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Posts Tagged ‘trump’

State of the Union: pretty darn good

Posted by Richard on February 8, 2019

I’m pretty pleased and impressed by Trump’s State of the Union address. I’m not quite as impressed as Newt Gingrich, who thinks it “changed history.” But he makes some good points, and I agree that watching it is better than just reading the transcript.

There were, of course, things that rubbed this libertarian the wrong way, chief among them being his embrace of “nationwide family leave.” I guess Ivanka finally got to him on that. The last thing this country needs is yet another entitlement, and forcing employers to pay for it instead of taxpayers doesn’t make it any less bad. It will just further reinforce the already far-too-prevalent belief that one person’s (perceived) need constitutes a morally legitimate claim on someone else’s property.

But there were also some truly moving moments (I’m thinking especially of his honoring of Judah Samet, Joshua Kaufman, and Herman Zeitchik). And some parts of the speech made me want to cheer. Here are two:

Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country.  America was founded on liberty and independence –- not government coercion, domination, and control.  We are born free, and we will stay free.  Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.

Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years.  In Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 7,000 American heroes have given their lives.  More than 52,000 Americans have been badly wounded.  We have spent more than $7 trillion in the Middle East.

As a candidate for President, I pledged a new approach.  Great nations do not fight endless wars.

The polling numbers for the speech looked great for Trump, including the YouGov survey immediately afterward commissioned by CBS News. It showed approval/agreement numbers for Trump’s specific ideas ranging from 71% to 78%.

CNN also had a post-speech poll with similarly positive numbers. But both networks emphasized that the audience for SOTU broadcasts leans heavily to the President’s own party. CNN in particular, as NewsBusters noted (emphasis in original):

So I just want to stress here, for a State of the Union address, the President’s partisans, his supporters tend to turn out to watch the speech. This is true of a president of either party,” he warned viewers after also noting the poll was only of people who actually watched the speech. “So tonight, we saw a heavily Republican skewed audience turn out to watch the President’s speech.”

As this author wondered last year: If you’re polling a skewed pool of respondents, then why take the poll in the first place? It’s because they like to hold up the results when it’s a Democratic president giving the State of the Union address.

Remember when CNN and CBS always discounted the favorable poll results after Obama’s SOTU speeches because viewers were mostly Democrats? And reminded us that the results weren’t representative of the country as a whole, only of those who watched? Me neither.

Both networks made a laughable attempt to find something negative in viewers’ reactions by focusing on their poll’s bipartisanship question. The CNN-commissioned SRSS poll asked, “Do you think President Trump will or will not succeed in increasing cooperation between Democrats and Republicans?” 53% said he will not succeed. The CBS YouGov poll asked, “Did what you heard tonight make you think that Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi will…” 33% thought they’d work together more, 4% thought they’d work together less, and 63% thought it won’t change things much. Both networks made this sound like a failing of Trump’s.

But who do you think this “skewed Republican” audience is more likely to blame for lack of bipartisan cooperation, Trump or Pelosi, Schumer, et al? Well, here’s a clue: YouGov also asked, “Looking ahead, do you think the President’s speech will do more to…?” 56% said unite the country, only 8% said divide the country, and 36% said it won’t change things much. So a lot of viewers think Trump’s speech had a positive effect on the country as a whole, but that it won’t help with Pelosi. Sounds about right to me.

UPDATE: I almost missed this bit of hilarity. NPR is not only partisan, but clumsily and stupidly partisan. And boy, did they get called on it.

Donald Trump Jr. joined the pile-on attacking NPR Wednesday morning over the organization’s “fact check” on President Trump’s State of the Union address that many criticized as partisan and unfair.

“FACT CHECK: President Trump praised the record number of women in Congress, but that’s almost entirely because of Democrats, not Trump’s party,” NPR wrote late Tuesday.

The tweet was referring to a rare moment in bipartisan celebration Tuesday night when Mr. Trump acknowledged the record number of women serving in Congress.

“Exactly one century after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before,” the president declared.

The Washington Times has several more great responses (including David Harsanyi’s), so go read the whole thing.

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Libertarian praise for Trump’s health care vision

Posted by Richard on January 30, 2019

The Independent Institute’s Dr. John C. Goodman has been called the father of Health Savings Accounts, and his two books and numerous articles and op-eds on health care make  a strong case for free-market reforms in health care and health insurance. In a new Forbes column, he notes that “the most serious problems in the health care marketplace are almost always the result of ill-conceived public policies” and has high praise for the Trump administration’s health care reform proposals:

For most of the past half century, health economics has been dominated by the idea that private sector medicine has numerous flaws – flaws that must be corrected by government.

Fortunately, the conversation is about to change.

