48 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-25-18

  1. For all you “rule of law” people, note who it is seeking to avoid oversight and accountability here while trying to hide their misdeeds..

    Hint: It’s not Nunes.


    “Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., called on Sunday for the Justice Department and the FBI to provide the House Intelligence Committee outstanding information about the use of FBI informants to make contact with members of the Trump campaign, setting a Monday deadline for his latest request.

    Nunes, who chairs the House intelligence panel, blasted the DOJ and the FBI in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Sunday for “unilaterally” restricting access to some subpoenaed documents to the “Gang of Eight,” a term used to describe a bipartisan group of congressional leaders often briefed on intelligence matters.

    Nunes also slammed the referral of the intelligence committee’s questions regarding transcripts and summaries of conversations between FBI sources and Trump campaign aides to Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence.

    The new request seeks clarification on whether Rosenstein or FBI Director Christopher Wray is responsible for complying with the panel’s subpoenas. Additionally, he is demanding the FBI confirm informants were used to gather information on the Trump campaign and, if so, how many were used and how much money was spent on the operations.

    House Republicans have been at loggerheads with the DOJ and the FBI for months over their failure to comply with subpoenas issued by Nunes and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.”


  2. Like I said, this won’t end well….


    “Uncivil war declared: Rep. Maxine Waters calls on #TheResistance to find and confront Trump admin officials


  3. ——————-


  4. The young conservatives such as Ben Shapiro take a slightly different approach.


  5. Because of the tariffs, some production will also pick up internally. That is what happens. All international trade is not being cut off, but countries will now begin to produce internally for more of their own consumption needs. At some point it will reach a balance.

    Ricky mentioned his shopping experience yesterday. I have been taking note of country of origin tags on products for many years now. Things are changing even at Walmart. When I first seriously began to pay attention to those tags about 15 or 20 years ago, I started at Walmart. I went through the store for about 45 minutes or an hour searching through the departments for something–ANYTHING—with a made in USA label. Finally I found one in the men’s department, which I thought an unlikely place. It was a belt. Not a line of belts or a bunch of belts, just a belt. One belt. I was overjoyed at the sight of that solitary belt. Five or six years ago I began to see more and more products openly advertised as made in USA. And just last week, I saw the phrase ‘we care about American jobs’ plastered on a product at Walmart.

    I have run into other people doing the same thing–ordinary people. There are products we would like to have, and would pay the price for made in USA, but they have simply not been available. They are becoming more and more available. I even noticed some of the machinery at work was stamped ‘made in USA’, but it is not new.

    This concern (I hesitate to call it a movement) about things made and not made in USA , and its implication for American jobs, has been building for quite a few years and has nothing at all to do with Trump. He saw it, and ironically, I think he experienced it in this real estate business, and he rode the wave to the White House. Pundits and politicians were shocked because they so rarely look down from their lofty perches to see what’s happening on the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Theories are good and can be helpful in determining the mechanics of how something may operate. However, if it doesn’t work for the people on the ground (who also live in the economy and vote) it’s dysfunctional or isn’t being applied in a workable way. But we did not invent these concepts and they have been the subject of conversation for a very long time.

    In my opinion, treating economics like it is the law of gravity is a grave mistake. I was reading the HBR last week and trying to put our current conversations into perspective by viewing some of the arguments and concerns made when Milton Friedman’s ideas were fully implemented. I came across this article which makes some good points and emphasizes some of the ways we may have gone wrong. One quote stood out:

    Eliminating ethical considerations from business decisions would simplify the management task, and Milton Friedman has urged something of the kind in arguing that the interaction between business and society should be left to the political process. “Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundation of our free society,” he writes in Capitalism and Freedom, “as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money for their shareholders as possible.”

    But the simplicity of this approach is deceptive. Business is part of the social system and we cannot isolate the economic elements of major decisions from their social consequences. So there are no simple rules. Those who make business decisions have to assess the economic and social consequences of their actions as best as they can and come to their conclusions on limited information and in a limited time.

