Saturday, June 16, 2018

Why Trump Will Win Reelection (new version)

I've written before that President Trump will be reelected in 2020. I'm even more sure of it now. Here are my reasons:

1) The Left really hates Trump.
This sounds counter-intuitive but the presidents who is really disliked by the opposite party get reelected, usually by wide margins. Nixon, Reagan, and George W Bush were all hated by the Democrats. Clinton and Obama were hated by the Republicans. They all won reelection. Ford, Carter and George H. W. Bush were tolerated by the other party and all were defeated.

2) The Democrats don't have a message.
Yes, they have a half-assed newer deal but they aren't going to win any votes with it.

3) The Democrats don't have a leader.
Barack Obama left the party in shambles. Now he's become the de facto leader, interviewing possible successors. A lot of Democrats are fond of Obama but he's the lamest of lame ducks and he has a history of putting himself ahead of his party (which is how he decimated the party in the first place).

4) The Democrats don't have a front-runner.
The 2020 election is 2 1/2 years from now. Typically successful candidates are known well before the election. Candidates who only emerge during the primaries typically go down in flames (think Dukakis or Kerry) Right now the Democratic front-runner is Joe Biden but it's unclear if he will even run. Elizabeth Warren denies that she's running. Most of the ones who have made it known that they will run are unknowns. They are having trouble being known because of the next point...

5) The Democrats can't get their message out.
Network news and cable news wants to feel like part of the resistance. That means they show anti-Trump 24/7. What little message the Democrats have is drowned out by anti-Trump coverage. The exception to that if Fox but they aren't going to carry any water for the Democrats, either.

6) Trump is keeping his promises.
The Democrats keep dismissing it at Trump playing to his base but Trump is actually following up on his major promises. Which leads to...

7) Trump is doing well in the polls.
A year ago the left was sure that even all else failed, Trump would be a one-term president because of his unprecedented unpopularity. Since then he's gotten a lot more popular. He's polling ahead of Obama at the same point and he's ahead of everyone except a post-9/11 Bush in popularity within his own party.

8) Foreign affairs.
Korea is a big deal. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is a big deal. Trump is playing hard-ball with international trade but his goal is to open more markets to US companies. If he succeeds then this will be a big deal. Defeating ISIS should be a big deal but it happened to quickly and easily that it will probably be forgotten.

9) Low expectations
Remember the predictions for a Trump presidency? The economy was supposed to crash but that didn't matter because Trump would cause a nuclear war. And if he didn't he'd establish a fascist dictatorship with blacks enslaved and all other non-whites sent to concentration camps. But none of that mattered in the long run because everyone was going to die of global warming. Trump would have to work really hard to live down to all the expectations. That makes his accomplishments seem even better.

10) Hate Trumps Love.
8,000,000 Obama voters voted for Trump. Instead of trying to woo them back, the Left is blaming them and insisting they are racists and sexists. Hollywood is piling on this. Late night talk shows compete to see who can be the most insulting to the president. An Oscar-winning actor drops an F-bomb at the Tony awards. Popular actors and directors put out tweets. No one on the Left is willing to admit that the Democrats no longer represent the working class. Instead they are consumed with hate. Polls have shown that Democrats are disowning conservative relatives over Trump (this actually happened in my wife's family). And Bill Maher would rather see the economy crash than see Trump reelected. Which brings me to my final point...

11) It's the economy stupid.
Bill Clinton was right when he said this in 1992. When Trump took office his predictions of 4% growth were dismissed as impossible in today's economy. We were told to get used to anemic 2% growth from now on. But the economy has surpassed all expectations. Growth is currently over 3.5% and unemployment is the lowest it's been in years. At the rate things are going, unemployment will soon be the lowest it's been in most people's lifetime. It's already the lowest on record for blacks. It's nearly impossible to run against that.

A word of warning - it is possible that things might change. Trump might trigger a real trade war which could crash the world economy. Or some unexpected weakness could suddenly appear as it did in 2008. I don't expect this, though. Growth under Obama was too sluggish to allow a bubble to form. Right now the economy looks strong and should continue to be for several years yet.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Craziness From Campus

What happened to the left being "reality-based"? They keep getting loonier and loonier as dogma replaces reality. This is most evident in college campuses.

