Two simultaneous events seem to reveal the hypocrisy of the #NeverTrump resistance movement. They both show the mainstream media’s only true principle: All things reflect badly on President Trump.
The two events that drove this point home were the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing featuring Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the press conference in which Trump and European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker issued a joint statement regarding the interim results of ongoing trade negotiations.
In the ever-present personality versus policy debate, Pompeo frequently reminded senators – and by extension the media, the American public and much of the world – that what the Trump administration DOES is more important than off-hand comments made along the way – even by a president.
Pompeo pointed out that despite their constant criticism of Trump’s words regarding Vladimir Putin and the Russian investigation, the president had carried out tougher actions against Russia than any recent president. Those, according to Pompeo, are the actions that are the most important aspects of America’s foreign policy. Foreign leaders respond to actions more than words. Pompeo used former President Obama’s strong talk and weak actions as the counterpoint.
Well … that did not sit well with all the Trump-bashing senators. Reaching maximum heights of arrogance and condescension, those senators said, “words matter” and “words ARE policy.”
At the same time that Pompeo was trying to educate the members of the Foreign Relations Committee, Trump was hosting a press briefing with EU head Juncker. By way of background, one must keep in mind that for weeks the Democrats and the anti-Trump news media have been lambasting Trump for creating a trade war with our allies. Imposing tariffs was not the way to re-negotiate unfair trade practices, they opined.
Much to the disappointment and surprise of the #NeverTrump resistance movement, the United States and the European Union had been in negotiations for some time – and Juncker flew to Washington to participate in the announcement of the first-round results. They had agreed to a framework for more detailed and action-oriented negotiations AND had established specific goals to be achieved – one of which was to eliminate virtually all tariffs. That cannot be emphasized enough. The United State and the European Union have set as their mutual goal the elimination of tariffs –the very goal Trump had set out to achieve from day one. Never before has the “zero tariff” option been on the table.
A number of Trump critics in the Senate – including some of those who were participants in the Pompeo hearing – appeared along with other pre-selected anti-Trump panelists on the evening newscasts. So … what was their reaction to the good news on trade?
The fact that they did not like it was not surprising – that is the constant. But the reason was ironic. The anti-Trump narrative on the subject of the trade agreement was … “They were only words.” Yep! Those liberal rascals who just moments before elevated words to a higher station than action, were not demeaning … words. They saw them as meaningless. Go figure.
The #NeverTump talking heads proffered the argument that “nothing” was achieved – words were not actions. They would have us believe that Juncker came all the way to Washington for a meaningless announcement. Really?
So, when you can see and judge the actual policies of the Trump administration against Russia, they are less important than the president’s oft-contentious and admittedly inconsistent remarks according to his critics. But, when two leaders mutually announce a specific course of action after serious negotiations – which in and of itself is a policy action – it is to be dismissed as mere words.
The same hypocrisy-based criticism was seen in the elevation of every Trump tweet while dismissing the real policies in the matter of North Korea.
A historic meeting was achieved and a mutually signed document states that North Korea will totally dismantle its nuclear program. That is what the agreement says. But those are mere words.
In the Alice in Wonderland world of the far left, words can be meaningful and not meaningful at the same time. No wonder nothing makes sense coming from left field.
Every job has its downside. To write my commentaries for blogs and newspapers, I am obligated to follow as much news as possible throughout the day. Your sympathy is deeply appreciated.
In several of my commentaries, I have tried to give an answer to the central question that the left asks repeatedly – ad nauseam. Why do so many Americans – around a respectable 45 percent of us – keep defending President Trump? I finally have an answer. Because we are smarter than they think we are – AND we apparently are smarter than the members of the #NeverTrump resistance movement.
So, why would I advance such a broad-brush opinion? It is not my style to characterize any group of people with a common trait – especially if it is a negative characterization. As much as I resist such stereotyping, the #NeverTrump people keep proving themselves to be a bit … shall we say … underinformed.
Perhaps those of us who resist the anti-Trump resistance movement are more knowledgeable because we get our information from many sources. Most of my Republican and conservative friends tend to channel surf the news to get the various perspectives. They do not consider the New York Times the bible of journalism. On the other hand, many of my Trump-hating friends proudly boast that they only watch MSNBC. They might as well get all their news from the website of the Democratic National Committee.
This means they only know what is reported on the most biased (excuse the expression) news outlet. Any objective review of all the news stations – and yes, that includes FOX News and OAN – would reveal news stories and perspectives not seen on MSNBC or CNN. They would also discover that FOX, unlike MSNBC, generally offers contributors and panelists representing both sides of every issue.
