Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Democrats always talk about change but they are ignoring it now that it has happened
We are all, to some extent, prisoners of the past. Things that have already happened — or that we remember as having happened — constitute the world that we know. Anything else is a product of imagination.

But it can also be a pitfall for politicians, particularly for those seeking national visibility when they’re running for president. It’s jarring to see candidates ignore recent changes and describe a world that no longer exists, as when they were asked leadoff questions about the economy in the first two Democratic debates.

Night one: “It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top”; “The economy has got to work for everyone, and right now we know it isn’t”; “We know that not everyone is sharing in this prosperity”; “This economy is not working for average Americans”; “There’s plenty of money in this country. It’s just in the wrong hands.” So spoke Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Bill de Blasio, respectively.

Night two: “(T)he bottom 60 percent have seen a raise since 1980”; “We have three people in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of America”; “We do have enormous income inequality”; “This economy is not working for working people”; “Forty years of no economic growth for 90 percent of the American people.” Those were Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Michael Bennet, respectively.

These are reasonably accurate descriptions of the macroeconomy in the years after the financial crash and recession of 2008, during the Obama presidency, and plausible descriptions of the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency.

Even in the buoyantly prosperous years of the 1980s and 1990s, incomes rose faster among the affluent and well-educated, while blue-collar wages tended to flatline. Economic inequality tended to increase according to various measures. Those trends continued in the 2000s and 2010s and were decried by Democratic politicians and Donald Trump.

Now there are signs that those trends are reversed. In percentage terms, wage gains seem to be increasing most for those at the bottom of the wage scale. Blue-collar incomes are apparently rising more rapidly than white-collar. Unemployment has dropped to levels not seen for 50 years, and unemployment among blacks and Hispanics seems to have dropped to the lowest levels since measurement began.

Candidate Trump promised an economy whose gains would go more to those less well off than they have in the recent past, to blue-collar workers in particular, and to blacks and Hispanics. And that’s how the economy has performed in the 30 months he has been in office. Looks like he delivered.

Of course, Democrats don’t want to admit that, and so, they fall back on congenial rhetorical tropes even after the tropes have gone stale. And maybe their outdated analyses didn’t strike their debate audiences as dissonant with reality.

We Americans are fractured into political tribes these days, and it was mostly the Democratic tribe that tuned into MSNBC for the Democrats’ debate. Polling shows that voters’ assessment of economic trends is more highly correlated with partisan loyalty than economic performance.

But it won’t be only Democrats watching once the party has a nominee and once general election campaigning starts. And that nominee may want to avoid the unpopular stands that most of today’s two dozen candidates have endorsed — ninth-month abortions, free college, open borders through decriminalization of illegal border crossing, free medical care for illegal immigrants, abolition of private health insurance.

Democrats remember the 1992 Bill Clinton mantra “It’s the economy, stupid,” and how Clinton won despite a macroeconomic upswing. So why not describe the economy as it used to be and as they’d like voters to see it, rather than as it actually is?

This has another benefit for Democratic partisans, who are increasingly upscale white college graduates who care most about cultural issues but who’d like to think their policies help the less fortunate.

Their party has already lost the blue-collar whites who were once its base, and erosion of its supermajorities from blue-collar blacks and majorities from blue-collar Hispanics could destroy its dreams of long-term majorities. So tell them they’re suffering, even if they’re not anymore. Hope they’re prisoners of the past.



“Abolish ICE” Leftists Replace US Flag With Mexican Flag: Vandalize “Blue Lives Matter” Flag

Leftist anti-ICE protesters are so anti-American and unpatriotic that a group of them removed a U.S. flag and replaced it with a Mexican flag outside an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) facility in Aurora, Colorado.

Hundreds of protesters also removed a “Blue Lives Matter” flag and vandalized it by spray-painting the words “Abolish ICE” across it before raising the flag upside-down on a pole next to the flag of Mexico.

Ironically, most of the protesters are self-flagellating white apologists who prioritize illegal aliens above taxpaying U.S. citizens and lawful residents.

While they gleefully raise the flag of Mexico to undermine US immigration laws, they forget that if any of them snuck across the Mexican border illegally, they’d immediately be deported back to the United States — no questions asked.

There would be no Mexicans protesting for their right to stay illegally in Mexico. Let that sink in.

Protests around the United States erupted yesterday in sanctuary cities around the country, including Denver, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. They’re heating up in anticipation of ICE raids scheduled in 10 cities tomorrow (July 14).

Despite the disinformation campaign being pushed by the left-wing media, the ICE raids are not targeting random illegal aliens, but those who have been ordered to be deported by federal immigration judges.

