38 thoughts on “News/Politics 1-10-17

  1. Some good news….

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/09/donald-trump-plans-will-double-gdp-growth-by-2018-deutsche-bank-says.html

    “President-elect Donald Trump’s policies have the potential to trigger a new age in U.S. economic growth that could serve as a global template, according to a Deutsche Bank forecast.

    Gross domestic product growth would be double its current level under an agenda that cuts regulations across a broad swath of critical sectors, enacts tax reform that slashes personal and corporate taxes, and calls for at least $1 trillion in improvements for bridges, roads and other public projects.

    “This policy mix has the potential of reigniting productivity growth and raising U.S. growth potential,” David Folkerts-Landau, chief economist at Deutsche Bank, said in a report for clients. “While Trump introduces higher uncertainty, this is better than the near certainty of the continuation of a mediocre status quo.”

    The impact may not be felt immediately, but once the new agenda kicks in it will serve as a “game changer for the U.S. economy,” Folkerts-Landau added.

    In raw numbers, that would push 2017 growth to 2.4 percent and 2018 up to 3.6 percent. By way of comparison, the economy has grown an average of about 1.6 percent a year under President Barack Obama, the worst recovery since the Great Depression. Obama is the first president since Herbert Hoover not to see at least 3 percent growth for a calendar year.”

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  2. This one isn’t really good news, a president who oversteps his power is never good, but you can thank Dems and Obama. They built this. But something tells me they won’t like being on the receiving end of it, so there’ll be more whining to come.

    So Nick Gillespie points out they have no one to blame but themselves.

    “Thanks, Liberals! You Applauded Obama’s Imperial Presidency, and Now We’ve Got Trump Rex”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/09/thanks-liberals-you-applauded-obama-s-imperial-presidency-and-now-we-ve-got-trump-rex.html

    “On Jan. 20, Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Along with the nation’s nuclear codes, he will be gifted presidential powers that have been vastly increased by Barack Obama.

    Thanks a lot, liberals. It’s all well and good that Joe Biden is now lecturing us that “the worst sin of all is the abuse of power,” but where the hell was he—and where were you—for the past eight years, when the president was starting wars without Congressional authorization, passing major legislation with zero votes from the opposing party, and ruling almost exclusively through executive orders and actions?

    Mostly exhorting Obama to act “unilaterally” and “without Congress” on terrorism, immigration, guns, and whatever because you couldn’t dream of a day when an unrestrained billionaire reality-TV celebrity would wield those same powers toward very different ends. Hell, in the early months of Obama’s presidency, The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman held up China’s “one-party autocracy” as the model to emulate.

    There’s an old libertarian saw that holds “any government powerful enough to give you everything is also powerful enough to take everything away.” The same is even more true for the president, the single most-powerful actor in the government. Faced with recalcitrant Republicans and flagging public support, champions of Obama’s policy agenda voiced few qualms about a power grab that created an imperial presidency on steroids. “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation,” Obama crowed in 2014, proclaiming a “year of action.” “I’ve got a pen… and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions.”

    Consider his willingness to wage war. As The Cato Institute’s Gene Healy writes in the latest issue of Reason, Obama didn’t just commit the U.S. military to action in Libya without any sort of Congressional authorization, he did so after campaigning on the statement that “the president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” But when it came time under the War Powers Act to either seek retroactive buy-in from Congress or pull out, Obama simply asked around the executive branch until he found a State Department lawyer who, unlike his attorney general and others, said dropping bombs on Libya didn’t require authorization.

    If and when Donald Trump makes good on his promise to “bomb the %#@$ out” of ISIS—and god knows who else—without even getting token approval from Congress, we’ll know where he got the idea. Ditto for “secret kill lists” and drone strikes in countries with whom we’re not at war.

    And still, Obama has the temerity to counsel the president-elect not to overdo it with executive orders and actions, telling NPR recently that “going through the legislative process is always better in part because it’s harder to undo.” Unless, of course, actually working to build consensus keeps you from getting what you want. In fact, it is vastly easier to undo unilateral action, as Obama himself could tell you. His executive expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shielded the deportation of about 3.6 million young illegal immigrants, ended up in court, where it lost. His abuse of “recess appointments,” which can only be made when Congress is out of session, also ended up in court, with the Supremes ruling 9-0 against three appointments he made to the National Labor Relations Board.

    Live by the pen, die by the pen.”

