Category: Steve Feinstein

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Ocasio Gets Knocked Out


In June 2018, young 28-year-old “Socialist Democrat” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term Democrat Joe Crowley in what was considered a major upset. Crowley – a tried-and-true Democratic congressman with 20 years of loyal party service, proved no match for Ocasio-Cortez and her embodiment of the new brand of über-liberal progressivism. In the new paradigm of Democratic Party politics, there is no such thing as social policies that are too liberal, no education, healthcare, or assistance initiatives that are too generous with government-funded payouts, no position on illegal immigration or gender identity that is too lenient or accommodating.

Now in Massachusetts, it has happened again. Ayanna Pressley, a Democratic African-American woman, decisively defeated 10-term Congressman Mike Capuano 59-41% in a primary contest on September 4. Since there is no Republican candidate in the MA 7th Congressional District, this was the de facto election for that seat and Pressley – who holds views essentially identical to Ocasio-Cortez – will be the officeholder come January 2019. Like Joe Crowley, Mike Capuano was a 50-something white male. “Old white guys” – with the somewhat ironic, humorous exception of Bernie Sanders – seem to be falling out of favor in the Democratic Party these days. Pressley’s acceptance speech was characterized by such lines as “We ran a campaign for those who were told their priorities can wait,” and “These times demand more from our leaders… change can’t wait.” This, of course, is merely liberal code-speak for the promise that new government giveaway programs to her constituency are on the way, financed by new taxes on the “rich.” Like Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley is seen as a Democratic rising star – female, non-Caucasian, solidly in the “Big Government Solves All Problems” camp.

It’s all in keeping with the idea of Democratic Socialism, in whose curious reality the playing field is leveled, differences in incomes are eliminated (or at least minimized) and wealth is redistributed to the deserving. The “deserving” according to the arbitrary whims of these new Democratic Socialists, where the ordinary rules of a market economy can be ignored as needed and Government funding is not generated by modest income taxes on a continually-expanding economic base, but instead by targeted, ever-increasing punitive taxation on a restricted, over-regulated economic base.

The “Ocasio” name has some interesting connotations. Boxing aficionados will undoubtedly remember Osvaldo “Ossie” Ocasio, a Puerto Rican-born heavyweight boxer who was active in the 1970s. He scored two big wins over highly-regarded contender Jimmy Young (who had given Muhammad Ali a very hard time in 1976 and then upset George Foreman in 1977), which catapulted Ocasio into the upper echelon of heavyweight contenders. On the strength of these wins, Ocasio was awarded a title fight against champion Larry Holmes in 1979.

Alas, Ocasio’s time in the limelight was short-lived and his lasting importance in heavyweight boxing ultimately proved to be both illusory and fleeting. Holmes dominated Ocasio for six rounds before dropping him four times in the 7th, en route to a devastating knockout victory. Ocasio was never heard from again.

The Ocasio-Cortez/Pressley contingent of the new Democratic Socialist movement may well score some impressive wins in the near term, upsetting a lot of long-standing Democratic incumbents and perhaps wresting a significant degree of national power as well. However, if they achieve a dominant position nationally and begin to implement their socialist agenda, they will be unpleasantly surprised and eventually suffer major disappointments.

This country is based on a market economy. It is capitalistic, driven by the profit motive. Virtually all economic activity in the private sector – whether it’s retail or pharmaceutical/healthcare or energy or manufacturing or entertainment or communications/information services and devices or transportation or real estate/construction or law – is predicated on generating a profit. Government policies that discourage profit-oriented activity – indeed, punish it – will serve only to slow the growth of the national economic pie – the very pie that Democratic Socialists intend on cutting into slices and giving away to those they’ve deemed “deserving” or “underserved” or “disadvantaged.”

Diminishing private sector profits will result in a continually-contracting downward spiral, in which economic activity is restricted, companies shrink, hiring decreases, and the general standard of living – across all demographic sectors, including the “deserving” – is reduced.

Democratic Socialism – a fraudulent idea based on fraudulent assumptions, foisted either by callous hypocrites like Sanders and Warren (who already have “theirs” and therefore can easily weather any economic downturn) or stunningly ignorant neophytes like Ocasio-Cortez (who simply don’t know any better) – will collapse from the illegitimacy of its own weight, as did Ossie Ocasio from the unapologetic power of champion Holmes’ inescapably real punches.

The country will suffer in the short run for having fallen prey to the false seduction of the promises of a Socialist free lunch. Perhaps we will be better off in the long run if we learn our lessons the hard way – with the Ocasio-Cortez/Pressley faction actually in office and making policy – and then we surgically remove the fantasy of government-supported Nirvana-for-all from our national consciousness once and for all.

Ultimately, if Ossie Ocasio had never been given the chance to climb into the ring in the first place, Holmes couldn’t have knocked him out and sent him into oblivion forever.

In June 2018, young 28-year-old “Socialist Democrat” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term Democrat Joe Crowley in what was considered a major upset. Crowley – a tried-and-true Democratic congressman with 20 years of loyal party service, proved no match for Ocasio-Cortez and her embodiment of the new brand of über-liberal progressivism. In the new paradigm of Democratic Party politics, there is no such thing as social policies that are too liberal, no education, healthcare, or assistance initiatives that are too generous with government-funded payouts, no position on illegal immigration or gender identity that is too lenient or accommodating.

Now in Massachusetts, it has happened again. Ayanna Pressley, a Democratic African-American woman, decisively defeated 10-term Congressman Mike Capuano 59-41% in a primary contest on September 4. Since there is no Republican candidate in the MA 7th Congressional District, this was the de facto election for that seat and Pressley – who holds views essentially identical to Ocasio-Cortez – will be the officeholder come January 2019. Like Joe Crowley, Mike Capuano was a 50-something white male. “Old white guys” – with the somewhat ironic, humorous exception of Bernie Sanders – seem to be falling out of favor in the Democratic Party these days. Pressley’s acceptance speech was characterized by such lines as “We ran a campaign for those who were told their priorities can wait,” and “These times demand more from our leaders… change can’t wait.” This, of course, is merely liberal code-speak for the promise that new government giveaway programs to her constituency are on the way, financed by new taxes on the “rich.” Like Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley is seen as a Democratic rising star – female, non-Caucasian, solidly in the “Big Government Solves All Problems” camp.

It’s all in keeping with the idea of Democratic Socialism, in whose curious reality the playing field is leveled, differences in incomes are eliminated (or at least minimized) and wealth is redistributed to the deserving. The “deserving” according to the arbitrary whims of these new Democratic Socialists, where the ordinary rules of a market economy can be ignored as needed and Government funding is not generated by modest income taxes on a continually-expanding economic base, but instead by targeted, ever-increasing punitive taxation on a restricted, over-regulated economic base.

The “Ocasio” name has some interesting connotations. Boxing aficionados will undoubtedly remember Osvaldo “Ossie” Ocasio, a Puerto Rican-born heavyweight boxer who was active in the 1970s. He scored two big wins over highly-regarded contender Jimmy Young (who had given Muhammad Ali a very hard time in 1976 and then upset George Foreman in 1977), which catapulted Ocasio into the upper echelon of heavyweight contenders. On the strength of these wins, Ocasio was awarded a title fight against champion Larry Holmes in 1979.

Alas, Ocasio’s time in the limelight was short-lived and his lasting importance in heavyweight boxing ultimately proved to be both illusory and fleeting. Holmes dominated Ocasio for six rounds before dropping him four times in the 7th, en route to a devastating knockout victory. Ocasio was never heard from again.

The Ocasio-Cortez/Pressley contingent of the new Democratic Socialist movement may well score some impressive wins in the near term, upsetting a lot of long-standing Democratic incumbents and perhaps wresting a significant degree of national power as well. However, if they achieve a dominant position nationally and begin to implement their socialist agenda, they will be unpleasantly surprised and eventually suffer major disappointments.

This country is based on a market economy. It is capitalistic, driven by the profit motive. Virtually all economic activity in the private sector – whether it’s retail or pharmaceutical/healthcare or energy or manufacturing or entertainment or communications/information services and devices or transportation or real estate/construction or law – is predicated on generating a profit. Government policies that discourage profit-oriented activity – indeed, punish it – will serve only to slow the growth of the national economic pie – the very pie that Democratic Socialists intend on cutting into slices and giving away to those they’ve deemed “deserving” or “underserved” or “disadvantaged.”

Diminishing private sector profits will result in a continually-contracting downward spiral, in which economic activity is restricted, companies shrink, hiring decreases, and the general standard of living – across all demographic sectors, including the “deserving” – is reduced.

Democratic Socialism – a fraudulent idea based on fraudulent assumptions, foisted either by callous hypocrites like Sanders and Warren (who already have “theirs” and therefore can easily weather any economic downturn) or stunningly ignorant neophytes like Ocasio-Cortez (who simply don’t know any better) – will collapse from the illegitimacy of its own weight, as did Ossie Ocasio from the unapologetic power of champion Holmes’ inescapably real punches.

The country will suffer in the short run for having fallen prey to the false seduction of the promises of a Socialist free lunch. Perhaps we will be better off in the long run if we learn our lessons the hard way – with the Ocasio-Cortez/Pressley faction actually in office and making policy – and then we surgically remove the fantasy of government-supported Nirvana-for-all from our national consciousness once and for all.

Ultimately, if Ossie Ocasio had never been given the chance to climb into the ring in the first place, Holmes couldn’t have knocked him out and sent him into oblivion forever.



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In Praise of the Hustler


Everyone is always looking for the big advantage.  Whether it’s a military weapon that a country can use to threaten other countries with in order to get their way or some product or technological superiority that a company can use to favorably leverage its position in the marketplace or even a superstar athlete whose presence always tips the balance in favor of his team, everyone wants that special element that delivers the edge.

Here are some good examples from different walks of life.

The B-58 Hustler

During the height of the Cold War in the late ’50s and early ’60s, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were constantly vying for bragging rights with a never-ending string of new and impressive weapons.  New aircraft, submarines, and ICBMs came on line, one after another, as the two adversaries tried to gain the upper hand and show the rest of the world which country and – by direct implication – which system (communism versus capitalism) could produce the superior technological product.

Certainly, no new aircraft of that era was more impressive than America’s Convair B-58 Hustler.  The B-58 was a sinister-looking, futuristic, four-engined delta-winged bomber capable of amazing supersonic speeds that most fighter planes of its day couldn’t match.  It was designed to be fast enough to deliver a nuclear strike on the Russian homeland and then evade their defenses with its blinding speed.  The Hustler was so fast that it set several worldwide speed records in its day, many of which stood for decades.  (Several of these were set by Major Henry J. Deutschendorf, Sr., father of the noted pop-folk singer John Denver.)

Its presence was a shock to the world.  No one had anything like it, not even remotely.  The Russians’ medium bomber counterpart was the slow, obsolete TU-16 Badger, a plane that was as antiquated as the Sopwith Camel next to the sleek Hustler.


Convair B-58 Hustler.

The Hustler was very expensive to buy and operate; it had a terrible reliability record; and it proved to be a troublesome, dangerous plane to fly, with the unacceptably high accident and attrition rate of nearly 20%.  All these factors conspired to limit the Hustler’s operational career to barely a decade, from 1960 to 1970.  (In comparison, the B-52 bomber has just entered its 62nd year of continuous front-line service with one country, a record unmatched by any combat aircraft in history.)

Still, at the time of the Hustler’s appearance, the world stopped and gasped, while the Soviets frantically tried to match it with something of their own.

The Chrysler Minivan

It’s rare that an automotive product creates a brand-new, permanent category, but that’s exactly what the 1984 Chrysler minivans did.  Recognizing an unfulfilled need in the personal automotive market segment for an efficient, easy-to-drive vehicle that could transport a large family and their belongings to school, Little League practice, or vacation, Chrysler improvised upon their “K-car” chassis and came out with the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager minivans.


Chrysler Minivan.

With trim exterior dimensions and familiar carlike driving dynamics, the new minivans struck a chord with the buying public and were an immediate smash success.  All the other carmakers scrambled to come out with their own versions, but with constant upgrades and improvements, the Chryslers remained the market leaders for several more years.

They had more than their fair share of flaws – the first ones were seriously underpowered, they suffered from the notorious early-’80s Chrysler quality issues, and they weren’t exactly good-lookers – but they satisfied the market demand far better and sooner than anything or anybody else.  If ever something defined The Advantage, it was the 1984 Chrysler minivan.

The Game-Changing Athlete – Randy Johnson (2002)

Randy Johnson in 2002 was the quintessential athletic secret weapon, the player who redefined any game he appeared in, the one whose mere presence demoralized the opposition and left them with a feeling of despair and hopelessness.  Standing an intimidating 6 feet, 10 inches tall, Johnson’s nickname was the Big Unit.  In a Hall of Fame career that saw him chalk up an amazing 303 victories, 2002 may have been his best season ever.  He won 24 games (a “20-game winner” is the benchmark for excellence, a rare feat these days) and struck out 334 batters in only 260 innings.  (More than one strikeout per inning is the mark of a true power pitcher.  This was way more than one per inning.) 