    As will already be apparent, I use the word ethics to mean the guidelines or rules of conduct by which we aim to live. It is, of course, foolhardy to write about ethics at all, because you lay yourself open to the charge of taking up a position of moral superiority, of failing to practice what you preach, or both. I am not in a position to preach nor am I promoting a specific code of conduct. I believe, however, that it is useful to all of us who are responsible for business decisions to acknowledge the part which ethics plays in those decisions and to encourage discussion of how best to combine commercial and ethical judgments. Most business decisions involve some degree of ethical judgment; few can be taken solely on the basis of arithmetic.

    While we refer to a company as having a set of standards, that is a convenient shorthand. The people who make up the company are responsible for its conduct and it is their collective actions which determine the company’s standards. The ethical standards of a company are judged by its actions, not by pious statements of intent put out in its name. This does not mean that those who head companies should not set down what they believe their companies stand for—hard though that is to do. The character of a company is a matter of importance to those in it, to those who do business with it, and to those who are considering joining it….



  7. As for comparative advantage, it’s relevant to remember that it’s not just a mathematical equation. The opportunity costs may be drastically different from one nation to another, depending on their laws, regulations, government subsidies, etc. When you have trade policies that result in the US having a trade deficit, there is an imbalance in one of the elements that make it up and account for it.


  8. And what Friedman is basically saying in the quote @10:14 is that businesses should rely on politicians and citizens to make the ethical decisions, and businesses have an obligation to maximize shareholder profits within those boundaries. That concept is laughable in a nation that believes all people (and businesses) should be free to be as unethical as they please as long as it falls within codified law. This effectively untethers businesses from ethical obligations altogether.


  9. Friedman apparently relies on ‘the market’ to weed out those law-abiding businesses which people do not find ethically acceptable. But it hasn’t actually worked out that way. Unethical businesses hid behind laws to grow bigger and more powerful until they were ‘too big to fail’ and their decision-makers ‘too big to jail’. The American people have been seduced by greed and ignorance into complicity through the stock market, in that just about every pension is tied to the health of that undulating casino whose movements are a slave to the welfare of corporate behemoths. The only solution left to voters is to trim global wings and try to bring businesses back home in the hopes of restoring some balance.


  10. Debra @ 10:39 Actually it was government intervention (government coerced mergers) that created the financial institutions that were “too big to fail”.

    Government involvement to “ethically” force lenders to loan to those who would not qualify for loans in a free market is what led to the 2007-2008 collapse.

    Singapore has free markets and the rule of law. It is hard to find many who are being ethically abused in that country.


  11. Aj @ 6:31 -32.
    This is dangerous. I had meant to comment on Trump’s tweet about Sanders and her being thrown out of a restaurant.

    Trump needs to stay out of it. However, the denial of service or respect to anyone because of political beliefs unconstitutional. Maxine Waters is asking for a return of “Jim Crow” practices.
    This is bad stuff.


  12. i.e. You can’t, under the Constitution, deny service because someone is homosexual, black or Muslim, etc.
    But you can deny service because they are deplorable.


  13. From yesterday…

    per AJ:

    This is politics, not youth athletics where everyone wins and gets a participation trophy. [What is this meant to convey?] Protest votes don’t fill seats in Congress, or the WH, and gets no say in how things are run and what gets passed into law. If you want that kinda say, you “have to” play with candidates that can win, which isn’t always someone you even like. Such is the game.

    Do you see how someone attempting a dispassionate reading of this statement might think it makes critical compromises that impugn the reputation of the cause, and doesn’t recognize the role of God in the whole thing (e.g., Psalm 146 and the like)? In the context of conversations on this site, it’s not especially notable, since there are such grave concerns expressed here that Republicans just have a seat at “the Table” (blessed be its name). But that sentiment seems so foreign to scripture, it’s odd that it doesn’t ring off key to God’s people.

    per Ricky:

    I have to admit that I would prefer four more years of Trump’s dishonesty and idiocy over four years of her socialist nagging. If the Dems nominate Warren, I will probably degrade myself and vote for Trump.

