Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Israel Concludes Memorial Day, Ushering in 69th Independence Day Celebrations

Israel concluded its Memorial Day ceremonies Monday evening, ushering in its 69th Independence Day celebrations. The theme for this year's Independence Day ceremony is "Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the State of Israel and the Jewish People."


Life among liberals -- a report from a reader

I am surrounded by liberals and people even further left. One woman I know goes around spouting liberal opinions out of nowhere. She will say, for example, “No one can live on the minimum wage. We need to immediately raise it to $10 per hour and then quickly raise it to $15 per hour in stages.

I respond with, “But don’t you listen to the news? McDonald’s and all the other fast food companies are already experimenting with touch tablet ordering to eliminate jobs and lower their cost of doing business.”

She changes the subject with, “…evil corporations.” You can’t have a conversation with a liberal because if you say something to prove them wrong, they immediately change the subject.

Another friend talks incessantly about climate change. When I ask her what she means by climate change, she changes the subject and asks me why I don’t believe in it.

Most of the time when someone asks me if I believe in climate change, I reply, “…of course. The climate is always changing. The planet is always getting hotter or colder, wetter or drier. Just look at its four billion year history.”

They will change the subject and talk about how 97% of all scientists agree on climate change.

When you present hard, cold facts to people of the left, they always change the subject. That is why here in the USA we don’t have any successful liberal talk radio stations (I don’t know about the rest of the world.). To quote Rush Limbaugh, “They can’t sustain a conversation.” If you can’t sustain a conversation, you can’t fill the airtime with talk.


A Tale of Two Slow Economies

Why did Americans spend less money than expected in the first quarter of 2017? The low GDP growth of only 0.7% in the first quarter must be analyzed for the sake of policy, but question the Leftmedia headlines. Leftists have demonized Donald Trump incessantly during his first 100 days to further their narrative of an illegitimate president. This is just the latest episode.

The question about a decline in retail spending is being genuinely pondered among economists, politicians and others trying to understand the economic paradox of America's first quarter. High consumer confidence and an investment surge in the stock market didn't translate into strong economic growth. The optimism came in the wake created by the USS Trump throwing overboard excessive regulations with tremendous anticipation that major tax reforms are next and, hopefully, a repeal of ObamaCare. Yet consumers didn't spend money at the pace projected nor desired.

All sorts of theories exist — from a delay in IRS tax refunds due to fraud protections involving returns claiming certain Earned Income Tax Credits to the unseasonably warm weather to the March blizzard in the Northeast.

The Wall Street Journal noted Friday, "With confidence and stock prices high, gasoline prices modest and jobs and wages increasing, spending ought to be picking up." Nonetheless, the fact remains: Something prevented U.S. consumers from spending. This is critical when household consumption accounts for around 70% of the U.S. economy.

Let's state a few undeniable truths. First, the economy, while measured on specific, objective metrics, is also driven by perception — perhaps that's obvious when one of those analytics is "consumer confidence." Measuring the degree of consumer optimism about the state of their own financial health and the economy is based on the study of a consumer's intention to spend and save. That's sounds mighty precise, huh?

Second, it depends on whose economy it is as to whether the accounts of its health, failing or otherwise, are reported and how the topic is treated. We just endured eight years of the slowest recovery in American history — never reaching 3% in annual growth, while the federal debt doubled due to excessive government spending and regulation that flattened economic output and depressed wages. The Obama economy was good for the investor class but decimated the middle, working class, as evidenced by historic lows in labor participation for able-bodied adults.

On cue, in the last weeks of Barack Obama's presidency, CNBC staked out any economic good news resulting from the election upset in November — meaning the death of the Regulation-Nation — as the result of the mythical growth policies of the 44th president. Noting that Trump was "heading to the White House with a pledge to revive the U.S. economy and put millions of Americans back to work," the December 2 CNBC piece declared, "much of that goal has already been accomplished by President Barack Obama."

The national media, formerly known as journalists, clearly talked up the Obama economy, even in the waning moments of his regime. And, inarguably, the same concubines of the DNC will criticize every aspect of the Trump administration.

Back to the underlying question, but let's add a twist. Why did consumers hold onto their money despite the clear optimism of the Donald Trump presidency? Remove the Twitter posts from @RealDonaldTrump and #POTUS and his ongoing brawl with the #Presstitutes, the results of Trump's first 100 days in office prove he's keeping his campaign promises.

Remember Obama's first 100 days? By mid-February, the American Recovery Act (a.k.a. the "stimulus") was moving to distribute a trillion dollars in government spending for those non-existent shovel-ready-jobs, making the massive deficit spending program a blue state bailout. Obama then set out to heavily regulate the economy, nationalizing one-sixth of it and foisting major bureaucratic controls on the financial sector.

Unlike the Obama stimulus, the Trump administration is proposing historic corporate and individual tax cuts to prevent government from the confiscation of earned wealth that could be in the hands of its producer. Again, Democrats and their media enablers wail that these tax cuts "could cost the government $ 6 trillion."

