Wednesday, October 31, 2018

DHS Secretary Nielsen: 'Caravan Is Not Getting In'; Trump: 'Military Is Waiting for You'

As thousands of Central Americans continue marching north, President Trump reportedly plans to make a major immigration speech on Tuesday.

According to the Washington Post, he is expected to announce that he is invoking emergency powers, on national security grounds, to stop those people and others from entering the United States.

Trump on Monday had a message for the thousands of Central Americans heading to the Southwest border:

"Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border," he tweeted. "lease go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!"

"I think what the president has been saying and will continue to say, and certainly what I have been saying, is, this caravan is not getting in," Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told "Fox News Sunday."

"There is a legal way to enter this country. Those who choose to enter illegally will be stopped."

Nielsen said her message to the caravan is, "Do not come. You will not be allowed in. There is a right way to immigrate to the United States and this is not it."

What we're really talking about is the flow of people that are headed towards United States. They have chosen to break laws along the way. You saw some of them, frankly overwhelm and burst through the border between Guatemala and the country of Mexico.

Mexico has offered them asylum. In some cases, they have refused. Mexico has offered them work permits. In some cases, they have refused.

And I think what the president and I are both saying, and we want to be clear on this is, if you seek asylum, do so in the first place, country, Mexico has offered you refuge.

If you want a job, that is not asylum. If you want to be reunited with your family, that is not asylum. If you want to just come live in the United States, that is not asylum; there are legal ways to do that.

But this is about the rule of law. This is about understanding who is in the flow. And Chris, I cannot tell you as Secretary of Homeland Security, that I know every person in this flow.

Nielsen described the daily Southwest border breaches as a "crisis": "We are stopping between 1,500 and 1,700 people a day, trying to cross illegally into this country. This caravan is one iteration of that but frankly we essentially see caravans every day with these numbers.

"So I think what the president is making clear is every possible action, authority, executive program, is on the table to consider, to ensure that it is clear that there is a right and a legal way to come to this country and no other ways will be tolerated."

Host Chris Wallace asked Nielsen how women and children "threaten national security."

"Well I think there's a couple ways to look at this," Nielsen responded. She said the caravan "isn't a ticketed event," and it may include terrorists who blend in with the crowd. "In general, we stopped -- across United States -- 10 known or suspected terrorists a day from getting into the United States."

Last week, Trump tweeted: "To those in the Caravan, turnaround, we are not letting people into the United States illegally. Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!"

The American Civil Liberties Union, meanwhile, issued a statement last week, commenting on Trump's reported plan to block asylum-seekers and immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border:

“It’s disgraceful the Trump administration would even consider what’s being reported. It would mean refusing to protect people who can prove they are fleeing persecution. That would be a huge moral failure and any plan along these lines will be subject to intense legal scrutiny.”



Politicizing and Profiting on Hate: From Bomb Threats to Slaughtering Innocents

Last Friday, Cesar Sayoc, a Democrat-hating sociopath who drives a vehicle plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers, was arrested in Florida. He is the prime suspect who sent what I noted Thursday were likely inert mail bomb packages to 14 Democrat notables. As I wrote, "Given the amateurish construction, packaging, and delivery method, tracking down the threat package maker(s) will be swift." And it was.

As I also noted, "To be clear, whether or not these devices were intended to detonate or disrupt, this is, by definition, an act of terrorism [as was] the case with the envelopes laced with the deadly toxin ricin, sent to the Pentagon and White House three weeks ago." It is curious that there has been no information about whether the mail packages were intended to harm or a hoax intended to make headlines.

Tragically, over the weekend, there was hateful bloodshed. A self-styled neo-Nazi sociopath, Robert Bowers, murdered 11 mostly elderly innocents at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. According to reports, he may have been inspired in part because Donald Trump is the most PRO-Israel president since Ronald Reagan. As you recall, in May Trump boldly made good on a 23-year-old American commitment to move our embassy to Jerusalem.

Bowers reportedly yelled, "All Jews must die!" as he entered the synagogue, reminiscent of the much more frequently heard declaration "Allahu Akbar" when Islamists are slaughtering innocents.

The leftist publication Slate declared, "Bowers made his hatred of Trump clear" — he believed "Trump was under the control of Jews, who are out to destroy Western civilization." Reuters reported that Bowers "is a registered voter with 'no affiliation' who took aim [at] Donald Trump, accusing him of being a 'globalist' who did nothing to stop the 'infestation' of the United States by Jews."

"Trump is a globalist, not a nationalist," Bowers wrote on his social-media page prior to the assault. "There is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation." He also wrote, "For the record, I did not vote for him nor have I owned, worn or even touched a MAGA hat."

There are on average more than 40 homicides every day in America, disproportionately black-on-black attacks in Democrat-controlled urban centers — the direct result of generations of leftist social policies. And those murder rates continue to rise because of those policies.

But the mass murder of a group of 11 people who have no connection to drug or gang violence, innocents targeted solely because of their faith, should inspire profound and universal righteous indignation in all of us. It should be one of those moments when we come together as a nation to universally condemn such hatred.

That notwithstanding, predictably, before the blood of these precious souls was dry, leftist politicos and their Leftmedia outlets were scheming how to politicize and profiteer from this tragedy. Unfortunately, all the Left has to offer is a platform of fear, hate, and division."

Beyond the knee-jerk calls for gun control, two political narratives have emerged about the Pittsburgh assailant's motives.

First is that he is a "right wing" neo-Nazi.

This characterization is correct, except for the commonly misunderstood "right wing" part. Today's Democrat socialists don't object to the increasingly violent so-called "antifa movement" of self-proclaimed anti-fascist fascists, but they like to claim that sociopathic Nazis and other seditionist and anarchist groups are "right wing." That may fit nicely into their politicized sound bites, but seditionists and anarchists, whose primary political goal is to overthrow our government, are by definition "leftist."

That being said, there is no question that Bowers's hatred was inspired by Nazism and the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party.

The second political/MSM narrative is an attempt to pivot the motive for his violence to the approaching "caravasion," the caravan of migrants organized and supported by leftist groups. They are now passing through Mexico, intent on forcing their way across the U.S. border — which is an invasion, despite the fact that most of these migrants are opportunists looking to better their lives. The MSM points to a recent post by Bowers claiming HIAS, a Jewish refugee agency, is behind the march. According to Bowers's deluded perspective, "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."

But again, this is not rooted in Bowers's concern about migrants; it is rooted in his anti-Semitic delusion that the organization of the caravan is a Jewish conspiracy.

Both of these narratives more closely reflect the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Democrat Party allies, including anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour and Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan. Regarding the latter, John Kass wrote in the Chicago Tribune, "Few if any Democratic voices are being raised against Farrakhan. The Congressional Black Caucus certainly won't condemn him. And white Democrats aren't demanding condemnation either. They don't want to risk losing votes. This silence is dangerous."

Bowers has been charged with numerous federal crimes, including 11 counts of Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Beliefs Resulting in Death, 11 counts of Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, and four counts of Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Beliefs Resulting in Bodily Injury to a Public Safety Officer.

President Trump and federal prosecutors are calling for his execution if found guilty. The Left will likely object...

A final note on the hate profiteers, those other than the MSM profiteers whose market share and ad revenues depend on sensationalism. As I anticipated when first hearing about the Bowers assault Saturday, within hours, a reflexive fundraising response hit my inbox from the left-wing SPLC, the nation's most profitable hate-hustling "civil rights" group. In its fundraising "special edition," the SPLC regurgitated more of its leftist rhetoric.

SPLC has an "endowment" of $320 million and in the most recent year of record, the organization listed revenue in excess of $58 million. So my question for the SPLC: The Pittsburgh assailant had a long history of racist rhetoric and activities — did the SPLC spend one dime of its endowment and revenues identifying this hater and reporting him to law enforcement authorities? Of course not.



While know-it-alls lecture on tariffs against China, Trump dials up new trade deals with UK, Europe and Japan

While President Donald Trump continues to bring the pressure to China, so far with 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods shipped to the U.S., rising to 25 percent in Jan. 2019, which comes atop another 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods from China, he is dialing up new trade deals with traditional U.S. allies.

Trade agreements with South Korea, Mexico and Canada are already going to Congress, accounting for a combined $1.4 trillion in trade with the U.S.

And now, Trump has notified Congress of his intent to negotiate deals with the UK, Europe and Japan, with whom the U.S. carried on a combined $1.7 trillion in trade.

These were supposed to be mutually exclusive things, according to all the experts. Trump could either put up more trade barriers or lower them, but he could not do both. Instead, Trump is proving that the U.S. can walk and chew gum at the same time as it pursues the Trump trade agenda.

If nations act fairly and reciprocally with the U.S. to lower trade barriers, they can get a good deal. If not, like China, then they face tariffs.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, we will continue to expand U.S. trade and investment by negotiating trade agreements with Japan, the EU and the United Kingdom,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a statement.

“Today’s announcement is an important milestone in that process. We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses,” Lighthizer added.

