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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wow, That Didn't Take Long

President Trump nominated federal judge Neil Gorsuch to be a Justice of the Supreme Court tonight.  The name was announced around ten after eight.  It's now a half hour later.  In that time, I have received twelve emails from groups commenting on the nomination.  Two support Gorsuch and ten oppose him.

It's amazing to see the attacks start so quickly.  Judge Gorsuch has an impeccable education record (Columbia, Harvard Law School and Oxford).  He clerked for two Supreme Court justices and a circuit court judge as well.  He has serve for a decade on the Tenth Circuit and has issued a great  many impressive decisions.  He is known for his clarity both of thought and writing.  He is very close in positions to the late Justice Antonin Scalia whose seat is being filled.  In other words, Gorsuch is a fine selection for the Court.  Despite that, the email attacks that I received so far are not acknowledging his qualifications.  One says that he will overturn Roe v. Wade.  Gorsuch has never ruled on abortion as far as I can find; he also has said nothing about overturning that decision.  The attack just goes with a lie.  Another email calls Gorsuch "unqualified"; that's totally ridiculous, but the attack comes nevertheless.  One other email actually calls Gorsuch a "closet bigot".  There's nothing to support that charge, but it's being pushed anyway.

I am on the mailing list of all sorts of organizations.  I do that to hear what is being said by all sides.  Sometimes, like tonight, I regret doing that.  Judge Gorsuch is a first class individual.  Some people may not like his politics, but no rational person could attack his superior qualifications for the job.  It's really disgusting to watch some of the left wing organizations make false attacks against the judge.

Crying Chuck the Racist/Sexist

The senate approved the nomination of Elaine Chao to be Secretary of Transportation today.  The vote was 93 to 6.  The opposition to Chao consisted included NY senator Chuck Schumer.  There is no question that Chao is qualified to hold this post.  In fact, she was in the cabinet in previous administrations and did a great job.  So why did Schumer vote no?  Chuck didn't bother to explain his vote.  Could it be that Schumer did not want to see a woman of color in the cabinet?  (Chao is Asian/American.)  Does that make Schumer a racist?  Is he a sexist?  It's a question worth pondering.

More Nonsense From The Perpetual Outrage Machine

The other day, the part of the mainstream media that is always outraged by things Trump went into overdrive because the President's daughter Ivanka tweeted a picture of herself and her husband dancing at a formal event.  Places like Yahoo News nearly melted down because the President had issued his order temporarily closing off entry to the USA to people from a few countries with terrorism problems, and there was Ivanka and husband Jared dancing!  Oh the horror!

Does anyone remember 2009?  Millions upon millions of Americans were losing their homes and their jobs with little likelihood of regaining them at any time soon.  President Obama and his wife Michelle didn't stop holding formal events at the White House.  They were often seen in formal clothes at some event or another.  Obama went off to play golf on a frequent basis.  The first family took quite a number of extremely lavish vacations.  Millions of American citizens were in despair compared to a small number of foreigners who face a short delay in entrance into the USA (assuming they are not terrorists.)  The Obamas spent days and weeks partying as opposed to the President's daughter (not the President himself) going to a fancy formal event.  In 2009, however, the mainstream media never once complained.

It's ridiculous to think that there is any reason for the media meltdown now.  Are the President's grown children now the equivalent of the President?  What about the President's second cousins?  Do they also have to stay away from any public event where there is dancing?  Maybe the media thinks that dire difficulties for ordinary Americans don't matter, but inconvenience for a few foreigners in the Middle East is a matter of life and death.  The real truth is that the mainstream media will be outraged by anything Trump, no matter what it is.  People should just ignore the phony outrage.  It's like senator Schumer's tears: they got a lot of attention, but they were as phony as a three dollar bill.

A Really High Stakes Bet

As I posted a few minutes ago, the Democrats in the senate are taking the low road.  They are actually boycotting a committee vote to prevent the approval of two cabinet nominees.  Meanwhile, they are in perpetual melt-down mode in response to everything that President Trump does.  It is a very high stakes bet that they are making.

In 2018, there will be 33 senators up for re-election.  These 33 include only 8 GOP senators with another 25 who are Democrats.  That makes the 2018 elections a very hard road for the Democrats to travel.  Even worse for them, there are ten states in which the senator up for re-election is from one party and the state was carried by the presidential candidate of the other party in 2016.  Nine states have Democrat senators but were carried by Donald Trump.  One state has a Republican up for re-election but was narrowly carried in 2016 by Hillary Clinton.  There's also one more state (Maine) that split its electoral votes in 2016 but which has a senator who caucuses with the Democrats.  If things are going favorably for the country in November of 2018, this could be a recipe for disaster for the senate Democrats.

Think of it this way:  any election for the senate would always be affected by the national trends.  Individual senators, however, would be able to point to their achievements or principled views to try to keep a majority of state voters supporting them.  After playing everything like shrieking crazies and using childish tactics, however, it will be impossible for them to pretend suddenly to be principled, calm and thoughtful senators who are willing to work with the other side for the good of the country.  If the Democrats' attempts to stop Trump and the Republicans are perceived as moves that hurt the country, they will go down quickly in a big, big loss.  On the other hand, if the Democrats are seen as being successful in preventing the Trump agenda and that is considered a bad thing, they will also go down.  Only if the Democrats convince the American people that they have successfully stopped a dangerous plan that would damage the country will their candidates succeed. 

The real question is how many people out there across the country will see the screaming and crying and childish moves as something to support and approve.  We've watched the collective meltdown on the left after the Trump order on stopping terrorists.  For the Democrats, it seems to be the first step towards Armageddon.  For voters across the country as a whole, however, Trump's move is something supported by a margin of 57 to 33% according to the polls.  The outbreak of crazy opposition may play well to the Democrats' base and their big financial supporters like George Soros, but it will alienate voters across the country.  While that may all be forgotten by 2018, continuing nonsense like today's committee vote boycott will have an impact.  The elections in 2018 could easily see Republicans pick up six, seven or more seats in the senate.  That would leave the Democrats with little chance to regain control for years to come.  As I said above, the Democrats are placing a very high stakes bet.  Right now, it sure seems that the odds are against them.

How Low Will They Go?

Today, the senate Democrats boycotted the committee votes on the nominations of Tom Price as Secretary of HHS and Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury.  The Democrats on the committees had mostly indicated that they would oppose the nominations.  By refusing to show up to the meeting, however, the Democrats deprived them of a quorum which means the meeting had to be postponed.  In senate terms, this is the rough equivalent of the kid who is losing at basketball and suddenly decides to take his basketball and go home thereby ending not just his own participation but the game itself.  In other words, the Democrats are just sore losers.

The Democrats say that they need more information before they can vote.  They base the need for that information on media reports from their allies in the press who have raised issues that have already been covered in prior hearings.  Meanwhile two large and important federal departments have been left without leadership.

If the Democrats are going to use childish tactics to shut down the work of the senate, then there will need to be a change in the rules or an action taken by Congress to shut down this nonsense.  For example, the senate could adjourn for eleven days and have President Trump appoint all of his nominees by recess appointment.  Once the recess ended, the votes on the full nomination could proceed.  The nominees would be approved and we would not have to watch the country suffer as key departments were left leaderless.  Maybe President Trump could even fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court in this way.

The truth is that the Democrats should not be allowed to get away with this childish behavior.

An Inability to Perceive Reality

This morning, the Drudge Report linked to an article in the LA Times about the happy reaction in Arizona to President Trump's first week in office.  I saw the link and thought before I clicked on it that there would probably be a picture of some old white guy at the top who would look like a refugee from a trailer park in Mississippi.  After all, for the LA Times, the only people who like the President are angry old red-neck white guys.  Sure enough, when I clicked, the picture was there at the top of the article, just as I expected.  But it didn't end there.  The first subject of the piece was the Arizona reaction to "President Trump’s response to the threat posed by foreigners."  It's amazing to see this distortion.  So far, the President has issued orders on border enforcement that deals with illegal entry into the USA and restrictions to prevent entry of terrorists into this country.  That is hardly dealing with "the threat posed by foreigners."  It is dealing with two very big problems that the Obama and his administration refused to address.  People wanting to immigrate LEGALLY into the USA are still welcome.  Visitors who want to see America are still welcome.  And guess what; they are all foreigners.

The plan to turn restrictions to end illegal entry and to prevent terrorists from sneaking in to the country into xenophobia is a ridiculous construct of the anti-Trump left.   If the FBI were to come out with a new plan to combat bank robbery that required some sort of checking before approaching the tellers, would these same people call it a "response to the threat posed by bank customers?"  Nope, it would be an attempt to protect the bank and the customers both.  Trump's plans are not anti-immigrant.  They are not anti-foreigner.  The vast majority of Americans understand this; in the latest poll, only 33% oppose the temporary pause on entry into the USA from a few countries where terrorism is a serious problem.  On the other hand 57% expressed support for Trump's action.

