60 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-23-18

  1. Sowell has written books on a number of topics. If you are interested this might be a good place to start:

    In 2004, Cato Journal reviewed Sowell’s Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy and Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One. The reviewer (the Economics Editor writing under a pseudonym) wrote “I can think of no better way for a conscientious U.S. voter to start out this election year than by reading one or both of these two remarkable books by Thomas Sowell. Taken alone or together, both volumes succeed admirably—each in its own way—in their intention to provide a broad public audience with clear and cogent guidance on how to apply basic principles of economic logic and analysis to a variety of complex issues, many of which are likely to be discussed during the election campaign and beyond.”


  2. I’ve always been of fan of Bolton and his ‘stache.



  3. My wife: Maybe it would help Sasse if he started having affairs with porn stars and Playboy bunnies, became President of a fake university instead of a real one and challenged Chuck Schumer to a karate match.


  4. Yes please! 🙂

    Force the fraud that is Congress to do their jobs.


    “President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he is considering a veto for the omnibus spending bill because it does not address the 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) recipients or adequately fund border security.”


  5. Ricky,

    Sasse can run if he wants. But if he can’t even influence his own party to put forth something better than the current omnibus bill, then he’s really not a solution, just another ineffectual part of the problem.

    Same goes for Flaky Flake. I just don’t see it. I’m sure one of them will run though, just to spite Trump and elect a Democrat. That’s what RINO’s usually do, betray the party, so there’s precedent I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I guess Barry “Peace in our time” Obama was too worried about a legacy building, joke of a treaty to worry about this. Nice to see Trump trying to clean up the mess at least.



    “The Treasury Department wrote:

    “Iran is engaged in an ongoing campaign of malicious cyber activity against the United States and our allies. The IRGC outsourced cyber intrusions to The Mabna Institute, a hacker network that infiltrated hundreds of universities to steal sensitive data,” said Treasury Under Secretary Sigal Mandelker. “We will not tolerate the theft of U.S. intellectual property, or intrusions into our research institutions and universities. Treasury will continue to systematically use our sanctions authorities to shine a light on the Iranian regime’s malicious cyber practices, and hold it accountable for criminal cyber-attacks.”

    As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

    The nine people worked at the Mabna Institute, “founded in or about 2013 to assist Iranian universities and scientific and research organizations in obtaining access to non-Iranian scientific resources.” The department stated that the company “engaged in the theft of personal identifiers and economic resources for private financial gain.”

    They targeted American and foreign universities:

    The Mabna Institute conducted massive, coordinated cyber intrusions into computer systems belonging to at least approximately 144 United States-based universities, in addition to at least 176 universities located in 21 foreign countries: Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The exfiltrated data and stolen login credentials acquired through these malicious cyber-enabled activities were used for the benefit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and were also sold within Iran through at least two websites. The stolen login credentials belonging to university professors were used to directly access online university library systems.

    Today, OFAC is also designating nine Iran-based individuals who were leaders, contractors, associates, hackers for hire, and affiliates of the Mabna Institute for engaging in malicious cyber-enabled activities related to the significant misappropriation of economic resources or personal identifiers for private financial gain.

    The hackers stole about “31 terabytes of data and intellectual property” and the IRGC received most of that information.”


  7. The heat is on.

    Time to stop obstructing.


    “The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday subpoenaed the Justice Department for documents related to internal DOJ and FBI decisions in the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as well as potential abuses of laws governing the surveillance of members of Trump presidential campaign.

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), who chairs the panel, said he has grown increasingly frustrated by the DOJ’s unresponsiveness to his requests for more than 1.2 million documents related to the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email.

    So far the department has only produced “a fraction” of the documents both he and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) have requested, he said.

    Goodlatte said he was following up on requests from his committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform panel, which requested the documents as part of a joint investigation into allegations of liberal bias within the DOJ and FBI that impacted their internal investigation into Clinton’s activities. Goodlatte said made the initial request for the documents four months ago, then again in February.

    “Given the ongoing delays in producing these documents, I am left with no choice but to issue the enclosed subpoena to compel production of these documents,” Goodlatte wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    Goodlatte also referenced Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ firing last Friday of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility’s (OPR) recommendation that McCabe be dismissed for unauthorized leaks and demonstrating a “lack of candor” in conversations with investigators about the disclosures to the media.”


