Saturday, December 3, 2016

Trump bump: Confidence in economy highest in 8 years, up 17 points

Buoyed by the election of President-elect Trump, Americans are expressing the most confidence in the U.S. economy since the 2008 recession, according to a new survey.

What's more, financial advisors in another survey are also giddy about the prospects of the economy and stock market.
Gallup's latest survey showed a remarkable 17-point turnaround since just before the election. Confidence in the election was at a dismal negative 11 points right before the election. Now it as a positive 6, higher than at any point during President Obama's eight years.
Gallup gives Trump, not Obama, the credit.
Said Gallup:
It's not just Americans who have felt more economically exuberant since the election — U.S. markets have skyrocketed, with the Dow closing above 19,000 this week for the first time in its 120-year history.

So, while the election's results may have improved Americans' outlook on the economy, favorable market conditions may have driven their confidence further upward. This also comes as many economists expect that potential U.S. economic growth could have a significant effect worldwide.

Warren to GSA: Rip up lease with Trump hotel

Also from the Washington Examiner

It's too early to tell whether this uptick in Americans' positivity will last as Trump's term begins in January. But two weeks of positive index readings on the heels of his unexpected victory reveals a degree of economic confidence Americans have not expressed since the recession.
Secrets also reported today that members of the huge Financial Services Institute, which represents financial advisors, feel good about the economy. Some 58 percent believe 2017 will be a strong year.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at



This has been rumored for a while, but still: Donald Trump continues his winning streak with the appointment of General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense:
Mattis, 66, is a Marine Corps general who retired in 2013 after serving as the commander of the U.S. Central Command.
His selection raises questions about increased military influence in a job designed to insure civilian control of the armed forces. The concerns revolve around whether a recently retired service member would rely more on military solutions to international problems, rather than a broader, more diplomatic approach.
God, we can only hope so. After all, Gen. Mattis will be Secretary of Defense, not Secretary of State.
Mattis has a reputation as a battle-hardened, tough-talking Marine who was entrusted with some of the most challenging commands in the U.S. military. In a tweet Sunday, Trump referred to Mattis by his nickname “Mad Dog” and described him as “A true General’s General!”
Nothing to like here…
Although his record in combat and his credentials as a senior commander are widely admired, Mattis has little experience in the diplomatic aspects of the job of a secretary of defense.
Since when is the Secretary of Defense supposed to be a diplomat? Seriously, this is a new one on me. The Secretary of Defense runs America’s armed forces, which are called into action when diplomacy has failed and it is time to kick enemy a**. Has this basic concept somehow been forgotten?
Gen. Mattis is the kind of guy who should give our enemies pause:
In 2005, he raised eyebrows when he told a San Diego forum that it was “fun to shoot some people.”
According to a recording of Mattis’ remarks, he said, “Actually, it’s a lot of fun to fight. You know, it’s a hell of a hoot. … It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up front with you, I like brawling.”
He added, “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil,” Mattis continued. “You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”
Mattis was counselled to choose his words more carefully.
As far as I am concerned, those comments are just fine. It appears that Donald Trump feels the same way. So it’s another excellent appointment by Trump, as he builds what is shaping up as a very formidable administration.

Ten Reasons Left-Wingers Cut Trump Voters from Their Lives

Ten Reasons Left-Wingers Cut Trump Voters from Their Lives
Wouldn’t you avoid an evil person who was deliberately destroying the planet?
By Dennis Prager 

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Left’s Miraculous Change of Heart on Accepting Election Results

The Left’s Miraculous Change of Heart on Accepting Election Results

Democrats were completely against questioning results when they assumed Clinton would win

