29 thoughts on “News/Politics 10-13-18

  1. We had a 6th grade boy come into our youth dept 15 years ago who had been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Our youth minister was very good with him, as were our student leaders. He became a leader of the group in his last two years of high school. He is now married and working and active in the church where he lives.

    I know that it is much more difficult for churches to deal with students with more severe autism and other conditions. I am not sure I actually believe in some of the “syndromes” mentioned in this article. My wife, who has a masters degree in education, never agreed with the Aspergers diagnosis for the above-described student. She always thought, “he was just like his father”.

    I am not certain who was right, but God was and is gracious and the entire youth group was encouraged to see the young man change from a boy who sat by himself and wouldn’t talk to anyone to a friendly, Godly leader.


    Liked by 3 people

  2. Before long, the country will be theirs. I wish them luck. May they be harder to con than were the Baby Boomers.


  3. Just makin’ @#$% up.




  4. From RW’s Stephens Op/Ed: “It’s a pity both sides can’t lose, but maybe a midterm disappointment might teach liberals that they won’t beat Trump in 2020 by out-clowning him.”

    Where ARE the grown-ups?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The Republican grown-ups are retiring or laying low until The Trump Cult fad is over. There never were that many Democrat adults. The guy running for the Senate in Tennessee is an exception. Until Trump is gone we are in a post-truth environment.

    The story AJ put up @10:18 is a good example. The liberals completely misrepresented Trump’s point (which was valid and a decent analogy). Unfortunately, a guy who started his political career as a Birther, accused his Republican opponent’s father of being involved in the Kennedy assassination, etc, etc. is never going to be able to argue for a return to truth and fairness.


  6. Generations aren’t all that different from one another.

    They/we go through different world periods, responding to the events and incidents that they/we must live through for better or worse. It all shapes character for better or worse. But from wars to depressions, cultural earthquakes and technological advances, it all serves to shape this or that generation alike. Generations are better or worse than one another, just different depending on the age in which they come along. Each is shaped by the generations that went before. They’ll impact the generations that come afterward.

    But as a whole, it’s hard to make many generalizations that are divorced from the context of the time in which a particular generation lives. It’s amusing to me that people either dismiss or love the millennials; because human nature doesn’t really change all that much. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Millennials are pretty much like young people in all times. And yeah, they tend not to vote. Yet.

    When they mature and are dealing with jobs and taxes and houses and families and all the other angst of American life, they’ll vote more often. And probably not much differently from their parents or children someday.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Looks like Trump’s list of accomplishments is still growing.


    “President Trump signed two bills Wednesday intended to keep drug prices low and transparent, emphasizing the importance of keeping drugs affordable. Mr. Trump said prescription drug prices are a bipartisan issue that Republicans and Democrats can agree upon.

    Mr. Trump gave a rare nod to Democrats Wednesday, saying that not just Republicans but Democrats, too, care about lowering drug prices.

    “If there’s anything bipartisan it’s lowering drug prices,” he said. “


  9. With Baker singing, the narrative collapse continues.


    “Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is calling on FBI Director Christopher Wray to hand over documents related to a former FBI lawyer’s meeting during the 2016 campaign with an attorney that represented the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.

    The meeting was revealed during a congressional deposition that former FBI general counsel James Baker gave on Oct. 3. Baker told lawmakers that in September 2016 he met with Michael Sussmann, a partner at Perkins Coie.

    As the lead law firm for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, Perkins Coie hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which in turn hired Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

    Sources familiar with Baker’s testimony say he testified that Sussmann provided him with documents related to Russian hacking of Democrats. He also testified that the meeting was unusual.

    Republican lawmakers have questioned why Baker was meeting with a top Democratic lawyer at a crucial point in the campaign. Baker was interviewed as part of an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Russia probe, as well as the Steele dossier.”

    A little more background….


    “A top FBI lawyer testified to Congress Wednesday that he met before the 2016 election with a lawyer for the firm that represented the DNC and Clinton campaign.

    James Baker, the former general counsel at the FBI, said that Michael Sussmann provided him information about Russia’s campaign-related efforts.

    Sussmann’s firm, Perkins Coie, commissioned the infamous Steele dossier on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign.”


  10. Here’s the best part. All that out of state cash, it’s just wasted cash. 🙂


    “Robert O’Rourke, the Democrat Texas senate candidate, raised $38 million in the third quarter, which is the most ever by a senate candidate. Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz only raised $12 million in this quarter.

