Friday, March 22, 2019

‘Damn socialism, why are you chasing me?’ Chinese-Americans see ghost of communism in Democrats’ leftward turn

When Saga Zhou first moved to the United States from China in 2009, she steered clear of politics. The Communist Party rules supreme in China, so most Chinese immigrants bring a built-in aversion to political involvement.

But Zhou’s interest in politics was piqued as she began to see the American Left embracing policies that reminded her of those she’d fled in China.

One such policy was the Left’s support for late-term abortion. When she lived in China, Zhou, like many young Chinese, didn’t consider abortion to be a big deal. But her view changed after moving to America, getting married, and bearing two children.

“After I became a mother, my understanding about life fundamentally changed,” she told me when we met at a Panera Bread in Irvine. “Now I am totally a mother.”

Zhou said her heart broke upon learning about a Virginia bill to loosen restrictions on late-term abortions. Appearing on a radio show as the bill was being debated, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam pledged to sign the legislation, even suggesting it would sanction infanticide.

“Oh, when I saw the news, I cannot even open [the article],” Zhou said through tears. “It was really hard. I just felt something really strong into my chest. And then I said, ‘Let me adopt him, don’t kill him.'”

The proposed law hit especially close to home for Zhou, whose mother became pregnant with her just as China’s government began implementing its brutal one-child policy.

The policy prohibited most couples from having more than one child. Women who became pregnant with a second child were often forced to undergo sterilization; sometimes their babies were killed in the womb. Though she was her mother’s second child, Zhou escaped death because the one-child policy had not yet been implemented in her city.

“Somebody has to understand the roots, where these policies come from,” Zhou said. “That’s why I’m so pissed. Damn socialism. Why are you chasing me?”

As Democrats embrace policies such as so-called "Medicare for all," “free” college, 70 percent tax rates, the "Green New Deal," and late-term abortion, Republicans see an opportunity to frame the 2020 election as a referendum on socialism.

President Trump now includes a riff on the “dangers of socialism” in most of his speeches, including in last month’s State of the Union. “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” he told Congress and the nation.

An internal memo from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, discusses its plan to win the suburbs and retake the House of Representatives by framing the 2020 election as a choice between socialism and economic opportunity.

The Republican Party’s anti-communism has long attracted many Cubans, Vietnamese, Eastern Europeans, and other immigrants who fled communist countries during the Cold War.

Chinese immigrants have historically been an afterthought. But their numbers are rising. There are more than 3 million Chinese immigrants living in America today, up from fewer than half a million in 1980.

As their numbers grow, Chinese-Americans are becoming more active in politics. In 2014, a group of Chinese-Americans in Orange County, Calif., formed The Orange Club, a political action committee whose original purpose was to defeat Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 5, which sought to overturn a 1996 initiative that ended affirmative action in state university admissions. The club argued that SCA-5 would unfairly hurt their high-achieving children’s chances of getting into California’s top state-run universities.

SCA-5 ultimately failed, due in part to strong opposition from Asian-American groups including The Orange Club, which remains active in local public policy debates and endorses candidates for office.

Zhou joined TOC last year and ever since has been attending meetings, signing online petitions, and protesting at public events–all things she couldn’t have imagined doing in China.

When I first met Zhou in February, she was volunteering at a phone bank for Don Wagner, the mayor of Irvine who was running in a special election for Orange County supervisor. On March 13, the morning after Wagner won the race, the Orange County Register’s front-page story included a photo of Wagner standing in front of several jubilant supporters, including Zhou.

In 2008 and 2012, many Chinese-American voters cast their presidential ballots for Barack Obama, believing Obama’s Democratic Party was more hospitable to immigrants. “On the first day when we land here, the media and Left reinforce the concept that minorities and immigrants are supposed to vote for Democrats and not supposed to be aligning with conservatives,” said George Li, a Chinese immigrant I met at a Starbucks in Irvine.

But many Chinese-Americans are repelled by the Democrats’ more recent embrace of policies they consider socialist. Socialism “is a great, great concern to [Chinese-Americans], which is why I’m really motivated to stop that,” Li said. “It’s our duty.”

As a college student in China in the late 1980’s, Li was active in China’s democracy movement and knew some of the students involved in the Tiananmen Square protests.

Not long after, Li moved to the U.S., earning a master’s degree in computer information systems and starting a family. Li has become active in local politics through The Orange Club, which he led last year.

Li believes the Republican Party is a natural fit for Chinese-Americans.

Traditional Chinese culture is conservative, he said, emphasizing hard work, independence, education, and family values.

He finds the Left’s obsession with political correctness maddening because it intimidates people into silence. “This intimidation is so bad for freedom of speech,” he said. “A lot of things I see in this country are very similar to what I saw in the Cultural Revolution era in China,” He calls political correctness a “form of cultural Marxism.”

Benjamin Yu, also of Irvine, saw the Democratic Party moving toward socialism long before some of its members began embracing the term.

Yu immigrated to the U.S. with his mother in the late 1990s. In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, Yu, then a U.S. Green Card holder, felt a “surge of patriotism,” prompting him to join the Army.

“When something happens so close to you, it doesn’t matter if you are an American by legal status,” he said. “You get a sense that that’s your country. You feel part of the community.”

Yu saw a nascent socialism developing under President Barack Obama, whom he voted for twice before turning to Trump in 2016. He believes more and more Chinese are voting Republican, though he thinks many are reluctant to say so for fear of being ostracized.

Zhou, Li, and Yu believe Republicans can win over Chinese-American voters by emphasizing the Democrats’ embrace of socialism, and the GOP’s staunch opposition to it.

“I just want America to be America,” Li said, “not another Soviet Union, Cuba, or China.”



IT BEGINS: Beto Is Already Apologizing For His Whiteness On The Campaign Trail; “I’ve Enjoyed White Privilege”

Betomania has had a rough launch this week as embarrassing details continue to emerge about the quirky Texan who believes that is his destiny to save the planet if he is able to parlay his celebrity support into a shot at the White House.

It wasn’t that long ago that nobody had ever heard of Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, an obscure backbencher who was relegated to obscurity in the House Of Representatives.

However, the desire of Democrats to get a signature victory by taking down Texas incumbent Senator Ted Cruz somehow transformed Beto into the second coming of John F. Kennedy and with the help of boatloads of California money, he nearly sprung the upset.

Now the 46-year-old with a record of exactly zero accomplishments is the trendy pick with limousine liberals to emerge from the identity politics mosh pit of the upcoming primaries to go mano a mano with President Trump next fall with the presidency as the ultimate prize.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the coronation because Beto has quickly proven to be his own worst enemy from the bizarre video from the couch with his wife announcing his entry to the publication of a buried story about his past as a hacker, poet and writer of stories about running down children.

The guy is wasting no time showing that in addition to being an empty suit, that his head may be just as empty which might explain his contrition for his “white privilege” and early concession to the race-obsessed social justice warriors who wouldn’t cast their votes for a white man if their lives depended on it.

Beto O’Rourke said Friday night that he had been wrong for joking at several events in his first two days campaigning in Iowa that his wife has been raising their three children “sometimes with my help.”

The former congressman from Texas, who launched his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination Thursday, addressed the remarks during a recording of the podcast Political Party LIVE! in Cedar Rapids. The comments triggered complaints from Democratic operatives and activists, many of them women, that female candidates could never similarly joke about their roles raising their children.

“Not only will I not say that again, but I’ll be more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage, and also the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege,” he said.

He pointed to his ability to walk away from two arrests as a young man without serious consequences as an example.

The use of the racially-charged term “white privilege” has little to do with Beto’s rise but the privilege of being the product of a wealthy family didn’t hurt.

Not just any schmuck can get into the hoity-toity Ivy League Columbia University and the family connections certainly didn’t hurt when it came to launching his political career either.

Clout like that also goes a long way in helping to bounce back from an ugly DUI arrest and a prolonged time spent as a member of a punk rock band, a slacker and as previously mentioned a computer hacker with the notorious Cult Of The Dead Cow collective.

On top of that, Beto married into money too and like other phony socialists like Comrade Bernie, isn’t exactly hurting while he whips up anti-capitalist sentiment with resentful, gullible millennial suckers who are too intellectually lazy to do a bit of research into this dopey snake oil salesman.



Even WaPo Rejects Negative Demo Spin on Good Economy

Presidential hopefuls spread the misleading claim about Americans working multiple jobs.

In a surprising bit of actual journalism, The Washington Post published an article today calling out Democrats for their fallacious attempts to spin good economic news as somehow bad. While the Post pulled away from its usual practice of awarding “Pinocchios” to establish the degree of a falsehood uttered by a politician — maybe in an effort to soften the criticism — the article was critical of three leading Democrat presidential candidates and their fallacious statements on the economy.

The particular economic talking point several Democrats have recently and regularly asserted — and that has the Post crying foul — is the claim that the historically low unemployment numbers are hiding a nasty reality. And what is this nasty reality? Well, according to Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O'Rourke, the number of Americans forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet has increased under President Donald Trump.