Why is it that every day this distorted stuff gets pushed by the mainstream media?

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Strange Nonsense That Spews From CNN

About a half hour ago, I watched Fareed Zakaria on CNN explain that the executive action by President Trump which temporarily bars entrance to the USA for people from a few countries where terrorism is prevalent is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Zakaria told the viewers that the order bars people on the basis of their religion, and that clearly violates the Constitution.

There is a slight problem with Zakaria's analysis.  IT"S TOTALLY WRONG!!!

First, people who are not US citizens do not have constitutional rights when they are outside the USA.  This is well established law.  In other words, a Frenchman walking down the streets of Paris has no rights under the American Constitution.  An Iranian student in Teheran who wants to come to New York has no rights under the American Constitution.  The Supreme Court has made clear in repeated rulings that people trying to enter the USA (other than American citizens) do NOT have any constitutional rights. 

Second, the Supreme Court has also made clear that the federal government has much greater power in dealing with people seeking entry to the USA than in essentially any other context.  The people at customs can search you and your bags without any reason or even any basis for suspicion.  Such searches would require a reasonable basis for suspicion and perhaps even a warrant at any other place in the USA.

Third, Trump's order does not bar people based upon religion.  People from Iraq are temporarily barred be they Muslim, Yazidi, Druse, or any other religion. 

So Zakaria is totally wrong in every aspect of his analysis.  Still, CNN puts him on the air to spout his fake nonsense.  Are the reporters and editors at CNN really that ignorant?  Do they really know nothing about the facts here?  Right now, I would have say that the likely answer is YES.

What Do The American People Think?

If you've been watching TV or reading a newspaper, you would think that the entire nation is up in arms in response to the temporary restriction preventing entry into the USA from a few nations that are home to serious terrorist activity.  If you've only been watching or reading the mainstream media, you would think that the American people, as one, are rejecting this bigoted, krypto-fascist war crime of a policy imposed by Trump.

Fortunately, the media no longer gets to dictate the state of information of the American people.  The true facts get out, and they are not kind to the media or the Democrats.  In a poll released this afternoon, American voters came out in favor of President Trump's temporary ban on entry from the terrorist haven countries.  The margin was 57% in favor, 33% opposed and 10 percent unsure.  As polls go, this is not close, it is not uncertain, it is, instead, a landslide opinion.  The American people support this move by President Trump.

The poll was taken by Rasmussen, one of the polling organizations that came closest to getting the November election correct. 

Next time one of your liberal friends tells you how un-American the supposed "Muslim ban" is, tell that friend to try to come back to reality.  America understands what is actually happening and America supports President Trump.

Giving Aid To ISIS

We've all seen the media/Democrat complex pushing the lie that the temporary ban on entrance into the USA by people from countries where terrorism is prevalent (like Syria) is a "Muslim ban".  That isn't correct.  Muslims from much more populous countries like Egypt, Bangladesh and Indonesia are not blocked from entry into America.  Nor are Muslims from Europe, Turkey or any of the other hundred plus countries.  It is just all people, Muslim or not, from a few countries with major terrorism problems.

So why does the media insist on calling this a Muslim ban?  Why do Democrats like Chuck Schumer denounce the Muslim ban (while shedding phony tears)?  Why indeed?  The answer is that it let's them call President Trump a racist and a bigot.  He's anti-Muslim according to them. 

This dishonest assault on Trump may or may not be good politics.  I think the America people are smart enough to see the truth.  Either way, however, using this lie against Trump is very bad for the USA and very good for ISIS.  President Obama used to claim that the prison at Guantanamo was a recruiting tool for terrorists; somehow the hundred or so prisoners were supposed to motivate thousands of young men to join the terror groups.  That claim was supported by the very people who are now screaming the lie about the Muslim ban.  Surely, they realize that prominent statements that the USA is "banning" entry by Muslims is much more likely to incite a move to terrorism than the fact that a few men are still in a prison in Cuba.  How many new terrorists will these morons send into the fight with their dishonest claims that they shout for potential political gains?

It's sad to watch the media/Democrat complex take actions that help ISIS. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Single Most Dishonest Moment Yet

Senator Chuck Schumer went before the microphones today to denounce the new temporary ban on admissions to the USA from a few countries with very high levels of terrorist activity.  According to reports, Schumer was so emotional about the ban that he cried.  What a sham.  What dishonesty!

There is no way that Schumer's emotions were real.  This is a man who would say or do anything if it would get him a few extra votes.  He is the ultimate hard heart.  Schumer is so obsessed with self promotion that there's an old joke that makes the rounds in Washington that the most dangerous place in the world is the space between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera.  There's just no way Schumer's supposed tears are real.

It's not hard to imagine that the Democrats would try this scam.  Still, one would assume that the Democrats would have picked someone a bit more sympathetic than Schumer for the role emoter in chief.  It couldn't be Nancy Pelosi because her face is frozen in a permanent smile from all that Botox, but there has to be someone who could have done it. 

Let me put it this way, Schumer crying is about as believable as President Trump making a statement about the virtues of modesty.  It just doesn't play.

An Update on Keeping Campaign Promises

Less than a half hour ago, I posted a piece on how President Trump is keeping his campaign promises and also how that fact is driving the media and the Democrats crazy.  They almost seem incapable of dealing with the idea of a candidate assuming office and actually doing what he said he would do.

Since publishing that post, I have been reading various sites, and I find that there is an avalanche of stories on this same point.  This is a good thing.  It is important for the American people to understand two key facts:  1.  Donald Trump is keeping his campaign promises.  2. The media and the Democrats don't know what to make of this behavior which is so alien to them.

Trump is Doing What He Said He Would -- Oh No!

All those heads exploding among the mainstream media and the Democrats are a sight to behold.  They are castigating President Trump for his actions since assuming office nine days ago.  They cannot believe what he is doing.  They denounce his every move as unprecedented, disorganized, and terrible.  The funny thing, though, is that the President is just doing exactly what he said he would do.  More than anything else, the media/Democrat complex finds that totally unacceptable.  For a long time, elections have been fought as a clash of outlook and ideology.  The Democrats ignore their liberalism and run as centrists; just think of Obama in 2008.  The Republicans run as moderate conservatives who will cut the government, etc.  Then, approximately two minutes after the election results are in, the Democrats go back to being extremely liberal and the majority of Republicans stop being conservative at all.  They all become big government supporters who don't want to change anything.  Trump is doing that, and the media/Democrat complex just can't accept this new behavior.  Here's what's actually happening:

President Trump is doing exactly what he promised to do. 

Just think about the wall on the Mexican border.  Since the election, how many times have you heard some pundit or reporter tell you that the wall will never get built.  In fact, how many times did you hear that Trump wouldn't even push for construction.  If you pay attention to the news, that number is very large.  But here's the President, moving forward with the wall. 

It's going to take a while for the new paradigm to be accepted in our nation's capital.  The Washington elites may never get over their shock.  That American people, however, will understand that Trump is a different kind of president, one who actually told us his program, got elected to carry out that program and then moved forward to do so.  If his plans work, it's going to be a long, long night for the media/Democrat complex. 

The Court Order Regarding the Entry of People From Syria, Iraq, Iran etc.

Yesterday, a federal judge in New York issued an order requiring the government to release those people who were being held at various airports as a result of the new executive order issued by President Trump.  That order temporarily bans entry to the USA by the citizens of six countries where terrorism is prevalent.  The mainstream media is touting its issuance as a big loss for President Trump.  Not really.

The judge's order only deals with those who were already on the way to the USA when the order was issued.  In other words, someone who boarded a plane in Europe with proper papers for entry into the USA is not to be detained because the rules changed while they were in the air.  Meanwhile, at the airports in Europe, Asia and Africa, people are no longer being allowed on board planes bound for the USA.  The same is true of people who show up at the border with Mexico or Canada.  It's important to understand that this is an order that affects at most a few hundred people who did everything required of them and gained permission to enter the USA.  The judge said that they would be likely to gain entry after a hearing.

The real key here is to watch what happens next.  I doubt that the feds will appeal from this order.  There is no point to having a big fight over these few people.  Further, it does seem fair that those who were in the air get to enter the USA.

I also expect that there will shortly be a clarification to the executive order President Trump issued that explains that those with green cards, in other words those who have already gotten permission in the past to be permanent residents of the USA, are NOT to be blocked by Trump's order.   The order, by its terms, did not expressly deal with those with green cards.  At the points of entry, however, the federal officers have been stopping those with green cards.  That is a battle that the government is likely to lose in court and it is unclear if it is a battle that was ever intended to happen.