    However, the polls still have Cruz in the lead.

    From Dallas News:

    “The people of Texas in all 254 counties are proving that when we reject PACs and come together not as Republicans or Democrats but as Texans and Americans, there’s no stopping us,” O’Rourke said.

    Fundraising at this pace is typically reserved only for presidential campaigns. And it shows the collective power of many relatively modest donations.

    ActBlue, the online Democratic fund-raising platform, makes it easier than ever for candidates to collect small sums from many people, and to prompt supporters for recurring donations. O’Rourke has brought in at least $25 million that way this year, and based on the latest tally, likely far more.

    The New York Times poll that ended on Thursday night has Cruz up on O’Rourke by 8 points, 51 – 43. Only 5% of the respondents declined or remain undecided. The two men are pretty much tied with female voters, but Cruz has a lead with men and voters over 45-years-old.

    Micah Flippen told The New York Times that “[T]he silent majority will vote for Cruz” because “[N]obody in their right minds think Beto is going to put more money in their pocket except for the abject poor.” He noted that those people will “scream and shout,” but won’t make their way to the polling station.

    John Saylor praised O’Rourke’s campaign, but reminded everyone that “this is Texas.” A Democrat has not won a senate seat since 1994.”


  11. The blue ripple at best.


    “University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato predicts a blue wave in the House on Election Day. He’s not sure if it will be a tsunami, a medium wave or a small one. But he said a “red wave ain’t going to happen, it’s just a question about how big the blue wave is.”

    Let’s go back to Sabato’s final predictions for the 2016 election. He anticipated that Clinton would defeat Trump, winning 322 Electoral Votes to Trump’s 216. He said the Senate would be a tie. He correctly predicted the Republicans would win the house, however he underestimated the margin of victory. So, let’s hope he’s as wrong now as he was then.

    A look at the House races ranked as toss ups tells a different story. According to Real Clear Politics polling data, 32 races currently fall into the toss up category. The following table shows the most recent poll results for each race and based on that information, an estimation of whether they lean Republican, Democratic or in one case, a tie.

    I must preface this by saying that I am not, nor have I ever been, a pollster or a political analyst. The point of this exercise was simply to take a deeper look at how the individual toss up races might affect the outcome. When we see a headline stating that 204 seats lean Democratic, 199 lean Republican and 32 are toss ups, it is reasonable to conclude that the Democrats will win the house. By estimating the direction of each race separately, we gain more clarity.

    Of the 32 races, 18 lean currently Republican, 13 lean Democratic and one is impossible to determine.

    As mentioned above, Real Clear Politics currently ranks 204 seats as likely or leans Democratic and 199 as likely or leans Republican. Adding the expected toss ups would leave the Democrats with 217 and the Republicans with 217. CA48, being so difficult to call would determine the final number.

    Although several of the polls were conducted in October, most of these results are from September. And polls tend to tighten the closer we get to November.

    A glance at the recent ranking changes provides another indication that prospects are brightening for Republicans. Since October 4th, eleven house races have moved from “toss up” to “leans GOP,” four from “leans DEM” to “toss up,” and only one has changed from “leans GOP” to “toss up.”

    The stats from September 1-18th tell the opposite story. Seven races changed from “toss ups” to “leans DEM,” six from “leans GOP” to “toss up,” one “likely GOP” to “leans GOP,” only one “toss up” to “leans GOP,” and one “likely DEM” to “leans DEM.”

    So, the Republicans have gained some momentum in October. “


  12. I agree with DJ about millennials. If we consider that their generation began in the early 1980s, that means that many of them are currently in their mid-to-late 30s, and are working and raising families. Nightingale and her friends around her age are gainfully employed, and raising families.

    As many people were complaining about the awful economy and lack of good jobs during the Obama administration, they were also complaining that millennials were not working, blaming the millennials. But it turns out that more millennials are working than many people think. I forget the statistic I read, but the 20-something kid living in his parents’ basement is more a stereotype than a general reality. (Yes, there are some, but they are not the majority.)

    A pastor, writing about what he has experienced with millennials, says they are eager to be involved with real ministry and helping people, but not “programs” simply for the sake of doing a program.

    I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I remember watching an old movie in which an older character was railing against the young folks, how lazy and disrespectful they were. I realized that the young people he was referring to were born in the early 1920s, the ones who some have referred to as the Greatest Generation.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Who’s up for a game of “Guess the Political Party”?


