But more broadly, this is all terrible for a nation's economic vitality if businesses make decisions to please politicians rather than customers and shareholders. Yet America's private sector has just been sent a strong signal that playing ball with Trump might be part of what it now means to run an American company. Imagine business after business, year after year, making decisions based partly on pleasing the Trump White House. In addition, Trump's hectoring on trade and offshoring distracts from the economic reality that automation poses the critical challenge for the American workforce going forward.Republicans quite gleefully criticized Obama when he practiced such crony capitalism with Solyndra and the auto bailouts. But they're mostly silent now when Trump is the one sticking a heavy hand on the scales of business in order to get a self-congratulatory tweet and satisfying press op. As Pethokoukis writes, both parties have now demonstrated that they're willing to be statists and crony capitalists.
In her 1998 book, The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel saw the major dividing line in American politics as less left vs. right than the "dynamists" vs. the "stasists." The former values change and experimentation, as messy as those things can be. Dynamists live in anticipation of the future because they just know it will be a great place. The stasists often are nostalgia-ridden and willing to use top-down control to keep things as they are or try to shape them into familiar forms. Today they fight globalization, tomorrow it might be robots and artificial intelligence in order to "save jobs."As Taylor Millard writes,
This time, at least, score one for the stasists and the cronyists.
The right needs to be careful before praising Trump, Pence, et. al for “reaching a deal” to keep a certain business in the U.S., especially when they threaten reprisals against those who decide to leave. Trump’s promise to reduce regulations and taxes is great, as long as he goes through with it through the legislative process. What will be even more interesting is what happens if/when he doesn’t get his way. Will he accept defeat, or decide to use executive orders to bypass Congress? Here’s hoping the right will be angry if he ignores the Constitution (even if it furthers their agenda).
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Josh Kraushaar looks at how Democrats have paid an electoral price for being green.
But the most glaring problem for the Democratic Party is an unwillingness to even entertain the possibility that its policy agenda had anything to do with its stunning defeat. Even Republicans, thanks to their national committee’s “autopsy report” in the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s loss, concluded that the party had to take a more moderate stance on immigration to win future elections. Democrats have done no similar soul-searching.Holman Jenkins writes on the same point as he reminds us of the decisions that Obama has made that have lost the Democrats votes.
Let me offer a piece of unsolicited advice, one that Democratic strategists have discussed privately but are reticent to promote publicly for fear of alienating green activists. Taking a more moderate stand on energy policy—whether it’s supporting the Keystone XL pipeline, championing the fracking boom that’s transforming regional economies, or simply sounding a more skeptical note on the Obama administration’s litany of environmental regulations—would do wonders for the Democratic Party’s ability to compete for the working-class voters who have drifted away from the party.
If the GOP gains in the Midwest were an anomaly, perhaps Democrats could afford to cater to their environmental base. But this wasn’t the first time that Democrats lost significant ground in the region. In 2010, they lost a whopping 63 seats in the House in part because of failed cap-and-trade legislation; over one-third of the seats they lost were in the Midwest. Republicans amped up their attacks on Obama’s environmental policies during the 2014 midterms—airing more than 26,000 spots citing the Environmental Protection Agency—and swept nearly every competitive Senate race on their way to the majority.
Take the Keystone XL pipeline as a stand-in for voter sentiment on the balance between protecting the environment and producing jobs. A March 2014 Pew Research Center poll, conducted during the Keystone debate, found that a 49 percent plurality of Democrats supported building the pipeline—even though the president and top party leaders opposed it. Among working-class Democrats (those who made less than $50,000 a year), support for the Keystone project outdistanced opposition by a whopping 22 points (54 to 32). When your party’s own voters are at odds with its elite, it’s a recipe for disaster. Donald Trump’s Midwestern sweep was the culmination of these long-standing trends.