The protesters are open-borders leftists who are demanding that ICE detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border be closed. They also want amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens currently in the country.

In Philadelphia, anti-ICE protesters took to the streets yesterday. Philadelphia is a sanctuary city that harbors illegal aliens.

As BizPac Review reported, Democrats have repeatedly denied that the border crisis is real, and have accused President Trump of “manufacturing” a crisis. In recent weeks — when they could no longer deny the facts — Democrats and the media finally conceded that there is indeed an emergency at the border.

Race-baiting leftist politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar claim that enforcing longstanding federal immigration laws (that were passed decades ago by both Democrats and Republicans) are racist.

However, even Jeh Johnson — the secretary of Homeland Security under “Deporter-in-Chief” Barack Obama — said there’s nothing unusual or illegal about the upcoming ICE raids that are targeting illegal immigrants who have orders for deportation.

“Deportations occur all the time,” Johnson told MSNBC. “Of those who have been ordered deported by an immigration judge, we simply have to enforce the law, particularly if someone has been ordered deported. They’ve exhausted all their appeal rights. Enforcement actions themselves are not extraordinary.”

Jeh Johnson, a Trump-hating Democrat, also clapped back at the left-wing media and members of his own party, saying this sensationalized leftist talking point of “children in cages” did not start the day President Donald Trump took office.

“Chain link barriers, partitions, fences, cages — whatever you want to call them — were not invented on Jan. 20, 2017, OK?” Johnson said. Johnson also slammed Democrats’ proposals to decriminalize illegal border crossings, saying that “is tantamount to declaring publicly that we have open borders.”



Billionaire Dem Donor Blasts Bernie Sanders: He's a 'Communist Under the Cover of Being a Socialist'

You may have never heard of Haim Saban before, but his money has affected you, nonetheless. As one of the single biggest donors to the Democrat Party, Saban is helping shape the politics of this country. This is why his opinions on the Democrats hoping to earn their party's 2020 presidential nomination matter. His money gives his words clout. This is bad news for Bernie bros (and, by extension, fans of AOC). In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Saban went out of his way to diss Bernie Sanders.

Because Saban is unknown to many, a little background information may be useful. With an estimated worth of $3.2 billion, Haim and his wife Cheryl are the media moguls behind the Power Rangers phenomenon. According to The Hollywood Reporter:

Eight years after Saban Entertainment's inception, he merged the L.A.-based company with Fox Children's Productions to form Fox Family Worldwide. That joint venture with News Corp. — which included Fox Family Channel, Fox Kids international channels in Europe and Latin America, and Saban Entertainment's library of 6,500 episodes of animated and other family programs — was sold in 2001 to The Walt Disney Co. for $5.3 billion.

Selling the company to Disney is what launched the couple's philanthropic organization. As generous supporters of the nation of Israel, the Sabans also donate money to many children's charities and feminist organizations. As already stated, they're also counted as one of the biggest donors to the Democrat Party. This fact, THR explains, is, "why all eyes are on who they will back in the 2020 presidential election. After the first debates, they remained undecided."

They may be undecided about who they're going to support, but based on Haim Saban's words, they will never back Bernie Sanders.

"We love all 23 candidates," Haim says, then pauses. "No, minus one. I profoundly dislike Bernie Sanders, and you can write it. I don't give a hoot. He's a communist under the cover of being a socialist. He thinks that every billionaire is a crook. He calls us 'the billionaire class.' And he attacks us indiscriminately. 'It's the billionaire class, the bad guys.' This is how communists think. So, 22 are great. One is a disaster zone."
During the 2016 presidential election, a high-level Hill staffer told me that Bernie's fellow Democrats on the Senate's Budget Committee can't stand Sanders.  According to my friend, he obstructs their goals because "he doesn't understand math."

Add, Bernie Sanders doesn't understand history nor economics to that. Billionaire Haim Saban understands this and isn't afraid to publicly say it. For that, even among all our other disagreements with him, conservatives owe Saban a thank you.

The backlash against Bernie Sanders and his socialist version of populism by Saban is bad news for the new socialist flavors of the month like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The power brokers understand that Sanders and AOC's version of socialism is detrimental to their bank accounts. It's a small comfort knowing that powerful people like the Sabans are acting to protect the Democrat Party from their worst instincts.



Christine Blasey Ford: Just another crooked Leftist

Is there such a thing as an honest Leftist?

When Christine Blasey Ford came forward to accuse then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of decades-old sexual assault, little was known about her; in fact, she had no social media footprint at all — an extreme oddity for modern times.

