Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Is Claremont McKenna's President Hiram R. Chodosh this Generation's Father Hesburgh?

The 1960’s and early 1970’s witnessed demonstrations and violence on our campuses, starting with the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in 1964. Anti-Vietnam War fueled most of the subsequent demonstrations, riots and sit-ins, followed by Kent State and Cambodia in 1970. Other causes were the CIA, Dow Chemical, disinvestment in South Africa, and civil rights. Berkeley, Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth, UCLA, Maryland, Indiana, San Francisco State, Kent State, Dartmouth. University leaders were seemingly helpless, although supine is a better word. The great Catholic University of Notre Dame was not immune to the student’s outpouring of rage. The campus experienced demonstrations, sit-ins, and student strikes. Notre Dame’s President Father Theodore Hesburgh led the University for 35 years, guiding it into a great academic institution. Father Hesburgh was sympathetic to the students. He also opposed the war. He believed in academic freedom. He issued a letter on February 17, 1969. His words were clear and simple. He promulgated the 15 minute rule: “Anyone or group that substitutes force for rational persuasion, be it violent or non-violent, will be given fifteen minutes of meditation to cease and desist.” They would then be asked for their ID and face suspension. They would be expelled if they persisted for another five minutes. Decisive leadership! His intent was to preserve freedom of speech and a diversity of expression at Notre Dame in a peaceful manner. The past two years has witnessed a return to riots, sit-ins on our campuses, starting with the University of Missouri, a state with underlying racial issues from Ferguson. Allegations of racism led to protests. The losing football team joined the protests, supported by their coach. Melissa Click, a communications professor, became the public face of the protesters as she was caught on video asking for some ”muscle” to muzzle against a student reporter. The University of Missouri has encountered a large backlash among students, potential students, parents, and alumni. Freshmen enrollment has plunged 35% in two years. Overall enrollment has dropped 7.4%. Faculty have been laid off, dorms closed, and the Republican legislature reducing funding. Professor Click was terminated. The craven response at Missouri was the resignation of the President and Provost, thereby emboldening the left both at the University of Missouri and nationally. Claremont McKenna students last year blocked the entrance hall in which Wall Street Journal columnist and Thomas S. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute Heather MacDonald was scheduled to appear. Ms. MacDonald is a staunch supporter of police and has criticized Black Lives Matter for its anti-police rhetoric and actions. She has published “The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe.” Social media was used to shut down her event, calling her an “anti-Black Fascist.” Police led her into the near empty lecture hall for livestreaming. Her speech was interrupted by protestors banging on the windows. University President Hiram R. Chodosh promised disciplinary against the demonstrators. The University fulfilled his promise a few days ago. Five students were suspended and two placed on probation. Four of the students were seniors, whose graduation was postponed pending the completion of their suspensions. Four students from other campuses were barred from non-academic activities on the Claremont McKenna campus. Attorney Nana Gyamfi, lead organizer and co-founder of Justice warriors 4 Black Lives, protested: “Universities should be places where students learn about the power and limitation of civic engagement and this completely shuts that down with the hot-button issues of our current time.” She accused the college of “over reacting to a minor incident” with “cruel and unusual punishment.” Civic engagement does not include the right to violent demonstrations and shutting down speakers one disagrees with. The demonstrators had earlier forced on November 132 the resignation of Dean of Students Mary Spellman who had emailed a Latina student during campus protests seeking greater diversity and concerns about “marginalized” diversity students that she would work to help students who ‘don’t fit out CMC mold” I don’t think she meant it the way it was construed, but she resigned in the uproar that followed. By way of comparison to Claremont McKenna we have Middlebury College in Vermont. Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve, was scheduled to speak on March 2, 2107. He was met with violent demonstrators who assaulted and battered both him and his faculty interlocutor, Professor Allison Stanger. She suffered a concussion as her hair was pulled and neck twisted. No arrests were made. College President Laurie L. Patton promised accountability while issuing a public apology. The college announced sanctions on May 23 against 67 students. The sanctions raged from probation to written sanctions of the students’ transcripts – in short, a slap on the wrist for violent violence resulting in personal injury. No academic discipline has been imposed against the rioters who shut down Milo Yiannopoulos at Berkeley on May 2, 2017. The University, the site of the Free Speech Movement, also muzzled Ann Coulter by denying her a reasonable time and place to speak on April 27, 2017. Yale, Ithaca College, Smith, Evergreen State, have also failed to support academic freedom and administrators. This fall promises to be hot, fueled partially by anti-Trump animus, unless other campuses follow the lead of Claremont McKenna making sure consequences follow violent action and disruption of speech. Peaceful demonstrators are appropriate, but stifling debate through violence is unacceptable.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Free! Free! Free! Free is a Potent Opiate

The Cleveland woman screamed out during the 2012 Presidential Campaign: “Everybody in Cleveland - low, minority - got Obama phone! Keep Obama president, you know. He gave us a phone.” The free Obama Phone! The Lifeline program for free phones goes back to the Reagan Administration with President George W. Bush extending it to mobile phones. President Obama did not in fact start the Obama Phone program, but he extended it. The more that’s free, the greater cost to those working and the greater the diminution of the work ethic for those receiving benefits. The list of often substantial free benefits keeps growing. Cell phones are the least of it; food, housing, medical, and even cash head the list. Why work hard to achieve the American dream when you can get much of it for free? Government’s role was limited, except during war, until the Great Depression and the New Deal. The government promoted economic development and growth. The American ethos was limited government, self-reliance, and hard work. The change from reliance to at least quasi-dependence occurred earlier around 1890 when the Director of the Bureau of the Census announced the Frontier was closed. The early English settlers in Jamestown and Massachusetts always had a western frontier to settle. Wave after wave of mostly European immigrants poured into America as they progressively settled the West. Hundreds of millions of acres were cheap, if not free. The frontier settlers had to be strong and self-reliant to survive. The American people believed in independence and personal responsibility. They had to for survival. (As a side note, I took little note of the Turner Thesis, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” in my American history course in college). The formal end of the frontier was accompanied by the rise of the cities, whose residents could not be self-reliant. They have to rely upon others to supply food, clothing, utilities, protection, transportation, waste disposal, sanitation and public health, which necessitates a growing role for government. The New Deal started the progressive change in government’s role to one of redistribution and dependence with entitlement program after entitlement program. FDR started social security in 1935 pursuant to which many beneficiaries will be able to earn substantially more than they and their employers paid in. Unemployment compensation started in 1932 in Wisconsin, spread to five more states, and then became a federal/state program in 1935 in an expansion to the Social Security Act. The periods of receiving benefits is normally 26 weeks, but is often extended. Social security was further expanded in 1956 during the Eisenhower Administration to include disability benefits. Housing can be free or subsidized for low income residents. Los Angeles is responding to the escalating homeless problem by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on shelters and housing. Portland, Oregon is experimenting with tiny homes for the homeless. Berkeley mandates marijuana dispensaries provide free marijuana for low-income and homeless residents. Lyndon Baines Johnson, a young Democratic Congressman from Texas during the New Deal, followed FDR’s New Deal with his Great Society when he became President. He gave America Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is for seniors and Medicaid originally for those in poverty. Medicaid is free for some, with co-pays and cost-sharing for others, but heavily subsidized. It is one of the fastest growing part of state budgets, squeezing out other programs. The ObamaCare extension offers Medicaid to those with income up to 138% of the poverty level and increased the eligible groups. President George W. Bush added Medicare Part D, a prescription plan, to Medicare. Free medical benefits also exist in a federal statute which requires emergency rooms to treat all patients, regardless of ability to pay. Free food benefits accrue through The Food Stamp Program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Act – “SNAP”), which covers about 46 million Americans in addition to the School Lunch Program, which has been extended into summer and breakfasts. Students are demanding free tuition, realizing that their student loans are not in fact as free as they seemed at the time. Mark Zuckerberg is advocating for a universal basic income of $13,000 per person. Think of a Berkeley student with free tuition, free pot, free or subsidized housing, free food stamps, and $13,000 cash. Free! Free! Free! The days of of struggling college students working their way through college on a tight budget, receiving a basic education in economics and self-discipline are history for many of today’s students. Hard work was the path to success. It still is. The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary! It's not free. Harvard students were traumatized by overdue library fines, so now they have free use of books for however long they want. President Nixon gave us the Earned Income Credit. Many of the programs are means tested, directed at the less fortunate in our society, but not all. We end up with about half of Americans (Governor Mitt Romney’s infamous 48%) receiving government benefits, often for free. In addition, every new program creates a new bureaucracy, federal and state, to administer it. Once implemented, a new entitlement is almost impossible to repeal. Government keeps growing. Free quickly becomes addictive to the beneficiaries. An entitlement, once in place, becomes politically impossible to repeal. Free is addictive, even to Republican governors. Yesterday’s failure of the Senate to rein in, much less repeal ObamaCare, is illustrative. Much of the potent political opposition to the Republican’s efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare was by Republican governors who signed onto the ObamaCare extension. It was “free,” hence seemingly free money to the states. The federal and state governments normally share the costs of Medicare with the current ratio about 57% for the feds and 43% for the states. The Medicaid expansion was 100% covered by the feds. Hence, free cash to cash starved states. Many Republican governors rejected the extension because it was 100% free but only for three years. The state’s share will rise to 10% by 2020. The House and Senate proposals would roll back some of the Medicaid expansion The governors squawked. Yet it was their jumping for the free money which puts them in this position. State health insurance laws and requirements imposed compulsory mandates on health insurance coverage. ObamaCare expanded these mandates at the federal level with the Secretary of Health and Human Services authorized to impose additional mandates as essential health benefits. She extended it to reproductive rights. Mandates may seem free to the beneficiaries, but someone is paying for them. It is not the insurance companies which will pass them on. The catch about "free” is that someone has to pay. They impose an increasing tax burden on those working for a living. Government at the federal, state, and local level though a series of large taxes, such as income, property, sales, payroll and excise, as well as a seemingly infinite number of lesser taxes and fees, keeps seeking more funds. National Tax Freedom Day was April 23 this year, the day when American income has covered all federal, state, and local taxes. In short 31% of American’s income went to fund government this year. It is never enough. Free is not free when someone has to pay for we all pay in the end, directly or indirectly.