    Earlier, you asserted that your “rule of law” standard isn’t arbitrarily applied. What are we to make of your application of this *higher* voting standard? Are there others even higher than that one?

    To use an analogy from Exodus, God has turned our idols (conservatism and Republicanism) into Trump and has been forcing us to drink them.

    IMO, this is selective speculation. Millions of babies were aborted during the Reagan era; Reagan appointed O’Connor and Kennedy. Kennedy wrote Obergfell–in 2015. It was 5-4. Bummer! The apocalypse was well under way before Trump made the scene. Casting Trump as Nebuchadnezzer or Nero all the time is a little over the top, isn’t it?


  14. Ha! Love it. 🙂

    The media and hysterical Dems (I repeat myself) thought they had a winner with this new meme.

    But, no. 🙂


    “It’s been three weeks since the last CBS/YouGov poll, and an eventful three weeks at that. During that period of time, the media and Democrats have covered almost nothing except the family-separation issue in border enforcement, with both having at times to admit that the same outcomes took place in the Obama administration, although not on the same scale. For the past fortnight, the American electorate has had a ringside seat to this overwhelming firestorm. With the midterms just four months out, the political impact of this has to have been massive. Right?

    Maybe not. Three weeks ago, the previous CBS/YouGov poll showed Democrats leading Republicans by five. This weekend, their latest poll shows Democrats leading by … four?”



  15. Ricky @11:04 Singapore? Gee, why didn’t I think of that. Now all we need is a handy authoritarian who will persecute his political opponents into our private prisons and run the country for the next 30 years. ;–) From one of your links yesterday:

    Singapore, a city-state located on an island located off the southern end of the Malay Peninsula, declared its independence from Great Britain on August 31, 1963. Following a brief merger with the Malaysian Federation from 1963 to August 1965, it became fully independent.

    Like Malaysia, Singapore’s has been ruled by the same party since independence and its government is highly authoritarian. Freedom House regularly categorizes Singapore as “partly free.” The ruling party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), has dominated Singapore’s politics since before independence. The country’s first leader, Lee Kuan Yew, served for 30 years as Prime Minister (1959–90). After that, he remained a dominant figure in political life as a “senior minister” to his first successor, Goh Chok Sun (1990–2004) and as “minister mentor” for his son, Lee Hsien Loong, who has served as prime minister since 2005. (He formally retired from the “minister mentor” position in 2011 and died in 2015.) The rule of law operates to serve the interests and authoritarian policies of the government. Courts regularly restrict and imprison political opponents. Singapore is known for its restrictive culture and severe punishment of such transgressions as chewing bubble gum. ….



  16. It’s possible that we are already moving in the direction of Singapore. If the example of Singapore shows us anything, it seems to me like it shows the free market is only free when people are really not, but are run under a very controlled, authoritarian regime that jails its political opponents. Don’t force me to make that choice, please.


  17. Solar,

    So your solution is what?

    Not vote?

    Protest vote?

    And then what? Sit around and whine that things aren’t to our liking and complaining about how God has no place in our culture? God’s already decided the winners, so why bother? Clutching pearls and wringing hands won’t end abortion. But Christians voting for people who will and who appoint judges who will overturn it just might, if given the chance.

    We have a guy right now who is trying to do just that. Meanwhile his efforts are being held up by a supposedly much more moral Flake from Arizona who is holding up those appointments. Sorry, but I’ll not be lectured to by frauds like Flake and his good, and so much more moral than I supporters, just because I picked the guy with the questionable past and they don’t like it.

    There’s a lot going on that seems contrary to scripture. Like the way so many forgiven Christians can’t offer the same to Trump for his decades old sins, even though he claims Christ as his Savior now. Personally I’m glad someone isn’t still doing that to me, especially not my fellow professed believers.. As a rule, I try to extend that small grace to others too, as it’s been so abundantly and mercifully given to me. Scripture is quite clear here to, but that get’s glossed over, because, well, it’s Trump. (This is also one reason I often defend the man, it’s because it horrifies me that believers would be so unmerciful)

    I guess we all have our logs to deal with.