Harris uses personal anecdotes in spinning her yarn, as she carefully seeks to avoid making any direct assertions. Sanders works his spin by removing context that would otherwise undermine his entire argument. O'Rourke sites a notoriously unreliable data type, the self-selected survey, as the basis for his claim that “half” of teachers work “a second or third job just to put food on the table.” In fact, the U.S. Education Department’s most recent nationally representative sample survey finds that only 17% of teachers in the South and 18% across the rest of the nation work a second job. They do, after all, have summers off of school.

The fact is that the number of Americans working two or more jobs has actually decreased under Trump. The Post reports, “There are almost 156 million people with jobs. But only 251,000 people had two full-time jobs in February [2019], compared with 343,000 in February 2018, according to BLS. That’s a decline of more than 25 percent. Another 4.5 million had both a full-time job and a part-time job, while nearly 2 million were juggling part-time jobs.” In total, there are approximately 7.8 million Americans working more than one job. Sanders is technically correct when he references millions of Americans working multiple jobs, but he fails to note that this represents only 5% of working Americans.

Furthermore, who’s to say why they are working multiple jobs? It was under Barack Obama that many Americans were forced into working multiple jobs due to ObamaCare, which mandated employers provide medical insurance to employees who worked 30 or more hours a week. As a result, many Americans found their hours cut below the ObamaCare threshold because employers couldn’t afford that massive new expense. Thus, workers were often forced to get a second job. (Thanks Obama.) Trump, on the other hand, has worked to cut back on government regulations, which in turn has freed up employers and boosted the American economy. Spinning Trump’s economic record as bad is simply dishonest. And even the Post admits it.



Trump administration approves Medicaid work rules in Ohio as judge weighs their legality

The Trump administration has approved Medicaid work rules in Ohio, even as a federal judge is currently weighing whether they are legal.

"With unemployment steady under 5%, there are great opportunities to connect adults on #Medicaid w/ opportunities to improve their lives & health – so I’m pleased to send @GovMikeDeWine the 9th approval of a community engagement waiver!" tweeted the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, after she signed off on the rules Friday.

The rules will require people who are on Medicaid, a government-funded healthcare coverage program, to work, take classes, or volunteer for 80 hours a month as a condition of being allowed to stay on the program. Ohio is the eighth state to be approved for work rules by the Trump administration. Only Arkansas has put its program into effect so far, though the Trump administration has encouraged more states to apply for similar programs.

Federal officials say Medicaid, which added low-income people to its rolls in most states under Obamacare, should instead be reserved for the most vulnerable populations. They have said the rules will help people move out of poverty and acquire private coverage.

A federal judge will decide by April whether to block the rules in Arkansas and strike them in Kentucky, where they are set to be enforced beginning July 1. Depending on how he rules, other states may have to halt their plans to impose the work rules. The case may also be appealed and eventually go before the Supreme Court.

Roughly 18,000 people are expected to fall from Medicaid rolls in Ohio once the rules go into effect, according to a report by the state. The rules won't apply to adults who are disabled, nor to pregnant women, children, caretakers, or to people living in parts of the state with high unemployment.

Critics of the policy argue that requiring people to report their work is overly burdensome and that the programs are intended not to help people find jobs but to kick people off Medicaid. In Arkansas last year, more than 18,000 people were disenrolled from Medicaid after failing to report their work.

Ohio applied for its work rules on April 1, 2018, and under the proposal they are set to go into effect July 1.



Pentagon finds $12.8 billion for Trump's border wall

The Defense Department has identified $12.8 billion in possible funding that it could use to fulfill President Trump's call for a border wall.

Trump last month declared a national emergency at the border, and said he wants to use $3.6 billion for border wall projects. The Pentagon's list said it has found possible funding sources that are "in excess of the amount needed."

But it's not clear which projects the Defense Department will draw from. Some states that have been allocated big chunks of money that haven't been spent could see a hit.

California, for example, was identified as having more than $700 million in unused Army and Navy military construction that could be used. Hawaii has more than $400 million that could be used.

More than $200 million in similar funding allocated for Hawaii, Maine, New York, North Carolina, Guam, Germany, Guam, and Guantanamo Bay Cuba are also on the list.



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, March 21, 2019

Jobs miracle in Britain as employment hits new record high

Britain is one of the most heavily governed countries there is.  Everything is regulated.  Britain was once a dynamic innovative place but enveloping bureaucracy stifles all that these days.  One index of that is that Britain has still  not got a single fracking well producing commercially, despite excellent geology for it.  The drillers have had to go through years of red tape.

But it seems that the old spirit of business is still there in the hearts of British businessmen -- and recent events have unleashed it.  For the last two years the British parliament has talked about almost nothing except Brexit -- how Britain will relate to Europe once Britain leaves the EU -- which is now due at the end of this month.  So while the parliament has been wrangling about Brexit, they have not had time to poke their noses into other things.  Britain has had two years of very little new legislation and regulation.

So without Nanny continually trying to run their affairs, British businessmen have thrived.  And part of that thriving is a big boost in jobs as British businesses branch out into new activities.  You can read the result below

Unemployment fell to its lowest level in 44 years at the start of 2018 as Britain’s businesses defied Brexit worries to put on a new hiring spree.

Employment surged by 222,000 in the three months to January, almost double the expected growth.

This was the fastest pace of jobs growth since 2015, flying in the face of fears that political uncertainty was starting to bite. There are now more than 32.7m people in work, a record high.

Compared with the same time last year, an extra 473,000 people are in work, the Office for National Statistics said.

Full-time employment accounted for 90pc of the increase.



Lower the voting age? Let's raise it instead

by Jeff Jacoby

AYANNA PRESSLEY'S first legislative proposal as a Massachusetts congresswoman was an amendment to lower the voting age for federal elections from 18 to 16. On March 7, the House of Representatives made short work of the measure, defeating it by a large bipartisan majority.

In her floor remarks before the roll call, Pressley claimed that 16- and 17-year-old kids are qualified to vote by virtue of the "wisdom" and "maturity" that comes from being alive and confronting the "challenges, hardships, and threats" of 2019. "Some have questioned the maturity of our youth," she told her colleagues. "I don't." If that was her best argument for lowering the voting age, it's no wonder 70 percent of House members weren't persuaded.

Then again, if Pressley has such unquestioning faith in the maturity of high school sophomores, why seek merely to give them the vote? To be consistent, she should push as well to lower the legal drinking age to 16. And the minimum age for buying cigarettes, handguns, and recreational marijuana. And the age at which one can adopt a child. And at which a criminal offender is automatically prosecuted as an adult. Come to think of it, Pressley should also want to lower the age of enlistment in the military to 16, and to require everyone reaching that age to register with the Selective Service System. After all, if the wisdom and maturity of 16-year-olds qualifies them to vote, why shouldn't it qualify them to be treated as adults in every other way?

The reason all these activities are legally barred to kids in their mid-teens is because, as almost all adults understand, the "maturity of our youth" is in fact highly questionable. Certainly there are some 16-year-olds who are thoughtful and astute, but as a general rule — and public policy relies on generalizations — maturity comes later. That's a function not just of experience, but also of biology: Adult and teen brains operate differently. The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with rational judgment and awareness of long-term consequences, doesn't fully develop until the mid-20s. Teens more often rely on the amygdala, the more emotional, primitive part of the brain. It isn't from gratuitous animus that car-rental agencies make it difficult for young drivers to rent a vehicle. Or that the Constitution establishes 25 as the minimum age to be a member of Congress.

Of course, another reason that 16-year-olds are subject to so many restrictions that don't apply to grown-ups is that they don't know anything — or in any case, they don't know enough to be trusted to make sound decisions about liquor, firearms, joining the Marines, and governing the United States. The ignorance of teens is practically a cliché. "If you go to any college campus and talk to the first thousand 18-year-olds you meet," wrote Josh Gelernter for National Review in 2014, "you'll find five who are qualified to vote and 800 who don't know who Churchill was."

In 1971, the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age nationwide from 21 to 18, largely on the strength of the claim that if 18-year-olds were old enough to be drafted — many young men were being called up and sent to Vietnam — they were old enough to be given the vote. The moral force of that argument couldn't be denied, but let's face it: The quality of American politics and governance wasn't improved by letting 18-year-olds vote.

Like Pressley now, Senator Ted Kennedy then was sure that giving teens the vote would be a boon. "We will gain a group of enthusiastic, sensitive, idealistic and vigorous new voters," Kennedy said at the time. He was wrong. Newly enfranchised young people immediately became the least engaged cohort, invariably turning out to vote at a lower rate than any other age group. Speculation about a "youth wave" revives every election season, but it never amounts to anything: Turnout among voters in their teens and early 20s always lags far behind turnout among their elders.

I don't share the popular fetish for maximizing voter turnout, and have long argued that people who don't have an interest in voting shouldn't be hectored to do so. Nonetheless, if Pressley wants to increase the level of voter participation and involvement, I have a suggestion.

Instead of trying to lower the voting age, Boston's new congresswoman should lead an effort to raise it. Let's require Americans to wait until they are 25 before they can cast a ballot. That would immediately boost voter turnout, since participation in elections rises as the concerns of adulthood rise. The more likely people are to have jobs, to support themselves, to be married, to worry about schools or mortgages or taxes, the more likely they are to take an interest in how they are governed — and the more likely to show up on Election Day.