As far as the vast bulk of the people affected by the order, it will take a while before the matter is litigated.  The court acted quickly yesterday because there were people being detained; that required immediate resolution.  For the rest of the order, however, there is much less urgency.  There will be time for the court to allow full briefing of the matter.  It could be done on an expedited basis, but even then, we will likely see at least a week before the matter gets back before a court.

Remember, the ban on five of the six countries only lasts for 30 days.  Most likely, by the time this whole thing is sorted out, the ban will be over.  For the sixth country, Syria, the issue is generally the entrance of refugees.  The matter of refugees is covered by special rules that give the president great power to decide who gets in and who does not.  Trump's order for a three month delay there is likely to stand.  (To be clear, the president also has great power when it comes to regular entry into the USA, but has essentially total control when it comes to refugees.)

 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Why Not Try The Truth?

During the Obama years, president Obama put in place a ban on the entrance into the USA of ALL refugees from Iraq.  That ban lasted for six months.  It was put in place after federal law enforcement discovered that terrorists had entered the USA in the guise of Iraqi refugees.  The media was silent when that ban was put in place.  The various Muslim groups across the country were silent when that ban was put in place.  In fact, most Americans don't even realize that Obama had stopped the flow of Iraqi refugees for half a year.

Yesterday, President Trump put in place a three month ban on the entrance of Syrian refugees into the USA in order to make certain that procedures are established to guarantee that no terrorists gain entry with these people.  At the same time, President Trump also established a 30 day ban on the entry of people from five other countries which are hotbeds of terrorism.  Again, the point of the ban is to put in place a mechanism for better vetting of those coming to our country.  The president wants to guarantee that no terrorists get in.

The response to the Trump action (which is much less than what Obama did) has been hysterical.  The media is full of stories of a "Muslim ban" even though there is no such thing.  The overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world are not affected by Trump's action.  Only those people from the six countries in question will be affected, and that effect will take place whether or not they are Muslims.  The usual groups are also out complaining about Trump's actions.  The same people who sat silent when Obama did much more are now in total "melt down" mode.

I doubt that this reaction is lost on the average American.  Do these people whose heads seem to be exploding think that most Americans would choose to admit potential terrorists or have a temporary delay in the entrance of people into our country.  I think that this is a very strong issue for Trump.  There really isn't a big constituency for the possible admission of terrorists.

Wouldn't it be better for the country if the media tried -- just this once -- to be honest?

The Reality For The Media

I just read an article from the French news agency AFP which reports that President Trump spoke to a series of world leaders today who were "baffled" by Trump's new policy which stops entry into the USA for the next 30 days by people from a few countries that are the source of most of the world's terrorism.  Of course, AFP did not report it that way; they called it a Muslim ban even though there is no Muslim ban.

Here's the problem.  The conversations between the President and the other world leaders were not held in public.  No transcripts were released for the telephone conversations.  In short, there is no way for the media to know whether or not other world leaders were "baffled" by the policy.  For all we know, these other world leaders expressed support for the new policy.  Alternatively, maybe these other world leaders expressed dismay to President Trump about the new policy.  We don't know, but more important, the reporter who wrote the article doesn't know either.

The new reality for the media is that anything that discredits, demeans or insults President Trump is put forward regardless of whether or not it is true.  It's a major mistake by the media.  They are throwing so much obvious nonsense at Trump, that there will never be any reason to believe what the media says.  They are throwing away what little remains of their credibility.
 

There'll Be A Hot Time On The Old Planet Tonight

I wrote not long ago about the ridiculous reports of 2016 being the hottest year on record.  We have records that cover about 130 years out of 4.6 billion years, so it's more than a little presumptuous to say the we know that 2016 was the hottest year ever.  Even worse, the temperatures measured on land averaged infinitesimally higher than those of 2015, but those measured of the atmosphere were lower than 2015.  Which one do we count?  Today, there's a great article in the Federalist that explains the scientific flaws in the claims of 2016 being the hottest year ever.  It is well worth reading.

The bottom line point of all of this, however, is that none of the temperature data comes in at numbers predicted by the global warming models.  The temperatures are all way below those predicted by the global warming theorists and their models.  In any other scientific endeavor, if the data contradicts the theory, then the theory is recognized as being invalid.  In global warming theory, those who point out that the data contradicts the theory are labeled "deniers" and subjected to attack by the left and the mainstream media.  Global warming theory has morphed into more a matter of faith than of science.  The problem is that many people have faith in ideas that turn out to be wrong.  We have to put our trust into ACTUAL science, not someone's political views.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Why Not Use Petty Cash?

The big question on MSNBC and CNN these days is how will America ever pay for the border wall that President Trump wants to build.  The wall could cost as much as 15 to 20 billion dollars over the next decade. 

Are they kidding?  These same people never mention that Obamacare will add at least one and more likely two trillion dollars to the deficit over the same period.  That's between 50 and 100 times more cost than the wall, but we hear nothing from these supposed "news" reporters about it.  Nope, the big story is how will we afford 1.5 to 2 billion per year.

While Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, her department "lost" $6 billion.  That's right, those people who Trump fired yesterday couldn't find six billion dollars over four years.  No one mentions that, but that money for the wall brings on apoplexy.

We also just heard from the Department of Education that a program it ran since 2006 and for which it spent $8 billion dollars had no positive effect on the students and schools who took part.  Add that bogus program to the lost State Department cash and we already just about paid for the wall.

Then there's some real beauties out there.  Just the money left in accounts from the Obama stimulus of 2009 would pay for the wall.  And what about the rest of the TARP money from the same era.  There's billions there too.

The real truth is that Washington is awash in cash.  Okay, maybe I should say Washington is floating on a sea of waste and corruption.  There's more than enough money to pay for the wall.  The only problem is that once the GOP tries to cut out this waste, the Democrats get upset and claim that it will harm a great many people.  It's not true, but it is an endless story.  Let's hope President Trump can finally push past the BS from the Dems designed to protect their allies who pull down most of this cash.

Joe Wilson and Corey Booker

In 2009, the media and the Democrats went crazy because representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted "you lie" during a speech by then president Obama.  Obama was indeed not telling the truth at that moment as he discussed what the Obamacare plan would and would not do.  Indeed, nearly every American alive now understands that Obama sold his healthcare law on lies.  "If you like your plan......" etc.  Wilson, however, was censured by the House and later apologized.

Just today, senator Corey Booker of New Jersey said that President Trump is a liar and a propagandist.  The response from the media and the Democrats was -- you guessed it -- either cheers or nothing at all.  Booker just put out his BS and his allies just yawned.

I don't care what Corey Booker has to say.  He's running for president already for 2020, so he is trying to get news coverage.  Booker wants to be the next Obama.  Still, the New Jersey senator has some rather high hurdles before he can even come close to considering a run for the White House.  It won't be enough to be Mr. Nasty or Mr. Strident.  Booker will have to come up with some ideas that might appeal to his party and the American people.  For Booker, that's a tall order.  The reality is that Booker's statements don't matter.  What does matter though is the hypocrisy of the media and the rest of the Democrats.  Either it is a major breach of etiquette to call the president a liar or it isn't.  The result cannot be driven by the party of the incumbent.  It just doesn't work that way.

Fantasy Island - or - Fareed Zakaria GPS?

Sometimes it amazes me just how far off from reality some of the mainstream media pundits actually are.  I was struck by this again just now as I read an article in the Washington Post by TV pundit Fareed Zakaria.  The headline says it all: 

FDR started the Long Peace. Under Trump, it may be coming to an end.

This is so far from reality, that I think that Zakaria should change the name of his show from "Fareed Zakaria GPS" to "Fantasy Island".

The thesis of Zakaria's article is that we have seen world peace since the end of World War II due to Franklin Roosevelt's brilliant plan for the world.  Think about that.

Within five years of the end of WW II, came the Korean War.  There were about one and a quarter million deaths in that conflict and many more wounded.  In Vietnam which started less than ten years after Korea ended, there were about 1.4 million dead with many more wounded.  About three years after the end of the Vietnam fighting, the Soviet war in Afghanistan began.  That conflict too resulted in more than one million dead.  Not long after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, came the Gulf War in which at lease 60,000 died in a few short weeks of fighting.  Then there's the global war on terror which began with 9-11.  There are estimates that more than a million people have died in that fighting.  These are just major military involvements which included the two main world powers since World War II.  They cover a total of roughly five million war dead.  This is what Zakaria calls the "long peace".