    I choose to participate in the process, as is my right. You may choose to not do so, and that’s yours. None of us are changing each others minds on this either way, so I’ll not bother trying in the future.


  18. AJ,

    I really don’t know why it is that every time I bring this up, responses are full of stuff that doesn’t follow at all from what I said.

    So your solution is what?….Sit around and whine that things aren’t to our liking and complaining about how God has no place in our culture? God’s already decided the winners, so why bother?

    I didn’t say any of that stuff. Any American citizen, let alone professing Christian, knows there is plenty of stuff between not voting for a guy who doesn’t think he needs forgiveness for anything, and sitting around whining.

    Why do you suggest it must be one or the other?

    Thank you for reminding me you have a right to participate in the process. That’s, like, super helpful to let me know.


  19. If 25 million Christians voted for a worthy 3rd party candidate, or else didn’t cast a vote in races where there wasn’t a decent candidate, candidates would eventually listen. Even if they didn’t, at least the electorate would–out of curiosity, if nothing else. Then if a few good Christian candidates demonstrated wisdom in their approaches, people would either be impressed enough to vote for them…or not. And if not, oh well!

    But what’s the alternative? What’s so vastly better than all that that we’re getting now?


  20. Ricky@2:19 I am not familiar with that source and will try to get to it when I get home. However I am very skeptical of rankings or theories that do not adequately differentiate between the very large and the small—between a city state and a country of our size. Size changes the character and nature of a thing because they have different dynamics.


  21. As someone who’s a moderate conservative, I rarely (never?) find any of the 3rd party candidates very attractive, let alone viable. By nature, they tend to be, well, ‘fringe-y.’ To me, anyway.

    It would take a huge swell of consensus to bring about another party that’s actually viable — and consensus usually requires some flexibility. So I’m not sure what a truly competitive 3rd party would look like. It could try to stake out something of the middle ground.

    But the 2 major parties may be in for some realignment as well considering all the political upheavals in the past decade. That could either bring about another viable consensus party (or 2) — or for now may just result in the parties shifting either further right, left or toward the middle.

    The Democrats seem to be surging leftward; the Republicans surging and going, well, nowhere, actually. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  22. “If no one ever votes 3rd party, we will never break away from the monopoly Republicans and Democrats have over the electorate.”

    Well, as soon as they have enough votes to win a national election, let me know, and I’m in.

    But that’s a loooooong way off at this point.


  23. “If 25 million Christians voted for a worthy 3rd party candidate, or else didn’t cast a vote in races where there wasn’t a decent candidate, candidates would eventually listen. Even if they didn’t, at least the electorate would–out of curiosity”

    The math says you’re wrong.

    62.98 million voted for Trump

    65.84 million voted for.Clinton

    25 million Christians voters

    At this point, you’d just be lessening both parties votes (there are millions of liberal voting Christians too) but more so Republicans would suffer. Democrats would be ecstatic with your idea, first because they’re not that into us Christians so they could care less if we left (Hello, that’s been for like a decade now), and if all 25 mil left the R party, R’s could never win the P/VP offices again.

    But even if you managed to herd all 25 million of those Christian cats behind one candidate of neither party, you’d still never do any better than 3rd.

    So again, you ensure nothing, other than that you never get a say in Presidential policy again.

    That serves what purposes, other than to possibly assuage your personal guilt at having selected an “unworthy” candidate? And you voting this way will always ensure you’ll never see another “worthy” one nominated again. D’s would have no need, or incentive, to do so.

    I’m sorry folks, I get what you are saying, but it won’t work.


  24. And now I’m ticked because I realize once again how much us being in this position sucks. I don’t like it any more than you folks, although I am reluctantly resolved to accepting it because this is our reality at the present. I wish I had the answer.

    Short of revolution I see no way to change this at present, so I’m still wide open for suggestions………. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  25. But even if you managed to herd all 25 million of those Christian cats behind one candidate of neither party, you’d still never do any better than 3rd.