MSNBC, and to a slightly lesser degree CNN, packs the panels of pundits with people supportive of the station’s preconceived political narratives – even using false-flag Republicans and conservatives who parrot the same perspective as the Democrats and liberals. Those of us on the other side of the political divide seem to have the intellectual ability to see through such sham reporting.
Rather than thinking for themselves, the #NeverTrump crowd are faithful followers. While we see Republicans of all viewpoints in Congress, the Democrats play follow-the-leader on virtually every major issue. We rarely see even one or two “defectors” from the party line. It will be interesting to see if there are any brave Democrats when the Judge Kavanaugh nomination comes up for a vote.
This mindless lockstep submission to the demands of the leadership was evidenced when Illinois Democrat Senator Dick Durbin called upon those Democrat senators up for re-election in Trump states to put aside they own prospects for re-election; to put aside their constitutional duty to judge the judge on merits alone; to put aside the will of their constituents; and to even put aside their own personal opinions in order to stick with the Party’s proclaimed opposition to Kavanaugh. That is not what intelligent people do.
It seems that the #NeverTrump people are less interested in getting informed as they are in getting emboldened. They have already checked their objectivity at the door. They want news that reaffirms their myopic hatefulness of Trump, his family, the White House staff, the Cabinet, congressional Republicans and every person who speaks well of the president at any time – and God forbid you wear a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap or have a Trump bumper sticker on your car.
Where the #NeverTrumpers really display a shortage of grey matter is in their inability to distinguish between the Trump personality – that is certainly open to criticism – and the president’s policies. Many of us can see that distinction and can weigh the importance of substance over style. The perma-pissed Trump haters have lost that cognitive ability.
They are also incapable of absorbing facts that do not align with their pervasive negative view of all things Trump, Republican and conservative. It is yet another example of not being able to distinguish between personality and policy. The Democrats and the elitist media proffer the belief that Trump is in the hip pocket of President Vladimir Putin because he does not subject the Russian despot to the same bellicose language that Trump bestows on insignificant celebrities or domestic political adversaries. They accuse Trump of treason – raising their accusations far beyond the limits of fact and reason.
Trump and his supporters often point out that he has been much harder on Putin and Russia than any of his predecessors since the end of the Cold War. That is probably true, and the list of those actions have been repeated over and over – except by CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the bubble-encased Big Seven liberal media. No matter how many times the litany of actions against Putin’s interests is laid out before the #NeverTrump folks, it just does not penetrate. Ellos no comprenden. Denial of facts is not very intelligent unless one considers propaganda a good basis for critical judgment.
The lack of intellectual foundation among the #NeverTrumpers is seen in their inability to maintain an intelligent and civil dialogue. They respond to facts like Dracula reacts to crosses, garlic and wooden stakes. They run away with such conversation closers as “I don’t want to discuss it anymore” or “I don’t need to talk to a jerk like you.” If their Trump Derangement Syndrome kicks in, they are likely to supplant intelligent dialogue with a serious of vulgar expletives.
Part of the traumatic shock experienced by the radical left on Election Day 2016 was that they were not thinking. They were taking their beliefs from the likes of CNN and MSNBC. They were believing their own propaganda – and that was not the first time. The left was surprised when the elections of 2010 and 2014 did not turn out as their media folks predicted. They focused on President Obama’s re-election in 2012 – but did not pay attention to the gains the GOP were making at the state and local levels. That was not very smart of them.
Many on the far left are simply ignorant. Take the newly minted New York socialist Democrat candidate for Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In her initial public statements, she has demonstrated a woeful lack of factual knowledge about almost everything relating to government, the economy and the world-at-large. She is like the talking doll my daughter once had. Pull the string and you get the pre-recorded answer – or in the case of Ocasio-Cortez, the memorized talking points of the radical left. Maybe that is why her fans in the Democratic Party and the media focus on her undeniable beauty instead of her brains.
The left may refer to their political adversaries as low information voters (and worse), but methinks that is only what psychologists call “projection” – ascribing to others one’s own weakness or faults.
As my mother used to say, book learning makes you educated, but not necessarily smart. More and more, the #NeverTrump crowds seem to serve as an example of my mother’s wisdom – and don’t you dare compare her to a canine just to vent your anger at me.
The big liberal news of the week is the existence of a taped phone conversation between Michael Cohen – the taper – and President Trump – the tapee. It is said to reveal that they had a brief chat regarding Karen McDougal, another gold digger who claims to have had an affair with President Trump.