It’s the ultimate carrot and stick. By acting tough, and levying across the board tariffs, Trump gave the U.S. room to negotiate and incentive for other countries wishing to export to the U.S. to close a deal.

As for China, for now they get to feel the pain. China has retaliated with tariffs on $60 billion of goods including agricultural products soybeans and pork. On currency, China has devalued the yuan almost 10 percent since February.

Trump has warned that if China retaliates, another $267 billion of tariffs could be in the offing.

Speaking on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Oct. 15, Trump said he “might” do more tariffs on China but held out hope they might want to do a deal, too.

“I have a great chemistry also with President Xi of China. I don’t know that that’s necessarily going to continue. I told President Xi we cannot continue to have China take $500 billion a year out of the United States in the form of trade and others things.”

Trump added, “I want them to negotiate a fair deal with us. I want them to open their markets like our– our markets are open.”

As for the prospect of retaliation, Trump dared China to intervene, stating bluntly, “They can retaliate, but they can’t — they don’t have enough ammunition to retaliate. We do $100 billion [in trade] with them. They do $531 billion with us.”

In other words, China could rapidly run out of bullets to fight a trade war with the U.S.

On Oct. 9 the President said, “Now look, China wants to make a deal, and I say they’re not ready yet. I just say they’re not ready yet. And we’ve canceled a couple of meetings because I say they’re not ready to make a deal. We can’t have a one-way street. It’s got to be a two-way street. It’s been a one-way street for 25 years. We gotta make it a two-way street. We’ve got to benefit also.”

So, no deal yet. In the meantime, Congress will have a multitude of trade agreements with South Korea, Mexico, Canada, the UK, Europe and Japan to consider later this year and in 2019 that promise to lower trade barriers for U.S. exporters and get a better deal for American workers.

China will just have sit back and watch. If it wants a good deal, too, then it’s time to talk about currency, intellectual property, dumping and other trade barriers that it has put up. No more free lunches.



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)


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

WHY was President General Antonio López de Santa Anna such a crazy galoot?

I gather that most Americans still remember the Alamo.  They remember a desperate defence of around 300 Americans against the army of an evil Hispanic dictator, President General Antonio López de Santa Anna in 1836.

But President General Antonio López de Santa Anna was not evil.  He was very foolish but he was not evil. He was in his mind doing something that all national leaders were once -- before the current American Left came along -- duty-bound to do:  Chase away illegal immigrants from his country.  The Texians -- inhabitants of what was then Mexican Texas -- refused to assimilate to Mexico and were generally pesky and rebellious towards President General Antonio López de Santa Anna. They even wanted their own republic

And President General Antonio López de Santa Anna could in fact be seen as something of a hero:  He led his troops personally, something that had gone out of fashion long ago at the time.

So the big question is why the battle went so badly for all concerned.  Why did the Texians and other Gringos not surrender when faced with a whole army arrayed against them?  Why did they fight to the death? They took down two Mexicans for every one of them but what good did that do?  What was gained by the death of 300 gringos and 600 Mexicans?  It was simply a grievous loss all round.

President General Antonio López de Santa Anna was responsible for that.  He was so riled up by the Texians that he declared them pirates, meaning that they would be shown no mercy of any kind.  They could only be killed on the spot.  President General Antonio López de Santa Anna was so emphatic about that that he sent a letter to the President of the United States declaring it.  And the Texians were in no doubt that he would do as he said.  There was simply no point in surrendering.

Had President General Antonio López de Santa Anna been a wiser man he would simply have given the Texians safe conduct out of there and escorted them to the Mexican border.  He would have got rid of them and done so in a way that would have been generally understood and accepted.

And after he had inflicted such a savage and humiliating defeat on the Texians, President General Antonio López de Santa Anna no doubt expected the Texians to do what his fellow Hispanics would have done:  Go home and do nothing more than talk big talk.

But the Gringos did nothing of the sort.  They were instead outraged and rallied to arms, building up an army big enough to chase after President General Antonio López de Santa Anna and give him a taste of his own medicine, which they did.

So there is a question why here also.  Why were the Gringos so outraged?  There are probably several reasons but a major one was cultural. Mercy towards the defeated was in most cases simply good policy.  It presented the victor in a good light among the vanquished and it saved him the lives of many of his troops. And that was widely known and accepted.

But there was also good history to support that policy: History going all the way back to Alexander the Great.  When Alexander defeated the Persians at Issus in 333BC. After the battle, the Hellenes captured Persian emperor  Darius' wife, his daughters and his mother, all of whom had accompanied Darius on his campaign. Alexander treated the captured women not only with mercy but with great respect.

Moving further forward into history we come to the crusades.  The Crusaders held on to the Holy Land for about 200 years but were finally routed by Egyptian armies under Saladin.  And Saladin was an unusual man.  He was a Kurd.  So he was not an Arab.  Kurds were and are Indo Europeans, people related to us.  So how did he get to lead Arab armies?  Simple:  He was very good at it.  He won a lot of battles.  And the thing that stood out about Saladin to the crusaders was his mercifulness, honorableness and chivalry.  He was not vindictive to the crusaders when he defeated them.  And the whole of Europe got to hear of that from returning crusaders. And the medieval practices of knightly and courtly behaviour were inspired by the example of Saladin.

And when the extremely pesky Napoleon Bonaparte was captured -- twice! -- he was just exiled, not executed.

So mercy to the defeated had among Europeans what we might call these days a very good press.  And that showed in the 19th century also.  When the Prussians defeated Napoleon III at Sedan in 1870, the defeat was so total that Napoleon III was himself captured.  So did the Prussians behead him?  Far from it.  There survive from the dawn of photography pictures of Napoleon having a polite conversation with the Prussian leader, Otto von Bismarck.

Why was Bismarck holding such a long sword? It was probably a cavalry sword. A cavalry sword has to be long to strike down from the back of a horse. And the cavalry was the most prestigious arm of the services. The term "cavalier" (cf. the Italian "cavallieri" or the French "chevalier") is mainly honorific but its most basic meaning is simply "horseman". Aristocrats normally entered the cavalry, usually the Hussars. So Bismarck was emphasizing his noble status

And Napoleon was eventually released on condition that he move to England and stay there -- which he did.  That episode is later than the battle of the Alamo but it illustrates a powerful current in European traditions.

So the Texians, Texans and others from further North were right to be horrified by the actions of President General Antonio López de Santa Anna at the Alamo. It went against all that they regarded as honorable and wise.

So President General Antonio López de Santa Anna earned himself a military defeat shortly after at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836 and lost control of Mexican Texas, which soon declared itself an independent Texian republic.  President General Antonio López de Santa Anna was captured at the Battle of San Jacinto but the Texians spared his life. They could well have done otherwise but were true to their own traditions. They sent him back to preside in Mexico city

But that was not the end of his humiliations.  He never accepted his loss of territory and kept up a hostile attitude to the Gringos.  And that came to the attention of President Polk of the United States.  From his Anglo-Saxon traditions he thought that some sort of compromise might be reached which would restore peaceful relations between the USA and Mexico.  So he sent an ambassador to Mexico, with a small military escort drawn from the United States army.  So what did President General Antonio López de Santa Anna do about that?  He attacked the American military detachment!  With incredible folly, he attacked the US. army.  He really did. The USA was already a formidable power by that time so that needs explanation too.

President Polk was incensed by this vicious behavior and asked Congress for a declaration of war against Mexico, which was promptly granted.  The US army marched South and cleaned up all  Mexican forces sent against them, capturing Mexico city itself .  Mexico was comprehensively defeated and was forced via the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to cede a third of its territory before the Gringos would go home.  That's how The USA acquired California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and the rest of Texas.

So what on earth can have lain behind the disastrous deeds of President General Antonio López de Santa Anna?  In one word:  Machismo.  So what is machismo and what causes it?

It is a feature of Mediterranean countries and is particularly strong in Spain, and President General Antonio López de Santa Anna was for all intents and purposes a Spaniard. It arises from the fact that Mediterranean families are very mother-dominated.  Initially the grandmother is in charge and then the mother. And mamma really does rule the roost. Both sons and daughter are supposed to take orders from her. And the aim of it all is to create the family as a powerful single unit that will defend and protect all its members against outsiders.  It is a bit like how men in the army are taught to march together under a single command.

And the best known example of a Mediterranean mother is probably the Yiddisher Momma.  Israel is after all a Mediterranean country.  If you don't know about Yiddisher Mommas and the terrible things they say to keep their children in line Google should enlighten you but a cartoon below should tell you how ruthless these ladies can be in what they say to keep control.

But Mediterranean mothers do tend to emasculate their sons.  Being mother-dominated is not manly, regardless of what feminists might say. And Mediterranean men hate to think that they are under a female thumb.  But it is hard to show that they are not when they are.  So they do anything they can think of to demonstrate their masculinity.  And that can often lead to excess.  They can mistake aggression and inflexibility for manliness. And that is what President General Antonio López de Santa Anna did.  He thought "I'll show 'em" not only to the Gringos but also to his own people -- by being ruthless with the Texians at the Alamo.