The Trump administration has produced an astonishingly bold document:  Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition.This is the first time any administration has explicitly acknowledged that the most serious problems in health economics arise not because of market failure, but because of government failure. It is also the first time the federal government has committed to the idea of liberating the medical marketplace. In many ways the document builds on and extends ideas I first discussed in Regulation of Medical Care (Cato) almost four decades ago and that Gerald Musgrave and I discussed in Patient Power (Cato) almost three decades ago.

Although cooperation from Congress and state governments is necessary and desirable, the Trump administration is accomplishing a lot through executive authority alone. I described some of the most important of these changes in a recent post.

The introductory letter from the cabinet secretaries is at the link Goodman provides, along with a link to the entire 120-page PDF. I’ve only read the introduction and dipped into a couple of topics that caught my interest, in particular “Governments and Market Failure in Healthcare,” which begins as follows (emphasis added):

It is a common refrain that healthcare is “unique,” and in some ways, it is. But “unique” is frequently used to imply that free-market principles that govern other major sectors of the economy cannot be applied to healthcare. The reasons given for the uniqueness of healthcare vary, but some of the most common are: the difficulties involved in shopping for services, the expertise gap between patients and healthcare professionals (asymmetric information), economies of scale intrinsic to the sector, and the predominant reliance on third-party payers. The merit of these commonly cited reasons for why healthcare is unique is considered below.

Notably, government policies promote some of these features, particularly third-party payment. While some of these features do limit the application of free-market principles, the common claim that the healthcare sector as a whole cannot function under free-market principles is not true. Notably, government policies promote many factors that prevent the free-market from operating. Specifically, government has encouraged excessive third-party payment, created counterproductive barriers to entry, incentivized opaque pricing practices, skewed innovation activity, and placed restrictions on the reimbursement policies of government programs. Overall, these practices have resulted in less choice, less competition, and sub-optimally functioning markets that deliver higher prices and lower quality.

Sounds pretty good to me.

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The real foreign collusion scandal involves Brennan and the CIA

Posted by Richard on July 20, 2018

George Neumayr presents a scathing indictment of George Brennan and the CIA:

An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s.

Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.

John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with “Hillary for president cups” and other campaign paraphernalia.

The bogus tips about Trump and the Russians came originally from Estonia, which feared that Trump would pull out of NATO, and later from British spooks who also wanted to ensure that Trump lost.

Read the whole thing, but note especially this, which is a tremendous ongoing problem:

A supporter of the American Communist Party at the height of the Cold War, Brennan brought into the CIA a raft of subversives and gave them plum positions from which to gather and leak political espionage on Trump. He bastardized standards so that these left-wing activists could burrow in and take career positions. Under the patina of that phony professionalism, they could then present their politicized judgments as “non-partisan.”

This problem exists not just in the CIA, but in countless other federal agencies and departments. That’s one reason that Congress very much needs to pass the MERIT act ASAP.

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QOTD, Helsinki edition

Posted by Richard on July 17, 2018

Condemnation of Trump and the Helsinki summit has been near-universal. Media commentary has spanned the spectrum from “Trump should be removed from office by any means necessary” to “Trump should be summarily hanged for treason.” Democrats and Republicans (with the exception of Sen. Rand Paul) seem to be in bipartisan agreement that every word Trump uttered was reprehensible and deplorable, and that we must punish Russia with more sanctions at the very least, and possibly go further.

Which brings me to today’s quotes, a couple of reminders concerning bipartisanship:

We have two parties here, and only two. One is the evil party, and the other is the stupid party. Occasionally, the two parties get together to do something that’s both evil and stupid. That’s called bipartisanship.
— M. Stanton Evans

Universal, bipartisan agreement on anything is usually the first sign that something deeply unwise is about to happen, if only because there is nobody left to ask skeptical questions.
— Tucker Carlson

As for skeptical questions, a friend sent some of us a link to this Disobedient Media article about Mueller’s indictments of a dozen Russians for hacking the DNC et al. Confession: my eyes started to glaze over about a third of the way through this very dense and detailed dissection of the Russian hacking claims, and I only skimmed the rest. But if even a third of what I read is correct, Mueller’s claims regarding Guccifer 2.0 fall completely apart.

A more likely conclusion is that someone went to considerable trouble to make it look like Guccifer 2.0 was Russian government operatives. Pure speculation on my part, but I’m thinking that that someone might be CrowdStrike, hired by the DNC to look into its server breach(es) and the only organization that ever had access to the DNC servers (the FBI never did).

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Kanye give West a Chance to be free?

Posted by Richard on April 27, 2018

I’m told that there’s no truth to the rumor that Steny Hoyer is going to introduce a bill called the “Fugitive Negro Act” to ensure that runaways like Kanye West and Chance the Rapper are returned to the Democratic Plantation and “re-educated.”

The Democratic leadership apparently considered and rejected the idea after realizing that the Party of Lincoln would never allow it to pass.

Wasn’t it Kanye who rapped “Free at last, free at last. Up yours, mo-fos, I’m free at last!”?

