Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Crime, Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, Election 2016, Environment, Freedom, History, Immigration, Progressivism, Regulation | Tags: Donald J. Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, Housing and Urban Development
President-elect Donald Trump has announced the appointment of Dr, Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gravitated to the nearest microphone to announce that the choice of Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development was “a disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice.” In the statement she released she said “there is no evidence that Dr. Carson brings the necessary credentials to hold a position with such immense responsibilities and impact on families and communities across America. ”
I really had to laugh. HUD is especially concerned with poor inner-city neighborhoods, and the problems involved, and under the current administration, an attempt to reach a leftist ideal of proper diversity by moving poor inner-city residents into middle class and upper class neighborhoods, which they attempt to accomplish by threats to cut off federal funding. To quote from Dr. Carson:
I grew up in a neighborhood most Americans were told never to drive through. I saw bullets, drugs and death in the same places I played tag and ball with my friends. Both of my older cousins died on the streets where I lived. I thought that was my destiny.
But my mother didn’t. She changed all of that.She saved my brother and me from being killed on those streets with nothing but a library card.
My mother knew what the problems were and she shielded me and my brother from them. I can tell you that she wasn’t worried about Socialist senators from tiny rural states. “Black Lives Matter” could learn from her to focus on the real sources of our hopelessness.
Ben Carson didn’t pontificate about the plight of inner-city blacks, he lived it. Can’t deal with immense responsibility? Try separating conjoined babies joined at the head. Management skills? Try managing a large group of physicians. What a splendid idea to enlist someone who knows the problems from the inside instead of just following the standard party line.
He’ll do fine, and may even accomplish something truly important.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Cool Site of the Day, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Education, Energy, Health Care, Immigration, Politics, Regulation, Taxes, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: American Manufacturing, Regulatory Costs, Trump's Carrier Deal
Editor in chief of American Thinker Thomas Lifson has two important articles today, explaining Donald Trump’s Carrier deal. There has been much angst about the jobs saved at Carrier in the wake of tax incentives from the State of Indiana, because there are still a significant number of jobs going to Mexico. We misunderstand what Trump is doing, Lifson says, and explains what the President-elect has in mind. Do read both pieces, they really are important. What Trump intends:
He has announced that, reigning globalist economic theory to the contrary notwithstanding, the United States must maintain a manufacturing sector. The shift of manufacturing to low wage countries is not a law of nature, not an inevitability, and not a path that America will take in the future. We cannot abandon the regions of our country that have devoted themselves to manufacturing. He has not mentioned the national security dimension of such a policy, but it is obvious to all but a few theorists that you cannot maintain a strong nation if you depend on others to do your manufacturing.
The combination of information technology, robotics, new materials, and many other advances (including management advances such as lean manufacturing and continuous improvement organizational disciplines) has squeezed low value labor out of manufacturing. Global companies that locate within their most important market are able to create serious competitive advantages over companies assembling products in low wage companies through flexibility and rapid response time.
The second of the two companion pieces is “The Key to Trump’s Carrier deal: Next-generation manufacturing.” Do read both articles. There is a lot of important insight here.
Progressives are confident of their own knowledge and expertise, and feel completely confident in their ability to issue rules and regulations (backed up with enormous penalties to make sure you understand their importance) so that you will run your business in a way that the progressives find more agreeable. When I was looking for a new car last year, I learned the extent to which automobile design and performance has been changed and controlled by the EPA’s fuel efficiency standards. More aluminum, more substitution of light things for heavy things. One dealer said the outside mirrors would go soon because of that. Some have said that higher highway fatalities are probably due to the Fuel efficiency standards.
The addition of ethanol to gasoline, deadly for small engines like lawn mowers and appliances, has been shown to accomplish nothing in the prevention of greenhouse gases, and was a deal with the corn lobby to get enough votes to pass the 1990 Clean Air Act. Useless, but a highly expensive boondoggle that affected far more things than the amount of CO2 in car exhaust.
The federal demand to show calorie numbers for fast food on signs and menus has been shown to be completely ineffective because people don’t care. They know fast food is more caloric than an ordinary meal, but they want it because it’s fast and tasty. For the industry, the costs are enormous, but federal regulators are not interested in that. Ditto the drive for a $15 minimum wage, which is simply an unemployment program for the beginning or unskilled worker. McDonalds is already committed to a nationwide program of installing computer kiosks to replace workers.