One has to wonder why the WaPo would publish a column that is so devoid of reality.  It's not just fake news; it's obviously ridiculous fake news.

It's important to note that there were many other wars during this "long peace" that did not include direct involvement by America or the Soviet Union/Russia.  For example, we have the fighting in Syria (which only had a short period of Russian involvement), the battles in the Sudan, the fighting between India and Pakistan or India and China, and the wars between Israel and the Arabs.  Then there's the genocide in Rwanda, the massacres in Indonesia, and many other horrors.

There is no way that anyone aware of the history of the past seventy years could call it the "long peace."  The majority of the time, America was engaged in what was commonly called the Cold War (not the Cold Long Peace.)

 

The Mexican Muddle - or - The Peso Pundits

Did you know that there is a "major crisis" in relations between the USA and Mexico?  That's what the Washington Post said today, so it must be true, right?  Actually, the real answer is that there is no major crisis.  What is happening right now is that for the first time in a long time, the USA is not catering to Mexico and its needs, but rather is insisting on doing things that benefit America and its people.

Here are a few things that need to be kept in mind:

1.  There is enormous trade between the USA and Mexico.  When this trade is examined in detail, however, it becomes clear that cutting off or reducing that trade would not be a great thing for the USA, but it would be an unimaginable disaster for Mexico.  There is no way that the Mexicans could ever move towards actions that would cut the US/Mexican trade flows unless they had first decided to become suicidal.

2.  For the last twenty years at least, Mexico has benefitted in a major way from the actions of the United States.  We agreed to a trade deal (NAFTA) that permitted American companies to move to low-labor-cost sites in Mexico and to continue to sell their products across America.  Jobs by the tens if not hundreds of thousands moved south out of America and into Mexico.  The US also tried to stop the flow of illegal drugs from the Mexican drug cartels into the USA while the Mexicans gave, at most, half hearted support to the effort.  The Mexicans refused to allow immigration into their nation except for a very tiny number of people, but they permitted hundreds of thousands of people each year to traverse Mexico in order to sneak into the USA.  When America tried to catch those entering illegally, the Mexicans did nothing to assist in that effort.

3.  President Trump is trying to make the Mexican/American relationship more even-handed.  Trade will continue, but the benefits will go to both side, not just to the Mexicans.  Drug traffic will be stopped or at least lessened with cooperation on both sides.  The flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico will be stopped.  Many in Mexico (as well as much of the left in the USA) see these changes as an affront to Mexico, but they are just a return to plans that provide fairness for both sides.

Ultimately, President Trump understands that in this situation, the Mexicans will have to give in and accept modifications to the current situation that will restore fairness to both sides.  President Nieto of Mexico may not be coming to visit next week, but he will do anything possible to avoid real damage to the US/Mexico trading relation.  Any such damage would be an unthinkable calamity for the Mexicans. 

The funny thing here is that the supposedly sophisticated Washington Post and its punditry do nott seem to understand what is happening.  President Trump, who the WaPo criticizes as a novice, has the situation in hand.

The Starting Numbers

The United States GDP grew in 2016 at a rate of 1.6%.  That's a truly terrible number.  It marked the eighth year of sub-par growth under the leadership of president Obama.

This 1.6% growth is also the starting number for President Trump.  His stated goal is to get growth up to 3.5% - 4.0%.  Indeed, the President is taking steps now to try to increase our economic growth and the jobs and prosperity that would bring.  The task is not an easy one after all the years of poor policy choices by Obama.  The American economy does not and cannot turn on a dime.  It will take time to get the engine humming.  By next fall, however, we should see some positive effects from the new policies.  Hopefully, the Democrats in Congress won't decide that their path back to power is to undermine the economy, but they will instead cooperate in allowing Trump to carry out his policies.

 

Morons On Parade!

Bloomberg News is out with a report today on a very "serious" problem with the proposed border wall between the USA and Mexico:  it will contribute to global warming.  Bet you didn't see that one coming.  Really, the news report says that all the concrete used in wall construction will lead to additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The funny thing about the entire article is that it bases its view of the effect of the wall on the expected carbon footprint of a concrete wall along the entire border that is 1.5 feet thick and 30 feet high.  That's pretty good since the wall has not yet been designed or even sited.  In other words, the Bloomberg reporter doesn't know which sections of the border will get a wall and which won't.  The reporter also doesn't have any way of knowing the dimensions of the wall.  Indeed, the reporter doesn't even know if the wall will be made of concrete.  The whole story is a phony.  (And that ignores the issue of whether or not the concrete used in the wall would affect global warming even slightly.)

Why does the media bother with these articles.  It's as if there is a never-ending stream of morons on parade each day in America's "news" outlets.

Trump Crosses the Line

President Trump has finally done it; he's gone too far.  For all of his first week in office, the mainstream media has been accusing him of telling lies and of all sorts of things from racism to you name it.  Yesterday, however, Trump sent the media and even Twitter into a spasm because of an outrage so great that I simply had to write about it.  I suggest that you sit down before you read on; this is just too upsetting.

Here we go:  the President flew to Philadelphia on Air Force One yesterday.  When he went up the stairs to the plane, he did not stop at the top, turn and wave.  There you have it: the latest Trump outrage.  How dare the President ignore the tradition of waving before entering Air Force One?  What an outrage.
If you think I am making this up, then I suggest that you look into this yourself.  Some of the anti-Trump hysterics on cable news (fake news that is) channels like CNN and MSNBC were apoplectic about Trump's failure to wave.  The anti-Trump trolls on Twitter also went into overdrive after the event.

If one ever needed proof of just how ridiculous the media and the far left can be, this is it.  There is no way that a serious person could possibly be upset about the failure to waive.  Indeed, there is no way an honest person could be so upset.  The media/left complex just continues to display its anti-Trump psychosis.  How sad.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

There's No Business Like Show Business

Right on cue, 33 workers from the restaurants franchised by the company headed by President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Labor filed complaints today against their employers.  The mainstream media then started talking about the "strong headwinds" affecting the
nominee's chance for confirmation.  You really have to hand it to the media; they seem capable of fooling themselves on so many issues.

Think about it for a moment.  None of the complaints are actually against the nominee.  Nearly all are not even against the company headed by the nominee.  The complaints are against franchisees.  And remember; these are complaints, not anything found to be valid after investigation.  The truth is that what happened with these complaints is nothing but a show put on by the Democrats to try to embarrass the nominee.  There's no way that 33 complaints of this sort would be filed on the same day in so many different states.  It's an organized effort to file complaints.  It's interesting that about half dozen of the complaints are for sexual harassment at different restaurants.  This has nothing to do with the CEO of the company (the nominee).  Then there are complaints of low wages.  They are not complaints that wages were illegally low, just that workers wanted them to be higher. 

The sad thing about all this is that the effort by the Democrats to create this show is a waste of time.  The nominee will be approved.  Most people will know nothing at all about these meaningless complaints.  Why do the Democrats waste their time on this stuff?

The Media Lies Just Keep on Coming

Hey, did you hear that the top management of the State Department just resigned because they didn't want to serve in a Trump administration?  If you heard that news, it was probably in a story like this one from Yahoo News.  The only problem with the story is that it is false, wrong, phony.  In other words, it's today's fake news from the mainstream media.  There are a number of top officials in the State Department who are, in fact, leaving.  THEY WERE ASKED TO GO!!  That's right, some top officials like undersecretary of state Patrick Kennedy were tossed out.  Do you remember Kennedy?  He's the guy who ignored dozens of requests from the US ambassador to Libya for enhanced security at the Benghazi consulate.  It is true that that very same ambassador was murdered by terrorists when the lightly-guarded consulate was overrun by terrorists, and it is also true that there was no action taken against Kennedy for his blatant failure in that regard.  Of course, if you read today's story in Yahoo News you would be told how presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have "relied" on Kennedy for years.  And let's not forget that Kennedy is also the guy who tried to convince the FBI to change the classification of some of Hillary's emails in order to help her cover up the wrong doing in connection with her private, unsecured email server.  But for the media, Kennedy is someone who would surely be kept by the Trump administration.

Let's all be thankful that there are finally people in Washington who understand the idea of accountability.  When someone like Kennedy is in office, HE NEEDS TO GO.

So Kennedy and some others were fired.  Why can't the media just report this honestly?  It's truly a disgrace!

So What Do The Polls Say?