So in the end it was a culture clash.  Machismo against an American culture of Northern European origin that included a tradition of mercy to the vanquished.  President General Antonio López de Santa Anna is a towering example of how foolish and destructive machismo can be -- JR.


Trump jokes about his hair -- and the media promptly condemn him for that

Apparently they are the only ones allowed to say when you can joke about his hair.  The idea of a joke as tension relief is apparently beyond these brainboxes

The United States is reeling from a week of violence allegedly perpetrated by white-male terrorists. And the President seems more worried about his hair.

Past presidents would have immediately suspended politicking and given convincing condemnations of violence.

Mr Trump issued a condemnation, of sorts, yet he then criticised the synagogue for not having “some kind of protection”.

He then refused to cancel a planned political rally. Instead, he complained to the crowd that the “very unfortunate news conference”, where he commented on the synagogue killings, had got his hair wet.

“The wind was blowing and the rain and I was soaking wet, and that’s what I ended up with today,” he told the crowd, pointing to his hair. They cheered.

“And I said, maybe I should cancel this arrangement, because I have a bad hair day. And the bad news, somebody said actually it looks better than it usually does.”



They are NOT refugees. They are a deliberate invasion

Caravan migrants heading to the U.S. have refused Mexico’s offer to receive refugee status that would provide schooling, jobs, medical care and shelter.  Thousands of migrants turned down Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto’s program You Are In Your Home, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

The program gives refugee status to those who apply and provide migrants access to shelter, medical attention, schooling and temporary employment opportunities to Central American migrants in the Chiapas and Oaxaca states

“Our goal is not to remain in Mexico,” Oscar Sosa, 58, of Honduras told The AP. “Our goal is to make it to the (U.S).”

Those of working age would clean, repair and maintain infrastructure in the two southern Mexican states, according to the program. Migrants can also obtain Mexico’s version of a social security number called CURP (Clave Unica de Registro Publico). This will allow the migrants to have legal proof of identity, enter and leave shelters and open bank accounts.

The program came in response to the “unprecedented flow of people from Central American countries who have entered [into Mexico] the last few days,” according to the program’s press statement.



Trump mulls plan to bar entry of all migrants at US-Mexico border

President Trump is considering a sweeping executive order that would block migrants, including asylum seekers, from entering the U.S. at the southern border in a bid to stop the caravan traveling north through Mexico.

The White House, if it goes ahead with the measure, would issue new regulations restricting certain migrants from seeking asylum. The rules would effectively block most if not all the migrants who are taking part in the caravan, Politico first reported.

Fox News has learned the proposal originated out of the White House and is one of several being considered. No final decision has been made.

The order would be akin to Trump's previous aggressive immigration-blocking executive orders, such as the travel ban aimed at halting people from some Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

Any attempt to block the entry of Central American migrants is likely to prompt legal challenges, though Trump is likely emboldened following a Supreme Court ruling earlier this summer that affirmed the president’s right to bar the entry of migrants who “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

Hundreds of U.S. troops are also set to make their way to the southern border to help Homeland Security and the National Guard as the caravan pushes north.

Democrats, while previously outspoken regarding Trump’s immigration policies, are staying largely silent on the issue, instead preferring to remain focused on tackling the GOP on issues like health care, saying it’s the winning issue this election cycle.



NBC hid exculpatory information that would have cleared Kavanaugh of gang rape accusation

NBC News is admitting that information that would have exonerated Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of a gang rape accusation was kept from the public.  Instead, despite knowing that the charge against Kavanaugh was bogus, NBC ran the story anyway.

The information involves the sworn affidavit of a supposed witness to the gang rape given to the Judiciary Committee by attorney Michael Avenatti on behalf of the alleged "victim," Julie Swetnick.  Swetnick said Kavanaugh was present during her rape by several of his friends.

But the witness claims that Avenatti twisted her words.

On Thursday, nearly three weeks after Kavanaugh's confirmation, NBC News published an article headlined, "New questions raised about Avenatti claims regarding Kavanaugh," that detailed "inconsistencies" with Swetnick's claims.  In the article, NBC News admitted the unidentified woman repudiated the sworn statement Avenatti provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee on her behalf to corroborate Swetnick's claims. ...

"Reached by phone independently from Avenatti on Oct. 3, the woman said she only 'skimmed' the declaration.  After reviewing the statement, she wrote in a text on Oct. 4 to NBC News: 'It is incorrect that I saw Brett spike the punch.  I didn't see anyone spike the punch...I was very clear with Michael Avenatti from day one,'" NBC News reporters Kate Snow and Anna Schecter wrote on Thursday.

"I would not ever allow anyone to be abusive in my presence.  Male or female," the woman told NBC when pressed about Avenatti and his client's claims, according to NBC's report.

NBC's latest story also noted that Avenatti attempted to "thwart the reporting process" and the woman changed her mind several times before eventually texting the network a final time.

"I will definitely talk to you again and no longer Avenatti.  I do not like that he twisted my words," she wrote.

Not surprisingly, Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley has referred both Avenatti and Swetnick for perjury prosecution.


Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Friday referred lawyer Michael Avenatti to the Justice Department for a second criminal investigation, alleging that Avenatti had submitted a fraudulent sworn statement to the committee on Oct. 2.  Grassley also referred Avenatti and his client, Julie Swetnick, to the Justice Department for a separate investigation Thursday, for three separate crimes: conspiracy, providing false statements to Congress and obstructing a Senate investigation. ...

Swetnick was never a credible witness.  The fact that she sued her former employer for being sexually harassed by two male coworkers after they had filed suit against her for harassment – later withdrawing her own suit – would have convinced any professional journalist that her accusation was baseless.

And they wonder why Trump attacks the media?



A moral tale

The wedding ceremony came to the point where the minister asked if anyone had anything to say concerning the union of the bride and groom. 

The moment of utter silence was broken when a beautiful young woman carrying a child stood up. She starts walking slowly towards the minister.

 The congregation was aghast - you could almost hear a pin drop.  The groom's jaw dropped as he stared in disbelief at the approaching young woman and child.  Chaos ensued.  The bride threw the bouquet into the air and burst out crying.  Then the groom's mother fainted.  The best men started giving each other looks and wondering how to save the situation.

 The minister asked the woman, "Can you tell us, why you came forward?   What do you have to say?"   There was absolute silence in the church.

 The woman replied, "We can't hear you in the back."

 And  that illustrates what happens when people are considered guilty until proven innocent.


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 29, 2018

Synagogue gunman was a TRUMP HATER

So a pro-Trump man sent easily identifiable bombs to Democrat politicians that hurt nobody while an anti-Trump man killed 11 people in a terrorist attack.  Is Trump still the problem or is it the frenzy of hatred poured out at Trump that has generated such extreme reactions?  It's the Trump hatred that has killed in these two episodes. The Trump defender just sent a graphic warning

The suspected gunman who opened fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday morning, killing at least 11 people and injuring several others, has been named as 46-year-old Robert Bowers, a Trump-hating antisemite who regularly complained on social media about the president and 'the infestation of Jews.'

Bowers allegedly opened fire at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh shortly before 10am. The synagogue was busier than usual with Sabbath services and because of a baby naming ceremony that had also been scheduled.

After opening fire on the congregation with three handguns and an AR-15, he was confronted by two Pittsburgh police officers who had been called to the scene as he tried to leave the building. Police say Bowers returned fire, injuring both of the cops, then retreated inside and ran to the third floor to hide.

He then engaged in a gun battle with a SWAT team and injured two of them before being shot multiple times himself and surrendering.

He is still alive, in a stable condition, and is in the hospital under the watch of police.

None of the victims have been named. Police revealed on Saturday afternoon that all of those killed were adults and that no children were harmed.

The six people injured include a 70-year-old man who is undergoing surgery for multiple gunshot wounds and a 61-year-old woman who is expected to survive.

Three of the four cops are likely to survive but a fourth, a 55-year-old law enforcement officer, is in a critical condition.

The entire incident, from when he entered the synagogue to when he was removed, lasted 20 minutes.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Saturday that the federal government plans to file hate crimes and other charges against the alleged gunman - which carry the maximum penalty of death.



Crowd Full of Young Black People Erupts When Trump Walks In

There is a lot of love shown towards Trump by his followers.  That must help him to withstand the hatred poured out at him by the media and the Left generally

The cultural shift toward conservatism within the black community is very real … and it’s picking up steam faster than the left wants to admit.

For months, we’ve pointed to examples of how African-Americans, long considered almost guaranteed to vote Democrat, have been rejecting the left’s narratives and are increasingly climbing aboard the Trump Train.

Figures like conservative commentator Candace Owens have led the way, using sharp intelligence and world-class debate skills to dismantle liberal arguments. Cultural icons such as Kanye West, an unlikely ally, have also come on board — and the rapper’s recent meeting in the Oval Office could be seen as a pivotal moment.