The EPA is probably the biggest offender. Their ideas about what is environmentally friendly are weak on science and heavy on agency power and control. It’s an agency of zealots, and should be abolished. That may not happen, but their power will be cut back. Myron Ebell will be a terrific advisor on the EPA and it’s overreach.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Election 2016, Energy, Environment, Health Care, Humor, Immigration, Law, Media Bias, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Unemployment | Tags: Doesn't Change Anything, Dr. Jill Stein, Recounting the Votes
Jill Stein’s campaign to raise money to challenge the vote in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan is apparently going nowhere rapidly. Pennsylvania informed her that the deadline was last Monday—a week ago, not today. Wisconsin said they weren’t going to do a recount. And Michigan just finished laboriously counting the ballots from the election for the first time, and Trump won healthily.
Haven’t seen any response from Dr. Stein, but she would seem to retain her 1% in the final tally, if it’s any comfort. Sorry about that.
ADDENDUM: When she filed her challenge to Wisconsin election results, Jill Stein assumed that the recount would be done by hand. State officials decided that counties would not be forced to do a hand recount of ballots. Officials decided a machine recount would do, unanimously. Now Stein is suing to force a hand recount. “We must recount the votes so we can build trust in our election system” she said in a statement. Since Wisconsin voting machines are not connected to the internet, hacking is unlikely. Officials said no recount will happen until she pays the $3.5 million fee ahead of time.The Democrat Elections Commission chairman cited a 2011 hand recount that changed only 300 votes out of 1.5 million as the basis for declaring a machine recount adequate. Real drama out in the hustings. (what are ‘hustings’ anyway?) Merriam Webster: “Hustings are where babies are kissed, flesh is pressed and media events are staged.
ADDENDUM II: After the first day of Jill Stein’s vaunted recount in Michigan, joined by Hillary, Hillary has gained 1 vote. She needs only 22,000 more for the election to be tied. Stein filed a petition with Michigan’s state Board of Canvassers on Wednesday, asking for a manual recount of every vote cast in Michigan in the presidential election. She also is leading efforts to force recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, claiming her goal is to “ensure the integrity and accuracy of the vote.”But not so fast! Michigan’s Republican attorney general filed a lawsuit on Friday to halt the vote recount attempt pursued in the state by Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.
Michigan voters rejected Stein’s candidacy by massive margins but her refusal to accept that state verified result poses an expensive and risky threat to hard-working taxpayers and abuses the intent of Michigan law,” Bil Schuette said in a statement/
“We have asked the court to end the recount which Stein is pursuing in violation of Michigan laws that protect the integrity of our elections. It is inexcusable for Stein to put Michigan voters at risk of paying millions and potentially losing their voice in the Electoral College in the process”.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Education, Energy, Immigration, Law, Media Bias, Politics, Progressives, Regulation, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: Human Nature, Progressives, The Administrative State
Every form or progressivism bases itself on the claim of a special, “scientific” knowledge of what is wrong with humanity and how to fix it. The formula is straightforward: the world is not as it should be because society’s basic “structural” feature is ordered badly.
In one version or another it always boils down to the fact that they don’t like human nature. (Why can’t they be more like — Us?) The quotation is from an essay in the current Claremont Review of Books by Angelo Codevilla. Progressives, Communists, Socialists, in all their forms find human nature deeply flawed, and believe that they can fix it. For our current crop, the avenue seems to be “diversity.”
When they have made everybody equal and all neighborhoods are diverse, and schools are diverse and everybody believes exactly the same diverse things, then there will be no more problems like wars, and high crime rates in the cities run by progressives. The administrative state will take care of keeping the diversity diverse.
Christiana Figureres, Secretary General of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, cheerfully admitted not long ago, that they weren’t really interested in saving the Earth from a climate disaster, but that it was their best chance of ridding the world of Capitalism.
Steven Hayward quoted a paragraph from Boston University law professor Gary Lawson, in a 1994 Harvard Law Review article “The Rise and Rise of the Administrative State.”
The [Federal Trade] Commission promulgates substantive rules of conduct. The Commission then considers whether to authorize investigations into whether the Commission’s rules have been violated. If the Commission authorizes an investigation, the investigation is conducted by the Commission, which reports its findings to the Commission. If the Commission thinks that the Commission’s findings warrant an enforcement action, the Commission issues a complaint. The Commission’s complaint that a Commission rule has been violated is then prosecuted by the Commission and adjudicated by the Commission. This Commission adjudication can either take place before the full Commission or before a semi-autonomous Commission administrative law judge. If the Commission chooses to adjudicate before an administrative law judge rather than before the Commission and the decision is adverse to the Commission, the Commission can appeal to the Commission. If the Commission ultimately finds a violation, then, and only then, the affected private party can appeal to an Article III court. But the agency decision, even before the bona fide Article III tribunal, possesses a very strong presumption of correctness on matters both of fact and of law.