Exhibit 1: A doctor of feminist studies evaluates a dog park from an Intersectional Feminist viewpoint. Here are her criteria:

1. How do human companions manage, contribute, and respond to violence in dogs?

2. What issues surround queer performativity and human reaction to homosexual sex between and among dogs?

3. Do dogs suffer oppression based upon (perceived) gender?

This is the ultimate example of anthropomorphism. The author, Helen Wilson, Ph.D. is taking the belief that gender is a social concept instead of a biological reality and applying it to animals. She worries that animals are "assigned" genders and sexual orientation at birth based on biology rather than their individual orientation. She also worries about proper consent and that dog parks contribute to rape culture. There is no affirmative consent. The dog who happens to have male genitalia does not ask the dog with a uterus "Can I sniff your nose?", "Can I sniff your butt?", "Can I hump you?". He just does it and it's up to the female to drive him off if his advances are unwelcome.

I hate to tell Dr. Wilson but that's how animals reproduce in the wild.

Exhibit 2:An English professor at Marquette University recently recounted "a day that felt like a constant barrage of microaggressions" as part of her ongoing diary of "everyday microaggressions" that she uses to see past her own "whiteness." Here's the really crazy one:

Following this panel, a white professor posts to social media how proud she is of white students (pre-service teachers) for buying school supplies for "underserved communities," playing into this savior script and celebrating altruistic charity instead of teaching ways to re-route power.

So it's now a microaggression for white students to do an act of charity for minorities because it makes them feel good about themselves. I suspect that given the choice between being given school supplies and being told that some college students are being taught ways of re-routing power, the "underserved communities" would take the supplies. I'm sure there are generations of liberals rolling over in their graves right now at the idea that charity is offensive.

The problem is that this stuff doesn't stay on campus. The second example is from an education department. They are training future teachers to be flaky. This is all newspeak. As the Instapundit says, "1984 wasn't meant to be an instruction manual."

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Samantha Bee's Horrible Joke

In early June, Samantha Bee reacted to a picture of Ivanka Trump holding her son. Bee was reacting to news reports of illegal immigrant families being separated at the border and was outraged that Ivanka would show herself with her child when other parents are having their children stripped from them under her father's government. Bee went on to use one of George Carlin's 7 words you can't say on TV, calling Ivanka a "feckless C***".

A bit of background. US policy has always been that children cannot be sent to adult prisons. So the choices are separating them or giving adults with children a Get Into America Free card. Apparently the latter has been the policy. There's a legitimate policy debate there. Should we encourage illegal immigration by allowing adults with children in or should we discourage it by arresting illegal immigrants as we find them, knowing that it will separate families? Or should we have prison facilities for entire families?

But all of this is too deep for Bee. Her show is all about shock and outrage. So she took advantage of the president's daughter and did something shocking.

There are only a few forbidden words in today's language and Bee used one of them. Furthermore, in her half-assed apology, she said that she's been trying to "reclaim" the word by using it fairly often on her show.

I'm amazed that basic cable allows that word to be used.

As for Bee "reclaiming" it, the word has two main uses. One is to refer to a woman's genitalia. The other is usually paired with "dumb" to mean, "I only keep this woman around for sex".

In her bit, Bee went on to suggest that Ivanka put on a nighty and seduce her father into changing his policies. So, she may have upgraded "dumb" to "feckless" but she still meant it in the crude sense. No reclaiming there.

So Bee feels it's ok to use a vulgar expression while suggesting incest between President Trump and his daughter. Never mind that Ivanka is way more liberal than her father. She's related to him so it's ok to attack her for his policies.

The left has a varying standard on presidential children. It was forbidden to even mention the Obama girls unless the press was quoting a press release. It was a national story when the Bush twins used fake IDs at a bar. It was also a national story when someone dared to ask Chelsea Clinton (who was in her late-20s and stumping for her mother) about her father's impeachment. If the President is a Democrat then the kids are off-limits, if a Republican then it's open-season.

Still, it's quite a stretch to go from a zero-tolerance policy implemented by the Attorney General to the President's daughter.

Samantha Bee is the truly feckless one.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

When and Why Did the FBI Start Investigating Candidate Trump?

Until this month, the official story was that the FBI began their investigation of the Trump campaign in the Fall of 2016 after John McCain turned over the Steele Dossier to them. That timeline changed considerably with the revelation of Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Now it's being alleged that the FBI started investigating the Trump campaign much earlier.

Under the new timeline, Trump was under pressure from the Washington Post's endorsement panel to name some foreign policy advisors. The seasoned professionals were boycotting Trump so he had to settle for 3rd string back-benchers - people who had done business overseas. That set off alarms because at least two of these advisors "had ties with Russia".

