Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Communism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Freedom, Intelligence, National Security, Politics, Progressives, Progressivism, Taxes, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: All About Power, Obama's Plans, Ruling With Less Restraint
As we leave 2016, it becomes the time when journalists attempt to sum up the past year. I’m afraid that Obama’s desperate flurry of executive orders and regulations as he leaves the White House will merely add to the recriminations as he tries to finish up the wrong-headed promises he made upon being elected. He has completely disgraced himself and his administration with instructions to abstain from the Security Council’s vote on Israeli “settlement policy”— a vote intended to tilt the “peace process” towards the Palestinian terrorists. He is attempting to empty Guantanamo, sending the “worst of the worst” to other countries so they can quickly go back to terrorism, as they are doing. The funerals of their victims will be Mr. Obama’s real legacy, and real journalists are already writing the epitaphs.
Here’s Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal: The betrayed: Obama’s decision to allow the UN to censure Israel, Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution whose protest of a stolen election Obama failed to endorse. Iraqis, who were promised a diplomatic surge to secure the gains of a military surge, Syrians, Ukrainians, and most of all, and most betrayed: Americans.
Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly.
These are the results. They would be easier to forgive if they hadn’t so often been reached by disingenuous and dishonorable means.
Perhaps you remember back in the change of administrations in 2000, when the departing Clinton administration left the White House in a mess, and the “W”s missing from all the computer keyboards, out of pure spite. The Bush administration took a bipartisan tack, and tried to be helpful to the incoming Obama administration. George W. Bush recognized the change, that his time was past, and the real assessment would be done by future historians. He has refused to comment on his successor’s policies and actions, and simply continued with his efforts to help returning veterans in any way he could.
Mr. Obama has not only not appreciated the help he was provided, but not grasped the gentlemanly way the transfer of power took place. There were major lessons there, but Obama didn’t get it. He told David Axlerod today that if the Constitution didn’t prevent him from running again, he could have won the election. A snide comment on Hillary’s campaign.
As always, it is all about him. I doubt that he could have persuaded the American people to give him another term to run our national security into the ground. Though the American people like Mr. Obama as a person, they think the country is going in the wrong direction, both economically and internationally. ObamaCare is collapsing. Terrorism is increasing, and Obama has been more interested in increasing the numbers of Syrian refugees in expectation the they would become Democrat voters, than in any possibility that they might be members of ISIS.
The Obamas will remain in Washington D.C. for the next year at least, and Mr. Obama has said he will spend the time “rebuilding the Democrat Party.” He will use his community organizing skills to build a hard-left version of the old Democratic Party, and with his old “Organizing for Obama” Team which has become “Organizing for America,” and now “Organizing for Action.”
Daniel Greenfield says that Obama wants to force radical change, building networks across the urban elite and into the halls of power. He intends to force radical change from outside the White House by using the network he’s built. Obama believes that he can rule America from outside the White House, and he may be right.
The Democrats are ceasing to be a national party. Instead they are becoming a nationalizing party. They are losing their presence in much of the country, from state legislature to state legislature, and becoming the party of major cities and the national government. Their agenda is to move power from local areas to central ones, from the villages and the suburbs to the cities, from states to D.C. and from locally elected legislators in D.C. to the satellite bureaucracies of the Federal government.
Obama sees Hillary’s defeat as an opportunity to burn the Dem’s last bridges with the larger country and its “bitter clingers”, to double down on nationalizing power and to define the political narrative around the agendas of urban elites. The left crippled the Democrats. Now it wants to utterly consume them.
The election was a catastrophic disaster for the Democrats, but it opened all sorts of doors for Obama.
You need to read the whole thing. Daniel Greenfield is a columnist, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He has his own blog, and writes at David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine as well as many other outlets. He is very perceptive, and in this case, very scary. But Mr. Greenfield’s writing seems to follow closely with everything we know about Obama’s character. You read “Obama Plans to Rule America Outside the White House” and see what you think. Forewarned is forearmed.
