This week’s winner is Alexandria Occasio-Cortez. She cheered when Amazon announced they would not build a second headquarters in New York. This is the first time I have ever heard a politician be happy about lost jobs. Her reasoning seems to be that money given to Amazon should be spent elsewhere. She has an economics degree but doesn’t seem to have even a basic understanding of the subject. There is no pile of money sitting there waiting for Amazon. They were given a tax break. They would have still paid a lot of taxes. Now some other state will get them.
The damage she has done to New York goes well beyond the 25,000 lost jobs. This makes it less likely that other companies will invest in the state.
February 16 – State of Emergency
President Trump signed the funding bill that prevented a shutdown. He also declared a state of emergency. This step was presented as a last-ditch effort to fund the wall if Congress didn’t give him what he asked for. I think he intended to do it all along since he is seeking to free up is more than he asked Congress.
The National Emergencies Act of 1976 gives the president many special powers during a state of emergency. Among them are the powers to use funds dedicated for military construction for a different purpose. Fifty-one declarations have been made under the law while thirty-two are still in effect. Until now, all but one dealt with restrictions on foreign countries and citizens. President Obama issued one during a flu epidemic.
I believe he has set a dangerous precedent by using his powers as commander-in-chief to thwart the will of Congress. We can expect future Democratic president to take this step with climate change, gun violence and a host of other issues. Many who are cheering him claim to love the Constitution. They don’t mind an interference with the system of checks and balances as long as a Republican does it.
I also believe it is a political mistake. Like the shutdown, Trump’s action has nothing to do with the wall. He seems to have made a decision that his reelection should be based solely on this one issue. That’s what he did with the last election. As a result, Nancy Pelosi is back in power. One thing he has going for his is all the ridiculous things Democrats are doing.
Abraham Lincoln was born 209 years ago today in a tiny log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky. His story is one of the great American stories.
Life on the frontier was hard. His mother died when he was nine. Although he had very little formal education, he craved learning. He settled in New Salem, Illinois. He worked in a store and later bought one. It failed. In 1834 he won the election for a seat in the state legislature.
His life then took a major turn. John Stuart Todd, a Springfield lawyer and cousin of Mary’s, convinced him to become a lawyer. Once he received his license he moved to Springfield and became Todd’s partner. He served several terms in the legislature. At age thirty-six he won a term in the US House of Representatives. He only served for just two years. That was the last political office he held until assuming the presidency.
He put politics on the back burner and focused on his law practice. He might have stayed out of politics if not for the Kansas-Nebraska Act introduced by his nemesis Stephen Douglas. That put the battle over slavery front and center. There was a huge political realignment and the Republican Party was formed. He became one of its leaders. He ran against Douglas for a senate seat in 1858. Their debates made him a national figure.
We all know the rest of the story. His life was full of failure with relatively few successes. Yet he became one of the greatest, if not the greatest president in our history.
His is a story worth remembering. Unfortunately, Congress thought a three-day weekend was more important and created President’s Day. We ought to pause for a moment and reflect on the life of this incredible man.
The New Green Deal talks about a nationwide network of bullet trains that would render air travel obsolete. They should have looked at California’s experience. The project is more than a decade behind schedule and many billions over budget.
California Governor Gavin Newsom pulled the plug on the San Francisco to Los Angeles portion of the track. He pledged to finish the track from Merced to Bakersfield.
Let’s hope this cools the desire for bullet trains.
Normally I only claim to be an expert on my own opinion. Today I will write about an area where I have some expertise. I used to work in the health insurance industry. Today I have no connections with the industry, personal or financial. It is not my intent to defend them. I’d just like to clear up some misunderstandings.
Only a small minority of people actually have private health insurance. You may have a card with an insurance company’s name on it. Unless you work for a small company, your employer pays the bills and hires the insurance company to manage the claims. Only individuals or small businesses actually buy health insurance.
Many say the reason health care costs so much is excess insurance company profit. Since so few people actually have health insurance, this isn’t the case. Companies that actually write insurance are happy if a penny or two of each premium dollar makes it to the bottom line.
Many are unhappy if their physician or hospital isn’t in the network. Health care costs would be much higher if it weren’t for discounts that have been negotiated.
The biggest area of controversy is treatments that are not covered. There is usually a good reason. Mental health inpatient coverage is often quite limited. This is because of past abuses. If a kid were acting up, they would put him in an institution. Suddenly they were “cured” once the insurance ran out. Experimental treatment is another example. A company should be held to account if they unfairly deny coverage.
The only real answer is to find ways to make health care less costly. Unfortunately, neither the Obama nor the Trump administration has done much about it.
We live in strange times. We have seen an egocentric billionaire reality star become President. Now we are experiencing something equally bizarre. Much of the Democratic Party is marching in lockstep with a 29-year-old former waitress.
Yesterday she provided more details on her Green New Deal. It is so wildly unpractical that someone suggested that it sounds like a satire written by Republicans.
Let me take just one example. The plan calls for the elimination of all fossil fuels in eleven years. There has been a push for renewable energy since the Carter administration forty years ago. So far it accounts for just 11% of our energy. The idea that we could go to 100% renewable energy in just over a decade just isn’t possible.
Her plan would make every train, ship, tractor and plane along with virtually every car and truck obsolete. Believing that we could recreate our entire transportation system using technology that hasn’t been developed is absolutely ridiculous.
Solar panels and windmills are great as long as the sun shines and the wind blows. Without fossil fuels as a backup, we would spend much of our time without power.
Imagine a military without planes, ships or tanks. I guess we are supposed to go to war using golf carts.
Democrats have made getting rid of President Trump their number one goal. They sure won’t get there with a candidate spouting this nonsense.
I’m sure nobody will be surprised at this week’s winner. It’s Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. He got the ball rolling by appearing to say that he is OK with letting unwanted babies die. What he actually meant to say is unclear.
That controversy was just the beginning. Someone was waiting for the right time to release a photo which purportedly showed him either in a KKK suit or in blackface. He admitted he was in the picture, then denied it. He also volunteered that he was once dressed as Michael Jackson for Halloween. I’m not sure that President Trump or Joe Biden could make so many major political mistakes in such a short time.
The real question is whether or not he should resign. We don’t even know for sure whether or not he was even in the picture. For the sake of argument, let’s assume he was. It is hard to fathom how a medical school graduate could have such unbelievably bad judgment. I don’t believe he should resign unless a long pattern of racism can be shown.
Some Democrats are being hypocrites. As recently as 2010, there was a member of the Senate, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who had once been a KKK member and organizer. Nobody said a word. Now they are willing to throw Northam under the bus to curry favor with the Far Left.
We should vigorously pursue those in politics who are guilty of serious wrongdoing. Saying or doing something stupid decades ago is not sufficient reason to force people out of office.
Sorry for the long absence. I had been traveling. I tried to do a post over the phone but it didn’t go through.
Democratic presidential candidates are trying to outdo each other in proposing new taxes on the rich. One wants a 90% tax bracket while another wants a wealth tax. Everyone talks about the rich paying their “fair share” to fund the socialist agenda.
While they are trying to outdo each other in demagoguery, none of them seem to care about the facts. The income tax is the largest source of revenue. The top 1% paid 39% of the total while the bottom 90% paid only 29%. Sounds like fair share to me.
The bigger problem is that they haven’t got out their calculators and crunched the numbers. There just aren’t enough rich people to pay for the socialist utopia. If the government confiscated every dollar each billionaire had, it wouldn’t even cover one year’s budget.
Time and time again governments have made promises they can’t pay for. Many cities and some states are in trouble because of retirement benefits. We are seeing the tragedy that is unfolding in Venezuela. Some advocate printing more money. That devalues the currency. Venezuela is expecting 10,000,000% inflation this year.
Let’s hope they get past their talking points and come up something can actually work.
For the second time this week we have seen a huge uproar over a false story. Someone with a fake twitter account released a video that appeared to show a high school student wearing a MAGA hat getting in the face of a Native American beating a drum. Denunciations of the high school students came rapidly. This included many in the media, some Hollywood types and even their school and the mayor of the town. Hollywood producer Jack Morrissey thought the kids should go “screaming, hats first into a woodchipper”. Presumably he meant it as a joke but I don’t see the humor in it.
A fuller video showed the students were innocent victims. Some, included Morrissey, apologized. Most kept quiet. I just read a column in which the writer basically said this was OK since a MAGA hat is a symbol of racism.
I think Hillary Clinton got the ball rolling in 2016. Personal attacks are nothing new in presidential campaigns but usually they aren’t directed at voters. She is most famous for her “basket of deplorables” comment but that was not the only one. Is wrong to hate people because of their gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. It is also wrong to hate them because of who they vote for.
Neither party has a monopoly on hate. Certainly, President Trump has made many hateful comments that were best left unsaid. However, I have never heard a Republican talk about throwing Democratic kids into a woodchipper.
This week’s winner is Areva Martin, a legal analyst for CNN. She was a guest on a SiriusXM radio show. The host said he felt his experience played a bigger role in getting jobs than his race. She responded “that’s a whole other long conversation about white privilege, the things that you have the privilege of doing, that people of color don’t have the privilege of”’. There was just one problem. The host was black.
It seems to me that you are not doing someone a favor when you tell them they can’t get ahead because of the color of their skin and everything bad thing that happens to them is somebody else’s fault.