Pandering to children will do nothing to elevate our democracy. Restoring the link between democracy and adulthood, on the other hand, just might. Young people who join the military should immediately be entitled to vote; everyone else should have to wait until they turn 25. Keep Americans from the polls until their prefrontal cortex has finished growing. More mature voters might just mean more mature politics. Isn't that an outcome worth pursuing?



Build the Wall to Save Taxpayers Billions

President Donald Trump launched another battle for border-wall funding on Monday, calling for $8.6 billion additional dollars in his proposed federal budget for next year. Top Democrats came out swinging, bashing a border wall as "expensive and ineffective."

The truth is, Dems are not leveling with the public about the billions we're already forced to spend on shelters, food, diapers, medical care and child care for migrants sneaking across the border and claiming asylum.

Not to mention the costs of public schooling and healthcare provided free to migrants once they are released into communities. The wall will pay for itself in less than two years. It's a bargain.

Look what it costs us when a Central American teen crosses the border illegally without an adult. Uncle Sam spends a staggering $775 per day for each child housed at a shelter near Florida's Homestead Air Reserve Base. There they have access to medical care, school and recreation. They stay, on average, 67 days at the Homestead shelter before being released to a sponsor. Do the math. That's almost $52,000 per child. American parents would appreciate the government spending that money on their kids. Imagine the government handing you a check for $52,000 for your teenager.

However, there are bigger costs ahead. The number of illegal border crossers just hit an 11-year high with a total of more than 76,000 during the month of February alone. U.S. and Mexican officials predict hundreds of thousands more in the coming months.

The migrants use the word "asylum" as their get-in-free card. When they say it to a border agent, they gain entry to the U.S. 80 percent of the time according to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. They are temporarily housed and eventually released with an immigration court date. But half never go on to file an asylum claim, disappearing into the U.S., said former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

They're turning asylum into a scam. The system is meant to protect victims of persecution, such as Cubans fleeing Castro's prisons. Now it's overwhelmed by Central Americans escaping poverty for a lifestyle upgrade.

Legal immigrants also want to better their circumstances, but they play by the rules. What a slap in the face to see migrants jump the line.

Unfortunately, a federal appeals court just made the asylum hoax even easier. Last week, the left-leaning 9th Circuit ruled that migrants who fail to convince border authorities they face danger in their home country still have a "right" to a day in court in the U.S. That bizarre ruling won't stand. Another circuit court ruled the opposite way in 2016, clarifying that a border agent's decision is final and entering the U.S. is a privilege, not a right. The Supreme Court let that earlier decision stand, so count on the Supremes to reverse the 9th Circuit.

In the meantime, though, taxpayers are getting fleeced by caravans of fake asylum-seekers.

Even before the latest surge, the Department of Homeland Security spent over $3 billion in 2018 sheltering and feeding illegals at the border, which is nearly double the cost from 2011.

Add to that the hundreds of millions being spent caring for unaccompanied teenagers in 130 shelters overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services.

President Trump has tried several strategies to protect taxpayers from these rip-offs. First, he barred illegal migrants from asking for asylum, requiring that asylum-seekers enter the country through official ports of entry. That would have reduced the numbers considerably. But in November, a federal district judge, also from the 9th Circuit, nixed the president's regulation.

Then, Trump devised a "Remain in Mexico" arrangement to make Mexico the waiting room for asylum-seekers. As long as they're south of the border, the U.S. doesn't have to house them, and they have no "right" to public schooling and emergency medical care on our tab. The program, if successful, will save U.S. taxpayers a bundle. It's one way Mexico is already helping to pay for the wall.

Dems claim it's a waste to spend billions on a wall. But the facts show we can't afford not to build it. As the cover of the president's new budget says, "Taxpayers First."



Rabbi Spero Leads Protest Against Anti-Semitism at Speaker Pelosi’s Office

Rabbi Aryeh Spero, along with numerous Christians and Jews, gathered at the Capitol Hill office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday to protest the apparent growing anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party and specifically the anti-Semitism of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

Rabbi Spero is the leader of the National Conference of Jewish Affairs, which, the rabbi explained in an email to, “speaks for the conservative and non-left leaning segments of American Jewry” and believes that “politically and socially conservative positions more accurately reflect the authentic view of historic Judaism, and is thus good for the Jewish people and good for America as well.”

At the protest, Rabbi Spero said that House Speaker Pelosi “failed us -- she had the chance to condemn [Rep.] Omar. She didn’t.  She had a chance to condemn, stand alone by itself, anti-semitism.  She didn’t. She failed us.”

Rabbi Spero was referencing the anti-Semitic remarks made by Rep. Omar over the last several weeks and the resolution, crafted by Pelosi and other top Democrats, to condemn anti-Semitism.

Although the resolution condemns anti-Semitism, it also condemns other forms of bigotry, such as white supremacy and anti-Muslim prejudice. As a result, some critics claimed the document was overly broad. Rep. Omar and her anti-Jewish remarks are not mentioned in the resolution.

The House of Representatives “rejects the perpetuation of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the United States and around the world, including the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and foreign allegiance, especially in the context of support for the United States-Israel alliance,” reads part of the resolution.

It also “condemns anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against all minorities as contrary to the values of the United States."

Rabbi Spero said, “What this resolution basically says is you better remain silent, because if you respond to anti-Semitic remarks coming out of the mouth of the Islamic congresswomen or a member of the Islamic community, you’re Islamophobic. You’re racist somehow.”

“Well, that’s a formula for silencing us all,” said the rabbi.

Back on Feb. 10, Rep. Omar retweeted a post about members of Congress defending Israel and she remarked, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” meaning money. She later said that AIPAC, the American-Israeli Political Action Committee was paying the lawmakers.

Omar also retweeted an item that said “Israel is like the south before 1963.” Back in 2012, Omar tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

At Pelosi’s office, Spero declared, “I think that Miss Omar is here to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. And to malign all of us… Who believe in supporting Israel.”

On Capitol Hill, asked Rabbi Spero, “What would you say was [Rep. Omar’s] most egregious example of those anti-Semitic remarks?”

Spero replied,  “I would say that the Jews — if they support Israel — are disloyal to America. I mean, listen, I’m sure she supports the Islamic countries (there 57 of them) and she was just recently taking a tour [of them] and nobody accused her of being disloyal to America because she supports certain Islamic governments.”

There were about twenty protesters at Pelosi’s office with Rabbi Spero. A group of about a half-a-dozen counter-protesters from Code Pink also showed up. Code Pink is a feminist grassroots organization that supports Palestine over Israel.

One of the Code Pink protesters said in an interview with, “We are just here to support Ilhan Omar because she is absolutely amazing, and I love everything that she said about Elliot Abrams, and I love the way that she is a representative who is — you know — speaking truth to power.

“And she is out here, as a role model for young women, especially young Muslim women who don’t usually see representation of themselves in Congress,” said the activist.



Trump derangement


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)


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

That "Right-wing" accusation again

When a domestic terrorist strikes, the media automatically label him "Right wing".  That usually implodes.  Take the Jared Loughner case.  Remember him?  He started out as "Right-wing" after he shot a Democrat Congresswoman but suddently one day he just faded from notice. We never hear of him now.  It turned out that he was floridly mentally ill, though his reading included Leftist materials such as the Communist Manifesto.

And so it seems is the NZ gunman Brenton Tarrant.  Tarrant definitely shared the sort of disquiet about Muslim behaviour that conservstive writers often express but does that make him conservative or Right wing?  Is it only conservatives who are critical of Jihadi attacks?

The entire Left wing worldwide is asserting Tarrant's Rightism but what does Tarrant himself say?  He says in his manifesto: “The nation with the closest political and social values to my own is the People’s Republic of China”.

So an admirer of Chinese Communism is "Right wing"?  Tell us another funny story!

The fact of the matter of course is that Tarrant had a variety of ideas from a variety of sources so that putting any wings at all on him was just propaganda.


Trump complains he is being blamed for New Zealand attack

US President Donald Trump waded into the controversy over his response to the massacre of 50 people in two New Zealand mosques.

President Donald Trump waded into the controversy over his response to the massacre of 50 people in two New Zealand mosques, complaining that he was being blamed for the tragedy.

“The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand,” Mr Trump told his more than 59 million followers on Twitter. “They will have to work very hard to prove that one,” he tweeted. “So Ridiculous!”

Mr Trump appeared to be referring to criticism of his response to the attack, which was allegedly carried out by a 28-year-old white supremacist claiming to be resisting genocide against white people.

In a lengthy written rant, the alleged killer Brenton Tarrant referred to Mr Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity.”

Mr Trump did on several occasions tweet and speak to condemn the “horrible” attack and offer any US assistance to New Zealand’s authorities.

However, he courted controversy on Saturday when he played down the wider implications of the gunman’s ideology, saying that violent white nationalism is not a growing problem. “It’s a small group of people,” he said.