Now, President Donald Trump himself is proving just how powerful this shift has become.

During a large gathering of black Americans at the White House organized by the Young Black Leadership Summit, the president made a much-anticipated appearance — and the largely black crowd gave him a rock star reception.

Video of the event shows a large White House room filled with American flags and young people sporting “Make America Great Again” hats. There’s a buzz of excitement, and then a voice pierces the room.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States.” As Trump steps into the room, the young people in attendance break into cheers and even shrieks of excitement with their hands in the air.

Then a chant of “USA! USA!” spontaneously breaks out as the president steps to the podium.

There was a similar excited and friendly energy earlier in the day, when the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., mingled with the African-American crowd and joked around with attendees.

“Check out the energy & passion,” the younger Trump tweeted, along with a video of him with the crowd. “The largest ever young conservative black summit started tonight.”

The clip showed him excitedly joining the group of young black Americans, including Owens, while the entire room joyfully chanted “USA! USA!”



Trump: 'Call Me a Nationalist If You’d Like, But I Don’t Want Companies Leaving’

President Donald Trump referred to himself again as a “nationalist” during the White House State Leadership Day Conference on Tuesday, saying that he doesn’t want U.S. companies to move their businesses overseas.

“Call me a nationalist if you'd like, but I don't want companies leaving. I don't want them firing all their people, going to another country, making a product, sending it into our country -- tax-free, no charge, no tariff, no nothing. And in the meantime, we end up with empty plants, unemployment all over the place. We end up with nothing. So those deals are not happening anymore,” he said.

Trump used the same term on Monday night at a rally for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in Houston.

“A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much. And you know what? We can't have that. You know, they have a word. It sort of became old-fashioned. It's called a nationalist. And I say, really, we're not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I'm a nationalist, OK? I'm a nationalist,” the president said. "Nationalist. Nothing -- use that word. Use that word."

During Tuesday’s event, Trump touted the success of the economy during his first two years in office.

“This is a truly exciting time for America. You've heard me say this before, but we just got the World Economic Forum the recognition that the United States has reclaimed its rightful place, after many years of being off the list, as the most competitive economy anywhere in the world,” he said.

“And if you look at consumer confidence, we're at the top of every list. We're setting records in terms of that, too. But we got back on the list in the number-one position and world's most competitive. Following the passage of our massive tax cuts and regulation cuts, the unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level in more than 50 years,” the president said.

“We have created more than 4.2 million new jobs and lifted over 4 million Americans off of food stamps,” he added. “Median household income in 2017 was the highest level ever recorded.”

Trump applauded low unemployment numbers among Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans. He also heralded the creation of the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“We've reached a deal to replace NAFTA, and, as you know, I wasn't a big fan of NAFTA. I think it's one of the worst trade deals ever entered into. I rate it second; I won't tell you what the first is. There's another one that's actually worse, and I won't tell you it's the WTO. Okay? I refuse to tell you the name,” he said, as the audience laughed. “But that's a total disaster, also. I refuse to say what it is, though. Keep it quiet. Am I allowed to say ‘off the record?’ Let's see.”

“And we have a tremendous new deal with -- so, with the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The ‘USMCA,’ we call it. I didn't want the ‘NAFTA’ name on it, because I saw what NAFTA did many years ago to towns and factories and businesses and what it did to the car companies where -- not so much to companies -- to Michigan, and Ohio, and Pennsylvania and Kentucky and so many other places where these companies just left the United States. And we still have empty factories all over the place from that devastation of NAFTA,” the president said.

“Well, we have just the opposite: the USMCA. One of the strongest things about that, you're not going to have companies leaving anymore, because they have a disincentive to leave. I don't want them to leave,” he said.



How Trump’s New Rule Aims to Expand Health Coverage and Lower Costs

The Trump administration just announced a major regulatory change, effective Jan. 1, 2020, that could significantly expand access to affordable health coverage and increase the choice of health plans, particularly among workers and their families in small businesses.

The proposed rule, jointly developed by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department, would allow employer-sponsored health reimbursement accounts to fund the purchase of individual health insurance on a tax-free basis.

Today, workers and their families can use tax-free health reimbursement accounts to offset medical expenses, such as out-of-pocket medical costs. Under the new rule, workers and their families could use employer contributions to the accounts to buy health insurance on their own.

This opportunity is particularly valuable for workers employed by small business owners who cannot afford to offer standard group health insurance, but who could afford to help offset the premium costs of their employees’ individual coverage.

Treasury Department officials estimate that the new rule could encourage as many as 800,000 employers to sponsor health reimbursement accounts, or HRAs, to fund individual coverage for more than 10 million workers.

This relief is crucial, particularly for workers and their families in small businesses. With the enactment of Obamacare in 2010, the already fragile condition of health coverage among small businesses worsened. For little companies with fewer than 25 workers, the percentage of businesses offering health insurance fell from 44 percent in 2010 to just 30 percent in 2018.

The Trump rule has the potential not only to expand coverage, but also to increase employees’ choices in health plans.

Among small and midsize companies (with fewer than 200 employees), 81 percent offered only one health plan as of last year. No choice, just a “take it or leave it” option.

The Trump rule would open up new coverage opportunities for employers and employees.

The rule also has some ancillary benefits for workers already covered by traditional, employer-sponsored health insurance. It would permit employers to contribute up to $1,800 yearly (indexed to inflation) to reimburse workers for certain additional medical expenses, such as dental benefits, as well as premiums for short-term health insurance plans. Such less expensive plans are especially valuable for persons who are between jobs.

The impact of the Trump rule could prove genuinely transformational, if Congress would take the obvious next step: Adopt the reform policies outlined in the Health Care Choices Proposal, developed by a broad coalition of conservative health policy analysts.

That proposal would restore the bulk of regulatory authority over health insurance markets to the states, provide financial assistance for the poor and the sick, and enable persons in government programs to use public funding to enroll in a private health plan of their choice, if they wished to do so.

By enabling states to liberalize their health insurance markets, Congress could enable employees, using health reimbursement accounts as a vehicle for tax-free premium payments, to choose among a variety of new and innovative plans.

Today, enrollees in the broken individual and small group markets are trapped in artificially expensive Obamacare plans. They are punished with explosive deductibles, shrinking choices, and excessively narrow networks of doctors and hospitals.

Working together, Congress and the president could yet achieve the greater policy goal long supported by America’s most notable economists, including the late Milton Friedman: individual tax relief for the purchase of health insurance in a robust and competitive consumer-driven market.

That change could be, in the very best sense of the word, revolutionary.



The Left’s Latest Absurd Claim: Requiring Voter Registration Is ‘Voter Suppression’ Tool

As Election Day rapidly approaches, the radical Left is making yet another absurd claim: that requiring voter registration is a “voter suppression” tool.

Registration is essential to assure the integrity of elections. It allows election officials to verify the eligibility and identity of voters. It also enables them to make sure they will have enough ballots in polling places that use paper ballots — and that’s the majority of jurisdictions across the U.S.

The Washington Times recently reported that the Texas Democratic Party “asked noncitizens to register to vote, sending out applications to immigrants with the box [on] citizenship already checked ‘Yes.’” And Texas is not the only state where the accuracy and integrity of the voter-registration process is imperiled.

To improve the accuracy of the state’s records, Georgia legislators last year passed a law requiring voter-registration-application information to match a “driver’s license, state ID card or Social Security record.” Inconsistencies can cause a voter’s registration to be flagged as “pending” while the discrepancy is investigated.

Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor, accuses the Republican candidate and current secretary of state, Brian Kemp, of “voter suppression” simply for complying with this law.

But here’s the rub: A “pending” status does not bar anyone from voting. All they need do is “show a government photo ID that substantially matches the registration application.” Even if the voter’s information can’t be verified on the spot, the voter can cast a provisional ballot that will be counted once the registration information is verified by local election officials.

How can that be “voter suppression?”

So why the uproar about voter registration? Abrams claims that Kemp’s effort to enforce the law is an “intentional move” to suppress votes, especially of minority voters. Kemp has refuted those claims and says that application discrepancies that make registrations “pending” are due to “sloppy forms” submitted by the New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams herself in 2014 that “set out to sign up 800,000 new young and minority voters.”

The real issue here is a disregard for election integrity. And that includes those who are calling for an end to traditional voter registration in favor of automatic voter registration based on government databases such as driver’s licenses and property-tax records.

While government records are useful for verifying voter registrations, research shows they would be ineffective in creating accurate voter rolls. One of the most glaring problems with these databases is that they cannot verify a basic eligibility requirement for voting — citizenship. Noncitizens can receive driver’s licenses in all 50 states, and illegal aliens are receiving licenses in more than a dozen states, including California. Noncitizens also pay property taxes. Automatic voter registration would register all such ineligible individuals.

Moreover, individuals can be listed multiple times in different government databases that would be a source for automatic registration. For example, one person may pay taxes in multiple counties and multiple states, raising the possibility that he could vote multiple times, in multiple jurisdictions.