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  3. The hypocrisy is strong with this one…

    Six of the ten Dems on the committee who will be voting against school choice, send their families to private schools.

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/08/senate-dems-opposing-trumps-ed-sec-nom-attended-private-schools/

    “Six of the 10 Senate Democrats on the committee that will consider confirming Betsy DeVos — President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education — attended private or parochial schools, or have children and grandchildren attending, according to information obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.

    That inconvenient fact complicates the prospects for the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which have vowed to defeat DeVos, a long-time school choice advocate from Michigan.

    DeVos was the architect of Detroit’s school charter system and formerly led the Alliance for School Choice advocacy group. She headed the American Federation for Children — which backs school choice for poor and underprivileged families — when Trump nominated her.

    Trump called school choice “the civil rights issue of our time,” especially for African Americans, during the 2016 presidential campaign.”

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  4. Some of you may like Mollie Hemingway’s critique of Streep’s speech.

    https://thefederalist.com/2017/01/09/5-reasons-meryl-streeps-golden-globes-speech-dud/

    I was most interested in her third point. I am now coming around to the idea that Trump was not making fun of that particular reporter’s disability. The truth (as it often is with Trump) is much funnier. It seems that whenever Trump wants to mock/imitate someone, he acts like a disabled/retarded person. He did it to that reporter, but he also did it to Ted Cruz and some general. It may have been an unfortunate coincidence that the first person Trump publicly mocked by acting disabled/retarded was actually a disabled person.

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  5. AJ, They are clueless. They don’t realize their own hypocrisy.

    1. My ultra liberal friend who wears mink, buys only free trade coffee, and blood free diamonds.
    a. If you care so much then sell your minks (multiple, I have seen 6 hanging in her closet) and buy winter coats for those in need.
    b. Poor people are just glad to get the on sale $5, store brand coffee at Walgreens.
    c. Some people can’t afford diamonds and if they do scrape together enough to buy an engagement ring I doubt they are willing to pay extra for blood free. (I have told her I inherited my diamonds and they are so old I have no idea if they are blood free or not.

    2. The other night –BEFORE I gave up on Facebook- there was a discussion on a F’Hope locals page about the FREE 30 minutes of WiFi the City was providing downtown. The company who was providing it didn’t get their contract renewed and the City is looking for a better, less expensive alternative. I have always thought it a nuisance because it takes over the WiFi on my phone and wants me to create an account and login. One woman –a carpet bagger– carried on and on about the convenience of having it on her phone when she was in restaurants downtown. She whined about the POOR children who had to use that 30 minutes of FREE WiFi to do their homework. My argument is that if you live within the WiFi zone in town you can afford to pay for your own WiFi. Living within Downtown is EXPENSIVE.
    Another woman commented that she was less worried about the city providing free WiFi than she was about the overcrowding in our schools. The next part of this story is PRICELESS!!!
    Whining Woman comments back that HER children went to private school!!!!!!!! and as a parent you had to make sacrifices for what was best for your children!!!!! SERIOUSLY she is complaining about losing 30 minutes of free WiFi when she goes down town but she put her children through private school???? How does this make any sense at all. To me it sounds rather condescending.
    (BTW the City is working on getting the service back up and running but it will be owned by the city not leased from another source)

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  6. Michelle, you seriously can’t make this stuff up! So sad. Again the condescension of those who think they know best and will use any means to do it.

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  7. I guess Volkswagen is taking a wait and see approach regarding their plans to expand in Mexico. They have a plant here in Chattanooga, and there is really no reason they shouldn’t expand in the US. I guess they’re going to need more of a stick to get them off the fence. So be it.

    The automaker is ramping up production of its Tiguan SUV in Mexico, a decision the company made two years ago. This year, it plans to make 130,000 new SUVs out of its Puebla facility in Mexico.

    Last week, Trump threatened to slap a “big border tax” on Toyota and GM for producing cars in Mexico and selling them in America. He also applauded Ford for canceling plans for a new plant in Mexico and instead invest and hire in after Trump had lambasted Ford during his campaign.

    Volkswagen leaders in Mexico aren’t blinking yet.

    “We have to wait and see,” says Thomas Karig, VW’s director of corporate relations. “When we have more precise proposals on the table [from Trump], then we can talk about the impact.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/10/investing/mexico-volkswagen-trump/

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  8. Volkswagen, like most car companies, makes cars in many parts of the world and sells them all over the world. The parts and raw materials in the cars come from all over the world.