Randy Johnson.

Possessing one of the hardest fastballs in baseball history and being just wild enough that no one could be totally certain where his pitches would actually go, most of the opposition was afraid to even stand in the batter’s box and face him.  Some batters on other teams secretly hoped they would be benched the day they were scheduled to face Johnson, or they were simply happy to avoid getting hit by one of his pitches.

On the days that Johnson pitched in 2002, his Arizona Diamondbacks enjoyed an advantage over other teams rarely, if ever, matched in baseball history.

So it is in politics also.  The situation at hand – be it a catastrophic overseas event, an economic crisis, a domestic societal disturbance or something else – may seem to favor one party over the other and it looks as if the other party is going to be on the outs forever.  In that same vein, when one party or the other produces a seemingly “perfect” candidate, with just the right looks, the ideal ethnicity or gender, spouting just the right phraseology, it seems as though that party will never lose again.

However, if there is one thing that history teaches us over and over, it’s that the edge is always temporary, the advantage is fleeting.  Circumstances, whether they’re market conditions, military stances, or political alignments, are constantly shifting, and today’s paradigm-changer is often tomorrow’s relic.

Nonetheless, the Hustler of any given day is an impressive entity, regardless of what the future brings.

Everyone is always looking for the big advantage.  Whether it’s a military weapon that a country can use to threaten other countries with in order to get their way or some product or technological superiority that a company can use to favorably leverage its position in the marketplace or even a superstar athlete whose presence always tips the balance in favor of his team, everyone wants that special element that delivers the edge.

Here are some good examples from different walks of life.

The B-58 Hustler

During the height of the Cold War in the late ’50s and early ’60s, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were constantly vying for bragging rights with a never-ending string of new and impressive weapons.  New aircraft, submarines, and ICBMs came on line, one after another, as the two adversaries tried to gain the upper hand and show the rest of the world which country and – by direct implication – which system (communism versus capitalism) could produce the superior technological product.

Certainly, no new aircraft of that era was more impressive than America’s Convair B-58 Hustler.  The B-58 was a sinister-looking, futuristic, four-engined delta-winged bomber capable of amazing supersonic speeds that most fighter planes of its day couldn’t match.  It was designed to be fast enough to deliver a nuclear strike on the Russian homeland and then evade their defenses with its blinding speed.  The Hustler was so fast that it set several worldwide speed records in its day, many of which stood for decades.  (Several of these were set by Major Henry J. Deutschendorf, Sr., father of the noted pop-folk singer John Denver.)

Its presence was a shock to the world.  No one had anything like it, not even remotely.  The Russians’ medium bomber counterpart was the slow, obsolete TU-16 Badger, a plane that was as antiquated as the Sopwith Camel next to the sleek Hustler.


Convair B-58 Hustler.

The Hustler was very expensive to buy and operate; it had a terrible reliability record; and it proved to be a troublesome, dangerous plane to fly, with the unacceptably high accident and attrition rate of nearly 20%.  All these factors conspired to limit the Hustler’s operational career to barely a decade, from 1960 to 1970.  (In comparison, the B-52 bomber has just entered its 62nd year of continuous front-line service with one country, a record unmatched by any combat aircraft in history.)

Still, at the time of the Hustler’s appearance, the world stopped and gasped, while the Soviets frantically tried to match it with something of their own.

The Chrysler Minivan

It’s rare that an automotive product creates a brand-new, permanent category, but that’s exactly what the 1984 Chrysler minivans did.  Recognizing an unfulfilled need in the personal automotive market segment for an efficient, easy-to-drive vehicle that could transport a large family and their belongings to school, Little League practice, or vacation, Chrysler improvised upon their “K-car” chassis and came out with the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager minivans.


Chrysler Minivan.

With trim exterior dimensions and familiar carlike driving dynamics, the new minivans struck a chord with the buying public and were an immediate smash success.  All the other carmakers scrambled to come out with their own versions, but with constant upgrades and improvements, the Chryslers remained the market leaders for several more years.

They had more than their fair share of flaws – the first ones were seriously underpowered, they suffered from the notorious early-’80s Chrysler quality issues, and they weren’t exactly good-lookers – but they satisfied the market demand far better and sooner than anything or anybody else.  If ever something defined The Advantage, it was the 1984 Chrysler minivan.

The Game-Changing Athlete – Randy Johnson (2002)

Randy Johnson in 2002 was the quintessential athletic secret weapon, the player who redefined any game he appeared in, the one whose mere presence demoralized the opposition and left them with a feeling of despair and hopelessness.  Standing an intimidating 6 feet, 10 inches tall, Johnson’s nickname was the Big Unit.  In a Hall of Fame career that saw him chalk up an amazing 303 victories, 2002 may have been his best season ever.  He won 24 games (a “20-game winner” is the benchmark for excellence, a rare feat these days) and struck out 334 batters in only 260 innings.  (More than one strikeout per inning is the mark of a true power pitcher.  This was way more than one per inning.) 


Randy Johnson.

Possessing one of the hardest fastballs in baseball history and being just wild enough that no one could be totally certain where his pitches would actually go, most of the opposition was afraid to even stand in the batter’s box and face him.  Some batters on other teams secretly hoped they would be benched the day they were scheduled to face Johnson, or they were simply happy to avoid getting hit by one of his pitches.

On the days that Johnson pitched in 2002, his Arizona Diamondbacks enjoyed an advantage over other teams rarely, if ever, matched in baseball history.

So it is in politics also.  The situation at hand – be it a catastrophic overseas event, an economic crisis, a domestic societal disturbance or something else – may seem to favor one party over the other and it looks as if the other party is going to be on the outs forever.  In that same vein, when one party or the other produces a seemingly “perfect” candidate, with just the right looks, the ideal ethnicity or gender, spouting just the right phraseology, it seems as though that party will never lose again.

However, if there is one thing that history teaches us over and over, it’s that the edge is always temporary, the advantage is fleeting.  Circumstances, whether they’re market conditions, military stances, or political alignments, are constantly shifting, and today’s paradigm-changer is often tomorrow’s relic.

Nonetheless, the Hustler of any given day is an impressive entity, regardless of what the future brings.



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'You're Fired!': The Key to the Free Market


“You’re fired!”  Those are the sweetest two words in the entire English language.  Those two words make possible everything that’s good in our daily lives: our freedom, our safety, the many modes of transportation at our disposal, the rich abundance of foods we get to choose from, the widely varied forms of entertainment we enjoy, the incredible array of medical technologies that keep us healthy, and the expansive selection of schools that educate us.

“You’re fired.”  Those are the lyrics to the Anthem of the Free Market, which is the engine that keeps us safe, healthy, well fed, entertained, and educated.  Those are the words that indicate that, in our system, there is personal accountability and responsibility and that there are negative consequences for doing a poor job.

The most obvious and familiar indicator of the free market is the profit potential that exists for success.  Whether it’s an innovative new medical device or a life-enhancing pharmaceutical, a viable large-scale alternative energy source or a great new political drama on Netflix, in a market economy, virtually unlimited profits await the inventor or company that delivers a winning product or service, and deservedly so.  Driven by hungry competitors looking to wrest their paying customers away, individual entrepreneurs and large corporations alike are motivated to perform at their best in order to stave off their adversaries.  The consumer benefits from continually improving products as a result.

The penalty for marketplace failure is financial ruin.  If the quality and value of a company’s offerings slip, then the company loses market share or goes out of business altogether.  The threat of this degree of disastrous marketplace penalty (going out of business) is an even stronger motivator than the promise of unlimited riches.  Being one of many successful entities in one’s realm is perfectly acceptable; there is no absolute requirement that you be no. 1, as long as you’re active and viable.  Mazda is a profitable and ongoing company.  It doesn’t have to overtake General Motors to be considered a successful business.  But they do have to avoid making the ill fated product and marketing decisions that sank American Motors and Studebaker.  The threat of free-market penalty is what drives it.

The concept of free-market reward and penalty applies perfectly all the way down to the individual worker level.  Any individual can be considered a small “company.”  He has his product attributes.  He is in a competitive environment against other “companies” vying for the same “customer” – perhaps a promotion or a new position.  When the individual performs well – a TV writer creating a compelling script, an engineer improving the fuel efficiency of an engine, or a research scientist synthesizing a new pain-reliever without side-effects – the company that employs them becomes stronger in its particular market sphere and either maintains or strengthens its financial standing.  Employees continue to be employed.  Money continues to be earned.  Bills continue to be paid.

It’s the fear of marketplace penalty that keeps many individuals motivated to go a good job.  Yes, of course many people do an excellent job because of personal pride and a strong work ethic, or because their innate talent and aptitude enable them to perform their responsibilities well, without undue effort.  But for many, the unpleasant prospect of losing one’s earning capacity is a prime motivator of doing a good job.

The aforementioned “unpleasant prospect of losing one’s earning capacity” is far, far more prevalent in the highly competitive for-profit private sector of a market economy than it is in the government-employed public sector.  The cliché of the uncaring, inattentive DMV worker who shuts his window and puts up a “closed” sign just as you reach his station at 30 seconds before 5:00 P.M. exists for one reason and one reason only: for the DMV worker, there is essentially no “marketplace penalty” for barely acceptable, mediocre work.  The quality of his work doesn’t affect the profitability or continued existence of his employer.  The Springfield DMV is not in free-market competition with other DMVs, and that window clerk’s performance has no real bearing on anything.  Since the employees really can’t be fired for anything other than a gross dereliction of responsibility or some horrendous personal or moral transgression, it’s easy to understand the “I don’t care, it’s 5:00 P.M., I’m closed” attitude.

The chart below is illustrative of the marked difference in year-on-year price increases between the competitive for-profit private sector and the lessened financial accountability of the government sector.  The categories that show the greatest cost increases are the areas in which government subsidies play the largest role.  When the entities involved know that “free money” in the form of government payouts are coming their way, costs tend to rise.  The competitive aspect of keeping pricing low relative to market competition is not there.

The health care and hospital services area is particularly interesting.  When government money – “someone else’s money” – pays for medical services, costs go up dramatically.  But when the individual is paying out of his own pocket and free-market rules apply, then the providers engage in fierce competition, improve their quality, and lower their costs in an attempt to woo the customer.  Nowhere is this clearer than in the areas of cosmetic surgery and corrective eye surgery.  Neither is generally covered by insurance or Medicare; customers must pay with their own free-market discretionary cash.  As in every other area of for-profit consumer product development, quality and innovation are way up, and costs are down compared to what was available just twenty years ago.

The liberal utopia of Government-Run Everything will never work.  Individuals must feel as if their own job security is directly related to the caliber of their work.  Companies must operate with the knowledge that their continued existence is not assured and that customers are not automatically going to buy their product or service – they must be won over with quality and value.  Private-sector individuals and companies can be “Fired!”  The DMV worker has no such fear, nor are the public schools worried about going out of business in the face of new competition.

While some government and public-sector portion of the economy is necessary, the more we can get the phrase “You’re fired!” into our economy, the better things will be for everyone.

“You’re fired!”  Those are the sweetest two words in the entire English language.  Those two words make possible everything that’s good in our daily lives: our freedom, our safety, the many modes of transportation at our disposal, the rich abundance of foods we get to choose from, the widely varied forms of entertainment we enjoy, the incredible array of medical technologies that keep us healthy, and the expansive selection of schools that educate us.

“You’re fired.”  Those are the lyrics to the Anthem of the Free Market, which is the engine that keeps us safe, healthy, well fed, entertained, and educated.  Those are the words that indicate that, in our system, there is personal accountability and responsibility and that there are negative consequences for doing a poor job.

The most obvious and familiar indicator of the free market is the profit potential that exists for success.  Whether it’s an innovative new medical device or a life-enhancing pharmaceutical, a viable large-scale alternative energy source or a great new political drama on Netflix, in a market economy, virtually unlimited profits await the inventor or company that delivers a winning product or service, and deservedly so.  Driven by hungry competitors looking to wrest their paying customers away, individual entrepreneurs and large corporations alike are motivated to perform at their best in order to stave off their adversaries.  The consumer benefits from continually improving products as a result.

The penalty for marketplace failure is financial ruin.  If the quality and value of a company’s offerings slip, then the company loses market share or goes out of business altogether.  The threat of this degree of disastrous marketplace penalty (going out of business) is an even stronger motivator than the promise of unlimited riches.  Being one of many successful entities in one’s realm is perfectly acceptable; there is no absolute requirement that you be no. 1, as long as you’re active and viable.  Mazda is a profitable and ongoing company.  It doesn’t have to overtake General Motors to be considered a successful business.  But they do have to avoid making the ill fated product and marketing decisions that sank American Motors and Studebaker.  The threat of free-market penalty is what drives it.