I was struck by this headline on Real Clear Politics which discusses the results of new polling regarding President Trump's approval rating:

President Trump Job Approval: Gallup 46% | Rasmussen 59% | Quinnipiac 34%
 
 
Think about that for a moment.  Quinnipiac finds only one in three American voters approve of Trump's performance.  Gallup finds the nation split roughly in half on the subject.  Rasmussen puts the figure that approve of Trump's performance closer to two-thirds than one half.  From this we know only one thing for certain:  All of these polls cannot be correct.  The same polling organizations that got November's elections so wrong are now going their separate ways when it comes to the nation's view of Trump.  Even more astounding, the difference between Quinnipiac and Rasmussen is fully one quarter of the electorate (59 versus 34 percent)
 
For what it's worth, I did look to see what sort of coverage each of these polls got in the mainstream media.  I'm sure it will come as no surprise for you to hear that there was much more coverage of the low result from Quinnipiac than the other two combined.
 
The reality right now is that the polls should be ignored.  Clearly, two out of these three are wrong, and it may be that one is extremely wrong.  Let's just consider Trump's actions on the merits and stop with the nonsense of using polls to determine the nation's view.  Until we start having polls that agree with each other (at least within a statistically acceptable variation), these measurements are nothing but junk.
 
One final note.  Rasmussen and Gallup ran daily polling on president Obama's approval ratings for the last eight years.  These organizations had their program up and running well.  On the other hand, Quinnipiac was just occasionally polling on the president's job approval.  That does not make Rasmussen and Gallup right and Quinnipiac wrong, but it certainly points in that direction.  In addition, Rasmussen got much closer to the November results than Quinnipiac.  Rasmussen got the popular vote margin exactly correct.  Quinnipiac, however, predicted in its final polls that Clinton would win Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania (by 5%) -- predictions that were all wrong.  Most likely, Rasmussen's numbers are correct and Quinnipiac's are wrong.

Raising the Stakes

The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.

Wow!  The statement above is a tweet that President Trump sent out in the last ten minutes.  It is a major move of a sort we haven't seen for years.  Let's start with some background.

1.  In case you have been sleeping for the last two years, President Trump ran on a promise to build a border wall along most of the Mexico/USA border and to have Mexico pay for that wall.

2.  The idea of the wall and that Mexico would pay for it have not been popular in Mexico.

3.  There is a meeting scheduled for next week in Washington between President Nieto of Mexico and President Trump.

4.  Some Mexican officials have been saying that Nieto should cancel the visit to protest Trump's position on building a wall and having Mexico pay for it.  Nieto, however, has not said anything about canceling the visit.

In that context, Trump's tweet is a big move.  Basically, he's telling the Mexicans that if they want to cancel the visit, they can, but he is not going to change his policies.

Hopefully, the visit will go ahead as planned.  One thing is certain, however, it's a new day in Washington.  If we still had Obama/Kerry running US foreign policy, the noise from Mexico would probably resulted in an apology from Obama.

Something You Don't See Every Day

Here's one more important point about President Trump's executive orders regarding illegal immigration:  for the first time in a long time, the federal government is going to focus on those who hire illegal aliens.  In other words, the existing penalties for hiring those here illegally are actually going to be enforced.  At least, that is what the order directs.

Just imagine what will happen if two months from now, a large construction contractor in California is arrested and charged with violating the RICO statute.  Maybe the contractor won't be arrested, but will just be sued by the government for fines for each illegal in his company's employ.  Then imagine it happens to a landscape company in Florida, a large farmer in New Jersey and a few others scattered around the USA.  Is there any doubt that quite a few employers who have been improperly and illegally hiring illegals would stop doing so?  There would suddenly be a cost imposed on those who hire illegals.  There's nothing like the risk of criminal prosecution to reduce the prevalence of this behavior.  And if there were fewer illegals being hired, how many new jobs would open up for Americans who are currently unable to find work?

There is a reason why the law makes it a crime to hire an illegal alien.  Just because the Obama administration decided not to enforce that law doesn't change the fact that the law is there and the law is clear.  President Trump is going to have the law enforced.  America will benefit greatly as a result.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

President Trump Moves On More Fronts

It's been an amazing week.  Donald Trump has spent three work days as our nation's chief executive and has gotten more done than president Obama did in most months.  It's non-stop news and non-stop change.  Today, for example, brought the end of catch and release by the border patrol.  Most stories covered the wall or whether Mexico would pay for it.  Others covered sanctuary cities and the new policy to confront those local governments.  The biggest change, however, is actually the end of catch and release.

It's worth a deeper exploration.  Catch and release was the Obama policy of how to deal with people who came into the country illegally and who then requested "asylum".  Every man, woman and child coming across the border from Mexico knew that once apprehended, the next step was to request "asylum".  The Obama policy was to tell these people that they were due to come back for a court appearance many months in the future and then to release the people into the USA.  For many who were released, the federal government also gave them bus fare to get to the city of their choice.  The new policy put in place by President Trump is for those who are caught to be immediately brought before an immigration judge for a quick decision on the request for asylum.  Since asylum is rarely granted, that means that nearly all of those caught would then be deported.

Think of that difference.  Under Obama, the border patrol went through the fiction of setting up court dates that were honored by fewer than 5% of those who were caught.  In other words, under Obama's policy, essentially every illegal who came across the border was allowed to stay in the USA.  The Trump policy (which was American policy for decades prior to Obama) follows the law which requires people seeking asylum to meet certain standards specified by Congress.  Those who do not meet these standards will be sent home, not allowed in.  In one fast move, President Trump changed the flow of illegal aliens into the USA in a major, major way.

Doing What's Right --- How's That For Change?

It seems to surprise a great many people, especially those in the mainstream media, but there already is federal law calling for the construction of a wall at the border between Mexico and the USA.  The law was passed in 2006.  Construction of some segments began the next year, but then work stopped.  Even when president Obama was looking for "shovel ready jobs", the border wall did not proceed.  Now that Obama is gone and we have President Trump, construction of the wall will resume.  In other words, Trump is going to carry out the law.

There also are laws calling for the capture and deportation of those in the country illegally.  That's another law Obama chose not to enforce.  When Trump resumes enforcement, it's nothing more than obeying rather than ignoring the law.

There are more instances of this return to the enforcement of the law.  For example, limiting the scope of the EPA to that which was intended when the underlying legislation was passed is now viewed as big change.  Actually, it is just a return to the way the law meant things to be.

 

Only An American Academic or a Propagandist Could Have Written This

Daniel Drezner is a professor of law and international diplomacy at Tufts.  He is also a frequent contributor to the Washington Post.  Drezner's latest column appears under this title:  Why China will be able to sell itself as the last liberal great power.

So this guy is a PROFESSOR.  Really, he teaches college students.  Even worse, Tufts is a private institution so Drezner teaches students who have paid big bucks for the privilege of attending his classes.  And yet, Drezner actually writes that China can be considered the "last liberal great power."  One does have to wonder if Drezner even understands what that means.  I'm sure he gets the words "last" and "great power".  "Liberal", however, seems to be beyond his grasp.  The way Drezner uses it, "liberal" is not meant to be a political liberal (as opposed to a conservative.)  No, liberal in Drezner's title means a belief in and a practice of freedom.  That includes free trade, free economic systems and freedom for the people of the nation.  China, Drezner's last liberal power, is about as free as a concentration camp.  The Chinese government and the Communist Party apparatus control everything and everyone.  The Chinese economy is managed from Beijing, not with central planning but with controls that are nearly as stringent if not as blatant.  Trade with China has to be done on the terms acceptable to the Chinese government.  Calling China a "liberal" power is like calling Osama bin Laden a messenger of world peace.

 

Maybe It's Time For A New Vision

It seems that it's time to change the standard government answer from "NO" to "YES" or at least to "MAYBE."  I was reminded of this great need after reading an article from USA Today about the possible construction by Elon Musk of highway tunnels under Los Angeles.  The article is not sure if Musk is joking, but he has said that he would like to build tunnels in the LA region in order to reduce the pervasive and massive traffic congestion there.  The reporter than points to the recently opened first phase of the Second Avenue Subway in New York as proof that tunnels are "hard to build" and "extremely expensive."

It's worth taking a closer look at the Second Avenue Subway.  It was originally proposed in the 1920s, but then it kept getting delayed.  Construction actually began in the 1970s but was then abandoned after the only a few segments of the line were completed when the money ran out.  In this century, construction was restarted with the work limited to a first segment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  That first segment opened just about a month ago, only roughly ten years behind schedule and at a cost about four times the original estimate.  No one seems to know the reason for the delay and cost overrun.  Having worked for years with the MTA (which built the line), my guess is that no one at the agency knows those reasons either.  Nothing seems ever to get built on time or on budget once the "experts" at the MTA get involved.

