Republican self-congratulation clearly irked Democrats. Tom Perez, labor secretary in the Obama administration and now chairman of the Democratic National Committee, countered that Mr. Trump had “absolutely nothing” to do with the job gains. “Trump inherited an economy from Barack Obama with the longest streak of private sector job growth in history,” he said.

Although the economic anxiety that helped put Mr. Trump in the White House remains, the official jobless rate is near what the Fed considers full employment — a threshold where, in theory at least, everyone who wants a job at the going rate can find one. The official jobless rate fell to 4.7 percent, from 4.8 percent in January, even as the overall labor force grew.

At the same time, jobless claims are near a 44-year low, and the stock market is surging. Revisions to previous estimates raised the three-month average of monthly job gains to 209,000 and annual wage growth to 2.8 percent, further bolstering the case for those who argue the economy is strong enough to withstand a rate increase.

The overall economic momentum received a push from February’s unusually warm weather, with almost a quarter of the jobs — about 58,000 — coming from construction. Manufacturing and mining rose too.

Also significant was the increase in the labor participation rate to 63 percent, a result of rising employment even among people without a high school diploma. “There’s got to be some optimism that these people are feeling they finally have a chance,” said Diane Swonk, founder and chief executive of DS economics in Chicago.

On the other end are employers who are seeing acute labor shortages. “They’re offering training programs now,” Ms. Swonk said. “They’re complaining about it. But that’s what tight labor markets do. It forces you to invest more to work with less.”

Bigger paychecks are something that most Americans are particularly eager to see, after years of stagnant wage growth. The Fed, too, has been waiting for an increase, but it is also wary of wages rising too fast. Its members want to head off incipient inflation without putting the brakes on hiring, especially because the benefits of the eight-year-old recovery have been so unevenly distributed.

The Labor Picture in February

Balancing those two goals is tricky.

Lauren Griffin, senior vice president at Adecco Staffing USA, said the scarcity of qualified workers had compelled employers to raise wages, strengthen benefits and improve amenities at the office. “We’ve got people in orientation classes,” Ms. Griffin said, “and they get up and leave because they’re contacted about another job that might be more money.”

At the same time, a broader measure of unemployment — which includes the millions of Americans who have given up looking for work or who are working part time but would prefer full-time jobs — dropped to 9.2 percent last month but is still high given how tight the labor market looks otherwise.

Cautioning the Fed against moving too quickly with a rate increase, Elise Gould, an economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, noted that, “Workers throughout the economy, including young workers, workers of color, and low-wage workers, need a chance to make up lost ground on wage growth.”

Many Americans who live outside urban centers also have been excluded from most of the rewards of the recovery.

Large metropolitan counties have had more than twice the annual wage growth of nonmetropolitan areas, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Higher-wage jobs might be following educated, young workers, who are increasingly living in dense, urban neighborhoods as other demographic groups move to the suburbs,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, a job-search site. “Broader economic shifts also favor big cities: The occupations projected to grow tend to be more urban, while shrinking sectors like manufacturing and farming tend to be located outside large metros.”

That is disappointing for people with longstanding ties to smaller, more rural communities. “A lot of this has to do with mobility,” said Steven W. Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group, an insurance company. “People are going to have to move where the jobs are and not expect the jobs to come where they are.”

Although the Trump administration has had little time to make any substantial policy changes, the expectation of a reduction in taxes and regulations and the possibility of vast infrastructure spending have created optimism among employers and blue-collar workers.

Mr. Trump has promised to expand the economy by 4 percent a year, create 25 million jobs in the next decade, revive manufacturing and reduce the trade deficit.

Achieving all that would be difficult in the best of circumstances, let alone with the potential headwinds facing the White House. Dissension among Republicans and the unpredictability of Mr. Trump’s course in several policy areas could dampen job growth.