The editors at The Weekly Standard had some interesting thoughts about this matter. But to find that, you have to go through six pages of Google search results (search string: kanye west trump) without a single link to a non-left-of-center site.

I guess sites like Red State, Fox News, The Daily CallerReasonNational ReviewTownhall, The Washington TimesWashington ExaminerThe Blaze, Power Line, et al, just didn’t have anything to say about Kanye’s apostasy that the entirely objective Google algorithms deemed worthy of sharing with Google’s product… I mean users.

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How to get liberals to like the GOP tax plan

Posted by Richard on December 23, 2017

It’s easy! Just don’t let them know it’s the GOP’s plan.


[YouTube link]

 
[YouTube link]

There’s nothing new about this phenomenon. Back before the election, Jimmy Kimmel did a couple of similar “man/woman in the street” interviews attributing Trump’s tax proposals and some Trump quotes to Hillary. Predictably, Hillary supporters loved them.

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Trump dooms planet, women and minorities hit hardest

Posted by Richard on June 1, 2017

I spent way more time than I should have on Twitter today, marveling at the collective freak-out over the President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. And thoroughly enjoying the rejoinders to the Chicken Littles from some of the folks I follow.

Leonardo DiCaprio was an obvious and easy target.

Justin Trudeau got a good smack-down.

Yes, Mitt Romney wrung his hands over the decision, and Steve Kruiser made the obvious comment.

A tenured chair at Harvard spewed forth an interesting take on history that elicited countless reactions like David Burge’s.

I could go on and on. There was “conservative” columnist Jennifer Rubin, who hated the Paris Accord until Trump dumped it; now she loves it and is dismayed. There was the ACLU denouncing it as “an assault on communities of color” because more blacks live near coal plants. Doubling down on that, some senile California attorney declared that Trump did it “just because it was signed by our first black POTUS – yes, he is that racist.!!!!”

There are a bunch more, including a funny rejoinder to Michael Moore, in my timeline. Both the Federalist and Ricochet have compilations of some of the most panicky, over-the-top reactions to the President’s decision. And Twitchy is just full of related stuff.

But one of the things that really struck me was this: many of the same people who insisted that withdrawing from the Paris Accord would flood coastal cities, kill children, destroy the planet, etc., also insisted that withdrawing was stupid because the accord didn’t obligate us to do anything. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

 

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Liberal professors stunned by results of their sex-swap experiment

Posted by Richard on March 10, 2017

Two New York University professors conducted an interesting experiment to test this question: what if Trump had been female and Clinton had been male? Their assumption going in was that a  male acting like Hillary Clinton did in the debates would have been perceived more positively.

Tad Cronn explains the experiment and its surprising (to leftists) results:

The idea was simple: Re-create a portion of the presidential debates, putting Hillary’s exact words into the mouth of a man and putting Donald Trump’s exact words into the mouth of a woman.

To isolate the gender factor as much as possible, the two actors hired even went so far as to copy each candidate’s posture, movements and inflections.

The professors hoped to show that Trump’s aggressive manner would not have been acceptable to viewers coming from a woman, while Hillary’s presentation would have won her fans if she were a man.

Upon showing the resulting video to audiences, the results were eye-opening. The male version of Hillary came across as an even bigger pompous jackass, while the female Trump won over viewers with her feistiness and courage.

“We both thought that the inversion would confirm our liberal assumption—that no one would have accepted Trump’s behavior from a woman, and that the male Clinton would seem like the much stronger candidate,” said Professor Joe Salvatore. “But we kept checking in with each other and realized that this disruption—a major change in perception—was happening. I had an unsettled feeling the whole way through.”

Cronn closes with an intriguing thought:

 I wonder, if anyone was brave enough to try it, if a similar experiment involving race would finally show liberals that, yes, it really was Obama’s policies that people hated.

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A reason to celebrate

Posted by Richard on November 9, 2016

No, I’m not celebrating because The Donald was elected. He wasn’t in my list of top ten candidates for president. If I’d bothered to put together a list of my top 100 (or 1000) candidates, he wouldn’t have been in that list either.

I’m celebrating because Felonia McPantsuit (as Kurt Schlichter dubbed her) won’t be bringing her toxic, Chavista-like mixture of unbridled corruption and radical leftist ideology to the White House. And won’t be carting out yet more of its furnishings after four or eight years.

Oh, yeah, and I’m celebrating because … no hanging chads!!

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Read Scott Adams’ Blog

Posted by Richard on November 4, 2016

If you haven’t been reading Dilbert creator Scott Adams’ blog, you’ve been missing out on the most interesting contrarian commentaries of the election campaign.

I was motivated to post this by his post Unhypnotizing a Clinton Supporter, but he’s since added a new post about Trump’s “closing argument” final campaign ad.