Mr Trump, whose own previous responses to the movement have drawn scrutiny, expressed sympathy for the victims who died at “places of worship turned into scenes of evil killing.” But he declined to join expressions of mounting concern about white nationalism, saying “I don’t, really” when asked whether he thought it was a rising threat around the world.

“I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess,” Mr Trump said.

Speaking on Fox and Friends, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said it was “predictable” and “outrageous” that Mr Trump had been linked with the shooter.

“Unlike like most mass shootings, this man came with pre-receipts, if you will,” Conway said. “He put out a 70-page manifesto, and I guess everybody scoured it, searched for Donald Trump’s name, and there it is, one time.

“But he also said he aligns closely with the ideology of China. He said he’s not a conservative, he’s not a Nazi, I think he referred to himself as an eco-naturalist or an eco-fascist. But people should read the entire — in its entirety.”

Mr Trump’s homeland security chief, Kirstjen Nielsen, said on Monday in a speech where she said that “domestic terrorists,” like the New Zealand killer, increasingly resemble the better known threat from Islamist groups.

“The primary terrorist threat to the United States continues to be from Islamist militants and those they inspire, but we should not and cannot and must not ignore the real and serious danger posed by domestic terrorists,” she said.

“They are using the same do-it-yourself, mass murder tactics as we saw with the horrible assault last week in New Zealand against Muslim worshippers,” she said.

Mr Trump’s dismissal of a broader security threat led to a flurry of criticism from Democrats and other critics over the weekend.

They pointed to his frequent labelling of illegal immigrants as invaders, his high-profile restrictions on immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, and a lukewarm condemnation of a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

“Time and time again, this president has embraced and emboldened white supremacists - and instead of condemning racist terrorists, he covers for them. This isn’t normal or acceptable,” tweeted Kirsten Gillibrand, who formally entered the Democratic race for the White House on Sunday.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney went on television on Sunday to push back, saying “the president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that.”

“To simply ask the question every time something like this happens overseas, or even domestically, to say, ‘Oh, my goodness, it must somehow be the president’s fault,’ speaks to a politicisation of everything that I think is undermining sort of the institutions that we have in the country today,” he said on Fox television.



Trump Blasts GM For Closing Assembly Plants: “She blamed the UAW Union – I don’t care, I just want it open!”

Sounds like it is the UAW Trump should be targeting.  It is their high labor costs that push work aboard

President Donald Trump continued excoriating General Motors on Monday, for closing an automotive plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

Breitbart reports:

“Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now,” Trump said. “Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!”

The president also expressed frustration that “talks” between General Motors and the United Auto Workers Union would begin in September or October.

“Why wait, start them now!” he wrote. “I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A. and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast!”

Trump began attacking General Motors CEO Mary Barra on Sunday for closing down the plant at a time when the American economy was booming.

His posts on Twitter earned a phone call from Barra over the weekend.

“I asked her to sell it or do something quickly,” Trump revealed. “She blamed the UAW Union — I don’t care, I just want it open!”

The Lordstown, Ohio plant employed about 1,500 American workers and produced the Chevrolet Cruze before it closed. General Motors announced plans in November 2018 to lay off up to 14,700 workers in North America.

In June, General Motors announced that the revamped Chevrolet Blazer would be produced in Mexico, as the company employs about 15,000 people there. In December, they announced a new plant opening up in China.

Barra and Trump initially had a good relationship as she joined him for meetings and roundtables promoting the U.S. auto industry.

But GM’s continued layoffs raised tensions between the president and the CEO of General Motors, who was once considered a possible Vice President candidate by failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland,” Trump wrote in November 2018. “Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!”



Democrats are pushing the biggest tax increase you've never heard of

Joseph Semprevivo

House Democrats are currently pushing the biggest tax increase that nobody's heard of.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., along with more than 200 Democratic cosponsors, recently introduced the Social Security 2100 Act. The legislation would raise the effective payroll tax rate by 2.4 percentage points, split between employer and employee, to 14.8 percent. And this tax increase would apply to all earned income.

At a Capitol Hill hearing this week, I testified about how this tax increase would hurt workers, entrepreneurship, and small businesses like mine.

Larson’s plan would increase small businesses’ annual payroll tax burden per employee earning $50,000 per year by $600, to $3,700. While the plan calls for a donut hole exemption between the current payroll tax cap of $132,900 and $400,000 of earnings, this ceiling is not indexed to inflation, meaning that within a couple of decades all employees, no matter their income, would be subject to it. Eventually, for an employee earning $200,000 a year, a business like mine would have to pay $2,400 more in payroll tax than we do today.

Consider the impact on a business employing 50 people at an average annual salary of $50,000. This tax increase would raise the business portion of payroll tax costs by $30,000, to $185,000. That increase amounts to the cost of hiring one new entry-level employee or giving significant wage increases to existing employees.

Businesses would fund such a tax increases by holding off on hiring or reducing employee wages. It would undo the benefits of the tax cuts that took effect last year and are allowing small businesses like mine to hire, raise wages, and expand.

This payroll tax increase would also directly tax wage increases. This is a peculiar public policy strategy, given the bipartisan push to increase the wages of ordinary Americans. Every time I consider raising an employee’s wages, I would have to factor in the increased costs of this associated payroll tax hike to see if the potential pay raise still makes financial sense.

For some small business owners who operate on tiny profit margins, this tax increase will put them out of business. Consider the restaurant industry, where profit margins pivot around 3 percent. Labor makes up about one-third of their total expenses. To raise restaurants' labor costs by 1.2 percentage points is enough to put some of them out of business altogether.

This proposed tax increase would hurt my employees as much as it would hurt me and other small business owners. For many employees, the payroll tax is the biggest tax burden they face. Raising the payroll tax burden to 7.4 percent will push some workers into poverty. It will prevent other workers from having the funds to make their car or housing payments. It will prevent others from having the funds to take a vacation.

Particularly negatively affected by this tax increase would be sole proprietors, including Uber and Lyft drivers, realtors, and insurance agents — people who, working independently, make up the vast majority of small businesses in this country. Sole proprietors must pay both the employer and employee sides of the payroll tax. This means that a sole-proprietor earning $100,000 would have to pay nearly $15,000 in payroll tax in addition to their federal and state liabilities under this tax proposal, an increase of $2,400 from the current tax regime.

This tax increase would hurt entrepreneurship rates as workers will be disincentivized from striking out on their own in the face of a nearly 15 percent flat payroll tax on their earnings. This is a worrying prospect, given the important role that entrepreneurship plays in job creation, standards of living, and economic growth. I don’t know whether I would have started my business if I had to pay 15 cents in payroll taxes on every dollar I earned.

Competing testimony was offered by the AARP, which supports boosting Social Security payments. As Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., indicated at the hearing, while we have to keep our commitment to seniors, we also need to keep our commitment to young people by giving them more economic opportunities, opportunities that this tax hike would curtail.

Another witness was Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who leads a group called Global Policy Solutions. According to its website, Ms. Cummings has experience "spanning federal, state and local government, academia, think tanks, and nonprofit organizations." Yet, at the hearing she described herself as a small business "expert."

Aside from me, there were no small business owners or ordinary American workers testifying. I would encourage the committee and all politicians to get out and ask these people about whether they want a tax increase before moving forward with Larson's bill. I think people will tell them that they are taxed enough already.



IT’S OFFICIAL: Steele Admits To Using COMPLETELY Unverified Reports To Write Trump Dossier

For the past two years, President Trump has been claiming that the Steele Dossier, which attempts to portray President Trump as someone who colluded with Russia, is totally phony and fake. Recent revelations show that President Trump was absolutely correct.

Earlier this week, transcripts were released that show that Steele admitted to using an unverified 2009 iReport on CNN’s website. An iReport is where any member of the public can go onto CNN’s site and report information. Steele claims that he had no clue that the CNN report he used was unverified and posted by a random person.

CNN described this iReport section of their website by saying, “ is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.”

In the dossier, Steele, a Cambridge-educated former MI6 officer, wrote about extensive allegations against Donald Trump, associates of his campaign, various Russians and other foreign nationals, and a variety of companies — including one called Webzilla. Those allegations would become part of an FBI investigation and would be used to apply for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

During his deposition, Steele was pressed on the methods he used to verify allegations made about Webzilla, which was thought to be used by Russia to hack into Democratic emails.

Steele was asked about anything relating to the allegations made relating to Webzilla which he responded by saying, “We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport.”

It appeared that Steele had no clue how the iReport website worked.”I do not have any particular knowledge of that.” Steele said.

He was then asked if he understood that content generated on the iReport site was not created by CNN reporters, which he responded by saying, “I do not.” He was then asked: “Do you understand that they have no connection to any CNN reporters?” Steele replied, “I do not.”

The questioning continued: “Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?” Steele replied: “No, I obviously presume that if it is on a CNN site that it may has some kind of CNN status. Albeit that it may be an independent person posting on the site.”

One of the most important pieces of the transcript came when Steele was asked about the process by which he searched for an obtained the information. The ex-British spy described it as “what we could call an open source search,” which he defined as “where you go into the Internet and you access material that is available on the Internet that is of relevance or reference to the issue at hand or the person under consideration.”