    “Members of an organized voter fraud ring have been arrested and indicted on charges they targeted and, in one case stole, the votes of elderly voters on the city’s north side.

    Four people were arrested — Leticia Sanchez, Leticia Sanchez Tepichin, Maria Solis and Laura Parra — after being indicted on 30 felony counts of voter fraud, according to a statement from the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

    These people allegedly were paid to target older voters on the north side “in a scheme to generate a large number of mail ballots and then harvest those ballots for specific candidates in 2016,” the statement read.

    “Ballots by mail are intended to make it easier for Texas seniors to vote,” Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “My office is committed to ensuring that paid vote harvesters who fraudulently generate mail ballots, stealing votes from seniors, are held accountable for their despicable actions and for the damage they inflict on the electoral process.”

    Vote harvesting typically happens in two stages. There’s seeding and then harvesting.

    The AG’s office explains that applications for mail-in ballots are first sent to “targeted precincts.” Then, “harvesters attempt either to intercept the ballots outright or to ‘assist’ elderly voters in voting their ballots while ensuring that the votes are cast for the candidates of the harvesters’ choice.”

    In many cases, AG officials say, “the voters do not even know their votes have been stolen.”

    Investigators began looking into a Fort Worth voter fraud ring and found that so-called fraudulent applications were created by forging signatures, changing information on the applications and then resubmitting them without the knowledge of voters.

    The AG’s statement also said the harvesters “used deception to obtain signatures from voters.””


  14. Yeah those US manufacturers are so hard hit that manufacturing is up in the US, and so are the jobs for US workers as a result. 🙄

    What you and economists don’t know about manufacturing. Your ideas are outdated.


    “Robert Solow developed the field of growth economics by demonstrating that what he termed technological and related innovation was the dominant causative factor in economic growth.1 He won the Nobel Prize in 1987 by finally identifying (only 211 years after the publication of the Wealth of Nations) the long-invisible behemoth in the classical economics parlor: a demonstrated theory of economic growth.

    But there was a problem. Solow found that economic growth was “exogenous” to the approaches of his still-dominant school of neoclassical economics. The variables behind innovation were simply too complex to fit within 20th-century metrics-driven neoclassical theories. While mainstream economics focused on markets because they can be modeled, it was unable to model the complex of factors behind economic growth that lay outside the market system as such. The central concept of mainstream economics is dynamic equilibrium: Market signals drive meeting points between supply and demand, such that even as change is constant the net consequence remains equilibrium. Innovation-based growth, however, is a dynamic system that is not, cannot be, in equilibrium. Features like the organization of innovation systems simply did not fit with supply and demand curves.

    Of course, an economics school without a functioning theory of growth appeared entirely unacceptable to many, and a group of “New Growth Theory” economists, initially led by Paul Romer,2 worked to make growth theory “endogenous”; in other words, to somehow put it into an analytical, neoclassical box. But this has proven to be such a hard problem that many economists have sought more manageable and measurable projects like those of behavioral economics.

    Its inability to grapple with innovation systems has left economics in a particularly difficult situation when it comes to analyzing the American manufacturing sector. Manufacturing, and especially the initial production of new technologies, must be seen as part of the innovation system. It is an autonomously creative stage in which a new product must evolve through prototyping, product definition, and production design from an idea into both a marketable and produce-able good. This often requires a re-examination of the underlying science behind the innovation. While the innovation leaders of other nations, including Germany, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and now China, have focused on “manufacturing-led” innovation,3 those in the United States still mostly think that R&D is the only key to innovation, and that all the rest somehow takes care of itself.

    It used to, at least relatively speaking, but over time the delinking of innovation from production has put the United States increasingly at a competitive disadvantage. Many other better-known factors play into the problems of the American economy, but the drag that comes from ignoring the innovative power of manufacturing technique has been hugely important, too. Whatever the reasons for the oversight—the biases of classical economics, the path-dependency effects of the post-World War II “pipeline” model that emphasized federally funded research universities and basic research—if we want to recoup our leadership and ensure social comity and peace, we must stop ignoring this critical connection. ”


    “Meanwhile, neither of the two major U.S. political parties seems to get the basics of the growth economics that lies behind this new innovation focus on manufacturing. How did the parties miss growth economics? Simple: As John Maynard Keynes famously wrote, “Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”

    Our political parties appear to have locked in long ago on classical economics. The politics of each is organized around one of the two dominant factors that classical economics thought was responsible for growth: capital supply and labor supply. Republicans have focused on capital supply, with its leaders returning again and again to the popular political well of lowering marginal tax rates. Democrats focus on labor supply—improving education, health, and income in labor markets. Both matter and remain significant, although Solow demonstrated many years ago that these factors are responsible for only some 20 percent of growth. But the American political class has missed almost entirely the critical role of technological innovation and its power to spur innovation-driven growth. Advanced manufacturing is now a key asset in such innovation.

