Friday, October 19, 2018

Boy, 11, hacks voting website, changes results in 10 minutes at Las Vegas convention

This year's highlight of the DEFCON hacker conference was the voting village. The event created nearly real scenarios where people hacked into voting machines, changed results and hacked into replicas of state voting websites.

The event culminated in a group of kids, ages eight to 16 hacking into and changing election results on a replica of a state voting website. Emmett Brewer, 11, hacked the site in less than 10 minutes. An eight-year-old girl also did it, in 15 minutes.

Jake Braun, Executive Director of Cyber Policy initiative at the University of Chicago said he doesn't understand why people are not taking the threat against our elections seriously. Braun is also the co-founder of the Voting Village at DEFCON.

"[President] Trump's czar of cyber security was there, and he said, 'I'm glad you guys are doing this because we know our adversaries are doing this same thing.'"

When the children broke into the election websites, they were able to change party names, candidate names and change vote tallies. One hacker changed the name of a candidate to 'Bob da Builder' and gave him 12 billion votes.

Braun said since the 2016 elections, Congress has done nothing to safeguard our election process.

"[The Voting Village] is something we need to be working on every day of every year, not just once a year for a few days at a conference."

To protect elections, Braun said polling places need to first be using paper ballots. Second, he said there needs to be a way to monitor websites to see if they have been hacked. Braun also said the country needs to be investing around $5 billion to safeguard voting systems if elections going to be using them.

While the Voting Village highlighted a lot of problems, Braun said it also highlighted an encouraging future.

"When you walk around DEFCON it's very male-dominated, but almost half of the kid hackers were girls. I hope it's a sign the future of our industry is changing for the better."

The National Association of Secretaries of State disagreed with the findings from DEFCON's Voting Village. We are also concerned that creating “mock” election office networks and voter registration databases for participants to defend and/or hack is also unrealistic. It would be extremely difficult to replicate these systems since many states utilize unique networks and custom-built databases with new and updated security protocols. The NASS also said it would be willing to work with civic-minded hackers on the problem.

SOURCE 

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Dem Operative Arrested in Nevada After Assaulting Female GOP Staffer

The Minnesota Democratic Party has suspended a spokesman for calling for violence against Republicans even as two GOP candidates have been assaulted in suspected politically motivated attacks.

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has suspended communications staffer William Davis for one week without pay after making a Facebook post joking that Democrats would "bring [Republicans] to the guillotine" on Nov. 7, the day after the midterm elections.

Minnesota Republican Party chairman Jennifer Carnahan said the suspension was not enough, calling for his immediate firing in the aftermath of separate attacks against Republican candidates. She said she has been subjected to numerous death threats during her tenure as the state party leader and that death threats are no laughing matter.

"The overt hatred and violence that has become prevalent from many Democrats towards Republicans in recent times is unlawful, unacceptable, and downright scary," she said in an email. "Yes, we have free speech and the right to peacefully assemble, but these words and actions by the left have gone too far. … He should have been terminated immediately."

DFL officials did not respond to request for comment.

The suspension came days after Minnesota state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm after spotting a man destroying Republican yard signs. She said the attack left her scared, and her attacker only desisted when she fled to her car and threw it in reverse.

"It was just insane. He was charging at me, saying, ‘Why don't you go kill yourself?'" Anderson told the Washington Free Beacon. "To have someone physically coming after you and attacking you is just disheartening."

The Plymouth Police Department investigation into Rep. Anderson's alleged assault remains ongoing. A spokeswoman confirmed the department had identified a suspect, but declined further comment.

Anderson was not the only GOP candidate attacked. First-time state representative candidate Shane Mekeland suffered a concussion after getting sucker punched while speaking with constituents at a restaurant in Benton County. Mekeland told the Free Beacon he has suffered memory loss—forgetting Rep. Anderson's name at one point in the interview—and doctors tell him he will have a four-to-six week recovery time ahead of him. He said he was cold cocked while sitting at a high top table at a local eatery and hit his head on the floor.

"I was so overtaken by surprise and shock and if this is the new norm, this is not what I signed up for," he said.

Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck told the Free Beacon that his department has interviewed the alleged assailant. Investigators are awaiting medical records about the extent of Mekeland's injuries before referring the case to the local district attorney's office. He expects those results to come in the next week.

Mekeland said he was disappointed that he had not seen Democrats condemn the attack against him, but was floored to see the party take such a light approach to Davis's comments. "He's a political staffer so you'd think if anybody should know boundaries, I think that'd be it," he said.

Anderson was equally harsh about the DFL's response, calling it "incredibly irresponsible."

"This is exactly what incites people to violence. … It's why you have somebody who goes and attacks me on Sunday just because we have different political beliefs," she said.

The alleged assaults have both candidates weighing changes in their approach to campaigning in closing days of the race. Mekeland was unable to leave the house to knock on doors due to his sensitivity to sunlight on Tuesday. He said he and his volunteers will only travel in pairs for the rest of the campaign to ensure they are not alone during such visits, which will limit the ground they cover. Anderson said she has gotten offers from her husband and other volunteers to escort her around the district. She pledged to keep knocking on doors until Election Day.

"I refuse to be bullied and intimidated," she said. "You can’t let this stop you from reaching out and talking to voters."

SOURCE 

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A Revolution Is Under Way in America

By Tucker Carlson 

The aftermath of the 2016 election is recognizable to any parent who has argued with a child. Everything’s fine until the kid loses interest in what you think. Once it becomes clear the child really doesn’t care about your stupid rules, you lose it and start screaming. The less control you have, the more hysterical you become.

Dying regimes are the same way. They get more repressive as they fade. As their power ebbs, rulers lash out against dissent and disobedience. Deposed Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceau┼čescu barked orders at his guards as they led him to the firing squad.

Our leaders understood Donald Trump’s election as a direct challenge to their power. They’ve been fretting about his authoritarian tendencies ever since. Because they lack self-awareness, they don’t perceive this as projection. They can’t see that they’re actually talking about themselves.

Let’s say you were an authoritarian who sought to weaken American democracy. How would you go about doing that? You’d probably start by trying to control what people say and think. If citizens dissented from the mandated orthodoxy, or dared to consider unauthorized ideas, then you’d hurt them. You’d shame them on social media. You’d shout them down in public. You’d get them fired from their jobs. You’d make sure everyone was afraid to disagree with you.

After that, you’d work to disarm the population: You’d take away their guns. That way, they would be entirely dependent on you for safety, not to mention unable to resist your plans for them. Then, just to make sure you’d quelled all opposition, you’d systematically target any institution that might oppose or put brakes on your power. You’d be especially concerned about churches, the family and independent businesses. You’d be sure to undermine and crush those, using laws and relentless propaganda.

If, despite all this, election results still didn’t go your way, you’d use an unelected bureaucracy to neuter any leader you hadn’t handpicked yourself. But you’d be shaken by an election like that. You’d resolve never to allow one again. To make sure of that, you’d work tirelessly to replace the old and ungrateful population with a new and more obedient one. That’s what you’d do.

Sound familiar? For all of his many faults, Trump isn’t doing any of that. Our ruling class is.

It’s probably a fruitless exercise on their part. The status quo is over. A revolution is on the way.

Hopefully, it’ll be the kind of low-grade revolution where everybody learns something and nobody gets hurt. But it will be wrenching either way, because revolutions always are. This used to be a placid country. It’s not anymore, and won’t be for a while.

What went wrong?

The disaster began when almost everyone in power joined the same team. You used to hear debates between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, on issues that mattered to the rest of the country. That’s over. Our public debates are mostly symbolic. They are sideshows designed to divert attention from the fact that those who make the essential decisions, about the economy and the government and war, have reached consensus on the fundamentals. They agree with each other.

They just don’t agree with the population they govern.

Left and right are no longer meaningful categories in America. The rift is between those who benefit from the status quo and those who don’t. That’s rarely acknowledged in public, which is convenient for those who are benefiting. The people in charge are free to pursue policies that are disconnected from the public good but that have, not coincidentally, made them richer, more powerful and much more self-satisfied.

But not more impressive. Our leaders are fools, unaware that they are captains of a sinking ship.

SOURCE 

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Jeff Sessions rips federal judges over anti-Trump bias

Attorney General Jeff Sessions unleashed a blistering assault on federal judges Monday, saying anti-Trump bias has led some to abandon their role as legal referees and become “political actors” erecting roadblocks to the president’s policies.

In unusually stark language, Mr. Sessions suggested judges could soon face “calls for their replacement” if they don’t cool it.

He blasted one judge who called the president’s policy toward illegal immigrants “heartless,” and said another judge put “the inner workings of a Cabinet secretary’s mind” on trial to pave a path to block the government from asking about citizenship on the 2020 census.

“Once we go down this road in American government, there is no turning back,” Mr. Sessions said in a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation. “We are seeing it in case after case. When a hot-button policy issue ends up in litigation, judges are starting to believe their role is to examine the entire process that led to the policy decision — to redo the entire political debate in their courtrooms.

Just ahead of the speech Mr. Sessions told The Washington Times that he saw anti-Trump resistance at play in some of the judges’ moves.

“I have to say I think some of it is,” he said. “I regret saying that, but I’m afraid it’s true in some of these cases and if so, it’s very wrong.”

He added that unfair intervention from judges has left the administration in legal tangles, forcing the president to fight senseless and distracting cases.

“He has monumental responsibilities and no court without serious cause should interrupt the function of government. It takes untold hours and time to deal with these things. It slows up multiple agencies of government,” the attorney general told The Times.

Judges have been divided in their approach to Mr. Trump.