The concept of free-market reward and penalty applies perfectly all the way down to the individual worker level.  Any individual can be considered a small “company.”  He has his product attributes.  He is in a competitive environment against other “companies” vying for the same “customer” – perhaps a promotion or a new position.  When the individual performs well – a TV writer creating a compelling script, an engineer improving the fuel efficiency of an engine, or a research scientist synthesizing a new pain-reliever without side-effects – the company that employs them becomes stronger in its particular market sphere and either maintains or strengthens its financial standing.  Employees continue to be employed.  Money continues to be earned.  Bills continue to be paid.

It’s the fear of marketplace penalty that keeps many individuals motivated to go a good job.  Yes, of course many people do an excellent job because of personal pride and a strong work ethic, or because their innate talent and aptitude enable them to perform their responsibilities well, without undue effort.  But for many, the unpleasant prospect of losing one’s earning capacity is a prime motivator of doing a good job.

The aforementioned “unpleasant prospect of losing one’s earning capacity” is far, far more prevalent in the highly competitive for-profit private sector of a market economy than it is in the government-employed public sector.  The cliché of the uncaring, inattentive DMV worker who shuts his window and puts up a “closed” sign just as you reach his station at 30 seconds before 5:00 P.M. exists for one reason and one reason only: for the DMV worker, there is essentially no “marketplace penalty” for barely acceptable, mediocre work.  The quality of his work doesn’t affect the profitability or continued existence of his employer.  The Springfield DMV is not in free-market competition with other DMVs, and that window clerk’s performance has no real bearing on anything.  Since the employees really can’t be fired for anything other than a gross dereliction of responsibility or some horrendous personal or moral transgression, it’s easy to understand the “I don’t care, it’s 5:00 P.M., I’m closed” attitude.

The chart below is illustrative of the marked difference in year-on-year price increases between the competitive for-profit private sector and the lessened financial accountability of the government sector.  The categories that show the greatest cost increases are the areas in which government subsidies play the largest role.  When the entities involved know that “free money” in the form of government payouts are coming their way, costs tend to rise.  The competitive aspect of keeping pricing low relative to market competition is not there.

The health care and hospital services area is particularly interesting.  When government money – “someone else’s money” – pays for medical services, costs go up dramatically.  But when the individual is paying out of his own pocket and free-market rules apply, then the providers engage in fierce competition, improve their quality, and lower their costs in an attempt to woo the customer.  Nowhere is this clearer than in the areas of cosmetic surgery and corrective eye surgery.  Neither is generally covered by insurance or Medicare; customers must pay with their own free-market discretionary cash.  As in every other area of for-profit consumer product development, quality and innovation are way up, and costs are down compared to what was available just twenty years ago.

The liberal utopia of Government-Run Everything will never work.  Individuals must feel as if their own job security is directly related to the caliber of their work.  Companies must operate with the knowledge that their continued existence is not assured and that customers are not automatically going to buy their product or service – they must be won over with quality and value.  Private-sector individuals and companies can be “Fired!”  The DMV worker has no such fear, nor are the public schools worried about going out of business in the face of new competition.

While some government and public-sector portion of the economy is necessary, the more we can get the phrase “You’re fired!” into our economy, the better things will be for everyone.



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Can't Anyone Take a Joke?


We have two adult daughters.  Both are married with children of their own.  One of them lives overseas in Italy.  (Don’t ask.  It’s a long story – but it gives us a great place to visit).  The other lives ten minutes away in the same upper-middle-class suburban town as my wife and me, in the eastern part of the country.  One of our local daughter’s neighbors is a broadcaster for a sports radio talk show.  He and his wife are perfectly nice, normal people.  Their young daughter plays with our daughter’s six-year-old several times a week.  They are remarkably unremarkable, regular in every sense.

A few days ago, he made an on-air a quip in which he mimicked the stereotypical speaking style of a foreign ethnic group.  It was a joke, the kind of thing every one of us has done a thousand times, in reference to any one of a dozen or two well known ethnic and national groups.

Well, apparently, in this highly charged, “everyone’s a victim,” incredibly thin-skinned, and humorless environment in which we all now live, it wasn’t a joke.  It was a heinous personal crime, betraying a shocking lack of sensitivity and cultural awareness on the part of the “joke”-teller, injurious to the self-image of the target group to an irreversible degree.  The morally indignant brigade struck with Blitzkrieg-like (I probably can’t say that, either) suddenness and fury: no fewer than three very high-profile sponsors immediately – and publicly – announced that they were pulling their advertising from the station.  The station, trying desperately to get in front of what could be a P.R. disaster, instantly issued a public apology on all fronts – on-air, on social media, and on its website. And of course, they wasted no time announcing that the offending on-air host was suspended at once without pay, pending further investigation – with the implication that a firing was imminent.

This relatively recent development of widespread social and professional victimhood coincides closely with the rise in identity politics, particularly as practiced by liberal politicians and supported by the liberal media.  Liberals seem to orient their political strategy and activity around the notion of identifying special interest groups based on age, ethnicity, sex and sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic class, and education.  Liberal politicians then convince the group in question that they’ve been victimized (either by society at large or by conservatives in particular), and so the liberal politician proposes a specific program to cure their ill and garner their vote.

Humor has no place in the liberal paradigm.  There is no innocent humor; there are only intentional, degrading insults, designed to maliciously hinder or prevent the group in question from advancing to its deserved standing in our culture.

Really?  Every joke is meant to harm someone and prevent him from progressing?

I work in the music industry, in the marketing department of a large company that owns and manufactures several well known brands of electronic musical instruments and keyboards, D.J. gear, recording equipment, and musical composition computer software.  It’s a “hip” company – everyone is into music, and we have frequent contact and interactions with today’s biggest recording artists and D.J.s (arranging endorsement deals, loaner equipment, etc.).  As the senior marketing person (both in age and tenure), I supervise the marketing department.  Our department is so diverse that the generals of the Politically Correct Army should pin medals on us.  You name the sex, ethnicity or race, age group, and sexual orientation, and we have it.

Connected by our love of music, our common professional drive for marketing and sales success in a highly competitive industry, and our shared familiarity and interest in the gear itself, we all get along great.  Pick your favorite cliché, and it fits: a well oiled machine, a winning team, an engine firing on all cylinders, whatever.  They all apply.

About a year ago, I began telling a quick joke at the end of the day once or twice a week, to send people off with a smile.  When a joke is going to stray off the straight and narrow path, I preface it with a humorous disclaimer:

This joke may be construed as being ever so slightly off-color or ethnically insensitive in nature.  If anyone here feels that such a joke contributes to a hostile work environment or that hearing it would be at all unwelcome, I invite you to avail yourselves of this opportunity to vacate the area.  I will take it as explicit approval anyone who chooses to stay.

People wait for the disclaimer itself, it’s so dry and tongue-in-cheek.  But I do say it, and it’s “on the record,” so to speak.  By the way, everyone always stays.  Everyone, always.

Then the joke follows.  Our 34-year-old female marketing coordinator is the most disappointed of all when the joke that day isn’t going to be off-color.  No one laughs harder than our black brand managers when I put on my exaggerated black affectation and do a rapid-fire string of “Yo Mammas.”  (I’m a middle-aged white Jewish guy, so it is particularly funny, I can assure you.)

People are people.  We can all tell when we’re being seriously disrespected and when it’s just a routine situation.  My feeling is that we’re united by things like humor, personal and emotional connections to other people, shared interests, and professional drive far, far more than we’re separated by any differences in ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.

It was a joke on that radio station.  That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.  Let’s get more jokes into our everyday lives, and let’s take the transparently calculated hypersensitivity to well intentioned jokes out of politics and the media.  No joking.

We have two adult daughters.  Both are married with children of their own.  One of them lives overseas in Italy.  (Don’t ask.  It’s a long story – but it gives us a great place to visit).  The other lives ten minutes away in the same upper-middle-class suburban town as my wife and me, in the eastern part of the country.  One of our local daughter’s neighbors is a broadcaster for a sports radio talk show.  He and his wife are perfectly nice, normal people.  Their young daughter plays with our daughter’s six-year-old several times a week.  They are remarkably unremarkable, regular in every sense.

A few days ago, he made an on-air a quip in which he mimicked the stereotypical speaking style of a foreign ethnic group.  It was a joke, the kind of thing every one of us has done a thousand times, in reference to any one of a dozen or two well known ethnic and national groups.

Well, apparently, in this highly charged, “everyone’s a victim,” incredibly thin-skinned, and humorless environment in which we all now live, it wasn’t a joke.  It was a heinous personal crime, betraying a shocking lack of sensitivity and cultural awareness on the part of the “joke”-teller, injurious to the self-image of the target group to an irreversible degree.  The morally indignant brigade struck with Blitzkrieg-like (I probably can’t say that, either) suddenness and fury: no fewer than three very high-profile sponsors immediately – and publicly – announced that they were pulling their advertising from the station.  The station, trying desperately to get in front of what could be a P.R. disaster, instantly issued a public apology on all fronts – on-air, on social media, and on its website. And of course, they wasted no time announcing that the offending on-air host was suspended at once without pay, pending further investigation – with the implication that a firing was imminent.

This relatively recent development of widespread social and professional victimhood coincides closely with the rise in identity politics, particularly as practiced by liberal politicians and supported by the liberal media.  Liberals seem to orient their political strategy and activity around the notion of identifying special interest groups based on age, ethnicity, sex and sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic class, and education.  Liberal politicians then convince the group in question that they’ve been victimized (either by society at large or by conservatives in particular), and so the liberal politician proposes a specific program to cure their ill and garner their vote.

Humor has no place in the liberal paradigm.  There is no innocent humor; there are only intentional, degrading insults, designed to maliciously hinder or prevent the group in question from advancing to its deserved standing in our culture.

Really?  Every joke is meant to harm someone and prevent him from progressing?

I work in the music industry, in the marketing department of a large company that owns and manufactures several well known brands of electronic musical instruments and keyboards, D.J. gear, recording equipment, and musical composition computer software.  It’s a “hip” company – everyone is into music, and we have frequent contact and interactions with today’s biggest recording artists and D.J.s (arranging endorsement deals, loaner equipment, etc.).  As the senior marketing person (both in age and tenure), I supervise the marketing department.  Our department is so diverse that the generals of the Politically Correct Army should pin medals on us.  You name the sex, ethnicity or race, age group, and sexual orientation, and we have it.

Connected by our love of music, our common professional drive for marketing and sales success in a highly competitive industry, and our shared familiarity and interest in the gear itself, we all get along great.  Pick your favorite cliché, and it fits: a well oiled machine, a winning team, an engine firing on all cylinders, whatever.  They all apply.

About a year ago, I began telling a quick joke at the end of the day once or twice a week, to send people off with a smile.  When a joke is going to stray off the straight and narrow path, I preface it with a humorous disclaimer:

This joke may be construed as being ever so slightly off-color or ethnically insensitive in nature.  If anyone here feels that such a joke contributes to a hostile work environment or that hearing it would be at all unwelcome, I invite you to avail yourselves of this opportunity to vacate the area.  I will take it as explicit approval anyone who chooses to stay.

People wait for the disclaimer itself, it’s so dry and tongue-in-cheek.  But I do say it, and it’s “on the record,” so to speak.  By the way, everyone always stays.  Everyone, always.

Then the joke follows.  Our 34-year-old female marketing coordinator is the most disappointed of all when the joke that day isn’t going to be off-color.  No one laughs harder than our black brand managers when I put on my exaggerated black affectation and do a rapid-fire string of “Yo Mammas.”  (I’m a middle-aged white Jewish guy, so it is particularly funny, I can assure you.)

People are people.  We can all tell when we’re being seriously disrespected and when it’s just a routine situation.  My feeling is that we’re united by things like humor, personal and emotional connections to other people, shared interests, and professional drive far, far more than we’re separated by any differences in ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.

It was a joke on that radio station.  That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.  Let’s get more jokes into our everyday lives, and let’s take the transparently calculated hypersensitivity to well intentioned jokes out of politics and the media.  No joking.



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The ‘Real’ Russia Collusion: Oil


Russian collusion is indeed a major issue threatening the well-being of our country. It’s just not the Russia collusion that’s been bandied about in the news for over a year. No, it’s Russia colluding with OPEC to intentionally raise world crude oil prices. That is a real threat to our economy and living standards, unlike that other, totally imaginary Russia collusion.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, crude oil prices have been on an upward tear for the better part of the last two years. From a low in the high-20’s/barrel range in February of 2016, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) closed at $65.45 on Friday Feb 2nd. Goldman Sachs goes so far as to say that North Sea Brent crude oil (the other benchmark oil besides WTI) will likely top $80 within six months.

WTI generally runs about 5% lower, so look for WTI to be around $76/bbl by the summer of 2018.

Before we look at why this is happening, it’s a good idea for a quick refresher on the four main drivers of crude oil/retail gasoline pricing. Why is oil and gasoline rising? What’s happened?  First, let’s dispense with any simplistic “the oil companies are conspiring to raise prices” nonsense.  That’s not what’s happening. Oil is a commodity, traded on the world market like any other commodity, such as gold, copper, natural gas, diamonds, etc. Oil is subject to market forces like every other commodity is.