Continuing, Steele then admitted that the unverified dossier contained “raw intelligence” which means the evidence that was collected could be totally false or misleading.

There you have it. The man who created the Trump Russia Dossier has admitted that the evidence he collected is NOT verified and could easily be untrue.



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, March 19, 2019

CNN Spends Entire Segment Blaming TRUMP For New Zealand Attacks

Just when you thought that CNN had hit rock bottom they continue to drill deeper by the day.

The network hasn’t been as fixated on an event in the southern hemisphere since Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 went missing and they are exploiting the rampage of a deranged terrorist at two New Zealand mosques for maximum impact in their war on President Trump.

Never mind having the common decency to wait until the victims of the unthinkable slaughter in Christchurch were buried and their grieving families be given time to mourn the loss of their loved ones, the fanatics at what can best be described as a propagandistic hate factory are busily brainwashing gullible suckers that it is all Trump’s fault.

The nadir was on Friday during a segment with the nasty little race-baiter Don Lemon and warmongering lunatic Max Boot who are both foaming at the mouth Trump haters.

It wasn’t only Boot and Lemon either: EVERYONE at the fake news command center got the memo on this one.

CNN’s ace “journalist” Jake Tapper also hosted a panel with the ubiquitious bloodthirsty neocon Bill Kristol and unhinged race-obsessed Symone Sanders to hammer the message that Trump and his supporters are all white nationalists which will only serve to incite the extremists and socialists on the left who are already assaulting people in red MAGA hats on a regular basis.

The CNN reporter compared the language in the manifesto of the alleged gunman in the New Zealand mosque shootings to that used by Donald Trump.

Fox’s Greg Gutfield summed it up: "The NZ terrorist stated his aim plainly: to sow division in the US so intense that it results in violent conflict.  Sad to see so many in media breathlessly indulging him. Stop. Step away. See that you're being played."

These days one has to wonder whether the North Korean media is less propagandistic than the network which is the equivalent of Deep State-run media.

The terrorist who just murdered all of those innocent people has to be overjoyed at how CNN is acting as his public relations firm and it doesn’t cost him a dime.

As former President George W. Bush once famously said, “You are either with us, or with the terrorists” and is comes as no big shock as to whom CNN is lining up with.



Leftism Eradicates Character

Dennis Prager

Every year, many thousands of American parents find that the son or daughter they sent to college has been transformed by college into a leftist. For left-wing parents, this may be a blessing, but for parents who are not leftist—not to mention conservative—it is often painfully jolting.

It is jolting because their beloved child now holds America in contempt; prefers socialism to capitalism; regards all white people and police as racist; believes the Bible, Christianity, and Judaism are not only nonsense, but dangerous nonsense; no longer believes men and women are inherently different—or even that male and female objectively exist; is disinterested in getting married and having children; believes the president of the United States is a fascist—as are all those who voted for him; and supports the suppression of speech that he or she regards as “hate speech.”

While this is music to the ears of left-wing parents, most traditionally liberal parents will not be all that happy with this transformation.

Unlike leftists, most liberals do love America and think that, despite its flaws, it is worthy of respect. They do not believe male and female are subjective categories, and they believe in free speech—even for “hate speech.”

For conservative parents, the transformation is far worse. “Nightmare” is not too strong a description. Not only does their child hold everything they cherish in contempt, their child, who loved and respected them a year or two before, now holds them in contempt.

It is a nightmare for another reason: Young people who are transformed into leftists almost always become less kind, less happy, and more angry.

It’s hard to imagine the opposite could occur—that is, that a young person could buy into all the left-wing views described above and become a sweeter human being.

It is a sad rule of life that whatever the left touches, it ruins; music, art, literature, religion, late-night TV, the Academy Awards, sports, economies, the family structure, the Boy Scouts, and race relations are just a few examples. It also ruins people—their character and their happiness.

How could it not?

One of the prerequisites of good character—as well as of happiness—is gratitude, and leftism is rooted in ingratitude. If you are grateful to be an American, you are, by definition, not a leftist.

If you are, for example, a black who is grateful to be an American, you are a “traitor to your race,” an “Uncle Tom.”

If you are a woman who is grateful to be an American, you are a “traitor to your gender.” Feminist icon Gloria Steinem once called female Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison a “female impersonator” because a real woman cannot be a conservative.

In addition, the left drills into every nonwhite and every woman the idea that they are victims, and people who see themselves as victims are ungrateful and angry, two traits that always make a person meaner.

Every parent whose child came home from college (or, increasingly, high school) a leftist should be asked: “Is your daughter or son happier as a result of becoming a leftist? Is he or she kinder? More tolerant? More respectful?”

So it is not only institutions that the left ruins, but also the character of its adherents.

Where are the prominent conservative equivalents of Robert De Niro shouting “F— Trump” at awards ceremonies?

Of Sarah Silverman tweeting to the president of the United States: “I’m just gonna go with F— YOU, and also add that you are a smelly penis hole with balls that touch water. Eat s—, you greedy t—“?

Of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., telling supporters, among whom were children, “We’re gonna impeach the motherf—er”?

Every American should watch how a group of 10-year-old girls recently treated 85-year-old California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Being indoctrinated into leftism apparently permitted them to treat a U.S. senator, not to mention a woman 75 years older than them, with contempt.

It is inconceivable that a group of 10-year-old conservative kids, accompanied by their teachers, would ever treat an 85-year-old, senator or not, so condescendingly.

When you send your child to college, you are not only playing Russian roulette with their values. You are playing Russian roulette with their character and the way they will treat you.

Left-wing parents do not have a similar worry. If their child somehow returns home from college a Christian or a religious Jew, not only will they not be treated with contempt, they will probably be treated with even more respect than before.

Leftism makes you worse. Judeo-Christian religions make you better. That might not be the fashionable view, but it just happens to be true.



Trump Backs Fox News Hosts: ‘Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro’

President Trump on Sunday defended Fox News hosts, warning that the Democrats and the “Fake News” media are trying to silence a majority of the country through a campaign against the network’s conservative hosts.

"Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well. Fox ....."

The Hill reports,

“The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well,” he tweeted.

Trump specifically named Jeanine Pirro, host of “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” calling for Fox to “bring back @JudgeJeanine.” Pirro’s Fox News show did not air on Saturday night.

Last week, Fox News condemned remarks made by Pirro after the host on air questioned whether Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is loyal to Sharia because she wears a hijab.

“We’re not commenting on internal scheduling matters,” a Fox News spokesperson told The Hill of Pirro’s show being preempted.

Several advertisers pulled their ads from Pirro’s show last week in the wake of the Omar controversy. Tucker Carlson, host of Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” also lost advertisers after a left-leaning blog resurfaced comments he made during appearances on a radio show between 2006 and 2011.



Activists Blame Chelsea Clinton For New Zealand Massacre

Chelsea Clinton is to blame for the crazed attacker that killed at least 49 mosque-goers in New Zealand on Friday.

The former first daughter was confronted by activists tonight at a memorial service at NYU for the victims.

A video was posted to Twitter — which would likely qualify as a violation of Twitter rules — showing Clinton calmly defending herself amid the hostile accusations.

“A lot of students feel uncomfortable. People haven’t forgotten the Islamophobic mob she incited against @IlhanMN. There is no sense of responsibility,” Esor said in the tweet that is now protected.

The video shows Clinton being accused of being responsible for the attack.

“I am so sorry you feel that way,” Clinton responded, “it was certainly never my intention. I do believe words matter,” she said in apparent reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s repeated anti-Semitic comments.

“This right here,” the activist said, waving her arms wildly, “is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words you put out there,” she said, “And I want you to know that,” the woman lectured, “and I want you to feel that deep inside.”

“Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there,” the woman said, poking her finger towards Clinton as her backers snapped in approval.

“I’m so sorry you feel that way,” Clinton responded.

In February, Chelsea tweeted a response to one of Omar’s anti-Semitic statements.

"Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism."

That is apparently what triggered the NYU confrontation.



AG Bill Barr: “Your Declaration of Border Emergency is CLEARLY Authorized

President Trump signed his first presidential veto on Friday in the Oval office.  The Gateway Pundits reports,

Several Border Angel parents joined President Trump during the signing to kill the congressional bill blocking the president’s emergency declaration.

Despite the tens of thousands of illegal aliens crossing into America each month, the tons of illegal narcotics and strain on the US economy Democrats and 12 turncoat Republicans voted to kill the president’s emergency declaration.

On Friday Attorney General Bill Barr sided with President Trump. Barr said the president “absolutely has the right to declare a national emergency on the southern border there. He says the veto is the right thing to do. And the declaration will hold up in a court of law.

AG Bill Barr: Mr. President your declaration of an emergency on the southern border was clearly authorized under the law and consistent with past precedent… The humanitarian and security crisis that we currently have right now on the border is exactly the type of emergency that presidents are permitted to address.



To win on White House budget, Trump must wield his veto pen

President Trump released his third White House budget proposal today, and kudos to his acting budget director Russ Vought for crafting a plan that promotes fiscal restraint. Under this budget request, hundreds of wasteful programs will be eliminated and every domestic agency will be required to make a 5 percent cutback in spending. This budget blueprint includes $2.7 trillion in government spending cuts over the next decade.