You should read both. But really, just hit that first link to his blog’s home page. Then scroll down and read as much as you have time for.

UPDATE: I guess, since I’ve decided to vote for the asshole over the felon, I should go ahead and embed the Trump ad video. Especially since YouTube has warned me to “think twice before sharing” it.

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Vote for the asshole, it’s important

Posted by Richard on October 31, 2016

Billll has updated the “window sticker” he posted earlier this month (tape it to your car’s rear window), but hasn’t posted the new version yet. Here it is.

Vote for the Asshole sticker

 

It really is that simple. On the one hand, we have a person of flawed character (to put it mildly) who embraces our self-defense rights, cutting taxes, rolling back economy-stifling regulation, and “draining the swamp” of a corrupt Washington, D.C. On the other hand, we have a person with a decades-long history of corruption and self-dealing who promises to overturn Heller, likes Australian-style gun confiscation, and committed multiple felonies to cover up her corrupt reign at the State Department. One of the two will be the next president.

If you live in a state where there is no doubt about the outcome (like Massachusetts), please support and vote for the Libertarian candidates, Johnson and Weld. But if you live in a state that’s in doubt (like Colorado), and if the Second Amendment matters to you, download, print, and put this thing to work. Then put a big clothespin on your nose and vote for the asshole. It’s important.

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The Trump assassination attempt

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2016

As Jazz Shaw observed at Hot Air, the mainstream media seemed rather uninterested in the attempt to assassinate Donald Trump at a rally in Las Vegas and in the perpetrator:

One might imagine that this was big news, but even the most rudimentary details of the attempt were missing from the few news hits which bothered to cover it. As John accurately included in his report, the press was telling us that he was, “a UK citizen who has been in the United States for about 18 months. He lived in Hoboken, NJ and then drove cross country to southern California. He drove from there to Las Vegas last Thursday with the intention of killing Trump.

Eventually, we learned that Michael Sandford was in the country illegally and had been plotting the assassination for quite some time, but that’s about when the media dropped the story.

Can you imagine the coverage we’d be seeing if someone had attempted to shoot Hillary Clinton? The same could be said if it had happened with Barack Obama in the summer of 2008. Questions would be debated on air for weeks on end about the evil lurking in the hearts of men and why someone would be so desperate to prevent the election of the first black or female president. But when someone plots for more than a year to kill Trump, travels across the country to find an opportunity and then launches his attempt, it creates barely a ripple in the media pond.

The women on The View discussed it yesterday, and c0-host Sunny Hostin had an interesting point of view. Newsbusters has the transcript (emphasis added):

SUNNY HOSTIN: Let me say this. I mean, and it’s wrong what happened. I mean, you are never supposed to violently try to take someone out because of their views. But with the Trump campaign and all that campaign rhetoric to incite violence— I mean, he did say “I should punch this guy out,” one of the protesters. It makes me wonder whether or not that campaign, the vileness of it and all the rhetoric will bring more people out of the woodwork like that.

So essentially, “He had it coming, wearing that short skirt and everything.”

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Proof that we’re living in Heinlein’s “Crazy Years”

Posted by Richard on March 3, 2016

Claims that we’re living in “The Crazy Years” from Robert A. Heinlein’s Future History series are nothing new, but they’ve been getting more frequent on Twitter during this election cycle. Understandable, I’d thought, if a bit overblown.

But now I’m convinced that we’re actually in the real-world equivalent of “The Crazy Years.” What convinced me is learning that there are long-time Ron Paul supporters backing Donald Trump for President (emphases in original):

Donald Trump personifies the Liberty Movement’s finest anti-establishment spirit. He is the only rational choice left in the presidential race for those of us who hold liberty dear.

Just like Ron Paul, Donald Trump loves America and Americans, and we find it fascinating that he arrived at many of the same positions as Ron Paul not by extrapolating them from libertarian principles but by applying his ample business experience and sheer human decency.

Ron Paul has not endorsed Donald Trump, and in fact this very website is filled with anti-Trump videos and articles by Ron Paul. Nevertheless, we strongly feel that Donald Trump is the only candidate left in the race who has the potential of restoring and preserving many of our liberties. He might not be perfect, but his heart is in the right place, and if anyone can prevail against the establishment it is a renegade billionaire like him.

It would be a great tragedy for our fellow Ron Paul supporters to sit out this election. To beat the GOPe and preempt a brokered convention, Trump needs many decisive victories so he can accumulate enough delegates to carry the nomination on the first ballot. This time around, our support can make a real difference!

We’re all in for Donald Trump. Join us, and him, in Making America Great Again!

Tim Martin, Esther Anderson, Jeff Hale
Founders, RonPaul.com Grassroots Website (est. May 2008)

I don’t know which is more mind-boggling, libertarians supporting Trump or anyone using the phrase “sheer human decency” to describe him.

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