There are four main factors that influence the price of crude oil-retail gasoline on the world market:

  1. World supply/demand
  2. Exploration/extraction activity and technology
  3. Refining/delivery capacity
  4. Geopolitical influences (Iran, North Korea, terrorism, etc.)

(There’s also a 5th factor: currency value, or the “exchange rate,” since oil is traded in dollars. However, this is normally a peripheral factor that only shades oil pricing a little bit one way or the other.)

Today’s situation is primarily one of tightening supply coupled with greater demand as the worldwide economy, led by the U.S., continues to improve. See #1 above. When the world was awash with overabundant oil in 2015-6, with loaded tankers sitting by the dozens offshore, unable to unload their cargo for lack of empty storage facilities, it seemed as if low-priced crude oil and $1.899/gallon gasoline was a permanent fixture on the U.S. economic landscape. Never again would we be beholden to the arbitrary whims and evil manipulations of greedy, anti-American, anti-Semitic Arab oil sheiks.

The oversupply of oil was primarily because of the shale oil boom (fracking) in the U.S. With newly-developed exploration and extraction techniques, America was finally able to tap the previously unreachable mother lode of crude oil trapped in the huge shale rock deposits in the western and southern parts of the continental U.S. With a huge influx of additional oil being delivered to the world market, supply exceeded demand and world pricing plummeted.

At first, OPEC was unsure how to respond. Initially, Saudi Arabia actually increased their oil production in an effort to lower world pricing even more and drive the U.S. shale producers out of business (since shale oil has a far higher cost of production than Saudi oil, which is easy to extract).

That didn’t work. Shale extraction technology got better and better and the Saudis were never able to force pricing down far enough to permanently hurt the American frackers.

So, they resorted to the tried-and-true economic dictum of supply and demand. Led by the Saudis, OPEC instituted strict oil production quotas to limit the amount of oil that they would supply to the market. Restricting supply would rebalance the market and bring world oil demand and supply back into equilibrium, thus raising prices as market forces began to have their normal effect.

However, Saudi Arabia is only one of the top three oil producers in the world. Although the combined oil output of the 14 OPEC member countries is certainly significant (over 40%), the other two top three countries are the U.S. and Russia, each of whose oil output is roughly equal to that of Saudi Arabia (OPEC’s largest member). The Saudis convinced Russia to voluntarily join them in their production quota. With all of OPEC now joined by another top-three producer – Russia — the world’s oil supply has come down considerably, much faster than anticipated. Pricing is on pace to more than triple from its 2016 low and the impact on our economy and spending sentiment will be significant.

Note that the recent rise in pricing has essentially nothing to do with reason #4 — terrorism and geopolitical tension. As of right now, there are no hostilities with North Kores to rattle the world commodity markets, Israel is not at war with anyone and since the institution of the Iranian nuclear deal a few years ago, Iran is once again supplying oil to the world market without any problem. So the terrorism front is quiet right now.

The rise in price is all pretty much #1 — supply and demand, with supply being restricted by the OPEC-Russia agreement. That fact points out the truth that even though total U.S. oil production exceeds 10m bpd, the U.S. alone can’t determine the ultimate price of oil on the world market. We can be an influential factor — larger now, to be sure, than 20 years ago before the shale boom — but the U.S. can’t control oil pricing by itself.

Nor does the potential of future alternative fuels have much influence on today’s pricing. Some industry observers have opined that EVs (electric vehicles) will reduce worldwide oil demand by the equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s entire current oil production by 2040. But that, in reality, is just a random individual guess and such statements have no actual impact on today’s pricing.

Applying the rough approximate numerical multiplier of 4x to WTI crude to get U.S retail gasoline pricing, that means that U.S retail gasoline will be above the psychologically-important $3.00 mark (4 x 76 = $3.04) by this summer. People see the price of gasoline on the corner gas station every day as they leave the house. It’s like a daily “scoreboard” telling them whether they’re winning or losing their personal economic game. When Joe/Jane middle-class sees $2.27, they feel like they’re winning, like they can spend a little more somewhere else, like things are going in the right direction.

When they see gasoline rise very quickly, seemingly for no good reason, to $3.04 — especially after a prolonged period well under $2.20 — it’s a very negative sign. Maybe things are getting worse and I haven’t been paying attention. Maybe I should play things safe for a while, keep things close to the vest. Let’s cut down on dinners out and tell Johnny, sorry, no new sneakers just yet. Yeah, I know my brother Bill finally got a job again after two years, but let’s not get too carried away.

Rising oil pricing impacts everything at retail, in the construction and agriculture sectors and in manufacturing, because everything is delivered from the factory to the seller and from the seller to the end user by a transportation device that uses an oil-derived fuel. Milk, sushi, iPhones, lumber, and fertilizer are all made and delivered with the assistance of oil-based products. Rising oil pricing also negatively impacts business and domestic heating and utility pricing. It’s like a tax that takes billions and billions of dollars out of the economy, wrecks an exuberant business outlook and shreds consumer confidence. Rapidly-rising oil pricing is a five-run uprising in the 9th inning of a game you were leading 8-1 after eight innings. Now you’ll just be happy to hang on for the win.

Consumer and business sentiment is central to the spending that drives our economy, the very backbone that supports it. Anything that puts a damper on that sentiment will drag down spending and hence drag down economic growth along with it.

Russian “collusion” is indeed a big threat to our country’s well-being: It’s the collusion between OPEC and Russia to restrict the world’s oil supply and drive up pricing. It’s working and the tangible, undeniable, clear-as-day proof is posted in big numbers on every street corner. Maybe the media should pay some attention to that.

Russian collusion is indeed a major issue threatening the well-being of our country. It’s just not the Russia collusion that’s been bandied about in the news for over a year. No, it’s Russia colluding with OPEC to intentionally raise world crude oil prices. That is a real threat to our economy and living standards, unlike that other, totally imaginary Russia collusion.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, crude oil prices have been on an upward tear for the better part of the last two years. From a low in the high-20’s/barrel range in February of 2016, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) closed at $65.45 on Friday Feb 2nd. Goldman Sachs goes so far as to say that North Sea Brent crude oil (the other benchmark oil besides WTI) will likely top $80 within six months.

WTI generally runs about 5% lower, so look for WTI to be around $76/bbl by the summer of 2018.

Before we look at why this is happening, it’s a good idea for a quick refresher on the four main drivers of crude oil/retail gasoline pricing. Why is oil and gasoline rising? What’s happened?  First, let’s dispense with any simplistic “the oil companies are conspiring to raise prices” nonsense.  That’s not what’s happening. Oil is a commodity, traded on the world market like any other commodity, such as gold, copper, natural gas, diamonds, etc. Oil is subject to market forces like every other commodity is.

There are four main factors that influence the price of crude oil-retail gasoline on the world market:

  1. World supply/demand
  2. Exploration/extraction activity and technology
  3. Refining/delivery capacity
  4. Geopolitical influences (Iran, North Korea, terrorism, etc.)

(There’s also a 5th factor: currency value, or the “exchange rate,” since oil is traded in dollars. However, this is normally a peripheral factor that only shades oil pricing a little bit one way or the other.)

Today’s situation is primarily one of tightening supply coupled with greater demand as the worldwide economy, led by the U.S., continues to improve. See #1 above. When the world was awash with overabundant oil in 2015-6, with loaded tankers sitting by the dozens offshore, unable to unload their cargo for lack of empty storage facilities, it seemed as if low-priced crude oil and $1.899/gallon gasoline was a permanent fixture on the U.S. economic landscape. Never again would we be beholden to the arbitrary whims and evil manipulations of greedy, anti-American, anti-Semitic Arab oil sheiks.

The oversupply of oil was primarily because of the shale oil boom (fracking) in the U.S. With newly-developed exploration and extraction techniques, America was finally able to tap the previously unreachable mother lode of crude oil trapped in the huge shale rock deposits in the western and southern parts of the continental U.S. With a huge influx of additional oil being delivered to the world market, supply exceeded demand and world pricing plummeted.

At first, OPEC was unsure how to respond. Initially, Saudi Arabia actually increased their oil production in an effort to lower world pricing even more and drive the U.S. shale producers out of business (since shale oil has a far higher cost of production than Saudi oil, which is easy to extract).

That didn’t work. Shale extraction technology got better and better and the Saudis were never able to force pricing down far enough to permanently hurt the American frackers.

So, they resorted to the tried-and-true economic dictum of supply and demand. Led by the Saudis, OPEC instituted strict oil production quotas to limit the amount of oil that they would supply to the market. Restricting supply would rebalance the market and bring world oil demand and supply back into equilibrium, thus raising prices as market forces began to have their normal effect.

However, Saudi Arabia is only one of the top three oil producers in the world. Although the combined oil output of the 14 OPEC member countries is certainly significant (over 40%), the other two top three countries are the U.S. and Russia, each of whose oil output is roughly equal to that of Saudi Arabia (OPEC’s largest member). The Saudis convinced Russia to voluntarily join them in their production quota. With all of OPEC now joined by another top-three producer – Russia — the world’s oil supply has come down considerably, much faster than anticipated. Pricing is on pace to more than triple from its 2016 low and the impact on our economy and spending sentiment will be significant.

Note that the recent rise in pricing has essentially nothing to do with reason #4 — terrorism and geopolitical tension. As of right now, there are no hostilities with North Kores to rattle the world commodity markets, Israel is not at war with anyone and since the institution of the Iranian nuclear deal a few years ago, Iran is once again supplying oil to the world market without any problem. So the terrorism front is quiet right now.

The rise in price is all pretty much #1 — supply and demand, with supply being restricted by the OPEC-Russia agreement. That fact points out the truth that even though total U.S. oil production exceeds 10m bpd, the U.S. alone can’t determine the ultimate price of oil on the world market. We can be an influential factor — larger now, to be sure, than 20 years ago before the shale boom — but the U.S. can’t control oil pricing by itself.

Nor does the potential of future alternative fuels have much influence on today’s pricing. Some industry observers have opined that EVs (electric vehicles) will reduce worldwide oil demand by the equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s entire current oil production by 2040. But that, in reality, is just a random individual guess and such statements have no actual impact on today’s pricing.

Applying the rough approximate numerical multiplier of 4x to WTI crude to get U.S retail gasoline pricing, that means that U.S retail gasoline will be above the psychologically-important $3.00 mark (4 x 76 = $3.04) by this summer. People see the price of gasoline on the corner gas station every day as they leave the house. It’s like a daily “scoreboard” telling them whether they’re winning or losing their personal economic game. When Joe/Jane middle-class sees $2.27, they feel like they’re winning, like they can spend a little more somewhere else, like things are going in the right direction.

When they see gasoline rise very quickly, seemingly for no good reason, to $3.04 — especially after a prolonged period well under $2.20 — it’s a very negative sign. Maybe things are getting worse and I haven’t been paying attention. Maybe I should play things safe for a while, keep things close to the vest. Let’s cut down on dinners out and tell Johnny, sorry, no new sneakers just yet. Yeah, I know my brother Bill finally got a job again after two years, but let’s not get too carried away.

Rising oil pricing impacts everything at retail, in the construction and agriculture sectors and in manufacturing, because everything is delivered from the factory to the seller and from the seller to the end user by a transportation device that uses an oil-derived fuel. Milk, sushi, iPhones, lumber, and fertilizer are all made and delivered with the assistance of oil-based products. Rising oil pricing also negatively impacts business and domestic heating and utility pricing. It’s like a tax that takes billions and billions of dollars out of the economy, wrecks an exuberant business outlook and shreds consumer confidence. Rapidly-rising oil pricing is a five-run uprising in the 9th inning of a game you were leading 8-1 after eight innings. Now you’ll just be happy to hang on for the win.

Consumer and business sentiment is central to the spending that drives our economy, the very backbone that supports it. Anything that puts a damper on that sentiment will drag down spending and hence drag down economic growth along with it.

Russian “collusion” is indeed a big threat to our country’s well-being: It’s the collusion between OPEC and Russia to restrict the world’s oil supply and drive up pricing. It’s working and the tangible, undeniable, clear-as-day proof is posted in big numbers on every street corner. Maybe the media should pay some attention to that.



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Pieces of the Same Puzzle: SOTU, DACA, FBI


There are three issues swirling around in the news lately that may appear to be unrelated: the recently-delivered State of the Union (SOTU) address, the ongoing controversy over DACA immigrants, and the about-to-be-released FBI memo regarding the basis of the FISA warrants in the Russia collusion investigation. But they are not unrelated. Quite the contrary: they are all incredibly important pieces of the same puzzle. Let’s look at them individually and then put the pieces together into one big picture.

