33 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-1-18

  1. We’ve got some long, in depth pieces today.

    First up,

    Millennials, Religion, and Politics in the US. This pdf from The American Enterprise Institute touches on many of the topics I’ve brought up previously. Their values are not their parents values, and their liberal education has played a large roll in making that so. Most schools don’t teach traditional values anymore, in fact, quite the opposite..

    Click to access Millennials-Religion-and-Politics-in-the-United-States.pdf

    “Millennials, the generation born between 1981
    and 1996, will soon comprise the largest segment
    of the US adult population. They are the most
    ethnically and racially diverse generation in US history.
    They have the highest rate of postsecondary
    educational attainment of any adult generation in
    the US. Slightly over half—56 percent—of all millennials
    identify as Christians, among whom 21 percent
    identify with Evangelical Protestantism. Many
    millennials view themselves as religious or spiritual
    without adhering to a doctrinal orthodoxy.
    Issues on which there is majority consensus among
    millennials (racism, homosexuality, abortion, and
    stronger environmental regulations) and a growing
    majority (same-sex marriage, legalization of marijuana,
    and government-funded social programs) show that
    they are a more liberal generation. How their views will
    translate into political action is yet to be seen.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Next up….

    What’s the matter with Congress?

    There’s so much, so it’s also a long piece.


    “President James Buchanan is credited with being the first to call the U.S. Senate “the world’s greatest deliberative body.” This designation has been repeated frequently in the years since, almost always by senators themselves. These days the epithet rings hollow, and the senators know it.

    Speeches in the Senate are typically given to a room of two or three senators, and no one is listening. When Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) condemned President Trump’s criticism of the press in a dramatic speech on the Senate floor in January, only a few senators bothered to show up. He was, in essence, speaking to the media and not to his colleagues. The Senate’s presiding officers spend more time on their phones than paying attention to the debates, because debate is mostly nonexistent.

    Nowadays when senators invoke the ideal of the “world’s greatest deliberative body” they talk about restoring deliberation rather than preserving it. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and John McCain (R-AZ) have in recent years delivered floor speeches (again, unattended by other senators) on restoring Senate deliberation. Members’ contempt for their own institution is bipartisan. When Democratic Party leaders pleaded with Joe Manchin (D-WV) to run for reelection, he told them simply, “This place sucks.” (He’s running anyway.)

    It’s not going any better on the other side of Capitol Hill in the House of Representatives. We are all aware of the periodic “showdowns” over government “shutdowns” over the debt limit or whatever—which have become a common rather than an extraordinary feature of congressional life. The floundering was on full display in Republicans’ attempts last year to reform health care. The legislative process was so secretive in that instance that ordinary citizens could not be expected to understand how the bill to “repeal and replace” Obamacare was amended or debated. Even many House members seemed to be in the dark about what they were actually voting on.

    Things became so unpleasant for John Boehner by 2015 that he resigned from the Speakership and from Congress, leaving Paul Ryan, who now himself has one foot out the door, to deal with the messy business of presiding over the House. Ryan had to be cajoled by members of his own party to take the job, which nobody seemed to want. Aside from repealing 15 major Obama regulations, last December’s tax reform remains the sole significant legislative reform since Republicans took control of the House, Senate, and presidency in the 2016 election. More members are declining to run for reelection with each election cycle.

    Americans continue to have a low opinion of Congress’s performance. At the start of 2018, Congress’s average approval rating from RealClearPolitics was 15%, with 75% disapproval. Nor is this a recent trend: Congress’s approval rating has barely left the teens since Barack Obama’s first term in office. Philip Wallach of the R Street Institute opened a recent article on Congress with this simple statement: “Congress is a mess.” He later acknowledged that there is disagreement among scholars regarding why Congress is mess. Those who analyze Congress are like doctors who can agree that a patient is sick, but can’t explain what caused the sickness or prescribe a treatment. But if we cannot answer these questions, we will be ill-equipped to respond to the growing chorus calling for reform of our most republican institution.”


  3. This one isn’t very long.

    Islam Is Incompatible with Liberty


    “As Islam repelled me, something about America attracted me like a powerful magnet. It was the heart and soul of America. It is called liberty. Liberty embodies the most precious treasures of humanity by encompassing seven forms of freedom that collectively make us human. Without liberty, we are simply another species of primates. Islam is anathema to each and every one of these freedoms.