Personally, I think it went back even further. Fairly early in 2016, Vladimir Putin was asked about Trump and said that he was clever (later translations say that he may only have called Trump colorful). Reporters demanded that Trump repudiate Putin, something that Trump's ego was not going to allow. Instead Trump accepted the compliment and said a couple of complimentary things about Putin. The pundits went crazy insisting that this somehow proved that Trump was Putin's puppet and that Trump was planning on overthrowing the US government and installing himself as an authoritarian leader.

Keep in mind that no one batted an eye when SoS Clinton met with Russia to reset relations or when POTUS Obama did his own reset. Or when Obama premised flexibility after the next election to the Russian ambassador over a hot mic Or when Obama made fun of Romney for calling Russia our biggest geo-political rival.

It's been pretty well established that the FBI and Justice Department were being run by Obama loyalists. I'm guessing that they were among those never-Trumpers who believed that Trump was colluding with Putin and looking for any excuse to open an investigation. Then Trump added some people with "ties to the Kremlin" to his advisors. Russia is pay-to-play. Anyone doing business there has ties with the Kremlin and these advisors had done nothing illegal. But that's all the excuse the FBI needed.

The New York Times article that broke the store about Operation Crossfire Hurricane admitted that the FBI considered quietly meeting with the Trump campaign. They decided against it. Why? Because they wanted to catch the Trump campaign doing something with the Russians.

In a Sunday morning news show, Comey claimed that it was all about Russia but why have FBI informants meet with the Trump campaign if things were as innocent as Comey claimed (and remember that Comey lied under oath to Congress about wiretapping so he is not a reliable source).

I think that rather than the FBI investigating the Russians and their connections with Trump, they were investigating Trump and his connections with Russia. The focus of the investigation was not Russia, it was Trump.

And that's why it's a scandal.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Trump and North Korea

Earlier this week North Korea reacted to statements by Vice President Pence about pursuing a Libyan model for denuclearization and to joint military maneuvers with South Korea. They threatened to break off talks and to respond with force.

On Thursday, President Trump made his own response by cancelling the summit and reminding that we can also use force.

Naturally the pundits went crazy. In the Washington Post's afternoon email summary, there was an editorial plus columns by five columnists on what a poor negotiator Trump is. By the end of the day, North Korea released a statement that they are still willing to talk.

The irony here is that most of these same pundits had been worried that Trump was too caught up with the idea of winning a Nobel Prize and wanted the summit too much. They insisted that North Korea's Kim would be able to take advantage of Trump.

Trump came to office with the reputation of being a master negotiator and he is showing it here. He's proving that he's willing to walk away from a bad deal, or from someone who is unwilling to deal. That's important with North Korea. They've gotten the better of the US in previous negotiations.

It's also not as unusual as the pundits claim. Reagan walked away from a deal with the USSR only to have them restart negotiations. During negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the head of the PLO, Yasser Arafat constantly walked out, forcing Secretary of State Madeline Albright to run after him in high heels.

It's a nice change from President Obama's approach to Iran. It was obvious from the start that he wanted a deal more than they did and they used that to negotiate a bad deal.

In reality, the biggest obstacle to an agreement with North Korea is the actions of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. They are also the reason that mentions of Libya set off warnings from North Korea.

During the George W. Bush administration and after the overthrow of Iraq, Libya voluntarily gave up its nuclear program in exchange for promises of normalized relations.

That lasted until the next American administration and the Arab Spring. A group of Islamists associated with the Arab Brotherhood met with Hillary Clinton and convinced her that they could be trusted to run Libya. She in turn convinced Obama and the US joined the effort to overthrow the Libyan government.

Pundits have complained that Trump announcing the Iran agreement will hurt negotiations with North Korea but Libya is a much bigger issue. We are reapplying sanctions on Iran because they are not in compliance with the agreement.

But we overthrew Libya after they gave up their nuclear program. The reason we gave, that we were protecting women and children refugees, was a lie. We were protecting Islamic rebels. But we'd almost certainly left Libya alone if they were nuclear-armed.

So now Trump has to convince Kim that he will be safe from the US, even after the next change of administrations. That's going to be far more difficult than it would have been if we'd stayed out of Libya. But I do think that the Trump administration is the best equipped for the job in a generation.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Who Moved?