Piece 1 — The State of the Union Address

President Trump, by all accounts, delivered a very direct, surprisingly inclusive, clearly America-first State of the Union address last week. Polls indicate Republican and Independent approval of the speech in the 75-80% range and even Democratic voters gave him a mid-40% approval rating. On issue after issue, he pointed to clear evidence of the success of his policies and approaches, coupled with a clear vision for moving the country forward.

His harshest critics, the ones who will never concede to him even the smallest smidgeon of credit, the ones to whom he is an “embarrassment,” an “aberration,” had their minds made up about his SOTU speech before he uttered even a single word. Their take on his dynamic, inspiring performance was — sadly, predictably — “Well, he did a pretty good job of reading a speech that someone else wrote, but in my mind, he doesn’t deserve credit for that.”

As if every president doesn’t “read a speech that someone else wrote.” The president may or may not actually write a majority (or any!) of the speech itself, but regardless, the speech is directly, accurately reflective of the president’s policies, plans, and future strategies. The president edits, shapes, tweaks, and ultimately approves the speech. The SOTU speech is the president’s speech, regardless of the actual authorship.

The written/spoken line, “We’re going to keep Guantanamo Bay open” was as indisputably Trump’s as “I’m going to close Guantanamo Bay” was Obama’s. Regardless of who originally wrote it, those lines represent each president’s intended policy and they each deserve the credit or criticism as appropriate. That’s the way it is with the entire SOTU speech… and with every speech given by any president, for that matter.

However, much to his opponents’ unending irritation, President Trump has an unambiguous, clear, and yes, inspiring manner of expression. He is capable of reaching and convincing a significant portion of the undecided “casually-attentive” voting bloc. That talent was clearly on display this past January 30th. The sophisticated liberal sect and their liberal media allies would never succumb to such a simplistic, transparent presentation. Instead, they purport to see right through his rhetoric, as if it was nothing more than the intentionally-misleading, disingenuous pap of an old-time snake-oil huckster.

Unfortunately for the Democrats in Congress and CNN/MSNBC, President Trump pointed to much success for which he can justifiably take credit:

  • Extremely low unemployment, especially among Blacks and Hispanics
  • Dramatic stock market gains, to the direct tangible benefit of individual investors, pension participants and educational savings account owners
  • The decimation of ISIS as a direct result of new military Rules of Engagement instituted under Trump
  • The personal and corporate tax cuts, resulting in immediately greater individual disposable income and greatly increased corporate investment and expansion.

Piece 2—The DACA Compromise

President Trump is on the cusp of pulling off a political coup by giving into a key Democratic demand — the acceptance of DACA. Not just the 800k actual DACA persons themselves, but 1.8 million, which includes giving unequivocal amnesty to extended family members of the so-called Dreamers. Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, fresh off his humiliation in the ill-fated Schumer Shutdown, is now in the uncomfortable position of having to take “yes” for an answer on the Dreamers in return for agreeing to funding the Wall, ending chain migration, instituting a merit-based immigration system and ending the visa lottery system. The American public favors all of these positions.

Trump has artfully maneuvered the Democrats into either accepting what the public views as a perfectly reasonable compromise to the hitherto vexing immigration conundrum, or, with a refusal to compromise, exposing what many feel is the real Democratic aim on immigration: to simply maximize the importation of future low-income/Government-dependent Democratic voters by turning a blind eye to illegal immigration.

President Trump’s strategy has yet to bear fruit and there is no guarantee that it will. The Democrats’ stubbornness and willingness to avoid working with President Trump is incredibly deeply-ingrained, bolstered by their never-lessening resentment over his having beaten the anointed Hillary and their certainty that their liberal media allies — no,  accomplices — will sway public opinion in their favor regardless of the Democrats’ actions.

Piece 3—The FBI Memo

The Democrats’ ace-in-the-hole is, of course, the Russia investigation. If the investigation can somehow uncover some conclusive, destructive evidence of Trump Administration’s legal wrongdoing, then the Democrats will have succeeded in dissembling and delegitimizing the Trump presidency and, as a bonus, ruining the Republican brand for several voting cycles to come. By which time, of course, all those extra imported Democratic voters will be securely in place, ensuring comfortable Democratic national electoral victories in perpetuity.

The Democrats’ real fear about the FBI memo being released is that it will show the FBI to have acted in a corrupt, overtly-partisan manner that tried to influence the 2016 election in Hillary’s favor. If that is shown to be true, it removes the legal basis for the investigation of Trump in the first place, exposing the Democrats’ blatantly political motives for the entire matter. 

Without their “collusion” investigation, the Democrats are shorn of their ability to distract the public and thus it lays bare the fact that they are not cooperating with President Trump — purely for political reasons — on an immigration policy with which the public approves. Bolstered by the extremely strong public approval of his SOTU speech, President Trump’s DACA proposal is now much stronger than it would have been.

If the released FBI memo badly damages the Democrats’ anti-Trump activities, it sets in motion for them a nightmare domino scenario that will derail their efforts at unfairly manipulating public opinion and forces them to actually settle the immigration matter — something they are loath to do. Absent their treasure-trove of illegal-immigrants-turned-future-Democratic-voters, the election process will return to something of a level playing field, issues-oriented contest. A nightmare indeed for the Democrats.

It all fits together so neatly. The completed puzzle presents a crystal-clear picture: For the Democrats, it’s all about collecting votes by any means possible and gaining power. Maximizing illegal immigration increases the number of future Democratic voters. Ruining Trump’s image with a ginned-up investigation wrecks the Republican brand and increases the number of future Democratic voters.  A strong Trump SOTU address coupled with his sane DACA proposal and the danger posed by the release of the FBI memo does not add up to a pretty picture for the Democrats.

There are three issues swirling around in the news lately that may appear to be unrelated: the recently-delivered State of the Union (SOTU) address, the ongoing controversy over DACA immigrants, and the about-to-be-released FBI memo regarding the basis of the FISA warrants in the Russia collusion investigation. But they are not unrelated. Quite the contrary: they are all incredibly important pieces of the same puzzle. Let’s look at them individually and then put the pieces together into one big picture.

Piece 1 — The State of the Union Address

President Trump, by all accounts, delivered a very direct, surprisingly inclusive, clearly America-first State of the Union address last week. Polls indicate Republican and Independent approval of the speech in the 75-80% range and even Democratic voters gave him a mid-40% approval rating. On issue after issue, he pointed to clear evidence of the success of his policies and approaches, coupled with a clear vision for moving the country forward.

His harshest critics, the ones who will never concede to him even the smallest smidgeon of credit, the ones to whom he is an “embarrassment,” an “aberration,” had their minds made up about his SOTU speech before he uttered even a single word. Their take on his dynamic, inspiring performance was — sadly, predictably — “Well, he did a pretty good job of reading a speech that someone else wrote, but in my mind, he doesn’t deserve credit for that.”

As if every president doesn’t “read a speech that someone else wrote.” The president may or may not actually write a majority (or any!) of the speech itself, but regardless, the speech is directly, accurately reflective of the president’s policies, plans, and future strategies. The president edits, shapes, tweaks, and ultimately approves the speech. The SOTU speech is the president’s speech, regardless of the actual authorship.

The written/spoken line, “We’re going to keep Guantanamo Bay open” was as indisputably Trump’s as “I’m going to close Guantanamo Bay” was Obama’s. Regardless of who originally wrote it, those lines represent each president’s intended policy and they each deserve the credit or criticism as appropriate. That’s the way it is with the entire SOTU speech… and with every speech given by any president, for that matter.

However, much to his opponents’ unending irritation, President Trump has an unambiguous, clear, and yes, inspiring manner of expression. He is capable of reaching and convincing a significant portion of the undecided “casually-attentive” voting bloc. That talent was clearly on display this past January 30th. The sophisticated liberal sect and their liberal media allies would never succumb to such a simplistic, transparent presentation. Instead, they purport to see right through his rhetoric, as if it was nothing more than the intentionally-misleading, disingenuous pap of an old-time snake-oil huckster.

Unfortunately for the Democrats in Congress and CNN/MSNBC, President Trump pointed to much success for which he can justifiably take credit:

  • Extremely low unemployment, especially among Blacks and Hispanics
  • Dramatic stock market gains, to the direct tangible benefit of individual investors, pension participants and educational savings account owners
  • The decimation of ISIS as a direct result of new military Rules of Engagement instituted under Trump
  • The personal and corporate tax cuts, resulting in immediately greater individual disposable income and greatly increased corporate investment and expansion.

Piece 2—The DACA Compromise

President Trump is on the cusp of pulling off a political coup by giving into a key Democratic demand — the acceptance of DACA. Not just the 800k actual DACA persons themselves, but 1.8 million, which includes giving unequivocal amnesty to extended family members of the so-called Dreamers. Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, fresh off his humiliation in the ill-fated Schumer Shutdown, is now in the uncomfortable position of having to take “yes” for an answer on the Dreamers in return for agreeing to funding the Wall, ending chain migration, instituting a merit-based immigration system and ending the visa lottery system. The American public favors all of these positions.

Trump has artfully maneuvered the Democrats into either accepting what the public views as a perfectly reasonable compromise to the hitherto vexing immigration conundrum, or, with a refusal to compromise, exposing what many feel is the real Democratic aim on immigration: to simply maximize the importation of future low-income/Government-dependent Democratic voters by turning a blind eye to illegal immigration.

President Trump’s strategy has yet to bear fruit and there is no guarantee that it will. The Democrats’ stubbornness and willingness to avoid working with President Trump is incredibly deeply-ingrained, bolstered by their never-lessening resentment over his having beaten the anointed Hillary and their certainty that their liberal media allies — no,  accomplices — will sway public opinion in their favor regardless of the Democrats’ actions.

Piece 3—The FBI Memo

The Democrats’ ace-in-the-hole is, of course, the Russia investigation. If the investigation can somehow uncover some conclusive, destructive evidence of Trump Administration’s legal wrongdoing, then the Democrats will have succeeded in dissembling and delegitimizing the Trump presidency and, as a bonus, ruining the Republican brand for several voting cycles to come. By which time, of course, all those extra imported Democratic voters will be securely in place, ensuring comfortable Democratic national electoral victories in perpetuity.

The Democrats’ real fear about the FBI memo being released is that it will show the FBI to have acted in a corrupt, overtly-partisan manner that tried to influence the 2016 election in Hillary’s favor. If that is shown to be true, it removes the legal basis for the investigation of Trump in the first place, exposing the Democrats’ blatantly political motives for the entire matter. 

Without their “collusion” investigation, the Democrats are shorn of their ability to distract the public and thus it lays bare the fact that they are not cooperating with President Trump — purely for political reasons — on an immigration policy with which the public approves. Bolstered by the extremely strong public approval of his SOTU speech, President Trump’s DACA proposal is now much stronger than it would have been.

If the released FBI memo badly damages the Democrats’ anti-Trump activities, it sets in motion for them a nightmare domino scenario that will derail their efforts at unfairly manipulating public opinion and forces them to actually settle the immigration matter — something they are loath to do. Absent their treasure-trove of illegal-immigrants-turned-future-Democratic-voters, the election process will return to something of a level playing field, issues-oriented contest. A nightmare indeed for the Democrats.

It all fits together so neatly. The completed puzzle presents a crystal-clear picture: For the Democrats, it’s all about collecting votes by any means possible and gaining power. Maximizing illegal immigration increases the number of future Democratic voters. Ruining Trump’s image with a ginned-up investigation wrecks the Republican brand and increases the number of future Democratic voters.  A strong Trump SOTU address coupled with his sane DACA proposal and the danger posed by the release of the FBI memo does not add up to a pretty picture for the Democrats.



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If Democrats Take the House, They'll Impeach Trump


Historically, the first mid-erm elections in a new president’s first term result in major losses for the president’s party.  The most famous recent example was in 1994, following the 1992 election of Bill Clinton.  In spite of Clinton’s oratorical skill, favorable media coverage, and appealing looks and smooth demeanor, the 1994 midterms were a disaster for the Democrats.

Led by the “villainous, scary” Newt Gingrich, Republicans won 54 House seats.  In what came to be called the “Republican Revolution,” they wrested congressional control away from Democrats for the first time since 1952.  Once in control, Gingrich instituted his Contract with America programs, a series of congressional initiatives designed to implement what the Republicans felt was their electoral mandate from the populace.  The liberal media hated Gingrich and the Republicans and resented their victory tremendously, ceaselessly deriding the Republican-controlled efforts and referring to it as the “Contract on America.”

Similarly, during Ronald Reagan’s first term in 1982, his Republican Party lost 27 congressional seats, despite Reagan’s overwhelmingly lopsided presidential victory over the hapless Jimmy Carter just two short years prior.  It appears that even popular presidents coming off strong wins are susceptible to profound congressional losses in the first contest out of the gate.

The Republicans may well lose control of Congress in 2018 for the first time since 2006.  This is significant, because one of the things a congressional majority has the power to do is bring articles of impeachment against a sitting president.

