Thursday, December 29, 2016

Donald Trump disses the U.N. and appoints a man named Greenblatt to a foreign affairs position

LOL.  I don't have to guess what Mr Greenblatt's religious background is -- nor will the anti-Israel Left.  They will fume, though not perhaps loudly

DONALD Trump has branded the United Nations a club for people to “have a good time,” after the UN Security Council voted last week to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The president-elect wrote on Twitter that the world body has “such great potential,” but it has become “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”

On Friday, Mr Trump warned, “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th,” referring to the day he takes office.

The decision by the Obama administration to abstain from Friday’s UN vote brushed aside Mr Trump’s demands that the US exercise its veto and provided a climax to years of icy relations with Israel’s leadership.

Jason Greenblatt, one of Mr Trump’s main advisers on US-Israel relations, has been named his special representative for international negotiations.

For two decades, Mr Greenblatt has worked for the Trump Organisation and currently serves as its executive vice president and chief legal officer.

In the statement, Mr Trump said that Mr Greenblatt “has a history of negotiating substantial, complex transactions on my behalf,” and has the expertise to “bring parties together and build consensus on difficult and sensitive topics.”



Can Trump Undo Obama's Last-Minute, Job-Killing Regulations?

It's been widely reported, both here and elsewhere, that President Obama is now engaged in a dramatic, last-minute regulatory binge that will require the efforts of both incoming President-elect Donald Trump and Congress to undo. What hasn't been reported is the cost: As Trump might say, it's yuuuge.

It's funny how such things as the actual costs of new rules get lost in the shuffle. But those costs are significant, and have created a major drag on the economy's growth. Today, estimates put the total federal regulatory cost to the economy at $2 trillion a year — or roughly 12% of the economy. At 80,000 pages and growing, the Federal Register, the government's regulatory bible, has become a bewildering maze of rules, requirements and impositions on business that require accountants and lawyers to maneuver through.

In recent days, Obama has unveiled five major "midnight" regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior, a report from the American Action Forum  (AAF) shows. Alone, these new rules will cost about $5.1 billion a year and require at least 350,000 hours of paperwork from companies.

In addition, three other lesser rules will add an estimated $898 million to the regulatory tab, and another 146,000 hours of paperwork. The bottom line: These new rules that Obama is making the law of the land with little fanfare and no input from Congress will cost us $6 billion a year and nearly half a million hours of paperwork. We pay for these, by the way, not companies.

The impact of this kind of rule-making is cumulative. Since 2009, when Obama took office, the EPA and Interior have added $349 billion in regulatory costs. As the late, great Illinois Sen. Everett Dirksen once supposedly joked, "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money." That's where we are now.

As we reported in October, regulatory burdens now rank No. 2 among small-business concerns, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's main small-business advocacy group. That's up from being ranked No. 5 just four years ago.

In an earlier study, the AAF said that since 2009, the Obama regulatory siege on business had brought 600 major new rules and over $813 billion in added costs. If Obama is concerned about the job losses, closed businesses, depressed communities and lost economic opportunities that his regulatory siege has wrought, he's shown no signs of it. Far from it. He's doubling down in the final days of his last term.

As we've stated many times before, this is a big reason why the economy has just hobbled along at a 2% growth rate, well below the long-term norm of 3%-plus. Businesses have been held back by regulations that cost far more than they benefit anyone.

Yet, several media outlets have suggested that these rules, once put in place, are basically in place for good. That's nonsense.

These rules are not laws, passed by Congress, though they are enforced like them. They can be changed. Under the 1996 Congressional Review Act, any rule put into effect can be rescinded within 60 legislative days by a majority vote of Congress. Key is that it's "legislative" days, not regular or business days. So basically, any new rule imposed since June can be taken off the books.



Tennessee — The Model for America

If America operated like our state, it would be fundamentally transformed for the better.

Tennessee, the 16th state admitted to the Union, is widely known by its nickname “The Volunteer State,” originating with its contribution of Patriots to the War of 1812 — and every contest for Liberty since. Tennessee’s official slogan is, “America at its best.”

Today, in many respects, Tennessee is a leading model for the rest of the nation. If America operated like our state, it would be fundamentally transformed by fiscal discipline, economic growth and competition. Those open market principles have been rejected by Democrat-controlled states, and the consequences are dire.

The Volunteer State has always had a carefully managed government due to its constitutional prohibition of an income tax and a requirement to balance the budget annually. But things began to change dramatically after the people of Tennessee declared it a right-to-work state.

In November 2008, the General Assembly began its departure from Democrat control. For the first time since Reconstruction, Republicans held the majority in both chambers of the TN General Assembly. Then, in 2010, Republican Bill Haslam easily won the open seat for governor and gained the benefit of a conservative super majority in the House and conservative majority in the Senate. Notably today, both U.S. Senate seats are held by Republicans and seven of the nine House seats are Republican.