Some have delved into his Twitter account or looked back at statements he made during the campaign, citing them as evidence that justifies halting policy decisions made by Cabinet secretaries elsewhere in government.

Others, including a majority of justices on the Supreme Court in this year’s ruling upholding the president’s travel limits, looked chiefly at the policies themselves, saying that’s the crux of their judiciary’s role in the government overall.

In that case the majority in the 5-4 ruling said Mr. Trump was on firm national security grounds. The dissenters disagreed, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor saying the president overstepped security powers and illegally targeted Muslims.

Mr. Sessions didn’t mention that case, but most of the ones he did single out Monday stemmed from immigration-related fights.

He chided one judge who earlier this month issued an injunction blocking Homeland Security from phasing out special Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of migrants from El Salvador, Haiti and elsewhere.

Federal law says the Homeland Security secretary’s TPS decisions cannot be reviewed by courts, but the judge ruled he was reviewing the process by which the secretary reached the decision, not the decision itself.

One crux of his decision was Mr. Trump’s reported use of an insult to describe El Salvador and some African countries during a closed-door immigration meeting earlier this year, which U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen, an Obama appointee, said showed “animus” that could have poisoned the administration’s entire decision-making process.

In his speech Monday, Mr. Sessions also criticized U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who last year during a hearing told a Justice Department he couldn’t defend a policy “that is so heartless.”

Mr. Sessions criticized the judge at the time, telling him to stick to rulings on the law, not to opine about his political beliefs. The judge fired back, saying Mr. Sessions seemed “to think the courts cannot have an opinion.”

The attorney general replied Monday evening that “of course a judge can have political and policy opinions. But they should decide legal questions based on the law and the facts — not their policy preferences.”

Mr. Sessions said that when Congress fails to act, that is a decision. And courts cannot step in to do what Congress has decided not to do.

He called that “judicial encroachment,” and said it has become so bad that judges are trying to rehash the full decision-making of administrative actors in their courtrooms.

As part of that, judges are increasingly allowing intrusive legal “discovery” — the process of delving into records and decision-making to let judges review not just the final decision, but the way it was made.

Mr. Sessions said demanding handwritten notes from Cabinet secretaries or, in a case now before the Supreme Court, ordering the Commerce secretary to be deposed in the Census citizenship question case, goes too far.

“The Census question — which has appeared in one form or another on the Census for over a hundred years — is either legal or illegal,” the attorney general said. “The words on the page don’t have a motive; they are either permitted or they are not. But the judge has decided to hold a trial over the inner workings of a Cabinet secretary’s mind.”

He said it would be the equivalent of forcing judges to reveal their conversations with their law clerks when they were deciding what to write in their opinions, or forcing members of Congress to divulge their discussions with their staffers.

“Subjecting the executive branch to this kind of discovery is unacceptable. We intend to fight this and we intend to win,” Mr. Sessions said.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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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Thursday, October 18, 2018



Is Elizabeth Warren an 'Honest Injun'? 



As Elizabeth Warren lays the groundwork for her long-denied 2020 presidential bid, she’s out — again — with another defense of her claimed “Cherokee ancestry,” this time with a contrived DNA test. Clearly, she would like to get her “Fauxcahontas” lie out of the way before 2020.

We’ve previously called out her “identity” issue, but now, according to her fanboys at The Boston Globe, “Warren has released a DNA test that provides ‘strong evidence’ she had a Native American in her family tree dating back 6 to 10 generations.” By the end of the day, the Globe issued this correction: “Due to a math error, a story about Elizabeth Warren misstated the ancestry percentage of a potential 10th generation relative. It should be 1/1,024.”

Furthermore, buried in the report is this gem: “To make up for the dearth of Native American DNA, [Stanford University professor Carlos D. Bustamante] used samples from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia to stand in for Native American.” Nevertheless, to tell the difference, “Bustamante said he can tease out the markers that these South Americans would have in common with Native Americans on the North American continent.” So she’s definitely at least 1/1,024 Mexican, Peruvian, or Colombian. Or something.

Vindication? Hardly. “By that measure,” observes Matt Walsh, “almost everyone in America is a minority.” In fact, most white Americans have twice that much “native” DNA.

Recall Donald Trump’s challenge to Warren: “I will give $1 million to your favorite charity … if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.” Fact is, by Warren’s definition of “Native American,” it is highly probable that Trump has more native ancestry than she does.

Our friend Michelle Malkin suggests, “1/1024 ‘Native American’ indirectly derived from South American genetic markers is ‘proof’ of Native heritage? 1/1024 of $1 million = $976.56. President Trump should donate that amount in Monopoly money, which is as genuine as Warren’s claim.” We suggest he donate it directly to her campaign, and we recommend this old Cher song, “Half Breed,” as Warren’s campaign theme song!

Brazenly, Warren is now calling on Trump to pay up: “Remember saying on that you’d give $1M to a charity of my choice if my DNA showed Native American ancestry? Please send the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.”

Actually, Trump said if “the test … shows you’re an Indian.” We will defer to the Cherokee Nation elders for their opinion on that.

On behalf of the Cherokee Nation, its Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin protested: “Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It … dishonors legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

Trump responded, “Now Cherokee Nation denies her DNA test… Even they don’t want her.”

As partial penance for her shameful lie, it is Warren who should send a check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.

So, Warren thought this charade would lay her disputed claim to rest? On her promotion of the DNA report as “proof” of her native ancestry, conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey observed, “This is like spiking the ball after scoring a touchdown in the other team’s end zone.” It’s a permanent stain on her campaign.

More important than Warren’s pitifully weak ancestry “proof” remains the primary question about how she used this faux ancestral claim at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. She declared herself to be Native American at both institutions and fooled them, so, in keeping with her elitist arrogance, she is certain she can fool her Democrat constituents!

Clearly, among her genetic markers is a significant one for lying. Warren is a wealthy, disingenuous socialist, and that’s about as un-American as it gets.

SOURCE

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Lindsey Graham to take DNA test to find Native American roots: 'I think I can beat' Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is ready to show up Sen. Elizabeth Warren, saying Tuesday he plans to take a DNA test to find out whether he has more Native American heritage than she does.

“I’m going to take a DNA test,” Graham told “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday. “I’ve been told my grandmother was part Cherokee Indian. It may all just be talk.”

SOURCE

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2017 tax law continues to bring benefits

Even before enactment, anticipation of passage spurred investments, jobs and growth

Mark Murphy

Not long ago, a dentist called seeking advice about investing in new equipment for her practice. Business had been strong, but she envisioned enhancing the customer experience and growing her practice even further. The experience will set her apart from many other dentists, allowing her to retain existing clients and attract new ones. New state of the art dental technology would allow her to jump-start the process.

The dentist is part of a wave. Across the country, small and mid-sized business owners, entrepreneurs and start-ups are primed to invest in and expand their businesses.

These new provisions in the tax law are a godsend to business owners. They’ve have been asking for this, they’ve been heard, been provided for and are now anxious to spend and invest.

My business consultancy has received a steady flow of calls from many such owners. While diverse in geography, size and focus, they are all eager and optimistic. And they are all inspired by one thing: the new federal tax law. Like the dentist, they are finding that the incentives created by the statute make reinvestment and expansion a smart move.

In the less than a year since it was passed, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is fast becoming one of the biggest incentives to US business growth in at least a decade. Unemployment has reached lows not seen in decades.

After a strong push from the Trump Administration, the law went into effect in December 2017. It includes several features designed to relieve tax burdens on businesses of all sizes. Of particular note, the corporate tax rate reduction has leveled the playing field for US-based companies when they compete with foreign based companies in the global economy. Lower taxes are passed to the consumer.

Another popular provision – affecting over three quarters of small companies – allows a 20% deduction for all pass-through businesses. Another much-heralded clause slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent. Yet another allows businesses to deduct up to 100% of investments in new business equipment costs during the first year.

A broad range of business owners seek to take advantage of the new law. The head of a small technology company showed us a proposal to expand its marketing. A service company presented us questions about how it could expand by 25% in the next two years.

Our dentist wants to expand into vacant space in her building. This law is turbo-charging the entrepreneurial spirit of our business owner clients.

In each instance, the owners were able to key in on particular provisions of the new tax law that apply to their unique situations. Together with them, we have found ways to use the law to their advantage.

Just as important as particular features of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the overwhelmingly positive climate it is helping to create. Owners who have felt shackled for years by a restive investment environment and too many taxes and regulations are now encouraged to pump more money into their businesses.

A good example is the Rabine Group, a collection of small constructions companies based in Illinois.  This year they have pledged to commit more resources to hiring, research and development, and expansion. They are also offering employees far bigger raises this year than in any of the previous eight years. All of these moves are a result of the new tax law, the owners have reported.

That spirit of optimism has already brought signs of vibrancy that the US economy has not seen in years. Business investment is set to rise by 7% this year, following a robust 5.3% increase in 2017, on the heels of timid, desultory growth the previous decade.

As businesses expand, so do their needs for new employees. More than 134,000 new jobs were added in September 2018, bringing an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent. The average hourly earnings gain is now 2.8% year over year. Retail sales are up, too; they are projected to reach 4.2% this year.

These gains are all inspired by the new tax breaks and reduced federal regulatory fervor. Tax cuts do pass down to many levels and spur spending. That’s a basic economics axiom.

Some say the new law favors major corporations over small business owners. That’s understandable. It’s a party line and core belief among some.

Indeed, thus far, the biggest tax savings resulting from the new law have been posted by the biggest US banks. In all, the six largest Wall Street banks – Bank of America, Citi Group, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley – have reported a total of nearly $5 billion in savings, according to their Second Quarter reports.