Friday, July 14, 2017

President Trump Should Threaten Congress with Revoking their President Obama ObamaCare Waiver

President Trump may know the Art of the Deal, but he’s not yet a President Lyndon Baines Johnson. LBJ, both as Senate Majority Leader and President of the United States, was a master politician, who knew how to cajole both Democrats and Republicans in enacting legislation. Former Speaker Nancy and former Senate Majority and Minority Leader Harry Reid were good, but they were no LBJ. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is no LBJ, and neither is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Admittedly, they lack some of the powers of past presidents and Congressional leaders to enforce party solidarity. The Speaker Gingrich House eliminated earmarks, reducing the ability to “buy” Congressional votes. The media will savage President Trump if it was discovered he made threats or express offers to individual members of Congress. He does have one ace in the hole. The ObamaCare statute threw members of Congress and Congressional staffers into ObamaCare and stripped them of their 75% federal subsidy. The statute provides “The only health plans that the federal government may make available to members of Congress and Congressional staff … shall be health plans that are … (i) created under this Act … or (ii) offered through an exchange ….” The language is very clear. The intent was to not exempt Congress from ObamaCare. President Obama in 2013 ignored the express provisions of the statute. He granted a waiver pursuant to which the Office of Personnel Management allowed the members of Congress and their staffers to obtain health insurance in the District of Columbia Small Business Exchange (SHOP). Both Federal and District of Columbia law limits SHOP to small employers with no more than 50 employees. That definitely excludes Congress. President Obama also let them retain their 75% federal subsidy. President Trump should explicitly state that if the Republicans do not carry through their promise to repeal and reform ObamaCare, then he will revoke the illegal Obama Congressional waiver. The media will scream. So what, the American people will cheer. The Hill will erupt with outrage. Americans hate that type of double standard between them and Congress. The House of representatives supposedly represent “the people.” Let them join the people. If ObamaCare is failing, then Congress and its staffers should share in the pain. If they have to feel the pain, then they will act. President Trump should make that threat.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

President Trump's Great Warsaw Speech Stuck it to President Vladimir Putin and the Russians

President Trump’s speech in Warsaw last Thursday should lay to rest any questions about a Russia-Trump collusion in the Presidential Election. Vladimir Putin is not stupid. The eight years of the Obama Administration with the Clinton/Kerry State Department were wonderful for Russian foreign policy and aggression. A President Clinton would have augured more of the same. She started with a botched Reset Button and then approved the sale of 20% of the United States uranium deposits to a Russian company, whereupon the Clinton Foundation and former President Bill Clinton, her husband, received missions of dollars from the Russians. President Clinton gave a speech for $500,000 and $2.3 million flowed to the Clinton Foundation. Indeed, up to $145 million was donated to the Foundation by eight investors in the company when it was sold to the Russians.. The speech as a great speech. We know because the media mostly ignored it, except for complaining about his talking about (Western) Civilization and . President Obama started his Administrational with a global apology tour, followed by appeasement. Putin and Russia complained, so he unilaterally withdrew the missile defenses from Czechoslovakia and Poland. He asked nothing in return, since it was a sign of “goodwill” on his part. Vladimir Putin quickly got the measurement of President Obama. Russia invaded the Ukraine and occupied the Crimea. President Trump offered MRE’s to the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians needed bullets, but received “meals ready to eat.” He was caught on an open mike saying to then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on missile defense: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him [Putin] to give me space.” He added: “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.” President Trump’s approach is the opposite from President Obama’s. Poland announced on Wednesday, the day before President Trump’s speech, that it was acquiring almost $8 billion in Patriot missiles from Raytheon in the United States. The Polish people heard President Trump’s speech Thursday, loud and clear because President Trump stuck it to Russia. Poland’s historic plight historically is to be stuck between Germany and Russia. Poland has historically been a country on wheels as its boundaries have expanded and contracted and shifted eastward and westward over the centuries. Even at the end of World War II Poland lost its eastern area to Russia, but was given much of Germany’s Prussia in compensation. The Soviets attempted to reconquer Poland in 1920, but the valiant Poles defeated them at the Battle of Warsaw, achieving 19 dynamic years of independence. Germany and Russia, Hitler and Stalin, entered into the Molotov-Ribbentrop Agreement, also known as the Russian-German Non-Aggression Pact on the night of August 23-24, 1938. A secret codicil to the agreement divided Poland between Germany and Russia. Germany invaded Poland a week later on September 1, triggering World War II. Russia invaded eastern Poland on September 17. Poland was not free again until 1989. President Trump symbolically spoke at the Warsaw Uprising Monument in Krasinski Square. The Polish Uprising is a proud, but sad, day in the history of Poland. The Germans were in retreat against the onslaught of the Red Army. The Polish Home Army rose against their Nazi occupiers in Warsaw. The goal was two-fold: 1) facilitate the entry of the Red Army; and 2) establish Poland as a free country. The home army expected the Red Army to cross the Vistula River into Warsaw. Stalin ordered the Red Army to stand in place. He let the Nazis and Poles fight it out, sapping their strength. The battle ran from August 1, 1944 to October 2, 1944, until a capitulation was entered into. The Poles agreed to surrender. The Nazis agreed to recognize them as prisoners of war. Amazingly, the Nazis essentially adhered to the agreement. The Nazis were ruthless as they suppressed the uprising. They killed any Poles they found, men, women, and children, as they proceeded block by block. An estimated 130,000 were massacred by the Nazis. They evacuated the remaining Warsaw population and destroyed almost all of Warsaw after the Capitulation. Warsaw was a city of rubble. Stalin ordered the red Army to advance after the Nazis completed the leveling of Warsaw. Stalin’s perfidy was not done. Stalin and Beria executed the leaders of the Warsaw Uprising. The Poles cannot forget Stalin because of the “gift” he bestowed upon them, the 778’ tall Palace of Culture and Science, which towers over the Warsaw skyline. Poland opened the Warsaw Uprising Museum in 2004. Polish schoolchildren are bussed to the museum, where they graphically learn of the bravery of the Polish fighters, the Nazi atrocities, and the Russian betrayal. The Poles may not always know who their friends are, but they certainly know the Germans and Russians, especially today the growling Russian bear on the prowl. President Trump spoke to the Polish people Thursday – no diplomatic niceties and broad platitudes. They knew he knew the Russian menace. He recognized: “In 1939, you were invaded yet again, this time by Nazi Germany from the west and the Soviet Union from the east. That’s trouble. That’s tough.” He reminder the Poles, not that they needed reminding, but an acknowledgement by the American President was greatly appreciated, “From the other side of the river, the Soviet armed forces stopped and waited. They watched as the Nazis ruthlessly destroyed the city, viciously murdering men, women, and children. They tried to destroy this nation forever by shattering its will to survive.” He raised the 40 years of Soviet occupation in which Poland and the other occupied countries “endured a brutal campaign to demolish freedom, your faith, your laws, your history, your identity … indeed the very essence of your culture and humanity.” He urged the Russia “to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere ….” President Putin may test President Trump, but he understands this American President is the polar opposite of his predecessor, perhaps a little wild, just like President Reagan. Contemnit procellas!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Shows Renewed Contempt for the NYPD, Again

Seemingly assured of a landslide reelection, Mayor de Blasio is shirking his responsibilities to the people of New York City. His contempt for the NYPD raised its ugly, little head again. The rail system in New York City is deteriorating with a number of accidents and delays. The mayor is gallivanting around America, lining up big city mayors in an anti-trump crusade. Ayn Rand, if she’s looking down with Atlas Shrugged in her hand, will be smiling, saying “I told you so”. Major de Blasio is in Hamburg, Germany. Alexander Bond, a deranged police hating nut job suffering from schizophrenia and depression, assassinated NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia at 12:30AM Wednesday as she was filling out paper work in the cab of a NYPD mobile crime control vehicle in a high crime area of the Bronx. The Mayor said a few words at a press conference a few hours later, and then flew to Hamburg, Germany on Thursday to join the G 20 protestors. The Mayor, who idolatrized the Sandinistas and honeymooned in Cuba, still retains contempt for the police. The NYPD was swearing in 524 new officers on Thursday. The Mayor could have congratulated them on their dedication, their proud service to New York, the long history of the NYPD. He could have warmly welcomed them to the force. He could, but didn’t! He didn’t even leave a formal message to them. His absence was a message. He does not have their backs. The mayor flew to Hamburg Thursday to deliver the Keynote Address at the Hamburg Shows Attitude event, a protest for “democracy and human rights,” and to visit his son in Germany. The Mayor at a press conference in Hamburg blew off a reporter for the New York Post. The Post ran a headline: “AND DON’T COME BACK.” The Mayor, during his campaign four years ago, and after his inauguration, badmouthed the police. NYPD Sergeant Hugh Barry was indicted a few weeks ago for murder in his fatally shooting a woman who attacked him with a baseball bat. Sergeant Barry had the privilege of self-defense to protect himself against deadly force. The Mayor praised the indictment. That was a message to the police. Mayor de Blasio is posturing himself to be the Progressive Anti-Trump. The garbage is piling up on city streets, the trains are derailing, the homeless numbers are growing on the city streets, the streets weren’t cleared over the winter, cops are being killed, and the Mayor is absent. The country, not just New York City, will pay a steep price if the City resorts to its status two decades ago.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lawyers Cry "Dog Racism" in Defending Their Vicious Pet Pit Bull