The future of the Affordable Care Act and a possible replacement is making hospitals and community health centers cautious about adding workers. A strong dollar and a potential backlash against the White House’s travel ban could slow tourism and hiring in the sector. And Mr. Trump’s across-the-board hiring freeze on federal government jobs, combined with declines at the state level, will probably reduce the total number of public sector employees.

The uncertainty extends to prospects for tax cuts. Some Wall Street analysts, expecting delays, have pared their growth forecasts for 2017, after recently raising them.

Certainly the snapshot of February’s labor market is good. The question is, if the economy does slow, whether Mr. Trump will accept the legitimacy of weak reports as enthusiastically as he does good ones.

Mr. Spicer suggested the president would. “Numbers are going to go up and down,” he said. “We recognize that.”

The Secret KOSHER TAX That Raises Food Prices

Kosher Food Tax THE TRUTH AT LAST – P.O. Box 1211, Marietta, Georgia 30061


The Secret KOSHER TAX That Raises Food Prices

Non-Jews are unaware that all food products marked with the “K” or “U” Symbols have been TAXED by Jewish Rabbis!

Note: Each nation has its own symbol. Check in local Jewish publications, to find out what mark of the beast, is being used in your own country.

On every pantry shelf in America, lay dozens of canned and packaged food products which have a tiny “K” or “U” printed on the label.

This symbol informs Orthodox Jews that the items have been checked by a rabbi, to make sure that they have been prepared in accordance with “Jewish Dietary law”, as set forth in the Jewish Talmud -(the real “bible” of the Jews.)

American food companies are forced to pay multi-billions of dollars to several Orthodox Jewish organizations, just so an estimated 10% to 20% of Jewry, (or 800,000 to no more than 1.2 million Orthodox Jews), will buy their products. Please bear in mind that this is a country of 270 million people, and we are all forced to pay this Kosher Tax, just to appease LESS THAN ONE PERCENT OF THE POPULATION!

This comes out of your pocket!

What does “Kosher” mean?

The word “Kosher” means “fit” to eat. Orthodox Jews are forbidden from eating meat products from any animal that doesn’t have a split hoof and chew its cud. Pigs, (pork), is not kosher because while they do have the split hooves, they don’t chew their cud. Rabbit meat is not kosher because, while they chew their cud, they don’t have split hooves. Jews are not allowed to eat any dairy products along with meat at the same meal. If they eat meat at one meal, they must wait six hours before they can eat any dairy food.

All of this is superstitious nonsense, and has absolutely nothing to do with improving the quality of any food product. Still, this clever scheme of requiring kosher labeling has become a multi-million dollar business today! The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1942 states that the practice of eating rabbi-approved “kosher” foods goes back to ancient times when Jews were forbidden from eating with or having sex with Gentiles. The Encyclopedia says rabbis taught that, “Gentiles are ridden with diseases and death from unclean habits, and that, God wishes to protect his people from being contaminated by the Gentiles. The non-kosher goods of the Gentiles were ruled to have a contaminating effect!”

How Racist!
Falsehoods Used To Entice Christians To Accept Kosher Products.

One of our subscriber’s wrote the “Aunt Jane Foods Co.” in Faison, N.C. asking how much they pay annually for the use of the “U” symbol. Ms. Donna Fonvielle, head of Customer Relations, responded that Jews told them that by submitting to rabbinical supervision they are informing the public that “kosher products are produced under sanitary conditions.”

The Jewish Press of Feb. 26, 1988, quotes Menachem Lubinsky, a major marketer of kosher products as saying, “the industry should tell inquisitive Christians this line, Kosher has become something like the ‘Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval’. It makes a product appear to be healthier and of better quality.”

The Washington Post of Nov. 2, 1987 quotes Rabbi Schulem Rubin, an Orthodox rabbi from the Bronx as declaring:

“Kosher doesn’t taste any better; kosher isn’t healthier; kosher doesn’t have less salmonella. You can eat a Holly Farm chicken which sells for 39 cents a pound on sale, and next taste a Kosher chicken selling for $1.69 a pound, and not tell the difference. There’s a lot of money to be made! Religion is not based on logic!”