The new law has allowed the banks to cut their tax rates from as high as 31% to just 10 or 11 percent.

Large multinational corporations have slowed their borrowing, lessening the amount of debt they issue, according to the Wall Street Journal, using data from Goldman Sachs. The Fed analyzed share buybacks of non-financial firms with large cash holdings – and they have doubled, mimicking a similar tax holiday 15 years ago.

However, the strong gains posted by banks and other corporations actually mean everybody wins. The gains have contributed to a buoyant economic mood, which in turn is inspiring corporate employees and other consumers to spend more on their personal lives. Much or most of that spending has gone to small and medium-sized companies.

The corporate tax cut and gradual repatriation of trillions of dollars into the US economy has also helped mitigate fears that more jobs are going overseas. That is encouraging consumers to focus on retirement planning, invest in new cars or other goods – or in their companies – or take much-needed vacations. This too benefits smaller businesses.

Many businesses have undoubtedly not fully researched the ways the tax code can benefit them. As with any new statute, they need time and expert advice to understand the law’s fine print.

However, the smartest owners are moving quickly. Like the dentist, they have discovered that the time to take advantage of the new tax law is now, or at least as soon as they can grasp the new law’s opportunities, intricacies – and potential pitfalls for the unwary.

Via email

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When Health Policy Neglects Economic Principles, Patients Suffer

The healthcare sector of the U.S. economy is extraordinarily dynamic and complex, providing constant challenges for policymakers and regulators working to improve healthcare markets. However, recent research and policies suggest the greatest challenges for policymakers might be their misunderstanding of economic fundamentals.

Earlier this year, the Annals of Internal Medicine journal published a paper which found the prices increased for nearly 100 drugs while they were in a shortage between 2015 and 2016. The paper also notes these “price hikes” (price increases) were less severe in markets with comparatively more competitors (defined as more than three drug providers).

Although the authors consider these findings “mysterious,” they confidently offered policy recommendations to correct “the imbalance between supply and demand.” As they stated in their conclusion, “If manufacturers are observed using shortages to increase prices, public payers could set payment caps for drugs under storage and limit price increases.”

The situation described above, and the folly of its policy prescription, are no mysteries for anyone who understands basic economics.

A shortage occurs when there are too few goods available to satisfy too many consumers. Shortages dissipate when prices increase, motivating more production and less consumption. Competition among producers is an indispensable component of this process, working to provide more (and often better) goods to consumers.

Economic principles also teach us that “payment caps,” more commonly called price controls, do not resolve shortages. Instead, by keeping prices from rising, price controls remove the incentive for competing producers to supply more goods and for consumers to buy less.

For credible scholars to display such a blatant misunderstanding of economic principles is dumbfounding. And for such mistakes to be published in a peer-reviewed journal deemed “the most cited general internal medicine journal and one of the most influential journals in the world” is especially troublesome.

Unfortunately, misunderstandings of elementary economics also pervade contemporary health policymaking. EpiPens, which provide potentially life-saving treatment for patients with severe allergies, have been in a severe shortage in the United States since April. When children returned to school recently, parents struggled to send them back with much-needed emergency medicine, and pharmacies faced long backorders while trying to provide them.

In response, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement asking pharmacies to extend expiry dates for EpiPens by four months. While this might lengthen periods between prescription refills, it will not lead to more EpiPens and does not address the primary cause of the shortage.

That cause is a lack of competition stemming from overregulation.

From 2011 to 2016, EpiPen’s manufacturer received three patents, granting it extended monopolist status and preventing competition from entering the market. Over roughly the same period, EpiPen prices increased about 500 percent. However, without competition stepping in to increase production, shortages persist.

Thankfully, around the same time, the FDA also approved a generic version of EpiPen. Introducing a generic competitor will increase EpiPen’s availability and reduce the shortage. However, the lack of competition and the current shortage are due to the FDA’s previous regulations. Most importantly, the consequences of these regulations are entirely predictable with only a minimal understanding of economics.

Determining effective health policy is incredibly difficult, and elementary mistakes cause widespread damage. However, understanding the origins of shortages, the role of competition in the market, and how prices guide resources to socially desirable uses to allocate resources are the backbone of doing any policy work. Recent events indicate an urgent need for researchers and policymakers to relearn the basics.

SOURCE

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Trump's North American Trade Triumph

For those on the left and right who were certain that President Donald Trump's presidency meant the end of global free trade ... think again. Though Trump's critics have dismissed the significance of the new Mexico and Canada trade deal, it's hard to deny that it is a welcome advance for the economy of the entire continent.

The pact will extend for years a (mostly) tariff-free North American trade zone. This was Ronald Reagan's vision nearly four decades ago — and that legacy can now live on for hopefully many years to come.

Here's just one example of the importance of this agreement. In the area of energy production, the integration of our economies and the freer flow of energy investment capital across our southern and northern borders means more pipelines, more LNG terminals, more oil refineries and more exploration. North America is poised to be the new Middle East for energy production for the next 50 years, with all the related economic advantages that confers on our region.

One of the most favorable outcomes of the new trade pact is the provision that locks in 10 years of patent protections for new pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. While some critics are portraying this as a sell-out to the big drug companies, the opposite is true. Patent protections for drugs invented in America reduce costs for American consumers by forcing foreign countries to help pay for the research costs (about $1 billion for each new drug brought to market) and stop free riding on our innovation.

As University of Chicago professor Tomas J. Philipson puts it in a 2018 study on the drug industry: "There is no free lunch. If neither Americans nor foreigners pay for the R&D to develop new drugs, then soon nobody will receive new treatments."

One research team that found that price controls and inadequate patent protections will prevent the development of six new blockbuster drugs each year by 2020 and more than a dozen a year by 2050. No one can benefit from a drug to cure cancer, MS, Alzheimer's or epilepsy at any price if it hasn't been invented.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will both save lives by accelerating medical research and reduce drug prices at home by ensuring that foreigners no longer enjoy medical innovation without paying their fair share.

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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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Wednesday, October 17, 2018



Trump wins again

Even the Leftist writer below has to acknowledge that

“60 Minutes” aired an interview with President Donald Trump — rare for its status as having appeared outside of Fox News or conservative media. Appearing the same weekend as First Lady Melania Trump’s appearance on “20/20,” this would seem to represent a new level of media blitzing on the part of an administration that’s already seen its head get plenty of free promotion during rallies broadcast on cable news. And, like Melania Trump’s utterly-on-message, relentlessly forward-moving TV interview, the president’s interview had effectively the same impact as a rally; it allowed him to bulldoze his chief enemy, the media, while airing his own points at ceaseless length. The lesson the media has evidently not learned yet is not to be sitting right there when he does it.

Lesley Stahl’s interview with Trump was an undeniable get; he’d been scarce on mainstream media since around the time he appeared on tape with NBC’s Lester Holt and indicated he’d fired former FBI Director James Comey in part due to the Russia investigation. But the interview seemed governed by two motives, both of which played into the hands of a media-savvy president whose refusal to play by typical rules of engagement has been at the center of his rise.

First, Stahl seemed to want to conduct a definitive interview with Trump summarizing his presidency so far. In so doing, she skittered across the map of global and domestic issues, seeming to touch on every topic under the sun, from the ultra-current — the fate of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi — to the more long-range. Questions about, say, North Korea, tariffs on China, climate change, and NATO were met with long bursts of Trumpian verbiage, spilling out so fast they seemed barely able to be edited. What fell away in editing, or what was barely allowed to happen in the time allotted, were many follow-ups.

And when follow-up questions did happen, they seemed to fall into the interview’s second trap: Trying to crack the code of Donald Trump, human being. “I wish you could go to Greenland,” Stahl mused in the brief portion of the interview dealing with climate change, “watch these huge chunks of ice just falling into the ocean, raising the sea levels.” Trump shouted her down, predictably unmoved by Stahl’s evident passion about a story imbued with dread. He won every segment of the interview because he was utterly unable to brook doubt — and, at this point, a broadcast dealing with a president who cannot face facts must be armed with real facts of their own. Stahl asked Trump about “the scientists who say [the effects of climate change are] worse than ever,” but was unprepared to cite one; knowing, now, that the human factor will not work on Trump, a broadcaster should be prepared to cite hard facts in a face-off with the president.

Not, of course, that those facts will change his mind or even elicit an unexpected answer from the Commander-in-Chief. But it felt like a missed opportunity that both so many ardent Trump fans and so many in the hazy middle tuned into an interview with the president and found so much of what was put to him phrased in loose, conversational terms. If he won’t deal with the realities of climate change (presented in this interview only in anecdotal terms of ice and hurricanes and in data, never explained, from “NOAA and NASA,” and not the recent, catastrophic United Nations report) or of abandoning NATO, the broadcaster should rush in to fill the gap. Instead, facts like these ones seemed to be assumed on the part of the viewership at home, and the silences were filled by Trump, who explained away why orthodoxies were wrong while Stahl struggled to break into his monologues. The one moment Stahl meaningfully challenged Trump was on his alliance with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un — presenting the president with a “resume” of his conversation partner’s misdeeds in his own country — but even then, the format demanded she move forward after Trump said the pair shared “a good energy.” Her next question was, verbatim, “China.” And Trump free-associated there, too.