Michelle Kelban-Carteron owns a Manhattan condo in the Chelsea Modern complex. Both Michelle and her husband, Gino Carteron, are attorneys. They retained a third lawyer, Adam Leitman Bailey, to represent them in a dispute with their condo board. The board issued an eviction notice to Luna, their five year old pet pit bull. Pit bulls were historically a mix breed between bulldogs and terriers. Luna assaulted Kinje, a small Havanese mix, in front of the condo, illustrating why pit bulls have acquired a vicious reputation. The condo lease contains an anti-pit bull clause, which allows the condo board to evict any pit bull or other dangerous dog. Michelle presumably read the contract before signing; she is not only a partner in the large, prestigious Latham & Watkins law firm, but co-chair of its real estate practice. If she didn’t read and understand it, then questions could be raised about her competency. She claims it was a one-time only incident. The board’s attorney says the pit bull has been unruly for a year. The common law holds owners of a vicious dog liable if they knew or should have known of the dog’s vicious propensities. The lore of the common law was that every dog “gets one free bite.” Luna had her bite. In addition, cases establish that landlords, or by analogy condo boards, could be liable if they know of the dangers posed by a dog on the premises, but fail to take steps to minimize the risk. Thus, the anti-pit bull clause in the condo contract. Michelle is not going to let her sleeping, or vicious pit bull, lie on her legal rights. Attorney Bailey is a noted real estate lawyer, who is acting like a pit bull of an attorney. He claims “dog racism” because the breed of pit dogs is being singled out and discriminated against. “Dog racism” is akin to the suit filed a few years ago seeking a writ of habeas corpus for Kiko, a chimpanzee. Admittedly, there’s about a 96% overlap in human and chimp DNA, but animals aren’t protected by the Bill of Rights. The case was tossed fairly quickly without a bone to plaintiffs. Similarly, courts have upheld pit bull bans in communities. Bailey threatens to take his dog racism case to the New York City Human Rights Commission, expecting a prosecution. Lawyers can be creative and ingenious. Michelle had Luna certified after the dog mauling incident as a “service dog” for her husband, who is sung the US Postal Service for allegedly being struck by a postal vehicle while cycling – not the wisest act in Manhattan. Two doctors have recommended that a dog, ergo Luna, be provided for emotional support for Gino, proving that the lawyers have gone to the dogs. Attorney Bailey thereby claims that depriving Gino of Luna would violate the Americans With Disabilities Act: “Unfortunately, they’re putting whatever petty grievances they have, or this [board member] woman has, over the need of my client to have a therapy dog and the welfare of the actual dog, a mixed-breed pit bull, which is very sad.” Every dog gets one free bite. Luna’s next bite could be a child! Now we have a battle between service dogs. Kinje is a certified service dog that visits pediatric cancer patients. Luna is servicing a lawyer.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Another Great 4th of July

“All men are created equal.” Technically, all property owning white men were equal in one sense at the time. All men are created equal in the eyes of the law. The concept that the people would control government rather than the government people, especially the Divine Right of Kings. That government derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed” was revolutionary. It still is in much of the world. The Declaration of Independence was a revolutionary, radical document. The signers of the Declaration put their lives, liberties, and fortunes at risk. The British would have executed the signers and seized their fortunes had the Redcoats won the Revolutionary War. Today’s America with its freedoms and opportunities sprang from the Declaration of Independence, but the Declaration by itself was just words. It needed action to have effect. The first step was the approval of independence on July 2, followed by ratification on July 4 of the Declaration of Independence. The 13 American colonies still had to win their independence from Great Britain. The blood of Patriots with the help of France secured independence in 1783 through the Treaty of Paris. 1788 saw the writing of the Constitution followed in 1791 with the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights grants us our freedoms and liberties. The purpose was to protect the people against the government. The critical provision in the Constitution was Article V which allows the Constitution to be amended. The Constitution has thus been able to evolve over 218 years. The War of 1812, technically a draw with Great Britain, solidified American independence. No longer would England, France and Spain covet the American lands. Instead, they started selling much of the territory of the current 50 states to the United States of American. America was on course to American exceptionalism. America was an experiment in unleashing the human spirit and Yankee ingenuity. Flee poverty, oppression, and semi-serfdom in the old country and seek opportunity in the New World. The American people spanned the continent in 241 years from Jamestown in 1607 to the Statehood of California in 1848. They conquered the Eastern Wilderness, the frozen Northern Plains, and the burning deserts of the Southwest. Rivers were bridged, dammed, diverted and tunneled. Mountains were cut, blasted, and tunneled. Wetlands were filled, drained, and dredged. The American people may have primarily been Anglo-Saxon with some Dutch in 1776 and an influx of Ulster Irish. The Native Americans were considered savages and the slaves were slaves. America opened its doors to the peoples of the world. They all became Americans over time. The Civil War freed the slaves and united the country into one republic. It did more though; the Civil War Amendments - 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were construed to extent most of the Bill of Rights to the states and not just the federal government. American history, as with the history of any people, has shameful periods: the Native Americans and slavery, the anti-Asian animus, starting with Chinese immigrants, especially on the West Coast, limited rights for women, periods of xenophobia and racial discrimination. The genius of America, especially but not exclusively through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, has been over the span of 241 years to rectify those wrongs. American have become a people, but not one based on ethnicity, race, religion, gender, or skin color, but on a culture, ethos, and shared values. Today we bask in the success of the American revolution and the American people; Our Founding Fathers would be surprised, but thrilled to see the United States of today on the 4th: Freedom Independence Equal Rights Under the Law Due Process and the Rule of Law Parades Fireworks Bunting and Flags BBQ’s Picnics Family Reunions Speeches Protests Sales Drinking Joey Chestnut and the Coney Island Hotdog Eating Competition

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Memo to Media and Politicians on President Trump: The First Amendment Works Both Ways and Does Not Provide a safe Space or Comfort Zone for the Media

The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ….” The media has the First Amendment right to print almost anything it wants. It can print fake news, up to a point. It can print garbage and trash. It can be vitriolic and intemperate. It can be caustic. It can question the President’s sanity, call for his impeachment, label him with treason. It can call him sexist and misogynist. All of which they have done with President Trump. They are not bound by journalistic standards. Yet, the First Amendment does not grant immunity from criticism. The First Amendment work both ways. President Trump has a First Amendment Right to respond to the media. He can call them douchebags if he thinks they are acting like douchebags. Much of the media and many Democrats have been on a non-stop Crusade against President Trump, even before he was elected. They have thereby opened themselves up to criticism, criticism as strident as theirs. The First Amendment does not immunize them against responses, even if in bad taste or despicable. The First Amendment does not provide a “comfort zone” for journalists. Media that dish it out should not be surprised to be on the receiving end of criticism. They act like bullies, but then call President Trump a bully when his tweets insults them or others. The conduct, or misconduct, of the media symbolizes the deterioration of civil discourse in the country. The commentators, editorialists, and even reporters are no longer content professionally to critique on the merits and policies. Instead, they engage in personal ad hominin attacks on the President. They attack his character, his judgment, and his family. Morning Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have hurled highly offensive remarks about the President. In one broadcast she wondered if there’s “” a mental problem – or early onset dementia?” She’s also said she thought “he’s mentally ill in a way.” She compared the President another time to Kim Jong-Un, the brutal dictator of North Korea. Morning Joe said “My mother’s had dementia for 10 years. That sounds like the sort of thing my mother would say today.” He’s called President Trump “stupid,” a “jackass,” and a “schmuck” on other occasions. He’s said the President “clearly has a personality disorder.” We’ll told on June 23 that it feels like a “dictatorship” is developing in America. We also hear that] “This is a dark time.” Joe said on April 4 that “something is deeply wrong with this person.” Mika tweeted a photo of a box of Cheerios containing the caption “MADE FOR LITTLE HANDS.” She then commented on a Time Magazine cover of Donald Trump. She said he covered his hands “because they’re teensy,” echoing a statement of Senator Rubio during the primaries. She knew, and intended it to be, a comment on President Trump’s masculinity. She said he “is destroying the country.” Their broadcasts have been incessantly tasteless and classless. President Trump on Thursday tweeted Joe Scarborough was a “psycho” and called Mika Brzezinski “Low IQ crazy Mika.” He said he saw her “bleeding badly from a facelift. She denies the facelift, but admits to having “a little skin under her chin tweaked.” So not a full face lift, but a chin tweak? They responded Friday in an op-ed in the Washington Post. The title was “Donald Trump is Not Well.” Morning Joe said in a broadcast Friday that President Trump “attacks women because he fears women.” Mika said on Friday: “I’m just telling you, Melania’s got the worst job in the country and I don’t think she wants to do it a lot longer. I think she will do it for as long as she has to for her son, and that’s it.” Melania Trump responded with dignity and class: “It is sad when people try to further their own agenda by commenting on me and my family, especially when they don’t know me.” Mika also said President trump “appears to have a fragile, impetuous, childhood ego that we’ve seen over and over again.” The President tweeted on Saturday “Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their show is dominated by NBC bosses. Too bad!” It’s all good for the ratings! I personally like the unofficial Kennedy Family motto: “Don’t get mad; Get even.” I also like the saying “Revenge is best served cold.” President Trump has a different approach. He will not sit back and ignore the attacks, unlike President George W. Bush. President Bush thought it beneath the dignity of the President to respond. The media and Democrats proceeded to destroy his Presidency. President Trump has every right to respond. The media believes it has Freedom of Speech to pillory the President any way it wants, but call it bullying for the President to respond in kind. Critics accused President Trump of acting below the stature of a President; in short, “conduct unbecoming the President.” They don’t mention President Kennedy and his affairs, including a Mafia moll, a White House intern, an East German prostitute, a stripper, Jackie’s press secretary, and two White House secretaries, not to mention Marilyn Monroe, Gene Tierney, Janet Leigh, Kim Novak, Jayne Mansfield, Marlene Dietrich, and Angie Dickinson. JFK’s successor, LBJ, claimed to have had more women accidently than Kennedy had intentionally. President Clinton not only cheated in the White House, but then committee perjury about it. They say the President is acting uncouth, whereas more is expected of him as President. As to couth behavior, let’s look to some of our elected representatives. Senator Kristian Gillibrand at a New York conference asked if President Trump had kept his promises. She answered her own question with a resounding “F (expletive deleted) … No.” She had one F word, two “f…in” words, one “BulllS….” word, one “pissed off” and one “that sucks” in her presentation. Children were present in the audience. Senator Kamala Harris of California also used the F word in discussing healthcare at a San Francisco event: “What the f..k is that?” Outgoing California Democratic State Committee Chair John Burton led the delegates in a “F..k Trump” chant. Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said Republicans don’t “give a s..t about people.” He used the S word several times. And of course we have Vice President Joe Biden saying the passage of ObamaCare was “a big f..king deal.” The mainstream media’s goal is to destroy the Trump Administration. CNN has been caught using fake news. They will attack him regardless of what he tweets. If he were to tweet Happy Easter or Merry Christmas, they would jump on him for violating the separation of Church and State. The media attacked him a few weeks ago for his tweets criticizing the Mayor of London after the terrorist attacks. President Trump is a New York streetfighter. He will fight back, giving as good as he receives. The media also asserts the President should spend less time tweeting and more time running the country, which is precisely the one thing they don’t want him to do. MSNBC issued a statement: “It’s a sad day when the president spends his time bullying, lying, and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job.” Perhaps, instead of tweeting he could engage in the dalliances of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, or emulate President Clinton’s oral sex in the White House. Then we have President Obama who spent an excessive amount of his eight years out of the White House campaigning and fundraising, golfing, and vacationing. Despite the constant negative media barrage, President trump is governing and his Administration continues to pare back the Obama “Legacy.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The EU's Actual Problem is Not Google, but the EU Itself

