Thursday, December 05, 2019

Here are Four Pieces of Great News for America and President Trump

Thanks to the noise of the Democrats’ divisive and destructive impeachment drive, hardly anyone is noticing just how good we have it right now. We’re in a Golden Age. Here are four pieces of great news that benefit all Americans.


Unemployment stands at a historic low – just 3.6%. To a degree not seen in previous strong economies, all boats are truly being lifted by the rising tide. Black and Hispanic unemployment are shattering records. You don’t have to listen to me or to President Trump. This is CNN:

The unemployment rate for black women fell to a record 4.4% from 5.2% in July. The unemployment rate for black men crept up to 5.9% from 5.8%. But the previous month's rate was a record, so the rate is still near its historic low.
Unemployment among workers who identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino also fell in August to 4.2%, which matched a record low set earlier this year.

Minority unemployment has been tracked by the Labor Department since the early 1970's. Both black and Hispanic or Latino unemployment numbers have traditionally been higher than white unemployment, and it remains so today. White unemployment was 3.4% in August, up from 3.3% previously. But this is the smallest gap on record between the respective unemployment rates for blacks and whites.

This "is the smallest gap on record...” Wow. But you’d never know it from the blaring headlines. They’re all about impeachment and the myth that the world will end in 12 years if we don’t radically overhaul our economy and turn hardcore socialist. Of course, the main reason we’re not hearing about the triumph of the Trump economy is that it’s an existential threat to the Democrats. Minorities benefiting from a Republican president’s policies, and especially this Republican president’s policies, could pull enough minority voters away from the Democrats to render them a coastal, elitist and irrelevant party.

Affordable Energy

What’s driving the low unemployment? Two things come readily to mind: attitude and policy. President Donald Trump is not openly hostile to economic development and job creation. He cut taxes. He encourages growth and doesn’t scold creators by saying “You didn’t build that.” Trump has also encouraged U.S. energy development and that’s paying off. The United States is now the world’s top energy producer and a net petroleum exporter for the first time in about 70 years.

Again, wow.

Drive around any American town or city at night and behold the impact. The lights are on. Stores are open and they’re hiring. Gas prices don’t require you to take out a second mortgage to fill up your tank.

America's First Black Billionaire Gives Trump an 'A+,' Says Dems Are Moving 'Too Far Left'

Violent Crime Is Down

Here’s something else good that we’re not hearing about. Violent crime rates are down. In fact, American streets have rarely been safer than right now. And again, you don’t have to listen to me, here’s Pew Research on the subject:

Using the FBI numbers, the violent crime rate fell 51% between 1993 and 2018. Using the BJS data, the rate fell 71% during that span. The long-term decline in violent crime hasn’t been uninterrupted, though. The FBI, for instance, reported increases in the violent crime rate between 2004 and 2006 and again between 2014 and 2016. Violent crime includes offenses such as rape, robbery and assault.
To listen to the Democrats, “gun violence” is spiking and will soon claim us all in a bloodbath. Millennials have been misled to believe there are 35,000 or so gun-related deaths in American each year. Total actual murder, most of which isn’t committed using so-called “assault weapons,” is less than half that number. The fact is, mass shootings remain rare and aberrant while overall gun-related and other violent crime is down, along with property crime too. This is good news! Why aren’t we celebrating?

Pew has an answer for that:

Opinion surveys regularly find that Americans believe crime is up nationally, even when the data shows it is down. In 18 of 22 Gallup surveys conducted between 1993 and 2018, at least six-in-ten Americans said there was more crime in the U.S. compared with the year before, despite the generally downward trend in national violent and property crime rates during most of that period.
That’s the power of media to shape opinion at work. Americans hear the bleeding lead stories if they bother to watch local news, we see incessant coverage of every awful criminal tragedy if it serves an anti-gun or other anti-liberty agenda, and Americans believe crime is spiking when it’s actually falling.

We’re Defeating Terrorism

Also falling is transnational terrorism. The Islamist radical who recently attacked London was a recycled terrorist. He had been caught and imprisoned on terrorism charges, released by a foolish criminal justice system without being reformed in any way, and launched an attack on innocent civilians as soon as he could. The fact that he was a recycled terrorist and the fact that civilians were able to take him down with a big, sharp narwhal tusk demonstrates another piece of good news: We have largely won the war on terrorism. The enemy are reduced to the dregs of recruitment. President Trump has led the way in crushing ISIS and killing their leadership. Terrorism isn’t fully defeated and probably never will be, but it’s certainly not showing signs of the sophistication it had prior to or in the years immediately after 9-11.

What do the media do with this good news? The New York Times tries its hand at destroying America from its foundations with its insidious and dishonest 1619 Project. The alleged paper of record didn’t bother consulting actual historians on the matter. The national media trumpet every twist in the impeachment saga. They rail at Trump’s tweets. And they ignore the fact that we’re awash in good news: the economy is strong, energy prices are low, crime is down and we’re defeating terrorism.