In typical elitist media fashion, the story first appeared on the pages of the New York Times. The column and the columnist, Michael Schmidt, was subsequently hyped hour-after-hour on every program on CNN and MSNBC. Even though no one had actually heard what is on the tape, a seemingly endless series of those panels of parroting pundits offered their opinions and perspectives of what was on the tape they never heard.
What was described as a shocking revelation was hardly shocking at all. For weeks, we had heard that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had seized recorded phone conversations from Cohen’s office, apartment or storage locker – and that some of those tapes included conversations with Trump.
What was new, however, was the revelation of the subject matter. As the story goes, Cohen suggested that they buy the rights to McDougal’s story of the alleged assignation with Trump. Those rights were currently held by American Media, Inc. (AMI), the holding company for the National Enquirer.
According to the rumor – which CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the liberal media treat as hard news — AMI purchased the rights for $150,000 not to publish the salacious story – but to bury it as a favor to Trump. The media further theorizes that Cohen suggested that Trump purchase the rights from AMI to keep control of the story in his own hands.
It is about this time that the #NeverTrump media goes into their favorite tactic: sinister interpretations. In unison, the liberal media claims that former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks lied – not misspoke – when she said that “we” had no knowledge of any payoffs. The reporters claimed – assumed – that the “we” referred to Trump. But, it is equally plausible that the “we” referred to the White House or campaign staffs. In that case, what Hicks said would have been very true. And if she said that she did not know of any payoffs, that would be accurate since there was no payoff.
As more substance leaked out, we learned that Trump said any payment should be done by check, not cash, so there would be a record. That is not the request of a man attempting to conceal the transaction. But even more important, Trump vetoed the payment. How do we know this? Because Cohen recommended the payment and the payment was not made. So, who stopped it?
The fact that there was no payment made totally refutes the media reports that there might be, could be … no … even that there was a violation of federal election laws. No matter how forcefully the media advanced that bogus theory, election law violations are determined by the Federal Election Commission, not the press and pundits. And while the press reports as if it was a major Class A felony – in most cases, it is merely a civil infraction settled by a fine.
So, what is the big story that dominates the news day-after-day? If you boil it all down, it is possible that Trump lied – although not under oath – about having an affair with McDougal — or more accurately lied about not having that affair. The affair allegation might have more credibility if he had paid her off – and even then, it is plausible such a hypothetical payoff would have been to end a false allegation. That is not unheard of.
So, let us assume the worse. Trump did have that affair and lied about it – but refused to spend a nickel to take control of the rights to McDougal’s story. So, where is the crime? Where is the shocking new information? It seems that the press has been adding a lot of filler to an overcooked nothing burger.
The question as to whether Trump is a person of high moral character or not is no longer controversial. He is not. So, nothing about this latest “breaking news” is new or relevant.
There may be more revelations to come – and it would be surprising if there were not. But in terms of the reporting of the yet unheard tape of this one Trump/Cohen phone conversation, we see another event hyped beyond reality and relevancy for no other reason than to bring down President Trump.
In case you missed it, the Democratic party has adopted a new slogan for the 2018 political campaigns. It is, “For the People.” Is this replacing “A Better Deal” and “Change you can believe in” because their better deal was worse than the old deal, the new deal and the fair deal of days of yore. And yes, we could believe in the changes the Democrats brought, but we did not have to like them – and we did not.
It is impossible to know how much time and money was spent on coming up with that gem. Usually, these sorts of things cost millions of dollars to produce. They first do polling and market research to see how effective any such wording might be in bringing people to their side.
Typical questions might be: Are you more or less likely to vote for a party that claims to be “For the People”? – Are you more or less likely to vote for a candidate who campaigns on the theme “For the People”? – They might even try to get an open-ended response like, What do you think “For the People” means?
Did the Democrats do all that sort of research, or did they just cut and paste a line out of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address? Of course, they left out “of the people” and -especially telling- “by the people.” But that makes sense. Since the Democrats have now moved further to the left on the authoritarian side of the left/right political continuum — you know, big federal government, more taxes and endless regulations controlled by an elite class in Washington – it is only natural they would not want to promote government “of” or “by” the people. After all, it is their self-appointed duty – their claim to be operating out of some misguided sense of noblesse oblige – to rule over us rather than function as public “servants.”
The Democrats’ new slogan may backfire. Once they claim to be “for the people,” it is only natural to wonder what they are “for” and who are the “people” to whom they refer. Democrats are for open borders – and please stop denying what is so obvious – so it would seem that the people they are “for” are those who cross our borders illegally. Since Democrats want to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), one might think Democrats are “for” the drug cartellians, the child traffickers, MS-13 and all others in the illegal alien criminal class – and NO, neither President Trump or I am referring to the vast majority of the illegals who have led exemplary lives since arriving on the QT. And no, the QT is not a bus or truck, but an abbreviated reference to “on the quiet” or secretly– just for those of you who wondered.
