Friday, November 15, 2019

The Donks don't like their own candidates much either

From the Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON — In less than three months, Democrats begin voting for their presidential nominee in Iowa, and the sound you hear is panic — among some donors and party elites, at least, who are privately pushing for a savior to enter the race.

Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and billionaire Michael Bloomberg are weighing jumping in at this late stage, hoping they can top a Democratic field that has been led by former vice president Joe Biden. A top adviser to Bloomberg said the former New York City mayor is “increasingly concerned” no one in the current field can beat President Trump, while Patrick has also commented that Biden’s support looks shaky.

And on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton told the BBC that “many, many, many people” are placing “enormous pressure” on her to enter the race. Although she said that “as of this moment” a run “is absolutely not in my plans,” Clinton didn’t rule out the possibility.

The last minute will-he-or-won’t-he dance reflects a larger unease among some in the party over the four candidates at the top of the field — Biden, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg — and the reality that any last-minute contender needs to decide by Friday to get on the ballot in New Hampshire.

Privately, donors and party insiders wring their hands about the field’s chances of beating Trump.

“I’ve had senior people say, ‘I just don’t know what we’re going to do,’ ” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “People say Biden’s too old and washed up, Warren’s too far to the left, Buttigieg will end up losing swing states because he’s inexperienced. . . . They’ll go through the list of all the candidates and say, ‘Clearly they can’t win.’ ”

Democrats who have weathered their party’s ritual preelection freak-outs for decades are warning their peers that the five-alarm response is not necessary.

Former Vermont governor Howard Dean, who ran for president in 2004, said that while some are worried about whether “Joe could pull it off,” given questions about his stamina and lackluster fund-raising, it’s too late for an outsider to jump in and provide an alternative.

“We’re still a little bit in the early speculation stage,” he said, regarding Biden’s chances. “What we’re not in, though, is the let’s-join-the-race-now stage.”

Biden supporter Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania, said he tries to calm panicked Democrats by pointing out that in averages of head-to-head national polls, the top candidates in the running beat Trump.

“Is it the strongest field in the world? No, there isn’t a Barack Obama or a JFK in the race,” Rendell said. “But is it a good field? I believe it is, and every one of them is beating Trump head to head.”

But the 2020 race, which has attracted a historic number of Democratic candidates, marks the first time since 2004 that Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is not on the ballot, scrambling expectations among party insiders and leaving many without a compass.

“Why is anybody surprised this is messy?” said Vince Frillici, who was national finance director for former Connecticut senator Chris Dodd when he ran for the nomination in 2008.

The political environment is uniquely unsettled. In 2016, Trump upended all the leading predictions to win the election, while a populist Sanders detonated them as well with his strong showing against Clinton in the primary. That changed political landscape, if anything, makes it harder for pundits and party insiders to guess which candidate has the best chance of beating Trump. And many top Democrats feel that defeating Trump is an existential necessity for the nation, making the stakes feel even higher than usual.

Taken together, it’s a recipe for panic. “It makes Democrats, who are rather nervous by nature, shake visibly this year,” Sabato said.

But polling data suggests that rank-and-file Democratic voters are not longing for new contenders to examine in this historically large (to the point of overwhelming) field of 16 remaining candidates.

A recent Monmouth University poll found that 74 percent of Democratic primary voters are satisfied with the slate of candidates, compared to just 16 percent who said they want different choices. Several candidates — including Sanders and Warren — have also attracted crowds of thousands of fans, and racked up hundreds of thousands of grass-roots donors, suggesting enthusiasm for their bids.

That has some allies of Warren and Sanders wondering if the desire for a “white knight” is less about concern that the two progressives can’t win if Biden stalls out and more about fears that they can. Both candidates have proposed much higher taxes on wealthy people — including the rich donors that Democrats have cultivated for the past three decades — to fund larger domestic programs.

“They’re pushing new candidates to get in because they feel that they don’t want to part with any part of their fortunes,” said California Representative Ro Khanna, a cochair of Sanders’ campaign.

Adam Green, whose liberal political action committee backs Warren, said “corporate elites” would rather have a “a placeholder like Joe Biden than someone who will actually address inequality like Elizabeth Warren.”

“If Joe Biden can’t get the job done,” Green said, “then they’re looking for some others who might get in.”

But if Patrick and Bloomberg are banking on Biden floundering during the first few primary contests, allowing them to swoop in and take the reins, Biden’s allies suggest they may be wasting their time.

“I think he’s relying on the conventional wisdom that Biden might fade, but I don’t think he is going to,” Rendell said of Bloomberg. He pointed out that Biden has remained at the top of the national polls since he got in the race more than six months ago, even as other candidates have surpassed him in some early states.

“If Ronald Reagan got elected twice, Joe Biden has more than enough stamina to be a successful candidate,” he added of the 76-year-old former vice president.

Historically, donors and pundits have not had an impressive track record picking the “safest” candidate in a general election, others note. Bill Clinton was widely viewed as a loser early in the 1992 race, and Obama at first was seen as too risky to back in the ’08 primary.

“Hillary Clinton, I think she would have been a great president, but she was unquestionably the preferred choice among the donor set and Manhattan donor types and we know how that turned out,” said Brian Fallon, a former top aide to Clinton.

“I don’t think these people that are intrigued by a Bloomberg candidacy or maybe trying to cheer on Deval Patrick are necessarily good at picking people when it comes to how the general elections end up,” he added.



Illegal immigration down 63.5 percent from peak in May after U.S.-Mexico deal, proof that Trump’s tariff threat worked

Apprehensions on the southern border fell for the fourth consecutive month to 52,546 in September from a peak of 144,116 in May, a 63.5 percent drop, reflecting a major slowdown in migration according to the latest data from Customs and Border Patrol — and it all proves that President Donald’s tariffs are working.

The progress comes after the June 7 deal between President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that avoided Trump’s threatened tariffs on May 30 that would have been 5 percent starting on June 10, 10 percent on July 1 and then up to 25 percent by October.

At the time, Trump wrote on Twitter, “On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied… at which time the Tariffs will be removed. Details from the White House to follow.”

Then the deal was cut days later, which included a Mexican military deployment to interdict the oncoming migrant caravan from Central America, as well as provision for asylum seekers to wait out pending hearings in Mexico without being allowed to cross into the U.S.

According to the text of the joint agreement, “Mexico will take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border. Mexico is also taking decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks.”

In addition, the U.S. has expanded the Migrant Protection Protocols, per the agreement, “those crossing the U.S. Southern Border to seek asylum will be rapidly returned to Mexico where they may await the adjudication of their asylum claims… [And,] Mexico will authorize the entrance of all of those individuals for humanitarian reasons, in compliance with its international obligations, while they await the adjudication of their asylum claims.”