Margrethe Vestager, an unelected bureaucrat, in her capacity as Commissioner for Competition of the European Union in Brussels, and formerly a career politician in Denmark, announced a €2.4b fine against Google for alleged antitrust violations in the EU. She said Google abused its power by providing its own companies’ companion services at the top of search results. She found Google “has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly, it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice, and innovation.” Its conduct distorted the market. Thus Google’s conduct was illegal under EU antitrust rules. As I understand it, Google is accused of abusing the market it pioneered. Consumers have choices. They choose Google out of their own free will. Significantly, Margrethe Vestager made no showing consumers were injured by Google’s conduct. Nothing prevents consumers from scrolling down the page and flipping pages. Nothing prevents consumers from using alternate sites, such as Bing or Safari. Nothing prevents consumers from going to Amazon. Nothing prevents consumers from checking out EBAY. Nothing prevents consumers from going directly to company sites. Google has 92% of the global search market and 90% of the European market. The complaint against Google was actually initiated by Microsoft, the arch-monopolist in U.S. computer software. Microsoft has failed and flailed against Google with Bing, eventhough it attached Bing to its operating system found on most personal computers. She’s not through with Google. She’s also looking at Google’s Android platform for cell phones, map app, flight pricing, and local business listings. Google is in a bad legal position with its search engine in Europe because of the choice Commissioner Vestager gave it: Change practices within 90 days or pay a daily fine of 5% of Alphabet Company’s (Google’s corporate parent) daily worldwide earnings. The real problem with Google from European eyes is that it’s an American company. She and her agency have animus against American success. A tentative settlement was reached with Google a few years ago, but the EU rejected it. The story is that France and Germany wanted strong sanctions imposed. Europe is scared of the GAFA companies: Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. She is seeking $14.5 billion from Apple in tax penalties for complying with Ireland’s tax laws. Investigations are also proceeding against Amazon and Qualcomm, not to mention McDonalds’s and Starbucks. Google is not the first United States technology company to feel the wrath of the EU. Now will it be the last. 2008 Microsoft €899m 2009 Intel €1.06b 2017 Facebook €110m The problem is the lack of innovation in Europe. About 7 decades of social democracy has rained most Western European countries of entrepreneurism. The disease is Eurosclerosis, a hardening of the economic arteries. France is a classic example. Squeezed by a monolithic bureaucracy, rigid work rules, and powerful labor unions, the economy has stagnated for decades. France’s GDP growth has averaged .79% from1949 to 2017. France’s population is growing an average .6% annually. The French people know it. They elected the conservative Nicolas Sarkozy President in May 2007. He failed. They elected the socialist Francois Hollande President in May 2012. He failed. They just elected Emmanuel Macron, a neophyte politician, President and gave his new party an overwhelming majority in Parliament. The European ethos and Brussels bureaucracy have deadened business initiative. The European countries have missed out on the high tech revolution, the greatest economic boom of recent decades, except for illegal drugs. Presence in mainframe computers 0 Presence in PC’s 0 Presence in software Minimal Presence in social me Essentially 0 Presence in smart phones Nokia was once big in cell phones, now 0 Europe has no Silicon Valley or Route 128 - not even a Research Triangle Square Europe has the brain power, but suffers a brain drain. Where are the European: Paul Allen Marc Andreessen Jeff Bezos Amar Bose Steve Case Michal Dell Larry Ellison Bill Gates Andy Grove William Hewlett Steve Jobs Alan Kay Gordon Moore Robert Noyes Adam Osborne David Packard An Wang Thomas Watson Sr. and Jr. Steve Wozniak Mark Zuckerberg, And a host of others? Margrethe Vestager and the EU bureaucracy are engaged in extortion and thuggery under the guise of law.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Republicans Are Not in a Lose Lose Situation With ObamaCare

If ObamaCare goes under during the Republican Administration and Congress, they will be blamed for it by the Democrats and media If Medicaid fails under the Trump Administration and Republican Congress, they will be blamed by the Democrats and Media for the failure If they repeal ObamaCare or tinker with it, they will be roundly condemned. No matter what they do, they will face opposition in the primaries or general election So just do the right thing – whatever you believe is the right approach. Americans are divided on ObamaCare. Polls, often wrong these days, consistently showed Americans opposed to it, but a recent poll shows only 16% favor the Congressional proposals. Americans did not want it in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. I doubt the majority of Americans want it in 2017. Some Republican members of Congress don’t think the House or Senate Bills go far enough in repealing ObamaCare. They call it ObamaLight. Senator Rand Paul will apparently be satisfied with nothing less than total repeal of Obamacare. That will not happen. Of course the republican proposals are ObamaLight; the Republicans face two major quandaries in “repealing” ObamaCare. The first is keeping the current provision on pre-existing conditions, probably the biggest source of economic distress in Obamcare and healthcare in general. Insurers did not cover pre-existing conditions in individual policies for economic reasons. That limitation, along with lifetime coverage limits and pre approvals were the major problems with existing health insurance. ObamaCare eliminates the pre-existing condition requirement. Many of the people rushing into the exchanges are those with expensive pre-existing conditions, which makes eminent sense and is highly foreseeable. It’s politically impossible to terminate an entitlement program upon which millions have become dependent. Pre-existing coverage is a political given, but expensive. The second issue is the expansion of Medicaid. ObamaCare greatly expanded Medicaid by raising the eligibility limit to 400% of the poverty level. Medicaid is an example of a politically popular program headed to economic disaster. It covers about half of all births and nursing home admissions in the United States and is the primary source of coverage of those with disabilities. States control costs by squeezing providers, such that an ever shrinking number of healthcare providers accept Medicaid patients. Escalating demand while restricting supply is a disaster. The only question is when it will implode. Millions of Americans enrolled in Medicaid pursuant to ObamaCare. Once again, these Americans cannot be thrown out of Medicaid without health coverage. Both the House and Senate bills will retain pre-existing conditions coverage and reduce Medicaid over a number of years, but not immediately. In other words, the Republicans are kicking Medicaid down the road. Critical provisions that will provide a boost to the American economy are the elimination of the individual mandate, the repeal of the scores of Obamacare tax increases, and the relaxation of coverage mandates. Medicaid is a drain on state budgets, often the largest expenditure and growing. The initial increase in Medicaid enrollment was covered 100% by the federal government, but it's share is dropping, placing a greater financial burden on the states. The Republican proposals will convert Medicaid into block grants with great discretion in the states in deciding how to allocate the funds. States currently have little discretion, except in squeezing providers. Of course, the demagogues in the Democratic Party are attacking the Republican proposals, echoed by the media. House Minority Leady Nancy Pelosi, with her usual hyperbole, said “We do know that many more people – millions, hundreds of thousands – of people will die if this bill passes.” ‘Millions, if not hundreds of thousands,” of America died before ObamaCare was enacted, during the past 8 years of ObamaCare, and in the future with or without ObamaCare. She also called it “mean and heartless.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it was “heartless” and a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” “Heartless” must be the focus group word of the week. California State Treasurer and aspirant Governor John Chiang said the Senate bill will result in 200,000 in California losing their jobs. Hillary Clinton asserted the Republicans will become the “Death Party” if they enact the Senate bill. Senator Elizabeth Warren called the Senate proposal “Blood money.” She claimed we would pay for the tax cuts with human lives. Her soulmate, Senator Bernie Sanders, called it a “barbaric and immoral piece of legislation.” He was more restrained than Representative Pelosi in estimating the casualty rate from the republican proposals, only asserting “thousands will die.” They are calling the proposals a tax break for the wealthy, such that the sick will subsidize the rich, such that Senator Richard Durbin labeled it a “tax cut for the wealthy.” He compared the Senate draft to the previous House proposal: “Put a lace collar on a pit bull and it’s still a mean dog.” Senator Sanders said the Republican proposals constitute a “massive transfer of wealth from working families to the very rich.” The reality, of course, is that the young and workers are subsidizing the ill and elderly. It’s called the individual mandate. The unsubsidized insured under ObamaCare face escalating premiums, high deductibles, and a limited pool of doctors. The Republicans need to understand that these are dangerous times for politicians; it is not politics as normal. The Republican landslides of 2010, 2014 and 2016 were caused by popular opposition to ObamaCare. Brexit and the election of President Trump further illustrate the vagaries of today’s body politic. 2017 is their chance to slow down, if not prevent, the collapse of the current American medical system. The voters who elected them can just as easily vote them out of office. ObamaCare is the defining legacy of President Obama and the Democratic Congress of 2008-2010. The act was viewed as a step on the path to single payer. The Democratic presumption was that if ObamaCare failed, which it would, then the next step would be single payer. ObamaCare is in a death spiral. The Republicans have two choices: 1) They can suck it up and vote for an ObamaCare replacement; or 2) Be voted out of office in 2018 and await the enactment of a single payer plan, in which case President Obama has won and the American people have lost.