Vought has told me, “No other administration has proposed this level of spending reductions.” Not even Ronald Reagan. The problem is Trump is already facing a stone wall of resistance to his budget priorities. Even before the budget was officially released, Democratic Representative John Yarmuth, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said over the weekend that the Trump budget plan has “no chance in the House.” Why? He claimed that the budget contains “severe cuts in essential programs.”

Here we go again. This is exactly what Reagan faced in the 1980s when then Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill declared his conservative budgets “dead on arrival.” The Democrats repelled most of the spending cuts that Gipper proposed, and then blamed him for the deficit spending. Congress ended up outspending the Reagan budget requests every year.

For Trump to make progress on trimming deficit spending as this latest plan foresees, the president needs two things to happen. Trump needs continued solid growth of 3 percent or more as we had in 2018. Growth is everything when it comes to bringing revenues up and deficits down. Even with the tax cuts, federal revenues in 2018 came in matching the highest year for tax collections in our history. Vought is right when he concluded, “We don’t have a revenue problem. It’s a spending problem.”

Trump will have to enforce this latest budget with steely resolve. So far he has used the veto pen sparingly. Now he must recognize that it is his best weapon to prevent a dangerous fiscal situation. His first two budgets were almost completely ignored by a Republican Congress. (Excessive pork spending is a bipartisan problem on Capitol Hill.) House Republicans, outside the Freedom Caucus, showed no interest in curbing spending.

But now Trump faces House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose Democratic caucus wants free everything. House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters said this weekend that she is committed to increasing the budget on social programs and reversing the few cuts that Trump has already made. The only idea for paying for the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, $15 minimum wage, Social Security benefit hikes, free college tuition, and the like are by repealing the Republican tax cuts. First, that is not going to happen. Second, this would only pay for a sliver of the cost.

The most powerful tool Trump has over legislation is the veto. He needs to use it often in the months ahead for his agenda. Trump should declare that if spending bills come in even a dime over his new budget totals, he will veto each and every one. The budget crafted by Vought is a powerful fiscal marker that must be enforced. This is his best tool for controlling federal spending, and presidents have historically used it to great effect.

Powerful presidents have used the veto power to assert their control over Congress. Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt used it routinely to repel overspending. Grover Cleveland, an underrated president, vetoed more than 1,000 special interest spending bills. Reagan was reluctant to veto in his first term, and preferred to play nice with Congress. Once he finally realized that did not work with Democrats, he started vetoing regularly, which helped cut the deficit as a share of gross domestic product in half. The veto power is a sign of strength and confidence.

Trump can also gain credibility with voters on the deficit by vetoing early and often under the Pelosi reign of power. The Democrats cannot at once attack Trump for vetoing obese spending bills, and then hypocritically blame soaring deficits on him. The veto will allow Trump to define for voters the extent of the coming Pelosi spree. If he does not do this, his sensible federal budget plan will not be taken seriously. It will be wheeled off to the intensive care unit. House Democrats and Senate Republicans will serve a banquet of spending all paid for with debt and tax increases.

The president has unveiled a first class budget for our government. It is fiscally conservative and supports more economic growth, while wisely prioritizing spending on the most critical problems of national security, border control, opioid epidemic, and infrastructure modernization. Now Trump can enforce it with his veto pen. That is the art of the budget deal.



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, March 18, 2019

Fact-checking Trump's notion that white nationalism is not a rising threat

Having enemies seems to be a good political tactic.  It can mobilize your base.  It is a tactic much used by the Left.  They exaggerate even the slightest opposition to their schemes -- and anything untowards happening in the world is due to bad men whom they know all about.  And a favourite mythical beast that they are fighting is "white nationalists" or a "white supremacists".  Anybody who mentions any human group can be declared a "white supremacist" at the drop of a hat.  And often you don't even need to drop the hat.

So anybody who is critical of the doings of any Muslim becomes an "Islamophobe" for starters and he doesn't have to say much more to become a "white supremacist".

No doubt there are some real white supremacists about the place.  Some people believe that the earth is flat.  But do they exist in any numbers?  There is no evidence of it.  There are some people who attack minorities from time to time but none of them seems to be part of any organization or even have many friends.  And why would anybody be bothered to proclaim white supremacy when it is perfectly obvious that whites do have overwhelming influence in the world?  You might as well go around making proclamations that that the sky is blue.

So Mr Trump was right when he said recently of white nationalists that "I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems"

But that could not be allowed to pass, of course.  And CNN did a "fact check" of what Trump said.  It is below.  And they do list a number of individuals whom they allege to be white supremacists -- but at no point do they make the slightest effort to show that any of the individuals concerned were in fact white supremacists.  If they were truly white supremacists a sentence or two from each of them confirming that they were white supremacists would have given the needed confirmation.

But no such evidence is given,  We are expected to accept the assertions of CNN as all the evidence we need.

Just to illustrate how quickly they would become unglued if they tried to back up their assertions, just consider the man of the hour, the NZ gunman.  Every leftist alive would fervently assure us that he is a white supremacist despite that fact that many of his targets were a passable shade of white.  Does that upset the applecart at all?  If it doesn't, try this:  The person whom the gunman stated was the greatest influence on him was Candace Owens.  Candace is an American black.  So is the gunman a black supremacist?  In the insane world of the Left, he might as well be.

On my reading of his manifesto he is principally concerned about the large influx of foreigners into European-origin countries.  He identifies with white Europeans and sees himself as conducting a defensive operation.  He is not asserting the dominance or superiority of white Europeans but simply wants them not to fade away under immigration pressures.  He says that wherever he goes he sees invaders and that disturbs him.  So he is certainly a racist of sorts but not a white supremacist.

Is he a white nationalist?  Maybe but that depends on your definition of nationalism.  On Orwell's definition he is not, as he shows no interest in conquering other countries

So Mr Trump again gets it right.  Even the NZ gunman is arguably not a white nationalist.  He is in fact something of an internationalist.  His concern is for the survival of European civilization as a whole

During a press conference Friday, President Donald Trump was asked if he "see(s) today that white nationalism is a rising threat around the world?" in the wake of the terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, which left at least 50 dead.

"I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess," the President said. "If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case, I don't know enough about it yet. They're just learning about the person and the people involved. But it's certainly a terrible thing."

The man charged with murder in the New Zealand attack cited a list of white nationalists who inspired him in his putative manifesto posted online.

Facts First: White nationalism is certainly a rising threat in the US, with plenty of evidence to back it up.

In the past two years there have been a number of high profile incidents involving white nationalists, perhaps most notably the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. One woman was killed and 19 were injured when a speeding car slammed into a throng of counter-protesters.

Last year's shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh claimed the lives of 11 people. Federal prosecutors charged the gunman, an avowed white nationalist, with hate crimes. In February, authorities arrested a Coast Guard lieutenant, an alleged white supremacist, who was planning an attack on several television anchors and elected officials.

The data suggests these are all part of a broader rise in white nationalism across the US.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization focused on tracking extremist activity, found last year that white supremacist murders in the US "more than doubled in 2017," with far-right extremist groups and white supremacists "responsible for 59 percent of all extremist-related fatalities in the U.S. in 2017." They were responsible for 20% of these fatalities the year before.

"This attack (in New Zealand) underscores a trend that ADL has been tracking: that modern white supremacy is an international threat that knows no borders, being exported and globalized like never before," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a press release.

ADL also reported that propaganda efforts from white supremacist groups increased by 182% in the US in 2018; causing the number of incidents to jump from 421 the previous year to 1,187.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank based in Washington, DC, reports that "the number of terrorist attacks (in the US) by far-right perpetrators rose over the past decade, more than quadrupling between 2016 and 2017."

White nationalism, supremacism, and far-right extremist attacks and propaganda are on the rise. The President is incorrect in suggesting that these groups do not present a growing threat.

Domestic terrorism -- as a whole -- has seen a recent uptick in the US, with nearly 25 related arrests in the last three months of 2018, an FBI official told CNN. These cases are separate from plots relating to international terrorism investigations, like those involving al Qaeda and ISIS.

As CNN recently reported, the FBI has approximately 900 open domestic terror investigations.



A Republican revolt against Trump? Not so fast

This week, Senate Republicans served President Donald Trump the first two resolutions he's likely to veto -- one rescinding his national emergency declaration to build the border wall, (which he vetoed on Friday afternoon), the other on cutting assistance to the Saudis' war in Yemen.

The breaking of ranks naturally prompted speculation about GOP allegiance to Trump and whether it signals some sort of shift away from him by congressional Republicans.

Bucking the President on his signature issue is certainly a big deal. But a deeper examination of both the numbers and the politics indicates that the GOP remains firmly in Trump's grip.

If anything, given the constitutional rhetoric of elected Republicans, the President might have had a true revolt on his hands. Instead, he was given an effective slap on the wrist by a small fraction of Republican lawmakers.