The Sun-Sentinel of March 20, 1987, quotes Rabbi Irving Silverman, who organized the recent giant Kosher Foods Exposition in New York City, as stating: “There’s one misconception I would like to clear up. There’s a perception that the Jewish dietary laws are steeped in health considerations. That’s not so at all. It is a commitment to a strict adherence to a tradition, a thread from one generation to another. I’m not kosher because its’ healthier – I’m kosher because my parents were kosher and my grandparents were kosher. Its a commitment!”

Rabbi Bernard Levy, head of the Orthodox, “Committee For The Furtherance of Torah Observance,” demonstrates how he stamps the Kosher symbol which has made him untold millions of dollars. (Tax free)

There would be no objection if the small Orthodox Jewish community made their own kosher products and paid for them, as they did before the kosher business was launched in 1919, for the general public. The problem lies in the fact that the meaning of these kosher labels is a tightly guarded secret of which most Christians have no knowledge.

America’s huge manufacturers of processed food products keep a tight lid on this subject so that no explanation is ever allowed to seep out to the public. They only run ads announcing which products are kosher in Jewish publications, and NEVER in the daily press or on TV. This subject is so sensitive that few daily newspapers dare to carry articles about this controversy. Growing numbers of non-Jews who become aware of the secret kosher tax object to being forced to pay it. This is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Who Receives The Kosher Food Tax Money?

In 1960 there were only 225 companies paying the kosher food tax. This jumped to 475 in 1966 and 800 by 1975. Jewish promoters of kosher labeling say there now has been a “kosher food explosion” today with over 16,000 products now paying rabbinical organizations for their “stamp of kosher approval.” Kosher products retail sales today amount to $30 billion a year according to “The Chicago Jewish Sentinel” of July 7, 1988.Note: In the year 2000, this is now a trillion dollar racketeering scheme, in which ever nation on Earth pays the KOSHER TAX.

Orthodox Jewish organizations have copyrighted certain symbols which only they can use. The giant in the business is “The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations” which issues the “U” imprint. They service some 1,200 companies or about 80% of the business. They employ nearly 600 rabbis as part-time “checkers.” This is twice as many as ten years ago. The next largest is Rabbi Bernard Levy’s “Committee For The Furtherance of Torah Observance” which uses the “K” symbol.

Canadian Kosher products are stamped with the letters “COR” which stands for “Council of Orthodox Rabbis”. This is a front group for the powerful Canadian Jewish Congress, which actually receives all the money from this tax. The Jews in Canada are so united they do not allow any competition which is not the case in the U.S. Here a number of Orthodox rabbis have split away from the major groups to go into the kosher racket for themselves. (Why split easy money with the higher ups?) Note: This is not Just a problem in the UnitedStates and Canada. All nations with an Orthodox Jewish population are being extorted this way. Any were you have agents of the World Jewish Congress, you have this form of Racketeering. Do to NAFTA, Mexico is flooded with this problem. 100 Million Mexicans, mostly Catholic, have to pay tribute to Jews in this manner.

Rabbi Jack Goldman was formerly with the Orthodox Jewish Congregation but broke away and now runs the “Metropolitan Kashruth Council of Michigan “. He has several rabbis working for him and they issue an “MK” label. Some believe this stands for “Michigan Kosher.” It is said that had he remained in the New York-New Jersey area his life would have been in danger. Note: The symbols differ from country to country, to find out what symbols are use in your nation, check advertisements in Jewish news papers and magazines.

Minnesota has Rabbi Asher Zeilingold who immigrated there in 1953 from England, and today issues his own “K with a shield” to some ISO factories.

This is strictly a religious tax, which millions of non-Jews unknowingly pay each time they buy a basket load of groceries! What would happen if a group of Christian ministers or priests got together, and demanded that all companies pay them a similar tax? They could use a “C,” symbol (for Christian), or a cross, (for Christ), threatening that those who refuse to print such a label on their products would be boycotted by Christians.