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 12: Green party nominee Jill Stein speaks during a campaign rally at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture on October 12, 2016 in New York City. Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka are campaigning in New York.
Green party nominee Jill Stein is calling for a recount in three traditionally Democratic states that voted for Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential elections. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Before the election on Nov. 8, Democrats chastised Donald Trump for saying he would “totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election… if I win.”
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond, in an article posted in “politics” — not “opinion,” — called Trump’s words “a caveat that threatens to cast unprecedented doubt on the legitimacy of the electoral process.”
Diamond was not alone in his claim. Clinton herself repeatedly claimed Trump was “threatening our democracy” by refusing to accept the results of the election. At her rallies after Trump’s remarks, Clinton said Trump’s refusal to say he’d instantaneously accept the results was a “direct threat to our democracy” and chastised him for claiming the system was “rigged.”
She also claimed at a rally in Philadelphia, Pa. just weeks before the election that the U.S. always had a “peaceful transfer of power,” which was “the difference between the rule of law and the rule of strong men.”
This claim was also tweeted from her official Twitter account, again saying Trump “refused to say that he’d respect the results of this election” and that it was a “direct threat to our democracy.”
But after the election—when Clinton lost—the media and Democrats completely changed their tune. Clinton had derided Trump for suggesting he wouldn’t concede, yet we later learned that Clinton herself didn’t want to concede, but was urged to do so by President Barack Obama.
On the night of the election, after Trump passed 270 electoral votes and secured the presidency, Clinton refused to address her supporters at her “victory” party. Her supporters, distraught and crying after waiting at the venue for hours, were instead subjected to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Podesta said there would be no comment until all the votes were counted.
Shortly after, Trump delivered his victory speech and Clinton had called him to concede.
That call was apparently at the behest of Obama, according to Hill senior White House correspondent Amie Parnes and Roll Call columnist Jonathan Allen.
After the dust had settled on election night, many on the Left began arguing that Clinton had truly won the election because she won the popular vote, and suggested the Electoral College be eliminated. They failed to realize (or simply ignored) that Clinton’s popular vote lead came almost entirely from California, a populous state and Democratic stronghold.
Neither Trump nor Clinton campaigned for the popular vote, because that’s not how our elections work or should work. Fifty percent of the U.S. population resides in just a few major cities. A popular vote would give those cities near total control over deciding the president and forcing their urban priorities onto suburban and rural voters. The Electoral College gives those outside of the big city a real voice.
Also, Clinton and Trump campaigned in the states most likely to swing. Clinton only needed to go to California for celebrity and mega-donor fundraisers, not to ensure the state would vote for her. If she were running for the popular vote, she could have campaigned there just to increase her vote total. As it stands now, she only needed enough votes in any given state to win that state, so essentially, a U.S. presidential election is made up of more than 50 elections (due to some states that split electoral votes). Trump could have campaigned more in Texas to secure more votes, but it was a waste of his time—just as campaigning more in California was a waste of Clinton’s time.
In reality, we don’t know who actually won the popular vote because the candidates didn’t campaign for it.
This hasn’t stopped Democrats from attempting to overturn the election through recounts. Just as Al Gore wanted certain counties in Florida recounted in 2000 because he thought he should have won them, Democrats—led by Green Party candidate Jill Stein—now want three states that usually vote for Democrats but voted for Trump in 2016 to be recounted.
Stein is attempting to raise millions to pay for recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, despite there being no evidence of any election “rigging.”
Clinton has now joined in this effort. What was that about refusing to accept election results being a “threat to democracy?”
Now the Left is claiming Russia interfered with the U.S. election and rigged the results. So, they rigged the election but didn’t give Trump the popular vote? Seems either incredibly specific or completely ridiculous.
The Clinton campaign even admitted there was no “actionable evidence” of vote hacking, but are still going along with the recount because their supporters—the same ones who mocked Trump for suggesting the election was “rigged”—now believe Russia hacked the election.
Lost in all of this is the danger to the Democratic Party if this recount continues. Stein, a Green Party candidate whose views align more with extreme Leftists than anyone on the Right, is raising money and her and her party’s profile. We won’t know how much of the money will actually go to the recount effort until it’s actually underway.
Stein initially asked for $2.5 million, but raised that amount to $7 million when donations poured in, citing filing fees and massive lawyer fees. Fine print on her website says they cannot guarantee a recount will actually occur, and that any money left will go toward “election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.”
Trump has called the recount effort “sad.” He’s absolutely right. These three states were chosen because Trump won and they traditionally vote Democrat. In Michigan, which has yet to be officially called, Trump won by 11,000 votes, a margin of 0.2 percent. In 2012, Obama won the state with a 9.5 percent margin. Rather than assessing how they could lose the state in the past four years to Trump, Democrats have decided to eschew any soul searching and instead insist they only lost the state because of hacking.
Trump won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes and Pennsylvania by 68,000 votes, yet that is too close for Democrats.
I can only imagine what the Left and the media would be saying if Trump had lost and tried to orchestrate a recount. Remember, it’s only a problem when the Right does it.
Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.