  8. SolarP was of course correct at 1:31. Trump signed the bill.

    So to quote AJ @12:41:
    “But If he can’t influence his own party to put forth something better than the current omnibus bill, then he’s not a solution, just another ineffectual part of the problem.”

    AJ was talking about Sasse, but shouldn’t the same rule apply to Trump. Sasse is just one lonely Senator. Trump has the veto power and all of the powers of the Presidency.


  9. Yes Trump could veto, but this one’s not on him. He didn’t create it; Rs did, and they didn’t even have the prospect of a D President whose opposition might have caused them make compromises. They just dived in and foisted that big ‘ol debt on us all. Ricky is probably right, and Rs will be losing a lot of seats over the next few election cycles. This bill shows us why that’s not particularly heartbreaking.


  10. AJ at 12:41, Sasse is by all measures one of the most conservative, if not the most conservative Senators. It makes actual conservatives convulse with laughter when Trumpkins refer to him as a “RINO”. Let me suggest an alternative: EOTC (Enemy of The Cult).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. SolarP, This is where youngsters don’t understand the brilliance of Reagan. Particularly, in 1981-1982 he never just “let Congress create” bills. On taxes, domestic spending and defense spending he always worked for weeks and months with Republicans and conservative Democrats to craft legislation and to make sure that his version of each major bill was presented for a vote. Then he went on TV to appeal to the American people for support. Generally his versions won and the liberal versions lost.


  12. It’s true, Trump is no Reagan, Ricky; nevertheless, the House crafted that thing knowing they had a sympathetic White House. Ultimately, it’s the fault of the person who DOES the job if and when he doesn’t do the job well.


  13. Sure Ricky, because you and the press weren’t gonna bash him either way.

    If he didn’t, you’d be blaming him for the inevitable govt.. shutdown to follow. (Because Congress won’t do it’s job and pass a real budget)

    But you get to bash him either way, so you’re happy.

    Reality is it’s awful, should never have passed, and should have been vetoed.

    A failure all around.


  14. I agree Solar. Like I said, a failure all the way around. This was Ryan and the House’s bill, but Trump shoulda vetoed it.


    “During the Obama administration, we argued that the federal budgetary process had become an exercise in reckless liberal overreach. The federal government was abusing the budgetary process, we said, wasting money and expanding itself at the expense of civil society. The hope was that once the GOP gained power, it would act with procedural integrity, begin to try to return the government to its proper role, and deliver significant conservative victories on budgetary policy.

    Instead, Republicans are poised to pass an omnibus bill that, with the exception of the defense spending, is an embarrassment and a disgrace.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. SolarP, The House doesn’t have a sympathetic White House. It has an idiotic White House. This morning Trump threatened to veto, but not for overspending. His morning Tweet attacked the bill for not giving amnesty to the Dreamers and for not spending enough on the wall.


  16. RickyW, I’m not sure how that makes your point. He DIDN’T veto the bill, even without that stuff. And there’s no reason to assume they couldn’t have put together a bill that was way, way more fiscally responsible than this fiasco. It’s the House’s fault.


  17. And the WH is sympathetic in the way a D President would not be based on party lines. Well, actually I think a D President would have been pretty happy about what this Republican House concocted, so you can scratch this point for now.


  18. Ricky,

    There you go again….. 🙄

    Now I realize Twitter has damaged your ability to hold a longer than 140 character attention span due to overuse, but really, stop being so lazy. The President and others he shared the podium with made extensive comments, and gave many reasons (military, drug enforcement, DHS), and more details on the 2 you mentioned. But just because you only saw those, doesn’t mean that’s all there was.


  19. Here’s the deal:
    1. Most Trumpers aren’t fiscal conservatives. They will squeal if you reform entitlements to which they are addicted. They will squeal if you try to completely repeal Obamacare because they like some parts of it including the section dealing with preconditions (as we saw here). They like other wasteful spending that benefits them.
    2. That means all Democrats and close to half of Republicans like wasteful spending. Congress would irritate the Dems and the Trumpers with spending cuts.
    3. The only way spending is going to be constrained is for a conservative President to educate the people of the danger of our deficit trajectory and work closely with Congress using his veto threat.
    4. Trump has been busy firing aides, running off his lawyers, Tweeting against Mueller, threatening Biden, and fuming about Stormy and the Playboy bunny.
    5. He never spoke about the bill until this morning when we got his idiotic Tweet threat which I posted above. The NYT, the WP and CNN have been talking about the bill for several weeks. Maybe poor Trump was learning about the “Deep State” and “the Silent Coup” and Hillary’s crimes from the dunces on FoxNews and never even heard anything about the bill until this morning.