New FDA Commissioner, Same FDA Problem

President Trump has nominated (and fired) numerous individuals to governmental positions while in office. Arguably, his most popular nominee was Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. As a Modern Healthcare article notes, “Dr. Scott Gottlieb accomplished a rare feat during his two-year tenure as head of the Food and Drug Administration—he earned praise from Republicans and Democrats alike.”

Although popular, Gottlieb considerably expanded the power and regulatory oversight of the FDA. For example, he took unprecedented steps in regulating tobacco markets and began a “historic crackdown” of the vaping industry. He also established the agency’s first board to regulate homeopathic drugs, an expanding component of the healthcare field.

To the surprise of many, Gottlieb abruptly resigned last March, leaving many of these expansions of power unfinished. In his absence, President Trump named Ned Sharpless as interim Commissioner. Sharpless’ time at the FDA was brief (210 days). Consequently, his impact on health policy was minimal.

Most recently, President Trump nominated Dr. Steven Hahn to be the next FDA Commissioner. Many believe this leaves the agency in capable hands. Hahn’s credentials and background in oncology provide him a wealth of experience to oversee new drug approvals for cancer. Since the United States frequently lags behind other countries in approving cancer treatments, an oncologist as commissioner could be just what the doctor ordered.

But President Trump and other political figures expect more. Recently, Hahn was asked whether he would ban several vaping products to halt teenage vaping. Although Hahn pledged “aggressive action,” he also expressed the need to better understand available information before deciding on definitive policy actions.

His caution earned him considerable backlash. One senator accused Hahn of being “more swayed by the tobacco industry and politics than by children’s health.” Others accused him of side-stepping questions. It seems the new commissioner is off to a rough start in what many consider a “critical time” for the agency.

But Hahn was right to exercise caution. His detractors seem to forget that restrictions on vaping were addressed at the state level well before the FDA became involved in 2016. Once the FDA introduced national vaping regulations, vaping rates among minors increased. Correlation is not causation, however; the agency’s previous attempts to mitigate teen vaping have clearly fallen short.

We should also note that states and cities continue to initiate their vaping regulations. San Francisco and nearby Livermore, California, banned the sale of electronic cigarettes. Oregon recently banned the sale of flavored e-cigarette juices. Although I believe such policies will be unsuccessful, these efforts demonstrate there are alternative ways to battle public health problems.

Political calls for more FDA oversight go well beyond regulating vaping products. A recent STAT article provides twelve “hard-hitting questions” for the new commissioner. These questions concern how the FDA will lower drug prices, make gene therapies more affordable, combat the rise in Alzheimer’s disease, and better regulate stem cell labs. Addressing these healthcare woes will only expand the agency’s evolving regulatory powers further. And that could be more dangerous than any issue the agency attempts to resolve.

Hahn certainly faces considerable challenges in his new position. But the greatest challenge he faces now is to exercise caution amidst the temptation to satisfy politically popular, but harmful, requests. The most beneficial regulations he can implement, by far, will be restrictions on the FDA itself.




MISSION NOT ACCOMPLISHED: DHS still can't identify all separated families from zero-tolerance border fiasco (The Washington Times)

JUSTICE SERVED? Mexican authorities make arrests in killings of American Mormons (The Washington Post)

RETAIL NUMBERS: Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores dropped by 6% as consumers spent record online (CNBC)

RAINBOW MAFIA: Hallmark Channel holiday movies under fire from the diversity police (Hot Air)

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT?: New scandal hits Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador involved in impeachment hearings (The Daily Wire)

BRUTAL CRACKDOWN: Iran kills hundreds of unarmed protesters as Quran expert warns it may kill thousands (The Daily Wire)

KNOWN ASSAILANT: London Bridge attacker had been jailed for terror crimes; two fatally stabbed (The Washington Times)

POLICY: The middle class always pays: Europe shows how the Warren-Sanders agenda really works (The Wall Street Journal)

POLICY: How UK free-riding on U.S. drug innovation is affecting Brexit (The Federalist)

AG LEERY: William Barr reportedly doubts inspector general's finding on Russia inquiry (The New York Times) But Sen. Lindsey Graham says to "be wary" of Leftmedia rumors.

DIGITAL-TAX FALLOUT: Trump administration proposes tariffs on $2.4 billion in French goods (The Hill)

PASSING THE BATON: Senate confirms Dan Brouillette as Trump's pick to replace Energy Secretary Rick Perry (Fox News)

PAYBACK: Trump campaign bans Bloomberg News from events over "troubling and wrong" decision to investigate Trump but not his political opponents (Fox News)

"ETHICAL LAPSES": Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson fired by Mayor Lori Lightfoot a few weeks before his planned retirement (Fox News)

GUILTY: California GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter says he will plead guilty to corruption charges (The Mercury News)

DRAINING THE SWAMP: Betsy DeVos has cut 600 staff positions at the Department of Education (Washington Examiner)

NO DENYING IT: Iran admits to murdering protesters in cities across the country (Townhall)

POLICY: The London terrorist attack shows rehabilitative justice doesn't work (The Federalist)

POLICY: An agenda for the intangible economy (City Journal)


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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