    Dennis Prager’s Still the Best Hope succinctly lists what constitutes this overarching charter of being human. Through this book, I will present indisputable evidence proving Islam’s incompatibility with them. The choice is either liberty or Islam. We can’t have it both ways.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Then there’s this:



    Is America Ready for Kinder, Gentler Political TV?

    William F. Buckley’s genteel talk show seems hopelessly out of step with today’s debates. Its revival is betting on that for its success.

    Asked once if his long-running public affairs show “Firing Line” and his National Review magazine were prosperous ventures, William F. Buckley Jr. replied, “You don’t expect the Catholic Church to turn a profit, do you?” Now, the Catholic Church is not hurting for operating funds, and it might seem silly to imply otherwise. Buckley’s point was that some endeavors are undertaken for the public good, because you simply think they are the right thing to do.

    Buckley came from a moneyed family and profited from his books, speaking engagements and syndicated columns. But his TV show was a labor of love. In the service of standing up for conservative thought, Buckley began “Firing Line” in 1966 to stage thoughtful confrontations between left and right. He forged a respectable face for conservatism at a moment when the Republican Party still included a healthy liberal wing, and extremists like the John Birch Society dominated the right’s public perception. On “Firing Line,” Buckley staked a claim for witty, urbane, sophisticated conservatism. A proper right-winger, in his mind, opposed government regulation and heavy taxes on the wealthy. The notion that the fluoridation of water was a communist conspiracy was stuff and nonsense.

    On June 2, PBS is scheduled to begin broadcasting its reboot of the show, with Margaret Hoover as host. Hoover, a minor figure in the George W. Bush administration and the great-granddaughter of the Republican president of the same name, has until now been a supporting player in the cable-news universe of conservative talking heads. …

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Don’t really care if it’s good for Canada or Mexico, or what they think of it. It’s good for the US.

    And I’m pretty pleased we finally have a president who thinks of US first, for the first time in decades.


    “Striking a strong blow on behalf of working men and women, Donald Trump’s policies are bringing jobs to destitute towns like Ashland, Ky., while revitalizing American manufacturing.”

    “No president has done more to defend the American manufacturing base from unfair trade practices than Donald J. Trump. What may surprise even his critics is that no president — since Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty” — has done more to lift the prospects of low- and moderate-income families than President Trump.

    A poster child for the success of President Trump’s tax, trade and worker-training policies in lifting the spirits — and incomes! — of American workers will be a new aluminum mill. This new aluminum mill will be built in Ashland, Ky., in the midst and mists of Appalachia’s rugged mountains, in one of our nation’s most poverty-stricken areas.

    Ashland is located in Boyd County off Route 60, on the banks of the Ohio River, bordering West Virginia and Ohio. It was once a booming steel, oil and coal town — until the steel mills in the area started closing down, Ashland Oil moved its headquarters to the Cincinnati region, and the coal mines began to shutter.

    Today, Boyd County suffers from a declining population and a debilitating opioid epidemic. But help — not just false hope — is on the way.

    The new $1.5 billion aluminum rolling mill that will soon be built — with a groundbreaking on Friday — will cover 45 acres. This state-of-the art mill will create up to 1,800 construction jobs and about 500 permanent positions in a county where the unemployment rate is almost 40% higher than the national unemployment rate.

    Striking a strong blow on behalf of working men and women, the starting salary at this plant will be $65,000 a year. This compares with a median household income in Boyd County of $44,140 — which is well below the national median of $59,039.

    To ensure that the working men and women of Boyd County will be equipped to take advantage of these opportunities, the plant operator has teamed with Ashland Community and Technical College to develop programs to train workers right out of high school. Such programs are consistent with Trump’s longtime advocacy of trade schools, apprenticeships and workforce development as a way for the working middle class to advance professionally.

    For example, in Trump’s State of the Union address this year, he called for more investment in workforce development and job training, and last year he signed an executive order to expand “industry-recognized” U.S. apprenticeships. Boyd County is indeed delivering.