Here’s Richard Epstein on “The Perils of Executive Power”
One of the most disturbing trends in the United States is the relentless concentration of power in the federal government. Ever since the New Deal, the classical liberal vision of limited government and strong property rights has taken a back seat to a progressive vision of a robust administrative state, dominated by supposed experts, whose powers are largely unimpeded by legal constraints. Wholly apart from Congress, the new administrative state has adopted and enforced its own laws and regulations, and is defined by unilateral actions by the President and other members of the executive branch, all of which threaten the system of checks and balances built into the original constitutional design.
Federal agencies are rushing out a final volley of executive actions in the last two months of Barack Obama’s presidency, despite warnings from Republicans in Congress and the reality that Donald Trump will have the power to erase much of their handiwork after Jan. 20.
Regulations on commodities speculation, air pollution from the oil industry, doctors’ Medicare drug payments and high-skilled immigrant workers are among the rules moving through the pipeline as Obama’s administration grasps at one last chance to cement his legacy. So are regulations tightening states’ oversight of online colleges and protecting funding for Planned Parenthood.
Donald Trump has promised to wipe out as much of Obama’s regulatory agenda as he can, saying he will cancel “all illegal and overreaching executive orders” and eliminate “every wasteful and unnecessary regulation which kills jobs.”
So, there you go.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Crime, Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Health Care, History, Immigration, Intelligence, National Security, Police, Regulation, Unemployment | Tags: Badly Behaving Democrats, Political Correctness, Progressive Identity Politics
First it was Hillary with her sneering reference to “the Deplorables,” then others began to speak of the “uneducated white working class.” Almost sounds like the old line about “poor white trash.” So who did vote for Trump? The media has insisted that it’s people who worked in dying industries and have lost their jobs. Both Bill and Hillary actually expressed their contempt for coal miners— on the stump. The media talks about manufacturing jobs that are ending and will never come back.
On October 20, 2008, Senator Barack Obama declared “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” President Obama set about fundamental transformation. First they transformed key institutions, shifting power from the people’s sovereignty, ignoring the Constitution and separation of powers, to a centralized administrative state, where an elite exercised executive, legislative and judicial powers without the consent of the people or their elected representatives. The progressive worldview bases its civic morality on the centrality of ascribed group identity and group consciousness, particularly race, ethnicity, and gender. Group interests get priority. Professor John Marini writes:
The new, transformed civic morality of the progressive narrative also divides Americans between dominant or “oppressor” groups—whites, males, native-born, Christians, heterosexuals—and victim or “oppressed” groups—racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities; women; LGBT individuals, and “undocumented” immigrants. Progressive politics doesn’t seek the national interest or the common good. Its purpose is to promote “marginalized” or “oppressed” groups against “dominant” or “oppressor” groups.
“This strategy,” Marini notes “requires the systematic mobilization of animosity.” Progressive identity politics, camouflaged under the rubric of “diversity,” is “a new kind of civil religion,” he says. Its enforcement takes the form of political correctness, carried out by the administrative state and private sector bureaucrats and activists within those institutions of a politicized civil society progressives have captured, which includes the media, universities, schools, major corporations, and even, apparently, professional athletic associations.
Global concerns come before national interests. American sovereignty should be surrendered to supranational authority, like UN treaties on the environment, children’s rights and the laws of war. Hillary promised her first 100 days would look for legislation to provide work permits for millions of border crossers and amnesty legislation. She supported all of Obama’s executive orders and plans to bypass Congress just like Obama did. Who could object to that?
Not just out-of-work uneducated working class. How about policemen who have seen their fellows gunned down by Black Lives Matter Marxists? Firemen, small businessmen whose businesses have been ruined with foolish regulation. Three of my favorite small businesses have disappeared. Hairdressers, crane operators, plumbers and electricians, landscaping contractors, builders, insurance salesmen. There are folks who found out they couldn’t keep their doctor, and the big jumps in cost for ObamaCare voided a lot of Obama promises. How about soldiers who returned from securing Iraq to see Obama waste their efforts and the efforts of their friends who did not make it back, by failing to secure the peace. Or veterans who, seeking medical help from the VA, found themselves unable to get a timely appointment or who saw friends die while on a wait list.