  20. AJ. Read Trump’s Tweet and any other statements he may have made while he was still threatening to veto the bill.

    All his mouthing off at the signing ceremony was meaningless. At that point he had decided to sign the bill and was there to do so. He promised not to sign such a bill again, and he promised to be faithful to Ivana, and he promised to be faithful to Marla, and he promised to be faithful to Melania, and he promised he loved the Playboy bunny, and he promised Mexico would pay for the wall, and he promised in the campaign to deport all the Dreamers to which he now wants to grant amnesty. And Trumpkins still believe him, and that is why we call it a cult.


  21. The House isn’t composed of “Trumpers,” unless time travel is now possible. Republican congressmen are, by and large, people who’ve been there since before Trump, and whose voting records show no more ability to keep promises than Trump or numerous other presidents. It wasn’t Trump’s Republicans gave him a bill that yet again authorizes a billion dollars a year for Planned Parenthood despite frequent R promises to cut that funding. If “the only way spending is going to be constrained is by a conservative president” doing this or that, then yeah, all those promises made by Republican congressional candidates are pretty meaningless.


  22. I mostly like what Trump is doing.
    And I like John Bolton.
    But I wonder about the turnover.
    If I were in a position of responsibility, I wouldn’t want advisors who always suggested doing what I want to do.
    Trump’s huge ego is going to be his downfall, eventually.

    I said before, Trump is a smart man, but his tongue gets ahead of his brain.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Debra here—-he can’t fight on all fronts. The tariffs are unpopular with the Presidents enemies;and this is probably related to the budget.


  24. SolarP, You can look at the Congressional Republicans two ways. Either:

    1 They were surprised to find out in the 2016 primaries that close to half of Republican primary voters were non-conservative Trumpers and have adjusted their stance to be for more spending, harmful tariffs, attacks on the FBI, etc. or

    2. Through polling or otherwise, they always knew that a large group of Republicans were not conservative, especially when it comes to spending. When Obama or Clinton were in office they could talk a good game and even operate to limit some Democrat spending. However, when a big spending Republican like Little Bush or a dunce like Trump is President, they spend like drunken sailors.

    I tend to support theory number #2 when it comes to spending. Ironically, that was a reason to vote for Hillary AND a Republican Congress, but not a strong enough one.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Debra @ 4:44, To get a better deal, he has to engage. He needs to read briefing papers about the issues. To be able to lobby and persuade Congressmen to vote his way, he needs to convince them that he is not completely ignorant about the subject at hand. You don’t get that knowledge by threatening his staff or Cabinet, watching Fox and Friends or challenging Biden to a fight. He is 71. Do you really think he can change?


  26. I’m not looking for the President to change to appeal to the Bushites and their kind in Congress. Nor do I want him to become an honorary member of the Freedom Caucus. I’m just hoping he’s fed the military industrial complex their final big meal for the next few years. If these compromises have all been for them, then it’s been pretty much a waste, in my opinion, as I think the military should be cut and consolidated, not expanded. My biggest question at the moment is how did a Republican majority give PP half a billion dollars!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. It doesn’t matter whether the voters are conservative or not. It matters that people with the money write the bills.


  28. Also of interest, I have heard that there is an increase in h1b visas somehow attached to the budget, but I have not been able to verify that. Has anyone else read anything about increased h1b quotas?


  29. Debra, I have a conservative (but Trump friendly) friend who has made a pretty good point: Trump will sign anything they put in front of him and generally claim that it is great. If you don’t believe that, see SolarP’s post at 3:41. My friend’s criticism of Ryan, et al. is that they should have put really conservative bills (Obamacare repeal, entitlement reform or budget cuts) in front of Trump in hopes that Trump would sign them and then convince the cult they were great. It is an interesting idea, but I told him that some of you were actually ideological Trumpkins rather than cultists and might not be so easily fooled.


  30. Hey Ricky,

    Whether you like it or not…….

    Here’s reality, which you’re having such a hard time with under Trump.

    From 2 hours ago…..