President Trump Signed the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblowers Protection Act Last Friday

The Veterans Administration in recent years became a national disgrace: poor, non-existent or delayed medical treatment, bonuses and promotions to non-performing administrators and staffer, falsified reports, decrepit facilities, old technology. Veterans died while waiting for medical care. President Obama appointed General Eric Shinseki, former Army Chief of Staff, Secretary of the Veterans Administration on January 20, 2009. President Trump fired General Shinseki on May 30, 2014. General Shinseki failed to solve the VA’s problems and institutional morass, which existed before the Obama Administration. General Shinseki understood the bureaucratic obstacles when he assumed office. He did not resolve them. He couldn’t get past the civil service protections for most of the VA employees. For example, the independent Merit Systems Protection Board recently overturned the punishment meted out to three senior VA executives. Members of Congress, both Democratic and Republican, were outraged by the VA. They considered an accountability act for the VA last year. President Obama threatened to veto it. He was responding to the pressure of the American Federation of Government Employees, the VA employees union, rather than the veterans. He placed public employee unions above the needs of their charges. Donald Trump made a major campaign pledge to reform the VA. That became true last Friday in a signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House. The House of Representatives approved the bill 368-55 on June 13, 2017. The Senate had unanimously approved it on June 6. President Trump signed it on June 23 with very little press coverage. President Trump expressed the sentiments that President Obama could have said: “Our veterans have fulfilled their duty to this nation, and now we must fulfill our duty to them.” Some of the provisions include removing the appeals process for senior executives from the Merit Systems Protection Board and transferring it to the VA Secretary. . Staffers would have only 180 days to appeal their punishment. They will stay off the payroll during the appeals process if they were dismissed from their positions. The grievance procedure has been cut to 21 days. The notice period for removal has been cut to 10 days from 30 days. The standard to remove an employee has been lowered. No bonuses or relocation expenses could be made to staffers found guilty of wrongdoing or abuse. Managers should address poor performance and mismanagement by staffers since this requirement will now be a factor in the VA’s Secretary annual performance plan. The Act will hopefully improve the medical care we provide our veterans. A larger appropriation for medical providers will also help. The Act should also be a warning to the public sector employee unions that they may be losing their power to protect incompetent and venal workers.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Steve Jobs, The IPhone, and the Creative Destruction of Capitalism

Steve Jobs unleashed the IPhone3 on the world ten years ago. Great success in the marketplace can create new industries and opportunities. Capital flows to the winners and away from the failing and flailing companies. Success can also leave in its wake the detritus of failed companies. Civilization improves through the adoption of new technology and ideas. Henry Ford neither invented the automobile nor the assembly line, mass production of cars, but his Model T revolutionized America. It also put the carriage makers and buggy whip manufacturers out of business. It led to highways and suburbs and the demise of downtowns. Walmart’s success has put many retailers out of business. Kmart and Sears did not adapt and are headed into economic oblivion. Thousands more will lose their jobs. Google has shattered traditional advertising. Amazon is hurting traditional retail. Steve Jobs has been one of the greatest innovators of our generation. He and Steve Wozniak in a garage created the Apple computer, which led to the collapse of the large minicomputer manufacturers, Digital (DEC), Data General, Prime, Wang and others, after they in turn took substantial business away from the mainframe computer companies, IBM and the Bunch. Who remembers Burroughs, Univac, NCR, Control Data, and Honeywell? GE and RCA earlier failed in mainframe computers. After the Apple desktops and laptops in their various iterations survived the brutal Microsoft-Pc competition, Apple introduced in 2001 the IPod, a sophisticated MP3 Player. The SONY Walkman became history. Apple’s ITunes allowed the downloading of songs for $.99. The App store allowed independent software programmers to provide apps for downloading onto the Apple devices. The IPod led to the ITouch, a miniature computer with internet capability, including wifi capability and email, a great tool while traveling. The IPhone3, released on June 29, 2007, built on the ITouch, adding the phone service to the pre-existing ITouch features. The days of the dumb phone were numbered, while land lines are disappearing. In addition, pay phones are increasingly hard to find. The IPhone 3 was primitive compared to today’s IPhones, but it took off like Henry Ford’s Model T. Telecommunications will never be the same. Say goodbye to Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, SONY Ericsson, and a host of others, and soon Palm Pilot and Blackberry. Amazon and Microsoft failed in cell phones. The IPhone also included a mapping source and a camera. Future IPhone models substantially improved upon the camera quality and GPS capabilities of the map services. The digital camera on the phone and subsequently IPads shattered the 35mm SLR markets. I still love my digital Nikon phones, but that’s unusual these days. Digital photography sent the once great photo giant Kodak into bankruptcy. The map apps include voice directions. Drivers no longer need separate Garmin or Tom Toms in their cars. (Tom Tom is the basis of the Apple Map app). Traditional map sales are in the tank. The IPhone followed by Google Android phones are miniature computers absent a DVD drive. Apple did not stop with the IPhone. It released the IPad, a tablet, opening up yet another market. The mini computer lacks some of the features of the larger PC’s, but has caused a substantial drop in PC sales. Tablets have become ubiquitous in many commercial operations. All the while during the past decade Apple PC sales continue to grow while the sales of the other manufacturers have dropped. All the while Apple draws upon its cachet to price its products higher than competitors. Consumers, myself included, are willing to pay more for more. Apple hands-on service is outstanding, especially when you have an Apple Store nearby. We have three in Orange County, and have been quite satisfied when we’ve had to use their services. Apple’s products and competitors have revolutionized American society, but have left a trial of failed companies behind. That’s destructive capitalism! Those that couldn’t successfully innovate or respond to competition fell by the wayside. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, or Microsoft could also fail someday.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dump Trump! Wait! No! No! No! Dump Pelosi: More Lessons from Georgia 6

How fast perceptions can change in Politics. Just two days ago President Trump was an albatross wrapped around the Republican Party: Russian hacking of the Presidential Election; the Russian Connection; Obstruction of Justice; the constant attacks by late night shows, celebrities, and the media. His polls, already low, were in the tank. Time to impeach or dump the President. The Democrats had high hopes of winning the special election in Georgia 6. They wrapped the President around Karen Hander, the Republican candidate. The Republicans wrapped House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi around Jon Ossoff, as they have in other elections. The Republicans won. Congresswoman Pelosi is toxic in much of the country. Residents of red America don’t like Nancy Pelosi or her San Francisco Values. The young Ossofff was portrayed as Nancy Pelosi’s pupett. A classic republican ad (available on You tube) for Hander had San Francisco “residents” praising their next Congressman, Jon Ossoff, ending with a san Francisco cable car with a big “ad” for Jon Ossoff, next to a peace symbol, and above “San Francisco Congressman.” San Francisco Values don’t play well between the coasts. They also don’t like her. She comes across as arrogant, contemptuous, shrill and snarky. Congresswoman Pelosi has led the Democrats in the House for almost 15 years. She led them to victory and recontrol of the House in 2006. She gleefully pushed through ObamaCare (“We have to pass the Bill to know what’s in it”), and led the House Democrats to defeat in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016, four losses in a row. Yet, she has retained her position as leader of the House Democrats. How? Money. Jesse Unruh, the great California politician, said “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” Nancy Pelosi is a consummate fundraiser, raining money on her Democratic colleagues, $568 million. Just as money can’t always but love or an election, it also doesn’t always buy loyalty. Democrats don’t like losing, having controlled Congress for much of the past eight decades. They don’t like losing when they believed they would win, and she played a major role in the loss. The knifes are out with several Congressional Democrats meeting behind closed doors to discuss her future. Her days are numbered. The Democrats thought they had a real chance of winning because Georgia 6 contains a high percent of college educated graduates. They believe that educated Americans prefer Democrats to Republicans. The elitists believe the uneducated, hayseed, gun-clinging “deplorables” support President Trump and Republicans. President Trump barely carried District 6 in 2016. National surveys showed that voters with a college degree voted 52-43% for Clinton in 2016. Roughly 60% of District 6’s registered voters have college degrees. Ergo, 6 would turn blue from red, in their dreams. They forgot the great Speaker Tip O’Neill’s adage “All politics is local.” They ran a national campaign against President Trump for a carpetbagger in a local Congressional District. They continue to misunderstand “Flyover Country.” Even if the highly educated District 6 voters were lukewarm on President Trump, they did not want to go back to Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats. They don’t share the same values. Then we have the Hollywood celebrities. They were out in force in the primary and general election supporting Jon Ossoff. Campaign contributions rained in from Rosie O’Donnell, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Sean Daniel, Connie Britton, Sam Waterson, Kyra Sedgwick, Samuel L. Jackson (also did radio ads), Jon Cryer, Rhea Perlman, Lynda Carter, Sarah Silverman, George Takai and John Leguizamo. Tweets came from Chelsea Handler, Debra Messing, Mark Ruffalo, Kerry Washington, Billy Baldwin, and others. Alyssa Milano even drove Ossoff voters to the polls in the primary. The American people may watch their movies and TV shows, but they don’t like Hollywood values. Nor do they think Hollywood understands Americans who reside outside the Beverly Hills/Brentwood/Malibu cocoon. 7,218 contributions of $200 or more were recorded from California for the Ossoff Campaign. From March 29 through May 31 almost as much came from the San Francisco Bay Area ($220,532.10) as from all of Georgia ($228,474.44). Only 14% of his roughly $24 million campaign funding came from Georgia residents. Even his contributions were carpetbagged into the District. Voters don’t like incessant robocalls, which are political spam. The Ossoff Campaign engaged in a multitude of robocalls. (Side Bar – Congress has exempted political campaigns from the Do-Not Call List). Academicians also contributed to his campaign with month coming from each of the top 15 highly ranked universities, and public universities, such as Michigan. The Georgia 6 voters resented the external elitists trying to buy their seat. The Democratic “Get Out the Vote” effort encountered an obstacle in attempting to contact many Millennials, who were living in their parent’s homes because they either were unemployed or underemployed. If President Obama had spent more effort in growing the economy rather than in a policy redistribution, they might have homes of their own. One mother, in answering a Democratic call for her son, told her son that if he answered the call or voted for Ossoff, then he would immediately be cast out of the house on his own. The Democrats need a new message. Anti-Trump failed nationally in 2016. It failed locally in 2017.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Georgia 6 Shows Once Again that Money (and Democrats) Don't Always Win Elections