A recent article in the Washington Post examines how whites have left the Democratic Party in favor of the Republicans. It attributes a lot of this movement to polarization within the parties. Southern conservatives used to be welcome in the Democratic party but these days they align with the Republicans. The same is true in reverse with Northern intellectuals who have left the Republicans to become Democrats. All of this is well and good, but I take issue with one phrase, "As most whites shift rightward, they perceive the Democratic Party to be shifting leftward".

I'm continually amazed that anyone can fail to see how far the Democratic Party has moved in the last decade. Here are some examples:
  • In 2008, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were both against gay marriage.
  • Both candidates were for a moderate rise in the minimum wage.
  • Clinton was running as a return to her husband's administration and policies.
  • Obama made fun of Clinton's health care plan because it included an individual mandate.

How have things changed since then?

  • No one who is against gay marriage is allowed in the Democratic Party.
  • There is a vocal wing in the party for raising the minimum wage to $15/hour - more than doubling it.
  • in 2016 Bernie Sanders was mainly running against the major achievements of Bill Clinton
  • ObamaCare had an individual mandate.
  • There is a vocal wing in the party that is for Medicare for all and free collage
  • A socialist made a strong challenge to Hillary Clinton. Granted he calls himself a "democratic socialist" but he also took his honeymoon in Soviet Moscow
  • A number of honest-to-god Marxists won primaries
  • A majority of Democrats distrust capitalism and would prefer socialism
Serious, socialists and Marxists are now accepted in the Democratic Party and people are still saying that the shift is only perceived?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Cynical Reason the Santa Fe Shooting Won't Get as Much Press as the Stoneman Dougals Shooting

On May 18th, a student in Santa Fe, Texas killed 10 students and injured another 10. This was the deadliest school shooting since the Valentine's day shooting at Stoneman Douglas, Florida. The Stoneman Douglas shooting led to nationwide school walkouts and a massive protest in Washington DC. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that none of that will happen with the Santa Fe shooting.

My reasoning is that the Stoneman Douglas shooting was politically beneficial to the Democrats and the gun control crowd (which has a huge overlap). The gun used in the Florida shooting was an "assault weapon" and some of the survivors from the shooting immediately blamed Republicans and the NRA for not banning that class of gun. This was magical thinking - the insistence that the shooting would not have happened if only the shooter had been denied a particular class of weapon.

Democrats and anti-gun activists rallied in the hope that this tragedy would add to the predicted "blue wave". The NRA was condemned as a near-terrorist organization and Democrats began running on an anti-gun platform for the first time in a generation.

But the Texas shooter changed all that. he used a shotgun and a 38-special revolver. None of the "common sense gun control" provisions being demanded would have touched these weapons. An old-fashioned six-shooter does not have a high-capacity magazine. I haven't heard any details about the shotgun but they seldom hold more than five or six shots.

These are weapons that date back to the 19th century. All of the arguments about military-style weapons being too dangerous for civilians evaporate when presented with this shooting. The only argument left is a total ban on all guns. That moves well beyond what's reasonable.

A second reason that we will not see a repeat of the activism from the Florida shooting is the counter-protest. The NRA got a huge membership and fund-raising bonus from all of the anti-NRA activism. This is important because gun owners are more motivated to vote on a single issue than non-gun owners. Having someone propose taking your property away is a concrete action. Wanting to take away someone else's property is abstract. Concrete beats abstract in the polls. This will be even more urgent if Democrats propose going after revolvers and shotguns.

So, there will be no mass nationwide demonstrations, no marches on Washington, no student activists.

A few thoughts about the shootings in general. In Texas, things worked as they should - the shooter was stopped by the school safety officer. There was no indication that the police were cowering outside the school until the shooting ended.

In both cased plus Sandy Hook, the shooters got their weapons through their parents. The Florida shooter's mother bought him his AR-15 and at least one pistol because he was on the school shooting team. The Santa Fe and Sandy Hook shooters took their parents' guns. People were referring to the Bushmaster rifle the Sandy Hook shooter used as the "mass murderer's weapon of choice" but it wasn't. It was the gun his mother used for target practice. The lesson here is that when a parent owns weapons then provisions need to be made to keep those weapons out of the hands of disturbed teenagers.

The Santa Fe shooter was apparently emulating the Columbine killers. He wore a black trench coat and had some bombs. Initial reports are that the bombs were dummies but that still shows the futility of trusting in gun control to stop school killings. Disturbed teems will find a way.  Note: Columbine was supposed to be a bombing. The killers started shooting after their bomb failed to explode. And they were not wearing black trench coats during the shooting. They weren't even part of the "Trench Coat Mafia".