I hope the Democrats did not pay a lot for that slogan. Well actually, I do not care if they did. It does not change the fact that it is pretty pathetic. Standing alone, it means … well … nothing. I think they could have chosen a more fitting quote from Lincoln to represent their Party. My recommendation would be, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” But, nice try.
One of the mantras of Democrats and their friends in the media is that almost everything President Trump does is aiding and abetting the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is mostly based on what Trump says – or more accurately does not say.
It is true that Trump’s avoidance of harsh criticism of the Russian despot is inconsistent with the harsh statements his administration issues through his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, his UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, his Secretary of Defense James Mattis, his head of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, his FBI Director Christopher Wray and his National Security Advisor John Bolton.
While Trump’s rhetoric might be tamer than some war mongers might hope, the actions his administration has taken against Russia have been anything but appeasing: the pushback in Syria; increased sanctions; sending weapons to Ukraine (where Trump’s policies have virtually stopped a likely Russian take over of the entire nation). Trump has also demanded more money for NATO – an alliance that exists largely to keep the Russian bear in its cave. He also chastised Germany for purchasing gas from Russia. He has offered discounted weapons to smaller NATO nations that cannot afford top-grade armaments. Trump is not wrong when he claims that he has been harder on Russia than his predecessors.
Still, Trump’s lack of pugnacious language against Putin has left the impression that he is weak. It has even led to audacious and baseless claims that “Putin has something on Trump.”
But, who is really pleasing Putin the most? Who is making him smile? Who is helping Putin fulfill his scheme of producing chaos in the American political system?
While the left-leaning Democrats and the elitist eastern press point the finger at Trump, an even more credible argument could be made that it is the Democrats and the media that are carrying out Putin’s strategy to weaken America by undermining the presidency – and maybe even the entire national government.
The #NeverTrump resistance movement is right out of the Putin playbook. For all his efforts – and they were considerable – no one has cast more doubt on the American electoral process than the resistance movement that dishonestly questions the legitimacy of the election – and by extension the legitimacy of the presidency.
The resistance movement has produced endless public protests and demonstrations – some violent – for the world to see. They give the false perception of an America on the verge of revolution or civil war.
The clarion call to not “normalize Trump” sounds like an echo of Putin and every other American adversary. Demonizing the American president is standard operating procedure for our nation’s adversaries.
The Democrats, the press and all those others who have signed on to the resistance movement have abandoned America’s long tradition of ending partisanship at the nation’s border. One of Putin’s primary objectives is to damage the reputation of America across the world. His intelligence network is working overtime to disparage everything America says or does on the international stage – and so do the Democrats and the anti-Trump media. CNN has an extensive international broadcasting network, and every day they demean and slander President Trump with the kind of propaganda and specious commentary that you might expect from Pravda or RT (Russian Television) America. They give credibility to Putin’s propaganda campaigns.
Democrats and the media signal to the world their accusation that Trump is anti-Muslim, falsely calling his temporary ban on seven nations (upheld by the Supreme Court) a “Muslim ban.” It is not what Trump says that is used by Islamic terrorists to recruit against America, it is what the Democrats and media say in misrepresenting Trump’s remarks and his meanings that provide the fodder for hatred of America.
Putting aside North Korea’s Kim Jong-un’s calling Trump a “dotard” at the time he was being called “rocket man,” no foreign adversary has slandered the United States President more than Democrats and news reporters.
Democrats, the news personalities, and some sore loser Republicans are the only ones calling Trump insane, mentally ill, stupid, evil, heartless, incompetent, untrustworthy, dangerous, a traitor, racist, misogynist, etc., etc., etc. Putin could not have scripted it better.
Most certainly there is room for criticism of Trump – especially his combative and egocentric personality – but the efforts of the resistance movement to bring down the American President, or to question his legitimacy in office, has done more to harm this country and sow the seeds of discontent from coast to coast than Russia, China, North Korea or Iran could ever do.
It has been said that the Republicans and Democrats in Congress could look at the same clock and not agree on the time of day. The recent House Judiciary Committee hearing suggests that they might not even agree that it was a clock. From the questions and the comments of the Committee members, it was obvious that they exist in alternative political universes.
The chief witness was Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok, author of the infamous text messages to Lisa Page, his co-worker and co-respondent, in which he assured her that Donald Trump would not be elected president because they could stop him.