If that happened you would hear an enraged outcry from the ACLU, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Anti-Defamation League, etc. They would be filing suits to stop this “violation of the Constitutional provisions providing for the separation of Church and State.” But, because of the Jews’ centuries old claim of being “a poor persecuted people” along with the Christian fear of being accused of “anti-Semitism,” there is a deafening silence on this problem. Note: Modern Jews are not Semites, or the Jews of the Bible.

The Great Kosher Scandal Will One Day Explode!

The New York Times, a Jewish owned daily, in a rare article on this subject back on May 18, 1975, reported that kosher symbols are deliberately printed “unobtrusively on labels” so that they will go unnoticed by Christians. In Jewish publications large ads are run to instruct Jews to buy only kosher marked items. In other words, the Jews are boycotting all products which do not pay the kosher tax! The biggest secret of all is the exact ANNUAL amount these companies pay to Orthodox rabbis. This same “Times” article stated: “Neither kosher group will disclose what gross revenues are, nor, are corporations anxious to make their own payments public.”How often do we hear our congressmen demand that there be “truth in advertising” and that the “consumer must be protected?”

Note: The Jewish Attorney general, of New York State, is going after General Electric, for far less charges of defrauding the public. Will Mr. Spitzer go after the Rabbis? Don’t hold your breath! “The Times” writer, Leonard Sloane, quizzed Rabbi Bernard Levy about this and only received an evasive reply. Levy stated that the average cost to a concern for kosher inspections runs from $1,000 for a “mom and pop” operation to $40,000 per plant for the larger corporations. But, he quickly added, that these charges can go much higher because they are “all keyed to the frequency of inspection which could be on a continuous, daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.” The rabbi decides how often your plant must be inspected. Remember,these are figures from 1975 – HOW MUCH HIGHER ARE THEY TODAY?

Jewish Editor Calls Kosher Labeling A “Racket”!

The Jewish Newsletter is published by William Zukerman. In 1970 he came out with a super-sensational article charging that Orthodox rabbis had turned the kosher labeling business into a multi-million dollar racket. He said that absolutely nothing which does not contain meat or a meat by-product needs a kosher label. He quotes Mrs. Weiss-Rosmarin, “the greatest rabbinical authority,” as testifying that no soft drink, Coca-Cola, nor any other drink needs kosher approval. Again, ONLY MEAT and items containing MEAT by-products need Kosher approval.

Zuckerman charges that “unscrupulous or bogus rabbis” are in back of this “racket” and when eventually exposed, “this will develop into a scandal which will rock organized Jewry to its foundation:”

The (Masonic) B’nai B’rith Messenger in its April 2, 1965 edition warned that “a nationally known rabbi, who had promised to expose the kosher racket was allegedly told to shut-up or else!” Zuckerman has stated that Jews who dare to speak out against the Kosher Food Racket face physical danger. Powerful people do not want any of their own kind to rock the boat by exposing this multi-million dollar fraud.

American food products are already checked by local and federal governmental agencies for purity and edibility. Jewish kosher certification in no way whatsoever makes them any more sanitary or wholesome. Orthodox Jewish organizations send rabbis to all the food companies in America. They tell them that Jews will refuse to buy their products if they are not marked with the “U” or “K” kosher symbol. The truth is that only Orthodox Jews, (less than 1.2 million), follow kosher dietary laws. The rabbis broadly hint thatany refusal to pay for these “kosher inspections” would indicate that they are “unfriendly or insensitive” to Jewry. They would be labeled anti-Semites and all hell breaks loose THIS IS NOTHING SHORT OF A VEILED THREAT OF PURE BLACKMAIL AND IS ILLEGAL! If someone with an Italian last name did this, they would be in prison by now…

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Brief History Of Kosher Labeling.