One thing, however, is certain.  The engineers and managers at the MTA (like other government officials) refuse to think outside the box.  I say this from personal knowledge.  One of the main reasons for the huge cost of the Second Avenue Subway is that it had to go under a major thoroughfare in Manhattan.  That means it had to go under water line, electric wires, gas pipes, and all manner of other utilities and building foundations that were in place prior to construction.  Also, the traffic on Second Avenue had to be maintained during construction.  These requirements cost billions, but it didn't have to be that way.  Back when resurrection of the subway line was being considered, a New York professional engineer came up with a much better albeit quite different idea for the project.  The engineer in question was a brilliant man named Irwin Toporoff.  No one knew more about the construction of tunnels than he did.  He suggested to the MTA that instead of building the line under Second Avenue, they relocate the tunnel to run under the East River a few blocks to the east of the planned location.  Toporoff said that it would be relatively easy to dig a trench along the edge of the river, build tunnel sections off site, bring them to the site on barges and then sink them and connect them inside the trench.  Entrances to the subway stations could be on First and Second Avenue and linked underground to the new subway by moving sidewalks.  The estimate at the time was that this sort of construction would reduce the cost of the project by 75% to 80% and cut the time for construction by a similar figure.  The immediate answer from the MTA was a rejection because the East River route would require agreement from the US Corps of Engineers.  The end result was major delays and extraordinary costs.  The MTA wouldn't even discuss the possibility with the Corps of Engineers.

I mention this bit of history, because it shows how a government bureaucracy stuck to the standard plans without even investigating an intelligent alternative that could have given major benefits to New York City and its people. 

It is really time for the stodgy bureaucrats who refuse to consider change or any sort to have their worlds shaken up.  America needs new approaches, new ideas and new directions.  Hopefully, we will get some of that with the new administration.

Trump and Illegal Immigration

The mainstream media seems to be scratching their heads today as President Trump is said to be about to take action to start restricting illegal immigrants from entering or staying in the country.  Expected moves include a ban on admission of refugees from certain areas where terrorism is prevalent absent what Trump calls "extreme vetting", commencement of design/construction of a border wall on the Mexican border, increases in the numbers of border patrol and ICE personnel to enforce the law, the end of catch and release which was the Obama program to ignore the law, and an end to sanctuary cities' receipt of federal funding.  Much of the mainstream media seems still to be surprised that the president is making good on one of his main campaign promises.

Why is it that the media still did not expect President Trump to do what he repeatedly promised to do?  Don't they realize that the president would forfeit enormous support were he to just become another Washington politician who gets elected on one basis and then governs on another?  I guess the answer to that question is a resounding NO -- they just don't understand.

So far this week, Trump has done more than Obama did in an average month.  At some point, the media will have to realize just how much is occurring.  The reporters may not focus on it, but the American people certainly will. 

The Media Assault Continues; What A Waste

Yesterday, President Trump resurrected the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Trans Dakota Pipeline.  That move will generate tens of thousands of construction jobs and, despite the chagrin of the global warming crowd, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and risks of pollution.  The two pipelines had been stopped by Obama in a move that was more a political present to the irrational environmental crazies (a big part of his base) than one designed to help America and its people.  Trump also took a series of other steps which will have real positive consequences.  So last night, I flipped a few times onto the cable news channels to see what was being covered.  Each time I went to CNN, the discussion was about Trump's comments that he would have won the popular vote but for 3-5 million illegal votes that were cast.  On MSNBC, the coverage was split between Trump's comments, follow ups to the protest march from last weekend and a rehash of Sean Spicer's lambasting of the press on last Saturday.  I even saw a discussion of reasons for the possible impeachment of President Trump.  On Fox News, there was coverage of the pipelines, of the president's other moves of the day and of his remarks about the illegal votes.

Clearly, the most important news of the day was the rebirth of the pipelines.  Nevertheless, CNN and MSNBC ignored it and spent the evening in their continuing assault on Trump.  To be fair, I did not watch their coverage all evening since to do so would be cruel and unusual punishment.  Still, I think I got the flavor of the evening.

There really is no reason to ever turn on CNN or MSNBC.  Of course, not many people do, anyway. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Worth Noting

Remember that stretch limo that was set afire and destroyed by protesters on inauguration day?  It turns out that it was owned by a Moslem immigrant and that his insurance is unlikely to cover the loss since it was the result of a "riot or insurrection". 

Nothing more needs be said.  Maybe next week the leftwing protesters will burn down an abortion clinic.

That Story Died Quickly

Over the weekend, the media was trumpeting a story about how the FBI was investigating the new National Security Adviser, general Flynn and his contacts with the Russian ambassador in the month before the inauguration.  Oh no!!!  Less than a week in office and we already have a scandal for the Trumpsters -- or so the mainstream media was hoping.

Today the story is completely dead.  Even the Washington Post is reporting that the FBI did indeed listen to two calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador which were mainly about setting up a phone call between the president and Putin after the inauguration.  The Post report says that the FBI was not targeting Flynn but happened to hear these calls in their routine surveillance of the Russian ambassador and that "there was nothing illicit" in the calls.

So there you have it.  We had a few days of fake news about how the FBI was investigating Flynn.  When it turns out to be a false story, there's very little coverage.  So what else is new?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Today In Fake News

The New York Times is at it again today.  The Monday edition of the paper has a story at the top of the front page that announces that because of President Trump's "rocky" start, he is losing his influence across Washington.

Let's stop there.  One might validly ask, what "rocky" start?  Did the Times think that the music for the first dance at the Inaugural Ball was a poor choice?  Did the Times not like the First Lady's gown?  Is the Times claiming that the executive order stopping new regulations until they are reviewed by the White House is a "rocky" start?  It's identical to the order issued by Obama.  Is the problem that only two cabinet appointments were approved on Friday with more to come today?  What is "rocky"?

The truth is that this is a phony narrative that the Times is putting forward as part of its wishful thinking campaign.  There is no sense to it except in the world of fake news put out to encourage the Democrat base to have hope.  In a week, however, there really will be things that have happened.  By that time, the current Times narrative will be just a memory.

It does not serve the best interests of the nation for the Times to just stick with fake news.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Here They Go Again

The mainstream media is out again with yet another misleading story about "settlements" in Israel.  This time, the purveyor of the bogus story is Reuters.  In an article today about whether or not President Trump will shift the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Reuters reports that "Israeli authorities" granted permits for the building of over 500 residences in "settlements" in Jerusalem.  That sounds ominous, doesn't it?

Here's what actually happened today.  The city of Jerusalem building department granted building permits for about 500 homes/apartments within the city of Jerusalem.  About a third of the units are in a section of the city which is the northern terminus of the Jerusalem light rail line, the largest mass transit line in the city.  The rest are in areas that put them closer to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, than the majority of the people living in Jerusalem.  So let's be clear.  The city government authorizes homes and apartments within the city limits and the morons at Reuters call these new homes "settlements".

It's also important to understand that we don't know who the residents of these new homes will be.  It's more likely than not that they will be Jewish Israelis rather than Muslim residents, but nothing on this has been settled.  The problem that Reuters and the ever so judgmental diplomatic world has is that these buildings are on land that was part of Jordan prior to 1967.  Clearly, it cannot be that for the last fifty years no new construction could be allowed in Jerusalem, but that is the basic position of the "international community".  Indeed, former president Obama locked this view in when he engineered the passage of a UN resolution so declaring about a month ago. 

I wonder when the UN will pass a resolution declaring all new construction in Oklahoma illegal.  Remember, until Oklahoma was opened to settlement in the late 19th century, it was "Indian Territory".  We cannot expect the world to accept that change, can we? 

And let's not forget that prior to World War I, Turkey (then the Ottoman Empire) ruled Jerusalem.  Shouldn't the Turks be the only ones allowed to approve buildings?

And then there's the crusaders.  The Kingdom of Jerusalem was in control in the twelfth century or so.  Should we have them control who lives in the city?  And how about the Saracens, the Romans, the Macedonians and the Jewish kingdoms of three thousand years ago.  Actually, if we go back to those Jewish kingdoms, that may solve the entire problem.  After all, it was a Jewish kingdom for about 1000 years in the period before Christ, and now it is a Jewish state.  The world should accept the original inhabitants as being in charge.  Isn't that good liberal orthodoxy?

Fake News Ought To Be Believable, At Least

I happened to see the front page of the New YorkTimes this morning.  There was the obligatory articles about yesterday's protest marches, but what caught my eye was the article at the top of the page proclaiming that President Trump was "improvising edicts" while his plans were "murky".  The Times' "news" story then when on to explain that the Trump White House was just throwing together executive orders in a slap-dash sort of way.  It also said that there were no real policies being promoted; everything was being done on an ad hoc basis.

It's bizarre; it is truly bizarre.  This wasn't commentary; it was presented as news.  So far, Trump has issued two executive orders that were not just housekeeping items.  The first was the same as one president Obama issued on his first day in office in 2009 that stopped the issuance of any new regulations until the White House had a chance to review them.  The second told the federal agencies to interpret and enforce Obamacare in a way that would minimize the financial burdens on the American people.  Those surely don't sound like last minute items thrown together on a whim.

More than that, however, all of America (other than the media and the left) knows what Trump's policies are going to be.  Oh, we don't know the details, but we surely know the general outline and goal of his policies.  Maybe we should tell the Times.  Trump is going to repeal and replace Obamacare.  He is going to enforce the immigration laws again and take steps to seal our porous borders.  He is going to promote job creation and economic growth by cutting and reorganizing taxes, spending to improve our infrastructure and removing unnecessary and burdensome regulations.  He is going to promote new and fairer trade agreements.  He is going to restore our military.  He is going to promote production of American energy sources of all sorts.  There's more, but that should be enough.  There's nothing "murky" about this.

In short order, the Times will be proven wrong.  To the extent that Trump acts through executive orders (mostly to repeal Obama's executive orders), it will be obvious what the purpose and policy behind those actions are.  So why is the Times putting out fake news that will so quickly be revealed as such?  And remember, this is not the first time the Times has done this.  Right after the election, the Times was busily promoting the story that the Trump transition team was "in chaos".  Then the transition proceeded in a very orderly fashion with cabinet selections who will soon be confirmed and who will carry out Trump's policies.  In fact, the transition managed to complete its work while spending only about 80% of the amount budgeted for its work, something unheard of in Washington.  The Times' story of chaos in the transition was fake news that was promptly shown to be false.  And now the Times is trying a new line of attack that will also quickly be shown to be false.

I think that the story is more wishful thinking by the Times editors and reporters than an actual attempt at fake news.  The leftist Democrats at the Times just cannot believe that President Trump and his administration is capable of doing anything right.  The problem for the Times is that the majority of Americans don't agree with them.  They expect that news organizations publish news not fake news that aligns with the writer's political hopes.  For many years, the number of people reading the Times has declined.  If the Times is not careful, it will lose the last of its readers who are not full fledged members of the delusional Democrat die-hards.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

More On The Protests

I watched the coverage of today's protests.  When asked on camera about the reasons for the protests, there was some variant of a response that said that the intent was to stop the attack on women's rights, LBGT rights, and civil rights that the Trump administration is planning.

Huh?

There are no such attacks planned and no reason to believe that such an attack is coming.  It's fair to say that in the past, Trump on occasion spoke about women in ways that some would not find acceptable.  During the campaign, however, Trump never indicated any hostility towards LBGT rights, civil rights or women's rights.  The only contrary view comes because Trump has said that he is pro-life and that he thought the laws like the North Carolina bathroom law were state rather than federal issues.  Even on abortion, Trump did not call for outlawing abortion, but rather said that if Roe v. Wade were reversed by the Supreme Court, the abortion issue would then go back to being a state rather than a federal issue.

It is not possible that today's marches were actually about either of these issues.  The Supreme Court is not likely to reverse the Roe decision.  Further, the bathroom issue actually is a state by state issue rather than a federal one.  Trump won't have much, if any, impact on that. 

With all the energy expended on today's marches, it is sad that there wasn't a more coherent goal for the marchers.  So much was done, but it was accomplished so little.  It was more a march to say "we are still here" than one to push for something in particular to be done.  What a waste of effort.

The Upside Down World of the Far Left

Today's protests make me wonder if these protesters even know what they are saying and doing.  A few weeks ago, I saw a series of interviews on TV in which the reporter was at two protests against the newly nominated Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder.  The reporter asked five protesters this question:  "Who is Andrew Puzder?"  None of the five could answer the question.  One protester did say that the reporter should speak to the leader of the protest because perhaps he knew.  In other words, these protesters had no idea about what they were supposedly protesting.

Today, we have thousands of people marching in DC and other places across the country.  Without a doubt, some of them have some policy or another that President Trump has said he will adopt in mind in conduction their protests.  For the most part, though, the protests are supposed just to be in support of "women's rights".  One does have to wonder what specific rights are being threatened.  In DC, the head of Planned Parenthood spoke because her organization may be defunded by the federal government now because of its alleged history of selling body parts of aborted babies, a federal criminal offense if proven true.  I'm sure that the protesters are not marching to protect the right of abortionists to sell the aborted babies for a profit.  No one supports that other than the ghouls who would do it.

So what women's rights are at stake?  The truth is that the proper answer is NONE.  For the entire presidential campaign, however, the Democrats acted as if the GOP nominee had threatened women's rights, but they never really said in what way that threat had happened.  It was just all phony charges with no substance. 

Hopefully, after six months of Trump as president, these women who are marching today will realize that they haven't lost any rights.  I know that some won't accept that, but let's hope that most do.

Protest is fine, but protest for no reason other than upset at losing an election is both childish and a waste of time.

That's The End of Day One

We are coming to the end of the first 24 hours of the Trump administration.  As I write this, there is supposed to be ongoing demonstrations in DC and elsewhere to protest Trump's victory.  It seems a rather silly exercise.  Trump has yet to do anything worthy of protesting.  Aside from issuing an executive order to stop any new regulations from being issued or published which is standard and almost identical to the executive order issued by president Obama on the day he took office, nothing really has happened yet.  I wonder if the protesters feel let down because nothing has transpired.

It does keep the left active and feeling like they are "speaking truth to power" even if there's no understanding of what they are saying or why they are saying it.  I hope they enjoy themselves.

Friday, January 20, 2017

ABC Reporter Says Trump Speech Had Anti-Semitic Overtones

In a new low from the mainstream media (which is hard to imagine), ABC reporter Terry Moran said today that President Trump's inaugural speech had anti-Semitic overtones.  If you listened to the speech, you must be wondering what in the world Moran is talking about.  Here's the answer:  Trump said that he wants to put America first in all policy decisions.  Eighty years ago, during the 1930s, there was a group called the America First movement that wanted to keep the USA out of the looming conflict in Europe (which became WW II).  Some in that movement adopted Nazi rhetoric and blamed Jews for the problems in Europe.  Since Trump used the same words, "America First", he could be said to be referring back to the anti-Semitic tilt of that old pre-war movement.

This has to be the stupidest analysis from a mainstream media reporter ever, and that is really saying something.  What's next?  Will Moran tell us that the fact that they use Dixie paper cups in the White House proves that president Trump is racist?  After all, the Confederacy was often called Dixie.  Maybe Moran will tell us that when they play the Marine Corps Hymn at the White House, it proves Trump is Islamophobic or anti-Hispanic.  Remember the lyrics say from the "halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli."  Those are references to the Marines defeating the Mexicans and the Barbary Pirates who came from what is today Libya.  Such references surely prove that Trump hates Mexicans and Moslems, right?

The real truth is that Terry Moran's appearance on ABC shows that the network must hate the disadvantaged.  After all, Moran sounds very much like moron.  That means that ABC is trying to criticize those of lower intelligence.  How shameful.

I guess the only proper response to Moran's report is to ask, "can you say fake news?"

The Message Of A New Age

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining, but never doing anything about it.
The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action. Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail.

These words spoken today by President Donald Trump could not better express a plan for the future of America.  It is time for action.  The idea that how you talk and what you say is more important than what you do has proven to be a complete failure.  Slogans do not feed the hungry.  Political correctness does not provide jobs for the unemployed.  Avoiding the use of "Islamic terrorism" does not defeat ISIS.  And so on, and so on.

At the conclusion of Trump's address, Rush Limbaugh told his radio audience, "For the first time in a long, long time, I am truly proud of my country."  Sure, it was a joke made to poke fun at Michelle Obama's famous statement, but there really is a lot of truth to it.

Thank God, the age of Obama has ended.  A new day has dawned in the USA.

The Warmest Year On Record -- Sure

It was recently reported that 2016 was the warmest year ever.  That's just not correct.

1.  Temperature records only go back a little over 100 years.  That means that there are about 4.6 billion other years that these reports did not consider.

2.  The temperature figures for 2016 were statistically no different from those for 2015.  According to the data, 2016 was on average 0.01 degrees warmer than 2015, but the margin of error was plus/minus 0.1 degree.  That means there's really no way of knowing if it was warmer or colder in 2016 that in 2015.

3.  The figures for the temperature date are for surface temperatures.  Those are the readings that can be affected most by nearby man-made events.  A weather station near New York City, for example, could register warmer temperatures due to the heat generated by all the buildings in the city.  There are atmospheric temperature readings taken by satellites that were placed in orbit just to monitor global warming.  That data has not been released for 2016 as of yet.  Of course, that satellite system produced the data that shows that warming of the earth pretty much stopped 18 years ago and that since that time temperatures have stayed steady.  (There has been some oscillation, but the trend is level temperature readings.)