    I’m talking Bible-believing, creedal Christians; for lack of a better term, “evangelicals.” You may argue there aren’t 25 million evangelicals in the electorate who want a candidate who demonstrates a wise application of Biblical principles to government. I say I think there are, but they’re either discouraged voters (who don’t vote), or they buy into your “gotta vote for the viable guy” strategy. And if there aren’t 25 million such folk, who cares? We’re in it to honor God, not have a say. It could well be that when we honor God, he’ll raise up good candidates.

    But I didn’t say such a candidate would immediately win. It’s uncanny how we don’t see the self-perpetuation of this grim attitude. The early Christians didn’t increase their numbers by figuring out ways to meld with Roman culture and politics. They did what God has always commanded his people to do: they set themselves apart. *Patience,* my man!

    So again, you ensure nothing, other than that you never get a say in Presidential policy again.

    We can’t possibly know that. Besides, there is more than just having a seat at the table in influencing laws.

    And it doesn’t have to be a 3rd party. It could be *no* party. We wait on God to raise up worthy candidates. That’s the suggestion, and it’s a Biblical one.

    That serves what purposes, other than to possibly assuage your personal guilt at having selected an “unworthy” candidate?

    Honest question here: since these little personal gibes seem to be a part of nearly all responses to me when I bring up this topic, is there something I’m saying that particularly evokes it?


  26. Funny, I was thinking the same thing after reading a few of your earlier responses…. 🙂

    Perhaps we should both be more careful.


  27. I was thinking the same thing after reading a few of your earlier responses….

    I will happily look at examples! Please provide! I’m rereading and don’t see anything of the like, so you’d be doing me a favor.


  28. I have no problem with Strzok’s testimony being televised. However, Trump’s testimony before Mueller should also be televised. Total transparency indeed!


  29. Like

  30. Highlights from tonight’s presidential speech:


  31. I have not a lot of hope for our electorate coming together on anything these days.

    I say this as a ‘screaming’ match plays out on NextDoor (where people aren’t always so neighborly) over a post seeking a new home for a dog as the owner must move and multiple uproars over Trump and Sara and restaurants and Maxine — and the list just goes on.

    I’m tired.

    I wish I could foresee a time when people in this country could find some consensus (and some common civility would be nice as well, but that’s clearly asking for too much); when lawmakers and voters could understand the need to work together, sometimes across the aisle, for the greater good (even though no one may get entirely what they want, the way they want it). It’s “them against us” and I don’t see how the nation governs itself in this climate.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Friedman did expose capitalism as an amoral system and Singapore taught us that capitslusm and democratic freedoms are not correlated.

    So like a broken clock Friedman and Singapore are correct at least once today.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. My son said in 2016 that if democracy works, then Trump should win as Trump is the perfect representative of the American people. He also said if it hadn’t been for the Super Delegates Sanders would have been the Democrat nominee.

    So that is where we are:

    1. The Democrats are well represented by a socialist.
    2. The Republicans are perfectly represented by a profoundly ignorant and dishonest con man and demagogue.

    So where is the common ground? Hugo Chavez was a socialist demagogue. Unfortunately, he is dead.


  34. Nunes knows full well the DOJ and FBI can’t be entirely transparent. They can’t reveal everything to the House Intelligence committee about the Trump investigation when they know the chairman will go running to the white house with all the secrets. Nunes has no credibility and can’t be trusted.

    As for rule of law, I’m not worried about Waters telling people to annoy Trump associates. The real threat is when a man who has actual power calls migrants vemin who infest the nation in front of thousands of his supporters. And now suggests ICE needs to suspend due process. That is inciting mob violence and ignoring rule of law


  35. AJ,

    the difference between four and five percent is the margin of error. My profound disappointment is to the people who find the lack of poll movement in response to Trump’s treatment of migrant families as amusing. The complete disregard of family values by the Republican Party should have repulsed its evangelical supporters. The fact the polls show orherwise is disappointing and quite frankly saddens me as these are the people I grew up eitj


  36. hwesseli: President Trump didn’t say that it is migrants who are vermin who infest the nation, but rather illegal immigrants.

    You are being as dishonest as the media.

    Liked by 1 person

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