"Another_Bob" is Bob Mulholland using fake name to slime his foes

Do We Think We Are God?

Do We Think We Are God?

 by John Schroeder

About a year ago I wrote a post to poke fun at the World Health Organization wanting to control, well, flatulence.  The whole thing should be funny.  Even the founding fathers enjoyed a good fart joke.  It is an unavoidable consequence of higher mammalian life.  Which is the source of the humor – it is embarrassing and uncomfortable, but also perfectly natural.  That tension is the perfect point for humor.  But Oh No – California has gone and taken up this silly dare from the WHO.  That’s right Americans – California is officially in the fart regulating business.
This is not as new as you might think.  The South Coast Air Quality Management District, the agency charged with improving air quality in the Los Angeles basin and environs, has had regs on the books for a while now about dairy farms.  The net effect has been to drive dairy farms out of the area and the price of dairy in southern California through the roof. But now, instead of LA getting its milk from Fresno, the most likely outcome is that it will come from Nevada or Arizona or Oregon and the stuff will be priced out of reach of the average citizen.  Not to mention the state with the highest taxes anywhere, while roads crumble and water infrastructure is inadequate to the needs of the current population, has set aside $50 million to help dairy farmers control their cow farts.  If the roads keep disintegrating, the overpriced milk may never make it to market.
But policy outcomes are secondary to the massive presumptuousness of attempting to regulate something, its unpleasantness not withstanding, that is a normal and natural part of life itself.  The progress of mankind has been all about harnessing nature.  That’s what science and engineering do.  But there is a difference between harnessing and overriding and that is the point where we cease to understand that we are creatures, not creators.  We are not apart from nature, that is to say the created order, we are part of it and limited by it.  We re not God, we are His creations.
The primary focus of the regulations at this juncture is about, “State regulators want more farmers to reduce emissions with methane digesters, which capture methane from manure in large storage tanks and convert the gas into electricity.” Digestion technology is as old as the hills.  I worked on digestion projects back in the 1970’s.  One must ask oneself if this technology is such a panacea and it has been around for so long, why have the farms not adopted it long ago?  The answer is pretty straight forward, the economics are not there.  The cost of operating the things, which includes disposal of the digested manure (which makes manure itself smell sweet), exceeds the value of the energy derived from them.  More important even than the laws of physics are the “laws” of human behavior.
I am reminded of the old joke – A scientist confronts God and tells God He is no longer needed.  The scientist claims he can create life from scratch.  A challenge is made between God and the scientist to prove this.  The scientist reaches down to grab a handful of dirt and God stops him saying “Get your own dirt.” – Things are just much deeper than we are often willing to grant.  That depth constrains us; as powerful as we are, there are limits to our power.
I am still trying to figure out the election just past.  But one message came from it very loudly.  The American people are tired of the government trying to reshape reality.  Whether it is try to do away with gender or control cow farts, most people are fed up with the government thinking they can do anything.  It is not just a matter of constitutional limits, it is also a matter of natural limits.
We have a lot of ideas about God in this country, but most of us know there is one and most of us know He is a lot bigger than we are.  When we acknowledge that and operate within the constraints that establishes, this nation has accomplished some extraordinary things.  It is time to stop regulating that which is simply a part of life and get back to the serious business of improving life for as many as we can.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Corbynization of the Democratic Party