Angelo Codevilla, writing in the Claremont Review of Books explains:
But whenever progressives have gained power, all manner of contradictions have remained and new ones have arisen. Progressive movements have reacted to this failure by becoming their own reason for being. Theoretically, the Revolution is about the power and necessity to recreate mankind. In practice, for almost all progressive movements it is about gaining power for the revolutionaries and making war on those who stand in their way.
This is a long, but important article, widely recommended. You will be glad you read the whole thing.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economics, Education, Election 2016, Foreign Policy, Health Care, Immigration, Law, National Security, Politics, Progressives, Regulation, Taxes, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: !.5 Billion for What?, Donors Want Answers, What Went Wrong?
Hillary has wanted to be the first woman president forever. She wanted to be the co-president with Bill in 1993. She thought they would have a two-for-one deal, but the American people reminded them that she was not elected. So it has been an enormous loss for her, both in 2012 and now. I could almost feel sorry for her.
Donors, most importantly, want to know where Clinton spent the nearly $1.5 billion in campaign resources she collected in the closing months. They especially want introspection, or what they’re calling a “dispassionate, centralized analysis,” of how Clinton failed to read the mood in swing states, and how her Brooklyn-centric operation so badly misread polling data.
From what I have read, the big change in polling came about with “the Deplorables” comment. Whatever you want to say about Bill Clinton, he has excellent political instincts, but he was essentially banned from the campaign. Hillary was, quite frankly, a lousy candidate. She is not particularly likeable, as many have said. And for someone who aspired to the highest office in the land, she did not build up her qualifications. As Carly Fiorina said “titles are not qualifications.” The only bill she introduced in the Senate was to name a post office. And as Secretary of State, her accomplishment was frequent-flyer miles. She denied help to her ambassador to Libya who begged over and over for additional help because the post in Benghazi was so dangerous, and we all know how that turned out.
Had she studied up on the situation in Libya, she would have known that Ghadaffi had given up any interest in nuclear weapons after the demise of Saddam Hussein, and was considered as a dictator who was keeping the lid on in a violent country. She urged his overthrow, and celebrated his demise with a public cackled “We came, we saw, he died.” and laughed about it.
She is a compulsive liar, and everyone knew it, though that doesn’t matter to Democrats. She lies about silly things to enhance herself, that are clearly false, like being named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who hadn’t climbed any mountain until long after she was named. The account of arriving in Bosnia under sniper fire, was shot down by videos of the welcoming party with children with flowers.
The big campaign donors are not buying her Russia excuse or the Comey excuse either. They want to know what went wrong. They were promised a big victory and look what happened!
But in the weeks since, the wealthy Democrats who helped pump over $1 billion into Clinton’s losing effort have been urging their local finance staffers, state party officials, and campaign aides to provide a more thorough explanation of what went wrong. With no dispassionate, centralized analysis of how Clinton failed so spectacularly, they insist, how can they be expected to keep contributing to the party?…
Absent a single campaign infrastructure those donors can use to do that, a handful of Democrats have looked to step in and provide a centralized outlet for donor planning. One is Clinton ally David Brock, who is planning a retreat for top party finance players in Aventura, Florida, over the Thursday-to-Saturday of Trump’s inauguration week….
Among the gathering’s planned sessions: “Learning from 2016: Strategy, Policy, and Building a lasting winning Coalition,” “Campaign Tactics of the future: Polling, Social Media, and Targeting,” “The New Face of the Right,” “Holding Trump Accountable,” and “Ethics Watchdog on Steroids.”
It was fairly obvious. Hillary had no message. She criticized Trump, She was going to do the same thing Obama has done. To a lot of voters—that was no recommendation. She said in a paid speech with Brazilian bankers that her dream was open trade and open borders with a continental open market. Obama kept bragging about all the jobs he had created, but ordinary folks just saw the increasing numbers of people who had given up looking. The small businesses they liked had closed their doors, and immigrants had taken all of the construction jobs. Union leaders backed Hillary, and assumed their workers would follow suit. They didn’t. And besides, the American people just didn’t like being called “Deplorables.”