So many of Stahl’s questions seemed premised on the notion that Trump could be brought to reason through earnest questioning that treaded somewhat lightly — but that signaled to viewers at home a certain set of values. This would have been a good playbook for a conservative-but-not-category-busting President Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, perhaps; all players could say their piece, and all could go home relatively unscathed. But even as Trump was unwilling to play along, the questions got no harder. Late in the interview, Stahl asked Trump what had been “the biggest surprise” and what he had learned as president, a question unworthy of the occasion and of time that might have been spent fleshing out answers elsewhere. (The surprise is that politicians are “vicious,” and the president went on.) Trump relentlessly talked over the follow-ups to a further question — why he didn’t bring the country together in the wake of the Kavanaugh hearings, seeking a moment of unity. That the president’s vanishingly rare appearance on a nonpartisan news program had resulted in a spectacle in which randomly assorted questions were bulldozed by a man eager to speak, and in which the interviewer generally left the viewers to decide what those answers meant without the benefit of meaningful follow-up, made the point clear.

By pushing through questions and by capitalizing on an interview approach seeking to synthesize his entire presidency into two segments of television, Trump effectively converted “60 Minutes” into a short rally. There are those who will see his rants as worthy, and those who will loathe them; whatever unity can be made to exist by the president exists only within those camps. That “60 Minutes” went looking for something greater is more proof than viewers needed that their approach to the president left them outmatched.

SOURCE 

For a conservative perspective on the interview, see here

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U.S. Has 3.5 Million More Registered Voters Than Live Adults — A Red Flag For Electoral Fraud

American democracy has a problem — a voting problem. According to a new study of U.S. Census data, America has more registered voters than actual live voters. It's a troubling fact that puts our nation's future in peril.

The data come from Judicial Watch's Election Integrity Project. The group looked at data from 2011 to 2015 produced by the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, along with data from the federal Election Assistance Commission.

As reported by the National Review's Deroy Murdock, who did some numbers-crunching of his own, "some 3.5 million more people are registered to vote in the U.S. than are alive among America's adult citizens. Such staggering inaccuracy is an engraved invitation to voter fraud."

Murdock counted Judicial Watch's state-by-state tally and found that 462 U.S. counties had a registration rate exceeding 100% of all eligible voters. That's 3.552 million people, who Murdock calls "ghost voters." And how many people is that? There are 21 states that don't have that many people.

Nor are these tiny, rural counties or places that don't have the wherewithal to police their voter rolls.

California, for instance, has 11 counties with more registered voters than actual voters. Perhaps not surprisingly — it is deep-Blue State California, after all — 10 of those counties voted heavily for Hillary Clinton.

Los Angeles County, whose more than 10 million people make it the nation's most populous county, had 12% more registered voters than live ones, some 707,475 votes. That's a huge number of possible votes in an election.

But, Murdock notes, "California's San Diego County earns the enchilada grande. Its 138% registration translates into 810,966 ghost voters."

State by state, this is an enormous problem that needs to be dealt with seriously. Having so many bogus voters out there is a temptation to voter fraud. In California, where Hillary Clinton racked up a massive majority over Trump, it would have made little difference.

But in other states, and in smaller elections, voter fraud could easily turn elections. A hundred votes here, a hundred votes there, and things could be very different. As a Wikipedia list of close elections shows, since just 2000 there have been literally dozens of elections at the state, local and federal level decided by 100 votes or fewer.

And, in at least two nationally important elections in recent memory, the outcome was decided by a paper-thin margin: In 2000, President Bush beat environmental activist and former Vice President Al Gore by just 538 votes.

Sen. Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat, won his seat by beating incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman in 2008. Coleman was initially declared the winner the day after the election, with a 726-vote lead over Franken. But after a controversial series of recounts and ballot disqualifications, Franken emerged weeks later with a 225-seat victory.

Franken's win was enormous, since it gave Democrats filibuster-proof control of the Senate. So, yes, small vote totals matter.

We're not saying here that Franken cheated, nor, for that matter, that Bush did. But small numbers can have an enormous impact on our nation's governance. The 3.5 million possible fraudulent ballots that exist are a problem that deserves serious immediate attention. Nothing really hinges on it, of course, except the integrity and honesty of our democratic elections.

SOURCE 

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Stormy Daniels’ Defamation Suit Against Trump Dismissed: Daniels Ordered To Pay Trump’s Legal Fees

This is not a good day for Stormy Daniels and her creepy porn lawyer (CPL). A federal judge dismissed Daniels’ defamation suit against President Trump today.

Stormy filed a defamation suit against President Trump after he mocked her over a sketch of the man who allegedly threatened her–the man in the sketch looked eerily like her ex-husband.

The U.S. District Judge dismissed the case on grounds Trump’s tweet was “rhetorical hyperbole,” not defamatory as Stormy Daniels alleged.

President Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder released a statement saying the President is entitled to an award of his attorney’s fees against Stormy Daniels. The amount to be awarded to President Trump will be announced at a later date, Harder said.

SOURCE 

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Self-made billionaire and Minecraft creator Markus Persson says that the political left has “literally been taken over by evil.”

Persson, who is an award-winning video game programmer and designer, made the comments on Twitter during a discussion about how the left deploys ad hominem slurs and insults against its political adversaries.

Tweeting from his verified ‘@Notch’ account to 3.7 million followers, the 39-year-old Swede wrote, “I know people don’t like it when I point this out, but the left has been taken over by evil,” adding, “And I mean that literally.”

He went on to agree with another Twitter user that intersectional feminists were actively working to deprive other people of rights, remarking that such individuals are intent on “selfishness, greed, lying, and willingness to cause suffering.”

 Persson has proven himself willing to address political issues in the past, having previously tweeted “It’s ok to be white” while arguing that white privilege is a “made up metric.”

He also tweeted that there should be a “heterosexual pride day,” but subsequently walked back the comment.

SOURCE 

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House Majority Leader To Roll Out Fully Funded Border Wall Bill

A leading House Republican this week said under legislation he is introducing, Congress will finally build that wall.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Tuesday that he will call for full funding to build President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall between the United Sates and Mexico, Breitbart reported.

“Few things are more fundamental to a nation than a protected border,” McCarthy tweeted Tuesday. “Proud to introduce the Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act.”

McCarthy is among those expected to make a bid for the post of House speaker, assuming Republicans maintain control of the House in the upcoming midterm elections.

Ohio’s Jim Jordan, a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, and Louisiana’s Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, are also mentioned as possible GOP contenders for the speaker’s chair, Roll Call reported.

The bill McCarthy is proposing would allocate $23.4 billion towards wall construction. Congress has already approved $1.6 billion toward building the wall.

McCarthy’s proposal will address other immigration- and crime-related issues such as sanctuary cities and criminal gangs.

Trump last month vented his objections to the fact that Congress had not funded the wall.

“I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms?” Trump tweeted. “Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security. REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!”

McCarthy said his bill is necessary to protect the nation. “For decades, America’s inability to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration has encouraged millions to undertake a dangerous journey to come here in violation of our laws and created a huge loophole to the legal channels to the immigration process where America welcomes immigrants to our country,” McCarthy said in a statement published by Breitbart.

“President Trump’s election was a wake-up call to Washington. The American people want us to build the wall and enforce the law. Maintaining strong borders is one of the basic responsibilities of any nation. For too long, America has failed in this responsibility,” McCarthy said.

But funding the wall has been a divisive issue ever since Trump took office, and outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan does not see that changing.

“We intend on having a full-fledged discussion on how to complete our mission to secure the border and yes, we will have a fight about this,” the Wisconsin Republican said Monday, according to the Washington Examiner.

SOURCE 

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Real Economics

Walter E. Williams
   
A widely anticipated textbook, “Universal Economics,” has just been published by Liberty Fund. Its authors are two noted UCLA economists, the late Armen A. Alchian and William R. Allen. Editor Jerry L. Jordan was their student and later became a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, as well as the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Professor Alchian was probably the greatest microeconomic theorist of the 20th century, while Professor Allen’s genius was in the area of international trade and the history of economic thought. Both were tenacious mentors of mine during my student days at UCLA in the mid-1960s and early ‘70s.

“Universal Economics’” 680 pages, not including its glossary and index, reflect a friendly chat I had with Professor Alchian during one of the UCLA economics department’s weekly faculty/graduate student coffee hour, in which he said, “Williams, the true test of whether someone understands his subject is whether he can explain it to someone who doesn’t know a darn thing about it.” That’s precisely what “Universal Economics” does — explain economics in a way that anyone can understand. There’s no economic jargon, just a tiny bit of simple mathematics and a few graphs.

Chapter 1 introduces the fundamental issue that faces all of mankind — scarcity. How does one know whether things are scarce? That’s easy. When human wants exceed the means to satisfy those wants, we say that there’s scarcity. The bounds to human wants do not frequently reveal themselves; however, the means to satisfy those wants are indeed limited. Thus, scarcity creates conflict issues — namely, what things will be produced, how will they be produced, when will they be produced and who will get them? Analyzing those issues represents the heart of microeconomics.

Alchian and Allen want your study of economics to be “interesting and enjoyable.” They caution: “You’ll be brainwashed — in the ‘desirable’ sense of removing erroneous beliefs. You will begin to suspect that a vast majority of what people popularly believe about economic events is at least misleading and often wrong.” The authors give a long list of erroneous beliefs that people hold. Here’s a tiny sample: Employers pay for employer-provided insurance; larger incomes for some people require smaller incomes for others; minimum wage legislation helps the unskilled and minorities; foreign imports reduce the number of domestic jobs; “equal pay for equal work” laws aid women, minorities and the young; labor unions protect the natural brotherhood and collective well-being of workers against their natural enemies, employers; and we cannot compete in a world in which most foreign wages are lower than wages paid to domestic workers.