The Corbynization of the Democratic Party

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, right, accompanied by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., arrives at a rally at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Oct. 24, 2016.AP PHOTO/ANDREW HARNIK
The Democratic Party’s current festival of re-examination is both necessary and justified. They have just lost to the most unpopular presidential candidate in recent memory. Lockstep media support and a much larger war chest were not enough to save them from losing not only the presidency, but also in state races across the country.
Since President Obama’s first election, Democrats have lost control of the House and Senate, as well as a dozen governors’ houses and roughly 900 state legislative seats. Republicans have control of all levels of government in 24 states, while Democrats have total control over six. Overall, the party seems incapable of reaching out to the middle part of the country, white and middle-class voters.
This contrasts with the 1990s, when a group of party activists consciously rebuilt the party to appeal to middle-class Americans. Groups like the Democratic Leadership Council — for whose think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute, I worked for several years — pushed notions of personal responsibility, welfare reform, tough crime policies and economic growth that, embraced by Bill Clinton, expanded the party’s base in the Midwest, the Appalachians and even the Southeast.
Leftward Ho!
Such a shift to the middle is unlikely today. Progressives generally see Hillary Clinton’s loss as largely a rejection of her husband’s neoliberal policies and want to push the party further to the left.
This parallels developments in the United Kingdom, where, following their defeat in 2015, the Labour Party promoted a far-left figure, Jeremy Corbyn, as its leader. This was driven by grassroots progressives — deeply green, multiculturalist and openly socialist. Many, including several high up in Labour’s parliamentary party, believe the party has little chance to win under such leadership.
Democrats face a similar dilemma. Driven by their dominant academic and media “thought police,” any shift to the middle on issues like crime, climate change or regulation now seems unimaginable. Self-described progressives who now dominate the party generally adhere to a series of policies — from open borders to draconian climate change policies — that are unlikely to play well outside the coastal enclaves.
Some of the criticism of Clintonian neoliberalism is somewhat justified. As the emergence of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump suggests, support for globalization and free trade has weakened in both parties. This reflects the fact that economic gains have become increasingly concentrated since Clinton left office, and even under the progressive hero, Barack Obama. It’s hard to argue, as the DLC did 25 years ago, for a more market-based system when the vast majority fail to benefit while the upper echelons do much better.
So it is no surprise, then, that the hyperregulatory and redistributionist agendas epitomized by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are now ascendant. This pattern is exacerbated by the party’s increasing indifference to economic growth, in large part, due to their embrace of draconian climate change policies. Climate change policies, as now constituted, tend to suppress higher-wage, blue-collar employment. If you give up on growth to save the planet, the only real solution remaining is massive redistribution, including a web of subsidies to make up for the lack of income growth, affordable housing and economic opportunity.
The multiculti trap
The Corbynization of the Democratic Party also turns on militant multiculturalism. This agenda is shaped, as in Britain, by a disjointed concert of grievance groups, ranging from gender activists to those who claim to represent Latinos, African Americans, Asians, Muslims and others, whose alienation has been exacerbated by Trump’s triumph. Trump’s nationalist rhetoric is particularly disliked by progressives who, as author and New America fellow Michael Lind notes in a recent National Review column, find the very idea of borders and national interests reactionary and inherently racist.
This identity politics, some liberals note, has driven many whites into a defensive crouch and pushed them toward the Republicans. Yet, there is little sign that the party will move in their direction. After all, Hillary labeled them “deplorables” — not much of a sales pitch. After the election, progressive journalists have portrayed Trump voters as irredeemably racist, misogynist, stupid and even too “fat.” Summing up, suggests Slate’s Jamelle Bouie, there’s no such thing as a “good Trump voter.”
Inside the progressive echo chamber, many still believe that an alliance of minorities, gender activists and millennials will make their victory inevitable. This can be seen in the tendency of Democrats, just as there is a palpable rise in crime, to invite the militant Black Lives Matter movement into their tent.
Perhaps nothing more illustrates the Corbynite trend than the proposal to make Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Ellison does check off the diversity boxes, but also would place in party leadership someone who has embraced the Nation of Islam, supports the boycott of Israeli products and has compared 9-11 to the Reichstag fire that facilitated the Nazi dictatorship.
Going left may be emotionally satisfying to Democrats who feel abandoned by their less progressive fellow citizens. But abandoning the middle of the spectrum does not seem an effective way to get back into power.
Joel Kotkin is the R.C. Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism (