Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Trump criticized for something he didn't say
More fake news. They said he referred to a terrorist attack in Sweden. But he didn't. He just referred to Swedish immigrant problems in general. If they can't find anything to harp about in what he did say, they will make up stuff he did not say and report it as fact
SWEDEN is demanding an explanation from the White House after US President Donald Trump implied a major security incident had occurred.
Mr Trump was speaking at his Make America Great Again rally in Florida on Saturday, where he was promoting the message about keeping his country safe.
But it’s what he said next that left many puzzled, and prompted a please explain from the Swedish embassy in Washington.
“Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers,” he told the rally. “They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
Mr Trump didn’t give any details over the reference to Sweden or what incident this could have been referring to, but many speculated he was implying a terror attack had taken place.
Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt summed up the world’s confusion in one tweet, asking what the US President “was smoking”.
Mr Trump later tweeted that the comment was in reference to a story on Fox News about immigration in Sweden.
How different is the reaction to Trump?
It is tempting to see the huge rage against Trump currently emanating from the Left as the result of how radically Trump diverges from convention. He may be the most radical President America has ever had, given the number of customs, precedents and assumptions that he has steamed right past.
But the extent of the rage may in fact not be unique to him. I have an article here which gives a lot of quotes about the outpouring of rage and hate that flowed from the election of the very mild and compromising George W. Bush. ANYTHING that undermines their delusions seems to push Leftists into foaming rage.
What Obamacare's drafters could have learned from a hairdresser
by Jeff Jacoby
LAST WEEK'S CNN debate between Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders on the future of Obamacare was a first-rate political broadcast. It was substantive, focused, and illuminating — an absorbing clash between senators representing two very different ideological approaches. It was everything last year's shallow, bicker-filled presidential campaign "debates" were not: political programming that genuinely left viewers with more insight into a pressing question of public policy.
One segment of the two-hour encounter was particularly revealing.
The subject was the burden imposed by the Affordable Care Act on small businesses — especially those with fewer than 50 employees, the threshold at which the law's employer mandate kicks in. Audience member LaRonda Hunter, the owner of five hair salons in Forth Worth, posed a question:
"We employ between 45 and 48 employees," she began, explaining that she wanted to open more salons and employ more people. "However, under Obamacare, I am restricted, because it requires me to furnish health insurance if I employ more than 50 people. Unfortunately, the profit margin in my industry is very thin, and I'm not a wealthy person. . . . My question to you, Senator Sanders, is how do I grow my business? How do I employ more Americans without either raising the prices to my customers or lowering wages to my employees?"
Here was a real-world example of Obamacare's impact. By compelling companies with 50 or more workers to offer health insurance to everyone they employ, the law creates a powerful disincentive for business owners to expand beyond 49 employees. A business owner like Hunter faces an impossible dilemma: Either give up on growing her enterprise, or try to make ends meet by charging customers more and paying workers less.
The onerous employer mandate is one of the Affordable Care Act's worst defects. The Obama administration repeatedly delayed its effective date; Republicans want it repealed altogether. Sanders must know that Hunter's predicament is not uncommon, and the CNN debate gave him the chance to explain how Democrats propose to address it. But his explanation amounted to: Tough.
"Let me give you an answer you will not be happy with," Sanders said. "I think that for businesses that employ 50 people or more, given the nature of our dysfunctional health care system right now, where most people do get their health insurance through the places that they work, I'm sorry, I think that in America today, everybody should have health care. And if you have more than 50 people, you know what? I'm afraid to tell you, but I think you will have to provide health insurance."
Hunter tried again: "How do I do that without raising my prices to my customers or lowering wages to my employees?" Sanders: "I certainly don't know about hair salons in Fort Worth. But I do believe, to be honest with you, that if you have more than 50 people, yes, you should be providing health insurance."
The exchange could not have been more enlightening. For entrepreneurs like Hunter, a mandate to supply health insurance triggers inescapable, and unignorable, consequences. For Sanders and other defenders of Obamacare, those consequences are irrelevant. They believe in the employer mandate — a belief impervious to facts on the ground.