One of Professor Alchian’s major contributions to economic science is in the area of property rights and its effect on the outcomes observed. The essence of private property rights contains three components: the owner’s right to make decisions about the uses of what’s deemed his property; his right to acquire, keep and dispose of his property; and his right to enjoy the income, as well as bear losses, resulting from his decisions. If one or more of those three elements is missing, private property rights are not present. Private property rights also restrain one from interfering with other people’s rights. Private property rights have long been seen as vital to personal liberty. James Madison, in an 1829 speech at the Virginia Constitutional Convention, said: “It is sufficiently obvious that persons and property are the two great subjects on which governments are to act and that the rights of persons and the rights of property are the objects for the protection of which government was instituted. These rights cannot well be separated.”

At the end of many of “Universal Economics’” 42 chapters, there’s a section named “Questions and Meditations.” Here’s my guarantee: If you know and can understand those questions and answers, you will be better trained than the average economist teaching or working in Washington, D.C.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Kanye West: The Trump Economy is Delivering The American Dream

It’s no secret Kanye is a fan of President Trump. Recently, he was greeted with boos for performing a pro-Trump riff as the closing musical act on “Saturday Night Live.” Kanye says his support for President Trump stems from the ability “to do the impossible,” but hardly the first prominent African American suggest as much.

While in law school, former President Barack Obama said that American’s commitment to “individual freedom and mobility” transcends race. Americans as a whole, he wrote, have such “unfounded optimism” their American Dream is to be Donald Trump. In a fateful twist of irony, Trump has done in two years what Obama could not achieve in eight — creating a climate of opportunity for minorities to achieve the American Dream.

Trump and Congressional Republicans have enacted significant tax cuts, repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate, reformed the banking system, and rolled-back a host of oppressive Obama-era regulations.  The outcomes speak for themselves: 4.2-percent GDP growth last quarter, wages are on the rise, and unemployment is at a 50-year low.

For minority communities, the booming economy has been nothing short of a miracle — the wand has been waived and jobs are coming back. African-American unemployment is 6.1 percent, Hispanic unemployment is at 4.5 percent, and Asian-American unemployment is at an astonishing 2.7 percent. Cumulatively, these are some of the lowest unemployment numbers since race-based records began in the 1970s.

In a reboot of his 2012 “you didn’t build that” message to business owners, Mr. Obama has hit the campaign trail taking credit for Trump’s economy. With the mid-term elections on the horizon, it’s important for all minorities to take stock of the gains over the last two years and fully understand the platform Democrats are running on.

Mr. Obama said in a recent speech that Democrats are running on “good new ideas” like “reversing the most egregious corporate tax cuts,” “putting a price on carbon” and “Medicare for all.”  These are not “good new ideas,” they are doubling down on old failed ideas.

Perhaps one of the most significant provisions of last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was the permanent reduction of the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.  According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation “[e]conomic evidence indicates that it is workers who bear the final burden of the corporate income tax, and that corporate income taxes are the most harmful for economic growth – raising this tax rate is not advisable.”

The only thing egregious about the TCJA’s corporate income tax cut was that it was not done sooner.

With respect to pricing carbon, well it’s not a new idea at all. In 2009, Nancy Pelosi passed a carbon cap-and-trade bill out of the U.S. House of Representatives, but Harry Reid just couldn’t get the votes for it in the U.S. Senate despite his comfortable majority. This legislative failure didn’t stop Mr. Obama from attempting to regulate the energy industry at every turn.

Thanks in part to President Trump’s regulatory rollback in the energy sector; the United States is now the world’s top producer of oil, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. This is more welcome news for minority communities. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that in this pro-development climate the oil and gas industry will create another 444 thousand jobs for minority workers by 2025.

As for Medicare for all, well that’s a $32 Trillion boondoggle that is unmoored from economic and political realities.   The fact remains all of these “new ideas” from Democrats would expand the size and scope of government – which has been shown to negatively impact economic growth – and return the United States to the old “new normal” of continual stagnation of the Obama years.

Kanye’s right, President Trump is doing the impossible and for the first time since the Great Recession, “unfounded optimism” has transcended race and faith in the American Dream has been restored.  Mr. Obama’s rhetoric may have provided hope in the past, but Trump’s actions delivered on the change.

SOURCE 

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Socialism Destroys

John Stossel
   
Socialism is hot. Famous actors recently made a commercial proclaiming that “democratic socialism” creates some of the best parts of America. It’s “your kids’ public school” (says Susan Sarandon), the “interstate highway system” (Rosario Dawson), “public libraries” (Jay Ferguson), “EMTs” (Ethan Embry), “workers who plow our streets” (Max Carver) and “scientists” (Danny DeVito).

Wow. I guess every popular thing government does is socialism.

The celebrities conclude: “We can do better when we do them together.”

There is sometimes truth to that, but the movie stars don’t know that America’s first highways were built by capitalist contractors. They also probably didn’t notice that the more popular parts of government — public schools, EMTs, snow plowing, libraries, etc. — are largely locally funded.

“They should wake up,” says Gloria Alvarez. She is from Guatemala and says, “I’ve seen the impact of socialism. My father escaped Cuba. My grandfather suffered under Communists in Hungary before escaping.”

This week I turn my video channel over to Alvarez so she can give her perspective on democratic socialism’s new popularity.

“As a child, I was taught to mock socialism,” she says, “but democratic socialism sounded OK. It made sense that government should take care of the economy. Then I watched democratic socialism fail in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Chile, Nicaragua and Uruguay. I learned that every time a country started down the socialist path, it fails.”

But every time a country tries it, even just a little of it, people applaud. When Castro came to power, people cheered because he was going to help the poor and make everyone equal.

But governments can’t plan things efficiently without the prices and constant individual decision-making that free markets provide.

The result in Cuba was economic stagnation and horrible loss of freedom.

Cuban refugees who now live in Miami’s “Little Havana” neighborhood warn Americans about socialist promises. Michel Ibarra told Alvarez, “You don’t see any future. Everything is stagnated. Health care, education — nowadays they’re in ruins.”

Venezuela didn’t learn from Cuba’s problems. They voted in Hugo Chavez when he said that “capitalism is the realm of injustice” and promised wealth would be distributed equally.

But when there was no more money left to take from rich people, he did what many governments (including our own) do: He printed more. That’s caused inflation approaching 1 million percent.

When business owners raised prices to try to keep up, Chavez and his successor just seized many of them. Again, Venezuelans applauded. Taking from the rich is popular. Ramon Muchacho, a former mayor in Caracas, told Alvarez that when Chavez seized businesses, people were “clapping so hard. They were like, ‘Oh, finally there is somebody here making social justice!’”

But government grabbing private businesses creates shortages. Governments aren’t good at running supermarkets. One Venezuelan refugee told Alvarez, “It’s like the apocalypse. No food. No medicine.”

But in the U.S., socialism still holds appeal.

“Plenty of (socialist) countries are nothing like Venezuela,” says comedian John Oliver.

“When I talk about democratic socialism, I am not looking at Venezuela,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders, “not looking at Cuba. I’m looking at countries like Denmark, like Sweden.”

So many American politicians now cite Denmark as a socialist paradise that Denmark’s prime minister felt compelled to go on TV to say, “Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”

Exactly. Socialism, democratic or tyrannical, means government owns or controls businesses. In Scandinavia, business is largely left alone. Governments don’t even set a minimum wage. Economic freedom rankings give Scandinavian countries high scores on property rights and business freedom.

Those countries do have big welfare programs, but they are funded by thriving free enterprise. In addition, many cut back on their welfare programs after they discovered they were unsustainable or discouraged work.

Think about that the next time you hear celebrities saying “Sweden” and praising socialism.

As one Venezuelan refugee told Alvarez, “You don’t need the government to dictate how to live your life, how much money you should make, how your family should be treated.”

Increased government control rarely helps people. It wrecks economies. It wrecks lives

SOURCE 

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How Democrat Rage is Destroying America

A deranged radical movement gets high on its own fury.

“Use the rage,” former Attorney General Eric Holder scream-tweeted. “Get people out to vote and be rid of these people.”

Had President Trump urged his supporters to channel their rage into politics, the quote would have been good for a week of sanctimonious media lectures about his destruction of democratic norms. Not to mention his dangerous divisiveness, the risk of violence and the high price of tea in Outer Mongolia.

But the media has neither the interest nor the inclination to even note Holder’s ‘rage’ tweet. It’s too busy preaching anger, fury and hatred to the same shrieking choir of maddened lefties screaming at the sky, having meltdowns on social media and clawing madly at the doors of the Supreme Court.

"We need to stay angry about Kavanaugh," E.J. Dionne Jr. fulminates in the Washington Post. But that’s nothing compared to the New York Times where the old gray lady is frenziedly distempered all the time.

"Get Angry, and Get Involved," an op-ed screeches. "Tears, Fury or Action: How Do You Express Anger?", an op-ed from a few days before shrills. “Fury Is a Political Weapon And Women Need to Wield It,” a third howls.  That’s a lot of anger from the megaphone of the privileged wealthy northeastern left.

There hasn’t been this much peevishness on Martha’s Vineyard since they raised the yacht docking fees.

The New York Times and the Washington Post are echoing Holder’s call for political anger. Rage will solve all of America’s problems. If the Democrats stay angry, they’ll take over the government and be truly ready to unleash their rage on “these people”. Otherwise known as the rest of the country.

Even as the media preaches the virtues of leftist rage, it warns about the threat of Republican anger.

"Brett Kavanaugh's Anger May be Backfiring," the Washington Post had hopefully speculated earlier. "Judge Kavanaugh is One Angry Man," the New York Times spat. "Kavanaugh Borrows From Trump's Playbook on White Male Anger," it threw in.

But there’s a fundamental difference between Kavanaugh’s anger and that of the media left.