The Hillary Clinton campaign collectively spent $1.4 billion dollars to lose to Donald Trump’s $958 million. These sums include individual PAC campaigns. Money doesn’t always buy love or elections. An unpopular candidate with a poor message, campaigning skills, and strategy can still lose to a better candidate. She did not lose because of Russian hacking, Russian collusion, the FBI, James Comey, sexism, WikiLeaks, fake news, right wing media, mainstream media, Netflix, the Democratic National Committee, Vladimir Putin, voter suppression in Wisconsin, and Macedonia. She lost because she was the wrong candidate at the wrong time. Jon Ossoff lost Georgia 6 because he was the wrong candidate in the wrong district at the wrong time. About 40 years too late. Georgia 6 has been a strong Republican district since Newt Gingrich first won it in 1979. The Democrats have been seeking a special Congressional election to swing a Republican District to the Democrats. It would be a large morale booster to the dispirited Democrats. It would be a momentum builder. It would provide the game plan first to win back the House of Representatives in 2018 and then the Presidency in 2020 on an anti-Trump platform. It would show a way to divide President Trump from his base. Not Trump! Not Trump! Not Trump! That’s the campaign strategy. The media’s hammering President Trump non-stop. The accusations are relentless. Yet the President keeps coming, just like the Energizer Bunny. Ossoff young, 30, a fresh face, telegenic, an earnest campaigner. He grew up in the district, but now lives outside of it with his fiancĂ©, which makes him a carperbagger. Jon Ossoff – the new face of the Democratic Party – earnest, enthusiastic, energetic! A Bernie Sanders acolyte as the Democrats move to the left. He lost 53%-47%, a wider margin than expected. The polls were wrong again. First Kansas. The Republicans won. Second Montana. A pugilistic Republican won. Today, Georgia and South Carolina. Both Republicans won. The Democrats thought, or hoped, that the moderate, highly educated Republicans in Georgia 6 would reject the Republicans. Donald Trump, the presidential candidate, barely carried Georgia 6 in 2016. Many even believed Ossoff would win. They poured money into his campaign. Total estimated expenditures of the two campaigns are between 54 and $60 million, the most expensive Congressional campaign to date. The Ossoff campaign raised $23.6 million compared to $4.5 for the handel campaign. Outside spending by the Democratic Party and PACs added another $7.6 million to his campaign. However, the Republicans poured another $18.2 million into the Handel campaign. Add them up, the Ossoff campaigners spent about $31.2 million and the Handel campaigners $22.7 million. As with the 2016 Presidential Election, money did not decide the election, notwithstanding the Democratic hysteria over Citizens United. The Georgia campaign on the issues was interesting. Ossoff was stridently anti-trump during the primary, but toned it down during the general election. Karen Handel had the support of President Trump, but did not run with him or against him. Her campaign focused on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is still a negative figure in Red America. Other issues were tax reform, ObamaCare, and terrorism. The shooting House Republican Steve Scalise also played a factor in the outcome. The Republicans claim a real victory. The Democrats claim a moral victory. Which do you want in politics?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Memo to Democrats and the Media: President Rump is Implementing His Agenda

Memo to Democrats and the Media: President Trump and the Republicans’ Accomplishments Over the Past Two Weeks The Russian Connection, Obstruction of Justice, Comey, Mueller, and the tragic shooting of the Republicans in Alexandria have sucked the oxygen out of the air. It’s as though nothing else occurred in D.C. this past week. Yet some pundits can’t understand how the President can be so sanguine during this period. He seems unfazed in public despite the relentless academic, media, political, and legal attacks, How can he withstand the massive Trump Derangement attacks, the never ending negative news and blistering media attacks? Why won’t President Trump simply give up and resign? The answer is simple. His Administration, the Republican Congress, and administrative agencies are implementing his campaign promises. One by one, step by step, the Obama Legacy is becoming history. One of the most significant acts was taken by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, June 5 was to end the diversion of federal settlement funds to private liberal, progressive groups favored by the Obama Administration. For example, the settlements with BP and Transocean over the Macano Blowout sent $2.3 billion to organizations, such as the American Lung Association, Ducks Unlimited, and the National Fish and Wildlife Federation. The defendants have been wiling to enter into these “contributions” to NGO’s because they are deductible as charitable contributions whereas government fines are not. These recipients are not victims of the alleged wrongdoing, but they get to benefit from it. The funds not going to the government should go to the victims, not government favored organizations. I have seen an argument that these settlements violate federal law. AG Sessions’ memo prohibits settlement provisions “that directs or provides for a payment or loan to any non-governmental person or entity that is not a party to the dispute.” Another significant step to protect America was done by the State Department. The Obama Administration kept seeing a rigorous processing procedure was used in vetting refugees into the United States. However, it barred the use of a major measure that could uncover some potential terrorists or criminal’ the use of social media. The Trump Administration approved a new questionnaire for visa applicants. It will ask for social media accounts used over the preceding five years and travel history over the previous 15 years. The Obama Administration through the Department of Education went on a Jihad over the past couple of years against for-profit higher education institutions, putting some out of business. The Administration issued rule making it easier for students at these institutions to write off their student loans. These new regulations were due to go into effect July 1. The Trump Department of Education suspended these rules a few days ago. The Department will now restudy and situation and adopt new rules, which will also be directed at reducing the fraudulent practices of which some of the schools were accused. The House approved 368-55 “The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.” The Senate approved it June 6. The bill will make it easier to fire VA managers and employees for cause. The Senate approved 97-2 on Wednesday a bill that will toughen sanctions against the Russians. Wednesday was a big day. The Department of Labor rescinded a controversial Obama Administration standard defining when companies, such as fast food chains, can be held as a “joint employer” with a franchisee. The Democrats as fellow travelers who previously had no problem with Secretary Clinton’s Russian reset, and President Obama’s statement that he could do more after reelection, now had no problem now acting against Russia, since it is the lynchpin of their delegitimizing of President Trump. (I hate writing sentences this long and convoluted). Just today, in Little Miami, Florida, he rescinded much of the Obama pact with Cuba. A little over two weeks ago on Thursday, June 1 President Obama announced “We’re getting out “of the Paris Accords. Why is President Trump hanging in there against a veritable tsunami? He is succeeding with his agenda.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

It's Time to Tone Down the Rhetoric, Before It's Too Late

James T. Hodgkinson, a left-wing Bernie Sanders volunteer and supporter, and a crazed nutjob with a long rap sheet, shot up a Republican baseball practice this morning. He severely wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Capitol Police Special Agent Crystal Griner, Congressional aide Zach Barth, and lobbyist Matt Mika were also shot. He had previously posted on Face Book “Trump is a traitor. Trump has destroyed our democracy. It’s time to destroy Trump and Company.” He did not think of those thoughts on his own. This year has seen the politics of personal destruction reach a new low, dropping into the sewer of politics. The tone of debate has been deteriorating for years. Let’s not blame it on Democrats or Republicans. Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate this year that said nasty comments about opponents. Hillary Clinton often took the low road while professing to stay on the high road. Politics is a blood sport. Presidential elections can take rhetoric and dirty tricks to unacceptable levels because so much is at stake. This year though did not see the vitriolic end on election day. Instead, it has escalated against President Trump. Illegitimate, impeach, resist, treason have become the watchwords of the leftwing of the Democratic Party. We’ll told to “Resist” and “Fight Back.” Hillary Clinton says she’s setting up a “Resistance” PAC. “Traitor” and “treason” have joined the everyday lexicon. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times have led the mainstream media parade in daily drips of anti-Trump rhetoric, anti-Trump-all the time, 24-7. It’s time to back off, relax, take a deep breath, exhale, It’s time to engage in critical analysis. Reasoned debate is leaving the academy and society. Celebrities have taken low comedy into the swamp. Madonna has thought of blowing up the White House. Kathy Griffin held up a gory decapitated head of Donald Trump. New York’s Shakespeare in the Park is playing Julius Caesar. That’s art. Caesar is assassinated. That’s history. They’ve updated it to modern times; that’s poetic license. The Bard’s plays aren’t copyrighted. Their version of Julius Caesar portrays Donald Trump as Caesar, yellow hair, red tie, and a Slovenian accented wife. That may be protected Free Speech, but it’s outrageous. Progressives, such as the LA Times Michael Hiltzak, have criticized Bank of America and Delta Airlines for withdrawing their financial support of Shakespeare in the Park. He would have been apoplectic if President Obama had received this treatment. Let us not forget the academics, the molders of the minds of our students, promoting intolerance on our campuses. Professor Lars Maischak tweeted President Trump “should hang.” He also wrote that two Republicans should be executed for every deported immigrant. Professor Olga Perez Stable Cox called President Trump “a white supremacist” and the election as an “act of terrorism.” Her colleagues were so pleased with her statements that they voted her faculty member of the year. Professor Ray Michalowski of Northern Arizona called the President “the racist in chief.” Professor Thomas Chung, a professor painting at the University of Alaska Anchorage, displayed a painting with Chris Evans, Captain America, holding up President Trump’s decapitated head, by his hair. The lack of reasoned discourse and freedom of speech on our campuses will test our democracy. Violence did not begin this morning. The past year has witnessed not only threats but also physical violence directed at conservative speakers on our campuses, conduct which far exceeds protected peaceful picketing and demonstrations. Let us remember that protestors were hired during the general election to disrupt Trump rallies. No one statement or act led to this individual act of violence. Collectively they create a tone and atmosphere inciting violence, often by nut jobs. Left wing violence, right wing violence, they’re out there. Don’t feed them red meat. My concern is also based on history. Weimar Germany experienced increasing acts of street violence and riots between the Communists and Nazis before the Nazis came to power. Violence begets more violence. We need to back down from the uncivil discourse.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lessons from the London Election