    The plant’s builders credit Trump’s aluminum tariffs and tax cuts as essential ingredients to their future growth and prosperity. The Trump aluminum tariffs will provide this mill and the broader U.S. aluminum industry a stout defense against massive government-subsidized and supported overcapacity in the global marketplace and the resulting surges of aluminum imports into the United States from a range of countries — and serve the broader national defense in the process. ”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m pretty sure I hear the sound of a toilet flushing in the distance…….

    17,000,000 for nothing.


    “Taxpayers have spent nearly $17 million on the Russia probe since Special Counsel Robert Mueller took over the investigation last year, according to a new spending report released Thursday by the Justice Department.

    About $10 million was spent between October and March, the document states. That includes $4.5 million spent by Mueller’s team and another $5.5 million spent by the Justice Department on other expenditures attributable to the investigations.

    “The department will continue to dedicate and leverage resources to maintain strong program and financial management controls,” the DOJ said in the report. “Management takes its program and financial accountability seriously and is dedicated to ensuring that funds are used in a responsible and transparent manner.”

    There it is again…….


  7. This probably explains Comey’s recent outbursts. He’s getting nervous.


    “Prosecutors interview James Comey as they consider whether to charge his deputy Andrew McCabe for ‘lying to federal agents’

    Investigators from the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office recently spoke to Comey ”

    “Prosecutors interviewed fired FBI director James Comey and are considering whether his deputy Andrew McCabe should be charged for lying to federal agents, a report suggests.

    Investigators from the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office recently spoke to Comey as part of their probe into whether McCabe broke the law, The Washington Post reported.

    Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz has accused McCabe of misleading investigators.

    He has also accused Comey of lying four times — three of them under oath.

    Lying to investigators carries a five-year prison sentence, but McCabe has denied any wrongdoing.”

    And Comey lying under oath 3 times is?……



  8. And in case you’re wondering about the penalty….

    “Perjury is considered a serious offense, as it can be used to usurp the power of the courts, resulting in miscarriages of justice. In the United States, for example, the general perjury statute under federal law classifies perjury as a felony and provides for a prison sentence of up to five years”

    For each of the 3 counts…..



  9. @ 1248 Don’t hold your breath on perjury indictments for Comey, AJ. If they won’t even slap his wrist to say ‘bad boy’ for leaking classified material, they’ll not threaten him with perjury. He’s a lawyer and I’ve seen lawyers tell bald faced lies in court with a straight face—and then go play a round of golf with the judge afterward. You have to be an outsider or the insider chosen to be the fall guy in order to get charged with that sort of thing. It’s sad, but too often true. :–/


  10. As for the tax es being levied by Mexico and Canada, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. Although I still consider those countries among our closest allies, they have an obligation just as the US does, to do what is in the best interest of their own countries’ stability. Borderless trade is probably not.


  11. Debra,

    I know. Entrenched politicians will ensure the clock is run out on him like it was for Clapper. Being part of the bureaucracy means never having to answer for your crimes. I get it.


  12. So I’ll have to take solace in all the good news today. 🙂

    Like this.


    ” The federal government cut 3,000 jobs in May and federal employment has now dropped by 24,000 since President Donald Trump took office, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

    But it increased at the state and local levels.


    Or this….


    “A senior North Korean official and the top United States diplomat had dinner in New York on Wednesday as President Trump and Kim Jong-un try to salvage prospects for a high-stakes nuclear summit. It’s the highest-level official North Korean visit to the US in 18 years.

    Kim Yong Chol, the former military intelligence chief and one of the North Korean leader’s closest aides, landed midafternoon on an Air China flight from Beijing. Associated Press journalists saw the plane taxi down the tarmac before the North’s delegation disembarked at JFK International Airport.”


  13. Two more.


    “May Boom: Number of Employed Americans Sets 9th Record Under Trump”

    “”Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning,” President Trump tweeted early Friday.

    And here they are: The number of employed Americans, 155,474,000, has broken another record — for the ninth time since President Trump took office, in fact.

    At the same time, the number of unemployed Americans dropped to 6,065,000, a low not seen since January 2001.

    This pushed the nation’s unemployment rate down a tenth of a point to 3.8 percent, a level not seen since April 2000.