Brett Kavanaugh was angry because he had been falsely accused of rape by the media, with no actual evidence. His life was torn apart. His family, as he testified, had been “destroyed”. Democrats demanded that a 53-year-old man account for every detail of his high school and college years.

His accuser was held to zero standards while he was told to disprove an accusation lacking basic essentials like a specific time, place and witnesses. Had a black teen in the ghetto been hit with equally flimsy charges, the left would have gone into a rage tantrum in support of the accused rapist.

But, unlike Brett, the left wasn’t angry because it had been personally abused. Despite the efforts to pass off paid leftist activists as “sexual assault survivors”, the progressive bilious bile was purely political.

Kavanaugh was angry because his life had been destroyed. The left is angry because it wants power.

Leftist political anger inflicted sadistic torments on Brett Kavanaugh for political reasons. And the media pretends that this political anger is somehow more worthy than that the outrage of its victim.

Obama activists, Senate Dems, Soros social justice flunkies, sleazy lawyers and fake news reporters put a decent man through hell so that they could, as Holder tweeted, “use the rage” in the midterm elections.

The media left demanded to know what right Brett Kavanaugh had to be angry. They mocked his pain, ridiculed his suffering with the venal contempt and snarky hatred that now passes for leftist comedy.

But a better question would be what right does the left have to its endless anger?

Eight years of running the country didn’t leave it any more generous toward its opponents, any less hungry for power, or any less tribal, partisan and furious than it had been in 2007. The left isn’t angry because it cares about rape victims. Not when it’s lining up to buy tickets to Bill and Hillary’s latest tour.

It’s angry because, as Holder tweeted, it wants power.

And it’s willing to destroy every political, civic, cultural, social and moral norm to get it. The left doesn’t believe in norms because it doesn’t believe in any compromise or standard. All it has is its will to power.

Some people have the right to win elections (Hillary Clinton) and others (Donald Trump) don’t. Some justices have the right to be confirmed without campaigns of personal destruction (Democrat nominees like Kagan and Sotomayor) and others (Republican nominees like Bork, Thomas and Kavanaugh) don’t.

And some people have the right to be angry (New York Times and Washington Post readers) and others (Trump supporters and Front Page Magazine readers) don’t. The entitlement of double standards is essential to the leftist quest for power which is about manufacturing perceived inequality in order to administrate mandates of total inequality. Disparate impact justifies affirmative action. If black workers or students underperform, then poor white workers and students must go to the back of the line.

But if replacing the norms of political discourse with livid tantrums is bad, then it’s bad for everyone.

There’s no way to mandate anger as affirmative action. If you insult, deprive and oppress people, they will become angry. And the only thing you can do is get angry right back or outlaw their anger.

The choleric left is working on the latter. But in its conniption fits, it’s settling for the former.

It deprives people of their rights and it responds to their anger with more anger. In its rage, it wipes out every political and social norm it can manage until its opponents are being hounded out of restaurants, fired from their jobs, assaulted on the street, shot at charity baseball games, smeared as rapists, doxed by reporters and staffers, censored on the internet and eavesdropped on by corrupt federal agencies.

There isn’t a legal or political norm that Obama didn’t violate during his time in office. Reporters were spied on. So were Republicans. The IRS and the FBI were used to target political opponents. A man was sent to jail for making a YouTube video. The DOJ was used to go after folks who mocked Obama.

After eight years of political terror, the Democrats have settled into accusing their political opponents of treason and demanding their imprisonment, everything from intimidation to death threats to attempted murder, and trying to destroy a Supreme Court nominee based on the most baseless allegations.

This is what leftists have done to our political norms. And what enrages them about Kavanaugh is not any feigned concern for our political norms, but that our norms survived their tantrums and dirty tricks.

The media claimed that Brett Kavanaugh should not sit on the Supreme Court by reason of his temperament. That’s rich coming from a deranged political movement getting high on its own fury.

"If you're not angry yet, you should be," a riled New York Times editorial yelps. A forum for readers discusses their struggles “expressing rage” and urges them to turn “anger into action”.

The media used to believe that basing national politics around anger was destructively bad. Now it’s been radicalized enough that it celebrates hate, rancor and rage. As long as it’s leftist rage.

Love can be one-sided. But anger rarely is.

When the media riles up leftist fury, it’s also rousing Republican anger. The Kavanaugh hearings are a clear example of how rage-driven abuses by the left lead to a wrathful reaction on the right.

The Democrats and their media allies furiously preach anger, and their rage is tearing apart America.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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)

**************************


Monday, October 15, 2018


America's Insulated Elites

They protect themselves from the consequences of polices and ideas they inflict on the rest of us

Few things are more worthy of disdain than America’s elites and their penchant for insulating themselves from the consequences of polices and ideas they inflict on the rest of us.

In 1986, our elitist class determined that unambiguous amnesty for 2.7 million illegal aliens — in exchange for shutting down the border and cracking down on businesses who hired illegals going forward — was the way to go. Americans were also assured this was the last time they would have to endure what amounted to the elevation of political expediency over the Rule of Law.

It was all lies.

During the Obama administration, the lying got worse. Years of record-breaking border surges were sold to the American public as another Democrat “what about the children” effort, and the term Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) became part of the Democrat-Leftmedia lexicon, with all the attendant implications that anyone who would resist allowing illegal children to flood across the border was xenophobic and heartless.

Again, it was all lies. In 2017, it was revealed that nearly 30% of the UACs being held by the U.S. in dormitories were teens with gang ties. “Operation Matador,” an effort by law enforcement officials aimed at combatting transnational gangs in Long Island, the New York City metropolitan area, and Hudson Valley, precipitated 475 arrests. Of those arrests, 227 were criminal arrests and 248 were “administrative immigration arrests,” as in those made to combat terror or control illegal immigration. MS-13 gang members comprised 274 of the arrests and most were apprehended in Nassau and Suffolk counties. During a May 2017 meeting of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini revealed that the MS-13 gang was linked to 38% of all the homicides in that county over the preceding 16 months, and that 4,624 UACs had been placed in the county since 2013.

Now one might think the upsurge in the brutal gang violence that is an MS-13 speciality — including reports the gang has called for assassinating law enforcement officials — might precipitate a reassessment by our elites regarding sanctuary policies. Yet the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island has declared itself a “sanctuary diocese,” using its 129 churches to shield illegals from arrest and deportation. Nassau County sanctuary policies protected a previously deported illegal now accused of raping a woman. And Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a “cease and desist” letter to ICE, insisting its raids netting 225 suspected illegals — 180 of whom had criminal convictions — were unconstitutional and “un-American.”

The same Andrew Cuomo is routinely surrounded by armed security.

Other New York elites are securing themselves as well. While ordinary folk on Long Island remain completely vulnerable to MS-13 brutality, billionaires who vacation in places like the Hamptons are turning their mansions into de facto fortresses, replete with luxury “panic” rooms. “People used to open up their garages and show off their Lamborghinis,” explains Herman Weisberg, managing director of the personal-security firm Sage Intelligence Group. “Now they take guests to the wine bar in their safe room.”

And while the safe rooms go up, so does the influx of MS-13 gang members. According to Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector Chief Manuel Padilla Jr., the number of arrests of MS-13 gang members in his sector has increased by well over 200%.

How many others evaded arrest?

East Coast elites aren’t alone. “I finished a [security] system for $100 million,” said Al Corbi, president of SAFE (Strategically Armored & Fortified Environments), in reference to a project he recently completed on the West Coast. “That sounds like a lot but there is nothing I know of, human or manmade, that could possibly harm this family for three generations, including global nuclear holocaust, a pandemic, or a second Ice Age.”

For other elites, domestic fortresses are insufficient. Seven Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have purchased bunkers and placed them in New Zealand. “New Zealand is an enemy of no one,” said Gary Lynch, general manager of the Rising S Co. that produced the bunkers. “It’s not a nuclear target. It’s not a target for war. It’s a place where people seek refuge.”

Refuge, or escape from the consequences of their own policies? “The communications kingpins of California have no allegiance to ordinary Californians — or ordinary Americans, for that matter,” asserts columnist Edward Ring. “To them, ordinary people are Pavlovian proles, expendable parasites that pollute the environment. To the extent these kingpins have compassion, it is to profitably create for the expendable multitudes a benign zoo; smart cities of high rises, contained in areas as geographically minute as possible, so that only wild nature, corporate farms, and private estates of the super-rich exist outside the urban containment boundaries.”

On almost every issue that roils the nation, there is a gargantuan disconnect between elites and ordinary Americans. Those who yell loudest for gun control live in gated communities and/or are surrounded by armed guards, even as they produce ultra-violent cultural sewage for the masses to consume; those who speak in glowing terms about a globalist economy and open borders don’t go near “flyover” America’s economically ravaged towns and cities that bear the brunt; those who rail about the ravages of global warming travel in private jets, and live in huge mansions; those who would turn you and your children into social media addicts prevent their own families from getting addicted; those who champion public education put their own children in private school.

And if you don’t like who the “little people” elected as president? Attempt to precipitate a coup d'etat.

That every bit of it reeks of rank hypocrisy? Communication titans make sure most Americans are too distracted and angry to notice. “If you watch TV news or read most mainstream media, you would believe our country is in meltdown,” writes columnist Salena Zito. She wrote her column while visiting Western Pennsylvania, where she spoke with Green Party mayoral candidate, and black American, Darcelle Slappy, who has it exactly right. “Unlike Washington, we are all just a few notches from each other in either direction,” Slappy asserts, referring to her community where people differing political persuasions — and ethnicities — somehow manage to get along. “We have much more that draws us together than divides us, she adds. "The real division is between the elites and us.”