Of the 250 Republicans in Congress (197 in the House, 53 in the Senate) only 10% broke ranks with the President on the national emergency resolution. After 13 Republicans in the House joined Democrats to pass the resolution last month, a dozen Republican senators ended up breaking ranks this week to send it to the President's desk. Even fewer Republicans -- just seven senators -- crossed Trump and voted Wednesday for the resolution directing the removal of US forces from Yemen without a war authorization from Congress.

This isn't the first time Trump has faced resistance from the upper chamber on issues like trade and foreign policy. But is it the beginnings of a GOP revolt?

"I think 12 is significant," said Doug Heye, a former spokesman for the RNC and a CNN contributor. "I don't think it's a watershed moment."

It's notable which Republicans were willing to vote against the President. Half of the Republican senators who voted for the emergency declaration -- which redirects funds intended for other uses to build the border wall -- sit on the Appropriations Committee. And 11 are not running for re-election and facing the threat of a primary challenge in 2020. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is unlikely to lose the GOP nomination, and Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has already announced he won't be seeking another term next year.

But what kept 90% of Republicans in the fold was the fact that this resolution would have been a rebuke of the President's signature domestic issue: the wall on the southern border.  "If this were a different issue, it would have been higher," Heye said. "But it's about the wall."

And crossing Trump may pose a significant risk for elected Republicans.



Trump’s pro-growth policies appear to be all the magic the manufacturing sector needed

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump consistently promised to revive America’s manufacturing economy.

Trump’s focus on manufacturing brought out high-profile critics who scoffed at the notion. President Obama notably said in June 2016 that manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back.” He said this at a time when manufacturing job growth had flatlined, falling by 31,000 from January of 2016 to when he delivered his pessimistic comments in June of that year.

While President Obama’s time in office did see job gains, even in manufacturing, it’s important to note that jobs always come back in a post-recession recovery. But comparing the nation’s most-recent economic recovery from the trough in June 2009, the pace of job growth was slower in Obama’s tenure than in any past recovery—except for the rebound from the mild eight-month recession in 2001, following the deflation of the dot-com bubble.

Much of the blame for the weak economy can be set at the feet of two failed economic policies: monetary and fiscal. From the reliance on the Federal Reserve’s easy money—$4.5 trillion of “quantitative easing"—to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) started under President Bush to Obama’s Cash For Clunkers program, the post-2009 recovery was marked by government intervention at levels not seen since the Great Depression 70 years earlier.

Furthermore, with federal regulatory activity at historic highs under President Obama, investors were scared off from making long-term commitments. As a result, much of the Federal Reserve’s easy money sat safely on the sidelines.

As the shock was settling in less than three weeks after Trump’s election, Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist and economist, said of President-elect Trump’s manufacturing jobs promises, “Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.”

Yet last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its February jobs report. Comparing the Trump administration’s first 26 months of employment data with the last 26 months under Obama is insightful.

Both periods are considered by most economists to be in the mature stage of the business cycle. In Obama’s case, slow economic growth, especially regarding sluggish manufacturing employment, was considered the “new normal.” The national economy grew by 1.6% in 2016, Obama’s last year.

From October 2014 to December 2016, private sector employment grew by 4.2% as the unemployment rate dipped to 4.7%. In the past 26 months, private employers have grown their payrolls by 4.0% as the job market has tightened considerably, with official unemployment dropping to 3.8%.

While overall employment numbers are comparable, the difference in manufacturing is profound. In the last 26 months of Obama’s presidency, manufacturing employment grew by 96,000 or 0.8%. In Trump’s first 26 months, manufacturers added 479,000 jobs, or 3.9%, 399% more jobs than Obama’s record.

Is it any wonder that President Obama derided then-candidate Trump for needing a “magic wand” to deliver on his manufacturing jobs promise?

On the other hand, federal, state and local government jobs, many of them creators of job-stifling red tape, grew by 1.7% in Obama’s last 26 months compared to 0.8% under Trump.

In fact, over the past 26 months, there were 168% more jobs in manufacturing created than in government, while during Obama’s last 26 months, there were 303% more government jobs created than in manufacturing. This was not sustainable. Government jobs don’t pay for themselves.

And here’s where President Trump’s pro-growth policies come into play.

The current stretch in increased manufacturing employment started in November, 2016—the month of Trump’s election. Employers, especially those faced with making long-term investments in physical plants and equipment, anticipated regulatory relief under Trump.

They got the relief they hoped for.

By October 2018, the Trump Administration cut 2.7 major regulations for every one added, greatly reducing regulatory cost and risk.

In addition, the tax cuts signed into law in December 2017 not only reduced corporate tax rates, encouraging investment, they also incentivized U.S.-based multinational corporations to bring home profits held overseas.

In the first nine months of 2019, these firms repatriated $571.3 billion—money needed for job-creating investment at home, but had been held in foreign countries because America had the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.

Trump’s pro-growth policies appear to be all the magic the manufacturing sector needed .



CA Gov Touts “Safe” Border While Standing In Front Of GIANT Barrier

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newson claimed late last week that there’s “no national emergency” at America’s southern border. The only problem is that he made the bizarre comment while standing behind a wall.

Last week, Newsom visited San Ysidro, California, and declared that there’s no “national emergency” at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“So we’re right here on the Mexican border, you can see the Mexican sign,” Newsom said. “We are at arguably the busiest border crossing in the United States. We are trying to highlight a different story as it relates here,” he added.

Newsom said he was trying to “highlight the economic vibrancy that is demonstrable here at the border.”

For starters, the area Newsom visited not only has one border wall, but a second one is currently being built and other physical barriers are being replaced and/or upgraded.

Secondly, the Trump administration has deployed thousands of U.S. troops to the southern border to help install additional hardening infrastructure at the port of entry — where Newsom was standing near in his video clip.

This also includes razor wire wrapped around border barriers to prevent illegal aliens from climbing the wall and jumping over into the U.S.

The area is economically vibrant and completely safe because it is now one of the safest areas on the border thanks to walls.

Without a whiff of self-awareness, Newsom stood behind a massive wall and other safety barriers — many of which have been installed and/or upgraded by the Trump administration — to claim there’s “no national emergency.” That’s almost like standing in front of a police station and declaring that there’s no crime or danger.

Trump declared a national emergency last month in order to secure billions of dollars from other agencies to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump has made it clear that his administration will keep the nation secure and safe, and maybe Democrats like Newsom should get on board and help the president.



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, March 17, 2019

The New Zealand Massacre

Almost as bad as the massacre itself are the false media claims about it.  It is invariably said that the gunman was "right wing" or "far right". What in conservative thought justifies the killing of the innocents?  There is nothing. 

What we do know is that the gunman isued a manifesto that is decribed as full of Nazi ideas.  But Nazism was a socialist sect.  Conservatives -- such as Churchill -- opposed Nazism. It is nothing more than a survival of Soviet disinformation that says Nazism is rightist.  Hitler was to the right of Communism but to the left of just about everyone else.  Ever since the French revolution it is the Left who have been the mass murderers --Robespierre, Trotsky, Stalin, Hitler, Mao -- not conservatives  -- and that was again true in Christchurch.

One thing that was Leftist about the gunman even by modern standards was his identifying himself as a representative of a group -- Western whites.  He saw the Jihadi attacks on Western whites as attacks on a group that he identified with and that he wished to save. The Jihadi attacks were attacks on his people. And identity politics are a major obsession of Leftists at the moment.  They try to divide everyone into groups -- blacks, whites, homosexuals, transsexuals women etc.  And they then treat people according to their group identity.  Conservatives, by contrast, treat people primarily as individuals.

And the gunman did make it abundantly clear that his actions were  provoked by Muslim hostility towards Western whites as evidenced in the innumerable attacks on Westerners by Jihadis.  He did not act at random. He was provoked.  So those who provoked him bear at least some of the blame for what he did.  Muslims should be deeply thankful that the Jihadis who arise from among their ranks so seldom provoke a violent reaction. 

It may be however that the Christchurch massacre is the harbinger of things to come.  It may not be the last time that someone horrified by Jihadi violence decides to strike back.  If Muslims want to avoid that they should urge their Mullahs to stop preaching Jihad.  Jihadis mostly seem to strike at random so Muslims too could be struck at random.  It would be a great pity if bloody attacks on Muslims were the only thing capable of persuading Muslims to desist from attacking others.


The evils of group identity

I have alluded above to the identity obsession of the Christchurch gunman.  BRENDAN O'NEILL writes on similar lines in an email introduction to the latest edition of "Spiked", which he edits:

The barbaric racist massacre in New Zealand has shocked the world. It has also shone a light on one of the most worrying things in contemporary society: the rise and rise of communal and cultural tensions. Whether it’s the hundreds of Europeans slaughtered by Islamist terrorists in recent years or the murder of Jews by a white extremist in the US or this killing of 49 Muslims by a self-styled defender of the white race, identity-based conflict is intensifying.

It is ridiculous to blame this on President Trump’s Twitterfeed, or the right-wing media, or the tiny white-supremacist movement, as some people are doing in relation to the NZ massacre. Instead we have to dig down into the scourge of identity politics, which increasingly seems to be the only political game in town, and the way it has rehabilitated racial thinking, cultural division, and competitive grievance. Spiked’s rallying cry for the whole 18 years of its existence feels as urgent as ever: we need a humanist politics, a politics of common values, a politics of democratic engagement over communal separatism, not this relentless race into the cesspit of identitarian warring.