Also, voter registration requires a signature to verify petitions, ballot initiatives, and absentee ballots. Many government databases don’t contain signatures and thus would be useless for verifying signatures.

Such issues came to light recently in California, where the DMV admitted that, in just the last two months, it had mistakenly registered 24,500 ineligible individuals, including noncitizens. The problem arose because of the state’s new voter-registration process, which automatically registers people who renew or replace their driver’s licenses. The error came to light only after a Canadian citizen told the media he had been improperly registered by the state.

No evidence exists that eliminating voter registration will increase turnout. In fact, Census Bureau data from the 2008 election found that individuals who were not registered to vote did not cite registration problems as the reason for not voting. Instead, 46 percent were not interested in the election and 35 percent listed other reasons, such as “not being eligible to vote, thinking their vote would not make a difference, not meeting residency requirements, or difficulty with English.” The biggest reason for individuals’ not registering and not voting is a lack of interest in politics and candidates, which has nothing to do with registration.

The registration fight in Georgia is just part of a larger effort by the Left to undo any reforms that increase the security and integrity of the voter-registration and election process. Ensuring election integrity begins with creating and maintaining accurate voter rolls. Voter registration is an essential part of the process, and it should be a bipartisan effort.



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)


Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Divisiveness in America today:  How much is Harry Reid to blame?

The extreme polarization of American politics in America today has been  blamed on many things.  Democrat politicians blame it on a "racist" President Trump and say they are just trying to protect fairness and justice for all, but particularly for illegal immigrants.  Such brainlessness need not detain us however.  Their constant shrieks of blame are just a poor mask for their complete absence of constructive and realistic policy.

But it's not so long ago that there was a degree of bipartisanship in America.  Ronald Reagan, for instance, got his remarkable reforms through a Democrat-dominated Congress.  And bipartisanship was valued. It was so valued that it was entrenched in the rules of the Senate.  The filibuster rule meant that a President's nominees to the courts had to muster 60 senate votes to pass as distinct from a simple majority of 50.  So judges had to be pretty centrist -- however that was conceived at the time.  Basically, both sides of politics had to agree to a significant extent in order to get anything done.

But impatience  is at the very heart of Leftism -- An impatience with the world as it is and an urgency to change it.  And in 2013 the Democrat leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, pushed through a vote to abolish the filibuster in order to get some of Obama's appeal court nominees through -- over the top of Republican opposition.  Obama nominated extremist judges who had no respect for the law and thus made bipartisanship impossible.

Harry acknowledge that he was loading the gun with ammunition that future Republican majorities might use to Democrat disadvantage, but Leftists live almost wholly in the present so Harry said that was OK by him.  He was warned multiple times of what the future effect of his actions might be but he still went ahead.  And his Senate caucus went ahead with him.  More background here

Reid did have one element of caution, however.  He broke the filibuster for lower court nominees only.  He knew how dangerous a Republican Supreme Court could be to his party so left the filibuster just alive enough to block nominations to SCOTUS.

But once he had put a hole in the dam, it was easy for the rest of of the dam to be breached.  And so it was.  When Mitch McConnell was pushing Trump's SCOTUS nominees through, the Democrats used the filibuster to block Judge Gorsuch.  So McConnell used his majority to abolish the last of the filibuster and got Gorsuch through.  And after Gorsuch there came the dreadfully abused Kavanaugh -- also pushed through in the absence of the filibuster despite a quite incredible cacophany of abuse from the Donks.

Without Harry Reid's attack on the filibuster rule, the Donks could easily have blocked both judges -- and conservatives have been cackling about that ever since.  They now love the now retired brainless Harry.  There have been many "Thank you"s to Harry after Gorsuch and Kavanaugh got through confirmation. I wouldn't be surprised if on some social occasions Republicans have drank toasts to Harry

But the point is that both new judges are very conservative and their very membership of the court has snatched away from the Donks their alternative legislature.  Up until recently, they could get lots through the courts that they could not get through Congress.  They got got through such huge agenda items as homosexual marriage, universal abortion, the barring of Christian observance in the schools and "affirmative action".  All those were legalized through SCOTUS only.  The people did not get a vote on any of it.  That is now gone and it went through their own Donk folly.  No wonder they are half crazed. A large part of their world has fallen apart.  And it is all because of Harry Reid.

Their access to sympathetic courts once kept them happy -- or as happy as they are capable of being.  So that allowed them to be magnanimous to Republicans on some occasions and to some degree.  They could afford to be a bit magnanimous in Congress because the main game was not there.  It was the courts that would enforce their agenda.

But the basic point is that the filibuster demanded and got a degree of bipartisanship if either party was to get anything done.  That is gone and Harry did it.  All restraints are now off.  He clearly had no inking of how great would be the damage he did both to his own party and to the American constitution, broadly conceived


Trump outlines new plan to lower Medicare drug  prices, end 'rigged' system

Once again he objects to Americans being treated differently

President Donald Trump outlined a plan Thursday he said would allow Medicare to lower drug prices for its Part B coverage and end this "rigged system" that allows other countries to pay less than the U.S. for the same drugs.

Under the administration's proposal, the Department of Health and Human Services would permit Medicare to create a new payment model that would bring drug prices in line with what other nations pay.

HHS estimates $17 billion in program savings over five years, it said in a press release. The agency is trying to issue a formal rule early next year with the new payment model taking effect in 2020, HHS said.

"For decades, other countries have rigged the system so that American patients are charged much more ... for the exact same drug," Trump said in his speech at HHS headquarters in Washington.

"Americans pay more so that other countries can pay less," Trump said. "The government pays whatever price the drug companies ask ... not any more."

The SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals index, which tracks drug stocks, was more than 2 percent higher early afternoon Thursday.

In May, Trump said it was time to end the "global freeloading once and for all," referring to how some countries set price controls and therefore pay less for drugs than Americans, while U.S. companies invest in research and drug development.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar released a report earlier in the day that said the U.S. pays 1.8 times more, and sometimes four times as much, for prescriptions covered by Medicare Part B than other nations.

"The United States will finally be able to confront one of the most unfair practices ... that drives up the cost of medicine," Trump said. "For decades other countries have rigged the system so that American patients are charged much more, and in some cases much, much more for the exact same drug," he said.

Overall, the prices for Part B drugs in America exceed the prices paid in countries with similar economic conditions. These higher prices mean that Medicare pays nearly TWICE as much as it would for the same or similar drugs in other countries. We can and must do better.

Medicare reimburses the list price of the drug plus 6 percent, so capping price increases could help lower the program's costs. Total Medicare drug spending reached $162 billion in 2015, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"Because @POTUS wants to end global freeloading, we compared prices for the most costly physician-administered drugs that are covered and paid for by Medicare Part B," Azar tweeted. The "prices for Part B drugs in America exceed the prices paid in countries with similar economic conditions."



Lame duck opportunity for GOP to cut spending, pass MERIT Act, build wall and Atlantic pipeline

By Robert Romano

Come what may in the November midterms, whether Republicans hold Congress or not, afterward there are a number of spending measures that remain to be enacted by Congress for Fiscal Year 2019.

So far, all Congress has finished and had signed into law by President Donald Trump are Defense, Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, Energy, Military Construction and Legislative Affairs.

That leaves Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Commerce, Justice, Science, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, State, Foreign Operations and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning said the unfinished business gives Republicans an opportunity in November and December to enact the Trump agenda, including the wall and the President’s call for non-defense discretionary spending to be cut by 5 percent.

“Regardless of the outcome of the midterms, the lame duck session will present the GOP with a rare opportunity to pass legislation that limits the size and scope of government and hopefully implement President Trump’s call to cut spending by 5 percent,” Manning said.

That would amount to about $28 billion in savings, right there, if implemented, which, after the $779 billion deficit for FY 2018, would be welcomed by taxpayers.

Other agenda items that are definitely coming up is full funding for the southern border wall, which would need to be included in the Homeland Security funding bill, a key Trump and Republican campaign promise, and with the migrant caravan still headed for the border, one with some urgency.

Policy riders could also be tied to funding that limit government, for example, the MERIT Act by U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), that would expedite the firing of federal employees. Similar reform was passed for the Department of Veterans Affairs after too many veterans died waiting for medical attention. Now, the same reforms need to be enacted across the board to all departments and agencies.

For the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will transport natural gas across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, Congress could include a simple rider that allows the pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail, avoiding costly and time-consuming lawsuits.

Also of interest, the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Plans is expected to complete its work on a report to make recommendations for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and Congress to follow in addressing 114 out of the nation’s 1,400 multiemployer pension plans covering 1.3 million workers being underfunded by $36.4 billion.

This could be addressed now, or later. But chances are, Congress will address it.

In fact, these are all things likely to come up, and depending on how the midterms go, Republicans can address them in the lame duck, or take their chances in 2019 when, who knows, Nancy Pelosi might be Speaker. Midterms are usually not kind to the President’s party, and while the GOP holding onto the Senate seems likely, the fate of the House still hangs in the balance.