That promise – or threat, if you prefer – was significant since Strzok was in a position to help the Hillary Clinton campaign and wound the Trump campaign. Whether he actually did so is the source of all the controversy. The Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the investigations were not corrupted by political biases, although he concluded that Strzok’s biases may have impacted his participation in the investigations and that former FBI Director James Comey had violated agency policies.
Strozk’s mission was to convince the Committee and the American public that, despite his deep hatred for Trump, he never let his feelings influence his work at the FBI. Strzok might have been more convincing had he not expressed his disdain for Trump in such a highly emotional manner. When giving his opinion of the president to the Committee, Strzok could not have verbally and visibly expressed more hatred if he had been channeling MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski or Lawrence O’Donnell.
If you were only to have listened to the Republicans on the Committee, you would have believed that Strzok was, in fact, guilty of heading off an indictment of Hillary Clinton. They referred to his text messages, his actions and the testimony of others to build a credible case. They noted that his expressed biases got him booted from the Mueller investigation team and demoted within the FBI.
If you only listened to the Democrats, you would believe that Strzok was a national hero, whose work at the FBI was a credit to himself and a great service to the nation. Other than high praise, the Democrats did not present much evidence in defense of Strzok. Rather they took advantage of the occasion – and the time allotted to them — to give political speeches delineating everything they dislike about the Trump administration. None of that had anything to do with the purpose of the hearings, of course.
What little decorum was evident at the hearings was often interrupted by heated exchanges between the opposing political forces – acting more like gladiators than legislators. While both sides were attempting to gain points in the verbal pugilism, it was mostly a draw – with both sides looking bad.
Based on the amount of repetition, the hearing should have been concluded in a couple hours. But, it dragged on … and on … and on … into the evening hours. In fact, it might have been more productive had it been held behind closed doors – especially considering the number of times Strzok would not answer a question “in this setting.”
Strzok, himself, presented three personas. At times, he was the lofty orator, giving Fourth of July renditions of the greatness of America, and the fine work of the men and women of the FBI. At other times, he took on the continence of a smug and smarmy jerk with a condescending smirk. And at other times, he was the angry and hateful Democrat – a member-in-good-standing of the #NeverTrump resistance movement. He did not come across as a very likeable person.
The elitist media will give the win to Strzok and the Democrats. That is pre-ordained. In reality, very little was accomplished by the hearings. There was not much information revealed that had not been reported in the media for weeks. It was akin to a bar fight in which no one comes out looking good.
There is a movement slowly spreading across social media that is not receiving sufficient attention in the major liberal media outlets. It is the #WalkAway movement. The reason this movement is not getting anywhere near the coverage of #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo or #MarchForOurLives is that #WalkAway is a movement in opposition to the liberal and media-favored Democratic Party. Basically, it is a movement of Democrats who are giving up their party because of its ever-expanding embrace of radical liberal and socialist policies – and the divisive tactics of the radical left that now controls the Party.
If you believe in stereotypes, you will be surprised to know that #WalkAway was started by Brandon Straka, a gay New York hairstylist whose avocation is using media to bridge dialogue between people of differing opinions. In the case of the Democratic Party, it turned out to be a bridge too far.
Barely a year ago, Straka was a a bit of a stereotype — that gay New York hairstylist who was a staunch Democrat and committed liberal. But he did not like what he saw. The tolerance and humaneness that he had associated with liberal philosophy had morphed into an oppressive hatred.
Straka has taken on his newly acquired political philosophy with all the zeal of a convert. He says:
“Once upon a time, I was a liberal. But liberalism has changed. I will no longer be a part of an ideology or political party that represents everything that contradicts my values of unity, equal opportunity, personal empowerment, passion and love. So, I’m walking away.”
Straka said he was growing tired of political correctness and identity politics. Still, in November of 2016, he voted for Hillary Clinton and said he was “devastated” by the election of Donald Trump. Straka’s political Road to Damascus occurred as he took in the media reports following the election. As much as he did not like Trump, he found the drumbeat of negative narratives to be dishonest – or a Trump may call it, fake news.
As a gay young man, Straka came to believe that the media and the Democratic Party were manipulating the “fears and concerns” of minority groups of all kinds. He accuses the left of creating a false sense of victimization in order to control the vote. According to Straka, the left has divided America into “victim and oppressors.”
While most of the major elitist media had ignored Straka, social media has not. His videos have gone viral and spurred others to take to YouTube to explain their own experience walking away from the Democratic Party and the political left.
This is the kind of movement that should terrify Democrats. It spreads across the nation at the grassroots. Even the overt efforts of the East Coast news culture to undermine the movement by intentional censorship cannot stop it.