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  9. They’re welcome to make and sell them anywhere they wish. If they want to sell those models in the US at competitive prices, they should make them here. Ford does. Toyota does. And Volkswagen does too with some of its models, so we know they can. (Of course, we also know that Volkswagen likes to skirt the law in anti-pollution requirements, so that may be one reason they want to expand to a locality that will wink at it.)

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  10. I think VW will be under great scrutiny in the years to come. California is furious.

    One of my relatives, who owned 3 Passats, is getting $17K back in the next few months for his 2016–VW is doling out the money in shifts. He won’t be buying another VW.

    But, you know what? It all goes back to that simple maxim: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Or, buyer beware.

    I wonder how the Prius is doing? 🙂 (I’m just being cynical; wait! Am I spreading FAKE NEWS? Disregard that last remark . . . )

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  11. Citizens of advanced and developing countries buy cars and other products produced in other countries. However, there are a few nations like North Korea and Venezuela that are little islands unto themselves. Chavez, Kim, Trump? No, there are no similarities.

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  12. To illustrate how radical it is to propose that only cars produced in the US should be sold in the US, consider my family’s history. In the late 50s and 60s, my family was relatively poor and had trouble buying an American car or paying for gas. Dad bought an Anglia (an English Ford), a Renault and a Lloyd (English) to reduce the cost of vehicles and fuel. Later he bought Pontiacs, but bought a $5,000 Hyundai to “use up” during a period when he knew he would be driving around 50,000 miles a year.

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  13. Debra, The Fords and Toyotas which are assembled in the US contain parts that have been produced all over the world. That is why those cars can be produced at competitive prices.

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  14. After having trouble with a couple of American cars 40 years ago, my wife refused to drive cars “made by Yankees” and insisted on driving Japanese cars. Dad and I have never told her that her Japanese car contains American parts (probably even Yankee parts).

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  15. I do not know Jeff Sessions personally but what I do know of him, is that he appears to be a good man.
    Just this past December my aunt who is suffering from dementia talked about how she had to hire an n- i- double grrr maid when she was working full time and going to school full time. This is our past and people do change. What was done to Paul Deen was horrid. What they are trying to do to Jeff Sessions is unfair. People change. If my Aunt were fully aware and not slipping into the past I don’t think she would have used that word…but here we are. There is a certain segment of the population that has used it and probably held racist views in the past. I might even be one of them. People change and I have changed. You may as well run a straight razor up my back bone as to say that word in my presence. I truly think it is why I couldn’t enjoy the movie Fences as much as everyone else. Every time I heard that word it was like someone suddenly slamming on brakes and my head jerking back and forth. BUT you find me someone who says they have never said or thought that word and I will show you a bald faced liar.

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  16. Kim, as there is no significant black population in my area, I would guess the “n” word is not a part of many people’s vocabulary. But, “meskin” is a derogatory term that is. I was taught not to use those terms, as have my children.

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  17. This sort of opinion over fact character assassination is one of the things that cost the Democrats the election. Session’s life’s work of fighting the KKK means nothing because he used the word “boy” 30 years ago and told a joke they are too stupid to get. They’ve done this to every important republican for decades. John Ashcroft was one of their first victims. Rick Perry was declared a racist because he once drove by a rock with the “n” word on it and didn’t do something about it right away. They tried it on Trump. It didn’t work. He stuck up for himself.

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  18. In all fairness of my opinion that people change, the above video is now null and void because Cory Booker has changed and decided to oppose Jeff Sessions.
    Never mind the significance a a Senator from God Forsaken ALABAMA sponsoring a recognition of Civil Rights Leaders.

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  19. Michelle, re the Prius: we drive one, it’s seven or eight years old (third generation), we just got its third set of tires and it’s over 100,000 miles, but still on the original brakes and still only getting regular maintenance issues. And it averages more than 50 miles a gallon, I believe, 60 around town in the summer. (Unlike most cars, it gets worse mileage on the highway.) I don’t like driving it because I don’t like some of its features (like a very small rear window), but it definitely is a good, dependable car that does what it is advertised to do.

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  20. kbells1, your post reminded me of the words of the late manslaughterer, Ted Kennedy, during the Robert Bork hearings. If it had been a parody, the speech would be kind of funny, but given the context, no so much. Kennedy said,

    Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.