Exactly what money does government have? And who earned the money that was confiscated via taxes? The only money the government has was taken from those of us who produce.

Thoughtful and serious economists and policymakers understand and agree that allowing consumers to maintain this hefty sum and, in turn, spend it grows the overall economy. Cutting corporate tax rates down to 15% and the pass-through taxes paid by owners of small businesses from over 39% to 15% is rocket fuel to the engine of our economy.

Meanwhile, after more than seven years of soaring rhetoric, breathless campaign promises and more than 50 repeal votes in the House during the Obama administration, ObamaCare still exists. It may be the failure thus far to repeal that monstrosity that still has the American economic engine idling at the starting line.

So to recap, when Obama entered office during a recession and drove up federal spending to unimaginable levels, proceeding to double the national debt in eight years, the media cheered the (paltry) economic growth. Now that Trump has taken office amidst slow GDP growth, his proposal to let those who earn the money keep more of it so as to jumpstart real and lasting economic growth is derided as unaffordable. The elites and the media are wrong on both counts. Keep that in mind in the days ahead.



Ann Coulter: Not Building the Wall Is  a Government Shutdown

The media flip back and forth on who’s to blame for a government shutdown depending on which branch is controlled by Republicans. But the “shutdown” hypothetical in this case is a trick question.

A failure to build the wall IS a government shutdown.

Of course it would be unfortunate if schoolchildren couldn’t visit national parks and welfare checks didn’t get mailed on time. But arranging White House tours isn’t the primary function of the government.

The government’s No. 1 job is to protect the nation.

This has always been true, but it’s especially important at this moment in history, when we have drugs, gang members, diseases and terrorists pouring across our border. The failure of the government to close our border is the definition of a government shutdown.

This isn’t like other shutdowns. Democrats can’t wail about Republicans cutting Social Security or school lunches. They are willing to shut the government down because they don’t want borders.

Take that to the country!

As commander in chief, Trump doesn’t need Congress to build a wall. The Constitution charges him with defending the nation. Contrary to what you may have heard from various warmongers on TV and in Trump’s Cabinet, that means defending ourborders — not Ukraine’s borders.

Building a wall is not only Trump’s constitutional duty, but it’s also massively popular.

Although Trump doesn’t need congressional approval for a wall, it was smart for him to demand a vote. Let the Democrats run for re-election on opposing the wall.

Let Sen. Claire McCaskill explain to the parents of kids killed by illegals that she thought a wall was inhumane.

Let Sen. Angus King say to the people of Maine that instead of a wall that would block heroin from pouring into our country, he thought a better plan was to sponsor a bunch of treatment centers for after your kid is already addicted.

Let Sen. Chuck Schumer tell us why it’s OK for Israel to have a wall, but not us.

Let open borders Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio tell African-Americans that it’s more important to help illegal aliens than to help black American teenagers, currently suffering a crippling unemployment rate.

Republicans are both corrupt and stupid, so it’s hard to tell which one animates their opposition to the wall. But the Democrats are bluffing. They’re trying to get the GOP to fold before they show us their pair of threes.

Now that Trump has capitulated on even asking for funding for a wall, the Democrats are on their knees saying, “Thank you, God! Thank you, God!”

No politician wants to have to explain a vote against the wall. What the Democrats want is for Trump to be stuck explaining why he didn’t build the wall.

Then it will be a bloodbath. Not only Trump, but also the entire GOP, is dead if he doesn’t build a wall. Republicans will be wiped out in the midterms, Democrats will have a 300-seat House majority, and Trump will have to come up with an excuse for why he’s not running for re-election.

The New York Times and MSNBC are not going to say, “We are so impressed with his growth in office, we’re going to drop all that nonsense about Russia and endorse the Republican ticket!”

No, at that point, Trump will be the worst of everything.

No one voted for Trump because of the “Access Hollywood” tape. They voted for him because of his issues; most prominently, his promise to build “a big beautiful wall.” And who’s going to pay for it? MEXICO!

You can’t say that at every campaign rally for 18 months and then not build a wall.

Do not imagine that a Trump double-cross on the wall will not destroy the Republican Party. Oh, we’ll get them back. No, you won’t. Trump wasn’t a distraction: He was the last chance to save the GOP.

Millions of Americans who hadn’t voted in 30 years came out in 2016 to vote for Trump. If he betrays them, they’ll say, “You see? I told you. They’re all crooks.”

No excuses will work. No fiery denunciations of the courts, the Democrats or La Raza will win them back, even if Trump comes up with demeaning Twitter names for them.

It would be an epic betrayal — worse than Bush betraying voters on “no new taxes.” Worse than LBJ escalating the Vietnam War. There would be nothing like it in the history of politics.

He’s the commander in chief! He said he’d build a wall. If he can’t do that, Trump is finished, the Republican Party is finished, and the country is finished.



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)


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