These elites continue cultivating those divisions with as much relish as they can muster. “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” declares former Democrat Party standard-bearer Hillary Clinton. “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

No power, no civility? Clinton has issued a clarion call to the same useful-idiot mob that made an utter mockery of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. And if her extortionist drivel precipitates widespread violence?

Clinton, like all her fellow elites, will remain safe and sound.

SOURCE 

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The Party of Evil
   
The Democrats and their parrots and lapdogs in the liberal media never stop accusing people on the right of being racists, sexists and homophobes.

But if you pay even the slightest attention to what the left says and does, you know that they are the real bigots.

They’re the ones who thought it was real funny - and perfectly OK - when a “Saturday Night Live” skit on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings last weekend used the word “queen” and other gay-world references to imply that Republican Senator Lindsay Graham was secretly gay.

The left are also the ones who didn’t complain the other night when Don Lemon laughed along with his panel of CNN nobodies as they mocked Kanye West for being President Trump’s “token Negro.”

If any Republican or Fox News host ever referred to someone like Lemon “queen” or called him CNN’s “token Negro,” they’d be branded a racist homophobe by the liberal media and forced off the air forever.

The latest example of the left’s devious wordplay is its new definition of the word “mob.”

Tucker Carlson, who said the mindless anti-Kavanaugh protesters banging on the Supreme Court’s doors last week reminded him of zombies from the Netflix series “The Walking Dead,” correctly called them a “mob.”

But CNN and their liberal ilk disagreed.

As far as they are concerned, only right-wingers can become a dangerous mob - like the angry Tea Party activists who showed up and shouted at political meetings back in 2010.

Creepy Antifa kids disrupting traffic and harassing old folks in Portland?

Gangs of progressive screamers showing up in restaurants to publicly harass Republican officials or politicians?

The leftwing media say they are not really “mobs.”

They’re principled, youthful protestors trying to build a kinder, gentler, socialist world for every American who’s not rich enough to buy their own car.

The voting public is not fooled by this double standard in the liberal media.

They know it’s not Republicans who are telling their people to chase politicians or pundits out of restaurants.

They know it’s Democrats like Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Irresponsible Democrats like her are going to get someone killed - a Republican someone.

It almost happened last year when their attacks on President Trump and Republicans incited some “progressive” nut ball to start shooting Republican congressmen practicing at a Washington baseball field.

Now, thanks to the Democrats’ ugly smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh, Republican senators like Susan Collins and Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders need security guards 24/7.

It’s not the new Supreme Court Justice who’s evil.

It’s the Democrat Party and the nasty “progressives” who’ve taken it over and are willing to say or do anything or destroy anyone to bring down President Trump.

Maybe this is not something new. Maybe the Democrats have always been this evil.

Maybe my father foresaw the future when he said in the early 1960s that he didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the party left him.

Where are the Hubert Humphreys, Scoop Jacksons and Daniel Moynihans? Where are great Democratic statesmen of yesterday? They don’t exist.

The Democrat Party is no longer the Party of FDR. It’s the party of destruction.

Sometimes it almost makes me glad that my father is not alive to witness this sad state of our politics - or FDR. Or Lincoln. Or the Founding Fathers.

SOURCE 

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Alaska GOP Considering Whether To Throw Murkowski Out Of GOP For Opposing Kavanaugh

The Alaska Republican party has requested that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) submit any information she has that might dissuade them from reprimanding her for opposing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

As AP reports, “Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock says the committee could decide to issue a statement. Or he says it could withdraw support of Murkowski, encourage party officials to look for a replacement and ask that she not seek re-election as a Republican.”

Babcock noted that the Alaska GOP has, in the past, withdrawn support for other Republicans who caucused with Democrats.

After Murkowski voted against cloture last Friday, indicating she would vote against Kavanaugh in the Senate vote for confirmation to the Supreme Court, Babcock said he was "surprised." He added, "It's significant enough that I'm going to convene the whole state central committee, which is about 80 grassroots volunteers around the state, and we'll start drafting what our response should be.”

SOURCE 

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The Democrats’ Kavanaugh Backfire

Republicans have been so angered by the Democrat’s anti Kavanaugh antics that they look to be motivated to prevent any ‘blue wave’ in next month’s mid-term elections.

The Federalist Papers reports:

Democrats seem to expect a “blue wave” that puts them in control of the House and maybe even the Senate. The latest poll however might put a damper on Democrats expectations and has good news for Republicans:

After a blistering confirmation battle, Justice Brett Kavanaugh will take his seat for oral arguments on the U.S. Supreme Court with a skeptical public, a majority of which opposed his nomination.

However, Democrats may not be able to exploit this fact in the upcoming elections as much as they hope, because the independent voters overwhelmingly disapprove of their own handling of the nomination by a 28-point margin, a new CNN/SSRS poll finds.

Overall, just 41 percent of those polled said they wanted to see Kavanaugh confirmed, compared to 51 percent who said they opposed his confirmation. In previous CNN polls dating back to Robert Bork in 1987, no nominee has been more deeply underwater.

What’s interesting, however, is even though Democrats on the surface would seem to have public opinion on their side, just 36 percent approved of how they handled the nomination, compared to 56 percent who disapproved. (Republicans were at 55 percent disapproval and 35 percent approval).

A further breakdown finds that 58 percent of independents disapproved of the way the Democrats handled the nomination — compared to 30 percent who approved. (Independents also disapproved of Republicans handling of the matter, but by a narrower 53 percent to 32 percent margin).

SOURCE 

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Media Research Center Reports That 92% of Stories on Donald Trump Are Negative

We see why Trump has to be his own news organization

In a Wednesday morning tweet, President Donald J. Trump referenced a Media Research Center study by Rich Noyes of NewsBusters that shows, as Trump stated, “92% of stories on Donald Trump are negative.”

“Despite so many positive events and victories, Media Research Center reports that 92% of stories on Donald Trump are negative on ABC, CBS and ABC,” wrote President Donald J. Trump on his Twitter page. “It is FAKE NEWS! Don’t worry, the Failing New York Times didn’t even put the Brett Kavanaugh victory on the Front Page yesterday-A17!”

According to the Media Research Center study by NewsBusters, “Over the summer, the broadcast networks have continued to pound Donald Trump and his team with the most hostile coverage of a President in TV news history — 92 percent negative, vs. just eight percent positive.”

MRC analysts reviewed all 1,007 evening news stories about President Trump’s administration on ABC, CBS and NBC from June 1 to September 30 for the report. That’s 1,960 minutes of airtime.

“[O]ver the past four months, nearly two-thirds of evening news coverage of the Trump presidency has been focused on just five main topics: the Russia investigation; immigration policy; the Kavanaugh nomination; North Korea diplomacy; and U.S. relations with Russia,” notes the study. “The networks’ coverage of all of these topics has been highly negative, while bright spots for the administration such as the booming economy received extremely little coverage (less than one percent of the four-month total).”

The Russia “collusion” investigation saw the most coverage during the time-span of the study, with 342 minutes and was 97 percent negative. Next was immigration policies, making up 308 minutes of the coverage, 94 percent of which was negative. Coverage of then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh was third with 291 minutes at 82 percent negative coverage. Coming in fourth was North Korean diplomacy with 179 minutes of coverage, 90 percent of which was negative. Lastly, relations with Putin’s Russia saw 151 minutes of coverage with 99 percent of the coverage being negative.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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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Sunday, October 14, 2018


The Left is promising to abuse power if they win; voters should take them seriously

In 2005, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Kelo v. New London, diminishing Americans’ property rights. The ruling said that governments can seize your home through eminent domain, even if their intention is merely to hand the land over to private developers.

Conservatives saw this as one more bad ruling from a Supreme Court that issued a whole lot of them. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was a bit more sanguine, and her famous response exemplifies the respect and reverence that liberals once had for the Supreme Court, just so long as it was influencing culture and moving the national conversation in a way they liked.

“It is a decision of the Supreme Court,” she said, emphasizing its finality. “If Congress wants to change it, it will require legislation of a level of a constitutional amendment. So this is almost as if God has spoken.”

Today, the Left is in a panic because they fear that God’s voice (and perhaps even his wrath) are about to turn against them. And it is making them very dangerous. The Supreme Court’s composition is changing, and they have responded like cornered animals, with their vicious and desperate campaign of slander and political dirty tricks during the confirmation process of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Liberals are so accustomed to getting their way that they cannot control themselves. They fear an era is coming to an end, and they want to prevent this. So before the newly reinforced, John Roberts-led court has heard a case or issued a single ruling, they are already doing everything in their power to delegitimize the institution they once looked upon as almost God.

The Left has vilified the presumption of innocence, the bedrock of our legal system and an indispensable moral principle as well. For even outside of criminal court, decent people simply don’t brook accusations that are presented without even the hint of corroborating evidence. Without proof, it is gossip, and especially so when the story is inconsistent and lacks basic details that could lead to proof one way or the other. The organizers of the not-insignificant Women’s March are assailing Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, as a rape apologist for merely adhering to this time-tested principle. This is how they treat anyone with whom they disagree.

The death threats and vile messages that progressive activists have aimed at Kavanaugh and his family, as well as at Republican senators’ offices and homes and families, is a clear statement of who they are, and why the nation will suffer if they are ever returned to power.

The Democrats who caused and put on the entire Kavanaugh farce are already promising to abuse their power further, if the voters will only give more of it to them. They are promising a scurrilous impeachment of Kavanaugh, and also to pack the Supreme Court if given the chance. Why? Because they are angry, and they don’t respect the rules and norms of government, and they are not mature or clever enough to wait to reveal this until they have power.