In a new poll, more than two-thirds of registered voters oppose any attempt by President Obama to pardon Hillary Clinton before he leaves office next month. This was a Fox news poll, and Obama blames Fox News for all of his troubles.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Health Care, Immigration, Intelligence, Latin America, Law, Middle East, Politics, Regulation, Taxes, Unemployment | Tags: Nominees for the Cabinet, Not Media Speculation, The Left Attacks
Donald Trump has nominated Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State to wide praise from Republicans. He has broad and remarkable international experience, a deep understanding of the global economy and personal relations with many state leaders throughout the world. Imagine, a Secretary of State who knows what he’s doing and understands the geopolitics.
President-elect Donald Trump wants Goldman Sachs president & COO Gary Cohn as the Director of his National Economic Council. Trump says that Cohn will put his talents as a highly successful businessman to work for the American people, growing wages for workers and stopping American jobs from going overseas.
Cohn said: “I share President-elect Trump’s vision of making sure every American worker has a secure place in a thriving economy, and we will be completely committed to building a nation of strength, growth and prosperity.”
President Obama felt that having served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was enough prior knowledge of world governments and geopolitics, so we got Hillary Clinton whose accomplishment was the air miles she racked up, and John Kerry.
Steven Mnuchin has been nominated as Secretary of the Treasury. He was Trump’s campaign finance director, and obviously highly successful in that job. Hillary raised and spent $1.2 billion, and Trump, in contrast, spent $616.5 million, and had $31.5 million left over. He is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who has become a trusted financial advisor.
Ryan Zinke named as Interior Secretary is a first term congressman from Montana who will lead Mr. Trump’s efforts to open federal lands and water to fossil-fuel development and reverse many of the Obama administration nonsensical regulations.
Rick Perry who has been named as Secretary of Energy is the former governor of Texas. He served for nearly 15 years in the country’s biggest energy producing state. His record as governor was outstanding.
Andy Puzder has been named as Secretary of Labor. He is CEO of CKE Restaurant Holdings, parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, and has been a vocal advocate of cutting back the regulations that have stunted growth in the restaurant industry, and he has argued against raising the minimum wage higher than $9 an hour, and criticized the Affordable Care Act.
Wilbur Ross has been named as Commerce Secretary. He is a top economic adviser to Mr. Trump. He is chairman and chief strategist of W.L.Ross & Co. a private equity firm and has extensive experience in corporate restructurings.
John Kelly, has been named as Secretary of Homeland Security. He is a retired four star Marine General who directly supervised U.S. Operations in Central and South America as chief of Southern Command. His post involved monitoring drug trafficking and other smuggling activity around our southern border.
Linda McMahon has been named as Administrator of the Small Business Administration. She is the co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut, but very successful in building a business.
Elaine Chao has been named as Transportation Secretary. She was the first American woman of Asian descent to be appointed to the cabinet when she served as a very successful secretary of labor in the administration of George W. Bush. She is married to Majority Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell.
Mike Pompeo has been named as Director of the CIA. He is a West Point graduate, first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 as part of the tea-party movement. He is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Intelligence Committee, and was a member of the special committee investigating the 2012 attacks on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Michael Flynn has been nominated as National Security Adviser. He is a retired Army General who had served in top roles across the military as director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and intelligence adviser to Gen..Stanley McChrystal in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Donald McGahn has been named as White House Counsel. He was the president-elect’s campaign lawyer and is a former member of the Federal Elections Commission. He is currently a partner at Jones Day in Washington D.C. where he has specialized on political law issues.
The Left, unsurprisingly, is having hissy-fits. Three Generals? During the campaign Trump was called “Hitler,” one of their usual epithets. Now its “Authoritarian.” From Bill McGurn at the Wall Street Journal: (Talking Points)
From the New Republic: “Donald Trump Is Already Acting Like an Authoritarian.” National Public Radio: “Donald Trump: Strong Leader or Dangerous Authoritarian?” The New York Times: “Beyond Lying: Donald Trump’s Authoritarian Reality.” The New Yorker: “Trump’s Challenge to American Democracy.”