How much Straka will influence the November election is yet to be seen, but it can be said that his #WalkAway movement may well be one of those proverbial “straws” that eventually break the back of the camel – or in this case the donkey.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the American workforce is on the rise.
Throughout the Obama years, the mainstream media deceptively propagated the narrative that unemployment was dropping. Although it’s great to see a low unemployment rate, this metric is actually an incomplete indicator. When the labor force participation goes down like it did during the Obama administration, the unemployment rate doesn’t reflect the millions who have given up looking for work and instead – just started to collect welfare. But it looks like the overall labor participation rate is starting to inch up, which means more people are rejoining the workforce.
Now, after years of stagnation, we’re finally seeing that change we can believe in.
The number of African Americans, in particular, looking for work has spiked by 62.2 percent in June. Four million African-Americans were either working or looking for work in the last month.
This development in rising workforce participation helped drive the unemployment rate down to 4.0% in June. Unemployment rates for African Americans and those who haven’t completed high school also rose in June,” writes The Wall Street Journal.
“You’re really seeing that particularly in this tight labor market, those workers who may have felt that they were missing out on the recovery are starting to see some traction,” said Martha Gimbel, Indeed Hiring Lab director of economic research to WSJ.
In many ways, Donald Trump’s restrictive immigration policy is helping the working class of America. By reducing the massive wave of cheap labor that comes illegally through the border, the American worker is once again able to negotiate with employers on an even playing field. The result has been a huge upturn in workforce participation.
Not to mention, African-Americans are now in their prime working years. The median age for non-Hispanic white workers was 43.5 in 2017 and 34.2 for blacks.
“You would expect the aging of the population to be weighing on white Americans more than it is on black Americans,” said Gimbel.
As employers struggle to find workers, less-educated Americans are getting hired in positions they may not have been hired for in the past.
“When employers run out of workers, that’s when people with the weakest bargaining positions get put in the driver’s seat and can negotiate for better pay and get themselves into roles,” said Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist to the WSJ.
The boom in the e-commerce sector has helped to contribute to the recent decrease in the unemployment rate for the less-educated.
The number of job openings was at a record high in May with 223,000 new jobs added. According to the latest Labor Department report, 213,000 jobs were added in June.
“One broader measure of underemployment, the U-6 rate that includes discouraged and part-time workers, edged up to 7.8% in June from 7.6% a month earlier. Labor force participation rates also remain well below pre-crisis levels, suggesting there’s still more room for people to enter the workforce,” writes the WSJ.
This is the recovery we were told was happening 8 years ago.
The latest Democrat campaign issue appears to be the abolition of the Immigration Control and Enforcement Agency (ICE). How this came about says a lot about the Democratic Party.
While it had been the talk in the back rooms of radical left politicians for some time, it first came to the surface – meaning the liberal media started to report on it – when the radical left-wing candidate for governor of New York, Cynthia Nixon (not related to the former president in any way, shape or form), first called for the crushing of ICE. (This issue is fraught with pun potential).
Nixon is taking on incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democrat primary. With the rise of the radical left in the Democratic Party, and especially in New York, Cuomo cannot assume victory. His Party is traveling to the left at breakneck speed.
Initially, Nixon’s call for the elimination of ICE was largely received as more of the characteristic excess of the far left. But then along came 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley, a key member of the House leadership, a close pal of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – and likely heir to the top job should Pelosi retire.
Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign issues were what one would expect from a self-proclaimed socialist: free (meaning taxpayer paid) everything for everyone. Within Ocasio-Cortez’s litany of left-wing lunacy was the call to put ICE on … well … ice.
Suddenly, the issue went mainstream among Democrat candidates and leaders – at least on the left bank of the Party’s mainstream. New York’s Senator Kirsten Gillibrand took up the call, as did Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, California — infamous for tipping off the crooks of pending ICE roundups. Several Democrat congressional candidates have made it a part of their platform.
As the #AbolishICE movement grew within the Democratic Party, it was not entirely welcomed by the more pragmatic liberal leadership. In an online commentary for New York Magazine, Margaret Hartman wrote:
“Other Democrats have warned that advocating a position as extreme as abolishing ICE entirely might be a gift to Republicans, as it supports their claims that Democrats don’t really want to enforce immigration laws.”
She is spot on. The opponents of abolishing ICE are pressing for unspecified reforms to release some political pressure from the far left. As may be expected, that middle ground is not being well received by the over-heated radical left. A split on this issue could be an existential threat to the future of the Democratic Party as a significant force in American Politics. If that sounds like an exaggeration, consider that the ONLY power they have at the national level is the filibuster in the Senate. That’s it. And they are the minority party in two-thirds of the states.
