Saturday, July 30, 2016

Economy Flat on E(lection)-Day Minus 100

“The U.S. economy has basically hit stall speed.”

David Rosenberg, Gluskin Sheff chief economist

The Wall Street Journal reports (see chart, hit to enlarge) that
The U.S. economy turned in its third consecutive quarter of subpar growth, with second-quarter GDP coming in at a 1.2% rate, well below consensus estimates of 2.6%. Moreover, the report came attached with benchmark revisions to prior periods; this showed that the fourth quarter of 2015 produced just a 0.9% rate (from 1.4%), and the first quarter just 0.8% (from 1.1%). Over the past year, the economy has expanded by only 1.2%.
Comment: While consumer spending (70% of the economy) is up, business investment continues to fall, housing and factory construction has dropped sharply, productivity is flat, and the profits recession continues.

It’s still the economy, stupid. We need a president who understands how to create jobs.

Friday, July 29, 2016

“Undocumented Democrat”

When I first heard the term “Undocumented Democrat” recently, I jumped. In two words, it captures why Democrats fight for open borders; why Republicans support wall-building.

Turns out, Jay Leno used the term three long years ago:
LENO: In a groundbreaking move, the Associated Press -- the largest news gathering outlet in the world -- will no longer be using the term "illegal immigrant." That is out. No longer "illegal immigrant." They will now use the phrase "undocumented Democrat." That is the new term: "Undocumented Democrat.”
AUDIENCE: (wild laughter and applause)
Someone who relayed Leno’s joke in 2013 — Rush Limbaugh — actually coined the term himself three years before that, in 2010.

So I’m late to the term. So where’s Trump?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Uneducated whites don’t like Clinton.

“so many times white, non-college-educated white males have voted Republican. They voted against their own economic interest because of guns, because of gays, and because of God. The three ‘Gs.’”

House Democratic Leader (and Clinton supporter) Nancy Pelosi

From the post-GOP convention CNN/ORC Poll:
Among white voters with college degrees, Clinton actually gained ground compared with pre-GOP convention results, going from an even 40% to 40% split to a 44% to 39% edge over Trump. That while Trump expanded his lead with white voters who do not hold a college degree from a 51% to 31% lead before the convention to a 62% to 23% lead now.
The “degree/no degree” populations aren’t the same size. There are 118 million white Americans 20 or over without college degrees, only 51 million (30%) with degrees.

Minorities (56 million 20 or over) are overwhelmingly with the Democrats. Whites without college degrees support Trump. The sharp, bitter divisions we see today are among whites with college degrees.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Asian-Americans as #1

Embarrassing chart from Pew, via Chinese-American writer Helen Raleigh (hit to enlarge):
Raleigh makes it clear that Asians aren’t part of any grievance industry; they’ve pushed forward on their own, doing so through education, hard work, and intact families.

But note the Pew graphic’s title: no mention of the chart-topping Asians, an invisibility Asians covet. Seems Asians — who have overwhelmingly backed Obama and Democrats — are content to be grouped with a grievance industry silent on Asian success even as "grievance" benefits Asians.

That can’t last. In spite of Pew’s headline, Asian invisibility is disappearing. Asians are now suffering from the very affirmative action programs that have long plagued whites.

Monday, July 25, 2016

CNN = “Clinton News Network”

From New York Times reporting on the hacked Democratic National Committee emails:
Jake Tapper, the CNN anchor, on Friday addressed a leaked email from one of his producers, who was organizing an on-air appearance by [DNC operative Luis] Miranda. “Any particular points he’ll want to make?” the CNN producer asked a Democratic aide, after thanking the aide for being patient “through a melee of G.O.P. nonsense.” [emphasis added]
Some critics, wary of media bias, suggested that the language betrayed a coziness between Mr. Tapper’s team and the Democratic committee.
Comment: You think?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Democrats Gather; Get Ready for Economy Happy Talk

“Anybody who says we are not absolutely better off today than we were just seven years ago, they’re not leveling with you. They’re not telling the truth. By almost every economic measure, we are significantly better off.”

Barack Obama

Deroy Murdock, in the conservative New York Post, concedes that:
Obama certainly can boast about the unemployment rate. From his Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration until last month that figure has fallen from 7.8% to 4.9% — down 37.2%.
And the stock market is booming. This week, Wall St. recorded all-time highs for both the Dow and the S&P 500, while the NASDAQ rose above its one-time-never-to-be-matched high of 5,049, first reached in March 2000.

