Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Crime, Domestic Policy, Economy, Law, Media Bias, National Security, Politics, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: A Partisan Media, A Year of Hate and Anger, Government Corruption
Deep into a political campaign, tempers are lost, friends are lost. In Hillsborough, North Carolina, there was an arson attack at a Republican Party office. Major damage and destruction from a firebomb attack. No loss of life. The explosive device was thrown through a window of the office, and the words “Nazi Republicans, leave town or else” were painted on a nearby building. “Nazi Republicans?” That’s a new one, although “Nazi” has come to be a sort of all-purpose epithet, particularly for those completely unfamiliar with history.
This year seems to be the worst one in my memory for hate and anger. One wonders if people are actually aware of the issues. Do they understand what all the fuss about emails is, and why there is so much talk of putting Hillary in jail, which seems outrageous. The Clinton campaign has made it clear that they have no respect for ordinary American citizens, called them “Deplorables,” Bill Clinton essentially called them Southern White Trash.
The leaks of emails from Wikileaks are painting a difficult picture of the Clinton Campaign. John Podesta is Hillary’s Campaign Chairman, and his leaked emails make it clear that even early on, Hillary wanted to run against one of these three: Ben Carson, Ted Crus or Donald Trump, as the easiest for her to defeat. In the early debates with the absurd Republican bench of 17 candidates, did you wonder why all the attention went to Donald Trump, and the other 16 had a hard time getting a chance to speak at all? As Instapundit says quite regularly, “If you think of the media as Democrat operatives with bylines, it all makes sense.”
Have you bought a copy of Clinton Cash, Peter Schweizer’s 2015 book about how Bill and Hillary Clinton went from “Dead Broke” to multimillionaires? Its also out in a graphic novel form. I haven’t, but was fascinated with Gini Thomas’s interview with Peter Schweizer, in two parts. The second part is here. Mrs. Thomas is an excellent interviewer and Peter Schweizer’s story of the investigation is certainly worth your time. Though if you have been following the revelations from Wikileaks, nothing is really a surprise. No wonder sixty-one percent of Americans say their biggest worry is “government corruption.”
We have had misbehaving government bureucrats before, but never at this scale, and never with the approval of the government itself.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Crime, Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, Immigration, National Security, Politics, Progressives, Taxes, The Constitution, Unemployment | Tags: Our Public Servants, They Don't Mean That, They Forget Their Place
Instead of polling the American people about Washington D.C. some academics from Johns Hopkins tried something new and different. They reversed the question, and polled Washington about the American people.
“What they found was a combination of ignorance, contempt and disdain.”
Survey data from the polled group — staffers from the White House and Capitol Hill plus career civil servants and the policy community of lobbyists and others who work closely with government from outside it — indicate that the functionary class thinks of itself as our betters. Our bosses, not our representatives. They see their own judgment as being far superior to that of the rest of us — the people whose wishes they are supposed to be carrying out.
The findings were revealing: By a huge margin, the bureaucrats said they knew better than the public what was right for the public. On Social Security, twice as many bureaucrats said they knew best. On crime, three times as many bureaucrats said their way was superior. On the environment, the ratio was almost four to one.
Why am I not surprised that they feel so self-important on matters environmental?
The academics presented the bureaucrats with simple multiple-choice quizzes. 65 percent of the DC insiders guessed that the median household income was lower than the reality (about $52,000 a year). Four out of five respondents thought the percent of the population that is white (78 percent of Americans) much less. Sixty four percent thought the percentage of American who had a high school diploma was much lower than it is (85 percent). Eighty percent of respondents thought the rate of homeownership is much lower than it is (67 percent).
They proudly call themselves “public servants” but they define it a little differently.
Thus the instructions they give us are usually off the mark. They are usually pushing “urgent, disastrous fixes for imaginary problems.” Out-of-touch doesn’t even begin to cover the problems. Half the problems with Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare can be laid to poor regulations. Officials vastly overestimate (by 8 percentage points) the proportion of Americans who support increasing government spending in areas like education, welfare, child care and crime prevention. They are sure that we want them to solve more of our problems.
They think enforcing existing immigration law as unnecessary or even undesirable. It would be impractical or racist anyway. They believe that terrorism or jihadism is under control. (71 percent of the public thinks its a big problem.) They don’t think that the people know anything about the policies created to deal with these problems. They think of themselves in a paternalistic fashion, taking care of the people. The poor unfortunate stupid people to whom they report. Do read the whole thing. It explains a lot.
“The revelations in the new book “What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People,” by Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg, serve up the side benefit of providing a partial explanation for the rise of Donald Trump.”
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Crime, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2016, Health Care, Immigration, Law, Media Bias, National Security, Politics | Tags: Fact-Checkers Don't Check, The American Cultlure, Words v Deeds
Last night, everyone agreed that Donald Trump had won the debate with Hillary Clinton. Today the “Fact Checkers” chimed in to suggest that anything Donald Trump has said was false. Hillary Clinton turned to all the great things ObamaCare had achieved, she claimed to the approval of every “fact-checker,” but it isn’t true. That number came from a March 2016 report that came from the Obama Administration.