    And there’s more good news: The number of employed women 16 and over set another record (72,690,000); the number of employed men 16 and over is at an all-time high (82,784,000); and so is the number of employed African-Americans (19,092,000).

    The unemployment rate for African-Americans dropped to 5.9 percent, a record low. It was 7.8 percent when President Trump took office in January 2017.

    The unemployment rate for women 16+ is now at 3.6 percent, a low not seen since 1953.”




  14. That is good news on the national employment front. And I don’t think the increased employment numbers have brought the wage down eother. I. The wages seem competitive here. I’ve heard that even Amazon has had to offer more. And *that* is really good news locally. :–)


  15. Liked by 1 person

  16. Building on your theme, Debra.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Here is Reagan’s entire radio address. Viewing the speech from 2018, I don’t know which is more impressive: a. His broad knowledge of economics and history; or b. The fact that a US President was once able to string together a series of coherent sentences.


  18. Ricky, I read that article not too long ago and thought it was good. Recently I had a related conversation about our current globalism being an unintended consequence of the very conservative post WW2 desire to avoid another catastrophic war. We did a lot to help build up other nations devastated by the war, but we probably should have stopped when it became clear that they were sufficiently stable.


  19. Debra, I think we have to break down what the US did after WWII into two parts although the two are connected and mutually supportive:

    1. We created defense alliances in Europe and Asia whereby we subsidized the defense of the Free World thereby first containing and finally defeating international communism.

    2. The US, imperfectly but steadily, helped lead an explosion in trade which (combined with the defeat on communism) lifted billions out of poverty around the world.

    As to #1, I tend to agree with you that we should have forced the Free World to do more to protect itself by more aggressively bringing many of our troops home after the fall of communism.

    As to #2, the rest of the world now knows the wealth-creating power of free trade. Countries from Singapore to Chile to Canada demonstrate that trade helps a nation’s citizens while countries like Venezuela and North Korea demonstrate that protectionism leads to hunger and worse.

    Trump’s bizarre and destructive behavior is driving our former allies in Europe, Asia and the Americas into the arms of our enemies. Many of our allies are looking anxiously toward 2020. The re-election of Trump would be a signal that 2016 was no fluke and the US is committed to protectionism and a new isolationism. Countries like China, Russia and Iran would benefit as our former allies would be forced to deal with such adversaries with the knowledge that Trump is undependable, irrational, easily flattered by foes and profoundly ignorant of history and economics.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. More proof that Trump’s policies are good for US workers.


    “On Thursday, Costco announced it would raise the hourly wage for 130,000 of its American employees. CEO Richard Galanti, while discussing the company’s fiscal third-quarter earnings, said that starting wages for employees would be raised $1 an hour to $14.50 an hour while other hourly wages would be hiked 25 to 50 cents an hour.

    Galanti added that the new wage increases would be probably be added to the company’s regular wage hikes. He acknowledged that the tax cuts would garner Costco an added $300 million each year.”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Like

  22. Low. Pretty much what I expect of the traitorous Kristol at this point. Rubin the wet blanket as well. It’s not that they don’t get it, but that they’re unwilling to accept their defeat. They’re still in the denial stage.


    “I don’t know where Trump’s job approval ratings will go next, but unlike Kristol, I can easily see how they might go higher. The economy continues to be good and despite media predictions to the contrary we are neither engaged in a trade war with China nor a shooting war with North Korea. If they treated Trump with respect, they might note that his recent moves have increased the chances that a favorable resolution—or at least one that will be perceived as favorable in the short run—to one or both conflicts will occur just before the November midterms. That’s exactly what a canny politician would try to do, yet the anti-Trump prejudice prevents Kristol and his allies from seeing this.

    In fact, should the economy continue to roar and one or both of these things happen, it is entirely possible that Trump’s job approval rating could rise to the point where more people approve of him than disapprove by year’s end. That is in fact what normal politics would suggest: incumbents usually benefit from peace and prosperity. Yet to even suggest this as a possibility, as I have recently on Twitter, is to invite scorn or disbelief from the anti or never Trump pundits whose views dominate media discourse.