The Dow closed the week at 18,571, the S&P 500 ended at 2,175, and the NASDAQ at 5,100. The combined total for the three indexes was 25,846. The New Fox Index -- which captures movement into stock market “outer space” first achieved in May 2013, the escape velocity attained by soaring past old-time market theoretical limits of a Dow of 15,000, an S&P 500 of 1,600, and a NASDAQ of 3,500, for a total of 20,100 -- hit +5,846 (see chart). 

But, Murdock adds, for a second opinion on the Obama economy, just ask the president's own economic adviser Robert Wolf, who told CNN: “I don’t think anyone is saying the economy is great right now.”

By almost every economic measure, Murdock asserts, America is flat to falling:
  • The labor force participation rate over that period has slid from 65.7% to 62.6% (the lowest reading since March 1978) — down 4.6%.   [corrected to today's current low]
  • On Obama’s watch, the percentage of Americans below the poverty line has grown, according to the most recent Census data, from 14.3% to 14.8%  in 2014 — up 3.5%. 
  • Real median household income across that interval sank from $54,925 to $53,657 — down 2.3%.   
  • Food Stamp participants soared in that time frame from 32,889,000 to 45,874,000 — up 39.5%.   
  • From Obama’s arrival through 2015, the percentage of Americans who own homes sagged from 67.3% to 63.8% — down 5.2%. 
  • Since the recession ended in mid-2009, real GDP has grown 14.5%, an annual rate of 2.1%. Other post-1960 recoveries averaged 28.4% total (annual rate of 3.9%) over a comparable 26 quarters. The Reagan recovery of the 1980s saw real GDP jump 35%, an annual rate of 4.7%. 
Also, Murdock quotes Gallup CEO Jim Clifton:
For the first time in 35 years, American business deaths now outnumber business births. Business startups outpaced business failures by about 100,000 per year until 2008. But [since 2009], that number suddenly reversed, and the net number of US startups versus closures is minus 70,000.
entrepreneurship is now in decline for the first time since the US government started measuring it . . .Small and medium-sized businesses are dying faster than they’re being born. So is free enterprise. And when free enterprise dies, America dies with it. 
Conservative economist Stephen Moore, writing in the Investors Business Daily, echoed Murdock’s theme:
the litany of economic failures during the Obama years[:] We have had $8 trillion of new debt, . . . Obamacare, an $800 billion stimulus plan with "shovel-ready" projects, tax increases on the rich, more than $100 billion in green energy subsidies, auto company and union pension bailouts, re-regulation of the financial industry and banks, and a Fed that has manufactured near-zero short term interest rates for seven years with up to $4 trillion of bond acquisitions. All of these were designed primarily to redistribute income. . .
The left's defense of growth anemia is that 2% growth is the new normal.
Comment: Job growth since Obama’s inauguration has averaged 114,000 a month. The economy has to add 145,000 jobs a month to hold the unemployment rate steady while keeping up with labor force growth. Over the past three months, which included a terrible May, the U.S. economy averaged 147,000 new jobs a month—slightly above the minimum.

The unemployment rate is down in a time of such low job growth because people who stop looking for work don't count as unemployed.  That's why the labor force participation rate decline of 4.6% under Obama is so important.

As for the stock market, the Federal Reserve’s near-zero interest rates have juiced the market with funds finding nowhere else to go. And while Democrats preach helping the middle class, it’s primarily the rich who benefit from this stock market on steroids.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Facts: Obama and Cop Killing

“When African-Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment[;] when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently[, s]o that if you’re black, you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested[,] more likely to get longer sentences[,] more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime[;] when mothers and fathers raised their kids right, and have the talk about how to respond if stopped by a police officer—yes, sir[,] no, sir—but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door [and] still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy.