Lawmakers so often enact far-reaching rules with worthy intentions, but little awareness of how much harm government burdens can cause.
Sometimes, belatedly, they come to understand how clueless they had been. As a congressman, New York's Ed Koch routinely voted for liberal social and welfare proposals. Only much later, after leaving Congress and observing the practical impact of all those rules and programs, did the scales fall from his eyes. "I was dumb," Koch told an interviewer in 1980. "We all were. I voted for so much crap. Who knew? We got carried away with what the sociologists were telling us."
Years later, an even more liberal Democrat expressed similar regrets.
After a long career in Congress, former Senator George McGovern tried his hand a running a business — a small hotel in Connecticut. "In retrospect," McGovern wrote after the inn went bankrupt, "I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business. . . . I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day."
Government's power to do good is limited, and heavy-handed regulation habitually proves counterproductive. If Bernie Sanders had operated a few hair salons before going into politics, he would know that, and he'd be a better senator as a result.
The Price Is Right
The Senate voted 52-47 to confirm Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) as the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Yet again the vote was along party lines. One wonders if Democrats are getting tired dragging out these hearings into the wee hours only to repeatedly lose the vote.
Now that Price has been confirmed, the expectation is that ObamaCare will be significantly impacted. Price led the fight against ObamaCare when he chaired the House Budget Committee, submitting budget proposals that called for a repeal of the law. He also offered an alternative. In any case, Republicans are still struggling to come to a consensus on exactly what that repeal and replace will look like - it could be repeal or it could be a series of (significant) amendments to the current law. Having Secretary Price lead HHS is a great first step, as the law was written granting broad provision for the secretary to issue regulations as "the Secretary shall determine." We expect what he determines won't make Democrats too happy.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says Donald Trump poses a greater threat to the left than Ronald Reagan did as president in 1981
President-elect Donald Trump poses a greater threat to the left than any other political leader in the last 100 years, Newt Gingrich proclaimed on the eve of Inauguration Day.
Speaking at The Heritage Foundation on Thursday, Gingrich predicted that the Trump administration will dismantle the Washington establishment, unlike anything America has ever seen.
"Trump is a direct moral threat to both the value system of the left-because he's so politically incorrect-and to the power structure of the left," the former House speaker said.
Trump will put an end to the liberal agenda pushed by the establishment since Franklin Roosevelt, Gingrich predicted.
"I believe it's an opportunity to end the 84-year dominance of the left starting with Roosevelt in 1932," Gingrich said. "[Ronald] Reagan didn't end it, I didn't end it. It has continued to be the dominant underlying force in American culture and government. We have a chance now to really do that."
As the media becomes increasingly terrified and the left's anticipation has risen, Gingrich said, it has become clear to me that there is no historical parallel to Trumpism.
Not even Reagan can serve as a model for a chief executive whose primary goal is to completely alter the current power structure, Gingrich noted.
"Reagan's goal was to defeat the Soviet empire and, within the context of the traditional system, to accelerate economic growth and rebuild a belief in America and American history," he said. "He didn't spend a lot of time trying to take on the core value system of the left."
Trump's tackling of the left's ideology is comparable to Margaret Thatcher's annihilation of socialism in Great Britain during her years as prime minister.
Thatcher assailed socialism, "which is exactly what Trump should do," Gingrich said. "Thatcher was a direct threat to both the value system and the power structure of the left in Great Britain."
Gingrich suggested that while Trump may not be an ideological, traditional conservative, he has the ability to not only create jobs and stimulate the economy, but also to overpower the left's agenda.
"He is not an ideological, traditional conservative, but he may be the most anti-left political leader of the last 100 years," Gingrich said. "If they come together as a team and if they really focus on large-scale change, this will in fact be a historic opportunity.
Gingrich urged Trump voters to be both "noisily supported" of the administration and heavily critical of the elite news media.
"Every time the news media does something wrong, scream at them," he said. "Just pound on them. Don't pretend that we should pay attention to them in a positive way."
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.
Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
Posted by JR at 1:28 AM