If the agreement in itself immediately proved that Trump could negotiate such an agreement, and that Mexico was willing to participate given the proper inducements, it is the substantial downturn in migration now that shows that it might be sticking.

Critics at the time said it couldn’t be done.

At the time, the Wall Street Journal editorial board on May 31 had predicted, “The first problem here is that Mr. Trump is blaming Mexico for a mess it can’t solve… Perhaps it could better control its border with Guatemala, but the caravans north are often led by gangs that know how to bribe or avoid police.”

The Council on Foreign Relations on June 5 stated, “President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico can’t staunch the flow of people from his neighbors to the south.”

But that was wrong. Way, way wrong. Apparently Mexico could do a lot more than it was letting on, including by deploying its military and enforcing agreements to protect asylum seekers.

And all it took was a little pressure from Trump, who had already shown that he was willing to wield tariffs against the much larger Chinese economy. They took him to heart, and now the number of migrants is plummeting.

Without the tariffs, nobody would have been talking. And without President Trump, nobody would have even tried.




THE HOT SEAT: House Republicans will call Hunter Biden to testify publicly as their top impeachment witness (National Review)

TAKING MATTERS INTO ITS OWN HANDS? Report: Ukraine's military aid was finally released by the State Department, days before Trump claims he released it (Hot Air)

NOT SO KEEN ON SOCIALISM: Elizabeth Warren plays to nearly empty hall (The Daily Wire)

JETTISONING THE SWAMP: Rep. Peter King is one of several Republicans — four senators and 17 other House members — who have announced plans to not seek reelection (Fox News)

PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE: "It wasn't me": Alleged ABC whistleblower denies leaking video (The Daily Caller)

DEMOCRAT LACKEYS: Facebook and YouTube block spread of supposed whistleblower's name and photo — even though Adam Schiff's committee published the man's name last week (The Washington Post)

SYRIA CONTINGENCY: U.S. will leave up to 600 troops in northeastern Syria to prevent ISIS resurgence, top general says (The Washington Post)

TONE DEAF: Giant, climate-killing mural of Greta Thunberg now graces environmentally hazardous downtown San Francisco (The Daily Wire)

"WE WILL SPARE NO EFFORT": Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire (Associated Press)

POLICY: The Berlin Wall is gone, but its lessons remain (National Review)

POLICY: Why Democrats are wrong about income inequality in the United States (The Federalist)

THIRD TIME'S A CHARM? Hillary Clinton continues to fuel speculation that she will run in 2020 — or perhaps it's the many, many, many voices in her head urging it (The Daily Wire)

DEATH BY DEFICIT: Study: Elizabeth Warren plan would hike deficit $15 trillion, create "soaring demand" for healthcare (The Washington Free Beacon)

WARRANT REQUIRED: U.S. court rules against warrantless searches of phones, laptops of international travelers (NBC News)

FOR THE RECORD: Man who slashed "Baby Trump" balloon: "First time" leftists are "mad about chopping up a baby" (The Daily Wire)

POLICY: Three major reforms NATO needs to keep from collapsing (The Federalist)

POLICY: Smart government focuses on essentials: reviving family and business formation (Issues & Insights)


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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Justices Should Reject Criminal Alien’s Appeal of Deportation Order

Hans von Spakovsky

If the Supreme Court rules against the government, it could keep thousands of dangerous aliens who have committed serious crimes, such as aggravated assault and using a weapon to commit a felony, in the U.S.

The Supreme Court on Nov. 4 heard oral arguments in an immigration case that could have a dramatic impact on how many criminal aliens plaguing our communities finally get deported.

The case, Barton v. Barr, is complicated, in large part because the statutes involved are vague and subject to various interpretations.

That prompted Justice Stephen Breyer to comment during oral arguments that “it wasn’t a genius who drafted this.” But the decision that will be made by the court in interpreting these immigration laws will affect the lives and safety of Americans.

Under federal immigration law, a permanent resident alien who is here legally is “removable” if he is “inadmissible.”  That is to say, he should never have been admitted in the first place because he met one of the factors listed in the statute (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)), such as posing “a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the alien or others.”

A permanent resident alien is also removable if he is “deportable” under another statute (8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)), which lists a series of disqualifying offenses, including violations of any “law of the United States.”

The attorney general has the discretion to cancel the removal of such an alien, but to be eligible for such cancellation, the alien has to show not only that he is statutorily eligible for such relief from the attorney general, but that he also deserves such favorable treatment.

The statutory requirement is that the alien has been “lawfully admitted for permanent residence for not less than 5 years”; has “resided” in the country “continuously for 7 years after having been admitted”; and that he has not been “convicted of any aggravated felony.”

What is at issue in the Barton case is the “stop-time rule.”  The stop-time rule outlined in 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1) says that an alien’s “period of continuous residence” in the U.S. is “deemed to end” if the alien has committed any offense that makes him “inadmissible” or “removable.”

In other words, an alien has to be crime-free under the law during the seven-year period of continuous residence. That’s not asking very much of a would-be citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Andre Martello Barton is a Jamaican who was admitted to the U.S. on a tourist visa in May 1989. In 1992, he was granted permanent resident alien status.  Four years later, in 1996, he was convicted in state court on three counts of aggravated assault, as well as first-degree criminal damage to property and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.  This was followed up by more convictions in 2007 and 2008 for drug offenses.

In 2016, the Department of Homeland Security finally sought to remove Barton, and an immigration judge agreed that he could be removed because of his drug and weapon convictions.

When Barton applied for cancellation of his removal, the DHS argued he wasn’t statutorily eligible because he didn’t meet the seven-year continuous residence requirement due to his convictions for aggravated assault in 1996.

The DHS said the “stop-time” rule meant that his period of continuous residence ended in 1996, when he committed the aggravated assaults and firearms offenses.

Barton appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In what amounts to a highly technical argument about the wording in the applicable immigration statutes, Barton claimed that since he was not currently seeking admission to the U.S., he couldn’t be “rendered” inadmissible through the stop-time rule.

Barton also argues that the 1996 convictions did not trigger the stop-time rule because it is not referenced in Section 1182(a)(2) of the statute, and that he was convicted in July 1996, after the seven-year anniversary of his initial admission as a tourist.

The Court of Appeals rejected Barton’s arguments, and he appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court should rule against Barton, too. As the 11th Circuit said, the stop-time rule’s “plain language forecloses” the interpretation that Barton and his lawyers are trying to push.

Further, if the Supreme Court rules against the government, it could keep thousands of dangerous aliens who have committed serious crimes, such as aggravated assault and using a weapon to commit a felony, in the U.S. 

Congress obviously wanted criminal aliens like Barton, who endanger our communities, removed from the country. Although the statutes in play here may not have been written by “a genius” (or even a decent legal writer), their intent is clear.

A ruling for Barton would not just violate the text of federal immigration law, but the congressional intent behind those particular statutes.