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  21. Huh. They must not have gotten the “Sessions is Racist!!!” memo.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/09/black-pastors-rally-washington-ag-nominee-jeff-sessions/96367850/

    “A group of black pastors Monday criticized African-American opponents of attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions for demonizing the Alabama Republican, instead characterizing him as someone who shows “respect and care for people of all races.”

    The ministers are holdout Sessions supporters in a much larger crowd of opponents among Southern black clergy and African-American and civil rights groups, including the North Carolina Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Alabama NAACP and the activist group PICO, which uses congregations and churches to help in community organizing.

    “There is an attempt by some to demonize people and call them racist when there is actually no proof for it,” Evangelical Bishop Harry Jackson said at a Capitol Hill news conference. “Let me say clearly, Sen. Sessions is not a racist.”

    Jackson, the pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., said Sessions “worked to bankrupt the KKK in Alabama with a $7 million judgment,” and helped to desegregate the state’s public school system.”

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  22. The Trump Effect continues to ripple across America.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-10/u-s-small-business-optimism-index-surges-by-most-since-1980

    “Optimism among America’s small businesses soared in December by the most since 1980 as expectations about the economy’s prospects improved dramatically in the aftermath of the presidential election.

    The National Federation of Independent Business’s index jumped 7.4 points last month to 105.8, the highest since the end of 2004, from 98.4. While seven of the 10 components increased in December, 73 percent of the monthly advance was due to more upbeat views about the outlook for sales and the economy, the Washington-based group said.

    The share of business owners who say now is a good time to expand is three times the average of the current expansion, according to the NFIB’s data. More companies also said they plan to increase investment and keep hiring, which reflects optimism surrounding President-elect Donald Trump’s plans of spurring the economy through deregulation, tax reform and infrastructure spending.

    “Rising confidence adds to the economy’s upward momentum,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York, said in a note. At the same time, the “NFIB membership appears to be disproportionately Republican, so it is possible that the data will start overstating strength, opposite the pattern during the Obama administration.””

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  23. Good.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-10/trump-s-win-prompts-hungarian-call-for-crackdown-on-soros-groups

    “Hungary plans to crack down on non-governmental organizations linked to billionaire George Soros now that Donald Trump will occupy the White House, according to the deputy head of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party.

    The European Union member will use “all the tools at its disposal” to “sweep out” NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born financier, which “serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments,” Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the ruling Fidesz party, told reporters on Tuesday. No one answered the phone at the Open Society Institute in Budapest when Bloomberg News called outside business hours.

    “I feel that there is an opportunity for this, internationally,” because of Trump’s election, state news service MTI reported Nemeth as saying. Lawmakers will start debating a bill to let authorities audit NGO executives, according to parliament’s legislative agenda.

    Orban, the first European leader to publicly back Trump’s campaign, has ignored criticism from the European Commission and U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration for building a self-described “illiberal state” modeled on authoritarian regimes including Russia, China and Turkey. In 2014, Orban personally ordered the state audit agency to probe foundations financed by Norway and said that civil society groups financed from abroad were covers for “paid political activists.”

    Orban and his administration have frequently singled out NGOs supported by Soros, a U.S. Democratic Party supporter with a wide network of organizations that promote democracy in formerly communist eastern Europe.”
    ———————-

    He doesn’t promote democracy, he supports a UN type global govt.

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  24. I was impressed that Volkswagen was able to fool the sorry tree-huggers at the EPA for so long. I really wanted to buy one of their cars as a “Thank You”, but sadly they are all too slow.

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  25. I would be tempted to pay the BAT (assuming that is what we end up with) just for the nostalgia of a VW Beetle (now made in Mexico). Unfortunately, I’ve become accustomed to heat….and air conditioning…and a cd player…and leg room. Oh well, maybe I’ll just be content to nurse my memories and drive my Ford. :–)

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  26. The new Beetle is much larger and faster than the old one. I thought about buying the turbocharged version, but it is still not fast enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I was telling my VW mechanic some years ago that I sometimes thought of buying another Beetle (my first 2 cars were the old “bugs”). He said I’d be surprised how accustomed I’d become to comfort and I probably wouldn’t be that happy in one now (I was driving my ’94 Jetta at the time).

    He was no doubt right.

    So it’s a Jeep for me, for the time being.

    Liked by 2 people

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