But according to a new book set for release on Tuesday, penned by two prominent conservative politicos, Blasey Ford “completely scrubbed” her digital footprint weeks before sending the sexual assault allegation to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in the form of a letter.

Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway and her co-author, Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, suggest in “Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court” that this social media history scrubbing had been done to cover up Blasey Ford's far-left politics and her expressed "antipathy" toward President Donald Trump, who tapped Kavanaugh for the position on the highest court.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, the book outlines how Blasey Ford was portrayed by the media as “politically moderate,” even though “her acquaintances reported Ford’s profile on social media ‘had been notable for its extreme antipathy to President Trump.’”

“Additionally, her political views 'ran decidedly to the left and were at variance with most of her family’s,' and Ford's friends on Facebook said she 'regularly expressed hostility' toward the Trump administration, they said,” the Examiner noted, adding that Blasey Ford’s social media “was ‘completely scrubbed’ about the time Kavanaugh was tapped for the Supreme Court in early July 2018.”

Blasey Ford told Sen. Feinstein in a letter last year that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party, which was not specified, sometime in the early 1980s. The dubious claim was completely uncorroborated and the Senate Judiciary Committee ultimately found that there was "no evidence to substantiate any of the claims."

"In neither the committee's investigation nor in the supplemental background investigation conducted by the FBI was there ANY evidence to substantiate or corroborate any of the allegations," the Committee said.



Trump Administration Substantially Boosts Healthcare Freedom for Employees

The Department of Health and Human Services has published a new rule that will promote the portability of health insurance. The rule may be the most significant the Trump administration has published related to healthcare freedom since it could put more people in charge of their health insurance, rather than their employer.

According to the most recent data available, in 2017 more than 159 million Americans received health insurance coverage from their employer, while 20.5 million had purchased health plans on the individual market. More than 112 million were on some form of government-run health plans, such as Medicare or Medicaid.

American reliance on employer-sponsored health insurance coverage has existed since 1943, when the Internal Revenue Service exempted certain employer-provided benefits from taxation. Employers used benefits to attract workers to get around wage and price controls mandated by President Franklin Roosevelt. Congress made the exemption permanent in 1954.

There are problems with this system, however. Ultimately, the employer-based health insurance system isn’t responsive to employees because employees don’t own their health plans. This system also reduces choice. Insurers don’t look at employees as their customers, rather health insurance companies treat the employer or third-party administrators as the customer. The system also locks employees into their jobs out of a fear that if they leave, they may lose access to health insurance.

When he served in Congress, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) acknowledged this problem. He introduced the Empowering Patients First Act to address the issue. The legislation allowed employees to opt out of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage in exchange for a monthly tax credit to purchase a plan on the individual market.

“When you own [your health insurance], then they know you’re the customer,” then-Rep. Price said in a January 2015 interview. “That means that [health insurance companies] want to be responsive to you and what it sets up is a system that’s much more patient-centered than government-employer-centered.”

The new rule published by the Department of Health and Human Services isn’t the same as what then-Rep. Price proposed, but it certainly shares the spirit. The rule has the potential to put employees in control of their health insurance coverage by making their health insurance portable. If an employee leaves his or her job, the employee won’t lose access to their health insurance plan.

The rule expands Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to make them available to more Americans. HRAs already exist, but only businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees can use them to buy health coverage for their workers. The rule expands HRAs to make the accounts available to all employers, regardless of size, for employees to purchase health insurance coverage.

Employers would provide employees with a monetary contribution, either monthly or annually, to purchase health insurance coverage. Employees would use the monetary contribution to purchase any off-exchange plan on the individual market. Like the monthly contribution from employers, employees may pay the difference between the employer contribution and the health insurance premium on a pre-tax basis as long as the plan is not purchased on the Obamacare exchange.

Employees are empowered under HRAs because they get to choose which health plans they want and which provider networks, such as doctors and hospitals, they want. The decision is theirs and not left to an employer or a third-party administrator. As more people come into the individual market, competition between insurance companies will increase and premiums will stabilize.

Democrats want to either eliminate private health insurance, employer-sponsored and the individual market, and would replace it with a government-run, single-payer system. Alternatively, they aim to create a public option that would undercut insurance companies and eventually collapse private health insurance. Putting the government in charge of your healthcare is one of the worst ideas in the long, sad history of bad ideas. The HRA rule is a tremendous opportunity to begin to change the direction of the American healthcare system in a patient-centered direction by empowering employees to make decisions about their health insurance and their healthcare that are the best for them and their families.



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.

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