The list of people whose lives and occupations have been directly affected by blundering, backward, progressive ideas is long and growing, and not really accurately described by terms such as “the deplorables” or “uneducated white working class.” The media is inclined to latch on to convenient catch-phrases, shorthand for people of whom they disapprove, add in political correctness and a goodly supply of empathy to show how caring they are, and you have our current journalism.
The media was shocked when Mr. Trump called in the leaders of the major news organizations to bawl them out for their campaign coverage. The media executives agreed that the meeting would be off-the-record, and promptly described the event to the rest of the media. Reporters were shocked, but the people cheered. The underlying assumption from progressives and pundits was that “Trump’s voters were angry because the government was not doing enough for them, not that it was doing too much to them.” Big difference and big and important lack of understanding.
So the progressives continue to indulge their fury that Hillary, for whom they may or may not have voted, didn’t win and Trump did. Democrats are attacking Electoral College electors who are not committed by law — with death threats. Jill Stein, who attracted a teeny percentage of the vote, is attempting to lead a demand for a recount, though why she would have standing is a question.
The Left has frequently behaved badly when they have lost elections, but this year they seem to have exceeded all bounds. Democrats haven’t behaved this badly since Republicans told them they couldn’t own slaves any more.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Crime, Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Immigration, National Security, The United States | Tags: 1.5 Million Illegals Every Year, Illegal Aliens, Legal Immigration
Whenever there is a protest, you are apt to see a sign carried by someone protesting immigration laws saying dramatically “No human being is illegal.” As signs go. it’s hard to beat that one for pure silliness. Democrats have rejected the term “illegal alien” in favor of “undocumented people”
Words have meaning that is not determined by the Democratic party, but by the dictionary. In this case — Merriam Webster:
illegal, il•le•gal, adjective: not allowed by law not according to or authorized by law.
That’s pretty straightforward, and descriptive. The meaning is plain, solid fact. Do you see anything demeaning there?
alien, noun: a person who was born in a different country and is not a citizen of the country in which he now lives. A foreign born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country.
Also, straightforward and accurately descriptive.
We have immigration laws, and people who want to become Americans sign up, pay the fees and get put on a wait list to be admitted and begin the citizenship process. There are currently around 4.4 million people who have applied legally to immigrate to America, and are waiting their turn. Please explain why they should be superseded by illegal aliens who have crossed the southern border.
We have “sanctuary cities” whose executives have decided to defy federal law so they can feel good about offering “sanctuary” to illegals, often criminals, who are fearful of being deported. Kate Steinle was shot while walking on a wharf in San Francisco with her father by a criminal illegal alien who had already been deported.
Donald Trump has said he wants to deport criminal illegal aliens promptly. ICE has identified 1.9 million criminal aliens + another 940,000 who have absconded from deportation orders. The numbers create a slightly different impression than does the ‘empathy‘ that Democrats supposedly feel for unfortunate undocumented immigrants. And notice that nobody is much concerned with the poor souls who signed up legally, and are patiently waiting.
It’s all about voting, of course.
In the months leading up to the presidential election, a number of observers expressed concern that lax voter identification laws or procedures were resulting in aliens enrolled on state voter registration lists, thus enabling them to vote illegally. At least one survey of voter rolls in Virginia seemed to bear this out.
President Obama, always one to engage in verbal mischief even as he criticizes others’ perceived moral failings, appeared to encourage aliens to vote illegally in the recent election when, just days before the polling booths opened, he was interviewed by actress Gina Rodriguez who asked what would happen if someone illegally present in the United States voted. Obama assured her that were someone illegally in the United States to vote, no one would come after them because of the sanctity of the voting booth.
Question: So if I vote, will Immigration know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?
Answer: Not true, and the reason is, first of all, when you vote, you are a citizen yourself.
What? That’s hooey, of course. But you might ask yourself why the sneakers given to undocumented, unaccompanied children illegally crossing the border had pictures of Obama stamped on their inner soles. But we do need to know just how prevalent illegal vote fraud is.
Donald Trump won partly based on a platform of strong enforcement of our criminal and immigration laws. His attorney general will be Jeff Sessions who believes in immigration law.
We welcome immigrants and try to make them feel at home. A brand new citizen has the same rights as someone whose ancestors arrived with the Winthrop fleet. If you want to come to America apply properly and wait your turn. It’s worth the trouble.