The party’s exposure is even greater in 2018. There are seven Democratic senators up for reelection in the Rust Belt, with an eighth (Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota) representing an energy-rich Plains state. Trump carried seven of the eight states, and came within one point of winning deep-blue Minnesota. If Democrats continue to raise holy hell on climate change but sound uninterested in promoting energy jobs, Trump will have a ready-made issue to exploit over the next two years.
Unshrewdly, in the name of satisfying his climate-change constituents, he needlessly launched a regulatory war against coal as cheap natural gas was already doing the job for him. Result: Democrats became the enemy in coal country.
He pandered to his green friends on the Keystone XL pipeline. Result: Mr. Trump is inheriting a rebound in natural gas fracking and an associated infrastructure boom that is just now heating up again in time for an incoming administration to get credit.
Natural gas fracking (far more than Trumpian trade policy or browbeating of companies like Carrier) is the force reawakening manufacturing opportunity in the Rust Belt, timed perfectly for Mr. Trump’s arrival.
Holding back development was not the depressed gas price—that’s what attracts manufacturers—but the lack of infrastructure, specifically pipelines, to get the gas to prospective plant sites. Blame Mr. Obama and his Keystone theatrics.
A Brazilian company, Braskem, just opted to build a $500 million plastics plant in Texas, not Philadelphia—home to 85% Obama voters—for one reason only: lack of pipeline infrastructure.
Mr. Obama, notice, pays this price for climate gestures that were purely symbolic, having no impact on climate, and especially purblind given gas’s role in reducing U.S. CO2 emissions.
His climate gestures were destined not to survive his presidency in any case. All he did was shoot himself, his party and American workers in the foot.
Caving to the protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline despite all the project having passed through all the environmental studies will just feed into these perceptions of the Democratic Party. As Representative Kevin Cramer of North Dakota writes, this isn't about either tribal rights or water.
• This isn’t about tribal rights or protecting cultural resources. The pipeline does not cross any land owned by the Standing Rock Sioux. The land under discussion belongs to private owners and the federal government. To suggest that the Standing Rock tribe has the legal ability to block the pipeline is to turn America’s property rights upside down.Activists love the idea that they're somehow carrying on a grand tradition of Wounded Knee protests, but they don't seem to understand the full background. And if Trump comes in and reverses the decision, those protesters will be even more excited to combine their environmental fanaticism with their hatred of Donald Trump. And Trump will have another opportunity to play the role as the protector of the working man against environmental extremists.
• Two federal courts have rejected claims that the tribe wasn’t consulted. The project’s developer and the Army Corps made dozens of overtures to the Standing Rock Sioux over more than two years. Often these attempts were ignored or rejected, with the message that the tribe would only accept termination of the project.
• Other tribes and parties did participate in the process. More than 50 tribes were consulted, and their concerns resulted in 140 adjustments to the pipeline’s route. The project’s developer and the Army Corps were clearly concerned about protecting tribal artifacts and cultural sites. Any claim otherwise is unsupported by the record. The pipeline’s route was also studied—and ultimately supported—by the North Dakota Public Service Commission (on which I formerly served), the State Historic Preservation Office, and multiple independent archaeologists.
• This isn’t about water protection. Years before the pipeline was announced, the tribe was working with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps to relocate its drinking-water intake. The new site sits roughly 70 miles downstream of where the pipeline is slated to cross the Missouri River. Notably, the new intake, according to the Bureau of Reclamation, will be 1.6 miles downstream of an elevated railroad bridge that carries tanker cars carrying crude oil.
Further, the pipeline will be installed about 100 feet below the riverbed. Automatic shut-off valves will be employed on either side of the river, and the pipeline will be constructed to exceed many federal safety requirements.
Other pipelines carrying oil, gas and refined products already cross the Missouri River at least a dozen times upstream of the tribe’s intake. The corridor where the Dakota Access Pipeline will run is directly adjacent to another pipeline, which carries natural gas under the riverbed, as well as an overhead electric transmission line. This site was chosen because it is largely a brownfield area that was disturbed long ago by previous infrastructure.