    “Here’s how much the stock market is still up since Donald Trump took office

    President Trump still has a large cushion before the Dow’s post-inauguration gains disappear.

    The Dow closed at 19,827.25 on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2017, which means it has about 3,700 points to go before the Trump rally gains are gone.”

    Liked by 1 person

  31. AJ, At the rate of the last two days, that is seven more days. He just needs to keep laying on those tariffs.


  32. Debra,

    This is what I found. HB2, not HB1 is what Breitbart says, so consider the source, but yeah, looks like Ryan and his big business buddies couldn’t resist stickin’ it to US workers, as usual.


    “The GOP’s business-first leadership has expanded the H-2B visa-worker program, so reducing marketplace pressure on companies to offer higher wages to Americans just months before the November election.

    The pre-election giveaway is buried on page 1760 of the 2232-page 2018 omnibus bill, where language allows the Department of Homeland Security to greatly expand the size of the H-2B visa-worker program up to roughly 100,000 imported workers:

    SEC. 205. Notwithstanding the [66,000] numerical limitation set forth in section 214(g)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)(B)), the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Secretary of Labor, and upon the determination that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied in fiscal year 2018 with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor, may increase the total number of aliens who may receive a visa under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b)) in such fiscal year above such limitation by not more than the highest number of H–2B nonimmigrants who participated in the H–2B returning worker program in any fiscal year in which returning workers were exempt from such numerical limitation.

    The jargon gives the green light to Senators and Representatives to pressure DHS leaders to hand out more H-2B visas to the politicians’ local employers.”

    ““This shows that Congress uses the budget process to grant special access to insider lobbyists,” said lawyer John Miano, who opposes visa-worker programs. “By granting the ability to slip special interest provisions into a bill that must pass Congress, it rewards those who supply donations,” he added.

    The H-2B visa-workers are imported by landscapers, forestry companies, seafood processors, construction firms, resorts, hotels and restaurants for seasonal work. The imported workers are not cheap — see the data here — but their arrival means that employers do not have to raise their wages to persuade Americans to take seasonal jobs.

    Moreover, if they raised their wages high enough to attract Americans to the seasonal jobs, then the companies would also have to raise wages for their year-round and supervisory workers.”

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Ricky, Thanks for the link. The article does not address the h1b quotas, but it does talk about those who have been here for some time with h1b visas and are trying to get a green card or become citizens. I hope those who are already here are able to get permanent status, especially since many have children here who are natural born citizens. It would be unwise to send them away so their children (our citizens) are raised in India or Pakistan— or worse, separated from their parents.


  34. Good job digging, Debra. I think whoever wrote the HB2 section of the bill did not read the “ten page limit per law” Constitutional Amendment published yesterday by Chas.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. AJ @5:45, Wow. They really can’t help themselves can they. It looks like under the H2B visa program Amazon could fill all of its seasonal employment positions! So not only are the good tech jobs outsourced, now the mediocre jobs are going the same direction. There will be a price to pay for this eventually, and it will probably make never-Trumpers long for the good ol’ days when he was president….if they haven’t all died out by then. :–/

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Debra, My first reaction to letting Congressmen pressure the bureaucrats to hand out more visas in their districts was that it was a bad idea. However, while it is not exactly federalism, it may be a good idea that allows for flexibility.
    1. In Trumpkin areas, Trumpers (and others) could put pressure on their Congressmen not to ask for any extra visas. Employers could offer campaign contributions, but the Congressmen now know that Trumpers are serious in their opposition to immigration and may vote them out if they ask for extra visas.
    2. In booming areas like North Texas, we have a real Mexican shortage and need more Mexicans soon to clean, cook, roof, brick, mow, build roads and a hundred other things that Mexicans do best. Our Congressmen would ask for more visas or face the wrath of Texas women with dirty houses, unkempt yards and leaky roofs.


  37. There is no limit when you’re spending other people’s money.
    especially if it isn’t this generation.
    Someday the bill will come due.
    I likely won’t be around. But someday the bill will come due.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Ricky@7:51. ….or you could just leave it to good ol’ supply and demand instead of gutting the labor market.


  39. So Debra has been reading her Milton Friedman. Well done. From an economic standpoint, you are absolutely correct. However, Texas has already imported its quota of Ys for the entire century, and we don’t want to encourage any more to come to the South.


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