In recent (post-World War II) history, this has been done only once, when the Republican House voted in 1998 to impeach President Clinton for lying under oath and obstruction of justice during the Monica Lewinsky matter.  It certainly would also have happened during the President Nixon-Watergate affair in 1974, but President Nixon resigned before any formal charges were brought.

The standard for Congress to level charges against a sitting president is a clear and willful commission on the president’s part of “high crimes and misdemeanors” against the country, such that the rule of law, national security, or the common good is grievously threatened.  It’s an inexact standard, to be sure, subject to the political whims and mood of the controlling congressional party.

To say Democrat politicians in D.C., Hillary’s 60-plus million voters, and the liberal mainstream media regard President Trump as an illegitimate president is an understatement.  They have been complaining and protesting his presence in the Oval Office since day one, starting with their invention of “Crowdgate,” where they purported to show how much bigger President Obama’s Inauguration Day attendance was than President Trump’s.  That day – day one of Trump’s presidency – gave birth to liberal “fake news” coverage of his tenure in office, as the liberal cable stations shamelessly and disingenuously compared early-morning photos of Trump’s crowd with peak afternoon pictures of Obama’s.

So it has continued, unabated, nonstop for over a year. Each roughly-worded Trump Tweet, every criticism by him or his staff of the liberal media, every non-sugar-coated statement to the press, every matter where he calls it as most people think it (but politicians would never actually say it) is trumpeted by his political and media adversaries as yet more proof of his unsuitability for the presidency.

“Had enough yet?  What more do you want?  See?  This is unbelievable, isn’t it?”

The lowest possible arbitrary, inexact standards of “high crimes and misdemeanors” to which the Democrat-controlled Congress can possibly stoop will undoubtedly be fulfilled early on in the new congressional year as the Democrats rush to satisfy their highest priority – removing President Trump – to the complete and total exclusion of anything else the country needs to be done.

One can only imagine the breathless, frantic, grandstanding speeches and floor declarations from the likes of Maxine Watters, John Lewis, Nancy Pelosi, Sheila Jackson Lee, Adam Schiff, and Elijah Cummings as they compete for national liberal media adulation with one overwrought, hyperbolic performance after another.

Their impeachment effort will not be successful.  Once the Democratic House passes the articles, the impeachment initiative goes to the Senate for trial, where a super-majority is required for a conviction leading to removal from office.  This is a high threshold for passage, as it should be.

In the face of actual “high crimes” – such as a president transferring military secrets to an adversary in exchange for personal financial gain – no doubt, that threshold would be met.  But President Trump’s “crimes” are stylistic, not legally substantive.  He does say things in a manner offensive to many and certainly well outside the bounds of historically normal presidential behavior.  Yet the Russian “collusion” issue – the only controversy with any legal overtones whatsoever – is vaporware.  There is no “there” there, not even with a fully armed battalion of partisan Democratic investigators looking under every pebble for well over a year.  In contrast, Hillary’s illicit email server containing unauthorized classified material was tangibly illegal, yet she was not charged or prosecuted.  In today’s political climate, the perception of criminal activity in D.C. is inextricably linked to party affiliation.

Trump’s supporters will point to his many actual policy successes, accomplished in only his first twelve months in office:

  • The appointment and confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
  • Punishing Syria for humanitarian crimes with a 59-cruise missile strike.
  • Withdrawing from the disadvantageous Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.
  • Withdrawing from the pointless, expensive, anti-American Paris climate accords.
  • Approving the Keystone pipeline.
  • Reducing and eliminating hundreds of Obama-era business regulations, leading to a surge in business sector confidence and hiring.
  • Over one million new jobs added since he took office.
  • U.S. unemployment at seventeen-year low due to an expanding economy.
  • Stock market at record highs, boosting individual retirement accounts and institutional pension solvency alike.
  • Black unemployment at a seventeen-year low due to an expanding economy.
  • Hispanic unemployment at an all-time low due to an expanding economy.
  • Food stamp usage at a seven-year low due to an expanding economy.
  • Passed sweeping tax reduction, leading to many companies raising wages, distributing bonuses, and making immediate plans for expansion and additional hiring
  • Opened previously restricted areas (like ANWR) to energy exploration

Trump’s opponents will argue that these are not pluses to be bragged about; rather, they’re examples of bad policy decisions that will have far-reaching negative consequences for the country.  That’s fair; disagreements over actions on major economic, foreign policy, and social issues are the lifeblood of a vibrant, working democracy.  In fact, the out-of-office party always says the opposing president’s decisions will permanently harm the country.  That’s as predictable as the sunrise.

However, there is a major difference – an order-of-magnitude difference – between vociferously opposing the president on policy grounds on one hand and fabricating nonexistent legal transgressions in order to justify the gratuitous political theater of groundless impeachment on the other.

If the “good of the country” is the Democrats’ goal, this won’t happen.  If it does, it will tell us all we need to know.

Historically, the first mid-erm elections in a new president’s first term result in major losses for the president’s party.  The most famous recent example was in 1994, following the 1992 election of Bill Clinton.  In spite of Clinton’s oratorical skill, favorable media coverage, and appealing looks and smooth demeanor, the 1994 midterms were a disaster for the Democrats.

Led by the “villainous, scary” Newt Gingrich, Republicans won 54 House seats.  In what came to be called the “Republican Revolution,” they wrested congressional control away from Democrats for the first time since 1952.  Once in control, Gingrich instituted his Contract with America programs, a series of congressional initiatives designed to implement what the Republicans felt was their electoral mandate from the populace.  The liberal media hated Gingrich and the Republicans and resented their victory tremendously, ceaselessly deriding the Republican-controlled efforts and referring to it as the “Contract on America.”

Similarly, during Ronald Reagan’s first term in 1982, his Republican Party lost 27 congressional seats, despite Reagan’s overwhelmingly lopsided presidential victory over the hapless Jimmy Carter just two short years prior.  It appears that even popular presidents coming off strong wins are susceptible to profound congressional losses in the first contest out of the gate.

The Republicans may well lose control of Congress in 2018 for the first time since 2006.  This is significant, because one of the things a congressional majority has the power to do is bring articles of impeachment against a sitting president.

In recent (post-World War II) history, this has been done only once, when the Republican House voted in 1998 to impeach President Clinton for lying under oath and obstruction of justice during the Monica Lewinsky matter.  It certainly would also have happened during the President Nixon-Watergate affair in 1974, but President Nixon resigned before any formal charges were brought.

The standard for Congress to level charges against a sitting president is a clear and willful commission on the president’s part of “high crimes and misdemeanors” against the country, such that the rule of law, national security, or the common good is grievously threatened.  It’s an inexact standard, to be sure, subject to the political whims and mood of the controlling congressional party.

To say Democrat politicians in D.C., Hillary’s 60-plus million voters, and the liberal mainstream media regard President Trump as an illegitimate president is an understatement.  They have been complaining and protesting his presence in the Oval Office since day one, starting with their invention of “Crowdgate,” where they purported to show how much bigger President Obama’s Inauguration Day attendance was than President Trump’s.  That day – day one of Trump’s presidency – gave birth to liberal “fake news” coverage of his tenure in office, as the liberal cable stations shamelessly and disingenuously compared early-morning photos of Trump’s crowd with peak afternoon pictures of Obama’s.

So it has continued, unabated, nonstop for over a year. Each roughly-worded Trump Tweet, every criticism by him or his staff of the liberal media, every non-sugar-coated statement to the press, every matter where he calls it as most people think it (but politicians would never actually say it) is trumpeted by his political and media adversaries as yet more proof of his unsuitability for the presidency.

“Had enough yet?  What more do you want?  See?  This is unbelievable, isn’t it?”

The lowest possible arbitrary, inexact standards of “high crimes and misdemeanors” to which the Democrat-controlled Congress can possibly stoop will undoubtedly be fulfilled early on in the new congressional year as the Democrats rush to satisfy their highest priority – removing President Trump – to the complete and total exclusion of anything else the country needs to be done.

One can only imagine the breathless, frantic, grandstanding speeches and floor declarations from the likes of Maxine Watters, John Lewis, Nancy Pelosi, Sheila Jackson Lee, Adam Schiff, and Elijah Cummings as they compete for national liberal media adulation with one overwrought, hyperbolic performance after another.

Their impeachment effort will not be successful.  Once the Democratic House passes the articles, the impeachment initiative goes to the Senate for trial, where a super-majority is required for a conviction leading to removal from office.  This is a high threshold for passage, as it should be.

In the face of actual “high crimes” – such as a president transferring military secrets to an adversary in exchange for personal financial gain – no doubt, that threshold would be met.  But President Trump’s “crimes” are stylistic, not legally substantive.  He does say things in a manner offensive to many and certainly well outside the bounds of historically normal presidential behavior.  Yet the Russian “collusion” issue – the only controversy with any legal overtones whatsoever – is vaporware.  There is no “there” there, not even with a fully armed battalion of partisan Democratic investigators looking under every pebble for well over a year.  In contrast, Hillary’s illicit email server containing unauthorized classified material was tangibly illegal, yet she was not charged or prosecuted.  In today’s political climate, the perception of criminal activity in D.C. is inextricably linked to party affiliation.

Trump’s supporters will point to his many actual policy successes, accomplished in only his first twelve months in office:

  • The appointment and confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
  • Punishing Syria for humanitarian crimes with a 59-cruise missile strike.
  • Withdrawing from the disadvantageous Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.
  • Withdrawing from the pointless, expensive, anti-American Paris climate accords.
  • Approving the Keystone pipeline.
  • Reducing and eliminating hundreds of Obama-era business regulations, leading to a surge in business sector confidence and hiring.
  • Over one million new jobs added since he took office.
  • U.S. unemployment at seventeen-year low due to an expanding economy.
  • Stock market at record highs, boosting individual retirement accounts and institutional pension solvency alike.
  • Black unemployment at a seventeen-year low due to an expanding economy.
  • Hispanic unemployment at an all-time low due to an expanding economy.
  • Food stamp usage at a seven-year low due to an expanding economy.
  • Passed sweeping tax reduction, leading to many companies raising wages, distributing bonuses, and making immediate plans for expansion and additional hiring
  • Opened previously restricted areas (like ANWR) to energy exploration

Trump’s opponents will argue that these are not pluses to be bragged about; rather, they’re examples of bad policy decisions that will have far-reaching negative consequences for the country.  That’s fair; disagreements over actions on major economic, foreign policy, and social issues are the lifeblood of a vibrant, working democracy.  In fact, the out-of-office party always says the opposing president’s decisions will permanently harm the country.  That’s as predictable as the sunrise.

However, there is a major difference – an order-of-magnitude difference – between vociferously opposing the president on policy grounds on one hand and fabricating nonexistent legal transgressions in order to justify the gratuitous political theater of groundless impeachment on the other.

If the “good of the country” is the Democrats’ goal, this won’t happen.  If it does, it will tell us all we need to know.



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Democrats Are All about Winning, Not Governing


It’s been said that we have two major governing parties in this country: the Democrats and the Republicans.  Each party has a different, broad-based approach to managing the country: the Democrats believe that government-created, taxpayer-funded programs – implemented from D.C. – are the best way to guide the country’s fortunes, while Republicans feel that market-based, individually oriented solutions work to the best advantage of the nation.

That’s a 30,000-ft generalized look at things, but it is widely accepted as true.

But it’s not true.  Just the opposite: It’s fundamentally false.  The Democrats are concerned primarily with winning political battles first and governing the country to the population’s benefit second.  A look at some of today’s higher-profile issues illustrates this quite clearly.  And this is not a peculiarity limited only to present-day circumstances.  The Democrats’ approach to both yesterday’s and tomorrow’s major issues are equally persuasive as to their “governing” priorities.

Today’s issues:

DACA and DREAMers – The Democrats pose as if this is the big humanitarian issue of our time.  “Through no fault of their own,” some 800,000 children were dragged across our border when their parents illegally immigrated to this country.  The DREAMers, as they’re so amusingly called, should not only be afforded amnesty and forgiveness according to the Democrats and allowed to stay in this country, but they should also be allowed to bring in their relatives as well (so-called chain migration).  But President Trump wants funding for his border wall, a central tenet of his campaign, as a condition to any compromise regarding the DREAMers.

The Democrats don’t really have humanitarian concerns, and thus they have no incentive or inclination to compromise.  Their primary motivations are growing their voting base with low-income government-dependent immigrants whose offspring will become automatic Democratic voters a few years from now and the desire to simply make President Trump look bad, as a typical “heartless, cold” Republican.  Anything that reduces illegal immigration (the wall) or lessens the future pool of Democratic voters (deporting the DREAMers or ending chain migration) will be opposed by the Democrats with a vengeance.  The “public good” has nothing to do with anything.  A political win for the Democrats is all that matters.

Tax Reform – The Democrats don’t care about the actual financial benefits that lower corporate taxes will deliver to the economy (such as greater investment by companies in plants and equipment, leading directly to increased employment), nor do they care about how much the average middle-class family will benefit from the extra hundreds of dollars of disposable income per month.  Democrats just want to further the cliché of rich Republicans getting huge undeserved tax breaks, while the average person suffers as a result.  Democrats simply want to sully the Republicans’ image in the eyes of the casually attentive voter.