So today the flap is all about Trump’s “threatening to jail a political opponent” which is “anti-democratic and anti-American.” Others in the media said it was a case of banana-republic criminalization of politics. Andy McCarthy wrote:
Donald Trump did memorably say that Hillary Clinton “would be in jail” if he were president; but what he actually vowed to do was appoint a “special prosecutor” to look into Mrs. Clinton’s “situation” — by which he was obviously referring to the e-mail scandal.
The Obama Justice Department’s “investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal” was the real banana-republic event. It was a clear statement that some people are above the law after all. This was a case of criminal misconduct for which others who commit similar felonies go to jail.
Congressional Republicans promptly got the vapors and were absolutely shocked, shocked that anyone would actually say the p-word out loud. Madonna has been doing remarkably vulgar shows for years. See also Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Congress regularly has its scandals and sexual misconduct is usually among them. Sexual misconduct in Washington D.C.? Really?
What I find most annoying is that the American people have watched President Obama ignore the Constitution, circumvent the Constitution, and run the government of the United States by executive orders — and Congress could not seem to find any way to stop him. That simple fact accounts for much of the rise of Donald Trump. The people wanted someone who would not be afraid to fight back.
See Heather MacDonald’s “Trumped-Up Outrage” from City Journal.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Freedom, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Taxes, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: Can We Trust the Candidates?, Can't Trust the Fact Checkers, Can't trust the Media
Troubling times. I find that I cannot watch the debate. Hillary, freshly coiffed by an expert, made up by an expert, dressed by an expert with a flattering collar that reflects all attention on the well done face and none on the weight she’s put on, is too much for me to take. That is a compliment, if a backhanded one. She’s really very well turned out for an important debate.
But even more so, because she is a compulsive liar, re-inventing herself each time she opens her mouth, to appear warmer, more caring, more capable, and just downright good—except that it just isn’t true. Canned lines. Everything has been focus-group tested to see how it will play. When she said in a speech that there were “public positions” on an issue and “private positions,” it was not just a rare moment of candor, but an excuse if she gets caught at anything.
I have a deep intolerance for liars and lies, not, I hope, as any sort of holier-than-thou thing, but merely that understanding the world and what is going on is hard. People at their most honest are often mistaken or wrong. The only thing we have to guide us is our experience of the past, and other’s experience, but we never know enough. We are stumbling through a darkened wood trying to find the real and honest, and people who lie, deliberately, to confuse and mislead because of their own greed—are the enemy, trying to keep us stupid.
Have you noticed that whatever the subject, Hillary has met with those people, shares their concerns, feels their pain, and has an answer to their problems. Here’s an occasion where the question to Hillary was about her statement that there were “public positions” and “private positions” about a policy and wasn’t that two-faced? Her response is fascinating, and attempts to turn the question gradually into an attack on Trump and insinuation that the Russians are trying to influence our elections for the benefit of Trump. Whew! Some spin, and she ends up with Donald not releasing his tax returns. That’s an impressive trip around all sorts of attacks without ever dealing with the original question.
Hillary is a radical leftist. She was an admiring student of Saul Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals, who teaches how to manipulate people in order to control them to get power. She wrote her senior thesis about him. Obama was a student of Alinsky’s methods and purportedly his best student ever at applying his methods in community organizing.
The leadership of the Democratic Party has moved far left. It’s open borders, and free trade in the hemisphere. Christiana Figueres, as Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity, but to destroy capitalism. The Left pretends that their goals are something new and different, but it’s just the same old story that ends up as Venezuela.
They want to be in charge. They want to make the rules, and they want the power. That’s where Hillary is, and her choice as vice presidential candidate is just as hard left. In spite of impressive degrees or titles, they just don’t know enough to manage a people. You have to trust the people and trust in their creativity and their choices. They don’t need your management, they need to be able to trust you. They are supposed to be the boss, and you government people are the public servants, doing their bidding, not the other way around.
The people are concerned about uncontrolled immigration. They are concerned with a president who operates by executive orders and ignores the Constitution. They are concerned about terrorist attacks and the refusal to do anything about it, including calling terrorism by name. They are concerned about an economy that just costs more, and does less and less efficiently, and doesn’t seem to grow at all.
Even the British papers say that Trump won this debate, so it must be so. We’ll see how it plays out in the polls, which may or may not mean anything at all. These are troubling times, and we can no longer trust the fact-checkers, let alone the media. A strange, strange year.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Free Markets, Freedom, Law, Politics, Taxes, The United States | Tags: Amity Schlaes, Explaining Taxes, Prager University
Is the U.S. tax system fair? Are the rich paying too little or too much? What about the middle and lower class? New York Times bestselling author Amity Shlaes answers these questions, and offers a tax solution that most Americans could get on board with.