Special kosher approval by rabbis, down through the centuries, has only been applied to requiring the Jewish ritual slaughter of animals. This includes the killing of unstunned cattle by an approved Jewish “shocktim.” It requires their throat be cut from ear to ear. They slowly bleed to death in a horrible manner because the animals heart must pump out all its blood before death. Jews are not allowed to eat any meat with blood in it. Jewish ritual slaughter of animals has been condemned by humane societies the world over and has been banned in numerous countries in the past for constituting “cruelty to animals.”

The idea of applying kosher regulations to non-meat products was originated by the late Joseph Jacobs. All of this first began in 1919 in New york City when Jacobs sold an advertising idea to a few Jewish-owned food companies if they would print a “K” for kosher on their food products he would advertise them in Jewish publications and also on the Yiddish radio station, WEVD. None of the products were inspected by rabbis. This began as purely an advertising venture. Thus the “Joseph Jacobs Organization,Inc.” was founded and today is run by his relatives. This business prospered but Jacobs was not a rabbi and saw the advantage of linking his kosher approval scheme to the Jewish religion. Then in 1925 he formed a new group with some rabbis and called it “The Committee For the Furtherance of Torah Observance.” A few years later other Orthodox rabbis recognized its money making potential and with the leadership of the far larger “Union of Orthodox Congregations” they begin issuing their own “U” label. Today these two 2 groups control over 90% of the kosher business. This is a clear monopoly and violates anti trust laws.

Companies reply To Our Readers Inquiries.

Our readers have sent us many letters they have received from some of the nation’s largest companies who have silently submitted to this kosher blackmail. In other words, they had rather make the “pay off” when threatened with a Jewish boycott, than stand up for their own rights as well as protect Christian consumers against this gigantic fraud! Why should we be forced to pay ever higher food bills in part caused by this needless secret kosher tax?

Proof that it is indeed secret can be found in the replies printed below in which not one single company would answer the simple question, “How much do you pay annually for the “kosher certification”?

This information should be made public for the simple reason we non-Jews consumers pay a far larger share of this tax than do the Jews!

New York columnist, Dorothy Kilgallen, just before her death wrote that the U.S. Post Office changed the makeup of the glue on the back of the postage stamps at the demand of Orthodox rabbis. It was changed from a pork-fat based glue to a vegetable derivative that had Kosher approval! The rabbis had objected that “no Jew should be forced to lick pork!” Note: Kosher postal stamps? Along this same line we find organized Jewry forcing the federal prison system, and the U.S. Armed Forces into buying kosher food for Jews, who are either in prison or in the military. No politician has raised his voice in protest against this interference by Jews with U.S. government programs! This causes unnecessary extra costs which the taxpayer ends up paying. Note: Jews almost never serve in the U.S. Military! A TYPICAL LETTER COMPANIES USE TRYING TO EXPLAIN AWAY THE SECRET KOSHER FOOD TAX:GENERAL FOODS CORPORATION / 250 North Street, White Plains, N.Y. PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT

Dear Mr. __________

This is in response to your recent letter inquiring about the letter “K” on the labels of our Maxwell House coffee.

As I believe you know, the “K” (for Kosher), is carried on the labels of some of our products, including our coffees, as a service to consumers who are of the Jewish faith. The letter certifies that nothing occurs in the processing of the products which would violate Jewish dietary laws. The certification is made by one or more*highly respected rabbis* who actually visit our production plants to observe our manufacturing processes. For this service, *they are paid a nominal fee* which is such a minute fraction of the over-all cost of processing and marketing our products that it has no effect on the selling price. The use of the “K” is a common practice in the packaged food industry today, and we view it as simply providing helpful information to a substantial number ofconsumers. As for the letter “U” that you mentioned, we have heard of it, but are not familiar with its background since we do not use it.

Sincerely yours;

Robert O. Carboni

How Much Do They Pay?
Following are excerpts of replies to our readers’ inquiries about the kosher tax.

General Foods representative Robert O. Carboni wrote that “highly respected rabbis visit the plant….they are paid a nominal fee…” General Foods Kitchens, Katherine C. Egan; “It is not the policy of this corporation to reveal the cost.” General Foods, is the largest food processor in the United States, and exports food to every nation on Earth.