The Left finds fault with any nominee who has not served in government as somehow not qualified. That pretty clearly demonstrates the mindset. The Left are proponents of big government, the better to regulate you with. They believe firmly in their own anointed superiority, and usually, never have worked in private business, and thus know how the deplorables out there should go about their lives.
Three Generals? Will they lead us to war? Oh please! Nobody hates war more than those who have experienced it. No experience in Government—that is a positive qualification.
Trump’s array of economic advisors are divided between those who believe in carrots and those who believe in sticks. One group rejects mainstream economic thinking and believes in eliminating trade deficits, and views taxes on companies that move jobs abroad as necessary sticks to reduce a 15 year slide in income for middle class Americans. The opposing camp champions supply-side economics and believe in slashing red tape and taxes to make the U.S. a top destination for business is a worthwhile carrot. Then there’s a third group who aren’t particularly ideological. (I‘m an ideological supply-sider)
Mr Trump’s supporters are probably equally divided. A lot of us want the EPA abolished. Is the Energy Department necessary? Is the Education Department needed? I suspect that it is unlikely that any agency will be eliminated, for all have their proponents, and for the Left—they are essential. Getting rid of a department approaches the impossible.
Trump has advocated eliminating Education. Each department has its own culture, many are long-standing and deeply entrenched. Eliminating departments will take a back seat to Mr. Trump’s goal of growing the economy and putting America back to work. There will be more silly attacks from the Left, but the Right has not been this strong for 80 years. Progressives just haven’t figured that out yet.
Expect some bitter confirmation battles. They are outraged with the appointment of Scott Pruitt to the EPA, he is not only an attorney who has taken the EPA to court (on a lawsuit filed by 27 states against the EPA. Rex Tillerson (a businessman, an oil man? ), the Generals, and Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education who is a champion of charter schools and opposes Common Core. Major fight! This is a group selected for their expertise and their ability to take on a fight to make a difference for the country. I’m impressed.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Free Markets, Freedom, Health Care, Politics, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: Excellent Appointment, Replacing ObamaCare, The Unafordable Care Act
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Representative Tom Price (R-Ga), a leader in the efforts to replace ObamaCare, to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services. This is a very good nomination, though Democrats are howling, and trying to launch a coalition to save their failed program. Representative Price is an orthopedic surgeon who knows his way around the practice of medicine. He has introduced H.R.2300 the Empowering Patients First Act —legislation that puts patients, families and doctors in charge by focusing on the principles of affordability, accessibility, quality, innovation, choices and responsiveness.
We’ve all read of price increases of 25% and more—reportedly 100% in some cases, laughed grimly at the statement that “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” But how did it go so wrong for so many people?
The Left has long wanted to control health care, preferably single-payer like Britain’s. Why? The British put in their program not long after WWII, and because it is “free” they have kept voting for Labor in order to keep it. It may not be very good care, and those rich enough to afford private care do so. But old people die in hospital from neglect, or dehydration, yet the people are afraid of changing. The Left really wants regulations that people keep voting for, and they don’t care if it is out of fear of change.
Please read this post from Ricochet by a physician about the death of the primary care physician. He says “We are directed to “practice medicine” strictly according to directives handed down from on high by panels of sanctioned experts, and accordingly we are enjoined from taking into account our professional experience, our intuition informed by judgment when we advise them about their medical issues.” He adds:
We are strictly limited to 7.5 minutes per patient “encounter,” and the content of this brief encounter is determined by certain Pay for Performance checklists which have been given to us by yet other expert committees. These checklists assure that most of our 7.5 minute encounter is spent asking about important medical topics such as the storage of handguns in the home and sodium in the diet, for if we skip any items on the list we define ourselves as substandard caregivers.