“When all this takes place, more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.” [emphasis added]

Barack Obama, Speech After Killing of Five Dallas Cops

“the latest assassination of police officers, this time in Baton Rouge. . . taking the lives of three officers and wounding at least three more, is the direct outcome of the political and media frenzy that followed the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, less than two weeks ago. That frenzy further amplified the dangerously false narrative that racist police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men today.

the influence of [Obama’s] rhetoric on the hatred in the streets is absolute. Obama’s imprimatur on the Black Lives Matter demagoguery gives it enormous additional thrust and legitimacy, echoing throughout public discourse into the most isolated corners of the inner city.” [emphasis added]

Heather MacDonald, City Journal

Facts from Heather MacDonald, fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute:
  • Between the Dallas assassinations and [Baton Rouge], officers have been shot at and ambushed in Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. . . . The difference between the 1960s and today is that the hatred of law enforcement and of whites is being stoked by the highest reaches of the establishment [i.e., Obama]. 
  • massive racial differences in criminal offending and criminal records . . . account for arrest rates and sentence lengths. (Blacks. . . commit homicide at 8 times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at about 11 to 12 times the rate of whites alone.) 
More MacDonald facts:
  • Assertions about systemic, deadly police racism are false. That has been true throughout the period following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014; recall that the cop involved was ultimately exonerated by the Justice Department. But no number of studies debunking this fiction has penetrated the conventional story line. 
  • A “deadly force” lab study at Washington State University by researcher Lois James found that participants were biased in favor of black suspects, over white or Hispanic ones, in simulated threat scenarios. The research. . . confirmed what James had found previously in studying active police officers, military personnel and the general public. [emphasis added] 
  • In 2015 a Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. And this month “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force” by Harvard economics professor Roland G. Fryer Jr., analyzing more than 1,000 officer-involved shootings across the country, reports that there is zero evidence of racial bias in police shootings. [emphasis added]
  • Every year, officers confront tens of thousands of armed felons without using lethal force. According to the Washington Post, police officers fatally shot 987 people in the U.S. last year; the overwhelming majority were armed or threatening deadly force. 
  • Blacks made up a lower percentage of those police-shooting victims—26%—than would be predicted by the higher black involvement in violent crime. Whites made up 50% of police shooting victims, but you would never know it from media coverage. Note also that police officers face an 18.5 times greater chance of being killed by a black male than an unarmed black male has of being killed by a police officer. 
  • [Chicago born and raised] Hillary Clinton has . . . decried “systemic” and “implicit bias” in police departments [and] called on “white people” to better understand blacks “who fear every time their children go somewhere.” [Yet in] Chicago [t]hrough July 9, 2,090 people have been shot this year[. Nine] of the 2,090 victims in Chicago were shot by cops.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

It's Politics: Democrats Attacking "Anti-Black" Police

Quotation without comment:

"After the shooting deaths of black suspects at the hands of the police in Minnesota and Louisiana, Hillary Clinton said, 'White people ... have to start listening to the legitimate cries' of black people. This is the usual kind of condescending pap we always hear from Democrats. But in their case, the reason is votes. In order for the Democratic Party to maintain the 95% monolithic hold they have with black voters, they need to create scenarios of anger and fear against so-called 'structural' or 'institutional' or 'systemic' racism. We know their motive." [Emphasis added.]

--Larry Elder, "RealClearPolitics"


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rule Britannia, God Save the Queen

The Queen at 42 (1968)                        The Future PM at 42 (1998)
The only England that Prime Minister Theresa May (b. 1956) knows is one headed by a queen.  And when May entered politics in 1986, Britain was ruled by a female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher (1979-90).  With Thatcher, trail blazing.  With May, normality.

Obama and Law and Order

If the president is now trying to assert that individual acts of violence, whether an arguably unjustified shooting by a police officer or a mass shooting by a disturbed individual, should not cause us to jump to conclusions about that act representing the intentions of an entire group, then it is he, as much as anyone who has encouraged Americans to think in this manner. Having helped to encourage that fundamental misreading of American society as irremediably racist despite the fact that we twice elected an African-American to the presidency, it is a little too little and far too late for him to be offering wiser counsel.

Jonathan Tobin, Commentary

From Edmund Kozak, in the conservative “LifeZette”:

"Anyone who doubts the extent to which Obama’s presidency has been marked by pronounced distaste for police officers — especially white ones — need only look to the litany of ideologically motivated, anti-police statements the president has made since he assumed office." [Below and throughout, bold highlighting of names added to original text.]
  • When Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates [Cambridge MA] was arrested on July 16, 2009, outside his home after police received reports of an individual trying to force entry into the house, Obama said the arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley, “acted stupidly.” How his actions were stupid, Obama did not say. Gates, who had lost his keys, was literally breaking into his own home, and Officer Crowley responded to the call. Obama may believe Crowley should have invited Gates out for a round of beers (as Obama did in the infamous “beer summit”) and politely ask him what he was doing, but it’s unlikely most homeowners would want cops to respond to a reported break-in in such a manner. 
  • After black teenager Trayvon Martin [Sanford FL] was shot by the overzealous, “White-Hispanic” George Zimmerman — because in Obama’s America Hispanics magically become white people if they shoot a black person — Obama said that, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Of course, Obama declined to say if his son would have played hooky and assaulted a community watch volunteer, bashing his head repeatedly into the pavement. 
  • When Michael Brown [Ferguson MO] was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson while in the process of assaulting Wilson and trying to take his gun, Obama did not call for calm or tell people to wait until the full facts of the case were known. Instead, he chose to believe the media narrative that Michael Brown was shot with his hands up — based on one unreliable witness, Brown's friend — and even sent administration officials to his funeral. Brown's death "stains the heart of black children," Obama proclaimed. 
  • Later, when Freddie Grey [Baltimore MD] was killed in the custody of black police officers who report to a black police chief in a city governed by a black mayor, Obama once again blamed racism against blacks. "This is not new, and we shouldn't pretend that it's new," he said. "There are problems and challenges when it comes to how policing and our laws are applied in certain communities and we have to pay attention to it.”  
Baton Rouge LA

From Dylan Gwinn, in the conservative “MRC News Busters”:
is the lawful prosecution of one’s duties as a police officer a sign of “racial prejudice that runs rampant throughout the force[?]” Someone called 911 on Alton Sterling because he had shown his gun to them and threatened them. He had been in an altercation with police in 2009, in which his gun fell out of his waistband. He was a well-known multiple felon who had committed numerous acts of violence against his community and his family.
There were plenty of reasons for the police to be extremely cautious with him. Not to mention the fact that he continued to struggle after the cops realized he had a gun and warned him to stop.
St. Paul MN

“Would this had happened if those passengers were white? I don’t think it would’ve,” [Minnesota Gov. Mark] Dayton said. “So I’m forced to confront, and I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront, [that] this kind of racism exists.”

“Think Progress”

Fox9 News in Minnesota confirms:
  • Officer Jeronimo Yanez is Mexican not Asian as claimed by Diamond Reynolds. 
  • Philando Castile and Diamond Reynolds did not comply with instructions to keep their hands “up, visible and don’t move them”.
  • There was a handgun “visible” on the lap of Philando Castile.
  • Officer Yanez reacted to the gun and Philando Castile’s movements.
  • Confirmation again that officer Yanez did pull over Castile and Reynolds as an outcome of Castile fitting the profile from the armed robbery July 2nd. 
In sum, from John Lott in the conservative New York Post:
President Obama was again spouting false claims about racism by the police. He sees racism whenever there is any disparity in outcomes, no matter what the cause. Obama and others inflame passions, but take no responsibility, and instead use events to push for more gun control. Yet, shouting racism can endanger the lives of police officers. The Dallas police chief tells us one of the shooters “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
After the Trayvon Martin case, there were numerous cases around the country of blacks attacking whites and invoking Martin’s name. Let’s not forget that NYPD cops Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were executed by a black man who was angry about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Obama and his administration spoke out repeatedly on the Martin and Brown cases. They repeatedly claimed racism was involved, but in fact there’s no evidence of that in either case.
Obama is also wrong. . . to infer racism from higher arrest rates or prison-sentence lengths. “African Americans are arrested at twice the rate of whites,” he said. What he failed to note is that blacks commit murder at almost six times the rate whites do.
“African-American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30% of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population,” he added. But Obama ignores the facts put out by his own Department of Justice. The FBI claims that gangs commit 80% of crimes in the US, and the National Gang Center estimates that 82% of gang members are black or Hispanic.
Inflammatory, false claims about police racism not only endanger the lives of police officers, they can also lead to higher crime rates — especially in heavily black areas. If Obama really cares about poor blacks, he should be more careful getting his facts right.
Comment: Politics explains why Obama defends “Black Lives Matter” anti-police charges in the face of facts.  Democrats depend upon 1) a high percentage of blacks voting for their candidates, and 2) blacks energized enough by hatred of white males to turn out to vote.  For Democrats, adding urgency to this “Blame the Man” strategy is the administration’s failure over 8 years to deliver jobs to non-college graduate minority males.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Hillary Clinton Skates. So it’s still 1999?

Chief Justice Roberts                          FBI Director Comey
On February 12, 1999, the Senate acquitted Bill Clinton of the obstruction of justice impeachment charge leveled against him. Conviction required 67 votes, but the Senate vote was 50-50, with five Republicans siding with all 45 Democrats for acquittal. Of the 5 Republicans, 3 later switched to the Democratic side, one (Olympia Snowe, R-ME) — objecting to Senate partisanship — retired seven years later, and one (Susan Collins, R-ME) remains a Republican senator.

At the time, the Gallup poll found that the country, by a 64% to 34% margin, sided with the Senate vote to keep Clinton in office. This is important. In 1999, the people stood with their president against those saying nobody’s above the law.

Clinton though impeached and subsequently stripped of his law license, completed every day of his scandal-marred tenure. But his vice president, Al Gore, failed in his bid to follow Clinton to the White House in 2000, with concerns about Clinton’s corruption playing an unknown but negative role in the Democrat’s loss.

Impeachment begins in the House.  Congress’s failure to convict Clinton in 1999 had a major impact on partisan House treatment of the next two presidents: George Bush and Barack Obama.

Many House Democrats, in the majority in 2007-08, believed Bush’s conduct of national security in relation to the Iraq War justified an effort to impeach him, but leadership knowing from 1999 that such an effort would certainly end in acquittal, buried their bill. Republicans controlled the House from 2010 onward, but never tried to impeach Obama for engaging in several apparently extra-legal activities, again knowing from 1999 the effort would be futile.

What so frustrates partisans is that impeachment is the only constitutional remedy for presidents who violate the law. And 1999 taught us impeachment won’t work.

Now it seems that 1999 set a precedent for related actions by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and FBI Director Jim Comey. Both are born in the Northeastern U.S., are associated with Republican administrations, and both are Irish Catholics. But the real similarity is that both are first and foremost lawyers, graduates of top law schools, political enough to rise to the top by serving their bosses, and trained to provide their clients the best possible defense. And as of today, lawyer Comey has, as did lawyer Roberts before him, reached a tortured decision on behalf of his client: the American people as represented by their elected president.

Washington D.C. operators recognize the people are sovereign; we live in a democracy. But D.C. insiders earn popular support by boosting alliances, raising money, and pushing issues that bring the masses behind them. Incumbent Washington leaders are winners for a reason. And in 1999, President Bill Clinton not only beat the obstruction of justice rap, he also, according to Gallup, held the people with him.

If John Roberts, an unelected justice, had chosen in 2012 and 2015 to follow the law and undercut the president’s cherished Obamacare, Roberts would have have faced a firestorm of outrage engineered by the nation’s top elected official that could have led to a major defeat at the polls for the Supreme Court’s public standing. Better caution over courage — side with the president and the people who elected him, whatever the law.

Had Jim Comey today gone against Obama and Hillary Clinton, he would have upended the presumptive Democratic nominee’s election prospects and offended potentially a majority of the people, creating a firestorm of outrage against the FBI. Better caution over courage — side with the president and Hillary Clinton, the future president Obama wants, along with the people who elected Obama, whatever the law.

1999 showed impeachment doesn’t work well on small stuff. Now Comey acts as if Hillary Clinton is already president, provided the unique protections the constitution affords a sitting president, who in practical terms cannot be prosecuted for lesser crimes.

Yes, Comey, like Roberts, seems guided not by law, but by 1999.  We have two sets of laws, one for presidents (and future presidents) and one for the rest of us. If in 2016, the people are fed up with the special treatment afforded current and future presidents, they can vote to overturn 1999’s lesson.

Monday, July 04, 2016

July 4: “No class” Trump and “all are created equal.”

“Trump ain’t got no class. Trump may or may not lose; his brand already has.”

Richard Cohen, Washington Post

Class and aspiration go together. Divide people by class, and people will want to rise or hold on. To rise, to aspire, one needs hope. Those holding on need reassurance, something Cohen’s snobbery provides. Today’s progressive America is a meritocracy divided by intelligence, brains in First Class. Either you have brains, willingly defer to brains, or you are no class.  

fear and greed  

“financial markets are driven by two powerful emotions – greed and fear.”

old Wall Street saying

Class and aspiration are linked to fear and greed. Not just financial markets, but also politics, bend to the basic emotions of “flight or fight” — fear or greed. Do you strive to rise? That’s greed. Do you worry about losing your place? That’s fear.