The pollsters got it wrong again, as in the 2015 British general election, Brexit, the 2017 British general election and the 2016 United States election. The “finely tuned” pollsters have had difficulty since the advent of the cell phone. Polls were traditionally based on polling land lines. The younger generation doesn’t use land lines. The second problem is estimating turnout, not just by overall percentages, but by demographics and age. The third party is measuring late-developing turnout and voting. The past is not always prologue. The second lesson is the role of young voters, the 18-24 voters. They stayed home in the 2016 and Brexit elections, eventhough they opposed Brexit. They showed up this time. Their turnout was up 12% from 2015 to 2017, and they voted roughly 2:1 for Labor. The older voters had voted overwhelmingly for the Conservatives in 2015 and Brexit in 2016. Jeremy Corbyn, Labor’s leader to the left of Senator Bernie Sanders, had a siren call for the young voters: FREE COLLEGE TUITION! Watch the Democrats pick up on free tuition in upcoming elections. President Obama appealed to the young voters in 2012 by offering to cut the interest rate on student loans. They jumped on it, not realizing that what they really needed was jobs. The young voters are globally dissatisfied with their economies. They no longer see the fabled post - World War II America of upper mobility. They don’t see opportunity in the economy. They see “capitalism” as creating no jobs. Indeed, they have been accustomed in democratic socialist countries to look to the government instead of self-reliance. Think of President Obama’s Julia in the 2012 Presidential Election. The young voters have been educated, especially in today’s colleges, that business is greedy and unresponsive to consumers. They are ignorant even of basic economics. The young have not been taught to engage in critical analysis. Consequently, they look to government to solve their problems, for now. The youth vote is not a constant. Third, Prime Minister Theresa May tried to move the Tories to the left in the general election. Conservatives need to understand that they can never outbid the parties of government! The Prime Minister’s campaign also echoed the American presidential election. An energetic candidate who speaks to the needs of the people can defeat a staid, status quo candidate. Theresa May is not Hillary Clinton, but she also ran a lackluster campaign. The conservative Prime Minister could normally have been expected to rally her voters by stressing law and order after the three terrorist attacks in England in three months. She said “Enough is enough.” However, just as Hillary Clinton could not escape her private server and email. Theresa May could not escape her previous six years as Home Secretary, where she cut the country’s police forces by 20,000 officers. In addition, many of the terrorists were known to the authorities, but nothing was done about them. The American people in 2016 and the British people in 2017 voted against the status quo. Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump recognized the will of the people. Mr. Corbyn did not win a majority or plurality, but he was supposed to lose in a landslide. Instead, his Labor Party gained 31 seats while the Tories lost 12 seats, losing a majority in Parliament. Britain and the United States are divided politically. Any party representing the status quo is in danger.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Trump v. Comey

Yesterday's Senate Intelligence Committee with former FBI Director James Comey reaffirmed my view that President Trump should have fired FBI Director James Comey on first day of his Presidency. Director Comey’s reputation going into the hearing was as an independent pillar of integrity. If you listened carefully to him, then you realized he came across as a petty, petulant, vengeful, vindictive bully who did not get his way. It was all about “Me” – “James Comey” and how he was wronged. After the sturm und drang of Director Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, nothing has changed. The media that thinks the President is an impeachable liar who is obstructing justice still believes President Trump is an impeachable lair who is obstructing justice. They’re long since past looking at the actual facts. He said that many of the “leaked” newspaper disclosures have been false, but that doesn’t stop the media from reporting them to denigrate President Trump. James Comey said he told President trump three times that he was not the subject of an investigation. He also said that not only did the President not call for an end of the Russian intervention investigation, but wanted to find out if any of his staff were involved. President Trump said “if some of my satellites did something wrong, it’ll be good to do find that out.” Director Comey added no order or request came from the President or his staff to halt the investigation. That does not sound like obstruction of justice unless you are deft to the facts. When asked why he had not objected when President Trump asked for loyalty and hoped any case against General Flynn could be dropped, Director Comey responded to a question by Senator Feinstein “Maybe if I were stronger I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation that I just …. took it in. ….” The weak FBI Director then decided to record his conversations in memos, but did not talk to the Attorney General, deputy Attorney general, White House Counsel, or even point out to the President that his remarks were inappropriate. The FBI Director acted “strong” in the Bush Administration when he threatened to resign if the President didn’t make changes to the FISA warrant standards. The Dems can’t let go of their Russian hacking and impeachment of President Trump crusade. It’s their links to their base. Plus, as in the 2016 election, they have nothing to offer the American people. If President Trump has committed obstruction of justice, then President Obama is much more guilty of it when he twice publicly said secretary Clinton was innocent and did nothing wrong with her server and emails. Sooner or later most Americans will realize that the Democrats have been huffing and puffing about nothing. Senator Marco Rubio asked the key question about the leaks: “Do you ever wonder why, of all the things in this investigation, the only thing that’s never leaked is the fact that the president was not personally under investigation, despite the fact that Democrats and Republicans and the leadership of Congress knew that and have known that for weeks?” Director Comey accused the President of being a liar who defamed him and the FBI. He objected to the charge that the “FBI was poorly led and in disarray.” Is President Trump unqualified for the presidency because he is accused of lying? If so, that would disqualify every president since 1932 with the possible exception of President Carter, who was simply grossly incompetent. How about President Obama when he lied both to the American people and the United Nations on Benghazi, blaming it on a 12 minute video nobody had seen? How about Secretary Clinton with her repeated lies about her private server? A few bombshells came from Director Comey’s testimony. First was the actions of Attorney General Loretta Lynch after her meeting on the Phoenix Airport tarmac with President Clinton. The FBI was investigating Secretary Clinton’s private server. The Attorney General asked the FBI Director to call it a “matter” rather than an “investigation,” echoing the talking points of the Clinton Campaign. The FBI does investigations, not matters. That was a direct attempt by President Obama’s Attorney General to interfere with the Clinton investigation. Comey said “That was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department.” He was “confused and concerned” by the request. What he did was publicly “indict” Hillary Clinton and then exculpate her in the same press conference on July 5, 2016. His decision against prosecuting the Secretary was not within his jurisdiction. It was the Justice Department’s call. If the Attorney General could not act, then he should have taken it to Sally Yates, the Deputy Attorney General. He also rewrote the statute to exonerate Secretary Clinton, requiring an intent requirement when none is required by the statute. FBI Director Comey also gave sweetheart immunity deals to two of secretary Clinton’s aides. He made sure the server in question would be destroyed. He interviewed secretary Clinton near the end of his investigation, but not under oath. As to “matter” versus “investigation,” he acceded to the Attorney General’s request. He was “confused and concerned” by her request, but apparently did not start creating memos about their conversations. He grossly mishandled the Clinton investigation, both on July 5 and then October 28 and November 6 right before the election. The career prosecutors and FBI agents were very upset at his act. The media commented on the disarray within the FBI, which President Trump echoed in his tweets. It’s not defamation is the statement is true. Who’s mistaken now? The logical explanation for FBI Director’s misconduct in office in the Clinton Investigation is that he thought as did most Washington, D.C., that Hillary Clinton would be elected President. He wanted to remain FBI Director, having prostrated himself before President Obama to obtain the appointment. He knew his status under President Trump was tenuous. President Trump’s mistake was not terminating James Comey on January 20, 2017, his first day in office. Director Comey’s second bombshell was admitting leaking a memo to a friend, a law professor at Columbia, with the intend that his friend leak it to the media. He claimed he did so on May 16 in reaction to President Trump’s May 12 tweet in hopes of spurring the appointment of a special prosecutor. The facts don’t add up. The New York Times published excerpts from the leak the day before the tweet. Go figure! Questions: What else has Comey leaked? What about Susan Rice? How much did Ben Rhodes leak?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What to Expect from Tomorrow's Comey/Comedy Hearing? Nada

Drum roll! Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow. The Democrats are salivating; this is it; the smoking gun for impeachment is here. The media is setting the stage forth second coming of Watergate. Ignore the substance; observe the Senators. Keep your eyes on Senators kamala Harris (D. Ca.), Angus King (Ind/D Maine) and Ron Wyden (D. Ore). Who will win the 15 second sound bite on the evening news? Did you know the Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing today? Today’s witnesses, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers, provided nothing of substance for the Democrats today. There is no there, there. They rebutted some of the “bombshell” media The Democrats will show tomorrow a zeal they lacked on IRS, Benghazi, and Fast and Furious. They will huff and puff, grandstand for their 15 minutes of fame. The media will highlight anything, absolutely anything, that might make the President look bad. No matter how much James Comey despises President Trump, he has to be careful about what he says to avoid charges of perjury. He had already testified before Congress that he was not pressured by the President to drop the investigation of General Flynn. Here’s what we know from his 7 page opening statement released by the Committee today. He told the President three times that he was not a target of the investigation. The President asked for loyalty; Mr. Comey responded with “honesty.” The President wanted the FBI Director to give a break to General Flynn, but was not pressured to do so. Two Democrats Congressmen, Al Green of Texas and Brad Sherman of California, announced today that they are preparing articles of impeachment against President Trump for obstruction of justice. James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, spoke before reporters in Canberra, Australia today. He said Watergate pales in comparison with President Trump and Russia. Was James Clapper serious? Watergate involved a breakin of the Democratic National Committee, followed by an orchestrated coverup by the President and his White House staff, including the Attorney General. Many of the staff went to prison. So far, there has not been shown to be an underlying crime. Second, isolated statements by the President do not constitute criminal behavior. Third, President Trump in his capacity as President has the power and right to fire members of the Executive Branch, such as the Director of the FBI, for any reason. Fourth, the FBI Director spent much of 2016 upsetting Democratic and Republican politicians for a series of inexplicable acts. Some fervent never-Trumpers may buy into the construct of Comey as a political martyr, but most Americans will not. Fifth, James Comey is no John Dean. Sixth, no evidence exists of any Trump Administration concerted action to stop the Russian investigation or even conspire with the Russians during the election campaign. Seventh, there is neither a smoking gun nor money trail. And yet, James Clapper in Australia and nor D.C., was the highpoint for the Democrats and media today. The media spent little time reporting on today’s Senate hearing. Tomorrow promises to be another yawner.