• This isn’t about the climate. The oil that will be shipped through the pipeline is already being produced. But right now it is transported in more carbon-intensive ways, such as by railroad or long-haul tanker truck. So trying to thwart the pipeline to reduce greenhouse gas could have the opposite effect.
There is something quite pernicious in public officials releasing the private contact information, including addresses and phone numbers, of electors so that they can be harassed by disappointed Clinton supporters.
Pennsylvania Republicans are livid with the secretary of state's office for releasing not only the names of the state's electors, but also their home addresses and phone numbers.In the past, the Department of State would redact personal information and just release the names of electors, but this year they didn't do that. As a result these electors have received close to 20,000 letters and emails.
The GOP is calling the move "unprecedented." Going by recent history, it certainly is. Previously, the secretary of state's office would release the names and home counties of electors. Now all of a sudden, Democratic Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés discovered a way to release the personal contact information of electors, despite the fact the state had never done so previously.
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He's 93 years old and he's still moving and shaking as he lobbies for Taiwan.
Former Senator Bob Dole, acting as a foreign agent for the government of Taiwan, worked behind the scenes over the past six months to establish high-level contact between Taiwanese officials and President-elect Donald J. Trump’s staff, an effort that culminated last week in an unorthodox telephone call between Mr. Trump and Taiwan’s president.
Mr. Dole, a lobbyist with the Washington law firm Alston & Bird, coordinated with Mr. Trump’s campaign and the transition team to set up a series of meetings between Mr. Trump’s advisers and officials in Taiwan, according to disclosure documents filed last week with the Justice Department. Mr. Dole also assisted in Taiwan’s successful efforts to include language favorable to it in the Republican Party platform, according to the documents.
Mr. Dole’s firm received $140,000 from May to October for the work, according to the documents.
The documents suggest that President-elect Trump’s decision to take a telephone call from the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, was less a ham-handed diplomatic gaffe and more the result of a well-orchestrated plan by Taiwan, one that sought to use the election of a new president to deepen its relationship with the United States — with an assist from a seasoned lobbyist well versed in the machinery of Washington.
....The documents were submitted before the call took place and make no mention of it, and it was unclear what role, if any, Mr. Dole played in brokering the specific conversation.
Jason Riley reminds us that liberals have their own history of flirting with bigots. Their leaders are endorsing a man for chairman of the DNC who has been affiliated with the Nation of Islam and publicly talked about how Israel controls the U.S. government while also flirting with 9/11 trutherism. But, as Riley points out, the Democrats shouldn't get a clean pass for their support of Black Lives Matter.
What is Black Lives Matter if not the flip side of white nationalism?
Yet leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has advocated violence against police officers, have been welcomed in the Obama White House, and one such leader was even appointed to the president’s task force on policing. The president, along with former Attorney General Eric Holder, has long had high praise for Al Sharpton, another frequent White House guest with a lengthy history of well-documented racist, sexist and homophobic utterances. The reality is that Democrats in general and the current Oval Office occupant in particular promote racial and ethnic tribal politics. If the left doesn’t want others playing this game, it should try leading by example.
Christina Hoff Sommers has a great essay about the problems with today's feminism and recommendations for the movement to have more appeal for ordinary women.
Today’s feminism is not merely out of touch with everyday Americans; it’s out of touch with reality. To survive, it’s going to have to come back to planet Earth.I know that the girls I teach all believe the myth that women earn only 77% of what men earn and that's due to sexism. However, neither my present students nor the ones who are in college believe the statistics about sexual assault. Perhaps that is because they're closer in experience to college or know people in college and it just doesn't match what they hear. I always think, when I hear that statistic, that many fewer families would send their daughters to college if they truly feared that 25% of them would be assaulted. Would you walk down a street or go to any location if you feared that you had a one in four chance of being assaulted?
First of all, it’s time to stop calling the United States a patriarchy. A patriarchy is a system where men hold the power and women do not. Women do hold power in the United States — they lead major universities and giant corporations, write influential books, serve as state and federal judges and even manage winning presidential campaigns. American women, especially college-educated women, are the freest and most self-determining in human history. Why pretend otherwise?
Feminism is drowning in myth-information. Advocates never tire of telling us that women are cheated out of nearly a quarter of their salary; that one in four college women is sexually assaulted, or that women are facing an epidemic of online abuse and violence. Such claims are hugely distorted, but they have been repeated so often that they have taken on the aura of truth. Workplace discrimination, sexual assault and online threats are genuine problems, but to solve them women need sober analysis, not hype and spin. Exaggerated claims and crying wolf discredit good causes and send scarce resources in the wrong direction. (Links in the original)
Sommers also returns to a theme she's been working on for a long time such as in her earlier book, The War Against Boys.
Today’s women’s movement also needs to reckon with the fact that men struggle just as much as women. Modern life is a complicated mix of burdens and advantages for each sex. Too often, feminism focuses on gender inequities among elites: CEOs, MIT astrophysicists, U.S. senators. It is true that there are too few women in those positions, but we need to consider the entire workforce for context. Most backbreaking, lethally dangerous jobs — roofer, logger, roustabout and coal miner, to name a few — are done by men. It is men — especially working-class men — who are disproportionately crushed, mutilated, electrocuted or mangled at work. Activists lament the dearth of women in the Fortune 500, but they fail to mention the Unfortunate 4,500 — the approximate number of men killed on the job every year.We shouldn't discount the valiant efforts by early feminists to gain us the rights and choices we enjoy today. But it does no one, except the activists, any good to pretend that we are still living in the 1950s. And it is harmful to keep pretending that females are some downtrodden group, especially when there are deeper problems out there than the imagined ones that these shriller feminists are insisting are today's reality.
Men are also the have-nots in education. Hispanic and Native American women are now more likely to attend college than white men. Unless we find ways to help them, a large and growing cohort of young men — white, black, Hispanic, you name it — are unlikely to find a place for themselves in the modern economy. When men languish, so do the women who love them.
I've been reading Nicholas Eberstadt and his work on Men Without Work: America's Invisible Crisis. The statistics are truly startling and disturbing.
Over the past two generations, America has suffered a quiet catastrophe: the collapse of work–for men. In the half-century between 1965 and 2015, work rates for the American male spiraled relentlessly downward, and an ominous “flight from work” commenced, with ever greater numbers of working-age men exiting the labor force. America is now home to a vast army of jobless men no longer even looking for work—more than 7 million between the ages of 25 and 54, the traditional prime of working life. (Work rates have fallen in recent years for women too, but the male work crisis has been under way much longer and is of greater magnitude.)He has more data to examine who these people are and how they survive. What to do about this long-term decline is not so clear. Eberstadt deserves credit for studying the problem and bringing it to our attention. It would be worthwhile if these men received 10% of the concern that the mythical wage gap or college sexual assault supposed crisis did.
In 2015, the work rate (or employment-to-population ratio) for American males ages 25 to 54 was slightly lower than it had been in 1940, at the tail end of the Great Depression. If we were back at 1965 levels today, nearly 10 million additional men would have paying jobs.
The collapse of male work is due almost entirely to a flight out of the labor force—and that flight has on the whole been voluntary. The fact that only 1 in 7 prime-age men are not in the labor force points to a lack of jobs as the reason they are not working.
And just who are these “missing men” whose departure from the workforce has gone all but unnoticed by the rest of us? As one might imagine, a contingent of 7 million contains some of everybody, but certain groups are represented in bigger numbers: less educated men; never-married men and men without children at home; and African Americans. Yet there are also striking exceptions to these general trends: for example, foreign-born blacks are more likely to be in the workforce than native-born whites.
How to explain our nation’s “men without work” problem? Received wisdom holds this to be a consequence of structural changes in our economy: the decline of manufacturing; the rise of outsourcing and automation; slow growth; and all the rest. It is incontestable that such factors have played a prominent role. But there is clearly more at play in this saga than economic forces alone. Consider: America’s prime-male workforce participation has been declining at a virtually linear rate for half a century–a trajectory unaffected by good times or recessions.
In addition to the economic drivers of the “Men Without Work” problem, there is also what we might call the sociological dynamic: a no-work lifestyle for men is no longer an unthinkable option. Quite the contrary: for every prime-age man who is unemployed today, another three are neither working nor looking for work.
Andrea Peyser exposes how anti-Semitism is on the rise on our college campuses as she reviews a new documentary, “Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance."
It was billed as a rally for students to demand free tuition from public institutions of higher education and lodge a cornucopia of grievances.
Instead, some giddy demonstrators devolved into a pack of rabid haters.
“Death to Jews! Death to Jews!” members of the crowd shrieked.
This didn’t happen in Germany in the 1930s, nor was it a modern-day ISIS extravaganza. The hatefest occurred last year at the Million Student March at Manhattan’s Hunter College, part of the City University of New York.
It was supposed to be an exercise in economic rage against the machine, taking place on campuses throughout the United States. But the Hunter event resembled a pogrom, with scared Jews slandered, scapegoated and made to fear for their physical safety.
Welcome to today’s colleges and universities, many of them venues in which Jew-bashing is not just tolerated, it’s tacitly encouraged by the frequent inaction and support of woefully politically correct administrators and radical leftist professors....
Hunter’s president and student leaders released a statement a day after the rally declaring they “strongly condemn anti-Semitic comments.” Oh, that’ll stop them.
But in a CUNY-commissioned report released in September, lawyers Barbara Jones and Paul Shechtman of Bracewell LLP essentially concluded that they were shocked — shocked! — to find that anti-Semitic words and deeds have befouled four of the system’s campuses. Then the kicker: “Much of what we have reported is protected speech.”
Imagine the public outcry if a report about attacks waged against Muslims, blacks, Latinos, women, gays, lesbians, transgenders or members of any other protected group were deemed “protected speech.”
The concerted assault on Jews and the American value of inclusion masquerades as anti-Israel activity. But the two faces of hate are one and the same....
According to the documentary, put out by the Americans for Peace and Tolerance organization, of which Jacobs is president, anti-Jewish unrest at Hunter and elsewhere is ginned up by well-funded organizations with missions to destroy Israel, particularly Students for Justice in Palestine.
The groups promote the sickening international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement — BDS. The aim is to stamp out trade with, and investments in, Israeli companies and to end cultural and academic exchanges with the Jewish state, the only country in the Middle East in which women enjoy equal rights and homosexuals don’t fear being thrown off tall buildings.
Here is the trailer.
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Here's an interesting thought experiment. David Lieb of the Associated Press points out that Republicans now control 33 state legislatures, one short of the two-thirds required to initiate a new constitutional convention to discuss amendments to the Constitution. Of course, any proposed amendment would still need to garner 3/4 of the states to ratify them. So radically conservative amendments on social issues would not fare well.
But conservatives have a list of bread-and-butter governing issues they would like to see enshrined in the Constitution.It's a coincidence that I should see this article. My AP government classes just held a mock constitutional convention to discuss five of the amendments that Randy Barnett of Georgetown has proposed. We debated his proposals to limit the meaning of the Commerce Clause back to what it used to be, to force Congress to supply the funds when it imposes mandates on the states, to protect political speech and contributions to political campaigns as freedom of speech, to allow 3/4 of the states to vot to rescind a federal law, and term limits for members of Congress. My students had a lot of fun debating the bills and marshaled some very sophisticated arguments. Judging from how the votes went in my three classes, term limits were quite popular. And in two of the classes, the amendment to force Congress to provide the funds for mandates also passed. The students who were assigned to argue against that had a hard time explaining why Congress should be able mandate the states do something and expect the states to pay for it all. Some tried arguing that, if Congress were forced to pay for everything they mandated, the federal government would have to go even further into debt. Those assigned to argue in favor of the amendment were quick to point out that states would have to make difficult tradeoffs if they were going to avoid debt just to fulfill whatever mandate the federal government laid on them. I think that would be a winner if there were to be a constitutional convention.