Trump appeals to middle class and working class aspirations for more. That’s greed. Progressives warn minorities, youth, and unmarried women that Trump threatens their welfare state — fear. Trump talks illegal immigration and Islamic terrorism — fear. Progressives demand wealth redistribution and a higher minimum wage — greed. The emotions seem linked to  

positive v. negative liberty

This blog keeps coming back to Isaiah Berlin’s 1957 lecture on positive v. negative liberty:
Do you truly believe in “negative liberty,” which allows each person to pursue happiness as free as possible from outside interference (beyond basic protection), or do you favor “positive liberty,” which allows the collective (and its leaders) to guide us toward “the better angels of our nature?”
It’s July 4. The Declaration of Independence’s “all are created equal” is “negative liberty” — ideally people start even, allowed to succeed (or fail) to the limits of their efforts. Or has our nation become “July 14,” a day that commemorates the launch of the French Revolution 13 years later, a revolution for “liberty, equality, and fraternity, where “equality” means the state insuring “equality of results” — “positive liberty.”

“Negative” = greed. Earn my share. “Positive” = fear. State please help. Which choice best represents our revolution?  

Progressivism or Liberalism?

Damon Linker, in The Week, calls himself a liberal, in contrast to progressives. According to Linker:
progressivism holds out a very specific moral vision of the future. It will be a world beyond particular attachments, beyond ethnic or linguistic or racial or religious or national forms of solidarity. In their place will be the only acceptable form of solidarity: humanitarian universalism. . . there will be nothing left to debate. The big questions of politics will already be answered. . . Everyone will understand that all particular forms of solidarity are morally indefensible (just various forms of racism) and that all strong political stands against humanitarian universalism in the political realm are politically unacceptable (just various forms of fascism).
Liberals, Linker writes:
believe in the rule of law; in individual rights to speech, worship, assembly, and private property; in an independent judiciary and civilian control of the military; in representative institutions founded on the consent of the governed; in democratic elections, not as ends in themselves but as checks on the power of government and as a means of gauging and forging popular support for policies pursued by public officials in the name of the common good.
That means today’s politics is progressive/positive liberty/equality of results/fear v. classic liberal/negative liberty/equality of opportunity/greed.

Justice Dept.'s Loretta Lynch
Those accepting this division understand why progressives have adopted a defensive posture motivated by fear. They listen to conservative guru Rush Limbaugh, who recently told his audience:
[Here’s] today’s . . . Democrat Party[: t]he whole point of acquiring these positions of power is to corrupt them with your people, who will use these positions of power to implement your agenda. Now, they don't look at it as corrupting anything because they think they're God's gift. They're simply doing the work that needs to be done to transform America. So in their minds they're not corrupting anything. . . The Department of Justice [see illustration] is there to implement the Obama, Democrat Party agenda.
And they understand the ferocity with which progressive media goes after Trump, as the conservative New York Post’s Michael Goodwin writes:
Trump can’t count on wall-to-wall “free” media coverage the way he could in the primaries. The novelty is diminishing, and media bias for Democrats is growing. . . everything Trump ever said or did continues to be fodder for new investigations. It means the GOP candidate is playing against the referees as well as the other team.
Yes, “playing against the referees.” The reality of the times (Times).

Saturday, July 02, 2016

NAFTA: North American Frack Trump Association

3 Amigos: Mexico’s Pena Nieto, Canada’s Trudeau, U.S.’s Obama
On June 29 in Ottawa, a jolly gathering of Trump haters shared their mutual animosity.

The U.S.

At their news conference following the NAFTA leaders’ summit, Obama issued a rant on how he, not Trump, is the true populist. This struck even TIME’s liberal David Von Drehle as off key. Von Drehle reminded readers that “as long as people are capable of hatreds, resentments, and small-mindedness, populism will never be as simple as Barack Obama would like it to be.”  In other words, Obama is better than the Trump populism of haters, resenters, and small minded.


Canadian legislators didn’t hide their U.S. election preferences at all. According to AP, Canada’s Parliament broke into chants of “four more years” when President Barack Obama wrapped up the first address there by a U.S. leader since 1995.


At the joint press conference, Mexican President Pena Nieto stood by his previous comments comparing Trump’s language to that of Hitler and Mussolini, adding the end result in the 1940s was a “tragedy for mankind.”

Comment: The unseemly anti-Trump nature of the NAFTA summit, out of place in an international setting, drew little attention from the mainstream media, which simply relayed the leaders’ words.  Given Trump's anti-NAFTA statements, some response was in order, but from the head, not gut.