Mueller and Collusion – The Democrats’ only goal here is to make Trump look bad, undermine his legitimacy as president, and keep his approval numbers low in advance of future elections.  The Democrats have no actual interest in the impact or influence foreign entities may have had on our voting process or on our electoral system.  If they did, they would be just as interested in the fact that Hillary Clinton maintained an illicit email server that contained unauthorized classified information and was hacked by Russians.  That is the very definition of reckless, illegal behavior by a candidate undermining the integrity of our election process.

But the Democrats aren’t interested in the “integrity of our election process.”  They’re interested in a political win, not in serving the public good.

Government Shutdown – This is merely an opportunity for Democrats to make Republicans look bad, knowing that the liberal media will always cast any ‘shutdown’ as being completely the fault of Republicans, regardless of the actual circumstances.  Although both sides are well aware that essential funding continues even during a so-called “shutdown,” Democrats will be quick to exploit an ignorant public with heart-wrenching advertisements of 90-year-old veterans on their once-in-a-lifetime trip to D.C. being turned away from the WWII Memorial or a small-town Boy Scout troop being unable to enter a national park.  All of this is intentionally orchestrated by Democrats, all to make Republicans look bad.  The “win” is all-important, after all, not the facts.

Those are just today’s high-profile topics.  One of yesterday’s was Hurricane Katrina.  The Democrats and the liberal media pounded President Bush incessantly for being insensitive to the plight of minorities for his supposed slow response to the crisis.  The Democrats’ primary concern was winning the battle of public perception by making a Republican look bad.  They were successful.  They “won.”  President Bush’s presidency took a hit from which it never recovered, becoming yet another reason why a Republican presidential win in 2008 was so unlikely, regardless of who the Democratic candidate was.

Tomorrow’s big issues may concern, for example, North Korea or Iran.  Democrats will undoubtedly use those circumstances to pile on with very public criticism of President Trump’s handling of the situation.  Far from the old dictum of “politics stops at the water’s edge,” the Democrats will be more concerned with twisting a confrontation with North Korea or Iran into political advantage for themselves than they will be in helping forge a favorable bipartisan outcome for the good of our country.

To be perfectly honest, the Republicans are far from lily-white (am I allowed to use that term anymore?) when it comes to maneuvering the political chess pieces to their advantage.

The Democrats are first and foremost about winning.  For them, governing comes in second – and too often, it’s a distant second.

It’s been said that we have two major governing parties in this country: the Democrats and the Republicans.  Each party has a different, broad-based approach to managing the country: the Democrats believe that government-created, taxpayer-funded programs – implemented from D.C. – are the best way to guide the country’s fortunes, while Republicans feel that market-based, individually oriented solutions work to the best advantage of the nation.

That’s a 30,000-ft generalized look at things, but it is widely accepted as true.

But it’s not true.  Just the opposite: It’s fundamentally false.  The Democrats are concerned primarily with winning political battles first and governing the country to the population’s benefit second.  A look at some of today’s higher-profile issues illustrates this quite clearly.  And this is not a peculiarity limited only to present-day circumstances.  The Democrats’ approach to both yesterday’s and tomorrow’s major issues are equally persuasive as to their “governing” priorities.

Today’s issues:

DACA and DREAMers – The Democrats pose as if this is the big humanitarian issue of our time.  “Through no fault of their own,” some 800,000 children were dragged across our border when their parents illegally immigrated to this country.  The DREAMers, as they’re so amusingly called, should not only be afforded amnesty and forgiveness according to the Democrats and allowed to stay in this country, but they should also be allowed to bring in their relatives as well (so-called chain migration).  But President Trump wants funding for his border wall, a central tenet of his campaign, as a condition to any compromise regarding the DREAMers.

The Democrats don’t really have humanitarian concerns, and thus they have no incentive or inclination to compromise.  Their primary motivations are growing their voting base with low-income government-dependent immigrants whose offspring will become automatic Democratic voters a few years from now and the desire to simply make President Trump look bad, as a typical “heartless, cold” Republican.  Anything that reduces illegal immigration (the wall) or lessens the future pool of Democratic voters (deporting the DREAMers or ending chain migration) will be opposed by the Democrats with a vengeance.  The “public good” has nothing to do with anything.  A political win for the Democrats is all that matters.

Tax Reform – The Democrats don’t care about the actual financial benefits that lower corporate taxes will deliver to the economy (such as greater investment by companies in plants and equipment, leading directly to increased employment), nor do they care about how much the average middle-class family will benefit from the extra hundreds of dollars of disposable income per month.  Democrats just want to further the cliché of rich Republicans getting huge undeserved tax breaks, while the average person suffers as a result.  Democrats simply want to sully the Republicans’ image in the eyes of the casually attentive voter.

Mueller and Collusion – The Democrats’ only goal here is to make Trump look bad, undermine his legitimacy as president, and keep his approval numbers low in advance of future elections.  The Democrats have no actual interest in the impact or influence foreign entities may have had on our voting process or on our electoral system.  If they did, they would be just as interested in the fact that Hillary Clinton maintained an illicit email server that contained unauthorized classified information and was hacked by Russians.  That is the very definition of reckless, illegal behavior by a candidate undermining the integrity of our election process.

But the Democrats aren’t interested in the “integrity of our election process.”  They’re interested in a political win, not in serving the public good.

Government Shutdown – This is merely an opportunity for Democrats to make Republicans look bad, knowing that the liberal media will always cast any ‘shutdown’ as being completely the fault of Republicans, regardless of the actual circumstances.  Although both sides are well aware that essential funding continues even during a so-called “shutdown,” Democrats will be quick to exploit an ignorant public with heart-wrenching advertisements of 90-year-old veterans on their once-in-a-lifetime trip to D.C. being turned away from the WWII Memorial or a small-town Boy Scout troop being unable to enter a national park.  All of this is intentionally orchestrated by Democrats, all to make Republicans look bad.  The “win” is all-important, after all, not the facts.

Those are just today’s high-profile topics.  One of yesterday’s was Hurricane Katrina.  The Democrats and the liberal media pounded President Bush incessantly for being insensitive to the plight of minorities for his supposed slow response to the crisis.  The Democrats’ primary concern was winning the battle of public perception by making a Republican look bad.  They were successful.  They “won.”  President Bush’s presidency took a hit from which it never recovered, becoming yet another reason why a Republican presidential win in 2008 was so unlikely, regardless of who the Democratic candidate was.

Tomorrow’s big issues may concern, for example, North Korea or Iran.  Democrats will undoubtedly use those circumstances to pile on with very public criticism of President Trump’s handling of the situation.  Far from the old dictum of “politics stops at the water’s edge,” the Democrats will be more concerned with twisting a confrontation with North Korea or Iran into political advantage for themselves than they will be in helping forge a favorable bipartisan outcome for the good of our country.

To be perfectly honest, the Republicans are far from lily-white (am I allowed to use that term anymore?) when it comes to maneuvering the political chess pieces to their advantage.

The Democrats are first and foremost about winning.  For them, governing comes in second – and too often, it’s a distant second.



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The Good News and the Bad News


There are lots of important stories in the news every day, but the truly fascinating thing is way that they’re covered and the positive/negative spin that’s assigned to the major political groups.

Economic news is certainly a significant political football. The party out of power generally hates it when things are going well in the economy. If the economy is good, there is a far greater likelihood that people have a job and are providing for their family or themselves. Pocketbook issues are by far the most important to the average voter; everything besides a job is merely a theoretical intellectual indulgence. If you’re paying your rent, buying clothes and food, making car payments, sending the kids to college and perhaps even saving a little for retirement, then all is right with the world. Only when those boxes are checked do people enjoy the luxury of worrying about things like global warming, gay/trans rights, Supreme Court rulings and whether or not we use military force to settle a conflict in some overseas backwater.

Economic activity — whether it’s consumer spending by individuals or investment/capital outlays by major corporations — depends in large part on their perceptions and expectations of current and future economic conditions. If entities have reason to believe that economic conditions are solid and stable (and likely to stay good for the foreseeable future), then they spend and invest with confidence. Retail activity is high. Investment in equipment and systems increases. Home and car buying is strong. Factories are busy. Employment is high. It’s a matter of perception and expectations.

Given the political importance of the economy, it’s little wonder that political combatants have such a strong vested interest in portraying the economy — good or bad — to their electoral benefit. All the participants play their role: the politicians themselves will criticize or praise cherry-picked aspects of the economy to their liking. Their media allies will support or oppose those positions as expected. Christmas sales, in particular, always seem to be caught in the partisan firestorm of media reporting. Strong or weak holiday sales are either trumpeted or ignored by the media depending on the party affiliation of the president.

This brings us to a major aspect of today’s economy and how the media and competing politicians react to it: the stock market.

Competing political interests — which includes the media — will either extol or berate the markets’ performance, depending on how it serves their political purposes. When the markets weaken, the out-of-power party is very quick to point out the loss of wealth in the average person’s retirement account or the potential default on a lifelong city worker’s pension and claim that the party holding office doesn’t care about the “little guy.” When the markets are strong, to the political benefit of the party in power, the opposition tends to either dismiss it as a fluke or, more often, they don’t talk about it at all.

Such is certainly the case now. It’s quite normal and expected that Democratic politicians don’t talk about the stock markets’ excellent performance, since that would redound to the Republicans’ benefit. But the mainstream liberal media are irresponsibly silent on the matter, since the economy — which includes the markets — is a topic that occupies the most important spot in the minds of the average voter. “Irresponsibly” silent, but not “unintentionally” silent. The liberal media’s silence on the stock market is very intentional.  

In January 2012 the DJIA was 12,720 and the S&P500 (a broader index of the entire market) was 1315. When Donald Trump took office in January 2017, those figures were 19,827 and 2271 respectively. Today (Dec 4, 2017), they are 24,290 and 2639, an average increase of 92% since January 2012. Granted, no president is totally responsible for the performance of the market or the economy as a whole, but the market does take its cues from the president’s policies and approach. The business community — including the market — loves certainty and low costs of doing business. When an administration throws unpredictable, inexplicable, politically-motivated regulations and higher taxes in the path of companies, those companies hunker down and play things close to the vest, frightened and unsure of what’s coming next. Hiring and capital investment slows to the bare minimum. This administration, in contrast, has earned the confidence of the business community by rolling back punitive regulations and lowering taxes in a common-sense fashion and it shows in the markets’ performance and the GDP’s growth (finally, consistently above 3%, something that eluded the anti-business Obama administration).

The current market is definitely gratifying and reassuring to 46-year-old Joe Average who has a retirement 401k with his employer of 17 years. It’s also a brow-wiping “Whew!” to institutional investors whose job it is to keep millions of dollars’ worth of State and Municipal pension funds stable and solvent. This market performance is flat-out good news to anyone who has any financial involvement at all in the markets — which is virtually everyone who has investments or a retirement plan of any kind.

Yet the major liberal media virtually ignore this aspect of the economy (along with the closely-related aspects of strong job creation and low unemployment), simply and transparently because it benefits the Republicans. When the market pendulum swings the other way — and it will, without question — all of a sudden, the markets’ negative performance under a supposed business expert Republican president will be front and center in their news reporting. Right now, the economy — the most important issue to virtually every voter, without a doubt — is doing well, so Democrats and their allies don’t want to touch it. Better for them to obsess over “collusion” or the First Lady’s heels or trying to blame every shooting in America on Republicans.

It’s a nice racket the liberal media have carved out for themselves: Cover only good news for Democrats and only bad news for Republicans.

There are lots of important stories in the news every day, but the truly fascinating thing is way that they’re covered and the positive/negative spin that’s assigned to the major political groups.

Economic news is certainly a significant political football. The party out of power generally hates it when things are going well in the economy. If the economy is good, there is a far greater likelihood that people have a job and are providing for their family or themselves. Pocketbook issues are by far the most important to the average voter; everything besides a job is merely a theoretical intellectual indulgence. If you’re paying your rent, buying clothes and food, making car payments, sending the kids to college and perhaps even saving a little for retirement, then all is right with the world. Only when those boxes are checked do people enjoy the luxury of worrying about things like global warming, gay/trans rights, Supreme Court rulings and whether or not we use military force to settle a conflict in some overseas backwater.

Economic activity — whether it’s consumer spending by individuals or investment/capital outlays by major corporations — depends in large part on their perceptions and expectations of current and future economic conditions. If entities have reason to believe that economic conditions are solid and stable (and likely to stay good for the foreseeable future), then they spend and invest with confidence. Retail activity is high. Investment in equipment and systems increases. Home and car buying is strong. Factories are busy. Employment is high. It’s a matter of perception and expectations.