Monday, June 5, 2017

President Trump Scrapped the Paris Accord - Hardly a Step Towards Climate Armageddon

President Trump fulfilled one of his larger campaign promises. He scrapped the Paris Accord on global warning. It would seem like Armageddon on earth if you listen to the global outrage. If President Trump were a normal politician, he would have exercised one of two options. He could have left it in place, and then ignored it because it is not binding. Or he could have sent it to the Senate for ratification as a treaty, knowing the Senate on a bipartisan basis would have rejected it. President trump is not a normal politician. Instead he did the right thing. He rejected it outright. Period. The Paris Accord was a treaty between nations, no matter how President Obama tried to entangle the United States into an international accord by executive order without going through Congress, which never would have ratified it. Fareed Zakaria said the United States “resigns as head of the Free World.” He conveniently forgets that President Obama’s foreign policy was famously based on “Leading from behind.” President Trump’s is “America First.” President Trump said he represents the people from Pittsburgh, not Paris. 195 countries signed onto the Paris Accord. If you listen to President Trump’s critics and foreign leaders, President Trump has condemned the globe to ruination. Maureen Dowd, the great columnist for the New York Times, wrote “Trump Stomps Planet Earth.” They’re crying crocodile tears. The accord is not binding on any of the signatories, is unenforceable, and subject to change. No penalties exist for violations. Each of the 195 signatories self-determines its “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions,” (INDC) which became its non-binding obligation in the accord. For example, China, the leading greenhouse emitter in the world, agreed to increase its emissions annually until 2030, when it would cut back. If it cuts greenhouse gas emissions before 2030, it will do so because of internal political pressures and because the smog in Beijing and other major cities has become unacceptable. The third world, undeveloped countries would not make any representations that would hamper any economic development. Germany, having shut down its nuclear reactors, is increasing its use of coal. The New York Times even wrote “In truth, the agreement does not require any country to do anything ….” Thus, we are back to Gertrude Stein’s famous quote: “There is no there, there.” The only country that obligated itself to do anything was the United States to carry through on President Obama’s war on Coal. President Obama committed the United States to reduce greenhouse emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2020. Half of these levels have been met by electric utilities switching from coal to natural gas for economic reasons. Fracking has unleashed a flood of low cost natural gas into the market. China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide. It can continue to increase CO2 emissions for 15 years while the United States is engaged in a self-inflicted wound on its economy. India and Russia could continue to increase CO2 emissions while the United States shut down its reliable, cheap energy industries. The Obama bias was directed at all fossil fuels. The rest of the world is upset because President Trump will not preside over the ruination of the American economy. The Third World is upset because they will not be getting economic reparations from the United States. President Obama’s environmental policy reflected the beliefs of the blue coastal state. President Trump’s environmental policy represents the red states manufacturing heartland of America. They elected him to the Presidency. He said “It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania along with many, many other locations within our great country before Paris, France.” Cries of Armageddon flooded the media today, prophesizing a parade of horrors to the planet from global warming. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the President’s act a “devastating failure of historic proportions,” which is basically what he says of any action by President Trump. The Los Angeles Times called President Trump “reckless and irresponsible.” Al Gore simply calls him “irresponsible.” Tom Stayer, the Silicon Valley hedge fund gazillionaire and possible candidate for office in California, called it a “traitorous act.” Max Boot, the Los Angeles Times columnist, said “The President chooses nationalism over the planet.” President Trump chose sovereignty over global bureaucrats, of which the EU bureaucrats in Brussels are an example. The same outcries of Armageddon flooded the media in 2001 when President George W. Bush withdrew from the Kyoto Agreement. The Paris Accord was one of three Obama-Kerry international agreements which are incredibly disastrous and foolhardy by objective analysis. The first is the Iranian agreement in which the President shipped $1.4 billion in crash at night in unmarked planes to the mullahs of Iran. The idealistic, naive rationale was that the mullahs would use the money to improve the economic conditions of the Iranian people rather than using it to foster terrorism and military expansionism. This agreement puts the world at risk. The second was the agreement reinstating relations with Cuba as Cuba continues its brutal dictatorship. It continues to put the Cuban people at risk. The third is the Paris Accord, which puts the American economy at risk.. How empty is the existing Paris Accord? MIT researcher estimate that if the existing agreement is fully complied with, it will only result in a .2°Celcius reduction in temperature from the predicted increase. Always keep in mind though the climate change models to date have been highly inaccurate. A related agreement is the Global Climate Fund, which purports to transfer $100 billion to third world, undeveloped countries in reparations, sorry renewables and infrastructure, by 2020. President Obama committed the United States to $3 billion of the sum, and paid in $1 billion. So far, only the United States of the major greenhouse gas emitting countries, has paid into the fund. The irony of the response is that many global leaders, corporate leaders, governors, mayors, and university presidents have vowed to continue to adhere to the Paris Accord, which in fact has nothing to adhere to.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Kathy Griffin is a Two-Bit Semi-Comedic Bully Who Can't Handle a Backlash

Kathy Griffin is a “comedic” bully who, like most bullies, can’t handle it when the victims push back. Her comedic shtick can be described as unrefined Don Rickles. The late comedian hurled insults, but they weren’t malicious. Kathy Griffin said “I’m happy to do a beat down to Donald Trump – and also to Barron.” She said she would go straight at Barron, after calling President Trump a “piece of s—t.” A line exists, sometimes a fine line and sometimes a gray line, between the acceptable and unacceptable. An understood rule is to keep the President’s family out of it unless they become involved in political activity. Barron Trump is 11 years old and not politically involved. Kathy Griffin is also stupid and has inhaled too much of the Trump Derangement Syndrome. She figured she could score points with her fellow Hollywood crowd by outdoing them. Any late night show host can insult President Trump. Any politico could hurl obscenities at the President. Anyone can protest the President. Nope, she would do a visual stunt that will exceed anything done before. It would get her the 15 minutes of fame, or infamy. There’s few limits on how far one can go in criticizing the President as critics keep pushing the limits. He crossed the line. Kathy Griffin has freedom of speech to malign the President. Freedom of speech includes the visual. Freedom of speech allows her to maliciously, gleefully show the bloody decapitated head, a la ISIS, of President Trump. Freedom of speech does not prevent a blowback. She half expected a reaction, but not the one she received. The non-funny comedian is suddenly radioactive. She quickly issued a pro forma apology that sounded like it came off the internet. Conservatives and liberals on a bi-partisan basis were shocked. Her CNN New Year partner denounced her. CNN, normally hostile to President Trump, cancelled her annual show. Venues cancelled her upcoming performances. Very few, Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, and Alex Baldwin, defended her. Senator Franklin, the comedian in the Senate, initially supported her, but then sensing which way the wind was blowing, ran away from her. Kathy Griffin, if she had even half a brain, would have doubled down on her apology and then ducked for cover, riding out the storm, and then emerging as a penitent in a year or two. Alex Baldwin, Robert Downey, Jr., Mel Gibson, Rob Lowe, Hugh Grant and Martha Stewart have all found redemption. Nope, she hired Lisa Bloom as her attorney. Lisa has learned well from her mother, Gloria Allred, on how to attack. Her press conference was either an act of gross stupidity or rank paranoia. She lashed out at the “mob mentality pile on.” She blamed it on President Trump and his family: “What’s happening to me has never happened, ever in the history of this country, which is that a sitting President of the United States and his grown children and the First lady are personally, I feel, trying to ruin my life forever. Forever.” She said the President “He broke me,” but that she would continue to make fun of him. She added “He picked the wrong redhead.” She also said though that her career is ruined. She’s clearly clueless. Kathy Griffin should look up Kathleen Willie, Paula Jones, and Juanita Broaddrick. She also blamed old white men for her problems. The ladies of The View, no fans of President Trump, were also outraged by her conduct. They are not, last time I looked, old white men. It’s unfortunate she received death threats. It’s unfortunate that death threats are increasingly common in our society as a way to express outrage. She can dish it out, but not take it. Civil discourse is dying in our country. Kathy Griffin has contributed to the loss of civil discourse. Kathy Griffin showed herself to be a D- comedian with an F performance compounded by an F press conference.

Hillary Clinton Agonistes 2017

Hillary Clinton is at war. Hillary Clinton is at war with everyone except herself and perhaps her husband. She is bitter about her loss, lashing out in a state of denial. She needs to go away and fade quietly in the sunset unless she wants to become today’s Harold Stassen, who wouldn’t go away. As long as she pontificates and delves in self-delusion, the Democratic Party needs to move on but can’t. The Democrats need a constructive dialogue, not more polemics, histrionics, and recriminations. She was interviewed at a Recode Code Conference Wednesday in the highly affluent Palos Verdes, California. Speaking in Palos Verdes is illustrative of her out-of-touch campaign with the American people. Hillary boldly said “I take responsibility for every decision that I made – but that’s not why I lost.” She then blamed everyone else, except herself, for her loss to Donald Trump, starting with Donald Trump. She trashes her own supporters. She blamed the Russians, fake news, FBI Director Comey, and even the Macedonians for her lost. She dumped on the Democratic National Committee, saying that when she won the nomination, she inherited nothing from the DNC. The DNC was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, non-existent, wrong. She said she got nothing from the DNC. She raised over $1 billion dollars for her campaign, but apparently wasted it. The Obama Campaign mastered data mining in 2012, but she was clueless. The DNC under Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schulz paved the road for her nomination, but no acknowledgment of their services to you. Her Wednesday interview was a Clinton compendium of fake news. She blamed President Obama for not being helpful to her campaign. She called out the New York Times for treating her personal server “like it was Pearl Harbor,” ignoring the fact that the Times and other mainstream media hammered Donald Trump seemingly non-stop. She ignored “Flyover” America full of a“ basket of deplorables.” That was her decision – not the Russians. She didn’t lost Wisconsin by 22,000 votes, Michigan by 11,000, Pennsylvania by 44,000, while barely holding onto Minnesota because of the Russians. She lost them in 2010 when the Republicans swept the Rust Belt., seizing control of almost every legislative branch and governorship. They did equally well in 2014. That Wisconsin, home of the Progressive Movement, turned conservative was a warning shot to Democrats. Her response was to ignore Wisconsin – not one campaign appearance. That was her decision – not the Russians. She blamed the loss on voter suppression. Her campaign strategy suppressed her vote in Wisconsin. She barely campaigned in Michigan. That was her decision – not the Russians. She took Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania for granted and campaign on a “I’m not Trump.” She declaimed Trump, saying “He really understands how to inflame people, how to motivate them, how to bond with them,” but she is the candidate who called the Trump voters “deplorables.” She is unable to connect with people, unlike her husband. She blamed FBI Director Comey for her loss. She should have been grateful he didn’t arrest her. She blamed sexism and misogyny for her loss, but that doesn’t explain her loss in 208 to Senator Barack Obama, an African American. She blamed the Russians for weaponizing technology with the help of the Trump Campaign to defeat her, which or may not have been the case, but she set up the server and conducted official government business on it. John Podesta fell for a phishing attack. The Trump campaign did not. The Clinton Campaign raised over a billion dollars on her campaign, but she often ignored the advice of her staff. She campaigned and hobnobbed with Hollywood celebrities, but ignored the hardworking blue collar workers of America. Hillary Clinton is delusional, remaining out of touch with reality. Thank God she’s not President.