Mueller’s Spaghetti, Mrs. Agnes Stile’s, Director writes; “We pay a nominal fee for periodic inspection. Kosher spaghetti? What in the world do Jews know about spaghetti? They put Ketchup on it, and eat it cold. All those Italian Americans, who sit down at their meals, pay the people, who claim Jesus is in hell, burning in excrement (Talmud). ‘

‘Delmonico Foods, Joseph P. Viviano, “The “U” means we have passed the Rabbinical investigation.”

Hunt-Wesson Foods, Inc.W. R. Kittredge, Manager Technical Services: “We permit inspectionvisits…there is a minor cost associated with this.” Hunts makes the Ketchup, that is used to put on Burgers, made by McDonalds and Burger King. These two giants, have sold over a trillion burger type sandwiches, everyone of them with a Kosher Tax on it. Heinz Ketchup, which is also Kosher, is only used for packets, given out for french fries.Ever Barbecue in America, results in a pay-off to the Jewish Talmudists.

Procter and Gamble Co., W. S. Carter, Public Relations, “this is a way of helping observant Jewish shoppers . . . without adding significantly to cost.” They are also one of the worlds largest produces of diapers. Although the diapers themselves are not labeled Kosher (Yet), money out of the gross income of Proctor and Gamble, goes to anti-Christ Talmudists. Each time mommie changes her baby, she pays the Tax.

Morton Salt Co., Ray W. McDonald, Advertising and promotion manager, “We must have a designated Rabbi inspect our plant and make certain that they meet the requirements for us to receive the symbol.” Morton Salt is the second largest producer of salt in the world. Diamond Crystal is the worlds largest producer. And, although they both make Kosher Salt for the Jewish community, their regular table, and sea salts are also labeled Kosher. All food, processed in the United States and Canada, that contains salt, usurps money from non-Jews. Every time a chef salts food, you pay the Kosher piper.

The Nestle Co., Helen J. Britt, Director Home Economics, “There is no premium price exacted for a product so identified.” Even candy is Kosher. Think of all those goyim children paying tax to the Yiddish robber barons.

Lever Brothers Co., Therese Bergstrom, Consumer Service Dept., “The cost of this certification is minimal and infinitesimal.”

Club House Foods, of Canada, Mrs. D. Kitching head of Consumer Services: “Kosher meat products require a much more involved certification process directly requiring the supervision by a rabbi who usually commands a premium price for this service.” Note: Canadians are being extorted to the tune of millions of dollars a year, by Jewish racketeers of Jewish organizations, like the Canadian Jewish Congress, and who dose Canada’s law enforcement agencies go after? Ernst Zundel, for telling the truth about world war two. The rabbis have nothing to fear from Canada’s bought politicians!

But How Much Do We Pay?

Above you have read the evasive answers that the largest food companies in America have given our readers in answer to a very simple question. All we want to know is – How much money do you pay annually for kosher certification? Non-Jewish consumers have a right to know since actually it is we who pay most of the kosher tax!

Spider-Web Effect Of The Kosher Tax!
Compounding Tax!

Reynolds Aluminum Foil is “kosher” with the “U” imprint, as are Glad Sandwich Bags, Ivory Liquid Detergent, also Glass Plus for window cleaning and Comet Cleanser. Why should any of these companies be forced to pay the “Kosher Food Tax”? You can’t [even] eat these products! Check labels the next time you go shopping, you will be shocked at just how many non-food items are Kosher. There are even Kosher toilet bowl cleaners. Remember that YOU HAVE TO PAY THEIR TAX !!!