The same party that originally went nuclear on judicial confirmations — a temptation Republicans resisted ten years earlier in the same circumstances — have also brainwashed themselves into believing that they played no role in the breakdown of comity in our institutions of government. This makes them especially dangerous. Having failed to accept the outcome of the 2016 election, they are now trying to place an asterisk next to a lawfully and constitutionally confirmed Supreme Court justice.

In truth, the only cloud over Kavanaugh is the one that they worked hard — but not hard enough — to put there. When they promise to abuse power, and to be even more ruthless next time (it’s hard to imagine how they could do that without physical violence), voters should take them seriously

SOURCE

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Amid Pressure From White House, Turkish Court Frees Evangelical Pastor Andrew Brunson

"Working very hard on Pastor Brunson!" President Trump tweeted Friday morning, just as news reports said a Turkish court has finally freed Brunson from house arrest. "My thoughts and prayers are with Pastor Brunson, and we hope to have him safely back home soon!" the president said in a second tweet.

And a short time later, a third tweet from Trump: "PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED. WILL BE HOME SOON!"

Pastor Andrew Brunson, an evangelical preacher from North Carolina, was arrested two years ago, after two decades of living and ministering in Turkey. He was charged with terrorism and espionage, charges that both he and the U.S. government refute.

The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative civil liberties group that represents Brunson and has worked for his release, quoted the pastor as saying, "This is the day our family has been praying for – I am delighted to be on my way home to the United States.”

"Pastor Brunson is now en route to the United States," the ACLJ said in a news release.

"President Trump and his team have been tenacious in seeking the release of Pastor Brunson,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “We’re grateful to the President, members of Congress and diplomatic leaders who continued to put pressure on Turkey to secure the freedom of Pastor Brunson. The fact that he is now on a plane to the United States can only be viewed as a significant victory for Pastor Brunson and his family.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who visited Brunson in jail and spoke directly to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the case, called this a "great day," but he said he'll wait until Brunson is back in the USA to celebrate. "When he gets home, I'll feel better," he said.

SOURCE

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Team Trump is protecting America’s vital manufacturing, defense industrial base from big risks

This is fairly orthodox economics

America’s manufacturing and defense industrial base – vital to ensuring our national security – is under significant threat at a time when the military capabilities of China, Russia, and our other strategic competitors are growing. This is an enormously important issue that has received far less attention in the news media than it deserves.

Fortunately, President Trump has long recognized that to be strong and secure our nation must be able to rely on U.S. companies to manufacture products needed for our national defense. He understands that we must never become dependent on foreign nations to design, produce and maintain the aircraft, ground combat vehicles, ships, munitions, components of our nuclear arsenal, and space capabilities that are critically important to our nation’s defense.

Additionally, manufacturing remains a key source of jobs and our economic strength. While President Obama was content to see manufacturing jobs exit the U.S. for other nations, President Trump’s wise America First policies are strengthening American manufacturing and creating well-paid jobs for hardworking Americans.

President Trump signed an executive order in July 2017 directing the secretary of defense to assess what must be done to strengthen our manufacturing and defense industrial base. The report giving this assessment was recently released and reveals hundreds of gaps and vulnerabilities that demand immediate attention. Under this administration, they will get that attention.

This landmark report outlines ways to harness the capabilities of industry and government to work together to defend our country effectively and efficiently, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent frugally and wisely.

President Trump understands that that best way to deter our enemies and prevent war is for America to have the strongest military in the world – a goal he has achieved with increased investment in our nation’s defense. And he knows that if we are forced into a conflict, we must give the brave men and women in our armed forces what they need to prevail overwhelmingly.

Under the Obama administration, years of dangerous cuts in America’s defense budget put our national security at risk and failed to give members of our military what they needed to protect us.

To Make American Great Again we must Make American Manufacturing Great Again – something President Trump realized long before he declared his candidacy for the presidency. He has been acting on that since the day he entered the Oval Office.

Overregulation, too much bureaucratic red tape and outdated defense purchasing practices have made it hard for manufacturers to supply us with the vital equipment our military needs and have discouraged innovation by these suppliers.

And past administrations have allowed China and other nations to steal the intellectual property that American companies have worked years to develop.

All of this has contributed to the exodus of American jobs and American manufacturing capabilities to other nations – an exodus President Trump is reversing.

The new Defense Department assessment also identifies alarming shortages in the number of American workers needed to keep our manufacturing and defense industrial base strong and healthy. This points to the need for our country to educate and train more Americans to fill jobs – from software engineers to industrial welders – that will provide them with secure long-term employment and make our nation more secure as well.

A recent survey found nearly 73 percent of American manufacturing firms say the inability to find and retain workers with critical skills is their top challenge. This is unacceptable and must change.

To Make American Great Again we must Make American Manufacturing Great Again – something President Trump realized long before he declared his candidacy for the presidency. He has been acting on that since the day he entered the Oval Office.

And it’s important that we have multiple American manufacturers to supply our defense needs – so the Defense Department need not be dependent on a sole supplier for crucial military equipment.

Competition leads to greater efficiency and innovation by manufacturers and holds down prices – benefitting the American taxpayer. And if we are dependent on only one company to make military equipment and that company goes out of business or decides to stop making the equipment, we are in trouble.

This is not a theoretical risk – it is something we are faced with today on a number of fronts.

For example, “sole source purchasing” risk exists with large-caliber gun barrels for armored vehicles and mortar tubes, which the Army buys from only one government-run arsenal.

“Single source risk,” in which the Defense Department has only one qualified supplier, manifests itself in the production of ammonium perchlorate – a chemical widely used by the Defense Department as a propellant for rockets and missiles.

Similarly, the problem of a “fragile supplier” occurs when only one company manufactures a product. This is true in the case of the rotor blade castings required for the manufacture of a Marine helicopter capable of lifting very heavy loads. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2016.

In addition, “fragile market” risk exists for products that have no commercial applications outside of our military. This is the case with strategic radiation-hardened microelectronics – a critical component of our nuclear deterrent designed to withstand short bursts of intense radiation.

“Product security” risk threatens the physical security and cybersecurity of the manufacturing and defense industrial base. Cyberattacks on manufacturers in the defense sector are skyrocketing – nearly doubling from 2014 to 2015. You can be sure the number of these attacks will increase.

A key finding of the Defense Department assessment is that China’s increasing manufacturing dominance represents a growing risk to our military-industrial capabilities ranging from critical materials to electronics.

China’s civil-military doctrine continues to exploit areas of vulnerability through economic and cyber actions, creating a further erosion of trusted supply chains vital to manufacturing for our defense sector.

The Trump administration, with bipartisan support from the Congress, has already taken important steps to strengthen America’s manufacturing and defense industrial base.

Examples include passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, providing near-term budget stability through the 2019 fiscal year. Another example is the recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes $200 million to shore-up small and medium suppliers in our submarine industrial base.

The 2018 Defense Authorization Act also provides critical modernization for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Together with actions taken under the Trade Act of 1974, these changes will help defend our national security from foreign acquisition of American intellectual property and technologies.

Recent updates to the Trump administration’s conventional arms transfer policy and unmanned aerial systems export policy also support U.S. industrial base competitiveness and strengthen international alliances and partnerships.

In addition, the Defense Department is working with the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia – our partners in the National Technology Industrial Base – to determine how to increase cooperation to address areas of mutual concern across global supply chains.

On top of these actions, the new Defense Department assessment lists a comprehensive set of actions government and manufacturers can take to work together to address identified risks and vulnerabilities across the range of hardware, software and workforce needs to maintain the technological superiority that protects our national security.

The Defense Department will move swiftly to address problems identified in its report with a series of reforms.

Title III of the Defense Production Act allows the president to direct already appropriated dollars to lower tiers of the supply chain providing defense-critical capabilities, oftentimes ones that lack a commercial market and are in considerable distress.

Title III is a critical tool for ensuring that the United States retains the type of capabilities our warfighters require, from specialized fuel cells for antisubmarine warfare to lithium seawater batteries used in the Navy’s future unmanned underwater vehicles.

A Labor Department task force on apprenticeship is already working to increase the number of Americans trained for skilled jobs needed for our national defense.

In addition, the Defense Department’s enhanced use of the National Defense Stockpile program will provide a buffer against sudden or severe shocks that would otherwise create supply disruptions for strategic and critical materials. Modernizing the arsenals, depots and public shipyards that provide for the readiness of our armed forces will ensure ongoing support for current and future national defense operations.

Together, all these actions embody one of the most important principles of the Trump administration: economic security is national security. As President Trump stated in his National Security Strategy issued last December, a vibrant domestic manufacturing sector and a robust and resilient defense industrial base are national strategic priorities of the highest order.

SOURCE

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The Democrats Politics of Destruction Against the GOP’s Politics of Results

It’s “shameful to say Republicans do not care about women,” Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Tuesday, blasting Democrats’ efforts to infuriate women voters.

In a Fox News Channel interview, McDaniel implored Democrats to abandon their destructive, divisive strategy: "This is what Democrats do. They try and divide our country. They try and incite anger. That is just shameful to say Republicans do not care about women. I am a woman. I am a mother of a 15-year-old daughter. Please don't go there.”

McDaniel said that American women are seeing through the Democrats false, incendiary claims because they see that Republican policies are producing results for women and minorities:

“But that is where they are going. Because it is destroy, it's distract, it's divide our nation - let's make women so angry. Women are smarter than that. We are delivering results right now at the Republican Party from our President: 3.7% unemployment, the lowest in history for African-American and Hispanics, a 65-year low for women.

“We are a Party that is making lives better for families across this country. So Democrats will continue the politics of destruction, and we are going to continue the politics of results."

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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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