One, to require a balanced federal budget, is already approaching the level of support that would trigger a convention. Beyond that, a major state-level push is planned during 2017 for a constitutional convention that could also consider amendments to impose term limits on members of Congress and rein in various federal powers.
President-elect Donald Trump has pledged support for an amendment on congressional term limits.
"The possibility of constitutional change is in the air," said law professor Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, a nonprofit museum that is hosting academic debates and symposiums about the efforts to amend the Constitution.
Boy, times have changed at VMI. Now they have coloring books to help them fight stress.
The Virginia Military Institute, the first state-sponsored military college in the country founded in 1839, offers a “stress busters” program to provide students with yoga classes to “unwind and relax.”Since the Free Beacon published this story, VMI took the references from its website. I guess the feedback they were receiving was just too stressful. They'll have to break out the crayons.
The school said “peer educators” will still provide “Stress Busters” programs for students, which includes an event that lets cadets color.
“Stress Busters is held on Reading Day of each semester,” the school said. “This is an opportunity for cadets to unwind and relax before studying for finals. This event often includes stress reduction activities such as yoga, therapy dogs, coloring book stations, card/game stations, and grab-and-go snacks to take with you on your way to study!”
The school’s Cadet Peer Educators program offers a “bystander intervention” program to teach cadets to “identify barriers to bystander intervention, establish skills/techniques to intervene, and to provide [Virginia Military Institute] and Lexington resources to all cadets in attendance.”
The school also posts flyers on health in bathroom stalls.
“VMI once took America’s youth and prepared them for duty and the harsh realities of war,” a VMI alumnus and veteran told the Washington Free Beacon. “Now, for $20k a year, VMI will turn your teenagers back into children.”
Sonny Bunch has fun imagining how it really was Jim Comey's fault that Hillary lost. He, apparently, was directing the Clinton campaign in all its bad mistakes.
Comey, straightening his tie, returned to the other side of the table.That's really an amazing fact - in the last weeks of the campaign, the Clinton campaign spent more money in Nebraska than it did in Michigan and Wisconsin put together. Pure genius. Dang that James Comey!
“As I was saying. We don’t want to just scrape by. We want to CRUSH HIM. We want to DESTROY HIS SPIRIT. We want to EVISCERATE HIS CAMPAIGN. And to do this, we need to win one electoral vote in Nebraska. We’re going to pour money into Nebraska. We’re going to spend more money in Nebraska than we are in Wisconsin and Michigan combined.”
Silence echoed throughout the room. Palmieri took notes.
“Good. Now, about Pennsylvania. We’re not going to address voters’ concerns about jobs or manufacturing. That’s kiddie crap. I heard Bill Clinton was carping about our ignoring the white working class? Fuck ’em. And fuck him. Does Bill even know what the word intersectionality means? I’ve got three words for you: Broad City gifs.”
“You want to win elections? You don’t turn out reliable voter bases like middle aged white people. No: you flood Twitter with gifs in the hopes of growing your voting bloc of young people. Everyone knows college kids and recent graduates are totally unreliable voters who can barely be counted on to show up for work without a hangover. What this strategy presupposes is: maybe they aren’t?”
Slowly, Podesta began to nod.
“Jen, you get on the phone with Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer and that British nothing, what’s his, on HBO?”
“John Oliver,” she replied.
“Right, that dong. Get them out there, get them shilling for us. Between them they have like three million viewers; we should spend as much time as possible cultivating their support. Lord knows things like ‘appealing to people who are worried about their economic future’ isn’t going to win anyone a goddamn thing in this election. We need celebrities to hector the people who pay for their entertainment. That will certainly not inspire a backlash and can’t possibly blow up in our face.”
“Got it,” Mook whispered.