    The possibility that a plurality, perhaps even a majority, of Americans could come to see Trump as a success is an anathema to this crowd. Why this is the case is perhaps the most interesting question in politics. But we see this happen over and over again, and not just in the United States. British commentators never saw Brexit coming, and European journalists refused to see that Italy might reject all established parties in March’s elections. Each piece of data that suggested the journalists’ priors were correct was reported with confidence; each piece of data that pointed otherwise was dismissed or distinguished. It is almost as if those whose job it is to report and comment upon country’s politics simply could not see what was happening before their very eyes.

    I am not a Trump fan by any stretch of the imagination, yet it strikes me as fairly obvious why many Americans would like the president or think he is doing a good job. Some Americans have been so disaffected by economic changes of the last decade that they see Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of American jobs for American workers as a breath of fresh air. Others find his staunch support of American security as reassuring. Trump’s proposed Muslim ban enrages many of his opponents, but the polling data suggests that this more than any other proposal is what made him president.

    Others might be less enthusiastic about Trump but have good reason to think he’s doing a good job. Religiously traditional people see themselves under siege from an elite culture that holds them in contempt and have chosen to embrace the devil that backs them over the devil who does not.

    Still others, many of whom are traditional business or free market conservatives, remain wary of him personally but increasingly like his policies. Indeed, there are a number of polls that show Republicans who voted for Gary Johnson to be of this view. They might prefer someone without Trump’s flaws, but faced with the evidence of a man who hasn’t screwed up and who has implemented much of their agenda they seem willing to reconsider their prior anti-Trump views. But few if any of the punditocracy has followed suit, and fewer still can even see that many Americans don’t view Trump as beyond the pale.”

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Ricky, I agree with #1. Unfortunately, in order to lead the free world into this explosion of trade, we had to make a deal with communism (as opposed to destroying it), thereby empowering it. We bankrupted the USSR and destroyed their communism only to feed Chinese communism at the expense of our own manufacturing and intellectual property, leaving us trillions in debt. Feeding the dragon would be bad enough, but we compounded the folly by incentivizing our manufacturers to send their production to China and elsewhere. And this has left our population underemployed and dissatisfied. I seriously doubt this is what Reagan had in mind. It’s a good thing he’s not here or he’d have to set the record straight.


  24. I gotta say, this Williamson guy can be funny when he tries. 🙂


    “The world is full of stupid and angry people, and most of them live in Portland.

    Women’s soccer player Jaelene Hinkle, a defender for the North Carolina Courage, was booed by angry Portland women’s soccer fans—and is there any other kind, really?—during a match against the Portland Thorns, after the local mutawwi learned via an interview with The 700 Club (which still exists!) that Hinkle had passed up an opportunity to play with the U.S. women’s team because she was not comfortable wearing a jersey celebrating (roll call!) Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer/Questioning (there is some dispute about what the Q stands for; some people insist on LGBTQQ just to cover the bases, but that seems like a lot of Qs, if you ask me) Pride Month.

    The public denunciations already have begun. There will be petitions and the like soon enough.

    One can understand Portland’s inconsolable rage. It’s a second-rate Seattle, which makes it, by extension, a fourth-rate (22) San Francisco. Which is to say: Austin without the sunshine and higher education and tacos. I’d be angry if I lived in Portland, too.”



    “I expected to hear approximately the sounds of a coconut processing plant as they put their heads together. One young man suggested that to hold nonconforming views on gay marriage ought to be in itself disqualifying from a career in journalism, on the theory that somehow such ideas are categorically incompatible with journalism per se. He also wanted to know how he was supposed to work with people who viewed certain aspects of his life as immoral. I suggested that he consider growing up, but the message was not well received. The moderator insisted that journalists must “respect all people,” without apparently giving a nanosecond’s thought to the silent “except those who disagree with us, who must be exiled” at the end of her sentence.

    Of course we can’t just report the news and write columns. Of course we can’t just play soccer. Everything on Earth must be understood not on its own terms but only relative to the sexual politics of the cast of The Boys in the Band.”

    Liked by 2 people

  25. For you Ricky…. 🙂

    “The prophet Mike Judge (peace be upon him) foresaw this in Idiocracy, a film that seems more relevant with each passing day “


  26. Thanks for posting. Leave it to Kevin D. Williamson to be able to reunite conservatives and Trumpers. However, he referred to “organized homosexuality”. I must tell him that the proper term is “organized perversion”.


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