Note the article by the Jewish Union on Reynolds Wrap [not featured here]. It states that one food firm had a product with 21 ingredients from 12 other companies. Each of them were also required to pay the kosher tax before the original company could receive kosher certification! Also, a giant company with scores of products can’t pay one fee for all its food products. It must pay a separate kosher tax for each product and each mustbe inspected by the Rabbi on different visits. This can run the total tax up into the millions of dollars! This is also a GRADUATED TAX that increases each year. Note: A great example of this kind of theft, is with McDonalds. They use Kosher Coke A Cola, (Pepsi is also Kosher), Kosher Kraft Cheese, and Secret Mac sauce (Thousand Island salad dressing), Kosher Ketchup, Kosher buns, and Kosher oil for deep frying. Millions of people, world wide, are paying Kosher taxes, from New York, to Moscow, to Tokyo, even if the buy, of all things, a cheeseburger. Hindu India, that uses lamb for their burgers, has to pay this Kosher Tax. Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and many other chain restaurants, act like mini tax collection agencies, and steal trillions, world wide, for Jewish interests.

KOSHER FOOD SYMBOL VIOLATES “TRUTH IN ADVERTISING LAWS.” A Dobie Pad ad appeared in “Women’s Day Magazine” – with the “U” symbol has been deliberately painted out. This Dobie Pad ad appeared in Jewish publications nation-wide. – Note: There is an arrow to draw attention to the “U“.

Most advertising agencies paint out Kosher symbols in ads. This violates the (American) federal “Truth in Advertising Law!” No daily paper or TV program has ever explained to the American people how this Kosher food tax costs consumers billions of dollars every year. In Jewish publications they have arrows pointing at the symbol so that Jews will be on the lookout for their product. Note: Were is the U.S. Justice Department on this subject ? If they can burn children alive at WACO, and shot fourteen year old boys in the back, surely they can go after the “Kosher Mafia”.

EVERYONE ON EARTH PAYS THIS “KOSHER MAFIA” TAX!

Most nations import food from the United States and Canada. Wheat, rice, corn, Chicken, beef, Soy, etc. In many cases, the food is “Kosher” before it leaves port. China is the number one importer of Chickens, from the United States. Holy Farms, the biggest exporter, sends them Kosher chickens. Billions of Chinese pay the Kosher tax. Islamic nations of North Africa, and the Middle East, import wheat, rice and lamb, much of which is labeled Kosher. Muslims world wide, sit down to their evening meal, with rice and bread, blessed by a thieving rabbi, with the approval of the World Jewish Congress (They get a cut of the money). They then use that money to lobby Western nations to allow (pay for) pseudo-”Israel” to Attack Islam. Even fundamentalist Algerians sit down and eat their Rabbi blessed couscous; the wheat, that makes most couscous, is mostly American and Canadian. Italians, too, with their pasta, do the same. They pay the followers of the anti-Christ, Talmud.

Muslim campaign raises over $115,000 for vandalized Jewish cemetery

http://www.timesofisrael.com/muslim-campaign-raises-over-115000-for-vandalized-jewish-cemetery/

 

A crowdfunding campaign launched by two Muslim Americans has raised over $100,000 in less than two days for a vandalized Jewish cemetery outside of St. Louis.

The LaunchGood.com campaign, titled “Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery,” has brought in $115,000 as of Thursday morning for repairs to the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Missouri.

On Monday, over 170 gravestones were found to have been toppled there by vandals.

Vice President Mike Pence and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who is Jewish, both stopped by the cemetery on Wednesday to help volunteers in the cleanup effort.

US Vice President Mike Pence visits a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis following an act of vandalism at the site. (YouTube screenshot)

In a speech, Pence condemned the recent bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the country and “this vile act of vandalism and those who perpetrated it in the strongest possible terms.”

No suspects have been identified.

The Muslim fundraiser was started by activists Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi on Tuesday afternoon. Sarsour has stirred controversy for her support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. She has called herself “a critic of the State of Israel” and has posted several anti-Israel messages on Twitter in recent years.

El-Messidi, who works at the Muslim charity Celebrate Mercy, told NBC News that approximately two-thirds of the donations have come from Muslims.

“Historically, we did not work together,” he said. “People are putting their politics aside and working to fight bigotry together.”

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