The only advantage they have is a very partisan press that serves like the title character’s contraption in “The Wizard of Oz” — making the Democratic Party sound and appear much more imposing and powerful than it really is.
I have never liked the term “fake news,” but it is hard to argue that the liberal media is not offering up false impressions and false narratives. On the issue of ICE, Samantha Vinograd, a CNN national security analyst, completely misrepresented a quote by President Trump.
Trump complimented the work of ICE for ridding America of “the worst criminal elements.” Vinograd claimed that Trump was referring to ALL immigrants as criminals – a total lie and a continuation of the false media narrative.
Last year ICE deported about 170,000 illegals. One has to wonder why the left was so silent and passive when President Obama deported more than 400,000 in a single year – and he said so with immense pride.
Contrary to the impression one might get from the anti-ICE rhetoric, they do not go around picking up every illegal alien and deporting them. They concentrate on the criminal class. You would think that Democrats would see that as a good thing, but their opposition to deportation does fit with their open borders philosophy. I know … they claim to want secure borders, but what they do – or do not do – is a lot more telling than what they say.
The campaign to abolish ICE is just another example of the left’s propensity for futility politics. ICE is not going to be disbanded. Most Americans approve of the work they are doing. They are fine men and women who risk their lives to keep us all safe – including those who want to send them to the unemployment line.
I would say that the campaign to ice ICE is on the rocks.
I did it.
I descended into the heart of liberal darkness, Berkeley, California and attended the Tenth International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts & Responses.
As you may have guessed, I’m a climate change skeptic. And while this conference was interesting and gratifying for a number of reasons, it did not change my view as a climate change skeptic, but in fact, reinforced it.
My own presentation (for solving climate change while making a huge profit – i.e., the Republican way) was not widely attended, but the conversation was lively and I gained some allies.
Without further ado here are my stories:
As an engineer and formerly a developer of analytical systems for the CIA, my instinct is to follow information backward to its source. In several instances, I’ve followed the rabbit hole, examined data from important climate science claims and discovered gaping holes in their logic, making them misleading or just incorrect.
The conference had some of the same. The most blatant example presented at the conference was from Roberta Atzori from the University of California with a study of the Florida tourism industry. Since I am a long time resident of Florida, I took an interest.
Her method was to ask questions of tourists like (paraphrasing) “if the sun on the beach became too hot, would you stop traveling to Florida or would you vacation somewhere else?” and “if all of the beaches disappeared in Florida would you stop going there?” Needless to say, with those kinds of questions (look up “pre-suasion”) she got the results she desired, she did the math and claimed billions in damages due to Climate Change.
I, of course, as an interested party pointed out that in Florida we know how to re-sand beaches, and we do it often and enthusiastically (e.g., the Boca beach last fall after hurricane Irma). Beaches in Florida are not likely to disappear over the next 80 years no matter the weather change. And if Florida floods to 10 miles inland? We will install a new beach right there. I also pointed out that even the most pessimistic climate change projects only estimate about 4 degrees of change by 2100, not enough to roast our tourist population and force them away from the beach (nor interrupt the patterns of sun, beer, sun, beer, sun …).
Tell me you can’t guess what happened next.
She immediately called me the “D-word.” I had to be a climate change “denier” to challenge her work, so of course, the obvious move was ad hominem.
What she did not do was defend her scenarios (which would have been impossible anyway), which were the basis of the questions she was asking, and the response to which was the basis of her conclusions.
This kind of shoddy work is why I am a skeptic of climate science. Someone with zero knowledge of the practical side of her topic has submitted to the academic community a worthless, baseless calculation of cause-effect, that someone else will likely use to build another house of cards study. And in a room with 12-15 people, no one questioned it except me.
Dr. Max Platzer of the University of California Davis was an Apollo scientist back in the 1960’s. His presentation featured a fleet of boats that used wind power and an underwater generator in perpetual motion in the southern seas, to produce hydrogen fuel on a global scale. At first, this seemed to be very much in the science fiction realm. But to my great surprise and pleasure, Dr. Platzer, in true engineering form, proceeded to convince us layer by layer that his design was feasible and practical (albeit expensive!).
Dr. Platzer was perhaps the most inspiring speaker at the conference, his passion and appeal to implement an Apollo-like “moonshot” were compelling. He said at the advanced age of 85, his future was limited, but he was willing and indeed anxious to help future generations solve this problem. His passion was perhaps the closest phenomenon in this conference to breaking my own skepticism on climate change.