This is how the Left operates. They think up a program that will fill all of their emotional needs to do nice things for people. Once they get it made into law, they have to pay for the mess they made, so they start making regulations that will let them pay the medical providers a lot less, because they cost too much. Patient A fell, and thinks she broke a bone in her foot. Doctor sends her off for an X-Ray and gives her a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. That one is under the 7.5 minutes. Patient B is diabetic, overweight, and has a potential heart condition, and needs some major counseling on diet and exercise, and a prescription or two. She’s a nervous type and clearly worried about her health. 7.5 minutes? That truly stupid regulation came from some bureaucrat who knows nothing about medicine, and is concerned only about keeping the budget under control.
Multiply that situation across the practice of medicine, and you see how and why ObamaCare has failed. Doctors are opting out in droves. Seniors have trouble finding someone who will accept Medicare patients, Medicaid patients get sent to nurse practitioners instead of doctors, or are told they can’t be seen until next May.
Have you seen a doctor who has engaged a scribe to take notes of the patient encounter so the doctor can talk to the patient instead of the computer? Read the British papers to see why we should never consider their system. There are few, if any, programs that the federal government bureaucrats can manage successfully. Monica Crowley remarked today that “government has no profit motive, only a power motive.” Excellent insight. Competition, free markets,and small government that does only those few things that bureaucrats can’t manage to screw up.
Here is a link to Dr. Tom Price’s statement, with links to the Empowering Patients First Act and a section by section description of the legislation.
The Weekly Standard’s “After Repeal” about the game plan for undoing ObamaCare.
Commentary Magazine “Cleaning Up Obama’s Health-Care Mess”
From AEI: “The four legs of a new health-care system” by James C. , who writes about health care regularly, and Scott Gottlieb M.D.
From the Hoover Institution: “The Unaffordable Care Act” by Richard Epstein.
From the WSJ: “Diagnosing Your Doc”s New Euphoria” Suddenly there’s hope for dismantling ObamaCare—and restoring sanity for doctors and patients
Imagine! A real physician in charge of HHS. I remember when the Democrats pushed through the Affordable Care Act without a single Republican vote, and Obama brought out a troop of doctors (?) in white coats with stethoscopes over their shoulders. (Is that what you would wear as a doctor going to the White House?) So costumed, they sat on chairs on the lawn while Obama gave a speech.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Election 2016, Global Warming, Latin America, Media Bias, Mexico, Military, Politics, Taxes | Tags: Media Speculation, The Cabinet, Trump's Nominees
As President-elect Trump nominates more interesting people to lead federal agencies and offices, I’m adding them to my previous post. Follow the link or just scroll down to the picture of the White House in the snow. Democrats are beside themselves because the Republican President-elect seems to be choosing people who are opposed to Obama’s policies. He has picked three retired Marine Generals, He wants a war!! He has picked someone to head the EPA who doesn’t even believe in the Paris Accords!! We’re all going to die from an overheating Earth. More nominations to come, with constant speculation by the media, but you can’t believe a nomination unless announced by Donald Trump.
Marine General Jack Kelly (ret) has been nominated to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He formerly led Southern Command, and has been concerned with the terrorists and drug smugglers crossing our southern border, and the release of the “worst of the worst” from Guantanamo.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a Republican, has done successful battle in the courtroom with the EPA and is very familiar with the energy industry. He has been nominated to head the EPA, and Democrats are having a hissy fit.
It’s 36° here at the moment and we had lots of frost this morning. We may get snow later in the week, and the Earth, by the way, is currently cooling.
Dr. Ben Carson, nominated to head HUD (Housing and Urban Development) is being criticized in the media because he has never been in government. This is a bad thing?
Not a federal office, but JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, a Wall Street heavyweight will take over the chairmanship of the Business Roundtable. As an organization of the top business leaders, Mr. Dimon will be uniquely placed to consult with the president on BRT’s agenda of tax, regulatory and immigration reform. This is a good thing. Business is not the enemy, they are the ones who hire and innovate and make the economy grow.
Democrats hate Marine Generals, Business CEOs, and “Climate Deniers”. That should tell you something.
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.