Don Jr. Tells Jeanine Pirro: The Establishment Hates Trump Because He Proves They're Useless

Appearing on Judge Jeanine Pirro's show on Fox News, Donald J. Trump Jr. explained why the establishment left (and a large part of the establishment right!) hates his father, President Donald J. Trump, so much. In short: the president, who came in as an outsider, is doing such an amazing job that the establishment just can't tolerate him. He must be removed, if for no other reason than because he clearly proves that professional politicians are extremely overrated... and perhaps even detrimental to America's economy.

"Listen, I think he is tackling the establishment. The establishment in this country has gotten into high levels of power. There has been no accountability, frankly, on either side for far too long. And that's why you see... that's why you see the nonsense with Hunter Biden, that's why you see the stuff going on now where Adam Schiff can be judge, jury, executioner. And Donald Trump, because he is an outsider has yet to have any of the same rights that any citizen in the United States would have right now. He's an affront to what they've built up."

The ruling class, Don Jr. went on to say, has taken care of itself "for far too long. Trump came in and said, 'I'm going to blow all that up.' He did it." And not only did he do just that, he "has done it with accomplishment, he has done it with record unemployment numbers, he has done it with incredible record start-up numbers for new businesses... He has done everything that incompetent politicians have not been able to do in decades. And he has done it in a record amount of time."

"That is the scariest thing in the world for that ruling class because they're starting to realize, and the American People are starting to realize, that they serve no actual purpose for the American People."

Don Jr. is 100 percent correct. Not only is the establishment useless -- which is something the establishment itself must have known for years -- but President Trump's achievements prove it for all to see. This is a major problem for the establishment. If they are no longer considered necessary, how are they going to hang on to power? Sure, they're rich and powerful, but if the American people stand up and decide to get rid of them, they're done for.

And that makes it even more necessary for Trump to win reelection next year.



Judge Rules Against Merit-Based Immigration

Should immigrants be able to provide for themselves? Not if Democrats succeed.

Remember ObamaCare? Remember the act that was passed on Christmas Eve without a single Republican vote? Remember when Nancy Pelosi famously asserted Democrats had to pass it so Americans “find out what’s in it?” Remember what Americans “found” is that despite the former president’s promises that one could keep one’s health insurance if one liked it — more accurately known as the 2013 Lie of the Year — one would be required to purchase health insurance, or face a fairly substantial fine for failing to do so?

How times have changed, courtesy of U.S. District Judge Michael Simon, an Obama appointee. On Nov. 2 in Portland, Oregon, Simon issued a temporary restraining order blocking a Trump administration initiative that requires immigrants to prove they will have health insurance or can pay for medical care before they can get visas aimed at giving them permanent legal status. “Facing a likely risk of being separated from their family members and a delay in obtaining a visa to which family members would otherwise be entitled is irreparable harm,” Simon wrote.

Irreparable harm for whom? Trump invoked executive authority last month with regard to those requirements, as part of the administration’s efforts to transition to a merit-based immigrant system—as in one that would not further harm Americans. “The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants who come lawfully in search of brighter futures. We must continue that tradition while also addressing the challenges facing our healthcare system, including protecting both it and the American taxpayer from the burdens of uncompensated care,” Trump stated in the proclamation. “Continuing to allow entry into the United States of certain immigrants who lack health insurance or the demonstrated ability to pay for their healthcare would be detrimental to these interests.”

In other words, those seeking permanent residency shouldn’t have immediate access to America’s welfare state. In a nation burdened by $23 trillion of national debt — driven in large part by welfare state mandates — such a requirement would seem to be a no-brainer. The administration made that clear when it noted that subsidized healthcare plans still available on ObamaCare exchanges would not qualify as insurance.

A study by the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute (MPI) reveals why: Only 57% of U.S. immigrants had private health insurance in 2017, and America still welcomes 1.1 million legal immigrants to our nation on an annual basis.

It should be further explained that this order was not issued ex post facto. It would have applied to immigrants living abroad, not those already here. Moreover, refugees, asylum-seekers, and children would have remained unaffected.

None of it mattered to Judge Simon. The temporary restraining order blocks the policy’s implementation for 28 days, and another hearing on the matter is scheduled for Nov. 22.

Unsurprisingly, the move was celebrated by those who apparently believe self-sufficiency should not be an integral part of immigration reform. “Countless thousands across the country can breathe a sigh of relief today because the court recognized the urgent and irreparable harm that would have been inflicted” (without the hold), Jesse Bless, director of federal litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said in a statement.

Justice Action Center senior attorney Esther Sung, who litigated the case brought by seven U.S. citizens and a nonprofit organization, echoed those sentiments. “We’re very grateful that the court recognized the need to block the health care ban immediately,” she stated. “The ban would separate families and cut two-thirds of green-card-based immigration starting tonight, were the ban not stopped.”

That two-out-of-three immigrants seeking green cards can’t afford their own health insurance is a testament to the agenda of those who believe America should abiding the standards of immigrants, instead of immigrants abiding the standards of America.

Unsurprisingly, Simon is only the latest Obama-appointed federal jurist on a self-aggrandizing mission to undermine this administration’s effort to end the nation’s immigration crisis. On a single day last September 27, three Obama-appointed judges also did their best to thwart the administration’s efforts. In California, Judge Dolly Gee of the Federal District Court in Los Angeles issued a preliminary ruling banning the administration’s attempt to detain migrant families for longer than 20 days; U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birrote Jr. issued a permanent injunction blocking Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from relying solely on the databases when issuing detainers; and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a nationwide preliminary injunction barring the administration from using a fast-track deportation process aimed at illegals who illegally entered the nation in the last two years.

And last Tuesday, Judge John Kronstadt of the United States District Court in Los Angeles — yet another Obama appointee — ruled that America must provide mental-health services to families “traumatized” by being separated at the border. “This is truly groundbreaking,” said dean of the University of California Berkeley School of Law, Erwin Chemerinsky.

It’s also quite telling. Kronstadt was appointed in 2011 — meaning he sat mute when the Obama administration was separating families at the border.

Thus, some separations are more equal — and much more political — than others. Especially when the media make a big deal out of them on one hand and, on the other, either completely ignore the issue, insist the Obama administration was more “virtuous” because they didn’t do it as often — or simply lie about who was housing children in cages.

All of these judicial rulings are part of the Left’s coordinated effort to maintain a globalist status quo aimed at reducing the nation-state to irrelevancy. Meanwhile, keep in mind last week’s cartel-driven massacre of a Mormon family, including eight-month-old twins — along with the arrest of a suspect in possession of two bound hostages, four semiautomatic rifles, ammunition and a bullet-proofed SUV. That followed closely on the heels of a Mexican military defeat at the hands of a drug cartel, as well as last Wednesday’s brazen daylight assassination of a cop involved in that operation. Americans must deal with drug overdoses that now kill more Americans per year than car accidents, over-taxed school systems and healthcare facilities, wholly unnecessary crimes, and the ongoing bipartisan attempts by our elites to expand the foreign-born workforce at the expense of American workers.