Depending on how things go in November, clearing the decks on the Trump and Republican agenda in Congress after the election might be the last full opportunity until 2021 the earliest. Something to keep in mind.



Obama Is 'Making Stuff Up' About The Trump Economic Boom

Growth: Economists expect the third-quarter GDP number — to be released this Friday — to be a strong one, in the range of 3.4%. Maybe that's why Barack Obama is running around this week trying to take credit for the economic boom. And he says President Trump has trouble with facts?

In a speech at a rally in Nevada, Obama claimed that the current economic boom has nothing to do with Trump's economic policies.

"By the time I left office," he said, "wages were rising, uninsurance rate was falling, poverty was falling. And that's what I handed off to the next guy. So when you hear all this talk about economic miracles right now, remember who started it."

Just the Facts?
Later in that same self-congratulatory speech, Obama said that "unlike some, I actually try to state facts. I believe in facts. I believe in a fact-based reality and a fact-based politics. I don't believe in just making stuff up."

So let's look at some of the facts about the economy that Obama handed off to Trump.

Despite what Obama now says, the economy was far from solid when he left office. In fact, it was in a slump.

GDP growth was decelerating throughout 2016. Household income was flat. The unemployment rate was flat. The stock market was flat.

And, "by 2016, wage growth began to taper off quickly," notes the American Action Forum's Ben Gitis.

Even The New York Times, which has been gamely trying to grant Obama credit for the current boom, now admits that 2016 was an "invisible recession."

"There was a sharp slowdown in business investment, caused by an interrelated weakening in emerging markets, a drop in the price of oil and other commodities, and a run-up in the value of the dollar," it explained.

Slow Growth Expected

By the end of 2016, pundits and economists were widely predicting a new era of slow economic growth. Why? Because for eight years under President Obama's leadership, the economy struggled to even top 2% annual growth. It never reached 3%. And every single year GDP growth missed the forecasts by Obama's own economists. So for Obama to claim that he handed Trump a thriving economy is 100% pure poppycock.

What's more, Obama and other liberal Democrats insisted in 2016 that if Trump were elected, he'd send the economy into a tailspin. Well, Trump was elected, and instead of faltering, the economy surged.

Since Trump took office, quarterly GDP growth has averaged 2.9%. Once the recession ended, the quarterly GDP growth averaged 2.2% under Obama.

Since Trump took office, the unemployment rate has been in a steady decline. Economic optimism — which languished for years — suddenly skyrocketed. The stock market took off. The U.S. reclaimed the No. 1 spot in global competitiveness. Family incomes reached all-time highs.

Engineering an Economic Boom

Not one of these trends was in place when Obama left office. So what exactly is Obama claiming? That his policies failed to kick in until after he left office? Talk about "making stuff up."

The fact is that as soon as Trump took office, he started reversing as many of Obama's economic policies as he possibly could.

Trump halted Obama's massively expensive new environmental regulations, and cut back old ones. He signed a massive tax reform bill that took the tax code in the opposite direction of Obama — toward lower rates and fewer loopholes. He signed a law partially dismantling Dodd-Frank, one of Obama's other big "achievements." He dialed back ObamaCare where he could.

In other words, Trump immediately embarked on a policy of tax cuts and deregulation that Obama has repeatedly insisted "never worked" to grow the economy. Yet here we are, with growth topping 4% last quarter, and likely to top 3% this quarter.

Here's a message for Obama: When it comes to today's economic boom, you didn't build that.



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)


Friday, October 26, 2018

This had to happen  -- or did it?

What was behind the bombs sent to prominent Democrats?

Not all Trump supporters are Christians.  Many are in the police and the military, for instance. And they have to be hard men.  So one of them may have come to feel that the contant verbal attacks on Trump and the many physical attack on other Republicans deserve a response.  "Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind" (Hosea 8:7). "As ye sow, so shall ye reap (Galatians 6:7) "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52).  The Left seem to think that they are above those ancient warnings. So the grave faces on CNN and elsewhere are rather amusing.  When did they put on such faces in response to the many attacks on conservatives?

BUT:  Maybe we are leaping to conclusions.  On my TONGUE-TIED blog, I have often put up reports of "racist" graffiti and so on that were initially attributed to conservatives but which eventually turned out to be done by Leftists as a provocation. Was this bombing done by Leftists as an "October surprise" -- intended to discredit conservatives in the run up to the mid-terms?  You would have to be dumb not to suspect that.

And it looks like the Leftmedia suspect that.  I have not so far heard them attribute the bombings to Trump supporters. And they normally attribute EVERYTHING bad to Trump and his supporters.  So they clearly don't want to get egg on the faces over making a foolish accusation.  Do they know something that we don't?  Could be.

We might also note that nobody was hurt in the bombings, unlike Rand Paul and Rep. Scalise. Someone put it to me: "If conservatives had done it, they would have done a better job

President Donald Trump addressed on Wednesday suspicious packages sent to former President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and other individuals as well as CNN, saying the country's leaders must "come together" to speak out against threats of political violence.

"I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify," Trump said at an unrelated opioid bill signing event at the White House. "We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that threats or acts of political violence have no place in the United States of America."

"It's a very bipartisan statement," he added. "This egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans."

Earlier Wednesday, authorities have intercepted suspicious devices intended for Obama and Clinton, and the Florida office of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was evacuated Wednesday after a suspicious package was mailed there.

Also, CNN's New York bureau in the Time Warner Center was evacuated after a package with an explosive device, addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, was discovered, city and local law enforcement officials said.

In addition, sources told CNN that a suspicious package intended for California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters was intercepted at a congressional mail screening facility in Maryland and the San Diego Union-Tribune evacuated its building after "suspicious looking packages" were spotted outside.

The President noted he had just concluded a briefing with the FBI, Department of Justice, Homeland Security Department and Secret Service. "The full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation," Trump said. "We will spare no resources or expense in this effort."

The President spoke from TelePrompTer but added this line at the end -- not on screen in front of him: "We are extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it," Trump said.



The "bombs" were hoax devices, not meant to do harm

A former Navy explosives expert pointed to some characteristics of the explosive devices sent to CNN and other current and former Democratic officials, which indicated to him amateurish construction and perhaps an ulterior motive beyond causing bodily harm.

CNN posted an image of a pipe bomb sent to its New York City bureau, which prompted the evacuation of the entire building on Wednesday.

The package was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, care of CNN’s office in the Time Warner Building in midtown Manhattan.

Thomas Sauer, who according to his LinkedIn profile is a Naval Academy graduate and served as a commander of a Naval explosive ordinance disposal unit, offered some observations on Twitter about the device.

First, he noted that wires were connected on both ends of the bomb, a style of construction he called “dumb.”

Sauer next pointed to the timer and saying that an experienced bomb maker would have placed it inside the pipe. “That thing is just silly looking,” he wrote.

Concerning the appearance of the device itself, he concluded, “Bottom Line: Whoever made that wanted it to be painfully obvious to anyone and everyone that it’s a ‘bomb.'”

Sauer then offered that “hoax devices” are “FAR more common than real ones. In which case, we should ask ourselves what the motives of the ‘bomber’ are and ‘who benefits?’ Go ahead. Think deeply and critically.”



A man with zero self-insight

THE blame game has begun between US President Donald Trump and one of his biggest critics, CNN, after the network’s New York bureau was targeted.

Mr Trump said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon local time that he “will spare no resources” in trying to find the culprit.

He said “this egregious conduct is abhorrent”, adding that America would “have to unify” in these times.

CNN president Jeff Zucker lashed out at Mr Trump, criticising the seriousness of his attacks on media.

“There is a complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media,” he said.

“The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. So far, they have shown no comprehension of that.”


Does the sugary one (Zucker is Yiddish for sugar) have any understanding about the seriousness of CNN's continued attacks on Trump and his supporters?  CNN should understand that their words matter. So far, they have shown no comprehension of that.”


When Hillary got what she called for, she did a 180

She had to.  She knew she could be blamed for the bombs so had to cover herself

After suspected bombs were sent to her home, Hillary Clinton called for unity at a political rally the same day.

This, of course, is the massive hypocrite who just weeks ago dehumanized Republicans to the point that she wondered how anyone could be civil to them. Earlier in the month, Hillary told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. 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. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.” Just weeks later, Hillary is now bemoaning a lack of civility.

Hillary’s new views on civility after the bomb scare

Hillary spoke earlier this morning at a campaign rally in Florida and began by addressing the bombs that were sent to her, and others. “It is a troubling time, isn’t it. And it’s a time of deep divisions, and we have to do everything we can to bring our country together.” So I guess the time to bring back civility is now, not after the midterms? Or is it only the right that has to be civil?

She then immediately made things political. “We have to elect candidates who … will set goals that will lift up every Floridian and American, who will look into the future,” Hillary continued.

If whoever is responsible for sending explosives did so only to Republicans, wouldn’t they simply have been abiding by Hillary’s advice to abandon civility? It’s at least nice of her to change her tune once she realized that she could be harmed by the very posture she advocates.