    Economist Benjamin Friedman’s noted 2005 book, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth,49 showed that periods of higher economic growth tend to be accompanied historically by more tolerance, optimism, and egalitarian perspectives; declining economic growth periods are typically characterized by pessimism, nostalgia, xenophobia, and violence. While the American upper-middle class is doing fine, much of the remainder of the population has been less than fine. Productivity growth and related investment are at low levels despite their demonstrated role in driving growth. Unless growth agendas like advanced manufacturing policies are supported adequately and consistently, we are in for a difficult time ahead.

    We now are seeing what may prove to be an advanced wave of social externalities accompanying the economic decline affecting the American working class. If automation piles on new labor profile dislocations in the years ahead, things may get considerably worse unless we plan to offset its effects. Economists and the political system they influence need to get with the program. “


  15. Stalin thought classical economic theory was outdated and developed 5 year plans and centralized planning. Millions starved. Hugo Chavez thought free-market economics were outdated and his people are now starving.

    It takes a little while for new economic programs to take effect. Trump tariffs just started this year. He has already had to spend billions to bail out farmers who used to earn their own way and pay income taxes. Let Trump tariffs and the corresponding retaliatory tariffs last 2-3 years. Maybe he can cure our obesity problem.


  16. AJ@1:23. That’s an interesting article. I’d like to read it more closely when I get home from work.

    It’s interesting also to note that Milton Friedman thought moral concerns relating to business were the perview of politics and the society—not business. Even the Wealth of Nations relied on the presupposition of a firm , srticulated moral foundation.



  17. Japan has already taken the place of the US in pushing through the TPP as an alternative to Chinese economic hegemony in Asia. It will be interesting to see if Japan begins to attract the best and the brightest of Asia as long term immigrants while also bringing in blue collar immigrants on a short term basis.


  18. It is one thing for Trump’s economic ignorance to hurt US farmers, businessmen, consumers and their foreign trading partners. That is the price to be paid for the US electing an ignoramus as its leader. It is something else entirely for Trump’s idiocy to hamstring the World Trade Organization, an entity that has helped lift hundreds of millions out of poverty by promoting trade around the world. The rest of the world will need to “wire around” an increasingly stubborn and stupid US to defend the WTO even as Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Chile and other intelligent countries saved the TPP after Trump pulled the US out of that agreement.


  19. There is nothing preventing other countries from ‘lifting millions out of poverty ‘ as long as they are not relying on the U.S. to pay for it all by injuring our own manufactuing as we have in the past. Let Germany send its manufacturing to China if they want to. We’ve done more than enough damage to ourselves in the past 40 years.


  20. Let’s get real, real basic.

    Free trade means free trade as in “free”.

    No one is forcing anyone else to buy from or sell to any foreign person or entity.

    The US is not “paying for it all”.

    If there is foreign trade, it is because an American or an American company has chose to buy from or sell to a foreign person or entity and the foreign person or entity has also agreed to the transaction. If both sides were not benefitted, they would not have done the deal.

    Trumpkins may tend to think all business is some sort of con game like a fake university, or a casino or a strip joint or getting your mistress to pose nude in your private plane or appearing in a pornographic movie or cheating your lenders and suppliers. That is how Trump does business.

    Most business involves free people producing goods and services and selling those to other free people who pay a market price for those goods and services. Unlike Trump University or Trump cheating his lenders or vendors, there aren’t winners and losers in a business transaction. Both sides are getting what they want. Only when a gullible person is dealing with a cheat like Trump is there a “winner” and a “loser”.


  21. I believe the US is indicating that it no longer ‘benefits’ from purchasing things such as computer servers for its military and other things from a communist country. For one thing, it’s a national security issue. We’re also letting our US businesses know that we are politically awake, and they will do better by producing here than overseas. This is the political atmosphere American businesses must adjust to. As a result, I think we’ll see businesses choose to produce more here in the US. ;–)


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