Above all, Americans must abide the reality that Democrats are working hard to make sure the definition of merit-based immigration is bastardized to the point of absurdity. And in a testament to that effort, Elizabeth Warren says she’s “open to suspending deportations.” And Bernie Sanders promises that his immigration “reform” plan will included the admittance of “at least 50,000” immigrants “displaced by climate change.” And that’s just the start. Sanders’s campaign website states, “By 2050, an estimated 200 million people will be displaced by climate change. Bernie will lead the international community in combating this crisis and America will do its part to welcome those who are forced from their homes by climate change.”

No doubt Democrats will demand that everyone of them will be eligible for subsidized healthcare — and that they’ll find a judge to abet their ambitions.

“Fundamental transformation” demands nothing less.



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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Three Cheers for Refugee Reduction

Michelle Malkin
Over the weekend, President Donald Trump approved a new annual refugee cap of 18,000, the lowest since the U.S. program began in 1980. The reduction follows news that America took a pause last month and refused to admit any new refugees. On economic, public safety and national security grounds, this is a very good thing for the 325 million people already in our country. But you wouldn’t know it from the grim headlines and hysterical condemnations by globalist zealots and media sympathizers.

CNN International led the open borders funeral procession last week, with a report decrying, “No refugees will be resettled in the US in October, leaving hundreds in limbo around the world.” U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., hyperventilated that “Donald Trump is trying to destroy the very heart of this nation. I won’t let him.” Social justice group CARE bemoaned this “dark moment in our nation’s history.” Human Rights First complained that Trump’s proposal is “crippling the United States’ status as a global leader in refugee resettlement.”

Heaven forbid citizens in a sovereign nation have an effective say in who comes here, from where and how many. Is one refugee-less month in America such a catastrophe? Calm down, Chicken Littles. Get some perspective.

It is most certainly true that America has a legacy of embracing people from around the world fleeing persecution and war. After World War II, the U.S. helped lead efforts to assist 650,000 displaced Europeans who had fled in fear, were expelled and were victims of Nazi crimes and terror. Congress passed the 1948 Displaced Persons Act to accommodate them. Five years later, the Refugee Relief Act of 1953 aided refugees from Italy and East Germany escaping Communist regimes, adding another 250,000 refugees over four years. In the 1950s and 1960s, we welcomed Hungarians, Cubans and Czechoslovakians also escaping Communist oppression. In the 1970s, we opened our doors to an estimated 300,000 political refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The Refugee Act of 1980 created the Office of Refugee Resettlement and office of U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs and raised the annual ceiling of admissions to 50,000.

Under Obama, that number soared to nearly 100,000 annually. The idea that we’ve abandoned our humanitarian leadership role because of this refugee resettlement reduction is ludicrous. Overall, since 1975, the U.S. has resettled more than 3 million refugees. Under Trump, the U.S. still accepted more refugees than any other country in both 2017 and 2018. On top of that, America forked over nearly $1.6 billion to support the U.N.‘s refugee resettlement campaign. Moreover, America remains the largest single country provider of humanitarian assistance worldwide. Total U.S. humanitarian assistance was more than $8 billion in fiscal year 2017, covering food, shelter, health care and access to clean water for millions.

That’s enough.

Past refugee admissions don’t lock America into those same levels now or in the future. America’s constitutional duty is to Americans first (“ourselves and our posterity”). The truth is that we’ve been generous to a ruinous, open borders fault. Last year, the Federation for American Immigration Reform tallied refugee resettlement costs to taxpayers at nearly $9 billion over five years.

In my adopted home state of Colorado, a new University of Colorado Boulder study acknowledged that refugees are often “trapped in chronic poverty” after resettlement subsidies dry up and are unable to lift themselves out of dependency on government aid such as public housing, Medicaid and food stamps. Federal statistics show that nearly half of all refugee households receive cash welfare. Chain migration perpetuates the cycle of poverty.

A tiny cabal of government contractors, mostly religious groups cloaking their profit-seeking in compassion and Scripture, perpetuates the refugee resettlement racket. Openly hostile to American sovereignty, these people spread their tax-subsidized syndicate’s wealth to a vast network of subcontractors, often tied to billionaire George Soros and his Open Society Foundations, which promote global governance and unfettered migration espoused by the United Nations, European Union and Vatican. These special interests have systematically blurred the lines between legitimate refugees seeking asylum from oppression and economic migrants from Central America clamoring for higher wages or better welfare benefits. They’re indifferent to the national security risks of absorbing large numbers of Muslims whose adherence to repressive sharia and religious jihad is utterly incompatible with our constitutional principles.

Mass migration champions have stretched the definition of refugee so thin that “climate change refugees” seeking relief from uninhabitable environments are now a phenomenon. Nuts. Doesn’t America have enough residents in need of shelter and support? If we let in millions of “climate change refugees,” where do Americans seek refuge when they render our climate uninhabitable?

Only a complete moratorium on immigration would give America the break it needs to regain control of our system. Trump’s refugee reduction is not an apocalypse. It’s a long overdue respite from the world’s wretched refuse that deserves cheers, not jeers.



Trump economy is really experiencing a middle-class boom -- this data doesn't lie

Steve Moore:

Heritage Foundation senior economist Steve Moore addresses the current concerns over a U.S. economic recession.

I recently wrote op-eds that ran in the Wall Street Journal and on these pages that showed median household incomes under Donald Trump have soared from $61,000 to an all-time high of $66,000 in less than three years into the Trump presidency. This is tremendous news and documents substantial middle-class prosperity in Trump’s first three years in office.

The $5,003 rise in middle-class incomes is especially impressive given that incomes only rose by $1,200 in the seven years under Obama — after the recession ended.

If the media, liberal think tanks and Democrats in Congress were truly concerned about the economic well-being of “hard-working families,” as Elizabeth Warren likes to say, they would have cheered to the rafters this amazing news of rising incomes for nearly all groups.

Instead, the left has chosen to either ignore this story altogether or to denounce these findings, which come from the gold standard of economic data, the U.S. Census Bureau.

This hostility to the good news was no doubt triggered by President Trump’s ebullient reaction. He has repeatedly tweeted out the numbers on middle class income gains and is now reciting these statistics in nearly every speech.

This same data also undermines the other riff from the Elizabeth Warren crowd, which is that the Trump economic boom is merely a continuation of the Obama trend. The income gains are four times higher under Trump in less than half the number of years in office.