Responses to her comment were mixed, with most highlighting Hillary’s hypocrisy.



Watch: Audience Roars as Trump Announces Plan to Get Hillary Investigated: Nominate Her to SCOTUS

It was a popular chant for then-candidate Donald Trump supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign season, and even Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters got in on the act after they felt he was “robbed” of the Democratic nomination by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In October 2016, Trump addressed the matter, in a way, by telling the Michigan crowd, “Hillary’s corruption is a threat to democracy. She’s likely to be under investigation for criminality for a very, very long time to come,” reported Dallas News.

And now, the “Lock her up!” theme is back. While in Texas this week, as The Daily Caller‘s Benny Johnson posted on Twitter, Trump made a statement regarding getting Hillary investigated.

With that one quip, Trump landed blows against Clinton, the establishment media, the left’s behavior during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, and the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s email server scandal. And the crowd loved it.

But her email scandal is not the only thing establishment media largely ignored or dismissed. And it’s not the only thing resurfacing with a vengeance as of late, either.

Establishment media outrage over the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is understandable. But many are questioning where their moral outrage was six years ago when Americans were abandoned to die in Benghazi.

It is a scandal that began with lies and, to this day, has uninvestigated ties to Clinton that the establishment media continues to largely ignore or dismiss. Benghazi survivor Kris Paronto, however, has not let the matter rest, and since the Khashoggi news broke, has hit the hypocrisy hard.

For 3 weeks Saudi Arabia said Jamal Khashoggi left their consultant safe and sound. They said they had no idea where he was. They denied all wrongdoing to every leader in the world as late as yesterday. Now they say they accidentally killed him in a fistfight. Bullshit.

Leftist journalists & liberals screaming that the President isn’t doing enough to the Saudi’s because one of their own was killed.Where in the hell were you when @BarackObama left 30+ AMERICANS to die in Benghazi Libya including an Ambassador?!!You all are a disgrace .

And speaking of Paronto and Hillary scandals, he’s also hit the Russia collusion scandal with a tie-in to Clinton. Investigation into the accusation that Trump colluded with Russia keeps leading back to Clinton, among other Democrats.

“Now a lot of reporters, some at The Washington Post and some at The New York Times, are complaining that Hillary’s lawyer lied to them. Heaven forfend! Did somebody say collusion with Russians?”

While Trump riles liberals, the media and the establishment of both parties with his utter willingness to speak out in the face of political correctness, his supporters are thrilled by the off-the-cuff, wise-cracking, “genius” that entertains and enthralls so many.

Sick of politics as usual, many longed for a straight-shooter who would just get things done. Things, in particular, that benefit America.

And Trump seems to be doing that, in what — for supporters anyway — is a non-traditional, and thoroughly highly refreshing way.



Trump teases 'major tax cut for middle-income people' before midterms

President Trump said Saturday he plans to roll out a major tax cut to the middle class before November.

"We are looking at putting in a very major tax cut for middle-income people. And if we do that it'll be sometime just prior, I would say, to November,” Trump told reporters after his rally in Nevada Saturday. “We are studying very deeply right now round the clock a major tax cut for middle income people."

Trump has taken criticism from Democrats for his tax cuts, which they claim only help large corporations and the top 1 percent. But Trump said the tax cuts he is looking to implement soon would not be related to businesses whatsoever.

“Kevin Brady is working on it, Paul Ryan is working on it,” said Trump. “I would say sometime around the first of November, maybe a little before then.”



Florida and Texas Post Record Sept.-to-Sept. Job Gains; Ohio Has Largest Gain in 21 Years

Florida and Texas, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not only led the nation in the number of nonfarm jobs they added in the year running from September 2017 to September 2018 but also added the greatest number of jobs to their states in any September-to-September period on record.

Ohio and Pennsylvania—sometimes considered part of the nation’s “Rust Belt”—also saw significant job gains from September 2017 to September 2018, with Ohio showing the largest increase for its state in 21 years and Pennsylvania showing the largest increase in 18 years.

“Thirty-seven states had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment in September,” BLS said in its state employment report. “The largest job gains occurred in Florida (+407,300), Texas (+406,400), and California (+339,600). The largest percentage gain occurred in Florida (+4.8 percent), followed by Utah (+3.6 percent) and Texas (+3.3 percent).

The unemployment rate in Florida was 3.5 percent. In Texas, it was 3.8 percent. In California, it was 4.1 percent.

While California ranked third among all states for the number of job gained during the period from September 2017 to September 2018, its statewide jobs growth numbers during that period were actually smaller than they were in two of the previous three September-to-September periods. (From September 2014 to September 2015, California added 493,000 jobs; from 2015 to 2016, it added 393,800 jobs; and from 2016 to 2017, it added 307,500 jobs)

Florida’s jobs grew 4.8 percent during the latest September-to-September period. Texas’s jobs grew 3.3 percent. California’s jobs grew 2.0 percent.

In Texas, the number of jobs rose from 12,232,100 in September 2017 to 12,638,500 in September 2018—accounting for the record 406,400 increase.



Leftists are untouchable


A puzzle


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)


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Deception Is Democrats' Weapon of Choice

The party of the BIG Lie is at it again, and midterm campaign examples abound.

Some call it spin. Some might refer to a political reality. Others may say it’s the use of propaganda. Regardless, this election is chock-full of devices that either reframe a candidate to hide his or her authentic approach to governance or, in many cases, outright lies are being told to confuse and misrepresent the facts.

The weapon of choice this (and every) election cycle for Democrats is deception.

Let’s look at just a few examples to understand that, while campaigning, some Democrats want to run from their actual record and appear to voters as “Republican-lite.” The reality, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Senate has been the perfect example of the vast schism between reality and political “reality.” Let’s look at a few facts and understand that Democrats not only ignore, avoid, and distort the truth; they don’t recognize truth in their world of the aggrieved and offended. That helps explain their ongoing efforts to engineer chaos and mob rule.

Let’s begin in Michigan, where Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the incumbent Democrat, is facing a tough GOP opponent in John James, a black businessman with distinguished service in the U.S. Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Once upon a time, Stabenow was a vocal supporter of tax cuts that “create jobs here rather than overseas.” Funny, she voted against the historic Tax Acts and Jobs Act that added 39,700 jobs in Michigan already this year, 5,500 more than in 2017. Now, the promise of the Democrats is to reverse the Republican tax cuts … simply because President Donald Trump signed them into law.

Run down to Tennessee’s open Senate seat in the Marsha Blackburn vs. Phil Bredesen slugfest and see if you can figure out who’s running as the Republican nominee. Publicly, Democrat and former governor Bredesen can’t run fast enough from the names of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Yet Bredesen landed $3.5 million in ads from Schumer’s political action committee and $1.6 million contributed directly to his campaign while enjoying a high-dollar fete at the New York home of gun-control extremist Bloomberg. The billionaire socialist has pledged $20 million to the Senate Majority PAC, fueling Democrat races in the nation’s upper legislative chamber. Add all this to the undercover video capturing Bredesen operatives freely admitting his deception regarding his support for Brett Kavanaugh, and the camouflage donned in the Volunteer State right now is not just worn by hunters.

A few more on the deception dance card in the Senate are Jon Tester in Montana and Claire McCaskill in Missouri, both of whom campaigned on the importance of securing the southern border, yet voted against funding all the recent measures to fund personnel, structure, and resources to actually stem the tide of illegal immigrants coming to America. Likewise, when Kyrsten Sinema was running for Congress in Arizona in 2012, she pledged legislation that “secures our border from the threats of criminal cartels and criminal syndicates In Mexico.” Now, as a Senate candidate, Sinema has no recollection of voting against immigration reforms. Let’s not forget Sinema’s list of outrageous statements, including getting caught telling stay-at-home moms they are leeches in the world of progressive feminism. She went all in with the pink-hat-gals.

Bundle up and head to North Dakota to see Heidi Heitkamp’s voting history that matches Schumer’s 80% of the time, despite promising she’d be that same kind of independent that Bredesen conjures up. Heitkamp has likely sealed her own doom with TV ads aimed to tie newly confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh to domestic assault victims — partly because she failed to get approval to use the victims’ names in the ad. Exploitation for the cause of deception — we guess that’s the collateral damage Nancy Pelosi spoke of last week when calling her Resistance crowd to action.

There is so much more, but the theme is clear: You can’t trust Democrats to tell the truth during campaign season or to govern in a manner that upholds the respect of our laws, our nation’s border and sovereignty or, sadly, the financial security and privacy of average Americans.

While we may laugh in disgust at the dishonesty of politics, heed a serious warning. The type of behavior witnessed by Democrats in power — weaponizing agencies of government like the IRS, DOJ, EPA, etc. to control and punish political foes; using slander at every turn alleging sexism, racism, and all other -isms to marginalize; agitating the offended to the point of riot and violence; importing foreign individuals as part of a ploy to disrupt our government under the guise of asylum and safety; and employing a two-tiered system of justice to exempt criminal acts of the elite but not the average — is not just despicable, it’s dangerous. In decades past, these acts would be accurately defined and viewed as totalitarianism.

#WalkAway from the deception and dangers of the Democrats.



Could Trump Win 20 Percent of the African-American Vote in 2020?
The provocative Donald Trump certainly seems to be disliked by a majority of African-American professional athletes, cable news hosts, academics and the Black Congressional caucus. Yet there are subtle but increasing indications that his approval among other African-Americans may be reaching historic highs for a modern Republican president.

Some polls have indicated that Trump’s approval rating among black voters is close to 20 percent. That is far higher than the 8 percent of the African-American vote that Trump received on Election Day 2016.

A recent, admittedly controversial Rasmussen Reports poll showed African-American approval of Trump at 36 percent.

Even 20 percent African-American support for Trump would all but dismantle Democratic Party presidential hopes for 2020. Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election with 88 percent of the black vote. That was about a six-point falloff from Barack Obama’s share of the black vote in 2012.

But far more importantly, an estimated 2 million of the African-American voters who cast ballots for Obama in 2012 simply did not show up at the polls in 2016 to vote for the off-putting Clinton.

Even a small drop in African-American turnout or anything less than the usual 85 percent to 90 percent supermajority for a Democratic presidential candidate on Election Day can prove fatal. Why?

Republican presidential candidates now routinely win 55 percent to 60 percent of the so-called white vote, and about 70 percent of voters are white. That lopsided margin may widen further, given that progressive Democrats are not making any effort to recapture turned-off white working-class voters.

With continually diminishing white support, Democrats must increasingly count on massive minority turnout and bloc voting — especially among African-American voters, who make up about 12 percent of electorate.

Roughly a third of Asians and Latinos vote Republican, and voter turnout among these groups generally isn’t as strong as it is among whites and African-Americans.

But why is the supposedly odious Trump having any success in undermining the traditional marriage between African-Americans and Democrats?

The most recent jobs report revealed that the unemployment rate for African-American teenagers fell to 19.3 percent, the lowest figure on record. That number stands in marked contrast to the 2010 rate of 48.9 percent under the Obama administration. Overall black unemployment is currently at 5.9 percent, which is close to a record low.

Under Trump, the economy is growing at nearly 4 percent per year. The robust growth coincides with Trump’s effort to curb illegal immigration and imported labor. The net result has been to empower minority job applicants in ways not seen in nearly half a century.

Trump’s implicit message is that every American worker is now crucial in maintaining the red-hot economy. In a job-short economy, laborers suddenly have a lot of leverage over their employers. And wages are rising.

Trump’s nationalist message adds to this sense of empowerment, especially when he campaigns on putting Americans first in his economic decision-making.

A former entertainer, Trump is courting African-American celebrities such as rapper Kayne West and football legend Jim Brown. Activist Candace Owens and her Turning Point USA organization are trying to convince black voters that being politically independent forces both parties to compete for the African-American vote.

Ironically, Trump is reaching out to the African-American community to a much greater degree than progressives are reaching out to the estranged white working class.

Trump has other issues that might fuel the effort to redirect black support. Abortion, for example, is supposedly a Democratic sacrament. But few progressives talk much about the high rate of black abortions. African-Americans make up between 12 percent and 13 percent of the American population but account for as many as 35 percent of all abortions.

Yet liberal family-planning advocates were not always shy about their occasionally eugenics-inspired agendas of the past. The spiritual founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was an unapologetic eugenicist who professed that the object of birth control was to discourage the reproduction of those she derided as “the unfit.”

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon, once couched her support for abortion in neo-eugenic terms. In a disturbing 2009 interview, she was quite blunt: “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

Trump should stress other issues that might appeal to African-Americans, such as the right of access to charter schools, and how boutique environmentalism and over-regulation drive up the cost of affordable housing, fuel and electricity.

Trump might also make it clear that his message is geared to all Americans, including African-Americans. As a group, they are already doing better economically today than during the Obama administration — and everyone gains political clout when politicians must work for, rather than feel entitled to, their votes.




Is this the October surprise from the Donks?

A new Republican women's group who is "fed up with Trump" and pouring cash into toss-up congressional districts is bankrolled solely by a male billionaire venture capitalist who is a major donor to Democratic campaigns and causes, Federal Election Commission filings show.

Republican Women for Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based "grassroots" nonprofit, was founded by Jennifer Pierotti Lim and Meghan Milloy and is comprised of "right-leaning" women who are opposed to President Donald Trump. The group has garnered glowing national media profiles that include a ten-minute segment on CBS News and articles in publications such as Glamour, Slate, and others.

The group is so far active in competitive congressional districts in New Jersey, Kentucky, and Michigan.

"We think the best thing that we can do for the party and for the country right now is to make sure there are good women—Democrat or Republican—that are elected to office and who can serve as a check on this administration and on the president," Milloy told the Detroit Metro Times. "[This effort] really was inspired by us talking to Republican women in these districts where they said there was just no way that they could vote for the Republican."

The group established a political action committee, the Republican Women for Progress PAC, on Sept. 13 to support their work for the midterms and has since spent $231,000 on independent expenditures for voter recruitment and advertisement productions in the toss-up districts in three states.

The PAC disbursed $76,000 on ads and recruitment in support of Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey's 11th congressional district, $78,000 backing Amy McGrath in Kentucky's 6th congressional district, and $77,000 on Elissa Slotkin in Michigan's 8th congressional district.

The PAC's October quarterly filing—the first from the group—also shows that the group of Republican women is bankrolled by just one donor: Reid Hoffman, a venture capitalist and co-founder of LinkedIn, who is a major donor to Democrats. Hoffman cut a $400,000 to the PAC on Sept. 27, its filings show.

Hoffman has pushed millions into the coffers of Democratic committees and campaigns this cycle.

More HERE 


The Trump Manufacturing Jobs Boom: 10 Times Obama's Over 21 Months

The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, six months into former President Obama’s first term. The economy continued to shed jobs until the following March. Manufacturing was particularly hard hit, with almost 2.3 million manufacturing jobs—some 1 in 6—lost between January 2008 and March 2010.

As is the case during recoveries, jobs bounced back, with seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment expanding almost 12% from March 2010 until January 2017, when President Obama handed over the presidency to Donald Trump.

But during the same period, manufacturing employment grew only 7.7% with manufacturing payrolls virtually flat in the last 21 months of the Obama administration.

We were told it was the new normal.

At a town hall in June 2016, President Obama famously said that some manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back.” He went on to mock then-candidate Trump by saying he’d need a “magic wand” to make good on this manufacturing job promises.

Months later, as the shock of a President-elect Donald Trump was still being absorbed, New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman tweeted on November 25, 2016, “Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.”

Well, a funny thing happened—Trump’s policies, and just as importantly, the expectation of Trump’s policies, ignited a manufacturing resurgence.

In the first 21 months of the Trump presidency, nonfarm employment grew by a seasonally adjusted 2.6%. In the same period, manufacturing employment grew by 3.1%, reversing the trend under Obama when overall employment grew faster than employment in the manufacturing sector.

Comparing the last 21 months of the Obama administration with the first 21 months of Trump’s, shows that under Trump’s watch, more than 10 times the number of manufacturing jobs were added.

Three things likely sparked this manufacturing jobs spike.

First, eight years of the Obama Administration’s piling on regulation upon regulation, from labor rules, to the Clean Power Plan, to the implementation of ObamaCare, placed industry into a defensive crouch. Business leaders were fearful of investing capital, not knowing how the federal rules might capriciously change, thus wiping out their expected return on investment.

That defensiveness ended in November 2016 when the expectations of additional regulatory burdens under a prospective President Clinton vanished. Not coincidentally, manufacturing employment started its sustained upswing the very month of Krugman’s tweet.

Second, the Trump Administration’s deregulatory practice exceeded expectations, with red tape being cut at a faster clip than achieved under President Ronald Reagan 36 years earlier.

Third, with the Republican Congress, President Trump delivered on a major overhaul of the tax code, including a significant cut to business taxes as well as a change to the treatment of overseas profits that incentivized the repatriation of some $300 billion in the first quarter of 2018 out of what the Federal Reserve estimates is $1 trillion in multinational profits held abroad.

Whether this manufacturing jobs boom will continue is now largely dependent on the Trump Administration’s high-stakes trade stand-off with the People’s Republic of China.

Some economists warn that Trump’s tariffs put our healthy economic expansion (stimulated by tax cuts and deregulation) at risk. The administration’s defenders, on the other hand, see tariffs not as an end to themselves, as they were with the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930, but as part of a wider effort to renegotiate the terms of trade with China. Included in the effort are the difficult issues of widespread and systematic Chinese intellectual property theft and opaque non-tariff barriers.

Past performance is no guarantee—but so far, President Trump’s pro-growth policies have confounded his critics’ predictions with the prime beneficiaries being hard-working Americans.



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)