It’s no coincidence that in 2010, The Patriot Post’s home state began its ascent to the top of the pack in everything from fiscal health and integrity to classroom reading scores, as both the legislative and executive branches of state government committed to results, not intentions. The agenda for Tennessee was clearly to create and cultivate an environment to promote new companies to start, existing businesses to expand and jobs to naturally occur by removing barriers such as regulations, taxes and legislation that favored one aspect of industry versus another.

Tennessee was and is open for business.

On its state Economic and Community Development webpage, awards and accolades of Tennessee include: + The Brookings Institution ranks the state No. 1 for advanced industry job growth + Ranked No. 1 for foreign direct investment (FDI) job commitments in 2015 according to the recently released 2016 Global Location Trends report + Southern Business and Development Magazine named Tennessee the 2016 State of the Year for Economic Development based on its project totals and the variety of the industry sectors + Business Facilities ranked Tennessee the No. 2 state in the nation for infrastructure according to the magazine’s 12th Annual Rankings Report. Tennessee was also ranked No. 4 for workforce training

Those four notables were just in the month of August 2016.

In June, placed Tennessee at No. 4 in a recent analysis of the 10 Best States for Retirement. In May, Tennessee was named the “Fourth Best State in the Country for Business” by Chief Executive magazine on its 2016 Best & Worst States citing measures that included tax and regulatory regime, quality of the workforce and quality of life. Back in December 2015, Tennessee received the “Best State to be a Taxpayer” recognition by WalletHub.

The stew of excellence in a state founded on agriculture and commerce, features some knock-out intrastate rankings for its business environment: + Overall Ranking: Tennessee #5 + Cooperative State Government: Tennessee #3 (tie) + Most Favorable Regulatory Environment: Tennessee #3

And for the state’s infrastructure and global access: + Overall Ranking: Tennessee #1 + Certified Sites/Shovel-Ready Program: Tennessee #1 + Competitive Utility Rates: Tennessee #1 + Energy Reliability / Smart Grid Deployment: Tennessee #2 (tie) + Highway Accessibility: Tennessee #3

Oh, yeah, and the need for a skilled workforce has become a priority to existing and prospective employers. With a focus on results in the classroom and a Tennessee-driven set of standards that empower local school districts, the state has been the fastest improving in the nation according to the “Nation’s Report Card” for the years 2011 through 2015.

At this point, all sorts numbers, statistics and details could be reviewed, but simply understand that the principles employed in Tennessee have been the fuel in the engine to reach success.

First, collaboration and agreement were necessary in these achievements. While there are 95 counties in the state, there are only four major metropolitan areas. The state government polar star is a commitment for regional development and a decision that all ships will rise on the rising tide of economic growth.

Second, a commitment to those First Principles of conservatism is abundantly evident over the last 6-10 years — to hold fast on a balanced budget of prioritized spending with the understanding and accountability that the government neither possesses its own revenue nor creates jobs. The money in Tennessee’s Treasury truly comes from the spending and transactions of Tennesseans, not from raiding paychecks. The job growth and attractiveness of this state is due to its hard-working people willing to engage in learning and skill refinement.

The elected state folks did their jobs to terminate the “Death” tax that hit a family at least twice with levies on property and to begin the elimination of the Hall Tax, a type of income tax that disproportionately impacts retirees and venture capital investors on earnings from investments. The state departments have met the challenge to tighten their budgets just as Tennessee families have had to tighten theirs in the squeeze of the Obama economy.

While there’s a safety net of services for those in need, Tennessee has adopted its own Medicaid health insurance program through a waiver to hold costs down and rejected the pressure to expand the program from the Obama administration through ObamaCare. Learning and remembering the lessons of 2005-2007 that just under 200,000 recipients had to be removed from the Medicaid program due to its explosive costs and invasion of other needed areas of spending such as education, the resolve has been to hold the line on state health insurance.

Back in April, Tennessee joined several other states to resume its work requirements for Food Stamps to incentivize able-bodied adults to actively seek employment, another contrast between those states governed by principles versus popular spending.

Tennessee and other Republican-controlled states understand that a malignantly obese government crowds out the vibrancy and innovation of the private sector. The conservative philosophy is that the economy performs best when citizens have money to spend, not when agencies and departments of government are employed and empowered. Tennessee understands it’s competing with other states for new and existing companies' commitments for investments and jobs, so taxing productivity and investment is, basically, stupid.

As taxes are being cut in Tennessee, the unemployment rate is at 4.1% and personal income is growing at about 5%. By the end of June, the State Treasury held $800 million more than the budget estimates from tax collections and, no, that one-time money won’t be spent on recurring expenditures — a perennial Demo-controlled state problem.

The reason Tennessee is a leader in America, along with other states that legislate to make the government smaller and more accountable, is pure logic if you believe in free enterprise and the power of human ingenuity and work.

America is at its best in Tennessee and other Republican states that value their people, opportunities to work and personal worth.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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