Matthew Moore of California State University positively ranted at the lack of coordination between the different levels of government, saying the government was a disorganized mess and was not preparing for the massive number of people that would certainly be displaced during global warming.
When he included Houston and Florida in his rant I took exception. Noting that I had just experienced Hurricane Irma, I told him that in our state, coordination between federal, state and local, was near perfect. We have some of the best emergency planners in the world who had the streets cleared, the public informed, and everyone in shelters who wanted to go (with designated shelters accepting pets). The Governor had toured the area and coordinated operations, and FEMA had pre-positioned supplies all over the state.
We didn’t have housing prepared for 300,000 people (per Moore’s lament) because our experts decided we would not need it (and we didn’t). Moore’s universal condemnation of FEMA and the emergency management strategy in America was offensive and, of course, wrong. Does he have a point that we need more emergency housing? I don’t know, I’m way too lazy and uninterested to re-do his work for him. But considering his lack of research and/or candor on his other statements, why would I believe anything else he said? And yet his presentation was accepted as scientific work.
At the conference dinner, I had a discussion with Alex Ellery from Carleton University, who was proposing a satellite-based solution for providing power to supplant electricity. This is not a new idea, its been around since at least the 1970’s when my high school debate team was focused on the energy shortage of the day. They were also the subject of Ben Bova’s “Powersat” from 2005.
His new idea, however, was fascinating.
Since it is very expensive to lift materials in space from earth, he was proposing that the power satellites be built on the moon using SELF REPLICATING ROBOTS! And using only materials from the moon’s surface. I was thinking, “Wow, forget the satellites, I want the robots.” And this is a serious engineer with a serious design. He is close to having the design ready, complete with neural network style computing power made from lunar materials rather than straight silicon. He still needs an additional $12 Million in funding to complete the research. Any takers? (If so, I want to be on the deployment team!).
One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Michel Gueldrey, from the University of Toulouse. I had had some brief conversations with him the day before and he is a thoughtful, intelligent and gracious man. However his presentation on “engaging climate skeptics” was disappointing and a bit insulting to American conservatives. His presentation featured such thoughts as “the superiority of Europe over America,” (hard to swallow from a Frenchman) a number of fringe books with insulting titles, and a presentation of methods to persuade skeptics that were worthy of any religion, political campaign, or fraternity rush chairman. In fact, I got a distinct feeling I could substitute “Disciples of Christ” for “Climate Change” in most of the slides and they would be equally functional. But frankly, this is what a conservative would expect at a climate change conference so I took it with a grain of salt. I do have faith that Dr. Gueldry will improve his content over time, but it was cringe-worthy in its current form.
Several presentations were very well done, even if the link to global climate change was not firmly established in my own mind. Claire Brunel, from American University, had a very well constructed study of internal migration in Brazil (I know what your thinking, but yes, it was good!). In the same session, Justin Udie from De Montfort University talked about the effects of climate change on oil and gas equipment near the Niger Delta. Again, I’m not sure about the link to climate change but it was an impressive work of risk analysis on oil and gas equipment. It took quite a bit for me to not go into full nerd mode and dig in with questions.
Marlene Payva Almonte from the University of Liverpool attended several of the same sessions that I did, and her comments were always thoughtful and cogent. In her own session, she presented an insightful presentation on the relationship between climate change and human rights. I’m not sure I agree with her premise that the Paris Accords are a good thing, but it certainly pushed some buttons for my own research.
Sally Graves Machlis from the University of Idaho sought to increase understanding of climate change through art. I’m not sure I fully grasp the magnitude of her work, but I had fun in her workshop cutting paper brains from clip art, gluing them to the canvass and painting in the background in watercolors.
One last feature was a gentleman Greg Poole from Industrial Tests, Inc. A degreed engineer, but non-academic, I could feel that Mr. Pool was avoiding using the common engineering jargon to be better understood, a common practice of engineers when speaking to laymen.
He described the Earth as an electric motor with influence from the Sun, Moon and other planets. Do you think this is silly?
The electrical character of the Earth and the solar system have long been known, and it accounts for a great many important characteristics, like the magnetic poles and the magnetosphere. His framework is brilliant and all-encompassing (but according to Pool, not quite complete). He predicted response characteristics of the molten core that will keep experimental scientists busy for decades.
His engineering skills are first-rate, his analysis was spot on. This was perhaps the most important lecture of the conference, although I don’t expect anyone to realize it. Any analysis of our solar system or any solar system we discover in the future will be incomplete without it. And as for avoiding jargon, I did manage to ask a question that let him know I was an engineer, and he answered in full technical and engineering terms entirely unintelligible to the rest of the room.
Yes, a real engineer.