Given the political importance of the economy, it’s little wonder that political combatants have such a strong vested interest in portraying the economy — good or bad — to their electoral benefit. All the participants play their role: the politicians themselves will criticize or praise cherry-picked aspects of the economy to their liking. Their media allies will support or oppose those positions as expected. Christmas sales, in particular, always seem to be caught in the partisan firestorm of media reporting. Strong or weak holiday sales are either trumpeted or ignored by the media depending on the party affiliation of the president.

This brings us to a major aspect of today’s economy and how the media and competing politicians react to it: the stock market.

Competing political interests — which includes the media — will either extol or berate the markets’ performance, depending on how it serves their political purposes. When the markets weaken, the out-of-power party is very quick to point out the loss of wealth in the average person’s retirement account or the potential default on a lifelong city worker’s pension and claim that the party holding office doesn’t care about the “little guy.” When the markets are strong, to the political benefit of the party in power, the opposition tends to either dismiss it as a fluke or, more often, they don’t talk about it at all.

Such is certainly the case now. It’s quite normal and expected that Democratic politicians don’t talk about the stock markets’ excellent performance, since that would redound to the Republicans’ benefit. But the mainstream liberal media are irresponsibly silent on the matter, since the economy — which includes the markets — is a topic that occupies the most important spot in the minds of the average voter. “Irresponsibly” silent, but not “unintentionally” silent. The liberal media’s silence on the stock market is very intentional.  

In January 2012 the DJIA was 12,720 and the S&P500 (a broader index of the entire market) was 1315. When Donald Trump took office in January 2017, those figures were 19,827 and 2271 respectively. Today (Dec 4, 2017), they are 24,290 and 2639, an average increase of 92% since January 2012. Granted, no president is totally responsible for the performance of the market or the economy as a whole, but the market does take its cues from the president’s policies and approach. The business community — including the market — loves certainty and low costs of doing business. When an administration throws unpredictable, inexplicable, politically-motivated regulations and higher taxes in the path of companies, those companies hunker down and play things close to the vest, frightened and unsure of what’s coming next. Hiring and capital investment slows to the bare minimum. This administration, in contrast, has earned the confidence of the business community by rolling back punitive regulations and lowering taxes in a common-sense fashion and it shows in the markets’ performance and the GDP’s growth (finally, consistently above 3%, something that eluded the anti-business Obama administration).

The current market is definitely gratifying and reassuring to 46-year-old Joe Average who has a retirement 401k with his employer of 17 years. It’s also a brow-wiping “Whew!” to institutional investors whose job it is to keep millions of dollars’ worth of State and Municipal pension funds stable and solvent. This market performance is flat-out good news to anyone who has any financial involvement at all in the markets — which is virtually everyone who has investments or a retirement plan of any kind.

Yet the major liberal media virtually ignore this aspect of the economy (along with the closely-related aspects of strong job creation and low unemployment), simply and transparently because it benefits the Republicans. When the market pendulum swings the other way — and it will, without question — all of a sudden, the markets’ negative performance under a supposed business expert Republican president will be front and center in their news reporting. Right now, the economy — the most important issue to virtually every voter, without a doubt — is doing well, so Democrats and their allies don’t want to touch it. Better for them to obsess over “collusion” or the First Lady’s heels or trying to blame every shooting in America on Republicans.

It’s a nice racket the liberal media have carved out for themselves: Cover only good news for Democrats and only bad news for Republicans.



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Donald Trump's Crimes


President Trump is indisputably guilty of many crimes against the societal and political norms of this country. These crimes are profound and grievous, and they shake the very foundations upon which acceptable presidential behaviour has always been based. His actions and demeanour are so abhorrent and antithetical to the fundamental progressive doctrine espoused by the Democratic Party and their supporting liberal media that his very presence in the Oval Office is regarded by them as not merely an interim occupational tenure by the opposing party, but as proof of a moment of temporary national insanity from which we may never recover. A closer look at the worst examples of Trump’s criminality will be instructive for what the country should be on guard for, should we want to avoid such behaviour in the future.

Accusation: Denying a Female Access to the Highest Office

Verdict: Guilty

President Trump didn’t get the memo that 2016 was the Year of the First Female President. In a time period where same-sex/transgender rights, glass ceilings, Title IX and the well-publicized/amply documented Republican “War on Women” dominate the gender cultural landscape, Donald Trump had the temerity, the unmitigated gall, to disregard all those signs and campaign as if gender didn’t matter. He campaigned on what he’d do for the country and why America — and American workers — would benefit from a Trump presidency.

During the campaign, he took full advantage of what he saw as Clinton’s lack of qualifications. He chided her about her lack of private sector business experience and was quick to hold her accountable for the Obama administration’s foreign policy shortcomings during her tenure as Secretary of State. But when he came up with the label “Crooked Hillary” as the Clinton Foundation’s highly-questionable financial dealings came to light, that really stung the sensibilities of her supporters.

Candidate Trump ignored the directive that in 2016, America will elect its first woman president. Guilty as charged.

Accusation: Recognizing the Average American’s Desire for Strong Borders and Strict Immigration Policy

Verdict: Guilty

Trump tapped into a strong national craving for a return to immigration fairness and verifiable national sovereignty. Americans are the world’s most generous and compassionate people. The degree to which we help others — whether it’s an international disaster or local charity — is well-documented. Our innate sense of altruism and human kindness is unprecedented. We fight wars to help others gain freedom without taking territory or materials in return. But Trump also recognized that Americans were tired of being taken unfair advantage of, especially with regard to illegal immigration. The financial and social stress placed on average law-abiding citizens to provide monetary benefits, educational opportunities and social privileges to people who broke our laws and came into the country illegally was simply wrong. Americans are eager to help the legitimately needy or those caught in dire circumstances not of their making. But Americans resent being played for fools.

The Big, Beautiful Trump Wall — whether one looks at it metaphorically or literally — was a recognition on his part of the concerns of the average citizen for their government to put the American citizens’ needs and concerns above those who break our laws and violate our sovereignty.

Accusation: Using the Military to Further America’s National Interests

Verdict: Guilty

Unlike the weak-willed Obama administration that drew lines in the sand which were then washed away by the shifting winds of liberal political expediency, Trump strongly punished the Assad regime in Syria with a blunt, untelegraphed cruise missile attack in retaliation for Assad’s repeated crimes against his own people, while simultaneously putting the world on notice that under a Trump administration, America will act forcefully and swiftly — without warning — to protect its vital interests. In a further show of our new-found military/national will, we have flown numerous B-1 Lancer supersonic bomber sorties over South Korea, and have an unprecedented three naval aircraft carrier groups off the Korean coast, demonstrating American military strength and national resolve in service to a critically-important foreign policy objective in a manner unheard of during the Obama years. Indeed, in the eyes of many, it was eight years of weak, inattentive behaviour by President Obama that is a root cause of the ever-worsening North Korean nuclear situation.

Additional Crimes

There are certainly other strong examples of President Trump’s transgressions:

  • Being in favor of American fossil fuel development and reinstating the Keystone Pipeline
  • His desire to lower taxes on both individuals and businesses (doesn’t he understand that the successful are supposed to be “punished” with high taxes and their ill-gotten wealth should be redistributed to the favored Democratic victim group-du-jour?)
  • The elimination of many anti-business nanny-state regulations that were intended by Obama to buy the voting affections of various Green and “Social Justice” lobbying groups
  • And of course, Trump’s shamefully disrespectful, “unpresidential” treatment of the liberal mainstream media, as I’d previous outlined.

These multiple examples of guilty behaviour are prime reasons that President Trump is spurned with such disdain in the rarefied, haute social orbits of the progressive intelligentsia. As horrifying and unfathomable as it is to the hard-core progressive faction, it was exactly such actions and proclamations by candidate Trump that won over the votes of previous Obama supporters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Florida and gave Trump his commanding, decisive 306-232 electoral-vote triumph. If the radical-left wing of the Democratic Party — whose thoughts and policies unquestionably represent the mainstream positions of their party these days, make no mistake — think that the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Bernie Sanders, or former First Lady Michelle Obama are going to woo those decisive voters back into the touchy-feely, anti-business, globalist clutches of the Democratic Party in 2020, they may be in for a very rude awakening indeed.

Sometimes, crime pays.

President Trump is indisputably guilty of many crimes against the societal and political norms of this country. These crimes are profound and grievous, and they shake the very foundations upon which acceptable presidential behaviour has always been based. His actions and demeanour are so abhorrent and antithetical to the fundamental progressive doctrine espoused by the Democratic Party and their supporting liberal media that his very presence in the Oval Office is regarded by them as not merely an interim occupational tenure by the opposing party, but as proof of a moment of temporary national insanity from which we may never recover. A closer look at the worst examples of Trump’s criminality will be instructive for what the country should be on guard for, should we want to avoid such behaviour in the future.

Accusation: Denying a Female Access to the Highest Office

Verdict: Guilty

President Trump didn’t get the memo that 2016 was the Year of the First Female President. In a time period where same-sex/transgender rights, glass ceilings, Title IX and the well-publicized/amply documented Republican “War on Women” dominate the gender cultural landscape, Donald Trump had the temerity, the unmitigated gall, to disregard all those signs and campaign as if gender didn’t matter. He campaigned on what he’d do for the country and why America — and American workers — would benefit from a Trump presidency.

During the campaign, he took full advantage of what he saw as Clinton’s lack of qualifications. He chided her about her lack of private sector business experience and was quick to hold her accountable for the Obama administration’s foreign policy shortcomings during her tenure as Secretary of State. But when he came up with the label “Crooked Hillary” as the Clinton Foundation’s highly-questionable financial dealings came to light, that really stung the sensibilities of her supporters.

Candidate Trump ignored the directive that in 2016, America will elect its first woman president. Guilty as charged.

Accusation: Recognizing the Average American’s Desire for Strong Borders and Strict Immigration Policy

Verdict: Guilty

Trump tapped into a strong national craving for a return to immigration fairness and verifiable national sovereignty. Americans are the world’s most generous and compassionate people. The degree to which we help others — whether it’s an international disaster or local charity — is well-documented. Our innate sense of altruism and human kindness is unprecedented. We fight wars to help others gain freedom without taking territory or materials in return. But Trump also recognized that Americans were tired of being taken unfair advantage of, especially with regard to illegal immigration. The financial and social stress placed on average law-abiding citizens to provide monetary benefits, educational opportunities and social privileges to people who broke our laws and came into the country illegally was simply wrong. Americans are eager to help the legitimately needy or those caught in dire circumstances not of their making. But Americans resent being played for fools.

The Big, Beautiful Trump Wall — whether one looks at it metaphorically or literally — was a recognition on his part of the concerns of the average citizen for their government to put the American citizens’ needs and concerns above those who break our laws and violate our sovereignty.

Accusation: Using the Military to Further America’s National Interests

Verdict: Guilty

Unlike the weak-willed Obama administration that drew lines in the sand which were then washed away by the shifting winds of liberal political expediency, Trump strongly punished the Assad regime in Syria with a blunt, untelegraphed cruise missile attack in retaliation for Assad’s repeated crimes against his own people, while simultaneously putting the world on notice that under a Trump administration, America will act forcefully and swiftly — without warning — to protect its vital interests. In a further show of our new-found military/national will, we have flown numerous B-1 Lancer supersonic bomber sorties over South Korea, and have an unprecedented three naval aircraft carrier groups off the Korean coast, demonstrating American military strength and national resolve in service to a critically-important foreign policy objective in a manner unheard of during the Obama years. Indeed, in the eyes of many, it was eight years of weak, inattentive behaviour by President Obama that is a root cause of the ever-worsening North Korean nuclear situation.

Additional Crimes

There are certainly other strong examples of President Trump’s transgressions:

  • Being in favor of American fossil fuel development and reinstating the Keystone Pipeline
  • His desire to lower taxes on both individuals and businesses (doesn’t he understand that the successful are supposed to be “punished” with high taxes and their ill-gotten wealth should be redistributed to the favored Democratic victim group-du-jour?)
  • The elimination of many anti-business nanny-state regulations that were intended by Obama to buy the voting affections of various Green and “Social Justice” lobbying groups
  • And of course, Trump’s shamefully disrespectful, “unpresidential” treatment of the liberal mainstream media, as I’d previous outlined.

These multiple examples of guilty behaviour are prime reasons that President Trump is spurned with such disdain in the rarefied, haute social orbits of the progressive intelligentsia. As horrifying and unfathomable as it is to the hard-core progressive faction, it was exactly such actions and proclamations by candidate Trump that won over the votes of previous Obama supporters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Florida and gave Trump his commanding, decisive 306-232 electoral-vote triumph. If the radical-left wing of the Democratic Party — whose thoughts and policies unquestionably represent the mainstream positions of their party these days, make no mistake — think that the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Bernie Sanders, or former First Lady Michelle Obama are going to woo those decisive voters back into the touchy-feely, anti-business, globalist clutches of the Democratic Party in 2020, they may be in for a very rude awakening indeed.

Sometimes, crime pays.



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