The income numbers are prima facie evidence that not only the rich, but the majority of middle-income households have benefited financially from the Trump economic boom. This same data also undermines the other riff from the Elizabeth Warren crowd, which is that the Trump economic boom is merely a continuation of the Obama trend. The income gains are four times higher under Trump in less than half the number of years in office.

Sure enough, the left and the media are now engaged in a wholesale campaign to discredit the good news on family incomes. Pundits have accused Trump of using phony numbers. The Washington Post recently ran a piece entitled: "Here's How Donald Trump Inflated His Economic Record."

In one Washington Post piece, the reporter sneers of Trump's "rambling distortions" and complains: "Trump's numbers appear to have originated in a pair of columns from the Heritage Foundation's Steve Moore, who used research from a private firm called Sentier Research."

Stop right there. Yes, it is true the data comes from Sentier Research -- a private firm. But what is not ever mentioned in the article is that the data come from the Census Bureau’s "Current Population Survey," which is the gold standard of economic data.

The two Sentier statisticians who analyzed the Census data are probably the most knowledgeable people in the country on this income data. Gordon Green was the chief of the income bureau at Census for more than a decade, and his colleagues at Sentier helped build the economic model Census uses to this day.

They have worked at the income division of the Census Bureau for a combined 40 years. They are scrupulously nonpartisan, and no one has ever challenged their integrity.

"We just report the data," says Gordon Green of Sentier.

Sentier Research has been well-respected by journalists for years. But, apparently, the Sentier numbers become unreliable when they point to good news under Trump.

In my analysis on these numbers, I have openly admitted these monthly data are a first rough estimate of what is happening with incomes over time -- just as the jobs numbers are. They catch the trends over time.

Three years into the Trump presidency there is no calamity and there is no recession. Trump is right to recite real and legitimate data that substantiates the on-going middle-class boom in America today. It isn't Trump, but his accusers who are engaged in "rambling distortions" and who deserve Pinnochio noses.



Coolidge and FDR were right about government workers and unions

by Jeff Jacoby

WHEN BOSTON police officers declared an illegal strike in September 1919, Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge condemned the men for "desertion of duty," and upheld the decision of the commissioner of police to fire the strikers and hire replacements. "There is no right to strike against the public safety," he declared, "by anybody, anywhere, any time."

Coolidge's resolute stand made him a national hero overnight. In November he was reelected in a landslide. A year later he was Warren Harding's running mate on the GOP national ticket, and won election to the White House in his own right in 1924.

The principle that public employees cannot go on strike, and that there is no right to collective bargaining in the public sector, was once endorsed across the political spectrum. "A policeman has no more right to belong to a union than a soldier or a sailor," editorialized The New York Times during the Boston strike. For decades, that was the mainstream Democratic view, too. "The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," President Franklin D. Roosevelt affirmed in 1937. He recognized that government is not just another employer, and that empowering labor unions to negotiate with public officials is an invitation to abuse. Ronald Reagan, an FDR admirer and the only labor union leader to become president, upheld that principle in 1981, when he fired 11,000 air-traffic controllers who refused to end an illegal strike — and earned strong public approval for his decision.

How things have changed. Labor unions and collective bargaining in the public sector are now routine, and when public employees walk off the job politicians rush to praise them.

In Chicago, teachers have been on strike since Oct.17, leaving 350,000 students and their parents in the lurch. In Dedham, Mass., teachers went on strike last week, forcing the town to close schools on Friday. Public school teachers have also walked off the job recently in Park County, Col. and Murphysboro, Ill. Yet far from condemning the teachers unions and their members for abandoning their public jobs, elected officials shower them with acclaim.

Notwithstanding the immense disruption the teachers' walkout has inflicted on Chicago, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and other leading Democrats have gone out of their way to encourage the strikers and endorse their demands. In Massachusetts as in most states, government employees are legally barred from striking. Dedham's scofflaw teachers faced no criticism from the Bay State's political bigfeet, however. Both US senators came out in support of the strikers, and Representative Joe Kennedy III showed up at the Dedham picket line with coffee and doughnuts. "In me, you have an ally, you have a champion," he gushed.

Lost in all this adulation is the reason strikes by government workers are against the law: Unlike job actions in the private sector, strikes in the public sector are not economic weapons deployed against private management. They are political weapons deployed to bring distress upon innocent third parties.

When 46,000 United Auto Workers recently went on strike against General Motors, their goal wasn't to heap misery on the nation's car buyers. It was to win a larger share of GM's healthy profits through improved pay and benefits. As with any private sector strike, both labor and management faced the discipline of the market. The longer the strike lasted, the more business GM lost and the more paychecks union members went without. In the private sector, there are limits to the concessions labor can demand. Companies need profits to survive, and outrageous labor costs can cause a company to lose sales, eliminate jobs, or, if worse comes to worst, go out of business.

But such checks and balances don't exist when government workers go on strike.

It isn't management that gets squeezed when teachers, air-traffic controllers, or trash collectors walk off the job. It's ordinary citizens. Striking government employees don't seek economic equity from cash-laden corporate management; they seek to make the public miserable, and thereby increase political pressure on public officials to accede to the union's demands.

Strikes in the public sector have nothing to do with getting management to share its wealth, and everything to do with extracting more money from taxpayers who are deprived of bargaining power in the process. Everybody wants more money and more lavish benefits, but the compensation of government employees is a matter of public policy. That policy should be crafted openly, as other government policies are. It shouldn't be held hostage to pressure from lawbreaking employees, and no government official should be required to negotiate with special interest lobbies — which is what public-sector unions amount to — in setting the terms and conditions of government employment.

FDR, Reagan, and Coolidge were right, even if it is unfashionable to say so: Public workers have no right to strike, and collective bargaining should have no place in government employment. The system we live with now is rigged — rigged against taxpayers and against democratic fairness. If only we had political leaders unafraid to say so.



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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


Monday, November 11, 2019

The Right made Trump President but the Left will keep him there

Joe Hildebrand:

It has long been predicted that the left will eat itself but even the most diehard right-wing optimist could never have foreseen the giant human centipede now munching its way across the globe.

The past few weeks alone have proven there is no violation of New Left orthodoxy too great or too small, nor too surreal or hypocritical, to escape the tsunami of shit-filled silt that consumes all in its path and converts it into the selfsame excrement that sucked it in.

Barack Obama, a global bastion for the left the world over, has declared he is over the left – or at least the now-dominant part of it that seems to mistake social media outrage for social change.

Obama is without doubt one of the most highly intelligent and decent US presidents ever to hold office. Certainly his administration had many flaws, the greatest of which was a tragic and fatal policy failure in Syria, but he is certainly not stupid and he is certainly not conservative.

This is what he had to say: “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re politically woke, and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.”

He went on to further define what he called this “danger”.

“There is this sense sometimes of ‘the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people, and that’s enough … Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb. Then, I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because, ‘Man, you see how woke I was? I called you out.’ You know, that’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change,” he said.

And of course instead of bringing about any change, all the woke Twitter activists got outraged about how unwoke Obama turned out to be.

North of the border, Justin Trudeau also got a taste of what we might now call the Leunig Lesson. The insufferably smug Canadian prime minister, whose most famous quote was telling everybody what year it was, was all but undone at the last election after it emerged he had a shoe polish fetish that would put Al Jolson to shame.

The Trudeau blackface scandal led to him being dubbed “the prime minstrel” and forced his party into minority government, even though there was not a shred of evidence his stupid antics had an iota of malice or racism behind them.

Indeed, in the perfect proof that identity politics is one giant circle jerk, it was the Conservatives who leaked the photos knowing that it would detonate Trudeau’s bourgeois left-wing base.

And there are countless other examples of left-wing cannibalism across the planet, from [British] Jeremy Corbyn’s cheerless combination of socialism and anti-Semitism to [Australian] Bill Shorten’s allies threatening internal warfare if the failed ALP leader is blamed for failing the ALP.

Meanwhile groups of activists like Extinction Rebellion have managed to turn the popular mainstream cause of climate change action into a Pythonesque sideshow that has managed to piss off just about everyone with paid employment and access to soap.

Even the climate strikers have abandoned the climate supergluers.

So how well is the hard left’s Frankensteinian campaign to purge all but the clinically brain dead going when it comes to their stated objective of beating the right?

About as well as you’d think. In the UK Boris Johnson is odds on to romp home in the general election, with a double-digit lead over Labour and simply double the vote of the Liberal-Democrats. There hasn’t been a surer bet outside of Biff’s Sports Almanac in Back to the Future 2.

Meanwhile Donald Trump, widely derided as the dumbest president in US history and subject to every judicial, special and impeachable inquiry you can imagine, is uncannily positioned to pull off another surprise victory.

In the six vital swing states that delivered Trump his poll-defying win – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina – Trump is well in the hunt. Polling conducted and published by The New York Times – hardly a Trump cheer squad – shows there is only one Democratic candidate ahead of the Donald in these key electoral college battlegrounds.

That candidate is Joe Biden, a man who – despite seeming to be under the constant influence of an aneurysm – has some kind of connection with middle-American voters and is probably the Democrats’ best chance of beating Trump.

And, of course, as dictated by the laws of the left, Biden’s primary support is slipping and at this stage the momentum is with Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic nomination.

Unsurprisingly, this is the best possible outcome for Trump, according to the same Times poll. It shows Biden beating Trump in four out of six states – including the Florida mother lode – tied in Michigan and down by 2 points in North Carolina.

But up against Warren, the same poll shows Trump ahead by 6 points in Michigan and 4 points in Florida, 3 in North Carolina, even money in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and behind in Arizona by only 2 points.

In short, the candidate least likely to beat Trump is the Democrats’ new favourite.

This is entirely emblematic of the new disease that has overrun progressive politics. It is a culture that promotes ideological puritanism over electoral pragmatism and will happily consign itself to defeat again and again with all the resolve of a kamikaze pilot.

The right made Donald Trump president but the left will keep him there. And they will continue to keep conservative governments in power until they learn how to listen to mainstream middle and working-class people instead of constantly condemning them for not agreeing with every last wailing woke warrior.



Boris Johnson tipped to win big at UK election, according to new poll

Boris Johnson could win a massive 96-seat Conservatives majority as Jeremy Corbyn faces an election wipe-out, a major new poll has revealed.

The Sun reports that a recent poll sees Mr Johnson returning to parliament with 373 MPs – 75 more than the 298 won in 2015.  Researchers estimate a 60 per cent chance of an overall Conservative majority – and just 12 per cent for Labour.

Though the vote share for Conservatives is actually projected to fall from 43.6 to 38.2 per cent, research by Electoral Calculus suggests Tories will sweep up lost Labour votes and therefore gain more seats overall. Major Labour losses are expected across all parts of England, Scotland and Wales.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is predicted to receive 10 per cent of the vote but will not win any seats.

The Liberal Democrats would see their vote share almost doubling from 7.6 to 15.9 per cent. A number of high-profile Tory, Labour, Independent candidates have joined the party in the last year, ballooning their numbers from 12 to 20. The resurgent party would inflate further to 25 under the predictions for December 12.

The figures used by Electoral Calculus were collated from opinion polls taken from October 25 to November 4 in a sample of 15,917 people.

According to the Telegraph, Andy Cook, chief executive of the Centre for Social Justice said: “We’re serving up evidence that low-income Britons make up a big voting bloc in our swing seats. The party leaders need to win them over and, on this evidence, they have a mountain to climb.



Clinton Throws Cold Water on Elizabeth Warren

We keep wondering if Hillary is preparing to jump into the Democrat presidential field.

At the New York Times DealBook Conference on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton criticized Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s $52 trillion Medicare for All plan as being unrealistic. “I don’t believe we should be in the midst of a big disruption while we are trying to get to 100% coverage and deal with costs and face some tough issues about competitiveness and other kinds of innovation in healthcare,” Clinton argued.

However, Clinton acknowledged that she was fully in agreement with Warren’s aim of government-run healthcare, as she asserted that Medicare for All was the “right goal.” Clinton merely believes that an incremental approach toward the government takeover of Americans’ healthcare is more politically feasible than Warren’s blatant socialist power grab. As with Barack Obama’s lecture about “cancel culture” or Nancy Pelosi’s warning about Democrats moving too far left, Clinton’s criticism rings hollow. Remember, this is the woman who got the healthcare ball rolling in 1993 with her proposal of HillaryCare.

But Clinton’s criticism of Warren didn’t stop with Medicare for All, as she then conveyed disapproval of Warren’s planned wealth tax. “I just don’t understand how that could work,” Clinton noted. “I don’t see other examples anywhere else in the world where it has actually worked over a long period of time.” Clinton then argued, “If you were going to do a wealth tax and it was on assets … how you would value it is, I think, complicated to start with. But, assuming you can get some system of evaluation, people would literally have to sell assets to pay the tax on the assets that they owned before the wealth tax was levied. That would be incredibly disruptive, so I think there are other ways to raise the revenues.”

Why is Clinton now coming out against Warren? Is she still contemplating jumping into the Democrat primary? Possibly. With Joe Biden — the only leading non-hardcore leftist in the crowded field of Democrats — limping along amidst growing questions surrounding his involvement with Ukraine, Clinton may see an opening to exploit. If Hillary did jump in, it might spell the end for Biden, leaving her with the support of moderate Democrats. With socialist Democrats split between Warren and Bernie Sanders, Clinton may see a path for winning the nomination. It still would be a long shot, but not as long as many assume.



Stop Blaming the One Percent

A study debunks the fundamental assumptions advanced by Sanders and Warren.

It’s been a popular theory for decades, gaining steam over the last few years with the Occupy Wall Street movement and through the presidential campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren: The wealthy take more than their share and, as a consequence, exert excessive control on government, making the problem of income and wealth inequality even worse.

Recently, however, Chris Edwards and Ryan Bourne, who both write for the libertarian-leaning CATO Institute, made a punching bag out of the Sanders/Warren theory of income and wealth inequality being bad. Instead, they counter with the facts: The problem isn’t nearly as bad as leftist hype portrays, hasn’t increased at nearly the pace many believe is occurring, and to the extent it exists is made worse by the very types of programs and philosophies favored by the socialist Left.

In his analysis of the Cato findings, the Washington Examiner’s Brad Polumbo adds, “Clearly, Sanders’ socialist proposals would just make economic inequality worse. In fact, that’s what has happened in some of the countries he often points to as examples.”

The lengthy white paper by the Cato’s economist duo points to six different reasons the socialist axiom of wealth inequality doesn’t hold water, beginning with the inaccurate assumptions of economist Thomas Piketty, whose error-riddled book Capital in the Twenty-First Century is heralded as a bible by those who subscribe to the inequality theory. The Cato pair point out that Piketty and his cohorts missed a significant piece of the puzzle by relying so much on data from income-tax returns. This misses up to 40% of real income, argue Edwards and Bourne. Also missing: the “wealth” individuals hold with their Social Security and Medicare benefits — benefits that do more for the less well-to-do than the wealthy. Yet Social Security and Medicare also sustain the problem because they serve as a disincentive for those who need to save for retirement.

Another root cause of wealth inequality is a problem most acknowledge, but few take concrete steps to address: cronyism in government. While Edwards and Bourne acknowledge the problem is far worse in other nations where graft is king, the prospect of rent-seeking and other techniques to artificially expand markets and limit competition contribute to the inequality, even in America.

But the best and most cheering reason the “income inequality” crowd is all wet: Wealth in our nation is generally earned, not inherited. Only a small fraction of the “one percent” inherited their fortunes; instead, the large majority made their wealth by working hard and taking the risk to start a small business, creating their own market in many cases. Contrary to popular belief, those who inherited their wealth eventually fall off the “wealthiest people” charts because many huge fortunes are split several ways, and seldom do heirs have the drive to start again on building a fortune.

So rather than leveling the playing field at a low level of prosperity by taxing the wealthy until it hurts, perhaps the better approach is doing our best to encourage entrepreneurship and allowing more value to be added to our resources, such as through fair trade. While that doesn’t make for a system leftists would consider fair, we have no doubt there are many fortunes to be made in America — that is, unless Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and a host of other Democrats would take over and make being wealthy akin to committing a crime.

We already have the public shaming of wealthy people as society succumbs to the mantra that all rich people are evil, ignoring that those pillars of society often make the nonprofit world go ‘round. Wealth creation is the right model, not a stunted system built on envy fomented by wealthy Democrats.



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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Leftist inversion of reality on Trump

The critique below by  David Limbaugh is of a "moderate" Leftist source but moderation seems to have taken a big flight from reality. As Limbaugh shows, Leftist Paul Waldman cannot see that reality is just the opposite of what he asserts. He cannot even see the deluge of criticism and attack that has been aimed at Trump.

Limbaugh is very cutting in displaying how Waldman repeatedly inverts reality but the Left will not read it. They cannot afford to.  Even if they did read it would leave them  unmoved.  They need to believe their lies so are beyond the reach of reason. They live in an unbreachable fortress of fantasy. 

Their tendency to fly straight past the facts is very disturbing.  It means that the policies they enact will fly right past reality too

The American Prospect's Paul Waldman gives us an earful about President Trump and how Trump is destroying everything that's good and decent in America. Let me share some of his words, which speak for themselves -- but I'll speak for them, too.

"The impending impeachment of Donald Trump brings with it the possibility of something that has been in short supply over the last three years: accountability," Waldman writes. "At last, you may think, we can use a constitutional process to proclaim at last that This Is Not OK." Waldman goes on to acknowledge that Trump probably won't be held to account after all, because though the House will likely impeach him, the Senate will vote against removing him from office.

What strikes me is Waldman's unchecked assertion that Trump's accountability "has been in short supply." He wholly ignores that Democrats have been feverishly pursuing Trump since he announced his candidacy. For two years, they've prosecuted a bogus case on Trump "colluding" with Russia, guaranteeing they had unimpeachable evidence.

They were lying, and their would-be savior, special counsel Robert Mueller, produced no evidence of collusion. Accountability? Why haven't the Democrats had to answer for their wasting taxpayers' time and money over this lie? Neither they nor their legacy media co-conspirators have uttered one syllable of apology to the American people, let alone President Trump, for dragging us through this nightmare.

Instead, they immediately pivoted to Ukraine. Here we go again -- but this time, it's really serious. What is this, the fourth impeachment attempt? Why not? We now know from released transcripts that they've been planning this coup from the jump. We already knew it, but we've got the smoking gun. Will they be held to account for their election and post-election interference? Of course not, unless their constituents vote them out of office for abuse of power.

Waldman continues: "This is one of the products of Trump's time in office: the contamination of our emotional lives. Trump has made us feel dread, despair, disillusionment, and a dozen other awful emotions whose grip it feels impossible to escape. And even if he loses in 2020 then slinks back to Mar-a-Lago to spend his days regaling his dwindling number of sycophants with tales of his matchless presidency, we'll continue to live with the effects for years or even decades to come."

I don't know whom Waldman purports to speak for, but millions of Americans would find his words repugnant. Trump doesn't make us feel dread and despair. Bullish on America and fighting leftist insanity and political correctness, he invigorates our patriotic instincts. His policies have stimulated robust economic growth, which is hardly cause for despair.

Waldman details "the unceasing parade of horrors emanating from the Oval Office," citing the usual litany of Trump's alleged sins -- his oh-so-offensive tweets, his racism and his cruelty. It's just so exhausting for poor Waldman. He writes: "And how many times have you found yourself almost involuntarily talking with friends or family about some awful thing Trump did or said, only to have someone stop and say, 'Oh god, let's just not talk about him for a while. I can't take it."

What's exhausting is the ceaseless leftist noise machine railing against Trump. Leftists need to remove the smudges from their mirrors and see that they are projecting. They are the ones who have been vicious and hateful toward Trump from the beginning. They have wrongly accused him -- and his supporters (half of Americans) -- of racism and cruelty. They have contempt for all his supporters. Yet has Trump called them Nazis? Racists?

If you don't believe me, read Waldman's elaboration: "For many the mere fact that Trump could win in 2016 (even if he got three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton) was reason enough to lose faith in their country in a fundamental way. Eight years before they had convinced themselves that Barack Obama's election meant America could be the place they wanted it to be: inclusive, tolerant, progressive, hopeful. Trump came along and told them that America was not that place."

What? Precisely the opposite is true. Progressives are the antithesis of inclusion, tolerance and hope. They are intolerant of opposing viewpoints, and they readily use the power of government and social media giants to suppress conservative speech and religious liberty. They bully conservatives out of restaurants and college campuses. They are anything but hopeful. Former President Obama's team told us the days of 3% growth were over. President Trump rejected the naysaying and gave us an economic boom, fulfilling his campaign promises and restoring hope.

The rest of Waldman's piece is even more desperate and bitter, but space constraints preclude further dissection. I'll just leave you with his closing paragraph, which encapsulates his TDS: "There may yet be more to come, if nothing else in the form of an election defeat next year. But it's hard to escape the gnawing feeling that nothing we can do to Trump will ever make up for what he has done to us."

To the contrary, Trump has done nothing to them, but they have done plenty to him. And he's done plenty for us -- specifically standing athwart the extreme left's crusade to fundamentally and permanently transform America into a nation our framers wouldn't recognize.

Thank you, President Trump, for standing up for America and those who still believe in it.



The Left-Right Divide Is About Reality Itself

Dennis Prager
The left-right divide in America is, unfortunately, unbridgeable. There are three reasons.

First, we are divided by our vision of what we want America to be. The right believes the founders’ vision was brilliant and moral, that bourgeois middle-class values are superior to alternative value systems; that rights come from God, not man; and that the state must be as small as possible. The left (not liberals) shares none of those values.

Second, we are divided by the means we use to achieve our vision. Given their different ends, left and right obviously differ on what means to use to achieve their ends.

Third, and perhaps most troubling, there is a reality-perception divide. Left and right have different perceptions of reality.

I have been aware of this for many years, but it was dramatically brought home last week when I was a guest on “Real Time With Bill Maher.” Given that the other two guests on the panel and more or less the entire studio audience were on the left, their reactions to what I said proved my point.

For example, I said that though there are, of course, racists in the United States, America is the least racist multiethnic and multiracial country in the world.

I was booed.

I said the United States military has brought so much liberty to the world it deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

I was booed.

Clearly, there is an unbridgeable divide in the way we perceive the reality of the American military’s role in the world.

I said that it turned out the Russia-Trump campaign collusion never happened.

I was booed.

There is an unbridgeable divide in the way left and right perceive this reality.

I said the Trump-Ukrainian president phone transcript did not show a quid pro quo.

I was booed, and one of the other panelists said it actually showed “extortion.”

This, too, constitutes an unbridgeable divide between the way left and right view reality.

I said John Brennan, the former CIA director, has voted communist. (He has admitted that he voted for the Communist Party USA presidential candidate Gus Hall in 1976.) I was dismissed as having made something up. Bill Maher sarcastically responded that he didn’t recall Mao having been on any ballot.

And I said that people on the left say men can menstruate.

For that, I was not merely booed; I was laughed at by the panel, Maher and the audience.

Anyone can Google this and learn that I was entirely right. Just type “can men menstruate.” One of the first results will be from the popular left-wing website The Daily Beast: “Yes, Men Can Have Periods and We Need to Talk About Them,” reads one of its headlines. “How is this possible?” you might ask. Well, if a woman declares herself to be a man, then “a man” can have a period. In fact, last month, Procter & Gamble announced that it will remove the female Venus symbol from its Always line of menstrual products. After all, not only women menstruate.

The irony is that as soon as most progressives become aware that LGBTQ groups say that men menstruate, they will say that men menstruate. And that will be another differing perception of reality.

On each of these issues — all the issues for which I was booed — right and left have different perceptions of reality. That — even more so than differing values — makes the left-right divide unbridgeable. When you cannot agree on what is real, there is no possible bridging of the gulf.

The left believes the president colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. The reality is that there was no collusion. This is the conclusion of the Mueller report, but still, the left doesn’t accept it.

The left is certain President Trump said the neo-Nazis are “very fine people” when referring to the protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The right is certain the president didn’t say there are good neo-Nazis any more than he said there are good “antifa” members. When he said there were “very fine people on both sides,” he was referring to those demonstrating on behalf of keeping Confederate statues and those opposed. See “The Charlottesville Lie” by CNN analyst Steve Cortes.

The left believes socialism is economically superior to capitalism. But the reality is that only capitalism has lifted billions of people out of poverty. This is, therefore, not an opinion divide — “You prefer capitalism. I prefer socialism” — but a reality divide.

The reason this is so frightening is that it means one side has lost its grip on reality. If half of this country cannot distinguish truth from falsehood, that is not a good sign for the nation’s future. On that point, ironically, left and right can agree.



Pelosi's Empty Warning to Her Party

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a message for Democrats: Rein in the unbridled run to the left. However, much like Barack Obama's hypocritical lecture on "cancel culture," Pelosi's message rings hollow because of her sizable role in Democrats' dramatic leftward shift.

"What works in San Francisco does not necessarily work in Michigan," the San Francisco Democrat said. Pelosi offered a rebuttal to "progressives" like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren hawking socialist policies, saying, "As a left-wing San Francisco liberal I can say to these people: 'What are you thinking?'" She insists many in her party are "unhappy with me for not being a socialist."

"Remember November," she added. "You must win the Electoral College."

A few thoughts. First, Pelosi is the (arguably reluctant) leader of the impeachment coup attempt, a charade she attempted to legitimize with the veneer of guiding process rules — passed on a party-line vote. Impeaching a duly elected president over what amounts to general derangement over his victory is about as left-wing as it gets.

Second, Pelosi perhaps realizes that Medicare for All isn't popular with the overall American electorate, but she rammed ObamaCare through Congress on a party-line vote a decade ago. As we have long argued, ObamaCare was designed as a beachhead for single-payer government healthcare. That it took only a few years before Democrat presidential candidates were pushing for single-payer is, to the far Left, a feature of ObamaCare, not a bug. Pelosi cannot claim ignorance of that strategy, however restrained she publicly claims to be.

The same goes for climate change. Pelosi may deride "the green dream, or whatever they call it," but her party insists "the science is settled" that humans are destroying the planet and drastic measures are needed.

Third, was her comment about the Electoral College what Leftmedia types would call a "dog whistle"? In other words, Democrats have been grumbling loudly about — and seeking to subvert — the Electoral College ever since Donald Trump lost the popular vote but won the presidency, as did George W. Bush in 2000. Pelosi just gave them a subtle reminder of their frustrations.

Finally, if Democrats wish to be the center-left party, perhaps their leader shouldn't be a self-described San Francisco liberal. Pelosi may be more power broker than political ideologue, but she's no moderate. Indeed, she is a big reason why her party has charged as hard and fast as possible toward socialism, so forgive us if we take the lectures on moderation with a big grain of salt.



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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here