McConnell Considers the Next Nuclear Option

Democrats are obstructing judicial nominations by abusing 30 hours of debate. Not for much longer.

For all their talk about bipartisanship and making government work, Democrats have put up one obstacle after another to prevent Republicans from filling important federal court vacancies. And they’re doing it because of (you guessed it) politics. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), for example, refused to work together with Republicans after the midterm elections to fill vacancies. Yet another problem is that any senator can hold up the process and force the Senate to engage in a lengthy debate on each nominee.

But isn’t this just politics as usual — or is there a uniquely concerted effort to block Trump’s court picks?

Just last year, The Heritage Foundation published a report called The Left’s Obstruction of Qualified Trump Nominees is Yet Another Front in the War Against the President. One of the highlights is the stunning figure that in a little more than one year since Trump’s election, the Republican Senate was forced to take 106 cloture votes on executive and judicial nominations. These votes require a 60-vote majority to end debate on a nominee.

Compare this to the past 12 administrations combined during which only 20 of these votes occurred, according to Thomas Kipping of Heritage.

But now, finally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and some of his GOP colleagues have had enough. Their plan is to expand the so-called “nuclear option” so as to greatly reduce the amount of time spent on debating nominees. All they have to do is change the Senate’s rules, which can be accomplished with a simple party-line vote.

Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine write at Politico that the plan would “shave debate time from 30 hours to just two hours for those judges and lower-level executive branch nominees.” They add, “Trump currently has 128 District Court vacancies to fill, and each one can take multiple days under current rules if any senator demands a delay; if Republicans change the rules, Trump could conceivably fill most of those over the next 20 months.”

But the Leftmedia know that the American public has a short memory, and they’re already blaming Republicans for threatening to change the historic traditions of the Senate. Of course, the Democrats had no problem tossing tradition aside when Nevada Senator Harry Reid was the majority leader back in 2013.

As Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey writes, “Reid buried the filibuster on all presidential appointments short of the Supreme Court on a rule change passed by simple majority vote, the first time that had ever been done after the start of a session of Congress. Reid and his fellow Democrats ignored the clear historical precedents to claim that they could accomplish this without consulting Republicans.” And Democrats did it after years of sanctimoniously professing their reverence for the filibuster.

There’s always a backstory in politics, and it usually reveals Democrats having already done exactly what they’re criticizing Republicans for thinking about doing. In fact, Sen. McConnell warned Reid and his fellow Democrats about deploying this “nuclear option” back in 2013: “I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you’ll regret this,” he told them. “And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”

If McConnell is going to make that threat a reality, now’s the time. Democrats are demanding the return of “blue slips” in exchange for working with Republicans to fill vacant seats in the judiciary. Once again, it was the Democrats who in 2013 broke with a longstanding Senate tradition of requiring both senators from a judicial nominee’s state to return blue slips indicating a favorable or unfavorable opinion. At the time, Democrats eliminated the slips for lower court nominees and then Republicans did the same last year for Supreme Court nominees. Even The New York Times opposes the practice of blue slips, which can hold up the process if senators refuse to return them.

For those worried about reducing time for debating the worthiness of potential judges, we have to wonder whether 30 hours of partisan squabbling is really needed to confirm these appointments. After all, the nominees are fully vetted after clearing the Judiciary Committee. At that point, senators already know how they’re going to vote and are actually more interested in making bold, dramatic speeches that end up on the evening news instead of engaging in philosophical debates with their colleagues.

Democrats always claim that elections have consequences, but they only honor their words when one of their own sits in the White House. Now that Republicans control the executive branch and the Senate, they need to play hardball. They need to fill those seats now to ensure a properly functioning and more constitutionally conservative judiciary.



‘Self-Sufficiency, Not a Sinkhole’: JOBS Act Updates Work Requirements for Welfare Recipients

Republicans in the House and Senate are making another legislative push to enforce work requirements for able-bodied adults on welfare.

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday announced the Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services Act.

The JOBS Act comes as the Trump administration makes a renewed push for work requirements for welfare recipients in its fiscal year 2020 budget proposal.

The successful 1996 welfare reform law is now broken, Daines said, asserting that states that find loopholes to avoid imposing work requirements undermine the aim of that law.

The 1996 law created the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, to tie work and job-training requirements to welfare payments.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is the largest welfare program in the country, and the Daines proposal would reauthorize and modernize it.

“Our welfare programs should be a springboard to work and self-sufficiency, not a sinkhole into government dependency,” Daines said in a statement. “My bill supports struggling low-income families and equips them with the skills and resources they need to find and keep a job—something that gives them hope, dignity, and a better future.”

Some Democrats and other critics have argued that work requirements can be onerous since welfare recipients are often more vulnerable populations.

In recent years, many states have begun to ignore the work requirements. The new legislation requires each state’s caseworkers to engage with job-seekers to help Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients find jobs and keep them.

The legislation also addresses matters such as mental health issues, as well as drug and alcohol addiction. It also seeks to close the “jobs gap” by connecting employers with potential workers.

The legislation could help lift more Americans out of poverty, said Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James.

“We know the history of government assistance programs. Rather than lift people out of poverty, they have created generational poverty and left millions of Americans perpetually dependent on government,” James said in a statement. “There are few things more debilitating than not being able to provide for oneself and one’s family.

“Assistance programs must help—not harm—the people they are intended to serve,” James said. “It’s time to ensure that people not only get the temporary assistance they need to get through the tough times, but that they also get help with the more permanent solution of finding meaningful work.”

The House version of the legislation is called the Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services (JOBS) for Success Act.

According to House Republicans, less than half the total program dollars sent to states go toward supporting work requirements and job training. Instead, many states use the federal funds for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to plug state budget gaps.

The bill would also limit the use of funds dedicated for welfare recipients to those with a monthly income below 200 percent of the poverty level and require states to spend a minimum level of funding on transportation and other work-support services to help more Americans prepare for jobs and keep them.

The federal government would also track states for how many in the caseload find work under the legislation.

The bill also renames Temporary Assistance to Needy Families as Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services.

“Following the GOP tax cuts, our economy continues to soar, with wages rising at their fastest pace in a decade and near 50-year-low unemployment,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee and a co-sponsor of the House version.

“There are a record 7.3 million job openings, and millions of folks on the sidelines who we need—and want—to take part in this expanding economy,” Brady said in a statement. “This proposal builds on that by reforming our nation’s cash-for-work welfare program, refocusing this important program on the outcome of parents getting and keeping a job.”

A 2017 poll found 92 percent of Americans favor work requirements for welfare recipients.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children after the 1996 law. Caseloads, poverty rates, and welfare spending decreased in the near term.

However, by 2000, the trend began to reverse, according to a report released last year by Robert Rector and Vijay Menon of The Heritage Foundation. State welfare bureaucracies lapsed back into check-writing agencies, they wrote, and more than half of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients in the average state is not engaged in any work or job-training program.

President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, released on Monday, would implement a requirement of at least 20 hours a week for work or job training for certain welfare benefits, such as food stamps and assistance with the cost of rents.

A job is the best solution to poverty, said Tim Chapman, executive director of Heritage Action for America, the lobbying arm of The Heritage Foundation.

“Americans in need deserve our best efforts in assisting them,” he said in a statement. “One of the best ways to ensure people receive the help they need is to aid them in finding a job.

“That’s what the JOBS for Success Act accomplishes. It helps provide a permanent solution for Americans struggling to make ends meet. The solution is a job,” Chapman said.



Peter Navarro: President Trump's trade policies make great strides

The U.S. trade deficit for goods hit a record high in 2018, but critics wrongly blame this on a failure of President Donald Trump’s trade policies.

Gross domestic product  growth of 3 percent in 2018, coupled with a rapid rise in real wages and the  lowest unemployment in 50 years, boosted import demand even as slower growth in markets like Europe suppressed U.S. exports. The robust Trump economy is one of the deficit’s biggest drivers.

Meanwhile, Trump trade policies have raised billions of dollars in revenue, encouraged the onshoring of new factories, helped create nearly half a million new manufacturing jobs, and induced a strong revival of our steel and aluminum industries.

The president’s tough trade agenda has also helped bring recalcitrant trading partners to the negotiating table. The newly negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will dramatically boost investment in the U.S. manufacturing sector and likely shrink our deficit with Mexico — which is why Congress must quickly approve it.

The Trump trade team is likewise negotiating dramatic structural changes to China’s mercantilist economy. Proposed reforms include an immediate end to China’s cyber intrusions into our business networks, intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, unfair currency practices and excessive subsidies for state-owned enterprises.

Even as President Trump has made these great strides, World Trade Organization rules have hampered additional progress by continuing to allow other countries to charge much higher tariff rates than does the United States. This is simply unfair — and why President Trump urged Congress in his 2019 State of the Union to pass the U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act.

President Trump remains fiercely committed to reducing America’s trade deficit, and he will attack the problem on all fronts, including eliminating unfair and nonreciprocal trade practices.



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)