There's a very clear and good analysis of all this in The Federalist.  It is well worth reading. 

It's Finally D-Day

Today is the day that the Donald takes over as President of the United States of America.  For tens of millions of people, it is a day of great hope.  We are actually getting a president who could produce change for the better.  Let's all wish him well today.  May God bless him with the wisdom and courage to do the right things for this nation.

Do They Even Understand What They Are Saying?

Last night there was a protest in Manhattan led by New York's Mayor DeBlasio under the slogan "Stop the Trump/Pence fascist regime before it starts."  There were thousands of people there who tied up traffic near Columbus Circle.  I wonder how many, if any, of them know what a "fascist" regime truly is.  My guess is that the number is close to zero.

In the last hundred years, there have been few real fascist regimes.  The best known are Nazi Germany and Italy under Mussolini.  There are differing definitions of fascism, but the one thing with which everyone agrees is that it requires an authoritarian regime.  In other words, to be fascist, a regime must be led by a dictator or a group of oligarchs who rules without considering the will of the people.  In American terms, that would be someone who makes laws without Congress.  For example, were Donald Trump to announce that he had a pen and a phone and could take actions without Congress, that would be moving towards authoritarianism and thus towards fascism.  If Trump were to tell the nation 22 times that he did not have the power under the Constitution to change the immigration law and then to go ahead and issue an executive order which purports to do just that, it would be a move toward authoritarianism and thus towards fascism.  Of course, those things were done by president Obama, not by soon to be president Trump.  Obama is closer to fascism that Trump, although it is pretty clear that neither is a fascist.

So why do these fools think that calling Trump a fascist makes sense?  For them, it's just a name to use.  How many times during the campaign did they call Trump "Hitler" or "a Nazi"?  It didn't make any sense, but they did it anyway.  Fascist is being used in much the same way that "racist" has been used for years.  Anything that happens that the left didn't like was "racist".  They debased "racist" and now they are moving on to "fascist".  It's a foolish move.  There truly are racists and fascists in our country.  By falsely calling someone like the President Elect and thousands of other people these names, the left removes the sting of these words.  We've reached the point at which a majority of people no longer even pay attention when someone is called racist.  Why should they when so many get so targeted.  It is the living version of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf".

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Is This True?

According to The Hill, the new Trump administration has a plan to cut ten trillion dollars from the federal budget over the next decade.  Is that true, or is it just another of those articles in the mainstream media containing fake news?  I don't know.  We will need to wait and see.

There's so much misinformation that is being thrown about in the media regarding the plans of President Elect Trump, that it is getting annoying.  For example, there are stories telling us that there is no replacement plan for Obamacare, but there are other stories that detail plans or portions of plans that contradict each other.  Trump is either immediately building the wall on the Mexican border or abandoning the project (you decide based upon which article you read.)  So much is like that.

I am truly looking forward to the new administration actually being able to announce policy plans.  The misinformation from the media is just getting to be too much.

Now before I get emails complaining that I say there is misinformation in the MSM, just remember this:  about a week after the election, there were a series of stories in the media about how much chaos was present in the Trump transition effort.  We were told by the self proclaimed experts that Trump would never be ready by the Inauguration.  They were not only wrong, they weren't even close to being correct.  The transition went forward in a steady and productive manner.  A great many fine candidates for various offices have been nominated and are about to be confirmed despite the best efforts of the Democrats to undermine them.  In other words, the media fantasy condemning Trump is giving way to the actual reality in which Trump succeeds.

 

The Time Now

As I write this, there are only twenty hours and fifty five minutes until Barack Obama is out of the White House for good.  And when I say "for good", I mean for the good of the USA.  As the seconds and minutes tick by, I keep thinking about all the harm Obama did.  His policies reduced economic growth by roughly 1.5% per year according to the experts.  After eight years, that's roughly 13% less GDP each year or more than two trillion dollars in production by the American economy that Obama got rid of.  That two trillion dollars of production would have created millions of jobs and raised pay for much of the middle class.  It would have cut the number of people on welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid.  It would have contributed something like 400 billion dollars per year to federal tax revenues.  In short, it would have brought the federal budget deficit down to roughly zero!

Then there's ISIS and Russia and Syria and China and Iraq and Iran and countless other international problems that Obama made worse.  It wasn't that he just failed to correct problems; he made things worse!

And let's not forget the wonderful improvement in race relations that Obama promised but never delivered.  How much more are the people of this country split than they were in 2008?  We can all thank Obama for that mess.

Tomorrow will be a great day.  Trump can go a long way towards making America great again just by getting Obama out of office.

Cruel And Unusual Punishment

This morning, I had to take my car in for service.  I waited at the dealer during the process and sat in their customer waiting room.  The room had a big screen TV which was playing CNN.  There was no control the change the station, so I had to sit there with CNN playing.  I watched the network for at least 45 minutes, something I haven't done in decades.  (Normally, I can't take more than five minutes of CNN without switching.)  It was cruel and unusual punishment.

It amazed me to see just how biased the CNN "news" team was against President Elect Trump.  I guess the worst moment came when one of those CNN panel discussions started talking about Dr. Tom Price and what they called his "insider trading".  Actual insider trading is a crime, something that the CNN folks know well.  The panel, however, admitted that nothing Price did was illegal, but they still called it insider trading.  Their take on it was that it may not be illegal, but it was unethical.  When one of the panelists said that the stock investment had been made by Price's broker without consulting Price, the others said that Price should have prevented it and his failure to do so was unethical.  That's pure idiocy.  They give Price the obligation to stop things of which he is unaware.  Even for CNN, that's moronic.

Next time I take the car in for service, I am going to insist that they change the station.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Worst Of All

Do you know the name Oscar L√≥pez Rivera?  Most people don't.  Lopez Rivera is a convicted terrorist/murderer who set bombs that killed many people in the 1970's as a member of the FALN.  That group is a radical Puerto Rican group that attacked the USA in the name of Puerto Rico.  Lopez Rivera was caught and sentenced to life in prison for the numerous murders due to his bombs.  Then he faded from public view until yesterday when president Obama decided to release him from jail by commuting his sentence.

Let's put this in context.  What Obama did is the rough equivalent of deciding to release one of the 9-11 hijackers if any had survived and been sent to prison.  This is not an act of kindness by Obama; it is a present given to his most left-wing supporters some of whom look at Lopez Rivera as a freedom fighter.  After all, he did bomb a police station, so -- the far left reasons -- he can't be all bad, right?

It is hard to imagine that Obama ever had the best interests of the American people at heart.  No one who values American lives would ever have let Lopez Rivera go free.

Completely Not-true News

CNN is going for the title of "Number 1 Cable Fake News Network".  First, the network published a baseless set of lurid stories about the Russians having blackmail info on President Elect Trump.  That was revealed as false, but CNN never apologized.  CNN got the story into other media, and that clearly was the goal.  Now, CNN has done something similar with representative Price, the nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

A few days ago, CNN reported that Price had invested in a small medical device company and then introduced a bill which would greatly help that company with the result that the stock soared.  The Wall Street Journal had published a story on Price's stock transactions and holdings, but it was much more subdued and did not include the claim of investing and then directly acting to help such a company.

There turn out, however, to be three rather large problems with the CNN report:

1.  Price put all of his stock and other assets into a blind trust when he entered Congress.  Neither he nor his family control the trading in his account.

2.  Price gets periodic reports of his holdings that are needed to file disclosure forms required of all House members.  He did not get word of the purchase of the stock in the company in question until quite a while after that transaction was made.

3.  CNN got the sequence wrong.  Price actually introduced the bill in question about one month before the stock was purchased in his account by the trustee.

Put simply, the story is totally bogus.  It is pure fake news.  CNN could have discovered all of this if it had bothered to ask Price about the allegations prior to publishing the story.  CNN also could have looked at the disclosure forms and seen the correct time sequence with Price introducing the bill long before any stock purchase was made.  There's no way to know for sure from the available information is CNN intentionally published the story while knowing it to be false or if this was just extremely shoddy reporting by CNN.

The problem beyond this phony story is that CNN still has not acknowledged its mistake.  It has a story on its site now detailing the attacks by Democrats on the Senate committee on this topic while questioning Price.  The story mentions Price's denials, but give them very little coverage.  Someone who didn't know the truth would still think that there is really a problem here.

I would call for Americans to boycott CNN, but the network's ratings are already so low that a further drop would hardly be noticed.  Indeed, if CNN didn't play in airports in much of America, I doubt that anyone would ever see what the network puts on the air.